Archive | Simple Celebrations

10 Ways to Make Hosting Easier in 2018

Hey friends!  Like I said in my last post, this New Year has started off quite slow.  Along with slowness, it always feels nice for things to be easier, right?  One way I’m making things easier is by saying no to various things this year.  You can see the full list here.

But to help you all, I’ve put together a quick list of ways to make hosting so much easier this year.  After being rushed and a bit frantic before several of our last parties, you can bet that I’ll be using some of these tips all year long.

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How to Make Hosting Easier in 2018

1. Have a party decorating tool belt

Having all of your party decorating tools handy makes getting ready for a party a breeze.  I use this chef’s tool belt to pack away scissors, tape, twine, and other goodies that help to hang decor quickly before a party.

2. Only do a quick five minute clean up before people come over

Focusing just on the areas where your guests will be keeps the pre-party cleaning to a minimum.  I promise you can clean the main areas of your house in about 5 minutes with this checklist.

3. Have your pantry stocked to always be able to throw a party

Soon, I’ll be showing you how to have your pantry stocked to be able to throw a last minute party.  Stay tuned for that!  But the basic idea is to have a few food items to be able to make a quick appetizer or dinner.  And keeping your most used party gear handy.

4. Streamline serving ware by only using white dishes

Make hosting any party, any time of the year easier by streamlining your serving ware.  If you invest in simple white servingware and dishes you’ll be able to throw any kind of party.  No need  to buy serving ware for every different occasion this way!

5. Use decor you already have to decorate for your party

Along the same lines as streamlined serving ware, using what you already have as home decor cuts down on all that one time use party decor.  So, using things like tables from around the house, various holiday decor that fits your party’s theme, or use artwork from other parts of you house as a party backdrop.

Click here to see how to use home decor as party decor. Decorate a party with what you have.6. Ask the floral department at the grocery store to arrange flowers for you

how to make hosting easier in 2018, easy hosting tips, easy party tips, signature drink ice mold, party punch ice mold, bundt cake ice moldThis is a great tip if you’re pressed for time, but want to include flowers for your party.  Pick a bouquet of flowers and ask the floral department at your grocery store to arrange them for you while you shop for party food.  Most grocery stores are more than willing to do this for you.  It’s one less thing you’ll have to do once you get home.

7. Use easy to put together food

Party food is sometimes overwhelming for some, so I suggest just doing really easy party food.  My go to easy party food ideas are frozen appetizers from Costco, ready made cheese trays from the grocery store, or precut veggie and fruit trays.

8. Decorate one area to create a party focal point

Only decorate one party area.  It’s less to buy, less to hang up, and less to take down.  Plus, it creates a really nice party focal point.  Try a photo booth backdrop or a dessert table background as a focal point.  Use this area to include your color scheme and party theme.

9. Have one signature drink

how to make hosting easier in 2018, easy hosting tips, easy party tips, signature drink ice mold, party punch ice mold, bundt cake ice moldLimiting the options of beverages you offer at your party cuts down on how much money you’ll spend, how much work you need before the party, and how much clean up is to be done after the party.  It’s always a good idea to have water available to your guests, but if you are wanting an alcoholic option, try serving just one type of drink instead of a full selection of beer, wine, liquor and all the mixers.  A seasonal cocktail or punch is a great idea.

10. Keep the guest list limited

I mean when two or more gather it’s still a party right? Jesus even said that when two or more gather in my name I am with them.  Less people makes party hosting a lot easier.  It’s great to have a big party occasionally, but having fewer people attend means less food, drinks, and less clean up.

I hope this list encourages you to keep hosting simple and easy this year so you are more inclined to open your door and celebrate with others.

Do you have any special tips and tricks to make hosting easier?  If so, share them in the comments, I’d love to hear them!



5 Ways to Get in the Mood to Cook Dinner

Well, I officially feel like a real blogger!  Last week I had my first photoshoot for the blog.  Thank goodness for talented friends that can come photograph you on short notice.  I definitely needed help with these photos since I’m in them.  They all turned out so good and sorry if you get sick of seeing my face today.

I’ve recently been trying to use up the food we already have in our house without going to the grocery store.  However, trying to throw dinner together without menu planning isn’t very inspiring.  Normally I menu plan, and doing so I’m a little more excited to get dinner started.  So if you aren’t feeling very inspired to cook dinner, I’ve put together a little list to help you get motivated.

1. Make yourself a snack

What better way to get in the mood to eat, than to just eat.  I mean you normally have an appetizer at a restaurant right?  Why not have one at home too?

how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinnerhow to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinner

I love throwing a small cheese board together to nibble on while I’m cooking.  Other great ideas would be a bowl of pretzels and some dip or carrots and hummus.  Anything that will get you excited to be in the kitchen is a great place to start.  It will probably even attract some others in your house, and company in the kitchen is great too!

how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinner

3. Pour yourself a drink

If you are already snacking on something, you’ll probably need something to drink too.  A glass of wine is usually my go to, but there are so many other options too.  Try jazzing up your water with some lemon or lime juice.  If you want something with bubbles, open a can of La Croix or add a few berries to some sparkling water.

how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinnerhow to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinnerCheers!

how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinner

3. Have a clean (ish) kitchen

There is nothing more de-motivating than having to start dinner with a messy kitchen.  If you have a sink full of dirty dishes or cluttered counters it makes it really hard to spread out and get dinner cooked.

It’s really helpful to just get everything out of the way.  If that means moving all of the counter clutter to another room, another counter, or even the table it will help make room for dinner.

If your dishwasher is empty, a few minutes before starting dinner, put everything in there just to get it out of the way or to empty the sink.

4. Turn on some music

Listening to something while making dinner will really get you motivated.  Sometimes I like to listen to music and other times a podcast or training call.  It kind of keeps me entertained while I’m cooking.

how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinnerI love this little pop up speaker.  It’s bluetooth enabled so I can have my phone plugged in somewhere else, but move this guy around the kitchen with me.

Stashing your phone in your pocket and popping in headphones is a great way to be totally undisturbed while cooking.  It also doesn’t bother anyone else that may be within ear shot.

5. Have your recipe and ingredients handy

Isn’t it so annoying to constantly have to keep checking a recipe while cooking?  I like to have my recipe handy either on my phone as a screenshot.  This way I don’t have to keep going back to Pinterest or the internet to find the recipe.

I’m cooking out of a recipe book, I keep the book on a book stand right on my counter.

I also think it helps to gather all of your ingredients at one time so you’re not constantly running back and forth to your fridge or panty.  how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinner
how to get motivated to cook dinner, what to do to prep for dinner, how to get in the mood to cook dinner
If you have time earlier in the day, it’s also really helpful to prep dinner ahead of time.  If your recipe requires a lot of things to be cut up, do that earlier so all you have to do is throw things together.

Check to see if things need to marinate and be sure to do that earlier in the day.  And the biggest tip I have for being motivated to start dinner……set out anything that needs to be defrosted in the morning.  There is absolutely nothing worse than going to make dinner and having to defrost something first.

I hope a few of these things get you motivated to cook dinner tonight.  Do you do any of these already? What’s your biggest complaint when it comes to cooking dinner?  Tell me in the comments!

Thanks to my A-mazing photographer, Tricia, with Tricia June Photography.  Check out all of her work here and get in contact with her at if you are in the Colorado area.  She does amazing family photographs!


Goals: The Follow Up Post

Remember the beginning of July when we were talking about making goals and what to do to achieve them?  This month I thought I’d do a follow up and let you all know how well I did and whether or not I accomplished all of my goals.

Goal ListMy goals for July were broken up into three categories: personal, blog, and Rodan + Fields. 

Personal Goals

  • Read one book
  • Cardio three times a week
    • Run at 8:30 p.m.
  • Print Family Photos


  • Network with two potential blog supporters
  • Collaborate with one blogger
  • Reach 250 likes on Facebook
  • Reach 120 followers on Instagram
    • Post four times a week

Rodan + Fields

  • Power Hour three times a week
  • Two new consultants (only one)
  • Three new preferred customer’s (only one)
  • Two three-way calls per week
  • Follow-ups completed from 1 June-30 June
    • Done by 15 July

In my original post, I had said that these goals were pretty lofty and with an extra busy month I knew it would be difficult to accomplish them all.   Even with all of those things against me, I’m pleased with everything that I was able to accomplish.

The biggest thing to take away from goal setting is not to beat yourself up if you don’t reach all of your goals.  It’s easy to get down on yourself if you don’t do what you say you’re going to, but I find it best to focus on the things that you did accomplish.

It’s a great time to reflect on where you focused your energy, see if that’s what you should be focusing on, and then adjust.  I definitely plan on “rolling over” a few of my July goals to August.  Also, I’m going to focus on just one goal from each category and then only have three goals for the entire month.  Doing so will make it much more likely that they all get accomplished.  Plus if there is only one goal from each category I can be sure to complete what is the most important.

So here are my goals for August:

August GoalsI hope your month is off to a great start. Be sure to take the time to think about what you want to accomplish this month.  There are also a lot of fun things planned this month.  Great content including a recap of all the weddings I’ve gone to recently,ways to celebrate back to school, and several parties.




Saturday Simple Celebrations: Inspiration at the Library

Library InspirationDo you have a local library?  I hope so.  I didn’t grow up with one in my hometown.  Talking with my Grandma recently I learned that my hometown has tried several times to raise the money to build one, but it hasn’t been successful.  What a pity.

Ever since having a child, I’ve utilized our local library a lot.  Luckily the libraries in San Diego, and here in Denver have great children’s programs.  Things like story time, songs, play time, dancing story time, and yoga story time.

It just recently occurred to me however, that I could use the library for inspiration.  I started checking out party planning books and cook books along with fun books to read.  Why should my daughter have all the fun at the library?

Checking books out from the library is a great idea if you’re feeling stuck with something.  Sometimes a little inspiration can come from flipping through a book.  The party planning books I’ve checked out have great ideas and tips.  However, the books I checked out were printed in 2010 and 2014, so some things can be a little outdated.  Although many ideas, themes, color schemes, and recipes stand the test of time, so they are still a great resource.

It never hurts to see how other people do things and incorporate what they’re doing into your own routine.  It’s a great way to keep learning and fine tuning how you do things.

It’s so easy to get a library card too.  Typically all you need to apply is something showing your address, like a driver’s license or bill.  Once you get that card, inspiration is right at your fingertips!

Have a great weekend, and think about getting a library card.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate your library more than you ever thought you would.

Library Inspiration




A Day In The Life

Every time I post to my blog, my Grandma emails me and says that she’s read it and she just doesn’t know how I do all of it.  So today, I’m going to show her and you how.

I documented pretty much everything I did this past Wednesday.  It was interesting because as I would write things down I realized I do quite a lot throughout the day.  However, I wasn’t the greatest at taking pictures of it all, so you’ll have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

6:00-Wake up, even though I set my alarm for 5:30, oops!  My husband is usually up around 5 or 5:30 so I typically get up around the same time.

6:15-8:00-I use the early mornings to work on blog posts, my Rodan + Fields business, read emails, and check social media.

A Day In The LifeHere’s my view while working.  The trusty baby monitor always lets me know when I have to be done working.

8:00-8:10-I spent this time getting ready, making the bed, and taking the time to use my face wash system.  I really do enjoy taking a few minutes to wash my face everyday, and the results of doing so aren’t bad either.

A Day In The Life8:10-I had to wake up my daughter on this day.  She usually wakes up between 7:00 and 8:00, but sometimes needs a little help getting up.  I’m pretty sure the teenage years are going to be difficult because she already rolls over and covers her head with a blanket anytime I have to wake her up.

8:30-9:00-After getting my daughter ready I made breakfast.  While she eats, I usually use the time to pick up anything in the living room, do dishes, and get our bags ready for whatever we have planned for the day.

8:35-Confessions of a Potty Training Mom: my daughter decided that she didn’t need to go to the bathroom after waking up, so I spent several minutes cleaning up a pee puddle, and large pee spot on my upholstered dining room chair.  Then cleaning up a toddler and changing her clothes that I had literally just put her in.  Do the accidents ever stop?

9:00ish-We left for library story time

A Day In The LifeThis is my “mom uniform,” shorts, flip-flops, a casual t-shirt, and my Origami Owl wrap watch.  Get yours from my really good friend, here.

9:30-10:30- The libraries near us to very frequent story times, which is great.  Plus, some libraries have really cool play areas.  We try to go at least once a week.

A Day In The Life

She's "working" in this picture.

She’s “working” in this picture.

11:00-12:00-After story time we had a few things to pick up at Ikea.  It’s a great place to get things for your home, but it’s also a great place to let your kids run around and play a little bit.  They have a great kids area, and several play spots throughout the store.  We had to get a laundry drying rack and replace a broken picture frame.  We’re slowly getting our house organized and focused on the garage and laundry room right now.  Things look pretty good on the surface, but please don’t check under my sinks or in our closets.  It’s chaos there!

A Day In The Life12:00-12:30-We had lunch at Ikea also, because their cafe has some pretty good food.  And kids eat free!

A Day In The Life1:45-We left around 12:45, drove home, and unpacked our bags.  Around 1:45 is my favorite time of day….nap time!  My daughter typically naps around 1:30-2:00 for about two hours.  Nap time is really when I can get a lot of things done without much interruption.

1:45-4:00-While she was napping I worked on blog to-dos, Rodan + Fields things, and starting making preparations for some upcoming travel next week.

A Day In The Life4:00-Around 4:00 my daughter woke up from her nap.

4:00-5:15-After my daughter’s nap, I had her to help me clean around the house.  We had some friends coming into town this night and staying with us, so I wanted to pick things up a bit.  I let my daughter help me clean by allowing her to spray the spray bottles of cleaner.  Don’t worry, we use homemade cleaners that are pretty safe.  She sprays our all-purpose cleaner (a recipe of 50/50 Dawn dish soap and vinegar) into the shower and tub, and our homemade glass cleaner (a recipe of 50/50 vinegar and water) onto my cleaning rag.  Getting my daughter involved allows me to actually get some things cleaned and I hope teaches her how to keep things tidy.  I also vacuumed, took trash out, and refreshed linens for overnight guests.  To see what I do when we have overnight guests, check out this post.

5:30- After cleaning the house, I started making dinner.  Dinner on this day was all about balance.  We had sloppy joes (not the healthiest, but one of my daughter’s favorite foods), but I paired it with a kale and artichoke salad.  I first had the kale and artichoke salad at a brunch buffet on Father’s Day, it was so good I wanted to recreate it at home.

Kale Salad6:00-My husband got home a little later from work on this day, but got home right before dinner.  We typically try to eat around 6:00 most nights.

6:30-We cleaned up from dinner.

6:30-8:30- We were feeling quite productive after dinner and did a bunch of things around the house.  We took trash out to the curb, cleaned out our truck and switched the car seat back to my car, watered flowers, then played a game inside of Seek-A-Boo.  My daughter enjoys putting all of the game pieces out across our floor and finding all the different items.

8:30-Our friends arrived and we spent quite a while chatting with them while our kids played together.  They are moving to the area and I foresee a lot of play dates in the future.

9:30- After wearing the kids out it was finally bed time for our tired little toddler.  She normally goes to bed around 8:30, but it was just too fun playing with new friends.

9:30-10:30-After my daughter was in bed, I spent about an hour following up with Rodan + Fields customers via text, email, and facebook.  I love that I can work this business in short time periods throughout the day.

10:30-Bedtime!  I am the worst about going to bed at a decent hour, but my goal is always 10:30.  I rarely make it.  I felt so much less tired the next day after going to bed at a reasonable hour.  I really need to do it more often.

So that was my day, it was fairly typical, and I kind of enjoyed documenting all of it.  I’m sure you’d feel really productive if you took an inventory of everything you did at the end of the day.  Give it a try, you’ll be surprised at all that you do!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget that today Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change® Foundation will donate $5 to our nonprofit partner buildOn —helping to provide students with positive afterschool opportunities in safe, encouraging environments.  Just take a make-up free selfie and post it to social media with the hashtag #rfgonaked.  Let’s raise some serious money for these students!




Celebrating everyday!