A Bit of Sparkle

It's the last weekend before the New Year and we're expecting a snow storm in NYC today. By tomorrow, the city will have a glitter of it's own. I couldn't be happier. Got the crock pot humming with a delish Santa Fe Chicken recipe, and making the most of my last few days of the holiday vacation by freshening up the apartment before New Year's Eve.

And, what's NYE without a little glitter? If you really want to do it right, you have to add some sparkle. Some might say that glitter is cheesy, but I think it's just got a bad rep (you would too if hung out with Ke$ha that much). Glitter makes a statement on special occasions, but can just as easily add a touch of glamor to the everyday. Some of my favorite uses of glitter, after the jump.

Holiday Wrap Up

Merry-two-days-after-Christmas, everyone! I hope you enjoyed your holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. Does your living room floor look something like the above on Christmas morning? I know ours does. For the last few weeks we've carefully shopped and lovingly wrapped all these great Christmas gifts, all for the fun of tearing them open and leaving a big crumpled mess. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Now that the frenzy of gift-giving is over, do you need help keeping all your leftover wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and tags organized? Here are four great ideas for storing Santa's workshop till next year.

Wolfpack Christmas!

I had so been looking forward to our friends' (loving dubbed by one of our dads as 'The Wolfpack') annual Christmas dinner this year. Friday night was the perfect way to start my Christmas vacation: surrounded by friends, good food, and lots & lots of wine.

This is the second year in a row we've all made sure to set aside a night to be together before the crazy week of holiday and family obligations. Although the tradition is about being together, and not giving gifts, we decided to add a little grab bag to the fun this year: each of us brought an Essie nail polish and swapped :).

For a little DIY touch, I made party favors for everyone to take home. Check them out after the jump..

Monday To-Dos

Here we are, Monday morning again. Time for a fresh cup of coffee and a fresh list of to-dos. This week I need to...


Remember when I mentioned that our apartment could use a few upgrades? Well, they've arrived!

This past week, we got ourselves a new dining table & chairs and a console table for underneath the television (pictures soon to follow!). We desperately needed both and have been shopping around for some time to find ones that would be a good match for our place. As I've said before, our apartment is pretty cozy, so we are somewhat limited in the size of furniture we bring into the apartment. We can't have anything too oversized, and what we do purchase needs to be functional.

I love the way both pieces turned out! It's so nice to have some more shelf space, and a new surface for some decorative items; our old dining table was so tiny and wobbly it was hard to sit and really enjoy a meal. Since the new addition, though, we've eaten at the table every night! What's next on the list? Read on to see.....

Monday To-Dos

Today begins the first neat n' tidy series: Monday To-Dos! My post from Saturday just got me all revved up about to-do lists, I guess. From now on, I'd like to start the week with a list of to-dos. Some practical, some theoretical, just whatever I feel needs doing in my life at the moment. This week the big ones are:

+ Get started writing Christmas Cards. First, it would be helpful to stop by Crane & Co. and pick out some that will appropriately spread the holiday cheer :).

+ Take advantage of the 15% off Pottery Barn sale (ends this Wednesday, 12/5). I'm in the market for a new set of sheets, and that Pottery Barn gift card won't spend itself.

+  Try a new recipe. Last Spring I was so on top of this; I was trying something new & healthy every week. I've got to get back into it!

+ Reorganize my dresser drawers. I swear, this is the hardest thing for me to keep looking organized. Time to weed out what's not getting worn and get down to folding.

Have a great week!! 


Taking Notes

For all that technology offers to keep up with our busy lives, I'm still incapable of remembering most things if I don't write them down. I've downloaded plenty of apps that help you stay organized with all sorts of fancy bells and whistles (literally), but to me, it's hard to improve upon the old fashioned paper and pencil. I'm lost without a planner/calendar to remember appointments & birthdays, and a notebook for my daily to-dos.

I recently got a great tip on keeping your to-do list fresh from the Harvard Business Review's tip of the day (thanks, Harvard smarties!). Follow the "3-day rule". If something has been on your to-do list for more that 3 days, take action with one of the following: 

+ Do it immediately. Buckle down and go for it. It probably won't take as long as you think.
+ Schedule it. Pencil in a time for the task in your planner or set a reminder on your phone. If you commit to a time and day, you're more likely to get it done.
+ Bag it. If you're not willing to do something immediately or schedule it for later, you probably won't ever do it. Accept that it's not really a priority and take it off your list.

Need a planner or notebook for the new year (it's almost here!)? Here are some good ones..