Tablesettings Two Ways

It’s Christmas Eve and soon everyone will be gathered around their tables enjoying a wonderful meal with family and friends. There may be a lot of work left to complete in the kitchen, but don’t forget to set the table! See below for two easy and festive table settings!

For my first look, I wanted a classic holiday feel with accents of gold and silver. I used these paper placemats with gold dots as a base and then layered a white plate on a silver charger. Then, I tied a plaid ribbon around a simple white napkin for a pop of color. Be sure to use ribbon with wired edges – this will help you get the perfect bow every time! I finished off the place setting with a glass of Ruby Red vodka and club soda from this Naughty and Nice glass set (similar here).

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Quite different from the traditional setting above, but equally as festive, I wanted this table setting to play up the pink and gold winter napkins I found while shopping at World Market. To start, cover your table with a long roll of white paper. Then set your placemat, plate, silverware and glassware at each seat. Use a simple strand of twine to tie up the napkins and to finish, use a gold sharpie or paint pen to write each guest’s name at the top of the setting.

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How To: Natural Glow in the Winter

Earlier this Fall I set out to master a new everyday makeup routine that I could complete in less than 10 minutes. This simple makeup routine is full of subtle sparkle and brightening tricks – guaranteed to give you that natural glow!

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b.o.d.y. –  During the winter, Target Self Tanning lotion serves as my daily moisturizer (compare to Jergens Natural Glow), keeping my skin from drying out and adding subtle color – helping me hold on to that summer tan just a little bit longer. When I want a little more color, for example the day of a party, I’ll use Neutrogena Micro Mist. Color sprays on evenly and last for a couple of days! I use the Deep Intensity shade, but there are several lighter options for fairer skin or those who might be nervous about self tanning at home.

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f.a.c.e. – I’m a huge fan of Bare Minerals, so my everyday face routine includes many of their products. I start with Prime Time Primer, to even out my skin for a smooth and flawless base. Next, I apply Matte Powder Foundation all over. The next step is one of my favorite tricks for creating that natural glow! I apply Faux Tan Bronzer in the shape of a three – starting at my forehead, under my cheekbones and along the chin line. Then, I add Blush in Vintage Peach and finish with Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, swiping just across the tops of my cheekbones and above the eyebrows.

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e.y.e.s. – For a natural glow, I like to use various shades of gold eye shadow. This eyeshadow trio from LORAC is a fool proof way to get my look, but you can also use any eye shadow palette you might already have on hand, but keep in mind the following – apply lightest shade all over lid and brow bone, apply medium shade to eyelid, and lastly, apply darkest shade to crease of eyelid to create a look with depth and definition. Finish with a few coats of mascara. I use Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara on upper and lower lashes and apply a second coat to top lashes using YSL Babydoll Mascara for extra definition and volume.

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l.i.p.s. – As most of you know, I’m partial to a bold red lip around the holidays, but to complete this natural glow look, I opted instead for a neutral shade of lipstick. I first lined my lips, which helps color stay in place and last all day, and then applied Loreal Fairest Nude Lipstick.

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Dressed Up: Leather Leggings

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Earlier this week I introduced you to the Spanx Faux Leather Leggings and showed you how I would wear them on a casual weekend afternoon. Now, let’s talk about how these leggings can go from everyday wardrobe staple to eye-catching party attire with just a few updates.

When you want to take a look from day to night, think about these three things – fabric, accessories and color. Does your outfit mix a variety of fabrics and textures? A mix of luxe fabrics creates interest and gives depth to the outfit. Are your accessories a step up from your everyday go-tos? I’m currently loving statement earrings – like the hoops shown below and beaded tassel earrings too! Do you have a pop of color somewhere in your outfit? I gravitate toward hues of blue and of course red for the holidays!

I paired the leggings with a pleated silk blouse and over the knee suede boots. The combination of suede, leather and silk makes for a more elevated look than the cotton and cashmere from Monday’s dressed down look. I kept accessories relatively simple so I could let my earrings – gold hoops with multi colored gem stones – make a statement. And last, but not least, for a pop of color, I threw on this faux fur jacket from LOFT. Perfect for chilly winter nights!

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Dressed Down: Leather Leggings

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I’m always looking for items to add to my wardrobe that can be worn with a variety of different outfits and I love taking that one piece and finding completely different ways to wear it – like these faux leather leggings from Spanx. I’d heard good things about Spanx leggings and jeans from a few friends and wanted to try a pair. I went to the store one afternoon and tried these Faux Leather Leggings on and I was hooked! They fit like a glove, hold their stretch throughout the day and have the slimming power you know and love from Spanx!

To dress the leggings down, I paired them with a black cotton tunic and a cashmere cardigan from Lafayette 148. The perfect look for an afternoon of running errands and holiday shopping or a walk through the park! Come back later this week to see the dressed up look featuring my new favorite leggings.

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Cobalt for Christmas

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When a Christmas party comes around I typically reach right for a red cocktail dress, but this year I wanted to try a look that was a bit more out of my “Christmas Comfort Zone.” I chose this cobalt dress because the bright blue color still felt festive in its boldness and the simple silhouette of the dress allowed me to style with a variety of accessories.

Chokers are the accessory of the season and when I found this long beaded necklace in my closet, I knew it would be perfect styled as a choker! I particularly like chokers with tassels and varying lengths. The longer layers draw eyes down away from the neck, elongating your frame and pulling the whole look together.

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Christmas party coming up in the next few weeks? Break away from your go-to little red Christmas party dress and get this look for under $100…or under $50!

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SAVE: Rachel Rachel Roy Sydney Dress and Bauble Bar Velvet Choker / STEAL: Old Navy Cocoon Dress and Forever 21 Beaded Layered Choker

DIY Christmas Card Garland

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This easy DIY is a great way to display the Christmas cards you’ll receive from loved ones over the next few weeks! See below for step by step instructions.

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You will need: Yarn – red and green, string – red and green, twine, mini clothespins and scissors.

  1. Start by making the yarn pom poms and string tassels. Click links for detailed instructions!
  2. Cut twine to desired length.
  3. Tie pom poms and tassels to the twine and trim excess string/yarn.
  4. Clip cards to twine using mini clothespins and hang for all to see!

A Trendy Twist on Holiday Attire

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Working in the fashion industry, I get a sneak peek into the coming season’s trends. Two of the Fall/Winter trends I was dying to try back in February of last year were velvet and off the shoulder tops. So you can imagine my excitement when I found this top on ASOS.com that gave me two trends for the price of one! Off the shoulder tops seem to be everywhere right now – available in long sleeve and short sleeve, made every fabrication you could dream of, and at every price point! If you haven’t already, you need one (or two, or three!) in your closet ASAP. I’ve always loved the look and feel of velvet around the holidays and was glad to see designers and brands embracing the fabric in new, exciting ways. Another one of my go to sites for velvet finds this season is Anthropologie.

I imagine wearing this look to holiday party or even on a date night! The mix of textures with the velvet and lace breaks up the all black ensemble and creates a more sophisticated look. Or wear with jeans and statement earrings for a more casual vibe. And of course I recommend finishing off the look with a classic red lip!

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