6 Steps to Hosting the Perfect Pool Party


Fresh flower topped prosecco | A Fabulous Fete
 

Alright everyone, summer is officially here, and if you haven’t started celebrating… it’s time. I can’t think of a more appropriate reason to get together in the summer than a pool party. So, as I continue my outdoor summer entertaining series with Santa Margherita, I thought it was the perfect time to give you all some tips on hosting a chic pool party.

 
Fresh fruit spread for a summer party
Summer pool party attire | A Fabulous Fete

Trust me, I love taking it easy when those heat waves move into Cali… but nothing makes me happier than giving your everyday items a luxe touch. Especially when you have a crew of girls that appreciate those little details. Plus, it makes instagraming your day in the sun that much easier;) Here’s what we did to elevate our pool party spread:

1. Update your glass ware to something a bit more interesting. Whenever there is an occasion for Prosecco Superiore (made with aromatic Glera grapes in the hills of Valdobbiadene, a town known for producing the finest Prosecco Superiore, and DOCG status – the highest and most distinctive classification possible), I always pull out my coupes. Fun fact… did you know that the Coupe Glass is actually your best bet (next to a wine glass) for sipping vibrant wines? The wider glass openings allow the wine’s aromas to come through better and help people ‘sniff’ wine properly, offering a better rounded sipping experience. Keep that in your back pocket!

2. Add flowers… to EVERYTHING. They instantly class up anything, even your water. I purchased mine here and have since already placed a second order. They're affordable, they show up the next day and they are gorgeous. 

3. Throw in a signature touch with cozy decor. You can always count on a party hosted by myself to included some sort of delicately draped linens and flowers. There’s no reason you can’t have that outdoors! So we tossed some blankets down for our picnic and accented them with simple arrangements and loose blooms.

Palm Springs pool party | A Fabulous Fete
Rustic outdoor table that made the perfect bar and flower station | A Fabulous Fete
Palm Springs decor | A Fabulous Fete
summer party cover up | A Fabulous Fete
Girls day at the pool | A Fabulous Fete

4. Give them something fun to do. My favorite is putting out a polaroid camera with tons of film. You end up with pictures of everything from friends, to small details they loved at your party.

5. Keep their glasses full! This should actually be number one… most important on the list. Use oversized bowls, vases or pots to keep several bottles of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore chilled at all times. I don’t like when guests have to go searching for the next bottle, so make sure it’s right there ready to go.

6. Make sure everyone has what they need. Fill straw baskets with extra towels to dry off, blankets to set on, sunscreen, or even extra hats if someone wants to stay cool. 

A bikini and oversized hat - perfect for a weekend get together in Palm Springs | A Fabulous Fete
Fruit bowls served in fresh coconuts | A Fabulous Fete
sun bathing in palm springs | A Fabulous Fete
Pool party fruit platter | A Fabulous Fete
Coupes to serve prosecco at a summer get together | A Fabulous Fete
Weekend cocktails by the pool | A Fabulous Fete
 

We had so much fun putting this day together to share our tips with you! What are your go-to party tips for the summer?

 

Images by Yvette Goltiao

Flowers by Beautiful Savage Flowers

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita

Also, don’t forget that you can enter Santa Margherita’s weekly contest on Instagram! More details below.

  • Follow @SantaMargheritaUSA on Instagram and show us how you are enjoying a glass of SMA Wines by uploading a photo, tagging them and included #SMSUMMERCONTEST
  • Enter weekly, Thursdays through Sundays only
  • Prizes include:
    • Weekly Santa Margherita-inspired summer prize packs
    • (1) $2,500 backyard makeover Grand Prize
  • No purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. Begins 6/15/17 at 12:00:01 p.m ET, ends 8/6/17 at 11:59:59 p.m ET. Open to 50 US & DC legal residents, 21+. Void where prohibited. For official rules visit www.santamargheritawines.com/contestrules. Sponsor: Santa Margherita USA Inc.

7 Simple Squarespace Tips for Better Blog Posts


7 simple Squarespace tips for better blog posts

I've never been very knowledgeable on where I should host my site or how I am going to build it (creativity > technology). My requirements were based on how I could easily post pretty pictures. Remember blogspot? Back in the day when I started my blog, before it was a business and before I had the stationery and styling side of AFF, this was the best way, and probably most popular way, to start one. And so I continued to use it forever because I'm resisitant to change when something is "working". Around 3 years ago when I realized I needed to get serious about how my site was functioning and being able to customize it easily for my changing needs, I made the switch. And honestly, I chose squarespace because it WAS incredibly easy. I never actually looked too much into how to use it, but along the way, I googled a few things and figured out little tips that help your posts perform better, and a few small hacks to keep people on your site. I still feel like I really just want a clean space to post my content, but when you turn that hobby into a biz, you realize you need to pay more attention to these little details so people can find you and share your space! So I wanted to recap some of my most frequently used tips in case you are new to squarespace and building your own site. Tips that people like me, who are focused on the creation part more than the BTS parts of a site, can easily implement to create better posts!

1. Name your image

When you upload your images to squarespace (and probably many other platforms), you have the option to add a title to your image. I've found this comes in handy most when people are pinning your images. So instead of your image title which might be something like "margarita1.jpg", you can name them with a caption you'd want your reader to add on their own, ideally giving other viewers a better look into what your post is about. So you might name that marg image "How to make a margarita with 5 simple ingredients on A Fabulous Fete". That automatically populates and your readers don't have to put any effort into it.

2. Open in a new window

When adding a link, inbound or outbound, make sure you select the option so that it opens in a new window. Say you were crediting a picture, or linking to an article and you did not set the link to open in a new window, that person is directed away from your site. They could forget to click back and you don't want to encourage that, you want to keep them exploring on your own. Even when you are linking internally, I always do the same so that the readers aren't directed away from what they were interested in, in the first place.

palm tree shadows
 

3. Add text over images without photoshop or illustrator

When adding an image in squarespace, you can select several different layouts to add text over your images, no special programs required. If you aren't savvy in photoshop or illustrator this can save you SO much time if you are just looking to add a quote, caption or title to your image or post.

4. Play with image size and text layout

I've just started playing with this (at the request of Megan who is re-designing my site), and it's insane how much interest it can add to your posts. So rather than just a long scroll of images and text, you can wrap text around images, do half image half text, etc. If you drag and drop an image or text box (or whatever it is that is in your post) next to the item you want to split the post width with, it automatically splits the space in half (as seen below). You can also adjust the ratio (giving more space to your image or text) which makes it great for inserting a quick comment or link and highlighting an image.

 

freebie desktop download

5. Always give your drafts a title

If you save a draft without a title, it gives it a generic url like "abcdef123ghijk456" instead of "easy-margarita-recipe". Someone actually pointed this out to me when grabbing a link, so now I never save without it! 

6. Create summaries for related posts

I love this function! I know wordpress and other platforms probably do this automatically, but here in squarespace you can control it per post and decide what goes into it. Basically, if you write a post on a subject, at the end, you can create a summary that pulls in specific posts in a category or with a tag (see below, I created one that recaps other biz tips i've written). I love doing this for series that we have like desktop downloads or lettering guides. Then it pulls in exactly the posts I want to recap so that readers can scroll through those to read more on the subject.

7. Add buttons instead of text links or images

Ah buttons, my fave now. Instead of trying to put a text link into a paragraph, you can easily add a button. I love that this draws attention to exactly what you want to point out and looks so much more professional especially if you are linking to a product or something that is intended to be purchased.


I use utilize these tips in almost all of my posts. Once you start adding them it will become a habit each time you're creating your new posts. Would love to hear if anyone else is on squarespace and if you have tips that you've found since making the switch!


Kicking off Summer with an Outdoor Dinner Party


Outdoor dinner party with friends and wine | A Fabulous Fete
 

Can you believe it? Summer is just days away. And while we may still be experiencing June Gloom, I didn't let that get in the way of planning a celebration to welcome the season. The desire for gathering friends at a chic, but casual outdoor dinner party perfectly lined up with the launch of my partnership with Santa Margherita Wines. Not only do they have the most refreshing varietals for summer (ie. not a problem to work into my life and current summer plans!), they asked me to share my outdoor entertaining ideas with all of you! We have so many fun entertaining ideas coming this summer I cannot wait to share them all. But first, let's dig into the details of our kick off to Summer and how you can host your own.

 

 
Summer party decor | A Fabulous Fete
Table decor, all white for a summer soiree | A Fabulous Fete
Coffee table decor | A Fabulous Fete
Backyard summer party | A Fabulous Fete

When I think Summer, white immediately comes to mind. White decor, white flowing dresses, white wine... and white dogs? Not required, but a cute addition! White screams cool, easy and sophisticated. I knew it was the exact direction I wanted to take our dinner party. I decorated with a collection of white vases, white linens and pillows and served the Santa Margherita classic, Pinot Grigio. My florist and friend, Naomi of Beautiful Savage Flowers brought over bundles of white, wildflower inspired, blooms. We tucked them in moments before setting the table... I love easy arrangements that come together because of color!

get your girls together for an outdoor get together | A Fabulous Fete
Breezy dresses for desert soirees | A Fabulous Fete
Bring the indoors out to celebrate the beginning of summer | A Fabulous Fete
palm springs getaway | A Fabulous Fete
Ideas for an outdoor summer party | A Fabulous Fete
Outdoor summer hosting | A Fabulous Fete
Ideas for hosting an all white summer gathering | A Fabulous Fete

We served fresh greens with fruit and small bites throughout the night all which paired perfectly with the white wine. After the food was served, the cozy and casual setting invited everyone to mingle, sip and continue the night as the sun went down.

All white decor for a summer dinner party to kick off the beginning of the season | A Fabulous Fete
Bring the indoors out to celebrate summer! | A Fabulous Fete

I loved pairing all of our neutral decor with a rustic wood table to really ground the airiness of everything. And because I need some contrast in my life (and decor) I accented the neutrals with silver flatware and tumblers for water. 

We set the table in grass inviting guests to ditch their shoes and celebrate summer as it were meant to be, outside in nature... with wine of course;)

To finish off the table, lanterns and candles were bundled for soft natural light.

A mix of neutrals and white, more tips on hosting a summer dinner party on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
White dresses and white wine | A Fabulous Fete
Easy outdoor setting with a mix of all white flowers | A Fabulous Fete
Pinot Grigio, perfect for a warm summer dinner party | A Fabulous Fete
Simple settings for a summer party with a gauze table runner | A Fabulous Fete
Desert party decor | A Fabulous Fete
Backyard party with the pups | A Fabulous Fete
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, a fave for summer parties! | A Fabulous Fete
Cheers! | A Fabulous Fete

Hosting the first soiree of the summer was a blast and I can't wait to continue the fun. Stay tuned for all the fun ideas we have to celebrate summer outdoors! Santa Margherita is also hosting some pretty amazing giveaways to get you all set up for summer as well! Want to enter? Here are the details:

  • Follow @SantaMargheritaUSA on Instagram and show us how you are enjoying a glass of SMA Wines by uploading a photo, tagging them and included #SMSUMMERCONTEST
  • Enter weekly, Thursdays through Sundays only
  • Prizes include:
    • Weekly Santa Margherita-inspired summer prize packs
    • (1) $2,500 backyard makeover Grand Prize
  • No purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. Begins 6/15/17 at 12:00:01 p.m ET, ends 8/6/17 at 11:59:59 p.m ET. Open to 50 US & DC legal residents, 21+. Void where prohibited. For official rules visit www.santamargheritawines.com/contestrules. Sponsor: Santa Margherita USA Inc.

Images by Yvette Goltiao

Flowers by Beautiful Savage Flowers

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita