Sunday, August 31, 2008


I have been waiting for fall since... well, winter! I am crazy-excited about the light, the leaves, and the smells that come with the season.

For you today, a special treat. One of my favorite songs, just as fresh today as it was in 1978, and my best fall recipe. You cannot have a bad day if you have some pumpkin butter on a toasted english muffin (also great in yogurt, or atop ice cream). It will also make your house smell amazing, and your spouse very impressed.

Pumpkin Butter

One 29-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1+1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup mild honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

Dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker and stir until well mixed. Don't worry about lumps of sugar, they'll melt into the butter during cooking. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the pot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and let cook on HIGH for an additional 30-60 minutes to reach the desired thickness.

Turn off the cooker and let the pumpkin butter cool to room temperature in the pot. Scrape with your spatula into jars or other air-tight containers. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, or freeze (in plastic containers) for up to 3 months.

I often make a double batch in my big slow cooker, saving half for myself and giving the rest as gifts.

September - Earth Wind & Fire

Also, click here for a music video that will crack you the heck up.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The canvases are going fast!

We already have orders for four canvases, and I expect more over the weekend. If you know you want one, get your order in soon!

I think this photo would look gorgeous on canvas... Best wishes to Sean and Leslie, who are celebrating this weekend at the Pinnacle, where they're having their at-home reception!

(Most of the photos of the Pinnacle and Central Park West are by DMP!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ooh! New art canvases on SALE!

Click on photos to see the texture of the canvas.

We just chose a new supplier for our art canvases, and we're really excited about them. We're offering a special price on 16x20 single-image canvases right now - only $195 (regular price: $350).

For a limited time only, $195 includes your favorite photo, printed directly onto canvas, which is then wrapped around thick (1.5") wooden stretcher bars, ready to display. Even the hanging hardware is included. We ordered three canvases for the studio and they're so beautiful I wanted everyone to have one.

Each canvas is treated with a UV-protective coating, the inks are archival, and rated not to fade under normal lighting conditions for 100 years. You can choose a black and white or color image (I prefer b&w), and the price includes simple retouching.

These make a great anniversary, birthday, or holiday gift. Call us at 419.243.2111, email, or comment here to order!

The fine print: Orders take 2-4 weeks to arrive in the studio. We can't do more than ten canvases at this price, so I can't say how long the offer will be good. Sorry, we won't be able to accept album credit for canvases.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our "scene setters"

We spend a little time at each wedding photographing what we call "scene setters" - images that don't focus on people, but on things that help tell the story of the wedding day.

We love to document all the little details that the couple have spent time on, as well as the things they didn't even know would happen that add to the character of the day.

Here are two of my favorite scene setters from this year, photographed by Joe at Ashleigh and Jim's wedding. Don't these photos make you want to go to this party?

Click on any photo to enlarge

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle and Greg's fantastic flat

Wow! Proof that you can live well in Toledo. Check out this amazing abode that Greg and Michelle built almost from scratch.

I am just crazy for the wall-sized mural that Michelle painted - and she may be convinced to take commissions.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

My new chair is hiding...

Can you find it? I had my comfy old office chair reupholstered by my favorite upholstery shop, so it matches the new office. I love it.

In the Toledo/Detroit area, you must call Lucarelli for your upholstery needs. A very old-school business, their service and attention to detail are fantastic, and they've never let us down.

What the french, toast?

I had an extra few minutes yesterday (our "weekend" is Sunday and Monday, because we work Saturdays), so I made some french toast. I added vanilla and sugar to the batter, so it carmelized nicely.

Check out those Michigan blueberries, too! And the real Canadian bacon, not "Canadian-style" bacon.

Also, food photography is hard.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sarah and Jason

Sarah and Jason had a gorgeous wedding, and we have an equally gorgeous album to go with it. Click here to see.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Melanie under her veil

This wasn't actually a blusher, it was just so pretty when the bridesmaids were adjusting the veil that I had to get a shot.

If I have another wedding (to Joe, of course!), I'm definitely doing a veil.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doesn't my dog look like Dobby?

Dobby (from Harry Potter) on the left, Pablo on the right.

Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Congrats to Katie and Leon!

Many of our DMP brides and grooms are having beautiful babies, but this fella's mommy is my BFF and college roommate. Congrats, you two! I am already calling him LT, and he can call me Aunt Bridget. ;)

I love Glendale Flowers and Gifts

Whenever we want to make a statement, we send flowers from Glendale.

Check out this amazing "tablecloth" they lent us for our dining room, as well as the gorgeous centerpiece. Those are real leaves, all individually glued to kraft paper! You can see lots more of our house (and Glendale's work) on HGTV in January, I'll keep you posted.


Remember how I was going to ride 1000 miles this summer on my new bike? Well, I got a little too busy to do it all this summer, but I've set a new goal to finish it by the end of the year.

Over the weekend I hit 400!

I found out

toothpaste for dinner

Answer: It just doesn't toast very well. :(

Keeping things simple

My life is pretty complicated - almost everything I do is "from scratch". Joe and I are so DIY that we made our own jobs, renovated our own house, we even move most of our daily miles by our own power (on bikes). I receive and reply to about 50 emails a day, and I have a lot of pets to look after.

Because of this, I like to keep the simple things simple. I have four keys, five phone numbers in my phone, and one color of clothing (if you've met me, you'll know what color this is!). I'm big on lists, especially for groceries or packing, so I don't have to re-invent the wheel every time I shop or travel.

What do you do to keep things simple? I'm looking for ideas!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Having my own business (a weekly feature)

Three reasons I think having my own business is wonderful:

1. I don't have to wear shoes at the office (I do for meetings, don't worry!)

2. Nobody steals my lunch out of the fridge

3. Every day is Bring Your Dog to Work Day (Heidi, pictured above, has her backpack on, ready to go)

Vendor meals: a dirty secret of the wedding biz

For our wedding reception, Joe and I made it a point to order meals for all of our vendors. Some of them were there all day, most working much harder than we were, and we felt they deserved a good, hot meal for dinner. We knew there's very little for most of the vendors to do while the guests are eating anyway, and we were grateful to have some of the best wedding professionals Ohio had to offer.

Almost all of our clients treat us to a lovely dinner, which we appreciate. It allows us to stay close to the bride and groom, so we don't miss any impromptu toasts or presentations during dinner, and it keeps our energy up, helping us do our best work.

Occasionally, we'll be surprised by a "vendor meal". Once, we got a loaf of Wonder Bread and some baloney, except the band ate most of the baloney before we got to it. Due to food allergies/intolerances, the risk of food poisoning, and, um, the yuckiness of baloney, we'd rather bring our own lunch than partake of most vendor meals.

Since I'm a bit of a foodie, I thought I might start reviewing the meals we have at weddings - I can photograph them, too! Is anybody interested?

Wanna hear about our wedding meals?
Yeah! Sounds like fun!
Nah, give me more wedding pics
I love baloney! free polls

Ooh, an UPDATE! Someone else beat me to the subject! Click here to see a rather unappealing vendor meal.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For sale!

When Joe and I got married, ages ago (actually it's only been 5 years), none of the rental houses in town had martini glasses, so we bought our own. We've been cleaning out the closets, and have 58 of these beauties, used only once, for sale for $95.

I thought some of our brides or fellow vendors might be interested! Just comment here, or email us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nicole and Joe at Toledo Country Club

Here's an adorable couple, married just three days ago, at Toledo Country Club (TCC). What struck me most about them was that they just seemed to really enjoy each other a lot.

All the details were attended to by Linda and the staff at TCC.

The flowers, by Kircher's, were very cool.

Decorative Sound, as always, did a lovely job keeping the party going.

Click on any photo to enlarge!

And check out this guest book - guests wrote their names and wishes for the couple on stones!

WDYT about cilantro?

This post on one of my favorite cooking blogs got me thinking about cilantro. I have noticed that you either love it or hate it. Joe and I both love it, but Mimzy the office bunny isn't a fan.

Here are some people with too much time on their hands - the site is, and they've got a pie chart of what their members think cilantro tastes like.

Cilantro: love it or hate it?
Meh, I don't really know free polls

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rachel and Sandy

Rachel and Sandy got married at St. Joe's Sylvania (where my Joe grew up, actually!) and had a very elegant reception at the Toledo Club. These two are so sweet together, just look at their expressions in the photos, you can tell they're really in love.

Click here to see the slideshow.

Nice shootin', Joe!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomorrow's supper: Posh Pizza

Today we're all over Detroit, but tomorrow I'm making this for supper. I rarely find myself in the position of having too much prosciutto, but this week I do!

I will use regular crust, though, here's my favorite recipe, or Trader Joe's pizza dough if I'm in a hurry. Oh, and I'm working some gorgonzola in there instead of the créme fraiche.

Don't you love British recipes, with all the grams and rocket and such?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm mad at Rachael Ray

Okay, I know most of my foodie friends probably aren't fans of hers, but we've been trying to eat at home more, and I needed some new ideas for fast meals. The library had a wealth of Rachael Ray literature, so I checked some out.

From one of the 30-Minute Meals books, I chose the Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms for dinner last night. Because I'm a skeptic, I timed myself - I'm not an inexperienced cook, but it took me no less than 60 minutes to get these things in the oven, and I believe I dirtied every dish in the house in the process.

The end result was pretty good, but next time I'll use smaller mushrooms*, increase the amount of garlic, salt the stuffing, and add more cheese to hold it all together. Oh, I'll also use the Cuisinart, instead of making my sous chef (Joe) painstakingly chop up all the veggies. I thought about it, but the original recipe didn't mention the food processor, so I worried it would puree everything too much.

Interestingly, the online recipe does call for more garlic and cheese, as well as the food processor.
*Or I might skip the mushrooms and just put the stuffing on toasted, buttered bread, like we did with our leftovers. That was much less messy to eat and very good. Then I could call the recipe Non-Stuffed Non-Mushrooms, which is kinda fun.

Friday, August 8, 2008

McNugget of Wisdom

So I had just ordered the McSkillet Burritos for our breakfast meeting this morning and I handed the company card to the cashier. She looked at it and said, "you have your own business?"

I replied that I do, and she said, "that's really wonderful!"

When I'm all caught up in the crazy busy-ness of business, dealing with tech problems and vendors who disappoint us, packing cases for weddings, and answering emails, I forget that it really is wonderful to have your own business. I think I should hire the McDonald's cashier to come to the office and be our cheerleader. Ooh, and she can bring breakfast, too!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I find the acronym "LOL" frustrating, because I doubt people are really laughing out loud. I did, however, when I saw this blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We had this in Jamaica

It's cucumber juice! We enjoyed the beach and the weather, but the resort food got a little old, so we snuck off to a real Jamaican restaurant and tried some things we had never seen before.

Check out the recipe at the kitchn

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

J is for...

I'm jonesing for some of these letters from Urban Outfitters.

"Hidden" fat and calories

Here's a fascinating article exposing some of the dirty secrets restaurants "don't want you to know".

I love stuff like this. It's fun to ruin people's (namely, Joe's) dinner by saying, "do you know there are three days' worth of calories in that?"

Thanks to my ex-boyfriend for the link. I agree with him that the people who care probably know they should be staying away from these foods, but even when I'm carefully watching calories, I'll occasionally splurge and need to know how much damage I'm doing.

New logo

We've been using "good enough" logos for years, now we finally have one that says something about us.

Here's just a sneak peek, we're releasing it soon!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Weddings at Inverness Club

We love working at Inverness (even in the kitchen!), and are offering a special gift now for new bookings at Inverness. Here are some photos from Liz and David's wedding that show off the club.

Click to enlarge!

Flowers by Glendale Flowers and Gifts, of course.