I’ll be transparent- after hosting this event, I’d vowed to myself that I would never host an event on my own alone. From the minute the Eventbrite tickets went live, each day’s to-do list was to put out fires of chaos. From vendors cancelling orders, invalid park permits, weather concerns, budget arrangements, and all of my helping hands cancelling. For a second, I stopped and thought “well, maybe this just isn’t supposed to be a part of my purpose- I don’t have to host events to be a blogger”. Although all of the attendees enjoyed themselves, my good sisters lent their helping hands, and the rain waited until we got most of the breakdown completed. I spent days wrecking my brain on things I had no control over. While everyone was posting their pictures and telling their friends how much of a good time they had, I spent days in my bed- broke, feeling like a failure, and extremely tired from stress.
From this event, I learned that it’s okay to take losses sometimes, but what’s important is how you pick yourself up and work to make changes the next time around. I tend to be so hard on myself when working on projects and it does nothing but cause stress and take away the most important fact- I got to create a space for Black and Brown women to embrace feminity and sisterhood while drink wine and enjoying the views from the serene Detroit River.
After talking it through with my therapist, writing this blog post, and hearing all of the wonderful remarks from my supporters and event guests, here’s what I’ve come to realize: as a creative, it’s important to have realistic expectations and treat your work with respect just as you would like others. I tend to get in a mood where I feel like I’m a superhuman and then life hits and fail to recognize the human part. We make mistakes, we sometimes don’t meet deadlines, we fail many times until getting it right sometimes. Embracing your life journey and committing to learning from mistakes and past experiences is what’s important and what will create improvements along the way. Now, back to the picnic!
When working to launch the event’s campaign. I knew only a few things: I wanted to host a picnic that screaming feminine and sisterhood. The venue had to be peaceful and the food had to be simple, yet delicious. Instantly, I started my Pinterest search for sisterhood and summer parties until I found the perfect idea- a lavish picnic party! To create the perfect aesthetics, I decided on florals, shades of pink, elegant decor, and a family style menu- for the sake of sisterhood, of course. I started my search first, in my grandmother’s basement for antique and elegant decor like candelabras and serving platters. What I didn’t find from her, I found at my local Ikea and Homegoods such as tealight candle holders, platters, lanterns, and vases.
The tablescape for the picnic is something I am very proud of and it takes a lot for me to be truly proud of my work. I like being intentional with my decor to make people feel like they are at the fanciest of events. I purchased glass water bottles from Ikea, opted for glass plates instead of plastic (everyone knows I hate foam and plastic plates), and made sure there were an abundance of candles. I found mini cheese boards at Ikea as well and several around the table for the ladies to pass and snack and opted for actual wine glasses instead of your traditional plastic items- after all, the goal was to be as fancy and elegant as possible.
Menu planning for social events is an area where I usually don’t have a problem in. I wanted to share some of my favorite picnic dishes with the ladies and it was executed perfectly. I’ll include each dish with main ingredients below if you’re ever looking for dishes to serve at your own picnic with loved ones.
(These are brief descriptions, not actual recipes)
Garden Pasta Salad: One of my favorite summer dishes- I used garden rotini pasta, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, broccoli florets, cucumbers, parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing.
Strawberry Cheesecake Jars: These are always a winner! For the crust I decided to use ginger snaps instead of the usual graham crackers, I made a no-bake cheesecake filling using cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cream. There were topped with a homemade strawberry filling, whipped cream, and ginger snap crumbles.
Shrimp Cocktail Shooters: These are the easiest yet cutest dish to serve (as long as no one is allergic) I bought frozen, cooked shrimp and unthawed them the morning of the event. I bought condiment cups from Walmart (the ones you use for jello shots) and added a few tablespoons of cocktail sauce to the bottom of the cups, placed two shrimps in each and squeezed fresh lemon juice on top.
Italian Deli Sandwiches: These were a first time make for me, but I was thoroughly impressed. I purchased the Italian bread from Walmart because it’s baked fresh daily. I made an easy basil pesto and used that as the spread for the sandwiches. I filled the sandwiches with pepperoni, salami, turkey, shredded lettuce, banana peppers, provolone cheese, and fire roasted red peppers.
Chicken Club Sliders: My new personal favorite! These sliders were super easy to assemble and very yummy! I started with Hawaiian slider buns and used deli-sliced chicken breast, bacon, avocado spread, and curly leaf lettuce. One of my favorites to serve when having friends and family over.
Although the execution was not as easy as planned, sitting back and watching my guests network with other entrepreneurs and creatives, express their need for sisterhood, and drink wine while listening to Denise Williams and Megan thee Stallion made this event worth all of it. It’s amazing watching a vision become reality and as a creative the one thing you can never take away from your projects is that you took an idea and made it happen- no matter what happened along the way. Now that I’ve shared this, I’m very ecstatic to begin planning for the 2020 event and sharing the journey with all of you. Thanks to all of those who gave words of encouragement and those who spend their hard earned dollars on attending my events.
Until next time!