Business with Basiden, “The Power in Pursuing your Dreams”

Many of our guests over the past year are entrepreneurs with new businesses in clothes design, make-up artists, bakers, florists, stationery, and photographers. I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Baisden, well-known radio personality, actor, author, and mentor for young men,during Minority Business Week presented by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and asked him to share some of his inspirations and his motivation to continue to pursue his dreams.


C&C: How do people overcome fear to achieve their dreams?

MB: Your aspirations have to be bigger than your fears. It’s only when your aspirations and dreams grow bigger than your fears that you will make a difference.

C&C: What inspired you to pursue your dreams?
MB: My desire to make an impact on society. My dream was, and still is, to have a positive impact. I’m not worried about achieving fame.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?
MB: I have many. I post quotes all the time on my social media pages. One of my favorites is: “Great things have no fear of time.” (author unknown)

C&C: What are some of your favorite topics to discuss and study?
MB: Inspiration, Motivation, Overcoming adversity.

C&C: What, if any, advice would you give to young entrepreneurs on dating?
MB: Date another entrepreneur or someone who has a family member who is very busy, because they understand the enormous pressure on an entrepreneur to achieve their dream.

Date someone with at least one of these qualities:
Great at being alone
Incredibly busy and passionate about what they’re doing, so they understand your drive.

C&C: Any final tips for young entrepreneurs?
MB: Entrepreneurship brings enormous joy and pride, but it can be hard on relationships and hard on our egos. Here are a few tips that I found helpful.
Get ready to fail. It takes time to build a business.
Check your friendships and relationships to see if the people around you are supportive of your goals and aspirations.
There are no neutral people in relationships and friendships with an entrepreneur.
You are either Dream Builder or Dream Killer.

A fellow young business professional , Ellis Foster talked about what he learned from his experience meeting Michael Baisden : Never be afraid to fail when you are pursuing your dreams. When you are pursing your dreams, you will encounter two types of people Dream Builders and Dreams Killers. Identify those people and continue to move forward.

Talking Wedding Planning with Lauren Hines of Get Wed for Less

Lauren Hines, the owner of Get Wed for Less, LLC and creator of WeddinatorⓇ App , visits Champagne & Cake today.


Owner of Get Wed for Less, LLC Lauren Hines


C&C: What is your favorite quote?

LH: I love something business philosopher Jim Rohn said. “Every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. Human beings, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice. You can choose to be all or you can choose to be less. Why not stretch up to the full measure of the challenge and see what all you can do?”

C&C: What inspired you to create Get Wed for Less?
LH: When I was planning my wedding a few years ago, I was frustrated on numerous occasions with the process. I realized after going through dozens of websites, books, magazines, and more, there was no single resource that had all the information and numbers I needed to plan my wedding. Years later I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to create a website that had pricing, offerings, and company info on vendors that savvy brides could easily access?” From there, it became the company’s mission to save brides and grooms time, money, and stress in wedding planning.


C&C: How long did you plan and prepare for the launch of Get Wed for Less?
LH: About a year and a half.

C&C: What markets does Get Wed for Less cover?
LH: We cover sixteen markets: Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York (Long Island, NYC-Manhattan, NYC-Other Boroughs, Westchester), Northern Virginia, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Chicago and Washington, DC. If we are not fully built-out in a particular market, we can still help professionals in those markets access brides. For instance, we have a wedding planner client in Philly for whom we provide marketing services.

C&C: How do you select vendors for Get Wed for Less?
LH: Sometimes, vendors contact us to be featured on the site. Most of the time, our team of market researchers and editors dive into metro areas, locally sourcing the highest-ranked wedding professionals across a gamut of categories. From there, the pros are individually contacted for detailed offering information, to get a vibe for their passion and professionalism, and to analyze how their numbers compare to what is being spent in their area. That’s how we determine “fabulous, fun, and affordable” vendors…not a simple process!

C&C: What can couples find when they search on Get Wed for Less?
LH: Couples find over 1,000 of the most beloved wedding pros and information containing their offerings and oftentimes pricing for their products/services. Couples will pleasantly find they are saving tons of time in vendor selection since has the information that they typically cannot readily access from a phone conversation or website with many vendors.

C&C: How do couples sign up for Get Wed for Less?
LH: Simply visit Get Wed for Less and start searching today!

C&C: What do you feel are the most important elements of wedding planning?
LH: The right spouse – seriously! You also should have the right plan – talk with someone experienced in wedding coordination. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Just talking it through made it easier for me.” Make sure at the end of the day that the plan and the budget instituted are yours and your mates. The right team in your corner is critical; you will need helpful people along the way and flexible, responsive, qualified wedding professionals who will act as your advocate. As a bride, you have to remind yourself daily to be flexible to a point, be of sound mind (don’t go “bridezilla” on everyone), and enjoy the journey, both during planning and after you’ve “jumped the broom.”

Weddinator App

20140609-Weddinator-Glimmering-TJH-AC&C: What inspired you to create the WeddinatorⓇ App?

LH: In our desire to make planning easier and more fun for brides, we created WeddinatorⓇ. There was no mobile application on the market that functioned as a social platform to allow brides and grooms to create and share wedding plans with their bridal party and wedding team in such a fun, interactive way. We wanted to make planning easier by going a step further and connecting wedding vendors and planning couples directly to each other via our mobile app. WeddinatorⓇ works as a sweet duo.

The app is available for download on Android’s PlayStore and Apple’s App Store. WeddinatorⓇ can also be used easily online at

C&C: How long did you plan and prepare for the launch of WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: About a year.

C&C: How can a couple connect with vendors on the WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: Couples can easily download the free WeddinatorⓇ app from PlayStore for Android or the App Store for Apple. Once they open the app, they will see the “Book A Pro” page that opens with “Need a Wedding Pro?” They simply, enter their info, including budget, wedding location, and the type of vendors they need. Once “Find Pros” is clicked, we immediately go to work to connect them to their matched pros.

C&C: Give us some examples of what a couple will find when they search on the WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: Couples will find “My Notebook” (the social, sharable online wedding planning profile), “Book A Pro” (wedding vendor concierge function), and, coming very soon, a wedding planning timeline and checklist (will help make sure you never skip a beat in the process).

Thanks so much to Lauren for talking time out to speak with Champagne and Cake. Make sure to go like Get Wed for Less and WeddinatorⓇ app on Facebook to connect with Lauren.

Catarah and Carlos Real Wedding

Today we are featuring the beautiful summer real wedding of Catarah and Carlos, captured by Brian Wagnor Photography of Atlanta. Catarah and Carlos celebrated their beautiful wedding on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Here are the details from their lovley day.When I asked Catarah to tell us about their wedding, she had a colorful, fun story to share.

Our wedding was on Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Miami Beach, FL. The venue was the Miami Beach Resort and Spa’s Starlight Ballroom. The festivities started on Thursday before the wedding on Saturday. Carlos and I hosted a Cognac and Wings party in one of the resort suites for our wedding party.

Later that evening, thirty of my closest girlfriends threw me the most amazing bachelorette party on South Beach. The crazy fun included a drag show, Wet Willy’s, Prime 112 Steakhouse, and a club.

Friday was an emotion-filled day and night. Before rehearsal, we hosted a private brunch for our wedding party and guests, siblings, and other wedding participants. At brunch, we presented our parents with their gifts and told them and other family and friends how much we loved them.

Friday evening was EPIC!!! We rented Miami’s largest party bus and took 55 of our closest friends on a moving party throughout South Beach. We stopped at an amazing restaurant in Brickell, Florida called Delores: But you can call me Lolita. It was Cuban food at its best. The night was full of delicious food and drinks with great company. We gave friends an opportunity to share their love for us, and it was so touching and special. Then, we got back on the bus and partied the night away.

July 26, had to be one of the best days of our lives. People who are very important to us were all in one room at one time, and it was glorious! The day started with prayer. I thanked God for sending me the perfect man and allowing our day to be so special.

Even though we had a 5:30 p.m. wedding, with eight bridesmaids we had to start getting ready early. Hair and makeup arrived a 7 a.m. As my bridesmaids arrived, I had a reflective moment with each of them, than presented them with custom spa robes, “No Ugly Crying” hankies, necklaces for the wedding, and custom beach towels. Carlos gifted his groomsmen with gold Invicta watches to wear for the ceremony.

Once breakfast from Panera Bread arrived, family and friends begin to stop by to give me good wishes and make sure I was okay. I absolutely was! We indulged in fruit, bagels, and coffee.

As the afternoon arrived, the sky turned dark and rain began to fall…not just any rain, violent rain. At that moment, I knew the original plan of an outdoor wedding in Miami in July was not going to happen. It was over 80 degrees at noon. I had them move the ceremony inside to avoid the rain and the Miami Heat!

After pre-wedding photos, laughs, jokes, and tears, it was time to marry my friend and love. While waiting for our turn to walk forward, my dad and I had a moment, and he shared priceless advice. We also shared an endless stream of happy tears. As I walked into the ceremony space, I saw the decorations for the first time, and I was so happy. I reflected on the photos dangling from my bouquet, which was another way I kept memories of my loved ones who had passed close to me for the special occasion. I carried photographs of both of my dad’s parents, my mom’s mother, and two of my favorite uncles.

Everything ceased when Carlos and I locked eyes. I didn’t stop looking at him until we met down the aisle. We recited both traditional and personal vows. Instead of the sand ceremony originally planned, we painted a photo together, which will hang in our home. We used two of our wedding colors in the paints to represent the two families uniting.

Once we laughed, cried, and sealed our vows with a kiss in front of 185 family and friends, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and great music while we took photos in a room overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway and Downtown Miami.

When, the doors to the ballroom were opened, guests were greeted with giant elephant palm centerpieces enhanced with orchids and peonies. Their place cards were mini-umbrellas stuck in sand. Entering the ballroom, guests were asked to sign a huge coral letter C and have the option of using our custom phone charging station.

Each table seating had individual menus and thank you notes. There was purple uplighting with beautiful, twinkling lights that resembled stars throughout the room. Floor to ceiling windows gave us expansive views of downtown, huge mansions, and the Intercoastal Waterway. Surrounding the dance floor were eight claw foot, white benches with coral and gold pillows for guests to rest on during dance breaks. My favorite was the grand sweet heart table with large chairs.

The rest of the evening included the cake cutting (no mushing was allowed), dancing, a serenade to me from the groomsman and my husband, sweetheart song from my sorority Delta Sigma Theta, and the traditional bouquet and garter tosses. The garter toss was special, because we had a small basketball autographed by Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. That got the guys out of their seats, along with words of encouragement from our parents, best man, and matron of honor.


Photography by Brian Wagnor Photography


Photography by Brian Wagnor Photography


Photography by Brian Wagnor Photography



Photography by Brian Wagnor Photography

Wedding Vendors

Dress by Winnie Couture, Beverly Hills, CA

Photography by Brian Wagnor Photography, Atlanta, GA

Cinematography by Darryl Campbell, Miami, FL

Flowers by Petal Productions, Miami, FL

Wedding Planner/Designer – Jessica Campbell Events, Miami FL

Colorful Cake Design by Southern Girl Desserts, Los Angeles, CA

White Buttercream Cake by Divine Delicacies, Miami FL

Wedding Furniture (Chiavari chairs, lighting, lounge furniture, sweetheart table) by Evoga Event Productions, Miami, FL

Congrats to lovely couple and thanks so much for sharing your story with Champagne and Cake.

Frozen Mimosa : Get Your Holiday Cheer On!

Looking for a unique champagne cocktail for the holiday season? Try this unique spin on the Mimosa – the Frozen Mimosa.

Here is what you need:

  • Orange Sherbet 4 scoops
  • Orange Juice 1 cup
  • Chilled Champagne 2 cups
  • Champagne Glasses 4
  • Blender

Put orange sherbet, orange juice, and champagne in blender.

Blend until Smooth

Served in a Chilled Champagne Glass

A simple and easy Champagne Cocktail that all your guests will enjoy!

You Can Substitute Champagne for Ginger Ale or Non Alcoholic Sparkling Wine.




Things to Learn from Solange’s Wedding

Congratulations to the newly married couple – Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson – who were married on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans!

The internet is buzzing with the release of the weddings photos. I can honestly say that I am in love with her wedding style. Her wedding was the perfect blend of her personal style woven into the beauty of a memorable wedding and reception with friends and family.

Things to Learn from Solange’s Wedding

Solange 1

Image Source Instagram

Dare to Be Different!

It is your wedding day, and you can be as unique or traditional as you want to be. If you want to wear pink, wear pink! If you want each of the members of your wedding to dress differently, go for it! If you want to arrive in a canoe, go for it!

Stay True to You and Your Style!

Your personal style should be an intricate part of your wedding planning process and is reflected on her wedding day. Solange chose to wear a caped ivory Humberto Leon for Kenzo gown sans big ruffles and rhinestones that have been all the rage for several years. Her accessories were gold arm cuffs. Simple, elegant, and, oh so Solange.

Get Creative!

Solange’s color-coordinated wedding party showcased ivory, taking simplicity to new heights. From the bride and groom’s bike ride through the French Quarter on white, vintage bicycles to the chapel for the wedding all the way to the touching mother and son-choreographed dance to “No Flex Zone” at the reception, the event was filled with magic.

Think Outside of the Box!

Beginning with the rehearsal, ivory was the color to be seen in. Knowles arrived in a stunning, asymmetrical draped outfit designed by Stephane Rolland and paired with Stuart Weitzman “Nudist” sandals. Ferguson wore a cream suit with khaki shirt and shoes.For the wedding, each woman in the wedding party wore a design of her choice, all ivory, cream, and white, of course. Some were in pants, others in dresses.

Solange 2

Image Source Instagram

Have Fun!
Weddings can be stressful as the happy couple found out when Ferguson got a flat tire on his bike as they rode to the chapel, but they laughed it off. One photo catches the happy couple laughing when they arrive at the chapel, pushing their bikes.

Solange was fine during the ceremony and the seated dinner, but when they hit the streets for a line dance, her face became covered in hives. Big sister, Beyonce, came to her rescue with a Benadryl, some cortisone cream, and a cooling shower, and in less than two hours, she was back at the reception, looking fine and ready to dance with her son.

The fun-filled reception included sparklers as the guests partied into the wee hours and danced in the streets.

We would love to hear what you did to make your event special. From clothes, hair, make-up, flowers, special events, and music, what did you do that made your wedding festivities unique to you?

Let’s Talk about Flowers with Alicia Corley of iPlan Things….What is your style?

“iPlan Things is my brand, my company, my baby,” says Alicia Corley. She started iPlan Things a few years ago when she decided to follow her passion to work in the event planning industry. Let’s take a trip Jackson, Mississippi to learn more about design and flowers.

C&C: Tell us what iPlan Things is all about?

AC: Having always had a desire to be in the event planning industry, I began to develop the brand and work toward that goal. As of now, I offer planning, strategizing, and coordinating assistance for events, in addition to designing and managing events. I am also working towards offering project management assistance.

C&C: How did you get into floral design?

AC: While building my own brand, I was blessed with an opportunity to work with a veteran in the event and floral design industry. I work as the Assistant Social & Marketing Manager to David Spurk of Petal Pushers.

I’ve been fortunate to learn about floral design and grow my knowledge about the industry in general. It has also been a big help in expanding my network in the industry.

It’s been an amazing learning experience and opportunity. I love flowers and couldn’t ask for a better way to hone my design skills.

C&C: What is your personal design style?

AC: My personal design style is a cross of chic- elegant and simple-minimalism.

C&C: What are good tips you give brides when selecting a florist?

AC: The first and most important factor when selecting any vendor is to pay close attention to chemistry between yourself and that vendor. Planning a wedding is a stressful event, so choosing a vendor you feel comfortable with is important.

Establish clarity about what you want and do not want…more importantly, the “don’t want” part. When designing for a wedding or any event, a florist may select to alter elements of the design in order to meet the client’s requests on budget and theme.

It is important for the bride to know which flowers in the colors they want are available during the time of year when the wedding will be held. Otherwise, they could arrive at the wedding and reception venues to find beautiful, yellow gladiola arrangements, a flower they hate.

Do your research, know exactly what you want…or do not want, and be sure the florist and you are on the same page.

C&C: What are some wedding flower trends in the Jackson area?
AC: Floral designers in this area each have their own distinct style and represent them well. Succulents and earthy, green plants are an emerging trend in the floral industry. And, like most design industries, these trends change with the seasons.

C&C: What are some different types of popular wedding flowers?

AC: Peonies are a popular flower. Brides have been in love with peonies for the last few spring and summer seasons. And, an oldie but goody choice is roses. There are so many varieties to choose from, and they are all beautiful.

C&C: What is the most unique flower arrangement you have made?

AC: I made a mixed floral arrangement using King Proteas, eucalyptus, and green foliage for a corporate account. It had a tropical design that looked great.

C&C: How can a bridal couple save money when selecting flowers?

AC: Select flowers that are easily accessible for the time of the year. Select floral products that are readily available, which brings down the price.

Talk to your floral designers to learn design tips that may not require the use of flowers. Be creative in designing your wedding, open to new ideas.

C&C: What popular wedding flowers are in season in the fall and winter?

AC: Alstroemeria, calla lily, dahlias, ranunculus



C&C: What popular wedding flowers are in season in the spring and summer?

AC: Poms, sunflowers, peonies, and tropical flowers like bird of paradise.



C&C: What popular flowers are in season all year long?

AC: Carnations, roses (grown in countries outside the United States)


C&C: How can a couple get creative with their wedding flowers and a bride with her bouquet?

AC: To achieve the overall style you want for your wedding with the flowers available is a great way to remain open to creativity. Incorporating elements that are reflective of the bride and the couple are a wonderful way to be creative in design selection.

C&C: What are some different elements that can really make centerpiece and a bouquet pop?

AC: A fragrant bouquet is a lovely way. Of course, don’t use fragrance if the bride or members of the wedding party have problems with allergies. Garden roses are some of the most beautiful smelling roses. They literally smell pretty.

Stunning centerpieces can be created with eye-catching artistry that everyone loves. My boss at Petal Pushers is an expert at this. Centerpieces that compliment the wedding theme and merge into the overall design of the event seamlessly, refine the ambiance without one element over-saturating the others.

C&C: How far in advance does a couple need to order flowers for their centerpieces and bouquets?

AC: Typically, I advise brides to select and meet with their floral designer as soon as the venue is booked. Venue plays a huge role in floral design. Waiting until the last minute for the floral designer to give you a design and estimate and then order your flowers will put you further behind than you realize. Generally, flowers for centerpieces and bouquets shouldn’t be ordered more than six weeks from the event.

C&C: What are the top five tips to help brides get the perfect bouquet and centerpiece arrangements they want?

AC: Being flexible and open-minded makes things go much more smoothly.

1. Be open minded. A good florist has the knowledge and experience to assist you to achieve your desired look.

2. Set a budget. It is one of the most important elements to help you work with vendors. They must have a clear idea of what you intend to spend before the two of your start to dream your perfect wedding.

3. Know what you want and what you do not want, but remain flexible.

4. Be conscious of selecting fragrant flowers that trigger allergic reactions, especially if you have a large bridal party. You want everyone to enjoy your special day with you.

5. Get creative with elements that reflect you and your betrothed’s personalities individually and as a couple. It makes the event so personal.

C&C: Any last minute tips you would like to share?

AC: Your wedding day marks the foundation of your new family. Make decisions based on what makes the two of you happy.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?

AC: I have two that I’m living by right now.

“Let’s do what we love and lots of it.” Marc Jacobs

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” Napoleon


Floral Designs by David Spurk Petal Pushers


Thanks so much to Alicia Corley with iPlanthings. If you need to get in contact with her email her or Follow her on Instagram and Facebook

Also check out Petal Pushers

Follow them on Instagram or Facebook

And we here at Champagne and Cake want to know what is your Flower Style? Comment below and let us know :-)

Some Sweet Ways to Celebrate Sweetest Day!

The Sweetest

Sweetest Day is approaching and how will you celebrate? It’s not a holiday I made up, but a day of celebration. A day to express appreciation for the special people in your life and to reach out to others. Sweetest Day is celebrated this year on October 18.

They Say: The first observance of Sweetest Day occurred in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. Herbert Birch Kingston a candy company employee wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins, and those who had been forgotten. With the help of his friends, he distributed candy and small gifts to the underprivileged. Today the holiday is primarily observed in the Midwestern Region of the United States.

Share the Joy

I hope you will join me in telling the special people in the world how much they mean to you. Here are some ideas to celebrate Sweetest Day :

Sweets for Your Sweets

Give the one you love their favorite candy: a luscious champagne truffle is always a nice surprise.

Ways to share sweetest day with others: Take bags of candy to a local orphanage. (check with them first)

Sweet Thoughts

Fill a clear jar with notes on all the reasons you love your main man or woman and why they are special to you.

Ways to share sweetest day with others:  Take “You are special notes” for everyone in a nursing home. Printed on colored paper and cut with decorative scissors fancies them up a bit.

Sweets for You Only

In a beautiful card or on lovely notepaper, leave a special note for your special person, telling him/her how much they mean to you.Leave the note in a surprise place where they will find it easily: mirror in the bathroom or over the dresser, sock drawer, coffee maker, purse, or briefcase. Be Creative!

Ways to share sweetest day with others: Put a flower on every tray at a nursing home. Special touch: tie a small bow on each.

Sweet Memories

Treat the special person in your life to a delicious cupcake with a “delicious” note attached.

Ways to share sweetest day with others: You can deliver cupcakes or cookies to a local orphanage or nursing home. (Check with them first and take something for those who can’t eat sugar.) Add small notes for each person that say, “You matter.” or “Thanks for being you.” or “Thanks for being special.”

Sweetest Gift of All

Telling someone how special they are can change a life!

Share with me how you will celebrate Sweetest Day this year?

A True Passion Talking Makeup with Ashton Tisdale of Mz Fancy Face

Happy Thursday! Today we are talking makeup with Ashton Tisdale of Mz Fancy Face, LLC. She is a traveling MUA based in Jackson, Mississippi. She has been a makeup artist for four years and says it is her true passion! Today she shares wedding makeup tips and information how to achieve a flawless look on your wedding day or any day.


Photography by Ladd Photography

C&C: When did you become interested in doing makeup as a profession?

AT: I started doing makeup my senior year of high school at a makeup boutique in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I continued after I graduated and studied the craft of applying makeup. I put it all in God’s hands and let him lead the way. Now, I have my own company,

C&C: What advice would you give brides about choosing a makeup artist for their big day?

AT: It is best to find a makeup artist who specializes in bridal makeup, someone who is consistent and professional. Ask other brides who they used and if they were pleased with the result.

C&C: How do you decide what colors to choose for the bride’s makeup?

AT: Most of my looks I base around the dress color and styles the bride likes.

C&C: Do you have any tips to prepare for the big day?

AT: I have ten suggestions that I give to all my brides.

1) Eat and drink health the month of the wedding to prevent breakouts

2) Stay as calm as possible (even though that’s hard.) Stress causes breakouts.

3) A good moisturizer keeps your skin looking soft.

4) A good face primer under your makeup to help it stay fresh longer.

5) Waterproof mascara is a must!

6) False eyelashes are a big plus! They bring out the eyes with sexy glam appeal.

7) Lipstick color that complements your dress and skin. Gloss is a must!

8) Well-blended makeup.

9) Foundation should match skin tone. Otherwise, it is unattractive in the pictures.

10) Avoid harsh lines that drag makeup down. Stay with flawless bridal looks.

C&C: What is the most interesting bridal look you’ve created?

AT: I love doing the glittery smoky eyes. It really makes the eyes pop and brings so much life to the look!

C&C: How can a bride keep her makeup fresh on the big day?

AT: Primer and lip touch ups will get the job done Another tip is to use a good setting spray after the makeup is applied.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?

AT: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Thanks so much to Ashton of Mz Fancy Face, LLC for all her wonderful tips and information. Be sure to follow her on Instagram at MZ_FancyFace and visit her website To Contact Ashton about more information email her bookmzfancyface@gmail or by phone at 404-395-3813.


Photography by Sterling Photography

Talking Cake with Stephanie Hart of Brown Sugar Bakery-Chicago

Today we talk to Stephanie Hart who owns Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago. Just the name of the bakery makes me hungry!

Chicago is one of my favorite places. I love the atmosphere, the Chicago Vibe. On my recent trip, I discovered a new favorite place—Brown Sugar Bakery. Their caramel cake is AMAZING!!!

Needless to say, Brown Sugar Bakery and a luscious slice of caramel cake have been added to my to-do for every Chicago trip. P. S. Don’t tell my personal trainer.

Stephanie Hart, from Detroit Michigan by the way Yazoo City, Mississippi has been in the baking business for ten years.


C&C: Why did you decide to start Brown Sugar Bakery?
SH: I couldn’t find a bakery in Chicago that served the cakes I like, so I decided to create my own.

C&C: What is your baking style?
SH: Baking is a science that I was fortunate to learn from my grandmother. My baking style is Southern African-American baking traditions that I adapt to different tastes.

C&C: What is your favorite cake?
SH: Pineapple.

C&C: What is Brown Sugar Bakery’s signature cake?
SH: Our caramel cake is very popular. Many people love it just like you do.

C&C: What are some good tips you would give to brides when selecting a baker?
SH:1) Get references from people who have dealt with the baker in the past.

2) Have a budget

3) Be careful of bakeries that make you special samples to taste. You should be able to walk into the bakery any day or time and sample anything they have.

4) Do taste samples. If you like the taste, most of your guests will too.

C&C: What are some different cake fillings a bride might consider?
SH: Fruit flavors are very popular and, of course, chocolate. Lemon, Strawberry, Mango, Pineapple, Raspberry, and Banana are frequent requests.

C&C: How do you get inspirations for wedding cakes?
SH: I look at the bride’s style. I ask for pictures of the bride’s dress, invitations, bridesmaids’ dresses, colors and table decor. I want to know what kind of jewelry she likes. If the bride has a wedding portfolio where she is collecting the things she likes and plans to sue, I look at that to understand the style she has in mind. I want her cake to be a reflection of her. And then I create a cake that is a simplified version of who she is, so the flavor and smell will stand out. My goal is to create a cake that reflects her style.


C&C: What is the most creative cake you have made?
SH: The most creative cake will be the one I’m designing for artist, Hebru Brantley. I am turning one of his creative pieces into a cake.

C&C: What are some important elements a bride and groom might consider for a cake?
SH: One important element I like to incorporate is color, so I encourage them to add colors they love and colors that reflect the wedding and reception décor.

C&C: I love the name Brown Sugar Bakery. How did you come up with it?
SH: I am a huge Rolling Stones fan, Mick Jagger and I share the same birthday.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?
SH: “Failure is my First Name, Never is my last one.” Lupe Fiasco


Thanks so much to Stephanie Hart with Brown Sugar Bakery Chicago for all her wonderful tips and awesome Caramel Cake.  Don’t forget to like Brown Sugar Bakery-Chicago on Facebook and visit her website HERE. 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!

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