Velvet and How to Plan a Holiday Party

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Happy Monday! Before I even get to the meat of this blog post, I simply must tell you about this outfit I’m wearing. First velvet is sooooooo in right now, so naturally, I’d want a velvet piece haha. However, I like to wear currently trending items, but in case they’re faddish, I don’t like to spend too much on it.

This skirt I’m wearing is from Asos, but I don’t think it’s available anymore even though I just bought it two weeks ago. It would look great for Christmas dinner, a church service, a company holiday function, wedding, etc. I linked similar skirts below that you can buy if you’re looking for a great price on a velvet skirt.

The sleeveless shirt is also not available any longer, but I also just bought it from Kohl’s right before Thanksgiving. It was on the clearance rack. I also linked similar ones below starting at $9.99.

The sweater was also from Kohl’s. I linked the exact one and similar ones starting at $9.99. I really like mine because there are ruffles on the sleeve and going down the part that gets buttoned.

The sunglasses are my Black Friday find. When I say Black Friday, I mean, we woke up, went to run some errands, and bought sunglasses. Not a crazy Thursday evening fighting spell lol. Anyway, I linked a similar pair because mine are sold out. I received such a great deal on them. I believe they were over half off!

Last but not least, my shoes are now $49.99. I have received so many compliments on these shoes and for good reason haha. They are so cute! What I love about them is how comfortable they are to wear, and the strap doesn’t fall down or squeeze my skin.

Shop This Look:

  1. Choose date – and choose theme if using one – ugly sweater party, ornament swap, or cookie swap? This is important to know for the invitations.
  2. Make your guest list – decide if you want singles or couples. For smaller parties/spaces, invite people who all get along. For larger parties/larger areas where guests can choose their talk-mates, then feel free to invite anyone lol.
  3. Make, buy, or order invitations. You can also use Evite or send text messages. For more formal events, go with handwritten or ordered invitations. Here are our invitations:dsc_0057-03
  4. Invite your guests. It’s busy this time of year, so don’t wait too long to give out the invitations. For more formal events, give our invitations earlier.
  5. Plan menu – finger foods or a full meal? Depends on the time of day. Parties during breakfast, lunch, or dinner hours will usually require heavier foods.
  6. Decorate – Target, Hobby Lobby, Amazon, DIY Pinterest projects are your friends.
  7. Dessert table – cakes, cookies, hot cocoa bar? This was our brownie bar from last year:DSC_0266and we also have had a hot cocoa bar at another event. Here it is:DSC_0108
  8. Have fun! Take pics – maybe even have a photo booth.
  9. ***If you’re hosting an ugly sweater Christmas party – here are some areas in which your guests can vote and then give an award for each…if you choose:

*All-Around UGLY Sweater
*Most Original
*Best Couple Combo
*Most Likely to get Arrested if Seen in Public
*Most Festive
*Funniest
*Most Likely to go Viral on Social Media
10. If you’re invited to a party – bring a gift for the hostess. An ornament or holiday-inspired candle works well.

Do you have any tips? You can leave them below 🙂

Hugs,

Delaine

 

Tribal Print, Leather Moto, and How to Stay Sane During the Holidays

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Hey, ladies! How as your Thanksgiving? Did you travel or stay home? Our Florida family hosts holiday dinners at different family members’ homes. This year, Thanksgiving was at my cousin’s new home a few minutes away from us. We were on vegetable and salad duty. I made the salad my mom taught me and carrots cooked in butter and brown sugar, also her recipe. Oops. Sounds fattening. It probably is, but it is a hit! The salad is a mixture of leafy green lettuce, diced red onions and red peppers, match stick carrots, mandarin oranges, and craisins. My mom adds radishes and green onions, but I don’t care for them. You can add strawberries or mangoes, roasted pine nuts and goat cheese. If you make this salad, you MUST use the Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette from Wish Bone. You MUST! This salad dressing gives the salad the best flavor ever. Here’s a picture of it:DSC_0109 This year’s dinner was quiet. I have a rather large family and there are a lot of us living in one area, but so many of us are in New York and other places. It was nice though. We ate, played games, and rearranged my cousin’s living room furniture (I couldn’t help myself). Did you go Black Friday shopping? Go HERE to read my last post about how I feel about Black Friday shopping and how you can survive it. We went to Kohl’s on Friday because I had two coupons, but the lines around the back of the store. We left and headed to Macy’s because the boys wanted velvet clothing. The hubs bought a deep blue velvet vest and we bought Milty a velvet bow tie. My velvet skirt was already ordered from Asos and delivered. We also bought sunglasses. That was the extent of our shopping. Something we love to do is get our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We normally go to Lowe’s, but this year we were going to Sam’s Club to do some shopping and found THE tree!!! I couldn’t believe it. It was under $30 and it is huge! It is 8ft tall and so good looking. Okay, wait, so we did more shopping lol. This one was for decorations though. As the boys were going to Best Buy, I had them drop me off at Pier 1…bad idea…for Milton 🙂 I picked up a tree collar in the fashions of Santa’s belt, an elf’s hat for the top of the tree, and a little reindeer with a red and white striped scarf. They are all so cute! I love decorating for the different holidays, and Christmas decorations happen to be the best. I love all the red. I don’t know if you remember me telling you, but I have been sick for almost two weeks now. Now Milty is sick too. I am still coughing and wheezing so much. It gets worse at night. Do any of you go through this? It’s rather annoying when you want to do things but feel so sick you can’t. I haven’t been to the gym or worked out in two weeks now because of it. Sigh. Also, as a homeschooling mom, the biggest dilemma I have all the time is whether or not to give a sick day. I mean how do you have a day off when you work from home? Haha. I think I will give him the day off though. Another thing that can cause stress during this time, besides being sick, is being unprepared.

Below find some tips you can use to make it through this time of year without losing your mind:

  1. Start early. If you haven’t already done so, start buying Christmas presents. The closer you get to the holiday, the more things you’ll have to do and the more pressure you’ll feel. I actually love shopping for next year right after the Christmas season and during the year if I find good deals.
  2. Don’t wait to decorate. I know I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving to be over because I LOVE to decorate for Christmas, but I don’t decorate for it before Thanksgiving is over. Again, the earlier you start doing these things, the less stressed you’ll be. A great way to save money on decorations is to buy decorations after the season and use them next year. I have a lot of Pier 1 decorations, but a lot of them were purchased after each holiday at deeply discounted prices so my home might look like a million bucks, but I didn’t spend a million bucks 🙂
  3. Take family photos and order your Christmas cards. You can also use a picture taken sometime in October or November. Many times when we wait too long, we have to pay for expedited shipping to get them to us on time, then we have to write them up, label them, and ship them to our family and friends. I love using TinyprintsVistaprint, or Minted. They’re all offering discounts right now.
  4. Remember the reason for the season. Christmas is not about how much money you need to spend on gifts to make everyone ‘happy.’ It is more blessed to give than it is to receive, but I strongly believe that it really is the thought that counts. Don’t feel bad if your tree doesn’t have tons and tons of gifts underneath it. Spend what you can afford, and don’t have any regrets.
  5. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. Again, make the time more about your loved ones and not about all of what you have to buy.
  6. Decide where you are spending the holidays and make the plans to either host and travel to your destination. The longer you wait, the more expensive travel can become. If you are hosting, write down the things you need and start getting them sooner than later.

How much do you love my skirt? I sure do. It’s a tribal print skirt I bought on Amazon. The color on this skirt is so vibrant and it is soft. It is elastic in the back. There are several prints from which to choose.I paired it with a leather moto jacket, white sandals, and a white bag. I am linking the midi and maxi version of it here:

           

Here are some other outfits worn this week and all the details of them. The first one is a printed (bird) skirt with a denim jacket and booties. The booties are from Macy’s. I think I paid less than $15 for them. The skirt is from Hello Modest. They don’t have anymore, but any printed skirt will work. Also, they are always having a sale.img_20161124_131121 dsc_0044-02

This next pic is from our Black Friday shopping day. Know what we did? We went to Macy’s and bought sunglasses lol. The boys also bought some velvet pieces – a blazer for the hubs and a bow tie for the kid 🙂 That was it…oh, and I bought some pieces of clothing online. I’ll show you those soon. I’ll also show you the sunglasses soon.

I went for a monochromatic look, a sleeveless cardigan, and my fave metallic shoes. You can find a similar pair HERE. If you are looking for a sleeveless cardigan for only $10, go HERE dsc_0055-03

Here’s a sneak peek of how we’ve begun decorating our house for Christmas. If you head over to www.wildchildmagazine starting Thursday, December 1st, you can find twelve tips to easily, quickly, and inexpensively decorate your home for the holidays. I don’t know if you remember, but I now write a blog post for them once a month. You’ll also find blog posts of other rad moms 🙂

Our pillows and tree accessories are below, along with some other options.dsc_0076-02


And HOWWWWWWWW cute is the hat on the tree? Lol. I really love the collar down at the base. We have napkin rings that are Santa’s belt (from last year), red bows, and snowflakes. I linked them above, but I’ll show them to you when I set the table for my ugly sweater Christmas party. Love them all. They’re so festive.dsc_0067-01
Don’t forget you can subscribe to the blog to receive updates right to your inbox. Go to the top right hand corner to do so. Also, you can read other blog posts written by me at www.wildchildmagazine.us where I write for them once a month.

What did you think of the tips? Do you have any?

Thanks for reading,

Delaine

7 Tips to Survive Black Friday

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dsc_0062-02-01Happy Thanksgiving! So I have a huge confession to make: it’s been almost a week since I’ve put on an outfit I can wear outside the house. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that big of a confession, but still, this past week was cah-razy! First of all, on Wednesday, I felt my throat started bothering me a bit. I wasn’t sure if it was from {all} the ice I eat, or if it was the beginnings of a sore throat.

Sadly, it was the beginnings of a sore throat. Thursday I was worse, and by Friday, I was completely sick. I don’t care for medicines that cause me to sleep, so I took Ibuprofen. I didn’t think I would make it through Friday night. The pain was tremendous. The coughing, wheezing, rattling, and sharp pains inside were unbearable. Other unmentionables were happening as well. I couldn’t get up out of the bed or lie down once I made it in. I barely slept. I even text the hubs a “farewell” since he was working that night.

I’m glad I survived, for many reasons, but one is because I love this time of year! September 1st until January 2nd must be the most delightful time ever. The infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte and all the seasonal coffee drinks are in full swing at Starbucks. The chestnut praline latte is another huge favorite.

The time signifies change. If you live in a state with cooler climates, you can see the leaves change, etc. The fall decorations go up, and the temperature is {sometimes} cooler. Then we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and all its yumminess.

After this time comes the Christmas decorations, the Christmas songs, ugly sweater Christmas parties (make sure to come to mine if you were invited), shopping for and wrapping gifts, traveling, and spending oodles of time with family and friends.

Did you notice I didn’t mention ANYTHING about Black Friday? I didn’t haha. I hate Black Friday because of what you lose as opposed to what many people try to gain. I almost went Black Friday shopping once when I was a teenager. The closest I ever came to shopping on that day was about four years ago. We had had dinner at my aunt’s house and everyone left to go shopping. We were curious about the whole process so we drove to Walmart, found cell phones we could use for an upgrade, but when we realized they had run out, we went home. We went to a different Walmart on Friday afternoon and found the same phones. Another time was last year, on Thanksgiving Day, I sat on my sofa, and bought two mini iPads. One was for our son’s Christmas present, and the other was ours (or mine, as Milton likes to say I’ve staked a claim on all the Apple products in our home). Laterrrrrrrr that night, after dinner was over, we went to Walmart and Target.

I seriously have a problem with Black Friday shopping that starts on Thursday. I mean, come on! The stores open earlier and earlier, and it’s so annoying. If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you know I am a shopaholic. I mean, every time I shop and I think I’m finished buying {stuff}, I find more things I want. I’m sorry, but not sorry 🙂 I know I didn’t convince you. Milt’s not convinced either haha. One thing about me is I rarely buy anything on an impulse. I’m a deliberate shopper, and Black Friday is simply not my style. The worst thing? The fact that people forgo the entire Thanksgiving family gathering and meal simply to stand in line for consumer purchases, and the stores don’t help the growing problem, but they encourage it. I think it’s time to bring back the holidays.

Now, I know many people are still going to go Black Friday shopping. It’s inevitable, so I have some tips to keep you with your family longer, unstressed, and happy with your purchases.

  1. Make a list of all the people on your Christmas list and what you want to buy them, but be flexible if you don’t get the exact items.
  2. Get the circulars from each store you want to visit, and make a note of what they’re offering and how late you can get those deals.
  3. Make it a family affair. Agree in advance to go with some family members to certain stores so you can divide and conquer.
  4. Shop on Cyber Monday instead. You can still find some amazing deals on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  5. Shop during the year, and bypass the Black Friday craziness completely.
  6. Go on Friday! What about if you went Black Friday shopping…on Black Friday? What about if you went to be on Thursday night and then went shopping on Friday? Again, spend the day with your family and make it an outing. While out and about, grab a seasonal drink from Starbucks and be present in the moment. And if you absolutely insist, then proceed to the next tip…
  7. Agree to go at a later time in the evening. Don’t bypass Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy the time with your family, and then, if agreed, go later that night after dinner is over and all the festivities have died down.

For our Black Friday, we haven’t yet decided what we’ll do. We’ll either go to Orlando or Vero Beach and browse the stores or we might go to a farm to cut our own Christmas tree. I know my boys don’t love to window shop, but I honestly just love the Christmas/holiday feeling in the air, the songs, the lights, and all the people. Even going to the mall will be us walking around, grabbing coffee/tea, maybe grabbing lunch or dinner, and then coming home to finish the night with a movie at home. With Milt’s schedule, we probably will need to make getting and decorating the tree the priority on Friday. While we decorate, we play Christmas songs and cook and eat. We have such a great time. Again, one of the reasons I love this time of year. I love that moment when the tree is lit for the first time. It reminds me of being at Rockefeller Center for the tree lighting.

On Friday, I’ll be swapping out the fall decorations for Christmas decorations too. Again, I don’t care to celebrate one holiday until the other one is over.

Shop the look:


If you happen to love my dress as much as I do, go HERE so you can get one. I LOVE it. The material is soft, it can be worn with a scarf the way I did, or with a vest (ahem, a faux fur vest or a faux fur scarf like one I linked above), or by itself. It has pockets!!! That alone makes it a winner, but it was only $26 and you can use code ‘newbie10’ to save an additional 10%. I ordered two dresses, and I’ll share the other one soon. Make haste and go to the site because there are several items on sale and this dress is selling out 🙂 The only slight drawback I can find is that it’s not as opaque as I would prefer, so you’ll need to wear a layering garment. My favorite one is HERE. You can also just wear a black cami and a black slip. Try Ross, Marshall’s, or Nordstrom Rack for those. Even cute skirt extenders would work.

My shoes are the metallic ballet flats I recently purchased but are no longer available, so I linked some similar pairs. The infinity scarf is two years old from Old Navy, but there are options in the slideshow, and one is less than $5, but you can find an infinity scarf anywhere. My bag is called the Felicie from Louis Vuitton, but any bag will work. I wasn’t going to mention it, but people are always asking me about it, so I thought I’d share the information.

Hugs,

Delaine

P.S. I am currently working on my blog design, but something I’m implementing will be different tabs on the menu for different things. Right now, you’ll find “Current Must-Haves” in the menu. It’s a list of some really fun pieces that are trending right now. They start at under $13! Also, if you head to Instagram, I have two really great giveaways going on right now.