Who wants Cake? Wedding Cake Ideas

prettiest-wedding-cakes-pictures-illinois.jpg

Inspired by vintage brooch bouquets, this genius baker adorned a pearlescent tiered wedding cake with bejeweled fondant flowers.

prettiest-wedding-cakes-pictures-baltimore.jpg

The hand-cut accordion folds on this wedding cake were fashioned from gum paste.

prettiest-wedding-cakes-pictures-minnesota.jpg

We can totally see this pop-art creation at a gallery reception. Love the contrast of the square tiers and sugar-paste rings.

prettiest-wedding-cakes-pictures-oregon.jpg

For an architectural twist on the chevron, baker Allison Kelleher used hundreds of hand-cut fondant tiles.

Corporate Dinner! Need Ideas?

ingredients-to-perfect-business-dinner.jpg

Taking clients out for an enjoyable dinner can help you build the long-lasting relationships that your business needs. But you need to plan carefully so you’re sure to make the best possible impression.

For example, choose a restaurant willing to accommodate people on a vegetarian, gluten-free or other special diets, says Mark Hemmeter, founder of Office Evolution, a provider of virtual office space in Boulder, Colo., who often meets with investors and potential franchisees over dinner. “I don’t want to put someone in an uncomfortable situation.”

Here are seven of the essential ingredients to wooing clients during a business dinner:

Research your dining companions.
Take time to read up on your guests using online search tools or LinkedIn. If you know the business and personal backgrounds of the attendees, including personal interests and hobbies, you can use the information to help build your relationship, says Deborah Goldstein, a founder of Goldie’s Table Manners, a New York City-based dining etiquette business. “If you find a hobby in common, you can steer the conversation to ‘stumble on’ that commonality.”

Arrive early.
Getting to the restaurant ahead of your guests can help ensure that the dinner goes smoothly. For one thing, you’ll have time to control the noise level by making sure you’re not sitting next to a large group of people and that the table isn’t in the path of traffic, says Lydia Ramsey, a business etiquette expert in Savannah, Ga. Also, she says, if the guests arrive first, they may not feel they’re a high priority with you.

Prepay the bill.
Seeing the bill arrive can be awkward for your business guests even though they aren’t expected to pay. If it’s a restaurant you’re comfortable with, let the server run your credit card, designate a tip percentage and sign the bill either before your guests’ arrival or when you discreetly step away from the table mid-meal. You can either pick up the check as you exit or have it mailed to you, Ramsey says. “That way the check never comes to the table. It makes it very comfortable for the guest.”

Match the client in consumption.
To keep a balance throughout the meal, let your guest order first. For example, skip the appetizer if your guest orders only an entrée — ditto when it comes to dessert. Even if you order the same courses, adjust your pace so you’re eating at a similar rate, Goldstein advises. Sitting in front of your finished plate may make it awkward for your companion if he’s only half way through the meal. If you’re having drinks, it’s also important to follow your guest’s lead, Hemmeter says. “I want to relate to the person I am dining with, and unbalanced alcohol consumption can make that difficult.” If the guest starts drinking too much, however, keeping pace clearly isn’t a good idea, he adds.

Respect the wait staff. 
How you communicate with restaurant staff can affect your business relationship by changing the way your guests feel about you. So don’t lose your cool even if dishes or service are not up to par. “I can’t stand it when people are rude or condescending to servers in a restaurant,” Hemmeter says. “They usually carry that attitude to their workforce, and I don’t want to work with people like that.”

Take advantage of the small talk.
Inviting a client to dinner doesn’t mean you need to talk about only business. In fact, it may be appropriate to avoid work topics altogether and simply get to know each other on a personal basis. Small talk can often be a great way to assess another guest: Does he dominate the conversation or is he a good listener? Does she act in a respectful or demeaning manner toward subordinates? If you do need to discuss business matters, Ramsey recommends that you save them for after the main course when there will be fewer interruptions from the server.

Halloween Season is Near!

halloween-invitation-idea-thumb1-2014-10-20

Get your invitations ready for this upcoming Halloween!

You made a guest list, sent out Halloween party invitations and decked the house with cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns. Now, all that’s left is finalizing all of the fiendish festivities! But don’t let your Halloween celebration become unnecessarily hair-raising–Tiny Prints can help! Beyond providing stylish Halloween party invitations, we also have the inside scoop on fun party tricks and treats that everyone will enjoy.

Whether you want to host a family friendly event or a chic adult affair, indicate the level of formality on your Halloween party invitation. If you expressly invite children on the Halloween invitation, you may want to include fun crafts and games for them to participate in. Classic fall games like pin the spider on the web or bob for apples are always entertaining, and Halloween’s spookiness provides endless inspiration for crafts. Try dipping wet white cloth in a glue and water mixture, then draping it over something round while it dries to create little ghost shapes. You can also have kids help dip their own caramel apples.

If you choose to have a more sophisticated Halloween soirée, make sure to let guests know through your Halloween party invitations. Always refrain from directly asking guests to leave the kids at home on the Halloween invitation itself. Instead, a well-designed and diplomatic Halloween party invitation might state, “While the kids are out trick-or-treating …” or “Book your babysitter now!” For adult-only parties, you can offer prizes for winners of various categories in a costume contest–funniest costume, most creative costume, best imitation of a character and overall best costume are all great award categories.

In addition to setting the tone, your Halloween party invitation should explain whether or not dinner will be served at the event. If you are planning to stick with ominous hors d’oeuvres like lady fingers and deviled eggs, you may want to state that monstrous munchies and a bubbling witch’s brew will be available. You can also make dessert spiders using chocolate cookies as bodies and thin black licorice for legs!

With a little imagination, Halloween can be full of exciting tricks and treats for revelers of all ages!

Get a Glimpse into Olympic Gold Medalist Tara Lipinski’s Engagement Party

images55

Olympic medalist Tara Lipinski brought home the gold for the United States in the 1998 ladies’ singles figure skating competition, but now, she’s taking on a different kind of adventure – saying “I do!” Tara and fiancé Todd Kapostasy have been engaged since last year, and the pair was ecstatic to be able to celebrate their upcoming nuptials with an engagement fête in Beverly Hills on Saturday (May 21st, 2016). “Due to our hectic work schedules, Todd and I aren’t able to officially tie the knot until 2017, but we couldn’t wait that long to celebrate,” Tara shares. “Having an engagement party was a great chance for our friends and family to get to know each other better and get excited for the big day.”

With the help of celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss, Tara selected an elegant white-and-gold concept for her event, hosted by Wedding Paper Divas, and filled the space with simple, low floral arrangements in shades of ivory. The event also featured a sentimental painting of the moment Todd proposed to Tara, which appeared on the invitations and serving trays, as well as the couple’s custom Snapchat filter created for the party. Guests enjoyed celebrating with the happy couple through lively dancing, and a personalized photo booth that featured specialty props – including a fake gold medal to honor Tara and a fake Emmy to honor Todd’s sports Emmy.