A few weeks ago, I co-hosted a “Merry & Bright Yuletide Gathering” with my dear friends Lydia of Ever Ours and Geri of Sweet Lucie’s. These two have been there for me throughout this entire year, while I had to face a lot of difficulties. If you have been following our magazine, blog and/or social media, my loving father unexpectedly passed away early this year, and just last month my grandfather passed as well. This year was challenging and sadly didn’t go as planned, however, I was surrounded with a lot of love. Throughout my pain, God didn’t allow me to mourn alone. Not until recently, I noticed that the more I shared my struggles, heart and story with others, He would fill my cup with people that He knew would uplift me. I’m sincerely grateful that He sprinkled growth and moments of success for the magazine and created partnerships with so many talented people. Thus, the yuletide gathering was my way of saying thank you for everyone that has been there for me and my family; with their friendship, collaborations, love and constant encouragement, either through social media, email, text messages, phone call, or over a cup of tea.

In the next few days, for Christmas, I’ll be taking a few days off to take care of myself and my family to deal with two major losses and focus on what matters most. However, I didn’t want to leave you without saying how much you mean to. I wanted to end this year with a blog post dedicated to you dear readers. Thank you for your unconditional support, for sticking around and for being here for Utterly Engaged and for me. Without you there is no us. Thank you for being my light and encouragement to continue to create beauty and love during this time of darkness.

As you spend the next days having your own yuletide gathering, I pray that God richly bless every one of you and your family during this Christmas season. Until we meet again in 2016, I genuinely wish that the new year for you be filled with greater love, a purposeful life, and inspired togetherness.

With Gratitude,

Together, event designer and stylist, Sarah Park Events, and floral designer, Pick Tulip, made a really incredible team. They both turned my vision into something that was even more amazing. I loved observing their creative process and their passion for design and styling. And with Jon Cu photographing it all with his attention to details, so thankful for all of them. These three are worth paying attention to in 2016, big things are coming from them.

What do you bring together calligraphers Red Letter Day and Nicole Miyuki and wood laser cuts by Woodscape Prints? Beautiful signage.

Bartender, The Whaling Club Bar concocted a delicious holiday cocktail for our guests. Everyone was raving about it all night long! Bourbon, apple cider, cranberry, lime, all spice, aromatic bitters… yes please!

One of the highlights of the party was the incredible food! Sweet Lucie’s is hands down my favorite organic ice cream. My go to flavor, I couldn’t tell you, because it’s all so delicious.

Chef Benjamin from La Paella Catering, cooked three different paella on site and it was so much fun to witness. I’m salivating just thinking about it. If you haven’t tried or experienced paella before you need to hire them. And his appetizers… I have three letters, OMG.

Aguacate con langostinos / Melon con Jamon / Chorizo y Queso / Tortilla Valenciana / Jamon Carving Station

“Holiday Cheer” was served it out of copper punch bowl with punch glassware from Borrowed Blu and our guests were feeling warm and merry throughout the entire night.

Look at that killer bar from Circa Vintage Rentals. I wanted to take it home with me!

Amuse Booths and Drop It Modern’s backdrop (that we designed!) equals a whole lot of fun and craziness.

Me and my mom. She is my rock and my everything.

My beautiful co-host Lydia and her sweet sister. They are the bees knees.