An insightful, inspiring blog for all of the little details of life.
Are you stressed about that turkey in the freezer? Feeling overwhelmed with the fact that a houseful of guests will arrive in a few days and you’re not prepared?
Here’s a few last minute tricks that may help:
Why fight the crowds on amateur night? Some restaurants charge inflated prices for a meal that feels rushed while you’re squeezed between multiple seatings. Not worth it!
Opt for a relaxed, delicious dinner at home with one special person, or a great group of friends. Even if you stay in, make it anything but ordinary. Theme it up, throw logs on the fireplace, create your playlist, light the candles and have fun!
I’m planning one such event for a client as we speak. Here’s a sampling of my favorites from the kitchen and bar for this special occasion.
Pom Pop: Champagne, Pomegranate Juice and raspberry garnish - easy and elegant!
Elderflower & Champagne Cocktail: St. Germain, Champagne and sliced strawberry
Cranberry Gimlet: Citrus vodka, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice, agave nectar, lemon twist
Pink Kiss: Vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, amaretto, grenadine, Cool Whip
Sweetheart: Vodka, peach Schnapps, orange juice, strawberry puree
Raspberry Rose: Nolet’s Silver dry gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, raspberry garnish
Tomato-Basil Soup Shooters - gluten and dairy free, AND vegan
Individual Shrimp Cocktail in martini glasses; feeling creative? Shape two shrimp as a heart
Raspberry-Walnut Baked Brie
Baked Wild Halibut with a Pomegranate Reduction
Lavender-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Chicken Marabella - this rustic dish is perfect for a group
Cioppino- famous for it’s San Francisco roots, pair this with crusty Italian bread
Creme Brûlée - make ahead in any flavor, then brown with a chef’s torch table side - impressive!
Homemade Chocolate Truffles - don’t be fooled, much easier than it sounds
Stuffed Strawberries - delicious lower calorie option
Need more ideas, recipes or help with your gathering? The team is here for you with party helpers, servers, bartenders and creative foodies — all you have to do is call!
My mother had an incredible talent for making something lovely out of very little. As a depression-era child, nothing went to waste and everything that could be re-purposed was — without question.
Fortunately, some of that rubbed off on me. As I put the finishing touches on the Christmas decorations and get ready for my own holiday dinners, I’m laughing to myself as I see my mom’s creativity shine through in me now.
Still need some help decorating or planning for a holiday party? Go to my Event Planning page to see how Clockwise Consulting can help during the Holiday season.
We live in a world where printed photographs are becoming antiquated, and little attention is given to their preservation and storage. The digital revolution has watered down the impact of portrait photography for the purpose of securing memories, and has essentially drowned out the art of printing photographs that are archival and worthy of safeguarding for future generations.
While camera phones and computers make it easy for us to "share" imagery quickly and inexpensively, they also make it challenging for us to print quality photographs that will stand the test of time. Sharing your cherished family legacy with future generations has been sacrificed and replaced with sharing of your "not so significant" moments on a newsfeed that essentially evaporates within seconds.
When I was growing up, every year in December, my mother would go to the effort of dressing up her children and trudging through the mall to wait in the long lines at Sears for the opportunity to get a photograph of her 4 daughters sitting on Santa's lap. This process was neither quick nor cheap, but at least the final photographs that were printed back then are still viable. Do you know that the "quick and inexpensive" Santa pictures that I got from the mall just a few years back of my own two children are already faded and barely visible? This saddens me greatly, as does the fact that so many people's important memories are lost forever each time an Iphone gets flushed or crushed.
So this holiday season, I encourage you to preserve your legacy and secure your memories. Make it a priority to document your family properly using a real camera and print the photographs using an archival method. Don't settle for a few snaps on your phone and a quick share on social media. Give the next generation the privilege of getting to know you and your family through portraits that you cherish and protect for them.
3 Tips to Help You Protect and Preserve Your Photographs
At home in her suburban Philadelphia portrait studio or on location across the globe, Karen Carey is recognized as an industry leader, sharing her wisdom and creative approach with photographers at all stages of their careers through workshops, lectures and private mentoring. Visit her website at www.KarenCareyPhotography.com
When do you start planning for Holiday parties? Thinking about entertaining for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas? Don’t wait another minute! October (now) is the time to lay the groundwork, starting with:
Identify best dates: If this is a business event, think about which day of the week is most realistic for your guests, clients and staff. If a social event, there are only four weekends in November and December. That’s only 16 weekend nights to work with and they fill up fast. PS Don’t forget to check on-line for major holidays and events in your city that may conflict with your event.
Determine your guest list: This is key - you run the risk of leaving out important guests and running out of space if you let this detail go until later.
Book a Venue: If you’re not hosting at your home or office, you need the perfect location that meets all of your requirements - setting, decor, food, location, parking, amenities, service, price and so much more. Don’t forget that others are looking for the same thing, so book now before your ideal venue is taken.
*Tip* Check out our blog post 7 Tips to Selecting the Best Event Venue to help choose the right place!
Order invitations: Once you’ve confirmed your date and location, this is top priority. Holidays are the busiest time of year for entertaining, travel and events, so have invitations in the mail six weeks prior and no less than four weeks if you want to have a full crowd. By the way, e-vites are convenient, but I ofter hear stories that guests don’t receive them. Consider a printed invitation instead of a holiday greeting card this year.
There are endless details associated with pulling off a great celebration, and these are just a few. If you simply don’t have the time, Clockwise is here to help, but don’t wait ’til the last minute. Contact us to help you prep for your best event yet!
About the Author - Jamie Comiskey Watson
Shopping around for a venue? Whether it's for an intimate wedding, a birthday bash, or a highly-recognized industry conference, there are important questions to ask yourself before you select the perfect venue for your event. I have searched for venues many times and in a variety of locations, and a few things strike me first when evaluating locations. Ask yourself these key questions:
1. What is the goal of the event and who will your guests be? That will determine the type of property
you are looking for and should discount many others quickly.
2. Size matters — if your initial guest estimate increases or decreases, the space must be able to
accommodate the fluctuation.
3. Proximity — what is best for your guests? Should you be near an airport, convenient parking,
major highways, hotels, a resort or quaint town, or your office?
4. Reputation — Is the property a draw or does it have a past that can deter guests?
5. Price is always a factor but I think knowing the staff and team is a higher priority. If you don’t have
a relationship with an on-site contact, make sure you get your event planner involved early, so they
can work on your behalf.
6. If you are planning a meeting or event, visit each property that you’re considering before you
decide. Don’t just book via a click on a website for an important event. It is necessary to establish
that relationship while you research and experience the property with objective eyes.
7. Consult a planner who can guide you through the process. If they’re good, they will think of
details that you haven’t even considered, and will save you time and possibly expense in the long
About the Author - Jim Cohn