My Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts to Give!

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 11.46.52 AMHey Ya’ll,

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12. Do you know what you’re giving your mother? If you haven’t picked anything out yet and you’re feeling a bit lost, I have five ideas that any mom would love to receive!

1. Succulent Planter
There are a few options if this is the perfect gift for your mom, you can stop by your local flower shop and pick out your favorite succulents and have them put them in a planter for you there or you can by a pre-arranged planter online. You can even get a cute monogrammed planter using your mother’s initial from RootedinSucculents on Etsy.


image_431_8_10552. Photo Locket
This is for the super-sentimental mama! If you’re mom is the type that likes to keep you close at all times, give her a cute photo locket in either bracelet or necklace form so that she can do just that! I think it would be cute to put an old photo of you as a child or one of you on your wedding day–but regardless of the photo, make sure the jewelry is your mother’s style. This locket from Planet Jill is nice because the photo is covered by a coin-sized metal plate that you can have engraved with her initials.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 10.55.37 AM3. Tote Bag
This is for the sun-loving mama! Give this fashionable tote bag from Target to your mother and pack it to the brim with wonderful beach goodies like one of these gorgeous Nate Berkus beach towels below (also at Target!), her favorite sunscreen, and maybe even a water bottle and some beach reading materials!
Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 10.53.28 AMScreen Shot 2013-05-10 at 10.53.43 AM

4. Shoes (Duh.)
I don’t care WHO your mother is… you can never go wrong with a new pair of kicks! Tennis shoes, high heels, flip flops, whatever she prefers, scoop her up a new pair and she will be all smiles on Mother’s Day! Try these sassy cheetah print sandals from J Crew or add some flair to her wardrobe with these bright red jelly flats by Tory Burch.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 11.33.32 AM5. Passport Holder and World Map
This is for all those mother’s who need a vacation! I love Rebecca Minkoff’s passport wallets that look like mini-clutch bags! Or you could get a classic Tiffany blue passport cover. I really love the idea of proposing a trip in your card and then letting her pick where she’d like to go! You could even include a pen for her to put a star on the map over the place she’d like to visit, then, someday after you have taken the trip together, you can frame it with a photo of you both! If you can’t find a reasonably priced world map, try a the gift wrap section for map wrapping paper!

Top 5 Celeb Dietitian Approved Holiday Dinner Recipes

Hey Ya’ll,

I’ve got a real treat for you today, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend, celebrity dietitian and author of Mom Energy, Ashley Koff RD, to explain how to prepare a Qualitarian” holiday meal.

ashley_koff_306x365If you’re not familiar with this term, Ashley (above) breaks it down really well for the Huffington Post in THIS article. Essentially, being a Qualitarian means choosing to eat better quality foods exclusively. With that said, I hope you’ll give some of her healthy and tasty suggestions a try this holiday season. Bon Appetit!

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  • Sparkling water (4-6 ounces) with splash of Urban Moonshine bitters
  • Enzymedica Digest Gold – take with your first bite of food, discretely, for added digestive power on contact.


  • Raw goat and sheep’s milk cheese plate & organic cashew butter with organic apple & pear slices. Pair this with a signature drink (see two options below) or a glass of biodynamic red wine.

Cocktail: Organic vodka+ splash of Knudsen’s organic cranberry+ sprig of rosemary.

Mocktail: Harmless Harvest coconut water with+ ¼ cup organic pomegranate seeds+ sprig of rosemary.

Main Meal

Drink: Water with lemon or Ayala’s herbal waters.

  • Oven-Free but beyond Tasty, Turkey!
    You don’t need an oven, and will never regret your investment in 360 cookware (it’s what celeb chefs like Akasha Richmond swear by).  The Qualitarian in me must point out that you should choose organic for all your ingredients especially the butter and broth or stock.
  • Stuff’d ‘Shrooms
    Did you know that mushrooms are a super supporter of our immune system? Indeed! So while alcohol, sugar, and some extras that you don’t normally have during the holidays chip away at your immune system’s soldiers, give them some mushrooms and your warriors will be back doing battle in no time. This stuffing recipe uses quinoa so it also works for the vegans, the gluten-free’s, the lactose intolerant and more among your guests. Ahhhh, crowd pleasing!


Side dish

Pre-Dessert Drinks

  • Pair assortment of Fair Trade organic coffees & teas or revisit the digestifs above.

photo 2Dessert

  • Choco-Hemp truffles!

8 oz dark chocolate (Organic Fair Trade, 70% cacao or better), chopped

¼ cup Spectrum or Garden of Life organic coconut oil

1 tsp Frontier vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

¼ cup raw cacao powder (Essential Living Foods) in a shallow bowl or on large plate

1 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in a shallow bowl or on large plate

In a double boiler, heat chocolate, oil, with 3 Tbsp of purified water stirring with a bamboo spoon, until just melted (no chunks but not runny or water rising to top of chocolate).  Remove from heat. Blend in vanilla and salt. Transfer to a stainless steel 8-inch baking dish and refrigerate until mixture sets (about 2 hours). Line a 360 cookware baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a stainless steel melon baller, scoop one serving of mixture and roll it quickly through cacao and hemp hearts. Place on parchment paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Plate and serve.

For more Qualitarian recipes and food suggestions, head to Ashley’s site:

Traveling for the Holidays? 3 Mags to Snag for the Journey!

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.43.19 PMHey Ya’ll,

I contributed to a bunch of fantastic publications this month, and I’d love for you to snag yourself a copy to read during your holiday travels! So, check out my featured commentary below, then be sure to look for each magazine on newsstands or online for your laptop or tablet all month long.

416244921_370Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.34.44 PMIn Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, I commented on new wedding trends, like how the royal wedding and Downton Abbey have created a resurgence of interest in the pastoral charm of english gardens and wide, stately lawns.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.14.18 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.14.26 PMI also offered up my advice on creating a green event by giving guests the freshest food, and sticking to what’s locally grown in order to support the local community and help to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.

2012-11-29@00.33.292012-11-29@00.31.31In this month’s First for Women, I’m giving seasonal tips for creating stunning holiday floral arrangements. My main advice being, don’t be afraid to mix textures this season! Try velvety crimson roses paired with star-shaped paperwhites. Add evergreens and berries as filler to put a cheerful seasonal twist on any bouquet.

2012-11-28@23.14.33Screen Shot 2012-11-28 at 5.08.14 PMInside this month’s Entrepreneur magazine, I’m talking “Party Protocol” for all of you attending holiday work parties. The main thing to remember here, is that while it may seem like a relaxed atmosphere with all of the free alcohol, drinks and food, decorum is still very important. People are watching… people like your boss. So respect yourself and others and be sure to stay on your best behavior. You’ll thank yourself come 2013.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 4.16.02 PMAlso, a wedding I coordinated earlier this year is being featured on The Wedding Click HERE, to see all of the stunning photos from Taylor and Matt’s wedding at La Cuesta Ranch, in San Luis Obispo, CA. Let me know what you think of the flowers and decor, since those were all my doing!

Lastly, thank you for taking the time to check out all of my recent press, I really appreciate all of your support. It’s been fun looking back on everything I accomplished in 2012… I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds!

Friday Favorite: Win a Boxed Set of Metallic Letterpressed Notecards By Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York!

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 4.11.20 PMHey Ya’ll,

If you’re a fan of my #FridayFavorites, today’s featured fav should be familiar… it’s my friend Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York!

*** UPDATE: Our winner is Mariana Herrera Mosli! Mariana, thank you for your amazing comment below, I know you will love these note cards and make good use of them! Thanks again for stopping by and following along with Ceci and I! Email me at to claim your prize!***

Only this time, Ceci is giving away a chic boxed set of stationery—quite possibly the best gift to give to your favorite holiday party host—or keep for yourself and use it to write and send all of your thank you notes after the holidays! Either way, today is your chance to make this stylish set of stationery yours for the giving or keeping!

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Ceci’s Precious Metal stationery boxed set (pictured above) contains 12 letter-pressed folding cards with matching colored envelopes. Original artwork is letterpress printed on luxurious, metallic papers. With a nod to the Gilded Age, these designs illustrate the lustrous shine of precious metals. Ceci recommends using this set as your personal social stationery, or as a holiday gift for your favorite party host!

I highly recommend following Ceci on Pinterest for some seriously gorgeous eye-candy served up daily! Or subscribe to her online magazine, CeciStyle, by clicking HERE.
Happy Friday!

Previous posts featuring Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York:

Friday Favorites: Unique Invitations By Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York!

How to Plan A Halloween Party and Create A Costume Using Face Paint

Friday Favorites: Coral and Fuchsia!

How to Host a Fun and Chic Summer Baby Shower!

***Giveaway limited to U.S. residents ONLY. Winner will be selected at random. Contest ends Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Check this post on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at 9am to see if you have been selected as the winner.****

Top 7 Traditions to Make the Holidays Special

Do you leave cookies out for Santa (and carrots for Rudolph!) at your house? Image via

Do you leave cookies out for Santa (and carrots for Rudolph!) at your house?
Image via

Hey Ya’ll,

Everyone has their own unique set of traditions that help make the holidays special. So, today I’m sharing seven of my favorite family traditions with all of you!

1) White Elephant Gift Exchange

Don’t know the rules? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Click HERE, to read my Freshly Pressed post all about this fun, holiday tradition!


2) Adopt-a-Family

This is a great tradition to take up for yourself or as a family or even company-wide! Basically, you sign-up with the Salvation Army, and you’re matched with an impoverished family to provide for their tangible needs at Christmas. The gift guide you receive may include toys, clothing, household items and even utilities (i.e. heating sources). The Salvation Army ensures that the family receives the gifts and food during the week before Christmas.


3) Gift Wrapping Party

This is a fun way to spend time with your friends before heading out of town for the holidays and get one more thing crossed off your checklist at the same time! Simply gather up all of your un-wrapped gifts, wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, boxes, ribbon, tape, and tell your friends to do the same. Then, clear the dining table or spread everything out on the living room floor, pop a few bottles of wine and provide a few light snacks for your guests, and you’re ready to wrap! Have everyone share wrapping supplies so that ya’ll get a good mix of colors and patterns.

4) Dessert Baking Party

This is a great way to spend time with friends or your kids at the holidays. Besides baking supplies, I recommend heading to a local discount store ahead of time to get a bunch of packaging options for people to take home a selection of the treats you’ve created together. Folks can then give the baked goods as gifts or use them to supplement their own holiday spread.


5) Caroling/Light Tour of the Neighborhood

Warning: This tradition is not for the meek! It takes some guts to walk door-to-door, belting out your favorite holiday songs. If you’re shy, just get all of your friends and family involved so that you can find a cozy spot in the back row where you can hum along. While you’re out, take time to look around and admire the holiday lights in your neighborhood.


6) Ugly Holiday Sweater Party

Quite possibly the most FUN tradition of them all, this quirky party involves seriously questionable fashion choices! Tell your friends to look online, in local thrift stores and in their parents’ and grandparents’ closets for the ugliest sweater they can get their hands on. At your party, provide all of the guests with a ballot card to write down the name of the guest wearing the ugliest sweater. Make a silly trophy ahead of time to give to the winner or a bottle of wine should do it! Bonus points for anyone who rocks a dickey!

7) Posada Party

This is a very special tradition in my family and it dates back as far as I can remember. If you’re not familiar with a Posada Party, it’s basically a re-enactment of the night baby Jesus was born. My family is HUGE, so we have all of the children dress up as Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, the angels, nativity animals, and of course, the shining star of the production, baby Jesus! I’ve also been known to dress like Santa Claus for the grand finale (see photo above!).

What are your holiday traditions? Let me know in the comment section.

Only 11 (shopping) days until Christmas!!! Happy Holidays, everyone.

Winter White Holiday Decor Ideas for Your Home and Tree!

Hey Ya’ll,

When decorating your home for the holidays, it’s important to remember that the best way to create the prefect balance is to pair inexpensive decor (or re-purposed items from around your home) with a few expensive pieces.


I love this yarn-wrapped tree from West Elm (just went on sale!) to add a little drama to any room in your home. Next, set the stage by selecting a beautiful white and silver table linen with some texture and detail to it:

Then, to create a cohesive, chic, all-white look, simply pick and choose your favorite items from the collage below and scatter them throughout key rooms in your home. (Think: living room, bathroom and front entrance.) Keep in mind similar items you may already have at home for re-purposing, and of course, what your budget for this year’s holiday decorations will allow. Happy shopping!

winter white!

Frosted 52″ Tree Skirt

Flurry Pillow

Glitterball Wreath

Snowball Candles
$5.18 –