Archive for the ‘ fun ’ Category

The Thanksgiving of Sports

Don your helmets, bring on the jerseys, call your friend with the huge screen TV and don’t forget massive amounts of goodies – it’s Super Bowl! Super Bowl is the Thanksgiving of Sports; when it comes to snacks for the day, there needs to be plenty of them. Here are my ideas for what to cook up for the big game!

Chicken Wings are hot! They have become the food of choice and rank as the most popular food for Super Bowl gatherings. Alton Brown shares his recipe for the best chicken wings on Food Network; his secret – cook them twice. If you are looking for some new twists on the classic hot wing, check out this Squidoo page for ideas.

Football Fans will love these Meatball Parmigiana Sliders and Cheesesteaks with Peppers and Onions from Delish.

On to dips! Check out Rachel Rays Lucky 7 Layer Dip.  Another all time favorite is Guacamole. Bobby Flay has a yummy recipe that will have all your guests saying “Ole!” Guaranteed to disappear quickly is Dill Dip in Rye Bread; make sure to start this recipe the day before so the flavors can meld.

Don’t forget to put out some bowls of snack mix! Check out these ideas from Cooking Light.

Oreo-Football-Cookie-Balls-52162Finally, and perhaps most important (at least in my book), dessert! Score one for the team with Oreo Football Cookies; easy, fun and perfect for the day. These Touchdown Cupcakes will definitely clear the field.  Or you can just take everything yummy, throw it in a bowl and you’ll have Kitchen Sink Super Bowl Bars – your team will totally be cheering you on when they taste these.

Enjoy the game, the food, the commercials, the social media and the fun!!! And may your team win – go team!


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This Takes the Cupcake

The setting: You are at a late afternoon meeting and the host offers a plate of cupcakes. The one you choose reveals much about you.

So which do you choose? Your choices are:

cupcakes (2)

            • Chocolate
            • Vanilla
            • S’mores
            • Raspberry Lemon Cream
            • Red Velvet
            • Carrot

 

If you chose Chocolate you are not afraid to take chances. You are the planner that is up with the trends, you’re willing to give what-is-new-and-hot a go! Your colleagues keep a close eye on what you do as they find you to be a respected predictor of what they should pay attention to and what they may as well ignore.

If you chose Vanilla you are a traditionalist. You have a perfect formula for your meeting’s success and will only stray when something has proven itself over and over again. You are a “count on” individual that is deeply trusted.

If you chose S’mores you can do a little bit of everything. Sure, you can plan the meeting with your eyes closed, but you can also create a logo for the event, write up copy for the agenda, and even design a respectable web page to market to the masses. You are a bit of everything in one scrumptious package.

If you chose Raspberry Lemon Cream you are spunky and colorful. This is reflected in everything you do; from your dress to the bands that rock your events to the décor and ambience you create. You can transform any space into a whole new realm, and everyone is pretty much guaranteed to experience a memorable and fun twist from the norm.

If you chose Red Velvet you are passionate. You will only do what you can stand behind with a solid stance. Your success is imminent, as you will only do what you have a passion to do and it is evident in every detail of your meeting and planning.

If you chose Carrot you are common sense and practical. Rarely if ever will your events go over budget, your events are solid and sound; you will forego any and all fluff when it comes to delivering a meeting that is all about business and getting down to the issues at hand.

So, what Cupcake are you? Tell me on my Facebook page!

Oh, and of course, there’s an app you should check out as well : )

*Thank you to the Cupcake Activist for the image!

Food Trends – Some Happened, Some Did Not?

I came across an article in Huffington Post from this past January talking about food trends in 2012. I travel to plenty of places during a given year and I have to say that I have yet to see many of these come to pass.  You may want to check out all 16 of the predicted trends. Here are the ones that caught my attention:

The first food prediction claims that mini gourmet donuts were to be the next “cupcake.” Donuts with flavors such as Crème Brulee and Chai Latte were to take over the gourmet cupcake scene. In my neck of the woods there are plenty of cupcake places; Jilly’s, The Cup, and Sweet Art come to mind. I have yet to come across any Gourmet Donuts places. So, I decided to see if it had hit in any other areas. I did find a spattering; of these, I wouldn’t mind seeing Utah’s Beyond Glaze come to my town. This next place may have good donuts, but its name is rather unfortunate: Gourdough’s. Alas, it seems the gourmet donut has yet to see its heyday. I say recycle this prediction for 2013.

Another trend prediction was Posh Pork Scratchings. I am in no hurry to find out any more. (But if you must, check out this site.)

Edible dirt. Yes, edible dirt. This was predicted by a food blogger named Andre Dang, who says the following, “Using dried, dirt-like infusions of pine needles, douglas fir and eucalyptus to flavor sauces and broths, adding an earthy taste to our dinner.” I am sure Andre Dang is a fine food blogger; in fact one look at his blog woke up my taste buds a bit. Edible dirt, however…..I’m thinking this one should pass by the way-side.

Baguettes to go is apparently a hit in France, soon to hit the UK, have not seen it in the USA. These are 24-hour baguette dispensers, you put some “dough” in the machine and out comes bread. This one, well, I like it. Why not? Though I am thinking a 24-hour Platform Shoe Dispensers may be a much bigger hit (and they should include a frequent buyer program).

Pie-Pops were to follow up Cake-Pops. As a dessert lover, this one should definitely be taken seriously. Recycle this one for 2013 as well.

Molecular Cooking or Molecular Gastronomy is where Science Class meets HomeEc. This is a thing! There are blogs, online communities, restaurants, even at home kits all dedicated to Bunsen burner bakeries and petri dish dining.  I have yet to try it, but must say that the food looks like something Chef Spock may cook up.

With that I say, “Dine Well and Prosper!” Share your food thoughts with me on Facebook!

 

*Thank you to Ghandoora’s Blogspot for the image!

Creative Thinking

You’ve heard before that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. In the movie, The Shining, it made Jack a crazy boy (shudder!). In real life, we not only become dull, but we become tired, cranky and ineffective.

Did you catch that last word – ineffective. We are Effective when we are relaxed, when we feel balanced and our moods are stable; this state can be achieved by making sure you have time off the clock. As meeting planners, innovation and creativity are must haves, therefore it is extremely important for you to take the time to have some rest and fun. You need to let those brain muscles relax for a bit and it is in this space that magic can happen.

Jonah Lehrer’s book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, “explores where innovative thoughts originate and explains how some companies are now working to create environments where they’re more likely to occur.” In the book he highlights the company 3M which encourages its engineers to use one hour a day to work on a side project or hobby; it allows them time and space for creativeness to flourish. The company must be doing something right! 3M started out making packaging tape, now they bring to us Post-It Notes, professional projectors, air purifiers and more.

Don’t be dull, dear meeting planner. Give yourself enough rest and play to allow for those amazing ideas, hiding just under the surface, to come up and out and keep flowing! Come on over to Facebook and be part of our creative community of meeting planners; share your own ideas, ask questions, and have fun! If you are on Pinterest, we could also “meet” there!

A Look Back

I have been writing blogs for over a year now. As we head into this New Year, I decided to first take a  look at where we’ve been and travel back to some of my favorite blogs. Please journey with me!  Then don’t forget to comment below; each comment gets entered into a contest for a $25 American Express Gift Certificate and a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog. For details click here.

On Going Green, I had a lot to say. I love when positive trends take hold and become a way of doing business. Here are some of my favorite blogs on the subject:

  • Green Up Your Meetings takes a look at questions to ask hotels about their green practices, easy ideas you can incorporate into your meetings and a link to an environmentally aware meeting guide from the EPA.
  • Is Your Meeting Really Green provides helpful ideas that will have you claiming all your meetings as green!
  • Go for the Green highlights cities that are taking green consciousness to a whole new level.

Since many of us in this industry travel, I have written a few blogs on the subject:

All work and no play makes Jill a dull gal – so I make sure to have fun too! Here are some of my more entertaining entries:

  • Superstitions in the Industry explores interesting facts surrounding the number 13 and other numbers that effect how we do business.
  • Revealing the Truth to Meeting Planner Wanna-Be’s is just plain funny! It’s all about what some of us meeting planners have experienced and asks if we reveal these truths to those looking to get into the meetings industry?
  • New Fun Meeting Ideas highlights charming ideas to include in your next meeting.
  • Easy Cooking for Meeting Planners takes into account that meeting planners are very busy people with way too many details spinning about in their heads, but they still need to cook and eat! This blog is a great resource for finding the perfect meal to make in minutes.

Which of these blogs did you find most helpful for you? Make sure to comment below (up to five times) and gain up to five entries into the contest.  Also, “Like” my Facebook Page; I share great information for meeting planners on a daily basis!

Goodbye 2011!

Hey all – taking some time to be with family and friends over the holidays, as I hope you are too. Stay tuned for next week as I have an exciting and fun announcement to make!  In the meantime, here is a bit of fun and remembrances from this past year:

  • Here is a compilation of some of the more interesting YouTube videos from 2011
  • CNN shares the top viewed videos from YouTube in 2011
  • At the Life site, see their top photos from 2011
  • National Geographic also shares their top photos from 2011
  • What the world searched for the internet in 2011 can be found at Google Zeitgeist 2011
  • According to Yahoo, here are the top news stories of the year
  • Peter Travers of Rolling Stone shares his picks for Top 10 Movies of 2011.

Please share with me your own 2011 memories!