This Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Snake, which is a perfect excuse for incorporating all things snake and snakeskin into your home decor. Snakeskin is surprisingly neutral and lends itself to many types of decor — so no excuses! Start small with frames or a throw pillow, and discover the statement this bold pattern can make. Happy New Year!
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There’s nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when passing out gifts to the ones you love. Except maybe the incredible, thrilling rush that comes from scoring those gifts during the most invigorating shopping season of all!
This year, our friends at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods are giving you more reasons than ever to celebrate your holiday shopping victories — by creating a series of fun and inspiring gifting “missions” that you can tackle weekly for a new chance to win!
Readers as well as our favorite lifestyle bloggers will be invited to participate in five missions across T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores, then simply share their experience via Twitter using the hashtag #TheGifter. Each week, one winner will be chosen to receive a $500 gift card! You can also visit #TheGifter holiday gifting hub to explore an ever-evolving gallery of amazing gifts at amazing values — check back often for fresh inspiration and fun ideas.
Make this holiday shopping season your most triumphant yet! The missions are already under way, so start making your gifting list, and click here for more details.
So, you've decided to gift a beautiful bouquet of something for Valentine's Day. We applaud the choice, but you have more of them to make. There's technical considerations like color, fragrance, and form that can be sneakily stumping — especially if you aren't consulting a florist.
Luckily, we know a guy. Michael Gaffney's floral chops range from designing arrangements for movie sets (have you seen Black Swan?) to creating ambiance for New York fashion shows, but we're most excited about his teaching gig. As the founder of the American Schools of Flower Design, Michael has a tip (or five) up his sleeve for creating a Valentine's Day bouquet that hits the mark.
Take it away, Michael!
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"People love arrangements that create a floral story by mixing different types of flowers, like calla lilies, orchids and stock flowers. This classic American design works for many occasions, especially Valentine's Day. The arrangement also makes a great DIY project, since the flowers are readily available at farmers markets or grocery stores."
"Who doesn't love the lovely aroma of flowers? Fill bouquets with a variety of fragrant blooms including roses, stargazer lilies, wax flowers, and freesia. These arrangements will fill any space with wonderful scents long after the holiday is over."
"You can't go wrong with a classic rose bouquet. It's the number-one most requested arrangement in America. From a single rose to a full bouquet, the flower still stands for love. Just avoid purchasing 'bullet roses,' which have tight bulbs and will never open. Instead, choose a rose slightly 'unfurling.' These roses have been harvested later and will open and last longer."
"An arrangement that has tons of flowers is everyone's dream. Try combining mass flowers (full and round blooms) such as lilies, roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas, magnolias, and daisies into a grand arrangement to really make a statement and make the person you're giving them to feel special."
"A person will know when you skimp out on the good stuff. On Valentine's Day, try to avoid the overdone arrangements filled with carnations, baby's breath, lots of greenery, and other mass-produced fillers and flowers."
Thanks for sharing your tips, Michael! Wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day.
Smash is baaaaaaack! Last night was the premiere of season two, and it did not disappoint. There are plenty of new characters (goodbye, scheming Ellis; hello, Jennifer Hudson!), new musical numbers, and, of course, lots and lots of drama. Another new addition is set designer Kalina Ivanov. She joined the behind-the-scenes cast to create a slew of new sets including a restaurant hangout, two apartments, and one very glamorous dressing room. The spaces are a perfect foil for the escalating tension between Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) as well as producer Eileen's (Anjelica Huston) continued fight to get their nascent show to Broadway. From the looks of it, they are going to be joined by tons of amazing guest stars this season (Sean Hayes, Jessie L. Martin, and . . . Liza Minnelli?!) and enough intrigue and fighting to keep everyone busy for a while.
We sat down with set designer Kalina to get the backstory and inspiration for a few of her sets this season. Read on to find out more about Kalina's process and how she gets the look!
— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb
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