Five Podcasts To Listen To Right Now

I do love music, but usually the radio suffices for me when I’m on a road trip or need some background music. And audiobooks never really were my jam because I’m old school, and I really appreciate holding an actual book. Plus, I love the smell of Barnes & Noble (anyone else….or am I just weird?) So podcasts have quickly become a favorite of mine. In fact, a little giddy excitement rushes over me when I see that one of my favorite podcasts have added a new episode.

So, I thought I would share with you five of my favorite podcasts that I highly recommend listening to now!

For the Girl Boss: The Goal Digger Podcast

I started listening to this podcast far before Jenna Kutcher and “Mr. Six Pack” went viral. In fact, I feel like I have gotten a fair share of my friends listening to her show. Maybe it’s because Jenna is a wedding photographer lived (until recently) in the same town that my mom grew up in and some of my family still lives in. Talk about a girl after my own heart. And on top of it, she has grown her business from a small wedding photographer into a million-dollar business coaching empire. If you need your weekly dose of girl boss inspiration, Jenna and her guests are definitely worth the listen!

For Anyone: How I Built This
This is a podcast I have talked about with a countless number of people. It really appeals to all types, both young and old, male or female, podcast lover or not. I think it’s because this show unfolds the details behind some of our most beloved brands and businesses. Plus, everyone enjoys a good behind-the-scenes look at some of America’s most successful businesses.

For the Mama: Nursing & Cursing
Five mamas get on the mic each week to entertain me to the point where I am crying laughing. I even listen to this podcast while I’m working out because it has me so entertained that I can crush a 30-minute workout without even realizing it. Regardless of the type of parent you are or how many children you have, any mom can relate with these women. And I’m not going to lie that it makes me feel slightly better about the decisions I make because some of their confessions are pretty outrageous. “Put down your coffee, and grab a glass of wine” as they say and get ready for some side-splitting laughter.

For the CoMo Resident: ProFresh Podcast
Anyone could listen to this podcast, regardless of his or her location, but this one has a little “hometown” pride connected to it. I say “hometown” because although I an not originally from Columbia, it has become my home away from home, and I am beginning to rival the amount of years I spent in Wisconsin with the number of years I’ve lived here. Kristen, owner of Hoot Design Co., and Sydney,  a copywriter at Hoot Design Co. tackle topics in the workplace, chat with female professionals and give a fresh look at societal norms when it comes to a professional setting.

For the Event Planner: #EventIcons
You know you love the industry you’re working in when you continue to get jazzed about the topic event in non-work settings. I’m going to be totally honest that I struggle with good event planning podcasts. This is the best one I’ve discovered thus far. The podcast has great information, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most entertaining podcast. So if you have any suggestions, I would love them!

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An neutral, organic styled shoot highlighting the senses

As Kelsi Kliethermes and I sat down for coffee what is now months ago, she described in vivid detail, a vision she had. The description that stuck out the most to me was, “I want to design a shoot that really embodies the senses.”

That line really resonated with me because events are far more than pretty floral arrangements and a good time. They are the foundation of beautiful memories and those experiences are remembered through the senses. Plus, I thought it was so refreshing to hear a photographer say that since photography uses one sense to evoke emotion.

After seeing these gorgeous images, I was immediately overcome by a few things. First, I was ecstatic about how one vision could so seamlessly come together with the right team. Second, I was blown away by how much raw emotion was created with a staged wedding and how much I could feel the experience of the day through the sensual elements.

As the shoot coordinator, my main goal was to make Kelsi’s vision come to life, and I must say I think we nailed it! The images she wanted were supposed to be soft, white and neutral, organic, natural and have a Tuscan flair. Oh, and did I mention that Kelsi shoots with film? Yes, real, old school film photography! Take a look…

The styled shoot took place at a beautiful new venue about an hour north of Columbia called Emerson Fields. The couple who owns it, Steve and Amelia Holder, are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. And from all the behind the scenes Amelia posts on Instagram as well as seeing the venue in person, it’s obvious their whole family has poured their hearts into the final product.

And when our rock star team of vendors brought all their masterpieces into this dreamy venue, the end result was nothing short of perfection. Everything stayed within the neutral and organic theme that Kelsi had envisioned yet each element stood out — whether it was the dainty ranunculus nestled into the centerpieces created by Tiger Garden, the beautiful Victorian feeling chairs from A-1 Party and Event Rental or the light reflecting charger mirrors that were adorned with calligraphy by The ink Cafe. And all of the food and beverage elements were tied together using very natural and herb-inspired details. The Good Food Co., a bakery that creates made-from-scratch, locally sourced products, created an elegant, textured cake. Columbia favorite Peggy Jean’s Pies added to the multi-dimensional array of sweets offering guests fruit tarts, traditional peach pie, jar pies and more. bleu Events pulled out all the stops for a delicious surf and turf main course and amped up cocktail hour with herb-infused cocktails. To round out the food, miniature olive oils and vinegars were provided by Boone County Olive Oil that really emphasized the Tuscan inspiration.

The styling for the bride, groom and bridesmaid, while still natural, was a bit more glamorous, which was a nice contrast to the neutrality everywhere else. The bride’s elegantly beaded dress by Maggie Sottero paired well with a traditional cut suit for the groom from Bingham’s Clothing. Both the bride and bridesmaid’s look, styled by Jessica Jane at Once Upon a Bride, was soft and swept back, and the bridesmaid’s monogram necklace from The Southern Rose  was a sweet detail.

But my favorite part of the whole day had to be the way the couple looked at each other. No, it wasn’t actually their wedding day and yes, they had been together for seven years already, but they looked at each other with such love and admiration. The bride shared with me that at their wedding, their photographer was also a bridesmaid that stood up in the ceremony with them, so it was fun to be able for them to have a day recreated with Kelsi’s photographic eye and full attention. Plus, I love how Amelia and Steve stepped in as the bride’s parents and although they are not in anyway related, these photos make them look like they are!

I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this shoot possible. It truly was a team effort! A full list of vendors is below. For more photos, visit the journal on Kelsi Kliethermes Photography’s website.

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Photographer: Kelsi Kliethermes Photography LLC | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Venue: Emerson Fields | Coordination and Design: Kristi Ruprecht| Floral Design: Tiger Garden | HAMU: Jessica Jane at Once Upon A Bride | Rentals and Tableware: A1 Party & Event Rental | Gourmet Catering and Signature Drinks: Bleu Events | Calligraphy, Invitation Suite, Menus, Bar Signage, and Laser Cut Design: The Ink Cafe LLC | Laser Cut Printer: Fab Station | Bridal Gown: Cleo Bridal | Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero Designs | Headpiece: J-Picone | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Bridal Ring Set: Kas A Designs | Bridesmaid Gown: Morning Lavender | Bridesmaid Necklace: The Southern Rose | Groom’s Suit: Binghams Clothing: Columbia, MO Men’s Store | Signature Pies: Peggy Jean’s Pies | All Natural Wedding Cake: Good Food Co. | Olive Oil and Gourmet Vinegar Favors: Boone Olive Oil Co. | Table Runner: Silk & Willow | Styling Ribbons: @waltandlo | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Organic Seed Paper Confetti: Swoon Party Shop | Models: Dustin and Alycia Hale Maasen and MacKenzie Knierim

Careful Consideration

Photo compliments of Love Tree Studios

It’s been a while since I talked about an event-specific topic and since I’ve stumbled upon this a few times with clients lately, I thought I would put together a post. When you’re planning an event, you want the day to be about you: your wedding day, your milestone birthday, your retirement, etc. But in order to properly do so, you want to take into consideration outside factors. Let me explain.

In Columbia, it’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to wait to book their fall wedding until after the Mizzou football schedule comes out. To some people who aren’t from Columbia, this sounds crazy. But Columbia is the kind of town that completely revolves around the game on football Saturdays. Plus now that we have joined the SEC, you also have to think about hotel room availability, especially if you have a lot of out of town guests.

Or how about traffic and road closures. The country club I work at happens to be very close to the location where Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ takes place. And each year, the roads are re-routed to improve the flow of traffic to the festival. But that means the normal route to the country club is closed off and routed a different way. You need to think about that in order to give your guests the best set of directions or at least a heads up, so they aren’t late to your celebration. Other examples of events that might re-route or cause traffic issues are races, concerts and parades.

Photo compliments of Silverbox Photography.

Parades tend to coincide with holidays, which is something else you want to take into consideration when choosing a date. Some people think it’s best to host an event on a holiday weekend because that usually means there’s an additional day off from work and gives people time to travel. Although this is true, in my experience, attendance is always down on holiday weekends. There’s usually multiple commitments on these weekends, family activities are a high priority and travel is more expensive.

Speaking of money, you also want to consider prices on holiday weekends. A lot of venues will have higher rental prices on holidays, or you might have to pay extra for additional staffing. Or how about floral prices that skyrocket around Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc? There might be some additional costs that will really break the bank when it comes to adhering to your budget.

These are just some simple reminders of things you might want to consider when picking a date. It’s easy to put blinders on and only focus on specific details when you really want the whole experience for your guests from travel to event to home to be positive!

 

Product Pick: The Perfect Summer Shoe

I’ve found it! This one staple shoe (OK, maybe not only shoe since “one” and “shoe” never belong in the same sentence anyways…) is exactly what you need for the transition from spring to summer.

Introducing my new obsession, the Women’s Matti Heeled Buckle Ankle Strap Sandal from Universal Thread. First of all, can we take a minute just to applaud Target for its Universal Thread line? Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to. I own pretty much everything in it.

I own these shoes in olive, and they are perfect for every occasion and every situation. Since becoming a mom, I have really struggled with heels. I have always been a heel girl, but trekking down the stairs to daycare or getting up and down from the ground with a little one wearing sky-high stilettos isn’t quite as practical as it used to be. That’s why I love these sandals. They have that chunky heel that is very in with just enough height to make it feel like I am actually wearing heels (because I despise kitten heels), but they are comfortable enough to Mom so hard in.

And in addition to that, I’ve always had to rely on flats while working events because I average 15,000+ steps during large events, and heels just don’t work with that kind of mileage. But these! These are so comfortable and still offer the heel option.

They’re available in black and olive, but I love the olive because it serves two purposes. It’s just enough color to add a little pop to a monochromatic outfit but still neutral enough to wear with lots of outfits.

So, moral of the story is if you don’t own these, you need to go buy them!

This or That: Online RSVP or Snail Mail RSVP

I get this question all the time! Is it acceptable to choose to do online RSVPS? On this one, I am going to get straight to the point.

Non-Wedding Celebrations:
Go for the digital option or the old-fashioned telephone. Unless it’s a crazy large party, these RSVPs are easy to control. Some people are even open to text reservations depending on how small or intimate the event might be.

Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions:

Photo compliments of Catherine Rhodes Photography.

I’m old school on this one, which is rare since I am completely OK with brides and grooms not following tradition. I feel that these days, it’s completely up to you which traditions you would like to include and which ones you don’t. But on RSVPs, my vote is to go the traditional route.

I know it’s increases the price of your invitation suite and increases the amount of postage you need an ultimately increases the total cost, but for a formal even that only (hopefully) takes place once in your life, I think a handheld, paper RSVP is necessary. If you spend all this money on a beautiful handmade, calligraphy inscribed invitation, spending the extra money on the mail-in paper RSVP is necessary. There are other areas you can cut costs or be more financially cautious, but in my opinion this is not the place.

Product Pick: Tory Burch Travel Pouch

First things first! No, I am not a fashion blogger nor am I pretending to be one. I just had to share this product with you all because it’s become an everyday staple in my life whether I’m running around in my Mom jeans with my daughter or running a 300-person event.

My sister got me this pouch for my birthday and at the time, I thought it was cute and could see myself using it when I wanted to add a fun punch of color to an outfit, but now that I don’t have enough hands to carry yet another bag, it has become a MUST HAVE in my wardrobe.

I find myself most frequently using it when I’m running around with Parker. We received this super cute diaper bag for her shower and once I have that, her car seat carrier, my phone and car keys, I’ve run out of hands to also carry a purse with. It’s perfect for popping in the diaper bag because it’s not too big. But it’s decent enough in size to be able to hold all the essentials of a wallet along with my favorite lip gloss, cell phone and hand sanitizer (because with flu season, I just can’t go without it).

I also love it on days when I work weddings or big events. I usually pack a bag in the morning with a change of clothes and makeup for touch ups because let’s be honest, you can’t do event set-up in a dress. So, this is the perfect bag to throw into a larger bag and be ready to go for the whole day.

The one I currently have, I couldn’t find still for sale, but I found a few other options I thought I would share with you. All are at different price points, so you can find one that matches your budget best. Happy shopping!

Turn-lock Envelope Pouch, Tory Burch, $198

Lauren Clutch Wallet, Hobo Bags, $87.80

Zip-Top Charging Wristlet Clutch, Old Navy, $22

 

This or That: Cocktail Reception or Seated Dinner?

Welcome to the first official This or That post! This mini blog series will feature two different options or controversial topics that I will share my thoughts on and weigh in on the pros and cons. If there’s a topic you ever want me to cover, let me know!

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day and we will be wrapping up engagement season soon, I know a lot of couples are plugging away at reception details. So, today’s This or That topic is hors d’evours reception versus seated dinner.

Usually, there are two determining factors behind deciding on the food service style: price and atmosphere.

Price:
If you’re basing your decision solely on your budget, I recommend going with a seated dinner. Most people opt for a hors d’evours reception because they think it’s going to save some money. In actuality, that’s not always the case. If you’re serving food over a traditional mealtime, guests are still going to consume the same amount of food because it’s replacing a meal. Guests could consume even more if they are served buffet style because it encourages grazing versus food being served directly to them.

If price is your determining factor, I would recommend opting for  seated meal and weighing the pros and cons between buffet and plated service instead. This way, your guests are guaranteed to eat a delicious meal, and the caterer should ensure you don’t run out of food. Plus, it keeps the vibe of a traditional wedding reception and creates a more captive audience during dances and speeches.

Photo courtesy of Scott Patrick Myers Photography.

Atmosphere:
If you’re selecting a service style based on atmosphere, then I would definitely recommend an hor d’evours reception. More and more often I see traditional sit down meals replaced with passed appetizers and food stations. This organically cultivates a mingling atmosphere and encourages guests to move about the space.

Action stations are ideal when you want your event to feel upbeat and interactive. They offer cook-to-order or customizable food options that are prepared in front of you by a chef. Build-your-own taco stations, pasta stations or even sushi stations can be unique adds to your events that will have guests talking about them long after the evening is over. Maybe even think about incorporating brunch options into an evening event with a DIY crepe station. The possibilities are truly endless!