Wedding Overload

Bride and groom being wed by a judge on a lake in Madison Wi

Are you experiencing wedding overload? There’s so much pressure to have a perfect Instagram wedding these days. It feels like every detail needs to be thought of, every second of your guests time accounted for, and every hotel accommodation a 5 star experience. While my own weddings were extremely low budget and planned when the only website available was The Knot, I’ve been to plenty that have fit that picture perfect image. It’s easy to see how the process can become complicated with the overwhelming amount of information available.

If your wedding isn’t 20 people on a pier by a lake like mine was, and you’re looking for the picture perfect day, I highly recommend finding experts to help guide you through the process. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite wedding experts in Detroit. 

Photography

Photographers and videographers are two of the most wedding experts you will have for your big day. They will document your whole day in images that you and your family will cherish for generations. These are your holiday card photos, your featured framed photos in your house, and a visual reminder of your love for one another.

When you’re considering your photographer and videographer for your wedding you’ll want to make sure their photography style matches your vision for the day. I’ve heard horror stories of people choosing a photographer without looking at their gallery, or hiring friends instead of paying for professional photos that end in disaster. The photos are blurry, or shot at strange angles when you wanted classic shots, sometimes there’s just a disconnect between you and the photographer’s vision. The best way to make sure you’ve found the best photographer for you is to check out their gallery. It’s a lot like picking out the right tattoo artist, everyone has different styles and expertise. 

One of my favorite local photographers is Michelle from Michelle Ann Photography. She’s super sweet and has a great eye for composition. As you check out her website she has her galleries and pricing clearly listed, an easy way to contact her, and a blog describing her different sessions while displaying her personality. When finding the right photographer for you these pieces of a website are vital. It helps screen out photographers who’s artistic style may not match your special day.

Invitations & Calligraphy

The first thing your guests see is the invitations. There’s a strong pull to have something unique, something that reflects your personality, something that shows your beautiful love story…all encased in one envelope. It’s a tall order, and how do you even begin to search for all that?! Well, if you’re like me you buy your invites at Michael’s, and design them on your computer, swearing at the printer because they aren’t lining up properly. If you’re smarter than me there are calligraphy experts out there like Leah E Moss.

She offers a variety of services, including her collections that can be ordered right from your couch for a wide variety of budgets, custom calligraphy packages that include a one-on-one consultation, and even gifts for that special first (or fiftieth!) anniversary.

When selecting a calligrapher, just like a photographer, the artists style is so important to get it perfect for your special day. Check out their galleries, find their social media accounts, read their blogs. The result with the right person will be perfect from the first impression with a save the date, to the final dance on the big day.

The Special Extras

For me the most overwhelming parts of the wedding was all the little extras. Even with a low budget wedding there’s all those little extra details. What are you going to put on the tables? Centerpieces? Snacks? What should the cake topper look like? Will you even have cake? What about cupcakes? If you do a unity ceremony during your service do you do sand? Candles? How do you get from the ceremony to the reception?

I’m a little biased building my career designing coatings for the Detroit auto industry, but one of my favorite wedding experts is Kymberly from Motor City Vintage Rentals. She and her father restore classic Detroit vehicles and make them available for brides to arrive in style for their big day. Rather than renting out the same old limousine that everyone uses for prom, why not put a little flair in your day and flaunt your bridal beauty as everyone watches you arrive? They’re now in their ninth season of weddings and can help you plan out those pesky ceremony to reception details with ease.

The most important part of not getting wedding overload with those extra details is picking what’s important to you. For Kymberly it was her first classic car Hugo, for me it was the unity drink chalice (it fit a whole bottle of wine) and my beautiful square white cake covered in real gerbera daisies. Once you decide what’s important to you make sure those details are perfect. No one will remember the rest, they’ll just remember how you looked beautiful and in love.

Hopefully the wedding overload isn’t too bad, and this blog post helped. We’ll be looking at some fun wedding trends for spring on Wednesday!

Stephanie

February Giveaway Winner!

Ingredients for the TNT cocktail: V8 Spicy Hot, Silver tequila, Hot Fries, Valentinas Hot Sauce

Our February Giveaway winner is Terry F! Congrats, your glass is on it’s way! We have something extra lucky planned for March. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter if you want a sneak peak and a special coupon code each month!

If you’re looking for Jenn’s original cocktail TNT check out the recipe here.

Next week we’re going to talk about weddings! I have some awesome local wedding artists I’ll be featuring on Monday, we’ll look at some fun wedding ideas on Wednesday, then Friday we’ll look at some of the fun things we’ve done for weddings in the past and give you a step by step guide for ordering the perfect wedding glasses for your bridal party.

See you soon!

Stephanie

Mardi Gras Fun!

Mardi Gras is the decadent end to Carnival season, which begins on King’s Day (January 6, a constant date in honor of the Magi’s visit to the Christ child). Mardi Gras always lands on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which means that every year the date is different. It’s roots begin in Europe as the last day of opulence before the fasting of Lent. While there are official Mardi Gras colors, there is no official Mardi Gras celebration because it is a holiday that belongs to all. In the United States the most recognizable celebration of Mardi Gras fun happens in New Orleans. The official New Orleans Mardi Gras website is set up to help you plan your trip, teach you the history of the holiday, and keep everyone up to date on parade routes and celebration hot spots.

If you’re like me and prefer to celebrate away from all the crowds here’s a few items that can help make your Mardi Gras celebration a little more festive.

Lex is the mastermind behind Cajun Creations by Lex. She does costume design, sewing, and these amazing shoes that everyone should own to bring some spice to their Mardi Gras celebration. She comes from Southern Louisiana and loves Mardi Gras and Halloween. You can also find her items on Etsy.

Jazz up your Mardi Gras outfit with these beautiful tinsel tassel earrings from Wired Wearables Co on Etsy. You can follow her for pre-orders in Instagram so you never miss a fabulous pair of earrings!

My favorite pre-lent debauchery glass in our collection is this funny Jesus touched my water wine glass. It’ll add a touch of class to any Mardi Gras fun!

Of course, a Mardi Gras party isn’t complete without the masquerade. Check out the incredibly talented Dazzling Girl DIY Shop on Etsy for the perfect masks.

In Detroit it’s not Fat Tuesday without pączki. We’re honored to live near mainstays like Hamtramck’s New Martha Washington Bakery and New Palace Bakery, as well as Dutch Girl Donuts in Detroit. You’ll need to order ahead or line up early, these decadent pastries always go fast!

Hopefully you have a few fun ideas for how to incorporate some Mardi Gras fun into your day, whether or not you can dedicate the whole day to the celebration.

Stephanie

Redline Brewing Company

Doug Grover is the owner and brewer of Redline Brewing Company in Burton Michigan, who will be celebrating 4 years in business next weekend. Doug is an expert in his craft and not afraid to bend the rules to make the perfect beer. His phenomenal experimentation has resulted in many beers that are completely unusual. One of my favorites is Taco Crusher, which tastes exactly like a taco in a glass. It shouldn’t be delicious, but the combination of tequila soaked jalapeno, peppercorn, and cilantro brings to mind an adult version of Jelly Belly. To further the analogy, Holy Cannoli is the perfect adult cannoli, sweet and decadent. He also nails the perfect standard beer as well. Terry’s Cherry was a beautifully rich cherry wheat, his belgian witbier are always on point, and the IPA’s are hoppy with a fun twist on the traditional style. He’s even ventured into the Grand Cru world, which is my favorite style, and it is worth the hour drive from Detroit. Doug is creative, tenacious, and it’s always a pleasure to spend an evening with all the servers in his tap room.

You can read about the beginning of Redline’s story on MLive, keep track of the taps on Untapped, follow his website for updated information, and keep track of events on Facebook.

Along with the delicious beer and excellent company there’s always something fun happening at Redline Brewing Company. He has bands playing almost every weekend and food trucks hanging out regularly too. We try to make it up for most of his parties, and the crowd never disappoints. Follow Redline on Facebook to keep up with all the fun activities happening.

With all the fun happenings you would never guess that Redline has had their share of hardship. Not too long after Doug first opened 4 years ago a fire devastated their first location, there have been break-ins, and broken furnaces, and experimental beers that didn’t quite make the cut. At the end of the day the Michigan attitude jumps in and everyone helps out. Usually there’s a party and the regulars come out in full force to support a great local artisan.

This coming weekend is the 4 year anniversary party and we’re looking forward to celebrating with Doug! There are 24 limited edition “Redline: 4 more years” glasses available for purchase, and every celebration with Doug has a few delicious surprises. If you’re in the area make sure to stop by and wish Redline Brewing Company a happy birthday by raising a glass of delicious brew! We hope to see you there!

Stephanie

February is TNT!

February has brought winter to Michigan in full force. This months drink is an original cocktail crafted by Jenn to blast away the chill in the air with some heat. This month’s giveaway is this fun gamer glass for the alchemist in your group.

Enter the giveaway here.

Want glasses for your whole raiding party? You can find them in our shop.

Is our Gamer’s do it line a little too risque for your group? Find our whole gaming line here.

Want to know where to find more gamers in the Detroit area? Check out our blog post on LFG!

TNT

Rim the glass with crushed hot fries (use water or tequila to wet the glass rim)

Add ice to the glass

Add tequila

Fill with V8 Spicy Hot

Garnish with Valentina Hot Sauce to taste (Jenn likes to taste fire so she added more after the fact)

Stir

Enjoy!

Ingredients for the TNT cocktail: V8 Spicy Hot, Silver tequila, Hot Fries, Valentinas Hot Sauce

Pawsome Gifts

While our house is a zoo with two large dogs, two cats, a rosie boa, a bearded dragon, three adults, and a child, the real boss is our adopted Russian blue cat Zoey. She’s not afraid to sit in the middle of the dogs and force them to give her space. This morning she had a regular checkup at the vet, so we’re honoring her with some fun feline gifts!

Susabella has super cute ceramic bowls for your cats to eat in style. These fun custom pieces can be personalized with your cats name. 

Our animals favor specific bowls so this would be a perfect gift for multiple animals. 

If your cat is the coffee and doughnuts type these adorable catnip toys from Feline Fun are the perfect addition to their collection.

They have a huge collection of options in their Etsy store to keep your cat occupied for days.

If your cat is more of a fashionista a bandana is a stylish addition to their wardrobe. Our older cat Pan used to love his kitty attire, and would get quite sassy when you took his collar away. Remind your kitty how important they are to your family with personalized attire from FurliciousPets.

They also have super cute personalized cat blankets and beautiful bowties for every style your kitty could want.

Our cats are definitely climbers and they love unique jungle gyms like this one from PetsHelperCo. As a bonus it looks great on our wall without taking up a large amount of floor space like a traditional cat tree. Our cats love having safe spaces from the dogs where they can still watch over their kingdoms.

While it’s awesome to spoil the animals in our lives, we also have made some additions to our glassware to honor our 4 legged friends. I talk about our handprint glasses quite a bit, we also offer those with paw prints and nose prints! Show the cat mom or dad in your life how special they are with a fun glass to honor their babies.

Don’t forget that Friday is a new drink video and giveaway! This months email has a special coupon code for our tabletop gaming collection. 🙂

Stephanie

Weekend in Port Huron

This past weekend was a fun time for us at Mixing Spirits. Every year we do a weekend retreat to plan out the next year, new collections, different glassware types, website improvements, local artisan shows…it’s a great time to get us on the same page while we continue to create your favorite glassware. This year it coincided with my birthday so we went and enjoyed some local food and beer. I highly recommend the places we tried, check them out for yourselves below! 

Harsens Island Brewery was our first stop of the night. They had a variety of beer styles including a delicious cherry wheat, a key lime helles bock, a delicious stout, IPA options, and a CIT wheat that is used to create delicious beer shandys.

They also have a full food menu and everything we ate was delicious. Their Kickin Chicken met Jenn’s expectations as a heat expert. I had the barbeque chicken flatbread and it was amazing. I’m planning to take the leftovers for lunch this week. Terry had the shrimp po-boy and enjoyed every bite. They even have dessert and found me a little flair for my birthday! We will definitely be back to Harsens Island Brewery, it was a great time.

We stopped at Black & Blue Brewery a little later on Friday night and they did not disappoint either. They’ve been open inside of Wings Etc… since February 2019 and have 4 or 5 different options on tap for their own beer. They also have fully stocked liquor options and other Michigan beers on tap, including Griffin Claw.

We had a few late night snacks as well. The garlic cheese curds were amazing, and Jenn loved the jalapeno poppers. 

All in all I definitely recommend a night out in Port Huron, but it does get a little chilly outside by the water in winter. There were no Lyft or Uber drivers once we were ready to leave Harsens Island so we waited for an actual cab driver. Living around Detroit we forgot how spoiled we are with local transportation. I’m thinking the transportation situation may be more reliable in the summer when the tourists have descended in the area.

On our way out of town this morning we stopped at the Raven Cafe. It was full of everything we expected, there were books from floor to ceiling, they have several menus, including one for beverages, one for spirits, and one for food. Because our all knowing child HR rep is named after Edgar Allan Poe we are recommended this cafe several times every year. It’s highly ranked on Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google maps, and many other blogs and it’s easy to see why.

Jenn ordered a chai latte, I ordered the kicker (espresso & dark roast coffee), and Terry ordered a nitro cold brew. They were all incredibly delicious. For food we ordered a bagel sandwich, the breakfast pita pizza, and the veggie pesto bruchetta. We all loved our respective meals, and ordered a chocolate muffin to go which was devoured by our HR rep when he got home from Grandpa’s house.

At the end of the weekend we’ve had some great times, enjoyed amazing food, drank delicious drinks (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), and came through with a plan forward for this year to keep making your favorite glassware. We have some great things planned for this year and we’re excited to share them!

On that note, our next drink video releases on Friday with a nerdy valentine’s theme. Sign up for our newsletter to get a sneak peek and a special coupon code. 

See you soon!

Stephanie

Custom Designs Made Just For You

I say it all the time, but one of the absolute best parts of our business is putting your memories on glassware. We love being able to give you an item that you’ll hold dear for life. Our stencil system makes it easy for us to create endless designs, and because we hand place all our stencils, and sandcarve each item individually it’s easy for us to create one of a kind items in small quantities without charging a setup fee. There are a few things to keep in mind when ordering your custom design, keep reading to make your ideas perfect every time.

We have access to the entire Adobe editing suite as we help create your glassware. Often we use Photoshop to create (or frequently recreate) the images you’re interested in ordering. Our standard sizes are three inches tall for larger glasses (pint, wine, rocks, and coffee mugs), and 1.5 inches tall for shot glasses. While we can create larger images, it’s important to keep the design and glass type in mind. Straight lines don’t curve the same at the top of a pint glass or wine glass as they do at the bottom. The image sometimes will become distorted if it’s large because of the shape of the glass. We do everything we can to ensure your design shows on the glass exactly how you envision it, and sometimes that involves working around the glass shape.

We have the luxury of being able to create extremely detailed images. The higher the initial image quality, the better detail we will be able to create on your glassware. The etching process comes out best with a high contrast, high quality, black and white initial image. The size of the glass is also important. While we can still create extremely fine details on shot glasses, the lines need to be slightly thicker and more defined the smaller the image becomes. The Aztec calendar on the shot glass works beautifully, but the image we created this design from was extremely high quality and already in black and white which is perfect for creating those highly defined lines during our blasting process.

We not only create custom designs for retail customers, but also exclusive designs for our wholesale stockists. We’ve done work with breweries, distilleries, gift shops and coffee shops all over the United States.

When we create your custom design we keep those image files. This comes in handy when a glass breaks, or if you love them so much you need more. We have realtors and marketing firms that order specific designs for their clients. When they contact us to reorder they simply need to mention their order number and we have the exact design already in our files. This isn’t just for bulk or wholesale orders, we also offer a replacement discount for our retail customers. We keep those files indefinitely so you can sleep easy, your favorite glass can always be replaced.

The number one thing to remember when ordering a custom design from us is you must have the rights to that design. There’s so many really cool fandoms out there that we would love to recreate, but without the appropriate license it would be illegal to sell their merchandise. The most frequent copyright or trademark requests are from Disney, Marvel, podcasts, songs, and TV shows. As much as we love Supernatural, My Favorite Murder, and 21 Pilots we aren’t licensed to create those items and would need written permission from the creator to do so. If you do have proper permission to create those items please don’t be afraid to contact us. We have created custom designs for quite a few podcast creators, business owners, and musicians; please be prepared for us to verify the validity of your request and have the appropriate written permission ready when you order.

We look forward to creating your favorite glassware this year!

Stephanie

Sexy DIY Valentine’s Gifts

So far this Valentine’s Day we’ve had fun ideas that were teenager friendly, Galentine’s ideas, and kid’s ideas. If you’re still struggling to find the right gift for your sweetheart check out these fun DIY ideas to heat things up in the bedroom!

DIY scratch off cards are so much fun. Krista over at While He was Napping has some really fun printables in her Etsy shop that are perfect for Valentine’s gifts. Pictured are the Date night cards, and she has some other fun ideas that I’ll be including in this post for other games. As I was looking for ideas for this particular post I kept ending up in Krista’s Etsy shop or on her blog, so this week is really all about Krista making it all about you.

In order to make the scratch off portion of these gifts it’s important to have a few things on hand. When using regular paper cover the scratch off area with clear packing tape after printing your design. This will help your design stay on the paper rather than washing off.

Acrylic paint will work best for this application, it dries harder and more brittle than other types of paint. Combine 2 parts paint with 1 part dish soap and mix well. This will water down the paint and make the first coat very sheer, it will dry quickly and you’ll be able to add layers to make the paint more opaque. The more layers you have the better the “scratch off” portion will work, three to five layers is optimal.

Once you’ve created and gifted your scratch gift it’s time to have fun!

It feels like we have 8 Jenga games hanging around our house. It’s completely ridiculous, and I feel like they multiply on their own. Every time I turn around there’s at least two Jenga sets in the game closet, one in the kids room, and two in our travelling game box. This is a super fun repurposing of the game we can’t seem to get out of our house.

You can find Krista’s blog post about creating this game on her website, and she offers printables in her Etsy shop.

My last favorite idea from Krista is an at home spa date night. As a parent sometimes being able to stay home together without the child is the most luxurious, romantic thing I can imagine. There’s no need to dress up, no one cares if I have makeup on my face, and if it’s a spa night I may even use a sheet mask to make my face look ridiculous while it’s being hydrated.

Check out Krista’s blog post on how to design your perfect spa date night if you need ideas, and you can even get her massage coupons in her Etsy shop.

Hopefully some of these ideas help get the creative juice flowing if you still need help coming up with the perfect gift for your sweetheart. It was a slightly different format today with a lot of love for While He Was Napping, her ideas are a ton of fun. She has lots of fun ideas through her website for the whole family and house. I definitely recommend checking her stuff out!

Stephanie

Superbowl Commercials 2020

Every year we hang out at home to watch the Superbowl. Terry enjoys the football game, but I’m only in it for the commercials. Why do you tune in?

This year there was quite a few more serious themes in the commercials that were extremely important. The theme of female empowerment in the Olay commercials, the Secret commercial, and the Microsoft commercial was phenomenal.  Check out the article written by Nancy Armour for USA Today to read more.

Also I loved the mention of the UW Veterinary school that calls for donations to their groundbreaking research. UW is an excellent school for a lot of programs and anything that can support saving more animals is great in my book. Donate to the program here, or read more about this commercial here from Madison’s own NBC 15.

The running theme of “later” from Tide was very enjoyable. I love when companies continue a story in that way, particularly when they collaborate with other companies. That love of collaboration is part of why the Wednesday gift posts are so fun for me to write. With no further ado, in no particular order here are my favorite (funny) Superbowl commercials for 2020

For me this year’s Superbowl was much better than previous years. The halftime show was energetic and visually stunning, the commercials were funnier, and it was fun to hang out and watch all the commentary online. What did you think of this year’s commercials? Did you think the game was good? I don’t really follow sports so I can’t comment on that.

See you Wednesday! It’ll be a some fun last minute gifts for your sweetheart for Valentine’s day.

Stephanie