How to Tie a Bow Tie

By: Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

How to Tie a Bow Tie

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Not just for black tie events…It seems the bow tie is making a comeback.
I did a wedding styleshoot last weekend and guess what? The model, our dashing wanna-be groom, was sporting a bow tie. Not your average bow tie, though, but a turquoise crocheted one! I can’t wait to share the photos with you soon.

Now I have never been good at tying a tie, much less a bow tie, so I was ever so grateful to find a ton of useful articles on the subject.
Sure, you can always buy or rent the ones that are velcroved on and button together, but wouldn’t you feel much more dapper and distinquished by having the pleasure of know-how?

Thanks to Spendid Northwest for letting us share this step-by-step guide with you:

How to Tie a Bow Tie


Wedding Toilet Talk

By: Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

Ladies ToiletToilet
Men toilet
Photos courtesy of: Room to Go

Birds do it, bees do it, we all do it…  Let’s make sure there are good ones available for your guests at your wedding.  Yup, I really am talking about toilets! LOL!

If you are planning to have an outdoor wedding, you need to ensure that there is adequete washroom facitlites to accomodate your guests.

*Did you know that there should be 1 toilet for every 25-30 guests for optimal comfort and ease of lines? (Some places will even tell you 1:50 or 1:70)
*The average person will take 3 bathroom trips during a wedding reception
*The average usage of a toilet at a reception doubles with alcohol consumption
*Toilet areas should be cleaned, checked for cleanliness and restocking of toilet paper and paper towels approximately every two hours
*You will need to have hot and cold water supply at sinks for food & safety reasons for guests, food handlers and catering staff (over 15 staff and you should be providing them with their own unit)

What they may have inside:
*Heating and air conditioning
*Hot and cold running water
*Marble interiror
*Guilded mirrors
*Granite countertops

Photo courtesy of: Chantlers

Have I convinced you that you need to rent a proper sanitation company to supply your guests with?  Check out these companies available in the GTA for all of your sanitation needs.

When in Rome..Fun Things to Do on Your Honeymoon

Photo: Taken by me (Tracey Manailescu)

Rent a scooter:

For the brave at heart only!  Seriously…If you have previous experience driving through Italy then you know what I am talking about. Drivers will drive on the sidewalks, straight at pedestrians and other vehicles on the wrong side of the street, cut you off and flip you the finger if you get in their way or dare to defend yourself. You can drive a scooter up to 125cc with no motorcycle license required.  *Anything 150cc and up does  requires a valid motorcycle license.  To rent a scooter, you must be over eighteen and hold a valid driver’s license. All major credit cards are accepted as well as cash. Helmets, insurance and bike locks are usually included with your fee and GPS navigation devices can be rented at an additional cost. (Ask if you are unsure).  Take a scheduled tour from the rental company such as what they have at (They have over 10 amazing ones to choose from!)

*For the first time or those a bit timid, try renting a scooter on a Sunday when it is way less crowded.  You will see mostly tourists out and about, or in the evenings during the week.  We couldn’t believe the difference with the traffic and crowds on Sundays.

Sketch Artist (Have a Sketch Drawn of you and your Honey):

Caricature Artist near Fontana Trevi

Making Limoncello and Orangello

By: Tracey Manailescu

Want a great idea for something to do as a couple? Why not make your very own batch of limoncello? (Heck, we went so far as to make that and orangello, too!)  It takes 5 weeks for the recipe that is in this article.  Boy, oh boy!  Was it worth it, though!!!

Why on earth would you want to make it, when you can hop over to the LCBO and buy some?  Well, for starters, you can tell people you made it from scratch and they will be really impressed.  Even more so after they taste it.  Some things always taste better when made with love, and if you make it together, it is 😉

Serve it at your next dinner party, girls’ nigh,t or movie night cuddled up on the couch with a cozy blanket together.

This is the recipe we used:

Make this now…and be enjoying some with friends by the 4th of July…cheers!

The Best Limoncello is Homemade Limoncello!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Approximately 9 cups; or about 8 bottles.

1-2 ozs


Limoncello Recipe from Creative Culinary 


  • 12 organic lemons
  • 1.75 liter bottle of 100-proof vodka, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Wash the lemons well with soapy water, rinse and dry.
  2. Remove the yellow part of the lemon peel with a sharp peeler being careful to avoid any of bitter white pith. If any pith remains on the back of a strip of peel, scrape it off with a sharp knife.
  3. Put the yellow peels in a jar or bottle, add half of the vodka and seal tightly. Leave the bottle to steep until the peels lose their color, at least 2 weeks.
  4. Combine one cup of the water all of the sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium high just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add one cup of ice cold water and let the mixture completely cool.
  5. Strain the vodka from the peels. I strain mine by wrapping some cheesecloth under a metal strainer and pouring through both; that will remove the large peels and any smaller particles. Once strained, add the remaining vodka and the syrup.
  6. Put the liqueur in bottles, seal tightly and store for at least 1 week before using.
  7. For drinking straight, store the Limoncello in the freezer.


Prep time does not include the time required to age the finished product.

Heart Shaped Wedding Sparklers

Oh my gosh! How stinking cute are these heart shaped wedding sparklers from Say Anything Design?!?!

72 in each order, and they last for about a minute each. These could be used as a send off for the happy couple, during the vows for the guests to be involved or even on top of the bridal cake at a shower or on the wedding cake. Get creative!

*Just an FYI that these can’t be shipped out of the US

High Tea at the Windsor Arms

by Tracey Manailescu


On Wednesday, we went to theWindsor Arms for their High Tea. If you have never been, then it is an experience you should have at least once. I have been fortunate enough to have gone a few times at various venues for Mother’s Day with our mother & grandmothers, and for Bridal Showers etc.


Brides, it is a great time to catch up with the bridal party and the mothers. As well, to wrap up a day of shopping with their girls for last minute wedding related items at Holt Renfrew, Coach, Channel, Dior etc. (which are all steps away.) *It would be appropriate to give the thank-you gifts to the bridal party at this ocassion, if it is the week or two before the wedding.

The Windsor Arms Hotel has been serving tea since 1927 and still has the original working fireplace. The Tea Room holds 42 seated guests.


Here is what the High Tea menu included: (We chose the Complete Tea, which included a glass of Sherry or Sparkling Wine. I was the only one who opted for Sherry, and it was wonderful…)


Tea2 A Choice of Loose-Leaf Teas (There were 4 pages of tea to choose from! Danielle had the Tibetan Tiger, I had Citralicious, Kim had a Fu Man Chu, and Lataysha had Eve’s Temptation.)

Fresh Scones with Preserves and Devon Cream

A Presentation of Fresh Sandwiches:

Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Sour Cream with Salmon Caviar

& Cucumber with Sundried Tomato Paste and Dill Cream Cheese

Tea7 Tea8 Tea6

While I was researching the history of High Tea, I found some interesting tidbits. Apparently tea drinking started in France in 1636, twenty some odd years before England made it famous. It was believed to cure all illnesses, and reportedly some drank up to 40 cups of it daily!

The “Afternoon Tea”, as we know it, was made famous by Anna Maria Stanhope who was known as the Duchess of Bedford. The regular meals of the day were served early and late, so the Duchess would feel faint mid-afternoon. She began having a light snack of tea and bread to curb her hunger, while waiting for the dinner meal. She then began inviting friends to join her for a more social aspect. The menu increased with some more sweets added, and other socialites picked it up for their own circles to enjoy with their girlfriends.

A wonderful tradition that Queen Victoria started in 1860 (how I would have loved to meet that wonderful woman) and now carried out by Queen Elizabeth II, is to open the private gardens at Buckingham Palace three times yearly for afternoon tea. A modest 8000 guests are invited. You can view the Buckingham Palace Garden Party Statistics as it is amazing to see what goes into the event.

Yes, of course there is High Tea etiquette too. If you want to know more, you can click on the link to read more about it. It is actually very informative, and may surprise some of you. It goes into detail about where “pinkies up” came from, how to place your napkin and how to eat a scone, it explains what a moustache cup is, etc.

Example: Did you know that “taking tea” was actually frowned upon by the upper class, and considered a vulgar expression? Actually, I am incorrect for calling what we had, High Tea. It should be called Afternoon Tea. You can read more about that in there as well.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, as I certainly did, researching it.

*All photos were taken by me, Tracey Manailescu