Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here’s some cute designs for your beginning of the summer celebrations that you may be planning. All of these adorable and free printables, created by talented designers, will make great additions to your dinner party, birthday celebration, engagement party, showers or any other special gathering with friends and family.

It’s easy to get these free party printables. Just click on the links in the descriptions below, print, and follow the instructions generously offered by the designers. Here are a few of the printables you can have for free!

1. Place cards with golden swallows and steel blue calligraphy from Candis Ellis of Heirloom Paperie.
2. Yellow fill-in-the-blank invitations and petal envelope from Melissa Esplin.
3. Favor boxes designed by Kathleen of Twig & Thistle for Style Me Pretty.
4. Summery gift tags by Erin Vale of Vale Design.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Hors d"Oeuvre Planning

What are hors d’oeuvres?
Hors d'oeuvres are little snack foods, small 1 or 2 bite items of food served before or outside of ("hors") the main dishes of a meal (the "oeuvres") which are intended to stimulate the appetite. The terms hors d'oeuvres and appetizers are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference: hors d'oeuvres are the small savory bites, typically finger food, served before a meal, while appetizers appear as the first course served at the table. The name hors d'oeuvres comes from the French and is literally translated as "out of the work," but it's more logical to think of it as meaning "apart from (or before) the meal."

How many hors d'oeuvres should be provided per person?
The number of hors d'oeuvres you need often depends on how long the cocktail "hour" is, the time of day, and if a meal will also be served following the cocktail hour.

For a two hour party plan for:
10 -12 bites per person 20 bites per person if the hors d’oeuvres replace dinner (e.g. party starts at 7:00 pm)

When hors d’oeuvres are served before a meal plan for:
5-7 bites when served before a light meal 3-4 bites when served before a full dinner mealPeople eat more during the first 90 minutes. After two hours consumption picks up again, especially if hors d’oeuvres replace dinner.Young people eat more than an older crowd and guests eat more at casual parties than formal functions.

How many different kinds of hors d'oeuvres should be served for an hors d’oeuvre only party?
For 25 guests plan for 5-6 different kinds of hors d'oeuvresFor 25-50 guests, plan for 9-10 different kinds of hors d'oeuvresFor more than 50 guests, plan for 10 or more different kinds of hors d'oeuvresIf hors d’oeuvres take the place of dinner, include some substantial meal type foods that can be served like hors d'oeuvres (for example a carving station).Remember to provide a variety of foods to please everyone. That means something for the vegetarian as well as the meat eater. Having both hot and cold foods also helps to keep everyone nibbling happily. If hors d’oeuvres take the place of dinner, also include several bites of sweets per person.

How do you figure how many of each type of hors d'oeuvres to prepare?
A fairly standard formula is used by caterers to figure out how many pieces should be prepared for each kind of hors d'oeuvres being served:Number of bites desired per person times the number of guests divided by the number of different hors d'oeuvres being served.

Should hors d’oeuvres be served for breakfast or lunch?
Hors d’oeuvres are not needed for breakfast or brunch. However, 2-4 light hors d'oeuvres can be served per person for lunch, if desired.
Source: A tasteful affair

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beauty: How to maintain an all around Glow*

Face Time
Facials with steam treatments and multi-layer masks are a deliciously decadent way to get your skin in shape. But why stop with your face? The dominance of strapless gowns is putting the spotlight on your upper body, and luxe salons are stepping up to the challenge by offering the complete facial treatment -- for your back. Combining blemish control with soothing massage and masks, back facials ensure you look your silky best when you dare to go bare. As with regular facials, you should schedule your back facials for at least a week before the wedding.

Mane Magic
Sheen. Shine. Luster. A gloss treatment is the best way to get gorgeous, gleaming hair for the wedding day. You start with a shampoo and head massage, and then a nutrient-packed cool gel is applied to your hair to enhance its natural sheen. The result? Glossy, manageable hair that will look great down or twisted into an intricate updo. For maximum impact, get your gloss treatment five days before the wedding.

Twinkle Toes
Looking your best from the top of your head to the tips of your toes is easy with the new pedicure/reflexology combinations offered by salons. Your feet are treated to a
warm spa bath with salts, followed by a pressure-point foot massage. This technique, which matches sensitive points on your feet to sections of your body, is ideal for combating pre-wedding stress. After the reflexology session, your nails are carefully polished and painted until they resemble ten tiny jewels. Pedicures from reputable salons tend to last, so you can schedule your tootsie treatment as far as four days before the wedding.

At Your Fingertips
All your guests will want a peek at that glittering engagement ring, so make sure your hands and nails are up for the attention. In addition to your manicure, ask for a paraffin wax treatment. Your manicurist will dip your hands into clear, warm wax and then place them into heated gloves. The gentle heat and wax work together to smooth your skin and seal in moisture, so your hands feel as good as they look. For gorgeous, chip-free nails, it's best to get your manicure the day before or the morning of your wedding.

Loosen Up

Last-minute details can result in last-minute stress, and a massage is the perfect prescription for relaxation. Indulge with the traditional Swedish or Shiatsu styles, or try something new. Brides swear by stone treatments, where smooth heated rocks are placed on massaged muscles to soothe away tension. The popularity of Thai massage, which combines stretching with traditional massage, is also on the rise. Whatever style you choose, don't forget your groom. A couple's massage the day before the wedding is a guarantee of honeymoon harmony.

If all-over glow is what you're looking for, body wraps and scrubs deliver. Scrubs rely on natural exfoliants, such as brown sugar, sea salt, and oatmeal, to gently polish away old layers and reveal the radiant skin beneath. With your skin so soft, he won't be able to take his hands off you. Also try a wrap, where technicians cocoon you in steamy layers of linen and ointment, for total-body relaxation and optimal pampering of your skin. Just don't forget to drink plenty of water; all that steam can be dehydrating.

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