Posts Tagged ‘Chicago corporate event entertainment

04
Feb
13

official opinions: three thumbs up for peter bjorn and john

This morning at Stitely we jumped at the first chance to play Peter Bjorn and John’s “Second Chance” for this week’s Music Monday. Chicago was fortunate enough to have this Swedish trio visit Lincoln Hall in May of 2011, the same year in which this song was released on their album “Gimme Some.” You might also recognize their name from the popular single “” released back in 2007. Enjoy!

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23
Jan
13

official opinions: Go Green- tips for an excellent eco-friendly wedding

Looking to go green at your wedding? Check out our top six tips to throw a fun eco-friendly party while reducing your carbon footprint!

1. Paperless invitations

Since everything else is moving online, why not invitations too? You can keep the classic touch of traditional invitations by working with a designer but sending them via e-mail saves paper and trees. Greenvelope helps save trees by working with clients to create the perfect wedding e-vite that emulates the opening of a traditional printed invitation so you don’t lose that special touch.

If all weddings this year used paperless invitations, we could save about 50,000 trees!

2. Picking the right venue

Even picking a venue that has a green initiative can give your wedding the eco-friendly touch. Find an event space that has met the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System, which sets the standard for sustainable spaces. Learn what your venue does to be sustainable!

Venue Six10 is a great option because of its unique 6700-square-foot green roof that has special vegetation that keeps the building cool, helps with air pollution and much more.

3. Green wedding favors

Certain wedding favors can contribute to waste so give something memorable yet eco-friendly to give your guests. Plant a tree in your guest’s name or even give out trees for them to plant in your honor. For a more creative route, include sachets of herb or vegetable seeds so your guests can start their own eco-friendly, edible garden.

4. Go organic!

Have healthy alternatives during your wedding dinner such as free-range chicken or fresh, wild salmon. Work with your caterer and learn where your food is coming from and if it is eco-friendly. For dessert, include free trade coffee for your guests. Remember going organic doesn’t have to substitute for taste!

5. Charitable donations to eco-friendly non-profit

In lieu of gifts, you can raise money for a charitable organization. Choose one that has a special meaning for you or find one online that shares your same values. Your guests will appreciate the gesture and will love knowing that their gift is going somewhere meaningful.

6. Do your research

Remember that going green doesn’t have to cost you more green! Take some time to see what options you have. If paperless invitations aren’t for you, you can always find some other way to be eco-friendly. The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a great resource for all of your green wedding needs including approved green vendors, caterers, florists and more.

If you want a more literal green wedding, however, check out The Knot’s wedding ideas for using all shades of the color green! Or you can take an even more literal attempt from singer, Kelis by having an all-green wedding dress! Now, that girl knows how to go green!

14
Jan
13

official opinions: a new single ‘Justin’ time for 2013

After a six year musical hiatus, Justin Timberlake‘s brand new single, “Suit & Tie,” debuted today at 12 a.m. to delighted fans everywhere. Produced by Timbaland and featuring Jay Z, it’s sure to be a huge hit! Of course Stitely‘s very own salesperson Paige was one of the first to download the new single and shared it with us today. Justin’s new album, “The 20/20 Experience,” will be released later in 2013. Enjoy!

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21
Dec
12

Official Opinions: Tis the Season for holiday classics

Hang up those stockings by the chimney. Break out the hot cocoa and smother the ones you love with presents and warm fuzzies. One of the best things about being home for the holidays is being able to watch all those classic yuletide films, so here are a few of our favorites that we fa la la la love to watch around this time of year.

1. Elf – 2003
“I just like to smile, smiling is my favorite!” Honestly how could you not love a movie that features Will Ferrell in bright yellow tights and a green coat trying to be a 6’3″ elf in New York City. The Jaded New Yorkers mixed with Buddy the Elf’s hyper personality always leaves us with a grin just thinking about it.

2. Jingle All the Way – 1996

Ok, this is more a guilty pleasure than it is a fantastic holiday movie. There’s just something that gets to me when I see Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting for an action figure on Christmas eve. Also Sinbad is in this movie! Nothing gets better that JINGLE ALL THE WAY with these two.

3. A Christmas Story – 1983

It’s hard to miss this movie since TBS has made it their holiday tradition to show it for a solid 24 hours on Christmas day. But we aren’t complaining. Between you, me, the B.B. gun, and the leg lamp, I could literally watch this for 24 hours and still laugh every time Ralphie and his brother visit Santa at the mall. Ho Ho…Ho.

4. The Year Without a Santa Claus – 1974

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one of those claymation movies from the ’70s. This one in particular sticks out in my mind because it wanders a bit too far into the realm of weird holiday movies. Santa gets a cold and takes a break from Christmas, so we end up with two weather brothers, Snow Miser and Heat Miser, who just won’t get along to let it snow in a southern town in the United States. It’s kind of complicated, but a classic nonetheless. Heck, Snow Miser’s song was even sung by Arnold Schwarzenegger when he played Mr. Freeze in the wonderfully terrible Batman & Robin. Check out the Miser’s intro songs.

5. Home Alone 1 & 2 – 1990 & 1992

AHHHH!

The season wouldn’t be complete until someone screams “Kevin!” at the top of her lungs in my household. We don’t have any relatives named Kevin, but this kid, “what the french call les incompetents,” and his holiday antics have been a tradition for as long as I can remember. It celebrates clever catch phrases, independence, family you can’t stand but still love, burglars and the incredible cleaning skills of a ten year old boy. Seriously, how did Kevin manage to set up all those traps by himself and then cover them all up in one day?

6. The Muppet Christmas Carol – 1992

A classic with a twist, this is one of the best versions of A Christmas Carol. Personally we love how The Muppets interpreted the story of Scrooge (an amazing Michael Caine) and his humbug Christmas ways. It’s narrated by Gonzo as Charles Dickens and includes some of our favorite Muppets playing the classic characters, like Kermit and Robin the Frog as Bob Cratchit & Tiny Tim, and the two old guys as Jacob (and Robert) Marley. (Fun fact: did you know their names are Statler and Waldorf?)  And don’t even get us started on the amazing singing!

7. It’s a Wonderful Life – 1946

This film has become a yuletide national treasure, and is counted among many people’s favorite films ever. Its moral is classic; you may not be wealthy or reach your original dreams, but you will never be a failure when you look at the friends and people whose lives you have touched. Enjoy the little things, love the people you’ve met and good things will come of it. Out of all the other holiday films I feel like this one really lets you think about the true value of the holidays. And you just can’t you resist James Stewart; that voice is amazing.

On that note, everyone at Stitely wishes you Happy Holidays and a great New Year! Take some time to enjoy the ones you love and maybe catch a few of these movies. We know we will.

17
Dec
12

official opinions: Happy Haitian Holidays!

On Saturday December 8 my choir (“Chicago’s choir”), the Wicker Park Choral Singers, debuted our holiday concert, It Takes A Village. While the whole program was filled with fantastic music, two of my favorite songs to sing were by Haitian composers. Written in Creole, these songs incorporated a number of percussive elements derived from the sounds of traditional Haitian instruments, syncopated rhythms, and A LOT of multicultural flair. Here’s a nice write-up from OurUrbanTimes.com about Saturday’s performance and click here for program notes to give you more info about the pieces. Check out the concert recordings below and enjoy!

“Twa Tanbou” by Sydney Guillaume

“Noel Ayisyen” by Emile Desamours

Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Rachel

14
Dec
12

official opinions: Cool Covers with A Fresh Twist

For those of you out there who are looking for some fresh music, why not check out these cover songs for a new take on your already-faves?

Annex - Presley, Elvis_08“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Ingrid Michaelson covering Elvis Presley
-Ingrid offers a compelling and delicate take on this crooner’s classic love song.

“Fell in Love with a Boy” – Joss Stone covering the White Stripes
-Joss really knows how to take things down a notch, in a good way!

“Everyday” – Fiona Apple covering Buddy Holly
-You can find this song on the recently released album “Rave On Buddy Holly” that includes Buddy Holly covers by a variety of wonderful artists.

“Your Song” – Ellie Goulding covering Elton Johnellie
-Ellie’s voice is great for this song, which as most of you probably know, has also been covered by actor Ewan McGregor in the popular movie “Moulin Rouge.”

“No One’s Gonna Love You” – Cee Lo Green covering Band of Horses
-Cee Lo’s voice is so different from Band of Horses, I just couldn’t help but put this song on the list!

“Pursuit of Happiness” – Lissie covering Kid Cudi
-Who would have thought?

“Where Is My Mind” – Trampled By Turtles covering The Pixies
-The Pixies meet Bluegrass.

But wait, there’s more! You can find a ton of cover songs videotaped by Chicago’s own A.V. Club. Search their Youtube channel for videos from their A.V. Undercover project, in which artists take a stab at originals from Otis Redding to M.I.A.

12
Dec
12

Official Opinions: The food that smothers you in love

Besides family, friends, music and gifts, one of the most important holiday elements is food. The main meal is what ties everything together as we all smile after a great meal, so here’s a big family favorite with a twist. I come from a mainly Irish/Scottish/German family but we’ve recently added a flair of Maltese culture to the family mix. So break out the fork and knife, here’s how you make a Maltese Lasagna.

Enjoy!
~Cassie J. Stewart~

WARNING: This isn’t your average everyday layer by layer lasagna. Oh no, this is the king of lasagnas. Be prepared to have leftovers. It’s the Maltese way.

Maltese Lasagna

Cheese and meat goodness

Supposedly for a 14″ pan that’s 4″ deep

Ingredients:

Parmesan                                         1 big bottle
Shredded   Mozzarella                   1 pounds
Onions                                              6 big onions
Garlic                                                3 big garlic cloves
Tomatoes                                         8 tomatoes
Paprika                                             small Bottle
Parsley                                              A medium fresh bushel
Salt                                                    small bottle
Pepper                                              small bottle
Nutmeg                                            small bottle
Whole milk                                      1  gallon
Flower                                              1 pound, all purpose flower
Butter                                               1 medium sized container-  spreadable
Ground meat- chicken or beef    1 or 2 pounds
Barilla lasagna (pre-boiled)        5 boxes
Canned tomato sauce                   1 big can
Foil                                                   1 box

Directions:
Step 1:
Peal and slice all the onions, tomatoes, parsley and garlic!

Step 2:
(A) Using a deep pot,  put some olive oil or butter with the onions and garlic . Let the onions and garlic cook until they are adequately done. Make sure you stir regularly (but not too much) to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

(B) In another pot put the ground beef or chicken (Your choice) and cook until it is adequately done.  Remember to stir but don’t over stir.

Step 3:
(A) When the onions and the garlic are ready, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce (not too much sauce, remember the fresh tomatoes have already added some sauce) and the cooked beef/chicken to the deep pot with onions and stir!

(B) Add paprika, parsley (fresh), dashes of salt & pepper and continue stirring.

(C) put the flame on low and let it simmer while you start working on the white sauce. (remember to stir regularly to prevent it from burning)

Step 4:
(A) Put all the milk in a deep pot and  get a whisk.

(B) Put the flame on low/medium and continuously stir without stopping until the milk is hot. (do not stop stirring)

(C) turn the flame off  for the red sauce and let it sit for a while.

(D). When the milk is relatively hot, slowly start adding a spoon of flour at a time and stir.  Every time you add a spoon of flour make sure you  stir until it dissolves before you add another one.

(E) When milk starts to feel adequately thick, stop adding flour.

Remember! Don’t add to much flour!

(F) Add some nutmeg to the mix (not too much). Then turn off the flame and keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until  it starts to thicken. Let it simmer with the flame off.

Step 5
(A) Lather the pans you are going to use with butter, don’t be shy about it.

(B) Put the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella next to the buttered pans in preparation.

(C) Pre-heat the oven at 450

Step 6
The Layering process:

(1) Lasagna sheet
(2) red sauce
(3) white sauce
(4) mozzarella
(5) Parmesan

Repeat until you reach the top of the pan, make sure the  very top is the  mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, not the lasagna sheet.

Also, do not overflow the dish. It is better to put one layer less, that way it will not over flow in the oven.

Step 7
When you are done layering, place a piece of foil on the dish and place it in the oven. Check it every 15 minutes. You will know it is ready by taking a butter knife and putting it through the layers. If it goes through without any pressure then the lasagna is ready.

Remove the foil and put the the flame on broiler. Let the top burn a little, not too much then take out of the oven and let it cool down.

Serve with family and friends, and you probably will still have enough leftovers for 2-3 more nights.




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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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