Sunday, September 30, 2012

cheesecake

My favorite new twist to the conventional tiered wedding cake, is the cheesecake - wheels of cheese stacked and dressed to resemble a wedding cake.  You can dress the wheels up with a cake topper, flowers, fruits that complement their flavors, or even dried herbs.  It's the perfect way for a couple with savory palettes to have a dramatic foodie display at their wedding.  And it gives the guests with corny senses of humor (pointing to myself) the chance to make jokes about the couple "cutting the cheese." 

I love this idea for smaller events as well, whether it be a bridal shower, a birthday party or a wine tasting. You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be impressing guests with this cheesy, but brilliant display idea.

 
 Photo Credit:  Dominique Bader




 
Source unknown

 Source: Milli's Kitchen

 Source: Southern Living

Photo credit: David Macvicar
Source: Wedding Bells

Monday, September 17, 2012

halloween

Every year I plan my company's Halloween Party.  In the month leading up to Halloween, my office is overtaken by mummies, skeletons, and pumpkins.  It's my favorite event to plan each year because I get to be creative and have fun with the event. 

Halloween decor overtaking my office.

On the Saturday before Halloween, our events team transforms a floor of conference rooms into Halloween mecca for 600 employees and their families to enjoy.  There are face-painters, magicians, and balloon artists roaming the hallways.  The cafeteria is full of Halloween treats.  Each conference room holds a different activity - a haunted house led by the grim reaper, a karaoke booth where you can record your favorite Halloween song onto a CD, a pumpkin carving room...you name it, we've got it!  

There are a few rules for the Halloween party since about 400 of the guests are children.  For decor, we can't do anything too scary (no one wants throngs of crying toddlers).  For the menu, nothing too intricate (after all, we have to feed SIX HUNDRED people) and nothing alcoholic (we don't need co-workers getting rowdy at Noon on a Saturday). 

Each year while doing idea research for the company party, I come across ideas that are too scary, intricate or alcoholic for the company party.  I store them away for when I am able to throw the Halloween party of my dreams.  Now, my husband and I live in a one bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  We don't really have the square footage for the Halloween party of my dreams.  I'm also usually too pooped from a day of wrangling 5 year-olds at the company party to host a party of my own.

Next year is different though.  At the end of this year hubby and I are moving from NYC to my hometown of New Orleans.  I will be so sad to leave behind the best event planning job I've ever had, but I'm excited to finally have a house big enough to throw a fabulous Halloween bash!  The party isn't until October 2013, but as any good event planner will tell you:  it's never too early to start planning!  My head is already spinning.  I have my trusty Excel budget prepared. I've started weeding through my stored pins and magazine clippings for some of my "musts" for the party.  I thought I would share some of them with you in case you're planning a 2012 Halloween Party!

My first couple of "musts" are recipes that I found last year on Fashionably Bombed.  Fashionably Bombed is a blog run by two sisters, who have perfected the stylish, creative cocktail.  Every recipe of theirs that I've tried has been delicious, so I have total faith in serving the Reese's Peanut-tini and Candy Corn Martini at my Halloween Bash.  
 
Reese's Peanut-tini
 Photo and Recipe Credit: Fashionably Bombed.
Recipe makes one.
Ingredients
¼ cup peanut butter (with salt)
¼ cup milk
½ ounce vodka
1 ounce Crème de Cacao
Ice


Garnish
Chocolate wafer cookies
Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

To a blender add peanut butter, milk, vodka and Crème de Cacao. Blend. Pour mixture into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake! Strain into a martini glass rimmed in chocolate cookie crumbs and garnish with a stack of peanut butter cups! 
Candy Corn Martini
 
  Photo Credit: Fashionably Bombed.

Ingredients
1½ ounces milk
1½ ounces cream
1 ounce Candy Corn Infused Vodka
½ ounce Honey Syrup

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake! 

How to make Honey Syrup:
Place 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan and stir until dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until syrup is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Instructions on making Candy Corn Infused Vodka here.
 
  Photo Credit: Fashionably Bombed.

As far as decor goes, I love this entrance.

 Credit: My Home Ideas

If you entertain a lot, candy jars are one of the best investments you can make.  They are affordable and can be used in an assortment of ways.  Here they are used as apothecary jars holding ingredients for spells.  

Credit: My Home Ideas

Chalkboards are another affordable and simple way to add decor to a room.  Tips for DIY chalkboards here 
 
Photo credit: unknown

I love the spooky forest backdrop behind this dessert table. 

 Credit: Libby Lane Press

DIY window decorations are a great way to add a big bang to your event for little bucks. If you have paneled windows like the one in the image below, you can split up a high resolution photo and print it in sections on your home computer.  For larger prints, Staples sells what they call Engineer Prints.  They range in size up to 3' x 4' and cost only $4.99!

I came across these "broken windows" on Halloween Forum.  To create this look just take contact paper and cut it apart to look like fractured glass. You can apply it to the inside or outside of the windows. What a simple and affordable way to make a sunny window look haunted and abandoned.  

 Credit: Halloween Forum

This is a fabulous way to keep party guests on the first floor. 
 Credit: Martha Stewart


Okay, time to stop daydreaming about next year's party!  Best of luck to anyone hosting a party this year!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Elderflower cocktails with a NYC view

I recently planned an event that was held at Robert Restaurant, which is located on the 9th floor of the Museum of Arts and Design.  Not much had to be done to decorate the space because it is filled with such modern furniture and vibrant lighting (Oddly, the restaurant reminds me of Saved by the Bell - in a good way!).  As fantastic as the dining room is, as soon as you check out the view of Columbus Circle and Central Park you are immediately hypnotized and forget everything else in the room!  At the event, we pulled the tables away from the windows to give guests the chance to mingle and appreciate the view during the cocktail hour.

  

 The food and company were great, but the only thing that could pull me away from the spectacular view was The Isabell, a delicious cocktail made with prosecco and elderflower liqueur.  It was my first taste of elderflower and it certainly won't be my last.  It tasted like summer.  Elderflower cocktails are traditionally garnished with a lemon twist, but I prefer how The Isabell was garnished with a small flower.

 

Elderflower Cocktail Recipe: in a champagne flute add 1/2 oz. of Elderflower Liqueur and 6 oz. of Prosecco or Champagne.  Garnish with an edible flower or a lemon spiral.

A non-alcoholic version can be found here

 

Upon further research of elderflower, I found several recipes that I can't wait to try!  
  
Elderflower Champagne Cocktail with Mint and Cucumber
Fill a tumbler with ice. Fill three-quarters of the glass with dry champagne or prosecco. Add thinly sliced cucumber and fresh mint. Top off with St-Germain elderflower liqueur.

 
Photo and Recipe by Liz Vidyarthi.

Elderflower Martini
1 measure of elderflower cordial with 1 measure of gin,1 measure of dry vermouth and a splash of lime juice and shake up in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice until very chilled. Serve in a chilled martini glass immediately.

 Photo and Recipe courtesy of The Nest

Sage, Elderflower and Cucumber White Sangria
Ingredients:
- 3 oz Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Triple Sec
- Dash of Lime Juice
- Very light dash of Elderflower Cordial
- Dash of White Cranberry Juice
- Sprite (dash on top)
- Sage Leaf
- Cucumber (diced teaspoon)
 

Mix all the above ingredients in a glass over ice. Add a teaspoon of cucumber and a sage leaf for garnish with a bamboo cocktail stick. (Cocktail created by Brian McGrory, Public, 10 Elizabeth St, New York, 10012) 

 Photo by Cocktail Times

Additional recipes using elderflower liqueur can be found here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

brooklyn seersucker

Another seersucker wedding!  This time it's a Seersucker in Brooklyn.  This one is an urbanized, Big Apple version of a seersucker wedding, photographed by Brooke Fitts of Brookelyn Photography. I love how Brooke stylishly captured all of the special touches that the couple, Ian and Hannah, incorporated into the wedding - from the seersucker yarmulkes to the hand-made floral centerpieces to the colorful dessert table with donut to-go boxes - making a memorable affair even more memorable!

 


 
 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

west coast seersucker

As you can tell by the title of my site, I love seersucker! It's such a fresh, romantic fabric that makes me want to sit on a porch swing and sip mint juleps out of a mason jar.  Unfortunately, seersucker isn't the "go to" fabric choice for corporate events in Manhattan, so I don't get to use it as often as I'd like. I was completely enchanted by Sarah Maren's photographs from Meredith and Jeff's seersucker-inspired wedding in California, planned with style by Kate Miller Events.  Don't these photos make you wish you were there? 

 


  Photo Credit: http://www.sarahmaren.com/

 


 



If these pictures have you craving a mint julep in a mason jar, 
a recipe for the "perfect" mint julep can be found here.