February 11, 2016

Feeling the Love

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The other day my friend Ilana wrote a heart felt blog post about our relationship as friends, work wives and fellow Mothers. Her words brought a tear to my eye as I was reminded how lucky I am for the friends I have made while living in New York for the past 16 years.

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Valentine’s Day is the ultimate excuse to show your love. And obviously you know that we will use any excuse to have a random brunch, party or gathering.

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So….

When Ilana asked if I could style a brunch for her to host for her “work wife” friends…I was like, um, yes. Yes yes I would love to.

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I’m addicted to black, white, pink and gold. Throw some copper in. I can’t help it.

Totally obsessed with these marble plates from CB2. And of course we have the most fabulous menus printed by Minted for every setting.

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For the seating cards, Ilana wrote a “love note” to each guest.

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Hershey’s was behind the idea of this gathering and provided chocolates upon chocolates for us to play with and gift.

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We adore Chef Sue Park and brought her in to make a delicious breakfast for us. Smoked salmon heart shaped toasts – oh my yum! Sausages in a blanket, heart shaped frittatas, kale salad with roasted acorn squash and heart shaped pie pops filled with brie and jam. YUM!!

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This brunch was such a fabulous excuse to have a delicious meal, cocktails and laughs with best friends, new friends and work friends. Needless to say…this brunch also made for some great photos….

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Thank you Ilana for always making me part of the fun. And damn our hair looks great.

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To all my friends and family, I Love you.  And let the Valentine’s Day weekend begin!

Loving credits go to:

Photographs: Dave Robbins Photography
Catering: Chef Sue Park
Hair and Make up (on Seri, Ilana and Abby): GlamSquad
Tableware (Plates, copper utensils, napkins and pink champagne flutes): CB2
Red cake stands: Fish’s Eddy
Custom menus: Minted
All Chocolate Kisses: Hershey’s

xx, Seri
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February 9, 2016

Valentine’s Champagne Spritzer

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Well friends, it’s that time of year again – Valentine’s Day! Bringing with it an overload of pink, hearts and sugar.  I love all of the typical Valentine traditions, and have especially become a fan of the rise in popularity of Galentine’s Day celebrations.  I am a singleton, and love that I have an excuse to celebrate the holiday of love with my best lady friends.

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For my Galentine’s Day celebrations drink idea, I had to go with a champagne-based cocktail recipe, because i’m sure that we can all agree that nothing says Valentine’s Day like some bubbly.  To take it one step further, I decided to make the drink girly and red.  No explanation needed.  Thankfully, we had some leftover pomegranate juice in the LMP studio fridge, which I used to give this cocktail some color.

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Here’s what you’ll need:
-bottle of your favorite sparkling wine (I used prosecco)
-strawberry soda
-glitter sprinkles for garnish

Here’s what to do:
1) Sprinkle some glitter onto a flat plate.
2) Wet the rim of your glass, and then dip into the plate of sprinkles to garnish your glass.

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3) Pour some strawberry soda into each glass, about 1-2 inches worth depending on how big your glass is.

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4) Fill the rest of each glass with your sparkling white wine.

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And that’s it! You should get a nice deep pink or red color from mixing the strawberry soda in there.  This cocktail is light, sweet and simple, and perfect for sipping and sharing with your girlfriends!

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To style this bad boy, I took some conversation hearts to line the bottom of a tray, which added some pops of color and dimension to my drink display.  Also adding some color were these gorgeous ranunculus, which we had used for a Bat Mitzvah last weekend AND a special Valentine’s Day brunch that we had in our studio.  Those flowers just kept on giving!

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I also thought it would be nice to serve these drinks with some mini vanilla cupcakes, which I topped with red glitter lip toppers, and placed on a white paper plate with silver stars, both of which can be found in our Pink Party in a Box! Be sure to grab your own Pink Party for all the decor and tableware that you need to throw a chic Valentine’s Day celebration.

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Happy Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day to you all!

xx, Abby
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January 28, 2016

A Valentine’s Day Project Playdate

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What’s the best way to spend your time when you’re trapped inside for the city’s 2nd greatest blizzard of all time? Project playdate of course!

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Lucky for me, I didn’t have any plans to go anywhere the morning or afternoon of the big NYC snowstorm last weekend. I was just in charge of setting up project playdate for Valentine’s day, which of course…was a great pleasure for me.

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So let’s start off with our Valentine’s day craft. You guys…this is such a good one!

We called on our friends over at Imagination Lane and they recommended eraser painted tote bags. This consists of:

– tote bag
– Heart cut out and taped to the face of the bag
– paints
– tacky glue, q-tips and jewels or rhinestones
-pencils

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The kids had to dip the eraser part of the pencil into paint and press hard all the way around the heart which they later ripped off to find a hollowed out heart pattern on their bag.

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They took this craft very seriously and now proudly stroll around with their toys in these bags.

For the snack…I started the playdate with pancakes and waffles. Don’t start saying “What? How does she do all that”!?! They were frozen. I threw them in the oven for 3 minutes. BUT….to make brunch a little different and festive of course…I set out heart shaped cookie cutters and powdered sugar for the kids to play with. Boy was that ever fun!

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After breakfast and crafting, I realized hold the phone Sally. I haven’t had a cup of coffee yet!  WHAT?! So we popped a movie on for the kids to have a short break, brewed some coffee and took a breathe. That lasted for about 4 minutes.

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We had one meltdown, a lot of shoving over who gets to sit directly in front of the ipad and “I want WATTTTERRRRRRR”.

Ok nipped that all in the bud with popcorn that I popped fresh at 10am and back to the movies we went.

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That’s when I broke out the cocktails. Don’t worry – they were “10am” appropriate.

I served “Strawmosas”. What is that you ask? I took a piece of basil, mint and placed it into a glass and then topped with pink prosecco. I garnished the glass with strawberries but you could slice them and drop them into the glass if you’d like.

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Snowstorm? what snowstorm?

If you’re planning a project playdate or Valentine’s Day party of your own, let us help you! We have the most adorable pink party full of tableware and decor. You can Shop the Box here.

xx, Seri
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January 19, 2016

Grapefruit Vodka Cocktail with Rosemary

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I have been on such a citrus-craving kick lately!  I’ll bet it has to do with the fact that we are in the dead of winter, and the brightly colored oranges, lemons, etc. remind me of sunnier, warmer times.

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With this citrus obsession on my mind, I headed over to the amazing fruit and vegetable market that is a block away from my apartment to stock up. When I arrived, they were loading in a brand new shipment of gorgeous grapefruits, and I took it as a sign that I had to buy some and make something delicious out of them.

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After some playing around and ready my handy cocktail book for inspiration, I decided to whip up this beauty!

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Here’s what you’ll need (serves 4):
– 6 oz. your favorite unflavored vodka
– 1 bottle of your favorite sparkling grapefruit soda (I used Izze’s)
-2 oz. fresh lemon juice
-2 oz. orange liqueur (we used Cointreau)
-fresh grapefruit for garnish
-fresh rosemary for garnish
-ice

Here’s what to do:
1) Add a few pieces of ice to each glass.
2) Measure out 1.5 oz. of vodka and add to each glass.
3) Juice your lemons, and add 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice to each glass.
4) Add 1/2 ounce of your orange liqueur to each glass.
5) Add grapefruit soda to fill each glass to the top.  Stir gently with cocktail stirrer to mix all ingredients.
6) Add spring of rosemary and fresh grapefruit wedge to glass to garnish.

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Enjoy! This drink has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and is a delicious way to add a little taste of summer to these frigid days.

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Stay warm, see you next week!

xx, Abby
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January 18, 2016

The Ultimate Popcorn Bar

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Did you know that tomorrow is National Popcorn Day? Not sure what that means exactly…except for the fact that we should be celebrating popcorn!

So we have put together the ultimate popcorn bar to celebrate. And here’s how we’re serving up sweet and savory popcorn for a POP-in Party!

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For the sweet popcorn we had two options:

Chocolate covered popcorn with sprinkles which is the easiest recipe ever.

White chocolate popcorn
Ingredients:

Plain popcorn (We used 6 cups)
White chocolate chips (We used 2 cups)
Sprinkles (optional)

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Place the popcorn in a large bowl.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (slowly) or on a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water.

*Note: White chocolate can get hard very quickly when you try to melt it. If you need to, add a tsp. of canola oil to loosen it up.

Pour the chocolate over the popcorn and mix thoroughly with a spoon or your hands.

Toss in some sprinkles (as much as you’d like).

Let stand in the fridge for a few minutes so the chocolates sets.

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Serve it up! We served our chocolate popcorn in a glass wine bucket to fit with our popcorn “bar” theme.

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Ice Cream Popcorn Cones
Makes 12 ice cream cones
Ingredients:

10 cups popped popcorn
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ sugar
4 ounces marshmallow cream
1 tablespoon butter
12 ice cream cones (with flat bottom)

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Put popped popcorn in a large roasting pan.

Place corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until boiling, stirring continually. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in marshmallow creme, butter and vanilla until combined.

Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn. Stir until evenly coated. Allow to cool until mixture can be handled easily.

Grease hands lightly with butter to prevent popcorn mixture from sticking. Press into balls of desired size. Place balls directly into ice cream cones to set.

We served these on a tray lined with popcorn!

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Ok let’s talk about….the Savory Popcorn at our Popcorn bar for National Popcorn bar day.

Serve plain or buttered (we did a combo) in a glass punch bowl with a ladle.

We set out a variety of toppings for our guests to choose from such as the following combos:

Chopped rosemary mixed with parmesan cheese
“Everything” seasoning: a mix of poppy seeds, garlic powder, Kosher salt and sesame seeds
Cayenne, cumin and Kosher salt

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We put the popcorn into a Glad container so when we added our topping we could close the lid and easily shake it up!

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And what’s a party without cocktails? We mixed up a pomegranate spritzer (pom juice + prosecco with a splash of soda water) with which we garnished with popcorn skewers.

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With all of this popcorn you may end up with leftovers. We put the leftover popcorn into cellophane bags with notes that read: Thanks for Poppin’ by! for our our guests to take home with them and enjoy for a snack the next day. DSC_0622

Thanks to the team behind Gather Now for sponsoring this post and inspiring this Pop-tastic party!

xx, Seri
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