Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Painting P.F. Chang's Pink

As I mentioned last week and I'm sure many of you already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Similar to New Balance teaming up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, P.F. Chang's will be "painting the town pink" with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Starting today they will be painting more than 250 of their iconic 11-ft tall warrior horses pink to raise awareness and $100,000 for breast cancer research and education. Their iconic Warrior Horses are a representation of strength and painting and decorating them pink reinforces the support the P.F. Chang's organization has for breast cancer fighters and survivors across the country.

Want to join in? Members of the community, including P.F. Chang's employees and guests, breast cancer survivors, local business owners, public health advocates and other members of the public are all invited to participate in kicking off the campaign. Restaurants will hand out complimentary pink sushi rolls and paint materials for all attendees. The Warrior Horses will remain pink throughout the month of October. Find a participating P.F. Chang's near you and join in the fun!

Throughout the month, anyone who posts a selfie with the pink horses on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #PaintPFChangsPink campaign hashtag or orders a sushi roll at P.F. Chang's will generate a $1 donation toward the cause. As one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in women, and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths, P.F. Chang's is proud to support the NBCF, which works to save lives by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. Your participation in this social media campaign is crucial in reaching their awareness goals.

This initiative first came to life at a P.F. Chang's in Spokane, Washington. It started as a grassroots effort in April of 2013, when Operating Partner Tim Shay connected with restaurant guests about how breast cancer had touched their lives. This hit home with Tim as his sister passed away from breast cancer in 2001. Tim and his team decided to participate in an event to raise awareness and painted the restaurant's Warrior Horse a rich, glittery pink to show support. Positive feedback from the community and the rally cry for the cause from employees was enormous. Other P.F. Chang's in that region began to paint their horses pink, and this year, the company was inspired to elevate it to a nationwide effort.

So grab your paint brushes and devour the awareness details with the help P.F. Chang's this month and look for my selfie as I fully plan on participating in this campaign! To find out more about the campaign and view a gallery of photos from participants helping to raise donations with the hashtag #PaintPFChangsPink, please visit www.pfchangs.com/PaintPFChangsPink. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PFChangs for updates during the month of October.

P.F. Chang's is going pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  #paintpfchangspink #pfchangs #pink… http://t.co/Mf2iMhUZNl

Let's fight breast cancer with pink sushi!
#PaintPFChangsPink http://t.co/qFS6p3zCln

Monday, September 29, 2014

Unbelievable Budgeting and A Wonderful Cause

The average cost of a wedding dress in the United States is over $1,200. It is an unbelievably high cost for something you wear one time. Yes I know some people try to wear their wedding dress more than once but in a brief search, I couldn't even come up with a number/information to share here. The dress is a symbolic part to any wedding so of course brides are willing to put a good chunk of their budget towards it.

Well, we found one bride who got the dress of her dreams for just $30 and plans on wearing it as much as possible. Redditor Alkikatt shared a DIY post on how she crocheted her dress in five months while commuting to work. The bride says she used 1.5 skeins of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread (which she got on sale) and the popular pineapple pattern to make the entire thing. She even made a stop-motion video to show her progress. The outcome? Stunning. The dress, which includes a hand-made liner, is machine washable and wrinkle-free. Alkikatt plans on wearing it again with different linings, accessories, and the train bustled up in different ways.

Unlike Alkikatt, if you don't have a way to wear your wedding dress again and would like to do something special with it, I have a solution for you. There is a wonderful volunteer group called Angel Gowns for Dignity, whom turn wedding dresses into outfits for premature, stillborn, or ill babies that don’t survive birth and are too small to fit in regular baby clothes for burial.

Women that suffered this loss built this volunteer group when they realized they shared similar experiences of grieving loved ones routinely having to go Target, Toys R Us or other stores for clothes to buy a burial gown. This group helps to prevent grievers go through this situation. Angel Gowns for Dignity provides the families with two gowns — one for the child to wear for photographs and burial and another for the parents to have keepsake of the baby they couldn’t take home. They also are making special outfits for early miscarriages.

Now in collaboration with different hospitals, they hope to create more chapters of Angel Gowns for Dignity so people can provide wedding gowns that will be transformed. They are also in the process of forming a nonprofit organization to accept donations. Along with wedding dress donations, they also have received volunteer help from numerous people with varying levels of sewing ability. The group seeks donations of white or off-white lace or ribbon. They also welcome gift cards so those sewing can restock thread, needles and other supplies.

I hope this post can inspire you to devour the details when it comes to creating, saving, or donating your wedding dress. It's truly amazing what some people in this world can do and I love hearing stories like both of these; it should bring a smile to everyone's face on this gloomy Monday morning.

The average cost of a wedding dress in the U.S. is over $1,200, but that didn't stop this woman from making the dress of her dreams for way less--all while on her commute to work.

Redditor Alkikatt posted these images of her completed dress, and how she did it.

The end result, which also includes a hand-made liner, is stunning.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pink Laces

As a huge supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, it is only right that I share this awesome upcoming Boston event with you all. New Balance is celebrating 25 years of supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation with a “Pink Laces” fun run around the city on October 8th at 6 p.m. No surprise here, the race will start at the New Balance Experience Store at 583 Boylston Street. At the finish line, Dana-Farber cancer researcher Dr. Priscilla Brastianos will speak on 25 years of progress in breast cancer research and treatment. Appetizers and drinks will also be served and premium gift bags will be given out.

The event is part of “New Balance’s Girls’ Night Out,” an initiative announced in May for women to connect and work out together. New Balance’s new vision of a “Girls’ Night Out” includes an app (GNO Meet Up) for women to find each other for group runs and fitness activities. I think this initiative will be a huge success. Becoming more aware of your health and the wellness of others has been on the rise with learning about obesity and a variety of diseases that plague us. It is time to pay more attention to our bodies and overall health.

This is a great October event because October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. That is why it is so important to show your support and consider participating in this fun run on October 8th. If this is something you can not do, you can always make a small donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or wear something pink all month long as a reminder of the survivors and the fighters who've taken on this disease.

So devour the details, tie your pink laces tight, and show your support!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Awesome Alters

Today seemed like a good day to share some visual happiness! Here are ten awesome alters found on Pinterest. I hope they inspire you to devour the details of your wedding-ceremony backdrop and bring you true joy on your special day!

For the couple that loves to travel..

Having a great backdrop like this would be such a fun wedding to shoot!

For the couple that enjoys a good book..

teachingliteracy:    book wedding. (by kachergina)

For the modern couple..

Such a fun backdrop idea for your ceremony!

For the couple with the most heart..

Oh yes WE do Custom create "You are the Light of My Life" Wedding decor / photo prop - quick turnaround!

For the couple showing their love..

Giant letters wedding backdrop | Top 10 Wedding Backdrops for Photo Booths, Dessert Tables and Ceremonies

For the couple inspired by mid-century times..

I love this wedding arch created by Poppy & Plum Events for a Californian Shoot. Amazing! #wedding #midcentury #wedddingarch

For the couple that has similar taste to that of 'Kimye'..

Lovely wedding dress from Ruche and gorgeous wall of ombré flowers!

And my favorite.. For the couple who has very little to say on their wedding day..

Top 10 Wedding Backdrops for Photo Booths, Dessert Tables and Ceremonies

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Picking Your Wedding Date

This post is actually inspired by my peachy boyfriend and his excitement for his parents' and grandparents' wedding anniversary. He told me I should do a post on how people pick their wedding date. So, here it is!

Not that I have a ton of experience with this, but from what I can observe, typically wedding dates are picked based on their significance or sentiment. The date could be the day the couple met, their first date, the first time they exchanged 'I Love Yous', their anniversary, their parents' anniversaries, their grandparents' anniversaries, they day they got engaged, and so on. The special value the date holds is extremely important to the couple, so much so that they would plan their whole wedding around this specific day.

Other couples pick by season, weather, or location. Will their wedding be indoors or outdoors? Do they want a summer wedding? Spring? Fall? Winter? Do they want to avoid a day where in the past it has snowed? Rained? They may also take into consideration holidays or other events that may be going on. Sometimes it's picked based on the availability of the venue they want to have the ceremony or reception at. Or if they're planning on have a destination wedding, there is much less flexibility in choosing a specific date.

Another huge factor now-a-days is price. There are so many budget-conscious brides that plan their weddings based around saving money. June, August, and September are the most popular times to marry, so prices are inevitably higher. But if, for example, you're planning a wedding in January, March, or December, it may cost less because not as many couples are waiting and offering more money for these dates. Days of the week also matter; Saturday nights carry a hefty price tag, but getting married during the week will give you the upper-hand in negotiating a reasonable price.

After taking all of this into consideration, it is beneficial to sit down and visualize what you want your wedding to look like before settling on a specific date. Create a list and focus on what you want your wedding day to be and how to portray that in a date. Most importantly, give yourself plenty of time; don't rush it! A lot of thought goes into devouring the details of your wedding date but it will be something to celebrate for many years to come. Best wishes to all our future brides and grooms!

Love this idea! DIY Wedding | Instagram Save-the-Date Invitations ~ print mini sticker-pictures using Printstagram, include them on the invitation so your guests can mark their calendars.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Top 5 Cities for Oktoberfest by Hipmunk

If you aren't subscribed to Hipmunk's email list, I suggest you join today. They are constantly providing great travel information and tips on making the most of your upcoming trip. The other day I received an email from them with the top five cities for Oktoberfest celebrations. I loved learning more about these destinations and thought it would be worth sharing!

1. Blumenau's Oktoberfest - Blumenau, Brazil

Blumenau, Brazil

As the world's second largest Oktoberfest celebration, the city of Blumenau hosts over half a million people each year with German food, beer, and oompah music.
2. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest - Waterloo, Canada

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Canada's biggest Bavarian festival takes place in Kitchener-Waterloo, complete with 16 festival halls and more than 40 events. 
3. Marco Polo German Bierfest - Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong's Marco Polo German Bierfest is in its 22nd year and remains the longest running German bierfest in Asia.
4. Malloco's Oktoberfest - Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile
Bierfests are rampant every fall throughout Chile. The popular Malloco's Oktoberfest attracts more than 100,000 people each year.
5. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati - Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio
As the largest Oktoberfest party in the US, visitors enjoy events like wiener dog races, bratwurst eating contests, stein hoisting championships, and the world's largest chicken dance.
Start devouring the details of your Oktoberfest trip and join Hipmunk today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tour Truro

Truro Vineyard, a thriving 5-acre farm which grows its own grapes in the salty sea air, is located on Cape Cod's least populated town, North Truro. The vineyard, which used to be a bed and breakfast, was established in 1991 and bought by the Roberts family in 2007. Here, they make a variety of wines that have come to be well-recognized due to their unique taste and popularity of the Cape.

There are tastings every half hour throughout the day. An outdoor tasting room allows guests to gaze at the vineyards while sampling the wines. The vineyard also offers free tours at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily through October 13. Guests learn about the history of the farm and get to explore the fields, distillery, and winery.

Truro Vineyard can also be considered home to some philanthropists; donating $2 for every bottle of Right Red that is purchased to right whale rescue and research efforts. Red Right is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah. Another wine Truro features is its Lighthouse Wine Series — which includes non-traditional varieties — is the Cape Blush. Fondly known as “summer in a bottle,” this light and refreshing off-dry rose blend combines 92 percent Cayuga and 8 percent Cabernet Franc for a hint of strawberry and fresh fruit flavor. The vineyard grows Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. They harvest the grapes in October and the Roberts family is always happy to explain the art of maritime grape growing to guests.

Wine isn't the only thing this vineyard has to offer. Recently built, Truro now welcomes a new rum shack call The Hollow. Here, you can Get a free tasting or order a rum-based cocktail. They then decided to name their distillery South Hollow Spirits for branding, production, and marketing purpose. Twenty Boat is their featured rum; keep an eye out for it in liquor stores!

Truro Vineyards is located half a mile from the scenic beaches of Cape Cod and just seven miles from Provincetown. Check them out while you still can and learn how to devour the grape-growing details that is wine-making!

The Roberts family is happy to explain the art of maritime grape growing to guests. Said Kristen Roberts, co-owner of the vineyard, “The salty air is great for the grapes.” The vineyard grows Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. They harvest the grapes in October.

How Your Event Can Gain Media Coverage

Do you ever wonder how some events attract so much media attention? Who invites these reporters and how do they receive coverage on highly watched/viewed media outlets? Everyone is vying for the media’s time, and simply put, there’s just not a lot to go around; so how can your event find it's way into the spotlight? Well PR insider Brittany Bevacqua can help! In her brief article she explains that the answer typically comes down to a few factors:

The event type – Are you attending a major industry conference, or a smaller event? Also, what’s the format? Is there an expo, or are attendees sitting in back-to-back sessions?

The people – Will your industry’s top dogs be there (ex. Apple or Google)? Are reporters attending and if so, are they willing to meet? How many people are expected to attend, and what are their job titles?

The spend – Do you have a booth, or are you flying solo? Are you a sponsor, or do you have your CEO speaking in a session?

The news – Are you planning a major product/service announcement? Unveiling a big partnership or customer relationship? Releasing interesting data or survey results?

Once you figure out your purpose, utilize alternative measures to gain media attention like a personal blog featured on your company's website or have major news planned/a dedicated presence at the event. You're going to need to create valuable content to gain PR. Here are a few examples of the types of content that can be of interest to reporters:
  1. The keynote address(es): Who gave opening remarks and what was the overall message? What were the noteworthy soundbites? How does what the speaker said relate back to your business? Did you agree or disagree with the comments?
  2. The conference theme(s): What was the overall event theme? What’s your take on it based on your company’s vantage point in the market? Did the conference omit important themes or issues that you’re seeing in your business?
  3. The individual sessions/panels: Which sessions or panels did you attend? Who led them? What were the top takeaways or discussions involved? Did the content resonate with you, or did you feel like something was misrepresented or wrong all together? Can you offer a different view?
  4. The attendees: Who was there? What were the more popular sessions? What questions did attendees ask during presentations? Was there a live poll, and if so, what were the results? Did you meet with your customers or partners? If so, what were they taking away from the conference?
  5. The future: What was being buzzed about as the “next big thing?” From your perspective, is “what’s next” realistic for your industry, or not? If not, why? What are the biggest opportunities in your industry? The biggest hurdles or challenges for the future?
  6. The news: During the conference, what stories are breaking in the business headlines? What are the longer, more evergreen trends? What’s hot in the trade media—financial services, healthcare and retail? How do they relate back to what’s being discussed at the conference?
  7. The assets: Have you recently created marketing materials that can support or dispel what’s happening at the conference? Do you have a small-scale survey, infographic or white paper that you can dust off and use to continue the conversation?
The key is to capture your unique perspective, provide value and offer insights that relate back to your business and industry as a whole. This may seem easier said than done but when you devour the details, you're helping to curate content, insert yourself into relevant discussions and position yourself and your company as a thought leader well after the conference ends. Read Brittany's full article here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Fall' In Love With New England's Fall Festivals

I'm not one for cooler weather but I sure do love everything that's seasonal for Fall; hot apple cider, cider doughnuts, pumpkin spice, pumpkin beer, and so on. There are also so many Fall activities that can get you out of the house and enjoying some fresh air during these chilly months like apple-picking, pumpkin-picking, hayrides, and some of the best festivals around. So if you have some free time, grab your sweaters, put on your boots, and head over to these awesome Fall festivals.

PEI International Shellfish Festival, Sept. 18-21, Prince Edward Island


45th Annual Scallop Festival, Sept. 19-21, East Falmouth


Cranberry Harvest Festival, Oct. 11-12, Wareham


Hancock Shaker Village Supper, Oct. 12, Oct. 18, Nov. 29, Pittsfield


Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, Oct. 16-19, Edgartown


Maine Harvest Festival, Nov. 8-9, Cross Insurance Center Arena


Boston Magazine Taste, Nov. 17, Boston Children’s Museum

New England Food Festival, Nov. 21-23, Plymouth


Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Jackson, NH


Currier and Ives Christmas Cookie Tour, Dec. 13, Monadnock Region of NH


Pies on Parade, Jan. 25, Rockport, ME


Mid-Winter Chocolate Fest, Date TBD, Portland, CT

Truly enjoy Fall this year with an abundance of good food, drinks, and activities that will make you devour all of the seasonal details.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crown Cake Toppers, Celebrate Like Royalty

Thanks to The Knot, I am now dreaming of a royal wedding with one of these elegant crowns on top of a beautiful cake. Whether you fill it with flowers, fruit, or just let it stand alone, your guests will want to devour the details of this magnificent cake fit for a king and queen. You can get the look for your wedding by checking out any of these vendors below.


Personalised Wooden Crown Wedding Cake Topper


French Star Drape Crown, Santos Statue Crown w/Clear Rhinestones, Sz Small 5.25"
Crown Cake Toppers

1. Gold Crowned Cake Topper, BHLDN.com, $38
2. Personalized Wooden Crown Cake Topper, Etsy.com, $5
3. Lace Crown, Etsy.com, $12
4. Daddy Long Legs Cake Crown, ParisTiaras.com, $625
5. French Star Drape Crown, Ebay.com, $47

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Got The Fall Travel Bug?

Travel + Leisure has put together a great list of America's best towns for fall foliage. So if you've got the travel bug this autumn, I suggest busting out your suitcase and devouring all the details these quaint places have to offer! Here are some of my favorites from New York to Colorado.

Lake Placid, NY

The Adirondack Mountains are famed for their fall colors. Definitely a picturesque landscape for autumn photos.

Whitefish, MT

The mountains framing Whitefish, the doorway to Glacier National Park in the Flathead Valley, capture fall beautifully.

America's Best Towns for Fall Colors: Whitefish, MT

Snowmass Village, CO

Snowmass Village has a very brief autumn but it is truly gorgeous while it lasts. You won't want to miss it!

America's Best Towns for Fall Colors: Snowmass Village, CO

Harbor Springs, MI

Tucked into Little Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan, this area arguably has the most scenic drive in the state, especially during the fall months.

America's Best Towns for Fall Colors: Harbor Springs, MI

Portsmouth, NH

You can take in the fall color as you roam the waterfront district and its restored homes, drive down the 18-mile scenic Coastal Byway, or take an inland river cruise highlighting foliage and local lore this historic town has to offer.

America's Best Towns for Fall Colors: Portsmouth, NH

Check out the other 15 Travel + Leisure picks and pack up your bags because autumn is callin'!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Six Signature Fall Wedding Cocktails

Looking for a signature cocktail that your wedding guests will truly enjoy? Check out these six awesome libations that are a perfect mix for your fall celebration!

1. Apple Cider Margarita

Apple Cider Margarita  For a fiesta wedding set in the fall, here’s a tequila-based cider drink that will get everyone on the dance floor.

What You Need
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz gold tequila
5-6 oz sweet apple cider
Orange segments and apple slices
Cinnamon, cane sugar, coarse sugar for glass rimming
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

How To Make It
1. Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim.
2. Add a few orange slices in the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, then add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider and stir to mix.
3. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

2. Lavender Whiskey Sour

This recipe for lavender whiskey sour was featured in the Fall 1999 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.

What You Need
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried lavender
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces whiskey
Fresh lavender sprig, for garnish

How To Make It
1. Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
2. Reduce heat to low and add lavender. Cover and let steep 15 minutes.
3. Strain mixture into a large pitcher.
4. To make lavender whiskey sour, mix together 2 ounces whiskey and 1 tablespoon syrup.
5. Serve over ice; garnish with fresh lavender.

3. Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini Signature Drink Recipe - Perfect for autumn or fall themed weddings, parties and events!

What You Need
1.5 oz. pecan liqueur
1.5 ounces vanilla vodka
2 ounces milk
0.5 tablespoon pumpkin puree
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
1 graham cracker, ground (optional for garnish)

How To Make It
1. If desired rim your martini glass with ground graham cracker.
2. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice.
3. Shake until chilled and pour into your chilled martini glass.

4. Caramel Appletini

Caramel Appletini Wedding Signature Drink Recipe

What You Need
1 oz. of Baileys® Irish Cream with a Hint of Caramel Flavor
0.5 oz. Smirnoff® Green Apple Flavored Vodka
1 tsp. Caramel
1 Apple Slice

How To Make It
1. Shake Baileys, vodka and caramel in an ice-filled shaker until chilled.
2. Rim the glass with caramel.
3. Strain into a pre-chilled martini glass and garnish with the apple slice.

5. Pomegranate Champagne

See the "Pomegranate Champagne" in our Cozy Cocktails: Signature Drinks for Fall Weddings gallery

What You Need
1 1/4 cups chilled fresh pomegranate juice (from 3 pomegranates)
1 1/2 ounces chilled Cointreau liqueur
1 chilled bottle (375 milliliters) Champagne
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
How To Make It
1. In a pitcher, mix juice, liqueur, and Champagne.
2. Pour into flutes, and garnish with frozen pomegranate seeds.

6. Spiced Hot Apple Cider

The best signature cocktail for your fall wedding? Spiced apple cider!!

What You Need
1 Tablespoon Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
8 oz Hot apple cider
3 ounces bourbon or dark rum
Sweetened whipped cream
Caramel sauce

How To Make It
1. Pour the Cinnamon Syrup into the bottom of a large mug.
2. Combine bourbon or dark rum with hot cider.
3. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Devour the details with these signature cocktails and have your guests cheers-ing all night long!

Signature cocktails for the bride + groom.