Happy {Black} Friday

November 29, 2013

I'm usually pretty excited for Friday, but yesterday was so relaxing and fun, spending time with family, loving on my babies, and eating comfort food, that I almost didn't want Friday to come. 

Also, it's the biggest shopping day of the year, but if you're like me and are still recovering from a turkey and sweet potato pie-induced coma, there's no way any shopping is getting done today. Luckily, The Huffington Post has a list of sales happening after Black Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend, and God bless!

image via Pinterest

Bar Cart Essentials

November 28, 2013

Lately I've been seeing pictures of bar carts that look so expertly styled--with glasses lined up just so and pretty little vases or boxes perched atop stacks of books--that I'm inspired to create my own. I haven't found my bar cart yet, although this one is sweet and the price is just right, but I have found just about all the bar accessories (in shades of gold and white, of course), including a cute little bottle opener that doubles as a decor accent and cocktail picks that shine bright like diamonds.

Expressive coasters turn a simple pre-dinner drink into a celebration.
Gilded highball glasses make cocktails, or even juice, a little fancier.
An ice bucket is a bar necessity so it may as well be attractive.  
A sweet little dove that is both a bottle opener and a decor accent.
A gold and white bowl that's cool enough on its own, or can be used to hold anything from pistachios to toothpicks. 
Dressed up straws make drinks more festive, obvi.
By far one of the prettiest decanters I've spotted.
A compact wine rack leaves plenty of space on the bottom for more glasses or a lovely stack of books. 
It's silly, but I'm always drawn to bottles with beautiful labels, like Lillet Rose and Elderflower Presse.
These diamond picks are meant for appetizers, but also make perfect olive and onion picks for martinis. 
A sparkly cocktail shaker that actually isn't too girly.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

Today, and every day, I am extremely thankful for family and friends, a warm home that's filled with love and laughter, health, and happiness. God is truly good! What are you thankful for?

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving! May your plate be full, your waistband stretchy, and your heart overflowing. God bless! 

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Chill Champagne in Minutes

November 25, 2013

The holiday season is officially in full swing (Thanksgiving is Thursday--yay!), which means copious amounts of champagne will be imbibed between now and the new year. If you find yourself with a house full of guests (or you just find yourself really thirsty) and not a single bottle of champagne is chilled, you can chill one in about twenty minutes with this simple trick: fill your champagne bucket or kitchen sink a little less than halfway with water, add lots of ice, then drop in three or four tablespoons of regular table salt. Of course, you'll need to add more salt if you're using a bigger chilling vessel (like your bathtub). Let your champagne sit in the ice bath for awhile, and you'll be popping bottles in about twenty. 

Now drink and be merry!

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Lovely and Affordable Gifts for the Host

November 22, 2013

1. Forged Metal Cheese Knife Set  2. Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Candle  3. Gift Boutique Princess Bottle Stopper  4. Bubbly Decanter   
5. Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks  6. Dean & Deluca Acacia Black Truffle Honey  7. Rifle Paper Company Polka Dot Recipe Box  8. Harrington Pillar Holder  9. Personalized Leather Wine Bag  10. Mistletoe Print  11. Belvoir's Elderflower Pressé  12. Faux Croc Aqua Tray  13. Heart Cutting Board  14. Godiva Ultimate Dessert Truffles  15. Zebra Bar Tool Set

Your party host has no doubt dedicated countless hours to cleaning up, prepping and plating food, creating the perfect playlist, and finding a festive ensemble to wear, all so that you can have a fabulous evening. Say thank you by spoiling your gracious host with a gift that is as affordable (hello!--a cheese knife set or leather wine bag for around $25 each!) as it is chic.

Happy Friday

November 22, 2013

We're less than a week out from Thanksgiving now! Who's excited?-- This girl! I'll be spending my weekend making last minute trips to the grocery, mapping out how best to split up our time with family and friends (there are still so many people who haven't seen the new baby), and, let's face it, daydreaming about next Thursday's feast.

I'll have loads of helpful tips for turkey day and holiday entertaining on the blog in the coming weeks, so come back often. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend! God bless!

image via Pinterest

Sweet Gifts for Baby

November 20, 2013

Shopping for loved ones at Christmastime is already a joy in itself, but shopping for babies at Christmastime, or any time really, is even sweeter. Everything is so tiny and soft, and just so yummy! Here, nine utterly adorable gifts to make your baby gurgle and coo this holiday season.

This teddy bear bank is as chic as it is practical.  
A sweet print with a lovely message for your little one.
Baby will be comfy and cozy on this cushy nap mat.
Onesies in fun colors will keep baby merry and bright all year long. 
Chunky knits to keep little one toasty and warm. 
The most adorable little leggings for little hipsters.
Colorful moccasins to make toddling around stylish and fun. 
A precious book to teach your beloved about friendship.
Something soft and cuddly for long car trips, nap time, doctor visits...

Pretty Gift Wrapping Ideas

November 18, 2013

'Tis the season for giving presents, and one of my favorite things about the holidays is wrapping gifts in lovely paper and ribbon and making them look all pretty and festive. Here are four ideas for wrapping prezzies, should you find yourself without proper gift wrap, or you just want people to think you're terribly clever and inventive. And none of them really scream "Christmas!" so they'll work for any holiday or occasion.   

Magazine pages: The fun part about wrapping a gift with magazine pages is feeling all arts'n'craftsy. Tear pages with a common color or theme. For example, rip out pages that have any shade of purple, or only pages that have lipstick ads, etc. Since you have to tape the pages together before you start wrapping, I recommend you only do this for smaller gift boxes.

Brown paper: There's a reason the song says "brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things." Brown paper packages look really nice when tied up with pretty ribbon or even striped baker's twine. And since it's like a blank canvas you can write a special note to the recipient, or decorate it with glitter or festive scrapbook appliques. The options really are endless.

Newspaper: Newspaper is surprisingly pretty when it's dressed up with shiny bows. Black and white pages always look chic, but you can also make it more playful and use the colorful comic pages. Another option is to use a page with some sort of picture that fits the giftee's personality or hobbies, like this football pic for the sports enthusiast.  

Foil: Because it's shiny and silver (which makes it perfect for holiday gift giving, no?), foil, along with any pretty colored or patterned ribbon, makes for a fancy-looking prezzy. I recommend heavy duty foil as it's thicker and more like metallic wrapping paper than the thinner, flimsier regular foil.

photos by Angelica Golden

DIY Embellished Glass Jar

November 15, 2013

There are some DIY projects that are so stinking simple, it almost feels like cheating to call them "projects." This embellished glass jar DIY is one of those--it's so simple in fact, that I've decided to just call it a clever little trick instead. Even the most un-crafty person can pull this off, I promise. Just wrap a stretchy bracelet, or stack several, around a small glass or empty candle jar. Then you can place it on your vanity or desk and use it to house your makeup brushes or bobby pins or pencils or whatever else you can think of.

photo by Angelica Golden

Happy Friday

November 15, 2013

Whatever your plans this weekend, leave a little sparkle wherever you go! God bless!

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Get Gorgeous with Aloe Vera

November 14, 2013

Aloe vera is like nature's ultimate healer--it does everything from healing excessively dry skin to curing a runny nose. It's also a must have beauty product to stay gorgeous, inside and out. Here are ten beautiful reasons to pick up a bottle of aloe vera gel, or better still, buy a plant. 

1. Aloe vera is rich with anti-oxidants, including vitamins C and E--use it to firm and brighten skin. 
2. Mix aloe vera gel with coconut oil for a revitalizing pre-shampoo treatment. 
3. Slather it on post-shower to lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated all day.
4. Boil aloe vera leaves then grind them into a paste; add a few drops of honey and apply to your face. It's a healing mask for acne and oily skin. 
5. Use aloe vera gel to help control frizz without any greasiness.
6. Heal various skin conditions, including eczema, itchy skin, sunburn, insect bites, and razor burn. 
7. Apply to hair and scalp and use as a hair mask for 30 minutes. No need to add anything else.
8. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are great for healing pimples.
9. Combine one part aloe vera gel with two parts lemon juice and apply to hair to control oil and clean build up without drying the hair.
10. Drink aloe vera juice to maintain a healthy body weight, feel healthy and have energy, and nourish the body with anti-oxidants and nutrients. 

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Must Have: Give It to Me Tags from Typo

November 12, 2013

How cute are these gift tags from Typo? So pretty and grown-up; far more chic than the jolly Santa and snowman, 50-to-a-pack sticky labels I usually buy this time of year. These are pricier--they're around $7 for 10 tags--so I'll be reserving these beauties for special family and friends.

Currently Drooling Over: Closets with Chandeliers

November 8, 2013

I share a just-barely-walk-in closet with my husband. It's hardly the ideal situation for either one of us, but we're doing our best to make it work--I was kind enough to give him one shelf and one rack, and he is kind enough to keep his complaints to himself. Still, I can't wait to have my dream closet, inspired by these closets with chandeliers. 

  This is apparently Mariah Carey's closet...a girl after my own heart! 

 I love the girly pink chandelier here.  

 A chic closet/bathroom combo. How fabulous is that claw foot tub?

The black chandelier really stands out in this space. 

I love how clean and bright this closet is.  

It's not the biggest space, but the wallpaper really gives this closet character.

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Happy Friday

November 8, 2013

I hope you all have a dreamy, sparkling, shining weekend! God bless!

image via

Be More Confident

November 6, 2013

Swag, verve, moxie--whatever you call it, there's confidence at the heart of it. It's about being friendly, energetic, assertive, and comfortable. Since it's not always easy to pull this off, here are some tricks to put into practice that will instantly make you appear and feel more confident.    

Even if you're not happy, smiling a genuine smile can actually help to boost your mood. And when you're in a good mood, your body language changes, thus making you appear more confident and more attractive. 

Correct your posture
Again, it's all about body language. Hunching over with your head down tells the world that you are small and shy, uncomfortable with yourself. But walking with your head held high and your shoulders back screams that you are a woman who is sure of herself, who loves her body, and knows how to work it. 

Get chatty
Greet your barista with a smile, say hello to the clerk at the checkout and ask her how she's doing, have a friendly exchange with a receptionist--do this without fishing for something out of your purse or looking down at your phone. Make eye contact, offer a smile, and be courteous. And when you meet eyes with someone on the street, say hello or good morning or whatever is appropriate. 

Make and maintain eye contact
For some reason making and maintaining eye contact is viewed as a bit aggressive, and most people become uncomfortable and look away. There's actually nothing aggressive about it if you do it right. It's not a staring contest (please don't stare or you'll look totally creepy!!), just keep a natural, relaxed look on your face, smile and nod occasionally. People will think you're friendly, attentive, and most of all, confident. 

Play up your strengths
If you're funny, be funny. If you can dance your butt off, take every opportunity to bust a move. History buff? Work it into the conversation.  Your talents and skills are what make you special and unique--don't hide or downplay them. And no matter what, never apologize for the things that you're good at or that interest you.

Laugh at yourself 
Remember in Legally Blonde when Elle Woods showed up at a party in a sexy bunny costume while everyone else was in jeans and tees? She should have been mortified, but instead she smiled and played the whole thing off. We've all tripped on a crack in the sidewalk, spilled some portion, if not all, of a meal down our blouse,  or worn the wrong outfit to a party, but instead of getting flustered, learn to laugh it off.

Fake it 'til you make it 
Having confidence is like playing a musical instrument; if you want to be good at it, it'll take practice. There will most certainly be times when you don't feel so confident, and those are the moments when you must plant a smile on your face, give your hair a playful toss and act the part. Keep it up, and eventually being more confident will start to come naturally to you.

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Make Your Moisturizer a Multi-Tasker

November 4, 2013

Your face moisturizer can do so much more than just hydrate your skin; you can also mix it with vitamins or other cosmetics to create custom beauty products. Here are four brilliant ways to make your moisturizer do double duty.


Vitamin E = A vitamin-enriched night cream and eye cream

Blush = Cream blush

Shimmer powder or eyeshadow = Liquid illuminator

Foundation = Tinted moisturizer

photo by Angelica Golden

Happy Friday

November 1, 2013

Wishing you a sparkling weekend! God bless!

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