Monday, June 16, 2008

Miz Hostess and her good pal Chambord

We here at O K E E d O R K E E have different likes that we obsess aka 'dork-out' to, but if there is one ultra fave thing we all have in common, it's partying and drinking! After a long day, why not relax and unwind with a nice beverage with friends, right?!? =)
[photo below courtesy of hwtm and chambord. manipulated by juligie]
Murse1 and I attended the Hostess with the Mostess' Hip Hostess Series in San Diego, which was the first of her 12 month tour. The hip hostess Jennifer Sbranti, along with Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, will be traveling to 7 cities in the U.S. to share cool party and entertaining ideas. This ain't no stuffy workshop. While picking up pointers to create chic, yet affordable decor and fantastic recipes that incorporate the fabulous drink of choice, Chambord, you'll also be showered with yummy food and yummier cocktails! I'm telling you, this will be the best Happy Hour you'll ever attend. And the best part, The Hip Hostess Series is FREE! Okay, okay, no really, the best part is meeting Miz Sweetie-pie herself, Jenn, and learning tons of helpful tips! The Must-bring-checklist when attending: a camera, pad and pen to take notes (and exchange blog and email addys with other attendees), your appetite,and a happy-go-lucky attitude!

[l: party over here! r: on the loggia patio overlooking balboa park. with one of three signature drinks, the french martini.]

[lovely decor, pretty kind of shindig!]

The theme for the San Diego event was "Tropical Zen." The venue, The Prado, was decorated with gorgeous arrangements with vibrant oranges, deep reds and zesty greens that intertwined both Hawaiian and Asian motifs. Why does it work so well together? Because both share similar decor aspects --- bright and bold colors and bamboo and green foliage. Told'ya she's good.

Jenn explained that decor and entertaining should be simple. Let's stay away from the cookie-cutter, party-in-a-box sets at your local party stores. What are we, 5 years old? No, we're grown and sexy now ;) Let's act and decorate accordingly.

One of the tabletops she displayed was inspired by a plant she saw in Hawaii. The plant was her muse. Find your muse and use it to inspire your color palette. And just because you're throwing a party, doesn't mean you gotta cook (thank da lord!) --- go to your fave eatery, take some dishes to go, and throw it on a swanky platter and wha-la! Mighty fine (and worry-free) dining! And be daring --- try using other food containers like take-out boxes to hold individual portion dishes. Isn't she the greatest?

A must for every party these days --- Signature drinks! Like I said, fine ladies and handsome gents, byob is so last season. I hate going to parties with a byob rule and all you see is the cheap stuff with no complimentary mixers. Don't get me wrong, I'm an on-the-rocks kinda chica as well, but really, hosting parties are meant to be a fun, catching-up soirre, not hold someones hair all night next to the porcelain god. Ok, rant over. Continuing on....yes, Signature drinks!

[diy bar --- guests will love playing bartender! ]

[my two faves: chambord berry sorbet and champagne & chambord]

Who knew Chambord could be so useful?!? At the event, there were 3 signature drinks that included Chambord in the recipe --- French Martini, Chambord Margarita and Chambord and Champagne. The 3 drinks were perfect because the 3 recipes covered all types of drinkers --- stiff to light. And for those who didn't really want to drink it up but wanted to try out Chambord, they served Chambord sorbet which just had a hint of it. Another fun idea --- make pouring drinks fun by giving your guests options. They'll have fun pouring their own concoctions. Set up a table and frame the recipes of the signature drinks around the various ingredients. And don't forget the garnishes --- raspberries and blackberries make your champagne flute look more fun! Really, who isn't wearing a 'i heart jenn' tee yet?

And the magic word of the day, Details! The details is what gets everyone talking! Follow through with your theme in all aspects of your decor. Jenn displayed a dining table that incorporated banana leaves (real and fake! yes, fake is ok. it's genius!) on and around each dish setting. And the magical detail --- she took a shred of a banana leaf and tied it around the napkin setting! Also seen around several of the displays were little bamboo toothpicks that are perfect for hors'douvers or fruit garnishes for your drink. Tiny embellishments like those make the entire 'look' so put-together. Ok, isn't Jenn our new BFF?!

[some of my fave details (fr l to r) -- faux flower in a bamboo vase filled with black river rock, banana leaf napkin ring, coconut cup embellished with a faux orchid flower]

Everyone loves giveaways! Each attendee received a coconut favor filled with goodies --- a tiny Chambord, Chambord shot glass, bamboo toothpicks, a party tip guide, and my favorite, an OPI nail polish --- color called French Chambord-tini --- how perfect is that name?!?

We had a great time. So great that I have been having Chambord and Champagne since the event and I totally want to go to all the cities! Jenn, I so can fit in your carry-on. Ok, check-in luggage. ;)

Yes, even Murse1 had a great time. He even suggested that "Tropical Zen" should be our next party theme. Like whoa, he's interested in decor and being an ultra hostess too?!? Ladies and, yes, Fellas, check out the Hostess with the Mostess when she comes cruising to a city near you! Her Chicago event is filling up fast --- she's got two events there and the first one is all ready full! Sign up soon! And keep up with the fabulous Hostess with the Mostess on her blog and find party inspiration on her site.
[click on photos for detail. all photos, otherwised noted, were taken by MURSE1. All rights reserved.]

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