Our monthly luncheons are something we look forward to here at IC - yummy foods, company updates, games and chatting. Our last luncheon was all about international dishes. It was pot luck-style, so we each brought a dish representing a different country - black beans & yellow rice, Greek salad skewers, antipasto and Belgian chocolates made up our spread.
Whether you're moving across the city or across the country, moving annoucements are the perfect way to let your friends + family know where you are. Recently, me and my husband Vince purchased our first new home (yay!) and we'll be sending out cute little announcements this week. Our pick is New Address Key, but we've got tons of super cute moving announcements so it was a really hard decision.
Moving is always a bit of a stressful process; all the packing involved (and wondering where we've accumulated so much junk stuff that somehow fits in our little apartment), setting up appointments, and gathering moving materials. Since relocating to Tampa 4 years ago, we've moved every year so by this point, I consider myself a veteran mover! Over the years, I've definitely gotten the moving process down to a science and wanted to share my tips to make moving as painless and stress-free as possible!
When moving, make sure to:
1. Finalize the moving date + time
2. If living in a multi-unit building, reserve an elevator
3. Schedule a moving truck and arrange movers (or willing friends and family) to help you load and unload
4. Arrange for electric and cable set up
5. Gather boxes and moving materials (some local stores will give free boxes, all you have to do is ask!)
6. For breakable items, try padding them using items you have to pack anyway such as towels or blankets
7. Label each packed box with the room where it needs to go; this will aid in the unpacking process and give movers direction
8. Have waters and snacks on hand for you and the movers, especially in the summertime!
Have any tips you've used while moving? Let us know!
I had the pleasure of being a part of a fabulous Chicago, Illinois wedding this past month. The bride and groom chose an ombré color palette to fill their art center space with modern pizazz and elegance. Every last detail from the ceiling down to the floor faded from one shade of pink or red to another making a bold and trendy impression.
Flowers and lighting are the easiest ways to incorporate your hues and can create lots of drama. The bride and groom covered white spaces with bright, shaded lighting and decorated long tables with bountiful blooms that gradiated from one end to the other.
An ombré cake design compliments the color scheme with confectionery perfection.
Choosing flowers of a different variety within the same color family help achieve a monochromatic look while still creating lots of interest. High centerpieces on the square tables of the reception surround the longer, more modern tables carrying the concept to new heights.
Summer is here and this easy, flavorful food is perfect during the hot summer months. Bruschetta is not only easy to prepare, there are a variety of different toppings for you to make it your own signature dish. Plus, prep time is a snap so save this for your next summer soirée!
Start by seeding and dicing tomatoes. I used red and orange tomatoes to give the topping a little more color, but you can use your favorite types. When the tomatoes are diced, add them to a bowl along with the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Make sure to season with salt and pepper then add in the chopped basil. I find cutting the basil with a knife is the easiest, but you can certainly cut it or rip it into small pieces. Once the topping is prepared, cover and let it marinate in the refrigerator.
For the bread, I used a rosary olive oil bread for extra flavor, but any good crusty bread will do. Slice the bread and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the broiler until crispy.
Once the bread is toasted, take it out and rub each piece with a garlic clove. This adds extra flavor (so good!). Once the bread is prepped, spoon the tomato topping onto each piece and serve warm.
Bruschetta is super simple yet delicious. It really is a great summer dish because you can vary the toppings based on your event and how fancy you want to make it! Just make sure to jot down your favorite creations on cute recipe cards you so you won't forget!
Nikii & Darius are college sweethearts from my alma mater who have always had the brightest smiles & attitude. When Nikii shared photos of their little guy, Xavier, I just knew our readers would love them. Superheros, mega-watt cuteness, and a sweet & honest interview with Nikii follow below...
As a first-time mommy, what is the biggest surprise about having a little one? In general, I guess how much you can love this new little person. You think you know how much you’re going to love them, but once that little guy or girl gets here and you can’t stop staring at them, or watching them sleep, or just being amazed at how they learn to move- it’s a whole new level of love that you have never experienced or imagined.Specifically for Xavier-How awesome he sleeps! 7:30pm to 7 am...now he has started in the last few days to wake up at 6, but that’s still great!
Xavier is such a unique and strong name, how did you & Darius choose? Were there other names you were considering that made it tough to decide? I’ve always loved the name Xavier; it’s less used and I like that. I hated being Nicole B growing up because there were 10 of us in one class! Darius and I love superheroes, as a pair our favorite superheroes are the X-men and the X-Men are led by Professor Xavier! So we have this joke that he’ll grow up to be a professor and then we can call him Professor Xavier. Of course he can be whatever he wants!We decided this name years before Xavier was conceived and it was pretty much the only one we agreed on 100%. His first and middle name is Xavier Alexander and we love how strong it sounds.
What is your number one piece of advice for finding balance between work & family? Know that you can’t take care of anyone without taking care of yourself first. Don’t feel selfish or guilty for doing what you need to stay happy and to be an amazing mom. I had a hard time going to the gym and leaving Xavier after a full day of work away from him, but it was important to me to get back in shape. I rearranged my schedule and go to the gym in the morning before work. I’d rather sacrifice my sleep than my time with him. Find what it is you need to be happy and fit it in your schedule, it will all work out! Your family photos are too cute! How do you get Xavier to be so smiley? What inspired the superhero theme? Well Thank you! This little guy wakes up smiling! He keeps me from having a bad day, or even a bad hour. Again we love superheroes and my personal favorite is Superman, so I thought it would be awesome to get all three of us in superhero gear and have a blast being silly. Xavier is so strong for a little guy and at 7 months he inspires me to be strong in every possible way. He is my little superman!
Who is your favorite celebrity mom? P!nk is one of my favorite moms. She is so strong, beautiful, creative, and looks amazing after gaining 55 lbs. in her pregnancy. She inspired me to find a way to make being a mom and getting in my gym sessions possible. I saw a clip of her recording a video or taking photos for her album and her little girl was sitting in a bumbo seat on set. I loved that her daughter was with her, it made her “normal” and easy to connect with.
Bonjour! We were tres inspired by this customer's adorable birthday party theme and stated getting all kinds of ideas for a Parisian party of our own. Using our Party in Paris invitation to get the party started, you could serve all kinds of French fare from croissants, croque monsieurs, frites and macarons! Having some French accessories on hand would be an excellent touch, like a beret for each guest! This would make for an excellent photo booth! The soundtrack to Amelie would be perfect background music for Paris themed games or activities like pin the tail on the poodle or writing postcards from "Paris" to their family back home. Let your imagination run wild and plan a Parisian sleepover to transport your petite guests to the streets of Paris for a night! Au revoir for now!
Happy Friday folks! We're buzzing around over here working on summer projects, but we wanted to sneak in to tell you that Custom Stamps are now 20% off. So, now would be a good time to snag one if you've been eyeing them!