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Keep your spare change in check with this cheeky wallet
We’ve all been there: You’re heading to the beach, the park, the carnival, or any summer-perfect activity, really, and you want as few of your personal items on you as possible so you can enjoy yourself without the hassle of toting a bag around.
We’ve got the solution — and it’s a food-themed one! Behold Kate Spade's newest — and most adorable, if we may say so — coin purse that will have you feeling like a little kid running barefoot after the ice cream man in the middle of the street again.
Shaped like a classic Popsicle, the mini purse comes in teal and bright yellow patent leather and will fit your ID, some loose cash, and change — which, when you think about it, is all you really need when spending a summer night out on the town. Well that, and your phone and lipstick, but that’s what pockets are for, right?
This makes for a great add-on to your summer collection and a cute gift even for kids. $78. Available online and in-store.
How to Plan the Perfect One-Stop Summer Soiree
Planning a summer soiree? Read on to get expert tips from Beaucoup! Events, and see the most swoon-worthy tablescape – the ultimate setup for a Freshly Squeezed Summer.
If you’ve ever wanted to host a gathering, and immediately shot down the idea for the stress that quickly accompanied simply figuring out the perfect theme, fear no more! From budget-friendly tips, delicious recipes, and one-stop shopping, local event planner, Ali from Beaucoup! Events, has nailed everything a summer soiree should be.
So without further ado… Take it away, Ali!
Hi, everyone – it’s Ali with Beaucoup! Events!
After a long winter, the only thing on my summer agenda is spending time in the sun, and the best way to do that is with friends and family. Whether on a city balcony, at the pool, or in a sprawling backyard, a simple approach to party preparation makes for an easygoing atmosphere. To minimize stress, West Acres and Beaucoup! Events teamed up for tips to hosting-made easy without sacrificing style or flavor.
Inspired by summer sunshine, brightness was translated into the theme, a Freshly Squeezed Summer. Citrus is colorful, transformable and affordable. From décor to cuisine, queues were taken from nature by using organic elements for the perfect summer soirée. Grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes, which can be found at The Market @ West Acres, studded the table as the centerpiece and place cards. If assigned seating feels too formal, write festive messages in place of your guests’ names (e.g. When life gives you lemons, throw a party!).
The Kate Spade home collection at Macy’s had so much to offer. Lemon printed kitchen towels from the collection, along with lemon dinner plates were a perfect starting point for the tablescape. To ground the bright yellow, navy blue was brought in with striped side plates and floral napkins, also from Macy’s. The sun sparkled off reflective pieces there were gold striped drinking glasses from the Kate Spade collection, as well as gold flatware and individual silver salt-and-pepper shaker sets from my personal collection (tip: it’s a big budget saver when you’re able to mix fun new pieces with items you already have and love). Being playful with patterns and textures seemed fitting in the spirit of summer.
Creating a no-fuss centerpiece designed for even a first-time entertainer was important. Over the Kate Spade navy and white striped table runner from Macy’s, greens from the ever-lovely Love Always Floral were laid down the middle. Nestled among the foliage were battery-operated pillar candles from Herberger’s and pops of bright green, yellow and orange from the citrus. The varying colors and heights allow your eye dance from one end of the table to the other. And as the sun sets, the candles shine a soft glow as the festivities extend into the evening.
The grill was outfitted with the essentials for radiant summer flavors. Picking up from the towels, a Kate Spade lemon-print oven mitt was alongside a mesh grilling basket – both from Macy’s. Grilled chicken with various summer seasonings from Creative Kitchen make a delicious protein to top a salad of romaine, grilled corn, tomato, red onion and a creamy avocado-cilantro dressing.
Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dressing Recipe:
- Purée two diced avocados, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, the freshly squeezed juice of a half a lemon, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
For a vegetarian option, substitute the meat with grilled shiitake mushrooms caps marinated in a tangy barbecue sauce, which can also be found at Creative Kitchen.
Situated on a modern bar cart with gold detail was the drink station. The punch bowl from Macy’s could feature a signature cocktail created just for your gathering. Try a twist on a classic like the refreshing Paloma.
- Mix together six cups of grapefruit juice and the juice of three freshly squeezed limes
- Top the mixture off with champagne. (If you prefer a mocktail, substitute the bubbly for flavored sparkling water).
- Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a DIY drink stirrer.
To add a personalized touch, consider making handmade items. In small white bowls from Macy’s, the place cards were created with nothing more than an orange, gold baker’s twine and gold polka dot paper cut to make tags. The tassel stir sticks required hot glue, wooden skewers cut to size and gold foil tissue paper that I fringed using a scissor. Combined, these items took under an hour to make.
Planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. The best was having a one-stop shop for picking up the perfect party items – tableware and décor from Macy’s & Herberger’s additional spices, sauces, and grilling necessities from Creative Kitchen and citrus accents from The Market @ West Acres – which added convenience and time-saving to the party planning. Also take into consideration your guest’s individual needs to be accommodating. Think about how to create ambiance using alternative lighting. Choose fool-proof recipes that can be done mostly in advance. Serve your drinks in a punch bowl or pitcher, so you don’t have to play bartender all night. Pick a cheerful theme that isn’t defined by perfection, and allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your party planning.
Love what you see? We look forward to collaborating with more local entrepreneurs and businesses! If you have one in mind, send us a message here. In the meantime, click here to catch up on everything else that’s going on at West Acres – from exciting announcements (to come) and everything else you need to make this summer, the best summer.
A very special thank you to Heritage Homes for always allowing us to use your already beautiful homes & patios!
How To Spoil Mom This Christmas
Mom works so hard during the year, and sometimes it’s easy to take them for granted. From taking the kids to school and sports practice to cleaning the house and making sure you do your chores and keeping an eye on your grades – do you even realize how hard she works to keep you and your household happy? This Christmas, why not buy your Mom a truly magical gift to say thank you for all the hard work that she does? From single Moms to busy grandmothers, make sure you take time to celebrate and share with the main lady in your home. Here are just a few ideas as to how you can spoil Mom this holiday season.
Stylish pajamas and loungewear
Every Mom loves slowing down and relaxing during the weekends, so why not make sure that she does it in style in some seriously cozy pajamas or loungewear? By getting her a gift that’ll allow her to unwind and relax, it’s like you’re recognizing the hard work she does. Along with pajamas and loungewear, there are many other ideal gifts for you to consider when shopping for her.
Magical stocking fillers
If you want to get your Mom a gift that truly sparkles and shines, then why not buy her her own star? You can choose the star, and even the constellation that it comes from, if you want to give your Mom a gift that is incredibly special. Sites such as Star Registration provide a range of gift packages explaining how to buy a star. So make sure you choose this gift is you want to dazzle and wow your Mom this holiday season.
Jewelry and accessories
Your Mom will love some new jewelry or accessories to dress up work wear or to give her old outfits a new injection of style. Chunky knitwear is definitely in fashion this season, and a cozy shawl or scarf and a brightly colored bobble hat will finish off any outfit. Sparkly studs or a bracelet are the ideal way to give your Mom a gift that is special and stylish.
If your Mom loves creating and inventing amazing new dishes in the kitchen, then why not consider giving her a foodie gift to help her feel inspired and get those taste buds tingling? From booking a wine tasting to a smoking hot box of hot sauce, you can find a range of foodie gifts that will meet your budget and tastes. Plus, you could even consider booking your entire family in for a cookery lesson if you want your entire clan to enjoy exploring and experimenting with food and new recipes.
Why not truly spoil and wow your Mom this Christmas? From stylish pajamas and accessories to foodie gifts or even a star, if you are organized and inventive then you can buy your Mom a gift that will keep her smiling well into 2018 and beyond. So make sure you choose something a little different this year, and give your Mom a gift that will make her feel incredibly special.
About The Fashionable Housewife
Sarah-Jean Ballard is the Editor in Chief of The Fashionable Housewife blog and Founder of Fashionable Media. Married to a sexy Molecular Biologist, housewife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Certified Personal Nutritionist and entrepreneur who's mission is to help moms just like you look and feel GREAT! Other interests include dancing, yoga, positive intactivism, natural birth and breastfeeding support, babywearing, paleo & gluten-free cooking, and promoting an overall healthy lifestyle to all.
Cha Cha Chocolate
Here’s a super last minute idea or more likely – an early idea for next year. Just something quick and cute.
And if you don’t need any treats, you might want to mosey on down towards the middle of this post.
I made little heart chocolates. Hi.
And packaged them up like tiny candy bars. Too cute. And thanks for reading.
This is super easy. You’ll need a candy mold though. The product number is in the photo below if you want to search for it. I found mine at Cake Art. The squares are 1.25 inch.
And because I have a mini candy coating store growing in my kitchen, I decided to use some of it up for these.
Melt pink candy coating and then using a toothpick, draw heart shapes in the cavity of the candy molds. Let it dry and then pour melted chocolate candy coating over the top. Mercken’s is what I used for these. Fill the cavity enough so it reaches the corners without overflowing and then tap the mold on the counter to settle and even out the coating. Repeat with the remaining cavities. Place in the freezer for a few minutes to set and then pop them right out of the mold and place on wax paper. Repeat and repeat until you have what you need.
Of course, you make these even easier and unwrap existing candy bars to use.
Now the fun part. I had these pink foil wrappers that were lonely and waiting to cuddle something. They were really too big for the bars I made so I cut them in half.
Lay the chocolate on the wrapper, fold the two short pieces first and then the long ones.
The foil is super thin so you can press it pretty flat.
These are also fun to wrap up your cake pops if you do simple decorations.
After your bars are all wrapped in foil, you can add paper wrappers.
I created these with different sayings.
Even one for the pinterest lovers out there.
Making your own wrappers is a cute gift or favor idea. Use the same process and create your own wrappers for your theme. You can turn any candy bar into something a little more special.
But now let me tell you why I really made these.
I bought something for myself a few weeks ago that I thought was the cutest thing ever.
Or at least the cutest thing that week.
It was on sale thank goodness. Wanna see?
It goes with the theme so far.
And it’s really what inspired these tiny wrapped chocolate bars.
But this chocolate is a little bit bigger.
The good thing is it won’t melt in my hands.
Check it out. A Cha Cha Chocolate Clutch.
And look at the chocolate candy clasp.
And the inside lining. So cute.
It’s pretty big, too. Actually it’s a really big clutch.
Big enough to carry all my cha cha chocolates.
Thankfully it has a chain strap, too.
And yes, I couldn’t help but make little Cha Cha labels. It’s just too much fun to say.
But I haven’t mentioned the best part about this bag. It turns out I didn’t just buy one.
Yep. Right now I have one for each hand and that just looks plain silly.
So who wants to help me out and take one of these off my hands?
Enter for a chance to win a Kate Spade Cha Cha Chocolate Clutch.
- Just leave a comment on this post and say something sweet about someone you love. It’s that kind of day you know.
- Deadline to enter is Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6 pm ET. Sorry, Time’s Up. Winner Announced Below.
- One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday evening.
- Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck!
Okay, cha cha time. Let’s see who won the cute clutch. By the way, I’m so glad I didn’t have to choose based on your comments. I would have never been able to pick. So many of you have the sweetest sweethearts in your lives. It made me so happy to read your comments. Smiles and smiles.
Yay! Congratulations Gayl! Hope you have fun with the clutch.
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Remona's Reversible Tote Bag
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In my catalogue of the little library at the cottage, I forgot to mention a book of Common Prayer. My reader's fancy might easily have supplied the omission&mdashold ladies of Margaret's stamp (God bless them!) may as well be without their spectacles, or their elbow-chair, as their prayer-book&mdashI love them for it.
Margaret's was a handsome octavo, printed by Baskerville, the binding red, and fortified with silver at the edges. Out of this book it was their custom every afternoon to read the proper psalms appointed for the day.
The way they managed was this: they took verse by verse&mdashRosamund read her little portion, and Margaret repeated hers in turn, from memory&mdashfor Margaret could say all the Psalter by heart, and a good part of the Bible besides. She would not unfrequently put the girl right when she stumbled or skipped. This Margaret imputed to giddiness&mdasha quality which Rosamund was by no means remarkable for&mdashbut old ladies, like Margaret, are not in all instances alike discriminative.
They had been employed in this manner just before Miss Clare arrived at the cottage. The psalm they had been reading was the hundred and fourth&mdashMargaret was naturally led by it into a discussion of the works of creation.
There had been thunder in the course of the day&mdash an occasion of instruction which the old lady never let pass&mdashshe began&mdash
"Thunder has a very awful sound&mdashsome say God Almighty is angry whenever it thunders&mdashthat it is the voice of God speaking to us for my part, I am not afraid of it"&mdash&mdash
And in this manner the old lady was going on to particularize, as usual, its beneficial effects, in clearing the air, destroying of vermin, &c., when the entrance of Miss Clare put an end to her discourse.
Rosamund received her with respectful tenderness&mdash and, taking her grandmother by the hand, said, with great sweetness,&mdash"Miss Clare is come to see you, grandmother."
"I beg pardon, lady&mdashI cannot see you&mdashbut you are heartily welcome. Is your brother with you, Miss Clare?&mdashI don't hear him."
"He could not come, madam, but he sends his love by me."
"You have an excellent brother, Miss Clare&mdashbut pray do us the honor to take some refreshment&mdashRosamund"&mdash&mdash
And the old lady was going to give directions for a bottle of her currant wine&mdashwhen Elinor, smiling, said "she was come to take a cup of tea with her, and expected to find no ceremony."
"After tea, I promise myself a walk with you, Rosamund, if your grandmother can spare you." Rosamund looked at her grandmother.
"Oh, for that matter, I should be sorry to debar the girl from any pleasure&mdashI am sure it's lonesome enough for her to be with me always&mdashand if Miss Clare will take you out, child, I shall do very well by myself till you return&mdashit will not be the first time, you know, that I have been left here alone&mdashsome of the neighbors will be dropping in bye and bye&mdashor, if not, I shall take no harm."
Rosamund had all the simple manners of a child she kissed her grandmother, and looked happy.
All tea-time the old lady's discourse was little more than a panegyric on young Clare's good qualities. Elinor looked at her young friend, and smiled. Rosamund was beginning to look grave&mdashbut there was a cordial sunshine in the face of Elinor, before which any clouds of reserve that had been gathering on Rosamund's soon brake away.
"Does your grandmother ever go out, Rosamund?"
Margaret prevented the girl's reply, by saying&mdash"My dear young lady, I am an old woman, and very infirm&mdashRosamund takes me a few paces beyond the door sometimes&mdashbut I walk very badly&mdashI love best to sit in our little arbor when the sun shines&mdashI can yet feel it warm and cheerful&mdashand, if I lose the beauties of the season, I shall be very happy if you and Rosamund can take delight in this fine summer evening."
"I shall want to rob you of Rosamund's company now and then, if we like one another. I had hoped to have seen you, madam, at our house. I don't know whether we could not make room for you to come and live with us&mdashwhat say you to it? Allan would be proud to tend you, I am sure and Rosamund and I should be nice company."
Margaret was all unused to such kindnesses, and wept&mdashMargaret had a great spirit&mdashyet she was not above accepting an obligation from a worthy person&mdashthere was a delicacy in Miss Clare's manner&mdashshe could have no interest but pure goodness, to induce her to make the offer&mdashat length the old lady spake from a full heart.
"Miss Clare, this little cottage received us in our distress&mdashit gave us shelter when we had no home&mdashwe have praised God in it&mdashand, while life remains, I think I shall never part from it&mdashRosamund does everything for me"&mdash
"And will do, grandmother, as long as I live"&mdashand then Rosamund fell a-crying.
"You are a good girl, Rosamund and if you do but find friends when I am dead and gone, I shall want no better accommodation while I live&mdashbut God bless you, lady, a thousand times, for your kind offer."
Elinor was moved to tears, and, affecting a sprightliness, bade Rosamund prepare for her walk. The girl put on her white silk bonnet and Elinor thought she never beheld so lovely a creature.
They took leave of Margaret, and walked out together they rambled over all Rosamund's favorite haunts&mdashthrough many a sunny field&mdashby secret glade or wood-walk, where the girl had wandered so often with her beloved Clare.
Who now so happy as Rosamund? She had oft-times heard Allan speak with great tenderness of his sister&mdashshe was now rambling, arm in arm, with that very sister, the "vaunted sister" of her friend, her beloved Clare.
Not a tree, not a bush, scarce a wild flower in their path, but revived in Rosamund some tender recollection, a conversation perhaps, or some chaste endearment. Life, and a new scene of things, were now opening before her&mdashshe was got into a fairy land of uncertain existence.
Rosamund was too happy to talk much&mdashbut Elinor was delighted with her when she did talk:&mdashthe girl's remarks were suggested most of them by the passing scene&mdashand they betrayed, all of them, the liveliness of present impulse&mdashher conversation did not consist in a comparison of vapid feeling, an interchange of sentiment lip-deep&mdashit had all the freshness of young sensation in it.
Sometimes they talked of Allan.
"Allan is very good," said Rosamund, "very good indeed to my grandmother&mdashhe will sit with her, and hear her stories, and read to her, and try to divert her a hundred ways. I wonder sometimes he is not tired. She talks him to death!"
"Then you confess, Rosamund, that the old lady does tire you sometimes?"
"Oh no, I did not mean that&mdashit's very different&mdashI am used to all her ways, and I can humor her, and please her, and I ought to do it, for she is the only friend I ever had in the world."
The new friends did not conclude their walk till it was late, and Rosamund began to be apprehensive about the old lady, who had been all this time alone.
On their return to the cottage, they found that Margaret had been somewhat impatient&mdashold ladies, good old ladies, will be so at times&mdashage is timorous and suspicious of danger, where no danger is.
Besides, it was Margaret's bedtime, for she kept very good hours&mdashindeed, in the distribution of her meals, and sundry other particulars, she resembled the livers in the antique world, more than might well beseem a creature of this.
So the new friends parted for that night. Elinor having made Margaret promise to give Rosamund leave to come and see her the next day.
Gingham is tricky— you have to get the right scale of checks. I do love this one I got last summer from Lane Bryant (where I hardly ever shop). You can also get one from the Gap or Modcloth.
I don’t know what I’ll do when this Kenneth Cole shrug wears out. Though since I’ve had it for 12 years I can’t count on it lasting much longer.
My Dankso Mary Janes have been one of the best investment pieces I’ve picked up over the last year. I wear them all the time! Not only are they comfortable, they’re cute with skirts, dresses, and jeans.
This set of six succulents adds necessary greenery to any apartment or office, big or small.
Terrarium Plant Collection succulents, $45, shopterrain.com
The Coolest Fanny Packs That Will Change Your Mind About Them
Ever since that '90s staple, the fanny pack, made a comeback on the runways, everyone has changed their minds about them. Especially after Kendall Jenner and Beyoncé began wearing fanny packs of their own, and street style stars continuously rock them in the front row at Fashion Week. The industry has fully re-embraced this beloved throwback accessory, and it's time you do, too.
If you're still skeptical about the trend, or haven't yet found the fanny pack you love, I understand. There are plenty of duds out there, which is why I went on a hunt to find the very best ones for 2020. These include the most current styles and at every price point. Whether you want a pouch for your trips to the grocery store, a sporty look, or a designer one to replace your crossbody bag with, you'll find the one within the 15 options, ahead.
For the classic monogram fanny pack that is simple and feels vintage, like you've had it for years, scoop up this option from Coach 1941. It has a leather trim, a turn lock closure, and comes with interchangeable crossbody/belt straps when you want to wear this as a crossbody bag.