The Wonderful World of the Wedding Cake

By Sue Toliver

There are so many different options and choices available to us today. We can contact people by traditional phone, smart phone, regular cell phone, email, or regular mail. If we want to get somewhere we can drive a car, take a bus, ride a bike, or stroll along. Given all the options available to us today, it's only natural that this variety should work its way into one of our most cherished traditions...that of the wedding cake. Selecting the flavor of the cake and the color of the icing is just getting started. You will need to take some time to choose the best wedding cake topper for your special cake. In this article we will be examining the world of the wedding cake, providing some background details on the tradition, and working on up to the selection process of the perfect topper for that very special wedding cake.

The wedding cake is often proudly and strategically placed during the wedding reception. Often towering way up into the heavens, it can compete with the bride as the "center of attention" on her big day. This delicious work of art establishes a focal point that the other aspects of the reception can revolve around. For those who prefer a flare for the dramatic, the wedding cake can be wheeled into the room at the end of the reception, providing a "grand entrance" for everyone to see. To many people this grand entrance will perhaps trigger memories of the bride who walked down the aisle earlier in the day.

In The Beginning

The wedding cake has evolved with the passing of time. In the beginning it was a simple symbol of fertility, but it has transformed itself into an artistic tradition with many different artistic interpretations. For many people in the ancient world, wheat was a symbol of both fertility and a bountiful harvest. The Ancient Romans used to throw grains of wheat at the bride and groom as a symbolic "fertility wish" to the new couple during their wedding. This custom eventually evolved into bringing little wheat cakes to the wedding banquet itself. People would crumble this cake over the head of the bride to wish the couple "many children". The fallen crumbs would then be eaten by the guests as a symbol of sharing in the couple's good fortune.

Did you know that this "crumbling of the cake" over the bride's head might have evolved into another wedding day tradition? Do you know what that tradition is? In order to shield the hapless bride from the shower that is to come, bridesmaids eventually draped a cloth over her head before the "crumbling tradition" took place. Many believe that this simple cloth evolved into the modern day wedding veil.

Enter The Middle Ages

By the time the Middle Ages rolled around, sweet rolls or buns had replaced the wheat cakes, but it was still customary for guests to bring these tasty treats to the wedding. They were placed in a huge mound between the bride and groom, and if the happy couple was able to kiss over this stack, it was believed that they would be blessed with many children.

Many believe that the next step in the evolution of the traditional cake was performed in the 17th century by a French pastry chef. While on a trip to London he happened to observe this "cake piling" ceremony. Upon his subsequent return to France he coated the stack of buns with sugar, and thereby "cemented" them together into one very tasty art form. This was to become the first rendition of the tiered and frosted wedding cake, and a mere forerunner as to what was to come in the years ahead.

A Touch Of Class

You are probably familiar with the classic style of the modern day wedding cake. It's the one with the distinctive design of smaller tiers as the cake builds vertically? Here's a bit of trivia for you. It is believed that this model was inspired by the spire of the 14th century Saint Bride's church in London.

Victorian England introduced us to many of today's valued wedding traditions. For starters, Queen Victoria herself is said to have had a cake that weighed in at 300 lbs. As talented confectioners and bakers became more daring and adventurous, their creations became even more beautiful and elaborate. In 1947, when England's Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were married, their wedding cake weighed in at a whopping 500 lbs, and was 9 feet tall.

Today's Version

Long gone are the days when the elaborate wedding cake was reserved for only the rich and famous. Today every couple can share in the tradition by having a fantastic wedding cake added to their big day. The wedding cake designers of today have taken their art form to towering heights...pardon the pun. Long gone are those boring and bland days when you were limited to a regular white cake with regular white frosting. Although a white cake will likely always be the most popular (due to its traditional meaning), today's couple is limited only by the limits of their mind and budget when it comes to their wedding cake.

Why The White Color?

White is definitely the color of a wedding, but did you know that there is another reason why the white is the customary color of a wedding cake? Back in Victorian times the finer ingredients of a wedding cake were scarce and hard to come by. If the cake had a white icing, this revealed the fact that only the best and most expensive white sugar was being used. Brown sugar was much more common, and therefore much less expensive. So, the more white the cake, the richer the people.

Be Prepared...Plan Ahead

The most important thing to remember when choosing that special cake for your big day is to not leave it till the last minute. Whether you choose a talented family member, the local baker, or a pastry chef who specializes in these tasty masterpieces, if you plan well in advance you will be able to navigate the difficult waters of whatever obstacles might come your way. Although some bakers require only a minimum notice, many are booked far in advance. It's a shame to have that perfect cake of your imagination be "canned" due to the fact you cannot allocate a baker's time.

So, you have no idea who will be baking your wedding cake? If you don't have a particular baker in mind just yet, you have a bit of homework ahead of you. Shop around and get some great recommendations from family and friends. Be sure to browse the internet and yellow pages as they are both valuable informational sources. If you happen to be surfing the web you may see that many bakers today are posting photos of some of their wedding cake masterpieces. As a sort of masterpiece cake gallery, they showcase what they are capable of creating. This will spike your imagination as to what you would like your own wedding cake to look like.

Consider The Budget

Don't forget your budget. Be sure to be mindful of your wallet before you let your imagination get the best of you. You want your wedding day to be one of celebration, not the day that you started your spiral into debt. Many people are surprised at the high cost of a wedding cake these days. Keep in mind that you are asking a bakery artisan to create a colorful masterpiece for you, and this can often be reflected in the price that he/she will be asking. Although the cost of labor is often the largest expense in the creation of a wedding cake, keep in mind the simple fact that fondant is more expensive than buttercream.

Have you thought about staging your masterpiece? This comes next. Be sure to take the wedding cake stand into consideration during your planning phase. While some cakes can be simply placed on flat boards that will not be seen by the general public, others are elaborately displayed on beautiful stands for everyone to see. Keep in mind the simple fact that actual size of the cake table must be in proportion to the actual size of your cake. A table that is too small will make the cake look way too big, while a table that is too large will make it look like a tiny cupcake. And before we forget, your cake table will need a beautiful covering to compliment its strategic location at the wedding reception. Oh, don't forget the cake knife and cake server. There needs to be a place on the table for these two items as well.

The Topper For The Wedding Cake

The wedding cake topper tops off your special wedding cake. The "wedding cake topper" is the simple name for the decoration or figure that sits atop a wedding cake. While it is true that some couples prefer to have the simple elegance of an unadorned cake, many prefer to have that final "crowning touch", the wedding cake topper, added to the upper layer of the cake. Today the simple plastic "bride and groom" of yesteryear has more likely been replaced by the classic porcelain figurine of today.

What types of wedding cake toppers are available today? We are glad you asked. Many different types of figures are available, from the classic poses to figurines depicting some of the potentially "humorous" aspects of the wedding (such as a bride dragging the hapless groom back to the altar). Personalized wedding cake toppers are also popular, while niche toppers such as a marine marriage have their place as well.

In Conclusion

We have so much to say, but there is only so much detail that one can go into in a single article. If you would like to learn more about wedding cakes (and wedding cake toppers to be more specific) please come and visit us on our blog. - 30520

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Read Faster in a Few Minutes Time - It's More Than Possible

By Dr. Jay Polmar

Have you ever declined joining a book club because you can't remember a word you read or because you can't keep up? If your reading speed is more tortoise than hare, perhaps it's time to look into a new way of reading.

But wait you say. It took years to learn how to read before. I just dont have that kind of time.

Never fear! With our Speed Read Complete Family edition, you will be able to double your reading speed in only an hour in the privacy of your own home, dorm room, or office! Speedread America's time-tested method of teaching your brain to speed read has been taught in live seminars for decades all around the world and the ebooks have been translated into five languages.

Are you worried about studying speed reading online? Dr. Jay Polmar taught speed reading from 1979 to 1993 and then set up those same courses for you to learn online. Over 100,000 people have studied and you can too! Dont waste hundreds of dollars to read just a few words a minute faster with other methods? With our time-tested and guaranteed Speed Read Complete Family Edition "including four ebooks as well as 12 supplementary MP3 audio files which fit easily in any iPod or your MP3 player" we guarantee you will be reading noticeably faster and comprehending more in just the first hour or every penny of your money back.

Start your Speed Read Complete program (if you are a child, or if you have a child), with If You Can Read This, You Can Read Faster (specifically designed for school-aged children). Or, you can start with our higher-level, Speed Reading in Only One Hour and move to our Be Dynamic through Speed Reading. In our full course you will learn not only how to speed read, but also how to learn to control your sub-vocalization, vary your reading speed at will, batch process, and the all-important techniques of power thinking.

Not only will you double your reading speed in just the first hour, using our time-tested Speed Read Complete course, you'll be able to increase your memory, recall, concentration, note taking, and so much more. In less than just three weeks, you could even see a promotion at work or a dramatic rise in your child's GPA due to this new-found love of learning.

The Speed Read Complete was written based on a 3-day lecture course by Dr. Jay Polmar, ( an accomplished author and university and community college professor who has written over 40 titles to his name. Dr. Polmar has assisted over 100,000 all around the world read faster and get ahead in both school and life. - 30520

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How Can Comic Books Be Used To Teach Math To Kids?

By Matthew Smith

I was watching the news the other day and the statistic that was flashing on the screen was nothing less than shocking. It said 66% of kids in American grade 8 classes could not do math. 66%! After I let the news "sink in", I started to ask myself questions such as "why is this happening?", then the more powerful question, "what can we possibly do about it?" I've pondered these questions before, but it seems that the solution, one revolving around math comic strips, is more important now than it has ever been.

As we enter this brave new world of a global economy, our kids are going to need to have all the education they can obtain in order to compete for jobs with all those highly educated kids from other countries. I saw on television a while ago where tutors in South Korea were treated like "rock stars". Why is this? It's simply because in South Korea they realize that tutors are there to help educate their that will eventually help them get those great jobs of the future. Is this what we do in the United States? I'll let the laughter subside before I continue...

In the "good ole' days" (if that is what you want to call them), if children wanted to have fun they could play games, play sports, or read books. Then came along the challenging new world in which we live today. A world of cable television with more shows to watch than anyone could possibly have time for. Welcome to the world of instant on-demand movies and 24-hour online gaming. Where does homework and schoolwork fall into this equation? Simply, most of the time homework doesn't make the list.

In order to get our kids to do their homework, when there are so many distractions out there, we need to make their homework fun. If we don't, other things will take priority in their lives. How can we possibly do this? Ah, this is where the time tested and proven format of the humble comic book enters into the equation. Comics have been around for years and years, but they have mostly been used to entertain, not educate. This doesn't mean that we can't alter the format a bit to help them teach our children essential math skills.

Math comic strips is dedicated to providing comic books that will help our kids learn math. Our flagship product is a "superhero" comic in which the hero (a mere human really) is able to solve problems and crimes via his superior math skills. Now how did he come across this math ability? He acquired it simply by doing his homework over the years. We are hoping that as kids read of the adventures of this "superhero" they will be inspired to do their homework just like he did... - 30520

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NY Bar Brawl

By L.J. James

It was a quite day in a small Bar in upstate New York . The girl working behind the bar was young, she had just turned twenty one and had only been bar tending a few weeks, this was her first time working alone. Everything was going fine with only two of the regulars in the back shooting pool it was nothing she could not handle she thought to herself.

Then the front door opened and in walked ten of the biggest men she had ever seen. They talked loudly and as they walked over to the far side of the bar, She got a look at the back of their jackets. She could easily see that the markings on them where all the same. The men ordered pitchers of beer and their talking only got louder as they drank more and talked about things she did not understand. Then the men went quite as the front door opened and in walked seven more large men, at first she thought these seven men where with the first Ten as they looked and dressed similar but as she looked at the markings on the backs of these new comers Jackets she could tell while they where similar the markings where different, By the way the two groups where looking at each other she guessed the difference must mean a lot to them.

The Seven men sat up toward the front of the bar and also ordered pitchers of beer. The young girl did her best to make sure both groups where kept happy, but it was just a matter of time and Beer! When one of the men from the first group called out to her, "Hey Honey don't worry about those guys, there losers! Come over here and hang with some real men." That was all it took, the fuse was lit. "Who you calling losers pal we are good enough to beat you any day of the week!" Yelled back a guy from the second group. "You may think your as good as us but you never will be!" Yelled back a man from the first group.

Then in what was a blur to our young barmaid a fight broke out between the two groups it was loud and she could hear glass and wood breaking all around her as the men cursed and screamed at each other. This young Girl was scared and she feared for her life.

Her fear abated a little when in the distance she heard sirens. The police are coming, she thought to herself as she hid behind the bar. The police arrived in force and they stormed in arresting the men and taking them away. When things got quite and all the men where taken away the young girl looked around the small bar. So much damage she thought to herself, She looked at one of the officers and asked how did you know to come here. We got a call that these two groups where both heading to this bar and we just knew, it happens all the time with these type of guys!!!

Epilogue: The next morning when the young barmaid awoke she walked down stairs to the kitchen where her father was reading the morning paper. Does it say anything about the fight in the bar yesterday she asked her father? Yes he said as he pointed to a small article in the back of the paper "Yankees and Mets fans Brawl it out in small town bar" the story went on to explain how all the men where given tickets for disorderly conduct and released. That's it she screamed at her father these men trash the bar, scare the hell out of me, They should all be in jail and all they get is Tickets!!! Calm down sweetheart her father said as he hugged her, The way your acting one would think it had been a bunch of rowdy Bikers in the bar yesterday! Those Guys would have been locked away, But it was only Sports fans!

Story By Your Bro L.J. James - 30520

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Harley Quinn Author Writes Biker Master Piece

By L.J. James

When I received the Novel "Iron Horse Rider" from the Author Adelle "Legs" Laudan I have to admit I was expecting a book about a Biker fighting and causing trouble. You know your Typical Biker Bad Boy Story. What I received was something I was not expecting at all.

The Novel Tells the story of a hardcore biker named Shane, Shane had always kept women at arms length and showed them no emotion, That was until he met Kelly. Try as he might this biker who had always kept to himself could not fight off his feelings for her and soon found himself Married to the Women of his dreams.

After 10 years of Marriage Kelly is taken from Shane in a Tragic accident while they are Ridding. Shane finds everything around him reminds him of Kelly, His home, his shop, even his Clubhouse. His Brother's try to Support and comfort him, but the looks of sorrow in their eyes for him is more then Shane can bare. He soon realizes staying in the world He has Known and loved is not an option. Soon Shane is on his Iron Horse with the wind in his face and no destination! As Shane rides He finds the pain he feels for his loss begin to lessen!

With advice from a Mysterious Biker he keeps running into, Shane finds himself at a Micmac Indian Camp. Shane is welcomed into the Camp by the Tribes Chief and soon finds himself becoming Friends with the Chief's Daughter Tia who has recently lost her Husband! While the two Share their pain they soon begin to feel something for each other. Is it possible for either of them to feel love again while still suffering from such a great loss? A member of Tia's Tribe is taking no chances and tells Shane to stay away from Tia. He soon finds out you never tell a Biker like Shane what to do!

I found the writing in this novel while in no way simplistic was easy to read. I also found the story easy to follow ! Adelle "Legs" Laudan describes and expresses the feelings of Biker Brotherhood perfectly. When She explains Shane's feelings while Riding you can see in your mind where he is and you can almost feel the wind in your Face!

In life we all have our worlds we live in, When something Terrible happens sometimes We cling to what We know. Shane does what He as a true Biker must after such a terrible loss, He goes out and finds not only a new life but a new World to live in for a while.

I have to say I enjoyed the story. It was not what I was expecting or would usually read but I found I could not put the book down. I think some Men who Ride will enjoy this book, While many I feel will find it a little too much of a Romance novel! I do believe almost all Women who has ever ridden a Motorcycle or dated a Man who rode one will love this Novel.

As I know now Adelle "Legs" Laudan is a writer of Motorcycle Romance Novels, She works to promote the image of Motorcycling one book at a time! To order Iron Horse Rider or other Novels by Adelle "Legs" Laudan including the upcoming Iron Horse Rider 2 go to

I am Your Bro LJ James Check out my Articles and Biker Radio Show at - 30520

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How To Locate Art Dealers That Can Help You Build Your Art Collection

By Dorothy Ranger

Why Art Dealers Are Very Different Than Art Galleries

If you are interested in artwork, chances are that you have considered building a collection. There are differences between art galleries and art dealers and keeping these differences in mind can help you when deciding who you want to work with. Buying art, even for an investment, is as much a personal choice as it is a monetary investment. Here is a look at the difference between a gallery and a dealer and this may help you make the decision about which one you want to work with.

An art gallery can be a great way to learn about art, as can an art dealer. However, keep in mind that an art dealer often has a very focused viewpoint when it comes to artwork. A gallery can give you information about the esthetics of a piece while an art dealer will often focus more on the relative monetary worth of a particular piece. Consulting with both can give you a very well rounded perspective on artwork in general.

Art dealers often have websites that you can look at to get a feel for what they are offering. They may not often have prices listed but many sites will have glossary sections where you can learn a little about art in general. You should also visit galleries in your area to get acquainted with the local art scene and learn more about art as well.

One thing that you need to remember about building an art collection is that you should not choose pieces just for their value. Artwork is meant to be enjoyed so picking pieces just because you think that they are going to become valuable but that you do not like is a waste of money. This is true more of private art collections than it is of corporate art collections.

The choice of an art dealer over a gallery tends to be more obvious when building a corporate art collection. A corporate art collection is less about personal taste and more about conveying information about the company. A very traditional company is much less likely to fill offices and board rooms with very modern art. They are more interested in the value of the collection as well since artwork is often a sizable investment for a company. Many people will be viewing the pieces that are selected rather than enjoying it in the comfort and privacy of their home.

Magazines and the internet are two good sources for both art dealers and galleries. You should visit them, either online or in person in order to view the pieces in person. You should also realize that a gallery or dealer has more artwork on offer than those pieces that may be out on display. You may also want to make sure that you are looking at a dealer or a gallery that has pieces in a range of prices rather than just high end art. This can be especially true if you are purchasing pieces for a private collection, since a private collector may have less money to deal with than a corporation might.

You should also look at purchasing original artwork whenever possible. There are high quality prints and reproductions that can maintain or even increase their value, but they are rare. While reproductions can be very nice so that you can have a piece you might otherwise be unable to afford, there is nothing that can compare to original art.

You want to make sure that you find an art dealer that you work well with because chances are you will be working with them for quite some time. You may want to make sure that you are dealing with an art dealer rather than an art gallery. An art gallery tends to want to promote the artists they represent and may not be aware of the relative value and investment potential of artwork. An art dealer should have an idea about the art market and can give you advice that will help increase the value of your collection.

An art collection can be wonderful. It is a beautiful way for you to decorate your home and can become quite valuable over time. The only problem may be that when it comes time to sell the pieces on, you love them so much you won't want to see them go. - 30520

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Wedding Shower Hosting Simple Guide

By Angela Crown

A bridal shower is usually a very special occasion for both the bride-to-be and her companions, since the "girls night" feeling is floating around all evening and that's the perfect start for this type of event.

Dealing with the whole event is a challenging issue if you consider the fact that you have to make everything fit together; that's why the first thing to do is to choose a theme for the party - since even the invitations should be accordingly. There are infinite ideas available, from a pajama party to a spa party or even a pizza one. Going for a "girls night out" may also be a good idea if your girls are fun and outgoing; but don't forget that some of them may want to go for a classic style party - and you want all the guests happy, don't you.

After choosing the theme, you should create the invitations accordingly and make sure they're sent out at least six weeks before the actual party night. Next you should choose and order the decorations (the moment you choose to order them is at your own free choice, but it's recommended that you have them prepared at least 2 weeks before the actual event).

Food and cakes are next - don't neglect them and don't settle for mediocrity. Also, the theme should still be your main concern when choosing them - since a pizza theme will surely dictate your menu for example; if you think it fits, you can always look for related poems to be recited.

An absolute must for any wedding shower are the games - since they can fill an empty moment with no problem and can help build connections between invites from different cultures. They can always cheer someone up and that's why when you feel like things aren't going into the right direction, just start a few games and the problem is solved.

In conclusion, hosting an excellent wedding shower is not very hard if you have a few important things on your mind and you do things with your best intentions. - 30520

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