top 5 tips for managing a team on-site

Managing A Team

My latest post for Etouches is up – “Top 5 Tips for Managing A Team On-Site.” Of course, I’m referring to a team of event planners, or a team of people helping to execute an event. I know not all event planners have a team at their disposal, and might need to rely on volunteers, or staffers who don’t typical work events, or even temporary help. Head over to Etouches to read the post!

You can find more of my event planning tips and articles here, or follow my “Event Planning How-To’s” board on Pinterest.

Show Etouches some love! Enjoy!

pink & gold unicorn themed birthday party


This birthday party for a little girl is nothing short of magical. What little girl doesn’t dream of unicorns?  This is a whimsical but still elegant styled party with lots of beautiful DIY details – plus, plenty of glitter, as all little girls’ parties should have! And remember the quote – “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.”

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easy cinco de mayo party ideas

I find the bars and restaurants way too crowded on Cinco de Mayo – I much prefer to drink margaritas in my own home  rather than pay an exorbitant fee for watered down ones with bad queso. For me, all you really need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo are margaritas, friends, and some guacamole. It’s not hard to pull together a quick party. If you want to throw together some Mexican-style decor as a bonus, here are some fun ideas:

easy cinco de mayo party ideas | paper lanterns


Paper lanterns are an easy, affordable addition to your decor. You can find them at party supply stores; Amazon has them in packs of 8 or 10 for about $1 or so a piece. Add lightbulbs and you’re done! If you can’t find fiesta style lanterns you can stick to red, white and green (the colors of the Mexican flag) or do fun bright colors. Photo via Party People Blog.

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valentine’s day styled shoot



When you read the headline you probably thought – silly Amanda, Valentine’s Day was more than two months ago! But I couldn’t help sharing this wedding inspiration shoot around the holiday. Not only are there plenty of beautiful details, but they use the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, marsala. There are also plenty of DIY details – the invitations are free printables from The Wedding Chicks and the hearts were handmade confetti using heart punches from Hobby Lobby. What a great idea! Keep an eye out for the sheet music bottle centerpieces – a clever idea and easy to DIY!

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spring flowers

Spring Flowers

After what felt like the longest winter, all of a sudden spring is here. My husband and I took advantage of the warm, sunny weather this weekend to get some gardening and yard work done. The photo above is a shot of my front stoop – I’m experimenting with more container gardens this year.

Naturally as I’ve been seeing flowers everywhere – in our yard, in other gardens, there’s even some stunning wildflowers lining one of the highways I take on my commute to work – I’ve been thinking about flowers for events and entertaining. I have several resources on the blog that I’d like to share in case you (like me) want to learn more about flowers. First, you can see all of my flower posts here.

But here are a few of my favorite posts:

My “Let’s Learn About Flowers” Series

What I Learned In Floral Design Class

More Flower Arranging Tips

How To Make A Centerpiece From Grocery Store Flowers

I’m still trying to learn more about flowers. What resources do you have to share with me? I’d greatly appreciate it!

blush & rose gold styled brunch


To celebrate the upcoming wedding season, the team at Makeup for Your Day decided to throw a surprise styled brunch for their makeup artists and hair stylists, who were able to serve as (gorgeous) models for this styled shoot. The brunch is full of fun details – I love the blush and gold color palette. Multiple vendors pitched in to make this not only a stunning styled shoot, but a fantastic event for the artists. I love the floral arrangements – and I am envious of those gorgeous dresses!

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alma mater themed rehearsal dinner


So many couples meet in college, so why not incorporate a nod to their alma mater in the wedding or rehearsal dinner? When my husband and I were married a few years ago, we named our tables after places on campus at the College of William & Mary, where we met. Eric and Kim met at Purdue University and they chose to honor their alma mater through their rehearsal dinner. The color scheme was black and gold, the school’s colors, the favors were Purdue cookies, and they even had a cake modeled after the Boilermaker Special, the train that serves as the university mascot. Enjoy!

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let’s learn about flowers: easter lilies

let's learn about flowers: white easter lily

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought I’d share the interesting story behind Easter lilies. While Easter lilies are not often used in weddings and event floral design (they seem to be overshadowed by the sexier Cala Lily, or lilies in bright colors), but you do see them everywhere at Easter. They are often available at grocery stores and flower shops as a potted plant. But you can plant the bulb and flower in your garden and with some care and attention, you can have Easter lilies growing every year. If you were to be able to cultivate a nice collection of lilies, you could make some lovely centerpieces or arrangements with your own flowers!

Easter lilies, also known as Bermuda lilies, are large, white, trumpet lilies. They are native to Japan and mostly cultivated there (although in the late 19th century they were also cultivated in Bermuda, hence the name). In 1919, a World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, brought a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to his home on the southern coast of Oregon where he distributed them to his friends and family to grow. They flourished, as the climate was just right, but Japan still had a corner on the “Easter Lily” market. In 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the Japanese flowers were cut off and the American-grown flowers became much more valuable and in-demand.

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ashley & dustin’s foodie wedding


Have you ever wondered what menu a chef would pick for his wedding? Well for his casual, beachside wedding, chef Dustin picked out a delicious spread, including a pig roast, clam bake, oyster shooters and marinated salmon. The bride, Ashley, topped it off with fun whimsical DIY details. The couple even had an ice cream truck stop by for dessert! Enjoy!

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[guest post] plan your Easter brunch with ease with the brunch calculator

Easter Brunch Menu

Are you planning on hosting Easter brunch? If so, I’m excited to share this tool from Shari’s Berries: the Easter Brunch Menu Calculator. Please note that I did not receive any compensation for this post, it’s just a great tool that I wanted to share. Enjoy and happy planning!

Easter is another fun time of the year we get to gather with friends and family. And what kind of gathering is complete without food? While many folks just go to restaurants for Easter brunch, there are the few, and the bold who love hosting it at home.

If you’ve taken the plunge and decide to be hosting Easter brunch (or any brunch, really) at home some planning can set you free! Shari’s Berries, who has a love of sweets and  celebrations, made a brunch calculator to help you plan out your meals and shopping list depending on the number of guests and what you want to serve.

Do you plan to have four adults coming over for brunch? Or maybe two or three different families with the kids too? Having an organized list like this with a pre-planned meal can help plan your entire meal or even just give you a place to start with recipes and portion ideas.

Maybe I’m biased towards ‘planning it all’ but if you’re on board you can check it out the planner here.