Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dinner for the 30th

I read a quote recently that said, "Make generosity part of your growth strategy". I don't know who said it or when. All I know is that I read it and thought to myself how much I think this is true. When we are generous people we will grow in that because it takes trust and it takes faith. We don't always see an immediate outcome but like it always is with sowing and reaping. You sow, it grows, then you reap.
When I gather people around a table it is always in the attempt of blessing them. My heart is for them to feel warm and welcomed so that they forget their day to day life and can live in that moment amongst friends sharing food, breaking bread, and good conversations.
For my birthday party all I wanted was to spend the day with my friends and sit around the table with them.
It all started with a hike on the second highest mountain in the region where we breathed in fresh air and enjoyed the silence of the forest and fields. We warmed up in the house on top with milky coffees, cakes, fries and tarte flambé. On the way down we picked the flowers and fern to be used for the garden party that night.
The party wasn't about having the prettiest of decorations or program or crafts or all the little things you could do. It was two tables filled with plates and glasses, flowers and feathers. Each plate carried a package with flower seeds to be planted to see the growth happening. When everybody arrived, we shared homemade lemonade, introduced us to those we didn't know, greeted others with warm hugs and kisses. Then we sat down. I welcomed everybody, especially those who came from far away for the weekend and thanked those who contributed with salads and breads and desserts and especially my parents who let me host in their garden which I love because everything is green and flourishing and natural. I prayed and we broke bread. Food was overflowing from hamburgers to salads, to cheeses and tacos and chicken drumsticks. We filled our bellies and licked our fingers. We sat and ate and drank and laughed and talked until day fell to night. Then we lit a fire and grilled marshmallows with sticky hands and happy faces. We shared stories and laughed until our bellies hurt. When everybody left, I was left happy and satisfied and so very lucky to be sharing my life with wonderful people whose hearts are full of love.
I just wanted to say thank you again to everybody who came to celebrate with me. Thank you for those who helped and contributed. It would not have been possible without your labor.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The big 3-0 is finally here. I have been waiting for this day for months now. I was so looking forward to my 30th birthday and now it is finally here.
About 2 years ago I was still freaking out about it because by no means was I ready to turn that corner. There was still so much to work through in my 20s so much that had to happen inside of me.
2013 was exactly that for me and all the healing and growing brought me to that place of contentment. 30 and thriving on everything God has given me.
I know there is so much more ahead of me and boy am I ready.

At a work event a couple months ago a colleague asked me stunned why I was looking forward to 30. He wanted 3 plausible reasons. Right brained as I am I went totally blank only being able to express a general feeling (I know, right?!) but here are my 3 reasons:

1. I am so thankful that I am still very young but have matured a lot over the last 10 years. I have reached a new level of maturity over the last year even.
2. I have so much more experience than before and with that and the maturity I honestly hope that I would be a wiser person who gives good counsel
3. I am not tossed like paper in the wind anymore. I am grounded. I know where I am going and where I have come from.

Here's to a new decade.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Teeparty by Night 2014

Every year for the 5th time this year we host a teaparty by Night for all the women in my church. It is normally set outside in the park. The women from my church gather for a beautiful evening with food and drinks and laughter and inspiration and friendship!
This year due to a whole week of pouring rain we had to do it inside. It was nonetheless a wonderful night and the women loved it.
At the teaparty we usually host about 100 women and the planning is always a team effort. In this post I hope I can help you plan parties where you host a lot of people. The key is working in a team and not trying to do it all on your own.
By now we all know how much I love a good concept and I kind of feel like a broken record but I can't stress it enough. If you have your concept down and a clear line to follow it makes all the difference not only for you in the planning process but especially for the guests.
So in the past we've had all kinds of colours and themes but this year was different. We went for a rustic elegant American barbecue theme. In order to keep it light and fresh the colors were yellow, grey and mint. I love this color combination. It's totally summer and cute and elegant.
We have this amazing Café which is part of our church. It is very cozy and warm.
Some of you might remember this winter wedding - it's the same place. We had a really fun photo wall were the ladies could take pictures all night long. I think using a personalized hashtag is a great way to reconnect all the pictures after the event.
We set everything up the day before except for the flowers. I already loved everything then but when we brought in the fresh flowers on the day of the party it just made all the difference. We used very simple garden flowers to keep that outdoor feeling and bring in something fresh.

One of the girls from the team made all the ribbons and the fringe garlands which turned out so fun. Again we used some lanterns to hang them in the trees just like we would have done outside.
As you can see some of the main colors in Elemenz are brown and purple but it didn't clash with our yellow and mint and grey. It kind of complimented it perfectly. We brought in some fresh pillows for the sofas to make it super comfy for the ladies.

And Stefanie created this amazing display of old windows and frames. It was one of my favorite parts of the decoration - just a little different and cool. When it comes to decorating I believe in keeping it simple and working with what you've got. I love Kinfolk and how everything they do is so natural. This honestly always helps me to look at things a little differently. Instead of spending a ton of money on decoration and flowers and what not I tend to ask myself what is really necessary, what will really be great for the event, what do we have and what can we create and then we just simply start building from there. We always work on a budget and what I love about that is that it makes you stay creative in the most essential way and seeing the outcome be amazing is a big encouragement.

Another favorite part of the party was our balloon installation which Stefanie created. I first saw this idea here and thought we could pull this off too. I love how it worked out and how it was the first thing the women got see upon arrival. As they all stood in line to get to the party they were surrounded by these balloons and you know first impressions matter. Then they were greeted with lemonade from this super cute pitcher with yellow striped straws.
As we had a buffet we didn't really set the tables with everything but instead used the napkins as place mats. The favors where little s'more packages.

My favorite part of any party or event is right when you open the doors. Everything is set and ready to go. Seeing the faces of women as they entered and just loved it. Seeing their smiles and seeing them happy with their friends makes all the work you put in it so worth it and I wouldn't want to miss it for the world.
It was one of my favorite teaparties and I am so thankful for everybody who helped from food to decorations to setting up (thank you to all the men who we really need to make it happen) and the greeters.
And to summarize it here are a few tips I have learned along the way
1. plan well in advance.
2. have a concept and follow it
3. keep it simple, work with what you've got
4. work as a team.

I hope you like all the pictures and ideas - pin ahead, share and talk about it.




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