Friday, February 4, 2011

A Day in the Life...Kelly Lyden of WH Hostess & The Party Dress

I am so excited to announce the new series that will be appearing on P is for Party! Have you ever wondered how so many of the talented and influential party bloggers manage to maintain a popular site, run a business, manage a household, juggle daily responsibilities and take time for themselves?? I sure do! So many times I have found myself thinking about how a blogger I admire fits everything in, stays sane and what their daily life is like. It can't always be easy, right?! Surely I am not the only person who has wondered these things?!


One of my dearest blogging friends, Kelly Lyden, of The Party Dress and WH Hostess fame, is our first guest of the series. She is here to show us what a typical working day looks like for her...and she has even given us a peek into her darling home office! Kelly graciously chronicled a busy working day for us as she was preparing to leave for the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers event in New York. Without further ado, here is a Day in the Life of Kelly Lyden, The Well Heeled Hostess...


Monday, January 10, 2011

8:00 am

Rise and Shine! The first thing I do in the morning is reach over and grab my iphone. I spend about 10 minutes in bed quickly reviewing e-mails, orders that came in overnight, and a quick glance at facebook and twitter to see if there is anything new and exciting. This gives me an idea of what my morning is going to look like! And then it’s time to start moving….I let the dog out and get myself ready for the day. (PS – some days, that pretty much means throwing on my favorite yoga pants and pulling my hair back into a ponytail!)


I add our daily post on The Party Dress to both our facebook and twitter pages, and then I spend about an hour replying to e-mails and printing up our orders confirmations from the weekend.


I separate out the orders into piles – to be designed, custom designs, and custom inspiration boards.

10:00am – 12:00pm

Design work! I spend a couple of hours catching up on designing the orders that came in over the weekend, and preparing the print sheets for our print run later in the afternoon. Every single item purchased is literally designed and touched by me….so I make sure to really focus on the design step in the process to make sure every customer is happy!

I try to ignore e-mails during this time….but that doesn’t always happen! I have two distractions today: 1) I am preparing to head to NYC next week to attend the Martha Stewart Doers into Dreamers conference, so there are plenty of e-mails going back and forth between the “party girls” attending and 2) My sister is getting married in September, so I am tossing around ideas with her and also making plans for a pre-wedding weekend for the bridesmaids in Napa this summer!


It’s time to pack up the orders that were crafted the last couple of days.


We package each item in a cellophane bag, and then it is packaged up and ready to ship out. Today is a big shipping day – we not only have a ton of normal orders to ship out, but I also have 5 BIG, custom parties going out today. A couple of these customers you might now….Christi’s son’s Mod Safari Party, A Chinese New Year/Year of the Rabbit party for Project Nursery’s Melisa, and a Shabby Chic First Birthday Party for cupcake MAG, and a 40th Birthday Party for Paz of Swanky Chic Fete.




My dog, Penny Lane, is a little under the weather this week, so I am taking a quick break in my day to take her to the vet. I take the 15 minute car ride to return a couple of phone calls – 1) to my printer who has questions about our new company brochures that are being printed today and 2) to my husband who is handling some website maintenance for me.

Okay! A 10 minute vet appointment, a prescription and $150 later, Penny Lane is good to go and we are headed home. Again, I return some phone calls on my way home (this time it’s to my best friend and my mother!). And once I get back home, I remember that it might be a good idea to eat lunch. (I often forget until it’s way too close to dinner time!)


I sit down at my desk in my cute, grass green office,


to eat a quick yogurt (with honey), some fruit and chocolate – and reply to e-mails, check out the orders that rolled in this morning, and take a quick spin around social media while I eat. I received a very exciting e-mail today – Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess has decided to feature a “Monkey Love” party that I worked on with Christi! Yay! I love getting those e-mails!

At 1:30pm, I have my weekly conference call with my media/public relations firm Launch Her. We discuss a few upcoming opportunities, and I fill them in on the improvements we have made to the shop recently (have you seen our new “shop by collection”? It was a labor of love and I’m so happy with how it looks!)


I’m off to ship out today’s packages. I ship out anywhere from 25-50 packages a week – some small, some big. I quickly stop at both the post office and UPS, and then I run into the dry cleaners to drop off my husband’s shirts, swing thru the bank to deposit some checks, and then I am off to the printer.



We do 2-3 print runs a week, depending on how busy we are.
Every single item is printed professionally on a thick, luxurious paper, and is either machine-cut or hand-cut by yours truly! I spend about 2 hours at a time there, picking things up, approving new color samples, discussing new ideas with my printer so they can source/price them for me. Today I am very excited that our new company brochures are done! (just in time to take to NYC for the Martha conference!)



I head home and lay out the items I just picked up at the printer on the floor. I group them by order (each order is filed together until ready to be packaged), and package up any orders that may be complete and ready to ship tomorrow. The rest of the orders need to be constructed (banners, cupcake toppers, centerpiece sticks), so those print sheets all go into a pile together to be worked on tomorrow morning.

I spend a little bit of time following up with two new sources that are creating samples for new products we have in the works. (PS – I am SUPER excited about these, and hope they will launch soon!)


I run around my house picking it up a bit, give the dog a little attention, and prep whatever I can for dinner. My husband normally gets home around 6pm, so if I am lucky, I can still get some work done before he gets home!

Oh, wait….one of my best friends just called. She’s grocery shopping at the Whole Foods around the corner from me and thought she would stop by for a quick Starbucks break. Okay – twist my arm! I spend about 30 minutes catching up with her, which is not only nice but also makes me put down the laptop/iphone for a few minutes!


My husband gets home from work and we cook dinner together. Chicken/mushroom risotto is on the menu tonight, and it’s been such a busy day – I have now traded my Starbucks in for a glass of wine!


I open up the laptop again to work for a couple more hours. I do some blog posts for The Party Dress (not only for this week, but also trying to get some extras done to schedule while I am in NYC next week), reply to more e-mails (yes – I get a LOT every day!) and then start working on the designs for a couple of custom parties that I have in the works for next month.

I work until my husband and dog beg me to stop and then we have what I like to refer to as “family cuddle time” on the couch until it’s time to go to bed.

I hope this gives you a glimpse into what a day in my life is like. As you can see, I work A LOT these days….but I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like work. Because I work for myself, and from home, I do have an amazing amount of flexibility – so some days I work 10 hours a day, and some days I take the day off to go bake with my best friend and her kids. I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Thank you Kelly for giving us a glimpse into your daily routine! I hope you enjoyed reading about her day as much as I did!


HiLLjO said...

Home-business, eh?! That's a lot of running around outside of home too! Sounds fun, though!

Pink Peppermint Paper said...

Sounds/looks a lot like my day only lots more organized! Great series. Can't wait to read more!


Lili said...

im exhausted just reading Kelly's narration of her day - LOL! seriously, i love your home office Kelly!

btw, just curious, do you have an assistant?

happy friday friends!

Unknown said...

Love this! I have that cork board and that bookcase (the only bookcase is half the size though)... LOVE!


Courtney @ Pizzazzerie said...

WOW! I love the new series! Kelly's day is WILD! :) She does it all so well!

Anonymous said...

Love the post! I thinks it's a wonderful idea and look forward reading the series. It's always fun to peak into someone's world. ;)

Michele @ crazyfordesign said...

Thanks for doing this Christi. I always wonder the same thing! Great post!

Sandi said...

This is a great new series Christi! thanks!

Modern Mindy said...

This is a great idea! I'm new to the blogging world, so a glimpse into a successful blogger is priceless! Can't wait to read the next one.

The Cabby Crafter said...

Oh wow... What a fun, hectic, but definitely rewarding day. Thank you for sharing this.
I'm a new follower of your blog and I love it!

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

Congrats on this new series! Great first, Kelly is soooo organized on top of being super creative!

Linda and Kameo~ Blu Embellish said...

Wow, Just love it ! Would love to see some more and can't wait for the next posting.

Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

Love this Christi! And Kelly is the perfect gal to jump start the series!

Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe said...

I'm so glad to read that I'm not the only one who checks her iPhone before she even gets out of bed... ;)

Elizabeth {Pretty Smitten} said...

Hi Christi! I just came across your blog and love it! This is a great series. I also run a stationery/party business on Etsy and am starting blogging more, so it's fun to hear another person's day. I've just reopened after maternity leave and am working so hard to get all of my new designs up. Kelly is an inspiration! Thanks for the fun post, off to check out your blog more.

Oh and ditto...I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one to check my iPhone even before getting out of bed :)


A Blissful Nest said...

Kelly is fantastic and I love the new series!

Teresa Lowther Mason said...

WOW! I'm impressed!

A To Zebra Celebrations said...

Super fun reading this!!! WOW!!! Crazy busy girl :) Good for her!

The_EmilyB said...

Wow - what a great series! I've wondered the exact same thing and the insight is fabulous! I just discovered your site and I adore it!

Christine {Pure Joy} said...

I love your new series! Can't wait to see more.

Amanda's Parties TO GO said...

Super fantastic idea -- love the "inside scoop"! Thanks so much for sharing and giving us a peek into Kelly's world. As a new business owner, mother of three, graphic designer, and party blogger, Kelly's life is one I can surely relate to!

CAKE Creative Co. said...

wow- i always thought if i didn't have a full time job and a baby it would be so much easier for me to grow a business, but kelly's day is packed too! great little reality check and gives me even more respect for all kelly's great work! i'm looking forward to reading more of these...

jackie fo said...

I adore this series...I am always wondering how people do it all...!

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