paella party!

Happy weekend!

I hope you have something special planned for this weekend, even if it is simply to take some downtime with the loves in your life.  The chill in the air has me seeking out new recipes especially for entertaining.  A few weeks ago I hosted a group of six for a dinner party and wanted to serve something family style.  After perusing my treasured recipes, I decided to go with a seafood paella.  Such a crowd pleaser and perfect for an early fall dish.  To be completely honest, I had never made a paella and was a bit nervous to experiment on my friends, but it was easy and absolutely delicious.  I went with a recipe designed by “Top Chef” Hosea Rosenberg of Jax Fish House which included fresh seafood, herbs and just enough chorizo for incredible flavor which made it a hit.

Because you can’t really make the paella in advance {you can prep the seafood and vegetables in advance but it has to cook as your guests are arriving}, I made sure we had some starters to get the party started while the paella was finishing up.  The menu came together nicely and allowed for a well paced relaxed evening of delicious food & wine. We kicked off the soiree with a sparkling sangria and then moved to red wine which I highly recommend.

Paella Party Menu | POISE. blogPart of the challenge with entertaining is sourcing the ingredients which takes some planning.  Below is an overview of what I found to be necessary essentials for a successful evening which includes some not always as readily found ingredients.



POISE. | paella party

1| Sangria pitcher

2| Hand painted Spanish tapas plate

3| This Marqués De Riscal Reserva Rioja compliments the menu perfectly. It is on the light/medium body side with hints of red currant, cedar and vanilla and was a big hit amongst my guests. I will continue keep this wine as a staple in my wine refrigerator.

4| The Big Book of Tapas would make a great holiday or hostess gift {on sale via Gilt}

5| Paella Pan You don’t need an expensive paella pan, you need one that is properly shaped and sized to handle the dish that will last you many paellas.  I borrowed on from my mother exactly like this one.

6| Paella Rice I had trouble finding this at whole foods so I picked it up at Sur la Table.

7| This saffron is fabulous, it took a few strands to make the dish.

8| This porcelain and acacia wood serving set  is perfect for serving olives, cheese,  peppers & tapenades

9 | Blue fringed striped napkins  {currently on sale}.

recipes:  sparkling apple sangria | Tomato gazpacho with almonds | Seafood paella {I omitted the chicken}

Have a beautiful weekend!

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a dreamy tablescape

It’s cloudy and grey in Boston today which is why I think I am in part so drawn to this tablescape design featured on Style me Pretty and photographed by Joel Seratto.  It was for a beautifully designed al fresco 80th birthday party held at a private home in Hollywood Hills.

a festive birthday table Slide1 Slide3 Slide2 Slide6 Slide8

You can view more elements of the breathtaking property, the cake with 80 candles and the guest of honor via a full photo gallery of this gorgeous event {designed by Park & Grove} via Style me Pretty here.


Posted in birthday party, Tablescapes |

the figroni

Happy weekend!

I hope you have something wonderful planned this weekend.  It’s been a busy week in Boston with Boston Fashion week which closes this evening.  I’ve seen some incredible work by local designers which I’ve been sharing on Instagram. And this evening some of Boston’s most talented photographers will be unveiling portraits they took of key contributors in the Boston fashion industry at the Whotel.

Given that it is the weekend, I thought it would be a lovely day to share a special fall cocktail recipe that my talented friend Domingo-Martin Barreres came up with for the fall fête Simon Pearce installation by POISE. that went live a few weeks ago. As part of the installation I wanted to provide a take-away for guests who came through as well as share inspiration for the perfect fall fête cocktail to compliment the tablescape design in the window.  I am a firm believer in going the extra mile to create a special cocktail to kick-off a dinner party or celebration and have developed many for clients over the years.  Guests always appreciate it and it helps set the tone for a celebratory evening so I thought sharing one of Domingo’s masterpieces for people to integrate into their own events and entertaining this season would be a nice touch to our fall fête installation.

After a fun creative meeting together and sharing the dinner party menu with Domingo as well as talking through the overall concept of the event, he came up with a figroni.  A twist on the classic negroni.  It uses a newly launched black fig vodka made locally in Boston and is garnished with a paper-thin fig slice.

The team at printed the cocktail cards and recipes for us on their Luxe notecards.  We printed a few hundred so that customers could take them with them.  The quality & substantial weight of the paper {using their quadplex technology} is stunning!!

figroni | POISE. Eventsbar detail Simon Peirce Drink Cards_BACK

We love the idea of serving the cocktail in Simon Pearce’s Hartland Stemless Martini glasses and think they would house the cocktail with a fig slice on top beautifully.

Cheers and happy weekend!!


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always a statement

This week is fashion week in Boston and I am in total fashion week mode, trying to attend as many events as possible to support our local designers while maintaing my business.  It is one of the last of fashion week’s for the Spring/Summer 2015 season and of course I would be remiss if I did not share Chanel’s latest creation that recently took place in Paris while we are on the topic of fashion week.  Earlier this month they showed their SS15 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris which was transformed into a mock Parisian boulevard complete with a faux street and guard rails for a feminist riot that was about to come.

The show appears to be stunning with a feminine take on menswear, and of course there is always a statement with Chanel’s shows.  If you remember last year they wowed with their supermarket setting, and this year, Karl chose to close with a mock protest with Cara Delevingne leading the group of 80 world re-knowned models down the runway for the finale.  It was impactful with the models chanting on a Chanel quilted megaphone and carrying picket signs with statements such as: Make Fashion not War, He for She, History is her Story.

Chanel SS2015 Fashion Show | Paris Continue reading

Posted in fashion shows, paris, set design |

a few of my favorite things | October

October 2nd!  The holidays are officially around the corner and summer has decided to graciously exit.  With the days shorter and weather not as conducive to outside activities,  it’s a great time to focus on projects that have been on the list all summer, working on the home such as cleaning out closets or purging unused items, and making some wardrobe updates for the cooler weather.

With that in mind, here are my favorite things of the moment.


1 | this sweet sleeveless camisole top with stars by Tibi would be adorable with skinny Continue reading

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A fall fête for Simon Pearce


I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and that your weeks are off to a great start.  It’s been busy at POISE. with Boston Fashion Week kicking-off this weekend and an installation project I completed last week for Simon Pearce!  It was very exciting and quite an honor to be a part of – I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.  Simon Pearce quality is exemplary – they work with artisans in Vermont and Maryland to create their products and the craftsmanship shows. I created a fall fête tablescape and bar for them in collaboration with some of my most trusted event partners & vendors.  The idea was to stage a fall fête dinner party scheme that can be interpreted for a large-scale event or a small intimate private party.

I love emerald green and gold together for the fall, and especially for the holidays. The green is a great festive color but still rich & sophisticated, and the gold adds just enough glamour to give an event setting or table the pop it needs. My style is minimal & modern generally speaking so I took this opportunity to really design into my aesthetic and share my style with Simon Pearce customers.  I have the incredible honor of having the table design living in the window through the end of October so if you are on Newbury Street, please stop by and check it out!

Today I am sharing the table details and elements with you & how to get the look, as well as the custom menu {and recipe sources} I put together.  In order to avoid a super-long post, I will share the bar execution, set-up and elements along with a special fall cocktail recipe designed by the incredibly talented Boston mixologist Domingo-Martin Barreres with you next week {figured it would be best to break them into 2 posts}.

fall fete | POISE for Simon Pearce Tablescape

table elements:
1 | Eames Chair | for rent via New England Country Rentals here | for purchase here
2 | gold flatware | I used a gold flatware set available in-store at Simon Pearce.  You can find a similar set on-line here
3 | Simon Pearce Royalton square charger
4 | white linen dinner napkin made in France
5 | Simon Pearce woodstock red wine glass
6 | Simon Pearce woodstock cocktail glass {sans gold} or marc blackwell southern hemisphere stemless wine glasses {with gold}
7 | Simon Pearce olive wood salad scoops
8 | Simon Pearce cherry wood oval salad bowl
9 | white quartz coasters Continue reading

Posted in Entertaining, Events by POISE, Menus, Tablescapes | 7 Comments

sweater weather

Happy first day of Fall!!

While I can’t say Fall is my favorite season,  something about this year is making me embrace fall a bit more than I usually do.  The days filled crisp air and lots of sunshine can be some of the best days spent outside.  The change in temperatures and weather make this a time of year to cleanse and start fresh.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it:


So as we kick off this new season and start fresh in many ways, I thought I would share Continue reading

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One of the most magical trips of my life was two years ago to Croatia.  It was part of a big trip after leaving the corporate world to start POISE., where I traveled with a dear friend to southern part of the country for an incredible adriatic experience.  It was just perfect.  The locally grown/caught fresh food, the beautiful people eager to welcome tourists into their country, the incredible history, the setting & spectacular coastline, the color of the water {although it is not warm}, the lavender fields, wine vineyards, olive oil, all of which you smell as you are touring the island of Hvar, and this feeling of having traveled on the road much less traveled all contributed to my love for Croatia.  It has not quite yet been discovered as much as Italy and France have been so it feels like a true escape.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my experience there and I would go back in a hearbeat.  If it’s on your bucket list, take it from me, book a ticket as soon as you can and just go!

When I came across the spectacular wedding of Fabiola Beracasa and Jason Beckman held in the historic town of Dubrovnik, I was mesmerized.  The couple took an opportunity to share so many areas of the this gem of a country with their out of town guests by creating a few days worth of events in spectacular settings around the region known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.  The ceremony and luncheon were hosted in the mid-evil and historic city walls of Dubrovnik and incorporated local Croatian dancers, followed by a black-tie gala event the following-evening at fort Fort Lovrijenac, which was a breathtaking setting and a perfect example of the scenery you can expect from a visit to Croatia.  The dinner setting at Fort Lovrijenac is beyond incredible.

ceremony Continue reading

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a holistic haven | balans studio

About six months ago I discovered a true hidden gem in Boston and I am excited to share this special place and the mastermind behind it with you for today’s post. I this write based on my own experience and after a lovely interview with the founder.

I was seeking alternative treatment for myself after an injury and really did my research to find a place that offered a truly holistic approach in Boston {which isn’t easy to find}.  That’s when I came across Balans Studio.  I made an appointment with one of their one of their therapists, and at my very first visit I was in awe of the what I walked into.

Holistic Haven Continue reading

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love note details

It’s not often I come across a detail that wow’s me.  You know really hits me as something I want to remember because it’s just so lovely.  This morning I was perusing Martha Stewart Weddings and came across Eric Fleiss and fashion stylist JoJo Cohen’s beautifully orchestrated wedding filled with amazing details including a custom dress for the bride by the late L’Wren Scott.

What I fell in love most with was the couple’s use of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wildly romantic love notes and quotes for some of their details.  The invitation included a love note insert for guests on a square card that was originally written by F. Scott Fitzgerald to his wife Zelda: “You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest and most beautiful person I have ever known – and even that is an understatement”.  

And then a perfect little pouch filled with fresh stephanotis and rose petals for guests to toss at the sight of the couple’s first kiss labeled with a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the NightThe couple also took various F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes and had them applied to the mirrors in the guest bathrooms so it was truly a running theme through various touch points of their magical day.

photos:  Elizabeth Messina via Martha Stewart Weddings

JoJo and Eric's wedding | via Martha Stewart Weddings Continue reading

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