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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Beijos Little Girl-Friendsgiving

Leading up to Thanksgiving, you find yourself giving a lot of thought of what you are thankful for. If you were to ask any female what they are thankful, pretty confident, the top three answers would be their close girlfriends. No matter what age you are, your girlfriends are some of the most vital people in your life. So this year, we threw our little ladies a girl-Friendsgiving complete with sweets and a perfectly styled fall tablescape with the help from our friends at Wild Child Party and Meghann Miniello. It doesn’t get much more adorable than this! Such a sweet tradition to start with your little ones. Plus, it made them feel so special and who wouldn’t be thrilled with all those treats at your fingertips! They had no problem indulging in all the sweets! Can you blame them?

Hey, big girls! Did you see our Friendsgiving too? Check it out here.

Photos by Julie Cahill Photography

Every gathering starts with an invitation. You remember when you were little, and would be so thrilled that you got something in the mail. YASSS! It was the highlight of the week! I just love the denim-inspired invite that our girlfriend, Meghann Miniello created.


1st thing on any little girl’s mind…. what am I going to wear? These little ladies came dressed to boho perfection in Little Baberham. If you haven’t, you MUST check out Little Baberham. I have become quite jealous of my daughter’s wardrobe with these beautiful pieces in it.

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I just can’t. Too cute!





Dylan loves to twirl in her Ariel Dress. I would too!


Oh, my fringe! This Aspen dress was made for Esme!



The perfect little scene for a girl-Friendsgiving. Make yourself comfy and cozy up with your besties with this little fall picnic. You can’t get more comfy and cozy for a fall picnic without the Abyss blanket from Gunn & Swain.

Wild Child Party has the cutest fall tabletop products this year. We are smitten over the rose gold platescups, and straws. Paired with the mini wooden cake stands that were a perfect holder for some yummy treats. They have the coolest kid tabletop essentials for any party you could imagine. With Christmas around the corner, you will be sure to find their holiday tableware on our tables. Check it out here, and get some fast! Still looking for some Thanksgiving decor, run into their store in Long Beach.








We were thankful for a lot this year!

Each little lady let us know what they are thankful for this year. We couldn’t wait to hear what they would say! Priceless and so sweet! Meghann Miniello created square wooden charges including what each little one is thankful for.

Meghann went one step further and created some fun fall acrylic leaves that were sprinkled along the tablescape, and also acted as name cards for our little ladies. Let’s not forget the gobble stir sticks for the little ones to feel like big girls!










Oh, Frankie James! The best little model for her mama’s fun signs!



A perfectly styled tabletop is not complete without our two favorite things: flowers and sweets. A girl’s best friend right?! Our friends over at Petite Petal created a perfect fall colored floral arrangement that made itself perfectly at home in between all those yummy treats.





I can give you one guess on how long it took those little hands to reach for that pumpkin pie slices and mini pies from Whole Foods.



It took about a whole 3 seconds until this cutie got a hold of that pumpkin pie.


Oh, my gourd! Just too much cuteness today!

 Let’s all be thankful for our close pals and give them an extra squeeze when you see them next!

Happy Thanksgiving!



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Beijos Friendsgiving

Fact of the matter is people that Thanksgiving is in a week!!  What are you all doing??  Whether you are going to someones home or hosting it we have some fun inspiration for you today. Which by the way is also featured on Inspired by This blog today too!! The collaborators on this one were amazing too!!  We always work with the best, most talented people and for that we are so Grateful!! The inspiration for this almost came out anti traditional when you see the colors, but it wasn’t on purpose. It came out just perfect for a feminine and playful friendsgiving. We are just always trying to bring in some new fresh ideas and looks for y’all!!  Hope you like…

All Photos by the lovely Megan Welker

We shot in the beautiful Woodshed Venue down in Vista.  This place is so stunning for events.


We loved this set of table and chairs, along with the side table dessert cart all by Witty Rentals.  The small circular table was fun and different with the wood top and brass bottom, which was perfect for the intimate setting we were trying to pull off.  And we had to add in these modern chairs with the white and wood mix.  It had the right fun and funky mix we were going for.


Now for these table details…first of all these flowers were kind of insane.  When we work with the bloom babes we are pretty much in awe of the beautiful creations they bring to the table every time!! The soft whites and pinks mixed with the foliage is just perfection!! And how cute are these little persimmons??



Next up is the the table top by our favorite store in the world Target!!  We went with the lighter charger adding some texture with the jute mixed in with some gold stitching in there making it fun and fancy.  A simple white plate is next, with a textured but muted yellow plate on top.  Accented of course with some gold flatware and a light pinky/orange napkin. Oh and we can’t forget the gold tumbler, we loved that little guy!!


Then we had Taryn of Twinkle and Toast pull off something really pretty. We went with a black to fully stand out on this table.  The traditional place cards and the fun little cards stating what we are thankful for off to the side of the plate.


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And this invite…so good!!

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Love, love, love!!

Now onto the sweets…Sweet and Saucy, yeah we know another heavy hitter!! Never disappoints…The beautiful arrangement and candles from Target add the perfect balance to this dessert display too.

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These pumpkin macarons!!  So yummy too.


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Now onto some more of my favorite images…

meganwelker-october-52 meganwelker-october-45 meganwelker-october-47 meganwelker-october-50

meganwelker-october-67 And this pretty over head view…love how all the flowers pour onto the place settings.


Well, we hope we’ve given you some fun and different Thanksgiving inspiration today. Now hurry and get to work, you have a week to go!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Xx Leah

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Like we’ve been saying this past week, Thanksgiving is one of our absolute favorite holidays… We get to be with the ones we love, eat delicious food,  drink yummy wine and have a day with our family.  Not only is the company lovely but the colors of Fall and that crisp feel in the air just makes our hearts swell up!  You can really create such a beautiful tablescape around this holiday with all of the seasonal fruits and flowers, it’s honestly the best!

Thanksgiving isn’t just a time for family though, it’s also a time to be thankful for friends, and so, the Friendsgiving was born!

We love the idea of spending time with our friends, lets be honest, whether you’ve started a career, gotten married or even have had kids, your life just seems to be getting busier and busier, so friend time can sometimes come last.  It’s important to take care of our friendships, we value them and need them, and well they deserve some TLC too!

This Friendsgiving setting we created was inspired by the lovely burgundy tones of Fall with the fruits of the season like pomegranates, mixed with cobalt blue tones that we love from our friends at The Little Market!  Take a look with us and also head over to 100LayerCake today to see all the goodness!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-22 All photos by our friend, Megan Welker

Hair & Makeup by our friend Erica at 1011 Makeup

Wardrobe by our friends at The Hidden Jewel

Always gotta start with the invite, and this one is a definite keeper… Gotta love anything leather, then add some wood and it flows with our aesthetic here so perfectly.  Twinkle and Toast wows us again!!

Eat, Drink, and be Thankful. meganwelker-friendsgiving-3 meganwelker-friendsgiving-5 meganwelker-friendsgiving-20 meganwelker-friendsgiving-23 The Duo Studio made us the most perfect sign for this lovely holiday, one word says it all!  We are incredibly thankful, and we’re not afraid to say it!!  We let the little ones borrow it yesterday in case you missed it!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-10 meganwelker-friendsgiving-12 meganwelker-friendsgiving-59 On to the table…


meganwelker-friendsgiving-119 We are seriously in love with this table!!!

We love this ceramic collection from The Little Market, we used it earlier this year for our Cinco de Mayo shoot and it is just so versatile we are able to use it with any type of holiday or scenario.  For this table we loved how the cobalt blue went with the copper and berry hues of the seasons fruits, and then we added a little pop of orange and  fell even deeper in love..

meganwelker-friendsgiving-90 meganwelker-friendsgiving-124 meganwelker-friendsgiving-114 Our wonderful friend Farra of Hostess Haven brought along her amazing inventory to place along with The Little Market’s beauties… Farra’s metallic flatware and glassware along with her pretty napkins complimented all our table so well.  And we are so in with Farra, bring back the napkin ring!!!!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-94 Can we talk about these gorgeous blooms from the amazing Bloom Babes?!?  These ladies are so beyond wonderful to work with you guys, I literally think they may be mind readers because I tell them what I want for an event or a shoot and they basically create what I visualized and dreamt about to perfection!  The arrangements for our table were so visually stunning and brought out the sunny side of Fall, just what we wished for…

meganwelker-friendsgiving-45 Taryn from Twinkle and Toast wrote a few things to be thankful for on various Fall fruits for our lovely table and added more leather touches with our place cards, isn’t it all so dreamy?!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-86 meganwelker-friendsgiving-123 Lots and lots of fruit + lots and lots of flowers…

meganwelker-friendsgiving-56 meganwelker-friendsgiving-41 meganwelker-friendsgiving-49 meganwelker-friendsgiving-34 Now every beautiful table needs some beautiful friends gathered around it!  Leah and I were lucky enough to spend some quality time with the lovely Farra of Hostess Haven and Shelby of Joie La La Photography… Both are fellow mamas with little babes similar in age to our little beijinhos so it was some good relaxing mama time that was very much needed!!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-127 meganwelker-friendsgiving-151 meganwelker-friendsgiving-135 Sometimes there’s just nothing better than some good old girl talk!

Image.jpg meganwelker-friendsgiving-129 Cheers!!!

meganwelker-friendsgiving-138 meganwelker-friendsgiving-155 meganwelker-friendsgiving-139 If you’ve been loving all of this furniture you’ve been seeing, wait till you see the lounge… Adore Folklore has curated such an amazing collection of furniture and accessories they really set the tone for this gorgeous shoot!  We loved playing with their rug collection, and any girl time needs a good couch to gossip on ;)

meganwelker-friendsgiving-208 meganwelker-friendsgiving-77 meganwelker-friendsgiving-212 meganwelker-friendsgiving-175 meganwelker-friendsgiving-246 meganwelker-friendsgiving-245 Now, we can ALWAYS count on Sweet and Saucy to deliver in the desserts department and this was no exception… We had tasty pumpkin treats, macarons with our lovely Fall floral inspiration hand painted on, sugar cookies wrapped with a bow for each guest, and wait till you see what was at each place setting…

meganwelker-friendsgiving-177 meganwelker-friendsgiving-180 meganwelker-friendsgiving-186 meganwelker-friendsgiving-239 meganwelker-friendsgiving-242 Pumpkin naked cake with caramel drizzled all over for each guest??  YES PLEASE!!!  You guys, these were so so SOOOO good… They are a must have for any Friendsgiving!!

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What can we say, we are suckers for some girl time, even if you want to bring the boys in, everyone should celebrate their friends this time of year and be thankful for what those friendships mean… Because really, what would we do with out our friends?  Life would definitely be a lot less fun, that’s for sure!!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Wishing you all a lovely holiday!!



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Who says the holidays are all for the adults?!

We’ve gotta say, the kid’s table is where it’s at, I mean seriously, the conversations and antics that go on over there are  pretty darn hilarious!  Well, we decided to do a “kidsgiving” and have some of our favorite little buddies over to play with a perfectly styled kid’s table with the help of our friends at Pottery Barn Kids and Tiny Prints.  Our little loves couldn’t have been more excited to play and show off for the camera!  Take a look at all of the fun!!  You can also see this adorable shoot over at 100LayerCakelet today!

Photos by Megan Welker

Always gotta start with the invite, right?!  Tiny Prints has great options for any type of party and we would honestly use this one for an adult party as well!  It’s the perfect Fall color and the font and water color have us all in love…

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-56 Perfect little setting for a kid’s party!!  Gotta love Ikea with their affordable and cute options for tables and chairs that our kids can grow with!
meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-8 Pottery Barn Kids has amazing holiday collections always, and when we saw their Thanksgiving 2015 goods we knew we had to have a little party, what can we say, we are easily inspired to add more craziness to our lives, haha!  But what we loved the most about these items was what they said…
In everything give thanks.
Such a great message for our little ones.

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-30 meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-13 Our own Leah Carriger used her fancy writing skills to pen each kid’s name on the Tiny Prints place cards.

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-51 meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-2 Each little had their name made by The Duo Studio in wood that was painted copper and attached to their seat, such a perfect little keepsake to take home after the fun!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-21 Now on to the best part of the holidays, our beijinhos!  How cute are these little buddies?!
All of these cuties are in adorable clothing by our favorite Hatched Baby.

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-61 meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-87 Sweet Leila is picture perfect!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-68 Silly Court is always the ham!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-72 Pretty Edie showing off her pumpkin and her cute little kimono!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-126 And last but not least the adorable Walker who’s a definite future heartbreaker!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-148 We also borrowed this amazing sign from our Friendsgiving shoot we will feature tomorrow that The Duo Studio created… We’ve gotta say, it’s cuter with these guys holding it!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-111 meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-115 meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-120 And don’t forget about thank you cards!!  We thought these cards from Tiny Prints were perfect to send to our sweet guests or even to family members!

meganwelker-beijoskidsgiving-149 Wishing all of your littles a Happy Thanksgiving!!


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