Be Mine!

February 14, 2016. Category: Valentine's Day

Whether you’re entertaining for two or hosting a get together with some of your closest girlfriends, we put together a few tips for to make your entertaining this Valentine’s Day as easy as possible so you can spend more time with the ones your love!

1. Since Valentine’s Day is a Sunday this year, why not host a Valentine’s brunch? Yummy bites and an at home flower arranging lesson would be a blast!  You can sip mimosa’s and champagne while you create a gorgeous masterpiece that you get take home with you, and let’s be honest what girl doesn’t want flowers on valentines day!

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Photography: Karen Kaper 

2.  We love a theme and Valentine’s Day is no exception, especially when it comes to hosting a fun get together with your girlfriends. To eliminate the over thinking of what to serve, why not not create a signature cocktail or two!

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Photography: Abby Jiu

3. Creating a romantic wine tasting at home is a great way to celebrate the holiday without fighting crowds.  A romantic twist on your typical wine tasting is to do a Rosé tasting.

Rose Tasting Karen Kaper

Photography: Karen Kaper

 

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Let the Good Times Roll!

February 09, 2016. Category: Mardi Gras, traditions

Let the Good Times Roll! While it may not be a popular saying in France because of its improper grammatical syntax, it is always popular in New Orleans, where locals and tourists alike like to laissez les bons temps rouler especially with the start of Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday! 

The great news is that you don’t have to be in New Orleans to have some Carnival fun and Mardi Gras is the perfect excuse to celebrate! So grab your closest friends, a mask and a slice of king cake and get ready party!

One of our favorite traditions is the King Cake, if you are not familiar with the tradition behind this sweet confectionary here is a little bit about it.

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Photography: Eric Kelley    Venue: The Clifton Inn 

Mardi Gras and King Cakes go hand in hand…especially in Louisiana! As part of New Orleans’s Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings, called “A King’s Cake.”

Each king cake has a tiny baby inside. The tradition of King Cake Parties have evolved over time, and the “lucky” person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is asked to continue the festivities by having the next King Cake party.

Originally, king cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today’s king cakes are much more festive. After the rich Danish dough is braided and baked, the “baby” is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

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No Monkey Business

February 08, 2016. Category: advice, Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year!

Legend has it that in ancient times, Budda asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality traits.

2016 is the year of the Monkey, so those born in monkey years are often fun, energetic, curious, and mischievous.

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

Chinese fire crackers

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.

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Super Sunday without the Super Stress

February 04, 2016. Category: catering, cooking, details, diy, event, how to, uncategorized

With a die-hard Denver Broncos fan on our team in Cindy, we couldn’t let the Super Bowl Sunday go by without a blog post. We have pulled together a few of our favorite Super Bowl entertaining tips and put together a cute downloadable version of Cindy’s favorite Super Bowl predictions game for you to print out and play with your friends. So get cooking, drink up and Go Broncos!

(This post may or may not have been written by aforementioned die-hard Broncos fan)

These adorable and easy to make cutlery cans (see instructions here) are the perfect way to add a little football flare to your Super Spread.

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Aimee’s go to Super Bowl snack is the Barefoot Contessa’s caramelized onion dip (here). And who could forget the drinks! Consider calling in tired on Monday morning and making a crowd favorite Beer-Rita (here).

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Don’t forget to have activities for those that may not be the biggest football fans. Fun activities like our downloadable predictions game (click here to download printable version) are the perfect way to engage those there for the pigs in a blanket and not the pigskins.

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Hats Off to Groundhog Day!

February 02, 2016. Category: catering, ceremony, traditions, trends

Sometimes it feels like planning your wedding is a bit like Groundhog Day, you see the same traditional elements over and over again.  You don’t want to give up on tradition but also want to put your spin they day. So in honor of Punxsutawney Phil we want to pass along a few of our favorite twists on some wedding traditions. Here’s to not seeing your shadow and starting something new!

Embrace the Darkness

We love a good daytime ceremonies but there is a certain romance and elegance about getting married at night. Use candles and a good lighting team to direct the guests attrition to exactly what is important…the two you starting your life together.

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Photo by Raquel Reis

Get Up and Move

Release your guests from their tables and let them mix and mingle! A dinner of food stations and passed small plates and mixing up the seating with cocktail tables and lounge furniture is the perfect way to get your guests to interact throughout the evening. Worried your guests are too shy? One the specialty cocktails start flowing so will the conversations (and dance moves)!

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Photo by Vicki Grafton Photography

Brides-man…Best Woman

Your posse may not necessarily fit perfectly into gender groups. Skip tradition and ask those that truly mean the most to you to stand next to you as you say “I Do”. Your brother is your BFF, make him a brides-man. Your childhood friend is a girl, best woman material right there.

View More: http://erickelley.pass.us/kelly-jay-wedding

Photo by Eric Kelley

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