The only fancy drink my girls have had is The Shirley Temple. They always request it at every special event or holiday. At this point, I should probably consider getting a BYO kit for the cherry red drink, just in case the party host or restaurant doesn’t have Grenadine (it’s happened, and it’s not as good without it). While a Shirley Temple is a great option for Christmas, I wanted to get a little more creative for Thanksgiving and play with some other bubbly and fruit. I personally love champagne with berries, so I just made the kid version to give my girls something just as elegant to toast with.

Festive Sparkling Cider Drink for Kids, Plus a Toast for Thanksgiving | AFancyGirlMust.com

My middle daughter was having a Thanksgiving feast at school and we were in charge of a fruit salad of assorted berries. I just bought extra of each fruit so I could save for breakfast, snacks, or whatever came up (i.e. a blog post). I also had a few bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider leftover from a small bridal shower for one of my networking group friends. I had all the supplies handy to make a festive drink for the girls–and all kids–to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

The drink is extremely easy to make. You can either make the drinks ahead of time and have them sitting on a tray as company arrives, or, take things a step further and set up a bubbly bar for all of your guests to enjoy. Prepare small bowls of berries and fruit at room temperature (room temp gives the fruit a fresh and juicy taste) and allow the kids & adults to fill a glass about an inch high with whatever combination of fruit they like.

Festive Sparkling Cider Drink for Kids, Plus a Toast for Thanksgiving | AFancyGirlMust.com

Next, add cider so that the fruit is now floating at the top. (Grown-ups, you can use champagne, wine, vodka, or whatever you like!)

Finish off with a splash of juice from strawberries and raspberries that have been sitting in a container at room temperature so that their natural juices come out. You can also sprinkle some sugar to speed up the process.

Festive Sparkling Cider Drink for Kids, Plus a Toast for Thanksgiving | AFancyGirlMust.com

Send the kids back over to their seat or to the kid table and prepare for the Thanksgiving Toast. My girls decided to practice their “Cheers!” a few times, but very gently. Note: it probably makes sense to give kids plastic glasses for their drinks so that their enthusiast toasts don’t break any glasses. Just an idea.

Festive Sparkling Cider Drink for Kids, Plus a Toast for Thanksgiving | AFancyGirlMust.com

In addition to having their own “Cheers!” drinks, the girls like to say the Grace that they learned in preschool at most family dinners. I thought it would be fun to come up with a short and easy toast for them to say too. It goes like this:

“We’re thankful for everything, from A to Z,
For food, and friends, and family. Cheers!”

Easy right? And then they can raise their sparkling cider and say Cheers! And then eat… and eat… and eat. :)

When I was around 6 years old, my aunt took me to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. As we took our seats, I noticed another little girl around my age with a Cabbage Patch doll wearing a fur coat. I kind of forgot about the ballet for a minute; I was in awe that a doll had a fur coat. I had to tell my mom all about that! And sure enough for Christmas that year, my very talented and amazing mother made “fur” coats, berets and muffs for my Cabbage Patch dolls, and had them sitting waiting for me on Christmas Day.

Back in the 80s, fur was an absolute must: I had my own fur muff worn on Sundays to church and holidays, and my mom had a her mink. When I got a little older, my sister and I both got REAL fur earmuffs. Those were special. Fast forward 30 years, and fur is a big trend again in fashion for both women and girls. While it might be real fur on the runway, it’s faux fur for Fancy Girl (well, maybe not for earmuffs!). With our recent cold snap on the East Coast (and snow planned for Thanksgiving Day), I pulled out my box of hats, gloves and scarves for my girls. I have plenty of “stuff” to keep them warm, but I don’t really have are fancy winter accessories for special occasions. They are seriously lacking in the fur department and it’s time to remedy that. Below are some fancy, furry winter accessories and coats to add a little glamour to your Fancy Girl’s winter outerwear. Check out even more in the Pinterest board.

All Bundled Up in Fabulous Faux Fur | AFancyGirlMust.com

1. Faux Fur Coat, ,Target | 2. Calvin Klein Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat, $34.99 ,Macy’s | 3. Hooded Faux Fur Coat, $103.60, Saks Fifth Avenue | 4. Sofia The First Reversible Faux Fur Coat, $59.95, DisneyStore | 5. Polka Dot Peacoat with Faux Fur Trim, $26.99, Target | 6. Helena Fleece and Faux-Fur Coat, $315, Neiman Marcus

All Bundled Up in Fabulous Faux Fur | AFancyGirlMust.com

1. Pink Earmuffs, $17.50, AlexandAlexa | 2. Splurge: Ralph Lauren Cashmere & Faux-Fur Hat, $80.50, Saks Fifth Avenue; Steal: Cable Knit Hat, $9.95, H&M | 3. For her Doll: Corolle Les Cheries 13 in. Chic Coat & Bag Doll Ensemble, $27.99, Hayneedle.com | 4. Plum Ombre Faux Fur Pom Pom Leg Warmers, $29, FabulousFurs.com | 5. Toby & Me Faux Fur Scarf, $9.99, JCPenney

Friday Fresh Picks

When I buy nail polish, it’s not just for me anymore. My Fancy Girls have totally jumped on board the nail polish craze, and we have a growing collection of shades and nail art supplies safely secured on top of my fridge in a Frozen lunch box (perfect use for it). Both girls recently got their nails done by my future sister-in-law (who could totally freelance her skills) in some wintery jewel tones. The recent cold snap on the East Coast has put winter on their minds and they had their nails done to coordinate. Once we get into December, I’m sure they will want reds, greens, and snowflakes. So I put the girls to work helping me put together this week’s picks of holiday nail polish colors from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.

Friday Fresh Picks: Festive Nail Polish Colors for the Holidays
Thanksgiving: The girls picked typical fall colors, and I chose deep purple and brown tones.

From L-R: 1. L’Oreal Colour Riche in “Violet Vixen”, $4.99 ,Target; 2. Essie Nail Polish Luxeffects in “As Gold as it Gets”, $8.50, bebeautiful.com; 3. Pop Beauty in “Cute Coral”, $10, Dermstore.com ; 4. butter LONDON Nail Lacquer, Bit Faker, $15, Beauty.com; 5. Essie nail color in “It’s Genius”, $8.50, Beauty.com; 6. Essie Nail Polish in “Braziliant”, $8.50, BeBeautiful.com; 7. Bobbi Brown Nail polish in “Raw Sugar”, $15, Barney’s

Friday Fresh Picks: Festive Nail Polish Colors for the Holidays
Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter: It’s all about the reds, greens, blues, silvers, and general wintery tones. We saw that the white polish was called “marshmallow” and had to add it on the list simply for the visual of hot chocolate. Yum!

From L-R: 1. Essie nail color in “Toggle to the Top”, $8.50, Beauty.com; 2. Formula X Liquid Crystals Prismatic in “Emerald”, $12.50, Sephora; 3. Essie nail color in “Forever Yummy”, $8.50, Macy’s; 4. Azature Green Diamond nail polish, $17, Selfridges; 5. Jessica Nail Polish Sass & Sparkle Collection in “Fancy Pants”, $6, BeautyEncounter.com; 6. Essie nail color in “Marshmallow”, $8.50, Macy’s; 7. Essie nail color in “Aruba Blue”, $8.50, Macy’s; 8. Opi Nail Color in “Dining Al Frisco”, $6.95, HairCareUSA.com

Friday Fresh Picks: Festive Nail Polish Colors for the Holidays
New Year’s Eve: Glitter, glitter, glitter! And gold & silver of course. NYE is a big party; dress your nails for it!

From L-R: 1. Wet ‘n’ Wild Megarocks Nail Polish in “Waiting for My Solo”, $2.99, Drugstore.com; 2. Essie Glitter Nail Polish in “Sparkle On Top”, $8.50, Kohl’s; 3. Jessica Nail Polish Sass & Sparkle Collection in “Life of the Party”, $6, BeautyEncounter.com; 4. Essie Nail Color in “Silver Bullions”, $8.50, Nordstrom; 5. Topshop Nail Polish in “Glitter Frenzy” (2 for $14), $12, Nordstrom; 6. Candie’s Glitter Nail Polish, $2.99, Kohl’s

What is your favorite holiday nail color? Do your Fancy Girls have a favorite?

Friday Fresh Picks: Festive Nail Polish Colors for the Holidays

Friday Fresh Picks

Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!

Sarah from Finnegan & The Hughes

Sheila from Pieces of a Mom

Hilary from A Fancy Girl Must

Tina from Life Without Pink

Erica from No Sleep ’til College

The message is simple, yet powerful: “Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.”

First Official Trailer for Disney's Cinderella | AFancyGirlMust.com

Those are the words that Cinderella’s mother told her in her last breaths during the official trailer for the upcoming live-action Cinderella movie directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, and Helena Bonham Carter. I wasn’t sure how this would look when Disney first announced the film, but you can just feel the magic and the positive message that comes with the story. The film opens March 13, 2015, and my girls and I will definitely be there!

About the movie:
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Watch the trailer below:

One thing that we do with our girls every night at dinner is to ask them what they were thankful for that day. They usually say they’re thankful for everyone in the family, their friends, or their teachers, but at least it gets them talking and thinking. Sometimes I will coach them on the answers, especially if something special happened that day (kids have very short attention spans). But regardless of how they come up with the things they are thankful for, this nightly practice will in some small way, help them to end each night with a thankful thought. It’s extremely important to both my husband and I that our kids appreciate what they have and are motivated to give back to their community as a way to show it.

When the holidays come around and we start getting into the “I want this” and “Tell Santa” stage of the Christmas present process, we also have a plethora of opportunities to give gifts to someone in need. It’s nice that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas so we can spend this time talking about the meaning of holiday and how to show that feeling of gratitude through the holiday season. Our girls just put together shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse through our church, but that’s only the beginning of the options available for kids. And it doesn’t matter how big and small the gesture is; all that matters is that the heart and intention was there.

6 Ways to Teach Kids about Gratitude and Appreciation | AFancyGirlMust.com

Below is a list of 6 ways that you can teach your kids about gratitude and appreciation this Thanksgiving (and for the rest of the year):

1. Participate in a food and/or clothing drive: It’s an unfortunate reality that families are in need of food and clothing right in your town/state. But it’s so easy to help contribute something to make their holiday a little brighter. Many schools, businesses, municipalities, and organizations hold drives every holiday. Contact your local shelters and organizations that help families in need, or check out other sites like Feeding America and the Salvation Army.

Quotes to teach gratitude | AFancyGirlMust.com
2. Get Crafty with DIY Projects: Kids are tactile learners and sometimes holiday-related crafts will help them understand the idea of Giving Thanks. Check out 6 ideas from my friend Tina at Life Without Pink.

3. Fill a Shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse: My family just completed this activity through our church, but I first learned of it through my daughter’s preschool. The premise is simple: you fill a shoebox with items that either a boy or a girl would love, and that box is delivered to a young child in need. You can even track where that box arrives. My girls had a great time picking out gifts for girls their age– you can bet there was a ton of Frozen items included. This is another way for your kids to be thankful for the blessings in their lives when they realize that there are kids in other countries who don’t have toys, new clothes, and even clean water. You have to hurry though! Collections end Nov. 24.

Quotes to teach gratitude | AFancyGirlMust.com
4. Donate Old/Unused Clothing & Toys: You don’t need a clothing or toy drive to donate goods to someone in need. This can be something you do every year to teach your kids about giving to others and being thankful for the abundance in their lives.

5. Model Gratefulness: If you want your kids to appreciate the little things and find joy in helping others, then you should show them what that’s like. Saying “Thank You” or participating in the dinner time “I’m thankful for” conversation, is a great way to model for your children. Participate in activities as a family and show ways to “pay it forward” throughout the year.

Quotes to teach gratitude | AFancyGirlMust.com
6. Establish Expectations for Gifts: It’s a good idea to establish a budget and expectations with your kids as you get close to Christmas and Hanukah. If you are teaching them about being thankful at Thanksgiving, then extend that lesson into December. Explain to your kids how there are a lot of things that they want, but they can’t have everything. Let them choose a few things that they absolutely want, but realize that they won’t get everything. It’s hard for a kid to appreciate the other aspect of the holidays that don’t involve gifts, but setting limits will help them learn to be thankful to even have the option of choice.

What are some ways that you teach your kids about gratitude? Share your ideas below.

If you visited the Fancy Girl Boutique, you already know that I’m a little obsessed with graphic t-shirts for my girls. There are so many fun pictures and phrases that add a little whimsy to an outfit. Some shirts completely speak to my girls’ personality (at the moment), and then there are those times when I’ll find a women’s shirt that I wish was made for girls. So instead of wishing there were more designs for girls, I decided to make my own for others to enjoy too.

Announcing the “A Little Fancy” Zazzle shop, offering apparel for the fancy little girls in your lives! I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time. Even before I launched A Fancy Girl Must, I wanted to create a line of custom apparel and accessories. For now as I get things started, this Zazzle shop is just a collection of graphic t-shirts. There are 3 shirts with phrases that were inspired by things my girls have said at one point. The shirts are available for babies and girls and feature the phrases “so posh,” “so fashionable” and “totes adorbs.”

A Fancy Girl Must is now on Zazzle

With the holidays right around the corner, these shirts would make great gifts if you just want to get something fun for the little girl on your list. And since graphic t-shirts can be dressed up or worn casually, you can get a lot of wear out of them.

If your child wore a shirt with one of their phrases, what would it say?

Friday Fresh Picks

I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my girls’ Christmas dress from FabKids so I can start planning the rest of their holiday ensemble. This year I got them a black faux leather tutu dress (shown below), which will need just a few pieces of bling to make it fit for the holidays.

FabKids Faux Leather Tutu Dress

I always go into a holiday with a vision for their outfits; I can never just walk into a store, buy a dress and a few accessories, and be done. I have to pursue a vision and make it come to fruition. Currently, I’m on the hunt for THE statement necklace to add some sparkle and cheer to their dress. If you’re looking for something similar, below are just a few festive choices.

Read More →

The beloved 80s movie/musical Annie is getting a reboot this holiday season and Target is celebrating with a limited-edition collection just for us girls launching on November 16th! (Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at the collection)

First Look: Annie for Target | AFancyGirlMust.com

Target partnered with the Annie costume designer, Renée Ehrlich Kalfus, on a 25-piece collection of girl’s apparel and accessories that captures the essence of the movie’s spirited characters. If you were a fan of the original like I was, you can probably picture the influences that went into this collection. You’ll see patching and mix ‘n’ match layers to represent Annie’s start in the orphanage, and then her move up to Daddy Warbucks’ mansion is captured with some fancy threads in her signature red color. Here is a look at the collection, where everything is less than $30!

You’ll have plenty of time to create your own Annie look in time for the remake starring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz which is set to open on December 19th.

You’re never fully dressed without… this Target collection!

Read More →

My latest FabKids blog is up! Check out how to make a simple and colorful Thanksgiving necklace that can be worn 3 ways.

DIY felt leaf necklace worn 3 ways | FabKids guest post

Here’s another trendy and affordable children’s clothing collection to add to your holiday shopping list! Our good friends to the north in Canada introduced American shoppers to Joe Fresh a little while back, and this fall they added the infant, toddler and kids collections to its 5th Avenue flagship store in New York City. If you can’t make it into the city, you can still shop the adorable threads on JoeFresh.com/us. Below is a look at some of the collection, plus a few holiday outfit ideas for your Fancy Girls. The girls line features classic staples in rich jewel tones and neutrals, while the the baby and toddler collections have soft, feminine pinks and stylish designs.

The holiday collection for girls has a lot of black, silver and gold separates, which are great neutral bases for any outfit. There are a lot of sequins which are always fun. Can I get this skirt in my size please?

Joe Fresh Kids - Girls Holiday Looks | AFancyGirlMust.com

For the Toddler and Baby collections, you’ll find cute holiday graphics and nordic designs. There are a lot of winter pinks & whites for dresses, leggings, tops, onesies, and winter accessories like hats, gloves and capes.

Joe Fresh Kids - Toddler & Baby Holiday Looks | AFancyGirlMust.com

The Joe Fresh Kids line includes sizes for boys and girls ages 4-14; the baby collection includes sizes for newborn to 24 months; the toddler line is for ages 1-5. Retail prices range from $8 to $59. Have a look below at more of the kids collection; check out New Arrivals for the holidays and more classic staples at www.joefresh.com/us.

Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com
Joe Fresh Kids | AFancyGirlMust.com