Merry-making should be just that — pleasurable — not pressured.

I know that you know there’s more to this time of year than just shopping…running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to get it all done — then eating and drinking yourself possibly into a coma at Holiday parties. It can all be too much…even the so-called fun* Note to the wise: multitasking is a highly overrated myth — one thing at a time, please.

So, boys and girls, with that in mind, let me give some suggestions on how to make merry and enjoy the season in a more mellow way. Are you feeling festive? How do you “get into the spirit”? — Tell us about what makes you feel wonderful this time of year. For me it happens when I feel the inexplicable urge to listen to Ella Fitzgerald, nonstop, and when my husband starts baking his famous (Christmas) cookies and the whole place is filled with the aroma of baking… 

**Listen to Ella Fitzgerald on youtube**

We’ve already discussed the need for a little sparkle & shine in the last blog + we covered conscious commerce, Holiday gifting ideas.  Now, in the last leg of this (fairly challenging) year, it’s a good idea to take some time for yourself.  (BTW, were the shopping guides helpful? — Gotten your ‘Holiday House’ in order? — Let us know.) Spend some quality time with you, even while you’re socializing, dwell in possibilities…* I think merry-making can be more relaxed. It’s the holidays, and you deserve a treat, too.


Here’s a list of treating yourself nicely, enjoying your own company, and appreciating your fabulous self* (In no particular order, just do whatever floats your boat.)

  1.  Movies - Watch you favorite Christmas movies, be they festive or not so much, snuggle-up and dig in. Take yourself on a date to a movie, wear something that makes you feel wonderful - maybe a tiara or something... ;-) One of my favorite movies is White Christmas.

  2.  Take yourself out for a lovely glass of wine. Pick a place you've always wanted to go. Someplace a little fancy or decadent feeling. Sit at the bar - wearing something fabulous, not overly dressed. Order a drink, read something wonderfully funny or inspiring while there...(don't drink and drive).  Drink Up and Live Longer!

  3.  Music - Play only songs that make you feel good...seriously.

  4.  Buy yourself some feel good treats.  a) Fresh flowers that you love - put some in every room of your abode. b) Something cashmere, like socks or underwear, that really feels indulgent.  c) A pretty dress made-to-order just for you. If you've never done this (and can do it), it's really the best way to shop, in my opinion. A new dress for the new year, or whatever other item you may prefer - jacket, coat, shirt, etc. (Boys, get whatever the equivalent is for you.)  d) Have a favorite meal - cook for yourself like you are the guest of honor. Invite a freind to join you, if you like. If you can't cook, order in. Set it up all nice with plates, glasses, music, flowers.

  5.   Count your Blessings - Appreciation Appreciates* Think of, or make a list of, all the way your've been blessed somehow...bask in the afterglow.

  6. Bake some cookies or other feel-good favorites. Give some to friends and family, but only if it’ll make you feel good to do so. Or have a Pot-Luck — invite your favorite people over for either brunch or supper. Have everyone bring (make) something to eat or drink.  It takes the pressure off entertaining for so many people, and everyone gets to enjoy themselves in a lovely, mellow atmosphere — voila!


Shop Made-to-Order @ kaj ani studio and SpeakEasy Boutique


Here, a customized made-to-order keyhole-dress for a beloved customer, in vibrant silk with beaded obi


*Here’s a quick update on the haps at the atelier
We have finally finished the new capsule collection for 2016! I can tell you there are some fabulous new items in store that I hope you’ll like, and love wearing. Also, we just shot the new line with the lovely and talented photographer, Amina Touray. I took some behind the scenes pics and have been posting some sneak-peeks, like these… Stay tuned for more peeks at the new colletion coming in January.

Work in Progress pics & Sneak-Peeks of New pieces for 2016

I hope you’ve been enjoying these blog-posts that we started back in June. Hope you’ll continue to read, share, comment on this, our slow-fashion journey, style guides, inspiration, shopping tips, etc… — you know how much I love and appreciate feedback. So, chime in!

Let me wish you all a very happy-healthy-wealthy-peaceful New Year. May you laugh a lot and blossom in the ways that you wish. I don’t really believe in “new years resolutions”, but I feel that we can all strive to be better in whatever way that makes us a happy and beneficial presence in this world.

Cheers & Ciao! — Until next time…

PS - Please remember your year-end giving to worthy causes. So many could use all of our support right now.

PPS - In 2016 I want to start a new segment called: What Are You Wearing* In it I will post of pics in different outfits, although I hate posting photos of myself!  My hope is that it'll inpire YOU to share your own outfit pics with us, like when you wore that kaj.ani piece you love and got compliments that made you feel good, etc. I hope you'll show that here with us here, ok? It'll also allow another opprotunity to make a case for slow-fashion and lasting value...You'll see..

To kick things off - my first photo post for you guys - on my way to...

1. Sunday farmer's market, then brunch. Yes, wearing my trusty, beat-up jeans (diesel) & wool sweater (kaj.ani), that I spruced up and made more festive with a sparkly vintage brooch and bright pink silk scarf


2. Holiday gathering shin-dig with friends. In lace scarf-blouse, wool gauze sweater, red wool quilty skirt (all kaj.ani).