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karen’s notebook

How to Prepare for (and Avoid) Unexpected Wedding Expenses

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Hi All, I am happy to be included with this great group of planners in a new Bridal Guide piece about looking out for unexpected costs.  Hope you find the tips from me and others helpful! Click here to read the article on the Bridal Guide site!  

Karen Bussen Talks About Hosting Oscar Parties (podcast clips)

Karen Bussen Talks About Hosting Oscar Parties - from a recent FM News interview: part 1: nl oscars party js a1 part 2: nl oscars party js w1 part 3: nl oscars party js w2 part 4: nl oscars party js w3

not just flowers: centerpiece alternatives

Use what you have. If you're in a restaurant, ask the chef or manager to place a row of apples or pears down the center of narrow tables, and add tea lights or tall taper candlesticks as an accent. Better yet, create an edible centerpiece with small snacks: spiced nuts, dates, and dried fruits; or ...

how to have your wedding, your way

When you think about it, every single decision you make about your wedding is really a design decision, from the way you structure your ceremony to how you seat your guests at dinner. Here are some tips to help you keep your wedding design simple and stunning: Let the architecture and setting of your location inspire ...

eco-friendly wedding tips

Weddings, like all big parties, involve lots of people, food, drinks, and decorations - and lots of potential for waste. Of course you want your celebration to be festive and bountiful - as it should be - but there are small steps you can take to protect our beautiful planet while still creating your perfect ...

party like a vampire

With the premier of True Blood's new season this Sunday on HBO, I've come up with a fang-tablous party centerpiece inspired by the show. I created this look using wine bottles, taper candles and some dramatic vamp-inspired accents like fleur-de-lys and damask. If you'd like to recreate this project, here's a how-to: Here's what you need: 1 ...

an inspirational “to-do” list

I have a really cool friend named Paula Rizzo.  She's a journalist and TV reporter and she has started a super cool blog that is all about her obsession with making lists. There is just something so satisfying about crossing off tasks and creating order in what, these days, can be a dizzyingly chaotic world.  So, ...

First Dance Song Ideas

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Check out these fun alternatives to the traditional first dance song! "Better Together", Jack Johnson "My First, My Last, My Everything", Barry White "The Way You Look Tonight", Michael Buble "Just the Way You Are", Bruno Mars "You Are The Best Thing", Ray LaMontagne "The Way You Look Tonight", Tony Bennett

Celebrating Your Graduate!

Congratulations to all the graduates out there for all your hard work!  You deserve a pat on the back and a well-earned break. A graduation party is not only a time to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of your favorite scholar.  In many parts of the country it’s also sometimes the first opportunity you have to host ...

Vintage-Inspired Homemade Mother’s Day Gift

  Is your mom a reader?  Well, I suppose you could get her a Kindle, but if she happens, like me, to adore Actual Paper Books, why not pick out a few volumes to delight her, and accompany them with your own handmade vintage-inspired bookmarks? I discovered this lovely project by accident on Andrea Singarella's pretty website ...