Hello everyone!

One thing I really love to do in Spring or Summer is entertaining family and friends. Either you’re having an outdoor or indoor gathering, it’s always a good idea to welcome your guests in style; and there are numerous and time-effective ways to decorate for the occasion without turning your house into an event center or giving yourself too much headache. 

         1- Have a bar cart and make it look pretty!  You can also use your kitchen counter if you don’t have a bar cart. You will need your party essentials : Beverages, Glasses, Kitchen gadgets like bottle openers, napkins, coasters, etc… Add a few decorative paper straws if you have them. Put some fresh lemons in a cute bowl and place it on the cart; this can add an instant color pop to your little set up! You can organize these items on a tray or put them directly on the cart if you’re using one. Last yet not least, add a touch of personality by using a pretty vase with some fresh flowers, for example or  anything decorative accent that you could think of, place  it on the cart… and voila!

Images via Apartment therapy & 2015 Decor.

2-  Presentation is always key! Use pretty and stylish servewares for your food and try to incorporate foods that will add color and interest to your setting. Pretty, fun and… edible 🙂 in a few words be creative and have fun!

Finger Food

Thank you lovelies for reading !

 

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For the past couple weeks I have been missing in action; not only here on the blog, but also sporadically on social media. It wasn’t intentional at first, even though I have planned many times for the past few months to retrieve myself from the internet, because God knows I needed it, but truth be told, I was reluctant for many reasons. Well, sometimes life would force us to take a much needed action, through a certain situation, whether it’s unexpected or not. Sometimes, it’s through an unfortunate life change, but other times it’s just a matter of a small change in our daily routine and habit, and I’m grateful to say that it was the latter. 

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My family was expecting friends from overseas, and because I knew I would need to dedicate myself to them for these few weeks they were spending with us, I decided to take a little break from working and creating contents, so we can all truly enjoy their stay. – Win-Win, right!?

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 However, the transition wasn’t a smooth one. My daily routine had changed a bit. I still had a few campaigns due, and my inbox was full of e-mails that needed to be addressed. Keep in mind that I don’t have a team… (YET… Speaking this into existence now), so I do all of the work by myself… (my dear hubby lending a hand every now and then… 😛 ).

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As much as I tried to put in some work in early in the mornings or late in the evenings, I quickly found out I wasn’t really unplugging and relaxing; I was getting burnt out. It was time to listen to my body and relax my mind. I truly needed to unplug and this is how I did it:

  • I cut down the amount of time I spend on my phone, especially scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. I was still documenting some of our activities through IG stories, but it was solely for fun and only when I felt like it. Even though I tried to take a few outfit photos on the go, I wasn’t obligated to, because they weren’t sponsored.
  • I spent more time flipping through magazines and books to continue stimulating my creative mind even when not working.
  • Music, music, music! Such a soul and Mind’s healer. Good music, that is! 
  • I emailed the brands that I still need to deliver work to during that period of time and asked for an extension on my deliveries. Hey, the worst they could say was “No” and I’m glad I got lots Yes’.
  • I stopped accepting campaigns that will force me to work during the couple weeks period of my break time. Some of them were willing to extend their due date, so that worked just fine.
  • I was still touching base with a couple of clients on projects we were working on; Luckily they weren’t rushed projects or anything in that matter.
  • I made sure to clear my schedule of any work-related events, so that all events I would attend were with family and friends and not in a professional setting.
  • I used my alone time to meditate more, exercice, free my mind, relax, and pamper myself.

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So these were some of the actions I took to make sure I was getting in the rest I needed and staying away from the internet as much as I could.

Now unto the more fun part 🙂 Since we were having people over, it didn’t make sense to plan a vacation, I would say it was more like a staycation and it was truly what we all needed. We decided to explore our cities (the Twin Cities) even more and enjoy mother nature and any other amenities we may enjoy out here.

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The Como Zoo

So, here are some of the things we did and the place we visited:

  •  We spent a lot of time in the water: water-parks, swimming pools, beach…  We all know the positive effect “water” can have on oneself, so it was refreshing, spending a lot of time by the lake and getting those vitamin D in. It’s fair to say that those were the kids favorite moments – Happy kids, happy parents! 🙂 
  • We went for boat rides on the Mississippi river and Lake Minnetonka. If you didn’t know, Minnesota is called the land of ten thousand lakes, and that gives you a lot of options… and honestly, we never get tired of those boat rides, whether it’s a Sunday brunch ride or a Friday/Saturday Sunset Dinner mini-cruise.Missisiipi-river-boat-rideMinneapols-view-on-the mississipi-riverView from the front deck during one of our mini-cruises.

 

  • We visited the Minehaha fall. One of the Twin Cities most visited places by tourists and even locals. We walked a little through the parks; rode a rented tandem bike/pedal cart at some point all along the river and then had a picnic in the park while watching a band perform.
  • We visited the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall Of America – (Kids’ favorite). We also spent hours of walking and shopping in the MOA and other outlets malls.
  • In the world of a perfect blogger, I also browse through online store such as wikibuy and others to score some deals.
  • Another day in the mall was spent doing rides in the Nickelodeon World, enjoying crepes, smoothies, and ice-cream.  (Cold Stones is our favorite!) 
  • We ate out a lot. We enjoyed a few old favorites and tried new places too. Our guests enjoyed trying American cuisines, as they traveled from Switzerland. One of their funny reactions was about how generous the foods on the plates were, or how extra big the margarita glasses at the Mexican restaurant was. The shocked look was a true Kodac moment! 😀 
  • We visited the Art Museum, the Science Museum, the Como Zoo,the Sculpture Park, downtown Minneapolis (by day and by night 😉 ) and St Paul and much more… We attended friends and family events and made sure to have all the fun we could have.things-to-do-in-minneapolisMinneapolis Sculpture Garden

 

  • We also made sure to have some adult only nights out, while the kids were enjoying movies and popcorn and what-not at home.

Phew! Seems like a lot, doesn’t it!? And it was! But hey, we honestly had an awesome time; and even though we spent long days out, we also had days where we just took it easy, enjoyed good conversations, over home-made meals, or those when I have soaked my feet in my foot massage machine or enjoyed a night pampered bath.

Here you have it, folks. This was so much needed; and I’m glad I could kill two birds with one stone. Now I’m trying to get back in the swing of things, but I have to admit that the transition isn’t easy. One thing’s for sure, I’m coming back refreshed, renewed, and excited to step into new dimensions! 🙂 

How do you unplug or cure creative burnout? What do you do?

 

Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead! 

Lots of love, 

XOXO

Edwige 

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3D-CSI-Wall-panels Happy Monday, friends!

Can you tell that these flowers aren’t real? If you can’t, it’s because they are the realest silk flowers ever; and they are being provided by the folks at CSI Wall Panels. When I was approached to share a review about these silk flowers, I was a little reluctant. I honestly don’t have anything against silk flowers, but I just prefer real, scent-filled, fresh ones. Nothing can beat that, right? But Admittedly there are amazing silk flowers out there, that will win your heart in a beat; and I have to say that the good folks at www.csiwallpanels.com . have some beautiful selections. Check them out! 

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*This bouquet was provided for my honest review and all opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Hypnoz Glam.

Lots of love, 

Edwige 

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Nicole Malo, founder and CEO of IAA Fashion, an innovative clothing line that specializes in a variety of stylish apparel and accessories, pride herself in offering glamorous and outstanding designs for women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors.
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Nicole’s love and passion for fashion and everything that it stands for has led her to design some of her own clothes and alter a few of her dresses to fit her style and need. The talent behind the clothes she has designed and made for herself hasn’t been unnoticed, so this mother of 3 has made it her goal to create more pieces not only for herself, but for all out there who would appreciate and enjoy her style and creations. She went ahead and made them available to the public to purchase.
With a focus on high quality African fabrics, Nicole’s designs show unique styles portraying images about both her West-African root and culture at affordable prices.
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When asked what has inspired the name IAA Fashion, Nicole has made it known that it was in honor of her children. She used the first initial of each of her kids first name to create a beautiful and memorable name for her brand. Now, if that’s not just beautiful! We all know the heart of a good mother when it comes to her children and what she can do for their legacy. 
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Like I always say, when you support a small business, you are supporting a dream. All of Nicole’s creations can be custom-made. She also works with clients who have their own designs in mind but are looking for someone to create the final masterpiece for them. For more about this beautiful and talented designer or to contact her, visit her Business Facebook page here . You can also follow or reach out to her on Instagram.
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Thank you for reading and have a wonderful start to the month of July!
Love + Light, 
Edwige
* The information provided for this article has been edited for more depth and details.
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Twin-cites-auto-show-recap-and-look

Happy Friday guys,

If you’re following me on Instagram (which I think you should! 😉 ), you’ve probably seen a little bit of recap of my busy yet fun weekend activities on my feed and insta stories! One of the reasons why I love what I do, is that I get to experience new things, and meet some awesome individuals and also being able to share those experiences and my take with you guys. The biggest’s highlight of my weekend was the twin cities auto show, which I talked a little bit about here. I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of awesome influencers who were invited to the Toyota’s auto show VIP Preview. I have never been to an auto show before; and my first experience, even though it was work related, was a blast, and I’m looking forward to reliving the experience! Twin-cites-auto-show-recap-and-look

Among many wonders, I got to see and play with the totally newly redesigned Toyota Camry! Their Sport Pro Sequoia and luxury Avalon were also displayed and vastly complimented by the attenders.

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With Lexus now being part of the Toyota family, I got to see a few high-end cars in the Twin Cities Auto Show’s Luxury Lane! Now, guess what was front and center… Go ahead… Just take a wild guess! As we all know, the Wakanda fever has been floating around these last few weeks with the Black Panther playing in theaters.

Believe it or not, I got to see up close and personal the Lexus LC500 featured in the movie during a car chase in Hong Kong! It was just a different feeling altogether looking at this masterpiece, the Black Tiger’s scratch marks and the bullet holes on the side… Enough said, just take a look for yourself!

I went live a couple of times on Instagram and on Facebook; and it was amazing seeing how many people were tuning in and how much interest they showed.

My local readers, if you haven’t been to the twin cities auto show yet, it’s so much fun with amazing new cars waiting for you to test-drive or just admire and take selfies with… but don’t just take my words for it! You still have today and the weekend to go check it out. As I mentioned here, the show is ending on March 18th and you can see all the information you need in this article.

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It was no doubt a wonderful day, but I was tired and hungry (I had a “bloggers event” the night before and woke up early for the Toyota Auto Show VIP Preview ), so hubby and I headed straight to a favorite restaurant to enjoy some goodness; but you’ll know I was glad to snatch some quick outfit post pics before I get food all over myself. Just kidding. 😀 

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By the way, if you’re wondering what you should wear to the auto show or similar events, I would suggest that you definitely keep comfort in mind, as you will be doing a lot of walking and browsing. I knew that prior to going to the event, but I still went with my striped heels and kept a pair of nice flats in my bag, just in case!Twin-cites-auto-show-recap-and-look

My feet were tired at some points, and you could hear that I was breathing heavily in one of my live videos on social media, but I was resilient until the end, and never got to change into those flats. Mainly because I was working non-stop and was taking pictures with the group and for myself.

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Anyway, I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in this campaign and hope you take something away from this recap. – On another note, what do you think of my outfit of the day? XOXO

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Jacket:  c/o Just Fab | Skirt: c/o U.S | Shoes: Old. Try these | bodysuit: Also seen HERE| Try this one or this | Earrings: Here | Bag: Try this one or this.

As always, thank you for reading and cheers to a fabulous weekend!

Love+ Light,

Edwige

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