Monkey Magic – Brooks’ 2nd Birthday Bash

It has become a June highlight to  to work with our dearest, Molly Sims, for her sweet boy Brooks’, 2nd birthday. This year, we worked with Molly and her team to come up with creative projects that we could all make together.  Brooks’ current obsession du jour (it goes in spurts with the wee ones) Curious George,  for obvious reasons, who doesn’t love that mischievous primate?  So Molly decided to create a party with some monkey magic. Some of the elements were:

A colorful paper flower sign to welcome the guests.

Flower Sign Brooks

A real live  Curious George! And a make-your-own yellow hat station -sponsored by Yoobi, an amazing new company that donates school supplies to classrooms. For every Yoobi product purchased, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need across the US.


One of our favorite elements was a recent new discovery by the YOA team.  What better to accompany a Curious George party than mini frozen bananas?!  Or any party for that matter. Hannah’s Bananas, a mini food truck available for private events in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, is the most  adorable vintage truck, called the “Boho-Nana”, get it??   With an attached end table and banana shaped stools, Hannah’s Bananas was a hit!

Brooks Banna

molly banana

Spring has Sprung.

Once again, we have braved the rough winter of LA (ha!) and are standing at the threshold of spring.   Say farewell to the creamy, dark liquors of winter’s past and welcome the fresh onset of spring’s light refreshments. Here are a few that we love, selected for YOA by one of the top mixologists in his field, Beverage Director Nick Meyer of Sprout LA, well known for their bar programs at Bestia LA, Vibiana, Pettycash Taqueria, Sotto aand Picca, and of Soigné Group -whose bar program at Acabar is ranked second amongst the top bars in all of America.

As with all we do, we love to embrace the season through seasonal ingredients. We believe they are a healthy start to any proper celebration.  Alas, our spring libation station below:

Gordon’s Cup –Delightfully refreshing, would love one now.

4 lime wedges

2 slices cucumber

3/4 ounce simple syrup

Muddle gently in a cocktail shaker

Add 2 ounces gin, and a scoop of ice

Give it a quick shake, and dump all contents into a tumbler glass. Garnish with a pinch of kosher salt in the drink. (PS – gin is the new vodka don’t ya know?)

Gordons Cup

Gold Rush –Bourbon is not always for everyone, but this one is a winner. Named for the gold miners in the late 1800s in California…

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz honey syrup (3 parts high quality honey to 1 part water)

2 oz bourbon

Build in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for about 10 seconds; strain over fresh ice in a tumbler for super refreshing whiskey cocktail.

Gold Rush shadow

Cucumber-Lemonade Mocktail –For those of you on the straight-and-narrow, we here at YOA suggest this choice beverage if you are looking for something with a little less kick.

3 large cucumbers peeled and chopped (leave 12 slices of cucumber for garnish)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 sprigs for garnish

1 cup water

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons agave syrup

In a food processor, puree rosemary and cucumber. Strain and press on the solids to extract all the juice. Add water, lemon juice and agave syrup to the cucumber/rosemary juice and stir until the agave dissolves. Pour over ice-filled glasses. Garnish with cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.


Let us know what you think.

Cheers… L’chaim… Kampai… Salud… Prost  to spring!

YO, Stef & Co.

You’re engaged, now what?


I am beyond excited to report that we have over 1500 entries after just one week!  I couldn’t help myself over the weekend, and started reading some of the entries, and I’m thrilled. A little tip as I’ve been reading the entries thus far.  Do tell your story in detail and make it compelling, I love a good love story, and so will everyone who will be voting for you.

It’s Monday, and we are all back at work and busy with our upcoming projects.  Really loving the way our client’s Valentine’s Day birthday dinner is shaping up.   Today, I thought I would give some tips to all of you who are knee deep in trying to figure out your wedding plans.  You just got engaged, now what?  There are obviously a million details to think about but I am going to start you off with the basics.

Where do I start when hired?  The first thing I have my clients work on is organizing their guest list.  After all, if you don’t know how many guests you are inviting, you will probably have a hard time figuring out an appropriate budget and you really can’t be looking at locations yet, lest the places may be too large and cavernous for your needs, or potentially too small.  Once you’ve gotten your guest list down on paper, so to speak, you can rest assured no matter how much people love you, not everyone will be able to attend, so this is not your final number but certainly a good place to start.  Starting to collect everyone’s address will be another task you may want to take on sooner rather than later.

Now that you have a guest list together, the next task at hand is budget.  You may need to discuss this with both of your families, as well as amongst each other, if you are planning to contribute.  Having a budget means you have a guideline.  This will help you keep your costs in line.  Clearly, a guideline is important, if you commit to a photographer that is too high, you may not be able to have the cake you are dreaming of.  Imagine the travesty!  There are many applications online that can assist you in putting a budget together.

Once you have your guest list and a budget you are ready to start some serious planning.  You are ready to look at locations.  When scouting locations, again, be sure the space is neither too cavernous, nor too small for your wedding, as neither is appealing.  It’s also important to get a thorough cost estimate from the locations you are considering, as to avoid any costly mistakes with your budget.

Gotta run… I have locations to scout and budgets to review.  Have a great week everyone.


PS – My friend stopped by at the Crate and Barrel store in Beverly Hills over the weekend and took this photo… I can’t say I wasn’t a little giddy.

A Wedding from Within

Some of you may have met Amy Cain during her time at YOA.  Recently, Amy married her now husband Osamu and Stefanie and I were so honored to be invited (seriously, the guest list was tight).   Anyhow, it was kind of amusing to attend a wedding as a guest, I kind of didn’t  know what to do with myself.   Amy was a stellar event producer during her tenure at YOA and did a tremendous job on her own nuptials, as to be expected.   Here are a couple of shots taken by the ever talented Gia Canali.  Amy’s bouquet was all Peonies (really, why bother getting married in May if you’re not going to have peonies??).  The florist, GD Designers, used a coral colored Peony, which could just be my favorite flower on the planet,  I want to live in it.   The lovely young couple was  married in front of a wall of succulents so the ceremony took place in a circle of succulents,  simply beautiful.

Osamu is moving to Northern California so he may complete his medical residency at Stanford (not such a dummy), and sadly for us he is taking the delightful Amy with him (also not a dummy).  Amy was a great asset to YOA, there was really very little that Amy couldn’t do.  She revamped our website, designed the new office addition, had a great eye and intuitively knew what I would like/dislike aesthetically, and of course produced some great weddings and events.  She will be missed.  BUT, thanks to the wonderful world of technology, Amy will be working on some projects remotely.

Best wishes to Amy and Osamu.