Create and Curate

Host Like a Pro

December 8, 2019

How To Host The Best Parties

 

My life has always been about hospitality. Decades of experience as a caterer, event planner, lifestyle consultant, and undaunted hostess taught me how to create epic events and still enjoy myself. I love to entertain, but what I really love is creating the magic my guests remember long after the last bite of flourless chocolate cake.

 

Entertaining does not have to be expensive or take a zillion hours in the kitchen. The best hosts know a little planning goes a long way, and a shock and awe feature will amplify any event from fun to memorable. I have a friend who throws crazy fun parties and never cooks, but she always does something unexpected, and her guests arrive ready for fun. Take your party game up with these simple tips for hosting fabulous events.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

Pick a theme: A theme sets the tone for your party from the minute your guests receive their invite. Theme parties get everyone on the same sheet of music and provide a framework for food, drinks, music, attire, and decorations. I just got an invitation for an Apres Ski party (minus the skis). I can tell the event will be casual, there might be some chili and charcuterie, possible hot drinks and maybe some sort of outside games. This makes me happy because I can start thinking about my outfit and arrive prepared.

Tell your guests what to expect:  Anticipation is a great appetizer. Along with the necessary details of the event, who, what, where, when, and RSVP. Be sure to specify essential information, so your guests arrive prepared. Come Hungry if there will be a lot of food, or Dress Warmly for marshmallow toasting by the bonfire, or Prizes for Best Holiday Sweaters. 

 

Plan ahead: You never want to be scrambling at the last minute. Everything always takes longer than we think. Leave nothing to last-minute chance. The time to get ready and provisioned is the week before. Purchase your booze, order your food, get set up. Outline a schedule, so you forget nothing. I always build in a little me-time before my guests arrive. This helps me be relaxed and present as a host, and I enjoy myself more.

 

Create a fun vibe: I am a huge fan of moving furniture and creating a party space. Setting up the bar ahead of time is simple, and getting the lighting right is key for setting the mood. No one wants to be in an overly lit room. Get a bunch of votive candles, use twinkle lights on branches, get ideas on Pinterest, but make sure you have flattering lighting for your guests. Create a playlist to go with the theme, make sure the sound system is in good working order. Offering a special drink? Try it ahead of time to work out any imperfections. Get fun glasses. I often hit the thrift store and pick up inexpensive fun glasses for my event. Use an ink stamp to brand your party cocktail napkins and paper goods. Party games never fail to deliver when tailored to the event. Decorations can be as simple as lighting and flowers or as fantastic as a budget and imagination allow. Pick up fresh flowers and greens the day of for freshness.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Serve the good stuff: No cooking needed to be a great host, but strong assembling skills are a must. Purchase the best goodies your neighborhood has to offer and set up food stations. Have your local wine and cheese shop make charcuterie and cheese boards. Pick up sushi from the corner place, cookies at that great bakery, and hummus from the local middle eastern restaurant. The hosts' job is to create a delightful environment for people to enjoy themselves while being feted.


Nothing kills the mood faster than cheap booze and party platters from Costco. You can take advantage of food and beverage values, just put in a little effort so your guests can't tell.


Shock & Awe: Surprise your guests with a wow! There are all sorts of ways to impress. When your guests arrive request, they put their phones on silent. Unless you are hosting a bunch of doctors, this is reasonable. People are more present when they are not distracted by their phones.

*Hire an oyster bar and serve champagne.

*Create a special backdrop, take photos of each guest as they arrive. 

*Hire a Karaoke machine, have a team singing competition. People  

  get really into this!

*Make a flaming punch or cocktail ice luge.

*One year we had a huge tree trunk delivered to our driveway and played the ax game (it's a long story).

  
Goody bags: I always have a little something for my guests to take home and enjoy. It can be as simple as a bag of spicy holiday Chex Mix or elaborate like a 1/4 pound of specialty coffee and a couple of scones. I prowl thrift stores for my favorite books and cookbooks to give as little gifts. 


Pro tip: Buy an inexpensive coat rack to avoid the "where's my coat" scramble. Have plenty of ice. Hire help if you can afford it…it is totally worth it.

ENJOY YOURSELF: The real secret to fantastic events is a relaxed host having a great time.

Daily inspiration and motivation on Instagram @kristencoffield.

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Reimagine Midlife

October 2, 2019

I didn't know what I didn't know, and that's probably a good thing. I thought my life would take a predictable path, and it didn't. Life got complicated and messy, and one day I found myself up a creek without a paddle.

 

Life is a tough sport, and there is no definitive guide to rebooting in the middle of it all. We are just improvising as we go, pivoting as needed, and doing our best. When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan we face -- disappointments, health scares, and all sorts of unimaginable things. So, how do we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get back on track?

 

When the going gets tough, it's time to reboot. We can take the experiences and lessons learned from life and turn them into something new. Instead of living our lives predictably, we fire them up, exploring our own potential and doubling down on achievements left undone -- turning the middle years into a time of opportunity, accomplishment, and enrichment.

 

The biggest challenge is always going from idea to action. Starting something new can be daunting and overwhelming. Obstacles imagined and real, block our way. Self-doubt rears its ugly head and undermines our confidence. And, sometimes, the hardest part is just starting; especially if we are unsure of the desired outcome or how to achieve it.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

If we want our lives to be different than they are right now, we can choose to do things differently. We can decide that this is our time, snatch the middle years from the jaws of mediocrity and write our own damn next chapter.

 

My own story required a re-write. I had to own my part in what wasn't working, free myself from unproductive behaviors, and get excited about the infinite possibilities ahead. The things over which I had no control had to go, and I turned my energy and attention to what I actually had the power to change… me. This became my starting point; a freeing mind-shift that released me from unproductive patterns of behavior and self-limiting beliefs, opening up bandwidth for new, exciting opportunities. 

 

Simplify, prioritize, and feel good again, became my mantra. So, I started with the one thing I could control each day that would have the most significant impact physically, emotionally, and mentally -- food. I took the simple, daily act of eating and turned it into my superpower. 

 

Food in its purest form is fuel, which I needed to power-up my dreams. Eating with intention was energizing, which led to the gym. Exercise triggered feel-good endorphins, improving my energy, sleep, and mood. Looking and feeling good felt like the best version of "me" boosting my self-confidence. And one day, I looked ahead, and the future was exciting and filled with possibilities. One bite at a time I created a life of passion and purpose, and so can you.

 

 Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe.

 

 The little things we do every day add up over time and impact our lives. What we eat and drink, the people with whom we spend time, our thoughts, exercise, how we manage stress, and the quality of our sleep are things within our control that profoundly shape our lives. Reimagining life when we need to starts with being good stewards of our health. Abundant energy, resilient minds, consistent wellness, and energetic bodies are tools we can use to create lives we love.

 

 One simple step, done repeatedly, is the foundation for change. 

 

 When we feel good, we have the confidence and energy to explore other areas of our lives.

Start small and dream big. Change begins with a single action, what will yours be?

 

Kristen Coffield is an author, educator, and culinary disruptor at Culinary Cure where you can get her free e-book, 9 Steps To Change Your Life and start today.

Follow Kristen on Instagram @kristencoffield


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How To Titrate CBD

March 14, 2019

How CBD Oil Works: Find The Right Serving For You

 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabis compound found in large amounts in the hemp plant. It can have significant medical benefits without any of the psychotropic effects of its cousin THC. CBD is becoming widely available and if you want to take advantage of its beneficial properties you will need to learn about the different delivery systems and understand how to measure quantities to determine the right serving amount for you.

 

CBD is an appealing option if you are looking for relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, sleeplessness and stress. There is also compelling clinical research using CBD as a potential treatment option for arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, PTSD, antibiotic-resistant infections, depression and chronic pain. CBD also has documented neuro-protective benefits due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be taken as a daily supplement for improved overall health.

 

How CBD Works

 

CBD works with the human endocannabinoid system which is responsible for keeping important biological functions in balance — things like managing pain, sleep, the immune system, digestion and more. Basically, we humans are pre-wired to use cannabinoid plant compounds in beneficial ways, making CBD an attractive treatment for many health concerns. 

 

Along with cannabinoids, there are other naturally occurring active chemicals in cannabis called terpenoids and flavonoids. These chemical components contribute a wide variety of therapeutic benefits such as, preventing seizures and muscle spasms, killing viruses and bacteria, preventing certain types of cancer, stimulating bone growth and dilating blood vessels. 

 

Delivery Systems For CBD

 

CBD is going to find its way into everything from energy drinks to pet food and it will be important to understand how the different delivery systems. There are patches, edibles, sublingual, vaping or smoking, creams and skin care. Each one of these will have a different onset and duration. Every body is different so, it is important to titrate, or determine the smallest amount of CBD you can use to get the desired results. There will also be varying personal responses depending on the quality and type of CBD and hormones.

 

Everyones endocannabinoid system is different. Some individuals have a more tolerant endocannabinoid system that responds only to high servings. Others will be more sensitive and react to low doses or their reactions may vary with the time of day or month. There is also a “biphasic response’ that can occur with CBD. A biphasic response is when CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in low amounts and  increases concentration, alertness and wakefulness. But, when taken at higher levels has the opposite effect. Making you feel sleepy and calm instead of focused and full of energy. Each individual needs to self-titrate and find their own best serving amount.

 

How To Find Your Best CBD Serving Amount

 

The rule is to start low and slow, and be consistent when you begin taking CBD. Finding high quality products that deliver consistent measurable amounts of CBD will make it easier to titrate and find your optimal serving amount and create a CBD schedule. Look for a provider who practices organic farming, uses state of the art distilling to extract the cannabinoid compounds and tests for quality and purity.

 

You also want to be using full spectrum CBD. When CBD is referred to as full spectrum or whole plant CBD, it means that the CBD contains other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD Isolate, on the other hand, is simply purified CBD that has been extracted from the hemp plant and isolated from the other cannabinoids.

 

From a consistency standpoint taking a soft gel or tincture will make it easier to measure amounts of CBD than taking edibles or transdermal patches. I do not recommend edibles for several reasons. Many purchased edibles have added sugar which is harmful to teeth and linked to increased inflammation. Edibles also vary in consistency and are harder to measure due to the fact that they get absorbed through the digestive system, resulting in a delayed response that can take hours. Inhalation (vaping) and sublingual(tinctures/drops) delivery systems will be more immediate and also contain more cannabinoids.

 

If you want to the most predictable results soft gels make it easy to start low and slow and titrate to your perfect amount and schedule. Quality soft gels can increase bioavailability up to 300% over oil based CBD tinctures. The CBD Softgels I use have a proprietary technology to increase absorption of the cannabidoil, making them fast acting and more bioavailable than other tablets and oils. They are also full spectrum, leveraging multiple botanical actives and other naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant. From a titrating standpoint you can start with organic CBD Softgels 10mg then titrate up to the 25mg Softgels. Or use a tincture and measure similar dosages.

 

How I Found My Perfect Serving Amount

 

I started taking10mg soft gels at night for a week, then added another 10mg soft gel in the morning for another week. I experimented for several weeks until I found what felt like the best amount to take at night to help me get restorative rest and also the right amount in the morning to help me focus and balance out my stress.

 

It took me several months to determine optimum servings and to learn how my body responds to CBD. Because this is a process and there is no exact formula that works the same for everyone, you need to take it low and slow and pay attention to your body. This information is intended to help you understand how CBD works with your endocannabinoid system and give you an idea of what it means to titrate servings. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor when adding a new supplement to your routine.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about CBD flooding the internet. Finding a trusted brand of CBD sourced from organic hemp and tested for potency and purity is your first step. Understanding how to titrate your best serving size and schedule is the second step. Learn more about the benefits of CBD and how to incorporate it into your wellness plan. 


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