After speaking with so many of our industry friends and colleagues, everyone agrees that we have all missed gathering for our Annual Vision Board Party. It feels like there is no better time to bring it back than now! So it makes us incredibly happy at Danielle Gibson Events, Take Time To Toast, and Encore Events Rentals to announce the 5th Annual Vision Board Party!

NEW – Photos of the 2023 Vision Board Party!

Please tag Duyho_ (Instagram) or Duy Ho Photography if you are going to use his photos.

NEW – Photos of YOU with your Vision Board from Giggle & Riot Please tag @giggleandriot

5th Annual Vision Board Party

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 5 pm – 8:30 pm

Encore Events Rentals

1001 American Way, Windsor, California


5 – 5:30 pm – hellos, grab a treat, a sip, a board, and a seat

5:30 – 6 pm – welcome and visualize your future with Peace of Kate

6 – 8:15 pm – Vision Boards + Dinner

8:15 – 8:30 pm – Recap + Group Photo


What is a Vision Board?

For those wondering what it’s all about, a vision board is a visual representation of your dreams, goals, and desires. Typically one will use magazine clippings, photos, and phrases to express what one wants to achieve in the next month, year, two years, etc. Once finished, a vision board should be placed somewhere you will see it every day (on your dresser, in your home office) so that you never lose sight of your goals and are constantly reminded to keep trying. 

What should you expect at the Vision Board Party?


The event will take place at our wonderful cohost and sponsor, Encore Events Rentals, @encoreeventsrentals. Thank you for having us! As hosts, they are eager to showcase some of their latest additions in lounge furniture and provide a fun and inspiring atmosphere to include bites, bevvies, music, and more!

Once we are all settled in with LaCroix, @lacroixwater sponsored drinks, and a grazing table sponsored by Field & Farm @fieldandfarmboards we will begin a guided session with sponsor Kate Messmer Jessup, founder of Peace of Kate. This 30-minute session is designed to quiet your mind and connect to your inner consciousness.

A little bit about Kate. Kate Messmer Jessup is a Napa Valley native and owner of the private practice Peace of Kate. She coaches individual clients and leads corporate groups in using mindfulness and self-awareness to bring more happiness and inner peace into daily life. 

Kate graduated from The University of Santa Monica and earned her MA in Spiritual Psychology with an advanced certification in Soul-Centered Professional Coaching. Since launching Peace of Kate in 2013, she has published numerous articles in Napa Valley Life Magazine and The St. Helena Star, and she has had a radio segment on the Barry Martin Radio Show (KVYN). You can check out all her media endeavors by heading to her website.

We recommend that you come to the vision board party with an idea of what you want your goals to be in order to help you start your thought process during Kate’s session.


Once in a relaxed state of mind, we will begin creating our vision boards and enjoying pizza and salads, sponsored by Di Filippo Wood-Fired Pizza @difilippowoodfiredpizza

What do you need to create your vision board?

To help you create your board, we will have the following items available at the vision board party:

  • Cork Board – We will have these for sale at the event for $20 each. (If you want to purchase your own, they are sold in a 2-pack on Amazon)
  • Push pins, tape, and glue sticks
  • Magazines for clipping photos, words, and phrases
  • Scissors
  • Pen and paper for taking notes during Kate’s session

We will also have four professional calligraphers sponsoring the vision board party to write custom phrases you would like to include on your boards. Their beautiful handwriting incorporated on your board will bring you even more joy every time you view it!

Ashley Taylor of Napa Note, @napa_note on Instagram

Napa Note is a design studio offering custom calligraphy. Specializing in a romantic handwriting style that evokes elegance and timeless luxury, you’ll be sure to leave a lasting positive impression on your guest.

Kestrel Montes of Ink Me This, @inkmethis on Instagram

Calligrapher & Engraver, Kestrel Montes specializes in hand engraving and calligraphy pieces for framing. She also owns Nibtique, a global network of professional calligraphy artists. @nibtique on Instagram.

Jody Meese of Mil Plumas Calligraphy and Engraving, @milplumaslettering on Instagram

Jody relishes the variety of projects, venues, styles, and media she works with every day. From commercial chalkboards to illuminated manuscripts, to calligraphic engraving at on-site events, she loves beautifying the world one letter at a time.

Blanca Lewis of Blanca Lewis Calligraphy, @blanca_lewis_calligraphy on Instagram

Blanca is a calligrapher and engraver based in San Francisco, serving the Bay Area and beyond. She provides luxury calligraphy services for brand activations, corporate events, and more.


While you are there, smile for Duy Ho @duyho_. Duy is our sponsored photographer and he will be documenting the vision board party.

There will also be beautiful florals around the room to enjoy and inspire, designed by Bryce Loutsch of Vanda Floral Design.

Alyssa from Riza Plants, @rizaplants will be there with her green thumb decorating the room with her little loves. Riza Plants is a plant store based in Napa that sells and rents plants for events.

Once you have completed your board, head on over to Giggle and Riot’s photo booth @giggleandriot and get a snap of you and your completed board!

Looking forward to seeing you, don’t forget to register ASAP as we have limited space! 


Best Napa Restaurant

Are you looking for the best Napa hotels for meetings, events, and leisure? If so, then you clicked on the right blog!

I’m Danielle Gibson and I have been living in Napa since 2012 and in the Bay Area since 1997. I own Danielle Gibson Events, an event company that plans, designs, and produces corporate events, social celebrations, and wine styling in Napa Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond.  We are continually scouting out new hotels, restaurants, wineries, and activities which keeps us dialed into the best Napa has to offer. If you are looking to have an event in Napa, California we are the event planning company to plan and design it for you!

Over the years we have only given our industry insight to our dear friends and clients. However, now we want to open the vault and share what we truly love about the beautiful Napa Valley with everyone that is eager to visit.

To book the best Napa hotel, read this!

You don’t want to be spending more time driving than tasting wine! If you are visiting Napa to taste wine at a specific winery that you have already booked or plan to book, we recommend you search for a Napa hotel relatively close to your tasting appointments. Are you more interested in staying in a certain town? In that case, book a hotel in that town and arrange wine tastings (we have over 400 wineries!) within 20 minutes of your hotel. Careful planning and attention to travel times between wineries will enhance your overall experience in Napa.

Where are the best Napa hotels located?

Napa Valley is a California wine-producing region that is 5 miles wide by 30 miles long located about 50 miles north of San Francisco. Napa Valley basically runs north to south with Napa located at the south end and Calistoga at the north end. When you drive up from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), or San Francisco Bay area, the town of Napa will be the first town you will approach on your drive into the area. Most hotels in Napa are located in the towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. We recommend using the Napa Winery Map to help navigate the area. (click to enlarge and download).

Napa Valley Wine Map

Looking for recommendations on restaurants with event space for your next party? Overwhelmed by how many wineries there are to visit in Napa? Confused about how to navigate Napa Valley? Then check out our other blogs:


Driving in Napa California

I highly recommend having a car. You can easily drive to wineries during the day, as long as you have a designated driver who isn’t drinking. If you need a driver to take you to your selected wineries or need an itinerary I recommend Napa Valley Wine Excursions and RAM Wine Tours. Contacting an Uber or Lyft to travel from winery to winery isn’t very reliable. At night, I would recommend leaving the car at home and walk or grab a Lyft (or Uber) to get around.

Quick tips about our list of the best Napa hotels

Our details are short and sweet, but our list is the only list that makes it easy to figure out where you want to stay! What is most important to my readers?

  • What is the daily rate of the hotel room
  • What town is the hotel located in Napa Valley
  • Does the hotel have event space for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Are local restaurants within walking distance

The pricing guide we are using is in USD from $-$$$$$ (from the least expensive $ to the most expensive $$$$$). Keep in mind prices will fluctuate depending on the day of the week and time of the year. Also, some hotels ask for a 2 or 3-night minimum stay.

The best Napa hotels listed below navigate from south (Napa) to north (Calistoga).

Best Napa Hotels – Downtown Napa

Andaz Napa

Andaz Napa $$$

  • Restaurant on-site
  • Rooftop dining
  • Small event space for planning a corporate event, meeting, social celebration, or wedding
  • Small city feel
  • Walking distance to Napa’s downtown restaurants
Archer Hotel Napa Lobby
Archer Hotel Napa Events

Archer Hotel Napa $$$

  • Charlie Palmer Steakhouse restaurant on-site
  • Rooftop dining
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Small city feel
  • Walking distance to Napa’s downtown restaurants
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
The Westin Verasa Napa

The Westin Verasa Napa $$$

Best Napa Hotels (outside of downtown Napa)

Best-Napa-Hotels-for-events- Carneros
Carneros Resort and Spa, Napa

Carneros Resort and Spa $$$$

  • Restaurants on-site
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • 10-minute drive to Napa’s downtown restaurants
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
The Meritage Resort and Spa & Vista Collina, Napa

The Meritage Resort and Spa & Vista Collina $$

  • Restaurants on-site
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • 8-minute drive to Napa’s downtown restaurants
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Bowling alley
  • Winery tasting rooms
  • Spa
  • Wine caves
Senza Hotel, Napa

Senza Hotel Napa $$

  • Restaurant on-site
  • 10-minute drive to Yountville restaurants, a 10-minute drive to Napa downtown restaurants, or a walk to Bistro Don Giovani next door
  • Small event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Vineyards views
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool
  • Country feel
The Setting Inn, Napa

The Setting Inn $$

  • 7-room inn
  • No restaurant on-site
  • 5-minute drive to Yountville restaurants, 10-minute drive to downtown Napa downtown restaurants
  • Backyard property and a small barn for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Vineyard views
  • Country feel
Stanly Ranch Resort and Spa

Stanly Ranch $$$$$

  • 130-room resort, newly opened in 2022
  • Restaurant on-site
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • 12-minute drive to Napa’s downtown restaurants and a 20-minute drive to Yountville restaurants.
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center

Best Napa Hotels – Yountville

Bardessono, Yountville

Bardessono $$$$

Hotel Yountville

Hotel Yountville $$$

North Block Hotel, Yountville

North Block $$$

The Estate Yountville

Hotel Villagio, the good and oh-so-social, and its sophisticated counterpart, Vintage House, a chic and tranquil sanctuary are both part of The Estate Yountville.

Hotel Villagio, Yountville

Hotel Villagio $$$$

  • Newly renovated in 2020
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Restaurant on-site
  • Walking distance to Yountville restaurants, 15-minute drive to Napa’s downtown restaurants
  • Vineyard views
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
  • Small town feel
Vintage House, Yountville

Vintage House $$$$

  • Newly renovated in 2019
  • Restaurants on-site
  • Walking distance to Yountville restaurants, 15-minute drive to Napa’s downtown restaurants
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Vineyard views
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
  • Small town feel

Best Napa Hotels – Yountville (outside of downtown)

Poetry Inn, Yountville

Poetry Inn $$$$$

  • Five-room resort located high above Yountville with vineyard views
  • Restaurant on-site for breakfast, private dining available
  • 5-minute drive to Yountville restaurants
  • Poetry Inn is available for whole-property rentals
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool

Best Napa Hotels – St. Helena

Alila, St. Helena

Alila $$$$

  • Restaurant on-site
  • Walking distance to St. Helena restaurants (about 1/2 mile)
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Vineyard views
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
  • Small town feel
Auberge du Soleil Resort and Spa, St. Helena

Auberge du Soleil $$$$$

  • A resort located off of Silverado Trail
  • Michelin Starred restaurant on-site
  • 10-minute drive to Yountville restaurants, 10-minute drive to St. Helena restaurants
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or a wedding
  • Vineyard views
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
Meadowood Resort and Spa, St. Helena

Meadowood $$$$$

  • A resort located off of Silverado Trail close to the town of Saint Helena
  • Restaurant on-site
  • 5-minute drive to St. Helena restaurants
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • 9-hole golf course
  • Currently rebuilding The Restaurant at Meadowood, hotel rooms, and event space due to damage from the fires in 2020, so only partial areas of the resort are open at this time

Best Napa Hotels – Calistoga

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa $$

  • Restaurant on-site
  • Walking distance to Calistoga downtown restaurants (Uber and Lyft don’t always operate in this area)
  • Event space for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa
  • Small town feel
Cottage Grove Inn, Calistoga

Cottage Grove Inn $$

  • 3 cozy cottages are located within walking distance to Calistoga downtown restaurants (Uber and Lyft don’t always operate in this area)
  • No restaurant on-site
  • Event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Country, small-town feel
Four Seasons Resort and Spa, Calistoga

Four Seasons Resort and Spa $$$$$

  • A resort located on Silverado Trail close to the town of Calistoga
  • Restaurant on-site (Truss)
  • 3-minute drive to Calistoga downtown restaurants (Uber and Lyft don’t always operate in this area)
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Winery tasting room on-site (Elusa Winery)
Indian Springs Resort and Spa, Calistoga

Indian Springs Resort and Spa $$

  • Restaurant on-site (Sam’s Social Club)
  • Walking distance to Calistoga downtown restaurants, (Uber and Lyft don’t always operate in this area)
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Large outdoor hot springs pool
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
Solage Resort and Spa, Calistoga

Solage Resort and Spa $$$$

  • Restaurants on-site (Pico Bar and Sol Bar)
  • 3-minute drive to Calistoga downtown restaurants
  • Multiple event spaces for planning a meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding
  • Large outdoor pool
  • Spa (treatment rooms, pool, and hot tubs)
  • Fitness center


How many nights should I plan to stay in Napa?

At least 3 nights is recommended because of the travel time getting to and from Napa. If you are flying in, most airports are 1.5 hours away without traffic, this could take up half of your arrival day and departure day just traveling. I recommend planning to have at least 2 full days for wine tasting and activities around the valley.

What hotels have the best event space for a real Napa experience?

When planning events in Napa, we think the best Napa hotels with event space are Stanly Ranch, The Estate, Four Seasons, Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood, and Indian Springs. Looking for a Napa full-service event planning company for your next Napa meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wine styling for photography? Contact us today!

How different is the experience from staying in a hotel in downtown Napa to staying in the town of Yountville?

Downtown Napa has really changed over the past 10 years, it has more hotels, restaurants, winery tasting rooms, and stores than ever! (and of course Oxbow Market) If you are looking for a small city feel and less expensive accommodations, downtown Napa is for you. The town of Yountville also has many hotels, winery tasting rooms, and stores to enjoy (and of course Bouchon Bakery), but it is more of a quaint, small-town feel and pricier than Napa.

Thanks for joining us here on the blog!

The holiday season is upon us, and like many of you, we have mixed feelings. Our melancholy for lost plans is a feeling we need to acknowledge, but we are also thankful for the chance to remember amazing past events and to challenge ourselves to continue to create this year. For example, our Take Time to Toast Friendsgiving would normally kick-off this time of the year serves as a perfect opportunity to design a Insta-worthy event and catch up with friends in our industry. While we may not be able to see you in person this year, we still want to connect!  

We have partnered with St. Supéry Winery of Napa Valley for their virtual wine tasting #Injoy at Home Entertainment Series to do just that!

For the November 5th segment, Danielle Gibson Events will be streaming LIVE from Napa Valley with St. Supéry Winery to show you the latest trends for your Thanksgiving table. The virtual tasting starts with education behind the St. Supéry Napa Valley Estate Rosé and dining tips from Chef Tod Kawachi and ends with our Thanksgiving table segment!  We are including EVERY resource in our next blog so you can shop all the items of our table design!

SIGN UP HERE to join this free virtual wine tasting (Thursday, November 5th at either 3:00pm PST or 5:30 pm PST) Don’t forget to purchase Rosé wine so you can sip while you follow along!

Want to see more decorating ideas for the Holidays?

See our 2019 Friendsgiving at Cerf Club, SF
Check out our Pinterest Board to get inspired for your
Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving!

Give Us A Virtual Hug

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Dream up a party with us on Pinterest 

Do you want to throw a party but it’s unsafe to gather? 

How about having a backyard picnic with your shelter in place team? Your QuaranTEAM! 

The beauty of a picnic is that there are so many different ways to decorate. Whether you’re longing for a low-key get together or the upscale picnic of your dreams, we’ve got you covered! We have curated a list of our favorite things to use for whichever mood you’re in.

Budget-Friendly Picnicking

1.Tablecloth  2.  Plates  3. Cutlery  4. Cups 5. Napkins 6. Pineapple Pinata

Prioritizing other aspects of your picnic like food and beverage does not mean your table decor must leave something to be desired. In lieu of purchasing flowers or renting colorful linens, we suggest using colorful paper goods like the ones above to brighten up the tablescape. Online boutiques (remember to shop small!) like Oh Happy Day, Partydash and Confete Party have every color, pattern, or print (don’t be afraid to mix) you could desire at reasonable prices. We also recommend buying a piñata, like this cute pineapple (#6), for later in the night as an outlet to take out all of your quarantine frustrations. ? 

A little Danielle Gibson Events inspiration above from a past Take Time to Toast event. If you are craving some fresh greenery on your table, take some of your plants from around the house and place them on your table like above from one of our TTTT gatherings in Big Sur. (Plants by @scarlettandgrace, linens and pillows @latavolalinen, doormat @target, signage @studio.noel, paper goods @meredithlawdesign, plates @ikeausa)

Easy Peasy 

For those last minute planners – you know who you are, Party-In-A-Box from Confete Party will make hosting a breeze. With the option to create-your-own or choose from pre-made boxes, the options are endless and your table is guaranteed to be a showstopper.

Let’s Go All The Way!

Haven’t thrown a party in a while? Go Big on Design while you Stay Home!

  1. Tent for shade 2. Table and benches 3. Cutlery 4. Rugs + Pillows 5. Plates + Placemats 6. Napkins 7. Games

For those ready to celebrate in a big way, we are ready for you too. Renting a tent like the one above from Shelter Co. is a quick way to transform your backyard to an intimate, cozy space for you and your Quaranteam. Want to make it even cozier? Layer different textured rugs like these from Found Rentals, use a low-top table (potentially your coffee table) and a combination of throw pillows and poufs as seating! If you are feeling nostalgic for a more traditional picnic, add this adorable table and bench set from Shelter Co. that is guaranteed to bring back some camp memories. As another nod to tradition, we chose braided seagrass placemats, tassel napkins and simple white plates that reminded us of beautiful picnic baskets sets. With the tablescape done, we encourage you to go beyond and add a few backyard games to ensure a good time is had by all!

Don’t want to worry about rentals or not sure what you want? Enters Cali Picnics. This full-service luxury picnic service will take your vision (contact free!) and bring it to life without you having to lift a finger other than to raise your glass!  

What to Eat 

1. Sandwiches How to Wash Produce 3. S’mores 4. Rosé 5. La Croix Paloma 6. Fried Chicken 8. Mini Cutting Boards

The thought of safely preparing food for our friends has us thinking “why not leave cooking to the professionals?” With so many amazing catering companies to support in the San Francisco Bay Area like Foxtail Catering and their new Meal Kits and Southside and their famous Fried Chicken Buckets, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. To keep it safely casual, we recommend ordering food that can be displayed at room temperature and served as individual portions. For example, ordering sandwiches like the delicious Green Graze Sandwich recipe from Frances & Sheryl of The Modern Romantics is an easy meal with minimal chance of cross-contamination when wrapped individually. Another easy option is to create individual cheese and charcuterie boards that you could double as place cards! If you are considering cutting and displaying fruit, I recommend reading delish’s article on how to properly wash produce to reduce the chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus. 

Now I know what you’re thinking, what about dessert and drinks? 

For dessert, why not go with a good old fashion S’more? Prior to your guests arrival, you can pre-set the ingredients using gloves and then when it is time to make them, let your Quaranteam cook their own! 

For drinks, aside from water, (which is ESPECIALLY important during the summer months) we recommend assorted La Croix, the 2018 Tournesol Rosé as an adult beverage, and a delicious Blood Orange Paloma pre-mixed in individual mason jars. Use galvanized buckets filled with ice to display all the options! 

What to Wear/How to Keep it Safe? 

The best part about dressing for a picnic is getting you out of your everyday Covid-19 clothes!

If being stuck at home has made you want to wear the brightest dress you own, then go for it! We have compiled some of our favorite outfits for everyone below, along with a few accessories. Yes, we did include masks and hand sanitizer in the accessories because let’s face it, (no pun intended) you can’t leave the house without either anymore, so you might as well look good while being safe.  


  1. Light Pink Shirt 2. White Stripe Shirt 3.Gray Shorts 4. Navy Shorts 5. Floral Print Dress 6. Red Dress 7. Striped Shirt 8. Blue Shorts

  1. White Dress 2. Red Dress 3.Graphic Tee 4. Gingham Jumpsuit  5. Olive Jumpsuit

  1. Straw Hat  2.Fedora  3. Face Mask Set 4. Palm Earrings 5. Hand Sanitizer 6. Face Mask 7. Youth Face Mask 8. Rifle Paper Face Mask


Here are some photos from past Danielle Gibson Events’ for more inspiration!

Event design Danielle Gibson Events 

Napkins and flatware @encoreeventrentals, tables @riondesigns, rugs, pillows, chairs, poufs @shelterco, florals @b.side.farm.flowers, chocolates @theochocolate, calligraphy @blushtype, cutting boards @ikeausa

Event design Danielle Gibson Events 

Greenery @scarlettandgrace, florals @revelfloral, paper goods @meredithlawdesign, napkins @latavolalinen, runners @target, pink plates @ikeausa

A Women’s Networking + Empowerment Event

better together

Danielle Gibson Events is the planning and design power behind all Take Time to Toast events! You can learn more about these Napa Valley Event Planners, here! This Women’s Networking Event brought us together (better together!) on a beautiful ranch to hear awesome guest speakers (from influencers to business owners to members of the US Coast Guard!), drink wine, and grow our businesses. You can follow along with both Take Time to Toast and Danielle Gibson Events on Instagram!

Our Take Time to Toast “Better Together” event was a full-day conference that created an environment of collaboration among the women in attendance. Our attendees were made up of social and corporate event planners, influencers, wedding planners, florists, caterers, photographers, and other entrepreneurs!

The theme of this event was built on a Danielle Gibson Events foundational belief in collaboration over competition. Our goal was to bring together as many inspiring, creative, and just plain badass entrepreneurs as possible, and encourage them to lean on each other. (#bettertogether)

A carefully curated range of speakers spoke to attendees in engaging ways (read: live-podcasting, interactive meditation, Q+A sessions, and so much more!) on topics specific to being the best entrepreneurs possible.

The “better together” day went a little something like this…

better together schedule

Take Time to be Present: Morning Mindfulness and Meditation with Emily Leahy of Return to Sacred. On Instagram as: @returntosacred

Emily is a certified healer and guide in the Modern Mystery School, where she shares healing modalities, meditation classes, training, energetic tools and more! We love that she touched on ways to ditch burnout and create balance in our daily lives. Not only that, she provided attendees with the tools to be their most present selves in everything they do or pursue. Walking away with solid action items is a sure-sign of a great presenter!

Take Time to be Grateful: Fireside Chat with Amy Paulson and Noel Russell, moderated by Jodee Debes

This one was a real tear-jerker. For starters, Amy Paulson is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Gratitude Alliance, a program that focuses on trauma healing training and counseling for the most vulnerable communities around the world. Amy, once an orphan herself, is passionate about helping children heal from the loss of their mothers through transformative exercises. She had our audience mesmerized by her message of resilience and importance of gratitude.

Coupled with Amy, was Noel Russell, who has done countless projects with the homeless youth population in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together, Amy and Noel led a conversation based on gratitude and the ways in which practicing gratitude can better all of our lives. Noel spends her free time traveling with her husband and two adorable dogs in a van they call Francis Ford Campola (we’re obsessed). van life

Her Instagram feed, @Noel_russ, is filled with mountains, dreamy sunsets and plenty of #vanlife reality shots. We love the work/life balance she has achieved (and is constantly working on). In Noel’s words, “Every minute of free time I have is spent in the wilderness, but it’s always bookended by 50+ hour work weeks, and lots of long days and late nights.”

Led in conversation by the outstanding Jodee Debes (a San Francisco based wedding photographer and entrepreneur in her own right).

Take Time to Connect: Behind Your Dream Job LIVE Podcast hosted by Jodee Debes with Emily Merrell

During this live podcast taping, Jodee Debes of the Behind Your Dream Job podcast and professional photographer, interviewed Emily Merrell of Six Degrees Society. The Behind Your Dream Job podcast was Jodee’s look into the lives of some of her best friends and colleagues who have what most would consider a “dream job”. The subject of this podcast episode with Emily Merrell was Emily’s Dream Job as a connector! Emily is a San Francisco local, founder and CEO of Six Degrees Society, a monthly networking group that empowers millennials to get connected and be their best selves through networking events! Emily spreads a little sunshine wherever she goes, and the Take Time to Toast Better Together event was no exception! Prior to the conference, Emily matched up attendees by similar interests and sent out the matches via email so that you had someone you were specifically looking to get connected with throughout the day. If you’ve ever attended a networking event alone, you know just how comforting this sense of purpose can feel. You can still get involved with Six Degrees Society today and attend an event in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.better together

Take Time to be Better Together: A Panel Discussion with Daphnie Yang, Deana Mamlieva, Elise Armitage, Lauren Denham, and Victoria Gurtler.

Talk about a powerhouse panel of women speakers! We were beyond inspired by the energy and advice that these ladies had to offer attendees. As individuals, they are each amazing examples of women we can strive to emulate. Together, they are the epitome of what women can do!

Daphnie Yang (on Instagram as @Daphnie Yang) is a personal trainer and creator of HIIT It!, the ultimate high intensity interval training workout in New York City. Her contributions to this discussion helped us learn how to be the boss of our body, business, and life.

“Happiness takes vision; vision takes the first step,” says Deana Mamlieva. We were thrilled to have her share her story of pursuing her dreams. Deana grew up in the USSR before following her heart to the USA years later where she is now a professional speaker and helps women activate their personal power and claim their dreams.better together

Elise Armitage is a self-proclaimed social media addict and founder of her fashion and travel blog WTFab! She’s an OG influencer and she dropped some serious knowledge! She has been lucky enough to work with major brands like Lululemon, Airbnb, and Nordstrom. She shared some tips on taking a blog to the next level, but more importantly she shared how all of us can achieve success in our businesses starting at the ground up.

Lauren Denham, who constantly inspires us with her amazing Instagram posts, joined us to share her story of overcoming depression from loss, divorce, and other hard life lessons. She says, “My point is that mentors are ALL around us if we pay attention. And even if they aren’t our mentors personally, we can still use their knowledge and wisdom to take inspired action in our lives.” Her encouragement was a true asset to this event.

Last, but certainly not least, we had a Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter PIKE: Victoria Gurtler. At the time of speaking on our panel, she served as the highest ranking officer aboard a $4.4 million warship with missions that have included counter-narcotics, port security, and search and rescue. We are stunned by all that she has accomplished, including her role as the Vice Chair of the USCG Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Together, these 5 leading-ladies talked our attendees through the ups and downs of life and entrepreneurship and what it’s like to be a woman in today’s world. The underlying message was that we are all #bettertogether and that it’s important to lean on each other for support.better together

Take Time to be a Boss: Keynote Speaker, Jackie Sorkin of Candytopia and Hollywood Candy Girls.

What has Jackie Sorkin not accomplished?! This boss woman is known as the Hollywood Candy Queen and for good reason: she is the co-creator of Candytopia and owner of Hollywood Candy Girls. This serial entrepreneur is a girl after our own hearts, and we felt so fortunate that she could visit with us to share what it’s like to make your dreams a reality. She said it best during her fireside keynote with Danielle Gibson, the owner of Danielle Gibson Events, when she reminded us, “All I offer is me. I just bring myself and myself is good enough! Yourself is good enough! You offer unique gifts to this world that no one else can, remember that.”

Toaster’s Faire

No Take Time to Toast event would be complete without an engaging activity to get creative juices flowing. Our “Toaster’s Faire” allowed attendees to visit a variety of carefully selected booths from vendors that offer insane amounts of value. We made herbs and salts alongside the crew from Clubhouse Caravan. Moon Cycle Nutrition educated us on women’s wellness and nutrition. Honeybook shared their business management tools. Return to Sacred offered mini clarity sessions. Sephora provided quick makeup touch ups. Delfino Madden LLP gave attendees the opportunity to ask a lawyer their most pressing questions. All of these booths were available to attendees all day.better together

Mind + Body Fuel (aka delicious Food)

As corporate event planners, we’ve experienced a range of food and beverage options at all-day conferences. We’ve found that too often, the options are unhealthy and food-coma inducing. When deciding what food and beverages we wanted at Take Time to Toast Better Together, we opted for options that would be healthy sources of energy—for both your body and mind. This included small breakfast bites from Smoke Catering, Crisp Kitchen juice shots that left attendees feeling refueled and ready to digest more conference content, healthy lunches with sandwiches and salads from Nappalachia, and an Instagram worthy happy hour spread of small bites by Natalie and the incredible La Saison team. Baked goodies from Teeny Cake fulfilled everyone’s sweet tooth (I mean, salted mini chocolate chip cookies?!). Last, but not least, an array of candies from Hollywood Candy Girls gave attendees the final push they need for the afternoon sessions.

Take Time to “Toast” being #BetterTogether

We ended the day with a literal “toast” featuring MTGA Rose Wine poured by fellow Napa Valley event planner + friend, Brittany Anderson of L’avventura. The wine is produced by her husband, Mike! We love a power couple. It was incredibly important to us to end with everyone in one room, sharing a moment of connection. It was an impactful day, from the unexpected rain and the vendors + friends who helped us quickly reorganize inside, to the speakers, to the moments of community building, we truly experienced the meaning of #BetterTogether.better together

Sponsors who made Take Time to Toast #BetterTogether possible:

Behind Your Dream Job @dreamjobpod

Candytopia @thecandytopia

Clubhouse Caravan @clubhousecaravan

Crisp Kitchen & Juice @crispkitchenandjuice

Danielle Gibson Events, Planning and Design @daniellegibsonevents

Deborba Events @deborbaevents

Elysium Productions @elysiumweddings

Encore Event Rentals  @encoreeventsrentals

Giggle and Riot Photo Booths @giggleandriot

Gratitude Alliance @gratitudealliance

Ink Me This @inkmethis

Jessamyn Harris Photography @jessamynharris

Jodee Debes Photo @jodeedebesphoto

K2 Ranch Our beautiful venue!

La Saison Catering @lasaison_napa

La Tavola Linens @latavolalinen

Love in the Mix DJ’s @loveinthemix

Meghankaite Co. Stickers @meghankaiteco

Milou & Olin Photography @milouandolinphotography

MTGA Wine @mtgawines

Nappalachia Catering @nappalachia

Olea Hotel @oleahotel

Packed Party @packedparty

Return to Sacred Meditation @returntosacred

Sense of Security @sosc_hope

Sephora @sephora

Six Degrees Society @six_degrees_society

Smoke Catering @smokeopenfire

Standard Party Rental @standardpartyrentals

Studio Noel Signage @studio.noel

Subconscious Coffee @subconscious.coffeecart

Teeny Cake Bakery @teenycakebakery

The Posh Privy Mobile Restrooms @theposhprivy

The Whiskey Chaser Mobile Bar @thewhiskeychaserbar

Theoni Rentals @theonicollection

Arvo Floral Studio @arvofloralstudio

Vanity Portrait Studio @thevanityportraitstudio

Zim Balloons @zimballoons

Fall 2019 we took time to hit pause, before the holiday season swept us up, to celebrate and cultivate our growing community in the form of a Friendsgiving event. Hosted at San Francisco’s Cerf Club, TTTT Friendsgiving included a sit-down Thanksgiving-style dinner, plenty of wine, and an evening of facilitated conversation to help us all build connections. Our goal was to provide a safe space for attendees to feel heard and supported in the pursuit of their goals and passions.take time to toast friendsgiving

Cultivating Community

We couldn’t have pulled off this event, the first SOLD OUT Take Time to Toast event ever, without getting clear on our “why.” Take Time to Toast strives to be a source of support for its attendees and to facilitate connections within the community. To better align with these values, attendees were encouraged to think about their own “why” and the unique skills and traits they add to the Take Time to Toast community. Everyone brings something special to the table – a unique perspective, a different career path, opportunities to network even further, and so much love and support. We may have provided the food and drinks, but this group of attendees brought so much more—a willingness to connect, to share their voice, and ask for the help of others.take time to toast friendsgiving

An Expert Opinion

An entrepreneurial journey is not a clear-cut path to success, every journey is difficult and unique in the obstacles and victories it presents. However, we were thrilled to have guest speaker Alexandra Register, creator and founder of KLSD Design Co., join us for Friendsgiving! Alex spoke on the important role community has played in her success. It is because of her cultivation of a true support system that she now runs a thriving local boutique in a space she was told would never work!take time to toast friendsgiving

In a season full of gratitude, the attitude of gratitude in this growing community was truly palpable. Let us continue to support each and every one of you with encouragement, food for thought, and future events: stayed connected with Take Time to Toast on Instagram and by signing up for our newsletter. Meanwhile, we hope you always find yourself seated at tables of people who challenge you, support you, and are a positive force in your endeavors.



take time to toast friendsgiving


BBJ Linens @bbjlinen

Cerf Club @cerfclub

Chile Pies Baking Co. @chilepiesbakingco

Danielle Gibson Events @daniellegibsonevents

KLSD Design Co. @klsd_co

Kuga Designs @kugadesignsflorals

LaCroix @lacroixwater

Milou & Olin Photography @milouandolinphotography

Minute Media Productions @trevor_schlitt

MTGA Wines @mtgawines

Stag Dining @stagdining

Tournesol Wines @tournesolwine

Vine Country Signs @vinecountrysigns




follow along on instagram @daniellegibsonevents