Holiday

Top 6 Holiday Entertaining Tips Sure to Impress. Plus, Rayo Events now featured in ...

     

 

 

Hi everyone!  It's so great to be chatting with ya again! We've missed ya so much! It's been one thing after the other, but we're so glad to be back at blogging and are oh-so grateful for each of you! We definitely could not leave ya hanging during the holidays without sharing some amazing holiday entertaining tips and tricks! We love the holidays; adore the holidays! It's the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of nature, snowflakes (it snowed in Atlanta!), candid yams, butternut squash anything (lol), firesides, baked brie, holiday carols, hot coco overflowing with marshmallows (my fave!), and the laughter of family and friends! So we put together 6 Top Tips for Effortless Holiday Entertaining! These tips are incredibly simple, quick, and so doable. They're so super fantastic that they've been featured in The  Boss Box and Modern Luxury Interiors, Atlanta (page 185)! We are beyond trilled! Thank you, thank you, thank you The Boss Box and ML Interiors, Atlanta! Keep these tips in mind as you're getting those remaining gifts and/or making preparations for incoming family and guests! You'll be so glad you did! Drumroll ...

6 Tips for Effortless Holiday Entertaining!

1. Decorate in No Time
No decorations up yet? Family arriving in a few days? Most home and garden stores have color cards that can easily help you pick a quick scheme. Find one you like and go with it! Add festive accents to popular areas such as the kitchen, family room, and mantles. Hang a colorful wreath on your door and light clusters of candles to create amazing ambiance!

2. Impress with Desserts
Cupcake/cake stands and platters are your friends! Cluster your desserts on a buffet or console table and decorate with pumpkins, pomegranates, or winter squash! For cocktail parties, aim for at least three different bite-size sweets to offer. For sit-down dinners, use a stylish dessert plate, or classic painted china.

3. Gather Around Fire Pits or Fireplaces
When it comes to holiday entertaining with your family and friends, there’s no place like home! Make sure to have a moment where everyone gathers together to share special holiday memories or exchange gifts. Warm fireplaces or pits are the perfect location! Blankets, apple cider, and s’mores increase the cozy-factor!

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4. Kids Just Want to Have Fun!
Create a kids-only zone filled with holiday crafts and games for your most precious tiny guests. The crafts can double as party favors at the end of the night! Consider enlisting a babysitter to oversee the activities.

5. Ask Before You Post
Guests, check with your host before posting photos on social media! You may unintentionally hurt the feelings of someone who didn’t score an invite, and you also want to respect the host’s home. Hosts, get the ‘OK’ from your guests before clicking ‘post’! Consider creating a special hashtag for everybody to use!

6. Try Electronic Invites
Technology is an effortless way to quickly communicate with guests, especially if high attendance is expected. There is a plethora of creative and stylish electronic invites to excite your guests. This method also makes it easier for your guests to RSVP, and you can conveniently message them with any updates.

 

These tips can also be incorporated into your New Year's Day festivities! Share these tips with a friend and post your photos on social media (tag Rayo Events). We'd love to see your creative creations! :-)

 

photo: verawedding.net

Nutella Stuffed Strawberries for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! The stores are filled with chocolates, flowers, candies, and everything that make this sweet day sweet. There's still time to put together a creative dessert, dipped and cover with - yes, you guessed it - chocolate!

 photo courtesy: Tastofhome.com

photo courtesy: Tastofhome.com

Thanks to TasteofHome.com for this super easy and delicious recipe. And the best part, this recipe works with your favorite kind of nut or sans nuts. Plus, these can totally be made anytime of the year - did someone say summer shindig?! 

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling

MAKES: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 large fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Remove stems from strawberries. Using a paring knife, cut out centers; pipe Nutella into strawberries.
  2. Insert a toothpick into the side of each strawberry. Holding toothpick, quickly dip stem end of strawberry into melted chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; place strawberries on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, point side up. Remove toothpicks; refrigerate strawberries until set. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 1 dozen

 

If you run out of nutella or chocolate or what have you, you can freeze your extra strawberries until you're able to restock. Rinse the extra strawberries, pat (not rub) dry them with kitchen paper towels until mostly dry, lay in a single layer inside a freezer ziplock bag, push all the air out the bag and seal shut,  and place in freezer. Fresh strawberries can be frozen up to 8 months (whole strawberries) or 4 months (sliced strawberries), but I'd recommend eating them within a month of freezing them to still have a I-just-bought-these taste. And if you're not able to stock up soon enough and just love strawberries, slice them up in your smoothie or salad or eat them just as they are!

Let us know how these turned out for you. And do share any insider tricks or tips.

And remember: Joy Designs Homes! 

 

 

Holiday Dinner Etiquette Tips for Hosts & Guests

 photo: womensday.com

photo: womensday.com

Who doesn't look forward to attending a great dinner? What else can top tasty food, mellow music, and great company? Even with all the excitement - especially around the holidays - there are simple etiquette responsibilities of hosts and guests than can really make the difference between an unforgettable party or a party everyone would rather forget. So let's check out these etiquette tips that will surely make you shine at your next party. Drum roll please:

Responsibilities of the Host

  • Look your best! Feel your best! If the event is being held at your home, throw on some shoes or pumps to complete your ensemble (at least until all guests have arrived). A stylish host always helps set the party tone! If there is a dress code preferred, be sure to include in your invites.
  • Always greet guests at the door or as soon as you see them.  If you have a greeter, make sure to keep on eye on the door for any new guests so you'll know as soon as they arrive. Greet them accordingly
  • Immediately take jackets/coats. You can hand them to another to hang up or put them in a room set aside for coats.
  • Take any gifts and follow same procedure as coats. Before the party begins, make sure you've designated an area for keeping gifts. If the gift is, for instance, wine, do not feel obligated to open and serve to guests. If the gift is a dessert, feel free to serve and make available to guests, but ask the guest first for permission first.
  • Introduce arriving guests to friends standing in the area. Identify friends by name.
  • Give directions to food and drinks to your arriving guests.
  • After all guests arrive,  the host circulates to make sure everyone has someone with whom to talk.
  • Assign someone to make sure there is enough food and drinks for everyone throughout the party. This can be handled by your event coordinator and/or caterer.         

   Responsibilities of Guests

  • Always take a hostess gift if you are going to someone’s home. If not at a home, it's always still a great idea to bring a token of appreciation.
  •  If it is a large party and your host is not at the door, work your way through the crowd and say hello to your host. Before you head to the bar or buffet or begin speaking with other guests, make sure to greet the host first.
  •  Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to others, and shake hands when you meet them.
  •  If you are talking to someone and a stranger walks up, introduce yourself, then the person with whom you are talking.
  • If there is an event coordinator, treat he/she as you would the host, as this person is a representative of the host.
  •  If you spill something, let the host know immediately, and offer to help clean it up.
  •  If you break something, let the host know. It is your responsibility to pay for the damage.
  •  Don’t bring a friend to the party unless you have checked with the host first.
  • Always thank the host before you leave. Don’t just walk out.                           -adopted from etiquette-ny.com

What is your experience with these tips? Tell us your perspective. And remember: Joy Designs Homes

 

Happy New Year! Happy 2016!

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Sorry everyone about the e-mail/blog post e-mail glitch yesterday.

We are so excited it's another New Year! But first we must show thanks for 2015. We're so grateful for our new website and new décor & lifestyle blog Joy Designs Homes and for being recognized by one of Oprah's newest television shows and by luxury shops such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstorm and for being featured in Weddings Unveiled magazine.

But nothing tops our greatest thanks, which is for you! Because of your continued support, Rayo Events is climbing mountains! It's such an honor to work with each of you and see the joy on your faces when you see the final result of our vision for your wedding, birthday party, home shindig, or corporate event come to a beautiful fruition.  That's what brings us joy - designing and planning weddings and events beyond your wildest imagination.

On behalf of the Rayo Events team, thank you for a spectacular 2015 & Happy New Year! Stay tuned for more joy in 2016!