Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

I’ve been noticing that since this dumb pandemic started, there seems to be a lot of new side hustles popping up and a bigger focus on buying locally.

I was really curious about what these side hustlers were doing, why they were doing it and how they were doing, while doing it? Make sense?? Maybe? Lol. Let me introduce you to Bonnie, who makes cakes and treats, Emily who makes funky earrings, Craig who makes beautiful cheese boards and wood stuff and Monique, who will customize pretty much anything you need.

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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Liette: What made you decide to start your side business?

Bonnie: The idea to start Mrs Delicious as an online bakery definitely came from my close friends and family. They were tasting and seeing all of my creations that I was posting about on social media during the spring and they thought I should offer what I was doing to a wider audience. I guess they thought I had a bit of a gift and thought I should share it.

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L: Is this something you had been waiting to do for a while?

B: Haha! Nooooo not at all. I normally have an extremely full schedule and wouldn’t have any room for extras like this. A typical work week for me, pre-pandemic, would consist of anywhere from 50 to 60+ hours of work a week. After a week like that you don’t typically have a lot left to give. Anything I do have left is spent on friends and family. However, at this time, with events on hold, my daily life has changed drastically. I needed a creative outlet and so my friend gave me the extra push I needed, she created a logo for me and I set up a Facebook page and my husband got some stickers made up with my branding and I was off and running.

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L: So all the extra time on your hands, because of the pandemic, sparked you to try something new?

B: The pandemic was definitely the instigator for this. I have hardly baked in the past 10 years. I have been concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder and being a Mom to my kids and helping to support my Mom when she was sick. I had a full plate. During the pandemic I turned to the kitchen, it started with a birthday cake for my daughter, then one for my son, then an anniversary cake for my sister and brother in law and it just kept going. I started having a lot of fun with it and trying trickier recipes each time. I was getting so many positive comments on my photos and people started saying, you should do this and sell them. I was very unsure at first but my confidence started to build and the reviews were positive so here I am. Mrs Delicious has been accepting orders for less than a month and I have already had close to 50 orders!

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L: I love that story!! Your cakes look absolutely delicious, great name btw, I am waiting for someone’s birthday in order to order one from you. How can people see and order from you?

B: People can order through Facebook at facebook.com/mrsdeliciousdesserts

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Post and Studs

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Emily’s is an elementary school teacher, who on the side, makes beautiful earrings. She makes them because they let her be creative and they make her happy, she explains that if they make others happy, that is a major bonus! And BTW, I just got a pair and they do make me happy! Mine are hot pink, obvs; here is my chat with Emily.

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

Emily: I’ve always loved creating, aka making a mess. My sister and I started making jewelry as children and it was always something that brought me happy memories. We grew up in an extremely creative household, both of our parents were being creating in some way or another. I’m very thankful to have grown up in an environment that fostered our creativity.

A few Christmases ago, I was making earrings as gifts for loved ones and everyone told me to start selling them. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to dive in head first!

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business?

E: Having a business was always something that appealed to my creative side, but definitely not my organizational side. It was something I was always interested in, but I am thankful that I can do it at my own pace.

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L: Your earrings are beautiful. How long does it take to make one pair?

E: From start to finish, many of the dangles take about four days to fully cure and become ready for your ears! There are quite a few steps involved and this time period can be greatly extended if I make any mistakes. I’ve definitely had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.

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L: I bet that it’s been a learning process, not just making them, but marketing yourself?

E: Because it’s my side business, I don’t have the same type of pressure to market myself as many other businesses do. Post and Stud is my creative outlet, and I treat it as such. If it all becomes too stressful, I have the ability to step back and take a break for a few days. This is a privilege I’ve needed and am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I’m able to go with the flow and create relationships with like minded people.

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

E: They can go to my website: http://www.postandstud.com, my Instagram & Facebook account is @postandstud. My earrings are also available for sale at Sequoia, the Trinity location, The Glow, in Sussex, and Luxe Salon and Spa in Riverview.

Borden Design

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I’ve known Craig for a long time, we used to work together many moons ago. I was surprised and impressed when I saw the beautiful charcuterie boards he was posting on Facebook. I knew he was, and still is, an awesome musician, but I had no idea he had mad woodworking skills? It was nice to catch up with him; here’s a bit of our chat.

Liette: I’ve seen the videos you’ve posted online, it’s cool to see a bit of how your boards are made. What motivated you to start your side hustle?

Craig: I had been planning a little side hustle for quite some time. With the lock down and having some extra time it seemed like the perfect time to get started.

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L: Did being home during COVID push you to get started?

C: Typically my free time would be focused on making music with my band “Big Bang”, but COVID not allowing for rehearsing I had some spare time to really focus on coming up with some products I wanted to make.

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L: What is it about working with wood that you most enjoy?

C: The charcuterie boards I’ve been making came from an apple tree that was in our backyard. I love the three having a completely new life in a completely new form. The cutting boards are made from wood I get from another local business, London Lumber. It’s really like being a kid in a candy store every time I go there. In addition to wood we’ve been prepping to make some concrete products as well, they should be available in the coming months.

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Craig’s number one helper, Stephen, who just turned 7!!

L: How can people find and buy your products?

C: Currently my presence is focused on Facebook, bordendesignnb, but I ‘m on Instagram, borden_design, and Twitter, Twitter.com/borden_design, as well. Products and prices can be found on Facebook @bordendesignnb,

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Made by Monique

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Monique works in early childhood development and is super crafty and creative. She’s started a side company that focuses on custom printing; here’s our chat.

Liette: What inspired you to start your little side hustle?

Monique: I love being crafty and creating things, so after receiving my Cricut (fancy adhesive cutter and printer) as a Christmas gift, I started experimenting with it and watching YouTube videos, A LOT of videos! After trying a couple of different things, I realized I was more interested in designing shirts, onesies, hoodies, etc…

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business? What made you say, I am going to do it?

M: I’ve always loved the idea of having my own little side business that I would fully run myself, so that would be a yes! Once I had mastered designing and applying heat transfer vinyl on a wide variety of fabrics, I decided to invest in a few other important accessories and advertise on social media.

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She also sells custom pet stuff. Here are her two fav models, Pedro and Mika. Pedro giving us his sexy look, Mike giving us full on smiles. 

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L: What’s been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to deal with so far?

M: A challenge I’ve had to deal with would definitely be the Christmas rush! It’s generally a busy time of the year in general, but with the added to-do list of getting all the custom orders ready before Christmas, it was a little extra busy for me. Even though it was a big stressful, I am SO thankful that I received so many orders!

L: So maybe we can put it out there now, in the summer, that people should start thinking of their custom Christmas Stockings, Tree Skirts and baby onesies now? lol?

M: That would be great to get orders as early as possible!

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These are the custom printed hats that she made for me.

 

L: How can people see your work and order from you?

M: I have photos of almost all my work posted on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/customizedbymonique and also my Instagram account: customizedbymonique. For order simply send me a message via my FB page and I will get back to you!

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I am so impressed with all these side hustlers their stories are inspiring and have a few common threads. One is that they are all doing something that they love and that fulfills their creative side, that’s so important, we all need creative outlets. And they are all using social media to promote and sell their goods. I think that social media gets a bad wrap; and rightfully so at times. My advice to those finding social media toxic is to do some major cleaning up!

You’re allowed to unfollow and unfriend anyone who is causing you anxiety. Replace them with local small businesses and services. I recently started following the hashtags #moncton, #newbrunswick and a few others and I have discovered so many neat things about my region.

Social media is the most valuable tool for small/local businesses…oh and for bloggers too, lol.

Thank you for reading!! Start following these awesome side hustlers on FB and Insta!!

muah!

Liette

As a bonus adding links to my last two links, they highlight local businesses. One is a nursery and the other a glamping site…you’re welcome!!

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

 

 

 

Best Birthday Ever? Could Social Distancing Actually Bring Us Closer Together?

Best Birthday Ever?

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Could this social distancing actually bring us closer together? This post will include a few ideas on how to celebrate with friends and family during these crazy times; but more than that, I think it demonstrates how we are changing the way we interact with each other and our rediscovery of the importance of being kind to each other and to ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, the prospect of spending my 50th birthday by myself in my apartment, by myself, seemed a bit dismal and depressing. But what I hadn’t considered is how creative and thoughtful my friends and family would be. Could all this extra time apart help bring us closer?

The pace of our daily lives has slowed to a, sometimes painful, crawl; our routines and our interactions with each other have been completely flipped upside down. One of the side effects is that we are having to connect with each other in different ways; maybe even better ways?

Here are some great ideas if any of your people have birthdays or celebrations during this social distancing time. But you really don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make someone feel special and loved…just saying.

Card Campaign

The week before my birthday I started getting birthday cards in the mail, a lot of cards! I had forgotten how nice it is to open your mailbox and see brightly colored  envelopes; some even took the time to make me a card, seriously, how freaking thoughtful is that?

The keyword here is thoughtful; I feel like we are all being more mindful of the effects that our small gestures of kindness are having on others.
The thought of my friends taking the time and effort to go out of their homes to buy me  a birthday card; or getting their glue sticks out to make me a card; or digging through their storage to find a Halloween Card in order to customize it for me, because they know that I love Halloween, tugs at my heartstrings and has made me feel so special.

This card campaign as also helped to spread out this warm and fuzzy feeling; they are still coming in. I think we should bring snail mail back!! Are you thinking about someone? Instead of shooting them a quick text, send them a note or card.

Parking Lot Parade Party

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The morning of my birthday, I was puttering around my apartment, thankfully I was dressed with my lipstick on, ready to take on the day when I heard some honking coming from outside my window; when I looked out I saw 15ish cars with hot pink balloons parading down my street. 

I was so touched, and yes, I cried, just a little. The theme of this post is love; my friends and family took the time to do something nice for someone else; I was so fortunate to be the recipient of all of their love.  Had I had a party, my friends would have showed up to help me celebrate; but the thought that they coordinated meeting in a parking lot close to my place; where they decorated their cars with pink balloons and signs was extra special. As they made their way to my place, cars they passed pulled over and let them pass. This was so much more memorable than any regular party; the only shitty part is that I couldn’t hug anyone. Lots of hugs for everyone when this is over!

Feeling la Love!

When challenged with strict social restrictions, we are having to find new ways to stay connected and to show our love for one another.

I was invited to a super cozy lunch for two in a friend’s garage that included a 12 foot long table, perfect for social distancing. We sat there without any distractions, no checking our phones, we didn’t have anywhere else to be. We ate leftovers, laughed and listened to Van Morrison.

If you are feeling disconnected, put your best face covering on and go sit in your friends driveway! Thinking of someone? Send them a card or drop off a plate of cookies; simple, inexpensive acts of kindness are appreciated more than ever.

A few friends and I have started weekly zoom calls, my friend Kenda made the observation that she couldn’t remember the last time we were all in town at the same time and able to celebrate a birthday all together. Four out of the six of us travel for work and planning events has always been a scheduling nightmare.

I am noticing that we all seem more present when we spend time together now, even if just via video. Josette mentioned that when things get back to “normal” she is going to try to let go of a lot of the things that stressed her out and all the things she thought she “needed” to do. Our lives are much simpler now and it’s kind of nice?

We then decided that we should all make side ponytails as an homage to our 80’s roots; speaking of roots, some of us are starting to sport some pretty gray roots!! lol

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Feeling the love at a distance with Dawn! ❤️

Thank you for reading! In these crazy times be generous with your kindness and attention; if you love someone, tell them! If you see that someone is struggling a bit, reach out and be kind; it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.

And finally if you have any extra love to share, subscribe to my blog below, just scroll down a bit. Or you can follow me on Facebook or Insta at oui-liette

Stay safe and be kind!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

For any new readers, behind he scenes are just extra fun facts and bonus pics.

I brought up the banners and balloons from my birthday parade and set them up in my dining room, see the pic below. Notice the frames picture on the right; that’s my cousin Brigitte. She added her picture in with the group gift that she and my two other cousins gave me. She also edited their birthday messages in the group card. Her behavior perfectly demonstrates our families sense of humor; and explains a bit of my unique weirdness. ❤️

I am blessed to come from a family and friends who love to laugh and have fun!

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I didn’t have a big 50th birthday party planned, I know it’s shocking! But I did have a girls trip to Palms Spring planned for the weekend after my birthday. I had planned a theme for our après party, party; the theme was/will be: Let them eat cake!! One may think that a Marie Antoinette theme would be difficult to pull off? One would be wrong, lol

This tulle skirt and rock n roll t-shirt was/will be my party outfit. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it anytime soon; so I decided to put it on and wear it around my apartment last week; it made me feel fancy and festive, so here it is, someone needs to see it!

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My awesome photographer Jack!

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I also wanted to share this painting that my sister in-law made for me; I absolutely love it! The picture doesn’t do the colors justice.

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Had anyone told me six months ago, or even two months ago, that I’d be super excited to get face masks as gifts for my 50th birthday, I wouldn’t have believed them. This jazzy one was hand made by my cousin Nicole, it’s reversible and freakishly comfortable.

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Hoppy Birthday!!

Hoppy Birthday! – How to throw  bunny themed party.

This post will show you how to throw a fun Bunny themed party, you’re welcome; for a young child or a late forty something grown woman…whatever.

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I understand that as we get older some may not want to make a big deal about their birthdays and some may not want a party; but I am not some people, lol.

(My last post generated a lot of new subscribers, thank you and welcome. Full disclosure, this a full on fluff piece, but it doesn’t have an underlying deeper meaning, so keep reading).

I throw parties and events for a living and for most of those events, sadly, I don’t have full and complete free reign; and it turns out that I love full and complete free reign! Lol. So when it’s my birthday I want a party and I want to plan it myself!!

I am not talking about a huge party, I prefer small intimate gatherings, but there needs to be a theme, formal invitations, some sort of decorations, a cake and swag bags for my guests to take home, like when we were kids.

Last year I had a co-party with my friend Claudia who’s birthday is the day after mine. We went to a fancy hotel’s tea room and had a tea party with tiny  yummy sandwiches and sweets with 20 of our friends. It was so much fun even though I don’t actually like tea! Lol

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For our swag bags last year, we had antique china cups filled with colorful macaroons with a thank you note. The thank you note matched the invitation, naturally.

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BTW a tea party theme is great for wedding showers  and baby showers too. Feel free to steal any of these ideas. If you want more tea party ideas, here is my tea party post. It was called Girls Gone Wild, but no girls actually went wild in the post, lol: https://oui-liette.org/2018/08/02/girls-gone-wild/

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That was last year; this year my birthday falls on Easter Sunday. I took this as a sign that it should be a bunny theme.

Full disclosure, I am a corny person; dorky puns are my jam, as you will see below.

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I usually find a cool image that speaks to me and build my theme around it. Last year I found the picture of the three ladies pouring tea with fabulous flowers in their hair.

This year I fell in love with this bunny; his face and his butt!

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My best friend, who is an amazing hostess, offered to host my birthday dinner. Not wanting to impose too much, I offered to buy my own cake. She loves baking and quickly turned my offer down. She asked if I had any requests, I told her it needed to be chocolate and have eggs or bunnies on it. And to be bratty, I sent her elaborate cake pictures leading up to the big night for “inspiration”. We have been friends for over 30 years, so she knows my bratty ways and didn’t reply to any of my texts, which made me send her more, just because I thought it was funny. I was trying to break her and make her reply with a, knock it off, but her will and resolve are strong, lol.

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She is a designer and has a beautiful home, I am very fortunate to have her as my bff!! For anyone in the Moncton area looking for a designer with impeccable taste, contact me and I will hook you up with her.

 

Her table setting is a perfect example that a little goes a long way. She had all white dinnerware with pale blue linen napkins and a white tulip centerpiece. I love her vintage water glasses, they added a bit of sparkle. And in keeping with my Easter theme, I sprinkled colorful chocolate eggs.

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Our hostess and bff Guylaine (pronounced guy as in gee…oh never mind, lol)

No birthday of mine would be complete without a headband, lol. I brought bunny ears for my party guests, why? Why not!

I celebrated my birthday last year in Las Vegas with my beautiful and amazing new friends. This year I was lucky enough to celebrate with my childhood friends in Canada.

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I feel that the red head on the right would want me to explain her wearing a hat at a party. She was having some eye issues and couldn’t wear any makeup, she thought a hat would be a good camouflage, lol. We stuck a set of big ears on her and called her Elmer Fudd, lol. She is normally the glamest one at the party.

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For dinner we had gourmet pizzas, ordered in from our fav restaurant. Ordering in is a great way to free up the hostess so she can have fun and not be stuck in the kitchen all night.

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Turns out a few drinks helps with your creativity. Stacey and I thought our mirror image pic was brilliant last night. Mmm… I still think it’s cute this morning, lol.

I am happy to report that my cake did not disappoint! It was chocolaty and delicious!! And it had mini eggs on it.

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Only 4 candles to avoid a fire hazard, lol. The cake was made from scratch with love, it was soooo good!

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I want to thank all my bunnies for helping me celebrate in style! People say, you only turn 40, 30, 50… once; we’ll guess what? You only turn, 41, 37, 49…once too! My point is every year is a milestone and for those who are freaked out by getting older, the alternative is even more freaky.

Each year we are blessed to celebrate another notch in our belts, some people don’t get the chance to grow old. We need to be mindful of that and embrace the opportunities that another year will bring.

I hope this post inspires you to celebrate your birthday and your friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be fun.

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I had a basket full of colorful eggs at the front door for guests as they left; full disclosure the two first bunnies to leave the party didn’t get their eggs, because I was a little too busy having fun and temporarily forget about them.

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In my eggs were two small chicks, a lip balm, who doesn’t need another lip balm and a thank  you note. I think it’s a nice small gesture, I am going to follow up with a thank you text as they chipped in to buy me a fabulous gift, which wasn’t necessary, but greatly appreciated!!

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Fun was had by all, thanks to my Crazy, Sexy, Cool Chicks!! Omg, that would be a cool theme for a party!! Maybe next year?

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I wish you all a Hoppy, corny, meaningful Easter!!

muah!

Liette

(for more pics of my adventures, check up my Instagram page: oui-liette)

 

Girls Gone Wild!

Girls Gone Wild! 

The title for this post was going to be: Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, but decided that Girls Gone Wild would get more attention, lol.

Helpful hints on how to throw the perfect tea party! 

As we age, our birthdays become less important, it’s just another day really, right? If you are a mom, this feeling may be exasperated? You spend hundreds of dollars on your kid’s birthdays, when yours comes around, it’s easy to give into that feeling that it’s just another day…right?

Well this year, I decided that it isn’t just another day; I wanted to celebrate my birthday in style. I plan events for a living, I put so much time and energy into planning beautiful events for others; am I not worth the time and effort of a nice party? I decided that am absolutely worth it!

Here are a few tips on how to throw yourself the easiest and best birthday party ever!

Theme

I am not going to lie, I love a themed party. While I was attending an event at a hotel, I noticed that they had a fancy tea room. Mmm… fancy little finger foods and feather fascinators; I decided then and there that a tea part with my best girlfriends would be the perfect theme!

Invitation

Your invitation sets the mood of your party, it’s the first glimpse that your guests will get to what kind of party to expect. There are so many different templates out there online. Feel free to send e-vites; I prefer printed invitations with colorful envelops and a customized message to each guest.

I found this image and fell in love with it. It was exactly what I wanted my party to represent!!

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Location

Here is a helpful hint from a party planner; you don’t always have to host your party, or our children’s party, at your house! It adds so much stress and work, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking…it’s a lot! And since this was my party, I wanted something easy. I wanted to just show up and then leave and have someone else clean up.

I reserved two tables at the Mandarin Orient Hotel Tea Room on Las Vegas Blvd. My friend Claudia’s birthday is the day after mine, so we decided to celebrate together. She would host her friends at her table and I would host mine at my table. I am pretty sure my table was more fun! 🙂

Party Favors

I think sending guests home with a thoughtful party favor is a very nice touch. And if you attach a thank you note, you won’t have to send a thank you card afterwards. And yes, I do think if people come to your party and give you a gift, you need to formally thank them.

Select something that goes with your theme, since I was having a tea party, I decided that I would give out tea cups. I went to a thrift store and found old china cups, they were $0.99 each! I loved that they were all different shapes and colors.

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I bought these colorful macaroons from the same bakery that did our cake, oh wait till you see the cake! Pink, yellow and orange were a perfect color scheme for our favors! I placed them in the tea cups, wrapped them in cellophane with the thank you card and voila! The perfect tea party favor!!

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The hardest part of putting these party favors together was resisting the urge to “test” the Macaroons. I would suggest getting a few extras, just in case you accidentally “crack” any… and then have to eat them.

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My thank you tags matched the invitations; I perforated them and attached them with a ribbon. I think, they turned out beautifully and were super easy!

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The Party!

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My co-hostess and I, ready to greet our guests with our fancy fascinators. Not that it was a competition, but my fascinator was clearly bigger than hers, bigger is better right? If you can’t wear a big bouquet of beautiful feathers on your head on your birthday in Las Vegas, I am not sure where else you could! Life is short, go for it!

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I was responsible for the party favors, Claudia was responsible for the flowers. Find a friend and split the work, you don’t have to do everything yourself. She picked up a few bouquets from Trader Joe’s.

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She arranged the flowers in mason jars, they added a special touch to our garden tea party. Most restaurants will let you bring in your own flowers and decorations, just let them know ahead of time.

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The dishware and food at the Mandarin were beautiful and delicious! This was my very first tea party, turns out I don’t actually like tea, but loved all the trimmings! This theme would also be perfect for a baby shower, any reason to get together with your girlfriends. Most cities have tea rooms, google it. If you do want to host a tea party at your house, it’s easy to make bite size sandwiches, go to your favorite bakery and have them create an assortment of sweats for you!

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The best part of the party, was spending the afternoon with friends! I must say, I have an amazing group of ladies!

The cake!

No party would be complete without a birthday cake. We brought in our own, yes, most restaurants will let you do that as well. Our custom cake was from Drago Sisters Bakery on Rainbow St in Las Vegas. It had a lemon and strawberry layer with with a butter cream frosting and it was divine!

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As we pondered on what to wish for before blowing out our candles, I was thankful for my fancy tea party with great food and even better friends!

What I hope that you take from this post is that you don’t have to make everything from scratch, you don’t have to host at your house and you can ask a friend to help! The goal of every party is to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones. Please make certain you are present and in the moment!

Thanks for reading, hit like if you like, share and subscribe if you are so inclined!

Muah!

Liette