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Filtering by Tag: #GINAGIORDAN

HOW TO HOST THE PERFECT LAST MINUTE BARBECUE? HURRY UP AND READ THIS...

Gina Giordan

START PLANNING THE PERFECT BBQ RIGHT NOW…

START PLANNING THE PERFECT BBQ RIGHT NOW…

Memorial Day weekend 2019 is here!  It’s the unofficial start to the summer season.

This holiday weekend is the perfect time to host a backyard, deck or porch-side BBQ celebration in honor of our fellow veterans and active military members.  

If you are anything like us here at THE WANNA, we realize doing things last minute and on a budget is key.  No worries, we’ve got you covered!  

THE WANNA put together some solid resources to help you plan, including a handy checklist, so you can host the perfect BBQ soiree.  You just need to provide the working grill and we can help you plan the rest!  

Let’s do this! 

GUEST LIST:  Make a quick guest list.  Nothing fancy.  Text or create an official invite or send an electronic invitation with, Evite.  Just have a solid number of people who will attend and plan to eat!  Once you have a solid number of attendees, make sure to ask if anyone has any specific food allergies or special dietary needs, such as gluten free or vegan.  Then be sure to plan accordingly.  We agree shrimp on the barb sounds great but some folks are allergic to shellfish so providing a few options from fish, meat and non-meat food dishes. are a safe way to go.

FOOD MENU:  Based on how many guests attending and their dietary needs, start planning your menu and make a list of all the food/drink ingredients and non-food supplies you’ll need for the barbecue.   This is also a good time to think of a theme for your BBQ.  See “DECOR” for more on this topic.

DRINK MENU:  Create a signature drink.  This can be with or without alcohol.  A signature drink is a great way to create a memorable theme or just spice up the celebration.  Plus, buying and creating anything in bulk can save time and money.  Our favorite cocktail that you can put your own spin on is an, Aperol Spritz.  If your guests like prosecco and orange, this is a big hit!  American flag garnish is optional.

CREATE A SIGNATURE DRINK

CREATE A SIGNATURE DRINK

FOOD & SUPPLIES SHOPPING LIST:  Create a master food and supplies list.  This CHECK LIST from our friends over at STOCKYARDS STEAKS is a super handy checklist that you can print out and get the ball rollin’.  An all American basic BBQ menu typically includes hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken.  Side dishes include corn, grilled veggies and potato salad.  For dessert, fresh fruit salad, cupcakes, cookies or a sundae bar is a festive way to go.  You can put your own a spin on any BBQ by adding on fresh fish such as Lobster or shrimp, speciality frozen drinks or gourmet side dishes.   If possible, we suggest you purchase any nonperishable foods and supplies at least a few days in advance.  This is will help breakup the shopping load but, if you don’t have the time, one big shopping trip will get the job done!

BBQ CHECK LIST

BBQ CHECK LIST

OUTDOOR GEAR:  Whether your event is outdoors or inside, you need to think of seating.  It’s customary to provide comfortable and sun free seat options for guests to eat.  You may need to rent or buy extra folding tables or chairs.  Paper or we prefer reusable Melamine (heavy duty plastic) products are a simple way to provide all the necessary cups, plates, utensils, serving pieces for your guests.  PartyCity, Target, Walmart and Amazon are all good last minute options to buy any gear and table supplies.  Don’t forget to invest in a few outdoor receptacles for garbage or at least a box of heavy duty 20 gallon garbage bags

DECOR:  Whether you throw a BBQ with several weeks to plan or 24 hours before, “DECOR” doesn’t have to be a scary word.  Not every celebration has to have a theme but, it' sure makes the event festive and can help streamline every choice you make from the food to the cups, plates and utensils.  If you have the time, check out Martha Stewart and Town and Country’s take on the perfect Mem Day bash for some decor inspo. If you are short on time, no worries, mood lighting can create a festive impact on your guests with minimal effort.  Buy a few sets of flameless candles for the tables and hang some string lights over the eating areas to create instant ambiance!  For any summer celebration, you can’t go wrong with an American flag theme.  Even a few flags proudly on display will help create a more festive vibe.

FOOD AND DRINK STATIONS:  Serving up the food quick, hot and simple is key.  We suggest creating a food and drink self serve or buffet area for guests to serve themselves.  This is the best way to go.  We suggest creating food stations inside but, If your buffet stations are outside you will want to serve the food in covered containers or cover all food trays with the appropriate sized food screens to keep out the bugs.  Food screens are a great investment and everyone from Amazon to Target sells a version.  Heated food trays or burners are also a great option and can keep food warm without burning anything for hours at a time.  Kabobs are great way to serve guests fast and easy.  Helps create a great theme for your event as well.  The kabob sticks come in metal or bamboo are easy to buy in bulk and help streamline the grilling process.

THE DAY OF YOUR BBQ:   

  • Prep all your dishes and items to be grilled.  Marinate meats and veggies for grilling.  Be sure to display all your condiments for guests. Cut and prep fresh fruits and veggies and keep them in the fridge until guests arrive.

  • Finish decorating. Make the final adjustments to your décor and seating arrangements. Organize cups, plates, utensils, salads, side dishes, condiments, etc., on a buffet-style table. Make sure any food items are covered to protect them from heat and bugs!

  • Set up the drinks station. Fill your cooler with ice and stock it with plenty of drinks so they’re nice and cold by the time your guests arrive. Remember to frequently replenish the ice supply throughout the day.

  • Fire up the grill. Set up your grill and start cookin’! Keep an eye on the meats and ensure they’re being grilled at the proper grilling temperatures.

  • Enjoy! Spend the day having fun with your family and friends!

POST BBQ:  

  • Put away the leftovers. Wrap up any leftover perishable food right away and store them in the fridge. (That includes meats, salad, cheeses and spreads.) If there’s enough to go around, give some leftovers to your guests to take home.

  • Clean up. Throw away the trash and clean and disinfect tables and chairs. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your grill too.

  • Stock up for your next BBQ bash. Hang on to any unused utensils and save them for your next fabulous backyard barbecue.

Any tips on how you made a last minute BBQ a success? We would love to hear from you! Please do comment below and let us know!

Happy Summer!

YA KNOW YA WANNA!

VALENTINES DAY IN THE 21ST CENTURY...

Gina Giordan

VALENTINE'S DAY in the 21st Century...  

DOES TECH TURNOFF = TRUE LOVE? 

IMG_4280.jpeg

Valentine's Day.

Each year on February 14th, many people all over the world, exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “Valentine.” 

The day of romance we call Valentine's Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century but, has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

For some people, V-Day is just another "commercial" holiday that ultimately feels more like an obligation, jacks up the cost of roses, chocolate and reminds single people they may end up alone forever?

Well ... not so fast my cynical friends.  

In today's tech consumed world, the once simple act of experiencing an in-depth human connection is getting harder and harder to find.

Can you remember what a real human connection is?  Real eye to eye contact.  Heart to heart communication.  Soul to soul exchange.  

This real connection takes time.  Dare I say, it takes WORK!   What?  More work?  

In today's day and age, if you are fortunate enough to find another person you actually want to see face to face.  No, selfie to selfie does not count!  Your next step is to actually peel yourself away from all modern technology and make a real effort to connect with a person...That means (gasp) you need to put down the phone...wait no, turn off the phone!  Ok.  Baby steps.  How about just turn over the phone?  

There is NO denying it...TECH TURNOFF is a serious challenge.   

In 2016, Valentines Day has taken on a very different meaning.  The once holiday of professing your love with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates has been trumped just simple human connection.  

Moving forward, when it comes to love, the real question you should ask yourself isn't just,  "Do I really like this person?" 

The real test for your inner love meter is,  "Can I fathom TECH TURNOFF with this person?"  Do I feel the urge to turn off the phone?  Can I realistically take my mind off the social media rat race and focus on this one person?

Now, when it comes to relationships, the tech turn-off should be a no brainer.  If you and your significant other are finding it hard to turn off (or at least turn away) from the phone to share a meal together and actually connect...If you are finding the "tech turn- off" a serious challenge, then maybe you need to work at the relationship or just simply turn away?  

Valentines Day is the perfect opportunity to show your loved ones you care enough to TURN OFF the tech and TURN ON the romance.

HAPPY TURNOFF TECH DAY people!  

Ya know you wanna!

XO Gina and TheWanna Team

FANS OF THE LATE BELOVED, FASHION DESIGNER KATE SPADE, RUSH TO BUY OUT HER CURRENT ACCESSORIES COLLECTION, "FRANCES VALENTINE" ON NORDSTROM.COM - SOLD OUT IN MINUTES...

Gina Giordan

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Uber successful fashion designer, Kate Spade, reportedly committed suicide this morning at age, 55.  Spade's Housekeeper apparently found Spade hanging by a scarf tied to the doorknob of her bedroom, with a note by her side.  Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Bresnahan is survived by her husband and business partner, Andy Spade and 13 year old daughter, Bea Spade.  

As soon as the horrible news made headlines this morning, fans of Spade immediately hit the internet and snatched up her latest fashion collection, "Frances Valentine."  FrancesValentine.com was so busy the site was shut down.  Nordstrom.com carries the online collection and every piece sold out in minutes.  

In 2016, Spade legally changed her name to "Frances Valentine" to help support her latest business venture.  It is surreal to watch this WSJ interview where Spade explains why she chose to change her name and shared, "I didn't want to confuse the customer with my name."  Spade went onto reveal how getting back into the fashion business after a hiatus to raise her daughter, was not easy, "I forget how hard it was."  

Spade's alleged suicide is a tragic reminder that despite success, fame and fortune anyone can suffer from depression and mental health issues.  WE all need to work towards making it easier for anyone suffering to get help and not feel alone.  The time is now to get rid of the negative stigma on mental health issues and make it easier for anyone to access the necessary care and resources to live a productive life.  

NAMI is a fantastic resource for loved ones in need or anyone suffering from anxiety, depression and mental illness.  

USA Today created a memorable look back at the fashion icon, mother and wife, Kate Spade.  RIP.

2016 HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – THE WANNA BRINGS YOU EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE

Caroline Slusarczyk

Hamptonsfilmfest.org

Hamptonsfilmfest.org

The Hamptons International Film Festival kicks off this afternoon!  This year is the biggest one yet, which means even more celebrity action and highly-anticipated films to look forward to.  The festival will run from October 6th to the 10th.  If you plan to attend, be sure to get your tickets here now!

If you can’t make it, and feel a case of FOMO coming on, don’t worry!  The WANNA has you covered.  Be sure to tune in to MOVIES YOU WANNA WATCH, where we’ll have exclusive coverage of all the excitement from the Hamptons.  Host Gina Giordan will be on the red carpet to interview both A-list celebs and up-and-coming stars, as well as get the inside scoop on the films to be showcased.

The festival will open with the film Loving, starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton.  Film premieres later in the week include, American Pastoralstarring Ewan McGregor and Dakota FanningLa La Landstarring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and 20th Century Womenstarring Elle Fanning and Annette Bening.

This year's HIFF Awards Dinner will honor actor, director, producer and activist, Edward Norton, on Sunday, October 9th.  For tickets to attend, go here.

Ya Know You Wanna!

Prince George Wears a Robe to Meet President Obama!

Gina Giordan

BABY MUST HAVES YOU WANNA OWN! 

What made a simple personalized terry robe from an online baby boutique in the UK an international superstar overnight?  

MY1STYEARS.COM

MY1STYEARS.COM

That would be thanks to world famous almost three year old and a member of the Royal Family of the UK,  Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge who was recently photographed wearing the robe while meeting President Obama.  As soon as the photograph made international headlines, so did the robe!

The personalized robe was a gift from MY1STYEARS.COM!  MFY is a luxury baby clothing boutique, online that specializes in unique and chic personalized baby clothing and home items, co-founded by Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton!  

In an exclusive interview with THE WANNA Price told us MFY gifted the robe to both Prince George and Princess Charlotte but, was shocked when he found out Price George wore the robe and was photographed while meeting President Obama!

Price said, "It was unbelievable!  We couldn't have had anything better happen to us!"

 

Prince George is not the first time MY1STYEARS has created personalized gifts for the rich and famous.   Price and company created a personalized hamper for Sir Elton John and David Furnish's son, which included a blanket embroidered with the slogan: Zachary - how wonderful life is now you're in the world.  

According to Price, Prince George's wardrobe choice instantly made the robe sell out online in 7 minutes!   If you want to treat your Prince or Princess like a Royal, you can logo into MY1STYEARS.COM and pre-order the exact same personalized robe that Prince George wore for 27 pounds or approximately $40 dollars.  Price said, "If you pre-order the robe now, you'll have it in three weeks!"

Be sure to watch THEWANNA'S exclusive interview with MY1STYEARS co-founder, Daniel Price!  

Tune Into MOVIES YOU WANNA WATCH Saturday's on WVVH-TV 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. streaming live on APPLE-TV and on Fio's Ch. 14/Cablevision Ch. 78!