Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday Gift Guides 2018: Gifts for the Hostess.

This is the 3rd gift guide I am doing and in many ways it is the hardest one and I will tell you why. At this time of the year we are invited to many Holiday and Christmas parties, at our friends', family members, co-workers' homes, etc. It is very important that you do your job as a guest and bring something to the person who invites you. Even more importantly, for the host or hostess of the party. These gifts may be hard to shop for or select because you don't want them to be or feel too expensive or too personal. I think decorative things like candles, plants, a frame, a photo album or a framed art piece are a good idea. Ditto for a set of glasses, a bottle holder like a wine holder, boxed chocolate, etc. I  think I came up with the perfect 9 gifts for the hostess and everything is under 70 bucks, too. Let me know if you agree with my choices.

Faux Plant - A plant is always a great idea to bring to a host/ess. A real one would be nice, but there are so many gorgeous faux plants out there. Like this cactus plant. It looks so real but it's not. It is on sale too and truth be told I want it for myself.
Marble Tray - a decorative tray they can put in their family room, over a coffee table or in their bedroom is another great idea. I love this classic, neutral, light gray marble tray. You can decorate it with anything+everything and it is great for any season or the holidays.
Great-Smelling Candles - candles make great gifts for a hostess. If you have never smelled or tried burning one of these Capri candles, you are missing out. They are always sold at Anthropologie and are a little pricey for their $30 price tag, but they are currently 20% off so it's a great time to buy one for a friend, the hostess of the party and for yourself. Plus, what a pretty jar.
Lipstick Charger - in this technology world we live in, all of us need a portable USB and phone charger each day. Well, this looks like a pretty lipstick tube and is the same size of a lipstick, however it is an acrylic charger that works both for an iPhone or an android. It also includes an iPhone/lightening cable, Micro USB and type C cable. No wonder it is called a Powerbank. It has great reviews too.
Wine Holder - for the wine lover and for any person or couple actually you can never go wrong with a pretty wine holder. One that is small enough to fit into any kitchen, yet can hold a few wine bottles, like the one I selected. I love that this comes with 6 cork wine charms. It can hold 5 bottles of wine and 4 glasses. I love that it says 'Wine' too. But my favorite part is that it can be mounted to the wall. Convenient and pretty, for sure.
Charm Necklaces - for a more personal and more thoughtful gift, you can gift her one of these gorgeous silver, quote charm necklaces. They look very similar the necklaces I have worn lately, that my friend makes and sells on Etsy. These are pricey at full price, but are currently over 60% OFF which makes them a steal. I have seen a couple up close and they are truly beautiful. All the quotes are so thoughtful and beautifully-written, too.
Boxed Ornaments - it is the right time of year to bring her a set of boxed ornaments. Choose something pretty and elegant. I would suggest glass ornaments as opposed to shatter-free ones. I love the neutral yet feminine and elegant colors of this set of 6 classic see-through glass balls. They run at 4 bucks a piece so the price is right, too.
Jewelry Holder - What a pretty mini tree this is. The perfect little tree to hang a few pieces of pretty, dainty jewelry. Makes for a pretty little gift.
Whiskey Decanter - not everyone loves or drinks wine. There are people who prefer beer and those who like cognac, whiskey, sherry and brandy. I loved finding this whiskey decanter and that it comes with two glasses. It is such a great gift that is very thoughtful for someone who drinks whiskey. Plus it looks so classic, elegant, classy and rich on a bar cart. It is the perfect drink to bring to a couple, too.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Thursday Moda #144: Fit+Flare Dresses for the Holidays.

Hello everyone. I am so glad to have GRACE of Graceful Rags co-hosting with me today, for many reasons actually. By looking at Grace's style and getting to know her a little bit, you would never guess she was only 19 years old. She is very sophisticated for still being a teen and she is wise beyond her years. Truth be told she is exactly half my age, exactly. When I asked her to co-host with me for today I even joked with her that I could be her mom. She wisely replied "We would be such a stylish mom and daughter". And I hope that is the case because the lovely, funny, smart, stylish and bright Grace and myself are styling Fit+Flare Dresses for the Holidays, on today's Thursday Moda. My Outfit as I noticed is quite dressy while hers is casual. We are both very put-together though. And how awesome that we are wearing hunter green and burgundy for the holidays - both great colors for Christmas and throughout this month. And we both topped our cute dresses with even cuter jackets. Love the Nude Trendy+Chic Moto Jacket Grace wore and I also love my Satin Leopard Trench Coat. You can read below about how I styled my fit+flare dress.

I always love how fun, easy-to-wear and ageless a fit+flare style dress is. A baby, a toddler, a teen, a young mom, a middle-aged woman, a grandma or even a great-grandma can wear them. Fit+Flare Dresses are supposed to suit and flatter everyone. I actually picked mine up in the Fall of last year and even wore it/styled it once last year for the Holidays. I am back with another take on this cute Hunter Green Textured Lace Dress by Target and this time around I tripled the textures as I am wearing it with tights (the pattern on them is little circle holes) as well as the prettiest Blue Velvet Block-Heel Sandals (by Who What Wear via Target) that tie into bows on the back. As if those bows or this much texture wasn't enough, I clipped gold sequined bows to my shoes and I love how they came out, looking even more glam and sparkly. Because two bows on one pair of shoes is better than one bow, I guess. I also added a Textured Rosette Purple Hand-Made Bow to my little bun. I purchased it this Fall from a small local business. The Beautiful Satin Leopard Trench-Coat is about a decade old. I have worn it a few times and I love it. It is by Bebe. Almost every trench coat I own is from there. I doubled my leopard by carrying this briefcase-shaped Little Leopard Clutch (also about a decade old, from Express). Since my shoes and bag made a statement as well as the trench coat, I kept my jewelry simple and added a few beaded stretchy bracelets on each hand, a pair of orange-red plastic Rose Stud Earrings and this Handmade Necklace by my friend Sue Marie from Hidden Beaded Treasures. There is a glass-looking burgundy stone in it as well as a quote charm that says "All good things are wild and free" and I love the necklace, as well as the quote. So grab yourselves a fit+flare dress this holiday season and wear it. You will look stylish and put-together. Do you like how I styled my Hunter Green Dress with a Leopard Coat?!

Thank you so much for such a successful linkup last week. You also loved my Holiday Series post on what to wear to a Winter Holiday Wedding. You loved that I chose a Faux Leather Black Midi Skirt. While I loved so many of your looks, so much so that I am featuring 10 outfits today since over 145 were linked. These ladies nailed it and clearly I like what I like because I was attracted to pretty neck bows (on blouses) red/burgundy and black. Everyone below looks so chic! Take a peak. =)

This week's Featured Blogger is my Stylish Bohemian Friend DEBBIE from Fashion Fairy Dust who clearly looks amazing in red and both of these outfits have Holiday elements in them. First I love how elegant and feminine the 'Red Ruffled Skirt and Leopard Pumps' look together, especially pairing them with a bohemian and girly ivory lace blouse. She also shared the most amazing 'Velvet Embroidered Jacket' paired with a red plaid mini dress and over-the-knee boots. The easy way she layered here is so chic and on trend. I also love that both outfits feature a pattern and the color red, plus Debbie still stayed true to her colorful, bold, boho style in both. The location of her photos is always so picturesque, too. That is such a beautiful Fall view on her first outfit. I can always find inspiration from Debbie and she will join me for 2 more Holiday collaborations this month. Make sure you follow her. Her outfits and her writing will inspire you!

Nailil shared a casual yet dressy 'Holiday Outfit Idea' in wine and black. I definitely think wine and leopard - perfect pattern pop - are perfect together especially around the holidays. Love the wrap top.
The very elegant Nancy shared a 'Pied de Poule' pre-owned tweed suit which I loved. Pairing it with all black and a bow-tie blouse definitely makes it very classic and Chanelesque.
Looking proper in 'Sailor Pants and Stripes', Jennie got the monochromatic nautical look down. Very simple but very put-together while being dressy.
Lee who looked like a million bucks shared with us 'What to Wear to a Black Tie Holiday Party' and this off-the-shoulder black gown is her ticket to looking glamorous. Love that gold clutch and her perfect hair+makeup.
Flouncy hair and all, Shea linked her 'Updated Fall Uniform' with the most lovely oversized burgundy cardigan - love the midi length - a cozy scarf and sophisticated pointy loafers.
'Black and White Winter Chic Outfit' is always in style and has that Bon Chic appeal that every French woman like my friend Christine chooses to wear. Love her in the newsboy cap and what an amazing coat!
'Life Lately' has been busy for Natalie but she managed to look so pretty and colorful in pink, yellow and blue during her travels to Egypt. Her post is filled with her thoughts and acts on kindness so take a peak.
Lorena loves 'Satin Ribons' and looking put-together in black pants. This woman always styles black pants different ways, looking so elegant and office-ready each time.

 This week's Lovely Thursday Moda Co-Host GRACE of Graceful Rags.
This adorable 19-year old always looks so put-together as I said mixing casual with more dressy pieces. Lately she has shared a variety of outfits featuring dresses and skirts - love her girly style. She has managed to look so put-together in all of these dressier looks, even in cozy layers. I also loved the belted burgundy holiday dress she wore recently which would be perfect for a dressy Holiday Event. Grace shares more about her holiday fit+flare dress outfit as well as more about the origin of her blog, in her blog post today.
From Grace's Mouth:
"Hi there! My name is Grace and I’m the gal behind Graceful Rags Fashion Blog. I initially founded this little corner of the web in 2016 as a way to provide affordable and practical (yet still super stylish) outfit inspiration. All the big-name blogs I loved to follow shared gorgeous outfits, but I always had two problems with them: the designer items were way out of my price range, and I had nowhere to wear their luxe outfits. (I mean sure, I love a tulle skirt as much as the next girl, but I can’t wear one to school!) So Graceful Rags was born, where I share my outfits, where I purchased each item, how much each item cost, and a link to the last time I wore it (so you can witness versatility firsthand!). In addition to my regular fashion posts each Monday, I now include deeper, lifestyle topics on Thursdays. Thanks so much for stopping by today’s link-up, and I hope to see you around the blog! Here are my links: Blog //  Pinterest  // Instagram  // Facebook".

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Currently, December 2018.

Just like that, we are at the very end of 2018. It is the last month of the year. Stores and retailers are filling up our emails with offers, promo codes and sales several times a day. Everywhere you go there is Christmas music and Christmas decor. Down-towns are all decked out in lights and tinsel. Hot cocoa, hot tea and chestnut praline are the drinks of choice, or eggnog for some. And construction is in full swing if you live in Michigan. I swear to God, they are always building up and repairing roads in this state LOL. Anyway, I love doing these Currently posts. As usual, every month I am linking up this "Currently" post with Anne!

decorating: My home for Christmas. I am not 100% done as I have some last-minute touches and a few changes to wrap it up. But I am home tomorrow and so is my mom and our goal is to clean up the house head to toe and finish all the little things we have to do as far as decorating goes. There will be a Christmas Home Tour next week so please stay tuned. =) I love Christmas Home Tours.

gifting: I haven't gifted anything yet but I went shopping for gifts today and I have purchased a few gifts. I am also looking forward to the Secret Santa Gift Exchange we are doing for my job's Christmas party.  

baking: Unfortunately I do not bake. But you better believe it I am buying all the Christmas cookies (the Danish butter cookies) Panettone Cake and Chocolate Truffles that stores get filled with, this time of the year.

singing: humming to some Christmas songs here and there. I am playing both Holiday Music and all the other music, too. 

mailing: Christmas cards soon, I hope! Fingers crossed. For real!  

One of my favorite parts of these "Currently" posts is reminiscing about outfits of the past, shown+blogged on previous years at the same time of the year. Since tomorrow's 'prompt' on The Blended Blog is about sparkles+shine, I choose to look back at previous Holiday Outfits featuring sparkle and sequins. I decided to select one sparkly outfit from each of the past 5 years. I skipped December 2012 - my very first year of blogging - because I was very, very pregnant then and if I recall correctly I don't remember any sparkly outfits. But I love how you can get a sneak peak below of each of the Christmas Trees I have had through the years. One thing is certain - I never decorate the same. NEVER! Take a look below and let me know what you think of these festive Holiday Outfits, today. Thanks. =)

Back 5 years ago which was also Vivian's very first Christmas, I actually had the least amount of dressy looks for the Holidays. I stayed very comfortable and casual that year as a new mom and a stay-at-home mom to a nursing baby. This chic outfit which is casual yet put-together was one of the most dressy looks from December 2013. This outfit was part of a week of Holiday Looks I showed on my blog, back then. I had just purchased (in Albania) that Stunning Black Sweater with the Sequined Bird Couple. Those parrots sure look stunning+festive. I love that I created a monochrome 95% black outfit with pops of color via that sweater (wish I had that sweater now). I can think of at least one blogging friend that would love this sweater and that is my stylish babe Shelbee, since I know she loves birds. What I also love about this holiday look is the textures of this outfit. Between the Black Velvet Leggings by White House Black Market and the sequins on that sweater I am wearing two popular 'materials' for December which is the month of Christmas and New Year's Eve. Also, Vivian was 11 months then. Isn't she adorable in her Fair Isle Sweater Dress?! It was her first Christmas as I said so I had a Girly Candy/Dessert theme going on as far as the Christmas tree goes. I did mix+match the dessert ornaments with classic red+gold ornaments though.

You know what combination I love come Christmas time? Pairing some type of Plaid (especially a red Christmas plaid) with Sequins. This time the sequins are on the bottom as I am wearing these Fancy Jogger-Style Sequined Black Pants and I dressed them up with Bronze Platform-Heeled Real Leather Pumps by Bebe. Carrying a Fun Artsy Clutch and wearing a Colorful, Jewel-Toned Necklace also makes this Plaid Button-Down Shirt totally dressed up. I would totally wear an outfit like this for New Year's Eve. Also, this post was part of a week of collaborations with fun ideas on Holiday Outfits. That was the 'plaid week' and this was the very first collab I did with my dear Canadian friend LINDA from A Labour of Life.

I spoke about textures on the previous outfit. Well let me count the textures in this New Year's Eve Style Inspiraton for you: Leather Shoes, Fishnet Chevron Tights, Frayed Skirt, Satin on the Skirt+Bustier, Lace Bustier, Sequined Blazer, Tasseled Earrings, Zippered Edged Ruffles on the Clutch and Faux Fur Pom Pom Bag Charm. Yes, yes I know that is A LOT of details and textures in one single outfit but for New Year's Eve a Fancy, Glam and Fun Outfit like this is appropriate I think. Plus I kept it mostly in black with that bright pop of Bourdeaux right in the middle. What do you think?! And P.S. that white Christmas tree with the purple and turquoise ornaments came out looking gorgeous, that year.

This was one of my yearly Holiday Collaborations. Myself and 5 other blogging friends got together to show you what to wear for New Year's Eve and I decided to be glam but classic that year in this Smocked-Neck, Long-Sleeve, Chiffon Teal Dress. The sparkle of this dress is subtle here since those little dots are like little sparklers made of metallic thread. But since it was NY Eve I added more sparkle via my Silver Mesh Crystal Collar Necklace, Statement Earrings and all my Hand Jewelry. More sparkle comes through that beaded strip in my clutch. There is also a little texture here via the Diamond-Patterned Tights, the Suede Buckled Pumps and the Satin Black Clutch. Both in the blog and in real life I wore two very Classic New Year's Eve Outfits that year and I loved them.

There is no sequins, crystals or beads on this outfit. However the sparkle effect comes from the grommets and metallic buttons on that Adorable French Beret as well as the Stunning Statement Earrings full of clustered crystals. I got a lot of Pink+Grey on - a color combination which I love. And another Bird Sweater. This is not a 'typical' Holiday Look but I do have on birds, Glen Plaid and some Faux Snakeskin. Plus the bow and the bright fuchsia make this outfit totally festive, tres-chic and stylish without even trying. It was also one of my most favorite outfits I have ever worn. It is totally me, too.

Looking Back, I think my 2 most favorite outfits here are the earliest one and the most recent one, both outfits featuring bird sweaters. What about your favorite 2 outfits from these shared?!