Friday, December 31, 2010

Twelve Good Luck Grapes

What traditions do you have to ensure good luck in the next year? For some people it's pork and sauerkraut. For others it's black-eyed peas and cabbage.

A fun tradition that I observed in Mexico is the tradition of eating twelve grapes for good luck.

At the midnight hour approaches, people prepare twelve grapes and a drink for a toast to the new year. At the clock strokes midnight, people eat the grapes quickly, one grape with each chime of the clock, making a wish for each grape. A variation that I heard from another Mexican friend is that each grape symbolizes a month of the year. If it is a sweet grape, it will be a good month. If it is a sour grape, the month will be challenging. Personally, I prefer making wishes and being optomistic for the new year. :)

This tradition originally began in Spain, supposedly after a suplus of grapes had been produced for the season.

Eating twelve grapes sounds good in theory, but in practice, it's actually quite hilarious. It's really difficult to finish the twelve grapes before the clock stops chiming and everyone usually starts the new year with a mouth full of grapes and lots of laughter.

Happy New Year to you! Best Wishes for 2011!



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Party For Everyone

What are the ingredients for a perfect party? 2 parts fun people, 1 party music mix, 1 part food and drinks and you’re sure to have a fantastic night. Once upon a time, my New Year's Eve parties were not very kid-friendly.

Now, most of my friends have children and we all know how hard it can be to find a babysitter on January 31. But don't worry...make the party special for your littlest guests and everyone will have a good time.

The Activities:
Tables with crafts and coloring pages will entertain children for a while and provide unique party favors. Party hats are fun, too. Now that my twins are 9, I've noticed what a big help they can be with younger children. In no way are they able to babysit or be responsible for little ones, but they're great helpers and love to help younger children with crafts or to entertain them with a story or game.

And would you believe that you can make the cutest party crackers out of paper towel rolls? Put all of the supplies on the table with easy instructions so that children need little to no adult supervision for the activity. Again, if you have some "older" children to help with the craft, it will be a worry-free task for moms!

Movies can be shown on a tv in a separate room, too. Perfect options for your New Year's Eve party guests include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, and Rudolph's Shiny New Year. Sometimes children don't want to watch tv with the adults or need a little space of their own.

The Food and Drinks:
Simple sandwiches, finger foods, and kid friendly treats suit even the most finicky eater. Of course, everyone loves cupcakes!

Creating a signature drink with a unique name is a fun way to personalize a party and add some fun. On New Year’s Eve, a non-alcoholic drink will delight designated drivers, pregnant peeps, and children who will feel so elegant at the party. It's the tried and true "Shirley Temple" formula. If my girls are allowed to have a Shirley Temple, that means that the restaurant is elegant or the occasion is very special! It's amazing how their behavior mirrors their perception of the event and my girls turn into ladies.

Use plastic champagne flutes for children who have graduated from the sippy cup. They'll love it!
1. Fill a plastic champagne flute half way with crushed ice.
2. Add sparkling white grape juice until the flute is ¾ full.
3. Finish with a splash of orange juice.
4. Garnish with frozen berries.

With the right activities, the right food, and the right drinks, you'll keep little ones entertained and make it a Happy New Year for everyone!

Do your New Year's Eve plans include children? How are you going to keep them entertained?


Congratulations to Keonte S! You're the lucky winner of tickets to attend Midnight Noon, the New Year's Eve celebration at the Maryland Science Center. Please email me to confirm details for your tickets.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Have a Pretty Date?

Do you have a calendar for 2011? If you're like me, you might have several calendars for 2011. Although I can always get the time and date by looking at my Blackberry, pretty calendars in my house, my purse, and desk make my day bright.

Here are some pretty options to inspire you...



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shiny Sparkles Inside

While the girls are on break from school, I like to stay busy at home or go to explore museums and other sites. Yesterday, I don’t know who had more fun…the girls or me!

On ebay, there is a man in Kentucky who sells geodes that are guaranteed to be gorgeous when they are opened. It was such a fun activity!

The geodes look like ordinary rocks…

But each one is a unique surprise!

We put them in a large sock one at a time so that the pieces would not make a lot of dust or mess to clean. Then, everyone took turns hitting the rocks with a hammer.

Some were easier to break than others.

In the end, both girls saved their treasures and documented today's experience in a journal. They plan to share this with their classes at school in January. One Maryland Pink and Green reader commented that this would be a suitable activity for boys or girls. Honestly, it's perfect for all ages of boys and girls.

How are my other mommy friends keeping their little ones busy during Christmas break? What is your favorite thing to do with your children?



Monday, December 27, 2010

A Happy Dose of Color

Color makes me happy. And Jonathan Adler makes me very happy. In his book, Happy Chic Colors, Adler dedicates each chapter to a different color, including easy how-to tips to help anyone decorate in style. There are pages in the book to write your notes and observations, too! The hardback book is so pretty, I find myself reaching for it again and again to see all of the gorgeous pictures for inspiration.

It was not a surprise to read that Lilly Pulitzer is one of his muses, along with other well known fashion icons like Diana Vreeland.

Add a happy dose of color to your life with this fun book.

Next on my list...Happy Chic Accessorizing. Here's a has these at a great price. The books make a fantastic hostess gift!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Gifts are reflective of the true gift of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. Every year when I hear the Christmas story read on Christmas Eve and sing traditional carols, it puts me in the right frame of mind to truly enjoy and appreciate Christmas.

Luke 2 7-14

And she brought forth her firstborn son. And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. And there were shepherds in the same region, being vigilant and keeping watch in the night over their flock. And behold, an Angel of the Lord stood near them, and the brightness of God shone around them, and they were struck with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid. For, behold, I proclaim to you a great joy, which will be for all the people. For today a Savior has been born for you in the city of David: he is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the celestial army, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”

I’m so grateful for my health, family, and friends. Many thanks to you for reading and sharing with me this year. Wishing you all a year full of happiness!

Christmas is a truly time of hope. A time of love. A time of peace.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

He's the REAL Santa!

After today, it's Santa's big night! This has been an interesting year at my house because my minnies turned 9 in August. Fourth grade has been an incredible year of growth, in size, in maturity, and in ability. They've probably changed more in the past 6 months than any other time incept for when they were infants. It constantly amazes me to see my daughters grow up into young ladies.

Natalia found out the truth about the tooth fairy when she woke up when a certain pink and green fairy was replacing her tooth with money. She also knows that Santa is not the one who brings the presents on Christmas Eve. I don't know if someone told her and I think I do a pretty good job of hiding things. In a way, it makes me sad that she knows...but what touches me the most is that she is adamant about not telling Alexia what she knows about SC aka the man in the red suit.

So there's still a lot of Christmas magic at my house this year. The girls are planning what cookies they will leave for Santa...

We've seen quite a few of "Santa's helpers" at the mall and other Christmas parties this year and the minnies are always happy to talk and post for a picture. When Alexia saw this particular Santa, she whispered in my ear that "He was the real Santa!" and couldn't wait to talk with him. The sparkle in her eyes and smile on her face is that of a child who still believes!

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Midnight Noon Giveaway!

Does the ball drop before your bedtime?

At Midnight Noon at the Maryland Science Center, families can ring in the New Year at noon! All of the exhibits are open from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on December 31, 2010, including Odyssey's Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure for guests to explore.

But this is a party after all, so there's even more to delight and entertain visitors. Music, entertainment, and activities are what make the party special. Highlights include a concert from the super cool for kids band Milkshake at 11:30 and two presentations of the Rufus puppet show from Blue Sky Puppet Theatre. Children will be able to make their own party hat and noisemaker, too!

Find out more information about Midnight Noon or purchase tickets here.

Your children will adore you for taking them to this kid friendly event. My minnies are SO excited about going to Midnight Noon.

Luckily for you, I have a chance for you to win passes to attend for free! The Maryland Science Center is generously sponsoring a giveaway of a 4 admission tickets to Midnight Noon. Ring in the New Year with your little ones in style at this very special event. You can earn multiple entries, too!

1. Leave a comment with your favorite Maryland Science Center exhibit for one entry.
2. Tweet this giveaway by sharing this blog post on twitter. Use the share buttons below the post and send a reply @MDScienceCenter and @ilovelillymd for two additional entries.
3. Like Maryland Science Center on Facebook for 2 additional entries.

Enter before midnight on Wednesday, December 29. The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Thursday, December 30. Tickets can be picked up in person at the Maryland Science Center.

Did you know...
The Maryland Science Center was named one of “10 Best Science Centers for Families” by Parent’s Magazine.

(Images via and via)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Interview with Jane Schoenborn

When I saw that Pantone named Honeysuckle as the color of the year for 2011, I was so thrilled. And today I have a very special treat for you. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jane Schoenborn, the talented and stylish Fashion Director at Lilly Pulitzer, to get her take on Honeysuckle. Who better than to talk pink than one of my favorite peeps at the Pink Palace?

Many thanks to Janie for her great advice and suggestions for incorporating a little (hopefully a lot!) of honeysuckle pink into your life this year. xoxo Bethany

What influence does Pantone’s choice of the color of the year have on fashion and fashion design? Do you feel it’s important to follow trends?

Trick questions. I think it’s important to be aware of trends…but not follow them to the book. It’s like my favorite saying, IF YOU KNOW THE RULES YOU CAN BREAK THEM. Knowing what is going on in fashion is fun, but making it your own is what it’s all about.

Although pink is a practically a neutral color in my closet, I’m always looking for fun ways to combine it with other colors. What are some of your favorite color combinations that include or compliment honeysuckle pink?

Pink is obviously my favorite color IN THE WORLD and anyone who doesn’t love it…well they need to visit the Lilly Pulitzer print studio and we will convince them! I have been loving pink with yellow…it just pops and is so so pretty. Looking at our collection of Lilly vintage she used pink and yellow a lot. Love it. That said, our LEAD PRINT for Summer 2011 is pink and skye blue, with touches of green. It gives the traditional pink and green a new twist by adding in the pretty blue.

Tell me a little bit about your 2 favorite Lilly items in honeysuckle pink for 2011.

1. It’s all about the print. My favorite print for spring 11 is called First Impression and it has a very pretty pink mix (with the blues and touch of green). Our version of honeysuckle pink is a blend of our Lilly’s Pink and Hotty Pink. I will wear this print with such pride – it is simple GORGEOUS.

2. Wait, it’s all about cashmere. My
FAVORITE wrap to go over every printed dress is in the prettiest pink. I wear it constantly.

A lot of people are somewhat hesitant to use pink in their decorating scheme at home. How would you incorporate the color honeysuckle at home?

Wall to wall! OK, I know that’s not for everyone but…it really makes you LOOK PRETTIER. When you stand in a pink room, it is like candlelight – it gives everyone a glow. Hmmm, if I HAD to use pink in moderation I think I would go about it in a few ways:

- Let your closets do the talking. I love painting or wallpapering the inside of my closets for a little WOW surprise when you open it up.
- Pink ceilings are so pretty. There is no other way to say it…pretty is the perfect word. Since the whole room is scary, painting just the ceiling gives just a touch of that soft glow.
- Pink Ikat is aaaamazing. I have pink and green ikat pillows on my white couch and they are just a pop of fun.

One of my favorite Lilly quotes is “wear pink and make the boys wink.” How does the color pink make you feel when you wear it? What message do you think the color honeysuckle sends?

I think pink makes you feel pretty, and when you FEEL pretty, your confidence goes up and you carry yourself with a smile. There is nothing cooler or sexier or more fun to be around that a confident woman…and pink takes me there.

What is the favorite pink item in your personal wardrobe right now that you reach for time after time?

With the holidays I have been to a cocktails party…eeek…every night since last Wednesday. And there is no end in sight! I cannot stop carrying this
clutch. It is a GREAT dash of pink and the perfect size for all my essentials.

It has been SO FREEZING that I can’t stop dreaming of wrapping myself in cashmere. We have a new sweater this year that is the perfect combination of cozy and wrappy…and of course I adore it in pink:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cranberry Popcorn

My daughters remind me how many days are left until Christmas on a very regular basis. Sometimes they tell me more than once in a day! It seems like there are last minute gifts and things on the "to do" list that pop up every time I cross one off my list.

Are you looking for a festive and easy last minute gift? I was planning to make a batch of some of my cranberry popcorn to put in little goodie bags when I found these pink and green goodies. Now I'm completely inspired to make some fantastic gifts!

Here's my recipe for Cranberry Popcorn:

Ingredients:* 1/4 cup butter
* 3 tbsp corn syrup
* 1/2 cup sugar
* Cranberry Jello
* 8 cups popcorn (already popped)

Directions:1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (see "Here's what I would normally do")
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the corn syrup. Add the sugar and Jello and stir until it boils.
3. Once the mixture comes to a boil reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Pour the sauce over the popcorn, making sure to coat the popcorn evenly.

Here's what I would normally do...5. Place the popcorn on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees.
6. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Here's what I'm going to do...5. Shape the covered popcorn into balls, using a little butter on my hands to prevent sticking.
6. Place a craft stick in the popcorn ball.
7. Wrap in a cellophane bag and tie a ribbon to close it.

Do you have a quick and easy holiday recipe to share? I'd love to hear about it. Please share!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Childhood Flashback

Yesterday while I was making a quick stop in the L.L. Bean store, I spotted this snow castle kit. It's the same red plastic Radio Flyer kit I had when I was a little girl. All full of nostalgia and happy childhood memories, I couldn't leave the store without picking one up for my minnies.

But that does not mean I'm ready for snow like we had last year!


Saturday, December 18, 2010




For the past few weeks I feel like I've been running non-stop. Work and minnie schedules continue but the rush of holiday shopping, baking, church pageants, chorus and band shows at school, parties, and more makes it just a little bit crazy. Add a wedding shower, dress fittings, and a rehearsal dinner for my cousin's January 1, 2011 wedding to the mix, too.

As women, we're often criticized for the way we drive, for being emotional, for many things that could be construed as a negative connotation.
You run like a girl. It's not a negative. Girls are strong. Girls are tough.

I've been running, and I've been running well. Christmas cards are sent, gifts are purchased, and everything is in order. I'm quite tired, but who wouldn't be after all this running?

Do I run like a girl? Yes I do, thank you very much!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Rue La La meets Groupon

Rue La La is one of my favorite flash sale site, but recently, I've found things that are just as exciting as clothes on their website. And that's saying something, considering how exciting clothes are!

This week, I managed to get a $50 certificate to for $25! Like many other Rue La La bargains, this offer sold out very quickly.

Earlier in December, there was a Lord and Taylor $50 certificate for $25. Unfortunately, I missed out on this opportunity. To find this offer, you had to look under "Local" deals; it was not featured on the main page.

It's like Groupon, only better! Lately, it seems like Rue La La is offering an online .com deal about once a week or so. Be sure to check the top of the page for local picks in addition to the regular boutiques.

If you're not a member of Rue La La, sign up here!

Happy Spaving!


P.S. Look what is on Rue La La today!

Spave: To save money by spending money


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