Natural Socialite

Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

J.Crew Winter 2011 Picks | The Natural Socialite

In Fashion on November 14, 2011 at 9:00 am
I’m totally digging J. Crew this season & their genius incorporation of colors & textures. I’m hoping to step my “color” game up this winter and add a rainbow of colors to my personal wardrobe.  With picks like these spotted on JCrew.com, that won’t be hard to do at all. Check out my fabulous finds!
Schoolboy blazer in velvet
Schoolboy Blazer in velvet, $168 (shown in heather Chartreuse)
Wynter sweater in sequin stripe
Wynther sweater in sequine stripe, $118
Fanfare jacket in winter's tweed
 Fanfare jacket in winter’s tweed, $250
Café capri in wool plaid
Cafe’ capri in wool plaid, $138
Hacking jacket in tipped double-serge wool
Hacking jacket in tipped double serge’ wool, $298
Crystal dot hand-enameled bracelet
Classic Jenna bracelet
Lulu Frost for J.Crew figure eight bangle
Lulu frost for J. Crew figure eight bangle, $58
What trends are you looking forward to this season?  Will you sport colorful fabrics or opt for a more neutral color pallet?
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Holiday Office Party Fashion Faux Pas

In Fashion on November 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Faux Paus #1: Christmas Sweaters

We get it. You’re in the Holiday spirit & you want everyone to know it. You can spread your Holiday cheer without looking like a walking Christmas card. Spare us, please.

Faux Pas #2 : Too Tight & Too Short

Unless your office is the local strip joint & your company encourages customers to participate in a 2 drink minimum, then please don’t over display the ass-ets. Sure, its after hours & you aren’t technically “on the clock”, you should try to keep it classy at least for the night.

Faux Pas #3: Sheer Clothing

If sheer clothing isnt appropriate for your office dress code, then it’s unfortunately not appropriate for the holiday party either. Save the see-through for a night out with friends…. or the bedroom.

Fashion Faux Pas #4: Lucite Heels

No. Just don’t do it. Please. Enough said.

Fashion Faux Pas #5: Serious Boobage

Cover the “girls” up a bit and resist showing off all of the goods. A nip slip while chatting it up with your boss & their spouse may not be a good look for your career aspirations. Choose a more conservative neckline & woo the room with your charming smile.

What are your fashion dont’s for this holiday season?? Have any of your co-workers come to the office party with a major no-no?

Brookstone 2011 Holiday Gift Trends | The Natural Socialite

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hot Gifts for iPad Lovers

More iPad users in the world means more people trying to personalize and accessorize. Brookstone is the gift destination for the tablet lover on everyone’s list.

Bluetooth® Keyboard Portfolio

Foldover portfolio has a built-in Bluetooth® wireless keyboard that lets iPad users type with wild abandon. In cool new colors. $99.99

Brookstone® Boombox

Lose the cassettes not the swagger. This portable stereo lets people “share” music with everyone on the block… just by docking their iPad tablet. $129.99

Hot for the Host

Brookstone is happy to announce that the party is back with a vengeance. Here’s what’s coming to parties this year.

Automatic Wine Opener with Built-in Foil Cutter

Corks (and foils) have met their match. Thirsty guests will be impressed by how quickly this opener lets them get to their wine. It’s placed over the bottle, a twist removes the wine foil, and then a push of the button removes the cork. Cordless and rechargeable. $49.99

Vinturi® Wine Aerator

Guests may think the wine is more expensive than it really is. This handheld device instantly “breathes” wine as each glass is poured, enhancing flavor and bouquet. Available for red or white wines and for liquors. From $39.99

Obol®, the Never-Soggy Cereal Bowl

If adult beverages aren’t the main attraction at the party, Obol® makes a great conversation-starting gift for your hosts (or their kids). This very modern-looking bowl has two sections—an upper area for cereal (or holiday cookies), and a lower reservoir for milk. One swoops a scoop of cereal onto a spoon, then swoops into the milk for the perfect crispy bite every time. Also great for soup and crackers or chips and salsa. $19.99

Feel-Good Gifts

Feel-good gifts like massagers, slippers and memory foam pillows are always popular during the holiday season.

Brookstone® Body Bean

It’s a high-tech update on the beloved hot water bottle that’s cordless and rechargeable. It’s great for soothing aches and pains, tired muscles, and for just keeping warm on a chilly day. $34.99

3-in-1 Heated Wrap—with Body Bean

Pairs a cordless Body Bean with versatile body wrap that holds the Bean against the lower back, neck and shoulders, or anywhere else soothing warmth is needed. $49.99

Active Sport Handheld Massager

Brookstone is finding that athletes and other active people are using handheld massagers to soothe and loosen up muscles before and after workouts. The Active Sport Massager packs plenty of massaging horsepower and has 3 interchangeable massage heads that let users target specific areas or enjoy all-over relief. $69.99

Tempur-Pedic® Comfort-Step Slippers

Revolutionary Tempur-Pedic® slippers deliver maximum comfort with a pressure-relieving breathable material, while the durable hard sole is ideal for around the house and quick trips out to the mailbox. “The best slippers I’ve ever owned … I would never think about wearing another type of slipper now.” – Susie, Brookstone Customer Review $49.99

Brookstone, Inc., is an innovative product development company and specialty retailer of unique gifts. Brookstone operates 300 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico. Typically located in high-traffic regional shopping malls and airports, the stores feature unique and innovative consumer products. The Company also operates a Direct Marketing business that includes the Brookstone catalog and an e-commerce website at Brookstone.com. Fans of the Company are encouraged to Like Brookstone on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Product prices and availability subject to change without notice.

Holiday Recipe Collection | Creamy Corn Casserole

In Recipes on November 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

This recipe is easy, breezy.  Probably one of the easiest recipes you can make for your holiday dinner guests, as a matter of fact. Not only is it delish, but it adds a pop of color to your dinner plate next veggies.  Enjoy!

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 -50 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm. Serves 6-8

Holiday Recipe Collection | Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

In Recipes on November 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

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Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
  • 1/3 stick butter — melted (Do not omit or reduce this amount)

FOR THE SWEET POTATO MIXTURE :

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (Garnets looks best and be sure to bake them first)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs — well beaten
  • 1 stick butter — ( 1/2 cup) melted (You can leave it out or reduce it, if you wish) 

DIRECTIONS


  • Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
  • Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serves 6 Hint: Double the recipe. People will love the leftovers, which also freeze beautifully.
 Natural Socialite’s Note:  Add a little cinnamon, nutmeg & 1/4 cup milk to the sweet potato mixture to make it extra delish!!

Marvelous Mini Apple Pies!!! | The Natural Socialite

In Recipes on November 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

I spotted these mini apple pies on Little Bit Funky, and I thought that these babies were absolutely genius! Crystal is sooo awesome that she bakes desserts for her hubby to take to work Every.Single.Monday., and this one just made my mouth water with excitement. I plan on trying these babies some time next month (I’m working on this Master Cleanser fast), but I just had to share it with you guys immediately!

Here is what you will need:

8 apples
12 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 c of sugar
4 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg (depending on how much you like nutmeg…you could also leave it out)

You will also need:
4 tablespoons of chilled butter cut into 24 equal portions.
two boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts (four chilled NOT frozen crusts)

Check out the full recipe here! I’ll let you guys know how these turn out & if they are hubby approved!

Thanksgiving Decor Inspiration | The Natural Socialite

In Culture & Lifestyle on November 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner party here in Chicago, so I’ve been searching for inspiration to jump start my creative juices. I want to do something fun & inspiring without over doing the decor, and without breaking the bank of course!!  I love these ideas from our friends at Better Homes & Gardens!  There site is full of inspiration for everyone & every budget!  Check out some of my faves from this year:

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Footed glass containers hold ribbons, beans, and nuts in this fall centerpiece. A copper tray adds sophistication to the display and makes the brown-hue decoration portable- Source: BHG

 
Leaves in a copper pail
 
All it takes is a vintage pail and some leaves from Mother Nature to make this fall-worthy centerpiece. Place magnolia leaves into a bucket, using florist’s foam to keep the arrangement in place. The arrangement works best if you place tall leaves in the back and shorter leaves in the front- Source: BHG
 
Go Low arrangement
 
Dress up your dining table — without hindering conversation — by making a festive, low-profile centerpiece. Cut branches of hypericum berries and chartreuse spider chrysanthemums short enough to just peek over the tops of several glass vases; then arrange them down the center of a long tray. Fill out the rest of the tray with apples, pears, and bunches of elderberries to create an abundant display- Source: BHG
Natural Wood Round
 
Use a tree round (available at garden centers or crafts stores) as the podium for your fall centerpiece. A simple pumpkin and wine bottle provide great height- Source: BHG
 
Go Low arrangement
 
Dress up your dining table — without hindering conversation — by making a festive, low-profile centerpiece. Cut branches of hypericum berries and chartreuse spider chrysanthemums short enough to just peek over the tops of several glass vases; then arrange them down the center of a long tray. Fill out the rest of the tray with apples, pears, and bunches of elderberries to create an abundant display- Source: BHG

Love Your Natural Hair with Eight Tips from Curly Nikki | The Natural Socialite

In Hair on November 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

A big part of loving your natural hair is knowing how to care for it, so CurlyNikki has complied a list of eight tips that your curls will thank you for.
1.    Dry style your hair, especially in the winter. Dry styling aids in preventing curls from coiling around each other and creating more tangles that result in breakage. Try dry styling bantu knots, twist outs or braid outs.
2.    It’s best to apply oil to your hair when it’s wet. This will help your hair hold in the moisture that’s already on the hair shaft.
3.    Don’t use petroleum-based products too often. When you do use them, apply them only to the hair, not to your scalp. Petroleum-based products have ingredients that clog your pores and attract dust.
4.    Get your aromatherapy on by massaging your scalp regularly with natural oils. Oils such as lavender, rosemary, jojoba, and grapeseed are natural solutions to help thicken your hair as you circulate your blood flow and encourage hair growth.
5.    Try mixing up a quick hair mask by applying an egg onto your hair, massaging it in and leaving it on for no longer than five minutes. Do this egg mask treatment weekly to add protein to your hair and strengthen your strands.
6.    Looking for a style with less frizz? Try a braid out! Braid outs are often less frizzy than twist outs because the hair gets “smoother” in the prepping process and the braid pulls the hair tighter and straighter than a twist would.
7.    Use water; water is by far the best moisturizer known to man. In between a styling session, simply dampen the hair then seal in the moisture with a light oil like jojoba or grape seed oil. A popular method of doing this is with the use of a spray bottle.
8.    Grease provides awesome slip when dry twisting and you’ll notice that you’ll encounter fewer tangles and snagging. It really creates a protective barrier around each strand. Be sure, though, to wash it all out with normal shampoo, not just by cowashing, or else it will build up.

Learn how to love and embrace your natural hair with articles, styling tips, product reviews and more by visiting http://www.CurlyNikki.com

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies | The Natural Socialite

In Recipes on November 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

Recipe adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted, about 1 minute.

Add both sugars to melted butter and stir until combined. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs, stirring until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder until just combined and a soft dough forms. Fold in chocolate and pecans.

Scoop dough in desired cookie size onto lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Leave room between cookies for some spreading.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake cookies until golden around the edges but a little soft in the center. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the cookies (and your particular oven). Smaller cookies (2-inch diameter) bake for 13-15 minutes. Larger cookies may require up to 18 minutes.

Cool on baking sheets on wire racks for a few minutes. Then, transfer from baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely. I think I’m going to try this recipe again with almond flour & see how that goes.  I’m trying to experiment with healthier ingredients in my baking, and since my bestie only eats gulten free options I’m trying to incorporate almond flour in my recipes more.

Talk about delicious!!!!!  This recipe makes about 24 yummy 2-inch cookies. Enjoy!

15 Days to Give Thanks from CurlyNikki.com | The Natural Socialite

In Contests & Giveaways on November 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

Curlies can give thanks to their natural beauty this November with 15 days of prizing! Naturals can enter each day to have a chance to win more than $10,000 in fabulous curl-specific prizes and be entered to win the grand prize of $1,200+ in curly hair products and a Huetiful Hair Steamer.

The best part of this time of year is the being thankful part. However, most curlies have struggled for a very long time with managing their hair. Whether it is worn curly, twisted, straightened, in a weave, relaxed, pressed, ironed, blown out or always pulled back in a ponytail, the love for curls is a rocky road. Hair is so tightly connected to self-esteem. CurlyNikki is thankful that she has curly hair not only because it is unique but also because it automatically connects her to other amazing curlies. When two curlies meet, there is an immediate, mutual understanding of the struggles involved with having curly hair. They all are very aware of the humidity and dew points. They all have history with good and bad haircuts. The joys and struggles with hair care products and second-day hair are universal. An immediate understanding that swimming, riding in a convertible car, and being caught in a rainstorm can all be a potential curl disaster. Curlies are thankful for the honesty and support that other curlies have offered them in their life.

In her quest to give back to naturals during this time, CurlyNikki is launching 15 Days of Giving Thanks in November. For 15 days, readers can enter to win products from some of the top natural brands, including Hairfinity, Eden, Bee Mine, Cibu, TwistedSista, CARA B, Amika, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, TIGI, SoftSheen Carson, Shea Moisture, Marc Anthony, Hair Rules, Essentious and Karen’s Body Beautiful. One grand-prize winner will receive a bundle of all of the best products from the sponsors.

“I am so thankful for so many things in my life, and my followers are a big part of that…” says Nikki Walton, creator/editor of CurlyNikki.com. “My mission with my blog is to provide balance between physical beauty and personal esteem in a way that defies societal norms—providing Hair Therapy to achieve real hair, real beauty and real self-esteem! This giveaway is the perfect extension to help women love themselves and to allow me to give back and be thankful for them.”

About the Contest
Readers are encouraged to take part in our natural giveaway of various curly hair products from our 15 sponsors: Karen’s Body Beautiful, Hair Rules, Hairfinity, EDEN BodyWorks, Bee Mine, Cibu, TwistedSista, CARA B Naturally, Amika, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, TIGI, Optimum Care, Shea Moisture, Marc Anthony, Essentious and Huetiful!

How to Enter The Giveaway
15 Days of Giving Thanks Giveaway participants must register here to win. The giveaway begins November 7, 2011, at 12:00 a.m. CST and ends November 21, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. CST. Only online entries will be accepted. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.