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    I have an obsession. If you look in my closet, you would see an obscene amount of backpacks. Travel backpacks, fabric backpacks, leather backpacks, convertible styles, solids, and prints. I know it may seem over the top, but if you give it a solid try, it's extremely liberating. I have been wearing them for years, but oddly enough, I never used them in school. I went from the "book bag" of the late 70's and early 80's to "pocketbooks" (as we called them in my house) for the rest of my schooling years. Needless to say, I had very toned arms from carrying those enormous textbooks in my hands! I only wish I had discovered the benefits of backpacks then. I started using them when I worked in Las Vegas, because I always had to bring costuming pieces, shoes, makeup and wig accessories back and forth, and I really wasn't a tote person. Totes were too big and clunky for me, and I felt they dragged me down. Backpacks gave my hands freedom, and the bag just became a part of my body, with so much less fuss than a regular bag. I liked using them so much for work, I started looking for smaller versions for everyday. They were hard to find back then, and weren't as fashionable as I wanted them to be. Imagine my delight when the high end designers started embracing them, and making them gorgeous! The only flaw, was that they were only backpacks, and weren't as comfortable with a single strap over the shoulder. Hence, the convertible backpack was born. I tried my first convertible about three years ago, and never looked back. Comfy and adorable on the back, chic and ladylike on the shoulder. My first one was in fabric, but I really wanted leather. G.I.L.I to the rescue! I have the larger version of this bag in three colors, and it suits all of my needs. There were many requests to make the bag smaller and lighter, and this is the result. The smaller size is perfect for spring and summer, as our wardrobes get lighter and hemlines get higher. Not to mention the gorgeous tassel detail that is a signature of the G.I.L.I brand. I went back to Vegas to visit family last summer, and wore the original version there. I received tons of compliments in restaurants and at shows! This is definitely not your daughter's backpack! Functional during the day, and hot stuff at night...what more could a girl ask for?

     


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    Hi, everyone!

    If I were to give you my very best piece of entertaining advice, it’s to be realistic and take shortcuts where you can. I have the highest of hopes at every holiday and party but there’s only so much time in the day. So whether you order dessert instead of baking it or you buy pre-made favors at the party store, it’s really okay. REALLY. It's okay. No one is going to think you’re a lesser host or hostess. And really, how would anyone ever know?!

    So when it comes to entertaining this season, what if I told you you could decorate for spring just by setting your table?

    Lenox Arrangement in a Mug

    Talk about adorable, right? China isn’t just for serving food and drink. I bought a pre-arranged floral centerpiece at the grocery store and nestled it inside the mug. Now, as for where you can get the dinnerware, that’s our Today’s Special Value® tomorrow from Lenox…a beautiful Butterfly Meadow Porcelain Set that’s 24 pieces. It’s available in the colors you see, or you can opt for the blue hues, which is just as pretty.

    Want a few ideas on how to set your spring table? Just watch.

    Good news…I’ll be joining you for You’re Home with Jill tomorrow at 7pm ET (where, of course you’ll be able to pick up the TSV!) AND THEN, I’ll see you again on Thursday from 4-6pm ET for ANOTHER YHJ! It’s all part of QVC’s all-day event...our Spring Fever™ Garden Special. SO looking forward to it!!

    From my home to yours,
    —Jill


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  • 03/17/15--10:35: Getting Garden Ready
  • to come


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    For this Meal Make-over Monday Recipe, I wanted to specifically keep my #21 Day Fix friends in mind.  Although our Living for Me challenge has officially ended, I know many of us are still moving forward with healthy lifestyle changes and adjustments. I've heard from several of you out there on the 21 day fix plan who are looking for exciting ways to stay on your plan. Here's a great way to integrate your new eating regime with delicious and pretty food.  After all we do eat with our eyes first! 

     #21DayFix Approved Caprese Salad Meal Makeover

     

    Ingredients: 

    1 Green, 1/2 Blue, 1/2 Orange.

    1 medium tomato (cored)

    1/4 cup broccoli sprouts

    1/4 cup micro salad greens

    Five leaves fresh basil

    1/8 cup cubed fresh mozzarella

    1 Tablespoon light balsamic vinaigrette.

    Directions:

    Core the tomato

     

     

    So fresh and light and yummy!  Give it a try!

    All my best,

    Albany

     


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  • 03/17/15--12:51: 3 of My Favorite Things
  • Hi Kids!

    It’s TSV time and I know that you are going to adore my new Knit Lace Dress. It. Is. MAJOR!

    This dress is a combination of three things I love - t-shirts, dresses, and lace. As I mention all the time, I have an obsession with t-shirts. I wear them everyday and I think t-shirts are the foundation of any good wardrobe and if you find a good t-shirt that fits you just right, you should buy one (or more!) in every color!

    I also LOVE a good dress. I’ve always said that throwing on a dress is the easiest way to put together an instant outfit. I’ve always had a thing for lace — it’s so romantic and feminine. It’s just GORGEOUS.

    I know you girls loved our TSV shirtdress and our TSV lace tunic, so I wanted to take the best of both and put them into one incredible piece. Now that we can finally de-thaw from winter (although, it’s my favorite season!), this perfect little dress could not have arrived at a better time. I’ve added some really fabulous details – the dress is tipped with cotton poplin, which adds a polished finishing touch to the look.

    This winter in New York City has been so cold that I’ve been thinking about warm, sunny weather and I definitely had spring on my mind when I chose the color palette for this dress.

    {Bright tulips in the city}

    You will LOVE the bright, vibrant options – Perfect Pink, French Blue and Cool Mint! You’ll wear this dress all the time, so I also chose some go-to neutrals – White, Black and a gorgeous Royal Navy.

    Pair the bright color options with an understated staple like a denim jacket or a classic cardigan. With the neutral color options, you can really have fun with bold accessories like a printed scarf, a statement necklace or a vibrant floral jacket.

    Speaking of spring, I'm excited to announce a really fun project I've been working on. One iconic thing I love about New York is the Rockettes! The spectacle of the show and those dancers' legs!  I've just designed costumes for a section of the new Rockettes show - New York Spring Spectacular, at Radio City Music Hall. The costumes were inspired by a dress I did for a collection in the 90’s. It has an exploded photo real floral, which is a technique I've also used in my IML collection. If you're in New York this spring, you must check out the show! 

    {One of my looks for the New York Spring Spectacular}

    I can’t wait to see you ladies soon!

    X Isaac


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    Here on QVC Plus, we offer you everything that you love about QVC, but with some live original programming that you may not find on QVC as well as an alternative to what’s currently on QVC. We have several Live Shows throughout the week in addition to some re-broadcasts of earlier QVC Programming.

    If you’d love to tune in and check out some of our fabulous shows (such as: 'What to Wear', 'Styled Out', and our weekly Susan Graver Sunday night show) but your cable provider doesn’t carry QVC Plus yet – have no fear, you can always watch our live stream on QVC.com or on your mobile app!

    Not sure how to watch QVC Plus on the QVC App? No Worries! Check out our guide below:


    First, Open the QVC App and Click the “QVC TV” Icon in the bottom of the screen:

    Mobile App How To


    This will take you to the live QVC Feed part of the app. From here click “Channel” in the upper right hand corner.

    Mobile App how to


    This will give you the option between QVC and QVC Plus (both great choices!)

    To see what we’re doing on QVC Plus, simply click “QVC Plus”

    Mobile App How To


    That’s it!  You’re now watching QVC Plus on your mobile app!

    Mobile App How To

     

    We hope this tutorial helps! and hope that you’ll check out some of the great live programming we have on QVC Plus. If you're curious as to what we're showing on QVC Plus, you can always check our program guide.


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  • 03/18/15--07:40: A Beautiful Little Secret
  • Hi, Friends!

    Pssst! I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. See this beautiful Dinnerware Set from my ED On Air collection? It looks like ceramic… and it feels like ceramic… but it’s NOT ceramic. It’s actually made from durable melamine!

    Seriously, when you hold these plates and bowls, they feel just as substantial as real ceramic pieces. They have organic edges and textured surfaces like they were handmade from clay. And, to make them really special, they’re hand-painted with patterns inspired by some vintage textiles that I have in my own home.

    But, guess what happens if you’re eating out on the patio, and you drop one? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Okay, the dogs might get your salad… but you can use these dishes outdoors as well as indoors, and you don’t have to worry about breaking them.

    And, just think—your outdoor barbecue guests will be so impressed. They’ll think you’re serving them veggie burgers on your finest, handcrafted ceramic dishware.

    So… maybe we should keep the melamine thing just between us? I won’t tell if you won’t tell.

    Oh—and if you want to learn some decorating secrets about another item from my collection, be sure to take a look at Taniya’s video blog.

    Have a good week—

    Ellen


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    A few weeks ago I was delighted to attend the preview gala for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Friday marks the first day of spring, but back then in the middle of winter…believe me when I tell you that there was nothing better than stopping to smell the tulips! :)

    In case you didn't know, the Philadelphia Flower show is one of world's oldest and largest indoor flower shows. Every year it has a different, creative theme, and this year the theme was Celebrate the Movies.

    The entrance, which was designed to look like a red carpet for a movie premiere, was created by our very own Barbara King and her company. It was such a wonderful coincidence to see her at the entrance and congratulate her!

    I got to enjoy the special event in the company of great friends—Albany, Courtney, and Meghan from our social team. Unfortunately my dear friend and social mentor Wendy was not able to attend with us as planned…her daughter had gone into labor! She's now the proud grandma of new baby Caroline Rose…we'll forgive her this time, LOL. What a wonderful blessing! :)

    We were treated to delicious dinner and desserts, as presented by Albany. Everything was wonderful, despite my funny expression here!

    Loved my shoes that day. :)

    There was so much to see—I was completely amazed by exhibits that paid tribute to Frozen, Cinderella, Finding Nemo, and Winnie the Pooh.

     

    What I loved the most was this incredible hat artwork. This one is my absolute favorite. I love how they folded leaves into such elaborate ribbons…amazing!

    I felt like I really got to escape, transported by the fragrance and beauty of the displays…and then just like Cinderella, I said goodbye to Lights, Camera, Blooms and retreated to sweet dreams of my garden.

    Are you as excited about spring flowers and color as I am? I am so glad spring is almost here! Don't forget to join me and Jayne for Fashionably Late, this Friday night at 9pm ET. We'll have some great spring items for you…and don't forget to look for your Mid-Week Sneak Peek later today on my Facebook page. #MWSP

    Best,

    Pat

    You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/PatJamesDeMentriQVC

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/pdementri

    Instagram: www.instagram.com/PatJamesDeMentriQVC

    www.gather.qvc.com/member/PatJamesDementri


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    I remember when I lived at home, spring was always a time when my mother made us do the real deep-down house cleaning.  I’m talking everything—we scrubbed the baseboards and walls, moved the furniture to vacuum underneath—the whole nine yards. That house sparkled by the time we were done.  I have to give her credit because she did such a great job of teaching us how to clean (even though it wasn’t something we looked forward to) and I still use her tips and tricks to this day.

    I’ve tried to pass the same cleaning standards on to my daughters Lauren and Chelsea (I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all their help over the years!). After the heavy lifting and scrubbing, the fun begins—time to decorate! Every season I change the color scheme of my table runners, napkins, flameless candles, pillows, etc.

    Then I incorporate fresh flowers as a nice finishing touch. I love the feeling of a clean house, but I love the fresh look and feel of springtime even more. What are some of your cleaning rituals and favorite aspects of spring?

    Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for our Mid-Week Sneak Peek (#MWSP) item and if you haven’t already, be sure to like my page to get updates each week.

    Tune in Friday 3/20 at 9pm for Fashionably Late. Cozy up on the couch, pour yourself your drink of choice, and get ready for a fun night in.

    Blessings,

    Jayne

    You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JayneBrownQVC

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaynebrown1

    Instagram: www.instagram.com/jaynebrownqvc


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    Last week I had the pleasure to travel to New York City with my sister Vickie & my very good friends Dan & Susan for my appointment at Kleinfelds!!!!  If you are not familiar with this wedding gown mecca, it is where the show “Say Yes to The Dress” is filmed & Kleinfelds has been in business for over 60 years!!

    When we first got engaged, I actually decided that I did not want a wedding gown.  We thought we would just have a big party—so I didn’t want a gown.  Then that rascal Dennis Basso made me cry when he told me he wanted me to wear one of the gowns from his exclusive line at Kleinfelds.  So with that, I decided we should have a more traditional wedding.  It is my first & last wedding, so why not!!

    As I was preparing for our trip, I searched the pages of Kleinfelds website to see what gowns I might like to try.  I found a few and burned them into my memory for my appointment.  Now I didn’t want to fall in love with a certain gown, because I wanted to be open to see what looked great on MY body—and not the bodies of the tall, lanky models in the photos!!!  I think this is very important—you need to see what looks great on you!

    When we entered the building, it was just massive!!!  And for a Tuesday at noon—the joint was jumping!!  So many brides to be, with their families!!! 

    {The reception desk.  Like my Lady Leopard Animal Print Sparkle Cardigan?}

    The manager Joan came to check on me & then assigned Allison as my bridal consultant.  (the very next day I saw her on an episode of SYTTD, she is as sweet in person as she was on the show!!). 

    She took me to a private room & we chatted about what kind of dress I was looking for. I shared with her the gowns I saw on their site & that of course I would only be trying on Dennis Basso gowns!!! 

    She brought in a few for me to try, the first one—lots of beading on top with a very full satin skirt—beautiful, but not the one!!!

    Next I tried a chiffon gown that was just stunning—it was in the running, but I felt it just wasn’t quite right.

    Then I had the pleasure of trying on a gown that I could not even get up on my body (hard when the dress is a 6 & I am a 20!!!)—so I held it in front of me and had Allison go grab my sister Vickie.  It was nice, but still wasn’t the one!!!

    She showed me a few gowns with sleeves & beading, and I said no way, I will be too hot!!! 

    Then last but not least, I found the one.  Now as much as you all would love to see it, I have decided to not reveal the gown I chose until the day of our wedding in November.  But let me tell you—it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!  Sorry for the tease!!! 

    After we finished at Kleinfelds & I said YES TO THE DRESS!!!  We got back in the car and headed to Becco for a late lunch!!!  If you have never eaten here—I highly recommend it!  Lidia Bastianich owns this restaurant & the name means “duck” in Italian—I mean we had to go there, right?!?!?  And look who stopped in for a quick hug—my dear friend Jane Treacy!!  She was in New York with her daughter & just had to stop by!!!   She’s the best!!! 

    After our lunch we got back in the car for the three hour journey home—traffic was tough due to the rain!!  But I wasn’t driving, so I fell fast asleep from the wonderful pasta & wine I had at the restaurant.  I think I began dreaming of my big day later this year—ahh pleasant dreams!!!! 

    The very next morning, Dennis Basso called me to see how everything went—isn’t he a doll!!! 

    Now many of you have asked me if I am going to be on the television show “Say Yes to the Dress” like Courtney Cason.  Unfortunately when I went for look for my gown, the show was not filming at that time.  But I have been in touch with them & we are hoping they will film me when I go back to Kleinfelds for my first fitting!!!  So let’s keep our fingers crossed shall we?!?!?

    Until next time…..

    Quack, Quack!

    Angel

     

    Sign up to receive Quacker Factory emails and follow along with my Wedding Planning…  Click here to sign up: http://bit.ly/Join_QF

    Follow Quacker Factory with Angel on Facebook, click here:  http://bit.ly/A_Facebook


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  • 03/18/15--10:29: Best Irish Party Around!
  • Our 26th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration was the best Irish party around! We were lucky to have a studio audience, dressed in forty shades of green, to help us celebrate.  The "pipes were calling" as Katie our talented QVC production expert entertained us on the bagpipes. We laughed, we enjoyed stories, and we highlighted the beautiful products made in Ireland. I remember our first Irish show so well, and feel blessed I can continue to celebrate with our Irish guests who have become my dearest friends! 

    Here is a scrapbook of memories from the day:

     


     Until next time my friends!

    -Jane

     


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    Last week I had the pleasure to travel to New York City with my sister Vickie & my very good friends Dan & Susan for my appointment at Kleinfelds!!!!  If you are not familiar with this wedding gown mecca, it is where the show “Say Yes to The Dress” is filmed & Kleinfelds has been in business for over 60 years!!

    When we first got engaged, I actually decided that I did not want a wedding gown.  We thought we would just have a big party—so I didn’t want a gown.  Then that rascal Dennis Basso made me cry when he told me he wanted me to wear one of the gowns from his exclusive line at Kleinfelds.  So with that, I decided we should have a more traditional wedding.  It is my first & last wedding, so why not!!

    As I was preparing for our trip, I searched the pages of Kleinfelds website to see what gowns I might like to try.  I found a few and burned them into my memory for my appointment.  Now I didn’t want to fall in love with a certain gown, because I wanted to be open to see what looked great on MY body—and not the bodies of the tall, lanky models in the photos!!!  I think this is very important—you need to see what looks great on you!

    When we entered the building, it was just massive!!!  And for a Tuesday at noon—the joint was jumping!!  So many brides to be, with their families!!! 

    {At the reception desk.  Like my Lady Leopard Animal Print Sparkle Cardigan?}

    The manager Joan came to check on me & then assigned Allison as my bridal consultant.  (the very next day I saw her on an episode of SYTTD, she is as sweet in person as she was on the show!!). 

    She took me to a private room & we chatted about what kind of dress I was looking for. I shared with her the gowns I saw on their site & that of course I would only be trying on Dennis Basso gowns!!! 

    She brought in a few for me to try, the first one—lots of beading on top with a very full satin skirt—beautiful, but not the one!!!

    Next I tried a chiffon gown that was just stunning—it was in the running, but I felt it just wasn’t quite right.

    Then I had the pleasure of trying on a gown that I could not even get up on my body (hard when the dress is a 6 & I am a 20!!!)—so I held it in front of me and had Allison go grab my sister Vickie.  It was nice, but still wasn’t the one!!!

    She showed me a few gowns with sleeves & beading, and I said no way, I will be too hot!!! 

    Then last but not least, I found the one.  Now as much as you all would love to see it, I have decided to not reveal the gown I chose until the day of our wedding in November.  But let me tell you—it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!  Sorry for the tease!!! 

    After we finished at Kleinfelds & I said YES TO THE DRESS!!!  We got back in the car and headed to Becco for a late lunch!!!  If you have never eaten here—I highly recommend it!  Lidia Bastianich owns this restaurant & the name means “duck” in Italian—I mean we had to go there, right?!?!?  And look who stopped in for a quick hug—my dear friend Jane Treacy!!  She was in New York with her daughter & just had to stop by!!!   She’s the best!!! 

    After our lunch we got back in the car for the three hour journey home—traffic was tough due to the rain!!  But I wasn’t driving, so I fell fast asleep from the wonderful pasta & wine I had at the restaurant.  I think I began dreaming of my big day later this year—ahh pleasant dreams!!!! 

    The very next morning, Dennis Basso called me to see how everything went—isn’t he a doll!!! 

    Now many of you have asked me if I am going to be on the television show “Say Yes to the Dress” like Courtney Cason.  Unfortunately when I went for look for my gown, the show was not filming at that time.  But I have been in touch with them & we are hoping they will film me when I go back to Kleinfelds for my first fitting!!!  So let’s keep our fingers crossed shall we?!?!?

    Until next time…..

    Quack, Quack!

    Angel

     

    Sign up to receive Quacker Factory emails and follow along with my Wedding Planning…  Click here to sign up: http://bit.ly/Join_QF

    Follow Quacker Factory with Angel on Facebook, click here:  http://bit.ly/A_Facebook


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    Have you noticed that the sun has been setting later and later these days?  Spring is just days away and we can feel it here, in the air!  I'm thrilled to be able to start making these lighter and healthier dishes for my family.

    So this week I made a meal for my family that would be perfect for any Spring or Summer day.  It would make a great weekend date night meal OR could be perfect for the whole family.  All of my boys loved this dish. {#emotions_dlg.biggrin}  Let me know what you think!


    Ingredients: (Serving for 2)

    2 plum tomatoes

    1 shallot

    2 sprigs fresh mint

    1/4 bunch fresh basil

    10 ounces kohlrabi (this is a white-fleshed vegetable with edible leaves and roots, its in the turnip family but slightly sweeter.  If you can't find Kohlrabi at your store - just use Turnips)

    1 large sweet potato

    2 6-8 ounce salmon fillets (I prefer wild caught Alaskan salmon)

    1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar

    1/2 tablespoon sumac (spice asile)


    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425.

    Rinse tomatoes, halve, discard seeds and finely chop.

    Peal Shallot and mince.

    Rinse mint and basil and pick leaves, discarding stems Peel Kohlrabi and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

    Rinse sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

     

    Roast Veggies

    Toss Kohlrabi and sweet potato with 1 Tb olive oil, salt and pepper.  Arrange on baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 20-25 minutes

     

    Make Vinaigrette

    While veggies roast, heat 1 TB olive oil in small pan over medium heat.

    When oil is shimmering, add tomatoes and shallot and cook until soft and saucy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sherry vinegar.

    Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

     

    Sear Salmon

    Pat salmon dry with paper towel.  Sprinkle flesh side with sumac and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 TB olive oil in medium pan over medium heat.

    When oil is shimmering, add salmon flesh-side down and cook until golden on outside about 3 minutes per side for medium rare, additional 2-3 minutes for more well done.

    ** Sumac can burn easily so be sure to cook fish on medium heat, turning it down even further if needed.  Longer cooking time on lower heat will be better than a high sear

    Season Veggies

    Add mint, basil and 1/2 TB olive oil to baking sheet with roasted veggies and toss to wilt. Add salt and pepper if needed.

    Plate Salmon

    Divide veggies evenly between plates and top with Salmon.  Spool over tomato vinaigrette and serve!

    I hope you enjoy!! Be sure to check out my Facebook page for more recipes, fashion fun, beauty banter, and some pictures from home every once and while!


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  • 03/18/15--12:35: BeautyCon & Back!
  • I’m back from Texas with some new friends, new insights on the latest and greatest in beauty, and even a little twang in my talk. Okay, that last part isn’t true… still have the loud, excited, happy Amy Stran voice that you know and hopefully love lol!

    So you know I’ve been posting up a storm about BeautyCon on my Facebook and Instagram. (PS: If you didn’t know I’ve been posting up a storm that could only mean you haven’t followed me yet... Subtle social plug lol). You may be thinking okay we get it you’re in Dallas for BeautyCon, but we don’t know what the heck that is!

    If that’s the case, don’t worry -- You’re not out of the loop. To be honest, I really didn’t know all too much about BeautyCon until I was invited to go, and even then I was still totally surprised by all of the magic involved in the actual event.

         

    In a nutshell, BeautyCon is a giant community of creators and influencers redefining what beauty truly means. It goes far beyond what shade of blush matches your skin tone, or how to get the perfect beach wave; it’s a place for girls of all ages to talk about culture, trending topics, fashion, beauty, and important issues. The overall mission is to align these influencers and beauty bloggers with their fans to create a fun and safe environment where it’s cool to be yourself. Sounds amazing, right? It was!

    Each week I’ll be sharing a fun beauty how-to video involving all of the QVC vendors that attended BeautyCon. Some brands you may be more familiar with, but if I’ve learned anything from this trip, is that the best is yet to come! We have so many new and exciting products coming to the Q from brands like EGO, tarte, FormulaX, Algenist, and Vita Liberata! Keep your eyes peeled for more blogs, videos, and FB posts to come concerning all of these fab brands!

    As for the trip – who doesn’t love a little photo diary? I wanted to share a couple of photos so you can get an idea for the event and all the fun we had!

    Most of our Public Relations team and production crew left Thursday to get all set up for the event on Saturday. Trust me, there was a LOT to be done, and all of their hard work paid off… you’ll see in the pictures! Any who, I ventured out to Dallas on Friday morning accompanied by these two gals.

    (Me, Our girl Meg, and Lauren from our QVC Social Team!)

         

    As you can tell, I’m all about the snacks, the magazines, and the pillows when it comes to a plane rides! PS: How cute is this pillow that the tarte team gave me!! Love them!

    Can you guess what we did when we touched down in Dallas? Well, that’s actually a boring question… we just took a cab to our hotel, but can you guess what we did the second we got to our hotel?? We grabbed some lunch in the hotel restaurant, which would eventually become our favorite spot for the weekend. We felt boring all ordering the same thing, but we couldn’t help it. Meg, Lauren, and I all ordered the tacos. THEY WERE DELICIOUS and super spicy!

    I timed my meal and next event quite perfectly… I look my spicy-taco breath (ew that sounds really gross when I type it) back to my hotel room where a very fab gal named Laura would be getting up close and personal to do my makeup for the BeautyCon party that night! Laura is one of brand managers/ representatives for Laura Geller Beauty. Besides being a savy business lady, she also doubles as an extremely talented makeup artist and really awesome person!

    Laura did an amazing job on my “night look” for the BeautyCon party that night. We have some great how-to’s with Laura that I will share with you in the next couple of weeks in honor of something special coming from Laura Geller ;)

    (Before Makeover -- obviously! PS: Do you recognized my head band philosophy girls?)

        

    (After with Laura!)

         

    Next it was party time! We were off to Gilly's, a fun Texas bar where we would get to meet and chat with some of the biggest beauty bloggers that would be attending BeautyCon. The band was great and we had such a blast! 

    (Left to Right: Lauren, Bev, Meghan, Me)

       (Is it really a party if there isn't a selfie taken lol?)

     

    After the party, the QVC gals all congregated in my room for a wonderful girls night in consisting of pizza, wine, and spray tans…. You’re probably thinking, “SPRAY TANS?!” Yep! One of our FABULOUS new brands at QVC, Vita Liberata, offered to come set up a temporary spray tan booth in my hotel room. All in all the night ended with full bellys, lots of laughs, and fabulous spray tans!

    (Bev and I eating pizza and gearing up for our AMAZING spray tans!)

          

    The next day was the main event!! We were rocking awesome tans and ready to mingle with the biggest beauty influencers out there. On the main floor I handed out samples, interviewed fine ladies, and got to grab some great photos with beauty bloggers and beauty blogger fans!

    (A little girl talk with Leigh from tarte!)

         (Getting to hang out with some of the fabulous attendees!)

         

    (Two of our favorite bloggers from the event! Left: Kandee Johnson Right: Nikki Phillippi)      

    A photo opp with our tarte girls and one of the most well-known beauty bloggers out there, Bunny! 

    (Left to Right: Leigh, Bunny, Me, Jen)

         

    At one point I even had some time to Facetime with Bree LOL!

         

    Oh but wait I forgot to mention the greatest part of all. QVC was a sponsor for this giant event and therefore you know we had to go big! We had an entire Talent Lounge for the top 100 VIP Beauty Bloggers! So what was in this lounge you ask….

        

     There were couches to hang out and meet all of the amazing bloggers...

    A red carpet for photos

       

    A photo booth… for more photos lol!

          

    Hair, make up, and nail touch up stations thanks to Laura Geller Beauty, EGO Professional, and Formula X

         

     

        

    There was even a place to get spray tan courtesy of Vita Liberata and fun booth to score yourself some Algenist goodies!  

    At the end of the day we were exhausted. The heels were kicked off and we all crashed once we got back to the hotel… Just kidding you know exactly what we did when we got back to the hotel… Changed our clothes and then grabbed some grub!! We laughed, told stories, and me and Meg spent 15 minutes speaking passionately about our love for EZ Pay haha! I’d say it was a successful way to end a fantastic trip!!

    Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook page for some more how-to videos, a very special something from our friend Laura Geller and more! To find all things BeautyCon in my collection by clicking HERE. Oh and I also documented our entire trip on my Instagram, so if you're on insta and want to see some behind the scenes photos find me at AmyStranQVC!

     


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  • 03/18/15--14:52: Love and Basketball
  • Oh yes, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and not the Andy Williams kind. Nope for the Stauffer's, it's hardwood and hoops time.

    Larry and I don't need Christmas to feel all warm-n-fuzzy. We need the Dance, the Big Dance as in March Madness. Because nothing gets us as excited like a kid on Christmas than watching 68 college basketball teams, shoot, score, foul and battle their way to a national championship -- It's one of our shared passions and I believe made it easy for us to fall in love.

    I met Larry several years ago, right around March Madness. He played basketball his entire life, and I attended Pitt, which inevitably would lead to my passion for the game as I would cheer on my college in many NCAA tournaments (25 tournament appearances to be precise ;) )

    In the beginning of our courtship, many dates were centered around watching all these games going on at once, reveling in those that ended with dramatic buzzer beaters, comebacks and big upsets.  Watching the tournament, often meant me sitting in a room full of men.  No women.  Just me.  At first, many of the guys would roll their eyes thinking "what the heck is she doing here?" Though he won't admit it, I am sure Larry got teased for bringing me around to watch the games.  But he didn't care.  I never once asked him to go shopping with me or watch a romantic movie with me or go visit my parents instead.  No, just like the guys I too watched in angst, with my bracket in hand, rooting for my teams and praying my bracket wouldn't go bust. 

    And just like it was back when we first started dating, Larry and I still don't always agree on teams. For instance, the year I spent rooting (and not quietly for that matter) for Pitt while they played in the Sweet 16. This remains one of the "unspeakable" moments for Larry as Pitt's success would keep him from taking home the bracket. That wasn't pretty, but once a Panther always a Panther.

    What we do see eye to eye on, is the passion of victory and the agony of defeat. I understand his hair pulling when a team burns through three timeouts in the first half.  I see why he needs to yell at the TV when a player chokes missing two free-throws in crunch time. It's easy because I am right there pulling hair and shouting too -- We get it! 

    Yes, there are so many more reasons as to why I fell in love with my husband.  Too many to list.  But this is one I thought I would share with you as both he and I get ready to immerse ourselves in madness! The tournament tradition is in full bloom starting today, and it's got the entire Stauffer house excited! Hence, why son spends countless hours running, dribbling, and shooting his pretend basketball around our kitchen island! Can you tell he's ours?! 

    So who do you think will take it all home this year? In fact, let's make my Facebook page a hub for all things March Madness. Join in on our family tradition to talk about the upsets, the underdogs, and the celebrations with us on my page, Stacey Stauffer QVC!!

     


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    It's officially time to be spending your afternoons in the sunshine, lounging by the pool or in the backyard! As of this weekend, spring is officially here, and summer is right around the corner. Cheers to season changes and new beginnings!

    When the warmer weather hits, we're all about the perfect combination of healthy, refreshing, and delicious drinks. That means smoothies all around! What better way to celebrate the arrival of the warmer months than by combining your favorite fruits and blending up a delicious, healthy drink!

    Can I start by saying how obsessed I am with my very FIRST Vitamix?! Full disclosure: It's been on my wish list since I was a teenager. I remember being 16 and mesmerized by the Vitamixes that they would use at Jamba Juice. They made smoothies look so flawless and effortless to make. Fast forward to a decade plus later, I could not be more excited to finally be in the Vitamix club with my new and fabulous Vitamix Pro 500 64 oz from QVC, a part of the Vitamix Professional series. It was love at first blend! I can't compare my Vitamix experience to any other blender. From the pre-set settings to the high powered, this truly is the best of the best!

    I could not be more excited to break in my new digs (I mean Vitamix) and mix up a Banana Berry Smoothie. This has become one of my new favorite go-to smoothie recipes. It reminds me of being on an island during the summer in Hawaii! Who else wants to come join?!

    Make this bright, bold smoothie for any day by combining bananas, mangos, blueberries, orange juice, and a bit of Greek yogurt. What a refreshing combination! Only 5 ingredients and you have the perfect smoothie! Feel free to mix it up by adding other fruits and juices to your hearts content. Add any combination to your Vitamix for an incredible drink for breakfast, lunch, or a snack!


    BANANA BERRY SMOOTHIE RECIPE

    INGREDIENTS

    -1 ripe banana

    -1 cup frozen mango

    -1/2 cup blueberries

    -3/4 cup orange juice

    -1/4 cup honey greek yogurt


    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Puree banana, mango, blueberries, orange juice, and Greek yogurt in blender.

    2. Hit the "smoothie" option to make sure everything is fully blended. Serve at desired consistency.


    xo-Melissa


    Recipe: Melissa Johnson of Best Friends For Frosting

    Photography: Michelle Drewes





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    {We made it to Philly…waiting on luggage}

    Hi my friends….

    I wanted to share some behind the scenes pictures from my adventure’s last week’s with my daughter Olive.  As a working parent, my work schedule can sometimes get the better of me, but I pride myself on always prioritizing my family. 

    {Still waiting on luggage.. ha ha}

    Last week, we had some scheduling conflicts so little Miss Olive traveled with me for a week on the road while my better half was on a much anticipated family reunion cruise. 

    Olive and my week together included 2 shows at QVC along with a personal appearances for John Hardy in Fort Myers.  It was a little of planes, trains and automobiles.  Luckily, one of my childhood friends who sometimes baby-sits Olive was able to travel with me and she watched Olive while I was working. 

    Olive, who is now 21 months old, was amazing on the trip. As you may know, flying with little ones is not always the easiest as you never know what will happen.  She did fantastic on both the trip to Philadelphia and again on our flight down to Fort Myers.  I have to thank my very good friend Cinderella for keeping her entertained during the flights.

    Our week together was very busy and fast paced one, but thanks to my good friend Kerri, we all had an amazing time.  As a proud father, I was so excited for so many of my QVC family to finally get a chance to meet the little girl who has stolen my heart.  I still can’t believe how blessed I am to call her my daughter.

    Please enjoy some of my personal photos from our week together.  Captured moments that will become our memories of the time Olive went to work with her Daddy.  Thank you for your continued support and love of JAI Jewelry, I can’t wait to see you all in April.

    Safe Travels,

    Scott

    {Enjoyed a great dinner with Lisa and friends.}


    {Olive made her first snowman… a really really small snowman…}


    {After 2 years of showing my friends pictures of Olive, it was so great that my QVC family finally got to meet her}


    {Olive felt I needed more makeup to be camera ready…}


     

    {We’re ready for our close up…}


    {Olive loved all the mirrors and make up brushes...don’t worry, there wasn't any make up on the brushes}


    {While I was on air, Doris Dalton and Olive had quality girl time}


    {This is what I came off air to, Olive with all of her new friends and lots of Easter candy. Thanks Doris…}


    {Once we finished our show, Jill came back to the greenroom and played with Olive, she gave her the cutest little Easter Bunny…}


    {Waiting for the rental car bus to take us to the terminal and off to Fort Myers…}

     


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    OK, my Wardrobe Warriors. I’m currently traveling through Asia with my partners visiting fabric mills and print design houses. It’s a busy trip filled with meetings and shopping, but I have to stop and take a moment to tell you how this trip almost didn't happen.

    After spending Friday with you celebrating spring style, I went back to NYC to unwind a bit before leaving for my flight Sunday evening. After spending the day with my little Aya, I was at home relaxing. At about 10:30pm, I get a text from my partner Eva asking where I was. She was at JFK waiting for our 12:50am flight, and I’m at home watching T.V.! I had the date completely wrong, and now had 10 minutes to get dressed, pack my bag, and catch a cab to the airport.

    I grabbed my carry-on (as I have told you before, I NEVER check a bag when traveling), threw in a few items, didn't put on any makeup, and ran out the door. Thankfully I made it to the airport on time and was able to catch my flight. How was I able to pull it off? Thanks to the Wardrobe Warrior™ method.

    Because I follow the Wardrobe Warrior™ method, I am always able to pack a carry-on bag within 5 to 10 minutes. I trademarked Wardrobe Warrior™ back in my Citiknit days when women kept asking me how I travel without checking luggage. By making sure that I always have key, classic pieces on hand, pulling together a wardrobe for two weeks of travel takes zero effort.

    For those who don’t know what the Wardrobe Warrior™ method is, it is both a personal style method, and a lifestyle. It’s a way of building your wardrobe so that you can pull together a stylish look in a pinch. It’s a way of packing for a trip so that one piece of carry-on luggage can last you your entire trip. It’s a way of streamlining your look in a way that allows your personal taste to shine through every one of your outfits, without you spending hours to pull it together. The Wardrobe Warrior™ method is all about looking your best without the stress.

    The key to building a Wardrobe Warrior™ is to select the perfect combination of pieces that mix and match perfectly together. It’s one of the reasons that I've begun designing more sets for you lately. Every item has a coordinating piece, and each set can be broken up and worn with the rest of your Attitudes by Renée® and Women with Control® items.  It’s the perfect combination of flexibility and ease.

    Stay tuned to my Facebook page for updates of my travels. I will be posting daily photos of my meetings and my outfits. Below, check out my packing list for a two week trip, including clothes, shoes and of course I threw in my makeup case which is always packed with my  basic essentials moisturizer;  blush, IT Cosmetics eyeliner, IT Cosmetics  Brow Power Pencil, lipstick & my Calista Perfector.

    These are my must-have Attitudes by Renée® and Women with Control® items, with items from a few of my personal favorite designers on QVC.

    My Wardrobe Warrior Collection:  (NEED LINK)

    Here are some pictures from the start of my trip in Seoul, Korea:

    We are here at Incheon Airport and wanted to show you the difference between being a traveler and me being a Wardrobe Warrior traveler
    See how much Eva has packed and has to check and I with carry on for the same trip! The proof is in the picture! 



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  • 03/19/15--12:25: Window Flower Box Project
  • With spring right around the corner I thought you might enjoy a simple project that is easy to do and helps spruce up your home.  Window boxes make for an attractive flower display and also bring other benefits......if you plant the right flowers.

     

    A window box can be constructed from 5 pieces of wood.  Just measure the width of the window you wish to place it under and write that number down.  Cut your front and back of your box to that width (usually I make my boxes 8 inches tall and readily available lumber is available in that dimension.)   I recommend 3/4 inch thick lumber to support the weight.

     

    I make my boxes 6 inches deep so that they don't stick to far off of the house and blend in with the siding.  Cut your bottom to the dimensions of your window width and remember do drill seep holes for the water to drain out of. This next part sounds like math but it easy.  The sides will be cut to your 6 inch width and the height measurement will be 8 inches minus the thickness of the bottom (or in this case 3/4 of an inch).  That way all the top edges match up flush.   Screw or nail the pieces together and you’re done with the construction. 

    I like to add a little ready-made trim work at the top to make it fancier and I added a little scroll work to the front for some definition.  The trim work needs to be mitered at a 45 degree angle so that the edges are neat and tidy.   Those too are nailed into place. 

    A couple coats of exterior paint and you are finished.  Most home centers sell pre-made supports but I like to attach them directly to the wooden house trim so they appear to "float" in place.

     

    Now for the fun part, the planting.  USE GERANIUMS.  Other flowers are pretty but there is a reason why geraniums are used.   If you ever get to travel to Europe you will see lovely window boxes lining the streets and they are almost always filled with geraniums   The natural oils in the geranium are mother nature's own mosquito repellant.  They also repel, flies bees and wasps.  Window screens are seldom used in Europe and with geraniums you don't need them.  You might still get a stray bug in the house but it certainly cuts down on the number.

     

    Window screens are actually a rather modern invention and did not come into common use 'till after the Civil War.  In earlier America people would hang Cheesecloth over their windows to keep bugs out and still let the air circulate on hot summer nights.  Cheesecloth was not very elegant and even less durable but it worked.  Fine mesh wire was manufactured in the mid 1800's to make flour sieves and screens for cheese manufacture.  The Gilbert and Bennett sieve making company in Connecticut quickly accumulated a surplus of fine wire mesh because they could no longer sell it in Southern states.  A smart employee painted some of it so it would not rust, mounted it in a wooden frame and began selling it as "window screens". The rest is history.

    So turn back the clock a little, enhance your summer look for your home and enjoy fresh flowers (without bugs) at your windows.

    Enjoy!

    Dan Hughes

    You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/DanHughesQVC

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/danhughesqvc

    www.gather.qvc.com/member/DanHughes


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    Hello, foodies…

    The ITKWD Road Trip Contest is now underway! We’re asking you to send us pictures and a short description about THE restaurant in your college town. Whether it’s a place you frequented during your college days or it’s a place in the college town where you currently live…I want to know where everyone goes to eat.

    We’ve already gotten some terrific entries like this one from Rachel B.

    The Columbia - Sarasota, FL

    Rachel entered “The Columbia” in Sarasota, Florida—the place she and her husband frequented while attending Florida State University College of Medicine.

     

    Kruse and Muer - Rochester, MI

    And Keri M says I’ve got to try the Maryland Chicken at “Kruse and Muer” in Rochester, Michigan.

     

    Triple XXX - Indiana

    And finally, this is the Triple XXX Drive-In…the first drive-in in the state of Indiana and the place to go if you're from PURDUE, according to Abby D.

    Foodies, the winner of our contest will come to QVC, so Mary and I can have the opportunity to meet you! If you don’t live in the area, we’ll fly you and a friend to Philadelphia and then you’ll experience the In the Kitchen with David weekend--and see a live show--here in August.

    We’re legally obligated to tell you to read the official rules where all of those details are, so please make sure you do that. And, I’m also required to say this: No Purchase Necessary. A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning. Must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited.

    Our contest ends on March 29, so put your submission together this weekend and email me at davidsroadtrip@qvc.com. Don’t forget a short description and a photo or two.

    I’ll blog with you again tomorrow. Have a great night!

    Keep it flavorful!
    —David


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