Make It Memorable — How to avoid event déjà vu

I have had the cookie cutter event experience more times than I want to remember.  You know the event where the decorations, food, activities are just EXACTLY the same.  Let’s end these event déjà vu experiences with these thought provoking event planning tips:

Combine themes.  Put your creativity to the test, and combine two ideas, two themes, or whatever you like for your next event!  Combining two party themes is a great way to stand out from other events!  Try not to confuse your guests.  Ensure the themes are related in some way.  With Valentine’s Day a few weeks away, a “Valentine’s Day in Paris” themed event can bring together the best of Paris and Valentine’s Day together beautifully!

Twizzler Lemonaid Cocktail

Twizzler Lemonaid Cocktail image from

Make it personal.  There is nothing worse than going to a birthday party where the theme or party elements don’t speak to the unique likes or personality of the person of honor.  For example, I have a friend whose favorite candy is Twizzlers.  So, creating a signature drink showcasing Twizzlers, such as the Twizzler Lemondade Cocktail, would be PERFECT for a party or event honoring my friend.

What event planning tips do you have to avoid the event deja vu expereince?


Make It Memorable — Following “The Little Drummer Boy” Approach

My favorite Christmas song is “The Little Drummer Boy”.  The song reminds us: the best gift we can give comes from utilizing our natural talents. No matter what you celebrate during the holidays, this is a great message to help make your holidays unique, special, and memorable.

This year AKB Events hosted a family Christmas event for a longtime family friend.  I really wanted this event to stand out from any other family gathering.  I knew to accomplish this, I would have to use the “Little Drummer Boy” approach, and utilize my natural talents.  True, I was hired to plan their family Christmas event, but I really wanted to create an event they would remember forever.  Knowing the family is very competitive and loves games, I  decided to create a family feud board to play holiday family feud!  The family absolutely LOVED this idea.  Not only did they enjoy playing the game, many mentioned they could tell I put a lot of time and effort into creating the game board and the event overall!

AKB Events also participated in the Local-Motions Toy Giveaway.  This event was particularly hear-warming because it was all about the kids having a great time singing Christmas songs, playing with their toys , playing games, and getting their faces painted.   The gift of donating toys was crucial to this event.  However, the utilizing my talent of interacting and making connections with people, was the most unique, special, and memorable  gift I could give. So many of the kids were eager to show what Santa brought them for Christmas!  For some of these kids, this is the only Christmas gift they will receive.  Hopefully my gift of interaction will soften the impact that a harsh economic environment has created.

So, let’s continue to utilize our natural talents to make every day, not only the holidays, unique, special and memorable!

Share your story of how you utilized your natural talents to make the holidays special!

Happy Holidays,


AKB Events
Owner/Event Consultant

6 tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner

Is this your first year hosting Thanksgiving dinner?  Then you know you don’t have time to read long blog posts on the matter!  So, this short post is for you. . .

TIP 1:

Don’t try out a new recipe

Do prepare the crowd’s favorite dish

TIP 2:

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy a turkey

Do buy your turkey a week in advance.  Be sure to check how long it will take for the turkey to properly thaw in the refrigerator.

TIP 3:

Don’t wear yourself out cooking everything from scratch

Do use store bought items to save yourself time

TIP 4:

Don’t wait to the last minute to find serving dishes

Do pull out the flatware, glassware, serving dishes, etc. you plan to use a two weeks in advance.  Write the name of each dish on a piece of paper.  Place the paper into each serving dish, to indicate which dish goes in each serving dish.

TIP 5:

Don’t try to be the “super” host, and do everything yourself

Do say yes when others ask “can I help” , or “can I bring anything”

TIP 6:

Don’t stress over every detail being perfect

Do enjoy your friends, family, and give thanks for our many blessings!  Cheers!

What tips would you share with someone hosting their first Thanksgiving dinner?

AKB Events Top 10 Tips For Being a Good Guest

There are many articles, blog posts, and tips for being a good host/hostess.  With the holiday season upon us, here are AKB Events top 10 tips for being a good guest.

  1. RSVP as soon as you receive the invitation.
  2. A good guest mixes and mingles.  Do not only chat with the people you know.  Help the host entertain by mingling with newcomers.
  3. Bring a host gift that does not require immediate attention.  Also, if you bring wine, do not expect it to be served with the meal.  The host may have already selected a wine that compliments the meal.
  4. Don’t be controversial .  Don’t bring up conversation topics that could cause dissension among any of the guests.
  5. Show your gratitude. Whether you stayed for an hour or a weekend, send the host a thank you note.
  6. Pitch in when you notice things that need to be done, i.e. refilling the ice bucket at the self-service bar
  7. Leave uninvited guests―your kids, your well-behaved dog, your work colleague―at home.
  8. Drink responsibly. Your host may be serving alcoholic beverages to complement the meal, but know your limits.  Do not become the sloppy drunk that the host had to tend to.
  9. Be on Time.  Some hosts plan the timing of their meals very precisely, and you wouldn’t want to hold up the meal and spoil the food for everyone else.
  10. Offer to help clear the table. But if the answer is “no thanks”, then just relax and leave things alone. The host may not want guests to feel rushed as their plates are being taken away mid-bite.

Share with us your tips for being a good guest.

AKB Events on YouTube!

AKB Events is now on YouTube! Check out our first presentation on AKB Event’s Channel! You can access AKB Events YouTube Channel directly from our website:  Cheers!

Etiquette for Halloween?

Is there etiquette for Halloween?  Emily Post says there is. . .

Good Halloween Manners

Five Things You Should Know About: Good Halloween Manners

  1. Remind your little goblin not to be greedy; one piece of candy from  each house is the general rule. And saying thank you is a must.
  2. In terms of costumes, ghoulish makeup and army fatigues are acceptable. Guns and bustiers are better left at home.
  3. If you don’t like Halloween, you don’t have to participate. Either go out for the night (and suffer the TP consequences) or turn off your front lights. Parents will get the message-but some older kids might, too, so be prepared for possible “tricks.”
  4. If your area isn’t kid-friendly, it’s fine to pack up your brood and head to Grandma’s neighborhood or to your best friend’s block.
  5. Dumping off a carload of kids in an area where you don’t know anyone or haven’t been invited is definitely impolite-and possibly dangerous.

Healthy Snacks for the Bride-To-Be

Every bride wants to look fabulous on her wedding day.  For the bride watching her waistline, try these tasty low-calorie snack recipes from Delish (for a complete list of refer to 18 low-calorie, Healthy Snacks for Brides):

  • Lemon-Parm Popcorn
  • Mini Greek Pizza Muffins
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie Pops

Lemon-Parm Popcorn

Lemon-Parm Popcorn~image from Delish, 18 low-calorie, Healthy Snacks for Brides


  • 2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) lemon pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cup(s) air-popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Whisk oil, lemon pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Exchanges: 1/2 Starch, 1 Fat Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins~image from 18 low-calorie, Healthy Snacks for Brides


  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup(s) finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup(s) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/3 cup(s) low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon(s) chopped kalamata olives


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, oregano, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir milk, feta, egg, tomato paste and olives into the onion mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.
  5. Bake the muffins until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops~image from 18 low-calorie, Healthy Snacks for Brides


  • 2 cup(s) frozen strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat strawberry yogurt or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup(s) cranberry juice cocktail or pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) pure maple syrup


1.    Place strawberries, banana, yogurt, juice, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide among six 4-ounce freezer-pop molds. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1/2 carbohydrate (other) Carbohydrate Servings: 1 Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (72% daily value)

Tips & Techniques

Tip: If you don’t have freezer pop molds, divide the smoothie among small paper or plastic cups instead. Freeze until very thick, but not completely frozen, 1 to 2 hours. Insert frozen-treat sticks and continue freezing until completely firm, 4 to 5 hours more