For the past three days we’ve all been basking in the glory of the first festivities of the summer. The Memorial Day holiday kicks off the first of many extended summer weekends, vacations, and holiday get-togethers to come over the coming summer months. It was a fantastic three-day weekend, but… we’re feeling out of shape from overindulging… we’re feeling exhausted from overextending ourselves… we’re feeling pain from overexposure to the sun. Gearing up and getting back to the grind after a holiday weekend can be difficult. Don’t let summer adventures dull your productivity! Check out my 3 cures for a post-holiday hangover.
Cleanse Your Palate
Summer festivities always seem to consist of salty food and an abundance of alcohol. These refreshments in combination with the summer heat leave us deeply dehydrated and feeling bloated and lethargic. Before you head to hot yoga or out for a run to detox from overindulging, cleanse your palate by replenishing nutrients and hydrating. Smoothies are a social butterfly’s best friend in the summer months. There are endless seasonal ingredient options for smoothies in the summer, so it’s easy to have the necessary ingredients on hand. Smoothies are super refreshing and satisfying – they’re a surefire way to energize yourself after an extended summer holiday! New to smoothie-making and need some help pairing ingredients perfectly? Follow MyBOD Wellness on Facebook and Twitter for weekly recipe inspiration!
Master the Summer Up-do
When you’re heading back to work after a holiday, you’re likely feeling exhausted from travel and endless activities, parties, and events. You don’t particularly FEEL GOOD, so the last thing you care about is trying to LOOK GOOD. By now you probably know my theory that feeling good and looking good have a cyclical relationship. So, if you’re able to put in a little effort to LOOK GOOD before you head back to work, you will FEEL GOOD and hopefully be more productive post-holiday. The key to looking good when feeling lazy is mastering the summer up-do. There are endless summer hair tutorials out there, many of which seem complicated and unattainable without the help of a celebrity stylist. However, I found two with realistic options for the everygirl: Easy Summer Hairstyles by Self Magazine and Fresh DIY Ponytails by Refinery 29.
Sooth the Sunburn
I was fortunate enough to get a base tan on my Mexico getaway back in April. However, I’m a pale girl with Irish blood, so for those of you who stepped into the sun for the first time this season over Memorial Day, I feel your pain, literally. If you’re fair skinned like me, you know that no amount of sunscreen can truly prevent you from getting burned during the summer when we spend significantly more time outdoors. My northern girls also have particularly sensitive skin come summer after being bundled up in a parka for the past six months. It is essential that you have some remedies to sooth the sunburn on hand. Refinery 29 to the rescue again! Just in time for Memorial Day, R29 Beauty Director Megan McIntyre shared four Homemade Cures for Burnt-to-a-Crisp Skin.
We are well into the third month of 2014 – have you touched base with the goals you set for this year? When the New Year comes around, we typically set out with a lot of ambition and expectations. In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes in your everyday life to produce big results.
When the year starts to pick up, we often lose sight of the goals we set in January. Don’t get discouraged when life gets in the way! You can always check back in with yourself and your goals. What better time to do so than the coming of spring? A new season is right around the corner, and spring is a great time for renewal and reviving your 2014 goals.
Need a little nudge? I’ve got 4 ways to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in March!
Instagram Inspiration from Bethenny Frankel, DVF, Splendid, Elizabeth and James, and Home on the Runway
The holidays are just days away, which means you are just days away from a little much needed rest and relaxation! Hopefully your holiday shopping is winding down, and starting these weekend you’ll be putting the final touches on all your plans. Take advantage of your time off by creating a little R&R To-Do List. Let me help you get started with some fun and festive suggestions:
TONIGHT: Make Limoncello
You know you’re going to need some spirits to stay in the holiday spirit. Start this Limoncello recipe tonight, and it’ll be ready by Christmas!
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
TONIGHT: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemons. Place the peels in a 2QT pitcher, then pour the vodka in the pitcher. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 4 days. CHRISTMAS EVE: Make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar in water. Cool completely, then add the simple syrup to the 2QT pitcher with the lemon peels and vodka. Cover and allow to sit overnight. CHRISTMAS DAY: Strain and discard lemon peels. Chill and serve! Cheers!
THIS WEEKEND: Throw a Wrap Party
You and your girls have all or most of your shopping done, and you could use an excuse to get together, share a couple cocktails, and wrap up the holiday season with a wrap party! Have each of your friends bring some wrapping materials: a roll of paper, ribbons and bows, gift tags, etc. Then you can share the wrappings and have a variety of gift wraps under your tree! If you want to spice up your get together, have each girl bring an appetizer, dessert, or drink and make a real party out of it. You’ll enjoy some much needed girl time and you’ll be getting things done – guilt free fun!
DURING THE HOLIDAYS: Read a Book
You know I’m always encouraging you to keep a reading list, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to finally have some down time to pick up a book. While the kids are playing or while grandmother is cooking, curl up and read! If you need some suggestions, one of my all time favorite blogging resources, Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) has 5 books to feed your mind before the New Year. With their list of business books, you can feel productive while you’re resting and relaxing.
POST-HOLIDAY: Watch a Movie
There are some awesome movies coming out on Christmas, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street come to mind. IFB also has an awesome article about great fashion films available on Netflix. From documentaries to films, they’ll be something for you on this comprehensive list of 40 must-watch movies. Of course, if all else fails, a holiday movie marathon is always appropriate during this season. Add a movie to your R&R to-do list!
HOLIDAY GIFTING TIPS PART IV – DIY GIFTS
In Part III of my Holiday Gifting Tips, I discussed 5 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for a Gift PLUS a bonus 6th way: DIY. So, in Part IV I’ve got 3 DIY gifts for anyone left on your list PLUS another bonus 4th DIY way to jazz up your presents! Whether you’re a DIY diva or novice, the holidays are the perfect time to delve in to DIY project to gift. Regardless of your skill level, I’ve got your covered!
The Old Standby: Skill Level Easy
When in doubt, go with something chocolate. No matter who you’re gifting – man, woman, or child – you can never have enough sweets during the holiday season. These truffles not only taste good, but also look good. In just 5 ingredients, you’ve got a refined and sophisticated alternative to your typical holiday sweets. Here’s the recipe courtesy of one of my favorite chefs, Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix. This gal knows how to knock out a recipe in five ingredients or fewer!
1. 1/3C cream
2. 14OZ white chocolate, chopped
3. 1T butter
4. 8OZ dark chocolate, chopped
5. 1 1/2C topping of your choice
Directions: Place chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan over low heat. Add hot cream to white chocolate in bowl, then add butter. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2hrs, then form into balls. Refrigerate again for at least 1hr before the next step. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Dip each white chocolate ball into the melted dark chocolate, using a fork to remove the dipped ball and place on wire rack. Sprinkle dipped balls with topping of your choice: cocoa powder, sprinkles, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, espresso grinds, any or all of the above! SPECIAL TIP: Doubling the recipe is recommended for gifting to a crowd!
21 and Up: Skill Level Medium
Who doesn’t love decorative wine stoppers? Everyone is having a drink or two or three at holiday festivities and get togethers, so what better way to treat your legal ladies than with something fun and functional for their favorite bottle. Thanks to Zooey Deschanel’s positive online community for women, Hello Giggles, you only need 3 items to make an awesome personalized wine stopper to gift!
Decorative Wine Stoppers
1. Wine Corks
2. Decorative Knobs
3. Drill (electric or hand)
OPTIONAL: Hot glue or other strong glue
Directions: If you’re like me, you’ve got a collection of wine corks just waiting for a craft. If not, they’re cheap and easy to buy in bulk at your local craft store (about $3 for 12), or down a couple bottles in the next couple weeks, and bam! You’ve got your corks for Christmas! You might also have some knobs lying around that you’ve replaced with others. If not, you can go scouring at your local thrift shop or vintage market or purchase some at your local craft store or your favorite home store (Anthropologie comes to mind) for about $3-$12 each. SPECIAL TIP: The length of the cork must exceed the length of the screw on the knob! Once you’ve procured these two items and a drill, you’re ready to get crafting. Step 1 – Select the drill bit that most closely matches the size of the screw on your knob and drill down the center, not all the way to the bottom but enough so your screw will fit. Step 2 – screw your knob into the hole! For a little extra protection, screw the knob in almost all the way, and apply a small amount of hot glue to the top of the cork where the decorative knob head will rest. Complete that final screwing in, and allow the decorative knob head to adhere to the top of the cork.
P.S. Want to make your gift extra special? Give it with a bottle of wine!
Pamper Your Girls: Skill Level Easy
I made this scrub for my girls a couple Christmases ago, they were all in love, and everyone wanted the recipe. So, now I’m sharing it with all of you! Be sure to make enough to gift and keep on hand for yourself – you’re going to want some!
Holiday Cheer Sugar Scrub
1. 1C Sugar (I like a raw sugar for a more coarse texture)
2. 1/2C Coconut Oil
3. 1/2tsp Vitamin E Oil
4. 1/4tsp Sweet Almond Oil
5. A few drops of Essential Oil of your choice for scent (Orange, lavender, or peppermint recommended!)
6. Containers and stickers
Directions: Combine all ingredients and place in 4, 2oz containers (about $15 for 12). Use holiday gift tags to label the scrub!
BONUS: Good Gifts Come In Good Packages
The best gifts come in the best packages. Use your creativity, craftiness, and all around DIY skills to make gift packaging that’s as good as the gift inside. Creating a gift box with these DIY gifts and other additions could be a great way to create a whole package (pun intended). These clear fillable ball ornaments (about $15 for 12) are another great way to jazz up a small gift.
Holiday Gifting Tips – Part III
5 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for a Gift
In Part I and Part II we started preparing for the season by 1. Making a list of everyone you will likely be buying a gift for this year, 2. Assigning a budget to each person on the list, and 3. Making better use of your time and energy by thinking of 1 gift for all (or most) of the people on your list. Now, you’ve got the list, you’ve got the budget, and you’ve gotten at least 1 gift for every person on your list. By this point, your friends and co-workers are taken care of, and you can return your focus to your family: your parents, your siblings, your in-laws, your man, and your kids.
Unless one of your family members has a very specific item on their wishlist, to the extent they have sent you a link to the exact product they want, you should never pay full price for a gift. You will be tempted by endless gift guides of this year’s hottest products for the techie, sports fanatic, foodie, dog lover in your life. Unless the heading says something reasonable like, “Best Gifts Under $50,” look away! It is so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest of the season. Companies specifically release the best, most improved versions of products during the holidays to create a frenzy. Fall collections launch just in time for the holidays. Everything is telling you that these will be the perfect gifts to make the best holiday season ever, but deals don’t disappear at this time of year. There are still plenty of sales and steals to find all those perfect gifts, and you don’t have to wait for Black Friday to find them.
This month, I’ve shared some options in my Deal of the Day for your man (or your dad, brother, father in law, son) and your girls (or your mom, sister, sister in law, daughter). I also featured my first detailed post about utilizing members only sites. Over the next month, I will continue to share some deals I discover, but I want to help you find your own by sharing my secrets on how I score my awesome deals.
1. Members Only Sites:
I can’t stress enough that these sites are invaluable. You could honestly do one-stop shopping from the comfort of your computer and check everything off your gift list on one of these sites. Now, they’re also offering extended returns for the holidays.
2. Lucky Birthdays:
Are you luck enough to have a birthday in November or December? Many sites ask for your birthday when you register, create an account, place an order, etc. These sites are likely to send you a birthday discount. Instead of buying yourself a birthday present, use the deal toward holiday gift purchases. I have a November birthday, and I have done this for the past several years. The satisfaction of saving money is gift enough for me!
3. Price Compare:
The internet is a beautiful tool to price compare. If you have a specific product in mind and have the brand and model, you can simply use a search engine, such as Google. However, if you’re looking for something more general – blouse, bedding, blazer, blender – I highly recommend using shopping aggregators. You may be familiar with such sites, like Amazon and eBay. However, my personal favorite is a site called Shopstyle. It is best know for its women’s fashion, but they also compile products for men, kids, and home. The key to these sites is the ability to filter by a number of categories. Here’s an example from Shopstyle: Women, Categories, Clothing, Jackets, Leather, Refine by Brand, Store, Price, Size, Color. This can take 6000+ products down to a manageable 100+ products.
4. Emailing Lists:
My boyfriend badgers me all the time about my inundated email inbox that is primarily filled with emailing list subscriptions. Little does he know how much money I save through the deals in those emails. Typically, sites will give you an initial discount for signing up. Many people register to obtain this deal, then unsubscribe. However, if you continue to subscribe, you will continue to reap the benefits of other exclusive discounts. If you have a Gmail account, you now have these promotions conveniently organized in a folder labeled “Promotions.”
5. Social Media:
Are you following your favorite brands and stores on social media? Many companies give early access to sales or exclusive deals to their followers.
6. BONUS: Make it Yourself!
Whether you’re a DIY diva or novice, the holidays are the perfect time to delve in to DIY project to gift. Learn some projects to try in my Holiday Gifting Tips – Part IV!