Sharing Gift Lists: What’s Easiest for Family and Friends

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Red Gift Box by courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As the mother of two children, every year I encounter the same question from family and friends: “what do the kids want this year?” Of course my kids make lists. Professionally, in a former life, I even worked on a holiday gift list solution for moms because from the moment I gave birth, this has always been a conundrum–what is the right answer and how do you coordinate who is getting and giving what? Unfortunately the service I mentioned is no longer available, but these are some websites and apps you should check out if you’re looking to make list sharing with family and friends painless and simple this season…and beyond.

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Tips To Beat The Holiday Blues

20131201-234455.jpgIts always fun to write about the parties and joy that come with the holidays, but all those festivities come with a fair amount of pressure. While it’s easy to discount those stresses as “luxury problems” they are real and can be triggered unexpectedly. Here are a few thoughts on combating/coping with the holiday blues–perhaps before it even strikes.

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Getting Thankful Again For Thanksgiving

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The three people I am most thankful for

Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays.  As a pre-teenager through my early twenties, I remember my mother and father hosting a couple dozen people in our formal dining room on the upper west side. It’s funny how specific memories may fade but flavors remain–ricotta and sausage stuffing (we’re Italian), antipasto salad, my mother’s apple pie and my aunt’s pumpkin chiffon pie.

Holiday Parties: Getting In On The Food Deconstruction Trend

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Gingerbread House Against A Background Of Christmas Tree Lights, courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Looking at the second half of November always makes me excited for the upcoming holiday season. In our family we celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas but no matter what celebrations you may have in store, food is usually the common denominator we all share.

I really enjoy food deconstruction–taking well-known food concepts and constructs and presenting them in new, delightful and, of course, delicious ways–especially when you want to surprise your guests. I’m not a chef but I love to entertain and I love to cook and when there is a trend I like to mull it over and see if it’s right for me (I do the same thing with fashion–not every fad works for my shape and frame). Usually that means starting slowly, taking a toe-in-the-water approach. Here are the ways I tried to tackle the deconstructed food trend this year that will likely end up on my table this holiday season.

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Halloween Costume Trends: What To Wear Together

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A Halloween of yesteryear when my kids were little and wanted us around… *sigh*

My husband’s birthday is on Halloween. He also doesn’t usually dress up. His reason, and it’s a reasonable one, is that “as the birthday boy, he should be able to do what he wants…” (within reason) Ok, fair enough. And since becoming a father, he graciously conceded that his needs come second to theirs, which means not usually celebrating on his actually birthday. Ok, more than fair.
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Cyber Romance: Gift Ideas For A Virtual Boyfriend or Girlfriend

20131026-100713.jpgI don’t quite get the idea of having a cyber-boyfriend or girlfriend. How do you “date” or have a romantic relationship with someone who you don’t physically see in person? Full disclosure, I also don’t fully trust the process of online dating for myself, but I never had to either… filtering and select a potential partner or love interest from a thumbnail and bio–especially considering the looming prospect that they could be totally scamming you (hello… ever watch Catfish?).

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Art For Everyone

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Art isn’t easy

Cue Stephen Sondheim

But seriously, art isn’t easy or everybody would do it. For me, it’s been about making mistakes, facing my fears, bearing my soul, finding my truth, discovering what’s holds me back, and, slowly, becoming free.

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Unique Gift Ideas: What I’m Dying To Give Now

Image courtesy of shuttershock (c) Kristijan Zontar

Image courtesy of shuttershock (c) Kristijan Zontar

I’m usually prompted to source new gift ideas because I am shopping for an event or occasion. Recently fantastical ideas have just surfaced unsolicited by way of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (gotta love social media) and old-fashioned word-of-mouth in a lovely happenstance kind of fashion.  So these are some AH-MAY-ZING looking tokens that I am dying to find the right occasion for–and I already have a few in mind–so I just had to share, and pay that good-gifting-kharma forward. Enjoy!

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Rainbow Inspired Gifts For Pride

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Yesterday was Pride and it was in no way ordinary. Just days ago on June 26, 2013, The Supreme Court found DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional; and as we say in our house, love is love. My family and I have been privileged to witness many loving relationships of all types and make-ups–cultures, genders, nationalities–all of them perfect in their imperfections, beautiful in their real-ness as they perform an everyday ballet…

How strange it is that I never felt grandiose enough to make a judgement as to whether those couples had the human right to be together or not. Doesn’t that just sound absurd?

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