We humans do all we can to stay snug when the temperature falls, layering on wool, fleece, faux fur, and flannel. So why wouldn't we do the same for our precious phones and tablets? Keep those darling devices warm and toasty with these cases made to weather the elements!
Even the most organized, well-prepared of moms have to leave something to the last minute, and for many of us, that something is stocking stuffers. Filling the kids' stockings with fun, original trinkets is always a challenge, but we've found that Etsy is a great resource for making things a whole lot easier. Resist the temptation to stock up on candy and plastic toys at the local drugstore, and instead peruse 25 of our favorite handmade Etsy finds — all quality gifts that you'll feel good gifting your little ones with . . . and they're all under $25!
After spending hours trimming your tree, the last thing you want is a dried-out, needle-dropping mess that barely makes it through the holidays. This year, make your masterpiece last (ahem, until the New Year's, that is) with simple tips any novice can follow!
Before You Decorate
- Before you place your tree in a stand, cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk. This helps to remove any hardened sap that may have formed on the bottom and will allow your tree to soak up more water.
- Once you get your tree home, place it in water as soon as possible.
Choosing a Stand
- If your tree isn't quite ready for its stand, then you can stick the trunk in a bucket of water and stash it for several days in a cool location.
- Go for a stand that actually fits your tree — shaving the sides of the tree will remove the outer layers, which soak up most of the water.
Watering Your Tree
- To figure out how much water your tree stand will need to hold, calculate a quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
- Check daily to make sure that the water level is always above the base of the tree.
- Keep your tree away from major sources of heat like fireplaces, heaters, and direct sunlight to keep it as fresh as possible. Something as simple as buying smaller lights that don't emit a ton of heat will help!
- While it's tempting, try to avoid overloading the electrical circuits connected to your tree.
- Turn off the tree lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
The Fun Part!
- Lights should be the first decorative element you put on your tree. Start by arranging them on the branches near the base of the tree. Weave the lights along inner branches first, and then move to the outer edges of the branches.
- After the lights, add your garland, and finish with ornaments. Instead of hanging all your ornaments on the tips of the branches, place some closer to the trunk to add depth.
Getting Rid of It Responsibly
- Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, so they can easily be recycled into mulch or used for other purposes. Find out how you can recycle your tree responsibly this year!
Ah, holiday movies. There's nothing better this time of year for that warm, fuzzy feeling. But what would any heartwarming tale be without a dastardly character (or two) making trouble along the way? (Frankly, they'd be pretty boring.) So let's pay homage to the underappreciated heroes of the season: the villains!
It's the most wonderful time of the year: time to watch as many Christmas movies as you can until you're physically unable to continue! We've decided it might be best to ease you into it, so instead of making you watch the whole films, we've rounded up the most GIF-worthy moments of 12 classic, wonderful Christmas movies. We'll be adding in a new GIF every day, so check back to see which movies make our list!
12. Love Actually
There are so many different storylines in Love Actually, which means at least one of them is going to mirror your own holiday experience. Basically, it's fitting for any mood you're in, from down in the dumps to head in the clouds.
Come on, there's no way you're going to get through this movie without laughing. And if you do somehow manage to make it through without laughing, then you're just a regular Scrooge.
10: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Aside from the fact that the terrifying abominable snowman gave me years and years worth of nightmares, I watched this one countless times as a kid.
See the rest of the holiday movie GIFs when you keep reading.
Just because someone calls themself a health nut doesn't mean they don't live for food. If you know someone on your gift list who calls herself a foodie but is still concerned with calories and healthy living, here are a few things to surprise her with in her stocking.
Fun, lively, and motivating, we dig celebrity trainer Lacey Stone's "strong-is-the-new-sexy" brand of fitness. Lacy's made appearances on The Dr. Oz Show and The Today Show and has worked with high-profile clients like Nicole Kidman, Brooke Shields, and Amanda Seyfried. I recently chatted with Lacey about the top items on her holiday wish list and what she'll be giving friends and family.
Turn Up the TunesLacey is the kind of lady who "needs music" when she works out. She's a big fan of the iPod Shuffle ($49), since it's so easy to clip onto her clothes. When she's moving, jumping, and running around the gym, she's got to keep her hands free.
Sweet SneaksLacey's take on Mizuno Wave Rider Running Shoes ($115)? "You must try these on!" Lacey says that running in these shoes "makes her feel like she is floating on air." As someone who describes herself as a person "who doesn't really like running," she says that folks with a similar sentiment should trust her on this one, and try these shoes out ASAP.
Take Care of Your HeartWhile Lacey is "busting her ass the gym," she keeps her heart monitored with the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor ($100). When compared to similar options on the market, this monitor is not an overly expensive pick, and it doesn't have "a ton of bells and whistles." However, it does keep track of your heart rate and the time.
Fuel Up (in Style)Lacey is a big fan of Nike products, and she loves the Nike Fuel Band ($149-$169). It keeps tabs on just how much exercise you're actually accomplishing every day and tracks it all online. Lacey says rocking her Fuel Band "makes her try to move even more."
The Machine of the FutureAccording to Lacey, the Epic A42T Platinum Treadmill ($2,200, originally $3,000) is "the future of fitness;" the interface can take you all around the world with its Google satellite maps and courses. For example, Lacey explains that if you choose to "run in the streets of Paris," the treadmill belt will automatically adjust to the terrain you've selected. Another one of Lacey's favorite attributes of this treadmill is that you can compete with people around the world with the same treadmill. In short, she says the experience is "amazing."
Fresh, Quality GearLacey's go-to spot to get all her new gear is SIX:02, and she'd love to give or receive a gift card to this online retailer this year. All the gear is for the truly athletic woman, and there are products of all her favorite brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, and Asics.
A Bright BellIf you're going to have "one piece of workout equipment in your house," Lacey suggests a kettlebell, since it "combines strength and cardio with functional movement." We're partial to the bright, happy hue of this Champion Kettlebell ($57) that will allow you to build strength over time.
Lacey in Your PocketLacey is so proud of her new app, Lacey Stone Extreme Bootcamp App (free), that comes on your Android or iPhone. This app offers fun and challenging workouts for $3 each, and we think Lacey puts it best: "Don’t you want me to live in your pocket wherever you go in case you’re craving a quick burpee?!"
If you're anything like us, your schedule is packed with holiday soirees galore: your friends' annual potluck, pre-Christmas cocktails, and that fancy seasonal charity event. Plus, the year's end means you'll be putting in overtime hours at work and shopping for gifts. Who has time to hunt for holiday hair tutorials? (Not us.) The good news is, last night's Trevor Project Benefit in LA offered plenty of celebrity updos for inspiration. So allow us to help you cross one more thing off your list by copying the red-carpet-approved styles below.
For Fringe Fanatics
Blunt bangs can get in the way when you attempt your holiday updo, but take your cues from Beth Behrs, and let your fringe breathe. The beauty of this topknot is that you don't need to add any hairpieces (like a bun shaper) to create volume. Hairstylist Aviva Perea slicked hair up section by section to avoid lumps using Oribe Surfcomber Mousse ($37). Then, she split the high ponytail into two sections and pinned down the first section in a doughnut shape and repeated with the other section. Don't have bangs? Clip-in fringe ($26) can also work.
For Plait Players
You might want to take this photo to your stylist for help, but Nina Dobrev's braided chignon is worth taking a stab at re-creating. If you don't have time for the braid bar, start with two pigtail plaits secured at the ends with clear rubber bands. Weave the two braids into a bun by pinning each plait in an oval shape (tip: use bobby pins the color of your hair to hide them better). The beauty of this look is the imperfection, so make sure to pull out a few face-framing pieces to soften the look.
See more party hairstyles from the Trevor Project red carpet after the jump.
If shopping for the fashion-lovers on your list can feel overwhelming, don't despair. We picked out presents that are guaranteed to please and will make any budget happy.
On Leah: Rebecca Vallance top, Banana Republic necklace