Mar 15, 2018

Dressing for Success with Talbots and Oprah

If you know me AT ALL, you know that I’m a sucker for owning my style. I love playfully mixing and matching, and putting outfits together that really show who I am underneath it all.

For the last two years, I’ve been helping my friends at Talbots and O Magazine to promote an amazing fashion collaboration that benefits Dress for Success. Anytime style gives back, it’s a really great thing. This year they asked if I’d help spread the word again, and it was an immediate "YES!”

In this Month’s O, the Oprah Magazine, you’ll see some philanthropic celebrities sporting the beautiful collection. Think of it as a look book worn by some of your favorite ladies of the small screen. Talbots let me select some of my favorite pieces of the collection, so I could show you all just how wonderful they are, in person.

30% of the net proceeds from the collection will directly benefit Dress for Success, an international non-profit organization that gives women the tools they need to achieve economic independence. As the youngest of three children that grew up with a single mom, who worked many jobs to provide for us, I can tell you that Dress of Success would have been such a blessing to our family. 

Not only are a portion of the proceeds donated, Talbots is also collecting monetary donations in-store and online through April 1 for Dress for Success. And Talbots is matching those donations up to $250,000.

Plus, the collection is simply beautiful! This is a five-piece capsule wardrobe with classic looks. It screamsof SPRING with vibrant colors, gorgeous details, and a touch of playfulness with it’s lovely ladybug motif.

Did you know the ladybug is a symbol of love, luck, and prosperity? It's like having a little bit of confidence sewn right into your sweater. Look good and feel good.

So go! Run to your local Talbots and treat yourself to a lovely touch of springtime style, and help support women who simply need a little help from their friends, or shop the collection online.

Mar 7, 2018

Celebrating International Women's Day

Women's History Month and International Women's Day aren't the only time we should be celebrating women, but they are a great reminder for us to empower the women around us and celebrate all the wonderful things they do.

There are so so many organizations, companies, and initiatives that are leading by example, and today I wanted to share just a few that I'm more familiar with. Hopefully they'll inspire you to empower and lift up the women in your life, and around the world.

Beauty Begins Within

I've been so impressed by justBobbi, created by beauty icon Bobbi Brown, and their partnership with Health Warrior, a superfood snack company. They've teamed up to created a Dragon Fruit Chia Bar exclusively for Girls, Inc., and organization that empowers girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

They sent me a few of the bars to try, and of course, they're delicious, but more importantly, they're using this platform as a way to make waves. 100% of profits from sales of the Beauty Begins Within Bar go straight to Girls, Inc..

This partnership is such an awesome reminder that you can use your own strengths to empower others, even if it doesn't seem like your interests are all the same.

Ladies Get Paid

Ladies Get Paid empowers women to be confident in their work and get the pay (and promotions) they deserve, and they have fun doing it. Founded by Claire Wasserman, LGP hosts town halls, meet ups, workshops, happy hours, and more, all focused on helping you kick some serious butt in your career and connect with other women doing the same thing. Oh, and their "mascot" is a pink scrunchie. 

One of my favorite things about Ladies Get Paid is their emphasis on self-care and community building. We shouldn't be pushing each other off the mountain while we race to the top, we should make sure to stop for a mani-pedi on the way, and maybe a cocktail or two with our friends. 

Ladies Get Paid also has a strong online community, where members can share work advice, resources, job opportunities, or just talk. It's all about creating connections and empowering women to lift each other up, and build their own confidence at the same time. And although this group is all about the cash, LGP is free to join.

To the Market

To the Market partners with existing artisan groups to connect them with global consumers, and help them grow their businesses. Founded by Jane Mosbacher Morris, To the Market believes in empowerment through employment and ethical production, and use their position to champion communities in need.

TTM sells bags, jewelry, clothing, home goods, and more, all in one easy-to-browse web shop, that can also be sorted by cause. One of my favorite things about To the Market is their Stories page, which showcases their latest partnerships and initiatives, and truly makes the whole experience feel like a community.

Next time you're looking for a unique hostess gift, new necklace, or even a pair of shoes, consider checking out places like To the Market, that sell beautiful goods with the goal of empowering vulnerable communities.

Although I love all three of these female-led groups, it's good to remember there are so many things we can do to uplift and empower women through everyday actions. Show your appreciation for your gal pals by cooking them dinner, sending them a just-because note in the mail, and remember to practice shine theory.

Cheers to women, all around the world!

Mar 2, 2018

How to Throw an Oscars Watch Party

Living in L.A. seems to give the Oscars a lil' extra weight. It almost feels like Sunday is a big holiday we're all eagerly anticipating.

One of my favorite ways to "do" award shows is to have people over for a watch party. And I'm not talking about Red Carpet status. More like, invite a bunch of friends over (tell them its a potluck so you don't have to prep it all yourself), and have some ways to play along with the show planned out.

Set the Stage

First things first: hang some shiny things and make it your official selfie station. You'll prob not be able to top this epic Oscars selfie, but hey, Hollywood is where dreams come true.

These gold garlands are perfect for an Oscars party, and can be reused for basically any occasion.

Something that has totally changed my hosting game are wine glass markers. I was always losing the ones that attach to the stem, and these markers wash right off the glass. Instead of names, try using categories instead. Give your bestie the "Best Supporting Actress" glass, and your musically-inclined pal the glass for "Best Original Song".

Another fun idea that requires basically zero prep work, is setting the mood with music. As guests are arriving, play the nominated soundtracks, courtesy this ready-to-go Oscars Spotify playlist.

Print out my custom 2018 Oscars Bingo game, with seven unique sheets to decrease the chances of your friend getting a "Bingo!" at the same time as you. For your Bingo game, grab a pack of multi-colored bingo markers and place them in a glass bowl or box for a pop of color and functional centerpiece.

I've also created a 2018 Oscars Ballot you can fill out before the show or during the Red Carpet. 

Print out a quote from Best Picture nominee "Call Me By Your Name". It prints at 5x7, and I recommend popping it in a bold frame and placing it on the table for a little something extra.

Serve Winning Refreshments

One of my favorite ideas for hosting game nights and other get togethers is a popcorn bar. It's a quick set-up and sure to please everyone. My pro-tip is to buy pre-popped popcorn like G.H. Cretors. They have amazing flavors and I love how easy it is to mix-and match. Plus, popcorn and movies just go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I love this idea I found on Pinterest to use star shaped cookie cutters to create a Walk of Fame cheese platter. As simple as it can get with just a bit of pizzaz!

And of course, a jar of Red Vines, another classic cinema snack. But labeled as your red carpet ropes.

If you want to get extra fancy, and are just as obsessed with Coco as we are, how sweet are these sugar skull cookies? You can get the recipe on the Disney Family blog.

Get super classy with these drink recipes from the Governors Ball. I love that they've shared alcoholic and non-alcoholic recipes, and they all look amazing! Here are my two faves (I am a tequila gal after all):

The Protagonist

What you'll need:

  • Tequlia Blanco
  • Pimm's The Original No. 1 Cup
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Tonic Water
  • Sliced cucumber and Borage Flowers for garnish

The Sidekick

What you'll need:
  • Cold Hibiscus Tea
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Tonic Water
  • Simple Syrup
  • Sliced cucumber and Borage Flowers for garnish

You can get the full recipes here.

Ready to play? Sign up for my PLAYlist and get all the printables you need to kick-off your Sunday night. 

May the most hardworking, totally deserving, person win!

Be Well Played!

Feb 21, 2018

Helping Kids Stay Active Indoors with Yoga

Indoor play seems to be one of the most popular topics I'm asked to talk year after year. Whether it's for rainy days, too-hot summer days, long weekends, or these winters that just don't seem to end.

I've shared lots of my favorite toys and games for indoor play, without breaking everything in the house, as well as DIY's that will keep kids active indoors. But today I wanted to share something I don't touch on too often, which is how to get your kids exercising in a more traditional sense, like through yoga.

My friend Jenny Silverstone shared this great piece on Mom Loves Best about all the benefits yoga can have for our young ones. I love this infographic she put together addressing some of them:

Jenny also has a few tips for introducing your kids to yoga, including:

Be a leader.

I think this is so important. Jenny notes that kids mimic your behavior, which is totally try. Even if you've never done a Sun Salutation in your life, try out yoga with your kids, and be willing to laugh at yourself when you have trouble balancing. 

Keep it fun and easy. 

Don't worry about the technical aspects of yoga. Focus on the simple concepts like breathing and being mindful of your own body. One great idea Jenny has is to try out poses that mimic your child's favorite animal, which I love!

Don't chase perfection.

When you're new at yoga, or any new hobby, it can be hard not to compare yourself to the professionals. Remind kids to listen to their bodies and do their best, and the more they practice, the more they'll see progress.  

Add in songs and dances.

Playing your child's favorite music will make this so much more fun for them and YOU. I love when my local yoga studio has theme nights like 90's music, or all Beatles hits.

Let your child be the leader.

Kids love to play pretend and be the "adult" in the room. Once you've practiced yoga a few times, let them choose the poses and sequences for you to follow along with. 

DIY Yoga Mat Idea

As with any exercise, sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the more material side of the activity like buying the coolest yoga pants or the hippest gym bag. Finding a fun outfit to wear that makes you feel good and a mat in your favorite color is great, but don't worry about looking "Instagram ready". It's important to teach this to your kids as well.

But if your kids like practicing yoga, and want to get more into it, try having them create their own yoga mat and style for their practice. I love this activity from my friends at Hallmark Channel for making a DIY kids yoga mat. Check out the video below:

Just like yoga isn't a favorite for all adults, it won't be a favorite for all kids, but it might be a great fit for yours and worth giving a try. Jenny also shares some precautionary instructions, which are important to review before getting started.

You can read her full article over at Mom Love Best, which breaks down all the benefits of yoga for kids and has some great ideas for beginner poses they can try out.

Thanks for sharing all these amazing ideas, Jenny!
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