February 4, 2014

A Special Valentine’s Celebration ~ Girlfriends Edition

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:30 am by JBEvents

 

ecard hate valentines day

 

 

Now I know that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be for LOVER’S, but what about those of us that don’t have a significant other in our lives at this time?  Should we be completely left out for this sweet Holiday?  I think not – and so what better way to share the love of your best girlfriends than to have a Party just for the GIRLS!  There are so many options of what you could do, from a night out on the town, dinner and a movie, or what about a GNI ~ Girls Night In!!! {Of course you can change the time frame to a Brunch if that suits you better!} Change your outlook on the whole “Holiday” and focus on the special bonds of friendship with the girls that keep you grounded instead of the outside influences that can make you feel that being alone on Valentine’s Day is just a reason to be depressed!

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Once you have made the decision to have a party for your best girlfriends, of course the next step is to send out the invitations.  There are so many options for the style of invitations you can select.  You could of course opt for an online invitation from sources such as Paperless Post, or a personal email, but since this is a special get-together, why  not go all out and select an invitation that goes along with your desired theme.

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Next determine the menu.  This will of course vary depending upon the time of day you are hosting your BFF Party!  Use this as a time to have delicious, fun to eat options and not necessarily things that are only healthy options.  Splurge a little and have decadent treats.  It goes without saying that tasty beverages should be offered.  You could have a signature drink to begin the celebration or set up a beverage station where guests can mix up their own refreshing beverage. Desserts that make your mouth water are a definite!  Whatever you decide to offer, chocolate is a MUST!!

cocktail Cocktails-for-Your-Party lara-cocktails-baby-shower Pink Champagne shorlychic flamingly party

 

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strawberry

 

Depending on the theme of your party, make sure to have the appropriate items available.  A Spa party is one idea, and what girl doesn’t enjoy being pampered with spa treatments.  You could have a table set with items for each guest to use during the party and then take home with them after.  How about a Lingerie or Pajama Party ~ for a Lingerie party, each guest could bring a piece of lingerie wrapped up and then play a game like “Steal the Gift” so each person ends up with a new piece of lingerie.  A Pajama Party would be perfect if you are having a sleepover.  Have your guests arrive in the PJ’s and then reminisce like young school-girls when you use to have sleepovers.  Maybe you would rather have a movie night – so having finger foods and perhaps a make-your-own-popcorn creation station would be perfect.  If you are a GAME person, then having Girls Game Night would be a fun theme.  Board games would be perfect or maybe you and your friends prefer card games.  Some fun, interactive games could be:

“Never Have I Ever.” This game is sure to weed out the wild ones in your group. Everyone starts the game with three fingers raised. (You could also give everyone three coins or three small objects instead of using raised fingers.) You go around the room with each person saying, “Never have I ever…” and then finishing that sentence. The answers could be outlandish (“…had my eyebrows waxed”) or adventurous (“…gone skydiving”). If someone else in the room has done the crazy thing, the person making the statement has to put one of their fingers down. The last finger standing wins.

“Who? What? When? How?” This is a good get-to-know-each-other game if you make your questions creative. Put out some squares of paper and pens for everyone. Have everyone write down a personal who, what, when or how question and take turns drawing and answering. You’ll find out things about each other you never knew!

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Most ladies enjoy an elegant dinner setting, so take the opportunity to set out your finest china and crystal and either make or purchase lovely centerpieces.  You can go elaborate with your decor, or more simplistic, you can DIY or use the services of your favorite floral designer.  

candlebottles Dan-Cutrona-Photography-023 Debbies Delights blog Ladies Tea Debbies Delights Tea decor ideas diy_winebottlevases_17 herbivore kitchen elegant table setting Pink party decor ??????????????????????????????? Pink tea party decor Posh-Floral-Stylized-Valentines-Brunch-7 San Diego Wedding Photography Engagement Outdoor Family Child Newborn Photographer www.SavoringTheSweetLife.com-9 table design tea table4 medium The Atlantis Wedding Table Centerpieces 3 the martha blog watercolor place settings wine bottle cluster with burlap and flowers winebottlecenterpiece wine-bottles-as-flower-vasesThe most important thing about your BFF Party is to celebrate the friendships and special bonds that you have with your Girlfriends and have a celebration that emphasizes how important each person at the party is to you!!  Celebrate and Enjoy!!!  

Pajama Party photo Posh-Floral-Stylized-Valentines-Brunch-138 Vintageandcake blog ladies at table winter-bachelorette-party.green wedding shoes

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an Event Planning firm specializing in assisting our clients to enjoy the planning process while we handle the details to ensure a flawless celebration.

 

Images contained in this blog post are from research of various blogs and images to include Glitter Guide, Bigg's Glamorous Girls Night Out Ideas, Savoring the Sweet Life, Debbies Delights blog, Wine Bottle Arrangements, How to Reuse It Creatively, This is Glamorous, The Atlantis Wedding Table, The Martha Blog, Vintage and Cake Blog, Green Wedding Shoes, Bibis Culinary Journal, Dan Cutrona Photography and Herbivore Kitchen.
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April 11, 2013

It’s a Tea Party!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:15 am by JBEvents

Invitation to a Ladies Tea.

Invitation to a Ladies Tea.

 

There is nothing quite so elegant as a Ladies Tea.  There are so many variations/types of Teas, each carrying with them their own sense of tradition.  Of the most popular, English and Russian, the reasons behind the “tea” varied as well as the formality of the tea.  A “High Tea” is actually a full meal  that occurs in the evening – although that is not always what occurs with an Americanized version of High Tea.  A “Low Tea”  also referred to as an Afternoon Tea is the most common style and what is typically offered.

 

Limoges Tea Set

Limoges Tea Set

 

According to Sheila, Your Tea Party Guide, she has a website that provides a multitude of information on Teas including history behind and helpful hints.

Depending upon which type of Tea you plan to have, there are several things to keep in mind.  If you are keeping completely with tradition, your menu should follow the type of options:

For your high tea menu, it will consist of several courses. Similar to any other ‘main meal’, sit-down dinner, it can be casual or formal and can consist of the following courses:

  • Appetizers
  • Soup
  • Rolls/Bread (Different types can be served throughout the meal)
  • Salad
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Desserts
  • And several nice hot pots of tea!

finger sandwiches 80thHighTea London-Fortnum-Mason-Afternoon-Tea

Low tea party your menu will look like this:

  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Savory Scones ~ Scones seasoned with herbs, cheese…
  • Other Appetizers
  • Plain Scones served with Clotted Cream
  • Sweet Scones
  • Other Tea Breads ~ Banana, Zucchini…
  • Tea Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Sweets
  • And a nice hot pot of tea.

A low afternoon tea party can be set up to have all food available on a three-tiered tray, laid out on a buffet, or can be served in courses.

The courses are served in this order:

Savories: Tea sandwiches, seasoned scones, and any other appetizers.

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Scones: Plain scones, sweet scones, other tea breads.

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Sweets/Pastries: Tea cakes, cookies/biscuits, confections.

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The Low (Afternoon) Tea is certainly easier to put together and is more appropriate for a get together of some special friends or a Bridal or Baby shower.

Just as there is a certain order to the serving of the items for a tea, there is also a certain order of preparing a scone (tea biscuit) for eating.  There are primarily two different variations of this, the Devon or Cornish.  If you are observing a traditional Tea, knowing the proper method of fixing your scone is important.

If you are serving a Devon tea, you will serve scones split in half (plain with no fruits, nuts or anything added to them and never frosted), with Devonshire clotted cream then strawberry jam on top… in that order!

Devonshire Scone

Devonshire Scone

Or…

If you are serving a Cornish tea, you will serve splits(a sweet yeast roll) or scones, split in half, with butter, strawberry jam, and then a generous scoop of Cornish clotted cream on top… in that order!

Cornish Scone

Cornish Scone

 

Here is a delicious recipe for Scones.

 

Scones from Kellys Konfections

Aunt Ginna’s Legendary Cream Scones

Yield: ~12-15 scones (depending on size)

Ingredients:

Organic, unbleached pastry flour- 3 1/2 c

Baking powder- 3 1/2 tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Bakers’ superfine sugar- 1 tbsp

Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), cold, cut into quarters

Eggs- 4, cold

Heavy cream- 2/3 c

Sour cream- 2/3 c

Flavoring (see note)
Directions:
1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Place in a huge food processor with butter chunks. Process until mixture resembles and feels like coarse meal, less than 1 minute.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, heavy cream and sour cream. Stir in flavoring. Add mixture to food processor.
3. Mix together until dough forms a soft ball. Scoop dough out onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar (optional). Bake at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Flavoring
Vanilla scones- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Lemon scones- 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
Raisin scones- 1 c raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon

Tea and scones from Kellys Konfections Kellys Konfections scone with jam and cream

 

You can purchase the Devon Double Cream or Clotted Cream from some specialty Tea stores, or you can even order it online:

http://www.englishteastore.com/british-store-cream-tea.html?gclid=CLiu8I_fwLYCFQWpnQodYRkAgQ

Clotted Cream Devon cream

In our world today where we have seemingly drifted so far away from manners and etiquette, having an opportunity to bring back something so steeped in tradition is a welcomed escape.  Why not plan a Ladies Tea for your next special occasion!!  We are able to assist in the planning of this or any type of social celebration.  Contact us for Innovative Concepts for your next event!!

scones with jam and cream

 

 

Janice Blackmon Events ~ A full-service event planning firm offering a variety of packages so clients can determine the level of assistance they need!  Our philosophy is that with our assistance, your event will be flawless!!!

March 21, 2013

Tasty Idea for a Favor!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by JBEvents

Planning a gathering of close friends ~ maybe a Bridal Shower, Baby shower, Ladies Tea, Small-group meeting, Cooking Club meeting or just a lunch with your best friends ~ whatever the occasion  with a little pre-planning, you can give your guests a take-away that will provide a yummy reminder of the special occasion!!

A perfect way to show your friends they are special, is to share with them a Friendship Bread Starter.  The pre-planning is for making enough of the starter to have for each guest in attendance.  It would be best to have a finished product for everyone to enjoy at the gathering and then surprise them all with a jar of their own starter along with the Directions and Recipe to take home with them.  They will be sure to think of you every time they enjoy the fruits of their labor while also allowing them to share a starter with others in their circle of friends.  It’s a great way to show a kind gesture that can keep on giving!

I’ve participated in several of the “Starters”, but really love the Amish Friendship Bread as it has a dense texture and sweet flavor.  I would often eat a slice for breakfast warmed up with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or serve as a dessert.  You can also make variations of the recipe by adding chocolate chips or dried fruit.  So many options!!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

 Ingredients 

Original recipe makes 4 cups of starter

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

3 cups white sugar, divided

3 cups milk

Directions

1.    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.

NOTE:

  • Once you have made the starter, you will consider it Day One.   You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

  The Recipe

Important Note: Don’t use metal spoons or equipment. Do not refrigerate. Use only glazed ceramic or plastic bowls or containers.

Required Main Ingredient

1 cup live yeast starter (see above)

day 1:

Do nothing with the starter.

days 2-5:

Stir with a wooden spoon.

day 6:

Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.

days 7-9:

Stir with a wooden spoon.

Day 10:

Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.

1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 – (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well-greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

 

I hope you enjoy this personal Favor/Treat for your special gathering of friends!!

 

 

Janice Blackmon Events ~ A full-service event planning firm offering a variety of packages so clients can determine the level of assistance they need!  Our philosophy is that with our assistance, your event will be flawless!!!

March 5, 2011

Our Secret Wonderland

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:11 pm by JBEvents

 

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As an Event Planner, sometimes it is hard to WOW us.  However, this was not the case for some of the cities elite planners who were invited to attend the Atlanta Weddings Magazine and W Hotels of Atlanta Wonderous Day full of indulgent Surprises!

Our day begin at the W Hotel ~ Buckhead where small hints eluded to what lay before us.  On the information screens throughout the hotel, there were images from Alice in Wonderland ~ both the original and the new version with Johnny Depp.

We gathered in the prefunction area where we were encouraged to “Drink” a concoction that would perhaps set the mood for what would come next.  The drink was served in a shot glass and was an espresso shot.  Very tasty.

When the time came for us to finally enter the room and see some of the Wonderous Surprises, we walked through the Rabbit Hole guided by the image of Alice in Wonderland.

The room was AMAZING!  The tables were placed in a “T” and were loaded with various vases and tea pots and all kinds of beautiful flowers.  The senses were in over-drive for sure.  At the far end of the room, there was a huge structure of trees that had leaves (magnolia) hanging as well as votive candles.  The size of the trees was nothing short of Magical.  In each of the various mis-matched chairs, there were Hats each with its own personality.  We were encouraged to find a hat we liked and have a seat at that spot.  There were so many fun hat options that I was literally walking around the whole room trying to decide which one I wanted.  I settled on one that wasn’t as FABULOUS and frilly as others but was very tasteful and actually coordinated with my outfit for the day. It was a cream-colored hat with a chocolate-brown satin ribbon and bow with a cluster of hydrangea attached.  Other hats featured feathers, tulle and boas and usually a floral accent as well.  What a Wonderful idea for a Ladies Tea, Bridal Shower or even a Bat Mitzvah.

Once seated, you continued to notice all of the intricate details.  All of the decor was provided by Your Event Solutions.  They began the room set-up the night before and literally worked all night to have this Wonderland come to life. The tree that they created truly looked real because of a product that is available at Your Event Solutions which in essence is a graphic design of the image desired that is then incorporated into the decor.  So for the tree, the graphic design was of tree bark and so as it was wrapped around the structure, it looked like a real tree. 

Because we were all so amazed at the decor, it took a while before we were all ready to take a seat.  But once we did, our taste senses were in for the next treat.

Our first course was a creamy tomato soup with sweet basil foam.  The soup was served in an oversized white bowl that was off-centered for lack of a better description.  The soup was DELICIOUS.  Following came the salad which was tuna tartare “nicoise” frisee salad with black olive vinaigrette.  The main course, that might I say took us all by surprise, was prosciutto white rabbit loin served with sweet and sour cabbage and spicy pea puree.  Another common feature among event planners, is that many of us  are foodies.  While we all seemingly were hesitant on tasting the entrée, we all (or at least most of us) did try it and were surprised that the flavor wasn’t bad.  This certainly isn’t meant to be a negative comment, but the common feeling among those present was that it was hard to get past the thought of eating our “host” if you will.  ~smile~

As we were finishing our meal, we all kept wondering what could be coming up next in our day of  indulgent surprises.  We quickly found out that we were being whisked away to an undisclosed location.  We loaded a shuttle provided by Atlantic Limousine and took off on a secret journey.

Within a few short minutes, we arrived at our next destination, W Hotel ~ Midtown.  As we departed our shuttle, we were greeted by the friendly staff and offered bottled water.  We then were taken to the awe inspiring Altitude Ballroom located on the 27th floor of the hotel with a view of the city from the floor to ceiling windows that surround the room.  This ballroom is magical by itself – because of the view.  However, there are other special details that make the Ballroom special – such as soft-seating lounge furniture that is included, as well as the whole floor being just for the private event.  The hotel also offers other private event space on another level of the hotel for those events that may not fit into Altitude.

After we all had viewed the ballroom, we were then escorted down to one of the suites.  WOW was it spectacular.  The decor was contemporary as one would expect in a W property – but with the continued Alice in Wonderland Theme, we were greeted by the Queen of Hearts who was actually a dessert table.  There were a variety of cupcakes in addition to other small bites of delectable treats placed on the “roving” table. 

On the dining table, we were treated to even more delicious array of nibbles.  The chef prepared a variety of hors d’oeuvres that we each found to be tasty.  In keeping also with the theme, the signature cocktail of a Pim’s Cup was served.

As we were able to mingle and enjoy the delicacies, one of the massage therapists from Bliss Spa offered a chair massage.  This was such as hit that several of us wanted to keep getting back in line for another one. 

One of the nice surprises of the day was the swag-bag that we found waiting for us on the shuttle.  It contained the latest edition of Atlanta Weddings Magazine as well as luxurious samples from Bliss Spa and even gift certificates for Spice Market and Whiskey Blue

This truly was a Wonderous Day full of indulgent Surprises and I was so pleased to have been included in the select group of planners invited. Thank you so much to the W Hotel Buckhead and Midtown, Atlanta Weddings Magazine, Bliss Spa, Your Event Solutions and Atlantic Limousine for making this such a magical and wonderful day!

For those of you looking for a full-filled theme for your next event, Alice in Wonderland is one that can offer many different options so that incorporating in into a wedding, a Sweet 16 Party, a Bat Mitzvah, a Ladies Tea or even a Bridal shower or Bridesmaids Luncheon would all work extremely well. 

 We would be happy to assist you in planning your next event and have the experience and qualifications to make every event Flawless!

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