Friday, June 27, 2014

AE Happy Hour: The Sparkler

Red, White, and Blue! 
With team USA on a successful road in the World Cup and the Fourth of July right around the corner...

celebrate with a beverage that will surely put you in the American Spirit!

The Sparkler 
Photo Courtesy of Yum Sugar

Recipe as follows:

1 1/2 oz campagne
3/4 oz raspberry liqueur 
1/2 oz vodka 
1 oz pomegranate juice

Shake all ingredients but the champagne with ice and strain into your favorite glassware. 
Top with champagne and add a garnish to complete.

AE tip: for that extra touch of spirit, add an American flag stir stick to each drink or drop in a few blueberries to bring in the blue!

As always, enjoy responsibly! 
Xo, AE

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Pretty in Pink

It's all about the pink!!
We have seen a lot of blushes, nudes, and peaches this year, which is understandable because this is such a classic and romantic color palate.  Here are our tips to make this timeless color trend fresh and fun. 

Bridesmaids. Carry this trend over to your bridesmaids dresses for a sweet, sophisticated look.  Let the girls choose their own dresses in any complementary hue.

Photo Courtesy of Bridal Guide
Linens. These sweet colors will add a romantic vibe that will soften any venue. 

Photo Courtesy of Wild Flower Linens
Flowers. Sticking to this trending color scheme for floral arrangements is a great way to add a touch of color without drawing too much attention. Numerous flowers come in a range of these colors.
We love garden roses, ranunculas, and peonies! 

AE Tip: For a rustic garden look, mix in some extra greenery to your arrangements.

Photo Courtesy of The Knot
Flower Girls. Dress them up in adorable (but, age appropriate!) pink gowns.  
What little girls don't love pink?! 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Cake. Adding a subtle color to cake can really dress it up.  Play with soft hues or really spruce up the color to make a statement.

AE Tip: Incorporating fresh flowers to a whiter cake adds a hint of color for a more traditional look. 

Photo Courtesy of Weddings Romantique

Monday, June 23, 2014

AE Tip: Hosting

AE's hostess secret: intermix homemade and store bought food. 

Photo Courtesy of Chana's Art Room
Just because you decided to have a party, doesn't mean you have to cook for a party! 
Step away from the grocery store veggie plate and pick up your favorite dip from a local restaurant. 
Make a few great dishes and fill in the gaps with tasty local staples.

AE suggests checking out The North Market to pick up a variety of flavors all under one roof! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

AE Happy Hour: Champagne A-Z

Behind every celebration is a little champagne fizz, but what do you really know about that bottle you're popping open?

The term Champagne refers to only the sparkling wine made in Champagne France. All other bubblies are labeled sparkling wine or noted as being produced by the m├ęthod champenoise. 

Photo Courtesy of Beautiful Life and Style

Let's simplify the label...

Brut: Dry
Extra Dry: Sweet
Blanc de Blancs: Made completely from Chardonnay grapes
Blanc de Noirs: Made from only Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier
Vintage: The bottle is made up of at least 85% of the grapes from the year it was harvested. These bottles are only made during great harvest years which makes them a bit pricier. 

Hosts can count on six flutes per 750 ml bottle. 

AE suggests adding bubbles to any occasion, turning any ordinary day into a celebration! 

Want to keep the fizz but lose the buzz? AE suggests swapping in flavored sparkling water.  We are loving the new flavors by Lacroix.  Coconut?  Yes, please!

So pop those bottles, it's Friday!! 

As always, enjoy responsibly! Xo, AE 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Thank You Notes

The Importance of "Thank You" Notes
A few things to keep in mind while writing all those notes!

kate spade new york thank you notes
Photo Courtesy of Lifeguard Press

Who. Take the time to write a note to everyone who gave you a gift or money. Don't forget to take extra care of guests who where attendants or made your day extra special. 

When. Notes should be written and sent within three months of receiving the gift.

Mr.&Mrs. Make sure notes are from the both of you, the new duo! 

Returns. Never acknowledge that you returned or exchanged a gift. Give the same care and thoughtfulness that your guest did.

As always, send love and gratitude! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

AE Tip: Current Party

Themed parties can be a great way to pack an extra punch to any get together. 
You can take advantage of almost ANY holiday, spectacle,  or season. 

Current Party: The World Cup

Photo Courtesy of Evite

Gather around the TV to watch this international extravaganza. Kindly ask guests to bring a beverage or food from their favorite team for a worldly experience. Decorations can include national flags, soccer balls, and pictures of your favorite players. 

Photo Courtesy of Evite

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Hour: The Merry Bride

It's Happy Hour Here at AE! 
This week we are sipping on...

The Merry Bride
Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Chicago
This sangria is a fantastic drink for any summer get together!

Recipe follows:
Serving 8-10 drinks

1 bottle of dry vermouth wine
1 c. cranberry cocktail juice
1 c. pomegranate juice
1/2 c. orange liquor 
1/2 c. simple syrup
2 oranges, sliced into thin wedges
2 lemons, sliced into thin wheels
2 limes, sliced into thin wheels
20 maraschino cherries
1c. lemon-lime soda

Combine the first five ingredients in a pitcher; add the sliced fruit. Let chill in refrigerator (24 hours if possible). Before serving, add ice and top with the soda for a little fizz. To show off the great color and sliced fruit, serve in clear highball glasses.

Enjoy responsibly! 

Have a wonderful, safe weekend! Xo, AE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Welcome Bags

Welcome bags can be a nice first impression.
Here are some tips so your bags will be well received.

Impress your guests by skipping the standard gift bag and make it more personal. This is a great way to show that you appreciate their coming to share your special day.

Photo Courtesy of Little Miss Holls

Here are a few tips that are sure to leave an impact:

Think Local. Ditch grocery store snacks and candy and share some of your favorite treats. Find something unique to your town or destination. AE suggests tasty peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes or Pistacia Vera macarons. 

Best Dessert of 2011: Pistacia Vera
Photo Courtesy of Columbus Underground

Share Your Secrets. Skip the map and brochure of your city!  Instead we suggest leaving a list of your favorite hot spots. Guests may have some downtime so include places to eat, shop, and play!
Photo Courtesy of Renegade Image

Play Up the Theme. Themed wedding? Extend it to the welcome bags! "Green" weddings could include a packet of seeds or goodies packed into reusable bags. Summertime weddings can be hot, so you could include a fan or a mini bottle of sunscreen. And of course, include the wedding colors! 
Photo Courtesy of Little Miss Holls
Give Thanks. Take the time to write a special note to your guests. Thank them for coming and welcome them to your special weekend. This is also a great time to relay any logistical information. 

Photo Courtesy of Bowl of Cherries

AE tip: if welcome bags are not in your budget, place a note in each room for that special touch.

Monday, June 9, 2014

AE Tip: Mongograms

AE Tip: Monograms Add a Personal Touch to Any Soiree

This addition may seem small but can leave a huge impact! 

Napkins and coasters are a great inexpensive way to show off a new monogram, logo, or phrase. They can be passed around with drinks, set next to hors d'oeuvres, or AE's personal favorite: have them printed on hand towels to spruce up any drab bathroom!

Mr. & Mrs. Custom Coasters
Photo courtesy of Paper Source
Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Check out our favorite local spot to pick these up -- Peabody Papers! Located in Grandview Heights, Peabody is home to an assortment of unique and personalized paper products. 

Courtesy of Peabody Papers