party

Great Goodie Bags: My Top 5 Favor Ideas

As a general rule, I’m a sucker for a great gift (big surprise). What makes a “great gift” though–that seems pretty broad. To me a great gift has three principles nailed:
– Relevance: the right gift for the right person, on the right occasion, in the right season, (and if this is really a practical gift, you could also call this Usefulness)…
– Timelessness: it’s so quintessential to the recipient that it will still be special to them years from now
– Sentiment: a theme has been encapsulated (often subtly, which is best) that transcends the object and brings the recipient back to another time and place instantly
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Spring Cleaning and Shopping From My Closet

The changing of the seasons is always fun for me. After a few months of the same wardrobe I am pretty tired of the same-old-same-old and a closet refresh–even if it’s simply pulling out items from another time–is a nice change of pace. My favorite style-switch-over is winter to spring/summer so this time of year gives me fashion-joy like none other.

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Weekend Recreation: Ready, Set, Swap…

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(A close-up of my haul from the swap)

Ok, so I’ll admit it, I’d never done it before so I was nervous. They say the first time is always the hardest and you just have to jump in head first. Switching it up and gaining exposure to something different is important, right?!? Well after about a month of planning, today was the day. It was going to happen…

I’m speaking, of course, of a Fashion Swap.

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Looking Back: Birthday Celebrations For My Son

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Spring is almost here and in my house, that means it’s almost time for a birthday party…for a little boy–my youngest, no less. Every year he gets excited about six weeks beforehand and starts dropping not-very-subtle hints about what he wants for his birthday, and where he wants his party. This year he is turning the big 1-0 and he’s all about computers and baseball–if you can’t catch it or code it, it’s impossible to get much of his attention for very long. He wants a robotics and game design party–yes, this exists–but maybe because it’s a landmark year (ten feels special and monumental to me) this got me thinking about all the different parties we’ve had over the years (don’t worry, I’ve omitted any duplications).

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Oscar Party Ideas: Award Show Inspiration

20130217-222250.jpgI love award show season…LOVE IT!

I watch the Pre-shows, the red carpets, the awards shows themselves, I cry, laugh, eye-roll and yell at the TV (in the same way men do during football season) at the acceptance speeches and winner disclosures and I absolutely watch the fashion wrap-ups. Now it’s not every esoteric one. I limit it to the Golden Globes, The SAG Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, The Oscars and, of course, The Tonys. The Grande Dame of all of these–I actually have two but Grande Dames but not everyone agrees with me, major props if you can guess my #2–is The Oscars.

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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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Photo-Fun Birthday Party

One of my very favorite group shots, they all look so psyched.

Last week my daughter turned twelve, and every year we do two parties: one for friends and one for family.  My daughter is an  incredibly creative spirit and has always liked her parties to reflect her personality and what she’s currently obsessed with–this is always a (fun) challenge for me, the Mom, as we attempt to find something unique, fun and thematic to her tastes and passions.  We started by going through her favorite things–theater, art, music–and talked about a few different ideas for each: taking friends to a Broadway show, doing a karaoke thing (again–Oh No!), or doing an art themed celebration.  And then I remembered her love of photography. She’s on Instagram, takes pictures of EVERYTHING and as soon as I mentioned it, she was game! But how to have a “Photography Party”? Good question.
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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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Halloween Inspired Gifts

20121007-111243.jpgWhether you’re going to a Halloween party, hosting one of your own and need favors or want some Halloween themed gifts for a birthday or other fun event, this is a fabulous time to get thematic with spook-tackular treats, accessories and more. I’ve selected confections, hostess ideas, personal accessories, books and movies that incorporate one (sometimes more) of my favorite Halloween themes: spiders, skulls, black cats and pumpkins. I’m still not sure how we are going to celebrate–house party, trick or treating or going to a local block party–but you’ll be one of the first to know, of course, and would love to know about your Halloween traditions in the comments.

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Halloween Gifts: The Most Boo-tiful Time of Year

It’s no secret, I love skulls. In fact, my aunt–the cool one I wrote this post about–surprised me with a cutting board the other week that had a sugar scull carved into the front an its almost too pretty to use.

Halloween is a special time of year for me because it’s when I can indulge my bizarre passion for skulls and its also the birthday of my beloved husband so when I’ve had birthday parties and dinners for him I go a little nutty with the thematic elements. Here are a few picks for Halloween-y gifts and party accents you that are more hip than haunted house (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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