Sangri-Yum!

I need little convincing to enjoy a glass of Sangria – or as I like to say – sangri-yum!  For the holiday parties we produced in 2014, we loved this recipe for Winter Sangria. It is the perfect mix of fruit and spice. Our clients raved about this festive cocktail. Check out the recipe below from Food Network, although it takes a little prep time, it’s worth the work!

Ingredients

2 cups no-pulp orange juice
3 to 6 ounces orange liqueur
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 blood oranges or clementines, supremed
1 Anjou (red) pear, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
2 liters sweet sparkling red wine, chilled (recommended: Rosa Regale)
1 liter lemon lime soda, chilled

Directions

1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple), cored and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange liqueur and honey. Add cinnamon stick, blood oranges, apple and pears, stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature to macerate, at least 1 hour, until ready to serve. Add wine and soda, stir gently to combine, and serve immediately over ice.

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2009
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Sangria

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Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/winter-sangria-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year

Designers, event planners and creatives alike wait patiently at the end of each year for the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2015, the folks at Pantone have chosen Marsala. With it’s rich, hearty and natural earthiness, Marsala will translate through all areas of design, fashion and event production.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_bannerThe event world will start to incorporate Marsala in design elements, flowers, menus and wine pairings. Be on the look out! This beautiful color will reign in 2015!

Permission – Wow Reviews!

thc_bookcover_finalWhen I wrote my first book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming support and positive reviews. To write a book is a very personal journey, and although I wrote very quickly (over 200 pages in 6 weeks), I found the process resonated with me long after. I’m very proud of the fact Permission seems to be striking a cord with readers and audiences as I share my story.

Here is just a sampling of some of the reviews I’ve received:

One may think that Permission is meant mainly to inspire and encourage young women to take command of their lives. Well, I am a male twice Nicole’s age and I am inspired and encouraged by this book, too. I recommend it from three perspectives. First, the storyline is so fascinating and Nicole’s writing style almost puts one in her skin as one feels the intense joy and pain of her personal and business lives. Second, important points are well articulated: like authentic intentions, followed by aggressive pursuing, risk, and trying are what brings good fortune, along with sound social advice, such as dropping basement dweller “friends’. Nicole’s ultimate success proves that her advice works. Third, the ‘how to do it’ portions are helpful.The theme, Permission, is all pervasive as we confront authority, ego, self-concept and will. I found the book persuasive and a good read.
-Rick Kaylor January 10, 2015

 

Nicole made me laugh and cry (at the same time) … she has a delightful way of telling stories that I could completely relate to. So many women (and men) will enjoy this book and probably feel exactly the same way. Nicole’s life has such inspiration and aspiration, I loved reading all about her experiences and successes. The fact that she has a great network of friends and family and a real “go getter” attitude has made me look at my life and give myself Permission to seek the life I want to live. Thank you for such a great read, I will tell everyone I know to read this book! – Kelly

 

Permission! is an engaging and inspiring read. Nicole Matthews’ voice is at once both strong and vulnerable, and offers those of us who feel like we have to do it all the guidance to lean on others to help us accomplish our goals. The raw, personal stories Nicole uses to illustrate her ideas for achieving success connect the reader in a way that makes this book hard to put down. -Christene

Check out the rest of the reviews on Amazon.

Thank you for all of the Permission support and love!

PS – Need a little more Permission inspiration – check out my Permission board on Pinterest!

Do You Want to Eat Well?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…no, we aren’t celebrating the holidays again already. It’s San Diego Restaurant Week – the best week to explore a cornucopia of culinary delights. With over 180 restaurants participating county wide between January 18- 24, we all have a chance to fill our bellies with delight. Participating restaurants offer a $10, $15 or $20 pre-fix lunch menu, and/or $20, $30, $40 or $50 pre-fix dinner menu. Reservations are recommended because this week is very popular!

San Diego Restaurant Week Here’s a list of the participating restaurants: http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Let us know what is on your San Diego Restaurant Week agenda! Happy eating!

 

Check Your Passport! Is It Ready for Your Next Trip?

Passport-Renewal

There is nothing worse than getting ready to take an international trip only to realize your passport has expired! Since we are still fresh into 2015, it provides a great opportunity for you to pull out your passport and make sure your ticket to the world is ready for your next adventure! You must renew your passport a minimum of 6-months before the expiration date.

According to the US Department of State, you can renew your passport if:

Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:

  • Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
  • Was issued when you were age 16 or older;
  • Was issued within the last 15 years; and
  • Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change

If you need to apply for your first passport, you can do so by mail by filling out Form DS-82.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a passport since I was a toddler. It is the vehicle that allows me to become a global citizen, and a gift that keeps on giving!

It’s a big world out there – go experience it!

 

Top 15 Places to Go in 2015: Cuba, Helsinki, Cape Town – Condé Nast Traveler

I’ve been spinning my globe trying to figure out where my travels will take me this year. So far Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Italy seem to be topping the list. We are Condé Nast Traveler evangelists, so when they give us their top 15 places to go in 2015, we pay attention!

Top 15 Places to Go in 2015: Cuba, Helsinki, Cape Town – Condé Nast Traveler.

What do you think of their list? Any places you would add? Our travel concierge are currently helping clients to get to far reaching places around the world. Where’s your next great adventure going to take you?

See you at an airport near you!

 

TSE 2015 – Where All The Event Planners Go!

If you were looking for anyone in the event industry last week, more than likely they were in Anaheim, California at TSE 2015 – The Special Event Conference and Trade Show; the largest industry conference for event planners, vendors and suppliers. I was very fortunate to have been selected to speak all three days. TSE is an annual tradition for the event industry. We attend for education, networking and inspiration. The trade show floor is a visual cornucopia of the latest and greatest decor, furniture and must-have products we can implement in our events. It’s also a great chance for us to network with friends old and new.

This year was particularly special because in addition to speaking all 3 days, I was also able to offer my new book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live at the Conference Bookstore. What a thrill to be asked to do a book signing during the conference, along side my dear friend, Marley Majcher – The Party Goddess!

My presentations included: