How to Throw a Themed Exchange Party

April 17, 2014

Zooey Magazine, Party

Zooey Magazine, Party

As a wardrobe stylist and blogger for Art in the Find Styling in San Diego, I am constantly looking for ways to connect ladies together as part of my business. I love what I do as a stylist. Part of that comes from putting together a great party and seeing the happiness on women’s faces when surrounded by stylish goodies in a fun environment. Lately, the exchange party trend has been spreading around. I mean, who doesn’t love a good party? And a great swap of clothes, accessories, or home goods? You don’t have to spend much and you get a bunch of great gently used, now newly loved, goodies for you or your home. Having just recently thrown my own La Bonne Vie French inspired Accessory Exchange at a boutique in San Diego, I wanted to share with you a few tips to inspire you to host a fun, successful exchange of your own!

Tip 1: Think Ahead

Decide what to exchange, what do you have extra of? Books? Accessories, tops, shoes? All of these can be used for a themed exchange! Give yourself at least a month to plan and time for gals to gather up goodies to exchange.

Pick a theme & invite a small number of participants – Once you’ve decided what you want to exchange, make it pop by picking a theme. Use Pinterest for inspiration and develop snacks, drinks, and decor around that theme. Make signs, invites, desserts, all centered around the theme for a cohesive event.

Art in the Find’s Inspiration: La Bonne Vie Pinterest Board

Tip 2: Be Personal

As you’re planning, think about ways you can make your exchange a bit more personal…Create cloth napkins out of fabric rather than using paper napkins. Or use a variety of glassware to create an eclectic mix, rather than plastic cups. It makes the exchange feel much more personal and your guests will appreciate it!

Tip 3: Plan, Adapt, and Ask for Help Along the Way

Initiate to-do lists and ask for help (you can’t do it alone!), Have lists for decor, another for food to buy, make, and an additional one for set-up items. Check off items from your list and be ready to make changes and adjust your lists as the event draws near.

Ask a few people if they would be willing to assist you in the prep & set up, and take-down. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the event that much more because you’ve delegated small tasks to helpers rather than trying to do it all on your own!

Tip 4: Be In the Moment – The Party is Starting!

Before the party starts, have drinks pre-poured & set up ahead of time for guests to enjoy when they arrive.

A great intro is everything! Create a fun “menu” of directions for the exchange to pass out to guests or as a list written out on a chalkboard so that it is easy to see and understand.

As an icebreaker, have a great introduction theme game or cute name tags to get your guests warmed up! Prep goodie bags for guests to stash all their newly loved items they’ve scored!

Once all the lists are checked off, your party is set up, and your guests have arrived, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the exchange. Bon Fete!

Zooey Magazine, Party

Clear, themed signs helps to create a lovely, themed event

Zooey Magazine, Party

Printed images from Minted used for the French theme

Zooey Magazine, Party

Cloth napkins, cut from fabric, add a personal touch

Zooey Magazine, Party

French-inspired Madeleines made by a friend, food blogger The Incidental Spoon

Zooey Magazine, Party

Pre-pour drinks ahead of time, in lovely, eclectic glassware for a personal touch

Zooey Magazine, Party

An accessory match game for guests arriving. Find your matching accessory and meet a new friend!

Zooey Magazine, Party

Plates and platters were laid out for guests to place accessories on, French patisserie style

Zooey Magazine, Party

Zooey Magazine, Party

French-inspired menu of desserts and snacks fit in with the exchange theme

Happy planning!

Story & Styling // Conni Jespersen of Art in the Find Styling
Photography // Andrea Gallagher Photography
Location // Vocabulary Boutique
Theme // French-inspired La Bonne Vie Accessory Exchange

The Definition of Motherhood

April 17, 2014

We here at Zooey Magazine, love Ruche. Infatuated, if you must say. Today, they have released their beautiful video on “The Definition of Motherhood” with our friends from The Granny Girls and more. We’re bawling… Are you?

Moms, we really love you and can never thank you enough.

Rose and Lavender

April 16, 2014

Eat Sweets Pastry, Rose Shortbread

Eat Sweets Pastry, Rose Shortbread

Eat Sweets Pastry, Lavender Shortbread

Eat Sweets Pastry, Lavender Shortbread

Spring is in the air and with flowers everywhere in full bloom it’s hard to resist picking them all! We’d all agree those gorgeous blossoms are stunning additions to any garden or bud vase, but have you ever thought about incorporating these intoxicating scents into tasty treats straight from your kitchen?

I love the idea of baking with flowers; they add such a delicate and sophisticated layer to even the simplest of sweets. Two of my warm-weather favorites are rose and lavender, both deliciously fragrant and well suited for baking. Not only does each have an incredible depth of flavor, essential oils responsible for their heady aromas have some pretty amazing medicinal benefits. Rose is chock-full of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A, C and E while the soothing effects of lavender have been shown to help lower blood pressure and regulate digestion. In order to reap the full benefit of each flower’s medicinal properties it’s best to use a mix of food grade essential oils and dried herbs/flowers– you’d literally have to eat one hundred rose petals to get the same punch as one drop of rose water.

There are so many ways to work floral notes into desserts, but my all time favorite vehicle is butter and at Eat Sweets Pastry we’re all about rich, buttery shortbread. With only four simple ingredients to contend with, the warm floral notes of Spring will shine right through and add a wonderful sweetness and depth to the cookie. Bite into one, take a nice hot sip of tea and let your thoughts drift. You’ll have a smile ear to ear, promise.

Rose Shortbread
1C Butter
2C AP Flour
1/2 C Confectioners Sugar
Pinch Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Rose Water
Dried Roses

Cream butter until light and fluffy, add rose water and beat for ten seconds. Add confectioners sugar, mix until well blended. Add AP Flour, rose petals and salt, mixing until dough comes together. Turn onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/2″ thickness. Cut out and chill for at least an hour before baking @350 until edges start to brown. Dip in white chocolate and garnish with rose petals.

*Alt Recipe: To make lavender shortbread, simply substitute food grade lavender oil for the rose water. Before baking, top with crystal sugar and dried lavender flowers.

Story and Recipe // Megan Driscoll of Eat Sweets Pastry

A Mother’s Day Brunch

April 15, 2014

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

Mother's Day, Zooey Magazine

We over at Paper Fox LA and the Granny Girls (Amanda Crew and Amber Borycki) have been planning to do some sort of collaboration this year and finally decided to do a Mother’s Day Brunch together. As we were going through the details, we realized that the majority of our moms lived far away and we probably wouldn’t be seeing them this Mother’s Day! I was bummed that we would be planning such a beautiful event that our mother’s wouldn’t get to enjoy, until I remembered that Amber of the Granny Girls was pregnant and going to be a mommy just before Mother’s Day. So, obviously, we threw her an early Mother’s day celebration!

Paper Fox LA is all about blending bright, modern colors palettes with soft details. For this event we decided wanted to bump up the traditional soft, mother’s day floral look with an edgier color scheme, paired with giant paper flowers and geometric shapes. I loved mixing the natural birch branches with the surreal watercolor color painted flowers for our centerpiece. My favorite detail of the event was our tassel garland backdrop. I just adore seeing the bright paper in a rustic, natural setting like this!

The Granny Girls whipped up their most amazing Blueberry Buttermilk Scones for the event and looked beautiful on our bright CB2 yellow appetizer plates. And they tasted ah-mazing, of course. They also made these gorgeous dip-dyed napkins for the table setting, for which you can learn how to make on their blog!

We had so much fun celebrating Amber and drinking our Blood Orange Mimosa’s. We hope these photos inspire you to throw a Mother’s Day event for the mother’s in your life!

If you don’t feel like making any of the pretty paper decorations, they’re also available for sale at the Paper Fox LA shop!

Keep your eye out for more DIY posts from this event right here on Zooey and the Granny Girls! For now, we hope you enjoy this little sneak peek of all that is to come.

Story // Lauren of Paper Fox LA
Photographer // Andrew James Abajian
Dresses // JUNIM Los Angeles
Jewelry // Katie Dean Jewelry
Furniture // Etablir Vintage Event Rentals
Location // Haley Solar of JUNIM Los Angeles