Collaboration of Creative Partners April Luncheon – Fairy Godmother Friday

We love the phrase “Community Over Competition,” which is simply described as “getting to the top by building others up!”

Fairy Godmother was born here in Bakersfield, what we like to call the “biggest small town,” and we first grew simply by word of mouth. There was no advertising, our growth was directly correlated to referrals of past clients, guests, and friends.

Fairy Godmother Collaboration of Creative Partners Luncheon

Part of this business is education. We attend conferences, and are even invited to special events with the most elite vendors in the business. At one conference in particular, ISSE in Carmel, Fairy Godmothers Colleen and Cassandra were rubbing elbows with the one and only Colin Cowie.

At this conference, Colin shared that our vendors are SO much more than just your caterer, or your photographer… They are our friends! We are all in this together and that we should let that show by calling them “friendors.”

If you have been witness to a “Fairy Field Trip” you should know that more than one creative mind with a notepad on the move is just a pinch of the fairy dust that Fairy Godmother offers. The ideas were brewing and viola, the “Collaboration of Creative Partners” luncheon was born.

Fairy Godmother Collaboration of Creative Partners Luncheon

Paper Product by Matinae Design Studio.

Once a month, the Fairy Godmother family invites a handful of guests to share an intimate lunch and allows for this table of “friendors” to talk and share stories outside of our events and meetings!

At our most recent April luncheon, we learned that Stephanie of Gimme Some Sugar Bakery got her name from her grandma always saying “come here and gimme some sugar!” Marianne of Marianne Lucas Photography used to be a Supervisor in the Kern High School District before taking her leap of faith into full-time photography. Angela and Patricia of Enchanted Bridal Boutique find their greatest happiness in putting their brides in their dream dresses. Christina of Kwik Signs is a super mom and loves organization, Teresa of Jo Ron Co. finds love in working within the community, and Amy of Alpha Omega Valet Services took over her business and employs orphan and foster youth, some of whom come from her full-time job at CASA of Kern County

Wands full of thanks from all of us at Fairy Godmother, we appreciate you all taking the time out of your day to join us, we know how valuable you are to your business!

Congratulations! You’re Engaged, Now What…? – Magical Monday

Congratulations! You’re engaged, now what…?!

Now that you’re big day is shaping up, it’s time to add in all the details.

One of the most memorable parts of your wedding day will be what you get to look back on, your photos!

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by Left Coast By Design.

This is one job that we HIGHLY recommend you entrust to a professional.

Memories are forever, we want you to make sure that your day lives on just how you remember it. From the portraits to the details, a professional photographer is sure to capture every element and detail of your wedding day.

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by Makenzie Photography.

First things first, never just choose a photographer because your mother’s brother’s cousin’s friend owns a really nice camera and takes a really great selfie. Look into their portfolio, do you like their style? Are there photographs similar to what you are interested in? Does their style fit your personality? These are just some of the beginning questions that will pave the way towards your decision.

One of the best things you can do is to consult your planner. Anyone who is anyone will have a reputation in the wedding industry. Your planning, or event producer, will help you make the best decision!

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by Gwen Corona Photography.

 What are the things that you notice most about photos? Does your potential photographers satisfy your eagle eye?

One of the BIGGEST and most IMPORTANT questions to ask yourself is “Are our personalities compatible?” Aside from your wedding coordinator, your wedding photographer will be the one vendor that is with you for a major chunk of your day. You want to be sure that your needs, desires, and all those little things that go “unsaid” are met or exceeded.

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by J.Michelle Photography.

Another rule of thumb is to compare the packages that your potential vendors may offer. What is the “basic” or “entry” level package of one photographer, may be a middle grade for another. It is important to let the vendor share about what they offer, but it is very important to make note of any questions that may remain unanswered.

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by Boone & Stacie Weddings.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have a photographer who understands you, has your interests at heart, and is willing to do what it takes to make it all come together. Compatibility is a must!

Lastly, be sure that you have a contract signed by both parties involved! A contract will bind your photographer to what is expected of them, this includes the hours they will be with you, the equipment they will be supplying, and the rights that you have as the client. All of these things are vital to your day.

Fairy Godmother Wedding Photographer

Photographed by Shelli Renee.

Let Fairy Godmother help you find the perfect photographer for you, contact us today!

Remember, a photo says 1,000 words!

 

 

Middle Earth-Inspired Wedding – Fairy Godmother Friday

Have Fairies, will travel!

This past Fall, Fairy Godmother had the opportunity to go to Sequoia National Park for a wedding at the Wuksachi Lodge.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

The best part? The wedding was inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This was a wedding that Erin & Shelby’s guests would soon not forget!

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

This magical day was perfectly photographed by Christina Hopper of CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Flowers by House of Flowers. Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Guests arrived dressed in their most appropriate middle earth attire, cloaks and gowns abound!

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

The day would not have been complete without their officiant dressing in wizard drab, Pastor Rich was more than excited to do so.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

The Fairies weren’t the only things that took a roadtrip… The gorgeous bouquet was from Downtown Bakersfield created by the one and only House of Flowers!

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Florals by House of Flowers. Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Erin and Shelby exchanged vows in the presence of their closest family and friends on a wooden bridge amidst the tall Sequoias and outdoor splendor.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

The middle earth decor at the reception site was compiled of centerpieces referencing the couple’s favorite scenes from Lord of the Rings, elfish candle wraps by Matinae Design Studio, and elements of the wilderness.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

The wedding cake was all but average, a three tier elfish hideaway the couple were able to cut right in with their swords of choice.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Cake by Goodies Cookies. Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Cake by Goodies Cookies. Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

A lantern lit exit was the grand finale for this magical day, Erin and Shelby were off to celebrate a new life together!

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

Fairy Godmother Lord of the Rings Wedding

Photography by CJ Hopper Photography.

 See their full feature in Offbeat Bride, here!

And They Lived Happily Ever After… – Fairy Godmother Friday

“Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!” – Fairy Godmother

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

We have shared countless events with you, and you have been there to cheer us on as we have continued to grow. We know that we couldn’t do any of this without you, we are so thankful for our “Fairy Followers!”

One couple recently came to Fairy Godmother wish a vision. This vision was in direct correlation with one of their many shared passions, Disney!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

When Fairy Godmother Cassandra first met Mindi and Julian, she knew that she was going to have to break out her fairy dust and get creative.

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

The wedding took place at the historic Noriega House here in Bakersfield, amidst the bright green lawn, perfectly juxtaposed with the bright white of the arch surrounded by all of their closest family and friends.

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Paper products by Matinae Design Studio.

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Gwen Corona of Gwen Corona Photography captured the day perfectly! Stunning portraits to capturing every intricate detail, we are so proud to call her a “friendor!”

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Disney Wedding

 Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Mindi’s bouquet is a one of a kind creation by As You Wish. It was compiled of many, many unique broaches and embellishments, and we can’t forget the pearls!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

The seating chart was as unique as the day, and keys were tagged with guests’ names and table numbers.

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

“Whos its and whats its galore!” Mindi and Julian had plenty. The reception table centerpieces were decorated with unique Disney trinkets all relative of some of Disney’s most commonly known movies such as The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Some of Mindi and Julian’s guests even got into the Disney spirit and joined the fun!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

 Guests were fully immersed into this Disney-inspired wedding, no detail was spared in planning.

Everything was considered from the cake topper, to handpicked books and even lanterns inspired by Alice In Wonderland! 

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

A spoon full of sugar was the perfect guest favor for this absolutely magical wedding.

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

This wedding was featured on Offbeat Bride, see it here!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Thank you, Mindi and Julian for trusting Fairy Godmother with your magical day. We are truly honored!

Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography Fairy Godmother Gwen Corona Photography

Congratulations! You’re Engaged, Now What…? – Magical Monday

Yay! You’re engaged!

Now, you have chosen your venue, date and wedding planner… Let the fun begin!

What is one thing that we love more than wedding planning? Shopping!

A wedding gown is one of a bride’s most prized possessions, you want it to be absolutely perfect!

It is best to start your shopping excursions as early as possible, gowns can take up to a year to prepare!

In this day in age, with as many different brands and styles available, brides have so many options. It is imperative that you consider any potential religious restrictions to your gown. 

Shopping around early for your gown is best because you don’t want to feel rushed, and you want to be sure to try them out and see what you love!

Help yourself alleviate the potential stress factor of wedding gown related business by getting ahead of the game and staying on top of your appointments.

When shopping for your gown, you want to be sure that you are in full understanding of your chosen store’s policies and practices, along with what is included in your purchase when you are ready to do so. Inclusions may or may not include your hairpiece, veil, or alterations.

Staring points when you head out to find your perfect gown are simple…

First, have your budget ready!

You want to make sure that you spend your time focused on gowns that are in your investment zone.

This will help narrow down your potential options!

Let the bridal salon make recommendations. You know how the old saying goes, “don’t knock it ’til you try it!”

They are in their profession for a reason, and have seen many brides try many gowns! See what they have to offer, you never know how it may go!

Many brides will bring their everyone in their phonebook if they can to their dress fittings… Don’t do this. Limit your squad to your core group of those who will have valid points and make solid recommendations, limiting your crowd will give you a more intimate experience for something as special as this!

One note that will prevent a potential headache is to make an appointment! If you want the attention that you so deserve, make an appointment to get an expert to cater to you. Let the experts immerse you into a proper experience.

Finally, trust your instincts! If your squad has to constantly tell you that you look stunning, and you aren’t feeling it… Chances are it’s not the “one!”

This is totally okay, but don’t settle. You are supposed to feel just like the princess that you are on your big day, don’t let the wrong dress make you feel otherwise!

Original Fairy Godmother Wedding

The original Fairy Godmother wedding. Check out that train!

If you are looking for wedding planning guidance, contact Fairy Godmother and let us use our magic to make sure all of your wedding day needs are met!

 

 

 

Congratulations! You’re Engaged, Now What…? – Magical Monday

Yay! You’re engaged!

At this point in the series of “Congratulations! You’re engaged, now what?” we are about 12 months away from your chosen date.

While you may have already chosen your venue, there may be other facilities desired. Many couples will hold their ceremony at one location, and their reception at another.

It is vital to this process that all of your dates align perfectly, these are the little details that can create waves on your wedding day. Confirming dates and having a physical contract will save you time, and a potential headache, in the event that something does go awry.  

It is incredibly common for couples to get married at their home church and then having their reception at a hall, or venue of the couple’s choice.

There is far more that goes into venue selection that the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” of appearance and amenities.

Key factors that contribute to venue selection are guest count, style, ambiance, budget, spacial requirements, location, and what is or is not included are just a few.

Having a ballpark idea of your potential guest count is crucial to venue selection because you cannot have 200 guests at an intimate lodge with a maximum capacity of 50. Some things just will not work.

Budget is vital because, well, you more often than not, get what you pay for. If you are looking at hosting a frugal reception only with 50 guests, you might not choose the venue with a $20,000.00 rental fee.

Space is one of the most important parts of venue shopping! While it does revert back to guest count, you may also want to think of any extra spaces that you may want, or need. If you plan to have a sweets station, a drink station, maybe even a mimosa bar, you will need to ensure that you have adequate spaces available.

Finally, another major piece of booking the most perfect venue is to make sure there is a clear understanding by all parties involved of everything that is included, and what is not included. Are you allowed to bring in your own caterer? Does the venue have a preferred vendors list? Will there be a site coordinator included, and will they work well with your planner?

These are all questions that usually come up in walk-through visits and information tabs, but in the event that they do not, you now have the “Congratulations! You’re engaged, now what?” blog series to make sure you have everything covered! For what the blog does not cover, contact Fairy Godmother today to start planning your magical event!

Congratulations! You’re Engaged, Now What…? – Magical Monday

Congratulations on your recent engagement! 

In this series, we are about 12 months out from your magical day!

Now that you have a wedding style in your mind, and you have your wedding budget set… It’s now time to hire Fairy Godmother! 

Fairy Godmother A Wedding and Event Planning Company

Many people are skeptical of their need for an event producer, so there are a lot of questions that arise before booking. Think of an event producer as an insurance policy, you don’t know why you have it until you need it. 

Fairy Godmother Esther & Ivan C&B Pictures

Photo by C & B Pictures, now Bella Allure Studio.

Wedding planning is a big deal with lots of moving parts! Here at Fairy Godmother, we want to alleviate any stress factors and let you enjoy your day to day life leading up to your magical event, let our fairy dust handle the rest! 

There is power in knowledge! If your venue offers a site coordinator, be sure to know exactly what they will and will not do for you. Remember, usually, a site coordinator’s first matter of importance is the venue. 

Fairy Godmother Agee JEH Ranch

The Fairies are with you every step of the way, even during photos! Snapped by Boone & Stacie Weddings.

One of the best parts of having a Fairy Godmother by your side, from start to finish, is that we have done this a time or two before…

We understand that things happen, and we have found only the best ways to prevent them from happening and to fix them if they happen!

Another quality of excellence that the Fairies of Fairy Godmother pride themselves on is their total dedication to the client. We aren’t just there to ensure your day runs as it should, but to also be by your side throughout the entire event. 

Richie & Sydnee Fairy Godmother Boone & Stacie Weddings

Fairy Godmother Cassandra with her stunning bride Sydnee! Photograph by Boone & Stacie Weddings.

Our attention to our clients is not our only pride and joy, but also for our dedication to the industry. All of us at Fairy Godmother are constantly learning and educating ourselves, allowing for us to not only be experienced professionals, but to be trusted and expert professionals!

Freestyle Entertainment Fairy Godmother

Fairy Godmother Colleen with the one and only Mike of Freestyle Entertainment! Captured by Valdophye Photography.

While we believe that every couple deserves their very own Fairy Godmother, we think there is power in numbers! Every event, wedding or corporate party, has at least two Fairy Godmothers in attendance to aid for whenever and wherever the need arises.

Fairy Godmother Event Producers

Fairy Godmother Event Producers. Photo by Makenzie Photography.

We are so excited to share in your engagement excitement, so be sure to contact Fairy Godmother today for your consultation, and let the fairy magic begin! 

 

Congratulations! You’re Engaged, Now What…? – Magical Monday

We are so thrilled to congratulate you on your recent engagement! 

Your planning process has just begun and we want to help you through it.

Did you know that the average investment on a wedding in the United States is $35,329.00?!

Budget planning is one of fundamental planning necessities to this process, after all, it sets the blueprint for your magical day! 

The first step in coming up with your budget is organizing who will be contributing to the investment!

Traditionally, the bride’s family will pay for most, if not all, of the event. In modern times couples and the couple’s family all come together to contribute. 

Another major part of budget planning is your guest count! 

Being practical with your invites is essential. Most people with an intimate wedding of fifty people most often will not have the same budget as a wedding of two-hundred people. This is 100% okay, but it needs to be known right from the start so there are no little surprises as you begin this super fun journey!

According to the wedding experts at The Knot, here is the breakdown of a traditional wedding budget…

“48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator…”

After you have factored your venue into your budget, you can begin budget planning for your big day! Be sure to include the things that precede the big day, such as your announcements and any events that may go with it, maybe rehearsal and rehearsal dinners. Couples even go as far as to throw a brunch or BBQ the day after the event to thank everyone for their help, attendance, and friendship!

Another rule of thumb that is good to remember, is to be sure that there is a little wiggle room in your investment. You want to be sure that those unexpected, or “hidden,” charges are covered and won’t throw a wrench in your event!

If you need help planning your magical day, please contact us today and let us help you track your budget and assist you in maximizing your dollar!

 

Shannon Grove For Senate – Magical Monday

Being an “Event Producer” goes beyond weddings and birthdays, it means producing a seamless event- no matter what the occasion may be!

This last Thursday, the Fairy Godmother team was entrusted with producing and designing the kickoff fundraiser for the Shannon Grove for Senate campaign!

Shannon Grove 2018

Shannon Grove 2018

Shannon Grove for Senate!

WOW! is right!

We first met Shannon when Fairy Godmother had the pleasure of planning her daughter’s fragrance launch! Her dedication and support for Kristin to chase her dreams is astounding! Kristin and Alycia were a complete dream to work with, and so very passionate!

Fairy Godmother Smith McCain Launch

The Fairy Godmothers with Smith & McCain at the Smith & McCain launch party!

The Kern County Fairgrounds were completely transformed into the “Fairy Grounds” as the fairy dust was set into motion!

Shannon Grove 2018

Shannon Grove for Senate!

With over 500 guests in attendance, the room had to be absolutely perfect. The Fairy Godmother team worked tirelessly making sure that every detail was set perfectly. Hand-folded napkins, red wine, and candlelight made the tablescape ambiance patriotic and warm.

Fairy Godmother assistants

We love our Fairy Godmother assistants!

Shannon Grove for Senate!

This tablescape included florals from one of Bakersfield’s longest running florists- Log Cabin Florist, wooden grape boxes from Giumarra Vineyards, twinkling fairy lights, and custom hand-painted table numbers.

Shannon Grove 2018

Fairy Godmother Marissa using her fairy dust to put together floral arrangements.

Giumarra Vineyards

Giumarra Vineyards grape boxes were perfect for décor!

Shannon Grove 2018

Fairy Godmother Design made of florals from Log Cabin Florist, and custom table numbers by Custom Creations.

It wouldn’t be a Fairy Godmother event without fabulous balloon designs by our balloon goddess and “friendor” Lora Lee of Paradise Balloon Designs!

Fairy Godmother Cassandra in front of the Paradise Balloon Designs balloon arch at the Shannon Grove for Senate launch.

Fairy Godmother Cassandra taking a moment to enjoy Lora Lee’s creation!

Many big names were attendees at the event, and we are so thrilled to have been able to make their evening enjoyable!

Shannon Grove 2018 Attendees

Shannon Grove 2018

TapSnap Photobooth made sure to take Shannon’s guests to the “Ole West!”

Bakersfield’s new Mayor, Karen Goh was showing Shannon her support!

Shannon Grove 2018

Fairy Godmother Denise with Bakersfield’s new Mayor, Karen Goh!

A “fairy” big thank you to Chad and Kacie Hathaway for giving Fairy Godmother the opportunity to share our magic!

Chad & Kacie Hathaway Shannon Grove 2018

Chad and Kacie in the wild, wild west! Photobooth by TapSnap Photobooth.

Goodluck, Shannon! You have the fairy dust flowing behind you on your way to the Senate!

If you need help hosting your next big event, contact us today!

Fairy Godmother Appreciation – Fairy Godmother Friday

As we kick off 2017, we wanted to take a moment to show our appreciation for one of our very own, Fairy Godmother Denise!

To be a real, true Fairy Godmother there are a few qualities you must inhibit… Class, fearlessness, helpfulness and to be caring! These are just a few of the qualities that Denise carries with her so elegantly.

To know Denise, is to love Denise and to have Denise on our team is a true blessing! We can always count on Denise to give us needed words of encouragement, the business advice, and the true friendship that we all know and love.

The Fairy Godmother family wanted to share their thoughts on their fellow Fairy…

Fairy Godmother’s founder, Colleen said…

“Denise has been by my side growing Fairy Godmother for the past 7 years.  She has been my rock and my confidant.  She is very protective of our Fairy. Denise is our pitch hitter, when we need a homerun and we are needing to calm a bride down Denise is who we bring in.  She is professional, buttoned up and has the best follow through I have ever seen. She is the BEST event planner in the business I have ever seen, she can handle an event for 700 to 50.  She speaks the language of any Corporate Controller, to private owner. We are LUCKY to have her!”

Fairy Godmother Cassandra…

“Denise is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She has a heart of gold but isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. I always know she’ll give me the non sugar coated version of anything. I will always thank her for introducing me to hot eggnog and not telling the Fairy Godmothers to run the other way when I was “stalking” her, hehe. I’m proud to call her part of my fairy family.”

Fairy Godmother Denise Wedding Event Producer

Fairy Godmother Marissa…

“Denise is a strong woman who speaks her mind. She is always ready to step in and help or to give words of wisdom when you need it most. Her sassy and classy attitude makes her one of a kind! She is encouraging, yet firm making her perfect for this business!”

Fairy Godmother Team at the Fairy Godmother Foundation Fairy Garden Workshop

Fairy Godmother Team at the Fairy Godmother Foundation Fairy Garden Workshop. Photo by J.Michelle Photography

Fairy Godmother Janet…

“Denise is a hard worker who is not afraid to face a challenge or do what it takes to get the job done. She’s a classy, sassy, spunky lady who I truly admire. Her guidance and direction have been a real encouragement to me.

Our fairy family is truly blessed to have her on our team and would not be the same without her.”

Fairy Godmother Team at the Fairy Godmother Foundation 2016 Murder Mystery Dinner

Fairy Godmother Team at the Fairy Godmother Foundation 2016 Murder Mystery Dinner

Fairy Godfather TJ…

“If there was one word to describe Denise, it would simply be “friend.” To find someone who is sassy, smart, and friendly is incredibly rare, and that’s why Denise and I get along so well! She understands me, even when I don’t, and is always able to show you the other side of a problem, even when you can’t. Now that I have Denise in my life, I don’t know how I lived without her!”

From the bottom of our “Fairy” big hearts, thank you Denise for just being YOU!