Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I will be traveling with my family to Arizona for the next week. While I am gone, I am taking a break from the blog...but will be back for the New Year! I hope you have a magical 12 days of Christmas and New Year. I look forward to welcoming 2014 with all of you. 

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

the most magical time of the year!

Sending you a lot of joy and merry wishes during this holiday season. I hope that you have a wonderful time with family, friends, and other loved ones!

Enjoy some of these images to help get you in the Christmas spirit, toodles!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

baby it's cold outside

After an unseasonably warm weekend, it's going to get chilly-chilly tonight and tomorrow. In fact, Tuesday might bring some snow flurries! Nothing is better than a fur on Christmas Eve and a white Christmas. So baby, let it be cold outside!

Take a look at this album for more awesome pictures!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

christmas party

I threw a little Christmas party last night. It was a small gathering with friends, many who I haven't seen in a long time. Since graduating from college and entering the grown-up world, it has taken some adjustment to join the social world. To be blunt, sometimes I feel like it would be just wonderful to have a fraction of the social life I had in college! Although I am happy with this new phase of life, I miss the festive nature in gathering with friends, having parties, and attending other events that seemed effortless in school. I haven't been out too much in the Cincinnati scene, with working six days a week between the PR firm M-F and then the boutique on the weekend, sometimes all I want to do is relax at home. And, hangovers are 1000x worst when you're 22. Taylor Swift should have wrote about that in her song...
Anyways, I decided to start small with what I do best. Put on some tunes, pop the champagne, cue the lights, and let conversation, stories, and laughter flow. 
In true Christmas spirit, I was happy to let all of our holiday decorations steal the spotlight and be enjoyed by the company. As for food, I am not a culinary queen, by any stretch, so a quick stop at the grocery store to get crackers, cheese, summer sausage, humus, fruits, veggies, and cookies was sufficient. I offered white and red wine and made a signature cocktail which was a HIT for the evening. 

Here's the recipe for the most perfect holiday punch:
6 cups of cranberry juice
2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 bottles of champagne

Mix the juices together in a large punch bowl and add the champagne last. For a festive touch, cut up an orange to add the slices into the drink. The recipe serves 20. 

Of course, I had to give this outfit another go, and sported my most favorite holiday necklace EVER. Let me know if you have attended any fun holiday gatherings over the past few weeks. Do you have any favorite recipes, drinks, or outfits you'd like to share?

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season because it truly is the most wonderful time of the year, merry, merry & toodles!

fyi - the illustrations are by inslee, one of my favorite illustrators. 

AND, there are still a couple of days before Christmas...plenty of time for a party! See the playlist below for your perfect party tunes, in case this list didn't suffice earlier this month :) 

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

nutcracker decor

"The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale..." - The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Sometimes it's nice to see more "homey" images on the blog. Not that these homes aren't attractive...but let's be real people, how many homes are really ready for Architectural Digest every day? It's good to take a break from the Pinterest perfection every now and then :)
Take a look at some of these images to help getting you in the holiday spirit! We have a couple of nutcrackers over our mantle. Do you have any decorating your home?

During this time of the year, The Nutcracker is a popular production. I used to go to the Nutcracker Luncheon as a young girl, but it has been years since I have seen the show. I often forget the actual story of the Nutcracker (originally called The Nutcracker and the King of Mice), so I think it can be helpful to getting a little recap. See the Nutcracker Ballet summary of the story. 
Wishing you Christmas Eve dreams of sugar plum fairies...

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Monday, December 16, 2013

holiday orange + peacock

One of my clients is a real estate firm in Cincinnati. Each week I am responsible for managing the firm's Pinterest page; it just might be one of my favorite projects. In addition to uploading the new listings, I update the "interior decor" boards. Since it is the holiday season, I created a new board filled with some of my favorite Christmas decoration ideas for the home. 
Last week I came across this divine home from Veranda magazine. No longer does Christmas call for red and green, or even blue, silver, and gold...instead orange is the color of the holiday season! The color isn't the only change for holiday homes, it's time to revamp the animals as well. Even more exotic than the traditional reindeer, decorators are headed to the warmer climate and to welcome the peacock as the new animal of Christmas. Throw it all together with your favorite fruits and voila! 
What do you think of this beautiful home?
Have a fabulous week, toodles!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Gala

Although I don't have any grand and glorious plans for the weekend, a girl can dream! I'd love to be playing dress up in this outfit....and I don't think I am the only who will be sharing the dream. How beautiful is this ensemble?! A glamorous party skirt, festive shoes, and plenty of pizazz. 
I have probably far more taffeta party skirts than the average person needs to, black, gold...but I think it's such a fabulous way to dress up. 
Create a classic silhouette in a black turtleneck (because baby it IS cold outside)
Add a color pop in the shoes (although Bean Boots are more than chic for getting you there)
Play around with your favorite jewels and accessories. 
What are your favorite pieces to wear during the holidays?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tips on Christmas Tree Decorating

Time to trim the tree!

Here are tips on how to decorate your tree:
1. When decorating your tree, put on lights first, then garland, and then ornaments.
2. Don't hang all of your ornaments on the tips of the branches. Place other ornaments and other decorations 'inside' your tree to add depth and interest. 
3. Start by arranging the filler ornaments (like solid colored bulbs) evenly spaced around the tree. You'll need about 20 filler ornaments for every 2 feet of Christmas tree. 
4. Plan to use 10 special ornaments for every 2 feet, mixing them amongst the filler ornaments.
5. Choose a theme for your Christmas tree.
6. Too much is a good thing, you can never have too many decorations.
7. Use silk flowers or ribbons to add color, place them evenly around the tree, inside and outside of branches.
8. Make new ornaments to represent family heirlooms or add jewels to an ornament for a bit of sparkle. 
9. String your own garland with florals, satin or velvet ribbon, popcorn or cranberries.

See more ideas HERE.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Favorite Holiday Films

Harper's Bazaar shared Andrew Saffir's list of the top 10 holiday films. 
My favorites on the list are: The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life.
Another one of my ABSOLUTE favorites is Eloise at Christmastime
Nothing seems more wonderful than curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot cocoa and a holiday flick, what a perfect way to kick-off the season!

Andrew Saffir's Top 10:

1. It's A Wonderful Life
2. The Polar Express
3. Bridget Jones's Diary
4. Miracle on 34th Street
5. A Christmas Story
6. Love Actually
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
8. When Harry Met Sally
9. Elf
10. White Christmas

What are your favorite films to watch during the holiday?
 I'd love to know if you have any recommendations!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

New York snowfall

I am off to New York City for a long weekend with friends. I am so excited to see friends and celebrate with other OWU alumnae tonight at the Holiday party. My dad is going to be at the event as well, the Whitaker's crash the East Coast :) As wonderful as it will be to spend time with college friends, I can't wait to explore the city in all its holiday grandeur. I plan to play tourist tomorrow and travel with my friend Liza around the city taking in all the beauty of one of the greatest cities in the world, during the most magical time of the year. Even though snow isn't in the forecast, I thought these images were perfect to kick-off my trip. 

Have a fabulous weekend, toodles!

 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas sounds from Anthropologie

It's time for the Christmas music! Even though some radio stations have been playing holiday music since Halloween, I think the official start of jingle bells begins at the dawning of December. 
See the below playlist for the perfect mix of holiday carols, courtesy of Anthropologie's holiday playlist a couple of years ago. With the perfect blend of old favorites and new hits, this list will appeal to all audiences! 
AND...I think this might be the perfect excuse to throw a holiday cocktail party. In my book, all it takes is a good playlist and a plenty of drinks to go around. Spike the punch and have a champagne Kris Kringle. I am sure the festive spirits and holiday tunes will keep people mingling all night long. 
Time to start rockin' around the Christmas tree, toodles!

Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
Berlin Symphony Orchestra – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy (Red Baron Remix)
Berlin Symphony Orchestra – The Nutcracker Suite (Baz Kuts Breaks Mix)
Billy May – Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo (Malibu Remix)

Bing Crosby – Happy Holidays (Beef Wellington Remix)
Bing Crosby – White Christmas (Kaskade Remix)
Cascada – Last Christmas
Cathedral Brass – Joy To The World (Mocean Worker Remix)
Crystal Theory – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
Crystal Theory – Silent Night
Crystal Theory – Sleigh Ride 
CSSR State Philharmonic Orchestra – Good King Wenceslas (Patrick Krouchian Remix)
Danni Minogue – I’ll Be Home For Christmas 
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Dean Martin – Baby It’s Cold Outside (tidbit: some people believe it’s a duet with Doris Day but it’s actually his female chorus)
Dean Martin – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Arp Remix)
Duke Ellington – Jingle Bells (Robbie Hardkiss Remix)
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (Alexkid & DJ Sleep Remix)
Ella Fitzgerald – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald – Sleigh Ride (The Latin Project Remix)
Ella Fitzgerald – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland
Fiona Apple – Frosty The Snowman
Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) 
Johnny Mercer – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix)
Joe Williams – Jingle Bells (Bombay Dub Oirchestra Remix)
Joe Williams – Kissing by the Mistletoe
Johnny Mercer – Winter Wonderland (Rise Ashen’s Brazilian Beach Mix)
June Christy – The Merriest (Thunderball Mix)
Kay Starr – (Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With The Bag (Thunderball Mix)
Kay Starr – I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (STUHR Remix)
Kurt Elling – Cool Yule
Kylie Minogue – Santa Baby
Lenka – All My Bells Are Ringing
Les Brown and His Orchestra – I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Psapp’s Lady Remix)
Louis Armstrong-Velma Middleton – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Mulato Beat Remix)
Macy Gray – This Christmas (Hang All the Mistletoe)
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Meaghan Smith – Silver Bells
Mel Torm̩ РThe Christmas Song (Michael Kessler Open Fire Mix)
Meryn Cadell – The Cat Carol
Mindy Smith – Santa Will Find You
Nancy Wilson – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve 
Nicole Atkins – Blue Christmas 
Nicole Atkins – The Little Drummer Boy 
Otis Redding – Merry Christmas, Baby
Patti Page – Frosty The Snowman (Rondo Brothers Remix)
Paul McCartney & Wings – Wonderful Christmas Time
Randy Travis – Jingle Bell Rock 
Rekindle – Ice Skating Girl
Rosemary Clooney – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (MNO Remix) 
Nancy Wilson – The Christmas Waltz (AwayTeam Remix)
Powder – Christmas Don’t Be Late (Chipmunk Song)
She & Him – Baby, It’s Cold Outside
She & Him – Christmas Wish
She & Him – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 
She & Him – Sleigh Ride
Tegan and Sara – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
The Andrews Sisters – Winter Wonderland
The Drifters – White Christmas
The Puppini Sisters – Mele Kalikimaka
The Puppini Sisters – Santa Baby
The Puppini Sisters – Step Into Christmas
The Roches – Deck The Halls
The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) 
Twisted Sister – Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here (Markus Enoshson Remix) 
Vic Damone – Winter Wonderland (Future Loop Foundation Remix)
Wham! – Last Christmas

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Ira Glass on storytelling

While looking through creative outlets to find content for blog posts this coming month, I came across this video, part three of a four segment series on Ira Glass's advice for creatives. Ira Glass is the host of This American Life, a weekly radio show that has been adapted to television on occasion. The segment features stories, memoirs, essays and other verbal 'snapshots' to explore a thematic concept, usually one linked to a different emotion or behavior of human nature. 
This video primarily encouraged me to look a little more into This American Life series as a way to grow my social curiosity and interest in the unique individuals and stories that surround us every day. I mean really, how many times do you need to listen to Timber or Wake Me Up on your commute?
Additionally, this video encouraged me to reinvigorate my creative side. I have never been an artisan, but have always had an immense appreciation for the arts. Creatives don't have to be limited to whether or not their skill is dynamite or noteworthy, but rather are limitless when they factor in the potential for greatness.
Glass says in the video, "your taste is still killer," and frankly that's all that is needed on the aesthetic front.
I'd like to say I have killer taste and I want to continue using it in the best way possible. Time can sometimes escape me, working 10 hour days during the week, working at the boutique on the weekends, participating on a couple of boards in Cincinnati and attending events linked to my committee membership. Although I have always kept up my blog to explore and grow creative tendencies, I had to decrease my posts to three days a week. I needed to make sure I had enough time, stayed motivated, and created content that held just as much (if not more) inspiration like I have done for over three years.
As I continue to keep up my little site, this video inspired me to also increase my creativity outside of the cyber world. Maybe bring to life my writing interests, go back to my jewelry kit, and re-start designing clothes? Maybe sign-up for an art class, dance class, or book club? There are a lot of exciting opportunities that I will be looking forward to exploring with the new year on the horizon. 

Do you have any creative interests that you want to bring back to life?
Because I am sure you have killer taste as well :)
Happy Monday, toodles!

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