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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Outdoor Entertaining with Nate

Oh hey...I dropped something, could you pick it up for me? Yes I did just name-drop...but when it comes to Nate Berkus, wouldn't you?! He (as in Nate Berkus) recently challenged me create a fall look using the new pieces from his Nate Berkus for Target line. So basically, he invited himself over. I was totally on board with that. Again, wouldn't you?! (Did I mention it was Nate Berkus?)

Since our weather is still so pleasant, I thought I'd cozy up our refreshed patio for fall, and host a gathering out there. By bringing indoor decor elements outside...like jute rugs, warm throws, and fuzzy pillows...the space was quickly transformed in to an inviting outdoor room. I tossed plaid scarves over the backs of chairs, and used poufs and sheepskins as extra seating.

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

In the past, I didn't entertain much because of the work I perceived went into it. But now I realize hosting friends doesn't have to be an elaborate venture. I know I certainly don't expect one when I visit friends! We took advantage of being outside, and fired up the chiminea for s'mores. And while Nate and I have a love of gold in common, we don't roast our marshmallows the same.
"Hershey's milk chocolate is my favorite so the traditional combo is my go to. And I like my marshmallows CHARRED!" ~N.B.

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

You don't need a full bar cart to create a drink station...I simply topped a side table with a rustic tray and let guests help themselves to wine and water.

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

I'm all about short-cuts when entertaining...my goal is to keep it simple so I can enjoy the gathering, too. I asked Nate what shortcuts he takes...
"Lists! You have to be organized...I also keep lots of extra supplies on hand, like straws, ice, wine. That way, I'm always prepared. That and I have some great takeout places in my neighborhood on speed dial. I don't cook so that's really important."~N.B.

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Using unexpected items as serving pieces, like this metal wing bowl and feather box, adds instant chicness to any soiree. And don't underestimate the power of a few grocery-store bouquets!

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hostess gifts certainly aren't expected, but I prefer to not arrive at parties empty-handed, and usually bring a bottle of wine. A friend of mine once brought a bag of mini-bagels and honey butter, with a note that read, 'Thanks for dinner, enjoy breakfast on us!' I thought that was the most clever and thoughtful idea! I asked Nate about his go-to host gift...
"I think this year it's going to be my elephant place card holders! They are so chic & fun, and can be used for so many things. Otherwise I love giving framed photos of a special moment the host & I shared....you can never go wrong with that." ~N.B.

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Hi Sugarplum | Fall Outdoor Entertaining

Thanks to Nate's stylish new pieces, throwing together this chic gathering was virtually effortless, and we enjoyed a perfect night with friends. What are your go-to tips for outdoor entertaining in the Fall? Do you have a favorite piece from the Nate Berkus collection? But more importantly, how do you like your marshmallows roasted?!? I prefer mine perfectly browned with just a touch of crispness. It's an art form, really.

{Shop the Nate Berkus for Target Collection before it's gone!}




For more Fall entertaining tips and ideas, check out what my girl, 
Courtney, created with her Nate collection!


** This post was created in collaboration with Nate Berkus and Target. And while some of the product shown was provided to me, all ideas and delusions of having Nate in my house, are mine. **

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Travel Style: Fall Edition

Last week I shared how I pack for a week-long trip in a carry-on sized suitcase. Today is all about the personal carry-on, and my travel uniform.

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

In order to keep things simple, and adhere to airline restrictions, I use a large tote as my personal carry-on (as opposed to a carry-on tote and my purse). I tuck the contents of my purse (wallet, phone, gum, sunglasses, etc) in the pockets of the large bag, then once I arrive, I transfer them to the small crossbody bag I packed in my suitcase.

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

I love the extra compartment on the bottom of this weekender bag...perfect for tucking magazines and my reader, or even an extra pair of shoes. Other items I always have handy when traveling are hand sanitizer, hand cream, chapstick, cozy socks, ear plugs, headphones, charger, and comb. I usually tuck a scarf and light jacket or sweater in, as well.

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

Now let's talk about my travel uniform. As you saw in the packing post, often times I pack the tall boots, using them as extra storage. But if it's a fairly short flight (one where I won't need or want to take my shoes off), then I wear them to free up space in my bag. Comfort goes hand-in-hand with style for me when traveling, so I choose a flat boot like these from Sole Society. These would be a great option, as well.

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

I almost always bring a hat, regardless of season, and wear it, to avoid being squashed in my bag. The goal is to have two bags total...the rolling suitcase, and a personal carry-on. It makes check-in, security lines, and deplaning so much simpler.

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style


Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

Hi Sugarplum | Travel Style

My travel uniform for long-haul flights is a little different, and you can read about it here. Do you have a travel uniform? What's in your carry-on bag?

P.S....Indiana Jones called....

{Shop Travel Style: Fall Edition}



** This post is written in collaboration with Sole Society, but all opinions, clothing choices, travel tips and Indiana Jones impersonating are my own. **

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