June 21, 2017

Maggie’s Florence Adventure

I know what you’re thinking; those LMP girls must REALLY love Italy. I know Abby just took a trip to Italy this spring and you’ve already heard all about it, but I promise I have a unique experience to share too!

When my friend Colleen said she was thinking about going to Florence in June, I knew I had to nudge my way onto her trip. Colleen and I studied abroad in Florence 5 years ago, so although it’s a city I know well from living there for 4 months, I couldn’t help but think “this trip is exactly what I need right now.” No exhausting lines with other tourists. No pressure to see the sights. All I had to do was focus on eating, drinking, and getting inspired.

If you haven’t heard yet, I’ve recently been hired full time (yay!) with Little Miss Party. For the past 2.5 years I’ve worked remotely with the team from Boston, where I’ve lived for 7 years. I traveled intermittently to NYC, which is when you may have seen me on Seri’s Snapchat or Instagram. We were finally ready to make a big transition, so I will officially be moving to NYC on July 1st! It’s been quite the journey for me over this past year, but I knew in my heart that working with LMP was my dream come true. You can learn more about my journey and all the reasons I was ready to leave Boston on my personal blog.

Needless to say, it’s been a crazy couple months for me, and knowing I would soon be VERY busy with the move to NYC, I knew that I had to take the opportunity to travel now before life gets in the way. Because so much of my life revolves around creativity, I planned this trip knowing my main focus was to take in the beauty, photograph my experiences and EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

Let’s start with sights:

The Darling details of Italy

Gorgeous cars, posed perfectly against the traditional architecture of Florence.

Every building has rooftop & porch gardens. It brings beautiful new life to this old city.

Bicycles EVERYWHERE! And more plants!

Archways over narrow streets, casting the most beautiful light. Your eyes will never be disappointed on a casual walk through this city.

Sights for Sore Eyes

The Duomo is easily the most famous building in all of Florence. This feat of architectural beauty creates a “wow” factor for any passerby. Although I recommend seeing the views of Florence from the top of the Duomo Bell tower, the lines during tourist season are INSANE and walking around the outside of this building is impressive in itself.

The Arno is the river that divides Florence, and while in town, walking across its many bridges is necessary. Lined with many restaurants and hotels, this river is a beautiful sight, especially at sunset. Be sure to walk across the Ponte Vecchio but the better views are from the bridges surrounding it.

For the best views of Florence AND the surrounding Tuscan countryside, I would suggest walking up to Forte di Belvedere. All the tourists go to Piazzale Michaelangelo, and although it’s beautiful up there, it’s always packed. This location is much quieter and offers a grander view of the area. We only knew about this spot because we spent the whole week with our wonderful local friend who shared the secret with us!

Next, let’s discuss food and drinks:

Pasta

One of our favorite pasta stops was Trattoria Sant’Agostino which of course, we stumbled upon after a couple hours of walking and feeling famished. We purposely sought out locations off the beaten path, in small alleyways where we could tell everyone inside was speaking Italian. We wanted the authentic experience, and this place did not disappoint.

Pizza

If you’re looking for a freshly made pizza, Gusta Pizza is a must-go. Although a tourist attraction and always busy, this spot makes your pizza to order in their own brick oven so it comes out piping hot and delicious.

truffle everything

Truffle is in season in Italy, and you see it very frequently at the local restaurants. One night in search of a late dinner, we found Trattoria Napaleone which had a menu with a section of pasta that included truffle in every dish. So, we ordered truffle carbonara, truffle ravioli, and truffle gnocchi. No regrets. this place was beyond amazing with a true Florentine atmosphere.

Coccoli, prosciutto and stracchino

This is a famous appetizer in Florence, which is essentially fried bread, soft cheese, and prosciutto. It was simply delicious everywhere we tried it.

wine

We cannot forget one of the most important parts of going to Italy. THE WINE. It flows like water, and boy, did we drink it like it was.

We were lucky enough to go with our local friend, Angelica, outside of Florence about 45 minutes via public bus to Marchesi Antinori, a famous winery of Tuscany. The region is famous for Chianti Classico, an esteemed red wine that has been made there for hundreds of years.

Although we all tasted the Chianti Classico with lunch it was a HOT day. After learning about the winery and walking the grounds, we cooled off with their equally delicious rosé.

Finally, let’s focus on the things that made this trip inspiring:

The entire time we were there, Colleen and I had our cameras out and ready to capture the things that caught our eyes. Colleen is an amazing artist, designer, and photographer and I am so lucky to call her my friend. We fueled each other during our week back in Florence to capture the beautiful moments.

Colleen and I planned this trip so we could work on one of her (many) amazing side projects, Wanderwise. She is hoping to bring change the tourist industry of Florence with these creative workshops, and I’m so lucky I was there to help her brainstorm.

This trip was very nostalgic for us. This is us in front of the apartment we lived in 5 years ago. It was this place that developed our friendship and made us into the artists we are today.

Florence is a city filled with tradition. We were there during one of the famous city-wide rugby matches and were able to watch a parade to celebrate the big game. This procession lasted about 45 minutes with hundreds of men in traditional, colorful, and heavy garb.

Our wonderful Italian friend, Angelica is the daughter of one of our professors from studying in Florence. She was kind enough to show us around her city, help us order the best food, and provide a warm welcome for our entire stay.

The beautiful, old architecture of Italy is always so entwined with nature. I was so happy to walk around and see greenery and flowers every way I turned.

I came home from this trip feeling full, happy, and READY to move! I hope you enjoyed seeing pieces of my trip. Feel free to follow me on Instagram (@maggieantalek) to see my future travels, daily BTS at Little Miss Party, and my new adventures in NYC. Watch out New York, I’m coming for you next!

xx, Maggie
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June 19, 2017

Chef Luke makes hummus & pita chips

As the school year is winding down, after school activities are also coming to an end. So the boys have had a lot of free time lately. Since Tuesdays opened up for Gavin he’s been asking to cook with Luke!

Luke loves hummus and we’ve been talking about making it so there you have it. We found the easiest recipe on our friend’s site, Weelicious. We added baked pita chips into the mix so the boys would have something good to dip when the hummus was ready!

The best part of this recipe? It’s healthy. Ugh. I love when that happens!

We set out a plate of veggies for the boys to eat while they were cooking (because they are always hungry) and they also dipped these into their hummus.

Want to see how it all went down? Watch it here.

xx, Seri
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June 12, 2017

Best friends, Handbags and Wine

The incredible girls (Kate!) at MZ Wallace recently asked me to participate in the #MZWoman campaign with my best friend, Ali. They invited us into their lofty, Soho office, gave us wine and cheese, had a team to do our hair and make up and sent us home with bags to wear on the trip we were taking together to attend Coachella. Needless to say, it was a fun day.

They asked us to answer some questions and I’m excited to share those with you today, along with my answers and…tell you what you can typically find in my bag…

MZ Wallace: Why is it important to have girlfriends in your life?
Seri: My girlfriends are so important to me because they are always there to listen to the good + the bad. We laugh together, cry together and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. 

MZ Wallace: What is your favorite thing to do with your girlfriends?
Seri: DRINK WINE and talk.

MZ Wallace: What’s your favorite MZ Wallace bag for the work week? For the weekend
Seri: The Crosby Traveler is the best for the work week.  It can hold all my folders and laptop and my favorite part is the cross body strap so I can keep my hands free for coffee and my cell phone.  For the weekend, I love the Paige. It’s small and lightweight but holds a good amount so I can still carry the necessities while out in the evening.
Since this shoot my bag SOLD OUT!  I picked a good one – obvi. More of these types of bags in other fab shapes/sizes are available!

MZ Wallace: How do you balance making time for your girlfriends with your busy career and/or family schedules?
Seri: Time for my girlfriends is a must. It’s never easy to fit everyone and everything into my schedule but I always carve out the time at least once or twice a month so I can catch up with my best gal pals. This sometimes means I have to work later into the night to get everything in a day done but it’s always worth it. The work/life balance is key and that includes family AND friends!

MZ Wallace: If we open your bag up today, what will we find inside?
Seri: CANDY, Hand & Face wipes, My Wallet, MAC Lipstick, my keys, pack of tissues, a pencil, pack of gum, glasses and a phone charger.

Thank you MZ Wallace for inviting me to be a part of this super fun campaign!

xx, Seri
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June 7, 2017

First comes Love, then comes the Baby…

We plan a lot of bridal showers here at Little Miss Party and honestly? It’s our favorite party to plan. Our brides are so excited to get married and we get to make their bridal shower party dreams come true.

9 times out of 10, our brides call us a few years after the shower and ask us if we can plan their BABY Shower! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby with the baby carriage!

A year later, we get another call…time to celebrate Junior’s first birthday! Can you please style the party?!

With that, we quickly realized there are folks who don’t live in NYC and cannot use our services, so to reach these people and ensure they are having a party just as pretty as the ones they see on our website, we launched Little Miss Party in a Box.

LMP in a Box has been around now for two years. We receive the most wonderful feedback from our customers who tell us that our party boxes “saved” them! A few of our favorite notes…

What a party success! We used everything! Everyone was wondering how I had time to coordinate everything- I said I had a Little Miss Party in a Box for help! Keep in touch! Thanks a bunch! Xo
-Sherri Levine

THANK YOU so much for bringing my birthday inspo to life! The room looked incredible with all the decorations for truly a memorable TWINNING birthday celebration that brought together our families in town from across the country. I cannot say this enough, we could not have had this type of birthday celebration WITHOUT your your amazing service and creative support. Everything from the custom flowers for the wall and the light up marquee hearts were just stunning touches to detail that added to the theme. There is just not enough time in the day and I am so grateful to have found your company. I hope to use you again for future party needs!
-Jayne Babine

Now we have new party boxes online and we’re so excited to share with you. Specifically today I’m super excited to introduce the new Little Miss Shower Party in a Box that you can drop down the menu to purchase as a “love” bridal shower box OR a “baby” shower. We’ve got new plates with the cutest party lingo, glitter utensils and our PARTY PEOPLE cups which you can now buy separately.

Whether you’re planning a shower or a birthday party for a child or a grown up, we’ve got you with our one-stop-shop party boxes.

Cheers!

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Corinne

    What an adorable baby sprinkle. I just threw my sister in laws and recognize a lot of that stuff form he dollar section at target, dont you guys just love target. I added a unique touch to her shower by using an Event YardCard, you can see pics of it here https://www.eventyardcard.com/gallery. It was really cute with little storks.

  2. swecha

    Thank you for sharing this great article i hope its work to me and its helpful Event Planners In Hyderabad

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June 5, 2017

The Golden Years

It’s funny when you have kids, people offer up all kinds of advice and say super cliché things like “enjoy every moment they grow up so fast”. Or “enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts” – when the baby is born. Or “just wait for when they are old enough to entertain each other, those are the golden years”.

All those clichés? Well obviously they are true.

YES they grow up too fast.

YES the first few months of life was 100% the honeymoon. Omg the thought of my babies lying on my chest. Those memories take my breath away.

YES…we just reached the golden years.

Sounds so glamorous doesn’t it? Well I don’t mean it to be. Kids are HARD no matter what age. BUT I’ll tell you, this stage that we just reached certainly is a nice change from watching their every move. Always worried they will choke. Or fall and crack their skull open.

We’ve reached that stage where we can sit up on the deck…while they play on the swing set and dare I say…they don’t need us.  It’s pretty lovely.

I’m also starting to notice Gavin maturing. He shows empathy and true concern for his family and friends in a way I never knew he could pick up. Last week when we went to Paris, before leaving he said, Mom, I’d like to bring the extra “Aviator” book (a booklet from American Airlines that he gets the pilots to sign every time he flies) to Mazzy so she doesn’t feel left out. I was so touched by this thought. Something I would have asked him to do if I remembered but he did all on his own.

Same goes for how he treats his brother. He’s so thoughtful and caring when it comes to protecting his baby bro and making sure he’s safe, especially when he’s in charge while I’m off making dinner for example.

Now I know damn well these special years are going to FLY by so I’m savoring every moment of my boys taking care of each other, playing together, with friends and our family. Soon enough they’ll be beating each other up and rolling through the teenager years. You guys, I’ve never been so terrified for something in my life. TEENS! NO! Please stay this age of 4 and 7 FOREVER!

HUGE thanks to Patricia BurmickyPhotographer & Founder of PhotoUno Photography School who I met at the most lovely Crepes party that my friend Jennifer Crêpes à la Maison for these fantastic photos of my little men. And a few that I snagged with my baby Luke.

xx, Seri
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