Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BOOK Event Design's First 2013 Press Release!


Jenny Tuite Gailey
BOOK Event Design

              Jenny Gailey Joins Human Arts and Public Service Academy Support Team

Rockford, IL (February 12, 2013) – Jenny Tuite Gailey, owner and lead event planner of BOOK Event Design, has been elected to serve as Secretary of the Human Arts and Public Service Academy Support Team at Jefferson High School. The support team’s main focus is assisting with the primary goal of the academy program, which is college and career readiness for all. Jefferson High School is the first school to adopt the academy model with East, Auburn and Guilford to follow in their footsteps the following year.

“I am honored to be working with the youth on an issue that is so important to me – education. The future is in their hands and I want to do everything I can to help them feel secure and prepared for what’s to come,” said Rockford native, Jenny Tuite Gailey.

Book Event Design is a full service event planning company that provides complete consulting services for weddings, business events, special events, parties, and galas. Our goal is to put the “fun” back into planning a wedding or special event. We will use our expertise to help create memorable, affordable and stress free events for our clients.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Resolutions

Ever since I was a child, I have made a resolutions list. In fact, I still have a resolutions list hanging up in my childhood closet from my 9th grade of high school. It's funny to see what seemed so important to me at that time.

A new year offers the opportunity for me to reflect on what I'd like to do to improve my life and put it in writing. I am definitely one of those people that needs to put it in writing for it to really stick. So that is exactly what I'm doing here & am excited to share my top five 2013 resolutions with you!

1. Be a better friend - I feel so lucky to have the best friends in the world. However, I am not sure if I tell them or show them how much I truly appreciate their friendship. With a small child at home, it's easy to say "Oh, I won't go to (insert awesome, fun time) but I'll definitely go next time". It's a bad cycle to get into because all of a sudden I've skipped the last 4 get togethers & there is no one to blame but myself. In 2013 I want to attend as many get togethers, lunches, dinners, girls night outs, and anything else that may come my way. I also want to remind my friends how much I care for them & their friendship more often. 

2. Smile at strangers - This may sound strange and against every "don't talk to strangers" rule you've ever heard, but a smile from a stranger generally makes my day. With all the craziness that has happened in this past few years, I can't help but begin to question my fellow man. When someone I don't know gives me a quick smile, it makes me smile and feel happy. It's nice to know that someone has enough warmth in their heart to share such a positive moment with someone they don't know. It also can really cheer someone up who is having a tough day or week. Smiling never hurt anybody and is scientifically proven to make you happier, so smile away my friends.

3. Pay more sincere compliments - I am a complimenter, even if I don't know you. It's some weird impulse I've had since I was a child. I tell the lady in front of me at the grocery store that her purse is to die for or the woman at the gym that her tennis shoes are fabulous. I don't, however, tell my husband, friends or family how much I enjoy their ability to love, share their time, give kindness so freely, pick up the phone whenever I call, and much more. I am so lucky to have wonderful people in my life who make me feel great, so I think it's time I make them feel that way more often.

4. Be a better listener - I'm pretty sure I inherited my moms ADD (love you, mom!) when it comes to listening. I used to be a very good listener, but in the past year I've caught myself forgetting what I talked about with a friend or family member that day. I then get nervous that I didn't react or moved onto something else because my mind was elsewhere. I need to work on slowing down & listening to what a person is really saying to me. I will learn from those I listen to and can grow and change because of them. I will be slower to react or respond so that I can try and take in as much as possible from the conversation. 

5. Continue to grow BOOK - I launched BOOK in October 2012 and am so proud of what we've done so far. We've had great feedback from the community and even booked a few clients! We have been lucky to work with Greg Tuite & Associated, Innovatech IT Solutions, and Rockin' 4 Rockton. However, we want to expand our client list as we LOVE planning events and helping people.  We will be attending a bridal expo in January & will soon be listed on Rockfordweddings.com, so hopefully that will help us move forward in 2013. Events are our passion and what we are really good at, so plan on seeing much more from BOOK this year!

Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE Party Appetizers!

I am a New Years Eve sucker. I love NYE because I feel like there are endless & unknown possibilities that lie ahead. It's such fun to guess what may come your way, but it's also a great time to reflect on what you'd like to change or accomplish in the next 365 days. I haven't finished my resolution list yet, but will share those on our facebook page tomorrow, so make sure you check it out!

Don't get me wrong 2012 has been great to my family - a house, a baby, a career change, good friends (old & new), and much more. However, I am excited for a new year because its the year my daughter will turn one, take her first steps and babble her first words. 2013 also will mark my husband & my 2nd wedding anniversary, 5th year of dating, will be our first time we go abroad together and offers the ability to grow & change the more we get to know each other. So I feel like its a good year to celebrate and am so lucky to have a good friend, Shauna, hosting a fantastic NYE get together tonight.

She has asked everyone to bring an appetizer, which I immediately thought of my take on Texas Caviar.  NYE is not complete without a little bubbly, so I thought Champagne Jello Shots would be something fun to share with friends. Both have turned out wonderfully & I am here to share my recipes!

Jenny's Texas Caviar
1 can of black beans (drained)
1 can of pinto beans (drained)
1 can of petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1 can of sweet corn (drained)
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red onion
1/2 jalapeno (this sucker was hot, so I used 1/2 but you could use a whole depending on your taste)
2 green onions
2 Goya seasoning Packets
1/2 avacado (added right before serving to keep it from getting mushy)
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Garlic Powder
Lime or Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

This recipe is the best because you simply throw everything (besides Avocado) together in a bowl, mix it up and pop it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld. I add the avocado & any additional seasonings, mix it up again and serve! This dish is generally the first to go when I put it out, so you may want to make a little extra!

Not the best photo - kind of looks like a scallop, huh?

Champagne Jello Shots

2 cups of White Grape Juice
1 cup of water
4 packets of unflavored gelatin
3 cups of Champagne (enjoy the leftovers immediately!)
Topping: gold sugar, pop rocks, sprinkles, etc

Add white grape juice, water & gelatin in a pan. Let the gelatin soak for 2 -3 minutes. Turn on heat and stir constantly until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the champagne. Pour the mixture into a glass pan, baking dish or individual shot glasses (or paper cups, ha) and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Place bottom of dish in warm water to loosen up the jello before beginning to cut it out of the pan. Dip in whatever topping of your choice immediately before serving.

I hope you have enjoyed both of this quick & easy recipes. Enjoy the jello shots responsibly because they sure go down easy ;-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peppermint Wreath Tutorial!

Hi All! I am so sorry for the delay in getting this post up, but as we all know the holidays just seem to make the days go even quicker than usual. It's just plain crazy!

I don't know if you know this about me, but I go gaga over wreaths. I have always been drawn to circular objects as I think they just look so clean & crisp. All of the flowers at my wedding were in circular form - see the photos below for proof!

Church Floral

Early in December my mom had asked me to make her a DIY gift for Christmas. I began brainstorming and  realized I not only wanted to make her a wreath for her front door, but also personalize it so that it reminded me of her. I then thought of starlight mints as my mom always has a million in her purse & is constantly offering one to me (Ok, Mom...I get the hint, ha!) I began perusing my online love, Pinterest, and found a beautiful picture of a mint wreath and knew this was what I need to make.  Here is a picture of the finished wreath I made for my equally beautiful and sweet Mother.

What I used:

(1) 10'' styrofoam ring
(2) 120 piece bags of Starlite Mints
(2) 4 yd. red ribbon
(1) hot glue gun & a ton of glue
(1) spray can of acrylic sealant
Green ribbon for fun accent

How I made the wreath:

I hot glued on end of the red ribbon on the backside of the wreath. I then wrapped the entire styrofoam ring in ribbon. Doing this makes it much easier to glue the mints onto the ring as the ribbon is not as porous as styrofoam.

After I wrapped the entire ring, I heated up my glue gun & unwrapped 240 mints. Thankfully I was watching reality tv while unwrapping the mints, so they incredibly time consuming task wasn't as bad as it sounds. I began gluing the mints to the ring one at a time. I started at the top of the wreath & then would move directly below it & glue on another mint. I did not glue the mints to the back of the wreath as you cannot see the mints and I was afraid the mints would hit the door and begin to chip. With a 10 month old crawling around our house, we didn't want any mint fragments ending up in her mouth :)

Once I thought the wreath looked nice & mintiful (ha!), I brought the wreath to my 3 seasons room and covered it with acrylic sealant. This helps give it a nice shine and prevents the mints from melting. After the wreath was dry, I took my green piece of ribbon & wrapped it around a part of the wreath that I thought looked a little funky. The mints didn't line up perfectly at that point, so I simply covered them up with the green ribbon. I then made a bow with the leftover red ribbon, glued the bow to the green loop & then glued to the loose ends of the bow to the mints. 

It was a fun project and my mom loved the wreath. She thought the mints created such a cool visual effect and hung it up right away (score!).

If you're looking for more mintastic crafts, check out my friend Rose's blog from Be Rosy Events. She's super crafty, talented & really fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

2012 has been a year of firsts for me & my family. I quit my full-time job in January, had a beautiful baby girl in february, bought & moved into our first home in June, assisted with the coordination of a large gala in September and began my business in October. So when our families began thinking about Thanksgiving & who would be able to open up their home (and oven!), we thought "why the heck not?". This how the Gailey family became the hosts of Thanksgiving 2012!

While I love to cook & made some pretty delicious dishes, I was more excited to decorate the table! It was the first time we were going to be using our table for something special, so I wanted it to impress our guests but also not spend fortune. It's a time to give thanks for what you have, so I did my best to use what I already had in my home.

I used leftover wheat grass to create a simple centerpiece, mini pumpkins to bring in the fall feeling, mini red carnations in candle holders to give our table a little color and gifted Irish candlesticks to give a little nod to my ancestors.

After spending all day cooking in the kitchen with my mom & mother-in-law, it was time to light the candles and sit down together. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful the table looked and realized it looked perfect because my family was sitting around it.   

That evening I realized that the Thanksgiving meal was not what I was most excited about, but the fact that I was opening up my home to my family to share in a tradition that so many before us have celebrated. A day full of giving thanks, love and celebrating how blessed life can truly be should happen more often than once a year. I will try & celebrate  these gifts every day, how about you?