Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rabidos and Rabidon'ts for Super Bowl Entertaining

With the Super Bowl only a little more than a week away I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my Rabidos and Rabidon'ts for throwing your own Super Bowl Party.  I even have a few fun recipes to share!

Of course, one of my top Rabidos for any party is "Keep it simple".  You do not have to go crazy with decorating or food to have a great party.  There are a few simple props that I have used in the past that are easy to create and inexpensive.  For example, as a really fun table cover take a piece of astroturf that you can easily find at your local home improvement store and create a football field table cover.  All you need is white paint, a paint brush, a ruler and painters tape.

I created a 2 inch border using the painters tape around the perimeter of the carpet, then added lines equally spaced within the border and voila, we have a great table cover.  And, my favorite part is that you can clean it by just hosing it down after the party!

Of course, this is just the base for a great table display full of food drink and fun.  There are other simple touches I like to add to complete the look.  For example, take a look at these fun and easy napkin treatments I created.

I found a template of a football field on line, printed it out and cut it into 2 inch strips, then I used a glue stick to hold the ends together creating fun napkin rings I used for the party it could not have been easier.

The finishing touch are the goal posts I created with simple plastic PVC pipe.  You can find the PVC at your local hardware store along with the "T" and "elbow" joints to make this really simple goal post.  Your table will be a real hit at your Super Bowl party.  And, it met the criteria for another of my top Rabidos;  Don't break the bank!

Now that the table is set it's time to prepare the cocktails.  As you all know, not having enough liquor is a big Rabidon't.  However, to keep things easy my Rabido is to have a signature cocktail premixed so you do not have to spend a lot of time tending bar.  Since the teams for Super Bowl 2014 are from Denver and Seattle, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of cocktails that are native to these cities.  Check out the recipes I found for the "Colorado Bulldog" and "Cafe Seattle" to see if they can be a hit at your own party.

Colorado Bulldog

- 1 ounce Vodka
- 1 ounce Kahlua
- Equal parts milk and cola

Fill a regular size tumbler with ice.  Add in the Vodka and Kahlua the fill the glass with equal parts of milk and cola.  Stir and enjoy!

Cafe Seattle

- 3/4 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream
- 3/4 ounce Vodka
- 1 ounce chocolate syrup
- Whipped cream
- Coffee

In a large coffee mug combine the Irish Cream, Vodka and chocolate syrup.  Fill the mug with coffee and stir.  Top with whipped cream.  

I really think the Cafe Seattle would be a great way to warm up in this cold weather.  

I hope find these ideas helpful for the big game day.  Enjoy, keep warm and Rabido have a great Super Bowl Sunday.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Time to pick the cake

We have been a bit slow in the planning process for our wedding this Fall.  I relate it to the saying, "Doctors make the worst patients."  As a planner it really is hard to plan for myself.  

That said, we are making progress.  A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to hold a tasting with Anne at Pink Cake Box.  She has done some wonderful cakes for our clients in the past and I thought she would be prefect for the cake we want.  During the tasting we spoke with her about ideas for the cake and some things we want to incorporate.  Our dogs, Schylar and Trevor were discussed along with how we like to wind down at the end of any event with a vodka.  Another idea we had was to incorporate the designs from my stationery line, specifically the "Shawn" and "Michael" designs into the cake.  

Well, we just received the sketches and are so excited that I want to share them with you.  Take a look at the three great options Anne created and let us know which one you prefer.  

Cake 1

Cake 2

Cake 3

We love all of the designs and the creativity.  This will be a tough choice.

Enjoy and ....


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wedding Registry Tips

As some of you may know I am planning a wedding of my own and my fiancé and I are now at the point where we are considering our wedding registry.  It's very interesting because we're both pretty established; however, there's something to be said about registering for things you might not otherwise buy for yourself.

So to make your registry life a little easier I thought I'd give you eight of my top registry tips!

Shawn’s Eight Registry Tips:

Where to Register
Once you’ve made your registry list, then you can determine where to register.  Choosing five or six stores might seem like the way to cover all of your bases, but in reality it will be confusing for your guests and too much work for you.  I recommend registering for no more than three stores.  This will help you manage your time and make shopping easier for your guests. 

Don’t Rush
Don’t try to register at all your stores in one day.  I recommend picking a store he likes, a store you like, and possibly a third.  Then plan on spending a total of two to three hours (yes it can take that long) at a store registering.  Whether it’s during the weekend or a night after work, make a date of it.  Set aside time for lunch, dinner, or catch a movie after…something that doesn’t involve weddings.  It will break up the registry process and make it fun for both of you.

Nothing’s Set In Stone
Always remember registries can be changed.  They aren’t hard and fast so if your groom likes the strange olive dish and wants to register for it, let him.  Marriage is about compromise and so is your registry.  Besides, you can always go in and delete it later.  Arguments in the store aren’t worth it! 

Three’s A Crowd
Do not shop with anyone but your fiancé.  Unless you intend for your parents and family to live with you, you shouldn’t bring them along for the ride. It’s best to leave them at home so they don’t influence your registry choices. This is about you and what you want as a couple.

I once had a mother and father of the bride go with the happy couple to do their registry: they registered for everything the mother wanted and nothing they wanted.  In the end they had a house full of presents they didn’t want and had to go back to the stores and return everything so they could shop on their own.  It was the biggest mistake of their wedding. 

Price Point
Register for varying price ranges.  I knew a bride who registered for only the most expensive items: high-end flatware, glass, and dinnerware.  This can be fine if all of your guests can afford it.  The problem with that bride was that her taste was far more expensive than what her guests’ wallets could afford.  In the end she received little of what she was registered for and was left to purchase most of the registry on her own.

You should be polite about what your guests can afford.  Register for a wide range of items so your guests aren’t left feeling like they need to take out a mortgage to get you a gift.

Seasonal Items
When registering ask a sales associate what is seasonal, what is new, and if anything on your list might become discontinued.  This is particularly important with anything table top because at any given time the store can discontinue your pattern or style leaving you without your favorite item.  If you want to include seasonal items on your registry make sure they are included one to three months prior to your wedding date because most seasonal items have a short shelf life in the store.

Register For More Than You Think
If you’re considering registering for a set of twelve, why not opt for a set of fourteen?  Glasses and plates may scratch and break and down the road children might hide the silverware.  You never know if you need to replace damaged items and your family can end up grow quickly.  It’s smart to register for more towels, sheets and blankets. These items tend to be expensive and wear out quickly.

Second Time Around?
I recently had a client where both the bride and groom were heading into their second marriage.  They felt funny setting up a wedding registry because they were established enough and had everything they needed.  I suggested they choose three to four of their favorite charities and ask their guests to anonymously donate to those.  This was a great way for them and their guests to help causes that were near and dear to their hearts.  

In the end the registry is about you and your new life together.  Like all things wedding make this experience about you and take your time together.  Shopping is meant to be fun and registering for your wedding is no different!

Happy planning and...


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You've filled out the Wedding Questionnaire, what's next?

Last week I posted the Wedding Questionnaire for newly engaged couples to help them get started planning their wedding.  So, what's the next step?

Rabido - Bring family members (from both sides) together under one roof.

Let the family members get to know each other.  I often recommend a family dinner or cocktail party.  As we know, if anyone is going to throw a wrench in the wedding plans or cause issues it's most likely to be parents, siblings or grandparents.  

Rabido - Set up the gathering on neutral territory.

Cook dinner at your place or go to a restaurant.  Let everyone know there will be no wedding chatter until after the main course.  This will allow everyone to get to know each other and ease any pre-gathering tension.  A nice bottle of wine or a few cocktails can loosen them up and warm them to the idea that you are setting the pace.  

Rabidon't - Don't let anyone over indulge.

After everyone has eaten will be the perfect time to begin the discussion and set the expectations you have for your wedding.  Nothing should be off the table and welcome all ideas.  Take them in, soak them up.  You should consider everyone's opinion and allow them to feel as if their ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Once you've set the pace, outlined expectations and taken into consideration everyone's feelings you can set out on planning your wedding knowing there are no secrets.  No secrets means reduced stress and every bride and groom could use that!

Until next time...


Friday, January 3, 2014

Warm drink for a cold day!

On this cold, snowy winter day I thought it would be a good time to re-post my favorite hot chocolate recipe.  It is a great way to keep ward on a snowy day or event to warm up your guests at a winter wedding. 

To make this drink first follow the recipe to your favorite hot chocolate mix (I use Godiva 8 oz.). Add 1 1/2 oz. Vanilla Vodka, 1 1/2 oz. Frangelico, a dash of Cayenne Pepper.  Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.  


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wedding Questionnaire

Having just come through the holidays, which we know is a huge time for engagements, I will be sharing some valuable wedding planning information in the next few blog posts.  I know the wedding planning process can be daunting so I would like to offer some advice and tools to help ease the stress.  

I am starting with a questionnaire that I find helpful to organize all pertinent wedding details in one place.  I find it useful when I meet with a Bride and Groom to start organizing all the details of their wedding.

Rabido: If you and your fiancé are getting bogged down or overwhelmed by the questions, table wedding talk for at least 24 hours. This will allow you to pick up again with a fresh perspective.

Best of luck to all of the newly engaged couples!

Wedding Date :_____________________________
Wedding Time :_____________________________
Wedding Location:___________________________
Reception Location:__________________________
Preferred Ceremony Venue____________________
Church / Synagogue / Hotel / Outdoor /
Preferred Reception Venue____________________
Beach / Country Club / Hotel / Tent / Etc

Reception Time:_______________________________
Total number of guests attending reception:__________
Number of guests attending, by age group:
5-18 ______ 19-25 ______ 26-55 ______Over 55 ____

Point of Contact the Week Of Wedding______________

Wedding Theme / Look___________________________
Color Scheme___________________________________
Semi-Casual / Semi-Formal / Formal / Other__________­_­­­
All Inclusive Wedding Budget Range________________

Members of the Wedding party:
Grandparents of bride____________________________
Grandparents of groom___________________________
Mother of the bride______________________________
Father of the bride_______________________________
Mother of the groom_____________________________
Father of the groom______________________________
Any divorces or step parents?______________________
Sisters / Brothers of Bride_________________________
Sisters / Brothers of Groom________________________
Will children be invited? Nieces / Nephews?__________

Bridesmaids & Ushers / Groomsmen
Flowergirl & Ringbearer
Matron or Maid of Honor & Best Man

How you would like to be introduced
Mr. And Mrs. John Hunter,
John and Paige Hunter, etc.

Will there be a toast? __Yes __No
If so, by whom? ________________________________
Will there be a blessing? __Yes __No
If so, by whom?_________________________________
Background music style for dinner and cocktails:
__ Classical __ Jazz __ Love Songs
__ Piano (George Winston) __ New Age
Cake Cutting __Yes __No
Dollar Dance __Yes __No
Garter and Bouquet __Yes __No
Any other special dances___________________________
First dance (Bride & Groom) __Yes __No
Song, Title and Artist____________________________
Bride and Father __Yes __No
Song: Title and Artist_____________________________
Groom and Mother __Yes __No
Song: Title and Artist_____________________________
Wedding Party/Parents __Yes __No
Song: Title and Artist_____________________________
Dance music preference __ 1950s __ 1960s __1970s
__1980s __1990s __Top 40 __Dance (Techno, House, Hip-Hop)
__ Motown __ Country __ Big Band/ Swing __ Rock & Roll
__ Reggae __ Disco
Specific Music Requests__________________________

Will Bride & Groom see each
other before ceremony? ___________________________
Photos of the Bride getting ready____________________

Photos of the Groom getting ready___________________

Photos of the Wedding Party________________________

Group Photos of Groomsmen________________________

Group Photos of Bridesmaids_________________________

When will the portraits be done________________________
Before or After Ceremony____________________________
Hotel rooms needed for guests_________________________
How many_________________________________________
Connecting rooms___________________________________
Hospitality Suite____________________________________
Room for Bride & Groom_____________________________
Rooms with Cribs or Double Beds______________________

Transportation needed for the guests__________________
How many______________________________________
Transportation for Bridal Party______________________
Who are you including in this count__________________

Cake / style and flavor________________________
Grooms Cake_______________________________
Signature Desserts___________________________

Cocktail style reception_______________________
Sitdown dinner______________________________
Food Stations_______________________________
Preferred food______________________________
Bar preference______________________________
Preferred libations___________________________
Cocktail food must haves_____________________
Signature Cocktail__________________________
Candy Bar________________________________
Other special ideas_________________________
After Party / Location_______________________

Save the date_______________________________
Invite Style________________________________
Escort Cards_______________________________
Menu Cards________________________________
Rehearsal Dinner Invites______________________
Thank you cards_____________________________

Rehearsal Dinner____________________________
Style / Look / Feel___________________________
How Many Guests___________________________
Who will organize___________________________

Wedding Registry Locations___________________

Engagement Party___________________________