Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rockin' 2nd Birthday Party by "Two Plus Us"

                                                                                                  All Photos: http://twoplus.us/

I would have totally scalped tickets to this rockin' 2nd birthday party!  Dreamed up by the dynamic (married) design duo at Two Plus Us, this fete totally hits the top of the charts.

When the ubertalented Matthew and Lori Richmond are done tucking their two boys for the night in at their swanky Brooklyn apartment, they spend their nights burning the midnight oil on their labor of love: totally insane birthday party design. You may remember the Old Hollywood inspired fete they threw for Holden's first last year (I featured it on Chandelier).

Feast your eyes on this rad set of photos from his sophmore celebration.

Two Plus Us is currently designing custom parties. Pricing upon request.

I'd say, this one totally calls for an encore!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chandelier is officially PINNING! Follow Pinterest.com/chandelierevent

We've known about Pinterest for quite some time, but only recently joined the craze--and like everyone else, we're completely addicted to pinning inspirations.  Apparently, so are many of you! If you're not familiar with this social network, this is an easy-to-use image search engine that allows you to share and pin (bookmark) inspiration--from gorgeous photos to gifts to home decor, recipes, travel destinations. 

Look for awe-inducing photo stories for color palette inspiration, DIY ideas, aspirational style, fashion for weddings and events, menus for cocktails and feasts--the list is absolutely endless. We're so excited to see what you pin, too!

Here's a sneak peak at some of the boards in our file this week. 



Let us know what you think!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get Your Game On: Superbowl Party Ideas

Ok, it has to be said--Are you ready for some football?! Nothing's more exciting in the Northeast than a square off of Eli Manning and the New York Giants and Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Planning a get-together this weekend? Here's some fun ways we've dreamed up at Chandelier Events to add some style to your typical Superbowl bash. 

SuperBeer Bar
Nothing's better than a cold brewsky in front of the 50" inch-flatscreen. Skip the kegs and pitchers, and impress your guests with a deluxe beer buffet featuring bottles of microbrews and ice-cold pilsner glasses. Stock a wide variety of ales, from the lighter pale ales like Blue Moon to the staples like Heinekens and Amstels, deeper flavors Newcastle and Red Stripe, to picks from local breweries representing your teams: for New York Giants, go with Brooklyn Brewery and Schmaltz Brewery, and for the Patriots, opt for the obvious Sam Adams, Harpoon, and Waschusett Blueberry Brew by Washcusett Brewing Company.

Go Big on Mini Bites
I've been doing mini bites at events for years now--and this is such an easy way to sass you your Superbowl Party. Add to your classic platter of cocktail franks (a must-have) with mini sliders, pulled pork sandwiches, mini lobster rolls and crabcakes--you can even cut up grilled cheese sandwiches into bite-size morsels on a bed of grass or use them to garnish tomato soup in a shot glass.  Bite by Bite, the new book by my friend Peter Callahan of Callahan Catering's new book is packed with inspiration--like these mini chicken cups served with teensy bottles of Coke.

(Chandelier Tip: Finding tiny Coke bottles might be hard, but you can easily do this at home by filling shot glasses with sodas and even spiked drinks and cutting paper or colored plastic straws -- red and blue -- into thirds. You can do mini root beer floats, dark and stormies, and shots of coffee soda like Manhattan Specials).

Skip DoubleDipping
If you're throwing a Superbowl fete, chances are Seven Layer Dip is on the menu. Limit the mess while impressing your guests with individual Seven Layer Rocks Glass--we found a great step-by-step tutorial to seven layer dip cups on SweetSavoryLife.com. This tip is easy to replicate for other snacks like fondue (cheese or chocolate) and even simple dips and salsas. Finally, a reason to put those wedding gifts to work!

SuperSweet Snacks: Black & Tan Pretzel Bars
Go mini or BIG with this homemade game day sweet (recipe from The Cake Blog)--a layer of fudgy beer brownie topped with butterscotch ale ganache and salty pretzels, served with a pint of Guinness, of course!

Touchdown Style
You don't have to spend big bucks to get great style--just put your thinking cap on! An easy way to spruce up your table is this one from a Tailgate Party I threw for my son--Grass Flats! On average, flats of grass cost less than $15 a piece--I picked up a few, and popped in balls from our own collection. This is a great way to "Go Football" and make a nod to your favorite team. See more Tailgate Decor here.

Be Your Own Entertainment
Stage your own entertainment, with these ideas we've dreamed up:

-- "YouTube Superbowl Commercial Competition" -- During the tailgate time, split up into teams, and draw products written on notes out of a ref hat; with your iPhone, Androids or FlipCams, shoot 30 second commercial clips for your "given product". See who's the funniest, most embarrassing, just have fun!

-- "Star Spangled Banner" Sing Off: Break out the Karaoke machine for a  kick-off sing-off. This is a great way to entertain the kids as well! See who remembers the words.

Have crowd-pleasing game day ideas? Share them with us.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out: Go Family-Style at Your Next Event

                                                                                                                                     Photo & Recipe: Buttermilk Mac 'N Cheese, Six-Course Dinner
                                                                                              Photo & Recipe: Rosemary Lamb Chop Popsicles & Mint Gremolata, KissMySpatula.com
                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: GreenWeddingShoes.com
                                                                                               Photo & Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Tart With Lemon Zest, CreatureComfortsBlog.com

Good food brings people together.

One of my favorite ways to break the ice at a party (for myself or a client) is to give guests the experience of "breaking bread" at the table--together. I find that infusing this more casual service (even at the most formal event) often erupts into full-fledged feasting and toasting at the tables.

Whether you choose to go full-on "family style" (at your next affair, or holiday meal)--or, you opt to combine traditional service with "family style" elements, give your nearest and dearest a chance to "pass the potatoes"--trust me, it's always an instant-conversation starter.

Prior to your guests' arrival, create a warm welcome by setting tables with bread baskets, multiple salads, charcuterie and artisanal cheese boards, and creme-topped shots of soup. Follow with either family-style proteins (loving these Rosemary Lamb Chop Popsicles with Mint Gremolata served on wood carving boards) or go with traditional entree service where guests order their protein, and then, when the plates arrive, have the servers place sides-to-share (think: Steakhouse). Bubbling cauldrens of Buttermilk Mac 'n Cheese, roasted root vegetables and steamed haricots verts, roasted brussel sprouts and chive-and-garlic smashed potatoes all scream "pass me"--don't they?!

If you're afraid to stray too far from the traditional, you can add the family-style touch with desserts: cookies, tarts, cakes, pies, pots du creme--and pots of coffee, to boot.

Ready for that midnight snack?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Save the Date: RBaby Five Star Food & Wine Gala

So, we're busy planning an *amazing* tasting event at The Plaza for the RBaby Foundation (www.rbabyfoundation.org/fivestargala) --and we cannot wait to tell you more about it!

We're busy lining up some of the country's top chefs from the most incredible restaurants (Aureole, Gramercy Tavern, David Burke Kitchen, Epicerie Boulud, and more!) with premium wines for truly star-studded epicurean experience to raise money to save babies lives by improving emergency pediatric care.  It is a wonderful event we feel honored to be involved with!  Stay tuned for more details about the RBaby Five Star Food & Wine Gala -- and if you'd like to help, let us know. Tickets go on sale in February.

Meanwhile, all of this planning is making me hungry! So my next post tonight will include a few quick tips we have for bringing out the foodie in your affair!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolve & Refresh with New Year Sunday Brunch

Resolved! 2012 will be the year of "Responsible Luxury"--and let's start with New Year's Sunday Brunch. Whether it's just for you, a table for two or the whole block, there's no better way to kick off the new year than with a fresh, festive gathering. Need some inspiration? Here's some of our healthy favorites to wash down that hangover.

Photo: Real Simple
Fresh & White
Start the new year out with a true blank slate. Set your table with plain white dishes, crisp white linens and decorate with lots of white pottery and glass accents. Paperwhite bulbs do double duty as decor and gifts for your guests. Buy bunches of forced paperwhite narcissus and display as is. Or cut them to different heights, tie bunches at the base, and arrange in identical containers. Scatter loose bulbs about like au naturel and send them home in burlap bags for guests to plant before Spring.

Bloody Mary Bar
Nothing whispers Sunday Brunch like welcoming guests to your home with a Bloody Mary bar. If you've been reading the Chandelier blog, you know I'm the champion of themed bars. Not only do they free the host up from mixing drinks for each and every guest, they allow guests to customize themselves--and give the impression that you're as prepared as the Barefoot Contessa. Themed bars can also be an affordable option for someone who wants to stick with a case of a single type of liquor vs. stocking a entire bar. For a Mojito bar, a single bottle of rum can be customized with different flavors from coconut to mango. For a Margarita bar, stick with a good tequila like Patron, and mix it up with blackberry or strawberry.

Photo: Health.com
Eggs Benedict Florentine
Leave the Hollandaise sauce in 2011 (or, serve it on the side). Nothing tastes more indulgent without the guilt than poached eggs over steamed spinach and an English muffin or a single slice of toasted stoneground sourdough. This is my go-to breakfast to satisfy the morning munchies--without packing on the carbs. Here's a great recipe for Eggs Benedict Florentine that punches up the flavor with a little EVOO, ground nutmeg, and lemon juice for a guilt-free 256 calories.

Golden Delicious Salad with Apple Vinaigrette
I stumbled upon Mrs. Talbot's Apple Vinaigrette salad dressing when dreaming up my contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner. It was the absolutely perfect complement to mixed greens (or, as pictured above, baby arugula & fennel), thinly sliced golden delicious apples, candied pecans, red onions, and sliced mushrooms. Want to add a bit more flavor? Crumbled gorgonzola would be an ideal match.

Donut Holes & Latte Art
Somehow a single donut hole can satisfy my sweettooth for the whole day. Whip up some donut holes at home and serve with super-frothy skim cappuccinos with a design (yes, there is such a thing as Latte Art and you can do it, too. YouTube has some awesome Latte Art tutorials) In writing this post, I have potentially found the holy grail of sweet treats in the form of Holey Donuts! These light, fluffy delectables come with little as 3-4 grams of fat and 150-250 calories in a huge assortment of flavors, from Cinnamon Strudel to Boston Cream Oreo Cookie, Chocolate Chip, Caramel Apple and Original Glazed. Wish it wasn't Sunday tomorrow-I'd have them overnighted!

Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Eve: Go Ahead, Indulge Yourself!

Table Designed by Amber Karson Events

Whether you're out painting the town red (or gold), or snuggling up at home to watch the ball drop, I am a huge fan of forgoing the "rules" on this one night of the year. So, for my last post of 2011, here's a countdown of "rules to break" when ringing in new year--and indulging yourself one last time before your real-life resolutions set in. 

  Miu-Miu Glittered T-Strap d'Orsay Stiletto

NYE Rule: Wear your highest heel
Even if you're taller than your date, leave the flats at home! New Year's Eve gives us an instant permission slip to pull out those five-and-a-half inch sparkly stilettos (like this Miu-Miu pair that makes us swoon!).  And, psst! we've heard from our brides that popping a few Advil keeps the swelling down. Go ahead, dance all night. New Year's Day is a Sunday this year (which means that some of you have an extra day--Monday--to start feeling your toes again.) 

NYE Rule: Mix Metals!
Never mix silver and gold? Whoever made up that rule is seriously stuck in the past. Not only am I an advocate for mixing up metals, textures, designs on NYE, I am all for it all year through. The trick is to edit. Group metals together in stacking rings, bangles or necklaces--but chose one place to do it or you'll risk looking like a human Christmas tree (and, we all know that holiday was last weekend!) I am dying to do an event with the color palette above--silver, gold, rose gold, platinum, titanium--bring it on, baby!

                                                                                              Designed by Amber Karson Events

Who says you have to drink Champagne "straight-up"? Yes, bubbly is amazing as it is. But, it's totally okay to punch it up a bit. I'm all over this "Smirnoff No. 21 & Champagne Sparkler" on Delish.com that adds Vodka to the mix--it's totally pretty, it's pink, and it sounds like I could have more than one.  Looking for more inspiration? Check out fifty recipes for champagne cocktails here.

 Designed by Amber Karson Events

NYE Rule to Break: Eat Dessert (First)
Calories don't count on December 31. So go ahead, go for seconds on the smores you can't stop staring at on the dessert buffet. If you're in New York and putting together a dessert buffet of your own, Chandelier highly recommends you stop by Baked in Red Hook for decadent desserts straight out of Brooklyn (they ship!), Lulu's Cake Boutique in Chelsea for chocolate-covered twinkies; and Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side for the most delicious cookies known to man. Looking for seriously delicious recipes? Hit up Serious Eats: Sweets.

Wishing you all of the indulgence you can find this weekend--and health, wealth, happiness and best wishes for the New Year! May your dreams come true (and your feet, recover).