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5 Gifts Every Fashionista Wants to See Under the Christmas Tree

12/16/2014

Chances are, there's at least one fashionista in your family, and she's probably the hardest person to shop for. If you're stumped, we suggest one of the following items. We've done our research on the 2015 fashion trends, and these pieces seem to be the most universally flattering and crowd-pleasing. So whether her style icon is Kate Middleton or Miley Cyrus, we guarantee that she'll love these chic items.

1. Kimono-Style Jacket

This style was all over the runways, and there were an array of patterns and textures. Hippie-chic ladies can pair them with a tank and jeans while someone with classic style could layer it over a sheath dress.

2. Stud Earrings

Though dangling earring are perfect for a night out, a simpler daytime stud is a piece she'll wear all year. You can also pair the earrings to her taste -- get her small golden lightning rods if she's more rebellious or stick to these black diamonds if she's an uptown gal.

3. Floral Scarf

Floral patterns and prints are no longer seasonal. Designers are experimenting with this pattern on everything from wool jackets to corduroys. If your fashionista rocks a more monochromatic looks, this will add a pop of color, and if she's a fan of mixing patterns, a flowery scarf will be accessory inspriation!

4. Longer, (Faux) Leather Skirt

This material gets a bad rap for being biker-chic, but the runways showed leather in exciting cuts and colors. This midi A-line skirt is flattering on all body types and can be paired with anything from a white tee to a cashmere sweater.

5. Military-Inspired Jacket

Perfect for layering, this is another versatile piece that can be layered from season to season. Advise your fashionista to wear it over her LBD or with boyfriend jeans and her favorite t-shirt.

-- Mara Betsch

More on Fashion:

Who's Your Style Icon

Kate Middleton's Best Looks of 2014

Who Ruled the Red Carpet in 2014

See the Video 50,000 People Have Watched: Santa's Sleigh from the Window of a Plane?

12/10/2014

As the investigation into #TheSecretSanta continues, the evidence is piling up. We've shown you a mom blogger's video and a mysterious man in handcuffs (who bears a striking resemblance to Kris Kringle). Below is the latest clue -- a video taken from an airplane window -- which seems suspicious. More than 50,000 people have watched it to try to find out what's really going on. Though scientists have ruled out lightning, the flash of light illuminates what appears to be a reindeer and a sleigh? Watch below and let us know your thoughts.

Post by TLC.

Tune in to "The Secret Santa" on Sunday, December 14 at 7/6c.

-- Mara Betsch

Mommy Blogger Claims to Have Found Evidence of Santa

12/08/2014

This mom blogger recently discovered something she felt the need to share, even though it didn't exactly fit the content of her blog. While looking for holiday decorating tips, she came across a Christmas miracle...or at least it might be. Watch the unbelievable clip below:

Is it a comet? Is it a plane? Is it Santa??? Though we can't be sure, it definitely builds on some of the crazy things we've seen and heard in our search for the #TheSecretSanta, a man who appears to be performing Christmas miracles across the country. What (or who) do you think it is? Let us know in the comments!

--Mara Betsch

Tune in to "The Secret Santa" Sunday, December 14 at 7/6c to discover the identity of this mysterious man. 

More on The Secret Santa:

Why Is This Santa in Handcuffs?

A Reporter Investigates a Man Performing Christmas Miracles

Spotted: Is This Santa...Handcuffs?

Recently, a bearded man in a Santa suit was arrested after he was suspected of breaking and entering. He carried a large sack and had altered his appearance to resemble Santa Claus. Though nothing was taken from the scene of the crime, police remained suspicious. This is the latest clue in an ongoing investigation of a man believed to be performing Christmas miracles. Watch below and let us know what you think. Is he a #TheSecretSanta or is he simply using this Santa suit for his own gain?

Post by TLC.

--Mara Betsch

Tune in to "The Secret Santa" Sunday, December 14 at 7/6c to find out who this man really is. 

More on The Secret Santa:

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Santa???

Is This Man Really Santa?

Little Boy Pens the World's Cutest, Most Honest Love Letter

12/02/2014

Forget writing letters to Santa! For 4-year-old Bennet Skinner, there's only one person worthy of his thoughtful words -- and that's his crush Baily. Since he couldn't write the note himself, he dictated the love letter to his mother. Doing what any proud mom would want to do, she posted the entire thing on Reddit for hopeless romantics everwhere to enjoy.

And don't think she took any poetic license. She told Buzzfeed.com "He talks constantly about her and how much he loves her 'yellow hair.' He will be having his fifth birthday party in a few weeks and the theme is knights and princesses, he is over the moon knowing that Baily will be dressed as a princess."

Here's the full note:If only adults could communicate this well. - Imgur

The best part? Bennet was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 6 months old and has recently been undergoing chemotherapy. The thrill of writing the letter has been what his mom calls a "nice distraction."  Good luck with the ladies, Bennet. We'd join you for cheeses and magic tricks any day!

-- Mara Betsch

More Absurdly Cute Kids

7 Kids Who Are Proud Members of the Picky Eaters Club

In Interview, Hilarious Says "Apparently" a Dozen Times

Watch Second Graders Exerpience the Tasting Menu at a Five-Star Restaurant

11 Amazing Cyber Monday Deals for Frugal Fashionistas

12/01/2014

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.46.19 AM
This adorable party dress could be yours for just $54 at Gap.com!

Cyber Monday is a great time to snap up holiday gifts or maybe even a few things for yourself. Lucky for you, we've scoured the Internet to find some awesome deals for thrifty shoppers everywhere. With great sales and plenty of offers for free shipping, there's something for every budget-friendly buyer. Just remember that some end tonight, so hurry to get the best deals.

Anthropologie: 20% off sale and FREE shipping. Use the code EXTRAJOLLY.

Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy: 40% off your online purcahses. Use the code CYBER at checkout. You can buy the lovely dress pictured at the left at Gap.com.

Bloomingdale's: 25% off regular and sale-priced items.

Express: 50% off men's and women's apparel.

H&M: 30% off your purchase and free shipping. Use the code 2896 at checkout.

J. Crew: 30% off full-priced items and 40% off sale items.

Kate Spade: 30% off full-priced items with the code CYBER30. 

Land's End: 40% off full-priced items and FREE shipping.

Madewell: 25% off everything with the code GIFTON.

Nine West: 20% off all purchses of $125 or more plus up to 50% off boots, booties, pumps and more.

Piperlime: 30% off full-priced items and 40% off sale itmes. Use the code CYBERSALE.

What are you waiting for? Start shopping!

-- Mara Betsch

More Fashion:

Who's Your Style Icon?

Kids Who Would Never End up on 'What Not to Wear'

The Best Dresses of 2014 (So Far!)

7 Ways to Avoid an Epic Thanksgiving Cooking Fail

11/25/2014

The countdown is on! Thanksgiving is just days away, and there's no shortage of stress. When trying to multitask in the kitchen -- roasting the turkey perfectly, making sure your sweet potatoes turn out just right and knocking your guests' socks off with a mouthwatering dessert -- it's easy to make a rookie mistake. That's why we chose this seven-point checklist to ensure your meal turns out just the way you want it – even if a few things don't go exactly as planned.

Choose Starchy Spuds for Better Mashed Potatoes

If you want perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes, look for Rusett or Idago taters, which are naturally starchy. The more starch in the potatoes, the more easily they'll fall apart and absorb all the butter, cream or other dairy products you plan on adding to them to create delicious side dishes. 

Keep a Little Chicken (or Turkey) Stock Ready

This will save you if you under- or overcook your bird. If your turkey is a bit rare, bring some stock to a boil, add the undercooked meat, and cook it until it's done. On the flip side, if your turkey comes out on the dry side, add a bit of warm stock to it to add the moisture back in. It helps dry stuffing, too!

Choose the Perfect Bread for Your Stuffing

Use a thick breakfast-type bread and you'll be digging into dry-as-a-bone stuffing. Instead, choose an airy loaf, like basic Italian bread, that will soak up all the delicious flavors. The blog Serious Eats tested eight different types of bread and determined their favorites, with white sandwich bread winning out.

Choose at Least 1-2 Dishes to Serve Lukewarm or Cool

Oven space is a hot commodity on Thanksgiving day, so plan for a few dishes that can be eaten at room temperature or made before and simply nuked in the microwave. Brussels sprouts salads, wild rice salads, and chilled cranberries are just a few of the options. 

Cranberry Sauce Not Cutting It? Add Booze.

New York City chef Jonathan Waxman told Food and Wine that his special trick for adding flavor to the cranberries is adding a shot of Grand Marnier and a bit of orange juice. 

Be Thermometer Savvy

Need a refresher for when and where to take the turkey's temperature? The bird will ideally be 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so pull it out of the oven around 155-160 degrees since it will continue cooking after it leaves the oven. For a 14-16-pound turkey, check its temperature after 2.5 hours. For a 18-20-pound turkey, check after 3 hours. If you need additional cooking time, check every 15 minutes. When you do take the temperature, be sure to take it from the part where the thigh meets the breast. 

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

The surest way to stress yourself to the max is by signing up to do everything on Thanksgiving. Let your sister who loves to bake bring the dessert and put your cousin in charge of cheese and crackers as an appetizer. You can focus on the dishes you do best, which ensures an amazing event.

-- Mara Betsch

More on Thanksgiving:

How TLC Stars Do Thanksgiving

Why Thanksgiving Is the Perfect Time to Make Memories

Delicious Holiday Recipes

11 Heartwarming (and Hilarious) Thanksgiving Quotes

11/19/2014

Thanksgiving is just a week away (I know! How did that happen?).  Even if you're not the one whipping up a massive feast, this annual holiday can cause some serious stress -- did you know the day before Thanksgiving is among the top 10 worst days to travel? Probably, if you've ever tried to leave the house then. But even if your flight is delayed or you burn your pies, these thoughtful quotes and funny sayings will keep your mind off of all the hassle and on what's really important that day -- friends, family, and delicious food.

-- Mara Betsch

More on Thanksgiving:

How to Make Memories on Thanksgiving

A Duggar-Sized Turkey Day Feast

Mmmmm! Make These Delicious Turkey Sandwiches with Leftovers

Mom Pop Hilariously Spoofs Pop Songs "Shake It Off" with "Knock It Off" and More!

11/17/2014

Many people are quick to tell you being a mom is one of the greatest experiences in life; but they aren’t as fast to tell you about the moments that make you question your sanity. From trying to project an image of keeping it together (meanwhile your yoga pants have pancake mix from this morning’s not-so-together breakfast on the left leg), to the yearning to hang out with adults to feeling defeated and serving Corn Flakes for dinner (we’ve all been there). Of course you love your little angels, even if they are covered in glitter glue. This is why we love MyLifeSuckers parody videos, which cleverly spoofs pop songs through the eyes of a mom. We have a feeling Deva -- the creator -- first heard these songs because her kids were playing them on loop and thought "if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!"

“Knock It Off” – Taylor Swift – Shake It Off Parody

Favorite Lyric: “The kids are gonna play play play, the in-laws gonna hate, hate, hate  - I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – don’t lick your plate, plate, plate.” 

 

“I Just Need Some Space” – Megan Trainor – “All About That Bass” Parody

Favorite lyric: “What’s that on your face, on your face, you’re in trouble – I just need some space, need some space.”

 

--Melanie Owens

More Pop Culture:

Hilarious 'I'm So Pregnant' Parodies Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy'

Daddy and Daughter Adorably "Shake It Off" to Taylor Swift  

 

 

 

7 Holiday Money-Saving Tips for Your Inner 'Extreme Cheapskate'

11/14/2014

It's hard to not get wrapped up in the spirit of generosity that comes along with the holiday season. In fact, people spend an average of $730 on gifts, food and other purchases during the Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza season. However, depending on your budget, that may leave you broke by the new year. If you don't want to receive the gift of credit card debt, follow these so-simple steps for being a clever cheapskate and saving lots of cash this holiday season.

Hit Up Free Turkeys

Many grocery stores give away free turkeys to regular patrons. For example, the chain ShopRite asks you to use your Price Plus club card, and when you spend the required amount (differs by store, but usually between $100-400), you get a free turkey, ham, lasagna or tofurkey (if that's your thing). Plenty of other chains have similar deals, so be sure to ask if your store has any holiday promotions. 

Wine and Dine Wisely

Hosting doesn't have to break your budget. Keep things festive and frugal by making a single cocktail instead of stocking a full bar. You can buy inexpensive (but delicious) sparkling wine for a punch and no one will no the difference. Serve appetizers like deviled eggs, which are economical and filling. And don't worry about pricey desserts -- freshly baked sugar cookies or ice cream hit the spot and are much less expensive that pies or cakes.

Book Flights 8 Weeks in Advance

According to the Today show financial editor Jean Chatzky, booking flights in advance can save about 19 percent! Even if you are cutting it close, try buying a ticket on Sunday. According to new reports from the Airline Reporting Corporation, this is the best day for you to get deals.

Skip Black Friday

According to a recent analysis by Savings.com, the best sales actually occur prior to Black Friday. Over the past five years, the sales typically peak 6-7 days before Thanksgiving. So you can skip the lines and chaos and scope out deals throughout the months of November and December.

Get Deals on Décor

To get a beautifully decorated home on a budget, try checking out sites like save-on-crafts.com to save money on hundreds of décor items. When purchasing a tree, try going during the week, when the pace is slower and you can haggle a bit. Be sure to save the boughs trimmed of the bottom to create your own wreath, especially if you like to DIY. When it comes to blinging out your home with lights, save a little money by using LED lights. They're more expensive than incandescent lights, but they can cut costs on your electric bill.

Gather Up Your Gift Cards

Did your lovely great-aunt give you a gift card to a store you never step foot in? Trade it in! Sites like Cardpool.com or Giftcardgranny.com allow you to buy and sell gift cards, letting you unload ones you'll never use and pick up others to your (and your family's) favorite stores.

Do Your Retail Research

If there are particular items on your Christmas shopping list, be sure to check pricegrabber.com to compare prices before you make the purchase. The first store (or site) might not be the cheapest. And don't miss any additional deductions by checking retailmenot.com or couponfollow.com to make sure the store you're buying from doesn't have any secret discounts. 

And if none of these work with your budget, there's always the gift of kitty litter facials, according to Pelin from "Extreme Cheapskates."

-- Mara Betsch

More on Saving Money:

Quiz: Are You a Cheapskate?

Michelle Duggar's Best Money-Saving Tips

Unexpected Ways to Cut Costs

 

About the Blog

This is the place for the scoop on TLC shows and talent, the latest story we're captivated by, the viral video we just had to share. The new things we're talking about now.
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