holidays

For St Patrick’s Day – Getting Grateful, Feeling Fortunate, Giving Luck

It’s mid-March and I am finding quotes, cards and info-graphics about luck and good fortune popping up in my newsfeeds and inboxes almost daily. All understandable with St. Patricks Day imminently approaching, but it made me stop and think about the meaning of luck–or rather, it’s meaning to me. Some believe we make our own luck, others believe it’s being at the right place at the right time. The Roman philosopher Seneca said that luck was a combination of preparation and opportunity. I think it’s a bit different–although who am I to argue with a philosopher–I think luck has two primary vectors to those that believe in it:
1. How we view ourselves
2. How we view the world around us

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Looks to Rock This New Years Eve

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 1.24.16 PMI’m a creature of habit, I find something I love and I stick with it. That said, certain occasions scream (measured) experimentation and for me, New Years Eve is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not conservative with my look (at least I don’t think I am), but I’m a look-loyalist–I think I just made that up. Here are some of the things I’m thinking about trying this New Years Eve that are either new or a different flavor of something that is already tried-and-true.

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Creating Holiday Hope: Some Assembly Required

Despair Or Hope Directions  courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despair Or Hope Directions courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whatever emotional riptide I am going through, the holiday season always seems to amplify it–if I’m happy and grateful I feel 100x more so and if I’m sad and lonely the same is true.

The most difficult holiday season I ever experienced was also the one that helped me realize how strong I was. It was my first Christmas as a single mom. My ex-husband and I had separated in May and we had done Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinner together at my mother’s house (like always) for the kids, but Christmas Eve where wrapping and assembling toys to go under the tree was now my responsibility alone and I had under estimated this task–not so much the wrapping, I loved that, but the assembling. I had a 3.5 year-old-boy and a 6 year-old-girl and when they get a present on Christmas from Santa, it’s not just a box in pretty paper. It’s put together so they can play with it right away. And Santa went to town this year. He got a pirate ship and an easel and some Barbie contraption–all “Assembly Required.” And while this probably isn’t an issue for an elf at the North Pole, as a newly single mom who just got fed another dose of reality at 11pm alone in my living room on Christmas Eve, it felt like my Everest.
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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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Summer Thank You Gifts: Perfect Pairs

20130620-233054.jpgI’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.

IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together

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Fathers Day Gift Ideas: Celebrating Dad

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My man with our kids at 16 Handles on the UWS

Father’s Day is a tough one for me. I’m torn. I can’t help but think of my Dad who is no longer here, but I’m also so blessed with a man in my life who is a loving husband and father to me and our children. But it’s more than that. My husband met us when I was newly divorced and my two children were three and five years, respectively. We were adjusting to a new life together and, personally, I was trying to find my way as a single mom, convinced that was what I needed to do…for myself and for my kids not wanting to make another mistake or “fail” again.

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Regrets: The Gift I Almost Didn’t Give

20130329-232057.jpgI’ve struggled with regret much of my adult life–my verdict: it’s a toughie. When my father passed away in 1997, I was very lucky because we had tremendous communication and as I had matured we were able to speak very frankly so there was a lot we were able to say to each other. All that aside, once he was gone I was reminded of one particular event that I never got to talk to him about…something I regretted terribly.

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Updated Easter Hats

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Easter weekend is just days away and as a fashion enthusiast, I tend to benchmark and contrast experiences as they relate to a textile or accessory. So…what goes better with Easter than hats? I also think we’ve come a long way since the white, woven, ribbon-accented bonnet I used to don approximately thirty-five years ago (although I did get a new one every year).

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Offerings: A New Category

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If you’re a regular or semi-reader of Gifting Whisperer, you may be left wondering “what the heck” while reading a few of my last posts. I mean, they had a more personal tone–not that my other posts aren’t reflective and personal, they are. But where were the gift list? What about the pictures of stuff to buy? What about the connection to commerce? What’s up with that?

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Stop Thief: Lessons From Fraud

Man Pickpocketing A Purse From Womans Bag

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was robbed today. I wasn’t mugged, it wasn’t anything like that but my checking account was invaded (ok, more like embezzled). I’m not smart enough to know how they did it although through the miracle of a Google search I now know there are a number of different ways it can happen–creating a fake card and electronic check withdrawals are two potential means and then I stopped reading…

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