Yes, it’s that time of year where the frenzy and frazzle is everywhere you go. Grocery stores, parking lots, and don’t even mention the malls!!!

If you are taking a DIY approach to the holidays and have rolled up your sleeves to tackle invitations, decorating, cooking and table decor, here are a few tips to get your creative juices flowing:

Send out your invitations this year rolled up in a tube shaped mailer.  They come in a variety of colors and holiday stripes and will be sure to catch the recipients attention as they take it out of their mail box.

Ready to switch things up from all that red and green?   Silver and golds are classic favorites that add elegance and shimmer to any table.   Check out the new trends of accenting with rich aquas, purple and lavenders, if those colors fit within your color scheme.  Set against a silver or gold backdrop, these colors adds a different twist to old holiday favorites.

Use objects in new ways.   Small vases with flowers can serve as place settings and party favors giveaways.  Nametags tied around pears, dried pomegranates, or cinnamon sticks  bring out the season and add color and IMG_1009-682x1024fragrance to a tablescape. IMG_1048-682x1024


Here in Southern California succulents never go out of style.  Their versatility and color range makes them a wonderful addition to holiday arrangements. Mixing red roses with a variety of succulents add a cheerful note and make a distinctive accent to any decor.  The samples shown here are from Carter and Cook event stylists. A little spray paint helps gild the artichokes and can tie into other gold accents.  Adding  fresh pears, pomegranates, berries and other seasonal fruits round out the displays.

Don’t throw out those old ornaments!  Remove the tops, add water and put a holiday sprig or one flower in it.  So that it doesn’t roll over, shape a pipe cleaner into a circle so that it serves as a base to hold the ornament.

Make sure to pay attention to lighting and use candles liberally.  The variety of votives can be dizzying, or simply wrap shot glasses with ribbon that compliments your linens and other décor.

Select a different holiday drink this year instead of the usual wine and eggnog variety of drinks. Make it simple, fun, and be sure to enjoy all the season’s celebrations!

Cultivating a Culture of Gratitude


While the value of employee gifts, bonuses or parties during the holiday season should not be underestimated, companies who cannot afford these expressions of appreciation can still cultivate a culture of gratitude.

Building a culture of gratitude at work is not easy, but the science says it’s worth it.  Proof abounds that expressions of thanks and appreciation have measurably beneficial effects on employee job satisfaction and retention. Not to mention that we are happier, more satisfied with life, and have a higher resilience to stress and illness when we feel appreciated in our jobs.

Simply put, we invest ourselves and our emotions into our jobs. The need for a paycheck is only one of many motivations that bring us to work. Other intrinsic motivations include respect, a sense of accomplishment, and a feeling of purpose.

Creating a culture of gratitude takes leadership and dedication. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Gratitude is most influential when it starts at the top and is promoted throughout the organization with policies and programs that encourage appreciation.
  • Acknowledge employees who work behind the scenes.  Salespeople are often the subjects of praise but praise for the unsung heroes is equally important.
  • Personalized acknowledgements have the greatest impact. A handwritten note of thanks for a job well done, identifying the specific admirable qualities or actions, is a golden opportunity to inspire excellence in not only the individual but the team.
  • Create a fun tradition for the holiday season, such as a gift grab, Secret Santa or day of the week to be a “Treat Day” every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  • If you cannot afford bonuses, extra time off with family during a slow period can be just as meaningful for employees.
  • Say thank you often. Fortunately, “thank you” doesn’t cost a dime.  Showing your genuine appreciation for hard work and contribution goes a long way in creating an environment rich in satisfaction, cooperation and loyalty.

We would like to thank all of our clients, partners, friends who continually support Affairs with Flair and wish you all a very meaningful and happy Thanksgiving!

Recent Affairs with Flair Events

The cooler air of fall definitely announces the end of summer and sets all our thoughts toward to the upcoming holidays – and the frenetic pace that accompanies the season!

As I reluctantly wrap up summer, here’s a look at 2 events that I had particular fun developing.

A corporate event held at the San Diego Zoo invited guests to “Take a Walk on the Wild side” with a private bus tour and african dancers leading guests to a private party area.  Entertainers mingled and delighted guests during cocktail hour.  Taiko drummers were specially flown in to perform a dinner area reveal.  Food stations provided a variety of offerings and guests were treated to a custom designed after dinner variety show, including a specially selected song honoring the company with the Tina Turner song as “Simply the Best.”

It was such fun developing the look of leopard skin runners with pops of fuschia napkins and lush arrangements with orchids, roses, hydrangeas and plenty of greens.

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A Parisian themed event was especially fun to put together for a very, very special couple celebrating a milestone birthday.  Here are a few highlights:




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