2014 is still in its beginning stages, but it’s already been quite the promising year for Lauren Conrad.
Still basking in the joys of becoming engaged to musician-turned-law student fiancé William Tell, 34, in October, the Malibu Island Spiced rum spokesperson, 28, has two flourishing clothing lines (Paper Crown and Kohl’s), a personal interactive lifestyle site she manages, a latest story idea she is in the early stages of pitching for her L.A. Candy book series – and a newly purchased multi-million dollar home in her native town of Laguna Beach, Calif.
Yes, needless to say, “I’m very happy,” the former star of The Hills told PEOPLE on Saturday when we sat down with her in a poolside cabana at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel. “I’ve been very, very fortunate this year.”
But despite a rigorous schedule – one that Conrad doesn’t mind at all, by the way – she still makes time for what’s truly important.
“It’s just like any other couple with full-time jobs,” Conrad explains of balancing career with romance. “You make date night and you have weekends, hopefully. Not [all] weekends, but some weekends. I’m really fortunate in that I get to do things that I love, so it doesn’t feel like work. I think if you’re doing something you love, it’s not a lot. You’re excited every day.”
When the happy couple – who recently celebrated their birthdays together in Los Angeles with a hoedown-themed bash – do get free time, a lot of it is spent playing host and hostess.
“We haven’t been to a club together in a very, very long time, if ever,” Conrad said. “We probably entertain more than we go out, to be honest. I love just having a couple of people over for dinner. It’s easier for me. I don’t have to wear shoes. Everybody’s happy.”
On the menu for a typical night at casa de Conrad?
“I like easy foods,” she said. “But if I’m doing a dinner party or something more formal, then I’ll do a full meal. But I think easy bites are fine. They keep everyone happy. You do a really good cheese and meat plate and fruit and you do maybe a couple of flat breads.”
And what’s a party without some libations? The rum drinker is especially a fan of the line she’s partnered with because it’s only 70 calories per serving.
“I like entertaining, I like hanging out with my friends, I like having cocktails with them,” Conrad, who admitted she’s probably a bigger drinker than Tell, said.
“I think it’s nice to not have to feel like you have to compromise because you want to be responsible in your choices. I’m a fan of a low-calorie beverage.”
Adds the former reality star: “I like to be the host. I tend to be running around the whole time, which is so funny because everyone’s like, ‘Sit down, sit down.’ But that’s my happy place, like clearing plates with one hand and serving a drink with the other. I love being a busy host.”