Super Bowl Party Planning – With Event Planner, Amy Kimball

Living in “Patriot’s Nation”, the Super Bowl was the perfect time to celebrate my favorite team. I wanted to share some ideas for fun additions to your future Super Bowl parties! This way, despite the outcome of the game, your guests will still leave with the memory of a great party with their friends and family. Click here to read more:

Super Bowl Party Planning – With Event Planner, Amy Kimball

 

 

 

Marry in Maine

Maine is Beautiful!

I’ve heard that a million times but really haven’t had much personal experience. As an avid traveler and destination wedding planner I am always excited about seeing new places so when I was invited by Marry In Maine to see some of their top venues on the coast I jumped at the opportunity. We started the trip in Portland which is such a fun city, great energy and creative vibe. Portland has fully embraced the ‘farm-to-table’ trend and picky eaters will always have something here—no one rolls their eyes when you’re gluten free, dairy free and only eat meat on Tuesdays. But you better like lobster and whoopie pies, or pretend you do—there still is that Maine pride.

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There are some really magical spots in Maine, to be honest I feel like there are so many hidden gems (to folks outside of Maine)—I had not heard of any of the venues we visited, and was pleasantly surprised. Being from Massachusetts the only place in Maine I am familiar with is Kennebunkport, and the rest of Maine will be quick to tell you ‘we are all not like Kennebunkport”…. But I still love it there too!

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One of my favorite venues was The Chebeague Island Inn on Chebeague Island where watching the sunset is an activity in itself. It’s a family-run inn and restaurant and has an upscale boutique vibe, only a 20-minute ferry ride from Portland makes it so accessible—guests can stay at this fabulous inn or right in Portland. I look forward to returning and can’t wait to plan a magical wedding at this location.

IMG_3488Sunset from porch at Chebeague Island Inn

We wound our way up the picturesque, rocky coast of Maine and saw one amazing venue after another which all have something for everyone from intimate and quaint to huge and rustic and everything in between.

There was another special place that grabbed me in particular and that was The Samoset Resort in Rockland. Part of the Opal Collection it’s a beautiful resort with a breathtakingly beautiful golf course. Since it’s so large you really have a lot of choices for a weddings and parties. I liked it so much I convinced a couple friends to join me on a mini-golf vacation up there and it was fabulous. The adorable villages of Camden and Rockland are ten minutes away, there are so many things to do and see and the restaurants are fabulous. Even if you don’t golf there is something for all your guests at The Samoset, child and pet-friendly, there is a huge pool, great outdoor grille bar, lawn games for all ages, tennis, spa and easily accessible picturesque walks.

IMG_3666View of the jetty walk from the golf course

My favorite photo from my Maine trips is this one of Rockland Harbor… I think this photo just sums up the beauty of Maine.

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I highly recommend heading North to Maine… or Down East as they say to enjoy the beauty and lovely, welcoming people.  Have fun!

 

 

Fourth of July!

photo 3We’ve made it through a VERY long winter—finally we are almost there—Fourth of July! This year we’ve made it easy for you. Amy Kimball Events has launched its very own “Party in a Box”—a simple way to make your party chic. All you have to do is open the top and walla, all the elements are there for you to make your party fun and festive! This is the first in a series of holiday-themed Party in a Box items we will have for you, stay tuned. https://www.etsy.com/listing/191933781/july-4th-party-in-a-box-custom-designed?

As a professional party planners, we always have a few fun tips up our sleeve, for this holiday don’t worry about a full bar, have some beer and wine on hand but a great way to take your party to next level is create a signature drink, here’s one we love: Red, White & Blue Sangria.

Red-White-and-Blue-Sangria-2 Red, White & Blue Sangria

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Love this recipe for a patriotic holiday…

Ingredients:

2 bottles dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
1 cup triple sec
1/2 cup berry-flavored vodka
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (see tips below)
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink, or serve over ice.

Tips:

*To make 1/2 cup simple syrup, boil 1/2 cup water and add 1/2 cup granulated white sugar. Turn heat to simmer and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool. Now it’s simple syrup!
*Use fresh fruit for this recipe. Frozen just won’t be great.
*To make star-shaped pineapple pieces, cut long & wide pieces of pineapple off the side of the fresh fruit. use a star cutter to cut shapes.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (adapted from 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks)

 

Make your wedding YOURS! From gown to table… with my friend Dress Designer Maya Meirav

Here’s a new concept in wedding planning: build on your own, personal sense of style, rather than trying to fit your wedding into a prepackaged product of someone else’s vision.

Start with the wedding gown: which of your dresses do you love to wear the most? The ones that make you feel like a million bucks.. Your wedding gown should embody the best in all of them – your favorite fit, most sensual fabrics, most flattering cut… In any shade of white, or any other color you feel beautiful in.

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How do you assure that every special moment, every memory in-the-making, carries your ultimate personal signature? Try this; we’re creating an entire wardrobe for all your wedding celebrations, from the engagement party to your anniversary.. Articulating your inner-beauty and your personality through your clothes, to create a look that is your very own.

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It’s a capsule collection, if you will, for your wedding journey. Naturally, it begins with your wedding gown, the centerpiece, which in turn inspires the other pieces you’ll be wearing throughout the special moments creating your wedding;  a dress for the rehearsal dinner that suggests a “taste” of the wedding ceremony..  A casual Sunday ensemble that carries a note, be it fabric or detail, from the night before.. Luxurious silk pajamas for your destination honeymoon, or simply for lounging around home on your anniversary.. It’s about creating a wedding-collection that reflects your signature, that tells your very own story of your marriage.

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It is with that same spirit that you want to approach the planning of your wedding. It’s all about personal style; throw out the rules and plan a wedding celebration that shares who you are as a couple, with your friends and family.

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Bright and cheery patterns, or soft, subdued colors – it doesn’t matter – just have it be yours. Maybe it’s a country band or a DJ playing top 40.. as long it is the music of your life, of your story as a couple, it works.  Don’t like cake?  Don’t have cake! Create a fabulous arrangement of your favorite desserts..  The ways to tailor your wedding to your personalities are truly endless.

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Your guests will immediately sense the enthusiasm and passion you’ve put into planning your wedding celebrations. Yes, there are important traditions and formalities you may want to honor,  but those can, and should be celebrated with your own flair and style. If you both are happy and comfortable, your guests will feel that same, personal energy.. it will be a magical, unique day share by all of you.

Finally, a new, beautiful way to create your own wedding.

In collaboration with Maya Meirav Designs

(Table setting images provided by Person & Killian Photography, and  Gigi DeManio Photography)

We’re Back… just in time for a Super Bowl Party!

Whether you are watching for the commercials, or for the love of the game, the greatest night in sports is here again…Super Bowl Sunday! This is an event well spent with lots of good company, good food, and great football. If you want to take your Super Bowl Party to the next level–check out these fun DIY decor ideas I put together for NECN here in New England to make your party fun and fabulous!

20140123_134254I started with a long, 15ft x 18in roll of Astroturf (found in your local home improvement stores–in the rug department).  The first thing I did was cut a runner to the length of the table, which is now the foundation for your bar, food stations and dessert displays. I then took a coffee mug and traced the back of the left-over turf to create drink coasters and cut to size the turf to line the inside of the serving trays.

20140123_125706 20140123_125618Everyone loves to play the squares game at a Super Bowl Party… so instead of just passing around a piece of paper we downloaded the squares, had the print shop blow it up and then mounted it on the mirror behind the Bar/Food table–everyone writes in their initials and there is no cheating!

photo 3As we all know Super Bowl is a big beer drinking day…. I have a couple of fun touches for that too!  Take any of your own beer/pint glasses and add felt sticker numbers of your favorite players jersey to the glass–works just like those little wine glass charms you see. If you are more of a drink-out-of-the-bottle kind of person then take athletic wrist sweatbands and slip them over the bottle or can and you have a fun, sporty beer coozie.

Remember, everything is on display so take all opportunities to have fun with your creativity, I took a terra-cotta pot and with white puff paint created laces on the front to look like a football holding the silverware.  For the napkins, we got all yellow paper napkins and tied them with yellow thread toward the bottom to look like penalty flags!

IMG_2863 Printables–I love printables.  They look so good, are inexpensive, downloadable and you can print them on your own color printer. We created drink flags, water bottle labels, sandwich wraps and cupcake toppers.

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20140123_125237And finally the centerpieces!  I took a clear, square glass cylinder–glued our old friend astroturf around it, inserted a florists foam, placed a football in the center (pushed into the foam to stay put), added green dianthus, daisies, banners from each time all wrapped with a black & white ‘referee’ ribbon.  These are scene stealers and are bit reminiscent of the Lombardi Trophy.

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And most of all–as we at Amy Kimball Events always say–HAVE FUN!!!!!

 

Sources:

Astroturf: http://www.lowes.com/

Ribbon & letters: http://www.michaels.com/

Flowers, floral foam: Local floral market

Printables: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NspireDesign?ref=l2-shopheader-name

 

 

Okay Folks—Red, White and Blue—let’s do this!!

Are you entertaining at home tomorrow? Have fun with the red, white and blue theme! Is there a tendency to go a little overboard?  Of course!  And usually we would say tone it down a bit…  but Independence Day is the day to do it!

Start with the table… use a blue and white striped tablecloth to set the scene and go from there—red napkins automatically pop, white china is easy but if you have china with blue or red patterns–even better.  Rent the white chairs and instead of the white cushion add red and/or blue cushions.  Pick some hydrangea from your yard (New Englanders) and you have beautiful summer centerpieces to complete your table.

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Source: http://www.juxtapost.com/site/permlink/ab4e84f0-96a8-11e1-a419-4b1825cb540f/post/nautical_table_or_fantastic_4th_of_july_table_scape/

You know those mason jars we love so much, here is another idea for them—paint the jars in patriotic colors and use as silverware holders… just a note, please don’t drink from these—no need to ingest paint, even if it does look appetizing!

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Source: http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/red-white-blue-mason-jars/

And for the kids… a red, white and blue mocktail!  Make sure to add ice with each layer; it helps with the separation. And if you’re supermom, make star-shaped ice cubes!!

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4th of July Kiddie Mocktails
Adapted from Family Fun. Makes 1 12-ounce (tall) glass.

3 ounces fruit punch
3 ounces blue Gatorade (not sugar-free)
3 ounces diet 7-Up or Sprite (must be sugar-free; so diet only)
ice

Fill glass 1/3 full with ice cubes. Pour fruit punch almost (but not quite) to top of ice cubes. Fill another 1/3 with ice cubes and slowly pour blue Gatorade almost to top of cubes. Fill final 1/3 ice cubes and slowly pour sugar-free Sprite. Add straw and voila!

 Source: http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_home/a-patriotic-mocktail-for-the-kids/

We can’t forget dessert… this is an easy one and a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike.   Just take mini ice cream sandwiches, roll them in red, white and blue sprinkles, serve in a cute cupcake liners…  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

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Source: http://spoonful.com/recipes/spangled-sandwich-pops

 

School's Out!

And they’re home!!  The kids are home for summer… camp hasn’t started yet, it’s weeks before you take the family vacation… what to do??  I remember around day three of summer vacation–after jumping in the sprinkler, playing with the neighbors, riding bikes, and catching fireflies–heading inside the house and saying, exasperated, “Mom, I’m BORED”.  So get ready and have a few quick answers to keep them busy, let’s go back to what our Mom’s had us do, nothing to plug in just good old-fashioned, outside, do-it-yourself fun—it worked for us.

Lemonade Stand: The preparation alone can take hours. Making the lemonade, creating the signs, making the stand and then all that selling.

lemonade-stand     Source: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/962167/start-a-lemonade-stand

Painting Projects:  Keep the kids creative side going…. Fun art projects not only take time and focus but they are lasting mementos they’ll have of those fun summer vacations with not a worry in the world.

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Source: http://hisugarplum.blogspot.com/2013/06/dads-day-diy-easy-canvas-art.html#_a5y_p=592135

Chalk Drawings:  Give the kids big sidewalk chalk in various colors and encourage them to create oversized, fun, colorful drawings–then water it down and do it again!

chalk2Source: http://kidsmatter1.blogspot.com/2011/07/monday-meanderings-sidewalk-chalk-art.html

Plant a Garden… together: No it’s not instant gratification, and it does also involve your time, but it’s fun project to do together, all that digging and dirt— daily care of watering and weeding—and then they’ll literally get enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

kids_critter_proof_vegetable+gardenSource: http://www.momandherdrill.com/2012/04/kid-size-critter-proof-veggie-garden_07.html

Backyard Picnic:  Grab a blanket and some of their favorite foods and a book to read for a fun backyard picnic—beats sitting at the table any day!

PicMonkey-Collage1 Source: http://www.rustyandrosy.com/parent-resources/blog/tag/kids-lunch-ideas/