Friday, October 30, 2009

Thoughts on Grace....

As the Holiday Season begins, I'm always reminded of the countless Blessings that I have received in my life - many more undeserved than deserved. Remembering those Blessings is a great way to keep my priorities in order as the hustle and bustle begins. What is your definition of Grace? I like this one.


When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day's pay for his time, that is a wage.

When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize.

When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award.

But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no reward - yet receives such a gift anyway - that is a good picture of God's unmerited favor. This is what a Christian means when we talk about the grace of God.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Mannersmith Monthly... Holiday Manners for Minors

Manners are important. They are like your calling card and reflect YOU in so many ways. Teaching your children proper manners is one of the greatest gifts you can give them - and it costs nothing but your time! One of my favorite monthly reads is the Mannersmith Monthly. It's filled with great tips for all types of situations dealing with everyone from infants to CEOs. Take a look. Life is too short to have bad manners.

As the holiday season approaches, Mannersmith's Marianne Cohen shares suggestions to prepare your children for the festivities. Here is her fabulous latest posting.

It is crazy how the calendar says October, and already the end-of-year holiday decorations are out. Children are getting excited about wearing their cool Halloween costumes while parents are fretting about planning the upcoming holiday meals and gatherings. One way to ensure the holidays are smooth sailing for all those involved is to provide your children with the proper tools for polite behavior. Here are some tips and techniques to transition your Halloween monsters into Holiday angels.
  • Review the Basics ~ Of course we recommend working with your children all year long, but now is a perfect time to review the five building blocks of proper manners: please, thank you, you're welcome, sorry, excuse me.
  • Do Your Homework ~ Ask each child to come up with one new thing about themselves to share with relatives and friends they have not seen in a long time. Those involved may be surprised to learn how much they have in common. For instance, if your daughter scored the winning goal in her soccer tournament, she may find that Great Aunt Sophie was also a star soccer player in her day.
  • Act Like a Journalist ~ It is never too early to teach youngsters how to handle an awkward pause in a conversation. Have the child pretend they are a journalist. They can ask a guest questions about their past or their interests, and may find something in common which can lead to an interesting conversation.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice ~ It takes approximately 28 repetitions to make a behavior a habit. If you would like your children to learn how to set the table, have them do it every day and soon it will become second nature. Every time they ask for something without saying "please," have them say the whole sentence again. Soon it will be routine.
  • Be a Model ~ As parents, we are the role models for our children. For example, if you want them to have good table manners, you need to have good table manners; if you want them to set the table correctly, you need to show them how to set the table. Practice a formal dinner at home and make it a game. Using role reversal, pretend to be their age and show them the bad manners they are exhibiting. Ask them what they saw and how it can be corrected.
  • Mail Call ~ Children should learn to write thank you notes as early as they can hold a crayon. There is never a bad time for a thank you note. Toddlers can draw a picture of the gift and once they can write their name, they can sign the cards. As they get older, you can make or purchase fill-in-the-blank cards and have them write the recipient's name and their name, and then keep expanding as they get older. By third grade, they should be able to write a simple thank you note. At Mannersmith, we like to say that an "emailed thank you means you cared enough to send the very least." Handwritten thank you cards are a cheap and effective way to make someone's day.
  • Oscar Award ~ Has your child ever opened a gift, and by the look on their face, thought it was the ugliest sweater they had every seen? Before the holiday season gets underway, review with your children that it is the thought that counts. The giver may not have thought enough about the recipient's interests and likes, but they did give the child a gift nonetheless. You can also teach your children the art of philanthropy. If they really do not want the sweater, you can donate the gift to someone who may need and enjoy it. The holiday season can be very stressful for all those involved but by practicing polite behaviors, it may make it a little less hectic. We wish you and your trick-or-treating monsters a very happy holiday season.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

When insults had class

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.


One of my dear friends, business associates, colleagues, mentors and wanna-be comedians (hee hee), Ron Castle posted this on his blog and I couldn't help but steal it from him. If you ever need to know anything from website production, SEO genius info, how in the heck Google works, how to be #1 on Google, and some great recipes for some good ol' Tennessee cooking, give Ron a call. He picks up his phone 99% of the time on the first ring. So dang impressive.

I love Winston Churchill. This photo was taken from Time magazine where he was named their man of the year both in 1940 and 1949.

As an English statesman, author and prime minister, it would be his masterful speeches that dominate his legacy. Serving as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1939 to 1940, he offered all of himself in his words 'blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'" He rallied his countrymen in their resolve against the Nazis by saying, "For a thousand years, men will still say: 'This was their finest hour.'

Another favorite saying of his that I especially enjoy today: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last."

We need more Winston Churchill's today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An Open Letter to Wedding Church Coordinators

My church - St. Barnabas Episcopal, Bainbridge Island, WA on the day of my wedding. Do you LOVE the dendrobium orchids? (I do!)

Today's post is taken directly from the talented team at If you haven't taken time to look at their website, you should pay them a visit. The picture at the top of their home page is worth the trip alone! Thanks, Shauna.

Dear Wedding Church Coordinators,

I’d like to introduce myself, I’m a professional event/wedding planner. Professional in the fact that this is my full-time job, assisting clients with their weddings. It feeds my family and keeps my lights on. This isn’t a whimsical hobby, so I take my responsibilities and the happiness of my clients very seriously. I have a dedicated office space, published telephone number, business website, business license and file business taxes. Just wanted to clarify the “professional” part of my statement before I carry on.

With that said, I would like to personally apologize for the dozens of ignorant girls that came before me that said they were “wedding coordinators”. Many of them just finished their own wedding (which was really, really awesome by the way) and they are now helping their BFF/MOH get married by coordinating her wedding. Their frame of reference has been to make themselves happy and being catered to by other vendors at their own wedding. For the many times these “coordinators” stepped on your pews, moved furniture around on the altar and dug in your closets, I will apologize for them. The next time one of these little darlings skip into your church, please feel free to give us a call; we’ll hold her down and you can dunk her head in the baptismal pool repeatedly.

You see these precious angels ruin it for professional planners. When we walk in the door, you are already rolling your eyes and exhaling loudly. I understand your frustration. But I’d like to have you stop for a moment and take a closer look. Does the wedding planner have a professional business card (not an ink-jet card with perforated edges)? Does the planner ask questions that make it painfully obvious she has done this before? Is the planner respectful to you and your place of worship? Does she inquire about setup times and when the wedding party must leave the church so mass or other ceremonial programs can start? These are telling signs that this person knows what she/he is doing.

Please remember we are not there to usurp your authority. This is your church, your sanctuary and place of Worship of God. Professional wedding planners know this and treat it accordingly. We know that most likely you met the bride, once at the time of her visiting the church and giving you a signed contract/retainer. And the second time again at her Rehearsal. However, we have been with her throughout the whole planning process. We have fielded the teary phone calls, countless emails and numerous meetings. It only makes sense that since we know her this well, that we should be the ones to line up the wedding party and take care of their needs. Also, it is our job — we are paid to do this.

I submit a crazy idea for your consideration. We’ll take care of the duties of lining up the wedding party, sewing last minute buttons, making sure food is there for them and you will coordinate your church. Meaning, you know where the lights are, keys to doors, reserved signs for pews, etc. We could work together in harmony and unity. So the end result is that our mutual client has a terrific, stress free wedding day.

Thank you for your time, and we’ll see you on Saturday.

In Christian Love,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love someone today - even if it seems they don't deserve it.

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." - (attributed to Mark Twain)

Love your kids today.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We're teaching a Wedding Planning Certification course. Join us!

We're honored to be a part of the Everett Community College continuing education staff as we conduct the fall session of the exciting Wedding Planning Certification course! Beginning September 29, and running for 8 weeks, you'll get hands on training (from the fun and experienced team at Good Taste), comprehensive learning materials, field trips, guest speakers and more!

All tests and assignments are done on-line in an easy to follow - yet very thorough- format. It's a great introduction to the career of wedding planning, and by the end of the course, you will successfully understand all the aspects of running your own wedding planning company.

Call us today if you have any questions, or learn more at

We believe that great mentors love to share what they know - and great apprentices love to learn from the best.

Join us for this great opportunity!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness, has never danced in the rain."

We've had a busy few weeks at Good Taste Weddings & Events (that's a Good thing!). Hot off the press are the gorgeous sneak peek photos of our amazing couple - Jenn & Howard, with beautiful photos by Leanne Scherp of Vancouver, BC.

In the beautiful Pacific Northwest, one of our constant concerns in planning events is the dreaded rain. Leave it to this fun-loving, gorgeous couple to embrace the rain during their ceremony which was held at the gorgeous Sooke Harbour House in Victoria, BC.

Congrats, Jenn & Howard! You never stop making us smile...

Love ya!
The Good Taste Gang

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In Memoriam: Sean Patrick O'Reilly, beloved Seattle wedding officiant & friend

Special thanks to my friend Gayle O'Donnell for the majority of this posting today.

All of us in the Seattle wedding community are mourning the loss of Sean Patrick O'Reilly. Word of Sean's sudden death from a brain aneurysm started getting out Sunday in the close-knit wedding network here, and the reactions of all who hear it are shock and disbelief.

I first met Sean several years ago when a lovely couple of ours selected him as their officiant. He later went on to officiate many weddings and even a beautiful baby Christening that we had the pleasure of being part of. During those years, Sean and I spent lots of time discussing my daughter's sudden death at age 7 - also of a brain aneurysm. Sean wrote a special poem for Kelsey and always signed his emails to me with the note: 'Remember the angels, they are always nearby'. How true that statement feels today.

With his amazing personality, genuine loving spirit, tender and loving heart and brilliant character, is it any wonder he won the Vendors' Choice award several years running for Seattle Bride Magazine's "Best of" awards in the Best Officiant category.

Sometimes things happen that make all of us question "WHY?", and the loss of Sean Patrick O'Reilly is certainly one of those times. He had so many friends, all of whom felt like they were his only friend. He radiated warmth and love. Heaven has a new angel in residence, but we will certainly miss him here. Our love and prayers go out to his beloved partner, David Skover, who has shared Sean's companionship for so long, and will certainly feel a void larger than any of us can ever know.

Peace be with you Sean "The Celt" O'Reilly as you begin your too early but well deserved rest.

I pray that you will have the blessing of being consoled and sure about your own death.
May you know in your soul that there is no need to be afraid.
When your time comes, may you be given every blessing and shelter that you need.
May there be a beautiful welcome for you in the home that you are going to.
You are not going somewhere strange.
You are going back to the home that you never left.
May you have a wonderful urgency to live your life to the full.
May you live compassionately and creatively and transfigure everything that is negative within you and about you.
When you come to die may it be after a long life.
May you be peaceful and happy and in the presence of those who really care for you.
May your going be sheltered and your welcome assured.
May your soul smile in the embrace of your anam cara (soul friend).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Have tags, will travel....

I love luggage tags. I use them on my laptop case, my gym bag, my emergency kit, and of course, my luggage! These would be such a darling gift for the newlyweds - especially if they were off to a fabulous honeymoon following their wedding.

From the Mindy Weiss collection, we found them at one of our favorite online stores - See Jane Work. For $25 for the set, these are a pretty and unique gift for the lucky couple.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The honeymoon continues....

Isn't love grand?

These are some fabulous shots of Sean & Avanie Trovato, taken by the absolutely incredible - April Greer during her recent visit to NYC. We were so fortunate to coordinate their gorgeous wedding - almost one year ago!
Time flies, but love lives on...

Happy (almost) One Year Anniversary, Sean & Avanie!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet Alex - our latest team member!

We are thrilled to introduce you to our latest team member - Alex!

Alex Chaffee, Event Goddess

Alex has never been one to miss a party, or at least plan one. Whether it is Grandpa Oscar’s 98th birthday bash or little Halle’s kindergarten graduation celebration, Alex is there to party plan and boogie down.

In college, Alex was the social chairman of her sorority, where she planned several events including her chapter’s Centennial Celebration for over 2,000 attendees. She did such an outstanding job that she was honored with the position of sorority chapter president. Following college, Alex worked as a hospitality and marketing intern for the Seattle Seahawks. Utilizing her passion for sports and event planning, she flourished when planning VIP events.

As the Event Goddess, Alex lives to plan absolutely fabulous and unique events. No need to stress when working with this chick—Alex’s work ethic, experience and kind heart make her an absolute gem to work with.

Alex describes the joy of event planning with the Taylor Hanson quote, “Happiness is like peeing your pants—Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the sensation.”

Contact us at 877-389-1382. Let us help make your next event absolutely legendary. For all the right reasons.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beautiful couple...beautiful wedding at Hotel 1000 Seattle

They say that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. Having had the great pleasure to help plan Robin & Brian's recent wedding proves that saying to be true. They had a gorgeous, intimate wedding with family and friends at the beautiful Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle.

Thanks, as always, to the amazing photographer - Jack Young - for sharing his work, and to our other fabulous vendors for their time and incredible talent. They always make us shine and we are forever grateful.

This was a beautiful day and one that we'll always treasure.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Graduation, Taylor!

One of my best friends in the world (Murphy) has two gorgeous daughters. The youngest one, Taylor Sawyer, is graduating this week from high school and is off to college with a soccer scholarship.

Time always kind of hits you when you see rites of passage like this - especially when you've known the honored guest for many years. As I look at what a gorgeous young woman she's become, I'm filled with laughter and fond memories over our times together these past 12 years. (Yes, Murphy. It's been twelve glorious years of friendship. ha ha).

So, Taylor, my love and wishes are with you as you turn the pages to begin the next chapter in the story of your life. May all of your dreams come true. Godspeed. xooxox - Jody

I leave you with this oldie but goodie from Mary Schmich. Enjoy!

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A beautiful, intimate wedding....

Photos by Jack Young Photography

nce in a great while, there are no words that can accurately describe the amazing weddings and events we are honored to be a part of. The gorgeous wedding that we were blessed to be a part of last weekend was one of those 'amazing' ones.

The bride was beyond gorgeous - a Southern Belle with class and grace that came so naturally it was breathtaking. The groom - a handsome, self-described 'type A' executive with a heart of gold and the same amazing taste as his lovely bride. Talk about a match made in heaven.

It was our joy to work with them and their family to make their long-dreamed of fairy-tale wedding come true. We are chalking them up to 'our favorites' and look forward to hearing more about their honeymoon and life beyond.

Lucky us. Congrats, Robin & Brian. Thanks for letting us be a part of this amazing day.

Love always,

The Good Taste Gals

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Up and coming wedding planners!

Lots of DIY fun happened at our Edmonds studio this past Tuesday evening. Maude May and I ("the Good Taste Gals") are teaching a wedding planning class through The Wedding Planning Institute at the Everett Community College. Tuesday night Maude took the students on a fun and educational 'field trip' and had an invite and favor extravaganza at our Good Taste DIY studio. The students are now walking 'invite encyclopedias' - they learned everything from informal to formal wording and what should and should not (where the couple is registered for wedding gifts!!!!) go into a wedding invitation package.

The girls created lovely favors (full of chocolates, of course), in our DIYTM studio. Here they are with their pretty creations.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

My beautiful daughter, Kelsey.
(1988 - 1996)

My beautiful step-daughter, Heather.

I am truly Blessed.

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends - but only one mother in the whole world.
~Kate Douglas Wiggin

Friday, May 1, 2009

Give me Moore!!!! Amazing jewelry & accessories by Heather Moore

Last night I stopped in one of my favorite local boutiques in our local town of Edmonds called C'est la vie. They always have unique, high quality, and fun items in stock. Even if I'm not in a buying mood, their store is so bright and happy that you feel good just browsing!

When I was there, the lovely owners showed me one of their latest lines that they're carrying and I fell in love. Heather Moore is the artist and her jewelry is out of this world. Completely personalized with gold or silver tokens with quotes, dates, name and real gems make each piece a work of art.

Take a look at her work when you need the perfect gift for that very special someone. She also has 'add on' bracelets and necklaces so you can start with a basic charm and add to it over birthdays and anniversary dates.

How fun to provide a groom with cuff links with his wedding date, your Mom with names of all her children, or girlfriends with some inspirational quotes?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mammograms save lives

I am one of the millions of women who have survived breast cancer - the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 50. Tomorrow I will go in for my twice-annual mammogram and pray that I am still cancer free.

Today I am sending a reminder to all of the women out there who need to schedule their mammograms. Taking care of yourself to live a long and healthy life is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family and friends.

My cancer was only detected through a mammogram. I had no other symptoms. That mammogram led to a mastectomy which ultimately, I believe, saved my life.

So today's message is please schedule your mammograms. Someone who loves you will be glad that you did!

Breast Cancer Statistics
  • 1 out of every 8 American women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 50
  • 250,000 US women living with the disease are under the age of 40
  • 8 out of 9 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease
  • 70% of women who develop breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kelsey & Noah!

Happy Birthday to my precious daughter, Kelsey Miles!
April 16, 1988 - February 14, 1996
She would be turning 21 years old this year...


Happy Birthday to my ultra-awesome, amazingly cool nephew, Noah!
April 16, 1998
(He was born ten years to the day after Kelsey!)
Noah is turning 11 years old today!!

I'm very Blessed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Balloons as decor? Who knew?

I saw this beautiful and intriguing photograph by TiaMaria and was immediately struck by its simplicity and elegance. I have never been one to use balloons in much event decor (although I have seen a few amazing balloon structures and works), but after seeing this I may have to change my mind.

How lovely could this be for an outside ceremony or reception? The colors are perfect against the background. To me they seem like a fun (and inexpensive) alternative to twinkle lights or lanterns. Even if the wind decides to steal one or two, they can easily be replaced.

We'll share our photos as soon as we have an opportunity to try this new look.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hippity Hoppity ... Easter's on the way!

Has Easter ever looked sweeter? It's such a special time of year and for my money, there are no more adorable and delicious goodies than these from Williams-Sonoma. Perfect to put in Easter baskets, at each place settings at your Easter table or to put in a pretty bag with a special note to drop off to a friend or neighbor, they are almost too pretty to eat!

Order early as they go quickly.

Enjoy this very Blessed time of the year.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hey Lady! Gorgeous, fun, and comfortable wedding shoes!

These may be the most fun shoes we've found in years! One of our gorgeous brides will be donning a pair of these fabulous wedding shoes at her amazing celebration this summer. Made by a hip, fun company - Hey Lady - wedding shoes just don't get much more comfortable than this!

"Hey Lady’s mission is to inject fun and function into the wedding industry. They bring you the one and only stylish and comfortable wedding shoe. This collection combines an uncompromised sense of style and humor, and is made especially for rule-breakers and heart-breakers. Hey Lady’s classic-with-a-twist designs possess a whimsical femininity and edgy personality. Finding Mr. Right was easy compared to finding The One, and by this we mean the perfect outfit. Cheeky and flirtatious, sexy and sophisticated? Let’s fall head over heels in love all over again." Made with high impact memory foam and insoles typically found in running and basketball shoes! Talk about sexy comfort!

At last. Killer shoes that aren't killer shoes.

And the packaging alone is worth the price of admission!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A perfect gift for anyone - Geography glassware

We've given these great Geography glasses as little happies to friends and clients with rave reviews. Designed by, they come in a variety of cities, countries and even regions of the US.

So bundle a couple of glasses for a friend who has relocated, a new neighbor, your clients who spend too much time in a city away from home, or just for your hometown friends! In a pretty bag with their favorite beverage and a heartfelt or silly card and you can make their day - every time they use their glasses.

They're fun and a great conversation piece.

Good Taste can be found everywhere.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bath Junkies unite!

Today after church, my husband and I took a walk around beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington. If you make it to Seattle, you owe it to yourself to take the ferry across the Sound to this amazingly quaint and chic community. Full of trendy shops, lovely art galleries and gorgeous gardens, “our side of the water” is the place to be these days.

I couldn’t help but notice a store that I hadn’t seen before – ‘Bath Junkie’. What a great name for a fun store. Here’s what I found out about this little gem from their website:

“A mix between an upscale Manhattan loft and the production line of a factory, bath junkie stores are a "drop-in spa". Small indulgences, self-pampering and the seemingly lost art of customer service abound at each bath junkie location.

Think of it like a soda fountain for bath products: scented and tinted to your specifications, and mixed up in-store before your very eyes. bath junkie products are safe for even the most sensitive skin. Most are paraben and SLS-free. We don't test on animals, either— only ourselves. And we only use the best.”

I think I’m going to try their “clean freak all purpose cleanser” and pick up some “mutt mist dog cologne” for my friends with those lovable canines that could use a little visit to Bath Junkie themselves. Arf! Arf!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hear ye! Hear ye! Blogging Bootcamp comes to Seattle!

Once again, the folks in Seattle hit the "Wow! We're lucky" jackpot! Liene Stevens - one of my favorite friends and colleague - is bringing her 'Blogging Bootcamp' to Seattle! Her course will be offered in Seattle on April 23rd and space is limited so sign up soon!! This is an amazing opportunity to meet Liene and network with other professionals.

Liene Stevens is the founder of The Smart Planner™ a business coaching resource for professional wedding consultants. Liene's expertise has been sought out by numerous publications, including The New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio, Washingtonian Magazine, Arizona Society Magazine, and CNN.

Event planners from around the world have credited Liene's strategic mentoring with increasing their profit margins and improving productivity goals.

I was fortunate to attend her first Bootcamp in Phoenix and am excited that she is now bringing it to our own Emerald City! This is one event you won't want to miss.

Register here
for this great opportunity!

Please feel free to email me with any questions.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sweet (smelling) dreams... a lovely hostess gift

These wonderfully scented sheets fit inside your pillows, and come in both aromatherapy-worthy and just plain pretty scents. A great idea for a hostess gift or to have waiting inside the pillows in your guest room for your lucky visitors when they call it a night. With a range of scents - from "Relaxing" (a mix of lavender and woody scents) to the exotic floral "Shanghai Nights" to "My Boyfriend's Shirt", you're certain to find the perfect aroma to bring a smile.

At $20 for a box 8 liners, you can easily create many sweet dreams.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Volunteer DIY project makes big bucks!

Photo by: DIY Good Taste

At our DIY Good Taste™ studio we have the best work table! It's huge, the perfect height and even has cubbies for our clients' DIY project materials. Guests love coming to the studio - and they get very excited when they see this table - it just begs for cool art to be created upon it.

This wonderful DIY project was for Robin's school auction. Her students (1st and 2nd graders at Sunnyside Environmental School in Portland, OR) began by painting paper and cutting out shapes, which they then meticulously glued together, creating charming animals and objects representing the letters of the alphabet (impressive hand-eye coordination I must say).

Our task was to make these whimsical artworks work together. A quilt-inspired background grid was the base, using five colors of card stock. Lower-case letters were die-cut using our Slice tool. The kids' creations were arranged on top and glued down. A lovely recycled wood frame held the finished artwork.

The winning bid of $400.00 was a gratifying result to our fun day in the studio.

Life never smelled so good!

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles
and all the years you have lived.” - Helen Keller

Aren't we Seattlites lucky? Right in our own backyard we have Saint Parfum - a stunningly beautiful company that produces lovely candles and home fragrance reed diffusers with amazing care. They maintain the largest in-house fragrance pallet of any home fragrance brand in the world - which affords them the bragging rights of offering over 100 home fragrances and the unique ability to produce custom fragrances. What an amazing gift or 'happy'!

In keeping with hand perfuming techniques each of their products is hand poured individually, and beautifully packaged.

We believe that touching all of the senses is essential to a great event. Taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell...keep them in mind whether you're throwing a swanky dinner party, an intimate dinner for friends, or the wedding reception of a lifetime.

Fortunately for the world outside of the Emerald City, you can find their products at some lovely shops across the country, or order one of their favorite fragrances online.


Monday, March 2, 2009

A delicious and thoughtful 'happy' - cuisine at home magazine

I'm so blessed to have the most amazing family and friends. So many of them are extremely thoughtful and often surprise me with little 'happies'. (A "happy" in our world is a term we use to describe an unexpected, inexpensive gift, note or simple gesture that makes someone smile.)

When I picked up the mail today, I got my latest copy of Cuisine At Home magazine - one of my favorite 'happies' I've ever received. Here's the background: Last year when I was on a recipe hunt, I went to one of my friends who is not only a fabulous cook, but truly a 'hostess with the mostest', and a fabulous wedding planner to boot! Naturally, Chris saved the day and provided me with the perfect recipe for my dinner party. The next day, I thanked her and told her what a success her dish proved to be.

Now here's where the 'happy' comes in. A few weeks later, I received a gift subscription to this fantastic cooking magazine - with a loving note from Chris. Her happy to me. I've enjoyed the publication and used so many of their recipes and tips and have now given this 'happy' to others!

Think of how you can brighten a day with a little 'happy'... it makes opening the mailbox fun!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TGIF Tip of the week: Sleep Over Coffee Cake

So often when we think of entertaining, we consider cocktail parties, dinner parties, or evening events. But what about inviting friends for an enjoyable breakfast? Have some fresh flowers, fresh brewed coffee, fresh cream, sliced fruit, and even cute hard boiled eggs in daffodil lined holders. I like to go all out with mimosas and my very favorite and until now, top held secret recipe from my from friend Dee for her more than delicious 'Sleep Over Coffee Cake'.

The trick is to get everything ready on Friday evening - set the table, chill the champagne, boil the eggs, slice the fruit (cover tightly to keep fresh in the refrigerator), and your Saturday morning soiree will be a breeze!

Send a little invitation earlier in the week and make it a casual affair. It's even fun to have a guest invite someone new to your group of friends - a great way to meet a new neighbor or gym pal. (And you'll need the gym after this coffee cake).
I also like to print up copies of the recipe for my guests. It will save you time when they ask later.

Dee's Sleep Over Coffee Cake

(8 - 10 servings)

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
2/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP dry milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted

Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan. Mix all cake ingredients until well blended. Put in pan.
Mix dry topping ingredients. Spread over cake batter.


The next morning, drizzle with butter, place in pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Now this is Really Good Taste.
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks anyway, United Airlines. I'd rather walk.

I don't normally blog about any type of negativity or complaint, but I just couldn't let this story go. As a frequent traveler, I found this story to be a very sad statement about the folks at United Airlines. So much for their 'fly the friendly skies' song and dance. With the price of airfare going up, the perks and service of flying going down, and the fact that they seem to forget that the passengers (even the "idiots" in coach) pay the salaries of the folks that "serve" us the Diet Cokes on board, this is enough to make me opt for a rental car.

Customer Service. They've taken it to a new low. Fortunately, I'll be able to avoid the name calling by the crew as I'm canceling any future travel with United.

United crew - it's time to serve drinks to the idiots in coach

There is not much I like about United Airlines, but their Channel 9 in-flight audio is one perk you won't find on any other carrier. Channel 9 is the audio channel that lets you listen in on the cockpit communications with Air Traffic Control. I've always found it a great way to pass the time, and get a better idea what is going on when the plane is delayed.

A reader on The Consumerist apparently shares my love for Channel 9, but got a rude awakening when he noticed that the Channel 9 audio was relaying the flight attendant phone communications instead of the cockpit.

Unfortunately for the cabin crew, the things they were exchanging over the phone were really not intended for the passengers, especially when one of them told a colleague that they'd soon "start on drinks for the idiots in coach".


I've always known coach class passengers were sometimes referred to as "roach class", or "self loading freight", but to actually refer to your paying customers as "idiots" seems rather harsh.

One of the passengers who heard the remarks let a crew member know they were able to hear what they were saying, at which point they stopped using the phones. Of course, no apology was issued, nor did anyone at United Airlines respond to the story.

(Via: The Consumerist)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conversation Cushion

"If you haven't got anything good to say, come and sit next to me."

The conversation cushion is filled with 100 questions, sneakily pick one of the question ribbons from the small rips in the front of the cushion and give a tiring conversation a fresh boost. Place them in your office, your living room, or bring one on your next trip. Who knows what you may learn about someone?

Better yet? Think about making your own for interesting shower gifts or bridesmaid gift.

DIY Good Taste™ is just the place to assist you with this unique idea, and ensure you have fun in the process.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our TGIF idea for the week: Get a load of this site!

Rumor has it that Seattle is not the friendliest town to get to know people in. Lots of folks relocate here for it's beauty, to meet Good Taste Events (there I go again), for high tech jobs, or for a variety of interesting reasons. Many of those new to Seattle have have told me that not-so-flattering tid bit about our Emerald city again and again.

Well, lo and behold, I just came across what I feel is an absolute GENIUS idea - "Friendly Favor". Developed by president Scott Larson, "Seattle-based FriendlyFavor has launched the company and a new site recently. It is focused on helping people manage favors and requests from friends. According to the company, its new site is designed to complement social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, and allows users to get referrals, recommendations, advice, favors, and advice from their friends.

Among features of the site are the ability to track favors; send gift cards to people as thank you's; enable bartering of services; and make charitable donations for friends. FriendlyFavor said it is funded by individual investors from, Microsoft, Google and others."

I always say that Kindness can change the world.

Bravo, Friendly Favors! I may have a new BFF to add to my list.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A cup of Joe?

We live in Seattle - the "Emerald City". Best known for it's rainy reputation, Good Taste Events, Microsoft and of course coffee. (couldn't resist the shameless endorsement).

Our office recently added a great little Keurig Coffee System, which is so quick, easy, and economical that it's hard to understand why we didn't get it ages ago! When you want a cup of Joe, you simply pop in one of the "K-Cups" (they look like little creamers but are filled with gourmet coffee, tea or cocoa), close the lid, and hit "brew." Within seconds your hot, fresh beverage is ready!

No waiting in line, no special coffee language to learn (Tall? Small? Vendi? Grande?), and at an average of .49 cents per cup, hard to beat. Especially in the land of the coffee giants.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Remembering my precious daughter, Kelsey

In loving memory of my daughter
Kelsey Miles Zehring
April 16, 1988 - February 14, 1996

Kelsey would have turned 21 years old this Spring.
She is missed by so many every day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We couldn't have said it better! Our favorite rug

Whoever thought I'd be singing my admiration for a throw rug? But here I go... This is one of my favorite items I've seen in ages. It's so fitting for so many reasons! In the event planning business, that should be a given mantra. Event Planning 101: Keep Calm and Carry On. Without following that sage wisdom, any professional planner knows that their sanity, and perhaps their career, should be examined. Seriously.

I have to say that I saw this first on the fabulous 'favorites' list on Seattle's Famous Lifestyle Expert - Kelley Moore's site. If you haven't taken a peek at her site, you really need to. It's fun, refreshing, creative and just puts you in a happy mood!

Now off to order this little beauty for all the entrances in our office. At Good Taste, and DIY Good Taste ™ , we love words of wisdom and words that inspire. These cover both categories.

Now we can even wear our tiaras around the office. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ciao Bella! A gorgeous silk screened DIY Save The Date card

When I think of romance, I often think of Italy. The country, the culture, the music, the food, the people... they all seem to conjure up a feeling of passion and love. With that said, we are thrilled that one of our favorite 2009 wedding clients have selected an amazing Tuscan villa for their July wedding! So, to announce their plans to their lucky list of guests, the bride worked with our DIY Good Taste team to create these stunningly beautiful Save-the-Date cards.

The couple came up with the "postmark" idea and the cypress tree stamps. The Save-the-Date announcements were silk-screen printed on exquisite handmade cotton paper by 'Fabriano', and the end results are shown above.

What a joy to get this beautiful "first taste" of an Italian wedding in the mail. I know those lucky recipients have definitely marked their calendars for this special day. (Oh, and we'll share the outcome so you can share in their amore... even if only vicariously.)

Now that's amore!