Category: Events

Hello everyone!!  I hope you are having a splendid week so far.  😉  Today is a special day for many reasons.  First, it’s my birthday!  I’m not a big ‘birthday person,’ so March 7th really just means fancy dinner reservations.  haha  But March 7th took on some extra significance when my doctor told me last summer that my estimated due date was today.  You can imagine my complete shock upon hearing that.  At the time, I was still getting used to the idea of being pregnant.  It seemed all too perfect that she was due on my birthday, too.  😉  Although I never expected her to really arrive today (less than 5% of babies are born on their actual due dates), it was a fun fact.  Olive still has time to be in that 5% minority, if she’d like!  For now, she seems more than comfy in the womb and I’m practicing my patience, awaiting her arrival.

Today I thought I’d share some pictures from my baby shower back in January!  I actually was blessed to have three amazing showers thrown by loved ones, but this one was the largest.  My sister, Anna, and dearest friends, Michelle (of Love and Splendor) and Kristin (of Petal and Thorn), threw this shower for me, along with my mommy (excited first-time grandma!).  The design of the shower was inspired by the whimsical Joel Dewberry fabric I chose in making Olive’s crib bedding.  I was really drawn to the slightly retro patterns and totally fresh colors: saffron, persimmon, aqua and white.

The celebration all took place at one of my favorite LA restaurants: Lucques.  Their lovely courtyard patio made a charming backdrop for the festivities and the seasonal 3-course menu allowed guests to enjoy dishes like a persimmon and pomegranate salad with burrata as well as braised short ribs with swiss chard.  Food is a big deal to me so while I was not privy to the details and design of the shower, I did request that I pick the menu.  😉  Lucques also created a specialty cocktail and mocktail for both guests and mommies-to-be (there were 7 in attendance!) with raspberry and fennel.

Every detail was thought out with love, from handmade felt mobiles (which now grace Olive’s nursery) to a French Dr. Seuss book used as a guestbook (French is my second language).  Tables were covered with aqua patterned linens from La Tavola, and a custom game of “I Spy” was placed at each setting.  Decorations included cheerful centerpieces crafted by Kristin (a former florist) and DIY thumbtack and fabric-covered spheres.  {found} vintage rentals also created a cozy lounge for opening presents.

Guests traveled from San Diego to San Luis Obispo to shower Olivia! Michelle kicked off the shower by reading a poem (“The Love of a Mother”), and the formal meal was concluded with desserts brought in by my dear friend and another mama-to-be, Melody from Sweet and Saucy Shop. After the adorable gifts were opened, each guest departed with a bottle of olive oil (“Olivia Oil,” to be exact!) to commemorate the sweet occasion.

This was one of the most joyful days of my life (I don’t say that lightly) because being surrounded by the love of my favorite women, most of them mothers themselves, was truly a blessing.  Here’s some glimpses of the day courtesy of the lovely Jessica Claire

and yes, i think i’ll end with this pic 🙂

{ vendors }

  • location & catering: lucques, west hollywood

Hope you all enjoyed this little sneak peek at such a special day for me.  Grateful for each of you who stop by to read & comment on this blog!

xoxo, Angel

Hello lovely readers!!  I am still reeling from the utter perfection and beauty that was our wedding on Saturday… wait until you see the insanely gorgeous photos from this one!!  🙂 🙂  Today I am happy to share a fabulous new giveaway with all of you!  (I hope you don’t mind all the giveaways… but who doesn’t love free stuff??)  If you have been a blog reader for any length of time, you will know that I L-O-V-E food.  Cooking and fine dining have always been passions of mine.  I love to watch people cook, cook things myself, and eat delicious things other people cook for me!  Well here in Los Angeles, we are gearing up for a huge event called THE TASTE.  It is sponsored by the LA Times and is a fantastic celebration (a self-proclaimed “culinary spectacular,” if you will) of all things food, wrapped up in 9 events over 4 days.

Imagine unlimited food tastings and drinks from some of the best local restaurants and chefs.  Add in presentations from celebrity chefs, cooking demos, and live music… and you have the recipe for quite the tasty weekend.  🙂  Tickets are now on sale but guess what?  Thanks to my super-fab insider at the Times… Not one but TWO of my lucky readers will win a pair (so each winner gets a pair) of tickets to the event of their choice that weekend!!!!  You can pick from these 9 fabulous events:

  • Burgers & Beer (7-10p) on Friday, 9/2
  • Art of Mixing (9p-midnight) on Friday, 9/2
  • Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar (11a-3p) on Saturday, 9/3
  • Taco Tequila Tryst (7-10p) on Saturday, 9/3
  • Fashion Bites Brunch (10a-2p) on Sunday, 9/4
  • Street Eats (4-8p) on Sunday, 9/4
  • Desserts after Dark (8-11p) on Sunday, 9/4
  • Food Noir (8p-midnight) on Sunday, 9/4
  • Picnic in the Hills (noon-4p) on Monday, 9/5

Check this site out to read about the details & participating chefs and restaurants for each event.  I’m curious to see if one of the winners picks the event I am attending (unfortunately I can only make one event that weekend… but it’s a great one!)… I will keep that under wraps for now.  😉

Here are the simple instructions on how to enter!

  • Make sure you “like” Events of Love and Splendor on Facebook before entering (I really want the winners to be L&S faithfuls <3)
  • Comment below and let me know which of the 9 events you would want to attend if you are a winner
  • Tell me your favorite soCal eatery… it could be a restaurant, a taco stand, a food truck or a cupcake shop!  I just want to add to my list of yummy hotspots!
That’s it!  To ensure you have a chance to win, make sure you follow all 3 instructions above.  Entries will be accepted until this Friday (8/26) morning at 11a.m. PST.  The winners will be announced shortly thereafter, around lunchtime PST.  😉  Of course, the winners will need to be a local soCal-ers or someone who is willing to travel to soCal for the festivities.  😉
Check back on Friday to see all the great eateries the entrants list for us in the comments and of course… to see if you’re one of the big winners!!  Best of luck and have a marvelous day~
P.S. Love and Splendor is not affiliated with The LA Times or this event.  This is simply a gift to our readers from a friend at the newspaper!  🙂  We are not receiving anything in exchange for sharing this giveaway.  Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I wanted to quickly drop in and share that the organic and nature-inspired baby shower we planned for Kristin of Petal and Thorn is featured today on “On To Baby.” If you haven’t checked out this blog, you are missing out on the most lovely and inspiring spot on the web for mothers and mothers-to-be!  I will admit I am one of those non-mothers who can’t get enough of nursery design, baby showers, and birthday parties.  😉  I am definitely going to be in trouble when I join the mommy club!!

photos by the lovely and fabulous Trista Lerit

A million thanks again to everyone involved with this shower, as well as the ladies of On To Baby for the great feature!!

Planning: Angel Swanson, Events of Love and Splendor, along with sister of mom-to-be, Jennyln, and friend Chie
Event Design, Florals, Paper Goods, & Signage: Angel Swanson, Events of Love and Splendor
Furniture & Decor Rentals: {found} vintage rentals
Cake, Desserts, & Favors: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Food: Homemade by Kristin’s sister Jennylyn

See you all again very soon; have a wonderful day!



Happy Friday, loves!  I’m so happy to *finally* share this post on how to plan a successful shower (baby, bridal or otherwise!).  You may remember that this post was inspired by the baby shower I threw for Kristin earlier this month.  It was a true joy to plan a special celebration honoring my best friend, and it reminded me that there are many peripheral events that come with planning a wedding.  Although that shower was for a mother-to-be (rather than a bride-to-be), the basic elements of shower planning are the same.  So, today I’ll be sharing a little insight into how I (along with Kristin’s sister, Jennylyn, and neighbor, Chie) put together a beautiful, well-organized bash.  I hope this is helpful for some of you out there, as I imagine most of my readers will eventually help plan or throw a shower at some point.

  1. Consult the guest of honor and set the date & time of the shower.  (For mommies-to-be, 1-2 months prior to the EDD is great.  For brides-to-be, I suggest 2+ months prior to the wedding day, as the final month before the wedding can be very hectic with seating charts, escort cards, etc.)
  2. Discuss any preferences for the celebration with the guest of honor.  Do they have an opinion on the scale, style, or size of the shower?
  3. Obtain a guest list from the guest of honor.
  4. Determine a budget for the party.  In this case, we had 3 contributors (me, Jennylyn, Chie).  We chatted about what each of us would be able to contribute and set a rough budget.
  5. Conceive a look/feel/style for the shower.  To start, you will need to select your location.  (In our case, we were throwing the shindig at Kristin’s home!)  After the setting is determined, you can flesh out the design from there.  For Krissy, I wanted to capture her personality in every aspect of the planning.  You can read this post for a rundown on my “earth mama” inspiration for the shower.  Although Kris is having a girl, she didn’t want to go over-the-top girly with designing her daughter’s nursery.  So I took the same approach with the shower, and went with a subtlely feminine twist on the mostly woodsy, natural & neutral décor.
  6. Book major vendors (or make arrangements for the following): catering, desserts + cake, rentals (tables and chairs at least).  Your needs in this area will also be dictated by the location you selected.  If you chose a tea house or restaurant, for example, your food + rentals might already be covered.
  7. Delegate responsibilities amongst hosts/hostesses.  Tasks may include: making or ordering invitations, stuffing + mailing out invitations, creating signage for the shower, organizing a guestbook of some sort, acting as point-person with the caterer and/or baker, ordering the rentals, tracking RSVPs, sourcing and preparing decorations, planning games or activities (in our case, a craft), etc.
  8. Send out invitations to guests, ideally 6+ weeks in advance (I like 8 as a general rule).  Make your RSVP date at least 2 weeks in advance.
  9. Make a loose schedule of what will happen at the shower.  It doesn’t need to be a minute-by-minute timeline, but it should list what needs to happen and in what order.  In our case: guest arrival, guestbook signing + noshing on appetizers, opening gifts, making crafts and indulging in dessert!
  10. Make or purchase decorations for the shower.  If budget allows, you may opt to hire someone to oversee this task (such as a florist).  For Krissy’s shower, I played florist and used various vessels I have in my personal collection, along with some tchotchkes I picked up at my favorite antique stores.  Some specific décor items you might consider: a welcome sign, a banner of some sort (i love “welcome baby _____” banners for a baby shower), small floral arrangements, candles, etc.
  11. Buy any “partyware” you need (if it is not being rented): cups, plates for food and dessert, cutlery, napkins, etc.  For Krissy’s shower, we used sustainable bamboo cutlery and recycled paper products.
  12. Plan out any shower activities and/or games.  We skipped the games for Krissy’s shower and instead planned a craft activity (a huge hit!).  Purchase any necessary supplies and print out simple instructions to display.  If you’re doing games, make sure you have plenty of pens and/or sharpened pencils to pass out with any handouts.
  13. Receive all of your RSVPs (at LEAST 2 weeks prior to the event date) and follow-up with any stragglers.
  14. Now that you have your final count, update your orders for food, dessert, and rentals with the pertinent vendors.
  15. Make a playlist for the event (some fun background music while guests are arriving and/or eating) and load it onto your iPod; figure out how you will play it at the event (whether plugged into a system at your venue, or simply from an iPod dock for a smaller at-home event).
  16. Make any signage for your food, beverages and desserts (people like to know what they’re about to enjoy!).
  17. Place an order for ice (if needed) or arrange for someone to purchase and deliver it on the day of the event.
  18. Get your gift for the guest of honor and wrap it up!  (I always leave this until the end because I’m so busy with party prep — try to get this done the week before the big day).
  19. Review your shower schedule (timeline) and ensure that you have all of the materials/supplies you need for each part of the celebration.  Pick up any final items and pack up your car. (I like to make a list of everything I am bringing in terms of décor; this way I remember how I’m using it and can keep track of it while packing up!)
  20. The shower is here!!  Set up with your fellow hostesses and aim to have everything set by 45 minutes before guest arrival.  At 15 minutes before invite time, set out your snacks for guests to nosh on as they arrive.  Once the party is underway, try to enjoy as much as possible.  🙂  I made sure to try to sit and be a guest as much as possible.  Plenty of pre-planning will allow you to really soak up the shower, instead of run around like a crazy person on the big day.  😉

I hope this little list was helpful to you!  It may not be exhaustive, but I think it covers the major bases.  Best of luck to all of you planning showers for your loved ones in coming months.  With “engagement season” in full swing, I’m sure there are many showers on the horizon!  At the end of the day, so long as your well-mapped plans are covered in love, everything will turn out beautifully.

xoxo, Angel

P.S. Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!!  I will be back very soon with my 2010 wrap-up and some goals & decisions for 2011.  Reflecting on the last 12 months and looking ahead to the new year fills me with SO much joy.  Thank you so much for another amazing year and here’s to many more~  xoxo

Hello everyone!!  I’m sorry for not returning on Friday (as I had promised) with that shower-planning post.  Unfortunately a family emergency prevented me from doing much of anything on Friday but I am glad to report that things are normalizing now and I will still make good on that promise!  But before I do, I have something even better: EYE CANDY from the actual shower!  All of the stunning images below are from Trista Lerit, the third member of our “hapa trio.”  I know Krissy is so grateful for such gorgeous photos from the baby shower ~ thank you soooo much, Trista!!

In my planning post, I plan to spend a bit more time outlining the process + inspiration behind the shower.  Today I’ll just give you my design summary and the best part: a look at the product itself.  🙂  Enjoy!

Who & What: A shower in honor of Kristin and her baby girl on the way, Siena Marie! Guests included friends from all parts of her life — childhood, family, high school, college, church, and the wedding industry!

When: December 11 ~ a perfect Saturday afternoon in soCal

Where: Kristin’s home in south Orange County, California

How: Since Krissy is sort of a new-school hippie (LOL) and would even call herself a bit “granola,” I wanted to run with a sort of “earth mama” theme.  For those of you who don’t know Kris, she is known to love raw (unpasteruized) milk (she sort of turned me on to it, too…DELICIOUS), go organic & green whenever possible, and is planning to give birth to Siena right in her living room… with the help of hynobirthing. 🙂  My design summary: woodsy, organic, natural, kraft paper brown, mossy green, pops of fuschia (her favorite color) as an accent.

clockwise from top right: glass domes encased my personal collection of ann wood birds + old glass bottles (i collect) held vibrant peonies, tulips and craspedia; i displayed vintage children’s books that i picked up from an antique store for $1 each!!; krissy’s living room was transformed by the gorgeous furniture {found} brought in; i made a simple “siena” banner to hang over the mantle.

the guest sign-in had guests take an Instax Mini photo with the mommy-to-be, and then pen a note to sweet Siena!  i hope she will read them one day and know how loved she was before she even made her earthly debut.  <3

me in the foreground, snapping a pic of kris + her HS friend rachel of heart of light.  if you don’t read rachel’s blog already, you need to.  i have been obsessed for a looong time.  🙂

more ann wood birds, the handmade invitation, some gorgeous flowers + forelle pears.  i used crabapples and forelle pears on tabletops for a little homey accent.

gifts were placed in this chippy bassinet, also from {found}.  i made the simple sign using a white pen and some blank biz card paper.

a closer look at some of the florals.  i’m no florist, but i really enjoy putting small (simple!!) arrangements together for personal events.  the entire process, from the early a.m. at the flower mart to the dirtying of hands while processing the flowers, is really relaxing for me.

kristin’s sister, jennylyn, put together the most incredible spread of mostly organic, completely healthy foods.  the menu was definitely mediterranean leaning, which was especially perfect for showering siena, who will be part Italian.  🙂  i made the little signs and the tulip + peony arrangement on the top left.  the rose + baby’s breath bouquet was on kristin’s counter in the kitchen so we just moved it over!

because the weather was dreamy (and completely unlike the torrential rain-of-the-decade we are currently experiencing), we did gift-opening outside.  i love these chairs from {found}, and the ridiculously beautiful fallen leaves littered on the lawn.  kris said she had *almost* made joe rake up the yard before the shower, but he’d run out of time.  serendipity??

melody from sweet and saucy created this perfect cake!  it was covered in chocolate brown fondant pressed with a faux bois pattern to look like wood.  she added a subtle shimmer to the fondant to really bring out the texture.  the crowning glory was the fuschia sugar (!!) gloriosa lily they crafted.  kris LOVES gloriosa lillies and carried them on her wedding day.

the wooden ironing boards were suggested to me by allison @ {found}.  the second she pointed them out to me, i knew they’d be perfect for displaying dessert.  it was a bit of a precarious task (the ironing boards were a little rickety) but i loved how it turned out.  i ordered mostly rich, chocolatey desserts in honor of kristin’s sweet tooth.  she loves a decadent dessert, while i always prefer something tart/fruity.  the display included mini pumpkin cheesecakes, nutella cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter cupcakes topped with a caramelized banana slice (yum!!) and sugar cookies made to look like sliced tree stumps with an “S” carved in them.  as my own indulgence for the type of dessert i prefer, i had melody make the cake her vanilla cake with lemon cream and fresh raspberries.  delicious!  the mason jars filled with the same layered cake served as favors; melody did the jars and we added little squares of mismatched fabric.

one of kristin’s HS friends (and one of my former clients!!), mercy faith, brought her beautiful daughter to the shower.  isn’t she darling??

time to open presents!

being the dutiful gift secretary 🙂  dvf blouse, anthropologie shorts, f21 leggings, jeffrey campbell boots (my current favorites).

this utterly adorable dress was from trista — impeccable taste, as always.  every guest let out a collective squeal + “awwww” when kris brought this out!

my gifts for siena included this fuschia cropped sweater top that bears a striking resemblance to the mustard-colored one krissy wore in her maternity photos.  🙂  i also got a sparkly black tulle skirt and tee (with a cartoon angel on it, of course) to get her funky from a young age.  LOL

in lieu of any shower games (which kris isn’t particularly fond of — who is?), chie created a craft station where guests could create a onesie or bib for little siena.  it was a HUGE hit and i was wowed by all the creativity.  chie made sure to get onesies in a variety of sizes so siena would be able to wear them throughout her first year.

the hapa trio!

wedding industry ladies!  left to right: christina from simply modern weddings, trista lerit photography, kristin from petal and thorn, courtney from joyful weddings and events (also expecting!!), me + anna from events of love and splendor.

I hope you all enjoyed a little look at this very special shower.  🙂  Many thanks to the following incredible people who were a part of putting the day together:

planning: angel swanson with jennylyn + chie

styling, florals, stationery + signage: angel swanson

photography: trista lerit

tables, chairs and various décor rentals: {found} vintage rentals

cake, desserts & favors: sweet and saucy

food: homemade by kristin’s sister, jennylyn!

Enjoy your Monday, loves!  Will be back again soon~  Today I have a relaxed afternoon of cleaning + Christmas shopping.  My last wedding of the year was on Saturday (and it was INCREDIBLE), so I’m excited for a little “time off” before Christmas celebrations.

xoxo, Angel