Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day 2015I just want to take today to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.  I know that Mother’s Day can be an exciting time for some and harder for others who may have loss their mother or their child.  Today is often hard for me because I loss my only son to leukemia so I stand with those mothers and often struggle with wondering if I still am a mom.  BUT today, I celebrate ALL mother’s!  Celebrating those who are here, honoring those who have gone ahead and encouraging those whose children are no longer here.  We are all mother’s!  You deserve to be celebrated.

I hope you enjoy your day!

Take Care,

Erika

 

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Happy Cinco De Mayo

I had a wonderful time working with wonderful event professionals for this Cinco de Mayo themed bridal shoot.  Great job to Niloufar Gibson of Perfectly Made Weddings, LLC for such a wonderful vision.  I had the pleasure of creating custom stationery for the shoot.

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What an amazing day!

Event Planner – Perfectly Made Weddings
Photos – Krista Mason Photography Florals – The Events Boutique
Stationery – Erika’s Elegance Weddings and Events
Tuxedos – Friar’s Tux
Venue Molaa Art Museum
Linens – Glow Concepts Fine Linens

Have a great day!

Take care,
Erika

2014 New Year’s Resolution

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Well we are closing in on another year out with the old and in with the new.  I don’t know about you, but this has been a humdinger of a year for me.  I have faced many challenges over the course of the last 12 months, many I would not want to experience again.  I have seen many posts and discussions about New Year’s Resolutions.  I have even been a part of many of those discussions.  Often times, when talking about our resolutions, we want to focus on the things we would like to change in for the New Year or that we want to do differently.

 This year, I am switching the focus a bit.  Of course, there are things that I am working on both personally and professionally.  But there are some things that I am pretty darn happy with and so I want to countdown my top 10 work/life philosophies that I want to carry into the New Year with me.  Are you ready?

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CREATIVITY allows you to dream BIG.  I encourage you to think outside the box.  Some of the best ideas have been birthed by what I call “crazy thinking.”  Often times I’ll have ideas that seem even outlandish to me.  They at times don’t make sense, but when I put all of the elements together those are the times when I have created some of my best pieces of work.

Glitter Gold 9I want to be able to always provide supreme VALUE to my clients.  I believe they deserve the best I have to give whether it’s during a planning session, vendor meeting, or on event day.  I want every encounter we have to add value to their life.

 

 
Glitter Gold 8Paying ATTENTION TO DETAILS is one of the things I strive to improve upon daily for my events.  I love to take a client’s vision and to incorporate one key element into every element of the event, albeit entertainment, design, or décor.  I once had a bride who wanted to be a princess, not only did she dress like a princess, but she was pulled by statesmen to her groom in a white carriage.  She was then transported from the ceremony to the reception site in a horse drawn carriage.  I love finding ways to pull unique elements into my client’s day.

 

Glitter Gold 7GRIT is the same thing as passion, sticking to it, pushing forward even when there are multiple things stacked against you.  This is so important in life.  You never know who you may inspire while you’re pushing your way through.  I have often found at times, I inspired myself.

 

 

Glitter Gold 6PROFESSIONALISM that should be displayed in everything that you do.  Other’s want to know that you take what you do seriously.  This is displayed in how you run meetings, the tone and look of your emails, and even your overall demeanor.

 

 

Glitter Gold 5I believe that we either learn something new every day, or gain insight into things that we already know.  GROWTH is so important.  I never want to stay stagnant.  I love to feed my mind with new things, whether it’s learning a new word, learning something about a new topic, or even learning a new game during my down time.  I can always count on my hubby to help me grow in the news area, he is a LOVES the news and always keeps me abreast of what’s going on in our world.  I truly appreciate him for that because I would spend all my time creating all day :).

 

Glitter Gold 4POSITIVITY can make a difference in how your day goes.  Have you ever been down and then someone came and just started speaking positive thoughts into your life?  Or have you have just started reading some motivational material and it just pulls your inner spirit up.  I’ve learned that life happens, and often times we are dealt lemons, but I am so grateful for the person who came up with the saying “when life hands you lemons make lemonade,” because how you choose to deal with life’s happenings can mean a new opportunity, a new creative idea, or even a new encounter with someone.  Negativity drains so much out of you.  It is said that it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile and I’m all about conserving energy :).

 

Glitter Gold 3 GREAT RELATIONSHIPS is a must for everyone.  I am a firm believer, that EVERY one doesn’t need to know your business, however, it is important to have a close circle of friends who can encourage you, who you can bounce ideas off of, or who can just be there when you need them.  These relationship should be cultivated and they should always be reciprocal.  We often get into relationships that are one sided and one person’s needs aren’t being met.  I’m talking about those times when you both are giving 110%.  And yes, those type of people are out there, and they are just waiting for YOU!

 

Glitter Gold 2INTEGRITY is one of the most important elements of you and your business.  You have to create an environment where your clients and vendors can trust that you will operate in their best interest.  This means meeting deadlines and delivering what you promise.  I was always taught by my parents that if you don’t have your word, you don’t have anything.  This is a philosophy that I currently live by.

 
Glitter Gold 1Lastly I want the LOVE of God to shine so brightly through me that my clients, vendors, and prospects all experience the same love that my family and friends receive.  It is easier to love those who we are in constant relationship with, but I want to be able to love everyone because love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud.

 
Although I placed a numbering system with the items they are ALL important and valuable attributes I think that are important for your mind, body and soul.  I am so happy for all the support you’ve shown me over this past year.  I look forward to growing together in 2015.  Happy New Year.

Let's Do This

Take Care,

Erika

It Feels Like Christmas Time Here!

I probably sound repetitive by now, but Christmas is my most absolute favorite time of the year.  It is a time that I get to use my own creativity for decorating my home for the holidays.  I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri with thick Louisiana roots.  One of the biggest things I love about Christmas time in Saint Louis is the snow.  I always loved playing in the snow and have fond memories from my childhood.

When I visited home last Christmas there were two major snow storms so needless to say, I was in heaven.  The snow became a release for my family and I because we lost our dad during the holiday season, so playing in the snow became therapeutic and I now have a new found fondness for the snow.  I made snow angels, went sledding with my nieces and nephews, and had good ‘ole fashion snow ball fights.  So when I thought about what would be a great concept for this year’s décor, it was a no brainer for me.  I wanted to have the same wintery feel in my home in California which is the inspirations for this year’s Christmas tablescape.  When I think of the winter, I not only think of the crisp white snow right after a snow storm, I think of things that you need to keep your warm for the snow.  Things such as boots, wood burning fireplaces, and thick furry clothing.

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I started by created these furry napkin holders made out of items found at your local fabric and arts and crafts stores.  The deep brown color paired really well against the crisp white linen napkins (which I had in my stash).  I wrapped the fur around the napkin to resemble a hand muff used when I was a little girl.

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My hubby had the wonderful idea to add the candy cane to the set-up and I absolutely love it.

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Next I cut more of the faux fur to create a placemat which was cut in the traditional size, but I let it hang over the side of the table against the white tablecloth.

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Next, I cut a piece of faux fur and tossed over the chairs to resemble a winter throw or those bear rugs you see hanging in winter cabins

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Next I wanted lots of candles to bring in the warmth for the winter season.  I chose red candles and used various heights of candle holders and even cut some of the candles to give a staggering look.

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Lastly I wanted to add a little faux snow on the custom sign I created.

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I was so excited about how this look turned out.  Every time I walk into our dining room I get feelings of nostalgia.

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What are some traditions, décor, or recipes that make you feel nostalgic?  Leave a comment here or hop on over to our Facebook page.  We’d love to hear from you.

Hope you are having a great week.  It’s countdown to Christmas.

Take Care,

Erika

Savoring Saturday A Look Back at Christmas

 

Every year, I have the pleasure of creating Christmas gifts for my husband’s team at work.  I love coming up with creative ideas to make the gifts extra special.  I’m still working on what the gifts will be this year but wanted to share what I did last year.  My hubby loves coffee and I notice that the team loves coffee and tea as well, so I decided to give a few savory Christmas time drinks that they could enjoy.

I created three drink mixtures that they would only have to add boiling water to and Voila, there you have it, a warm and soothing drink.  Every year, I also create a custom card.  I have so much fun acting as my husband’s little helper :).

 

This is the Christmas Card I created.  I wanted to go with the traditional Christmas color scheme last year and wanted it to be festive and to incorporate the look of  one of my husband’s favorite sweet treats, peppermint.  I love to find inspiration through many aspects when creating, whether it be family and friends, nature, or even something I’ve dreamt.

 

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The inside of the card read

Chocolate, Coffee and Tea for You,

To say thanks a Latte for all you do!

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Next I gave instructions for mixing each drink and created a cute little saying for each.

The first drink mix was RUSSIAN TEA.  I added “as you’re russian through your day take a moment to sip on this spicy soothing tea.”  Directions: Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of tea mix to 1 cup of boiling or cold water. Adjust amount of mix used to taste.

 I found this yummy recipe at allrecipes.com you mix all the dry ingredients and you have enough for 5 servings.

  • 1 cup instant tea powder
  • 2 cups orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package powdered lemonade mix
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

The next drink was FRENCH VANILLA CARAMEL CAFÉ.  I added “what a way to start off your day with a little French vanilla caramel café.”  Directions: Add 2 heaping tablespoons of mix to boiling water.

I found this recipe at food.com you mix all the dry ingredients and you have enough for 12 servings.

  • 1/3 cup instant coffee
  • 1 cup instant powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered caramel coffee creamer
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla instant pudding mix

 The last drink was the BOWERS HOT CHOCOLATE.  I added “take a little time and stop an unwind with a frosty hot cocoa, it’s warmth will relax you before you know.” Directions: Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depending on the size), add boiling water, and stir well.”  With this drink, I took cocoa mix and added chocolate chips and marshmallows.

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And I put all the drink mixes in this festive cup for all to enjoy.  I got feedback from some of the team and they loved the drinks.  Needless to say that made me very happy and my job as little helper was done until the next year :).

Have a great weekend!

Take Care,

Erika

Winter Wedding Wonderland

‘Tis the season!  As we start preparing for Christmas and New Years, I am reminded that winter is almost here!  Yeah, I love the winter season, the snow, the fashion and the crisp breeze that comes with this time of year.  Now that I’m a Cali girl, I love visiting Missouri during the holidays and often pray for snow when I go and usually get to enjoy one good snow day during my visit.

Although winter is not the prime of wedding season, I think winter inspired weddings are so chic and a couple can do so much with their color palette, wedding attire, flowers and décor.  The first step is finding the right color palette for you as a couple.  When I think of wintery color palettes, I think of hues of icy blues, deep purples, and crisp reds.  Take a look at some of our favorite red winter inspired wedding ideas.

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 red centerpieces

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manolo brides

red and gold small decor

With these awesome designs, you can easily say, I’m dreaming of a Red Christmas….I’m in the holiday mood, what about you?  Stay tuned for more holiday stuff and have yourself a merry little weekend.

Take Care,

Erika

Photo credit: Platinum Event/Project Wedding, John Labbe/Created by: Preston Bailey, Calligraphy by Jennifer, Finafani, Sane Wedding Planning, Weddinggs.net, Weddings on teh French Riviera, Reference Wedding Decoration, and Weddingomania.

What’s On Your Christmas List?

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday the Holiday season is in full gear.  I’m sure you have heard me scream time and time again, I love this time of the year, and share in the sentiments of singer Andy Williams “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

People are shopping and making their list and checking them twice.  What do you have on your Christmas list?  Have you been looking for that unique Christmas gift?  Check out our journals customized with name and tagline.  This book is sure to help anyone get a  jump start into writing their New Year’s Resolutions and Goals out.

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Our I Love Purses Journal
Our Leopard Pair Journal
Our Leopard Pair Journal
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Our Walking Into My Destiny Journal
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Our Sophisticated Lady Journal
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Our Letting My Light Shine Journal
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Our Success Journal
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Our My Cup Runneth Over Journal
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Our A Strong Sisterhood Journal
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Our I’m a Survivor Journal
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Our Bridal Journal

Ready to start securing that perfect gift?  Hop on over to our Etsy Shop for more details.  We are busy over here planning holiday parties and prepping for Christmas.  Stay tune for some of our upcoming holiday posts.

Take Care,

Erika

Giving Thanks

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time we spend with family and friends and reflect on things that we are thankful for.  It is awesome that we spend time on this day to give thanks, but I want to encourage you to give thanks today and everyday, it should be our mindset.  Each day we wake up is a blessing and another day to be grateful.  I am grateful for so many things and life is not always easy but I remind myself daily how truly blessed I am and I thank God.

I hope you that you enjoy your day and Thank You for your support.

Take Care,

Erika

 

Where’s My Fork?

So you’re preparing for your big dinner party and you want every thing to be right.  You’ve picked the perfect party theme, paired together the perfect color palette and have an awesome dinner menu that would make anyone want seconds and thirds.

You want to make a great impression on your guest and you want everything to be perfect.  All the decorations have been put up and you begin to set your table.  Fork, spoon, knife?  No, knife, fork, spoon?

What is the correct way to set your table for your dinner guest.  We’ll share with you the formal table setting that will guarantee your guest will say, “wow they really know how to throw a party.”

 

Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting
Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting

In order to get the correct information, we called upon the etiquette experts at The Emily Post Institute who is known for providing the proper etiquette since their first etiquette book in 1922.  Your table setting should include a charger plate, dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, teacup & saucer, dinner fork, dinner knife, salad fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, champagne glass, red or white wine class, and an iced beverage glass.

Start your look by using a charger plate.  The charger plate provides the framework for your dinnerware and is not used to eat on.  It is taken away once the dinner starts.  Next you place your dinner plate on the charger and the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.  You can add your napkin on top of the plates and add a name card or other decoration for a nice added effect.  If you don’t want to add to the top of the plate, you can add your napkin to the left of the fork.

Next you want to add your bread and butter plate which goes right above the dinner plate.  To the left of the bread and butter plate, you’ll add the teacup and saucer.  You can elect not to have the cup and saucer on the table and have it brought out after dinner.  Then you’ll add the add the champagne, wine, and iced beverage glasses.  The iced beverage glass goes directly above the knife, place the champagne flute to the left and the wine glass to  the right.

Finally, you want to place your utensils.  The key is to work from the outside in.  The silverware that is used first will lie farthest from the plate.  You’ll place your salad fork down and then your dinner fork closet to the plate on the left side.  On the right side, you’ll place your knife with the cutting edge facing the plate then your soup spoon, if needed, and lastly your teaspoon.

Also, If you have spoons and forks for dessert, you can set those up horizontally above the plate, the spoon handle should face right and the fork handle to the left.

I know it may seem overwhelming trying to get everything in the right place.  Although it looks really nice to have everything in order, what your guest will remember is the love and friendship that they’ll share with you.  So don’t sweat the small stuff.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Crab Boiled Themed Birthday Party.

Take Care,

Erika

 

It’s the Most Wondeful Time of the Year – Holiday Party Must Haves

The holiday season is fast approaching, better yet it’s here.  We just left October, Daylight Savings time ended and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Many stores already have their Christmas decorations out and I must say, I am starting to get into the holiday spirit.

This is my most favorite time of the year.  It’s a time I get the spend with my family and friends, catching up with what’s happening in their lives, and reflecting on the past which often brings lots of laughs and tears of joy.

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It’s also my favorite time of year because I get to throw a party and who doesn’t enjoy throwing a party?  So I want to share with you a few things that I think make a great party.

  1. Great Food for Everyone for me includes both the traditional holiday menu, as well as, great desserts.  I am known for my desserts and pride myself in mastering my grandmother’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese Pound Cake (but not like my granny)  and making Gooey Butter Cookies.  I also like to add something new to the mix and think I’ll be trying this new recipe for Dove Christmas Chocolate Drops that I found on the Dove website.
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    Image from Love Bakes Good Cakes

    In addition to the traditional meal of turkey and dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, wow my mouth is watering, I offer some “guest friendly” options.  We have several diabetics and vegetarians in our family so I like to cook certain items in my meal that they can eat.

  2. The Theme and Décor is very important to me because it helps set the atmosphere.  Most of your theme has been developed because it is the holiday season, but it is often fun to add an additional element by making it a “White Christmas” or “Winter Wonderland” in California.  Last year this was my theme backdrop for my dining area and it was so pretty.  IMG_9832This look was accomplished by using curly willow spray painted silver, cotton snow, lights, and silver ribbon.  You can incorporated your theme into your decorations and your table settings.  I am working on this year’s concept and I think it will include faux fur.  Can you tell by my themes that I must love the Midwest weather I left?  I do love the snow.  So you’ll have to stay tuned over the following weeks to see what I’m creating.
  3. Holiday Scents can make any home feel warm and welcoming.  A few of our favorite holiday scents are cinnamon which I accomplish by getting cinnamon scented pine cones and I love the evergreen fir tree scent.  Michael’s has these wonderful treecicles that are scented, they’re are a must have!
  4. Music I find adds a great touch to any dinner party.  Having holiday tunes as an under tone to great conversation will find you and your guest belting out tunes before you know it.  My favorite holiday tune is “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway.
  5. Lastly, filling my home with Lots of Love puts the icing on the cake for any party.  I want my family and friends to feel welcomed and relaxed when they enter the door.  I think the biggest element in throwing a party is love and that outweighs all of the other elements.

So what are you doing to prepare for your holiday parties this season?  Got any great recipes to share or decorating ideas?  We’d love to hear them.  I love creating vision for any party and would love to help you if you can’t quite pull all of the elements together.  Feel free to contact me.

Do you know how to properly set-up your place settings for your holiday party?  We’ll be sharing that, along with one of our real parties in our upcoming post.

Take Care,

Erika