T’s Favorite Things 2014 posted in: Cool Products, Great Products, Society News

Lock it In
This classic cuff bracelet is dressed up with luggage lock hardware to achieve an edgy look. I’m loving the white and paprika (featured in photo), but it  also comes in cognac and tiffany blue.

joanna maham cuff$125 | Joanna Maxham

 

Belt It Out
For the girl on the go, this hip low-slung waist belt bag will never  be mistaken for your  uncle’s fanny pack. There’s been a revival of this accessory that’s been rockin’ the runways the past few seasons, and this little number by Tory Burch is among the latest turnouts. This Robinson waist pack is American sportswear at its finest.  Made of durable saffiano leather waist belt bag composes a haute little bag that perfectly fit a phone or a compact, credit card and lisptick which is finished with logo details on its magnetic front flap and pouch threads on the back, and a slim adjustable-length with polished hardware.  And Bonus! While these two chic pieces come beautifully boxed as one unit, the belt can be worn alone and the bag carried by hand – making it a 3-in-1  – now that’s a hard working accessory. The Robinson is available in navy, black, white, pink, and my pic, silver metallic leather.

TB waist belt bag$225 | shopbop

 

Happy Feet
Envelop tired tootsies in silky soft warmth. These pure cashmere slippers offer the ultimate in indoor footwear luxury. Slip them on and the day simply melts away, and that alone makes these cozy and lightweight slippers the perfect gift for anyone (other styles also available for the gents)

$99, but currently available for a steal at $49 | cashmere boutique 

 

To the Letter
Wearable art. This sums up all creations Mary Katrantzou, and she follows her signature style to the letter (literally) with the Perspex clutch. This debut collection features the not surprising letter choice shown below with remaining characters of the alphabet expected to be released in coming seasons. Katrantzou’s signature style is all about illusion – perception and perspective, and channeling that visual expression into wearable Objets de Art. These pieces are more than something to carry, but are pieces of interactive art. Perfect for the fashionista who appreciates art, any item from Kantrtantzou’s collection will not disappoint.

mary k clutch

$2,870 and up | Mary Katrantzou


Drive a Wedge
Sometimes driving a wedge between two can be a good thing. Example – Cold whiskey is good. Watered down whiskey is not. Drive a wedge between the two so that never again shall they meet. How, you ask? With the Whiskey Wedge.  You simply pour water into the included double old fashioned glass, insert the mold, and freeze. Once frozen, add in your favorite whiskey. The ice’s wedge shape melts far more slowly than a typical cube thanks to the limited surface area in contact with the drink, meaning your whiskey gets nice and chilled but keeps its integrity to the last drop. Plus it creates a totally cool presentation!

whiskey-wedge

$14.95 | Uncrate 


Pucker Up
Markus Lupfer’s fun approach to design is a hit with those in the know, and collaborations with Cacharel and Mulberry have secured his reputation as the go-to for wearable statement knitwear. Channel the brand’s playful sense of glamour in sequined sweaters and slogan tees. In case you haven’t noticed from our brand graphics, we love to seal all great works with a kiss which makes this chic Smacker  T one of my faves.

markus-lupfer-white-lace-lip-embellished-cotton-jersey-t-shirt-product-1-2864086-582702080

 $90 and up | Markus Lefur


Turn Back Time
The fashion-forward Museum Wrap Watch was inspired by one of the label’s own pieces. The company was inspired by its own previous creation after recently buying back one of their vintage timepieces once owned by a Hollywood legend, Elizabeth Taylor. And  bit of interesting trivia, the company bought back the late actressess 1960 model in an estate sell for $15,000.  This ‘re-release” of sorts is fashioned in polished solid stainless steel, features a retro chic double-wrap hinged bangle with a channeled texture, and would be a striking statement piece to any ensemble.

movado wrap watch

$795 | Movado

 

Top if Off
My Momma always taught me to share, so it would be a crime to keep this high-style find all to myself. This updated fedora by Janessa Leone is tres, tres chic! It features an understated  leather and silver-plated band, giving the timeless topper a modern update.jessa leone fedora2

$170 | Singer22

 

Circle of Life
Wearing one’s birthstone has been said to connect you with a stronger sense of yourself, and these beautiful necklaces are the perfect way to do just that. These pieces make a great gift all ages and relations of women in your life. You can also customize the pieces to include more than one birthstone which makes them perfect for mothers and grandmothers – include all children’s or grandchildren’s birthstones in a single piece to help a loved one feel connected to all her special someone’s every day. And at this price point – they’re a steal!

jlynn birthstone circle september

$86 | Jlynn Jewelry

 

 

Glass Act
Our current eye candy crush are from the latest Chanel eyewear collection

chanel butterfly_sunglasses-sheet.png.fashionImg.hi

$$ varies depending upon retailer | Chanel


#Clutch
A little bit kitsch? Perhaps, but when I saw this handbag, it was Love at First Site. The #Hashtag clutch by Edie Parker is so cool. It’s the perfect accessory add a little fun to any outfit, and lighten the mood on any night out…..and that makes it #Clutch.

edie parker hashtag clutch2$1,495 | Edie Parker

 

Tea Time
Young social butterflies can hone their hostess skills with one of these adorable tea sets. This sweet service comes nestled inside a gingham-lined wicker basket, and is complete with a teapot, sugar bowl and creamer, as well as plates, cups, saucers, spoons and forks for 2. There are several sets to choose from, such as butterfly (pictured here) ballerina, bunny, tulips and more. All sets come are presented in a darling motif-appropriate caddy. Your little hostess will be ready for tea time any time with one of these charming service sets.  butterfly tea set

$34.5 and up | chasing fireflies

 

Spot On
Have a globe-trotting loved one that sometimes goes to far away places as in so far out that they go off the grid? Well, the Spot Global Phone may be just the thing to keep them connected. A satellite phone is possibly the best bet for keeping your loved ones connected. This Sat phone may look dated and does has a massive antenna, but it will work in most corners of the globe, where many other cell phones do not. It can also withstand temps as low as -4 and as high as 131 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect travel companion for mountain climbers, wilderness explorers, and anyone who goes off the beaten path. We’re sure Jack Bauer would approve.

spot global phone

At $500, it’ll cost you a little less than an off-contract iPhone 5S. |FindMeSpot


It’s so easy to be knotty
Brilliantly colorful fleece squares are waiting to be transformed into the ultimate snuggle-up blanket. Lay out the squares in any pattern you want – mix them up randomly. create a custom pattern – it’s entirely up to the designer! Once you have it all planned exactly the way you want, all you have to do is start knotting them all together. Forget needles, stitching, and stuffing. With this kit, all you need are your fingers and imagination!

knot a quilt
$28 | Fat Brain Toys


Haute Shot
There’s few things you can drink that offer the kick of a quaffed shot. And with these Alexander Wang Shot Glasses, you can take one anywhere, anytime you feel like it — and do so in style. This chic and stackable set of  four glasses is made from 100% stainless steel with a pale gold finish, and they fit perfectly inside the included carrying case. Great either as a stand alone gift, or as part of the coolest-ever ‘hang-tag’ on a bottle of your friend’s favorite libation.alexander-wang-shot-glasses

$115 | uncrate


What’s Cookin’?
A deluxe cooking kit for your pint-sized chef. The set features an array of tools perfectly fitted for kids’ smaller hands: a baking pan, a mixing bowl, scissors, muffin liners and 5 illustrated recipe cards that correspond to the color-coded measuring cups and spoons. Hands-on lessons in kitchen safety, science, measuring, nutrition, seasonings and clean up are also part of the experience. Noteworthy: This kit has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.

chlds cooking kit with apron

$39.95 | MindWare


Geek Chic
For the hi-tech gadget gurus in your life, check out  Plastc Card. This single intelligent card can replace up to 20 cards while being nearly future-proof, it features a magnetic stripe, barcode display, NFC, Chip, and PIN capabilities, Bluetooth for syncing with the sleek app (that also lets you check your many balances in one place), and wireless charging. Best of all, you control the action via an E-ink touchscreen, giving you security measures and convenience that competing cards just can’t offer. plastc card

$155 | uncrate

 

Taken it back to old school…
It’s so cool. A long-time best seller for some specialty toy retailers and now easy to find at your local Target. Bring back family game night and get kids to step away from the TV or computer with this fun board game. Qwirkle combines the concepts of dominoes and Scrabble with its brightly colored wood blocks. While the game involves simple matching of colors and shapes, it also also requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy making it a favorite for all ages.

qwirkle
$21 | Target

 

Crowning Comfort
Introduce a feminine edge to your winter warmers with the Markus Lepfur Tiara beanie.The bejeweled embroidery brings fun, glamour and artful decoration to any winter look.

markus-lupfer-knitted-tiara-beanie-hat-p752720-1669577_image
$230 | Jules B.


Fully Charged
Your phone ever run out of power while on the go? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Well, this gadget is a game changer, and the perfect gift for the movers and shakers on your list. The Anker Astro3 provides a convenient way to charge your phone and mobile devices anywhere at any time. While there are a bazillion options on the market, here’s what sets this little gem apart – it comes with multiple (yes, as in you can charge several devices at once) smart USB ports that detect signals coming from your cords — so it knows exactly how to charge your devices at full speed. You can charge an iPhone up to 6 times! And a simple “shake” starts a charge or displays the remaining power level. Now that’s what we call a powerful device.

anker astro3

$50 |Amazon

 

Secret Service Agent
So much more than a pen, please pardon my candidness, but this is one badass writing utensil. Uzi has managed to turn a mere pen into a life-saving tool. It will write upside or under water, and that’s only the first of its features. The crown also doubles as a glass breaker (you know should you ever get trapped in your vehicle). And if things get really bad, you can rely on the hidden handcuff key inside the top of this pen. Oh, and if you gift this to a friend who lives to tell the tale of using all the features, pen the story because both of you just may find that this pen also has the power to make you a lot of money.

uzi-tactical-pen

$16 and up | Uzi


The Buck Stops Here
OK, so I’m no outdoorsman – shocker!, but I do keep some in company. So for the Outdoorsman on your list, I suggest the Buck Travelmate Kit. This single-unit spacesaver tool combines a 4.87-inch, stainless steel blade that’s serrated for spreading, slicing, and chopping with an antimirobial injection-molded sheath (and all of us who are even a little OCD – breathe). Set into the sheath is a handy fork which also works as a bottle opener, can opener, flathead screwdriver, and grill scraper. That’s a lot of utility, packed in not a lot of space.

buck-travelmate

$50 | Amazon

 


For What Ales You

For the connoisseur of brew, one of the most iconic beer brands around has something special up its sleeve this fall. Guinness just released, 1759, a limited edition amber ale based on a 200-year-old recipe using a blend of traditional beer malt and peated whisky malt, along with Guinness yeast giving this small batch brew’s rich taste distinctive notes of caramel and warming butterscotch. The collection is named for the year that Arthur Guinness signed the lease for St. James’ Gate in Dublin – in case you were curious. The Guinness The 1759 is available strictly as a limited edition, and each bottle is packaged in an elegant black velvet box, making it the perfect gift. Now is your chance to enjoy a piece of Guinness brewing history, before it’s gone forever.

guinness-1759

$35 | Guinness


Let’s Spoon!

This edible treat is anything but cookie cutter. The sugar-goodness geniuses at Edoughble make small batch, ready-to-eat cookie dough.  These sweet sensations are made with the highest quality ingredients, and are devoid of eggs or preservatives. Packaged in charming ice cream pints, and with 8 one-of-a-kind, deliciously sinful flavors to choose from, what are you waiting for?


edoughable

$8-9 | Edoughble

 

All-Star Football Fan
Here’s a fun way to look at America’s new favorite pastime. Combining off-the-wall trivia questions with hardcore stats and nickname puzzlers, the All-Time, All-Team Pro Football Quiz contains stumpers for even the most well-versed football fan. Whether you’re a Cheesehead or a Broncomaniac, you’ll find quizzes for every team in the league—from the teams you love to the teams you love to hate. This beautifully crafted puzzler hand-bound in American Bison Leather will attract the admiration of all who hold it in their hands. Newly released edition: August 2014

graphic image football quiz book

$98 | Graphic Image


So Fly!
There’s no way your luggage could be mistaken for someone elses at the airport when it’s a reflection of your personal interests and experience. This customizable  luggage and luggage tags let’s YOU be the designer. Family, friends, pets, vacation photos, business logos – the only limit on what your bag or tag can look like is your imagination! So get creative!

myfly-gear-hero-03

$7.95+ | Luggage Pros

Bitter is Sweet
For the cocktail conessiour, a make your own bitters kit. Using bitters is one of our shortcuts for taking homemade cocktails from average to cocktail-bar-worthy. With this kit, the mixologist can let inspiration be their guide as they create their very own signature flavor masterpiece.  There are 4 kit options available: Naked – it’s bitters in their birthday suit, Cherry Vanilla, Habanero and Cacao, and each includes: dry Iingredients, sgitation jar, dropper bottles and labels, filters, funnel, and  instructions. Create your custom flavor then add Sugar and Spirit.

bitters kit. naked. pc ryan dausch

$45 | Easy & Oskey


Peace In
For thousands of years people have used meditation to move beyond the mind’s stress-inducing thoughts and emotional upsets  into the peace and clarity of present moment awareness. The variety of meditation techniques, traditions, and technologies is nearly infinite, but the essence of meditation is singular: the cultivation of mindful awareness and expanded consciousness.

It is accurate to say that the purpose of meditation depends on the individual. However, it is also true that anyone who meditates regularly receives profound benefits on all levels of well-being – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Give the gift of peace to a loved one through these guided meditations. We have to agree, there’s no place the Om.

201312-omag-favorite-things-meditation-cds-250x250

$36+ | Chopra Center

 

Hot Chocolate On a Stick
What’s better on a cold winters day than a creamy cup of hot chocolate – only hot chocolate on a stick. That’s right – this is a new way to take your cuppa to go. When you send this gift, you’ll be thanked twice: once when they open it, and again when they actually enjoy this delicious alternative to the more expected coffee or tea. At the end of each stick is just enough Belgian milk, dark or hazelnut-flavored chocolate to make one perfect cup of hot cocoa. Simply stir into a cup of hot milk and allow the chocolate to melt. The result is the creamiest, most scrumptious hot chocolate they’ll ever enjoy. The gift tin includes three flavor varieties – dark chocolate, Belgian milk chocolate and hazelnut. Yes, please!

hot-chocolate-on-a-stick-gift-tin

$35 | Dean & Deluca

 

Pairendipity
Adorable coordinating mommy & me ballet flats. Pairendipity Shoes were designed specifically to bring busy moms a comfortable and stylish shoe with a coordinated style available for their toddlers. From the time most little girls can walk, they can be found trying to wear mom’s shoes. Pairendipity creates a sweet way for mommy and their mini me’s connect. The little in your life will looks so cute and feel like such a big girl wearing a petite version of Mommy’s shoe and mom can feel connected knowing that their little princess is walking in mommy’s footsteps.

pairendipity mommy & me shoes

 

@$60 | Pairendipity


Suit Up
Not your ordinary suit bag, this is a garment chamber. Made by LAT56°, an edgy and innovative travel brand that focuses on streamlined functionality and bold styling, this suit packing system provides a space-saving, anti-wrinkle garment hanger and protective cover constructed of a high-performance technical textile product which protects the garments, aids rolling and reduces wrinkles. Arrive pressed and presentable as you would with a traveling tailor, minus the extra airfare.

lat56. suit packing system$90 | Lat 56


En Pointe
The Christian Louboutin of Nail Polish. No literally.  The designer has released a collection of polishes to give you one high-profile mani and pedi. In addition to the luxe polish, the bottle it comes in is a little piece of art that will add style and elegance to any vanity. The beautifully handcrafted glass bottle design is inspired by historic European architecture, and the perfectly sculpted cap was designed to stand as tall as the Ballerina Ultima (8 inches), the highest heel Louboutin has ever designed. The weight and taper are inspired by calligraphy and paint brushes, enabling the application to be a truly artistic experience. This luxe polish is available in 10 glossy colors including Rouge Louboutin, but of course!

christian louboutin nail polish 2$50 | Nordstrom

 

Words of Wisdom
A gift that will give the gift of love and inspiration all year long and for years to come. This rustic wooden box is filled with 365 handmade cards, each printed with a thoughtfully chosen quote (gathered truths) for each day of the year. It is like a work of art, filled with ideas and encouragements to guide you or a special friend or family member each day.  med_365thoughts_subimage

$80 | Bespoke Custom Gifts

 

Project Yourself
Looks and acts like a tablet, but also function as a projector. Can you say, “Cool!!”? Whenever and wherever convenient,  you can convert most any blank wall into  an instant home theater! What’s not to love?!
lenovo tablet theater

$500 and up | lenovo

 

Soak it Up
For those who are passionate about high-quality body-care products, may I suggest Bauldelaire. This company is just as passionate about producing high-quality beauty products and set on presenting its distinctive fragrances in elegant packaging. For bath & beauty buffs, you cannot go wrong with a gift from this line. My personal favorite is sweet almond, but they have many other lovely scents such as bergamot, apricot and lavender.

bauldelaire$16 and up | bauldelaire

 

Swing from the Chandelier
These black, faux-diamond earrings will put an elegant finishing touch on any outfit. Add these chic chandeliers to neutral toned frocks to turn the volume on your style up a notch put a little extra WOW in an evening wardrobe.

chico chandelier earrings

$39 | Chicos


State of Mind
A picture worth a thousand memories. Select your home state, or one where many special memories were made, upload your own photos, then have them printed in a state-shaped collage and framed. A perfect personal and distinctive gift for your family and friends. (note: Due to personal nature of the work, image samples not shown here. Click link below to see state collages).

us photo collage

$42 and up | Minted

 

Hoop It Up
These Alexis Bittar Elements Dark Phoenix Crystal Shard Hoop Earrings features shards of smooth golden metal collect with Swarovski crystal in a rich, mesmerizing blue, to accent a hoop earring of textural ruthenium plating. Stunning. Beautiful.

alexit bittar hoops$175 | Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Sealed with a Kiss
This solid bronze kiss dish by Kelly Wearstler is a sexy and chic home accessory that promises to add a dose of iconic personality to any space. Handcrafted by artisans and inspired by the designer’s love of classic sculpture and figural form,this unique and rich solid bronze dish is features a distinctive rough-hewn patina, it is an effortlessly chic catch all for jewelry, keys or paperclips that promises to add a sexy allure and raw elegance to any desk or vanity. And everyone needs a little kiss.

kelly wearsterl kiss dish

$350 | Kelly Wearstler


|Worth Your Salt
Gustus Vitae Condiments. Their name means ‘Taste of Life’ in Latin, and their mission: getting the spices off the rack and onto your plate. For trying new things. For making food taste spectacular. Select one of the curated artisan salts, gourmet seasonings sets, and spice blends, or make a unique gourmet gift set that matches your personality or that of a loved one. The spices are housed in these great magnetic tine which are displayed on a handsome stainless steel plate that for display or easy mount onto a wall for a personalized and unique presentation. A beautiful addition to any kitchen, our deluxe gourmet gift set is a handsome, practical gift for cooking enthusiasts of any level of experience.

Gustus-Vitae salts$25+ | Gustus Vitae


Beautylicious
Receiving these beauty boxes is like having a friend in the beauty  biz. Birchbox is a beauty subscription service. Receive a monthly delivery of personalized beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples every month from from beloved cult brands, the newest up-and-coming lines, and everything in between. The boxes are personalized and available for both men and women and are only $10 (women) or $20 (men) per box. Loved ones will be gifted with coolness from you all year long.

2014 favorite things images
$120 (women) $240 (men) for a whole year’s subscription – 12 gifts! |birchbox

Cruisin’
Cruise the Web in style, zoom through work, e-mails and dominate games in style with this 2.4 GHz wireless technology mouse. A simple plug-and-play USB nano receiver , adjustable high-res optics will have you cruisin’ in no time flat. Available in These devices are available in Lamborghini’s flagship model, the Murcielago, BMW, Viper or Mustang, feature a 30′ range and working headlamps and taillights.

lamborbhini mouse$59.99 | Sharper Image


Ice Queen
Though I’ve rarely met a piece of ALexis Bittar that I didn’t like, this necklace from the designer’s Golden Ice Marquis Collection, could melt even the coldest of hearts. Lovely pavé diamonds accent the claw-shaped prong of this quartz necklace set in 18k yellow gold. In a word – stunning. The picture simply doesn’t do this piece justice. alexis bittar diamond and quartz necklace$2795 | Saks Fifth Avenue

 

The Fixer-Upper
This guide is the perfect assistant for the handyman (or woman) in your life, or the one who touts themselves as such. The book gives over 150 tips on everything from car maintenance to home repair – something that most any of us love to have on hand in a time of need.

fixing-things-xl

$11 | The Art of Fixing Things

 

You Make My Heart Beat Faster
This product line from Wahoo Fitness is new this year, and I Am Obsessed! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Wahoo Fitness TICKR – the most advanced way to workout and train. This little device is so much more than a heart rate monitor, it is the ultimate workout wearable! The are three models to choose from that offer different (cumulative) features and slightly different price points.

In a nutshell, this ingenious gadget registers and records your workout activity to provide you with feedback for a way to analyze your actual performance. All models capture heart rate, calorie burn,and duration from your workouts, and depending upon the model, additional motion sport-specific analytics for running or biking (with more on the way) to help improve performance, and prevent injury. There’s a host of other features such as rapid double tap control, a Burn and Burst™ program to help you find the right training zone, and more. Too much to list here, but I recommend you check them out for your friends and fam, or a great gift to self!

tickrx_withiphone$59.95+ | wahoo fitness

 

My tech Mojo
So good I had to bring it back again – since our last edition in 2013, I got a new phone and a new Mophie. This is one of my daily essentials to make my life run smoothly. Power and protection for the iPhone. As I’ve said before, this is a gadget that I do not know how I ever lived without! These sophisticated cases provide stylish protection and up to 100% extra battery with the flip of a switch.

mophie$89+ | mophie

Coravin
For centuries, the cork had to be removed in order to enjoy a glass of wine—that era is over. Enter Coravin™, a system that uses a special wine access technology allowing you to pour and enjoy fine wine without disturbing the natural aging process—or committing to finishing off the entire bottle. I’ll toast to that!

coravin2$299.95 | wine enthusiast

 

 

Blazer of Glory
When a dress won’t do, slip into a powerful pant suit with a statement blazer like this one and captivate the crowd with your unconventional style. This metallic menswear-inspired piece is dressed in sparkly gold lurex for a look that’s both structured yet undeniably sexy.

jc gold lurex blazer

$158 | Juicy Couture

 

Pets Charming
 Alarm Charms feature a unique ID number to document pet’s medical condition and vital contact information via the Internet. In addition to helping identify Fido and return him to his home, this charm advises of a pet’s health conditions with universally known medical symbols and text, because of furry friends aren’t able to do it themselves.

Alarm-Charms

$25 | Alarm Charms


Some Ships are Designed to Sink
And last, though most certainly not least (by any measure), the gift for that someone who has everything (and the giver who has a cool G to drop on this special someone), well, almost…. When things on the super yacht start to get boring and the deep sea beckons, we’ve got your covered. The Uboat Worx HP Sport Sub 2 is the perfect vessel to quench your thirst for adventure on the open sea. This personal sub-craft can reach speeds of 3 knots on the surface or 2 knots when submerged, and the dual-joystick, gamepad-style controller will no doubt have you feeling like you’ve jumped right into your own game of of adventure. Launch right from the yacht or directly from a trailer and explore what lies beneath the surface with a passenger for up to six hours at a time. uboat-worx-2

$1.25M | UBoat Worx

 

Have you discovered any cool new products or have other great gift ideas? If so, please share below in a comment! Oh and if you have friends or family who may find this gift guide interesting and helpful, please do pass it along. After all, sharing is caring, and ’tis the season!

 

Cheers!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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  • Cassandra: I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This type off clever work and sharing! Keep up the great work - I've you to my blogroll.
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Let’s Talk Turkey – Top Tips for Hosting the Best Thanksgiving – ever posted in: Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To

Does the thought of hosting Thanksgiving leave feeling completely overwhelmed, or have you running around in a frenzy like a turkey with it’s head cut off (yes, you’ve just been hit with a bad pun). Well, don’t give up just yet. Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun  – for everyone…the host included!

Getting it right is all about planning and a little perspective. And when we do get it right, hosting a holiday celebration and meal can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life – truthfully. Think about it, one of the things that gives our lives real meaning and satisfies the soul is the time we spend making memories with the people who matter most to us. So here are my top tips to help you host your best Thanksgiving – ever.

 

1. Get a bird’s eye view
Think about the overview of the day – who will be in attendance, timing, activities, and of course the meal. And write down it down. Think of the who, what, where, how and how many. This outline will help you to plan properly and anticipate needs.

2. Carve out a plan
This is about logistics. Now that you have considered the number guests you will host , the time of day, the flow of meal service , what activities will keep your guests entertained prior to dinner, etc., take this information and formulate your plan. Detail what needs to get done, who will do it (remember, just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help and delegate some of the tasks. Family and friends are happy to get involved. Having a plan will ensure that planning goes smoothly.

3.  Set the scene.
Spend time carefully laying out the linen and setting the table (we share how in this video). This is a holiday that’s all about togetherness, so a long feasting table and family style meal service works well. Scape the table with the colors of fall using seasonal flowers or pumpkins and squash, and personalize each place setting with a name card. And if you would like help to setting the scene with fine linen, unique tablescape and creative special touches, give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you make this year’s celebration a memorable one.

4. Mix it up
Who says it HAS to be parade, football, dinner, nap, more football, another nap. While that schedule is all well and fine, why not mix things up a bit. Make a plan for good ol’ fashioned fun and conversation. After dinner clear the table or gather everyone in the den for a game. Trust me – it makes for good times and fun memories, and I AM one of those family members or guests who secretly wants to run for the hills or cry tummy ache when I hear the words, from an uber-enthusiastic aunt,  “let’s play a game!”. It has always needed up being a memorable and special time. Also, though we love the same faces we see each year during the holidays, consider adding in some new ones. There are always people in town do not have family or may not be able to go home for the holiday. New faces bring new energy, new perspective and expand our gift of love.

5. Give ‘em the bird
…so to speak. Send guests off with a little goody bag (Note: Yes, this does require you to prepare a little additional, so adjust your shopping lists, prep time, etc. accordingly). Purchase inexpensive food containers, and send everyone home with a little turkey and maybe even some of the fixin’s, and include a note of Thanksgiving – reminding each person that they are special to you and having them with you makes the day complete.

Bonus Tip: Get perspective
This is perhaps the most important. Before doing anything else to prepare, take time to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Yes, the day stands out in our minds as one of our favorite feasting holidays of the year, but I encourage you to take time out of your busy day to truly think about what Thanksgiving means – what it truly looks like to live a life of Thanksgiving. Taking this time to remind ourselves of the true meaning of the day and of the gift of family and friends helps us to keep things in perspective, and it also helps us to stave off the frenzy, fury and frustration that often comes with the pressures of achieving perfection – which in and of itself will be a blessing to you and everyone in your household !

So there you have it, keep these tips in mind when planning your holiday celebrations, and you are sure to be remembered as the hostess with the mostess savvy.

Do you have any other tips to share with our reader that would reduce stress or add fun to their holiday celebrations? If so, please share below in a comment.

XO,

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

 

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Forget Me Not posted in: Holidays, Uncategorized

Hi Society!

Today is Forget-Me-Not Day, a day to remember family, friends, and loved ones….and let them know that you are thinking of them.

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Not that we ever need an excuse, but this day of recognition serves as a great, gentle reminder to turn our attention to those who mean the most to us. So take this opportunity to get in touch with friends and family, especially those loved ones we haven’t seen in a while. After all, isn’t it one of the most wonderful feelings – to know you are loved and are being thought of?

Call a friend, write someone a handwritten note, meet in person – what’s important is simply to be in touch. Need a little inspiration, here are some ideas  of ways to celebrate family and friends:

  • Surprise someone with a fun balloon bouquet
  • Send an to your email address book to say, I appreciate you and are glad you are in my life.
  • Send  flowers
  • Have lunch or dinner with Mom or grandma
  • Deliver a sweet treat to a neighbor
  • Thank military personnel for their service
  • Bake cookies for your local law enforcement or fire department
  • Give Forget Me Not flower seed packets to family and friends. This is very popular. The seed packets are very inexpensive and easy to mail.
  • Phone people you haven’t seen in a while and share something that you appreciate about them, and even wish them a happy National Forget Me Not Day….they’ll get the message.

Do you have other ideas of ways you can celebrate others today? Then share your ideas below in a comment.

Oh and as always, we invite and encourage you to share this message with your friends and social circle!

XO,

The Tanja & Co. Team

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