9:16 AM

Event Planners..What are they for anyways?

What are they for anyways? I mean, what does it take to make a party? Take a birthday party for example; it’s not that hard to put one together right? Right, it doesn’t take a genius to put a birthday party together. You can simply gather up some friends, a DJ for entertainment and throw on a couple hot dogs on the grill for food, and there you have it.
Now you can either go with that traditional, low budget get-together or, you can hire an event planner and plan the biggest party on the block! Of course, it depends on the party. Then again, it’s not a problem, for professional event planners have ideas for any type of event that you may need.
Here are some reasons why you should hire an event planner:
  • Hiring an event planner saves time and energy
  • You can count on the event planner while the party is going on, so you don’t have to worry.
  • No set pricing, event tend to work around YOUR budget
  • Event planners maker sure things are running smoothly. From making sure that the DJ has enough records to spin, to making sure the bartender has enough ice, and to making sure that the ushers have they boutonni?es correct.
  • A responsible event planner will also help you create an affordable budget, review all contracts, and make sure that your expectations are met.
  • Saves you hours of hassle
  • Event planners have established relationships with different vendors, which on its own, saves you time and money from making arrangements (with food, lights, entertainment, etc.).
  • If you are planning an event outside of state, the event planner can make it happen without you even being there.
  • Makes you feel like a guest at your own party, without having to worry about how things are running.
Those are just a few reasons why event planning is really important. Don’t just settle for a simple family get-together…HAVE A BLAST! Whether it’d be for a wedding, business conference, or a birthday party, make sure you celebrate with a big bang! Hire an event planner and celebrate with out the stress!

7:52 AM

Irish Nachos St Patricks Day Appetizer

This is by far the most decadent, rich, and sinful St Patricks Day appetizer on this page. But it's also the one that you and your guests won't be able to stop eating.
Set out a huge plate of these "nachos" (What makes them Irish? The potatoes, of course!) and watch them disappear. Serves about 10.
To make them a little extra Irish, definitely opt for the corned beef. It's delicious! You can also sub regular fries (thicker wedges are better) if you can't find waffle fries.
Variation: For a fun variation of this recipe, top it with guacamole, too! It's green, it's St Patricks-y, and it tastes great with this recipe!
2 pkg. frozen waffle fries, or about 8 cups
3-4 C shredded Irish Cheddar
1/2 lb. sliced deli corned beef, chopped, or
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp, drained and chopped
1-2 C. sour cream, to taste
1-2 C chopped green onion (green parts only), to taste
Instructions: 1. Cook up your fries according to the directions on the package. You'll want them crisp, so leave them in the oven a little extra if you have to.
2. Adjust heat on oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Evenly distribute cheese and either corned beef or bacon over the cooked fries. (You may need to do this in two batches.)
4. Return to the oven and bake until cheese is totally melted, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Remove and top with green onions and sour cream.

4:24 PM

Event Planning Contracts

Contracts can be simple or extremely lengthy and detailed.  Do not take for granted that you will be told everything you need to know.  You will want to carefully read what you are signing.
This can be overwhelming.  Sit down with the event planner or subcontractor and have them read it through with you.  They should be able to explain exactly what you are reading at any given point.
Tips on for What to Look for in an Event Planning Contract
  • Details of Completed Work:  Be sure all information is included, such as: dates, times, party concept, timeline, set-up, implementing service, programs, closing and clean-up.
  • Changes in Contracts:  Things happen.  You may need to add more flowers, add special registration tables for VIPSs, or add drinks.  Make sure you understand the costs involved in adding to your contract.
  • Make sure they are Licensed:  Caterers must have food permits and licenses, as well as beverage licenses.  Event specialists or subcontractors that offer lighting or sound systems can have licensed electricians on their payroll.
  • Make sure they have Insurance:  It is important to know whether the person you are hiring has hired licensed and insured vendors or employees.  This is to protect you.
  • Deposits and Payment Terms: These will vary with each contract.  Contract should clearly state how much and when deposit is due, as well as remainder of the balance.  Also, make sure it states what forms of payments they will accept.
  • When Disaster Strikes: This just happens!  Whether minor or major, you should always have an alternate plan.  Make sure the contract specifies its policy on crises.
Making sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted is critical to a success event!  You want to be sure you are dealing with qualified and respectable vendors that will ensure you event will run smoothly!

4:10 PM

St. Paddy's Special Green Hummus

If you're looking for a more adult St Patricks Day appetizer without a bunch of food coloring in it --or just want something that tastes fabulous-- this is definitely it!  

Creamy and flavorful, this St Patricks Day appetizer is wonderful with veggie dippers, pita chips, tortilla chips, you name it. Too good!
  • 2 C. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 1/2 C. boiled edamame (remove shells)
  • 2 (12 oz.) cans chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and liquid reserved
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • 1/2 C. tahini
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 C. reserved chickpea liquid (as needed)
1. Thaw the spinach and drain it fairly well. It doesn't need to be bone dry, but it shouldn't be TOO liquidy.
2. Place spinach, edamame beans, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon, salt, and red pepper in the bowl of your food processor. Process until creamy, thick, and well combined.
3. With processor running, add your reserved chickpea liquid until your hummus reaches your desired consistency.
4. Add the pepper. Pulse the processor to incorporate it.
5. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Better 4 hours or overnight.

12:41 PM

How to Dye Beer Green

Most people don't know that you can dye beer green with both green food coloring, AND blue. Which to choose generally depends on your choice of beer... and the shade of green you're looking for.

Using Blue Food Coloring to Dye Beer Green:You can use blue food coloring to dye any yellow colored beer-- and light or yellow beers are generally the best for dyeing anyway. Blue food coloring results in a richer, darker, more shamrock-y green. But keep in mind that if you have a foamy head on your beer, the head may be a little bit blue-tinged.

Using Green Food Coloring to Dye Beer:Of course, the most common choice for dying St Patricks Day drinks --and especially beer-- green is green food coloring. Mixed with your average light ale, the green food coloring will result in a bright lime-y green color.
My advice? Buy both and experiment with them the few days before your St Patricks Day party. You may find that you like the effect of one more than the other.

Adding Food Coloring to Bottled or Keg Beer:Chose your food coloring shade? Now's time to dye the beer. When you look around on the net on how to dye beer green, you may find people suggesting you put your food coloring in after your beer. This is the wrong way. Trust me I have tried it both ways! The coloring goes into the glass before the beer-- this allows it to mix easily, without any stirring that would cause some of your beer's carbonation to dissipate.

How to dye beer green with food coloring:

1. Color. Add two to three drops of food coloring to the bottom of a mug or cup.

2. Pour. Pour the beer in the glass. It should mix on its own-- no stirring required.

That's it!

12:46 PM

St. Patrick ’s Day is quickly approaching

The next big holiday coming up is St. Patrick’s Day.  Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day - at least it seems like that in the USA. No matter where you live, what your budget is, or if you have a party of 10 or 1000 you can celebrate St. Patrick's Day with flair. Up until the big day is here, I will be posting fun, easy ideas to make your party memorable. If for some reason I don’t cover what you need e-mail me and I will get you the information. Or if you don’t have the time, call me I will make you shine! And your friends will be green with envy for your fabulous party.   

8:36 PM

Event Planning Trends for 2011

We are officially at the close of 2010. It’s been a fantastic year filled with some great news, interesting events, outstanding philanthropy and exciting developments in event technology. Now, 2011 is about to be ushered in and a lot of people are left wondering, what will it bring? What will be popular? What will be some of the newest trends in event planning over the next calendar year?

A lot of experts, in a lot of areas of event planning are starting to ring in with some of their top trends for 2011 and I have a few of my own. Here are some of the biggest projected trends in event planning and event technology for 2011 that I have found:
  • Out With The Speakers – What if events had no speakers and no keynotes and instead were just giant forums for discussion and learning? Social media is making everything interactive, speakers and panels are not.
  • Better Swag – Anyone can get a generic pen or sticker from a conference, but some believe customized swag and goodies might be a hot ticket item this year. Personalized goody bags in 2011?
  • Go Mobile – Everything, from event advertisements, websites, backchannels, programs, everything will go mobile. From your phone, you’ll be able to access every detail of the event you’re planning, or attending.
  • Event Technology– More than any other time, specialized and customized event technology will take center stage for not only event planners, but those attending the events. The ability to vote, bid, ask questions and use text messaging during events will be huge.
2011 is almost here and with it will come a host of new trends, exciting developments and fascinating events. Do you have any trends that you think will be coming? Are there any trends you hope to see or can’t wait to find out about? I would love to hear your thoughts on trends in event planning for 2011 so sound off in the comments!