Host an End of Summer Evening of Glamping


Glamping Trip | A Fabulous Fete
 

I have to say it. Where the heck has summer gone? I feel like we were just hanging in Palm Springs to kick off the season of fun in the sun. I guess, technically it’s not over. And really, California stays hot through November… but you can’t help but be reminded every single day as people all over the place are trading in their bathing suits for scarves and coats. I’m not saying goodbye just yet, but I did want to fit in one more summer inspired getaway before we say hello to September, back to school, and the cool down.

Where I really wanted to go for our glamping trip… well let’s just say with the current heat wave… I wasn’t sure we were going to make it back without heatstroke. So I’ll save it for one of the cooler months. I think we hit the jackpot though and headed out through LA traffic to call this little Airstream home for the weekend.

Not much could’ve made our time there better. Friends, food and Santa Margherita wine was all I needed. And maybe that stunning backdrop. High above the noise of the city we set up “camp” and had ourselves some quiet time, just what we needed to forget about any responsibilities, at least for the night.

 
Hummus Happy Hour Spread | A Fabulous Fete
Glamping necessities | A Fabulous Fete
 

For me, having beautiful things surrounding me can only improve my experience. So even though we were doing our own version of camping, I made sure to bring a few essentials to create a cozy space.

I packed a few butterfly chairs, fluffy throws, lightweight rugs and serving boards for our snacks. We set it up outside of our airstream to enjoy what we had come there for, being outdoors. All of us, even the dogs gathered onto our picnic space and enjoyed a snack platter with some classic Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and Prosecco Superiore. Twinkle lights were set up for after dark along with pillows for stargazing.

 
End of summer clamping trip in an airstream | A Fabulous Fete
The perfect combo with crystal, wood boards, black plates + flatware and a touch of pink | A Fabulous Fete
Healthy Hummus Snack Platter | A Fabulous Fete

I know I always say it, but I kept the snacks more simple than ever this time.

I knew we wouldn’t have much prep space or room to store ingredients in a fridge, so we brought a cooler of pre-packed items to create the ultimate hummus board! It was easier than our usual cheese spread and a little different to change things up. The light dips went well with the pinot grigio. We paired the two with some carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, crackers, olives and nuts.

Our local grocery store has a new selection of hummus options which I was super excited about (haha, yes, excited about hummus). But, they come in flavors like carrot, beet, black bean and edamame. it was such a fun twist on our usual choices! You can also make your own by mixing in ingredients of your choice.

How to host a glamping picnic |  A Fabulous Fete
A night away at this cute little airbnb airstream! | A Fabulous Fete
Cheers to a much needed night away in this adorable airstream | A Fabulous Fete

Like I said, our airstream was located in LA.

Not the typical location when you think of glamping. It would be perfect for a night or two if you were making your way through CA and wanted a different experience. Live in CA? Our airstream was located in the Hollywood Hills which was close enough that it’s easy to get to, but feels like your far away from the city... even though you can actually see the downtown skyline from the property. We will definitely plan more days to visit this spot! You can check it out here.

Hollywood Hills view | A Fabulous Fete
Love these butterfly chairs for glam-camping! | A Fabulous Fete
Elevated s'mores complete with gourmet chocolate and hand lettered tags | A Fabulous Fete

What camping trip would be complete without some s’mores?!

But since we were glamping, I knew we had to offer up some “elevated” versions. I ordered some gourmet chocolate bars in different flavors to mix up the usual selections. You could also pair those with some homemade marshmallows to take your kits one step further! I packed each kit in a muslin bag with a hand lettered tag, graham crackers and a skewer.


Camping must have - s'more kits! | A Fabulous Fete
Hand lettered tags for individual s'more kits | A Fabulous Fete
Airstream camping | A Fabulous Fete
Airstream getaway | A Fabulous Fete
 

We had such a fun time. It was definitely outside of our usual “dinner party” which I loved! I think it’s always great to get out of your element, your city, and your comfort zone… if only once during the summer, it’s definitely worth it!

So what do you guys think, could you host an evening of glamping with your friends? Hopefully our tips helped if you’re planning something similar!

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita Wines

Images by Chelsea Loren Photography

 

How I'm Changing My Fear of Flying


Balcony Views in Brooklyn | A Fabulous Fete

Just booked a trip and the flight to get there. Insert anxiety attack, panic attack, hyperventilating, nausea, shaking, crying and sweating. Ya, and I'm not even getting on the plane yet. I'm one of the millions (? didn't research that but probably accurate) of people that would rather just not travel at all than fly. And it SUCKS. I can't say that I have ever not booked a trip because of it, but the stress that comes with even the shortest flight is incredibly overwhelming. The fact that I get sick for at least 24 hours surrounding a flight is one of the most frustrating things to put up with especially when you are trying to relax and go on a vacay. So many people say, it's fine... why do you think about it so much... you're safer in a plane than a car. What they probably don't understand is 99% of what is happening in my head and physically to my body is out of my control. I know a lot of you get it.

So this year when I decided, we are going to travel more, explore new places, and really set goals + budgets for getting out of town, I knew I had to figure something out. I casually mentioned my fear on instagram a few weeks ago, not thinking anyone would really come to the rescue with their great advice... but that's exactly what happened. I had some amazing recommendations and a lot of DM's encouraging me, sharing their similar struggles and checking in once I got to my destination. Mostly I was like, wtf, why didn't I do this sooner? I tried a lot of what people recommended and felt a HUGE difference on my travel days. Some of the stuff they said, I was a little skeptical about at first... but at this point I was really open to anything. So I want to share a few tweaks I made in the hours/days surrounding travel that made me an (almost) fearless flyer in JUST ONE TRIP.


MEDITATION

This was by far the one that I was like, oh ya right... that won't work. I never understood meditation and am still learning about it and how to do it. I always thought that people who meditate would sit on the floor for an hour having an out of body experience, both of which I don't have time for;) But someone recommended the 'Headspace' app, so I checked it out. It basically leads you through meditation and most of them are around 3 minutes for one session. I figured I could try anything for a few minutes. I did the "basics" and the "fear of flying", both of which were free on the app. I listened a few times and after that was able to repeat it in my head whenever I would start to feel anxiety coming on... in the car, in the airport, on the plane, etc. I think teaching yourself how to calm your mind is probably the biggest trick to being able to fly, at least for me. This app was a game changer... now I just need to keep up with it!

SKIPPING THE CAFFEINE

Ok, I was like HELL NO, no way am I skipping coffee the morning before a flight. I did not skip coffee on my first flight but DID on my flight back (mostly because of time, not by choice). But I felt so much different on the second flight. Traveling in a new airport when you don't know how long things will take or where you are going is usually so stressful for me... so I anticipated the day going home to be much worse which was not the case this time. Still not sure I'm going to avoid all caffeine on travel days, but think it's worth some more research to see if it's truly what is helping.

HAVING SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

This past trip to NY was for work, so it was mid-week which meant I was able to fly home right in time for the weekend. I really believe that since I didn't have to come home to a day of work, it made my stress levels come down a bit. When we usually fly home from a vacation, we are trying to use up as many "non-work" days as possible, so we end of flying home at night, or even on a red-eye, and get to work the same or next day. Knowing that I was coming home to sushi and a beach day just meant that I wasn't adding extra stress with to-do lists piling up in my head. I know it's not always possible, but is worth a shot if you can plan around a day off!

WINE

Haha... but really. If it's after 11am, I'm having a glass of wine on my flight. A few people said to steer clear of this, and I actually did pre-flight (I used to hit the bar as soon as I got to the airport to ease my nerves). But a lot of my anxiety kicks in when we are 45 minutes in and I know I have to sit in a tin can in the air for another 5 hours. My routine is almost set in stone at this point... grab a glass of wine, work on a blog post or something fun for an hour while enjoying said wine. Forget that you're flying because you're enjoying something familiar, like you would at home. TRY and sleep... Once I make it through those first 2 hours, it's usually smooth sailing for the rest of the flight.

UPGRADE

Not like to first class or anything (but if you can, DO... duh) but just to those seats with a little extra room, a little extra customer service, and free tv;) I've been doing this when possible and it's made a huge difference in my experience. You get on the plane first and aren't panicking for a place to put your bag. Honestly free movies and tv is a huge perk for me which again, I think goes back to doing something that makes you feel at home. I usually turn on a show that we watch at home while cooking dinner... it's familiar and comforting in a strange way. And it's clear that the closer to the front of the plane you are, the better service you receive. When people are mean or snippy around me when I am panicking on a flight, it just intensifies those feelings which is why I think this move has helped a bit. I know it's not always an option, but when it is, I'm making it happen. I'd rather have a calm flight than a new pair of shoes anyways;)

I hope a few of these can help fearful flyers! Most of these came from instagram friends, so I have them to thank for trying all of this and really changing my feelings about travel. It's amazing that I have so many thoughtful people over there that wanted to give their advice. Thank you again if you were one of them!

So, what are your tips for flying? What have you found helps on travel days? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

How to Host a Cozy Beach Picnic This Summer


Sunset walks down the beach in the summer | A Fabulous Fete
 

If I can pick one thing that blogging and creating content for A Fabulous Fete recently has taught me, it's that taking the time out to plan little adventures is SO worth it! As i've been sharing my entertaining ideas with you this summer, it's forced me to think outside of the box about fun things you can all do around your home too, outside of the standard glass of wine that we always fall back on. I think we forget about all of the simple things we can do that don't take a ton of effort to organize. My number one example is heading down to the beach! We are always there on the weekend, but rather than creating something special, we head to our favorite restaurant... not the most memorable.

I wanted to get my friends together to enjoy one of our gorgeous summer sunsets at the beach. My goal this time though, was to make it as effortless as possible. It's not fun to lug down bags and bags of stuff to the beach. So I'm going to share some tips for creating a stunning, but EASY beach picnic. If you're not by a beach? No prob, head to your local lake, park, river or whatever it is you have! The only mandatory items are yourself, friends and a good view (oh, and wine never hurts).

 
Palm Trees, Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
how to make this simple snack platter for your next girls night | A Fabulous Fete
Gem glasses perfect in the sand for a beach picnic | A Fabulous Fete
pizza party at the beach | A Fabulous Fete
Beach tote with picnic necessities | A Fabulous Fete

One thing we always have plenty of at our get togethers is food.

So while I wanted to have our usual spread of fruit, cheese, etc. I also wanted to make sure it was portable and easy to serve. I packed up 2 trays and stopped at the store on the way. I picked up crackers, nuts, olives and some grapes. The key was nothing had to be prepped when I got there, nothing to cut, wash and definitely no utensils. Grocery stores always have a great section with snacks and meals ready to go, so opt for that to make sure you aren't working once you get down to your spot!

Oh, and we definitely ordered a pizza. And yes, they delivered it to the beach for us. If you can do a beach delivery I highly recommend it! No figuring out how to get all the food down without dropping something along the way.

And finally, we paired our snacks with a little Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore. In my opinion, you can pair anything with prosecco, it's my favorite. But I think it went perfectly with our light snacks!

What every happy hour should include! | A Fabulous Fete
cozy beach picnic essentials | A Fabulous Fete
Create a gorgeous snack spread with little to no prep for impromptu picnics | A Fabulous Fete

Choosing your spot.

While it's not always possible, do a little research beforehand to find your most secluded spots. If you're headed to the beach, avoid surf spots, anything with incredibly easy access (ie. lots of parking) or main beaches close to the "downtown" areas in a city. We are always popping in little coves during our time at the beach just to check it out and see if we want to come back.

How to easily set up a beach picnic | A Fabulous Fete
girls night at the beach | A Fabulous Fete
flowers at the beach for a fun little picnic, see more on the blog! | A Fabulous Fete
the easiest way to do a picnic... pizza | A Fabulous Fete
summer picnic essentials | A Fabulous Fete
Celebrating summer in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete

So, what about decor, right?

Well, if you're anything like me, you'll want it cozy, and definitely ready for any photo ops. We each carried down a blanket and a pillow and we were set! I love our oversized quilts as a base and then having smaller throws on top to use once the sun starts to set.

I also grabbed a bunch of flowers at a stand on the way down. If you are hosting a special occasion, this is the perfect way to add a floral touch without going overboard with an arrangement. I tucked them in one of my straw totes on the way down and didn't even know they were there.

If you plan on bringing any plates, cups, etc. just roll them up in your blankets to save space. I almost always bring along cloth napkins as well which work great around serveware! It saves space but also keeps your things safe.

See more on how I set up this cozy beach picnic for friends this summer! | A Fabulous Fete
Pink Roses | A Fabulous Fete
How to put together a simple summer gathering | A Fabulous Fete
Laguna Beach sunset | A Fabulous Fete

It ended up being a gorgeous sunset and such a fun time with friends. I'm always so glad when I take the time to plan things out a bit and make them extra special.

What are you guys doing to get out more this summer? I hope these tips make planning a get together a tiny bit less daunting!

And 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.

Post in partnership with Santa Margherita Wines

Images by Chelsea Loren Photography