Conversations With Ollie: Holiday Edition

Back by popular demand, another edition of "Conversations with Ollie." This time we are talking Christmas movies and Christmas presents. In case you don't remember what happens in "Home Alone," Ollie gives a solid recap along with commentary on Mr. and Mrs. McAllister's parenting skills.   

Holiday Home Tour

I wouldn't say the holidays snuck up on me, but I would say that I've been completely bogged down by work, so much so that it's taking some of the shine away from my favorite time of the year. I'm left feeling like I need to squeeze in everything on the few precious hours on the weekends. I honestly don't know what working moms did before online shopping. Can I get an amen for Amazon!? That all said, I found some time to make the house look merry. I feel like it's a little toned it down a little this year but still have bits of festive happiness sprinkled throughout the house. Can you believe that flocked garland was $12!? What was your big holiday decor win this year? 

Holiday home tour
Holiday home tour
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Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour

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LIVING ROOM: couch - West Elm  / rug - West Elm (similar) / leather chair: West Elm (similar) / coffee table - CB2 / side table - CB2 / hanging chair: vintage (similar) / pillows - Urban Outfitters, DIY / fauxdenza Ikea hack / planter - Target / print - Etsy/ lamp / light fixtures - Amazon

KITCHEN & DINING ROOM: paint - valspar // light over peninsula - Home Depot // light over sink - World Market // stools - Jayson Home // table - CB2 // chairs - Amazon // light over dining table - West Elm // rug - Etsy // bus photo - Etsy // watercolor - street artist in Italy // cake stand - Anthropologie // glasses - Ikea // letter board - Amazon

Holiday Look // Draped in Velvet

This year I was stumped when thinking of my holiday look. I picked up a old Bloomies catalog and fell in love with this Joie velvet suit. I immediately hopped on to check it out. Luckily I that catalog was so old that it was now on major sale. Score! Once the packages came I threw on the jacket with the some jeans and was loving it, then I tried the whole look on and it just seemed a little much. I went back and forth, but once I saw these photos of the whole look I knew this outfit was a keeper. I love that it's such a huge departure from a dress. I also love that it's dressy and casual (and comfy) at the same time and most of all I love that the pieces work separately as well as they work together.  Scroll down to see the looks I'll be rocking this holiday season. What are you wearing this party season?

velvet pants
velvet pants
Holiday look

LOOK 2

velvet suit
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velvet suit
velvet suit

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Presenting our Holiday Cards!

The super-talented Clare Mullins did a family shoot last week when we were in New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I am obsessed with the way she captured my family! That made the best jumping off point to start our cards. Then, I teamed up with my friends at Pinhole Press to make our. The quality is fantastic and I love the matte finish. Their choices are edited so you don't have to browse options for hours just to give up and pick up cards at the store. They also offer extra thick paper, as well as foil printing option. Thank you, Pinhole Press for making them so fabulous! 

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Pinhole Press Card

Curious, where is your go-to for holiday cards? What is your strategy? 

Currently Shopping // Velvet

Have you hit the stores to find your looks for your holiday parties? If you haven't, let me tell you, it's all about velvet. Like ALL about velvet. In my browsing, I saw velvet bras, velvet socks, velvet belts and just about everything else. The velvet has is shiny, matte, burnout pattern, embroidered, crushed and plush. I shopped around and found some fabulous pieces for you to build your holiday outfits from. 

Velvet Holiday looks

1. shoes / 2. kimono / 3. jacket / 4. maxi dress / 5. trousers / 6. tank / 7. jumpsuit / 8. mules / 9. skater dress


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Gift Guide // Kids Gifts Under $50

My little is at that magic age where there is nothing specific on his list, but he is excited about everything! Lately he loses it (in the best way) when I bring him home cool socks, it’s going to make stuffing his stocking and filling under the tree easy and fun! I also have a young niece and nephew to buy for who are a little more challenging. I want to find special gifts that are unique, creative or educational and also fun, but don’t break the bank. As our families keep growing, so does our gifting list!  Here are my picks for kids toys under $50 that will check off mine and the kiddo’s lists.

Gift Guide: kids gifts under $50

1.“Have You Filled A Bucket Today?” -  I was on a positive-message book kick last year and picked a few for my son. This sweet book is our favorite and conveys a message about being a good person that even a two-year-old can grasp.

2. World Traveler Pretend Play - We are a family that loves to travel. We have made it a priority in our lives and have taken our son to Greece, Iceland and around the U.S. but, it’s not always possible to go on big trips, so in between trips this pretend travel set is the perfect gift to keep them as excited as we are for our next adventure!

3. Melissa and Doug Pantry Play Food - One of my son’s favorite toys is his play kitchen, we only stocked it with a few items when we bought it for him, so it’s fun to add new grocery items and watch his menu expand.

4. Tool set - when your mama is a DIY blogger (or your dad is a handy man) you’ve been around your share of power tools, it’s only fitting to have a set of your own. I love how these come with nuts and bolts and objects to work the fine motor skills.

5. Knit unicorn stuffed animal - as a kid, my holiday wishlist wasn’t complete without a stuffed animal on it, it’s only fitting that I add the cutest, most magical unicorn to this gift guide.

6. Lucky Bums Sled - unless you live in California, every kid needs a sled! Since my son is still a little guy, I picked a sled that can fit mom and babe and has a pull rope because it’s had for a little to walk in snow pants and boots!

7. Design your own superhero cape - this gift might be my favorite yet. It’s creative in two ways, first you have to dream up what superhero you want to be, then you have to create it, then you get to pretend you’re the superhero! Plus this gift would be perfect under the tree of my niece, my nephew or my son.

8. Kids Apron Set - at our house we love baking! It’s a weekly activity. I know how excited my little is to help out and also to play dress up, I can’t wait to see him “play chef” with this set!

9. Little Archives Subscription Box - Each month they send you everything you need, (including detailed instructions and links to video tutorials) for one person to create a cool art and design project that you’ll be proud to display in your home once you’ve completed it. Yes, this gift is a little deceiving to put on the under $50 list, because it is an automatic renewing subscription, but at $22.95/month for under $50 you could get a couple special deliveries.

Gift Guide // My Wish List

My favorite post of the year, my holiday wish list! This year I'm looking forward to unwrapping a few little luxuries. From comfy and cute sneakers to beautiful cookware, I have all I need but these fabulous goodies would be icing on the cake.

Lauren Koster HOLIDAY-WISH-LIST.jpg

1. Santa, I am obsessed with this mirror

2. Still loving these earrings from J.Crew.

3. This cozy jacket by Sezane belongs in my closet!

4. I designed this tote bag and I'm obsessed! It is the perfect large leather tote, great for a travel or overnight bag. 

5. Cook Beautiful, the prettiest cook book, written and styled by my girl crush, Athena Caldrone.

6. It's been a while since I splurged on cute, personalized stationery. Minted has so many great designs!

7. I've seriously never seen cookware so pretty!

8. Heard so many great things about Away carryon bags. Think it's time for an upgrade. 

9. New Balance fashion sneakers. Because comfort is king these days. 


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What To Wear For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, it's always a great mystery of what to wear for this holiday. You want to dress up a little, but still want to be cozy as you stuff yourself silly, drink wine and play games. You need comfy layers, but want to be able to let air in if you are stuck in the kitchen cooking away. I found what I think is the perfect look, a maxi wrap skirt with a light weight cashmere sweater. This skirt, scored on Poshmark, is in my favorite color of the season, rust, is a wrap skirt, while it's not stretchy, it's a tie, so easily adjusted after a long night of gorging. The sweater is a staple in my closet, a simple boyfriend cashmere v-neck. Topped with a suede moto jacket and a fur scarf gives you the cool factor and keeps you toasty on your post-dinner walk.

what to wear to Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving outfit
Thanksgiving look
Thanksgiving outfit

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