Tag Archives: holiday season

Holiday on a (Creative) Budget

Hi Again Everyone,

The holiday season is right around the corner, and I’m sure everyone has someone in mind they would like to give a gift to. In college, of course, most students are looking to budget their expenses. The not only thoughtful, but wallet-friendly solution? Make a gift! There are so many creative ideas out there for DIY gifts that and friend or family member would adore. And fear not, a handful of these ideas do not require artistic talent- just some extra heart! Here are a few of my favorite…

Make a Mini Scrapbook:
This is the perfect gift idea for someone that plays a special role in your life. Putting together a collection of memories with a loved one is not only creative, but a thoughtful gesture. While you can be artistic for a present like this, it is definitely not a requirement; decorate the scrapbook with pictures, stickers, little tokens that are special between you and your friend/family member, or use glitter/marker…. glitter (usually) makes everything better.

Calling All Artists: Draw a Portrait/Name Poster!
This idea is more geared toward the creatively inclined, but is still accessible to everyone. Drawing a portrait of you and a friend is the perfect way to keep a memory timeless, but still give it a personal and heartfelt touch. Pick a photo from a memory you two share, and draw a rendition of it! You can draw it, paint it, collage it…. whatever is your favorite.
Not big on drawing? No worries- another idea is to write out both of your names and decorate the paper with photos or symbols. To jazz it up, pick out a cute frame to place it in when you are finished!

Buy Two Tickets for a Painting Class (Hack: Groupon):
Still not feeling your art-making side? Well, there is nothing more memorable than making memories. Sometimes spending time with a loved one can be the most valuable gift of all. Participating in a painting class with a friend is a great way to spend time together and have a product to remember the day! Services like Groupon usually offer affordable tickets to these classes, so keep your eyes peeled.

Personalize It: What Does Your Loved One Like?
One last idea is to consider what your friend/family member/etc. likes and personalize it. Is your best friend a huge coffee addict (like most college students)? Personalize a mug! Design and personalize it using different markers that are made specifically for ceramic. Do they really like flowers? Buy a small bouquet and personalize the vase! Anything individualized gives your gift that extra “pizzazz.”

There are so many creative options for gift giving. While I’m sure there are a ton of options for the perfect, purchasable gift, creating it yourself makes it unique from any other. At the end of the day, your loved ones are sure to appreciate anything you put your heart into- whether that be a simple card, or a 20 page scrapbook. How do you usually get creative during the holiday season?

Enjoy the rest of the week,
Annmarie X

Holiday Window Displays 2017:

It’s that time of year again! Before the turkeys are on dinner tables, window displays at iconic New York City department stores are already bringing in Christmas cheer. New York City is known for jaw-dropping holiday visuals, and here are a few I think are worthy of checking out this holiday season!

Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue –

The display pays homage to seven of New York City’s well-know cultural institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The New York Botanical Gardens, and the New-York Historical Society. It captures the city’s appreciation for art, history, music, and film with their presentation entitled, “To New York With Love”. As onlookers peruse the windows, they can expect to see displays featuring bejeweled dinosaurs, a large-screen montage of black-and-white films clips, soft-sculpture plant life, neon musical instruments, papier-mâché portraits and sculptures, and signature glass objects.

Macy’s, 34th Street –

Despite tough times for department-store chains, Macy’s has once again shown what it can do when it comes to the magic of the holidays. This year’s window theme is “The Perfect Gift Brings People Together.” The department store has six holiday windows on Broadway and 18 other windows,  including the perennial “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” which has had a place of honor for the last 10 years. One window features a Christmas tree as the centerpiece at home Another captures the busy city with an ice skating rink. A third has Santa as a theater conductor during a holiday show.

Lord & Taylor, Fifth Avenue –

Features five animated windows along with fashion windows and an additional 13 smaller windows filled with holiday flair at Lord & Taylor. Each incorporates snow globes to help tell the story. The windows depict a circus scene, polar bears playing in the Arctic and Santa’s workshop. The Lord & Taylor windows are built off-site and take six months to create starting from the vision to the final production. Up to 75 different skilled tradespeople work to put the windows including carpenters, electricians, and skilled painters.

Saks Fifth Avenue –

Saks Fifth Avenue celebrates the 80th year of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with its 14 animated holiday window displays along Fifth Avenue this year. Each window features a different scene from the popular fairy tale, including Snow White dancing with the woodland creatures, the Seven Dwarfs coming home from the diamond caves and the Wicked Queen and the poisonous red apple.

Notes From the 6 Train: Holiday Trunk Show

Shop small!

I am all about it. I have never participated in Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I’m not a fan of being squished into large small areas with a bunch of rambunctious shoppers. I’d rather be in the house with my friends and family swimmingly in love, (and leftover food.)

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I am lucky enough to work with a company, A. Bernadette, that hold the same type of ideals as me. They don’t seek to be a huge, fashion monopoly, and instead value interpersonal connections with customers. These values were reflected in the holiday trunk show which was buy one, get one free for friends and family.

The trunk show was unlike any other I’ve ever been to. Since it was family oriented, (though it wasn’t my family, but my boss’s, it was super cute to see) we all cooked, ate together and shopped together. (Well, they shopped, I try not to spend allll my pay at the company I work for.)

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This holiday season has been much more family oriented for me than last year. This is a testament to several things; if you are new to the city and still feel alone, it’s OK. Community takes time to build, but if you are open, it comes. Secondly, I am confident in what type of work environment I thrive in and want to continue to work in after graduation. It’s important to honor what type of environment feels right to you and seek out that type of place. This sounds easy enough, but you’d be surprise what type of decisions are made once graduation starts drawing nearer. Once you learn what type of work culture suits you, pay attention.

Maybe then you’ll get invited to fun trunk shows and free food like me!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.