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Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

Make A Personal Revolution With Non Resolutions

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm


We are just a few days away from the New Year.  During this time of year, many people reflect on the year that has passed and vow to make major life changes in the upcoming year such as getting fit, eating healthier, saving more money, keeping in touch with loved ones, so on and so forth.  While these are all wonderful and important goals, the bottom line is, many will start off strong only to revert back to old habits by February 1st.  It doesn’t have to be that way.   Here are some tips on how to make some life changes without making them a New Years Resolution.

  • Don’t wait until January 1.  Many people like to clean slate it because they want to make a fresh start so they will wait until a major date like January 1st to make major changes.  Now (or any time) is a good time to start.  By taking baby steps you will take the frenzy and pressure out of starting a new habit the first of the year. It also will give you a feeling of accomplishment and power/control knowing that you didn’t wait for a particular date to make a change.  Start at any time.
  • Realize it takes time to create new habits.  At the beginning of the year, many people make rigid plans to go cold turkey with stopping or starting a new habit:  Stop smoking.  Start saving.  Bring lunch to work.  Stop eating meat.  Get fit.  However these rigid plans can quickly lead to feeling defeated.  Remember, this is a process of breaking an old habit as you create the habit a new habit.  For instance, if you want to stop eating meat, commit eating meatless 3 days out of the week.  When you get used to that, add that 4th day.   By realizing this is a journey and that it takes time, you will be more likely to be gentle with yourself whenever you hit a roadblock.
  • Have a plan in place.  Your plan is your road map to success.  This will help guide you in the direction you want to go in.
  • Don’t depend on inspiration or motivation. These two feeling usually won’t show up for your 4am workout.  There will be days when you just won’t feel like doing what it is you need to.  This is when you have to remember the commitment you have made to yourself.  It takes more than good intention to stick with a new habit.
  • Write it down.  Keep a journal to track your progress and how you are feeling about the goal you have set for yourself.  It will be a wonderful reminder of where you have come from and motivation for where you are going.
  • Have an accountability partner.  Your accountability partner should be someone who has the same/similar goals AND the same level of commitment as you do.  This is important because unless you are self-motivated, an accountability partner will be able to share in your triumphs and opportunities as well as encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up.
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Keep These Items On Hand For Entertaining

In etiquette, how to, lifestyle on December 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm


It’s that time of year where entertaining is becoming more frequent and addition to considering where to go and what to wear, partaking of delicious food and drink is also top of everyone’s mind.  Instead of going out, many people will take on the task of being the host of the party and if that’s you, there are a few things to consider.  Whether you are hosting an impromptu gathering of friends “just stopping by” or having a more formal get together, there are some pantry staples that you want to keep on hand (or at least top of mind) to make entertaining a breeze.  Ahead are ideas for items you can pick up at your local market to make your get together fun, festive and delicious!

Wine, Champagne, Sparkling Water/Juice. In addition to always having water nearby, these particular beverages speak sophistication and can enhance the flavor of the items you serve your guests.

Popcorn.  Great for impromptu gatherings and easy to prepare, popcorn is the perfect snack without a ton of calories.  Sprinkle on a mixture of various seasonings to take your popcorn to the next level.  Give the following recepie a try:  a little olive oil, paprika, oregano, parsley, seasoned salt, chili powder and parmesean cheese.  Tortillas and salsa are also great options.

Crudite Platter.  Generally speaking, crudite platters usually consist of various vegetables.  Be creative and include various cheeses, meats,crackers/bread, fruit as well as hummus (or dip) and fruit spread.

Frozen Ravioli/Various Sauces.  Keeping these items on hand can make food prep a breeze.  Serve with salad and baguette.

Assorted Nuts and Chocolates.  Accessible at your local grocery store.  More variety and fun with a monthly subscription box or on nuts.com.

Ice Cream/Gellato.  Perfect to end the night.  Serve with coffee, berries, nuts, etc.

Candles/Flowers.  Perfect for the entryway and area where you are entertaining.

Serving Trays.  Serving trays make everything look more elegant.

Music Playlist.  Create ambiance with a continuous stream of great music.  This is easy to achieve with Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music.

 

 

 

So You’re Still Shopping

In lifestyle, style on December 23, 2016 at 1:36 pm


The Perfect Last Minute Gifts For The Foodies, Beauty And Product Junkies In Your Life.

The holidays are here (and almost over) and chances are you still have a few names to cross off of your list.  Fret not – the following is a list of holiday favorites that are sure to delight.

Godiva Truffle Flights Sampler (3 months) – For the foodie/chocolate lover in your life.  Features 3 months of beautiful bite sized truffles perfect for sharing or keeping to oneself.

diptyque A Night At diptyque Candles (Act 1, 2 or 3) – Great for that someone who has a penchant for the decorative beauty of candles as well as for creating a warm and cozy beautifully scented home.

Lush Secret Garden – Perfect for that someone on your list who loves the power of flowers to give them soft, beautiful glowing skin.

Jack Black The Balm Squad – The perfect gift for anyone waiting under the misletoe.

Tyvek Paper Wallet – Any minimalists in your life?  This paper wallet is durable enough to hold everything and stand up to daily wear and tear.

Happy Plugs – These earbuds/in-ear headphones come in an array of fun colors and are perfect for that person in your life who likes to color coordinate everything.

OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Handheld Spiralizer – For the health conscious person in your life or for someone who just likes to make pretty designs with their food.  This handheld spiralizer will help them make delicious and healthy fruit and vegetable spirals.

Sephora Favorites – Give the gift of beauty and variety with these Sephora Favorites sampler gift sets.  These samplers, which can include anything from lippies, mascaras, lashes or fragrance is perfect for introducing that certain someone to something new.  The best part is that these sample gift sets come with a voucher to redeem a full size favorite product.

Dry Bar Let It Blow – For the friend who is serious about the perfect blow out.  Included in the set is a full size dryer, Dry Detox Shampoo and Conditioner as well as hair clips and a brush.

Monthly Subscription Boxes – Subscription boxes are perfect for that someone who a “thing” for something in particular such as beauty, cheese, wine, socks, pets, etc.  Opt to gift them a subscription for 3 months, 6 months or the entire year.

 

 

Tips For Hosting Overight Guests

In etiquette, how to, lifestyle on December 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Usually there is nothing more exciting than having your favorite people visit you from out of town.  When you have guests coming to stay with you for the weekend, you want to make their visit as pleasurable as possible.  And while you don’t have to do a home makeover, you want to make sure you extend the same hospitality and grace that you would like to have extended to you.  With the following tips and some planning, you can ensure that you an your guests have a wonderful extended time together.

First things first – figure out where your guest is going to sleep.  If you have a spare room, this won’t be too much of an issue.  If you live in an apartment, chances are your guest will sleep on the couch or on an air mattress.  Wherever your guest is going to sleep, make sure the area is comfortable, that the area has curtains/blinds and that you have provided pillows, clean linen, a blanket, waste basket and a cleared shelf or table for their use.  You can also provide bedside emergency such as a box of tissue, pain killers and antacids just in case.

Double check dates and times of arrivals, departures as well as length of visit.  If you are picking your guest up from the airport (train/bus station), make sure you have the correct location.  Nothing is worse than being on time at the wrong place.  I know.  I’ve done that.

If you have a driveway and your guest is driving to your home, save your best parking spot for them.  If you live in the city where parking is often difficult to find, let your guests know where and when to park.

Explain the quirks of your place and show your guest where everything is.  You have lived in your place for some time so you know how everything works.  You know about that toilet handle you have to jiggle and the door you have to lift and pull in order to close.  Make sure you pass this information on to your guests to save them the agony and possible embarrassment of fumbling around your home.

Stock up on toiletries and create a landing space for your guests things in the bathroom.  Usually guests bring their own personal items but it is always nice to provide a nice basket filled with body wash, unscented body lotion, toothbrush as well as a towel, washcloth, loofah, etc.  Also, make sure there is enough toilet tissue, and keep a toilet brush and a plunger nearby.

Keep a loose schedule so your guests have time to breathe, especially when they first arrive.  If your guest is in town to visit you specifically, you can always plan for activities ahead of time by asking what your guest wants to do.  If your guest is in town for business,  discuss your schedules in advance and make sure they have access into and out of your place.

Make sure your guest has your wifi access, any access codes to get into and out of your building.  Also make sure they know how to work the heater/air conditioner, remote controls and provide an extra power strip so they can plug up their computer, phone, etc.

Plan meals ahead of time and make sure you have something for your guest to snack on when they arrive.  If you can, go out to dinner one of the days your guest is in town.  Also, you can do some crock pot meals so that you don’t have to spend all of your time cooking. In addition, stock your fridge and pantry with goodies such as fruit, cheese, veggies, cold cuts, condiments, bread, pasta salad, crackers and chips that will be easy for you and your guest to fix meals and snacks.  And don’t forget the wine (or sparkling soda), juice and water.

What has been your experience with hosting or being an overnight guest in someone’s home?

 

 

 

 

 

You need these maintenance tools to keep your wardrobe pieces as good as new

In fashion, style on December 13, 2016 at 12:30 pm


Investing in a quality wardrobe is important because it ensures your look is fashion forward, figure flattering, and ensures that you have a multitude of solid style options.
But after this investment, how do you maintain it? How do you ensure your clothes are as perfect as the day you purchased them? By having the proper tools on hand to mend, maintain and prevent clothing from excessive wear and tear.

The following tools can save you money in the long run, helping you to avoid costly repairs or the need to replace what is damaged.

  • Fabric Shaver/Defuzzer.  This battery operated tool provides a safer, more gentle way to remove fuzziness and pilling from your favorite article of clothing in seconds.
  • Lint Roller.  Perfect for occasional lint removal from any article of clothing.  Or couch.  Or car seat.
  • Snag Nab It.  Never again will you have to cut a string from your favorite knits and wovens.  Instead, use this special needle that has a textured end to help reverse unwanted snags and pulls.
  • Small Sewing Kit.  Should include safety pins, needle, thread, etc.  You just never know when you will need to make a small repair while on the go.
  • Double Sided Tape.  To keep the girls from making an unexpected appearance.  Also perfect for pant hems.
  • Neutral Shoe Polish.  Because it should never look like you have actually been kicking rocks.
  • Boot/Shoe Trees. To maintain the shape/integrity of you footwear.
  • Purse Dust Covers/Garment bags.  These storage bags protect your handbag and wardrobe investments from rips, scrapes, scratches and other types of damage when in storage or traveling.
  • Heel Grips/Liners.  You should always purchase shoes that fit however there are some instances where you may get some slippage.  Ball of foot cushions will help alleviate pain you experience on the ball of your foot as well.
  • Steamer/Iron.  For obvious reasons.
  • A good tailor, shoe cobbler and dry cleaner.  A good tailor will be able to correctly alter your garments.  The right shoe cobbler will be able to restore and repair your shoes and a good dry cleaner will know how to properly clean clothing that come in a multitude of fabrics, colors and embellishments.

What are your favorite tools to maintain your wardrobe?

*All items can (with the exception of a tailor, cobbler and dry cleaner) can be purchased on wardrobesupplies.com and containerstore.com.

 

Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Needs In Her Closet

In fashion, how to on December 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm


Have you ever looked in your closet and felt like you had a closet full of nothing to wear?  Perhaps you had an event or appointment to attend and an in a panic went shopping for the “right” outfit.  We have all been there.

Having key pieces of clothing in your wardrobe can be the difference between feeling like you have nothing to wear and feeling (and being) ready for anything.  The right pieces increase wardrobe functionality as well as creativity when planning outfits.

Continue reading to find out 10 essentials to add to your wardrobe.

  • Jumpsuit.  This one piece is a staple which can be styled multiple ways, and, depending on the material, can be worn year round.  Pair it with a blazer for work or strappy sandal for a night out on the town.
  • Lightweight Blazer.  Great for layering over a sheath dress or for wearing with a t-shirt and jeans.  A tuxedo styled blazer adds instant elegance if you are heading out after work or if you prefer to wear something that is edgy yet professional.
  • The LBD (Little Black Dress).  It goes without saying that having an LBD (or two) in your closet will keep you ready for a multitude of occasions.  A style such as the wrap dress is simple yet elegant and is flattering on most body types.
  • Dark Wash Jeans.  Creates a look that is polished and can take you from casual to elegant depending on what you pair them with.  Keep it simple by avoiding distressed styles which can distract from a clean, polished look.  Pair with a chic blazer or blouse for work and a sequinned top and stilettos for a night out on the town.  If you want an option that is more dressy, consider a high rise, flare leg silhouette in a more flowy denim material.
  • Basic White T-Shirt/Tank top/blouse.  These are great foundation pieces which can be worn with many things.  Add one in a silky material or with some embellishment for an elevated look.  Other basic colors to include in your wardrobe:  black, grey, and cream.
  • Pencil Skirt.  A simple piece, which is forgiving on most body types, can be paired with a multitude of pieces including tank tops, sweaters, and blazers.
  • Black Trousers.  Great option that can also take you from work to play, paired with a blazer, T-shirt and accessories.  Also great if skirts aren’t your thing.
  • Pump.  A simple pump can take you from work to play and can be paired with almost anything. A platform pump is a great middle ground and creates great structure for multitude of looks, including wide leg pants.
  • Loafer. An excellent alternative if heels are not your thing or for when you cant take another step in those pumps.  Opt for loafers in various skins (alligator), colors such as oxblood or even leopard print which can add a little pizzazz to an otherwise neutral outfit.
  • Tote Bag and Clutch.  A roomy, well constructed tote bag is essential for carrying your belongings while on the go.  A basic clutch is the perfect add on for when you don’t want to carry everything you normally carry in your tote or for when you need to make that quick transition from work to play.

What wardrobe pieces do you consider to be essential?