The Occasionette

  • Writing Holiday Cards as Self Care

    Holiday card writing doesn't have to be another chore on your list of joyless tasks to complete this holiday season! You can make card writing a little more meaningful by making it uncomplicated this year. We're all tired of the same photo cards in boring cookie-cutter online templates sent to us from the internet via an uploaded excel file. Here's how to make this tradition less stressful and more meaningful. 
  • Be a Superguest this Holiday Season!

    Most of us will be a guest at a Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or some other festive holiday soiree at some point in the next few weeks. The good news is you have the easy part! Your friends or family are doing all of the things (and there are many!) involved in hosting this get-together. You get to just show up, eat, drink and be merry, right? No! I mean, you can, but we’re grown ups, so let’s put just a tiny bit of effort into being a gracious guest (which will help secure you an invite to the next gathering!)
  • Easy Halloween Ideas for Everyone!

    Easy Halloween Ideas for Everyone!
    Over the years, I've figured out some tips and tricks to making Halloween fun, even for people like me who aren't really Halloween people. 
    Here are my tips for a happy, pumpkin-spice free Halloween:
    Stock up on your Halloween essentials early! You know Halloween is coming, it definitely happens every year. So do yourself a solid and pick up your huge bags of ridiculously small candy bars as soon as possible! Or just suck it up and be proud to be the house giving out nickels (your call).
    Make sure to sort those assorted bags of miniature candy into "candy I really like" and "candy I feel meh about" before the kids start coming around so that you don't get stuck with a pumpkin head full of Mounds bars at the end of the night. No one needs that.

     

     You don't have to stick to pumpkins to decorate! It may be decorative gourd season, but beautiful, seasonal faux floral stems will still look pretty through November. Choose faux florals in a limited color palette (think warm fall tones) with lots of different textures for the most interesting arrangements. 

    Reward the kids with the creative, homemade costumes! Can we all agree that the Elsas and Annas get one pack of Skittles, but the awesome walking bubble gum machine or an old school television set that you know this kid made from things in their house and spent a few hours on gets three Milky Way bars?

    Our neighborhood gets a good number of trick or treaters, so I like to keep dinner simple because I'm just jumping up and down to wrestle my dog at the front door every few minutes. My favorite dinner on Halloween is chili, because it's one of those magical dishes that the longer you ignore it while you're cooking, the more delicious it is.

    My favorite homemade chili recipe calls for a tiny bit of cocoa powder, which means it pairs well with kit-kat bars. 

    I have this rule that chili must be accompanied by freshly baked cornbread. You can find my top secret, super artisan, closely held family recipe for cornbread here.

    If you have a dog, and your dog still doesn't understand what on earth is happening on Halloween, despite your best efforts to explain it to the dog every year, make sure you at least make an awesome costume for the pup. That way every time she starts barking at the kids at the door, you'll at least have the pleasure of looking over and laughing because she's dressed like a hot dog.

  • Creating Your Pinterest-Worthy Desk

    Creating Your Pinterest-Worthy Desk
    As a Virgo, September and back to school time is my very favorite time of year. There was pretty much nothing I looked forward to more than back to school shopping growing up - the idea of new pens and fresh notebooks was super exciting to me. I was obviously a super-nerd, but I like to think this just makes me very qualified to own a shop that sells paper goods now. 
    These days, I get the same rush (yes, we're going to pretend "rush" is the proper word here) by refreshing my desk. There's just something nice about walking in to a clean desk in the morning - it's a fresh start that helps me forget that I definitely didn't finish half of my to-do list yesterday. Also, something about a week's worth of dirty coffee mugs bearing inspirational messages strewn about is just a bit too ironic for me. 
    With this in mind, I curated our biggest collection ever of fun things to keep your desk fun and fresh this year. Whether beautiful, colorful accents get you going or you prefer neutral, understated things on your desk or you appreciate a little quirk while you work, we've got you covered (and then some, if we're being real). 

    Some of my favorites include our bold colored Italian staplers (if a good, heavy, satisfying, utilitarian tool is your thing, these check all the boxes - if that doesn't sound appealing to you, go ahead and reread it. It's the perfect stapler!), simple neutral photo frames (no one will judge if you just frame photos of George Clooney instead of friends and family, I swear), and our hexagon color blocked table tile coasters (your motivational coffee mug will thank you). 

    At my office in the back of the Collingswood shop, one of our super talented employees is just about finished painting a big custom wall mural behind my desk. I wanted a statement in the space, since it's situated between the shop and our warehouse and contains exactly zero windows.

    I'm obsessed with the results (I seriously love it more than any wall I've ever loved... and I went to school for architecture, so I think about walls quite a bit... which I realize is a strange thing to boast about...).
    In any case, the mural has a lot going on, so I want to keep things on my desk pretty streamlined and minimal so it's not overwhelming. Pro tip: overwhelming is not a word anyone uses to describe their dream workspace. 


    At the end of the day, we all want to make work feel a little less like work (right? Right.) and short of trying to get your boss to approve Martini Mondays, refreshing your desk is the best way to accomplish this.

    Just because you've used that chipped promotional mug as a pencil holder for 8 years doesn't mean you have to live with it forever. The little things you look at every day should make you smile! If it wasn't reasonably easy to achieve at least a moderately nice workspace, they wouldn't pop up all over the internet. Pro tip: People are generally lazy, and making a pinterest-worthy desk is easy even for the laziest of us.