How to Host a Simple Craft Night with Your Girls This Summer


Girls craft night | A Fabulous Fete

 

If there is one thing my friends and I are great at, it's hoarding inspiration for projects that we want to do "someday". So recently, we've been making a point of getting together to chat a little business, sip a little wine, and attempt to craft all of those things you see on pinterest and instagram. 

With summer here, we decided to take it to the outdoors. Keeping it simple, we created a cozy little area around our fire pit stocked with everything we needed to keep us busy (and hydrated;) for the evening.

 

Craft night essentials | A Fabulous Fete
Craft supplies | A Fabulous Fete

As I mentioned in my post here, we have a lot of concrete in our yard. To soften it up (and actually make it comfy enough to sit for a few hours), we piled on the blankets and pillows to stick with our girls night color scheme, lots of pink;) We added in our bucket of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio on ice, some sweets to snack on and of course, beautiful blooms to accent the space.

We wanted to try our hand at crafting some wall hangings, so I picked up lots of yarn, driftwood, metal hoops and a few pieces of copper tube. With no real plan in mind (but lots of pictures to find inspiration from!) we dreamt up our own creations and got to work.

Transform your outdoor space for a girls night | A Fabulous Fete
Easy supplies you can grab for a girls craft night | A Fabulous Fete
Instagram worthy girls night set up! | A Fabulous Fete
Peach decor for an girls night | A Fabulous Fete
Wild arrangements by Beautiful Savage Flowers | A Fabulous Fete
Santa Margherita backyard get together | A Fabulous Fete

 

We kept the food light and fun. Sometimes planning a whole meal for several people can get a little stressful, so I wanted to be sure that we weren't focusing on that, but still had some of our faves. One of our friends is the donut queen, so she brought an amazing selection from a local shop. They added lots of color to our little spread and were a fun treat.

Since we did have so much frill and pink, I added in a few natural touches of wood and straw to balance it out. We kept our wine chilled in a wood bowl and the rest of our supplies in woven baskets. I also garnished the ice bucket with some fresh flowers, because why not?! It's a girls night, get as creative as you want!

 

How I hosted a simple craft night in our backyard | A Fabulous Fete
Easy supplies to pick up for a DIY night! | A Fabulous Fete
Essentials for a girls craft night in the yard | A Fabulous Fete
Summer craft night with the girls | A Fabulous Fete
Sweets for a girls night | A Fabulous Fete
Snacks for a craft party | A Fabulous Fete
Simple florals for a backyard get together | A Fabulous Fete

All About the Supplies

Like I said, we were interested in experimenting with wall hangings, and since we all have pretty neutral decor in our homes that is the style I stayed within when I was purchasing supplies. Here's what I picked up at our local craft store:

  • painted pieces of driftwood
  • metal hoops (can find in the embroidery/yarn section)
  • string and yarn in different colors and textures
  • small copper tubes (from the hardware store)

How We Did It

We all brought a few screenshots of wall hangings we had seen and decided to take it from there. Using a small drill bit, we made holes in our drift wood and attached them using yard and string to the hoops and copper pipe. Weaving the string in and out of each different piece we created patterns around the hoops, tassels on the driftwood and shapes coming from the pipe. Playing around with the pieces we had led to more creative creations than we had originally planned on!

Girls craft night | A Fabulous Fete
Wood wine bucket with flowers | A Fabulous Fete
DIY wall hangings | A Fabulous Fete

Some took much longer than others, and some just weren't picture ready;) This was one of our faves at the end of the night though! I loved that we didn't have a plan on exactly how to make these, but it got everyone to step outside of the box and use their creativity in a new way!

If you are planning your own craft night, I would really recommend giving people freedom. So have a general idea, grab supplies, and then let them take it from there! I just wish we could do this more often. It's great for all of us to try things outside of how we use our creativity everyday.

And wine, that always helps the creativity flow!

 

Cheers! | A Fabulous Fete
 

We had such a fun time (and were stuffed full of wine and donuts) and can't wait to recreate this night again with a different craft! I think the key for a successful night is keeping the project pretty simple so that you can still talk, move around and have a glass of wine (or two).

Have you ever hosted a craft night? What did you guys make? 

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita Wines

Images by Kimi Domino 

Flowers by Beautiful Savage Flowers

 

3 Reasons to Plan Your Stay at The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay


 

I recently had the pleasure of visiting The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay on the way out of town for our anniversary trip. Ok, it wasn't exactly on the way, but it was totally worth the detour. I went with intentions on visiting and checking out all of the wedding goodness they had to share here on AFF, and while I did, I felt there were so many other reasons to visit. 

From the moment you step foot out of your car onto their property, you are treated like royalty. I have only experienced this at a handful of places, but I can never understand why all resorts don't make this their priority. It sets the tone for your stay and honestly can make or break my opinion of a place. Yep, within the first 10 seconds. And from there, it only gets better at this oceanside resort. So I'll take your through our 48 hour visit giving you all the reasons you need to book your next trip to the Half Moon Bay area!

 
Gorgeous views in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
S'mores kits at The Ritz | A Fabulous Fete
The perfect spot for a glass of wine with a view | A Fabulous Fete

 

Confession, I've never been to San Francisco or any of the surrounding areas. This trip was the closest and has me buying my plane ticket back already. I'm outdoorsy.. but I mean like, I want to be outside, with my wine, and a stunning view. The Ritz took full advantage of their insane views with tons of fire pits to warm yourself by (because it's freaking cold there compared to Southern California!), outdoor furniture to lounge on and tables to enjoy a snack at. My ideal setting for some time off.

If you are looking for a venue to host a special event or your wedding at, they've got you covered. Between ballrooms and outdoor spaces carved out for parties of every size, they can hold more weddings in one weekend than I can count on both hands. It sounds like you might run into your fellow bride, but they assured us that they take pride in perfectly timing the flow of traffic for your event so it seems that you have the entire place to yourself. My favorite was this raised fire pit area (where we had happy hour below). They even gave us s'mores kits to enjoy by the fire that evening. How fun would this be for your wedding guests or as a welcome gift?

 

The perfect day in my opinion | A Fabulous Fete
Such a cute idea for a welcome amenity at The Ritz | A Fabulous Fete

Reason #1: Your Anniversary Celebration

So we actually came here two days before our wedding anniversary like I mentioned. The hotel brought in so many special touches from rose petals to a cute little snack box with, literally, all of our favorite things. It's things like this that can make an already special weekend even better.

Whether you want to golf and spend time outdoors, or you will be spending your time relaxing and recharging in the spa, there's plenty to do with your partner. Even exploring the town would be a perfect way to spend the day together and bond!

 

Thoughtful touch for an anniversary trip | A Fabulous Fete
Happy hour at the lounge inside The Ritz | A Fabulous Fete
 

I've been to two hotels in my life that had a lounge. And it is WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. Basically, these dedicated spaces are like a cozy living room with all the snacks, sweets and drinks you would ever need. If you need to pop in and grab a muffin or water before an outing, they're ready for ya... and if you just want a glass of wine by the fire, they have that too. The Club Lounge was accessible via a private key for guests in the 46 Club rooms. In addition to amazing ocean views, you can also enjoy a personal concierge staff.

Complimentary beverages, breakfast, light lunch, evening hors d'oeuvres and desserts were available daily. Cocktails were also served throughout the evening. It's amazing how much care they put into a place that doesn't know when your next guest will arrive. It was such a luxury to have all of this available to us throughout the day! Plus they had cookie jars stocked at all times, so I'd say if that doesn't make you want to upgrade, I don't know what would.

 

Bouquet building at the flower farm! | A Fabulous Fete
A simple bouquet built of fresh blooms from the flower farm | A Fabulous Fete

 

Our second day was full of outings in and around Half Moon Bay. I loved being able to experience some of the local treasures. If you are traveling outside of your home base for your wedding, I think it's a great idea to include points of interest like this for your guests. We do a lot of maps here at AFF that couples include in their invites to show people where to go, it's cool to see peoples favorite spots in different cities!

We visited Repetto's Flower Farm. This giant nursery started as a flower stand back in the 70's. They now have countless greenhouses growing their own fresh blooms as well as an 800 square foot room packed tightly with flowers that you can browse and pick out yourself! While we were there, we were able to experience their DIY service. Repetto's lets you purchase from their cooler (or fields when available), arrange in their space either bringing in your own supplies or choosing from their selection, and then store your creations in their cooler until your big day! We were told that there a lots of bridal parties that come in the week before their wedding and have a blast doing this... while saving quite a bit of money. I would be on top of this for every party, event and photoshoot forever! But really, such a great idea if you are on a budget.

 

DIY flower shop in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
where the flowers grow, check out our visit to this flower farm on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
scabiosa in the wild at this flower farm visit! | A Fabulous Fete
Flower grower in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
You can DIY your own wedding flowers at this flower farm, more on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
diy bouquet at this flower farm in half moon bay | A Fabulous Fete
Thomas Fogarty winery visit | A Fabulous Fete
 

We made a pit stop at Thomas Fogarty Winery to view the property (amazing) and do a little wine tasting. The views were beautiful, the chardonnay was tasty, and I could only imagine being able to host something here. They had this gorgeous grassy area that I fully envisioned a dinner party being held on... could be a nice little rehearsal dinner space if you ask me.

 

Winery in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
Stunning views with even more stunning gardens at this winery | A Fabulous Fete
goat farm visit in half moon bay | A Fabulous Fete
 

Yes, these are baby goats! We visited Harley Farms Goat Dairy where we toured the property, saw a real live secret garden and then played with goats. I could've just stayed here all day... well ok, I did love the flowers and wine... but BABY GOATS! Anyways, not the point of the story. The hold some events here so we were able to see they rustic barn space and hike back into another gorgeous ceremony area they called their secret garden. There wasn't really access for cars, you had to walk through (very cool) overgrown flowers and trees, it was just perfect for that nature loving bohemian bride. Not to mention, they could probably serve your guests some of the best goat cheese they've ever had.

 

Wildflowers | A Fabulous Fete
Rustic wedding reception venue | A Fabulous Fete
Tree moss in a secret garden | A Fabulous Fete
Harley Farms in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
Secret garden in Half Moon Bay, this bridge let to flower fields with a small wedding venue | A Fabulous Fete
Cake tasting at The Ritz Carlton | A Fabulous Fete

 

Reason #2 Your Wedding!

I say this all the time, but can I have a wedding do-over? (same guy, different setting)

The Ritz is just so completely accommodating in making your day the best ever. One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to experience their mock-up space and tasting. While they have preferred vendors, to do allow outside vendors. But, check out this beautiful space they set up and you might not want to venture outside of their recommendations. They shared a standard table (not shown) and then a fully styled option (shown). If I had this when I was planning our wedding I would have added 5 years back onto my life from not stressing over all of the tiny details. Looking at this would have put me at ease immediately.

We also tasted cake that their in house chef baked for us. He also shared options for a faux cake (with just an area for the cake cutting! genius) and a real one. Both beautiful, but great to see these options. Especially if you plan on having other desserts but want to cut a cake, I loved the faux option.

While I'm breaking all of the points from our trip down into smaller bits, you could really incorporate any of these things into planning your wedding! Spa days for the girls the day before, rehearsal dinner in one of their amazing restaurants, or even the morning after brunch with mimosas and bloody marys. 

 

Shades of purple and gold tabletop decor | A Fabulous Fete
Gorgeous violet and blush tones | A Fabulous Fete
Mock wedding reception table, a service The Ritz Carlton offers | A Fabulous Fete
Outdoor reception area at The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
 

With over 10 rooms ranging from just over 500 square feet to 7,100, there wasn't a shortage of space in the resort. 

 
Simple but cute little water station | A Fabulous Fete
Locally sourced ingredients at this amazing restaurant | A Fabulous Fete
Champagne fireside | A Fabulous Fete
Room with a view in Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete

 

Reason #3: A Relaxing Spa Retreat

Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself or with the girls. Hopping on a short flight to this location would fulfill that need perfectly. With a 16,000 square foot spa that includes 15 private treatment rooms, lounge areas with fireplaces, whirlpools, sauna and steam rooms... you could easily spend a day or two exploring it all. There isn't a set list of services at the spa here as they try to create experiences based on the seasons and natural surroundings.

If you aren't in the spa, you can keep your weekend of relaxation going by enjoying the path along the coast that stretches for miles, or dining on local cuisine at one of the restaurants on property.

 

Champagne and perfect blooms for this sunset reception | A Fabulous Fete
Happy hour at The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
Seafood spread at sunset | A Fabulous Fete

 

Foodies: this is the place for you. Everything is prepared so carefully, ingredients are sourced locally when available and their staff members go further than just handing you a menu and taking your order. I felt like they had so much knowledge behind each dish and were proud to bring every course out. Our last night visiting, the resort sommelier (who first led us through a tasting in their wine bar, Cork, which houses over 5,000 bottles of wine!) paired a 5 course dinner with 5 glasses that complemented each dish perfectly. One of my favorite parts about dining while traveling is learning the hows, whys and wheres behind a meal, so five dishes with 5 glasses of wine was overwhelming in a very good way. I'd highly recommend both of the restaurants, Navio (image below) and The Conservatory.

BUT, you CANNOT beat the view. So, my absolute favorite part of the weekend was a small reception the hotel planned for our group at sunset (above). The space and set up they had for us was the perfect example of a small cocktail hour you could (and should) have after your wedding ceremony in the summer. With overflowing seafood towers, stunning florals, blankets to keep us warm and staff keeping your glass full, every detail was perfect and so well thought out.

 
Dinner at Navio, The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay | A Fabulous Fete
Something for everyone here... going, jogging on the trail, or sipping mimosas with this view | A Fabulous Fete
 

Situated on a scenic bluff overlooking the rugged Pacific coastline with two championship golf courses, the resort is just 30 minutes from the San Francisco International Airport and 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Easy for those of us on the West Coast! So for any special occasion you have coming up, and especially with the weather warming up, take a look! 

Thank you to The Ritz Carlton, Half moon bay for partnering on this post. For more info, visit their site here.

Fo more area info, click here.

 

Summer Sailing Trip


The perfect summer spread! | A Fabulous Fete
 

I don't know what's better than friends, the sea, and a fridge full of Prosecco on a gorgeous summer day. So a few weeks ago, we gathered a few close friends and hopped on a sailboat to spend a little time in one of our favorite places. Our boat left from the Marina in Newport Beach and slowly sailed down the coast to finally anchor in Laguna for the day. 

We packed up the necessities; cameras, bikinis and LOTS of cheese. Since we knew we'd be nibbling all day on some light snacks, we made sure to bring our favorite Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore. It was the perfect light and bubbly addition to our day of lounging and taking a few dips (despite the recent shark sightings... yikes).

 
Friends on a boat | A Fabulous Fete
Newport to Laguna Beach sailing trip | A Fabulous Fete
A day sailing | A Fabulous Fete

 

Our catamaran was equipped with 2 giant trampolines on the front which we all spent almost all of our time on lounging! It was the perfect place to snack, sip, take a nap and even watch the dolphins.

 

Our day sailing from Newport to Laguna | A Fabulous Fete
Whale watching in Newport | A Fabulous Fete
A day sailing with friends | A Fabulous Fete
A Fabulous Fete
Boat trip with friends in SoCal | A Fabulous Fete
Cheese platter for our day on the boat | A Fabulous Fete
 

After we spent a few hours sailing, we finally anchored in Laguna Beach to set up our spread and jump in. I brought my usual; WAY too much cheese, some meat, veggies, olives and a few figs for garnish. It was actually not as much work as it looks like! We left everything packaged and in the cooler until it was time to eat. I set it all out in a few minutes, added a few fresh flowers and we were ready to go. This was actually devoured within an hour if you can believe it!

 
Santa Margherita Prosecco, perfect for a summer day trip! | A Fabulous Fete
How to set up a simple cheese plate when you're not at home! | A Fabulous Fete
What we always add to our cheese spread | A Fabulous Fete

How to Build a Balanced Cheese Plate!

One thing that I've found after years of serving cheese platters to our friends while entertaining is that you need to have a variety, but not SO many options that it's overwhelming for them. One time we turned our entire kitchen counter into a cheese board. I had to label it all and tell people about it, it was a little too much! So now, I always buy the following:

- a soft cheese (we love brie)

- a mild/crowd pleaser cheese (usually gruyere)

- a "stinky" cheese... something for the adventurous ones;) (you can do bleu or even a flavored goat can get pretty strong)

This works every time! It pleases everyone, guaranteed. I mean... unless you hate cheese or something. Worried about what to pair all of these cheeses with? Whites are almost always your best option. Reds can overpower many of your cheese selections, so sticking with a lighter varietal never fails. And finally, don't forget to finish off your spread with some meat and a touch of fruit. I typically pick up a mix of prosciutto, salami and/or chorizo to offer the same sort of mix that we would with the cheese. And while some people snack on the fruit, I'll be honest and let you know its usually a garnish;) Figs, grapes and pear slices are always winners though!


Mini carrots make a cute addition to happy hour snacks! | A Fabulous Fete
Snacks on the trampoline for our day sailing | A Fabulous Fete
Summer sailing trip | A Fabulous Fete
Anchored in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
A Day at Sea | A Fabulous Fete
Summer in CA | A Fabulous Fete
Pink skies | A Fabulous Fete
Sailing trip with friends | A Fabulous Fete
The perfect spot for sunset | A Fabulous Fete

 

On our way back, we took more polaroids (so FUN!), played a few games and admired the amazing sunset we were lucky to get that night. The day flew by, and we are 100% planning our next one! If you are in SoCal I'd highly recommend planning a trip of your own. They have everything from larger charters to Duffy boats in Newport. It was such a nice break from talking work, or the usual stresses in life. We were free from any distractions but our group of friends and acting like kids again swimming around in the ocean.

 

A day sailing with friends | A Fabulous Fete

And a reminder... have you guys had the chance to enter Santa Margherita's weekly contest on Instagram?! 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.

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita Wines

Images by Kimi Domino