Cake Boss

June 30, 2009

So this blog happens to involve another reality TV show. I’m not proud of this emerging pattern. One of these days, I’ll give you my thoughts on the History Channel or something more intellectual, but for now, I want to talk about “Cake Boss”.

I am simply obsessed with this show (http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/cake-boss/cake-boss.html). At 10pm every Monday night, I get into my PJs, snuggle up on the couch, and tune in to TLC (man, I should be receiving something from those guys by this point with all this free promotion) to watch the goings on of Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The show centers around Buddy Valestro, an unbelievably talented cake decorator, and his very Italian family/co-workers.

I adore Buddy for so many reasons. First of all, his work is magnificent. It seems that there is no challenge he won’t tackle head on. He has made everything from a humungous cake with a 3D replica of a biplane for a children’s hospital to an even bigger fireman-themed cake, complete with real smoke and flashing lights. The sheer brilliance of his creations floors me.

Secondly, the show is just plain funny. I was cracking up at last week’s episode because of an absurd conflict that was brewing in the bakery. Two women had hired Buddy to create a naughty cake for their friend’s bachelorette party. Because of his mother’s staunch opposition to erotic cakes (did anyone else know that they even existed? It just never occurred to me before…), Buddy had to sneak around her back while making it. His debauchery was soon discovered, though, when his mother encountered a bunch of cakes topped with doughy male strippers. She was far from pleased, but the ranting and raving that ensued was most delightful to viewers.

Above all, however,  I love Buddy because he loves what he does. The immense joy that his business brings him is obvious.  Although I’m sure he’s able to charge an arm and a leg for his cakes, he doesn’t do it for the money (I’m not just guessing…his blog told me so, aha!). He does it because it is his passion and he revels in making other people happy.

Here’s where I make the connection to Nieubreed (I know you were waiting for it). Buddy and Co. remind me a lot of Nieubreed (nice and simple, huh?). Foley, Xavier and Jonathan create absolutely exquisite work for our clients. The things they come up with never cease to amaze me. However, what I will remember most about working here is the relationships that I’ve formed with these guys. We are professional and driven, but we also know how to enjoy ourselves. There is hardly ever a dull moment in the office.

And there are certainly times when the going gets rough and we drive each other up the walls. However, it doesn’t damper the enthusiasm we have for Nieubreed in the slightest because we simply love what we do. We’re extremely fortunate to have that gift, because we realize that many people don’t.

Who knew that the metaphorical significance of Cake Boss and its connection to Nieubreed could be so profound? Perhaps my History Channel expose can wait a while longer.

Molly and I met my freshman year when I joined the Jackson Jills, an all-female a cappella group at Tufts. Soon after, I was introduced to her delightful other half, Andrew. This dashing duo is one of the funniest, brightest and warmhearted I have ever encountered. Although everyone was thrilled when they announced their engagement a few months ago, I don’t think anyone was too surprised, given that these two were pretty much made for each other. I sat down with Molly to discuss the ins and outs of wedding planning, including the good, the bad and the ugly (Eh, who am I kidding? It’s all good with these lovebirds)…

***

How long have you and Andrew been dating?

About 3 yrs. and 8 mos. (3.5 years ish at the time of the proposal)

How did you two meet?

We met at school our freshman year. We were introduced by my best friend from high school, Lindsay, who lived in his dorm. We were both in relationships at the time, so we didn’t start dating until the beginning of sophomore year.

What qualities do you love most about him?

He is the kindest person I have ever met. He treats everybody he meets so well. He cares so much about other people and will always go out of his way to help others out. He is completely selfless. He is also very smart and driven. He works so hard to master everything he does. It makes me extremely proud to be a part of his life.

What do you think makes you two ‘work’ as a couple?

We talk about everything. Even the tough stuff. I share everything with him and vice versa.
How did Andrew propose?

He proposed in the Boston Public Gardens, and then took me to dinner, where he surprised me by having both of our parents waiting at the restaurant!

Were you surprised? What was the first thing that went through your head?

I was completely shocked, but honestly the first thing that went through my head was how much it made sense.

What was the reaction from your family and friends?

I don’t think I have ever heard them scream so much! Haha. Seriously, though, everyone was as overjoyed as we were.

Does being engaged feel different from dating?

Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I feel like I can finally start planning our future together 5 or 10 years down the road with certainty (and it feels great!). But our actual relationship and the day-to-day interaction hasn’t changed. We are still the same Molly and Andrew.

Has it still completely set in yet?

No, absolutely not. Even now that we have picked our venue I still can’t believe that I will actually be his wife soon. But every time I think about it, it’s just total excitement!

When and where will you be married?

We are getting married in July of 2010 at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, ME.

How big of a wedding will it be?

Relatively large. We both have big families and lots of friends. But we’re excited because we really just want the wedding to be one big party!

How’s wedding planning in general going so far? What are your feelings? Are you hiring a wedding planner or doing it all yourselves?

It’s going well. We are doing it ourselves for the most part, but we do have a wedding coordinator through the venue that well help as it gets closer. Both of our parents have also been very helpful. We’re just trying to take it slow and stay excited about it, as opposed to stressed, which is working for the most part so far!

What has been the most stressful part of wedding planning? What has been the best?

The most stressful part was definitely finding the venue. We saw so many over the past month and I became attached to a bunch of them. But the venue hunting was also the best part because Andrew and I got to really visualize our wedding! It was so exciting!

What was the priority when it came to planning your wedding?

For us, it was entertainment. We really wanted a live band, so we based a lot on that. But a close second was venue. We wanted our venue and the people working there to give the right atmosphere to our wedding and reception, and we were lucky enough to find the perfect place!

Have you found a dress yet? How’s that going? What are you looking for?

No. I haven’t even started looking, to be honest. I’m a little apprehensive because I really have no clue where to start. I don’t have a specific style in mind, but I do have a great team of my mom, sister, and best friend who I will be relying on heavily throughout the shopping!

We’ve all seen “Bridezilla” on TV. Are you afraid of turning into one of them?

Hahah yes, but I know my friends, family, and Andrew will keep me grounded.

What has been Andrew’s role through this whole process? It’s a cliche that men usually stay to the side (except for the cake tasting). I can see him being more involved though.

Yes he has been very involved. He has made sure to make it enough about me and what I want, but he has stepped in to give me his opinion and support when I needed it. I honestly couldn’t do it without him.

When you think of your wedding day, what comes to mind?

We just want it to be one big party. We are so close to our families and friends, and we just want a lot of dancing, mingling, and general merriment.

What are your plans for the reception?

We are planning on having both the ceremony and reception at the same place. Live band, lots of food and drink and dancing.

What kind of advice have you gotten from other people about planning a wedding? About marriage in general?

We’ve heard from many people that we shouldn’t let the wedding day eclipse the actual marriage. We are just trying to keep everything in perspective. I am so excited for the wedding because I think it will be so fun, but at the end of the day I just can’t wait to be Andrew’s wife for the rest of our lives, and I know he feels the same way.

What kind of advice would you give to other girls about planning a wedding (say, for me some day far, far off in the future)?

Well apart from what I said above, make sure that you make it what YOU want. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions get in the way of how you want the day to go. That is advice that I am trying to follow myself, but it’s hard sometimes because everyone has their own vision.

What’s the most important thing to keep in mind through all of this?

What I said earlier: This is about a marriage, a life-long commitment. This is about so much more than your wedding day. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

***

Well it sounds like Molly is enjoying herself, yet definitely keeping sight of what is truly important in all of this (unlike someee people…see yesterday’s blog post). In all seriousness, though, I am just elated for her and Andrew. I wish them all the friendship, happiness and love in the world as they begin this exciting new chapter of their lives together.

Platinum Weddings

June 25, 2009

It truly pains me to fess up to such a cliched girly habit, but I watch wedding shows. I do. (ooo…pun!) I blame my roommate Brittany for starting this nasty habit, but it has continued on even in her absence, so I can’t quite fault her completely. One of the shows that particularly fascinates me is “Platinum Weddings” on TLC. This show is basically “My Super Sweet 16” except for grown ups (so now you realize that those spoiled brats never actually mature…they just go from one show to the next). It follows various engaged couples, all who happen to be extravagantly wealthy, through the entire wedding planning process, catfights and temper tantrums included.

The majority of the show consists of the brides-to-be swooning over five figure wedding dresses, exotic destination venues, and cakes that I didn’t even know existed (“Amy and Ryan” got a diamond encrusted wedding cake….yes, really…isn’t that some sort of choking hazard?); the husbands-to-be groaning about how none of it is necessary; and then ultimately giving in and coughing up the money for these questionable expenditures anyway.

Wedding Photographer: Jacquelyn Marie Photography

(http://www.wetv.com/photo-galleries/platinum-weddings-amy-and-ryan/the-cake.html)

Why do I watch this show? Why does anyone watch brain-rotting reality TV? It’s an escape…a way to ‘experience’ something that you may never have access to on your own. Seeing as how the likelihood of my ever having a million dollar wedding budget is probably somewhere close to infinitesimal, I’ll watch “Platinum Weddings” instead. And because my roommate forced me to, of course.

Even though it’s enjoyable to poke fun at the buffoons featured on the show, it’s actually kind of sad to know that the majority of them will probably file for divorce in no time flat. When your biggest priority is ensuring that each guest receives a bottle of Dom Perignon as a party favor (“Amy and David”), things start to look kinda grim for how the actual marriage will play out. I’m sure there are some couples who survive, but I’m even more certain that most of them have already split up and are on their way to planning “Platinum Weddings: Part Deux”.

Although Nieubreed caters to a high end clientel, we have been fortunate to work with couples who truly understand that, while the wedding is important, it’s only a small component of a far greater picture. Money may buy you the best cuisine, flowers and honeymoon, but it in no way guarantees a happy marriage. This may seem like an obvious statement, but in our society, where many admire the glitz and glamour of celebrity culture, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. It is certainly possible to have an elegant, upscale wedding as long as it’s accompanied by the realization that the best times with your partner are still to come.

The Beatles may have been a tad idealistic when they sang “all you need is love”, but I’ll take that over an 8.5 carat engagement ring any day (“Kelly and Thomas”…that boulder has got to cramp up her hand or something!)

Necessary? meh…

Wedding Photographer: Critsey Rowe Photography

(http://www.wetv.com/photo-galleries/platinum-weddings-kelly-and-thomas/the-rings.html)

Will and Joi’s engagement shoot took place on a Sunday morning in mid May.  It was overcast, so everyone was  nervous about the shoot being ruined by a downpour. Luckily, Mother Nature decided to spare the couple and the rain held off. It doesn’t seem that anything could have hampered their spirits anyway, though. Aww. Although the guys had originally wanted to shoot inside the Boston Convention Center (“renegade style”…ooo!), their efforts were derailed by security. No worries though. They walked around the waterfront instead and managed to get a bunch of fantastic shots.

Many pictures were taken in the old, industrial areas of Boston. The crew then brought Will and Joi to the Courthouse T stop on the Silver Line. The stunning architecture and lighting in that location provided a venue that was elegant and classic with a slightly modern feel. The last stop of the day was the MIT campus, in which the crew took advantage of the Greco-Roman style architecture that is prevalent there. This venue definitely reflected Will and Joi’s request for a more traditional feel, nothing too zany. With the couple all spiffed up in such beautiful settings, Foley remarked that it looked as though they were Barack and Michelle, on their way to the White House.

So…. there was this nice shot that Foley just so happened to walk into…. good job guy!!

Because Jyll and Nathan are such an awesomely aggressive and sporty couple, skipping around in a field of daisies for for their engagement shoot simply would not suffice. Instead, everything began in a boxing ring at Faricano, a new gym in Stoneham.  Michael, the owner, couldn’t have been nicer, allowing the crew to shoot there after hours for as long as they needed.

At first, the crew just took some shots of Jyll and Nathan goofing around in the ring.  Soon enough, they decided it would be fun to have them box for real. Jyll happily complied and started going to town on Nathan, as he helplessly tried to shield himself from her relentless fists of fury. Deciding it was time to fight back, however, he promptly did so, knocking Jyll right to the ground. This is probably not a normal occurrence for an engagement shoot, but everyone found it quite entertaining regardless…perhaps except for Jyll.  Afterward, with the couple still tired and sweaty from their epic battle, Vince and Xavier thought it would be cool to photograph them on the fire escape behind the gym. A nearby bright red wall provided a striking backdrop for some beautiful stills.

After leaving the gym, everyone headed to the Sheepfold area of the Middlesex Fells at sunset in hopes of  capturing a warm, sunny feel in the photographs. However, all of the clouds that evening cast a brilliant blue haze on the area instead. It wasn’t quite what they were originally after, but it provided for an incredibly striking environment to shoot in nevertheless.

Thankfully, it seems that Jyll eventually forgave Nathan for the knock out.

Anthony and Rosemarie’s engagement shoot started off in a field behind the JFK Library. All the cattails in the area served as a great backdrop because they gave off a strong romantic, earthy feel while still letting the personalities of these two individuals shine through. The photographers and cameramen relished the chance to play with movement, asking the couple to run through the fields for a good part of the shoot. Anthony thought of himself as an action hero in a blockbuster movie, sprinting through a field after the bad guys in order to save the world…or something like that. Basically, they were good sports about it. Although this was originally intended to be a ‘trash-the-dress’ shoot, Anthony and Rosemarie decided that they wanted more of an artsy feel to it, a chance to be themselves in an interesting environment.

After ample frolicking, everyone headed to the pier along the Boston Harbor. They were able to get some really fantastic shots of the couple around the area and in front of the water.

The shoot went really well. Does the following picture look oddly familiar? Well it just so happens that it was chosen to be the banner of this blog (look at the top of the page and be astounded). Enjoy your newfound celebrity, guys!

The Crew

June 16, 2009

All of these engagement shoots took place over one weekend and required a considerable amount of time, effort and, in some cases, willingness to subject oneself to physical harm (see Jyll and Nathan’s story). Ultimately, however, it was a lot of fun and the crew managed to enjoy themselves along the way…

Working hard guys, or hardly working? Hardy har har.

Okay, so there is an ongoing dispute regarding this picture. Xavier thinks it is fantastically artsy and intriguing. I deem it just plain creepy. When Foley kindly pointed out that the camera strongly resembles a chainsaw (think ‘Jason’, hockey mask and all…eek), my mind was made up. Creepy. Period. Thoughts?

This is their pensive look…ooo.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Nieubreed Promotional Video“, posted with vodpod

Nieubreed is delighted to announce the launch of its new website at http://www.nieubreed.com. It features this promotional video, which was quite the labor of love, but turned out beautiful in the end. Make sure to check out the site and tell us what you think!

Greetings everyone! This is Kathy, the summer intern at Affiliate Media. Or, as the guys jokingly refer to me, The Lowly Intern. My hope is that, through bribery with scrumptious foodstuffs, they’ll be guilted into bestowing upon me an official title that is slightly more impressive and snazzy. We’ll see how that goes.  (Update as of June 29th: I am now officially known here as the “Marketing Coordinator” . Whoo! I knew all those cookies would pay off eventually.) I personally felt that I was qualified for this position based on the relevant courses I’ve taken at Tufts and my work as an event planner/marketing liaison with various campus groups. What won Foley over, however, was my ability to sad-puppy-dog-face myself into obtaining a plastic cup and spoon for free from certain culinary establishments in Medford Square so that he could enjoy his cereal one morning. Who woulda thought that that would be the monumental assignment which determined my worth to this company? I get a kick out of it. It’s not exactly something I can add to the resume, but I’m certainly glad I passed the test. And yet, even after the accomplishment of such a fantastic feat, “The Lowly Intern” is the moniker that stuck. Psch.

However, my bruised ego is not the subject of this post. Nieubreed is. Whooo!! We officially launched the website this past Saturday, so we’re absolutely tickled about that. As you probably know, Nieubreed is a boutique media company that specializes in wedding and event cinematography and photography. Foley, Xavier and Jonathan have been working feverishly on creating the commercial that will be featured in our promotional DVDs, finishing up the bee-yoo-tiful website that will make its grand debut shortly, and delegating tasks to me that no one else wants to do (I can’t complain too much though…I have yet to be sent on the dreaded coffee run, which is a task that every Lowly Intern prays to avoid for the sake of his/her dignity).

I have helped out the Nieubreed movement by researching Boston wedding boutiques, salons, flower shops, wedding planners, venues…the works. After compiling my handy dandy little list, I commenced the joyous task of cold calling. Let me tell you, it was super fun. My proudest accomplishment in regards to this assignment is the fact that out of about 1,678,945 phone calls (oh my, there’s that confabulation creeping in again), I was only hung up on once. It’s true! *takes a bow*. Due to my stealthy way with words and oh so charming personality (plus a wee bit of good ol’ fashioned begging), we were able to secure appointments with a variety of businesses in the area. Foley and I went to our first meeting just yesterday morning, to a fantastic salon in the Boston area. After showing the owner everything that Nieubreed has to offer, she said she was very open to the idea of establishing a partnership with us. Foley and I let out a deafening “Whoo hoo”, did a spectacular victory dance, and left feeling very accomplished. Nah, just kidding. That would have been horribly unprofessional. We waited til we were outside the building to do the victory jig.

We have more appointments lined up in the next few weeks, so hopefully this will really get the ball rolling on establishing our name and forming partnerships with other companies involved in the wedding/special event field. I will help this process along by maintaining a Miss America-esque smile as Foley does all of the talking. I still fear that one silly misstep of mine could result in my single-handedly bringing down the entire company. Therefore, at least for the time being, I’ll leave the conversing to the head honchos. I’m perfectly content with being more of a behind-the-scenes gal.

It is a severe understatement to say that a lot of work has gone into the creation of Nieubreed. I leave the office completely sapped of energy, and I’m not even the one putting in all the late nights to make sure that everything gets done in time. I truly don’t know how Foley, Xavier and Jonathan do it. They don’t sleep. Apparently it’s not necessary. It is not likely that I’ll be putting that idea to the test myself though. I may not be able to assist them with Photoshop and Final Cut projects (they have seen my graphic design skills and they have decided that my talents lay elsewhere), but I can help them out in my own little ways. I can amuse them with my artillery of inane ramblings and irrelevant anecdotes, I can enthusiastically join in whenever Xavier sings Celine Dion and NSYNC songs out of delusion brought on by sleep deprivation (he may deny this, but it has happened multiple times now), and, of course, I can bring them cookies and brownies. That last tactic seems to be the most effective for some reason.

And all of you, our beloved, loyal devotees, can help out too. Visit the brand spanking new website at http://www.nieubreed.com and feel free to ooo and ahhh over the extraordinary talent that abounds within this company. Or, if you feel oh so inclined, go get engaged right now and hire us to film the wedding. You may think that I am kidding. Mwah ha ha.

So that is what has been going on with the office recently. I certainly think I have demonstrated my true colors in this post. Sure, I may be a little kooky, but this is not the Traditional Internship (yay!!) and I am not the Traditional Intern (those poor guys didn’t know what was coming). In all sincerity, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work here over the summer. I know that I will be learning a ton, both in regards to marketing/public relations, but also about life in general (I already have a list going entitled “Foley, Xavier, and Jonathan’s Nuggets of Wisdom” to keep track of all the genius that’s flying around here…yes, really). And hopefully I can return the favor by assisting the guys in attaining the recognition and accolades that their overwhelming brilliance so deserves. Aww…isn’t that sweet? Yes it is. Now go and check out the website. You will be absolutely transfixed. And the guys will finally be able to catch up on sleep, so everybody wins.
Until my next nutty post,
Kathy

Nieubreed News

June 12, 2009

Nieubreed News will be up soon….