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1st Birthday Zoom Box

When KOWE Alumni, Christine and Derek call you to plan their twin’s first virtual party in under a month, you know you have to BRING IT! #BrowesAreNeverBasic

We used their theme idea of an Elephant and Giraffe to represent each baby. Charlotte the elephant and Jack the Giraffe. Knowing their parents, it had to be a cool elephant and giraffe – more of a mid-century modern vibe. Thanks to Life of the Party, Brittany, was able to bring the vision to life and we were able to use the design through the event!

Each guest of the Zoom party received in the mail a curated birthday box including some really fun items. Custom giraffe and elephant cookies from Buttercup Cookies that perfectly matched the theme.

Keep scrolling to see some of the fun stuff we incorporated into the boxes!

Giraffe and elephant ears to wear at the Zoom party!

Giraffe Ears // Elephant Ears

A Giraffe cupcake from Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe with an elephant di-cut liner. A colorful candle to blow out with the babies!

Cupcake Holders

Custom Cookies from Cindy at Buttercup Cookie

2020 Children’s (and adult) picture book that highlights the good things that came out of the year

Purchase Book Here!

Sparkling wine in the prettiest can by Bev (and water seltzer for the kids attending ☺️ ) 

Bev Sparkling White Wine//Seltzer

Mimosa and bellini sugar cubes by Teaspressa (for the sparkling wine and seltzer)

Luxe Mini Champagne Cubes

An elephant reusable straw and giraffe swizzle stick

Giraffe Straws//Elephant Straws

At Christine and Derek’s home (in Long Island), we had to create the perfect birthday backdrop for the Zoom! We called Hampton Balloons to create an organic balloon garland to frame the babies in their highchairs. And used the giraffe/elephant design as a banner behind the high chairs.

The Zoom celebration was so special and the boxes really made them feel as if they were all together.  Although this pandemic is causing us to spend more time apart there are still creative ways to make these moments memorable. 

Thank you to the amazing vendors that made it happen!

Sparkling wine: @drinkbev
Kid Seltzer: @Halsnewyork
Mimosa and Bellini Sugar Cubes: @teaspressa
Headbands: @amazon
Giraffe Swizzle Stick: @kegworks
Elephant straw: @whatonearthcatalog
Balloon Arch: @hamptonballoon
KOWE’s Favorite Things – 2020 Edition

‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides and finding the perfect presents for friends and family! To celebrate the season, we’ve gathered all of our favorite things to share with the KOWE Crew. From fuzzy slippers and nail polish to gifts for children, we think we’ve got some great options for everyone on your list.

And don’t miss Mr. Katie O’s picks including some awesome luggage and a kitchen gadget that’s on everyone’s list this year.

These are a few of our favorite things…

Favorite Things 2020

Katie’s Favorites

1. Vionic

As an event planner who has tried every single pair of shoes imaginable to comfortably make it through 12+ hours on her feet these answered all my prayers. I started out wearing them for wedding day only flats but then they expanded their product line and have some adorable boots, heels and wedges!  They are the most comfortable and supportive shoes out there, trust me I have tried them all.

2. Able Bag

I have a small (ok a big) problem with having “too many” bags.  I have my “big bag”, my “on the run bag”, my “going out bag”, etc….  I finally realized I needed an intervention and had to commit to ONE bag for everything.  I was so excited when I saw this amazing company Able partnered with a favorite not for profit run by Lauren Atkins (wife of Thomas Rhett for all my ‘country girls’) and created a super cool bag that can literally “do it all!”

3. Cuddle + Kind

This is our “go-to” gift for new families and we truly love it’s mission and the adorable, cuddly creatures they design!  Grace loves her  Chloe (“Chlo-Chlo”)  and Charlies loves his (Benedict) “Benny” bunny.

4. Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose Sparkling Rosé

I had to share my favorite sparkly beverage of course!  I tasted this for the first time at dp in downtown Albany and I was hooked.  It is light, crisp, not too sweet and easy to drink.  I will toast with anyone, anytime with this bubbly!

5. Essie Gel Polish

I have not had a manicure in a salon in almost over a year!  I was a loyal gel manicure customer until quarantine times hit.  I was gifted this set and fell in love.  It is easy, quick and lasts almost a week.

6. Amazon Slippers (A fave of Katie and Casey!)

These have been a major bridesmaid gift trend the last couple of years as a “getting ready” gift so of course we had to get ourselves them! They keep your feet comfy and cool at the same time. A serious winner.

Casey’s Favorites

7. Pawz

As a new dog mom/ dog lover I love wearing cute t-shirts and sweatshirts that support  both awareness and money to help save these dogs’ lives, and find them loving homes. 

8. Old Navy Joggers

The perfect sweatpant for lounging, errands or brunch!

9. Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance 

I have very dry skin but this face moisturizer makes my face feel like an oasis in the middle of the desert. I HATE spending a lot of money on anything really (haha) but this is the one beauty product I splurge on. 

10. Shop Forward

Buying gifts that are also helping a good cause is a win-win in my book. The shop forward has so many unique products that each raise money for a cause. The cause changes depending on where the need is (natural disasters relief funds, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and many many more).

My favorite items from their website would be the 4 Things Tote, Cool Mom/Dad apparel and anything Pimpin Joy! 

11. Sephora Perfume Sampler

I have always wanted a “signature scent”. One that I can spray on everyday that makes me feel a little fancy and special. This perfume sampler was AWESOME. I was able to “try on” 13 different scents multiple times to really finalize MY signature scent. This is a great gift for any lady in your life (or gent- they have a cologne sampler as well).

Nate’s Favorites

12. Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 8 Quart

This Instant Pot has both the traditional lid for pressure cooking and slow cooking but it also has the air fryer lid. One pot, two lids.  The 8 quart capacity is great for cooks who like to make enough to eat now and freeze some for later. I am using it 3-4 night a week to cook dinner.  It’s easy to use, with touch button controls and safety features that traditional pressure cookers don’t have. No worries about explosions, the lid is locked down until all the pressure is released.  I am using it for everything from chili to pot roast to beef, veal and pork ragu.  Taco Tuesday is a breeze, I just add meet, beans, diced peppers and onions, and sauce to the pot; lock on the lid and 10 minutes later it’s all ready with no mess.  Crispy chicken tenders without breading?  Yep, the fryer lid can help with that in 12 minutes. I guarantee, the Duo will stay on your counter all winter long. 

13. Maldon Salt by the Bucket!

The distinctive shape and taste of the soft crunchy sea salt flakes make any dish look and taste like it came from a professional chef. The oversized flakes standout on that perfectly grilled steak or on top of freshly sliced tomato and cucumber salad.  Forget getting wimpy  1.9 oz bottle or 8.5 oz box. . .go for the 3.1 pound bucket on Amazon!  You’ll be happy you did! 

14. Wyze Cameras, Sensors, Light Bulbs, and Plugs.

These are effective, user friendly, inexpensive products that work with Amazon Alexa.  The cameras are good for general home security as they send a notification to your phone if there is motion or sound near them.  They make an effective baby monitor too.  The sensors can detect when doors and  windows opened or closed. They can be programmed to send an alert if a door or window is left open for a specified amount of time.  The light bulbs work with Alexa. If you’re trying to make your home smart a few bulbs and plugs are a must.  We can control lights around the house using Alexa but they can also be programed to turn on and off at specified times.  The plug is useful to power up items that are  not easily accessible.  I have a fan in my office on a Wyze plug that is connected to Alexa I can easily turn on and off as the room changes temperature. I’ve pre-ordered the new Wyze Doorbell due to arrive in January!

15. Away Luggage 

Away Luggage is the best I’ve owned. . . and as a serious traveler, I’ve had a lot of luggage over the years!  There are four base sizes to choose from plus each size also has an “expandable” option. There is a size perfect for every type of traveler: The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium, and The Large.   I opted for the Aluminum Edition Set for its ruggedness and classic aesthetics. . .they are like a piece of art not to be stored away in the attic!  I particularly like the design because I can often pack all my clothes on one side and any work related materials on the other I didn’t ship in advance.  I am looking forward to traveling again so I can pack these beauties up again! 

Introducing the Kenmore Ballroom!

Today we are introducing you to the new, beautiful Kenmore Ballroom!

We welcome this brand new classically modern event & wedding venue to Downtown Albany on North Pearl Street!  The transformational investment in Albany by Redburn Development Partners to create new residential and commercial spaces from historic properties was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce a glamorous event space that once was hosted by stars like Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman & the Dorsey Brothers! We are beyond excited to be a part of this restoration and can’t wait for you to see it for yourself.


Built between 1876 and 1878, The Kenmore was one of the finest hotels in Albany, NY. The Rain-Bo Room, where our ballroom is today, was a favorite spot of Babe Ruth and Legs Diamond and had some infamous legends enjoy its time!

There is nothing richer than being able to restore history, and the Kenmore Ballroom is just that!  This renovation was much more than a fresh coat of paint or a set of new furniture.  There’s a defined purpose behind every beam, chandelier, gold detail & fixture. Historic Kenmore’s modern design, combined with its rich, 100+ year history provides an authentic, yet contemporary canvas for your momentous wedding or intimate affair.


The new Kenmore Ballroom is a modern setting of remarkable luxury, warmth and elegance with architectural details that lean towards the 1920’s and 30’s in attitude and aesthetic. 

The Historic Kenmore Ballroom oversees Albany’s famous North Pearl Street, giving that city street curb appeal and elegant touch.  With over 15,000 square feet, there are so many unique photo opportunities such as the breathtaking grand staircase descending from a generously sized mezzanine level to a parquet covered ballroom fitted with natural colors and soft lighting. 

The beautiful staircase & chandelier are just one of our favorite areas that provide a one-of-a-kind backdrop for the reception of your dreams!  Take a look at some sneak peeks of this polished & one-of-a-kind venue!

The bridal suite features a gorgeous, floral wallpaper perfect for getting ready photos! The rooftop terrace overlooking downtown and the Hudson River is the ideal setting to share your first look, or a romantic toast after the ceremony with your loved one.

The lounge welcomes guests with an indoor fountain (be sure to make a wish!), a sophisticated 26-foot quartz and leather bar and ambient lighting . Additionally, there is a boardroom available for smaller private meetings. The kitchen is accessible via lift from street level on the Chapel Street side of the building.  The Kenmore Ballroom will be an “open-house” for preferred caterers vetted and approved by the management. Our current list includes: Mazzone Catering, 2Shea Catering, Nicole’s Catering & Old Daley Catering.  The capacity across the two main levels total 300 seated & 500 cocktail style. 

The Katie O’ team is available for planning and coordination services on-site at the Kenmore Ballroom for an additional fee. We are offering special “introductory” pricing for couples who book services at the Kenmore Ballroom for remaining 2020 dates and through 2021.

We are so excited to welcome back this historic venue to Downtown Albany and create memories that will last a lifetime in this new space! For more details on hosting your wedding or event at our venue, visit