I find that right after Thanksgiving the holiday party invites start rolling in, so I decided to tackle the host/hostess gift guide first this year. If you’ve ever hosted a dinner or party of any kind, you know how much work it takes. Here are a few good gift ideas to let the host know that you appreciate their efforts!
I’m always looking for easy, yummy, and festive party treats when the holidays roll around and s’more pops are just that! While regular s’mores are delicious, they are quite messy, so these are a perfect individual serving alternative!
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Graham cracker crumbs (or make your own)
Lollipop sticks (you can find them at some kitchen or craft stores)
1) First insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows. Make sure not to go all the way through or the marshmallow will fall off into the chocolate when dipping.
2) Melt your chocolate - either in a microwave or a double boiler (a makeshift one in my case). Have your graham cracker crumbs in a bowl nearby.
3) Gently dip each marshmallow into the chocolate and rotate until all sides are covered then dip directly into the graham cracker crumbs while the chocolate is still wet.
4) Place on wax paper, or stick into your styrofoam, to let cool and dry. I placed my piece of styrofoam directly into the decorative box I was using to display them in, and covered it with crinkled paper to be more presentable.
These s’more pops were a huge hit at the party I brought them to and I’ll definite be making them for future holiday events! If you’re hosting a holiday party, know that you don’t need to spend your entire paycheck on entertaining everyone. Try to incorporate lots of finger foods. Fun appetizers and easy desserts like this one usually do the trick. If you want to give everyone small parting gifts or stocking stuffers, check out Pinterest for neat DIY ideas for the season. Shutterfly has general photo gifts and an actual holiday section for things like personalized gift tags and Christmas cards. Or visit Etsy to check out holiday cards designed by yours truly!
For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends! I’m up in Maine for the week and while I’m skipping out on the Black Friday madness I wanted to share some special deals with y’all! The Ciera Design 2014 holiday collection is now up in my Etsy shop and I’m offering my lovely readers 30% off through cyber monday with code “CYBER14″! Also get 50% off my ebook, The Meetup Guide!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
- AMAZON: Special lightning deals updated every 10 minutes at Amazon.com (11/26-11/28)
- BLURB: 20% off print book orders with code: CYBER20
- CREATIVE MARKET: 20% off of everything!
- CRICUT: $5 Off Orders $50+ with code: CRICUTBF5
- EXPRESS: 50% off of everything.
- FOSSIL: $25 off of $150, $50 off of $200, plus free shipping and returns on all orders
- FREE PEOPLE: Free shipping on all orders
- GAP: Take 50% off sitewide at the Gap with code BLKFRIDAY
- HONEST: 25% off sitewide
- J.CREW: Take 30% off select full-price styles and additional 40% off sale + free shipping, no minimum, with code HOLIDAY (11/26-11/30).
- KATE SPADE SATURDAY: Take 30% off sitewide + free shipping with code DEALME (11/26-11/30).
- LORD & TAYLOR: Take an extra 20% off everything + 25% off jewelry with code THANKS (11/25-11/30).
- MADEWELL: Take 25% off site wide with code GIFTON (11/25-11/30).
- MODCLOTH: 50% off hundred of new arrivals (11/26-11/30).
- MINTED: 25% off your order (excludes holiday cards). 20% off your holiday card order of $150+ or 15% off your holiday card order of $100+
- MY FONTS: Tons of fonts on sale up to 90% off
- NINE WEST: 20% off of purchase of $125 or more
- POPPIN: $10 off $85 with the code POPHOLIDAY1085 and $25 off $100 with the code POPHOLIDAY25
- RUCHE: Take 30% off sitewide with code BLKFRDY (11/27-11/28). Take 30% off full-priced items – plus, an extra 50% off will automatically be applied at check out with code BLKFRDY (12/1-12/2).
- SHOES.COM: Black Friday sale, 30% off of all sale items with the code BLACK
- SHOPBOP: Tiered promotion:15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14 (11/26-12/1)
- SKILL SHARE: 40% off an entire year with discount code BLACK14
- TARGET: Women’s Boots BOGO 50% off and hundreds of deals site wide (11/27-12/1)
- TINYPRINTS: 30% off any order using the code BLACKFRIDAY plus an extra 10% off using the code 1128DEAL at checkout
- URBAN OUTFITTERS: Take an additional 25% off all sale online and an additional 50% off all sale in-stores (11/28)
- WARBY PARKER: buying glasses is a cinch with the FREE Home-Try-On program, 5 Days, 5 Pairs, 100% FREE!
- WEST ELM: Take up to 25% off with code SUPERSALE (11/26-12/1)
- WP ENGINE: sign up for an annual plan and get 4 months of free hosting with code “CyberHosting14″ when signing up.
I hope this list saves you all a little time and money this weekend! I’m trying to keep this list as up to date as possible, but I can’t gaurantee any of these deals. xoxo
Happy Monday! I’m trying to get better at sharing completed projects on a more steady basis around here, so here we go! The first time I worked with Vesta was in 2010 on the Race + Religious rebranding and website. I’ve worked with Vesta on a few different things over the years and I’m so excited to be able to help with her latest venture. I just launched Vesta’s site for White Swan Personal Training, her new personal training company! Vesta knew she wanted a very simple and clean look. I knew that I wanted to showcase the true passion that she has for exercise and ballet! I wanted the gorgeous photographs to shine so I kept the color palette and design elements to a minimum. What do you think?
P.S. I’ve just about wrapped up all of my 2014 client projects and I’m now booking for 2015. If you need anything design related, get in touch!
I’m so excited to show y’all this moodboard I designed inspired by Brian Gavin Diamonds’s new Rose Gold Collection. The collection is so romantic and soft I wanted the moodboard to express the same feelings. I am adoring this color combo so much, I feel like I need to throw a party using it! Hmmm, wedding colors?
Introducing the Italian Rose Gold Collection from Brian Gavin Diamonds. Each unique piece of jewelry is crafted from 14k Italian Rose Gold with white gold, diamond cut beads. Available in earrings, necklaces and bracelets – this affordable collection provides ultra romantic accessories for the fall.
With five generations of diamond expertise, artistry and integrity, Brian Gavin Diamonds sells exquisite loose diamonds and hand-crafted, customized diamond engagement rings and jewelry. Since 1999, thousands of satisfied local, national and global clients have enjoyed Brian Gavin Diamonds’ personalized diamond experience — both online and off. Follow Brian Gavin Diamonds on Twitter, Pinterest and don’t miss them on Instagram, they have some really awesome videos! Thanks to Brian Gavin Diamonds for sponsoring this post!
Who has a to-do list a mile long of home projects and updates? I know I do! My dad is a bit of a dumpster diver so there’s never a shortage of furniture in our family, while abundant, it’s not always pretty. A while back he gave me a bookshelf that’s been really useful, but an eyesore in my office, see below. I just shoved a bunch of stuff on it and that was that. I’ve been meaning to give it an upgrade but just couldn’t get around to it.
Well, BLACK+DECKER contacted me with a challenge to finish a project that I had been putting off as part of their Your Big Finish campaign. Through this campaign, BLACK+DECKER is encouraging homeowners and renters to finish neglected projects around their homes for a chance to win $10,000 and other prize packages. I knew immediately I wanted to tackle this bookshelf!
Lucky for me it was easy to deconstruct. I cleared off the junk, took it apart, taped up the ends of the legs and got out my white spray paint! I needed to do a few coats since the original color was so dark. Once the paint was dry I reassembled the shelf. When I was putting items back on the shelf I kept it to a minimum instead of just cramming everything back on. I moved some of the extra books and boxes to a shelf that wasn’t so front and center in my office and focused on making this shelf both pretty and functional. It was so easy, I can’t believe I procrastinated for so long! It’s amazing that a little white spray paint can make such a huge difference.
Now it’s your turn to finish a project! BLACK+DECKER has launched this movement to get all the unfinished home projects moving again. Join them for the opportunity to win $10,000 cash and products. Plus, they might put you and your finished project on a billboard right in the middle of Times Square. So while your family may never notice that you finished hanging the crown molding, millions of others will!
There are weekly BLACK+DECKER prize packages (valued at approximately $440), and one Grand Prize of $10,000. Check out the finished project gallery to browse other entries and get inspiration for your own project then submit your own entry for a chance to win!
Many thanks to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring today’s story and inspiring me to FINALLY finish this project!
I’m so excited to be able to share this giveaway with y’all today! For those of you who aren’t familiar, Hammitt is an American maker of designer handbags. Every Hammitt bag is made by hand in Los Angeles, California by skilled artisans with years of experience working with some of the biggest handbag names in the world of fashion. Skilled leather artisans curate every detail, from suede lining and polished rivets, to discreet cell-phone pockets and smart reversible straps. Hammitt embodies youthfulness, self-confidence, and effortless style. Every made-to-order piece is a timeless staple with each bag becoming a personal reflection of its individual collector.
Now for the fun part! I’ve teamed up with Hammit Handbags to help spread the word about an amazing giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win a limited edition handbag by Hammitt worth $760, courtesy of Stearns & Foster (shown above). One lucky winner will also receive their very own hand-stitched Stearns & Foster Lux Estate mattress. Hammitt has created this exclusive bag for Stearns & Foster, one which embodies their values of American-made, timeless styling, superior craftsmanship and the world’s finest materials. Called, “The Lockland” after the birthplace of Stearns & Foster, the bag is a highly versatile, go-anywhere, carryall satchel handcrafted in a timeless silhouette with Hammitt signature rivets and rough-edge. Stearns & Foster is giving away 20 of these bags through their Facebook page, so go check it out!
Enter To Win By Clicking Here (Closed)
Abbreviated Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal US residents (incl. DC), 18 years or older (19 years old in AL and NE, 21 in MS) at start of Sweepstakes. Promotion consists of 4 separate Sweepstakes the first of which begins at 12:00 a.m. ET on 8/13/14, and the last of which ends on 12/14/14, at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter, click here, “like” the page, and complete and submit the registration form. 20 prize winners will receive a limited edition Hammitt® Handbag. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of each: $760. One winner will receive a Stearns & Foster® mattress set (ARV: $1499). Limit one (1) prize per person/per household. Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received per sweepstakes. For complete rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.stearnsandfoster.com Sponsor: Tempur Sealy International, Inc. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Photo via Hammitt.
My sister and I hardly ever played video games growing up. I guess as girls we always had other priorities when writing out our Christmas lists. We’d only play on occasion at our cousin’s house, I think it was the original Nintendo. One year for Christmas we got Game Boys, but still really only played those on road trips. I think our dad used them more than we did! But ever since the more interactive games started coming out with Wii and PlayStation, I have been dying to play JustDance, and now, 5 years after the first release, since Zander already has a PlayStation, I finally broke down and bought the PlayStation Camera and got Just Dance 2015!
My sis was just home visiting so I made her play with me after I got it all set up. It is SO fun! And quite the workout, it’s like exercise in disguise. It’s the perfect game to get your family or friends up and moving. With a fresh tracklist of more than 40 of the hottest hits and throwback tunes, there’s something for everyone! Players can dance along to hit songs like “Maps” by Maroon 5 and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, or classic favorites like “Walk This Way” by Run DMC & Aerosmith. So far my favorite song to dance to is “Problem” by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, but I have plenty more to go!
Ok, so the dancing is a blast, but the funniest part is once you finish the song, it plays it back for you to watch – it’s hilarious! There is also a karaoke feature and you can get extra points for singing along. I’m definitely going to be playing a lot, even if it’s just home alone. I need to take some dance party breaks from work right?!
Something else really great is that Just Dance 2015 and Stomp Out Bullying have partnered to bring awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month by showing people everywhere that “it’s okay to dance to your own beat!”
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.
Selfie: it’s the word of the year. Never were so many silly self portraits taken and posted across the globe as in 2014. So what about Maximiliano Sproviero’s typeface named after this crazy phenomenon? Was it called Selfie because there’s something narcissistic about it? Maybe just because it is such a perfectly eclectic product of its time. That sums it up pretty well: geometric construction combined with neon tube lines, penstroke connections and abundant swashes. Based on vintage signage scripts as seen in Buenos Aires’ Galerías, Selfie combines vintage charm with digital versatility. Check out the rugged Printed version for that popular letterpress look, and the attractive construction set of banners in Selfie Flags. And y’all know I like to share a good font deal – Selfie is 25% off until November 18th, so if you like it, grab it now!
Type samples from MyFonts.com. Affiliate links used.
As we head into November full speed ahead, now is a great time to pause for a moment, step back and take a look at your business. Does your visual branding need a refresh or maybe even a total overhaul? Is your brand identity making a good first impression on your potential clients? Not sure, here are four signs that your identity design may need a facelift:
1. It no longer represents your business
Maybe you’ve decided to offer different services, have expanded or maybe you have done a complete 180. Sometimes your businesses can slowly evolve over time and you don’t even realize it’s happening!
2. You don’t feel proud
Your branding conveys the quality of your business and should reflect your values. Your website, business card, and printed materials are often the first interface that a potential client has with your business. You have a few seconds to make a good impression and you should be proud to hand out cards and send people to your site.
3. You are attracting the wrong client or your target audience has changed
Your visual identity should accurately represent your brand’s personality. If people keep contacting you looking for a style or services that you don’t offer, then it might be time to revisit your brand identity to focus on attracting your target audience.
4. Your current look is dated, poor-quality or non-existent
Your visual branding should be timeless, not trendy. With so many platforms these days, clients should be able to recognize you at a glance through your brand identity. Are your website, printed materials and social sites cohesive? They should be.
Still not sure if you are ready? Read Sprucing Up Your Branding and download the free Questions For Rebranding Worksheet to help you figure it out. Still confused about what is right for your business? A consultation is a great place to start. Sometimes you just need to talk it out!
P.S. Helping people is my passion and I’d love to help you create a successful brand identity for your business so get in touch as there are limited bookings available before the end of the year!