Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pairing Wine with Food

While reading my fellow bloggers articles, I clicked on a dinner party featured on www.greylikesweddings.com.  A great party to be sure but I really get interested when someone posts their menus and wine choices.  As someone who loves to throw my own soirees, I am always curious about pairings of food and wine and how I can adapt them for my own use.  Check out these perfect pairs.

  1. Cheese Platter, breads, nuts, and fruits served with Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc
  2. Seared Scallop served with Sauvignon Blanc
  3. Mushroom Ravioli served with Pinot Noir
  4. Duck served with Pinot Noir
  5. Caesar served with Chardonnay
  6. Clams served with Chardonnay
  7. Lamb served with Red Zinfandel
  8. Panna Cotta served with Red Zinfandel

Try one of these pairings at your next party!  Or, if you are looking for a great place to go to for a tasting, try Spago's in Caesar's Forum Shops in Vegas.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Corner Office - What's a Girl to Do? Part II

Been waiting for more coaching tips from the Nice Girls series?  Here are some additional things you can do to make change in your professional life right away.

"Surround yourself with a Plexiglass shield."  This shield allows you to see out while keeping out the negative and disparaging remarks of others.  It bounces off your shield!  Don't let the naysayers discourage you!  One of my favorite movie line comes to mind, "Don't let the man get you down."

"Create the word on the street."  Write down what you want others to be saying about you then follow it up with specific actions to make it happen.  When I made a change in careers, I knew I was leaving a field where people viewed me as an expert and moving to a field where I would have to prove myself.  This tip especially important to me!

"Recognize resistance and put a name to it."  If someone seems to be resisting your efforts to grow into the position you want, question it.  Ask them why they don't agree with your statement or idea and give them your bullet points as to why it is pertinent and/or a successful idea.

"Ask for feedback."  Ask your friends or trusted colleagues for feedback by using open-ended questions about your actions.  Trust me, people want to be asked to share their views and will impart their wisdom on you more often than not.

"Don't aim for perfection."  You can't be perfect.  Some things we don't excel at, some just don't fit with your style.  Aim to do many things well and the rest will fall into place.  For those of you that are a Virgo (like me), join in me in my quest to stop looking for perfection within ourselves!

Stay tuned as we look at the the #1 mistake on How You Play the Game.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Repurpose Your Greeting Cards

My family and friends would tell you that I hate giving greeting cards.  They are so expensive and they end up in a bag in the back of a closet never to be seen again.  They have no purpose after their original purchase.  The sentiments are nice but I would rather write my own poem or message than use the notions of someone I have never met.  That said, greeting cards are a required custom in most families and many celebratory events.  So, while cleaning out my closet this weekend, I decided to find out how I can put these cards to good use rather than continue to use them as space savers in multiple bags and boxes throughout the house.


Donate: While talking with some sisters from my sorority, I found out that you can donate your cards to St. Jude's and they remake the cards for reuse.  Fantastic!  Find a group that you can donate your cards to or contact your local St. Judes to find out how you can help.

Reuse:  For some reason I ended up with cards that hadn't been signed or written on.  Ummmm, those can totally be given to someone else!  But for those of you that are more creative, use the kids cards to make artwork for your babies room or to hand make birthday cards for the little ones in your life.

Here is a step by step for some artwork I made for my baby Gavin.  The experts say to change out the pictures in a small child's room every month or so to stimulate them with new images.  This is a great purpose for those baby shower cards I got plus I get to reminisce every time I see each card in the frames.

You will need:

  • Greeting Cards or images from magazines or other media
  • Scissors
  • White or Colored Card Stock
  • Glue Stick
  • Picture Frames (I got mine on sale at Michaels but you could hit up the dollar store too)

I started with a very cute thank you card I received from a friend after sending a baby shower gift.  I call my little guy my monkey so I thought it would definitely have a place on his wall!

Next I cut out the monkey figure and used the pattern from the back of the card to make some stripes on my card stock.  I glued it all in place and put it in my simple 4x6 picture frame and voila, it is ready to be hung up.

Do you have any great ideas on how to reuse your greeting cards?  Please post your ideas!  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Great Hostess Gifts for the Summer

While reading Coastal Living Magazine, I came across some great ideas for hostess gifts that would be wonderful for the summertime.

1. A handmaqde wooden cutting board
I have seen these on television where the boards are cut into the shape of the state you want and they engrave a heart in your favorite city location.  Check out aheirloom.etsy.com to see more.


2. A vintage-style table game
Check out the many styles of games by Front Porch Classics at http://www.universitygames.com.  Many come in rustic wooden boxes and are a really unique item.  Games include Classic Baseball (pictured on the left), Mexican Train Dominoes, and Tailgaters Ring Toss among many others.

3. A potted lime tree
Wrapped in a burlap or linen covering over the pot and completed with a bottle of tequila or a six pack of Coronas.  I actually have a lime tree in my yard just for my Coronas!  I've heard you can get these at www.fromthefarm.com but I was able to get mine at Lowe's.

4. A grill-mounted s'mores maker
Speaker of home improvement stores, you can get one of these cool contraptions at www.homedepot.com.  Pair it with some marshmellows and other yummys from your favorite specialty store (i.e. surlatable.com) and you have a great BBQ addition.

For more ideas, you can check out the 15th Anniversary issue of Coastal Living (June 2012) or check them out online at www.coastalliving.com.   Please leave us a comment if you have any of these items and want to let us know how much you like them or if you have any other great hostess gift ideas for the summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Corner Office - What's a Girl to Do? Part I

As a follow up to my Nice Girls post earlier this week, I wanted to share some of the gems of wisdom I found in the book.  After taking a quiz to find out where my strengths and weaknesses are, we started to look at things we can do right away to start making immediate changes as well as becoming prepared to work the 101 mistakes to come within the other chapters.

Here are some coaching tips that help us get started:

"Give yourself permission to move from girlhood to womanhood."  Basically, don't forget that you are allowed to and encouraged to meet your needs too!

"Visualize yourself as you want to be."  I am sure that we all remember someone who told us in the past that we need to write down our goals in order to achieve them.  This concept is similar.  If you can see yourself where you want to be (i.e. Director, corner office, management, etc.), then you can begin to consider the behaviors that are required to get where you want to be and actions that you will need to take in order to bring this into reality.

"Talk back to the fearful voice inside your head."  Empower yourself.  Don't be afraid to change to get what you want.

More to follow!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

I love this book and want to dedicate a series on my blog to some of the items from the book.  It can be difficult to find a book that can inspire you to be better and that gives you real tools you can use to grow professionally and as a person outside of the office.

This national bestseller by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., uncovers 101 unconscious mistakes women make that sabotage their careers.  Here are some examples:

Mistake #3:Working too hard.  The truth is, no woman was ever promoted purely because of hard work.  Learn to "waste" a little time.

Mistake #26: Decorating your office like your living room.  Unless you're an interior decorator, it doesn't pay.  Reevaluate your office decor.

Mistake #27: Feeding others.  You are not "Mom" or "Betty Crocker".  Think twice before you put food on your desk.

Keep an eye out for updates as they are posted.  And feel free to give us your opinion!  We would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas and whether you agree or not.

Cheers!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pinterest - I Gave In!

Visit PartiesbyParis on Pinterest!

I held out as long as I could but have finally been sucked in.  I hope you will join us and see what inspires our events!

Dad's Day - Another Tie?

I hate to sound like a broken record but I think Father's Day shopping may be just as hard if not harder than Mother's Day.  How many ties can you buy in a lifetime?  And at least mom will occasionally tell you what she would like if something tickled her fancy.  Let's face it, macaroni sculptures just won't cut it anymore!

So, for the ever creative, share your unique ideas with us so we can wow our dads too.  Here are some ideas I have seen recently that were fun and different.

Adventures:  Check out Groupon.com for some really great ideas.  I just found a great Balloon ride deal on this site.  If you haven't done this, it is a lot of fun.  And it is 55% off for a limited time!  Check it out HERE.  If you aren't in Las Vegas and want to find a balloon ride available in your area, search Groupon.com by city or do a quick google search.


Custom Cards and Photobooks:  Build a custom card at places like Shutterfly with pictures of the family, especially if you have new additions!  This works for Mother's Day too!  Feeling especially creative?  Make a whole photobook.  These are gifts that hit home every time.

Please share your great finds and I will post more of mine as I search the globe for that perfect gift!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What to get for the Mom who has everything?



I can't be the only one out there that feels like her Mom has everything?  So what do you do for Mother's Day, Birthdays and other Holidays?  Every holiday I rack my brain and scan tons of online pages and blogs for something unique (or even something she will even use!) and still I have a box sitting here from Christmas of shoes to return that just didn't quite fit but were very lovely... 

So for the Mom that has everything, we have the standard go tos: spa packages, dinner, a new sweater.  So I put this question out to you - and as I find some interesting ideas, I will share too!  Post your unique gift ideas and let's help each other find the perfect gifts for the mom who has everything. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Get Ahead by Being Social - Importance of Culture

I read this great article and wanted to share it with everyone.  In my field, being social is everything.  If you are unable to connect with your coworkers, staff, clients and vendors, you are only able to do your job at a mediocre level.  I mean, wedding and event planning is part of the hospitality industry!

Here is an excerpt from this really great article on CNN Money.

"Happiness is the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy," Achor says. "If you can find a way of creating happiness at work, you're 31% more productive, your sales are 37% higher, people perceive you as being more charismatic and you're three times more creative."

Read more at:
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/04/24/want-a-promotion-make-friends-at-work/


I recently had the great pleasure of putting together a tour with the Las Vegas IIBA group here in Las Vegas of the Zappos facilities in Henderson, NV.  They are known for their workers' happiness, increased productivity, and resulting success.  People pay to take their different workshops on work culture.  I highly recommend that if you are in the Las Vegas area, take a trip to this great facility and get some ideas on how to motivate people at work to increase your happiness and to gain long-lasting results in job satisfaction.

To learn more about a tour at Zappos, go to http://www.zapposinsights.com/tours

Here are some pictures from the tour:






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