Posh Tip: Send a Handwritten Note

While the digital age now allows us to communicate much more quickly and easily, it has also taken us far away from the idea of the “personal touch”. Remember how good it used to feel to receive a ‘thank you’ card in the mail that was handwritten and catered solely to you? With the ability to send mass electronic messages, the feeling gets a bit lost (though the thought is still appreciated, of course). Instead of reserving handwritten notes for weddings and showers, why not send them more often? It can work in several instances.

The Interview


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After a job interview, mail a handwritten thank you card to your interviewer with a personal note. It will take a little longer to arrive than email, but it will help you stand out from the crowed of other candidates who will likely follow up electronically. And (bonus!) that manager will view you as someone who is thoughtful, which could be an asset in the position.


At Work


Who is the person at your job who is always smiling, always willing to lend a hand, and always going the extra mile? I’m sure we all know at least one. And chances are that person is a bit under appreciated. You can easily remedy that with a little card stock and a kind word. It will be unexpected, and foster good will in your working environment.

The Hosted Party

Thank your guests for all those considerate hostess gifts they brought when they attended your cocktail party, dinner party, housewarming etc. by sending a personalized thank you card or note. I recently received a card that was pink, with butterflies on it (2 of my favorite things!) thanking me for a housewarming gift. It was easy to tell that this card was especially for me and that made me smile.

After a Friendly Visit

Sometimes people just show up for you, and that can be even better than when they bring gifts. Did someone visit you at home when you were sick? Or come to the hospital when you gave birth? Did they stop by to check on your aging parents? All these gestures deserve a heartfelt thank you that can be well-delivered in a gratitude card.


Birthdays and the Holidays


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You may not be able to spend tons of money on the people you love on their special days, but you can show them how much you care with the right sentiment in a card. Find a message that speaks to your relationship with the receiver, or get a blank card and write in your feelings. Either way, it’s a wonderful way to let them know that you care.


For Your Sweet Lover


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Show your man your gratitude for all that he does for you, by slipping a letter you’ve penned onto his nightstand. Or if you want to be less wordy, stick a post-it note on his mirror. Everyone wants to be appreciated and he is no exception. Use this opportunity to praise him and remind him of just how glad you are that he is in your life.


What are some other occasions where a handwritten note could elevate the personal touch in our communications?

Posh Tip: Rock the Bun

Clothing and accessories are so much fun, and one of a woman’s best accessories is her hair. I find that no matter how great my outfit, something always feels off if my hair isn’t quite behaving the way it’s supposed to. Can you relate?

One tried and true way to tame your tresses and still manage to look flawlessly put together, is to rock the bun! There are any number of ways you can wear it and shape it—I prefer a side bun, sometimes with my hair parted in the middle, and sometimes without the part. The ladies below showcase an elegant bun, a “sock” bun (using a sock helps your hair to conform to the shape of the bun) and a curly bun; all are equally gorgeous and equally copy-worthy.

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You can also find TONS of YouTube tutorials on how to create different styles of buns, if you have the inclination to experiment.

What’s your favorite way to rock the bun?

A Few Ideas for Holiday Décor

This year, for the first time in several years, I will be hosting a holiday event at my home: Christmas Brunch. For the past several years my mom has hosted the entire Christmas holiday, but this year the festivities are traveling west with hosting duties to be split between my cousin and me.

I am both excited and nervous: excited because I like hosting, and I love the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with the holidays and spending time with family; nervous, because though I moved into my place in May, it still isn’t quite where I’d like it to be in terms of furnishings and décor.

But, in the meantime, I am focused on achieving gorgeous holiday décor for my tree, the table settings and a few accents for the common living areas. My dad will be bringing in the scent of the season by way of a gorgeous pine Christmas tree, which I’ll be decorating in blue/turquoise and silver; I’ll need seating for 12; and I’ll want candlelight and things that make everything feel warm and cozy.

I’ve been searching for inspirational ideas and adding them to a Pinterest board as an easy way to keep track of them. Here’s what I love so far:

Trim the Tree
I love anything monogrammed, and subbing ribbon for regular ornament hooks is genius.




Table Settings
I wouldn't mind my holiday meal with a side of disco, am always a fan of anything organic and natural looking, and really adore the way these dark linens and chairs play against the stark white of the tablecloth, vases and flowers.




Wreaths
This wreath, made of silver holiday bells, is tres tres fab. But I wonder if it's noisy...


Fun Accents
It would be fun to spray paint pine cones something other than their woodsy brown, and I can't get enough of the way those mini-pears sparkle.



Are you entertaining this holiday season? Is your décor prepped and ready to go? Feel free to share your tips and tricks with me!

All photos via Pinterest

Posh Tip: Mix Primary Colors

The old adage was that one should never mix primary or base colors like black, brown and navy when dressing. But the new rule is that there are no rules, and your style should be a reflection of your personality.

In college, one of my best friends used to often wear combinations of black and brown. And though the “rule” would play back in my head, I couldn’t help but admire how great she always looked in it. I didn’t have the nerve to try it though until a few years later.

I’ve discovered, though, that primary colors actually play very well together; their tones are complements. Designers are even mixing primary colors together with color blocking. I’m a fan in particular of the black and brown combination in riding boots, like Kourtney Kardashian was seen wearing with a fabulous trench.

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This opens up an entirely new way to look at your wardrobe.

So why not try….


Black and Navy?
 



via Cupcakes and Cashmere, Pinterest

Black and Brown? 




via Pinterest, Pinterest and Tumblr

Black and Gray?


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Can you find creative ways to mix the primary colored items in your closet?

Beauty Fix: Zoya Accent Nail

I’ve been spying sooo many adorable variations of nail art lately on friends, online and in magazines, and it has incited the desire for me to try something simple on my own. How could one not be inspired by such lovely designs as these?





all photos: source

So last night, inspired by the theme for my holiday decorations this year (mentioned here), I decided to try something simple: four blue nails, with one silver accent nail. 

Zoya colors in 'Breezi' and 'Trixie' (on ring finger)

I think it's kind of adorable! Next up, I’ll be trying ombre nails with various shades of silver and gray.

Have you tried anything fun with your nail color this season?

Frugal Friday: 15-20% Off at the West Elm Pop-Up Store

Last night AB and I visited the newly opened West Elm pop-up store in Towson Town Center. AB, a fan from visiting their store in Philly, and I, having been a fan from perusing online, were both extremely excited to see what the Towson store would have to offer. And we were not disappointed. 

To start, the store is impeccably styled, causing an immediate case of “I want everything now” syndrome as soon as you enter. From the living room accented in lavender and silver, to the gray pintuck headboard in the bedding section, to the dining table set for 6; there is a constant feast for the eyes.


Besides beautiful pieces of furniture, West Elm Towson also carries gorgeous throw pillows, a bevy of owl knick knacks in various colors, materials and finishes (I am not necessarily a fan of owls but they were oh so cute); books on décor, desserts and even wine service; affordable eating and serving ware (there were glasses starting as low as ($9); and tons of affordable holiday ornaments.



This visit actually cemented my plans for my Christmas tree theme, thanks to the unique blue, turquoise and silver ornaments I spied. I actually snagged several, including a clear bulb with a feather inside, a silver sparkly snow flake, and several white felt snowflakes. 

So to the savings! Visit now and get 15% off any one item in the store through next week. There are also additional sales including 20% off dining items and 20% off the deliciously plush throws they carry in numerous colors. I had to have a soft gray one to offset my bedding.

West Elm is a welcome addition to Towson Town Center; the items are covetable and the customer service is excellent. Heather and Kiera (sp) were super helpful in giving us a tour and making sure we took advantage of the great savings. Though West Elm Towson is currently a pop-up store, there will be an eventual move to their permanent location near Crate and Barrel.

My goodies
Favorite Throw - $29 on sale for $23

Trend Alert: Platform Loafer

Part sassy and part schoolgirl, the platform loafer is this season’s pump du jour. A hot item in every magazine’s September issue, this trend is a clear editor’s favorite for fall. High end designers like Christian Louboutin and Nicholas Kirkwood, as well as budget-friendly retail lines like the Jessica Simpson Collection, have all put their spin on it. What do you think of this trend? Will you wear it?




Posh Tip: Dress for the Job You Want


I am continuously searching for small ways to make everything in my life a bit more chic. Whether it’s my food choices, home décor, shoe collection, wardrobe, or even my spirit—I want everything in my life to be beautiful. And I recognize that it doesn’t have to always take the biggest budget or the grandest gesture; a chic lifestyle can begin with the little things. And so, to that end, I’ve decided to share some of my tips every week with a Tuesday Chic Tip’. I hope you’ll check back weekly to discuss and share your take on these areas of life as well.

I’ve heard it said before that you should “dress for the job you want, not the job you currently have” and I agree with this idiom. In life, we create what it is that we want--first with our thoughts, then with our actions, and eventually we’ll see our dreams come to fruition. By dressing for the job or career you see yourself having in the future, you’re sending a message to the Universe every single day about what you want.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to arrive to work daily in a suit if that isn’t the culture of your work environment. But look to those with senior positions at your company, see how they are dressed, and emulate them—but with your own twist. If your manager wears a suit, try on a smart blazer in a bold color, over a printed dress, or a printed top and slacks.
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If you’re in a more casual environment where jeans are the norm, why not try ‘smart’ jeans by wearing darker denim and pairing it with a belted sweater. You’ll look both chic and cozy.

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Even if you work from home, you’ll want to consider how you would want to present yourself to clients or industry peers; try putting on something as simple as a chambray shirt and wide-legged jeans. 

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Being well-dressed will make you feel effortlessly fabulous and increase your productivity. Bonus!


In My Closet: Taupe Handbag + Weekend Recap

GG and me
This past weekend was filled with sunshine, friendship and family time. Saturday morning met with brunch with the girls at Teavolve, a most adorable little café style restaurant that specializes in teas, but also has a brunch/lunch menu, in order to celebrate another year of the bestie GG’s awesomeness (you can read more about her awesomeness here, on her blog). Over waffles, omelettes, red velvet tea (yuuum) and coffee, we discussed life, love, mommyhood and everything in between.

After eating, a few of us kicked around downtown, popping in and out of the boutiques there, sipping coffee and chatting. During our stop in South Moon Under I fell in love with this gorgeous taupe handbag.


It was love at first sight—I adore the shape, the stitching accents, the braided handles and the gold hardware—and this lover didn’t even necessitate a date around the store before I purchased. I’ve wanted a new neutral handbag that could be my fall “go to” and at $60, this was a steal.

Today, I’ve added it to a taupe-ish blazer, cream blouse, black pleated skirt, black patterned tights and black booties (mentioned here). It’s a fantastic professional look for a Monday—looking great helps to ward off the Monday blues, don’t you think?

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T vs The Wall of Chocolate
Saturday evening was designated mommy/son date night, since he didn’t have a football game—his first free Saturday night since July! We had dinner at PF Chang’s where we enjoyed delish foods and funny conversation; and where he attempted to tackle the “Wall of Chocolate”. Sadly, the wall won, and he ended up bringing most of it home; a good thing, since I’d planned to only let him eat half of it that night anyway. I learned my lesson the hard way after a Valentine’s Day dinner several years ago. Too much Chinese food + chocolate cake overload, would have = me cleaning you-know-what stains out of the carpet. No thanks!

Time with friends and family always puts me in a great mood, and I’m starting out this week feeling positive and ready to be productive! How was your weekend?

5 Things to Do While Your Child Participates in Their Activity

My son participates in a number of activities, the most time consuming of which, is football. Practice goes down 5 days per week in the summer, and then drops to (a still hefty) 3 days per week once the school year begins. And then, of course, there are games on Saturdays.

With many sports and activities that your child engages in, you’ll need to be on-site and eyeballing their every move. But there will be times where you don’t have to (or are not allowed to) hang around and are looking for ways to kill time. Since my guy is older now, it’s not really necessary for me to be present at every single practice (nor does he wish for me to be), so instead I look for ways to utilize that two hours most advantageously.

To that end, I will share with 5 things you can do while your child participates in an activity that you don’t have to be present for:


1. Take advantage of free Wifi – Bring your laptop along and find yourself a cozy spot to curl up and write/web surf/stream movies/update your iTunes, etc.—basically anything that you don’t have time to do while you’re mommy-ing. All Starbucks and Panera locations offer free Wifi, as do some Dunkin Donuts locations and even some Chick-Fil-A restaurants. Of course, you do need to at least purchase a small cup-of-something so as not to appear to be the Wifi moocher that you are. Want truly free Wifi without the necessity of an accompanying purchase? Head to your local library.



2. Exercise – There’s an events center near my son’s football field that offers Zumba classes for $5, with class times that fall within the range of practice. Sometimes, I’ll head over and dance the time away. Occasionally I will also go for a run at a nearby park. Take this opportunity to get physically active while your child is active.

3. Take a class – Find an hour-long art/pottery/knitting/under-water-basket-weaving class and dedicate practice time to developing a talent that you might not be able to otherwise.

4. Run errands – Moms are never at a loss for errands to run or tasks to complete. Head to the grocery store, fill up your tank at a nearby gas station, head to the carwash—squeeze in as much as you can get checked off your list.


5. Visit nearby friends or family – The older we get and the more responsibilities we take on, the less time we have for extended family and friends. If there are any in the neighborhood of your child’s activity, here is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with them. Call in advance, and schedule a date/time. They’ll appreciate that you thought of them.

These work for me based on location, but what other things have you found to whittle the time away while your little one works or plays?

Halloween and the Sting of Pre-Teen Independence



Last night was Halloween. And normally, on Halloween, I would be prepping for scary fun with my little guy—consisting either of a couple of hours of trick-or-treating, or a night on the couch with an enormous bowl of candy and all the scary movies we could possibly stand. Earlier in the day, I’d have been busy snapping away with my camera, capturing him in his latest head-to-toe costume; and preserving memories.

Last night, I found myself on the couch—and that’s about the only thing reminiscent of Halloweens past. This year, my 12-year-old decided that full Halloween garb was too much for him, and instead wanted only a pair of plastic vampire fangs to wear with his own clothes. He called his look “teenage vampire” and as such, didn’t need a silly cape or face paint or all black because, “You’ve seen Vampire Diaries. They just wear regular clothes.”

And in another of many recent efforts to assert his pre-teen independence, he turned down my offer of accompanying him on his treat-seeking efforts, in favor of heading out with his friends. Even when all his guy friends backed out, he sought out female classmates in lieu of hanging with Mom. The joke was on us both when the girls’ parents accompanied them, shattering his thoughts of evening autonomy (joke on him); and subsequently, making me look (feel?) like a total slacker parent for allowing him to head out without me (joke on me).

Of course, I’m not a slacker parent, and there is a level of independence often afforded to boys as they get older that is not given to girls—and perhaps girls don’t demand it as early—and though I can’t say for sure whether or not I would have let my little girl walk around the neighborhood alone in the evening, I did agree to let my son do this. I agreed because he is growing more mature by the day (and growing taller, having surpassed me in height sometime in late spring) and suddenly it has become part of my job as a mother to let him go, and to allow him to experience some things on his own; without my direct guidance. I’m unsure of the exact moment this transition occurred, and though it was probably quite gradual, it seems to me to have happened overnight: my son is now a pre-teen and no longer actually my “little guy” but a young man.

So now I am being encouraged to “give him space” and “let him come to (me)” with issues or daily anecdotes--as opposed to being the stage 5 clinger that I have apparently become associated with . Thus, in the spirit of trust, with the knowledge that my young man has a good head on his shoulders and in the hope that he will make solid decisions—I am officially backing off. I am no longer requiring approval on music choices or video game selections; I am becoming okay with chauffeuring him to dances and allowing him to trick-or-treat without me…and I am accepting that I may need to find a new Halloween tradition for next year.

It's funny how, when we have children of our own, we begin to understand exactly what our parents went through; though we thought they were completely nuts when we were the seekers of freedom. It's inevitable that our kids will grow up, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept, does it?

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