Daily Cookie

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 


















Five Million Dollars
February 8, 2016, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Blogroll, Events, Friends | Tags: , , , ,


5MThirty seconds can be very expensive.

It’s recorded than more than one third of the US Population tuned in last night to watch Super Bowl 50, cheer on their teams and watch the Halftime Show.

And to watch all the ads.

Major corporations and brands spent millions of dollars for a thirty second spot to promote their goods.

This year they paid Dr. Corporate America upwards of five million dollars to be in the game. This is the most expensive it has ever been. Our ad makers had already taken over the internet with their latest and greatest. The Heinz Hot Dog Stampede commercial went viral over a week ago, Drake’s Hotline Bling is a hit again and just about everyone was humming the Nationwide Insurance ditty whether they were a fan of Peyton or not.

And then last night it kicked off with Ron Howard and the star-studded lineup to start the broadcast. There were some funny spots, but make no mistake, this year’s top ads were just as about who was starring in them as what they were selling.

Advertisers and event producers share similar skills. We capitalize on the fact that large events and star power generate awareness and encourage action. We create and promote them to build anticipation and to punctuate the goals of our carefully planned creative strategies and PR programs. And fortunately when they are done well, they can be very entertaining and very persuasive.

I was sad that I wasn’t screaming for the Pats last night. It was a great season, but just didn’t end the way we all hoped. I was more saddened by the fact that our three time MVP was booed while Ray Lewis was applauded. Come on guys this was really bad form. Haters gonna hate. It changes absolutely nothing.

I knew I wouldn’t really be paying that much attention to the actual game, so I thought it would be fun to engage in a little sport of my own – – introducing “If We Had an Extra Five Million.” Loud shout out to my husband and our friends Patti and Steve for their assist and extra points.

We rated the commercials on the following:

  1. Knowing the audience
  2. Involving the audience (emotionally, call to action, etc.)
  3. Current event relevancy
  4. Overall fun factor
  5. Best celebrity endorsement
  6. Best use of $5M

Congrats to the Denver Broncos, all the MVPs and to the agencies behind last night’s ads. We now know that Super Bowl fans seem to make a lot of babies every year and that Mountain Dew needs a new ad agency.  #whatwasthat

We actually struggled last night as most of the ads failed to impress or meet more than one of our criteria. So we decided on a tie between many because we were just too tired to go into overtime. Our congrats go out to Budweiser as Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen really know how to throw a political party and invited Helen Mirren to make sure you didnt drive home drunk from it; to the candy companies for using tried and true sex appeal and rock and roll to make you want to consume sugar again (William DeFoe was classic); to Jeep for both its 75 anniversary ad and using an up and comer Morgan Dorr to write, sing and star in one of their spots (great song Morgan!); to T-Mobile for being the best spin doctors, to Hyundai for their first date and to Kia for the Walken Closet.

The ads were winners, losers and gave us something to talk about even after the closing ceremony. Sort of like your favorite home team.

Speaking of which. . .  although the Patriots were not on the field, if I had an extra $5M, I would bet on them.

#SB50, #adbowl






April 17, 2015, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Career, Events, Friends | Tags: ,


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!

October 12, 2009, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends


This post is late – one month exactly now.  Sorry Candy.  But lets hope I can make up for it with my tribute to a wonderful city and an even better friend.

The end of the summer and first half of  September were very trying for me.  I am the first to admit I was not myself and let my stress surface and take its toll  on all of those around me, my family, my friends and even my job. I had surgery; not the kind that is super invasive but enough to make you think. 

My surgery was scheduled for the day before we were supposed to go to Montreal for one of my oldest and bestest friends “special” birthdays.  There was really no other time I could schedule my procedure, as I liked to call it, and no other weekend to celebrate with Candy.  I had to do both.  My procedure was actually pretty quick and complete on Thursday Sept 10 at 3pm. We were on the road bandages in place, bottle of Tylenol by my side on Friday Sept 11 at 10:30 am.  The support of Mike, my parents and Aunt Jubes and knowing that I was going to spend a great weekend with my friends got me through the day and motivated to get better real fast. I am big on having something to look forward to.

I had never been to Montreal. –And sorry to say, I did not know one of my best friends in the whole wide world was born there.    I thought she had just picked Montreal as a fun destination city to visit.  I had no idea that she was going on her birth tour! 

We had an amazing weekend.  The feline phenomenon took Montreal like no other.  The  weather, the company, the cuisine, the shopping (now that got me up and on my feet pretty damn fast) and learning something new about a dear friend were exactly what the doctor ordered.

Montreal is beautiful and easy to get to for a long weekend.  I highly recommend you make the trip.  Stay in Old Montreal in one of the boutique hotels and submerge yourself in the architecture and the culture.  You swear you are in Europe.    No one seems to be in a hurry to go or do anything and the ease of long days that flow right into a nap and then great late dinner are contagious. 

Spending time with family and friends is always the best medicine whether you are sick or not. Make the time to do more of it.  I am absolutely fine now and healing quite nicely.  The only memories I will have from this experience are good ones – I am lucky for so many reasons and visiting a new place with old friends is definitely one of them.          

Montreal: It’s young, it’s old, it’s daring, it’s comfortable, it’s hip and it overflows with tradition.  It will always be there.  Just like a great friendship.

Happy Birthday Candy. xoxo Coco

July 24, 2009, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends


[SING OUT LOUD] “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play.” (There is a deer playing in this picture, make sure you click on it to enlarge the photo.)

Park City = by winter, a western state luxury, destination resort for powder skiing and mountain wonderland for the avid outdoors man in the summer.  Sounds like just the kind of vacation place for this city rat.  I can run miles in heels, power shop in less than 30 minutes and organize an event for thousands blindfolded, but sad to say, I am not the outdoorsy type and I am not a good skier.  Not to mention, I have never really been out west (unless of course the Four Seasons in Vegas counts). I do not own a pair of hiking boots and my mountain bike boasts a zillion cob webs in my garage.  Yet, each time I have visited Park City,  I have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

My very first time was this past January – I went to see Sarah and GT’s new home and to brush up on my skills on the slopes.  My last time on skis was over 5 years ago in Vermont.  I thought I did great.  The other three on this particular trip to Twin Farms  informed me it was really a hill that I had “completely and totally mastered” and reminded me that I was on a private um,,,hill, with a private instructer and accompanied by a professional hockey player who made it all look so easy.  Anyway, out west, I too had a private instructor and was supported by my dear girlfriend Sarah.  After a half day lesson I was ready to tackle those double blues.  And in case of an emergency (ie I find myself completely out of control and/or with my tips pointing straight downhill) I can strike quite the bullfighter pose if needed. Needless to say, I was quite skilled in the apres ski rituals and loved the lodge at Deer Valley.  Big fire, yummy wine, great people watching. . . see this was my type of place.

Second time was a couple of weeks ago right after July 4th weekend – once again to see Sarah and GT but this time to  share in their wedding day! I was a bridesmaid, or as Sarah insisted on calling us, a friend of honor.  So with all my “bridal I mean friend of honor duties,” I did not get that much time to explore the mountains in the summertime (I really wanted to try zip-lining in Olympic Park. . .so maybe next time) but I did manage to see a few critters that I don’t get to see every day here in Beantown or on Cape Cod.  Every night driving home we would see a few deer and one morning I saw two elk (deer with goatees) just strolling right in front of the house.  And I swear the bunny rabbits out there are bigger than some medium size dogs.  The last day we saw a moose.  Now that was pretty cool, although poor giant creature was injured.  Don’t worry, we called highway patrol and reported, “there is a moose down on Rte 150.”  Again, not a typical call to make living in the city.

I had a blast.

The wedding was gorgeous, the bride stunning and the views breath taking.  It  truly made me want to be more of an outdoorsy type.  And even tried organizing a group one morning to take a power walk with me.  Let me tell you, you get winded out there and pretty quickly.  

But most importantly, we had a great time with the newlyweds and their friends and family.  And bonus, I got Mr. Even Less of the Outdoorsy Type to promise me that we would go back in the winter so I could once again hone up on my ski skills and so that he could wait for me by that big old inviting fire in the lodge.

July 5, 2009, 1:24 am
Filed under: Events, Friends


It’s here! The sun is finally our friend again and boy does it feel great! Better late than never.  Let the tan and the fun begin. . . 

Happy 4th to all!

June 15, 2008, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Fierce, Friends

Last week I had just checked into my mid-town home away from home, when I ran into a very dear and special friend. . .by complete chance. We were college roommates for 3 years at Boston College.  Our other friends and families nicknamed the two of us, Squirt & Flirt.

Ahhh, the good old days.  She is a tall blond with a fierce figure, has a bubbly personality to match and a passion for the finer things in life.   She drove a convertible Mustang in school, sported only designer duds and used to buy filet mignon at the grocery store to cook for us for dinner.  Combine this somewhat southern girlie girl from Richmond with me, and well, let’s just say we had our fair share of fun.    

Skip to last week.  As I mentioned, I had just checked in and was enjoying the attention from the bellmen, now my pals.  But wait, they were all friendly with another guest.  And they knew her by name too.  Who could this “intruder” be and more importantly, was she worthy? I turned around to see this stunner walking towards me and the first thing I noticed was the outfit (shocker).    That day it was bloody hot in NYC.  She had on the cutest white shift dress and black and white flip flops.  Mind you, the dress was Gucci and the flips, Louis Vuitton.  Wait a minute, I know this girl.  As she approached, the biggest smile come over my face and I knew it was Steph.  Hugs, kisses, a few “oh my Gods” and “you look sooooo good” happened next for about 5 minutes.  The bellmen were amazed that we were college roomies and immediately started drawing all sorts of conclusions (some of course were dead on, some we will leave up to the imagination). 

I hadn’t seen Stephanie in about 4 years.  Last time she was in Boston we got together for dinner, but we have not been the best at keeping in touch.  She lives in California and rarely gets back east.  I visited her once in LA, but do not get out to the west coast that much anymore.  And the last time we met up, she was telling me all about her neighbor who she had a slight crush on.  Steph never had a slight crush.  She fell fast and hard every time. Turns out this time, she met her Mr. Big.  She married the neighbor last year in a very private ceremony at Parrot Cay.  

So now a number of years later (will never tell you how many) the two of us are together again in the Big Apple.  We were both in on business, but managed to find some quality time to catch up. It is so refreshing to see my friends happy and to realize that besides a few years, a couple of husbands, career responsibilities and a pair of new boobs, not much has changed since we were sashaying around the campus of BC. 

Steph came with me the next day to an appointment, we had lunch at Pastis and then shared a taxi further downtown for our meetings.  We hugged, kissed, said a few more “you look amazing and haven’t changed a bits,” and then said good bye.  This time, I truly hope we make an effort to keep in touch and stay a part of each others lives.  

The power of emails, cell phones and all those American Express miles can only help.      

p.s. – she is almost two inches taller, so that made me Squirt and her, Flirt!