I felt like I was one of the "cool kids" in high school. Books were being passed around and signed in permanent ink. But instead of "have a great summer," the handwriting read "be inspired," "live creatively," and "here's to picture perfect memories." Now THOSE are my types of messages. I was in the midst of creativity, determination and courage, and I was soaking it all up. Like a sponge.

At Pandora in Old Town Pasadena, I was attending the book launch of "Inspired Celebrations." And it was, indeed, an event to celebrate... for SO many incredible reasons.  This book started as a seemingly far-fetched idea from Ngoc Nguyen Lay (of Skybox Event Productions). But her idea grew and grew, and she decided to turn this dream into reality... making sure to tell her husband so he could help hold her accountable. Ngoc then paired up with dietician Tram Le, MS, RD and photographer Caroline Tran for this undertaking. But soon after the initial manuscript was submitted, Tram Le (who was 7 months pregnant at the time) was in a horrible accident. Suffering from brain trauma and a 7 month stay in the hospital (and with a new baby), she was still unable to speak... but when asked if she wanted to continue this project, she nodded "yes."

And so the dream continued.

More people were brought on board... amazing stylists including Henny Vallee and Lucia Dinh Pador of Utterly Engaged, incredible chefs like Anahita Nedari, and many other amazingly talented people, as well ... each person contributing their own creative touch.

And so, things progressed into the book I cradled in my arms the night of the premier (and have not wanted to put down since). A beautiful book in its own right, filled with so many different themed party and meal ideas, this book is also so much more.

It's the realization of so many dreams come true.

To see a list of the many people involved in that night's celebration, and to see an AMAZING VIDEO of the story behind the book, simply click here.