4th of July DIY Party Ideas!

Celebrate a long weekend with friends; the more the merrier! This holiday is about celebrating freedom and what better way to do so than with friends?!

It’s summer, it’s hot, and this year the 4th of July falls on a long weekend. You still have time to host a last minute celebration!

Decorations
Start with the decorations to set the tone for your party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; get creative!

  • Add red white and blue accents to a wine or champagne bottle
  • Red and white flowers with a blue ribbon make for the perfect center piece
 Photo credit: Elainesflorist.com

Photo credit: Elainesflorist.com

Food
You want to enjoy the celebration as much as your guests. Don’t make it too complicated; have a cookout!

  • Hamburgers and hotdogs
  • Chips
  • Fruit
  • Desert- think light and fruity
  • Plenty more food ideas on our Pinterest page!
 Photo credit: Eightymphmom.com

Photo credit: Eightymphmom.com

 Photo credit: Countryliving.com

Photo credit: Countryliving.com

Cocktails
What’s a celebration without drinks? Don’t resist that fun and fruity cocktail, you deserve it!

  • Red White and Blue Sangria
  • Watermelon Blueberry Coconut Frozen Margarita
  • Red, White, and Blue Daiquiris
  • Get the recipe for these tasty treats here!
 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Games
July 4th should be spent outside! Have a few outdoor games to entertain your guests while they mingle.

  • Corn hole
  • Frisbee
  • Cool off with Water balloon dodgeball
 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Music
Background music is a must. Know your guest list and set the mood.

  • Try out Pandora or Spotify’s summer playlists! They offer a great selection for almost every genre.
  • Be sure to crank up your favorite version of “Proud to be an American” before the day is over!

Don’t forget about Fireworks! 
Celebrate the end of a fabulous day by walking to the nearest park to watch fireworks, setting off sparklers in the yard, or enjoying the Macy’s televised celebration in New York City from the comfort of your living room!

 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

For more ideas for the perfect July 4th party check out our Pinterest board!

5% Goes to Global Kids!

After Rebecca's 50th birthday party at La Sirena's South Cabana on May 19th, she has chosen to give back to Global Kids. It's another "Event that Gives Back!"

An excerpt from their website:

Global Kids develops youth leaders through dynamic global education and leadership development programs. Global Kids inspires youth from underserved communities to achieve academic excellence, self-actualization and global competency, and empowers them to take action on critical issues facing their communities and our world.

Our vision is to create an ever-growing network of young people from diverse backgrounds who attain leadership on all levels of society and enter fields of international affairs and public policy.

Award-winning educator Carole Artigiani founded Global Kids in 1989 and incorporated it in 1991. She served as its Executive Director until August 2010 and continues her involvement in the new capacity of Founder and Senior Advisor. Evie Hantzopoulos, Global Kids' Deputy Director and Director of Programs for 14 years, was appointed the organization's Executive Director in September 2010.

Global Kids has reached more than 200,000 students and educators in New York City and beyond, receiving national recognition for exemplary practices in international education, digital media programming, experiential learning, and youth development. Our work is enhanced by our strong partnerships. To view a list of our partners and supporters, click here.

Global Kids’ flagship afterschool program, the Power of Citizenry, was launched in 1995, and has grown to involve over 500 students each year who gain leadership skills, understanding of global issues, and exposure to higher education and career readiness opportunities. Through workshops, conferences, campaigns, creative arts, and digital media, student youth leaders educate more than 5,000 of their peers.

Participants in the program have traveled to conferences and events around the United States and trained peers in Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Eritrea, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Peru, South Africa, and other countries.

 
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Rebecca's 50th Birthday: La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel

Rebecca's 80's themed 50th birthday party at La Sirena's South Cabana on May 19th was a success! As guests entered they walked up stairs that were lined with Pac Man decals and as they turned to go up the second set of stairs they walked across a Lionel Richie "Hello, is it me you're looking for" doormat! 

We had 80's posters throughout the space, balloons with pictures of Rebecca from the 80's, cassette tape and boom box throw pillows, and centerpieces of neon cassette tapes, Rubix cubes, sponge rollers with combs and AquaNet hairspray, and chocolate candy cigarettes.  

Food consisted of a gorgeous cheese and charcuterie table, passed hors d'oeuvres, a pasta station and 80's theme cupcakes. 

 Our DJ rocked out 80's music accompanied by videos all night and Rebecca's husband surprised her with a happy birthday video message from Sting, one of her all time favorite singers!   

 
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aquanet and sponge rollers
 
cassette tape and boom box pillow
 
balloons with pictures
 
Pretty in Pink poster
 
Purple Rain poster
 
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pasta station
 
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Balloons: Party City
DJ/MC: Nelson Cruz Entertainment  
Cupcakes: Empire Cake  
Photographer: Lost Boy Productions, Danny Tirmizi
Venue: La Sirena's South Cabana at the Maritime Hotel

5% Goes to The Partnership with the Homeless!

After Ike's Bar Mitzvah at SPIN New York on April 7th, he has chosen to give back to The Partnership for the Homeless. It's another "Event that Gives Back!"

An excerpt from their website:

The Partnership for the Homeless has always based its work on the belief that homelessness is an unacceptable and avoidable part of the urban landscape. Our vision is of a world where housing is embraced as the human right that it is, fundamental to health and well-being and a prerequisite for prosperity.

Founded nearly three decades ago to provide emergency shelter, our work has expanded over the years to include an array of services for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, at risk for homelessness, or who are rebuilding their lives after leaving shelters.

Through services that include outreach into New York's most hard pressed communities, help with health and mental health issues, financial and nutritional counseling, connecting clients to other benefits, and employment and education assistance, the Partnership is helping thousands of New Yorkers improve their lives every year.

Who We Help

We've placed a special focus on populations for whom homelessness is on the rise or assistance is underrepresented, developing models of practice that address each of their unique needs.

  • Families and Children — now comprising the largest segment of New York City's homeless population.
  • Chronically Ill — especially homeless individuals coping with or at-risk of HIV/AIDS who are often disconnected from health care.
 
Partnership for the Homeless logo

Ike's Bar Mitzvah: SPIN NY

We had such a fun time at Ike's bar mitzvah at SPIN New York on April 7th. The entertainment highlight was the ping pong with pros, pop-a-shot and dancers!

Ike chose The Partnership With The Homeless as his service project. 

 
Ike's bar mitzvah poster
 
ping pong tables spin ny
 
pop a shot spin ny
 
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Ike logo
 
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oldsters reserved sign
 
cheese plate
 
spin new york catering
 
black & white cookies brownies
 
works in progress custom tshirt
 
The Partnership for the Homeless
 
do it together never alone neon sign
 

DJ: DJ Eric Saga
Flowers: Adore Floral
Graphic Designer: Fernando Cordero
MC: Nelson Cruz Entertainment
Photo Booth: Who's Event Booth
Photographer: Belathée Photography*
Pop-A-Shot: Nelson Cruz Entertainment
Venue: SPIN New York
Tshirts: Works in Progress
Transportation: Golden Touch 

*The pictures above were taken by Karen Brown New York, not by our professional photographer, Belathée Photography. 

5% Goes to We Need Diverse Books

After working with our client on The Walter Dean Myers Symposium & Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress on March 16th, they have chosen to give back to WNDB (We Need Diverse Books). It's another "Event that Gives Back!"

An excerpt from their website:

WHO WE ARE. We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry. Our aim is to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT. Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.

OUR VISION. A world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.

OUR DEFINITION OF DIVERSITY. We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.

 
WNDB logo

The Walter Dean Myers Symposium & Award Ceremony: Library of Congress

What an honor it was to work with We Need Diverse Books on their annual symposium and award ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 

ABOUT THE WALTER

The Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Myers served as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2012-2013), authored over a hundred titles, and won countless awards, including two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, and was a three-time National Book Award finalist. Throughout his prolific, lauded career, Myers was a life-long champion of diversity in children’s and young adult books.

Inaugurated in 2016, the annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature recognize diverse authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way. Two to four Honor Books are also named annually. We Need Diverse Books defines “diverse” to be one or more of the following: a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.

The 2016 and 2017 Walter Award and Honor Books represented young adult titles only. The 2018 Walters include two categories: Teen (ages 13-18) and Younger Readers (ages 9-13). Future Walters will include both categories.

 
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  • AV: RMS 
  • Awards: Imagine the Possibilities
  • Caterer: ILC Catering & Events
  • Graphic Designer: Phyllis Sa
  • Hotel: Capitol Hill Hotel, Washington, D.C.
  • Printer: Prestone Press (programs)
  • Venue: Library of Congress, Madison Building

The Belles' Book Launch Party: Books of Wonder

We were thrilled to work with author Dhonielle Clayton to plan a gorgeous and successful book launch party for her book, The Belles. Our party theme revolved around the setting of the book, New Orléans, and included aspects of the Marie Antoinette era. 

We worked with vendors to create a table full of elegant tea party desserts and went with a feminine color pallet of pinks. We also include various elements of flowers; paper flowers for the wall, fresh flowers in an elevated vase and flower designs on the desserts. 

 
the belles book
 
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by the way bakery flower cupcakes
 
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the belles fruit tray
 
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Branded Merchandise: Disney
Cupcakes: By the Way Bakery
Desserts: YES Desserts
Florist: Designs by Ahn
Venue: Books of Wonder, Upper West Side - Manhattan
Wine: Best Bottles

Super Bowl LII Party Planning!

It’s estimated that close to 115 million people around the world watch the Super Bowl so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular day for people to host a party. This year the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots will be playing in Minneapolis on February 4. If you plan to host a party, here are some tips and ideas you can consider:

Decorations
Set up a rectangle table and decorate it to represent a football field. You can make a goal post out of PVC pipe or dowel rods and use orange construction paper to make cones. This can be the focal point for the party and you can load it up with snacks. For the dinnerware, you can get themed plates of your favorite team, tumblers, napkins and more from Party City. You can also have fun props laying around for guests to wear and take pictures with. Face paint is always a hit too for those die hard fans!

 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

The Menu
One essential aspect of a Super Bowl party is having the ideal menu so you can please the hungry stomachs that will come rolling through the door. Stock up on easy finger foods and appetizers. Pizza, hot dogs,wings with blue cheese, quesadillas, chips and salsa and other dips are always crowd pleasers. You can also do Broncos themed snacks and dessert like orange and blue popcorn, cake and Jello. Colorful drinks can make the party more festive as well!

 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Games
This is the best way to ensure your guests stay entertained (other than being entertained by the Super Bowl commercials!) especially if the game gets intense. Some ideas are Guess the Score and Super Bowl Word Scramble. You can add a twist by playing one of the numerous commercial-related games such as writing down notes during the commercial break and playing a Super Bowl advertising trivia session later.

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Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for more ideas!

Family Tree Dinner Party

When I began working with my client on the family dinner she was planning to host at her Upper East Side apartment, I immediately thought the perfect theme would revolve around trees.

This dinner will be the first time her adoptive and biological family, and in-laws meet. I wanted it to be thoughtful and feel special for guests. A tree can symbolize many things, including family. A tree sprouts from a seed, grows roots and becomes firmly planted in its foundation, branches out, and creates a new fruit that gives life to the next generation. 

The elements I choose to represent this were acorns, rocks, LED tabletop trees, and magnolia branches. 

family tree dinner.jpg

Caterer: Dish Food + Events
Desserts: By the Way Bakery, Baked by Melissa
Florist: Ovando
Venue: private home, Manhattan 

Last Minute New Year’s Eve Décor!

New Year’s Eve can sneak up on us very quickly after Christmas, so we wanted to give you some last minute ideas for decorating for your New Year’s Eve get together!

  • Start by choosing a color scheme – traditional New Year’s colors are black, silver, gold and white.
  • If you have empty wine or champagne bottles from Christmas, spray paint them gold or glue gold glitter to them.
    • You can also do this with battery powered candles or plastic drinkware.
 Photo credit: nobiggie.net

Photo credit: nobiggie.net

 photo credit: globalknockoffs.com

photo credit: globalknockoffs.com

  • If you decorated with silver and gold for Christmas this is the perfect time to grab those decorations and transform them to festive, NYE decor.
    • Put silver or gold ornaments in glass jars and add candles.
    • Use your silver and gold trees and put them around the party room.
 photo credit: dining-delight.blogspot.com

photo credit: dining-delight.blogspot.com

  • You can also make décor out of your dessert by decorating cakes and cupcakes with the color scheme you chose.
  • Lastly, all you really need are a few bottles of champagne and great company!
 photo credit: cakepopsideas.com

photo credit: cakepopsideas.com

Thank you to all of our clients for making 2015 a great year for Karen Brown New York! We hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for more ideas!

Written by Emily Grosser, intern.

Christmas Party Decoration Ideas!

Many of you will probably be hosting family and close friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we wanted to give you some decoration ideas to make your get together even more special.

Table décor is important if you’re planning to host guests for a Christmas meal, but it doesn’t have to be over the top or expensive.

  • Put candy canes in clear glass jars with a red ribbon and set them around the table. It also doubles as a classic Christmas dessert option! (you can also do this with small ornaments)
  • Candles are always a great go-to option to make your table feel more festive – go for the classic red and green, or add in some gold and silver for some extra flare.
 Photo credit: pinterest

Photo credit: pinterest

 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

  • Cut out or buy snowflakes made of card stock and use them as place cards.
  • Tie ribbons or bows on the backs of the chairs around the table and add a festive ornament, pinecone or evergreen.
 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

  • Add small bouquets of poinsettias around the table – you can even add tapered candles for extra ambiance.
  • Don’t forget that you can always keep it simple and classic.
 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

Everyone loves indulging at Christmas, especially when it comes to desserts!

  • Make your favorite family recipes and set them up at a fun dessert bar.
  • Decorate your dessert bar with festive things like candy canes, snowflakes, bows, and Santa hats.
 photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

Extra party tips:

  • Buy stick on letters in holiday colors for guests to put on wine glasses for a unique way to keep track of which one is theirs.
  • Set the mood with some subtle Christmas music in the background – make sure its not too loud so you can catch up with your guests without having to shout.
  • Enjoy yourself!! The décor doesn’t have to be perfect; neither does the food or the gifts. The holidays are about spending time with loved ones and appreciating what you have.

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for more ideas!

The KBNY team wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor Ideas!

Thanksgiving is approaching fast, and we wanted to give all you fabulous hosts some ideas to make your Thanksgiving decor amazing, even if you don’t have much time to plan.

 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

  • Shoppingcan be crazy the day before Thanksgiving, so use what you have around the house.
    • Grab some fall flowers and pumpkins and use them as centerpieces.
    • Use votive candles to create simple ambiance in seconds. Lighting can make the biggest difference.
    • Grab leaves or acorns from outside and put them in mason jars or apothecary jars.
 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

  • Leaves are always an awesome go-to for Thanksgiving décor.
    • Cut out leaves from paper bags or copy paper and decorate them as nametags for guests.
    • If you live in an area where the leaves have fallen, grab some from outside, spray paint them, and use a sharpie to label your delicious dishes.
 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

  • Using festive fall colors will also give the perfect Thanksgiving ambiance to your dinner.
    • Oranges, reds, and yellows are always a fall staple.
    • Use festive colored dishes, tableclothes, and napkins.
    • Spray paint your leaves, pumpkins, and pinecones fall colors like gold or burgundy before you put them in your clear mason jars.
 photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

We hope our easy décor ideas will help anyone who is stressed about hosting friends and family for Thanksgiving this year. Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for more ideas. The whole team at Karen Brown NY wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday!

*Written by Emily Grosser, intern. All images have been taken from Pinterest.

5% Goes to AOMDA

After our client's cocktail reception at the New York Athletic Club on October 26th, we have chosen to give back to their organization, AOMDA (American Overseas Memorial Day Association). It's another "Event that Gives Back!"

An excerpt from their website:

"AOMDA is responsible for the annual placement of American flags on all known graves in Europe of American Servicepersons. Both the Paris Staff and the AOMDA committee in Brussels, Belgium work to accomplish the Association's mission.

In addition to the placement of American flags on graves the AOMDA coordinates & sponsors the annual Memorial Day ceremonies at American Military cemeteries in Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Tunisia and the United Kingdom with support from American Embassies, Consulates, the American Battle Monuments Commission and American Legion Posts and local groups.

These Ceremonies include the participation of American and National Military Units, American and National Government Officials as well as Local Authorities. The Ceremonies have become important annual events in the lives of many communities and their residents. The Ceremonies are international testimonials of remembrance and gratitude for the sacrifices made by Americans on behalf of Europeans in two World Wars."

 
AOMDA logo

AOMDA Cocktail Reception: New York Athletic Club

The American Legion room at the New York Athletic Club was the perfect location for the AOMDA Cocktail Reception and new member drive. The space worked well to create an intimate gathering for guests to get to know each other and learn more about the organization, American Overseas Memorial Day Association.   

 
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Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series: Brooklyn

We had so much fun doing our first event with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series! First the Runner's Expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, then race day at Brooklyn's Prospect Park here we helped with the VIP area set up, then passing out Heavy Medals to runners who have completed 5+ Rock 'n' Roll runs this year.  

 
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VIP Catering: Dish Food & Events

5% Goes to Hispanic Federation!

We had a wonderful time working with Sarah & Max as their day-of wedding coordinator on September 16th and they have chosen the Hispanic Federation for their 5% donation. It's another "Event that Gives Back!"

An excerpt from their website:

“Hispanic Federation (HF) is involved in local, state and national advocacy on a whole host of critical action areas. HF works with a Policy Leadership Council made up of esteemed community leaders and advocates from its grassroots nonprofit network to inform and set its advocacy priorities.

These leaders work tirelessly to provide effective services to needy individuals and families in various states and are at the forefront of advocating for the diverse Latino issues and communities they represent.

The Council is tasked with identifying the most pressing issues facing U.S. Latinos and co-developing, with HF senior staff, an advocacy agenda which responds to these urgent needs. Coalitions focused on issues such as immigration, education and health have been established to advance the priorities of the Council.”

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Sarah & Max's Wedding: Fornino at Pier 6

It was a perfect evening for Sarah and Max's roof top wedding on September 16th in Brooklyn! The ceremony and reception took place at Fornino at Pier 6. 

 
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Cake: William Greenberg
Ice Cream: Van Leeuwens
Flowers: Fox Fodder Farm
Hair: Soon Beauty Lab
Photo Booth: Upside Walkdown
Photographer: Mary Kang
Venue: Forninio at Pier 6, Brooklyn