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Host the Perfect Spring Night at Home

We love picnics and parks on spring days, but a night in with friends can be equally fun—especially if snacks and wine are involved! “The definition of ‘a perfect spring night’ to me is a night spent on a comfy couch or porch with a delicious bottle of rosé wine, light snacks, beautiful flowers, and great friends,” says Amanda of Fashionable Hostess. Read on for her tips on hosting a fabulous spring night in!

  • Serve light snacks like a simple cheese board.
    Amanda shares, “while I love an elaborate cheese board (see this FH post), a simple heart brie from Trader Joe’s is all I need to make me smile (of course paired back to a beautiful cheese knife like this Rock Cheese Knife from my Michael Aram set).”
  • Make dessert count.
    Amanda ends the night with her husband’s favorite dessert: macarons. “I love displaying them on a mini cake stand (how cute are these from Pottery Barn?!) for the finishing touch!” she adds.

For the full post and more entertaining inspiration, check out Fashionable Hostess!

Photography: Fashionable Hostess

12 Mexican Inspired Desserts Perfect for Cinco de Mayo

If you’re lucky to have an abuela feeding you tres leches cake, creamy dulce de leche and spicy Mexican chocolate on Cinco de Mayo, we’re available for adoption! If you fall in the unlucky lot, no need to fret—we’ve rounded up our 12 favorite Mexican-inspired desserts, like easy mango popsicles, genius fried cinnamon sugar tortillas, and more twists on classic Mexican treats to save the day!

12 Mexican Inspired Desserts Perfect for Cinco de Mayo
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12 Mexican Inspired Desserts Perfect for Cinco de Mayo
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Simple Cake Decorating Inspiration

We’d all love to bake like the pros, but in reality, decorating a cake can leave your kitchen looking more like a disaster zone then the chic bakeries of Paris. But with some simple decorating inspiration, you can have cakes that only look like they were made by the pros. Get 5 amazingly simple cake decorating ideas in the video below!

 

12 Recipes Totally Worthy of Mom

Whether Mom is coming to visit, or you’re going home, this Mother’s Day (lucky you!), you may be called upon to whip something up to impress the most discerning of dinner guests: Mom. Have no fear, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite recipes guaranteed to meet the rigorous standard of the most important woman in your life (we’ve also got great gifts and activity ideas sure to impress Mom, as well!).

12 Recipes Totally Worthy of Mom
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12 Recipes Totally Worthy of Mom
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Behind The Blog: Prosecco & Plaid

Truth be told, I’ve been a huge fan of the lovely Jess from Prosecco & Plaid for some time now. We recently connected and let me tell you, she’s even lovelier than you can imagine (and that’s saying something if you’ve seen her instagram account). Today we get to take a little look into her gorgeous life in Newport, and find out what really makes her tick (spoiler alert: margaritas are involved – see why I love her so?).

SMP: Some words you live by?
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take”

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?
Margarita on the rocks w/ salt … and bacon, always bacon.

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?
I’ve been all over the place with what I’ve wanted to. I wanted to be a vet for a long time because I have such a deep love for animals but the whole dealing with blood thing sort of turned me off of that. I studied journalism in college and wanted to work at a magazine but realized I couldn’t live in NY off of a starting salary at a fashion magazine so I ended up taking a job in the corporate world at a consulting firm. I thought maybe I’d follow that track but it didn’t make me happy. I started my blog as a creative outlet that I needed from my consulting job and as a way to try and get a job in fashion, and when I realized I could make a living doing it everything just sort of fell into place.

SMP: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
Follow your dreams. Scare yourself. Take risks. It wasn’t until I truly did those things that I found happiness and fulfillment.

SMP: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?
Know your vision and stay true to yourself. There are a bajillion bloggers out there. What sets you apart is important. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Be you. That’s what people connect with.

SMP: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Allow yourself to check out. We live in a 24/7 world now and at my old job I would sleep with my blackberry under my pillow. I never took vacation and answered every email the second it came in. With blogging I was doing the same thing and I love it so it doesn’t feel like work, but you have to take a break and put your phone down. When I go out with friends or sit down to dinner I don’t even look at my phone. You’ve got to live in the moment and observe whats around you. Life is short you have to enjoy actually living it.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned? 
Particularly in the beginning of my career I had a difficult time taking criticism. I am my own harshest critic so being critiqued by someone else would crush me. But criticism and feedback is actually incredibly helpful and can teach you things about yourself you might not otherwise learn. And don’t take no for an answer (I think as women we do this way too often). You don’t want to piss someone off or be obnoxious but you’re not always going to get the result you want on the first try. Keep going and keep asking until you get what you want.

SMP: Stranded on a desert island question… what’s the one cocktail you would take with you?
Margarita (on the rocks with salt). And probably a coconut water for the next morning.

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?
An all white or all black look are always chic.

SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?
A 1969 mint green Ford F100

SMP: One thing you can’t live without?
In terms of fashion, sunglasses

SMP: Your secret to success?
Probably not a secret but hard work, determination, supportive friends and family and a sense of humor

SMP: Number one interior design tip?
Fresh flowers make all the difference

SMP: One place everyone must visit in their lifetime?
It’s a toss up between the Alps in Switzerland and Mal Pais in Costa Rica. Both absolutely breathtaking.

SMP: Best moment of your career so far?
I was featured in Marie Claire this month so that was pretty cool. I think the best moment(s) have been the friends I’ve made through blogging who I never would have met otherwise.

SMP: Advice you’d give to your younger self?
Chill out. I stressed out WAY too much, particularly at my first job to the point that it was making me sick. Sometimes you’ve got to just take a deep breath, smile, and realize everything will be ok.

SMP: Your go-to recipe?
Beer margaritas.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had one.

SMP: The best advice you’ve ever received?
Changed my whole perspective, my Great Aunt said to me “find what you love and do that.” I had it

SMP: What’s a typical work day for you like?
One of the best things about being a blogger is that everyday is different (however I start every day with coffee no matter what). A lot of days I’m doing stuff that isn’t really very glamorous, planning content, corresponding with brands, scouting locations, editing photos, tracking projects, but the nice thing about working for myself is that I get to take my dog for a walk whenever I want. In the summer I swim everyday no matter what. We only have four-five months of summer here (and the winter is BRUTAL) so you have to take advantage of every single day.

Photography: Craigs Mackay | Styling: Jess Kirby Of Prosecco & Plaid