The Best Time of Year
For as much time as we spend thinking about, searching for and testing the things you need to complete your gift list, giving and receiving stuff is not our favourite part of the holidays. (Don't worry, this isn't about good will toward man and the importance of family either. Yawn.) No, the best part of this time of year is the parties!
With many years of holiday seasons under our belts, you could call us pro-partiers. And over the years we’ve learned a thing or two about getting through the next month: maximizing the good times and keeping the pounds, the dry skin, and the big credit card bills at bay.
First of all, there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week. We don’t care how popular you are, it is crucial for the body and mind that you schedule a night off every week during the party season. If you’re lucky, two. Two nights where, when someone invites you to yet another cocktail party, you say you’re busy. Your YOU time is what makes the other commitments worthwhile. And this is not a time to do household chores either.
On these nights, eat a healthy dinner low in sodium, avoid dairy, and skip the booze. This is the time to catch up on your favourite shows, watch a holiday movie, read, and chill out.
Get it in as much as you can, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Do not, we repeat, do not use a busy party schedule as an excuse to desert the gym, “just until January”. It’s a slippery slope and before you know it, it’ll be March.
Plus, if you’re lucky enough to be jetting away somewhere in search of sun over the holidays (bathing suit!!) this really isn’t the time to be bailing on the gym.
At the beginning of the season (i.e. now) hit the liquor store so your bar is loaded up for drop-ins and last-minute get-togethers. Same goes for the gourmet food aisle. Nice cheeses, crackers, olives and nuts will keep for weeks and keep you at the ready.
Don’t forget the candles. All this is not just for entertaining in your own home, but can also serve as hostess gifts for those last minute invites. (Be sure to check out our hostess gift suggestions.) Get all of this collected once and you’ll have something to throw together or grab as you dash out the door. That’ll save you time.
Got one or more very special events where you’ll need hair and nails at their best? Call your stylist and book all appointments now, if you haven’t already.
We were recently in L.A. and got some great deals on party dresses. And since mixing unexpected colours and textures is all the rage, there’s no need for new shoes or bags (these days, don’t match your shoes to your bag if you care about being current).
No matter what your dress, there is almost certainly a shoe already in your closet that’ll work. Or your friends’ closet. Remember, it’s just one night and tomorrow the shoes will be scuffed and the dress will be wrinkled. If you’re wearing heels, wear platforms. They’re far more comfortable and allow you to teeter ever higher while you dance the night away.
Invest in a pair of black tights. They don’t have to be expensive, Hue makes a variety of textures at very reasonable prices. Black tights with heels or booties are a holiday godsend. They keep you warm, protect bare feet from blisters, slenderize the leg and most importantly, cover up those pasty gams.
Try not to get too caught up in thinking you need exactly the right thing from head to toe. And when you’re all made up, do a full 360 in the mirror with all lights on. Too much blush? Is that skirt riding up? Spanks showing through? Now face front and before you walk out the door and take one thing off. (Not your dress.) Be it a bracelet or lipstick, we all tend to go a little overboard when getting ready for a big night out. “Less is more” are fashion words to live by.
Before you head out, even if you’re being fed at the event, eat something fatty like a couple of pieces of cheese or half an avocado. The fat helps soak up the alcohol, and having a little something in your belly means you’re less likely to gorge.
If you continue drinking after dinner, switch to vodka. It’s one of the purest alcohols, meaning less of a hangover. (Though it depends how much you drink, of course!) Mix it with a little soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime for a calorie-friendly drink (which is why they call it the “skinny bitch” cocktail).
Do we need to tell you to drink water? Drink water, amateur. Not fizzy water, which is full of sodium. Flat water. And keep vitamin B supplements by your bed as they really do help ease the pain of the morning after. (Please check with your doctor before taking any vitamins, supplements or medication!)
Unless you’re a teetotaler, leave your car at home of course. And if you’re worried about getting a cab, we suggest hiring a private car. This doesn’t need to be as extravagant as it sounds, especially if you go in with friends. Once you check the car companies in your area, if it’s still too expensive, consider hiring a friend’s kid with a driver’s license for the evening. This is one service that makes all the difference. Talk about a low stress night!
And on the biggest party night of the year, stay home. On New Year’s Eve, we always aim to grab a couple great friends, make a great meal, and stay in. If it’s one thing a seasoned partier knows, it’s that NYE is for amateurs.