Have You Seen?

**After publishing this post we found out that not only was Dana and Nonye featured in these two blogs...we also found out that they were chosen as one of the amazing couples featured in "The Best of Bridal Bliss 2010"! 

We feel so honored to have been published in two national wedding blogs last week, The Bride's Cafe and Essence Online Bridal Bliss!  Dana and Nonye's 600 person wedding took place this past July.  They said their vows at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Portsmouth and had a reception to follow at the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel.  Eleise Theuer Photography was there to capture this special day.  We had a great time working with this beautiful couple and wish them many years of bliss together. Many thanks to all of the vendors that helped to make this day run so smoothly...for a full list of vendors be sure to check out the blogs linked in this post.       

Rachel and Nick Are Getting Married!!

We are so happy to share with you all another great couple getting married, Rachel and Nick! The two of them met while attending law school in Florida, and after proposing to Rachel at Central Park in NYC, they  are now ready for the next step in life. They are getting married at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News on June 4, 2011. It will be a "Southern Affair" featuring two of our all-time favorite colors: Yellow and Gray!! The images below were taking by Beau Womble, who we are very excited to be working with again! 

Workout Wednesday: A Holiday Deal

Since Lacey is off from posting on our blog this week to celebrate the holiday...I thought I'd share an amazing membership sale she has going on right now.

You can join between now and Friday, December 24, 2010 at noon and you can become a member of Lacey Lee Fitness for only $35.00 a month...and this includes UNLIMITED Classes. What's even better? You can keep this low rate for as long as you are a member. AMAZING!!

Make sure to tell her that you heard about Lacey Lee Fitness on the Antonia Christianson Events blog!

image found: http://www.weddingaces.com/2010/03/why-starving-yourself-before-your-wedding-doesn%E2%80%99t-work/

Bling in the Season: a Vendor Holiday Party

As of next week Antonia Christianson Events will have officially been in business for 4 years. (and a blessed 4 years at that)...So we thought that this year, we'd celebrate our anniversary, our new studio and our holiday cheer with about 100 of our vendor friends! With the help of our good friend and neighbor Ramone we threw one bang up party!

First, I'll thank everyone that helped make this event AMAZING! Marcy & Joanie from Chef By Design Catering for our fabulous food (no one went hungry), Pike Media Resource for the super fun lights and ambiance, PattiCakes, Inc for our great "CAKE POP" table, Ramone for helping foot the bill and the fabulous pictures you'll see below, RSVP Stationery for the paper products used throughout the event (including our invitations), Fluttering Flowers for the beautiful arrangements, Boardwalk Photobooth Company for the hilarity that ensued in the photo booth, Karen & Alex from Ava Clara Bridal for letting the ACE team enjoy a beautiful dress in our studio...and of course Astro Entertainment for keeping the party ROCKING!

Ok...now onto the fun! The pictures:

Caprese Skewers from Chef by Design

No Holiday Party is complete without warm apple cider

 The hilarious Johnny Flex from Astro Entertainment

 A quick snapshot of a few of the amazing images in Ramone's Studio. I LOVE his black walls! 

 The wall leading up stairs to my studio.
Love the blue "haze" when our guests entered the event! 
 Our hallway downstairs...where all the action happened.

The above 3 images are the great work of Emily Patti with PattiCakes, inc. There was not 1 cake pop left! Loved the display and the flavor was TO DIE FOR!

And now: OUR STUDIO!
 A shot of our cozy client meeting area...with walls flocked with event images, inspirational peices, and of course, pictures from my grandparents wedding. 
 This display board is next to my desk...it's filled with client stationery, inspiration and of course, pics of my boys. 
Another little nook in the studio...display shelves, media, and beautiful client pictures. 

Now...I know you really only care about the people pictures. So here are a few from the Boardwalk Photobooth Company: 
 Someone of you might recognize this beauty (and her other half)...Lindsey! ACE Office Manager, Event Staffer, and my sane half!
The One and ONLY Dave Schwartz! Photographic Genius. 

3 Hilarious Ladies...and Wedding Pros. Tiffany from Bay Creek, Stacey from the Signature and 

Caroline and Shawn...they own the photobooth and are dear friends of the ACE Team! 

My 2nd Family...(from L to R). Merissa Pence: Model, Debbie Pence: owner of Fluttering Flowers and Melanie Pence Womble: Half of Womble Photography

And a few images from Ramone's Fauxto Booth. HILARIOUS!

The two lovely ladies are from Pure English, Helen (owner) and Sarah. 

(clockwise from top) Patrice of Bloom the Art of Flowers, Cathy Carter of East Beach Catering, Lacey Lee of Lacey Lee Fitness and Char of Chars Floral Design

These two well dressed ladies with Ramone are Michelle and Kim from Weddings by Michelle

Finally...my favorite picture of the night. (clockwise from the silly guy in the hat). Charlie Pike of Pike Media Resource, Brooke Bander, Lisa Halstead (dear friend and Komen's Pink Martni Night Guru), Karen Tilley of Ava Clara Bridal, Julie Morgan of As you Wish, Veronica Dana of Veronica Dana Photography (dear friend and amazing photographer that shot my own wedding), Alex (and her hubby!) of Ava Clara Bridal, Stacey Jelly of the Signature at West Neck. 

Thank you friends and fellow vendors for your continued support. These images are just a fraction of the people that have supported the Antonia Christianson Events Team through the last 4 years...and we look forward to growing with them as they grow with us. 

(my sisters, my team and my friends...Melanie and Stephanie: 
Former Interns and Amazing Event Staffers)

Workout Wednesday: The Secret to Successful Resolutions

We are just week away from one of the most popular New Year's resolution most people make--> the plan to lose weight - start working out - eat healthier - etc.   We all have the best of intentions when we set our resolutions but unfortunately most people don't keep their New Year's resolution.  Research has shown that, after six months, fewer than half the people who make New Year's resolutions have stuck with them, and, after a year, that number declines to around ten percent.  A New Year's resolution to lose weight and/or to adapt a healthier lifestyle (or any resolution you make) does NOT have to be doomed for failure. 

The key to making a successful New Year’s resolution is a person’s confidence that they can make a behavior change and the commitment to making that change.  The below are my solutions for successfully keeping your resolutions this year and ever year thereafter.

        Choose an obtainable goal
You must be realistic when setting your personal fitness goals.  Rather than concentrating on the end result, set several smaller goals.  Take it one day at a time.  Remember your fitness goal will not happen overnight.  Take as many baby steps as you need and know as long as you are moving in the right direction, your personal fitness goals will be achieved.

If each New Year’s resolution’s is the same and each year you don’t succeed.  Set a NEW resolution.  Set yourself up to succeed not fail.  

Don’t change everything all at once
Adapting a healthier lifestyle is all about changing habits.  If you want to become more active AND eating healthier…pick one.  Changing your lifestyle all at once is a recipe for disaster.  You must realign your priorities.  Initial attempts to succeed are limited until you change your habits and make the time for your new commitment.  You must understand in order to see a change; you need to make a change. 

Educate yourself
It is the utmost importance to know what you are doing before you start any kind of workout regiment or modifying your diet. You do not want to injure yourself, burn out or get discouraged.  Unfortunately, media has saturated people’s minds on what to eat, what not to eat. Gain muscle this way….do this workout…do that workout.  Your healthy lifestyle is all about you. Everyone’s lifestyle is different.   Everybody’s body is different.  One way of eating may work for your friend but not necessarily for you.  Your co-workers workout regimen may be for his/her goals but not yours.  In order to successfully adapt a healthy lifestyle, you must do what is enjoyable to you.  You must eat foods that you enjoy.  Find exercises that you enjoy.  There is something out there for everyone.  You just have to look for it.  If you do anything that is not enjoyable, inconvenient, dreadful….you will not continue to do it.  Ask questions that specifically pertain to your goals.   To ensure you have the correct answers to your questions, turn to fitness professional or the Internet. 

Do it for yourself
Your fitness goals should be based on what YOU want. Do not let distractions get in your way.  Treat your workout time like you would a doctor’s appointment.  Your health needs to remain a top priority – if you don’t have your health then all else will suffer.

Have a support system
Your support can come from work, home and/or at a fitness club.  Without the proper support, these changes will become more challenging as time goes on.  Find a friend/co-worker that wants the same “changes” or has the same goals as you.  Surround yourself with like-mind people.  You will not only motivate each other but hold each other accountable. 

Stay Positive
Everyone falls off the wagon at some point. You will have a bad day of eating and/or miss a workout and      when that happens, you should not be discouraged.  Remind yourself you are human and “mistakes” will happen.  The trick is not having that bad “meal” turn into a bad week/month of eating poorly or missing a workout to being missing weeks/months of workouts.  Get back on track as soon as possible.  Recognize why the “mistake” happened and learn from it so you can avoid the mistake again.

Workout Wednesday: The New Lacey Lee Fitness

For months now Lacey Lee has been educating our readers on how to live a healthier lifestyle...in a simple, step by step way. If you love her approach to educating you now have the opportunity to visit her gym! We are proud to announce that Lacey's Fitness Studio is finally open for business!

 Last week Lacey attended the Antonia Christianson Events Holiday Open house and it was so great to hear so many friends and vendors commenting on how they loved her weekly posts to our blog. She is as down to earth and friendly in person as she is in her writing. I'd love it if each of our readers stopped by her studio for a free consultation...i'm sure you'll be hooked. Make sure to tell her staff that you heard about Lacey Lee Fitness from the ACE Blog! 

It is with great pleasure to announce – Lacey Lee Fitness Studio is officially OPEN!
When I first introduced myself in August – I spoke about my background, my training styles and through the numerous Workout Wednesday blogs – my tips and advice.  Now the time has come to fill you in on Lacey Lee Fitness Studio.

Lacey Lee Fitness is located in West Ghent - a wonderful neighborhood in Norfolk.  What once used to be a warehouse that held documents for an architect firm – has now been spruced up with vibrant colors and d├ęcor to give off the right amount of energy and motivation one will want when working out.  When the search began in finding a location for my personal training and fitness class studio – I had had 3 requirements. 1.Easy for people to get to  2. Free parking   3.  Be in a safe area.  Once I found my location (which is better than I could have imagined) every detail that followed was to ensure people’s workout experience was nothing but the best.  

As I have mentioned before, working out is intimidating for most people – especially in a gym setting.   Between the layout of my studio and the services I offer, my goal is put your anxieties at ease.  It is very common to be nervous when entering a fitness class for the 1st time or hiring a personal trainer.  With me – I offer everyone a no-obligation free consultation or session.  I will answer all of your questions, fill you in on what to expect and guide you to the correct class for your current fitness levels.  Then to top it off – you receive a no-obligation 7 day membership so you can come try as many classes as you want for a full week.  You can visit my website www.laceyleefitness.com for more information and to view the class schedule.

One great thing about fitness classes - you are essentially doing group personal training.  You don’t have to worry about motivating yourself or trying to remember what exercises to do – the instructor does it for you.  Granted you will have to do the “hard” part by actually doing the exercises– but we take the guess work out for you.  Over the years of working in the fitness industry – too many times I have seen people just “going through the motions” when they workout.  Then they get frustrated and discouraged when they don’t see results and drop off the workout wagon.  Most people don’t know how to push themselves without pushing too hard.  So in turn- they tend to not work as hard as they should or worse hurt themselves. 

I am a big picture thinker.  Hence my logo - “It’s Not Just a Workout…It’s a Lifestyle”.  The goal is to adapt a healthier lifestyle and to begin at whatever pace is comfortable for you.  Working out twice a week for a half hour is certainly better than nothing.  You know yourself best – don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you will hit the gym 5 days a week.  Work your way up to that point.  It is always easier to add a day then to take a day away. No point busting your butt for a month then stopping all together.  You will only get back to why you began working out in the first place.  As you have learned throughout the Workout Wednesday blogs – I push not only the educational aspect of a healthy lifestyle but having fun while doing it.  After all – if you do anything you dread or inconvenient – you will stop.  I don’t want that to happen and I know you don’t either.

At Lacey Lee Fitness – not only will you become fit, you will learn so much more.   When you participate in a class you will notice although you are in a class setting – the instructors pay attention to each individual, making sure you are doing what you need to be doing for your fitness levels and not worrying about what Sally or Joe is doing next to you. 

Another unique aspect of Lacey Lee Fitness are the membership options.  When I put together my fitness class membership options – my goal again, was to put anxieties at ease and to provide as many options as possible.  I want people to only pay for the services they want.  No contracts.  No enrollment fees.  Therefore, I offer 7 membership options. 

*Unlimited Classes  
- No restrictions – enjoy any class at any time

*12 Classes a month 
- This option allows you to attend any 12 classes throughout the month

*8 Classes a month
- This option allows you to attend any 8 classes throughout the month

*One a day 
- Morning, lunchtime or Evening only + Saturday
Does your schedule only allow you to attend evening classes?  Or do you prefer to workout in the mornings?  Or during your lunch break? 

*8 Class Punch Card
- One time charge – no expiration date – come to any 8 classes you would like

*12 Class Punch Card 
- One time charge – no expiration date – come to any 12 classes you would like

*Drop in 
- Not sure how often you can make it to classes?  Pay as you go.

I hope you will take advantage of my no-obligation free consultation and/or session.  After all you won’t know if you like it until you try it, right?  Getting started is the hard part.  I give you my promise – you will be100% happy you did it once you begin. 

Please don’t hesitate to call and/or email me if you have any questions and/or concerns. 

Virginia and Mark:Virginia Engagement Session

I told you we'd get back into the proverbial swing of things once our event season slowed down a bit...so here it is, another great engagement session from our clients Virginia and Mark. I love sharing my clients with our readers for a few reasons; There is some amazing photography talent on the East Coast and my clients are beautiful, funny, witty and classic.

Virginia and Mark aren't getting married until November 2011 but these pictures are so fun I had to share them now. These great images are not from the same photographer that is shooting their wedding...but I love how elated they look in all of these images, and of course you know I love her YELLOW DRESS!

Thank you Dave White of Wildcard Photography in Miami. Virginia and Mark look like models!!

I'm Thankful: 2010

So, this marks my 200th post to the ever evolving Antonia Christianson Events Blog...and what a great day to post...Thanksgiving Day! Last year (and every year) I post on the many many items that I am grateful for. This year I will do the same...

Let's fly a kite from Kristin Fields on Vimeo.

First, I am obviously thankful for an amazing family. I am surrounded by the support and energy of my husband James and two beautiful babies...In the past I have been told that I am obsessed with them, but truthfully, I'm not sure what else you should be obsessed with than the few things in this world that make you tick, and make your life worth living. I am not only thankful that I have such support around me, but eternally grateful and blessed to have the things I do at such a young age.

I am thankful for the most hilarious children in the world...to know them is to know laughter, uncontrollable laughter.

I am thankful for a beautiful new studio, a mom that has been the best mom and dad a gal could ask for, in-laws that actually rock, the most accomplished group of friends, adorable nieces and nephews, ...and of course a faith that is always steadfast.

I am thankful for colleagues in the wedding world that help me grow both professionally and personally...colleagues that I can truly call my friends.

I am thankful for hilarious, trusting, and ever appreciative clients that let me into one of the most beautiful, trying and loving days of their life.

I am thankful for my M's...my best friends Molly and Melanie who have helped our little circle grow this year with the birth of baby Trent nearly 3 months ago to Molly and the upcoming birth of baby Josh in the coming weeks. (last thanksgiving we were grateful for the marriage of his mommy and daddy).

I am thankful for the most supportive, real staff that I could ask for. I am not only thankful that they bring me down to earth, but that their brutal honesty has formed me to the person I am today. I am thankful that they ground me, support me, love me and humor me (even when they think i'm a nut). I'm thankful that they come back to work week after week, year after year because they are as in love with our clients as I am.

I am thankful to one of my dearest friends in the world...Lissa Hatcher for the images and video above...

I am thankful for those that inspire me daily...

Workout Wednesday: Thanksgiving Tips and Recipes

The Antonia Christianson Events staff is thankful for our friend Lacey Lee! She is a blessing to the fitness community, the bridal community and our friendship community. Below are some great (and realistic) tips to keeping healthy this Thanksgiving (and all holiday season, really)...along with some amazing recipes. I know i'll be using some of these tomorrow! 

Realizing how difficult the Holiday’s can be for most people watching their waist lines – I felt a follow up to the “How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain” blog was in order. 
*Go for lean, white meat turkey to get the most bang for your calorie-buck. Dark meat has about 15% more calories and 30 - 40% more fat than light meat. And ditch the skin while you're at it (that's where most of the fat hangs out!).
* Choose foods that leave evidence: Keep those shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate when you’re done. Studies show that if you see how much you've already had, you’ll eat less.
*  Go slow. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating. That invites seconds. Take a sip of water every bite or two to slow yourself down.
* Use a small plate. The tinier the dish, the less food you'll take and the less you’ll eat.
* When you're in a restaurant, ask the server not to put bread on the table. Leave more room for your other favorite holiday foods instead.
* Substitute cranberry sauce, loaded with antioxidants, for fatty, high-calorie gravy.
*  On potatoes and yams, avoid butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream. If possible, substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
* Watch the alcohol, which has almost 200 calories per ounce and slows down metabolism. And too much alcohol impairs judgment, so the more you drink, the more you're likely to eat.
* Wear your favorite form-fitting clothes and you'll be way less likely to overeat. No stretchy pants!!!

You'll need a large indoor grill for this recipe.
2.5 to 2.75-pound turkey breast (if bone is included)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1.5 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
5 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1.     Remove skin from turkey breast and discard. Cut the turkey breast away from the bone into two equal-sized fillets.
2.     Start preheating your indoor grill on high. Meanwhile, combine herb rub ingredients -- parsley, sage, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil -- in a processor bowl by pulsing for about 10 seconds.
3.     Use your hand or a spatula to spread the herb rub on both sides of each fillet. When grill is ready, arrange turkey fillets on grill so that the grill top rests evenly on both pieces of turkey. Cook about 14 minutes (if fillet is 2 inches thick). Test the thickest part of the turkey fillet to make sure turkey is cooked throughout. You should be collecting some drippings in the tray of your grill (you can use this and scrapings from the top and bottom grill plates to make a gravy)
4.     Remove turkey fillets to a serving platter and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings
Per serving:
Calories: 215, Protein: 39 grams, Carbs:  0.3 grams, Fat:  5.5 grams, Fiber:   0.1 gram, Sodium:  63 mg 

Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without stuffing.  But, as you know, butter-soaked bread cubes (aka stuffing) aren't exactly low in calories.  And nobody should be stuffing-less on Turkey Day.

6 slices Wonder Light Bread, any variety (or another light bread)**
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup fat-free broth, chicken or vegetable; room temperature
1/4 cup Egg Beaters, Original
1 tbsp. LAND O LAKES Whipped Light Butter
2 cloves garlic; finely chopped
salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme

For best results, leave bread uncovered for a night or two, until slightly stale.  Otherwise, begin by lightly toasting bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes.  In a medium-sized pot, combine broth, celery and onion.  Cook for 8 minutes at medium heat.   Remove from heat and add mushrooms and garlic.  Season mixture to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.  Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick spray, and place bread cubes in it.  Once veggie-broth mixture has cooled slightly, add Egg Beaters and butter.  Pour mixture evenly on top of bread.  Mix gently with a fork.  Bread cubes should be moist, but not saturated.  If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.  Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and fluff/ rearrange stuffing.  Return to oven (uncovered) for 10 - 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown.  Serves 5.

Serving Size: 1 cup, Calories: 88, Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 305mg, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 7g

Two 16-oz. bags frozen French-style green beans, thawed, drained & thoroughly dried
Two 10.75-oz. cans Campbell's 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup
One 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 bag (about 1 oz.) Crispy Delites Red Onion Chips or 1 oz. (about 25 pieces) onion-flavored soy crisps, crushed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make sure green beans are thoroughly drained and completely dry -- use a towel if you need to. Then, place half of the green beans in a casserole dish (a 2 - 3 quart rectangular one works best).

Pour 1 can of soup evenly on top of the layer of green beans. Place half of the sliced water chestnuts over the soup layer.

Cover with remaining green beans, and then top with the rest of the soup. Evenly top with the remaining water chestnuts. Place dish in the oven, and cook for 45 minutes.

Top with crushed soy crisps, and return dish to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until chips turn golden brown.

PER SERVING (1/10th of casserole): 76 calories, 2g fat, 431mg sodium, 13g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 3g protein -- 

By substituting butternut squash for sweet potatoes and using some key light ingredients, you can save over 200 calories and nearly 17 grams of fat per serving on this Turkey Day classic.  And it tastes EXACTLY like the real thing (yes, EXACTLY)

1 large butternut squash (large enough to yield 2 cups mashed flesh)
1/3 cup light vanilla soymilk 
1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup SPLENDA; Granular
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel squash and cut into large chunks (removing seeds).  Fill a large, microwave-safe dish with a half an inch of water.  Place squash into dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for approximately 8 minutes (and drain).  Squash should be tender enough to mash, but not fully cooked.  With a potato masher, food processor or fork, mash squash.  Measure out 2 generous cups, lightly packed, and place in an oven-safe baking dish.  Add all ingredients except for marshmallows.  Mix ingredients thoroughly, but do not over-stir; squash should still be pulpy.  Allow to cook for 45 – 50 minutes.  Remove from oven, and disperse marshmallows over top of pie.  Return to oven for 5 minutes, until marshmallows begin to brown.  Allow to cool.  Serves 4.

Serving Size: 1/4 recipe; approx. 2/3 cup, Calories: 110, Fat: <0.5g, Sodium: 115mg, Carbs: 25g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 7.5g, Protein: 5g 

Workout Wednesday: Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are approaching and before you know it you have been to every holiday party under the sun, you have skipped your workouts and you feel more sluggish than ever. Somewhere in between Thanksgiving and Christmas some of you will say, “I’m going to start working out January 1st” or “My New Year’s resolution is to lose 10lbs.”

The next couple of months can be particularly challenging for those trying to watch and/or lose weight. Extra calories are lurking around every corner. All these extra calories add up, and if you are like most Americans, you will put on a pound or two by New Year’s Day. I know what you are saying, “So what's the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it's just a pound”? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

Get a jump start this year and begin using the tools I have provided below to avoid holiday weight gain.

#1. Stay Active: Keep your workouts on your schedule. Don’t let shopping for presents or holiday parties take the place of you burning those calories. On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. You'll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.

#2. Don’t Arrive Hungry: Have a nutritious snack or a meal before you head out to the holiday party. As I have said before – once you are hungry, you will make a bad food decision. Our stomach will over-ride
anything you “intended” on eating. If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won't be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00
snack time.

#3. Focus On Socializing: Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family.

#4. Limit Alcohol: Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It's not just about calories but about control. If you drink a lot - you won't have as much control over what you eat.

#5 Limit 'Tastes' While Cooking:  If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays - crack down on all those "tastes." People lose their appetites when they have been cooking because they have been eating the whole time. Instead of tasting mindlessly every few minutes, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. Just put the spoon in and taste a little bit- it is not grounds for a big scoop.

Marion and Matthew: A Mt. Vernon Engagement

I'd like to introduce you to friends of ours and clients Marion and Matthew. This weekend they will be getting married at the George Washington Masonic Temple in Alexandria...and since we are behind on posting to our blog I thought the next great post would be a few images of the happy couple to kick off their wedding weekend.

We have had the honor of working with Marion and Matt for the last year and are looking forward to their history themed wedding. Marion loves history and Mt. Vernon so what better place to take their engagement pictures than at that exact spot.

We always love the opportunity to travel to clients weddings...and it makes it even easier when we are surrounded by mutual friends as well. Marion has a great vision for their wedding and we can't wait to share pictures with you after the big day.

Matt, Thanks for always making me laugh! I'm honored that you chose the ACE team as part of your wedding family.

Thank you Julie Ann Woodfard Photography for these great images.


We love the below image the most of all because of the great meaning behind it:

Their engagement story: The charm in the above image says "Will You Marry Me" on one side and "12-25-2009" on the other.  On Christmas Day Matt drove up from Norfolk to Alexandria, where Marion's family lives to propose.  He attached the charm to a red collar and put it on Marion's cat Sammy and when she picked up him she saw a plastic diamond ring and the charm. 


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