Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Super Bowl Party

     I just had my Super Bowl Party published on the January/February issue of Prime Living Magazine and I am thrilled!

   Prime Living is a local magazine in Houston,TX delivered to the mailbox of an exclusive group of homeowners who fall within a certain set of demographics.  The online version is open to all and can be read here.  It is a great target audience for my services as a party planner and I feel so grateful to Allyson Huth at Cru Home for allowing me this opportunity.

"Gridiron Gents" is the title I suggested for the shoot and the theme we went with.  I used walking sticks, cigars, horns, leather and angular metal pieces in order to convey a sophisticated feel to the already masculine outdoor room we used.  

 I gathered a few items from around my house that I felt would enhance the masculine theme.

Here are a few details that I think need to be highlighted:

1.  Diorama terrariums were used in lieu of flowers with a cowboy and a football scene in a glass BOWL

 These were created by Joseph-Nathan Pancho (contact in magazine)

2.  The yard (gridiron) marks on the black table
      I do not have a picture of this, but it was easily achieved by drawing yard marks with chalk onto this black table:

3.  The beer BOWL filled with craft beers
  I chose this gargantuan hammered one found at Home Goods

4.  The cigar bar and football tags as gifts for the guests to enjoy long after the game

5.  The menu highlighting Bourbon and a Southern/Cajun sensibility.  I must credit Kim Garnet with the wording for the menu and Chef Kevin King for developing it:

           Buffalo Wings tossed in a Sweet Kentucky Bourbon Glaze
Roasted Pulled Pork Sliders with a Tangy Southern BBQ Sauce
Sausage Wraps paired with a Sweet and Spicy Jalapeño Relish
 Cajun Crawfish Po' Boy Sliders on Sour Dough Toasts
Louisiana Sausage, Red Beans & Cilantro Rice
Warm Banana Bread Pudding topped with a Buttery Bourbon Sauce

The little pick flags were beautifully designed by Kimberly Garnet (contact in magazine), along with all other paper pieces (Menu, football tags and game paddles)
 Kentucky Bourbon glazed wings look a little more elegant when served in a beautiful metal tray on top of lavish linens and fine dishes.

6.  A nod to the location of the Super Bowl this year -- the beautiful fleur de lis details on the serving dishes and glass from Cru Home as well as on the stationery products and some decorative items.

7. The half time commercial rating game score signs.  Fun!  Another party blogger came up with the idea, but unfortunately do not remember who.  (I am so sorry!  If you did, please, let me know and send me a link to your site so I can credit you properly.)

I really enjoyed the whole process and hope that  the shoot resonates well with the magazine readers.  

Hugs and Kisses!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Buche de Noel

This year I decided to make my Buche de Noel ( Yule Log) even more child friendly by adding a few Christmas mice to it.  They turned out adorable! - If I may say so myself.

I used Martha Stewart's recipe for the Chocolate Genoise cake and the Meringue Mushrooms, but I chose to substitute the chocolate mousse filling and the ganache icing for plain, out of the jar Nutella.  I must say that Martha's recipe makes a more delicate desert, but for the sake of time, I just had to improvise.  My guests enjoyed it and the kids loved the little mice.

I made the mushrooms and mice two days before and kept them in an airtight container.  Also, I left them in the oven for at least one hour longer than specified in Martha's recipe.  The heat and humidity here in Houston pretty much demands the longer drying out time.  Most people use licorice for the mice tails.  I don't care for the candy, so instead I drew on a wiggly tail with black gel icing out of a tube.

I think this video is great at showing how easy it is to handle the cake before rolling it.  I also microwaved the Nutella for 20 seconds to make it easy to spread.

And Voila!  I will probably use a version of the Yule Log next time I plan a woodland party.  I wonder if I can make Meringue Owls?  Hummmmmm....

 Hugs and Kisses,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Tree 2012

I'm trying something different this year -- Mostly because I found out that my super cheap christmas lights were actually white wired, instead of the green type, AFTER I got home.    So I decided to instead of trying to hide the unsightly cords, I would highlight them.

You can see the lights better in this picture.  I juxtaposed the warm white wired lights with the cool LED bigger bulbs for a more graphic effect.  I really like how it turned out.  It  has a bit of a Whoville feel to it.  :)

How to wrap a gift card

Many people believe that gifting cards is not personal and lacks thoughtfulness.  I think otherwise.  Gift cards are a great way to spread the cheer in a way that the hard to please recipient can truly enjoy.  Teens and teachers can do wonders with gift cards and meanwhile, you can exercise your creative muscles by making the presentation festive and personal.  I made these for my son's teacher's this year using the cricut machine.

They are actually pretty easy to make with scissors:

1. Simply cut a 8"x 6" rectangle out of a page of two sided scrapbook paper.
2. Trim one end with scalloped scissors.
3. Fold it in almost half leaving a bit of the scallop showing.
4. Cut a semi-circle and inside slits for the card.
5. Attach a tag with the handwritten initial of the recipient's name with some baker's twine.

Voila!  A beautiful gift wrapped, personalized gift card for a loved one.  The dimensions I gave you will fit any of the Target cards and their holders.

Happy gifting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

I had the opportunity to style and plan a Minnie Mouse inspired birthday party for a two year old, adorable little girl.  This was a rushed event.  I only had a couple of weeks to put it together, so I borrowed a lot of my ideas from Pinterest.

All paper products were designed and produced by Emily Claire.  To see sources of inspiration for all the other ideas, please visit my pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/cvhopkins/mickey-mouse-birthday/.

And a special thanks to Kristin Jackson from The Hunted Interior.  I used a variation of several of your ideas and kept your design sensibility in mind while making my choices.  :)

Unfortunately, we had rain so the clubhouse bouncer and lemonade stand went unused.  The entertainer and face painter kept the kids busy indoors.  :)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Launch Party

Photography by Lis Purdy Photography

Happy Halloween Everyone!  Here is the party I styled and planned to celebrate the launch of Cru Events this weekend.  Enjoy!

Story Time with The Learning Garden

Candy Bar from Mary Had a Little Party

Cookies by Crumbs

Cupcakes by Flour & Eggs
Paper decorations by Catherine Hopkins Designs, Inc.

Entertainment by Tom's Fun Band

The Stage 

 Drink Station -  Slimeade and Pumpkin Punch
We put some dry ice in the cauldron

 Donut Challenge

The entrance
Face Painting

The Sweets Table

Photo Booth
Pre party

We had tons of games and crafts.  Fun was had by all.  Charley Ham from Cru did an amazing job with lots of the staging spots throughout the party.

Thanks Charley!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I wish you life, long life...

I've loosely translated a song by Flavia Wenceslau, an artist from my little corner of the world.  Her work is simple, sweet and meaningful. 

Metamorphosis Monday


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