Friends, what a joyful day celebrating the start of summer and the release of Lara's second book, Cultivate! When we started planning the Cultivate Book Launch Party, we knew we wanted it to be about more than the book. Lara spent the past 2.5 years writing (and rewriting) these words to tell this story. While the words in these pages are glimpses into Lara's life, we knew that the story she was telling was much bigger. It was an invitation to a cultivating an intentional life, right where you are, mess and all. It was a joy to see so many old and new friends alike, and we had a blast celebrating with friends from near and far.
The backdrop of our event was the Barn of Chapel Hill, and it was even more stunning than it appears here. I mentioned this in the Facebook Live I did during the party, but the Barn of Chapel Hill is much more than just a pretty venue—it's a wild flora farm that specializes in cut flowers, honey, chestnuts, educational farm tours, floral workshops, and events. When Kara was sharing all the wonderful things planned for the fall (including you-pick flowers!), I knew I'd have to make a trip back when I'm in town again!
Our photographer and cheerleader for the day! Traci was in office with us packaging up supplies when we first started brainstorming this party, and she immediately said, "Oh, I would love to photograph this!" We knew right away we were in good hands, and it was hard for me to narrow down the 1,100+ pictures for this post because they were all so wonderful!
When we started talking about a book launch party, our friend Madeline of Jolie Joie Designs reached out and offered to send Cultivate What Matters cards as favors. Having seen her work firsthand from previous events like MTH, we knew we had to say yes, and we were so glad to send these home with guests to remind them of the heart behind Cultivate.
Not only did theBarn of Chapel Hill team provide a beautiful backdrop; they did all the florals you see! We loved having local flowers included in the celebration. Aren't they the perfect compliment to the book cover?
A dear friend of ours, Lauren of Instead of Ashes, did all the signage and chalkboards for the event, and it was the perfect touch! My favorite part? Her hand-lettering has shown up in a variety of places in the office, including Gracie's Garden and our encouragement for Lara in her final days of book-writing.
When brainstorming different stations with Kara of the Barn of Chapel Hill, Ashlee and I couldn't help but get excited when she mentioned a DIY floral cuff station. Their lead florist, Jen, helped all our guests create the sweetest floral cuffs to wear during our garden party.
How darling is this floral cuff created by our friend, Maggie? Maggie is a high-school student, avid blogger, and PowerSheets users. She's one of my favorite examples of how PowerSheets can be used by all ages in all stages of life!
In addition to floral cuffs, we had another fun station where guests could pot a plant to take home with them! My biggest regret of the party was actually leaving mine there when it was time to leave!
Moving onto sweet treats! We were lucky to have a wonderful chocolate bar set up by Choco Homemade Sweetness. I wish I could describe these to you. They were so much more than chocolates; they are a Brazilian delicacy. Made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and chocolate sprinkles (or other toppings), they truly melt in your mouth! There weren't very many extras, but you better believe I packed up a box to go!
Our friend Michael of SweetWater Ices was on hand to serve authentic New York-style Italian Ice. Admittedly, I didn't know there was a difference between Italian Ices, but I'm officially a fan! It's safe to say he was a guest favorite, especially among our younger attendees.
I'm glad Traci captured this image of Cottage Luxe's seating arrangement before guests arrived because there wasn't a single moment during the party it was empty. Not only did Rosanne provide the comfiest place to rest, but she joined us to celebrate. We loved having you there, Rosanne!
This happy party-goer twirled and spun throughout the whole afternoon :)
Brice Hursey was on hand to provide the acoustics for the afternoon. His talent was just the background music we needed!
This lady might not officially be on the Cultivate team, but she's one of our biggest cheerleaders! Sarah provides constant encouragement, baked treats, and baby snuggles for all of the in-office ladies.
If I had to choose my favorite part of the afternoon, it was celebrating with friends who have encouraged Lara throughout the book-writing journey. Our friend Natasha is one of our MTH Encouragers, and she's known for giving the very best hugs! What a gift to have her (and so many more MTH friends) there to celebrate with us!
This post wouldn't be complete without a thank you to our dear friend Ashlee Little of Tailored Occasions. I can truly say if it hadn't been for her, this party would not have happened. She did an incredible job brainstorming, coordinating with vendors, and helping me keep my head on my shoulders during a busy June! Ashlee, on behalf of the entire Cultivate team, thank you for the joy you bring to our lives and making this celebration as magical as it was! We are so grateful for you!
These photos are only a small glimpse into what a wonderful afternoon we had together. To see the rest, head over our Facebook page, and be sure to tag yourself!
A final note: We couldn't have done it without our incredible vendor team! We are so grateful for their support of our brand, and we couldn't recommend them more! Thank you again to The Barn of Chapel Hill, Jolie Joie Designs, Brice Hursey, Ashlee of Tailored Occasions, Instead of Ashes, Choco H Sweetness, SweetWater Ices, Cottage Luxe, and CE Rentals.
We're especially grateful our friend Traci Huffman joined us to capture the day. Not only is she a gifted photographer, but she's a dear friend and one of our team's biggest cheerleaders!