I'm often at a loss for what to wear on New Year's Eve. (As evidenced last year... I needed your help choosing my outfit!)
So I was excited to see some stylish New Year's Eve attire ideas on one of my favorite style blogs, FabSugar. The looks range from 70s glam and Brazilian bombshell to Mad Men chic and classic glam. I identified with Jennifer Connelly's updated, feminine tuxedo style.
Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I sometimes am challenged to go Christmas shopping without doing a little shopping for myself. Color me guilty — sorry!
One thing I'd been eyeing is a curling rod.
A curling rod is like a curling iron but without that pesky clip/arm piece. They are essentially ceramic or metal shafts that you wrap your hair around (then you hold the ends of your hair using a heat-resistant glove). My 20-year-old brother Paul told me about the wonders of the curling rod on a jaunt to ULTA a few weeks ago. He told me he has several thick-haired girlfriends who own them, and that they can curl their whole heads in under 10 minutes with the magical wand.
I've been googling and Amazon stalking ever since. I finally pulled the trigger at a hair appointment last weekend while spilling all the tool's deets to my stylist.
One reason I thought I'd be a good candidate for a curling rod is that I have naturally wavy (but not truly curly) hair. For some strange reason, the hair from my ears up doesn't really have much body or curl. I hoped the curling rod could give me some additional oomph.
Oh, and I forgot to mention another key element: usability. Some gals have a knack for doing hair. I am not one of those girls. I ride the short bus when it comes to doing my own hair or makeup. I'd heard the curling rod is less complicated/more user-friendly than it's curling iron cousin because you aren't trying to navigate your hair around the arm/clip of the curling iron.
Bleh semi curly hair (though I must say I'm very happy with the recent cut and color job I got with my girl Mary Verilli last weekend... highlights/lowlights with some fun chocolate foils underneath).
And this photo has nothing to do with this blog post but check out my beautiful sister and mom. :)
Okay, fast forward about eight minutes. I gave my hair a light hair spray then wrapped one or two-inch chunks of of hair around the barrel (I chose to curl under). You hold the end of your hair to the hot barrel using the heat-resistant glove. Hold for 10-15 seconds or until very hot, then release.
Voila! Because we were running late for the wrong holiday party (see post about that here) and because my hair has some natural wave in it anyway, I chose to only curl the front/top of my head. But given the time commitment, I would estimate it would only take another 5-10 minutes to do the rest of my head.
Curling rod gets super hot, fast
Construction seems durable
Heat resistant glove included
Amazon vendors ship quick so you can have this in-hand within 2-3 days
Easy, foolproof way to give yourself beachy waves or fun curls
The not totally awesome:
Best curling rod with decent reviews is $50 plus shipping (that's not awful but I wished there had been a more budget friendly option)
Kits that include more sizes of barrels (so your curls aren't all the same size) are more expensive
I'm helping with an executive meeting this week and needed to keep my wardrobe relatively tame and professional. I'm lucky that that we aren't business professional (i.e., suits only) or else it would make dressing creatively much more challenging.
So I chose a navy ruffly top, a black cardigan and black pants for today (I am a believer in navy and black going together just fine). But to keep things interesting, I dusted off a pair of fun shoes for the day.
What I like about these shoes:
Professional silhouette/shape (2.5 inch heels, closed toe... pretty much a classic pump shape-wise)
Funky design (if you can't tell from the iPhone photos, they're navy, light blue and light aqua)
A price I couldn't turn down (these were a Goodwill find - $4 I think)
And there you have it: A fun but appropriate shoe is a great way to de-boring-ize work look.
What are your go-to "fun" shoes?
p.s. I can't wait to take my friend Erica out on one of her first real thrifting excursions. Save the date (first full weekend in January), bb. You're about to be converted!
Oh, and BTW, for you Atlanta fancy handbag mavens... this is a pretty sweet deal:
Brahmin (New England-based, quality handbag company) will be supporting the Make-A-Wish foundation this year by hosting a holiday shopping day at their Lenox Mall store. This Friday, December 10th from 10:00 am-10:00 pm shoppers can stop by the Brahmin handbag store at Lenox Mall to purchase $5.00 donation coupons to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Atlanta. For every $5.00 donation, customers will receive a 20% discount off any full priced item in the Brahmin store. (Caveat: discount can only be used that day.)
'Tis the season for holiday dinner parties, having the boss over for dinner and being on our best behavior (Santa's watching, right)?
Dinner settings may be more casual than they were in our grandparents' days, but that doesn't mean we should let manners and dining etiquette fall by the wayside. Not to mention it's an honest truth that your dining and dressing can give lasting impressions — good or bad.
Here are a few things that are top-of-mind this time of year:
Put your napkin in your lap immediately upon sitting down or just after your drink arrives
If someone asks you to pass the salt, pass both the salt and the pepper (like a bride and groom, they go together)
Don't salt your food until after you taste it (otherwise how can you know it needs salt? Not to mention you could offend the chef or host)
If you absolutely have to spit something out (like an olive pit), remove it from your mouth the same way you put it in your mouth (fork, fingers, etc.) — it's more discrete that way.
If you're served ice water or iced tea with a lemon wedge on the glass rim, put the lemon in the glass or take it off the glass altogether. This is one of the things that doesn't have a good explanation... just go with it.
Cut only one piece of food at a time (e.g., steak, chicken)
On party etiquette:
RSVP. Hosts need to know headcounts for food, drinks, seating, etc. RSVP isn't synonymous with regrets; RSVP means to tell the host if you're coming or if you're not.
Even when a dinner party host tells you not to bring anything to their party, consider bringing a bottle of wine for their home. If they aren't drinkers, consider a dessert or maybe even an ornament.
Make proper introductions so your date doesn't feel left out of a conversation; when you can tell your date is having trouble remembering a name so he/she can introduce you, step in to save them from the awkwardness of forgetting a name and introduce yourself quickly
You don't want to be the most casually dressed person in the room at a holiday party — but you don't want to be overdressed either... talk to your friends to get a feel for what they're wearing
Society is slowly becoming more open to jeans at dressy events, but ask yourself if you want to be the one pushing the "are jeans appropriate?" envelope
And please don't wear white or off-white or anything like it to the winter weddings you're attending (or any weddings for that matter); especially in the south, most brides are offended when they see a wedding attendee donning white — it competes with the bride. This is debated among etiquette-istas but I wouldn't want to risk offending a bride. Just read the comments on that post)
Oh, and for readers in Atlanta/Decatur, here's an event next Sat you could check out between football games or before you head out for dinner:
Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool's 2010 Auction Jubilee is Saturday,November 13th from 3 to 6 p.m. at All Souls Fellowship in Decatur.
The silent auction will feature many exceptional items including original art from local artists, unique hand-crafted apparel and gifts, memberships, vacation home rentals, gift certificates and retail items from Decatur and Intown Atlanta's favorite stores and restaurants and much more!
Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool's Auction Jubilee is a casual, family-friendly event with something to interest everyone. There will be food, fun and entertainment including children's activities and live music.
The proceeds from this auction will benefit the special projects for OCP, including its tuition assistance program. Admission to the Auction Jubilee is free. Pre-register to bid during the event at www.oakhurstcoop.com. For questions or to make a donation to the silent auction, please call 404-370-0257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT OCP: Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool (OCP) is a nonprofit, parent-teacher cooperative established in 2005. The school was founded with the goal of creating an ethnically, culturally and economically diverse community that is united through its commitment to parental involvement in education. Its student body has close ties with many area neighborhoods, such as Candler Park, Lake Claire, Druid Hills, Inman Park, Kirkwood, Oakhurst and Winnona Park.