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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!


2015: Be Engaged

Happy New Year and Congratulations to the newly engaged!  The holidays are a season of giving and receiving.  We’ve found that a lot of those gifts include giving an engagement ring and receiving love to last a lifetime!

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Image courtesy of Zev Fisher Photography – to see the full photo and more – go here!

In celebration of all that lies ahead for you and yours, here are a few websites that we like to check out when looking for new or unique wedding ideas (or just fall in love with Love!).

Dorfman Jewelers – If you don’t have the ring (but know there’s a promise), be sure to have one of their specialists help you with the Art of Engagement. Discover the newly renovated Dorfman’s when shopping for your wedding rings as well! (and fiances of the world – have your sig-other keep a running list of things they like here – it will make future gift giving easy!)

How He Asked – a website dedicated to marriage proposals, with thoughtful words, photos and even video.  If you’re in the mood to cry out of joy and all things good in the world – go here.  If you’re in the mood to share your story of love – go here.

BHLDN – vintage, delicate, ethereal are all words that describe the dresses, accessories and other beautiful things you can find on this wedding website from Anthropologie.  Sometimes all you need to complete the look is that one perfect thing…

Vows – searching for your wedding dress can be fun, exciting and overwhelming.  The staff at Vows in Watertown, MA will help you find that perfect look. This bridal outlet offers high-end designer wedding gown samples and overstocks from famous designers.  You are one of a kind, maybe the dress should be too!

Style Me Pretty – See what other real couples have done for their weddings – great for inspiration and current trends. We love to see what wedding trends are happening around the country.

Squarespace – thinking of designing a personal website for the Big Day? Check this out – they have wedding templates and make it easy to customize to suit you and your fiance’s style.

Recycle Your Wedding – figured out your wedding style and feeling a little DIY?  We do our best to help our brides find ways to save some dollars here and there.  Sometimes this means buying accents (votive holders, lanterns, and other little tidbits) which can be hard to store.  From the Ruffled Blog – here are some classifieds to buy and sell your wedding goods!

Congratulations again on your recent engagment!  AE Events is here to help you create a beautiful and magical day for you and your family – give us a call or email us to inquire about our services and how we can help you go from Ms. to Mrs.!

 


A Good Read

With the fall event season over and a few holiday parties still to celebrate – we at AE events have finally had a chance to slow down and take some time for ourselves!  In doing so, we’ve started to read, are reading or have recently read, these books that we thought we would share.  Now cozy up to the fire, get some hot cocoa (marshmallows too) and take some time for yourself!

“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
Recommended by Danielle  – Now a major motion picture, this is the story of a couple who seemed the perfect match, but as time passes, their relationship starts to decay, leaving the husband blaming his wife for most of their unhappiness.  On their 5 year wedding anniversary, the wife disappears and all signs point to the husband – a media frenzy ensues and the story builds from there.  The mystery and intrigue kept me on the edge of my seat with every page I turned.

 

“The Passage” – by Justin Cronin
Recommended by Aubry – In an attempt to cure the world of disease, a doctor possessed by the recent death of his ill wife brings a unique virus onto US soil for testing. He creates a task force called Operation Noah enlisting a team of talented but emotionally broken and detached officers to collect equally disturbed test subjects for his trials–all incarcerated miscreants the world is sure not to miss.

Testing produces the same curious outcome on his first 12 subjects, turning each into crazed, blood thirsty savages with superhuman strength. However, the doctor is convinced that his 13th test subject–en route to his facility with special operative Brad Walgast–will produce a successful outcome. However, when Walgast learns that subject 13, Amy, is an innocent six-year-old orphan he cannot allow himself to complete his mission.

They attempt escape, but are captured and returned to the facility where Amy is injected with the virus. As she is recovering–seemingly still human–the other subjects tear the facility apart creating a ripple effect of infected humans crawling across the state. Brad and Amy are able to escape, but the world is slowly falling to the infected that haunt the earth like vampires. Brad must keep Amy alive, as she is the key to ending the nightmare.

This is a super badass read! It’s thrilling and has an interesting sci-fi plot that the author, Justin Cronin, weaves throughout multiple character stories and time periods throughout the crisis, aside from Brad and Amy’s. There are two sequels that will keep you hooked as well. It’s like The Walking Dead with vampires…look out for a film or TV series in the future. I’m sure it’s coming…

 

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed – This year at the Rosie’s Place luncheon – “Funny Women, Serious Business…” our keynote speaker was Cheryl Strayed.  Her book has recently been made into a movie featuring Reese Witherspoon, due for release this month.  It’s the story of Cheryl’s personal journey at the age of 26 to hike the 1100 mile Pacific Crest Trail as she leaves behind drugs, a divorce, the loss of loved ones and seeks self-discovery. With no prior backpacking experience to rely on, Cheryl describes her life before and after this life-changing trek.

 

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
Recommended by Mindy –  This was a truly engaging story narrated by the main character, Theo Decker.  It follows him from a life-changing experience at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his mother and then pulls the reader along an unexpected path through a life filled with art, drugs, mystery, survival, love and loss.  It was one of those truly great and gripping stories where you had NO idea where the author would take you next and has you reconsidering the idea of fate.

 

“What the Dickens” by Gregory Maguire – We were so fortunate to have Gregory Maguire speak at our recent 826 Boston “Books for Breakfast” event.  The story has the tagline “The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy” and given the slant of his other books, which take traditional fairy tales, but told from another character’s point of view, (“Wicked” being the most popular) we can’t wait to see how this story unfolds!

Happy Reading!


The best thing I ever ate… this month.

Hello Friends, I hope you are all enjoying this mild summer. Did you take a vacation?  This summer, I was more than lucky to take a trip with my in-laws across the sea to Berlin.  This was MAJOR!  Most summer vacations involve trips to the beach or my parent’s house in NJ.

Berlin had so many sights to see, cool neighborhoods to check out, and some fantastic people, but one truly memorable event was the special dinner we had to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday.  I thought I would share with you many images of this deliciousness.  Just looking at them, the flavors all came rushing back.  Oh my goodness. Yum. Eating at a place like this, with a fixed menu is not for people that are afraid to try new things or get squirmy when people mention offal. You have to be open to what the chef has prepared.  Try it. You’ll like it.

We opted for the four course “summer menu” which started with this gorgeous array of little appetizers – spicy nuts, shrimp with a gorgeous gelee, pork belly carpaccio… from here I’ll list the courses as they were on our custom printed menus.  Look at this!

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First Course – PEA: green melon / lime
cream chiboust & shelled young peas, green melon pickled in lime juice, sirup from green thai chili, ginger jelly, mint meringue & fresh lime paring, galangal.  It’s like a painting.

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Second Course – CODFISH: lemon / lettuce
codfish, beurre blanc from lemon with cream, lemon grass & lemon leaf and green chili pickled in fish sauce as well as roasted basmati rice, lettuce in lemon dressing (two separate plates to mix bites as you like – and yes my own personal orchid plant on the corner)

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Third Course – VEAL: celery / jalapeno stewed cheek of veal in veal foot-jalapeno jus, rolls of apple, celery, celery cream and shiso, celery-apple juice, dim sum veal head (again, two small plates, the veal was spicy, the apple rolls helped to cool each bite)

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Fourth Course – Calpico: raspberry / rhubarb
cream, sorbet & fresh raspberry, rhubarb stock, mousse of calpico (Calpico or Calpis is a common flavor profile in Japan)

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And as if that wasn’t enough, they followed up with some little delicious dessert bites of chocolate, orange and raspberry done three ways; white chocolate infused with orange (everyone got their own set of mini tongs), orange fondant over ice cream with fresh raspberry on top, orange tuile with raspberry sorbet… I think!

dessert

So if you ever find yourself in Berlin, with some pretty euro to spend, consider getting a reservation at restaurant Tim Raue.  The chef is a native of Berlin. This is only one of his venues, but restaurant Tim Raue has a focus on Asian flavors.  Though the portions were small, they each held bites of perfection and we were full at the end. Beyond the food flavors, the details of the china, the presentation, the attentive staff, even the way the tables were custom made to hold the perfectly starched table cloth (check out their website)… everything was impeccable.  If you find yourself in Berlin, you will not be disappointed!  – Mindy


Hairspray and High Heels

Today’s blog post comes from one of our Senior Event Managers – Danielle. Enjoy!

Blustering cold, wrapped in parkas, heels as high as skyscrapers, and the countless ozone layers that we will miss from hairspray helping those hairdos hold up even through a blizzard – are just a few of the reasons why this now Bostonian, misses February in New York City as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes over.

As a young girl, I always felt I was cursed being born in February as blizzard after blizzard canceled consecutive birthday parties. But as I was held up in my room while the “curse of the winter baby” fell from the sky, there was always one thing I could rely on to cheer me up – turning on my computer to catch amazing designers reveal their newest fall looks that would inspire me and let my mind be blown as couture items walked the runway.

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Rebecca Taylor, Spring 2014

Nowadays, as an event planner, it is my favorite place to draw inspiration from as we plan for the spring gala season. As I watch, Oscar de La Renta reminds me that romance is not just represented in soft hues but a black gown can float down the runway. Mara Hoffman’s ability to mix print and not be afraid of color as standing out, not only draws attention, but confidence. It is through these countless shows I tune into in February, that allow a 5- minute show lead to more design concepts then an hour of brainstorming ever could.

How the amazing prints shown on the runway let me bring new levels to a table design or mix texture into a floral arrangement, the possibilities of where your mind may go are endless.

What inspires you?  Some of the shows I am looking forward to the most include Rebecca Taylor, Zac Posen, Rag & Bone, Clover Canyon, Mara Hoffman and Peter Pilotto (also check out his line for Target in stores, February 9th).  He is another great one to pull print inspiration from.

Watch them live February 6-13 at www.mbfashionweek.com to get your inspiration! Ohh and don’t think I won’t be buying a few of my favorite pieces to keep me inspired all winter long 😉  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

TRESemme at Mara Hoffman Swim - Runway - MBFW Swim 2012

Mara Hoffman, MBFW Swim 2012