It’s a Wrap! Last Minute Gift Wrapping

The Details: 

Sugar Paper for Target 

Love Notes · Notecards (herehere, and here)

 

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One of my favorite things about gift giving is wrapping the gift! However, we all fall short on time or wrapping supplies. This Valentine’s Day I’m foregoing the wrapping paper and using gift boxes and bags, tissue paper, and ribbon (lots of it) instead.

For perfectly arranged tissue paper, [1] lay out each piece of tissue paper, positioning the edges in a windmill pattern; use between three and five pieces. If you are using patterned paper, lay the pattern facedown. [2] Find the center of the tissue paper pile with your pointer finger, and hold it there. [3] Slide your free hand under the tissue paper, palm up, until your pointer finger is in the center of your palm. [4] Holding both hands in place, flip the tissue paper pile, so that your pointer finger is pointing upwards (towards the ceiling), and your palm is facing downwards (towards the floor). [5] Using both hands, (carefully) manipulate the paper to form a bouquet. [6] Insert the “bouquet” into your gift bag, perfectly concealing your Valentine’s Day surprise!

 

Which color do you gravitate towards on Valentine’s Day, pink or red? 

The Details:

Sugar Paper for Target 

Love Notes · Notecards (herehere, and here)

Holiday Cards: Creating Envelopes

If you are self-addressing your holiday card envelopes, you can perform a mail merge to print directly on your envelopes.

In Microsoft Word, open a New Blank Document.

  • File > New Blank Document (⌘ N)

Ensure that you are viewing your document in Print Layout.

  • View > Print Layout

print-layout

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

  • Tools > Mail Merge Manager

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Document Type.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Document Type > Create New > Envelopes

select-document-type

Within the Envelope pop-up menu, in the Return address box, enter your return address information.

return-address

  • You can edit the font (including style, size, color, and effects) by selecting Font.

font

  • If you are unable to type inside the Return address box, clear the Use my address check box, and try again.

use-my-address

  • At this point, do not type anything (including spaces) in the Delivery address box.

Within the Envelope pop-up menu, under Printing Options, select the correct print settings for your envelopes; choose OK when finished.

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Recipients List.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Recipients List > Get List > Open Data Source > Choose a File > Open
    • The Excel file you created utilizing my template will serve as your data source.

get-list

  • Because the Excel workbook contains five worksheets, you will need to select the correct worksheet, the Recipient List, to serve as your data source.
    • Open Document in Workbook: Recipient List > Cell Range: Entire Worksheet

open-workbook

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, insert Placeholders into the document.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Insert Placeholders > Drag placeholders into document (repeat for each field that you want to appear on your envelopes) > Edit the envelope’s address box to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

Placeholders.png

If you prefer to sort the print order of your envelopes, select Filter Recipients.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 4. Filter Recipients > Options > Query Options: Filter Records (and/or Sort Records) > OK
    • I prefer to sort my records first by Recipients (ascending), then by State (ascending), then by City (ascending), for easier post office drop off.

query-options

Preview your results, to ensure your envelopes appear how you have intended.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 5. Preview Results > View Merged Data (<<ABC>> icon)

preview-results

To finish your envelopes, select to either print your envelopes immediately, or create a document that contains your merged envelopes (allowing you to save).

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to Printer (printer icon)

merge-to-printer

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to New Document (paper icon)

merge-to-new-document

 

To create mailing labels, visit my Holiday Cards: Creating Mailing Labels post.

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!

Holiday Cards: Creating Mailing Labels

If you are self-addressing your holiday card envelopes, you can perform a mail merge to create mailing labels.

In Microsoft Word, open a New Blank Document.

  • File > New Blank Document (⌘ N)

Ensure that you are viewing your document in Print Layout.

  • View > Print Layout

print-layout

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

  • Tools > Mail Merge Manager

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Document Type.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Document Type > Create New > Labels

select-document-type

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Printer information.

  • Label Options > Printer information > Laser and ink jet (or Dot matrix)

printer-information

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Label products (manufacturer or your labels). I prefer Avery Standard Address Labels (5160) [product link].

  • Label Options > Printer information > Label products > Avery standard (or whichever label you are using)
    • For more label products, select Other.

label-products

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Product number, and then select OK.

  • Label Options > Printer information > Product number > 5160 – Address (or whichever product number you are using) > OK

label-options

  • For more information about the margins and other characteristics of your label, select Details.

details

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Recipients List.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Recipients List > Get List > Open Data Source > Choose a File > Open
    • The Excel file you created utilizing my template will serve as your data source.

get-list

  • You may be notified that “This file needs to be opened by the Excel Workbook text converter, which may pose a security risk if the file you are opening is a malicious file. Choose OK to open this file only if you are sure it is from a trusted source.” As you created the Excel file, this is a trusted source. Thus, select OK.

notification

  • Because the Excel workbook contains five worksheets, you will need to select the correct worksheet, the Recipient List, to serve as your data source.
    • Open Document in Workbook: Recipient List > Cell Range: Entire Worksheet > OK

open-workbook

Either within the Edit Labels pop-up menu, or the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, insert Placeholders into the document.

  • Edit Labels > Insert Merge Field (repeat for each field that you want to appear on your labels) > Edit the Sample label to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them > OK
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

edit-labels

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > Insert Placeholders > Drag placeholders into document (Label 1; repeat for each field that you want to appear on your labels) > Edit Label 1 to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

placeholders

If you prefer to sort your labels, select Filter Recipients.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 4. Filter Recipients > Options > Query Options: Filter Records (and/or Sort Records) > OK
    • I prefer to sort my records first by Recipients (ascending), then by State (ascending), then by City (ascending), for easier post office drop off.

query-options

Preview your results, to ensure your labels appear how you have intended.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 5. Preview Results > View Merged Data (<<ABC>> icon)

preview-results

To finish your labels, select to either print your labels immediately, or create a document that contains your merged labels (allowing you to save).

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to Printer (printer icon)

merge-to-printer

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to New Document (paper icon)

merge-to-new-document

  • You can then select the entire document and edit the font style, size, color, etc.

 

To print directly on your envelopes, visit my Holiday Cards: Creating Envelopes post.

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!

Holiday Cards: Creating Your Recipient List

 

 

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I awoke today, thinking of all that needs to be done, writing my mental “To Do” list. Despite our best efforts, with the holidays comes holiday stress. What is the first item on my list? Our holiday card! Though it is relatively easy selecting a design and photo of my husband and I (ok, maybe not the photo), it is the list of recipients that was always such a daunting task for me.

In 2015, I vowed to have a more organized approach to our holiday card mailing process. I made a list (and checked it twice). Luckily, we got married in 2015, so I used our invitee list as a starting point. If you don’t have a list started, pick a place to start: address book, phone contacts, family tree, etc.

Step 1

I prefer to create my recipient list in Microsoft Excel, as most websites allow you to import your list (download my free template). Beginning in cell A:2, add your holiday card recipients in any order, as you can sort later (another reason why Excel is a great tool). Enter the names how you’d like each to appear on the envelope. Each US address line must be 40 characters or less in order to meet US Postal Service regulations (don’t worry, this rule is built into my template, notifying you if you exceed this 40 character regulation). Because of this, I opted for more informal wording (omitting Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.):

  • For an individual without children: Stephanie Peirce
  • For an individual with children: Stephanie Peirce and Family (or, The Peirce Family)
  • For a non-married couple without children: Ryan Peirce and Stephanie Keller
  • For a non-married couple with children: Ryan Peirce, Stephanie Keller, and Family (or, The Peirce Keller Family)
  • For a married couple (same last name) without children: Ryan and Stephanie Peirce
  • For a married couple (same last name) with children: The Peirce Family
  • For a married couple (different last names) without children: Ryan Peirce and Stephanie Keller
  • For a married couple (different last names) with children: Ryan Peirce, Stephanie Keller, and Family (or, The Peirce Keller Family)

Step 2

Beginning in cell B:2, add the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. I prefer to enter the full street suffix name. However, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail. Common abbreviations include:

Primary Street Suffix Name Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
Avenue AVE or Ave.
Boulevard BLVD or Blvd.
Center CTR or Ctr.
Circle CIR or Cir.
Court CT or Ct.
Drive DR or Dr.
Highway HWY or Hwy.
Lane LN or Ln.
Road RD or Rd.
Street ST or St.
Way WAY or Way

View the complete list of Street Suffix abbreviations here.

Geographical Directional Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
North N or N.
East E or E.
South S or S.
West W or W.
Northeast NE or N.E.
Southeast SE or S.E.
Northwest NW or N.W.
Southwest SW or S.W.

Step 3

If your recipient has an apartment or unit number (or something of the like), indicate this beginning in cell C:2. If your recipient does not have an apartment or unit number, cell C:2 will remain empty. Again, I prefer to enter the full secondary unit designator description. However, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail. Common abbreviations include:

Secondary Unit Designator Description Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
Apartment APT or Apt.
Basement BSMT or Bsmt.
Building BLDG or Bldg.
Department DEPT or Dept.
Floor FL or Fl.
Room RM or Rm.
Suite STE or Ste.
Unit UNIT or Unit

View the complete list of Secondary Unit Designator abbreviations here.

Step 4

Beginning in cell D:2, add the city of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1.

Step 5

Beginning in cell E:2, add the state of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. As in Step 2, I prefer to enter the full state name. Again, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail.

View the complete list of state abbreviations here.

Step 6

Beginning in cell F:2, add the zip code of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. Each US zip code must be at least five digits in order to meet US Postal Service regulations (don’t worry, this rule is built into my template, notifying you if you don’t meet this five digit regulation).

Step 7

Beginning in cell G:2, add the country of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. This step is not necessary if all of your recipients reside within the United States.

Organizational Tips

 I’ve developed a few tried and true tips for keeping our holiday card recipient list and mailing process organized:

  • As we receive mail throughout the year, I either check to ensure we have the correct address of the sender on our spreadsheet, or, I save the envelope (or just the return address) and double-check before sending out our holiday cards each year.

 

  • I utilize Excel’s Conditional Formatting tool, to ensure that I have not indicated the same recipient name twice (don’t worry, this formatting is built into my template, notifying you if you have entered a duplicate recipient name).
  • I order five additional holiday cards, beyond what is needed to send to my recipient list, in the event that I unintentionally forgot to include someone on our list.
  • If you are choosing to have your envelopes addressed for you, you can complete the template, save in the format specified (usually Excel or CSV), and import.

 

I love the selection of Holiday Photo Cards from Minted. Below are my favorites for 2016:

Praise · Joyfully Simple · Pure Happy · Glaze · Festive · Brushed Holiday · The Most Wonderful · It Really is a Wonderful Life

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!

Thanksgiving Menu

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The Details:

Cambria Dinnerware Set · Oneida Flatware Set · Schott Zwiesel All-Purpose Tumblers · Schott Zwiesel White Wine Glasses · Schott Zwiesel Red Wine Glasses

Thanksgiving is around the corner and this year my family is trading snow for sand. Because I love a classic with an added twist (whether fashion or food), I wanted to create a traditional Thanksgiving meal, with a seaside twist.

Our menu is comprised of our family favorites, with a few personal favorites that I am excited to share with my family (and you!).

Snacks

Crudités

Deviled Eggs

Mom’s Dip

Montaditos de Cochino

Crudités

Some like to snack, and some like to save room for the main course. Enter crudités with this dipping sauce, a hit whether you fall in the former or the latter category.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs are a personal favorite. I prefer Paleo Cupboard’s traditional recipe. However, if you want inspiration in adding more substance to your deviled eggs, Nom Nom Paleo offers four favorites (and a short-cut to boiling your eggs).

Mom’s Dip

Though this dip is nameless (known amongst my siblings and I as “Mom’s Dip”), this family favorite makes the menu every year. This savory dip is best paired with a salty chip.

 Montaditos de Cochino

I oftentimes joke that I like to eat my way through a new city. All joking aside, I do believe that the best way to experience a city and the culture is by eating at local restaurants. This is also my husband’s favorite way for me to experience a new city, as it means that the weeks following a trip are spent trying to recreate a meal we’ve ordered.

One of my favorite cities to eat in is Chicago, and one of my favorite local restaurants is Bulerias Tapas Bar (though I prefer the original name (¡Bull-eh-Dia’s! Chicago, and the original dwelling off of Southport). The Montaditos de Cochino, or “Little Mountains of Pork”, have become my favorite appetizer. Though delicious as is (with date jam and parmesan), this Thanksgiving I will be slow cooking the pork in apple butter and serving over crostinis and sliced apples.

 

Main

Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

Crab Legs

Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

Believe it or not, in my 28 years of eating Thanksgiving dinner, I have never roasted a turkey (gasp!). So, when searching for a recipe, I wanted one that required limited (but delicious) ingredients. As a lover of the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen (and Williams-Sonoma products, to boot), I turned to their Thanksgiving 2016 Menu. They had me at “Honey-Glazed”.

Crab Legs

Though not an annual tradition by any means (South Dakota, where we would normally be spending Thanksgiving, is generally not known for their crab legs), it would seem inappropriate to be spending Thanksgiving in San Diego without having seafood on the menu. Not to mention, crab is my husband’s favorite food.

 

Sides

Mashed Potatoes + Gravy

Cauliflower Mash + Gravy

Green Beans with Almond Gremolata

Warm Kale Salad

Dressing/Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce

Baguette

Mashed Potatoes + Gravy · Cauliflower Mash + Gravy

Whether made with potatoes or cauliflower, I enjoy my mash made quite simple, with butter and milk, as it is the gravy that makes my heart sing. Though this family recipe only calls for four ingredients, I’m yet to master it. Perhaps 2016 is my year…

Green Beans with Almond Gremolata

Another Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen recipe; if it’s as delicious as it appears in the photo, this side will easily make it’s way onto our weekday menu.

Warm Kale Salad

Speaking of weekday menu, a warm kale salad is a staple on our’s. This simple salad requires few ingredients (six, to be exact), and takes less than five minutes make, from fridge to table.

Dressing/Stuffing

Though not yet tested, this variation by The Pioneer Woman has very detailed instructions, with photos; my favorite kind of recipe to follow.

Cranberry Sauce

The final Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen recipe on the menu, this traditional sauce can be made ahead of time, leaving me more time on Thanksgiving day.

Baguette

Though bread does not normally adorn my plate, I plan on using a slice or two to soak up the remnants of the Almond Gremolata.

 

Dessert

Pumpkin Pie + Whipped Cream

Apple Pie + Vanilla Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pie S’mores

Apple Pie S’mores

Peanut Butter S’mores

Pumpkin Pie · Apple Pie

I am a far better cook than I am a baker. Thus, we are leaving the first two items of the dessert menu to the professionals. We plan on using UberEats, an on-demand meal delivery service powered by the Uber app. Though the app was founded in August 2014, UberEats is new to San Diego as of June 2016. Get $15 off your first order with the promo code: PIESANDSIDES (now through November, 23, 2016).

Pumpkin Pie S’mores · Apple Pie S’mores · Peanut Butter S’mores

S’mores are my favorite dessert, hands down. So, I was excited to learn that beach bonfires are permitted at many beaches in California. I will most likely skip the pie and opt for a S’more, or three. As previously stated, I love a classic with an added twist. While Peanut Butter S’mores are a family favorite, it seemed only natural to add Pumpkin Pie S’mores and Apple Pie S’mores to the repertoire.

· 

See below for my grocery list, by recipe. However, if you’re anything like me, I like to limit my time spent in the grocery store. To do so, I organize my list by department, avoiding multiple trips down the same aisle. View my grocery list, by department, here.

 

Grocery List:

Snacks

Crudités with Paleo Ranch

  • Ingredients
    • Bell Peppers (2)
    • Carrots (5)
    • Tomatoes, Cherry (1 package)
    • Cucumber (1)
    • Celery (5 stalks)
    • Mayonnaise, Paleo (½ cup; Primal Kitchen Brand)
    • Coconut Milk, Full Fat (1/3 cup)
    • Lemon Juice (1 Tbsp.)
    • Parsley, Italian (1 Tbsp.)
    • Chives (1 Tbsp.)
    • Onion Powder (1 tsp.)
    • Dill (½ tsp. dried, or 1 tsp. fresh)
    • Salt, Kosher (1 tsp.)
    • Garlic (½ small clove)

Deviled Eggs

  • Ingredients
    • Eggs (10)
    • Mayonnaise, Paleo (1/3 cup; Primal Kitchen Brand)
    • Mustard, Dijon (1 Tbsp.)
    • Salt, Sea or Kosher (to taste)
    • Pepper, Black (to taste)
    • Paprika (garnish)

Mom’s Dip

  • Ingredients
    • Chips (2 bags; Lay’s Classic Brand)
    • Sausage, Regular (1; Jimmy Dean Brand)
    • Sausage, Hot (1; Jimmy Dean Brand)
    • Onion (½ cup)
    • Chilies, Green (1 can)
    • Tomatoes (2)
    • Cheese, Velveeta (2 lbs.)

Montaditos de Cochino

  • Ingredients
    • Pork Roast (6 – 8 lbs.)
    • Crostinis (24 – 32 pieces)
    • Apple (2)
    • Apple Butter (2 jars)

 

Main

Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

  • Ingredients
    • Turkey (12 – 16 lbs.)
    • Turkey Brine (1 jar) (optional)
    • Salt, Kosher (to taste)
    • Pepper, Black (to taste)
    • Rosemary, fresh (2 sprigs)
    • Garlic (6 cloves)
    • Lemon (1)
    • Butter, Unsalted (1 ½ sticks)
    • Sage Leaves, Fresh (7-9 leaves)
    • Honey (1 cup)

Crab Legs

  • Ingredients
    • Crab Legs (TBD)
    • Butter, Unsalted (1 stick)

 

Sides

Mashed Potatoes

  • Ingredients
    • Potatoes, Baking (2 lbs.)
    • Butter, Unsalted (2 Tbsp.)
    • Milk (1 cup)

Cauliflower Mash

  • Ingredients
    • Cauliflower (1 large head)
    • Garlic (5 cloves)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Butter, Unsalted (2 Tbsp.)
    • Nutmeg (1/4 tsp.)
    • Pepper, Black (to taste)

Gravy

  • Ingredients
    • Browning & Seasoning Sauce (4 oz.; Kitchen Bouquet Brand)
    • Cornstarch (16 oz.)
    • Chicken Base (8 oz.)
    • Turkey Drippings

Green Beans (with Almond Gremolata)

  • Ingredients
    • Garlic (1 clove)
    • Almonds, Slivered (½ cup)
    • Parsley (½ cup)
    • Lemon (2 Tbsp.)
    • EVOO (½ cup + 2 Tbsp.)
    • Vinegar, Champagne (2 Tbsp.)
    • Vinegar, Red Wine (2 Tbsp.)
    • Sugar (1 tsp.)
    • Salt, Kosher (to taste)
    • Pepper, Black (to taste)
    • Shallots (2)
    • Green Beans (1 lb.)

Warm Kale Salad

  • Ingredients
    • Kale (2-3 bunches)
    • Almonds, Slivered (½ cup)
    • Lemon, Juiced (1)
    • Pomegranate (1)
    • Avocados (4)
    • Cheese, Parmesan (1 block)

Dressing/Stuffing

  • Ingredients
    • Cornbread
      • Yellow Cornmeal (1 cup)
      • Flour, All-Purpose (½ cup)
      • Salt (1 tsp.)
      • Baking Powder (1 Tbsp.)
      • Buttermilk (1 cup)
      • Milk (½ cup)
      • Egg (1)
      • Baking Soda (½ tsp.)
      • Shortening (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
    • Bread, Ciabatta (1)
    • Bread, French (1)
    • Onion (1 large, or 2 medium)
    • Celery (5 stalks)
    • Parsley (½ bunch)
    • Butter, Unsalted (1 stick)
    • Chicken Broth (6 cups)
    • Basil, dried (½ tsp.)
    • Thyme, Ground (½ tsp.)
    • Rosemary, Fresh (1 Tbsp.)
    • Salt, Kosher (to taste)
    • Pepper, Black (to taste)

Cranberry Sauce

  • Ingredients
    • Orange (1)
    • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (1 ½ lbs.)
    • Sugar (1 cup)
    • Cinnamon, Stick (1)
    • Water (3 Tbsp.)

Baguette (1)

 

Dessert

Whipped Cream (1)

Ice Cream, Vanilla (1 quart) 

Pumpkin Pie S’mores

Apple Pie S’mores

  • Ingredients
    • Graham Crackers, Regular (½ box)
    • Marshmallows (½ bag)
    • Caramel Pieces (TBD)
    • Baked Apple
      • Apples (3)
      • Butter, Unsalted (½ Tbsp.)
      • Sugar (1 tsp.)
      • Cinnamon, Ground (1/4 tsp.)

Peanut Butter S’mores

 

The Details:

Cambria Dinnerware Set · Oneida Flatware Set · Schott Zwiesel All-Purpose Tumblers · Schott Zwiesel White Wine Glasses · Schott Zwiesel Red Wine Glasses

New Month, New Website

The Details:

November 2016 Calendar (free printable with background color; without background color)

As November is upon us, I have begun thinking about the busy month ahead: My younger brother is moving from South Dakota to Nevada this week, and will be bunking up with my husband and I; Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 AM this upcoming Sunday, November 6, marking the date and time that our clocks “fall back” one hour (and the sun sets an hour earlier); Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 24; the second busiest shopping day of the year is Friday, November 25 (that was not a typo; Black Friday is no longer the busiest shopping day of the year); and Cyber Monday is Monday, November 28 (my personal favorite shopping day). Not to mention, my husband and I have a myriad of mini-trips sprinkled throughout the month (Indianapolis and San Diego, twice).

With the above said, my editorial calendar is also filling up (lucky you!). What can you look forward to on The Collocater this upcoming November? Thanksgiving menu planning and guides for gifting, amongst other musings!

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-12-06-47-pm

As my calendar is becoming more and more organized, The Collocater blog itself was feeling less and less organized (Oh, the irony!). Thus, the blog underwent a makeover.

Now, all blog posts can be accessed via the Homepage, in four different locations:

  1. The Primary Navigation Menu: Would you like to read posts, by category? Click on “LIFESTYLE”, “STYLE”, or “BEAUTY”. Searching for something more specific? Hover over “LIFESTYLE”, “STYLE”, and “BEAUTY” for drop-down menus.

lifestylestylebeauty

  1. The Homepage: Caught up on all previous posts, and want to skip to the most recent? The most recent post is featured on the Homepage, below the featured image. Click on the excerpt (text) to read more.

homepage

  1. The Homepage: Other recent posts are located directly below the most recent post. This section is blanketed by a dusty pink background; you can’t miss it! Click on the title, image, or excerpt to read more.

recent-posts

  1. The Footer: View all previous posts (“Archives”), by month and year. Click on the month/year (for example, “October 2016”) to view all posts that occurred within that month/year.

archives

A more organized shopping experience:

  1. The Primary Navigation Menu: Hover over “SHOP” to shop “BY CATEGORY”, “BY POST”, “BY ROOM”, or “BY BRAND/DESIGNER”; hover over these menu options for drop-down menus. Stick around to buy everything you’ll need and want this upcoming holiday season!

shop

  1. The Homepage: Shop the “FEATURED ITEM”, located on the Homepage, below “RECENT POSTS” and above the Footer.

featured-item

Learn more about The Collocater, contact me, or subscribe to the newsletter:

  1. The Primary Navigation Menu: Hover over “ABOUT” to view “THE COLLOCATER”, “CONTACT”, and “SUBSCRIBE” pages. While you’re there, drop me a line, or subscribe to The Collocater’s newsletter to receive new post notifications, product updates, and sale alerts.

about

Search the site:

  1. The Footer: Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Search the site via the search bar, located in the Footer (the Footer is visible regardless of where you are on the site).

search

All that legal stuff:

  1. The Footer: Click on “POLICIES” to view The Collocater’s Policies, Courtesy Statement, Terms and Conditions, and our Privacy Policy.

policies

Last, but certainly not least, follow along via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or E-Mail:

  1. The Homepage: View my latest Instagram photos or subscribe to the blog, on the Homepage, below “RECENT POSTS” and above the Footer.

follow

  1. The Footer: Go directly to my profile(s) by clicking on the social icons, below “SOCIAL”.

social

Like the new site? As always, thanks for following along!

What’s In My Bag?

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The Details:

TRUFFLE Clarity Clutch · Valentino Bag · Clare Vivier Clutch · Burberry Sunnies · Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist · Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex · MAC Lipstick · Christian Dior Lip Balm · MAC Lip Pencil · Yves Saint Laurent Luminizing Pen

A short, but sweet, post today, as I am currently decorating for Fall (enter fall themed emojis)! So, be sure to check out my Instagram this week!

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I oftentimes carry a small handbag throughout the day, and switch to a clutch at night (if I happen to be venturing out). Thus, I was in need of a bag to put within my bag that would assist me during this switch, without losing all of my essentials in the shuffle. Consider this feat achieved with the TRUFFLE Clarity Clutch.

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Furthermore, the TSA approved size makes this an effortless transition into my carry-on suitcase (say “Adiós” to that non-aesthetically pleasing Ziploc you’ve been using). I am starting my week feeling “effortlessly put together” (fitting tagline, TRUFFLE!).

The Details:

TRUFFLE Clarity Clutch · Valentino Bag · Clare V. Clutch · Burberry Sunnies · Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist · Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex · MAC Lipstick · Christian Dior Lip Balm · MAC Lip Pencil · Yves Saint Laurent Luminizing Pen

All opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting The Collocater.

Transition to Fall

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The Details:

J.Crew Tippi Sweater (solid rib necksolid turtleneckjacquard dotleopard printargylenautical stripegingham) · The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo

Between the changing of the leaves, from green, to yellow, to red, the fall weather slowly making it’s way west, and fall fashion sales, I am officially ready for all this season has to bring!

I picked up my favorite sweater in a variety of colors during J. Crew’s online sale (use code GETSHOPPING at checkout for 30% off select full-price items and 40% off select sale items, through tomorrow, October 17, 2016, 11:59pm ET.). These sweaters wear well solo or layered; buying one in every color and pattern is justifiable!

However, having purchased this sweater season after season, I have come to realize that the cost of my dry cleaning far exceeded the cost of the actual item. That is until I discovered The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo. Launder my “dry clean only” woolen items at home, at a fraction of the cost; yes, please!

My favorite wool sweater + The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo will have you transitioning into fall in style!

The Details:

J.Crew Tippi Sweater (solid rib neck, solid turtleneck, jacquard dot, leopard print, argyle, nautical stripe, gingham) · The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo

All opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting The Collocater.

What’s In My Travel Toiletry Bag?

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The Details:

Bobbi Brown Empties Set

I spend a fair amount of time on the road (and in the sky). As “fair” can be a subjective term, suffice it to say that I always have a suitcase to be packed, or to be unpacked (just to be packed yet again).

I always look forward to planning my outfits for a trip. I enjoy laying each item out, folding each item, and perfectly packing my suitcase, playing a game of Tetris with the various pieces (yes, I am a child of the ‘80s).

With that said, I usually dread packing my toiletry items. I debate if I should pack to carry-on, or pack to check my bag. Nine times out of 10, I pack to carry-on. Thus, my toiletries must meet the TSA-enforced 3.4 oz./100 mL liquid rule, to fit within a 1-quart clear bag, to fit within a 9 inch x 14 inch x 22 inch carry-on suitcase. Countless trips have kicked off with the discovery of my toiletry bag, filled with moisturizer (and thus, an empty container), much to my dismay.

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So, as my husband and I took a travel hiatus during the month of September, I took the time to re-think my travel toiletry and cosmetic game. I stuck with my mantra that organization is one part function, one part personality, and all parts style. So, first things first, I needed my toiletries to be functional. What are my “I can’t live without you” liquid items (including aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes) when I am on the road? Furthermore on function (and this is where I have gone so wrong, historically), what quantities of these items do I need? I purchased a variety of glass containers (yes, glass, as glass containers are not affected by the pressure change), ranging in size from 0.25 oz. to 3.4 oz., as I have learned that I rarely use what is packed in it’s entirety.

Bonus, not only are these containers functional, they also check off my final two organizational requirements: personality and style. The containers are crisp, clean, and pack beautifully; no embarrassment here when my bag is chosen for a random search!

My travel beauty must haves:

Shop my travel beauty must haves here!

All opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting The Collocater.

Kitchen Linens

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The Details:

Williams-Sonoma Classic Logo Towels · Williams-Sonoma Classic Striped Towels

When my husband and I got married last June, we received kitchen linens galore (Thanks, friends and family!). The drawer that would house all of the linens we received was too far from the sink; so, linens were divided between multiple smaller drawers. After attempting multiple folding and stacking arrangements, I decided this option was not working for us. Every time a drawer was opened, a towel was knocked from the top of the stack. Not to mention, the pretty striped details of our new towels were hidden beneath whatever towel happened to be on top (which was usually the most recently laundered towel).

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Knowing I wanted the towels to be near the sink, preferably in one drawer, and all visible and accessible, I decided to roll each towel. Extra points for being pretty!

Kitchen towels that say, “Nom”? Nope! Despite my love of foodie blogger Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo, this is just the result of perfectly folded Williams-Sonoma (SO“NOM”A) kitchen towels. Made of highly absorbent Turkish cotton, complete with a loop for hanging; I’m sold!

The Details:

Williams-Sonoma Classic Logo Towels · Williams-Sonoma Classic Striped Towels

All opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting The Collocater.