Friday Fun #6

I guess this is China’s version of America’s Got Talent.


These kids are so cute and pretty talented, too.

Of course the judges are rather amusing themselves 🙂

Who do you like better – the kids or the judges?


Did you miss last Friday’s Fun post? Click here


6 Nontraditional Places to Have a Romantic Wedding

I had my wedding traditionally in a large church with a long aisle but more and more these days people are branching out with wedding venues. Although the possibilities are unlimited, this blog post and my time is not 🙂 So we will look at 6 nontraditional places to have your romantic wedding.

engagement ring

1. The Beach – I love the beach; the sand, the sun, the waves, the messy sea gulls (well, maybe not them). Weddings on a beach can be very romantic and have lost that wild hippie label. You can make it formal with a full bridal party and chairs or more relaxed with just close family and friends in beach wear.  My friend’s son got married on a beach in Virginia and they used large rocks to outline a circle in which the ceremony was performed at sunset. What could be more romantic than that? (If you are having it on a public beach be sure to check any rules/ordinances that may apply.)

wedding at the beach

2. A Fire Station – Say what?! This is basically any job or hobby related venue. If the groom is a fireman, you could have the wedding at the station or take a truck or two to an offsite venue. I’ve seen weddings where the bride and groom stand under an archway made by the extended ladders of two firetrucks decorated with ribbons and flowers. It can be very romantic for someone who puts their life on the line to help others. This can also include police, plane jumpers, musicians or military themed weddings.

wedding at fire station

3. State Parks – If you are like me and love to camp and hike in the state parks then this wedding venue is for you. A few years ago we camped at Letchworth State Park in New York (beautiful park! a must-see) and they had 3 weddings in that weekend. Taking your vows with a backdrop of trees, trails, waterfalls or scenic views can be romantic indeed. A few things to remember, your guest will probably have to pay the day rates of the park, many parks are alcohol free and there may be some restrictions on fires and decorations so check with the park office.

wedding at a state park

Letchworth State Park

(This is one of the three waterfalls at Letchworth State Park.)

4. Botanical Gardens – What could be more romantic than love and flowers? Garden weddings often have a picturesque fountain, glass-walled atrium, lily ponds or landscaped pathways to make your wedding photos beautiful and uniquely yours. Not only will you have flowers in your bouquets but all around you (do watch out for bees).

wedding at a botanical garden

5. In a Barn – Were you born in a barn? Well, maybe you were or maybe you just love the farm life or horses. A wedding could be a lot of fun in a barn setting, especially the dancing:) My niece had a country-themed wedding where she and the bridal party wore cowboy boots. Maybe the bride could arrive on a beautiful stallion or the whole wedding party could arrive in a horse-drawn carriage decked out with flowers and bows.

wedding in a barn

6. Winery – If you are big wine tasters or like me live in an area conducive to grape growing you may consider having your wedding at a winery. Many wineries are in old, historic buildings which along with the vineyards would make very romantic photo memories. You could arrange for wine tasting and tours at the reception.


Wherever you decide to hold your wedding, know that outdoor venues are subject to the weather. Perhaps you will want to arrange an alternative rain option just in case 🙂 Your wedding guests will tend to be less accommodating when soaking wet. Although a little rain during your wedding day symbolizes wealth and good fortune, so don’t stress it, if it happens.

If I ever decided to renew my wedding vows, I would most likely choose a state park or botanical gardens.

Which would you pick? Or if you had a nontraditional wedding venue, where was it? I’d love to hear about it!

Check out some of my other posts involving weddings:

Crazy, funny marriage proposal

Would you wear a wedding pantsuit?

6 Feng Shui tips to make your wedding lucky

Friday Fun #5

Wow, another Friday already. Time for some fun.

Here ‘s another photo that begs a caption.

Male jumping


As soon as I saw this photo I thought “I just saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico!” (See what television does to us?)

Hopefully you guys can be a little more creative than I was 🙂 Give it a try.

(To see last week’s Friday Fun post click here)

Fun Friday #4

It’s Friday! Time for some fun and photography.

Create a caption for this photo…

children at fench


My caption is: (new people moving in) Boy: “Look at that sand box! It’s a five-seater!”

Girl: “Never mind that. Look at that pink Pretty Princess Porsche car!”

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

De-Stress Your Home with Feng Shui

I love Feng Shui and Cathleen makes a sometimes complicated science simple to understand and do.

Feng Shui that Makes Sense by Cathleen McCandless


The  article below goes with my August Newsletter, to read the newsletter for more information, classes, tips, and more, please click here

     Do you ever come home exhausted from a long day and just wanting to plop down and relax? How can you make your home a place of relaxation and rejuvenation?  Numerous studies by psychologists, psychologists, and even cellular biologists have proven that our surroundings deeply impact our bodies, minds, and spirits. In an ever-increasing stressful world, having a home of relaxation, beauty, and comfort is more important than ever. Here are six quick and easy ways to bring more relaxation into your home and into your life.

 Add Plants and Flowers

Rutgers University did a lengthy study on the effect flowers have onplfl93 human emotion. The result of the study was that when we see flowers, our bodies respond by releasing “happy” hormones like serotonin and dopamine. The University…

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Birds, birds and more birds at the National Aviary

Last week, my husband and I visited his brother and family in Pittsburgh. We headed into the city and went to the National Aviary at 700 Arch Street (Aviary). I mean who doesn’t love birds?

Here is Jim & I with a Green-Naped Pheasant Pigeon in the Rainforest

Here is Jim & I with a Green-Naped Pheasant Pigeon named Gus in the Rain-forest

Krissy & Britta as bats

Krissy & Brita as bats

The aviary has over 150 species of birds from all over the world most in large walk-through exhibits where the birds fly right over your head.

Also in the Rain-forest:


Green-Winged Macaw

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (didn't capture his crown since he kept moving)

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (didn’t capture his crown since he kept moving)

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

In the Wetlands exhibit:

Wattled Curassow on a shelf watching everyone

Wattled Curassow on a shelf watching everyone

American Flamingos

American Flamingos



In the Grasslands exhibit:

I can't find the name of this bird but it was my favorite in the Grasslands exhibit. Maybe someone else knows...

I can’t find the name of this bird but it was my favorite in the Grasslands exhibit. Maybe someone else knows…

I love Penguins and there were plenty to see. Here they are getting fed.

Getting fed - compressed

Penguins up close

Penquins up close 2


They even had two tunnels the kids could crawl through to see up close to the penguins.

In outside exhibits we saw a Bald Eagle

Bald eagle

and an Andean Condor

Andean Condor

Andean Condor

These condors had small ponds with water spouts that the people could control outside the cage by turning a wheel. It was a warm, sunny day so this condor would bite the water and do a little dance each time the water-spout turned on. Very amusing to watch!

Inside, between the large walk-through exhibits were smaller, glassed-in viewing stations. These included:

The cutest little baby Burrowing Owl

The cutest little baby Burrowing Owl


And throughout the day, there were interactive events from the staff. This girl told us about this Lanner Falcon.

Lanner Falcon

Lanner Falcon

The Aviary also has several live bird shows throughout the day but we didn’t have time to see them. Hopefully next time.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh, PA area be sure to check out the National Aviary. It’s well worth the time and the price!

Of all the birds we saw, my favorites were the eagles, the baby burrowing owl and of course the penguins. Which would be your favorites? And have you ever been to the Pittsburgh aviary or another aviary?