Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cupcakes - The Other Food Group

The opening of 'Piece O Cake Custom Creations' on Prince William Street in Saint John was HUGE news to the locals. People's mouths were watering days before the adorable awnings were installed at the location. The more I talked about it, the more people were curious about how I already knew about ‘the cupcake lady’. I felt inspired to revisit the details of the fantastic tasting event Sherry (the mastermind behind Piece O Cake) and I put together.

I introduced myself to Sherry via her Facebook page in the Fall of 2010. I noticed she was discussing hosting a wedding cake tasting party in her home. I let her know I was new to the city and new to the events planning industry and would love to assist. Little did we know the announcement of a tasting party would bring almost 200 emails from soon to be brides over the moon excited to attend.

So much interest meant that the event had to be held outside of Sherry’s home. Red Whale was still with open in KV and there’s nothing that goes better with cake than a delicious coffee or fancy beverage whipped cream on top.  Sean was gracious enough to keep extra staff on after hours so we could host 80 brides and their +1 in two sessions throughout the evening. The existing red, white and black color scheme inside made it easy for me to add a few special touches (white linens, black photo frames, white vases with spray painted branches and DIY cupcake liner poms) and made the space perfect for an evening event. Sherry’s massive faux 5 tired wedding cake example provided an amazing centerpiece and immediately drew everyone to where the cake was featured.

Speaking of delicious, lovely Johanne and Ivan from Sudsmuffin provided amazing sample sized goodies that I assembled into treat bags for the attendees to take home at the end of the evening.  Sarah from Sarah's Sweet Treats provided bright red candy apples and fantastic heart shaped sugar cookies for the brides and guests to try. Randi Gallant was on hand to capture all of the evening’s events.

Sad you missed the event and didn’t have a chance to try out all 6 incredible flavours of cake? Go visit the shoppe! You will find Sherry (and sometimes her husband too!) on Prince William St, uptown Saint John. Check out her website for pricing and flavours!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Details, Details!

My past life as a visual merchandiser for a retail chain has instilled in me a love affair with small details. While of course it’s the overall big picture that leaves the greatest impression, the fun is in drilling down to the finer things. The personal touches, the small, ornate pieces used throughout a venue to truly make the event unique.

I worked with local Saint John photographer Randi Gallant last August as the stylist for a photo shoot. The idea I conceptualized was ‘Country Romance’ I wanted to see soft pinks and peaches mixed with lots of greenery. I wanted a warm, feminine feeling from the shoot which I knew would be taking place outside at a gorgeous old house on the Kingston Peninsula.

In addition to the location provided, there were other fabulous local vendors involved in this event. Carousel Bridal donated the birdcage veil, Danielle’s Desserts whipped up the unbelievable cupcakes with oh so pretty daisy fondant cut outs on top and Galbraith Florist donated the stunning bouquet and centerpiece to match the colors I suggested perfectly.

Using peaches as my inspiration for the color scheme, I recovered the chairs I purchased on kijiji with crepe fabric I found at Fabricville. The chair backs were decorated with photo frames bought at Homesense that I popped the glass out of and added moss to so the green was brought the entire way around the table. I added soft pink colored votives to the tablescape so it would appear the flowers continued to overflow onto the tablecloth. The models, Stacey and Dave provided the wooden crate and vintage bottle of wine that matched the feeling of the shoot and the décor to a t. (The pillows were a great find at Pier 1 and the placemats were found hidden amongst pots and pans at Homesense)

You’ll see in one photo I displayed two tone tissue paper poms I created to act as napkin rings for a fun and casual way to pop the color on top of the dinner plates. In another, you’ll see I set peaches on top of the napkins. This is such a fun way to incorporate an unusual item as a place setting. Fruit and vegetables are inexpensive, colourful, and will hold up a toothpick with a name attached all day!

Two of my favorite things at every event are sparklers and balloons! Helium balloons are a challenge to get in an out of the car on a hot, breezy summer day so there were certainly a few causalities along my way to Kingston. If you click here: 'Country Romance' you can see how they’re incorporated into the final shots of the day.

Be mindful of the details, big and small. They will truly turn any ordinary event into an extraordinary extravaganza never to be forgotten!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

O, Canada!

It’s no secret our spring has been dismal. While Victoria Day long weekend is traditionally the non-official start to summer, this year I think it’s safe to say summer’s beginning has been delayed until July 1st.  

Sticking to a palette of just 2 colors makes things so easy! ‘Mini everything’ is a hot trend right now in party planning. Think mini layered strawberry shortcakes topped with whipped cream served in shooter glasses on red checkered tablecloths. And make sure not to forget a recipe for your signature slushy raspberry lemonade cocktail. O, Canada!

If you’re feeling flush from a red & white overload, you can also incorporate Canadian patriotism into your décor with things that remind you of our beautiful country. Use beavers, moose and maple leafs throughout your space to add extra pizzazz. Bright balloons, paper lanterns and overflowing flower boquets work wonders to fill a room with fabulousness.

Whether you’re having the neighbourhood over for a bbq or you’re wondering about how to dress up your long weekend wedding in Red & White, here are some ideas and inspiration to see you through.

Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Ode to Cinco de Mayo! Ole!

In the sprit of my life motto that 'Any excuse is a great excuse for a party!' I celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year. You may already know this, as I'm probably the only red haired, green eyed, freckled girl who jumps all over the opportunity to channel my inner Senorita and drive around the city blasting Latin music from my car stereo on this very special day every year. But for those who don't, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday held on the 5th of May that commemorates the victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Similar to St Patrick's Day which celebrates Irish history and culture, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican heritage.

Every year, I think to myself ‘Why have the same old taco night when you can have a fiesta?’ Planning a Cinco de Mayo inspired dinner party with friends and family can be as simple (or as complicated) as adding colourful details and lots of texture to your space. (A sombrero, in this case, would be like the cherry on top of a delicious Sundae! And puh-lease don't forget a friendly round of pin the tail on the donkey!) Of course, if time is of the essence or you’d like to be surprised with a Spectacular Spanish inspired dinner party when you get home from work and are unsure of how to do it yourself, give me a call and we’ll make it Red Hot like the sauce on your chimichangas!

Run to the basement and grab those maracas! Here are some super fun, easy AND budget friendly ideas to bring the spirit of Mexico to your home this 5th of May.

Drinks: The obvious drink of choice for Cinco de Mayo is the Margarita. Why not get a little wild this year and freeze some beer? This is a recipe even non-chefs can follow! Found at, just open a Corona, pour into a form, freeze for 2 hours, stick a fancy stick in the middle, put it back in the freezer for another 2 hours, add a lime to garnish and Ole!

Apps: Margarita Shrimp Cocktail with Grilled Avocado Guacamole. You didn't think I forgot the margs, did you? This recipe has me drooling all over the keyboard, so follow the link, check it out and Ole!

Dessert: Mojito Cupcakes! Use a boxed mix to keep your costs down, (after those Corona pops, noone will notice, I promise!) substitute the water for rum and lime juice and add lime zest to the mixture. When making your buttercream, puree fresh mint with dark rum and Ole! Find the whole recipe here:

Decor! My Fave! Leave it to Martha to come up with the quickest, most budget friendly ideas to make a stunning display of Mexican inspiration from colorful tissue paper. What could be easier? Fold tissue in half, snip away and Ole!

What do you have planned for your fiesta?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Grill Cheese Day!

As a firm believer that EVERYTHING is a reason to celebrate, I thought I would take a second to pay homage to one of my favorites, the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. How can you go wrong? You can dress it up, dress it down. Dip it, lick it and nibble it. Make it plain (just cheese and some bread, please!) or make it fancy by adding additional toppings (what other food gives you this many options?) I haven't met a person who doesn't have fond memories of a gooey grilled cheese sandwich and a side of tomato soup.

One thing that makes me slightly uncomfortable when attending events is when the 'mystery food' is laid out or brought around to the guests without a card indicating what the ingredients are or what the dish is called. When it comes to planning events, if I'm in charge of the menu, I like to stick to the basics and challenge my creativity by coming up with a unique way to serve everyone's favorites.

Check out this chic way to fancy up a grilled cheese & tomato soup from 'The Tasty Side to Life' blogspot! Delish!

Did you feast on a grilled cheese sandwich today?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is a Red Hot Event?

It's your vision that comes to life. It's your wildest dream playing out right in front of you. It's your wish on a shooting star that has come true.

It's opposite from the mundane wedding reception, fashion show and charity event. Outside the box compared to the same grand opening, product launch, birthday party and special milestone. It's a special event mixed with a little bit of fabulous and a lot of spunk and turned into something spectacular each and every time.

Red Hot Events is committed to making magic happen. Every event deserves to be spectacular, no matter the size of the budget or the venue. From the biggest picture to the smallest detail, Red Hot Events is committed to bringing your dreams to life in an event never to be forgotten.

Special Occassions, Holiday Events and Milestones:

- Birthdays
- Children's Theme Birthday Parties
- Anniversaries
- Theme Events/Costume Parties
- Corporate Events [Holiday Parties, Team Building Events]
- Baby Showers
- Bachelorette Parties
- Graduation Parties
- Wedding Receptions
- Fashion Shows
- Charity Events
- Grand Opening/ReOpenings
- Product/Brand Launches