Crazy for Cake

cakeA sweet ending to any great soiree is surely on the minds of guests who have a sweet tooth. With all of the cupcake, candy, and other dessert trends out there, it is hard not to get a little overwhelmed with confection choices. However, nothing says “event excellence” better than a cake creation that can be a true visual centerpiece of your event. Here are some of the cake trends that you surely don’t want to miss.

Go Graphic with Sugar – Big sugar flowers are pretty, but if you want to step out of the traditional, try having your cake creator add more abstract sugar-made designs that seem to burst from the cake. Using such designs is a great way to personalize your cake and show off your personality. Think starbursts, ruffles, lace cutouts, or even paisley prints.


Taste the texture – Instead of butter cream swirls or smooth cake surfaces, texturize your treat with fabric-like elements. Fabric textures can be created with fondant that can be made to look like just about any fabric including crocheted lace or eyelet designs. Take this texture trend a step further and take inspiration from your dress and ask your cake creator to add accents that would match your dress.


Cake Buffets – If you have a sweet tooth that cannot be tamed, why stop at just one cake? A trio of coordinating cakes for your cake table is a great way to get a sweet twist on traditional. Take a design, motif or color combination that coordinates with your event and ask your cake creator to make each cake a little bit different.


Healthy Snacks for Slimming Down

slim1Your event may be in the next few weeks, few months, or maybe not for another year, regardless stress eating can pack on some not so pretty pounds when planning a big event. Maintaining a fit figure or even slimming down can be enough of a challenge without the added pressures of planning, so here to help you are some healthy snacking tips that won’t make you tip the scale.

Cottage Cheese and Pineapple – Mix together four ounces low-fat cottage cheese and 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks. The sweetness of the pineapple will satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing calories the way a Snickers would. The protein packed choice of cottage cheese will also help to keep you full and satisfied.

Melon, Greek Yogurt, and Honey – mix together one cup melon chunks, two tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt, and one teaspoon honey. This treat will not only satisfy your snack craving but it will also give you plenty of energy to get through your day!

Edamame – Sprinkle one cup edamame with sea salt for a healthy and filling snack. These beans are packed with protein and as an added bonus is fun to eat!

Almonds and Dark Chocolate – Want to get your chocolate fix without the guilt? Snack on 10 almonds and one to two squares of dark chocolate (look for 70 percent cocoa or higher).  As an added plus, the antioxidants found in dark chocolate are great for your health!

Cocktails with the Consultant – Cider


Nothing says the winter season like a hot mug of cider. However, there are some fabulously tasty cocktails that give that same winter sensation that showcase the flavors of  that same wintery beverage of choice… cider. Here are some favorite cocktails that feature cider, just in time for some cooler weather.

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Cider Jack Cocktails – Courtesy of Food Network Magazine – Give your cider some kick with this delicious cocktail!



2 oz Applejack liqueur

1oz lemon juice

Hard Apple Cider

Grenadine or Simple Syrup

Cinnamon stick (for garnish)



For each drink, shake 2 ounces applejack liqueur, 1 ounce lemon juice and a splash of grenadine or simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with hard apple cider and serve with a cinnamon stick.



UnknownSpiked Apple Cider Cocktail – Courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr. – Get ready to warm up with this cocktail! It is deliciously dangerous so share with friends!



1/4 gallon apple cider

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup cinnamon schnapps

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut into large chunks

1/2 lemon, juiced



Mix together the cider, rum, and schnapps in a large pitcher. Add the apples to a small bowl and toss them with the lemon juice. Thread the diced apples onto skewers. Pour the spiked cider into glasses filled with ice, then garnish with an apple skewer and serve.


Unknown-1Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail – Courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli – If you just want to add a little sparkle to your cider, try this recipe of deliciousness and you won’t be disappointed!



1 quart apple cider

3 cinnamon sticks

Knob of “bruised” fresh ginger

3 whole cloves Pinch nutmeg

1 firm red apple, such as Rome, Braeburn, Fuji or Royal Gala, washed, cored, skin-on and cut into small cubes

1 firm green apple, such as Granny Smith, washed, cored, skin-on and cut into small cubes

2 lemons, juiced

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 bottle dry Cava or other dry sparkling wine



In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the cider, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Stir to blend. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Reduce by half and taste for seasoning. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl add the apples, lemon juice and sugar. Toss to coat and add to the cider. Refrigerate. When ready to serve the cocktails, pour the cider and apple pieces into champagne flutes (about halfway) and top with the Cava. Stir and serve.

Gifts for the Gals


‘Tis the season of giving and some lovely ladies who should never be overlooked are your bridesmaids. It is an honor for them to be helping you with your big day, but their devotion to your potentially diva ways should never go without a token of appreciation. Here are some great ideas for gifts for your gals and that won’t break the bank.


Make-up for your Maids – Fill a cute little make-up bag with simple toiletries or touch up type make-up items like lip-gloss. Your maids will love that you thought ahead. This one can be found at for only $28!


Monogram Jewelry Box – Personalized gifts are always a sensational way of thanking your maids. This personalized jewelry box from is only $78 and bonus points for you if you add in some wedding day jewelry for your maids to wear!


Party Pretty – Thank your maids with an invitation to let loose and party! An engraved flask will be a big hit for the party girls in your wedding party. This class flask can be found at for only $28!


Accessories – Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but Swarovski crystal can be a best friend too! These crystal drop earrings will look stunning on any bridesmaid and they can be used for many future occasions. These can be found at for only $55.


Red Carpet to Wedding Aisle – Award show gowns worthy of wedding attire


Now that the award season has showcased some truly stunning gowns on our favorite celebrities, it is time to take a look at some that could be featured on your special aisle instead of the paparazzi lined red carpet. Here are a few hot looks that can go from red carpet wow, to wedding aisle awe.


Carrie Underwood at the Grammys – This stunning gown proves that you don’t have to show a lot of skin in order to look absolutely gorgeous. Carrie truly sparkled as she walked the red carpet which makes this a perfect gown to convert into a wedding dress because there is no better day to sparkle than on your wedding day. Both Monique Lhuillier and Elie Saab’s 2012 lines feature gowns designed in this  traditionally elegant style.


Gweneth Paltrow at the Oscars – Simple, elegant, and absolutely wedding aisle ready, Gweneth looked stunning in this Tom Ford gown which was perfect for her red carpet appearance. This simple gown can be paired with diamond crusted jewelry or maybe for some added spice add shoes in a vibrant hue. This simple gown would be an accessorizing bride’s playground.


Elle Macpherson at the Golden Globes –  Zac Posen not only created a beautiful gown fit for the famed Australian super model, but also fit for a bride with the desire to show off a cutting edge sense of style. After all when it comes to wedding gowns, there is really no such thing as over the top as long as the dress fits your personal style and personality.

Touchdown! Event Details for the College Football Fan

As we get further into fall the weather starts to cool and more time is spent outdoors in places like stadiums and college campuses celebrating the season of football. If you and your hubby bleed the colors of your alma mater, you may have given a quick thought of how to incorporate the team which receives all of your cheers into your special day. Of course, you could get married on the 50 yard line, or have your colors match the colors of your school, but here are some other great ways to showcase the true college football fan you are within the details of your big day.


End zone Engagement Party or Rehearsal Dinner – Kick off your wedding in style with a soiree in the stadium! Many football stadiums offer group packages where you can celebrate with your favorite football food and beverages of choice and of course view a congratulatory message on the scoreboard. Add to this special event with personalized cups, or team gear, and don’t forget to have a keepsake of your own by having your guests sign your “game ball”.

Better Toss with a Ball – If your hubby to be is the real super fan, have a surprise football to go along with your garter. Having him throw a football with your garter attached will be his ultimate touchdown!

Autographed  Jersey – Instead of having a traditional guest book, have your guests sign a jersey from your school of choice instead. Just remember to have fabric pens available to make it easy for your guests to write legibly on the jersey.

Cheery Send off – Instead of bubbles, rose petals, or sparklers, why not have your guests send you off in a sea of spirit by having pom-poms in your school colors for them to wave and shake while you exit into your happily ever after.

March your way in – Nothing says “Grand Entrance” like a marching band, so why not have the marching band, or at least a few choice members, lead you into your reception to the tune of your school’s fight song.  Add in some extra school spirit and invite the mascot to join in your entrance as well.

Cocktails with the Consultant – Pumpkin


Now that fall is finally here we are surrounded by those orange bundles of Halloween goodness… the pumpkin! But pumpkin can be used for much more than Jack-O-Lanterns and a Thanksgiving pie, the seeds make delectable snacks and the flesh can be used in more ways that just pie filling. A great way to use the flavor of pumpkin is in autumn inspired cocktails. Here are a few favorites:


Pumpkinhead courtesy of – If you like to have a nice Ale or beer with your pumpkin pie then you will love this drink! The drink is chilled but the spices are warm, which makes it perfect for a crisp autumn evening.


3/4 ounce pumpkin butter

3/4 ounce ginger simple syrup

1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 ounce vanilla vodka

2 dashes orange bitters

chilled Post Road Pumpkin Ale (seasonal release from Brooklyn Brewery)

orange twist to garnish


Shake all ingredients except beer well over ice. Strain into the bottom of a pilsner glass. Top with beer. The beer should comprise about 2/3 of the final volume of the cocktail. Twist orange rind over drink to release oils. (To make ginger simple syrup, add 3/4 cup chopped, peeled ginger to two cups simple syrup in saucepan. Simmer for five minutes. Strain and discard ginger.)


Pumpkin Martini courtesy of – Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie? Well why not spice things up and make a martini that tastes just like the pie we know and love? Try this cocktail for a great dessert alternative.


1/2 oz Sylk Cream Liqueur
2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz pumpkin liqueur or pumpkin spice syrup
1 tsp whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the Sylk Liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and add the pumpkin liqueur or syrup. Shake again and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a teaspoon of whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Smashing Pumpkin courtesy of –  Feel free to listen to the sounds of Billy Corgan while sipping this delectable thirst quencher from Summit at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs created by lead bartender Robert Leavey. Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Colorado to enjoy this cocktail, making it at home is just as tasty!

1 ½ oz. Bourbon (We used Maker’s Mark Bourbon)
1 oz. Pumpkin puree
3 segments Tangerine with peel
½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Brown sugar simple syrup

First, make brown sugar simple syrup by mixing two parts brown sugar with one part water. Bring to a boil and then let cool down before mixing into drink. Afterwards, muddle tangerine pieces in glass with brown sugar simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Garnish with nutmeg.