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Category : Entertainment

Book club recommendations

Now that the kids are back in school, moms can start checking books off their own reading lists. Book club recommendations for this fall range from the romantic to the thrilling — and don’t forget the ones with movies coming out soon.

fall book recommendations

Books from your favorite authors

fall book recommendations

Jojo Moyes practically owns the New York Times best seller list. One Plus One follows Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, and Moyes doesn’t disappoint with her story about a dysfunctional family and a maybe-knight in shining armor (Barnes & Noble, $18). Frazzled moms will relate to the hoops through which Jess will jump as a mother trying to do the best for her kids after her husband ducks away from their lives.

fall book recommendations

No one tackles the hidden tarnish beneath the sheen of suburbia like Liane Moriarty, and Big Little Lies is no exception (Barnes & Noble, $17). An annual event turns deadly, and the homicide investigation delves into the secrets hiding within the families entrenched in the school community.

Book club picks for fantastic discussions

fall book recommendations

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s After I Do is written in a fun, conversational tone, but the quick read has a lot of discussion points beneath the whimsical exterior (Barnes & Noble, $11). Lauren and Ryan have the perfect relationship — until they don’t. Their decidedly untraditional marriage experiment offers an alternative way of looking at marriage. Gathering together a group of women is the perfect place to talk about how the traditional expectations of marriage might not work so well for every couple.

fall book recommendations

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie takes readers from Nigeria to America and London, and back to Nigeria (Barnes & Noble, $11). A young, passionate couple leaves their homeland and end up on separate continents before finding their way back to each other and the land of their birth. Adichie tackles love, skin color, and the idea of home in this stunning novel.

Mysteries and thrillers are better with friends

fall book recommendations

Two of Gillian Flynn’s books are hitting movie theaters this fall — Gone Girl and Dark Places — so continue your book club’s thrills with Flynn’s Sharp Objects (Barnes & Noble, $9). The chilling story follows a woman back to her home town, where her questions about the murders of two pre-teen girls take her uncomfortably close to her hypochondriac mother.

fall book recommendations

While your kids are diving into the Harry Potter books, check out J.K. Rowlings’ alter ego, Robert Galbraith. Galbraith’s second novel, The Silkworm, has detective Cormoran Strike looking into the disappearance of a novelist who wrote his latest book with a nasty, personal look at the people around him (Barnes & Noble, $17). When the novelist is murdered, Strike’s investigation becomes decidedly more urgent — and compelling.

Revisit the books, then see the movies

fall book recommendations

Gayle Foreman’s If I Stay looks at the tenuous place between life and death (Barnes & Noble, $7). Mia wakes up after a car accident, watching from outside of her body, and she must wade through memories and flashes of the accident to understand the state of her physical body — and the choice she must make about it. Though If I Stay is a young adult novel with a decidedly romantic slant, the quick, poignant read offers a wealth of material for a book club discussion.

fall book recommendations

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James might have been the most whispered-about book of 2012 (Barnes & Noble, $11). Between the clandestine Kindle downloads and sneaking peeks while waiting in the school pick up line, women had the chance to mentally cast their perfect Christian Greys. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson won’t officially hit the screen until Valentine’s Day, 2015, but the trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is encouraging fans to dive back into the trilogy. Be sure you’re comfortable with the members of your book club before recommending this one!

What is your book club reading this fall?
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The This Is Where I Leave You movie wants to set a date this September

Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You is coming to theaters on September 19, and the dramatic comedy promises to prod every bit of funny out of the dynamics of family dysfunction in the aftermath of a father’s funeral. The all-star cast — seriously, we would watch Tina Fey paint a house — combined with Jonathan Tropper’s adapted screenplay of his own novel, makes the This Is Where I Leave You movie a must-see this fall.

This Is Where I Leave You

Chat about #TIWILY every Wednesday

Book lovers know reading the book before seeing the movie is one of the commandments of reading and movie watching. Gather your girls together, snag a copy of This Is Where I Leave You, and schedule a book club meeting for your next girls’ night in. If you’re between book clubs — or just want a little extra discussion about the hilarity of family dysfunction — join Warner Bros. Pictures’ #TIWILY book discussion on the film’s Facebook page each Wednesday, and take part in the conversation for a chance to win signed movie posters and a trip to the premiere in Hollywood!

TIWILY Book Club

Savvy readers are getting ready for #TIWILY

I’ll be hosting a This Is Where I Leave You book club discussion in early September, and I already can’t wait to chat about it with my girlfriends. Between the characters in TIWITY and the real-life stories that always weave their way into our book chats, I know it’s going to be a smart, funny and fabulous conversation. Sometimes family shenanigans seem overwhelming, and there’s nothing like a little commiseration and conversation to make you realize all families have their own catalog of cringe-worthy stories.

This Is Where I Leave You

Join the countdown to the This Is Where I Leave You movie

Follow along with the #TIWILY book club conversations and get more information about the film’s release by liking, following and participating in the social media conversation surrounding the movie.

Watch the This Is Where I Leave You trailer

Have you read This Is Where I Leave You? Will we be seeing you on Wednesday nights?
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recommended books
When recommended books become movies

It seems 2014 is a huge year for movies based on best-selling books. Catch up with your book club before having a girls’ night out to see one of the movies and decide if the film measures up to the book. Recommended books being made into movies this year range from a harrowing memoir to young adult classics, so all readers — and viewers — will be able to compare some favorite reads to their corresponding movies this year.

Thrillers keep you up at night

Best-selling thrillers keep you reading late into the night, the nightstand light the only thing protecting you from what lurks in the darkest parts of your imagination. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl took the reading world by storm, and the page-turner caused readers to backtrack to her first two books. Hollywood took note, and two of Flynn’s books are coming to movie theaters this year. Dark Places is slated to release in September and Gone Girl in October, and movie-goers will be on the edge of their seats if the movies are nearly as chilling as the books (available on Amazon, $9).

recommended books

 Tackle tough subjects with your kids

When it comes to talking about tough subjects with your kids, books can truly open a door to conversations. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is a book about kids with cancer that’s about so much more than cancer (Amazon, $8). Let Hazel and Gus, the novel’s main characters, help you discuss being different, feeling alone and hope that blossoms through pain. The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a children’s lit classic that can help parents and children talk about death, memory and the connection between joy and pain. Read the books with your kids, or read them on your own and take them to the movies, letting the fictional characters lead your very real conversations.

recommended books

Anglophiles will love this dramatic comedy

When three Brits and one American — all suicidal — connect on New Year’s Eve, their conversations cut to the marrow of the twists and turns of life. In Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down, four compelling first-person narratives draw in the reader (Amazon, $11). The movie will attempt to entertain in the same way this spring.

recommended books

A day out with your teens

Divergent (Veronica Roth) and Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead) are both voraciously-read book series whose first movies arrive in theaters this year (Amazon, $5). Your teens will likely want to see these movies — and you will, too, after reading the fun, quick-paced books. Whether or not they’re going to share their popcorn with you might depend on their moods, but you’ll definitely have something to discuss at dinner for a few nights.

recommended books

 

The eleven-hundred mile memoir

Wild, by Cheryl Strayd, is a memoir made for book clubs (Amazon, $7). The overarching theme through the book is the question of how to rebuild your life when you’ve lost everything that meant anything. With Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon lacing up Strayd’s shoes for the movie version of Wild, the film promises to deliver the emotional journey within the pages of the book.

recommended books

What recommended books would you love to see made into movies?
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Super Bowl Sunday usually consists of football, food and beer. While we’re fine with the first two, we prefer to sip on something a little more fancy while enjoying the big game. And that’s exactly what we get with this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch. It’s light, refreshing and only takes minutes to make — so you’ll have more time to root for your favorite team.

sparkling lillet rouge punch for superbowl

Because the Super Bowl is a long game, we decided to keep the alcohol level of this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch pretty low. The base of the punch is Lillet Rouge, a fortified red wine made in France. It can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or in various cocktails. The sparkling part of the punch comes from an extra dry prosecco. Add in some fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juice and your punch is ready to serve. Although, if you’d like to develop a little more depth in the drink, add in some Angostura bitters.

lillet rouge punch recipe

While we decided to make this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch in a pitcher, it could also be served in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. If you serve in a pitcher, have a plate of sliced oranges near the glasses so guests can garnish their own glasses. If you serve in a punch bowl, add the slices of orange to the punch bowl. Either way, we hope you and your guests enjoy this Super Bowl punch as much as we do!

Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chilled Lillet Rouge
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 bottle chilled extra dry prosecco (I used Val De Brun Estate Prosecco)
  • Optional: 10 to 12 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange slices for garnish

Directions:

  1. Add Lillet Rouge, lemon juice and orange juice to a large pitcher.
  2. Slowly add the prosecco, being careful that it doesn’t overflow as the sparkling wine reacts with the citrus juices.
  3. To serve, pour into desired glassware (wine glasses or champagne flutes would both work great for serving) and garnish with a slice of orange.
Cheers!
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Stout-Beer-Brownies-with-Stout-Whipped-Cream-Title-ImageApparently there is some big football game coming up. I’m not a sports fan. But game day seems to be a great excuse for yummy food.  My husband has really been in to beer lately so I decided to try out some Stout Beer Brownies with Stout Whipped Cream. I felt like the men would be into it and non beer drinkers might even think it is kinda fun too. And who doesn’t like brownies!?

stout-brownie-ingredientsThese are super easy to make, especially if you use a boxed brownie mix. All you do is use beer instead of the water the box calls for. I found this Chocolate Stout at my local grocery store. It seems that beer is pretty popular everywhere right now, not just in my house. You can always use Guinness if you can’t find a Chocolate Stout, you should be able to find that pretty easily. Of course you can make the brownies from scratch if you have the extra time and ingredients.

add-stout-to-brownie-batterSo simple. And the great thing about these larger bottles is that there is plenty for you and the brownies…pour-brownie-batter-into-prepared-dishPour the brownie batter in to a prepared pan and bake as directed on the box. The brownies come out very soft and cake-like. I wouldn’t be afraid to cook them on the more well-done side to make sure they aren’t too moist.  stout-whipped-cream-ingredientsFor the Stout Whipped Cream you will need a little more of the beer, a little whipping cream and some powdered sugar. Don’t be afraid to make your own whipped cream. mix-beer-in-to-whipping-creamYou can make whipped cream with a whisk (and some killer arm muscles), a hand mixer or a stand mixer. All I did was mix the ingredients for about 3 minutes and it was perfect.  finished-brownieThe stout brownies are good. But really they have hardly any beer flavor at all. I think people do these kinds of recipes just to say there is beer in them. But the real star of the show is the whipped cream. Like, SO good. When you pair the two together you have this amazing little dessert that was super easy. Men will love it, women with love it and chocoholics will LOVE it. And now my head is trying to figure out what else should have beer whipped cream on it. The answer is most likely, everything.

Stout Beer Brownies with Stout Whipped Cream
Stout Beer Brownies Recipe

1 Boxed Brownie Mix plus the ingredients listed on the back (usually eggs and oil — my recipe called for 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of oil)

Substitute a stout beer for the amount of water called out on the back of the box (my brand called for 1/4 cup).

Follow baking directions found on boxed mix (be sure to spray your baking pan).

Stout Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Stout

Add all ingredients to a mixer and beat on medium for about 3 minutes.  You are looking for “soft peaks” to form.

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The beginning of award season is upon us! The Golden Globes were last night, celebrating the best of the past year in movies and television. But let’s be honest, we were actually watching to celebrate (and snark) on the best and worst of celebrity fashion. It is the most important part of any awards show, right? One trend was that minimalism reigned supreme! There were very few accessories, and the accessories they did have were classy and elegant. The women were all letting their dresses speak for themselves. Now, whether what the dresses had to say were good or bad, is a whole other thing. Let’s see how they did…

Photo Credit:  PR Photos

Best Dressed of the Golden Globes

 
71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

I would have to say my number one pick for the queen of the Red Carpet was Lupita Nyong’o. She was absolutely stunning in her simple and chic red Ralph Lauren caped dress. This woman is a classic beauty.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

How cute is little Sarah Hyland in her coral dress from Paris and milkbraid Valentino runway-inspired hair?! I love the youthful look and I think she nailed it here.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Margot Robbie looked elegant in her white Gucci dress. Loving the beautiful plunging neckline and the understated accessories.

golden-globes-taylor-swift-vogue

Taylor Swift kept it fun, simple and beautiful in her red and black strapless Carolina Herrera. The best part is the little bustle in the back.

Moms Who Rocked the Red Carpet

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

The always gorgeous mom-to-be Olivia Wilde was rocking her baby bump and looking fabulous in her deep green Gucci gown.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press Room

Cate Blanchett stunned everyone, as usual, in her gorgeous black lace Armani. The woman can do no wrong!

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

I love that Amy Adams dares to wear red, and is a stunner in the color! The deep neckline would look not-so-great on some, but she pulls it off and ends up looking fabulous. The back is the real winner here.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Sofia Vergara shows every woman everywhere how to wear a black dress properly. This mama is such a bombshell and pairing the all black Zac Posen gown with a gorgeous blue statement necklace was just perfection.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Julianna Margulies was quite the stunner here in classic old Hollywood glamour. The dark dress is just perfect for winter.

Worst Dressed of the Golden Globes

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

It looks like Drew Barrymore was channeling her inner Marsha Brady here in her Monique Lhuillier flowered dress. Cute bump, but that’s about it.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Oh, Julia. Oh, no no no. Is she going to an office meeting? That crisp white button down shirt has got to go. I don’t care if it’s Dolce and Gabbana, it is all bad.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

I love Lena Dunham’s curves and that she’s not afraid to show them off, but she chose the wrong dress with which to do so. It is just ill-fitting and not at all flattering.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Zoe Saldana is super elegant, but this dress is just a disaster. It looks like the designer took a bunch of fabric samples and glued them all together. No.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

For being such a veteran to awards shows, you’d think Sandra Bullock would have it down by now. But, apparently not. She pulled out this colorful number, which is just all sorts of wrong. Come on, Sandra, we expect better from you!

What do you think? Who was the best dressed? Worst dressed? Sound out in the comments!
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Golden Globes fashion for 2014

It’s the beginning of another year and with that said, we can all start preparing for the glitz and glamour of award season! The Golden Globes are just around the corner which means all of Tinseltown is doing everything they can to outdo their stunning looks from the previous year. From gorgeous jewels to custom designer gowns, Hollywood doesn’t leave anything up to chance when it comes to award show fashion. While we won’t see our favorite celeb’s jaw-dropping looks for a couple of days, I’ve prepared a list of Golden Globes fashion trend predictions to get you excited!

Purple Red Carpet Gowns

Color of the year

Pantone kicked off 2014 by announcing ‘radiant orchid’ as the color of the year. Personally, I think there will be at list one A-lister rocking this color on the red carpet come March. Everyone from fashion designers to jewelry designers have unveiled trendy creations in this beautiful color and people are loving it! I’ve spotted several dresses at some of my favorite retailers in the color, hinting it will be a hit during award season. I love this Monique Lhuillier asymmetrical draped evening dress (Bloomingdales, $598) it’s a classic red carpet dress I am sure we will see Sunday night.

Cut Out Dresses

A sexy twist

Another huge trend that I’ve spotted on several runways are cutouts. This trend is hotter than ever and does a wonderful job at incorporating a sexy little twist to a gown, while still maintaining a classy look. Whether it’s two side cutouts that show off a toned midsection, or a peek-a-boo cutout just below the neckline, I foresee this will be a look that several starlets flock to this award season. This stunning Ralph Lauren cutout jersey gown (Nordstrom, $190) tastefully shows off this trend, and the best part is you don’t have to be a celebrity to afford it!

Lace Red Carpet Gowns

Ladies in lace

Although some celebs go for a sultry look, others opt for a ladylike ensemble. Many highly-noted designers have graced the runways with lots of lace, making this one of my top picks for Golden Globes fashion trends. Whether a gown features long sleeves, short sleeves, or no sleeves, delicate lace detail offers a graceful look that effortlessly highlights a starlet’s beauty. The Tadashi textured lace mermaid gown (Nordstrom, $378) is a breathtaking example of what I envision on the red carpet.

V-Neck Plunging Dresses

When it comes to Hollywood fashion, anything goes! The Golden Globe Awards are the stars’ time to shine — and what better way to get noticed than with a plunging neckline?! Yes, we all know that many celebs tend to opt for long gowns for this elegant affair, but a dangerously low neckline is the perfect way to bring sexy back! This simple yet sultry black dress (ShopBop, $895) allows the star to play up their assets and show off their accessories! Any of these striking black dresses are Golden Globes fashion candidates in my opinion.

Sequin Clutches

Don’t forget the accessories!

Aside from lavish dresses, celebrities complement their flawless looks with radiant accessories. Regardless of how famous you are, you need a stylish place to stow away your lip stick and cell phone! I predict shimmering and ornate clutches will be every celebrity’s go-to this season to highlight their over-the-top looks. Several designers bring out the big guns when it comes to designing elaborate accessories to match their famous client’s gowns, and this year won’t be any different! This sequin clutch (Nordstrom, $88) is an affordable version any fashionista can get her hands on before award show night!

Red Carpet Earrings

To top off their exquisite ensembles, I definitely envision most of tinsel town’s leading ladies stepping out in big, bold, beautiful earrings! Necklaces can oftentimes be too much when paired with extravagant gowns, but earrings always add the perfect amount of opulence! In years past, several celebrities have been the talk of the town thanks to their gorgeous earrings, and this year will be no different. Whether romantic pear drop earrings, large chandelier earrings, or fancy estate-style earrings, I predict seeing all of these amazing styles and more on the red carpet. Emitations.com does a fantastic job at imitating some of the most talked-about celebrity-inspired earrings from previous years, making these styles accessible to every-day fashionistas. This way, you can create your own red carpet-worthy looks, without having to dodge the paparazzi.

As Hollywood primps and prepares for one of the most anticipated award shows of the year, the rest of us can’t help but wonder what they will all be wearing! Although we won’t find out until the dazzling night is upon us, my observations of the latest runway and fashion trends lead me to believe these are some of the trends we will see. I personally can’t wait to see!

**Will you be watching the Golden Globes? Follow our uber-stylish writer Katie, who will be live-tweeting the event from the Savvy Sassy Moms Twitter page during the show!  Tweet at us with #savvysassy

 

What do you think we’ll see Sunday night?  Tell us below

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 6.47.26 AMThis is a guest post from Brooke Bastello.  Brooke is currently a senior at Boston University.  This article was written as a requirement for Communications degree.  The content and images were edited by the Savvy Sassy Moms editors.

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Santa’s Secret Workshop is back!

This past Saturday, we once again had the fabulous opportunity to attend the always star-studded Santa’s Secret Workshop holiday event presented by Bill Horn and Scout Masterson of Marque Communications (aka the “gunkles”) at the chic Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood. Celebrities such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., Tori Spelling, Malin Ackerman, Denise Richards, Tiffani Theissen, Lisa Ling, Donald Faison, Melissa Joan Hart, Lisa Loeb, DeAnna Pappas, Beverly Mitchell, Busy Phillips, Jensen Ackles, Molly Ringwald, Ali Landry, Dan Bucatinsky, Tamara Mowry-Housley and more… and all had tots in tow for this family-friendly event.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Phaedra Parks

Activities for all

There was an entire crafts room hosted by Jo-Ann’s Crafts and Fabrics with kid-friendly activities from cookie decorating to DIY snow globes along with gorgeous and delicious sweet treats courtesy of Jenny Cookies. Other activities included glitter tattoos and manicures for the little girls (or boys!). Various family-oriented brands were also on hand to showcase their latest products including Corolle, Stokke, Orbit Baby, Ergo Baby, Ju-Ju-Be, ZoLi Baby, Diaper Dude, Diono, First Bike, Mabels Labels, SugarboogerSmarty Pants VitaminsSummer Infant, and Joovy.

Tori Spelling and Denise Richards

Santa is the star

And it wouldn’t be a holiday event without Santa, who was on hand to take pictures with the kids (at least the ones that weren’t terrified of him), and their parents courtesy of Getty Images. In the spirit of giving, this amazing event benefited L.A. Family Housing, whose mission is to help families transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. Guests also brought diapers to donate to the organization. This fabulous event was truly a great way to kick off the holiday season! (Note the post-Santa traumatized expression on Little One’s face.)

xmas portraits

 

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Merry Early Christmas, you savvy, sassy readers. In this space I usually sink my teeth into a nice meaty modern problem, but since Christmas is coming I’m answering a holiday bouquet of questions today. Read on to see if any of these situations sound familiar.

Mistletoe-Hand

Dear Sassy:

My husband’s female co-worker gave him an early Christmas gift: an iPad! She said it was an extra one that she didn’t need, and my husband already loves it and uses it all the time. He is not very close with this coworker, but I still think this is inappropriate. Can I ask him to give it back?

Dear iPad Widow:

I agree with you — an iPad, even a mini, is far too extravagant to serve as a gift to a casual office friend, especially if it makes the friend’s wife uncomfortable. That should be the number one reason for him to return it to her. Your concern is reasonable, and if your husband is a decent fellow (as I am suspecting he is, or you wouldn’t have married him), he will do the right thing and give it back. He can save up enough money to spring for his own gadget.

Dear Sassy:

What do you do when someone gives you or your kids a gift and you didn’t get them anything?

Dear Gifted:

You say “Thank you.” If this gift was a surprise to you that means you didn’t agree to exchange with that person beforehand, which means you, my friend, are off the hook. Don’t steal the giver’s joy by getting all weird about it and whining, “I didn’t get you anything!” and feeling bad. Just accept the gift graciously and be appropriately delighted. On the other hand, if you were supposed to exchange and you simply flaked? Say “Thank you” and then send or deliver your late gift as soon as possible afterwards.

Dear Sassy:

How should a divorced mom handle holiday cards? I have my last name. The boys have their dad’s. What’s our household name? On holiday cards I just put our first names, “from Jane, Billy, and Bob.” The return address label kills me. I end up just putting my full name. It seems weird.

Dear Head of the Household:

Girl, it’s going to feel weird for a long time, no matter what you do. Even long after a big life change that oddness can hit you when you least expect it, especially with seemingly small details like this that aren’t on any “divorce checklist.” For your cards, first names are fine since you are most likely sending them to people you know well. As for your return address, consider the proper way of addressing a family. It’s actually more proper to write “Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith, Billy and Bob” instead of “The Smith Family.” You can lean on this tradition and just omit the dad: “Ms. Jane Single, Billy and Bob.” If any of that seems too clunky, then do whatever feels the least weird. After all, it’s a whole new strange and sometimes uncomfortable world for you. You need to limit your stress where you can so you can enjoy the holiday!

Dear Sassy:

Let me get your opinion on something. Every year, for our work holiday party, a venue is chosen and then a price is set for the tickets. This year, the committee negotiated a package that includes an open bar. Obviously, this jacks up the price slightly. For those who do not drink or have maybe one glass of wine, is this unfair or is it something that just goes along with the territory when you are going to a party?  Is it even wise to have a party with open bar for a work function, which would obviously encourage people to drink more?

Dear Designated Driver:

What kind of company do you work for that doesn’t spring for a holiday party for its workers? That’s actually not a rhetorical question. In times of belt-tightening for all, it does make sense for a company to trim expenses like this, so let’s hope they at least give you a fruitcake or something.

I love that your workplace community is rallying to throw its own party. You sound like a festive bunch. What time should I be there?

But seriously, if your workplace is not sponsoring the party, it’s not technically a “work function” so ticket holders assume their own normal responsibility for how much they drink or don’t drink. And yes, teetotalers who get the shaft by not consuming as much as drinkers will have to weigh the pros and cons of going to this party, as in “are these people I see all day at work fun enough for me to pay to hang out with them some more?” And then if you do choose to attend and drink less or not at all, every time you see someone drinking a cocktail, you can say “You’re welcome. Merry Christmas.”

Perhaps something sounds strangely familiar. If so, pass it on to your friends, especially those who act inappropriately and need a good nudge. And send me your requests for advice to be handled in the new year. Start fresh, start Sassy! Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. [email protected]) You can also follow me on Twitter where I share pro tips on life every week.

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Dollar Tree Easy Centerpiece

Tis’ the season to be merry & bright

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. With so much activity like shopping, baking, visiting friends and family and other jolly good things sometimes less is more — especially when it comes to your Christmas table centerpiece. My home is well known to be a Santa-riffic explosion of merriment, therefore for my table centerpiece I like to go super simple, no fuss and easy.
I recently headed to my local Dollar Tree, where everything costs a dollar (yes! a dollar!) and I loaded up on easy, inexpensive decorations to create 2 Christmas table centerpieces — an easy one that took less than 5 minutes and a more difficult one that took about an hour (or more I wasn’t counting).

Easy Christmas table centerpiece

The Dollar Tree is stocked full of really great finds, such as these glass candle holders. I simply picked up a few awesome shapes and sizes and filled them with these great Dollar Tree round ball ornaments, some of my favorite candies, a few Dollar Tree poinsettias and candy canes and voila! Perfection. And it’s foolproof! And best yet? This entire centerpiece cost only $15!

Dollar Tree Centerpiece Easy 1

It’s sparkly and colorful enough to be enjoyed, yet simple enough to not cause any stress. While I was creating this super easy centerpiece, I even imagined filling the glass candle holders from the Dollar Tree with other great things like tinsel, peppermints, cranberries and pine needles – the possibilities are endless.

Dollar Tree Centerpiece Easy Closeup

Difficult

Crafting takes a plan, the right tools and some patience. None of which I have of course. I knew I wanted to create some sort of a Christmas tree shape out of these great Dollar Tree ball ornaments, so I set out to do so.

Dollar Tree Centerpiece Difficult

I have seen these tree ornament topiaries at stores that cost around $20 per piece. I knew I could create one of my own, from Dollar Tree products for waaaay less than that… and I was right! To create the Christmas tree ornament topiary you need a cone shaped base, loads of hot glue, Dollar tree plastic ball ornaments, and some patience.

Dollartree Centerpiece Difficult Steps

1. Create a cone-shaped base
If I were going to create this Christmas tree ornament topiary again, I would use a solid colored paper, like red.

2. Start hot gluing away
Apply loads of hot glue and hold the ornament in place for a few seconds

3. Take off the metal ornament topper and point the top inwards and down
I figured that step out about half way. If I were going to create this Christmas tree ornament topiary again, I would use just two ornament colors, like red and gold.

4. I wanted to add some more color, so I added the poinsettia leaves that I used as the “star” to fill in a few gaps where my base could be seen.

The holidays are a perfect opportunity to get as crafty as you would like and your local Dollar Tree is the perfect store to get all of your crafting supplies at a fraction of the cost.

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Dollar Tree. All opinions are my own. 

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