The Totsy Family & Their New Year’s Resolutions

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Here at Totsy, we are so excited for the new year. 2013 brings a new year filled with hope and the unknown and that makes it so exciting.  We’ve rounded up a few of the Totsy family members and their new year’s resolution and goals for the upcoming year.  Here’s what they had to say:

To use less social media and technology in general, and have more face time with friends and family. – James A., Director of SEO/SEM

My New Year’s Res is to learn to be real handy with a sewing machine so that I can make my own alterations on my wardrobe …and make my own curtains. Woohoo! Tania G., Graphic Designer

Actually going to the gym again instead of just paying for the membership. – Rob K., Senior Director of Product

Cut way down on the caffeine and hopefully start running again. – Sophia S., Social Marketing Manager

My new year’s resolution is to reduce the clutter in all aspects of my life. I’m very easily distracted, so I would like to surround myself only with the things I love the most or bring me the most joy. I also want to focus on nurturing my relationships more and not spread myself too thin. – Hannah S., Buyer

To smile more, dance often, eat well, work hard, channel my creative fire, create a happy home for my two darling daughters and handsome hubby, and through it all… To learn to chill.Autumn P., Social Marketing Manager

Cook at home more and get back to playing soccer. – Yuri H., Director of Social Marketing

The Totsy family wishes you a happy and healthy 2013!  If you have resolutions you’d like to share with us, comment below!

No Fuss New Years Eve

Okay so most of us are guilty of doing everything last minute for the holidays simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day! From running around at work to getting everyone’s presents, we sometimes forget the other details that make a holiday party special. After strenuous planning for Christmas and Hanukkah, some of us are pooped come New Year’s Eve! No need to stress though, we’ve got a few easy tips that even the least creative of us can do!

For the Home

Who doesn’t love candles? They smell wonderful and cast a beautiful glow in any living space. These simple (and cheap!) DIY candles are sure to sparkle at your NYE party!

DIY Metallic/Glitter Candles

candlesticks 1


What you will need:

  • Dollar store candles (any color, size, shape you prefer)
  • Candle holders
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Glitter (any color you prefer)
  • Metallic Spray Paint (any color you prefer)
  • Painters tape

Directions

  1. If you simply want metallic candles, spray two coats of the spray paint, or enough until the original candle color isn’t showing and let dry overnight. I recommend doing this two days in advance.
  2. If you only want sections of colors, use the use painters tape to mark off the areas you’d like to have the candle base color show. You can get creative and create designs with the painters tape! Spray paint exposed areas and Voila!
  3. For glitter candles, pretty much the same concept applies.
  4. For full on glitter candles, spray the entire candle with spray adhesive and roll in glitter. Spray another coat and roll in glitter once more and let dry overnight. Again, I recommend doing this at least two days in advance.
  5. You can use the painters tape to section off areas of glitter.
  6. If you really want to get creative, combine both the metallic paint and glitter!

Your Outfit

 


Do sequins, but do it right! You don’t want to end up looking like the NYE ball in Times Square or a disco ball at that! From sequined dress, sweaters, skirts, shorts and pants, the possibilities are endless.

Too scared to full on sequins? Sequined flats or pumps add sparkle to your outfit without drawing a lot of attention.</p>

Sequins aren’t your thing at all? Dress up your LBD with a statement necklace or bracelet and a bright pair of pumps!

Drinks


Champagne is a must for NYE without a doubt!  Remember our Sparkling Cranberry recipe from Thanksgiving? Whip up a batch of these sugary berries and lay them in your champagne flutes and pour a little bubbly over! This recipe can be done with a variety of berries if cranberries don’t suit your fancy. Little kids and Mommies-to-be coming to the party? Substitute champagne for sparkling apple cider or ginger ale for the same bubbly effect!

Appetizer

 


Baked brie…looks complicated and time consuming, but is soooo easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough
  • Cranberry chutney
  • Round of brie (do not remove rind)
  • 1 cup of Candied walnuts
  • 1/4 of a cup Brown Sugar
  • Assortment of crackers and breads
  • Apple Slices

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. On a non stick cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry
  3. Put the brie round on the puff pastry. Make sure it is centered.
  4. Spread cranberry chutney on the top, fold dough over top, creating a little pouch. Cut off excess dough.
  5. Top with brown sugar and candied walnuts
  6.  Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with crackers, bread and apple slices.

Party Essential

 

This one is super easy and I guarantee takes little to no time. Confetti bags! Yes, as childish as this may sound, it’s a cute way for your guests to let loose at midnight.

What you will need: 

  • Confetti, especially “2013” confetti
  • Clear plastic cellophane bags, preferably the smaller ones
  • Colorful ribbon

Simple fill the baggies with confetti, tie with ribbon to create a little pouch, and hand them out to your guests right before the countdown and let them go crazy at midnight!  Of course noise makers are a must too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE TOTSY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!

Al Fresco with Autumn: Champagne Mojitos

I love champagne and I love mojitos. Somehow blending the two turns the standard mojito into an all-season cocktail, perfect for the upcoming New Years celebrations you have planned. Warning: this drink is a crowd-pleaser. The last time I served it, our thirsty guests kept me standing over the kitchen sink muddling much of the night away.  So do yourself a favor, and make up a large batch in advance using a solid glass pitcher to store the muddled ingredients (minus champagne).  Happy New Year to all the Totsy families!

xo – Autumn, West Coast Mom

champagne+mojito champage-mojito-b

Ingredients (makes 2):

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 8 large mint leaves or 4 sprigs
  • 2 Tbsps sugar
  • 3 Tbsps fresh lime juice
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 6 oz champagne

 Directions:

  1. Muddle sugar, lime juice, lime wedges, mint and rum together until sugar is fully dissolved. In absence of a muddler, the end of a wooden spoon will work fine as long as your glass container is thick (mason jar/pint glass, etc).
  2. Strain into two chilled champagne glasses.
  3. Add chilled champagne, toast & enjoy!

Photo credits: alpanasingh.com & thevelvetjungle.com

Memorable Moments of 2012 Bottled Up

The ball is dropping; the champagne is popping (or sparkling apple cider).It’s the second most wonderful time of the year! New Years! A time for new beginnings, new chapters, and a time to celebrate with the people most important in our lives. What better way to ring in the New Year than reflecting on the past year? If you’re throwing a NYE party or just spending a quiet evening at home, we’ve got a fun and easy way to get everyone involved and reflect on the most memorable moments of 2012.

NYE Memory Jar

What you will need:

  • A Mason jar or any empty container 
  • Sticky notes or Small pieces of paper
  • Different colored pens
  • A box of tissues (this could get emotional!)

If you’re throwing a NYE party, have your guests write down their most memorable moment of the year with their name and put it in the mason jar. Get the kids involved and help them write out their favorite memory of 2012. When everyone has contributed to the jar, read all of the memories aloud before the ball drops! You could even turn it into a guessing game, by not reading the names and have everyone try to figure out who wrote what! Make it a tradition and save the “memories” of each year the jar was brought out.

Even if you’re not having a NYE party and just spending a quiet evening at home, you can simply write down all your favorite aspects of the year and reflect with loved ones before midnight. No need to get the jar involved if you don’t want to.

There’s no need to make this more complicated than it is. Forget your holiday stress and the trials and tribulations of the past year. Hold onto the beautiful moments and life’s little blessings and surprises. NYE is not a time to think about how things may have gone wrong or could have gone much better as anticipated. Don’t completely toss the old year behind, rather take all the good things and bring them into 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Who Said You Can’t Wear White This Winter?

Contrary to everyone’s beliefs, white isn’t just for the spring/summer season (though I would not suggest wearing white linen pants in the winter…just saying), but it is definitely a winter time color. I mean helloooooo, snow is white! Anyways… Stop hiding behind your LBD and stand out in white. We’ve complied 5 ways to wear white this winter that anyone can pull off, I mean just check out these celebs.

White Blazer


Remember that white blazer you coveted all summer? Bring it out of storage! A white blazer +skinny jeans (or tights) + pumps + a  flowy blouse= the perfect equation for a super chic office holiday party or night out on the town.  Try adding a white blazer over your LBD for a great contrast. Kate Moss paired her white blazer nicely with a zip detail leather pant, grey top and black stilettos.

White Dress

 


A cream white dress is always a good investment for the holiday season. Retire your LBD and break out your LWD (little white dress). Add red , gold, or black pumps to complete the look. Even throw on a statement necklace to dress it up a bit more. Just as with any LBD, the possibilities are endless with an LWD! Pick a length and style you feel most comfortable in and have fun styling it up. Beyonce looked amazingly chic in this cream white dress. The fit couldn’t be more perfect!

Fur Vest (Faux or Real)


Rachel Roy is totally styling in her off white fur vest. Whether you go faux or real, a white fur vest is a great statement piece that will compliment almost any outfit. Black leather leggings or skinny jeans with a shimmery sweater underneath and cute booties = a super cute day look! Not ready for a bold white? Try an off white or white mixed with tan fur.

Ivory Coat

 

How could you go wrong with an ivory coat? An ivory coat is very classy and can freshen up any look.It is the perfect accent to any outfit . Try to find one that hits right above the knee with beautifully embellished buttons. Don’t want a white pea coat? Try a white puffer for an Aspen inspired looked! Just remember to keep warmth in mind! Not only do shoes, bags, and accessories make an outfit an overcoat can too! Do not sacrifice comfort for fashion when it comes to a winter coat, even if it just for dinner!

White suit

 

Dare to go head to toe in white? Julianne Hough does this white suit the justice it deserves with a bright red lip. Though a white suit is perfect for winter, do not try to revive your white linen suit from the summer. Opt for silk instead or a material that is guaranteed to keep you warm. Maybe even go for a Chanel inspired tweed for an ultra classic look. Pair with metallic pumps and a bold lip and you’re set!

Tell us, will you be wearing a white ensemble this winter? 

Totsy’s Top 5 Holiday Pins

Happy holidays! Nothing new, but you all know that we here at Totsy LOVE Pinterest!  We are practically addicted ;-).  We have rounded up out top 5 pins for the holidays!  These are just some of our favorites, but you can enjoy the holiday season with more pins from our Tis the Season board!

5) Heart- (and belly-warming) hot chocolateLove this idea! Put whipped cream on a cookie sheet, freeze, then use heart cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes.  Add to a steamy cup of hot chocolate!

hotchoco

4) Candy cane tablescape. Perfect for the holiday season – simple and festive!

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3) Christmas tree cupcake.  How adorable is this??

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2) Winter cocktails. Our favorite? The hot toddy. Warms you from the inside out!  Find the recipe on our blog along with a few of our other favorite winter cocktails.

Glass of hot toddy with cinnamon and anise. Shallow dof.

1) Cutie holiday photo op. We couldn’t help but smile at this little snowman! Have you ever had a creative and festive photo op with your child?

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That’s all from us folks!  Don’t forget to follow and pin with us on Pinterest.

Share with us your favorite holiday pins by pasting in the comments below.

Happy holidays to your family from us here at Totsy!

Speedy, No-Cook Holiday Appetizers!

Crunched for time? Have a family that never seems to be full? Look no further! Here are some speedy, no cook appetizers/snacks that will keep everyone satisfied during the holiday rush.

Cheese & Fruit Plate

Cheese & Fruit plates are mainstays for a reason, they cater to your biggest of meat eaters and your pickiest of vegetarians – everyone can enjoy! Our favorite trick for assembling? Choose one or two of your favorite cheeses and then ask your local cheese monger which cheeses he/she recommends to accompany and balance out the cheeses you already picked. As for the fruit, we recommend a mixture of dried and fresh in a variety of different colors! Some of our faves: grapes, dried apricot, asian pear and strawberries!

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Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Rye Bread, Scallion Cream Cheese and Cucumber

This is one of those appetizers that look so sophisticated, but really is a cinch to make! First, you’ll want to cut the cucumber in thin slices – put those aside. Next, take two pieces of rye bread and spread the scallion cream cheese on both. Tear the salmon into little pieces and put on top of one of the slices of rye bread, followed by a few slices of cucumber. Place the other slice of bread on top to create a sandwich. Lastly, cut the crusts and then cut into 4 squares and enjoy!

salmon

Prosciutto Wrapped in Melon 

The perfect combination of sweet and savory, this prosciutto wrapped melon appetizer will definitely be a BIG hit. All you need are three things, how easy is that!? To save yourself time, we recommend buying pre-cut melon. Cut each piece of prosciutto in half and wrap it around the melon and secure with a toothpick – voila!

prosc-wrapped melon

Chicken Salad Towers

Our West Coast Mom whips these up bad boys for lunch a lot, and trust us, she’s a great cook! Check out her recipe for her delicious, quick Chicken Salad Towers here.

chicken