a focus on fun and family during the holidays

self-care week is in full swing.  yesterday, we focused on managing grief during the holidays.  today, we focus on fun and family during the holidays.  although slightly less sober than the topic of grief, finding time for fun and family during the holidays is no less important. 

i was led naturally here because today is my daughter-in-law Kelly’s birthday.  Kelly has been working with me for over a year now but officially joined the blog full-time in August.  Kelly is responsible for our blog and social redesign and produces all of our YouTube videos, amongst a variety of other things.  you can catch Kelly’s YouTube debut and stay tuned for more.  next year, she’ll be launching a sister site to style at a certain age focused on food, beverage, and design.  make sure to wish Kelly a happy birthday in the comments below! 

a focus on fun

holidays are supposed to be fun.  when you turn on the TV, everyone is seemingly having fun.  when you open up Instagram, everyone seems to be having a great time—living their best life. everywhere you turn, especially during the holidays, that’s the expectation, right?  but as soon as something becomes an expectation, it’s not far from being an obligation.  and for whatever reason, there seems to be an inverse relationship between obligations and levity.  

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

don’t get me wrong:  holiday dinners, cookie exchanges, white elephant parties, streamers and cocktails in a large ballroom can all be fun.  but the type of fun i want to focus on today is slightly different—slightly less obligatory.  the fun i want to focus on today is the silly, impromptu fun we’re afforded every single day but sometimes don’t take advantage of. 

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

when was the last time you stayed up until midnight and had a side-splitting laugh with your sister over old stories from when you were kids?  when was the last time you pulled your grand-kiddos out of school and binged on old Christmas movies?  when was the last time you had a spur-of-the-moment dance party with your kiddos just because, well, just because.  

a focus on family

in this digital day and age, everyone has a view on everything. this includes what does or doesn’t constitute as “fun”.  there seems to be an expectation that “fun” has to be a photo-worthy vacation or lavish dinner that we can immediately turn around and post on Facebook or Instagram.  

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

and don’t get me wrong, as a fashion blogger, i see nothing inherently wrong with that.  but the point i’m trying to make is simple.  what do we remember most about our vacations and lavish dinners?  when we look back at holidays past what sticks out to us in the most detail?  

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

is it the present our husband got us in 1996?  is it the turkey we cooked in 2002?  maybe.  but i’m willing to bet our most vivid memories are the small, oftentimes silly ones that exist in-between the holiday parties and spiral hams.  i’m willing to bet our most vivid memories are the smiles and laughter that we share with the ones we love most. 

these moments oftentimes happen at, say, 7AM on December 3rd over a cup of coffee with your daughter-in-law.  and these moments oftentimes don’t make the best Instagram photos.  

selflessness as self-care

one thing i want to challenge all of us this holiday season—including myself—is a focus on making others laugh and smile.  sometimes the best form of self-care is selflessness. making others feel good makes us feel good.  there’s an inherent selfishness in selflessness.  it’s cliched but true.   

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

but with all of the personal stress the holiday season brings, it’s difficult to look inwards let alone outwards and focus on others’ well-being.  this can be particularly true with family, which in some sense is just strange.  that the ones closest to us can sometimes be forgotten is almost paradoxical.  

ski sweater | vest | wool pants | knit gloves | booties | lipstick

let me leave you with this then.  think back to a small moment in time where a loved one—maybe your mother, father, or spouse—made you smile and laugh.  one of those unforgettable smiles.  or gut-wrenching laughs.  if you can remember it all of these years later, it’s forever engrained in your memory.  

now this year, create that memory for a family member in your life.  be that smile or laugh that they remember all those years later.  you won’t regret it.  i promise.    

in cased you missed it 

this week is all about self-care.  yesterday, we talked about managing grief during the holidays.  today, we talked about fun and family during the holidays.  stay tuned for tomorrow as we focus on, well, the self during the holidays. 

over the past few weeks, i’ve been getting a lot of questions about my YouTube channel.  for my regulars, you know that i generally attach a video to my blogposts.  i realize, though, that i haven’t formally introduced these videos in any real detail. below i’ve attached one example video per series we produce: style secrets, fashion flash, the list, outfits of yesterday, and friday fives.

to subscribe to my YouTube channel, either click the link to the left and follow step (iii) to the right; or i) click on any video below, ii) click on the “YouTube” logo to redirect to YouTube’s website, iii) and in the bottom right-hand corner below that video, click the “Subscribe” button.

style secrets 

style secrets is our take on a “haul video”.  we gather 3-5 items from one of our favorite retailers like Ann Taylor or Talbots and walk through each with outfit and pairing suggestions.   this video rotates with fashion squared, the list, and outfits of yesterday and is published weekly on Sunday morning.

fashion squared

in fashion squared we take one item and show you how to style it in multiple ways.  this video rotates with style secrets, the list, and outfits of yesterday and is published weekly on Sunday morning.

fashion flash

fashion flash is the video form of our outfit of the day blogpost.  you get a full 360 degree view of how that outfit looks in the wild. moving forward, 3 outfits of the day will be compiled and published in the aggregate, weekly on Wednesdays.  

the list

the list is our top ranked lists of various items like shoes, coats, and the like.  this video rotates with style secrets, fashion squared, and outfits of yesterday and is published weekly on Sunday morning.

outfits of yesterday

outfits of yesterday is a historical deep-dive into various pieces of fashion like trench coats, chinos, and t-shirts. this video rotates with style secrets, fashion squared, and the list and is published weekly on Sunday morning.

friday fives 

friday fives is my top five hair, makeup and lifestyle picks of the week like lipstick and mascara. this video is published weekly on Friday mornings.


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  1. Cheryll Sampson wrote:

    Happy Birthday to Kelly. Love your daily blog, Beth. It is always inspiring.

    Posted 11.5.19
  2. Deirdre Cerasa wrote:

    Love the refresh happening here! Making even more fun than it already was. I thoroughly enjoy the YouTube videos.
    Happy Birthday Kelly!

    Posted 11.5.19
  3. Gail Crossland wrote:

    Beth, I love your blog and videos!
    Happy Birthday to Kelly!

    Posted 11.5.19
  4. MP wrote:

    Love those booties! I’m ordering them now.

    Posted 11.5.19
  5. Leslie Reichert wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Kelly. You are doing a great job helping to bring dimension to a blog. What a joy for both you and your “mom” to be able to work together creating beauty and encouraging others.

    Posted 11.5.19
  6. Cindy Bulharowski wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Kelly and Welcome to the ‘blog family’!!!

    Posted 11.5.19
  7. Marlene Z wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    Your outfit today!Which Mac lipstick were you wearing in today’s blog (November 5)?
    Thank you,
    Marlene Z

    Posted 11.5.19
  8. Sondra wrote:

    HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!!! You are doing an awesome job for Beth and look forward each day to something new!! I know Beth appreciates all of your hard work as well. Hope you day is filled with loved ones and joy. I love todays post and can basically recreate that look with what is already in my closet. Of course there are some mighty tempting things there that I’d love to have myself!!!

    Posted 11.5.19
  9. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    I’d seen that cute sweater at Talbots and thought it would look bright and lively–and it does on you! I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment–if I’ve ever felt down, my mom’s advice comes back to me–she’d say “get out and do something for someone else.” It truly does boomerang and comes right back to make you feel better, plus, by paying it forward, somehow, it makes someone else feel better about their day. Family, whether it be by birth or what I call “accidental family,” knows us so well, and we have so many memories of tiny moments that make up a life. Please let Kelly know what a great job she’s doing–the social media sites all look excellent! You’ve done a lot to make it look professional.

    Posted 11.5.19
    • Suzanne M Smith wrote:

      Oh, and I meant to say–Happiest of Birthdays to Kelly!!”

      Posted 11.5.19
  10. Suzi wrote:

    I like the outfit today, except for the boots. I know they are high quality, but in my opinion they look cheap.
    Love the blogs about enjoying those around us for the holidays. So much commercialism has focused us on things that do not matter in the long haul. My favorite holiday memories are of those family and friends that helped make it special, not what we did or where we went. “Be in the moment!”

    Posted 11.5.19
  11. Violet L O'Brien wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Kelly!! So glad you are working with Beth and I’m sure helping her through this grieving period. She always looks beautiful and upbeat, at least on the outside. My prayer is for her to feel that way on the inside as well and know that Mr. Style is always with her, smiling down on her!

    Posted 11.5.19
  12. Jeanne Myers wrote:

    A very happy birthday, Kelly!

    Posted 11.5.19
  13. Christine wrote:

    Hi Beth really enjoying your thoughts today and love this look. Could you also tell me if the sunglasses you are wearing have a black frame or brown? Thanks so much. Also Happy Birthday to Kelly and best wishes for the year ahead.

    Posted 11.5.19
  14. Jack Goode wrote:

    Happy Birthday Kelly. You are my shining star. I love you. Dad

    Posted 11.5.19
  15. R. Dawson wrote:

    Happy birthday Kelly. I have noticed all the changes and must say they confuse me so that I find I’m following you less.

    Posted 11.5.19
  16. Melinda wrote:

    Happy birthday, Kelly!

    Posted 11.5.19
  17. I always enjoy your posts and videos! I love seeing my beloved Athens in the background. Thank you for this series on self care this week. Our son is getting married and our older son and dil are having our second granddaughter at the end of December! The baby is due right around the date of the wedding. So I’m trying to be super organized. Thank you for helping me put the holidays in perspective!❤️

    Posted 11.5.19
  18. Holly wrote:

    Happy Birthday Kelly and welcome to the blog we love and Beth! You are doing an awesome job and it shows.

    Posted 11.5.19
  19. Katie wrote:

    Dropping in to catch up on the blog. It is awesome as ever and so much fun to read. Beth’s outfits were perfect for her lovely trip.

    Hope you had a wonderful Birthday, Kelly!

    One may want to consider an Apple Watch for travel. Tap and go is S-O much easier than credit cards, esp. at subway kiosks and crowded fast food restaurants. Also recommend the titanium Apple credit card: no numbers displayed and simple to have the numbers changed if need be.

    Pay for the plan and take your cell, as you may well need it for directions.

    Posted 11.5.19
  20. Marilyn wrote:

    Happy Birthday!

    Love be this whole site!!

    Posted 11.5.19
  21. Marilyn wrote:

    Happy Birthday

    Posted 11.5.19

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