26 October, 2011

On the Cutting Room Floor: Monster Bash

Halloween is inching ever closer and I could not be more excited.  As I had mentioned before, we are giving our Halloween party design an overhaul this year.  We finally settled on something we are super happy with, but sadly, it seems we won't have time this year to put our epic party on it's feet.  But, did we ever have fun reinventing!

Which brings me to my point.  I am often asked how I avoid doing the same party over and over.  I usually have a stock answer that is something like "every event is a chance to push my limits and breathe new life into an event even if two clients have the same idea".  This is totally true, bee-tee-dubs. But.  And that's a big but, my freshness is in large part contributed to the amount of work we do that never sees the light of day!

It's true, y'all.  As part of my design process, I design an event, in its entirety, three times. So you can imagine how many designs end up on the cutting room floor. 

What does this have to do with Monster Bash?  Well, I thought I might share one of the designs that didn't make the cut.

Cute, isn't it?  We thought so.  but, once you see the finished product, you'll understand why it had to go.

24 October, 2011

You Asked For It: Horror-ween

I am throwing a Halloween party. I wish to impress my friends with my knowledge of horror movies (although they kind of terrify me).  Do you have any recommendations?

Why, yes.  Yes I do have some opinions.  Although, I cannot tell you how hard it was to narrow down my list.  For instance, I thought I might get started by writing down all the scary movies I've ever seen...well, after about 90 minutes, I was up to about 125.  Then came the categories...oy.

For the purpose of your list, I've chosen twelve of my favorites (regardless of genre) and left (most) of my movie snobiness geekiness commentary out of it.  I will warn you, though.  I'm a fan of originals.  I'd stay away from the remakes...except for Halloween.  Rob Zombie's remakes are sure to scare the pants off your guests.

And away we go:

The Omen (1976.  Trust me.  Skip the 2006 remake.  It's caca.)
Rosemary's Baby (1968-Mia Farrow at her finest)
Friday the 13th (1980.  Again, skip the remake.)
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984...Johnny Depp is totally in it.)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005 Superb movie.  I was totally terrified after this came out)
The Shining (1980)
Night of the Living Dead (1968- I am a HUGE Romero fan and a zombie purist.  This film started it all, by the way)
Children of the Corn (1984)
The Exorcist (1973. "Your mother sucks ** in hell!"-Classic.)
Halloween (really, either the original or the Zombie remake-both are outstanding)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
High Tension (2003 I'd watch it with the subtitles if I were you, it loses a lot in dubbing)

And a little bonus (and one of my all-time, fave horror films) number 13.  Has a spooky ring to it, huh?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974.  It's a classic, I'm tellin' ya.  Totes awesome.  Totes scary.)

Have fun, dolls!

Am I missing anything?  Leave it in the comments!

You Asked For It: Music to Die For

It's so awesome of you to answer all these questions.  And for free?!  Lucky us.  Hey, I've got one: I'm throwing an Halloween get together too.  You always put a big emphasis on engaging the senses.  I need some killer (excuse the pun) music.  Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading!  I love answering reader questions.  Its easily my favorite part of having a blog.  Now! On to your question:

Nothing adds atmosphere to an unforgettable event quite like the perfect playlist.  However choosing music to set the mood can be tricky.  To help get you started, I'm sharing the top 25 tracks on the Goldiluxe Halloween Hit List.  Enjoy if you dare!

Hey There Little Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
Witchy Woman - Eagles
Love Potion No. 9 - The Clovers
Black Magic - Johnny Mercer
I Put a Spell On You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Teeth - Lady Gaga
Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead
Monster - Lady Gaga
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Pyscho Killer - Talking Heads
One Way Ticket to Hell - The Darkness
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
Spooky Little Girl - The Zombies
Evil Woman - ELO
Black Moon Rising - CCR
Halloween (Main Theme) - From the Motion Picture
Nightmare on Elm Street (Main Theme) - Moussorgsky (Fantasia Soundtrack)
Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
Adams Family Theme
Munsters Theme
Firestarter - Prodigy
Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson (yes, I know, but it really is spooky)

There you go, doll!  I hope you can make some of these work.  I love Halloween.

And, for the rest of you, you can leave your questions on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail me at rosieevents@gmail.com.  I'd love to hear from you.

Photo from martha stewart dot com

19 October, 2011

Halloween Sneaky Peeky

So, it's looking like I won't get to use my totally fab Halloween design this year, but it's so good I can't help but want to share...here's your first little lookie-see:

How cute is that?!  Stay tuned for more!

Label design by Allison C. Beilke.

18 October, 2011

Designer Love: Vera Wang Fall 2012 Preview

Look at what I found in my inbox, y'all!  That's right, the Fall 2012 Vera Wang collection is here and it's fierce!  Here photos of my top three:

Whoa.  Seriously, I die.  This season's collection is inspired by nude and black undergarments.  Ms. Wang has described her collection as "both mysterious and sexy, frivolous and fun, with transparent wisps of carefully organized tulle."  Personally, I think this collection has taken taken on a decidedly darker feel and mood.  This might be my favorite collection from the queen of bridal.

Boom, baby!  I am in love with this one y'all.  Simply stunning.  By the by, word on the street is that these dresses will be available through Vera Wang's Madison Avenue flagship store.  HOWEVER, they will only be available October 20-23.  After that, you'll just have to wait for them to hit stores nationwide.

Ahh!  Just look at it.  Drink it in. Le sigh.  I'm just such a huge fan of the detail on this gown.  Wanna see what I left out?  You can.  Here.

All photos: Vera Wang via weddingwire dot com

17 October, 2011

Guest Post: Tips for a Successful Kids' Party


I have a super special treat for you today, y'all.  Lauren Bonk, (yes, that Lauren Bonk) is on hand to give us a little heads up on planning a stress-free kids' party. 

As we do more and more of them, I have become more acutely aware of how much I don't know about kids (You mean, they can't have mimosas?!  Like, ever?!).  I kid, I kid...sort of (seriously, no mimosas?!)

And, because I totally sure I'm not the only fab, pre-baby gal out there with the questions, I thought we all might benefit from the knowledge of one of Goldiluxe's most favorite Mamas. 

Take it away, Lauren!

Oh, and P.S., would you look at that face?!  Crazy lovely, right?!  Well, if you like what you see here, I suggest you get your fab little behinds over to her equally lovely blog.  It's pretty great, y'all.

I'll be honest, the words 'kids' and 'parties,' when spoken in the same sentence, almost immediately give me a migraine.

My son, Charlie, is getting bigger, though, and that means it's going to be harder for me to be such a mommy-hermit. He's going to start caring if other people celebrate his birthday or not, and he's going to start caring if he gets invited by someone else.

Kids need to interact with each other...who'd have thought?

So this is where I admit that I haven't actually had to tow Charlie to another child's birthday party yet...and at first, I thought that may pose a problem when Erin asked me to write about parties involving gaggles of ankle-biters. (These, of course, are my words...not Erin's :)

Now, I may not be a kid-party expert, but I'd like to say that I'm becoming quite experienced in the actual having-a-kid department...and I've learned a few social cues from Charlie that I plan to use when planning future birthday parties.

A toy is usually boring until someone else wants it.

Here's my main suggestion: If you're going to present toys to play with, make sure they're plentiful and alike. Let me use the example of sand-toys here. When I bring buckets and shovels to the park, Charlie could not care less about them until some other kids start playing with them. He then uses his super-speedy-toy-swiping skills to steal his favorite bucket right from the cute little hands of an 11 month old with a planet-sized flower balancing on her headband.

She cries. Charlie looks triumphant. I give him a time out.

All of this could have been avoided if I had brought 4 identical buckets. The same applies for your party. Have a few choices of toys and games, but make sure there are plenty of identical toys for everyone to play with.

Plan for contained chaos.

This is a gathering made up of children. They are bursting with energy and at the mercy of their emotions. This party will not be perfect. It will, however, help to find an area that has plenty of room, but also comes with effective methods of containment.

If you're going to the trouble to put together a kid-friendly party, chances are you'll go the extra mile to find an appropriate space.

A big, empty room (like a rented library room, church fellowship hall, or big basement) that you can fill with toys, tables, and games will be perfect. Kids like to run around and chase each other...parents are usually cool with watching them. Make sure you can close a door or put up a gate so that moms and dads can easily keep eyes on their kids.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret:

Big, safe room + toys + kids = Glorious sit-and-chat-and-watch time for parents.

Plan for crazy hippies.

I'm not trying to be offensive here...I'm the crazy hippie you've got to watch out for. We chose not to give Charlie any processed sugar for a really long time. We still don't give him a whole lot. For his 1st birthday, we found a great recipe for a naturally sweetened carrot cake. It was pretty tasty, even for everyone else.

The result of this is that Charlie would much prefer a bowl of yogurt and cheerios over (are you ready for this?) a Krispy Kreme donut. For real. He took one bite of a heavenly sugar ring a couple days ago and immediately lost interest.

This last Easter, my wonderful sister-in-law brought graham cracker bunnies and natural fruit roll-ups to put in the plastic eggs that Charlie found. I was so grateful that Charlie was able to sit and eat his spoils with the rest of his cousins...I totally owe her one.

What I'm trying to say is that people will appreciate it if you provide a few different snack options. Apple slices and flavored yogurt as well as big, fabulous slices of cake will help to keep everyone happy.

That's not so much a social cue as a parental preference...but hey, I think it's important.

I know these tips won't solve all your child-party problems, but hopefully they'll solve enough to provide a fairly stress-free experience.

What about you guys? Do you have any great kid-party tips?

14 October, 2011

Halloween Happenings

Hello, my ghoulish little Goldilous.  It's that time of year again and I could not be happier!  If you know me at all, you know that Halloween is probably my favorite holiday.  Like, if someone "sent me to a desert island with three things" kind of favorite. So what am I doing to keep the Halloween lovelight a-burnin?  Well:

1. AMC's annual Fright Fest starts Sunday (!).  Hosted by the patron saint of zombie movies, George Romero (!!).  Seriously, y'all, I wait all.  year.  for this.

2.  TCM will be showing classic horror movies (like 1969 on down) every Monday.  Both classic movie channels will be streaming classic horror online as well. Yay!

3.  My Halloween decorate-fest begins tomorrow.

and now, the bestest, most fun thing I'm doing this year is:

4.  I'm revamping my Halloween party design!  It's sooo much fun.  I completely rethink my design in order to come up with something fresh and exciting every year.  I pull everything out, see what I can reuse or, rather repurpose and then set to work creating something new.  It's a great way to keep me on my toes as a designer.

With that said, this year I wanted to go in a totally new direction.  Something full of splashy, campy goodness.  The pic above is my favorite image from my new inspiration board.  This October is packed for me, so I'm not sure I'll be able to use my design, but I can't wait to share it with all of you!  Stay tuned!

10 October, 2011

You Asked For It: Music to My Ears

Hey Goldiluxe!

You have a lot of opinions!  I like.  How about you weigh in on this: What are your top 20 song choices for a first dance?  Your 20 least favorite?

Okay, Sugar, I'll open up that door.  But, before I do, let me say this:  These are MY personal favorites (and least favorites).  This question was a lot of fun to answer, but I don't want anyone to feel like I'm doing the Electric Slide all over their music choices.  You dance to what ever moves you.  I will too. Also, keep in mind some (not many, but some)of those listed on the Bottom 20 are songs I LOVE, but I just can't stand hearing them at yet another wedding.

Now on to the list!

Top 20 (in no particular order):

1.  You Go to My Head - Billie Holiday                       
2.  I Get a Kick Out of You - Billie Holiday                 
3.  What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong        
4.  Chances Are - Johnny Mathis
5.  She's a Lady - Tom Jones
6.  What's New Pussycat? - Tom Jones
7.  At Last - Etta James
8.  Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tennille
9.  In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
10.  Rio - Duran Duran
11.  Africa - Toto
12.  Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley (seriously, I love this song)
13.  Endlessly - Duffy
14.  Friday I'm in Love - The Cure
15.  Sea of Love - Phil Phillips
16.  (Can't Help) Falling in Love With You - Ingrid Michaelson
17.  Anyone Else But You - The Moldy Peaches
18.  Mint Car - The Cure
19.  Sweet Darlin' - She & Him
20.  Help Yourself - Tom Jones

And a bonus 21: Easy Like Sunday Morning - The Commodores

The Bottom 20 (in no particular order):
1.  Amazed - Lonestar
2.  My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
3.  Lips of an Angel - Hinder
4.  Everything I Do (I Do it For You) - Bryan Adams
5.  I Swear - All 4 One
6.  Kiss From A Rose - Seal
7.  I'll Make Love to You - Boyz II Men
8.  White Wedding - Billy Idol
9.  I Don't Want to Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
10.  Truly, Madly, Deeply - Savage Garden
11.  Careless Whisper (!) - Wham!
12.  I'll Be - Edwin McCain
13.  Every Breath You Take - The Police
14.  I will Always Love You - Dolly Parton
15.  Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
16.  She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
17.  Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
18.  All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You - Heart
19. Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
20.  Shameless - Garth Brooks

And your bonus stinker #21: Whiskey Lullaby - Brad Paisley and Allison Kraus

Have suggestions?  Leave 'em in the comments.

Guest Who?

Hello there, dumplings!

Yours truly is guest posting over at Lauren's blog today.  She's a brilliant blogger friend of mine.  Seriously, y'all.  After you check out my post, you really ought to stick around and see what you can see.  It's totally worth it.

07 October, 2011

Country Wedding in the City: Inspiration

Our 2012 dance card is filling fast!  Which is super exciting for us!  We are a whirlwind of activity here, designing, scheming, planning and dreaming!  As such, I am working on the inspiration board for a July wedding.

The bride is one of my favorite people from my Nebraska Life.  We went to University together and now we both live here in the MKE.  The groom is, in a word amazing.  He's funny, kind and totally adorbs.  Best of all, he's perfect for my sweet friend.  In addition to being extremely blessed to be a bridesmaid, I am fortunate enough to put the Goldiluxe stamp on this super special occasion.

I've been contemplating my approach to this event a lot lately and Pinterest has been helping me distill my vision.  As I put together my inspiration Board, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite images.  Enjoy!

Aren't they lovely?  This photo came to me via Style Me Pretty and was taken by A Simple Photograph.  My couple loves blue and I thought this little photo illustrated a perfect palette.  Coordinating, not matchy-matchy.  Simple picture, huge source of inspiration.  I'm especially in love with that deep, luscious midnight blue.

Wildflower centerpieces are becoming increasingly visible these days, and let me tell you, "mama like".  I love the look of them, the idea of them...you name it.  I think with this (and countless others) in mind, I'll be able to put something really great together for this wedding...I've been scouring floral mags and the wheels are definitely turning.

J'adore this photo!  I am LOVING all the delicious rusticity to be found in the pages of bridal mags and blogs of late.  I love country elements thrown into an elegant affair.  Don't mistake it for shabby chic, mind you.  The jury's still out on shabby chic.  Also, how brill is the homemade favor idea?!  Love, love love!  This adorable little photo comes from Green Wedding Shoes ( a personal fave) and was shot by Steep Street.

So there you have it.  Three of my favorite images from the ever expanding Country Wedding inspiration board.  I can't wait to share more as we work out the details...