This One is for the Fellas: Creative Ways to Propose

 ring inside red rose

ring inside red rose

Fellas!  Listen up.  I know most of you have football on the brain with the Super Bowl being  today.  In all your tailgating and placing your bets on the winning team, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, just two weeks away.  Have you given any thought to how you are going to let the lady in your life know how much you love her?   If you haven’t yet don’t worry.  Glamour & Glo got you covered.  Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year and the perfect time to propose.  More than 2 million people will propose on Valentine’s Day.  We have 7 creative, romantic and memorable ways to pop the question and plan a beautiful evening for two.   We’ve compiled a list of our top picks from some of our most favorite sources and vendors.

put a ring on it

put a ring on it

1. Film it!  Work with your local movie theater to pull this off.  Fill the theater with family and friends.  Tell your girlfriend that you are taking her out for dinner and a movie.  During the previews, your girlfriend will be super surprised to see that one of the movie trailers is actually a marriage proposal from you.   This is a great way to surprise  her and to include family and friends in such a memorable moment in your lives.  Not to mention the mega points you will score for this one.   Check out how this Youtube video for inspiration. l<>

2. Advertise it!  This is really cool.  purchase a local commercial ad that will air during your girlfriends favorite cable show.  While watching her favorite show together she will see your commercial asking for her hand in marriage (don’t be afraid to be creative with your commercial.).  Once she sees the commercial present her with the ring.  Don’t forget to DVR the commercial.  It will be great to share with friends and family during the engagement party.

3. For a simple surprise, after she goes to bed, go to her jewelry box and replace her everyday ring with the engagement ring. She’ll be completely shocked in the morning when she goes to put on her regular ring.

4. Slip the ring on her finger while she’s sleeping and wake her with champagne and strawberries. At first, the gesture will simply seem romantic — the real surprise comes when she notices her new piece of jewelry.

intimate proposal

intimate proposal

5. Tie a red-velvet ribbon from one spot in your home to another. Attach little notes recalling perfect moments in your relationship along the way. You wait at the last stop, ring in hand.

6. Spell your proposal out in glow-in-the-dark star stickers on your ceiling. Get into bed, turn the lights off and wait for the inevitable gasp.

7. Gather a bunch of your friends and family for a party. Have everyone in attendance put on a T-shirt bearing one of the letters in the phrase “Will you marry me?” When you walk into the room with your girlfriend, suggest a group picture and let the shirts speak for themselves.

Now don’t look at this list and feel overwhelmed with pulling this off.  Your girls, Areaka and Susan got your back with this one.  Look us up and we can help you create a magical and unforgettable moment that will change your lives forever.

engagement in sand photo
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To wrap up our four part series of “Throwing the Perfect Dinner Party”, we have provided Susan’s actual Thanksgiving menu and a 3-day game plan to help you become Entertainer of the Year.

Tips:  Instead of baking bread, take help from the bakery and purchase your yeast rolls.

Use canned peaches if you don’t have access to fresh.  Of course fresh peaches will yield the best results but they take way longer to cook.  Using canned peaches will reduce your cooking time but be careful not to overcook the peaches on the stove because they will cook in the oven during the baking process.

Use store bought pie crust if you don’t have the time to make your crusts from scratch.

Use bagged greens instead of the loose greens.  This will save you tons of time with cleaning and prepping your greens.

Every great event should have a signature drink and the host should always look flawless.  Create a signature drink and serve it to your guest as they arrive with other delectable treats such as veggie crudités and dip or maybe a salmon pate and crackers.  You don’t want the treats to be too heavy so your guests will have room to eat your scrumptious meal and desserts.  You may also want to have a variety of red and white wines on hand for those that don’t want the signature drink.  This way everybody is satisfied.




Candied Yams

Kale Greens

Macaroni & Cheese

Sweet Corn Pudding

Cornbread Stuffing/Dressing

Rice & Gravy

Potato Salad

Rolls & Butter

10 – Sweet Potato Pies

1 – Chocolate Layer Cake

1 – Peach Cobbler

1 – Pound Cake

Game Plan

Day 1:  Pre-Cooking Prep

Make all of your pie crusts and set aside in the fridge

Chop all of your vegetables and placing them into labeled plastic bags

Baking your cornbread for the dressing

Day 2:  Baking/Cooking/Turkey Prep

Note:  Take your butter, eggs, and milk out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you need to use them to ensure the butter is soft and all ingredients are room temperature.  If your pie crust recipe doesn’t need to rest before using it, I would start the day an extra hour earlier and make the crusts but if your recipe calls for your crust to rest, I would make it on Day 1 and remove it from the fridge on Day 2 at least thirty minutes prior to using to bring it to room temperature. I started at 3:30pm and finished around 9:00pm 

Mix the ingredients for the pound cake and put it in the oven (should take about 1 hr. & 50 minutes);

While pound cake is baking wash sweet potatoes for the pies and let them boil;

While sweet potatoes are boiling, roll out your pie crusts for the sweet potato pies and peach cobbler and press them into your pie plates and cobbler pan and set aside;

After prepping your pie and peach cobbler pans, mix the ingredients for the chocolate layer cake, pour batter into cake pans, and cover with foil so a skin doesn’t develop and set aside;

After making the chocolate cake batter, work on the peach cobbler filling by draining the canned peaches and seasoning them with your spices, sugar and butter and put them on to gently boil so flavors meld.  After filling is done pour it into your cobbler pan and put your crust on top and set it aside;

By now you should be ready to remove the pound cake from the oven and make the sweet potato pie filling;

After removing the pound cake from the oven, check your temperature and adjust it for baking the chocolate cake and put them in the oven;

While the chocolate cakes are baking, make the chocolate frosting for the cakes and set aside;

After the frosting is made, remove your eggs from the fridge; wash and dice your potatoes and put them on the stove to boil for the potato salad;

While the potatoes and eggs are boiling, make the sweet potato pie filling and pour it into your pie pans (this will have to be done in batches unless you have a commercial mixer) and cover them with foil so a skin doesn’t develop and set aside;

Remove the chocolate cake from the oven and put in the peach cobbler;

While the peach cobbler is baking, season your turkey (I always brine my turkey) and put it in the fridge until the next morning.

After you remove the peach cobbler from the oven, put your sweet potato pies in (this will have to be done in batches unless you have a commercial or multiple ovens…I did it in 2 batches…6 the first batch and 4 the last batch);

While the batch of sweet potato pies are baking, your chocolate cake should be cool and ready to be iced and your potatoes and eggs should be done for you to make the potato salad and put it in the fridge.

Day 3: Thanksgiving/Christmas Cooking Day

Note: Rise and shine at 6:00am

Remove Turkey from fridge and take it out of the brine.  Pat the turkey dry and lightly season with your favorite spices (brining will impart flavor so don’t over do it with the seasoning) and set it aside;

Remove the ham from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.

While the ham is getting to room temperature, make your glaze, score the ham in a triangle pattern and massage your glaze onto the ham and set aside;

Prepare your stuffing using the cornbread you made on Day 1 and put it inside the turkey and bake the turkey according to the instructions.  Make sure you add about 30 minutes of extra cooking time due to the stuffing being inside of the bird;

While the turkey is baking, rinse off your smoked turkey and place it in a pot of water to boil for cooking the greens;

While the smoked turkey is boiling; clean your greens and put them in your boiling water and season them with your favorite seasoning;

While the greens are cooking, wash, peel, dice and season your sweet potatoes and boil them on top of the stove to make your candied yams;

While the yams are cooking; boil your pasta for the macaroni and cheese;

While the yams and pasta cook, shred the cheese and beat your eggs for the macaroni and cheese and set aside;

Mix the ingredients for the sweet corn pudding and set it aside;

By now your turkey should be ready and can be removed from the oven;

After removing the turkey, put the ham in the oven and bake according to the instructions;

Once the ham is in, your pasta for the macaroni and cheese should be done and you can proceed with mixing the macaroni and cheese and set it aside (cover with foil until you are ready to bake to avoid skin from forming) and your candied yams should be done and you can turn the burner off;

Once you take the ham out of the oven, you can bake the macaroni & cheese and sweet corn pudding together;

While the macaroni & cheese and sweet corn pudding are baking, put a pot of water on to cook the rice.

While the rice is cooking, make your gravy using the pan drippings from the turkey, chop up the gizzards and add it to the gravy along with your other seasonings.

After all of this is done, the host needs to freshen up and transform into the “Entertainer of the Year” as you wait for the dinner guests to arrive and then it’s time to bless the food and eat.

Serving the Food

This is going to depend on your crowd, available space and the atmosphere you’ve created.  If it’s strictly family and informal no intro needed and have them to fix their plates in your kitchen and find a seat and make yourself comfortable.  On the other hand, if this is a more formal dinner party and you want to wow them, aside from the atmosphere you created, you should set the table and transfer your food from the pots and pans onto serving platters and into bowls with serving utensils in each dish.  You may also want to create a dessert bar and a self-service beverage station for your guest as this will free up your time and allow you to be the ultimate hostess.

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Centerpiece Ideas for Your Next Party

As promised, here are some great centerpiece ideas for your next party or special event now that the holiday season is upon us.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

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Planning the Perfect Dinner Party: Table Decor and Atmosphere

Glamour & Glo table decor

Ask yourself, what do I want my guest to walk away with when the party is over?  How do I keep the party interesting? What kind of feeling/mood do I want to invoke? What do I want my guests to experience?   What story do I want to tell my guests?  When hosting your holiday party or any party personal style and taste should always be front and center.   One way to achieve this is to think outside of the box.

Create a theme that will help keep youfocused.   Choose a color palette that will suffuse the room.   Choose a design that is obtainable.  Your ultimate goal is to take your guests on a journey and give them an experience that they will always remember.   A great way to keep the party interesting while giving your guests the illusion of being in multiple places is to transition your guests from one room to the next by giving each room its own personality. 

Your décor will be determined by your theme and dishes being served.  Before embarking on a shopping spree try using items around the house as décor elements.  You will be surprised at what you can find on a shelf or in a closet.   Other basic décor staples you can’t go wrong with are candles (all kinds – tapers, votives, floaters, etc.); small/compact floral arrangements or fresh rose petals.

Glamour & Glo table decor

Now that you have the basic tools for planning the Perfect Dinner Party stay tuned for our next blog post where we will share a few sample menus uniquely created for our clients and a game plan for you to earn the crown of Entertainer of the Year.

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Planning the Perfect Holiday Party: Five Star Dishes


Domino Magazine holiday party ideas

The holidays are coming and it’s time to start thinking about entertaining. We all love a great party but face it — planning it can be overwhelming.  Well don’t stress. We are going to share with you ideas and tips in a four-part entertaining series that will make you the superstar of entertaining and allow you to feel like a guest at your own party.

When we plan parties for our clients we love to focus on the details because that’s where the love is and those are the things that will set you apart and take your party from good to glamorous. The three must have for a successful and memorable party is fantastic food, awesome atmosphere and decor. Let’s delve right in and start with the food.

Yummy Drinks and Eats

Yvening Event Planning & Catering.

Aside from the atmosphere and decor, the most vital aspect of your party is the food.  This is definitely a make or break deal with your guests.   We tapped one of our favorite caterers Yvening Event Planning & Catering, LLC to share tips, drinks and delectable dishes that will impress your guests.

Champagne & Desserts Soiree

Holiday Love Bites

A sexy modern approach to holiday entertaining. Let’s deck the halls by serving champagne, sparkling wines, prosecco, or even aperitifs. DIY Detail: One bottle equals 6 servings.  Blend aguas frescas and flavored syrups for mixing, let your guests have fun and create their own specialty drink. Create and design a dessert bar with petite desserts, fancy chocolate, champagne grapes, and gourmet cookies.  

Yvening Event Planning & Catering

Aguas Frescas: Liquefy in a Blender:

     Fresh Peaches or Fresh Strawberries or Fresh Mangos or Fresh Oranges (rinse & remove skins, seeds, and leaves)

·       1 cup of Sugar

·        Bottled Water, 32 ounces

 Flavored Syrups: Boil in a Sauce pan:

        Fresh Mint or Fresh Ginger or Fresh Cinnamon Sticks (rinse)

·         1 cup of Sugar

·         Bottled Water, 32 ounces

·         Serve at room temperature.

 Winter Vineyard Social

 A country chic classic celebration. Seasonal delicacies like figs, dates, warm chestnuts, and dried cranberries pair well with wine. Ask couples to bring their special brand with a recipe for romance! Serve Root vegetable stew offered with Filet mignon or Cornish game hen, Yvening pumpkin & shrimp bisque, Artisanal bread, Neo soul pecan pie, and Warm orange cinnamon tea. DIY Detail: Keep your oven on during the party at 165 degrees for warming. Dazzle your guests with a wine flight and sparkle with flair!

Yvening Pumpkin & Shrimp Bisque

1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20)

Yvening Event Planning & Catering

strong>Shrimp Stock

  3/4 cup dry white wine

  3 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock

  Pinch saffron threads (about 24)

  2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

  1 medium onion (about 8 ounces), coarsely chopped

  4 fresh bay laurel leaves, torn, or 2 dried

  3 3-inch springs fresh sage

  2 cups pumpkin purée, fresh or canned

  1/2 cup heavy cream

  About 3/4 teaspoon salt, less if using canned stock

  Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  Freshly ground black pepper

  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

 1. Shrimp stock: Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells. Cover the shrimp and refrigerate. Heat the olive oil in a medium (3-quart) heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the shrimp shells to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn deep orange and are just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. This step—pan roasting the shells—gives the stock much of its flavor, so take the time to do it carefully. The roasted shells should release a concentrated, toasty, shrimp aroma that will fill your kitchen. Add the wine to the pan, first turning off gas flames to prevent the alcohol from igniting, then boil it over medium heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the chicken stock, saffron, celery, onion, bay leaves, and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Partially cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pushing down on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Rinse out the saucepan and pour the stock back into it.

 2. Soup: Whisk the pumpkin, cream, salt (omit if using canned stock), and cayenne into the shrimp stock. Bring the soup to a simmer, and then cook very gently uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and season with black pepper and more salt if needed. (The soup can be made up to this point up to 1 day ahead store covered in the refrigerator. Keep the peeled shrimp in a resealable bag buried in a bowl of ice in the refrigerator).

 3. Finishing the soup: Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan placed over medium heat. When hot, add the reserved shrimp and sage and cook, tossing often, until the shrimp is just cooked through, pink, and no longer translucent, but not curled into a circle, 2 to 3 minutes. They should still have a tender snap when you bite into them. Arrange the shrimp in warmed serving bowls or a tureen. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then ladle it over the shrimp. Serve right away.


Substitute winter squash purée, such as butternut or acorn, for the pumpkin.

Now if you are a novice and not sure if you can pull this off then by all means please call Yvette Planning and Caterer and they will be most happy to assist you.  

Why not make it completely effortless and hire Yvette Planning and Catering. Hiring a personal chef is trending pretty high these days.

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  Calling All Fashionistas!: Fashion’s Night Out DC is Here

Calling all our fellow fashionistas! If you want to check out the
latest trends and see what’s hot for Fall 2012 then you need to make
sure you are a part of Fashion’s Night Out DC on September 6.

Highlights: This year, there’s action on both sides of the river, in
Georgetown, Alexandria, Tysons Galleria and even Undeniable Boutique in
Fairfax Corner, which hosts a fashion show and live music from 6-9 p.m.
In Georgetown, look out for:

* A pop-up disco at the PNC Bank lot.

* A BYT-sponsored party with ESL Music and Fatback DJs spinning on the
Dean & DeLuca patio lounge.

* Free facials at Kiehl’s.

* A DC Scout styling and shopping party at CUSP.

* An Instagram style contest at BCBG.

* Blowouts and a lipstick bar with Nectar Skin Bar and IPSA Hair Salon.

A couple highlights of the Alexandria event:

* A fashion show at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

* A fashion block party in Del Ray.

Visit the Fashion’s Night Out Web site for a full list of participants.

Check out this article we snagged from the Washington Post for more details and insignt on this fashion extravaganza.

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Watermelon Smoothie: A Refreshing Way to Entertain Your Guests

Well, here it is….the end of Summer.  What will you do to usher out Summer and welcome in Fall?  Try serving this delicious watermelon smoothie at your Labor Day backyard bash this weekend that both kids and adults can enjoy.Glamourize the watermelon by turning it into a drink dispenser.  But wait, don’t just stop there, paint the watermelon (with organic safe paint please) or add decals to coordinate with your décor or theme.  Add colorful stripes or polka dots to add a sense of style and flare to your event.   

Here is the recipe we will be serving to our guests this weekend.  Try it and let us know what you think.

Watermelon Smoothie Ingredients:

Ice cubes (or crushed ice)
Turbinado Brown SugarPreparation:Cut as much watermelon as you’d like to serve into small cubes or chunks, throw them in the blender for 2-3 minutes. Add ice and 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar. Blend on high speed for a couple more minutes. Pour your drink into a glass and garnish it with a watermelon wedge. We love the vibrant color of this drink which is refreshing sweet and tasty.

What you will need to make the drink dispenser:

1 medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
Kitchen knife
Cutting board
Green dry erase marker or ¾”-1” thick painter’s trim tape
Channel knife (can use top of a vegetable peeler as alternative)
Large bowl & spoon or scoop
Apple corer
Spigot (from beer making supply company)


Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.On a cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4”-1/2” from both ends, being careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind. One side will provide a sturdy base.Hollow out the watermelon with a spoon or scoop, reserving the watermelon pieces to make your favorite punch or juice. Be sure to leave about 2” of watermelon flesh towards the bottom of the watermelon so the spigot can be placed. Use an apple corer to cut a circle for your spigot to fit through the watermelon rind, placing it about 2-3 inches above the bottom of the watermelon. Screw your spigot into place. For added detail, carefully pin twine in your lines you’ve made to represent the metal bands around the barrel/keg. Be careful that the pins do not poke through into the barrel/keg.

Drink up in style! #simplyentertain

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