A Valentine's Day Advent Calendar || DIY


A simple and inexpensive DIY Valentine's Day gift for you and your significant other! | A Fabulous Fete

We don't usually make too much of Valentine's Day around here. Usually we'll make a nice dinner at home + exchange cards. If there are any gifts involved, typically the rule is it has to be (mostly) handmade. We used to make a bigger deal out of it all... we had the dinner reservations, gifts, dressed up etc. But after a few years it honestly got a little exhausting (not to mention expensive, HAVE YOU BEEN OUT on valentines day recently?!). Ryan's bday is just 3 days after vday, and trying to plan and purchase ALL THE THINGS for both, became a lot. Plus, neither of us would ever win an award for being romantic, sentimental or mushy... so it's just never been something we've wanted to invest a ton of time or effort into.

I think that it is still a fun time to give each other a sweet card and make a special dinner together, though. So I do like our low-key celebrations and still like to come up with fun ways to show the love. I thought a fun Valentine's Day themed version of an advent calendar would be the perfect way to do that. All you have to do is come up with 14 things you love, like, or admire about your significant other and write it down. Then each day leading up to vday (starting on the 1st), you each get to open one. 

What do you guys do one Valentine's Day? Do you keep it mellow, go all out, or do you boycott it completely? Would love to hear your traditions (or NON traditions!) in the comments!

Valentines Day Advent Calendar DIY | A Fabulous Fete
Gift ideas for Valentine's Day | A Fabulous Fete

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Letter 2 sets of envelopes one through fourteen.
  2. Each person will get a set + 14 blank flat cards to pen their fave things about the other person.
  3. Tuck each one in an envelope and seal.
  4. Put each stack in order and keep in a box, or you can pin them up on a cork board, or garland style with clothespins!
Instead of gifts for vday, make this simple advent calendar by coming up with 14 things you love about your partner and opening one each day | A Fabulous Fete
Mini Envelopes for a 14 day Valentines Advent Calendar | A Fabulous Fete
DIY Valentine's Day ideas | A Fabulous Fete
Advent calendar you can easily create at home for Valentine's Day! | A Fabulous Fete

Shop the supplies I used for this project...

Living Room Update || Making the "In Progress" Work


Living room coffee table picnic | A Fabulous Fete

Have you guys ever set a word for the year? I talked about my first one in 2015 here, and have set one every year since. That first one though, I can honestly say made an impact. I'm a procrastinator, I'm not sure if it will ever change, but I'm improving a tiny tiny bit every day. So when I said "NOW" would be my word (like do it now, not later because you won't), it has lingered ever since.

With that being said, things have started to shift around the house since then. We've cleaned and cleared and kept junk piles (mostly) out of the corners and off tables. The laundry + dishes (usually) get done pretty quickly, and most importantly, we've started to tackle projects around the house. One giant, blinding mess that we ignored for years was a massive pool table in our living room. We used it a few times when we first set it up (it was handed down) and then it quickly became the place to throw crap when you came home. I kid you not, there were things on and under it that sat for years (gross and pointless). Like, clearly you don't need it if it's been sitting under a table for 3 years! So in 2016 I took some pictures, put it on craigslist and it was out of there within a week. Now we have this amazing open and airy space to do ANYTHING in... but collect junk.

Soooo... now, that means we have to fill it with something. You know, like furniture. And that is always a long process (find it, think about it, wait and think some more about it because you don't want to spend all that money on it, then when you do make the leap wait another 15 years for them to make and ship it). We finally landed on a snazzy little velvet couch, but are in that waiting period as they weave the fabric and whittle the legs from trees (kidding, but it feels like an eternity once you make that jump and buy a piece of furniture). And we are living in the "in between". 

With the holidays, I wanted to make this work. I wanted a space for our tree, for us to sit and for my girls and I to have wine night. So a while back when I partnered with Zola (you can see the posts here and here), I knew exactly what I needed to create the content for our partnership AND create something cozy for our space. While our partnership was to share their amazing registry selection, I also wanted to share all of the images as inspiration for a simple indoor space as it's been working for us for the past few months now.

Living room update | A Fabulous Fete
Simple pieces for easy entertaining | A Fabulous Fete
A simple living room picnic with friends | A Fabulous Fete

They had this fantastic wood table that I had actually been drooling over from another store. That was an easy decision. Then I picked up a few rugs, lots of fluffy blankets and pillows, topped the table with simple but eye catching serveware and that was it! I hosted a girls night here, we opened presents here, and I watched a few movies here. Even without being finished I love how it's turning out being my indoor picnic space;)

We (I) still have some work to do besides positioning the couch when it arrives. I'll be updating our art wall, hopefully some new shelves to showcase things we've brought back from travels, moving the bar cart and re-styling to make it a place to relax with a cocktail and finally find some plants I can keep alive for a while.

I will share more of the process, and these pictures were definitely done up for the occasion. It isn't this glamorous everyday! I will also share what it looked like before so you can get an idea of how far it came by the time we're done.

Gold plated ceramic appetizer dishes | A Fabulous Fete
Kate Spade pitcher | A Fabulous Fete
Cozy winter get togethers at home | A Fabulous Fete
Get togethers at home with an easy spread and flowers you can grab at the grocery store | A Fabulous Fete
Wood table with cozy blankets for winter get togethers | A Fabulous Fete
Piles of pillows and blankets for getting together around the coffee table | A Fabulous Fete
Gold cheese knives and matching appetizer plates | A Fabulous Fete
Recent progress on our living room update | A Fabulous Fete

I envision at least a few more days/nights of me relaxing here in my pillow fort while I can still make not having anywhere else to sit an excuse. 

Here are a few of the pieces we sourced so far for the room and used for our shoot with Zola!

New Year, Same Me (but in case we haven't met...)


I sort of have this love/hate relationship with the new year. I LOVE that I feel inspired all over again to reinvent and improve things, but I HATE that it takes the new year to make a lot of us feel like that! After taking a short break over the holidays, I thought a lot about what I want to share here this year, and what things made me procrastinate when it came to creating content for the blog (ie. why was I making it so hard on myself?). I think there was a lot of pressure to create amazing content, which I still love to do, but I do think there is a lot of room for me to share other stuff here that isn't as curated, styled or planned. Like, more behind the scenes, more business advice, a bigger look into calligraphy as well as more tutorials and tips/tricks... just overall, a deeper look into what goes on here, and in real life, every day.

I'd noticed that as all sides of my business have grown (including both A Fabulous Fete and Wilde House), people are interested in hearing about that journey, what differentiates the 2 companies and my role in all of it. SO. I thought, what better time that January 2017 to re-introduce myself, my businesses and hear a bit more about what you guys want to read. This has also most definitely prompted an about page update... but I'm waiting on a fun logo/site facelift to make that happen;)

Let's start with a bit about AFF and our "HQ"! I thought it was funny, when I was interviewing for an assistant, a lot of people thought that we would be working from an office... Instagram and pretty blog photos (I guess) can make it look that way. But, we have actually just taken over most of the spare bedrooms in our home to run both AFF and WH. We ALL (sometimes 4 or 5 of us, depending on the tasks that day) work from here, usually on alternating times and days (thank god, it would get pretty cozy otherwise). We do have a legit office space with our desks, computers, etc. it's not just girls on their laptops on the couch;) Although it did start that way back in the day! AFF has grown from me writing for the blog (first few years of that embarrassing blog had to be deleted, such a shame) at night after I came home from my day job. I worked at a corporate eyewear/apparel company as a developer (aka, I worked with factories all over the world to get stuff made, negotiate pricing, etc.). There were so many spreadsheets and emails and grey cubicle walls that I needed an outlet. After I wrote for the blog for a few months, I started an etsy shop where I handmade party supplies. That was back at the time when we were all obsessed with washi tape drink stirrers, tissue paper pom poms and thinks like that. My little drink stirrers even made it into Martha Stewart Weddings, cray... Anyways, my journey from there went something like this: I wanted to make parties in a box --> these were a bitch to pack and ship --> left that idea and tried styling parties instead --> good, but I didn't like working on the weekend --> tried calligraphy --> sucked at it for a year or two but got better at it and did a friends wedding invites and reception items --> started to build my etsy shop out with a little calligraphy --> thought I wanted to be a wedding planner --> assisted at a wedding, hated it, dropped that idea --> started to actually get calligraphy orders and thought more about pursuing it --> got really stressed out that I couldn't work full time AND grow my callig biz --> quit my job in 2012, had NO money for a long time but worked hard --> here I am today. And ya, that all took around 6 years. I talked a little more about having real expectations here if you want to dive deeper into that! 

Even though I feel like my business has found it's sweet spot, we are always evolving, every day. I don't think I'll ever settle down and JUST do wedding invitations. I have a love for so many other things that I know we'll keep expanding and finding new things we can offer! Which brings me to company number 2, which I started with a friend (who actually started out working with me for AFF!) Megan. Wilde House Paper...

What is Wilde House Paper? I don't think I've ever really explained it enough here... we kind of just jumped into it and never looked back. Megan and I are both stationery obsessed. And while working on wedding stationery is amazing and beautiful and fun, it's always very unique to your client and not something you can use in your everyday life. So forming a company that we could use our lifestyle ideas on was super exciting to both of us. We bounced around a lot of ideas and landed on starting Wilde House as a subscription box company with intention to grow into more products down the road. We launched our first box in November of 2015 and have been designing a collaborative stationery box every month since. Basically, we both gather inspiration for each months box and come up with a color palette and theme. From there we hand letter, illustrate and design 4 to 5 products that are printed and shipped out to our subscribers at the beginning of each month. We've also started to include small "styling extras" to encourage our followers to get inspired with their spaces and style up their desks, homes, or wherever they use their new stationery (and then share on instagram, duh;). It is extremely fast paced and sometimes a struggle with thousands of miles in between us (CA to PA!), but we love it and our growth over the past year is hard to argue with... I think everyone loves getting a surprise in the mail monthly, that is NOT a bill!

We had a small holiday shop in 2016 which was a new experience as we never had an "a la carte" shop. And while that is still on the agenda for the future, we have something even more exciting launching at the end of the month. But more on that coming soon!

So ya, it's been a long winding journey... I graduated high school with the intention of being a fashion designer. I attended FIDM, worked for a small clothing company for about 6 months and from there went straight to the corporate world which is how AFF was born shortly after. It's crazy how things work out, and even crazier to think about what is in store for the future!

I hope that this gives you a better look into what it is that goes on here. I know there's plenty of other little things we can talk about too which I'm excited to write about (how do you organize this into one day? how do you stay inspired? how do you work in a partnership? how do you hire your first employees? right?) 

But I'd also love know what you are dying get more info on too! I'm hoping that in addition to the diys, flowers, parties, and inspiration I share here, that I can also start sharing more advice or tips that is requested by you guys. So share in the comments if you have a question!

Images by Sunny Kim Photography

Kicking off 2017 with a Road Trip || Santa Barbara


Overnighter Billabong bag | A Fabulous Fete

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all got to take a little time to yourselves over the holidays. I had lots of plans (as usual)... works goals, home goals, alllll the goals. And then I was just like wait, you worked so hard to take some time off, TAKE IT OFF. And so I did. But, I did work towards one of the things I want to do more in 2017, and that is get out of town. We have so much to do in Southern California, lots of it literally within 20 to 30 minutes of us, and we don't take advantage of it. So while we had our little bit of time off, we decided to head up the coast and spend a night in Santa Barbara.

We didn't have any expectations for the trip. We were taking our dogs, going on New Years day, and it's the middle of winter. So it was cold, lots of places closed early, but we had fun, found places we could hang out at and made the most of it! I found the cutest hotel on Expedia (my go-to, i'm pretty lazy about hotel research) that allowed our extra large + extra small dogs called Hotel Milo. Our room was super spacious and located on the adorable courtyard pictured below. There were complimentary bikes you could cruise around town on, a nightly happy hour (which we took full advantage of, obviously) with a few local wines, and about 1462 photo opps with all of their lush succulent and palm gardens. We're most definitely going back.

We took a walk down the pier, headed to one of the dog friendly tasting rooms, DV8, and then had dinner at a restaurant called Cadiz (trust me and order the mushroom risotto + ahi bruschetta if it's still available). Somehow all of this filled the entire day. We were hoping to visit a few more of the tasting rooms but since many of them were closed for the holiday, all that were open were completely packed. Much of our wine tasting was done at the happy hour that our hotel hosted (well, i guess more drinking than tasting)... they had cozy little fire pits that kept us warm for a few hours until it was time for dinner. The next morning we tried out Sambo's, a retro diner we pass every time we have been to SB but had never had the chance to stop at. They have giant mimosas and crab + avocado omelettes, enough said.

Basically everything we did was on a whim or something we quickly googled, and it all ended up being perfectly cute, comfortable, delicious and entertaining... sometimes not planning is the way to go! But, if you're going to spend 24 hours (or less) try out everything above and I don't think you will be disappointed. Now for the most important part, the pictures!

Santa-Barbara-Overnight-Road-Trip-9.jpg
What to do in the winter in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
My picks for 24 hours in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
Dog friendly picks for visiting Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
Wine tasting in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
Giant succulents | A Fabulous Fete
Dog friendly wine tasting in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
24 hours in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
Winter nights wine tasting | A Fabulous Fete
How we spent 24 hours in Santa Barbara | A Fabulous Fete
2017 Resolutions and goals | A Fabulous Fete
California palms | A Fabulous Fete

And a quick recap of our recs from this trip...

  • Stay at Hotel Milo (dog friendly!)
  • Wine at the dog friendly tasting room DV8
  • Dine at Cadiz for Italian/Spanish cuisine
  • Brunch at Sambo's

Enjoy!

 

3 Simple Ways to Wrap Your Gifts This Year


How I am wrapping my gifts this year | A Fabulous Fete

I've mentioned it several times... I'm not a huge fan of wrapping any sort of package. I like to wing it (I hate measuring) so knowing how and where to cut paper, folding things so they don't bunch, or having to go back and trim off excess wrapping is not my thing. Usually I try and make the top of things look flat (when it comes to presents) and tape the shit out of the bottom to keep it shut. SO, to make up for that, I've started to add pretty things to the tops of my packages over the years. I hope that it distracts the recipients and makes them not care about the rest of my poor wrapping skills. 

I literally had an excess of like 50 clear ornaments from a project I did, so I've been finding any way I can to use them (I even tried to GIVE them away to friends one night, no takers). We listed custom ornaments here in the shop which has steadily sent many of the ornaments out into the world, but I needed a few other reasons to use them. They turned out making fabulous little gift toppers when filled with festive accoutrements (stuff;) and I wanted to show you what I used and ended up loving on our simple little packages!

3 ways to spruce up plain wrapping paper with DIY ornaments | A Fabulous Fete
3 Ideas for sprucing up clear ornaments. Use them on your tree or to wrap presents! | A Fabulous Fete
3 simple ways to add interest to plain holiday wrapping paper | A Fabulous Fete
Dried peony petals dropped into clear ornaments make gorgeous gift toppers! | A Fabulous Fete

To open the ornaments, there's a thin wire at the top that expands. Squeeze the 2 sides together and pop off the silver top. Tuck in anything small enough, or soft, and you have yourself a festive gift topper! 

We used:

Add silk ribbon to clear ornaments and use to top plain white packages | A Fabulous Fete
Silk ribbon to wrap simple white holiday gifts | A Fabulous Fete
3 ideas for wrapping your presents this year | A Fabulous Fete
Silk ribbon + these DIY ornaments makes any simple wrapping paper look extra fancy! | A Fabulous Fete
Ideas for sprucing up the simplest packages this holiday season | A Fabulous Fete

They're quick, easy and fun and don't require much skill... just a little creativity with your filler choices! Shop items above or just check out your local craft store for the same types of items.

Images by Sunny Kim

Wood Wedding Signage | Calligraphy


Custom wood calligraphy sign for wedding reception | A Fabulous Fete

A few months ago I worked with my client, Meghan, from the beginning of designing her wedding suite through to the day of items (which you can see here). We created pieces keeping in the color scheme of deep burgundy, greens and gold. They also requested this oversized wood sign with a short quote. I love when couples create items like this that serve as decor on their wedding day as well as decor in their home long after that day is over. It's a pretty little reminder that you can keep out all year round.

We had a simple piece of wood from the hardware store cut to size. After I stained it, I lettered in their quote with a white paint pen (this brand is my fave). I joked about keeping it if it didn't have their names on it... but really, I was completely serious. I said I would make myself a smaller version with a quote/phrase of our own. But you know how personal projects go;) So I wanted to share a few pictures of the finished piece! If you are looking for something similar, you can email us here to get a quote.

White calligraphy on wood | A Fabulous Fete
Custom quote signs for your wedding | A Fabulous Fete
Wood home decor | A Fabulous Fete
Rustic calligraphy signs for your wedding or home | A Fabulous Fete
Rustic wood signage by A Fabulous Fete

A Month In Review + Goals | November '16


November was a mish-mash of travel, deadlines, launches, catch up... and wine;) We had a little bit of everything and crunched into less time than usual as our annual Hawaii trip took a nice chunk out of the month. So this month, I'm really looking forward to decorating for the holidays (which is pretty much already done since we're a week in!) and staying in.

I'm a serious homebody in December. I LOVE being around the lights and christmas trees and cozy fires. I feel like if we do anything else, I'm going to miss a day/night away from all of the festive-ness (which is kind of nuts). Anybody else like that? No, just me, ok;) I'm also looking forward to a tiny bit of time off in between Christmas and the New Year. I try to do this every year and it's been so nice to wake up late, make breakfast and spend lazy days really doing nothing! I do want to use the time to work on some new items for the shop and wedding invitation designs... but that's fun as well so it doesn't really feel like work. Anyways... here is what happened in November!

A few goals for the month...

First, get our home + offices organized and clutter free! There are clothes everywhere from trips, excessive amounts of paper on the ground in our office and just junk that I should really get rid of cluttering up corners all over the place. I'm not minimalistic AT ALL, but, i'd like to try and make more conscious decisions next year in purchases so that our house doesn't look like a garage sale with things I hate after a week. You know?

Second, like I said above, NEW SHOP ITEMS! Most importantly, some long overdue additions to the wedding stationery section. I've been collecting inspiration for probably a year now and need to get to work. Plus, it's engagement season so I would love to launch some new Save the Date's for new couples!

Third, maybe let's just stick to two goals... no? Ok. The blog is always on my mind... new ideas, series, projects, etc. I want to share it all. So I'm working to build a more structured schedule for my time that allows for more blog content creation! It's a brilliant idea, a schedule... one i've never really put into place since starting a biz. I'll give it a whirl this month;)

What are your goals for the month of December?

All images via @afabulousfete on instagram.

Customized Ornaments Are In The Shop!


Simple customized holiday decor | A Fabulous Fete

You all know I can't resist writing all over anything with a flat plain surface. So these glass ornaments were no exception. We had a handful of them in the office and decided they would have much better homes, customized with you guys. So they are up in the shop now! 

You can customize with your last name, the year or an "est." date if you were recently married and wanted a fun ornament to remember your first holiday. There is a 2-3 day lead time, so you'll have them pretty quickly! We will be hanging ours on the tree this year as our 2016 ornament (we get a new one every year), but I will probably be using them on top of presents too.

We shot a few photos of the process, check it out and then hop over to The Shop and grab one for yourself now!

Hand lettered gold on glass holiday ornaments | A Fabulous Fete
Hand lettered ornaments work on your tree, as gifts, or even gift toppers! Get yours on A Fabulous Fete
Gold hand lettered christmas ornaments in the shop | A Fabulous Fete
Glass hand lettered ornaments | A Fabulous Fete

Each ornament is packed in a muslin drawstring bag you can store it in after the holidays are over and then packed in a gift box just in case you are giving them as gifts! All you have to do is add a bow and tag.

Images by Sunny Kim

Mini Matchstick Bottle DIY


How to make a DIY matchstick bottle that decoratively displays matches for your candles | A Fabulous Fete

I don't know where the obsession came from, but for the longest time I haven't been able to just buy someone a singular gift and be done with it. I love finding (or making) a little something that accompanies the "main" gift. For example, a tiny ring dish to go with a piece of jewelry, or a pretty pen to go with a notebook. I feel like it completes the gift and shows that it wasn't just something you grabbed as quickly as you could. 

We made these tiny matchstick bottles at the HauteLook event a few weeks ago and I thought it would be the perfect item to pair with any candles that might be gifted around the holidays. I love this idea for those friends that are hard to buy for, or if you have to do something small for coworkers, this is a great idea to do with mini candles. But, for now, these little guys are ALL over the house. I promise I'll gift a few for the holidays though;)

Supplies for this DIY holiday gift | A Fabulous Fete

Supplies:

Gifts that you can make to accompany store bought gifts | A Fabulous Fete

Fill your bottle with candles until it's full. This is a time consuming process! Make sure to shake it around until they settle so you can fill the bottle.

Holiday gift ideas you can make | A Fabulous Fete
Mini match bottle DIY | A Fabulous Fete

Cut the strike pad from the match book or box and glue to the bottom or the side of the bottle depending on how flat the bottle is. And that's it! Now you can tie a little ribbon on the top and pair with your candles.

A mini bottle that holds your matches, perfect for coffee table decor or holiday gifts! | A Fabulous Fete

I love having these around the house since we are always lighting candles. Not all matches are good looking... and these make great styling accessories, something I am always looking for when decorating the coffee table or shelves.

Images by Sunny Kim

Create a Holiday Arrangement in a Few Simple Steps


A simple arrangement with tulips and roses | A Fabulous Fete

If I were a huge fan of the traditional holiday color palette of red and green, flower arrangements would be a little easier to put together around this time of year. But I typically lean towards lots of white, metallics and a color that is in our home year round either way... coral/pink. 

I found this bunch of flowers at my fave, Trader Joes, and wanted to share a few tips for putting together a similar arrangement in just a few steps. I found these cute little berries and thought they added a festive touch without having to go with an obvious color palette. They usually have these in different colors there, so it's an easy way to stick with the normal flowers you would buy and make them fit with the season!

Ingredients for a fall flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

I used peach roses, white tulips, orange/peach berries and some greenery from the yard. The only greens I ever buy from the store are eucalyptus... otherwise cutting a branch or two from our yard (or neighbors, shhhh) does the trick! I really wanted to use the persimmons but they ended up being too heavy for the small vase. I ended up just setting the branches next to the arrangement and it looked really nice that way as well! While we are lucky enough to have a persimmon tree in our back yard, you can also find these at your local flower shops when they're in season.

Simple berries make any flower arrangement a little more festive | A Fabulous Fete
Roses and tulips | A Fabulous Fete
How to start building a full flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

I've read tips and taken quick classes on arranging... but to be honest what always works best for me is making it up as I go. I do have a few tips that get me started and make an arrangement looked finished though, so I'll share those with you here.

First, I always start with 2-3 large leafy branches. I use these to set the "shape" of the arrangement. I like them to be wild and asymmetrical (so i don't have to worry about making anything look perfect!). These larger more sturdy branches are also a good base for lighter flowers like the tulips.

Tips for keeping your flowers fresh this season | A Fabulous Fete
White tulips, perfect for holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete

Always use super sharp scissors (floral shears are best... but i've never actually searched those out) and cut your stems at an angle. Place them in the water right away after trimming them.

How to create a quick arrangement in a bubble vase | A Fabulous Fete

After I have my bigger branches in, I start to add the fullest flower I have. In this case it was the tulips that were already pretty open.

Tips for making your grocery store flowers look great in holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete

To prep the roses, remove the outer petals. They actually protect the rose and are supposed to be taken off for them to properly open. Wish I learned that earlier! Also make sure to remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Since the roses were much heavier, I added these closer to the end so there was already a nice structure built with the other stems.

3 flowers to buy at the grocery store for simple holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete
How to create this quick and easy holiday flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
Tips for taking a flower arrangement from basic to festive this season | A Fabulous Fete

The stems with berries were tucked in at the very end. I always have a filler like this to tuck into any open gaps and add some movement if the arrangement started to get too symmetrical. This is also when I add in a few more branches of greenery, again, to fill in any empty spaces.

White and peach holiday floral arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
IMG_5895.jpg

And that's it, with just a few bunches from the grocery store, you can make these for your next holiday get together.

Images by Sunny Kim

California Fall Table Inspiration


Last weekend we headed down to Sunset Beach for a little family time. Every time we make plans to go there I always plan a stop at the cutest flower shop, Devynn's Garden. So after breakfast we stopped in to grab a few blooms for the week. Maybe it was our Hawaii trip on the horizon, or the fact that it's still basically summer at home, but I went straight for all of the tropical stems. It wasn't the typical fall look, but when I started to pair the with a few of my favorite table top pieces, it really started to come together as a look completely appropriate for a fall dinner in CA.

So with turkey day in just a few days, I wanted to share a little inspiration for the table I would set... you know if I actually hosted a dinner one year. 

California-Fall-Tabletop-1.jpg

I added some plate pieces to contrast the bright blooms and pulled out some of my favorite wood bowls. I literally use my blush napkins for everything... they've been at countless photoshoots and dinner parties, but they really work with everything! And finally I finished the table with some rose gold flatware.

While we may be on vacay and I won't be using this table decor for anyone this week, I will keep it in my back pocket for any more gatherings coming up before the new year. 

Would you decorate with a little tropical flair in fall? What are your go to entertaining pieces this season?

Images by Sunny Kim

SHOP THE POST

5 Tips for Styling Your Wedding Stationery


There's nothing better than that moment when all of the pieces in a suite are printed and in your hands. It's so fun to see it all in real life instead of your computer screen. Styling them becomes this relaxing process (for me! ha) at the end of all the craziness and I love getting to show it all of to the (internet) world. Lining up all those lines and adding in cuttings from the yard, ah... i love it. So I wanted to share a few of my tips for styling your own if you are ever motivated to do so;)

Tips for stationery styling | A Fabulous Fete

These are a few of the basic steps I work through every time I pull a new suite out onto the table. Obviously it also involves your taste and style, but if I had to explain what works majority of the time, this would be it! To start...

1. Pull the main pieces you will be styling

This is (obviously) the invitation suite, but also remember the pieces that will round it out. That can be an envelope liner, place cards, coordinating envelopes or other pieces you may have designed as day of materials. Many times I switch out what the client actually used for something that ties back, color or style wise, to my site or brand. Since these images will be living on your feed as well as attracting new clients, I think it only makes sense for you to make those changes to make the entire suite a great fit.

IMG_4134.jpg

2. I always start with the largest items. Usually an envelope that will lie open with a liner (as these will be covered with other layers) and longer/bulky items. These pieces usually start to create the "border" of your image; the lines that you won't style outside of when layering in more pieces.

3. Next I finish the "border" by layering in the other pieces of the suite. So you can see how the menu, map, invite and envelope create 4 corners and an imaginary rectangle I will work inside of later. Since I had a lot of white, I balanced out the heavy navy envelope with more color in a diagonal line moving your eye to the bottom right corner.

4. I use way more envelopes than necessary in a real life suite. I like the layers it adds as well as color. So once I have my main pieces placed is when I would start tucking in those extra pops of color. You can also do this with place cards or small flat cards.

5. Finally, I tuck in pieces to create movement and break up the hard lines that the paper has created. I always have ribbon, small branches or flowers, corks, rings and scissors. The key in making these extra items work is ensuring they make sense in the image. These items should also be consistent in height. I try to steer clear of anything more than an inch or two higher than your board as it casts shadows and steals the focus from your paper pieces.

This is also the perfect time to balance out your image. Make sure one side isn't heavy in color, hard lines vs. soft curves or "messier" styling vs. rigidly lined up items, and fill in any white spaces that seem empty in comparison.

And last but not least... I always create faux envelopes as well as cover up (all or at least majority of) any personal addresses that were on printed pieces. I know I wouldn't want my address floating around on the internet so I think it's best that we take the same care with our clients.

That's it! Typically the process can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes... depending on how serious I am about it that day. Some suites just flow and others take a bit more planning to get all of the pieces to fit together like a puzzle. Hope this helps some of you looking for a few tips to take pictures of your own wedding suite or stationery!

Images by Sunny Kim

Simple Ideas for a House Warming or Hostess Gift


What to pack in your holiday hostess gift basket | A Fabulous Fete

When I say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE giving gifts, I really mean it. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping for myself just as much. But it's something about searching for the perfect thing that you know that person will actually enjoy (like, NOT gift cards). And even more than that, I love finding extra little things to go along with the "main" present.

In the past few months I had some people in my life moving to new places. Putting their gifts together was super fun, so I wanted to share them and inspire a few ideas in case you have a friend or family member on their way to a new place as well!

We were going to visit a friend in her new place and I knew I wanted to make her something special she could keep/display/use in her new home. So I lettered a long serving board (I think it was from Homegoods or store like that with random pieces). I paired it with items that one, would look nice next to it if she needed to fill a blank space in her house, and two, we could enjoy together to celebrate...

Hand lettered wood serving board | A Fabulous Fete
Hand lettered card by Wilde House Paper | A Fabulous Fete

To pair with the hand lettered tray, I added a fave candle that she had commented on at our house before (a hard thing to buy for people unless you keep your ears open!) and some matches. Card was from one of our Wilde House Paper Boxes.

Re-wrap grocery store blooms for a sophisticated bouquet on a budget! | A Fabulous Fete

Obviously flowers and champagne... because you can really never go wrong with the two so why not throw them in!

Voluspa Candles | A Fabulous Fete

So here's how I always like to think of curating a little gift for someone... think of something useful they'll need, pair it with a few small accessories to round it out, then add in a fun element like a mini bouquet of fresh flowers or their fave bottle of wine, and done. What are your go to hostess or house warming gifts?

Simple Fall Place Cards with Fresh Greenery | DIY


Fresh fall place cards and escort cards you can easily make for your holiday get togethers | A Fabulous Fete

It's probably very clear by now that an AFF project is not complete without a little touch of a flower or foliage element. My original idea was to create escort cards that had gorgeous fall leaves attached and share them as a fall wedding project. That would've been amazing, except it's actually pretty hard to find a decent fall leaf in my neighborhood. So instead, I went with some greens  that are easily found at any grocery store or home depot.

I love this idea for a fall or winter dinner party as place cards. Or as escorts for a winter wedding. They were super simple with a simple slit cut in cardstock. And the best part is you can customize with any flower, vine, branch or leaf your heart desires. 

Here's how I made mine.

Supplies for DIY living escort or place cards | A Fabulous Fete
Instructions for making simple escort or place cards with fresh foliage | A Fabulous Fete

About halfway up your card, slice 2 diagonal slits about 1/4" apart and 1" long. Push the strip up from the back to create the opening you will weave your branch through.

Once you have added your names and they have dried, pull off any loose leaves at the bottom of your branch and slide through the slit.

Hand lettering card stock escort and place cards | A Fabulous Fete
A quick DIY for fresh foliage escort or place cards perfect for fall gatherings | A Fabulous Fete
White lettering on black card stock for holiday inspired escort cards | A Fabulous Fete
Fall place card DIY | A Fabulous Fete
How to use fresh greenery on your place cards at your holiday parties | A Fabulous Fete
Fresh foliage fall escort card DIY | A Fabulous Fete

Arrange in alphabetical order, or add to your place settings if you are using them as place cards. You could line these up on a table, use a cork board to display them, or clip them up for guests to grab if you were using for your wedding.

Many of these little leaves dry really nicely too, so your guests may even want to take them home as tiny keepsakes!

Images by Sunny Kim


SHOP THE POST

Caribbean Inspired Agate Place Cards | Calligraphy


Agate has become one of the biggest requests we get when couples are brainstorming for their place cards. Over the past year it seems like the popularity in these guys has exploded, and not just for me, but for lots of hand letterers out there. I love that not only are they a gorgeous addition to your table decor, they are also a super fun keepsake for your friends and family to take home.

Typically we don't source the agate slices, our brides and grooms come to us with collections they have found in their favorite color palette. One of our brides last year even painted all of the edges of hers gold which added such a nice touch!

These blue slices were sent to us by one of our couples getting married in the Bahamas. I don't think they could've chosen a more accurate shade to represent their destination wedding. Here's a few pics recapping the gold hand lettered pieces we created for their wedding this summer!

If you're interested in day of items for your own wedding, you can send us an email here!

Hand Lettered Desktop Download | 009


I've been pulling a lot of inspiration and ideas for new wedding designs that I want to launch in my shop. It's had me thinking about how I can go above and beyond, be better than I was the last round, and do things that are different than what everyone else is doing. I (we, i think we all witness it daily) see so many copy cats out there that I can't help but ask myself why that seems ok. Why aren't we all pushing ourselves to JUST get inspired, and then go beyond that to create something that is different... better... and unique to you. I think because it's A LOT of work. So my goal for the new month is to push myself to take the extra time to put cool shit out there that is better than what i've done in the past. I hope this inspires lots of you to do the same!

Hand lettered desktop download by A Fabulous Fete

I also made a version for your phone this month too, woo!


HauteLook Holiday Event Recap


This past Monday I had the opportunity to host a DIY station at a super fun event HauteLook was putting on to kick off the holiday season. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, so skipping right over that and straight into planning mode for the holidays was perfect for me.

In addition to the DIY station that the HauteLook team and I dreamed up, there was also a cooking demo with Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen. The girls that attended were invited to sip on a fall inspired mocktail, snack and fill their feeds with the amazing views the house had to offer before we got started. After a bit of mixing and mingling, everyone headed to the kitchen and then down to start assembling the DIY gift boxes we had set up our little station for.

Here's a quick recap of everything they packed in the few hours we had together at the house!

Hollywood Hills Home | A Fabulous Fete
HauteLook Holiday Outfit | A Fabulous Fete

Dress + jacket from HauteLook | Nordstrom Rack

HauteLook Holiday Event Giftbox DIY | A Fabulous Fete
Products galore from HauteLook to stuff hostess gift boxes | A Fabulous Fete

We filled the table with items from HauteLook and paired them with simple DIY's. The girls assembled mini bottles with matchsticks to style with their candles, they curated sets of holiday notecards and wrapped with yards of silk ribbon, we helped them each create their own mini flower arrangement to tuck into the box, and to finish it off they chose mini sprigs of greenery to tuck into glass ornaments which were tied on the box with more ribbon and hand lettered gift tags.

How to build the perfect hostess gift box | A Fabulous Fete
Nail polish station for a gift box DIY table | A Fabulous Fete
Cute makeup bags perfect for assembling a holiday gift bag | A Fabulous Fete
Kate spade holiday cards for a simple gift box | A Fabulous Fete
Silke ribbon by Honey Silks | A Fabulous Fete
Collection of scissors for a DIY table | A Fabulous Fete
Holiday appropriate blooms by Beautiful Savage Flowers | A Fabulous Fete
Holiday gift box assembly table | A Fabulous Fete
Ideas for a hostess gift for the holidays | A Fabulous Fete
LA Home Views | A Fabulous Fete

In between eating, learning and crafting, everyone snapped away. Every room was different from the next but just as gorgeous. And that view! Hello Hollywood sign...

HOLLYWOOD | A Fabulous Fete
Customized event napkins | A Fabulous Fete
Simple table settings and bite menus | A Fabulous Fete
Flowers by Tigers to Lilies for the entryway | A Fabulous Fete
Spanish tile stairway | A Fabulous Fete
A colorful and cozy kitchen ready for the cooking demo at the HauteLook party | A Fabulous Fete
A cozy seating area  | A Fabulous Fete
Outdoor fall flower arrangments by Tigers to Lilies | A Fabulous Fete

Tigers to Lilies created all of the amazing flowers around the entire house and yard. They were perfectly wild and the colors reminded me of if we actually had fall weather;)

Hollywood Hills home for the #MyHauteHoliday party | A Fabulous Fete
Citrus Cider mocktails | A Fabulous Fete
A perfect fall setting to go with the cocktail station | A Fabulous Fete
Pot pie cooking demo in Le Creuset | A Fabulous Fete
Girls assembling their curated hostess gift boxes to get them inspired for the holidays | A Fabulous Fete
Cacti | A Fabulous Fete
Outdoor crafting area | A Fabulous Fete
DIY flower arrangements to tuck into hostess gift boxes | A Fabulous Fete
A gorgeous gift box with a mix of DIY and small items to gift to a friend | A Fabulous Fete

Everyone went home with their hand crafted boxes and lots of other goodies from the day. It was so fun to be able to spend a few hours with people that you interact with via instagram. Not to mention already got me thinking of holiday shopping!

Post in partnership with HauteLook

AND a huge thank you to Sharon of Cupcakes & Cutlery who followed me with the camera all day, Jaime of Honey Silks for the amazing ribbon and Naomi of Beautiful Savage flowers for our arrangement and fresh flowers the ladies used in their DIY's!

Fall Inspired Wedding Stationery | Meghan + Kyle's Day Of Items


Day of Stationery | A Fabulous Fete

I started working with Meghan quite a while back on her wedding suite. I actually haven't share that, we're doing things a bit backwards! She wanted an elegant suite with burgundy, hints of blue (you can see it in the crest here) and a touch of greenery. I designed the crest as one of our initial pieces and it was carried all the way through to her ceremony program. We pulled of few of the foliage illustrations and added those as accents on both her day of and invitation suite pieces.

While we're already deep into fall (at least the calendar says so), I wanted to share this inspiration for brides potentially working on their upcoming wedding items, or even those planning for a 2017 fall wedding. Either way, this deep wine shade is the perfect way to incorporate the feeling that comes with these cooler months. Pair it with gold and you have the perfect pairing. Here are a few shots of the pieces we worked on together including the ceremony programs, escort cards, table numbers and wood items (a peek here, not shown in this post... that hand lettered sign deserved it's very own blog post coming soon!).

Gold watercolor calligraphy table numbers | A Fabulous Fete
Custom wedding programs with crest | A Fabulous Fete
Day of wedding stationery in wine and gold | A Fabulous Fete
Wine escort cards with gold calligraphy | A Fabulous Fete
Burgundy wedding stationery for Fall | A Fabulous Fete
Gold watercolor hand lettered table numbers | A Fabulous Fete
Custom hand lettered and illustrated wedding programs | A Fabulous Fete
Real wedding stationery for Fall | A Fabulous Fete

I'll pair of few of these extra pieces with Meghan + Kyle's invitations and share that soon so you can see how it all came together in the end.

Inquire about programs for your wedding here | Table numbers, place/escort cards and thank you stamps available here.

Similar scissors available here | Ribbon by Honey Silks available here