Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Fly Lady's Guide to Gifting

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time for the holiday craze! Packed malls, daily discounts, and sheer chaos is not always as fun as it sounds. Not to mention, buying great gifts is hard! It seems as if everyone has everything and finding practical, yet unique gifts for loved ones can be a real challenge. 

Well, you know I'm all about making everything as simple and stress-free as possible so I bring to you: 
The Fly Lady's Guide to Gifting! 

Wantist.com is a great gifting concierge. First, choose what kind of gift you're looking for (ie. clever, edible, engaging, practical, funny, etc.) Then, what kind of person you're buying for (ie. fun loving, professional, geeky, artistic, etc.) And boom- the site generates a ton of gifting ideas. When I entered "I'm looking for something practical for someone fun loving" the site gave me all kinds of options, including a waffle cone maker, table in a bag, a table side fire bowl and more! Click on the photo for a longer description and a list of different sites (and their prices) to buy the product! How much easier could it get?! Love this site.


Sugarfina.com is the place to go for the candy lover in your life. But this isn't just your normal, everyday candy store. The site features everything from a mini martini giftset to champagne gummy bears! They even offer gluten free and fat free options! This is definitely the site for the classy sugar lover. 
 
Now of course, every lady knows that buying gifts for a man is hard! I mean, men have it easy. All they have to do is buy candy, jewelry or flowers and we're happy! Can't go wrong with that! But what do men want? Something practical? Something sentimental? Something unique? Well, thank goodness there is GreatGiftsForMen.com to guide your way! With everything from stainless steel shaving kits to a personalized beer growler to round whiskey stones, this site it foolproof! Trust me, all guys would want ANY ONE of the awesome gifts on this site! 
 
 Wantful.com is unlike any site I've ever seen before. It really creates a totally unique gifting experience. And honestly, what's better than getting an AMAZING gift combined with an awesome experience?! Basically, you visit the website, decide how much you want to spend and go through a variety of designer items that you think the "giftee" would like. Then Wantful sends them a book with the different options that you've selected. From there, the giftee chooses which item(s) they want! Definitely a personalized and practical gift giving experience for everyone involved.


 My last favorite gifting option is more sentimental than the rest. KindNotes.com brings back the classic warm feeling of opening a written note from someone you love. You can choose from a variety of styles and themes, as well as pre-written notes or blank ones to add your own! For example, the long distance jar includes notes that say:
-Someone is thinking about you today and every day!
-The thought of you makes me smile.
-If you think missing me is hard, then you should try missing you.
-Even though we're miles apart, my heart is always with you.
-If kisses were raindrops, I'd send you a storm.
-One more day without you is one more day closer to being with you.
-When we're together or when we're apart, you're first in my thoughts and first in my heart.

How cute is that?! This would be perfect for a parent, grandparent or long-distance family member. It's definitely a gift that keeps on giving!

So enjoy your holiday season to the fullest without worrying about crowded stores and perfects gifts. Use this guide to be everyone's favorite Santa this Christmas and all year round! Also, check out my posts on more great gifting options like Prepara Kitchen Tools and Sugarwish. 

WISHING YOU HAPPY HOLIDAYS & A SUCCESSFUL GIFTING SEASON!
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

5 Fall Fashion Must Haves



My favorite thing about a season change is the way fashion transitions with it. And, if you live around the Harrisburg area, you may have seen my fashion advice in The Patriot News. If not, check out my advice and photos on PennLive.com!

I was so inspired by this piece and of all the other participants' advice; therefore, I thought I would expand a little further on fall fashion that's easily transferable into the winter months as well. So I give you my FIVE FALL FASHION MUST-HAVES for 2013 year:

1. A Leather/Pleather Jacket: A jacket like this can be worn in so many ways and with so many outfits. Pair it with a some combats boots and an edgy hair style to bring out the inner badass, or just throw it over a cute, girl top for a totally sophisticated look. It's warm, practical and stylish-- the fall fashion trifecta!
Left to right: Photos & inspiration from Pop of Style & The Day Book

2. Scarves: Thick or thin, cottoned or sequined, simply solid or extravagantly patterned, all scarves are wonderful!!  Add them to a simple outfit or solid shirt for a cute pop or use one to bundle up for the freezing weather. Once again, scarves are totally stylish and one hundred percent practical. Check out all of these cool ways to tie any kind of scarf!
TIP: Can't find a necklace to match your outfit? Try a scarf instead!  
Top to bottom: Photos & inspiration from Groopdealz & Mae Badiyan

3. Tights: Not pantyhose, but TIGHTS. You know, those thick ones that you maybe last wore as a child! Well good news, they're totally back in style and come in all colors, patterns and textures. Throw them on with any skirt or dress and you can feel completely comfortable while also looking incredibly fashionable! That's a win-win in my book.
Photos by Daniel Zampogna & PennLive.com

4. Sweater Jackets: Throughout the fall and winter seasons, we are constantly traveling from cold outside weather to warm inside weather. Unfortunately, even the inside weather fluctuates so you have to always be prepared! This is why I LOVE having a couple great sweater jackets to throw on whenever I'm chilly, or to take off whenever I'm warm. Whether it's around the house, at work or out on the town, a sweater jacket almost always comes in handy. Don't have any? Invest in one that can transfer easily from at-home lounging to a professional working environment! 
P.S. The Aztec prints are my favorite! 
Left to Right: Photos & inspiration from The Cupcake Shop & ElfSacks

5. Boots: Short, high, leather, suede, flats, or heels, give me every boot you have! I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fall/winter shoe collection is FILLED with boots (even my slippers are boots!) I have a booties with a heel and another that are flat, as well as knee-highs with a heel and another flat pair! Then of course I have my FAVORITE boots, my Uggs. (I know that people have very strong opinions about them but I will publicly proclaim my love for Ugg boots wherever I go! They're like waking on clouds!!) So basically, find the boots that work for you and feel fabulous all season long. 

Photos by Daniel Zampogna & PennLive.com

Do you have any fall fashion staples that you can't live without?!

Thank you to the following people, companies & blogs for the above photos and fashion inspiration:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Product Alert! Prepara Kitchen Tools: For the Everyday Chef

Prepara.com is an easy and fun site for unique kitchen tools. Buy things like an ice cream topping grinder, dressing whiz or an herb savor. It's really a great and affordable place to shop for the chef who has everything!
  
Upon first hearing of Prepara.com, I immediately checked out the site and within minutes made my first purchase-- ice balls. Like a lot of people, I have a really hard time getting enough water consumption on a daily basis. In fact, it really is something that you have to constantly focus on, and as a busy lady, you may not always have the focus to drink enough regular old water. But this is a product that makes drinking water totally enjoyable. The round, ball shape of the ice not only looks totally chic, but it allows them to melt much slower than normal ice cubes. The pack that I purchased came with four plastic molds so you can make individual ice balls using any kind of liquid that you want! 

I bought this pack for my Mom for Mother's Day and she loves them! She likes filling the balls with lemon juice and cranberry juice to add to water. Also, fill the balls with coffee and drop them into your morning iced coffee to keep from watering it down. Not to mention, these are PERFECT for cocktails for the exact same reason. 


So if you're an everyday woman with a passion for the kitchen, or you're just stumped on what to get your girl friend for her birthday, definitely check out all of Prepara's Kitchen Tools!




*Photos were taken from the Prepara.com website. I received no form of compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own.*