Dec 24, 2016

Playing It Safe: Avoiding Safety Hazards While Making Your Home Holiday-Ready

For many people, digging the holiday décor out of storage and making your home a beautiful holiday sanctuary is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit. Few things are more satisfying than carrying on family traditions that your mother and grandmother taught you, yet many of those traditions may pose some safety risks. Here’s how to identify potential risks when making your home holiday-ready and choosing safer alternatives without sacrificing tradition. 

Avoiding Fire Risks with Live Trees 

For many families, going out and exploring a tree farm and carefully selecting the perfect tree to decorate your home for the holidays is an annual tradition. Real trees are beautiful and add a fresh pine scent to your home, but they also come with some safety concerns – particularly, the risk of catching fire. When placing your tree, make sure it’s at least three feet away from any heat source such as candles, fireplaces, heat vents, radiators, and any other source of heat. 

A moist tree is far less likely to catch fire, so the key is to water your tree daily. Keep an eye on live trees throughout the season, checking the needles for brittleness. If needles snap and break off easily, that’s a sign that your tree is drying out and needs more water. If you enlist the services of a housekeeper, make sure they know this is something you’d like them to keep an eye on. 

Choose Safe Options for Decorating the Tree

Many years ago, it was a tradition for some families to place lit candles on the Christmas tree, a serious safety risk for obvious reasons. Avoid using real flames near the holiday tree, particularly if you are using a real tree that has had time to dry out. 

Even regular lights can be a safety hazard on the tree, so read the packaging carefully and be sure to use lights that are rated for use on Christmas trees. Never use lights that have frayed or damaged wires on or near the tree. Finally, if you have pets who are intrigued by shiny objects, choose shatterproof bulbs and ornaments to avoid a mess (and possibly a cut foot). Shattered ornaments tend to break into hundreds of sharp, tiny shards that are difficult to clean up. 

Stay Safe Decorating on the Roof 

Going all-out for your outdoor décor can result in a beautiful holiday masterpiece, but getting all those lights and other décor properly affixed near the top of your home is a treacherous feat. Use caution when climbing ladders, and choose a non-metal ladder. Metal conducts electricity, which can spell disaster if your wiring goes awry. 

If you can avoid it, don’t climb onto the roof in snowy and icy conditions. Slipping and falling off the roof can result in serious injury, and you don’t want to spend the holidays in the hospital. 

Choose Safe and Eco-Friendly Options for Outdoor Décor

Slips and falls from the rooftop aren’t the only risk associated with decorating outdoors. You should also clean out your gutters before stringing up lights around the roof to avoid fires, and always choose lights that are rated for outdoor use. 

If you want to save a few bucks this year, opt for LED lighting to reduce your energy consumption. LEDs consume up to 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional lighting options. 

Plan Parties with Safety and Functionality in Mind

Throwing a holiday party? There are safety options to consider when planning get-togethers during the holiday season, too. Do any of your guests have allergies or other dietary restrictions? Be sure to ask all invitees before you’re ready to prepare or order food and beverages for the event. 
Make sure to have a clear path to and around the food and beverage area, as this is where party-goers tend to gravitate. If you’re facing inclement weather, have a coat rack placed near the entrance. Too much clutter can lead to accidents as the evening wears on, particularly if any of your guests have over-indulged. 

The holidays are a joyful time of year filled with many traditions that have been passed down through generations. Whether you’re decorating a real Christmas tree, decking out the exterior of your home, or planning the party event of the year, these safety tips will help you keep tradition without jeopardizing safety. 

Nov 20, 2016

5 Top Fall Fashion Trends

Seasons come ago and along with them, so do fashion trends. As the weather begins to get colder, it’s time to reorganize our closets and bid adieu to the trends of summer and spring. Read on to discover the top five fashion trends of 2016.


Once considered the fabric faux-pauxs are made of, velvet is making a big comeback this fall season. As a dense and heavy fabric, velvet is ideal for cooler weather with multiple style delivery systems.

If you feel like going all-out on this velvet trend, the bomber jacket is a perfect canvas. Mostly worn in a masculine type outfit with pants, the velvet bomber will instantly feminize any outfit with a retro vibe. Accessorize it as you would any bomber jacket, with patches and pins that show off your personality. You can also take a note from glam rockers like Patti Smith and David Bowie, who took velvet platform boots to center stage. For a reminiscent 90’s velvet look á la J-Lo, the jumpsuit is a tried and true party favorite.


A coat and accessory rolled into one, capelets are the best of both worlds. A truly versatile piece, capelets can be worn over a blouse, t-shirt, or dress. They’re ideal for fall weather when it’s too cool for no sleeves and too warm for a full-blown coat. Best of all, there’s no universal style for capelets, as they come in any fabric and color.

For a girl-next-door look, opt for a knitted capelet with a homemade bow fastener. For a country look, choose a lace or plaid capelet with rustic buttons. You can also dress capelets up, by wearing them in chic black with highly polished fasteners. Just add a pair of boots and voilà—you’re the trendiest girl in sight!

Puffer Jackets

Typically worn on snow-capped mountaintops, puffer jackets were nowhere to be seen in weather conditions above 60 degrees. Now, colder weather lends itself to trendy fashion with an apres-ski inspired chic look, puffer jackets are hot once again.

A puffy jacket and symbol of wealth rolled into one, it’s no surprise that puffers are pairing with more elegant clothing. One major trend in Fall 2016 fashion is topping the puffer over evening dresses and more polished looks. This creates a pleasing juxtaposition that merges the high and low fashion realms. If you’d like to copy this look, choose a puffer that is in a solid dark tone. Pair it with an outfit or dress in a dark hue, as well.


Reminiscent of men’s business suits and smoking lounges, pinstripes emulate an aura of power and class. Once an exclusive style for conservative business dress, pinstripes are dominating the runways and streets in 2016.

Although there are multiple ways to wear the pinstripe pattern, a foolproof classic outfit is a jumpsuit or pants. For events where you need to look professional yet want to show off a little bit of style, pinstripes are a great way to leave a lasting impression. Pair them with darker colors like navy and black, and add a pair of black pumps. Top off your look with a matte red lipstick and minimal makeup to perfect the look.


Although not much of a surprise, gloves are going to be a hit this fall season. Except these aren’t your grandmother’s gloves. Designers are combining multiple fabric trends to create the ultimate outfit finisher. The most prominent glove trend is an embellished or floral glove. Topped off with multiple 3D designs, these gloves are formal and cute. Worn with either a sleeveless or short sleeve top, these gloves will be the center of attention at any party.

Whether you want to go for the classic driving gloves, or wish to successfully pull off an Amal Clooney moment, gloves are a cute way to stay warm this fall season.

For more Fall 2016 style inspiration, check out fall fashion trends and online fashion boutique collections. Now you can stay on top of the fall trends from the comfort of your own home.

Oct 18, 2016

How to Have a Powerful Presence in the Fashion World

The fashion industry is flooded with talented, young hopefuls, all vying to be at the top of the fashion game. Everyone wants to be recognized and considered the next big influence on trends and styles. Check out the tips below to stand out from the sea of other budding fashionistas and establish a powerful presence in the world of fashion.

Figure Out Your Style

Knowing who you are and what you’re all about is key in the fashion world. Your perspective influences every single design you create and each decision you make. You need to be able to communicate your personality with your style alone.

Layering basics are essential pieces in this endeavor, as you can create a variety of unique outfits with just a few simple pieces. Ensure that your wardrobe has enough neutral tops and bottoms—as well as several statement pieces to mix and match—for show-stopping ensembles that reflect the essence of who you are.

While many people don’t consider makeup to be a fundamental part of fashion, applying the right amount appropriately is crucial to conveying a personal sense of style. Choosing the makeup and highlighting your most attractive facial features is an important part of your stylistic development.

Break the Rules

Once you’ve decided on your style, it’s time to break the rules. There are so many unspoken regulations about fashion—including a ban on crop tops at work, disdain for crayon-colored hair, and condescending judgment for fringe on the dance floor—but breaking the rules is a part of developing your sense of self and making an in the fashion industry.

Added benefits to flaunting the rules of fashion include exhibiting your self-confidence and cheeky sense of humor. Don’t let the fashion world put you in a box. Instead, break free with personal modifications to established trends.

Pay Attention to Grooming

While 90's grunge is still a source of inspiration for many, choosing an unkempt style doesn’t mean you should relinquish your grooming standards. No matter your stylistic choices, you should always ensure that your hair and nails are healthy and clean.

Proper grooming includes preparing for fashion emergencies like broken heels, spilled coffee, and ripped pants. While carrying around a small sewing kit and a bleach pen is always advisable, having an extra pair of shoes or an alternate outfit in your car or office can save your day and make you look effortless stylish to coworkers and bosses.

Quality vs Quantity

Successful women are wise when it comes to spending money on clothes and accessories. Sometimes, one piece of high-quality jewelry or a small set of boutique tank tops is better than spending the same amount of money on accessories and clothing that looks cheap and wears out easily.

Make a Powerful Impression

Adding all of these standards into your daily routine will ensure that you look amazing. Express yourself and make the right impression on those you hope to inspire and collaborate with. Discover the changes these simple tips will make in your fashion life and embrace your powerful presence!

Author Bio:
Carl Turner is a professional freelance writer based in Los Angeles, California. In his free time, he loves to write about the fashion industry and how to improve skin quality. His expertise has been sought by highly influential members of the fashion & beauty industry.