Thursday, January 31, 2008

Scrabble fans

I know there are a couple of Scrabble fans reading - aren't these the coolest cufflinks? You might be able to use them to cheat, too!

On sale at Red Envelope.

Martini luge

Have you seen one of these? They're the coolest (no pun intended). Erica and Jake had one at their wedding, and it was so much fun. It's made of ice - the bartender pours the drink at the top and catches it at the bottom.

Joe got these great photos (click to enlarge). The luge was made by Chad at Ice Creations, our favorite ice guy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Buy accessories and do some good!

A very talented friend is making custom collars for dogs and cats, to benefit a neglected, abused, rescue dog named Valentine. My dogs have been wearing these collars for some time - they're prettier than anything you can buy in stores, and better still, they're well-made, comfy, and durable.

Prices range from $12-20, and 100% of the profits go to help cover Valentine's vet bills.

Click on the pictures of the swatches to enlarge. Click here to buy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bear with us, please

We've had a pretty rough couple of weeks - Joe came down with the flu, promptly gave it to me, and then three of our dogs got sick. Just as soon as everyone started feeling better, we had a break-in at the studio tonight and the damage/loss added up to about $2000. We've got to get everything boarded up and deal with detectives and insurance. If we're difficult to reach for a few days, that's why.

The good news is that everyone is safe, and we always have more than one copy of every wedding, at more than one location. Tonight, we were very grateful that we've always been so careful.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thank you!

I just wanted to thank the wonderful clients who've already chosen DMP for their '08 weddings, and the wedding vendors who continue to recommend us. Our season is filling up nicely with some very cool brides and grooms planning unique weddings. (Don't worry, we're not booked solid, so if you're still deciding on a photographer, just call.)

We are looking forward to creating fantastic images for all of you.

Thanks also to Amanda and John, pictured above.

Friday, January 25, 2008

NEW LINK! If you haven't seen this,

you must! Click here for a great "screen cleaner".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our HGTV debut...

...will have to wait! I finally heard from the producers, and our episode, which they shot in June of 2007, will not air until January 2009.

And you thought it took us a long time to put together our wedding albums!

It's okay with me - this way we have plenty of time to get the house cleaned up for a party. We can't have the place looking worse than it does on TV, can we?

For those who didn't know, we're going to be one of the longer segments on What You Get For the Money (Sundays at 11 p.m.).

Chocolate for V Day

There is nothing more perfect than chocolate for Valentine's Day. All in one box, it says, "I love you" and "you're not fat". What could be better?

Look at these pretties! Get 'em here.

What I'm reading

I'm re-reading an old favorite - Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure.

I highly recommend this book to anyone having a hard time making their place into a real home. Or, if you've got a home, but you want it to be a bit nicer, more comfy, better for entertaining, or just something more. It's full of easy-to-follow instructions, and the "cure" really works.

Buy it here. There's also a blog - one of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cool casters

We get a lot of comments on our Cool Casters. I've always hated those ugly plastic chairmats, but didn't want to ruin our original wood floors (circa 1900) at the office. These chair wheels were the perfect solution! They're real inline skate wheels, made of soft rubber, so they don't scratch or nick the floors. Plus, they let you can whiz around the room really fast.

They make them in a ton of sizes, be sure to get the ones for "standard" office chairs. (Unless you've got a chair from IKEA, because those aren't standard. We have to return a set this week.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

New website!

We're putting the finishing touches on our new website. It's online now at

We're really excited about the debut - we've added an html site for those with slower connections and mobile web access, and this blog is going public!

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Key lime pie martini

This is a seriously yummy cocktail...

Somehow, get your hands on some graham cracker crumbs - steal 'em when your kid isn't looking, then crush and add a bit of sugar. Or, if you're child-free, you can get fancy and buy the cocktail rimmer version at Anderson's. Run a cut lime along the rim of a martini glass, then dip into the crumb mixture.

Now put this in a cocktail shaker:

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (it makes a difference)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Licor 43, a vanilla-flavored liqueur that I found locally at Flick's

Shake with ice and pour. Makes two drinks.

That cute photo isn't mine. I am very envious of whoever can do that cool thing with the lime.

A cake for Valentine's Day

V-day is coming up, and it's one of my favorite holidays, mostly because we can actually take some time to enjoy it (February is one of our slowest months). Plus, it's the only day that red and pink go together.

Only for you, dear readers, will I share my super secret Red Velvet Cake recipe, which actually belonged to the Waldorf-Astoria, and then to Erin's grandma, then Erin. But Erin gave it to me, so now it's mine.

My favorite foods are old-fashioned, 'throwback' foods, and this fits the bill. Any person who makes this for their spouse for V-day can't go wrong. I make cupcakes from this recipe (reduce baking time and keep checking) and they're always a hit.

Recipe in comments.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The nieces again

They're just way too cute. This is the collage I made for my parents for Christmas.

Half the photos by Brenna, the other half by me.

New dmp shirts!

If you've chosen us for your wedding, you know we're by far the coolest photography studio in the area, and you probably want to show the world that you got us. So now you can!

Purchase one of our authentic DMP shirts and look just like our bridal show booth staffers. Accept no imitations!

Princess the pit bull

photo by Jennifer Lee

Princess is a very special pit bull, who was rescued from more than one bad situation by a friend of mine. She is now living a life of luxury with her adoptive mom.

I designed t-shirts featuring pretty Princess. Isn't she gorgeous?

For more info on pitties and other so-called "vicious" dogs, check out

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good press!

Our photography has been featured in nearly every issue of The Knot Weddings Magazine (Ohio edition), and we just found out we'll be in the Fall/Winter '08 issue as well! Wendy and Cliff's wedding was a real showstopper at Shawnee Country Club in Lima, Ohio. It's quite an honor to be included - photographers and brides from all over the state submit thousands of weddings and only a few are chosen. Click here to see Wendy and Cliff's beautiful album (the black bird is a neighbor's swan that chased us as we did some posed photos!)

Also, The Knot (the wedding planning site) has chosen Jennifer and Justin's wedding as one of their online Real Weddings for their new destination weddings section! Brenna and I flew out to Vermont for this spectacular event, and all of us pitched in to make Jenny and Justin our largest wedding album yet (codename: Colossus). Click here to peek!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who's trying to lose weight?

I just wondered. I'm working on 20 lbs right now, because there's a really cute retro swimsuit I want for Vegas this spring.

I don't use a system or diet - I just keep a food journal and work out a lot. I will keep you posted. Here's hoping this turns out better than the garage!

Also - that photo isn't mine, but I totally do that on the scale. I think it makes you weigh less. Give it a shot!

I love Costco

The very day the Toledo Costco opened, we ditched our Sam's Club membership and got our Costco cards. Mostly because we dislike Sam's and Walmart's uncool business practices, but also because we'd heard great things about the quality of the products at Costco. I have been very pleased with our experience so far.

Today, I picked up a rotisserie chicken (I get the white meat, no skin, Joe and the pups eat everything else), and a spinach salad. When you have NO time to cook, this will tide two people over for two days of lunches and dinners, for $13. Plus the little dogs get snacks.

One of the things I love best about Costco is the return policy. As far as I can tell, it's whatever, whenever, whyever (excepting certain electronic items, for which there's a 90-day deadline). Joe recently returned a size M shirt that shrunk way too much in the cold cycle. They were so cool about it, we now want to buy everything there.

Monday, January 14, 2008

You know what's good?

Soup. And if you don't want to make it yourself, you should try Zoup! (the exclamation point is part of the name - not my own)

Zoup! is a small chain based in Michigan (with stores in MI, OH and PA) and they make really good soup - 12 different varieties every day. They let you taste everything before buying, which is cool.

Today they have Cajun Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Roadhouse Sirloin Chili, Chicken Potpie (we love this one), Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque, Vegetarian Split Pea, Twice-Baked Stuffed Potato (with Bacon), Shrimp & Crawfish Etouffee, French Onion, Chicken & Dumplings, Lobster Bisque, Mushroom Bisque, and Vegetable with Orzo & Fresh Herbs.

They post nutritional information for everything, and they're really clear about which soups are vegetarian and/or dairy-free. Yum.

New half bath!

I just can't stop home improving! The latest project is the new half bath, which involves knocking down a wall. I am very excited about this.

We're hoping to steal 9-12 square feet from our utility room and a closet, which may make this the smallest non-airplane bathroom ever. We've chosen black glass mosaic tile for the floor, with a few white tiles scattered throughout, a teeny tiny pedestal sink, a funky 60s light fixture, and subway tile for the backsplash.

We're going to cover one wall with chalkboard paint so friends can leave us their own bathroom stall graffiti. We've also got a contraband Canadian toilet that flushes way better than the water-saving ones you can get in the States.

The black tile:

The subway tile:

The retro light fixture:

Stay tuned for updates!

Word of the day

Today's word reminds me of my wonderful husband, Joe. (hi sweetie!)

Obfuscate (from

ob·fus·cate [ob-fuh-skeyt, ob-fuhs-keyt]

–verb (used with object), -cat·ed, -cat·ing.
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.

[Origin: 1525–35; < LL obfuscātus (ptp. of obfuscāre to darken), equiv. to L ob- ob- + fusc(us) dark + -ātus -ate1]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

If I had an extra $2K...

I'd get this chandelier for my dining room. Since I don't, I'm going to try to make my own! Isn't it cool?

From Anthropologie.

Wouldn't it look great in here?

Word of the day

mer·cu·ri·al [mer-kyoor-ee-uhl] (from

1. changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: a mercurial nature.
2. animated; lively; sprightly; quick-witted.
3. pertaining to, containing, or caused by the metal mercury.
4. (initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the god Mercury.
5. (initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the planet Mercury.
6. Pharmacology. a preparation of mercury used as a drug.

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME < L mercuriālis of, pertaining to the god or planet Mercury. See mercury, -al1]

Tee hee

Friday, January 11, 2008

I miss summer, part 2

The Johnston/O'Donnell wedding reception was held at Belmont Country Club, one of our favorite venues. Tent weddings are a specialty of mine.

It's a long path...

From the grotto to the hall (@ Nazareth Hall this summer).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Love it

I love it when we get to photograph a bride in a veil. Check out the uber-stylish Joanna:

Garage news

We brought one big SUV-load of stuff to Goodwill, but then we were rained out. I hope to finish things up soon and will definitely take pictures.

We took a look at chest freezers and I can't wait to get one.

Olive green is the new black

Maybe I should say it's the new chocolate brown... But it's my favorite color to mix with brights right now. I especially love pink and olive, and pale blue with olive.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Garage update

See below for original post. We have walls! And a ceiling! A few casualties: some moth-eaten sweaters and a beautiful antique frame that was broken. Otherwise, everything's cool. We've found at least $40 in change that goes toward our Clean Garage Celebration fund.

Cleaning out the garage

This wasn't actually a new year's resolution (well, maybe it was from a few years ago), but we're taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to finally clean out our garage. I can't show a photo because it would be too appalling, but here is my dream garage...

Suffice it to say we've been in this house almost 4 years and have never even thought about parking in the garage. I'll show "after" pics soon! Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Word of the day

Obviate: [ob-vee-eyt] (from

–verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing.
to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary

[Origin: 1590–1600; < L obviātus, ptp. of obviāre to act contrary to, deriv. of obvius; see obvious, -ate1]

We ask all of our brides and grooms to fill out a list of the family photographs they require, to obviate the risk of forgetting something on such a busy day.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The big reveal!

So I've been hinting around about this, but tomorrow (okay, tonight at midnight), we release our new packages. I think this is something really special:

For more details, check out our website.

And even if you're not in the market, feel free to comment on what an awesome idea this is...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Speaking of downtown

Decisive Moment is very proud to be a downtown business! For 7 years, we've had offices in downtown Toledo. Here we are, burning the midnight oil... I love the Christmas lights.

At home wedding

We photographed an at-home wedding at one of the coolest homes in Toledo (besides mine, of course!). Isn't this a great ceremony location?

Richard and Janet own this place in downtown Toledo. Here's an article on them and other downtowners.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen...

the big bridal show is this weekend! Come see us at Gladieux Meadows. We always have the coolest booth, the coolest brides, and this year, we have some seriously cool packages to unveil.

If you have been waiting to book us for your 2008 or 2009 wedding, now is the time.

Pictured are Marianne, former bride and model and all-around great girl, and Joe.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Joe and I love doing stuff ourselves. I have a couple projects I'm looking forward to this winter -- we're putting in a half bath downstairs, completely rehabbing our old home office to make a snazzy 'family room', and then in the spring, we'll be gutting our full bath.

Right now, I have to finish up all the old projects before embarking on the new ones (if I could, I'd just start new stuff and never finish a thing). We installed a stair runner, which was quick, cheap, and easy, and I think it looks great. If you have hardwood stairs and want to do something similar, leave me a comment and I can give you some pointers! This cost less than $100 and took one evening. We did it several weeks ago, and it's held up beautifully, even beneath our many muddy paws and winter boots.

(That's my cute gumdrop Christmas garland on the banister.)

I miss summer

I really love winter, mostly because there's no weeding or yardwork to do, but when I saw this photo of my pretty dog in my pretty yard, I missed summer.

(This was shot the day after our big HGTV shoot for What You Get for the Money, which should be airing any week now! I will keep you posted, and will have lots of copies on DVD for those without cable.)