Archive for August, 2014

16 Sweet Ideas for Sweet 16 Parties

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

So you are faced with a monumental challenge: marking the “coming of age” of your precious child in a manner special enough to show them what they mean to you, WITHOUT embarrassing them! That can get tricky, right?

Start by talking to your teen about what he or she wants. And listen! Kendall Kardashian would certainly agree. Consider the personality and interests of your son or daughter. Does he or she prefer to throw a big bash or to celebrate with a more intimate circle of friends? The key is not to impress, but to honor the life, character and accomplishments of your special young adult. And of course, for him or her to have fun with friends. Discuss scale, budget, invitations, time frame and rules, including parental supervision and expected behavior. Stick to your decisions even under last minute stress.

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Designing Centerpieces with Foam Bouquet Holders

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

There are many ways to create a gorgeous centerpiece for weddings, parties and other events. While the methods vary greatly, not all are as simple or quick to assemble. That’s why you must find a comfortable balance between cost and effort when coming up with your own handmade centerpiece design. Don’t stress yourself out over the details. Instead, give yourself the most versatility without all the hassle by using a foam bouquet holder.

Plastic Bouquet Holder

A foam bouquet holder

How Do Foam Bouquet Holders Work?

The concept behind the foam bouquet holder is quite simple. Each consists of two main parts: the handle and the foam. The handle is a piece of plastic that is slender enough to slide into narrow vases but wide enough to hold in your hand. The top widens with openings for ribbons, cords and other hanging accents. On top of the upward cone rests a disc of floral foam.  You can assemble your bouquet just like a florist would put together an arrangement. Simply slide the stems or tips into the foam wherever you want them, working your way around the foam.  (more…)

The Italian Wedding

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Long, long ago in Italy … a wedding scene might have looked like this: With her groom, a beautiful ebony-haired bride, her olive skin touched with the blush of romance, pledges her vows before a Roman priestess. Under a yellow cloak, the bride’s hemless tunic falls to the ground in a straight, supple line, allowing glimpses of her sandaled feet. Her hair is crowned with myrtle and orange blossoms. Supportive family gathers around, anticipating the feasting and the sacrifice of the best pig or sheep that will follow the ceremony.

Obviously a country where wedding traditions reach far back, Italy is now roughly 88% Catholic. It’s still a place where it is common for sons and daughters to live at home until they are wed, normally in Western wedding attire at a church mass. Sunday weddings are considered the luckiest. The bride will also try to avoid bad luck by not wearing gold on her wedding day (even her diamond engagement ring, which has been a commonly bestowed item in Italy since the 1400s!) until the wedding bands are exchanged. The bridal bouquet can sometimes be a gift from the groom, its colors unknown until he offers it to her, perhaps if he walks her to the church or meets her outside of it beforehand. Some couples stick to the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until the ceremony. The bride also carries la borsa, a satin pouch meant to contain any monetary gifts from guests. (more…)

17 Al Fresco Dining Ideas We Love

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Days are warming and nothing tastes better than meals outside! Plus, how fun is it to create your own cozy dining nook, countryside or cityscape? A rooftop, a hedged back yard, a patio or even a field of wheat can make a refreshing backdrop, just so long as it’s private and pretty.

Here’s a smorgasbord of tips for setting your outdoor eating style, so grab your design plate and create your own fare.

  1. Old oil lamps
  2. Benches with cushions or pillows complimenting your table runner
  3. Lanterns hung in the trees or arbor
  4. In the absence of an arbor or tent, banners of fabric draped overhead
  5. Wildflowers in urns
  6. Metal wire between two trees on which to hang votives, lanterns or lightweight candelabra
  7. A basket or bowl centerpiece piled with fresh fruit
  8. Tiny topiary or potted plant place favors
  9. Eclectic mix of dishes
  10. Floating fresh flowers
  11. Paper lanterns
  12. Citronella or incense sticks to keep bugs at bay
  13. Battery-operated candles for no fuss
  14. Cloth napkins and wholesale tablecloths to avoid fly-away paper goods
  15. The path to your table or the backdrop illuminated by floating candles or large pillar candles in huge hurricanes
  16. Upturned metal colanders or wire mesh baskets covering gnat-tempting platters
  17. Simple, light fare – salads, grilled meats, and fun, fruity drinks
  18. Eiffel tower vases to showcase fresh flowers on the tables.

How to do a Retirement Party Right

Friday, August 8th, 2014

For all the satisfaction of career accomplishments and the anticipation of the rewards of rest, a retirement can be a sensitive time. The retiree is experiencing a major life change, one that will alter all the familiar patterns and cause at least a partial break with people who have over the years potentially become not only co-workers but close friends. It’s a time for the company to make sure its former employee feels appreciated – to assure him or her that he or she will be missed and remembered. There’s no better way to do that than with a fabulous retirement party that captures the flavor of who the employee is and what he or she has contributed to the organization.

Allow plenty of time to prepare. Gather information about the retiree’s background, interests and accomplishments. Translate these into a memorable party setting, whether casual or elegant. (more…)