Daily Cookie


FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS
March 3, 2016, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Career, Personal, Sanity | Tags: , , , ,

flightGreetings from the sky. I read a recent post from a fellow blogger that resonated with me because we both have to travel all the time for our jobs and share a fear of flying. Of course she is a well-paid (and even better well-dressed) fashion blogger who was on her way to Paris with many show invites to PFW, and I am just an event producer doing my thing. To find out she was afraid of flying too made me feel a little better.

Here I am sitting on a JetBlue flight on my way to Miami for both work and play – well okay one day of work but nonetheless, I am in the friendly skies again. The plane just started to shake (a lot) and the Captain came on asking us to return to our seats and fasten our seatbelts. I immediately tense up, look out the window for any visible signs of bad weather and grab whatever I can to hold on to (in this case its my laptop). Michael (my hubby who remember is the quick and efficient packer and very experienced and obnoxiously calm flyer) just leaned over from across the aisle and mouthed to me “OMG,”  which of course was a joke, but just fueled my fears even more. Welcome to my world. Its either that or he sends me statistics about flying, how turbulence is nothing to be afraid of, blah blah blah.

None of which helps when you are smack in the middle of rough air.

Normally I travel with my “airplane medicine” as one of my BFFs and esteemed doctor friends Alex calls it. But today’s 7AM flight time and the fact that once I land I am representing a well respected client and in back-to-back meetings straight through dinner  didn’t really warrant the meds. Hence I remembered what Sophie would do. The only problem is that in my frenzy to wrap my week and prep for this trip, I forgot to download the meditation app she recommended.

I am going to do that as soon as I am safe on the ground. Now If I could only shop her closet,  I am sure that would eliminate more of my fears too.

And just like that, the seatbelt sign went off and the wonderful JetBlue pilots found us some smooth air. The Captain came on again and this time told us to sit back and enjoy the flight. I wonder if they read my blog?

#jetblue, #blogging, #meditation, #Miami, #ensono

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Tastings: The Ingredients to a Great Event
February 18, 2016, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Career, Events, Feast | Tags: , , ,

tastingAfter each event, we meet with the client to debrief on all aspects of the project: the successes, the areas for improvement and the highlights.

We prepare for the debriefs by listing the ingredients to a great event.

Food has a starring role and plays an integral part in just about every event. Who is at your table is key, but what you serve on that table is just as important.

Enter tastings.

tasting

Yesterday we sampled some good old southern comfort food at Loretta’s Last Call in Boston.  This tasting was significant because the event is a themed event which our guests are not all accustomed to, nor is it a popular cuisine here in the city. We asked the Chef to come up with a menu that showcased the venue’s flavors and that would appeal to the masses.

There were only two of us at this tasting so a wooden platter was presented with 4 different appetizer sized items for us to try. And of course we had to try the various moonshines to wash down all that fried yumminess.

Besides enjoying a fun afternoon with my client, we were able to make some educated decisions about what and how to serve both our food and beverage for this March event.

When doing your own tastings, make sure your menu is not only delicious but also is easy to consume (is it better passed, plated or buffet), presents or sets up well (how is it passed or will it hold up on a buffet), has enough of a variety and options for all (vegetarian items, gluten free items and/or options for any allergies etc.), represents your event theme and is pleasing to the attendees (is this something you would order yourself).

Good food is always a recipe to success.

Cheers!

#frontrowassociates, #NEVYs2016, #tastings, #gonecountry, #country, #comfortfood, #moonshine, #friedchicken, @LorettasLastCall, @NewEnglandvc, @cococd2014, @CDFRAEvents



The Science Project
February 15, 2016, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Career, Events, Feast, Friends, Personal | Tags: , ,

Valentine’s Day, like almost every other holiday we celebrate, is really just another event. This year I decided to bake cakes to celebrate the day.

Martha Stewart proudly posted a perfect, super styled photo of a hidden heart pound cake on Instagram. It caught my eye and I thought how fun and what a great way to bake my love and recognize this event. Plus after my self inflicted Christmas gift wrapping project, I figured I could easily tackle a ton of butter and some pink food coloring. After about two minutes of thinking how and when, I decided to make one for Mike, one for my parents and one for my in-laws and visited Amazon to see how fast they could deliver a loaf pan and heart shaped cookie cutters.

I love learning new things and always pick up a few pointers from all my events. Below is what I learned on February 14, 2016:

  • I am not a baker.  I love to cook, but have my own way of doing things and following recipes. Let’s just say, I am not precise. Everything else I tackle in my life has been pretty spot on, baking. . . not so much.
  • Organic food coloring from Whole Foods might be slightly better for you, but does not work.  You need gel food coloring when you want the colors to actually look like colors. Thanks JoeDee.
  • I am a pretty determined control freak. I made 8 cakes to get it right. And micromanaged my poor Valentine and our friend Marcelene on their respective tasks. Truth be told, I didn’t really just learn this – but it is applicable here.
  • Events are a labor of love. See above, I did succeed.

And last but not least. . .

  • Baking is a science project.

#MarthStewart, #PieBox, #cakes, #VDay, @CDFRAEvents, @CocoCD2014, @JoeDeeHess, #FrontRowAssociates 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The Overnight

What to Wear Where – The Overnight

One of the perks of my job is that I get to venture to many different destinations. Some people may think this is a hardship rather than a benefit, but I truly like to travel (minus the actual flights) and explore.

So far in 2016 I have been to Florida twice, NYC, Savannah and Charleston. And this week I am at it again.

What I dislike about all the travel is all the packing and worst yet, all the unpacking. I am pretty good with long trips, but sometimes the short trips aka the overnights present a bigger challenge.

Today starts my two short, back-to-back trips. I am in NYC now for an all day planning meeting with a great new client. And tonight I am attending the USO’s 75th  Anniversary Event. The second trip this week is a weekend escape to the Cape to watch the Super Bowl.

If you ask my husband, or as I will refer to him for the purpose of this post “Mr. Carry-On Only,” he would tell you I am the worst packer, especially when it comes to my frequent trips to NYC.  But I finally think I have the formula. Hope you read that, Mr. Carry-On Only.

I pick one piece to build my outfits from and make that piece work for both days. A good start is using a color scheme. I wear a lot of black so that always works or a very neutral palette – gray, denim, camel, white, more gray and occasionally with a pop of color.

This trip it’s centered around some off black jeans that I am currently addicted to, two tops and boots. A silk blouse is always a strong option for work and dresses up your jeans. I am thankful that my job is more creative than corporate and use that to my advantage when dressing. There are a few times I need to look more professional, but the majority of the time casual chic is appropriate.

Then it is really what my career is all about: the attention to details. The look above with the ease of the shirt and accessories complete this outfit. The shirt is what makes it though. This winner by Superfine is not your typical blouse. It has a ribbed hem and sleeves and mesh pockets, which makes it that much more interesting. And the fitted drape makes it a long term staple. Luckily my evening event is casual too so a quick change into a pair of higher, sexier shoe boots will take me well into the night.

Tomorrow is about being comfy and cozy on the train home — a cashmere turtleneck sweater will be perfect. The same sweater will then be repacked for my weekend journey.  I will simply swap out a top, throw in another pair of boyfriend jeans and some work out gear and I am ready for my weekend escape.

Go Panthers!

#frontrowassociates, #worktrips, #R13, #Superfine, #Vince, @the_USO, @CDFRAEvents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



HORSING AROUND IN MUSIC CITY
April 17, 2015, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Career, Events, Friends | Tags: ,

horsingaroundbootslisteningroom

Howdy from Music City, USA!

This is my 4th trip to Nashville and I discover more things that I love about this place every time. Believe me, I am not  becoming countryfied and won’t be swapping my AG’s for some Cinch (just learned these are “the” known Cowboy jeans) anytime soon, but I do enjoy some good Southern comfort food and the sights.

My job takes me to a new market every year to site, plan and produce an annual event for Microsoft US Public Sector. This is yet another reason why I love what I do. Being on the road as much as I am is tough, but it allows me to meet tons of interesting people and experience many things  that I probably would not normally do as an east coaster. For example, hot chicken! A local specialty which is basically fried chicken that has been seasoned with a secret blend of everything HOT!

This trip I have sited over 29 restaurants, coffee shops and bars looking for the perfect venues to host several dinners and parties for my client later this summer. I call these my “Retail Safaris”. I basically set up camp in a city for a day or two and absorb as much of the town possible. This entails researching or stumbling on the tourist hotspots, learn where the locals eat and hang, what is trending, where to go for live music, where is the best shopping, what is a cultural must see and so on. It can be exhausting, but super fun too. Today I visited many of the places I see on the hit show Nashville and felt like I was in the music industry sitting at a sound board at Ocean Way Recording Studios. Yee haw!oceanway

My goal in these retail safaris is to find options that provide true local flavor, fun entertainment, great food and places that are bursting with charm, energy and endless opportunities.

Past years and prior event experience has taught me how to move in and out of these places like a pro and with an eye for detail and ear for excitement. But it is always beneficial to have a local opinion as well and I find these are the most opportune times to work with a DMC (Destination Management Company). Together you will maximize your time and your client’s dollar.

Now it’s time for me to go off and do some more exploring with 3 friends who are en route from the Northeast and about to join me for a girls weekend.

Bye y’all!



Want to be an Event Planner?
April 14, 2015, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Career, Events | Tags:

3_3_1_header_join_graduates_new

Spring has sprung! Today, the Sox schooled the Nationals in their home opener and Newbury Street was chock-a-block. This can only mean that the cherry blossoms will imminently bloom, the first sun dress will appear and that soon-to-be-grads will be looking for what’s around life’s next corner.

Though it’s been a few years (I use the word “few” because it only seems like that) since I was a graduate, I still remember the anxiety of knowing which direction my career would take. This time of year my memory is even more pronounced because now my profession allows me to play role reversal. One of the favorite parts of my job is the chance to meet students every semester.  I love carving out time in my schedule to sit with prospective interns and applicants because that is truly how I got started.

Being a former BC Eagle and an Emerson College Lion, I tend to gravitate to those grads from my tribes, but I have hired students from many of the greater Boston schools. In Boston, we are lucky to select from a pool of great students year after year. I think that Boston’s academic excellence is unparalleled to begin with but the city keeps making a case for graduates to take up residence here. The entire start up community is burgeoning and our sports teams are delivering championship seasons like it’s their birthright. It’s difficult to imagine a hotter market to now make your home and career. Now, with a historic winter out of the way, we won’t have to go through that again for another 50 years!

While the Sox were tearing apart the Nationals at Fenway Park, I sat with a soon-to-be graduate who is considering a  move to Boston and is looking to start her career in event planning. I chose to post about this topic because it was one of the best interviews that I have conducted in memory.  This was a woman who was prepared for her interview. She researched me and FRA prior to coming in, knew the market, had some on-the-ground experience and was genuinely enthusiastic about her chosen career. I find that truly refreshing these days.

Over the past several years, I have met with some great candidates but the pool definitely seemed smaller.  In part, I think it’s because the “tech generation” approaches things a bit differently. To me, it seems like a larger percentage of the graduates are more achievement driven and not about the learning process itself. I’m not suggesting that achievements aren’t important, they are but don’t forget the route to achievement. I remember when I graduated I was told, “Forget about you learned in school. You’re playing for keeps now”.

If I have learned anything over my own career as a professional, it is this: you will only get out of something what you put in to it. I find myself saying that to many who ask me how I got started, or what is the best part of your job or what is it like to have your own small business. I think this is good life advice as much as anything.

My message to all you future class of 2015’ers. . .you want to be an event planner or any thing else today? Prepare for interviews, volunteer your time and imagine yourself in that role.

That’s how you’ll “own” the interview and your subsequent career.