desserts

Party Gifts

10:10 AM

This blog is all about hosting chic and fabulous parties... but what if you are going to a party? You should bring a chic and fabulous gift, right? Here are a few suggestions on what to bring to your next soiree…

For the Housewarming party:

Under $50 and super cool, these beautifully designed shakers come in a package that is so nice you don't need to wrap it. So, if you find yourself double parked and running into his store on Greenwich Street you don't have to worry about trying to wrap it while you drive to the party (that would be dangerous!). The shakers also come in other fun designs like elephants, cats, fish, even poodles!

For the Dinner Party:

Numerical Stoneware Appetizer Plate Set of 4 - Assorted (7")
These Numerical Stoneware plates from Target are a hit, especially at $11.99! Pick up a dessert or make a chocolate cake from my previous blog posts (low fat or one bowl) to go with the plates. The great thing about dessert plates is that they can be fun and different AND very few people buy them for themselves. 

Holiday Party:

These glass tags from Etsy are a perfect gift to bring to a holiday party. How many times have you put your glass down and a few minutes later asked the question; "which one is mine?" Before you know it  your drinking someone else's glass only to find out they have mono and you are about to spend the next month in bed! It can all be prevented with a glass tag! This seller in particular can make customized tags as well…making a great housewarming gift too. 

cake

Easy Lowfat Cake Recipe….or is it?

10:28 PM


I had a few ladies over last night to chill and relax and thought to myself "I should make that low-fat chocolate cake with pumpkin puree I heard about. How hard can that be?" Fact is, it sounds incredibly easy…the recipe (which I looked up before I started but I guess I didn't "read" it thoroughly) calls for chocolate cake mix and pumpkin puree. TWO INGREDIENTS!! Now, I ask you, how can that go wrong? Here is how it went down...

I placed the cake mix and in a bowl and mixed in the pumpkin puree. I mixed, and mixed. Then I smell it and it smells like PUMPKIN. Then I taste it and it tastes like RAW PUMPKIN! Panic ensues and I run to the computer to read the incredibly simple recipe again and realize I needed to mix in a 15 ounce can of pumpkin and I mixed in a 29 ounce can instead. In comes my event planner instinct and I aim to fix it. The solution? Pour in another bag of cake mix. Stir, smell, taste. Add water…stir, smell, taste, start feeling sick. Start drinking wine and laughing wildly to myself. Luckily, my fabulously supportive mother tells me it ill be fine and I should just bake it and everything will be ok.

I baked the cake for almost an hour and the outside looked like a black, burnt mess. We didn't eat it, in fact I put it aside and made my guests promise never to speak of what they saw at my house that night.

This morning however, I turned the pan upside down and to my surprise the cake looked normal. To my even greater surprise the cake was good!!! It was moist and fudge like and had no taste of raw pumpkin. I guess mom was right…baking solves all!

Here is the recipe for the low fat, low calorie and low in weight watchers points cake:
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
1 box of chocolate cake mix

Mix two ingredients together. Do NOT put eggs or oil. Place a little water if you feel it is too thick. Place in pan of your choice (I chose the bundt pan) and bake for as long as it says to on the box for that size pan. I just sprinkled powdered sugar on top to keep the calories low. Enjoy! See more nutritional breakdown here.

Flower Friday: Locally Seasonal

10:04 PM

I created this piece for the lobby of the new Hotel Indigo in Riverhead. It is really a gorgeous hotel; modern and clean with high end design elements throughout the space.  The specification was to keep the piece local and seasonal to reflect their menu in the restaurant. I really admired the fact that most of the produce comes from the local farm stands. These burgundy amaranthus were so beautiful and from Long Island I had to use them. The crab apple branches and orange bittersweet captured the essence of fall. For the vase, I wrapped it in a satin "indigo" ribbon to make the piece look modern as well and blending with the hotel decor. 


teambuilding

Event Recap: Fall Sales Rally

1:48 PM

Last night we ran a military themed Fall Sales Rally. What a great event! The theme modeled after one of the greatest movies ever; Top Gun. We had Olympic games and customized it around the theme with games like "military dress," "military strut" and even "bucket brigade." We even decorated the entire venue with balloons and real military props. It was such a hit! The energy was buzzing throughout the room. The marketing manager said in his speech that the sales increased on the heels of each one of those team building events...I have a feeling this event will bring record breaking sales results!
Here are some great pictures of the set up.


Holy Milkshake Mamma!!

9:57 AM


As I was reading through the NY Times food section last Wednesday my heart stopped as I read the article on the marriage of my two favorite things: ice cream and liquor! I knew instantly I had to share this with the world (or my few favorite blog readers!). What better way to end a fabulous dinner party? It combines dessert and a nice after dinner buzz. Make these classic chocolate chip cookies to serve with your "adult" milkshake and bring all your guests back to their youth sans alcohol of course. 

It's best to serve these very rich concoctions in small pilsner glasses like these.
Below are recipes from the article plus a classic milkshake recipe so you can experiment and make your own yummy alcohol filled ice cream drink.


Bourbon Street Milkshake

Adapted from Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn
Time: 5 minutes
1 cup vanilla ice cream made with egg yolks
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
2 tablespoons hazelnut spread
1 teaspoon malt powder (optional).
Measure ice cream and keep in freezer until ready to mix. Combine other ingredients in a blender or milkshake canister. Blend at medium speed until smooth and the hazelnut spread is all incorporated. Add ice cream and blend until creamy. Pour into a chilled sundae glass.
Yield: 1 milkshake

Spanish Latte Milkshake

Adapted from Mariah Swan
Time: 5 minutes
1 1/2 cups coffee ice cream, made with egg yolks
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 ounce Kahlúa
Whipped cream, for garnish.
Combine ice cream and liquid ingredients in a blender or a milkshake canister. Blend at medium speed until just combined. Avoid over-blending. Pour into a chilled pint glass and top with whipped cream.
Yield: 1 milkshake.
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
1.In a blender, combine ice cream, milk and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

wedding centerpiece

Flower Friday: Inspiration

8:18 AM

Excuse the poor quality picture and lack of posts this week. I have excuses but I won't use them on my very treasured readers…I'll just say sorry :( Stay tuned for daily posts to return with more great tips on having events both big and small. 

I took this picture at the Oheka Castle bridal showcase. We displayed out casino tables there and got a great response to the idea of having them at an after-party. As we thought, the grooms trickled in as their brides released them from wedding planning. Although I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to walk around and stare at pieces like the one above from Flowers by Topaz. The black vase and black jewels were so different and modern. I loved it and was very inspired by the dark burgundy, hot pink, light pink and yellow color combo. Fabulous!

4th of July flowers

Flower Friday: The Beauty of Gray

2:35 PM

Look in any fashion or interior design magazine and gray is the color of the moment. It's classic, neutral, rustic, and elegant all at the same time. Plus, it's less harsh than black. Think of pairing these cool gray vases with vibrant flowers (think yellow, magenta, red) or a lush bouquet of white blooms. Either way you'll hit a home run at your next event. All vases from Jamali Garden in NYC.

This cement collection has that previously mentioned rusticity. However, it probably is pretty heavy... consider that when using a bunch for an event. 
Also, although it says "cement" my husband would be very disappointed in me if I didn't clarify that it  is really concrete, which cement is only a component of. It's common mistake that my husband corrected me on with a 2 page e-mail explaining the difference…I married him that day!


This glass version will be much lighter and softer. See how it compliments the yellow tulips?


Here is another CONCRETE version. Again, see how the color pops against it? Very caveman chic!

This ceramic version ads a modern and clean feel lending towards white flowers. 


Lastly, this gray wood box is great for an outdoor wedding trying to capture that natural vibe that is super popular now. The best part of all these options is that they are masculine which is a great contrast to feminine flowers like peonies, garden roses, hydrangea and ranunculus.
Like these…




vintage

Wedding Love: Vintage Wisconsin Wedding

11:26 AM

I love seeing weddings in different states - it gives a new perspective and some great ideas. I also LOVE vintage details mixed with a laid back country vibe. That is exactly the look that was achieved with this Northern Wisconsin wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. Take a look at some of these fabulous pictures and try not to drool all over your desk...it's embarrassing!

These shoes mu be mine...not saying I would resort to violence but you may want to stay back.

Paper Dress up dolls? Yes please! You can buy similar vintage ones here. I wish there was a bigger picture of this because I'm not sure what exactly this is, but I do know I like it!
What a beautiful bride - the head piece is perfectly vintage. I found a nice one on etsy.
Someone must have been reading my billy ball post!
Every one of these bridesmaids dresses are different but for some reason, they all work. I have said this before - there is no reason to make your girls look hideous. Give them a swatch or a palette and have them find a dress they feel and look great in. They will be happier and you will be happier. Trust me, everyone will know who the bride is!
Peonies open to the max, purple stock and hydrangea...it looks so casual but yet so vibrant!
Very cute and easy candle idea. You can buy a entire case of mason jars for around $20. After the wedding you can use them to store home-made jam.
Lace, mason jars, candles? So vintage, so gorgeous!!

apple centerpieces

Flower Friday : Apple Harvest

11:10 AM

Ok, I know apples are not flowers but they do represent fall in the best way possible and make beautiful centerpieces. The color, availability and affordability make this delectable fruit a no brainer for decor. They can also be the entire theme of your wedding/event (although all I think about is the Fruit of the Loom Apple guy, but that's my problem). Think of all the wonderful-appley things you can have, candy apple station, apple pie eating contest, bobbing for apples, hot apple cider, apple martini's, apple chutney over pork chops…ok, I'll stop. I'm afraid I'm sounding like Bubba from Forest Gump (shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole…)

Without further adieu, here are some apple centerpiece inspirational pictures.
Apples and hypericum berries and wax flowers.

Pinks and greens are always a gorgeous color combination and very Spring. For Fall you can use red apples with the orange spectrum of flowers.

This one is so simple but still elegant.

Green apples, queen ann's lace and tulips. You would need floral foam and skewers f
or the apples to pull this off. 

birthday theme

Dream Theme: Campout Party

8:59 AM

Ok, maybe this isn't my dream theme but I'm sure it would be awesome for outdoor loving boys (and men).  This camp-out birthday party is just so amazing with all it's details from homemade trail mix to a S'mores Bar to a fishing trip; this party is the entire package. Check out these great pictures for some inspiration or go to Moore Minutes Blog to see the entire party…did I mention the S'mores Bar? 

Do you love the can of Bush Beans in the back? Very authentic!


The tent was hand made and the pennant flags (which area all the rage) were found on etsy. The particular seller on the Moore Minutes blog was on vacation. But this one looks cute. You can also buy an inexpensive one and customize it. The balloons look like boulders and I'm not sure if she did that or bought them looking "dirty."

She even had Bug Juice - how cool is that?
You can also customize labels and make your own bug juice. 
And the Piece De Resistance - the S'mores Bar!!! She had giant marshmallows, peanut butter cups, different shaped graham crackers…I am even loving the burlap overlay. I would be a happy camper with this at my party. In fact, I think I should have a S'mores Bar everyday so I can be happy pappy! 
What? Like that's not practical?

You know how I loves me some scavenger hunts! They are so easy and convenient and a great way to get your guests up and moving. 

She even made hobo sticks - I bow to her. If I ever have a son he can't see this post 
because I will never measure up.