Tracey M Events Visits Trump Toronto

By: Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

After what seems like eons, I finally got a chance to visit Trump Toronto.
I was doing a photoshoot on the weekend for Tracey M Events, and ordered some custom-made macarons from Stock Restaurant. (These macarons were incredible by the way! I ate way more than I should have after the styleshoot…) I can’t say enough about how quickly I was able to connect with the pastry chef and how accomodating they were.
So, after arranging a pick up date and time, I figured what better chance to see the wedding space, and made lunch reservations to complete the visit;)
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A beautiful hotel, and Stock Restuarant food and staff were fantastic, as I expected!

Wedding packages (2013):

*Food and beverage minimums will be determined beginning at $250 per guest depending on the day and season. (January to April at a cost of $195 per person.)
* Please note, all food and beverage with the exception of the wedding cake must be provided by the hotel

The following elements are included in the wedding packages:

*Honeymoon suite

*Luminous votive candles

*Preferred guest room rates

*World class culinary experience

*Silver framed table numbers

*Wedding menu tasting for the Bride & Groom

*Sparkling wine toast

*Black crystal chandeliers & wall scones

*Grand staircase for an ultimate entrance & photos

*Floor length designer white linens

*Personalized menu cards

*Couples amssage at Quartz Crystal spa

*Dedicated on-site Kosher kitchen for Kosher Events

*Custom oversized charger plates

*Luxurious cushioned flex back chairs

*Impeccable and attentive service
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Photos courtesy of: Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto

Hard Rock Cancun Grand Opening

By: Tracey Manailescu

We have just gotten back from beautiful Cancun, Mexico.  Danielle and I were invited to the grand opening of Hard Rock Cancun.  Wow!  What an amazing time we had!

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

We seriously were treated, and lived, like rock stars while we were there.  BTW, we have a newfound respect for those peeps who can party all night, and get up and do it all over again for days on end. (We sure gave it a good try, though…)

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and the festivities started that very evening.

Pinktober Fashion Show, auction & Cocktail on the Sunset Terrace featuring Juanras (it was a pink & white dress code).  What a stunning set up, and beautiful clothing from top Mexican designers.  Tons of drinks, food stations and passed hors d’oeuvres:

Tracey with the Pinktober car

 

Tracey “Kissing” it up!

 

Tracey on the pink carpet

Danielle at the Pinktober Fashion Show

Gina Tsirmpas, Director of Sales, Meetings & Incentives – Canada for Hard Rock, Tracey Manailescu, Sylvia of Event Simple and Lise, a travel agent in Montreal

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Flo Rida concert on the beach under a tent with lounge furniture and mobile bars everywhere (Staff were always on hand to order drinks from, too!):

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

 

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

 

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

This was the infamous grand opening “Guitar Smash” ceremony.

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Then there was the amazing Goo Goo Dolls concert (we were right up at the front standing-room-only for this entire concert):

Danielle at the Goo Goo Dolls concert

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Believe it or not, we then went to the VIP After Party with DJ Aliyo where we danced, drank and ate our hearts out in the Rock & Roll Ballroom:

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Danielle with Wilmer Valderrama

Gina Tsirmpas and I at the after party.

The last day was a pool party with DJ Dhanai and host, Wilmer Valderrama (who you may remember as FEZ from “That 70’s Show” or “Handy Manny” if you have kids) and a farewell BBQ with steak and lobster…For real!

Wilmer Valderrama Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

 

Photo courtesy of: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

*Photo courtesy of Gina Tsirmpas, pictured above with Flo Rida, Director of Sales, Meetings & Incentives – Canada.

Gina, thank you so much for inviting us.  You are unbelievable! Your dedication and passion is contagious, and you do it with a great big smile. You make the planning process that much more enjoyable. We look forward to working with you closely on our 8th annual Wedding Professionals Conference in November of 2013. www.weddingconf.com

A HUGE thank you to all of the wonderful staff and management that made this event happen.  Really and truly, the staff at the resort are amazing!  Very customer-based.  So many times they went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. Bartenders, servers, cleaning staff, entertainment staff and management; Thank you!

**All photos taken by Tracey Manailescu or Danielle Andrews Sunkel, unless otherwise mentioned.

 

When in Rome..Fun Things to Do on Your Honeymoon

Photo: Taken by me (Tracey Manailescu)

Rent a scooter:

For the brave at heart only!  Seriously…If you have previous experience driving through Italy then you know what I am talking about. Drivers will drive on the sidewalks, straight at pedestrians and other vehicles on the wrong side of the street, cut you off and flip you the finger if you get in their way or dare to defend yourself. You can drive a scooter up to 125cc with no motorcycle license required.  *Anything 150cc and up does  requires a valid motorcycle license.  To rent a scooter, you must be over eighteen and hold a valid driver’s license. All major credit cards are accepted as well as cash. Helmets, insurance and bike locks are usually included with your fee and GPS navigation devices can be rented at an additional cost. (Ask if you are unsure).  Take a scheduled tour from the rental company such as what they have at Bicibaci.com (They have over 10 amazing ones to choose from!)

*For the first time or those a bit timid, try renting a scooter on a Sunday when it is way less crowded.  You will see mostly tourists out and about, or in the evenings during the week.  We couldn’t believe the difference with the traffic and crowds on Sundays.

Sketch Artist (Have a Sketch Drawn of you and your Honey):

Caricature Artist near Fontana Trevi

Making Limoncello and Orangello

By: Tracey Manailescu

Want a great idea for something to do as a couple? Why not make your very own batch of limoncello? (Heck, we went so far as to make that and orangello, too!)  It takes 5 weeks for the recipe that is in this article.  Boy, oh boy!  Was it worth it, though!!!

Why on earth would you want to make it, when you can hop over to the LCBO and buy some?  Well, for starters, you can tell people you made it from scratch and they will be really impressed.  Even more so after they taste it.  Some things always taste better when made with love, and if you make it together, it is 😉

Serve it at your next dinner party, girls’ nigh,t or movie night cuddled up on the couch with a cozy blanket together.

This is the recipe we used:

Make this now…and be enjoying some with friends by the 4th of July…cheers!

The Best Limoncello is Homemade Limoncello!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Approximately 9 cups; or about 8 bottles.

1-2 ozs

 

Limoncello Recipe from Creative Culinary 

Ingredients

  • 12 organic lemons
  • 1.75 liter bottle of 100-proof vodka, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

Preparation

  1. Wash the lemons well with soapy water, rinse and dry.
  2. Remove the yellow part of the lemon peel with a sharp peeler being careful to avoid any of bitter white pith. If any pith remains on the back of a strip of peel, scrape it off with a sharp knife.
  3. Put the yellow peels in a jar or bottle, add half of the vodka and seal tightly. Leave the bottle to steep until the peels lose their color, at least 2 weeks.
  4. Combine one cup of the water all of the sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium high just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add one cup of ice cold water and let the mixture completely cool.
  5. Strain the vodka from the peels. I strain mine by wrapping some cheesecloth under a metal strainer and pouring through both; that will remove the large peels and any smaller particles. Once strained, add the remaining vodka and the syrup.
  6. Put the liqueur in bottles, seal tightly and store for at least 1 week before using.
  7. For drinking straight, store the Limoncello in the freezer.

Notes

Prep time does not include the time required to age the finished product.

Swoon Worthy Wedding Menus

By: Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

Wedding menus.  What a simple way to add a special touch to your wedding reception.  Menus can be simple, stylish, glamorous, blinged out or whatever you want them to be.  Menus are also an easy way to keep your guests in the loop.  What’s coming next? Is it paired with a wine? Is it something many of your guests may not have tasted before? Is the food grown locally? Is it special to you and your husband for any particular reason? (Maybe your favorite childhood food from the country you grew up in, or where your family comes from,  or Grandma’s secret family recipe passed on for your wedding, or a special dish created by the Chef for the two of you to share with your guests, etc.)

Here is an example of why menus are important to have from a previous wedding I coordinated:

The Bride & Groom had menu cards created for their wedding, and they had three choices to offer their guests, which were pre-selected when they sent in their responses to attend.  A filet mignon, a chicken dish and a vegetarian dish.  I had set the menus out on the reception tables during the cocktail hour, before the guests came in to the ballroom to take their seats for dinner.  A couple came in and took their seats and noticed the menu, and came over to me immediately. The woman had chosen the filet mignon but realized on the menu that it was blue-cheese encrusted, and she had an allergy to blue cheese.  I went straight to the catering manager and explained the situation, and they switched the meal to chicken without any ruffle in the meal.  Problem averted. Happy guest 🙂

Here are some gorgeous menus for inspiration:

Cootie Catcher:  Lift the flap to reveal each course.

Source: Brides.com        Photo: Thorsen Photography

Source: A Life of Design

Source: Wedding Bells    Graphics & Design:  In The Now      Photo: Heidi Ryder

Source: Studio DIY   Photo: Cfuertez Photography

Source: Style Me Pretty    Design: Dreamy Whites    Photo: KT Merry

Source: City Catering Company

High Tea at the Windsor Arms

by Tracey Manailescu

Tea

On Wednesday, we went to theWindsor Arms for their High Tea. If you have never been, then it is an experience you should have at least once. I have been fortunate enough to have gone a few times at various venues for Mother’s Day with our mother & grandmothers, and for Bridal Showers etc.

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Brides, it is a great time to catch up with the bridal party and the mothers. As well, to wrap up a day of shopping with their girls for last minute wedding related items at Holt Renfrew, Coach, Channel, Dior etc. (which are all steps away.) *It would be appropriate to give the thank-you gifts to the bridal party at this ocassion, if it is the week or two before the wedding.

The Windsor Arms Hotel has been serving tea since 1927 and still has the original working fireplace. The Tea Room holds 42 seated guests.

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Here is what the High Tea menu included: (We chose the Complete Tea, which included a glass of Sherry or Sparkling Wine. I was the only one who opted for Sherry, and it was wonderful…)

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Tea2 A Choice of Loose-Leaf Teas (There were 4 pages of tea to choose from! Danielle had the Tibetan Tiger, I had Citralicious, Kim had a Fu Man Chu, and Lataysha had Eve’s Temptation.)

Fresh Scones with Preserves and Devon Cream

A Presentation of Fresh Sandwiches:

Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Sour Cream with Salmon Caviar

& Cucumber with Sundried Tomato Paste and Dill Cream Cheese

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While I was researching the history of High Tea, I found some interesting tidbits. Apparently tea drinking started in France in 1636, twenty some odd years before England made it famous. It was believed to cure all illnesses, and reportedly some drank up to 40 cups of it daily!

The “Afternoon Tea”, as we know it, was made famous by Anna Maria Stanhope who was known as the Duchess of Bedford. The regular meals of the day were served early and late, so the Duchess would feel faint mid-afternoon. She began having a light snack of tea and bread to curb her hunger, while waiting for the dinner meal. She then began inviting friends to join her for a more social aspect. The menu increased with some more sweets added, and other socialites picked it up for their own circles to enjoy with their girlfriends.

A wonderful tradition that Queen Victoria started in 1860 (how I would have loved to meet that wonderful woman) and now carried out by Queen Elizabeth II, is to open the private gardens at Buckingham Palace three times yearly for afternoon tea. A modest 8000 guests are invited. You can view the Buckingham Palace Garden Party Statistics as it is amazing to see what goes into the event.

Yes, of course there is High Tea etiquette too. If you want to know more, you can click on the link to read more about it. It is actually very informative, and may surprise some of you. It goes into detail about where “pinkies up” came from, how to place your napkin and how to eat a scone, it explains what a moustache cup is, etc.

Example: Did you know that “taking tea” was actually frowned upon by the upper class, and considered a vulgar expression? Actually, I am incorrect for calling what we had, High Tea. It should be called Afternoon Tea. You can read more about that in there as well.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, as I certainly did, researching it.

*All photos were taken by me, Tracey Manailescu