If you need a last minute gift for the fashionista in your life, our friend Shannen insists that these leatherette leggings are the perfect gift. We tend to agree.
Remember when Erika put out the idea of pairing a tartan sweater and leather pants for your holiday party?
Well, one of our favorite readers, Marilee, asked about some leather stretch pants for a stretch comfy waistband for the holidays. She may have been half kidding (Although leather sweat pants would be awesome. Nearly as awesome as Kanye’s leather jogging pants) Nevertheless, we deliver. And by we, I mean Shannen.
Shannen says, ” Perfect way to get the look without the knee wrinkles caused by waxed jeans or leather pants!!”
Just remember, they are leatherette leggings when you pick your top. There are rules people.
You can pick up some leatherette leggings for yourself at Nordstrom (the store that has everything good) for the price of $44.99 and look smashing at your holiday parties this weekend. Oh, and give one as a gift too.
Our next last minute gift comes from the hubs. Ben love his SIGG water bottle. Ben researches things to death before he buys anything so I can personally vouch for the research that goes into giving a SIGG as a gift. Here are the key points according to him:
They are indestructible.
They can be taken anywhere.
They hold a lot of water.
They weigh almost nothing.
(And my favorite reason) They look cool.
SIGG comes in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. So if you need a last minute gift for someone who is always trying to drink more water or has a New Years Resolution to give up soda (Erika) this might be the perfect gift for them.
We’re going to the kid zone. If you need last minute gifts for the little people in your life, be it your kids, your sister’s kids, the neighbor kid that is always at your house (I’m looking at you TG) a Magna Doodle is great. Even if the already have one, there is a good possibility they need a new one. They get dropped, stood on, buried under toys, stampers go missing . . . you get the picture. This year we needed a new one AND an additional one. There is lots of fighting over the Magna Doodle round these parts. So Christmas morning my children will wake up to two. A purple one and a blue one. Different colors for different kids.
Here’s another argument for the Magna Doodle as a last minute gift: creativity friends. It gives the kids an never ending canvas. It also doesn’t use crayons which is great for your walls when you have a particularly “artistic” toddler in you home. Sam loves to write us notes on his. He walks around the house taking surveys. He keeps track of the secret letters on Super Why. He spends HOURS drawing ghosts from Luigi’s Mansion. And the car? Oh, yeah. No trying to reach around to the backseat for dropped pencils.
Yup. We love the Magna Doodle. Stick it on the kid portion of your list of last minute gifts.
With smart phones, iPods, iPads, tablets, etc., nearly everyone on your list can use new ear buds. This makes them a great last minute gift.
With a million choices out there it is hard to know which set to buy. I gave Ben the Skullcandy 50/50s last year and he loves them. If you are feeling super generous, maybe some Beatz. However, if you are just looking for a little something, the Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergo Fit might just be the way to go.
Rumor on the interwebs is that these things are AMAZING for the price tag. They are $5.21 on Amazon right now and they’re available with Prime shipping. You gots to be kidding me. And they come in a wide variety of colors. If your gift recipient is anything like me, they are constantly losing ear buds. And let’s face it, one can never have to many pairs of hanging around. Especially if you have a toddler who is OBSESSED with pulling off the plastic ear pieces.
So there ya go! Another easy and affordable gift idea for nearly every one on your list.
Next up on our list of last minute gift ideas is the beautyblender. I found out about this little sponge about two weeks ago and I want one. I want one BAD.
Here’s the deal. It’s a makeup sponge. But not just any makeup sponge. According to their website
“Beautyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable.”
To make matters worse, my friend Shannen formally endorsed it on Instagram this morning. If Shannen tells me something about makeup, I’m gonna listen. I shot her a quick email to get her opinion on it. This is what she had to say:
“It is amazing!! I use it for every aspect of my face except mascara. It is fantastic for blending foundation colors, too light for summer too dark for Winter?… beautyblender
It is great for pressed mineral powder, cream blush, cream or powder shadow-
Ergonomically correct, easy to store and carry- my little secret? I touch up with it after lunch, just pop it into the case and in my purse it goes, break it out after lunch and give my face a quick once over with the mornings left overs.. (Shhh!)
Plus it’s inexpensive, durable and pink.
It has replaced all of my brushes because it is convenient and flawless.”
Now I have to buy one.
For those of us that are trying to figure out this whole makeup contouring thing, this sounds like the perfect gift. You can find it on Amazon and Sephora. Their website also lists local retailers. They run about $20 a piece which makes it a fun little last minute gift that maybe she wouldn’t splurge and buy herself. (Hint hint Ben)
During all of my years in retail, there is one thing I’ve learned: people procrastinate. I’m not kidding when I tell you that when I worked at Target, I would have people yelling at me that they need last minute gifts as I locked the door on Christmas Eve. So, to keep you from becoming one of those people, we present:
Six Days of Last Minute Gifts
Over the next couple of days, I will be popping in with ideas to help you off the Christmas gift-giving ledge. What can I say? I don’t want you yelling at all of my friends who still work at Target.
To start off our last minute gift ideas, may I present Sweaty Bands. Lemme tell ya. If you struggle with keeping your hair out of your eyes when you exercise, these babies are for you. My friend Buddy (runner extraordinaire) introduced me to them this summer. This is not your ordinary headband. The back is a velvety material that keeps the headband in place. Plus, the cuteness factor is out of this world. They have skinny bands, fat bands, bling bands, custom bands . . . you name it, they’ve got it. I never run without them anymore. So fantastic. Plus, they are super cute to wear all of the time. As I type this, my hair is in a low side braid, accessorized with a skinny black sparkle band.
So. If you have a girl on your list that needs to keep the hair outta her eyes and you need a last minute gift idea, maybe pick one up. I bought mine at Omega Sports in Raleigh and Nordstrom also carries them. Or you can buy them from Sweaty Bands themselves. I can guarantee she will love it!
So the holidays are NUTS, am I right? And apparently that makes us bad bloggers. And for that, we are really, really sorry. Things like trips and weddings and shopping for gifts and spending time with family and baking for neighbors (and baking for myself) and making Christmas cards and in Tracey’s case editing photos and sitting in holiday traffic and packing for holiday trips… it’s actually all what makes the holidays the best! But it’s also what makes us bad bloggers. Come January, we’re gonna be back at this thing full force, arms a swingin’, dukes up, that sort of thing. (Along some pretty exciting changes too. At least that’s what we’re aiming for.) But, until then, enjoy a few posts sprinkled in here and there, like you enjoy some cinnamon and marshmallows sprinkled on top of your favorite hot chocolate. Today’s post was actually written last week, but hasn’t been ready to post until today. That’s how nuts these here holidays have been.
I am so excited about today’s post! We have stocking stuffers! Who doesn’t love opening their stockings on Christmas morning? I would argue it’s one of the best parts of Christmas. I love seeing what’s going to be stuffed inside that giant, fuzzy sock. Not to mention I love love love all the items I’ve picked out. I can only hope my stocking looks this good on Christmas morning. And I can only hope the same for my husband, also. Guess I better get on that, then.
All these items are under $50. And you’re welcome for that. What are some of the things you guys are going to put in your stockings this year?
01 and 02 – Bath and Body Works has some great stocking stuffers. And they always have great sales! And I die over all their Christmas/winter scents. The candy apple Christmas one might just be my favorite.
03 – Candle. Because.
04 – And perfume. Because. This one from Victoria’s Secret is the perfect little size to fit into a stocking and it smells amazing. I carry this exact one in my purse. It’s perfect for on-the-go.
05 – Who doesn’t want to spice up their passport a little bit? A passport case is such a cute way to do it.
06 – Jewelry box on the go? This is a perfect idea and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. The perfect size for your stocking!
07, 08, 09, 10 – CLOTHES! When you were 7, getting clothes for Christmas was THE worst. Now? Probably one of my favorite things to get. Funny how that works, eh? Chunky scarfs, pack o’ belts, cute accessories, and stripey socks? May your stocking look this good and you have a happy new year.
11 – A ticket stub book, to keep all your tickets for 2014. Amazing.
01, 02, 03 – Mancessories. Men just need pocket knifes. Odds are your man already has one. But if not, go get him one stat. He is a man after all. iPhone wallet or money clip… depending on what your man prefers to carry. Both are practical. Both are perfect stocking stuffers.
04, 05, 06 – Because usually men just stink. It’s just part of who they are. So poo-pourri because nobody wants to deal with smelling thaaaat. ManCandles, just because. And Sasquatch soap, mostly because this one made me laugh.
07 – Sometimes people think I’m joking when I say I love bowties. But aren’t they just the cutest! If your man thinks he can’t pull off a bowtie, stick one of these suckers in his stocking this Christmas and prove him wrong. Which just happens to be one of the things we women do best.
08, 09, 10, 11 – Not sure how many men love getting clothes for Christmas. But sunglasses, sports socks (that look like shoes, hello!), beanies, and gloves are so super practical. You just can’t go wrong with these as stocking stuffers.
12 – Portable fire starter. See 01 about being a man.
13 – Bacon toothpicks!!!!!! (That many exclamation points is still not enough)
14 – Retractable auxiliary cord. I actually got one of these for Christmas from my man last year and I love it. Seriously. Love it.
It’s freezing over here on the west coast today. Actually, it’s literally below freezing. I woke up to -8 today and the high is only 14. But here are some free Christmas printables to help make your spirits merry and bright, and hopefully a little warmer if you’re as cold as I’ve been all day.
I have one printed out and sitting in a frame by my tree:
I don’t try to keep it a secret that this is my favorite time of year. The sights — snow and Christmas trees and twinkling lights and stores all decorated. The sounds — Christmas music and fires crackling and the noise of family gatherings. The smells — pine and cinnamon and nutmeg and hot chocolate and turkey and fire and pumpkin and cookies and breads and cakes and candies and spices. And all the feels — warm, soft sweaters and blankets and the way the pine tree crinkles in your fingers when you hang ornaments. And the tastes — oh, the tastes. Mostly the same as the smells, but in your mouth! Sweets and spices and turkey and pies and everything bad for you.
There really is just something about this season. When I was little and growing up, the best part of the season was the countdown to Christmas Day… knowing that one night soon, while I slept warm in my bed, the mysterious and elusive Santa Clause was going to visit my house and leave me toys! But, now that I’m older and the novelty and magic of Santa and the joy of toys on Christmas Day have worn off just ever so slightly, my favorite part of the season is each day of the countdown. I revel in each and every day leading up to Christmas. I try to make the days last as long as possible. I want as long as I can to stare at my Christmas tree. I want as long as possible to listen to Christmas music. I want as long as possible to smell Christmas smells and to taste Christmas tastes. And I want the holiday parties to last forever.
We all have different holiday parties and going-ons and what-have-yous this holiday season for which we will need to look our festive-best! Gatherings for work or church or school or family or friends. And why wouldn’t we want to look just joyous? There’s something magical about getting dressed up in the spirit of the holidays. There’s just something about expressing our holiday joy through our clothing. So, if you’re stuck on what to wear to your holiday parties this year, here are 10 outfits that just might help you out.
As I was putting these outfits together, I tried to keep in mind things that would make them specific to holiday parties. For example, all of these outfits are either slightly or significantly more on the dressy/formal side of things. I think that holiday parties are definitely something to get dressed up for. Try to steer clear of the casual looks. However, if you don’t feel so comfortable in something quite so formal or fancy, some of the options I have here are a mix between casual and dressy… a perfect balance.
Keep in mind that when looking for things to wear to holiday parties, staying on trend can go a long way! I think holiday parties are a good chance to splurge on something you wouldn’t normally pay for, something that you wouldn’t normally wear. If there’s a trend that you like but wouldn’t normally otherwise try to pull off (maybe because it’s “too out there” or “it wouldn’t look good on me”), give it a try at your holiday parties! Odds are, you’re going to look great. Some of this year’s trends that I’m particularly loving for holiday parties — and that you’ll see repeated in the 10 outfits below — are plaids, metallics, leathers, brocade and tartan prints, and sequins.
Of course, you have your holiday classics too. Like lace, all things sparkly, and standard holiday colors such as deep reds and blues and greens and purples, and always black, gold and silver. I’m also a huge fan of winter whites, always.
In this first outfit, I paired a leather top with some black jeans. The jeans make it feel more casual, but when you remember the leather shirt and add some metallic pumps, it brings just the right amount of fancy to this outfit.
I am seriously obsessed with this outfit. It just screams “holiday parties” to me. The brocade, floral print of the skirt, that has a metallic sheen to it, paired with the metallic sweater. The deep teal from the clutch that matches the skirt perfectly. And the adorable t-strap pumps to tie everything together. Of course, you can always add your own jewelry or even a pair of black tights (if you are prone to coldness like me)!
I’ve gotta be honest… I wasn’t too thrilled with the tartan print when I first saw it starting to trend a little bit ago. It isn’t entirely my style. However, as I started thinking about holiday parties and how to dress for them, I realized that the tartan print is just about perfect for that kind of a setting. I mean, red and green stripes? You really can’t look more like Christmas joy. For this outfit, I paired the on-trend tartan-print sweater with some leather pants… which is just about as casual as I’d say you should go for holiday parties. But when you pair it with these amazing red suede pumps, you’ve got the perfect amount of holiday-party fancy. Tie it all together with some gold accessories and a red clutch.
Is there a print more adorable than polka dots? I submit that there is not. And when this polka dot sweater is paired with these super on-trend gold metallic pants, it makes for a perfect holiday party outfit. Also, I’m dying over these zip-up booties. Probably, these are being added to my Christmas wishlist as we speak.
We have now moved into the dressier realm of our outfits. I love dresses and skirts for holiday parties. How perfect. And how cute is this little blue number with the bows? The tights, sparkly shoes, and silver accessories make this blue dress holiday perfect.
This outfit has everything… all my requirements for holiday party dressing. It’s dressy. It has the metallic trend and the classic lace. There are sparkly pumps. There are deep colors of gold and purple and shades of black. I would daresay you might not even need to add frosting (jewelry), but of course it wouldn’t hurt! ; )
This outfit may seem a little light for some holiday parties, but I love it. You are likely to stand out in something like this, since everyone else will probably be wearing dark, wintery colors. I love the lace and I’m seriously obsessed with these shoes. As always, a little sparkle on your wrist to finish it off.
Something similar to this is actually what I’m planning on wearing to one of my holiday parties. I love the two-tone sequin skirt. It’s super on-trend and so, so festive. I paired a plain, chiffon blouse in a deep purple (holiday colors!) since the skirt is the focal piece of this outfit.
This outfit takes close to casual again. The plaid top — which is super trendy — could be pretty casual on its own, but when paired with the sequin pants and open-toe pump booties, you are definitely still on the fancy side of things and you’ll be “just right” for your holiday parties.
Now, what would a holiday party be without the classic LBD? Any little black dress will do! Pair with some classic, holiday-red pumps, the on-trend brocade clutch, and some gold jewelry for a timeless, holiday look.
We would LOVE to see what you guys end up wearing for your holiday parties. Add a picture of your outfits on Instagram with the hashtag #OUOholidaydress and we will be sure to feature some of you in a post of our own!
*This is not a sponsored post. Tracey introduced me to Rue La La the other day and I happen to be obsessed, which is why more than half of the items in these outfits come from that website.
Still trying to decide what to do for your family holiday card? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, Hey Megan is here to tell you about how this year may be the year that she becomes a Christmas Card winner.
Oh, the season is upon us. Black Friday (which started Thursday and was still going strong on the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is just about over. Today is Cyber Monday. Incredibly, my Christmas decorations are up… mostly because it took so long to get my Halloween decorations put away that I told my husband just to bring down the Christmas stuff while he was up there (in our very icky storage space above the garage). So, if that opener didn’t make it clear, I am a procrastinator. And I am not very creative, or organized, nor do I have an eye for home decor. But to be more clear, 90% of my Christmas decorations are gifts from other people. I just put them up wherever the kids want them every year. Not that I don’t love the season—I LOVE this time of year. I’m just not…well…my sisters. They got all of the genes when it comes to beautifying their houses and designing fantastic Christmas cards with adorable letters inside.
So, I ask you. Where are you when it comes to Christmas cards? I am positive our own Tracey will have ADORABLE pictures of her kids in matching outfits doing something priceless and poignant on her Christmas cards. Most years I am happy I get some kind of picture of at least 75% of my kids out to enough of my family members. Don’t get me wrong. I love getting everyone else’s Christmas cards. I love seeing how everyone has changed (She lost weight! They had ANOTHER kid! Thank goodness that one grew into his looks, etc). I also understand that Christmas cards are a great way to keep in touch with people you NEVER keep in touch with other than FB stalking. Clearly, I am not against Christmas cards, I’m just not any good at them!
Every Thanksgiving I think, “This is the year my Christmas cards is going to be outstanding and include a fabulous letter about all the goings-on at the Peterson home.” Then, three days before Christmas I am stuffing envelopes at the post office while buying stamps. My card is a picture of my kids wearing… clothes, doing… something in the same general vicinity of each other… usually slightly out of focus. Urg. Fail. Again. And this after reading a darling poem about all of the great things my nephews have done this year. Or staring for weeks at my sister’s three kids, dressed to the 9’s striking adorable poses in a card that is practically a short photo book. Fail. Again.
But this year I am on tops of things. Yep. I got Tracey to take our family pictures in June (yes, I wanted bluebonnets, but like I said—procrastinator). So, gorgeous pictures of my kids smiling and wearing coordinating outfits? Check! And my good friend Sara gave me this cute little notebook to write down all of the cute things my kids said and did (yes, I know she gave it to me years ago—procrastinator). I finally started writing stuff in it! Material for a cute letter? Check! Wahoo, I’m on a roll! Now all I have to do is get the pictures downloaded from the disk to a photo site (I know, I know, Tracey! I still haven’t done that!), order the cards, write the letter, stuff the envelopes, print up the addresses . . .