Spring Fling Flower Inspirations

 It has been a long cold winter up here on the North East. Winter can be beautiful, snow and ice is gorgeous glistening as it sits upon bare branches and lush green pines – but after shoveling about 4 tonnes of snow you yearn for something different. I noticed a few Crocuses popping up through the dirt, those bright little bulbs are a sure guarantee Spring is really here.There are so many flowers out there that do not get as much love as they should. Daffodils, Tulips, and Pansies are all beautiful and a classic to Ring in the Spring, but don’t be afraid to add some more underestimated flora t0 spice up your party, or just to brighten up your house.

Look for INSPIRATION everywhere …. My inspirations come mostly from nature, and Spring Flowers are just so exciting. Here are a few of my favorites.

1) CrocusesThey grow “pre-arranged” and look best potted or planted along garden borders. The colors are crisp and bright, and as I mentioned before they just pop out of the earth and shout Spring is Here! I love mixes of purple, yellow, and white. 

 crocus My Crocuses

2)ForsythiaHello Yellow! Forsythia are the walls of yellow you will find along roads and fences. Gorgeous slender branches with oodles of yellow flowers that may be simply shaped, but the color is so bold. Think garlands, wreaths, sprays, really so many uses with it having sturdy branches, no thorns, and it growing so tall. Weight your vessels with glass, sand, or marble these will be top heavy.

 Living wall of forsythia 3-D Forsythia & Bamboo wall 

3) Muscari Growing up I always called these “Blue Bells”, but the most amazing thing about these besides their dainty look, and powdery yet glistening coating is the heavenly scent. Fresh and slightly perfumey, not too overbearing to have some on a table. Here are some instructions to make an easy Spring Muscari Arrangement


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  • Vessels (Appetizer bowls work great)  
  • Pea gravel
  • Muscari plants
  • Fresh or dried moss
  • Ribbon
  • Shallow rectangular tray
  • Foil-covered chocolate eggs

STEP 1

  • Line each vessel with 1/2 inch of gravel. Remove plants from containers; set one in each vessel. Cover root-ball with moss. Secure stems loosely with ribbon.

STEP 2

  • Set vessels in tray. Fill tray with eggs, and tuck a few into moss.

STEP 3

  • Water immediately and when they start to dry out

goodbye winter

Peace, Love & Dandelions

Keri-Anne Slater 

Creative Director

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How to Find a Budget Friendly Venue

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I am often asked how to find a great venue without breaking the bank, this is not as hard as some may think. Sometimes a little ingenuity is needed (especially on a tight budget). The easiest ways  to save money on most venues is having them on pretty much any day but a Saturday, and also finding a place where you can bring your own food and alcohol. Here are a few suggestions for highly amazing, yet lower budget locations.

Outdoor

  • State, County, and Village Parks and Beaches often offer designated picnic areas for gatherings  with coal grills,  some even have large tent rentals and usually you can get the space  for hundreds, not thousands  of dollars. Sometimes it is just the cost of a permit.
  • Your backyard can make a great venue space, of course this depends on the size and layout and type of event. I have a client who swears holding business dinners at his home is key to successful relationships with clients, I agree. When welcoming people onto your property you are building a deeper relationship with them, letting them into your world  builds trust. I suggest if planning to use your own yard that you have easy access to at least one bathroom, and a covering in case of rain.
  • Other outdoor venues include: college campuses, golf courses, vineyards, farms, zoos, and nature preserves – these types of venue rates can vary drastically, but more often than not you find one that fits your budget.

Indoor

  • Sunday brunches at restaurants are great and many offer excellent rates for larger groups
  • Find a newer venue, a new place welcomes new business at much lower rates
  • Find a venue whose main purpose is not hosting events: Museums, art galleries, even libraries and movie theaters often have spaces available with cool decor and negotiable rates

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“A truly great event practically demands a truly great location.”

– Preston Bailey 

Peace, Love & Dandelions

Keri-Anne Slater 

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Going Green Girly Style – Sustainable Events

Some of us are just nature lovers, I’ll take tree branches over crystals any day! If bling is your thing rock it at your party, but we all have preferences and an organic vibe is mine. Here are 3 sustainable creations I came up with recently for some small gatherings. They incorporate recycling, organic materials, and just might get your guests to become more eco-friendly when they get home:)

“Seeds of Love” ImagePlace holder and favor –  This 20th anniversary has not happened yet but I am having fun with concept designs.  Where my business card is will be replaced with the place cards that are being printed up,  they are green with little sparrows and the back says “Chris and Joanna planted the seeds of love in their hearts 20 years ago, may you ever blossom with us” ADORABLE! It is believed that rose quartz is the “stone of love” so I thought they would make great material for flower petals and incorporate the “whimsically bohemian” look the client is going for. The candle is soy based. Very easy and budget friendly to put together.

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Ten Year TIN Anniversary Planters – Did you know the metal for a 10 year anniversary is tin? Everyone uses canned goods, save your cans and use them as a planter with some parsley or basil plants something that compliments the menu you have chosen. You recycled your cans and your guests now have a gifted garden. Remember organic plants need organic soil. Decorate the tin with paint, paper, glitter, ribbon, anything your heart desires, stick in a plant marker to add your guest’s name if you want to use it as a place holder as well.

                          

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   Lots of Lovely Lavender –  Dried lavender sprigs, wreaths, sachets, etc. Lavender’s scent is aromatically therapeutic and pleasant in addition to being an aphrodisiac. Lavender also is a natural insect repellent. A vase of fresh buds, will keep away bugs perfectly at outdoor events.  A very purple way to Go Green!

” Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises”
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Peace, Love & Dandelions

Keri-Anne Slater 

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Barn Venues – Transformable for Hoedowns to Haute Couture

My first hand at party planning was children’s parties at a barn, but just to let everyone know it was by no means a glamorous job. I was a teenager forced to work by my parents if I wanted riding lessons. My job required me to wear overalls, pig tail braids, eyeliner freckles, and a straw hat. I handled the layout, party games, and the occasional pony ride. What I did learn from that was the amazing ways you can transform these structures for hay and horses into beautiful event spaces, and since I am currently looking at buying a farm property I thought this would make for a good blog.

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Jamesport Farm

Barns are like tents in that they are a blank canvas, but you need to know how to work that canvas into a place for serving food, tables for eating, decorations, dancing, lighting, etc.

For a company giving their execs and clients a party a barn is great for a few hosted buyer places in addition to a fun event, why not have some square dancing and a country band? Use the grounds for a nice game of croquet or badminton and relax.

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SLI  Regional Sales Farm Retreat

The feedback I have gotten from an event that allows hard working sales teams to get out of their stuffy suits is always positive. A friendly and fun environment is great for team building efforts and maintaining a productive corporate culture

 

I think barn weddings are absolutely beautiful and I love this picture I found at weddinglovely  

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Novia Distinctive Photography

.I love the rustic barn and the wedding party attire fun and farmy:) It is amazing what you can do with mason jars, paper flowers, and string when going for the traditional barn decor.

The length of barns also makes them a great space to lay out a cat walk for fashion shows, and pageants

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Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

And now for my area of expertise, kids barn parties. Petting zoo, hay bale chairs, cowboy and cowgirl dress up. Also the fun you can have with the food, decor, and gift bags. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure your barn if not equip with restroom has proper portable toilets (I recommend trailers) and that you have necessary generators to power your entertainment and lighting as many barns are not built with events in mind. More should be though!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Leonardo da Vinci

Peace, Love  & Dandelions

Keri-Anne 

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Event Design on a Dime

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Some of my most rewarding moments as an event planner are times clients call me super excited to share feedback from their guests on how fancy their event was, many times they tell me everyone said ” it must have cost a fortune” or “where did you get that” (then they are shocked to find out where or how). This past weekend I helped a friend plan a dinner party we kept it simple, chic, and best of all CHEAP! (shhh)

A great event does not have to put you in debt: negotiation skills, a few great sales, and a little creativity can stretch your budget like its nobody’s business, or party:)

Here I will give some tips on how to have an impressive dinner party without breaking the bank.

1)  Order your Wine by the Case – You get a discount, you will not run out of wine, and you will have some left over for your next event

2)  Recycle – I think the most beautiful vases for your wine bar are wine bottles, also Patron bottles have a unique shape and have enough weight to make tall centerpieces. Old fabrics can change the entire look of your space.

3) Candles are Classic – nothing says fine dining like gorgeous lighting! Dim your lights, use those fabrics if you need too, and light those candles. Places like Ikea, Pier One Imports, even dollar stores have great prices and unique candle holders. Just remember scented candles should only be used in the restroom, no one wants to inhale ocean breeze scent as they are taking a bite of food.

4)  50/50 Food – Catering can be expensive and while a restaurant may have an amazing Sea Bass or Filet Mignon do you really need to have the salad, breads, vegetables, and starches catered too? Figure out what you can make yourself that does not take too much time to save money.

5)  Potluck –  How many times have you had a party and everyone brings dessert and you are left eating cheesecake and pastries and gaining 5 lbs the next week? Well an easy way to avoid that without turning away homemade goodies is adding a potluck rsvp to your invite, have spots for desserts, appetizers, and entrees . Who ever does not rsvp with what they are bringing will usually ask what they should bring – that is the perfect opportunity to fill in some blanks before your trip to the store. I cannot recommend having a theme too so foods and wine complement each other.

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6) Signature Cocktails – You will all soon learn about my signature cocktail obsession, and they do not always have to have alcohol, but this past weekend’s cocktail did. It was a revamp of the Christmas Cookie Cocktail (everyone seems to love the non-pareil rim) We added cherry heart candies some clear peach soda, a few drops of red coloring and cherry vodka. I recommend the small martini glasses because you can make them as strong as a shot and still keep it classy.

7) Entertainment – Can you play guitar or piano? Well if you can or one of your guests can always offer that up. It is so beautiful and intimate to gather around some live music. If you do not, no worries just have a good playlist picked out on the mp3 player. Games are always good to have on hand as well.

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“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”

~Bo Bennett 

Peace, Love  & Dandelions

Keri-Anne 

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3 Easy Tricks To Make Your Party POP

Everyone wants their guests to have an amazing time at their event, there are easy ways to do this without spending a ton of time and additional money. Here are a few tricks I use for every event be it a business function or kids party.

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1. Multipurpose centerpieces and decorations 

For a 10 year “Tin” wedding anniversary we had made darling little take home flower arrangements in tin cans. Cupcake stands make beautiful centerpieces as do cake pop arrangements. Who says you can’t have your cake and take home the plate too? Personalized plates also make great gifts.

Image  2. Signature Drinks

Signature drinks are my favorite way to take an event to the next level!  From red, white, and blue cosmos at a  political fundraiser to Fairy Punch (fruit punch bowl with floating edible flowers) served in winged cups  at a 7th birthday party. I have  seen all eyes light up in wonder and amazement once they get a glance of a pretty drink ,  and quite a few glassy ones a few hours later too:)

Image3.  A Video Thank You 

I know this one may seem almost too simple but it really means a lot to your guests. Just a few minutes of video thanking the guests for coming and some photos of the event edited in will make that day last forever. A huge bonus – emails are super easy to send!

 

“One does not leave a convivial party before closing time.” 
~Winston Churchill 

Peace, Love & Dandelions

Keri-Anne Slater

Let’s Get Acquainted With A Cocktail

Hello and Happy New Year! 2013 is apparently the year to blog as I have gotten so many requests from clients and friends to start one. So  here it is,  Dandelion Event’s official blog where I  will share some ideas and tips on how to have a memorable event.

The first entertaining idea I would like to share was for New Years Eve. I was asked to bring a dessert to a party so of course I wanted to make a fabulous dessert cocktail and dress it to impress. This holiday cocktail  idea came to me after eating some of my Mother’s sugar cookies with a candied cherry in the middle and a bottle of marshmallow flavored vodka staring at me every time I’d open the freezer  . So after few hours of experimenting,  a nap caused by too much experimenting, and a fun arts and crafts hour of cocktail decorating I came up with the….

Cherry Cookie Cocktailcocktail 2

1 cup marshmallow vodka

1 tbs  of Jello cheesecake pudding mix (I used sugar free)

1/4 cup Maraschino Cherry  juice

1 & 3/4 cup black cherry flavored seltzer water

(Garnish) Maraschino cherries with stems, rainbow nonpareils, Marshmallow fluff or agave nectar to rim

Martini glasses – I used plastic mini martini glasses  and if you use them be sure to add a dab of clear drying glue when assembling them but you can use regular sized ones I would recommend using more cherry soda as these were meant to be on the stronger side in the mini glasses

Put your vodka in the freezer, add pudding mix, shake well and chill  until ready for mixing,  this concoction tastes just like a sugar cookie

Now prep your glasses.  I assembled and rimmed them with “” glue” made from fluff mixed with a splash of water  to get the nonpareils to stick and then dropped the cherries in stem up

Mix your cherry juice with the seltzer and chill

When ready to serve pour 1 part vodka mix in, then gently top off with 1.5-2 parts of  cherry soda

This recipe filled 12 mini -glasses and was served beside a tray of my Mother’s sugar cookies (half with cherries, the other half with nonpareils). I caught a few people dipping the cookies in their drink, I am glad it was enjoyed and I hope you and your guests enjoy it too.

Cheers!

The tray is from Ikea and decorated with a piece of glitter garland from Michael’s  wrapped in an adorable little LED light set and taped onto the tray. To cover the battery box that was peeking out from the lights I added a cute zebra patterned gift bow. Simple and stunning.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

~Ron White

Peace, Love  & Dandelions

Keri-Anne 

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