Turns 1 Today!!!

It’s Our 1 Year Blog Anniversary “Our Birthday” and we couldn’t be more EXCITED and THANKFUL!!!



Photography by Me

Thank You

I am beyond grateful and thankful beyond words for every comment, follower, reader, share, and forward from each of you.

It is such an amazing feeling to see something that I dreamed of come to life. When I first started my blog, my goal was to create a place where love and people were celebrated and promoted.

Positive Place

As a journalist, I wanted to create a positive place on the web. We are all too often bombarded with the negative things in the world, and not enough places promote optimism, the positive things in our lives.

My goal was to create a space on the web that was dedicated to learning and enjoying ourselves in a positive environment. A place we could go to see the beauty of love and romance, friendship and caring, family and dedication.


When I first created, I was extremely nervous. My mother and I had taken a blogging class together, but she finally had to push me to step out and release the blog.

And here it is, a year later, and the blog is successful thanks to my readers, the support of so many vendors who gladly shared their expert ideas, and bridal couples who opened up their special day and personal pictures.


My knowledge about weddings and all the things that go into planning them has grown this year. We have discussed:

Planning picture layouts

Choosing colors and flowers

Makeup tricks

Destination weddings

Pairing wines and food

New and vintage wedding gowns

Developing a wedding registry

And so much more

Thanks so much for the joining me on this journey!

Year two planning is underway, and I am excited about all the awesome things to come!


To thank you for your support, we are giving away a gift every day for the next five days.

$ 25.00 Gift Card from Itunes

18 x 24 Print from Me

$ 25.00 Amazon Gift Card

Quikfits Fitness Gift Card – One Week of Group Training

When Ink Becomes Chic Set of Thank You Cards

$ 25.00 Target Gift Card from Barefoot Writing Academy

Enter the Contest Here’s how to enter to win one of the gifts.

1. Like the Champagne and Cake Facebook Page

2. Leave a message answering the question: What is your favorite romantic movie?

3. You name will automatically be entered into the drawing.

4. Beginning September 10, 2014 – September 14, 2014, a name will be drawn at random each day and posted on C&C’s Facebook page

5. Check back each day to see if you are the winner. If we haven’t heard from you within 3 days, we will pick another name.

6. If you won, message me on Facebook with your contact information, so I can send you your gift.

7. A list of the movies and the winners will be included in an upcoming blog post on’s blog. will continue to spread the Love around the world!

Real Wedding Scottie and Jasmine

As you know here and we love to share real weddings. Today we are featuring the lovely summer wedding of Scottie and Jasmine Hunter. They were married on July 12, 2014. Congrats to the lovely couple and here are the details of their beautiful day!!


Photography by Fightress Aaron Photography

Favorite Part of the Day

Our favorite part of our big day definitely was the First Look. It was the perfect way to take a minute away from the frenzy and focus on the commitment we were about to make. Seeing each other allowed us to dash those last-minute nerves away before the ceremony.

Wedding Décor

We chose a simple outdoor décor to highlight the natural beauty of the wedding garden. White chairs lined the ceremony space. The focal point for the ceremony was the large cast iron arch, draped in white tulle and adorned with white carnations, lisianthus, blue hydrangeas, and fresh greenery. The perfect touch of romance and beauty.


Crystals everywhere made our indoor reception more of an upscale affair. Our colors were malibu blue, chocolate-brown, and silver and they worked beautifully together. Soft blue up lighting lined the reception space, the perfect companion for the candlelit buffet dinner. The two-level wedding garden allowed guests to enjoy the sunset view while they danced the night away.


Photography by Fightress Aaron Photography

Dance the Night Away

Speaking of dancing the night away, the bride decided to spice things up by dancing to Beyoncé’s “Dance for You”. Along with her bridesmaids, she showed the crowd just how much she loved her man. My husband’s favorite part of the reception was the bride and groom’s First Dance to John Legend’s “You and I.” We had choreographed a dance to the song and couldn’t wait to perform it for our family and friends, who loved it! The day was absolutely everything we hoped it would be. It was a typical, hot, July afternoon in Alabama, but that did not scorch our personal vows and intimate ceremony.

What It’s All About

We definitely recommend plenty of planning and a lot of laughter to get through the stressful times, leading up the wedding day. Make sure you don’t allow yourself to forget what the wedding is all about—fully committing yourself to the person you love and entering into a Covenant with God.


Photography by Fightress Aaron Photography

A special thank you to those who helped make our day beautiful and successful.

Photographer: Fightress Aaron Photography

Florist: Flowers by Amanda

Cake:Pam’s Incredible Edibles

Venue: Jasmine Hill Outdoor Garden and Museum

Dress: David’s Bridal

Also View Their Wedding Highlights HERE

A Special Thanks to the lovely couple for sharing the details of their lovely day!!

A Creative Bridal Experience with a Vintage Flair featuring The Timeless Bride

Happy Monday and today we are talking about a creative bridal experience with a vintage flair with Naomi Maurer the owner of Timeless Bride.The company creates a creative bridal experience with a vintage flair. Today she will share wedding dress tips and share ways to make your bridal experience a creative one.


Photography by Laura Cantrell


C&C: How did your business get started?

My fiancé and I owned a 115-year-old Victorian house and operated a B & B. We wanted to have our reception at the house and exchange vows under a 300-year-old oak in a nearby park. While I was at an estate auction, looking at rugs for our B & B, my ‘intended’ was bored and antsy. Within minutes of sitting down, the auctioneer yelled “sold” and Jim proposed in front of all the auction attendees. My ring is from the 1930s. When we married in 2006, the only offerings for brides were strapless and sparkly, but I was in my forties, and they weren’t what I wanted. I had my heart set on a vintage gown. The only places I could find one were online, antique stores, and estate sales. One cannot try on in the dresses in any of these venues. So an idea was born, which grew into a passion, and evolved into a business.

C&C: Tell us a little bit more about the services you offer.

I opened the store in May of 2007 with about 450 vintage gowns. I now have over 2,600. I have amassed my inventory by exclusively offering wedding consignment services for the women in the wedding party: attire for the bride, mothers of the bride and groom, flower girls, and wedding accessories. Connie Cotton, who owns and operates Alterations & Creations is the Master Seamstress. Together, we design the garments and accessories. Connie handles all the garment work, both custom orders and alterations (for women only), and I do all the custom accessories. One of the services that has made us so successful was coined “Heirloom Transformations”. When a bride brings in (or purchases here) a vintage gown that needs fabric restoration or repair, resizing, and redesigning to fit her vision of the perfect gown, we transform the pieces to meet her vision. It’s one of our favorite and most rewarding things to do.

C&C: What has been the coolest (or oldest) heirloom transformation you’ve done?

We have done several from the 1950s. The most notable was a bride that brought in her grandmother’s dress in a plastic garbage bag. It had been stored in the backyard shed for decades. There was even evidence that rodents had nested in it. Most of the fabric was damaged beyond repair, but after I cleaned it as well as possible, Connie pinned the shreds of cloth on the bride. Using pictures of the grandmother on her wedding day, Connie completely recreated the gown from scratch. That entire family was thrilled!

C&C: What is the most unique “Something Blue” you have transformed or created?

Very often, the something blue is the garter, which we create from pieces of salvaged antique lace. One unique piece that Connie created was adding blue layers to the bride’s slip, and another was monogramming the bride’s initials and wedding date in blue thread on the gown lining.

C&C: What are your Top Three Tips for finding the perfect “Something Old” or an heirloom for a wedding?

(1) Don’t give up on a dress you love because it has discolored with age or has a weird odor. We can usually address this. Stain removal, lightening and brightening old fabric is a specialty of mine.

(2) Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t fit. There are many ways to handle this, and Connie is a master at making things fit. We have a great collection of vintage fabrics and patterns just for this reason.

(3) Let your personality shine through. Your unique style should play a big part in the choices you make for your wedding.

C&C: Do you offer anything for former brides who want to do something creative with their dress or veil?

There are a myriad of things that can be done with a treasure from the past. Cake table coverings, ring bearer pillows, Christmas tree skirts, Christening gowns, and garters are just a few of the things we’ve made from previous wedding dresses.

C&C: Tell me a little bit about your wedding dress and wedding accessory selection.

My gown was a full-length, frothy confection from the 1930s with a portrait neckline, long sheer sleeves, and a beautiful train. Loved it! I choose a fingertip veil with a delicate, scalloped, beaded edge, which provided a tiny bit of sparkle. All the special women in my life gathered around me to hand make the décor, and my aunt crafted the sweet floral wreath I wore in my hair.

C&C: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

As you can probably tell, this truly is a passion for me. I am a retired registered nurse and Connie is a retired educator, so we are natural nurturers. I know this is cliché, but it is not about the sale here. Our tag line is “A creative bridal experience”, and we live that. It really is about the experience. Our reviews speak for themselves. We work hard to earn those.


Photography by Laura Cantrell


Thanks so much to Naomi with Timeless Bride for all her wonderful tips be sure to follow her on Facebook at The Timeless Bride and visit her website The Timeless Bride.

Cakes We LOVE!!!


Hey!!! Who doesn’t love CAKE!!! I know I do. This past weekend I attended a BEAUTIFUL Wedding in Chicago, Illinois . I really enjoyed the wedding and my mini vacation. It is always good to just take a break and enjoy the moment with your family. That is exactly what my weekend consisted of and I ENJOYED it thoroughly. You guys know when I attend weddings I love to take pictures of the wedding cake!!! Well here is the picture of the cake from the wedding I attended this past weekend. I love the details to the designs in the tiers of the cake to the rhinestones around the tiers of the cake. We at Champagne and Cake LOVE this cake and congrats to newly married couple!!


The Romance of the Wedding Registry

Romance of the Wedding Registry

Romance of the Wedding Registry


Guests enjoy seeing what you choose. It brings to mind their wedding days and the joy and hope involved in our special traditions. Give them the opportunity to share in your personal day. Some brides shy away from anything but the most fanciful notions of this modern-day hope chest, selecting only the traditional items such as a china or silver pattern. But the majority of 21st Century brides are practical and give the people they will share their special day with a wider variety of choices and prices while listing the things they truly need. Whether you have the basics or need everything to start your new life as a married couple, your wedding registry should be a mixture of your dreams and needs. It’s your chance to share a personal side of you and your groom, an inside look at your future.


Include some beautiful and special items on your list for the romantic souls of the guests who always buy those special things we love. A crystal bowl or vase, a silver tray or dish, or a porcelain bowl are all things that you will treasure using for decades to come and the guests will take pride in giving.


Include things you will need like cookie sheets, colanders, and measuring cups or sheets, towels, and cotton napkins. Glassware includes tea, highball, and margarita glasses. Grooms often list grilling items like a utensil set or grilling cookware for fish and veggies. Many of your guests always take the practical side, knowing how extensive the needs of a well-ordered kitchen or bath are. If you’re fresh out of college, practical (with a little beauty for the fun of it) might be the best way to go. Whether you choose the all-beautiful route, the all practical route, or a mixture of both, here are a few tips to help you plan.


Neutral colors for the larger palette give you a wider screen to work from as you move from place to place and you blend two different ideas of colors. Throw pillows, pictures, and accessories can incorporate the color into a room.


Don’t waste a gift duplicating something you or your groom already have. You might be pleasantly surprised what combining households will yield, besides the obvious.


Everyday dishes and glassware are a must as are pots and pans, baking sheets and pans, microwavable dishes and bowls, flatware, salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowl and creamer, butter dish, pie plate, cooking utensils, a grater, potato peeler, spatula and measuring spoons, coffee and tea pots and pitchers, a mixer and cake pans, and don’t forget cookbooks! Add colorful specialty items: dishtowels, place mats and tablecloths, salad bowls, cheese board, cutting boards, paper towel and pot holders, a blender and food chopper, waffle iron, juicer – the sky is the limit! Williams Sonoma and Target have long lists of ideas.


Go trendy in the kitchen and use a classic look in neutral colors for your special dining needs. Trends change frequently and china and formal flatware is expensive. Traditional looks in dinnerware lend themselves to trendy colors in napkins, flowers, and linens and will last you a lifetime. Love Asian-inspired pink peonies? You might not like them ten years from now when the president of the company will be at your formal dinner party. But, if you do, use them in the table linens, candles, and flowers. Impress your dinner guests with your classic style blesses with a pop of color. Linens Now’s the time to go for the high thread count cotton (400 – 500 count) that gives you the feeling of luxury and will stand up to frequent washing. Be sure and list the sheet size – queen, king and for every set of sheets get 4 – 6 pillowcases to plump up your new romantic environment. Blankets are often a very personal choice, so register what you like: cotton, silk/wool blends, heavy/light weight, size, and colors. Duvets, bedspreads, afghans, and bed skirts make a big difference in the ambience of your bedroom. Always list the colors you want. Indulge your love of luxuriously thick towels for the bath. And don’t forget gorgeous guest towels (wash and disposable). With registered colors (neutral is best here too), guests for your wedding can also choose candles, bath accessories, and beautifully crafted soaps. Nothing keeps romance alive like bubble bath for two.

Your Best Friend – A List Always, always, always record who gave you what gift the minute you open it. The easiest way is to create a list with all the guest names and a column to record what they sent. If you’re computer savvy, make a table or a spreadsheet. Leave plenty of room to record sizes, colors, brands and any other pertinent information so you won’t get one person’s gift confused with another. Do the same for every shower gift and get those thank you notes in the mail quickly. Hopefully, they will be piling up and the sooner you thank your guest, the more appreciative they will be and the less stressed you will be.

One Last Thing

If you love antiques, gardening, or any specialty store, include them in your registry. Go the antique store and work with the owner to choose your items. You can let guests at showers know where you are registered through the invitation or the hostess of the event. You can let your wedding guests know where you are registered with a small card or note slipped into the envelope.


5 Summer Makeup Trends You Should Try This Summer



Summer Makeup Trends with Melissa Michelle


MUA Melissa Michelle with Melissa Michelle Cosmetics is back and she is sharing with you her Top 5 Summer Makeup Trends and how to take care of your skin during the summer months. Summer is all about a fresh flawless face, especially for brides and their bridesmaids.

Summer Makeup Trends to Try: 

  1. Lightweight skin – Instead of full coverage makeup or a “beat face”, opt for a concealer to spot treat dark circles, blemishes, and imperfections on your skin. You skin will look more natural, and your pores will be able to breathe.
  2. Bright Lippies – Whether it’s gloss or lipstick, summer is the purr-fect time to put on the Ritz with bold, bright hues. Coral, orange, and pinks work for every complexion and give lips the perfect pout!
  3. Glossy Nude Lips – Create summer-sexy nude lips by using a shade that neutralizes your natural lip color. Lose dark lip liner and add a sheer or clear gloss on top to give your lips a 3-dimensional flair.
  4. Eyeliner – Makeup should always look natural and effortless, but Summer means natural in a bold way. Change things up with a pop of color in ocean shades of teal green, ocean blue, and soft plum. Maintain that youthful look by avoiding an eyeliner that is the same color as your outfit – so old school.
  5. Highlighters – Give your skin a healthy sheen by using highlighters on your cheekbones. A little Summer Sass will have heads turning in your direction.

Recreate those Summer Trends Try something new. It’s oh, so easy to get stuck in your same makeup regimen day in and day out. Keep things fresh and fun! Trying a new shade or texture. Stuck in trying to figure out matte or glossy for your lips? Dare to be different. Base it on your mood!


Photography by Patrick Amara Makeup by Melissa Michelle



Summer Skin Care Wear sun protection every day. Summer skies are filled with harmful UVA and UVB. Wear sun protection no matter how long you are in the sun. It doesn’t take long in the heat to age your skin. Look for moisturizers with an SPF or 15 or above.

Oily skin? Even if you have oily skin, moisturize every day. Pick an oil-free moisturizer with a lightweight texture.

Get the perfect summer glow Go for the glow!

Bronzers, unlike blush, come in shades that mimic skin tones.

Shimmer or No – Bronzers come in shimmer and matte shades as well as gel and powder formulas.

Matte Bronzers – Define parts of the face such as the forehead, jawline, and cheekbones.

Shimmer Bronzers – Apply to the apples of the cheeks and the center of the nose to add a dewy radiance to the skin.

Summer Lipstick Hues

Flirt a little with my favorites are pink, coral, orange, and nude tones.

Soft pinks are flirty and youthful for all ages in the summer.


Summer Makeup Trends ….. Try Bright Lipsticks


Thanks to Melissa for all her great tips….what summer trend will you try this summer??? Share with us

Don’t forget to follower her on Facebook Melissa Michelle Beauty Trainer  and check out her previous post on The Top Twenty Tips Every Bride Should Know about Makeup 

Real Wedding Kimberly and Rodrick

Today we are featuring the gorgeous fall real wedding of Kimberly Hardin Williams and Rodrick Williams , captured by Oracle Image and Design. Kimberly Hardin Williams and Rodrick Williams celebrated their glorious wedding on October 12, 2013.

Kimberly wore a classic Eve of Milady & Amalia Carrara, satin-silk ball gown. Designed by Award-winning bridal designer Eve Muscio, who creates her gowns from the finest fabrics around the world and is famous for her unmatched designs of embroideries and lace, Kimberly’s was exceptional. Kimberly’s dress encompassed an elaborate, strapless, sweetheart neckline and the bodice was detailed with intricate crystals, rhinestones, and lace. Kimberly purchased her luscious gown from Bridal’s by Lori, the store featured on TLC’s popular SAY YES TO THE DRESS program.


Photography by : Oracle Imaging and Design

Before the Wedding When We Met:

It was 2007 and I went to the lovely plains of Auburn to visit my brother and enjoy the annual Iron Bowl festivities. The evening of my arrival, we attended a party before we went downtown to roll Toomer’s Corner. Entering, the party I saw this handsome guy standing in the kitchen. Rodrick and I hit it off the moment we met. We began talking, and he completely melted my heart. We were destined to be together, and I thank God for blessing me with such an amazing soul mate.

Planning: Kimberly and Rodrick’s beautiful day was coordinated by Jaqueline Burkett, their wedding planner. “Jacqueline did a great job! It was a perfect day.”

Rehearsal: T.P. Crockmiers served as the venue and catered the rehearsal dinner. They provided an extraordinary spread of scrumptious southern favorites.


Photography by Oracle Imaging and Design



Wedding Day Morning of the Big Day:

The morning of my wedding day, my first thought was, “This is the day I have dreamed about all my life, and it has finally arrived.” I was super excited and jumping for joy on the inside. I had a smile on my face the moment I woke up. I was up early and headed straight to the Cruise Terminal to get a quick glimpse of the reception venue. I could not contain my curiosity. It was an amazing oasis overlooking the Mobile Bay. “This is a truly magical site, and I could not have wished for anything more perfect.” After I got my glimpse, I headed back to The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa to begin my hair and make-up preparation, and patiently wait for 6:30 p.m. to marry the man of my dreams.

Preparation: The preparation was the fun part! While getting my hair and make-up done, I was able to spend time with my mom and bridesmaids. I found myself reflecting about how much I loved my soon-to-be husband, Rodrick. This part of the day was surreal; I could not believe the day had finally arrived. All those countless months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds that I spent planning for one special day had finally arrived. I was excited to become Mrs. Rodrick Williams!

First look: The first look took place at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel. This proved to be my only anxious moment of the day. I remember asking God to keep me from falling down the staircase. I also remember praying that the day would be just as perfect for Rodrick as it was for me. I was elated about seeing my soon-to-be-husband. When our eyes finally met, we both were all smiles. He told me I looked absolutely beautiful, and I, in turn, told him he looked as handsome as ever.


Photography by : Oracle Imaging and Design

Ceremony: We were married in the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Alabama. It was an astonishing sanctum in which to profess our love and devotion for one another before God. When they opened the doors, and I heard the organ playing, I wanted to run down the aisle to say, “I DO!” When I finally reached the altar, I could not take my eyes off Rodrick. Our special was beyond perfect; more than I could have ever dreamed.

Food/Catering: Well-known Chef Henry R. Douglas of Bishop State Culinary Arts catered the wedding. Chef Douglas prepared an astonishing buffet of mouth-watering Southern favorites for the cocktail hour and the reception. Chef Douglas decorated with an exquisite array of ice sculptures throughout the reception venue.

Flowers: Belle Bouquet Florist from Saraland, Alabama provided elegant floral décor for the ceremony and reception venues, as well as the bridal party’s bouquets and boutonnieres.

Furnishings: Blue Rents Party Center in Mobile, Alabama provided all reception rentals (elegant chivarri chairs, tables, tableware, linens, barware, dance floor, and round banquette seating).

Wedding Cake: Pollman’s Bakery in Mobile, Alabama did an impeccable job with the bride’s cake, creating an astounding five-tier, black and white buttercream cake with different fillings in each layer.

Grooms Cake: Pollman’s Bakery provided the groom’s cake that had an Auburn theme, expressing the couple’s passion and devotion for Auburn University, (where they met and fell in love and where both are alumni).



Lighting: Showbiz Lighting in Mobile, Alabama did a marvelous job with lighting for the reception.

Photo Booth: Party Booths the very popular photo booth at the reception. “Thanks for your idea, Mom.”

Videographer: Lifehouse Wedding Films in Mobile, Alabama did an astounding job recording the wedding day and creating short highlight films, which allows us to relive repeatedly the best day of our lives. “They truly outdid themselves, and I am forever grateful!”

Photographer: Oracle Imaging and Design were the photographers and did a mind-blowing job capturing priceless moments throughout our day.


Photography by Oracle Imaging and Design

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids wore full-length, satin, black gowns courtesy of Alfred Angleo. Although the dresses were all of the same material, each bridesmaid chose a dress style reflective of her personality.

Flower Girl Dresses: Flower girls wore long white dresses with black satin sashes courtesy of David’s Bridal in Mobile, Alabama.

Groomsmen/Ushers/Ring Bearer’s Tuxedos: Mister Tuxedo of Mobile, Alabama provided the tuxedos for the wedding party. The men sported traditional black tuxedos with paisley printed vests and ties.

Limousine: Fitzpen Place of Spanish Fort, Alabama provided immaculate limousine service on the wedding day: an all-white stretch Chrysler 300 transported the bride and groom and an all-black stretch Hummer transported the wedding party.


Photography by Oracle Imaging and Design

Congrats to Kimberly and Rodrick and we here at wish them all the best in the future!! Thanks so much for allowing us to share the lovely details of your wedding and your love story.






What Does Business and Barefoot Have to Do With Wine?

Today we are talking about Wine … Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of Barefoot, America’s number #1 wine brand, during Small Business Week presented by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. They also co-authored the New York Times Bestselling Business Paperback, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. They are speakers, writers, consultants and world- class thought leaders in entrepreneurship. They are keynote speakers at the World Conference on Entrepreneurship in Dublin, Ireland. Their journey to building Barefoot is an inspiring story that every entrepreneur should read. Michael and Bonnie took an opportunity and created a wine brand that forever changed America’s wine industry. They successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo in 2005.



C&C When did you start Barefoot Wine?

In the fall and winter of 1985, we researched the wine industry and products, then on Easter 1986, the first bottle of Barefoot Wine was ready to sell.

C&C: What inspired you to start Barefoot Wine?

An opportunity was presented to us, an opportunity too valuable to let slide.

C&C: What was the toughest challenge you encountered in launching the company?

How to get our products into the market. Neither the distributors nor the retailers could be depended upon for that. We had to do it ourselves. First, we had to learn every step of the distribution channel for our product. We had to understand the chain of command to get our product to the end-user. The distribution channel involved several levels , and every level bought for a different reason. We had to learn what each level wanted and why, and what the reasons for their choices were.

C&C: What set Barefoot Wine apart from others? A lot sets us apart, but these six things top the list:

  1. Fun – everybody wants fun in their life
  2. Name – easy to pronounce
  3. Memorable – everybody has a footprint
  4. Price – gold medal wine for $5
  5. Relaxation – pairs well with
  6. Barefoot Logo – unforgettable


C&C: What are things a person should know when choosing wine?

  • It should taste good to them.
  • There is not a great relationship between quality and price. It doesn’t matter if the wine costs more. Cost does not equal better taste.
  • Wines are sold by red or white varietals .
  • Wine is perishable.
  • If wine gets too hot or too cold, it can be damaged.
  • Red wine tastes better at room temperature and uncorked one hour before serving.
  • White wine tastes better chilled , although experts prefer it closer to room temperature
  • Red wine ages,white wine generally does not age well
  • The best time to drink red wine is when it is aged two – ten years, depending on the varietal and where it was made.
  • The best time to drink white wine is within one to two years after it was bottled.

C&C: Any tips you would like to share with entrepreneurs?

  1. Start small and become a big hit in a small territory or market.It’s better to be very good and a popular seller in a small territory than to be mediocre in a large territory.
  2. Don’t expand too fast.
  3. Make all your mistakes in an area that you can drive to.
  4. Get to know the people in your market.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  7. Make friends with the people who work directly with your product and handle your product. They will tell you about the label, what is selling or not selling, your competition, and more.

Last and final tip:

“Get your act together before you take your show on the road.”


Thanks so much to Michael and Bonnie for all their wonderful tips!

Michael and Bonnie author non-nonsense, weekly business blogs at and .



Travel Success Is In The Bag: Top 10 Off-The-Radar Destination Wedding Travel Tips by Debbi Kickham




I am excited to welcome Debbi K. Kickham, former editor of Robb Report Magazine, “The Millionaire’s Magazine.” Debbi has been a travel writer, marketing, and communications professional for twenty-five years. Her bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide: Diet and Beauty Secrets of Travel and Beauty Pros, Traveling Executives and Celebrity Travelers (Outskirts Press), is the world’s first beauty book for traveling women. It is a must-have for brides with a destination and/or honeymoon being planned. The book boasts a foreword written by former Travel Channel anchor Samantha Brown and celebrity interviews with several high-profile women celebrities, including: Cheryl Tiegs – model Ivana Trump – socialite Vanna White – television host Emme – supermodel Joan Lunden – broadcaster Leeza Gibbons – broadcaster For a complete list, go to her website

C&C: Why did you decide to write your book?

DK: I have been traveling professionally for the past twenty-five years and always wanted to find ways to stay slim, healthy, and attractive while traveling. I constantly asked other travel writers, travel colleagues, and flight attendants how they stayed slim, healthy, and beautiful. When I realized how much good information I had that other women on the go would want, I compiled it into my first bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide. The book was over twenty years in the making, and it took me two years to write. I am proud to say that following the advice of so many smart and beautiful women, I have maintained my weight at 112 pounds and wear a size four. I am 58 years old, and I work hard to keep my health and maintain slim and attractive, especially when I am on the road, on airplanes, and on cruise ships. It’s not easy, but it is doable without too much effort.

C&C: How long have you been a writer/journalist?

DK: Twenty-five years. I am a veteran member of the Society of American Travel Writers (, which is the most prestigious association for travel writers.

C&C: Who has influenced your journalism career the most?

DK: I won first prize in a school oratorical contest in the eighth for writing and presenting a speech on “Family Unity in Our Changing Times.” From that moment on, I wanted to be a writer and a professional in the communications field. To read more about Debbi Kickham and her advice for traveling women, see the article she shared below. Sign up to follow her on her informative and beautiful websites., and

Travel Success Is In The Bag: Top 10 Off-The-Radar Destination Wedding Travel Tips

By Debbi K. Kickham

For some women, travel is a four-letter word. But if brides plan ahead – and go armed with my insider advice (culled from my 30 years as a professional travel journalist) – you can make your destination wedding and honeymoon even better. OK –ready for take-off?

Here are your secret weapons for travel success:

1). Oscillococcinum. Take Oscillo the moment you feel headache, body aches, chills, or fever. Oscillo reduces the duration and severity of flu symptoms and – get this – is an industry secret found on many Hollywood movie sets. That’s probably why Angelina always looks so good.

2). Branche silk pillowcase and eyeshades. When I get to my hotel or cruise ship stateroom, my pink silk pillowcase immediately goes over the bed pillow. Why? Because silk is softer on your skin and hair than cotton, and doesn’t cause creases and wrinkles. And the silk eyeshades are oh-so-soft while they shut out the light – especially during an afternoon nap.

3). Herban Essentials. These moist towelettes smell divine, because they’re fragranced with real essential oils. Use them on the plane to disinfect your surroundings (including the tray table). Use the lavender to tuck into your pillow at night, to induce sleep, or to relieve bug bites, and remove makeup. Use the lemon as an aftershave on your legs, to clean your computer keyboard, or as a pick-me-up after exercising. . While you’re at it, don’t forget to pack a fabulous bar of soap – it weighs practically nothing and will make every shower a spa. Check out the luscious bathing beauties at (They even have a soap-of-the-month club, which makes a great shower gift. Hint, hint.)

4). Filled RX for antibiotics. Before you go, get a filled prescription for antibiotics. It can save your life on your trip, when the last thing you want to do is search for – and pay through the nose for — a local doctor.

5). Arnicare Gel. After plane travel, I’m achy and stiff. Arnicare, made from the Latin daisy, is a safe, natural and reliable choice that is unscented and non-greasy, to relieve muscle pain and stiffness. .

6). Superb, low-fat snacks. When I travel, I always bring special snacks, so I never fall off the diet wagon. Brides, if you want to fit into that teeny-weeny bikini on your honeymoon, heed this advice. My favorite slimming snacks include Sunsweet cherry-essence dried prunes, which at 20 calories per plum, are filled with antioxidants and potassium, and put a tiger in my tank – especially before I go to the gym and need some fuel. I also never leave on a trip without my breakfast of champions – puffed rice, raisins, and powdered nonfat milk, packed in a clear plastic bag. Almonds in 100-calorie packs, Laughing Cow cheese (35 calories per wedge and the cheddar is especially delicious!) and PB2 fat-free, powdered, peanut butter from Bell Plantation ( are healthy choices (and more slimming options than the hotel minibar).

7). Emergen-C. These potent packets of Vitamin C pack a healthy punch and are loved by celebrities. Most packets have about 30 calories but there are also lite versions that only have 5 calories per serving.

8). Travel-sized Clarisonic Mia 2. Feeling jet-lagged – and worse, looking it – just won’t do at a destination wedding or on your honeymoon. But if you wash your face with the Clarisonic, to cleanse and exfoliate, you get squeaky-clean results. It’s your visa to a vivacious visage! With your skin so super-clean, it is also better primed to absorb anti-aging lotions and cosmetic serums, for radiant results.

9). Products from Most airports won’t let you board with any liquids or gels that are larger than 3 fluid ounces. The website offer a wealth of cosmetics and goodies from prestige brands in small sizes, which you can take on board.

10). Lastly, here’s one more thing that brides should always travel with: a sense of humor. It doesn’t cost a thing, doesn’t weigh you down, and easily goes through customs!

For more fabulous travel suggestions, read Debbi’s bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide: Diet and Beauty Secrets of Travel and Beauty Pros, Traveling Executives and Celebrity Travelers (, which hit Number One on in the “Honeymoon Travel Guide” category. Visit her marketing website at

Thanks so much to Debbi K. Kickham for all her wonderful tips!!

NOLA Through my Lens

Photography is a creative way for me to express and share the things that inspire me. A recent hobby that has developed into the perfect way to share my passion for beauty in all its forms, photography lets me share the beauty of our world with my blog readers.

This past weekend, I had an awesome trip to exciting New Orleans. Through the lens of my camera, I had the opportunity to explore the magic that New Orleans offers the world. I have loved visiting New Orleans since I was a child. A diverse city, rich in history and culture, it never fails to surprise me. It took me a few minutes to get used to walking with my heavy camera bag on my back and Canon in my hand, but I was soon caught in the web of excitement and unique environment that is New Orleans, the perfect place to capture through my lens.

One particular area that caught my eye was the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park. It is a beautiful place full of magnificent plants and gorgeous flowers. I was delighted to find a wedding being set up in The Lord & Taylor Rose Garden. The decorator used simple white chairs allowing the beauty of the Rose Garden to be the focal point. The Lord & Taylor Rose Garden is an ideal backdrop for an outdoor wedding. An array of antique and modern roses, provide the perfect scenery for a bride and the wedding party. With my Canon I captured a collection of beautiful pictures from New Orleans to share with you.

New Orleans Botanical Garden is a picturesque location, an ideal ambience for an outside wedding, a place I hope to attend a wedding one day. I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures I took while in New Orleans.


Photography by me




Photography by Me




Photography by me


Photography by me


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