Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Friday Find: "Salted Carmel Martini"

We're into Fall; who is ready?  After your first sip of RumChata you'll wonder where it's been all of your life. It's that delicious.  A rum-based cream liqueur made with Wisconsin dairy cream and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and other proprietary natural and artificial flavors. Welcome to the World of RumChata!!




THE SALTED CARAMEL MARTINI
2 parts RumChata
1 part caramel vodka...
sea salt/table salt (do not use margarita salt)

Rim Martini glass with salt (use water, NOT lime juice). Shake ingredients with ice and strain into salted martini glass. 


Optional: Drizzle a teaspoon of caramel sauce into bottom of glass. (carmel is yumLICIOUS so not so optional)

(source:  Rumchata)
Enjoy!


Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Bridesmaid: "Get Over Yourself"

I happen to be a fan of Nene and Gregg Leakes and have been enjoying "I Dream of Nene.  Fifteen years of marriage certainly deserves a 15ct ring ...right?!  Last nights episode was one for the record books. From Donald Trump and the pre-nup to the battle of the blended family; I loved it all! 
 
What an honor it is to have your closest friends and most cherished relatives be apart of your wedding party.  When Gregg met with his groomsmen, the fellas kicked back, shared a few stories,  enjoyed good food and showed an enormous amount of support for their boy and his soon to be again bride. 
 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nene met with THREE of her NINE bridesmaids and what a mess that was.  For some reason Marlo and long time friend Diane felt the need to try and make it about them.  During what was suppose to be time of support these two BridesmaidZILLA's were going back and forth over who was an opportunist, who was genuine .. blah blah blah.  Finally, Cynthia had to jump in with an attempt to bring the two girls back to what the main purpose of being together was... NENE!


As a professional planner, I see this type of behavior all the time from the bridal party.  While the groomsmen are like "man whatever you need"... the ladies might say that with their mouths but their actions are completely different.

As bridesmaids, they'll throw a shower, plan a bachelorette bash and attend other pre-wedding events, which means spending a good deal of time with them. But as we've seen with Nene and plenty of our friends, weddings have a way of bringing out the best and worst in people.

So what do you do about the attendant who's out to steal your spotlight? Or the one who complains all the time? Today, let's talk about one in particular and going forward through the month of October we'll hit on a few more.

I am a DIVA - hear me roar!
Just like Diane and Marlo, this bridesmaid manages to (or at least tries to) make your wedding all about her. This over-opinionated buddy believes the bridal party has to be made up of people that she thinks are worthy.

Watch out: The Diva is trying to steal your thunder! A bride of mine (which will remain nameless) had a dear friend that insisted on being the center of attention.  She wanted to be overly involved in all of the planning for every key event that was going on.  Towards the end of the planning process she became almost a distraction.  If the bride had a headache, this bridesmaidZILLA had a migraine AND a stomach ache.  She complained about the dress because  it didn't compliment her shape, it was too expensive, the color didn't go well with her skin tone, and the list went on.  Mind you, all of this was after being involved in the selection process and agreeing to the dress.  If all of this wasn't enough, she dropped out of the wedding two weeks prior because "she had problems"...smh

Why Why Why?: There are a few reasons a bridesmaid might try to steal the show.  If she's not married, it's possible that she's jealous, especially if she's older than the bride.  She might simply be an attention seeker and envious of all the attention the bride is getting.  Lastly, and most common... she is losing a friend and doesn't know how to handle that.

What To Do?: Communicate - talk...have a heart-to-heart. This is what I suggested to my bride; if for no other reason than to clear her conscious of thinking she's done something to bring on this behavior. 

If you've agreed to participate - be supportive of your friend.  Wedding planning is stressful enough without having to monitor and counsel you.

"Love Without End"
Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

WEDnesday Love: "Event Planning Tips - Part IV"

Strategies, Goals, Budgets, W's, (who, when, where)  Invitations....and everything in between.  What is there left to do?

The Walk Through
Visit the venue the day(s) before your event. Envision a few things.
  • How you want attendees to experience the event.
  • Which of their senses will be heightened?  I prefer to focus on all of them!
  • What signs need to be in place to avoid confusion?
  • Where should you station staff?
Basically, you want to understand what your guests will see from the time they walk into the venue from the registration table to the actual event. Touch matters! Sight Matters, Taste Matters. Hearing Matters.  Smell Matters.

The only way to anticipate how your event will feel is to walk through and see and feel what they'll see and feel.

After all of the hard work - be sure to ENJOY!!!

Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: (GUEST POST) - Oriental Salad

This is a guest post by my fabulous foodie friend and co-mom Joyce Cunningham of Pthirty1.  A thirty-something, happily married, entrepreneur, blogger , accountant and working mother of 6 beautiful children (ages 10 months to 21 years). Her passions are faith, family, food, fashion, flying and fun – all with a touch of frugality. As a self-certified foodie, she loves to cook, explore new restaurants, cuisines, cooking styles, cookbooks, recipes, etc.  Additionally, an avid DIYer that loves to sew, craft, build, fix and create at home, for the home, family, friends and anything or anyone in need.
 
When trying to figure out different dishes for family fun or upcoming events its easy to draw a blank.  Be sure to try this one, I guarantee you, your family and friends will enjoy it. *Toodles*
 
~
 
I always promote how much of a foodie I am and that I’ll eat just about anything at least once, but I have a secret to tell you. There are certain foods I just absolutely hate…despise even!  Cole slaw is one of them. I don’t know what happened in my childhood that scarred me from eating cole slaw for life, but I simply won’t touch the stuff. I’ve never attempted to make it myself and I always skip it if it’s offered elsewhere.
 
The problem with my distaste for cole slaw is my love for entertaining. I absolutely loooove having folks over and feeding them something so scrumptious they won’t leave without the recipe. Well, naturally, at any summer BBQ, people expect certain staples with their grilled bites. Cole slaw, my friends, is one of them. You see my dilemma?
 
So this recipe came about as an alternative to that wretched, loathsome, cole slaw I refuse to serve at my home. It is made with a vegetable I love – broccoli – and it’s so flexible as a recipe. You can make it savory as is or sweeten it up or even make it “savorier” (yep, I just made that up) ;).

Every time I serve this, I’m always asked for the recipe. My 12 year old loves it so much, she’s learned to make it herself. She loves to take it to school for lunch.  Substituting the sugar with splenda or stevia makes this a healthier choice, but either way , it doesn’t substitute on taste. This slaw is YUMAZING! Enjoy!
 


You will need:
2 pkgs broccoli slaw
1 pkg broccoli, chopped (or 1 small crown of fresh broccoli)
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds (I use Wonderful Almond Accents honey roasted)
½ bunch green onions, chopped
2 pkgs Ramen noodles, uncooked

Optional add-ins
1 cup bacon bits
1 cup dried cranberries

For vinaigrette:
¾ cup oil (I use canola)
½ cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 flavor packets from Ramen noodles

Directions:
1.       In a large bowl, mix slaw, broccoli, nuts, and onions. If using, mix in add-ins.
2.       Crush noodles over slaw and mix well.
3.       In a small bowl, mix vinaigrette ingredients well.
4.       About 1 hour before serving, pour vinaigrette over slaw and mix well (I mix this with my hands).
5.       Cover and chill until ready to serve.
6.       Enjoy! ;)

Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WEDnesday Love: "Event Planning Tips - Part III"

By now you should be cooking with oil or working with a wonderful professional planner on knocking things off your checklist out!  We've determined how much we can spend AND figured out who is will be affected, now we'll get to the INVITATION!

How many times have you received an invitation months in advance and forgot?  Even worse, you received it a week before the event and your calendar is already filled.

The invitation to your event is one of the most important aspects of the entire planning process. You don’t want to send out the first invite too early or too late. Three weeks out is a good rule to live by. However, if you want to get on executives’ calendars, you might want to send it out even earlier.

For a more detailed, elaborate invitation for a dinner event is appropriate, but you may want to be more simple and straight to the point if you’re presenting a demo.  Be considerate and include directions that include access to public transportation. In other words, make it easy to be an attendee.

Remember to follow up (especially for business and social events).  Those who have RSVP’d should receive reminders that differ in timing and message than those who haven’t.  Taking a little extra time to do this will show that they are more than a number and you truly appreciate the time they taking from their schedule to attend your fabulous event.

Lastly, we're going to have a WALK THROUGH!!!

Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Motivational Monday: "Celebrating MY Mother"

In 1936 King George V died and was succeeded by his son, Edward VIII, who soon abdicates to marry an American-born divorcĂ©e, and is succeeded by brother, George VI.  Spanish civil war began and hundreds of Americans joined the "Lincoln Brigades." War between China and Japan also began  to continue through World War II.

FDR was reelected in a landslide. The Electoral Vote was 523-8.  NY Yankees defeated the NY Giants (4-2) for the World Series and the first successful helicopter flight is made.  Most importantly, DOROTHY LAMAR BRADLEY was born. 

In case you're wondering who that last person is, she is MY mother!  Every year we take her out to dinner or have some type of birthday celebration.  She looks forward to those times and I'm blessed and honored to still be able to share birthday's with her.


Six children, 17+ grandchildren and almost 20 great grands .. she's done well in the area of leaving a mark!  LOL  I often tease and say how much my mother gets on my nerves with her complaining and waking up at noon to find things for people to do now that she's slept BUT she's earned the right to do so. 

I LOVE my mother and I am thankful for all that she has imparted into me.  My family doesn't think I know how to cook because Karen makes amazing Mac and cheese while Parkey jams on the spaghetti.  Yes, I enjoy making pastries and sweets but I've had to cook just like them for as long as I can remember.  Dorothy didn't play that, she made sure that my sisters and I would be able to keep a house. 

We are all extremely organized and thorough; she ran a football organization like it was NOTHING for years and I'm convinced being with her during that time has molded me into Simply Perfect Peace Events business owner I am today.  Early on she set the standard for what clean was; if it's not done do not "dart" out that door.  LOL


Affectionately known as DOT by my dad and Aunt DOT by all of our cousins and her close friends, DOT is still a trooper at 77 years young.  In 1995 (I think) she suffered a stroke that changed her life forever but every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday she makes her way to bingo, attends church on Sundays and is President of her Senior Group.  We tease her because she says everything in 3's.. ok ok ok... I'm done, I'm done, I'm done (and it's never OK, nor is she done)... but it's funny to us that she still does it.

This is a praise report about my mother - every day isn't "good" but it's great because she is still here and she thoroughly enjoys Dillard Family Weekend and it's our pleasure to be able to pull that together for her no matter how we feel about all of the planning and EXTRA stuff she does.



Dorothy Dillard - this blog post is for YOU young lady. Love you and I'm looking forward to celebrating more birthday's with you. 

DISCLAIMER:  I would say her favorite daughter but everyone knows that is my sister Parkey! 


Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WEDnesday Love: "Event Planning Tips - Part II"

Now that you've shaken away some of the nerves associated with being responsible for the fun of hundreds of people let's move on.  In Part I you outlined your goals and have a strategy and also figured out your budget now it's time to discuss who, when, what and where! 

NOTE:  You'll find that although the budgets can be extremely different, planning a Corporate event isn't much different than a family dinner or cocktail reception.  The tips I am offering are very basic and can at least get you started.  At any place in the planning you find that you're still having a tough time, don't hesitate to hire a professional to assist you.


A Time and Place for Every Event
  • Who are the stakeholders? You know, those that can affect or be affected by your actions. You would have probably already been introduced to them during the goal setting and strategy planning phase. 
  • What's your target audience? Are you hosting executives or managers?
  • Is it a presentation or a mixer?
The answer to these questions should determine when and where your event is held.


For instance, if you’re targeting busy executives, you may want to plan a fancy breakfast. A networking event is best served in the evening with cocktails.  A presentation is best held in a hotel or conference room because hosting it in a bar can feel forced.  Be mindful of how your surroundings influence attention spans and the type of message expected to hear.



Next up - One of the most important aspects of your event - INVITATIONS

Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Remembering September 11, 2001

Where were you when you heard the news?  I was on the train headed to Blue Cross Blue Shield and I received a call from my husband who was traveling for Lufthansa Airlines.  There was a problem, something was wrong.  During that day and for the days/month/years to follow I have cried tears of sadness for the lives lost and applauded those that were so brave and fought to save lives of the unknown. 

Although I don't remember the people that were on the train with me that day, the fear, sense of loss and genuine concern we all shared will never be forgotten. 


 
We must never forget.
“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “
- President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001


 Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WEDnesday Love: "Event Planning Tips - Part I"

Ok, event planning can be an overwhelming task so for the month of September we'll offer some tips to help you along the way. 

Here is the scenario:  You've been asked to plan an event but you have no clue as to where to start because you have no background in event management planning. Somehow due to your bubbly personality and attention to detail, this duty has been given to you.

Before you attempt to create some illness to avoid the task, relax.  I have some help for you.  If you're in Corporate America like I was for over 15 years, this will probably fall under "other duties as assigned" because many don't have a dedicated point-person for event marketing management. True enough, an event can make or break a campaign so here are some handy tips to help you from planning process through the big day.

Map It Out
  • No matter the type of event you’re planning, you need to map out a strategy. What’s the goal of your event? Are you introducing a new product or service to customers? Running a demo for analysts or prospects?
  • Whether your end goal is to get in front of key influencers or present before a group of executives, you’ll want to have a strategy.
  • Look at your ideal audience, what message will resonate with them and how are you are going to measure results. Remember, you’ll have no clue whether your event was a failure or a success unless you have the right metrics.

Bring Up Budget
  • Once you have your goals outlined, you need to consider how much it will cost to accomplish those goals. You've dreamed of what you want for sometime, now it's time to wake up and have realistic expectations. 
  • Use a checklist and write down EVERY single cost item needed to make it happen. This can include signs, invitations, graphic treatments for the website, food, beverages, music, giveaways, etc. Think back to events you’ve attended and imagine all the little things that were involved. What do you absolutely need and what can you live without? Making up a checklist will help you to start developing an overall price tag.
Next time we'll discuss stakeholders, event type and style.  Who has a vested interest in your event? What's your target audience?

Sharon Patrice Simply Perfect Peace Events, Inc. and Designs by Shay, the Blog "My Journey, My Way, My LIFESTYLE ~ Celebrating Love, Laughter and Everything in Between..." You or your brand interested in a review? Getting married or having a social event and need assistance? Email Me For All Your Event Planning Needs.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails