“Cheese” Cake

No the picture below is not of a cake that one of our Brides decided to leave in the fridge too long but is a "true" cake of cheese. 

This savory alternative to the traditional fruit cakes used in the UK are becoming increasingly popular as it adds an original touch to the wedding.  From our discussions with the vendors who have started to provide these "cakes," it takes many hours of preparation to get the size and shape just right.   Many different cheeses can be used but our bride opted for tiers of Brie, Cheddar, Cornish Yarg and Stilton — Yum!  We are hoping this one catches on in the States. 

Cheese Cake Pic Updated

In Two Places At Once!

This weekend I found myself in two places at once!  Seriously, you can do that when you stand on the Prime Meridian of the World found at the Royal Greenwich Observatory outside of London, UK.  As you can see here I have one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere and one in the Western.  
 

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The Observatory is also home to the clock indicating Greenwich Mean Time and the Red Time Ball which I was told falls at 13:00 local time everyday and is one of the world's earliest public time signals.   Ironically enough I found myself in the courtyard looking up at the ball as it fell, exactly at 1:00 PM, just as they predicted.  
 
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In addition to the Observatory, Greenwich is home to the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Navel College and the Cutty Sark, an old tea clipper.   Although we enjoyed the history and the many interesting shops in town, the best part of the day was spend relaxing in Greenwich Park with its beautiful view of The Queens House and the site of the old Palace of Placentia, where Henry VIII was born!  I think that guy is somehow connect to every major site in the city.  All in all it was a great day. I encourage you all to visit when you get the chance.  
 
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Happy Travels,
 
Candice
 
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Dining on the High Seas

Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch on The Moshulu at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA.  This 125-year old boat has had a very interesting past from working ports all over the world to serving as a floating warehouse and surviving a fire.  Now its a AAA Four Diamond Award gourmet restaurant. 

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Besides the very interesting and unique setting, the food was awesome.  For an appetizer, I had the hands down best bruschetta ever.  It was on grilled ciabatta bread topped with some of the best fresh mozzarella I have ever had, grilled onions, and giant slices of red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes, drizzled with aged balsamic. 

The sandwiches they have for lunch are huge and I should have shared mine as I did not even eat 1/2 of it.

Dessert was the piece de resistant.  I had the Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cones.  There were 3 homemade mini ice cream sandwiches – Oreo White Chocolate Raspberry, Chipwich Butter Pecan, and Graham Cracker Apple Crisp.  Each had a hole in the top that had a mini cone in each topped with 3 different flavors of water ice.  Adorable!!

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They were setting up for a wedding while we were there.  What a unique spot for an event!  

I would love to go back there one night for dinner since lunch was so good.  It would be nice to have dinner and then go up to their deck bar for drinks.  I need to make plans to go to one of their Mojito parties on Saturday nights soon.  :  )

All the best,

Priscilla

Lobster Fest

Wow, what a busy summer. Like most of you, we at The Finishing Touch do as much traveling as we can during the summer, soaking up the sun.  I had the pleasure last weekend of returning to my roots and enjoying yummy Maine Lobster at the 61st annual Maine Lobster Festival.  (www.mainelobsterfestival.com
 
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Our trip to the festival has become a yearly tradition for me, my mother, and my grandmother and starts with Thursday night in Freeport where we stay at our favorite Bed and Breakfast, The Kendall Tavern Inn.  (http://www.kendalltavern.com/)   Kendall Tavern Bed and Breakfast is a lovingly restored early 1800's farmhouse in Freeport. The Inn offers 7 cozy guest rooms – all with private baths and air conditioning. The uncluttered décor, antique furnishings, and authentic period details that transport you back to a time of simplicity and contentment.  Each year, Tim and Loree welcome us back to "our" room and make us feel truly at home.  Freeport is full of shopping, including the world famous LL Bean – open 24 hours, so we always leave with a lot of shopping bags.  Before heading north on Route 1 to Rockland, we enjoy a homemade breakfast at The Kendall Tavern.  This year Tim made stuffed french toast with fresh fruit which did not disappoint.  
 
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We spent the next two days enjoying the atmosphere, the parade, live country music and of course the seafood!  Found in the "1000 Places to See before you Die" book, the festival is one you should not miss.  You will find nine tents, the world’s largest lobster cooker, a sea goddess, a big parade, top notch entertainment, an international crate race, fine art, talented crafts people and vendors, US Navy ship tours, all you can eat pancakes, US Coast Guard Station tours, professional and amateur cooking contests, marine heritage, road races, kids events and MOST importantly over 20,000 pounds of lobster!!  If you aren't a huge seafood fan like I am, there are fair grounds as well so you can help yourself to any variety of greasy deep fried food – I even say a deep fried Twinkie this year - scary!  
 
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We also are sure each year to enjoy the town of Rockland and visit the shops along Maine street.  You will find some wonderful art galleries in addition to all the creative wares that us Mainiacs love. 

Overall it was a great trip and I am already looking forward to next year's trip.  I hope to see you all there!

Happy Travels,

Candice

 
 

The Knot and North New Jersey Wedding Professionals Go Green

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Last month we planned The Knot's annual wedding industry party.  The Knot wanted to partner with North New Jersey-based wedding professionals to created a chic, green evening designed with less eco-impact in mind.  This event invited local wedding professionals to be the guests, share ideas, and network with their peers while highlighting one of the industry’s largest growing trends in weddings: going green.

 

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We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our partners in the industry who helped us produce this great event: 

·         Venue/Catering –  The Olde Mill Inn                      

·         Floral Decor –  Santos Florist                               

·         Lounge Furniture/Linens – Jersey Street Furniture  

·         Entertainment –  Craig Scott Entertainment           

·         Cake – Pink Cake Box                                       

·         Photography – Magique Studios                           

·         Lighting – Dynamite Fx                            

·         Photo Booth – Party Booths  

·         Gourmet Coffee/Espresso Bar – Cupa Cabana  

·         Bar Mixers – Stirrings  

·         Floral/Leftover Rescue – The Special E  

·         Scent Machine - Scentevents 

 

To help showcase go green ideas, our team of wedding professionals created a sophisticated rain forest themed environment using florals, decor and lighting.  The event was held on Thursday, July 17 at The Olde Mill Inn.  The Olde Mill Inn was a perfect choice of location given that the hotel is a member of the Green Hotels Association and is dedicated to providing their guests reduced allergen friendly accommodations for a healthier pollution free night sleep.  They also create meals, whenever possible, using certified organic fruits and vegetables, purified water and natural grass fed meats that are free from chemicals and pesticides. 

 

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The room was decorated with live plants such as palm trees, ferns, and fichus trees and up lit in varying shades of green with LED lights which use less energy than traditional canister lighting.  Custom lounge furniture was used to create a relaxed yet elegant feel while stimulating networking.  Since the custom lounge furniture is refurbished and reupholstered for each unique event, instead of building all new furniture, this is another way to go green at an event.

 

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A favorite of our guests was the tropical inspired signature drinks, which included a Pomegranate Acai Berry martini made with all natural Stirrings Pomegranate cocktail mix and Acai Berry juice which originates from the Amazon Rain Forest.  Dessert featured a chocolate fountain, gourmet coffee/espresso bar, and a rain forest themed cake complete with bamboo, leopard print, orchids, and butterflies. Guests also enjoyed posing for fun pictures in the photo booth and listening to the smooth sounds of the Latin trio.  

 

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We also had some wonderful giveaways and heard from our client (The Knot) that they had never had such great giveaway and gift bag items.  Thank you to those who provided these items:

Green giveaways included reusable tote gift bags filled with organic chocolates, all natural cocktail mixers, and plantable seeded paper favors.  Other green giveaways included necklaces with an eco-friendly message, a purse made of 100% recycled juice boxes, and gift certificates to an organic spa and a stay in an allergen-free room at the Olde Mill Inn.

In order to minimize the event's carbon footprint, representatives of The Special E were present.  The Special E is a unique "green" service that rescues leftovers from events and then recycles them in ways that help our planet and people in need.  The Special E rescued the leftover food and floral arrangements from the event.

It was a fabulous evening with great networking, food, cocktails, giveaways, and entertainment all while providing ideas to be eco-friendly.

 

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All the best,

 

Candice and the FT Team

Rebecca & John’s Rehearsal Dinner

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On May 16, 2008, we had the honor of creating a "Dressed-Up Simpsons" themed rehearsal dinner for our couple Rebecca & John. John loves adult cartoons like The Simpsons and Family Guy so we figured out a way to theme the dinner with The Simpsons while keeping it classy and elegant at the same time.

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Rebecca had found a website that was a promo for The Simpsons Movie where you could submit pictures of people and the website "Simpsonized" them.  We used the "Simpsonized" image of Rebecca & John to create invitations to the dinner with the tag line "Rebecca & John – A Couple of Real Characters." The image was also used on the favor tags attached to small bags of heart shaped red-foil wrapped chocolates. To bring guests into the theme, each guest was "Simpsonized" and their images where printed on individual place cards.

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The dinner was held at Cucina Calandra's Executive Lounge in Fairfield, NJ. The couple wanted a complete contrast to their blue and white heaven themed wedding which would be held two days later so the dinner had a very swanky lounge atmosphere with all of the guests seated on one long table with large leather chairs. The table was decorated with candles, red rose petals, red crystals, and a large arrangement of red roses tied with a black silk ribbon.

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To continue the theme, the bridal party gifts were movie themed. They consisted of ceramic popcorn buckets filled with microwave popcorn, movie candy, and gift certificates to Dunkin Donuts and Blockbuster. The tag on the baskets read "Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Show" which was in the shape of a Director's clapboard.

It was definitely a night to remember.

Until next time,

Priscilla

Professional pictures shown above: Infinity Photography by Demitrius & Melinda