Christmas in July: Holiday Money Jar DIY

Posted by    |    July 20th, 2012 at 7:00 am

One of the things that I love about style is that it can be anything.  Style is really defined as the process of creating something or the prevailing mode of expression.  Many people have great style because of who they are, not necessarily what they wear or how they wear it.

When I heard about this wonderful idea of sharing for the holidays, I immediately wanted to share it with you now.  In July.  Yes, the holidays are quite a ways off, and most of us are thinking more about what to pack for the pool than decorating the tree, but it brings to mind the warm, fuzzy feeling I used to get as a kid when our church would do a “Christmas in July” gift drive to provide for those in need. I love that this idea is similar in spirit.

A Christmas Jar or Holiday Money Jar is a new tradition that has spread because of author Jason F. Wright.  In 2005, his family decided to put change and dollar bills into an empty mason jar throughout the year and then anonymously give the jar to someone who could really use one.
Wright later wrote this New York Times Best Seller,  Christmas Jars, and the rest of the world fell in love with this modern holiday tradition as well.

What a great idea, right?  We all have loose change, extra dollar bills crumpled in our wallets or purses….just sitting around waiting to be placed into a Christmas jar.  If you have kiddos, this is an especially valuable lesson to teach them as a family.  Helping others in need without expecting a “thank you” or any sort of return is giving at its best. 

Want to create your own jar now to have ready by December?  Here are some helpful tips from So Crafty.

  1. Take a jar – pickle, mayonnaise, canning. Anything will work, really.
  2. Wash it out.
  3. Throughout the year drop in your spare change.
  4. Once it is in the jar, don’t touch it.
  5. Let the change add up over the course of a year.
  6. During the holiday season, find someone to give it to anonymously.
  7. You may want to add a note about the tradition of the Christmas or Holiday Jar.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I wouldn’t mind anyone copying this style one bit. Happy Holidays!

Neiman Marcus and Target Pair Up For the Holidays

Posted by    |    July 11th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

 

Who could forget the madness that ensued from the Missoni/Target collaboration last fall? Target’s at it again, causing me shopping anxiety 5 months in advance with Women’s Wear Daily’s announcement yesterday that Neiman Marcus and Target are getting together this Christmas for a holiday collection to rival all holiday collections.

The collection hits all 1,763 Target stores as well as 42 select Neiman Marcus stores on December 1 and will be featured on target.com as well as neimanmarcus.com. Items will from $7.99 to $499.99, and with featured designers like Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenburg, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone and more, it’s going to be a very good Christmas indeed.

Last year, I was fearful of the mayhem happening at my local Target and will mourn the loss of Missoni flats and luggage for the rest of my days. Never again! Come November 30, you’ll know where to find me. I’ll be one of the crazies with a tent, a sleeping bag, and a basket full of wine and cheese in line at Target. See you there!

Video of the Day: Easy and Beautiful Chignon

Posted by    |    July 5th, 2012 at 7:00 am

 

Once in a while I come across a video tutorial that has the power to save you the money on a salon up-do, and I feel compelled to share it.  Remember the prom up-do we all used to yearn for?

Well, this is a classier, sexier, and sleeker version that works for just about any occasion: weddings, dinner parties, warm summer nights.  One of the best things about this tutorial in particular is how short it is…no ten minute long explanations. If you try this, I’d love to see your photos and how it worked for you!

Snowcone Party Garland DIY….Looks Delish!

Posted by    |    June 15th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Remember how amazing a cold snow cone tastes on a hot day?  I always loved the Bubblegum flavor-it was pink, pretty, and sweet as can be.  When I came across this Snowcone Party Garland from Creature Comforts Blog, I fell madly  in love.  How stinking cute is this?!

A handful of supplies from the craft store plus one hour of dedicated craft time and you’ve got this shimmering beauty to hang.  I’m not a Martha Stewart-type myself, but even I think I can do this one.  The Creature Comforts blog is so full of DIY eye candy that you’ll be bookmarking this site in no time.

Find the step-by-step instructions here, along with great photos to guide you along the way so you know you’re doing it correctly.  How handy!

Video: How To Pack For Summer Vacation

Posted by    |    June 12th, 2012 at 7:00 am

If you read my blog about the Packing App a while back, you’ll appreciate this packing tutorial done by one of my favorite Irish stylistas.  Anna Soccone has an international following because of her quirky, fun, and refreshingly honest video and blog posts.  Watch one video, and you’ll fall in love with her style tips and fun expressions like I did.  Enjoy her fun packing tutorial and thumb through her cool cosmetic how-tos on blog as well. Ciao!

A New Twist on “Fruit Cake”

Posted by    |    June 7th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

As someone who has recently cut way back on the massive amount of sugar that has been the norm for my entire life, a healthy alternative to sweets is always welcomed.  With June being a month of celebrations for dads and grads, birthdays, and weddings, cake is on everyone’s mind.  Since I am trying to skillfully avoid refined sugar-laden cakes, the discovery of this fruit cake made my heart sing.

how to make watermelon "cake". such a cute & healthy idea!

According to Rachel Rockwell at Bubbly Nature Creations who masterfully designed and photographed this delicious concoction, you can simply slice the watermelon and remove the rind.  Once you have your basic “cake” structure, use colorful fruits to embellish your cake.  You may need toothpicks to keep the ornamentation on the cake, so remind little ones to avoid swallowing anything they shouldn’t.

Need more proof that this is a bonafide winner when it comes to cake replacement therapy?

Heather at A Cupcake Love Affair created this gorgeous beauty.  She’s a pastry chef, so this lady knows her stuff when it comes to desserts.  If it’s good enough
for her, it’s good enough for me!
(Photos courtesy of A Cupcake Love Affair and Bubbly Nature Creations)

Where to Buy ALL the Summer Essentials

Posted by    |    May 14th, 2012 at 10:50 am

It has been a few years since I’ve gotten a swimsuit that I wouldn’t be ashamed to wear in public….meaning, the others I own are either very outdated or just plain ugly.  But let’s face it; trying on a new swimsuit is akin to shopping for a new car or going to the dentist for most of us.  It’s exhausting trying to find just the right fit, embarrassing if you don’t know what you’re doing, and hunting down the right accessories to go with it at various stores just seems like a waste of time.  BUT-when armed with the motivation of a fabulous cruise, a sexy summer vacation, or long, lazy days at the pool, I think I can brave almost anything to find a suit that will stand out and flatter my figure.

Here is where Everything But Water comes in.  They literally have everything but water.  You need a suit?  No problem! They have the most colorful and luxurious array I have ever seen in my life.  Cover ups that double as a cute top or dress for a night out?  Check.  Bracelets, shoes, handbags, hats, sunglasses, lip balm, and more?  Oh, yes, they have that, too! (more…)

Mother’s Day Plans? You Betcha

Posted by    |    May 7th, 2012 at 10:46 am

Show Mom that you didn’t forget her special day, Sunday May 13th.  Make plans!  Our fine city has quite a few delish dining options for Mother’s Day, and one you need to consider is the fabulous Hotel Zaza Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch.  Starting the day off the assorted breakfast breads, croissants, bagels, and fresh fruit, Mom will already feel the love.  Hey, anytime she doesn’t have to fix breakfast for someone is a good day.

Smoked salmon, foie gras pate, grilled poached shrimp, and egg station, assorted quality meats and dim sum all mean one satisfied Mommy and tummy.  Don’t think this is just any meat, either.  I’m talking NY strip, leg of lamb, and fried turkey, for goodness’ sake!  Cap it off with seven different desserts, including strawberry shortcake parfait and you’ve done your job to make the woman who raised you feel extra special. Make your reservation by visiting this link ($85 per person/$100 with champagne). (more…)

Get a Jump on Mother’s Day Plans!

Posted by    |    April 20th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and rather than waiting until the last minute, it may behoove you to start planning now.  Mom simply wants that special day of recognition and love from you, so concocting a sweet plan is a must.  Here are a few creative gift ideas to help make the day memorable:

Bake Mom a gorgeous rainbow cake that no one will be able to resist! Not only will it look beautiful on the table, but Mom will know just how much love you baked into it. Detailed (not for the easily frustrated) recipe can be found here.

If planning a delicious meal for Mom means reservations, then Bolla, the award-winning restaurant at The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa, welcomes you to enjoy a special Mother’s Day brunch. The multi- course dining adventure will be held Sunday, May 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Samplings of more than 30 unique items include tasty treats like a breakfast buffet, smoked pecan chicken salad, caviar and deviled eggs, Italian cream cake with raspberry marmalade.  Pricing for the Mother’s Day brunch at Bolla is $48 for adults and $24 for children. For a Mother’s Day weekend getaway, The Stoneleigh’s ‘Suite Sale’ offers rates for luxurious studio suite accommodations starting from $237.

For more information on the Mother’s Day Brunch or for reservations at Bolla at The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa, call (469) 375-5842 or visit http://stoneleighhotel.com.

 Treat Mom like the queen she is and start by planning your show of appreciation now. She always did love it when you tried your best.

Easter Eggs Gone Glam

Posted by    |    April 6th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Cute handmade sock bunnies...cute idea to put in Easter basket!

It’s almost here! Grab those Easter baskets and get ready to hunt for eggs…and hopefully some candy, too.

Wait…you haven’t dyed your eggs yet?  No worries, you still have a few days left to get those babies dressed and ready for the yard.  (Or the living room, depending on this cray cray spring weather.)  If you’re thinking of being a bit more dramatic and forgoing the traditional dyed eggs, glitter eggs may be just what the bunny ordered. (more…)