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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.


The Five | Easter Essentials

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For me...

Pretty hats +  little girls in white gloves + nibbles of chocolate + sips of champagne  + my family's {intense} game of Pic-A-Me = the perfect celebration of Spring!

I'll be missing my sweet Nan this year, who was always the most beautiful, most elegant person to sit at our family table. I'll be wearing her signature Lily of the Valley scent in her honor...



Happy Holidays!

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I'm so thankful for a wonderful ending to a year full of ups and downs. As we wrap up 2014, my family will be packing up and moving to a new house - a Mid Century Modern atomic ranch. We're incredibly thrilled to start the New Year in our new home.

Given that we'll be in full moving mode starting December 26th, I'm taking the rest of the year off (and then some). See you in 2015!

Holiday Gift Guide, Special Edition| Fort Wayne

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With only two days left to complete your holiday shopping, I've got some fantastic last minute ideas for those who reside in my fair city. Shake a leg, people!

* Subscription to Fort Wayne Monthly -- I hear they have some pretty kickass contributing writers in that gorgeously glossy mag. It's $18 a year and provides readers with all the fantastic things happening around town! Fill out and send in the subscription card or complete the online form and put a bow on the current issue (available at Kroger) for under the tree or in a stocking. Just go ahead and get one for every person on your list... You'll make at least one freelance writer very happy! 

* Opal & Ruby is a tasteful and fun gift shop for babies, kids, men, women and home --- essentially, everyone. Check out the selection of gourmet seasonings, Doodle tablecloths for creative kids, printed canvas wine flasks, chic zip code pillows, affordable sparkly earrings, books, stationery, greeting cards and cool men's grooming products. 

* The Monogram Shoppe always stocks the most current gifts and gadgets and the massive inventory is impressive. Go here for no-fail gifts for the kiddos --- or die-hard IU or Purdue fans, as the store stocks a wide selection of novelty gifts that represent both.

* If you need a gift for a girl of any age, you can find it at Essentials & Frosting. Think eco friendly cosmetics, candles, a vast array of jewelry and gobs of sweaters and denim.

* Symmetry stocks designer clothing and a well curated selection of cool jewels and accessories for the fashionistas (I hate that word but sometimes it's hard to find a good substitute --- someone help me) on your list.

* Bravas' new brick and mortar burger joint sells gift certificates - a slam dunk for all the bros on your list.

* Make a donation in someone's honor to Wunderkammer Company. Right next door to Brava's, this indie gallery churns out hit after hit, supporting the community and the regional scene with innovative events and a fresh, approachable take on the arts.

* A membership to Science Central or the Fort Wayne Museum of Art can be enjoyed all year long. One membership can serve an entire family and they'll think of you every time they visit.

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 4 | For the Gourmand

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Luxurious kitchen and dining gifts are among my favorite to give and receive. For this installment, I've gathered cool sets and accessories for those who love to get funky in the kitchen, all under $80!

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 3 | For the Fine Fellas

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Whether yo man is a sports bro, a DIY dandy, a rocker, a fine fella or a man's man, I've got you covered with gifts $85 and under!

RIFD-blocking Steel Herringbone Wallet $75  | Whiskey and Rum Making Kit $75 | Beard Pack $40 
Baseball Game $48 | Ticket Stub Diary $12 | Stalk Tiebar $85

Miss the previous editions of this year's gift guides? Fear not: Part 1, For the Glamour Girls | Part 2, For the Kiddos

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2 | For the Kiddos

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There are standard gifts that most children always love to open (think Lego, Barbie) but I like to hunt around for more unique gifts for the littles in my life. I've gone a little too out there in the past (clip on unicorn horn for my 3 year old niece -- she was underwhelmed) but I'm confident in this year's list. Bonus: All items are $50 or less!

Warning: This list contains gifts adults will want to play with. I may or may not have had a long, intense session with Simon recently. 


Simon Memory Game $25 | Make Your Own Dream Catcher $45 | Snowball Launcher $25 |  
Perplexus Epic Ball $30 | Boogie Board LCD e-Writer $39 | Snow Castle $50

Miss the previous edition of this year's gift guides? Fear not: Part 1, For the Glamour Girls

In the Clutch

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You need a chic and stylish clutch for all your holiday haunts - your day bag just won't do. The right clutch bag holds all your essentials (phone, keys, ID, money, lipstick, mints) but also acts as an additional piece of jewelry. Consider not only your dress style but also your carrying style. For example, a leather envelope style clutch is easy to tuck under your arm while a minaudière certainly is not. Will you be annoyed if you have to carry it in your hand all night? If yes, choose one with an included strap so you have options. Regardless, select something with a bit of pizzazz for the biggest impact - an evening clutch should be gorgeous and special and perhaps a little over the top. 

Party Shoes

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'Tis the season for pretty party shoes! Embellished heels add interest to your party dresses, especially when it's your trusty LBD that everyone's seen a few times. You can't go wrong with a neutral embellished shoe since you'll get much more mileage out of them. However, I'm having a mint green-slash-seafoam moment and think that color is highly overlooked this time of year. Look for impactful details like lace, beading or satin bows for sweet, party ready feet. And if you're running from party to party, do yourself a favor and slip in a pair of cushy halter inserts to stay comfy all night long (no promises on that one).

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1 | For the Glamour Girl

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I love giving (and getting) presents. I shop year round for my family and friends and use an excel spreadsheet to track my gifting from year to year - it's quite handy to see what I've previously given. But I realize many people labor over holiday shopping. If you're one of those, I'll be serving up gift ideas for every recipient on your list each Monday morning from now through Christmas (for you last minute Scrooges). Oh, and everything's under $100. This week it's all about the glamorous girls in your life.


Nordstrom Foil Paint Accent Pillow $38 | Kate Spade Bow Beanie $98 | Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Palette $75 | Rebecca Minkoff Molly Metro Wallet $75 | Ugg Andi Slipper $90 | Keychain $14


Want to thank me? Send me something from this list. I want it all.

Blissful Beauty + Cyber Monday Deal

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Once upon a time, I dreamed of owning a spa when I grew up. I was (and still am) obsessed with the spa industry and the business of beauty. I became enthralled with a marvelous and enterprising woman named Marcia Kilgore and ripped out magazine articles about her famed Bliss spa, a modern and youthful, fun-loving spa, an alternative to the traditional (and perhaps sometimes stuffy) business model I was always reading about. When I finally got my hands on my first Bliss products some years later I was hooked.

Bliss' signature lemon + sage scent is divine (reminds me of my first post-college apartment in Boston) and their product packaging and cheeky presentation is cheerful and bright. The Bliss spas (now owned by Starwood) are known for playing upbeat music in bright, clean yet still serene environments. Their delicious complementary brownies aren't too shabby, either. I've loved every single minute I've ever spent inside a Bliss location. My only sadness is that it doesn't happen nearly enough.

Here's how I create a little Bliss for myself at home:

Fabulous Foaming Face Wash $24 | The Youth As We Know It Serum $70 | Triple Oxygen Eye Gel $50

For today only, shop Bliss and take advantage of their incredible Cyber Monday deal!

Click the link below and use code BLISSFRIDAY at checkout.

Cyber Monday Offer: 40% off Bliss Pro Sizes + 20% off Almost Everything Else + Free $150 Beauty Bag + 
4 Free Travel-Size Treats + Free Shipping


Small Business Saturday

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I'm a big fan of Small Business Saturday! While I do very little Black Friday shopping, I always hit up my favorite local shops on SBS to pump dollars back into the community. I'm proud to say I do this as a regular practice all year long, but I definitely make a special push in December. This holiday season, make a personal pledge (if you haven't already) to buy the majority of your gifts at a locally owned store. From Mom & Pop restaurants to your favorite indie boutiques, you'll be giving twice when you purchase goods, gift cards or services from a local business -- once to the recipient and once to the business owner. 

* Be sure to use #ShopSmall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word!

Black Friday Beauty

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You're either into Black Friday shopping or you aren't. I know not every participant gets punched while trying to scoop this year's must have item but I much prefer to the spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, decorating for the holidays and lounging with my family. That's not to say I don't do a little shopping of my own. I just happen to take advantage of the online version rather than the brick and mortar kind. I'm so thankful e-tailers cater to passive shoppers like me. 

I'm particularly excited about Tarte's Black Friday sale! Tarte is fabulously eco chic with effective and luxurious products that manage to do the trick without the harmful ingredients still used by many beauty brands. Take advantage of today's online sale and stock up on favorites or try something new. If you're looking for a great introduction to the brand, you can't go wrong with their legendary Cheek Stains or uber moisturizing LipSurgence lip crayons.

Turkey and Dressing

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I adore Thanksgiving and abide by long-held family traditions. The morning is strictly reserved for a light buffet breakfast (fruit, cheese, crackers) while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I high-kick my legs with The Rockettes and giggle at the (sometimes terribly) obvious lip-synching. 

My Thanksgiving meal specialties include the most kick@$$ and most definitely not low-fat mashed potatoes (I mix in an embarrassing amount of full fat cream cheese for extra creaminess) and a super simple yet yummy homemade cranberry sauce - so much better than canned, believe me. Find my tried and true recipe on Instagram and make it your own.

Maison Scotch Relaxed Fit Pajama Pants $105 - now 40% off!

But (and this is a BIG but) the best part about Thanksgiving is that post-meal nap, the buzz of football playing in the background. I'm not typically great at napping but I make it part of the day's plans. While I don't want to look like a slob on Thanksgiving, I absolutely plan my holiday ensemble to accommodate comfy snoozing. Glorified pajama pants are the key. Paired with booties, a comfy sweater and some glittering, statement earrings, you'll be holiday ready but primed for a well-deserved (I'm assuming, here) catnap. These sweet floral print pajama pants by Maison Scotch feature slimming tuxedo stripes on the sides. Keyooote!

This year, my family will be missing our sweet Nan Nan but we'll make sure she's part of our celebration with fond and funny memories of holidays past. 

Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy, happy and most delicious Thanksgiving Day!

Our Holiday Gift Tradition

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Every year, my husband and I exchange Moleskine notebooks for Foxmas (our pet name for the holidays). While we're both tech junkies and rely heavily on our iPhones and iPads, we both still love the feeling of putting pen to paper and cherish these beautiful books. We archive them once filled, so they've become a defacto diary-slash-scrapbook of our personal and professional lives. Now, our 6 year old son has taken a shine to them and is following in our footsteps. 

Over the years, Moleskine has added niche notebooks for every interest. From wine, beer, food and travel journals, limited edition StarWars, Hello Kitty and Simpson theme books, to a rainbow of cover colors, sizes and paper options, these elegant notebooks make a great gift for everyone on your list - one that's truly appreciated and never goes unused.

Shop the vast array of Moleskine notebooks and get working on chipping away at your gift list.

Every Monday from now until Christmas Day, I'll be posting kick@$$ gift guides to help you along. 

Stay tuned for awesome ideas, all under $100!

Stylish Holiday Gifts on #INsight...

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