Fifty Shades of Grey Inspired Party


Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele, Charlie Tango, handcuffs, silk neckties, inner goddess, Red Room of Pain, twitchy palms…

If your lips aren’t smirking by now,  then you must be a Fifty Shades of Grey Virgin, A/K/A one who hasn’t read the best selling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. Last weekend, we surprised a huge Fifty Shades fan with a party inspired by the books.


Fifty Shades of Grey Courtesy of Vintage Books


Fifty fans, may we present…

40 Shades of Kelly


50 Shades of Grey


Our “PG” version of Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain!


50 Shades of Grey Cake


What’s a birthday party without cake?


Fifty Shades of Grey Cake


Yes, this mask is edible!


Fifty Shades of Grey Cake


How could we forget Christian Grey’s infamous grey silk tie and handcuffs? We know Miss Steele wouldn’t!


Fifty Shades of Grey Cake

British novels, piano keys, Seattle’s Space Needle…this Fifty Shades of Grey inspired cake designed by Sweet Tweets Cakery in Tampa, Florida had it all!


Fifty Shades of Grey


Notable quotes from the books were printed on Stardream silver paper and encased in platinum, crystal encrusted frames, which added  sparkle to cocktail tables in our “Grey Room.”


Fifty Shades of Grey Party


Bronze keys hung with crimson satin ribbon were tied around red glass vases filled with black magic roses. These centerpieces sat atop cocktail tables draped in Crushed Romance Burgundy linen in the “Red Room.”






It’s live! The Insider’s Guide to Tampa on


I love living in Tampa, Florida! I moved here when I was just a child from Parsippany, New Jersey. It was so long snow and grey skies…hello sunshine and swimming pools! Although I’m always delighted to pack my bags and jet off on a vacation, I just can’t imagine calling any other place home. After reading that, I’m sure you can imagine the excitement I felt when gave me the opportunity to share my top picks for restaurants, cocktails, entertainment and gastronomical food and wine festivals in and around my hometown of Tampa, Florida. I have to admit, narrowing down my favorites to five in each category was incredibly tough. Amazing chefs abound in my neck of the woods! Ask any foodie that lives or has visited here. But, if you dream of bubbling cocktails and gastronomical cuisine…the Insider’s Guide to Tampa on delivers what you’re craving!


Eat, Drink and Enjoy,


Tampa Wedding Photography: The Importance of Lighting


Question:  I’ve heard a few photographers mention “off-camera light” when refering to their work.  What is “off-camera light” and how important is it at my wedding or Bar Mitzvah?


It’s very important, especially at a wedding.  First, let me explain what it is and then I’ll show you some examples.

 “Off camera light” is exactly what it sounds like.  The photographers light is taken off the camera and mounted on a tripod or held by an assistant.  Here’s why it’s important:


tampa wedding photography 2


This picture was taken during a brief stop at the causeway on the way to the reception.  The couple wanted some quick pictures of their friends near the water so we jumped out of the limo for a few minutes and had some fun.  My flash is on my camera, pointed directly at the subjects.  Notice how the bride’s dress is “blown-out?”  You lose detail in the dress when the flash is mounted on the camera.  That’s okay for fun, fast snapshots like this but what about the portraits, etc?


tampa wedding photography


Now look at the dress.  Notice that you can see all the detail and ripples in the fabric?  That’s because the light is “off-camera.”  By placing the light a little to my right I can light the couple (and the dress) in a much more flattering way.


Here’s another great example:

Tampa wedding photography 4


Without “off-camera light,” this you wouldn’t be able to see all the detail in this dress.

The fact is, “off-camera light” makes almost every picture better.  Not only does it preserve the detail in a dress you spent so much time picking out… it also makes for a more dynamic and flattering portrait all together.  Plus, a photographer who uses “off-camera light” will usually have a few tricks up his sleeve for creating something truly unique:


Tampa wedding photography 5


 Notice the detail in the dress and the way the light highlights her face in dramatic fashion?  That’s only possible with “off-camera light.”  

 But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s only needed at weddings.  It’s needed anytime you are having a portrait taken.  This is especially true in dark churches and synagogues: 


Tampa Bar Mitzvah photographer


 “Off-camera light” just makes everything better.  It allows the photographer to shape and control the light and produce an image that stands out.

 So, when shopping for a photographer for your Tampa wedding, Bar Mitzvah or event, be sure they know how to use “off camera light.”  You’ll be glad you did!


Best Wishes,



 Booray Perry is a wedding and Bar Mitzvah photographer in Tampa.  Visit his website at

Join the Birthday Challenge!



Photo Courtesy of Fairy Cakes Bakery


It’s January 13th. Do you know what today is? Yes, you’re right, it’s Friday the 13th…but it’s also my birthday! This morning I started my day a little differently than normal. Instead of reading through the morning’s emails,  I excitedly logged onto Facebook to see all the birthday wishes that were already beginning to flood my Facebook page. Since then, I feel as if I’m glowing! Today, I feel confident, beautiful, loved and ready to take on the world. It’s all because others took a few minutes out of their busy schedules to wish me a “Happy Birthday!”

So it got me to thinking…why can’t everyday feeling like today? Not just for me, for everyone. How hard would it be for each of us to take a few minutes each day to make someone smile? Send a text to a friend you haven’t spoken to in years, just to say you are thinking of them. Compliment the person ahead of you in the checkout line. Smile at someone who looks like they need some happiness sent their way from across the room. Leave a note on your child’s bed just to tell them you love them. My list could go on and on, but if it did… I’d never get to explaining my birthday challenge!

What’s my Birthday Challenge? I’m glad you’re interested! Today, I’m challenging each and every one of you to make at least one person feel special. Then come back and share your story here on the blog or with us on Twitter by using #BirthdayChallenge in your tweet. I want everyone to glow with me today and I thank you all in advance for helping me do so!


Eileen Kanter, Tampa, Florida



Dazzling Holiday Makeup Ideas


Everyone deserves to look and feel divalicious when attending holiday celebrations. To help you get ready for your next holiday party, we invited Holly Nazario of Collective Creations in Tampa, Florida to share holiday makeup tips for transforming daytime looks into nighttime glam!  Have you ever gotten a pimple the day of an event? Do you know the right way to match  foundation to your complexion? Holly has the answers to these dilemmas and more!


Diva with a Fork – Holiday Makeup from Tampa Wonderworks Films on Vimeo.



    Happy Holidays,


Halloween Entertaining – Ghoulish Cocktails


Halloween isn’t just for kids! Lori McCarthy, owner of Spunky Spirits loves this spook-tacular recipe for Candy Corn Infused Vodka from Food Network Magazine. Use it to concoct Candy Corn Cocktails, that will crown you the ghostess with the mostess at your next ghoulish gathering!


Photograph by Levi Brown




1/2 Cup Candy Corn

1 1/2 Cups Vodka


Combine candy corn and vodka in an airtight container. Set aside for at least three hours and then strain. Discard candy corn.




4 oz Candy Corn Infused Vodka

2 oz Orange Liqueur

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

1 Large Egg White


1 Small Bag of Candy Corn


Pour candy corn vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn.

*Makes 2 Servings

Wishing Everyone a Happy & Safe Halloween,  


What To Consider When Hiring A Wedding/Event Photographer?


 It’s guest blogger time on Diva With A Fork! Join me in welcoming Booray Perry, an award winning wedding/event photographer and a member of Diva With A Fork’s  “Ask the Expert” panel.  Today’s article is a “Must Read” before hiring a wedding/event photographer.

Lately I’ve noticed there are a million websites giving a list to help you pick your wedding/event photographer.  The problem though with these lists, is that they don’t tell you what’s really important.  It’s like a list of ingredients for a recipe….. there are some things that can be left out or fudged a little but others that are absolutely essential! It’s the same when choosing a wedding/event photographer.

With that in mind, here’s my list of important things to consider.  It’s the list I’d give my daughters to use, when looking for their photographer… in this order:

Do the pictures move you?
Obviously, a very important quality in a wedding photographer. Start your search by identifying a few photographers who have work that you truly love.  Everything else (including price) is secondary. 


beach wedding kiss
Image by Booray Perry Photography


Will I receive all my images, full-size, on disc?
There are still some wedding photographers who only provide prints or albums from the wedding.  Digital files last forever.  I wouldn’t book a wedding photographer who didn’t give me a disc.  I would still order my album and my prints from the photographer (because the quality and retouching far surpasses what you’ll get by printing yourself….) but I would want that disc for safekeeping.

Back-up Equipment
It doesn’t matter how much you love the photographer’s work or how great the price is… if they only bring one camera to the wedding you are taking a huge chance with your wedding images.  Things break, stuff gets dropped.  You only have one wedding day and any photographer who doesn’t carry multiple cameras, lenses and flashes is irresponsible and reckless.  Luckily, most reputable wedding photographers carry back-up equipment so this is not usually a factor but there are a lot of photographers out there that seem to offer pricing that is too-good-to-be-true.  One of the ways that they cut corners is by not investing in suitable back-up equipment.  It’s not a risk that you should be willing to take.

The three ingredients above cannot be fudged or eliminated.  Now, let’s say that you have narrowed down to a few photographers that you love, they all carry back-up equipment and they all provide images on disc.  Here’s how you narrow them down further:

Can the photographer work in my wedding conditions?
This is more important than most people realize.  Your wedding may be outside.  It may be at sunset.  It may be in a church where no flash photography is allowed and the photographer has to stand in the back.  All of these conditions require a different set of skills and specialized equipment.   Most weddings require a wide range of abilities and equipment.  For example, at one wedding you may need a photographer who can shoot:


Natural light portraits

st petersburg beach wedding photography


Outdoor portraits in changing light conditions that require off-camera flash

beach wedding


Indoor reception pictures in a dark room that require specialized techniques and equipment to light the whole room

st petersburg wedding photography

Wedding photography by Booray Perry Photography


Having a wedding photographer that can adapt to the changing conditions of a typical wedding day is vital for most weddings.  I say “most” because there are some cases where it’s not necessary.  For instance, if you are getting married outside during the day and the reception is outside during the day then you don’t need someone who is a master of flash photography. But that’s seldom the case.  Most weddings have changing light and conditions throughout the day.  Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer about his experience and skill.

Does the photographer offer all the products/services you desire?
There are many products and services that you might want for the wedding, make sure your photographer can do it all.  This is especially true of wedding albums.  A modern, custom wedding album is a work of art.  The companies that print these albums only work with professional photographers.  So, if your photographer doesn’t provide them, you can’t get them.  Do you want an engagement session?  Photo Guest Book?  Reception Photo Booth? Save-the-Date cards?… Meet with your potential photographers and be sure you touch and feel all the products they offer.  “Wedding Album” can mean everything from a cardboard coffee-table book to a custom leather album with photographic print pages and metallic print cover.  Your photographer should be an expert in his field and capable of handling all your photo-related needs.

Do I like my photographer?
You will spend a lot of time with this person.  There will be consultations, photo sessions, viewings, emails, phone calls.  They will be near you the entire day of your wedding.  If you like your photographer you will be more relaxed and confident, which means better pictures.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references.  If past brides don’t rave about the photographers work and attitude, it’s a red flag.

Finally!  Once you have narrowed down to a few select photographers that meet all the requirements above, it’s time to consider price.  Just remember, no savings is worth it if your photographer fails even one of the previous points.  I see brides all the time who are brought to me by their mother… a mother who made the mistake of trying to cut corners on her own wedding photography and has regretted it her entire life.  Your wedding photographer is creating your memories.  Memories that will get passed down for generations.  No one ever looks back on their wedding day in 20 years and says, “I should have hired a less competent photographer.”

There are certainly other questions you’ll want to ask of your photographer (how long until I get my pictures, how much retouching do you do, etc…) but none more important that the ones listed above.  If your photographer passes each of these with flying colors, you can feel confidant that you are hiring a professional who will work hard to produce images you will treasure for years to come.

Best Wishes,


Booray Perry is a wedding and event photographer in Tampa Bay. 

Spooktacular Halloween Party Ideas

Happy Halloween

Photo Courtsey of The Bradford Exchange Online 

Fall is my favorite time of year. Who cares it’s still close to ninety degrees in Tampa, Florida. Relax with a mug of apple cider. Invite your friends for a spirited soiree. Decorate the house with the help of your little goblins. Stores are stocking their shelves with Halloween candy and decor and we’ve  found some bewitching items to make your Halloween spooktacular!



Martha Stewart Halloween Chemistry Drinkware



martha stewart halloween drinkware


 Have your guests mosey up to the bar for a goulish concoction.



Glitter Mummy from Pier 1 Imports


"I Want My Mummy!"


 We fell in love with this guy last week, when running into Pier 1 Imports to pick up a hostess gift.



  Drink Up Witches Beverage Napkin from Plates and Napkins



Perfect for a spirited “Girl’s Night In!”



Lover Dovers Retro Halloween Apron



Look devilishly delightful while hosting a Halloween soiree. We love this apron paired with your favorite little black dress!



Pottery Barn Dried Black Sola Flower Vase Filler



 An inexpensive way to add a dramatic touch to your holiday decor.



Crate & Barrel Spider Cupcake Holder


We’re terrified of spiders, but this one looks harmlessly delicious!



Monkey Mind Design Ghost and Goblin Halloween Invitation



 An invitation sets the tone for a creepy good time!



 Personalized Haunted Parlor Wall Canvas from Layla Grayce

A personalized work of art you’ll hang on your moonlight wall each year for Halloween.



Pottery Barn News Text Pillar Candles



These candles are perfect for casting an eerie glow over a mantle, dining table or a Halloween party buffet.



Laralee Lewis Halloween Bash Collection on Etsy



Send your guests home with a ghostly party favor!


Wishing Everyone A Happy & Safe Halloween,


Sweet Tweets Cakery Comes To Tampa

Oh, how I love cupcakes. Especially ones made with vanilla cake and topped with rich, chocolate frosting! No matter where I go, I’m always on the lookout for amazing ones. So, I’m sure you can imagine how delighted I was to hear a new cupcake shop  had opened on North Dale Mabry in Carrollwood. I couldn’t wait to indulge my cravings!



As I strolled into Sweet Tweets Cakery, my eyes immediately became fixated on a glass case displaying generously sized cupcakes piled high with sugary frosting. Before my visit, I thought I had a pretty good idea which flavors I wanted to sample. However,  my mind went completely blank as I gazed into the case. It was like I was in some kind of trance. Everything looked absolutely scrumptious! The heavenly descriptions Scott Stovern, co-owner and head baker at Sweet Tweets Cakery enthusiastically gave while pointing to each, didn’t help the situation either.




As hard as it was, I managed to leave that afternoon with five…Boston Cream, Red Velvet, Raspberry Chocolate Blossom, Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Bliss in hand. It took every ounce of willpower to resist devouring one of these beauties, as I hurried back to my office. Once there, I prepared the table for surgery. Oh, I mean tasting! (Big Smile) Five forks, five plates, five cupcakes, a camera, a pen, paper and one cupcake passionista were ready for action. The moment of truth had arrived…would these cupcakes simply be things of beauty or tantalizing to the taste buds?


Raspberry Chocolate Bliss Cupcake


Diva with a Fork says…FORKOLICIOUS! Moist, creamy richness filled my mouth with every bite. Surprisingly, my favorite wasn’t the Chocolate Bliss (vanilla cake topped with fudge icing) but, it did make my lips smack. The Raspberry Chocolate Blossom (vanilla raspberry swirl frosting, sprinkled with white chocolate shavings, atop decadent chocolate cake with a luscious raspberry filling) sent my mouth into an absolute frenzy! It was the perfect combination of chocolate and raspberry. Neither overpowered the other, which is rare in my opinion. Do I have any Red Velvet fans out there? I’m not a die-hard fan, but Sweet Tweets version was worth the extra twenty minutes I had to add to my workout that evening. Its center is  filled with a tangy cream cheese frosting and topped with a mixture of vanilla butter cream and cream cheese.



Stop by and don’t see what you’ve been craving? That’s not a problem according to Scott and his lovely wife Leticia, co-owner and cake designer extraordinaire. Sweet Tweets Cakery customizes as much as possible, to meet customers needs. Baked goods are made with quality ingredients and their recipes, a twist of family favorites. In fact, the duo is always taste testing new ones to add to their delicious repertoire.




Sweet Tweets Cakery is more than just a cupcake shop. Leticia Stovern designs incredible cakes for weddings, birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs,  showers and other social events. Some of her creations are so lifelike, they beckon you to take a closer look.


Guitar Cake


Sweet Tweets Cakery is located at 11127 North Dale Mabry in Tampa, Florida. To find out more about Tampa’s newest sugary sensation, visit When stopping in, make sure to tell them Diva With A Fork sent you!


This is not a sponsored advertisement. Diva With A Fork was not compensated in any form to review this place of business. This article expresses the opinion of Eileen Kanter A/K/A Diva With A Fork and is based on her experience at Sweet Tweets Cakery.


Sweet Tweets Cakery on Urbanspoon


Let’s Celebrate Showcase Tampa


Diva With A Fork is thrilled to present Tampa’s first…


November 13, 2011

Centre Club

123 South Westshore Blvd

Eighth Floor

Tampa, Florida

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM


 Admission is Free to the Public

Children 11 Years of Age and Up are Welcome to Attend When Accompanied by an Adult





This luxury showcase brings together the best and brightest event professionals in the industry, to share their products and services with people throughout the Tampa Bay area. If you are planning a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Wedding, Quince or other Social Event, you won’t want to miss this unique, fun-filled afternoon!


Calling All Industry Professionals…Sponsorship Opportunities, Exhibitor Booths and Advertising Spaces are Now Available

To learn more, contact – or call (813) 265-2862



Ask the Experts

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Diva's Blog

  • Event Planning & Design
    The latest ideas and inspirations for planning unforgettable weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate gatherings & other social event
  • Travel
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  • Shopping
    Stylish finds for gift giving, decorating the home or just indulging the shopping diva in you!
  • Cuisine & Cocktails
    Forkolicious restaurants, recipes and menu ideas to satisfy your foodie cravings!
  • Fundraising
    Expert advice for planning and managing successful fundraising events for nonprofits.
  • Let's Celebrate Showcase
    A luxury Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Wedding and Social Event Experience November 13, 2011. Join us from 1 PM - 4 PM for fun-filled afternoon you won't want to miss!