What day is it again? Monday? The past week has been an absolute blur – since my last blog post, I flew to Nashville, spent two (very full) days at the amazing Q Ideas Conference (more on that later...) and flew home at the crack of dawn Friday morning to start shopping and prepping for a brunch I was catering in Brooklyn Saturday. In the midst of it all, we had family in town for five days – two extra people in our cozy one-bedroom loft. Having houseguests in NYC is so different than in other cities because, unlike the rest of the country, most of us don't have guest rooms. So our guests (or us, usually) camp out in the living room with the cats, and it sort of feels like you're back back in college, trying to negotiate sleeping, eating, and shower schedules.

We had fun, but I felt like a zombie from lack of sleep - I was up at 4:15 a.m. on Friday to catch a 6 a.m. flight, then Friday night I couldn't sleep because my mind was racing over all the cooking I still had left to do Saturday a.m. Luckily the brunch went well (and I even managed a little nap Saturday afternoon) but then Sunday morning we were all awakened at 4:45 a.m. by bass reverberating up through our floor. There was a raging party in the apartment beneath us and the music was so loud, it sounded like a club had taken up residence in our building. Needless to say, I am just a bit tired. Actually, there were moments this weekend where I literally felt nauseous from fatigue. Is that normal?!?!

Anyway, no rest for the weary: our guests left this morning and I'm piling up sheets and towels and trying to clean the place before our next guests arrive. My dear friend (and stylist extraordinaire) Jenn Elliott Blake arrives tonight to help me get ready for the ABC Carpet & Home dinner...which is this Thursday!! We have 17 people coming and I am equal parts exhilerated and terrified. I know it's going to be beautiful (the photos above give an idea of a few of the food and design details), but every once in awhile I have a little fear of "What if the food turns out terribly?" "What if the oven doesn't get delivered?" "What if we run out of wine?" And, despite the RSVP's, "What if nobody comes?!" But I keep coming back to the post I wrote a few weeks ago: No More Fear. And I have to remember that this isn't all happening by accident – I truly believe that God's behind it, and I really want to soak in every moment, to enjoy the process, and not to let stress consume me. This is a dream come true, and I want to remember this night forever as being a time of joy and celebration, not of fear and anxiety. It's all a matter of perspective...

Tomorrow, Jenn and I are going to hit the ground running - we're heading to the NYC Flower District to pick out flowers, meeting with ABC to nail down final details, going to Drift Studio to figure out our layout, to the Paper Boutique to get paper goods printed, and then at some point I've got to start shopping and prepping the food. (Amazingly, Whole Foods has agreed to provide the groceries for the evening! So thrilled to have them as a partner for this event.) I have a wonderful sous chef Thursday evening, Linda Sarris, who is going to help me finish cooking so I can actually sit at the table, and a fantastic assistant Valerio Farris who's going to help Linda out with cooking and serving. Definitely follow along on Instagram - Jenn, me, and ABC Carpet & Home will all be posting prep and party pics on Thursday.

I have so much more to share with you all (some big news actually), but it will have to wait for a later post - gotta go do laundry! But I do have a question for all you bloggers out there. How do you balance blogging with real life? As in, when you're working and traveling, how do you keep up with the blog and social media as well? I find that when I'm cooking for a big event or traveling, I totally fall off the blogging wagon. (And then berate myself for not being able to do it all.) Also, how do you manage to get enough rest in the midst of it all? It seems that the more doors that open, and the more I'm given the chance to do what I love, I end up totally wearing myself down. I'm so grateful for the opportunities presenting themselves right now, but I'm also desperately seeking balance (and rest!), so any tips you have would be appreciated. (Ironically, I've written in the past about the importance of rest and creating space...I need to go back and re-read my own blog posts!)

xo, Anna

(Food photos by Signe Birck)