I love game nights! I also like a little healthy competition, so instead of dinner and a movie or standing in a crowded bar invite over your gal pals for a poker night party. Here are my "5 on Friday" to stack the deck in your favor when gathering your girlfriends for a fun night of Texas Hold'Em. Sure cards and chips are essential, but so is the food, drink, ambience and even the playlist.
5 on Friday
1 - Send an Invite That Matches the Theme: Skip the email invitation and send your girlfriends an invite you make with the queen of hearts card so they get the message that this party is girls only. For poker night 6-10 friends is best. Expect the party to last about three hours.
2 - Swap Cash Winnings for Little Gifts: Don’t want friends to bet real money, why not have their “winnings” apply to little gifts they can choose at the end of the evening like a gift certificate for a mani/pedi, a gift card, a box of freshly baked goods, etc.
3 - Play Up Your Poker Face with Fun Props: Not sure you have a poker face like the pros? No problem! Put out props so your gal pals can take on a new character form – various hats and visors to sunglasses and simple masks to distract your competition. Plus, it makes for fun snapshots throughout the evening.
4 - Get Guests in a Game Night State of Mind with Your Playlist: Curate a custom playlist that sets the mood. Are you rolling the dice on Vegas-style games? Don’t forget to include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in your mix or the ever classic “Luck Be a Lady” made famous by Frank Sinatra.
5 - Use Light Bites and a Signature Cocktail: Stick to small bites and avoid greasy and sticky foods as they can mess up your deck of cards. For drinks, print out the recipe for a signature cocktail, set up all the ingredients and glassware on your bar or kitchen counter and let guests serve themselves. Try the Pinnacle® Vodka Watermelon Money-Maker, which is a tasty melon martini your guests are sure to love!
1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
1/4 part Dekuyper Watermelon Liqueur
1 part White Grape juice
Splash fresh lemon juice
Method: Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into martini glass and garnish with a loopy straw and small cube of watermelon.
Playing cards and green poker visor from CelebrateExpress.com
Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Pinnacle® does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.
On TV and in magazines I've made over many men from head-to-toe and just like women, the transformations bring about a boost of confidence. These men stand taller and their voices become stronger. While men's wardrobes aren't as trendy as women nor do they have the range of choices, I enjoy adding some color, pattern and teach guys about getting the right fit for their bodies. More men now reach out to me behind the scenes to be private clients and here's a recent upgrade I gave to a client's style. I added plenty of color, mixed gingham shirts with patterned ties and broke up the traditional suit by showing him how to wear the items as separates. AND, I got him a great pair of dark jeans which every man should have in his wardrobe.
Bonobos Gingham Shirt
Mott & Bow Dark Jeans
Nicole Miller Tie
Calvin Klein Blazer
Bonobos Gingham shirt
Tommy Hilfiger Tie
Uniqlo Navy Braided Belt
Left Shoe Company Custom Shoes (on left)
Hugo Boss Suit
G.H. Bass Shoes
Get spotted in dots! Fun, graphic dots never go out of style - especially in black and white. So get your spot on whether it be a dress, a top, bag or pair of flats. Have fun with your fashion.
Here's my latest as Contributing Editor of Closer Weekly magazine.
Blck and white dots make a lively pattern that tells people you're fun, energetic and don't take things too seriously.
Here's how to wear them:
Accessorize with color. When you're wearing black and white dots opt for solid bright accessories. They'll totally pop.
Mix and match. If you're a fashion risk taker, try mixing dots with other patterns, like black and white stripes, but go for small dots or it can look messy and confused.
Flatter with pattern. If you're self-conscious about a particular body part, avoid big dots on that area.
More Spotted Fashions
Kate Spade New York Deco Dot Crepe Top, $248 Nordstrom
Marni Polka Dots Cotton Poplin skirt, $270 Luisa Via Roma
Current/Elliott The Muscle Tee Aribrushed Polka Dot, $118 Piperlime
JOA Texture Midi Dot Skirt, $89 Piperlime
Kate Spade New York 'Julian' Dress, $398 Kate Spade
Daily Look Sultry Polka Dot Maxi Dress, $50 Daily Look
Tinley Road Dot Print Audrey A Line Mini Dress, $50 Piperlime
Blank NYC The Spray On Skinny Polka Dot Denim, $63 6PM
Three Dots Polka Dot Print Pant, $42 6PM
Manolo Blahnik 'BB' Pointy Toe Pump, $695 Nordstrom
Menbur 'Cara' Pump, $149 Nordstrom
Wrap Around Some Dots
Burberry Prorsum Polka Dot Scarf, $216 Luisa Via Roma
Jules B Polka Dot Wool Scarf, $63 Jules B USA
Polka Dots Accessories
Shop Filigree Deux-Luxone Dit-Tot Tote, $88 Anthropologie
DV by Dolce Vita Dot Print Flats, $90 Piperlime
We love a two-fer! Taking one stylish piece and wearing it two ways from items in our own closet. Even better when the "new" item comes from a swap boutique like Give + Take. I took in several items from my closet that, while still in very good condition, I was ready to retire from my wardrobe, but offer up to another gal. Then with my new riches in points at the swap boutique I shopped the racks and nabbed this striped sundress. I created two looks - weekend and work.
GAP Blue Pinstriped Sundress
Shop Similar Looks:
Dolce Vita 'Cassi' Navy/White Striped Dress, $67 6PM
Hudson Signature Jean Jacket, $158 Zappos
Kate Spade New York 'Holland Walk- Eren' Striped Tote, $248 Nordstrom
Tory Burch 'Robinson' Mini Tote, $475 Nordstrom
Gucci Red and Green Striped Belt, $270 Gucci
L.K. Bennett 'Stila' Navy Patent Pump, $325 Nordstrom
I am obsessed with stripes and love an homage to the nautical trend. Lucky me, I found these Peter Som pants from my favorite swap boutique, Give + Take located in Santa Monica. I've held plenty of swap parties in LA and NYC, but nothing beats the chance to bring in bags of clothes, get the value of them to turn around and shop a boutique stocked with goods from Diane Von Furstenburg, Kate Spade, Hudson, Juicy Couture, Free People, and many more. There are clothes, shoes, accessories and jeans galore. You pay a low monthly membership fee (approx. $30) and you can constantly swap clothes from your closet and their shop. You can even choose an item, wear it once then go back to swap that item again. Genius!!
Here's my double duty styling with the pants.
Peter Som Wide Leg Nautical Style Pants
Petit Bateau T-shirt with Vintage Boat Print, $60 Petit Bateau
Joie 'Javina' Wide Leg Pants, $198 Joie
Tory Burch 'Thea' Cross Body Bag, $375 Nordstrom
Perfect weekend outfit.
Hudson Jean Jacket, $158 Zappos
Petit Bateau Jersey Mariniere Top, $94 Petit Bateau
Wear it now, later and multiple ways. There's no reason a flirty floral skirt can't stretch from summer well into fall. I'm known as "The Fixer" among TV producers and many of the clients I style and that's partially because I always talk about never buying an item and wearing it just one way in your wardrobe. I help "fix" wardrobe issues. I love this pale pink patterned skirt from Ted Baker London that I just bought at Bloomingdale's. I shopped my own closet to style the skirt multiple ways and just like my clients, I found items I haven't worn in awhile.
Ted Baker 'Ginene' Botanical Bloom Print Skirt, $225 Bloomingdale's
Pair the skirt with a punchy colored top and nude heels. Or choose gold heels for a cocktail party.
'Tanyana' Silk Blouse by Diane von Furstenberg, $106 (on sale) Saks Fifth Avenue
French Connection 'Calista' Nude Heels, $60 6PM
Wear it when the weather gets cooler with a white fitted button down shirt, neutral hued leather jacket and pumps.
Michael Kors Leather Wrap Jacket, $1,500 Stylebop
Pink Tartan White Grosgrain Button Shirt, $275 Nordstrom
Ted Baker London 'Iyyah' Pump, $180 Nordstrom
I'm keeping a strong hold on summer as long as possible and I just re-introduced myself to this sunny yellow wrap cardigan in my closet.
Fine Guage Yellow Linen Sweater, $78 Max Studio
Michael Antonio 'Raxine' Pump, $23 6PM
Students want to look cool with stylish gear for their lockers, backpacks, school supplies and their dorm rooms. Whether you want the coveted Frozen backpack for your second grader or help your middle schooler decorate their locker with a chandelier and wallpaper, I've found it. And most girls will want all the Kate Spade school supplies, including me!
As the lifestyle correspondent for KTLA (click to watch), I shared my favorite back-to-school must haves for students from elementary school to college.
For a students mini home away from home, their locker is a chance to add a little personality and stylish decor from wallpaper to a chandelier and even a rug.
Need some home storage, get a locker for home. Tall locker, $299 The Container Store
Blue Gem Chandelier (It Lights Up), $20 The Container Store
Social Spot Locker Wallpaper, $9 The Container Store
Framed Locker Mirror, $4 The Container Store
I love the fun pieces from Kate Spade from iPad covers and sleeves to pen cases and even bow USB ports and push pins.
Kate Spade New York Le Pavillion Poka Dot iPad Sleeve, $53 Shopbop
Kate Spade New York Composition iPad Folio, $85 Kate Spade
Kate Spade New York Set of 24 Bow Push Pins, $24 Kate Spade
Kate Spade New York Bow USB port, $50 Kate Spade
Skip boring manila folders and carry bold prints to organize your homework or as an adult get it for your office.
Jonathan Adler Collapsible Storage Box, $20 See Jane Work
Jonathan Adler Multi Print Pen Set, $21 Shopbop
Dot 5 Tab File Folders, $5 See Jane Work
Apple iPad Case in Pink Argyle, $40 Cellairis
Character and Critter backpacks and lunch bags from WalMart and Kohl's including favorites like Frozen and The Avengers.
Disney's Frozen Backpack, $16 Macy's
Washable Snack Pouch by LOVE, $6 The Container Store
Organize your jewelry with this little black dress hanger and add in those items that college kids usually forget like stain remover pens.
F.A.S.T. First Aid Shot Therapy
Little Black Dress Jewelry Organizer by Umbra, $20 The Container Store
No Frowns in Floral Fashion
Floral fashions can easily boost your mood. Whether you choose a floral top to wear with your denim shorts, a dress for your BFF's wedding or floral skinny jeans to wear with a tank top and long medallion necklace you'll have a little bounce in our step. Just skip oversized clothing with floral prints - it will scream overdone and outdated. No muumuu's! Find the right fit for your body so you don't look like seven or seventy years old.
My latest article as Contributing Editor for Closer Weekly.
Summer florals are the bright flower prints on white or light backgrounds. They give a look that says you're friendly, approachable and fun. For day to night, florals are versatile, just add a straw fedora, tote and flats for day then swap for metallic heels and a clutch for evening.
Try a little or a lot. Small scale prints are flattering on eveyone, but if you're trendier, try a flowery skirt with a striped fitted top.
Hesistant to wear floral clothing? Add an accessory instead. Flowery shoes, bags or jewelry bring a touch of femininity to a solid top, cuffed jeans or a bright colored sheath dress.
My own dress up time in florals from designer Dalia MacPhee.
Dress It Up In Florals
These floral dresses and skirts answer questions about how to wear the pattern for weddings, work and cocktail party.
I'm dressing a client in this dress for an Emmy's cocktail party. I'm obsessed with Ted Baker's floral print dresses and skirts.
Ted Baker London Alanah Maxi Dress, $423 Harrods
Ted Baker London 'Glitch' Floral Print Fit & Flare, $375 Nordstrom
Ted Baker London Safiya Jungle Orchid Print Cocktail Dress, $325 CUSP
Ted Baker Beula Sugar Sweet Floral Maxi Dress, $213 Zappos
I scooped up this skirt for myself. Ted Baker Ginene Botanical Bloom Print Skirt, $255 Bloomingdale's
Ted Baker London Opulent Bloom Skirt, $248 Nordstrom
Beach wedding or engagement party perfect.
Beige Cotton Floral Pinnie Dress by Carven, $322 Avenue 32
Pearpa Wispy Meadow Print Maxi Dress by Ted Baker, $425 Zappos
Wear this with a t-shirt in the summer then transition to a white button down or striped top and jean jacket in the fall. Red Floral Ten Pleat Skirt by J. W. Anderson, $237 Avenue 32
Sexy, but not too much. Floral Maze Dress by Clover Canyon, $130 Oxygen Boutique
Try the pajama trend for a relaxed fit and wear with a more fitted top. If you're trapped in an air conditioned space add a fitted blazer or jean jacket.
These floral print skinnies are flirty and fun! When Fall hits transition these into the season by wearing with a cozy sweater.
A.L.C. Floral Check Crop Pants, $158 Nordstrom
7 For All Mankind Floral Print Skinny Jeans, $133 Nordstrom
These tops are a subtle take on the trend - one casual and one bright and poppy! Try the Kate Spade top with jeans for a movie date and a midi skirt for a party.
Rebecca Taylor Floral Pullover Cream Combo, $158 Nordstrom
Kate Spade New York Floral Cluster Popover in Sunrise Coral, $498 Piperlime
Not sure about florals in your wardrobe? Floral sandals or pumps are the perfect alternative to try out the trend. I own the Steve Madden pair and always get compliments!
Steve Madden 'Stecy' Floral Sandal, $80 Nordstrom
MSGM Floral Screen Printed Pumps, $283 Luisa Via Roma
Accessorize with Flowers
Aqua Floral Bib Necklace, $78 Bloomingdale's
'Sadie 2' Floral Fantasy Vintage Leather Clutch by Hobo, $83 Zappos
When the temperature rises, look (and feel) cool with these fashions and accessories that will help beat the heat. Here's my latest fashion editorial as Contributing Editor of Closer Weekly about clothes that keep you cool.
KEEP IT LOOSE
When you’re trying to keep cool, the less you wear, the better. But if you want more coverage, choose styles that don’t hug your body. We’re thinking maxidresses, wide-leg pants and flowy skirts.
Sabine Aya Maxi Dress, $149 Piperlime
ASOS Maxi Dress, $96 ASOS
ASOS Full Maxi Dress with Sheer & Side Panels, $124 ASOS
The Motion Stripe Dress by Cameo, $150 Piperlime
Gabriella Rocha Lauren Ashley Skater Skirt, $34 Zappos
Prabal Gurung Pansy Print Satin Skirt, $450 Nordstrom
BAN THE BLACK
Not only are pastels and white tops hot this summer, they’ll also keep you totally cool! Black and other dark colors absorb heat and suddenly turn your clothes into a sweatbox. Gross! Instead, trade your black for light colors.
Vintage Stripe Tunic, $98 J. Crew
Joie Alizeh top, $268 Piperlime
LET YOUR TOES WIGGLE
Goodbye, ballet flats! It’s time to set those toes free. You want the chance to show off a great pedicure and let your feet breathe a bit. Even just a little bit of bare skin in your summer shoes can help your feet escape the heat. Try thongs, gladiator flats or strappy wedges.
Leila Ankle-Wrap Sandal, $160 J. Crew
Yosi Samra Cambelle Flat Metallic Sandals, $138 ShopBop
LET YOURSELF BREATHE
To keep body temps down, always opt for natural fabrics like linen, cotton and silk. They offer breath-ability and are known to regulate temperature. To avoid the wrinkles that come with linen look for blends like cotton/poly.
Textured Ink Stripe Pant by Splendid, $128 Splendid
CREATE SOME SHADE
Direct sun is not only a hazard for your delicate skin, it can also raise your body temperature. Try a wide-brimmed hat in straw, raffia or cotton canvas so it’s lightweight and comfortable. But don’t think that means you can skip the sunscreen! Reflected light can cause major skin damage, too.
Airy Summer Straw Hat, $31 J. Crew
Tory Burch Classic Grosgrain Fedora, $61 Tory Burch
Stripes can be both playful and sophisticated depending on your color choices. Personally, there's rarely a stripe I don't like and I'll admit I have a bit of an obsession with striped tees, skirts and dresses. Here's my latest statement-making stripes advice as contributing editor to Closer Weekly. Stripe it rich in your wardrobe.
You usually see stripes in a classic navy and white, but multihue streaks scream "summer," too! If you're feeling timid then tone down your look with a cardigan or lightweight denim jacket.
Choose your mood. Bright colors put off an energetic vibe, while patterns with a neutral shade like gray look chic.
Make stripes work overtime. A striped t-shirt may be a daytime staple, but a sleek silhouette like a striped pencil skirt makes it date night appropriate.
Since we shared plenty of colorful brights in the magazine, I kept my additional picks to more subtle combinations.
More Striped Picks
Sassy office attire.
Nicholas Exclusive Angled Zipper Detail Striped Skirt, $395 Intermix
So chic! This dress is perfect for a summer cocktail party.
Jonathan Simkhai Striped Textured Jacquard Dress, $626 Net-a-Porter
The classic striped t-shirt for jeans, under a blazer or paired with an A-line skirt.
Rag & bone/JEAN Striped 3/4 Sleeve Tee, $115 Intermix
Color combos and stripes that keep the eye moving.
Antonio Marras Multi Striped Midi Skirt, $745 Avenue32
These stripes will balance your curves from top to bottom.
3.1 Phillip Lim Navy Striped Sleeveless Dress, $330 Avenue 32
Vertical stripes will slim, while a horizontal striped pant will add weight.
Cool Change Stripe Pattern Pant, $89 Intermix