Ms. Henley’s Must Haves for Kids!

Our list of Ms. Henley’s Must Have’s for the holidays continues with today’s focus on the kiddos!

Kids Gift Guide

  1. What teen girl wouldn’t love the best in lips, lashes and shadows? We love this Smash Box Art. Love. Color. Studio Set as a fun stocking stuffer!
  2. We’ve all grown up playing Monopoly but we can’t get enough of this personalized game board. Add your favorite family pictures to customize this childhood favorite!
  3. A super cute set of PJ’s and a corresponding book, like “Dinosaurs Love Tacos” makes bedtime fun! Books to Bed
  4. It’s never too early to start teaching the art of grooming! This father-son set of razors by Harry’s will create fun memories for both the boys in your life!
  5. From scrunchies to hair ties, these fun accessories by Invisibobble will make every pony tail pop!

Have a gift you think should be included on Ms. Henley’s list? Tweet us at @henleyco or IG @MsHenleyCo and use the hashtag #mshenleymusthaves

 

Ms. Henley’s Must Have Gifts…Men

Men's Gift Guide

 

Yesterday, we focused on the must-have gifts for the women in your life; today it’s all about the men! Ms. Henley has curated the best of the best for the guy you love!

  1. Give the gift of organization! We love Pine Cone Homes charging station that combines functionality and style.
  2. Converse has taken their classic sneaker to the next level with these Chuck Taylor All Stars. It’s the dressed up sneaker you’ll approve of!
  3. Nothing sexier than a man in a perfectly fitting sweater! We adore this timeless half-zip pullover by Polo Ralph Lauren. Paired with the Chuck Taylor All Stars and your guy becomes a style monster!
  4. Plaid is all the rage these days! An easy way for your man to stay on trend is to incorporate plaid into his accessories. We love this pop of color on the Timex Expedition.
  5. A monogrammed beer holder with bottle opener, by Cathy’s Concepts, makes for the perfect gift for your beer lover or home brewing fan!

Have a gift you think should be included on Ms. Henley’s list? Tweet us at @henleyco or IG @MsHenleyCo and use the hashtag #mshenleymusthaves

A Beginner’s Guide to Throwing A Thanksgiving Feast – Part 2

Thanksgiving is just around the corner; I can almost smell the turkey crisping up on the BBQ! That’s what we do in California – we BBQ our turkeys!

In our last blog post, I talked about planning your guest list and your invitation. It’s time for us to discuss menu planning and recipes! This will be a busy weekend at the grocery store as everyone begins to stock up for the impending feast so it’s time to get organized!

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, as well as my suggestions for menu planning!

Let’s Eat…

When deciding on the menu, you should first decide if you are the hostess that wants to cook the entire meal, or you are willing to share the glory. In our house, we have always welcomed a ton of people for our Thanksgiving dinners so it would be a huge burden for my parents to prepare all of the food. Plus, our guests have always enjoyed contributing to the feast.

As the hostess, think about providing the main staples of Thanksgiving such as the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The rest of the menu can be rounded out by the guests. We’ve always found that dishes like mashed potatoes don’t travel very well so it’s better if we cook them versus having a guest bring them later. We divide up the rest of the menu between salad, side dishes, veggie dishes, and desserts. Don’t be shy about asking your guests to contribute! It makes them feel engaged with the party before they even arrive! Be sure to remind guests of the expected time for you to enjoy the meal so you can plan accordingly with cooking times and reheating dishes if needed!

 

Menu Planning

Easy Recipes…

I’m the queen of appetizers! I believe you can make a whole meal out of appetizers, so therefore, my contribution to the feast is usually always the nibbles we can enjoy while the food preparation is being finished! Here are a few of my favorite dishes I’ve crafted over the years. Both have received rave reviews!

Mexi Dip

1 Can of Chili with No Beans
1 Cream Cheese  (8 oz)
3 Green Onions
1 Can of Chopped Olives
1 Can of Green Chile – chopped (you decide on the heat!)1 Cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Mix remaining ingredients into bowl. Transfer to microwaveable dish. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and rotate. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chutney Dip

1 Jar of Chutney (found in the Indian food sections)
2  Cream Cheese (8 oz)
1 Cup of Sharp White Cheddar
1 Tablespoon of Curry Powder (add more as preferred)

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Mix remaining ingredients into bowl. Transfer to microwavable dish. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and rotate. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add additional Curry Powder to taste. I have also added red chili flakes for additional heat. Serve with crackers. Can be served at room temperature.

 

What’s your favorite recipe for Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!

 

Thank you, Veterans!

Thank You, Veterans!-1

On this day, November 11, 2015, we salute the veterans! As a woman, I feel very blessed to live in a country where I can own a business, create my own opportunities, and travel independently around the world!

Take a minute to say thanks to anyone who has served, and for the freedoms we are lucky to have!

Part 3: Take the Daze Out of the Holidays – Ms. Henley’s Guide to A Stress Free Holiday

Day 3 of our Take the Daze Out of the Holidays – Ms. Henley’s Guide To A Stress Free Holiday Season focuses on shopping. With the benefit of technology, making lists and having the ability to shop online just got easier.  We love Pinterest, so it’s not surprising we would incorporate a wish board into our Top-10 list.

Pinterest Logo

#4.         Pin:                                                                         

Make your shopping efforts easier this holiday season by creating a private Pinterest Board for your family. Task everyone with pinning their wish list to your board so that you have all of their wants, needs and desires in one easy location. Be sure to download the Pinterest App so you have the information at your fingertips. You can also go directly from the Pins to the website so you can order online.

Follow our Pinterest board at to check out our favorite things!

 

#3.         Shop:                                                                         

Tackle your shopping by being organized before you set foot in the mall. Create a gift-giving spreadsheet with the names of everyone you need to buy for and their current sizes. Keep a list as you buy that not only tracks who gets what, but also how much is being spent, what needs to be mailed and/or ordered on-line.

Helpful hint: Keep an envelope in your purse that keeps all of your receipts in one spot. Immediately, on the receipt, write the name of whom the gift is being given so that you have an easy record if a return is needed.

 

#2.         Eat:

Take the stress off of holiday meal planning by turning them into potlucks. Guests always ask, “what can we bring?” Now is the time to take them up on the offer. Also, create a meal-planning list so you have all of your recipes and shopping lists in one central location.

If you are the guest asking, “what can we bring?” you can decide on one-appetizer or one side dish that you are going to take to all holiday parties. Don’t stress over trying to get creative for every party. Buy ingredients in bulk so you have enough to make several dishes.

 

How is your holiday planning coming along? Let us know!

Take the Daze Out of the Holidays – Ms. Henley’s Guide To A Stress Free Holiday (Part 2)

christmas_decorations

 

In yesterday’s post, we gave you the first installment of Ms. Henley’s Guide to a Stress Free Holiday Season. We continue today with #’s 5-7 of the Top-10 List.

7.         Blink:                                                                         

Save yourself a ton of time by getting your lashes done for the holidays. These semi-permanent additions to your look will have you feeling fresh and bright-eyed without spending lots of time in front of the mirror. Most lashes last 2-3 weeks. Don’t forget to book your blow out appointments to save yourself a bad hair day. We all know a good blow out will last a few days – super time saver!

6.         Decorate:                                                                   

Holiday decorating does not have to be stressful. Keep it simple and stress-free by using what you already have around the house and repurposing from one holiday to the next. We have a ton of ideas if you need any help! Simple things like colored rubber bands can change the look of a basic glass vase or Washi tape around a frame can create a more festive feel to a basic frame or chalk board.

5.         Give:   

Be a good guest and remember to bring a hostess gift to any parties you are invited to throughout the year, especially during the holidays. With a little pre-planning you can have easy gifts on hand. Think about gifts that are useful not just decorative. We like useable items! On a recent trip to Target we found an adorable cookies for Santa tray; which we paired with the ingredients for making and decorating sugar cookies. Wrapped up in a festive bow and you have an easy, yet functional, hostess gift that will be appreciated.

 

“Think back to when you were a child – do you remember the gifts you opened or do you remember the moments spent with family, friends and enjoying the merriment? Keeping the holidays simple is a choice! Let this be the year that you delegate the “stuff” and focus on being “present” in every moment. “

~Nicole Matthews, Lifestyle Architect
The Henley Company

Part 1: Take the Daze Out of the Holidays – Ms. Henley’s Guide to a Stress Free Holiday Season

We recently had the pleasure of doing several in-home concierge parties, focused on helping clients to take the daze out of the holidays. It gave us an opportunity to present our Ms. Henley’s Guide to a Stress Free Holiday Season. Over the next few days, we will share with you a few of our top-10 list tips so you too can have a stress free holiday season! shopping_clipart

10.       Plan:                                                                           

The average woman spends 60-80 hours preparing for the holidays. This includes shopping, cooking, wrapping and attending events. Be strategic about navigating the holidays and make a plan early in the season. Plan time to bake, shop, write holiday cards, etc. so that you don’t feel crunched for time as the holidays get closer. Decide what can be delegated to your holiday elf!

9.         Commit:                                                                   

Remember what the reason is for the season! As a family, come up with 3 words that you want to signify your experience during the holidays. (i.e. Family, Joy & Peace). Post these words in a visible location so it continually stays top of mind. Before saying yes to any invitation, activity or commitment, make sure saying “yes” falls in line with your family values. Turn this into a new family tradition.

8.         Travel:                                                                    

If holiday travel is on your agenda; try these two tips:

  • Don’t let parking at the crowded airport cause you stress; instead call ahead and reserve your spot.
  • Sign up for Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. in the city where you are traveling. Offers great suggestions on fun and unique activities at a discounted price.

Check back tomorrow for tips #5 – #7 on the Top-10 List!

A woman should not measure her value by what gets crossed off her to-do list; but rather by the level of happiness in her heart, and the kind of wife, mother, sister and friend she becomes. Juggling lots of balls should be left to the circus acts – be a woman who values time over “to-do,” and commit to a lifestyle that focuses on unique experiences, family memory-making and sophisticated simplicity.  

Nicole Matthews, Lifestyle Architect
The Henley Co.