5 Things I’ve Learned from Annette in 2 Years

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Hi Everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s blog manager and friend, and I’m back again bringing you today’s post. I must say, this post is a little different from some of the ones I’ve done before. September marks my second anniversary as a member of the AJS team, so I thought I’d give you a little insight about some of the things I’ve learned from Annette.

Whether it’s how to snap the best photo or how to plan a party in a flash, Annette has taught be a ton in the two short years I’ve been working with her. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from Annette:

  1. The perfect photo might be under your nose. Have you seen Annette’s Instagram? It’s stunning. Every photo tells a story, and every photo is as lovely as the one beside it. Annette plays with angles and color, and she’s always aware of the frame. If you take a lot of photos of food, mix up your angles by having a shot that’s from above your meal (a bird’s eye view) followed by one that’s just your ingredients followed by one that shows the recipe process. Play with lighting and color, too. And treat even the most mundane moment as a Kodak…errr….iPhone moment.
  2. A party is all about the feeling that’s in the air, and that comes down to making every attendee feel like they belong. Whether you’re hosting a grand soiree of 100 or an intimate dinner of six, being a hostess is all about how you make people feel. Annette is brilliant at making everyone feel like a friend, and that exactly how you feel at one of her gatherings. Even her workshops feel like a party because of the fun everyone is having. Annette knows how to bring people together and help them have a good time. Preparing the right food, the right atmosphere, and the right company puts the pleasure in the party.
  3. There’s nothing a fabulous espresso can’t fix. True story: I never had an espresso until my first meeting with Annette. In fact, I didn’t even drink coffee! I still have dreams about that espresso because it was so delicious, so you can only imagine how high my expectations are for espresso now. I’ve learned that if I’m feeling extra blah about the day, an espresso perks me right up. Thanks, Annette for opening my eyes to what a great (and what a terrible) espresso tastes like.
  4. But if coffee isn’t strong enough, a cocktail should definitely do the trick. Annette is the cocktail queen. I love how each of her cocktail recipes is unique and completely creative. I’ve made quite a few of them myself, so I feel I can confidently vouch for their deliciousness. Embrace the power of a before dinner drink, and remember, aperitivo is a lifestyle!
  5. Celebrate everything. This is something I learned from Annette’s book, Picture Perfect Parties. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or celebrating the dawn of a new season, there’s always a reason to throw a gathering.  No event is too small.


Thanks for having me, Annette! Here’s to many more years!

xo, Nicole

photos via: Annette

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