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Weekend Entertaining: A Squeeze the Day Soriée

white bar cart decorated for lemon party

Sometimes life gives us lemons, can I get an amen? I’ve been on a major lemon kick lately when it comes to decor, and I think it’s because yellow is just such a happy pop of color & lemons add a little whimsy to everything. I recently got a lemon enamel pin that says “squeeze the day”, and I got to thinking this would make a really cute party theme! Perhaps it could work as a pick me up for a friend who has been dealt some lemons lately, a birthday party, promotion, or a graduation celebration. Serve lemoncello spritzers if you’re entertaining adults (recipe below), and opt for lemonade if you’re celebrating with kids. I hope you enjoy this little album of inspiration photos!

lemon plastic wine glasses from Martha Stewart

All of the Martha Stewart items in this post were gifted to me, but I only accept gifts I love! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that will earn me a commission.

lemon themed party with lemon balloons

How cute are these balloons I found?! Keep scrolling to the end for all product sources &

check out the Limoncello Spritzer recipe I like to use:

Squeeze The Day Limoncello Spritzer:

  1. Pour 1.5-2 ounces chilled limoncello over ice.

  2. Alternate adding chilled bubbly (I prefer a brut like Freixenet) and sparkling water until glass is full.

  3. Stir, then garnish with a lemon wedge & serve.

Mylar Lemon Balloons for Lemon Themed Party// Draper James Dress
lemon mani for lemon themed party

Cheers, my friends. Don’t forget to make every day feel like the weekend!

lemon themed party with lemon balloons

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Weekender Wednesday: Dream Vacations

dream vacations cruise & travel show

This month on Lowcountry Live, I teamed up with Dream Vacations to tell you about the Cruise & Travel show coming to Charleston on June 1.  The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving tropical cocktails, you can taste some travel inspired cuisine, and Wyatt Durette will be performing from 2-4! 

Watch the segment to learn more about the event and to get a code for free tickets: http://abcnews4.com/lowcountry-live/weekender-wednesday-charleston-weekender-dream-vacations

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Weekender Game Night: Salad Bowl

I have your recipe for the perfect game night, weekenders!  Below you’ll find instructions for how to play “Salad Bowl” (also known as fish bowl in some circles): I’ve included a free printable so you can hand it out to your guests.  I’ve also shared some photos from a recent game night I hosted when I was in Palm Springs for Alt Summit.

The location for our game night was the fabulous 2019 Acme West Elm House, “the Seven Eighty”. I cannot even believe I got to play hostess in this fabulous abode for the evening!  My friends at Acme really know how to throw a party, so keep scrolling for some inspiration to help you host a game night of your own.

charleston weekender game night at acme house company in palm springs

Game night attire: caftans & turbans are not required, but highly encouraged!  Below we are wearing Monica Mahoney, who is pictured in animal print.

20190327_CWAltSummitGameNight_NCS_059.jpg

What to serve: it’s too messy and time consuming to try to fit in dinner AND games, so we opted for charcuterie & cupcakes. The meat and cheese platter from On the Mark (an amazing wine and cheese shop in Palm Springs) was a huge hit!

Charleston Weekender's Alt Summit Game Night

Make them mingle: Name tags are always a great idea when you’re bringing together friends who don’t know one another, and I incorporated a little ice breaker to help strike up some conversation while we waited for all of our guests to arrive.  In addition to their name, everyone had to write their favorite childhood game. It was fun to see everyone’s nostalgic picks!

Charleston Weekender Game Night ice breaker

Make everyone a winner: Scout Bags provided these delightful wine totes that I used as gift bags for all of our guests. We handed them out before the game and put the game instructions inside; they are under $10 but really make an impact when displayed together!  We had other prizes for the winning team, & it’s fun to show those off before you start you get everyone in competition mode. 

Charleston Weekender Alt Summit Game Night

Next, we divided everyone into teams and then I quickly went over the rules.  For this game, it’s helpful to have the host keeping track of the score and the time. It definitely made the game go faster and run a little more smoothly than other times I’ve played. Download your own copy of the rules below:

Charleston Weekender Game Night
Charleston Weekender Game Night Salad Bowl Instructions Download Alt Summit

Ok, now it’s time to play!

Winner winner chicken dinner! Bonus points if you make the winning team wear matching t-shirts...

Charleston Weekender Game Night

After game night concluded, it was time to head to the Eight Thirty’s gorgeous fire pit area to wind down!

charleston weekender game night at 2019 west elm house in palm springs

A very big thank you to JP, Kim, and Nathan from ACME House Company for making our game night a smashing success of a soirée!

Game night was WAY more fun than most “networking” events I’ve gone to, and it can also work well during a shower or bachelorette party. I hope you’ll follow along on Instagram (@CharlestonWeekender) for more fun as I attempt to make every day feel like the weekend!

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Weekender Women: Investing Consciously

image c/o Dazey LA

image c/o Dazey LA

Frequently on my blog & Instagram I like to share about causes or values that are important to me. This year I’ve been on a personal journey towards better mental and physical health, feeling like I’m finally figuring out what I’m doing with respect to my career, and enjoying getting more involved with the community around me! That community largely tends to be female oriented, often comprised of other business owners like myself. When the conscious investing platform, COIN, asked me to share why I’m passionate about gender equality and other causes that are important to me, I was excited for the chance to add to that conversation!

This post is in partnership with COIN but all opinions are my own.

image c/o Dazey LA

image c/o Dazey LA


When it comes to being the badass ladies we strive to be (whether that is at home, at work, or in our relationships), there are some road blocks & recurrent patterns I see in women around me that keep resurfacing.  In order to be the best versions of ourselves and the best version of our gender in the future, I have a few ideas for us!

-Just Say NO-

This is obviously not a novel concept, especially if you went through the D.A.R.E. program in your adolescence. It was drilled into us to “just say no” to drugs, but what about other things that don’t serve us? The ability to say no tends to be one of the biggest struggles I see women facing.  I think the main fear is that we will be considered to be rude, unkind, or appear unwilling to help. The problem with saying yes is often that we are doing everyone a favor except for ourselves!  Saying no usually means we can say yes to something even better, amen!? Here are a few ways I have found to soften the blow of saying no when I’m asked to do all the things (like write a blog post in exchange for a t-shirt, spend my time at an event that just doesn’t sound fun, or donate products for fundraisers when I simply can’t spare the inventory):

- I can’t right now, but keep me in mind for next time/when you have a budget/etc.

-skip the explanation all together. I’m working on not over-splaining all the time. It’s ok to just say sorry I can’t help!

-just be gracious no matter what (I really appreciate you thinking of me)

-Ask for What You Want (you just might get it!)-

The last time I had a corporate job (in speech-language pathology at a nursing home), I was one of about 3 people who actually got a raise when our company changed owners. The main reason is because I simply asked for it! Some people just took the salary they were given (and then later complained about it). I also asked if I could stop wearing scrubs to work at that job because I knew I would feel better in my real clothes; all black scrubs were seriously bringing me down no matter how much jewelry I wore. If I hadn’t asked for that, I am pretty confident my boss would not have said “Hey Liz, what can I do to make you happier at work?” and I would have remained in sad in scrubs.

There seems to be a lot of fear that holds people back from asking for what they want, especially for the women I know. What are you truly afraid of that is holding you back from making the ask? If the answer is that you’re afraid of being turned down, well at least if you ask you might have a shot at getting what you want (as opposed to not saying anything and definitely not getting it)!

image c/o Dazey LA

image c/o Dazey LA

-Get Involved-

(in your local and state government, your finances, and your community)!

The more we educate ourselves and play an active role in decision making about our future, the better off we are going to be- especially when it comes to finances. I am certainly guilty of not having an active role in financial planning, both in our home and in my business. It wasn’t until recently that I began paying attention to my Profit & Loss statement & other financial aspects of my business.  I’m lucky to have a husband who doubles as my accountant, but I was really just selling myself short to not have a better grasp on those details of my business and educate myself accordingly.

If you aren’t paying attention to your savings and planning for the future, today is a great time to start! I like the idea of COIN because you can “invest with impact” by actually investing in companies that are making a difference in the areas that matter to you.  If you’re passionate about clean water or better health, you can invest with companies that promote those causes! Use promo code COIN2019 to receive $50 when you invest your first $100 at www.investwithcoin.com.

We also need to get involved in our communities by understanding who our local officials are. If you are like me and sadly just have no interest in watching the news, find other ways to get involved in politics. Check out a city council meeting or gather with a group of your neighbors and have everyone share their concerns and find ways to make a difference in the neighborhood. It truly drives me crazy to hear people complain about this or that but then learn they didn’t vote or take any action to find a solution. If we are passionate about gender equality, what do we plan to do about it?

-Don’t Feel Pressured to Conform to Traditional Gender Roles-

Have kids, or don’t! Be a goddess in the kitchen, or let your husband do the cooking! My husband does most of our cooking or cleaning, and I struggle with carrying guilt because of that. I grew up in a traditional household and learned those things were a woman’s job. A lot of women do love to cook and clean and are great at those things, I’m just not one of them. My husband actually derives sheer pleasure from cooking and cleaning, so I just have to embrace it and contribute to our household in other ways. I am the main trash taker outer, organizer, decorator, & bug killer! I might don a colorful apron from time to time, but it’s usually just for a photo op ;)

No cooking for me, I’d rather be a “lady who lunches”!  image c/o Dazey LA

No cooking for me, I’d rather be a “lady who lunches”!

image c/o Dazey LA

I may not be a “traditional” feminist; I don’t really feel oppressed and haven’t really experienced that. However, I hope to encourage other women to keep using your voices in any way that matters to you and to take responsibility for getting the future you want.  Don’t forget to use promo code COIN2019 to receive $50 when you invest your first $100 at www.investwithcoin.com, so you can start investing in companies that support the causes you care about!

We are just as awesome as the boys, we just need to go after what we want (perhaps on a colorful bike)! image c/o Dazey LA

We are just as awesome as the boys, we just need to go after what we want (perhaps on a colorful bike)! image c/o Dazey LA


All images c/o Dazey LA, a “slow fashion” female run clothing brand I think you’ll love as well!

Shoot location: Azucar Palm Springs // Bikes: Bike Palm Springs // Click here to shop the looks from this post.

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21 Days of Happiness Habits

We’re 21 days from jumping for joy!

We’re 21 days from jumping for joy!

I recently shared in my Instagram stories that I’ve been living over here in funk land lately. What?! That girl that is over here trying to spread cheer and help you “make every day feel like the weekend” isn’t living in a constant state of joy? Not so much. Yes, overall I consider myself to be an optimistic person, and in person I am pretty outgoing and energetic.  However, since October I’ve been feeling pretty darn apathetic, lethargic, and unmotivated!  Just stuck! I call it a funk, but by medical terms I think it’s really a mild depression that I sometimes find myself in when I haven’t been managing my anxiety over time.  Lack of regular exercise, letting trigger foods (wheat/dairy/sugar) creep back into my diet, and not spending enough quality time with friends having fun outside of work all add up.

So yeah, my rose colored glasses seem to be lost, and frankly it’s all been very confusing!  I don’t actually feel sad. I don’t cry or sleep all day or do a lot of things you may think a depressed person would do.  I have SO much to be genuinely thankful for, and in so many ways life is better than ever! Our shop is doing great, I’ve had a couple great recent features about our lovely new home,  my marriage is really solid, and I have some truly amazing friends!  I have all those things and still feel just “meh”.  So I have been beating myself up about feeling this way, because what do I have to complain about? Well let me share some of my negative thought loops that keep creeping in:

I wish I had more energy! Life’s not that hard.

What is the point of having lots of Instagram followers if I’m not making a positive impact? Why am I not figuring out a way to make more of a difference?  

Should I be trying to have a family? I’m 35! I want a family one day but it isn’t something I want today. What’s wrong with me?!

I’m a smart person, why am I not making more money!?

What should I do next? Instagram might not be here forever, so maybe I shouldn’t make that such a big component of my business. 

I should get off the couch and go do laundry! My husband works really hard AND cooks for us so why am I not motivated to do more?! 

Feeling stuck :(

Feeling stuck :(

I definitely recognize the power of self talk, but getting myself into this pattern of negative self talk really crept up on me! It’s easy to tell yourself positive stories until it’s not.  Before you know it, your brain is noticing the negative more than the positive, and then it’s REALLY difficult to get back in a truly positive mindset.  My friend Brenda recently reminded me that our brains really are like computers and sometimes they need just to be reprogrammed.  So, enter a 21 day plan to help myself and anyone else with a little reset...

Awhile ago, I read the “Happiness Advantage” and was recently reminded of it again on this podcast.  In his books, Happiness researcher Shawn Achor (you can also hear him on this Ted Talk) shares some strategies that yielded improved long-term happiness in his studies.  I’ve shared these techniques below and decided I can definitely do all of these things for the next 21 days.  If you want to join me January 1-21 (or on your own timeline if you’re reading this later), let’s do this!

-What’s the daily game plan?-

1. Walk (at least 15 minutes)

2. Doubling Journaling (1+ minute)

This concept is explained better in this podcast episode or in this book, but basically you write down a positive experience you had that day (or previous day if you’re journaling at night). Then you note 3 specific details to help this memory solidify in your mind. 

3. Meditate or pray (2+ minutes) 

Quiet time of any kind can be pretty challenging! I’m using the Headspace app’s guided meditations to make it a little easier to accomplish. Even just 5 minutes are helping me improve my relationship with my thoughts and help me live in the present.  

4. Name your gratitudes (~3 minutes) 

The key is to a) name 3 new things you’re thankful for each day and b) share why you are grateful for that thing. Feel free to fit this in while you’re brushing your teeth, or commit to sharing with your spouse or roommates at dinner.  Or, join my Instagram accountability group (more on that below).

Example: Yesterday I had an uplifting phone call with my good friend.  I was wearing mismatched socks, the weather was pretty warm, & I noticed lots of gorgeous camellias in bloom while I was walking.

5. Social outreach (2+ minutes) 

Achor suggests to spend 2 minutes and email or text someone every day and thank them for something.  That sounds like a good way to connect and focus on appreciation, and I say go for it if you want!

I’m trying this in a slightly different way.  For one, I’m trying to just spend more time with friends having FUN (at least once a week).  Daily I have another plan: Since social media is such a big part of my job, I’m going to try to be more social with it. A lot of what I do is strategy and growth and blah blah, and social media is a place that has become triggering for my anxiety as of late due to the comparison game (I’ll never have that many followers as so in so, I’ll never get as much work with brands as she is getting, etc. etc.).  For a long time I was able to keep my eyes in my own lane and be happy when I saw others doing great things too, but I’ve noticed the more uncertain I am about my career, the more these comparison thoughts creep in for me.  Anyway, for this part I will be doling out likes and compliments (via comments or DMs) to people I come across in my feed (who I often just scroll past).

Feel good bonus: if you’d like to join me avoiding dairy/gluten/sugar for the next 21 days that always helps me feel way better. Our body really doesn’t need any of these things and they are often linked to anxiety/depression and even dementia. 

-Total daily time commitment-

20-30 minutes. 

-Get social for max success-

Why do we feel like tackling the chore of fighting depression/apathy/a funk is something we have to do alone?  The more people I’ve shared with lately the more my friends and spouse have been checking in with me.  The more people you share your struggles with, a) the more people you’ll encounter also having trouble and b) the more people you’ll have supporting you so you don’t have to go it alone.

The first 15 people to DM me on Instagram and say “I’m in” can join my 21 day accountability group- where we will share our gratitudes with each other daily from January 1-21st.

-Why 21 days?- 

As a speech therapist who has helped patients learn memory strategies and other cognitive functions, I’ve always heard that it takes 21 consecutive days to make a new habit. The Happiness Advantage research seems to reiterate this principle. Besides, this doesn’t sound like too insurmountable of a commitment, so let’s run with it!

-Have I tried this and know it works?- 

Yes and no. I have already noticed a big difference when I walk for at least an hour a day, and days I’m sedentary really contribute to my feelings of “blah”.  This summer I found that journaling really helped me get clarity and get thoughts out of my head so they don’t get stuck in a loop there. And so far, I have definitely noticed a greater awareness about my thought patterns from meditating just 5 minutes a day.  So no, I haven’t tried all of these things for 21 days straight, but from trying individual components of this plan I can tell there are going to be benefits!

Should I have tried this before I roped you into this with me? Sure. Are we going to give this a shot together anyway? Yessss! 

-Let’s measure our success-

If you do anything for 21 days in a row, you’re a winner in my book!   However, I do want you to rate your current status now and again on January 21.  In your journal, give yourself an overall numerical happiness rating on a scale of 1-10 (1=misery, 10= ecstasy) & take inventory/jot down details of some specifics of how you’re feeling recently. 

-Disclaimer-

I’m obviously not a mental health or medical professional, and I’m currently working with a therapist and medical doctor to develop my own overall treatment plan.  If you are experiencing depression, I definitely recommend that you also seek professional help- it’s a wonderful thing!  Please email me if you are in need of any local resources!

images by:  Kim Graham Photography

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