Monday, June 13, 2016

MacBook + Kate Spade Giveaway

Happy Monday, friends!

A group of bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you another amazing giveaway. Two lucky winners this time! The grand prize winner will receive a brand new 11.6 Gold Macbook Air + Kate Spade tote bag. Open to international contestants and must be 18+. Please review the full Terms & Conditions prior to entering. The more accounts you follow, the more chances you have of winning! We will pick the winners who are following all accounts. Good luck.

GOLD Macbook Air + Kate Spade Giveaway

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Easter Island Travel Guide | Part Two

My second installment on Easter Islands is finally here. Better late than never, right?! 

When I got back from this trip at the end of March, I had so many deadlines with companies and projects I was working on, that my travel guide fell a bit to the wayside, but it's finally here! That's all that matters, right? And just in time, because we're jetting off to Spain later this week for a much needed vacation. I know, I know, I just got back from a vacay, right. To say the last few months have been a whirlwind, would be pretty accurate. From work going insanely well, but keeping me a little bit too busy, to house hunting (more to come on that), events and just everyday life, it's been tough to catch my breath. Not that I'm complaining though. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "I know the price of success: hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." 

I was talking to my mom the other day, and we were saying how we still can't believe we were in Easter Island, and wish we could be transported back there right now. This magical island and it's people are truly a blessing from above. I mean it when I say it, it's the most wonderful place. Sounds cheesy, but being out in the middle of no where really allowed me to connect with myself, to enjoy nature, and to take a step back in time. 

The best part was the slower pace of life, and even though we did tours and hiked all day, everyday (hence, my casual and practical attire), they were so laid back, yet the passion in the islanders shined through even in just their smiles. More than travel tips or info, I really wanted to share my photos with you, to give you a glimpse into what it felt like to be in paradise! 

Aerial views right before we landed in Easter Island. Everyone's noses were glued to their windows and you literally could hear a pin drop off the plane because, it took your breath away.  

All photos above taken in the quarry where the Moai statues were created.

 Chilean pisco sour & the signature at Hotel Hangaroa, the Rapa Nui Mojito (the blue color made it even more delicious) 
My lunch every single day while we were there (six full days). Fresh, curried veggies and who can resist a side of fries. Delicious. 
The most delicious creme bruelee 

Thousands of horses roam the island

We took this photo seconds before this horse charged at us! Looking back now, it's funny, but was really scary at the time. 

 Oh hey, don't mind my raincoat and wonderful outfit...look closely and you'll see the rainbow behind me. It's right behind all the Moai statues. This is my favorite picture of the trip. 

 The famous Bird Island in the background. A huge part of the bird cult on Easter Island - to find out more click here!

If you have any questions, or would like to know anything specific, please don't hesitate emailing me! xo

Friday, June 3, 2016

Entertaining with Bering's & Zadok Jewelers

  SheIn dress ℅ |  BCBGeneration heels (sold out, similar here - comes in 17 colors and is 40% off!) | All jewelers kindly provided by Zadok Jewelers | All tabletop kindly provided by Bering's 

I am so excited to share with you the first installment in a three part summer entertaining series, featuring Bering's and Zadok Jewelers. This has been the most wonderful labor of love (do you know how hard it is to coordinate five ladies?!), and it truly went off without a hitch.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start incorporating more things I love into the blog, and one of them is playing hostess. We do not entertain often, but when we do, it is always done right. From the decor, to the food and wine, and most importantly the tablescape, nothing is overlooked and everything is planned perfectly. Hello, type A over here! 

When planning a party, there are so many things to keep in mind, but bottom line, you want to give your guests a night to remember - planning is key. Here are some of my trusted tips. 

 Be sure to plan ahead - set the table the night before, get the wine the week of, pre-cut veggies, prepare anything you can ahead of time, so that the day of, you can just throw it in the oven or skillet and voilĂ . Preparation also takes the stress out of the day because you know as well as I do, something always goes wrong. Outsourcing is also great when your hosting a more formal affair, or if budget isn't an issue. Instead of you cooking, running to the florist,ironing napkins or bartending, there's someone who can take care of that for you. Your spouse also has an extra set of hands, so don't be afraid to ask them for help too. 

Setting the mood is key. Whether your hosting a formal affair or a casual one, you don't want your guests coming into your house being greeted by an anxious and stressed hostess. Greet each guest at the door. It's the best way to truly welcome them into your home. Music is key. Have you ever been to a dinner party that didn't have music and it was so awkward?! Been there! Think about the people you are hosting - is it an older crowd, business colleagues, friends or family - and plan the music accordingly. Lighting is also key. Although you may be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, be sure the entertainment area has great mood lighting, and always have candles! 

I am so far from a cook it isn't even funny. That being said, entertaining doesn't require you to be a chef, nor do you have to cook an elaborate meal. The best thing to do is keep the menu simple and cook things you know. Serving family style is great for a more casual affair, while plating food for your guests is a must when it's a formal party. Most importantly, keep the drinks coming, and have several options for your guests to choose from. 

For me, this is the most important part of the party. Who doesn't love decorating the table? I'm not just talking place settings, but flowers, name cards, votives, centerpieces, tablecloths and table runners. Use the table to create the perfect ambiance for your party. Also be sure to bring some of those pieces, such as flowers, to the other areas of the house where you will be entertaining as well. It will create great flow., and won't go unnoticed. 

Dress the Part 
You knew I had to squeeze fashion in here somewhere, but it is true, never overlook attire when hosting a party. Whether it's casual or fancy, dress the part. Also, don't be afraid to include dress code on the invitation, after all it is your party! 

Most importantly, have fun!

Thank you to On Point Custom Homes for providing this stunning backdrop for our photo shoot. On Point Custom Homes is a leading custom home design and build company that has been creating a variety of luxury homes in Houston for the past 10 years. This home, located at their 2211 Colquitt, is currently on the market. Find out more information by clicking here.

design + development by kelly christine studio