Monday, 25 February 2013

Meet Nikki, Lucy, Helen and Zahra (thats me..)

The Les Enfants team is made up of just a few close-knit individuals who all care deeply about what they do. 

We thought it would be a good idea to formally introduce ourselves to you so that you are able to familiarise yourself with us and our little company. In this blog I will be introducing Nikki (our office manager), Lucy (our senior stylist), Helen (our event manager) and myself (Zahra, stylist and online media editor). I will be doing this through our own words and the words of our big bad boss (not really...) Katie, Les Enfants founder.


Meet Nikki, our office manager...


 "I have 2 very lively little boys who constantly keep me on my toes! Working in our office is like working in a toy factory or santa's grotto you never know who you may be greeted by, it could be The Narnia Lion or Barbie & Ken! Being part of a great team, makes the working day pass by and seeing the end result of a party put together constantly reminds me of why I do this job, the job I love!"

Katie's words...
'"This summary barely scratches the surface of Nikki or the role she takes at Les Enfants. She is one of the most organised people I have ever met, I often fire over very random requests and before I know it, she has completed them all. She is the whizz behind all of our Christmas logistics making sure the van runs and staff are all in place. She is an integral part of the team, always smiling and above and beyond that someone you can always turn to. We love her."


Meet Lucy, our senior stylist...

"I've been working for Les Enfants for two years now and I love it. I'm their Senior Stylist which means I work with the team and our various suppliers to create the details and finishing touches that make our parties so beautiful. The two main areas of my role include styling our party tea tables and sweetie tables. Each job is so different and after the initial fear and metal block of a new brief passes, I get stuck in and will turn my hand to anything, from tying tiny bows around tiny jelly spoons to making 9m long tablecloths! I scour the internet for ideas and tutorials on the latest trends in party decoration and love trying out new things. My 2nd home is Hobbycraft and I have the most amazing collection of ribbons! I am a bit of a perfectionist, and if I could use a ruler and spirit level to set each party place setting then I would!!! It is my absolute dream job, not only do I get to use my creativity, I get to work flexibly around my home and family life and looking after my 6 year old son and 3 year old daughter."

Katie's words...
"How lucky am I to have someone who has the amazing talent of Lucy our senior stylist, right on my doorstep, in fact even closer as she is my sister. She continues to amaze me with the beautiful items she produces, what is more for sisters we work really well together pulling together the whole look. I hope in the future to be rolling out some of her products in our online shop so that we can make these designs accessible to more people. This is a family business and my sister in law has just joined too, I can't think of anything better than surrounding yourself by people you love, respect and trust."


Meet Helen, our senior event manager...

"I joined les enfants last year after a two years break from taking redundancy at an Airline where I worked as a Senior Manager. What a contrast - from corporate world to small business. I honestly never appreciated the challenges that are faced. I really do love this business and what's it's all about just simply delivering great service with a fair approach to cost. I am surrounded by a lovely team of hard working mums who simply just want to do a great job and always strive to deliver beyond expectations, and they are always there to help when you need them. We all love a cuppa in our weekly themed office (depending which party we had that weekend) and a catch up normally about the kids!"

Katie's words...
"When I first met Helen and realised she had headed up a department of 2,000 staff, my initial reaction was, ahhhh! Sometimes things in life are meant to be and meeting Helen and bringing her into the business was one of those things. Not only have I learnt so much from Helen, her dedication to the business, her amazing customer service and her warmth for people and life have had a massive impact on me. There are no sides to Helen, she is just lovely, I love working with her, she makes me smile, we love our coffee meetings and we do laugh and along with all this she has impacted massively on growing Les Enfants, so thanks Helen, how lucky am I."


Meet Zahra, our stylist and online media editor...

"Having only started working with Les enfants 5 months ago, I am the newest member of the team. From day one I felt incredibly comfortable as the entire time are so friendly and welcoming. I have always loved styling and design and really love the fact that Katie trusted me enough to 'get on with it' and use my own initiative when it came to styling the parties. I really love seeing a project through to the end, and thoroughly enjoy transforming a room into a clients dream party. The look on a little boy or girls face when they walk through the door is instant gratification that you have done a job well, which makes everything worth it. I am incredibly lucky to have found a job I love straight from University.I certainly can't imagine another job where I would be happily sitting at home on a Saturday night building a model car scene with plaster board or making Truffula Trees! Every party I work on is different, and each one brings a new challenge which I love. I think it is safe to say, there is never a dull moment!

Katie's words...
"Normally when we receive emails showing an interest in the business they politely get put in a filing system, however something compelled me to ask Zahra to come in to meet us and I wasn't wrong. Beginning to think I have some mystic powers here but Zahra came in and hasn't left. One of the first parties she had to work on was a big VIP who definitely took a shine to her! She is so willing to help, loves making props and her recent role as media editor has blown me away with her great blog posts. When you are a small team you have to be able to take on different roles and Zahra has done that hands down. I love her willingness to tackle different projects but she has a wisdom on her shoulders as well, she is just fantastic and a brilliant part of the team."


Next time we will be finishing of our introductions with Christina our business manager, Dipika our party ambassador and Tim our lovely driver, and not to mention Katie herself.

Speak soon! 

Zahra xxx 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Love is in the art...


Valentine Crafts

Valentines day is finally upon us. If you have been following my previous posts your house will be decorated and your party food will be prepared (perhaps..) and now your wondering how to entertain the kids, keeping in mind the traditional game of 'spin the bottle' may not be best appropriate.

Valentines day, for me anyway, is always associated with craft projects. Theres nothing like saying 'I Love You' by creating something unique and personal for your loved ones, something that money can't buy. Below I have explained a few projects for children to enjoy, and then a couple more tricky ones for you...




Beautiful, handmade, valentines bunting. With a little help from a grown up, this could make a fun Valentines day activity. Extremely cheap to create, and easy to do and once finished, your child will be extremely proud to hang this in their bedroom.
The simple instructions

Cookie Decorating.  A great party activity for your children to get creative. A sprinkle of Icing sugar,  a dash of food colouring and some small sweeties such as jelly tots, millions or chocolate drops work best on top for small children. Of course you can cut a few corners and buy plain heart cookies from any of the leading supermarket stores or you can bake your own using a heart cookie cutter.
Delicious sugar cookie recipe

Button cards. So easy to create, but really effective. Have a raid through your old sewing box and collect as many unusual buttons as possible. 

The kids can get stuck in stirring, and pouring  this sweet-smelling mixture and with just a few simple ingredients, they make a lovely little gifts for classmates!
Handmade soap recipe 



A few crafty ideas for the grown ups...



These beautiful ribbon-laced cards from Martha Stewart would make a beautiful card, or display if framed for around your home. Slightly more tricky, so I would keep this one for the grown ups.




Transfer your favourite photo onto a block of wood for a different take on popular canvas hangings. It does take a little while to do, however i managed to reduce a 6ft 6 man to tears with mine last year so I know from experience it is a great present! (see mine below)


There are plenty of written instructions on how to do this, but the easiest one is in the form of a video tutorial, 
I hope you enjoy!



I hope this entry has inspired you to get creative this Valentines day! No matter how you choose to spend it, I hope you all have a wonderful day and please let me know if you try any of my suggestions, I would love to see them! 

Lots of love and speak soon, 

Zahra xxx










Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Love is in the food..

Valentine treats

If you are planning a party with a large group or just a couple of children, it is a lovely idea to create your very own 'sweetie table' filled with delicious treats for your guests to enjoy. Whether you decide to do some home baking or buy in some goodies, the following suggestions may help you to decide on which treats to choose for your valentines table.



 




These chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles and edible glitter are incredibly easy to make and will look lovely on your table


Strawberry milk and love heart cupcakes.
 Get this recipe here at Glorious Treats


Choose a bottle and fill up with some colour coordinated m&m's, and then make personalised labels for each of your party guests to take home for a loving gesture.


Why not splurge and treat yourself to some incredibly delicious LADURÉE macaroons for the day?
Ladurée Online


Mini Cheesecakes with raspberry hearts
Recipe from Martha Stewart


Balsamic & strawberry butter cake topped with macaroons- stunning
Recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes


Why not display some beautiful cake pops for something different?

These cake pop wands from Cake Pop Princess are beautiful!

If you are also planning to serve a dinner plate at your party, then the following suggestions are for you.  Beetroot-based dishes could be a great option. Not only is this typically British veg incredibly tasty, but it will make any dish a vibrant pink colour, coordinating with the valentine theme. 


Delicious beetroot pasta from Abel and Cole.
I promise this dish will not disappoint!
Abel and Cole Recipe #30


Perfectly pink soup from Abel and Cole
Yum!
Abel and Cole Recipe #37



To ensure your table is as pretty as it can be, it may be a good idea to invest in some beautiful serve-ware. 'Not on the high street' have a lovely collection, I particularly like this glass dome stand for displaying your cupcakes...






I hope these suggestions have been of some help to you, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Until next time..

Zahra xxx


Friday, 1 February 2013

Love is in the air...



Valentines day is just two short weeks away, giving us enough time to decide how we want to spend the day. No matter what you decide, there are plenty of ideas out there to inspire even the busiest of people.

Whether you choose to decorate your house, hold a party, create a special card for a loved one or just rustle up some tasty treats with the kids, I hope the following entries will be of some help to you. I have searched the internet for the best ideas and will have great pleasure in sharing these with you over the next couple of days.

Valentines Party Ideas

Decoration  
With some pink streamers, a couple of balloons and some paper fans a room can be transformed into a beautiful and classic Valentines setting


This Valentines tea table is perfect, i especially love the poms poms attached to the wall!


I simple love these love heart balloons, (see link below)
http://www.partydecorate.co.uk/product-catalogue/Heart_Shaped_Balloons


With some hessian, paint, string and a glue gun you can easily make this lovely bunting which could make a lovely addition to your Valentines party, whats more the kids will have a great time painting personalised designs
However, if you feel more capable these felt heart garlands  may take a bit more time to create, but are incredibly pretty!


This beautiful valentines table has such a simple yet, beautifully effective backdrop that is incredible easy to replicate with a few envelopes, a ruler and some masking tape

 I love this idea for a photo-booth during your party, of course this requires a bit more DIY but the photos at the end will surely be worth it (once hung they can also be used for future Valentines decorations!)




If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us via facebook or email (stylist@lesenfants.co.uk) for further suggestions. Over the following days I will be suggesting delicious valentines treats ( both healthy and not so much...) as well as drinks, valentines party games and ideas for homemade cards, 

in the mean time I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I will speak to you soon, 

Zahra xxx