HAIR OBSESSION

My hair obsession started in my teens (I had the Mariah Carey perm, didn't we all?), then continued with Victoria's Secret hair. So it was only natural I ended up working in the hair care and beauty industry seven years ago as PR Manager.

Being in my first year as a new mom, let's just say my hair has taken a sudden turn...no one really talks about how it falls out then grows back in the worst way! Luckily my friend Kate introduced me to Monat hair products.

Since the products are all natural and silicone-free, my hair has now been REVIVED, feels lighter, is super shiny and has tons of volume! All the products are great!

I'm so happy to be working for this company that not only makes amazing products but also allows me to work from home so I can be with Ella.

HOW I PLANNED MY DREAM WEDDING | PART 1

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It's #weddingwednesday! If you're getting married in 2017 you're probably already in full planning mode and may or may not be feeling a little stressed out. The year I planned my wedding was pretty crazy. I was had so many projects going on and was traveling for work that year. Not to mention, I wanted the perfect Pinterest-worthy wedding and was so overwhelmed with all the options out there on (I loved everything!). Next thing I knew, the wedding was around the corner!

I'm happy to report it was beautiful and was felt so much pride that I planned and pulled off my dream wedding! Soon I'll be sharing my wedding planning experience with some tips and the KEY that is essential to making it your dream wedding - but wanted to check in with you blushing brides first. What are you struggling with most? Is there anything you need help focusing on? Leave a comment below or send me a message. I'll either reply directly or add it to my post!

If you're looking for someone who shares your vision and need help focusing to bring it all together, I'm also offering e-design services. I'd love to work with you to help your special day come true!

xox

HOME ENTERTAINING 101

Holiday season is in full swing, so if you love to entertain at home, it's helpful to have your basic entertaining essentials already on hand. You never know who might want to pop by and it'll save you lots of time if you decide to entertain at the last minute. If you're a bride-to-be, now's the time to add theses things to your registry!

If there's anything I've learned in planning events over the years, I can say that it's crucial to have a plan, be prepared for the unexpected and that details matter.

 

Entertaining Essentials

Going with neutral colors will last you year after year. You can always add pops color for specific events by changing the color of the napkins, candles, flowers or tablecloth. If you're married you've probably already received some of these things through your gift registry.

Here are your basic essentials:

DRINKS:

  • Wine bucket
  • Martini shaker shaker
  • Wine glasses, champagne glasses, shot glasses
  • Coasters
  • Small cocktail napkins

APPETIZERS:

  • Serving trays and bowls
  • Cutlery if needed)
  • Small napkins

DINNER TABLE:

  • Neutral table cloth (white, beige or grey)
  • Good set of dishes (a set of 12 is best)
  • Good silverware/cutlery
  • Nice salt and pepper shakers
  • Serving platters and bowls
  • Salad bowl and utensils
  • Place mats or chargers
  • Linen napkins or pretty paper napkins
  • Candle holders (for tall candles a must - votives and tea lights optional)
  • Candles (white/cream)

DESSERT:

  • Cake stand
  • Dessert plates - usually part of your dish set or you can have a different set of pretty plates
  • Mugs for coffee and tea
  • Sugar bowl and creamer
  • Napkins

Create a menu

It's always a nice touch to have a menu on display. First, it's important to consult with your guests about any food allergies. You can write the menu on a chalkboard in your kitchen but if you don't have a chalkboard, you can print and frame it in a menu. Not only does it let guests know what's in store for the evening, it works as a checklist for you too! No need to forget that cheese platter or your grandma's homemade cookies!

 

MAKE YOUR GUESTS FEEL PAMPERED

Entertaining doesn't stop at the dining and living area. Making your guest bathroom cozy leaves your guests feel even more welcome. It's their mini getaway from the party that let's them regroup and freshen up throughout the evening. Besides making sure the bathroom is extra clean, I like to include the following:

  • Nice soap
  • Hand cream
  • Pretty and soft hand towels (I have some that I use only for guests)
  • A scented candle (I like to keep it lit all night)
  • Extra toilet paper!
  • Flowers are optional

 


Make a To-do list

Now that you have a plan it's important to set a schedule that you can follow. Try to do as much as you can in advance, even starting the week prior if possible. Create a list of things to do and when. You can also indicate who is responsible for which task if other people are helping. I find following this schedule very helpful when I'm receiving:

  • Week before: all decor items are bought and/or set aside, order cake
  • Two days before: clean bathroom
  • Day before: clean and declutter kitchen, dining area and living room, pick up cake, buy flowers if you can't day of, wash and set your outfits aside (if you can iron them too even better)
  • Morning of: mop all floors, wipe down bathroom, clean kitchen, buy flowers, shower
  • Two hours before: start gettign ready
  • 30 minutes before: do a run throught of all the rooms in the house, check on your appetizers and wine/drinks, take photos

 

Delegate TASKS

My husband and I have a routine wehenver we entertain adn it works out very well becuase we each know what our tasks are, we can focus. If you're entertinin with your significan other make sure to have these tasks detteminrd before hand so nothing gets forgotten and you each know what your part is. In our home, my husband handles evyrhign to do with the meal (excpet desset): the menu, groceries and cooking. He also runs out to the grocery store if we'remissing anything and picks up the balloons if I've pre-irderd them. I handle the cleaning and decorating. Throughtout the day we help eachohter if neede

Set the mood - before guests arrive!

Ambiance is so important and helps set the tone for the evening. It's really easy to forget some things when you're busy cleaning, cooking and decorating! Here are some things you can do to set the mood - but make sure you do them before your guests arrive. You don't want to be scrambling around when they're there. Once these are set in place you can relax and will be able to welcome them properly:

  • MUSIC: Have nice music playing in the background. I like to have ambiance music playing in the background from the satellite radio on our AppleTV
  • DRINKS:  Have your welcome drinks ready. Create a little area where your guests will gather once they arrive (for us that's around the island in our kitchen). That means your wine is already chilled in the ice bucket, glasses are washed, dry and on display, your fridge is stocked with drinks, etc. If you're using wine charms have those already on the glasses or in a little bowl next to the glasses.
  • APPETIZERS - have appetizers on display where you want your guests to mingle - on the coffee table, side tables, on the island in the kitchen
  • TABLE SETTING - the table should be all set up: tablecloth, menu, centerpieces, flowers, salt and pepper shakers, candles (lit!), plates, cutlery, napkins, names for place setting (optional)
  • GIFT AREA - if your guests are bringing gifts have a corner or table set aside so they'll know where to leave them. If you have gifts too, place yours there first.
  • LIGHTING - lamps are on and candles are lit. Also don't forget to leave the porch light on so your guests can see the doorbell!
  • ENTRYWAY - clear the entrance of any clutter and make space for your guests to put their shoes or boots by laying out shoe mats or a rug. In the fall/winter season it's nice to have a little basket of unisex slippers. Make sure the console table is also clean and free of clutter. Decorating it with candles and/or flowers is a welcoming touch
  • CLOSET - make sure to clean our your closet and make enough hangers available for your guests to leave their coats and handbags

 

before your guests arrive...

The final but very important detail - whatever you do make sure to set time aside to get ready! I've learned form experience - there will always be those 'early arrivers'. It's happened a couple of times where the doorbell rings and I'm still putting on my make up! Try to be ready at least 30 minutes prior so you can compose yourself and take a breather before guests arrive. If you leave yourself some buffer time a half hour it will giver you the chance to:

  • do a quick run-through of your house to perfect details
  • set the mood
  • I like to use this time to take photos of the set up
  • enjoy a sip or two of wine and get ready for a great evening!

Cheers!

xo