Friday, November 30, 2012

weekend plans

This weekend includes some important plans, like Christmas-ifying my dining room with a cute 4' tree, beginning to wrap some of the gifts in the stack that has taken over my office, and attending a first birthday party for T's nephew, who turned 1 yesterday! Have a fabulous weekend!

4' fake tree from Target, faux fur tree skirt from Kohl's, silver ribbon and snowflake tie-on from Target

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Christmas tree decorations

It's getting to the end of my semester, so it's been quite the busy week. I cannot wait until this accounting class is over!

I recently found a blog by Shauna Mailloux where last year she posted about some handmade Christmas decorations she made. It looked so easy that I took on the little project. While mine didn't come out as nice as hers, I think they're cute. Plus, I used a gray scarf I've never worn and pieces of an open-stitch white cardigan I have stopped wearing, along with the cereal box cones Shauna suggested and glitter I already had, so they were completely free decorations. Definitely check out her tutorial!

Please ignore the obnoxious cord hanging in the photo. For some reason the people who owned the house before us had really high outlets, so we need to lower them. It's on the never-ending to do list.

With a very busy Black Friday weekend trying to finish my Christmas shopping, packages are rolling in this week (see photo below with Sprout strategically in the line of the photo). I'm a huge fan of online shopping - it's like getting a surprise gift that you get to open. (Gratuitious Sprout photo now)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

DIY glitter invitation keepsake ornament

Have you had enough turkey and want to do a DIY project? Here's a simple one that leaves you with a great gift for a newlywed friend. I recently attached this ornament to a larger gift, and the bride loved it! It's a nice way for the new couple to remember their wedding at the holidays.

To create the invitation keepsake ornament, you'll need:
  • Glass fillable ornaments (these are the ones I used - you want glass rather than acrylic so you don't have a seam)
  • Ribbon- a 10" piece
  • Piece of invitation (or save the date, whichever you choose) about 4"x4"
  • Glitter, about 1 tablespoon


Cut your piece of invitation into thin strips, about 1/8" wide. Wrap a few pieces at a time around your pinkie finger so they have a bit of curl to them. Insert pieces into the glass ornament until you have the desired look (I like it to look almost full). Pour in the glitter. For this one I used silver glitter, but you'll want it to match the colors of the invitation. Then put the cover back on the ornament and attach your ribbon, leaving enough to hang from a tree branch (about 10" long, folded in half).

And voila! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

giving thanks

There are many things to be thankful for, and I have a lengthy list going in my head. I should take a moment to thank those who encourage me, who challenge me, and who help me be the person that I am. I have some incredible people in my life, as well as people who were in my life but are now gone.

So, while tomorrow my table will be full of people who mean a lot to me, who I can thank in person, tonight I am taking some quiet time to say thank you to those who won't be here.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For Him

gifts for him, gifts for men

Navy suede oxfords, $60 at DSW
Manly handmade leather bag, $178
Custom record bowl, $50  Get a copy of his favorite record and turn it into a piece of art
Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling Headphones, $350
Sweater Stone from Eddie Bauer, $10  Necessary for any man who owns a sweater (read: every man!)
Comfy pajamas from J.Crew, $70
Jack Black Basics kit, $56 at Sephora (online only)
Fleece Kindle cover, $25

Plus, a collars & cuffs stain bar, a surprise vacation for the two of you, a grown-up toiletry case, or tickets to see his favorite sports team's big game.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For Her

For the ladies in your life:  a bit of sparkle, a touch of tech, and just the right amount of style.

gifts for her, gifts for women

Clair Vivier Flat Clutch, $165 (available on Piperlime)
Portolano Black Studded Cuff Tech-Touch Gloves, $55
Pyramid Stud Earrings, $16 (available on Piperlime)
Sara Happ Lip Scrub, $24
Deux Lux Felix Weekender Duffler, $137
J.Crew iPhone case, $25
J.Crew link bracelet, $125
Modcloth link necklace, $44
Tinley Road multi-strand bracelet $28 

Also- a Birchbox subscription or OliveBox subscription (for the paper- and office product-obsessed), a mini-mergency kit, a foxy cosmetic bag, and a pretty bow ring.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For the Foodie

holiday gift guide, gifts for foodies, foodie gifts

Cranberry favorites from Stonewall Kitchen, $60
German Rock Sugar from Teavana (1 lb for $8.50)
6-piece olive oil set from Crate and Barrel, $40
Windowsill Rosemary plant from Sur La Table, $30
Best Slow cooker cookbook from Barnes and Noble, $14
Monogrammed apron from Williams-Sonoma, $20

Plus a gift certificate to your favorite local restaurant, artisanal salts for their kitchen, rustic place card holders, or a bottle of your favorite wine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For the Little Ones

gifts for little ones, gifts for girls, gifts for boys

Gap Baby ruffle tights, $13
Candy Land, $10 at ToysRUs  one of my favorites as a kid
Gap Baby peplum sweater, $35 and moccasins, $17
Panda hat from Amazon, $3 (yes, $3!)
Melissa & Doug plush yellow lab, $15 on Amazon  you can't go wrong with a stuffed puppy
J.Crew blue suede bucks, $98
Lisa Frank stickers, $14 at Urban Outfitters  share a piece of your childhood
Old Navy Critter Hoodies for baby, $17
vintage kitchen from Target, $125  also comes in pink
Crayola 200-piece Masterworks Art Case, $42 at ToysRUs  for the crafty kid
J.Crew Tulle skirt, $45

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For Home

For the constant host/hostess, the friend who loves to entertain, or the aunt who just moved...

home gifts, gifts for home

Owl salt and pepper shakers from Jonathan Adler, $48
Woodgrain Platter with Knife from Z Gallerie, $50
Pier One glassware, $7 each
Glitzy Kya Coasters from Zara Home, $19 for 4  a disco ball of a coaster
Rock Bottom Candle in Smokey Quartz from Amazing Home (, $58
Home state cutting board from, $48  for the friend who lives far away from where you both grew up
Crate and Barrel Vermont Maple Syrup, $25  send them a taste of home or a gift from your area
Crate and Barrel cheese board, $22 and matching marble wine cooler, $25  for the friend who entertains
Shutterfly Ornament, $30  a sentimental gift
Peacock accent bowl from Hillary Thomas
Crate and Barrel plates, $7.95 each
Cuisinart Dark Green 200-Watt Smart Stick Hand Blender, $65  I have one of these and it is amazing for making everything from guacamole to mashed potatoes
Dachshund Bookends from Z Gallerie, $30
Home state print from Etsy, $19

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For the Traveler

I'm kicking off my Holiday Gift Guide 2012 series with my picks for the traveler in your life. 

Check back this week and next for my other gift guides: For Home, For the Little Ones, For the Foodie, For Her, and For Him.

travel gifts, gifts for travelers

Destination Boxes - New York & Paris Set from Z Gallerie, $120
Brookstone Nap Travel Blanket, $35  one of my must-brings on every trip
B&N Brown Bombay Tie Journal, $17
Naughty Betty travel tag, $12  bring a little humor to the baggage area
Kate Spade tote, $248
Cocoon "Grid-It", $25-50 based on style  keeps everything in its place
DIY: Terrycloth Travel kit from Etsy, $10  fill it with travel essentials
Scratch Map from Z Gallerie, $30  to display past travels in the home

Plus, add in a subscription to Travel + Leisure, a monogrammed tote with travel-sized goodies inside, or a round trip airport ride in a luxury car.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

weekend recap: weekend wedding

We went to an incredible wedding this weekend. I couldn't get over the food- seriously, to the point where I ate too much and wasn't hungry at all today (which seems, in my limited experience, to be a NJ wedding thing).

Aside from the incredible food and the gorgeous decor (see evidence in the place card display, above), I was touched by some of the traditions included in the event. Meredith, a friend and fellow guest, posted here about the anniversary dance, during which we learned that 3 of the couples in attendance had been married for 51 years (!).

Also included were a special song for the Italian side of the wedding with a fun, all-guest-inclusive dance, and a song for the Irish side (the groom's family), which ended with a rousing rendition of "Wild Rover". I loved how the bride and groom incorporated each other's family members into the night, and I found myself wishing that my family had more special traditions like theirs.

It was a fabulous event, and though I'm looking forward to another wedding this weekend, my waistline could do without.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

first snow

Yesterday was the first snow of the season here in New England! Which means it's totally okay to start decorating for Christmas, right? (Just kidding... I'm anxiously awaiting Thanksgiving so I can start, even though our neighbors took November 1 as the cue to put up their lights that blink to holiday tunes.)

I'm working on some holiday gift guides for the season that I'll post next week and the week after, in preparation for Black Friday and the holiday gift buying madness. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tom Ford zipper dress

Tom Ford zipper dress

I'm (close to) drooling over this Tom Ford zipper dress for sale today on Rue La La. If only I had an extra $2800 just sitting around, waiting for a dress like this to come along.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

long sleeved dresses

long sleeve dress, long sleeve mini dress

1 Theory $235 // 2 Milly $295 // 3 Pencey $282 // 4 Rebecca Minkoff $328 // 5 Joy Cioci $418

I'm going to be completely honest here - I don't look good in strapless dresses. That's why I'm so excited that long sleeved dresses are in for everywhere from the office to a cocktail party. #3 above would be perfect for New Year's Eve, while #4 and 5 would be perfectly acceptable for me to wear to work - with tights, of course. #1 and 2 would be great options for a wedding or cocktail party.

Friday, November 2, 2012

weekend whimsy

Leaving you this Friday with this gorgeous image. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

style inspired: Paris at dusk

1 - macaron trinket box
2 - polka dot tights
3 & 4 - bracelets from j.crew
5 - love necklace
6 - enameled belt from j.crew
7 - glitter pencil skirt
8 - stack rings
9 - gold dot masking tape? need this!
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