Pensgiving, an 8515 Event

Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen) Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)
Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen) Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)
Taylor Mosley  (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen) Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)
Taylor Mosley  (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen) Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)
Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen) Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)
Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen) Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)
Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen) Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)
Follow Your Heart (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen) Follow Your Heart (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)
Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen) Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)
Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen) Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)
Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen) Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)
Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen) Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)
Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen) Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)
Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese + Salad Dressing (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen) Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese + Salad Dressing (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)
Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen) Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Dear Pennies & Pens,

This past November, 8515 hosted our signature annual event, Pensgiving. For 2018, we wanted the event to be classy & chic. So we decided to upgrade the décor, hire a floral designer, work with sponsors, and create a classic menu.

That said, the first thing I did was I purchase high quality flatware, silverware, and glassware. We also had cloth napkins. I love online shopping so it was fun browsing various websites to find the perfect pieces. The only thing the shopping hurt was my pockets. But it was worth it when I saw how everything came together. Even I had to admit that I had done good work.

Pensgiving (Logo by 8515)

Pensgiving (Logo by 8515)

I purchased the flatware, cloth napkins, and a book case from Wayfair. I actually really like Wayfair. All of my items arrived on time and in excellent condition. Even later when I had a processing issue with one of the charges, Wayfair’s team quickly resolved it. It wouldn’t be an 8515 event if Target wasn’t involved so of course I snagged some items from there. I purchased décor pieces from Target, they had the cutest little pumpkins and a fabulous table runner for cheap.

I also got a table runner from Crate & Barrel. This table runner almost didn’t make it to Pensgiving because the Crate & Barrel team from the uptown Dallas location had trouble finding it on the truck. I had ordered the table runner online from the clearance section and had it shipped to the store since that was free. But every time I called to see if it was ready to pick up, they kept telling me they couldn’t find it. Finally, on Saturday (you know the day of the event), I showed up and it was the same story. So, I told the young lady at the store that if they couldn’t find it, I would be returning it. Somehow during my Target run, they found the table runner.

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

I had to do a last-minute Target run because I needed serving dishes for the food. In fact, let me pause and leave you with this event planning tip: You need to budget for the food & drink itself as well as the items you will serve food in. You’re going to need serving dishes as well as plates, forks, knives, etc. that guests will use to actually eat the food. Depending on how many guests you are seeking to accommodate will determine the budget for that. Just remember you’ll need serving dishes for every item you’re serving and a plate, fork, knife, spoon, and napkin for every guest you’re accommodating.

Once I finally got home, I finished preparing the food and then I started setting up for the event. Another pro tip: give yourself 2-3 hours to set up for the event. I didn’t think it would take that long so I started setting up late which meant guests were arriving before everything was ready. This stressed me out so I promise to be ready for 2019’s event.

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

Pensgiving (Tablescape and Photo by LoudPen)

As I mentioned earlier, this year we chose to work with sponsors. Sponsors always help add value because they provide products or help cover costs that make the project happen. So, when a potential sponsor is a great fit for one of our projects and they agree to work with us, I am always excited to help them promote their brand and achieve the desired results.

I am pleased to say that Pensgiving 2018 included three different sponsors. We received in-kind sponsorship from Follow Your Heart, Tofurky, and Kieu Hoang Winery. Follow Your Heart provided Vegan cheese that we paired with wine from Kieu Hoang; they also provided vegan salad dressing: Caesar, Bleu Cheese, and Ranch. Tofurky provided their signature dish a Tofurky aka a Vegan Turkey and a Veggie Ham Roast. Lastly, Kieu Hoang provided wine for the event. I want to thank each sponsor for their support! Having their items at the event really made it a fabulous event!

Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese + Salad Dressing (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)

Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese + Salad Dressing (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)

Follow Your Heart (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)

Follow Your Heart (Items provided by Follow Your Heart; Image by LoudPen)

Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)

Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)

Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)

Kieu Hoang Wine (Wine provided by Kieu Hoang Winery; Image by LoudPen)

We started Pensgiving off by introducing Kieu Hoang Winery and pairing their wine with the Vegan cheese from Follow Your Heart. Kieu Hoang sent their Chardonnay and a Red Wine Blend and Follow Your Heart sent a Garden Herb Cheese, Pepper Jack, Provolone, and Smoked Gouda. The favorites of the event seemed to be Provolone, Garden Herb, and American cheese and the Red Wine Blend from Kieu Hoang was gone before the event was over. But don’t worry we also went through half of that bottle of Chardonnay.

After we finished sampling the wine and cheese, I set up the bar to serve dinner. I always let guests self-serve so people can get exactly what they want with the portion they want. I know people are picky and everyone has a different appetite so this takes stress off of me as the host and allows my audience to feel like they have options.

Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)

Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)

Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)

Pensgiving Serving Table (Image by LoudPen)

For Pensgiving 2018, we served a Tofurky (Vegan Turkey), a Veggie Ham Roast by Tofurky, Dressing, Collard Greens, Mac n Cheese, Sauteed Spinach, Mushrooms, & Red Onions, as well as Baked Sliced Potatoes and Red Onions. All dishes were prepared by moi. I must admit that Penny can throw down in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking for years – like since I was a child. Also, my Mom and many of the women in my family are excellent cooks so I definitely inherited my talent from them.

Since I’m always planning events for 8515, I decided to start making the food to save money on the budget. As it turns out this is working out in my favor because people really seem to like the food so I’m cooking to keep sharing my culinary skills at future events. I love sharing my love of food and my talents with Pennies & Pens so if you haven’t tasted my ink, be sure to attend an 8515 event soon!

Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)

Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)

Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)

Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower) at Pensgiving 2018 (Image by LoudPen)

Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Taylor Mosley (@Whattaylorlikes) at Pensgiving (Image by LoudPen)

Overall, the event went really well! The guest list included Michelle Nelson (@OurWordsHavePower), Taylor Mosley (@WhatTaylorLikes), and Milana Davis (@LoveWithLana). This is the first event I’ve done that was all bloggers and women! It was pretty dope because we got into some serious girl talk spilling all kinds of tea and putting people on front street. It was definitely a blast! Especially after all that Kieu Hoang wine!

The girls also said they had an amazing time at the event and I’m so happy with how everything turned out. The floral designs by De’Ondra Turner were beautiful, the décor was lovely, the food was good, the company was fantastic, and the music was jamming. It was definitely one of our best events and a highlight of 2018!  Stay tuned for news on Pensgiving 2019…it’ll be coming soon to a page near you.

And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything. With us, keeping it real never goes wrong.

P.S. Check out Pensgiving 2018’s sponsors at the links below.

Follow Your Heart

Kieu Hoang Winery

Tofurky

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LoudPen
LoudPen is a Creative Entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience. LoudPen has two businesses, 8515 + ISLP. That said, LoudPen uses many different pens to ink the page. As far as ISLP, LoudPen is a Lifestyle Blogger, Writer, Poet, Editor, Author, Photographer, Designer, Producer and Director. In regards to 8515, Pen is a Publicist, Event Planner, Photographer, Creative Director, Casting Director, Stylist and Makeup Artist. On a day to day basis, LoudPen is usually writing books, blog posts or articles, developing + designing products, producing, directing, shooting + editing photos, blogging, posting on social media, planning events, creating marketing or PR campaigns and much more. Simply put, LoudPen aka Penny Newberry is always inkin the page. Follow Penny's Ink on Instagram: @LoudPen @ISLPDTX @8515Agency @PenniesandPens