Holiday Party Fashion

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I’ve been feeling very festive, so I thought I would round up a few of my favorite party looks. These are ones I’ve definitely rocked this season and my New Year’s Eve look is even included below (dress, shoes and beauty stuff included)…I like to make the most of my formal wear–feel free to guess.

Sequins just scream “celebrate” to me—and if I’m being 100% honest I sometimes even sneak them into my everyday work wardrobe so I’m definitely biased, (oh and if you’re looking to try that out I love the way French Connection and JCrew add evening embellishments to everyday pieces). These dresses show off shine in a variety of colors, cuts and styles and you can layer them with a blazer, wrap, moto-style jacket, or cardi.

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Holiday Gifts For Teachers

20121206-235044.jpgBecoming a parent made me appreciate two distinct contributors to a child’s life like never before: the mother and the teacher. As a younger-self, I had teachers who made me look at life differently and encouraged me to pursue passions–I also had ones who taught me how to overcome criticism, but that’s another post. When you’re a parent though and your child has a teacher who has directly impacted how they related to the world in a positive way you want to dedicate a shrine to them and have a parade in their honor.

I’ve been abundantly blessed in that department. My children have the incredible fortune of having had unbelievable educators who loved and supported them, and some of them are still in their lives today. Additionally, because my brother-in-law (also my daughters’ godfather) is a teacher, these heroes are near and dear to our family.

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Pet Alternatives: Gift Ideas

20121203-212031.jpgLast week my kids wrote their Gift Lists (it’s the first year we don’t have at least one Santa List, but that’s another post so I won’t get all weepy here about that). When they were done, I graciously took the folded lists smiled and took them upstairs to unfurl and consume them and to my horror saw the dreaded three letters written in CAPS on both: P-E-T. And to put the crown on this proverbial animal kingdom, of course, they both wanted different species.

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Gifts For The Guy In Your Life

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Every year figuring out what to get my husband is a challenge. What can I give to the most wonderful man in the world that is as creative, witty and smart as he is? Also, I must admit, he isn’t the easiest to buy for. Even me, the Gifting Whisperer, had a few purchases he exchanged (the horror!!) and even returned (audible gasps!!), but that got us to a better place and now I know to avoid embellishments and any logo appliqués.

Refocusing… I’ve already done a number of gift ideas for men, sports and game enthusiasts, space themed gifts and tech & gadgets that you should feel free to reference if it makes sense for your recipient. The list below highlights some fun and even a few unique ideas for the humorous, quirky, creative guy in your life who likely isn’t a conformist, probably listened to They Might Be Giants and likes (or better yet loves) you for you.

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Gift Ideas: Holiday Beauty

Guerlain powder I got for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. Isn’t it so pretty?

One of the my most memorable childhood Christmases was when I unwrapped cosmetics. I got a Guerlain Meteorites powder and a Georgette Klinger eye shadow chest with dozens of colors. Both were so spectacular, I took very good care of them and had them for a very long time. I learned a very important lesson that holiday: beauty gifts are special. For me at the time–I think I was 11 or 12–it marked embarking into young womanhood and also it was the first time I had the same items as my mom which was very special.

Beauty products embody the festive nature of the holidays and the spirit of the New Year–you can glam it up for a one-off party or totally reinvent yourself by trying a new look. And if you hate it, no worries, just as quickly as you’ve changed your look you can go back to your familiar self. Here are some of my favorite beauty gift ideas for the holidays, New Year and beyond.

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Giving Back: Holiday Charities and Shopping

Over the next 31 days, it’s easy to get caught up in buying and acquiring. I feel incredibly lucky (thus far and knock wood) to have been able to provide my family with a holiday that includes delicious food, a warm house and a bunch of selections from their respective lists… but I know not everyone is as fortunate. Please take a few minutes to check out the opportunities to help other families during this festive season, I’ve included a few below.

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What I’m Wishing For

As parents, we always gather lists from our children, nieces and nephews but when do we get to put together a wish list of our own?  When we start our own blog, that’s when!  This is the ultimate indulgence, agreed, but it’s also potentially a service to you, the reader, to see what items I’m currently obsessed with.  Fair warning…I’m dreaming big this holiday (not like world peace dreaming big) but I am putting it all out there.

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50 Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Image courtesy of Stewart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re anything like me, you believe the best gifts come in small packages. That’s why I LOVE buying stocking stuffers. When I was a youngster, every year I knew that there would be one very special gift in my stocking among the little fun things that were also there and it was always so much fun anticipating where it would be–under the chocolate Santa…after the silly putty…before the socks? Below are some fun and unique stocking stuffer ideas (some links are also available to see some of my picks for each) meant to inspire and delight your recipients…and feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.

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Pre-Holiday Sale Guide

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To gear up for Thanksgiving, and prepare for Chanukah and Christmas, I’ve put together a list of food and decor deals perfect for a host/hostesses, family gatherings or even a party you’re hosting (leave the centerpiece to someone else, and have it shipped too).

So enjoy these offers, feel free to post any others you know about in the comments, and look for updates and new posts as the season continues.

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Holiday Hostess Gifts

Image courtesy of Ron Bird / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despite my passion for gift-giving and shopping (it’s kind of the whole premise for this blog) when it comes to the holidays, hosting and feeding my family and friends takes the cake–literally and figuatively. I love preparing the menu, decorating our house with my husband and kids–well, he watches and directs while we decorate but it’s still really fun–finding a fun activity for guests to break the ice and then pulling it all together. That said, I also visiting family and friends: our annual tradition of going to my aunt’s for Christmas Day, celebrating New Years Eve with my husband at “our” restaurant where we had our wedding reception, watching all the kids and grown-up men get sweaty and hungry playing soccer (or maybe it’s football) on Thanksgiving at my in-law’s.

Whether it’s an established tradition or a new invitation that finds you celebrating in someone else’s home, it’s customary to bring a token of thanks. I’ve written about hostess gifts before, and my “rules of the road” (a bunch of them will work for the holidays too so feel free to check them out again, particularly this one and this one) but these gift ideas focus on unexpected and holiday specific ideas to warm the hearts and homes of your hosts.

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