Hey everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had a very memorable one, that's for sure! Every year we host a Cinco de Mayo party at our house for all of our friends and it was extra special this year for a couple of reasons. One, Cinco de Mayo finally fell on a Saturday this year, so we actually got to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo! And two, it was our first big get together with Kai! We had a taco bar, lots of chips & salsa, and of course, margaritas! On Sunday though, it was one of the best days ever. We baptized Kai and had a beautiful luncheon at our house to celebrate with all of our family. It was one of the most special days of our lives and we are so overjoyed at how much love everyone has shown our little boy! Thank you to everyone for celebrating with us and sending him congratulations!
So in the spirit of having an overnight guest this past weekend and many more to come over the summer, I wanted to share with you how we make our guests feel welcomed into our home and ensure they have a lovely stay with us! I've picked up some tips over the years and know when we go the extra mile for our guests it is much appreciated. So here are the extra special little things that I do in our home when we have friends and family stay with us.
Fresh Flowers in Guest Room
I try to always have fresh flowers in our guest room when we have a visitor. They are always such a cheerful welcome! In the summer months, I usually have an orchid sitting pretty on the nightstand and in the colder months I will put a pretty bouquet in it's place.
Light a Candle the Day of Arrival
So the only real use our guest room ever gets is Wrigley laying in the sun spots, so sometimes I feel like it can be a little stale in there. To liven it up, I always light a candle the day our guests are going to arrive. I also do this in our guest bathroom. Not only do they make our whole upstairs smell great, but they make it feel so warm and inviting when we show ours guests to their room.
Set Towels Out
One thing I always do for our guests is set out a bath towel and multiple face towels out on the dresser. I personally always feel awkward asking for towels or snooping around for them, so I try my best to have it all ready for them when they get here. This way if they want to shower or wash up after a long travel day, they can do so right away.
Have Extra Toiletries in the Guest Bathroom
Another awkward thing I've found when I'm visiting others is if I forget any toiletries, I always feel bad asking to borrow their stuff if it's not in the bathroom I am using. So, I always make it a point to have extra shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and an unopened toothbrush available in our guest bathroom.
Clean the Room
I know this one may seem obvious, but some of us have kids and some of us have pets, so it's very easy for our houses to get messy. I know I've had it happen in the past where the guest bed is all messed up from Wrigley trying to snuggle on it, and I get so embarrassed! So obviously put clean sheets and blankets on the bed and make sure you dust the surfaces. Also, make sure there isn't too much clutter in the room. You want your guests to experience a peaceful setting while they're staying with you. Then shortly before they arrive, do one final quick over to make sure everything is still tidy and cleaned up.
Stock Your Kitchen
Obviously your guests won't be confined to your guest room the whole time, so you want to make sure other parts of your home are inviting, too. One way to do this is to stock up on lots of food and drink options in your kitchen. It is always nice when you're offered a few options at someones house. Not everyone may like the same drinks and snacks as you, so that is why it's good to have some variety. Unless of course you know your guests' favorite food and drinks then it would be nice to have those things on hand to make them feel extra special that you thought of them before hand!
These are just a few things I like to do to welcome guests in to our home and make their stay with us extra special! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@dianakaravida) for lots of fun videos of Kai and Wrigley!
A few weeks ago my mom and aunt hosted my baby shower and it was such a perfect day that I wanted to share it with all of you! We had a great mix of family and friends there and all the food was so yummy! My aunt and a friend of hers who is a party planner did the most amazing job on all the decorations, too!
See this post for my outfit details!
All the little touches of blue and it's a boy truly made me smile. I especially loved the punch with all the little rubber ducks and how about my little cupcake cake! I loved this idea because everyone was able to take cupcakes home with them if they weren't hungry for dessert instead of just declining a piece of cake. My family all helped make the appetizers and desserts and the food was all catered from Claim Jumper.
It is so amazing to me how much love and support all of our friends and family have shown us during this special time. Our little one is so lucky already and he's not even born yet! We played a few fun games as well as we were wrapping up lunch like a little lotto and a baby scratch off.
Everyone really nailed it with the gifts, too and I couldn't be more grateful. My grandma really outdid herself and got us so many special things like the bear that you see me holding as well as the little booties in the photo above. The bear is actually a prayer bear and he says prayers and plays a lullaby to help the baby learn to say his prayers before bed and lull him to sleep. I just find things like that are so meaningful. The booties have the most beautiful story as well, but I'm going to save that one for a future blog post ;)
My amazing hubby showed up to the party at the end and graciously helped me with all the gifts and the packing up of our awesome diaper cake! There were 120 diapers in that cake and it was decorated with so many other cute little things the baby needs. My aunt also made me a "bouquet" and it was filled a bunch of onesies and bath towels. SO PERFECT! As I'm sure you can tell from the pictures I had the best day and want to thank everyone again for all their love that they've showed me, Caleb, and Nugget! We can't wait for him to be here and show him how loved he already is!
What is a fun tradition you do at baby showers you've been to? Comment below, I'd love to hear!
Thank you to Julie Vujnovich for all the photos that include me!
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have an easy week ahead filled with good food, family, and friends! We kicked off our Thanksgiving celebrations this past Saturday by hosting our annual Friendsgiving get together. This was our first ever dinner party we hosted for our friends at our little apartment 4 years ago! We've done it every year since and pretty much have a great system down now for making the day run as smooth as possible. We use the same plan to execute Thanksgiving for our family now, too. Today, I'm going to give you a run down on the ins and outs of how we make these two parties as stress-free as possible! It all starts with the timeline, and I am going to base it off of this upcoming Thursday for all of you that will be hosting Thanksgiving at your place!
Guest List - 1 Month Before
It all starts with who you are inviting to your get together. For Friendsgiving, we make a list of our friends that live close or will be visiting over the weekend that would want to join us for the occasion. From there I put together invitations and mail them out about a month in advance. Remember, the holidays are a crazy time for everyone, so we need to give our guests enough time to figure out where they will be around this time. As the RSVPs start rolling in we either mark down on a list what they have offered to bring or start asking them to bring specific items to fill in the gaps. For deciding where the gaps are, start your list based off of what you want to make. I always make an appetizer and dessert. Caleb always makes the main dish, and we decide on a drink of the night together. So when our friends or family start asking what they want us to bring we reference that list and can see where we're lightest. We do the same thing for actual Thanksgiving with our family. We make a list of everyone so we know how many people we're starting out with and take their names off if they are unable to make it. Our Friendsgiving usually runs around 10-15 people and Thanksgiving usually runs around 20-25 people. I personally like to use Notes on my phone to keep track of the guest list and menu so it's all in one place and on something that I always have with me.
Shopping - Monday/3 Days Before
If you haven't done your Thanksgiving shopping yet don't worry, you can still do it tonight! Based off that menu list you have created with your guest list you should make a grocery list of everything you need that you have committed to making as well as any gaps left of things you'd like to have throughout the evening. For example, maybe you weren't planning on making a salad but no one else offered to bring one or got assigned to bringing one and you feel that you should have one. You should look up a yummy fall salad on Pinterest and add those items to your grocery list. You should also make a list of other things you might need like more chairs, napkins, plates, candles, decorations, etc. It can be anything under the sun. Whatever you have in that vision of yours as your perfect Thanksgiving. REMEMBER: Do not put your turkey in the freezer if you go shopping on this day though. This is the last day your bird should stay in the freezer. You should start defrosting it on this day so that it is thawed out by day of.
Cleaning - Tuesday/ 2 Days Before
This is the day you should make time to deep clean your house. By not trying to do this the day of or the night before you will have way more time and less stress with getting into all those pesky nooks and crannies. By doing this early, as well, you might spot things over the next couple of days that you missed and then those are only a couple of things you need to clean instead of everything all at once. On Wednesday and especially Thursday, I will spot clean and keep tidying up the house since we still will be doing our normal day to day stuff at home.
Food Prep - Wednesday/1 Day Before
We prep a lot of our food the night before the get together. Everyone likes to make different things for their Thanksgiving dinners but to give you an idea of the dishes we like to start the night before here is a little list: roast the yams for yam balls, bake the pecan pie, clean the turkey, prepare poultry seasoning and put that between the skin and breast of the turkey, rub the outside of the turkey with olive oil and pink salt, and make the cranberry sauce. One extra tidbit I want to add for you all is how Caleb makes his gravy so good. He actually uses the bones, gizzards, and drippings from the Friendsgiving turkey to boil a turkey stock. He boils it every day leading up to Thanksgiving for a couple hours and then the day of he uses that to make the gravy that is used for the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
Day of Prep - Before Guests Arrive
The day of the get together tends to always be the most stressful but that is why your prep work and game plan is so important. The first thing I do the morning of is I bake the pumpkin pie and make the yam balls. That way I'm done with the oven early on so Caleb has room for the turkey and stuffing. After I'm done in the kitchen, Caleb takes over with putting the turkey in the oven. I will then do one last tidying up and spot clean of the house (including dishes) and we will do our special set up to accomodate all of our guests. We set up extra tables and clear off our table setting from our dining room table. I will also clear off our coffee table, so our guests have places to put their plates and cups down throughout the night. I then get ready for the day so that I'm not rushing upstairs in case any of our guests arrive early. About an hour before everyone is suppose to arrive I start making my appetizers, light some candles, make sure the temperature is set to a good number so our guests aren't too hot or too cold, and set up appetizer plates/napkins/silverware. I turn all the lights on and make it feel as welcoming as possible.
When our guests start to arrive I take care of the welcoming them inside and getting them drinks, since Caleb is in full force in the kitchen preparing more food like sides and checking on the turkey. I'll do my best to make the rounds and make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible and catch up with everyone. In between convos, I'll keep an eye on empty plates and cups and either refresh them for our guests or throw them away/wash them. I grab things for Caleb that he may need during these little breaks, as well. Once we're getting close to serving dinner I'll excuse myself and start swapping out the appetizers for the main meal in the kitchen. Since we have so many people at both get togethers it does not make sense to do a seated dinner with all the food on the table. It would be too crowded and hard to serve the food at two separate tables. Instead, we do buffet style. I put the appetizer plates away and bring out the dinner plates and refresh the stock of silverware and napkins. I'll help prep the salad, dinner rolls, and get all the serving utensils ready for all the sides Caleb and our guests have prepared. Once everything is all set in the kitchen we'll announce dinner is ready and all of our guests then make their way around the buffet and pick a seat to enjoy their meal. We always eat last to ensure our guests are comfortable and get as much food as they want. After dinner, I will go around and collect everyone's plates and do a few dishes. I don't like to be gone from our guests for too long so I do a little bit at a time all evening long when I get up to refresh drinks or run to the restroom. I would say I do about 5-10 minutes worth every 30-60 minutes. That way there isn't a pile of gross dishes sitting in the kitchen and it's less that I have to do when everyone goes home. About an hour after dinner I will start to set out desserts. I like to put these on the tables so that I can leave the main meal dishes out in case our guests want to take some home with them. It is also one less time our guests need to get up, too and they can just keep picking at all the treats that we have. When our guests begin to leave I always walk them to the door, give them a big hug, and thank them for coming!
The Clean Up
Once everyone has left, Caleb will help me finish cleaning up. Since I try to do dishes all night long this usually doesn't take too long. We'll load the dishwasher up and run it, wash and dry the rest by hand together, and wipe down the tables. The next day we will put the house back together by putting our center pieces back, breaking down the extra table and chairs, moving any furniture that we had to move out of the way back to its original spot.
And that's it! There is the whole run down for how we make Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving run so smooth! It works so well every year and this year's Friendsgiving went off without a hitch by following this plan. If you have any questions for us please leave a comment below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I also love to know what everyone loves to eat on this very special day so please leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite Thanksgiving dish is!
Hello friends! I would like to start out by thanking you for following me over to Tiny Dapper Fox. I know you might be wondering why change from This Boundless Journey? And I will definitely be addressing that as well as all the exciting things you can read about and find here on Tiny Dapper Fox. But let's start with why we're changing first...
Goodbye This Boundless Journey
We really did love This Boundless Journey for many reasons. The main being that we love to travel and share our travels with all of our family and friends. However, in the end it started to make travelling feel like work and travelling is definitely not our jobs nor do we want it to be. I felt this constant pressure of needing to have trips on the books and to be documenting things the entire time we were on vacation, which is really not the point of vacation. I was taking time off of work to work, and I'm not going to lie to you guys, that's not what I want to be doing. I love being in the moment with experiences, which if I constantly have my phone out to take pictures, post Instagram/Snapchat stories, and always be posting on social media I can't truly be in those moments that I so deeply want to enjoy. I also stopped having any motivation to update the site once we got back home from our trips. It was just more work and stopped being exciting. Also, it's just not logical for us to travel as much as we use to. Our new baby being the most obvious but we have significantly slowed down with it since getting married and buying our house. We LOVE being home! We really enjoy doing house projects, baking/cooking at home, and hosting get togethers with all of our loved ones in our home. So in this combination of time + needing to use our vacations as actual vacations we've decided it just isn't logical to run a travel website. Don't fret though! We still intend to do a good amount of travelling even though our family is growing and we still plan on sharing our recommendations and tips with you but on a smaller scale. Instead of just travel we want to share bits of all of our life with you! So enough negativity and on to the new and positive!
Hello Tiny Dapper Fox!
So with the retirement of This Boundless Journey is the birth of Tiny Dapper Fox. I've had this name kept in the back of my head for a very very long time. I'm not going to lie I've wanted to pull this trigger for so long but I've also been intimidated by the idea of it. But in the end, this is my creative outlet and I can do what I want, right!? The name Tiny Dapper Fox is inspired by our dog, Wrigley. His nickname is Tiny and he looks like a fox. The dapper part is a tribute to my husband, Caleb. He is the most dapper man I have ever met and is truly the love of my life. Caleb and Wrigley always inspire me to be my best self and that is what I want for this blog, to inspire everyone to be their best self! I really want to keep this blog personal and chronicle this special time in our lives. I'm so excited for this journey that we're on and I think that no matter how this all turns out or who reads it, it will be something so special for us to look back through to see all of our special memories we're creating as our family grows. I also want to create a community for anyone who needs it. Whether you have something exciting and happy to share or if you need a a great big hug, I want you to all know that I am here for you whether it be one on one through e-mail/social media or through my posts. So please always reach out to me if you have questions, stories, or anything on your mind that you'd like to share and need to get off your chest. I'm here to share stories about life as well as tips and tricks I've learned along the way and I promise to always keep it real with all of you.
What You Can Find Here
So like I said before, this site will be a look into bits of our whole life, starting with motherhood. I want to share with all of you this magical experience I'm currently going through and offer any words of wisdom for mamas who might need it. I know at the start of this journey I was like a deer in headlights. I was so nervous and didn't know where to start. While I am NO expert and I will NEVER claim to be, I've found it's nice to hear that other mamas to be are going through the same thing I'm going through. I won't ever be offering medical advice here, for that I will always suggest you call your doctor but I do plan on writing about my pregnancy experiences/safe products I've loved using and after Nugget arrives (that's our temporary name for our baby boy) my postpartum experiences/awesome baby products I've found.
I also plan on incorporating a lot about our cozy home that we're slowly making our own. I'll be doing room tours and honestly you'll probably get multiple of one room because we're always transforming them! We have big plans for a lot of rooms throughout our house and as for the ones that are "done" we're always coming up with new ideas to make them more us and I love to decorate them differently for every season. On top of decor, I also want to bring you all some DIY posts! One of the biggest reasons I wanted to create Tiny Dapper Fox is to get my creative juices flowing again. I miss using my hands and the right side of my brain. I really love my day job but it is very structured and I really miss flexing those creative muscles on a regular basis, so I think this blog and some fun crafty projects might just be the answer to cure that! It's also no secret that Caleb and I love hosting get togethers and to be honest it really is an art to pull off some of the bigger ones like Thanksgiving or our gender reveal. I want to share with you all our tips and tricks of how we make all this happen as well as all of Caleb's yummy recipes you all ask me for all the time. I'm going to try to get over my shyness as well and share some of my baked goods recipes, too!
In the travel section all of our tips/trip stories will be available as well as our original City Guides from This Boundless Journey. We will no longer be offering trip itineraries but I will be putting together quick guides for places that we don't have city guides for but have visited and have some recommendations for. The way we establish a city guide is we need to feel that we have thoroughly explored that city and be able to give multiple recommendations. For places like Niagara Falls or the Cinque Terre that we only visited for a day or two do not warrant that, but we do have some great info to share on those places so those quick guides can be found in the general Travel section and the Stories/Tips category. On top of all that, I will be putting together our long awaited Disney series. It's no secret that we really really love Disney and having been to Walt Disney World two years in a row we have some really great tips and recommendations to share with all of you. I will be putting together multiple posts about Disney and those can all be found in their own special Disney category.
The last section will cover any fashion or beauty tips I have. I'm no fashionista or beauty expert but I do love putting together fun outfits and trying out new beauty products. Being pregnant as also presented its challenges with these two bits of life and I want to share some wisdom with all of you mamas to be that might need it!
And last but not least the last section of the site and honestly the one I'm really really excited for is our Shop page! So at the very top I mentioned Tiny Dapper Fox has been a long awaited of dream of mine but also of Caleb's. We came up with this name a really long time ago when we first started dappling in to a couple of our hobbies. Mine being stationary and Caleb's being woodworking. We've thought long and hard about how we'd like to execute these hobbies into making them a bit of a side hustle, I suppose. We've thought about Etsy and Offer Up but have always felt kind of shy about putting ourselves out there and also don't really have the time or resources to market products to the max since we have day jobs. Well when I mentioned to Caleb that I wanted to start up a little lifestyle blog for our growing family it sparked the idea of maybe putting up some of his designs on the site so that you all can see them in real life through our home tour posts. If you don't know, a lot of the furniture in our home is made by Caleb! We often get questions about where we got pieces and I always say with so much pride that my hubby made it! He has really refined his skills and is finally confident that he can create pieces that everyone would love to have in their homes, too. So as we get our stock up and put up home tours you'll be able to shop those pieces from our Shop page! As for my little creative piece in stationary, I just love all things papers. I pick up journals and cards even when I don't need them and I love snail mail. I always have an idea for cards or invitations that I'd like to send to people but a lot of times I run in to that road block of I can't find what I'm looking for or I have such a good idea for something that I should just create it myself! Well I'd like to share those ideas with all of you, too! So keep an eye on that little corner of the site as we build it up with all of our favorite little things.
And that's it for now! I don't want to confine myself to just these topics but I believe this is a good basis and what I've been itching to write about for a long time now. I hope you enjoy Tiny Dapper Fox and find some fun inspiration from it! Please leave me a comment and let me know if there are any topics that YOU would like for me to cover, too. Hope you have the happiest of days!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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