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My 1st Podcast Appearance

Happy Sunday! I hope March is treating you good so far! I have had so many awesome things happen over the past couple of months, and I can't wait to share about them ALL, so stay tuned! Today, I'm excited to share about one of them, which was my very first podcast appearance, which you may have heard about if you follow me on social media. 

dc wedding planner and speaker

I'm addicted to podcasts! I love listening to them during car rides and when I'm home working. One of my favorites is the She Creates Business podcast, and I'm so honored that the host, Kinsey Roberts, invited me to be a guest. For all my wedding pros, if you haven't tuned into She Creates yet, you owe it to yourself to subscribe NOW and give the show a listen. Kinsey interviews some pretty amazing creatives and wedding industry pros, and the wisdom and transparency they share is beyond valuable. The episodes always leave me feeling inspired and walking away with the thought "I'm not alone" or "I can't wait to implement those tips in my business". 

During my episode, I shared freely about how I manage family, business, work and other creative projects. I don't want to spill all the beans here, so I'd love for you to listen to the full episode here or on iTunes.

work life balance for wedding planners

Check out the episode and share with me what you think in the comments section below! This appearance is one of a few great opportunities I've had to speak and share with colleagues, and I'm so grateful. As I continue to grow and achieve my goals, I'm committed to helping others along the way, so I'm looking forward to many more speaking and mentoring opportunities. You can always shoot me a note at info@sensationalsoirees.com to inquire about having me speak at your industry event or for one-on-one mentoring.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Sensational Couples: Barbara and Marc

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Since today is all about celebrating love, I'm so happy to share the love story of one of my sensational couples, Barbara and Marc. Their love for one another and chemistry was evident from the moment I met them last year. Our initial planning consultation was filled not only with conversation about their wedding day plans, but also laughs, which is reflective of their great personalities and energy. #TeamTwix, as they are affectionately called by everyone, are the cutest, and these photos from their Redskins themed engagement session are sure to make you smile.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

How and when did you meet?

We met on Twitter back in 2012! We had mutual friends and Marc saw me and decided to hit follow! I followed back and eventually mentions turned into subtweets which turned into DMs and....here we are! 

What about marriage are you looking forward to most?

Marc is looking forward to learning more of my quirky habits. The types of quirky habits that one can only learn by living with each other, the parts of me that people don't know. I am most looking forward to seeing him every day! We don't live together yet, so I am looking forward to being married and seeing him on a daily basis.

What do you love most about your relationship?

Authenticity and reciprocity! We are always honest with each other. We are able to be our true selves with each other! Also, we are big believers in reciprocity. Never one person giving all and the other giving only a little...we both give and show love, affection, and compassion.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

What song would you dedicate to him/her?

Marc- Love Star (Common), Bobbi- Your Love Is My Love (Whitney Houston)

Share more about the name #TeamTwix.

Marc created the #TeamTwix name! When we first started dating, before I even moved back to MD from Florida, he said that if we were together, I would be the caramel to his chocolate...like Twix! And just like that, #TeamTwix was born.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

For fun...of the following who is your favorite TV/Movie couple? a) Martin and Gina (Martin), b) Darius and Nina (Love Jones), c) Claire and Cliff (The Cosby Show), d) Ross and Rachel (Friends), e) Whitley and Dwayne (A Different World), f) Akeem and Lisa (Coming to America), g) Lucy and Ricky (I Love Lucy), h) Choose a couple not listed.

Simba and Nala from The Lion King. Simba is a lion and Marc is definitely the ultimate Leo! And Nala is his best friend and the love of his life. We love them! 

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

I told you they were the cutest! I'm so looking forward to their big day this July in National Harbor. Feel free to share well wishes for Barbara and Marc in the comments section.

I hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Styled Stock Photography for Creatives and Bloggers

Before we close out January, I'm so excited to share some great tips today for fellow creatives and bloggers! Whether it's creating documents to send to clients, graphics for blog posts and social media, or images for your business needs, styled stock is one way to upgrade your visual presence. And when it comes to styled stock photography Shay Cochrane is one of the best to ever do it!

styled stock photography

If you haven't heard of the SC Stockshop, you're missing out on some good stuff! I found out about this amazing styled stock shop through Instagram, and have been in love ever since. So since y'all know I love sharing good info, here are my thoughts for using styled stock and how it has been helpful in my business:

1. Essential for blogging

Styled stock is a must have in the blogging world, especially for posts where you plan to share advice. For my business education posts, like this one, styled stock is ideal for creating pinnable and shareable graphics with text that conveys your post title or focus. 

As we all know, our world is filled with all the things, so in order to grab the attention of your blog  audience, using the SC Stockshop can really help to streamline your blog graphics and create consistency in the style of the images you share.

When using styled stock for blogging, I suggest: 1. choosing an image that reflects your brand and/or post, 2. add a catchy title to engage your audience, which can be done in platforms like Canva for free (as done with today's graphic above), and 3. add your business name, website or submark to ensure people seeing the graphic come back to your site.

2. Aesthetically pleasing social media images

From flat lays, to clean and pretty desk shots and more, styled stock is great for beautifying your Instagram feed. Let's face it, unless you're a photographer, taking polished photos that are consistent with your brand is not easy. Styled stock has been so helpful for me in sharing my thoughts on social media with an aesthetically pleasing photo to match. 

The great thing about styled stock is you can use it as is for social media with a great caption in your brand voice. This has been especially helpful for me over on the Mor Community Instagram page. Alternatively, you can add words to styled stock like you would for a blog post to share a quote, product highlight, new blog post announcement and this list goes on. 

The thing to remember with styled stock for social media is balance in usage. For instance, as an event planner it's important for my feed to showcase my events. However, it's also important to showcase my inspirations, thoughts, and announcements for a certain day, and styled stock can help to accomplish that.

3. Enhancing business documents

Last but not least, one of the best ways I've utilized SC Stockshop is in enhancing some of my business documents, and more specifically client documents and educational e-guides. When you don't have the option of using a graphic designer for all of your business documents, styled stock and Canva can be a great resource to enhance your documents on your own. See this example below from one of my mentorship documents:

The addition of SC Stockshop styled stock on the bottom border of the document perfectly aligns with my brand through the colors and floral accents, while also adding some extra beauty. The tip to remember is to select styled stock that makes sense for your specific documents and brand.

Where can I get styled stock you are saying?

I can't say enough about the SC Stockshop! Check them out for yourself, and also visit their Instagram page for more eye candy. If you're currently using styled stock, what other tips would you add to this list? Share below!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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How I've Started Off 2017

Happy New Year!! Yes, I know I'm a couple weeks late, but hey it's still January, so 2017 is still new and full of possibility. I hope this brand new year is off to a great start for all of you. I can tell you right now, I'm loving 2017 already.

I love the idea of choosing a word(s) to be your personal theme for the year or to highlight your top goal(s). Last year was the first time, I implemented the word theme, and it really paid off. My word for 2016 was victorious, and the year was truly filled with wins! I'm so optimistic about this year, and my 2 words for 2017 reflect that. But before I get into that, I've got to share 2 personal things I've been up to so far this year...

1. Reflect and Refocus Mode

Thanks to the Well Studio's 2017 worksheets, I've been able to reflect on 2016 and all I loved about it and learned from it, while also refocusing my attention on 2017 goals and changes. I have  my completed worksheets up on my wall in my workspace so that I'm constantly reminded of how I want this year to be and to hold myself accountable for sticking to the things I wrote down. If you could use some help reflecting and refocusing, you can grab the worksheets here.

2. Contentment Challenge

Every January, I generally fast from specific things I love, like certain genres of music, TV, certain foods and drinks, and more when my church does its annual 21 day fast. Well, this year I'm doing an extended fast and challenge. Together with other entrepreneurs and women of faith, I'm spending this month through March focusing on Contentment, Generosity, Gratitude and Freedom.  

This contentment challenge, originally created by Nancy Ray in 2013 and now brought back this year by Kat Schmoyer, is such an amazing way for me to start my year free from the unnecessary and laser focused on faith, personal growth and goals, family and business. In a world full of so many things that constantly try to beg for our attention, I'm glad for this time to focus on less. 

I can't wait to share my guidelines and goals for the challenge, which I'm so proud that I'm actually following to the T! The bonus with doing this challenge is connecting with the other ladies participating through our Facebook Group, which is so encouraging for all of us.

Now on to my words for 2017...Bigger + Better

I'm believing that this year is going to be filled with big opportunities and blessings, and that everything in my life will be better than I ever imagined! With words like these, I know I'm setting the bar high for 2017, but like they say "go big or go home"! These words already ringing true for Sensational Soirees, and I can't wait to share more about the bigger and better that has already happened this year!!

I'll be blogging more this year, so hope you follow along to stay in the know of my event and wedding tips and recaps, business education for fellow boss ladies, plus all things sensational and all things Shalyce!

But before I sign off, share your word or words for 2017 below and/or 1 thing you'd love for me to share on the blog this year!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Best of 2016

Is it me or did 2016 fly by? I'm excited and optimistic for 2017, and all the amazingness I know it will bring. But before I say hello to the new year, I want to share how awesome 2016 has been for Sensational Soirees. This by far, has been my best year in business...yay!!

Thanks to 2016 Best Nine, I was able to relive my top 9 moments on Instagram. Beyond the likes, the photos paint a picture of something important that happened this year. Ironically, the photos that received the most engagement were of me, and likewise this year I was intentional in stepping out from behind the logo, and showing more of who I am throughout the brand and online. The core of Sensational Soirees is me - my heart, passion, creativity and love for my clients and bringing their visions to life. So I'm super proud that I achieved my face of the brand goal this year.

The weddings and soirees we had the pleasure of planning this year were amazing! The greatest part of my job is connecting with my clients and seeing their joy on event day, so I'm grateful for this amazing event year for us! As I reflect on 2016 as a whole, I just have to share a few other key highlights with you that have made this year so special.

MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS

I am so grateful for the connections I made and relationships built this year. Growing up, I was somewhat of an introvert and extrovert - quiet around strangers and loud around friends. Well, in the event industry we thrive off of building great vendor and client relationships. Needless to say, I learned quickly how to network and give an elevator speech. But more than that, I have grown to really enjoy and value connecting with other creatives who get it - this entrepreneurship life of pursuing a dream. From friendors who always come through for me and my clients to planner friends who I can share with about both work and life, I am so thankful for my tribe who have meant so much to me this year!

As a mom, I choose not to attend all of the weeknight networking events, but somehow still made a ton of new business connections this year. One way that happened was through intentionally connecting with other creatives on social media and Facebook groups like the Savvy Community and Heart Centered Biz Bosses. These groups feel like home to me, and the ladies I've connected with and learned from are simply amazing. One of the most meaningful connections I made was with the Mor Community. As a creative mom in business, this community of fellow mompreneurs inspires and encourages me, and serving as the blog manager is so fulfilling in being able to support other mompreneurs.

EDUCATION

This year, I have received such a return on my investment in business education! From webinars, to podcasts, workshops, retreats and more, I really went IN on learning this year - and it has paid off. All this knowledge I've absorbed this year has already benefited me in terms of business growth and personal development.

One of the most valuable investments I made this year was hiring Shelby Tuck-Horton as my business coach. The time I spent learning from her allowed me to see what I was doing well, what I needed to stop, and the steps I needed to take to get to the next level. Shelby is a veteran in the industry with so much expertise and heart, and I'm grateful for the wisdom she deposited into me and her caring spirit.

I've shared previously on the blog about some of the conferences I attended this year such as Intrigued Experience, but the one I haven't recapped yet, which was beyond game changing was the Coterie Retreat. My experience truly deserves it's own blog post, so stay tuned for that in January.

Well, this year, I not only learned from others but I also ventured into being the giver of knowledge. I can't begin to share how fulfilling the launch of my one-on-one mentoring has been. It's only been offered for the past 2 months, and I've received such valuable feedback already. I'm excited for even more educational offerings I'll be rolling out in the new year. I have had so many personal experiences, wins, lessons and more that I was hoarding, and I'm grateful to be a resource to other boss ladies who are where I was.

4 YEARS!

Reaching the 4 years in business milestone has been so rewarding. In the beginning, I couldn't see the place where I am now, and I'm sure 4 years from now I'll be saying the same thing. I am grateful for every single client and couple who has entrusted me with their soirees and weddings. Connecting with my clients alone has meant so much to me - they are truly the best. Planning and designing fires me up like nothing else - it makes me so happy to use my creativity and God given talents in this way. It has been such a joy to pursue my passion professionally, I literally can't explain that joy completely in words. NONE of my success would be possible without my team and vendor friends, so I'm so thankful to you for hanging in there with me on this journey. If you haven't already, check out more of my thoughts on year 4 here.

NEW BRANDING

Still over the moon for the new direction of Sensational Soirees, and the amazing branding refresh Rekita Nicole gave us. It was so needed, and definitely a big win for this year! Don't you just love it?!

As you can see, 2016 and God has been very good to Sensational Soirees! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support - from reading the blog, following and engaging on social media, working with me, trusting me, believing in me, being a friendor or friend, and just simply sending positive vibes this way - thank you!

I'm signing off until 2017, and hope you have an absolutely sensational new year!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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