The Holidays are for Family Time

From the desk of: Melanie Oliveira 

With the holidays fast approaching, there is one big, important aspect that sticks out in my mind: family. Amid the craziness of the season, it is important to remember that the best part of the holidays is spending quality time with those you love. It’s a wonderful opportunity to disconnect with everyday stresses and reconnect with what life is really all about; friends, family, love, and spreading warmth and smiles. Often times, the people you look forward to seeing over the holidays are people that you love but you don’t get to see often. For my family, the person we are most looking forward to spending time with is my brother.

Spending time with family creates positive energy, which is enhanced by even the simplest holiday traditions. Our favorite holiday tradition is making breakfast all together, before we even open gifts. This will be our first holiday with my brother as a member of the United States Navy and we are so lucky to be able to have him at home with us. My younger brother joined the Navy right out of high school. He left for boot camp in February and moved to Florida immediately after. We are so proud of the man that he is becoming, but we miss him like crazy! It has been quite the adjustment living at home without him, but luckily we have technology like FaceTime to keep in touch.

Before my brother joined the Navy, I never knew how strong the members of military families were. Loving someone in the military is not an easy job. Thousands of people across the United States are in the same boat as my family and I. These families are missing their loved ones as they serve our country and are always praying that they return home safe. Unfortunately, some families are not as lucky as mine and their loved ones will not be returning home for the holidays. Those families will be missing their loved ones as they participate in their own holiday traditions, but they will also be creating new ones.

With that in mind, as family and loved ones surround you this holiday season, try to remember the ones that are less fortunate than you. Keep in mind the families that are missing a loved one, whether they are in the military or elsewhere.

To everyone that is serving or has served: Thank you for your service!

Holiday Feels

From the desk of: Phoebe Allen

Holiday seasons is by far my favorite time of year.  I also happen to love winter, I know I am crazy, but it makes this time of year that much better!  Lights glowing along streets, people bundled up, fuzzy blankets, red wine… so much to love.

Decorating for this time of year is also truly wonderful.  I love walking around the stores and seeing their window displays.  I also love a good holiday party… and of course decorating for a holiday party.  Weather you are decorating your home for your own enjoyment, or having friends and family over, you will find some great inspo below!

Table Decorations:  I am really into making your home feel cozy and warm and I love the deep darker tones to bring this table to life.

Love the pinecones in the floral…

Food and Beverage:

Make your own marshmallow decor!

Mulled wine is always a crowd favorite.  Check out this recipe.

White chocolate and dark chocolate chips, mixed with chopped up peppermint sticks makes for a great table snack.


Unique Venues in Boston

From the Desk of Perry Ardelle Burnham:

It’s finally November and we’ve finished our busiest month of the year! This gives us time to reflect upon past events as we plan for next year. In preparing for 2018, we have done various site visits, and “venue hunts” to find places that fit our clients’ needs while also being unique.

The traditional ballroom is beginning to fade into the past and people are considering unusual, creative venue spaces for their events. We have seen this time and time again from clients literally building their venue from the ground up to those who take a classic space and customize it with inventive details to fit their vision. Take the Divco groundbreaking event for example, where we designed a space in their construction site from the ground up.

Or take the Boston Ballet’s 50th Anniversary ball where AE transformed the Castle at Park Plaza into an elegant party setting with custom-designed chandeliers and a full runway anchored by two stages.

Whether we are finding you the perfect uncommon venue or turning a traditional space into something out of the ordinary–we give our all! There are plenty of venues in and around Boston that stand out and we love getting the chance to work at places that allow us to be creative.

Here are a few of our favorites:

The Alden Castle in Brookline

The Boston Public Library is the perfect place for any event from weddings to galas–we love the beautiful marble steps exiting the courtyard.

Here is the Orangerie Greenhouse in the Tower Hill Botanic Garden–a perfect place to gather for a company outing or an intimate event. This beautiful space is full of natural light and is sure to wow any guests under a beautiful New England sunset.  We have never done an event here but we love the venue and are hoping to soon!

Though we have many more we have come to love, the Artists for Humanity Epi-Center holds a special place in our hearts as it is eco-friendly and employs local artists.

Meet Jo!

Hello! I’m Joanna Chan A.K.A. Jo, the newest team member to join AE Events. Originally from Southern California, I moved to Beantown to attend Boston University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Administration. I ended up just loving the cold and snow so much I never left, even finding myself to be a loyal Red Sox & Patriots fan! Before joining AE, I worked at the Lenox Hotel & Hotel Commonwealth in Catering & Conference Services. After working in the hotel world, I decided it was time to shake things up and develop my career as an event planner in the city I love.

When I’m not at work you can probably find me hanging around the pool coaching or playing water polo. A sport not widely known on the East Coast, I’ve made it my passion & goal to grow the sport wherever and whenever I can. In addition to playing in high school, I played for the BU Women’s Team in college and now as an alum, I am currently the head coach of the team. You can also find me going on new beer & food adventures with friends or crocheting up a storm, especially in the winter. My most current project is a hexagon crochet blanket in different shades of blue! Other artistic interests include hand lettering, calligraphy & on occasion, if you’re lucky, you might get to hear me play the violin.

I’m looking forward to everything yet to come with AE Events. There is so much to be learned, so many people to meet and so many great experiences to be had! Can’t wait for my next blog to tell you all about it!

Fall has come!

From the desk of: Carrie Dirats

Every year it happens.  Some time during the first three weeks in October comes the evening of the first frost.  I know it’s coming and every year I procrastinate, dreading the final nail in summer’s coffin.  As though, if I don’t prepare the garden, it just won’t happen THIS year.  So October 16th, 6pm, as dusk falls, finds me doing my annual panic dance…”quick, grab a piece of garden fleece off of the asparagus!…I need a shovel and large pots!  How many?!  ALL of them!”  I holler through the gloaming to a rather harassed looking hubby.  That last early October blast of summer caused the pepper plants to flourish, re-blossom, and finally (finally!) start producing large, lovely fruits.  Suddenly, instead of the original plan of picking them out and saying goodbye, I couldn’t stand the thought of letting the encroaching winter get them and began a frantic rescue effort…as in, “how many of these suckers can we fit on the kitchen windowsill without the neighbors thinking we’re up to no good?”

I just couldn’t let those peppers-to-be in the center freeze!

And then of course there is Charlotte Bronte asking “so where have all the free cucumber treats gone?” and digging up the asparagus bed with apparent frustration…no help whatsoever.

Charlotte Bronte inquiring about why there are no more veggie treats.

That said, there is quite a lot of gardening to be done even after colder weather sets in.  Cabbage, swiss chard, spinach, and beets can handle moderate frosts.  Even lettuce and parsley can survive light ones.  Brussels sprouts thrive in cold weather.

Hardy chard, lettuce, and scallions in the fall garden.

One good thing about fall:  It’s garlic planting time!

Calendula flowers add bright spots of color until the first hard freeze

A sheltered location, a layer of garden fleece, and eventually a layer of heavy greenhouse plastic can keep a New England garden productive into December and, so I’m told, beyond.  Fresh local produce is so much more flavorful and nutrient-packed than those anemic, sad creatures one finds on the grocery store shelf.


Lunch….home grown lettuce, bell pepper, bok choi, and herbs with fresh lemon dijon vinaigrette.

If you’ve never gardened before and would like to give it a go, you don’t need a lot of space.  You can start small with a nice looking ceramic dish filled with some salad greens and herbs.  It’s an excellent use for that lovely spare soup tureen or casserole you never use…..and it makes a great kitchen table centerpiece.

Autumn Crocuses aren’t just pretty…the orange stigmas and style in the center are SAFFRON 🙂

So now, having survived the first round of the great annual fall garden panic, I’m focused on growing lovely fresh veggies through the winter and keeping a little bit of summer alive in my heart…wish me luck!  #gardengoals #irejectpumpkinspiceseason.

The author….in de hammock and in denial

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