A Holiday Bottle Spell For Your BFFs

Tarot contributor Jessica creates a spell for you and your best friends to celebrate each other and remind you that grand, lifelong love comes in all forms.

Three ladies, glasses raised, dancing together…You don’t need me to tell you that there’s a party going on here. The Three of Cups is a picture of celebration, of communion. This is a card about sharing joy with friends. 

Let’s go a little bit deeper. Cups are the suit of emotion, and in Tarot, groups of three represent a firm foundation. So the friends we see in this card aren’t just casual acquaintances; they’re your squad. They’re the friends who empower you to be your best self. And they’re the friends who are with you even when you’re maybe being…not totally your best self. 

The holiday season is full of celebrations - one might even say "overfull." There are work parties. There are family get-togethers. If you’re a parent, you may be looking at a calendar stuffed with classroom parties and choir concerts and dance recitals. These communal gatherings can be delightful, but they can also be draining. There’s a big difference between compulsory socializing and reconnecting with soul friends. The Three of Cups wants you to make time to spend with people who fill your cup rather than drain it. 


The Ramshackle Glam Gift Guide For Guys

All together, now: Shopping for guy gifts is the worst. Whiskey cubes! Cuff links! Tiny "Zen" boxes of dirt that one must theoretically groom, for calmness or something. It's just the same stuff, over and over and over, and if the men in your life are anything like the men in mine, they are zero help ("What do you want for Christmas?" "Oh, you know...whatever.").

This stuff? Is not the same stuff.


What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I've gotten a lot of questions about whether the effects of the retreat I went on in September "lasted." It was an expensive trip, and for me to opt out of my entire life for a full week required about as much insane hoop-jumping as you can imagine...but if I had to do it all over again, the answer to "would I?" is "absolutely."

I'm not meditating every day anymore. I'm not using all of the "tools" that they gave me (although I am using some). But there was one very fundamental takeaway I got from the retreat, and it's one that appears to have taken root.

I give myself space now.


The Ramshackle Glam BFF Holiday Gift Guide

When I first started blogging - during the Wild West years - it was a time when bloggers were virtually showered with swag. Everything from champagne to deodorant arrived on my doorstep - unsolicited - on the regular, and every time my fellow blogger friends and I attended an "event", we were sent off with bags overflowing with moisturizers and chocolates and sunglasses and what have you. See, brands were still trying to figure out how to harness this newfangled thing called "social media," and the initial plan was apparently to throw their stuff at the wall and see what stuck. In other words, for the relatively low cost of wholesale product, they hoped that they'd get what amounted to free coverage (at least relative to what they'd pay for traditional media).

This was obviously REALLY fun in the beginning. Overwhelming, even. But honestly? Over time, another lip gloss in your mailbox just stops being exciting, and starts being just another thing you don't need. What this meant: I became the actual best gift-giver on Planet Earth, sifting through my stash for the just-right gifts for everyone in my life - gifts, suffice it to say, that I would never, ever have been able to afford all on my lonesome.

Now, the industry shifted several years ago towards a more traditional pay-for-play approach - as did my personal business model, wherein I only accept product from clients I'm contracted to work with or otherwise intend to review for the site - but the fact that I love giving my friends gifts: That stayed. There's just nothing like it.


How To Survive Holiday Travel With Children

How to make the holidays more stressful? Just add long car rides, cross-country flights, and a few underslept kids! Our sleep expert Mahaley tells us how to navigate the mess with your sanity (relatively) intact.

By the time my daughter was two, we had taken 21 flights with her. (Yes, you read that right.) With the holidays in full swing, I get asked how to survive all the travel and festivities with a young child - so here are my best tips and strategies: 

1. When possible, give your child their own sleeping space. My husband and I will often opt for a more affordable hotel or an Airbnb so that we can get a suite or a two-bedroom apartment when we travel. Many kids do better with a little privacy (and quiet).

2. Make the sleep environment as familiar as possible. Whatever your child typically sleeps with, bring it. Make the room as dark and quiet as possible, and pack your white noise machine. Having a solid bedtime routine also simplifies traveling, because you'll be able to use established cues to signal to your child that it’s time to sleep even though they're not in their typical environment.

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