Creating a Vision Board For Your 2013 Goals Workshop


Visit https://www.akbevents.net/visionboard.html to register.

What are your dreams and goals for 2013? Want to learn how to make your dreams and goals become a reality right before your eyes?

Creating vision boards are recommended by life coaches, trainers, and scientists as the

most effective technique for turning your goals and dreams into a reality!

A vision board is a tool that displays positive images, words, and pictures of your dreams and goals.

Workshop attendees will learn effective techniques to:

  • Identify your vision and give it clarity
  • Reinforce your daily affirmations, and
  • Keep your attention on your intentions

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Hampton Inn Chicago-Westchester

2222 Enterprise Drive

Westchester, IL

Cost: $30 (includes vision board supplies*, and light refreshments

What to bring: 1) your creative mind, and 2) magazines, newspapers, personal photos, or any print material with words or phrases to help illustrate your goals.

For more information about the workshop, call (708) 612-1290.

*poster board, glue, scissors, notebook paper, colored construction paper.

Visit https://www.akbevents.net/visionboard.html to register.

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Tips For Seating Dinner Guests


You’re excited to throw a dinner party!  You’ve busied yourself with the necessary tasks for a successful evening:  creating the guest list, selecting a menu with the perfect food and wine parings, and setting a tablescape to impress your guests.  One very important element of your tablescape is seating your guests.  Knowing where and how to seat your guests is just as important as the food and wine pairings.  Chow, a website on food related topics, provides a video detailing 4 easy tips for “How to Seat Your Dinner Guests“.

The inspiration of Autumn’s leaves


The autumn season brings about many changes:  Crisp air, gradual shortening of days, and (my favorite) the leaves changing colors.  A great way to liven up this season’s events is to bring the outdoors inside!  Incorporate the natural beauty and texture of autumn’s leaves into your event’s décor.  Here are some easy and budget friendly tips for decorating with autumn’s leaves.

Image from Sunset – Decorating with fall leaves

1.  Nature’s Stained Glass (from Sunset – Decorating with fall leaves)

Chinese pistache leaves are translucent enough to glow like stained glass when lit from behind. To celebrate their vivid fall beauty indoors, display them on simple glass hurricane candle holders.

Gather leaf cuttings from your garden (ginkgo and Japanese maple are other good choices).  Press them in a book overnight to keep them from crinkling, then use one or two Glue Dots on the back of each stem, affixing each leaflet to the outside surface of the glass.

image from Ideal Home Garden – Beautiful Fall Leaf crafts to decorate your home

2.  Leaf Centerpiece  (from Ideal Home Garden – Beautiful Fall Leaf crafts to decorate your home)

One of the easiest fall leaf crafts you can make, this leaf vase is a beautiful and cheap way to decorate your living room, bedroom or entry, and can also be used as a dining table centerpiece.

What You’ll Need:

  • About 20 to 50 leaves, depending on the size of your vase
  • One clear glass vase or hurricane candle holder

Instructions:

  1. Fill the vase or hurricane candle holder with your colorful autumn leaves.
  2. Be careful not to crush or break the leaves as your place them inside.
  3. Arrange some leaves around the outer edges so that they lay flat against the glass for a better view.

Set your leaf vase anywhere you’d like bright autumn décor.

image from Leanneja – 6 Fast and Easy Ways to Decorate with Leaves

3.  Leaf Garland (from Leanneja – 6 Fast and Easy Ways to Decorate with Leaves)

Clip leaves to twine/string using little clothes pins.

What are your favorite ways to decorate with leaves?

4.  Candle and Leaves Centerpiece (from 9 ways to decorate with Autumn leaves

Put an autumn-themed plate or bowl on top of a candlestick or cake stand. Fill it with leaves, acorns and candles for a simple and casual look.  SAFETY NOTE:  Use battery operated, flame-less candles in this centerpiece.  There’re much safer around dry leaves than regular candles.

What are your favorite ways to decorate with leaves?

A Week-long Celebration!


I celebrated a birthday in July.  My next milestone birthday is a few years away, but I still wanted to do something special.  I had lots of theme, venue, and activity ideas, but couldn’t settle on one idea for one night (or weekend for that matter).  Instead, I decided to compile my ideas into a week-long birthday celebration!  The idea was brilliant (if I do say so myself!).  This allowed me to 1) visit some of my favorite locations, 2) visit new locations, 3) spend different nights with different friends (never a dull moment), and 4) select activities of varied price points in consideration of my guests pockets.  My guests and I had a fabulous time, and look forward to next year’s week-long birthday celebration!

Week-long birthday celebration agenda

Day 1 –  Dinner at Lalo’s

Activity:  Secret Message:  Take a stack of note cards and write an odd statement, Place one note card under each of the guests’ plates. As they are seated, ask each guest to read their own note card silently. Explain that throughout the meal, they must at some point say their secret message. To win, a guest must make it through the meal, say their message once, and not get caught.

Day 2 – Chocolate tasting at Chocolat du Bouchard

Activity:  None needed.  There’s chocolate!

Day 3 – Wine tasting & dinner at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

Activity:  None needed.  There’s wine!

Day 4 – Activity:  Thursday Night Out Downtown Oak Park

Day 5 – Dinner at Maya Del Sol

Activity – Live music (Found out the live music segment is on siesta the rest of the summer.  But that’s okay.  Had a great time anyway!)

Day 6 (day) – Activity:  Drink while you paint a picture at Arts N Spirits

Day 6 (evening) – Activity:  Glow in the dark Miniature golf at Putting Edge

Day 7 – Brunch at Chicago Chicken & Waffles

Activity:  None.  It’s brunch – just relax and enjoy great food and great company!

How did you celebrate your birthday this year?

Everyone loves a well stocked “Bar”


One of the hottest food trends in events and entertaining are food stations. Food stations  are a fun way to add variety, while making it easy for your guests to mingle. Common food stations are: dessert stations, ice cream bars, and Asian stations. Have a  tight budget, but want to add this hot trend to your next summer party. Try a Hot Dog Bar! It’s an inexpensive way to put a fun twist on an American favorite. Here’s how to do it:

1) Setup

Keep in mind, food stations are meant to keep your guests to mingling.  Setup stations in different areas of the party/event space.

2) Food stations – Hot Dog Bars

Classic. For any food station, it’s always a good idea to have the regular, tried and true toppings available. Relish, mustard, ketchup, and onions are favorite stand-ins for a hot dog bar.

Regional. Find out which city has the best hot dog! Many U.S. cities have its own take on what should go on a hot dog i.e. The Chicago Hot Dog, the Honolulu Dog, and the Southern California Baja Dog. Gather the ingredients and follow the recipes for these great city hot dogs!

The Chicago Hot Dog

Ingredients:

Boiled Hot Dogs

Poppy Seed Buns

Yellow mustard

Sweet relish

Chopped Onions

Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

Tomato Slices

2 Sport Peppers

Dash of celery salt

Instructions:

Put the hot dog in a steamed poppy seed bun. Pile on toppings in this order: Mustard, Relish, Onions, Pickle, Tomatoes, peppers and celery salt.

The Honolulu Dog

Ingredients:

Boiled Hot Dogs

Canadian bacon

Hot Dog Buns

Diced red onions

Diced pineapple

Instructions:

Put the Canadian bacon in the bun. Place the hot dog on top. Then, pile on the remaining toppings.

Southern California Baja Dog

Ingredients:

Boiled Hot Dogs

Hot Dog Buns

Sliced radishes

Pico de gallo salsa

Chopped avocado

Instructions:

Put the hot dog in a steamed bun. Pile on the remaining toppings.

What food station(s) will be at your next party or event?

Cocktails For St. Patrick’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day is a day for all things green and Irish.  Try these fun, green, and (maybe not so) Irish cocktails for  your St. Patrick’s day festivities!                                         

Lucky Leprechaun Cocktail
from Entertain With Mark Addison

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Mailbu Rum
  • 6 oz Pineapple Juive
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Method:

  1. Mix ingredients in a glass or shaker with ice
  2. Pour over ice in a hurricane glass
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge

Green Sangria
From Drink of the Week

If you’re looking for something a little different for St. Patrick’s Day, this green sangria is a nice change of pace.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle pinot grigio
  • 1 ½ oz Midori melon liqueur
  • ½ green apple, cored and sliced
  • ½ lime, sliced
  • ¼ English cucumber, sliced
  • 10 mint leaves
  • ½ kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • Club soda to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except club soda in a pitcher and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. For individual servings, spoon some of the fruit into a wine glass before pouring and then top off with a splash of club soda, diet lemon-lime soda or diet ginger ale to taste.

Herradura Green Agave Cocktail
From She Knows Food & Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Herradura Silver tequila
  • 3/4 oz. melon liqueur
  • lime

Directions:

  1. Add tequila, melon liqueur and a squeeze of lime into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake for 15 seconds.
  3. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with shamrock carved lime and serve.