Planning Your Daughter’s Enchanted Garden Quinceañera Reception in the Bay Area

Posted on June 8, 2017

Planning your daughter’s quinceañera reception can be one of your greatest pleasures as a parent. From finding the perfect dress to booking a beautiful venue, there is no better way to bond with your sweet little girl as she prepares to transition into a beautiful young woman.

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3 Family Reunion Theme Ideas for Bay Area Fun

Posted on June 6, 2017

At our last family reunion, there were 37 of us. My little 9-year-old niece was the emcee for our talent show, and we saw everything from Grandpa juggling fruit to one of the other kids reading her favorite class paper on Anne of Green Gables. We get together every year, and every year seems to be more memorable than the last. It helps that we choose a theme for each gathering because, that way, everyone gets excited about it way ahead of time and brings their own special spark to add to our enduring family flame.

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Choosing the Perfect Bay Area Venue for Your Daughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday Party

Posted on June 1, 2017

When I went to my niece’s recent sweet 16 party, there was a part of the celebration that brought tears to my eyes—a candle ceremony. This is a beautiful ritual where the birthday girl calls upon all of the most important people in her life to help her light seventeen candles. With each candle, she extends gratitude to the people who have shaped her and shares personal stories illustrating their significance to her. It’s a heartwarming custom that really demonstrates the beauty and deep significance of this precious coming of age celebration.

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How to Embrace a Unique and Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script

Posted on May 30, 2017

Non-traditional wedding ceremony scripts are becoming more popular as couples make their weddings perfectly unique.

There are enough movies that capture the traditional wedding ceremony and solidify its iconic language, it’s not uncommon to begin thinking they must be the standard. For all of our diversity, it’s pretty amazing that we do have an ingrained idea of the traditional wedding ceremony script. It might even be hard to imagine your wedding taking a different course, but don’t let that challenge hold you back if your vision includes a unique and personal wedding ceremony.

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Planning Your Teen’s Coming-of-Age Celebration at an Distinctive Bay Area Venue

Posted on May 28, 2017

Those toddler days were a cake-walk compared to parenting a teenager. Your adolescent is so busy now with school work, friends, and extracurriculars, that sometimes you feel like you hardly see them. When you do connect, it’s only to manage the logistics of how to get from here to there. Then, something happens in her life, perhaps an unexpected challenge or even a defeat, and she draws close to you again. You want to squeal with delight and tear up at the same time. It’s hard to believe, but your once wide-eyed baby is nearing adulthood.

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Unique Ideas for Hanging Wedding Decorations: Lights, Flowers, and Frames

Posted on May 25, 2017

Hanging lights and decorations can bring your wedding setting to a new dimension.

When I think of some of the most romantic weddings that I’ve attended, the two images that immediately come to mind are watching the couple wed under ethereal hanging flowers and then dancing the night away beneath a sky of twinkle lights. When I think about what makes these two images particularly special, I realize that it is the hanging decorations. When it comes to wedding decor ideas, hanging features are not only a good use of space, they are also visually appealing. Things like twinkle lights, flowers and plants of all varieties, and picture frames strung near the guest tables or dessert tables all conjure a sense of whimsy and enchantment.

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Achieve Company Goals by Planning an Off-Site Project Team Meeting at a California Nature-Inspired Retreat

Posted on May 21, 2017

An off-site company meeting in nature can wake up your team and their project goals.

The clock tick-tick-tocks from the far wall. Someone shifts uncomfortably in their conference table chair. A sniffle, a throat clears, and I glance down at my phone. Again. We’re all gathered here for another “Project Status Update” meeting. But we all know what will actually happen: We’ll fixate on details, wade through more reports, and offer some disinterested insight. It’s a demoralizing endurance test, repeated weekly, that never really feels like it moves the ball forward. At least, not in any way that’s truly meaningful to those in the room.

I start daydreaming about what I really want to contribute to the C-suite’s perspective; I want to say: “There’s another way to do this! We could re-energize our team and increase trust and respect if we could just get out of this stuffy conference room—if we could have some fun and feel more like ourselves. I know that would galvanize results!”

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Creative Ideas for 2017 Father’s Day Events in the Bay Area and Beyond

Posted on May 19, 2017

The Bay Area is full of creative ideas for Father's Day in 2017.

When I was growing up, Father’s Day often meant making my dad one of his favorite meals — like Mom’s insanely good cheesy tuna casserole she learned from summers spent in Texas and coconut ice cream covered in Corn Flakes as dessert. Music would play in the background and we’d sit around a bonfire outside and share stories.

My dad’s a simple guy and as my siblings and I got older, roles shifted a bit and all he wanted was to spend Father’s Day with all us kids in one place, barbecuing burgers, going for an afternoon dip in the ocean, or venturing on a walk through the grove to see his new banana plants.

Just as mothers are honored on their special day in May, fathers deserve an equally thoughtful time spent enjoying what they love with the people they love. Whether it’s some sort of outdoor activity, something to do with barbecue or ice cream, gardening, or cooking, the most important thing is that it’s a memorable day of appreciation and time together. Here are just a few ideas to help you plan a way to honor your father that he will enjoy and be grateful for.

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How to Plan a Relaxed Morning Timeline for Your Brunch Wedding Reception

Posted on May 12, 2017

Brunch, as a concept and an event, was designed to lighten things up. In his article “Brunch: A Plea,” English writer Guy Beringer became famous for officiating the marriage between breakfast and lunch all the way back in 1895. He introduces the weekend celebration:

Brunch is cheerful, sociable, and inciting. […] It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.

By planning a wedding brunch instead of the traditional evening celebration, you’re opening wide the doors for a relaxed, casual, charming, and light-hearted reception. You want the planning to be as stress-free as possible, but you also want the day itself to be easy and spacious. It’s definitely a good idea to sit down early in the planning process to map out the morning wedding timeline, leaving plenty of space for your brunch reception and any other wedding activities.

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7 Ways to Take Rest Breaks at Work, Inspired by Bay Area Corporate Retreats

Posted on May 12, 2017

I have a friend who swears by her mid-morning upside down break. Every day at 10am, she gets up from her desk, goes over to the couch, sits, swings her feet up and around so her legs rest against the back of the couch, and lets her head hang upside down past the front edge of the seat. She says she has done it so many times that it’s like coming home, and she immediately lands in a place of calm retreat. Her breathing naturally slows, and no matter what was going on before the break, she can ease into a smile.

My friend is really committed to this daily break time—as brief as it is. She even tries to fit it in during busy weekends as she’s rushing around the Bay Area to drop kids off at swim practice and birthday parties and to tend their community garden. If she absolutely has to schedule a work meeting during the 10 o’clock hour, she’ll reschedule her 7-minute upside down time for a little earlier or later. Regardless of what the inverted relaxation is doing for her, she’s giving herself a gift just by recognizing and standing by her need for time out.

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