Month: November 2013

Great Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Happy Thanksgiving from Photo Booth of the Stars!  We hope you are all enjoying this day with loved ones and eating delicious food.  It seems like every year Thanksgiving comes way to quickly and ends with way more leftovers than you know what to do with.  If you are like many those leftovers that took hours of preparation and slaving over a hot stove may just get tossed.

 

Whether you are having your sit-down-dinner catered or making it from scratch we found some great recipes that will provide you variety while using up all that turkey and stuffing.

 

Want a recipe that will help your Friday breakfast to not be an all day event?  Here is a great looking recipe we found over at nutritious eats that will turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into potato pancakes.

 

You can check out the entire article here and below is the recipe.  Yum!

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Potato Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup diced turkey
  • 1 cup stuffing
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons oil of choice (I used half olive oil, half coconut oil)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium size bowl, combine diced turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Stir in 1 beaten egg, and a pinch of black pepper. Stir well to combine. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the mixture and drop into the skillet, using the back of the measuring cup or your hands to gently press it down into a circle.
  2. Cook 3 patties at a time for ~3 minutes or until golden brown on the underside, flip and cook an additional ~3 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil and patties. Serve with warmed gravy or leftover cranberry sauce.

Notes

This recipe was intended for Thanksgiving leftovers but could do anytime of the year with roast chicken.

 

Don’t those look delicious?

 

If it’s a sandwich you fancy, we’ve got you covered and this recipe will have you feeling refreshed and ready to fill out your invitations for your upcoming holiday events.  It’s from the Cooking Channel and couldn’t be easier to throw together.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Cranberry Apple Glaze, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 focaccia rolls, split lengthwise
  • 4 leaves green curly lettuce
  • 4 ounces leftover turkey, sliced
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing, optional
  • Pickle spears, for serving
  • CRANBERRY APPLE GLAZE:
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Combine the Cranberry Apple Glaze, yogurt, scallions and jalapenos in a small bowl. Whisk together the whole-grain mustard, honey and Dijon mustard in another bowl until smooth. 

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the honey mustard on the bottom halves of the rolls, and spread a generous amount of the spicy cranberry cream on the top halves. Top each bottom half with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 ounce turkey and 1/4 cup stuffing, if using, and then place the spicy cranberry cream halves on top. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with a pickle spear.

Combine the apple cider, cranberries, cranberry juice, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce to a simmer until the liquid has been reduced by 2 cups and the cranberries have burst, 18 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Here’s a recipe you can have simmering away while you and the out of town guests are going through the pictures from your online gallery.  We got this recipe from Food and Wine.  It looks like the perfect lunch after a day full of eating and posing in your photo booth.

 

  • 2 large eggs, at room
  • temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of dried sage
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and
  • tender green parts only, very thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts Rich Turkey Stock
  • 1/2 pound white button
  • mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas,

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, chives and parsley. Add

the flour, cornmeal, cayenne, sage and 1 teaspoon of salt; stir until evenly
moistened.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot. Add the leeks and carrots
and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about
8 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat
until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet. Add
the mushrooms and cook over high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add
the mushrooms and the peas to the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Let
simmer over moderate heat.
4. Spread 1/2 cup of the noodle batter onto the center of an inverted cake
pan. Using a large offset spatula, scrape 1/4-inch strips into the soup,
creating long, thin noodles. Repeat with the remaining batter. Gently stir the
soup to separate the noodles and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the
turkey and cook just until hot, then serve.

 

Send your guests off with some great recipe cards that include the ingredients of your leftovers.  Sometimes we just need a little encouragement to get us up and running.  How many times have you just not known what you are going to make for dinner?  You are dreading it all day long and finally you see a commercial, or a pin on Pinterest and BAM!  It clicks and suddenly you are inspired and ready to get cooking.  These would be great favors that you could create well in advance so you don’t have to stress.

 

We hope these recipes will take some of the stress of planning your meals off of your shoulders.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Photo Booths Make the Top Pick for Company Brand Awareness

We love attending all kinds of events and providing your guests, colleagues, clients, fans, employees, and families that additional extra special touch to their experience.  Not only are photo booth rentals a source for fun and providing buzz at events they are also great tools for corporate branding.

Guests get to have an incredible time prancing, posing, and sharing a lot of laughter in the photo booth.  After, they will immediately receive a photo to take home with your company logo or whatever text and design you choose at the bottom of each strip.  Our graphic design team will provide artwork and colors that will match your theme perfectly.

Of course the fun doesn’t stop when the party ends.  Your guests will have their keepsakes with your logo on it and they can then easily download the images from our online gallery.  They can post them to facebook and tweet about how what a great time they had at your company event in no time!  You will truly create additional entertainment while getting conversations started by booking a photo booth rental today.

 

While the photo booth is a must, it is not the only way to get your brand exposed.  Here are some other innovative ideas for marketing your company brand at your next launch party or company function.

These UGO blue tooth Portable mini speakers can be custom branded and allow you to have private labeled speakers.  A really cool function that these little guys provide is that you have the opportunity to record a speech, music, or a personal message and put them in the speakers with your name, brand, or logo on the outside.  Each attendant that receives this glorious gadget will have your music or message to keep with them and enjoy at their fingertips.

A beloved and inexpensive option is to create bottle labels with your company logo.  We have also seen some really delectable cookies with brand logos of icing on them as take home favors for attendants.  YUM!  There are endless options for every budget so there is no need to give out the age old pen or mug favor these days.

 

Today one-of-a-kind is all the rage and event branding is not only for business.  Every bride wants her wedding completely tailored to her and the groom.  The definition of event branding is to create a visual identity for your event.  To get started you create a mood, logo, font, select your colors, and from there use those to create printed products and materials.  By doing this it will allow you to have a consistent look for your event.

There are many companies out there that will work with you and design a wedding logo using the couple’s names or a monogram logo.  They will work with your color palette and patterns to really create a unique look for you.  You can then put this logo on just about anything from invites to napkins and everything in between.

 

Wedding Invitation Set

Save the Dates

Reception Cards

Maps

Direction Cards

Accommodations

Envelope Liner

Stamps

Welcome kits

Stickers

Bottle Labels

Moving Announcements

Table Numbers

Ceremony Programs

Dinner Menus

Escort Cards

Place Cards

Shower Invitations

Wedding Website

Shirts for the Bridal Party

 

The list goes on!

 

Be sure to incorporate your company or wedding branding for your next event with Photo Booth of the stars.   Call today and book your event or party photobooth 815-975-8762 or click here!

 

 

4 Reasons You Must Have A Photo Booth at your next Party!

 

Having a photo booth at your party or event really takes it up to another level.  It’s no mystery why photo booth rentals have become a popular must have and form of entertainment at gatherings.  They provide you a completely different perspective than any other type of professional photographs that you will receive.  There is something about being in the confines of those velvet curtains that really allows people to let loose and get spontaneous!

  •             The Unique Experience!

Make the most of your event by featuring several events during your wedding, or office Christmas party.  Having a traveling photo booth provides another element than the dance floor.  Not everyone likes to get out and dance and those that do will need to take a break from cutting a rug at some point.  Having a luxury photo booth will provide your guests a nice escape while allowing them to get as goofy as they want in the booth!

 

  •             The Convenience!

One of the best things about having a photo booth, other than how fun and affordable they are, they are super convenient!  Just let us know the time of the event and we will deliver, set up, and have everything ready to rock two hours prior to the event start time.  It’s as easy as that.  When planning any type of event, you have more than enough things to worry about.  The last thing you need is more stress.  There will be a competent staff attendant on site the entire event so any assistance your guests need will be readily available.

Probably the best thing about having the photo booth is the ‘instant gratification’ if you will.  Your guests get to immediately receive their images right there on site.  Pictures are such a huge part of today’s society thanks to social media.  It seems like there is a always a race of who can upload their images the fastest to facebook, or pinterest.  Obviously professional photography is a major part of an event but you have to wait weeks, even months before receiving the final edited images.  The photo booth images are a great way to sort of fill the void so that by the time the pictures are available they haven’t already lost interest.

  •             Bringing Guests Together!

Since the main reason for any social or private event is to ultimately get a group of people together to celebrate something there are surely going to be guests who haven’t seen one another for some time, or extended families coming together with people that they rarely see.  The photo booth will let those people get together and capture their own special moments that show cases their personalities.  Then they can print out their pictures and mix and match so that everyone gets special memories to take home with them that will last forever.

 

There are endless hours that go into planning a wedding, holiday party, bar mitzvah, you get the point.  With all that planning it would be a shame to not capture everyone having a blast and enjoying all of your hard efforts!  Be sure to rent a photo booth for your next event because there are sure to be memories made but you only have one chance to capture them all.

 

Photo Booth of the Stars offers affordable discounted rates for all functions. Call today and book your photobooth 815-975-8762 or click here!

 

 

DIY Party Upgrades

There are so many ways to transform a party and create décor on a budget.  These DIY projects we gathered for you will help boost your parties and events by making them unique from the rest with out spending a lot of dough.

 

Photo booth props are a must have!  If you are having a specific theme for your party go for it and tailor some DIY props to match it!  There are so many tutorials you can find online and they are fairly simple to put together.

 

 

We found these delightful Gatsby themed 1920’s accessories online and they are even FREE printables!  Go to your local craft store and you will find these little craft sticks readily available and cheap to stick them too.  Just get out your scissors, hot glue gun, your craft sticks, and get printing.

 

It’s a straightforward and cheap way to upgrade your photo booth rental while making it completely unique to your motif.

 

 

Ok, now what could be better than a re-usable plastic garland?  Once you have created your garland you can use it endless times by using a dry-erase marker for your sayings.  Seriously this is so genius that we had to post the tutorial right here for you!

 

 

If you are thinking you want to make this, you should buy your plastic sheets online right away. If you have a larger art supply store in your area, you may be able to find them there. I am not sure if your local craft stores carry this so you might need to do a little checking.

You will need Plastic Craft Sheets (mine were 6? x 9? but any size will do as you cut them down anyway), a paper cutter, paints and paint brushes, string, a hole punch and a dry erase marker.

The plastic sheets come with an easy to remove coating on each side to keep them from getting scraped up. Leave the coating on (that is what is making them look blue in the pictures, the plastic sheets really are clear). Using a paper cutter, cut the sheets in to whatever size you want. Because my sheets were 6? x 9?, I first cut them in half at the 3? mark and then made cuts on each of those at the 4.5? mark. One sheet gave me 4 rectangle pieces.

Remove the protective backing from one side only. Choose what color paint you want to use for your banner and paint each rectangle as you see fit. I went with some fairly girly colors. I have two little boys and sometimes I need to infuse my life with pastels.

I was not careful or thorough with how I painted them. I like that some areas were a bit more transparent than others. Also because you left on the protective cover on the other side, you don’t have to be so concerned about how neatly you are painting them. Yeah!

Paint all of your rectangles and let them dry.

Peel off the protective layering from the other side.

Use a hole puncher and punch a hole in the two top corners.

String the plastic rectangles on to whatever string you have chosen to display your garland on. Make sure that all of the shiny sides of the rectangles are facing the same direction.

Hang your garland so that the rough, painted side is laying against the wall. The shiny side should be facing out as that is the side you will write on with the dry erase marker.

You can use the dry erase marker to write anything you want. And then erase it and write something else.

 

Wow!  Thank you Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery!  Visit her page for more of her wonderful inspiration.  She says at the end of her tutorial that this garland would be awesome in a photo booth too and we could not agree more with her.

 

 

These custom appetizer plates we came across are a really nice touch to add to any spread.  Whether you are hosting a holiday party or a backyard BBQ decorating some plain white plates or serving platters can really spruce things up.  You can find plain plates at thrift stores for hardly any money.  Then, you just take your sharpie and put whatever design you would like on the plates.

 

When the party is over you can either wash it off by letting it sit in dish soap filled water for about thirty minutes and it will then wash off.  If you love your design you can cure them in an un-preheated oven for a half hour at 350.  Turn the oven off and let sit in it until cool.  Do not use them for 24 hours.

 

Photo Booth of the Stars loves a great party and these are some dazzling tips to make yours extra special and will fit into any budget.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Real Entertaining Tips 101

 

Photo Booth of the Stars knows having a successful party or event is not rocket science to pull off.  When entertaining there is a simple formula involved insuring success – Simple food, cocktails, good company, and an enjoyable setting is all you need.  Well, that and a few tips that we have listed for you.

Create the mood– Answer the door with a big smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling.  The mood of the host sets the tone for the entire soiree.  If you are having fun it will be contagious and everyone will have fun with you!  Never let your attendants (or your enemies) see you sweat.  If something goes wrong or doesn’t go as you had envisioned, what ever you do – don’t cause a scene, no one knows it didn’t go as you had hoped but you.  So put on a smile and keep on going.

Stick with the old– Just as a bride has a trial run for hair and makeup before her wedding day, you should never attempt to try a new recipe on the day of your grand event.  Stick to what you know so you can avoid a disaster (and meltdown) if your recipe does not turn out as planned.  There is no need to try and be gourmet either.  Stick with simple foods and prepare a home cooked meal that everyone can appreciate.  Some of the best meals are the most simple yet scrumptious!

Be strategic with the bar – You can’t be hostess, photo booth attendant, chef, and bartender, so plan accordingly.  Do as much as you can prior to your party.  Setting up a DIY cocktail bar is an excellent idea for any event!  Let your guests help themselves and make their own cocktails with the ingredients you have available and have set up handy for their enjoyment.  If you have a signature drink that you would like to use that is great too but have it out and accessible as guests are arriving so they can help themselves.

 

Expect more – Always make plenty of extra food.  There is no greater faux pas in entertaining than running out of food or ice.  Be sure to have an abundance of everything!

 

Introduce your guests – Even if you know they have met before always introduce them as though they haven’t.  There is always a possibility that they can’t remember someone’s name or that they don’t even remember meeting them.  That could be pretty ackward!  Make sure you also seat your guests wisely and set out place cards so your guests know exactly where they are to be placed at the table.

Seating arrangements can be a major pain but it makes all the difference in the world when your guests are clicking and engrossed in fun conversation. It is definitely worth the time and effort to make a seating chart when you can sit back and see your visitors relishing in their discussions.  Also be sure to make creative photo booth props that will get your guests talking!

Noise Patrol – It’s always great ambiance to have a band or music playing at a gathering.  You want to be sure to keep it at a modest volume so that guests can hear it enough to enjoy it, yet still be able to converse and hear over it.

 

Cleanup – Start with an empty dishwasher so you can just fill as you go.  Also don’t feel the need to clear off the dirty plates the minute people are finished eating their main course or dessert.  If you clear the plates too soon it gives guests the impression that the party is over.  Don’t spend the entire night cleaning in the kitchen.  The dirty dishes will be their forever, so forget about it and enjoy your time with your guests and the traveling photo booth.

 

The best advice is to not take yourself or anything too seriously.  Anything goes in the world of party food and décor so do what makes you feel marvelous and don’t worry about wearing yourself out with an endless list of DIY décor ideas so that your party will look like your Pinterest board.  You can easily pick up fun items for your photo booth rental at the dollar store too.  Above all unwind and savor in the company of your guests!

 

 

Hot Holiday Party Season Fashion Trends

Now that Halloween has come and gone – holiday party season is in the air.  We are sure you have taken note of all of the holiday renovations that your favorite stores have already undergone and now it’s time to renovate your wardrobe.  Here are some of our tips for Holiday dressing that will help you select the perfect pieces for your next holiday event!

Lace is still huge and you can sport the delicate fabric on anything from colorful dresses, to sweaters, to sexy skirts.

We love the evergreen party dress shown here.  It is so fun and flirty yet simple and the accessory options you can pull off with this look are endless!  You cant beat that!

 

 

 

 

As shown here tights are doing amazing things this holiday season!  All types, plain, sheer, lace, fishnet, it’s all good and compliments the most basic skirt and top and will leave you standing out among a crowd.

 

Leather leggings are a MUST have this season to rock your look.  

 

Whether you wear them for a casual weekend look, for meeting the girls for a holiday get together, or a fun luncheon you will look put together in a pair of these.  

 

Go ahead and dress them up by adding a sparkly top and blazer with an adorable shiny clutch that compliments the whole outfit like here.This outfit is perfect for any upcoming holiday event, and so chic!

 

It’s all about the jackets this season.  Grab a simple and fun dress and really pull out your look by topping it off with a feminine vintage jacket.

 

 

Be sure to add a fluted skirt to your collection if you haven’t already.  They are more practical than the pencil skirt and more flattering because it slims the legs.  Choose a heavier wool fabric to supply you a little extra warmth especially if you are attending a cool wintery evening event.

This Stella McCartney fluted wool blend twill skirt is on point for your office holiday party.

What’s not to love about this flirty Alexander McQueen fluted mini?

 

Tartan is of course a must and here is some inspiration to help you keep it chic.  

 

Roll necks are in and chunky cowl necks are out.  So choose a sleek cardigan like this one to stay in style while keeping cozy.  

 

The print to be seen in this season is camouflage and not just any but blue camo!

 

Don’t forget to keep the kiddies styling with this adorable little blue camouflage hooded top. 

So adorable!

 

This party season leave your over sized bags at home!  Mini bags are all the rage this season.  

 

 

Over sized coats are making a comeback as well.  It will be easy to layer up and stay warm in these coats!

 

 

Low heels are back and will provide you a comfy place to plant your feet. 

 

 

Off the shoulders dresses are a guaranteed way to WOW at your holiday parties and events.    Want to grab someones attention?  This should do it!  This stunning burgundy lace off the shoulders dress is definitely going to get you noticed and a great way to upgrade your style!

 

We love this elegant grey floral lace off the shoulder Dress.  

Of course boots are always on trend but over the knee boots are a must and once you put them on you will feel larger than life.  These boots will give you the look of having legs for days and are just hot!  Anyone can flaunt these and they will definitely leave you feeling sexy.  

 

What was once considered trashy is now the new classy.  Be sure to grab a pair of over the knee boots to look posh this season.

We hope this advice and inspiration will help you to get into the spirit and prepare your holiday party wardrobe so you can celebrate in style!  Cheers!

 

*All photos courtesy of Pinterest.