We are bursting with delight this morning over photos from a Broadway influenced celebration Diva With A Fork created for one up and coming Bat Mitzvah star in Tampa Bay! Here’s a look at the beautiful pinkolicious invitation and “ticket” escort card created by our talented friends at Natural Impression Design. Each “ticket” escort cards was attached to thirteen different divalicious Broadway poster cookies created by the one and only Eleni’s New York.
Photo Courtesy of Kismis Ink Photography
Stay tuned for more details from this Great White Way inspired party!
Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele, Charlie Tango, handcuffs, silk neckties, inner goddess, Red Room of Pain, twitchy palms…
If your lips aren’t smirking by now, then you must be a Fifty Shades of Grey Virgin, A/K/A one who hasn’t read the best selling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. Last weekend, we surprised a huge Fifty Shades fan with a party inspired by the books.
msn.com Courtesy of Vintage Books
Fifty fans, may we present…
40 Shades of Kelly
Our “PG” version of Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain!
What’s a birthday party without cake?
Yes, this mask is edible!
How could we forget Christian Grey’s infamous grey silk tie and handcuffs? We know Miss Steele wouldn’t!
British novels, piano keys, Seattle’s Space Needle…this Fifty Shades of Grey inspired cake designed by Sweet Tweets Cakery in Tampa, Florida had it all!
Notable quotes from the books were printed on Stardream silver paper and encased in platinum, crystal encrusted frames, which added sparkle to cocktail tables in our “Grey Room.”
Bronze keys hung with crimson satin ribbon were tied around red glass vases filled with black magic roses. These centerpieces sat atop cocktail tables draped in Crushed Romance Burgundy linen in the “Red Room.”
Although I’m still waiting to win the lottery, I recently felt like I hit the jackpot when searching for floral design inspiration! Here’s a few of my favorites I couldn’t wait to share…
Photo Courtesy of Belle The Magazine
Floating floral centerpieces added a chic, eye-catching element to this elegant, outdoor soiree!
Wall of Paper Flowers by Hartmann Studios
Hard to believe the floral wall above is made entirely of paper flowers, isn’t it?
Photo by Rizzoli New York
Are you as speechless as I am? Made entirely out of an array of fresh flowers, this stunning peacock was created by the extraordinary Preston Bailey. Planning a wedding, bat-mitzvah or other social event? Say goodbye to traditional centerpieces. All eyes will be sure to light up when they gaze upon a gorgeous, floral work of art!
Image by The Food Channel
Gourmet hamburger businesses are popping up all over the country. They’ve taken the fast food concept to new heights. Today on the blog we’re celebrating the art of the burger by sharing Diva With A Fork’s favorite recipe for phenomenal burgers, along with a few inspiring finds and tips for hosting a stylish, laid-back burger bash right in your own backyard!
Image Courtesy of The Barbecue Store
It’s impossible to have a burger bash without serving mouth-watering hamburgers. You can pile a plethora of toppings on a burger, but it’s a flavorful patty that sends taste buds into a tizzy! Am I right? Therefore, for the first time in my family’s history, I’m sharing my C.P.A. chefy hubby’s recipe for the most amazing burgers known to anyone who has ever had the pleasure of devouring one hot off the grill. This recipe comes with a warning though. I know that gets your attention, right? So, here’s the warning…those that dare to serve these scrumptious hamburgers at their next BBQ, better hide a few for themselves. These grilled darlings cause a ruckus every time we’ve served them. Yes, you heard me correctly. Although these babies are large, a majority of your guests will return for seconds and demand a few for the road. My kids can even back me up on this. Think I’m kidding? Here’s your chance to taste one for yourself…
Hamburgers From Heaven
Makes Approximately 6 Burgers
1 pd Boneless Beef Short Ribs (Freshly Ground)
1 pd Top Sirloin (Freshly Ground)
1/8 of a Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Crushed Black Pepper
2 Sheets of Parchment Paper
1 Baking Sheet or Large Tray
1 Package of Arnold Select Wheat Sandwich Rolls
Directions: Have the butcher at your local grocery store grind and mix together 1 pound of boneless beef short rib with 1 pound of top sirloin. Once home, place the ground mixture in a large bowl, add approximately an 1/8 of a cup of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Mix ingredients together with meat to combine, but be sure to NOT overwork the meat. Then create by hand 6oz sized patties that are about an inch in thickness. Make sure to slightly indent the center of the patty. Place each patty on a baking sheet or large tray covered with parchment paper. Add a sheet of parchment paper on top of the patties if needed to stack burgers. Once the patties are created, refrigerate for at least a half and hour. Before grilling, allow the patties to come to room temperature. Turn on the grill and wait until the temperature reaches it’s highest. This is so the grill sears the burgers. When the grill is extremely hot, lift the lid and spray with Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray or brush with olive oil. Be very cautious of flare ups! Use your best judgement when applying olive oil to a grill. Cook the patties to your liking, but we prefer our burgers medium. Medium is best described as when the outside of the burger is firm and the center is soft. Inside the meat should be pink in color. Serve immediately on an Arnold Select Wheat Sandwich Roll topped with your favorite condiments.
Important Note: Be sure to follow each step above. Do NOT skip steps, especially ones pertaining to chilling and bringing the patties to room temperature.
Invitation by Pearenthetical Press
Now that you have the “Mother of All Burgers” recipe, it’s time to take your BBQ to the next level. I suggest taking a break from the typical phone call or email invitation. Instead, mail festive invites to family and friends a few weeks prior to the party. In my opinion, the envelope is just as important as the invitation itself. Think of envelopes as the wrapping paper on a present. We wrap gifts expecting it to build excitement in the one we are giving the present, right? If it didn’t add intrigue, why would we take the time to wrap it in the first place? An envelope with a gingham liner like the one above, adds an extra pop of color to this adorable invitation. It’s the bow on the present. Together, the envelope and invitation set the tone for a wonderful par-tay!
Napkins by Pottery Barn
Setting a beautiful table doesn’t have to be stressful. Find a pattern, texture, color or object as your focal point. If you love gingham as I do, perhaps reintroduce it subtly with linen napkins. Pair the napkins with a cheery yellow table cloth or sunflowers arranged in a galvanized container for a burst of color.
Barn Wood Tray by saveoncrafts.com
Add a rustic flair by serving burgers on wooden trays. As the sun goes down, there’s no need to call it a night. Let the party continue as antique, bronze lanterns add ambiance.
Lanterns by Williamsburg Marketplace
Life certainly isn’t a dress rehearsal, so relax and entertain often this summer with the ones you hold dear. I certainly plan too!
Searching for creative ways for guests to remember your celebration? Then you’ll love the site we recently discovered…
This website is bursting with products that can be customized easily for Welcome Gifts, Bridal and Baby Showers, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinces, Sweet 16 parties and other special events! Here’s a few of our favorite finds along with some inspirational ways to use them…
Recently I attended a Kitchen Shower for a friend getting married in a few weeks. When I received the invitation to the shower, a recipe card was included. Guests were instructed to write their favorite recipe on the card and bring it the day of the shower. At the celebration, the host collected everyone’s cards and placed them in a decorative box. During lunch, the bride-to-be was presented the box filled with dozens of culinary delights.
When I saw these cute binders on ThePaperWorker.com, I immediately had flashbacks of my friend’s Kitchen Shower. These binders are a lovely way to organize recipes provided by family and friends for a bride or mother-to-be! For a bride-to-be, your design might include the couple’s wedding colors, their monogram, a photo of the couple, their wedding date, etc. The arrival of a baby doesn’t mean a new Mommy’s stove should end up covered in cobwebs. Bring dinner to celebrate a new arrival along with a custom binder filled with recipes requiring only a few ingredients or ones that take less than thirty minutes to prepare. It’s a gift I’m sure will fill their tummies and hearts with joy! Don’t know anyone getting married or having a baby? How about hosting a “Cookies & Cocktails” holiday party? As guests arrive, provide each with a beautiful binder dreamed up by one divalicious host…that’s you! Your family and friends will love using your stylish gift to collect the many delicious cookie and cocktail recipes everyone has brought to the soiree.
Over the years I’ve seen clients spend small fortunes on wedding favors. Some their guests would utilize and others I knew they’d toss as soon as they arrived home. My advice to anyone purchasing party favors for their upcoming celebration? Try not to search for things at the last minute. Giving yourself enough time to shop, significantly increases your chances of finding the perfect party favor for your affair.
A CD of meaningful songs placed in a custom CD sleeve like the ones above make wonderful mementos. On the cover of the CD sleeve, add a photo, picture or logo, a date…set your imagination free. Inside the CD sleeve, add a personal note of thanks to guests for sharing in your special day. Don’t forget to provide the personal meanings behind the songs included on the CD. I realize everyone’s taste in music differs, but with a keepsake filled with as much meaning as this…chances are pretty good they’ll hold onto this one. In fact, they might even listen to it over and over!
Why not add a bottle of bubbly in a decorative box to your out-of-town guests Welcome Bags? Welcome Bags continue to build excitement leading up to the main event. They’re fun to fashion by yourself or with help from family and friends. Best of all these special tokens won’t break your budget, but guests might think they did! Don’t worry…your secret is safe with me! ThePaperWorker.com has oodles of affordable items and a friendly team eager to help bring visions to life! For more information on the products included in today’s article, visit ThePaperWorker.com.
Question: I’ve heard a few photographers mention “off-camera light” when refering to their work. What is “off-camera light” and how important is it at my wedding or Bar Mitzvah?
It’s very important, especially at a wedding. First, let me explain what it is and then I’ll show you some examples.
“Off camera light” is exactly what it sounds like. The photographers light is taken off the camera and mounted on a tripod or held by an assistant. Here’s why it’s important:
This picture was taken during a brief stop at the causeway on the way to the reception. The couple wanted some quick pictures of their friends near the water so we jumped out of the limo for a few minutes and had some fun. My flash is on my camera, pointed directly at the subjects. Notice how the bride’s dress is “blown-out?” You lose detail in the dress when the flash is mounted on the camera. That’s okay for fun, fast snapshots like this but what about the portraits, etc?
Now look at the dress. Notice that you can see all the detail and ripples in the fabric? That’s because the light is “off-camera.” By placing the light a little to my right I can light the couple (and the dress) in a much more flattering way.
Here’s another great example:
Without “off-camera light,” this you wouldn’t be able to see all the detail in this dress.
The fact is, “off-camera light” makes almost every picture better. Not only does it preserve the detail in a dress you spent so much time picking out… it also makes for a more dynamic and flattering portrait all together. Plus, a photographer who uses “off-camera light” will usually have a few tricks up his sleeve for creating something truly unique:
Notice the detail in the dress and the way the light highlights her face in dramatic fashion? That’s only possible with “off-camera light.”
But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s only needed at weddings. It’s needed anytime you are having a portrait taken. This is especially true in dark churches and synagogues:
“Off-camera light” just makes everything better. It allows the photographer to shape and control the light and produce an image that stands out.
So, when shopping for a photographer for your Tampa wedding, Bar Mitzvah or event, be sure they know how to use “off camera light.” You’ll be glad you did!
Booray Perry is a wedding and Bar Mitzvah photographer in Tampa. Visit his website at www.boorayperry.com
It’s been three days since the Golden Globes and I’m still obsessing over Jessica Alba’s lavender, Gucci gown!
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America & Just Jared
and since it’s Wedding Wednesday, I’ve put my infatuation to good use by creating a wedding reception inspired by Jessica’s gorgeous dress!
Matte Satin Lavender by Wildflower Linen
Picture this…8′ X 4′ tables draped in a flowing Matte Satin Lavender linen.
Diamond Organza Lavender Overlay by Wildflower Linen
Delicately embellished lavender organza overlays adding pops of sparkle!
Photo by Christina Carroll Photography & Style Me Pretty
Suspended above feasting tables for ten, hang opulent crystal chandeliers adorned with roses in purple and pink hues.
Photo by AFR Event Furnishings
Whisper Benches from AFR Event Furnishings Leather Collection covered with custom Matte Satin Lavender slip covers are used in place of chiavari chairs for seating. They bring a sense of coziness and warmth to guests’ dining experience.
Photo by MarthaStewart.com
Candles perched atop delicate glass candle holders in various shapes and sizes, cast romantic glitzy glows over the dining tables. Candles are the perfect way to enhance a table’s design without overpowering or taking away from its focal point. Which in this case happens to be the highly ornate chandeliers.
Extraordinary Cake by Maggie Austin Cake
And since I’m such a fan of desserts…this cake by Maggie Austin would definitely be the perfect ending to our lavender Gucci Gown inspired wedding, as well as, a sweet ending to this post!
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you know last week I traveled to Mexico to attend Inspire Smart Success Experience Mexico a/k/a ISSE Mexico at the Now Sapphire Resort in Cancun. This unforgettable, intimate, four day conference brought together talented event professionals from all over the world to network and learn from some of the best in our industry.
The speaker lineup was like a “Who’s Who” in the event world. Stacie Francombe, the petite dynamo behind Inspire Smart Success was joined by the divine Diann Valentine, host of We TV’s I Do Over, the dazzling Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events, Youngsong Martin, the powerhouse behind Wildflower Linen, celebrity photographers Robert Evans and Mike Colon, Sonny Ganguly marketing guru for Wedding Wire, creative entrepreneur Andy Ebon , Julie Goldman, the visionary behind The Original Runner Company, the delightful Dana LaRue, creator of The Broke-Ass Bride, the brilliant Jen Campbell, creator of Green Wedding Shoes, Ceci Johnson the genius behind Ceci New York, Ashley Baber of Ashley Baber Weddings, the multi-talented Christopher Confero of Christopher Confero Design, former CNN Producer David Francombe, the exceptional Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 Stories, and keynote speaker, event designer extraordinaire Preston Bailey.
How would I describe my experience? PRICELESS! Why do I feel this way? Thanks to Eric Kmetz and Ryan Koral, the incredible team behind Epic Motion…I can show you!
Loved what you just saw? There’s more to come…stay tuned!
Everyone deserves to look and feel divalicious when attending holiday celebrations. To help you get ready for your next holiday party, we invited Holly Nazario of Collective Creations in Tampa, Florida to share holiday makeup tips for transforming daytime looks into nighttime glam! Have you ever gotten a pimple the day of an event? Do you know the right way to match foundation to your complexion? Holly has the answers to these dilemmas and more!
Diva with a Fork – Holiday Makeup from Tampa Wonderworks Films on Vimeo.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday! Every year my husband and I invite our family (3 Parents, 4 Brothers, 3 Sisters, 6 Nieces, 5 Nephews, 3 Great Nieces and 4 Great Nephews) and a few friends to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast. As our family continues to grown…so does the number of chairs at the table. Hosting ten or more people at your home is no small undertaking. In fact, it can be extremely stressful if as my Mom puts it, “You don’t have all your ducks in a row.”
If you’ve been searching for tips and inspirations for hosting a memorable, stress free Thanksgiving…today’s your lucky day! You’re getting a sneak peek at my Thanksgiving table and ideas for keeping sane for turkey day.
Although I am a fan of keeping things simple, place cards are a must at my Thanksgiving table. I’m aware some may view them as formal. However, as a host I feel they make it easier for guests to find their seats at a large table. They also allow me to seat family and friends in a way that encourages multigenerational conversation.
When I was first married, I was eager to impress my new family members with my skills for entertaining. I remember inviting everyone over that year for Thanksgiving. Being newly married, the C.P.A. chefy hubby and I were just starting our lives together. We didn’t have enough of anything to be hosting a dinner for thirty. However, after convincing my soul mate it was extremely important to me to have our families together for our first Thanksgiving as “Man and Wife,” there was no turning back.
Our “first” Thanksgiving was memorable. To be honest though, I’d rather forget it. Why? Well, since we didn’t have enough silverware for everyone, I had bought what I thought at the time was heavy duty plastic utensils. Oh, was I wrong! As my father began to cut into his turkey, there was a loud snap. Within seconds, the room filled with the sounds of snapping forks. In order for everyone to be able to eat their turkey that year, I had to pull out our real silverware. Since we obviously didn’t have enough…which was the reason I had to use plastic in the first place, relatives either allowed someone to cut their poultry for them or waited until a set became available. I can look back on things now and laugh, but at the time I was mortified.
I think you’ll understand why I’m not a fan of using plastic utensils when serving poultry or steak. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to invest money in expensive flatware. My recommendation is to frequent stores like Home Goods in search of good quality flatware for less. If you can’t find or can’t afford to purchase enough silverware in the same pattern, no need to worry! Eclectic is in, so there’s time to build up your collection! Set your table using various flatware patterns. I believe the same holds true with glassware and china. Look for everyday china that’s white or cream in color. Stay away from busy patterns and colors.
When investing in neutral colored plates and platters, you’ll be able to use them year round. Let candles, flower arrangements, napkins, table cloths, etc. transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
A few weeks prior to your feast, clean and set aside the items you plan to use for your Thanksgiving table. Taking an inventory in advance, gives you enough time to assess the items you currently have and purchase more if needed. Organize decor by holiday and label each container you’ve placed items in before storing. Inside each container, I usually place a list that includes the content and quantity of each item inside the box. Decor that is used throughout the year like candles, should be stored together in a container that’s easily accessible when you’re preparing for company.
Setting the table a day or two before Thanksgiving, gives a host the opportunity to focus on food preparation and presentation. Although I have a huge family, I still enjoy having everyone seated around a long (very long) table. After the chairs are placed around the table, space is limited. Therefore, my entire menu is served family style on platters and in bowls. Wine bottles are set on the table for guests to help themselves and water glasses are filling in advance of anyone taking their seats.
Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!
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