Thursday, October 28, 2010

On being an Event Planner

I found my calling during college.  While touring the campus for orientation I went to meet people in this ‘office’.  There was a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, a giant inflatable Godzilla and movie posters covering the walls.  They talked about hosting bands and lectures and Comedy Nights.  They talked about a carnival called Spring Fling held on the baseball field.

I knew I had found my people.

I started as the Advertising Assistant, using large rolls paper and paints with foam brushes.  I put flyers on the windshields of cars in the parking lot.  I dressed up as Debbie Gibson for the Halloween Mixer, drank the equivalent of a six pack of beer (something I have no desire or need to do since) and smacked my head on the towel dispenser in the ladies room.

I graduated to the Advertising Chair, then the Treasurer and finally the Chairman I mean…woman...person.  And then I went off into the real world where events are more like meetings but still seemed like fun.

There are things I really love about my chosen profession.  I love the organization of it – that things have a beginning, middle and an end.   When an event or meeting is over I move on to something new.   I can see the finished product right in front of my eyes, happening in real time.  It’s not some leather bound presentation or balance sheet.  It’s living and breathing and I love it.

I traveled some great places because of work, to places like Argentina and Costa Rica, Lisbon and Hawaii.   I helped plan a party for 300 kids with a Willy Wonka theme.   I planned almost 80 proms in the span of two months.

I love things like place settings and linens, draping and lighting.  I notice details like font on a menu or how many bartenders you should really have for a party with 200 people. 

I am a nightmare wedding guest.

Right now I’m doing a lot of Virtual Meetings – and though lighting and draping still come into play it’s much more administrative and not nearly as exciting or creative.  I still wish I could plan things for someplace like The Food Network but I know the headaches that come with that. 

My end goal is to run a tiny catering company – where I do things like kid’s parties and baby and bridal showers.  I’ll use cookies and cupcakes as favors and specialize in showers at people’s homes. 

I’ll still dream of planning the Governor’s Ball at the Oscars but I’ll live. :)

Yesterday I spent the day in Event Planner heaven – better known as BizBash

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I was surrounded by place settings and unique venues and Lady Gaga.


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You would think a Lady Gaga impersonator would be the weirdest thing you’d see.  But you’d be wrong.   There was this guy…

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And a walking table….

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A candelabra on stilts…bb 074

A butterfly blowing bubbles…

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And a woman playing a violin in one.

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I don’t know who would ever want this but there you go. :)

Here are some yummy bites and pretty pictures from the conference.

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Some fun stuff…

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Pretty furniture for rent and some fantastic table settings…

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Makes you want to go to a party right???  Me too but guess what?   The planner never has as good a time as any of the guests. :)

I’m about to go get on a bus and party at trivia. 

See you in a bit!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Things are crazy here in Krissyville.  Work, which was blessedly drama free for a while, now makes General Hospital look like high comedy.   I’m fairly confident things will work out but it’s stress I don’t really need.

Seriously 2010.  You can suck it.   I don’t know what else you want from me.

I’m trying my best to stay on track.  I’m on week 3 of the C25k.  This means I am running for 3 minutes at a time.

I’ve not run for 3 minutes in a really, really long time.   It actually felt pretty good.  We’ll see if I’m still singing that tune tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am going to an event at the convention center.  I’m going to walk there as the weather is back in the 70s here.  Just as I dragged a bin full of turtleneck sweaters into NYC.

It’s Halloween this weekend.  I am heading to NJ on Thursday for trivia and coming back on Friday for the weekend.  I will bring my witches hat I think.  There is a rumor of a haunted hay ride on Saturday.

I don’t want to go.

Let me tell you a story.  Picture it…1984.   If you are too young to picture it keep it to yourself.  :)  

Once upon a time my family went on vacation to Orlando, FL.  We had tons of fun in Disney. Jen was 4.  She stayed with my dad while my mom took Matt and me to the Hollywood Wax Museum.  They had a screen test for commercials.  I, having missed my chance to star in Annie on Broadway, was convinced this was my moment.   We went on a tour first and there was a whole horror section that I refused to go through.  Some jerk who worked there who insisted there was no other way so I ran straight through with my eyes closed.

Then we found out the screen test that was my sole reason for wanting to go to this crappy museum was cancelled because my mom, Matt and me were the only 3 people in the entire place.  My mother sprang into action and argued with the kid at the ticket counter.  

We got our money back.

And then our rental car would not start and we were afraid to go back and ask them to use the phone to call my dad – who couldn’t help much anyway since he was stuck at a hotel with no car and a 4 year old.

And as a result I was never discovered and never became an Academy Award Winner.

Thus ends my sad tale of woe.

There’s also a story about Jen going on Space Mountain at 4 years old but I’ll save that for another time.

In other news, this weekend I went to a wedding.  It was lovely, the food was yummy and I had a date who spent a lot of time staging my food shots.

I seriously have created a monster. ;)  I mean look, he sat there arranging until he got the favor and a rose in this shot. 

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   The centerpieces were really beautiful.  I forgot my camera so all pics are taken with my 015  I sat in front of a bowl of caramelized onion foccacia.   I hated it as you might 021The salad was roasted beets with arugula.  I really liked it.  I’m now a fan of beets as long as you roast them and they don’t come out of a 014Dave and I both had the snapper as an entree.  He declared it “the best snapper he ever had.”  Kudos to Todd English and the W Union 029They served little sweet treats with the wedding cake which was made by the Cake Boss in Hoboken.  You know how those cakes all look beautiful but you are afraid they don’t taste good?  This one tasted fantastic.

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Sorry.  No cake picture. :(

The other day I made a pasta dish with turkey.  I know.  Weird.  I had leftover steamed broccoli and a teriyaki turkey breast.  I chopped it up with some leftover caramelized onions and shallots and tossed it with pappardelle.

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Oh.  And some cavatappi too.  I was using up the dregs of my pasta supply.

I added some butter and parmesan.  Twas yummy.

Yesterday, after clearing off my couch (finally!) I made dinner for Dave and me.   The spinach in my fridge had seen better days so I made a little tomato and mozzarella salad.

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That’s fresh basil from the plant on my windowsill that I haven’t killed yet.   Go me!

I baked pork chops coated in cornmeal, made potatoes and onions and roasted some asparagus.

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Today for lunch I made a mini Boboli with yellow bell peppers and ricotta.   I ate half.

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I had to print something out so I headed to Fedex Kinkos whatever it is called.  For $2.05 I got on the computer and used their printer.  Cheaper than a subway ride to my office.  I ran to Barnes & Noble to get a book.  I had a $25.00 gift card from work.

First, The Hunger Games.

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Jen and my mom have read all 3 books in the series and loved them.  I’m excited to start it.

Second – due to the promos for Tangled (which I am not ashamed to say I want to see) and the fact that there will be multiple fairytale characters roaming around on Sunday I got this book.

Sidenote: Dave and I went to Ricky’s the other night to buy Mora’s costume.  In addition to having children’s costumes they also have aisles marked “Pimps” and “Hos”.

Really Ricky’s???

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I’m intrigued and a bit worried because the foreword is by Gregory Maguire who wrote Wicked.  And I HATED Wicked.  I never even finished it.  I can count on one hand the books I’ve given up on.

I adored the musical however. 

I thought the title was appropriate for this time of year.

Even if I am refusing to go on a haunted hay ride with my boyfriend and his kids.

I would, however, consent to watching The Shining with the lights off.

I am a bundle of contradictions.

Catching Up

When your sister asks you over IM what you have eaten lately you know it’s time to update.

Not to mention when your boyfriend walks in the door and says “I noticed no updates.”

Such slave drivers the two of them.

I will be back in a bit with the events of this past weekend.  I am also determined to get those pics off my other laptop and update you on the fun foodie things I did in September.

One of which involves this guy…

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I’ll be back.  Promise, promise.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back on the wagon

Hello there.

I’m still trying to grab some really great pictures that I uploaded on my other computer but I wanted to share the good things that happened yesterday (mixed in with a few bad but that’s par for the course these days).

Good thing #1

I lost 2 lbs!!!

Good thing #2

The Yankees won!!

I wasn’t perfect these last two weeks but I’ve been much more conscious of what I’ve been eating and doing.  I’ve exercised much more than I have in a while.

For your perusal – here are the kinds of foods that have helped me get there this time around.

By getting there I mean – 2 lbs lighter than I was in September – but…you know. :)

For me - breakfasts must have some sort of protein.  My go to is peanut butter – no question - but some days I really don’t feel like it.  Extra sharp cheddar on an English muffin or with a piece of whole wheat bread spread with hummus is a great way to mix it up.

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Trader Joe’s Chicken Gyoza Pot Stickers.  These are 230 calories per serving.  I steam them rather than making them stick to the pot.  I add edamame for more protein and broccoli for more veggies.  I drizzle sweet chili sauce and low sodium soy sauce and voila!  This is a great and filling at home lunch or dinner.

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Using baby spinach as an herb.  I have a big issue getting enough fruit in.  I’m better with vegetables but one of the things I noticed that I did ‘right’ when I lost the first 40 lbs is always having something green on my plate.  Sure there’s pasta and (turkey) meat sauce under there but there’s also a half a cup of 001 Shrimp with Black Beans and Quinoa.  I made this for dinner on Monday night for Dave and me.  He liked it.  Quinoa is good for you – it’s again a great vehicle for veggies and the mix of beans and quinoa is quite filling.  The key to quinoa is seasoning and I’ve tried it with Asian and Mexican flavors to great successfood 004Turkey cutlets.  If you are tired of chicken, this is a nice (albeit similar) substitute.  I marinated in soy sauce and a little caramelized onion jam.  I sautéed some onions and shallots till crispy and mashed a sweet potato.  Peas are a starchy green but I was broccoli-ed out at this point.

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I know how to do this..  When all was said and done – my ability to lose weight was assisted almost solely due to my cooking for myself.  I used to think it was impossible for my scale to move anywhere but up.  I proved myself wrong.  Now - I know the tricks.  If I eat out – I eat half.  If I eat at home – I use less fat and more vegetables and measure your portions.  I snack less with less fattening options.  I save ice cream for special occasions.

The one thing I’ve seemed to have forgotten was to limit how much I drink socially.  Bad decisions are made when you over indulge. 

Of course I have a wedding to go to on Sunday so….we shall see how I do with that.

It’s ok though.  Making good choices and not beating yourself up for the bad the way to go.