Olivia Culpo on the best way to manage a chaotic schedule: ‘give yourself permission to be human’

Whether you’re a seasoned expert in throwing elaborate dinner parties or a newbie with your first apartment just trying to scavenge together some sort of semblance of a charcuterie board, there’s no denying that the holiday season is primetime to lean in to throwing the festive fête of your dreams.

But planning the perfect party doesn’t have to be that complicated if you just focus on the basics — just ask actress, designer and influencer Olivia Culpo:

“I feel like the biggest tip for a party is just having great food and drinks. You have to make sure that you have things that people will be able to feel comfortable with, obviously you need to have enough seats — but the most important thing is really having great food and drinks.”

In the spirit of great drinks, Culpo teamed up with Cointreau for the brand’s Designer Cocktail Series where she designed and created her own holiday party-perfect cocktail — the Red Carpet Cosmo:

“My cocktail is the Red Carpet Cosmo and it’s a take on the traditional Cosmopolitan with raspberry and candied ginger as a garnish — it’s basically a brighter, fruitier version of the traditional Cosmopolitan. I decided on the Cosmopolitan because I love ‘Sex and the City’, I’m a huge girly-girl and I feel like the Cosmopolitan is the signature girl-out-on-the-town drink.”

Dinner party rookies take note — nothing says ‘holiday glam’ more than a Cosmo glass.

22 PHOTOS
Olivia Culpo out and about
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Olivia Culpo out and about
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 21: Olivia Culpo attends BACARDI Presents Sound Of Rum Sessions: Chicago With Major Lazer and special guest Olivia Culpo on June 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for BACARDI)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 21: Olivia Culpo attends BACARDI Presents Sound Of Rum Sessions: Chicago With Major Lazer and special guest Olivia Culpo on June 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for BACARDI)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 21: Olivia Culpo attends BACARDI Presents Sound Of Rum Sessions: Chicago With Major Lazer and special guest Olivia Culpo on June 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for BACARDI)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Olivia Culpo attends the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards at Brooklyn Museum on June 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Olivia Culpo and Rebecca Minkoff attend the 2018 CFDA Awards at Brooklyn Museum on June 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Olivia Culpo attends the REVOLVE 'LA Party In London' hosted by Winnie Harlow at Hotel Cafe Royal on May 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for REVOLVE)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17: Olivia Culpo attends the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Italian Zest Launch Event at the NoMad Hotel Los Angeles on May 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance)
MALIBU, CA - MAY 12: Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Olivia Culpo attend 2018 Best Buddies Mother's Day Brunch Hosted by Vanessa & Gina Hudgens on May 12, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Best Buddies International)
MALIBU, CA - MAY 12: Olivia Culpo attends 2018 Best Buddies Mother's Day Brunch Hosted by Vanessa & Gina Hudgens on May 12, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Best Buddies International)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Model Olivia Culpo is seen leaving Gigi Hadid's party in Brooklyn on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Olivia Culpo is seen wearing an Eloshi dress with Gianvito Rossi shoes and a Dior hangbag in Chelsea on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 17: Model Olivia Culpo arrives at the premiere of STX Films' 'I Feel Pretty' at Westwood Village Theatre on April 17, 2018 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LA QUINTA, CA - APRIL 14: Olivia Culpo attends #REVOLVEfestival Day 1 on April 14, 2018 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for REVOLVE)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - APRIL 13: Rachel Zoe, Olivia Culpo, Paris Hilton, Erin Foster, Whitney Port, Victoria Justice and Sara Foster attend Rachel Zoe's 4th Annual ZOEasis at Parker Palm Springs on April 13, 2018 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 11: Olivia Culpo is seen on April 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG023/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
VERONA, ITALY - APRIL 10: Sandro Veronesi and Olivia Culpo attend the Calzedonia Summer Show on April 10, 2018 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 24: Actress/model Olivia Culpo attends Sports Illustrated Swimsuit new issue launch and model search winners celebration at Encore Beach Club in Wynnn Las Vegas on March 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Nightlife)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 15: Olivia Culpo attends the Nine West 40th Anniversary Celebration hosted by Olivia Culpo at Good Times at Davey Wayne's on March 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Nine West)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 03: Olivia Culpo wearing Ronald van der Kemp pants and jacket, Valextra bag, Nina Ricci shoes, Jennifer Fisher jewelry seen during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on March 3, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Olivia Culpo attends the John Galliano show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on March 4, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: Olivia Culpo attends the Nina Ricci show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on March 2, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Olivia Culpo wearing a yellow fur coat and Lanvin bag, is seen in the streets of Paris before the Lanvin show during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on February 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)
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For Culpo — who holds the titles of actress, model, influencer, designer and restauranteur — life is as chaotic as it is exciting, grounded in a foundation of family and love.

It comes as no surprise that Culpo’s family Christmases mirror that exact dynamic:

“If you walked into a Culpo Christmas, no one would know you were a stranger because there are so many people there — my mom always invites random strangers that nobody knows and we’re just like ‘Who are you?!’ We have the seven fishes which is an Italian tradition, we have so much food and so many people — kids running around everywhere! We play games (we love to play Catchphrase) and we usually do some sort of Secret Santa or White Elephant so that we don’t have to give a billion gifts because I have a huge family. My brother would be playing the piano, I’d probably be playing the cello, my sisters sing and my mom plays the viola — so there’s a lot of music.

I’m able to really relax when I’m around my family because they have known me since the beginning and they are also not super heavy on social media. So when I’m with them, they always make me put away my phone. That in general is very grounding. just not being on your phone.”

Culpo is a firm believer in needing to know when to step back from taking on another job or project or whatever it may be — her career has taught her the ever-valuable lesson of balance and prioritization:

“I think that you have to give yourself permission to be human. And if that means that you can’t do it all, then you can’t do it all. I think that it’s definitley give and take — you have to realize what things have to give and what things you may have to prioritize a little bit more — being able to maintain that balance.”

So what does someone as busy and glamorous as Culpo look forward to each holiday season?

“Time with my family, honestly. And snow!” 

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