5 Martini Recipes You’ve Got to Try

Countdown to Christmas…5 Days to Go!

What would the holidays be without some time to kick back, relax and reflect on the past year? And what better way to do all these things than with a lovely martini in your hand. I, of course, will be having my signature dirty martini but there are so many members of the martini family that I thought I’d share a few alternate options.

  1. The tried and true dirty martini. Get the recipe at Delish.comdirty-martini-xl
  2.  Need a little pick-me-up with your relaxation? Hey, why not. You might enjoy an espresso martini. Try this one from the Food Network. Frame 513
  3. Salute the candy cane with a Peppermint Martini. Try this recipe from AllRecipes.com peppermint martini
  4. Go fruity with this Pommangotini recipe from the lovely Rachel Ray’s blog. It’s just so fun to say! Pommango
  5. Forget those gingerbread men. Get that ginger spice sweetness from this holiday martini. 2024801_The12004

What’s your favorite martini? Got a recipe? Do share!

5 Sanity-Savers for Gift Wrapping

Countdown to Christmas…6 Days to Go!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGift wrapping (especially a lot at one time) can stress any accidental housewife and, even worse, ruin your manicure. Here are a few of my favorite tricks for getting the packages wrapped and bows tied. The Recipients of your gifts will be in awe of their beauty.

  1. BOX IT UP. Squares and rectangles are much easier to wrap that balls, cylinders, and thingamajigs. Box up your gifts as you purchase them. When it comes time to wrap, you’ll save lots of time.
  2. ONE STEP AT A TIME. Wrap your gifts in phases. First, get all your gifts wrapped with paper. Then, go back to add bows. Last, add any special embellishments and gift tags.  Use Post-it notes with the recipients’ names to keep track of the packages through the process so you don’t have an embarrassing mix-up. “Oh Grandma, I know you don’t need a sippy cup.”
  3. THE NEW GIFT BAG. Everyone knows the gift bag is the easy way out of wrapping presents. And hey, sometimes, you’ve just gotta go with a gift bag. If you’re really short on time, you can find decorative gift boxes that already have holiday designs printed on them. Skip straight to the bows and tags!
  4. WRAPPING PAPER SWAP OUT. If you run out of paper and don’t feel like heading to the store, you can use items from the recycling bin to wrap. Funny pages, brown paper bags and even old posters can make great wrapping paper substitutes.
  5. A LITTLE DIRT WOULDN’T HURT. A dirty martini, that is! Make yourself one before you wrap and serve ‘em up as you give out your gifts. Your beautiful packages will look that much better. (PS this technique only works on recipients over 21.)

5 More Fast ‘n Virtually Free Holiday Fashion Fixes

Holiday-Fashion-FixesCountdown to Christmas….7 Days to Go. 

Couldn’t get enough of my Fast ‘n Virtually Free Holiday Fashion Fixes? Here are 5 more to get you through those holiday party mishaps. In case you missed it, check out tips 1 through 5 here.

6. Tangled chain jewelry?
Lubricate with few drops of baby oil and work tangle through with a safety pin. May take a few attempts. Wash oil off thoroughly with water when done.
7. Lost earring back?
Snip pencil eraser into small discs and use them in place of your lost back and you’re good to go
8. Broken stilleto heel?
Instant crazy glue-Hey if it can hold a guy in a hard hat to a steel beam, a heel should be no problemo! Just take a test step or two before you start doing Psy’s Gangnam Style. Crazy Glue doesn’t adhere to ALL surfaces so barefoot may be this eve’s Gangman style!
9. Stuck zipper?
Apply lip balm to zipper teeth and rub it up and down several times. You can also use a pencil since the lead acts as a lubricant…Be sure to do it multiple times or you’ll wind up like moi ‘stuck’ on Today Show with Kathie Lee ‘n Hoda…Oh well, that’s why I’m known as The Accidental Housewife and not Martha LOL!
10. Lipstick stains on collar?
Hopefully it’s your shade on your significant other’s collar or you’ll be in need of a different fast fix after you slug him.  But in hopes it’s yours, place a piece of scotch tape on it, press down on mark and quickly remove. You may have to do this a few times. Then sprinkle some baby powder and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the oil. Launder par usual…BTW if you also leave a blood stain, hydrogen peroxide will do the trick (on white shirts only as it’s a bleaching agent) and remember to wear gloves so you don’t leave any fingerprints.

Happy Holiday Partying! Here’s to looking fabulous.

5 Fast ‘n Virtually Free Holiday Fashion Fixes

GangnamCountdown to Christmas…8 Days to Go. 

Okey dokey we’re in the final stretch of getting all dolled up, partying ‘til we drop, and dealing with those annoying little fashion 911s that always happen at the wrong time.  But fear not, Gangnam Style fixes are here. Gangnam Style she says???  That’s correcto.  I did some research to find out exactly what Gangnam Style is so here you go:  Gangnam means south (nam) of the river (gang) in Korean and it’s become the wealthiest area in South Korea.  So Gangman is seen as where peeps are rich, girls pretty, fashionistas rule, all is cool and you have ‘swag’.  So, with that as my inspiration I share some fast ‘n cool ways to deal with your fashion malfunctions, dance the nite away and avoid a possible night behind bars (and I’m not referring to your fave drinking haunts).  Wuppa Gangnam Style. ..…and Happy New Year!

1. Deodorant marks on your ‘lil black dress?
Use the foam rubber from your dry cleaning hanger or baby wipes.
2. Pills on a sweater?
Rub in one direction with nailbrush or pumice stone
3. Static cling? Fly-away hair?
Rub with a fabric dryer sheet
4. Loose button?
Apply a coat of clear nail polish on top of button’s threads
5. Wrinkles?
Turn your flat iron into a mini press for your cotton or polyester tops. Lightly spritz with water …always best to errr on holding iron a shorter time to insure you banish and don’t burn away those wrinkles

3 Easy Ways to Add Holiday Sparkle to Your Décor

Countdown to Christmas…9 Days to Go!
Only 9 days until you’ll be listening for that pitter-patter of reindeer on your roof. Does your home feel like it’s lacking in festive décor? Here are 3 ideas to add a little sparkle without spending a lot of green.
1. Multi-tasking vases. Pull out those vases hiding in your closet and put them to use (no trip to the florist needed.) Just fill vases with festive objects like ornaments, candy canes, pinecones or mini lights. Gather a few vases together on a table or line them up on a mantle.

Ornaments-in-VaseswPhoto Credit: Rooms for Rent

2. Framed. Swap out framed pictures for festive wrapping paper (try to find some that matches your décor) or wrap the whole frame. Just hang them back on the wall and you’ll have instant holiday pizazz.

FramesjpgPhoto Credit: Frame By Frame Style  

3. Light it up. Mini-lights are inexpensive and give that instant Christmas feel to any space. Wrap them around banisters, frame doors with them (they even make Tiger more festive)…just plug in and be amazed.
Get more ideas for inexpensive and simple holiday décor on my Pinterest Board – Easy & Inexpensive Holiday Décor

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Holiday Shopping Help

ID-100116562 Countdown to Christmas…10 Days to Go!

Have you made your lists? Have you checked them twice? Even if you have, you might still be stressed about your holiday gifts. Make sure you don’t forget anyone on your list and keep your gift giving organized with these simple sanity-saving tips:

  1. Plan Your Shopping Attack. Don’t let your last minute holiday shopping get out of hand. The stores are busy filled with lots of distractions. Don’t leave for the mall without a list of exactly what you’re looking for and your budget. Look-up a map of the mall or shopping center before your excursion and plot out what stores you will hit so you don’t waste time wandering and looking for your favorite shopping spot.
  2. Shop in Your PJs. I’m not saying you wear your flannels to the store. But you can shop in your PJs if you shop online. This way you can research and compare prices right from the comfort of your computer chair. Just remember to check the shipping dates to ensure that your gifts arrive in time.
  3. Keep Your Gifts Organized. Easily keep track of what you got for everyone on your list and who you might be missing a gift for. Label a shopping bag or small box for each person on your list and place gifts in the bag/box as you purchase them. This also makes wrapping a breeze. Just wrap and put back in the labeled bag until you have time to put bows and gift tags on them.

Stay tuned for more holiday tips as I countdown to Christmas!

2013 HOLIDAY GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING! Click it Forward!

What better way to be in the spirit of the holiday season then to give gifts that give back!  So this year I’ve teamed up with five outstanding organizagions where you can do just that for as little as 25!! So on your mark get set. . .  click it forward!

KIVA: GIVA KIVA GIFT CARD and HELP CHANGE A LIFE
Kiva Gift Card_NEWwoman in store

Here’s one that truly speaks to passing it forward  and it’s so simple because you can do it all online. For the past eight years, Kiva, a non-profit organization, has been using the internet to connect people through micro-lending to help alleviate poverty in 70 countries around the world, including here in the U.S. Purchase a $25 Kiva gift card online for your family or friends and give them the opportunity to Make a Loan NOT A DONATION that can Change a Life. Your gift recipient will then choose whom they would like to lend to – from a banana farmer in South Africa to a seamstress in Detroit – there are thousands of borrowers. And, once that loan has been paid back, your gift recipient can choose to take the money back or re-loan that money to a new borrower, essentially doubling the power of your loan money! Simple, meaningful and fun! Truly the gift that can keep on giving!

PETSMART CHARITIES: PAW-FECT FOR THE PET LOVER

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I am a huge love of PetSmart Charities not only because I love pets but because it’s rated in the top 1% of charities by Charity Navigator:  receiving their highest 4-star rating for ten consecutive years! Best of all, just $25 will save a shelter pet’s life by giving them shelter space, food and crucial veterinary services. And ninety cents of every dollar goes directly to help pets in need, one of the highest percentages among all charities. Also, if you’re in a PetSmart store you might see these adorable Chance and Lucky dolls. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these cute critters will also go to PetSmart Charities to help save homeless pets.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: ADOPT A TIGER…IT’S GRRREAT!

WWF_25mm_tab_VIDEO.eps large-Tiger-photo

Here’s a novel and critical gift idea for the holidays from World Wildlife Fund.  Make a donation to WWF at Donatewwf.org for a symbolic tiger adoption. Tigers need our help more than ever before.100 years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 tigers living in the wild. Now, there are less than 3,200. 97% of the population has been lost. Tigers have also lost more than 90% of the forests they call home. And your donation will be put to work helping reduce threats to majestic species like tigers, and other species in the wild like elephants, rhinos and polar bears threatened by poaching, habitat loss and climate change. And, you’ll get something too! For your donation, you’ll receive a thank-you gift of a cute tiger plush, photo, fact sheet and certificate that you can send to a friend or family member. World Wildlife Fund has an entire Gifts That Give Back catalog with more than 200 thank-you gifts to select from to share your commitment to conservation. For more than 50 years, their vision has been to build a better future in which people live in harmony with nature. WWF works around the world to reduce the most pressing environmental threats to wildlife, wild places and people.

MeeGenius:  WILL MAKE YOU A GENIUS…JOIN THE CLUB!

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one and wish it were around when my son was young! Check out MeeGenius, it is an incredible library of interactive books for children that works on computers at home, iPads, and iPhones!  I think of it like ITunes for literacy since the library includes over 700 classics, best sellers and MeeGenius-original children’s titles that are hand-picked by editors and educators.  Every single book is beautifully illustrated and includes optional “read to me” narration so kids can have a book read to them while each word is highlighted, promoting their own reading comprehension. And for the first time ever MeeGenius is launching their brand new Reading Club which parents, grandparents, whoever can give as a gift.  You get three months of unlimited access to their entire library for just $19.99 or a year for $59.99 – And, MeeGenius will donate 10% of all sales to PBS KIDS. A genius boredom buster idea too for holiday travel and chants of ‘are we there yet!”

Carpet One Floor & Home:   YOUR SUPPORT MAT-TERS

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This is the second year that the folks at  Carpet One Floor and Home asked me to partner with them to design a welcome mat  of which 25% of  the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  And, this year we took a ‘graphic’ twist on my signature cocktail…the dirty martini! A terrific holiday gift for the hostess with the mostess that not only looks good but giving one does so much go0d! The mat is a terrific holiday hostess gift  that looks good and does so much good!

Happy giving holidays all!