The Scoop - Volume 4, Issue 2, 2013
It appears that we all like “top 10″ lists. We hear that you like them because they’re fun and relevant. We love the “top ten” lists because we like collecting things about weddings and event management. Here’s a cool set of 6 top10 lists relating to planning a wedding.
We’ll start the list with the tantilizing eye candy at the beginning of our top10, so make sure you scroll to the bottom to see all the cool lists. Please enjoy and leave a comment or two!
Top 10 Canadian Wedding Photographers
What’s a wedding wedding without a photographer? There’s too many mediocre “picture takers” these days with all their digidal/video cameras. We want your wedding to be special so here’s the list of the top 10 Canadian Wedding Photographers. Yes, the list is a bit dated, but it will give you a chance to see the work of great Canadian photographers and help you choose the one that’s here in Calgary.
Top 10 Canadian Wedding Blogs
When you’re looking for wedding planners we assume you want to be informed on the process. So, this top10 is list of the best Canadian wedding blogs. Again, be it your wedding or your friend’s wedding, make sure you review the list and subscribe to at least a couple of these. It will help you choose better event planners and create a great wedding no one will forget.
10 Intimate Canadian Wedding Venues
Your wedding venue is one of the biggest pieces of the wedding puzzle. It should represent both of you and show the colours of your relationship to guests. After all, it’s your palace. Here’s a list of 10 intimate wedding venues in Canada to spark some ideas for your perfect wedding venue.
Top 10 Wedding Songs 2012
Your DJ will likely have a great collection of music for your wedding. But there’s always “that song” that is very special to the two of you. See if your song is among the top 10 wedding songs of 2012.
Top 10 Wedding Dress Trends 2013
A wedding dress is likely the most important part of your special day. Choosing it is not the simplest thing to do though. You want to make sure it is exactly the way you’ve dreamed of it since you were little. Here’s a list of top 10 wedding dress trends for 2013 to give you a few ideas on what’s awesome this year.
Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints
Whether you hire a professional event planner or not, you want to be part of the planning process. This cool list of top 10 wedding guest complaints will help you understand common guest issues and solve those ahead of time in your planning process. In our opinion, this is the coolest top 10 wedding list of all presented in this post. We hope you enjoy it too!
Be it your own wedding or your best friend’s wedding; make sure you share these lists with them. Stay tuned for more blog goodness in the upcoming weeks!
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 16- to 18-ounce tube prepared plain polenta
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
2 nectarines, halved and pitted
1 pint blackberries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
Hot sauce, to taste
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil, cumin, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub 1 teaspoon of the mixture all over polenta. Rub the rest into both sides of chicken. Cut the polenta crosswise into 8 slices. Rub the cut sides of nectarine halves with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.
Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Place the chicken, polenta slices and nectarines on the grill. Grill the polenta until hot and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Grill the nectarines, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. Grill the chicken, until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken and nectarines to a cutting board. Coarsely chop the nectarines. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
While the chicken rests, combine the chopped nectarines, blackberries, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Layer the polenta, chicken and fruit salsa on 4 plates and serve.
TIPS & NOTES
Tip: To oil the grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Don’t use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
From EatingWell: July/August 2007
By Sharon Barwick, CSEP| Simply Elegant| May 16, 2013
Make your next multi-day meeting and conference sing with your guests. Here are some wonderful ideas that you can add to your event that pamper your guests and show them you care. It’s all in the details and doesn’t have to cost a bundle!
1. Relief From High-Heel Suffering
After a long Oscar night, host Seth MacFarlane’s official after-party included a station from
Tkees, which encouraged guests to check their heels (similar to the way they would at a coat
check) and pick up a pair of flip-flops—in gold, appropriate to the occasion.
2. Shelter From Rain
Guests arriving at USA Network’s event atop the High Line in New York last summer found a
receiving line of umbrella-wielding staffers, who provided shelter all the way to the entrance of
the covered bash.
3. Wet Weather Accessories
When the weather unexpectedly turned sour at South by Southwest this year, ponchos from
Warner Brothers served as protection from the rain as well as an opportunity to promote CW
television series Arrow.
5. Relaxing Hammocks
Bonnaroo attendees could relax in hammocks and enter to win V.I.P. passes in the “Great State
Lounge” hosted by State Farm. The insurance company also provided what it called “Bonnaroo
Roadside Assistance”—free services such as help with flat tires and dead batteries.
7. Hair Services for Grubby Festival-Goers
More than 80,000 people traveled to a remote 700-acre farm in Tennessee June 7 to 10 for the
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Knowing the attendees would be outside day and night
listening music on multiple stages, brands such as Garnier Fructis provided practical services
such as free hair-washing and styling in a 40- by 40-foot air-conditioned tent.
8. Convenient Transportation
During Upfront Week in New York last year, Turner Broadcasting held back-to-back late-night
events and, to help transport guests from the Adult Swim party to the shindig for TruTV,
provided a fleet of pedicabs offering free rides.
For a recent press event in Los Angeles, Paul Frank brought Starring Fragrances for a station
that gave guests the chance to take home custom fragrances, made on the spot according to
their individual tastes.
10. Easy, Stylish Phone-Charging Access
At the FN C.E.O. Summit in Miami, guests could charge their smartphones in a luxe lounge—a
stylish, discreet solution to manage the task that everyone wants as a convenience at events.
The centerpieces during the education sessions were framed instructions on how to reference
the summit on social media and log on to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network.
The designs on this page start as Chocolate Cupcakes or Vanilla Cupcakes iced with Swiss Meringue Buttercream — perfect for spreading in thin layers or sculpting into thick mounds (and licking from the bowl).
The cupcakes can be baked a week ahead and frozen, but decorate them no more than a day before serving. Set up an assembly line, and put kids in charge of affixing candy eyes, gumdrop cheeks, and other trimmings. Pack the cupcakes in a shallow plastic container, and stuff crumpled waxed paper in between. Then dole them out and watch kids marvel for a second before opening wide!
Shark and Beach Cupcake How-To
In June, look out for blue paper fins slicing through icing waves. Some might prefer a sandy beach, so stand a drink parasol in a dune of icing dipped in finely ground graham-cracker crumbs.
Martha Stewart Kids, Fall 2003
Ever wonder how you can create a great party that is fun and safe for your children for less than $60 including gas?
- Invite a maximum of children to match the age of the child. An easy guideline is to invite only as many children as your child’s age, plus one. This keeps the party small with young children reducing the opportunity for them to be overwhelmed. Each year your child learns to emotionally handle a larger group of children.
- Have the child choose a theme. It makes your job easy (a favorite book, sport, movie, or a TV show. Then they can further help with the planning plus make decorations.
- Keep the party simple.
- Focus on structured group activities. Individual games focuses on a winner which leaves children out – maybe even the birthday child.
- Always ask parents about food allergies.
Ways to cut birthday party costs without cutting the party experience:
- Hold the party in your home
- Avoid traditional meal times by holding the party between 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and serve snacks & dessert.
- Bake your own cupcakes and let the kids decorate their own cupcake for a fun activity.
- Make and hand deliver your own invitations, or “be green” and send e-vites with an RSVP date.
- Resist hiring an entertainer or bouncy castle! Kids only remember the fun activities and birthday cake.
- Make it a family affair and ask family members plus the guests parents to assist with activities.
- Source theme decor from your own home first, then purchase the rest of supplies from economy stores.
We chose a beach theme to counter against our snowy Calgary weather. Collect all your colourful beach towels to cover your
party table and inflate all beach air mattresses and balls to decorate the party room.
Welcome each guest at the door with a lei and a tropical sun visor (can be part of their take home goody bag).
Encourage everyone to dress the theme (beach shorts, T shirts, flip flops, sun glasses and visors)
Simple party activity starters:
- Decorate the birthday cupcakes (while the children are calm) using an assortment of frostings and toppings.
- Do simple crafts (stickers, buttons with yarn, straw crafts, using little sea shells with beads and pebbles etc. Glue these onto mini frames or juice-cans. You can even use lids and add a magnet on the back.
- Save time and purchase simple craft kits for only $1-$2 at the numerous economy stores.
- Fill balloons with small treasure based on your theme before you blow them up. For beach we used mini fish, wiggly worms, costume jewelry. The children then pop several balloons and gather their treasures. You can hang, hide or put them in a large garbage bag or box.
- Group hunting games (same as Easter egg hunts) This can be treats, treasure chest items or even a puzzle piece to a treasure map that all the children work collectively to put together.
- A circle dance of ”Hokey Pokey” works great and is completely non competitive.
Move into quiet games:
- Hand make Lei Necklaces made from yarn, drinking straws, and colored crinkled tissue paper.
- Simple relay races such as potato-on-spoon using a beach water toy.
- Pin the “crab on the beach”. No winner needed here too!
Holding the party mid afternoon reduces the cost on food. Create a mock tail with juice and give it a beach name. Snacks can
include vegetable sticks and dip, seasonal fruit kabobs, mini pita pockets or bagels and finish with the individually decorated
For less than $9, our goodie beach pail was equipped with a shovel had a snorkel face mask strapped to the outside of the pail
and was filled with a house safe beach sponge ball, squiggly florescent worm, a motorized bathtub sail boat plus a colourful
slinky. The children go home in their colourful foam visors (we collected a mixture sharks, butterflies, monkeys and pink
flamingos) Always make a few more in case extra guests arrive – yes this often happens!
THANK YOU NOTES
It is never too soon to teach etiquette to children. Create a list of the guests’ names before the party, and then jot down each gift
beside the giver’s name as they are opened for thank you cards.
Take photos of the children dressed in theme or put them in front of a prop. Download the photo onto your computer and
colour print them into thank you cards.
The party is a quick two hours, organized with a logical rhythm for child interest and safety and it was super inexpensive. Plus
why not forget our Calgary snow for awhile and transport yourself to the beach? Happy Birthday!
Team Building is all about building communities within your work force, and helping employees manage stress by ensuring all staff members are maintaining a work-life balance which can create a greater sense of well being and provide the feeling of being part of the workplace. Team building connects, rewards and educates employees. These group activities range widely from artistic creativity, outdoor activities, culinary sessions, Cirque shows and white water rafting adventures. Designed to be experiential, these activities specifically target solidarity, a fun teamwork engagement and staff initiative. The skills learned by your team are designed to transfer back to the workplace. When faced with a challenging scenario, team members are encouraged to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and ideally, share these with their team. The challenges, and thus the resolutions, are remembered far beyond the team building day. Here are some examples of great some great Canadian team building ideas:
Cirque focused Corporate Team Building programs provides your employees with an opportunity to try amazing circus feats in a safe, non-competitive environment. Corporate Team Building exercises feature a variety of circus skills and can include static trapeze, trampoline, juggling, tight wire, acrobatics, flying trapeze and more. Using an action-based model, these signature workshops enable your team to reach new levels of communication, cooperation, and trust, all while having the time of their lives. Your guests will try things they have never imagined trying, achieve things they have never imagined achieving, and learn skills they will never forget.
How about a Scavenger Hunt your staff will talk about for years? Looking for a tropical experience? The Destination Africa scavenger hunt will take your team through both the African Savannah and the Amazon Rainforest in search of crocodiles, gorillas, hippos and more. This hunt is mostly indoors and perfect in late fall to spring. The Calgary Zoo offers a tremendous range of possibilities for your group, ranging from 30-minute Zoo-Mixers to half-day Zoo-wide adventures.
“Inside Out” Experience combines programs that provide challenging team activities and fun experiences with powerful training in the areas of group/team learning, leadership/management skills and communication. Your program can be organized and operated throughout Kananaskis, Banff, Canmore, Elbow Valley, Bragg Creek, and Calgary. Experiential programming requires people to learn by doing using carefully designed “experiences” (activities, exercises, tasks) in which participants are required to use skills of communicating, decision making, effective planning, problem solving and more. The experiences are conducted within an atmosphere of community, dignity, well-being and fun. Outdoor corporate team building experiences can include white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing.
Need a new icebreaker or a non-traditional team builder? Your guests become creative artists and decorate colourful hats with all sorts of fantastic trimmings. The fun and excitement continues as they wear the hats throughout the event and take them home as a souvenir. This activity is enjoyable regardless of age, gender, or occupation. With no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to create a Party Hat, it is a great way to get your team thinking creatively and working cooperatively to realize their vision. Party Hats can be themed to your event with matching colours, assorted decorative materials and customized styles. Bright Ideas’ Party Hats are a fabulous photo opportunity and bring lots of laughter as your guests compare their latest creations!
Experience the rhythm and power of group drumming. A team of master facilitators and musicians entertain and teach your staff how to play to the same beat, and how to make music as a group. Why Drums? Drums and drumming are a great way to break down barriers, create common ground and teach people the value of listening and learning together. Companies are made up of different rhythms; those rhythms may be various departments such as sales, marketing, administration, development, accounts, operations or management. It helps to build community and create unity within your group. Drumming helps reduce barriers of age, culture, language and gender. The power of a truly synchronized team has great benefit for any business. When those different rhythms play to the same beat they can also share the same goals and visions. This team builder is a unique and highly memorable experience that will set a high energy tone and create an excellent group atmosphere.
400g lamb mince
1 small red onion , ½ grated, ½ thinly sliced
handful parsley , roughly chopped
handful mint , roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 cooked beetroot , finely chopped
4 bread rolls
couple handfuls watercress
1.Mix the lamb, grated onion and herbs in a bowl with some seasoning, then divide the mix into 4 and shape into burgers.
2.Heat a griddle pan until hot, rub the burgers with oil, and cook for 5-6 mins on each side, or until cooked through.
3.Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise and beetroot; season to taste. Fill the bread rolls with some watercress, a burger, a dollop of beetroot mayo and a few onion slices. Serve immediately.
Courtesy: Food Network Canada
1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (7-ounce) lobster tails
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Special equipment: 4 metal skewers
Preheat your grill to direct medium-high heat.
In a small bowl blend butter, chives, tarragon, minced garlic, hot sauce, and black pepper with a rubber spatula. Blend thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve.
Using kitchen shears, butterfly the lobster tails straight down the middle of the softer underside of the shell. Cut the meat down the center without cutting all the way through. Insert a metal skewer down the lobster tail so the tail stands straight. Brush the tails with olive oil and season with salt, to taste.
Grill lobsters cut side down over medium high heat about 5 minutes, until the shells are bright in color. Turn the tails over and spoon a generous tablespoon of herbed butter onto the butterflied meat. Grill for another 4 minutes, or until the lobster meat is an opaque white color.
Remove lobster tails from the grill and serve with more herb butter and lemon wedges. Garnish with chive sprigs.
By Sharon Barwick, CSEP | Simply Elegant | April 25, 2013
You have just received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers! Don’t watch your hand delivered flowers fade away, and look droopy and tired after only a couple of days. Fresh flowers will eventually lose their bloom, but with the proper care you can keep them looking beautiful for a lot longer than you may think.
Here are some tips that for a few moments each day, will keep you enjoying the scent and beauty of your flowers.
Trim Flower Ends
Your fresh flowers will be thirsty and need to absorb water and nutrients through their stems, so it’s important to keep stems as open and clear as possible. Forget the scissors and use only a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the stems along a slant. Scissors will pinch the stems and potentially block the absorption of water and nutrients.
Water Flowers Properly
Remove all leaves below the water level to minimize the growth of bacteria. Trim the stems with a knife and replace the water daily. Use warm to hot water for hollow stemmed flowers such as roses and Gerbera daisies to blow out any possible air pockets.
Feed Them Well
Pop, pennies, and sugar do not destroy the bacteria in water as well as professional plant food does. Food made specifically for flowers is your best bet for keeping your blooms looking fresh and lively. Your florist can provide commercial flower food for you to add to the water.
Wedding Flower Tips
Plan your date carefully if you are on a budget and have a large wedding party. Flowers may cost 30% more during peak seasons such as Easter, Valentines and Mothers Day. Local, seasonal flowers are your best bet for a DIY wedding.
yield: Makes 8 (appetizer) servings
Slightly sweet, fresh ricotta, which can be found in many Italian markets, makes this starter especially delicious. Regular ricotta also works well.
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 1/2 pounds) or 1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
8 4x3x1/2-inch slices country-style bread, cut in half crosswise
8 garlic cloves, cut in half crosswise
15 ounces fresh ricotta cheese or whole-milk ricotta cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Cook fava beans or lima beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes for fava beans or about 4 minutes for lima beans. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Peel fava beans if using; set aside. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange bread pieces on baking sheet; toast in oven until light golden, about 12 minutes. Rub 1 side of each bread piece with cut side of 1 garlic half, pressing firmly to release juices into bread. Top each bread piece with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta cheese, then fava beans, dividing equally. Place 2 bread pieces on each of 8 plates. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced basil and serve.
By Sharon Barwick, CSEP | Simply Elegant | April 18, 2013
Want a cool idea for DIY centerpiece décor? Fishbowls, or any other see through vessels, offer you endless opportunities to capture your event theme in an inexpensive way. Simply Elegant Decor does not recommend using real fish however, skip the real deal and have some creative fun! The options are almost endless ranging from florals to candles to jewels to…?
Photo: Courtesy of Shiraz
For the Clean the World gala, held at the Peabody Orlando in 2011, Special Event Floral filled fishbowls with blue marbles, then added battery-operated lights. The Peabody Orlando’s duck soap appeared to float on top of each centerpiece.
Photo: Mitra Sorrells/BizBash
Photo: Courtesy of the Park Avenue
Held on March 9, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s annual Galaxy Gala had an aquatic theme inspired by the museum’s new facility now under construction, which includes a 500,000-gallon aquarium. Produced by Jose Dans and held at the JW Marriott Marquis, the various centerpiece designs by Wow Factor included stacked fishbowls filled with sand, lichen, pincushion proteas, and red branches.
Photo: Meg Pukel
For New York Design Center’s table at Diffa’s Dining by Design in New York in 2011, Coffinier Ku Design folded red napkins into flower shapes and topped each one with a flower- and water-filled glass bowl.
Photo: Emily Gilbert for BizBash
Dinner at the California Science Center’s Discovery Ball, held in Los Angeles in March, took place underneath the wings of the Endeavour space shuttle. Reflecting the space theme, illuminated tables were topped with mini solar systems and tropical flowers in glass bowls.
Photo: Nadine Froger Photography