Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- Parking difficulties can really get your day started off wrong. If you don't have a relative or friend who is willing to drop you off and pick up at the mall then this is a day when splurging on valet parking is well worth it!
- Keep an gift file and take it with you on your shopping. Make a list of all of people you want to buy for, a few ideas of things they might like, and then leave space to write the things that you did purchase for them.
- If you stuff stockings, keep your eyes peeled at the registers for great little treats that will delight on Christmas morning.
- Plan your day at the mall by perusing the mall's website before you go. Make sure you are not trying to zip through your favorite shop while the Christmas puppet show is going on there and there are 100 families waiting around (can you tell I am speaking from experience?)!
- Schedule time for a coffee break, lunch, and a few minutes to just sit and go over your list.
- Dress comfortably!
- Smile! You might end up on the local news coverage!
- At Macy's checking out the 50% off deals from Martha Stewart.
- At Nordstrom for Ralph Lauren
- At Dillards for DKNY
Monday, November 23, 2009
Gingerbread houses are always a fun and interactive holiday activity, so why not host a decorating party. Invite some of your friends over and tell them that you will provide the gingerbread and the icing, but they should bring their favorite candies or treats to decorate the houses.
You should probably build the houses the day before, so they can dry and won’t collapse. Make a couple of extra houses, just in case there is an accident. This will be much easier for your friends and they can just focus on decorating the houses.
To set the mood, light some holiday fragrance candles and play some festive Christmas music. Arrange stations for your friends to work at around your breakfast or dining room table to decorate their gingerbread houses. You will want to use a plastic tablecloth to cover your table, because the decorating process can get messy. At each station have plenty of icing and utensils to decorate the houses with.
You can also have prizes for your friends who have the most creatively decorated houses and you don't have to worry about providing a party favor because your guests can take home their newly decorated gingerbread house.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Pinecone Place Card Holders
Pinecones can be great place card holders. You may have to dab a tiny drop of glue on the pinecone in order for the place card to stay upright. Write an adjective on the place card that describes what you are thankful for about that person.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
If you are looking for a new way to set your Thanksgiving Table, consider finding inspiration in my Thanksgiving Reflections table in Tablescapes. I rented a square table and mirrored table top. I used regular gourds and spray painted them silver. I piled them up in the center of the table and accented them with red candles. The adorable turkey plates in black, white and red were a garage sale find and the red turkey tureens came from William Sonoma. I placed a journal and pen at everyone's seat to encourage them to reflect on the things that they were thankful for! I also made place cards out of simple reflective scrap-booking paper from Michael's. Send me photos of your Thanksgiving Tables. I can't wait to see what you create!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My quest to remember every birthday was improved upon this year when I enlisted the help of a few tools!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Here are a few trends to pull out of those dusty boxes in your closet and throw them on!
- Neon Clothing- 80’s---You can walk into American Apparel and see the various cotton neon t-shirts or shirt dresses that grace the racks. But unlike the 1980’s, you’re more likely to see these neon pieces as accessories under blazers, or with skinny black jeans and understated heels. The key is making the outfit pop with an understated edge.
- The MiniDress- 60-70’s---The minidress has a way of never leaving the fashion consciousness. This season, pair it with tights and flat shoes.
- Plaid: 1970’s & 90’s ---Young and old can pull this off. It is in all variations: button up shirts, tunics, dresses.
- Boyfriend Blazer: HELLO 80’S… looks great over a dress and gives a masculine feel. Roll the sleeves up if there is a lot of room and most of them have a cool lining to show off. Keep the blazer in a neutral...mostly seen in black and navy.
- Fur- No animal lovers, not the real thing. Back in the 70’s fur coats and vest were everywhere and they are BACK. Seen on Rachel Zoe and Kate Moss fur is attacking the streets. So pull our the fur coat or vest from the moth balls and strut yourself on the sidewalk.
Here are some trends you may want to put back into those boxes and save for another rainy day.
Next summer is all about a 90s revival: sportswear and grunge mixed with a massive shot of sex and glamour.
- Sports Wear/Cycling shorts- Set to be next summer's answer to leggings, the lycra knee-length short was seen on the most unlikely catwalks, Armani's showed them under a cocktail dress and Donna Karan had them worn under everything.
- Fanny Packs- Seen at Marc Jacobs, the pioneer of the 90s grunge movement. Worn slung low around the hips, they achieved an overall mood of sporty utilitarianism. Seen at Louis Vuitton as well. For a cheaper and more immediate version, hit American Apparel where they come in nylon and denim.
- Layers- With next season's sheer, floaty fabrics, we're being encouraged to layer up. Next season is said to be everything shear so most designers layerd T-shirts, vests, leggings and dresses.
Trends to throw away and never to be seen again.
- Phrase Graphic Tees: a graphic tee on a grown woman is an automatic fail. Stock up on your solids girls!
- Neon & Printed Stockings: You want to accentuate your legs not draw circus like attention to them.
- Lace: Lace gloves, lace shirts, lace dresses, cross them all off the list of trends you might’ve been hoping didn’t get the axe, this trend is dead.
- Uggs: Uggs are soft and warm in cold winters but, they aren’t waterproof in a snowstorm and definitely shouldn’t be worn in place of sandals with a miniskirt and tank top in the summer.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
I am so impressed with all mothers who juggle it all! Work, kids, fun, exercise. I could not believe my ears when I heard that business owner, Nina Restieri, the Founder and President of momAgenda LLC, is a mother of 4! How does she have time for herself? She keeps organized with her products from momAgenda! The attractive products allow a mom to manage her own schedule and that of up to four children in one place with their unique week at a view layout. The calendars start with the new school year in August and many of them run for 17 months. The fun, feminine designs are practical and stylish and they were designed for moms and by moms. Right now all Desktops are 25% off so it is a great time to take get your hands on this life saver! I also love the down loadable lists and forms they offer on their website. Check out their holiday shopping, card and gift lists!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- Consider using airfare tracking tools and signing up for fare change alerts at sites like FareCompare.com, Bing Travel, or Yapta.com.
- Be flexible! If you have flexibility with your travel days, you are pretty much guaranteed savings. Avoid peak holiday travel dates, especially the day before or the day after a holiday. Use the search engines that feature a "flexible date" search which will search for the cheapest fares over a range of dates. Kayak.com, Orbitz.com and Travelocity.com all offer one.
- Use an alternate airport if you can. Using a smaller alternate airport in the area you are flying to can really save you money. Even you need to drive a bit further, the smaller airports are often less crowded and easier to navigate.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Things I’ll need before I begin:
(All can be bought at Lowes or Elliot’s Hardware)
Decorator’s general rule of thumb is to hang artwork at eye level. The average human eye level is 57”. So the center point of the picture or grouping should be right at your eye level. Eye level is usually considered from the standing position, but if the majority of your time is spent being seated in a room, consider eye level from a seated position.
As for physically hanging pictures of the wall, I’ll need to look to the nearest home improvement store for hanging kits. I’ve found this Bob Vila Wall Picture Hanging tool kit that can be bought online at Overstock.com for $15. It includes everything I’ll need.
Nails are great because they are easy to install and are small enough that they won’t create large holes. Hammer nails into the wall at a 45-degree angle. Keep in mind your picture’s weight determines what size hook you will be using. Sometimes if your picture is very large, two nail-and-hooks will be needed
Choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger pictures for wider walls. When hanging art around furniture, make sure the pictures is not wider than the piece of furniture.
A level is great for making sure your photo is hanging parallel to the floor and not uneven.
Grouping pictures can be quite difficult. Choosing an odd number of artwork is best for balance. Lay them out before hand to get the right arrangement. Measure each piece of artwork and use tape on the wall to be a template for where each piece is going to be placed. This way you can play around with combinations until you find one that catches your eye. Use a measuring tape to make sure the distance between each piece is equal. You don’t want to upset the balance.
Lighting also plays an important role in enhancing your pictures. When a picture demands more attention, lighting should be used to enhance its beauty.
There is a new way to display your artwork called the Walker System. This new system makes it easy for you to rearrange your artwork and also have no more holes in your walls. Durable hooks attach to your molding to hang your pictures. www.walkerdisplay.com
Sometimes I worry about what happens if I put a picture up and don’t like where it is, ending up with an ugly unnecessary hole. Well to repair the holes myself, I can apply drywall compound over the surface of the hole, no more than 1/8 inch thick. Let it dry completely. Then scrape the surface smooth with a putty knife and apply a second coat. I’ll repeat the process until I’ve built up a compound a little higher than the wall surface. Lastly, I’ll sand the patch and blend into the wall. Voila!
Can be purchased at Lowes Home Improvement Store.
Monday, November 2, 2009
- Consider the "mood" of the room. Certain colors evoke certain feelings.
- Use matte or flat finishes to hide imperfections but use a glossy finish when you need to reflect light. If you would like to bounce more light in the room but love flat finish walls, consider using a glossy finish on the ceiling.
- To make your ceilings look higher, paint your trim and ceiling in a lighter tone of the same color.