Dec
24
2012
0


Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Mermaids Make Memories

mermaids and martinis christofleA couple of weeks ago, I headed uptown to toast my dear friend, party planner extraordinaire, Hilary Pereira of Mermaids and Martinis fame, at a book signing at Christofle on Madison Avenue (think Tiffany’s… but French).  Not only was she signing her first book (of many to come, I’m sure), she was doling out some of the best holiday party tips out there… so good, in fact, I couldn’t keep them to myself.  So, I asked Hilary if she’d be so kind as to share her favorite holiday hosting tips with you.  For Hilary, a party is all about creating a memory and here are a few of her favorite ways to get into the spirit of the season in her own words:

“Trim the Holiday Chaos”

The holidays can cause some major nail-biting moments between family drama, overnight visits, and breaking the bank on holiday shopping.  Instead of stressing out before Santa’s visit, here are a few simple tricks to trim the chaos.  When hosting a soiree, why worry about mailing paper invites?  A great website like “Paperless Post” includes beautifully designed evites that you can customize from the envelope liners to the stamps.  Enlist a couple of Hostess Helpers!  This could include hiring staff depending on your budget or assigning a few friends to stay on top of some key elements during your party like checking in on the kids, peeking into the bathroom once in a while to make sure it is fully stocked, or helping you to snap a few, or even answering the door while you are busy mingling.  And, lastly, but most importantly as the host, be responsible for your energy!  A positive hostess is a magnet for positive guests and vice versa!

Signature Bubbly Bar

I love hosting a signature cocktail, but during the holiday season, I like to expand on this by creating a champagne bubbly bar.  Use champange or Prosecco depending on budget…invest in a few different bottles of champagne/Prosecco and then host small bowls of garnishes–raspberries, cherries, blueberries and essences that you can drop into the drinks.  Your guests will feel like they are creating their own signature drink. PS: Always serve a mocktail for those who are not imbibing or those who are driving!

Go beyond the Pointsetta!

Winter flowers are beautiful and this season’s blooms are easy to create memorable centerpieces–you can even dress them up to add some sparkle to your table with fabric or sequins. Some of the most popular blooms of the season are amaryllis, Star of Bethlehem, orchids, evergreens, mums, snowballs and holly berry.  Or, go outside, collect some fir leaves, pinecones, fallen leaves and go crazy with spraypaint.  I love using silver spraypaint and flocking these elements with fake snow.  But, this year, I used a gold leaf paint which looked beautiful on just on the tips of pinecones and fir leaves.

Traditions with a Twist

It’s fun to create new twists on old traditions.  Instead of a traditional tree trimming party, You could host a White Elephant party where everyone brings a surprise gift and you host a “Swap” or one themed “Winter Woodland” where decor consists of faux fur throws, lots of woodsy, pine scented candles, serve your cocktails out of mini steel thermoses and create a buffet of camp-fire comfort food and a dessert S’mores bar.  You could also host a “Destination Celebration” by creating a whole other country or place in your home.  If you live in chilly Maine, host a Tropical Christmas Luau, or, if you live in sunny Florida, host an Aspen Apres-ski party to switch things up a bit!!

New Year’s Eve: Countdown Cocktails

Purchase a few cheap plastic stopwatches and tie them around the stems of glasses–they will all sound off at Midnight in concert–OR, host a Time Traveler party and set your iPad or an alarm clock to sound off every hour from the minute your party begins through Midnight–every time the alarm goes off, you and your guests can celebrate what part of the world/country just entered into the New Year–AND, introduce a new food element or cocktail based on that country (example: When France begins their NewYear, serve a round of Kir Royales, Japan, bring out a sushi platter or fortune cookies with personalized messages, etc.)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST–An event is an opportunity to find out what these ‘holidays’ really mean to you. 

As a hostess, make your guests feel honored, loved, welcomed and appreciated.  Although it truly is of the utmost importance for me to host an event with a beautiful aesthetic and great food and drink–when we have one moment to come together (for some people just once a year), hosting an event should always circle back to what is most important, the people in your life, and that special time you have to toast in good health and to another year.  As the host, own that, and pay it forward.

And as if, Hilary didn’t already just do us a solid with all of these fabulous party ideas, she is also going to give away a signed copy of her book, Mermaids and Martinis: Turn Your Party Into a Memory to one lucky winner!  All you need to do is follow WhyDid and Mermaids and Martinis on Twitter and retweet this message for your chance to score a book chocked full of SO many more amazing party planning tips, tricks, and ideas.

Good luck and happy hosting!

xx,

WhyDid

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Aug
29
2012
0


Real People, Real Style: Sister from Another Mister
Written by: WhyDid | Real People Real Style

amelia smithI liked Amelia the moment I met her- and not just because she loved spicy tuna on crispy rice as much as I do.  Then I found out her last name was also Smith and knew it was kismet.  I think the deal was sealed for her when I quoted a Loretta Lynn song… either way, we’ve been friends ever since and I don’t plan on ditching her anytime soon… if ever.  You see, Amelia is exactly the kind of girl I talk about all the time.  Not only is she pretty, but she’s also smart.  In between choosing the perfect shade of paint and sourcing one of a kind designer furniture, she’s also booking shows for New York Fashion Week.  Time spent with Amelia is always fun.  We can switch gears between chatting about our latest nail color obsession to deep spiritual conversations about our lives and the future of the universe.  Also doesn’t hurt that Smitty’s smitten with her.  So, here’s a bit more about Amelia and what makes her style so unique:

amelia smith

Name: Amelia Loren Smith

Wearing: French Connection

Occupation: Interior Designer, Freelance Art Director, Set Designer; Model – check her out, right here.

Hometown/Current Town: Tupelo, Mississippi/ New York, New York

I would describe my style as: Simplistic Modern Classic

I can’t leave the house without: Lip gloss

Based on wardrobe alone, if I could live in any time period, it would be: Now!  We have so many options! We can mix and match, reference other eras and still make it our own. I love that!

Best/biggest splurge (worth every penny): My Jimmy Choo Martha Ponyskin clutch, it was my college graduation present to myself.

“Constructed of multi-colored pony skin and suede marked in the middle by an asymmetric gold-tone zipper, which reveals a little extra space, this clutch is smartly sassy easily converting from day to night. It also features a hidden magnetic closure on the flap, an internal pocket with zipper and a tan suede lining with lilac trim. It’s functional expandability.”

Best fashion advice I’ve ever received: Keep it simple

Biggest fashion pet peeve (a trend that just needs to go away): Toms

What I would tell my 13 year old self: That ugly duckling does, in fact, grow up to be a swan.

Weirdest beauty trick that I swear by: A little gloss on the eyelid to give a sleek, shiny, silicone look

Don’t care if it ever goes out of style, I’m going to keep wearing: eyebrows

I would love to trade closets with: Kelis – I bet she has swanky headgear

Fun fact:  I was voted “Most Talented” out of my HS Class. It’s a notion that has carried over into adulthood. I like to do/and excel at multiple things. If I’m not engaging in more than one project at a time something is wrong.

 

So, ya know… whether you need a new face for your next ad campaign or just need a new chaise lounge, Amelia’s your go to girl.

xx,

WhyDid

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Apr
05
2012
1


Real People, Real Style: Got Me on My Knees, Leila
Written by: WhyDid | Real People Real Style

Leila Moghim LarsenWhen I met Leila, I liked her immediately.  She’s warm, funny, and genuine.  A lot like her brand, Silly Lips.   Last weekend,  I was lucky enough to assist styling at the Silly Lips photoshoot with photographer extraordinaire, Aaron Katen.  All of the Silly Lips girls were so fun to be around and it was a pleasure getting to see the girls in action (and living up to their monikers).  Find out a little bit more about Leila and fall in love with her too!

Name:  Leila Larsen

Wearing: Aryn K blouse, Genetic Denim jeans, Forever 21 wedges, accessories from Zou Zou Boutique

Occupation:  Owner/President of Silly Brand, LLC (silly lips lip balm)

Hometown/Current Town:  Memphis, TN / Orlando, FL

1. I would describe my style as:  Girlie but laid back…  I would say it’s simple- spiced up with accessories.  I am kinda obsessed with bracelets.

2.  I can’t leave the house without:  My evil-eye.  If I’m not wearing it, I have one tucked away in my purse at all times… and of course some Silly Lips balm!

3. Based on wardrobe alone, if I could live in any time period, it would be:  This is a hard one.  I’m torn between the 50′s and 70′s.  I really love the 50′s and how everyone dressed up (poodle skirts, skinny capris, scarves, etc.) but the 70′s brought us a variety of laid-back styles that I still love today.  Okay, if I had to choose one, I would say the 70′s.  I look way better in platforms than in flats!

4. Best/biggest splurge (worth every penny):  My wedding dress.  I wish I could wear it everyday.

5. Best fashion advice I’ve ever received:  “You should probably start plucking your eyebrows.”

6. Biggest fashion pet peeve (a trend that just needs to go away):  I am really not sure if I have an answer for this.  I guess I would have to say my biggest fashion pet peeve would be all of the trends that look terrible on me (i.e. palazzo pants & thong bikinis).  Ha!

7. What I would tell my 13 year old self:  Your parents actually do know more than you do.  You are not going to be a doctor….and please don’t throw away that hyper-color t-shirt (it’s still the coolest fashion “invention” ever!).

8. Weirdest beauty trick that I swear by:  When I don’t get enough sleep the night before, I put Preparation H under my eyes to get rid of the puffiness. Try explaining why you have a tube of that in your makeup bag!

9. Don’t care if it ever goes out of style, I’m going to keep wearing:  Big watches, big jewelry and HIGH heels.

10. I would love to trade closets with: Nicole Richie for everyday wear and Kate Middleton for formal events.

11.  This summer I can’t wait to wear:  Maxi dresses and wedges.

Fun fact:  I love arts and crafts :)  I made my own save-the-dates & wedding invitiations!  However, there should be a disclaimer that if you decide to do this on your own, you should factor in a lot less sleep and a lot more money, but for me it was well-worth the finished product!

Now go get silly with your own Silly Lips selves.

xx,

WhyDid

Photos via Kinky Katie

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Mar
07
2012
3


Real People, Real Style: She’s the Manns
Written by: WhyDid | Real People Real Style

Whitney Manns WM Wardrobe ConsultingI’ve known Whitney longer than I’ve known some of my best friends.  She’s what got me through 8th period of  my senior year in highschool.  Always funny, always positive, she made even the most mundane reading more fun.  Little did I know that we had a lot more in common than our navy blue blazers and Mr. Fischer’s senior English class.

Name: Whitney Manns

Wearing: Fitted Red Shift Dress from Asos.com, Stella and Dot Pegasus Necklace, Nude Vince Camuto Pumps

Occupation: Owner and Stylist of WM Wardrobe Consultant

Hometown/Current Town: the small town of Lake Charles, Louisiana

1. I would describe my style as:  Sophisticated chic, on the safe side. I love classic lines of outfits and mixing random colors together but never step over the edge to be overly fashion forward because I never want to scare away any potential clients.

2.  I can’t leave the house without: Cardigan! Love my cardigans (could be because I’m always cold) even if its stuff in one of my ‘Mary Poppins’ size purses. Oooh- and either one of my silver or gold Michael Kors’ Watches, love the chunky boyfriend watch look.

3. Based on wardrobe alone, if I could live in any time period, it would be: The 50′s with all its body fitting outfits but still classy looks.

4. Best/biggest splurge (worth every penny): My first Milly dress, which I still own and wear. When I was first on my own and making my own money I couldn’t believe I was spending half my rent on a dress. However, I Love this designer with her adorable prints, she can make any simple structured dress look amazing.

5. Best fashion advice I’ve ever received: I don’t really know if I was ever told fashion advice more that i learned things gradually, but I guess the one thing i live by is to not be scared to think outside the box.

6. Biggest fashion pet peeve (a trend that just needs to go away): This isn’t so much a trend but a common mistake with ladies trying too hard to look fashionable but its when someone tries to wear too many trends in one outfit!

7. What I would tell my 13 year old self: To Stop wearing that turquoise track suit everyday because it really isn’t that cute.

8. Weirdest beauty trick that I swear by: I really don’t have any!

9. Don’t care if it ever goes out of style, I’m going to keep wearing: my Skinny jeans!

10. I would love to trade closets with: I admire Katie’s Holmes taste in clothes.

Fun fact:  My love for clothes started as a love/hate relationship.  When I was younger I was frustrated with not being stylish but wanted to just wear what I thought looked right. This relationship became stronger after all the art classes I took, evolving into the passion I have for clothes now.

Three years ago, I decided to help others with their struggle or desire to build their fashion relationship.  WM Wardrobe Consulting now has clients in many states and cities and has helped build the confidence level in many women and men through personal shopping and outfit coordinating.

 

So, if you’re in need of a little closet overhaul get in touch with Whitney STAT.  Not only will she work wonders for your closet, she can also recite E. E. Cummings.

xx,

WhyDid

Photo via Lindsey Janies 

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Dec
15
2011
0


Guest Post: Look to the Stars
Written by: WhyDid | Guest Blogger

Celebrities are always a step ahead of the game when it comes to hairstyles and fashion, thanks to free “samples” from designers, so it makes sense to look to those in the spotlight for up and coming trends.  Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve or just adding a few items to your wardrobe, take a look at these five trends celebs have been seen sporting lately.

1. Jewel Tones

Rich, vibrant, saturated colors have been seen on everything lately – from eyelids  to clothing, and even nail polish.  Need a little inspiration?  Browse through your grandma’s jewelry collection and draw ideas from your favorite pieces.  Does the richness of the ruby catch your attention?  Or perhaps the deep, dark shine of the sapphire?  Find the color that speaks to you and make a bold statement by incorporating it into your apparel.

Jewel-toned eye makeup is making a major comeback as well.  The bold look adds drama to the eye, with a smoky application of the rich, pigmented colors.  Emerald green specifically, has been touted as the season’s “it” eye accent color.  Pair it with a dark crimson lip color and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party.

2. Animal Prints

Though animal print may be considered “tacky” to some, it’s back with a vengeance.  Leopard print is particularly hot and can be found on anything from apparel, to tights, and even shoes. Celebrities have recently been seen wearing the stylish prints on the red carpet, at parties, and even in their casual everyday wear.  Adding a pop of animal print does wonders for an otherwise drab outfit. Just make sure to use animal print responsibly – overdoing it can take you from fashionista to fashion disaster very quickly.

3. Autumnal Tones

Earthy colors are on the rise this season, inspired by the warm, spicy palette of fall.  Mustard yellow is a current favorite, and celebrities are particularly loving cardigans and other knits in the vintage hue.  Adding a scarf or handbag in the color will instantly put you at the top of the trends.  Embrace the retro vibe the deep shade of yellow brings by trying pin curls on your hair or wearing red lipstick on your pout.  Spicy shades of red, sunset orange, cinnamon, and yellow-greens are all excellent choices.

4. Faux Fur

That’s right, fur is back, but not in the head-to-toe, Cruella DeVille sort of way.  Instead, it’s appearing on vests, coat collars, gloves, and hats.  Fur adds an air of cold-weather charm, while keeping the iconic look of wealth.  Pair a furry accessory with jeans and a simple tee to create an appealing mixture of retro and glam.

5. Fair Isle

This traditional knit stems from a small island north of Scotland.  Once again the trend is nothing new, but rather a resurgence of an age old fashion. We’ve been seeing this type of sweater in ski shops and woodsy towns for years, but only recently did it make its way mainstream. Try layering the rustic sweater over a collared dress shirt. The juxtaposition of contrasting styles works together to create a high-fashion ensemble.  The look works for males, females, children, and even the occasional pooch. Wear this Scandinavian-style sweater with some lace-up snow boots to complete the look.

Follow this five simple trends and you’ll be looking like a star in no time.

xx,

Lisa

 

About the Author:  Lisa is an avid yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing in her spare time for Usdirect.com.

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