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How to wrap your present perfectly: it’s all about the bow!

December 12th, 2014 2 Comments

Christmas present wrapping by Mary Rambin Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 10.07.00 AM

 

‘Tis the season to wrap my friends, so below are my two How-To videos.  I would make new ones, but since they ain’t broke, and have 500k views, I’m keeping these guys alive.  I’m so glad to know you find them helpful.

I love getting pics of your pretty packages, so when you’re done send me some.  They always make me smile :)

Mary@MoreThanMary.com

More gift guides to come!

WRAPPING THE BOX PROPERLY

MAKING THE BIG BOW

 

In order to make this bow, it’s crucial you buy the right ribbon:

 

I buy C&G ribbon from the Container Store.  The seem to sell it in TONS of colors online now, but the brand isn’t marked.  I would call customer service first just to make sure you’re getting the right one.  Either in the store or online, you’ll notice it’s pricey, but the spool goes a long way.

Another source for ribbon is Costco.  Buy the thicker ribbon with wire in it and you can make the same bows.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me: mary@morethanmary.com.  I’d also LOVE to see how it goes for you.  Send me pics of your pretty packages!

 

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So many reasons NOT to “save up” and starve for a special dinner

February 14th, 2013 1 Comment

 

I myself have said and hear from others countless times, “I’m not eating so I can go out to [fill in indulgent restaurant here] tonight.”  Well, even though it sounds good and the numbers even out, famine now doesn’t mean you can or should feast later for several reasons:

  1. By not keeping your metabolism in motion, you slow it down.  ”Going long periods of time without eating, you will start to produce cortisol which will cause you to store everything from that meal as fat so it’s better to keep your metabolism revved up so that you will metabolize that meal more efficiently,” says Hilary King.
  2. Your blood sugar will drop drastically and you’re not going to feel good or act appropriately.  Your productivity will suffer as well.
  3. If you’re hungry all day, you’re more likely to eat even MORE at dinner.

So how can you help yourself if you want to indulge???  My nutritionist Hilary King has some suggestions for you!

  1. Exercise regularly at least an hour a day to keep your metabolism in high gear.
  2. Eat complete meals of lean protein, complex carbs, and good fats so you’re satisfied without snacking.
  3. Have a healthy snack (veggies, nuts) before you go out to dinner so you don’t blow your meal on bread.
  4. Cheat on salty and fatty foods instead of sweets.  The more sweets you eat, the more you will crave them.
  5. Choose a protein you’ll enjoy and limit the bad side dishes to just a couple bites.
  6. Eat some veggies (NOT STARCH) with dinner to slow down the absorption of alcohol and sugar into your blood stream.
  7. Opt for red wine or clear alcohols without juice mixers as your beverage.

Basically, if you maintain a healthy and balanced diet, train your body to burn fat, and limit simple sugars, you can splurge without starving yourself or feeling guilty.

 

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More is More for Holiday Attire

December 19th, 2012 No Comments

This time of year is really the only time I can think of (besides Halloween) when we can break the rules and over-accessorize.  In the spirit of being festive!

Usually you pick one statement piece and let it shine atop your outfit.  Now I’m saying pile them all on.  Wear metallics, statement jewelry, and a bright red lip altogether.  Go on, throw on those red shoes too.  Of course you can go overboard, but this is your chance to play.

Let’s take Taylor as an example.  As always Taylor Swift looks amazing, but would you say she looks festive?  I don’t think she does.  I would love to see a big statement necklace and some shoes with character.

 

Here’s a key to pulling this off: the accessories you choose shouldn’t be be festive in their own right (Ranjana Khan above).  You don’t want to beat the issue to death before people’s gaze makes it to your waist.  You want your individual pieces to create one festive look.  I wish I had some examples to show you of successful ensembles, but I’m hoping now that I’ve mentioned this to you, you’ll notice women embracing the “more is more” holiday sensibility and give it a shot.

I’ll take some more pics and post them here after I’m out and about a little bit more.  You can always follow me on tumblr to keep up as well!

 

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TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter the MTM Holiday Giveaway!

December 14th, 2012 1 Comment

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It’s too easy not to enter and win some really cool stuff.  CLICK here to go to the gift guide and details.

This house is near me in Atlanta and just cracks me up.  They’ve been buying and collecting these blow-ups for over 8 years to decorate their lawn (this is only about 1/3 of it!).  In the spirit of giving, they ask people to donate money for a local charity.  Considering the display is so captivating as you drive by, I’m sure they’ve done thousands of dollars worth of good.  GREAT IDEA, right?!

We can have great ideas and give without the blow-ups, you know.

Should you want to give the gift of life instead of material items, I admire the work of AdventConspiracy that asks us not to spend money on random gifts, but to make each other things, spend time together to share your love, and donate to people who really need things.  Things like shelter, like food, like water.  Advent Conspiracy has been working with Living Water to build wells in communities without ANY clean water.

Watch three seconds of this video.  Whether or not you give to Advent Conspiracy or the charity of your choice, I encourage you to consider giving a real gift to people who really need a sweater, a water bottle , a bed to sleep in.  Because really, we don’t NEED anything, do we?

 

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Holiday Survival Tips from My Nutritionist

December 13th, 2012 No Comments

Hilary says you CAN have fun and still be healthy over the holidays.  Here are her tips for survival:

Before the Parties

Do NOT skip meals!! You know when people say, “Oh I’m not eating lunch because I’ve got this party tonight, and I know I’ll eat there!” WRONG!  Do NOT go to the party hungry. Try eating something before hand like a think thin bar so that you don’t go in hungry!

At the Parties

Do NOT hover around the food table. Get a small plate, put what you want on it, and walk away! Work the room, talk to people—focus on the company rather than the food.

  • Put protein on your plate FIRST!! Start with protein and then move to rich vibrant colors.
  • Rather than loading your plate the first time, put a little on, and if you want more later, you can always go back.
  • Be picky!! Passed hors d’oeuvres are small, but they add up FAST. To avoid eating 2,000 calories worth of cheese puffs, limit yourself to 3 you love—if you can, pass on the crab cakes and other fried fare.
  • If you’re at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half. That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that), and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Be Smart About Alcohol 

Keep your calories and your buzz under control!

  • A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime is about 100 calories.
  • Low-cal options like light beer or wine have fewer than 150 calories per serving. They’re perfect if you sip one all night.
  • If you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgments!), ask the bartender to fill your glass halfway each time to keep your total intake down.
  • Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—80 to 120 per glass—but you’re more likely to sip rather than guzzle.

Holiday Shopping Snack Attack

Ohhhh the mall food court! All of the gift decisions you face at the mall will make you more vulnerable to temptation at the food court so keep things in your purse.

  • Pack Snacks! 30 pistachios or 24 almonds in a Ziploc bag with two dried plums or apricots, or even some turkey jerky or a snack bar like Think Thin—get protein—it’ll keep you full.

Holiday Special Treats

Why are we such suckers for holiday desserts? The scarcity theory: things we think are in limited supply, are more desirable to us than non-scarce items.

Holiday-themed coffee drinks and sweets are often more caloric than regular ones, so stick to the basics: add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.

Fast Food At Home

We get it, you’re busy! This means less time to prepare meals, so you may be tempted to eat at the drive through for convenience.

  • Making recipes in advance that you can store in the freezer to reheat for dinner on busy evenings.
  • Crock pot dinners are another good option for protein then just add steamed veggies.

Get your Protein Early

Eat a protein-based breakfast. Healthy proteins and good fats will give you an energy boost in the morning and prevent cravings later in the day.

  • Try a whole boiled egg or some salmon with avocado instead of cereal or toast.
  • Use nut butter like almond butter on Ezekiel or gluten free toast.
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How to make your presents look like these

December 12th, 2012 No Comments

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In the first video, I show you how to put the paper on the package properly.  You’ll see how to make two different bows in the second video.  Hope this is helpful!

Then this to make the big, beautiful bow:

I use C & G Satin ribbon in two sizes.  You can order it online here, but it takes up to five weeks to ship. I always buy it at The Container Store.

 

And thank @terryattootsies for passing down her master skills!

I’m a huge believer in presentation. A nice package shows you care, no matter what’s inside.

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“Help! I have to cook for 10 people. What do I do?!!”

December 6th, 2012 No Comments

I got this text from friend Kitty yesterday and responded with a list of recipes for her to search on my site.  It occurred to me that you might have the same problem, so below are my suggestions.

Appetizers

Entrees

EASY:  Herbal Chicken in a crock pot with garlic mashed potatoes (use all chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken)

MODERATE: Three Onion Quiche (unexpected and nice to serve where weather is still warm)

LABOR INTENSIVE: Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples (one of my favorite dishes of all-time)

ORDER AHEAD: Texas Tamales (something unusual and unique) but you’ll have to make a Mexican meal around it.

Sides

Desserts

In my opinion, having a pretty table is just as important as serving good food.  The formality and effort make your guests feel special.  I can say first hand, “the occasion” displayed by the decor usually makes family members speak respectfully and behave better as well (no joke!).

Whether you want to go rustic like my Thanksgiving centerpiece above, or more glamorous like my New Year’s table here, have fun decorating!  You can use what you have on hand.  In the NYE table, the candelabra is decorated with my chain necklaces!  Here is a more casual place setting I did with  our everyday napkins and placemats and dressed it up with my Wedgewood china, satin ribbon, and a fresh flower.  Super simple, right?

I just rediscovered this video I made YEARS ago that offers 3 easy things you can do to make your table impressive.  The napkin folding trick has always proven to be a winner with my guests.

**Let’s not talk about my unruly extensions, inexcusable outfit, and the fact I actually posted this video looking like a disheveled mess.  ok?!

 

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InstaChristmasGift

December 5th, 2012 No Comments

This is probably the most inventive, fun, and EASY gift idea I’ve come across in a long time!

StickyGram, a UK based company, is a service that allows you to create a sheet of nine square magnets using any of the photos you have taken on Instagram.  It takes about 4 minutes to make and costs $15 a sheet.  BRILLIANT.  And so much fun to make.

The only one little complaint I have is that you can’t use your friends’ photos to make them personalized sheets.  You can only use your own photos.

Use my code FRIENDFMRP and get $2 off your first order.

YOU MUST ORDER BY DECEMBER 9 TO GET YOUR STICKYGRAMS IN TIME FOR CHIRSTMAS.

I came across this idea on Pinterest, pinned it on my Holiday Gift Guide board and it was an instant favorite.  You can also find it on my MTM gift guide and GIVEAWAY for 2012.

 

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