Hill City Bride | Virginia Wedding Blog » a wedding blog to inspire brides

Here is a tried and true personal favorite recipe of mine. I have been making it for friends and family for years, and I actually started out making it for my dad. I think it would be great tucked into a cute little box as a wedding favor, and although peanut brittle sounds difficult to make, it is AMAZINGLY easy. Truly!!

I do have a recipe that I used to use that I had adapted that was tried and true, BUT it involved a candy thermometer and standing by the stove for a really long time … no fun. I came across this MICROWAVE recipe, which is great … again, I have adapted it b/c I like lots more peanuts than it calls for. I also like the peanut brittle to not break your teeth, so I made the recipe time a little lower than the original recipe called for.

Here is my adapted recipe … enjoy.

Double Peanut Not-So-Brittle

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt (use up to 1/2 teaspoon if you like it saltier)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups lightly salted peanuts (you can really use any nut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

You will also need a flat surface to place the peanut brittle (like a cookie sheet), and I normally cover my surface with parchment paper. Have handy 2 forks, too.


In a 2 quart glass measuring cup (I use the P Chef batter bowl) combine sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir until sugar is moistened. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Stir in butter and nuts, and return to microwave for 4 1/2 minutes. The mixture should be thick, bubbly and pale brown. It will be HOT, so use the handle of the bowl and/or an oven mitt … hot hot hot!!

Stir in vanilla and baking soda (it will make a fizzing sound and cause the mixture to lose a little air). Pour onto your prepared flat surface immediately, and spread it as flat and even as possible using the two forks (pulling at it to increase the surface area it covers). Let stand for about 20 minutes (sometimes I put it into the fridge), and when it is cool break it into bite sized pieces … yum! Store in an airtight container.

I hope that you all enjoy this recipe, and thank you for asking for it. You may need to tweak it a little as I did for flavor and your particular microwave. Yay for yummy, homemade candy … seems hard but is super easy.

Have you heard about our contest for one lucky bride?? We will have a VBB (Very Bella Bride) at Bliss, and that bride and 3 of her friends will attend for free along with getting the royal treatment … click here to check it out!

Even when planning gets a little hectic and your mind is wrapped up in perfecting the details of your big day, it’s so good to stop and remember why you’re throwing this party in the first place: You’re in love!

Chris of Christopher Breedlove Photography is fabulously talented at capturing the reason for the celebration — the affection on their faces and the excitement in their eyes. Enjoy the fall colors, the football jerseys, and Chris’ sentiments on this engagement shoot.

Since the official launch of my photography business this past July, I have met some very special couples who have become very dear clients; many thanks for them and in fact, one of those dear couples is Paul and Kandis.

My wife, Kristen, and I met with them this past fall at Gross’ Orchard, a small family-owned and operated orchard at the foot of the Peaks of Otter.

Those two were such a delight to photograph as their love was captured on every frame.  Little did we know that Paul and Kandis visit the orchard quite frequently, thus making this photo shoot very special for all involved.

Paul and Kandis were all smiles and filled with happiness. The time was even more enjoyable because of their flirtatious rivalry when it came to their NFL teams: the Redskins and the Cowboys.

As a photographer, I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve them both through photography and what better place and time to do so than in their favorite place leading up to their I-do’s?

And we are very thankful for the opportunity to showcase such fantastic work! Thank you Chris and Paul & Kandis for sharing these special moments with us.

Share a very special moment with Hill City Bride as we put on our first ever fine wedding fair at Bliss on February 26. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • sandra guelzo/RS Exclusive Event Company - Kandis, These pictures are really lovely and fun and just great! RS Exclusive is looking forward to working with you on some of your special plans for the wedding and reception.See you tomorrow.

  • Brenda Ayers - Hello I am Kandis’s Mom I love the pictures thank you for featuring this on Kandis, and Paul. It made their day!

A new local attraction, the water park by the James River, serves as a setting for Matt and Ashley to play in the water and celebrate their engagement with a fun session by Jane Morice of Jane Bradley Photography. Their love sure makes a splash!

They certainly had a grand time during that shoot! Ashley’s eyes are sparkling and engaging, and the adoration on Matt’s face is undeniable. Way to capture a timeless love, Jane!

Bliss is going to make a splash, too! Don’t miss out, this fabulous wedding conference event for brides is only a few weeks away!

  • Chris Breedlove - Okay, one of the best photo sessions from JANE! I love the water!

  • Rachael Eberle - What a fun shoot! You can tell how in love Matt and Ashley are. :) Excellent work, Jane!

  • Jennifer - I love this one, too!! Can’t wait for warmer weather and fun outside.

“Never Letting Go”

There is a pinnacle scene in the movie Titanic where the hero, Jack, and his beloved find themselves in a perilous situation after the notorious shipwreck. On the verge of freezing to death in the icy Atlantic waters, Jack asks his love, Rose, to never let go of a promise she made to him. Rose ardently replies, “I’ll never let go. I’ll never let go, Jack!”

Ladies, we need to have that same attitude when it comes to our self-image as married women. If you are engaged, this is easy given your primary life objective: fit into the dress! However, when that dress is tucked away in your attic and you settle into married life, your determination may fade. I was fortunate to have a few friends who married before me and warned me of the pitfalls of being “too comfortable” with your spouse. And yes, such a thing exists. There is no question that your significant other loves you for who you are, but that does not mean that you should “let go” of the image you worked so hard to maintain while dating. Keep these tidbits in mind:

  • Maintain your mystery: While we all love the idea of sharing everything with our spouses, some things do not need to be shared, like going to the bathroom, certain bodily noises and other acts that would be considered rude in public. Avoiding these behaviors will show your husband that you respect him and want to be attractive. And it is okay to hold him to the same standard!

  • Invest in being appealing: As mentioned before, just because the dress is now stored away does not mean you can stop going to the gym. Prioritize time every week for physical exercise, and try watch portion control when you eat (especially as you start cooking large meals for your hubby!). Be willing to spice up your look every once in awhile by trying a different hairstyle or lipstick. Furthermore, set aside time to physically and mentally rejuvenate, whether you curl up with a new book or treat yourself to a spa day. When you take care of yourself, your husband will notice!

  • Pursue your husband: The well-known stereotype is that the prince chases the princess, and the man pursues the woman. While your man should pursue you wholeheartedly, guys also like to feel desired and sexy. Actively flirt with your man and be willing to initiate intimacy. As I have mentioned before, you have incredible power over his self esteem –use it for good!

A few weeks into my marriage, I was telling a woman I babysat for that my husband and I were striving to build and maintain our friendship. The mother of two and happily married for eight years, she wisely replied, “The friendship comes naturally; keeping the romance alive is the true challenge.” Remember these words of wisdom and, like Rose, vow to yourself to never let go!

Also, don’t forget Bliss, a fine wedding fair … it is so exciting to see those registrations come in. Will you be there? Click here to register!

*photo credits: Titanic film, Flickr by “sneaks 85 – www.mortenfasseland.com”, Flickr by “maximogaia”, Flickr by “yyellowbird” *

  • Chris Breedlove - Inspiring post! Thank you for sharing!

  • Rachael Eberle - Thank you, Chris! For me, this is definitely harder some days than others, but it is always a good reminder and an excellent goal to continually strive for!

  • Rachel Guelzo McLean (RS Exclusive) - Amen, girlie! Love it all. That’s how my hubby and I are. As a team, we keep each other accountable in our healthy eating, daily exercise…and sizzling romance. 😉

    Every year I try on my wedding gown to assure it fits — that’s my ongoing goal! :)

    We have to take responsiblity for ourselves — and our sex appeal!

  • Rachael Eberle - I completely agree with you Rachel, and I love your yearly goal! Might have to start doing that myself! :)

  • Jennifer - That is all great! I tried on mine recently, and it still fit … after 3 kids and 16 years of marriage (actually it was a little big!).

  • Rachael Eberle - Wow, that is fantastic, Jennifer! Go girl! 😉

Every bride can use a little something to keep essentials close by, and bridesmaids would even adore this. I love perusing Flickr for all sorts of great ideas, and I came across this handbag … so cute! I enjoy finding things at places like antique stores and even Goodwill (trust me, it is fun to hunt, and you never know what you will find!!), and little handbags are easy to come by. This project is perfect if you find one that is not quite your style yet still has good structure to it … you can even use it as your “something old” for your wedding day.

I can find all sorts of inspiration for this from a white one for a bride (or even imagine it in a pop of color!) down to a snazzy black or silver one for the rehearsal dinner. No matter how you personalize this project, I hope that you can do a little DIY that you can carry for those dressy occasions … have fun!

Here is the finished product … what a cute purse!!

You need a needle (the strength depends on the type of bag you choose and how hard it will be to go through the existing exterior of the handbag), thread (in a color that will be well hidden when you make your purse), a handbag (clutch style is perfect), scissors and some sheer fabric in your choice of color.

Cut out “leaves” in the fabric … these do not have to be perfect, after all they will be all fluffed up on the bag.

As in the photo below, cut out some “strips” to use as a base for the leaves themselves as are shown on the right.

Then you stitch the bases onto the purse. BE CAREFUL!! Be sure that you have chosen a needle that is sturdy enough to go through the handbag that you have chosen … this is very important for safety. Stitch the base fabric onto the purse, and be sure to gather them slightly (don’t lay them flat).

One you stitch on the bases, fill in the spaces with the “leaves” that you originally cut out of the fabric.

Fill in some more by adding more “leaves” as necessary. You will know when the look is right for you!!

And, voila! When it is finished to your liking, you have an adorable, new bag.

There you have it … a sweet little carry all for your essentials. Here is a link to the original photostream on Flickr by “…lovemaegen“.

Love the blog? Then you will adore Bliss, a fine wedding fair … it is like the live version of our blog!! All for $15, which includes great ideas, workshops, a catered lunch AND a chance to honeymoon in Aruba for 5 nights … amazing! Register online, and I hope to see you on February 26th.