DIY beer tasting & bbq

It's always fun to change things up and get creative in the events department. Last night I switched from wedding planning mode to birthdays after one of my closest friends asked me to throw her husband's 28th birthday party. First thought: a guys' birthday; how can I style this in the most manly way possible? Haha. What initially came to mind (and call me stereotypical if you will) was meat. Yes, meat. I'm very close with our fellow birthday boy too so I knew he'd appreciate a nice, meaty feast. So I went with a good old fashioned Southern BBQ theme for dinner, along with a beer tasting flight station to start the night off right. 

Putting together a DIY beer tasting flight is not as hard as one might think, and if anyone has ever wanted to style one, I wanted to give my top 3 tips/ suggestions for how to go about it:

1) Keep it simple: I wanted to keep the focus on the beers so I went with three types that I thought would be interesting to each palate. Lagunitas IPA, a Radler, and Chocolate Stout. Pro Tip: Trader Joe's personal beer selection is bomb and their visual design is very appealing to the eye. Win win.

2) Beer snacks; a must: I had a little bit of everything going to compliment each of the three beers. Some suggestions I have are olives, pretzels, almonds, and even plantain chips. Yes, you heard that right. Funny enough, those were the most popular of the night and were gone before anything else. 

3) Presentation: How you present something will always make or break it. When it comes down to food especially, studies have shown that people are universally drawn to pretty looking things; therefore my priority after I nail down what my "content" is (in this case, a beer flight), I focus on how to present it in a way that will be most visually appealing when the guests walk in the door. For this party, I wanted the aesthetic to be generally very earthy so I went with butcher paper for my table runners and wooden platters to serve most everything on. My favorite part though was the glassware for the beer flights. I've had these glasses in the family for about 10 years now, straight from Moscow. It was great to bring them out and give some flair to the design. 

 

It was fun adding other little tidbits to spice up the decor. When hosting an indoor party; especially one that's pretty intimate like this was, the little things matter most, namely making something ordinary pop. So whether it was writing out each dish name in calligraphy on the butcher table, fruit skewers instead of plain cut up fruit, or the BBQ set in the background on display,  each small thing added to the overall look and feel. And in the end, party was a success! Enjoy the photos below. Huge thanks to my fellow creative friend, Parastou Bartley, for helping me take these! <3

beatrice & mike's wedding

The photos from Bea and Mike's June wedding are here! I'm so stoked to share these photos (how perfect is Lucille Lawrence's work?!) because this wedding was so memorable for me and truly a day I will never forget. I had the privilege of working with Bea to coordinate all the logistics for her wedding about two months out. I love thinking back to our text sesh's debating about the final details and to finally see everything come together the day-of. It was so special to me to be able to spend the morning with her & the bridal party. I delivered them some much needed grub before the festivities began; her favorite, In N Out. Being a part of the whole getting ready process (that's me steaming her veil below, hehe) was unforgettable. The wedding itself was a dream. Rancho Yerba Buena is off the beaten path and boasts such stunning views, not only lush greens but a very whimsical back drop. We were treated to seeing all the horses come out right at sunset, which made for some perfect golden hour photos. The little things really added to the wedding too; from their band playing some bomb covers with a live saxophonist and all, to the homemade cake baked by Bea's close friend -- you could really feel the love. Not to mention that posh poolside cocktail hour, am I right?!

 Bea and Mike had been together for almost a decade so this was really a celebration in the making. What I love most about them is their swag; how cute are their matching Lover Jackets that they put on when it got chilly? Smiling so hard as I relive that day with these gorgeous photos! #bealikemike

Photography: Lucille Lawrence

Florals: Wild North Flowers

Venue: Rancho Yerba Buena

Catering: Karen Bevels

 

 

the art of calligraphy

Calligraphy and pretty hand writing have always been big in my book. When I was in 5th grade, we had a mandatory calligraphy course (private school times lol) and since then I think the passion for it just remained in me. I didn't keep up with practicing the art, unfortunately, until early this year. I took a refresher course at Paper Source back in January and it slowly came back to me.

I was lucky enough to do all the calligraphy for my friend Lindsay's wedding back in May. How soothing are these earthy tones? She added such a special touch to the wedding by writing personalized notes to each wedding guest in their escort cards as they walked into the reception. Can you imagine how long that must have taken? It was so worth it though, just seeing all the guests' faces as they opened their notes and read the memories to themselves; unforgettable. 

In addition, Lindsay opted to number her tables as names of pasta instead of actual numbers. I loved that her and Mike decided to do this, as cooking pasta together was one of their most frequent date night activities. This added such a unique touch to the wedding; something you really don't see much of! For me it was hilarious too because I had no idea that there were so many different names for pasta, haha! :) Doing the art work for this wedding made me realize how much I love it and that I want to keep it up. For anyone who is interested, I offer an a la carte option for calligraphy in all my wedding packages. Thanks for reading! 

Florals: Second Street Flowers

Photography: Foot Candles Photography

black & gold // maz's graduation party

Wedding planning for my other brides took a pause this last weekend as I shifted gears to plan one of my good friend's graduation parties from SCU Law :) It was so fun planning this because not only did I get to put my amateur design skills to use by making the menus, but I also pulled together some fun DIY projects with the candy bar, the favors, and the vases. One huge tip I shared on my Instagram the other day that I suggest for those planning events is to always look into the budget-friendly ways to make your party run smoother. For instance for this party, I bought some vases from my local dollar store and then spray painted them gold (easy Michael's run). Definitely helped to save a TON on all the vases by only getting them for $1 each. I used to look at dollar stores from the outside with such distain, but it's been such a pleasant surprise for me to see how they legitimately have everything you could ever want for such good prices. 

Best of all, I got to tag team with two dear friends in the creative sphere on this event. My bestie, Amanda Azarpour took all the photos and my other Amanda (Just Bakecause) baked the gorgeous cake and cupcakes. Check them out! Enjoy these photos and once again, I'm so proud of you Maz! Thank you for letting me create this event for you <3