Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Valentine's Day Goodies for Your Gal Pal

Valentine's Day isn't just for you and your lover. Show you gal pals how much you care too! Think how special your mom, grandma, best friend or coworker would feel with a little Valentine's Day surprise.

As a child, remember how excited you would get to purchase Valentine's cards and give them out to your classmates? Reinvent that same thrill as an adult.

I've done the hard work for you. I've searched the stores for thoughtful and festive gifts. Each item is under $30... and some are as cheap as $3. Take a look and get to shopping!

Which item do you plan to gift this Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Artwork at Home

I recently ordered some new Etsy prints for our home. I decided on two gold foil prints in simple white frames for this narrow space. I love how these clean and crisp pieces bring interest to this space, but also work as neutral-colored art.

I have found that Bed, Bath & Beyond offers the best bargain for purchasing white frames. You can pick up a set of four for $29.99. Plus, you can use a 20% off coupon, which puts each frame at a cheaper price point than what you would find at Target or Michael's.

Love it? Shop the prints here:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Movie-Themed Awards Ceremony for a Professional Organization

This past fall, I was recruited by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to lead the creative efforts for their annual awards ceremony.

In the past, this event was held at a hotel ballroom with no specific theme. This time around, the committee set out to elevate the look and feel of the awards ceremony by creating an experience that would wow attendees.

Cincinnati PRSA's annual awards program is called the "Blacksmiths." After brainstorming numerous themes and exploring venue options we selected a "Blockbuster Blacksmiths" theme and booked a historical theater, the 20th Century in Oakley. (By the way, if you're looking for a venue, the 20th Century team was fabulous!)

While my fellow committee members crafted movie-themed communications to create hype for the event, I was busy pulling together the decor elements. I had a conservative budget, but am so happy with how the event came together!

Our popcorn-style cupcakes from Cupcakes with a Fork where the hit of the night. Here's a closer picture I took of the cupcakes on my phone. This was before the salads, bread, etc. were added to the table. I think the confetti I picked up at Celebrate by Kate in Madeira really added a layer of fun to the tables. I even sprinkled this gold, white, silver and black confetti along the red carpet.

I utilized popcorn buckets topped off for snacking, vases in various heights filled with tickets, boxed movie theater-style candy and Hollywood-inspired sayings in Baroque frames. We also used the frames to reserve tables purchased by companies. I wish I had a picture of those too.

The theater created the perfect red carpet-style setting for celebrating Cincinnati's blockbuster public relations work! 

We also created a "selfie station" with hand-held signs and red carpet-style props. Speedpro Imaging even helped us create a step and repeat banner for a true Hollywood experience.

After the decor was finalized, I was able to sit back and catch up with friends. My agency even took home a collection of awards, so overall, it was one great night for Cincinnati's PR Super Stars!

Professional photos by Leigh Taylor

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Review of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

Photo © Carol Rosegg
This week, I was invited to attend opening night of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, a Tony-Award winning musical, by the Broadway in Cincinnati team. It has been years since I've seen Disney's Cinderella, so I was looking forward to this production and I have to say the costuming, set design and humorous script did not disappoint.

Each set change was seamless. We went from into the woods, to the town, to Cinderella's home and to the castle without evening knowing it. The physical features of the set quickly changed all while your attention was set on the cast of characters. Each setting changed in a blink of an eye and truly followed suit of the perfect fairy tale fantasy.

Speaking of transitions, Cinderella's dress change for the prince's ball was marvelous. It literally happened before your eyes and left you wondering how something so magical could happen right there on stage.

The choreography was brilliant. Like I mentioned above, the choreography of the dress change, plus the dancing choreography, was so visual. Coming from a seasoned competitive cheerleading judge, I was quite pleased to see strong use of level change, foot work and dynamic formations in the group numbers.

I was surprised to discover the plot differed from the original Disney film. There were definitely a few twists that left the audience guessing. On top of the plot surprises, the script was quite humorous. It was interesting to see how modern day references were incorporated into the script. They even drive home an important lesson that remains valuable across all centuries, all fairy tales and all backgrounds - kindness.

Overall, this production was so well orchestrated. For a few hours, you are transported into an enchanted land full of romance.

Cinderella is playing at the Aronoff until Sunday, January 18. You can find a list of shows here.

A special thanks to Broadway in Cincinnati for inviting me to join them on opening night!