Sparking a Connection with Lindt Hello Chocolate

I'm ecstatic to partner with Lindt to help introduce their hip and trendy line of HELLO premium chocolate. I've actually purchased this chocolate several times to use as gifts because I'm drawn to the eye-catching packaging, cheeky language and enticing flavors.

When they reached out and asked me to reflect on how I can spark a connection with someone and say HELLO, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I remember my first HELLO with my husband. I sat next to him in my college sociology class because he was the cutest boy in the room. Who knew eight years later that cute boy would be my husband?!?

Because my husband and I are on very different work schedule, sometimes I feel like I barely get to see him. I thought about how I could spark some excitement in his day even while not being there in person. Using the line of Lindt HELLO Chocolates, I created a little goody bag to insert a surprise HELLO into his work bag. I can't wait to see what sweet text I receive when he discovers this surprise. Aren't surprise gifts the best?

The current line comes in several delicious flavors: 
  • Caramel Brownie (My personal favorite!) - Smooth milk chocolate, hazelnut and caramel brownie filling 
  • Strawberry Cheesecake - Rich milk chocolate and light and fluffy strawberry cream cheese filling
  • Crunchy Nougat - Smooth milk chocolate 
  • Cookies & Cream - Chocolate chip cookie pieces and cream filling 
What's also awesome about the line is that you can choose your size! Pick from bars, sticks or even cute little mini sticks to find a sweet treat that's just right.

For my husband's surprise pack, I included all flavors and all sizes. This way he can pick his favorites. 

Is there someone you've been wanting to say HELLO to in a subtle, but sweet way? HELLO chocolates make the perfect introduction. You'll have to check out the "It All Started With HELLO" web-series produced by Ashley Tisdale for situations in which chocolate helps with HELLO. My favorite video in the series hinges on the workplace romance. Nothing likes savoring a little gifted chocolate at your desk!

In other great news, Lindt HELLO chocolate is hosting the Sweet Connections Sweepstakes! Just visit their webpage and enter your email to be entered. Each week, they'll introduce a new giveaway:

September 24 - 30: Girls Just Want to Have Fun Giveaway 
Enjoy a shopping spree with the girls + yummy Lindt chocolate

October 1 - 7: Sweet Staycation 
Lindt HELLO treats you to a pampered night at home - movies, books + chocolate

October 8 -14: Besties Reunion
Reconnect with your best friend for a day at the spa + Lindt HELLO chocolate to sweeten the deal

Be sure to sign up to win some really sweet prizes! Click here for a quick entry.

A special thanks to Lindt HELLO chocolate for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to try all their delicious flavors.

WeWork: Touring Our Creative Meeting Space

Sarah from WeWork, a community of creators who believe in beautiful workspaces, recently reached out to me about my work environment. Since I absolutely adore the space I work in, I was thrilled to share more with her, her team and you!  

While this is not the environment in which I write my weekly Simply Sarah Style posts, it is the place I work at every day as an Account Executive for Copperfox Marketing

We created this unique environment, outfitted in bold colors and one of a kind furnishing, as a creative meeting space for our team and clients. Since this is an extension of individual offices, we rent this area to other corporations hoping to break out of the boardroom and try something a little different for their annual meetings, work sessions and trainings. 

The vibrant space features multiple breakout rooms to accommodate small group brainstorms and even moveable dry-erase walls, perfect for ideation sessions.

What is nice about this space is that we can move furniture to accommodate multiple purposes. Is it a presentation that needs to be projected for guests? Is it a hardcore work session where everyone needs surface space for their laptops? Is it professional cocktail hour? Regardless of the need, this space is a workhorse. 

We even have a small room we call "the vault," which has a huge door that encloses the area below.

We also have kitchenette filled with all the necessities - a kegerator, a wine collection and multiple serving sets - perfect for any entertaining need.

If you aren't completely sold on the space, you should check out the patio. Floral planters line our outdoor area creating a sense of privacy. They also serve as a beautiful distraction making you forget you're at work.

When it comes to work spaces, it doesn't get much better. The space that surrounds us every day is invigorating and inspiring.

I guess my only wish list item for this workspace is free lunch every day...A girl can dream, can't she?

Simply Sarah Style Decorating (Part 3): Front Room Details

If you missed Part I and Part II of this home design series, you can find them here and here.

As I mentioned earlier, this is an older home with lots of charm and even a well-know family line. The space I am showing you today is the first room you see when you enter the house. Here's what the space looked like before we started the decorating process. Lauren liked the paint colors, so we kept them and played off a teal hue found on the opposite wall.

And here's what the space looks like today...

I'm in love with the Kentucky Derby poster Lauren had custom framed for the mantle. A gorgeous Kentucky girl touch!

The front door of this house is absolutely darling. Behind the front door, we created a little mudroom-style drop station where Lauren can hang up coats, scarves and keys. This is also an area where she can place outgoing things, like store returns, mail, etc.

The horse head in the entry is one of my favorite pieces in Lauren's home. We found this unique guy at Home Goods and, since Lauren lives in the Bluegrass state, I thought she had to have it! I also think that every space should have one super unique piece that can serve as a conversation starter. This is definitely a modern take on equestrian decor.  

Lauren had several leather furniture pieces from her old home and wanted to incorporate them, if possible. You might recall the bigger leather pieces in the living room reveal here. We had to tone them down and brighten them up. We did this through the incorporation of lighter accents and a neutral area rug. 

Speaking of the rug, this piece was a steal! It was huge and only $300 at Home Emporium

Since the fireplace is no longer operational, we added a candelabra for ambiance.  Lauren already owned this piece as well as a collection of pillar candles, so we mixed them together to fill the fireplace. 

For coffee table decor, we picked up a couple new pieces - an apothecary jar (TJ Maxx), a coffee table book about dogs (Anthropologie), a wooden serving tray (Home Emporium) and a white bowl (Target). 

On the opposite wall, we used the nail holes left by the previous owners to feature framed photographs of local landmarks which were captured by Steve at Brookside photography

The console table was a piece Lauren had from her old house. Instead of buying something new, we decided to make it work.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of this space! Did you see anything you liked? Here's a rundown of the items we used...

Items Already in the Home

  • Leather Couch
  • Console Table
  • Small Square Ottomans 
  • Mudroom-style Bench

Items Purchased

  • Nesting Tables -
  • Horse Head - Home Goods 
  • Metallic Pillows - TJ Maxx 
  • Metal Wall Decor - Target (only $11!) 
  • Area Rug - Home Emporium 
  • Other accessories - Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Anthropologie and Target
A special thanks to Steve from Brookside Photography for capturing the photographs of this room! 

A Few More Housewarming Party Details

I'm excited to share a couple additional details from our housewarming. As you may remember, I revealed some major lessons learned from our housewarming party two weeks ago - one of which was don't be too busy to take pictures. If you are throwing an upcoming party, you should sneak over and catch up on that post. I'm hoping my experience can help others prep and entertain with ease.

I had also mentioned to you that I purchased several items from H&M Home for our party. I was thrilled when my friend and graphic designer, Christina Reinersman, was able to pull inspiration from the H&M pieces for my invitation. Christina created a double-sided design that featured a welcome mat concept on the front and party details on the back. The spunky floral pattern in the invitation matched our H&M table runner, plates and smaller cups I purchased for the kids. 

Katy from Spoonful of Sugar Cookies was also able to incorporate our desired colors and certain design elements from the invitation into our cookies. 

Another one of my favorite pieces were the pineapples we used as party favors. We gave each family a pineapple with a tag (also designed by Christina) that said, "You're always welcome at [our address]." Since pineapples are the international sign of hospitality, I thought these were perfect! They were a huge hit with our guests.  

You should have seen the faces on the sales associates at Target and Meijer when I asked to buy all the pineapples they had in stock. 

Party Planner Tip: Target ended up having the best price on pineapples - even beating out Kroger and Sam's. On top of having the best price, Target also offered a 5% off pineapples coupon on the Cartwheel app, which was a bonus!

Q&A with Spoonful of Sugar Cookies Baker Katy Clifton

It's no secret I have such a strong sweet tooth. When it comes to planning a special event, delectable desserts are always first on mind! For my recent housewarming party, I ordered cookies from Spoonful of Sugar Cookies and was totally blown away by the detail. You might recall seeing the darling cookies on Instagram.

I was so impressed, I wanted to share Spoonful of Sugar Cookies with you. I was delighted when Katy, the baker behind the business, agreed to team up with Simply Sarah Style for a Q&A. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Katy and her cookie creation process!

Q. When did you first know your baking could become a business? 

Katy: This question makes me laugh a little. I am a mother of three children, a wife, and a pharmacist. This was a venture I started in January as a result of friends and family encouraging me to do so after coming to several of my kids' birthday parties and seeing some cookies. So, I created a Facebook page, ordered some supplies and business cards, and waited. I assumed this would be just a place for me to post photos of occasional orders I did for friends and family. It has become so much more than I ever imagined in just seven short months.  I would, by no means, consider Spoonful of Sugar Cookies a full-fledged business, but it is much more than a hobby! It is a work in progress. 

Q. Do you have a favorite cookie design?

Katy: That is a tough question considering all the unique requests I get from customers. Right now in the cookie world, plaques are all the rage. There are so many different designs that makers are coming up with. I like using them in different ways, not just for wording. 

Q. What's the most interesting batch of cookies you've created?

Katy: I just recently did Harry Potter themed cookies for a first birthday.  I love the book series and was looking forward to these all summer. They turned out exactly how I imagined them and they got a lot of traffic on my Facebook page. 

Q.  How far in advance do people need to place their cookie orders?

Katy: I prefer as soon as you know the date of your event, but at least two weeks ahead is ideal.  I have, on slower weeks, been able to accommodate orders the week of. Due to the fact that I work my real job, it is sometimes not possible to do them on short notice.  The process of a batch of cookies spans over three days on average - no matter how small. I make everything from scratch and drying time is key to make sure the icing cures. 

Q.  Do you ship cookies?

Katy: Yes! I have shipped all over the country. While I will admit it makes me nervous every time, they make it safe and sound. 

What do you think? Are these these the most impressive cookies you've seen? I am thoroughly impressed with Katy's talent and recommend her to everyone I know. Her work is absolutely stunning! 

Be sure to follow along with Katy's latest creations. You can find the Spoonful of Sugar Cookies Facebook page here.

A special thanks to Katy for sitting down to share some insights with us today! 

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