Adventures with LP

2 Mar

Spring is around the corner and I am so excited to be on the road promoting!! There is nothing more exciting to me than spending time with fans. Last week, I was at a local account in Winter Park Florida – Chloe Lane. Yesterday, I visited The Beadcage in Columbus, Georgia. They are both such incredible merchandisers. Check out how bright and awesome these stores look!! Stay tuned for more images to come. Next Stop: Opryland in Nashville!!

 

 

Introducing…Luxe Libby

28 Feb

This season, we have been beyond excited to launch our latest Switchflop – Libby – which features a foam-cushioned heel and a distinctive cork, flatform base. When we began conceptualizing this sassy flip flop, we really focused on matching the comfort and style of our highly popular Gwen snap shoe – but creating something more strappy for our strap shoe fans. I like to think of Libby as the artsy cousin who everyone envies – she has globe-trotting style and aesthetic flair that will truly enhance those fun spring dresses and colored capris!

Libby’s unique style is just one of her many redeeming features. What’s also fabulous about this shoe is her luxurious comfort. Just what makes Libby so easy-fitting?

*Libby’s flatform base lifts your entire foot, rather than just your heel, so pressure stays even.

*A 1-inch base provides a slight boost, perfect for events that require a lot of standing or walking.

*The cushioned footbed is made from a foam base, maximizing comfort.

*Libby’s stylish cork base and snazzy signature strap create a dressier flip flop that’s ultra comfy, giving you that extra height you’re looking for, but without the sometimes uncomfortable feeling of wearing heels.

In the past we have had dressy flip flops, but none that provided LP fans with as much comfort, versatility and style as Libby. She is really meant for ladies who want a more sophisticated flip flop, but still desire comfort. Even better—Libby can be worn for any occasion! And at just $49.95, what a steal!

 

To Clean Libby: We recommend taking a damp cloth and simply wiping down the footbed. xoxo

LP Fashion Guide – Winter Getaways

14 Feb

LP Fashion: Winter Escape

 

Kelli and Lulu are great beach shoes because not only are they comfortable, but you can rinse them off! Just be sure to remove snaps and straps first ;) We have a great assortment of bright, funky colors this year from radiant yellows and vivid turquoise shades to attention-grabbing pinks and corals. If you’re looking for unusually fun, fashion-forward cover-ups, LP is your source! Just call 973-285-0041  to order these cover-ups directly.

LP Fashion Guide - Winter Getaway

We are so excited at LP to announce that Libby, our newest Switchflop with a cork base, is here!  And Taylor is back in black! I love, love, love these styles for any outings you might take, whether it be shopping, sightseeing, or exploring a new town. These are super  comfy shoes with just a little lift to lengthen those legs (Libby is 1 and 1/8″, while Taylor is 1 and 1/2″.  If you’re looking for a great investment to last you many vacays to come, try one of these neutral-colored Switchflops (Libby also comes in black and red), and have fun ordering from our wide-variety of spring-ready straps!

LP Fashion: Winter Escape (Date Night)

Some of the best evenings are those spent sipping umbrella drinks on the beach, or walking hand and hand along the shore. But when you’ve spent a day in the sun, the thought of getting ready doesn’t exactly seem appealing. No worries – we’ve got you covered with fabulous, cover-ups in shades like tangerine, coral, and turquoise (shown above) that you can slip on right over your suit, and look like a million bucks*. Compliment this look with Nicole or Gwenwhether you’re looking for a tiny wedge, or a 2 and 3/4″ boost – these wedge sandals will look amazing on those bronzed feet. Don’t forget to add a final touch with our many beach-themed snaps & straps.  You’ll be ready, set, fabulous in under 5 minutes. It’s like having a fairy Godmother ;)

I wish you a trip filled with beautiful memories, sunny skies, and incredible sunsets. xoxo

 

*Please contact our Customer Service Team at 973-285-0041 to order our cover-ups.


Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Katrin Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Justina Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Natania Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Celia Strap
lindsay-phillips.com

Portia Strap
lindsay-phillips.com

Dayna Strap
lindsay-phillips.com

END BLOG HERE


Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Flip flops
lindsay-phillips.com

Raven Strap
lindsay-phillips.com

Lani Strap
lindsay-phillips.com

Gabby Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

LP’s Guide to Packing For Your Vacation

31 Jan

With the ever-increasing  airline baggage prices – not to mention that many airlines now charge for carry on bags – it’s more important  than ever to pack for your vacation wisely. You don’t want to be dipping into your vacation funds  just so you can check a gazillion bags on the plane. I know downsizing can seem scary, but trust me on this: if there’s one thing I’ve become a pro at over the years, it’s packing!

The LP Palm Island Strap Organizer...Available in March (we'll have snap organizers too!)

So what makes packing so frustrating? In my experience, we ladies seem to get caught up with shoes, blow driers/irons, various bottles of lotions and potions, and too many clothes. Try the following tips, and you’re sure to pack lighter & smarter!

 

 

Footloose and Fancy Free

Kelli, our new snap shoe with Foamplus material is as comfy as she is chic!

I can’t say that I came up with the Switchflop concept solely for the convenience of vacations & packing, but boy have they really come in handy when it comes to traveling! Think about how many times you’ve shoved 4-plus pairs of clunky heels, sandals, and sneakers into your suitcase, anticipating which pair you’ll need with each outfit. To carry twenty pounds  of shoes with you on your winter vacation is total madness. Focus on packing one or two pairs only. Wear your sneakers or Liz ballet flats on the plane (since flying tends to be chilly), and pack a great pair of cozy flip flops that you can literally walk around in all day, such as Lulu or Kelli. For some of you, a core pair of flip flops with an assortment snaps or straps is all you’ll need. If you plan on spending more time at events that require a little more “dressed up” look, consider taking Gwen along with you as well. A neutral Gwen with a different pairs of elegant snaps are perfect (and comfortable) for an evening out on the town. One or two pairs of versatile shoes in your luggage will make a huge space and weight difference. I always take my snap/strap organizer with me as well, so I don’t worry about losing any of my shoe bling. Many of you have asked when we will have more of these available, and I’m so happy to tell you that they’ll be here in early March!

No Extra Baggage

Many of us can’t live without our various lotions, creams, body butters, toners, scrubs, exfoliators, cleansers, and deep conditioners. And I won’t even list all of the makeup items we use! But even skin needs a little vacation sometimes. If the beach is your destination, ask yourself what the likelihood of really needing all of your “usuals” really is.  Why not keep these items at home, use the sand to exfoliate, and buy a few small products when you land? As a Florida girl, the beach is a huge part of my life, and when you’re sunning, pretty much anything goes, except makeup – it just gets greasy and sticky in the hot sun. What’s truly essential is sunscreen, after-sun lotion, chapstick, and maybe a tinted moisturizer if you’re self-conscious about imperfections. The same goes for your hair… Embrace the beach hair! It’s fun, your significant other probably loves it, and it’s so easy! Even better, no blow driers or irons required. So leave the beauty products at home. Trust me – your hair and skin will thank you!

Clothes Call

Snaps and straps are a convenient way to change your look on vacation without the unnecessary bulk of extra shoes.

This is probably the hardest part of packing for a woman. But if you’re anything like me, you most likely end up wearing about half of what you pack. It’s so much smarter to downsize. Think about it – a good pair of jeans, black pants, capris, or shorts can last 2 or 3 days, and you can change your look by just switching tops! It’s best to decide what you truly need on your trip by making a list of what you expect to be doing each day. If you’re going to be sightseeing in a chilly, windy city, chances are you won’t be needing (or wanting) to get dolled up every day. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. You may need that extra sweater! I always bring a sweater with me no matter where I’m going since I tend to get cold easily – something to consider :)

Cover-ups are lightweight, easy to pack, and so beachside classic! (Shown above: LP Gulfview Coverup, launching soon!)

If you’re heading to a tropical getaway, there’s a HIGH likelihood you’re going to live in your swimsuit and cover-ups. And that’s great because these items are lightweight and take up minimal space! I live in cover-ups down here because you can practically wear them everywhere, and with a great pair of shoes or other accessory, this is a really chic vacay look! As for my other outfits, I lay all the clothes on the ground and see where I can mix and match to save space.This is also how I choose which snaps & straps to take with me for my shoes. And don’t worry so much having a gazillion accessories with you – bring a basic set that will work with all outfits, like a great gold necklace and big gold hoops.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Have you ever bought too much and then wondered how you were going to get it home? One thing I’m learning to focus on is using vacation funds for things that truly matter – Memories. We tend to buy a lot of touristy stuff on vacation, convincing ourselves that’s how we’ll forever treasure the trip in our minds. But these trinkets often end up taking a lot of unnecessary space (if not in the trash). By all means, treat yourself to something really special – maybe an outfit that you know you’ll wear a lot back home, or a blown glass bauble that you’ll add to your treasured glass collection. But just remember to focus on creating  memories too. Bring a camera along, or learn the features of your cellphone camera. Take that sunset sail with your hubby or go on that afternoon snorkeling expedition. Those are the things you’ll remember – and they only take up space in your memory :) xoxo

LP’s Spring Fashion Guide featuring Liz

24 Jan

It’s that time of year when many of you are anxiously awaiting spring, but perhaps it won’t be truly warm for another few months. Still, why deprive yourself of all the great spring fashion and colors? That’s where ballet flats come in, like Liz. She’ll keep your toes warm and your outfits fresh. And don’t forget: if it’s a “boot day” due to snow, Liz fits perfectly in your handbag, so you can slip her on at work, indoor events, etc.

We have a great at color assortment for Liz this spring. We’re bringing her to you in bright coral; a pretty, shimmery metallic; a fabulous blue seersucker; and the ever-classic neutral patent. As I’ve always shared with fans, Liz is not only chic and funky, but versatile too. It’s a great idea to have a neutral pair on hand, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself to the more eye-catching colors, which go great with neutral outfits, providing a fun pop of color just where you need it!

Liz Neutral Patent

 

As I shared with you guys in last week’s blog, this spring is all about bright, funky bottoms and  neutral shoes. Colorful A-line skirts and colored jeans, which will be HUGE this season, pair perfectly with nude ballet flats. You’ll never get bored with this look, and if you’ve ever owned Liz before, you know you won’t grow tired of her endless comfort and support ;)

 

Liz in Coral

 

Black & white, stripes, and nautical navy are a great fashion alternative to the brighter colors this season – and they’ll be just as popular. These color combinations are such a class-act! Pair them with coral Liz and you’ll soar from classic to uber fashion savvy. I just love Liz in this color – there are endless outfit combinations with this shoe :)

 

Liz in Blue Seersucker

 

Like green, blue is another color that has a shade for every woman. Blue is about as close to nature as you can get – it’s the color of the sky, the ocean, and even some of the most memorable flowers. I wanted to focus on  fresh, spring blues for this year, and I am so excited to launch Liz in this seersucker blue, which is such a traditional spring/summer look! Here, I paired blue seersucker Liz with bright, perwinkle jeans and a yellowy-green skirt, but this Liz will go great with white bottoms, almost any pastel colors, and of course, your blue jeans. I know you will have as much fun wearing her as I do!

H & M knit top
$24 - hm.com

Colored Skinny Jeans
thelimited.com

Jenny Bird resin jewelry
metroparkusa.com

Linden Blue & Green Scarf
lindsay-phillips.com

Liz Ballet Flat Blue Seersucker
lindsay-phillips.com

Rachel Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Bettina Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

 

 

Striped jacket
thelimited.com

Skinny jeans
thelimited.com

Liz Ballet Flat in Coral
lindsay-phillips.com

Kellen Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Katrin Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

H & M
$21 - hm.com

Liz Neutral Patent Ballet Flat
lindsay-phillips.com

Lacy Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Cynthia Snap
lindsay-phillips.com

Spring Fashion Trends

17 Jan

 

Fashoenistas – I am so excited right now because not only is our spring line beginning to launch in stores (and online next week), but spring is definitely in the air! With sporadic bouts of warm weather beginning to emerge in even the coldest climates, winter may be on its way out sooner than we think.  I was just talking with a friend who lives in the Midwest, and she told me that she is actually seeing a few trees showing signs of budding! Like many of you, she can’t wait for flip flop season, and I’m hoping that the warm sunshine kicks up the heat a bit sooner.

A new season means new trends. So what’s hot this upcoming spring??? I’ve listed all  of the fabulous color and pattern trends below. Warning: Be prepared to drool ;)

The Tracy (shown right) and Katelyn (shown left) straps feature just a few of the various shades of green we focused on this season.

 

Emerald Green

While last season’s biggest color was orange, emerald green made a popular mark as well, and it’s only going to get bigger this spring, inspiring other shades of green as well. I read the other day that from “Kelly to Kiwi”* greens are here to stay! Can you think of a better color to welcome spring? And what’s great about green is that everyone looks great in at least one shade.

 

Ashley, our new stacked heel, featured in cork. Available online next week!

Neutrals & Naturals

This season is definitely all about back to basics – think beige, off-beige, and whites, along with natural fabrics like rattan. Neutral-colored blazers with a pop of color underneath are hot this spring, as are neutral-colored shoes! We can thank Kate Middleton and her fabulous classic style for popularizing nude footwear, which is great, since they go with everything and elongate your legs!

Lulu makes a comeback next week, with her funky polka dots. Shown here in white.

 

Polka Dots & Stripes

Solids are always classic, but I’m SO excited to see Polka dots coming back! They’re so fun and flirty –a  welcome diversion from the norm. Stripes are back this season, getting bolder and brighter. How fun!

 

Colored skinny jeans will gain momentum this spring. Shown here with Turquoise Kelly - available in February.

Fun, Funky Pants

 Brightly-colored jeans and patterned pants will be huge this spring. The key to pulling off this look is to keep it simple on top, while  accessorizing your bottom half with prints and vivid colors. Colored skinny jeans – think yellows, blues, greens, and corals – will be super trendy and you’ll want to consider pairing them with neutral-colored blazers. Very easy-going and very sleek.

Liz is the perfect ballet flat to go with all of your A-line skirts. Shown here in neutral patent.

 

Short, A-line Skirts

I love, love, love this up and coming trend, especially with tucked-in blouses and ballet flats. A-line cuts are so slenderizing, and allow you to show off your legs and shoes!!

 

Belle, shown here in black, features a polka dot print that will gain popularity this season.

 

Black & White

Both black and white each look great when paired with bright colors, so when they’re mixed together, they’re the ultimate foundation for a pop of color – the combo is so funky! My favorite? Pairing yellow with black and white. Chic and memorable!

Colorfully-rimmed sunglasses, available at Ann Taylor Loft.

 

Statement Sunglasses

Think chunky glasses,  cat eye shapes, and patterns. These are a fun way to contrast the simple tops that are will be more popular as the spring season emerges. Just remember to choose shades that pair best with your face shape :)

 

*From Country Living Magazine

LP’s Adventures with Baby

10 Jan

Me with Baby Burcham at Christmas :)

Having Burcham has been pure joy and an absolute whirlwind all at the same time! Fortunately for me, I can work from home, but like many of you, I still have emails to respond to, phone conferences, decisions to make, and business-related traveling. Honestly, it is a true balancing act. I feel like I have eight balls in the air and only two hands to catch them with. It’s a ton of work. Not really sure how I am doing it…All I know is that I am doing it! I am lucky to have some family help, and my husband gives me time off at night to get work done.. It is all about multitasking.

  In sharing my adventures in mommyhood, I wanted to include  some photos of the baby’s room. Thinking back on when we first began to work on it, I can’t help but laugh. We were totally unprepared for his birth, since he came 5 weeks early, so his room was not ready when he made his grand entrance. In fact, his crib hadn’t even come in yet!

Our theme for Burcham's room was simply to keep it fun and classic :)

One of the things I did do to make life easier was to buy the majority of his bedroom furniture and accessories on the same day. When I was at market in Atlanta, I headed over to the furniture mart and found a great interior showroom for kids. I picked out everything for Burcham’s room within two hours. It was a one stop shop for me. We started with the crib bedskirt and went from there. There really is no theme to his room, which is why I love it so much. I’m not a big fan of baby blue, so we went with navy and neutrals – very classic.

Baskets keep all of the baby's daily essentials within easy reach.

I have definitely found that the key to the new mommy balancing act is staying as organized as possible. Whatever colors or themes you go with  in your own baby’s room, keeping it clutter free is super important. I keep necessities like diapers and burp cloths easily accessible – I personally love using baskets for this very reason. If you have room for a chair, keep comfort in mind. We chose a reclining chair, which for us is key for those late, late nights. Just remember: make it a room you want to spend time in and keep it really tidy.

I  know that some parents choose to put a spare crib in their bedroom for the first few months. My husband and I decided to put Burcham in his own room as soon as his crib was ready. I think it’s best for him to have his own space and know when his bedtime is.     

My two guys, making good use of the recliner chair!

 

Speaking of bedtime, I certainly never realized how much I valued sleep until I lost it. Seriously, new parents have got to be the most sleep deprived people on Earth! I guess just like any new mom, I just sleep when I can. I never took maternity leave, so I suppose I’m just getting used to running on limited sleep. Again, I count my blessings that I am able to work from home much of the time – I can wear my Lulu’s around the house all day (seriously, not sure what I would do without them.  They’re so comfortable, it’s like walking on clouds), and sometimes I never make it out of my workout clothes, lol. I must say though – whenever I look down at my beautiful boy and he laughs and smiles at me, I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world…

Xoxo

Steve the Monkey”, a gift from a friend, sits propped up in Burcham’s crib. I’m in love with this….it’s too cute!

 Burcham’s crib could not arrive soon enough!     

Organization is key to making a new mom’s life smoother sailing.

What would I do without baskets? We just had to have these nautical-themed baskets for Burcham’s room!

This is a brass sculpture that I found at a vintage shop. It is one of my favorite pieces.

LP Spring 2013 Preview

3 Jan

For some of you, winter may just be getting started, but in the fashion world, spring is beginning to arrive! Spring is a joyous time at Lindsay Phillips because it captures the sunny, fun-filled LP lifestyle. This week, we are featuring our “behind the scenes” spring  photoshoot, as well as a Q & A with Lindsay about LP Spring 2013! (Don’t forget to click on the photos for enlarged images)

An LP Model poses with Ashley - LP's first ever stacked heel, which will debut shortly!!


Q & A with Lindsay

What was your vision for Spring 2013 when planning with the designers?

Color, color, and more color! I wanted to make a big splash for 2013. We went back to core shoes, but made them pop with color this season. It’s all about the  relaxed carefree lifestyle that I live.

A photographer sets up a session with Lulu brights - all part of the LP colorful Spring collection.

 

Talk about some of the new shoes for spring!!

We really listened to our customer when designing the line for this year. We made some fabulous introductions, such as the Libby (a new cork platform strap shoe), Ashley (a new stacked heel strap shoe), Lulu brights, and my personal favorite – Kelli (a flip flop featuring PLUSfoam material).  We brought back a much-missed shoe (see next question), and made some fabulous updates to some of our past best sellers, such as the Devon and the Gwen.

You have some exciting news for long time fans. Explain :)

We’re bringing back Taylor!!  Apparently, this was much-loved shoe (not to mention that she’s named after a fabulous young lady). When we took her off the market last year, we heard that people missed her, so we brought her back!!

An LP Model poses with Kelli - a comfy arched flip flop that debuts this spring.

What are you most excited about with the spring line?

My favorite shoe is the Kelli. I am obsessed with the fish detail imprint. I just love all the colors in the straps and snaps we have to offer this spring.

Where did the photo shoot for spring take place? How did you come to choose this location?

We shot this photoshoot on the north end of Clearwater Beach at a private residence. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to use this location,  which belongs to a family friend of ours. This is one of my favorite houses and it just screams what the Lindsay Phillips brand is all about.

A ceiling & chandelier composed of mosaic tile and shells - one of the artistic, hand-crafted touches to the private residence where LP Spring was photographed.

The woman who owns this house is an artist, and this really is something that you can see throughout the entire photoshoot. I grew up going to this house when I was in high school, so it is almost a part of my life. Check out the amazing shell mosaic  porch. Probably one of my favorite spaces in the world…Yes, this sure was handmade…piece by piece.

What was it like shooting there?

Words can’t describe it….Unreal!

You were about 7 months pregnant during this photo shoot. What was that like?

Lindsay, about 7 months pregnant, poses with the upcoming coral Lulu.

It was totally fine, although it was hard not being able to fit into most of my clothes. We had to work with a very limited wardrobe for this shoot.

What was the overall experience that day? Do you do anything special for the crew to make the day a little easier for everyone?

Our photo shoots are a work hard, play hard theme. The days are very long days, and sometimes they can start at 4am and go until 8pm, trying to get the perfect light.

A Frenchy's Lunch Fiesta for the crew keeps spirits and energy up on these long days.

My  consistentency is that we always like to have good food for these shoots. So if you are on my photo-shoot team, you know you will be fed well! My favorite place for lunch is Frenchy’s – a Clearwater Beach classic. They have the ultimate grouper sandwich….My fav!!

Fans have long requested a denim-colored shoe, so LP is thrilled to introduce a navy Devon this spring:)

 

 

When can fans expect to see LP Spring in stores and online?

The spring line is launching at the end of January.

Please scroll down for more photos from the LP Spring photoshoot!

 

 

Gwen: The Quitessential Wedge

27 Dec

Now that the holidays are nearing an end, many of you are beginning to plan or finalize those tropical vacations. One of the best parts of planning a vacay is imagining all of the outfits you’ll wear!  The perfect shorts, flirty sundresses, colorful cover-ups, and of course, fun-loving flip flops are all vacation must-haves. But one of the unfortunate parts of packing is having to narrow down what shoes you’ll take, since they tend to take up precious space and weigh down your luggage.  Trying to narrow down your shoes to one or two pairs can be such a challenge – that is, unless you own a pair of versatile  shoes, like a low-heel wedge. The Gwen, an LP favorite, may just be that perfect jet-setting, casual yet dressy (and did I mention comfy?) wedge you’re searching for.

Gwen in gold, shown with the Lenore snap (left) and the Maura snap (right). $39 at Lindsay-Phillips.Com.

There are many reasons Gwen has been an LP classic for years now. She’s the perfect go-to when you need a little step up from a traditional flip flop – and in more ways than one! One of Gwen’s many stylish features is her one inch wedge heel – perfect for fashoenistas looking for a little reprieve from taller heels. Her tapered, classy patent straps provide a more streamlined, chic look, making her a great choice for a special event, date night, or even the office (dress code-pending).

Gwen (shown here in black) features a comfortable footbed and cushy one inch heel, making her the perfect wedge.

Gwen is also known among fans for being remarkably comfortable – no need to worry about aching heels or arches. You can definitely shop, sight see, or stand comfortably  in these shoes, thanks to the cushy heel and footbed. This wedge is designed to cradle your foot, so no awkward scuffs or trips – even after a few too many umbrella drinks ;)

The Unity snap, part of the LP resort collection, is a perfect choice for black Gwen.

Gwen looks fabulous with sundresses, capris, skirts & shorts, and even your swim suit cover up, making her  a great travel companion – she is literally one of the only pair of shoes you need on your beach getaway. One of the things I LOVE about this wedge is the fun you can have pairing her with a variety of snazzy snaps. Her signature snap is fun, yet dressy, with circular layers of elegant beading

Many of our fall snaps, like Francesca (shown above), pair perfectly with Gwen.

surrounding a rhinestone center. The neutral colors of these snaps go with everything – you can even wear these to a wedding – brides included! Some of my other favorite snap pairings with Gwen are from our Jet Setter collection. I especially adore gold & stone Gwen with the Lenore or Maura snap  and black Gwen with the Unity snap– so fun, so classy! If you’ve already treated yourself to any of our fall snaps, you can easily pair many of them with Gwen as well. Some of my favorites: Gold Gwen with Drea , stone Gwen with Francesca, and black Gwen with  Bardot. Whatever snap you decide to adorn her with, Gwen can be easily dressed up or down. She’s like the friend you can take anywhere.   And her sleek design means more space in your luggage!

The LP Guide to Holiday Gatherings

20 Dec

More often than not, I think we end up stressing ourselves to the core around the holidays. The cooking, the gift giving – we love it and we despise it all at once. I’ve learned a lot about entertaining through the years, and I wanted to share some tips that have made my life all the more simple. The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and make memories. We should all be doing just that!

Plan In Advance

The biggest factor to planning any holiday event – from a large party with everyone you know to a small family gathering – is planning in advance. We plan our late December events at Thanksgiving. This includes anything from the menu to how the table will look – it’s very important to have a pre-set vision for your party, so you aren’t running around like a crazy person the day before. After all, with the work you’ll be putting into the preparations, you should be able to sit back and enjoy yourself as much as your guests! Pre-planning will cut down on your stress levels tremendously.

Food

Another big question that may have you stumped is how to serve your food. Some people prefer the casualness of buffet-style, while others cherish a more formal sit down meal. Why not consider a mixture of both? I like for people to get their own food, which prevents the awkwardness of passing dishes or having a server, which can feel so formal that it prevents your guests from relaxing.  When guests have a choice of what they can scoop onto their plates, they’re going to enjoy your food that much more! Plus, you can have a lot of fun with the way you choose to display your buffet as well. It can be as casual or fancy as you like :)

 What can get awkward with a buffet style is that people aren’t sure where to sit – they may even feel like they need to stand, which is never fun if you’re eating anything heavier than appetizers. This is where having  a beautiful table for your guests comes into play. I always do assigned seats with place cards – that way, no one has to wonder where they will sit, and you can seat guests according to chemistry. Aunt Mildred doesn’t have to worry about getting “stuck” next to Uncle Ted, and people who came in small groups can all sit together without asking others to move down a seat. There’s also something about your guests seeing their name near their setting that makes the meal more personalized and special. And by the way, if you’re wondering how many people to invite, my philosophy is, the more, the merrier!

Holiday Party Must-Haves

Beyond pre-planning and seating, prioritize your top must-haves. There are three things I always have that “make” my holiday gathering: Good wine, good friends, and Gravad Lax. You might be thinking Grava-whatta? My family has Scandinavian roots, so  we serve a traditional salmon appetizer. It’s just something I look forward to every holiday season, and something our guests have come to cherish as well. Think about your own holiday traditions, and if you don’t have any, it’s never too late!

Attire

As far as attire goes, I encourage you to keep it casual. We’re a very relaxed and carefree family. My feeling is , when attire gets too formal, people are just uncomfortable. And it goes beyond wearing clothes that you can’t eat a decent meal in. When people are too dressed up, it often prevents them from relaxing. Depending on the outfit, you have to sit a certain way, keep your legs at a certain angle, etc. We’ve all been in that situation and it isn’t fun! So I say, keep it causal. Here in Florida, that means flip flops or ballet flats – these are far more comfortable in the warm weather. And don’t forget about planning your event based on the weather – in Florida, some of our most beautiful weather is around the holidays, so our goal is to be outside.

PS: If you’ve been invited somewhere else, and you aren’t sure what the attire is, think black pants with the Courtney wedge, and a fun, festive short with great accessories. You just can’t go wrong :)

 

Gifts

Gift giving can be tricky. In my family, we’ve cut down on some of that stress by choosing one person only – through a drawing. Our limit is 500 dollars, which makes it very easy to get your chosen person exactly what they wanted. It’s become increasingly difficult to find great gifts for everyone in your family under 20 dollars. So why not agree to spend your holiday budget on just one person? Just be sure to agree on a budget that’s comfortable for everyone.

Another thing my family focuses on is stockings. We all buy a few things for each others’ stockings, and I cannot tell you how much fun we have! When I think of what Christmas means to me, I always think of our stocking events. We’ve created some fun traditions with the stockings too. My dad, as an example, goes out every year and buys random trinkets for our flip flops. It’s so fun because we wait in anticipation to see what he’s come up with for the year. It’s just such a great moment to share with him.

Some people freak out about how to handle gifts with those outside of their family. They scour the stores looking for inexpensive finds in case someone shows up at their home with a small gift. Honestly, I spend zero time worrying about this. We forget when we’re hosting that often times, someone wants to bring you something as a token of gratitude for extending an invitation to them. Just thank them and enjoy your gift, but focus more on the meaning behind the gift and the time you’re spending together. If you’re really concerned and cannot bear the thought of giving nothing in return, keep a few extra bottles of wine on hand, with some ribbon tied around them. Or consider talking with your friends and agreeing to a “no exchange” policy. My friends just know that exchanging with them is not important to me – I’d rather spend quality time with them. Isn’t that what’s more important?

 

Just remember, plan in advance, so you can relax. That includes the menu, the table setting, the music, and even your actual food. Keep it casual. And my last tip: Choose recipes that can be cooked in advanced and simply warmed up, so you aren’t  trying to entertain guests while simultaneously glazing a ham. Enjoy…and don’t forget your camera! xoxo