How Romantic: Fashion Tips for Date Night
By Sharon Mosley
You may have danced the night away on New Year’s Eve, but now it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a whole new attitude. It’s time to put a little romance into your wardrobe.
The good news is that with a few tips, you can look great and have a wonderful time whether you have a date with a friend you’ve just met or someone you’ve been married to for 30 years. Remember that romance never goes out of style.
“The best part of a date is getting ready for it,” says Winona Dimeo-Ediger, one of my favorite style experts and the author of “Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way” (Sasquatch Books, 18.95). Dimeo-Ediger urges you to “Bask in the untainted anticipation while you primp and pamper yourself and really have fun with the process of getting ready.”
Here are Dimeo-Ediger’s top tips on dressing for first dates, last dates and every date in between:
— Do be comfortable. That’s tip No. 1, according to this author and blogger. “You have to feel good in the clothes you’re wearing” in order to be a “good date,” she says. “Believe it or not you don’t look your best while pulling down the hem of your dress every five minutes or trying to subtly nurse a monster blister between cocktails.” And who hasn’t been there, done that thanks to short, short dresses and high, high heels?
— Do be yourself. First-timers beware. “This is especially important for first dates,” admits Dimeo-Ediger. “If you normally wear ripped jeans and plain T-shirts, don’t squeeze yourself into a bouncy pink dress for a date. A nice pair of jeans and a pretty blouse will look just as gorgeous and most importantly, you’ll look and feel like you.” She adds: “When you’re meeting with a potential lover, wear nicer versions of your normal clothes, and take a shower.”
— Don’t be afraid of color. Take a cue from celebrities who are wearing more and more color on the red carpet: Bold hues are becoming standout choices for dress-up occasions. “If black is truly your trademark, then rock the all-black outfit, but don’t let it become your safe choice,” suggests Dimeo-Ediger. “Black may be slimming, but blue and red and green and purple are beautiful and memorable.” (Who was everyone talking about in the gorgeous blue Valentino dress at the Golden Globes? Lady Gaga, of course!) “Make a decision to stand out and see how it affects your mood and your date.”
— Don’t wait to buy a formal dress until you need a formal dress. How many of us find ourselves running from store to store on the day of the big date frantically searching for the perfect outfit? Dimeo-Ediger suggests making a habit of shopping the formalwear sale racks whenever you are buying “mundane” things like jeans. “You’re sure to find an affordable gem that will have you itching for a formal invite to somewhere, anywhere!”
— Do have a go-to special occasion outfit. “Your go-to outfit doesn’t need to be new or particularly flashy,” Dimeo-Ediger says. It could be that cliche-but-fabulous little black dress or a sleek pantsuit, but it must be easy and versatile. “Don’t forget the power of accessories here,” she adds. “Throw on a simple, stylish base (like that LBD) for anything from a garden wedding to a presidential inauguration and add opera gloves or flip-flops accordingly.”
And yes, you may have to wait on those flip-flops for a few months, too!
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Ready, Get Set, Sale!
By Sharon Mosley
Chances are you’re not yet quite ready to shop for spring clothes. You’re probably still snuggled up in your heavy sweaters and sweatpants, slugging through cold rain and blowing snowstorms. But hey, it is sale time and worth browsing your iPad for some great deals, right? And if you’re really serious about scoring some fashion bargains, you’ll head out to your favorite store even if there’s a blizzard.
But before you Google “sale at Macy’s,” here are some ideas to keep you on budget:
— Shop in your own closet. I know you’ve got cabin fever and you want to hit the streets, but it really pays to assess what you already have at home. Many of us have a strange habit of buying the same thing over and over and over. How many pairs of black leggings do you have?
— Make a list of what you really need. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how many times have you wished you had a blouse to go with that long emerald green skirt you bought last year just because it was the color of the year? You may even want to take that skirt with you while you shop to find its perfect mate.
— Replace the basics. No, it’s not as fun as finding that faux fur coat at 75 percent off, but if your old trustworthy trench is getting a little rugged around the edges, this is the perfect time of year to consider replacing it with a newer model. You know classics will always be good investments, especially if you can find them on sale.
— Be prepared. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when you go shopping. Make sure you wear clothes that you can easily slip on and off. Leave the tight boots at home and wear flats. Suit up like a shopping warrior who means business but wants to have some fun, too.
— Check out apps. There may be plenty of good deals out there, but there are even more online. You can often get extra discounts just by perusing the websites of the stores you intend to visit. When you get coupons in the mail, stick them in your purse immediately so you will have them with you when you go shopping.
— Don’t get overwhelmed. If the racks are brimming over with a tangled mess of clothes, just take your time. Get into the spirit of skimming the hangers for those hidden treasures. I often do this by color. I know I don’t need another pair of black pants, so I just skip over to the next aisle.
— Try the merchandise on for size. This is a step that many of us just want to skip when we are in sale mode with a hundred other shoppers. But it can pay off. How many times have I just “known” without a doubt in my mind that that sweater would definitely fit me only to get it home and realize it swallows me up? Remember, sizes can vary drastically from label to label. So unless you know that you “always” wear a size 8 in a particular designer jean, err on the safe side and try on everything you want to buy, no matter how good a deal it seems.
— Get out of your style rut. Sale time is a great time to re-evaluate your own wardrobe. If you’ve been stuck in a rut, take advantage of buying something a little “outrageous” when it’s marked down. Try something that may not really be “you.” You never know how good it may make you feel … especially when you got it half-price!
— Explore the new season. You may have promised yourself would only shop the sales, but once you’re in the stores, look around! Check out the new spring merchandise that’s bound to be lurking just inside the entrance door. You never know what kind of deal you’ll find … before it goes on sale!
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
The Spice Aisle: Fashion Color Trends Spring/Summer 2019
By SHARON MOSLEY
Take time for a deep breath. Then take a stroll down the spice aisle, inhaling the exotic aromas — from pungent turmeric to zesty pepper to fresh sage — that have inspired the colors of a spirited fashion season. Here’s a list of the newest spicy hues to add to your clothes rack in the new year.
–Not-so-mellow yellow. A current culinary favorite, turmeric, is a favorite color with the fashion crowd. The yellows this spring range in shade from amber to mustard to curry to gold. Wear variations of this color palette from head to toe for an ultrasophisticated look.
–Red-hot cinnamon. The gingery reds and oranges are enlivening our style taste buds with feisty red hues infused with orange. Expect to see a wide range of these desert colors in everything from chile reds to saffron oranges to bright corals. Take a break from the “millennial pinks” of the last few seasons and up your fashion game with the bolder spice tones.
–Going green for 2019. The herbal greens are blooming profusely this spring — in both womenswear and menswear collections. Natural colors for the utilitarian and military trends marching down the runways, soft olive tones are taking the place of the black neutrals for spring. Consider updating a professional wardrobe with a mossy green suit or sage green trench coat.
–Coffee or tea? The earthy browns may be unlikely colors for warmer months, but this year, fashion designers are grounding their collections with darker neutral shades, contrasted with lighter neutrals such as mocha tan, creamy white and vanilla. This spring, stir some of these delicious fashion flavors into your morning style routine.
–Lavender and other news. So, what’s happened to the bold violets of last year? Lady Gaga proved that they are not going anywhere for the moment when she turned up at the Golden Globes in her periwinkle Valentino couture gown with matching hair. Other pastels such as sky blue and candy pink are brighter and bolder and parading down the catwalks in sheer flowing dresses.
–Lime slime. Reminiscent of the ’80s, neon colors are another way to put some zing into your wardrobe this spring. For men and women, the neon colors that glow this spring are lime green, lemon yellow and hot pink. Sprinkle a few of these happy hues into your closet and brighten up the year ahead. Bring back color!
PHOTO CAPTION: Spicy colors flavor the spring/summer 2019 season. Photo from Alexander McQueen’s spring runway show. www.alexandermcqueen.com.
Men’s Spring Fashion Trends 2019: The Checklist
By Sharon Mosley
When you come out of hibernation, there will be plenty of shopping to do for spring. A change of seasons calls for a fresh start to update tried-and-true basics that are sometimes more “tired” than new. Here’s a shopping list of fresh fashion items to try for warmer days ahead:
— Short shorts. Think back to the ’80s and the shorts that showed up on the tennis courts and the city streets. Then came the long and longer board shorts. So, of course, in fashion’s repetitive cycle, the shorter shorts are back. You determine how short … a trend many guys may want to skip this spring!
— Utility vests. Who doesn’t like pockets and more pockets? These military-inspired vests and other jackets may become a favorite new basic in your wardrobe. With all the tech devices we carry around daily, this is one fashion trend that makes sense.
— Double-breasted sport coats. With tailoring making a comeback, the double-breasted jacket can give suits and trousers a debonair twist. In slightly oversized silhouettes, the double-breasted jacket is something to think about adding to your closet of classic staples. And you can decide whether to bare your chest under a suit jacket … another new trend many may want to pass on.
— Leather anything. This is one trend you can start wearing now! Leather biker jackets, leather vests, leather trousers … wear them separately or all together from head to toe. Embossed leather in snakeskin prints is also trending. This is the way to take your wardrobe into the rock star category — or at least give traditional clothing more of a stage presence.
— The patterned shirt. If you’ve been a stripes and checks kind of guy for the past few years, it may be time to give that up for a shirt with an artistic vibe. Think graphic patterns in colorful prints that will make your stonewashed jeans, leather pants or even suits come alive.
— The trench coat. This is your new overcoat for spring. In slightly slouchy shapes, the trench coat, especially in earthy tan or sage green colors, will be a go-to for years to come. The trench is easy to dress up or down with casual denim or more tailored pieces.
— Retro add-ons. What’s old is new again: tie-dye prints, Day-Glo neons and lots of updates on the ’90s grunge trend. Neoprene shines in patent pants, and chunky dad sneakers and white socks are still going strong.
— More accessory add-ons. Don’t forget all the new extras! Accessories are the easiest way to update your favorite basics. From bucket hats to cycling sunglasses to “necklace” bags, cowboy boots and hiking sandals, these fashion signs all lead the way to sunny days ahead. Start your browsing now.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Go With the Flow: Spring Fashion Trends 2019
By Sharon Mosley
Even though most of us are still wrapped up in our puffer coats, the fashion winds are blowing in the balmy trends for a new season. And it’s time to loosen up and go with the flow of breezy designs, tropical prints and, yes, even bike shorts. Here’s the shortlist of the spring runways’ latest trends:
–Frilly dresses. In the softest of fabrics, such as chiffon and satin, the dress is all dressed up this spring with feathers, ruffles, ruching and bows. The short babydoll dress is back! It’s time to feel like a princess again and give these frilly dresses a whirl.
–The bold blazer. The huge jackets that had a moment last fall are shaping up to be a little more tailored: The soft, belted styles are favorites when worn with short skirts, cropped ankle trousers or even board shorts.
–Cycling shorts. While these surfaced on a few celebrities last year — like the Kardashians and Gigi Hadid — fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel put them on the runways for spring and summer. The trick is to style them like a “suit,” with jackets that don’t look like you’re going to the gym or actually riding a bike. This is one trend you might want to skip!
–Print mixing. One of the fastest ways to put a little spring in your step in the months to come is to mix up your prints from head to toe. From animal prints to stripes to tropical florals to checks, put them all together and have fun! If you shy away from all the crazy, mixed-up prints, then stick to one motif, such as polka dots.
–Crochet and more. The boho hippie grows up this spring and gets hooked on new interpretations of crocheted dresses and tunics. Lace also takes on more of a vintage ’70s look in casual, sporty pieces. And the handbag du jour? Crocheted of course!
–Anything tie-dye. When the top designers put a new spin on an old favorite like tie-dye, you know it’ll be a hit. Tie-dye, a favorite ’60s fashion trend, is once again revived in everything from T-shirts to shift dresses to swimsuits.
–Cargo pants. In earthy khaki colors, the utility trend is back in full force this spring, in updated cargos, cropped with straight legs or full and high-waisted. Pair the new “combat” pants with feminine blouses and strappy heels for a contemporary twist. Jumpsuits are also a big part of this trend, as are oversize anorak jackets.
–Bleached-out denim. Spring is the perfect time to bring on the washed-out blues that look like you’ve dunked them in a bucket full of bleach. Look for the acid-wash denim to show up in patch-pocket jeans, jackets and vests to wear with the season’s sugary pastels. After years of ripped-up denim, the dipped denim is now the way to fast-track your spring style.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: Bike shorts get high-fashion treatment for spring 2019 at Chanel. www.chanel.com.
4 Ways to Bring Classic Character to Your Kitchen
In today’s stainless steel world filled with clean lines, sharp angles and sleek kitchen accessories, it may seem daunting to achieve the perfect antique style for your kitchen.
While it’s true that blending looks from the past with modern-day functionality can be challenging, you don’t have to be a famous designer to create the kitchen of your dreams. These tips can help you turn back the clock and design a kitchen with timeless character.
Strike a balance
When you set out to create your new look, it’s easy to go overboard, so remember that moderation is best. Make sure you’re choosing items that showcase your individual style while keeping in mind there is a fine line between Victorian Chic and your grandmother’s cookie jar collection.
In addition to knowing what elements to look for, it’s important to consider how the components can be integrated to create a harmonious look. Consider updating antique elements with more contemporary touches to create a fresh, unexpected aesthetic. For example, pair a set of ultra-chic dining chairs with an old wooden dining table passed down through your family or upholster a simple dining bench or window seat with Victorian-patterned fabric.
Establish a focal point
If you’re overwhelmed trying to envision how all the details will come together, many designers suggest the first step is defining the focal point for your kitchen. In many cases, that will be the appliances.
Antique appliances lend themselves to a range of styles, from Victorian to farmhouse to cabin and cottage. While it’s possible to purchase refurbished antique models, if you want your appliances to include modern features and functionality, you might consider antique-inspired appliances. For example, Elmira Stove Works offers a line of 1890s-style appliances that deliver the warmth and charm of a bygone era to today’s kitchens.
Equipped with the latest in cooking technology, these appliances have been designed to meet the culinary standards of nearly any home chef, and include a selection of customizable ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens and matching dishwasher panels. To explore how this line can give your kitchen the perfect vintage feel, visit elmirastoveworks.com/antique/ranges.
Add accents with purpose
Once you’ve established the centerpiece (or centerpieces) for your kitchen, you can add smaller details as you go. Visit antique stores and flea markets to look for finds such as vintage kitchen tools, antique serving platters and cast-iron cookware.
Antiques frequently show some wear and tear, so make sure any items you are planning to purchase are in good condition. Also remember that vintage items can be delicate. If you’re planning to put an item to use daily, ensure it’s in good working condition and will be up to the task.
Incorporate rustic elements
Rustic home decor can turn something that was once rugged into something beautiful. An example of this is reclaimed wood accents, which can be functional, attractive and eco-friendly.
Use reclaimed wood to create butcher-block countertops, cabinetry or to design a one-of-a-kind kitchen table. Pine offers the most authentic rustic design, but it can be soft and susceptible to dents. Hickory, alder and cherry can also deliver a cozy, rustic feel. “Live edge” tables and accents, which preserve the natural edge of the wood in the design, are another way to add a rustic but current aesthetic.
When you’re ready to retrofit your kitchen into perfect past-present harmony, remember these tips, give yourself permission to take chances and get creative to whip up the kitchen of your dreams.
Countdown to New Year’s Eve: Tips on Holiday Dressing from the Hosts of ‘What Not to Wear’
By Sharon Mosley
New Year’s Eve calls for dressing in a special way. We all want to look our best, especially during the holidays, and that calls for wearing clothes that fit the bodies we have. Some of my favorite fashion experts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, who hosted TLC’s “What Not to Wear” for years, have a lot to say about what to wear for the holidays.
“What we’ve learned is that looking good now will help you feel better later,” says the dynamic duo in their now-classic fashion guide, “Dress Your Best” (Three Rivers Press), which features different body types of 26 women and men and delivers valuable fashion advice for dressing your body the way it is now — not after you lose those ten pounds.
“We’ve seen it hundreds of times,” says London. “Don’t wait for what may or may not change about you in the future. You are perfect now.”
So now that you’re in that celebratory mood and ready to attack the buffet tables, here’s some timeless tips from London and Kelly for guys and gals who want to look great for all those holiday parties.
FOR THE GALS
–First and foremost, a tank dress with an A-line skirt is a universally flattering silhouette, regardless of body type. It is particularly flattering for a bustier body type, as it allows for a thicker-strap supportive bra.
–When wearing black and white for evening, try clear jewelry: rhinestones, crystals or our favorite diamonds! Clear stones are eternally chic and don’t compete with the bold contrast of black and white.
–Love that sleeveless dress but feel self-conscious about showing your upper arms? Try a wrap. Some now come with sleeves, but make sure the wrap doesn’t compete with the pattern of the dress.
–A pointy-toe shoe with a kitten heel is perfect with any hem length. Who wants to look like they’re walking on stilts?
–Metallic shoes are a must-have in every closet for evening — but don’t be afraid to wear them during the day!
–Color is a wonderful option for cocktail hour — rather than the ubiquitous black. If you’ve got pale skin, go with lighter colors; if you have darker skin, go brighter.
–When trying to detract from the midsection, think about wearing your hair up for the evening, add some chandelier earrings and lengthen your neckline!
–Try mixing textures for a sophisticated evening look. If you are wearing a dress with sheen to it, do a matte wrap or coat. Or wear a dress with no sheen and top it with a metallic brocade coat or one with lots of sparkly embellishment.
–While trends come and go, black never goes out of style. Sometimes, just black looks just perfect.
–Embellishment (beading, sequins, rhinestones) on clothing has been very popular the last few seasons. We feel a couple of embellished pieces for evening are a staple of any woman’s wardrobe. They’re always useful for a little “bling” and quite often negate the necessity for additional jewelry.
— Have only a few pieces you like to wear for evening. Make sure they fit as well as possible. Then change them up with fun accessories such as shawls, wraps, vintage costume jewelry and fabulous shoes!
FOR THE GUYS
–If you’re doing evening in a situation where a tie is not required, add interest to your outfit somehow, whether it’s with a patterned shirt or pocket square or both.
–Make sure the color of your belt matches your shoes. Match your socks to your trousers, not your shoe — except when you’re wearing jeans. Then you can match the sock to the shoe.
–Velvet is a luxurious option for winter. When mixing it, you need to do so with similar-weight fabrics such as denim, wool or more velvet.
–The tuxedo jacket is a chic option for nighttime and creates a streamlined look. Try wearing it with a striped shirt and a dark wide-leg jean for a modern, casual look.
–Wear an untucked shirt for a casual evening event, and leave the jacket open. Keep the shirt untucked, but be careful with the length. Any lower than the bottom of the crotch and you might look like you’re wearing a dress.
–Never button the bottom button of your suit jacket.
–Avoid the “catalog” sweater at all costs. You know it when you see it: man and woman sitting in a ski lodge by a roaring fire, sipping cognac, wearing chunky (usually red) sweaters. It’s universally unflattering — especially for barrel-chested men. The last thing you need is a humongous wool sweater adding bulk to your upper body.
–The topcoat is a wardrobe essential for dressy occasions. Buy the best one you can afford and think of it as an investment in style.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: Velvet is a holiday favorite. Teal skinny fit velvet jacket by Casely Hayford at Nordstrom. www.nordstrom.com.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Tech Tips for Holiday Travel
As another busy travel season approaches, road-weary parents and families can hold on to holiday cheer a little longer by counting on tech as their preferred travel companion.
Every year, tens of millions of travelers brave planes, trains and automobiles to celebrate year-end holidays and exchange goodwill with family and friends. Consider these ideas for using tech to make this year’s travel a little easier.
Nearly every parent is wary of excess screen time, but holiday travel is a good time to set aside those concerns. Hours of chaotic travel, unfamiliar scenery and overall disruption to typical daily schedules can wreak havoc on kids. One way to keep those stressful feelings at bay is entertainment, and there are plenty of options that can serve as aides to keep kids calm and collected when travel gets tiresome. Handheld video games, portable DVD players and tablets can all be customized with kid-friendly content to make it from point A to point B with your sanity intact, or to simply enjoy an uninterrupted hour catching up with loved ones.
It’s a trend on the rise: More than 70 percent of U.S. travelers responding to Google Consumer Insights agreed they “always” use their smartphones when traveling to research activities or attractions, locate shopping areas and restaurants, or look up directions.
For value-conscious travelers, a smartphone like the Alcatel 7 offers robust talk time, nonstop streaming and lightning-fast charging. Up to 28 hours of talk time makes it ideal for connecting with family and friends down the street or around the globe, and after just 22 minutes of charging, it can be used for up to six hours. With more than 10 hours of nonstop streaming in a single charge, kids won’t have to miss out on any social media stories or updates from their favorite vloggers while waiting for grandma’s pecan pie to cool. Sleek and compact, the phone also features a large six-inch Full HD+ display and dual cameras that let you shoot in portrait mode. Learn more at alcatel7.com.
You’ve heard the tongue-in-cheek adage that technology is great when it works. One thing is sure: it won’t work if it isn’t properly charged. Take time to lay out all your devices and their respective charging equipment before you pack your bags. Fully charge all devices, install new batteries and, when you’re done, stash the cords and extra batteries in your carry-on bag where you can access them easily later.
If you’re planning to rely heavily on your tech devices while traveling, be sure you’re aware of any potential connectivity issues that may limit your access to certain apps and features. Remember that in certain areas signals can be spotty. If there’s essential info you may need, download it directly into your device so you can retrieve it with or without a good connection.
Away from home, you’re likely to encounter situations and environments that put your family’s tech devices in precarious places. Even a suitcase with liquid toiletries can pose a hazard, but a simple plastic bag can prevent damage from spills en route. Before you embark on your trip, also take steps to safeguard your tech devices with screen protectors and snug-fit covers or cases.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Shout Out to Sequins
By Sharon Mosley
When it comes time to shine this holiday season, there’s nothing that outshines the glimmer and glamour of the party girl’s best friend: sequins. From all-over shimmering cocktail frocks to glittering skirts and jackets — even glittering leggings and twinkling toes — there are show-stopping ways to sparkle in sequins.
But before you leave a trail of shiny discs behind you, here are a few things to keep in mind when buying sequined clothing.
–Check the care labels. Many of you may not have taken a shine to sequins for this very reason: They can be intimidating to clean. After years of owning all kinds of “embellished” clothing, I heartily recommend hand-washing with baby shampoo. While many pieces can be laundered on the gentle cycle in the washing machine, just as you would delicate lingerie, it can be tricky. Just make sure you turn the garment inside out and place it in a mesh bag. Never place in a dryer, but rather drip-dry over a towel and then lay flat.
–When in doubt … dry clean. When a sequin piece is stained or smells like someone at last year’s New Year’s Eve party got a little too excited and spilled champagne all over you, then you may need professional help. If a stain doesn’t come off easily with a damp paper towel, then don’t hesitate to take it to the cleaners. (I have heard that a spritz of vodka may get rid of odors, too … but I haven’t had any desire to try it out! The vodka on the bar in my house has better things to do. Pomegranate martinis, anyone?)
–Beat the heat. Never use an iron on sequins … duh! Of course heat can damage (i.e., melt) plastic sequins. At one time, “sequins” were coins and morphed into metal discs to decorate clothing. King Tut was covered in gold ones when his tomb was uncovered in 1922. But as the history of the “sequin” evolved, they were made from a less-expensive plastic, courtesy of Herbert Lieberman at Eastman Kodak. He was inspired by the “film” his company produced in the 1930s. So, if you must get wrinkles out of a sequined garment, try hanging it in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes or carefully using a steamer on it.
–Quality matters. When buying sequined clothing, it pays to pay for quality. Sequins that are sewn on can easily be repaired; sequins that are glued on may come off in cleaning. Buying garments that are lined is also important. Sequins and beads are infamous snaggers … and you don’t want to get hung up in your underwear. Ouch! Lining also helps maintain the shape of piece.
–Store sequins carefully. Special sequined apparel pieces may need to be wrapped in acid-free tissue and stored separately in your closet. If you do hang a piece, make sure it’s on a sturdy plastic hanger and hung by itself so it doesn’t snag other clothes.
–Sparkle! Don’t be afraid to bling it out this holiday season and wear sequins head-to-toe. If there’s one time of year to wear a party to a party, this is it. Shine on!
Photo Caption: The sequins are sparkling at holiday parties. Silver sheath dress at www.anthropologie.com.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM
Thoughtful Gifts for Friends and Family
While holiday festivities bring to mind thoughts of joy and celebration with loved ones, there’s one element of the season that can be a source of stress: gifting. Make this year’s shopping trips a touch simpler with thoughtful presents that can fit any number of those on your holiday list.
When you head into the season with a plan and gift ideas in mind, you’re able to trim the time you spend in stores while also increasing the chances of tracking down the perfect present for each person.
From tasty food and sentimental items to handy tools and home decor, these ideas can help put you on the right path to a less stressful seasonal shopping experience. Find more holiday gift ideas at eLivingToday.com.
A Path to Better Vision
For a healthier way to see, give the gift of a lighting upgrade for use at home or at work. For example, this Refine LED Desk Lamp from OttLite’s Wellness Series provides smooth, uniform light while reducing eyestrain by up to 51 percent. The brushed nickel finish gives it elegant appeal and a convenient USB port charges electronics while four brightness settings allow for functional control to evenly distribute the balanced, natural illumination. Find more information at OttLite.com.
A Gift with Great Taste
This holiday season, give the gift of good taste with The Tasteful Gift combo from Omaha Steaks. This gourmet collection has something for everyone, including two legendary Filet Mignons and two Top Sirloins, two meaty Boneless Pork Chops, four Potatoes au Gratin, four Caramel Apple Tartlets and a Signature Seasoning Packet. Available for a limited-time holiday price with free shipping, it’s a gift that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Find more tasty gifts at omahasteaks.com.
The Gift of Good Light
If you’re looking for a gift for a runner, hiker, biker, camper or someone who seems to always be involved in a home project, consider a headlamp from Energizer to help him or her light the way. With a pivoting head, adjustable band and multiple light modes, you can adjust the headlamp to fit many lighting needs, ideal for nearly anyone looking for hands-free illumination. Find more information at energizer.com/lighting.
Fit for a Chef
For the avid cook, gift cookware like the Anolon Accolade 10 Piece Set, which features an advanced and patented technology that strategically places metal where it’s most needed for efficient heating and exceptional durability. Another key feature is the sapphire-reinforced, triple layer, metal-utensil-safe nonstick coating inside and out for exceptional food release and easy cleaning. Induction suitable, dishwasher-safe and oven-safe to 500 F, this gourmet cookware inspires confidence and creativity in the kitchen. Find more gift ideas at anolon.com.
Share the Wonder this Season
Invite your friends and family into a world of wonder this holiday season with pop-up Hallmark Paper Wonder cards. With intricate detail and 3D design, the cards unfold, pop or expand to reveal a surprise perfect for displaying all season long or sending to loved ones to share the joy of the season. Make the holiday come alive and shop the collection that can inspire people to explore, discover and share the wonder of the holidays with those they love at hallmark.com/paper-wonder.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Deck the Halls for Happy Holidays
Whether you opt for fresh-cut or fresh out of the box, trimming the tree is a staple of holiday decor in most homes. However, if you’ll be entertaining this season, you may want to go beyond the tree and take your seasonal decorating to whole new level.
Create a scene filled with festive joy and get your home holiday-ready with these tips from the holiday hosting experts at Macy’s:
Choose a theme: Designing around a specific theme is a simple way to keep your holiday decor from feeling cluttered. Your theme might be based on color or a favorite seasonal character like Santa or snowmen. If you’re starting from scratch, begin with a few statement pieces and let your collection grow over time. Choose a new item or two each year, and soon you’ll have a treasure trove of beloved holiday items that can brighten up your home.
Cook up some fun: Whipping up dinner for a house full of guests won’t feel like such a chore if you rely on cookware that makes meal preparation fun. For example, Martha Stewart’s Holiday Enamel Cast Iron collection can bring on the holiday cheer. With its festive plaid pattern and bright colors, the collection makes holiday entertaining special. Oven safe up to 500 F, these pieces can also be used with nearly any cooktop. Choose from gray or red plaid designs and 2-quart or 6-quart pot and lid combos.
Offer cozy accents: Tables, shelves and mantels tend to get their share of decorative love, but don’t overlook the ways you can bring cheer to other parts of a room. A snuggle-worthy throw in vibrant holiday hues and some plush seasonal pillows add practical warmth and good cheer. Another option: fun holiday floor decor, from welcome mats to area rugs to cushy kitchen mats that can make all that time cooking easier on your feet.
Set a stunning stage: Go ahead and fill your guests with delight before they even sample their first bite. A holiday spread served over festive placemats and cheerful motifs can make your table come to life. Bring vibrant colors and cheeky detailed design to your dinner table with an option like the Cellar Holiday Dinnerware Collection. Placemats and coasters feature seasonal images like snowflakes, ornaments and red and green lettering with a cheerful “Ho Ho Ho.” Salad plates and mugs showcase whimsical animal art with beloved creatures like dogs and giraffes.
Add pretties to the powder room: The bathroom may not be the first place you think to add some holiday spirit, but it’s a room virtually every guest will visit, so don’t leave it undone. Deck out the room with hand towels in seasonal colors and prints, and add plenty of festive accent pieces like rugs and soap dispensers. Don’t forget a candle with a subtle seasonal scent.
Find these holiday entertaining products and more at macys.com.
Thoughtful, Stress-Free Gift Giving
When in need of inspiration during gift-giving season, focusing on thoughtful presents that align with the personalities and interests of your intended recipients can be a surefire way to delight even the hard-to-buy-for friends and family on your list.
If you need a little extra help this holiday season, though, these ideas curated by the experts at Macy’s can help you hand out on-trend, versatile gifts.
“The holidays are our favorite time of the year,” said Durand Guion, group vice president, Macy’s Fashion Office. “As the gift destination, we believe in the wonder of giving and are excited to help our shoppers find the perfect gifts. Our fashion directors have highlighted the best selection of fashion, beauty and home with trendy pieces that are not only versatile but also inspiring, whether they’re for gifting, dressing or entertaining.”
Find more thoughtful gift ideas that can make your loved ones smile at macys.com/gifts.
For the Home Decorator
Bring the holiday cheer home this season with cozy throws and decorative pillows that are perfect for gathering around the fireplace. A variety of options are available, including a Basket Weave Faux-Fur Pom Pom Throw, a Snuggle by the Fire Pillow, a Holiday Truck Pillow and a Stand Out Scottie Pillow. Featuring touches of faux fur and velvet, these throws and pillows from the Martha Stewart Collection can add warmth to a room on chilly nights.
For the Beauty Lover
For the woman who is beauty-obsessed, give her a gift of relaxation with the Tony Moly sheet mask set. The set includes 19 masks in total, including pulp sheet masks, layering sheet masks, gel face masks and gel eye masks, and is a perfect reason for a girls’ night in. Featuring ingredients such as red wine, which helps tighten and purify skin, and lemon, which helps brighten skin tone and combat hyperpigmentation, among others, there is a mask for nearly every skin need.
For the Modern Host
Essentially every host knows entertainment should be a focal point of the party. Bring family and friends together with the Studio Mercantile Stacking Game, a vintage-inspired twist on a classic made to be played while sharing a round of drinks. The set includes 40 wooden blocks engraved with prompts that can make things more interesting as well as 14 blank blocks so you can create your own entertaining tasks.
For the Luxurious Lounger
This holiday season, you can combine the cozy and glamorous sides of nearly any woman in your life with sparkly slippers from I.N.C. International Concepts. These comfy, round-toe, moccasin-style slippers are faux-fur lined and available in four vibrant colors – Rose Gold Glitter, Black Glitter, Navy Glitter and Silver Glitter – that can put a luxe finish on lounging around during a night in.
For the Go-Anywhere Man
Perfect for the office or a night on the town – and nearly anything in-between – a Tommy Hilfiger watch is a lasting and versatile gift for the special man on your list. Completely focused in black stainless steel with a matching minimalist dial, this sophisticated timepiece is also water-resistant to 30 meters. The black-on-black design is a modern upgrade to classic watches, and can keep your man in style for seasons to come.
For the Classic Entertainer
Savor your favorite spirits with loved ones and add an elevated touch to your entertaining this holiday season with a set of two whiskey glasses from the Hotel Collection. Accompanied by black marble coasters, this modern set of 14.7-ounce glasses can help protect your furniture and surfaces from cup marks, drips, spills and condensation while also impressing guests at any size gathering.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (main image of family opening gifts)
Holiday recipes worth sharing
Most great holiday gatherings start with great food and end with quality time spent with loved ones. This holiday season, rely on simple recipes that let you spend less time in the kitchen and more time celebrating special moments with family and friends.
As a holiday host, it may be tempting to explore complicated new recipes to lend a festive air to your seasonal celebrations. However, with the right ingredients, a simple recipe can be equally impressive. Delicious holiday dishes start with premium ingredients like Bertolli Olive Oils, which offer enough versatility to be a must-have kitchen accessory throughout the holiday season and onward. From soups to main dishes to desserts, the rich, quality flavor works for nearly every culinary occasion.
After a long day of checking items off your holiday shopping list, there’s almost nothing better than a warm bowl of quick and easy Rustic Minestrone. This vegetarian classic is the perfect mix of marinara blended with aged cheeses, kale, zucchini and beans. One of the best parts: It can be on the table in 10 minutes, meaning less time cooking and more time spent stringing up holiday lights with family.
If you’re looking for a simple way to put a new twist on your turkey, take it to the next level with a seasonal brine made with sweet Riesling, garlic cloves, thyme, fresh cranberries and olive oil. It’s a hands-off way to make a tried-and-true dish a little more special.
Finally, when it’s time to wind down the evening, delight guests by bringing back a classic dessert: chocolate chip banana bread. Served slightly warm with a side of fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream, it’s a sweet finish to any gathering that family and friends are sure to love.
Find more simple recipes to enjoy during the holidays at Bertolli.com.
3 tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 small zucchini, sliced in 1/2-inch half moons
2 cups tightly packed, thinly sliced Tuscan kale leaves
1 jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Three Cheese with Aged Asiago, Romano and Parmesan Sauce
1 carton (32 ounces) vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed
1/3 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
In 6-quart pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons oil. Add zucchini and kale; cook, stirring frequently, about 1-2 minutes, or until kale begins to wilt. Reduce heat to medium; add sauce, broth and beans. Simmer 5-7 minutes, or until heated. Top with shaved cheese before serving.
Tips: Substitute garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans or tri-bean blend for cannellini beans. For heartier soup, add 3 cups (9 ounces) refrigerated tortellini pasta with broth and beans. Simmer soup 8-10 minutes more, or until pasta is cooked through.
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
Recipe courtesy of Justin Schuble on behalf of Bertolli Olive Oil
3/4 cup Bertolli Olive Oil, plus additional for coating pan
3 ripe medium bananas, divided
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/4 cup nut spread
Heat oven to 350 F.
Coat 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with olive oil.
In mixing bowl, mash 2 bananas. Add applesauce, egg, egg white and vanilla to bananas and whisk.
In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix. Add olive oil slowly and mix until combined.
Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter into loaf pan.
Heat nut spread in microwave until it reaches pourable consistency. Swirl spread into top of batter. Thinly slice long, flat strips of banana. Add slices to top of batter for decoration.
Place loaf pan in oven and bake 1 hour. Remove bread and cool before slicing.
Cranberry Riesling Brined Turkey
1 quart water
6 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 bottle (750 milliliters) Riesling wine
2 large shallots, thinly sliced, divided
8 cloves garlic, crushed but left in skins
1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
2 cups fresh cranberries, slightly crushed, divided
1 turkey (16 pounds), giblet package and neck removed
ice water, for covering turkey
1/2 cup Bertolli Mild Olive Oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
In pot, bring water, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds and kosher salt to boil. Stir until salt is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Pour brine into 5-gallon stock pot or container. Pour in wine then add one shallot, garlic, thyme (reserving some for stuffing turkey) and 1 cup cranberries. Slowly lower in turkey.
Pour ice water into pot to cover turkey. Place lid on pot and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
Heat oven to 500 F. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry and stuff with reserved shallot, thyme and cranberries.
Place turkey in roasting pan. Generously massage olive oil into skin of turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Use kitchen twine to tie legs together so turkey will keep its shape. Place in roasting pan and roast 20 minutes. Lightly brush skin again with olive oil, reduce heat to 350 F and roast until internal temperature reaches 155-160 F on meat thermometer.
Allow turkey to rest, loosely covered with foil, 30 minutes before carving.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cranberry Riesling Brined Turkey)