MY DIY Engagement Party Centerpieces

Pinterest has become the ultimate destination for inspiration and creativity – especially for brides. Let’s face it, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who will pay a premium to have someone else create a one of kind piece and those who think to themselves “I’m creative, artistic and fully capable, why don’t I just do it myself?”

Which brings me to my own engagement party, which somehow ended up turned into a mini-wedding. Just 90 of our closest friends, family and colleagues. Did I mention we served a four course meal? How could I forgot the violinist, Italian cookie trays (thank you Nonna & Zias), 3 tiered cake, candy bar and the Nutella sfoglia cake?

Once the big picture details were finalized, my uber-artistic sister and I sat down and thought about how we can infuse a bit of life and personality into each table. After some crafty detective work on Pinterest and hours spent on the Ikea website, we came up with a contemporary, simple yet elegant centerpiece design.

Here are the links to all of the pieces we purchased to bring the design to life:

VÅRVIND – Set of 2 clear glass cases (we filled the vases with either freesia or white roses)

UPPEHÅLL – Set of 4 votive candle holders in clear glass

HEMSJÖ – Unscented white block candles

BORRBY – Lantern for block candle, black indoor/outdoor black

FENOMEN – Unscented block candle, natural

Enjoy!

5 Reasons Why I ALWAYS Wear All Black and Why You Should Try It

Let me start by saying that I haven’t always been a fan of all black. In my 30 years, I’ve tried out so many colourful, wacky trends including: bright tweed jackets, wacky rainbow footwear and glittery nail polish with different designs on each finger. After reaching a certain point of in my life, I began to rethink my personal style and brand.

I couldn’t help but consider the style icons I looked up to as a young woman. Of course, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy is tops (she also snagged the ultimate bachelor and my first crush, JFK Jr). CBK aside, I have also admired not only the style but grace and demeanors of Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelly.

As modern woman of the 21st century, I decided to refine my day to day style based on the classics. Here’s why I decided on an all-black wardrobe:

  1. Very Little Room for Error – Let me make this as simple as possible: Black pants go with black tops. Don’t forget the black shoes and black sunglasses. Optional: Red or Nude lips.
  2. Consistency and Reliability – We live and work in competitive world and your brand is everything. Dressing in all black communicates to others that you are an individual who is disciplined, concise and collected. You are worth the risk.
  3. Illusion of Composure – Wearing all black makes it look like we all know how to dress stylishly with ease. Black is slimming, powerful and edgy. Coco Chanel once famously said “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
  4. Empower Yourself – Dressing in all black will allow you to take yourself more seriously. Naturally, those around you will follow suit and start inviting you to close door meetings. Trust me on this one– it WORKS!
  5. Be Creative and Own It – The trendiest styles always come in all black. Make it your own with a peplum top, fur coat, fringes, graphic tee or chunky belt (but just don’t wear all 5 together. Ok, promise?)

My Top 10 Working Girl Beauty Hacks

In case you didn’t already know, I am a complete and utter cosmetics, fragrance, skincare and hair product junkie. I have spent the vast majority of my career in the beauty sector for good reason, nothing excites me like a new and innovative product offering a ‘quick fix’.

I don’t know about each of you, but I work anywhere from 40 – 50+ hours and week while spend 3 nights a week at school. In my spare time, I try my best to be a superstar fiancée, daughter, sister and friend. Sometimes, all I want is just an extra hour of sleep, ideally between the 7am-8am range.

Low and behold, I present to you my top 10 beauty hacks so you can get some extra beauty sleep and be more efficient as you are running out the door for a 12 hour day ahead:

  1. Out of blush? Use lipstick instead. In the springtime especially, my must have lip/cheer product is Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge. My favourite shade of all time is Fresh Melon.
  2. Mix a drop of cinnamon oil into your lip gloss to give your lips a plumping boost (peppermint oil works too).
  3. Are you as concerned with hiding lack of sleep and fighting puffy eyes as I am? Keep your eye cream in the fridge. My favourite eye creams of all time are The Eye Concentrate by Crème De La Mer and Origins Plantscription™ Anti-Aging Power Eye Cream.
  4. Use a white or light eyeliner to really make your eyes pop (or hide how tired you are). I love Bobbi Brown’s Retouching Pencils and Clinique’s Skinny Stick in Angel Hair White.
  5. Use the one & done philosophy: If you’ve got only a short amount of time play up either your eyes or your lips, not both.
  6. Too exhausted after a long day and lacking momentum to wash your face at night? Keep face wipes by your bed. I recommend Clinique’s Take The Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes.
  7.  If you don’t have makeup remover, just use coconut oil. Tried. Tested. True.
  8. Dry Shampoo has so many untapped uses. You can use it to hold a style on soft and fine hair, hide roots that need to be re-done and help control hair when you’ve accidentally applied too much product. My personal pick is shampure™ dry shampoo by Aveda.
  9. Save time by drying your hair with a T-shirt instead of a towel. I didn’t believe it at first but as soon as I tried I never went back to using a towel again!
  10. If you’re too impatient to wait for your moisturizer, eye cream, and lip balm to dry, or for your makeup to set, then blast your face with a blow-dryer on the cool setting.

Happy Primping!

Enjoy.

Next Up on Netflix: #GIRLBOSS

Unless you are completely out of touch with pop culture, you may have heard of Sophia Amoruso, a former hitchhiking, dumpster-diving, community college dropout with a lot of time on her hands who went on to launch Nasty Gal.

Nasty Gal grew to sell over $100 million in clothing and accessories both new and vintage, occupying a 65,000-square-foot office space in LA, employing over 350 people, and having over 2.3 million followers on Instagram alone. Nasty Gal has faced its own hurdles in a constantly changing and volatile retail environment, with having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 9 to secure financial relief while it restructures.

Next Up for #GIRLBOSS? A 13 episode series from Netflix chronicling Sophia’s start as a rebellious and dysfunctional 22-year-old who, after starting a vintage clothing eBay shop, strikes it big and builds a brand. Check out a sneak peek at what #GIRLBOSS has to offer viewers:

Despite Nasty Gal‘s recent trials and tribulations, one cannot help but wonder if the brand has retained its cache that created a millennial and entrepreneurial movement just a short time ago. People loved interacting and shopping  with a brand that had created a raw, unique yet attainable formula for success (myself included). Now, being a troubled business venture, one can’t help but wonder if the same readers of the 2014 New York Times Best Seller will tune in on April 21, 2017 when the series premieres on Netflix.

Looking back on happier times for #GIRLBOSS and Sophia’s revolutionary success, here are some of my key learning’s from the manifesto:

  1. It’s cool to be weird.
  2. You get what you focus on.
  3. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
  4. Have ambition, and always set (and re-evaluate) goals.
  5. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.

… and finally, my personal favourite:

  1. Focus on the future, not the past.