We are having some long (4th of July) weekend withdrawals over here, so I sat down with Lindsey, luxury travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel (she’s one of the “top 30 agents under 30″ worldwide and just the sweetest!) to chat and get some insight into where we should explore next…

 

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✈ Most popular destination trend in the last year (honeymoon and non-honeymoon)? Most popular honeymoon destination is almost always somewhere in the Caribbean – especially St. Lucia. It’s far enough away to feel exotic (think rolling green mountains and tropical foliage!) but not so far that honeymooner’s have to dread a long flight, which is a concern of quite a few travelers after the exhaustion of their wedding. Since non-honeymooners don’t have that concern, that opens them up to traveling all over: but Europe has been huge with the value of the dollar to the Euro, I have never received more Italy, Greece and France requests in my life than in the past year!

✈ Dream destination wedding location? Bora Bora, which only began legally marrying Americans in the past few years. With that crystal clear blue water and the spectacular over-water bungalows, I can’t think of a better backdrop for couples to say “I do!”

✈ Best kept secret (location that flies under the radar)? Central America is such a cool spot that travelers often don’t think of when they want an exotic feel with beaches without traveling too far. Nicaragua in particular has become huge with the opening of Mukul, the country’s first luxury beach property.

✈ Favorite destination in GA for a weekend getaway? The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation – adult summer camp, as we like to call it! Can’t go wrong with campfire, s’mores and the serene setting on Lake Oconee (not to mention one of the best spas in the U.S.!).

✈ Best trip you have ever been on? Hands down South Africa. I am not even outdoorsy and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the unbelievable wildlife, out of this world accommodations, and genuine hospitality that I experienced while on trips to Cape Town, Kruger and the Kalahari Desert.

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Photos by Lindsey Epperly

Ever since I came across these piñata cookies and cake, I’ve been dying to give it a try. So, when Father’s Day rolled around, I thought it was finally time. However, I have a confession…

I didn’t make the cake, eek.

Similar to an “Ikea hack“, I’m calling this a “piñata cake hack”. I bought the cake, cut a hole in the middle, filled it with m&m’s and then re-sealed it. No one could tell and it was quick, inexpensive and overall a huge hit!

What you’ll need? A cake, m&m’s, frosting (same flavor as the cake) and sprinkles (optional)

Wouldn’t this be perfect for a gender reveal party? You can fill it with either pink or blue m&m’s! This time I used peanut butter ones, but I think minis would also be fun next time.

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*Reminder: present on a beautiful cake stand next time, the excitement got the best of me.

Photo: Gaby O Photo

Sometimes you just want to have a party, you aren’t really celebrating anything in particular, but you want to gather a couple friends and have fun.

You are out of ideas and every time you want to give it some real thought, maybe you get distracted by The Bachelorette...So, I wanted to share a few that I recently came across, so that you can watch your TV show in peace and later, enjoy being a host.

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1. DE-CLUTTERING: Inspired by the book ‘The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up‘. Dinner party –> unwanted items (books, shoes, scrapbooking material, etc) –> swap –> donate leftovers. Alternate option: clothing swap (always a winner in my book).

2. LET’S FLAMINGLE: This theme really works for any kind of event, only requirement – must be into flamingos.

3. PLUS ONE: Invite a few friends, ask them to bring a “plus one” that the host has never met, nice dinner, prepare a 3 minute intro of your guest and voila, instant new friends!

4. BABY-Q: Pretty self-explanatory, BBQ + baby = BABY-Q and fun times for all. Good alternative to traditional baby shower and excellent way to include the menfolk.

5. PROGRESSIVE DINNER: Also known as, safari supper – “successive dinner courses prepared and eaten at the residences of different hosts”. Not a new concept, but definitely something to consider…if you like your neighbors.

Photos: Book shelf || Flamingo Cookies || Table  | Invitation || Watermelon Cocktail

AlbercaSwimming has been on our mind for weeks now and we wish we didn’t have to wait until Memorial Day to jump in…

In the mean time, I’ve been gearing up to throw a pool party “meet & greet” in our new neighborhood (the Nextdoor app has been really useful to plan and spread the word).

Here is my current little cheat sheet:

  • Food (preferably nothing too heavy)
  • Drinks (plenty of water)
  • Ice!
  • Music (some song ideas)
  • Pool toys / games / loungers
  • Decor (balloons, flowers, etc)
  • Extras: Sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, bug spray, flip flops…
  • If you have a baby, highly recommend these reusable diapers – iPlay
  • Plastic bags for guests to put their wet swimsuits

Photos: Invitation / Relief Station / Food / Hats + Fans / Cornhole / Popsicle Drinks 

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Society 414 is a “cure for the common date night”.
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The best part is that “you will not know what to expect other than the time, date and a single clue. Before the event, you will be given a series of additional clues including the dress code. The location is revealed 41 hours before the event”. All dates include the following four elements:
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Secret Location
Styled Environment
Inspired Cuisine
Entertainment Experience
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From a Glamping Date Night (one of the sponsors was REI!), involving games like “Bear Bag, Knot Relay and Pitch a Tent” to a four course wine tasting dinner on Valentine’s Day, all dates are completely different and surprises are definitely not lacking. Michelle, one of the four founders, was kind enough to answer a couple of our questions:
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♥ How did you come up with the idea for Society 414?
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As a wedding and event planner, I’m always looking for unique ways to be creative. Having been married for 15+ years, I knew there was a need for unique ideas for date night. So starting Society 414 was a great way to combine my love for creative events and collaborate with my husband on creating date night events for couples married and dating.
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♥ What is the meaning behind the name Society 414?
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We launched the company on April 14th thus the 4-14.
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♥ Favorite event so far?
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It’s so hard to choose! I love each event for different reasons and every event becomes my favorite. Our last event was on Valentine’s Day and it was incredible to have something fun and intimate to do on a special day, that allowed us to be together along with an eclectic group of couples. Each event we meet new people that feel like old friends by the end of the night.
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♥ If you could curate a date anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would it entail?
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Hmm. I love to travel and one place I haven’t been with my husband yet is Paris. It’s a beautiful city filled with scenic parks and great food. I would probably spend the date strolling the city and eating along the way.
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♥ Worst date you have ever been on?
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After being married for so long it’s hard to remember my past dating life! But anything that would involve not having a connection with the person would be the worse!
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Thanks again Michelle, such a fun idea!
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