Archive of ‘Life’ category

A look behind scenes (wedding + coffee, lots of coffee)

I’ve been quiet lately, but certainly not bored. My plate has been more than full … sort of like a buffet exploded on my lap, actually. I apologize for the lack of posts — though you seem to have kept occupied reading about summer cocktails, circus parties (an oldie but goodie) and how to make tissue paper pom poms — so that’s good :).

Here’s a few snapshots on what’s been keeping my busy and a little sneak peek at one very gorgeous wedding.

FLOWERS. They occupied my life for 3 straight days. Non-stop. My air conditioner that was set at 50 degrees can testify (dreading that bill!). I played wedding florist (first time for everything, huh?) and it was no small feat. With 150 guests and a large venue… we had a TON of flowers. Just picture, 11 bouquets as a starting point. Boy, I’m glad that’s over!

DIY galore. Painting, staining, building, crafting, gluing …. pretty much up until it was time to get hair and makeup done. Oh, did I mention I was the Matron of Honor? Wedding planner, florist, Matron of Honor, and Sister-in-Law to the beautiful bride … yep, told you I was busy :).

FUEL. This is how I survived. Between all of those roles above, I was still playing the usual: mom, wife, cook and also  keeping together my full time day job.

It was WAY worth it though. This stunning couple are the best Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law one over-worked gal can ask for. They deserved a perfect day!

I had so many wonderful vendors help me pull this day off… I can’t wait to show you all the pictures!

And that pic of the rings? It almost killed me. Yep, heart attack. I kept it on the inside though because a frantic sister/Matron of Honor/wedding planner is the LAST thing a happy bride needs to see on her wedding day. Can you guess what happened after this photo was taken? Go ahead, guess.

More, regular posts coming next week (I promise). Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m going to relax and get rid of my wedding hangover this weekend and then … I’ll be baaaaaack!

the last two photos courtesy of Tracy Dodson Photography

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Thoughts :: 2 words to live by

 

words to live by

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I decided to drop in a quick blog post today, a reminder if you will — to be thoughtful.

The name of this site, Thoughtfully Simple, isn’t just something I thought was catchy or unique — it’s character trait that I feel is important. Whether I’m telling my girls to “be thoughtful” of others or if I putting together a gift for a loved one that I want to be thoughtful yet simple … personable yet understated — I always have “be thoughtful” in the back of my mind.

It really is no different when it comes to my career (as a community manager) or my time spent here designing events and blogging. There is something that rings so true with the phrase “be thoughtful.” Are you a writer who wants to engage your community? Are you a marketer who wants to sell goods? Are you a mother who wants to do the best by your children? A designer, a teacher, a (you fill in the blank)?  All of the above … or something else entirely depending on the day? Regardless, I challenge you to pause and think about how consciously being thoughtful can alter your course of thoughts and actions.

Some of the ways I personally try to “be thoughtful” daily:

-Smile. Really, make sure you smile. Especially towards your children. You might think “of course I do this daily” but really make an effort. Recently my 5 year old told me “Mommy, you always look like you’re thinking … you should smile more.” Do it.

-Blog commenting. I must have never got the memo that people don’t do this anymore. I never stopped. Some of you reading this now might realize that I come and comment on your blog often. I do it because I want to, because you took the time to write something, and I’d be honored to read it and connect over your content.

-Thanking your community. Whether they are your personal network of family and friends, your blog readers, your Facebook fans or Twitter followers — thank them. The most thoughtful thing you can do is to show your community you are listening and that you value and appreciate them.

Which reminds me, I changed out our Facebook cover photo to include your wonderful smiling faces. Fun right?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of being thoughtful. Have anything to add?

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How to host a pint size party & GIVEAWAY!

I recently partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you 3 party planning tips for hosting a entertaining in small spaces (check out my tips here). Today, I’m sharing more tips for entertaining & living in small spaces plus launching a $50 Target GIVEAWAY that you can use for your next gathering.

If you are planning a get together, party, or dinner for guests — make an effort to keep things simple, this will allow you to stay within a smaller budget. Here are a few easy ways to plan a great gathering without overspending:

pint size party

{tip #3 :: image from this 30th birthday party}

1. Reuse items from your home. Move around candles, decor items, and use older pieces from your kitchen in new ways. This prevents you from buying new pieces that you can’t afford (or store!).

2. Keep the menu simple. Serve just a few items rather than offering a ton of choices. A salad, burger, and dessert is plenty. Don’t get distracted by  thinking of all the sides and extras you can do. Keep the menu small. It will save you money at the store and time in the kitchen!

3. Choose a signature drink or stick to beer & wine. No need to stock a full bar. That will put a big dent in your budget (think of all the liquor and mix-ins you’d need) and take up valuable counter space in your home. Instead, create one signature drink or stick to the basics and serve beer & wine only.

I also love these simple ideas from Apartment Guide that will help you get ready for your next pint size party: get creative with frugal decor ideas & decorating a small space.

You can check out more tips at Moving Today and on the Apartment Guide blog

Target Giveaway

What are your tips for entertaining in a small space and/or on a small budget?

Comment below to enter to win a $50 Target gift card!

Contest is now closed – Congrats to Crystal!

{contest ends Sunday March 31, 2012 at 11pm PST}

Editor’s Note: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Entertaining: small space & savvy budget

I entertain in my home a lot — most often it’s the my go-to venue for hosting events. In fact, you can see that my home was the venue for parties here, here, here and here (just to name a few). One of the biggest challenges in hosting a party in your home can be lack of space. When I’m planning a party, I start out by thinking how I will break down the space in my home and let that lead me in deciding on other party elements like decor, food stations, activities, etc. By utilizing your space and also items that you already own, you can plan a great party — and stick to a smaller budget (a bonus!).

I’ve partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you party planning tips for hosting a pint-size party in a small space and on a savvy budget.

party planning tips - space

 

Here are  3 tips that have worked for me when planning a party at home.

party planning budget

1. Don’t be afraid to move things around. Shuffle couches, tables, chairs and take pieces of furniture from one room to the next to accommodate your party needs. For this birthday breakfast party, I wanted to rent a small child-sized long table but had no room to have it in our home. So, I temporally put our dining room table on the patio and placed the small table inside. It worked perfectly!

party planning tips - activities

2. Utilize your space. Whether it’s setting up a bar, food station, or place to do activities — just move stuff around a bit and use the space to have, you can make it work! For this baking and craft party, I turned our kitchen island into a cupcake decorating station. After the activity was over, I cleared the mess and used the same space to set out the party food. Simple!

party planning tips - space

3. Think outside the box. Turn “dead space” into a functional space. Use your mantel as a place to set arranged flowers or photos of the guest of honor, turn your porch into a decorated entrance to your party — just be creative! Here, we set up a DIY photo booth on the landing of our stairs. No one was going to be going upstairs during the party so we used this dead space to set up this photo booth. It was perfect and out was out of the main traffic areas of our home.

Want to find even more entertaining tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget-friendly ideas for people in any sized home on Moving Today and the Apartment Guide blog.

Get more:

  • Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for entertaining and making the most of your space on a budget.
  • If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.
  • “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @AptGuide and “circle” them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

PLUS: Stay tuned for more party planning tips for living & entertaining in small spaces and a fun giveaway from Apartment Guide {coming soon!}

party planning tips

What’s your tip for entertaining in small spaces and on a savvy budget? I’d love to hear them!

 

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Be Inspired by Color!

Before I plan any party, I select the color palette. I use this palette to plan everything else, from invites to decor, food, space — you name it and it was influenced by color. So when I learned about My Colortopia I knew I had to share it with you (check out my post here). This community created by Glidden Paint is full of inspiration, tools, and advice from the Colortopia Team to help you select that perfect color for your party or home (how cool is that?).

Even though I typically have no problem choosing the color palette of a party, I am miserable and choosing paint colors for our home. Get this, we’ve lived in our home for 3 years and I’m STILL deciding on paint colors — it’s sadly true. Our walls are 100% all boring white. So when I learned about My Colortopia’s new My Image Inspiration tool, I was excited to test it out. This tool lets you upload a picture of something you like and think would work for your space (think art, furniture, pillow) and then it gives you a selection of color palettes  that would work in your space. I decided to test it out with a throw pillow that we have in our living room:

 

How cool is this tool? I am loving the “Pacific Khaki” color it recommends. Maybe I’ll finally take a leap and buy some paint! What a fun way to get over that “decision”  hurdle and be inspired. Check it out and play with the tool here.

–I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas, THE book to have!

If you love sweets, baking, crafting, party styling — or any combination of these things you MUST check out Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas. After pouring her heart into this book for over two years Amy’s labor of love is finally available for pre-order! I am honored to help Amy spread the word, I’ve been a huge fan for years, in fact Amy was one of the first “party people” I began to follow. (She was even kind enough to jump on board for a fun cupcake contest I did years ago!)

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

Amy has been humble enough to share the behind the scenes of this book in the making over on her blog (which has been so fun to read!). Here’s the darling cover – aren’t the colors fun?

Be sure to pre-order your copy today (and while your at it, pick one up for a gift for a friend, sister, or for a Mother’s Day gift!). They are sure to sell out!

P.S. I just may have picked up an extra copy to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. Stay tuned!

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