Archive for January, 2008

This is a story that was posted on the WKYC.com website:

Cultured Diamonds Save You Money

 Cultured Diamond Necklace

Created: 1/31/2008 12:55:11 PM
Updated:1/31/2008 7:03:22 PM

Jewelry is always a big seller for Valentine’s Day, but for many “diamonds” are not in the budget.
Now there is a new ‘type’ of colored diamond not found in a mine but grown in a lab.

It’s got all the brilliance of a ‘natural’ stone, but costs a whole lot less!

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, a discounted diamond could earn them a spot in the family.

So, for those looking for a fancy colored diamond, cultured diamonds may get you more bang for your bling.

“A cultured diamond has the same characteristics as a natural diamond. Same hardness, same refractive index, same brilliance.”

But cost about two-thirds less.


Gary Kleinhenz, who is the president of Kleinhenz Jewelers in Westlake says, these diamonds don’t come from the ground

They are grown in a lab.

“It’s created under the same conditions that diamonds are underneath the ground.”

The Gemesis cultured diamond making laboratory in Sarasota, Florida are where the diamonds are made.

The process starts with a tiny diamond seed that is placed in a growth chamber.

The chamber is capable of generating the 850,000 pounds per square inch of pressure and 2,700 degrees of heat necessary to make one diamond every four days.

“It is just crystals that grow upon crystals to create a larger piece of rough. The rough diamond is sent to the cutter to be polished into what you see in finished jewelry.”

When you put a cultured diamond on a diamond tester- it registers as a diamond.

And when we held it under a blue light, you could see the the seed the diamond grew from, right in the center.

“The nucleus of a Gemesis diamond is a piece of diamond.”

Right now you can only get them in yellow and orange.

Other colors will be available soon.

Industry leaders don’t expect them to replace the white diamonds everybody loves.

“I think most people want the whitest diamond they can find and fancy colored diamonds are almost for a right handed ring or a cocktail ring, moreso than the engagement ring.”

The Gemesis diamonds are certified by the Gemological Institute of America.

The key here is to know when you are buying one.

Make sure you are dealing with a knowledgeable jeweler who offers full-disclosure about where the diamond came from.


Source:  http://www.wkyc.com/news/rss_article.aspx?ref=RSS&storyid=82428

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  In honor of the most romantic day of the year, I am sponsoring a contest!  I will award one couple a FREE package of services:

“Month of Coordination”

  That will include several meetings before the wedding, contact and confirmation with your vendors, and coordination of the rehearsal, wedding and reception.  Other details will be discussed with the winning couple.

To enter:  Please write a short essay (minimum of 300 words) of why you should be chosen as the winning couple.  You could write about your romantic proposal, the story of your courtship, or even some hardship that the two of you have overcome, that has made your relationship stronger.  What makes the two of you unique as a couple? 

You may enter the essays through the feedback link to this post, or you may email them to me.  Email address information can be found on my Contact Page. 

Winners must be 18 years or older.  Contest will begin 1/29/08, and end on 2/13/08.  Winners will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 2/14/08.  Winners will be asked to sign a waiver form if they would like their names and images posted on this blog.  Wedding must take place on or before 12/31/2009.  This contest is open to residents of Ohio.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.



Clip art source:  www.webweaver.nu/clipart/wedding-brides.shtml

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Hello Everyone!  I decided to add more pictures from The Chapel in the Moonlight, which took place this past New Year’s Eve.  My dear friend Terri caught some great shots!  Enjoy!!

The Wedding Cake, provided by Reeves' Cake Shop in Akron, OH.     A Wintry Centerpiece by Dee Jackson of Ufloral Design     Kimberly with The Honorable Judge Kathryn Michael

     Kimberly with Alia before her wedding ceremony.     Alia right before she joins her groom at the altar.



Lori & Leroy cutting the cake.         



Kimberly and Pastor Mark Bernard     Adam Sarata - Classical Guitarist    

Brett and Joe from Making the Moment, LLC     Brett and Joe     Kimberly and Terri

All pictures shown above are copyrighted to Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning.  Please do not copy without express consent.  Please contact us for information.

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Spring Green Inspiration Board

The weather is different all over the country at this time of year.  Right now, some of us are slogging through snow and freezing cold temperatures, while others are basking in the warm winter sunshine.  Winter has just officially started, and Spring seems a long, long way off.  But do not despair, it will be here sooner than you think!  For those of you who long for bright green leaves, colorful flowers, and gentle breezes, this mood board is for you.  Enjoy!!

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Easy, Breezy & Beachy Inspiration Board

Ah, the Beach!!  Sun, Sand, Surf, and more.  I love being on vacation at the beach, feeling light and fresh, and really relaxed.  The colors of the seashore are amazing, ranging from cool blue-gray to vibrant aqua.  Throw in bright golden sunshine, green tropical plants, and lush flowers, and you have an amazing backdrop for a seaside wedding.  Incorporating these elements into your celebration is easy, and the styles can range from yacht club preppy to caribbean casual. 

For this inspiration board, I went with a “relaxed retro” feeling.  The colors are a little softer, but still gorgeous.  Enjoy! 

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Hello Everyone!  I know that you have been anxiously awaiting the pictures from the big night – First Night Akron 2008.  My particular event, The Chapel in the Moonlight, was the most successful evening we’ve had in the 3 years that I have been involved with First Night Akron!  We had 12 scheduled couples that either got married, or renewed their wedding vows.  We also had many couples come in from the outdoor festivities to observe the ceremonies, and decide on a whim to renew their vows.  It’s a very romantic evening for all!

We were very happy to have Brett and Joe, from Making the Moment, LLC, as our featured Photographers for our event!  You can see more of their work at their site, www.makingthemoment.com.   Below are some of their favorite shots they took throughout the evening.  Thank you, Brett and Joe, for sharing these with us!

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

The Chapel in the Moonlight 2008

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These desserts are simply sinful, and look too good to resist!!  What a way to finish off a great meal, any time of the year!  This feature is from BizBash NY:


Sweet Endings
Reward guests for braving winter weather with these five desserts that spotlight seasonal fruit, aromatic spices, and rich flavors.
Photo Gallery Well Dunn Catering in Washington, D.C., offers a roasted Anjou pear  crisp. Chef Michael Payne places the pear on a caramelized puff pastry  raft and pairs it with house-made Hawaiian white-honey ice cream and  reduced blood-orange puree. The dish is garnished with pomegranate  seeds and a sliver of honeycomb.
Well Dunn Catering in Washington, D.C., offers a roasted Anjou pear  crisp. Chef Michael Payne places the pear on a caramelized puff pastry  raft and pairs it with house-made Hawaiian white-honey ice cream and  reduced blood-orange puree. The dish is garnished with pomegranate  seeds and a sliver of honeycomb.                                            Chicago's Calihan Catering's moist honey ginger cake is a new twist on  traditional spice cake. Pastry chef Pedro Gomez completes the dish with  cider-poached apples, caramel sauce, and a
                    New York-based Sebastians makes a bright and tangy cranberry-orange upside-down cake. The cake is flavored with citrus and cinnamon and baked on top of a layer of sugar-coated cranberries. Pastry chef Kathleen McAllister finishes it with orange syrup, frozen orange mousse, and a cranberry-orange sugar stick.                                            Toronto's Bite Catering serves its mini praline and caramel bread pudding in an espresso cup. Chefs Lara Katz and Karen Rachlin bake cubes of brioche in a sweet cream mixture, then top the puddings with caramel and crushed pecans.
                    Los Angeles-based Global Cuisine offers a s'mores-like chocolate Bavarian cream tart. Pastry chef Todd Dickinson tops the pastry with marshmallow meringue and chocolate shavings.                       
Chicago’s Calihan Catering‘s moist honey ginger cake is a new twist on traditional spice cake. Pastry chef Pedro Gomez completes the dish with cider-poached apples, caramel sauce, and a “snow globe” made of sugar and filled with vanilla ice cream.
Photo: Michael Maes for BizBash
   —Lisa Cericola

Source:  http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9414.php#photosanchor

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This may be something most people don’t usually consider when planning an event:  how to plan for visually impaired guests, and those with other physical difficulties and limitations, or even guests who are accompanied by service animals.  I found this article on BizBash DC.  It’s written for people who are in the hospitality industry, but it has several good tips that anyone can use.

Ask An Expert: Helping Blind Guests
John Marenzana is managing director of the conference center and theater at Lighthouse International‘s New York headquarters. He is working with Lighthouse to develop a certified training program for the hospitality and event industry that will teach staff how to provide services for people with vision impairments.
John Marenzana
John Marenzana
Photo: Dorothea Anne Lombardo

How can hosts make sure a space is accessible for visually impaired guests?
Planners should ask themselves, “If I were wearing a blindfold, what would be helpful to me?” Consider how the layout of the room will affect guests who have guide dogs or canes. If you’re in a large space with hard floors, put runners on the ground to create walkways. Guests will be able to feel the textural difference under their feet or with a cane, which will help guide them around the room. They should also check for Braille signage on bathroom doors and elevator buttons and make sure the venue’s entryway is easily accessible. We are developing an audit sheet for event planners with all of these details so they can use it as a checklist to make the process easier.

Have you noticed that this is a growing concern?
Definitely. Being visually impaired doesn’t necessarily mean someone is blind. With the expansion of baby boomers, there’s an even greater number of people with visual impairments like macular degeneration.

Is there anything special that staffers should do when escorting someone?
There’s a misconception that you should lead a visually impaired person by the arm. Instead, you should offer them your elbow and let them hold on to you. When you take a person by the arm, you’re pulling them and they don’t know where they’re going. This is safer and gives them more control.

How should staff greet and welcome a visually impaired person?
In many cases, you’ll find that reception staff freeze up and don’t know what to do when they encounter a visually impaired guest. They need to know who you are, so when you say hello, use your name to establish a better rapport.

What are some ways to make visual presentations more inclusive?
Consider the size and color of text on screens. Use highly contrasting colors and fonts that are 16 to 18 points for handouts and a minimum of 24 points for projections. If you’re showing a video, visually impaired guests can use earphones to listen to a descriptive narrative that describes what’s happening on-screen. We can provide referrals for companies that specialize in this service. Having handouts in a larger font or in Braille is also a good idea.

How do you assist visually impaired guests during a meal in an unobtrusive way?
If you’re having a buffet, you could have Braille labels in front of dishes or position staffers behind tables to describe what’s being served and offer assistance. For plated meals, waitstaff should be briefed on how to present the meal in a way that will help guests “see” what’s in front of them. Without making a big production, waitstaff can point out what’s on a guest’s plate by saying, “At 12:00, you have your vegetable; at 9:00, you’ve got your protein.” With a little sensitivity and awareness, it will make your event much smoother.  —Lisa Cericola

RELATED TOPICS Making Events Accessible

Source:  http://www.bizbash.com/washington/content/editorial/e8270.php

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I thought this was a really colorful and stylish idea.  Check it out!  


‘Afternoon Tea’ style table ware at The Last Detail

Retro influences are heading off the catwalk and on to our tableware with this cool ‘Afternoon Tea’ range of table decorations. This look is great if you want colourful tableware in pastels and brights or are looking for a way to work in brilliant vintage finds. Make sure you have dotty napkins, coloured glass votives and mountains of cupcakes to complete the look and send guests home with party bags just like the ones from your childhood. You can find the items pictured here at The Last Detail.

Related: Invite your bridesmaids to floral two for tea I Heart shaped tea I Daisy table decoration

Want to watch Shiny Fashion TV? Click here for the latest videos

Posted by Camilla Chafer on January 18, 2008 12:54 PM in Flowers/Decoration

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This article was posted on www.Ohio.com, about First Night Akron 2008.  Our particular event, The Chapel in the Moonlight, was featured as well.  Enjoy!

First Night welcomes New Year

Area residents turn out for fun, music in Akron

By Jewell Cardwell
Beacon Journal staff writer

Karen Brugmann and her sister, Mary Dodson, took in Melissa Daubert’s kinetic, interactive art experience called Baby New Year Jam at the Akron Art Museum.

The Akron women were among hundreds of folks caught up in the energy and excitement as they threaded their way through a plethora of entertaining venues in downtown Akron on Monday as part of First Night, the city’s alcohol-free, family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.

The fuzzy-critter band called Baby New Year Jam challenged young and old alike to create music and motion through the art of puppetry.

Five-year-old Sarah Sterns and her 16-month-old brother, Noah Finn, attended with their parents, Nicole and Anthony Sterns of Akron. Sarah and Noah enjoyed the Baby New Year Jam, especially the chimes the puppets played.

They might have been practicing to be critics, perhaps, for when their father starts his own children’s band, which is poised to launch soon.

The weather was cold but cooperated with partygoers who had an easy time getting around to a variety of event sites.

They ran the gamut from storytelling to poetry, to a host of bands from different genres,
to couples getting married and others renewing their vows, to the University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band, to religious services at various houses of worship. After the final countdown to 2008, there was a fireworks finale.

Earlier in the evening, 17-year-old Megan Archey, representing Buckeye High School near Medina, took the crowd at InfoCision’s First Night Idol competition all the way country with her rendition of Before He Cheats.

Angel Garnett,a sophomore at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, changed the tempo with the Jennifer Hudson inspired I Love You I Do.

And Buckeye sophomore Jessica Schmidt brought it back to country once more with Cry by Mandy Moore.

The trio were among nine high school contestants — all females — who faced the music and a three-judge panel at the John S. Knight Center.

Not far away, Beverly Frye and Al Meade were being married by Akron Municipal Court Judge Kathryn Michael at the Chapel in the Moonlight at Main Place.

Dressed in a royal blue dress with silver accessories, Frye was matter of fact about the New Year’s Eve ceremony.

”We’ve been together a long time,” she said. ”We just thought it would be a special way to bring in the New Year as husband and wife.”

Kimberly Lehman, who was wedding coordinator for the event, said a couple from Michigan, Leroy K. Sallad Jr. and Lori McEwen, planned to say their ”I do’s” like her father and stepmother did this time last year at the same place and before the same pastor.

A bittersweet ceremony later in the evening also featured a soldier about to be shipped off to Iraq exchanging vows with his beloved.

A few blocks away, ”Mee Maw” Sandra Hardesty of Canton was busy squiring her granddaughters Jazmin and Kailee Labus, 7 and 4 respectively, around Lock 3.

The sisters seemed to have a grand time watching the ice skating and having Jack (alias Carly Fetterolf of Akron), the official First Night jester, working her magic as she produced one balloon animal after another.

Among those admiring her handiwork was Jhanavi Thakkar, the 5-year-old daughter of Amit and Rekha Thakkar of Cuyahoga Falls. She treasured the white balloon puppy made for her.

While the city won’t see the likes of a party of this magnitude for a whole year; it’s one that will play on in the heads and hearts of all who dared to see Akron in a different light.

Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or jcardwell@thebeaconjournal.com.


Find this article at:


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