This has been a long, busy holiday season. This girl is taking some much needed R&R over the holiday break.
As I look to next year, it’s my hope that I’ll be able to channel the creativity, time and energy to keep the Style Girl blog as timely and interesting as ever. To do that, I need to know what’s on your mind. What would you like to read about? What style issues have you up at night? What’s hot in Boston that readers NEED to know? Please send ideas my way. The more relevant and helpful this is to you, the better it will be.
Here’s to a fun and healthy 2011!
The presents are unwrapped, the nostalgia has waned and you’ve eaten enough sugar cookies to last you until next December. You’ve got a few things to return and a pocket full of gift cards. Time for the holiday sales! But buyer beware…don’t get too crazy about the need to return and purchase all at once…a few post-holiday rules to live by:
- If you need to swap for color or size, do that as soon as possible
- Don’t feel the need to spend your gift cards now. You might want to wait until Jan/Feb for spring clothing or for newer models of what you’re looking for
- Only return for something you want. Assuming you have a gift receipt, you won’t lose value from the original sale so don’t settle for the Wii game or sweater color that they have in stock if it isn’t what you want. You’re better off going back after the new year
- Go early. If you plan on attacking the stores the day after Christmas head over in the morning. By the afternoon it will be a madhouse
- Consider using your gift cards online. Shipping is usually free this time of year and the selection is almost guaranteed to be better than stores. Some sites like DealCatcher can help you navigate online sales
Remember these two rules:
- Patience is a virtue
- The early bird gets the worm
Both apply to after Christmas shopping…
The day has arrived! Are you ready? Is everything perfect? Well even if it’s not, Christmas is here regardless so you’d best face it. Every holiday comes with the “I can’t believe I forgot this” or “How did this break??” moments. I’m already experiencing a few of those things myself. Here are some quick fixes that can help rid you of holiday stress and help make your Christmas a little more merry…
Problem: A few lights started going out on the tree – and it’s obvious
Solution: You could always re-string the lights but that usually equates to a lot of work. Instead, tie bows or add more ornaments on select branches to hide dud lights. You can also tuck tiny packages into the tree that cover dark spots
Problem: You don’t have enough napkin rings
Solution: I have a few different ideas to solve this. The first is to iron the napkins so they are in crisp rectangles and simply lay them on top of the plates – this can look really nice. The second, roll the napkins and use twine/raffia to tie bows around them. Want something more holiday? Cut a few pieces of garland off your holiday decor, give it a rinse and let dry. Then wrap the garland around the napkins. Fake garland will knot easily, while real garland may require a small paperclip or other fastener.
Problem: You don’t have enough wine and beer
Solution: Break out the coffee drinks for after dinner and/or devise a signature cocktail that can be served throughout the night. This will help stretch your supply. Also have plenty of non-alcoholic options like seltzer and soda. Often times people will reach for these instead of the alcohol if they are legitimately thirsty.
Problem: You forgot a gift for your uncle
Solution: There are a few…
- Look around your house. I think that re-gifting or passing along gently owned things can be ok IF the items are in perfect shape and are truly thoughtful for the recipient (a book they would love, a frame that is in their taste, etc.) This is where the “thought” really counts.
- You can wrap up wine or a nice bottle of unopened liquor.
- Make a gift certificate (kind of an IOU) for a local restaurant or service that they may like
- Take advantage of tools like Groupon or Ruelala Local – anything good for the day?
- CVS, Rite Aid and others offer gift certificates to stores and restaurants – pop over to check out what’s left
- Make a donation to a charity on his behalf (warning: this only works if he’s the philanthropic type)
Remember, it all works out. Just get creative!
On the “flat” of Beacon Hill lies a little gift shop that never disappoints. Whether it’s for a birthday, a thank you or for Christmas, I can always find a perfect gift at Flat of the Hill. Owner Katherine Morse does a great job finding unique, pretty gifts while keeping a wide price range in mind. You can find treasures for $10 or treasures for $200 so it makes it the perfect spot to find last minute Christmas gifts for the ladies in your life. A few days ago I went in to poke around. I think I could have bought half the store. Some of my favorite items?
Jonathan Adler note cubes
Cozy scarves and mittens
Stonewall kitchen boxed goodies and a great selection of cookbooks
Paddywax candles – the “snow” scent is amazing and sits in a pretty white pot
Sara Happ lip balm and scrub – heaven
Stuffed toys by Jellycat
Fantastic, affordable jewelry by The Jewelery Collection (check out the turquoise colored drop earrings!)
And the list goes on! Whether you’re looking for a gift for a colleague or some stocking stuffers, head on over to Flat of the Hill (60 Charles Street)
I am so excited that Bliss has finally arrived in Boston! Not only do I love their products but their spa treatments are fantastic! Located at the new W hotel in the theatre district, the new Bliss opened a few months ago and has been gathering a following ever since. Why do I write about this now? For holiday gifts, of course! Services start at just under $50 and go up to $200. Both Bliss products and spa gift certificates make great presents for colleagues, friends or family (or for yourself!)
What’s my favorite treatment? Check out the Hot milk and almond pedicure. It left my feet super silky and it smelled sooo good! I also enjoyed the Peeling Groovy facial. I think I saw fine lines evaporate.
What’s my favorite Bliss product? That’s a loaded question as there are quite a few but my top two are Fat Girl Slim (toning body cream) and their Body Butter. Both are guaranteed to please. To find more great products visit their site. You can get a lot of their products at Sephora as well.
So ditch Newbury for a bit and head on over to Bliss spa at the W. You can thank me later!
When I heard that earmuffs were making a comeback this season, I scoffed a bit. These things come in and out of style faster than the wind. Still, what I love about them is that they are both fashionable AND functional. I hate messing up my hair but I also hate cold weather so when winter arrives this girl is bundled up! Hats, scarves and yes, even the occasional pair of ear muffs.
So, where to pick up a pair of cute, trendy muffs? Here’s a list of a few of my favorites and yes, I just bought a new pair myself – fresh for the season!
J. Crew shearling – love the color
Cheap and cheerful at H&M – they have a great pair of leopard print muffs
Colorful Kors – love these orange muffs at Macys
New England hunting style – this plaid pair from Lands End (Canvas) are great
UGG muffs – this is a bit over the top paired with your UGG boots but very cute. I like the metal detail
Juicy muffs – this black pair is basic but still fun due to the funky texture
Muffs make for great stocking stuffers too so if you aren’t done shopping, add a pair to your list.
Boston.com put up a great new feature yesterday that highlights the “Best of the new: Food & Restaurants“
I bring this up during my 20-something days of Christmas because gift certificates to restaurants make fantastic holiday gifts. Everyone needs a night out and this guide makes it easy to choose something new and different.
Some of my fave places that are featured are The Gallows (S. End spot with cool decor and a unique menu), Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar (great oysters and a fun, neighborhood vibe) and Stoddard’s (great new place in Downtown Crossing with a fantastic bar)
The long winter is upon us so get ready to spend many nights exploring the new cozy spots in Boston. How nice if your friends can too because of the great gift you gave them!