Disclosure: Thank you to Gold Peak Tea for sponsoring today's post! Every Virginia girl knows tea, no matter how you like your's, is an essential.

Fall is busy. I am totally the President of anti-glorification-of-busy, but it's true. Fall= busy. Starting in September, life refreshes and there are more places to be, more things to do. Over the past year I've honestly come to realize that gatherings, regardless if it's two people or ten, can happen anywhere at any time. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be well planned. You don't all have to agree on a theme or exact menu or even an exact 'celebration' reason. All it takes is getting everyone in the same place at one time (a feat in itself) and customizeable options. Let's not make getting together harder than it should be. 

Since everyone has to eat, taking a break for lunch always seems to work well when I'm finding time to meet up with people in my life. Lunch kind of has this nice time limit understanding instead of dinner which can lead into all hours of the night. Lunch can be anywhere from a café to a food truck to a casual chain stop like California Pizza Kitchen where there are basically a million things on the menu: something for everyone. Plus California Pizza Kitchen is one of the special spots you can snag some Gold Peak tea! 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535

Did I mention it can be a working lunch? Instagramming food is kind of a necessary evil in my world. 

california pizza kitchen
california pizza kitchen

5 Ways to Make An Everyday Celebration Gathering Amazing

  1. Schedule it right now . Add this to your to do list or it's going to fall by the wayside. All it takes is an email!
  2. Meet half way or pick somewhere where you both have errands. If it's a lack of convenience that's keeping you from getting together, find the nearest shopping center area or mall and see what's there. For me, Tysons's Corner for all you DMV people is totally my jam. It's right off the Beltway. It has Metro access. And you can hit a bazillion shops to run errands and have a ton of restaurant options if your originally planned place was too busy. 
  3. Order veggies and split the tempting option. The best part of dining out with friends is there is no weirdness of wanting to go halvsies on certain orders. My go to is salad (this was a REALLY GOOD shrimp and peach salad) and then splitting a pasta or pizza (Hello, this is salad ON PIZZA. I do this at home!). Just one more reason to celebrate: friends who understand your palate needs.
  4. Ask for things the way you want them. From asking for lemon for your Gold Peak Tea, or going for the sweetened version to asking for chicken instead of beef or vanilla instead of chocolate, dining out is about enjoying your food! Don't be shy. Ask for your preference and personalize your experience. 
  5. Catch up and get excited for what's next in your time together. I totally think the key to making regular gatherings happen is figuring out 'what's next' before you leave the table. Are you thinking about going on a hike this fall? Go together! Or that music festival? PERFECT. Get the wheels turning for your next time!
california pizza kitchen

What's your favorite easy mini celebration situation? How do you make it happen?

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.