24 Hours in Laguna Beach


On of our favorite spots to dine, drink + stay in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
 

Follow me on social media, and you've probably seen us in Laguna Beach a few times. Being just 20 minutes away from this gorgeous place means we spend most of our free time here. So, not having a guide to our favorite places on the blog is just a shame. But we're obviously changing that now! Pacific Edge Hotel invited me to stay with them and share my guide to planning a staycation. And while 24 hours didn't even allow us to hit all of our faves, we did get to enough to get your started. And the best part, since the hotel is located centrally, we didn't have to get into the car once... spending all of our time enjoying why we are there, the outdoors. Oh and that also meant pit stops for champagne were not a problem;)

 
Settling in for a staycation in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Coffee table book displays at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Vertigo Home

Our first stop. I eye this store from the street every time we pass by, not always having time to browse. But with a full day dedicated to exploring, I finally got to spend lots of time in this spot. 

These monkey lamps have been on my wish list for a long long time. And while they didn't make it home with me this time, a few new candles did. A new to me brand, Maison Louis Marie, is carried here which basically makes this a must stop, at least monthly from here on out. Try scent No. 05. You're welcome.

Visit Vertigo Home Online Here

or Stop by in person

Dream coffee table at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Light and airy decor at Vertigo home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
New fave candle brand found at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Shop dog at Vertigo Home, Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
A hand picked bouquet from my fave flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Flower Stand on Diamond

Ok, hello dream job. This cute little flower stand sits on PCH and the corner of Diamond St. (right next to Laguna Beach Inn). The same sweet lady is always there making bouquets and turns my picks into gorgeous bouquets that I carry around and take pictures of the rest of the afternoon;) They have some seriously fresh blooms here. Typically the flowers I buy last around 2 weeks... and if you buy the tropical stems they always have in stock, you're looking at an even longer life. They're prices are affordable and you'll get a much better looking arrangement than you could at the store. GO!

See them on yelp here

The best FRESH selection at my fave flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Flowers by the stem at a cute little stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
One of the best happy hour views in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete

Champagne Break

After browsing the shops and picking up your flowers, stop by Mozambique and grab a glass of sparkling rosé on their rooftop deck. They have one of the best views that isn't actually on the beach, which means it's not a total pain to get into like some of the other restaurants can be. 

Visit them here

The cutest home shop in Laguna for trinkets and home decor | A Fabulous Fete
Home inspiration at one of my favorite shops to browse in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete

Nuance Home

If you're looking for anything to decorate your home, this is the place.  I held back and only bought a cheeseboard... some towels... a ring dish. Ok, I didn't hold back.

Visit them here.

Where to shop in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Where to shop if you have 24 hours in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
A decorators dream at Nuance Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Cement gilded bowls | A Fabulous Fete
My favorite stops in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Make this pit stop before your beach picnic | A Fabulous Fete
 

The Pantry at Sapphire

We had time for one last stop before it was time to check in. And after checking out the pictures of our room online, we new that we were going to be spending most of our time out on the balcony. So, rather than planning on leaving and trying to get into another spot for happy hour, we prepared our own! The Pantry (right next to the restaurant, Sapphire) is a tiny little shop that serves breakfast + lunch to go, but is also home to some of the best cheese and wine that we have found locally. They have a dedicated room for their cheese (which I really enjoy going into and feeling fancy) that makes decision making a difficult task. We also stop here and grab snacks if we plan on finding a spot on the beach for sunset.

Stop by their site here to read more.

 
A warm welcome at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, see what else we did on our staycation! | A Fabulous Fete

Pacific Edge Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

After lots of walking, we finally made it back to our hotel with nothing planned but to enjoy the space. There are just a few hotels that are updated and worth booking a stay at in Laguna, in my opinion. This is one of them. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the ocean front rooms with a stunning view. It's far enough from Main Beach that you don't have a ton of beach goers RIGHT in front of your room, but close enough that you can walk to almost anything. Since we frequent the area around the hotel, and eat at their restaurants (The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen), like.. more than we eat at home, we decided to stay in. Our room was equipped with a kitchenette which made it perfect for prepping our own cheese plate and other happy hour items (ie. WINE, WINE, WINE).

Visit the PEH site and book your stay here.

Happy hour on our deck at Pacific Edge Hotel  | A Fabulous Fete
Pink sunsets in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Enjoying our deck at sunset at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Hotel room cheese boards for happy hour, more on the blog about our fave cheese shop in Laguna! | A Fabulous Fete
Settling in to our room at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Photo Op

This Wall! I had seen this wall on instagram, but had somehow never noticed it in real life... even though I had driven/walked by it several times. It's right outside the ocean front rooms in the alley where you valet for the hotel. I think it's part of someone else's house, but we totally didn't disturb them to take this... we aren't jerks;)

So while we were out looking for my instagram wall, we took a quick walk to take in (more) of the view. In Laguna each little street has it's own set of stairs down to the beach. I love that each one feels different... with it's own cliffs and rocks and plants, it's like exploring a new place on each street. Not to mention the houses. Take a walk down the coast to check out the real estate. It's insane and totally entertaining.

Free people dress + Loeffler Randall booties | A Fabulous Fete
This cute little succulent wall is a must see in Laguna Beach! Right outside of Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
DIY succulent wall | A Fabulous Fete
Dream house hunting in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Ocean views at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Laguna Beach Sunsets, see more of our view and stay on the blog at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
 

The Pacific Edge Hotel sits on the beach where you have a killer view of the sunset and all of the different rocks and cliffs and coves that Laguna has. I know it's kind of spoiled to say this, but most of the other beaches we go to are a tiny bit disappointing after spending time here! Come, and you'll get it;)

 
Waking up on the beach | A Fabulous Fete

This was our friend... until he stole part of Ryan's breakfast shortly after this.

Cliff side mansions in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete
 

The next morning we grabbed a coffee and hit the beach. Like I said above, this is really the best place to check out the amazing houses that are built on these cliffs. Not to mention the spectacular succulent gardens almost all of them have. HOW?! I can't even manage to keep a cactus alive.

After our walk we headed back to get ready for breakfast. I packed 3 of my favorite dresses... and YES, I actually wore them all (patting myself on the back for not overpacking). Outside 2 were from Free People and the middle is from Anthro. This light in the room was too good in the morning, so yes, they got their own pic.

 
What I packed for a 24 hour staycation | A Fabulous Fete
That morning light | A Fabulous Fete
Mimosas in bed, the best part of a staycation! | A Fabulous Fete

Breakfast on Our Balcony

We ordered our breakfast from The Deck which is who offers room service for the hotel. We weren't going to find another place with a better view to enjoy it. I'd actually never eaten breakfast here and am happy to report we'll be going back. The Laguna Beach omelette has me drooling all over again as I write this. Crab, avocado and cheeeeese. So good. Add a mimosa and you're set.

Breakfast on our deck at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Mornings with this view are my favorite, see more of our Laguna Beach staycation on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
 

Soooo, I tied to make a video of all the fun things we were doing! And then when we got home, I realized I just really like to video the ocean. Oops. I did manage to get a few other peeks in there, of the room and happy hour. But it's pretty so what the heck right? You'll get a look inside our room and on our balcony, the views (if you've never been) and you'll get to meet the bird friend that stole a bit of our breakfast. I promise to get a more diverse look next time I put a video together!

 
Crisp mornings in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
 

So if you're local and looking for a night away, or planning a longer vacay, check out Pacific Edge Hotel! And I'll be back with a few more of my recommendations that we couldn't fit in this time!

 

DIY a Trinket Dish With Your Old Aveeno Bottles


How to make a trinket dish out of your old bottles | A Fabulous Fete

I'll be the first to admit that the business I run isn't always the most eco-friendly. I mean, I deal with a TON of paper everyday and get shipments almost every other day for creating content here on the blog. But I will say, we're pretty conscious of it and do what we can to cut down anywhere possible. We reuse boxes for shipments, re-print on the unused sides of paper, use extra prints and samples and notecards and recycle... like EVERYTHING we can. The side of my house is basically full of cardboard waiting for it's turn in the recycling bin. I've even made an effort to put more thought into the things I purchase for life in general, and many times choose products that have packaging I love and will reuse. With Earth Day coming up, I partnered with Aveeno to share an easy way you can reduce your impact and upcycle your next Aveeno purchase into something useful. So, when you've finished up your latest lotion or body wash, give it a quick rinse, remove and toss the pump (the pumps aren't recyclable) and make these cute little trinket dishes instead of tossing the bottle! Here's how...


    Supplies:

    Empty Aveeno lotion or body wash bottle

    X-acto knife and/or razor blade

    Gold liquid leaf (or any color paint)

    Brush

    Felt/fabric


    Jewelry + beauty product organization DIY | A Fabulous Fete
    What you should be making with old bottles | A Fabulous Fete
    How to make mini dishes with old plastic bottles | A Fabulous Fete
    Trinket dish DIY with old plastic bottles | A Fabulous Fete
     

    Step 1

    Using your knife, insert about 1" up from the bottom of the Aveeno bottle and begin to cut around the perimeter to separate the bottom from the top. Be sure to pull the knife down an away from your body/fingers... it can be a bit tough and you don't want it slipping (I learned the hard way). And no need to be super precise on this step, you just want to separate your base. Recycle the top of your bottle.

    Step 2

    Give the base another quick rinse to get any extra product out. Remove the stickers from the bottle as well.

    Step 3

    Use the razor blade (or your knife if it is very sharp) and begin to slowly shade away the top of the dish that you have created (the base of the bottle). Do this to even out the level and remove any points that were created when you cut the base off. Go slow and again, pull away from fingers/body! This is the most time consuming part but is actually calming if you have the patience;)

    Step 4

    Time to paint! Have fun here and use colors that go with your decor. I painted the inside of one and left the other plain so they looked a little different, then just added dots and stripes to both in different thicknesses. Let dry.

     
    Make these jewelry dishes with old bottles and paint with fun patterns | A Fabulous Fete
     

    Step 5 (optional)

    If you'd like to create something for the inside, you can trace the bottom of your new dish onto felt or fabric (I wrapped my felt in peach fabric!) and then glue to the inside bottom of your dish to finish. I would recommend this if you are going to use for jewelry, but if you are going to fill with something like paper clips or push pins for your office, you can skip this step as you won't see the bottom anyway.

     
    Jewelry organization ideas and a DIY | A Fabulous Fete
    Make your own trinket dishes to organize your dresser | A Fabulous Fete
     

    Add to your collection and fill with your favorite pieces! You can see why I went with gold and pink/peach... clearly there's a theme at our house.

     
    How to make these hand painted trinket dishes | A Fabulous Fete
    A simple way to get your jewelry organized on a budget | A Fabulous Fete
    Dresser decor | A Fabulous Fete
    A DIY to keep your dresser organized and your favorite jewelry in sight | A Fabulous Fete
    This old Aveeno bottle DIY will keep you organized and display your favorite jewelry | A Fabulous Fete
     

    You can get detailed with these dishes, or keep them simple with a single color or pattern, that's the fun! And if you get sick of one, just make another when you finish your next bottle ;) You can grab these products at any Walgreens (walgreens.com/aveeno) for just under seven dollars... healthier skin AND a little dish for less than a latte? Yes please.

    Have you guys ever upcycled old bottles? This was my first go but would love to hear your projects if you've ever given it a try! 

    This post was in partnership with Aveeno®

     

    How I Find Inspiration Outside of the Internet


    Where I look for inspiration | A Fabulous Fete

    I've been talking about working on new designs for wedding suites for... months now? Too long. I probably picked the worst time since we're deep into wedding season, but hey, there's never a perfect time for anything right? Well, I've been working on the easy part, gathering inspiration. So I'm happy to say that at least we have a general direction of where I am going with that.

    Earlier this week I shared a peek at what inspires me, outside of the internet, over on instagram. I wanted to continue the convo here since I felt like inspiration is one of the most common questions I get from people. With so many different aspects to my businesses, I think people are just curious in general in how I find it and organize it for different projects. While I have many different ways of organizing it for projects large and small (and am working on showing you a peek into that!), we'll stick to my sources for this post.

    Pulling inspiration from magazines | A Fabulous Fete

    We all have our go-to Pinterest and Instagram. It's on our phones, our computers and our iPads... where we are 90% of the time! But I have found so much inspiration outside of that and feel like that is what has allowed me to develop a style of my own, and hopefully one that doesn't feel redundant in a saturated industry.

    Magazines. I love having something in my hands and in front of my eyeballs. So being able to tear pages, make notes and tuck things away for when I need them is endlessly inspiring. I like to look at home/interior, fashion and local/travel magazines. Usually I'm not looking for images that are exactly what I am working on (for example, if i'm looking for inspiration for invitations, I am 100% never looking for invitations in a wedding mag). Instead, I gather color inspiration, texture, patterns and even the vibe I want the design to make someone feel... or a dream setting that it could be shot in. 

    Raw materials. Is it strange that I could spend hours in a hardware store? From wood grain to tile patterns to metal finishes on hardware, it's a bizarre, but useful library for me. And let's not even get into the garden department. But pulling the same elements as I mentioned above is a great way to get inspired for new projects.

    Getting inspired by things outside of the internet | A Fabulous Fete
    Why taking notes is important for your creative process | A Fabulous Fete
    Why you should look at industries outside of your own for inspiration | A Fabulous Fete

    Single-word notes. Sometimes it is helpful to write down single words when working on a new project and connect the dots later. Usually a general mood or theme will present itself and will define your works direction.

    Painting + sketching. I've been making more of an effort to paint or draw just for fun. Even if you have a project in mind, it's good to get all of your ideas on paper. Good ones, bad ones, all of them. Just starting will get your creativity flowing. I know how hard it can be to sit down with one project in mind and a blank slate. So make without intention of actually using it, you never know what you'll come up with without those restrictions in mind.

    And lastly, GET OUT. Like, get out of your house, your office, your city, the country (haha, just kidding, unless you can). Travel, go to a new restaurant, take a hike, drive down the coast... I love taking pictures of things along the way, finding design inspiration on a menu or packaging, or picking up an accessory that can inspire a new color palette. A lot of the times all you need is some time to clear your mind for inspiration to hit.

    Creative process | A Fabulous Fete

    So there's that... and the good old internet is always there as your backup.

    What are your favorite ways to find inspiration? 

    A Rust + Blush Spring Brunch You'll Want to Host ASAP


    Ideas for an Easter brunch in an unexpected color palette | A Fabulous Fete

    Spring is officially here and Easter is right on it's tail in just a few weeks. That can only mean our calendars are about to book up with brunches, lunches and get togethers for no reason at all except to enjoy all the things that come with the season. In preparation for all of the entertaining that is about to unfold, I've partnered with Williams Sonoma to bring you inspiration and ideas for a tabletop that you will definitely want to recreate for your own brunch!

    This is my favorite time of year, it's finally light out again after work, the weather is PERFECT, and most of us are ready to come out of hibernation to enjoy each other's company. Pair that with my other favorite reason to get together, brunch, and we've got the perfect weekend. Creating a table that would inspire you for an Easter or Spring brunch, that would've been easy. What I wanted to do was share a tabletop that was not your typical spring palette. Something a little different than everything that will pop up on Pinterest when you type in 'spring'. You all know I like a bit of contrast and a little edge in all of the projects that I work on. So my job was not only to inspire you to entertain, but also to show you how to mix your traditional spring pieces with items that create a younger, more modern look.

    I'm a sucker for pink and blush, but needed to break up a table of pastels with some rust, pops of burgundy, and a casual setting that didn't feel stuffy. Here's how I did it.

    Blush and rust tabletop inspiration | A Fabulous Fete
    Spring Tabletop Inspiration | A Fabulous Fete

    Don't be scared to try something new. I loved these spring napkins, but didn't want anything to look too perfect. So they were tied in a knot and left on the chairs for guests to grab. I can never get napkins to look great folded on the table anyways so I'm really loving the knot! Easy to perfect and adds a casual touch to each setting.

    I also layered in a contrasting grey salad plate so that the setting didn't get too light. I think it instantly adds a tiny bit of edge, while the floral dinner plates keep the overall look soft. Each setting was topped with an (amazing) alabaster egg which came in a rainbow of colors... but of course I pulled out the blush and peach ones. They served as place cards with each guest's name hand lettered on top. the final touch was a simple menu to list out the morning's dishes. Again, I kept these very simple so that the rest of the decor could shine.

    Easter Brunch Inspiration | A Fabulous Fete
    Williams Sonoma Spring Collection | A Fabulous Fete
    Spring brunch hand lettered invitations | A Fabulous Fete

    Simple invitations were created in our color palette and tucked into hand lettered envelopes. I love changing the invitation style up from time to time so for this get together, I chose to go with white lettering on a mauve background. The lettering I created was incredibly simple too, no thicks, thins or frills. There's something very impactful about keeping it simple though!

    Etched champagne coupes, perfect for a spring brunch | A Fabulous Fete
    Rust and blush florals by Beautiful Savage Flowers | A Fabulous Fete
    Hand lettered burgundy/rust invitation envelopes | A Fabulous Fete
    Hand lettered brunch menu | A Fabulous Fete
    Spring bar cart with a mimosa and fruit bar | A Fabulous Fete

    To show of those gorgeous glasses, a mimosa bar was required. I set out a variety of juices and berries for a DIY cocktail bar cart.

    Etched champagne coupes that instantly dress up any spring brunch | A Fabulous Fete
    Fruit garnish for a mimosa bar | A Fabulous Fete
    Mimosa bar for an Easter or Spring brunch | A Fabulous Fete
    Easter table setting ideas | A Fabulous Fete

    There were so many subtle details. When I set a table, I usually choose a focus for something "grand" on the table and everything else is chosen to let that shine, BUT, when you take a closer look, are still an amazing detail you can appreciate. I really wanted to focus on the color palette of blush and rust, and let that be the center of attention. The etched coupes, flutes and flatware were those small details that were less obvious, but just as gorgeous. I honestly couldn't stop taking pictures of the glasses! 

    Hand lettered alabaster eggs for place cards | A Fabulous Fete
    Champagne coupes and flutes - Williams Sonoma | A Fabulous Fete
    Champagne on ice for a spring brunch | A Fabulous Fete
    Table lines - Williams Sonoma | A Fabulous Fete
    Muted Florals | A Fabulous Fete

    Fresh flowers are a must anytime I entertain, or at least something live like potted plants, succulents or cacti. Naomi of Beautiful Savage Flowers killed it with the selection she brought over. She took my inspiration of color and vibe and perfectly executed it in the form of flowers. I tucked the flowers all around the table to provide soft texture against the bright linens and table decor.

    Breakfast salad made family style for brunch | A Fabulous Fete

    When we entertain at home, we almost always offer things family style or as more of a buffet. For two reason, first, that means I'm not slaving away in the kitchen by myself, and second, it encourages more interaction between guests as well as stays in line with the casual vibe I want any of our get togethers to have. I served this breakfast salad and toast in the large serving bowl.

    Breakfast salad made with quinoa, bacon, tomatoes, avocado and eggs over-easy | A Fabulous Fete

    So, what do you guys think. Have you ever thought about switching your color palette up from the traditional Easter or Spring palettes? Sometimes just throwing in one pop color (like the rust here!) you can easily switch up a look without updating all of your current pieces.

    Get the look and shop all of the pieces here, just click the image to be taken to the item...

    This post is in partnership with Williams Sonoma.

    Florals by Beautiful Savage Flowers

    A Tropical Flower Arrangement + Tips for Making Your Own


    Simple but impactful tropical arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

    Do you ever think about what you'd be doing... if you weren't on the career path that you were currently following? Or maybe, if you (magically) had all the money you needed and got to choose one thing to do that made you happy, what would it be? I'd probably explore the art of learning to create with flowers (in addition to all of the other things I do because I could never really quit;). Probably not for weddings, I don't have the patience for doing that amount nor the ability to work that close to a deadline. Because you know, flowers die, they aren't something you can start early. Maybe a little flower stand... that served champagne... and had an ocean view. That could work.

    In the meantime, I'll stick to documenting experimentations with random flowers I do at home.

    The last time I was in Sunset Beach, I stopped by Devynn's Garden. This is my favorite place to browse around and choose my own bouquets. We have nothing close to this near my house, so I could spend hours when we go, choosing the perfect stems (just ask my husband). They always have a large variety and interesting stuff that you can't find unless you make the trek to the market in LA, not my thing. I grabbed a handful of tropical blooms and asked Sunny to document the process to help show you guys how it was built.

    See how we created a striking tropical arrangements with just a few stems | A Fabulous Fete

    I started with the larger palm branch and used that to stabilize all of the other flowers as I put them in. My best tips for any arrangement:

    • start with a larger, heavy branch or stem that you can use as your base. it's easier to keep the others in place when you have this to work on top of
    • next add your pièce de résistance, they one you want everyone to ooh and ah over. you can then focus all of the other pieces around this
    • remove any leaves that will be below the water line to prevent bacteria and mold from growing
    • snip your stems at an angle (see below) for maximum water absorption 
    • set the tone with your vase. i love how changing from glass to gold to even a black on like i used can change the entire look. this one is from target
    • make sure you have plenty of filler (more neutral, fluffier blooms) to fill in the gaps, this is the last step you'll want to do to make sure you are filling all the space in.
    The ingredients for a tropical arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
    A tropical arrangement with just a few stems | A Fabulous Fete
    Tips for trimming flowers that go in your arrangments | A Fabulous Fete
    Giant protea for a tropical flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
    Creating simple flower arrangements for spring and summer | A Fabulous Fete
    Flower arrangements perfect for a summer get together | A Fabulous Fete
    Homemade tropical flower arrangements | A Fabulous Fete

    So I'll be sticking to hand lettering wedding invites and styling for a while. But, I'm coming for you flowers, one day;)

    All images by Sunny Kim Photography

    Spring in the Office


    Home office vignette | A Fabulous Fete

    The office has been one of those projects where I make a lot of progress and am almost "finished" (but really, will any home project ever actually be complete?), get distracted with life and work, and 6 months later want to change something and start over. It's pretty close right now but there is still a lot of chaos that needs to be organized. I taped my class for Modern Calligraphy Summit in my office and received a few requests to see the whole thing. So I've gotten the itch back to really finish it, make it look complete, organize everything and really just make it an efficient space since it isn't huge. I have the weekend to myself so my plan is to focus on getting some of the bigger items tackled, like throwing a ton of useless stuff away... and of course do a little shopping to accessorize;)

    But, in the meantime, i've been trying to keep it a place thats still inspirational even though it's not perfect yet. One of my favorite parts is our rotating, gigantic, moodboard. I'll usually print out new images for projects I'm working on and tape them up every so often. I need a nice, oversized cork board so that I stop ruining the walls, but for now, it's a big overlapping pile of inspiration attached with washi tape! I made a little update for spring and new projects I'm working on, then added some fresh flowers since it finally felt like spring here in CA. I've been skimping on the fresh flowers in the office, just out of lack of time to put something together. But it was so nice to have a mini arrangement in there this week it made me want to get back on track!

    Simple white rose arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
    Office Moodboard | A Fabulous Fete
    Glass corked jar with push pins | A Fabulous Fete
    Custom stationery | A Fabulous Fete

    Custom stationery and sticky notes from one of our past Wilde House boxes.

    Mini arrangements to brighten up the office | A Fabulous Fete

    Last week I mentioned having some fun stuff (and hinted at a giveaway) going on here. BUUUUUT, while that's still happening, it's been postponed just a bit. I needed a little more time to plan and pull everything together. It will be part of the re-design reveal here on the site... I can't wait to show everything off and give back to you guys for being such awesome followers. Soooo,  #comingsoon ;)

    Office to Happy Hour + a Weekend Update


    Hey weekend! Super excited it's here, we're making our way to Vegas to celebrate me turning 30-something on Monday. I'm still not over my birthday, I still like celebrating it with my family and friends. Aren't you supposed to hate it after you turn 30? I'll be honest, I've forgotten a few times, actually, how old I am. Probably a good thing though, right?

    So, I've been planning slowly, what to pack... and as mentioned in my post earlier this week, how to make things work for more than just one night out. I started playing around with this velvet blazer, you know figuring out how to make it work from day time, to happy hour, to a weekend trip. Paired with a tee, red lips and my FAVORITE (like, I literally wear it every other day... and am wearing it as I type) hat, I felt like this would make the perfect friday work to happy hour look. Just add champagne;)

    I hope you guys have some fun things planned this weekend! I have everything from shopping, to eating (a lot) to a tiny bit of pai gow (I say a tiny bit because I HATE losing my money) planned. We also have something super fun planned for next week on the blog, so stay tuned if you are into winning things that I share here and on insta all of the time. It's been a while since we had a giveaway, and you guys deserve it for stopping by here every so often;) 

    Happy Hour | A Fabulous Fete

    JACKET C/O TOBI.COM || HAT sold out, similar here || NARS LIPSTICK

    New Scents for the Home + Office


    Le Labo packaging | A Fabulous Fete

    When I first started my blog, I used to love that it allowed me to take pictures of random things and share them. Some of my posts were literally a round of up completely random images I took over the course of a week or weekend. It was a fun way for me to capture things that I enjoyed, at the moment. With the pressure of creating content on a consistent basis (as my blog grew), I kind of lost just capturing what made me happy. SO, I definitely want to start incorporating that back into this space, but with a bit more intention. I know a lot of you want to see more behind the scenes, spaces around the office and our home, and items that I recommend + love... and I think this is the perfect compromise!

    Candles, perfume and scents in general are a huge part of my life. They say that specific scents can bring back memories and/or bring back emotions of a different time or place in your life. I 100% believe in that which is why I hold on to scents that I absolutely love. Certain candles make me extremely happy just because they remind me of a fun night we hosted at home, or the time I first found that scent and filled a room with it. Generally they are associated with good feelings from the past. Maybe that sounds totally bizarre but it works! (this also means, don't ever buy a (new to me) candle for me as a gift, 9 times out of 10 I won't like it! ;)

    Anyways, so last year I was in Palm Springs and our hotel's lobby was filled with THE MOST AMAZING scent, like, i've ever ever smelled. I took note of the candle, which was Le Labo, Santal 26, but never purchased until recently (because hi, they're an investment). If I could burn these all day, and not go broke, I would. It totally brings me back to our trip and reminds me of those few relaxing days we stayed.

    Happy hour at home | A Fabulous Fete
    New favorite scents | A Fabulous Fete
    Santal 26, Le Labo | A Fabulous Fete

    I ended up getting 2, one for the office and one for our living room. I actually can't light the one in the office though because these are some seriously strong candles. So I've moved it to the hall outside the office which is perfect. They also personalize the labels for you which is so fun!

    A while ago I also grabbed their discovery set to try out a few of their other perfumes. I kept going back to the Santal fragrance which prompted me to finally buy the candles. I love this set though and think it would make such a great gift for your perfume loving friends.

    Scents for your home + office | A Fabulous Fete
    Gift ideas | A Fabulous Fete

    I still default to my Voluspa favorites (below), but this has definitely made it's way into the rotation. I've been wanting to try out a few of the Diptyque scents as well but am overwhelmed and not even sure where to start! If you guys swear by them and have suggestions, I'd love to hear!

    My Favorites...

    Office Appropriate || Silk Slip Dresses


    There's a been a huge learning curve in dressing for... a. running your own business and b. running it out of your house. Basically I went from being used to going into an office daily, so I got fully ready, every single day when I first quit my day job. Then I realized, most of the time, that effort was wasted. I literally saw no one some days, especially when my husband was traveling. So that progressed into staying in pj's until around 3pm, realizing it was 3pm and getting ready then. Again, pretty much a waste at that point. I'm finally leveling out (after just over 4 years!) and finding what works. Some days are for yoga pants and some days there are places to go and people to see, so it really varies each day. But, I've found that often the things I want to buy need to make sense for our date nights AND working from home. I've become pretty good at figuring out ways to make things appropriate for both.

    I've had my eye on all of the satin slip dresses... and if you ask me, they aren't super office appropriate. So I set out on a challenge to fix that (because I NEEDED one, ya know?). Plus I've been shopping for a little birthday trip we'll be taking to Vegas next weekend and this filled the void for a cute little dress for a night out.

    Whenever I want to dress something down, I feel like cozy cotton pieces and sweaters are key. So I paired a long sleeve tee with the dress, a denim jacket, booties and a chunky necklace. I'm big on being comfortable, especially when my tasks during the work day change from sitting at a computer, to lettering to assembling. This was the perfect combo of comfortability and working satin into my everyday wardrobe.

    I'm pretty hooked on pairing tees with my dresses at the moment so I hope that trend doesn't go away any time soon! Do you guys have any tips for working your favorite pieces into your daytime wardrobe?

    DRESS C/O TOBI.COM || FITTED SIMILAR TEE || SIMILAR JACKET || SIMILAR BLUSH BOOTIES

    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 c/o Tobi || 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.

    Better Late Than Never | Holiday Party Recap


    Billabong bungalow at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

    Ok, so I know by now the last thing on your mind is what we all did over the holidays. BUT. I got our pictures back from our AFF holiday party and was NOT going to skip sharing them with you. Plus, it was at the beach on an unseasonably perfect day, so besides the wreaths and lights you see in some of the pictures, this really could be passed off as a summer party. We'd had a pretty awesome year here at A Fabulous Fete and it was all because of the hard working and supportive people I have around me. From people on our team, to creative girls that I partner with, to family, to friends... they've all played a part in my, and my businesses success. So (like my invitation to them said), the least I could do was provide a cool place for them to hang out at for the night, get them tipsy, and give back in one of my fave ways... food, cocktails and flowers;)

    I decided to host our little get together in the bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel. We spent most of our time in this one, the Billabong bungalow, but also had the Fox bungalow which was very dude friendly and ended housing all the beer because of that. Each bungalow had a sitting area, tv, bar that was perfect for snacks and a full bathroom. All of the bungalows were also connected by one large private deck which was tended to by your own server. You had access to the beach, but it wasn't THAT nice out, so we enjoyed with wine from our deck. It was absolutely the perfect spot to host all of my favorites. I love when I can mix casual atmosphere but make people feel special at a thoughtful event. I 100% plan on coming back here in the summer... not sure for what, but that doesn't really matter with this view + service right?

    Read on for all of the other details of the day!

    Beach bungalow swing chair | A Fabulous Fete
    Air plant decor | A Fabulous Fete
    Gold Foil Cocktail Napkins | A Fabulous Fete
    Party favors included Voluspa candles, mini match bottles, brass jewelry boxes and crystals | A Fabulous Fete

    I freaking love putting together gift boxes. I enjoy mini things in multiples. Don't ask me why, I just find joy in it. So I put together 20 of these fab little boxes for the girls. Basically, I included all of my favorite things that I knew everyone could work into their decor, home, or workspace as well. Each box was filled with one of my favorite Voluspa candles (mokara), a tiny brass jewelry box, a glass bottle with matches, crystals and I also hand painted a set of pink watercolor stationery for each. 

    Candy and flower party decor | A Fabulous Fete
    Mini gift boxes for the friends, fam + the team | A Fabulous Fete
    Coffee table set up for the AFF holiday party | A Fabulous Fete

    I didn't want to do full on desserts as it was more of a finger food event anyways. So I bought Sugarfina candy in bulk and added to glass bowls in one of the bungalows. We had Champagne bears, peppermint malt balls and birthday cake caramels. I set out boxes and bags for guests to fill during the party as well as take home. These were a hit and SO much easier than planning any desserts.

    Sugarfina champagne gummy bears | A Fabulous Fete
    Beautiful Savage flowers for our holiday celebration | A Fabulous Fete

    FLOWERS! No A Fabulous Fete party or... really anything, is complete without some flowers. I enlisted my friend Naomi from Beautiful Savage Flowers to do two things for me this day. Not only did she bring tons of arrangements to deck out our bungalows, I also had her whip up this flower bar for my girls. WIN. I'm pretty sure everyone was happy to make and take home a bouquet of flowers they put together themselves. Not to mention I took home all of the extras. My house smelled amazing for the following 2 weeks. Naomi will be offering this flower bar service soon for her clients too if you wanted someone to bring this into your party or event!

    Team party flower bar by Beautiful Savage Flowers | A Fabulous Fete
    Flower bar ingredients. Each guest built their own bouquet to take home | A Fabulous Fete
    Flower bar | A Fabulous Fete
    Charcuturie board from The Deck, Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

    All of the food for our party was provided by The Deck which is the restaurant connected to the Pacific Edge Hotel. I ordered a few things that they refilled through the night and guests were able to place orders with our server who checked in with us often. But the charcuterie was the one thing everyone raved about during and after. So get it if you are ever there.

    I sort of felt like you do on your wedding day. Like you're so frazzled you don't really eat and when you do you don't remember much, you just chewed as quickly as possible so you could talk to someone else. I will have revenge on the charcuterie though... soon. I can say the wine and champagne was wonderful though, I had no problem keeping up with that;)

    Beach bungalow holiday party | A Fabulous Fete
    Charcuterie plate at Pacific Edge bungalows in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
    Cheese + Meat platter for our AFF Holiday party | A Fabulous Fete
    Winter parties in California! We celebrated with our team in the bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

    I asked everyone to arrive a bit before sunset so they could all enjoy it as it is one of the biggest perks of hosting here. The bungalows are available for guests from 11am to 8pm, so obviously Ryan and I took full advantage of having our own ocean front deck the whole day. 

    AFF owner, Lauren Saylor | A Fabulous Fete
    Ocean view | A Fabulous Fete
    Party guests at our beach bungalow in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete
    AFF holiday party 2016 | A Fabulous Fete
    Flower bar favors | A Fabulous Fete
    Beautiful Savage Flowers provided and set up an amazing bar for party guests to assemble their own bouquets | A Fabulous Fete
    Laguna Beach sunsets | A Fabulous Fete
    Simple flower decor by Beautiful Savage Flowers | A Fabulous Fete
    The other half of our Wilde House Paper team | A Fabulous Fete
    Sunset mingling | A Fabulous Fete

    So to recap, still dreaming about this day. It was so much fun and ended up going so smoothly. It's funny, since I started this blog so fully focused on parties, how much I've mellowed out about them over the years. Obviously thoughtful details are still very important to me, but now more than ever it's about being with the people around me that I enjoy. The whole point of entertaining, right?

    I wish I could've invited all of you that have supported me and AFF over the years! And trust me, I have long term goals to do so;) But until then, THANK YOU TOO for reading and commenting and liking and sharing. It's really what keeps this space going. XO

    Photography: Sunny Kim Photography

    Venue: Bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel

    Flowers: Beautiful Savage Flowers

    How to Properly Line An Envelope


    Lined stationery and wedding envelopes | A Fabulous Fete

    There are about 5,642 things I wish I new when I started working for myself. One of them being how to line an envelope. I've struggled with several different methods trying to find what worked best. I always MADE it work but felt like I was putting way too much effort into something that should've been simple. Months (ahem... years) later, I stumbled across a tool that is probably for lots of other things, but in my eyes, is the key to lining an envelope properly.

    In the past, we hadn't lined our clients envelopes so to be honest, this wasn't a huge priority in my business. But as we've evolved and started to offer different packages and higher end print processes, these little details were something that were suddenly necessary in our client experience.

    So, since we've been lining away here at AFF recently, I thought I'd save you the pain if you didn't know how to do this yet... AND give you links to the tools. Plus you can get it all on Amazon, and if you have prime, you're jumping up and down like I was;)

    Custom hand lettered vellum wedding invitation + hand painted liners | A Fabulous Fete
    Hand painted envelope liners | A Fabulous Fete

    Supplies:

    How do you find a liner that fits and how the heck do you get custom liners made?

    All of the liners we use for AFF wedding stationery are custom. We have different levels of complexity... some are simple watercolor washes, others are a completely illustrated pattern. If you are designing a custom liner, you will either need to find a printer who has dies to fit their envelopes, OR make you own custom dies. To fit the pointed flap envelopes we use with clients majority of the time, we've had a few common sizes created with one of our printers. You would provide them with a line drawing from which they build the die (the piece that cuts the paper into it's shape). Typically you own these if they are custom, and your printer will keep it "on file" for you to use with each of your designs. There are also a ton of pre-made options out there if you are looking for a one time use, budget friendly option. Just check out any retail store like Paper Source to find your envelopes + matching liners.

    How to attach envelope liners | A Fabulous Fete
    The best tool for applying envelope liners | A Fabulous Fete
    How we assemble liners for our wedding clients | A Fabulous Fete

    1. Insert your liner until it hits the bottom of the inside of your envelope. 

    The one tool you should invest in if you work in stationery! | A Fabulous Fete
    Tips for lining your envelopes perfectly every time | A Fabulous Fete
    How to attach an enveloper liner to your outer envelopes | A Fabulous Fete

    2. Hold the liner down on the inside where the flap folds over (so that it doesn't shift) and then fold the flap down. Press along the entire top edge of the envelope to crease the liner.

    Tips for assembling your wedding invitations | A Fabulous Fete

    3. Open the envelope flap only, leaving the liner folded down.

    How to use an adhesive applicator for lining envelopes | A Fabulous Fete

    4. Apply the adhesive with the applicator (applicator comes with use instructions, practice a few times on scrap paper to get a feel for how to start, pull and end the adhesive line) to only the two top edges of the liner. This is all you need to keep it secure and still allow it to move when you open and close the envelope.

    The best way to line your envelopes | A Fabulous Fete
    How to easily add interest to simple wedding invitations | A Fabulous Fete

    5. Fold the envelope flap down to close and adhere the liner. Do not fold the liner up to meet the envelope flap, this could result in it not attaching in the right place and bunching of the lower part inside of the envelope.

    Custom envelope liners for wedding stationery | A Fabulous Fete
    How to attach your custom liners to your wedding invitation envelopes | A Fabulous Fete
    One tool that you must have for lining envelopes | A Fabulous Fete
    Envelope liner DIY | A Fabulous Fete
    How to add instant interest to a simple wedding suite | A Fabulous Fete

    I love using liners to jazz up an otherwise simple design... this vellum invite combo above wasn't what we originally did for the client, but I LOVE the two together!

    I hope this helps you out if you didn't know how to line envelopes already! Are there any other tips or tricks you guys are interested in when it comes to stationery projects like this?

    Shop the materials and tools we use...

    3 Part Free Video Series for the Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0


    Free Modern Calligraphy Summit Videos | A Fabulous Fete

    Freeeeeee! Yes, I said free. Did you know that enrollment for Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 opens in just 1 short week?! And to give everyone a little taste, the team at MCS put together a free 3 part video series that shares a look at the answers to questions that the instructors get asked pretty frequently.  The first was just released yesterday, and was #1 on my list... 'WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOOLS?' We each share a quick peek into what we love using everyday. So head over, sign up and watch!

    Hand Lettered Printable Valentines for Your Faves


    Free Printable Valentines | A Fabulous Fete

    I think one of my favorite times to create printables for you guys is in February. Why? Because I get to use pink EVERYWHERE. I love pink, obviously. The shade I love changes from time to time but it is consistently one of my go to colors.

    I kept the tones a little more muted for this years valentines. I wanted them to be a bit more sophisticated.

    These are totally doable at home, but if you want some super saturated and even color, I'd suggest you hit your local print shop. My printer wasn't lovin that mauve... but hey, I think for homemade valentines they're pretty good looking. So stock up your printer with some smooth card stock and print away! The valentines are 4-bar size, so you can pick up envelopes to match at any craft or paper store.

    Free hand lettered valetines | A Fabulous Fete
    Print and send these free valentines for your friends, fam or love! | A Fabulous Fete
    Lover Valentine | A Fabulous Fete
    Pink + Mauve free valentine downloads | A Fabulous Fete

    If you guys use these this month, I'd love to see! Tag your instagram pictures with @afabulousfete and/or #afabulousfete.