Thursday, May 31, 2012

Child's Play

With school ending soon, the kiddies are ready for three months of playtime. Their parties and play dates may not have the same budget as your wedding or charity gala (if it is…please adopt me!), but the goal is the same: make sure everyone has a darn good time.

There are plenty of routes you can go to make sure that you’re keeping your little guys and gals entertained. From games and colors to sound and food, you can do a lot to make sure the party matches your child’s personality.

The Perfect Pillow Party
First things first: Remove everything you can! For security reasons, you don’t want your child and their buddies hurting themselves on any sharp corners while they’re playing games. And on the other hand, you don’t want your new 64-inch plasma TV to be the casualty of a pillow fight. For those bigger items that you can’t get out of the way, use some double-sided Velcro to stick pillows onto the surfaces, or grab a pack of corner cushions and place accordingly.

Send out pillowcases as invitations, using fabric pens or paints from any art supply store. Get some iron-on letters and pre-customize one for each guest! If the kids want to get artsy, buy some extra ones for them to design their own at the party to take home as a keepsake. 

For snacks, if your pride and joy wants to go for the campy feel, get some marshmallows and get messy with Rice Krispie treats. If you want to stick with the cushiony theme, bake a tray of individual angel food or sponge cakes. 

And of course, end the night with a huge pillow fight!

Dynamic Dance Party
The two most important parts of a dance party are lighting and music. Both of which are easy to take care of.

Dim lighting is essential. Bright lights will make the little peeps self-conscious, which is definitely what you want to avoid at a dance party. One thing you can do to enhance the boogie down feel is to replace your white light bulbs with colored ones. Grab some deep red, orange, or pink ones to make the dance floor feel more like a nightclub. You can even add a disco vibe by buying ones that have reflective surfaces in their glass to give a cool reflection onto the walls.


As for music, it’s as simple as making a playlist on your iPod. Start it off with some current tunes (a little Justin Bieber is always a hit) and then let the kids add their own throughout the night since…well let’s face it, they probably won’t want to groove out to your Madonna and Chaka Khan choices.

Sweets for the Sweets
Give in to your kid's sweet tooth for one day (and then use it against them all year long when they ask for extra dessert!) Grab your significant other and your older children and set up a candy shop right in your living room or backyard. Each table can have a different treat for the children to enjoy.

At one spot, have a variety of ice creams and toppings. Have Oreo crumbs, sprinkles, caramel, chocolate syrup and your favorite candies out for the kids to choose from. You can even add fruit options, to add a smidge of health into the mix.

Next, set up your very own bakery, complete with cookies, cupcakes, and frosting galore! If you want a hands-on activity, give everyone a plain cupcake and put out bowls of different colored frostings and sprinkles for them to decorate with.

Use construction paper and create a Candyland trail going from spot to spot! Make sure to get lots of different colors. And maybe even play a human version of the game to see who finished the whole course first. Treat them with an extra scoop of ice cream!

You can also have jars of candy set out and have the children guess how many pieces are in it. Whoever is closest gets to keep the whole jar!

Whether it’s a pillow fight, boogie down, or sweet talk, it’s easy to take a few simple concepts and take your kids party to a whole new world.  A visit to the art supply store, a walk down the junk food aisle, and an iTunes playlist can go a long way. And hey, if you want to do this with your own adult friends, go for it! I’m ready for a good pillow fight any day. Bring it on!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Our first ever Flower Arrangement class was held last Wednesday night, right in our NYC office. Our production/floralMANAGER, arthurBRANTLEY, instructed a small class of eager and attentive participants on the basics of conditioning, arranging, and gift-wrapping a floral arrangement for any occasion.

After explaining the different factors to consider when making an arrangement such as size, occasion, and color, everyone in class had the opportunity to put together their own arrangement from scratch.

With a variety of about 20 kinds of fresh flowers to choose from, everyone’s unique arrangement gave us a hint at their individual personalities.

Those with a delicate eye used a combination of delicate pink and salmon colored spray Roses, Sweet William, and pink and green Hydrangeas. Others let their imaginations run wild mixing orange Tulips, blue Tweedia, purple Hyacinth, and an assortment of Mini Calla Lilies.

We also explored textures and scents, adding Mint, Scented Geranium, Blueberry Plants, and Astilbe. 

The final products were amazing! The color combinations, variation in heights, and overall presentation showed that of an expert level florist…well, almost. Even those that used the exact same combination of flowers had arrangements that looked completely different.

After two short hours, guests left happily with an arrangement in their hand and knowledge in their mind. So if anyone needs a new florist, we now have about ten more out on the town!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Red, White, and Barbecue

The start of a new summer is right around the corner! It’s time to open up the backyard pool, invite some friends and family over, and celebrate Memorial Day 2012.

Freedom Food
Some serve the country, others serve food! Make your meal a memorable one with these tips.

- This weekend is the kick off to many gatherings that you’re sure to have this summer. Instead of being stuck with a sink of dishes, go disposable! Head to Costco or Sam’s and buy your dinnerware in bulk.

- Choose a red, white, or blue color scheme that you can re-use throughout the summer for any occasion. 

- Get creative with your presentation. Serve your French fries in a cool colored paper cup with a blue bow on it.

- Add patriotism to your burgers and organize them on different colored platters: red for beef burgers, white for turkey burgers, and blue for veggie burgers! It’s a simple way to identify all of your guests’ needs.

- Grab a cookie cutter and serve your apple pie in style! Find an awesome star shape and present a spectacular dessert for your friends to enjoy. If you can find different sizes, cut out a few of each.

- Give your drinks a splash of fresh fruit. Add fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and apples to pitches of cold water to give your guests some tasty options to choose from.

Stars and Stripes
Here are some sug-JES-tions to enhance your space!

- Great barbecue food is completed with the perfect assortment of condiments. To keep your furniture from getting messy from ketchup and mustard, grab a plaid tablecloth to keep things clean.

- Break the mold of red, white, and blue with a centerpiece of bright yellow Sunflowers. It’ll serve as a reminder of the (hopefully) bright and warm summer ahead without clashing with the stars and stripes.

- Limit your decorations. The staple of Memorial Day is the obvious USA color scheme. Don’t over-do it with tons of paper decorations on the walls and doors. The pops of color in the way you decorate your food, drinks, and tables will show off your American pride.

Memorial Mania
Keep your guests entertained with a few themed games and fun this weekend!

- To keep the kids busy, give them a fun crossword puzzle to complete. Create your own Memorial Day themed crosswords by using them as menu’s to see who can find all the words first! Give the winner an extra serving of some delicious apple pie!

- Set up a poker table for the adults (using red, white and blue chips, of course!) It’s sure to keep the men occupied as you and your girlfriends swap summer vacation plans!

- Enjoy a game of the America’s pastime, baseball, in your backyard. Mix up the teams by drawing red and blue bandanas. You can tweak it to a game of wiffle-ball to keep everyone safe, especially if there are little ones running around, while still having a great time.


We know that a bold color scheme like this one can get a bit hectic, so remember that editing is key if you want to keep your place from looking like an American museum. Focus on the small touches, and the big picture will come together. Whether it’s a little color in your food presentation, flair in your décor, or excitement in your activities, your party is sure to be the hit of Memorial Day weekend. With these tips, your guests will feel like they’re partying with a rock star! Have a flag-tastic Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Personal Touch and a Pop of Color

This weekend we worked on a boho-chic wedding with the Hudson River as our backdrop. Adding their own personal touch, the groom and his father worked together to build the Chuppah, and topped it with crocheted linens made by the bride’s Great Grandmother. Hanging votives along the edges of the chuppah and floating candles at the base of it created twinkling lights around the ceremony structure, allowing the piece to really come to life.

We teased guests with the bright pink bridal bouquets during the ceremony, and later added the oranges and greens to the centerpieces to give the elegant white tables and décor a pop of color.

The escort table was adorned with various bouquets of flowers, each breed sat in their own vase. We used White Phalaenopsis Orchids, Calla Lilies, Hydrangea, and Spray Roses.  We added a textural element by hanging these awesome Pom Poms in varying sizes and styles above the table, adding soft orange and green touches to the scenery. This installation really set the tone for the rest of the event.

As stated, we then really brought the party to life with these colorful and elegant centerpieces, paired with floating candles and votive candles.  To keep the look interesting, we alternated centerpieces, using either 3 different sized arrangements or one lush arrangement.   For the reception and cocktail hour we used  Gloriosa Lilies, Peonies, Hydrangea, Roses, Viburnum, Spray Roses, and Calla Lilies in a combination of cream, pink, orange, and green.

For the cocktail hour, we topped each table with a single bloom in a bud vase.  

It’s all about taking a natural look with a few elements of surprise to keep it chic, interesting and classic!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Design Dogma

We love designing different environments from scratch. A raw space is like a plain canvas you can transform in six million different ways.  Transforming a space into a world that evokes an emotional response from your guests is possibly the most important part of the party process. Design, is your concept brought to life – your ideas built from the nuts and bolts of different elements harmonizing together- layout, props, lighting and accents and accessories need to meld together to create the most ideal environments.  Our design tips truly are endless, but here are some overall rules for successful event design.

1. To create ambience, you have to appeal to all five senses at once.  One sense shouldn’t outweigh the rest, or the balance of the room will suffer.  In a perfect party world, you will simultaneously hit the pleasure buttons of sight (lighting and décor), scent (natural florals and intoxicating candles), sound (great music), touch (different textures, surfaces, and drapery), and taste (phenomenal food and drink).

2. Be eclectic in your influences, and don’t get matchy – it’s too boring.  You don’t have to have a room that only says cold, white, and sleek.  Fill a room with candles that has a mod interior, and it evolves into something else entirely.  

3. Know your audience, and design a space that everyone can relate to.  The best way to marry different styles in a cohesive way is to come up with common denominators.  Maybe find a color or texture to agree upon.  Once you agree on a baseline, you will be able to add design elements that appeal to a variety of people.  It can be a great idea to put together inspiration pages to help hone in on your design plan.

4. It’s important to always think of design in a way you’ve never thought of before.  You want to make your guests feel as if they crossed over to another dimension.  Design your fantasy, but also make it recognizable so that it is apparent that the expression comes from you.  That could be adding a customized touch or using your signature vintage decor style.

5. Make sure you don’t sacrifice your guests’ comfort to the Design Gods.  Even small things, such as providing chopsticks instead of silverware for an Asian-themed party, could leave many of your guests starving!  Compromise by offering silverware sets with bamboo handles and a cool pair of chopsticks to match.  These tiny ideas can really add to the design of an event while keeping it comfy for your guests.

6. Don’t let your guests get bored experiencing the same environment for several hours.  The light and temperature will change throughout the event, so how cool would it be that when the sun goes down solar-powered lights automatically fire up.  Or simply lighting fire pits or plugging in string lights you set up earlier can keep you in design heaven!  Along with keeping the lighting current, keep the music changing and the food and drink flowing -- always keeping your guests on their toes!


Follow these tips and your event is sure to be beautiful, exciting, and express who you are.  Of course the biggest tip we can give is to relax, have fun -- and never ever forget to Party Like A Rock Star no matter where you are!!