Best Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a lovely holiday where you get to express your love for your significant other. Now, it can definitely get expensive, from the dinners, to the flowers and chocolate, but there are ways you can get around that. There are so many creative ways to show your love, that won’t break the bank. From simple to extravagant, you can make your Valentine’s Day a special one, regardless of your budget. Here are 5 examples that you can plan in no time.

Stay in and Cook a Romantic Dinner:

You don’t always need to go out to have good food, you can cook a yummy meal all from the comfort of your own home.    Make a romantic setting in your dining room with candles, flowers, and some soft music. Prepare the meal before she  gets home, so that you both can chat, wind down, and have dinner promptly.

Go Out Dancing:

Dance is seen as a very romantic activity. It’s fun, and it really brings people closer together. If you live near a city like D.C, there are a lot of salsa and ballroom dancing lounges that play the best hits, or if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, you can get private lessons from a certified dance instructor through Groupon.

Breakfast in Bed:

Who doesn’t love being served breakfast in bed. If you both have busy work schedules, and won’t be available during the evening, you can make the most of your morning together. Serving breakfast in bed to your lovely lady is one great way to show your love for her. Top it off with a sweet card, and spend the morning spending quality time together, you’ll be glad you did.

Have A Stay-cation:

Vacations are cool and all, but they tend to cost quite a bit of money, depending on where you go. A fun idea is to have a stay-cation, meaning, take off of work and stay at home all day, or get a hotel in your city. You can order a bunch of food, and spend the day watching movies, playing board games, and simply spending a full day of quality time.

Get a Couples Massage:

Everyone loves massages. A nice romantic way to wind down after the busy work week is to get a couples massage at a spa. You both will be happy, and feel so relaxed afterwards. You can typically purchase these for a good rate on Groupon or through a hotel that is running a Valentine’s Day Special.

There you have it! We hope those tips helped, and that you have your creative juices flowing. Your Valentine’s Day is going to be a romantic success!

 

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Highlight Friday: Ashley Riddle

Happy Friday! Today we’ll be highlighting a vendor on Styckie who does amazing work through the platform. We’re calling this series, “Highlight Fridays”, where we’ll highlight different types of vendors that we have on the app, sharing their backstories, and their field of expertise.

To kick it off, we have an amazing vendor, named Ashley Riddle. Ashley is a makeup artist and hair stylist, who has her own company, Up Do’s for I Do’s. Ashley’s passion for hair and makeup inspired her to start her own business and become a unique expert in the field. In the 13 years she has been in business, Ashley has grown her company to over 40 employees who attend over 500 events each year in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and South Carolina. Her team of licensed, insured, and professional hair stylists and makeup artists create long-lasting hairstyles and camera-ready makeup for brides and their bridal parties. And get this, her team travels anywhere! In addition, not only is Ashley, killin’ it in the wedding business, but she also makes time to give back. She does this by styling wigs for patients undergoing cancer treatments, and by providing services for runway fashion shows for charitable events. I chatted with Ashley over email to pick her brain a bit and ask her some questions about her and her business.

Styckie: Ashley, it’s great to have you as a feature on Highlight Friday!

Styckie: What inspired you to start doing makeup for a living?

Ashley: I recognized an unfulfilled demand in my chosen field.  I’ve enjoyed establishing, managing, and steadily expanding a reputable and profitable business in three major metropolitan areas and a beach resort area.

Styckie: How long have you been in business? And is it your full-time gig?

Ashley: I started this company in 2004. Both myself and my husband run this company full time. We have 40 talented Artists that work alongside us.

Styckie: What was one of the best moments to date that made you know you were in the right profession?

Ashley: It is amazing to see over and over a bride look into the mirror and love the way she looks! It reaffirms that I made the right decision to be in this business and industry.

Styckie: What is one beauty product you think every woman should have in her purse?

Ashley: Concealer! You can use it to cover sudden blemishes, as a highlighter to brighten your face or even cover dark circles for long work days (or to hide a late night out).

Styckie: If you weren’t a makeup artist and business owner, what would you be?

Ashley: If I weren’t in the beauty industry, I would still want to work with people. After having 3 children of my own, I’d likely enter a nursing career to help delivery babies.

Styckie: What advice would you give someone who wants to start his/her own business?

Ashley: Keep all doors of opportunity open by being prepared and saying yes! Some opportunities will become failures which will lead to learning. Some opportunities will allow you to propel farther into the future. Stepping outside your comfort zone will allow for new adventures, business opportunities and relationships.

Ashley and her team or amazing professionals can be booked through styckie.com, your one-stop shop for anything wedding and event related.

All imagery provided by Ashley Riddle.

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Wedding Wednesday: The Best Wedding Venues in DC 2018

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Last week we talked about wedding dresses and which dress best suits your personality. Today we’re talking all about venues. The venue is arguably the most important part of the wedding, because honestly without it, there would be no wedding. It is imperative to find a venue that is within your budget, and suits all of your wedding needs. As you know we love to compile epic lists for you all, so you can bet that we got you covered on this topic too. These are pretty well known DC wedding venues that are known to provide great service, and rank in high reviews. We’ve ranked them by affordability and what they offer as a venue.

The Mansion on O Street

If you’re looking for an antique renaissance look, the Mansion on O Street is the perfect place for your wedding. With an average budget of $5,500 for a wedding of 100 guests, this venue is definitely one to check out. You can bring in your own caterers and bartenders or use the staff provided by the venue.

 

The Loft at 600 F

This beautiful, industrial-inspired venue, is estimated to cost between $9,992 – $14,722 for a ceremony and reception for 100 guests. Located in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter neighborhood, it is a great venue for those who want to add hints of the city into their wedding space.

 

 

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons is a classic wedding venue that weighs on the more expensive side. With a cost of $190 per guest, you can expect to pay around $19,000 for a wedding of 100 guests. But with that hefty price tag comes a lot of nice perks and included elements, like a full wedding team to assist with your wedding plans, butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, three course dinner menu with wine service, one-night stay for the newlyweds in a suite and much more. So this is a good option for those who don’t want to have to deal with all the planning; you simply have the venue handle everything.

 

The Ritz Carlton 

This venue is estimated to be between the cost of $28,343 – $34,194 for a ceremony and reception for 100 guests. Catering and alcohol is provided by the venue, but can also be outsourced. The venue allows 5 hours of evening event time and 4 hours of daytime event time excluding set up and clean up time.

 

 

 

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Highlight Friday: Akbar Sayed

Akbar Sayed is a photographer, Styckie vendor and co-owner of Akbar Sayed Photography. Many years ago, Akbar found that photography helped feed his soul and refuel him, who at the time was in the midst of pursuing a career in nursing. Akbar and his team specialize exclusively on luxury South Asian wedding photography and cinematography –  and looking at his work, you can see that it’s nothing less than luxury. With beautiful explosions of colorful tones, images of majestic celebration, and an ability to capture the most winsome moments, it’s clear that Akbar was born to be a photographer. Akbar has worked on his craft for 7 years, keeping one goal in mind, “to capture every moment, without disturbing it”.

Akbar’s love of photography started at a young age, due to his father’s use of film cameras to document moments in his childhood. When he was 16, his father unexpectedly passed away, which left him reflecting on what he wanted to do with his life, and what legacy he wanted to leave behind. Akbar initially wanted to pursue a career in nursing because he wanted to take care of others, and help them in times of stress. Once he found photography, he saw that it was another way for him to help others in times of potential stress. People who have worked with him rave about his kind spirit, and attention to detail, space, and emotion. When Akbar is not photographing weddings, he loves to spend time with his family, and participate in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

You can book Akbar Sayed for your upcoming wedding through Styckie.

He recently interviewed one of our co-founders Preeti of Preeti Exclusive Events about her role as a wedding planner and at Styckie. You can read all about it here

All photos provided by Akbar Sayed.

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Top Winter Wedding Dresses Will Have You Head Over Heels in Love

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Ahh its’s winter time, and engagement season is in full effect. But not only is it engagement season, but there are also many couples eloping during this time of year too. There is so much that goes into wedding planning; the dress, the cake, the venue, the guest list, and so much more. It can get pretty overwhelming and stressful for sure. Thankfully, there are multiple platforms and event planning tools out there that help simplify the process. When it comes to your dress, you probably already have an idea of what you could picture yourself walking down the aisle in. But, it can be difficult to decide on one, when you are thrown so many different options. So, to give you some inspiration, here are 10 dresses that will have you falling in love all over again.

Click here for more wedding dress inspiration!

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Trending: What is a Cactus Cake?

The newest cake trend has people head over heels in love. They are called cactus cakes, and everyone seems to want to get their hands on one for their weddings, birthdays, or any event. Which makes sense, because these cakes are undeniably gorgeous to look at. People typically order them in cake or cupcake form, with a variety of different colors and plant types. Have a look for yourself!

If you’re in need of a cake baker in your area, that can bake you a lovely cactus cake, check out styckie.com!

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Music For The Soul- The Playlist That Will Keep Your Kids Dancing All Night

Happy New Year Styckie fam! Today we’re talking all about party music. A while back we wrote a blog post about the top party songs of 2017 and it was a hit. But, the type of songs or playlists for different events vary, especially when it comes to kids’ parties. It is important to pick upbeat songs or find a DJ who spin some fun tunes that your kids will love. Your kids will be dancing in the moonlight all night long, with this list of party-starter songs.

 

“Firework” by Katy Perry

CARSON, CA – MAY 13: Katy Perry attends 102.7 KIIS FM’s 2017 Wango Tango at StubHub Center on May 13, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

 

“I Like to Move It” by Will.I.Am

 

“Watch Me Whip” by Silento

 

“Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper

 

“Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO

 

Find a DJ for your next party here!

 

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Sweet 16 Cake Ideas

You’re in a dilemma. You have your Sweet 16 birthday party coming up sooner than you know, and you have to plan everything out. From the the DJ, to the venue, to the cake. You don’t know where to start, which can be pretty overwhelming. Thankfully, there are apps out there like Styckie that can help you plan your party on the go, all from your phone. So let’s keep it simple and start with the cake. You’re going to need a pretty epic one to first off, impress all your friends, and second off, satisfy your cravings too. We’ve compiled a lovely list of Sweet 16 cakes that you can get for your party, based on your theme or your interests.

 

Sally Sells Sea Shells

This cake is simple in appearance, but has so much to offer. This design is for the girl who lives her life by the beach or near water. With the macaroons, and the hard candies shaped like sea shells, this cake creates a beachy, surfer vibe that instantly attracts your attention.

 

Starbucks Lover

This cake will make all the Ugg wearing, Starbucks coffee drinking girls go crazy. It instantly stands out with cupcakes that imitate hazelnut frappucinno. This is a Sweet 16 cake that you and all your friends will want a bite (or sip) of.

 

Gluttonous Paradise

Now this is a cake that you’ve probably never seen before. I like to call this one, a food lover’s dream. Every type of food you could imagine in one cake. The crazy part is that this cake doesn’t look like a cake at all, but cut open into it and you’ll be met by a vanilla cake interior. Just be prepared for some heavily confused stares – everyone is going to want to get their hands on this one.

 

The Bookworm

For all the book lovers out there, this one is for you. It’s a very clever cake that features three stacked books. A creative option would be to add titles to the books that feature the birthday your name, which will definitely make the bookworm in you warm with joy.

 

Floral Princess

The princess has arrived! This cake is for the girly girls who just can’t get enough of their flower obsession. This beautiful cake is light, elegant, and features floral decor on the bottom and top tiers. It gives off an airy and delicate vibe, which will be perfect for the lovely, 16 year-to-be princesses out there.

Hope this helped you all! Now go get to creating your birthday cake masterpieces!

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How To Bake a Perfect Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is one of the most revered desserts out there. It is amazing to say the least, no wonder so many people look to chocolate cake as a go-to for their birthday celebration. What people don’t realize is that baking a chocolate cake can be relatively easy, all you need is the perfect recipe. We found a simple and easy chocolate cake recipe from our friends over at The Spruce, that will keep your guests and yourself, coming back for more.

The Recipe:

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cups of flour (all purpose)

2 cups of sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup water (boiling)

 

How To Make It:

  1. You’ll start by Preheating your oven to 350 F.
  2. You can spray, butter or oil a 9-inch cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt all together.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix your eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract and water.
  5. You’ll then combine both the wet and dry mixtures together, then add them to your prepared cake pan
  6. You’ll bake the cake for 30 minutes

Once cooled, you can frost the cake with chocolate frosting, and add some chocolate chips on top to make the cake extra chocolatey. Bon appetit!

If you want a custom cake made for your birthday, download the Styckie App today to get the best cake bakers in your area in seconds!

 

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5 Popular New Years Resolutions

The New Year is right around the corner! And that means New Year’s resolutions are in full order as well. Some years you know exactly what your goals are, but other years it can be hard to decide what you want to focus on and how to stick to it. So we’re going to give you some much needed inspo that will help you narrow down your goal for the New Year and stick with it!

1. Get Fit:

This is probably the most popular resolution. Gyms have the biggest spike in memberships and sales during this time because everyone wants to get fit around the New Year. Although it’s the most popular resolution, it’s also the one that people give up on the quickest. When it comes to sticking with it, working out with a small support group or with a partner can help you stay accountable and will allow you stay on track.

2. Save Money:

This resolution is one that definitely pays off in the long run. Saving your money can allow you to invest, or to save up for that dream car or apartment you’ve been wanting, and so much more. People often fall off this goal because of temptations such as, going out for drinks and dinner every week, buying clothes, or other recreational things they don’t necessarily need. Of course you still want to be able to enjoy yourself, but in order to save, maybe cut down the dinner and drink nights to twice a month. And hold off on buying recreational things or clothes you don’t need to save up for your dream car.

3. Make New Friends:

Making new friends can be a challenge, especially if you’re living in a big new city, or you’re an introvert, or both. What you need to do is simply put yourself out there. Go to networking events, meet new people through social media, or join a community organization. The important thing is to not get discouraged. It will seem uncomfortable at first, but it will be well worth it.

4. Stay Organized:

Depending on the type of person you are, staying organized can be a difficult feat. Telling yourself at the beginning of the year that you will stay organized isn’t enough. It’s important to implement tactics to get your organization into full gear. Buy a planner from your local craft or office store. You can utilize this planner to jot down your daily to-do lists, and any other things you need to keep track of. Also purchase some sticky notes to help write reminders down throughout the day.

5. Travel More:

Traveling is a great way to make new experiences, and of course see different parts of the world and it’s people. Many people want to travel, but they are unable to allocate the time or the funds to do so. In order to hold on to this resolution, it’s important to take steps that will help you achieve this goal. For example, carve out a time in your schedule to take a 3 – 5 day trip, away from work or any obligations. And if funds are an issue, save a certain amount out of your paycheck every month towards the trip you want to take. You can also search on Groupon, and other discount sites for low price tickets and lodging, so that your trip stays within your budget.

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