International Women’s Day Dinner

candlesI love themed parties.

I love planning & hosting.

I also love celebrating friends.

There are so many thoughts on celebrating International Women’s Day. I truly feel like I have so many privileges & opportunities, that because of this, it is my duty (wrong word?) to stand up for those who don’t have these rights. I stand with people who want to dress with less, & those who want to fully cover up. For women who want to work & be paid for their education & experience, & for women who want to stay home & raise children (or not raise kids). I think feminism is for those pro-and against abortion. For men & for women. It’s about equality.

For me, hosting a dinner on International Women’s Day was a no brainer. I have been looking for a reason to get a group of girlfriends together & have a sit-down dinner. What better day than this?

My friends are kind. These are the women who will invite you to sit next to them when you don’t know anyone. My friends are brave. These girls are survivors (of cancer, sexual assault, negative stereotypes, depression, ect). My friends are strong AF (from playing collegiate sports to just kicking butt in life). My friends are generous. They’re the ones I can call when I need a space to host a party, a ride to the airport, or even a few dollars for gas. They’re my inspiration, encouragement, & wisdom givers everyday. Regardless of their religious belief, each one points me to Jesus. I’m so thankful for these women.

Friendships where women help build each other up are so important.

I wish I could have invited a million more women to dinner last night, but one thing about dinner parties is you want to keep them relatively small to foster intimate conversations.

Don’t worry though, there will be another one & if you want you’re definitely invited to it!

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The menu from last night:

Onion Tart

Antipasti Pizza

Tarragon Roasted Beet & Endive Salad

Orecchiette with Sausage, Chard, & Parsnips

Mango Napoleons w/ Cream

Honey- Poached Pears w/ Brandied Mascarpone

Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s Day. I get it, it’s a commercial holiday. Who cares? I love love, and spending time with others. Anytime those can be celebrated I think they should be!

Also candy.

This year I wanted to celebrate it the office, and what better way than the good old fashioned elementary school way? Valentine’s boxes! I made everyone in the office a box (because I don’t think anyone had time to make their own).

The boxes were a hit. Also a hit- candy.


Dinner Party Revelation


And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

-Hebrews 10:24-25

The last dinner party of 2015 was so last minute that I didn’t even have make-up on (GASP), but still had a blast. The best part of the dinner party wasn’t at the pretty table- or even the dishes-filled kitchen. After the dinner party a few of us went to grab a Starbucks tea and then sat in the car for hours talking about life. They were the most meaningful conversations of the night- and reminded me that heart conversations don’t have to be had over the prettiest Anthro plates.

Sometimes with dinner parties, it’s easy to focus solely on the aesthetics (at least for me). We forget the true reason of having a few friends over- to listen, to share, to celebrate, to grieve, and to praise God….to…so much more than a pretty Instagram picture.

I forget that. And when I forget the purpose behind belonging to the Body of Christ, I lose out. I lose out on encouraging others, and being encouraged. I lose out on being purely silly. And being invested in.

With so much freaking hate in the World (SO MUCH HATE), why aren’t we living LOVE better? It’s not difficult. It’s literally just sitting down, listening to one another, and breaking bread (and Whole Food’s Chantilly Cake, can I get an amen for that?). And it’s easy to love on people you already like- so this year one of my priorities is more dinner parties and to not give up on meeting with my friends (does anyone else have the most difficult time scheduling hanging out now? Ugh, life of a twenty-something ;)).

“More dinner parties” sounds so silly and almost a bit pretentious. I pray my heart is sincere always when prepping a dinner party- that my heart is true to serving the Body, and less of getting that perfect picture. *(Which is not to say I won’t be taking pictures!)*



(*ALSO I’ve used Hebrews 10:24-25 in another post. What a  sweet reminder (to me) that I need people. I cannot be content in my pseudo-wannabe-hermit life. We are created to live in community.)

One Month Ago…

IMG_6474One month ago was the craziest, best day of the year.One month ago seems so far in the past, and also like it just happened. One month ago Gayle married Patrick.

When people say their wedding day went off without a hitch, I internally think: LIES. There is always something small (or big) that can and will go wrong.  Thankfully nothing terribly tragic occurred on 08/01/2015. Little things I wished I could go back and change, I know I can’t. Why stress anymore?

I am so thankful for all the friends and family who gave up their Saturday (and so much more than that) to help prep for the wedding. The wedding would have happened no matter what, but it was so much sweeter (and less painful for me) because of all the help.

Also, I during the wedding planning my new favorite phrase was learned:

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

HOW TRUE IS THIS!? Ugh, so true. I am so thankful for planners in my life- and not only planners, but decision makers. I love you all.

Since I was in the wedding, I didn’t get a lot of pictures, but here are a few I did get…and when Gayle shares more pictures I will too. 🙂

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Bachelorette Party| Part 2


The first part of Gayle’s weekend was all about pampering yourself: bubble baths, 4-star breakfast, king size bed… all things I love. The second part was all about being outside: tents, hammocks, fires, water balloons… all things I love. It really was the best of both worlds. (Thanks Hannah Montana.)

After finding the perfect spot to set up camp, we ate our delicious dinner of hot dogs. Seriously, I’m not a big hot dog person, but when it’s roasting over the open fire- how can you not love them? (unless you don’t eat meat, then I get how you could not love it.) Of course we s’mored it up. To up the ante a bit I brought several types of marshmallows (regular, strawberry, and lavender) and chocolate (milk, dark, sea-salt and caramel, and coconut). We chatted around the campfire for bit and then got ready for bed. We were so lame. At 10pm we were all in bed. AT 10PM! Also, we slept in different tents/ hammocks- so there was no bedtime giggles or talks. We are old ladies who love sleeping.

I’m so glad we went to sleep so early, because when you camp you get up with the sun and the birds. Ugh. I started the fire, made coffee, and started on breakfast before 7am. Gross (but beautiful and at the same time a really nice way to start the morning). After breakfast we made flower crowns. (huge hit with the 5 year old). After a peaceful crown making session, we continued with playtime. I had made (and hauled all the way up the mountain) paint balloons! (Water balloons filled with paint and water.) We played catch with the balloons before it turned into war! (*Since I didn’t tell the girls about this, I also brought several old shirts so their clothes wouldn’t become paint stained.) After paint balloons, we paint powdered (so easy to make). Honestly, the paint powder part was mostly for photos (and to throw at Gayle). I’m not even going to lie about that. Thanks Pinterest for giving me ideas that turn into me going crazy.

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This past weekend was so much fun. I am so thankful to all the women who helped out and came to celebrate Gayle. I cannot wait for her wedding and marriage to Patrick!

Bachelorette Party| Part 1


I love parties. I love planning and executing parties. The hosting, not so much. BUT I did love Gayle’s bachelorette party (part1) at Los Poblanos. Partially because I was so stressed out about planning the weekend, but as soon as I turned into Los Poblanos’ long drive ALL THE STRESS WENT AWAY. It’s magic. It is a deliciously sweet and magical place. (you may remember my birthday weekend here– hey any excuse to stay here I will take.)

The party was so much fun. We drank (non-alcoholic. baby sister doesn’t drink). We played (the game was ‘junk in the trunk,’ but we place the box in front and not on the rump. We also used little bags of sour patch kids instead of balls. SPK are Gayle and Patrick’s favorite candy. THIS GAME WAS HILARIOUS. We ended up dividing into two teams and had each team try to toss their candy into their person’s box. Once all the bags were in the box the person wearing the box had to try to get all the candy out of the box, not using their hands. Let’s just say, my team won thanks to some creative twerking.). Gayle opened gifts (mostly tame, she has friends who know and love her). We laughed. People left. Gayle took a lavender bubble bath. I cleaned. We slept. Perfection.

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Things I took away from the night: The sweetest, most thoughtful friend brought a gift for me (she brought one for Gayle too). It was such a kind gesture. Her note instead was a kind reminder that I was loved and all my work for the wedding was appreciated. (hostess gift for the win- always!)

The bride just wants to relax and have fun. DON’T EVER BRING DRAMA TO A BRIDE. That is so so so selfish. Let the bride think all the planning was easy. The bridesmaids were all darlings to deal with (they were!!!!! honestly!). The bride has so much to deal with, that if you can work something out or just get over it- DO THAT. A few months from now, take her to coffee and tell her how witchy some things (or people) were and laugh about it. She’ll appreciate that you didn’t bring it up during her wedding season.

Ladies love to kiss things- and then judge how their lips look. The guestbook was just a piece of paper and a lot of lipstick. It’s such a fun way to ‘sign’ in. You can frame it, or do as the modern gals do and just take a pic and then throw it away. 😉

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The morning after Gayle, a friend, and I had breakfast at the Inn. After breakfast we had a few hours to prep for the next part of the weekend… get ready for part 2!

Live From New Mexico!

It’s Saturday Night Live. Except it’s not Saturday. And it’s not live.

Last night was SNL’s 40th anniversary special; and what better way to celebrate than a party? I love themed parties- any reason to dress up and make something themed is like a ice cream cone on a warm sunny day (and I love love love ice cream). here are a few photos of the night:

I made instagram sugar cookies for the event, we had a ‘come as your favorite character (or 3rd favorite) dress-code, quotable foods, and 40s for the 40th! Can’t wait until the next themed event!

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