How To Plan A Stylish Backyard Party

Although the weather is cooler in many parts of the country, that doesn’t mean you still can’t spend time outside and in your garden… especially in many southern cities as well as California.

Planning an outdoor party for this season may seem challenging, but I'm here to help. Start with a plan. Grab a pen and paper and let’s go.

Tackle the Garden

First things first. You need to tackle the garden. Decide whether you’re up for the challenge or whether you need to enlist some help. This could be in the guise of friends or a professional gardener.

If you’re doing this yourself, then start by raking up twigs, leaves and any rubbish. Next mow the lawns and tidy the borders. Make sure the edges are neat. Rake up any grass (dead or thriving) and move onto weeding. The sooner you tackle this, the better. Don’t give them time to take hold. Adding bark chips can discourage weeds from returning.

Once the garden is looking neat and tidy, you can move onto filling in the gaps with new plants. If you’re a low-maintenance gardener, then opt for plants that don’t need a lot of attention.

GrowDirect has plenty of affordable options to help you get your garden (or back yard) looking fabulous for your party. 

The Patio

Next move onto the patio. Again, start by raking and sweeping up after the winter. Remove leaves and other debris. Use a jet wash to clean the concrete. If you don’t have a lot of greenery, then consider adding a few colorful pots. Opt for plants that will flourish during this season.

The Fun Part

Now that the garden is taken care of, think about accessories such as fairy lights, outdoor candles and cushions. Have you thought of a theme? If so, make sure your accessories adhere to this. Rugs and beanbags are always useful as extra seating.

Food and Drink

Make a list of food and drink. Plan this in advance to allow you time to do the shopping and make preparations. If your party has a theme, then the food should be consistent. For example, if you’re throwing a traditional tea party then serve tea and cakes. If you have a Mediterranean theme, then shop accordingly.

Plan B

The problem with outdoor parties is that they depend on the weather. What will you do if it rains or snows? Create a plan B. Guests could always move into the house and you could hold the party there. Or, consider erecting a marquee for the event. This will allow your guests to remain outside without getting wet.


To recap, plan ahead and make sure you leave yourself plenty of time. Tackle the garden first and then move onto the decorations. If you have a theme then keep this in mind when decorating and organizing food. Don’t forget spare seating and have a plan B in case of bad weather. All that remains is to enjoy the day.


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Greek U & Her Campus | A Resource for the Modern Collegian

I remember when I was attending undergrad at Howard University (Bison YOU KNOW)....  I was thousands of miles away from home, in a new city with a future ahead of building new relationships and on the journey of the beginning stages of starting my career. 

To be honest, I was not frightened at all, very excited to start this new venture in my life at one of the most prestigious HBCU's in the nation and to soon be able to call myself an alum and walk in the footsteps of greatness.  I loved my undergrad (wouldn't change it for anything in the world) because it opened soooo many doors for me and taught me how to be independent, hardworking and resilient. I was involved heavily in my academic studies, a member of the marching band, year book committee and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity for women.

with my sorority sisters singing around our tree <3 @}--

with my sorority sisters singing around our tree <3 @}--

Being apart of different organizations and pledging definitely opened lots of doors for me. I gained a host of new and amazing people in my life and became apart of something greater than myself. Besides the civic duty that we did as a fraternity, one thing I definitely loves was walking across campus in my paraphernalia. There were so much cute Greek gear that you could get for events that it became my secret obsession. 

Greek U is an online resource that provides custom Greek apparel and accessories for sororities and fraternities for an affordable price. The company was founded at Univ. of California- Santa Barbara by a fellow fraternity member, so the company takes pride in creating products that are relatable to today's modern Greek member.

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HER CAMPUS

While there were resources on campus for students transitioning into college and resources for internships, like many other institutions.... there was not enough.

For TODAY'S modern college woman (because I graduated almost 10 years ago...) there are a plethora of online resources to help with transitioning from grade school to university life as well as giving you tools and tips to build confidence and more. Her Campus is an online resource for collegiate women that has a sole goal of empowering women through providing beauty, health, entertainment, DIY, and lifestyle content as well as providing many resources that the young college woman will definitely need.

Some of the resources provided include....

Her Campus was founded by 3 (then) Harvard undergraduate women and has since grown into a platform that not only gives back to other undergraduate women through their 10,000+ contributors (content written FOR YOU by women like YOU), but also has 350 campus chapters nationwide in ten countries. And for those of you looking to branch out into the world of journalism, media or fashion, the company prides itself on being a career launching point where members have been offered jobs and internships from some of the top magazines and newspapers in the world.

I wish there was a resource like this back when I was in undergrad, but I am happy to know that for women (and men) in college today, there are so many resources available. 

Make sure you check out Her Campus today!


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Finding The Right Car with Cars.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cars.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finding the right car can be challenging. Especially when there are so many dealerships (certified and off brand or well known and private owned), going with someone you can trust is like finding the perfect mate.... IT TAKES TIME.  Well to help ease the process for you, your fairy God (father) mother is here to help the process a smooth ride.

Cars.com is a well respected online service helping buyers and owners of cars navigate car ownership. The site helps to connect consumers with honest local dealers across the country by providing a wealth of information giving you all the tools you need to make informed decisions and have confidence when buying your next vehicle. You will find extensive reviews from consumers just like you, and the best part is nothing is sugar coated. They give it to you real and honest. You can also find how-to videos if you are a fixer upper and are very handy with tools, and great pricing and deals on vehicles. Most importantly since Cars.com is a well respected leader in the industry, most dealerships are willing to price match.

SO WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE!!

If you are in the market for a reliable and affordable vehicle, make sure you head to Cars.com.

 

 

 

 

Cars.com helps shoppers buy, sell and service their vehicles.

Love Groupon Deals? You'll Love their New Coupons Even More!

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinion are my own.


Everybody loves a good Groupon. Mainly because you can get up to half off or more off your favorite local deals or destination travel finds. I myself, will always look to Groupon to see if there is a deal for a new restaurant  that I want to try out (because if I don’t like it, I know I didn’t spend an arm and a leg) or if they have deals on events/concerts or just to shop for things I like (electronics, home goods, etc).

If you love Groupon as much as I do, you’ll be excited to know that they now have online coupons that you can at some of your favorite retailers. From hotel to clothing savings, there is something there for everyone. Below are a few of my favorites…. 

  • FOOTLOCKER: $20 off w/ code

  • TARGET: $15 off

  • AMERICAN APPAREL: 25% off student discount

  • BARNES & NOBLE: 2 books for $20

FYI: Last Call by Neiman Marcus is having a Memorial Day sale + other savings you can check out here… LAST CALL

Of course they have many other amazing savings on their website you can check out here… https://www.groupon.com/coupons

HAPPY COUPONING!!


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Jessie Lee Love | My American Icon + Win a Trip to NYC

The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.
— C. JoyBell C.

My grandma at 16.

A grandmother's love is a bond that is already so special because she makes the impossible seem possible when it comes to spoiling you with things that your parents wouldn't normally do. But when that bond is transformed into a motherly connection where she has made sacrifices to make sure that you had everything that you need to become the best version of yourself.... that makes her extraordinary.

This is my Grandmother- Jessie Lee Love, she is the one woman in my life who I absolutely adore more than anything on this earth. She raised me since I was a little girl and instilled in me the value of hard work, resilience, perserverence and to do all things with style and grace. She is definitely a fashion icon of her time, she worked in a lingerie factory, has amazing style and was always first and foremost a lady at all times (B.B. King knew!!

Everyone knows the sacrifices women make on a daily to make sure their families are taken care of. Knowing this, world renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz has launched  WOMEN: New Portraits to showcase the everyday female heroes in our lives. The exhibition is based on her book, 'Women', a collection of portraits in collaboration with Susan Sontag in 1999. Launched in London of January 2016, the UBS x Leibovitz collaboration continues to explore the changes in the roles of women today. The tour will travel to ten host cities over the course of twelve months including London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich.

Even better, Annie is giving one lucky person a trip for 2 to NYC for sharing their everyday hero. The winner will get to see the November 2016 exhibition in person as well as meet Annie! Click here for more info

 

Who's the special lady in your life? To submit your own story, post a pic of your hero on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShareYourHero and tag @USB. Make sure to TAG ME so that I can like and comment... @kashon_bg

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by memBrain via Linqia. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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VIVA ITALIA: Creamy Parm Basil Chicken & Stuffed Peppers Recipes w/ Filippo Berio Olive Oil

I absolutely LOVE Italian food... Bring on the CARBS! Italian Food is always a huge crowd pleaser. Whether you’re feeding your hungry family or hosting a household of friends, everybody loves the taste of al dente pasta, a rich sauce or a delicious pizza. 

I've partnered with Filippo Berio Olive Oil to bring you this delicious Italian meal and I am going to show you how you can make this at home!

vivaitalia

And the finished result looks a little something like this..... 

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The Filippo Berio Robusto Olive Oil really complimented this dish. It is bold, full-bodied and gave off fruity and intense flavor when I tried it. It paired very well with the heavier ingredients in the dish but did not over power the individual flavors which was a plus. 

Head over to your local grocery store and pick up a bottle today.

 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Filippo Berio via Influenster, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!


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