On My Radar



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Here are a few things on my radar!

Drunk Elephant You know how smooth the surface of your skin is after a facial and how beautifully your make-up goes on? I think the soap provides the same effect. Love it.

JBrand Demim I love a pair of low rise jeans. I sometimes feel like the ripped look is a little too much for me so I bring them to my tailor to have them patched up so I get the ripped look without it looking like it is too much.

BR Bubble Sleeve White Shirt  Great basic shirt. Love with a Hermes belt and a pretty sliver chain. Great with the suede shoes from JCrew.

BR Bell Sleeve White Shirt Ditto the above.

JCrew Drapery Jacket I purchased this as it is sweatshirt material, translation machine washable, and the cut makes it look polished. It is perfect to throw on over my yoga clothes. I have gotten a million compliments on it already!

Presence  This book easily makes my top ten list for game-changers. Perhaps you have heard Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, which is amazing, this book has so many incredible ideas on how to be present and work through anxiety and fear. She notes that when we focus on something that causes anxiety, like in an interview the famous, “Why should we hire you?” question we are no longer present to the rest of the interview because our minds are only focused on answering the difficult question. The solution, you have to read the book to find out. I am kidding, she says, write down the answers to the “tough” questions so you feel prepared and this will reduce the anxiety and let you be present for the rest of the interview. Honestly, this is just one great example in the book of how to be present. Also loved the idea that your mind follows you body. So, (and this is in the Ted Talk) if you present yourself as confident physically, your mind will follow. I used this in teaching my yoga class over the weekend as every was glaring at me during core and I explained if they smile, they will trick their mind into thinking they are enjoying the sit ups. I am not sure if they believed me, but they laughed and the entire mood of the class shifted. A few people commented based on that a a few other funny things I said they realized they were supposed to be enjoying the class! It is supposed to be fun!

The Great Alone Kristin Hannah is one of my fav authors. I am so excited to start reading her new book.

Never Let You Go. This book is a total page turner. Build a fire and pour yourself a glass of wine. You will be totally happy staying in reading this book. As a bonus, I love discovering an author, loving one of their books and then being able to go back and read previous novels they have written. It is  like someone giving me a list of recommendations.

Elsie Suede Pumps This is my favorite shoe! Comfortable from the moment you put them on, you will easily be able to elevate every outfit. I am so excited to see they now offer them in gray. For my friends who know I buy the same things over and over, (CAM, MT, AH)  know what you are thinking, that I have black, blue and beige.

Fendi. If I had an extra $5,100 laying around…(if you have an extra $10,200 please pick me up one!)

Handmaid’s Tale This is the perfect binge watch for a rainy weekend. You will not be able to stop watching it!

The Escape Room This has been on my list of things to try and let me be the first to tell you, it does not disappoint. What a fun thing to do on a cold, rainy Saturday night. If you are  not familiar, you have an hour to solve a puzzle in a room and “escape”. There are escape rooms all over so just google it. The one by me had options to accommodate  group size and ages. My kids loved it!

Cooking. I finally made Chicken Marsala. It was so easy. I am shocked! If you have never tired cooking before, like me, I highly recommend giving it a try. I just googled the recipe. I also found this amazing shrimp lettuce wrap recipe in my Paleo cookbook, Everyday Paleo. It too was easy and so tasty. The best part is how healthy it was. No excess calories or carbs and tons and tons of flavor. My kids loved it too. Yay!

My kids love cookie cakes so I thought I’d bake them one of Valentine’s Day. There is a recipe here or you can google for other ideas. I plan to decorate with Valentine’s Day M&Ms and frosting. So fun!

 

10 Things To Do in 2018

I hope your new year as gotten off to a great start! Here is a list of a few ideas I had to get the year started off on the right note!

  1. Financial
  • Check credit card statements and look for re-occurring charges. Are you still using all those apps that have a reoccurring fee?
  • Find, organize and use gift cards.
  • General financial organization. Check cc statements, bank statements, etc. I keep an excel spreadsheet and meet with my financial planner 2x per year.
  • Call phone/cable carrier or other vendors and ask if there are any new promotions that might save you money.
  • Collect change. Like many of you we have coins all over. Drawers, cars, wallets etc. I take mine on a regular basis to the coin machine and get an Amazon gift-card.
  • Check out rewards that are available to you on your credit cards. Maybe you can allocate for a treat for yourself or apply to an upcoming trip or if you need a new appliance it might take the sting out of the purchase.
  1. Community, Volunteering and Giving Back
  • I love this idea by Madewell where you can donate your old jeans. I have a small stack ready to go.
  • Woman Giving Back is on my list to call this year to checkout volunteer opportunities
  • Drop off food to shelter. I cleaned out our pantry and dropped off food and paper products.
  • I just discovered this new give back oppy at Nordstrom.
  1. Tech Clean Up
  •  Instead of just deleting marketing email, take the time to get removed from list.
  • Remove all old apps from ipads, computers, phones.
  • Clean up old documents on desktop (this is an all-day project for me!)
  1. Closet Assessment
  • Make a pile of sell, donate and toss.
  • Make a list of key pieces that need to be replaced.
  1. House Projects Jan is a great time to do a visual survey and see what needs updating and replacing. Pillows, picture frames (maybe update family photos), painting, towels, sheets etc.
  • Stanley Steamer. I had 2 chairs and 2 stairwells cleaned for $199.00. My son asked If the carpet was new!
  • Replace Lamp Shades. This has been on my list since the fall. I finally found some time to go to the lamp store and update a few lamp shades. If you are local, I recommend The Lighting Co in McLean.
  • I made a list of “things to do” for my handyman so I can get it all done at once.
  1. General Wellness
  • Stop multitasking
  • Slow down
  • Visit this Mindfulness Center in Bethesda
  • Use my Headspace Meditation App
  1. Make a list of places to go and things to do in 2018
  • Top of my list is to visit the Trump Hotel in DC.
  • There are two new museums in DC that I think look very interesting.
  • Attend Megyn Kelly Show. I’ve always wanted to see a live taping of a show.
  • Attend a Taylor Swift concert. (Wait, that is on my son Thomas’ list!)
  • See Pretty Woman on Broadway.
  1. Find out more info about ____________.

My best guess is you have mentally already filled in the blank on this one. Finding out more info doesn’t commit you to anything but it gives you the proper info to make an educated decision. So, give yourself the permission and opportunity find out more about whatever you have been thinking about doing like planning a big trip, remodeling your kitchen, taking a class etc.

  1. Environmental

I bring reusable bags to the grocery store and target. If I am at the mall, and it is a small purchase I toss the item in my purse. I keep a few shopping bags in my trunk so I can bring them in if I think I might be purchasing something. Truth be told, it is much easier to carry one big bag from Target with all the boxed goods then a bunch of plastic ones. My fav brand is Scout.

My son, Thomas, is no longer drinking water from water bottles. I am super proud of him for deciding to take this initiative on his own. So inspiring.

10. Learn something new

My son Thomas decided he wanted to learn all the countries and their capitals. He can name them all in under 10 min. I like the idea of picking a random topic and learning more about it!

I also like the idea of buying a book on a topic you wish to learn more about. Also inspired by Thomas as he wanted to learn more about Mongolian history.

Expanding my cooking capability is something I want to do this year too. Next up on my list Chicken Marsala.

Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is Here!

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This Valentine’s Day, think elegant parties, easy gift giving and charming classroom card exchanges. We make it easy to elevate the everyday by enabling you to design your own cards and gifts.  You can choose the product, image and personalization and we will do the rest.

Save 20% on Personalized Correspondence and Fold Over Note Cards

PAP_HPD-59-webPAP_HPD-62-webPAP_HPD-65-webPAP_HPD-66-webIf writing “thank you” notes is on the top of your “to do” list then perfect timing as our best-selling correspondence cards and fold over note cards are on sale for 20% off now through January 29, 2018. 
Ordering is easy. 
1. Select the product
2. Select the image 
3. Select the font style and color 
4. Enter the personalized text 
5. Enter SAVE20 in the promo code area
Need help? Just contact me directly. I am happy to assist you personally. 
Proofs are always complimentary upon request. 

New Year, New You!

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Madewell Jacket This is a nice easy statement jacket perfect for layering and travel. I swear it feels like a sweatshirt and with the right accessories, I think it looks like it is Ralph Lauren. The collarless neckline makes it perfect for a beautiful scarf to be the star. ( I am pairing it  with one I have from Calypso but I think any silk scarf like the one shown in the photo or above would be beautiful too.)

Hermes Scarf

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Wash I love this entire line of products. A bit pricey but worth every penny. The Deep Relax is a great addition to a bedtime routine. I also love the Peppermint and Lavender bath oil. It is the perfect cure for winter skin.

Armani Crema Nuda The perfect balance of coverage and yet still a natural glow.

Drunk Elephant  I love ANY excuse to run over to Sephora and pick up something I want need and add something new from my fav skincare brand, Drunk Elephant and I am thinking could this year get any better? I am using my sample sparingly and either my skin is glowing or it is my imagination. but does it really matter?

 

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My new 2018 layered necklace look. Two classic pieces I have had for years + a new one I bought in the fall.  ( I am not suggesting you purchase these unless you have an investment piece on your list for 2018. My best guess is you have three necklaces in your jewelry box you can layer to make a fun and updated look.)

VCA 10 Motif 

VCA Fluerette

Hermes Necklace

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I am embracing my curls for 2018. My hairdresser, Stephanie, at KLS Salon in Reston, VA can do magic! Here are the items she recommended to help me to get the look at home.

IO BIONIC Curling Iron The long barrel is the key to the loose modern curls.

Eufora Retain ( apply to dry hair before you curl)

When it comes to a work out wardrobe, I find myself thinking it is all so expensive! $49.99 seems expensive to me for a tank top. However, with that said, my new shiny yoga teaching certification demands a certain look so I reluctantly went to several stores to find the most flattering shirts offered. Here are my top choices.  Also, given the cold, I wanted a warm, comfy sweatshirt/jacket that can get me from the car to the studio.

Under Armour Tank This tank is such a flattering fit. I tried on about 10 in the process to uncover this gem. I bought 4 because for workout clothes, I don’t like to have to put a lot of thought into the “look” but want to still feel good and look polished.

Inversion Tank 2.0

CYA Stronger Hoodie Love the length on this hooded sweatshirt and I think it looks totally polished for a sweatshirt.

Yogini Tank

 

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Frye Melissa Back Zip If you have had a pair of Frye boots, then you know they last forever. If the Melissa has been on your list of favorites, you will love this updated version. On sale for $248. A total no-brainer!  I was so excited to flip my Hermes belt around to see what a perfect match it was to the boots.

 

Gift Guide 2017

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We only have a few things under our tree this year as we opted for a a few shows and trips. I still wanted to share incase some of these items might be able to inspire you and help youy check someone off your list! I finally made it to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes and it exceed my expectations! You must go see the new show. The digital effects are incredible. I also l loved the behind scenes tour. We just booked a trip to Nashville and I love the idea of a short 3-4 day trip instead of something under the tree.

Rolling Stones Notebook

Scentered Sleep Baum This is easily my new obsession. I started with the “Sleep Well” and loved it so much I bought a few  more. I totally love this Ultimate Survival Kit. You have my permission to buy this for yourself today! This product makes a great stocking stuffer!

Samsung 40 inch Smart TV This TV Is such a great deal at Target.

Journey into Power This is a great gift for anyone on your list who is interested in learning more about the benefits of yoga.

Turtles All They Way Down. I love John Green. I can’t wait to read this!

Nest Candle.

JCrew Vintage Pajamas

WS Cashmere Throw Blanket

David Yurman Earrings  

Tom Ford

JCrew Socks. A great stocking stuffer and perfect or anyone who has cold feet!

Johnnie-O Shirt I am obsessed with this brand of shirts. My son bought one at a boutique in Westhampton this summer and the cotton is super soft and just  has gotten better with every wash.  (I bought this item in multiples!)

Holiday Placemats 

Echo Dot

Digital Light Board  So fun for everyone! I am sure that my kids will post “MY MOM IS AWESOME” on this in their rooms.

Vineyard Vines Skirt I wore this last night to a party and got a ton of compliments. So, if a last minute holiday look is on your list – this skirt is adorable. Also, I moved the bow to the back to make it look a bit more sophisticated.  I like it better w. a black shirt. Either a cashmere sweater or one of the velvet shirts from JCrew.

 

 

Charitable Re-Gifting

PAP_HPD-285-printWhen it comes to” re-gifting” I have traditionally stood on the side of “no, absolutely not” but I realize I am probably the exception, not the rule. If you know me, then you know  I take gift-giving very seriously. So, for the first year ever, I am going to make an exception and explain why I will say “yes” this year to “re-gifting.”

I reached out to my contact at the local shelter in Reston to see what is on her “most-wanted” list for the holiday season and she sent me a list of many items plus a note to say “re-gifts” are welcome. Isn’t that the most brilliant idea ever? What a great thing  to do with the items you receive as gifts but maybe are not need or are not quite right. I absolutely LOVED that idea!

If you may be feeling guilty about giving away a gift, remember Maria Kondo’s words in The Magical Art of Tidying-Up “Their true value was bestowed in the moment of the giving . Holding on to them out of guilt is the opposite of the giver’s intent.”

So, if you like this idea, please share this post with everyone you know and reach out to your local shelter to see what is needed and see if you can collect items on the list and bring them your local shelter after the holidays!

Happy gifting!

For people in the local area, here is the list for the shelter in Reston.

Top Needs

*Gift cards from Target, Safeway, Shell, Sunoco, or Exxon ( $5.00-$25.00)

*Sweat pants all sizes for adults

*insulated gloves and hats

*Cleaning supplies–including bleach, window cleaner, all-purpose spray cleaners, Clorox wipes, paper towels, detergent pods, 13 gallon trash bags, 45 gallon utility trash bags

General Needs

Gift cards from Target, Safeway, CVS in $10 to $25 amounts

Wendy’s, McDonalds, Chic-fil-a, Starbucks, Potbelly’s, Panera, in $5 to $10 amounts

Metro Smart cards and gas station gift cards

Inexpensive jewelry and watches– Fashion jewelry or earring and necklace sets for ladies and teens

Wallets, purses, bags, backpacks, rolling suitcases

Inexpensive umbrellas and rain ponchos

Robes, pajamas, long underwear, lounge pants, sweat pants and sweat shirts for men and women

Slippers

Belts

Reading glasses various magnifications

Lotions, perfumes, fingernail polish, aftershave, cologne, shower gel, loofas

DVD’s (family friendly)

Warm insulated or fleece gloves

Batteries (all sizes—AAA, AA, C, D)

Sunglasses (men’s and women’s)

Shave kits

Hand-held games

Flashlights

Note pads and pens

Art and craft sets, drawing paper

Hair accessories

Small picture frames or photo albums

wool or wool blend socks

stocking caps

ladies’ undies, bras/sports bras—all sizes and shapes

pots and pans sets (for folks moving up to housing)

flatware sets (for folks moving up to housing)

Shower curtains and rings (for folks moving up to housing)

glass and dishware sets (for folks moving up to housing)

hand-warmers

Plastic tarps in green, brown, or camo colors

Ear buds for IPODS

Battery operated alarm clocks

*BOLDED ITEMS MOST IN DEMAND

 

 

I am Thankful for…

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As Thanksgiving approaches I have been thinking about what I am” thankful” for this year. I can’t overlook the health and happiness of my family because that is the most important thing to be thankful for, however I always try to think about what else deserves to be acknowledged. This year, as I took out my “thankful card” I decided I am thankful for the life-changing books I have read.

These are the ones that helped me grow. The ones that helped me understand myself and others a little bit better. These are the ones I recommended to my family and friends and said “You have to read this book…”

I believe, the underlying theme in these books is that there is a formula for happiness and success. And that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. I am so thankful these authors shared their journey and were brave enough to include the highs and lows in a way that was so relatable and that they were confident enough in their own success they were will to inspire others, including me.

I loved these books because…

  • They challenged my way of thinking by forcing me to ask myself “Am I responding with love or fear?”
  • They helped me see happiness is found by being present and living in the moment.
  • I learned to dismiss the voice in my head that says “you can’t” because of course I can.
  • I learned what gratitude means and if you don’t appreciate what you have, you will never get more.
  • I learned to start to identify the things I love doing. Those that cause a “flow” where I am no longer aware of time.
  • I realized that power isn’t given it’s taken. Never let someone take away your power. Hold on to it tightly.
  • When you hit your edge and you want to quit is the same moment where you have the opportunity to grow and get to the next level. Recognize and embrace that feeling.
  • I learned the difference between wanting, choosing and committing to something.
  • I have learned I can brand myself to be an “expert” in a field I love. And who wouldn’t take advice from an expert?

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P.S. I have a digital copy of this book so it isn’t in the photo but I would be remiss in not sharing it with you because it not only makes the list, but should be one at the top. Don’t be misled by the title, it is not just for business owners. It provides some incredible insight on being your own brand that is applicable regardless if the field you work in.

 

Friends & Family 20% Discount On Our New Photo Cards

One of the biggest requests I got last year was for more options for the photos cards so I am pleased to share that we have updated the site to offer four new designs. I created all four because I couldn’t choose a favorite, I love them all!If you order before November 5, 2017,  you can take advantage of our friends and family discount, 20% off. The prices shown reflect this discount. (So, for example, 50 cards will be $100.00 and after 11/5 will be $125.00)

Please remember proofs and changes are always complimentary.  Also, if you are still working on your photo, we can get the text approved and ready and hold for printing until you get the photo. ( I can also send you the envelopes ahead of time.)

Also, feel free to email me at info@hamptonpaperdesigns.com if you want me to send over some ideas for your consideration.  Please let me know the image and if you want a script or block font and general text. I am happy to create a few options for your review.

The photo cards are listed under the pull down “stationery”. I included a screenshot below. The photo is on the back for the square card options.

I would be so happy to extend this offer to your family and friends, so please feel free to share this private sale! 

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Some more fun options with a few of my fav holiday images…

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On

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This book is for you if you answer “yes” to any of the following:

  • You have wondered why McRib is only available for a limited time and in certain locations.
  • You have wondered if a voting facility, for example a church or school influences how a person votes.
  • You wonder why Ant-Drug campaigns between 1998-2004 didn’t actually decrease drug use.
  • You have wondered why people share some info on social media and not other info.
  • You liked Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point .
  • You have wondered why someone would pay $100.00 for a cheesesteak sandwich.