Fall is here!!!!

I can’t believe that it’s October 1st!!!  Fall is my favorite time of the year.  The jewel tones in the trees, the rustling of leaves in the cool breeze, the approaching holidays, and what I affectionately like to refer to as the “eatin’ season.”

Halloween is just around the corner.  I used to love haunted houses when I was younger.  I always thought when I got older, I would create my own haunted maze in the garage…I was 12 when l entertained the thought.  Now that I’m older, my preference of entertainment has changed for Halloween.  I enjoy a more sophisticated look.  If you are planning to throw a costume party for the big kids, I would like to invite you to view some of my favorite things for a Haute Halloween on Pinterest. 

 

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A Year of Firsts

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Hey, all! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. My world has changed significantly since we last spoke. I have a daughter who just turned 1! I have been traversing this new journey of motherhood and savoring her first experiences and encounters.

As we have entered a new year, many of you have gotten engaged or married over the holidays. If you got engaged, make sure you enjoy the planning process. This should be a fun time of preparation. If you got married, be sure to hold each other tight! The first year is an exciting roller coaster ride with many unpredictable moments and great anticipation. Savor the moments as you and your spouse sojourn through your year of firsts as a married couple.

Congratulations to all of you who are starting new chapters of life and to all who are wiping the slate clean for new and better perspective. Keep your eye on the prize and take some time to celebrate along the way. Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted, please allow me to share some pics from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. The theme was inspired by the “Alice in Wonderland” tea party. We called it “Morgan in ONEderland.” Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

 

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Wedding vs. Marriage

I read this post on AshleysBrideGuide.com a few weeks ago that I found very intriguing.  I was impressed with how candid Ashley was in sharing her personal story about marriage and divorce.

I have found myself surrounded by my thirty-something girl friends and brides who are obsessed with the idea of getting married as soon as possible.  So what is their motivation?  Is it the deafening sound of their biological clock ticking away?  Could it be the pressure of everyone else getting married and all the older people at the wedding telling them, “You’re next!”  Or is it the overwhelming need to see the wedding day they’ve dreamt about since they were little girls become reality?  Or maybe…now just maybe…love at first sight really does exist.  Any of these scenarios could be true, but before you continue to move forward with a jet-pack on your back, let’s take a moment to reflect on the facts.

I once saw an email that contained pictures of billboards/signs with messages from God.  One that stood out the most to me was, “Loved the wedding.  Invite me to the marriage.  -God”  This short statement is more powerful today than ever before.  We live in a society of convenience.  If we see something we want, we want it right now.  And when things get a little uncomfortable, we’re more inclined to bail.  So let’s talk about the reality of planning a wedding, marriage and divorce.

The average cost of a wedding in Nashville is $22,000.  According to TheKnot.com, the national average wedding cost is $27,000.  If you’re one of those individuals who just wants to have their big day, consider just throwing yourself a phenomenal birthday party or ball and then leave with some friends for a fabulous vacation after the party.  You would probably still come out cheaper than a wedding.

Let’s say you choose to get married anyway.  Here is the reality of marriage.  MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK!!!  There are some days that are more trying than others.  On those days, your spouse may look a lot better leaving out the door than coming in.  There are difficult adjustments that have to be made when 2 people combine into one household, and it involves compromise on both sides.

My parents just celebrated 38 years of marriage at the beginning of the month.  I told my mom that it is truly a miracle to see couples who have been married for 40, 50, and 60 years, because it is so uncommon now for marriages to last for even 15 years.  It’s really a shame.

Now let’s talk about the cost of divorce.  At the very least, divorce will cost a couple $500.  This is only if both parties are civil towards each other.  In many cases, it’s not going to be this easy.  There can be a lot of resentment about the years invested or wasted (depending on the individual) with this other person.  Revenge could be the next order of business, which could make for a long messy war.  “The Battle of Splitting Assets”…”The Battle of Custody/Visitation”… “The Battle of Alimony/Child Support.”  This scenario can be a financially draining war, but it will definitely be emotionally costly as well.  Some of these battle wounds take a long time to heal and the scars can remain forever as a reminder of a past that’s hard to block out.  According to DivorceMag.com, divorces that go to trial can range from $8,000 to $132,000.

Now that you have the figures, is it really worth the rush???

Before you continue your hunt, think about the habits in your everyday life.  Do you show discipline in other areas of your life that AREN’T easy?  Do you use a budget and refrain from impulse purchases and overspending?  Do you stay at jobs for longer than 3 years to show your commitment level?  Do you stick with your workout regimen until you meet your goal?  Do you keep the same haircut for at least 2 months to see if it’s going to work out for you?  You may want to be honest with yourself about discipline in areas that are more difficult to maintain before considering a serious relationship.

If you believe that you have found your soul mate, be realistic to know that your significant other has a mind of their own, and you are each wired differently.  NO, THEY CAN’T READ YOUR MIND, NOR SHOULD THEY BE ABLE TO DO SO.  You both have unique approaches to situations and you will not always agree on how to reach a conclusion.  Your significant other will not follow your script.  Until you can fully come to grips with this reality, you should stock up on a lot of forgiveness and patience if you plan for this relationship to be a forever-kind-of-thing.

So as you’re in your courtship with your significant other, enjoy the ride!!  Don’t rush this phase of life.  Enjoy getting to know each other better during this time (you’ll always be learning new things…even during marriage).  If you get engaged, take advantage of premarital counseling.  Not only is this cost-effective in getting a discount on your marriage license (in Nashville, Davidson County), but it also allows an objective third party to give a neutral perspective on your relationship that could help you avoid potential disaster down the road.

After successfully completing premarital counseling, enjoy the planning process!  This is the fun part!  But please don’t stress over the details.  Remember that the ultimate goal is to have the bride and groom show up at the altar, both of you say “I do,” and then the real fun begins!

Introducing….Me!!

“So who is the brain behind the blog?” you asked.  Well allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Courtney Kinslow.  I love to host events.  Not only do I love to entertain, but I’m also a fanatic about organizational stuff.  You can find me at office supply stores gawking over planners, calendars, and foo-foo filing containers.  I even received senior superlative of “Most Organized” for goodness sake!  (I was up against the valedictorian for “Most Likely to Succeed,” so I’ll take what I can get.)

I majored in Marketing in college and graduated in December 2001…right after 9/11.  The economy was already volatile at the time that tragic day tipped it right over the edge.  Of course, marketing is one of the most expensive departments in a company and usually one of the first divisions to be cut.  After searching long and hard for a marketing job that was no where to be found, I knew one industry that was booming in the midst of a crisis and tragedy….healthcare.

After doing a processing job for a year and a half, I tried my hand at sales…which is usually a position of abundance and always clawing for marketing majors.  I discovered that sales was too cut-throat for me since my integrity and ethics wouldn’t allow me to stoop to all time lows to make a buck.  I went back to a processing job trying to wait out the recession until the marketing division could make a comeback.  I have since realized that marketing positions are scarce in Nashville and I have no desire to move away from my loving family and support system.  (I’m a “homegrown” Nashvillian.  You are welcome to shake my hand if you meet me. :-))

My late grandfather was a very wise man with a 3rd grade education.  He never worked for anyone in his adult life.  I hear he was very stubborn and cheap.  I’ve also heard that I’m just like him. 🙂  He had a great saying, “If you can’t find a job…make a job.”  So after waiting out the recession for 6 years, I decided to start my own company and combine some of my favorite activities: partying, promoting, and planning.  From this recipe of activities, Crème de la Crème Events, LLC was born.

Are we a good fit?
It’s important to know the personality type you’re dealing with to determine if you can work with that person.  My husband describes me as a drill sergeant.  I’m extremely efficient and I want to get projects done in a timely manner to allow time for any tweaking, negotiating, and reduction or elimination of stress for the client and me.  I do my best to be the motivator upfront to get as much accomplished as early as possible, but after a while, I can only work as hard as the client.  If they aren’t meeting the deadlines to achieve certain goals and eliminate certain tasks to move forward, then they are choosing to take on a lot of unnecessary stress in the end.

I’m a BIG believer in the client having a clear vision of how they want their event to be.  It bothers me when the financer of the event depends primarily on others to make decisions on the execution who AREN’T writing any checks to the production (mainly weddings).  It’s important to realize that everyone has an opinion about something and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying for someone else’s vision to become reality.  It’s okay to not have a complete vision from start to finish, but let’s work together to make it happen.  Otherwise, we’re going to have a nice, intimate, loving conversation about focus, boundaries, and the best way to proceed forward successfully.

Now that you know a little about me, and if you feel we would have a great working relationship, drop me a line or give me a call!  I look forward to making reality better than you envisioned.

An Inexpensive, Elegant Downtown Venue – W.O. Smith Music School

What an oxymoron!!  Can the words “Inexpensive” and “Downtown Venue” be used in the same sentence??  It can now, and that is music to my ears!

If you’re looking for the sophistication and elegance of a downtown venue at a great value, you’ve got to check out the W.O. Smith Music School on 8th Avenue South in downtown Nashville.  Since 1984, W.O. Smith has introduced thousands of deserving children to the world of music.  This edifice was built three years ago.

This beautiful facility is flexible, and well-located with easy access parking (75 – 100 car capacity).  Not only can music be heard throughout the building, but it can also be seen in all the modern architecture of the space.  If you look closely, you’ll see the light fixtures are music notes on a staff line.  The building itself is the design of a guitar.  You can see the guitar strings span the width of the facility if you have an eye for detail.

Some of the many perks of W.O. Smith include the great acoustics and the readily available instruments for your entertainment purposes.  The facility has 200 chairs, 10 – 6′ banquet tables, and 6 – 30″ round cocktail tables that are all included in the rental rate of the facility, which is unheard of!  The Ira Hunter & Merrydale Woods Recital Hall seats approximately 120 for dining, concert seating for 200 or cocktails for 150.  The lobby capacity is 150 for cocktails.  For food station/lounge-style dining, W.O. Smith can accommodate a total of 300 guests for less than $2,000.

As I have been researching unique venues, W.O. Smith Music School is the best value I’ve found thus far.  Consider hosting your next event here, but act quickly!  They’re almost completely booked for the remainder of the year.  For more information about venue rental, click here.

www.cremedelacreme-events.com

"My relative/friend is going to coordinate my wedding for me." Really??

Hmm…let’s think about this for a minute.  Is this a good idea?

Yeah, I know that they’re probably going to do this as a gift to you or give you the “friends and family discount”, but think about the immediate and long-term effects of this decision.  Your good friend/relative probably has existing relationships with the other people in your wedding party.  They know that it doesn’t take much to get on Auntie’s bad side, because she holds a grudge forever!!  Auntie wants to do what Auntie wants to do!  Then when your friend/relative has to give Auntie a loving nudge during the wedding, THEY’RE OFFICIALLY ON HER BLACK LIST!  Not only will there be tension for the remainder of the wedding day, but think of how uncomfortable this will be at the 4th of July picnic, housewarming party, and baby shower.  Your friend/relative probably won’t be able to enjoy themselves because they’ll be dodging Auntie from now on.

Okay, I know that scenario is extreme, but it is true.  Your wedding party is more likely to be on their best behavior with someone they don’t know very well.  It’s more beneficial to have a more neutral individual to coordinate your day, because there will only be preferential treatment for the bride and groom.  What you say goes.  Consider hiring a professional coordinator who is loving yet firm.

Your friend/relative should be able to relax and celebrate with you!  The day should be as memorable to them as it is to you.  The best way you can show them how honored you are that they’re at your wedding is by letting them relax and take in the beauty and excitement of the day.

www.cremedelacreme-events.com

Social Interaction Makes You Smarter and Healthier!!!

Well, maybe not.  But studies prove that it does improve brain functions and improves health.  It’s true!  I was looking up some information on the benefits of socialing and came across this interesting psychological research.  Here’s what I found:

  • Social interaction involves behaviors that require memory, attention, and control.  These mental processes are also involved in many cognitive tasks.  Thus social interaction would act as a prime, it would “oil” these processes so that they are ready to be used when a cognitive task is to be solved.
  • The physical health benefits of socializing were equal to physical exercise, even though the social activities involved almost no physical exertion.  It wasn’t physical activity or physical health but feeling worthwhile that led to longer life.  Good health and eating counted, but it was social interaction that was responsible for the results.
  • Positive social interaction can buffer the physiological effects of stress.

Conversations, sharing, being in touch with others who have active, involved lives gives living a purpose.  Sharing with friends helps multiply the joys and divide the sorrows.  So, get together with some friends, family, and colleagues.  Have a dinner party, family game night, or wine tasting.  Celebrate not just the big things, but all things!  It can only help!

www.cremedelacreme-events.com

Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially

So I was watching the CBS Morning Show last Sunday and they said that married people are happier than any other demographic.  So I did some research and found some interesting stats.  Keep in mind, they did say MARRIED people, which is different from cohabitation.  The promise of permanency is what makes marriage more of a beneficial relationship than just simply living together.

  • Finances
    • Married men are more successful in work:  getting promoted more often, better performance appraisals.
    • Married women (without children) earn more money than their single peers:  white women 4% more, black women 10% more.
  • Longer Life
    • Single men have mortality rates that are 250% higher than married men.
    • Single women have mortality rates that are 50% higher than married women.
    • Having a spouse can decrease your risk for dying from cancer as much as knocking off 10 years of your life.
  • Better Mental Health
    • Married people report lower levels of depression and distress, and 40% say they are very happy with their lives, compared to about 25% in single people.
    • Single men drink twice as much as married men.
  • Greater Safety
    • Wives are five times less likely than single or divorced women to be victims of crime
    • Husbands are four times less likely.

For more details, check out “The Case for Marriage…”

Open for Business

Welcome to the virtual grand opening of Crème de la Crème Events!  It is so exciting to finally live my dream and be an event planner.  I’m honored that you are visiting my site.

Those who know me best can attest to the fact that I LOVE to entertain and I’m very organized.  I was actually voted “Most Organized” of my high school senior class.  These characteristics along with creativity and a marketing degree are a few of the elements that drive my passion for event planning.

This blog will be used to discuss industry trends and just let the creativity flow.  Please join the conversation!  I hope you’ll find it useful.

I’m looking forward to making reality better than I ever envisioned…not just in starting this business…but working with future clients.  Maybe you’ll be one of them!