Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Can't go wrong with an elegant wedding....

I heart weddings....I love attending them, being in them, and of course, planning them. 

This past weekend my good friend from college Natalie got married. I lived with Nat for 2 years and she is beautiful inside and out! She was absolutely STUNNING, seriously, a model bride!!! Her dress was gorge as well. Here, see for yourself:



 

As I said, I love weddings - no matter if they are casual or fancy. But you just can't go wrong with the classic white dress and black tux. It's so elegant and absolutely perfect for an evening wedding.

 

 

Here are a few fun touches:

I loved these centerpieces. The orchids inside the glass vases with the water were GORGEOUS!!! The color theme was black and white, which also felt very elegant.



At the cocktail hour, I spotted a fantastic appetizer idea - Tortellini Skewers! These were perfect to eat standing up, I have never seen them before! Genius for a cocktail hour and pretty to look at!


In addition to wedding cake, the couple served delicious cannolis from the groom's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. A Cleveland Cannoli, if you will. It might as well have been straight off the boat, because OMG was it good. (I had 2. Don't judge, we don't have cannolis in Charlotte) I loved this personal and unexpected touch.



If you are planning your wedding, you just can't go wrong with simple black and white elegance. Congratulations to Nat and Rocco!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pizza party!

Happy Tuesday! I feel like I am just coming up for air....after my big event last Thursday I hopped on a jet plane (sounds cooler than airplane) and headed to Ohio for a good friends wedding. She was a freaking MODEL bride, seriously. But I am a bit behind in my posting, so I will have to get to the beautiful wedding and fundraising event photos later in the week. 

For now, how about a pizza party? You may remember last years Curious George party I threw for my best friend Kalle's son. I can hardly believe it, but little baby Pearce is 2 years old! He's full of life and energy and man does he love to climb on things. He also loves to help in the kitchen, so Kalle wanted to do a "cooking" themed party. Life got in the way, as it usually does, and we had about 2 days to plan for this party, but it still turned out pretty cute. Anytime you get some toddlers trying to make their own pizza and ice their own cupcakes, you are guaranteed a good time. 

At this time, I would also like to give Kalle a public apology...I was convinced the kids (ages range from 1-4ish) would be too young to participate in the pizza making/cupcake decorating. With the help of their parents, the kids were champions and I was proven wrong. (FYI blog readers - you are witnessing history here...I don't like admitting I am wrong.)

Party Pics:



Pizza set-up...


Little Pearcey...or should I say big Pearcey. I got him his very own chef hat...it's a little big, no?



Look at Chef Pearce in action with that rolling pin!




Pizza masterpieces...



I made a pizza for the wall to play: "Pin the Pepperoni on the Pizza." Pearce chose to play in his diaper.



Pizza and cooking decor...super easy to decorate, just use items from your kitchen - no need for flowers when you can make a spatula bouquet!




For dessert, we set up a cupcake station with 4 different color icings and a plethora of toppings. It got a little messy, I'm not going to lie. But it was oh so adorable to watch the kiddos concentrating on making their cupcakes pretty.


Here's the newest addition to Kalle's family, baby Loah. Isn't she precious? She slept through most of the party.



If you want a fairly easy party for your kiddo, I highly suggest a cooking party. It was so cute and not too difficult to pull together. 

If you need some more reading material for your day, check out my latest article on Tablespoon.com. I share a delicious pasta salad recipe perfect for your summer bbq. 

Come back this week for photos of the fundraising event I planned and the beautiful wedding I attended this past weekend.


Have a GREAT day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY WINNER AND EVENT PREVIEW!!

....and the winner of the Sweet Sanity Sticker giveway is.....

MAMA BIRD! Congrats and enjoy your fabulous stickers! Contact Kerry with Sweet Sanity to arrange your prize! Thanks to everyone for participating!

Apologies for the light blogging week...I was busy working on an event - few preview pics from our event that went smashingly last night..I'll be back next week with more! Thanks to Tonya at Poprock Photography for the beautiful photos!




I am off to a wedding in Ohio, hope everyone has a WONDERFUL WEEKEND! I know I will - Congrats to Natalie and Rocco!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Full Disclosure...

Happy Monday! Before I explain what  "full disclosure" I speak of, I just want to remind everyone about the great Giveaway I have going on RIGHT NOW! Blogger was randomly angry last week and deleted a bunch of comments, so if you commented, it might be gone! 

Now, on to full disclosure. When you start a blog, you  basically agree to put yourself out there for (hopefully) a lot of people to see. Perhaps you can inspire some people, show people what you can do and have an online journal for your thoughts and projects.  This post will not inspire you. But it will make you laugh...at me. I love my readers (and I love myself enough to laugh at myself), so here is full disclosure - cake style. 

In the past year plus that I have had this blog, I have improved my baking skills. I can pipe icing on cupcakes with beautiful swirls, flood cookies with royal icing, and kill some chocolate chip cookies. People have actually paid me for cupcakes and cookies to bring to their events! Apparently, the one thing I can't do? Make a pretty layer cake. Oh...and spell. I apparently can't spell. 

This past weekend we celebrated my good friend Hillary's birthday, and my job was to make a cake. I decided to make a delicious carrot cake. This recipe was given to me by friend Ginger several years ago, and it should be called "Carrot Cake on Crack." It's that good. 

So, I think I'm hot stuff, and decide to whip up a layer cake for the first time. Here's the outcome....the ugliest cake in the world, and keeping with the full disclosure, I am not even going to edit the pictures. 

I make my carrot cake with love and dedication, and decide to pipe on some orange frosting to go with the "carrot" theme. I write the word "Surprise" on the cake, since it was supposed to be a surprise party but got ruined. A little irony, if you will. I know the cake isn't pretty, but whatev. Picture this scene: I bring in my biggest supporter, Mr. Fo.

Me: "It's not that ugly, right Stu? Is it the ugliest cake in the world? Should I destroy it?"

Mr. Fo: " Umm, you spelled Surprise wrong."

Me: "No I didn't you idiot!"
Mr. Fo: "Sooo-Prise?" (Picture this for the rest of the night)





I'm going to defend myself briefly and say that I am typically a good speller, which is what makes this unfortunate. Oh, and the fact that frosting a crumbly layer cake with homemade cream cheese frosting is near impossible. Kudos to all you cake folks. Just when you think the cake can't get any worse, Mr. Fo says: "You should add a "little r" so that people know that YOU KNOW that you spelled it wrong." So, I add a correction, but I had used all the orange icing and all I had was a leftover tube of black in the pantry. So, now it's an ugly, misspelled, Halloween cake. You know, black and orange. Halloween colors.




After getting a few good belly laughs out of the way, my friends and I tried the cake. It may have been ugly, but man it was delicious.Maybe the uglier it is the better it tastes?




Apologies to the following: My parents, who spent god knows how much on my education to have me misspell a simple world and then feature it on my blog and my father-in-law and sister-in-law who pride themselves on their grammatical and spelling skills.

I hope you have a "SURPRISINGLY" good Monday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giveaway from Sweet Sanity!

So it's Wednesday and we're right smack dab in the middle of the week...how about we spice things up with a fabulous giveaway from Sweet Sanity? When Kerry asked me about doing a giveaway on my  blog, I didn't hesitate for a second...the chic's got style and skillzzz, so you better check her out! Kerry's got a blog, website and an Etsy site, so there is plenty to see! I'll let the adorable Kerry take it from here!!
________________________________________________________________________________

First, I must say how thrilled I am to be doing a Giveaway on JackieFo...I love Jackie's blog! I love checking in and getting inspired by Jackie's blog or drooling over her latest food shots!

Sweet Sanity offers stickers, tags and printables for all of life's celebrations. Sweet Sanity Stickies are great for favors for parties, weddings, and showers and are completely customizable!  My shop is for those who like to have a hand in the details!

This Giveaway is for a Set of Custom Stickies! Choose 5 sheets of sticker from any of my designs on Etsy and I will personalize, print and ship for free!!

Good Luck!!
Kerry, Sweet Sanity Designs


SHOP {www.sweetsanity.etsy.com}
BLOG {www.sweetsanity.typepad.com}
DESIGN {www.sweetsanitydesigns.com}







If you are having a baby shower, wedding, birthday party, or any type of partay, enter this giveaway STAT to win 5 sets of custom stickers! With Kerry's design skills and your imagination, the possibilities are endless! 

To Enter:

1) Tell me what you would use your custom stickers for,
2) Follow this blog (or let me know you already do!),
3) Follow me on twitter a@jackiefo4 (or let me know you already do!); or
4) Like me on Facebook at Jackie Fogartie Events (or let me know that you already do!)!
Leave a separate comment for each if you would like multiple entries!

This giveaway will close FRIDAY, May 20th at 12 p.m. GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What to do with leftover Easter candy...

Do you have leftover chocolate bunnies that you can't bear to throw out? I keep my collection in my freezer for when I need a chocolate fix...it's pretty dangerous, but that's how I roll. 

So when Mr. Fo requested chocolate chip cookies the other night and I realized that "GASP" we don't have any chocolate chips, I had to come up with Plan B. (Also, what a good wife I am, right? I just whip up homemade cookies at the drop of a hat) 

Plan B consisted of taking my poor little chocolate bunny and hacking him up with a kitchen knife... (apologies for the violent image). Combined with half a bag of leftover white chocolate chips, I created a delectable treat without having to buy anything new. I'm serious, if you keep regular baking supplies in your casa at all times, you will be surprised what you can whip up. I highly suggest the chocolate and white chocolate chip combination. It's delectable.







So put your Easter candy to good use! Come back this week for a GREAT giveaway from Sweet Sanity....if you are throwing a party in the near future, you don't want to miss this!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Last Minute Mothers Day Brunch Recipe

Pressed for time but still want to throw your mom a fabulous brunch to show her how much you appreciate her? Lucky for me, we are going out to brunch, but last weekend I made this Cinnamon Baked French Toast to a VERY pleased crowd. Pioneer Woman strikes again with this incredibly easy (and incredibly heart-clogging!) recipe that you can prepare overnight and stick in the oven in the a.m.



Ingredients

  • FRENCH TOAST
  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • Topping
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • Fresh Fruit (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and but into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.





Enjoy and Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Springtime Brunch

Whoops! I meant to get this post up on Monday...my bad. Honestly, I've had a bit of a busy week, and I think I am STILL tired from the Royal Festivities. Man, one day of getting up at 4 a.m. and I am wiped for days. I'm really getting old. One quick note about the royal wedding - it was everything I dreamed of and more. Oh, and I wish I was Kate Middleton. Or Pippa. Okay, enough about that. 

This past week was my lovely, fabulous and sweet mother Mickey's birthday. Seriously, I LOVE her! I got so lucky in the mom department. To show my appreciation, I decided to throw a bright and happy Springtime Sunday Brunch at mi casa. Between Easter, her birthday, and mother's day coming up, let's just say Mickey has really enjoyed herself lately. But she deserves it :)

The weather in Charlotte has been beautiful (despite the occasional downpour), so I set a table outside using Pier One's seriously adorable floral plates and napkins. Oh, and did I mention they are paper? I couldn't love Pier One more. I'm telling you, it's a hidden treasure.  In the center, I arranged yellow tulips, Mickey's favorite.


 

I used a pink ribbon to tie everything together, and I think it looked adorable! Easy and a great use for all that ribbon I have lying around. 

 
I served peach bellinis instead of my usual mimosas. It was a welcome change. Mickey got a special glass with a pom flower adornment.


Each glass had flower drink stirrers, courtesy of Sugar and Charm. I heart that site.



Once again, I used Ruffled blog's pennant letters. I can't get enough of this pretty letters! They provided a great backdrop to my table. Just use your hole punch and string ribbon through for a pretty bunting.



I used green tissue paper in the back of the table to mock a "green garden" feel. But my absolute favorite part of the whole brunch was the "Tulip Cookie Flower Pots!" Basically, I created a tulip sugar cookie using a tulip shaped cookie cutter, and baked it on a lollipop stick. I dyed the frosting 3 different bright colors. Using a Styrofoam block, I placed the sticks in the Styrofoam block in a pail, and covered the block with green tissue paper to mimic grass. Voila! A tulip plant you can eat :)




I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my spring time birthday brunch. I think the bright, floral theme would work well for a Mother's Day brunch as well! Later this week I will be posting the recipes I used...let's just say no one went home hungry. YUMM!