Recap: Boston College Prepster Meet & Greet

Phew! What a week it has been already!

I flew back from Boston on Sunday and headed straight into a scheduled-filled day. I’ve also been getting ready this week for my trip to New York and listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat (true story) so apologies as things have been a little quiet on H&T.

As you might know, I hosted Carly’s Meet & Greet in Boston last weekend at the Tucker Blair showroom. It was my first trip to Boston and a wonderful one it was. We stayed in historic Back Bay at the Lenox Hotel and I had just enough time to explore the city too.

I flew up on Friday evening and went straight to a fall cocktail soiree that was hosted by Carly’s sweet childhood friends. We woke up early on Saturday morning for blowouts courtesy of Drybar – (an equally-favorite activity of both Carly and I). After our Drybar date, there was just enough time to stop at a local spot – Flour for breakfast sandwiches and more coffee (they even had gluten free options so I was in heaven and very full, ha!).

After a quick change at the hotel, we hustled over to Tucker Blair‘s sunny showroom in Beacon Hill to set up. I worked with a variety of vendors on the Meet & Greet so that we would have plenty of favors for readers to take home. Personalized “live your dreams” pencils, scalloped coasters and napkins, custom prints, card cases, cake pops, coffee and more!


It was so nice to meet everyone and learn that so many College Prepster readers are also H&T ones.

After the event, I caught up with Michelle and Kerrie who I finally got to meet in real life over wine and cheese at 75 Chestnut. Then Carly and I headed to dinner with friends in the South End at Stella (lots of gluten free options there too – yum!).

When we arrived back at the Lenox, we were spoiled (and surprised) with late-night sundaes in our room along with sparkling water and diet coke (obviously for me).

Special thank you again to Tucker Blair, Wedding Paper Divas, Tiny Prints, Ame & Lulu, Dani for the prints and Carly’s sweet mom for working with me on my cake pop vision!

After my NYC trip this weekend, I will be prepping for holiday H&T workshops next weekend at the Cooking & Entertaining Show in DC! I hope you can stop by on Saturday, November 8th or Sunday, November 9th. I’m also super excited to see Mr. Bobby Flay on Sunday. My workshop is included in the general admission price so get your tickets here soon!

In other news, H&T is getting a little “facelift” soon so stay tuned over the next few weeks for some exciting changes! And for the latest, be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Happy almost Halloween!

Boston Meet & Greet with The College Prepster

 Exciting NEWS!

I am headed to Boston next weekend to host a Meet & Greet with my good friend Carly of the College Prepster. We have both been tweeting about this event lately so I’m excited to finally share the details with you!

As many of you might know, Carly and I both grew up in Tampa and met once in DC while she was at Georgetown. We always make time for NYC brunches, Tampa lattes (preferably nutella) and Drybar blowout dates. She has been such a great support to H&T over the past year as well.

Earlier this year, I also hosted a DC Meet & Greet in Georgetown and we had such a great time that we wanted to do it again – in another city. If you missed that event – be sure to check out my DC recap and hers here to get an idea of what it’s like.

This will also mark my first official trip to Boston – I have planned many events there and worked with vendors but never made the trip myself. Thus, I am equally excited to explore the city with Carly and some of my faves.

We will be hosting at the Tucker Blair Showroom and I don’t think it could be a more perfect space. RSVP below to join us for treats & shopping. I look forward to meeting y’all!


P.S. Have any local spots you love? Send my way! AND if you can’t attend in Boston – be sure to follow us along on insta (@bannc + @carly)!

Stay tuned for the second part of my Homestead trip too!

Recap: H&T with The College Prepster

First and foremost, apologies for the lack of posts this past week – I was super busy getting everything ready for The College Prepster event and time got the best of me!

Today’s post is a recap of the Meet & Greet that I hosted this past weekend for my friend, Carly. I kept the theme simple and well, preppy…with lots of navy and pink along the way. I also had “Live Your Dreams” pencils made for party favors (TCP motto).

We had over 200+ girls and 2 guys (ha!) join us to meet Carly. Everyone sipped on illy coffee (in pink cups), hot chocolate and smoothies while waiting in line for insta-pics. They also indulged in the most adorable silhouette & bow sugar cookies I’ve ever seen (#coffeeandcookies). It was so nice to meet everyone!

It was also so fun to have Carly back in town from NYC.  We started our day with a blogger blowout date at Drybar Georgetown (thank you again to the lovely team there for the beautiful blowouts and curls! – see my instagram for some “behind the blogger scenes”).  Afterward, we frolicked down the street to the adorable Patisserie Poupon to set up for the event.

Thank you again to Nico and Lala for all the fun party swag, Monumental Sweets for the cookies, Patisserie Poupon for hosting us at the coffee bar and UrbanStems for providing the gorgeous custom florals for the afternoon (see instagram for more photos of those beauties!).

Oh and I must say, Carly has some of the best-dressed readers around!

P.S. – If you don’t live in DC and are a fan of The College Prepster too – rumor has it that Carly and I might just be taking this show on the road (coming to a city near you soon!) so stay tuned for more updates this Spring!

Coffee & Cookies with The College Prepster

I am super excited to announce that I will be hosting a Meet & Greet event for my friend, Carly of The College Prepster, in DC next weekend!

Many of you know Carly and follow along on her blog as well. She will be traveling down from NYC to attend this event with her readers at the darling Patisserie Poupon coffee bar in Georgetown on Saturday, March 1st.

Carly is one of my favorites to visit with when I’m in either NYC or Tampa (over nutella lattes, brunches or paddleboats, naturally). She and I both grew up in South Tampa, however, we did not formally meet until she was at Georgetown here in DC. She was also one of my biggest cheerleaders/inspirations to finally start H&T and I can’t wait to welcome her back to DC!

We will have coffee & sweets and a few surprises! I don’t want to give too much away but Nico and Lala and I have teamed up again (remember, Favorite Things Party?).

Details and RSVP link are below – please join and bring friends, the more, the merrier!



We look forward to meeting you on March 1st!

Happiest 1st Birthday!

365 days ago…I took the plunge and started what is now a huge part of my life – this little blog I call Hosting & Toasting. It seems just like yesterday I was sitting at Dough in Tampa over nutella lattes with my friend, Carly (College Prepster to most of you), about my blog “idea” – I’ll never forget how supportive she has been along the way! I can’t believe it’s been a year – an amazing year!

To celebrate H&T’s first birthday, my good friend and fellow Floridian, Christine of Politics to Pastries, baked me an adorable rainbow sprinkles pink cake (if you don’t follow her, you should start – she is an amazing little baker, politico and friend). And while I wish I could just pop bubbly and eat cake on a day like today, I wanted to also take today’s post to say thank you and share with you more about how this blog came to be.

I have often written from time to time about my aunt to whom H&T is dedicated to and while I rarely use H&T to talk about personal affairs, after a year of blogging, I wanted to finally explain more.  I wanted to write a few words about someone whom I am forever thankful for – and the reason why I started to blog in the first place. I have always been hesitant to share this here but here it goes.

In 2012, I lost two of the closest people in the world to me, my aunt and uncle, who were also my Godparents, role models, doctor, friends and unlike any two individuals I have ever known. They were murdered and taken in the most tragic of ways. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday with my sister calling me as I was watching The Bachelor after a Junior League meeting, on what I thought would be a typical Monday evening. I can remember turning on the Today Show the next day and many others – listening to them talk about my family, my loved ones, my aunt who I had just talked to hours before. The entire situation is still surreal to me.

It has forever changed my life and the person I am and strive to be. While I don’t want to comment on much of this still for obvious reasons, I pray each day that justice is finally served. I also know that they would not want me to think about the way they were taken but instead about the way they lived.

 Before this, I had been to one funeral in my entire life and then after this, I found myself standing in front of hundreds of people at church giving a eulogy with my sister trying to paint the type of lives they led – ones rooted in family, friendship, faith and philanthropy. Ones that continue to inspire me each and every day and ones that inspired me to finally start H&T a year ago today.

 In the weeks before she died, we were on a trip in Palm Beach and she was constantly bothering me to send her the photos from my last Christmas party in DC. She loved to see pictures from all the parties, meet me in New York for weekend trips and was always there to give advice at any hour of the night. Growing up I would make fun of her for always being so “over the top” in all that she did from hosting to fashion trends. It’s funny because ironically, my love for entertaining, traveling, fashion and just about everything in between was no doubt influenced by my aunt and all her fabulous soirees. She was like a mother to me, helped raise me and I owe so much of who I am today to her. She was also a female entrepreneur with her own fashion business which inspires me as well. So I think it’s appropriate that I first thank her and my uncle. It is my hope that I will live a life half as wonderful as they did and I hope she is somehow following along on this journey here on H&T too.

Thank you also to my friends and family for all your support and encouragement since before day one especially my cousin and his wife, my sister and my dad. An extra thank you to my close friends and roomies for putting up with all my instagrams, photo shoots, hosting activities and never-ending #hashtags on a daily basis.

Thank you to my fellow bloggers, some of whom I have been lucky enough to meet, for all your support, sweet comments and love! Special thank you to Blair who designed H&T as well!

And last but certainly not least, thank you to all my readers, near and far, for following along. I have been blown away by the loyal following this past year and love reading your emails, tweets and comments. Without y’all, documenting all my hosting and toasting wouldn’t be nearly as fun. I hope I have in some way inspired you too!

What’s next for H&T? More hosting, toasting, outfit posts, giveaways and trips are coming your way. I’m also excited to announce that I will be a presenter at the DC’s Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in November. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come see my Holiday H&T Tips and Tricks workshops over that weekend (oh yes and check out Bobby Flay too).

Now, to take a walk down memory lane – here’s a look at H&T’s inaugural post.

Thank you for reading and letting me share all the things I love. Here’s to many more blog birthdays!