Henley Co. clients Lauren & Keaton were featured today on Exquisite Weddings Magazine! We adored working with this beautiful, Canadian couple on their destination wedding in La Jolla!
La Jolla Real Wedding: Lauren & Keaton
Lauren & Keaton’s love story began in 2011, while Keaton, a professional hockey player in the NHL, returned home to Kelowna, British Columbia during the off-season. Shortly thereafter, he met a quiet, dark-haired beauty named Lauren; an equestrian show jumper. It wasn’t long before Keaton was “conveniently” showing up at Lauren’s work. Later that Summer, Keaton returned to Florida for his season with the Florida Panthers. Lauren soon followed.
In 2012, Keaton was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, and their love affair with Southern California soon began. Although hockey eventually took Keaton to Winnipeg to play with the Jets, he and Lauren visited California often to reconnect with the landscape and friends they had come to love.
With the help of her wedding planner, Nicole Matthews of The Henley Co., Lauren soon selected The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California as the venue for the wedding weekend. Overlooking the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is the ultimate location for an outdoor wedding that could combine the rustic features of Canada with the breathtaking landscape of San Diego County.
Lauren and Keaton wanted a wedding that was rustic yet elegant, with touches of gold, white and light pink as highlights throughout the design elements. Being lovers of the outdoors, they opted to let the beauty of the view on the Arroyo Terrace (location of the ceremony) to be the focus, with beautiful accents provided by Camellia Wedding Flowers. When you host a reception for Canadian guests, the evening would not be complete without serving poutine, a Canadian delicacy that consists of french fries, gravy and cheese curd. The guests enjoyed a late night snack of poutine and sliders, which were welcomed after the dinner and dancing.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner; I can almost smell the turkey crisping up on the BBQ! That’s what we do in California – we BBQ our turkeys!
In our last blog post, I talked about planning your guest list and your invitation. It’s time for us to discuss menu planning and recipes! This will be a busy weekend at the grocery store as everyone begins to stock up for the impending feast so it’s time to get organized!
Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, as well as my suggestions for menu planning!
When deciding on the menu, you should first decide if you are the hostess that wants to cook the entire meal, or you are willing to share the glory. In our house, we have always welcomed a ton of people for our Thanksgiving dinners so it would be a huge burden for my parents to prepare all of the food. Plus, our guests have always enjoyed contributing to the feast.
As the hostess, think about providing the main staples of Thanksgiving such as the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The rest of the menu can be rounded out by the guests. We’ve always found that dishes like mashed potatoes don’t travel very well so it’s better if we cook them versus having a guest bring them later. We divide up the rest of the menu between salad, side dishes, veggie dishes, and desserts. Don’t be shy about asking your guests to contribute! It makes them feel engaged with the party before they even arrive! Be sure to remind guests of the expected time for you to enjoy the meal so you can plan accordingly with cooking times and reheating dishes if needed!
I’m the queen of appetizers! I believe you can make a whole meal out of appetizers, so therefore, my contribution to the feast is usually always the nibbles we can enjoy while the food preparation is being finished! Here are a few of my favorite dishes I’ve crafted over the years. Both have received rave reviews!
1 Can of Chili with No Beans
1 Cream Cheese (8 oz)
3 Green Onions
1 Can of Chopped Olives
1 Can of Green Chile – chopped (you decide on the heat!)1 Cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Mix remaining ingredients into bowl. Transfer to microwaveable dish. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and rotate. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
1 Jar of Chutney (found in the Indian food sections)
2 Cream Cheese (8 oz)
1 Cup of Sharp White Cheddar
1 Tablespoon of Curry Powder (add more as preferred)
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Mix remaining ingredients into bowl. Transfer to microwavable dish. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and rotate. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add additional Curry Powder to taste. I have also added red chili flakes for additional heat. Serve with crackers. Can be served at room temperature.
What’s your favorite recipe for Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!
Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the most interesting people in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!
Today, we get to introduce you to our rock star intern, Lychelle!!
What is your grown up job? I’m a senior at High Tech High International, and an intern at The Henley Co!. Soon, I’ll be a first year student at Sonoma State University.
Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I spent my childhood sitting by a campfire in many national parks, biking around on different trails leading to secret ponds only us kids knew about. I spent my childhood swimming in pools and oceans, always in the sun keeping my skin nice and tan. My most memorable experience as a child was when I went to Costa Rica while I was in the 3rd grade. It was my first vacation to a Spanish speaking country, and I could not have been more excited. We enjoyed crazy excursions like zip-lining, surfing, and going to a natural hot springs. This was the highlight of my elementary years.
Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? I loved playing on the swing set, it was an activity that I could do alone but also with others.
Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? I was/still am a lunch pail kind of gal. But I did get hot lunch occasionally.
What would be your ideal recess today? I would love to have recess during my school day where I could go outside for 15 minutes to just lay down on the grass, close my eyes and breath in the fresh air. It would give me a little break from the worries and stress of school/life.
If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I would choose a game like red light green light or sharks and minnows, two classic games that are fun and easy to manage with a large group.
What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Listening to the rules and knowing people’s boundaries
When does time disappear for you? When I’m with the people I love, hanging out at the beach, walking my dog, playing tennis, or watching my favorite program.
What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? As of now I am trying to maintain a positive mindset while I am transitioning out of high school and into college. I am doing so by thinking positively and surrounding myself with uplifting people who love and support me with everything that I do.
In her book Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, Nicole Matthews, Founder of The Henley Company, talks about giving yourself permission to design your best life. Which area of your life needs a little more attention? What are you willing to give yourself permission to do? I need to focus more on living in the now rather than worrying and feeling anxious about the future. I have been known to get too worked up about the unknowns of the future and have allowed the fear to stop me from enjoying the current moment. I try and think of this quote I read online “worrying won’t stop bad stuff from happening, it just keeps you from enjoying the good.” I need to give myself permission to let go of the anxiety and worries of what the future has to offer and enjoy the now.
Define happiness in less than 140 characters. Happiness is being able to love and let others love you.
Grab your colored chalk and write a motto on the asphalt of the playground for all the kids to see. What’s your message? Everything will be okay.
What will you do from this day forward to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I will make sure that I am aware of my mind and body and know when I need a break. I will not be afraid to take that few minute break to clear my mind and body. In the end it will help me be more productive and give me the clarity I need to take on whatever I have thrown my way.
Thanks Lychelle! We are happy to have you on the Henley Co. team! We adore you and wish you the best on the playground of life!
We were delighted to be included in the Brides Magazine article, “6 Things Wedding Planners Wish Brides Would Stop Obsessing About.” https://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/04/things-wedding-planners-wish-brides-would-stop-worrying-about.html – article written by Elizabeth Mitchell.
Brides, did you know that the more control you try to exert over your big day, the less in control you’ll actually feel? That’s because certain aspects, such as the weather, are simply out of your hands and nothing, we repeat, nothing is perfect, despite you and your wedding vendors’ best intentions! Instead of setting yourself up to fail, take the advice of these wedding planners, who’ve witnessed firsthand the unhappiness obsessing over things like flowers and colors causes brides.
“Many brides have a tendency to obsess about the flowers, when in actuality, the colors and types available are dictated at the whim of Mother Nature. For example, who would have thought that temperatures on the West Coast would reach record highs in early March of 90 degrees? Those growers hit by the drought may have some damaged crops, and flowers that are shipped from all over the world may not come in the quantities that were originally planned for your wedding. Thus, changes will be necessary.” — Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions
The Day-Of Details
“I’ve seen far too many brides obsess about perfection, to the point where they make themselves miserable on the one day that they should be their happiest. Just like no relationship is perfect, so too are weddings and wedding vendors. Keeping in mind that you are marrying the man of your dreams and having your friends and family there to be a part of that is what the day is really all about. If the timing is a little bit off or if something that isn’t of critical importance should go missing, don’t harp on it. Take everything in stride, and you’ll not only feel the love and admiration of those all around you, but you’ll also be that much happier and healthier.” — Aviva Samuels, founder of Kiss the Planner
The Color Scheme
“In my experience, a lot of brides get fixated on needing to pick specific wedding colors. The idea of designing a wedding around one or two random colors is odd to me. I think it’s much better to think of the big picture atmosphere you’re trying to create at your wedding. And then you can start thinking about an overall color palette that supports this look and feel.” — Amy Kaneko, owner of Amy Kaneko Special Events
The Wedding World’s Expectations
“I think brides obsess too much about what the wedding ‘should’ be like versus designing a wedding that authentically represents the couple. They so easily get caught up in every wedding blog, magazine or vendor website. This causes paralysis by analysis. I ask my couples to make a list of what is hugely important to both of them. We focus on the priorities and then supplement where needed. There is no cookie cutter recipe for what a wedding should look like. Brides and grooms should embrace that they have the freedom to design the day they both want.” — Nicole R. Matthews, Founder of The Henley Company
“As the wedding nears, brides are often very concerned with the weather and start checking the forecast obsessively. As a planner, I’ve worked on weddings where it rained, where there’s been an unexpected heat wave (108 degrees!) and everything in between. When you book your venue, be sure there’s a backup plan in case of rain, then let whatever happens happen. At my own wedding we moved the ceremony indoors at the last minute due to rain and it was every bit as wonderful as it would have been outside, even though I’d initially hoped for an outdoors wedding.” — Samantha Spector, founder of Milk & Honey Special Events
“More specifically, the bridal party and guests being on time! Remember though, even if everyone’s doing their best, you can’t always account for traffic jams or mixed up directions. We always expect that people will show up late. Real event pros take this into consideration and pad the timeline accordingly so a few ceremony stragglers or slightly tardy groomsmen won’t throw the whole schedule off.” — Erica Taylor, co-founder of Tinsel & Twine
Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!
Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I grew up on the east coast of Canada, in New Brunswick. I had a pretty awesome childhood and most of the years were great. We spent our entire days outside, playing street hockey, exploring the forest, biking through sand dunes. I also remember starting our camping years with my family. But I really loved the first few years of school, especially grade 3, when we had an exchange teacher from England, Miss Scott who really was amazing. I was also at the peak of my academic skills and athletic skills. Aside from doing well is school, I remember being a strong long distance runner and the dodgeball champ. But soon, my athletic skills would go down big time. Finally in grade 5, I was honoured to skip a grade, which as pretty cool.
Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? I was either playing hockey or baseball on one side, or on the other side with the girls playing jump rope. Even back then, I was mixing up and not caring about any stereotypical gender roles.
Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? I was the guy who had his mom make soup and toast once a week in my lunch pail. That was a treat, as was my mom’s famous curried ground beef sandwiches. But my staple lunch, and I can’t believe I’m sharing this with you, was actually ketchup and lettuce sandwiches.
What would be your ideal recess today? Hmm…ideal recess would be hanging with the girls talking about boys, then playing different team sports. I would have a nice bagel for a snack.
If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I get us all to play a combination of my favourite teambuilding games, including Big Booty, Zip-Zap-Bop and Take and Stand. Big Booty and Zip-Zap-Bop are improve games. Take a Stand is where we take an issue or situation and get people to choose one side over the other and then say why they chose that side.
What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? I moved around from location to location. Learning about the diversity of the playground is also how I live my life with connecting. I believe the diversity of my network leads to diversity of thought, experiences and action. I did learn that kids can be cruel sometimes to one another and teaching my own children to believe in themselves and stand up for themselves will be key. I also learned about playing fair and playing inclusively. Finally I learned that men and women can play anything they want, regardless of what people tell you what you should and should not do.
When does time disappear for you? Vacation time is a good one. Play time is another big one. When I was a kid, playing hockey, snow sledding or going rock climbing, I never noticed how late it got until the sun started setting. Nowadays, only on vacation do I feel time disappear. It is a hard feeling to capture again.
What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? My big intention is to help one million hearts find their authentic path of passion and purpose. I seek to inspire and teach these ‘lost leaders’ as a world-class speaker, author and coach. I want to tell them that it’s okay to feel lost personally, professionally and academically because I have too. But it’s not okay to do little about it.
I am getting there more now by having my first speaker agent, coming out with my first books on ‘How to Network Anytime’, and I just created a 12-week modular coaching program called Networking Mastery.
In her book Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, Nicole Matthews, Founder of The Henley Company, talks about giving yourself permission to design your best life. Which area of your life needs a little more attention? What are you willing to give yourself permission to do? The biggest area is my health. I recently started a movement called #FitInMyLife because initially I wanted to get fit in my life, after a lifetime of just ignoring it or letting things get worse. I now realize that this movement and hashtag is two-fold because, I am also trying to make everything fit in my life – my kids, my wife, my business, my health, my friends and everything else I want to do in this world. I am willing to give myself permission to spend some time during the weekdays to do healthy things and focus my attention on my young children whenever they are home. Then I am Super Daddy. But it takes some toll on my ability to spend on my business. This is one of the reasons why I am looking now at ways to scale and automate revenue systems.
Define happiness in less than 140 characters. The feeling, creation or manifestation of authentic joy, fulfillment, purpose and peace, whether for yourself, others or the world.
Grab your colored chalk and write a motto on the asphalt of the playground for all the kids to see. What’s your message? Fight for your life: the one you truly want to live, with success defined by you and supported by those who love you.
What will you do from this day forward to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I will try to incorporate more recess where time can disappear and gratitude can create monuments of every moment.
I will look at my life more holistically and find the balance between planning for my purpose, impact and legacy while also exploring all the joy and happiness that this world has to offer.
I will continue my path of love, gratitude and leadership to serve every lost leader in my story and role as a father, brother, son, partner, friend and business person.
Our first full day in Puerto Rico, we trekked into Old San Juan from our hotel in the neighborhood of Carolina. Carolina is home to many hotels, a beautiful beach and easy access to the airport. The Ritz Carlton, the Intercontinental and El San Juan Resort all have beach front properties in Carolina. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Resort and Casino, which was just a quick walk to the beach.
To get to Old San Juan, we took public transportation, which required us to travel via city bus. For only 75 cents, we were able to get from Carolina to Old San Juan on one bus. The buses are clean, air-conditioned and move quickly through the city. TRAVEL NOTE: The buses in Puerto Rico only take exact change so you cannot pay with dollars; coins only. The journey from Carolina to Old San Juan took about 45 minutes, and led us through diverse neighborhoods like Condado (home to many of the luxury stores like Gucci and Tiffany’s.) We were able to get quite a flavor of the extended city through the bus route.
Upon arriving at Old San Juan, we immediately hopped on to the free shuttle, which took us into the heart of the town. This shuttle leaves from the bus terminal. With 20 stops throughout the colonial section of Old San Juan, visitors are able to easily get around the cobblestone streets and hills on this trolley. We jumped off after a few minutes to start exploring. Although the streets within the colonial section of Old San Juan can be quite steep, it’s certainly worth getting your feet to the ground to start walking. You can appreciate the culture, stores and restaurants of the area much better by walking.
After a quick stop at the Coach store to make a purchase (hey- the purse was 80% off!) , we took a tour of The Cathedral, which houses Ponce De Leon’s remains. Directly across the street from The Cathedral, sits the El Convento Hotel, which was once a convent. In July 1651, the convent was inaugurated as the Monastery of Our Lady Carmen of San José — and was situated across the street from San Juan Cathedral, the Western Hemisphere’s oldest cathedral. This historic property represents the best of colonial architecture. It’s beautiful mustard color walls, contrast beautifully with the blue cobble stone streets found in this neighborhood.
While wondering through the streets of Old San Juan, it’s easy to see the blend of historic influence from the Spanish, the lively colors of the Caribbean and the Latin influence of culture. A must-see in Old San Juan are the forts: Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a 16th century fortress that was named after King Phillip II of Spain and Fort San Cristóbal, known as the “Gibraltar of the Caribbean,” is located on the eastern side of Old San Juan.
Old San Juan offers the best in shopping, restaurants and historic landmarks. It’s a must-see if you visit Puerto Rico! The only negative is that the streets can get crowded when the cruise ships arrive so be prepared to share the experience with the cruisers.
As I typed this blog post, I was flying over the Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean Sea, having just returned from a glorious week in Puerto Rico. The memories from my time on the island outweigh the fact that the person in the seat in front of me had reclined, so my laptop was shaped like a taco. Good thing I have small limbs and could continue typing; otherwise he might have felt turbulence from my foot.
My parents and I were looking for a new destination to travel to during Spring Break. Although Mexico is at our doorstep, we have explored a lot of that beautiful country so decided to head east. Getting to San Juan, Puerto Rico from San Diego is a long day of travel, so it’s important that you plan 2 full days of travel time for your vacation window. Most flights from the west coast connect in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta or Miami before heading to San Juan. Due to our personal schedules, we had to unfortunately take a red eye from Houston; leaving at midnight and arriving in San Juan at 5:00 a.m. Tired from a long day of travel, the 3-hour time difference and pretending to sleep in an airplane seat, we arrived at San Juan Airport, weary but excited to see what the day would bring once the sun came up. Thankfully we were able to secure an early check-in at our hotel, which allowed us to take a well deserved morning nap!
For those uncertain as to how Puerto Rico is affiliated with the US, let me offer a little history and cultural perspective. The short story is that Puerto Rico was under the flag of Spain for over 400 years; until the Spanish-American war, in which time the US took control. Lucky for us! Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the USA, which allows citizens of the islands full rights as American citizens. They travel under US passports, use the US dollar as currency, and can move between US states without limitation. They are technically US citizens of Puerto Rican heritage; but for Puerto Ricans, they are proud to be Puerto Rican! The overall sense we had when talking to the locals is that they welcome the connection to the US and the access and freedoms it provides, but they are very loyal to their Puerto Rican heritage. It’s not uncommon to hear those visiting from the States to make an “us” versus “them” statement; assuming that being in Puerto Rico was really traveling to a foreign land. This is just ignorance from not understanding the history of the island. We made a point of talking to many locals who were quick to tell us how much they appreciate having the rights of the US but how much they love PR. The hope is that they will one day become an official US state, but for now, they welcome the commonwealth title. US citizens do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. We can come and go to the island just as easy as Puerto Ricans can travel to the states.
I can’t wait to share with you some of the exciting adventures we had during our visit. In future blog posts, I’ll talk about Old San Juan, the rain forest and kayaking in Bio Bay. It’s been such a wonderful trip that I am excited to share with you a million reasons why you should pack your bags and head straight to Puerto Rico.
If you’ve been to PR, share with me your favorite experience by popping down to the comments section below!
Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!
What is your grown up job? I produce inspirational films
How can we find you?
Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I remember spending most of my childhood in imaginary worlds. I loved cartoons – mostly involving superheroes – and if I wasn’t watching these stories, I was re-enacting them or creating new heroic stories of my own.
Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? Definitely the slide. It goes fast and makes me smile.
Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? Plastic lunch box with a superhero on it. I had a new one each year.
What would be your ideal recess today? I try to take an outdoor walk in the middle of every day to listen to uplifting music & clear my head. It helps me process the events of the morning and stay focused on the goals for the day. So, I guess I am still having recess as a grown up.
Does your company encourage recess for their employees? I encourage everyone I work with to find time for the things they are passionate about. The things I love most about my working life came from pursuing an idea that was outside of the flow of my normal work… then we found a way to incorporate it into our business. Our most recent film is connected with Batman. Four years ago, nothing in my filmmaking world was superhero focused, but it sounded like something fun to pursue. And it ultimately changed my professional life, for the better. For me, personal passion has consistently driven me to find ideas that keep my work fresh.
If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I’m very much about building personal, emotional connection between people. I believe that creating an environment of trust & safely gives people the freedom to bring their best, most unique ideas to the table. Because they aren’t afraid. So, I’d probably organize some version of Show-And-Tell.
What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Be nice. Although doing great work and sharing it with lots of people are both essential in business, I think kindness it the cornerstone of my professional life.
When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. I am blessed to have a profession that is also my hobby. At my core, I am a filmmaker and a storyteller. I am producing films for my clients, and I am also always creating separate projects for myself… something that expresses my heart. Not only does this personal work help energize my client projects, it also leads to opportunities that are aligned with my passions. By continually putting in the world the work and messages that are close to my heart, I attract the greatest clients on the planet and find myself continually falling more in love with the art of film making.
What is one area of your life where you need more recess? Because my work is my passion, sometimes I don’t see realize when I am pushing myself too hard. My personal drive keeps me from taking a few days off to clear my head & reset my nerves. But I am getting better at this.
What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? I believe that stories have the power to change us. And I think that uplifting stories have the ability to inspire greatness in us. My most important intention is to capture and share stories that bring out the most heroic part of each person. Each of us have a hero inside… I think compelling stories can be a key to unlock it.
Over the past 3 years, we have shifted our company significantly to allow more opportunity for this. Our recent film Legends of the Knight (www.WEareBATMAN.com) was a gigantic labor of love that screened theatrically in 90 cities around the world, raising over $60,000 for charitable organizations. The film is now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more. The encouraging message of this film – and the community-focused distribution strategy that went with it – is a true expression of my heart and my beliefs.
To continue moving this journey forward, we started a not-for-profit called The Rising Heroes Project (www.RisingHero.org). We are currently working on our next film, and we will launch it through this new organization.
What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I have 2 boys. I love watching them play at the park, imagining themselves as superheroes. If you break down the word “recreation”, you find “re” and “creation”. Our playtime is an opportunity to create ourselves again… perhaps by re-imagining ourselves as heroes in the world. I want to continue to spend more time imagining myself as a hero in the world, and then using that story to motivate me to positive action. And I hope many others will pursue the same dream.
If you know of an executive, entrepreneur or all-around cool kid that we should feature in Playground Chatter, please email email@example.com.