Los Angeles Non Profit Event Planning

October 24th, 2012

Non profit event planning can be very rewarding. We recently planned an event at a local museum and what a pleasure it was to work on such a nice event.

It is very important with non profit event planning to keep costs down, and one way we were able to do this was to bring in our own wine.  We also returned the centerpiece containers, asked our vendors to work with us on costs and utilized the resources the venue offered.

What is most important with non profit event planning is for the guest to enjoy the event and feel their donation is valued. We served buffet and tray-passed hors d'oeuvres instead of a seated dinner and received rave reviews. The food we provided, the mash potato bar, various types of sliders and salads to name a few gave our guests plenty of options as well as the freedom to network with other guests and enjoy the venue.  And of course, who can resist dessert with s'mores, mini cupcakes and cheesecake lollipops!

Check out some other cost savings ideas in Budget Bash now.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!


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Party Planning Guide at the Kindle Bookstore

September 7th, 2012

I am pleased to announce that my party planning guide, Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget has been accepted at the Kindle bookstore by Amazon Books and is now available to download to your Kindle or IPad.

In Budget Bash, I share with you my insider party planning secrets. This party planning guide will help you create an elegant party from start to finish whether it is a cocktail party, personal event or wedding.  By following my methodical steps and drawing from my quick tips and imaginative ideas, you can entertain like a pro!

This book at the Kindle bookstore includes recipes for everyone and is filled with color photos and step-by-step instructions, so even the most inexperienced host can throw an elegant affair.

A few of the topics included in this party planning guide are:

  • ideas for event themes, invitations, and party favors;
  • sample event timelines, budgets and checklists;
  • venue selection tips;
  • design ideas and decorative napkin folds;
  • stylish floral arrangements;
  • recipes and menus, including vegan and gluten-free;
  • hints for recycling/reusing to save money and the environment;
  • and other helpful cost-saving tips.

Make your holiday entertaining simple, stress-free yet elegant with this budget-conscious easy-to-read party planning guide. Available NOW for just $4.99. Just click here.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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Simple Flower Arrangements

July 2nd, 2012

During my travels to New York City, I came across a couple of simple flower arrangements that were quite dynamic.  Note this simple flower arrangement sitting on an entryway table.  Colors run from yellows to greens with various size and height vases.

All vases in this simple flower arrangement contain the same type of flower, starting with the lower tier of cymbidium orchids. These small square simple flower arrangements of cymbidium orchids are great for either cocktail tables or group them together with votive candles for a table arrangement.

To learn how to make simple flower arrangements including centerpieces with cymbidium orchids click here.

Here is another simple flower arrangement.  This floral centerpiece is great for either small dinner tables or cocktail tables as well.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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Great Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

May 10th, 2012

One of my favorite foods is macaroni and cheese. When I had to go gluten free, finding a gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe was a high priority.  I actually just modified the recipe found in my book Budget Bash and it was great! Here is the recipe.

1 box of gluten free macaroni (about 2 cups, I used quinoa macaroni)

1/4 cup butter

1/2 small onion

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup of gluten free flour

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

3/4 cup of cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of Gruyere

1/2 cup of truffle cheese

1/4 cup of Parmesan

Truffle oil and salt and pepper to taste

The first step to this gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On an oven top, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box.  Drain water and set pasta aside.

In a pan, melt the butter and sautee the onions and garlic. Whisk in the flour to make a roux and cook until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the milk and simmer until mixture is thick (about 15 to 20 minutes). I stirred the mixture as well to ensure it didn’t burn.

Once mixture is thick, then add the cheddar, truffle, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses along with the mustard and stir until melted. You might want to taste your cheese sauce and add some more cheese if desired. At this point, you can add the truffle oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Once your cheese sauce reaches its desired taste, add the macaroni to the pot and stir until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish and sprinkle extra grated cheddar cheese on top.  Cook the gluten free macaroni and cheese in the oven until brown and crusty on top, at least 30 minutes. Serve hot.

If you wish to modify this gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe, you can substitute the truffle cheese for blue cheese and the Gruyere cheese for Jack cheese and leave out the truffle oil. You can also add a little hot sauce or red chili pepper flakes if desired.

For other gluten free recipes as well as party planning tips and advice, click here.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!



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Homemade Marshmallows

April 11th, 2012

Having to go gluten-free I have started to look at my gluten free dessert options. One of them is marshmallows and I have to tell you I made the best homemade marshmallows and thought I would share the recipe. They are so easy!

Click here for the recipe. It is from the Barefoot Contessa. Just one note on these homemade marshmallows. I used a glass pan and cut the marshmallows while they were still in the pan.

Some options for this gluten free dessert is to add mint for mint marshmallows or coco powder for chocolate. Be sure if you make chocolate marshmallows to dust them in coco, not powdered sugar.

Another great thing about these homemade marshmallows is that they travel well. I went clear across the country with this gluten free dessert and they arrived perfectly in their individual packages.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!


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Dinner Event by a Los Angeles Corporate Event Planner

March 21st, 2012

Being a corporate event planner, I am called upon to produce all types of events.  From private dinners for 10 guests to galas which seat over 1,000 guests, no matter the event, I still need to take the necessary steps to ensure all runs smoothly night-of.

I recently produced a dinner at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills.  A couple of things we did a bit differently for this event.  First, our centerpieces were not all uniform. For the large round tables, our centerpieces were the above design. For the smaller narrow tables, we used the same colored flower but created small square centerpieces using just roses.

As a corporate event planner, I try to infuse as much creativity as possible with the budget. For this event, the restaurant allowed us to bring in our own wines and even with the corkage fee, we were able to help save the client some money.

Finally, first impressions count. Therefore, we always make sure that the venue and its team is ready to go prior to event start time since often guests arrive early.  Valet, servers as well as management were prepped to ensure everyone was on the same page as to the expectations of the evening.

Making sure all runs smoothly the night of the event is just one aspect of being a corporate event planner. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you have a great support staff and a loyal client helping you as well.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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SAG Awards Production by a Los Angeles Event Planner

March 7th, 2012

As a Los Angeles event planner, I know what it takes to put together an event, especially a high-profile sit-down dinner for over a thousand A-List Hollywood guests.  You need to keep a party planning checklist and stick to it. That is what I did for this year’s SAG Awards as well as the previous 13 SAG Awards I have coordinated.

We start the SAG Awards event production in the summer with designing the menu with our chef, Suzanne Goin of Lucques Catering. We work with Suzanne to create a tasty menu that appeals to all palates including vegans and vegetarians.

The next step as a Los Angeles event planner is to discuss the table top decor with our designer Keith Greco. We research different looks and test out different tableware until the perfect look is found and presented to the SAG Awards Committee.

Once the look of the table and the food is selected, then the party planning checklist comes into play. It is important to create a specific timeline for load-in, follow up with vendors to ensure they have the correct equipment coming to the event and then supervise each day’s set-up on site to make sure everything is going to plan.

The party planning checklist extends to every element of the interior of the room such as the amount of chairs set at each table, the quantity of wine, water and champagne poured as well as the tiniest details such as how the napkin is folded!

Other details we have down on our party planning checklist is which guest receives a vegan plate, the number of glassware, dishware and silverware to order for that evening, the amount of flower arrangements on the table, etc. The list is pages long!

At A Wynning Event, we produce all types of events from non-profit to corporate as well as social but as a Los Angeles event planner, the SAG Awards is by the far the most exciting!

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2012 SAG Awards

February 17th, 2012

Here are some inside pictures from the 18th Annual SAG Awards.

We start production for the SAG Awards a week in advance and by show day, it all comes together for a beautiful night honoring the work of the acting community.

The red carpet at the SAG Awards is opened with a toast from Taittinger Champagne. This year, Vitalie Taittinger stepped out of a life-sized Taittinger bottle to help open the red carpet.

More to come soon on this year’s SAG Awards.

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Happy New Year!

December 29th, 2011

Now this is an ice bar ready for New Year’s Eve!

Happy New Year, 2011, and for any last minute party tips, click here.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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Delicious Chocolate Cake Recipe

December 14th, 2011

Just in time for your holiday entertaining, this delicious chocolate cake recipe is a simple chocolate cake and takes no time to make, yet everyone loves it and can never get enough.  Here are the ingredients and instructions.

8-ounces sour cream

½ cup canola or vegetable oil

½ cup water

4 eggs

1 box chocolate cake mix with pudding in the box

1 small box instant chocolate pudding

12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cocoa powder for dusting the cake pan

Powdered sugar to dust the cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour (use cocoa powder not flour) a bundt pan.

Blend with a mixer the first four ingredients.  Then add the cake mix, then the chips and the pudding last.  Do not over-mix once you put the pudding in.  Then quickly transfer to the bundt pan and bake for 1 hour.  Insert toothpick to check cake is thoroughly baked and remove from the oven and let cool.

When the pan is cool enough, flip out this simple chocolate cake onto a baking rack and continue cooling.  When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve.  This delicious chocolate cake recipe is a no fault recipe and the cake comes out perfect every time.

An alternate idea to this delicious chocolate cake recipe is to substitute mint chips for chocolate chips to give the simple chocolate cake a minty cool taste.

Enjoy the holidays and until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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