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NYC Design Girl:

I thought I would revisit a funny Friday I had with Ron Ben-Israel a few years ago and who he changed the toner for the printer…

Originally posted on NYC Cake Girl:

He doesn’t just bake folks….he changes printer toner too.  Just another day in the “office” for Ron Ben-Israel.  Ron likes to keep it “real” and do menial everyday office tasks. (He knows I am writing this by the way, he even said it was ok for me to take pictures of this whole thing…not that he had a choice really.)

OK so this is what really happened… Ron wanted me to change the toner in the printer because he forgot “how” to do it.  Now mind you, this is a printer he had WAY before I had even started working for him over 4 years ago.  So I told him “no” and he had to change it himself….then hilarity ensues…..

Ron is getting ready to change the toner in the printer. He looks happy now....

I really don't know why he looks so afraid...

Seriously....it's just toner. You would think there was a large furry spider in that box.

It's just cardboard, he didn't break the toner cartridge. Although by the look on his face...

This does come with directions by the way, which were folded up neatly on Ron's desk. :)

I hate to see how Ron cleans his refrigerator...

A job well done sir, that wasn't so bad now was it?

I would like to thank Ron Ben-Israel for having such a great sense of humor…

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Most of us have a 9-5 job, and we get busy with said job, we keep our heads down and work hard. I am lucky enough to be in a “social” industry (so most of the time it seems like were are doing social things!), we work very long hours, and sometimes we don’t get time off for a while because of our “season”.   There are a lot of industry events that happen throughout the year and it’s a nice “break” so to speak.  We can learn about the new happenings and catch up with our friends and colleagues.

Last night was one of those “breaks”.  It’s even better when an “industry” dinner turns out to be a little something more.  I had the pleasure of sitting at a wonderful dinner table last night. Beautifully set with a gorgeous table linen (thank you BBJ), orchids the color of a sunset artfully arranged in a long, lush arrangement the length of the table (well done Floralia Decorators) and some pretty spectacular company – a few old friends and now some new.

Beautiful linen, table ware and flowers make any dinner special...

Beautiful linen, table ware and flowers make any dinner special…checkout BBJ Linen, they have a gorgeous selection and their customer service is top notch.  For amazing flowers visit  Floralia Decorators.

The chitchat waved back and forth from celebrity gossip to work related tasks then to funny work related stories. It was a real treat to sit with great company in a cozy setting, enjoying AMAZING food and remembering why I wanted to be in this business. We create remarkable events and we are a slave to creating amazing memories for our clients. Well, I had such a dinner last night. Thank you to our wonderful hosts John Wyatt of Sonnier & Castle and Leslie Palme of BBJ Linen.  And an extra thank you to John and his staff at Sonnier & Castle for the exquisite dinner, they get top marks for it all.  On a chilly, wintery night in New York City, this was definitely a memorable event.

Dinner was delicious!  All of the plates were beautiful presented and the waiters and their table service was elegant and accommodating. (And well dressed!)

Dinner was delicious! All of the plates were beautifully presented, the waiters and their table service was elegant and accommodating.  Sonnier & Castle is not your ordinary “catering” company.  There is thought and passion behind everything they put in front of you.  This is not just food but an experience, I highly recommend them for any event.

A fun surprise of the night was finally getting to chat with Lauri Ditunno the fabulous and talented baker who owns Cake Alchemy here in NYC.

We even got to take our own little cake home! A fun surprise of the night was finally getting to chat with Lauri Ditunno, the fabulous and talented baker who owns Cake Alchemy here in NYC.  (And who made the tasty treats for us!)

One of the things I love about my blog is knowing that I have readers all over the world.  It’s exciting for me to share with you my shenanigans in the events industry here in New York City.  What excites me more is when I hear from my readers.  A few days ago, I received an email from Sugar Artist Mila Iquise and today I am featuring her beautiful work.

Mila is not necessarily a baker; she is more of a sugar artist.  Her flowers are life like and dare I say on par with Ron Ben-Israel.  She has her own style and they areBEAUTIFUL.  She answered a few questions and sent lots of pictures of her work.

Before her endeavors as a sugar artist, Mila was a fashion designer selling her mini collections at Globus, a high-class department store in Zurich.  During and after a rather hard pregnancy, she had to stop working as a fashion designer.  For Mila, staying at home and not be active in creating projects was torturous.   She was trying to find a project that did not demand too much time.  One day, by chance, she started making sugar flowers.  Mila wanted to take the sugar flower to the next step and not to repeat the nature’s creation (the botanical flower), but a more artistic approach. Through this technique, not only do the flowers look botanically correct, they look like they leaped off the canvas of a painting.  All of her flowers are executed with precision and the coloring of each piece has depth and movement.

MIla is in the red scarf instructing students in sugar flower art.

MIla is in the red scarf instructing students in sugar flower art.

 

Pansy

Pansy

When did you start your business?  Four years ago, I didn’t know cake decorating existed. By accident I saw an image of a cake with magnificent sugar flowers on it.  I took a closer look and in that very tiny little part of a second, I knew I wanted to make sugar flowers. The cake that I saw was by Scott Clark Woolley.

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom

What has been your greatest challenge?  Is that delicate balance of family and work.

 What is your favorite cake decorating technique? I like very much “ bas relief “ technique.

In order to get better at anything we do requires study.  Mila does this with each of the flowers she creates.

In order to get better at anything we do requires study. Mila does this with each of the flowers she creates.  Here she is working on the camellia.

 

Garden roses

Garden roses

Who are your inspirations in the cake and pastry world?  There are many out there, but mostly I admire the virtuosity from real to stylized when working on flowers.  Ron Ben Israel is one of my favorites; I like his color palette combinations.  The style of Maggie Austin, another virtuoso, her talent to turn details into art and art into sugar amazes me. The clean and pure spirit of Jacqueline Butler’s sugar work as well and the Australian style of “caking” by Faye Cahill.

Poppy

Poppy

Peonies

Peonies

To see more of Mila’s work, visit her Facebook page or contact her directly at contact@mila-iquise.ch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the end of January and that only means one thing…the Martha Stewart Wedding Party!  This year’s fete was held at one of my most favorite venues in New York City, at Gotham Hall. (It’s an old bank that they turned into an event space…it’s beautiful!)  It’s a day of me catching up with colleagues and checking out what is en vogue for the up coming events season.  Music throughout the day was provided by the incomparable, Elan Artists, they are one stop shopping for all of your music needs for any kind of event.  Who produces this yearly shindig?  That would be the fabulous team at Claudia Hanlin and the Wedding Library.

BEC_8821

One of my favorite cake designers in NYC, Sandy Patangay is owner and designer of Crème Delicious.  She took her love of Henna and cake design and made a company out of it.  Her designs are intricate, clean and beautiful.  Visit her Facebook and website for more information.

One of my favorite cake designers in NYC, Sandy Patangay is owner and designer of Crème Delicious. She took her love of Henna and cake design and made a company out of it. Her designs are intricate, clean and beautiful. Visit her Facebook and website for more information.

Getting married and need some assistant in registering?  This is where my friend Amanda Allen of Newly Wish comes in.  She takes all the work out of registering for gifts as she has curated a magnificent collection of gifts for you to choose from.  Please visit her website for more information.

Getting married and need some assistant in registering? This is where my friend Amanda Allen of Newly Wish comes in. She takes all the work out of registering for gifts as she has curated a magnificent collection of gifts for you to choose from. Please visit her website for more information.

A décor design company that is New York City’s best kept secret.  Floralia Decorators designs one-of-a-kind events in all of the hot spots in NYC and the tri-state area.  This company is a bit of Jack-of-All-Trades that includes design, technical expertise and collaborative management to ensure a memorable experience for your guests to enjoy.  Check out their website and follow them on Facebook.

A décor design company that is New York City’s best kept secret. Floralia Decorators designs one-of-a-kind events in all of the hot spots in NYC and the tri-state area. This company is a bit of Jack-of-All-Trades that includes design, technical expertise and collaborative management to ensure a memorable experience for your guests to enjoy. Check out their website and follow them on Facebook.

Of course, my baker Ron Ben-Israel was there!  It was nice catching up with him and chatting all things cake.  He brought some beautiful new designs and of course some tasty treats for the guests to enjoy.

Of course, my baker Ron Ben-Israel was there! It was nice catching up with him and chatting all things cake. He brought some beautiful new designs and of course some tasty treats for the guests to enjoy.

 

Peter Callahan is not only known for his delicious food, but he is also known for his presentation.  Check out his website or order his new book here.

Peter Callahan is not only known for his delicious food, but he is also known for his presentation. Check out his website or order his new book here.

My go to for recommending wedding or event favors…One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn.  They are delicious, beautiful to look at and creative!  Checkout their website, visit them in person at one of their delightful cafes or like them on Facebook.

My go to for recommending wedding or event favors…One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn. They are delicious, beautiful to look at and creative! Checkout their website, visit them in person at one of their delightful cafes or like them on Facebook.

Your invitation on the outside should look just as good on the inside and that comes with a beautifully written address.  Debi Geinhart of The Blooming Quill has a beautiful talent with her calligraphy.  Visit her website here.

Your invitation on the outside should look just as good on the inside and that comes with a beautifully written address. Debi Geinhart of The Blooming Quill is incredibly talented with her calligraphy. Visit her website for more information.

Being gluten intolerant can be really a bit of a bummer at times.  Today I found my new go to place for sweets.  The Treat House on the upper west side offers gluten free DELICIOUS rice krispie treats in many flavors.  They also have a cake!  They are amazing and fun.  If you are in the city, it’s a must to stop at their shop and try their yummies!

Being gluten intolerant can really a bit of a bummer at times. Today I found my new go to place for sweets. The Treat House on the upper west side offers gluten free, DELICIOUS rice krispie treats in many flavors. They also have a cake! They are amazing and fun. If you are in the city, it’s a must to stop at their shop and try their yummies!

This was a bit of fun!  Glitter Tattoos.  ENOUGH SAID!  They stay on for 5-7 days.  That’s right for the next week I will be glittery and fabulous!  Visit Glittertoos and check out their work and all the fun!

This was a bit of fun! Glitter Tattoos. ENOUGH SAID! They stay on for 5-7 days. That’s right, for the next week I will be glittery and fabulous! Visit Liana Bergman and Glittertoos to check out their work and all the fun!

Once again, it was a great wedding show.  One stop shopping for the bride and a chance for me to see what is fun and trending in the NYC event world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After working many different kinds of events in New York City, the one thing I will recommend over and over again…hire an event planner.  When working with Ron Ben-Israel, I had the pleasure of meeting event planner extraordinaire, Annette Babich of Annette Babich Events.  She started her own company and in 2010 started teaching her craft at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.  Annette took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions to give us a little insight to her work…

Annette Babich

The lovely and hard working Annette. As an event planner it’s her job to coordinate the logistical and operational aspects of the event.

What were some of your challenges starting your company?  My challenge was that I did not know anything about the wedding industry and had to learn from scratch. Back then we didn’t have the luxury of Googling so I really had to pound the pavement the get things going.  My other challenge back then was I was beginning to have kids ( I have 3 sons) and they were young and had to learn to switch on and off from work to mom all day long.  It was all worth it.

It's a delicate balance of family life and running company.  Here is Annette and her 3 sons.  The oldest is now serving in the military and the younger ones are high school students.

It’s a delicate balance of family life and running company. Here is Annette and her 3 sons. The oldest is now serving in the military and the younger ones are high school students.

Can you define the event planners job?  We are “jack of all trades” and then some, nothing is beyond our scope.

What advice can you give when your client wants to go over budget?  When going over the budget, figure out what is most important to the client, is it food, liquor, music, decor? Monies can be moved around accordingly.

It takes a lot to coordinate an event.  You are your client's advocate, negotiator and confidant.

It takes a lot to coordinate an event. You are your client’s advocate, negotiator and confidant.

How important are vendor relationships?  When I teach my class at NYU, I always say to my students, if you walk away with anything from this class, walk away knowing the importance of vendor relationships.

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What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the event industry over the last five years?  I think with social media, the access clients have to information is overwhelming. Our Rolodex is no longer a big secret so it’s our job to stay relevant.

Visit Annette's website for more information regarding her services: http://annettebabich.com or on Facebook.

Visit Annette’s website for more information regarding her services: http://annettebabich.com or on Facebook.

Did you know…Just like grapes that make wine, no two vanilla beans are the same in flavor, aroma, or color. http://ow.ly/i/4hOB6

I love making stuff.  I love practicing making stuff.  I love it when I practice making stuff so much that it comes out good enough to give as a gift.  That’s when a homemade gift, is the best gift.

I came across this website that archived embroidery patterns from the late 1800’s.  Being that monograms are so chic right now, I thought it would make a great holiday gift for my family and friends.  I put my poor, water painting skills to the test, but I was very happy with my end result.

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