Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Delight!

Photograph: Kurt Lackovic/Alamy

With the BBQ at hand and other delicious picnic treats and of course beverages, get ready to enjoy this long weekend! Set up shop in the backyard or- since we know how hard it can be in New York City to find ourselves a nice piece of green - make your way to the parks or near by beaches to celebrate the end ofsummer. It's sad but true, the time has come to say goodbye to these beautiful warm days and start welcoming the amber and golden hues to the neighborhood. Might as well finish off this season with a bang, right?

Photograph (below): flavordelights.com

Here are a few quick ideas to keep you on your toes:

If you're going to be surrounded by the BBQ outside all day, you're going to want something refreshing and cold to sip on. Try going for a chilled sangria that you can keep in a pitcher, adding in all of your favorite seasonal fruits - it'll soon be too late, so use them up while you can! Mix in some red or white wine, triple sec, soda, and plenty of ice and you have yourself a pretty sweet deal.

You can also of course never go wrong with a cooler filled with various beers - mix it up in this summer heat with your Pilsner and wheat beers - with some lemon and orange wedge garnishes at hand, and throw in a couple of Brooklyn Lagers for sundown!

For food - most of you will be doing this the classic picnic style way with burgers and dogs, but don't be afraid to go a little crazy, after all you are celebrating! Being a New England person at heart, I like to draw my "menu" from the sea as often as I possibly can, and this could be your last opportunity to do so for a while! Don't let this intimidate you, if you have a grill, you can do this! Get a deep disposable tin dish - fill it with water, lobsters, muscles, clams, potatoes and ears of corn and steal a few beers from your cooler to add into this heavenly concoction. Throw in a few garlic cloves and top it off with some old bay seasoning and let that dish boil! This is the easiest way to cook your entire meal all at once.

Photograph: enjoyfloridamagazine.com

So let's see here… Drinks - check. Food - check. Is it necessary to have a concern for anything else at this point? Probably not but since we can't leave you with just that…

Consider bringing some fun and brightly colored throws and pillows to this shindig, and if you are lucky enough to do it in the comfort of a backyard, light up your yard with tikki torches or hang some votives from the trees to give it that celebration-feel. Finish off the night with a round of your choice of liquor-infused homemade ice pops for dessert!

Photograph (above): blog.al.com

Photograph (below): lickyourownbowl.wordpress.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

Go! Fight! Win!

Its that time of year again when weekends are dominated by football games and the great tradition known as tailgating starts up again. We have some great tips for fans young and old. These sugJEStions can be used whether you are lucky enough to have tickets or you are catching the game on your own big screen.

Transportable Gas Grills for table tops or the bed of a pick up truck are a great invention! In addition to serving the usual hot dog and hamburger fare, throw down an awesome do it yourself S’mores Party Platter for those chilly night time games.

Provide Solo cups to drink your choice of poison out of, and choose an array of the cup colors that match your favorite team.

Astro Turf the back of your pick up truck and create a picnic vibe complete with blankets and pillows so you can really party down in comfort.

Don’t forget your team window flags, go over the top here and instead of one flag per window, go for four and put team magnets all over your vehicle. Root your team on with pride!

For the morning games- go for some pre mixed bloody mary’s in a large service thermos to get your party started right away in the early hours. If its chilly outside trade Bloody Mary’s for Irish Coffee, especially if your team is Notre Dame.

If you really want to power up the boom box, a TV and possibly a loud speaker for rowdy cheering, bring along a handy mini Generator (about the size of a small suitcase) MUSIC is important here, bring your iPod with an upbeat playlist along with your team’s fight song on repeat of course!

Play a non-money betting game by betting upon the outcome of each quarter with your friends and giving out cool prizes like movie tickets, beer and the grand prize could actually a TV!

Instead of the typical tailgating chairs bring some fun blow up mod furniture from Target or Walmart.

For the old folks it’s a bit more about comfort. Provide awesome flannel plush blankets and pillows for each buddy and if its hot out provide umbrellas in your team colors or go mac daddy with the self standing tents that have your team name imprinted on them. Some of these puppies are complete with fans that clip onto the tents for that extra breeze.

Do a Keg-o-rator from Heineken instead of the usual piss beer and for the ladies provide some mini-Coronas displayed in an ice trough. For the cold weather, hook your hot plate up to make some hot toddy’s for the fellas and some spiced cider for the ladies.

For gourmet treats instead of usual game fare serve: Carmelized Onion and Sour Cream dip with Kettle chips, Frito Pie, Spicy Cabbage Slaw and BBQ pulled pork on cheddar cheese biscuits.

Give each buddy their own self standing TV tray that they can keep their snack and drinks on them and provide the higher level tailgating chairs that recline etc.

Provide each guest with their very own stadium chair that they can bring into the game screen printed with the team logo and their names.

These tips will help you raise the bar and help your tailgate score!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Modern Spin on the Traditional Photobooth

Having a photobooth at your wedding or event for your guests to cram into and snap silly shots of themselves, has been a long time trend in the making. But these photobooths have taken a hop, skip and a jump to create a more modern chronicle. Instead of your traditional booth where you step inside and sit down against a plain backdrop, we are seeing props and creative scenery thrown into the mix as well! Take your ordinary white or black back drop and change it out for a wall of streamers or even different kinds of frames left empty (I am sure your guests will find ways to fill them!).
Photo source: Natty Michelle

We are of course also a fan of these creative chalkboard speech bubbles (via Chalkboard Speech Bubble - StumbleUpon) being used as props in the photobooths - what a fun and simple, yet creative way to celebrate!

And if you haven't seen them yet, Smitten Sticks are becoming a fun little prop for your guests to goof around with - or even for the bride and groom to giggle over! Throw these in the photobooth and you'll be sure to get plenty of laughs out of it!
Photo Source: Smitten Sticks

The great thing about these photobooths is that you can personalize them as much as you want and even have them go along with the theme of your event! They should reflect your personality or at least have enough props on hand to reflect your guests' personalities!

Smilebooth is one company that creates great booths that you can rent for your event. Pictured below is one example of a booth they set up for a wedding. As you can see... the options are endless for the props that you can throw into your booth! Your guests will be loving every second of it, and don't be worried if you end up having to yank them out of there at the end of the night! Its all in the name of good fun and laugher.

Photo Source: The Flash Dance

A Photobooth that all of your guests can enjoy :) You can't go wrong ...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meet Milk!

Meet Milk! He is the newest part-time member of the jesGORDON team. Jes and some friends have been fostering Milk while he looks for a more permanent home. Milk was found through White Angels in NYC. They are a rescue group who help dogs like Milk who are born visually or hearing impaired. Please take some time to visit the White Angels site and to learn about Milk below!

Milk has traveled a long journey, trying to find the right home for himself. He is currently sharing his time between the JG office and two apartments in Manhattan. He certainly does seem to get around and is in high demand from all of his fellow caretakers! We must admit though... he does seem to fit in well here and he is definitely not afraid to make himself comfortable...
A typical day for Milk involves playing with his various enticing toys - may it be his favorite orange duck or a squeeze toy filled with peanut butter, Milk knows how to wear himself out! And after a long and hard day of running around and playing, he takes a little nap time with his friend...
Milk is one of the friendliest dogs we've ever met and he loves everyone and everything he sees. Although he is deaf, you would never know it because he is as happy as can be! He is also incredibly intelligent even understands sign language, which is how we've learned to communicate with him! Milk has got a lot of love to give and we are on the look out for a new and permanent home for him. While we would love to continue sharing the love of Milk around Manhattan, he deserves a permanent abode just like every other dog. Milk is truly a great guy and anyone would be lucky to have him as a part of their family!

Who could resist such a cutie? We would be sad to see Milk leave us at JG, but he's got places to see and people to meet, we don't blame him! We're just glad to have his company for the meantime :) Let us know if you would like any more information on Milk or White Angels

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sweet Tooth

Today is the final post on our Kids Theme Party tips. We would love to hear your comments and and stories about how you put these tips into action in the weeks to come! Leave them below.

Sweets for the Sweet

Hell, just give in to their whining demands once a year and have a sweets for the sweet party with no healthy food. Set up an ice-cream sundae bar with frozen yogurt or ice cream and a complete selection of candy and fruit toppings. Kids can go to different decorating stations where they can top cookies or cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles. On the floor, replicate a huge Candyland game board on a white plastic tarp either by drawing it yourself with nonsmearing art markers or having the artwork printed on vinyl at a print shot – not only does this protect your floor, it keep s the concept in mind. I also love a candy bar (in fact, I have one in my home on a permanent basis). Construct your own candy landscape by using old mason jars or simple discount-store glass vases of all different shapes and sizes; filled with assortments of candy, they’ll look like a colorful skyline. Next to each jar of candy, put a guessing jar so each guest can guess the number of candies inside on slips of paper. The winner gets… more candy! Or have a silly recipe contest, where you hand out simple recipe cards for something common like chocolate chip cookies0 but you leave out one ingredient, Mad Libs style (a la “sugar, flour, eggs, bugger, and _____”). Trust me, the responses will be hilarious. Make sure you have your guests sign their pieces of paper so you can read them aloud and crack everybody up!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get Creative

Day Three of our Kid Party Themes brings out the artsy side of your child. We strongly believe that you should always encourage kids to express themselves and this party is just the thing to let their imaginations shine!

Inner Artiste Party

All kids are budding Picassos, so throw them an inner artiste party. Invitations should definitely be made out of some original art! At the event, provide a low table with tons of art supplies – paper, crayons, markers, paint (all washable, of course), clay, glue, glitter, stickers, and more. Give guests an easy-to-use digital camera and le the kids take pics of themselves. Print out the photos while the kids are still there, pin them on a corkboard, and let them collect their images at the end of the party. The guests could also make photo collages to keep or give away to their BFFs. Regarding nibbles, it’s hard to take a break from the creative process – especially if your hands are covered in paint – so it would be cool if each artist had his or her own apron complete with pockets. Tuck healthy, easy-to-grab snacks in the apron pockets, like nuts, yogurt-covered raisins and pretzels, carrot sticks, and cheese sticks. When your artists are ready to take a break for some real substance, offer a visual feast of food such as bowls of gorgeous fruit, baskets of bread, and luscious fondue pots filled with rich chocolate or cheese. With fondue, the artists can continue getting their hands dirty!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get Ready for the BATTLE!

Breaking jesGORDON News!

Jes will be staring as a guest judge on Oxygen Network's hottest new show Hair Battle Spectacular!!

Jes' episode will air next Tuesday the 17th at 10pm EST on Oxygen. Be sure to tune in and set your DVRs for all of the hair drama!

Dance Till You Drop

It's day 2 of our Kids Party theme ideas and we have a great one for you today! Not only will this keep them entertained but by the end they will be ready for a great nights sleep!

Dance Party

A dance party is all about music and boogying down. You should provide a dance floor where the little peeps won’t feel too much in the spotlight and get too self-conscious to participate. Make this area darker than the rest of the room by turning off the overhead lights or equipping them with a bulb in deep red, orange, or pink – or all three! If you don’t feel like purchasing a disco ball, you can buy light bulbs that have reflective surfaces or ripples in their glass that cast a cool reflection onto the direct surface they are closest to, creating that disco vibe. Provide some current playlists on your iPod and have groups of kids play DJ for the event. Go cruise Radio Shack or Best Buy and get a karaoke machine – prices vary from $19.99 to a couple of hundred for ones that come with lighting and computer graphics. Another really fun option is renting (if you don't already own it!) a Dance-Dance revolution game for the kids to battle each other on. Keep the food and drinks light because the kids will be moving around a lot. Consider bottled drink and enclosed snacks so that you don't encounter too much spillage!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Endless Summer!

Sometimes with the kids out of school it can feel like an endless summer. This week on the jesGORDON blog we will be giving you four ideas for great kids parties to keep them busy an happy before school starts back up again. There are certain fail-safe things that can make kids happy, such as candy, games, colors, sounds, and security. These theme sugJEStions combine these elements to create out of the box parties that kids will enjoy and parents will remember.

Pillow Party

For the ultimate pillow party, move everything out of a room and padding all surfaces and floors with pillows. Use oversize floor pillows for seating for adult guardians (and for kids to flop on). Make multicolored pillowcases by quick stitching fabric together, or just buy pillowcases with fun themes on them – superheroes, dolls, whatever the fads are. Send out pillowcases as invitations, decorated with those laundry-friendly fabric pens or paints from any art supply or hobby store. The guests can draw and write messages on plain pillowcases with fabric marker so they have a cool camp-like keepsake to bring home. A good snack to fit with the pillow concept is a simple sheet cake cushioned with tons of marshmallows. Keep the cushiony texture going with individual angel food or sponge cakes, Mallomars, and Rice Krispie treats. And obviously, the party game is… a pillow fight!

Come back tomorrow for the next theme sugJEStion!