Tips For Hosting The Holidays

Hosting any holiday or get together can be daunting, no matter who you are. Of course, don’t get me wrong, hosting a holiday is a lot of fun with all the decorating and showing off your cooking skills, but you would be lying to yourself if you said it was easy. But don’t fret! With these tips I’m about to lay on ya, you will be hosting the holidays like a boss! 

Photography by Ashley Baumgartner

Setup The Night Before

Now, anyone should know that trying to do anything right before an event is just not the best decision. Shop the week of your holiday. I like to go at least 3 or 4 days prior. One, your fighting the masses… hopefully. Two, it is one less thing to worry about hours leading up to the holiday. And three, if you wait last minute, the chances of what you need will be gone. I like to go early in the morning the Sunday before; it is usually quiet and empty. 

Along with getting your food prior, is set up. Do this as far in advance as you can. It is just another big task that you don’t have to worry about the morning of. I love to set up my table days before as well. I learned this tip from my grandma. She would always set her holiday table for Christmas Eve dinner up at least a month in advance. When we got older, it was fun to be included in her tradition of setting the table. Now, I like to install this into my kids. Plus, I have a pretty table to look at for weeks. To me, holidays tablescape are just as part of decorating for the holidays as trimming the tree. 

Now, when it comes to your tablescape for the holidays, go simple. Of course, bring out the fancy flatware. For Thanksgiving, I like to go a little moody with my colors. Right now, I’m obsessed with nude and natural colors mixed with moody ones. I used simple, clear glassware, a pop of black from the flatware, and brought in a texture element with the marble plates. (Psst… these dishes are on sale right now, you should get pick some up!) More color was added from the gorgeous deep brown velvet tablecloth that I rented from Party Crush Studio. Not everyone has an arsenal of tabletop items sitting around in their house. A great tip is to rent! It is much cheaper to rent than to buy. Party Crush Studio has some beautiful linens that you need to check out. Renting liens isn’t just for weddings anymore. 

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers!

Flowers… I can’t express how important flowers are for any dinner or event you are hosting. It makes everything better. Can you imagine a table without any flowers on top of it? Or sideboard with no flower detail? You’re pretty much having your holiday be half-naked, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be the person with the half-naked holiday. Flowers don’t have to break the bank either. You can do tiny arrangements, low profile ones, or even just add some greenery to your table. Jessica from Oak + Ash nailed holiday floral! These colors are out of this world, and did you see those nude colored carnations?!? Yes, carnations! Jessica did a low profile arrangement which I fell in love with. This allows guests to see each other while sitting down to eat. Added details like greenery wrapped around the flatware add a floral surprise. Tiny arrangments on the wine and dessert table to add life and color. Plus, pop of color to the Thankful leather sign, it just ties it all in! I can’t say enough how important flowers are to any event, small or large. 

Personalized Details

Call me old fashion, but I think any holiday should still come with a formal invitation. Who doesn’t like getting invitations in the mail? I love to have people feel excited about coming over, and everyone loves getting something in the mail. Along with invitations, adding personalized details for the holidays brings your holiday up a notch. The details go a long way in people’s eyes. You are taking the time to make your holiday special and unique. Now, this is one of the best tips I can give you if you want to host the holidays like a boss. Get personal! Get unique! I had Leanna from David and Leanna create some leather goodies that I’m so “thankful” for. I love using signs for decoration for the holidays. She created a plum colored “thankful ” sign that I placed above my wine and dessert bar. As well as “the Guidos” deep green leather sign that I placed on the table. People need to know where they are eating right? Ha! My favorite is the custom leather napkin rings with the guests’ names on it. Alongside those, the leather rings were “thankful” coasters that I placed under the wine glasses. This pretty plum added more color to the table. It made the table complete. Little details like this will go a long way; I cant’ stress that enough. Finally, a menu that will tell guests what they will be dining on. I always like to make it clear what we are having. 

Open The Wine Prior

Wine. You gotta have it. I always like to have a selection for guests to pick from. Of course, I always go with my favorite, One Hope Wine. Their wine is so yummy, and I always have guests calling me up after asking me, “What was that wine you served last night?”. A great tip to help save time, right before guests arrive and before you get dressed, open your wine. This will keep you from opening up bottles throughout the evening plus allows time for them to breathe. And I say open before you get dressed, no one likes wine on their holiday attire. Duh. Alongside my wine, I love to have some sweets out. One of the things I remember for holidays growing up was there was always chocolate or sweet treats out to nibble on. Another tradition that I like to continue in my family. When we were little, it was usually See’s Candies, and my grandmother still does this today. I switched it up a bit and got some yummy macaroons and chocolate truffles from Ginger Elizabeth in downtown Sacramento. These sweet treats are to die for! She has fall flavors right now that you have got to try! My personal favorite is the Cranberry Walnut Crisp. 

Appetizers 1st, then Rest After

Hours leading up to guests arriving, seem to go by really fast! No matter how prepared you are. Especially if you have little ones running around, you know that you are likely not to get everything done the way you want. They always seem to find the perfect time to throw a tantrum or require your full attention. As long as your appetizers and wine are you, then the rest will follow after. Don’t worry about the food, the last thing you want is to be running around trying to get your appetizers out while guests are walking thru the door. Have those done; your guests will be occupied while you start on the food. My motto is appetizer and attire 1st, and the rest will soon follow. Plus, it makes it look like you have everything under control, which you do! 

Have a glass of wine!

My last tip for the hosting for the holidays. Have a glass of wine before guests get there. Sit down, look at what you have accomplished, and pat your self on the back, cause you are hosting the holidays like a boss! 

I hoped this helps you in your adventures later this week! Remember, it should be fun not a chore. 








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A Day at Disneyland with Magic Kingdom Mamas

Disneyland is one of our favorite places to visit with our kids.  Living in Southern California, especially only about 10 miles from Disneyland, you have to take full advantage!  My husband and I used to have annual passes even before kids, but now seeing it through their eyes is even better!  Leah and I both have annual passes and take our kids as often as we can.  It’s the perfect playdate, meet up at opening and play hard till nap time.  Or go in the evening for a parade and a few rides, change into pajamas and drive home, easy peasy!

All photos by Nea Nabayan

At this point we sort of consider ourselves Disneyland professionals.  However, we are nothing compared to Julie & Emily, aka the Magic Kingdom Mamas!  We love following along with this sister duo who visit the parks frequently and have THE BEST tips and tricks to making your visit amazing.  They know the ins and outs like no other.  Of course we had to plan a meet up with them and share all of their knowledge with you!  So if you are planning a trip to Disneyland with your kiddos, this is the post for you!  Don’t forget to follow along on their Instagram Account for more tips on the daily, and their adorable dance moves!

We met up with them earlier this month, and a few of our other Disney obsessed friends.  You may recognize these faces from these Instagram accounts – @wildevalentine, @jl_designs, and @1011makeup.  It was so fun seeing all of our kiddos together at the happiest place on earth, we were rolling deep with this many!  Julie and Emily lead the way though so we were in the best hands!  Here’s our Q&A with them and some amazing tips and more from the Magic Kingdom Mamas and us!!

How did you come up with the idea for Magic Kingdom Mamas and when did it all begin?

When Emily’s son was born, we lived about 2 hours away from each other. We wanted our kids to have the same close relationship that we had with our cousins growing up, so we made it a point to meet once a week halfway. Disney was the perfect spot (can’t get more magical than that!). After going to the parks consistently for a few months with our kids, friends and family started asking us questions about it— how to keep kids entertained while waiting in lines, what to do there with babies and so on. One day we were talking about it with our husbands and they said “why don’t you guys just start an IG account?” Haha, and that was it! We started this account initially for friends and family, really having NO idea that it would transform into a website and business and all that. It is is wild to think that it actually happened! 

How often do you go to Disneyland?

 We go at least two times a week!

What is your usual route when you go to the parks?

 Our usual route if we do a full day at Disneyland (starting at opening) is Fantasyland first because that’s typically an area that draws the most people by mid-day (especially families with young kids!)! After Fantasyland we like to stop in Toontown for the welcome at the gate by Mickey or a couple of his friends when it opens one hour after Disneyland opens.

After Toontown we head into Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters or Autopia (Jedi Training Trials of the Temple is also one of our kids’ favorite shows to stop for)! After Tomorrowland, we love to stroll through Frontierland, then to New Orleans Square for Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion (if our kids are feeling up for those two, ha!), then to Critter Country for The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh. Lastly, we head back toward Adventureland to check out the wait time for the Jungle Cruise! This route can change depending on wait times, but this is pretty common for us!

California Adventure route starting at park opening:

 We start in Cars Land to ride one of the most popular attractions, Radiator Springs Racers (IF we don’t get a Fast Pass for it first), then we like to do the other two Cars Land rides, Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree! After Cars Land, we head to Toy Story Midway Mania on Paradise Pier – if the standby wait time is too long, we will grab a Fast Pass for it. While we’re down by the Toy Story ride, we like to ride King Triton’s Carousel because the line is typically short, then we walk past Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish and the Golden Zephyr to check wait times (all three typically have short wait times).

Our last stop on Paradise Pier is The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride,  then we head toward Grizzly Peak Airfield to grab Fast Passes for Soarin’ Around the World (our over 40 inch kiddo’s love this ride). After Soarin’, there aren’t a ton of other attractions left to do for our kid’s age groups, so we either go into A Bug’s Land to ride the four attractions there (usually all have short wait times) or Monster’s, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue. The great thing about Monster’s, Inc. is the line is usually pretty quick, but if it happens to be an extra busy day, and you only have 2 in your group, ask the Cast Member at the attraction’s entrance for a “Buddy Pass” to bypass the line and enter through the exit to ride right away!

Favorite photo spots in Disneyland:

-In front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
-Anywhere on Main Street 
-Blue and white It’s a Small World wall 
-The Mark Twain
-Toontown (so many good, fun colors and buildings!) 

Favorite photo spots in California Adventure:

-Hollywood Land back drop next to the Hyperion Theater
-The famous blue wall (popular photo spot) at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land
-Paradise Park overlooking Mickey’s Fun Wheel
-Route 66 in Cars Land 
-The boardwalk on Paradise Pier (down by Toy Story Midway Mania and Mickey’s Fun Wheel)

What are the top tips you could give to someone visiting Disneyland & California Adventure? 

1. ARRIVE EARLY! We tell people this all the time! It is so worth waking up early to get to the main gates before opening. What we do is arrive to the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure right when it opens which is 60 minutes before the parks opens on SundayMondayWednesday and Friday, and 90 minutes before the parks open on TuesdayThursday and Saturday. The Main Gates to the parks actually open anywhere from 15-30 minutes BEFORE the official park opening/rope drop occurs so guests can wander Main Street in Disneyland or Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. It’s nice to be in the park and ready to go before the rush! The first couple hours after the park opens are usually pretty slow, so it’s a great time to get the more popular attractions done! 
2. Pick 5 can’t-miss attractions for your kids’ age groups and try to get those checked off your list first thing so you can enjoy the rest of your day a little more stress-free. Things can be unpredictable with kids, so over planning can sometimes make for a not so fun day if things don’t go according to plan. Try not to have too many expectations for the day – it’s way more relaxing that way! In regards to attractions, be sure to utilize Fast Pass if an attraction you’re hoping to get on offers them! Fast Passes will cut down your wait time significantly. Rider Switch is also really great thing if there is an attraction that not everyone in your party can go on/or doesn’t want to go on.
3. Use the Baby Care Centers! The Baby Care Centers have been lifesavers for us, not only when our kids were babies – we still use them all the time! There is one Baby Care Center located at the north end of Main Street in Disneyland,  across from the Little Red Wagon Corn Dog stand (feed your babe then get yourself a corn dog!!!), and one next to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop in California Adventure. Both centers offer a private nursing area, high chairs for feeding little ones, microwaves for warming bottles/food, clean and comfy changing tables, preschool sized potties, and various baby things for purchase (cash only) that you may have forgotten at home such as diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, sunscreen, Gerber baby food and more! It’s an amazing place!
4. Take breaks! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a Disney day, but with young kids, it’s so important to stop for breaks, snacks, etc! Just a few minutes is all that’s usually needed, but it always refuels us! We like to bring a blanket to spread out to let the kids play with their cars, coloring books or other toys (the dollar store is a good place to get toys because it’s not a big deal if they get lost at the parks, ha!)! 
5. Let your little ones get some out of stroller play time in – it’ll help when you have to stand in lines! Our kids love Goofy’s House in Toontown at Disneyland to get their little legs moving. We also like to explore Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island – the ultimate playground! In California Adventure we love the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (amazing spot with rock slides, rope swings, rock climbing walls and more!) or the Animation Academy! On hot days, we visit the splash pads in A Bug’s Land. 

6. Use the official Disneyland App – the greatest tool for a Disney day! The app has so many helpful things like attraction wait times, entertainment schedules, restroom locations, PhotoPass photographer locations, wifi hot spots, restaurant locations (you can book reservations on the app!), and so much more. 

What are your top 5 rides or attractions at each park?

 Top 5 attractions at Disneyland for our kid’s age groups:
1. Peter Pan’s Flight
2. Casey Jr. Train
3. It’s a Small World
4. The Teacups
And just to add our “big kid” ride picks – Emily’s favorite is Big Thunder Mountain and Julie’s favorite is Splash Mountain!
Top 5 attractions at California Adventure for our kid’s age groups:
1. The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure 
2. Toy Story Midway Mania 
3. Jumpin’ Jellyfish (must be 40 inches to ride)
4. Radiator Springs Racers (must be 40 inches to ride)
5. Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters (must be 32″ to ride)

Favorite “big kid” attractions – Emily’s is a tie between Radiator Springs Racers and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Julie’s is Soarin’ Around the World.

Favorite entertainment at Disneyland:

1. Mickey and the Magical Map at the Fantasyland Theatre (only shows on FridaySaturdaySunday and Monday)
2. Mickey and friends with the Disneyland Band at Town Square in front of the Main Street Train Station at 12:30 daily. The daily schedule doesn’t include that the characters dance with the band, so we always tell people to be sure to see it! 
3. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple at the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage 
4. Fantasmic! – returning July 17!
5. Main Street Electrical Parade (last performance is on August 20!)!
6. “Remember…Dreams Come True” fireworks spectacular 
Favorite entertainment at California Adventure:
1. The Red Car Trolley Newsboys 
2. Disney Junior Dance Party
3. Frozen Live at the Hyperion
4. World of Color 
5. Pixar Play Parade 
Favorite treats or things to eat?  
This is a hard one because we could go on and on! Haha! 
Our favorite treats are:
1. The dark chocolate-covered pineapple spear or any of the chocolate-covered Mickey-shaped rice krispy treats from the Candy Palace on Main Street, Pooh Corner in Critter Country or Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure
2. The Mangonada – 2 scoops of mango sorbet, chamoy sauce, mango slices, tajin and lime
from Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure
3. Mickey-shaped beignets from The Mint Julep Bar or Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square 
4. The classic churro from any churro stand throughout both parks!
Favorite meals:
1. We love any of the meat and veggie skewers from Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland with a pomegranate piranha lemonade on the side!
2. Pommes Frites and a Monte Christo Sandwich from Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square
3. CORN DOG (duh!) from the Little Red Wagon on Main Street
4. Fried chicken with green beans, mashed potatoes and a biscuit from the Plaza Inn (it’s so gooood)!
5. Mickey waffle plate from Carnation Cafe on Main Street
4. Greek meat and veggie skewers from Paradise Garden Grill in California Adventure  
5. All American Breakfast or the kids Mater and Flo waffle plate from Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land in California Adventure
6. Lobster nachos (substitute for tri-tip if you’d like!) from the Cove Bar

What are you most excited about for Disneyland this Summer? 

 We’re most excited about the return of Disneyland classics that have been closed for well over a year due to refurbishments and Star Ward Land construction! Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island was the first classic to re-open about a week ago. One of our favorite shows of all time, “Fantasmic!”, will return on July 17, Disneyland’s 62nd anniversary and lastly, the Disneyland Railroad, Rivers of America (Mark Twain, Sailing Ship Columbia, and the Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes) will re-open on July 29! We’re also really enjoying Summer of Heroes at California Adventure – lots of Marvel fun for kids including new character meet and greets, complimentary super hero face painting, new super hero-themed food offerings, and new entertainment! Summer of Heroes last day is September 10. We hope everyone gets to experience the fun happening at both parks this Summer!
We can’t agree more with all of this great advice the Magic Kingdom Mamas have leant to this post.  Thank you SO much ladies!!!
Some Beijos Advice…

A bit of advice from Leah and I, is always go with the flow when visiting the park.  I used to try and make sure we did so many things in a certain amount of time but it’s far more fun to do what you can and enjoy yourself then to rush.  Also, be prepared for melt downs and crying, it happens!  And don’t be embarrassed because it happens to EVERYONE!  We’ve seen it happened to others and definitely experienced it ourselves!

All of the resources Magic Kingdom Mamas gave are great but we have another… Visit Anaheim!  They have lots of great ideas for restaurants and other info that is helpful for people visiting.  We’ve definitely pointed some out of town family members in their direction and it’s been super helpful.

 We love California Adventure for many reasons… To me it seems like it’s the better park for boys, there is so much that Court loves there.  Monsters Inc, Cars, Toy Story, Grizzly Run, etc.  He also loves going on Little Mermaid with Edie of course!  There are usually less crowds there as well.  But another reason we love it?!  They serve alcohol!  We swear we are not alcoholics, but sometimes mama needs a glass of wine or a beer while dealing with the chaos of Disneyland… Speaking of, let me tell you a little bit about our shoot!

At the very end of the day Leah and I were at California Adventure solo with just our kids.  First we dealt with a blow out with one of my sons, I mean a bad one, it was all over… Thank god I had a change of clothes.  Then we decided (foolishly) to let our kiddos run in the water play area in Bug’s Land.  We had NO idea they would get so wet!  

So there we were with 4 extremely tired (a few crying) and two soaking wet kiddos trying to maneuver through California Adventure.  That’s when we hit up one more ride and it was time to go! Haha!  You never know what is gonna happen, so like I said, go with the flow.  You’ll have a much better experience if you do :) Here’s some photographic evidence of the end of our day, don’t worry, no blow out pics!

I call this multi-tasking!!

And that’s a real life day at Disneyland for ya!  Haha!  But it really is the happiest and most magical place on earth!!  Let us know if you have any more questions in the comments, we will do our best to answer them!

Stay tuned for a REALLY big giveaway tomorrow!!!



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Summer Solstice Dinner Party on the Beach

When my friend Alatheia who recently launched her blog Art of Being Female reached out to me asking if I’d help her style and design a party for her dinner club group I was on board in a second.  The story behind their ritual and the symbolism of their friendship really stood out to me.  Plus, when she said she wanted to do a Summer Solstice dinner party on the beach, well, I was sold.  Here is a little bit more from our host Alatheia on her dinner club ritual and why this night was so important to her…

“I really wanted to celebrate the 6 year anniversary of our dinner club in a special way. Not only was it clear to me that a special dinner on the beach was in order, but also that there was only one person to help me live out my Pinterest dreams and that would be my talented friend, Jacquelyn of Beijos Events.

“Dinner Club” was born out of a desire to spend less time out at restaurants and more time honing our entertaining and cooking skills as young couples. We rotate homes and whoever is hosting takes care of everything from music to decor, tablesetting, food, drinks, dessert and interesting conversation starters.

I wanted to host a special dinner on the sand to welcome in the start of our favorite season. We live a block from the boardwalk and walking distance from each other. We have spent many summers on this exact beach over the last six years dating, surfing, getting engaged and married,  being pregnant, nursing babies, laughing and laughing.

My aesthetic for the party was very neutral as I like most things. I told Jacquelyn I wanted to have a clean color palette even down to the florals which I wanted white with greens. We added pops of metallic flair from the rose gold speaker and flatware to the silver flecks in the moroccan wedding blankets. Jacquelyn nailed it as did all the vendors involved. I think my dinner club will agree that the night was magical and one to remember.”

I felt so honored that Alatheia asked me to help out.  Selfishly though, I have always wanted to style a table like this, the beach is such a special place to me so my mind ran away with so many ideas.  Knowing Alatheia and her style I knew to keep it simple, classic and pretty with details, all things I know she cares about, along with myself. 

Designing this table and putting this dinner together was so fun, but also really easy, anyone can do it!  There are a few key things to making sure your dinner party goes off without a hitch, and I’m happy to share them with you!  Also, you can shop items for your own dinner at the bottom of the post!

This party is also featured on Glitter Guide today and all of the pretty photos are by Meilani Cottrell.

Let’s start with the tips to a successful Summer Solstice Dinner Party…

1.  Send an Invitation

In this crazy world of technology things tend to become so last minute and impersonal.  Sending an invite in the mail is a perfect way to let your guests know that you are thoughtful and paying attention to detail.  It sets the tone for the whole evening and who doesn’t like to get something pretty in the mail? 

I even like to use a stamp that goes along with the theme.  I’ll head to my local post office and see what they have to offer and either choose something that goes along with my color scheme or theme.  If I think enough ahead of time I’ll order pretty stamps off of Etsy or personalize them on  Paying attention to little details like that are what will really knock your guests socks off.  Speaking of invites, Courtney at Poppy Jack Shop sure made a pretty one for us here!

 2. Create a Beautiful Table

For a Summer Solstice on the beach theme I wanted to keep things casual but also pretty.  The scenery itself is amazing, so the other details could be simple.  The tabletop items were pretty basic, white plates with bronze flatware, clear floral glassware and cream napkins.  Some of those items may already be in your inventory at home!  Adding little details like place cards and menus are always a great idea and pretty up your table immediately. 

Courtney from Poppy Jack Shop created all of our pretty pieces but you can easily recreate something similar at home.  One of my favorite napkin tricks is tying the napkins in a knot rather than the plain fold… It makes it a bit more interesting.  You simply fold the napkin in half to create a triangle and take either long end and tie in a knot.  I’ll usually fluff it a bit after to make sure it looks good, but this is a tie I use often because I like the non fussy look it achieves.  These napkins are form The Little Market.

3.  Invest in Florals

I can’t say it enough, florals just make everything prettier.  Although it’s an investment, adding fresh flower arrangements to any event are key.  If you can have a florist that’s great, these beauties by MV Florals are what made the table so pretty.  We went with greenery and creams with a touch of blush to add a little bit of color.  I love the way they look on the beach with the sand. 

If you can’t invest in a florist you can go to your local market for florals.  Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods have a great selection.  And if you can’t invest in florals, simple greens or even fruits can beautify a table easily.  We used bud vases for this table that I placed on wooden boards on top of the table to add some layers, which adds a little more detail.

4.  Set the tone with a great Playlist

Music makes every party more fun, and having your guests enter with it playing is key.  For this outdoor soiree we used Stelle Audio’s amazing portable pillar speaker.  The sound was amazing and our hostess with the mostest had a playlist she had already planned in advance.  It had the perfect balance of dinner music with a beachy flair that we loved!  You can see it here.


 5.  Great Food & Wine is Memorable

Choosing what to serve your guests can make or break your dinner party… Let’s be honest, if you go out to eat the ambience and service can be amazing but if the food is just so so, you probably won’t go back.  With that being said you want to think of your guests, make sure you know of any allergies or dislikes in your group. 

What I loved about this party was our idea for the long charcuterie board!  We basically had it run the length of the table and it was an easy way for our guests to interact while enjoying some really tasty treats.  It was honestly one of the highlights of the party and I’m so grateful Colette’s Catering made my vision come to life!  Plus, Alatheia’s husband participated by making the board (gotta get the husband’s in there somehow!)

Also, I’m a huge advocate of having more than what you think you need when it comes to having food and wine, you never ever want to run out of anything like that.  For this party we had a variety of delicious wines from One Hope, I especially love their rosé.  So make sure when you buy for your party to get a few more bottles just in case, plus, who doesn’t like to have extra wine around?!

6.  Have great Ambience

Things that you normally don’t think of like lighting, candles, and just an all together pretty set up make the evening so much better.  For an outdoor party especially, you have to think about lighting.  This party was planned to take place at sunset and we knew we had to have lighting, you can’t leave your guests in the dark, literally!  So Alatheia invested in battery operated string lights and battery operated candles, perfect to have for those chilly beach winds and to create a pretty atmosphere. 

Another investment is in your rentals.  For this gathering we wanted to have a low to the ground table, something not everyone has in their home inventory. I reached out to my friends at Adore Folklore who had all of my needs answered with a bunch of pretty rentals.  Using a specialty rental company is a bit more expensive than a basic rental company but well worth the investment.  They have pieces that are unique and original and create the perfect ambience you desire.  

7.  Make sure your Guests are Comfortable

No matter where you hold your party, whether it’s on the beach, at the park or even in your own home, your guests need to come first.  Thinking of them and making sure they are comfortable should be your most important thought.  Since this party was outdoors we made sure to have blankets in case it got too cold. 

We also wanted the look of the low to the ground table, but didn’t want our guests to suffer from it.  So we were sure to have several pillows and poufs for them to use and sit on.  You can use pretty pillows or blankets from your home, we got ours from Boho Pillow and The Little Market.

Like I said, you can easily do this on your own!  And as promised, I’ve made it even easier, just shop the post below!


Thank you to all of the amazing vendors mentioned below for making this a reality!



Design/Styling – Jacquelyn Kazas of Beijos Events
Host/Concept – Alatheia Hart of Art of Being Female
Photographer – Meilani Cottrell 
Florals – MV Florals
Catering – Colette’s Catering  
Calligraphy – Poppy Jack Shop 
Wine – One Hope Wine
Audio Pillar – Stelle Audio  
Glassware/Napkins/Blankets – The Little Market
Pillows – Boho Pillow
Charcuterie Board – Hart Concrete Design

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How to Host an Outdoor Easter Brunch

With Easter just in a couple of days, I bet you need some help with your Easter table setting? If weather permits, an outdoor Easter brunch is a must! Easter is a holiday that I love to host for the family. It’s spring which means all the beautiful pastel flowers are in bloom, and your tablescape is going to be filled with lots of bright, colorful spring beauty. Today, I’m sharing with you tips and tricks on how to throw an outdoor brunch that won’t leave you questioning why you decided to host this year. I love hosting brunches because it allows time before guests coming, and once everyone has left you still have part of your day to enjoy with your little ones. We have partnered with Pottery Barn and a couple of our favorite vendors to create the perfect outdoor Easter table. And the best part is that you can do this yourself! So cmon, and let’s have some fun!

Photos by Erin Milink 

This brunch beauty is also being featured on Inspired by This today! Check it out, here.

Tip: To throw a perfect Easter brunch that your guests will love, it’s all about planning ahead. This is the most important thing! If you plan ahead, everything will be a breeze. Create your menu and guest list. I always find out from family members what time will work for them. Easter is one of those holidays where people are busy throughout the whole day. I love brunch cause it gives you time before family members arrive, and you will still have part of your Sunday after. Prep your food the night before, so all you have to do is garnish and set out before your guests arrive. The same goes with your tablescape. This will leave you time in the morning with your family to enjoy Easter baskets with the kids.

Creating a tablescape can be daunting for some people, in particular for a holiday occasion. You feel the need to go out and get all new things to wow your guest. But you don’t have to! Pottery Barn has beautiful everyday items that you can use for your festive decor. When adding festive decor to your table, you want to be limited on the amount. I know it’s exciting and everything is super cute but too much of a good thing and it can start to look crowded. You want pops of Easter throughout the table. I used The Emma Egg Cup which comes in a mixed set of seasonal pastel colors at each place setting. I placed fresh farmers market eggs into each cup. Another easter element among this pretty table is the pierced ceramic egg that was placed right beside the floral arrangement. 

Idea: A cute idea for your eggs is for you to write your guests name on each one for their place setting. A custom touch your guests will love. 

For the place setting itself, I went with natural colors so I can bring in the pops of pastel in the textiles and glassware. I fell in love with the plum tumbler that was accompanied with a white and red wine glass. It is sadly sold out, but you can add a pop of color with the outdoor Fresca Acrylic Drinkware. I love the Montego red wine glass cause you can either use of course for wine or even for water or juice. My everyday Au Naturale Stoneware plates set on top of a galvanized metal charger which the metal reminds me of summer days outside. For Easter, you have to have a pretty blush textile in the mix. I tied the napkin in a knot to add another fun element to the table setting. Gold flatware to top it off!

Tip: Have fun with your flatware placement, get creative and place it in new places. Placement of flatware and new ways of folding or placing napkins bring your guest’s attention to the table. People love to see things done differently, its refreshing and fun. Meghann Miniello created a simple yet elegant menu on vellum that was seated on top of the salad plate. She also created matching name cards and invite. I love for guests to know what they are having. If your table allows, serve family style. It’s an imitate way of spending more time with your family and enjoying each other instead of having people constantly be getting up and down from the table to get more food. As well, throw a couple bottles of your favorite wine on top of the table.

Now, one of the most important parts of the table. The flowers! This is where all your spring and pastel dreams come true. Have fun with it! Natasha Kolenko created a beautiful spring arrangement that consisted of out of this world huge ranunculus, poppies, fragrant pink jasmine, and mint. Nothing better than having an arrangement that smells as good as it looks. 

Last but not least the food! I created a spring filled menu that I think my guests will love. Nothing is more spring then a citrus salad, deviled eggs, baked eggs and arugula, and an amazing panna cotta that is out of this world. We will be sharing all these recipes with you! If you haven’t seen, here is the recipe for the egg dish. So yummy!

Tip: Premake all your food ahead of time. I created a spring menu that would allow me to prep the night before. All I had to do was garnish and prepare the baked eggs. 

Idea: Use the Montero red wine glass as a parfait glass and place among your glassware. Unique and unexpected detail.

Idea: If you place your table in back of a wall, adorn it with trailing pink jasmine to add another layer of decor to your setting. 


Hosting should be fun! I hope this gave some beautiful inspiration for your Easter Sunday! 


Design + Styling: BEIJOS EVENTS
Photography: ERIN MILNIK



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