2015 Reflections

St. petersburg-6

Every new years I get excited to say goodbye to the previous year and welcome a new one. A year which will be full of new hope, adventure, and possibilities. However, I am having a hard time saying goodbye to 2015. To say it was a great year would be an understatement. I sipped tea with friends in Venice, white wine in Malibu, rose in London, hot chocolate in Oxford, champagne in Paris, coffee in Marfa, martinis in Chicago, red wine in Geneva, mojitos in Cuba, gluten-free beer in Nantucket, french 75’s in New Orleans, craft cocktails in Austin, and vodka in Russia. It has been a year which was fully lived. A year full of adventure, lessons, and growing experiences.

I learned a lot of invaluable, life-changing, and soul growing things in 2015. I learned my husband is a far greater supporter than even I imagined when he proposed I spend the summer in Paris so I could carry out all my dreams and live a life with no regrets. I learned that I still enjoy to learn. Being able to study french in Paris was empowering, scary, and unbelievably amazing. I learned that even when scared to death in foreign places I will figure it out and be okay. I learned that when on a road trip don’t get mad when you stray from the map. Getting lost for 10 extra hours isn’t ideal but sometimes it is the time spent during the getting lost and finding your way which is better than the actual destination. I learned that perfectly capturing a city through a camera lens is a great joy and challenge that I welcome with open arms. I learned that life is all about timing and sometimes you must be patient, if it is meant to be it will come (okay so I am still working on this). I learned that I have a real thirst to see and experience the world. And finally I learned that it doesn’t matter where you go or what you own but it is the family and friends you surround yourself, which make your life exceptional.

May 2016 be an even greater year: full of good health, life lessons, adventure, and infinite laughs and memory making with my friends and family.

Hafner Holiday Tablescape

Hosting parties is, as my friend Molly says, my bliss. I really love it! It must be a heredity thing because I grew up with a mom who was the same. She is infamous for her parties. People still talk about when we see them. They were absolutely fabulous and her guest knew they were always in for a really fun night. The two things she taught me about hosting a great party: create a beautiful table and always put your guest first.

My mom has created some of the most gorgeous tablescapes I have ever seen. She has a real eye for it. Everything from the china, to the silver, to the candles and flowers is all perfectly placed. When I decided to host a holiday party for a small group of our friends I decided to make the tables decor minimal. I had seen this live garland at Trader Joes and knew it would be perfect on the center of the table. Since there were 19 of us fitting into my home I knew the table needed to feel open and minimal so the guest didn’t feel squished. The garland ended up being the perfect touch. I added a few ornaments from Target and some glitter branches from West Elm to add the finishing “festive” touches.

To ensure the guest enjoyed their evening we tried to think of everything. We found a bartender (thank you Ashley) who was the perfect touch! He made amazing holiday drinks and really added to the overall vibe of party. If you can find a local bartender for your party I really recommend it. They ease your stress of making drinks and pouring wine during dinner and really set the tone for the party! Since we wanted our guest to feel taken care of we had him pass out dessert drinks in small shooter glasses the guest could sip on while opening their White Elephant gifts. And to end the night with no hangovers we handed out bottled water with Aspergic (a swiss remedy) attached to the top. These small details really let your guest know you were thinking about them. Putting them first when you are planning your event is so important for the flow, atmosphere, and overall success of the party. It is all about the little details!! Lesson numero uno!

While I still think I have a lot of lessons to learn from my mom (and mother-in-law who also throws the best of the best parties) I consider the evening a success! We all had a lot of laughs and memories were made! Until next time…

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Holiday Makeup with BUXOM

My 12 year old self still comes out when I receive a box of make-up. I immediately pull everything out of the package and start playing. I can’t help but test out each individual product: mixing the colors, the feel of them, and how they look together. At the end of it, I look like a 12 year old who just got her first box of make-up.

The other day I received my box of BUXOM Make-up and I was intrigued. All I knew was that it is an extension of Bare Escentuals and I believe everything they do is gold so I was eager to get trying! The colors and texture of each product are just as the Bare Escentuals (which I love). The lip polishes are a bit thicker than regular lip gloss and the lipsticks are less matte more moisture. All of these are a preference in what you like in your make-up. I tend to lean toward matte lipsticks but these were amazing and stayed on longer that I expected! I even went straight to the bright red and was really pleased with the tone of it! As for the eyeshadows (which are removable and replaceable) I was blown away. The deep greens and golden browns were STUN-NING! They make for the perfect winter palette! Since I really loved each product I thought it was my duty to share it with the other special women in my life so my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and grandma all got a little bit of BUXOM. And from all age groups – the feedback has been exceptional!

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