Thursday, February 26, 2009

TGIF Tip of the week: Sleep Over Coffee Cake

So often when we think of entertaining, we consider cocktail parties, dinner parties, or evening events. But what about inviting friends for an enjoyable breakfast? Have some fresh flowers, fresh brewed coffee, fresh cream, sliced fruit, and even cute hard boiled eggs in daffodil lined holders. I like to go all out with mimosas and my very favorite and until now, top held secret recipe from my from friend Dee for her more than delicious 'Sleep Over Coffee Cake'.

The trick is to get everything ready on Friday evening - set the table, chill the champagne, boil the eggs, slice the fruit (cover tightly to keep fresh in the refrigerator), and your Saturday morning soiree will be a breeze!

Send a little invitation earlier in the week and make it a casual affair. It's even fun to have a guest invite someone new to your group of friends - a great way to meet a new neighbor or gym pal. (And you'll need the gym after this coffee cake).
I also like to print up copies of the recipe for my guests. It will save you time when they ask later.

Dee's Sleep Over Coffee Cake

(8 - 10 servings)

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
2/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP dry milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted

Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan. Mix all cake ingredients until well blended. Put in pan.
Mix dry topping ingredients. Spread over cake batter.


The next morning, drizzle with butter, place in pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Now this is Really Good Taste.
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks anyway, United Airlines. I'd rather walk.

I don't normally blog about any type of negativity or complaint, but I just couldn't let this story go. As a frequent traveler, I found this story to be a very sad statement about the folks at United Airlines. So much for their 'fly the friendly skies' song and dance. With the price of airfare going up, the perks and service of flying going down, and the fact that they seem to forget that the passengers (even the "idiots" in coach) pay the salaries of the folks that "serve" us the Diet Cokes on board, this is enough to make me opt for a rental car.

Customer Service. They've taken it to a new low. Fortunately, I'll be able to avoid the name calling by the crew as I'm canceling any future travel with United.

United crew - it's time to serve drinks to the idiots in coach

There is not much I like about United Airlines, but their Channel 9 in-flight audio is one perk you won't find on any other carrier. Channel 9 is the audio channel that lets you listen in on the cockpit communications with Air Traffic Control. I've always found it a great way to pass the time, and get a better idea what is going on when the plane is delayed.

A reader on The Consumerist apparently shares my love for Channel 9, but got a rude awakening when he noticed that the Channel 9 audio was relaying the flight attendant phone communications instead of the cockpit.

Unfortunately for the cabin crew, the things they were exchanging over the phone were really not intended for the passengers, especially when one of them told a colleague that they'd soon "start on drinks for the idiots in coach".


I've always known coach class passengers were sometimes referred to as "roach class", or "self loading freight", but to actually refer to your paying customers as "idiots" seems rather harsh.

One of the passengers who heard the remarks let a crew member know they were able to hear what they were saying, at which point they stopped using the phones. Of course, no apology was issued, nor did anyone at United Airlines respond to the story.

(Via: The Consumerist)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conversation Cushion

"If you haven't got anything good to say, come and sit next to me."

The conversation cushion is filled with 100 questions, sneakily pick one of the question ribbons from the small rips in the front of the cushion and give a tiring conversation a fresh boost. Place them in your office, your living room, or bring one on your next trip. Who knows what you may learn about someone?

Better yet? Think about making your own for interesting shower gifts or bridesmaid gift.

DIY Good Taste™ is just the place to assist you with this unique idea, and ensure you have fun in the process.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our TGIF idea for the week: Get a load of this site!

Rumor has it that Seattle is not the friendliest town to get to know people in. Lots of folks relocate here for it's beauty, to meet Good Taste Events (there I go again), for high tech jobs, or for a variety of interesting reasons. Many of those new to Seattle have have told me that not-so-flattering tid bit about our Emerald city again and again.

Well, lo and behold, I just came across what I feel is an absolute GENIUS idea - "Friendly Favor". Developed by president Scott Larson, "Seattle-based FriendlyFavor has launched the company and a new site recently. It is focused on helping people manage favors and requests from friends. According to the company, its new site is designed to complement social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, and allows users to get referrals, recommendations, advice, favors, and advice from their friends.

Among features of the site are the ability to track favors; send gift cards to people as thank you's; enable bartering of services; and make charitable donations for friends. FriendlyFavor said it is funded by individual investors from, Microsoft, Google and others."

I always say that Kindness can change the world.

Bravo, Friendly Favors! I may have a new BFF to add to my list.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A cup of Joe?

We live in Seattle - the "Emerald City". Best known for it's rainy reputation, Good Taste Events, Microsoft and of course coffee. (couldn't resist the shameless endorsement).

Our office recently added a great little Keurig Coffee System, which is so quick, easy, and economical that it's hard to understand why we didn't get it ages ago! When you want a cup of Joe, you simply pop in one of the "K-Cups" (they look like little creamers but are filled with gourmet coffee, tea or cocoa), close the lid, and hit "brew." Within seconds your hot, fresh beverage is ready!

No waiting in line, no special coffee language to learn (Tall? Small? Vendi? Grande?), and at an average of .49 cents per cup, hard to beat. Especially in the land of the coffee giants.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Remembering my precious daughter, Kelsey

In loving memory of my daughter
Kelsey Miles Zehring
April 16, 1988 - February 14, 1996

Kelsey would have turned 21 years old this Spring.
She is missed by so many every day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We couldn't have said it better! Our favorite rug

Whoever thought I'd be singing my admiration for a throw rug? But here I go... This is one of my favorite items I've seen in ages. It's so fitting for so many reasons! In the event planning business, that should be a given mantra. Event Planning 101: Keep Calm and Carry On. Without following that sage wisdom, any professional planner knows that their sanity, and perhaps their career, should be examined. Seriously.

I have to say that I saw this first on the fabulous 'favorites' list on Seattle's Famous Lifestyle Expert - Kelley Moore's site. If you haven't taken a peek at her site, you really need to. It's fun, refreshing, creative and just puts you in a happy mood!

Now off to order this little beauty for all the entrances in our office. At Good Taste, and DIY Good Taste ™ , we love words of wisdom and words that inspire. These cover both categories.

Now we can even wear our tiaras around the office. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ciao Bella! A gorgeous silk screened DIY Save The Date card

When I think of romance, I often think of Italy. The country, the culture, the music, the food, the people... they all seem to conjure up a feeling of passion and love. With that said, we are thrilled that one of our favorite 2009 wedding clients have selected an amazing Tuscan villa for their July wedding! So, to announce their plans to their lucky list of guests, the bride worked with our DIY Good Taste team to create these stunningly beautiful Save-the-Date cards.

The couple came up with the "postmark" idea and the cypress tree stamps. The Save-the-Date announcements were silk-screen printed on exquisite handmade cotton paper by 'Fabriano', and the end results are shown above.

What a joy to get this beautiful "first taste" of an Italian wedding in the mail. I know those lucky recipients have definitely marked their calendars for this special day. (Oh, and we'll share the outcome so you can share in their amore... even if only vicariously.)

Now that's amore!

Six-word memoirs. Today's theme: From the heart.

photograph by veer

I love this week in February. Who couldn't? It's about love. As far back as grade school, it was a special time - sharing simple Valentine treats with classmates and decorating those shoe boxes with doilies and red hearts to receive your treats from others...

To honor those days, this Monday our six-word memoir topic is: From the heart.

The following memoirs are about some of our family & friends. Their names have been kept secret to protect their identities. But in case any of them are reading, maybe they will recognize themselves here... maybe you'll recognize some of your friends and loved ones!

This week, take 5 minutes and send a six-word memoir to your friends and family. Such a simple and loving gesture that will make a heart smile.

Creatively embracing life wearing commemorative t-shirts

Tender spirit, keeper of my heart

Cherished friend, love of my life

Swing dancing - hold tight then spin

Enthusiastic cyclist and sometimes sudoku master

Visionary leader, fund-raiser extraordinaire, stupendous brother

Best friend, confidant, partner in crime

Singular free spirit, talented, irreverent artist

Honor graduate, self-assured graceful life dancer

Passionate traveler, gracious hostess, life-long learner

Passionately bridges cultures, advocating natural-dye artistry

Shining light through all my days

Saving lives, making money, lucky me

Friday, February 6, 2009

TGIF! Our GOOD TASTE tip for the weekend

On Fridays the team at Good Taste has decided to share with you the latest fun thing on our weekend agendas.... It may be the amazing famous salad recipe that one of our clients just shared with us (thanks, Coleen!), hot tickets to a VIP event, sharing secret celeb sightings that we hear may be in the works, or just good old movie & popcorn selections that fit well on a cozy Friday night. Let us know what you love to plan on Friday nights, too!

In the event business, our Friday's are often quite busy planning, rehearsing, etc. So sometimes, our "Fridays" actually occur on Mondays or Tuesdays. No mind. When you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.... Lucky us!

Tonight's thought is a wonderful reminder of something my husband is famous for. As my friends can testify, he is probably the most romantic, amazing man on the earth, but just for those who haven't had the pleasure of meeting him:

* A Romantic Visit: Simple flowers (store brought tulips are great!), a nice bottle of wine, a weekend newspaper, a great new CD (or one you've compiled of favorites from iTunes), and the best Chinese food in town - including chop sticks and fortune cookies - put a fun spin on the beginning of the weekend...

With the average professional person working 60-80 hours per week, free time is precious. Time in general is precious. Family is precious. Life is precious. Enjoy those minutes and hours with loved ones and appreciate the joy that the little things can bring.

Trust me. I promise you that you'll never regret it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meet the Good Taste Girls

Photo by the amazing Lynette Huffman Johnson

With so many exciting things happening at Good Taste Events, we thought we'd take a moment to introduce ourselves (via our blog) so you can put a face with a name and with the words we write and the projects we are working on. Stay tuned! More exciting news is on the way in a month or two...

Meet the Good Taste Weddings & Events Team
(from left to right)

Jody Taylor-Smith, President
Jody Taylor-Smith, event planner extraordinaire, has over two decades of experience coordinating, designing and managing events worldwide. From intimate parties for 20 to 5,000 person celebrity galas, Jody’s expertise is wide ranging.
Bringing her event production and management background to the wedding industry enables Jody to bring our clients’ visions to life. Passionate about events, Jody treats each one as if it were her own, creating smart, elegant and memorable affairs.
Starting her event-planning career in the early 1980s, Jody worked on Wall Street. She has served an impressive list of clients including Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Smith & Nephew and Warner Brothers.
Her small-town Minnesota upbringing enables Jody to weather any storm with grace and humor. She embraces Jimmy Buffet’s well-known refrain, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”

Maude May, Creative Director
Maude May has been creating art in one form or another since age five (drawing dog bones on her family's walls, much to her parents' dismay). With advanced degrees in both photography and textiles, her art has led her in many directions and her career has encompassed a wide variety of professions including pastry chef, location scout, miniature golf course designer, photo stylist and paint color consultant.
Specializing in clever invitations, favors and party ephemera for both private and corporate clients, Maude also designs logos and related business collateral.
Maude has won industry awards for her graphic design and her work has been featured in several publications. A partial list of clients includes USDA, Amtrak, Starwood Corporation and the Seattle Art Museum.
"Go to your studio and make stuff," is Maude's motto and she believes that the all things we touch, look at, use and give should delight and bring beauty to our world.

Heather Tansill, PR Director

Heather Tansill has been an event planner and social butterfly since she was four years old, organizing dinners for her pre-school friends and their families at local restaurants, conveniently on the nights when "kids eat free."
Her flare for designing and planning events flourished. In college, Heather was not only the Homecoming Coordinator and Social Chair of her sorority, she was also the VP of Promotions for the French Society, the College Marketing Specialist for her church, and an Account Executive and Event Planner during her two-year internship with RealWorld Integrated Marketing Communications.
Heather brings experience, creativity and fearless ambition to the Good Taste team. Her outgoing and eager-to-please personality, combined with her business mind and leadership skills, allows her to create seamlessly executed one-of-a-kind events.
Heather truly feels that “many things can be resolved with kindness and laughter, but some just require cake.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DIY now comes with help! Our latest creative endeavor

Dreams really do come true. At long last our sister company DIY Good Taste™ is here! Thanks to everyone who helped make this project come to life. We are grateful for all the amazing input, good wishes, great advice, caring, and love that has helped us see our latest creation come to life!

Doing-It-Yourself, Now Comes With Help

Edmonds, WA—The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project craze is on the rise. It is a great way to add a personal touch and save money on creative endeavors that accompany any celebration. However, assembling all the necessary materials and tools can be confusing, time-consuming, costly and often, the results are not picture-perfect.

For those who want (and need) some inspiration and assistance with their DIY projects, the gals at Good Taste Weddings & Events are delighted to announce their new company, DIY Good Taste™.

Bringing award-winning creative ideas, talent and enthusiasm, the DIY Good Taste™ team has developed a wide array of clever invitations, table accessories, favors, programs and more. Projects are designed and constructed on site at the DIY Good Taste™ studio, complete with all materials and professional equipment. Two “floating design angels” provide creative guidance and support for each project.

The process is simple: the client meets with the creative team to discuss the event and its related collateral. Once all the details are cemented, DIY Good Taste™ orders all the components and gets ready for production. A “DIY Date” is the end result. The client, along with their friends and family, arrives at the DIY Good Taste™ studio, where they experience a fun, creative evening, leaving with their completed project ready to deliver to the lucky recipients.

There are four basic design packages in the DIY Good Taste™ line: Stunningly Simple, Divinely Deluxe, Marvelously Mind-Blowing and Outrageously Over-the-Top. Amazing hand-made papers, ribbons and other ephemera make even the simplest project unforgettable. Invitation pricing begins at $5 per unit and includes the invitation and RSVP card along with the return and mailing envelopes. Custom design is also available.

DIY Good Taste™ offers memorable experiences, each culminating in custom works of art and a sense of accomplishment. Finally, a dream come true for any DIY-er.


DIY Good Taste™, subsidiary of Good Taste Weddings & Events
Heather Tansill, PR Director
120 Second Ave South
Edmonds, WA 98020
425.818.0369 or 877.389.1382

Send email to request a digital copy of this news release.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our Monday Six-Letter Memoir series. This weeks topic: Work colleagues

photo by veer
We've become addicted to the six-word memoir craze and decided to make it our Monday blog theme. Each week we'll choose a new topic to use when writing our six-word stories. So we challenge you to join us! Share with us your six-word memoir of the topic of the week, but be warned: this gets contagious!

This weeks topic: Work Colleagues.

In our case that means The Good Taste Team.

  • Jody Taylor-Smith: "Big laugh. Big heart. Big dreams*."
  • Maude May: "Generous beyond words. Creative beyond belief."
  • Heather Tansill: "Amazing combination of brilliance and beauty."

*Maude May came up with this one and didn't tell me the last word. Fearful that it may be something about my ahem...anatomy...., I've made the executive decision to complete the final word myself. Please note that this is not how the official rules work.

So tell us how you'd describe your team? We'd love to hear from you!