Celebrating with Class

dinnerJust two years ago, I walked down the aisle to the love of my life and the start of new beginnings.  While every couple is different, we are celebrating our anniversary with what very well could be our tradition for years to come.  Anniversary celebrations in the Heslip house include a home cooked meal, candlelight and great wine.

Most of the ambience is thanks to our friends and family and their beautiful wedding gifts.  Candlesticks that came with well wishes to keep the romance alive are lit.  Table linens are pulled out and I get to class it up since our apartment is really too small to host fancy parties.  Last year we opened a bottle of Champagne we received, this year, we toasted with our wedding wine.427176_10151173820282090_962455129_n

Sneakily I designed these bottles as table numbers for our wedding reception, which really became toast wine.  My very talented in-laws made it themselves and we uncorked the last bottle for anniversary #2.  For desert, we celebrated with a pie that was half him and half me: cherry and apple.  I’m not a big fan of cake, so for our wedding we cut a pie and served it up alamode. I had a desert wine, Burgdorf’s Red Raspberry, I was saving for a special occasion and at the end of the meal, it was amazing!

Every August, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council hosts their Gold Metal and Spirit Competition where they decide the best of the best of Michigan made wines.  That Red Raspberry wine was a past gold medal winner.  If you have a celebration or want to share a great wine as a gift, the medal winners are the ones to share.  For the competition, the wines have to be made with Michigan ingredients.  From hundreds of entries, the Best in Class winners rise to the top of each category.

This August the 2014 awards were given to eight deserving wines.  Be sure to add a bit of class to your next celebration with these Best in Class winners!

Sparkling: Aurora Cellars 2011 Brut

Dry White: Blustone Vineyards 2013 Riesling

Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc

Semi-dry White: Gill’s Pier Vineyard & Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling

Semi-dry Red: Lawton Ridge Winery 2012 AZO Red

Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling

Fruit: 45 North Vineyard & Winery Peach Cremant

Rosé: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Rosé

Showering the Bride…

I love a good party.  I get  even more excited when I get to help plan it.  With an upcoming wedding in the family, after all my own bridal excitement, I was even happier to help throw a future sister-in-law a bridal shower.

At my own I had a few specific requests: favorite foods, the toilet paper wedding dress game and no clothespin collecting.  I never was very competitive when it comes to sports, but man, come shower time, I dominate.  My goal is to win one of the games by the end because who doesn’t love to take home that prize gift that says you won something?

We kept it simple for this shower.  Everyone had to bring a recipe card and fill out a return address for thank yous.  We also had a few surprises for guests with some trick guessing games.  What the bride took home is pretty sweet.  After several bridal showers in my family, I stole my favorite ideas and they were a hit!

Stocking the shelves -
My aunts did this at mine, and even though it isn’t the same poem, I loved getting all of these household goodies.  Still not having to buy cleaning products after being married for almost two years is awesome.  The dollar store was surprising also on how much we got from the list.

Dear Bride,
In a few short weeks you and your HONEY, (Groom’s name), will PLEDGE your love to one another, leaving your SOLO lives in the past as your FAMILY AND FRIENDS cheer while you walk down the aisle. Ahead, you will find a new adventure full of BLISS as Mr. and Mrs. ______.  Before that happy day, we would just like to fill you in on a few SECRETS:

IMG_0716[1]Your Prince CHARMIN’ may be BRAWNY and SUAVE, but he won’t always be SPIC & SPAN or a MR. CLEAN in the kitchen.  Things may not always be a FEBREEZE and there may be some ups and some DOWNYS, but try not to SHOUT, send out an SOS, or let things CASCADE into a PUFF of anger. No matter what, ALL will be RESOLVED by DAWN. You two are a FANTASTIC couple, and will be able to BOUNCE back from anything in a JIF.

You and _________ share a ZEST for life, and your marriage will include endless love, a BOUNTY of happiness, and a HEFTY DASH of SNUGGLES, HUGS & KISSES. We feel so much JOY to be able to GAIN a you into our family on September 13th. We look forward to seeing the SPARKLE in your eyes on your FABULOSO and PICTURE perfect day.

My other favorite gift during the shower is this beauty:  A Wine Basket for Every Occasion!

I found a few different sources online and made it my own.
IMG_0715[1]Feel free to bless a bride with one or both of these great gift ideas.  My wine tags are printable.  I simply printed them out on cardstock, glued them to a scrapbook cardstock, punched some holes and found some ribbon to match each of the descriptions.  Hobby Lobby had that ribbon in the scrapbook isle.  You might want to do a few of the first wines, or the whole package.  We picked out wines that went with each occasion.  Wines like Naked, Ambiance, Winter White and Little Penguin.

So have an upcoming bridal shower or wedding coming up?  These gift ideas could be perfect!

Michigan Agriculture Resources…

Recently I was asked to be a guest speaker for a local civil organization to talk more about agriculture.  With only a few days to prepare, I’m searching and seeking resources that might be helpful in assisting an educational and entertaining presentation.  Often times I come across great resources shared with social networks or at events I attend, but I’ve never put them down in a place to refer to and help others that might be in a similar situation. That place is here.

Overall, my goal is to share about my family farm, my work and the Michigan agricultural industry.  I plan on updating this information as the list grows.  Stay Tuned!