Get Gifty: Our Gift Pick of the Day

 

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

Going, Going, Gone Viral: A Little Holiday Cheer

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

Get Gifty: Our Gift Pick of the Day

 

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

Gift Guide: Gifts for the Everyday Unsung Hero

 

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

Home-for-the-Holidays Décor

SOME CREATIVE IDEAS TO SWEETEN YOUR SPACE

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

Get Gifty: Our Gift Pick of the Day

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

Now Trending: New Looks on the Party Circuit

 

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

Get Gifty: Our Gift Pick of the Day

 

KidKraft “Everyday Heroes” Playset. The only thing better than seeing the little ones feverishly unwrap their presents? Watching them play in all their imaginative glory (and reliving your childhood holidays, of course).

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


November 29, 2012

Love in a Jar: Five Mason Jar Gifts

Photo Credit: Handle the Heat

For years, Mason jars have been used to preserve food – but this holiday season, they’re adding gifting to their resume. Filled with sweet mixes, these old-fashioned, glass containers (which can be found at your local craft store) make for the perfect party favors and Yankee swap presents – just add a gift tag.

Spa Jars
Fact: the holidays can be stressful, so give tired coworkers and shopped-out friends (who knew there was such a thing?), a little rest and relaxation with these homemade candy cane bath salts and oatmeal cookie scrubs.

A Mason Jar Manicure
Filled to the brim with nail polish, cotton balls, and sparkles, this Mason jar has everything needed for an at-home manicure – and what young girl wouldn’t want that?

Contained Cocoa
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate during the winter? With all the fixings for a perfect cup of cocoa (from sugar and marshmallows to a jar to drink it out of), this gift is always a hit.

The Mini Sewing Kit
With a built-in pincushion, this Mason-jar-turned-sewing-kit has aspiring designer written all over it.

Candle-in-a-Jar
Candles have always been a gifting go-to for me, and these Mason jar versions give the holiday staple a thoughtful DIY spin. Plus, you get to choose a personalized scent the recipient is sure to love.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

How are you gifting Mason jars this holiday season? Share your ideas in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 28, 2012

The Modern Host: Four Etiquette Myths

FROM DECKING THE TABLE TO PROPER NAPKINS, HERE'S SOME ETIQUETTE TO FORGET

With each generation, things change – holiday dinners are hosted at a different person’s house, or a meal that was traditionally a sit-down affair evolves into a buffet-style free-for-all. And as tradition shifts, so does hosting etiquette. What still applies to the modern-day gathering? Here, find four classic etiquette myths – and the modern truths behind them:

Myth #1: Traditional holiday menus are a necessity.
Who says the holiday potatoes have to be mashed rather than roasted, baked, or scalloped? You’re the host – so feel free to change up your dishes and recipes. Just be sure to share your menu plans with any traditionalists (or vegetarians, or guests with food allergies) who might protest. If it won’t be a real holiday dinner to your mother-in-law when she can’t have her favorite fig-preserve appetizer, let her bring it.

Myth #2: The bar must be stocked with every kind of alcohol and mixer.
It’s not always feasible to keep a bottle of every liquor known to man. Relieve the pressure by mixing up a signature sangria or cocktail for the event, just like at a wedding reception. Stock the ingredients for that one drink, plus a couple of different beers and both red and white wines. Add a few essentials – vodka, rum, tequila – for guests who like it straight or on the rocks, and you’ll have something to please everyone.

Myth #3: Paper and plasticware should always be shunned.
It is true that linen napkins, matching plates, and attractive silverware are the norm for a fancy dinner. But if you’re hosting family and friends in a more casual setting – especially if children are involved – it’s not uncouth to go disposable and lay down some colorful paper napkins, high-quality paper plates, and those metallic-hued plastic forks. Just stick to your décor’s color palette and give thanks for having fewer dishes to wash.

Myth #4: The more elaborate the better.
Rather than setting the table with every fork and spoon in the set – widely considered an outdated (and confusing) practice – it’s more than okay to start with only enough to get guests through the main course. Cutlery for later courses, like a dessert spoon, can be offered along with the dish. Also, a simple yet thoughtfully designed table can be more functional and just as beautiful as an elaborate setup.

Remember that entertaining has one primary goal: pleasure, for your guests and yourself. Do what is comfortable, fun, and thoughtful – regardless of any supposed “rules” – and you can’t go wrong.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

Have any other classic hosting wisdom you love to ignore? Sound off in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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November 28, 2012