Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me too!
Jan13

Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me too!

The holidays might be over with, but if you are newly engaged the overwhelming feelings of warm-and-fuzzy are probably still lingering inside! For many it’s exciting to think about planning a wedding, but others might cringe at the task. No worries – Living Fort Wayne has you covered! Over the next several weeks we will share our findings, wish lists, and realities when it comes to planning a wedding. As for me…well my fiance, Andy, and I are a “special” case. After three children together and almost 10 years, we have finally determined that 2016 is the year. That’s right: no more excuses, no more letting finances get in the way, no more being simply Ms. Farmer and Mr. Adkins. A little back story: Andy and I both come from large Catholic families. For those of you who were raised Catholic, you know what that means. For those of you who were not raised Catholic, let me clue you in a bit: besides our immediate families we also felt it necessary to invite the extended family (as we are all close – all 103 of us), our friends (who are all married and have children of their own), and let’s not forget our parents’ and grandparents’ close friends, coworkers, old coworkers, and so on. Our guest list was over 400 people. If you find that your guest list is also pretty extensive, below are a few places I looked into that can accommodate such a number and I highly recommend for your big day. (Of course there are so many other great wedding venues around Fort Wayne, but these are my favorite.) VENUE Shiloh in Fort Wayne can hold up to 450 people in each of their 2 wings, and they have a beautiful outdoor area for wedding ceremonies. The National Military History Center in Auburn can accommodate up to 1,350 people in their largest room. They are also able to help you organize an “indoor” wedding inside the facility if desired and can quickly transform the space into your reception. The Hay Loft in Hoagland consists of a beautiful old barn and a large lawn surrounded by fields – perfect for those wanting a “rustic” feel in the country. The barn has two levels; one can hold roughly 100 people and the other can accommodate around 200 guests. * Another thing to keep in mind is that most venues require you to use either their own catering services or a caterer from their “approved catering” list. Make sure you inquire about catering options while looking into venues! CAKE Now that you have a few leads on a venue, let’s move on...

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A Diamond in the Rough: Becky’s Skin Care Plus
Mar18

A Diamond in the Rough: Becky’s Skin Care Plus

Like many of our readers, I live in Fort Wayne but drive outside the county for work. When you are used to the plethora of amenities that Fort Wayne has to offer, sometimes new shops and different tastes are difficult to find in smaller cities like Auburn. Upon one of my recent adventurous lunch breaks, I ventured over to Auburn’s West Edge Mall. This little mall had seen much better times back in the day, but nonetheless is still inhabited by several locally-owned small businesses. Being a huge supporter of local small businesses and entrepreneurships, I thought I would stop by and take a peek at what this place had to offer. The signs gave some life to a few hidden shops inside: a restaurant, tanning salon, hair salon, tattoo parlor, hardware store, and a skin care boutique. As I opened the front doors, I was welcomed by a thick hallway of silence then proceeded to slowly walk through, peering into the windows as I went. About three doors down on the right, I came across Becky’s Skin Care Plus. I decided to walk in and see what this little shop was all about when I was greeted by a smiling little Italian lady – Becky, of course. She showed me around to the private rooms, talked about the Dermologica product line, and I glanced over the brochure. You will NOT believe her prices! Becky takes pride in offering the best service with the best prices around. As I spoke more with Becky about the services and products that she offers, she was beaming with delight about her little shop. ME: So, how long have you been doing Skin Care, and how did you discover that this is what you wanted to do? BW: Honestly, I just kind of fell into it. I was working at a local massage therapy salon and they needed an Esthetician. I thought, “I could do that!” So I did all the necessary training and have been a certified Esthetician since 2008. Then on November 1, 2011, I opened Becky’s Skin Care Plus right here. ME: It’s funny how many of us end up “falling into” our line of work! What is it about this profession that you enjoy the most? BW: I find such satisfaction in helping people! To many of my clients, I am like a friend or even their therapist. Many of my clients had given up on their skin and lived with severe skin problems for years until they found me. I just love watching the changes for the better, inside and out. It really helps people with their self-esteem and...

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LaBella Flora Puts The ‘Girl’ In Girly
Feb11

LaBella Flora Puts The ‘Girl’ In Girly

Little girls, little girls…anybody who either has one or was one knows how special they are. Some are soft and sweet, some are smart and naughty. Some are playful and carefree, yet others are thoughtful and shy. For more than 10 years, there has been a place to adorn these unique little princesses with clothing as precious and special as they are. This place is LaBella Flora Children’s Boutique. You may not have heard of LaBella Flora, they’ve been quietly running their mostly online business out of a quaint but chic little building on a country road in Auburn. But, there is something big going on behind the doors of that building. I had the pleasure of meeting Tisha Kruse, LaBella Flora’s Director of Marketing. She explained their beginning, “LaBella Flora started for the purpose of giving back.” Owner, LaDonna Felke is a strong advocate of adoption, and it was her love for children and the hope of saving those in need that turned LaBella Flora into what it is today. They donate 3% of their gross sales directly to orphanages around the world. By giving to these organizations, children are able to experience a family. In some cases, even children who would not otherwise be adopted find loving homes and people to care for them. Their giving doesn’t stop at donations either. LaDonna frequently travels to these locations and has adopted children of her own. In fact, LaBella Flora (meaning ‘beautiful flower’) is named after their youngest daughter, Savannah Flora. The details of their generosity and passion for the cause run deep. You can learn much more about how LaBella Flora gives back regularly by visiting this page on their website. Although locally LaBella Flora is a hidden gem, online they are continuously growing and becoming known for their long list of designers as well as customer service that is absolutely second-to-none. Just read a few of their testimonials and it will be hard to argue with the countless rave reviews from loyal customers nationally and internationally. Their list of designers is lengthy. But, you’ll find the trendiest styles from brands like Persnickety, Giggle Moon, Mustard Pie, Ooh La La and Mae Li Rose. Customers flock to LaBella Flora’s website for occasions like weddings, holidays, graduations, baptisms, even father/daughter dances. Even their swimsuits are in season with some at low sale prices. As LaBella Flora continued to grow, it became clear that their local market was missing out. So, within the past year they have opened their showroom to the public. Everything in the showroom is for sale. And, customers can pre-shop online and come into the store to pick...

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