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Entertainment

A Golden Graduation Celebration

May 18, 2015

Graduation Decorations That Go for the Gold

Graduation truly is a time to sparkle and shine—and using gold in your party décor will also put you right on trend. Gold is everywhere these days and in many different ways: foil, leaf, glitter, tassel, etc. Here are a few easy ways to make your graduation the one that outshines the rest!

class-of-2015

Duct tape, you’ve come a long way! One of the simplest ways to customize and add some pizzazz to your centerpieces is to wrap a piece of gold duct tape around the vase and write a message on the tape. This gold duct tape is actually dry-erase as well—what could be easier! Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Kentucky Derby Party Tips

April 1, 2015

Run for the Roses!

Did you know that the rose has been the official flower of the Kentucky Derby since 1904? And in 1925 the president of Churchill Downs dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.”

Each year the winning horse is draped in a garland made from more than 400 red roses. The winning jockey is presented with a bouquet of 60 long stem red roses!

The Derby is truly steeped in tradition. If you are planning to have a few friends over to celebrate the Kentucky Derby here are some easy ways to include a few Derby traditions into your party.

The Infield

“The Infield” is the flat grassy area inside of the track where one of the biggest parties is held each year! Think Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras and you have a pretty good idea of how crazy this party gets. Set the mood with your own replica of the infield.

infield-kentucky-derby-centerpiece

Start with a flat of wheat grass. Cover the bottom of the tray with moss and insert red roses that have been cut short directly into the base of the wheat grass. It’s that easy to create this fabulous Kentucky Derby Infield centerpiece!

Mint Julep

Another Derby tradition dating back almost a century is the very southern Mint Julep cocktail. It is a mix of crushed ice, sugar, water, fresh mint, and bourbon. The traditional silver julep cup also makes a great vase for a petite bouquet. 1-800 Flowers.com has a few to choose from including Julep Treasures Petite Bouquet™.

mint-julep-bouquet

For this arrangement I used 6 short stem red roses, a few stems of fresh waxflower, and a few sprigs of fresh spearmint. These small, festive bouquets can be placed throughout your party to really set the mood. Put one on the bar, another in the bathroom, and a few on the buffet table, and you’ll be all set to place your bets!!

Entertainment, Julie's Blog

The Moscow Mule: A Delicious & Inspirational Drink

November 11, 2014

There are a few themes that you will see weaving throughout my latest posts – what’s trending now, everything old is new again, my recent vacation in California, and California grown flowers.

moscow-mule-copper-mug Here’s one that covers them all – The Moscow Mule. A drink that was first created back in the 1940’s. Legend has it that it was first created in the Cock ‘n’ Bull bar located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. As with any legendary story there are a few slightly different versions, but to sum it up – vodka was just being introduced to the U.S. market and the salesman was struggling. He stopped in to see his bartender friend at the Cock ‘n’ Bull who was frustrated by his efforts to sell his homemade ginger beer. Get where we’re going here? The two beverages were mixed together with a little lime and a new drink was born! To market the new drink, the two turned to a friend with a copper factory who happened to have too many copper mugs in inventory and they engraved the mugs with the names of famous celebrities who frequented the Cock ‘n’ Bull. It didn’t take long for word to spread and everyone wanted to drink what the celebrities were drinking! Sound familiar? Everything old is new again!!

I had my first Moscow Mule at my sister’s suggestion who just had her first in Austin, Texas, at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch in Carmel, California. Perfection – the setting, the company, and the drink! Needless to say I had one in every town we stopped in along the coast on our way down to San Diego. I am personally responsible for the growing popularity since I’ve been back in New York. Just working on this post created quite a few fans.

Where did you have your first Moscow Mule?

Moscow Mule Drink Recipe: Mix It Up!

The Moscow Mule is very simple to make!
moscow-mule-drink-ingredients Drink Ingredients:

      * Copper Mug
      * Vodka
      * Ginger Beer
      * Limes
      * Ice
      * Mint Leaves

How to Mix It Up:
Step 1. Fill your mug with ice.
Step 2. Add 2 oz. of vodka.
Step 3. Fill the rest of the mugs with ginger beer.
Step 4. Squeeze the lime wedge in to the drink before adding it to the drink.
Step 5. Garnish with mint.
Step 6. Enjoy!

Moscow Mule Drink Recipe with Vodka, Lime, and Mint

Flower Inspiration from the Moscow Mule’s Copper Mug

Of course I see the copper mug as a perfect vessel for flowers or a plant. Here are a few photos to inspire you to create beauty in your life everyday.

Coffee break roses, sprigs of bittersweet, and liquid amber.
copper-mug-rose-arrangement

Peony – Red Kansas – imported from Chile. Simply beautiful. Limited availability and expensive but I couldn’t resist.
copper-mug-peony-arrangement

I love succulents. They look good anywhere and are so easy to care for whether as a potted plant or as a cut flower.
copper-mug-succulent

Entertainment

How to Host a Luau Party

January 2, 2013

Tips on Creating the Perfect Hawaiian Luau from Leis to Exotic Cocktails

Luau Themed Party

How to Host a Luau Party

Nothing breaks up the monotony of a long, cold winter like a fun and unexpected “theme” party! When the temperature outside is dropping, why not turn up the heat inside and invite your friends to spend a few hours on the island of Bali Hai. There are so many easy ways to set the mood—from the décor, to the food, and of course, the music!

Hawaiian Luau Décor

Transport your guests to the tropics with bamboo (placemats, shades used as wall panels, platters), tropical/island themed fabric (I prefer swatches of vintage fabrics), tropical scented candles, large tropical leaves like monstera and cordyline, and of course, orchids. Continue Reading…

Entertainment, How-To's

Create Your Own Dramatic Candle Centerpiece

December 30, 2012

Think Fire and Ice

Why purchase a centerpiece when you can create your own dramatic candle centerpiece?  This is a fabulous look for any special occasion during the winter and creating the dramatic effect of fire and ice couldn’t be easier.

Here’s what you need:

  • Double sided tape and/or spray adhesive
  • Glass votive candleholders
  • Plain clear glass beverage glasses
  • Container of stardust glitter

For the raised candle centerpiece, first I sprayed the outside of the votive holders with spray adhesive and then dusted them with stardust glitter. After I sprinkled faux snow on the glass top of a pastry stand and placed the candles in a line down the middle of the stand. For a little more sparkle weave a strand of crystals around the candles. The flickering light of the candles reflects in the crystals – the look is stunning. It’s so simple, yet so elegant.



Create coordinating vases by placing a band of double-sided tape around a beverage glass and sprinkle the tape with the glitter. Drop a few stems of white tulips in the glass and you’re good to go! Place several of these beautiful vases around the dining or buffet table for maximum impact. When the party is over and you need drinking glasses, simply remove the tape and they’re as good as new!

Sophisticated Soiree

For a look that is clean, elegant and sophisticated, use a single variety white flower such as the tulip, a lot of sparkling clear glass vases and candle holders, and add a couple of chandelier crystals. The result is breathtaking. This is a perfect look for celebrating the start of a brand new year with all its limitless possibilities.

A Meaningful Memento

Since ancient times, evergreens have been a symbol of life, rebirth, and the stamina needed to endure the winter months. Use sprigs of evergreens tied with silver ribbon and a sparkle monogram to create a place card with a message.

Wishing you good health and peace in the New Year – remember that every day is a gift to be cherished!

Entertainment, Wedding

Make Delicious Apple Centerpieces For Any Occasion!

October 11, 2012

Big Apple Centerpieces

I was recently asked by a New York bride and groom to incorporate apples into the place card display at their Manhattan reception. They had many guests coming in from out of town and wanted to visually welcome them to the Big Apple.

You can easily make delicious apple centerpieces for any occasion! I filled varying size glass cylinders with small lady apples and used large deep red apples as votive candleholders. The look was clean, modern and had that person touch they were looking to include in their special day!

Apples in cyllanders

Entertainment

How To Host A Wine Tasting Party

July 20, 2012

Not too long ago, I was asked to put together an elegant wine tasting event. It was such a treat to design a party with the sole purpose of saying “Thank You” to some of our local 1-800-FLOWERS customers!

I quickly got to work, planning and designing. The results, I must say, were spectacular! The theme naturally took on the feeling of a relaxing, sunny afternoon in Napa Valley. Needless to say I was very happy that I was asked to host a wine tasting party.  Even on short notice, I was able to collect a number of unique pieces that could be repurposed to fit the theme perfectly. Most of the items used throughout the space were pieces I had collected on vacation, received as gifts, or picked up at yard sales.

wine-barrel

Many of the materials, like the soda crate and barrel, came from flea markets that I love to frequent throughout New England!wine-garden

In addition to the props and fabrics, food was also used to tie in color and theme. Grapes, for example, made a great accent to the room décor by incorporating them into an arrangement.

flowers-and-grapes

To enhance the vineyard feeling of the evening, I used wine corks as filler in the bottom of a clear vase. Simple, elegant and eco-friendly!

cork-vase

One of my favorite elements of the evening were the “wine corsages” that were created as decorative accents to some of our favorite bottles of wine.

bottle-corsage

Along the same lines, ceramic baskets were used instead of ice buckets to chill the white wines. Flowers, like roses, carnations and hydrangeas, were arranged to decorate the wine baskets and make them more appealing.

wine-cooler

The more fun you have with putting all the elements together, the better it will turn out. I had so much fun putting all the pieces together — I even hired a musician to play for the duration of the party to add warmth and ambiance to the room! Sometimes it’s the smallest detail that completes a party.

Entertainment, Holiday Decorations

Host The Perfect Irish Dinner Party

March 9, 2012

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

A six-pack and a potato please! Whether you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or throwing a fun Irish dinner party, I have the perfect touches to make it special.

Of course with a name like McCann-Mulligan I can get away with a joke like that! With that said, here’s a creative twist on two Irish staples – beer and potatoes:

Beer Mug O’ Blooms

This fun floral arrangement makes a great decoration and is a perfect gift to send to anyone on St. Patrick’s Day – after all everyone is Irish on March 17th! The beer is actually acrylic crystal nuggets and the beer foam is white floral foam.

If you don’t have the time to make a Beer Mug O’Blooms at home, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has a version of their own. Check it out here!

Mug O Beer

Irish Potato Appetizers

Salmon, another traditional Irish food, brings these potato appetizers up a notch. They’re very easy to make, look pretty, and you don’t need two hands to enjoy them which means you can hold onto your beer!

Potato Apps

Directions:

  1. Coat small red potatoes with olive oil and sea salt.
  2. Roast in oven until fork tender (about 45 min).
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  4. Cut a small cross in the top of each potato and press sides to open.
  5. Put a dollop of sour cream in each potato.
  6. Top with a slice of smoked salmon.
  7. Garnish fresh a fresh herb such as rosemary.

Where’s the (Corned) Beef?

Probably the most popular meal to serve on St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage. Think outside the box (or pot in this case). Leave out the corned beef and create a unique centerpiece with the cabbage, potatoes, and fresh cut Bells of Ireland. To create the “cabbage” vase simply remove a few outer leaves from a head of cabbage and place around a short beverage glass.

Cabbage and Potatoes

This Spud’s for You!

OK, one final creative use of a potato! Scope out the center of a large baking potato and fill with 2-3 stems of green spider mums. Insert a nametag and place on each guest’s dinner plate.

Potato Place Setting

Remember what I always say, – “Just have fun with it” – and you can’t go wrong!

Erin Go Bragh!

Entertainment

Baby Shower Ideas For “Nesting” Mothers

February 19, 2012

Bird’s Nest Themed Baby Shower

With so many baby shower ideas out there, my favorite one just had to be a bird nesting themed baby shower. At this point the new mom’s nesting instinct is in over-drive so why not make “nesting” the theme for her baby shower. I did just that recently for my niece’s shower, but also included pears, as they were a theme from her wedding, which my sister creatively incorporated into the baby shower invitations. And as luck would have it, I found these fabulous pear shaped glass votive candle-holders on clearance at one of my favorite home good stores. Instead of a candle, I filled the pear with a fresh cut rose “nesting” within a green hydrangea.

Rose and flowers inside glass pear invite

Décor

There are many nest themed home décor and entertaining pieces in the market right now. Think outside the box and incorporate flowers in containers that might originally be intended for other purposes such as this iron and twig dip dish. I think the addition of the faux egg really plays into the baby shower and nesting theme.

Flower and Faux egg nest arrangement

For the buffet table, I placed a fresh flower arrangement inside of a bird cage with birch branches “growing” through the cage where a motherly little bird built her nest of straw!

Bird in Nest On Cage

Favors

My niece and her husband gave each guest at their wedding a fresh orchid nestled in a ceramic pear vase by ceramist Barbara Eigen with a tag that said “Julie Anne and Tom – The Perfect Pear”. For her shower, each guest received a miniature pear nestled in a tiny nest with a card that said, “The Perfect Pair is Nesting”!

Pear Nest Favor