Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wishing all of my family and friends a very happy and safe New Year!!! We would like to thank all of our supporters for helping MEBA have a very successful 2009. As we usher in the new year, we ask that you reflect upon the many lessons and blessings that the past year has presented and use it to bring about progress for the next. Please be safe and as always be blessed!
Everyone knows that the consumption of Black-Eyed peas are supposed to bring a person good luck for the New Year,but if you are like me it's not one of my favorite foods. As a child, I have always found ways to eat the foods that I disliked by adding ingredients that I do like. Well, I came across a very tasty recipe for black-eyed peas and wanted to share with you guys for the New Year!!! Take a look and hopefully will you like it as much as I did.
(Makes about 6 side dish servings, recipe adapted from Curried Black-Eyed Peas from Lisa's Kitchen.)
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 T olive oil or ghee (use olive oil for South Beach diet)
1 tsp. brown or black mustard seeds
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
(recipe called for 1/2 tsp. asafetida which I didn't have)
1 cup slow roasted tomatoes (or use 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh tomato)
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce, or more (or use use fresh chopped green chile pepper)
handful of fresh curry leaves (I used about 1/2 cup curry leaves, slightly chopped, but I would use even more if I had plenty of them)
2-3 T thinly sliced green onion or chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Cook the black-eyed peas, using one of these methods (I used the pressure cooker):
~To cook black-eyed peas in pressure cooker, no need to pre-soak. Put the peas in pressure cooker and fill about half full with water. Lock lid, and cook 10-11 minutes at high pressure, then use quick-release method to release pressure. Drain and continue with recipe.
~To cook black-eyed peas in regular pan, first soak overnight in cold water to cover. The next day, drain water and put black-eyed peas in saucepan with water to cover by a few inches. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 40-45 minutes. Drain and continue with recipe.
Combine sea salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and asafetida (if using) in small dish. Heat olive oil or ghee in large non-stick frying pan. When oil is shimmering hot, add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, which will happen very quickly. When seeds start to pop, add ground spice/salt mixture and cook about 1 minute.
Add slow roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, green Tabasco sauce, and curry leaves, then lower heat, stir and cook 2-3 minutes, until tomatoes are slightly thickened and mixture is fragrant. (You will need to cook longer if you use canned or fresh tomatoes.) Stir in black-eyed peas and simmer about 10 minutes, until peas are hot and mixture is slightly thickened. Serve hot, sprinkled with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro if desired.
One of my twitter friends asked for a good Peach Bellini recipe. Well, here it is, I hope that you enjoy!!!
6 ounces spumanti, Astt, to taste
1 ounce peach schnapps, to taste
frozen peaches, sliced
Add a few frozen peach slices and liquor to blender and puree. The mixture should be taking on a slushy type texture.
Taste and add more liquor or peaches as needed. Add ice and continue to blend until a nice frozen texture is acquired. Pour into glasses and garnish with peaches.
It's New Years Eve and many people are getting ready to entertain family and friends. I thought that I would share this recipe with you guys to try out for the New Year or any occasion that you want to make memorable. Let me know what you think of them!
*Makes about 10 cupcakes
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp Patron tequila
1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Patron, other options include Triple
Sec, Grand Marnier, Contreau..)
zest of one lime + juice of half of it
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a pan or silicone molds to your liking.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, lime zest, and salt in a bowl.
3. Cream together butter and sugar in another bowl until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add half the dry ingredients and wet ingredients (milk, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur) into this bowl and combine after each addition. Add zest and the other half of the dry ingredients and mix again.
4. Pour into cupcake pan.
5. Bake in oven for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in a center cake comes out clean.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Valentine's Day is the international day for lovers and we here at MEBA are the ambassadors of romantic events. Please join us for our Romantic Spa Rendezvous being held on Sunday, February 15, 2010 @ 6:00 PM at Natural Elements Day Spain Chesapeake, VA.
This event will offer you and your lover the opportunity to delve into the delights of intimacy within a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.
The Romantic Spa Rendezvous includes:
60 minute Swedish Couples Massage
Hors d' oeuvres
Wine and Sparkling Ciders
Valentine's Day Gift Bag
For more information, please click here.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Most wedding planners know that this time of the year is the onset of heavy bridal planning season. With June fastly approaching, some brides are still looking for that perfect gown. With economy being in its current state, most people are watching every penny. But don't fret, there is no reason why a bride can not save money on her special day and still have the wedding gown of her dreams. A rising trend is bridal consignment shops. These are shops that specialize in selling and/or renting bridal attire and accessories. In the Hampton Roads area, we have Blush. If you do not have a bridal consignment shop in your area, there are online alternatives such as Bride to Bride Boutique. I am the self-proclaimed thrifty planner, so I am always looking for a bargain. I think that bridal consignments shops are an option for the bride who wants to save the expense without sacrificing the elegance.
Surprise birthday parties are really becoming our speciality here at MEBA and we love it! We were recently contacted by a client who wanted to do something very special for her husband's birthday but didn't want the hoopla of a major party. I suggested to her our one of our "Mesmerizing Weekend" packages. She opted for the Luxury package which includes dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant , a chauffeured driver, and an overnight stay at a 4/5 Star hotel in the executive suite. It takes a lot of stress from the client when all they have to do is show up! Design elements were easy as there were no holds barred on our creative input. The client only asked that we incorporate blue and gold in the theme. We created a jacuzzi basket with all of the essential items to make the couple's evening intimate and memorable. They were also greeted by a dessert table which contained a birthday cheesecake tray, take-out boxes of nuts and candy, as well as the clients' favorite chips. The client advised that her husband could not sleep the entire night as he did not know what to do next! We were pleased with his response but what made our day is when her husband called me personally to advise that he felt that our efforts were "a true blessing" to him. That makes all of the effort and strife that us planners have to sometimes go through all worth the while!!!
We recently had the honor of planning a surprise 50th Birthday party for twins, Barbara and Bobby. Barbara's son wanted to do something special for his mother and uncle since they had never had a birthday party as children. The catch- we only had a week to plan. My team pulled it off without a hitch, although my poor feet suffered the most, lol! The full gallery is located on the website. Check it out!
Hello my dear hearts, I have really missed blogging (believe it or not). I have been blessed with many events that have been keeping me busy- hence my lack of presence on my blog. I have committed myself to be more proactive in my blogging for the upcoming year. But until then, I will try to catch you all up on some of the things that have been keeping me away. The following posts should give you all a sense of what of I have been doing.
Peace & Blessings
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The one thing about events that I love is the desserts. Not so much because of my sweet tooth, but moreso because of the creative aspect of the presentation. I am a big fan of couture cakes and use them for a lot of my events, by I am equally a fan of cupcakes. Cupcakes can be less expensive and can be presented in creative ways as well. My new favorite aid for cupcake presentation is the Cupcake Tree. They are different from the little cupcake stands that may be purchased at the store as they can be decorated to your liking and in my opinion look for crisp. I recently used the cupcake tree for a beach wedding and will be using a circular shaped one for a Sweet 16 Party. You can decorate them to match any party decor. Take a look at some of the many designs that have been created using the cupcake tree by visiting www.Cupcaketree.com.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This Labor Day we had the honor to assist with the wedding of Robin and
Vincent Bland. They had an elegant luau beach-themed wedding in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach. We wish them much blessings in their union and thank them again for allowing MEBA to be a part of their memorable day. To view more pictures, click here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Congratulations are in order for the newly Mr. & Mrs. Nathan Guerrero. We had the pleasure of assisting them with their wedding rehearsal dinner as well as their wedding this past Friday and Saturday. The rehearsal and wedding were both Southern-themed. The lovely couple and their families were such a joy to work with. We send many blessings to the newlyweds! Please click here to view more photos from both events.
Monday, August 17, 2009
MEBA is doing it again!!! We invite you to our Summer Small Business Expo to be held on Saturday, September 12, 2009. If you are looking for a great bargain or maybe a new business opportunity, this is the place for you to be. So, come on out and experience the hidden treasures that Hampton Roads' small businesses have to offer!
Tickets are no on sale! $5 General Admission
includes raffle, food, and fun.
*Please click here to purchase tickets or for more information.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Environmentally sustainable events are becoming more and more of a hot topic within the event planning industry. I must admit that my company is not a certified "green" company, but I am becoming more conscious of the products and services that I utilize for my events. Now, I know that most of you are wondering how can you make an event more green. Well, there are many ways. Some of the ways that you can make your event greener is by having organic menu options, using sustainable decor, using recyclable invitations, using eco-friendly decoration, and by recycling and composting of waste. There are so many more ways that a planner can make an event green. I have vowed that I will try to be more eco-conscious in my planning which will start by learning more about environmentally sustainable products. Let's all try to do our part!
One of the things that clients will ask me about when doing a themed party is how to recreate the atmosphere. Of course, decorations will be used for the tables and sometimes ceilings, but they do not always provide the overall presentation of the theme. One additional way to add character to an event is by using backdrops. Most people think of backdrops being only used in the theater and movie industries, but they are used quite often for events as well. A backdrop can add that extra flair to a party or gala like no other decoration. There are many companies, such as BackdropsBeautiful, which offer designs for any occasion. Whether it be a Hollywood themed party with a red carpet surrounded by paparazzi or a Winter Wonderland themed soiree, backdrops can add that extra umph to any event. So the next time you are looking to add some background flair to your event, check out a backdrop!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Many people often ask me how can they have a wonderful event on a limited budget. I always reply that what makes an event wonderful are the memories and the memories are tied into the visual. There are so many things that a client and event professional can utilize to save money for any type of event. Here are just a few tips:
1.Venue Sharing- this is especially useful for conventions. Businesses and/or organziations can share the price of a venue and furniture rentals. One organization can use the facility and items for the 1st part of the day while another organization can use it for the latter part of the day.
2.Dress rentals- this is great for weddings. Wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses can be very costly. There are many boutiques and consignment shops that specialize in the rental of wedding attire. If the groomsmen can do, why not the women?!?!
3.Fake Designer Cakes- Okay, I know what you are thinking, why would someone want a fake designer cake? Well, the cake can serve as a main focal point for events such as weddings, showers, and conventions. But designer/couture cakes can be very pricy due to the intricate details that are on them. A lot of bakeries will provide alternative fake cakes made out of foam and covered in fondant. Regular sheet cakes can be prepared and kept in the back until serving time.
There are so many other money saving tips that can be utilized. When planning your next event, just discuss these options with your planner. I am sure that he/she would love to help bring your event to life at the most minimal cost.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I have planned many events and the one thing that always arouses conversation is the topic of what type of music to be played. Music has always played a large role in my life. My uncle is a musician, my cousin is a musician/songwriter, and I spent my early college years as an intern in the music industry. Mostly all of my memories have a song associated with them. I think that a lot of people can pinpoint a period of their lives by a song, so why not a memorable event in their lives???
Although I plan a lot of events, I am not a traditionalist. I believe that a person should set their own course which includes doing their events on their own terms. When you think of wedding music, most people automatically think of Trumpet Voluntary, The Wedding March, or Canon in D. Yes, these are beautiful songs but they do not always reflect the personality of the couple. When I got married, my wedding music was all jazz-based instrumentals. The songs themselves reflected by personality and expressed exactly how I was feeling at that time.
I am currently working with some clients on their upcoming nuptials. The groom wants his bride-to-be to walk in on "Heaven Can Wait" by Michael Jackson. Although the bride loved the selection, she was worried about what her parents and guests would think about this choice. I had to remind her that the wedding is her and her fiance's special day, no one else's. This is a special moment in their lives that should reflect how they feel about one another, plus this song is a major thumbs up from me (smile). Sure enough, she began to see our point of view and decided to use her sweetheart's suggestion. Now, she is creating the soundtrack for the reception as well. I encourage this!!!
Creating musical soundtracks are not only useful for weddings and receptions, but for almost any event that you are having. So do not limit your self to traditional ideas. Although they are a part of tradition because they are good, they may not always suit what you envision for your day! Remember that the memories are in the music!!!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009 2:00 PM
Natural Elements Spa
Virginia Beach, VA
Memorable Events By Apryl is hosting a Mommy & Me Spa Retreat for mothers and daughters of all ages. Come out with your mother or daughter and experience one of many relaxation packages.
Each package includes:
Cozy spa robes and slippers during your visit
Showers and individual lockers
Use of the beautiful Zen Room in between treatments
10% off any retail items purchased on the day
20% discount on your next treatment (must be used within 3 months)
• Light hor d'oeuvres and beverages
Please click here for more information or to register.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
One of the things that brings out the table decor of an evening event is the lighting. Most people think of candles as the primary choice for table lighting, but there are more innovative ways to illuminate this area. One such way is by using LED Lite Ice Cubes. These lights may be used as a stand alone prop, inside drink glasses, or inside table centerpieces as shown above. The average lifespan of these candles are 12 hours. Unfortunately, they can not be re-used by installing new batteries as they are sealed tight to allow for operation within liquid. There is a large array of colors that they may be purchased in- pink, blue, and orange to name a few. So, the next time you want to add some luminary creativity to your tables, check out LED Submersible Light Ice Cubes.
Monday, June 29, 2009
There are many people who are opting to live the vegetarian lifestyle- meat is no longer the food staple of choice. Some planners are finding that the vegetarian client and/or guest may present a challenge when creating the cuisine menu for events. There is really no need to fret over this. There are so many vegetarian options to choose from. Simple choices such as Veggie lasagna and Portobello mushroom burgers served with curried lentils are easy and affordable. While a more refined menu option may be eggplant scallopine or wild mushroom ragout in wine can will always satisfy the vegetarian palate! Vegetarian catering companies, such as Two Brothers Catering in New Jersey, specialize in creating vegetarian entrees and desserts. These catering companies are becoming common in metropolitan areas and are increasingly on the rise is smaller locales as well. So don't every fret about having to accommodate to vegetarian clients, as the options are endless and it really will cut down on the catering budget.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Ok, so I am Miami-bound. My client has changed the venue of his pool party from New Jersey to Miami due to him being in the music industry and being able to work on a new project there. While I look forward to going to this place that I have never been, it is kind of stressful as the party is less than a month away!
I had to call various vendors to change the shipping locale of items needed and now I have to contact Miami modeling agencies to obtain photos of young women to grace the pool area. I will not let the cat out of the bag as to what the theme of the party is, but let's just say that Hugh Hefner would be proud. To my credit, it is a PG-13 event!!!
An event planner has to be flexible and patience, and both of these characteristics are being tested right now. But all in all, I would not change one thing about it. Now, I just have to found something to wear... Until next time!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
CALLING ALL SMALL BUSINESSES! MEBA is doing it again!!! We invite you to our Summer Small Business Expo to be held on Saturday, September 12, 2009. If you are looking to expand your business or are looking for networking opportunities, this is the event for you.
Registration is now open! Please visit the website at www.MemorableEventsByApryl.com on the upcoming events page to register. *The last date to register is August 15th, 2009, but do not wait as slots fill quickly.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Cheap Wedding Table Centerpiece Ideas: Tips for Saving Money on Expensive Wedding Reception Centerpieces | Suite101.com
Florists love using centerpieces to show off their design talents, making use of the latest accessories, display methods and, of course, the most desirable flowers, all of which come at a hefty price.
Alternative Ideas for Stunning Table Centerpieces
Use feathers or candles in place of expensive fresh flowers which also have a second use after the wedding.
Fresh herbs make a wonderful alternative to flowers and smell just as good if not better. Simply mix different colored herbs and leaf shapes and pile into a vase or glass.
Colorful lanterns with a simple tea-light inside make a wonderful display for a romantic evening reception.
Use reflective glass with pine cones surrounded by rosemary sprigs or rose petals for a simple, low cost table decoration.
Consider using personalized wedding favors as an alternative to a central display. There will be more room for glasses and bottles of wine and guests will be so busy admiring their favors they won’t even realize there is no flower arrangement!
Still want flowers? Why not buy artificial flowers which are not only cheaper but can be used around the home afterwards."
Monday, May 25, 2009
Okay, I have finally joined the Twitter revolution and I love it!!! I always think of social networking sites as only for my personal use but it is a great connector for businesses as well. There are so many mainstream businesses that are tweeting! I was very surprised to see that many of the event planning magazines and organizations were active on the site. So add Twitter as one of my great new finds- come on over and follow us. Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Spring Small Business Expo is now over. It rained profusely, but it did not stop attendees from coming out to support our local small businesses. It was a really good day to see all of the products and services that all of the vendors had to offer. It was also a GREAT day for networking. We had so much fun, that we have decided to do it again during the summer!!! Stay tuned for more information regarding the next expo, and please go over to the website to check out all of the pictures from the event!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Summer is fastly approaching, so ladies it is time to get our body, skin, and feet in order!!! What better way to prepare for the warm weather than to have a spa party? Spa parties have steadily become more popular recently. It provides girlfriends of all ages to come together, mingle, and relax while getting pampered. But don't be fooled into thinking that spa parties are only for women- they are becoming increasingly popular for children as well as men. Pampering is for all!!!
The services that are usually performed at a spa party are massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. You can specify the service based upon your own personal preferences. And don't worry about cost, usually the more guests you have the more discounts are offered.
So bring in the warm season with a nice, relaxing spa party!!!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
While working on an event last night, I struck up a conversation with one of the hotel workers. He asked me what type of event I was organzing and I advised him that I was planning a Surprise Romantic Weekend for a client's husbands' 30th party. He then asked me to provides details of the actual activities. Once I did, he stated "Women never plan surprises for their me!" I was shocked to hear him say that. I advised him that is not true, there are a lot of women who love surprising their mates.
That is one of the things that i love to do most- surprise people! It does not always have to be something big either. Some people appreciate the thoughts behind the acts. For me, the real joy comes in seeing their raw reactions. I love to see someone in awe , totally unsuspecting of what is in store.
So the next time you want to spread a little joy (big or small) consider a sweet surprise to let that person know how much they mean to you!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009
The Omega House of Norfolk
Memorable Events By Apryl invites you to their 1st Annual Spring Small Business Expo to be held on May 17, 2009 in Norfolk, VA. Come out and see all of the hidden treasures that Hampton Roads has to offer in small businesses and don't miss the opportunity to get some free samples, complimentary services, and win some cool prizes!!! So come out with your family and/or friends!
General Admission- $5
Children 12 and under- FREE
*Unfortunately tickets will not be sold at the door.
Some of the participating vendors:
Atmosphere Hair Salon
The Baker's Soul
Balanced Harmony Massage Therapy
Heavenly Sweets By Shavon
Lashes By Toya, LLC
Premier Designs Jewelry
And many more...
This is an event that you do not want to miss!!!
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
People often ask me how I became interested in event planning. Well, while working as an intern in the entertainment industry, I realized that I really enjoyed the planning aspects of my day. I enjoyed watching small things come together to bring great results. Believe it or not, I am naturally a shy person so staying in the background was never an issue for me. I was always the go-to person for making phone calls, picking up entertainers from the airport, or arranging their accommodations. I really enjoyed these things and soon found that I had ways to make these tasks more enjoyable and memorable for the client. Soon my employer began to use my skills to plan parties for his fiance and children. That's were I really found my niche! Trust me, I worked hard for very little money if any at all at times, but it didn't matter because of the experience I was receiving and I truly enjoyed what I was doing.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Okay, so my one New Year's resolution is to get out of my comfort zone and grow my business and what better way to do that than to network! I know that I have posted about networking before, but I can not stress the importance of it to small businesses such as mine (or any business for that matter). Word of mouth is the strongest advertiser there is!!!
I am currently planning the Spring Event Expo for this upcoming May, and in doing so I have met some very inspirational business owners. I consider myself to be a people person, but kind of reserved at the same time. I love to observe people before opening up (so why do i blog???). Anyway, I am learning so much from the people that I am coming into contact with, most do not even work within the event planning industry. This is very exciting to me, as I love to learn about anything, but when it is beneficial to my personal and professional growth it sends me to the stars. While networking with another business owner, I was introduced to a business social networking site. Like most people, I have a Myspace, Facebook, and LinkedIn page but I do not really log on and have found minor benefits to these sites for business- they're great for reconnecting and meeting interesting new people on a personal level. Well, this associate of mines introduced me to Ecademy. It is a social networking site for businesses. The interface is much more user friendly than LinkedIn and it allows other users to rate your business "good." My 1st day as a user on the site yielded 46 contact requests from other business owners across the WORLD. Now I must admit that some of the businesses are unique, but I am not one to knock anyone's "hustle." So if any of you fellow business owners want a new way to network and expand your contact, give this Ecadamy a try!