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Cheers!

Hello and happy weekend!

It is currently the end of April and we are now well on our way into warm spring days, we hope!  This post has to do with anything and everything beverages. From sleek glassware and drink inspiration, to creative ways to elevate your bar, we want to help bring your vision to life.

First off whoever came up with the idea of cotton candy and champagne we would like to thank you!

 

You can always elevate your party by bringing in some funky glassware

 

Summer is here and we love the idea of a lemonade station to cool off

 

Celebrating something special?! Add a pom pom to your drink.

 

And finally, what better way to celebrate the warm weather than with popsicles AND drinks!


Serving Up in Style

Food is for more than just nourishment! It should taste good AND look good. Like the stunning detail of this gorgeous painted plate, for starters.

It’s spring party season, with celebrations and gatherings a-plenty.  Time to express your unique style with a colorful table.  Why not mix all of your favorites?

Don’t forget the china…pick handmade pieces and blend patterns!

 

Or step out with some serious whimsy…

 

 

Whatever inspires you, go above and beyond at your next soiree. Wow guests with plating and spectacular food displays!


Christmas in… March!

Traditionally the saying normally goes “Christmas in July” but for me, March has always been the favorite time of year, the month I most look forward to! Why you ask? Because of St. Patrick’s Day…my true Christmas.

I come from a heavily Irish family. If I were to take a DNA test I would be 70% potatoes, 10% Irish Bread, 10% Guinness, and 10% Jameson—that kind of heavily Irish. My grandmother grew up in Ireland with her brothers and sisters on the O’Malley Family Farm in County Mayo. She came to America in her early 20’s and kept the Irish culture alive and well in my family. A boiled dinner with corned beef and lots of veggies isn’t just for March—it was a Sunday night staple at my grandmother’s house.

So it should come as no surprise that I am also an avid Irish dancer. My mom enrolled me in classes at the Haley School of Irish Dance when I was 4 years old and I fell in love. All the spinning and shuffling and stomping – my 4 year old self was ENCOURAGED to be as loud as possible and jump around like, in the words of my dance teacher, “a Mexican jumping bean”! I was in heaven.

The more I danced, the more in love I fell with my Irish culture. St. Patrick’s day at school meant going all out—plaid skirt with a large pin fastening it (the 5 year old girl’s version of a kilt) paired with my favorite Irish sweater and a green headband. It became my uniform each year on that day for as long as it fit. I also loved showing off my dancing skills to my classmates and passing out Irish chocolate—aahhh Cadbury!

As I’ve grown up, my St. Paddy’s Day fashion has evolved into an extremely curly dance wig and an overly bedazzled costume. By the time I entered high school, I danced anywhere I could in March. “Dancing out” on St. Patrick’s Day is figure dancing in a big group with lots of clapping and smiling. You’re truly putting on a show! We dance everywhere: from a 30’-40’ wide stage in churches and schools, to a 4’ x 4’ piece of plywood in a restaurant or bar.

We dance in places big and small for a crowd of 3 or 300 because of how important of a day it is to the Irish Community. Not only as an ode to the religious figure of St. Patrick, but also as a day to come together and celebrate—it’s the ultimate party. And Irish dancing is the best way to celebrate!

After 19 years of dancing, I still go “dance out” every St. Patrick’s Day. And I get the best of both worlds. I am old enough to appreciate the deeply rooted traditions of St. Patrick’s Day. But I also get to celebrate with dancing and a drink!

So, when St. Patrick’s Day arrives, pour yourself a Guinness, grab your best green shirt, clap along to Galway Girl and No, Ney, Never and celebrate like you’re from the heart of Ireland, even if you aren’t, because it’s worth it– trust me!


Diamonds and lace and pearls…oh my!

From the desk of Creative Event Director, Mindy Home…

OMG. Did you watch the Golden Globes? Did you see the genius that is Marchesa, Valentino, Elie Saab, or Louis Vuitton (to name a few…). I mean, Hello Jessica Biel! Elie Saab knew what he was doing when he dressed you in this – complete with the 3D appliques… swoon.

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The big trends for the red carpet were either picking a bold color a la Reese Witherspoon in a fabulous yellow Versace or selecting something that had sheer elements and touches of glam. Did you see Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad Couture?!… I mean, how could you miss her?! Embroidery, sequins or some other kind of fabulous accent turned the dresses into masterpieces.

Thandie Newton in her understated white Monse dress with orange paillettes – yes!

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Lily Collins looking like something out of a beautiful fairy wonderland from Zuhair Murad Couture – yes!!

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Metallics were everywhere! Everywhere we turn these days people are mixing metals and it’s fabulous. Ruth Negga nailed it with a head-to-toe-metallic-modern take on the evening gown from Louis Vuitton.

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Emma Stone won (some best dressed list and a few golden globes) in soft blush accented with stars. STARS people!!!

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Walking the red carpet is a chance for someone to really shine and stand out in the crowd. It’s the same for a bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day. I can’t wait to see how these looks further influence the next round of wedding dresses from designers around the world… just look at this piece from Marchesa’s Spring 2017 Bridal collection.

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And while the very deep-v was also a trend…. Oh hi there, Mandy Moore looking fabulous in Naeem Khan… It may not be the most appropriate look your wedding day – just my opinion – but it’s your day. Do what you want, just own it and feel fabulous as you can tell these ladies on the red carpet did!

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Marchesa dress courtesy of Marchesa


In the Spirit of the Holidays

From the desk of Senior Event Manager, Chrissy Kratz…

I won’t even try to lie to you – I am a serious holiday lover. The day after Halloween, I start listening to holiday music with my headphones set to super low so I won’t be judged by the people around me (yes, that includes my AE colleagues!), I am done shopping for friends and family before Thanksgiving, and my small apartment has more decorations than it has any right to fit inside of it (preview below). But what can I say? I love it all and don’t think a mere four weeks is enough time to celebrate! Of course, along with the spirit of the season comes just that – spirits. Here are a few of my current favorites to bring along to your next holiday party.

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Wine
This year, I attended a Fireside Chat at The Fireplace focused entirely on my favorite grape, Pinot Noir. Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir was hands down my favorite of the dinner and one I recommend to pair with a charcuterie platter or roasted poultry dinner.

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Thinking something white? Try Ashbourne – a unique Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay blend out of South Africa. Don’t be deceived by its light nose…the combination of the body from the Chardonnay and the acidity from the Sauv Blanc is a nice balance that allows you to drink this wine on its own (though pairing it with some oysters isn’t a bad idea either!).

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Beer
Who says you can only enjoy a bottle of vino around the holidays – give a holiday brew a try! Perhaps Nodding Head Brewery’s Sled Wrecker made with molasses and rum-soaked fruit (yes that is a shameless Philadelphia-pride pitch).

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Looking for something lighter? After a recent trip to northern California, I’m head over heels for Almanac Beer Co.’s Saison Dolores. I wouldn’t call it a holiday beer, but it’s worth a try if you aren’t into rum and maple syrup in your pint.

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Spirits
Get creative with your cocktails! My must-try this year is to make a Rosemary-Infused Honey Sidecar. Boil some rosemary in water before freezing the liquid into ice cubes. Combine 2 cups Cognac, 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup honey before adding in the rosemary-infused ice cubes. Strain, and serve in sugar-rimmed glasses. Voila – a holiday classic with a twist! Plus, you can spike the eggnog with the extra Cognac.

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Whatever your spirit style is – embrace it and don’t be afraid to try something new. Cheers to a festive, fun and safe holiday season!