Friday, October 31, 2014

Organizing for the Holidays and this weeks Special

Okay, I am going to say this once and for all, before you put down one single ornament, wreath, or start baking a single cookie, please do this for me. Organize, set a plan, and do not go into the holiday season, without doing any of these actions. The reason why I am saying this, is quite simple. You do not want to get into the holiday spirit and come out looking effortless. There are some steps you need to take before executing anything for the holidays. The holidays I’m talking about are; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. If you have any minor holidays in the mix, such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or for the Muslim holiday, you really need to plan.

1.       Start early. By starting early, you are not rushing at the last minute, trying to get a list of things to do, things to be bought, in areas to decorate.
2.       Set a plan. By setting a plan, you know exactly what you are supposed to do, at what time, I many people you plan on coming, and how long it will take to do each project.
3.       Locate your decorations. Even if you know where your decorations are, a lot has happened since the last time you put your decorations away, such as moving to a new location.
4.       Make a guest list. By making it guest list, you know exactly who you want to invite, and when. Be sure to start sending out invitations at a reasonable time, so that your guests can plan ahead of time, and to let you know if they cannot make it that evening of your party, or family get-together.
5.       Make a gift list. This list should include items such as the name of the person you are giving a gift to, their size if giving clothing, color, and type of toy or other item if it is a special request. If it is a toy, make sure you tell the child in question, that this is only a request, and Santa may have something special in mind for that child, but they will like it.
6.       Make out a card list. Make sure you have the recipient’s current name, address, city, state, and zip code. Also, make sure you have enough postage for each card. The last thing you need, is to have a card returned, especially if you have something extra in it.
7.       Make sure you have everything ready for overnight guests. In fact, make it special for them. Have a basket filled with their favorite things, such as a book they might like to read, your favorite music, fresh towels, robe, or anything else feel will make their stay memorable.
8.       Have fun. Make sure everything is done before the guests arrive, so that you can be the hostess instead of being behind the scenes for most of your event.
Sometimes, it might be good to hire help if you can afford it, but I think it would be more fun, if you just plan ahead of time, have the knowledge that your guests are happy, and having a good time as well.
Now for today’s special.

Slide Our Sleigh Basket Into Your Holiday Decor
  • You can almost feel the cold air on your cheeks and taste a snowflake on your tongue when you add our 2014 Holiday Helper™ Sleigh Basket to your holiday display.
  • Beginning with a beautifully woven Longaberger Basket, our basketmakers nail 2 wooden runners on the bottom for a cute and colorful sleigh display.
  • Fill with evergreen sprigs, pinecones, holiday candy, nuts or anything that expresses the spirit of the season!
  • Dash on over to my Longaberger web site to view our complete 2014 Christmas Collection.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your Holiday Table: The center of attention

(c) 2014 The Longaberger Company
I am not a Martha Stewart fan.  I will admit it from the start.  She does great work and I have bought a few of her craft products to make projects with (I do paper crafting on both the personal and professional level), but to me, she is not a goddess, repeat, NOT a goddess.  (You can read why I am not a fan here)Martha has her ways, has made a household name for herself, in fact, an empire, but not everything Martha says is not gold.  Angels do not fall out of the sky when she speaks.   So when I decorate, the secret police are not going to come to my house from the White House, if my tablescape is not directly from her magazine.   I do admire that she does has several Longaberger baskets, and that she is a Longaberger fan.  That pleases me a lot.  This is my personal opinion on Martha Stewart, and mine alone.  I do follow her, because I want to know where her head is at on decorating and crafting.
I will get into today’s special in a moment, but I do want to talk a little bit about your Holiday table.   It does not matter if you are having a party, or just trying to get through the day with kids in tow, you do want a neat table.  I also follow the following decorators:  Nate Berkus, B. Smith, Christopher Lowell, and a few others, as well as some bloggers for my decorating ideas, and there is one thing that all of these people do agree on, and that is you must have a beautiful centerpiece.
When making your centerpiece, there is a saying that YouTubber and Simply Laura host Laura Vitale says when advise her viewers they can put anything in a recipe that she is cooking on her YouTube channel and on the show, and that is, “The world is your pickle”, that means, do whatever makes you feel comfortable in doing.  This includes your budget, your style, your colors, and what you have on hand to make your centerpiece.  Now I am not going to tell you to go to design school for this task, because, you can find ideas on Pinterest, other peoples blogs, Google, Yahoo, or Bing search it (I do not recommend at all), eve ask your friends and family members what they do for a centerpiece.
A centerpiece, when done correctly needs the following elements:
1)      Keep it Simple –Having a complicated centerpiece overpowers everything else that is on the table, the place settings, the food, and ambiance.
2)      Make it festive- Have a theme (4th of July, Christmas, Joe’s retirement, or family reunion), use colors, textures, and be mindful of space and light (which produces the color spectrum), but still keep it simple
3)      Scale and proportion (sizing):  I am the first to say:  consider how big the surface of your table, rather it is big or small, or shape (Oblong (curved edges with sides), round, square, or rectangle).  There is nothing worse than seeing a really big centerpiece on a tiny surface.  In other words, a small table needs a small arrangement.
4)       Balance:  consider the following types
a.       Formal arrangements are symmetry.  Everything needs to be equal (matching; a mirror image).  If you have 6 place settings, you can have 6 small arrangements down center of the table, or at each place setting.
b.      Informal arrangements are asymmetrical.  Everything is at odd number ((the rule of three for example).  If you have 6 place settings, you can have 3 small arrangements down the center, or have an arrangement in between settings.
c.       Radical.  There is one centerpiece, and everything radiates from the center, like a sundial or sunburst.  This is common for round tables.
5)      Rhythm:  when people think of rhythm, they immediately go to music and sound.  The beat of a drum.  Not in the case.  Rhythm simply means how everything flows on the table, or in this case the centerpiece.  This is where proportion, scale, simplicity, and color, as well as balance come together, and your eye goes from one spot of the centerpiece to another.  To me, it makes a person say they hate it or love it.   A centerpiece, as well as the rest of table need repetition (elements used more than once) and transition (the eye being able to go from one spot to another and be able to tell that there are small and big pieces there, and well as the light and dark areas of the centerpiece.
6)      Emphasis:   a focal point.  The main element, and then being able to place pieces around that focal point.  Something that the eye is drawn to.
7)      Harmony:  When everything has mesh together as though they belonged in that space.
Keep these in mind for a centerpiece, and you cannot go wrong.  Just have fun in make it.
Now for the special:
  • Make it a star-studded holiday season, with Woven Traditions Star Platters and Dishes!
  • Great for all your fall and holiday decorating. They make a great "point" in highlighting your style.
  • Available in your choice of colors, to match any room or any occasion.
  • Stack with your favorite Woven Traditions Plates for an eye-catching place setting.
  • Pair them with our set of 3 Wrought Iron Stands (an exclusive booking gift), for an extra special presentation.
  • Visit my Longaberger web site to see all the good cheer we have now and through December!

Friday, October 3, 2014

T'is the Season of preparing for the Holidays
The season of holiday gift giving is upon us, and I am here to help you with your list.  In need of some last minute Halloween goodies, getting ready for Thanksgiving, or doing some early holiday shopping for the table, these products are perfect. 
Before I tell you about the special for this month, I know for most people, the holidays are a stressful time with all the preparatory work that goes into it all.  I do not have too many things I have to worry about, because it is just me, but my mother does.  She waits until two weeks before Thanksgiving, and two weeks before Christmas to get everything ready for whoever drops by for dinner, BUT you have to let her and my father know you are coming.
I have learned in my research of blogging and reading other people’s blogs on the subject of decorating and entertaining for the holidays, which the idea situation for this time of the year, is to prepare NOW.  I am not saying that my mother’s methods are wrong. There was a time where she would start looking for me and my siblings’ toys in August for Christmas, and my dad would look for turkey deals in early October, but the method they use now to entertain for the holiday is THEIR method, and it works for them in their stage in life.
1.      Are you sending cards?   Get your list started now.  If you make them (which I do), get the materials now.  You do not have to start them now (early October), but making them in late October puts a damper on things. The idea time to gather and make cards is late September.  If you are not a crafter, premade cards are the way to go, but do not go to a store.  My suggestion is to look for someone online, such as sites like Etsy, Zibbet, or Art Fire.  Why?  These are people who dedicate their lives for making cards and they will customize for your needs.  Even if you need one card, the tick here, is to save time.  Some may be a little expensive, but the reason is some artisans have billable hours, and some work per piece.  I explain it a little bit more in another blog.  Places like Hallmark, American Greetings, and other companies like these have generic cards that often do not reflect your taste, your cultural, or what you want to say.  So if you want 50 blue and white Hanukkah and Christmas cards that says, “Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas” in Spanish, Hallmark is not going to have it, but Nadine, an artisan you meet on Etsy will customize the order for you, and have it for you, in a week, and at a price you and her agreed on.
2.     What about entertaining guests?   This is one of the best times of the year to break out the good china and dishes, and have a great time?  Only if you like it like that.  Now it is the time to plan your party.  If you can afford it, hire a culinary student to fix your meal.  Call around with some prices in mind, not only are you helping a student get through school, but you are again customizing a meal that is pleasing to your guests, and you do not have to slave over a hot stove.  If hiring a student chef is not your thing, you can easily whip up a meal, but in either case, plan out your meal.   Think about who is coming, and if they are bringing a guest or two (please not 10).  Also think about the dietary needs of your guests.  Prepare a meal that meets all of those needs.  On the invitation, ask them to call you ahead of time if there are any diet restrictions you should know about, and keep that in mind when you shop.   You want your guests to feel welcomed and comfortable, especially if they are staying overnight.
3.     Speaking of staying overnight, if you are going to have overnight guests, how about a hospitality basket?   They are really fun to make, and it will make your guests feel like they are staying in a 5-star hotel.   Start with a largeenough basket to hold everything in.  Place in the basket a set of towels (one set person guest if a couple is staying), a bar of soap, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste or gel (in case they forget anything), favorite snack, magazines, and their favorite music (or holiday tunes) (do not forget to have a player of some kind).
4.     Finally, if you are going any place special, make sure you have everything to make the trip smoother, rather you drive or fly someplace.  My trip to Disney world is turning sour, because I did last minute planning, and everyone in my traveling party is not feeling it at the moment. My deadline is at the end of the month.   So, what is going on this month at Longaberger?
The month of October is all about the anticipation of a Christmas stocking.  Christmas stockings hold little presents for children (and adults alike).  I remember getting fruit, a coloring book, and some little trinket, as well as money in my stocking.   This month’s special is the StockingBasket and theTree Trimming, Little Stocking Basket.  Inspired by Tami Longaberger’s recollection of her first Christmas stocking given to her by her father, the late Dave Longaberger, many of these products are perfect as gift baskets, table settings, organizing and more. This special runs through October 31st and watch for other specials throughout the month.
 Visit my website at Also look for other blog posts, throughout the holiday season, where I will show you how to decorate your home for the holidays, or feature a product that would be perfect for you, as a gift, or for entertaining, decorating, or organizing.   Let me know if you have any questions, want to book a party, or want to earn some extra money by PM on Facebook, or by emailing me at