Archive for March, 2013

Pin to Win – Doc Milo Giveaway

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

As any good hostess knows, a successful party is all about the details!  It’s not just the party theme, party invitations or food that makes the difference, rather it’s the small details that tie everything together to create an entire party ensemble.  The last bridal shower I attended completely embodied the fine details with purple paper poms decorating each room, the font used largely on the invitation carried throughout the name tags and food markings and even personalized guest towels in the bathroom!  It was all of these little things that made for the perfect party scene.

It can be difficult to find complete party ensembles that make sure everything matches and coordinates, however Doc Milo makes it easy with their Doc Milo Partyware line.  We introduced this line to our website last fall and it makes your party planning that much easier!  Inside their partyware collection you’ll find straw flags, cupcake wraps, party banners, treat boxes, cake pop kits, treat bags and more!  All of the designs in the partyware collection match Doc Milo’s trendy invitations so that you can create a coordinating party set.  From damask prints to zebra, giraffe or cheetah print, the most modern designs await you.

InvitationBox.com & Doc Milo have teamed up to do a fabulous giveaway, that just happens to start today!  It’s called ‘Pin to Win’, which gives you the chance to win up to $1,500 in prizes!  We’ll be giving away 4 weekly prizes of 20 cupcake wraps in the pattern of your choice.  And that’s not all – one lucky Grand Prize Winner will win a 40-Guest Partyware Suite in the pattern of their choice – which includes 40 cupcake wraps, 40 flag straws, 20 treat boxes, 20 cake pop sets and a banner!

How can you enter to win one of these amazing prizes??  It’s simple – each time you purchase a Doc Milo product from InvitationBox.com, you will be entered in a chance to win.  If you want extra entries to win, all you have to do is pin a Doc Milo product on Pinterest with the tags @invitationbox & @docmilo.  Drawings will be held at random on March 14th, March 21st, March 28th and April 4th.  We will also announce the Grand Prize winner on April 4th!

It’s time to get pinning and shopping!  The more you shop & pin, the more chances you have to win – good luck!

 

Let Them Eat Cake…1 Year Later

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There are so many wedding traditions out there today, from something old/something blue to not seeing the groom on the wedding day.  It always surprises me where these wedding traditions stem from, and this week our amazing CS team came to me with a question that truly stumped me – Why is it that we carry on the tradition of saving the top tier of our wedding cake for our one year anniversary?  And where in the world did that tradition stem from?

After some extensive research, I have found the answer!  Back in the old days, it was believed that the main purpose of marriage was for procreation.  It was thought that by the couple’s one year wedding anniversary, a child would be born.  The top tier of the wedding cake was thus saved with the intent to be served at the baby’s Christening, one year later.  I don’t know about you, but serving my Christening guests one year old cake does not sound extremely appetizing, though it is extremely frugal!

Nowadays the saving of the top tier of wedding cake is typically more of an intimate tradition by the married couple to reminisce their wedding day together and bring luck for the remainder of their marriage…and who knows, maybe a baby will result from this luck and love!

Are you thinking about carrying on the tradition of saving the top tier of your wedding cake ?  If so, there are a few things you’ll need to know about freezing and preserving your cake, as well as defrosting it one year later!

Freezing Your Cake

-Fruit cake is the easiest cake to freeze, due to the moisture rich ingredients.

-Steer clear of vanilla and chocolate cakes, as they often dry out.

-Fondant is much easier to freeze and preserve than a sugar or cream based frosting

-When you bring your wedding cake home, place it in the freezer for up to three hours, (without any box/protection), to harden the frosting.

-To avoid freezer burn or bacteria, wrap your cake tightly with saran wrap, being careful not to leave any air bubbles which may increase condensation.

-Alternatives to saran wrap are freezer bags or foil

-Place your wrapped cake into a cake box for safe storage and be sure to mark it “Do Not Serve – Save for Anniversary” so that nobody accidentally serves the cake.

1 Year Later…

-Place your cake in the fridge to thaw, which will help prevent your cake from getting soggy as it thaws

-Alternatively, you may thaw the cake at room temperature, with a fan blowing at the cake to avoid over moisture from condensation.

 

FUN TIP: As your top tier of wedding cake is typically saved for your anniversary, the number of servings bakers list per cake size does not include the top tier.

When is Alcohol Appropriate at a Party?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

When is it appropriate to drink or have alcohol available at a party?  To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I went to an event or an adult birthday party where alcohol wasn’t served or available, and serving alcohol at a party has become widely accepted in society, and is often expected.  Many of our events also include alcohol as a party theme or event at a party, from the toast by a maid of honor at a wedding to a wine tasting themed birthday party, a stock the bar shower or a 21st birthday party.  At these events, alcohol does seem to be appropriate to many people.  However, is there ever a party where alcohol should not be present?  What about a baby shower or a kids birthday party?  Would alcohol be frowned upon at one of those events?

The answer to that seems to be very black and white for which side you agree with, with truly no grey area.  To be brutally honest, it always amazes me when I see a baby shower invitation that boasts that cocktails will be served – if the honoree isn’t able to drink, at what point is it disrespectful to drink around her?  Isn’t the whole point of the baby shower to celebrate the upcoming baby?  Since when is it about partying it up with a cocktail in-hand?  That’s my take on it, anyways.  The opposite side to this is that the mommy-to-be is not sipping on a cocktail because she is pregnant.  As a pregnant woman, she accepts the responsibilities that go along with being pregnant, and her guests should not feel obligated to change how they would typically act simply because the honoree isn’t drinking.  It’s not my opinion, but a valid point nonetheless.

What about alcohol at a kids birthday party?  My family is a bunch of social drinkers, and I honestly can’t remember a family function we last had where the adults weren’t sipping on a beer or a cocktail…however, I can say that at most children’s parties, drinks are not in-hand.  Again, it surprises me when we see an invitation come through with a cocktail graphic, which invites guests to a first or second birthday.  Is it really appropriate for adults to be drinking at a kids function?  Through my research and blog forums, I have found that some people think it is appropriate to have alcohol served at a children’s event, as long as it is served in moderation.  However the other side of this seems to be extremely passionate, reasoning that a major part of being a parent is being responsible and setting a good example for your children.  What message are you sending your children if you are drinking at their party, or worse yet, driving them home after drinking at a party?

So is there really a time when alcohol is appropriate at a party?  There is no hands-down etiquette rule for this one, folks.  However, my years in etiquette would advise that alcohol should only be present where the honoree or hosts deem it appropriate.  Consider the event you are hosting – an adult birthday party, corporate event or wedding may be the perfect places to sip on a cocktail or drink a few beers with friends, however when your event revolves around a religious event, a child’s birthday or an upcoming baby…make the focus of your event on the child or the event and theme, and check the beer at the door.

Wine + Food Pairings

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Wine is good.  Wine paired with the right food is so much better! Think of the wine you serve with your meal as a way to truly bring out the flavors in the food you are eating, and enhance the body of your wine as well as your entire dining experience.  A meal is simply a meal until you add a glass of wine, in which a perfect balance is created, mind, body and soul.

The art of wine and food pairing has grown increasingly popular as of late, and has become somewhat of an art form for many wine enthusiasts, chefs and diners.  It is quite often that you will dine at a restaurant and receive a pairing menu from the chef, suggesting the perfect wine to accompany each course or entree.  Experts suggest that the perfect balance between food and wine is achieved through balancing the body of the wine with the body of the food.  A heavy and powerful wine like a Malbec can overpower the light taste and nature of a white fish, whereas a Sauvignon Blanc could be easily overwhelmed by a large steak or stew.  When doing your own food pairings, you can decide what works for you, regarding matching flavors and textures, or purposely contrasting them to create a balance for your own unique palette.

As Friday’s blog entailed, today is the second day in our Wine Kick-Off weekend.  Anyone who places an order (over $75.00) before Sunday evening will receive a free $50.00 gift card to use at NakedWines.com!   The regular promotion is to order $100.00 or more to receive your free gift card, so make sure you take advantage this weekend, when the order amount is lowered to $75.00!

We figured that with all that extra wine you’ll have in your wine rack, you might want to try a few recipes and pairings to enhance your total wine experience!

Our two featured wines today are Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Reserve Malbec 2012 and Rod Easthope Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011.

The Winemaker Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Reserve Malbec 2012

The Malbec boasts a rich and smooth texture, which gives off hints of blackberry and cherry, with a long lasting finish, which is the perfect complement to a hearty meal.  Our below pairing features a manchego with rosemary cheese, which is aged from a manchega sheep and accented with the gorgeous bouquet of rosemary.  Aged for approximately fifteen months, rosemary lightly infuses this flavorful cheese.  For the entree, we feature a full-bodied meal to coordinate with your full-bodied wine, with a chili con carne recipe which features large portions of beef, pork, kidney beans, pepper sauce and a variety of strong vegetables.  Top with raw onion and a hint of cheddar for a bold flavor that is accented by the smooth nature of the Malbec.  For dessert, we feature a dark chocolate bread pudding with red berry sauce.   The dark chocolate in this dish accompanied by the sweet nature of the red berry sauce is truly delightful, and is boldly accented by the berry undertones in the Malbec.

manchego with rosemary ~ chili con carne ~ dark chocolate bread pudding ~ malbec

Rod Easthope Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

The Sauvignon Blanc has a clean and crisp taste which is accented by hints of citrus featuring green apple, grapefruit and pineapple.  This wine is refreshingly balanced and the perfect accompaniment to a light summery meal.  Our pairing below features a hot spinach dip, which could even be served as a cold dish in the hot summer months.  The salty nature of the dip, especially when paired with flat bread or salty crackers, is the perfect pairing for the Sauvignon Blanc, which will use the citrus undertones to balance the salty nature of this dish.  For the entree, we feature a California-style clam bake, which boasts a compilation of light sea fare, (mussels and clams), with garlic, shallot and parsley accents.  The Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect pairing for this dish, with its crisp and dry body with just  a hint of citrus.  Finally, for a lovely summer dessert, we suggest a green apple sorbet, to which the flavors of your wine will truly enhance each delectable bite of this frozen treat.

hot spinach dip ~ california-style clam bake ~ green apple sorbet ~ sauvignon blanc

Feeling inspired for dinner tonight?  Check back for more wine and food pairing suggestions as we continue this amazing wine promotion with Nakedwines.com.

Rod Easthope Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Wine Kick-Off Weekend

Friday, March 1st, 2013

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Paulo Coelho

Wine’s rich history dates back thousands of years, all the way to 6000 BC, where its earliest production date was recorded.  With so much longevity and history, its no wonder that wine has become such a stable in our lives.  In wine we find religion, relaxation after a long day, a romantic gesture between two, socialization with friends and a toast on a special occasion.  Maybe it’s the intense aromas of the bouquet, the health benefit from drinking wine, the fact that wine has always been associated with wealth and luxury or maybe it’s just simply the rich flavors of wine…whatever it is, I sure look forward to a large glass of wine at the end of most days!

That being said, InvitationBox.com is very excited to announce that we have paired up with Nakedwines.com for a wine-tastic promotion that will get your taste buds watering!  Nakedwines.com is a company that prides itself in being the UK’s fastest growing online  wine retailer.  The company began about five years ago and has just recently branched out to opening a location in the United States, in Napa, California, thus bringing us a fabulous and convenient online wine dealer to our homes at extremely affordable prices.  Customers can purchase wines online at discounted or wholesale prices, thus saving hundreds of dollars per year on expensive wines, while also helping local winemakers expand their business.  You can join their angles program for $40 a month, which will give you even lower prices than the discounted online price, and this is called the “Angel Price”.  No matter what you decide, you’ll still be receiving a fabulous price on their wines!

Ready to hear about our fabulous promotion?  Beginning on March 1st, every order (of $100.00 or more) placed on InvitationBox.com will receive a $50.00 wine gift card to NakedWines.com!  That’s right, $50.00 of wine, just for placing your order!  And that’s not even the best part – to kick-off our wine promo, we’re having a Wine Kick-Off weekend, where we will lower the required order amount to obtain the deal to just $75.00!  What does that mean?  If you place an order of just $75.00 or more on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, (March 1st – March 3rd), you will receive a free $50.00 gift card to NakedWines.com!  Gift cards will be sent in the mail within 5 – 10 business days of order placement.  To review the terms of this amazing deal, please click here.

 

I hope you have your wine opener and a tall wine glass ready, because this wine promotion is one of the coolest promo’s we’ve ever offered, and we can’t wait to share the bouquet with you!  After-all, nothing goes better with a party invitation than a tall glass of wine!