Ice, Ice Baby! posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, Great Products

Ice, Ice Baby! Too Cool.

Alright STOP, collarborate and listen, Tanja’s back…sharing a brand new invention!

Stir up some fun with Ice Kabobs. Basically it’s…. you guessed it – ice on a stick. These kabobs  keep your drink cold and lookin’ coolwithout having ice get in the way when take a drink, AND the extended ice cubes double as swizzle sticks! And as an event planner, I love multi-purpose products…. especially ones that take a common item and give it a fresh, fun presentation

The package says “everything’s more fun on a stick”, and we do agree that ice on a stick for your drinks  is pretty fun. You can make your standard issue ice, or have fun and infuse it with flavor. The mold can also be used to create fun ice pops the kids that are sure to get rave reviews from the kiddos.

Each food-grade silicone rubber tray makes three skewers. Each tray makes 3 kabobs. Typically cost about  $7, but you can currently get them for a steal – $3 at ShockingFun.

Wanna roll down memory A1A with Vanilla, here you go: Ice, Ice Baby!


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The Party Maven’s Favorite Things 2011 posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Fashion, Food and Beverage, Great Products, Health & Beauty, Home, Trends

Finding just the right gift for those on your Christmas list can be tricky and if mastering the art of gift giving has got you in a bit of a pickle, fear not. After lots of research (read shopping) and review, I’ve selected my favorite gifts to give (and receive) this year.

Cupcake Bath Bombs

Cupcake-shaped bath bombs. Unwrap and drop this delightfully scented cupcake in the bath and enjoy the effervescence as essential oils and Dead Sea salt wash over your skin.  These totally indulgent dessert-inspired bath treats come in delicious flavors such as Mint Condition and Cranberry Fizz, and for the holiday’s a special mini cupcake trio is available– sinfully sweet!

$10.50 and up | feelingsmitten 

Hostess with the Mostess

Dome-i-nate the party circuit with this stylish glass platter. Great for cheese displays, but can be used for anything that needs to be kept under glass.  Give as a gift along with a set of cheese knives and selection of fine cheeses. Pier 1 also carries a great line of serveware for tasting parties that make great gifts.

$19 | Pier 1 Pier1 entertaning essentials 

Laura Gellar Cosmetics

This ingenious collection of multi-tasking color cosmetics feature the most innovative new products in the most inviting, wonderfully wearable colors that works to play up any skin tone to give every woman a fresh and fabulous look.

$23 and up | Laura Gellar

Voluspa Candles & Home Fragrance

This luxe line is one of my favorite indulgences and  has become a staple in the homes of Hollywood’s elite. These candles and home fragrances are strikingly packaged and have the most extraordinarily alluring scents, such as  Muscari, crisp champagne (my personal favorite), truffle white cocoa, ebony & peach to name a few. Indulgence for those who love life’s little luxuries.

$24 and up | Candledelerium

Bond-worthy Cuff Links

I discovered these secret agent comm. devices fronting as men’s fashion accessories. Not your average cufflinks hanging out on your sleeves, these babies are 007 cool and totally functional. Polished Silver Oval WIFI and USB Cufflinks feature 2GB of storage AND a WiFi Hotspot (which opens your WiFi to multiple devices) – perfect for business meetings, travel or sleuthing.

$250 | Cuff

Booze Cakes

A fun twist to your standard cookbook – Booze Cakes. This collection of recipes combines two of our most favorite things – booze and cake. How about White Russian Cupcakes or Sex On The Beach Cake?  It’s full color and has step-by-step instructions so easy even a man will spend time reading them.

 $12 | Amazon

Resonant Art

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and think it would be an A-MAZING gift! “Resonant” Décor” are custom, elegant visual art displays of the sounds around you.

Your world is filled with sounds – favorite music, the sound of your little one’s first words, a friend’s laughter, to name a few. These familiar sounds have the capacity to “resonate” in our minds and hearts with the imagery, emotions, and specific memories. Every sound creates a unique acoustic wave. Fuse this waveform with the richness of color and a one-of-a-kind work of art brilliantly emerges – a visual representation of a familiar sound wave bursting forth in pulsating waves of color. An artist creates this work in collaboration with you to design a unique canvas that visually represents sounds in your world. Isn’t this simply the coolest?

Connect for Pricing | VaporSky 

Lyric Culture Ts and scarves

I’ve raved about this Rock-n-Roll chic line before, but I’ll do it again. Lyric Culture is a lifestyle brand driven by the greatest song lyrics of all time. You’ll find lyrics to some  the most legendary artists including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and countless others penned on scarves, T-s, accessories and more.

$65 | Lyric Culture

Danni Jo Accessories

Check out for the fashionistas in your life. They have a fab line of stand-out accessories that will polish off any outfit.  I’m loving the Gabrielle earrings, a monochromatic yet chaotic kaleidoscope of crystals that come together to create one chic chandelier of bling.

$320 | Dannijo 

Susan and Veronica Aprons
These aprons are simply too sassy to resist. This fashion forward collection of domestic dress assimilates a mixture of style, frisky and edge.  Flattering designs (available in strapless and half-waist styles!) and playful prints will turn this iconic kitchen staple into your new must-have accessory. If you’re more Coco Chanel than Cocque Vin, order dinner in and throw on your apron before your guests arrive, your secret is safe with me!

$36.95 and up | Aprons

The Rover Spy Tank

Whether you wish to eavesdrop “check-in” on friends and fam, or investigate Fido’s daily activities, it’s all possible with this audio/visual-enabled Rover. Its built-in camera and microphone streams live video and transmits sound in real time. So you can see and hear everything that happening in other rooms The cam can also takes still photos as proof of what you spy, AND it even has infrared night vision that lets you see items in the dark! It is App-Controlled by your iPod touch, iPhone device, or iPad, and generates its own Wi-Fi wireless connection for your smart device (no frequency interference!).

$150 | Brookstone


I know, I thought the same thing at first glance too… “This is one of those cases assassins have in tow, and open up only to pull out the parts to a high-tech rifle, assemble it, aim and take out their target”. But take a closer look, because LAT56′s RAT-PAK is actually a high-tech Garment Bag! No lie. This super compact size carry-on is a system that rolls up your suit into a smaller size without inoculating it with wrinkles that seem resistant to any amount of pressing. Great for the men in your life. But ladies, carrying this killer number will make most any man think twice before crossing you 😉

$300 | Lat50degress

Bracelet / Purse Hook

This bracelet hooks onto tables to give you a safe place to hang your purse when you’re in a restaurant or bar. When it’s not in use you can clip it on the outside of your bag or wear as an accessory. And don’t let pretty fool you – this baby can hold up to 25 lbs!

$28 | ahalife


For your furbaby lovin’ friends  – accessories and toys for their little fuzzies. Does your BFF’s Fiona seem to have an affinity for the finer things? Check out great finds on GlamourDog. Might we recommend a crystal-adorned collar or how about a Chewy Vuitton handbag or pair of Stella MuttCartney or Christian LouBarkin Shoes for the posh pup? Check out the natty neckwear and trendy toys for fashion-forward furbabies.

From $12 |Glamourdog

Mocki Rolls

A  satisfyingly sweeeet sushi made of the finest baking ingredients! These adorable cookies taste wonderful and the clever packaging makes them party (or favor) perfect!

Call for pricing | TheSugar Girl

Essie Nail Polish

The newest color collection from Essie is inspired by the precious stones and metals that we love to accessorize ourselves with at holiday cocktail parties. “Like any great accessory, jewelry makes a statement. This winter 2011 mini collection includes 3 festive, luminous shades cocktail bling – a dazzling, soft gray-blue; size matters – a priceless ruby red; bobbing for baubles – luxurious, deep blue.

$12 | Essie Nail Winter Collection

Festive Glassware

This fantastic set of flutes will have you toasting the New Year in Fashion….regardless of your native tongue. They wish “Cheers” in six different languages. Don’t these just beg for you to throw a party?

$70 | Horchow


Mackenzie-Child. Clown Vase

I adore this home interiors line! It’s my absolute fave. I could rave over many fab items, but to give you a little intro, the Clown Vase would make a great gift for your best girlfriend. This stylish and fun piece will be sure to become one of your friends most treasured pieces. 

$85 | Mackenzie-Childs

Just InCase

Use protection. If you don’t, you’re rolling the dice. You know I speak the truth. Think about it, you’re out on the town, one thing leads to another and, next thing you know, you’re wishing you had some. Don’t let this happen to you and your companion – no, your iPhone (see, your phone is going to get all mucked up there in the gutter!). This slider case protects your iPhone 4, while the sleek mirror-finish preserves its chic image. 

$35 |

A Date with Wine Stopper

With our busy schedules and commitments, who has time to keep track of how long a bottle of wine has been opened? Let this savvy stopper do it for you and save your tastebuds and possibly even your reputation. The A Date with Wine stopper has a strong design and three twistable rings so you can mark the date you first paired that cabernet with camembert.

$59 | GSelect

Skinky Crayon

Fun, vibrant and stackable, the Playon Crayon is easy to hold, strong and stain free. This set includes 12 individual crayons all neatly stacked in a box made from 100% recyclable packaging. Strong and easy for little hands to hold and fun for all ages!

$12.95 for set | 

Facebook Funatcis

Thanks to facebook, we very much live in a “like” world. You don’t tell people you enjoyed the 35 new pictures of their cat blowing up your news feed, you click the like button. Funny posts that help get you through the day and the touching song that encouraged your heart? Yep, that’s right, just, click “like”. That little blue thumb outline might have started on Facebook, but it’s now in 3-D here in the real world. This clever hanger in disguise would make a great stocking stuffer. What’s not to “like”?

$39 |

Sanctuary Tees

A fun line of eclectic print Tees. These distinctive designs are what the cool kids are wearing. TrulySanctuary keeps items unique, so no other kid on the playground will be as cool as yours. And now TrulySanctuary T’s come in big cool kid sizes for mommy & daddy too!

 $14.99 and up | Sanctuary T-s

Sneakers for the Spirited and athletically-inclined

Recognized in Outdoor mag’s “Gear of the Year” 2011 , these kicks will ensure that you are always looking on the bright side.

$100 |



This timepiece is incognito as art. The Celeste combines the beauty of color form and function. This masterpiece displays time using two transparent colored discs that Overlap to create an stylish blue and grey design anchored by a matte stainless steel casing and strap.

$150 | ZIIIRO

Personalized enclosure cards

Personalized enclosure cards are a small touch with big impact. They’re perfect for adding a brief sentiment and custom touch to any gift you give.

From $24 | Stationery Studio


I love champagne and it makes a great gift. There is something simply magical about the popping of a champagne cork.  No special occasion is complete without it. Uncork it for holiday celebrations, an engagement, a new job, or just because it’s Friday – I’ll find absolutely any excuse to break out the bubbly! Buy bottles in sizes ranging from minis to magnums, or select a fab gift set packaged in a chic hatbox. There are great options available whether you want to spend a little or a lot.

 A few of my faves this season: Veuve Cliquot Shopping bag, Armand Brut Gold Champagne,  Dom Perrignon & Tuffles, Cristal , Krug Hat Box and Krug Cuvee Brut X

If you have any other great gift ideas, please leave a comment and share with everyone as many of us still have shopping to do.

Happy Holidays!

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Wine Tasting How-To: Surrender to the Senses posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Events, Food and Beverage

So, we know that hosting a wine tasting is a fun and relaxing way to entertain and learn about wine – you’re on board and have selected your theme , but you’ve never attended, yet alone hosted a tasting before. No worries – we’ve got you covered. Whether you are a novice or an afficianado, you can enjoy and be enlightened.  Here are our top tips to help you setup and lead your own tasting.

Atmosphere. It is important to choose a tasting space that has sufficient natural lighting.  

 “Mise en place”.  Double-check that you have all the necessary supplies and set up your tasting area.  

Prep the wine. The serve temperature can greatly affect the way a wine tastes and smells. Lower temperatures will emphasize acidity and tannins, and mute the aromatics while higher temperatures will minimize acidity and tannins, and increase the aromatics. To ensure the optimal experience and appreciation for a selection, it is important to serve it at its optimal temperature. In general the recommended temps are: between 45 to 50°F for white wines and 54 to 65°F for reds.

Arrange and number your bottles in the order in which they will be tasted. Although there are no set rules, Cheney recommends starting with whites and finishing with reds, and going in order of driest to sweetest and lightest to heaviest.

Set the tasting table. Cover the table with a white cloth so that your guests can easily examine the color of each wine. If you don’t have a white linen, you can also use butcher paper. Set out the appropriate glasses, spittoons, palate cleansers and other wares.

The flow of the event

Once guests have taken their place at the tasting table, take a few minutes to explain the general flow of the event, the elements at each setting, review the tasting process and offer helpful tasting tips.

Present and serve wines
If the party is small enough, open each bottle as you move through the tasting—it adds to the fun and festiveness of the tasting (though some reds may benefit from having some time to breathe). For a larger group, open all wines ahead of time, and you may also recruit one or two guests to help pour. Serve and taste one selection at a time.

Taste (see process below)                                                                              

Do you like the selection? Try to identify and define exactly what you like or dislike? Remember, it’s a matter of personal preference, there are no right or wrong answers.

Final Discussion
Once all wines have been sampled, review and share experiences and preferences. (If you held a blind tasting, this is the time to reveal the selections). Optional, have guests vote for their favorite and rank the wines in terms of preference.

The Tasting Process
The 6 – Ss of  tasting -Seeing, Swirling, Smelling, Sipping, Swallowing/Spitting, Savoring

1. Seeing – Color/Clarity
To determine a wines color and clairty, hold glass up to light and a white background. Describe the color and note the clarity (whether the wine is clear or has a cloudiness to it). 

2. Swirling
This step will give insight into the “body” which refers fullness, weight, concentration and total mouth feel of the wine. Tilt and swirl the wine in the glass and observe its “legs” – does it look viscous or watery? The body will also be evaluated when actually tasting the wine.

3. Smelling – Aroma/Bouquet
The fragrance of a wine makes a significant impact on how the wine is experienced. The scent of a young wine is referred to as the “aroma”, while it is known as the “bouquet” for more mature vintages.

To evaluate, swirl the wine in your glass to release the aromas, then bring it to your nose and inhale. What does the fragrance remind you of? Do you recognize the scent of a particular fruit, spice, etc.? If you can’t quite identify what you’re taking in, go through a list of fruits, herbs, and other flavors in your head: apple, pear, mango, fig, cinnamon, vanilla, etc. to see what connects with the fragrance you are smelling.

4,5. Sipping, Spitting/Swallowing
The key here is to expose the wine to as many of your tastebuds as possible. Take a sip and swish it around your mouth without swallowing. Try parting your lips slightly and taking in a little air to help release the aromas and flavors.  When tasting, you are considering the flavors you taste as well as the body and texture. In tasting, the body is determined by the sense of richness, heaviness, or thickness imparted to your palette. A light-bodied wine would be have less concentrated flavors, while a full-bodied vino will cause your tastebuds to sit up and take notice. Light-bodied wines feel similar to water in the mouth and full-bodied selections have a thicker, heavier feel
6. Savoring – The Finish
This refers to the very last flavor or texture impressions after swallowing (or spitting) the wine. Does the flavor linger on your palette (have a “long finish”) or disappear quickly (a “short finish”)? Is the wine one-dimensional or more complex?



  • Typically when tasting, you will want to work from whites to reds, progressing from dry to sweet, light to full-bodied and young to mature vintage.
  • Have guests sample each wine by itself at first. They may also taste a second time with a food pairing.
  • The general amount is a 1 ½ – 2oz. per person pour.
  • Provide bread and water at the tasting table so guests may cleanse their palate in between each selection in order to fully experience the next wine.
  • If several guests are new to the tasting process, you may want to lead the group through the formal tasting process for the first few selections. However, if you think your group would prefer, feel free to let everyone taste on their own.

Most of all, simply surrender to the senses and enjoy the experience! If your guests enjoy themselves, your event is a success.  


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Holiday Entertaining: A Tasting Party posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events

Hosting a wine (or champagne, ’tis is the season) tasting is a fun way to throw a party, and is a great option for entertaining during the holidays. Spirited conversation, flirtatious sharing of foods and lots of laughter all happen when the libations are flowing in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you and your friends consider yourselves to be novices or oenophiles, a tasting is an ideal way to get friends and family together to learn about wine, experiment with new or unusual varietals, and may even help friends decide on the wines that they would like to serve at their own upcoming holiday parties and feasts.

Sit, sip and let those secrets slip!

Here are our top tips to help you plan your own tasting event:

  1. 1.Who, what, when and where. Party planning 101, first settle on your date and time, guest list, and location.
  2. 2. Select the type of tasting. To begin your tasting party planning, first need to decide on the type of tasting you would like to host. There are several versions of wine tastings, from horizontal and vertical (both varietal tastings), wine and cheese (or chocolate!) pairings to, price point, to name a few.
  3. 3. Determine format.Wine tastings take on many forms, from informal social gatherings to formal, multi-course dinners. For a holiday event, we recommend keeping it low-key and social. Plan a simple tasting on a basic level for more of a low-key, social event. If your friends are wine enthusiasts, host a blind comparison for an entertaining and interesting challenge.

  4. 4. Choose wines.
    When selecting wines, keep in mind that tastes and preference are relative. Within reason, what is considered a “good wine” is one that you enjoy. Some people, however, may turn up their noses when tasting your favorite wine. And vice versa, you might profoundly dislike what the experts consider a ‘top-rated’ vino. Remember, a wine tasting party offers guests an opportunity to discover their own tastes preferences. Don’t be surprised if you find that one person’s prized Malbec may be another’s marinade.
  5. 5. Prepare a light menu. Cheese is commonly referred to as the perfect mate for wine. That being said, all cheeses (not unlike wine) are not created equal. Cheeses differ not only from selection to selection, but also from cheese-maker to cheese-maker, so although there are general pairing rules that one can follow, an aged cheddar from one producer may pair very differently to a younger cheddar from another producer.As a general rule, white, fresh cheeses partner well with a crisp wine, while rich, soft cheeses can be paired with a bolder white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc and some mild reds. Although some believe that the harder and darker the cheese, the heavier and richer the wine, this is not always necessarily true. If you’re unsure of which selections to choose, ask a rep at your local wine store for assistance on what pairings have been successful with the wines you select. Fresh fruits, gourmet nuts and even chocolates also make for great fare.

  6. 6. Design a tasting card
    .You’ll want to provide a tasting card for everyone to rate their personal experience with each wine selection. The card specifies the type of wine, producing vineyard, vintage and a brief description of the wine (unless you’re hosting a blind tasting). While there are many variations of cards, generally, there should be space to note each wine’s appearance (color/clarity), aroma (nose), taste and body, and a scale to give the wine an overall rating. You may also include a space for guests to record food pairing observations (such as flavors or characteristics brought out when tasted with a particular food).You can customize your own, or email us at, and we’ll be provide you with a free copy of our form  – there’s one item you can “check” off your party planning to do list!

  7. 7. Atmosphere
    . Keep it simple. Fill glasses vases and bowls with corks, and top with a small arrangement of fresh seasonal flowers (but nothing too aromatic*) to place on a side board. At the tasting table, prepare a place card for each guest. One idea would be to use a simple blank place card, and use a cork to create the card holder, or for a more festive flair, try these holly leaves and attach them to mistletoe at everyone setting. Using plates and utensils that coordinate with overall look is another great and understated way to give a nod to your theme. . Light background music will top off the ambiance.*Pro Tip: Avoid decorating with heavily scented candles or flowers so as not to interfere with the wine tasting experience, which relies heavily on a person’s senses.

Go ahead, tell us what you're thinking

8. The goods. To host a perfect tasting, here’s what you’ll need:
Four to Six Wines
Wine glasses
water glasses – always nice to have available
Pitcher of water – for rinsing glasses and palates between wines
Dump bucket – for discarding wine before next pouring
Small plates
Napkins – clever-tongued designs are always an entertaining hit!
Wine bags – if you opt for a blind tasting
Coffee beans – To ‘cleanse your palate’* (olfactory).
 Ramekins or small bowls for fresh coffee beans
Tasting cards
Place cards

  1. *Pro Tip: The reason you want to smell coffee beans in between tastings is because they help to “reset” your sense of smell. When taking in several aromatics it can become difficult to discern one scent from anotherSo, there you have it, you’re ready to get started. Not sure about the type of tasting you should choose, or feel a little nervous to lead a tasting – no worries, we’ve got you covered. There’s more to come this week – a guide to tasting and a closer look into the various type of tastings you can host.


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iDo Cam, your answer for a professional/DIY event video – yes, you read right! posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Events, Great Products, Weddings

Looking for an alternative to professional videography? Then boy do I have news for you. iDocam is the do-it-yourself solution for videography.
This concept was developed by a professional videography company that has been producing cutting edge videography for over two decades. iDOcam gives you access to professional talent in a way that won’t break the bank.
The process is simple. You visit their website, select the options that suit your needs (2-4 hours, one or more cams, etc), the cameras are shipped to you charged and ready to go. Select and ask the person(s) that you would like to be you “cameraperson(s)”. Power on and make memories.
After the event ship the cameras back to iDo cam. They will edit the footage, set to music and a professionally edited video will arrive to you in the mail. You will also receive all of the unedited footage on DVD to enjoy. The company can also stream your video to the net if you like (public or private) so you can share with family and friends.

•You save money.
•You get a professionally edited wedding video.
•Your iDOcam users will have fun, be more connected and more involved in your event experience.
•Your guests will have a blast with this fun and unobtrusive approach to documenting the event.
•Your memories will be recorded and preserved in high quality, high definition video.
Of course having a professional videography team on-site for your event is ideal, but if the budget simply won’t allow it – that no longer means you can’t have it at all!
The iDo cam is not only available for weddings….take one or a few on your honeymoon, or use them to capture memories of rehearsals, showers, dinner parties – any event that you would like to have fun memories of. So power up and let the good times roll!

Click here to view a sample video.

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Etiquette: Decoding Protocol of the R.S.V.P posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Etiquette, Events, Weddings

RSVP is a French acronym for répondez s’il vous plait (rā-pōⁿ-dā-sēl-vü-ple). Translated in English it means, “please respond or reply if you please”. The acronym RSVP was traditionally used on invitations for formal events such as weddings, engagement parties or christenings. However, today it is common to see RSVP on invitations for all types of celebrations.

Not certain of the protocol of the RSVP? Not to worry.  Refer to the following guidelines and you’ll get it right every time.

Respond to the invitation immediately
.  As a guest, this is the most important obligation you have to the host of the event. It is poor etiquette and frankly is rude to wait until the day of the event and just show up. It is just as inappropriate to RSVP acceptance and then fail to attend – only a matter of serious illness or death should keep you away. Whether you accept or regret – respond.

How to confirm your response:  

~ The most formal of events may not include any response information, but from the style, stock and tone of the invitation and the type of event, know a response is requested. In this case, a guest is to send a formal handwritten response on nice stationery.

~ Some formal event invitations are accompanied by an RSVP card. Fill-in the requested information and return to the host.

~ Less formal events typically note the RSVP at the bottom of the invitation. If an address is provided, send a handwritten reply. If a phone number is listed, a phone call response is appropriate.

~ As the world is becoming more “e- based”, many invitations are sent using electronic software such as Respond to electronic RSVPs, too. Many of these invitation systems allow you to answer the RSVP with a quick click of a button.

~ If the invitation says “Regrets Only”, you only need to RSVP if you are unable the event. Otherwise, the host has already counted you in.

Tips to respond with polish:

~ The Formal Acceptance or Regret (for instances when a respond card does not accompany the invitation).
This formal acceptance or regret is handwritten and centered on personal stationery. The text of is simple and to the point.
An example of such Acceptance of an invitation:

Dr. and Mrs. Barrett Grant Henley

accept with pleasure

Mr. and Mrs. William Scott Helm’s

kind invitation

for Saturday, the eighth of June

~ In the case of extremely busy people, a formal acceptance or regret may be typed by a secretary or assistant (on business or fine personal stationery).

Dr. and Mrs. Barrett Grant Henley

Sincerely regret that

their absence from the city (or other reason)

prevents them from accepting

the kind invitation of

Mr. & Mrs. William Helm
for Saturday, the eighth of June


 When Portions of the Invitation are Accepted and Portions RegrettedOn occasion when only one member of an invited couple will be able to attend:
Most formal response:


Mrs. Julia Henley

accepts with pleasure

Mr. & Mrs. William Helm’s
kind invitation  

and regrets that due to absence from the city
Dr. Barrett Henley will be unable to accept

for the Saturday, eighth of June

 Formal response in the instance when a response card has been included with the invitation: Handwrite additional detail on the bottom of the card. For example, “”Dr. Henley accepts with pleasure for the wedding ceremony, but due to illness, Mrs. Henley is unable to accept.”

~ When a couple accepts for a portion of the event but must regret for another. Most commonly for weddings, perhaps a couple may be able to attend only the wedding ceremony, but not the reception.

Most Formal:

Mrs. Julia Henley

accepts with pleasure

Mr. & Mrs. William Helm’s
kind invitation  

and regrets that due to absence from the city
Dr. Barrett Henley will be unable to accept

for the Saturday, eighth of June

 Formal response in the instance when a response card has been included with the invitation: Again, handwrite additional detail on the bottom of the card. Example, “Dr. & Mrs. Henley accepts with pleasure for the wedding ceremony, but sincerely regret they are unable to attend the reception.”

Society, do you now feel confident that the next time you receive an invitation to a special event or celebration, you will RSVP with savvy and ease?


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Cupcake Cuties posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, Great Products, Weddings

Society, now you can take your cupcakes from ordinary to extraordinary in a snap! I give you Cupcake Cuties, an amazingly creative and new way to serve up cupcakes in style!

Photos courtesy of Jen O'Sullivan

These cupcake design kits make your cupcakes as special as your occasion, and are as yummy to look at as they are to eat. Using the cutie kits is a cakewalk:

1. Begin with a frosted cupcake

2. Wrap a Cupcake Cutie sleeve around the base of your cupcake

3. Garnish with Cupcake Cutie Toppings

Just bake, wrap and garnish. It’s truly that simple! Each design takes less than 3 minutes to put together!

They are available in a wide range of holiday, occasion and fun themes suitable for any celebration. One my favorite designs – the martini cupcake, comes complete with the best olive (chocolate covered almond) I’ve ever had 😉

Cupcake Cuties

Each Cupcake Cuties kit comes with self-adhesive cupcake sleeves, custom toppings to complete the chosen cupcake design, and directions to ensure you know how to put your cuties together so that they can look fabulous. All items come adorably packaged in a container that could double as a gift box. Plus the sleeves are printed with Food Safe inks. Another great thing is that the packaging is made of recyclable PET Material, so they are eco-friendly as well. Bonus – they are made right here in the USA. Each set provides supplies to decorate 24 cupcakes and sells for around $23.99.

Can’t get enough of these cuties? Join the Cutie of the Month club, and receive special offers. Visit Cupcake Cuties online to order yours today!

So what do you think Society, do Cupcake Cuties take the cake or what?!


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  • Tweets that mention Cupcake Cuties « Tanja & Co. -- [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tanja Lynn, Cupcake Cuties, Cupcake Cuties, Tanja Lynn, Tanja Lynn and others. Tanja Lynn said: @CupcakeCuties take the cake! - Create extraordinary designs in a snap! #fb [...]
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Entertaining Etiquette: How to be the happy hostess with the mostess posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Etiquette, Events

 Opportunities to entertain come all year ’round–from casual gatherings and summer barbecues to formal cocktail parties and milestone celebrations. Here are my top 5 tips to remember when hosting a party:

1. The Guest List
When selecting guests for your event, be mindful to choose an interesting mix of personalities. However, make sure that all invitees get along. No one wants tension at the party – it should be lively and upbeat, stress-free. It’s in the best interest for all not to invite people who are known to clash or the friend that has a reputation for starting heated debates. Rather choose guests who are good conversationalists and be sure to include those that will bring along a good sense of humor.

2. Invitations
Include necessary information for your guests in the invitation.  Is the party a casual get-together or a formal affair?  What is the dress code? Be sure to include a start and end time for the party. Send out invites four to six weeks in advance of the party to allow guess sufficient time to check calendars, arrange childcare, etc.

3. Proper Planning  
Hosting a party can be enjoyable, but planning is key.  Get help if necessary. Keep it simple, and do as much as you can ahead of time. To lower stress and help you on time, serve items that you know will work and that can be made in advance. Keep the bar simple. Provide  simple drinks such as wine, beer and soft drinks, and add a signature cocktail or two for a festive touch (drinks that can be prepared in large quantities and made ahead of time work great -for example sangria or strawberry lemonade). Plan to have everything ready at least an hour before guests are expected to arrive. Allow time personally to get ready – no one wants to look like the harried host when greeting guests.

4.  Gracious Greeting & Send-off, Happy Host Throughout
Ensure that guests are warmly greeted. Take coats and/or umbrellas (or have staff to do so) upon guests arrival, and graciously accept any hostess gifts that guests may present to you.  A good host/hostess will spend the evening with guests, not behind the scenes. Encourage guests to mingle, and be sure to make introductions and help to facilitate conversation. Thank people for coming as they leave the party. And remember to again express your appreciation to anyone who brought a gift.

5.  Be flexible and gracious.
Entertainment didn’t show? Have a fallback plan – an appropriate CD or playlist on standby. Have a no shoes policy?  Provide a basket of slippers by the door. And if you don’t know a guest well, or someone seems particularly uncomfortable, be flexible for the evening. Uninvited guest?  As discourteous as it is for someone to spring a surprise on you, be gracious.  No polite host would ever send an uninvited guest away.

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Ace the Cake posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Events, Food and Beverage, Great Products

Would you like to create the Ace of Cakes like Duff Goldman, but don’t feel you have the talent or the time? Well, now you can with Duff’s cake tattoos.

The creative food artist has made it easy to take tasty treats to sweet sensations in a snap. Just peel and place. And voila! A masterpiece!  Use Duff’s cake tattoos to transform your cake, cupcakes or cookies into designer desserts. The edible art is perfect for guys and dolls and is available in a variety of designs ranging from skulls to whimsical florals, and from an elegant black and white filigree-esque pattern to camo! Use Duff’s cake tattoos to dress up a cake or dessert buffet for a bridal shower or to add impact to your next birthday cake. 

Each package includes 2 sheet of edible cake tattoos and makes 2 tiers on a cake, 20 cupcakes or 20 cookies. Snag your treat tattoos for $12 at and the edible art will arrive to you on your doorstep.

Send photos of your delicious desserts using Duff’s cake tattoos to us at with ‘creating designer desserts with cake tattoos’ in the subject line between now and December 20th, and we will share your designs with The Society as inspiration for their own parties and holiday celebrations.


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Haute Halloween posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage

Thinking of hosting your own Halloween Party? For a night of bewitching fun, read on to get your party haunted!

The most economical décor will be provided by disguised partygoers.  Have guests to come dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes for decor that doesn’t cost a dime! BUT in the spirit of the season, transform your home into one haute haunted house. Want decor with spooky sophistication? Check out Grandin Road, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1 and Cracker Barrel Country Store.  Setup festive vignettes –gloves popping out of a box a la the Meunsters, plush black widow spiders in cobwebs, assorted witch hats scattered nearby a self propelled broomstick. – you get the picture.  And if your budget allows, begin outdoors. Festive props such as spooky willow trees or a gang of ghosts set the stage before your guests even step foot inside your “haute”-d house.  

Keep house lights to a minimum and opt for candlelight placed about the party scene using gothic candelabra (add cobwebs for dramatic effect)  and sconces with flickering flames mixed with black lights (perfect for a dance area).

A spooky soundtrack is a must. Purchase a Halloween mix CD, or splurge for a DJ.
Give out prizes for the most creative, scariest and silliest costumes. If your crowd is game, you can also organize activities such as bobbing for apples or Monster Mash Limbo.

A “BOO”ffet is perfect. You don’t have to go overboard on the theme when it comes to food, but do mix in a bit of kitsch with the canapés. A few ideas for spooky eats, Translyvanian ghoulash served in a cauldron or pumpkin and butternut squash soup in test tubes, toasted Nori bat wings, finger sandwiches cut into spooky shapes, pumpkin risotto , deviled eggs and moldy cheese balls. For dessert, Old lady finger cookies, “terrormisu”, and  ghost pops are great options, and you can’t celebrate Halloween without an assortment of candy!

Give your bar a mad scientist vibe by using glass beakers, dry ice and vintage bottles finished with festive labels. Glue inexpensive plastic spiders to the base of stemmed glassware, and serve a signature spellbinding cocktail like the black widow (the layered two-tone presentation is great!). And remember to also offer non-alcoholic drinks like virgin Bloody Marys and Clementine Izze iced in a pumpkin-shaped cooler.

Tips from a Pro:
* For an eerie entrance to your party, place a fog machine behind the door, and have guests greeted by the Grim Reaper.

* Kick it up a notch by hiring a fortuneteller for entertainment

*Hosting a big bash that requires staff? Have everyone dressed in the same costume to make it easy for guests to identify who they should talk to if they need a drink or have a question

*Have a few extra costumes on hand in case someone forgets to wear one.

* When replacing labels on self-serve beverages, be sure that you provide a way for guests to know what it really is that they are pouring.

Eat Drink and Be Scary!!

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