Wednesday, October 20, 2010

new website launch giveaway winner!

Congrats to samjm who is the winner of the jessica laine celebrations prize pack! Sam, I hope you enjoy the wedding swag and I look forward to seeing you at Mix, Mingle, Marry!. Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks for checking out the new jessicalaine.com.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

New website launch giveaway!

Hello all! Has everyone been over to jessicalaine.com to check out the new site? To celebrate the launch, I have a jessica laine celebrations swag bag to give away.



The bag includes:
  • An issue of Weddingbells magazine
  • An issue of Imagine Your Wedding magazine
  • An issue of Wedding Essentials magazine
  • A jessica laine celebrations sticky note pad & pen [to mark off all of the pages with ideas that you like in the magazines!]
  • A copy of Bartlett's 'Words for the Wedding', which is a great book to help you get started with your ceremony or keep you grounded if wedding planning gets a little stressful!
  • A copy of my report '7 Questions you Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them', a wonderful jumping-off point for vendor interviews
  • 2 tickets to Mix, Mingle, Marry! Toronto's first boutique bridal showcase event taking place January 16th 2011 at the Gladstone Hotel in Queen West.
  • All packed in a canvas jessica laine celebrations tote bag.
Please enter by commenting on this post and leaving me your name + email address or phone number! The contest will close Monday October 18th and is open to all Canadian residents over the age of 19.

And if you don't win, don't fret! You can purchase your tickets to Mix, Mingle, Marry! here.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big announcement on the horizon!

Tune in Monday for a huge wedding-related announcement for all you chic, hip Toronto brides! Here's a clue...





Have a great end to your week and happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Ultimate Bridal Show Navy, Gold + Magenta

Today on the Martha Stewart Weddings blog, The Brides Guide, Britney Peterson offers a look at the wedding colour palette of navy and pink. Well, what a coincidence! At the Ultimate Bridal Show yesterday in Mississauga, my tables were inspired by a similar palette of navy, deep magenta and shimmery gold. Take a look at the Martha inspiration board, then scroll down for some shots of my table set up and dessert table!

Photo Credit: The Bride's Guide


I arranged the flowers myself! Go me! The table runner I also handmade.

My booth was beside fellow wedding planner Stephanie Thompson Wedding Design.

You can see my inspiration board there in the background. The title of this was "Royal Whimsy"
My chiavaris and candelabra were graciously lent to me by Will at Chiavari Chair Rental



GORGEOUS cookie tree custom made by the very talented Angela of The Cookie Queen.




What do you think? My tables were well received at the show, and I really was pleased with how they turned out.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ultra-glam Dessert Table

Here are some shots of a girls-night dessert and candy table I styled. I used lots of pink, silver and black to achieve a glitz and glam feeling, while juxtaposing that with sweet flowers to keep it from being too haute to touch.



I took the outer wrapper off of some Mentos and piled them loosely on the table. They sort of look like glamorous pink cigars!
Pretty mineral water bottles.
Giant martini glasses held different types of candy.


I  draped and weaved long ribbons into the chandelier and let them trail down at differing heights.


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

finding inspiration: Cake Stands

I am obsessed with finding perfectly adorable vessels and props for my dessert tables, especially cake stands. They have to be the cutest and easiest way to pretty up a simple cake display and they are extremely versatile. Don't agree with me that they are the best thing to happen to cakes since... well, cakes? Try typing in 'cake stands' into Google Images and see if you don't change your mind. Better yet, type in any colour before 'cake stands' [eg. green cake stands] and you will see that the possibilities are endless.



Today I bought this beauty from Write Impressions in Waterloo [my old stomping grounds in my Uni days] after a wedding consultation. I am such a sucker for this store, they stock the most beautiful things, and their set-ups are just as beautiful as the products themselves. I can't wait to use this in my dessert tables! It will go perfectly with the Sugar and Spice table I have coming up, and I may even try to make it work for my ultra-glam totally girly table as well.

Do you use cake stands to display your wares? What other props or vessels do you use?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

run and tell that, HOMEBOY

Is anyone else totally feeling the remix of this dude sending out a warning to his sister's attacker on the Huntsville, AL CBS news? This is sure to be a party anthem soon, so I think it warrants being posted on Celebrate It!


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays: Crystal and Nathan

Here are some shots from a wedding I coordinated a few weeks back for a wonderful couple, Crystal and Nathan.

The wedding took place at the Northridge Public Golf Course in Brantford, Ontario which was a beautiful backdrop for their simple celebration.


 I love this picture of Nathan beaming at his bride during their handfasting ceremony.


 Crystal used scrapbook pages as the guestbook so that she could slot them into a scrapbook after the wedding!
 The Maid of Honour downs a giant Pixi Stik

 Can you believe only one single male in the whole place!
 The cake, dreamed up by Crystal after she saw a similar design as a cell phone background, was brought to life by the talented Jo-Anne of Divalicious Cakes in Paris.
 These two were AMAZING dancers, I love that the photographer snapped a pic of them in action!

All photos by Dwayne Doucette [please email me for contact info for this Brantford, ON based photographer!]

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Veggie Buffet Table

This Christmas my sister had a pot-luck with a bunch of her girlfriends and she decided that her offering was going to be fresh raw veggies. She wanted to put a funky spin on the concept, since veggies are pretty boring, and she asked me for ideas. I thought it might be cool to try a veggie buffet table and set it up like a candy display like those I create for other events. The result was pretty cool!





The girls demolished the table in no time, partly due to the fact that the veggies were presented like treats! Might be a good trick for a children's party!
Have you ever tried to put a new spin on a candy table?

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Sorry my posting has been light lately, I've been a busy bee! Just wanted to pop on and wish everyone a happy and safe Easter Sunday. Today I will be enjoying my second Easter feast in three days mmmmmm...

 Photo Credit: Jarosław Pocztarski

Have a wonderful holiday y'all!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first anniversary candy buffet giveaway! The winners were chosen randomly using Random.org and they are Colleen and Karen!


Ladies, please check your email inboxes for an email from me to confirm your event details.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Raspberry Truffle Martini

Here is a perfect drink for the Valentine's Day ladies' night party I will be writing about tomorrow. Food and Drink magazine featured this luxurious silky drink in their Holiday 2008 issue. It's easy to make, very sippable and of course beautiful looking!

Photo Credit:LCBO.com

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz Chambord, ½ oz white crème de cacao and 1 oz cream. Shake and strain into a Martini glass and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Or, to make a batch for your party [makes 8 servings]:

1 cup Chambord
½ cup white crème de cacao
1 cup cream
Shaved chocolate, for topping

Add all ingredients except chocolate to a pitcher and stir to mix. Chill in fridge, or add ice cubes to chill quickly. Pour into Martini glasses and sprinkle each with shaved chocolate.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Giveaway: Free Candy Buffet!

If you have ever been to an event planned by my company jessica laine celebrations, you will know that candy buffets and dessert tables are always a main feature and are in high demand! A candy buffet will certainly get your guests talking and will keep your party at the top of their mind for months. So to celebrate our first anniversary this February [the month of celebrations! Groundhog day, Olympics, Valentine's Day, Family Day, Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Black History Month, Ash Wednesday, President's Day, Chinese New Year, etc.] I will be giving away 2 custom candy buffet/dessert tables to 2 lucky winners! Please post a comment below with your name and email address and the city your party is in by Sunday February 14th to be entered.

Good Luck!



Rules


Winners must live within the Greater Toronto Area or be hosting their event within the GTA. The event must be taking place in 2010. The event will have no more than 50 guests and the candy buffet/dessert table will offer no more than 8 different items. jessica laine celebrations is under no obligation to provide any other services besides providing buffet items, linens, table decor for candy table only, candy containers, and set up and tear down. Winners will be selected at random after 11:59 pm ET on Sunday February 14 2010.

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Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Photo List

No doubt wedding photography is an important element to your big day. Whether you are shelling out big bucks on your photographer or having a friend snap pics as a gift to you, the shots you get will hold the memories of one of the most important days of your life and you want them to be great! Your photographer may already use a list of shots they normally take and will of course ask you which are of greatest importance to you, but here is a downloadable list of common and maybe not so common photo-ops on a wedding day. Take a look at the list and talk it over with your partner and decide which moments are very important to capture. It would also be a good idea to look over the list and identify any times in the schedule where tensions between family members or other guests may arise so you can point this out to your wedding planner and photographer beforehand to avoid any problems.

Click here to download the document

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Super Bowl Sliders

I love football! However, I love the Super Bowl not only for the game, but also for the amazing spread of food that gets paraded out on this hallowed day! My favourite football snacks include veggies like bell peppers and crunchy carrots, chili with yummy corn chips, thick-crusted pizza with gooey cheese, buffalo wings and of course some cold beer! Here is a recipe I found for a new Super Bowl snack that you can try out for your party on Sunday. It calls for blue cheese, but if you're not a fan of it, try some St Paulin instead.

Photo Credit: Bill Milne

Recipe: Blue Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Sliders
[via NY Daily News]

Serves: 12

Ingredients
16 slices (1 pound) apple-smoked bacon
2 ripe but firm pears
About 1 tablespoon sugar
3 pounds coarsely ground sirloin, chilled
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces (about ½ cup) crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature [or try St Paulin]
2 tablespoons olive oil plus about 1 teaspoon
Sea salt
24 soft, mini burger buns
2½ cups baby arugula leaves
1 small red onion (about the same diameter as the buns), very thinly sliced
1 pint basket cherry tomatoes (optional)
Instructions
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, and then drain on paper towels. Cut 8 of the slices crosswise into 3 pieces each; crumble the remaining bacon and set both aside separately.
Peel the pears, halve them lengthwise, and core them. Cut them crosswise into thin slices and put into a bowl. Toss with the sugar and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the meat, thyme, crumbled bacon and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Using your hands, knead together lightly. Form the mixture into 48 evenly sized balls (about 1 ounce each). Use the pointed end of an egg to make a small depression in half the patties. Fill them with a little mound of cheese, dividing it evenly among them. Top with the remaining patties, and then pinch them together around the cheese. Make sure the stuffing is completely enclosed. Pat and mold the burgers to fit the buns. The burgers can be shaped and refrigerated, covered, for several hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot or build a medium-hot fire in a barbecue. Generously season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook the burgers in the skillet, in batches, turning once or twice, about 3 minutes for medium-rare. Do not press down on the patties. Be gentle when you turn the burgers so they do not break open. With a large spoon, baste the sliders several times with the fat in the pan. To grill the burgers, oil the grate, arrange the patties on it, and cover. Cook as above.
While the burgers cook, toast the buns in a toaster oven or under the broiler, about 5 inches from the heat until lightly toasted. Or toast them on the outer perimeter of the grill rack.
When the burgers are done, remove them to a warm platter, keep warm, and let rest for several minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining teaspoon of the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the pear slices, or place them on the outside of the grill rack, and cook just until warm and lightly browned. Turn and repeat, then remove to a plate. They should still be crunchy.
To build the burgers, arrange a few leaves of arugula on the bun bottoms. Top each with a pear slice or two, a piece of bacon and a burger. Add an onion slice and a bun top, and skewer securely together. Add a cherry tomato as a topknot, if you wish, on the skewer. Serve immediately.

What will you be serving at your Super Bowl Sunday party?

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Etsy Monday: CozzyCottage Placemats

I found this sweet cupcake placemat set by CozzyCottage on Etsy today and it immediately set my mind to work thinking of all the awesome party ideas that could go along with these little beauties.
Photo Credit: CozzyCottage

A little girl's baking party with a placemat acting as a work station for each girl as they decorate their cupcakes. CozzyCottage also makes beautiful aprons, one design that even matches these placemats and would be a good match for such a baking party! They would also be perfect as decor for a fun Valentine's Day bash! Or, try them out for a mis-matched pajama party.

Photo Credit: CozzyCottage

Of course, they would also just be great as placemats that you bring out for annual birthday celebrations!
What do you think of these adorable designs? Do you have any handmade placemats or placemats you like to use as multi-holiday decor?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Navigating the Tablescape: Super Bowl for Kids

The NFL's Super Bowl XLIV [Sunday February 7 @ 6:30pm ET on CBS] is a huge day for parties in North America. It is reportedly the second-largest U.S. food consumption day, after Thanksgiving! But the fun shouldn't just be for adults, kids should get in on the football, party and food action as well!

I put together a kidcentric, healthy treat version of a Super Bowl party tablescape that you can try out for your kids and their friends on Super Bowl Sunday. Here are my tips for making it happen! [Click on the images for a larger view]




Lay down an orange table cloth [plastic of course - this IS a kids party!]. Orange is one of Super Bowl XLIV's colours. As a mock table runner, use some football-textured loose paper that you can pick up at Michael's or a specialty stationery shop. Add some football-themed toys to your tabletop, like the Finger Football goalposts I used here. Put down some coloured Hefty plates or other disposable tableware at each place.




You can get foam footballs at any craft store, or you can use brown construction paper and chalk to make the placecards. Use a black pen or Sharpie marker to write the names of each child on the football and place it on the plate.




 
For the snack containers, use several clear glass containers or colourful, unusually shaped servingware. Arrange the snack containers along the table and fill them with yummy snacks that kids will enjoy eating. Try boxed raisins, crunchy baby carrot sticks, Babybel cheese and Skinny Sticks garden veggie flavour, all of which I have used here. Go for a good balance of colour and texture and packaged single serve items and kids will load up their plates. Put a football sticker or construction paper cutout shape on the front of each glass container. Remove the labels from some bottles of water, flavoured water or juice and replace them with a football sticker. Suddenly drinking a bottle of water is fun and cool because it fits with the theme!




Give the kids some sort of themed takeaway, like these football whistles, and arrange it on the table as well. Other things you could try are temporary tattoos, pencils, lanyards or shoelaces. Embellish your tablescape with any other unobtrusive items that relate to your football theme. I used some colourful pom-poms.




What will you be doing for Super Bowl Sunday?

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Wedding Wednesday: 2010 Trends

Some people don't like to follow wedding trends, they think it "dates" their wedding photos and/or video. Some like to describe their wedding as "timeless" and "classic", all the while citing weddings from decades past as their inspiration [does that even make sense?]. Personally, I love wedding trends. Of course, many weddings that are described as "timeless" and "classic" do end up transcending their eras, but I really like that you can look at a wedding photo and know generally when it is from. Trends help us put a name to a face so to speak, and is it really that bad to look back on your wedding photos and -gasp!- know what year they were taken? Just because you incorporate some "trendy" elements into your wedding does not mean that it will be less meaningful of a ceremony or less fun of a reception! Who cares that you see sand unity ceremonies, candy buffets and DIY faux-to booths on every wedding and event blog out there? If you want those, have them!

You can still incorporate many wedding trends into your big day without making it cookie cutter. Your wedding is your own unique day! So on that note, I present to you my take on what will be the big wedding trends of 2010!

Unique Venues: Though our economy is reportedly on the upswing, there is still some uncertainty. Couples will be looking past the traditional locations to have their wedding and selecting more unusual and unexpected venues that may have smaller rental fees. Think tree farms, summer camps, dance studios, museums, etc. Also, many venues will be pulling double duty for both the ceremony and reception. Use a tool like Event Source to check out alterna-venues.


Fondant-free Wedding Cakes: Buttercream will be the frosting of choice for couples this year with more emphasis on the taste of the cake. Intricate cake designs and cutesy cupcake displays will take a backseat to simple flowers or cake toppers.


Low Centrepieces: Solo flowers in bud vases and a stack of the couple's favourite books or a funky, textured green plant in a small planter with a dish of wrapped candies or flower petals surrounding candles on a vintage pedestal are examples of the kind of cross-table-conversation friendly centrepieces you can expect to find at weddings this year. Traditional large floral arrangements will be used on the cake table or gift table instead.


Unity Wine Ceremony: consider using a wine of your choice and a wine of your partner's choosing [make sure they work together; a winery, sommelier or U-Vint can help you] and combine them during your ceremony and each take a sip. At your reception, you can serve your pre-made custom blend to your guests. It's a twist on signature drinks and similar to a sand or candle unity element in your wedding ceremony.

What do you think will emerge as prominent wedding trends this year?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Big Batch BBQ Rub

For Christmas, I gave the boy a gift full of manly items. This book was the inspiration for the theme and in addition to that book I gave him a bunch of cool things that guys want/need. Among them: a Maglite flashlight, a gift certificate to a tattoo parlour, this cute little fire department tie tack [he's a firefighter] I got on Etsy and some homemade barbeque rub. I found the recipe on one of my favourite inspirational websites Real Simple when I saw a gift guide for homemade presents and I knew immediately that I had to make some for Kevin. I mean, what's manlier than barbequeing?



Photo Credit: Ka Yeung / Tinkerbox Studio Inc [via Real Simple]


The picture of the rub is different than what mine looked like. I mixed mine together as per the instructions, so I didn't get that layered look from the picture, but I didn't see how it would get properly mixed in the small glass jar if I didn't do it beforehand. So, forsaking the visual for quality, I decided to just mix it all together, but it still looked great. This is the jar that I used, just an inexpensive glass jar from Ikea. I actually had to make a little more to have enough to fill the jar, so when you are selecting a container for your rub and presentation matters, make sure you alter the recipe so that you have enough.

Big Batch Barbecue Rub Recipe [via Real Simple]

Makes 1 1/3 cups
Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1/2 cup paprika
3 tablespoons brown sugar [I used Golden Yellow Sugar]
3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons ground coffee [I used Starbucks Sumatra<]
4 teaspoon kosher salt [I used Dean Jacob's Pacific Ocean Sea Salt]
1 tablespoons black pepper

Directions:
Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
Instructions to include with your gift: Up to 2 hours before cooking, coat 2 pounds of chicken, beef, pork, or seafood with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 to 4 tablespoons of the rub. Cook as desired.

We used the rub on some steaks we cooked up on Saturday night and it was delicious! When you make the rub and when you open the container, you will get a distinct coffee smell, but once you rub it into the meat, the coffee is not overly noticeable so don't worry, you won't be eating meat that tastes like a cup of coffee!

Did you give any homemade gifts this holiday season?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Etsy Monday: PaperFish Bunting

I LOVE reusable decor! If I can reuse something even once, I will, and dual purpose items are used in nearly every party and event I do! I trolled Etsy for some cute flags and bunting I was so excited to see these beautiful and whimsical pennants by PaperFish.


 This particular design, Frida/Carnival would be absolutely perfect for a mismatched, funky laid-back get-together such as a clothing swap or a little girl's pajama party.


 How adorable is the Bubblicious pattern!? This would be such a great addition to such festive events as an ice cream party, funky first birthday or garden tea party!


 The gorgeous Valentine Rose would be a sweet addition to a vintage valentine celebration, or a girly princess bash.

What do you think of PaperFish's reusable fabric flag bunting? Do you use fabric flags/bunting and other reusable or dual purpose items in your event decor?

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to 2010!

New year, new look! I hope you like the new layout and design of the Celebrate It! blog and the jessica laine celebrations website. I have a lot of fun things planned for the blog this year, and some parties from the end of the year that I will be featuring including an adorable sock monkey themed first birthday party, a Christmas vegetable buffet display and a Mexican theme New Year's Eve bash! Coming up in early 2010 is my 25th birthday, Super Bowl XLIV and my mom turning the big 5-0 in February.






I'm also excited to continue the features Etsy Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Wedding Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday and Frugal Friday, and my New Year's Blogolution is to write with frequency! ;-)

So, here's to a great year of parties, events, weddings and fun!

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