How to Dress for Holiday Parties

If you like most women, finding the right outfits for holiday parties is one of the best parts of the holiday season, next to baking and opening presents. But shopping for cocktail or formal dresses is so much fun when you can simply pick a dress based on your style.

formal-dress

Unlike weddings, holiday parties provide the opportunity for anything goes, giving you total freedom in your selection of formal wear. You can choose from a stylish little black cocktail dress or a glamorous evening gown. I love how winter fabrics are automatically elegant. From smooth satins to soft velvets, many of my favorite dresses I’ve worn over the years to holiday parties are a mix of satin and velvet. And the best part is, I can pull out my black gloves, white pearls and sassy red shoes and my holiday outfit is complete.

So, as you prepare for the holiday soirees in your near future, think about which type of dresses best suit you and accessorize with all that is festive. You can even add a little mistletoe to a barrette and inspire all the magic that the holidays bring.

Designing a Garden in Small Spaces

Designing your own garden can be done no matter how big or small a yard you have. The benefits to having your own garden are many, but the most important is the health factor of knowing that you and your family can eat home grown produce without pesticides or other toxins.

If you don’t have a lot of room, you can take advantage of pre fabricated kits that make the design process a piece of cake. All the pieces come together and the planning and design portion of the project is kept to a minimum.

gardenkit

I found a great garden kit at Target, you can even buy it online and have it shipped to you if you can’t find it at your local store. With this kit, you can customize your garden shape or make a larger garden by combining multiple kits. The kit is super easy to setup and makes it simple to start your garden. The construction is solid and very low maintenance is required to make the most of your garden.

So, don’t delay another day, get your family’s health in order by starting your garden today.

Creating A Sanctuary

The best part about the end of the year is the start of a new year is just around the corner. Bringing new traditions forward is always fun, at least for me. But, what I really like to do is a tradition I do every year about this time.

I like to create or enhance, if I already have one, a sanctuary just for me. Sometimes I focus on a corner of my room, other times I create a room entirely. It can also be an outdoor space. However you choose, make sure you personalize a space in our outside of your home that is just for you and that allows you to relax, refresh and recharge.

windowbench

This year, I took a section of my bedroom that wasn’t really being used and added a window bench. I added a few decorative pillows that I got a Pier One and some pretty vases filled with water, marbles and flowers that I insist on changing out weekly. I bought a soft lit lamp and a small side table. I have used this area now to read the morning paper, check emails and get design inspiration. I call it my thinking and creativity sanctuary.

Christmas Eve Treats

I have a love affair with Christmas. I love Christmas more than anytime of year. It’s not just because of the gifts, although those are nice, but it’s because of the design aspect. This is the time of year when there are multiple levels of design that all come together and somehow work.

Every year, I make Christmas Eve treats that I prepare a few days before Christmas and pass around to all my neighbors, friends and family. This is what I do.

christmas scent

I get mason jars from Michaels or ones that I’ve collected throughout the year. I then fill them with lemon slices, orange slices and lime slices, a few sticks of cinnamon, a bay leaf, a few teaspoons of whole cloves and water. I print out my own labels that I design differently each year and I decorate the jars with ribbons and greeting tags. I then print the directions on the labels and make the rounds through the neighborhood and to friends and family and give each household on my list a Christmas Eve treat.

The trick is that on Christmas Eve, you pour the contents into a saucepan and simmer on low heat on the stove. You let this simmer all night and throughout the next day and the house smells of the most wonderful Christmas scented aroma.

Dream Kitchen

I have the privilege of picking out my dream kitchen, not only once, but twice. We recently remodeled our kitchen thinking we were investing in our dream kitchen, but as luck would have it, we tested the real estate waters and received an over priced offer on our home in less than a day.

So very quickly, we were off and running and looking at various homes, looking for the home that would be our next forever home (hopefully). We ended up putting an offer in on a place that we had found on Trulia had me from the first sight of the kitchen. This was my dream kitchen and it was already done. It had beautiful antique white cabinetry and tumbled travertine black splash with granite counter tops. It has a cool pass through going to a separate bar.

white cabinets

There is just something about the distressed or antique look that I love, especially in a kitchen. It says home, comfort and style, all which go into the foods you prepare, the drinks you concoct and the entertaining value of your home.