Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Another year, almost gone. Can you believe it? I sure can't. If only we had a few more days to catch up on all those projects, like sorting through photos and getting organized. Well here's a little incentive for you. Through January 19, when you create one photo book at My Publisher you'll get a second one free. This is a great opportunity to have photo books made for yourself as well as for grandparents, friends and other relatives. This is such a great offer I may start thinking ahead to Mother's Day, when we traditionally give the grandmothers photos of the kids. Use code 241JAN19 at checkout to receive your free photobook.
* This photo is from Christmas morning at my mom's. There was a "tacky sweater" theme this year that will surely not be forgotten, and will be a great inclusion in my family's photo album.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
No, not the one you're thinking of. I'm talking about another four letter word that can trick us into going into debt and leave us still proclaiming "I have nothing to wear". S-A-L-E. It's one we're seeing everywhere these days, even in those unexpected places that never have sales (no, don't worry, I'm not even going to tempt you here). But buyer beware: don't let a sale sign turn you into a foolhardy shopper. Read on for some tips on keeping your wits about you amid a sea of discounts.
We all know the lure of the sale. For one reason or another, though, the items that have been marked down are not always right for you - they're too small, not your color, you don't really need them, etc. Yet they've been marked down to 75% off and you just can't walk away from a deal this good. My advice - walk away anyway. It doesn't fit, it's not your color and you don't need it! Enough said.
But for many of us, it's not enough. Even I found myself in a cute little boutique recently, trying on a Michael Kors sweater that was marked down to about $50. It was gorgeous! I loved the cut of it. I loved the color. But it was a Medium and I'm a Large. I was tempted, but after a long, hard look at the big picture, I realized I may as well be throwing that $50 down the drain because if it didn't fit, it woudln't look good, and, hey, I'm an image consultant and my business is all about looking good. And I'm here to help you from making costly mistakes in your closet. Here are a few tips to help save your sanity, as well as your bank account:
1/ Make a list and check it twice - if you shop only for items on your list that you truly need, you'll be less tempted by that pair of purple satin mules that are only $20!
2/ Use the Buddy System - take a discriminating friend (leave your s.o. at home with the kids) who will be brutally honest with you about whether something looks good or not. Communicate your goal of shopping smart to her and ask her to help you keep it in check when swoon at the sale bin.
3/ Look long and hard - Is the item in question something that works for you? Does it fit? Is it your color? Do you NEED it? Would you pay full price for it? Don't settle for less just because it's a bargain. Chances are, if it's something you wouldn't have thought twice about at full price, it's going to just sit in your closet. That's money down the drain.
4/ Do a CPW Analysis (cost per wear) - If an item is on sale for $20, and it's something you may wear once or twice, then it costs you $10 - $20 per wear. If it's $300 full price, and something you plan to have in your wardrobe for the next 5 years, then divide that out by 100 (or more). That comes out to $3 per wear. Which is a better bargain in the long run?
5/ Remember, you're worth full price! Despite what the economy is doing, this is a powerful message. "I'm worth full price". This may mean that you forego buying 5 items on sale and buying just 1 at full price. Use the formula above and make your choices wisely. If you blow $200 on a closet full of sweaters that are just ok, but were a steal, you probably won't wear them nearly as much as that $200 pair of jeans that fit you like a glove and go with every top in your closet.
6/ Shop Smart - if there's a jacket you've been eyeing all season and you can now get it for half off, then I say go for it! But if it's something you've never considered, then use the above to see if it's really a great fit for you.
7/ Nourish yourself (and those with you) - shopping on an empty stomach, or worse, after skipping meals and eating a sugary donut, will not put you in the right frame of mind for mindful shopping. Instead of rushing into the stores, take time out for a healthy meal or snack, and carry a protein bar or trail mix and some water with you. Don't forget the kids. Nothing clouds our vision as much as hungry, whiny kids!
So go forth and hit the malls! Just take a deep breath and shop mindfully. Your closet will thank you and so will your wallet!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The power of positive thinking is a powerful thing. Despite what we hear on the news and what's going on around us, surrounding ourselves with people and things to remind us to keep it all in perspective can have a tremendous impact on us and help us to maintain a sense of well-being. If we listen to the news and carry all those negative thoughts with us, that infuses all parts of our lives, our relationships and our outlook. If we keep it all in perspective and count our blessings, we realize that we have a lot to be grateful for.
I love this little reminder from Please Be Still. One of my resolutions this coming year is to have a more positive outlook. I'm not talking about ignoring what's going on, but just taking it with a grain of salt. There is always something going on, both positive and negative. I aim to see both, and to focus more on what's positive and what will make me and my family happy.
Like I told my daughter the other day, when you carry negative thoughts with you, that's what you attract. When you think positive thoughts, you'll attract them. What would you rather attract?
There was a time when being pregnant meant donning a shapeless tent-dress that hid your figure and did anything but make you look chic and stylish. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Moms-to-be these days have a wide range of up-to-the-minute looks can in all price ranges to choose from that are not only hip, but show off their bump in a chic and flattering way.
With all the gorgeous options expectant mamas have these days, dressing for New Year's Eve has never looked better! Yet with so many styles to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming. When choosing an outfit for a special occasion, be certain to keep you own personal style in mind. You're pregnant, but you're still YOU - wear something similar to what you'd normally wear and you'll step out not only in style, but full of confidence! And, face it - pregnant women get lots of attention, so feeling comfortable and confident is a must!
If your style is simple and classic, go for a simple dress in a luscious fabric such as silk, velvet or satin. They'll drape beautifully, showing off your curves and flattering your figure. Add a pair of flats, a bold pearl cuff bracelet or sparkly hair accessory and you're set.
For the fashionista, try a strapless dress, a halter dress or a top in a colorful print paired with dark jeans or a chic skirt. Pair this with a great pair of low-heeled boots or kitten-heeled shoes (avoid heels at all costs), a sparkly handbag and a shot of attitude - you've still got it!
If you're more casual, opt for a top or dress with clean lines in a cotton/lycra. A kimono style is comfortable with enough of an edge to make it dressy. Or try a chic tee with a chic pair of trouser-cut jeans and flats. It'll give you a dressier look than usual, yet you'll still be in "jeans and a tee" for comfort.
Whatever the occasion, dress to express your personality and flatter your figure. You'll wow 'em with your chic maternity wear, and have the non-pregnant women oohing and aaahing over how fabulous you look!
From our family to yours, we hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! Ours has been filled with love, joy and many blessings, and for that we are thankful.
With our 2 and 5 year old around, Christmas has been even more of a joy. Seeing their surprise and delight in opening gifts and discovering new toys is more fun each year. I'm not sure my daughter had a favorite gift this year - she's still playing with everything. My son's favorite, hands down, is his battery-powered "James" steam engine from "Thomas and Friends". All I heard when he got up yesterday moring was "My James" over and over because during the night, "his James" had fallen out of the crib and we couldn't locate him. Ah, to be 2 again.
This picture was taken just before we took Ivy to see Disney on Ice two weeks ago. I'm so excited because she's wearing a coat that I wore when I was about her age. I loved it then, and love it even more now on her, 35 years later.
Hope you're all enjoying your families and your holiday weekend!
When you get a holiday gift, think twice before saving the box it came in.
You probably won't have any trouble recycling a box from the Gap or Macy's, but the box for your new computer or television is a different story.
If you've got the extra space (a basement or garage) then keep it but be sure to toss the old boxes from last year when you go to deposit the new ones. However, if you have limited space, you just might want to consider letting them go. I know it's hard, as illustrated by the following common "box buts."
"But, what if I need it when I move?" Chances are, if it's delicate, you can just carefully wrap it and bring it to your new home yourself, leaving the moving company out of it. Any box and some bubble wrap will do.
"But what if I need to return it?" Keep the box until the return expiration date. Put a reminder in your calendar to toss it after that date.
"But what if I need to mail something else in it?" You may need to do that, but is holding on to this box for an indefinite amount of time the best use of your space? Let it go and use your space more efficiently.
Extra Box Tip:
Have an empty box from a case of wine? Because it's already outfitted with dividers, it's easy to store and separate tree ornaments. When unwrapping holiday gifts set aside all the tissue paper and re-use it to wrap each ornament in before placing inside the wine box.
Write to me to share your successes!
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Do you give yourselves gifts at Christmas? You probably do in some way, shape or form. I know when I'm out holiday shopping, I find the best things to treat myself to, so I just consider them little gifts to myself. Well, with the state of things this season, why not treat yourself just as well, without spending a dime?
"You have a better life if you wear impressive clothes." Vivienne Westwood
One of the best gifts you can give yourself, in my humble opinion, is to enhance your beauty and dress for the person you truly are. Each of you are amazing, fabulous women who do so much for your family and those around you. You spend time tending to their needs and seeing that they're well tended to. Well, what about you? Do you take time to put on your favorite blouse with a great fitting pair of jeans when you get dressed, or do you just grab the first thing you can find (clean or not) and throw it on? I'm talking about self-love, here. When you treat yourself well, you feel nourished emotionally. That can be a very empowering thing, sometimes evoking your passion for life to come through. At the very least, it is my belief that when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, that comes through in who you are and how you treat those around you.
So take a little time out to pamper yourself. That could mean spending an extra ten minutes in the morning to carefully choose what you wear, or it could mean hiring an image consultant to help you discover what your most flattering styles are. It could mean taking time out to spritz on your favorite fragrance, even if you're just running around with the kids all day long, or it could mean a long soak in a scented bath. Whatever it takes to keep you looking good and feeling good, do it! You'll reap the benefits in so many ways!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I'm loving this Dior inspired frock - she looks like she should be on top of a cake!
Drawing inspiration from Moschino Cheap and Chic, this dress is pefect for the season, and the ruffled coat would look perfect with jeans a boots.
This sexy Catherine Malandrino really emphasises Fifi's assets. With it's 40's bombshell-inspired cut, it shows off Fifi's shape and emphasizes her tiny waist. Fifi really rocks it with the addition of the headband. So bunny chic!
The holidays are in full swing! It's been wonderful receiving the fabulous array of holiday cards. At the end of the holiday season, when it's time to take down all those lovely cards you've received over the past month, don't throw them away - repurpose them!
Something I've been doing for years is trimming down old cards to create pretty and clever gift tags. This is a great idea at Christmas, but also for other occasions as well. And it's simple - so simple you can enlist the help of your kids and turn it into an afternoon project that will clear up clutter and keep the kids (ages 5 and up) busy too!
I start with a manila tag to use as a template. I place it on top of the best part of the card and trace. Then I carefully cut it out, punch a hole in it and viola! This is just a place to start - the tags can be any shape you like, and if the card won't look as pretty when cut, just cut the back of the card off and punch a hole in the top or or top corner of the front and you'll have a large tag that will add delight to a big package next holiday season.
For all the cards you've received with pictures on them, there's a way to repurpose them too. Just cut out the picture in a cute shape and punch a hole in the top. You can use each gift tag for those friends and family next year. Just make sure you don't forget where you put them!
*I love this idea so much that I reposted this from last year. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Spending time with family during the holidays is a tradition I look forward to each year. Each year, as my children get older, it becomes more special that they get to enjoy time with aunts, uncles, cousins, and especially, grandparents. I love watching my daughter develop her very own relationship with my mom and step-father and relish the stories I hear about their adventures together.
Grandparents.com has recently come out with a guide to help in making time spent together around the holidays that much more special. The Ultimate Holiday Guide is full of wonderful information designed to help make the most of your child's interaction with their grandparents, as well as suggestions to help grandparents in selecting , holiday gifts, things to do with kids over the holidays, craft ideas and other uselful information.
Grandparents.com can help your kids in making memories that will last a lifetime!
It's a known fact that men wait until the very last minute to purchase their holiday gifts. This is great for a couple of reasons - first of all, it gives us plenty of time to decide what we'd really like, and by the time they rush out to buy it for you, the pre-holiday sales are in full swing.
Men love technology, making shopping for gifts that can be found in the electronics department something they actually look forward to. What they don't realize is that women love technology, too. We just don't enjoy shopping for it as much as they do. So this year, chances are you have some form of the latest technology on your wish list. These are some of our favorite recommendations that will help make your life a little easier:
1. Digital picture frames are such a great idea, allowing you to view many pictures in a single frame, and update them as the kids grow up. The Smartparts SP72 7-Inch Digital Picture Frame has a wood frame and beige matting, making it look more like a frame you already own. Priced at just $39.99.
2. Moms love a good camera, and the Canon Powershot A1000IS is a powerful little camera that easily tucks into your purse. Easy to use, this camera senses when your subject is moving, and automatically adjusts to capture it. ($140)
3. The 8G iPod Nano ($249) can pack in 2000 songs and 8 hours of video, making it one multitasking maniac - just like us!
4. As much as we love to take pictures, we like to print them even more for scrapbooking, framing and sharing. The Epson Picture Mate Personal Photo Printer ($150) gives you great looking picures at the touch of a button.
5. When is a phone more than just a phone? When it’s the Palm Centro Smartphone for Sprint. The smartphone comes equipped with Facebook for Palm, and Google Maps with the My Location feature, a built-in MP3 player and the ability to shoot both still pictures and videos. Users can also watch CNN mobile, FOX Sports, The Weather Channel and Disney Channel. Try one in the new rose and olive shades. ($399, or as low as $80 with rebates)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Aromatherapy can be a wonderful indulgence at the end of a long, busy day, so giving scented gifts can be a special treat. Melange Apothecary creates gifts infused with scent that come in many forms including soaps, salts and scrubs, body creams, candles and personal fragrance. All products are handcrafted in small batches with pure, natural ingredients like shea butter, jojoba and essential oils. It’s a great way to treat your friends, your relatives and yourself! Scented gifts start at just $7.
can assure that receiving your phone bill, cable bill, electric bill or any kind of billing statement via e-mail is a snap. I have tons of non-techie-type clients who do it all the time - including myself! In fact many websites now have a featured button offering to take you through the going-paperless process.
With one central gathering place, all your statements will be easy to find. Just think about how much extra time you'll have by no longer physically shuffling around your paper, mail and the ultimate piles it all creates. You'll see more surface space than you have in years!
Your internet provider usually lets you have about 5 different email accounts so I suggest you create a dedicated email address to receive only these statements. For example, EricaStmnts@aol.com.
Want to take to the next level? Have your bills automatically paid from a bank account or credit card. You'll never pay a late fee again or search for a lost bill.
Snap to it - Erica
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
Do you know how to how to brush a dog's teeth? How about do basic embroidery? These are just a few of the 500 things you'll learn to do in the recently released Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know Instructions for Life From the Everyday to the Exotic.
While flipping through the book, my 5-year old decided she'd like to try embroidery. She wanted to do every single stitch shown, and I have to admit that she did a great job! This became a fun project to do together, and we're going to create some holiday gifts from her handiwork! I've known how to embroider for years, but it was nice to have such a simple and straightforeward description to get her inspired and make her feel that she could do it herself.
That's pretty much the tone throughout the book. Kind of like a how-to for dummies, Show Me How gives you the basics on a multitude of topics. The range of how-tos is quite broad, with useful advice about smartening up on color theory and choosing a color palette for your home, to folding your clothes for travel. It also has a bit of the wild and crazy thrown in for good measure - like ripping some gnarly surf maneuvers, evade a panther attack and spin a crazy donut. Chock full of useful, fascinating and fun topics, this book is sure to be useful as well as entertaining, and makes the perfect gift for adults of all ages.
On MomFinds: Win a $630 Quinny Buzz 4 Stroller.
Leave comment with your favorite Quinny Buzz 4 Stroller color to enter.
On The Bump: We're giving away a Quinny Buzz AND a Maxi Cosi. Each week this month we'll be unveiling TWO great new prizes as part of ourf irst annual holiday giveaway.
On Moms Buzz: Top 5 Manners Your Kid Needs the Most This Holiday Season. Kids with manners wow us whenever we hear a "please", "thank you" or "may I help you." During the holiday season, children may have to interact more with the outside world and thus it would be nice if we teach them or refresh their minds about some basic manners.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The holidays can really take a toll on your looks - all those parties, over-indulging and all nighters spent wrapping gifts can leave you with unsightly circles and bags under your eyes. Shake 'em off and look refreshed with Y.E.S. Skincare's Rejuvenating Eye Patches.
Infused with vitamins, minerals and botanicals to alleviate puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles in record time, Rejuvenating Eye Patches helps stimulate cell renewal, resulting in younger looking skin. I sure wish I had these this morning - after lying awake for upwards of 4 hours last night, my eyes are not at their best.
One winner will win a package of Rejuvenating Eye Patches ($20 value). Just leave us a comment telling us how these would help your eyes, and don't forget your email address. Deadline is Midnight, EST, December 25.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Who doesn't love a little chocolate? I think I know all of one person who really does't appreciate chocolate. All my friends love it, my family (including my 2-year old son who can't get enough chock-it) and my clients. So when it comes to giving gifts this season, do you know what I'm giving? That's right - chocolate!
See's Candies really knows their stuff when it comes to chocolate. We put their truffles to the test and they passed with flying colors! Each bite of their chocolate truffles was bursting with flavor and had just the right amount of sweetness tempered with the...mmmm... wait a minute, my mouth is full...rich flavor of fine quality chocolate to create bon bons and truffles that are flavorful and delicious. And what else would you expect from a company who has been around since 1921? These guys know their stuff when it comes to chocolate.
If you're in need of business gifts for your clients, See's Candies can help and even offers free shipping. They also have an amazing selection of chocolate gifts perfect for anyone left on your list - as well as those who deserve a little something extra!
We want to give you the chance to indulge in some chocolate from See's Candies yourself so we're giving away a $25 gift certificate to use on their fine chocolates, peanut brittle, lollypops or other goodies from See's Candies. Just leave us a comment and tell us what you'd use it on - don't forget your email address. Deadline is Midnight, EST, December 24.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Amid the end of the year rush to schedule events for next year, I have come to rely heavily on my 2009 calendar, the Busy Body Book. Seems everyone is in the throes of planning and I sure am glad to have had my 2009 calendar handy because it's quickly filling up with workshops, seminars, travel and other events that will be keeping One Chic Mama quite busy!
On top of all my engagements, there's my daughter's social calendar to juggle. Who knew the life of a 5 year-old could be so complicated? Between playdates, birthday parties and extracurricular activities, she needs a whole calendar just for her. Oh, and then there's my son's schedule - he's just 2, so his is pretty simple. But my husband's schedule is one that I have to consult with him on daily. And I usually forget that he plays pool and will end up scheduling something on top of that. Makes for a complicated life. I'm hoping that with my Busy Body Book I'll know who's doing what on which day, so no one gets overbooked or overwhelmed.
Along with the multi-column Personal and Family Organizer ($17.95) that I love, Busy Body Book is now offering a Wall Calendar ($14.95) complete with 7 columns to keep the whole family organized and on time. Save your sanity and treat yourself to a calendar made for modern families on the move!
Well, we're deep into the holiday season now. I've been to quite a few parties and have more to come. Every time I arrive somewhere, I've always got gift in hand and so does everyone else. You know what that means, more stuff… and where is it all going? So even if you're not hosting a party, you're probably bringing some kind of gift through your front door this time of year.
In order to prevent a pile up, I have a very exciting challenge for you this week. Take one large shopping bag, like the ones from Old Navy, The Gap or Macy's and rush around your home, room by room, filing it up with anything you can bare to donate. The goal here is to fill up the entire bag for donation, thus creating a little more space for the new arrivals as well as a nice tax write-off for yourself.
The key here is to do it super FAST and NOT to agonize over it, AT ALL! Let your gut guide you and don't over think it. I did it during a commercial break while watching "30 Rock" last week. I gathered one very large novel (way over 1,000 pages) that took me all Summer to read, one very out-of-style sweater that I didn't even wear last Winter, 5 pairs of navy and grey sweat pants that I haven't worn in at least 2 years because I always tend to wear the black ones and 4 odd coffee mugs that were sitting in the back of my kitchen cabinet for a year now. There you have it, one full bag of donations! Gone! I'm sure all of you reading have at least one bag full of stuff to donate… pants, plates, pots, puzzles… get up and get to it! If you're feeling super courageous, do a bag a day!
Write to me to share your successes!
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
1. Why not treat the new parents on your list to Eco-Friendly Families? This month-by-month guide is full of seasonal, green ideas on everything from food to crafts to chores and offers up five-minute-makeovers to quickly and easily make your lives more eco-friendly. Sure to engage and inspire the entire family, while teaching easy ways to be more eco-friendly.
2. The season of gift-giving is upon us, and with that comes the opportunity to give gifts that tread lightly on the planet. The Green Perspective offers an easy way to shop for friends and family, while being eco-friendly to boot. Their eco mom + green baby basket contains such ‘green’ goodies as a reusable shopping bag, an organic cotton onesie, a glass bottle, all-natural handsoap, a book called Raising Baby Green and more. Other basket themes include intro to green, green essentials and green your kitchen, and contain items made with natural ingredients, sustainable materials and low-impact goods, making it easy to go green! Gift baskets range from $40 - $115 and can be found at The Green Perspective.
3. Isn't it great when you can give a gift that gives back to those in need? The Vanilla Bean Holiday Gift Set from Nature's Gate indulges the recipient with a luxurious body wash and body lotion infused with pure vanilla beans from Madagascar and nourishes the skin with natural ingredients such as borage oil and cocoa butter. But the best part is that Nature's Gate has teamed up with WaterAid America to help poor African communities, such as those in Madagascar, to gain access to sustainable supplies of clean, safe water. That's a gift that keeps on giving.
4. What better way to give an eco-friendly gift than by giving something that's handmade? If you aren't that resourceful, or simply prefer to support other artists who are honing their craft, then order a fabulous handbag from Jacob's Eye to keep your BFF looking great all year! Originally from Jamaica, Jacob is a self-taught creator who has had the likes of Erykah Badu snatch up his chic offerings!
5. Shop the Green Gift Guide to find a multitude of ideas for everything from decorating green to being green to finding green gifts for all those on your list (including your pets).
I do love peanut butter. I think when I was pregnant with each of my kids, I ate peanut butter toast for breakfast every single day. Nowadays it's peanut butter on a Trader Joe's whole wheat British muffin. De-lish! As much as I love peanut butter, I have to say I don't really have a favorite brand (altough the organic all-natural Harris Teeter brand ranks up there), as long as it's all-natural.
Why do I love about peanut butter? Oh, let me count the reasons. It's rich and creamy, and oh-so-satisfying. It reminds me of my childhood, where me (and my mom) would just eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar. There's something so appealing about it's sweet nuttiness that makes it almost like dessert. What's not to love? So when I received samples of Earth Balance natural peanut butter you better believe my son and I tore into the jar faster than you can say "peanuttier"! What first struck me is that this peanut butter is ever-so-slightly more sweet than what I'm used to. That I attributed to the fact that it contains agave nectar. I do love agave, as it sweetens gently and is low on the glycemic index, so it's much better than sugar. Then, I was overtaken with the desire to combine this treat with chocolate chips (Trader Joe's brand, my fave). Mmmmm... is all I can say. This is a natural pairing, and for those of you who love peanut butter and chocolate, I think Reese's has met its match!
What I also love about Earth Balance natural peanut butter is that it contains flaxseed oil, and adds a healthy dose of Omege-3's to your peanut butter fix. It's all natural, but like other brands, does not need refrigeration. Eating natural peanut butter at my mom's house drives me crazy because she never mixes it up enough and when you get to the bottom of the jar, it's just a hard, chunky mess. I'm goin to make sure she gets some of this so it'll be smooth 'til the last drop (this'll make a great stocking stuffer!)
Find Earth Balance natural peanut butter at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Earth Fare and other natural grocery stores.
As the temperatures begin to hover closer to the freezing mark (or below, brrr...) adding an extra layer becomes part of our routine. What better way to make that extra layer something that's soft and sumptuous than a cashmere sweater? Whoa, wait a minute! I know what the economy is like right now, which makes this Cashmere Tee Sweater from Land's End the perfect find!
Made from two-ply Mongolian cashmere, the Cashmere Tee Sweater (just $79.50) is rich and luxurious, yet a very casual style that's perfect for wearing with jeans. Available in both V-neck and scoop neck versions, the Cashmere Tee Sweater has a natural fit that's neither too loose nor too tight (making it pefect for hiding a few extra holiday indulgences). And it's cut to hit at high hip, which is makes it a very flattering length. Just add cute pants, a pretty scarf and a tee or tank underneath, and you've got an easy look with just the right amount of luxury!
We're giving one winner a Cashmere Tee Sweater or Cashmere V-neck Sweater from Land's End. Simply leave us a comment along with your email address, and tell us which cut you'd prefer, along with your choice of color. If you like, tell us how you'd wear it - we'd love to hear your ideas! Deadline is Midnight, EST, December 19.
Friday, December 12, 2008
On The Bump: The Bump's New Holiday Giveaways! This week you can enter to win a Zo-li Travel Essential Set and an Isabella Oliver tunic.
On MomFinds: 12 Days of Giveaways. Enter to win a LeapFrog Didj, Tea Collection Shopping Spree, Boon Flair High Chair and More!
On Clever Parents: Dabbawalla Bags Put Typical Lunch Boxes & Backpacks to Shame. Stylish, functional, easy-to-clean bags that you and your children will love.
On Boston Mamas: Girl's Best Friend. AMIES' cute, pooch inspired totes are great for little girls on the go.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Shopping for the perfect holiday outfit? I know it can be a daunting experience. But for plus-sized women, it can be even more of a challenge. Until now.
One Stop Plus is the first ever web-mall that brings you clothing, shoes and accessories that are made just for sizes 14W - 24W. With their fabulous selection of dresses, tops, coats and even shoes (perfect for all women who have wide calves), One Stop Plus is your one-stop shopping destination that brings you a wonderful selection of plus-sized clothing, all priced under $100! And now you can save even more - just use code "WW28392" at checkout to save an additional 20% off your purchase. Happy shopping!
Looking for the finishing touch to your holiday outfit? How about a hand-carved Lucite bangle from Alexis Bittar NYC? His sleek and sexy Lucite bangles are handpainted and come in a rainbow of rich jewel tones. The inner rim of the bangle gives a surprise pop of gold to keep you sparkling all night long!
Aside from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may have something else that's keeping you busy - getting ready for baby! If you're in the midst of decorating the nursery, then I simply must tell you about the sumptuous bedding from Picci.
Picci has just introduced their 2009 Collection, which is simply stunning. With five separate collections, each Picci collection is made from the finest quality natural fabrics and includes a 4-piece crib set, as well as accessories such as a toy bag, diaper stacker, Moses basket and changing pad. Created with a subtle, modern appeal, the crib linens from Picci are designed to evoke the romance of Tuscany while giving your baby the best in bed linens.
Picci also makes it easy to go green. With their Natura collection, crafted from certified organic materials (even down to the embroidery thread!), they offer a chic collection in chocolate and ivory, sure to give any nursery an understated elegance. Free from impurities, Picci offers a beautiful way to provide baby with the best in natural bedding.
Use code "ocmpic" code at checkout to receive a 10% discount.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
We love shoes around our house. I have a penchant for fabulous shoes, and even hubby gets into finding really fabulous shoes. So it comes as no surprise that our 2 kiddos are shoe hounds themselves. You can imagine the thrill that a new pair of shoes illicits around here. That's just what happened when we received these chic Sofias from the recently launched Eleven Collection, sister company to See Kai Run. We have long been fans of See Kai Run shoes, so it was quite exciting to find another line of functional children's shoes that pairs a modern vintage sensibility with the same reliable craftsmanship. Although the shoes were for my daugher, my son got so excited he had to try them on, too (over footie pajamas - a hoot!). We all were taken with the chic styling of these. I made my daughter promise me that before she wore them to school (inevitable) she would at least wear them to a few holiday events. I found a lovely gold knit dress that are going to be a knockout with Ivy's new Sofias. I may let her wear that to see Disney on Ice this weekend.
Eleven Collection is a family-run company located in the Northwest and committed to creating wonderful shoes for little travelers. And create wonderful shoes, they do! I just love these great James suede boots. Their understated cool is evident, but what lies hidden is their artisan craftsmanship, their flexible soles and their comfort. Eleven Collection is created for children ages 3 - 8 with growing feet. With vintage-inspired styles that have a modern appeal, these are shoes that are going to be handed down. Priced from $48 - $60.
You can win a pair of Eleven Collection shoes for your child. Simply take a peek at the Fall '08 Collection and leave us a comment telling us which style (and size) you'd choose. Please include your email address so we can contact you if you win. Deadline is Midnight, EST December 17, 2008.
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, the rush is on as we speed towards December 25 like a house on fire. I mean, really. Could time pass any more quickly than it does between Thanksgiving and Christmas? It seems all those great ideas we have earlier in the year just get pushed aside because we don't realize just how busy we'll be. But it's not too late to get your Christmas season organized.
With a little help from Organized Christmas, you can get your priorities in order, set a budget, create shopping lists, even get your kids to behave. That's right, Organized Christmas gives us the lowdown on the Magic Elf Holiday Tradition. Call it sneaky, but I think The Elf on the Shelf is a great way to generate excitement while keeping kids on their toes!
Calm your chaos surrounding Christmas with the great tips from Organized Christmas. With just two weeks to go before the big day, these tips will come in handy - and not a moment too soon!
I've been using Kiss My Face products for years (love their moisture creme!) so when they introduced Kiss My Face Kids I was all over it! I love that their products are natural and filled with fabulous ingredients, for myself as well as my kids.
The new line from Kiss My Face Kids has a tagline that reads "orange you smart", a great positive sentiment that kids can't hear enough. These gentle, slightly orange-scented products are fun for kids, and you'll love that they're free from chemicals.
Right now you can save 50% off your order from Kiss My Face and Kiss My Face Kids. Just use discount code KMF50 and save HALF OFF your order through Midnight EST tonight. So go ahead and stock up on those stocking stuffers!
As hard as I've tried, I just can't keep it a secret any longer. I have to let you know about the most fabulous skincare product I've tried in a long time.
I had received a sample of MicrodermX a while back, but just got around to trying it Sunday evening. This is a do-it-yourself microdermabrasion treatment that takes almost no time to do. Made up of a 2-step treatment, this could not be any easier! Simply take a pea-sized dollop of Refinish Microdermabrasion Cream ($49) and massage it into your skin. The dried skin will exfoliate and ball up, so you'll know when to stop. After you do your whole face, rinse with water and apply Replenish, the botanical enzyme nutrient cream that nourishes skin as well as helps to repair past effects while preventing future damage caused by environmental pollutants ($39). My skin felt as soft as my 2-year old son's, no kidding! My pores looked smaller, my wrinkles were diminished and the surface of my skin was smoother. It helped to even out a bit of discoloration in my skintone. Where has this product been all my life?
I give MicrodermX my highest referral. Not only does it work, and work well, but it is created from holistic ingredients without any parabens, synthetic preservatives, artificial dyes, fragrances or other "yucky stuff". The crystals are medical-grade and are safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
While the price tag isn't inexpensive ($75 for the pair), over the long run you'll be getting a bargain. Each set lasts for 15 - 18 treatments, so think of it as just $5 (or less) per treatment. This is much less expensive than going to a salon, and there were no after-effects. My skin was just slightly rosy from the the exfoliation, but there was no discomfort and it took a total of about 15 minutes. You've just got to give MicrodermX a try!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
"Hair is more than a woman's best accessory, it's her greatest weapon."
Keeping our hair looking great is something we (want to) do on a regular basis, but when the holidays roll around, it's time to pull out all the stops and do something special. For some of us, that means an up-do. Personally, my hair is much to short to pull this one off, so I resort to something a bit different - I pull out the curling iron or hot rollers and set about to give my hair more lift and body. I then work in some Control Paste, mixed with a little Coconut Oil for shine (as well as to help tame my super-thick tresses). It works, and is much more playful than my everyday style that is much straighter.
Here are a few ideas to help give your hair, long or short, a festive look just in time for New Year's Eve:
I'm loving this chic cut on Sarah Michelle Geller. Her fringed bangs are an easy-to-wear style that can soften your face and take years off your look. This works well with hair from chin length to much longer. I also love her low-lights, as they add some fabulous dimension to her blonde locks and help them look more natural. This cut also lends itself to playful hair accessories - just sweep the bangs back with a pretty headband or pull it back in a ponytail for an easy look. If you've had the same long locks for years, why not consider freshening up your look with fringed bangs?
With a headful of gorgeous spiral curls, Thandie Newton is the epitome of understated elegance. If your hair is not naturally curly, this may take a bit more work, but the look is worth it!
Keira Knightley proves that short hair can still be pretty darn sexy. Her softly tousled look is a great way to give short hair a festive feel. Try Aveda's Control Paste for that piece-y look that creates such great texture.
Nicole Kidman's hair proves that chic doesn't have to mean fussy (after all, she does have a new baby in the house). Try dressing up a simple bun with a fabulous hair accessory such as this jeweled hair comb for a little shot of glamour without looking overdone.
Reese Witherspoon knows how to work a chic updo while giving it that girl-next-door appeal. Her messy updo is a wonderful take on a traditionally formal look - with a modern twist. Take note of her lowlights that add depth and interest to her lovely blonde hair.
*Photos courtesy of Hairpedia.com.