A Simple + Indulgent Girls Night Snack Bar | Entertaining


A Simple + Indulgent Girls Night Snack Bar | A Fabulous Fete
Mix and match glasses to add a little interest to your bar or dinner table | A Fabulous Fete

I know what you're probably thinking, the thought even crossed my mind as I was looking through these images... How is this considered simple? Well friends, I'm going to share all of my secrets for pulling together a sweet and salty snack table in under an hour, the prefect trick to have up your sleeve for entertaining.

One of my favorite get togethers to host is a girls night in. The ladies appreciate and love the little details and I can go nuts with the candles and flowers (what my husband likes to call a fire hazard... whatever). With the Oscars just around the corner, I partnered with Toffifay to create an indulgent evening to pair with their sweets, the perfect excuse for a girls night if you ask me!

When I think of indulgence, all of my favorite things come to mind... chocolate, cheese, wine and flowers. Things that are reserved for special moments, things that make you happy 100% of the time, no matter what the occasion. So, here's how I created this sweet and salty snack bar with all of my favorite indulgent treats.

Break out of the norm and line up your snacks individually for your next party | A Fabulous Fete
Mix + match glassware for a girls night in | A Fabulous Fete
A great way to spice up your display, use individual dishes so guests can easily grab a serving then add fresh flowers | A Fabulous Fete
Snacks all lined up | A Fabulous Fete

My go-to method of styling is usually that 'messy, but not too messy, but everything is actually strategically placed'... method. For me that just comes easier than trying to create straight lines and symmetry. But, with all of these wonderful bites, I knew I wanted to try something a little different. I love the idea of dishing things up in individual servings for guests that are ready to grab and go. Less standing around the snack table and more mingling. As the theme of the table was indulgence, we started with the obvious, SWEETS. I used mini bowls for a few pieces of Toffifay, chewy caramel + crunchy hazelnut + chocolate filling in a single bite, in one line, and also chopped them up to top small bowls of greek yogurt. Next I added the salty; cheese towers with a few different flavors and marcona almonds. Fruit plates were garnished with a touch of herbs for color, and finally, several glasses of champagne, rosé and sparkling water were set in their very own lines, ready for the taking.

Greek yogurt with your fave crushed candy is such an easy dessert when entertaining | A Fabulous Fete

Mmm... above, chopped Toffifay topped greek yogurt.

An easy way to add interest to your usual wine or champagne, just add rose petals | A Fabulous Fete
Chocolates garnished with a small floral touch | A Fabulous Fete
An indulgent snack table that is actually simple to put together! | A Fabulous Fete

A simple backdrop was created with some plants pulled into the room from throughout the house. It added the perfect contrast to the white table and candles.

At the very back edge of the table I created a small "runner" with candle clusters. In between the candles I tucked in fresh spray roses, a few tulips and some filler. If you do this as your last task when prepping the table, the flowers will last all night without water. I love this idea because you need zero experience in arranging flowers, just trim, tuck in between the candles to hold them in place and you're done! I also trimmed a few of the roses that were more open and placed around the dishes for some color. Rose petals make a great drink garnish as well! Especially if you are using simple glassware, add some petals to take your wine or bubbly up a notch. (just remember to use petals sans pesticides! pull from your garden or find organic flowers meant for food + drink at a grocery store).

A table full of sweet and salty for a girls night  | A Fabulous Fete
Our favorite snack that's ready to go; marcona almonds from trader joes | A Fabulous Fete
A candle runner that also holds fresh flowers, no arrangement skills necessary! | A Fabulous Fete
Fruit plates with a tiny bit of herb garnish stand out from your standard fruit bowl | A Fabulous Fete
Mini servings make it easy for guests to grab and mingle | A Fabulous Fete
Break out your fanciest glassware for water too! | A Fabulous Fete
Stack a selection of cheeses for a quick sampler guests don't have to think about | A Fabulous Fete
A sweet and salty snack table with a mix of feminine florals and a tropical backdrop | A Fabulous Fete
Candle and floral table runner | A Fabulous Fete
Try this indulgent snack bar for your next girls night or cocktail party | A Fabulous Fete
Tropical party backdrop | A Fabulous Fete
Roses in your rosé | A Fabulous Fete
A feminine tabletop perfect for your upcoming Oscar Parties! | A Fabulous Fete
Add a few of your houseplants behind a simple table to create an instant backdrop for any snack or cocktail bar | A Fabulous Fete

So, how did this all happen in under an hour? Here are a few tips to make your prep and set up easier.

  • Seems obvious, but it is my number one tip for anyone, buy pre-chopped, pre-portioned, etc. when you can. Toffifay fell into this category being the perfect sweet treat that I could pop into a bowl, add garnish and be done. This also applies to fruit... whenever I want to add fruit to a snack spread, I almost always buy berries since they require no prep.
  • Have a color palette in mind and pull/place all of your glassware or plates and bowls out the night before. This way you aren't worrying about placement and styling right before you are hosting. Make sure you know what is going in each glass or serving dish to make your set up even easier.
  • Pull from your house! I pull plants, candles, pillows and styling items from the house into one room to complete the look i'm going for. You know it all ties together already since it's your own decor.
  • Keep it simple. I used to make complicated cocktails all the time (totally fun, still do it sometimes) BUT, people really like wine, prosecco and sparkling water with a little citrus. Buy a few bottles to have on hand and you won't be stressing with a shaker in your hand all night.
  • You need less than you think. I always used to buy a ton of new styling pieces, trays, cakestands, etc. But when you let what you're serving shine (especially if you can just add a little herb or floral garnish to do so), everything else will start to look cluttered. Focus on one element, like I did here with the candle/floral runner, and save yourself the time.
Oscars viewing party ideas | A Fabulous Fete

I hope this inspires you for any upcoming gatherings, or even gives you some last minute tips for an Oscar party! 

Post in partnership with Toffifay

48 Hours in Palm Springs


pool necessities | A Fabulous Fete

FINALLY, it's here. Every. Single. Time... I go to Palm Springs, I always say (to myself) I need to do a recap. There are a lot of little gems, and more well known ones, and every time we go it seems like there is something new to see. I get a lot of questions on where to stay, where to eat, and while I won't cover it ALL in this one post.. we will get there;) 

Last week we drove out to the desert to celebrate my husband's bday. We ended up hitting all of the usual (ie. popular, the ones you will most likely find all over the internet), but whatevs. It's hard to take a chance on a new place when you know the ones you visit regularly are REALLY good. I'm not a big risk taker, obviously... especially when it comes to food.

We stayed at the Alcazar. It was our first time here. We had driven by, it looked cute from the outside, and honestly... it was easy on the wallet so, BOOKED. It was totally cute and a very instagram friendly place (white walls covered in vines, palm trees and a sleek little pool). It was located right downtown which was really nice. It was also located directly behind one of our favorite restaurants, Birba, and Cheeky's. Very convenient. We didn't get in our car once since it was close to everything, but they also had bikes that you could take out for the day. We most definitely did, we needed a ride to brunch after all. There are places that top this hotel on my list, but I would consider going back one day. I'll list more of my favorite places to stay at the end!

Palm Springs Mountain View | A Fabulous Fete
vine covered walls | A Fabulous Fete
Oversized succulents | A Fabulous Fete
Lunching at the colony palms | A Fabulous Fete

We walked to the Colony Palms Hotel for lunch. I've been here once for breakfast as well and it's always been delicious, easy to get into (NO waiting like a lot of places!) and has the cutest scenery. Come here for a meal, and don't wear a jacket like I did, sitting outside is the best party but you'll most likely melt if it isn't December;) The Colony Palms is also on our list of places to stay and I WILL find a reason, soon.

The Alcazar, Palm Springs | A Fabulous Fete

The courtyard at the hotel, super cute twinkle lights came on at night along with their waterfall/fire pit which was the perfect place to have a glass of wine.

people watching in palm springs | A Fabulous Fete

This place... I had never been but immediately spotted a sign that said ROSÉ and noticed their adorable marble bistro tables. Sold. They also served coffee, but this is now on my list of stops when you're cruising downtown and need to stop for a drink that isn't in a crowded bar. Plus who doesn't like to people watch? (i will update with a link once i remember what it was called;)

a few of our favorite spots in palm springs | A Fabulous Fete

Cocktails at Birba. Post pool, pre dinner, one of the perks of staying right behind it. If anyone asks where to eat, this is 100% the first place I recommend. Their menu is always fresh and delicious, the atmosphere is fun (if you can get it, def make a reservation here) and they serve wine in cups like they do in Italy. I have no idea why but I love this. #weird

Palm Springs, what to do | A Fabulous Fete
The best way to get around in palm springs | A Fabulous Fete
Favorite part of vacay, coffee in bed | A Fabulous Fete

I love sitting in bed with coffee on vacay. Ryan's an early bird, so there's usually some waiting by the time I wake up. But when we're in PS, we usually head over to Koffi. Of course, their coffee is really good, but they have the cutest courtyard outside behind the shop. Lots of locals bring their dogs there and let them run around in the grass. I love relaxing their before we head back to our hotel.

DRESS || SWEATER

Where to lounge in Palm Springs | A Fabulous Fete
flowy dresses in ps | A Fabulous Fete

These flowy dresses are perfect for by the pool, wearing to brunch, or dressing up with some heels;)

DRESS || SHOES

koffi, palm springs | A Fabulous Fete
pool views at the alcazar in palm springs | A Fabulous Fete
mini cactus garden | A Fabulous Fete
Weekending necessities | A Fabulous Fete

So, you have 48 hours in PS? Here's what we did if you need some suggestions (in order!):

  • Checked in at the Alcazar
  • Lunch at the Colony Palms when you arrive
  • Drinks + dinner at Birba
  • The next morning, we always brunch at Pinocchio (disclaimer: this is not your typical, hip brunch scene. expect cheap bottomless mimosas, a big plate of diner style food, and good entertainment)
  • Make your own cocktails and take them to the pool! (A lot of hotels make you buy them from the bar, another reason to love the alcazar, byob!)
  • Dinner at Mr. Lyons (sit in the lounge for small plates, a more casual vibe, and lower $$$)
  • The next morning, stop by Cheeky's for an amaze breakfast and head home.

One of the questions I get asked most is where to stay. Here are a few of the places we've stayed and why we love them:

  • The Wesley: This is probably my favorite. It's basically a renovated complex that used to be studios. There are only 8 or 9 units in the entire space that surround the pool, lounge, and bbq areas. Each one comes with a mini kitchen/fridge where you can fully whip up a meal, a private patio and your own bbq. PLUS, you can bring your dogs! We always stay here and love it.
  • The Ace: You will be so very hipster if you stay here. Complete with concrete floors, beds on the ground, and fresh cocktails. I kid, but it's def where you will find the younger crowd and a happening pool. Don't stay here if you want your quiet time;) We love the private patios a lot of the rooms offer, the communal areas with outdoor couches, and the tasty cocktails they offer as well as a yum breakfast. You don't really ever have to leave here! And, again, it's dog friendly!
  • The Riviera: your larger scale, budget friendly, but still totally cute, hotel. I stayed here for a bach party and we had so much fun. The pool is FULL in the summer, soooo.. cool if you like a party, not cool if you want your space. Their restaurant has a good brunch and the rooms are pretty cute. Not to mention they are typically one of the cheaper resorts on the list!
  • The Saguaro: We have stayed here a few times as well. You've seen it's bright colors all over instagram and pinterest, which this hotel is famous for. I tend to like the simple or bohemian vibes in other places, but if you're looking for a place with a really fun pool/bar and something that is perfect for your colorful photoshoots and instagrams, this is it. And similar to the riviera, it's easy on the wallet.
  • Airbnb: We've gotten a couple of houses, and I will say... if you have a group of 6 or more, this is 100% the way to go. There are killer houses for under $300 everywhere when you pick the right dates. So, you have your friends, your bar, and a private pool, all in one place! The obviously vary per the date, but this has been my favorite!

Happy Palm Springs planning!

Taupe Letterpress Save the Dates for an Earthy Montana Wedding


Taupe letterpress wedding suite | A Fabulous Fete

Last month we had the pleasure of designing with C + P to create a simple yet impactful Save the Date that perfectly represented their upcoming wedding in the mountains of Montana. I'm always a sucker for a dose of contrast when it comes to design, so when we started chatting about the mix of earthy illustrations and luxe letterpress I knew it was going to be a stunning project. 

I shot a few photos as we were assembling and packing them up and wanted to share them here! Details are below on the individual pieces of this project.

Watercolor and letterpress wedding suite | A Fabulous Fete
Hand lettered semi-custom save the dates | A Fabulous Fete
Letterpress wedding suite + hand painted envelope liners | A Fabulous Fete
Simple taupe letterpress save the date | A Fabulous Fete
Semi-custom suites by A Fabulous Fete
Taupe letterpress wedding save the dates with kraft and white envelopes | A Fabulous Fete
Save the dates with brush lettering and letterpress | A Fabulous Fete
Letterpress details | A Fabulous Fete

So what was included in the package for these Save the Dates?

  • Semi-custom Save the Date design where we mixed brush hand lettered elements with our signature sans-serif font. The bride knew she wanted to go with letterpress, so we decided on the bright white double thick cotton paper to really make the simple design shine. A taupe shade was chosen to tie back to the woodsy liner design.
  • We illustrated custom liners with several fun watercolor trees.
  • The envelopes were pressed with the return address we created (with a combo of hand lettered names + their address in the same font from the suite) in white foil.
  • Each envelope was hand addressed in white brush lettering using one of our standard layouts emphasizing the names and block printing each address in all caps.

Looking for something similar? You can contact us via the button below for more info on pricing and details on working together!

How to Make Black Watercolor Notecards | DIY


Make your own watercolor stationery | A Fabulous Fete

For our holiday party at the end of last year, I wanted to add a handmade element to the gifts I was giving to everyone. I new it had to be paper + had to involve watercolor. BUT, I also wanted it to be simple enough that it would mesh well with everyone's style. So I dreamed up a pink version of these guys (you can see a little peek of them here). They were so easy, but really beautiful (I think), so I wanted to share with you guys how to make them for yourselves. I think they would be great for lots of things... personal stationery, gifts, party favors, place cards, table numbers, tags if you made them on a smaller scale... EVERYTHING. Like, who hates watercolor? NO ONE.

Black watercolor notecard DIY | A Fabulous Fete
How to customize plain stationery  | A Fabulous Fete
A five minute DIY to add interest to any of your plain stationery | A Fabulous Fete

I started with some double thick paper I had cut here. Mine was 260 lb. but I also found some 200 lb. here. If you aren't going to use a super thick paper like this, definitely be sure you are using a quality watercolor stock like THIS or THIS. If you use plain cardstock, it will warp and your end result will not be a nice flat card.

I used a round brush, size 12 and black winsor & newton watercolor. Add water to your color in a dish. Test on a scrap piece of paper. You will want the result to still be pretty opaque as you'll see in the image above on the left. Make a line of the black all the way across the bottom of the card then clean your brush.

How to create an ombre watercolor wash | A Fabulous Fete

After you have cleaned any excess watercolor off of your brush, dip it back into the water and paint another line, above the black line you just painted, barely touching the two.

Create your own watercolor stationery in just a few steps | A Fabulous Fete

Continue moving up the card using ONLY WATER, about 1 to 2 inches depending on how big your card is. As you add water and touch the original black watercolor line you made at the bottom, it will bleed up into the new brush strokes, creating an ombre effect.

Once your color is moving up towards the top, lay flat to dry. You can go back in with the tip of your brush at this point and pull a bit of the black up and create the little "bursts" you see below. The key here is to only use the tip of your brush to lightly move color around. Adding any more full brush strokes will just mix all of the color together. 

Make sure you have lots of pieces to practice on first. And use a light hand! After a few you'll realize it's a pretty delicate process that gets better as it dries. So take your time;)

Minimal black watercolor stationery DIY | A Fabulous Fete
Make your own watercolor stationery as a gift or party favor | A Fabulous Fete

Wrap with a bit of ribbon or thread once they are dry! They make a really great gift to have on hand, and are also kind of relaxing to make;)

If you guys make these I'd love to see!

Tag me on insta @afabulousfete and/or #afabulousfete

Supplies:

Leaf Lettering + A Summit to Learn All Of My Tips, Tricks + Tools!


Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 registration is open! Learn how to letter everything BUT paper, like these leaf place cards! | A Fabulous Fete

Lettering on everything BUT paper... it really makes me super happy. While I love paper, and invitations and all of that good stuff, I feel like when I letter on things like leaves and wood, I get to have a little more fun and let loose with my lettering style. I guess it's just all one big experiment and brings you back to those days when you lettered as a hobby... right? I mean, half the time I letter on random things, it's for myself or gifts so there is far less pressure to get things perfect.

And I KNOW you guys love it too, so I'm excited that there is finally a direction I can point you in for the biggest list of resources and guides I've ever shared. Modern Calligraphy Summit registration is now open! So you can sign up to learn all about the tools I use, where I source materials, how I use different tools on each material, and lots of tips + tricks in between. PLUS, there's 6 other instructors teaching and sharing on their own areas of expertise (brush calligraphy, copperplate, breaking the rules, layout + combining lettering styles, invitation design, watercolor and digitizing). All in the comfort of your home, wherever you live... and for an insane deal compared to trying to take these classes individually.

I know you will finish with so much new knowledge and confidence to take on new projects, try new styles, or maybe even (finally) start that business you've been dreaming about. I would've killed for something like this when I started out! Okay, not killed, but you get my point. 

So, to kick off registration (which is only open through MONDAY!), I wanted to share a quick peek at my process and one of the things I love playing around with... live foliage! We actually shot this so long ago, for the holidays and I never got around to sharing it. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get you all excited about what you could learn in the summit. 

How to letter real foliage | A Fabulous Fete

Leaves are so much fun to play around with for parties and events if you can work on them close enough to the actual day. There are plenty of faux options out there, but how fun is sourcing something local and seasonal where each is unique? The key is to grab them at their peak. Find leaves that are large and as flat as possible (to make your life easier) without any bruising or spotting if you can. 

I love using gold on the rich green foliage, one of my favorite pens is the pentouch marker. The gold is a true metallic that doesn't dry dull like others i've tried. It goes on super consistent without drying out easily and/or clumping. (this actually wasn't a pentouch, but i pulled the wrapper off on accident and couldn't remember the name of this one!)

I letter each in the same style I would as if I were writing in brush calligraphy or traditional. But, like I explain in the summit, with the markers I go back in and create the thicker downstrokes you would otherwise create with your nib or brush. That's it! It's a bit trickier since you aren't working on a flat surface, but if you use a light touch you'll get the hang of working over any of the grooves.

Gold hand lettering on real leaves | A Fabulous Fete
Gold calligraphy live foliage place cards | A Fabulous Fete
Leaf place cards, a fun addition to a simple tabletop! | A Fabulous Fete

These little guys are perfect for place cards, gift tags, or if you use larger leaves, signage, seating charts, etc. So versatile;) So if you want to learn MORE, join me and sign up for the Modern Calligraphy Summit here! And if you have any questions about it, feel free to leave those in the comments.