500 Subbies Ask Me Anything!

Snapshot_11I had a Giveaway on my YouTube channel for my subscribers to thank them for supporting me and to celebrate reaching over 500 subscribers. I gave away a wonderful tote filled with all sorts of beauty and fashion items; if you would like to see go and check out the video, I will leave a link shortly. To be a part of the Giveaway I asked my subscribers, you did have to be a subscriber to take part, I asked my subscribers to ask me any question they would like to know about me. Since I am a newish channel I thought this would be a fun way to get to know each other better. It is my goal with Embellish Life to create a community of individuals that can learn and grow together and feel comfortable together. I feel that the only way you can do that is if you put yourself out there and are willing to let yourself be known. Show everyone what you are all about, I think false assumptions are the biggest mistakes people can make and can also get people into the most trouble… You know what they say about “Assume” ing anything… LOL Anyway, even though the giveaway is all over my video on all the answers to all the great questions that my subscribers asked me is all completed. It is a great insight into who I am, what I am doing with Embellish Life, a little bit about my family and how I got to where I am today; if you are interested.
To see details check out the link to my video: YouTube Winner Question Video
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Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find my elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
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Places I shop and love:

Hautelook: http://www.hautelook.com/short/2t8pC (Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before.)**

Joss & Main: https://www.jossandmain.com/invite/embellishlife (Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before.) **

Younique: https://www.youniqueproducts.com/HeidiEmbellish (I am a Younique Presenter/Rep; to purchase Younique you must go through a Presenter it is not sold in stores. If you are interested in any of the products you can follow my link and shop online. No parties necessary. It also helps me provide free content on Embellish Life. Thank you for your support!)**

AFFILIATE LINKS:
**I use some affiliate links, which help support my website and the free content. A percentage of the things you buy through my links will go towards supplies to keep “Embellish Life” up and running. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying and of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

All American Wreath

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The All American Wreath can be used from Memorial Day all the way through the 4th of July. I love making wreaths for all seasons, holidays and decor. One of my first Home Based Businesses was a custom baby announcement wreath, I called it Bright Beginnings which morphed into custom designed baby hooded bath towels and eventually did full circle into a personal shopping business for busy moms, right back to my roots of fashion and retail…

Some of my supplies for this project I purchased online at Save on Crafts:
Wreath
Wood flowers
(option: silk, dried or none)

The remaining items I got locally at Hobby Lobby:
4th of July decorations
Wire Ribbon

The basic assembly of the wreath is as follows:
1. Place decoration and flowers on the wreath the way you want to glue them. Remember to leave a space for the bow at the top, side or bottom (depending on where you want to place it)
2. Make your bow
3. Glue all items on with hot glue.

To get the full instructions and How To please check out the All American Wreath video on YouTube. I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on new post and also be included in my contest:
Subscribe Here!
Also if you like my Facebook page you will be notified on up and coming events on my site. Well, notified as well as Facebook circulates my post.
Check out Embellish Life on Facebook here!

American Beauty American Beauty
This weeks cocktail is appropriately named American Beauty made with American Gin distilled in Philadelphia fit the bill for a 4th of July cocktail. The American Beauty is refreshing blend of Bluecoat gin, fresh lemon juice, raspberries and mint. I made a few tweaks by substituting the simple syrup and soda water with diet ginger ale (of course, my personal favorite). This would be a more calorie friendly version!

Ingredients

2 oz Bluecoat gin
1 oz fresh-lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup*
3 fresh raspberry and 3 fresh blueberries
4–6 mint leaves
Instructions

Add lemon juice, mint and berries into mixing glass and lightly muddle. Add the remaining ingredients into mixing glass along with ice and shake vigorously. Fine-strain over the rocks into a double old-fashioned glass and top with a splash of soda (my version has the diet ginger-ale). Garnish with lemon wheel and one raspberry.

*To make simple syrup, combine one part hot water to one part sugar. Stir until all sugar is dissolved and allow to cool.

created by Erick Castro
courtesy of Bluecoat Gin
Found at Drink of the Week: Follow on: @dotw on Twitter | drinkoftheweek on Facebook

How to have a Stress Free Party

Stress Free Party
Opening your home to guests can be a stressful occasion. Planning a large party can seem as impossible as performing brain surgery. Life can be a party if you learn to Embellish. No matter if you are hosting an intimate party for friends or designing a large event I will share my ideas and tips here. Let me help you take the stress and fear away from hosting parties and make it a fun affair that everyone can enjoy; even you!

I must be honest throwing a party is a skill that takes time to perfect; and I’m not totally sure that you can ever say you throw a completely stress free party. That being said, I have discovered some tips that have considerably reduced my stress level and truly allowed me to throw parties and events and actually have fun doing it. I have to qualify, or my husband and children will kill me, that I was not always calm and Martha Stewartish; for years I resembled a blend of something out of The Exorcist and Amityville Horror. It wasn’t pretty and I am sure I scared my boys for life. Even now that I have honed the skill of stress free parties I still sense a twinge of fear run through all the boys in anticipation of “possessed” Heidi coming back. So, that was my disclaimer, not even I was perfect. Even now I wouldn’t say I had perfected the skill but at least I’m not demonic any more 😉

Here are my Top Ten Tips for a Stress Free Party (in no particular order):

1. Make a list of everything you want and need to do for the party at least a week in advance. If you are busy or a procrastinator then make the list further in advance.
2. Stock up on party décor, paper items, service pieces (for all different types of themes). This can be tricky if you have a small space; but if you do you don’t need a lot of extras because you will not be having a party for 60 at your home. So shop and save accordingly… No Hording 😉
3. Only buy party/entertaining items on sale. If it is not something you will use all the time NEVER pay full price! Craft stores have wonderful party supplies and always mark them down to almost nothing after the holiday, this is the time to buy and save it for next time. It may actually take you a year or even two to get all you want and if you are only using it once or twice a year it is worth the time to get it for a good price.
4. Remember you notice a lot more wrong with your home then your guests. Spend your time and energy on the main room and bathroom that your guest will be in. A party is not the time to be painting the bedroom or remodeling the study if no one is going to be in there. That goes for extra cleaning. Don’t kill yourself cleaning your teenager’s closet and bedroom if it is not being used for the party.
5. Write out your menu at least a week in advance. Take advantage of the wonderful pre-made finger foods. I have found great items that get rave reviews from our local Warehouse Store, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You do not have to give up healthy and diet specific needs either; I have found gluten free, lactose free, and organic pre-made items that taste great. Presentation is everything; you can make veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, and chips and salsa look fantastic with fun service pieces and a few strategically placed decorations. If you love cooking, pick 1 or 2 signature dishes to serve and make the rest easy and/or pre-made. If you are hosting a dinner party where the food is the focus then back off of the décor, focus on the food and let your presentation be your decor. A wonderful centerpiece, fun place cards or creative plates and service pieces are all you need and let the food impress. If you are not a “foodie” at all try picking one or two signature cocktails; many times they make a bigger impression than the food anyway.
6. Start your cleaning and general prep for the party a day or two early. The less you have to do the day of your party the better everyone is. The day of is not the time to decide on theme décor, menu, cleaning projects, and/or signature cocktail. Leave only food prep and light clean-up for the day of. If you can prep some of the food the evening before, do it. In all my experience and mistakes in throwing parties I find this tip one of the most important in having a stress-free party.
7. Write out a timeline for the day of the party. Don’t forget to set aside time for you to get ready for your own party. I can’t tell you how many parties I threw with no make-up or wet hair because I didn’t allow for my own prep ;-). I also found writing down a timeline a huge help with staying on task and budgeting your time well. No matter how much you think you can do this in your head, you can’t, trust me. Writing it out in advance with time allowances for everything keeps you calm(er), keeps you on time, let’s you know when you need to just forget something on your list and move on. I love the timeline and even do it for a small get together.
8. Get out all your service and tableware the day before the event. There is nothing worse than finding out the day of the event that you are short plates, glasses, a platter, or serving utensils. This is bound to mess up your timeline and seriously stress you out.
9. Pick out your outfit early in the day if not a few days before. The day of your party, lay out your clothes, jewelry and shoes. This is not the day to be trying on 5 total outfits. Don’t try out a new hairstyle, go with the tried and true, and keep it easy and quick. You know I’m right, we always leave getting ready till the end. Even if you use all 10 of my steps there is no guarantee that you will not be behind especially as you are learning. If you have everything ready to go; even if you only have 10 min to get dressed, chances are you can do it if it is all laid out.
10. If you remember any of the tips first, remember that you and only you know the vision of your party. If you forget something, don’t place a décor piece out, miss cleaning some place, or use the wrong plates no one but you will notice, care, or stress over it; so neither should you. I think this was the hardest lesson I ever had to learn and really the easiest one. Just deep breathe and let it go, “No One Will Notice”… Repeat that often and enjoy your party 🙂

I could go on forever on how to throw a party. Check out my YouTube site for the video on “How to have a stress free party” Here is the recipe for Coconut Mojitos that were featured on the video 🙂

Coconut Mojitos
serves 10
50 springs of mint
10 oz. lime juice (I use bar lime juice)
30 oz. coconut rum
5 cans of Ginger-ale (I use diet)
5 limes sliced

1) Muddle mint and lime slices in lime juice
2) Add ice and pour coconut rum over ice.
3) Pour into service pitcher and add ginger-ale
4) Mix and serve!

Helpful Party and Event Photo Tip

P1040827Here is a tip that I use all the time, no matter how big the event is or how intimate the party is I take photos of the set up and decor.  I take photos of everything, food placement, decorations (inside and out), and table settings, anything that isn’t normally there.  I know for me it serves a double purpose because I post a lot of my events and parties here and you might think it is not so useful for just anyone to take all those photos, but it is.  I don’t know how many times, even when it comes to decorating for the holidays, that I get out the boxes and for the life of me I can’t remember what I use a piece for.  For events or parties I totally forget set ups for food and stations, even when it is in my house.  I change it up each time I have a party so I can’t remember what I did, say for last year’s Christmas party, I just get out my photos and look at the set up and go from there.

The nice thing also is if you have the photos you can also see what you have and what you have done in the past so if you do want to change it, update any of your decorations or set ups you can see that without having to get out all your stuff.  This can save you a ton of time and considerable mess.  I like to get out my service pieces at least 3 to 4 days ahead of time just in case I need to add to it and this gives me ample time to shop without feeling too stressed. So if I look at photos I can have even more time without having to wait.

An additional tip if you are shy on counter space use risers, simple boxes covered with fabric look great, and that way you can get more items on a table and it also gives your area some interest and dimension.  Another investment that is well worth it is service pieces that are tiered, two or three plates in one, this also gives you more space.  There are a lot of shops, Home Goods, TJ Max, Target, and many $1 stores have nice service pieces depending on your budget.  I have found some nice stuff at $1 stores some plastic some glass and I get a few and just keep them because they are great for taking over items to people’s homes; you never have to worry about leaving with your tray if everything is not finished or you forget.  If you only paid $1  for it you can let the hostess keep it or toss it, so much easier than worrying about getting it back because you know that always takes about 6 months and 20 phone calls going both directions.

I hope this helps in your party planning process.  I know that this is the season and it can be stressful and it really doesn’t have to be.  Make lists, try to plan ahead as much as you can and party planning is the one time that “Hording” can be an asset.  The more stuff (OK, within reason) you have on hand the easier it is to throw a party the key is to be able to get to your stuff and to know what you have and that is where photos come in handy.  I couldn’t do have the parties and events I do without my catalog of photos.