STRESS LESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” or so Andy Williams would have us believe in that much loved Christmas carol, at least it is supposed to be, so what simple things can we do to make sure the sentiments from this legendary Christmas song actually become our reality? I want to experience Christmas this year without all of the frantic stress and tension that so often come along with this holiday and rob me of the “spirit of the season” leave me feeling jaded instead of jolly. We assembled some tips for reducing stress that don’t require any unrealistic commitments of your time, which there already is not enough of, but rather can be incorporated into the to do list you already have attached to your schedule.

1. Take Time For A Simple Act Of Kindness

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While you are rushing around finishing up last minute details, stop and open a door for someone,  bring back coffee for a co-worker or spouse, let someone who looks “really stressed” go ahead of you in line. These are simple things that studies show actually reduce your stress level.

2. Take In The Sights, Sounds and Smells Of The Season

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Instead of stressing out over getting that last parking spot close to the door, intentionally park far away; use this as an opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, relish the invigoration of the crisp winter air as it touches your cheeks, listen to the enchanting sound of the salvation army santa’s bells or christmas music surrounding you, observe the beauty of the decorated lampposts and sparkling lights. Breathe in the smell of fresh pine trees as you pass by the Christmas tree lots. Being mindful of and enjoying your surroundings immediately lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress.

3. Wrap It Up

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Make gift wrapping an event. Plan a movie excursion for hubby and kids, make yourself your favorite beverage; hot chocolate, tea, coffee with a little baileys maybe, put on your favorite holiday music, sit by the fire, have all of your wrapping tools out and organized and enjoy wrapping each gift with attention to detail. This time to focus on one task will put your mind at rest and the tension of the day will just melt away.

4. Take Note

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Pick a handful of people who have had a special impact on your life this year and take a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to actually write them a personal thank you note/Christmas Greeting expressing how they blessed your life in 2016. Expressing gratitude makes you feel mentally stronger and reduces frustration and irritability.

5. Establish New Traditions That Suit Your Lifestyle

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Most of the stress we experience in our lives is tied into expectations we are striving to live up to. A belief that events SHOULD be executed in a certain way. Forget the should surrounding where you should go, what you should do, how you should celebrate, who you should get a gift for; lose the expectations you normally place on yourself and instead be open to establishing new traditions that fit into the lifestyle of you and your family.  This time of year is all about enjoying and sharing with the ones we love; instead of the full Christmas dinner perhaps a tapas style presentation of a few simple hot hor d’oueves & cocktails or soup and salad bar would be just as fun and give everyone a chance to mill around visit and enjoy one another instead of being relegated to an assigned seat at the table. Agree to just one gift per person, draw names. Decorate a tree outside in the yard with lights and ornaments instead of making a mess inside. Celebrate with different parts of the family different days or host an open house where people can drop by whenever they have time. Participate in a santa run for charity which will eliminate any arguments over whose house you have to visit at what time.

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Remember to live in the moment. Don’t miss the magic of the season, embrace the additional to do’s and events it added to your schedule as a welcome change, step out of the mundane for awhile, find that spark of childhood wonder where the world is full of hope, excitement, and all things good.

 

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THE ART OF DRESSING

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DRESSING YOUR TURKEY AND YOURSELF FOR THANKSGIVING
There are two crucial components no Thanksgiving dinner can do without; a perfectly appointed turkey and you; the hostess with the mostess. But juggling all of the shopping, decorating, cooking and entertaining can leave you feeling frazzled rather then thankful, especially after having to referee uncle Bob and aunt Jenny who feel they need to boldly share their political views with everyone in attendance. Never fear, with a few simple tips we can help you pull this event off with grace and panache. You will be the master of all the madness.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: THE TURKEY

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Before we can get our turkey dressed we have to get it cooked properly which can be stressful even if you are not a first time turkey preparer. Let’s take the stress out of this:
Tip 1 – Get your turkey the Monday before Thanksgiving, don’t wait, this will assure it has plenty of time to thaw properly if frozen.
Tip 2 – Once thawed or if using a fresh turkey let it set in the refrigerator uncovered for a couple of days before cooking. It sounds scary I know, but this will cause the juices to get pulled into the meat of the bird and dry the skin so it will become a beautiful picturesque brown just like all of those photos you see. Yes, it will look shriveled by the second day, DO NOT WORRY, after cooking it will look and taste fabulous.
Tip 3 – There must be at least 25 different ways to prepare a turkey, here are a couple of our favorites:
DRY-BRINED TURKEY
PERFECT ROAST TURKEY

Tip 4- We want the turkey as our centerpiece to look beautiful but just use what you already have; sprinkle around some hazelnuts, cranberries, clementine’s, a little greenery, even kale works, and you will have a work of art with very little expense and effort.

ADDRESSING THE DRESSING

I don’t know about you but for years I have wondered why some people call stuffing dressing. Thanks to this blog I actually took the time to do a little research and discovered that when your bread mixture actually is stuffed inside the turkey if is officially defined as stuffing, when it is prepared as a side dish separate from the turkey it is called dressing because you are using it to dress your plate. There you go, I feel smarter already. We can let our guests worry about “dressing their plates”, as a hostess our only responsibility is making sure the turkey is well dressed; both on the table if we plan to feature it as a centerpiece and then with our prepared side dish. No stuffing, thank you very much, it keeps the bird from cooking correctly, brings the risk of food borne illness and comes out goopy, yuck!
Try two of our favorite dressing recipes:

SAGE APPLE CRANBERRY DRESSING

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HERBED CORNBREAD DRESSING

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FOOD FRIENDLY FASHION

As a hostess or even a guest we all want to look stylish and pulled together in front of our family and friends but when you are going to be spending 80% of your time in the kitchen and juggling people, plates and pandemonium you need clothing that you feel comfortable in, otherwise you will find yourself feeling awkward and irritable which isn’t good for anyone involved. Here are our favorite tips fro stylizing some comfortable basics from your own closet. Find many of these items and more in our #blackfridaydeals at poshatplay.com, save 70% sitewide on your entire purchase with code BFF at check-out.

MAKE A STATEMENT

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A statement piece from your wardrobe is all that you need to take jeans, leggings or a simple monotone dress to a whole new level. What qualifies as a statement piece you ask? It is that item that hangs in your closet you just had to have but probably do not wear very often, example: fur vest, sequined anything, brightly colored jacket or shirt. This is one of those items that immediately draws attention to itself every time it is worn. Today is the day to give it a chance to “come out of the closet” and shine.

 

WHERE TO FIND:
Black Fur Vest
Button Down Denim Shirt
Black Leather Leggings
Black Jeans
Sequin Skirt

ELEVATE WITH ACCESSORIES

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No statement piece, no matter, you can also add some flair to one of your closet basics with thoughtfully chosen accessories. We are talking scarves, jewelry, belts, and shoes. We are including shoes here because believe it or not the right shoe can set off an otherwise boring outfit and give it new life. These are statement accessories that scream “look at me” so it is important to pair them with a toned down look.

No heels for this girl, when I need to move and get things done the last thing I want is to feel unsteady on my feet. All of these flats are comfortable without giving up one ounce of style.

WHERE TO FIND:
Lace-up Ballet Flats
Silver Sequined Flats
Leopard Print Flats
Gold Lame Flats

The great thing about a belt or scarf is that they can be thrown on over last minute so you are free to cook comfort and then can easily adorn yourself moments before company walks through the door.

WHERE TO FIND:
Silk Scarves
Leather Belt
Jewelry
Sweater Dress

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Regardless of what your plans are for Thanksgiving Day just remember the bottom line is not perfection but gratitude for all of the imperfect people we are surrounded by who make our lives rich by making us laugh, causing us to cry and teaching us how to love the often unlovable part in all of us. HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Posh At Play!

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HOLIDAY PARTY TRENDS

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With Thanksgiving past us and the holidays ahead, it is time to start planning the perfect party fashion attire for every occasion this Season. From the office party to present exchange with the girls to Christmas dinner, we’ve selected the perfect outfits to suit any and every event this year. Whether you decide to go traditional or try something new, take a look at our top trending looks for the holidays 2015. Take advantage of Black Friday sales this weekend, and start shopping our top choices.

1864c9b40f7fdad84a58f14959c624aaWINTER WHITE

One of our top holiday looks trending this Season is winter white from head to toe. Stay with the Season, and look for luscious ivory and off-white colors rather than Summer’s crisp white hue. For your next holiday party, we love Liberty Garden’s NEW long sleeve mixed media ivory sheath dress paired with Menbur’s matching ivory ankle strap sandals and Topshop’s “Polar Bear” faux fur ivory overcoat. We also like Hale Bob’s romantic ivory embroidered mesh lace dress or the ivory floral A line dress, flattering on “Apple” shaped figures. Or, go maxi style in Liberty Garden’s “Boho” ivory embroidered strapless dress or Hale Bob’s classic stretch lace dress with half slip. For more casual occasions, go with Hale Bob’s ivory ultra suede leggings and ivory lace sweater knit long sleeve shirt, topped with Liberty Garden’s ivory terry knit lace jacket. However you choose to style, be sure to include one our favorite head to toe color trends this Winter.

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MAD FOR PLAID

Our second favorite holiday party style trending this Season is plaid. Go with a fresh, updated look for 2015 with a sleek plaid midi pencil skirt, or bundle up in a cozy plaid wool jacket. You can even accessorize with tiny plaid stud earrings or a chic plaid crossbody bag. Get a similar look as above with Topshop’s wool blend midi length skirt paired with Hale Bob’s black long sleeve embroidered top and black ankle strap heels from Steve Madden. Bundle up against Winter’s chilliest weather in Ann Taylor’s brushed wool blend plaid coat or go for holiday cheer in Trina Turk’s double breasted emerald green plaid jacket. If plaid isn’t quite your clothing style, simply accessorize with Coach’s mini red plaid crossbody bag or go for just a hint with plaid stud earrings or classic plaid watch from Burberry. Bold or subtle. Be sure to include a little plaid in your Winter wardrobe this year.

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WINTER FLORALS

Not just for Spring anymore, Winter is the perfect time to let the flowers come out and play. The key to fashioning florals for Winter is to look for darker prints and longer sleeves, or accessorize your dress with heavier coats, scarves, furs and boots. For a day party with the girls, try  Hale Bob’s pink and white bold floral print maxi dress topped with a red rabbit fur vest and black booties from Via Spiga. At your next holiday office party, wow them in style with Betsey Johnson’s floral print stretch midi dress accessorized with emerald green satin T-strap sandals and a “Fall Follies” embellished flower bangle all from the designer herself. Dance the night away at your next holiday cocktail party with Hale Bob’s flattering gold sleeveless floral sequin dress paired with a matching copper sequin jacket and Topshop’s laser cut gold sandalsMaxi or mini. Sequined or satin. Add a lovely floral dress to your holiday party style this Season.

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A SHORTS STORY

Even though Winter is upon us, don’t rule out your favorite pair of shorts at your next holiday party. As with florals, the key is to layer your pair of shorts with heavier knits, wools, and furs, and on extra cold days, a pair of wool tights. Get a similar “Winter White” look as pictured above with Liberty Garden’s NEW ivory lace skort paired with Hale Bob’s ivory lace sweater knit blouse classic ivory jacket from Shopbop, and a “Boho” floppy hat from Eugenia Kim. Or go with our other favorite “Mad for Plaid” look in a frosty blue plaid romper from Soft Joie layered with soft wool blend tights from Falke and trendy suede fringe booties from Sam Edelman. If lace and plaid don’t please you, take a look at our wide range of shorts in all patterns and styles at our online store Posh at Play. There’s one to suit you perfectly at your next holiday gathering.

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TANGERINE IS THE NEW RED

From Elie Saab to Alice + Olivia, designers this year brought us a new shade of red – bright tangerine. What better time than the holidays to try on one of this Season’s top trending colors. Stand out from among the rest at your next office party in a Phillip Lim sleeveless silk ruffle dress or go for a more tailored look in Black Halo’s tangerine shift dress. Off set the bright color with nude ankle strap sandals from Suart Weitzman and a bead and crystal clutch by Natasha Couture, or head to toe color with tangerine suede pumps from Gianvito Rossi and a matching leather clutch from Rag and Bone.

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You are sure to dazzle and shine for your next formal affair in a sweeping floor length tangerine color maxi dress. We’ve picked one out just for you. Try Hale Bob’s stretch satin halter maxi dress paired with shimmering crystal embellished pumps from Badgley Mischka and dainty crystal drop earrings. Be the “belle 0f the ball” this Season in bright tangerine.

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DENIM AND LACE

Lastly, as featured in Harper’s Bazaar magazine’s top party picks, we couldn’t agree more with unexpected dynamic lace paired with denim. Suitable and chic for any holiday gathering, what better way to spruce up durable denim this Season than with an elegant, vintage Victorian lace blouse. We like this updated look with pencil skirt and lace up booties, perfect for the office party, dinner with the parents, or the annual holiday get together. Our top picks include Hale Bob’s supple satin and sultry black lace blouse or go with black stretch floral lace tunic paired with AC Collection’s faded denim pencil skirt and Alexandre Birman black lace up booties. Change up your style at another holiday occasion with a trendy midi length denim skirt from Frame Denim or go with relaxed cropped denim pants from Citizen’s of Humanity. And you could always switch things up by topping Hale Bob’s ivory or grey lace midi skirt with a tie back denim top from Nicholas. However you choose to style, try the denim and lace combo this year.

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Which holiday style do you fancy most? Whether you choose to go winter white head to toe or pair denim and lace, change things up this Season. Forgo the predictable LBD and wear something that expresses your unique personality and beautiful YOU. Start shopping your favorite looks today from the convenience of your home and take advantage of the remaining hours of our online Black Friday sale here at Posh at Play. Find all your favorite looks right here.

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BEST DESIGNER HOLIDAY BARGAINS

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Even though “Black Friday” has passed, there are still numerous deals and bargains for all your holiday shopping. Rather than get caught in all the frantic crowds and endless traffic, we’ve put together the best holiday deals you can find online. Almost all designer brands are offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed through December 30th. It’s a great time to get a jump start on all your holiday shopping for family and friends. So grab a hot chocolate, cozy into your couch, and start shopping from the comfort of your very own home. No need to stress this holiday season. We’ve got you covered.

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POSH AT PLAY

Enjoy one of the BEST online holiday sales of 50% at our online store Posh at Play though the holidays by using the coupon code below. Save on all Hale Bob items and get stocked up on your favorite AC Collection jeans. We love AC Collection’s black bootcut jeans, perfect for all of your holiday errands and shopping this Season. Check out the great selection of On Sale items as well as designer leggings, dresses, blouses, sweaters, pants, and coats perfect for the holidays. There is something for every occasion here from a gorgeous Hale Bob silver sequined holiday dress, perfect for your rocking New Years’s Eve, to comfy suede black leggings for days out, to a wide collection of cozy Hale Bob sweaters perfect for shopping, lunch out, or holiday parties. Start shopping today and save a bundle on chic designer fashion from Hale Bob and AC Collection jeans.

COUPON CODE: POSH50

 

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MICHAEL KORS

Another great online sale we’ve found is at Michael Kors. Enjoy up to 50% off on select merchandise. There are many great finds including not only chic women’s Fall and Winter wear, but also handbags, accessories, shoes, and jewelry. We love these chic leopard print skinny jeans now discounted. Pair them with a chic cashmere sweater and accessorize with a cropped black fur vest and Dion python Leather ballet flats for a chic holiday look. Also check out the great selection of gifts and accessories also on sale, perfect for all your holiday shopping. Get to shopping and get ahead of the holiday rush.

COUPON CODE: NOT NEEDED

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J CREW

Still haven’t found your perfect Winter cashmere yet? Look no further than J Crew. The designer is offering 25% off your entire purchase through December 17th with the coupon code below, plus FREE SHIPPING on orders $150 and more. Shop your entire holiday list at one store and save a bundle. We love the cashmere sparkle long sleeve tee, paired perfectly with a chic sequined skirt and gold heels for a grand entrance at your next holiday event. Also check out J. Crew’s wonderful selection of heels, ballet flats, wedges, and sneakers. Enjoy up to 50% off women’s Sale items and up to 40% off men’s Sale items. Hurry! Some Winter items are already sold out. Upon checkout, follow the link to the J Crew coupon code below for your discount to apply. Get cozy and start shopping!

COUPON CODE: SHOPNOW

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BARNEY’S NEW YORK WAREHOUSE

Enjoy great sales at the Barney’s New York online outlet store with discounts up to 75% off. In addition, by using the coupon code below, enjoy up to 50% off all Sale items. We love the chic Jill Sander Niccolo burgundy cropped skinny pants, a trending color for Winter. Pair with a silk cami and a Derek Lam cashmere ivory shrug or for evening holiday events, make a dramatic statement with a black leather sleeveless vest. Check out the great selection of men’s wear and gift items also, for all the men in your life.

COUPON CODE: BARNEY’S NEW YORK

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KATE SPADE

Where better to start shopping for your New Year’s Eve dress than Kate Spade? Get 15% off your order plus FREE SHIPPING by entering your email on the site. We love the great selection of party and holiday dresses like the sequined fit-and-flare dress featured above. You are sure to sparkle and shine at a fraction of the cost. But don’t stop with just the dresses. Kate Spade also has a wonderful selection of handbags, coats, accessories, and shoes, and get up to 65% off all Sale items. You’ll find something for every woman on your holiday shopping list, so beat the rush and get all your shopping done today at Kate Spade.

COUPON CODE: NOT NEEDED

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STEVE MADDEN

When we think of Steve Madden, we think shoes right? Well, think again. The designer also offers a great selection of outerwear, handbags, scarves, accessories, and holiday gifts for women and men. Free Shipping through the holidays with the coupon code below, plus save an additional 50% off all Sale items as well through the holidays. Steve Madden is also offering a holiday in-store sale through December 3rd on select winter boots and shoes, so now is the time to start shopping stylish winter footwear. We love the Shawny knee-high boot perfect to pair with your favorite skinny jeans for casual or your turtleneck wool dress for nighttime parties. Pair your favorite Steve Madden boot or heel with a trendy black fur-trimmed peacoat or the bright red plaid wool blend coat, perfect for a cold winter’s night. Shop for the men in your life as well with a great selection of footwear, bags, socks, and scarves. You can’t go wrong with these great sales.

COUPON CODE: ENJOY

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VERA BRADLEY

Brighten up your holiday travel with Vera Bradley’s whimsical totes, handbags, luggage, and decor. With Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more, plus dozens of other holiday specials, now is the time to shop new luggage that will surely stand out from amongst the rest. We love the Cheery Blossom Carryall as a great carry-on bag for the plane and the Magenta quilted Emma mini Crossbody for holiday affairs. Get great deals also on the designer’s line of jewelry, wallets, scarves, and accessories. For a bright Christmas morning, try the Pink Swirls Pajama set and celebrate in style. No need to feel the winter blues! Travel in style and update your travel luggage today with Vera Bradley’s bright and unique patterns, spreading holiday cheer wherever you go.

COUPON CODE: NOT NEEDED

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ANN TAYLOR

Enjoy 25% off full price merchandise from Ann Taylor with the coupon code listed below and grab the chic trending black sparkle skirt for Winter, perfectly paired with a chunky sweater and warm scarf for casual and paired with a button-down cashmere for party wear. In addition, get 60% off all Sale items through the holidays. There are some great selections from the Sale items, including the chic cropped tweed jacket, perfect for work or play. For your holiday parties and events, peruse the great selection of holiday dresses in the final sale section. We love the chic silk Dupioni V-neck dress available in gray or ruby red, or the cool gray Duchess satin square neck dress perfect for your holiday or business party. In addition, check out the great selection of denim wear, coats, and gift items for your holiday shopping list.

COUPON CODE: ANNWELCOME11

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There are many great HOLIDAY sales and deals, but you don’t have to get caught up in all the lines and crazy crowds. Shop the great deals from the comfort of your own home and start saving. Get ahead of the game and spend your week shopping for all the people in your life who you are thankful for. We’ve made things easier for you by selecting the best deals from some of our favorite designers, so get to shopping and saving on this Season’s hottest trends and fashions. And while your at it, might as well treat yourself to a little “retail therapy” as well. Happy shopping!