Complete Weddings + Events

Complete WeddingsFor my wedding I used Complete Weddings + Events to find my DJ. They have 11 DJs available and have profiles for them on their website at

Also on Complete Wedding’s site is an event manager where you enter in what kind of music you like, must play songs, music for specific dances, etc.

My DJ was Alex Fields and he was amazing – polite, professional, perfect!  Alex also worked our wedding rehearsal and helped me pick out my uplighting color that night at the venue. Everything went smooth and I would definitely use Alex again.

DJ Alex Fields


3412 SSW Loop 323 Ste B
Tyler, TX 75701

Staybridge Suites


Recently I had to select a hotel for my guests to stay in for my upcoming wedding.  I decided on the Staybridge Suites located off the loop by UT Tyler.  I wanted a nicer hotel that was close to my venue and the fact that the Staybridge offers larger rooms with separate bedrooms works out perfectly for my out of town guests who have kids.  They also have free Wi-Fi and are pet friendly so my sister will be able to bring her dog if needed. The manager was super-friendly and was able to block me off rooms for the weekend.  She made accommodations for my group so everything will be convenient when booking.  Now I can finish with the invitations!








Staybridge Suites
2759 Mcdonald Road
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 566-1100

IN Magazine

IN MagazineSubscribers of the Tyler Morning Telegraph received the new issue of IN Magazine Saturday morning. IN Magazine, a bimonthly lifestyle publication, focuses on the people and events going on all around Tyler.

The magazine has featured articles on style, healthy living, home building and decorating, food, and more.  Their latest issue, which hit stands on Saturday, has a piece on the upcoming Tyler Rose marathon and the Rose Festival.

Operating under the same roof as the Tyler Morning Telegraph, IN Magazine has access to the city’s most talented writers and photographers.  Think of it as a newspaper but cooler.  Maybe the news isn’t quite as relevant as the news reported in the traditional paper, but the traditional paper doesn’t have the big, pretty, glossy photos that IN Magazine has.

You should definitely read IN Magazine if you do not already.  It can be found at racks all over Tyler. I hear the new issue  features a blurb on food bloggers…  I am definitely looking forward to reading that!

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel

Courtyard by MarriottCourtyard by Marriott Tyler – Now Open!

The Courtyard hotel is officially open as of July 1st, 2010

Amenities include:
121 guest rooms and suites, including luxurious jacuzzi suites
4,200 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space
On-site fitness center featuring cardio equipment and free weights
Indoor pool and spa
42″ LCD flat screen tvs in every room
Free wireless internet
Patio with fire-pit
Starbucks available 24 hours a day
The Bistro Eat. Drink. Connect. restaurant and bar

Stop in and check it out!
For reservations go to

Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott


Courtyard by Marriott
7424 South Broadway Avenue
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 509-4411

Centaur Arabian Farms

Centaur Arabian FarmsIf a picture is worth a thousand words, then seven pics is worth seven thousands of words, and I will keep this brief.  I was so touched by Eva Sealey’s invitation to attend the grand opening celebration of her South Tyler wedding venue and bed and breakfast.  I drive by nearly everyday and have often admired the beauty of her property from my car, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to come inside the gate and see all that Centaur Arabian Farms has to offer.

Centaur Arabian FarmsBeing the five year old that I am, I was of course immediately drawn to the Clydesdale horse that was giving carriage rides near the entrance.  I tried to line jump all the other people (children) in line, but my husband wouldn’t let me and instead we made our way to the barn to mingle with the grown-ups.  The word barn doesn’t really do this place justice, but that is what it is.  It was a horsebarn that has now been converted to a reception hall, complete with a food serving area.  The food, provided by Chez Bazan, was presented beautifully and tasted great.  Tables were set in a way fitting of a wedding reception, and beautiful floral arrangements were on each table.  Every inch was tastefully decorated and made me wish I could have another wedding.  The Sugared Rim bartending service was there serving wine and cocktails to attendants.

Centaur Arabian FarmsBrides have lots of options at Centaur Arabian Farms.  Everyway you look there is another picturesque setting for a ceremony or reception, both indoors or out.  The grounds are beautifully landscaped, and the bed and breakfast is cozy and homey.  Though I wish Bill and Eva Sealey a world of luck with their project, somehow I doubt they will need it.  This is a fabulous place backed by even more fabulous people, and I can’t wait to come back soon.

Centaur Arabian FarmsCentaur Arabian Farms
10271 Farm-to-Market 2813
Flint, TX 75762
(903) 561-6926

Centaur Arabian Farms Centaur Arabian Farms

Centaur Arabian Farms

Trinity Mother Frances HealthPark Plaza

trinity_001You may remember the race report I wrote on my experience at the Tyler Half back in October. Unfortunately, since that race, I have been battling some knee issues that have pretty much put my running (favorite hobby) on hold. I tried stretching and icing my knee and cutting back on my mileage for a couple of months before I broke down and went to see Dr. Cathy Fieseler at the Trinity Mother Frances Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic on Troup Hwy. After about three miles my left knee would rapidly go from a dull ache to a searing pain that could no longer be ignored or tolerated. It was time to show my knee who’s boss.

My first appointment with Dr. Fieseler went well. She bent my leg in every which way, did some basic strength tests on me, and sent me in for x-rays to dismiss any major issues. She determined I had what is known as runner’s knee, and prescribed me four weeks of physical therapy.  Dr. Fieseler is a long distance runner herself, having competed in numerous marathons and ultramarathons, so she understood how it feels to be a runner who can’t run. She even gave me the green light to continue running as long as the pain was not severe.

trinity_003Physical therapy was fun. Basically, it was two hour long sessions a week with a physical therapist who actually gave me a decent workout.  I really liked all the people who worked in physical therapy at this TMF clinic, and felt like I really got to know and even became friends with my therapist. I started really looking forward to my sessions. Soon enough the month was over, and I hadn’t seen much improvement in my knee pain, though I could tell the therapy was making me stronger. Casey, my therapist, said my knee pain might go away, and it might not. There was a chance I would have to baby my knee forever. Not the news I wanted to hear as spring racing season loomed in the near future.

At my follow-up appointment with Dr. Fieseler, she bent, stretched, poked, and prodded around my knee and determined that my knee cap just was not cooperating with all the tissues and tendons holding it in place. It was hurting pretty good by the time she got done examining me.  Dr. Fieseler gave me three options. 1. Keep doing my PT moves and take it easy and hope for the best. 2. Get an MRI to determine the exact cause and proceed from there. 3. Get a cortisone shot in the knee. I considered my options and decided to go for the shot. We hoped that it would calm all the inflammation and after a few days of no running but still doing my PT moves, I could start back up running and let the strength and flexibility I’d gained from my PT take over.

Tonight is the night. My first night to run post-shot. I was planning to run outside, but yikes is it cold out there. With wind chills expected to be in the teens this evening, I think I will take it to the treadmill. Please keep your fingers crossed that this was a success. The dull ache in my knee right now tells me it was not, but I’m still hoping for the best. As far as showing my knee who’s boss? As of right now, I am taking direct orders from Mr. Lefty. Maybe after tonight, or in a few days, or maybe even in a few weeks I’ll finally be able to stick it to the knee.

Trinity Mother Frances HealthPark Plaza
1327 Troup Hwy.
Tyler, Texas 75701
(903) 510-8840

Garden Style

DSC04977I am a huge fan of flowers.  Big arrangements, small arrangements, single stems, or even a bundle of Tyler roses from the Brookshire’s parking lot – all of those.  However, though I can admit to liking all flowers, one thing remains true:  All flowers are not created equal, and further, not all florists are created equal.

The Tyler flower market is currently dominated by Garden Style. No florist in town can even come close to creating arrangements like them.  Garden Style excels in quality, service, and most notably, creativity.  You will not find any of the typical run-of-the-mill roses by the dozen or lily/carnation/baby’s breath combinations here.  Garden Style uses exotic varieties of flowers and unique vases to create floral masterpieces that are like actual pieces of art.  The amount of skill and talent that goes into each piece is evident.

Located in the Harley’s shopping Plaza, Garden Style also offers a good selection of plants, pots or plant holders, and small gifts and home goods like candles, reed diffusers, and hand care.  While browsing be sure to take a look at their refrigerated case of all the arrangements going out on any particular day…  It’s almost worth ordering an arrangement and having it delivered to yourself.

DSC04981Floral arrangements from Garden Style don’t come cheap, but if you have some extra cash laying around they are worth every penny.  My husband sends me arrangements from Garden Style on special occasions, and my sister got the flowers for my bridal shower here.  Each arrangement was just as beautiful as the last, and they all were completely unique.  I’d love to be able to have a small arrangement on my desk everyday to enjoy, but because I can’t it just makes it that much more special when I do receive them.


Garden Style
4815 Old Bullard Road
Tyler, TX 75703-1214
(903) 526-0664

Belladonna Day Spa

2Wednesday was one of the best days of my life.  I didn’t get engaged, married, no huge job offers or raises, and NO I did not find out I am expecting (whew!).  Nope, none of that stuff.  On Wednesday, my life was changed forever when… I got hair extensions.  This may seem shallow or trite, but on Wednesday I went from being a woman with a wimpy, boring head of hair to a woman with a long, thick, lustrous mane of beautiful locks and had hair confidence for the first time in my life.
Everyone knows all the celebrities have hair extensions.  Stars like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears have been using them for years.  I lived under the impression that those kind of services and that level of skill simply was not available in East Texas.  Enter Kimberly Sullivan at Belladonna Day Spa.  Kimberly recently relocated to Tyler from San Francisco, and found her way to Belladonna where she specializes in hair additions and extensions.  Take a look at some of the amazing work she has done at or by checking out her Facebook page.  She is AMAZING.

belladonnaI first met Kimberly at Belladonna’s Be Beautiful seminar, and was immediately interested when I heard about her specialties.  When I got a chance to see some of her work in person I was astonished.  The extensions she put on Belladonna’s owner, Angela Moss looked gorgeous!  They look 100% natural, and I never would have guessed they were not Angela’s own hair.  At that moment I knew I had to have my own.

I went in for a consultation so Kimberly could get a feel for my hair type, texture and color.  There are many different application methods for hair extensions, and different methods work best on different people.  For me, we went with seamless, 100% human hair extensions, applied via the cold fusion method.  Kimberly matched my hair color, ordered my hair, and scheduled an appointment the following week for the application.  The anticipation I experienced that week can only be compared to that of the week before my wedding.  Don’t judge!  I was really, really excited.  FINALLY, the day arrived and I went in for the application.

belladonnaWith anyone else doing my extensions I would have been nervous, but Kimberly had the background and experience to make me feel totally at ease and confident in her ability.  She has been trained extensively in all areas of hair additions, and just from talking to her I really got the feeling that she enjoys her work and is in it to help people feel good about themselves.  Like I mentioned before, she used the cold fusion method on me, which involves no heat and is non-damaging to the natural hair.  Each tract of hair is placed at the scalp and fused with a cold glue.  These extensions will last anywhere from five to 12 weeks and then I will have to go in and have them re-fused at the scalp as they grow out.  The hair itself can be reused three to four times giving it a life of up to a year.

Though completely irrelevant in my mind, there are a couple disadvantages to having hair extensions.  First is the cost.  High quality extensions are not cheap.  Far from it, in fact.  However, consultations with Kimberly are free, and there are a certain number of variables that significantly affect the cost, the major one is dependent on the type of hair that is used.  The other disadvantage would be the maintenance involved with the upkeep of extensions.  Over time the seams may come loose, but this is easily remedied with a little time and glue.
I love, Love, LOVE my new hair.  I feel like this is the head of hair I was meant to have all along, and it is so natural looking nobody would ever know it’s not mine.  I do not have enough wonderful things to say about Kimberly and Belladonna Day Spa.  Kimberly has to be the most talented hair stylist in Tyler.  Just take one look at my new, fab head of hair and I am sure you will agree. Give her a call at (903) 372-2977 and schedule your consult today!

Belladonna Day Spa
5100 Old Bullard Rd
Tyler, TX 75703-3630
(903) 509-9955

Belladonna Day Spa


I just booked my appointment with Debbie Allen at Belladonna Day Spa in Tyler after hearing rave reviews on her expert application of eyelash extensions.  From what I hear she is the best in town.  That being said, I do have some concerns.

1.  Will my lashes look natural enough for the workplace?

2.  Will they take forever to apply?

3.  Will they be manageable once applied?

4.  Will they interfere with my Lady Gaga fake eyelashes I am planning on wearing tomorrow night for Halloween?

I go in tomorrow for my appointment…  Can’t wait to report back!


Eyelash extensions – the procedure.  My appointment with Debbie was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.  She normally doesn’t work on weekends, but she made a special trip.  We arrived a little early, and I filled out a brief information sheet before Debbie came to take us back to the procedure room.  On our way back we walked through the pedicure area which looked very nice.  Note to self: get pedicure soon.  Debbie led us to a small room with a dentist style chair and a large magnifying glass.  I laid down in the chair, and though I was nervous about the procedure, the chair was comfortable and there was soothing music playing, so it wasn’t long before I began to relax. The glass of wine I was offered helped a lot too.

Since I have blond hair, before Debbie began, she tinted my natural lashes darker so they would blend better with the extensions.  The dye stung a bit, but she washed my eyes out with eye drops and the sensation went away.  The actual application process of applying eye lash extensions is extremely tedious.  I was instructed to close my eyes, and she began applying the lashes one by one.  Each lash is individually placed with tweezers and adhered to a natural eyelash with a strong glue.  My eyes began stinging and watering slightly after awhile, but it was just moderately uncomfortable.  Because the procedure itself is very tedious, it requires a very steady hand.  Debbie specializes in permanent cosmetics, which I would imagine takes an extremely steady hand so I felt totally comfortable, and was confident in her ability from the get go.  I definitely would not let just anybody that close to my eyes with tweezers and glue.

The entire process took a little over an hour.  When I got to see my lashes for the first time I was shocked by how natural they appeared.  There is no seam and no obvious distinction between my own lashes and the extensions.  That is what I like the most about them.

In addition to Debbie’s services; eyelash tinting, extensions, and permanent cosmetics, Belladonna also offers a full service hair salon, manicures, pedicures, massages and facials, an infrared sauna, and a good selection of product lines including Nioxin, Redken, True Cosmetics, and Priori.

I really enjoyed my experience at Belladonna.  The facility is beautiful, the people are nice, and they offer a plethora of beauty treatments from body wraps to microdermabrasion.  I am still getting used to my new lashes.  I have gotten tons of compliments on them already, but I still worry that they may be a bit too much for day to day wear, especially for a person who isn’t used to wearing much makeup.  However, I did ask my husband’s opinion, and he loves them.  For anyone who is considering getting them done, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.  And, I would definitely recommend you call Debbie if you decide to do it.

eye eye1

1. It’s my first day back at work, and one coworker commented on my new lashes, and it was to say she liked them.  I’d say they are workplace appropriate.

2. The lashes took just over an hour to apply.

3. The lashes are somewhat manageable.  It is difficult to thoroughly wash my eye area, and  I’ve had some trouble removing all of my Halloween makeup.  Also, when showering water pools on top of the lashes and then runs into my eyes.

4. Unfortunately, I was unable to wear my Gaga lashes.  Debbie said it could possibly be a problem depending on how they were applied, so I decided to scrap the idea.

Belladonna Day Spa
5100 Old Bullard Rd
Tyler, TX 75703-3630
(903) 509-9955

Identity Day Spa & Salon

dsc04280Though the primary stomping ground for Tylerites is obviously Tyler, when a good friend of mine recently purchased the Identity Day Spa & Salon in Lindale, I thought it would probably be worth the short drive north to check it out. I was so right. Truth be told, I am not the kind of girl who regularly treats myself to spa services. I’ll get a pedicure maybe once every few months, a manicure maybe once a year, and I’ve only ever had 3 massages in my whole life, but I am going to have to change this, as my experience at Identity was absolutely amazing from the moment I arrived until I left feeling totally rejuvenated.

dsc01540Excited about my trip to Lindale, I decided to check out the website for Identity before I got there so I would have an idea what to expect. The impression I got about the spa from their website in no way prepared me for what I was in store for. When we first pulled up, I was immediately impressed by the tasteful brick facade of the Identity shopping center off Main Street, just north of Walmart. As we entered the salon and took in the foyer and the shelves of product lining the walls I was even more impressed. Identity carries all the salon brands you will find at any high end salon such as Redken, Bed Head, Thymes body products, and Bare Minerals cosmetics, just to name a few. In fact, Identity is the only retailer in Lindale who carries the Bare Minerals line. I was growing increasingly excited about my upcoming massage, so I was happy to be escorted to the women’s changing room where we were instructed to change into a robe then head into the lovely relaxation room to fill out a short information sheet and enjoy a mimosa while we waited for our massage therapists.

After a short wait the therapists came to get us, and we were led back to the massage rooms for our treatments. My therapist’s name was Sandy, and I thought she did an excellent job. She was very professional from beginning to end, and I never felt pressured to be chit chatty or do anything other than relax and enjoy. The hour passed quickly, and I was led back to the relaxation room for a spa lunch. I had chicken salad on a croissant with grapes and chips. They also offered a strawberry spinach salad which looked amazing.


I will definitely be going back to Identity in the future to try some of the other services they offer. We were interested in a facial, the exfoliating sugar body scrub, and eyelash extensions. Identity is a full service spa and salon, so in addition to the many spa treatments available, they also offer a full range of hair treatments as well as manicures, pedicures and waxing. They also have a cute gift shop with a variety of bath robes, body products, makeup bags, and other little gift items. I strongly urge everyone to check this place out. I would definitely recommend calling first to schedule an appointment, as we were also interested in a hair trim and a pedicure while we were there on Saturday, but they were all booked. Call Identity at (903) 882-0609 to schedule your appointment today!

Identity Salon & Day Spa
2808 S Main St
Lindale, TX 75771-7854
(903) 882-0609

The Rage Salon

the-rage-salon1After trying out several salons around town with mixed results, I was desperate to find a stylist I could rely on. When I discovered The Rage Salon I knew I had found the right place. The Rage Salon is an Aveda Concept Salon (the only one in Tyler) offering Aveda’s natural, plant based products, and all of the stylists have received Aveda training. The salon has an aesthetically pleasing contemporary decor, located on the trendy Square in downtown Tyler. The experience begins before you even walk in the door – the distinct and pleasing scent of the Aveda products is noticeable from the sidewalk. The staff is polite and friendly – not to mention highly trained and skilled.

In addition to hair services, the salon also offers a variety of spa treatments including facials, massages, and waxing. Together, Aveda and The Rage Salon promote beauty and a healthy lifestyle, along with a healthy environment.

Check out their website for a list of services, then call for your appointment!

The Rage Salon
121 E Erwin St.
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 531-2203