When celebrating the holidays away from home, traveling with toys in tow can be a bit of a struggle. Whether you decide to pack, ship, or carry-on your gifts, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you avoid any unnecessary travel headaches.

To Wrap, or Not to Wrap?
Wrapped gifts are allowed in carry-ons and checked luggage, but keep in mind that TSA officials reserve the right to undo all your handiwork during security inspections. Gifts in your checked luggage are less likely to be unwrapped, but your best bet is to save the wrapping for your arrival – unless you’re flying on Virgin Atlantic, who (for just $2 per package) will wrap presents for departing passengers who have gone through security.

The Outlaws.
Wrapped or unwrapped, toys that resemble weapons are a no-no. And the same goes for sports equipment like baseball bats, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. Liquids are also prohibited – and yes, that even includes snow globes. For a full list of restricted items, go here.

Ship, Ship, Hooray!
Unlike your airline, FedEx Ground® includes insurance and tracking – so in most cases, you’re probably better off if FedEx loses your gift than if your airline does (plus, you can wrap them). Another smart idea is to order gifts online (Rue La La, anyone?) and have them shipped directly to your destination.

Home Sweet Home.
Remember, getting there is just half the battle. To bring the gifts you received back home, pack an extra duffle in your suitcase and surround fragile items with clothing.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

Have a tip for traveling with gifts? Share it in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 12, 2012

1. Madewell’s color code has us seeing the holidays in every shade.

2. This is how we think of December, too – lots of sweets and presents.

3. Wondering what to wear to your holiday party? This Pinterest board has plenty of options.

4. Every holiday fête is going to need some colorfully themed treats.

5. What is it about a snowy landscape that’s just so magical?

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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December 11, 2012

 

Meet Maureen, an Event Producer on our Living team. She puts together our home-centric Boutiques, making sure that each and every part of the event (from the initial photo shoot to the finishing touches) goes off without a hitch. Check out the gifts she’s picked for those lucky enough to make her list. (Don’t I wish I was her cubemate!)

For my mom: “I love that these are classic but modern, and will carry through year after year.”

For my boyfriend: “He has a bar that he inherited from his grandfather, and this would be great for entertaining on it.”

For my cubemates: “My team is awesome and they all deserve some sweet treats around the holiday season.”

Find all these gifts (and lots, lots more) on Rue now.

By Anna Kuchinsky, Staff Writer

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December 7, 2012

 

Afire Four-Piece Complete Steak Smokin’ & Grilling Set. Your uncle doesn’t let anyone else man the grill (ever) so why not let him in on a little grilling secret? Behold: the surefire way to keep your plate first in line for that cooked-to-perfection steak (he’ll thank you in lots and lots of BBQ goodness).

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

December 7, 2012

Break out those Playskool xylophones – based on Jimmy Fallon and Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” elementary school music toys are the only things you need to create some holiday magic. Okay, and maybe a pop star with a fabulous voice…

Do you have other videos that must be seen? Share them in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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December 6, 2012

 

Waterford Set of Four “Train” Ornaments. No matter how many trees you see, Nana’s will always be the best. And these train ornaments? The (crystal) cherry on top.

 The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

December 6, 2012

 

Mom, Dad, the dog? They’re the easy ones. But when it comes to shopping for the people you rely on every day, but don’t know so well – well, that’s when things really get tough. From your favorite barista (if getting you through the morning isn’t heroic, I don’t know what is) to your personal trainer, this gifting guide has you covered.

Postal Carrier
Did you know the U.S. Postal Service restricts the types of gifts your postal carrier can accept? True story. Cash, alcohol, and gifts valued over $20 are a no-no. So, go with something simple like a warm scarf set for bitter winter days or a coffee gift card for early mornings on the job.

The Babysitter
Whether your babysitter is in high school or college, you can bet they’re into electronics. And a sparkly iPhone® case or iPad® cover is the perfect way to make sure he or she won’t cancel last minute, leaving you stranded at home with the kiddos.

Your Favorite Barista
For getting my coffee just right at 7AM, I would give my barista a million dollars if I could. But since my pockets don’t run that deep, a little something sweet (like gourmet cookies) are a great way to say, “Thanks for getting my sugar-to-soy-milk ratio right every time.” Plus, it gives them the chance to sample treats other than the ones they dish out everyday.

Your Kid’s Teacher
Sure, the tag reads “from” your little one, but we all know it’s the parents who end up doing the heavy lifting on the gifting front. This year, rather than their millionth red apple ornament, give them something they’ll actually put to use, like a coffee-to-go mug.

Your Personal Trainer
Let’s face it. When someone’s this in shape, they’re probably a big sports fanatic. So, as a thanks for keeping all those extra holiday pounds off, gift them a piece of memorabilia from their favorite team.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

What are you gifting your everyday unsung heros? Share your ideas in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 5, 2012

Even if you feel prepped and ready for the most wonderful time of the year, there’s always room for a little extra holiday merriment. As the weeks of winter progress, here are some creative decorating ideas to add some cheer to your home (before the relatives arrive).

Tree-mium Seating
Working with less-than-ideal square footage? (Or just have lots of gifts to give?) Host a smaller tree on a sideboard, coffee table, or – if it’s a tiny tree – mantel. Feel free to choose an unexpected color palette, like Eddie Ross’s blues and greens (or golds), then coordinate your wrapping paper and ornaments for pleasing décor the whole season through.

Card Collection
For years, my family hung holiday cards from friends and family around the kitchen door – with tape. Now that my mother has a mantel, she decided to rescue the paint on the walls by creating a mitten-themed cardholder with string and colorful clothespins – kind of like this one. Or, welcome guests in style with a wrought-iron or modern metal trellis decked in ribbon-tied cards and displayed with a wreath hanger.

Sweet Tooth
There are oldies-but-goodies – loading one coffee-table dish with edibles and a corresponding bowl with bright, round ornaments, for example – but for a change of (decorative) pace, try filling attractive glassware with white sugar, mini marshmallows, and old-fashioned candy sticks, or crafting candy topiaries with mints, gummies, foam, and quick-dry glue (substitute double-sided tape to make future snacking easier).

Festive Lighting
You can’t go wrong with candles. Create some ice vases, fill them with tea lights or votives, and pair them with a burning yule log – be it in your fireplace, or on your TV or computer screen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

What are some of your favorite, tried-and-true decorating ideas? Share them in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 5, 2012

Case-Mate “Glam” iPhone® 4/4S Case. Dear drop-prone sister-in-law: this sparkly, protective phone case will prevent shattered screens and look oh-so-festive while doing so. Say goodbye to unsightly cracks and hello to a flood of compliments. (You can thank us later.)

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

December 5, 2012

 

I love a good LBD just as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up – especially during the holiday season, when there are nightly events to attend. To spruce up your party dress rotation, check out these straight-from-your-favorite-glossy options.

Leather insets
A little leather is always a good thing – trust me. A favorite on the Spring runways, leather insets work best when done in black (or oxblood), and they’re the perfect way to add a little unexpected edge to an otherwise simple dress. (Just go light on the jewelry.)

The high-low dress
Yes, it’s been called the “mullet” dress, but unlike the ’80s haircut, a high-low hem works for all party situations – casual and cocktail. An added bonus? It’s a classy way to show off those gams.

The jumpsuit
Gwyneth, Cameron – they’re both wearing it on the red carpet. No longer just for discos (although few can rock a jumpsuit quite like Jerry Hall), this all-in-one, ’70s-inspired style is making a party comeback – just leave the Farrah Fawcett hair at home.

Our Tart Collections Boutique opens Thursday, November 29, at 11AM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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November 29, 2012