A Spring Party | Sangria Recipe

Hello Lovelies!

Things have been crazy busy here at the KTE office but you know what that means... it's wedding season!! We are so excited for our first big wedding season here in Charlotte, NC. Between the site visits, the florist, the cake tastings (yum!), and travel we are barely sitting down for more than an hour but we always find time to celebrate.

Celebrating the little things are what keeps us going. We love the big stuff like weddings, babies, galas and birthdays but the little stuff is special too. Celebrating a friend's job promotion or your significant other's personal best at the gym is just as important as baby announcements or engagements. The little moments are special because people often do overlook them. It is always nice to have your moment be made special.

In my house, celebrating the little moments are something to look forward to the most. They are the most intimate and they are the moments that will create stories for years to come. All of a sudden a little moment can become a favorite memory.

A new favorite moments: when Winter has officially gone, and Spring has begun.

Spring equinox is so fun! People are happy and excited. We all of a sudden remember these things called shorts and tank tops. Playing football in the yard becomes normal again. Having a glass of wine on the porch relaxes you, as the sun warms your skin. The Spring season is awesome which is why I decided to have a Spring Equinox/It's Warm Outside gathering a few weeks ago.

I love having people in my home. I love when it looks full of life. The menu was simple and fun but I needed a great cocktail to seal the deal. Then I thought of it, sangria.

While traveling through Virginia and visiting my family in Virginia Beach, VA I had the best Sangria! Confession time: My mother actually ordered it. She was nice enough to let me snag a few sips. Thanks mom! It was strong enough but tasted like the best fruit juice I had ever had. It was perfect for Spring time. The Mixologist was nice enough to share the recipe with me and I am excited to share it with you. I tweaked a few things in my recipe but if you want the original make sure you check out The Grilled Cheese Bistro in Norfolk, VA for his creation.

Here is the recipe! Bottoms up!
Warning: This recipe yields about 5 gallons of sangria. That is a lot of Sangria. Make sure you can store it or have enough people to drink it!

Ingredients & Tools:
A Big Bucket - 5 Gallons will do
Wooden Spoon
Aluminum Foil
5 Bottles of Cheap Red Wine (seriously, go to Costco or Sam's Club and get the big cheap bottles)
Brandy (if so desired but not necessary)
2 1/2  Gallons of Orange Juice
4 Lemons
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar

First we are going to make Simple Syrup from the Sugar.

Simple Syrup
In a medium saucepan combine equal parts sugar and water (remember that there is a difference between dry and liquid measure). Bring solution to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

The Sangria
In the your big bucket combine the 5 bottles of red wine, the 2 1/2 gallons of orange juice, the juice of 4 lemons, the simple syrup and stir. The sangria will look like a cloudy purple color.

This is when you can add the brandy. I used about 1/4 a cup of EJ brandy but you can use however much you like.

This is also when I added in muddled fresh fruit like naval oranges, lemon slices and blood oranges. You can see the muddle method here.

For the best result, make the Sangria and cover it with foil and let it sit for 24 hours.

 Yum!! Now you know my knockout Sangria recipe that I promise a few weeks ago. Let me know how it taste!

The Rest of the Menu:
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Mini Lasagna (from Damn Delicious)
- BBQ Chicken Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Caprese Salad (from The Lady Olive)
- Thai Chili Steak Strips
- Cheese Plate
- Fresh Veggies
- Humus for dipping
- Tzatziki for dipping
- Sugar Cookies & Cupcakes
- Wine of all types

The menu was based of the idea of finger friendly foods that work for all types of taste buds. I hope you enjoyed the recipes and try them out for yourself. Let me know what you think about the Sangria in the comments.

Stay Fabulous,


The Change | Just A Little Push

Hello Lovelies!

I am so excited to be back with you on Lily & Lace Blog. It has been awhile. Lily & Lace has been going through some major changes over these past few months. You may notice that the blog has gotten a face-lift and is very different than what you saw before.

Changing L&L was a big deal for me. I had grown to love and nurture my blog and all the wonderful things it gave to me. The blog gave me an outlet to write and explore another side of my creativity. The blog helped me connect with some of the greatest women I will ever meet. The blog also helped me find my way in the ever changing city of Charlotte, NC. Giving the blog a face-lift helped me get to the next level in my business.

Photography by Jade Phan of Sky View Photography

When I first moved to Charlotte I had no idea what I was doing. Yes, the original plan was to come here and get a job as an event assistant and to put Kristin Taylor Events on hold. Well, that did not happen. In order to be in the industry, I would have to be part part time (basically the set up and clean up crew) for another event planner. No florist were hiring so I was at a dead end there. So I launched myself into the luxury retail industry with the help of my friend Kevin.

Working in luxury retail was a mixture of fun, fashion and feeling stuck. When I would walk into work; I would feel a tug on my heart strings. I loved the fashion industry, don't get me wrong but I liked creating my own vision. I wanted to plan events, parties and fashion shows. I did not want to focus on stuffing and displaying a purse designed by someone else. I could feel that there was something that I should be doing.

Eventually, things got slower at the retail store and I was not working as much. I love to work and to be able to stand on my own two feet. I got bored and tired staring at my computer screen watching movies. There are only so many episodes of Nashville that a girl can watch! This being partially because I had already seen them all...

So what next? I got an email from a Bridal Store in Charlotte. I had gone to look at the bridal shop for the blog. I like to have answers when my readers email me questions. I had heard their name around town and I figured that I should know who they are. The manager called me to offer me a job. In the midst of my boredom, someone had kindly offered me a job a step closer to where I wanted to be!

You have to understand that God has a way of working in my life. I have noticed that he works in patterns. He gently reminds me that I will be okay and things will work out. Then he pushes me past where I am comfortable into the most amazing opportunities.

Working at the Bridal Store inspired me to go beyond where I was. Kristin Taylor Events was a part, part time (basically the doors were almost closed) company that had remained stagnant since I moved to Charlotte. So I re-evaluated. I realized that I am happiest when planning events and weddings. I realized that the special event industry is full of people like me (does happy dance)!

Then I felt it again "push, push", God reminding me to stand up on my own two feet. I re-branded. I created a brand that I love. Kristin Taylor Events now looks and represents what we do as a company! I re-wrote my bio and realized that I was scared that my clients would think my ideas were too bold. I really wanted to share my voice and be authentically me. I remembered the push, and I did it anyway.

I joined a network of creatives who refused to hold back. We appreciate and cherish each other. We also hold each other accountable. We sparkle and do not apologize for it. My clients do the same. My clients are the people who make me laugh and inspire me! They are women who define their own life while continuing to spread love all around them.

Changing Lily & Lace is a big deal for me. It's a big deal because I am excited!! I promise to be authentically me. I promise to share stories with you about my couples who are loved and give love. I promise to be transparent like the women that I admire.

Kristin Taylor Events is a huge part of who I am and my vision for the future. This is what I do. Things are different than how they were before on Lily & Lace. A lot has changed. I invite you to go check out the new and improved Kristin Taylor Events site, leave a comment below with any questions or thoughts and share this with anyone who may need a little push ;) Sometimes you just need a reminder that you are in the right place.

Stay Fabulous +  Cheers,

Kristin Taylor Hines

p.s. A quick shout out to one of my favorite creatives who Sparkles the brightest, Janet Hoang. Thank you for your encouragement and love. I wouldn't be here without you. Happy Birthday Jan Jan!

Ashish & Neema by Vesic Photography | Indian Wedding

I am really excited about this Indian wedding submission from Vesic Photography because it's so beautiful! I love the culture mesh that weddings tend to bring out. Also, the pictures are gorgeous!
Ashish & Neema's wedding took place in North Carolina at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro! Let's look at Neema's preparations for the big day first.

Ashish and Neema decided to do a first look before their ceremony. Neema had Ashish's name hidden in the mehndi on her hands as a little surprise! I love the sweet details the couple put into their wedding day.


Ashish's ride



Can we just take a moment and admire the outfit change? Like really, Neema, you are such a knockout!

Ashish and Neema congratulations on your beautiful wedding and good luck on your life together! What a wonderful start to a lifetime journey.

Info about Vesic Photography:
Vesic Photography is based in Winston Salem, North Carolina but travels frequently for weddings all over America and Internationally.
To contact Hooman (the photographer) of Vesic Photgraphy, get more information, and to look at more of Vesic's work you can go to: http://vesic.com 
Phone Number: (336)-287-4593
E-mail: info@vesic.com
Make sure you check Vesic Photography out!!

DIY Mason Jar Red Velvet Cake | Jenny Murray

I feel like DIY is an important part of any wedding and event blog so I really wanted to do it right! Today we have Jenny from My Love Weddings with a delicious DIY treat, just for you! Here’s Jenny J
DIY Do-It-Yourself Yummy Red Velvet Wedding Cake in Mason Jars

My passion for vintage and yummy red velvet wedding cakes came together for this easy DIY Red Velvet Cake in a Jar Recipe! These Sweet Treats are sure to please your guests at your wedding or next event and are so simple for you to do and also add your personal touch!

Since yard sales and antique shops and shows are plentiful, especially this time of year; I easily gathered some old vintage mason jars. The older the jar, the better for me and that includes the aged lids!  You can use the same sizes and shapes, or mix them up!  You may need to purchase them new. There are many sites that have them. You can also visit my shop as I have lovely new mason jars at the click of a button!

(I was also able to find cute little vintage spoons at the local antique shop.  You may decide to use the cute wooden spoons, either way your guests will get a rich yummy mouthful!)
Growing up my mother make me red velvet cake with the cream cheese frosting, yum!  You may opt to start your recipe from scratch, from a box, or you can order sheets from your local bakery.
Here is my mother’s recipe with a healthy twist:
2 cups Beets (I used fresh roasted beets, but if you use canned be sure to drain the liquid!) [This takes the place of Red Food Coloring.]
1 cup Buttermilk
1 ¼ cup Sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted Butter, softened
3 Eggs
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 ¾ cup Flour
¾ cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.       Grease your cake pan(s) or for cupcakes use baking cups.
3.       Puree the beets until smooth (add a little of the buttermilk if you need to).
4.       Add the buttermilk to the smooth beet mixture and set aside.
5.       In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
6.       Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added. Add in the vanilla.
7.       Stop the mixer and add in the dry ingredients.
8.       Mix on low while slowly adding the beet/buttermilk mixture.
9.       Combine thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Pour mixture into your prepared pan(s).
10.   Bake cake / cupcakes for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
11.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
12.   Frost with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup Butter
1 8-oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp Vanilla
1 lb. Confectioners’ Sugar

1.       Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat until well blended and creamy.
2.       Add the sugar gradually beating vigorously until smooth.
Once you have all the cake or cupcakes ready and cool, you can break up the cup cakes ( top and bottom) or if you decide to use a cake, use the top of the mason jar to “cookie cut” the cake into round circles.

Start by adding your first layer of cake.  Add your frosting with a frosting bag, but if you don’t have one handy, you can use a large freezer bag and cut one of the bottom edges, now you have a handmade frosting bag!  You need not be too careful with the frosting, as it will be layered upon.
Continue adding layers until your size jar is full to just about the top, with the final layer being your yummy cream cheese frosting. I sprinkled some of the cake on the top for a finishing touch!
Designing your jar can be as simple and customized as you would like, the possibilities are endless. I opted for a rustic vintage touch.

I designed the tags in Photoshop, but you can design via word. The vintage red dolly design was found on Etsy.com, you are sure to find a downloadable design to fit your event colors or theme!
I printed the tags on 60lb ivory and Kraft card stock, and simply used a cutter to cut them square. You can be as creative as you like and try for some round or oval tags as well. Use a paper punch to punch the holes.

I then took the same downloaded design, printed then cut it to the size of the mason jar lids then added them to the top of the jars. I also used a light ivory burlap for the lids as well. You can use any fabric, paper, or lace for these tops!

Attach the tags by wrapping your cord, ribbon or lace of choice multiple times, starting in the middle, to leave to even ends. I used hemp cord and vintage lace on the jars pictured.

I then stuck my spoons in the opposite site of the jar, right through the hemp and lace.
To add a personal touch to the favor table, I used the same downloaded design to make a sign, welcoming my guests to the table to take a Sweet Treat!
These cakes will last up to 7 days in the jars!  I do recommend making them as close to the event date as possible for supreme freshness!

-          Many do it yourself supplies, favors and event d├ęcor are available in her shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyLoveWeddings
-          Please feel free to contact me with any questions or assistace regarding this Red Velvet Wedding Cake in a Mason Jar at myloveweddings@yahoo.com

Welcome to Kristin Taylor Events!