74th Annual Golden Globes, Sit and Sip in Style posted in: Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, How Tos, Recipes

Hollywood award season kicks off this Sunday with the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards airs this Sunday, January 8th on NBC at 8PM EST/5PM PST. This year’s host is Jimmy Fallon, so even if you’re not typically into awards shows, Fallon just might make you a believer with his sharp wit, boyish charm and spot-on impressions. And if you are into awards shows, AND all of the fashion pomp and circumstance that goes along with them…then you can get your eye candy fix by tuning into E! News at 6PM EST/3PM PST for the red offering up close views of your favorite stars’ attire and accessories.

Whether you plan to enjoy the evening with your BFFs all dolled to the nines, stay in and channel Zsa Zsa in a silk robe, heeled Marabou slip-on and favorite chandelier earrings, or opt for low-key lounge-out in your comfiest althleisure wear, you can get festive by preparing a few easy appetizers to serve with this year’s official Golden Globes cocktail.

moet-diamond-cocktail

This year’s signature drink, “The Moët Diamond”, was created by model and Actress, Olivia Culpo. Sit back and sip in style with this smooth creation:

The Moët Diamond

Ingredients:
3 ounces Moët Imperial Brut Champagne
½ ounce orange liqueur
2 dashes cherry bitters
1 rock candy stick

Preparation:
Pour orange liqueur into champagne flute and add dash of cherry bitters. Gently pour chilled champagne. Garnish with rock candy coated swizzle stick.

If you’re feeling really enthusiastic, you can prepare your own version of the official Golden Globes menu created by Chef Alberico Nunziata that over a thousand of the biggest names in Hollywood will enjoy.

As for me, I’ve perused the offerings for inspiration for my own laid-back offering of easy eats. I plan to enjoy a nice salad and
Moët Diamonds paired with cream puffs.

Cheers!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Cinco de de Mayo meet Rosa Picante, The Margarita of the Year posted in: Food and Beverage

I come up for air for the first time since January and with wide-eye surprise say, “¡Hola Mayo!”

Needless then to say that it’s been steady nose to the grindstone for me all year. I’m not complaining, but I will take the holiday as reason enough to take a beat and spice things up with a delicious cocktail.

Cinco de Mayo 2016 Rosa Picante Margarita of the Year

And when I say cocktail on Cinco de Mayo, I mean Margarita….on this date is there realllly any other?  What I have in mind to imbibe is not your average everyday ‘rita. I shall celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Rosa Picante Margarita – which by the way, holds the 2016 title of Margarita of the Year (yes, there truly is such a title).

The Rosa Picante Margarita was presented by Jordan Corney of San Antonio. The bartender was quoted saying, “Jalapeño margaritas are everywhere. I was looking for a way to take that and dress it up a little.”  – and that he certainly did. This spicy yet subtle cocktail has hints of rosewater for a splash of sophistication. And the presentation is gorgeous – behold the beautiful snap below from Rebecca of Sugar and Soul.

Patron Rosa Picante Margarita  Photo Credit: Rebecca of Sugar & Soul

Patron Rosa Picante Margarita
Photo Credit: Rebecca of Sugar & Soul

 

Here’s what you’ll need and the method to the beautiful madness:

Ingredients:

2 oz Patrón Silver

.5 oz Patrón Citrónge Lime

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Ginger Syrup

+  Barspoon of Jalapeño Oil

+  Dash of rosewater

+ Rose petal sea salt

+Rose Petal and Jalapeño slice, optoinal

Method:

Combine tequilas, lime juice, ginger syrup and jalapeño oil in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill.

Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe that has been half-rimmed with rose sea salt, and top with a dash of rose water. Garnish with a rose petal and/or jalapeño slice, if available.

 

Enjoy solo or serve this beautiful and daring drink up for your friends.

 

Cheers!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events

 

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Halloween Etiquette: Tanja Lynn’s Top Tips to Avoid a Sticky Situation posted in: Etiquette, Halloween, Holidays, Uncategorized

Ding Dong! Are you ready for the mob of monsters expected to ring your bell on Hallows Eve? On October 31st, kids from coast to coast will get all dressed up to…well walk in the dark, talk to strangers, and get free candy. But it’s all in good fun.

As an Etiquette Consultant, I see this annual night of costumed celebration and candy, as a perfect time to reinforce manners, civility and neighborly conduct with our families. As
a home host, the focus is a safe environment (and sweet treats, of course), and as a wrangler of the little ghouls and goblins, the primary role is to make sure that trick-or-treaters are safe and respectful.

Posh Petal with edit

 

Here are my top tips to everyone has a Happy Halloween:

  1. 1. Know the Code.
    1. Lights On – Open for Business! An “on” porch light, well-lit home, and lit decorations are all signals that the home is accepting trick-or-treaters.
    2. Lights Out – sorry, we’re closed. If the porch light is off, the outside is not lit or all lights are off, simply move along to the next home.
    3. When a participating home runs out of candy, turn off the lights. You’re now closed.
  1. 2.    Ring the doorbell or knock once. Homeowners are expecting you. If after 30 seconds to a minute no one comes to the door, move on. They may unable to come to the door at the moment.
  2. 3.    Light it up and clear it out.Make sure that your drive and walkway is well-lit and free of trip hazards. Secure and mark items such as such as: electrical cords or sprinkler heads that could trip costumed visitors.
  1. 4. Use your magic words. When someone comes to the door, say “Trick or Treat.” Follow-up with a “Thank You” and “Happy Halloween”. And if someone makes a comment or ask about your costume, be sure to politely respond.
  2. 5. To Be or Not To Be….Alone. If your child/children will be joining friends in another neighborhood to trick-or-treat, make sure that there is an adult chaperon. If your kids are old enough to trick-or-treat without a chaperone, have a talk with them about appropriate behavior – discussing safety and respect.
  1. 6. Be respectful of people’s property. Walk along lit paths. Don’t run. Do not discard of candy wrappers on anyone’s lawn.
  1. 7. Don’t be a greedy grabber. While one treat per visitor is customary, if someone invites you to take another – this is fine, but don’t grab five. If a bowl of candy has been left on the porch, help yourself to only one piece, or one treat bag.
  1. 8. Stay on the Path. Keep to streets, drives, walkways and paths. Don’t take short cuts through lawns or flowerbeds.  Not only could you damage the landscaping, you could hurt yourself.
  2. 9. Be respectful of the time. Most cities schedule times for trick-or-treating (check the local news stations, fire department or town/neighborhood’s facebook page). Abide by the set times, and as a general rule, don’t trick-or-treat 9PM.
  3. 10. Don’t Double-Dip.  Visit a house only once. No matter how delicious the goodies, if you have been there before, you should not go again.

Bonus Tips
A few other guidelines to commonly asked questions.

How old is too old to Trick-or-Treat?  There really is not an official cut-off age for Halloween. By natural evolution trick-or-treaters make their last round between the ages of 12 and 14 years old. However, there may be times when a child a few year beyond this age is taking the littles candy seeking. If they are in costume, give them candy too. They just want to celebrate the spirit of the holiday for one last time. Be a good sport and give to all in costume.

I don’t want to hand out candy, but don’t’ want to be labeled the neighborhood grouch. First of all, it isn’t a crime to refrain from participating in trick-or-treat festivities. Secondly, you have a few options:

  1. In the instance that you will be home, but simply prefer not to answer the door. I recommend turning off most interior lights, but be sure to leave the front walk and porch well lit. Leave a bowl of candy on a pedestal at the front door along with a note. Retreat to the family room or den for a quiet evening with a movie, book or glass of wine.
  2. Plan to have dinner out during this time. In this case, all lights should be out when you leave our home.
  3. Put your car in the garage, pull the blinds, and kill the lights to make your “no candy here” intentions clear.

 

Have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation yourself on Halloween? Sounds below with your comments.

 

On a sugar-high,

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette

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Shapie up! posted in: Events, Inspiration, Party Ideas, Trends, Weddings

OK, so if you have happened to somehow  miss the whole “selfie” movement that’s been happening the past few years, please allow me to bring you into the loop. A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. But that is so last year. The brand new, cutting-edge cool in selfies is the “Shapie”, a 3-D Selfie! Think, you reincarnate….well, sort of.

This concept extends the selfie idea to 3D. Using the self-portrait feature concept, a special software and printer can generate a 3D printable of yourself in minutes. Here’s an example of a 3D self-portrait.

Shapie-World’s-First-Full-Body-3D-Printed-Figurine

Can you say, Crazy Cool!!!

A Shapie Booth is a fantastic, fresh idea for your next event! Wanna create some wild buzz, or  ensure your party is THE Talk of the Town for the rest of the year….and beyond? This is one way that WILL do it – guaranteed!

Your guests can 3-D print themselves dressed up in their favorite duds or a fun costume. Everyone will be blown away by Shapies. And this could be THE BEST event takeaway  – ever! I mean, who is going to throw away their own little mini-me. These babies will be displayed on shelves and mantles…. as if they’re a golden Oscar. So how do you get a Shapie?

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Well, one of the tops options is the brand new technology available in the Artec Shapify Booth. This is a 3-D body scanning and automated selfie making machine.

Basically, a seriously high-tech and cutting-edge photo booth.

Here’s how it works: Step into the booth to be scanned  – it takes about 12 seconds. That’s it.  Approximately 5 minutes later, a detailed 3D model prints out automatically.

Your guests can return at a designated time (or a later date, just to be safe) to collect their printed shapie, or  this can be a great fun (not to mention well received) way follow-up after your event.

Provide Shapies as a complimentary gift to your guests, or make them available at a set price to help you raise additional funds for a charity gala.

So, tell me…Love it or leave it?

P.S. If you think this is cool, please consider sharing the post with your friends and tell that Tanja & Co. keeps you in the loop on all things cool and current in events! We would be most appreciative for your support. Oh, and by the way, if we can help you design a successful, fresh and unforgettable event to celebrate a milestone or enhance your company or organization, pop over to our “connect” page or give us a ring at 800.544.1572 to explore how we can help you!

Cheers!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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A Cinderella Story posted in: Inspiration, Weddings

The story of Cinderella continues to influence pop culture of all ages.  And this classic tale is the muse for today’s wedding design inspiration. Cinderella is a tale of unparalleled beauty and goodness that cannot be hidden.  The love story of Cinderella is one of kindness, graceful love and magic!

The color story of navy, sky blue + cornflower + and platinum, invokes, peace, faith, loyalty and love.

cinderella wedding color storyIn this color story the blending of blues creating a beautiful aesthetic and calming effect, while the platinum show strength and the addition of sparkle makes the setting sparkle like a rare diamond

The darker navy tone set a foundation that represents loyalty, integrity and trust. While cornflower is a hue that is fairly universally appealing to the eye, it also used in symbolism blue to describe something of high quality, think of a blue ribbon prize.  Sky blue symbolizes understanding and softness; a refinement along with grace, something truly sincere (like the seemingly effortless and pure connection between Cinderella and Prince Charming). Calming, excellence, loyalty, trust, sincerity – all desirable attributes of your one true love.

(And ladies, studies have shown that blue is a color that is liked and highly accepted among males (good to know if you have a groom who is quite involved and opinionated when it comes to the wedding plans).

Platinum is revered for its endurance. The beautiful silvery-white hue represents determination, grit, and seeing manifestations through to fulfillment. In our color story, platinum symbolizes both Prince Charming’s determination to find his mysterious love and Cinderella’s bravery to stand strong and walk boldly into her destiny.

A Cinderella Story Wedding Inspiration

The setting for this affair is regal, reflecting classic elegance, with a calming charm. A castle, storied mansion or even a luxury space in the Plaza for the modern girl would make for the ideal venue. On the interior, picture stately floor-standing candlesticks marking every row along the ceremony aisle, and fluffy white clouds of fresh blooms almost floating atop silver candelabra gracing reception tables. Place settings of beautiful china and crystal stemware glow in the soft candlelight all perfectly accented with scroll-style menus. The entire scene is washed in the softest blue lighting touched with a sweet kiss of pink for romance.

Aaahhh, if only we could say, “bibbity-bobbity-boo”, and the beautiful scene would magically appear.

A-musingly yours,

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

 

 

{Credits: Wedding Gown –Alfred Angelo; Shoes, Papery – whimsique}

 

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Don’t let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas – My 12 Tips of Christmas Sanity posted in: Uncategorized

While there is a special magic that comes with the holidays, there can is also stress, loneliness and the wintertime blues that often lurk around like the Grinch trying to steal your Christmas every chance he gets. To help you keep the magic of Christmas alive on the inside and out this season.  To keep all thing merry and bright for the holidays, here are my…

12 Tips of Christmas Sanity:

1.     Keep it Tight
Figure out who and what are most important to you and put your attention there. What is most important to you in your life? Once you determine what that is, make these people and things your priority, and let the other things fall in line behind  your true priority.

2. Pick Five to Thrive
The “to do” list is a mile long – Shocker!, OK, let’s get this hard reality out of the way now, you will never get to all of them in a day, and it’s highly likely that come Christmas Day there will still be things left undone. So rather than staring at this monumental task list over your third cup of coffee until you’re too geeked up to think straight, pick your top five items on the list. Now make these your focus for the day, and put the big list out of sight. Amazing, but tried and true – cutting the list down into something that is humanly possible to accomplish is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. And if you have time after you complete these five, great – knock out a more. The next morning – rinse and repeat.

3. Treat Yourself
Take time out for you. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, this is truth people. In order to make it through the holiday season with aplomb, be sure make time for yourself. Luxuriate in a quiet bath, schedule a mani/pedi, take a walk, hit the treadmill for 20, take in a game, enjoy a decadent dessert – the point is to do what you want, something that makes you fell good for a predetermined time.  Taking this time help to keep you centered and in a place where you are better prepared to handle those trying moments when you need a little Christmas magic to get through – you know like  the moment when you’re about to lose all composure and serve someone the bird, and I don’t mean turkey. Trust me – this is key.

4. Disconnect to Reconnect
Be it baking with the kids (building gingerbread houses or decorating cookies) spending a quiet evening with your love, enjoying a long-standing family tradition or creating new ones, playing board games with the fam, helping your parents with their preparations or signing up to wrap presents with your folks from church or a local civic group, put the cell phone and iPad away and enjoy good old fashioned in person fun and conversation. Reminder: These are the moments that make the special memories.

5. Create a Holiday Happenings and Happiness Blueprint
As an event planner, we virtually live days in the future long before they come to pass – walking through events in our minds from start to finish, determining who and what we need, and when and we need it to create just the right touch and to ensure a smooth event. A similar concept has proven to be very beneficial in my private life as well. Spending a little time in the quiet before the dashing and dancing begins, make a holiday list, and check it twice. Personally, I like to write notes out on a calendar for an easy “at a glance” way to stay on track, but choose whatever format works best for you. Include your commitments and be sure to account for the “me time” (refer to NO. 3 above), any gifts you need to take along with you, holiday meals (when, where, what you’re responsible for, what can be made ahead of time, and attach a shopping list), time to wrap gifts, cook, etc. (the actual prep time you need to make it all happen), and even line out attire which can be a big stress on the evening of (anyone feel me, ladies?) when you may likely be tight on time. Writing these things out at the start can really save you time and stress and help you to avoid a mid-holiday meltdown.

6. Spend Time with a Favorite Furry Friend
Even a few minutes spent in the company of a favorite furbaby can be a real stress-buster. A little play or a good cuddle can really melt away stress or put a rough day in the rearview. They can do this in mere minutes, without saying a word, just by being who they are  – our furry friends have a kind of magical power in this way.

7. To Thine Own Self Be True
Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of “what you should do”, but rather honor your authentic self. Celebrate in a way that genuinely fills your heart and the hearts of your family with the joy of the season. If feel strongly that you want to keep the holidays low-key and intimate this year, foregoing all the parties to slow down and spend quality time with your inner circle – then by all means, to thine own self be true.

8. Don’t Over-Commit.
The holiday season is a time notorious for taxing the even the most zealous of persons. While it’s a lovely thought to be able to spend time with everyone we care about and enjoy over the holidays, more often than not it simple isn’t feasible. But with hopes of Christmas magic on our side, we over-commit, rushing here and there trying to please everyone, often more focused on checking off all gathering and stops, stressed as we race against the clock. This truthfully isn’t fair to anyone – the season is just a blur of stress and you feel guilty about not spending enough time with anyone, and no one really gets to enjoy your best. Better to decline some invitations and ask friends to get together after the holidays to enjoy quality time together.

9. Be Present
When you make a commitment to someone or something, fully give your time, talent and attention to them/it. Don’t take other calls or constantly be texting with others people while you are to be spending time with the person in front of you or working on a project.

10. Consciously Count Your Blessings
I don’t mean to sound trite, but this is important. Create a habit to begin each day by saying at least three things you are thankful for. It helps put things in perspective, remind us of all that we do have, and studies have proven that people who follow this practice are generally happier people overall.

11. Let it Go
So you didn’t get around to hand-making personalized gift tags for every present under the tree or folding houseguest’s towels into tiny little reindeer – let it go. I repeat: Let. It. Go. If you don’t broadcast it, no one’s even going to know what wasn’t checked off your grand list. Heck, most won’t couldn’t recall two days later half of the details of what actual did exist. But what people will remember is how you made them feel when you were together. The important thing to remember that people want to spend time quality time with you. Don’t sweat the small stuff

12. Not All Things are Equal
Statistics show that one fourth of the U.S. population suffers from depression during the holiday season, that is 1 in 4 people. While this is unfortunate news, the good that we can take away from it is this- the realization that so many people suffer from this depression will hopefully bring some sort of comfort knowing that you are not alone in this feeling. And this feeling

For some reason, it seems like a lot of break-ups happen around the holidays (ever heard the term Turkey Dump?) and the ache in our heart for loved ones who left us far too soon can at times overtake even the happiest of us.  At a time when there’s such a focus on togetherness and celebration, it makes perfect sense how loss and loneliness can be overwhelming at this time for the year. For anyone apart in any way from a significant other or loved ones, this can pour salt in very fresh wounds.  While there’s no “quick tip” to fix this one, I can offer what helps and guides me, and hope that that it may bring you some solace during tough moments.

  • If you feel alone –well, you are not alone.
  • Realize that the holidays may not bring about the merriment and joy for everyone you know as it does for you and your family. And while it is fine to spread good cheer, do careful not to come on too strong, forcing your feelings on everyone you meet.
  • When my heart ache for loved ones lost to consuming levels, I don’t fight it. When in an appropriate place, I embrace my feelings, and am somehow thankful for them – for they remind me of just how much and true I have loved and been loved, and of the great blessing and power in relationships. Then, I think back to special times shared (and yes, often through tears-stained eyes), lessons learned from the special someone, and send up love and thanks for having been blessed to have had them in my life….even if wasn’t nearly long enough.
  • Open my heart and home to those who may not have loved ones nearby during the holidays. I am thankful for a family who has always had an open door and open arms for friends who weren’t able to be with their loved ones for the holidays. Knowing that you can be such a blessing to someone else is a wonderful feeling, and we were blessed in return. And adding in a new flavor to the ix can be a really good thing for all.
  • And if would prefer to skip December altogether, if all the merriment and holiday hoopla makes you want to hurl mistletoe at everyone you meet, then I offer this: Find your kind.  Being in the company of others who understand your feelings is often enough to begin to lift our spirits.

I hope these tips are helpful, and that even one of them can help to make your season a little brighter. Do you have other tips that help you get through? Please tell us in a comment below.

Oh and ’tis the season of caring and sharing, so we’d love it if you would share news of us, our posts and services with your friends!

 

Happy Holidays,

Signature Tanja & Co. Events

 

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2015 Color of the Year: Marsala posted in: Events, Fashion, Trends

marsala 2015 color of the yearWhile the past few picks having been bright and bold, this year’s choice is all about sophisticated, natural earthiness. The Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala (PANTONE 18-1438), a red-brown hue named for the Sicilian wine.

Marsala is a natural, sophisticated lady.  Having an organic nature but totally about understated luxury, she is tasteful, subtle, and elegant while exuding natural earthiness. According to Pantone’s panel of experts, it’s a color that “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability.” And hello, who among us could not benefit from more of this goodness in our lives, Here’s what Lisa Eisenman, Pantone’s Executive Director has to say about the choice:

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Marsala has a gentle strength about her – completely capable and comfortable standing on her own, yet pleasant company to a variety of colorful characteristics. This highly varietal shade combines beautifully with several neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. And due to its having burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

The shade is actually quite universally appealing making it translate easily into fashion, beauty, event and interior design. When it comes to designing event spaces and styling interiors, this robust hue is a beautiful choice. The rich, full-bodies red-brown shade brings warmth to the ambiance of an event and interior settings. The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors. Use monochromatic tones with this shade for a sophisticated ambiance or pair it with a bright blue or lavender to show-off this colors true range.

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Regardless whether you decide on just a touch or a total Marsala makeover, we think you can set quite the stylish tone with the color. 

 So what do you think of Marsala – love it or leave it? Would you use it in your event or wear it to a party? Have any other pairing suggestions? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

 

Wishing you an inspiring day!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas posted in: Cool Products, Entertaining Essentials

Hear the bells, jingle jingle, ’tis the season to mix-n-mingle! No matter if you are traveling across the country or a mile down the road to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, you will likely want to bring your host a gift to show your appreciation. Here some of our favorite finds for host gifts this season:

Cool Pour

cool pour wine chiller

For the hurried hosts, try Cool Pour. This cool gadget keeps white wine chilled and cools down red wine in minutes,and the twist-stopper feature preserves unfinished wine for later. Plus it has an easy-pour spout prevents drips and spills, and makes serving a breeze. Cheers!

$19.99 | Brookstone

Smiles by the Handful

popcorn tin

Cheddar cheese,caramel, and butter flavored popcorn comes artfully packaged in a special tin designed by San Francisco artist Rex Ray. The tin is exclusive (so there’s a limited number out there) to Neiman Marcus and features a fanciful interpretation of NM’s iconic butterfly.

$50 |Neiman Marcus

Sip in Style

kw kiss napkinWe love these cocktail napkins by Kelly Wearstler!  Give your party scene a unique twist with these luxe napkins feature Kelly’s signature kiss monogram atop a soft, washed linen. Perfect for striking up conversation at any dinner party.

$75 | Kelly Wearstler

Cookies

EM choc cover gingerbread cookie

A delicious twist on classic gingerbread cookies,these cute little confections by Edward Mac are  layered with fine milk chocolate.

Muffin Top


DKA bakery hamper

From the chef who gave the world Cronuts, Dominique Ansel has baked up yet another unique confection, the DKA. It’s a treat equivalent to a caramelized croissant. Flaky with a crispy, caramelized outer shell, served up in a chic full two-dozen hamper ….can you say, “happy holidays”?!

$136 | dominiqueansel

Bring the champagne….candle!


From the moment you illuminate one you will notice why these candles are made from the purest high grade ingredients. The fragrance comes through perfectly, lingering in the air even after the candle has been extinguished. And because of the high quality of the ingredients, the fragrances are pure, clean and refreshing. Once your host burns a Voluspa Candle, they may not want to burn anything else!

$16 | Voluspa Candles

Carry Your Champagne In Style!

Veuve_Clicquot_Fridge

Keep the bubbly chilled–even if your fridge is full–with a Veuve Clicquot “Le Fridge.” A perfect gift for anyone over twenty-one, this reusable retro champagne case keeps your Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label cold for up to two hours.

$55 | select stores nationwide

 

We’d love to know which of these you’d like to give (or receive) this holiday season!  Leave us a comment below!

 

Cheers!

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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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