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#BRIDEnBEYOND Twitter Party Sweepstakes Official Rules

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#BRIDEnBEYOND Twitter Party Sweepstakes - Official Rules

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

 

1. Eligibility

The #BRIDEnBEYOND Twitter® Party Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including District of Columbia) eighteen (18) years or older at the time of entry.  This Sweepstakes shall be construed and evaluated solely according to United States law and subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations.  Void in Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions, and where prohibited by law.  Employees of Ignite Social Media, Party Bluprints, and Sterling Jewelers Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, or any other company or individual involved with the design, production execution or distribution of the Sweepstakes and their immediate family (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, children and step-children, and their spouses) and/or household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such employee are not eligible.    Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes.  Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

 

2. Sponsor

Sterling Jewelers Inc., dba Jared® The Galleria of Jewelry, 375 Ghent Road Akron, OH 44333

 

3. Administrators

Party Bluprints Inc., 65 High Ridge Road, Skillman, NJ 08558

Ignite Social Media, LLC 14600 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513

 

4. Timing

The Sweepstakes begins on December 2, 2014 at 8:33 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and ends on December 2, 2014 at 9:28 p.m. EDT (“Sweepstakes Period”).  Sponsors are the official timekeepers for the Sweepstakes.

 

5. How to Enter

To enter you must follow the @dawnsandomeno and @partybluprints Twitter® accounts on www.Twitter.com/dawnsandomeno and www.Twitter.com/partybluprints and tweet hashtag #BRIDEnBEYOND on each of your tweets during the Twitter® party on December 2, 2014 from 8:30 p.m. EDT, to 9:30 p.m. EDT.  Details are available at http://www.partybluprintsblog.com/party-themes/digirl-parties-and-events/join-bridenbeyond-twitter-party-jared-galleria-jewelry/ Online entries will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of Twitter® account submitted at time of entry.  By entering, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules.

 

6. Entry Periods

There are a total of 6 Entry Periods during the Sweepstakes Period:

Entry Period Start Time End Time

Winner Selection & Notification

1

8:33:00 p.m. 8:38:00 p.m. 8:40:00 p.m.

2

8:38:00 p.m. 8:48:00 p.m. 8:50:00 p.m.

3

8:48:00 p.m. 8:58:00 p.m. 9:00:00 p.m.

4

8:58:00 p.m. 9:08:00 p.m. 9:10:00 p.m.

5

9:08:00 p.m. 9:18:00 p.m. 9:20:00 p.m.

6

9:18:00 p.m. 9:28:00 p.m. 9:30:00 p.m.

 

 

Entry Limits: Limit one entry per person, per household, per Entry Period (for a total of up to six (6) entries) during the Sweepstakes Period.  Duplicate or multiple online entries from the same person/email address or the same person using different email addresses/accounts per day are not permitted and will be automatically eliminated. Entries are only considered qualified entries during the Entry Period for which it was submitted and will not roll over into subsequent Entry Periods. Use of any automated system to enter is prohibited and will result in disqualification.  Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, illegible or misdirected entries, which will be disqualified.  In the event of a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the authorized account holder of the email used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant. An “authorized account holder” of an email address or is the natural person in whose name the email address has been issued by the Internet Access provider or on-line service provider. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries, technical hardware/software failures of any kind, lost/unavailable network connections, or failed/incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission, which may limit a user’s ability to participate. Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or website; violates the Official Rules; or acts in a disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for technical, hardware or software malfunctions, telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, inaccurate, incomplete, garbled or delayed electronic communications whether caused by the sender or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Sweepstakes which may limit the ability of an individual to participate in or accept a prize in the Sweepstakes, or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for any typographical error in the printing of these Official Rules, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of the Sweepstakes prizes. Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for damages to user’s system occasioned by participating in the Sweepstakes or downloading any information to participate in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to modify or cancel any of the portions of the Sweepstakes if they become technically corrupted. In such event, Sponsor would award the prizes from among all applicable eligible entries received each week and overall prior to cancellation. Sponsor will not confirm receipt of entries. The time of receipt of any valid Twitter® entry shall be the time such valid entry becomes available to Administrators. Administrators’ computers shall be the official clock of the Sweepstakes.

 

 

7. Winner Selection and Notification

Random drawings from among all eligible entries received during each respective Entry Period will be conducted on or about December 2, 2014 on or about the times listed on the chart in section 6 under the column titled “Winner Selection & Notification” for each corresponding Entry Period and will be conducted under the supervision of the Sweepstakes Administrators.  Potential winners will be notified by a winner announcement tweet and asked to send a Twitter® Direct Message (“DM”) to confirm on December 2, 2014.  You must follow @dawnsandomeno and @partybluprints on Twitter® in order to respond via DM to verify eligibility and shipping information for claiming prizes.  Potential prize winners will be required to respond to the winner announcement tweet with a DM within forty-eight (48) hours of being announced as the potential prize winner or such potential prize winner will be disqualified.  If a potential prize winner does not respond to the winner announcement tweet as described above or is found to be ineligible, such potential prize winner will be disqualified and, at Sponsors’ sole discretion, an alternate potential prize winner may be selected from the remaining eligible entries. The odds of winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received during the individual Entry Periods.

 

POTENTIAL PRIZE WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION BY SPONSOR WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE SWEEPSTAKES.

 

8. Verification of Potential Winners

Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements.

 

9. Prizing

Two (2) $500 Jared® The Galleria of Jewelry gift cards will be awarded. No cash equivalent for the prize, prize is non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.  Sponsor reserve the right to substitute the listed prize for one of equal or greater value for any reason.   Winners are solely responsible for all taxes in connection with the prizes, including without limitation federal, state and local taxes, and the reporting consequences thereof, as well as use. $500 gift cards to be awarded during entry periods three (3) and six (6).

 

Four (4) $250 Jared® The Galleria of Jewelry gift cards will be awarded. No cash equivalent for the prize, prize is non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.  Sponsor reserve the right to substitute the listed prize for one of equal or greater value for any reason Winners are solely responsible for all taxes in connection with the prizes, including without limitation federal, state and local taxes, and the reporting consequences thereof, as well as use.  $250 gift cards to be awarded during entry periods one (1), two (2), four (4) and five (5).

 

Ignite Social Media, a Sweepstakes Administrator, is responsible for Sterling Jewelers Inc. prize fulfillment.

 

 

10. Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, each entrant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor which is binding and final in all matters relating to this Sweepstakes; (b) release and hold harmless the Sponsor and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies, the prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Sweepstakes, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a participant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Sweepstakes, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, exploitation or use of entry; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsors from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or relating to an entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes and/or entrant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.

 

11. Publicity

By submitting an Entry, entrants hereby grant and irrevocably assign to Sponsor the exclusive irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right, title and interest in and to the entry, including all rights to reproduce, publish, edit, market, store, adapt, assign, sell, dispose of, distribute, have distributed, publicly and privately display, communicate, publicly and privately perform, transmit, have transmitted, create derivative works based upon, and promote the Entry or excerpts of the Entry (as such may be edited and modified by the Sponsor in its discretion) in perpetuity, for editorial, commercial, promotional and all other purposes (including posting on Sponsor-affiliated websites, and/or other Sponsor-selected media). Participants hereby disclaim any rights, including any copyright or any other intellectual property right, in or to the Entry following the assignment contemplated hereby.

 

12. General Conditions

Sponsors reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Sweepstakes, or any part thereof, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Sweepstakes, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  Sponsor reserve the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.  Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such persons to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Sponsor’s failure to enforce any terms of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

 

13. Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.  If for any reason an entrant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Sweepstakes, provided that it is not possible to award another entry due to discontinuance of the Sweepstakes, or any part of it, for any reason, Sponsor, at its discretion, may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein.  No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.  In event that production, technical, seeding, programming or any other reasons cause more than stated number of prizes as set forth in these Official Rules to be available and/or claimed, Sponsor reserves the right to award only the stated number of prizes by a random drawing among all legitimate, unawarded, eligible prize claims.  

 

14. Disputes

Entrant agrees that: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, other than those concerning the administration of the Sweepstakes or the determination of winner, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (ii) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by the United States District Court or the appropriate North Carolina State Court located in Wake County, North Carolina; (iii) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (iv) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.  SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.  All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsors in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

 

15. Sweepstakes Results

For Sweepstakes results, send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Bride and Beyond Party Sweepstakes Winner, Ignite Social Media, 14600 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513.  The request for the winner’s list must be received by January 2, 2015.

 

 

Twitter® is not a sponsor of this Sweepstakes and is not involved in any way other than as one medium through which this Sweepstakes is conducted.

 

 

 

 

IKEA Time Travel Experiment Number 2 with Justin Tranz #IKEATimeTravel

ikea_time-travel

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post/branded content in partnership with AOL Be On Networks and IKEA.  The opinions are expressly our own.

IKEA and World-renowned hypnotist, Justin Tranz team up again for ‘The Time Travel Experiment’ Number 2.

I love IKEA, it’s always been one of my go-to resources for furnishing and decorating our home.  That’s why I’m happy to share IKEA’s second Time Travel Experiment video.  In this video, it’s Jeff & Beth’s turn to get a look into their future – all against the backdrop of some pretty awesome IKEA rooms. In this second experiment, the couple get engaged, and meet their imaginary son, who takes them by surprise as a young boy and a mean teen!  As Jeff and Beth’s lives change drastically the one thing that stays constant is IKEA. As the Mother of three boys now all in their teens I can relate well to this video.  Boys grow quickly and their bedroom needs change just as fast.  Going from a crib, to twin bed to queen size happened in the blink of an eye.  IKEA made furnishing three boys’ rooms with desks, dressers and lighting easy, affordable and most importantly they each were able to create their own unique space.

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“The Time Travel Experiment is our way to start a conversation about the everyday moments that more often than people think, happens in the bedroom and bathroom, which is why those rooms are this year’s focus for IKEA”, says Mattias Jöngard, Global Communication Manager at IKEA.

Johan Wickham, the Global Catalogue Manager of IKEA said it best, “The everyday is exciting! It’s on those seemingly ordinary days life happens and changes. And when it does, so does our home,” he continued,  “In the new IKEA catalogue you can find solutions for every episode in life.”

Check out IKEA and Justin Tranz do it again in ‘The Time Travel Experiment Number 2′ :

#WeWillNeverForget September 11th

  #wewillneverforget

Today we remember all the angels and heroes of September 11th and take time to honor our hero Firefighter Joseph A. Mascali, FDNY

#sept11

3 Hot Back-To-School Teen Trends

back-to-school-teen-trends

Well if summer has to come to an end, then it’s time to get excited about something new.  So today, I’m happy to share a new post from Madison Leigh with her 3 hot picks for Back-to-School Teen Trends!

Post by Madison Leigh

CONVERSE:
Converse are cute and comfy, and they come in so many different colors. You can wear them with sweatpants or even casual dresses and skirts, making them a best buy shoe for the season.  They’re perfect for back-to-school because and are a classic so they never go out of style!

coverse_teen-trend

VERA BRADLEY BOOK BAGS: 
Vera Bradley offers several book bags in creative patterns.  They’re durable and eye-catching book are make the perfect choice to go back-to-school in style!

vera-bradley-pack

ROXY HOODIES:
Roxy hoodies are a hot trend for teens.  When the weather begins to get cold at the end of September, these hoodies are the perfect piece for layering or a light sweatshirt. Whether you are going shopping downtown or heading to a Friday night football game with your friends, they look great!

roxy_hoodie

 

 

Madison Leigh loves family, the beach. and running.  She has an special eye for Teen Trends and we are proud to present her REAL GIRL picks here on The Party Bluprints Blog.

Maddie_Headshot

IKEA’s Time Travel Experiment #IKEAtimetravel

IKEA_timetravel
Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post/branded content in partnership with AOL Be On Networks and IKEA.  The opinions are expressly our own.

What will your life be like in the future?  We all wish we knew and that is why IKEA, the famous furniture brand, performed an in-store experiment with some actors and Justin Tranz, a world-renowned hypnotist.  You can watch what happens in the video below when Sofi and Adam, a young couple are put in a deep trance and told they would be faced with potential life-changing events.  Follow them on their journey as Tranz shows the couple their future in which different life scenarios play out for them – including meeting their imaginary daughter on her 6th birthday.

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Although the video is obviously make-believe its message is not.  My life experience proves that.

Johan Wickham, the Global Catalogue Manager of IKEA said it best, “The everyday is exciting! It’s on those seemingly ordinary days life happens and changes. And when it does, so does our home,” he continued,  “In the new IKEA catalogue you can find solutions for every episode in life.”

I couldn’t agree more.  IKEA has been there for my husband and me through some of the biggest changes in our lives.  We furnished our first apartment at IKEA, headed back when we bought our first home, and then back again when our boys were born.  Just last year, again IKEA came to the rescue!  I wish we could have foreseen Hurricane Sandy and been more prepared, but of course it took us all by surprise.  After losing everything, and I do mean everything, IKEA provided a one-stop shopping solution for us to rebuild, refurnish and refill our home at the beach.  We purchased most of what we needed at IKEA, including: dressers, chairs, shelves, a couch and even cups and plates, all for a great price; plus they look fabulous and are made well.

So here’s to the past, present, and future with IKEA!

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Above is the damage done by Hurricane Sandy to the Jersey Shore and to our home.  Below is the way our home looks now, great finds at IKEA made it home again!

IKEACollage

 

 

 

 

 

Korean-Inspired Dinner Party Side Dish

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Feature one of the hottest trends, Korean Food at your next dinner party!  Here is a recipe from Chef Paul Kahan that will make a special side dish on your menu.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS KIMCHI PUREE AND BACON

Recipe by David Chang; Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 lb smoky bacon (buy the best that is available at your store) cut into 1? to 1 1/2? inch long batons.
  • 1 cup Napa Cabbage Kimchi (see below), pureed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup julienned carrots

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove and discard the loose outer leaves from the sprouts, and cut the sprouts in half through the core.
  3. Put the bacon in a 12? fry pan and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until just about crisp, 5 minutes or so. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
  4. Drain off most of the fat from the pan and add the sprouts, cut side down in the same pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and sear until the sprouts begin to sizzle. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until the sprouts are deeply browned, 8 minutes or so, then shake the pan to redistribute them. Pull the pan from the oven when the sprouts are bright green and fairly tender (taste one to check), 10–15 minutes more.
  5. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and stir in the butter, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the sprouts to coat them.
  6. Divide the kimchi among four shallow bowls. Use the back of a spoon to spread the kimchi out so it covers the bottom of the bowls. Divide the sprouts among the bowls, arranging them in a tidy pile on top of the kimchi. Garnish each with a pile of carrot julienne and serve.

Nappa Cabbage Kimchi

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 Quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium head Napa cabbage, discolored or loose outer leaves discarded
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 20 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 slices peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup kochukaru (Korean chile powder)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons jarred salted shrimp
  • 1/2 cup 1-inch pieces scallions (greens and whites)
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots

Directions

  1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, kochukaru, fish sauce, soy sauce, shrimp, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl. If it is very thick, add water 1/3 cup at a time until the brine is just thicker than a creamy salad dressing but no longer a sludge. Stir in the scallions and carrots.
  3. Drain the cabbage and add it to the brine. Cover and refrigerate. Though the kimchi will be tasty in 24 hours, it will be better in a week and at its prime in 2 weeks. It will still be good for another couple weeks after that, though it will grow incrementally stronger and funkier.

Holiday Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Recipe

We had to share this amazing dessert recipe with you again – it makes a perfect holiday treat.   The recipe was featured at the Sandra by Sandra Lee NYC blogger event earlier this year.  Serve it up to guests this holiday season, then sit back and watch the smiles.  Many thanks to Sears HC  and Sandra Lee for sharing it with us, so we could share it with YOU!

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Prep 30 minutes – Bake 40 minutes – Cool 2 hours – Chill 2 hours

Makes 10 servings

 Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 package (21 ounces) snickerdoodle cookie mix with spice packet, Krusteaz®
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, Philadelphia®
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, Domino®/C&H®
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup caramel topping, Smucker’s®
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon extract, McCormick®

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine snickerdoodle cookie mix, half of the spice packet from the cookie mix, and the butter, stirring until mixture comes together. Press mixture into bottom and up side of the prepared springform pan; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and the remaining spice from packet; beat with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour into cookie crust.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set with a soft-looking center. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat caramel topping over medium-high heat until boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon extract. Cool to room temperature.
  6. Cut cooled cheesecake in wedges. Pour cooled caramel mixture over cheesecake. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Remebering 911 – Our Hero Firefighter Joseph A. Mascali, FDNY

 911

Taken September 11th, 2013.

 Today we remember all the angels and heroes of September 11th and take time to honor our friends and hero Firefighter Joseph A. Mascali, FDNY

We’re Still Standing

~ Hannah Schoechert, 7th grade student (9-11 poem)

Those twin towers
Standing tall with pride,
Fell with grieving hearts.
Stunned, America cried.

But we’re still standing.

Bin Laden tried
To crush our land,
But we stood our ground
With our flag in hand.

And we’re still standing.

Red for valor
And the blood that fell.
White for purity
Our heroes tell.
Blue for the justice
That will be done,
Proving once more
These colors don’t run.

And we’re still standing.

josephmascalistatue
Firefighter Joseph A. Mascali, FDNY – One of New York’s Bravest Remembered

How To Create A Party Photo Booth

partyphotobooth

Want to incorporate the fun of a photo booth without the constraints and expense of a traditional photo booth?

Here’s our answer and it’s so easy to do: A DIY Outdoor Photo Booth!  It’s easy to create party fun and memories that will last forever.

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How To Instructions:

1.    Search your basement, your mom’s basement or local tag sale for two frames. Hunt for two differently shaped or styled frames – consider large mirrors, framed photo collage frames, large framed prints, etc.

2.    Once you think you have two good options, place the frames face down, remove backing and everything in the frame. Have someone hold the frame in front them so you can confirm it’s a good fit. If you want to change the color of the frame(s), simply spray paint the frame(s). Spray paint is available in a variety of fun colors and metallics at your local craft or hardware store.

3.    We used a 19” x 27” oval mirror with a gilded frame (we removed the mirror) and a 16” x 20” photo collage frame (we removed the mat and the glass and then spray painted the green and gold frame with silver spray paint.) Love that we salvaged them from my mom’s basement and recycled them.

4.    Locate a tree in your yard with a sturdy branch. Using fishing line, hang the frames at different heights to give your “photo booth” scene interest. We hung the larger oval frame sideways so two people could fit in the frame and then hung the silver rectangular frame slightly higher for a single portrait (my brother and his family were in charge of the hanging and they got it just right!)

Note: Be sure to have someone test the height while you are hanging the frames to make sure they aren’t hung too high. You can always bend down to put your face in the frame, but if it’s too high you’re going to have a problem.

5.    Place a basket of photo booth props/dress up items for guests to choose from before stepping into the photo booth.

We ordered The Graduation Party Photo Booth Props – 8 piece set from TheManicMoose on Etsy.

6.    The majority of our guests had smartphones on them, so there was always someone around to snap a picture and then share it.

Note: we set up our photo booth off to the side of the yard – it provided an unexpected area of interest that most were drawn to at their leisure throughout the party.

Padma Lakshmi Interview, Party Tips and Recipe!

padmalakshmirecipe

Dishing with Padma was like discovering a kindred spirit.  She, like us, truly believes the most important quality in a host is the mood they set, not the food on their table.  Although, the food and wine enhance a party, it’s the host that give it life and energy.   We had Padma’s undivided attention, during our private 30 minute interview, and by the end, we were simply three hosts who love entertaining in their homes swapping tips and recipes. Padma’s going to try our secret trick for preparing Risotto ahead of time from “Plan to Party”, we are going to make her Carrots & Cilantro Salad.  So you can give it a try too, we’re sharing the recipe below.

CARROT AND CILANTRO SALAD

Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet, by Padma Lakshmi (Weinstein Books 2007)

Orange oil gives this salad a luxurious taste and the aroma of a thousand tangerines. A great alternative to cole slaw, it is delicious summer or winter. Serve 4 – 6

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil*

SALAD

  • 2 pounds carrots, shredded
  • 2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup white-hulled sesame seeds, dry-toasted
  • in a frying pan until golden brown
  • 4 hot green chilies, minced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon za’atar powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing together in the bottom of a salad bowl.
  2. In the same bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients except the za’atar powder and salt.
  3. Sprinkle the za’atar powder and salt on top of the salad just before serving.

NOTES:

* Orange oil, a by-product of orange juice production, is an essential oil from the rind of an orange.

*Za’atar an aromatic mix of herbs and spices used in the Middle East to flavor meats, salads, and vegetables – you can buy it online at Penzeys.

Here’s some of our interview 

padmalakshmiinterviewphoto

PB: What is your favorite type of party to host – brunch, cocktail party, holiday dinner, intimate dinner party, spontaneous gathering?

Padma: “A buffet dinner party culminating in late night dancing”

PB: What’s your most popular, most requested dish you make for your guests?

Padma: Coconut-based curry – most of my guests are American so they love coming to my house for this dish.

PB: What’s your personal favorite dish you make?

Padma: One time I made a seafood and chicken paella for 70 on the beach.

PB: Can’t wait to try your carrot & cilantro salad – what is zatar powder and where can you buy it.

Padma: Zatar powder is a combination of toasted sesame seeds, thyme, and dried sumac, you can buy it online at Penzeys.

 PB: What is your favorite wine pairing?

Padma: Not the  traditional pairings. (Padma explained she enjoys a red wine paired with spicy seasoned seafood or a cold chardonnay with a Mexican dish)

3 TOP Hosting Tips from Padma:

  • Serve Sangria in the summer with fruits like kiwi, and Padma added “I love making it this time of year too, with all the fresh stone fruit that is available.”
  • Padma’s favorite dessert to serve is fresh peaches soaked in wine.  We talked about how easy and elegant this dessert is and how to prepare it ahead of time, by plating it in glass bowls.  Padma stores them on a baking tray in the refrigerator until ready to serve. When Padma shared this little tidbit, we knew she was a the ‘REAL DEAL”, a host in the trenches with the rest of us, developing strategies that allow her to prepare food for her guests ahead of time, so she can be present at her party.
  •  Padma recommends that a considerate host will call guests ahead of time to double check for any dietary restrictions and/or food aversions. Likewise, she shares the same with hosts when she is the guest.

 

Fresh Fruit Party Idea For Kids – 2013 Hot Food Trend

We’re continuing our coverage of  What’s HOT in Food for 2013 today by featuring #11 Fruit sides and desserts for kids!

Here is a fresh and fun way serve fruit to the kids at your party -  Fresh Fruit Lollipops.  These fresh fruit lollipops are simple to make, yet they make such an impact on your table – a bold, beautiful splash of color!   However, the best thing about these good-for-you lollipops is that they put BIG smiles on the kids faces (and that’s contagious!)  Just watch how fast they disappear, and how much fun everyone has eating them.

Fresh Fruit Lollipops

Ingredients

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Green and red grapes, rinsed and dried
  • Pineapple, cubed
  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Strawberries, cleaned and hulled

Instructions

  • Create Grape Lollipops by inserting lollipop sticks into end of grapes. Create Assorted Fruit Lollipops inserting popsicle sticks into cubed fruit. So simple, so cute, so easy for the kids to eat!

 

 

You will see the above when you dine out, however trends translate differently into the home.  With “you” in mind, check out our HOT picks for the Top 20 Trends in Home Entertaining here>

Happy Thanksgiving

We’re unplugging the next couple of days, to practice what we preach, and enjoy Thanksgiving with our families.   We are so thankful for YOU this year and that you took time to visit! Whether this is the 1st time or the 100th, we hope you will come back.

Stay tuned for a very exciting month of Holiday ideas and inspirations!

Our warmest wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving ,

Elizabeth and Dawn


Easy and Inexpensive Amaryllis Holiday Flowers!

 

Prepare for your Party Season – 10 minutes of your time this week can yield weeks of fresh flowers in December!

There is one simple thing you can do that you won’t be able to do in a few weeks.  Plant Amaryllis and/or Paperwhite bulbs and in 4-6 weeks you’ll be enjoying the spectacular beauty that only these fresh blooms radiate.

Pick up a few bulbs at your local nursery, home garden center, or supermarket.  Follow the directions on the package and when things are crazy closer to the holidays, you’ll have your own little present tucked away and when you least expect it you’ll get a burst of holiday cheer from this small package! Tip: Plant a few extra bulbs and you’ll have hostess gifts come December.

We especially love the idea of this DIY gift this holiday season.  So many lost so much in the New York Metropolitan area, but they will rebuild because of their resiliency and strength of the human spirit. May this be a symbol of rebirth.

Stop Zombie Mouth Twitter Party with Popcap and The ADA

It’s Trick or Tweet time of year again, so please join us for an online Halloween Celebration!  We’ve teamed up with PopCap – the coolest online games for kids and the American Dental Association to help STOP ZOMBIE MOUTH!

We have fun tips for spooktacular alternatives to sugary treats and we want to hear your ideas too!  To get started check out StopZombieMouth.com, the ADA’s MouthHealthy.com and connect on Plant vs. Zombies Facebook Fan page here>

The Stop Zombie Mouth Twitter Party

DATE: Wednesday, October 24th

TIME: 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET

LOCATION: #StopZombieMouth

HOSTS: @DawnSandomeno  @BethRosen  @RoleMommy (Beth Feldman) @Partybluprints (Elizabeth Mascali) and @EvolvingStacey

SPONSORS: @Popcap and The American Dental Association  @ADAMouthHealthy

RULES: You must RSVP below and be a US resident 18 and older to be eligible to win

It’s not a Twitter Party without prizes! We’re not only giving you all the tricks for a healthier mouth this Halloween we have treats too!  Four party participants tweeting with the #StopZombieMouth hashtag will be randomly selected to WIN the following:

  • 3 PARTY PRIZES: $50.00 gift cards with PopCap games and Trading cards
  • 1 GRAND PRIZE: $200.00 gift card with PopCap games

You must RSVP to be eligible to WIN!  RSVP with your Twitter Handle and link below>

 

With our party tips, a PopCap Prize Pack and a gift card, you’ll be able to host your own Halloween Bash!  Check out all the Halloween fun at StopZombieMouth.com!

Hot Giveaway from The TALK on CBS – #tweethetalk !

Have you tuned into “The Talk” yet?  I have, and truly enjoy this power hour.  

The Emmy-nominated show has great energy and each afternoon the hottest topics of the day are covered with humor and grace, depending on the subject matter.  For me, here on the East Coast, it’s the last hour before the kids get home from school and I love taking a 1 hour time-out from work, putting by feet up and having some fun! Some days I tweet along.   I’ve found the hosts to be engaging online as well as on air.

Whether you’re a 1st time viewer or a regular of the show, this Tuesday is a great day to tune in to “The Talk”:  Lifestyle expert Sara Leibowitz will be showcasing the hottest new kitchen gadgets on “The Talk” this Tuesday, July 24 (2–3pm, ET; 1–2pm PT)!

The Partybluprints Blog would like to give our readers a chance to WIN a prize package which will include all of the featured kitchen items on this coming Tuesday’s show.

WIN a Prize Pack worth more than $700!  Tune into “The Talk”on CBS this coming Tuesday, July 24th to see what you could WIN and then check back here when the show is over to see if you are the big WINNER!  Winner announced here after 4pm ET.

WINNER is Natalie @ A Turtle’s Life for Me – congratulations!

PRIZE PACK includes:

  • Nordicware (Texas Searing Griddle, Potato Baker, Backsplash Griddle, Grill Topper, Grill-Steam-Bake-Multi Cooker)
  • ZOKU Pop Maker
  • Circulon Contempo 9” Frittata Pan
  • Calphalon Digital Deep Fryer
  • Harry & David Original Fruit of the Month Club

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to WIN!

1. Leave a comment below telling us why you tune into The TALK.

and for a second entry and chance to WIN

2. Tweet @TheTalk_CBS  with the #TweetTheTalk hashtag and post below.  Need an idea? Try tweeting this…

 I’m tuning into @TheTalk_CBS this week for Sara Leibowitz’s showcase of 

the hottest new kitchen gadgets!  #TweetTheTalk

Winner must be 18 or older and a US resident.

 

For more information on THE TALK go to:  thetalk.com

CBS’s  Daytime Emmy-nominated talk show THE TALK  (airs Weekdays 2:00–3:00 PM, ET; 1:00–2:00 PM, PT)  features a panel of well-known news and entertainment personalities discussing current events, pop culture, contemporary issues, family, celebrity and the trending topics of the day. The daily one-hour series is co-hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler. The hosts swap stories, challenge each other on issues and engage the studio audience and viewers at home about events in the headlines and their own homes. Show segments include guest interviews with entertainers and newsmakers, musical performances, appearances from extraordinary people with stories that engage and inform as well as how-to demos and real-world advice and tips from the leading experts in fitness, diet, health, home, relationships, finance and fashion. The show was developed by Gilbert, who also serves as executive producer.

 

The Summer Edition of Project You is LIVE – see our feature!


The summer issue of Project You is live and you can view it FREE online by simply clicking below.  You can also share the e-zine with those in your circle – it’s so easy to post to facebook, tweet or simply send it out in an email to friends and family.  We were so pleased to contribute “Vacation In A Glass”, and hope you check it out and sip on 3 of our favorite summer cocktails!


VIEW below by clicking on the image…  Enjoy!



Cocktail Rings For Every Budget!

 

When I host a party, I need to feel good about what I’m wearing.  Sometimes, all it takes is a cocktail ring to make an old dress feel new again. With this in mind, I surfed the net to find the coolest cocktails rings for SUMMER (love the green and turquoise hues for this season).  Hope they bring you some hostess bling – there’s one for every budget!

First row

  •  Turquoise sunset ring – $39.50 VIEW
  • Judith Jack Marcasite Luminous Crystal Cocktail Ring -  $350.00 VIEW>
  • Anna Beck ‘Gili’ Clover Cocktail Ring – $268.00 VIEW>

Second row

  • Pave Accented Textured Ring  -  $48.00 VIEW>
  • Galaxy Bling Ring Gold / White – $156.00 MelindaMaria.com VIEW> 
  • Nouvelle Ring -Stella & Dot $49.00 VIEW>

Third row

  • Camilla Ring – Stella & Dot $49.00 VIEW
  • Serpent Cocktail Ring Citrine / White – $185.00 MelindaMaria.com  VIEW> 
  • Solarium ring – Kate Spade  $98.00 VIEW>

 

Here’s my go-to Cocktail Ring.   It was a present from Elizabeth and I LOVE wearing it – daisies are my favorite!

 

 

RBaby Foundation Five Star Food and Wine Gala – Saving Babies Lives!

There’s nothing better than a party with a purpose!

This past week, I was honored to attend RBaby Foundation’s Food and Wine Gala at the Plaza in NYC.   Although the reason we were gathered in a beautiful venue, with the best food and wine in the city, was because of the heartbreaking loss of a precious baby girl, named Rebecca, the event was a celebration.  A celebration of 5 years of saving babies’ lives, in baby Rebecca’s name! The event was brought to life by an amazing group of people. Two of them, Julia Beck and Rebecca Levey, are women I know and respect greatly.  Julia Beck was honored at the Gala with the RBaby Champion Award for her dedication and work with the Foundation over the years.  Rebecca Levey, one of the chairpersons for the event, organized the social media effort in promoting the gala through the blogger community.  I feel honored to know both these amazing women.

This weekend, Mother’s Day, I thought long and hard about what I could write that would convey to you how deeply I was moved by this organization and its founders.  In the end, I did find the words, but they were not mine.  Instead, I would like to share the words of Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz, baby Rebecca’s parents and RBaby founders.  Please take a moment to read their letter and enjoy a recap of the evening in pictures below.

Make sure to visit R Baby Foundation and sign the petition to Demand that your Emergency Department is prepared for your child! >HERE

A LETTER FROM R BABY FOUNDATION’S FOUNDERS


Our daughter Rebecca Ava would have turned 5 years old last July. But instead of celebrating with a party in the backyard, we visited her small grave and prayed for her peace. We remember it like it was yesterday: the happy nine months of pregnancy, the smile on Andrew’s face when they said “It’s a girl!”, and then, the tragic nightmare that unfolded when her life ended at nine days old.


Losing a child at any age is excruciatingly painful. Losing a child when better available healthcare could have saved her life is unbearable. We remember pleading with the emergency room doctor that something was wrong. We knew she was sicker than the normal newborn congestion: she was lethargic, not feeding well and wheezing, but we were made to feel neurotic by the physicians we trusted to take care of her.


When she was misdiagnosed as having a common cold, we’ll never forget the last words from the doctor: “Let me get to the real emergency down the hall.” Rebecca’s autopsy revealed she had an enteroviral infection, which older children can easily fight off, but can be fatal in newborns. If only the doctors knew how sick she really was.


We have learned so much in the past five years about pediatric emergency care. We learned that babies are not mini-adults. They require specialized medical training and equipment. Their immune systems are different. Babies within the first 28 days of life are twice as likely to die as older children. They show symptoms differently than if the same virus was in an older child, and rapid, correct diagnosis and immediate treatment are imperative. Emergency Room doctors must be properly trained and confident while treating infants; every minute can make the difference between a life or death outcome.


We learned that most emergency rooms are not equipped to take care of babies and young children, and that even though an ER claims to be a Pediatric Emergency Room (PED), there is no uniform definition. Each may have varying degrees of trained specialists and equipment—and there is very little clarity provided to parents on how to identify the differences. While we encourage all families to research their emergency room options, R Baby is also lobbying for a definition of Pediatric Emergency Rooms on a leveled system similar to Trauma Centers— resolving this issue by uniting with hospitals, children’s organizations, and families.


We also learned that improving communication between families and doctors can mean all the difference in diagnosis and treatment: medical errors do occur and miscommunication is the primary reason. We help parents become advocates for their babies, and to seek out multiple opinions.


With our daughter’s passing came R Baby’s birth. To date, R Baby Foundation has raised over $5 million, and more than 90% of every dollar spent is on grants directed to saving babies’ lives. We improve healthcare for all infants nationwide with life-saving grants that focus on effective pediatric ER and neonatal training programs, including simulation technology, rapid detection and diagnosis of viruses, family/doctor communication programs, and more. We work hard to maximize our donors’ dollars. For example, our simulation training grant works with all top ten children’s hospitals and is impacting healthcare in nearly 100 hospitals nationwide. We have been amazed with the passion our doctors bring to our grant programs.


Our goal is to ensure that every emergency room across the country is prepared to properly care for babies and young children by either correctly diagnosing and treating the infant, or stabilizing and transporting the infant to a hospital that is equipped to treat that child. We want to make it mandatory that a physician have relevant training until they are proven competent and confident in infant emergency situations any time they touch a baby.


We know that we are not alone in our mission. The infant mortality rate still remains high right here at home, with approximately 30,000 babies dying each year in the U.S. We have spoken to many families who have lost babies of their own; they encourage us to keep the cause alive in memory of their babies.


And when we hear many survival stories with high quality pediatric emergency care including that of Meredith Hall and Everett Tompkins—two babies under 10 days old who were properly treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado for the same virus that caused Rebecca’s death—it gives us hope that if we continue to raise awareness and funds to ensure every baby gets the best healthcare available, together we can make a real difference.

We have been humbled by the donor, sponsor and volunteer outreach from individuals like yourselves. And, we hope you will join us and our amazingly dedicated board and the generous chefs who have committed to our cause. Let’s celebrate five years of saving babies’ lives together, and continue to join together to make sure no other family loses a baby unnecessarily.

Warmly,
Phyllis and Andrew


In Loving Memory of Rebecca, 7/13-7/21/06

   

photo credit for above images and 1st row images below: Micahel Jurick

 

‘RBaby Mom” photos are courtesy of WeLovePhotobooths.com – check out the site for a photo booth at your next party

 

 

R Baby Foundation – SAVE BABIES LIVES with just a few clicks!

R Baby PSA Ad 300x250

Please take a few minutes to watch the R Baby Foundation PSA and share it with your friends on facebook and twitter.  With a few clicks you can help SAVE BABIES LIVES!  It’s really that simple to make a big difference.





What else you can do:

  1. Sign this petition to implement standards across the nation.
  2. Share your stories at RBabyFoundation.org
  3. Make a Donation.  90% of funds go directly to programs and initiatives – not administration!

Did You Know?

Emergency Pediatric Care Needs Our Help

FACT: Children make up 27% of all emergency department (ED) visits, but only 6% of EDs in the U.S. have the necessary supplies for pediatric emergencies.

FACT: Many drugs and medical devices have not been adequately tested on, or dosed properly for, children – including babies.

FACT: Although pediatric skills deteriorate quickly without practice, continuing education in pediatric care is not required or is extremely limited for many pre-hospital emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

FACT: Emergency medical services and emergency departments are not well equipped to handle pediatric care. Most children receive emergency care in general (not children’s) hospitals, which are less likely to have pediatric expertise, equipment, and policies in place for the care of children.

Please join us now in support of the RBaby Foundation mission to education parents, implement standards so all Emergency Departments (EDs) will have to be able to adequately treat, or stabilize and move a young child to a properly equipped ED, train ED doctors and EMTs to treat infants and small children, equip EDs with the right size tools and make our EDs safe and prepared for even the youngest patients.

Join me at the R Baby 5 Star Gala in New York City on May 9th for an incredible evening of Food & Wine and saving babies lives!




Link Up and Leap Around the Blogosphere #LeapBlog #LeapBlog2012

It’s Leap Year and in honor of the extra day we all receive today, February 29th, our blogging friend, Jessica from Look Who Found the Marbles, created a fun little meme with a list of questions to answer on our own blogs. You’re welcome to link up and leap along with us!

So here are my answers to Jessica’s question…

1. My childhood nickname(s) was Wiki, my girlfriends called me this, think it had something to do with a night out and the song “Jam On It” – it stuck.  They still refer to me this way even today, some 30 years later!

2. If you want to spoil me rotten, bring me to a beach and give me a stack of fashion magazines, come back the next day.

3. The television character I most identify with is Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond, my BIL actually calls me this sometimes!  My husband calls me the General.

4. If I had a whole day to go shopping and money to spend, I would go to Neiman Marcus because I love the clothes, shoes and bags and have never really been able to shop there on our budget.

5. The most wild and crazy thing I have ever done (that I can admit to publicly) is jump over the wall at Giant Stadium during a Grateful Dead Concert and make my way to the front of the stage – danced my heart out and lost one of my shoes.

6. The one thing on my bucket list that I am most eager to do is travel, some of the places on my list are the Pyramids of Giza, Aurora Borealis, The Louvre,  Parthenon, Amazon Rain Forest, Great Barrier Reef and Bali.

7. My family will always be loyal to each other and the game of hockey.

8. If I could spend a day with a celebrity I would choose Ellen.  I think I would have a great day and make a new friend, plus anyone who is known by only their first name is worth meeting.

9. In my opinion, the best invention in the history of the world is wheel,  I live in the car and can’t imagine carrying 3 hockey bags around on my back!

10. When life hands me lemons, I slice them up and enjoy them with shot of Patron Tequila!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Fill in the linky below with a direct link to your post and hop around to learn more about your fellow bloggers. We even have a hashtag – #leapblog or #leapblog2012 .  You can use it in your post title.

 

 

 

Leap Year Cocktail Recipe

 

Here’s a fabulous Leap Year find for grown-ups -  say cheers and toast to an extra day in the year!  We can all use some extra time, so this is a reason to celebrate.  The cocktail is an adaptation of a Leap Year Cocktail, invented at the Savoy Hotel in London on February 29, 1928 from Absolutdrinks.com. The Leap Year cocktail was said to have spurred many a marriage proposal. Looking for love?  Might want to give it a try.

LEAP YEAR Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 Parts Gin
  • 1 Part Orange Flavored Brandy
  • 1 Dash Lemon Juice
  • 1 Part Vermouth, Sweet
  • 1 Twist Lemon

How to mix this cocktail

  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.

 

 

 

 

My Valentine’s Day ‘Guest Gift Guru’ post at Gifts.com

Today I have the pleasure of acting as Guest Gift Guru at Gifts.com’s blog GiftRap.  Please join me there and check out my out of the box (the chocolate box that is) Valentine’s Day gift picks!


 

 

 

 


Ultimate Super Bowl Cocktails from Belvedere – #firstdrink and #moreBelve

It’s official…

The New York Giants and The New England Patriots are meeting this Feburary 5th for the ultimate rematch.  It’s been brewing for fours years, so to celebrate this awesome event, Belvedere Vodka is sharing 4 cocktails befitting the Bowl!

Belvedere’s global brand ambassador and master mixologist, Claire Smith has whipped up a few game day cocktails that will push your Super Bowl festivities straight to the end zone.

The Belvedere Vince Lombardi

  • 2oz Belvedere
  • Pure Top Fever Tree Tonic

Build over cubed ice. Garnish with a lemon and lime wedge.

The Belvedere Blitz

  • 1.5oz Belvedere Unfiltered
  • 1/2 black pepper simple syrup*
  • 3/4oz fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of black pepper

Shake and strain into an ice filled highball glass and top with Fever Tree Soda
*Black Pepper simple syrup: crush 3 teaspoons of black pepper and pour into a saucepan of boiling water. To the water, add super fine sugar and stir until the water becomes syrup like in consistency. Strain and chill. Will keep for one week if refrigerated.

 

The Midfielder’s Martini

  • 2 oz Belvedere Unfiltered
  • Dash Dolan Vermouth

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a black olive

 

Belvedere Hail Berry Punch

  • 10oz Belvedere Vodka
  • 15oz cranberry juice
  • 2.5oz lemon juice
  • 3.5oz Aperol5oz orange juice

Dash bitters Dash simple Add all ingredients to a jug and stir. Garnish with orange slices and lemons.

 

and as if cool cocktails weren’t enough, there’s more…


 

Belvedere Vodka has launched a Facebook contest that you will want to enter. Belvedere’s taking one lucky Facebook fan and three of their friends to an MLB or NBA regular season home game. An additional fan will win a  52″ 3D TV to catch their favorite sport’s action.   All you have to do is “Like” Belvedere Vodka on Facebook and fill out the form here.  Enter the Play of the Day Sweeps now for the chance to win!  Contest Closes: 12 am EST on March 31st, 2012.

Join in on the conversation with #firstdrink and #moreBelve with @BelvedereVodka and on facebook.com/belvederevodka .

 

 

 

 

2011 Partybluprints Reflections

A Year of Growth, Hard Work, Love, Family and Making Memories

Wow, 2011 was a huge year for Party Bluprints Inc. Dawn and I continued to grow our business. As our fellow entrepreneurs know, it’s not easy, there is a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice, but looking back, we are so proud of what we’ve built (we’re not done!) We are continually grateful for the opportunity to work on many exciting projects and meet so many interesting, intelligent and good people (virtually and IRL). I was actually jotting down some highlights and notes from 2011 and was surprised how good it felt to see this snapshot:

  • Meeting so many of you at various events throughout the year was a big highlight for us, especially at BlogHer ’11!
  • Produced the hottest unofficial private BlogHer party, Cheap Sally Dance Party, on the rooftop of the most popular club in San Diego, Stingaree, 500+ guests and 8 big name sponsors.
  • Invited to be guests on NBC’s Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda – what a hoot! We had a great time, thanks to our gracious and fun hosts – loved meeting Matt & Ann!
  • Repeat guests on Fox’s Good Day NY Fox’s Good Day NY – love ya, Rosanna Scotto!
  • Featured in Good Housekeeping, Kiplinger’s and Redbook (2x) magazines!
  • Hosted Sauza’s Emmy Cocktail Lounge at the Mondrian in LA – loved meeting Cam from Modern Family (we’re still getting fans posting on our FB pix with him), Alan Cumming (aka Eli Stone/Good Wife), and Grant Show (aka/Melrose Place) and of course, one of our favorite Real Housewife’s, Camille Grammer. Jennifer Love Hewitt, thanks for all the love you gave Plan to Party!
  • Repeat guests on Martha Stewart Living Radio, big fans of the new co-host Brian Kelsey!
  • Worked on big campaigns with companies like Orville Redenbacher, Kmart (nominated for a WOMMY Award) and CheapSally.com.
  • Named 2011 Top 10 Home Entertaining Bloggers on Twitter! – CisionNavigator

Thanks to all of you who visited our online home, The Party Bluprints Blog, we reached over 1/2 million unique visitors in 2011!

After hosting all types of parties and events for clients (both online and IRL), Dawn and I collectively hosted 10 parties during the “Party Season” (Thanksgiving – New Year’s) for our loved ones – we found time to be guests at a few parties too! Now, the Party Bluprints Girls are all ready for a New Year of entertaining. But before moving forward, I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on my recent entertaining experiences as a whole.

My reflection on hosting family and friends in our home is one of extreme gratitude. I am so thankful to those who took time out of their busy schedules to come spend some time with us and make some memories. On those occasions when our whole family hosted, my children got so much enjoyment out of the experience and will have those special memories of times we shared with our friends and family for a lifetime.

This reflection led me to this realization: a day in the life of a family is a lot of hard work. So wouldn’t you rather channel your hard work on occasion into creating and sharing an experience with family and/or friends?

Work hard – routine

or

Work hard – special and memorable times

In 2012, we’re not suggesting anyone work harder (we’re all working hard enough); we simply want to help you work smarter. We’re talking bigger bang for the effort.

So if there is one resolution you make in 2012, try opening your heart and home to family and friends, it is one of the most personal and special gifts you can give (and receive). It is our hope that you’ll get your calendar out and pick a date to be a host in 2012. That’s the first step! We’re here to help you the rest of the way.

Cheers to a new year of entertaining!

Xo,

 

NEW International Delight Iced Coffee and Spa Day Event

Photos Courtesy of Momtrends

In the beginning of December, Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends.com and Audrey McClelland of MomGenerations.com co-hosted an amazing spa day sponsored by International Delight at one of NYC’s coolest salons, Hair Rules.

We were excited to be among 40 New York city area bloggers attending this special day of  ‘giving and receiving’.  We were treated to manicures, back massages, and hair styling all while getting an exclusive taste of  International Delight’s NEW Iced Coffee.  The event featured the vanilla flavored Iced Coffee, however 2 other flavors will be available in January – Mocha and Original.   All are made with 100% premium Arabica coffee and will cost just $3.99 for a 1/2 gallon.  This is really a delicious, easy (just pour over ice) and inexpensive way to treat yourself and others when you entertain!

“It’s the season of giving, so it’s only natural that for our final event of 2011 we planned an afternoon around this theme,” said Feliciano. “We worked with International Delight to dream up an afternoon of giving back to our community. We started with sharing a new prepared iced coffee from International Delight with more than three dozen mom bloggers. The product hits grocery stores in mid-January, but we were able to treat our moms to a delicious preview and a cool ice luge to serve up the drinks.”

In addition to the beauty treatments and iced coffee the moms enjoyed professional gift wrapping lessons. And in the spirit of the season, the attendees also brought toys for Toys for Tots and the United States Marines dropped by to pick up the collection.

“We were thrilled to be able to send off these precious gifts to families truly in need,” Feliecino said. “It was the perfect reminder of what this season is really all about.”

Visit Momtrends at www.momtrends.com and MomGenerations at www.momgenerations.com.

 

I am a coffee addict! I can’t start my day without it and hit the pot again mid-day for more.  It’s so nice to have an alternative in the afternoon, for warmer weather and for parties.  I just loved the ice luge, pictured above.  It’s really a fabulous idea for large events and weddings. Can you imagine how cool the PTO coffee could be?

International Delights Iced Drink is almost here!

 

 

 

 

Easy Holiday Appetizer Recipe in the Slow Cooker!

all credit BettyCrocker.com

Here is a slow cooker recipe for an awesome appetizer from Betty Crocker – a 2010 BEST of RECIPE Winner.

I’m constantly finding new, simple and special recipes at BettyCrocker.com.  Here’s one I love, because it’s perfect when I’m short on time, but need a delicious homemade dish.  I’m planning to make these nachos next weekend, because I need to hit the mall and do my Christmas shopping all day.  That leaves no time for cooking and no extra cash for expensive pre-packaged appetizers.  With this recipe, I can set up my slow cooker, turn it on and leave all day.   When I get home,  all I need to do is jump in the shower, get the kids ready and I have appetizer I’m proud to bring to the Holiday Party.  Thanks Betty!  For more wonderful Slow Cooker Holiday Appetizer Recipes visit BettyCrocker.com here>

 

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Nachos

Makes 24 servings (1/4 cup topping and 7 chips each)  ,   Prep Time 15 Minutes   -   Total Time 3:00 Hrs

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (16 oz) Mexican prepared cheese product with jalapeño peppers, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
  • 1 can (15 oz) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 package (9 oz) frozen cooked chicken breast strips, thawed, cubed
  • 1 container (8 oz) sour cream
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 medium green onions, sliced (3 tablespoons)
  • Large tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, place cheese, salsa, beans and chicken.
  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking.
  3. Stir in sour cream, bell pepper and onions. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 45 minutes longer or until mixture is hot.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips. Topping can be kept warm on Low heat setting up to 2 hours; stir occasionally.

 

December Holiday Headquarter Blog Hop and #HolidayHQ Twitter Party!

December’s Holiday Headquarter series is now live!  We are very excited to share our contribution Ring In The New Year Right with Brunch!

Please be sure to check each post from these amazing Entertaining Experts.  Then join us for a Twitter Chat on Thursday, December 8th at 8 pm at #HolidayHQ.

#HolidayHQ Blog Hop:

Housewife Bliss |  Salt Dough Ornaments
Tatertots & Jello |  Holiday Party Mantel
The Daily Basics |  Christmas Cupcakes, Cake Ball and and Cookie Baking Supplies
Celebrations at Home |  The Kids Christmas Table

WOW! Wordless On Wednesday – October 26, 2011

image from http://www.stylemepretty.com/

What makes you go WOW!  Join us for Wordless On Wednesdays and link up your post here!

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

48 HOURS SPECIAL ON BULLYING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

I’m taking a time out from party tips today, because this issue is dear to my heart.  If you’re a Parent, Aunt/Uncle or Grandparent take time out to view this very important special from 48 hours.  If we want to celebrate life we have to cherish and respect it.

 

CBS NEWS PRESENTS A 48 HOURS SPECIAL ON BULLYING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

“BULLYING: WORDS CAN KILL,” TO BE BROADCAST ON FRIDAY, SEPT. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

Watch the preview…

From the CBS press release: As a new school year begins across the country, more than 160,000 children will stay home every day because they are afraid of being bullied. That is just one of the startling facts in the CBS News/48 HOURS presentation “Bullying: Words Can Kill.” Reported by correspondent Tracy Smith, the program airing Friday, Sept. 16 (8:00 PM, ET/PT) reveals how the explosion in technology is only making bullying worse, as victims cannot find relief from their tormentors in a 24/7 digital world. The report, with links to the CBS News website, will have important new information for parents, educators and legislators about how bullying affects children and how to address it. Plus, viewers can join the conversation online on Facebook and Twitter.

For six months, producers and camera crews were allowed in-depth access to the classrooms, cafeteria and gym at a Rhode Island middle school that is one of the few in the United States that has openly acknowledged it has a bullying problem and has taken action to address it. The 48 HOURS special documents the real lives of students at that particular school, and has the powerful stories of other young people and their families from around the country who have felt the impact of bullying firsthand.

One constantly harassed 13-year-old told Smith, “They got inside my head. They did it because they knew it would hurt.” His mother said dropping him off at school was like “sending him off to war.” Tragically, more than 150 children have taken their own lives in recent years because they were victims of harassment in school and online.

The CBS News/48 Hours presentation“Bullying:Words Can Kill”, with links to the CBS News website, will have important new information for parents, educators and legislators about how bullying affects children and how to address it. Viewers can also join the conversation online on Facebook and Twitter.

Heroes of September 11th


Heroes are not born – they answer the call to serve and are made by what they do for others.

We take this weekend to remember all the Real Heroes and Angels of September 11th.  Our Hero, Joseph A. Mascali, a firefighter with Rescue 5 of the New York City Fire Department, did not come home September 11th, 2001,  but because of his bravery many other men and women did that day. Pay Tribute to Joseph A. Mascali and all the Heroes of September 11th by being a “Real Hero” to those in your community.

The last known picture of the Heroes of FDNY Rescue 5 on their way to the towers. Can you imagine the bravery it took for these men to put the lives of others above their own?


Win $100,000 Salary for Blogging and Celebrate!

These days you may feel like there’s not much to celebrate – well you are wrong!  We not only give you good reasons but simple and special ways to do it each week and today we have some great news to share…

You could WIN a $100,000 dream job next year – now that’s something to celebrate!

CheapSally.com is announcing the “Cheap Sally Bring Home the Bacon” contest, where one lucky winner will win a $100,000 job for 2012. Yes, it’s true and it could be YOU – if you have a social media presence, tenacity and a talent for saving money!  Earn a $100,000 paycheck for blogging and that does not mean you have to quit your day job or relocate. All you need to do is interact and blog with Sally each week.  It truly is Extreme Couponing and it’s for real, we have met the crew at Cheap Sally and even planned their kick off party at BlogHer’11, where they made the first official announcement.

In a world that is currently upside down, this is right and it’s life changing.   I hope one of you will win.  Please comment and let us know what you think, if you need support or just have a question or two. We are happy to help.

Do you want to win a $100,000 job working with Sally? Click Here to Sign Up – It’s So Easy!»

Here’s how it works…

Check out the fun we had co-hosting the Cheap Sally Dance Party at Blogher’11 (full story):

We’ve been planning, we’ve been preparing –and it was finally, time to party.Friday night, August 5, we joined our co-hosts CheapSally.com and Collective Bias, sponsors and guests on the red carpet and up on the rooftop of Stingaree Nightclub to celebrate bloggers at the Cheap Sally Dance Party.

By the time guests reached the rooftop, they had been offered a signature cocktail, a Sally Sauzarita (based on the Party Bluprints California Margarita), followed by a variety of dinner offerings. They then rose to the rooftop to mingle with other guests and sponsors. As the sun was getting ready to set, Brian Malarkey, celebrity chef, stood in the center of the rooftop beckoning everyone to gather round.   He welcomed all our guests, getting them all pumped up for the evening’s big announcement from CheapSally.com, a new couponing site. After warming up the crowd, James Brennan, owner of Stingaree Nightclub and co-owner of CheapSally.com said a few words, followed by Dylan Whitman, Director of Strategy CheapSally.com who took the stage to announce the official kick-off of the $100,000 “Bring Home the Bacon” with Cheap Sally contest – for more juicy details on how to win $100,000.

It was a fabulous night full of dining, dishing and dancing. A great amount of good spirit was generated atop that San Diego rooftop and floated off into the night as we all left with a smile on our face and skip in our step.

Top 2 photos by Sandy Jenny.

Eco-Friendly Tableware At The Savvy Host

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner.  Outdoor entertaining will be in full swing again so this year try to be green when you host those outdoor parties and BBQs.

We found these Eco-Friendly Bamboolamine Plates from The Savvy Host Market.  We love them because they are a fun and affordable way to be kind to Mother Nature without forgoing style.  The plates are a BPA free melamine product made from 45-percent bamboo and are certified DVP (degradable vegetation product). Most patterns are available in 8″ salad plates, 10″ dinner plates, bowls and 14″ platters .  They come in the cool colors and patterns shown above and mixing and matching makes it all the more fun!

Check out The Savvy Host for more brilliance in entertaining and follow the tweets at @SavvyHost on twitter.

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girlparty roseroyale menu cocktailparty

Real Parties!

…  and the Oscar goes to our amazing readers!  Here are some fun pictures of interpretations of our Oscar Viewing Party Bluprint!

Images from: Survivingateacherssalary.com Thedailyblarg.com Justshortofcrazy.com

Hot Food Trends For 2011


What’s New in Food for 2011?  Here are some predictions from a comprehensive survey of 1,500+ chefs conducted by the National Restaurant Association.   I’m not surprised but happy to see Quinoa (our recipe for cooking it up) and Amuse Bouche (our pick for a great recipe) on the list, we covered them here on the blog this past year.  I am very excited to see what recipes will emerge as standouts for Savory Desserts (LA favorites) and will start testing some recipes now!

Top Trends by Category

Main Dishes/Center of the Plate

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Sustainable seafood
  3. Half-portions/smaller portion for a smaller price
  4. Newly fabricated cuts of meats (Denver steak, pork flat iron, Petite Tender)
  5. Non-traditional fish (branzino, Artic char, barramundi)

Sides/Starches

  1. Black/forbidden rice
  2. Quinoa
  3. Red rice
  4. Vegetable pickles
  5. Asian noodles (soba, udon, rice noodles)

Appetizers

  1. Ethnic/street food-inspired appetizers (tempura, taquitos, kabobs, hummus)
  2. Amuse bouche/bite size hors d’oeure
  3. Warm appetizer salads
  4. Appetizer combos/platters
  5. Dumplings/dim sum

Desserts

  1. Artisan/house-made ice cream
  2. Bite-size/mini desserts
  3. Dessert flights/combos
  4. Deconstructed classic desserts
  5. Savory desserts
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