Archive of ‘Life’ category

Thoughts :: Need Thanksgiving Ideas? Me too.

thanksgiving ideas - table

If you haven’t seen this AMAZING Thanksgiving tablescape from Chris from Celebrations At Home — you must. Check out her feature over on Daily Grommet’s blog today (she’s got some great styling tips and Thanksgiving ideas).

It’s right around the corner — Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s in less than a week. What have I done to prepare you ask? Nothing. Nope, nada. The good thing about sticking to simple entertaining and hostessing ideas is that (when needed) you can pull it all together last minute (yep, literally).

I thought I’d keep it real and share with you all that I am lagging in my planning, but that I’m okay with that. I’ll turn to some of my favorite past ideas like these:

And I’ll throw in some new Thanksgiving ideas like the ones Chris shared here. How about you? Are all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted? How is your Thanksgiving planning coming together?

If you could use a little help pulling your thoughts and ideas together, join me and several other entertaining, design, food, and craft bloggers on Twitter Monday night the @DailyGrommet #HolidayHelp chat. More details here.

Hope to share (and learn) with you there!

 

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Thoughts :: Having a party-plan B

I read a lot about having a “plan B” for your wedding day in terms of having an out door wedding. It’s true — you need to have an “indoor” backup area in mind if there’s a chance that the weather might not cooperate with your outdoor plans. But what about having a plan B for your outdoor birthday party, BBQ, or other event? No one really talks about that. Of course, most things you can schedule around the weather (like BBQs, reunions and other celebrations) but what about birthday parties?

I know a thing or two about trying to plan an outdoor birthday party during rainy season (not that we really have a “season” here in southern, CA). Both of my daughters have birthdays in December (the 22nd & 23rd to be exact — yes, really). And given that the weather could be freezing and raining one day and 80 degrees and sunny the next,  it’s really hard to plan.

We prefer outdoor parties — and luckily last year our cowgirl party fell during a warm spell (getting the horse inside would have been difficult). But sometimes it does actually rain here and we are forced to move indoors (like for our zebra party) which was just a week later. If you are planning a party an worried about the weather here are some tips that have helped me:

  • Make a decision that morning. Even if you really want to have the party outdoors, at some point you’ll need to call it. Give yourself enough time to rearrange things and get set up indoors. You don’t want to be running around stressed out at the last minute.
  • Make sure your decorations can be used outside AND inside in case you need to relocate.
  • Make sure your party games and activities can be played inside if needed. Think about having to put down newspaper or push furniture out of the way. Pinata? Might need a back up plan if you’re moved inside.
  • Can you move your seating indoors to accommodate all of your guests? This is good thing to consider before inviting the entire class!

Have you had to alter your outdoor party plans? Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them — we have 2 winter parties coming up after all!

image via wehearit.com

 

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Thoughts :: My {party planner} bucket list

A recent blog post got me thinking about bucket lists. You now, the list of wildly, unattainable adventures and goals you want to accomplish before you, well… kick the bucket. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of creating a bucket list  (really, I love any type of list) — but what I like more than creating a list is crossing items OFF of a list. So, instead of creating some extravagant list of things I’m dreaming of seeing or doing (but likely never will), I thought I’d focus a bit. I’m creating a list of party planning specific (and mostly attainable) things to see and do. Let’s hope I can get to crossing things off soon!

 

 

15 things this Hostess wants to do {soon}!

1. Make a ruffled cake

2. Host a pretty bake sale and donate proceeds to a great cause

3. Help with an Operation Shower event

4. Purchase this dining room table and host an intimate dinner party just to celebrate the table

5. Have another party-girl meet up with my amazing blogger friends

6. Host an intimate dinner party on the beach (as in tables on the sand with lanterns a-glow)

7. Convince my tween that a “tie dye” themed birthday would be totally cool

8. Go propping (prop shopping) in NY

9.  Have a Reese’s Peanut-tini with my new best friends (they have no idea we’re best friends btw)

10. Make my own cheese and then serve it at a wine & cheese party

11. Take a floral arranging class

12. Find a new and cool (local) photographer to capture my events

13. Plan a Mother’s Day brunch this year (muffins and mimosas anyone?)

14. Blog more about our lovely parties

15. Somehow legally change my 2 daughters’ birthdays so that they are NO LONGER December 22nd and December 23rd – it sure would be easier to plan parties (and yes I am serious)

 

I hope to start crossing off this list, sooner than later! I’ll come back and cross them off as I complete them (wish me luck with #15, I’m going to need it!).

 

What would be on your party planning bucket list?

………………. 

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.

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Party like it’s a Wednesday (on Twitter)

I like any reason to celebrate or put something thoughtful together — especially if it’s for something unexpected (say like a Wednesday night). So when PF Chang’s reached out to me to help co-host their Twitter party (tonight!) I was definitely up for it. PF Chang’s has launched a new line of great home meals that are meant to “ignite the night,” LOVE that! I can’t wait to share more at the party tonight on Twitter. Will you join us?

There will be AH-MAZ-ING prizes and lots of noodle-loving tweets flying (did you know tomorrow is National Noodle Day? Yep). I’m whipping up some tasty blog posts before the party but here’s a peek at what I’m cookin’ up. Plus, all the party details are at the end of the post. Hope to “see” you tonight!

Twitter party with @PFChangs this Wednesday, October 5th from 8-10pm EST. Join me on Twitter and tweet using hashtag #NoodleNight.

Lots of fun and great prizes! For more details on what’s up for grabs, visit here.

This is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Cheers!

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Party girls at the HWTM event

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to San Diego to join many other entertaining and lifestyle bloggers at the HWTM launch party {and boy did we have fun!}. The hotel rooftop was transformed into a stunning, enchanted Wonderlandia by Jenn and team and they did an amazing job! It was such a thrill to meet up with old pals (some for the first time in the flesh!) and get to know so many other amazingly talented women. I just had to share a few pics for the Step Up & Repeat – it was a blast!

Me {left} with Lisa Thiele from With Style and Grace. We met via Twitter a while back and our friendship was instant. We had the best time as roomies!

I was SO EXCITED to finally meet long-time virtual pals Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home {2nd from left} and the fabulous Jeanne Benedict…. in-the-flesh! Chris and I go waaaaaaay back as we found one another online when party and entertaining blogs were a new thing (yes, PRE-Twitter!). I was so thrilled when our in-real-life meeting was just as I expected — fun, natural and familiar!

Meeting Jeanne was such a highlight (and her sweet hubby too!). Jeanne has always led the way in trends and I’ve followed her from the start (I still make the kids BOO spaghetti every Halloween!). After chatting with her that weekend, I can tell she has many more creative things up her sleeve and I can’t wait to watch her success unfold!

More red carpet snapshots! Chris again (love ya Chris!), Jennifer Berson whom I’ve been tweeting with forever, the lovely Jennifer Sbranti (who magically looked gorgeous after all day of party prep!), and the adorable Victoria Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry. Victoria was just a sweet as the first time we met and her table setting was so beautiful! Plus, we totally bonded while chowing down some sliders – yummy :).

The FUN continues! {from top left} Clarissa and Erin from Shutterfly were a blast to chat with — we dished about cool stuff at Shutterfly, and what’s new at Daily Grommet (a little work found itself into the night, but I love that!). I met Jessica Wilcox for the first time (we chatted while hitting the candy bar at the end of the night) and I have since spent many hours browsing her blog (where have I been?!). Sharon (from Cupcakes & Cutlery) and I began tweeting right before the event and have since continued to getting to know each other – don’t you love how events can bring people together?

{from bottom left} I loved finally meeting Amy from Operation Shower (or how I knew her, from Stem Parties) and can’t wait to learn more about the great things she is up too! Elizabeth from Bump Smitten was super sweet, and Leslie who was SO much fun! In the great hat is Amber {Leslie and Amber are both part of the HWTM team} … Amber kicked major event-but while setting up earlier in the day – great job gal!

MORE fun party gals! {from left} Rebekah from A Blissful Nest, Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations, Jillian from Catch My Party, Chris, Amy, and Lindi from Love The Day.

I wish I there had been more time, I would have loved to meet and chat with everyone there. Until we meet again? Cheers gals and thanks for the virtual and real-life connections!

**All photos were taken by the fun and talented Dan Fields of http://www.DanFieldsPhotography.com. Thanks Dan for sharing these photos with us!

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Party weekend recap

Since my very first blog post back in 2008, this blog (like my online relationships) has really flourished. Over the years I have made so many genuine connections with fellow party gals and bloggers that I can’t help but smile when I think about all of my online friends. This past weekend I was able to meet many of my old friends (and meet a ton of new ones!) in real life and am so thankful to have made such wonderful face-to-face connections and memories.

Many more photos and details to come in the next week (need to get some pictures downloaded first), but here’s a sneak peek at my weekend.

3 of the 4 images above via Lisa Thiele | With Style and Grace

I headed down to sunny San Diego for the HWTM launch party {can’t wait to share the fab photos}

I met my super adorable roomie and long lost sister, Lisa {who happens to be full of style and grace}!

We toasted {many times over} to great friendships while taking in the great scenery {hello eye candy}

I learned it’s really tough to find late-night after party food if your diet is gluten free {like Lisa’s is}

I savored my morning coffee chat with long-time pal Chris {and can’t wait for next time}

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