Essentials for Throwing an Outdoor Soiree

It’s not even summer yet and already people are ditching their desks and heading for the beach and backyard barbecues. Massive summer parties are happening across the country with many people going all out and getting a tent rental sacramento to fit all of their guests in! After all, summer is a perfect time for a party so why not go all out? Sure you’ll need great food and fabulous music but what else makes an outdoor soiree a success? I asked entertainment expert Mindy Kobrin from Meals on Heels by Mindy for her outdoor-party checklist.

Giant Umbrella

A giant umbrella shields party guests from the blazing afternoon sun and some hanging Buitenlantaarn (outdoor lantern) lights will illuminate the table come nightfall.

Citronella Candles

Mix citronella candles with other colorful tea lights to keep away pests and offer diners light cotton shawls to ward off a chill in the evening.

Fragrant DIY Misters

Give guests a gift that keeps giving by using small spritzer bottles as natural hydraters. Simply add fresh mint and lavender sprigs to each spritzer bottle before filling with water. Affix cute labels and serve on a large platter. Read more

A List for the Low-Maintenance Bride

Shows like Bridezillas give brides a bad name. Just because the bride to be has her heart set on something like Northwood Rings for her big day, that doesn’t mean that her passion for her wedding should be ridiculed. No one wants to be “that girl,” so some new brides play down their excitement and take a more laid-back approach. Others – genuinely aren’t into all the details. It’s OK — some women just don’t have the “wedding planning gene.” As you can imagine…I am not one of those women.

Fun fact: I once had a short-lived wedding planning business with my best friend and fellow journalist, Danielle. The business was thriving until we worked on the wedding from hell and threw in the towel. But we found that planning a wedding is a lot like planning a newscast – and my producing background really helped me pay attention to every last detail. Planning a wedding is not something you can do last minute, so whether you have to get the help of family/friends or click here for website so you can get inspiration for your dress, hopefully you’ll find that it was all worth it. It made planning my own wedding a lot of fun too.

Laid-back brides might view some of these details as “no big deal” – but they are and here’s why they should be on your wedding to-do list:

1. A Planning Binder: I know you think this will make you look like a total nerd but you need one. All of your ideas, invoices, addresses and vendor contacts must be kept in one place. It will save you time and make planning less stressful. You don’t have to buy a fancy wedding-themed binder but you should have a place to keep all your wedding stuff. You can also keep all your questions for vendors in this binder and take it with you when you have meetings. You’ll look smart and prepared. Read more

NYC Restaurant Must-Eat List

Photo by: Steve Credo

Through the years I’ve made zillions of lists. One that I return to most often is my “Eating List for NYC.”  I give it to friends and family whenever they visit New York and I add to it if I find a truly exceptional place.

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest blogger for a friend I met on Twitter — Marnely Rodriguez is a pastry chef, foodie and writer from the Dominican Republic.  She wrote a guest post for me called “Must-Have Baking Tool List.” When she heard about my New York City restaurant list — she was thrilled and couldn’t believe she hadn’t been to any of them yet!

You can check out the list here on her blog “Cooking with Books.”

Being prepared with a list (about anything!) will help you enjoy any activity much more.  This is especially true when it comes to looking for restaurants.  I make a restaurant list whenever I go to a new city. (Check out my Chicago picks.)  By doing a little research beforehand — you end up with a delicious experience!

 

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Successful Financial Guru is a List Maker

List making can help you strive in so many areas of your life: work, home, relationships, leisure and even fashion! No one knows this better than Joe Duran. He’s this month’s featured “list producer.”

Joe is the CEO for United Capital, a national wealth-counseling firm that is one of the fastest growing companies in the financial services industry. Pretty impressive, huh? Well he owes a lot of his success to being a list maker!

1. Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

Lists keep people synchronized. I expect myself and everyone that works with me to stay on top of all the many things we are working on.

2. What do you make lists about?

I like everyone that works with me to keep two kinds of lists: action lists for any follow up items as well as checklists for repeatable activities.

3. How often do you make lists?

There is not a day that goes by that I am not given multiple checklists and action lists to look at. Read more

Shopping for Clothes with a List

This weekend my husband was cleaning out his closet – so I was inspired to do the same thing. Our approaches were quite different – he was done in 10 minutes after giving each item a quick glance.

I, on the other hand, had to try on EVERYTHING with the right shoes and undergarments. Please! How am I supposed to know if it still looks good without seeing the whole look? This process took me two hours. (I have a lot of clothes.)

Closet-Cleaning Strategy

I made five piles to keep myself organized as I went through my clothes and shoes:

1. Keep: Stuff that I have worn in the past six months and look really good on me.

2. Donate: Stuff that I really loved at one point but no longer fits, I’m tired of wearing or I’ve never actually worn (I know I’m not the only one who has done this! Right?) If you don’t know where to donate your clothes — here’s a list for “Getting Rid of Stuff.” Read more