A Designer’s Guide to Using Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year

There’s a reason the sunset invites us to pause and take in its splendor—each illuminates the sky in a spectrum of pinks and oranges too beautiful to miss. The peachy hues are a nod to the beauty and abundance all around us. And with that wondrous embrace of the present moment, it’s evident why this soft, velvety shade was named the 2024 Pantone color of the year. Peach Fuzz is all-encompassing, warm, and radiant—timeless and on-trend all at once.

Officially Pantone 23-1023, Peach Fuzz sits softly between pink and orange. After a tumultuous year, the color is a warm invitation to slow down and prioritize our relationships. Introducing the dreamy shade to your home is a wonderful way to create what Pantone describes as “a feeling of kindness and tenderness, communicating a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration.” And from my conversations ahead, it’s clear that designers agree. 

Featured image from our interview with Alex McCabe.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

Designers Share Their Takes on Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year

“I know the selection of peach may feel like a surprise, but after the chaos of the world, the stress, the anxiety, the heaviness—peach doesn’t add to that noise,” says Joshua Smith, Principal and Founder of Joshua Smith Inc. “Rather, it’s uplifting, connecting, and is about lightening up and not being so serious.”

Jenna Morrow, owner and principal designer of Morrow Design Studios has noticed the need for comfort and well-being as well. “Many of us are still recovering from the months of isolation in 2020 as we make up for lost quality time with loved ones and reestablish plans that were delayed,” she shares. “A trend has emerged that places our desire for connection, wellness and gentleness at the helm. The Pantone color of the year, Peach Fuzz, celebrates our pursuit of comfort, care and community.”

Peach fuzz living room.
Image courtesy of Joshua Smith Inc.

How to Incorporate Peach Fuzz Into Every Room of Your Home

If you’re eager to explore Peach Fuzz’s warm and gentle vibes, look no further. We’ve rounded up our favorite ideas, inspiration, products, and designer tips to help you bring the romantic shade into your home.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.


Painting your walls Peach Fuzz is a fantastic way to add softness and warmth to any space. According to Smith, it can also make a statement when styled in unexpected ways. “Peach is a great color for a ceiling, as it is highly flattering with warm, glowing light bringing out the beauty and softness of the skin,” he says.


Pantone collaborated with Spoonflower on a collection of whimsical, peachy wallpaper that can refresh small and large spaces alike. “If adding wallpaper to a full room is too overwhelming, adorn a coat closet instead or place it on the ceiling paired with warm neutral walls,” Morrow suggests.

Living Room Accents

Accessories can enliven any living space with a pop of Peach Fuzz. Consider smaller room accents like throw pillows or table lamps or large ones like area rugs. Pantone also partnered with Ruggable on peachy washable rugs. Not sure what colors Peach Fuzz pairs well with? Pantone has created a few color palettes to help, and Smith loves incorporating peach with blues and greens. “It even works with magenta or purple, which are current obsessions of mine,” he says.


Picture yourself dining al fresco, sipping from a peach-tinted wine glass or coupe. Blissful, right? Come spring and summer especially, peach-colored drinkware will add a bit of flair and fun to your meals, whether they’re indoors or out.

Bathroom Textiles

“Don’t overlook adding color to quieter spaces like your bathroom,” Morrow shares. Peach textiles will add cheer to an otherwise neutral space and will make your morning and evening routines even cozier.

Bedroom Textiles

Diving into a soft and cozy peach bed? Yes, please. Whether you opt for a peach duvet with matching pillowcases or add a peach throw to your neutral bedding, the pop of color will bring a gentle warmth to the entire room.


Peach Fuzz will be especially welcome in your floral displays come spring and summer, whether you choose to go faux or invest in the real thing. “Add faux florals to your entryway vase or kitchen countertop to extend a gentle welcome that’s as warm as the season,” says Morrow.

Tabletop Styling

Coffee table styling is an art in and of itself, and adding Peach Fuzz-hued vases and coffee table books will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, especially when mixed with a variety of other colors and textures.

Kitchen Accents

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and subtle Peach Fuzz elements like a knife set or dishcloths add an unexpected and uplifting vibe to the well-loved gathering space.

Accent Chairs

Adding new accent chairs will instantly refresh any space, and these peach pieces will no doubt be conversation starters, whether you decide on a leather and white oak chair for the corner of your living room or a velvet barrel chair for a cozy reading nook.

It’s Time to Go After What You Want—an Editor’s 6-Step Guide to Making It Happen

At the start of every new year, I find myself stuck between two opposing approaches. On the one hand, I want a big lofty goal for the months ahead that I can dedicate all my focus to. And on the other, I just want to keep things simple—setting my sights on doing and being better. But this year, I decided to choose a word to guide me in my decision-making and growth across the board: courage. Why courage? Well, candidly, I felt like I lacked a bit of it in 2023. I spent more time second-guessing myself than going for it. And I let the noise in my head take over more than usual. Trust me: that’s not my go-to behavior.

With courage at the forefront, this also got me excited to explore more newness this year. For me, the novelty of trying something new always leads to a boost in serotonin, a spark of curiosity, and a newfound joy and appreciation for being a beginner. Plus, I always leave an experience seeing the world just a little differently. 

Featured image from our interview with Mary Ralph Bradley.

I hope that with a bit of courage, and by opening my heart and mind to new things, I will also inject more fun and play into my life. 

6 Ways I’m Embracing More Courage in 2024

When I thought of the why behind all that I want to invite into my life this year, I leaned into what I felt might be missing. This ensured that the experiences I chose to prioritize felt additive and exploratory. A few things that came to mind:

  • feeling more connected to my community
  • moving my body in a different way
  • disconnecting from my phone to reconnect with something else

But above all, I wanted to get out of the day-to-day rut I’ve been feeling. The only requirement? These had to be fun and solely for myself—not social media or anyone else. Here’s what trying new things in 2024 looks like for me.

Asking for What I Want

This is a hard one to admit, but I struggled here in 2023. And quite frankly, that shocked me. Last year I reverted to old people-pleasing behaviors and one whole year later, I have the clarity on how that both held me back and forced me into playing small. 

This year, I’m going for it. I’ve already started to. Asking for what I need in all aspects of life and putting myself out there for growth. I’m fully aware that may come with rejection, but I truly believe the consequences of not asking are far riskier than any rejection could ever be. 

Practice this in whatever way it aligns for you. It could be asking for a raise, pivoting careers, asking someone on a date, or declaring your needs proudly. Maybe it’s saying no to something or someone even if it’s hard, or saying yes to something even if you’re scared. I know you’ll be so thankful you did. 

Journaling new things to try 2024
Image by Jenn Rose Smith

Writing Poetry

I was struck by a post I saw on Instagram by a writer who said that at the beginning of 2023, they made it a practice to write a poem every day. It was a beautiful goal, and I immediately began researching how I could do the same myself. This is one new thing that I’ve already begun, and while I haven’t hit that daily cadence, I am averaging a poem every other day. It’s been a fun practice to share my thoughts in a completely new format. I’ve written everything from a short rhyme to a haiku, and am even exploring funny, lighter tones as well as the more melancholy and personal. It’s helped me see the world a little differently and expand my own vocabulary. 

I haven’t shared a poem with anyone yet, and I’m not sure that I will. I love that this is something that is just for me. At least for now. 

Pole Dancing

Ever since I saw Dita Von Teese’s burlesque show at the Paramount Theater in Austin last January, I have been so enamored by the feminine and sexy ways she and her troupe moved their bodies. What drew me to pole dancing is its difficulty—it’s a total core and upper body workout, much like aerial silks can be. But it’s also edgy, feminine, sexy, and for the most part (for my purposes), something done solo. 

I’ve told at least seven friends that I’m doing this and they all responded with the same Are you serious? Is this a joke? And then all seven of them promptly asked if they could join me. I think I’m onto something.

I’m inspired by women who aren’t afraid to connect with their bodies in new ways and who bravely lean into feeling sexy and feminine—even if just for themselves. 

Yoga new things to try in 2024.
Image by Riley Blanks Reed

Trying a New Workout Each Week in January

Speaking of being in a rut, my workout routine needs a complete refresh. While I love the workouts I’m currently doing—typically a morning walk around the lake and a bootcamp-style class, I realized my fear of failure is currently keeping me from exploring new forms of movement. But rather than staying stuck in that cycle, I’m springing out of it and making it my mission to move out of any funk or rut.

Plus, if I want to connect with the community in a new way after years of working remotely and feeling a bit stuck inside my place, this is the PERFECT way to be around people once again. 

I’m shifting from What if I hate it or embarrass myself? to What if I love it and find a new way to build strength?

I would love to say that I won’t buy anything for a month or that I’m going to only shop my closet, but I know those sweeping declarations will likely set me up for failure. However, I truly want to shift my consumer behavior to being more responsible both financially and for the environment. My approach: default to second-hand shopping. Austin is home to some incredibly curated consignment shops (looking at you, MOSS), and rather than visit the five rotating websites I always search, I’m turning to some of my favorite consignment shops or friends’ closets.

Building a Vision Board

If you know Camille, you know she’s hosted vision board workshops and designed an at-home kit to build your own. I’ve been a naysayer for years wondering how images on a piece of paper could actually come to life, but after enough friends have preached the power of a board, I’m finally coming around.

There are a few specific things I want to happen this year that I’m acutely focused on. My true hope is that by shifting my outlook and putting positive energy into these intentions, that I can help bring them to fruition. I also feel like at this point, it certainly can’t hurt my chances. 

So, what’s on your list of new things to try in 2024? Is there anything you’re leaning into this year that you’ve never tried? I can’t wait to re-read this article in December and see what’s transpired. I’m excited just thinking about the possibility.

A Beginner’s Guide to Decorating Your Mantel for the Holidays—12 Ideas to Spark Inspiration

I’m a November 1 girlie. And by that, I mean that once the Halloween candy is eaten and the pumpkins are put away, my Christmas tree and all its accompanying decor take over. It’s not only because I’m a holiday enthusiast (although that accounts for 75% of my festive fervor). There’s also an unspoken magic that shines and shimmers throughout our homes when the holidays set in. With the season’s chilly, snow-flecked weather, our spaces become an opportunity to reflect all the coziness and comfort we hope to curate within. So, to spark a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up our favorite holiday mantel decorating ideas ahead.

Despite living in a small space, there are still countless ways I can make my apartment a holiday haven. My strategy for keeping things celebratory without going overboard? Designate a few “hubs” of your house where you’ll focus your decorating efforts. With 1000 square feet to spare, I’m honing in on the tree, dining table, windows, and yes—the mantel. This approach lets everything feel streamlined while still making clear: I’m all about spreading the holiday cheer.

12 Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas for 2023

And if you don’t have a mantel? No problem. There are still plenty of spaces to dedicate your decorating efforts. If you’re looking for somewhere to hang the stockings, try a bed post, a blanket ladder, or even putting up a few floating shelves. I love the idea too, of stringing a garland along the banister. The point is, holiday mantel decorating ideas are all about getting creative and making the most of your space. Because this time of year is all about embracing what we have and sharing gratitude for the joy already present in our lives.

With that in mind, let’s get to the holiday mantel decorating ideas that’ll take your home to holi-yay status.

Holiday mantel decor ideas.

See more: Camille’s earthy and organic holiday decor.

1. Go Asymmetrical

True artistry exists in the imperfections—and that rule applies to our holiday mantel decorating ideas. String your greenery or garland so that the end drapes down one end of your mantel. This simple design decision creates a subtle sense of drama. Balance it out by stacking your stockings and grouping a few taper candles to the opposite side.

2. Follow the Rule of Threes

When adding accessories (like candles or design elements) to your mantel, keep the rule of threes in mind. Across countless disciplines, it’s understood that we’re best able to process information through pattern recognition—and three is the smallest number that allows us to recognize a pattern in a set. Put simply, arranging objects in threes is most pleasing to the eye. So rather than scattering a bunch of disparate accents separately, place them in groups so they can shine their best.

3. Try Taper Candles

While we love decorating our holiday mantels with candles of all sorts, long taper candles draw the eye upwards, resulting in an elegant aesthetic. While you’re certainly welcome to use white candles, go for the unexpected and mix color tones. I love Camille’s pairing of a black candle holder with a taupe candle.

See more: Camille’s evergreen forest holiday decor.

4. Use a Mirror

Once of the easiest and most game-changing design tricks? Place mirrors strategically throughout your home to reflect light and make the space feel bigger. This same tip applies to the mantel, helping amplify your holiday setup. With sources of light from candles, twinkly strands, and the fireplace itself, this idea works all the better.

5. Wrap Candles in Birch

For a quick and easy DIY, elevate your go-to white pillar candles by wrapping pieces of birch around them. This gives your mantel a woodland, natural vibe that’ll make your space a hundred times cozier. (Psst… flameless candles are key here.)

6. Don’t Forget the Details

While we’re all about looking big-picture with our holiday mantel decorating ideas, the magic is also made in the details. What small, festive touches will bring you joy? For me, that’s a simple ceramic bowl filled with pinecones or a few bottlebrush trees on my mantel. Whatever those details are for you, be sure to make them a priority.

See more: Camille’s natural, woodland holiday home.

7. Keep It Cohesive

Yes, this is a special time of year—but we’re not looking to reinvent the wheel with our holiday mantel decorating ideas. Instead, use the aesthetic you already have set in place to establish the foundation for your decor. As Camille encourages, “… consider how your own personal style can be reflected through your holiday decor, rather than being guided by trends.”

8. Incorporate Varying Textures

For this statement-making garland, Camille created depth and interest by incorporating different greenery into the design. Combining different firs, pines, and eucalyptus has the power to still make an impact while managing not to detract from the mantel’s other design elements.

9. Fill the Fireplace

If you don’t have a working fireplace, you still have plenty of options for making it a source of visual comfort. My favorite idea? If your home is already overflowing with gifts, stack them aesthetically in the fireplace. Or, if Santa hasn’t arrived yet, simply wrap boxes in coordinating paper (we love white, kraft paper, velvet ribbons, and touches of black) to make a statement while sticking to your design budget.

Modern holiday mantel decor.
Modern Christmas mantel decorating ideas.

See more: Camille’s modern holiday decor.

10. Draw the Eye Across the Mantel

I love the visual interest that a simple shift in the placement of your greenery can create. By flanking the fireplace with arrangements on the top and bottom corners, the eye is drawn to the fireplace while still framing the mantel in its entirety. To create balance, align stockings in the middle of the two arrangements.

11. Pair a Minimalist Palette With a Maximalist Approach

The holidays often evoke a “more is more” mentality. And while we love the idea of abundance, our goal is to opt for balance. To create a sense of magic on the mantel, go minimalist with your colors—natural greenery and neutral shades work best—while aiming to create a statement with the volume and scale of decor. The resulting look is lush without overwhelming the eye.

12. Hygge Your Home

Of course, this tip goes beyond the holiday mantel. But because we crave coziness at every turn, we’re big on hygge holiday mantel decorating ideas. To make it happen, lean into soft textures with your stockings, twinkling candles, and an overall approach of simplicity. For many, the mantel marks the central point of your home. During the holidays, it’s somewhere you gather with friends and family to share your love. We’d argue that it should be a reflection of all the warmth and joy found within.

Gift Guide for Him: The 16 Best Gifts of 2023, Guy-Approved

Let’s cut right to the chase. There are a lot of gift guides for guys out there that, truly, appear to be a copy/paste of some or all of the following: a flannel, a tool of some sort, hot sauce, something golf-themed… Those guides are fine—spot on, even! But, if you’re looking for something he’ll love that’s a little less “sporting store gift card,” you’ve come to the right place. Although, there is a hot sauce set on this list, and absolutely no apologies for it.

I turned to the resident guy in my life, my husband, to help curate a list of gifts that guys would get excited about. Quick background on the man: he’s more stylish than me (you should see his Pinterest board), he’s got an ear to the ground for what’s trending, he’s genuinely creative, and finally, he’s inherently cool because he’s an Aussie. TL;DR, you can trust his taste.

Gift Guide for Him: 16 Gifts He’ll Love

We also threw in a few tried-and-true gifts that are always appreciated by the guys in our lives. There’s something for coffee lovers, something to wear, and, of course, something to “figure out” while everyone else goes on opening gifts.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Limited Edition Ritual Coffee Bundle

Guys who truly love coffee do not hide it. If coffee is a ritual for him, don’t scroll, don’t go anywhere else—just snag this set now before it sells out. With two limited edition white Casa Zuma mugs paired with a wooden coffee scoop and beans from Canyon Coffee, he will be SET.

A Universal Shoe-Cleaning Kit

For sneakerheads and the guy who enjoys keeping his shoes clean, this is the kit for him. Jason Markk makes it easy to do professional cleaning at home on any kind of shoe with the same tools and products used in his flagship LA store. A big bonus for me is that my husband enjoys this kit so much that he’ll even clean my sneakers without me even asking.

A Pizza Night Upgrade

One of my favorite family rituals is our weekly pizza night. Everyone eats, everyone enjoys, and it’s one night a week when dinner is simple. But we’re craving a bit of an upgrade and my husband has his eye on this Ooni pizza oven, which I will be happy to supply. It makes that wood-fired-type crust easy to achieve at home—and gives him something fun to do that, again, I also benefit from.

A Classic Pair of Loafers

The classic loafer is the shoe of the moment in menswear. They’re more versatile than you think—swap out boots to style them with jeans and a tee and you’ll see what I mean. It’s unexpected yet it works. This particular shoe is made by an iconic loafer brand and carried by one of your favorite stores.

The $100 Sneaker He’ll Brag About

I told someone the other day that my husband talks about his Gazelles for no less than five minutes a day, only to come home and listen to him wax poetic about his Gazelles. While Samba’s might be the sneaker of 2023, Gazelles are known to be more comfortable and they’re just as stylish. They come in multiple colors and the price can’t be beat.

A Foundational Field Watch

2023 was the year my husband became a watch expert. So much so that when my 6-year-old son catches him scrolling, he’ll say, “Are you looking at watches again?” According to watch enthusiasts, the American-made Hamilton Field Watch is a foundational piece for any collection. The design is classic, simple, and nostalgic—not too big and a nice fit on the wrist.

A Canvas Work Jacket

A good workwear jacket is about longevity. It wears well over time and will mold to the wearer’s body for a personalized fit. This Canvas Work Jacket can go laid-back with sweatpants and a hoodie or casual with jeans and a tee. One thing is for sure—it will hang in his closet for a long time.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Give him the gift of focused entertainment with Bose’s highly-rated headphones. My dad has seven grandchildren (and counting) under the age of six—this might be the year he gets to enjoy football without so many cute little distractions.

The Perfect Pocket Tee

Like I said in our gift guide for her, if you’re going to gift clothes, make it a classic piece. Plus, let’s face it—he always needs a new tee. Madewell Men’s is having a moment, thanks to collaborating with new designers in 2023 and producing some really incredible work. The classic tee can’t be beaten, and you know Madewell does classics right.

A LEGO Set (AKA, a Toy)

Because inside every man, still exists a little boy who just wants a toy to play with. This LEGO set will scratch that itch with a heavy hit of nostalgia, not to mention the simple gift of doing something just for fun.

A Stanley, But for Adventures

The Stanley Quencher continues to rule the water bottle world, but that’s not the only stellar offering from Stanley. Send him off on his next adventure (the camping trip, the hike, the tailgate) with a leak-proof flask and four shot glasses in a stainless steel carrying case.

Something for the Star Lover

If he geeked out over the eclipse or is always pointing to the sky and saying, “That one’s a planet,” nurture his interests with a gift that’ll bring him just a little bit closer. This telescope is a great entry point for nighttime watchers, adored and recommended by reviewers for stargazing made easy.

A Coffee Table Book for Car Fans

Driving in cars with coffee table books—it should be a thing. An excellent choice for the car lover in your life, this book is a museum of iconic car design all within the pages of a book.

A Hot Sauce Gift Set

If you’re buying any hot sauce this season, make it Truff. It’s not your average hot sauce, thanks to the delicious infusion of truffles. My husband is absolutely obsessed with this stuff (and this is a man who won’t eat spicy food).

For the Snack Lover

This is the perfect gift for an uncle, a new friend, or even a gift exchange—a collapsable bowl made for popping your own homemade popcorn. It’s fun, it’s cool, and it supports one of the best pastimes… snacking!

A Really Great Blanket

Finally, don’t discount the blanket gift. I wrapped one up for my husband last year and his initial confusion turned into endless couch snuggles and proclamations of love for his new blanket in no time flat. Guys gotta be cozy, too!

Gift Guide for Her: The 20 Best Gifts of 2023 for the Ladies in Your Life

Mother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, sister-friend—She contains multitudes. She’s the manager of the family calendar, the fun aunt, the thoughtful friend, and, let’s be honest, she’s probably so freakin’ tired. We built this gift guide with HER in mind because we know her, we love her, we are her. She loves gifts with heart, gifts she can use, and gifts that are trend-aware but classic at the same time.

And so, to borrow a phrase from my friend, Isabelle, I “shook the Internet upside down” to bring you the Internet’s most tightly curated gift guide for her. Trust me, there’s not a dud to be found. There’s a classic trench coat that never goes out of style, an affordable pair of viral earrings, the weekend bag our team swears by for easy holiday travel, and more. Without further ado, our 2023 Gift Guide for Her.

Gift Guide for Her: The 20 Best Gifts of 2023

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Classic Trench Coat

Year after year, the effortlessly chic trench coat pops up on trend lists across fashion publications, down runways, and on social media. It’s the ultimate trend-that’s-not-a-trend piece. If she lacks a great trench coat in her wardrobe, our pick is affordable and classic.

Sandalwood Yuzu Shampoo

You know them for their aesthetically pleasing (and delicious) olive oil, but our friends at Wonder Valley continue to innovate with their luxurious beauty products. Give her something she’ll use regularly—the gift of a long and lavish shower. (And treat her to a set with the Sandalwood Yuzu Conditioner.)

Red Slouch Socks

Red is the current darling of the fashion world. The bold, vibrant color is often paired with a neutral outfit for a pop that says, “Yeah, I know what’s up.” Red socks are an easy entry into the trend, offering a fun flash of color when paired with long pants.

The Best Water Bottle of the Year

Chances are, she already has one. Chances are, she wants another. The water bottle that stole TikTok’s heart has gone viral for its ability to keep your drink of choice cold, look pretty while doing it, AND fit into the car cup holder.

Eau Rose Eau de Parfum

In the world of luxurious scents, no one does it like Diptyque. The iconic rose fragrance is made in France—a fact that might just sell itself. The bottle can be refilled as many times as you like, and you can make it a special one with personalization in-store.

Yoga Mat

A yoga mat is just about a necessity and the Warrior Mat from Alo is our pick across the board. The no-slip grip is cushioned and anti-odor. Plus, it’s free of toxins so she can stretch and sweat without worry. Throw in a refresh spray for a complete gift.

Ballet Flats

Combine the year’s two biggest trends (the color red and ballet flats) with a French-girl shoe she’ll slip into year-round. And if red isn’t her vibe, choose from 13 more colors—all handmade in Spain and ready for effortless outfits.

A World-Famous Jumpsuit

Imagine this jumpsuit in pink and you’ll know why it’s the jumpsuit seen ’round the world. Director Gretta Gerwig donned this damn-near-perfect jumpsuit on the set of Barbie and women everywhere said, YES. A one-and-done outfit is the kind of energy we’re looking for and, good news for us, this jumpsuit comes in multiple colors.

Viral Drop Earrings

Who knew earrings could go viral? The full size came into popularity as a dupe to Bottega Veneta’s chunky earrings and now they come in multiple colors and sizes. These are hollow so they’re light and easy to wear.

Cloud-Like Slippers

Listen, moms might not want robes but they DO want slippers. Warm little clouds for our feet when we’re hitting the cold, hard floor at 6 a.m. to get the kids off to school on time? That’s self-care at its finest. I wear my Haven Well Within slippers every single day and let me tell you, the little things matter.

Everyday Leggings

Perhaps one day we’ll release a gift guide for her that doesn’t include the perfect legging, but that day is not today. Vuori continues to dominate with comfortable leggings that stay put and come in multiple colors and sizes.

Cuff Bracelet

Silver cuffs are making moves in the fashion world. It’s an easy, affordable accessory that makes styling your clothes (vs. wearing your clothes) a feat as simple as the influencers make it look.

A Great Set of Linen Pajamas

I know not a single woman who wouldn’t love a new set of pajamas. It’s the perfect gift—and one I’m usually craving around the holidays when travel and family time necessitate something beyond an oversized t-shirt. This set is ultra cozy and so cute in multiple colors and patterns.

OSEA Pillow Spray

On the gift hunt for the woman who has everything? This calming pillow mist is your answer. According to OSEA, the vagus nerve activates the body’s relaxation response and helps regulate stress. Simply spritz before bed, breathe deep, and drift away.

Ivory Cropped Jacket

Hop aboard the quiet luxury trend with this chic cropped jacket with gold buttons. It’s a piece that’s easy to pair with anything but just happens to look amazing with jeans or trousers.

The Best Travel Bag

Camille introduced us to the wonder of her BEIS weekend bag when she packed it as her personal item to Japan. It’s small enough to count as such, but large enough to fit ALL the necessities. Computer or tablet, snacks, toiletries, books, change of clothes—you get it. If she’s traveling at all next year, consider this bag the perfect gift.

Linen Napkins and Great Cookbook

When I started curating this guide I posed this scenario to a few friends with great taste: Imagine you’ve just been given a gift by an acquaintance. You’re expecting the worst, but instead open it up to find an amazing gift. What is it? Behold, one of my favorite answers. If the lady in your life loves to host or try new things in the kitchen, linen napkins and a new cookbook should be at the top of your list.

Starter Set for a More Sustainable Kitchen

It is a fact that the most singular source of stress in a woman’s life is her storage container drawer. You could be her unsung hero by bringing calm to a stressful place with this waaay cute sustainable set. No more rogue red lids, no more fights with the clingwrap box, and, ultimately, no more waste.

The Only White Button-Down She’ll Ever Need

And finally, this very well may be the only shirt she’ll ever need. When it comes to gifting clothes around the holidays, consider sticking to the classics. Sézane’s white button-down is the perfect drape and fit—a piece that’s versatile and easy to wear. Chances are, she’ll want one in every color. (Camille wore it well in denim.)

Your Ultimate Cycle Syncing Guide: How to Harmonize Your Hormones Each Day of the Month

Live and breathe by your calendar? Us too. Truth is, your calendar isn’t just a tool to keep your professional, personal, and social life in check. It can also be the backbone of your well-being. And it all begins with this: we’re dynamic people with equally dynamic hormones. More specifically—as menstruating women—our hormones are in constant flux. And often, these fluctuations feel totally unprecedented. But with the help of a cycle syncing planner, you can always be one step ahead. It’s time to align your nutrition and lifestyle with your body’s hormonal needs.

Say hello to less PMS, brighter moods, and a newfound sense of balance. And good news! We’ve made the calendar for you. Our detailed planner is a canvas for living in sync with your hormones. Together, let’s create a life that complements your hormones—not one that’s dictated by them.

Harnessing Your Hormones: The Art of Cycle Syncing

Spoiler alert: your menstrual cycle isn’t just about a monthly, dreaded period. It’s a powerful, natural process that impacts your entire being—emotions, creativity, cravings, desires, and energy levels. In other words, your menstrual cycle is an opportunity to foster a deeper connection with your body. Hello, cycle syncing. Ultimately, the premise of cycle syncing is to live in tandem with your hormones. It’s all about harnessing the power of your body’s natural rhythms to optimize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Why You Should Cycle Sync

Think of cycle syncing as an invitation to integrate. During each phase, everything from your supplements to your social life has a specific rhythm. In essence, this practice is an opportunity to embrace phase-specific self-care practices, foods, and workouts. And trust us, it’s a game-changer. If you experience intense PMS, frequent mood swings, and relentless cravings, cycle syncing could be just what your hormones are calling for.

Is cycle syncing for everyone?

In many cases, yes! If you want to enhance the quality of your life, improve your body awareness, and increase your productivity, cycle syncing is worth a shot. However—as with most wellness practices—it may not suit everyone. Factors like irregular menstrual cycles, medical conditions, or individual preferences can impact its effectiveness. Therefore, chat with a health coach to determine if cycle syncing fits your specific requirements.

The Menstrual Cycle Basics

Before we dive into the cycle syncing planner, let’s uncover the basics. The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Each phase is characterized by hormonal changes that impact everything from your mood to your cravings.

  1. Menstrual phase (days 1-5): This is when you start your period. Hormone levels—like estrogen and progesterone—are low, and it’s a good time for self-care and rest.
  2. Follicular phase (days 6-14): Estrogen starts to rise, and your energy increases. This is the time to start new projects, exercise, and be social.
  3. Ovulatory phase (days 15-17): Estrogen peaks, and this is often when you feel your best. Your social life can thrive, and you’re at your most extroverted.
  4. Luteal phase (days 18-28): Progesterone rises and can bring PMS symptoms. This is a good time for reflection, self-care, and creativity.

Keep in mind that these are general dates for a normal, regular period. It’s best to track your period with an app to determine your cycle’s specific lengths, symptoms, etc.

Each Menstrual Cycle Phase, Explained

With the basics under your belt, what does each phase entail? What’s happening, hormonally, and what are common symptoms? Take note.


As mentioned, this is the start of your period. The lining of your uterus sheds. Hormones are at an all-time low. Your body is losing blood and iron. Prostaglandins (which cause cramping) are peaking. You probably feel more inward, slow, and restful here. In terms of cycle syncing during your period, the aim is to truly nurture your body.


Estrogen and progesterone are starting to rise. Energy begins to pick up, and you’ll feel more confident and social. Estrogen is an anabolic hormone (meaning it helps things grow), so we are at our strongest during this phase.


Around the halfway mark in your cycle, you’ll likely ovulate. Estrogen peaks, and most women feel vibrant and sensual. Libido peaks around ovulation, too! Cervical fluid changes. It’s possible to experience some fluid retention around ovulation, as well as mild constipation, crampiness, or nausea.


Progesterone is on the rise. This is our fat-burning, temperature-regulating, pro-gestational hormone. Because of this, hunger levels increase and we tend to crave salty, carb-rich foods (yes, this is no coincidence)! On the flip side, estrogen is declining—as is serotonin. More often than not, PMS comes knocking at the door.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

Can you use a cycle syncing planner if you’re on birth control?

The long short of it: yes. Although this type of contraception suppresses ovulation, the body still undergoes hormonal fluctuations—albeit, in a controlled manner. Regardless, you can easily complement birth control’s hormonal patterns via cycle syncing. Ultimately, cycle syncing offers a holistic approach to empower all women to embrace their unique physiology. With that, let’s walk through the cycle syncing planner.

Syncing Your Calendar

Without further ado, below are habits, recommendations, and tips for each phase of your cycle. As you scroll, consider how you can implement these suggestions on your calendar (tasks, events, meal planning, etc.). Your hormones will thank you! Through this proactive approach, you can remind yourself what’s most supportive during each phase. That said, there’s no need to apply all of these. Rather, pick and choose a few. As the months go on—and cycle syncing becomes more rhythmic—you can add more.

Menstrual Phase

  • Personal habits: Prioritize self-care. This is a phase for rest, reflection, and self-compassion. Schedule moments of your day for relaxation, meditation, or journaling.
  • Professional to-dos: If possible, try to avoid intense work commitments during this phase. Instead, focus on more administrative or low-energy tasks.
  • Nourishing foods: Focus on nourishing, warming ingredients that build iron, assist in iron absorption, and are anti-inflammatory. Think—high-quality animal protein, leafy greens, broccoli, mushrooms, beets, bell peppers, lentils, kidney beans, citrus fruits, strawberries, and papaya.
  • Supplement routine: Iron to replenish iron levels due to blood loss during menstruation and magnesium to help alleviate cramps and support relaxation.
  • Social obligations: Opt for quiet gatherings or alone time.
  • Supportive rituals: Practice meditation, journaling, and self-compassion.
  • Physical health: Gentle yoga poses can help ease cramps and promote relaxation. Opt for yin yoga, which involves holding poses for an extended time, to release tension. Otherwise, a light, brisk walk can be a great way to stay active without overexerting yourself.
Image by Belathée Photography

Follicular Phase

  • Personal habits: Start new projects and set ambitious goals. Your energy is rising, so take advantage of it with exercise, hobbies, or personal development.
  • Professional to-dos: Schedule important meetings, presentations, and intense tasks during this phase when you’re most motivated and focused.
  • Nourishing foods: As with the menstrual phase, it’s ideal to incorporate foods rich in iron, such as lean meats, spinach, and lentils, to help replenish iron lost during menstruation. Additionally, consider foods high in vitamin C like citrus fruits and berries. These enhance iron absorption!
  • Supplement routine: Iron and vitamin C, along with a B-complex to support energy production and overall health. Additionally, omega-3 supplements—like fish oil—can help reduce inflammation and support mood stability.
  • Social obligations: Your extroverted side is emerging, so make plans with friends and network. It’s an excellent time for social and professional events.
  • Supportive rituals: Set goals, plan and start new projects, and express creativity.
  • Physical health: This is an excellent time to engage in more energetic and vigorous exercises. Cardio, strength training, and group fitness classes are beneficial.
Image by Suruchi Avasthi

Ovulatory Phase

  • Personal habits: Enjoy feeling your best and engage in physical activities you love. This is the time for adventures, travel, and trying new things.
  • Professional to-dos: Leverage your confidence and sociability for important meetings, negotiations, and collaborations.
  • Nourishing foods: Focus on foods rich in nutrients that support egg health and potential fertility. Include high-quality protein, leafy greens, whole grains, avocados, and ingredients high in antioxidants, like berries, which can encourage overall reproductive health and vitality.
  • Supplement routine: Key supplements include folic acid—which aids in egg development, and omega-3 fatty acids—which can help regulate inflammation and support fertility.
  • Social obligations: Plan parties, gatherings, or outings. Your social calendar can be more vibrant during this phase.
  • Supportive rituals: Focus on communication, self-expression, and self-confidence (journaling, voice notes, poetry, etc.).
  • Physical health: With estrogen at its peak, you’re likely craving more vigorous workouts and high-intensity exercises (running, strength training, or interval training). Take advantage of your increased energy and endurance to engage in challenging workouts that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Luteal Phase

  • Personal habits: Be aware of PMS symptoms and practice self-compassion. Engage in calming rituals like meditation, yoga, or reading.
  • Professional to-dos: Schedule routine tasks, and try to avoid major decisions during this phase. Focus on project management and tying up loose ends.
  • Nourishing foods: During the luteal phase, prioritize foods that support hormonal balance and help alleviate PMS symptoms. Incorporate sources of magnesium, like leafy greens and pumpkin seeds, as well as complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and legumes (to stabilize mood and energy levels).
  • Supplement routine: Supplements that help alleviate PMS symptoms and support emotional well-being are best. For example, magnesium and vitamin B6.
  • Social obligations: Balance social activities with alone time. Let friends and colleagues know that you may need some space.
  • Supportive rituals: Reflect, journal, and practice stress management techniques like meditation or deep breathing.
  • Physical health: As motivation fluctuates—and PMS is prevalent—consider focusing on gentler exercises like yoga, pilates, and low-impact activities to help manage stress and reduce discomfort.

Final Thoughts

Now, with your phone, calendar, or even a blank piece of paper in hand, begin filling out your cycle syncing planner for the month ahead. Start slow, and prioritize what feels most accessible at this time. Maybe that’s writing down a few meals you’d like to make during the week or scheduling your workouts in advance. Or, perhaps it simply looks like carving out windows of alone time and self-care. 

Remember: your cycle syncing planner is meant to support you, not overwhelm you. And it’s not set in stone! Pay attention to how you feel throughout each phase and adjust accordingly.

Your Ultimate Guide to Winter Squash—Plus the Best Recipes to Use Them In

“Winter squash” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, these veggies really come into season at the end of summer and early fall. As the temps start to drop, I find myself looking for the best winter squash recipes and ways to use all of the beautiful picks piling up at grocery stores, markets, and farm stands. Lucky for all of us, too, their buttery flavors are the perfect addition to soups, salads, and pastas, and they even stand up as the hero in many of the meatless main dishes I’ll be eating all throughout the season.

Perhaps you’re already familiar with a few of the vegetables that fall into this family. Butternut and spaghetti squash have become fan favorites in recent years, but I’d also recommend trying your hand at a recipe that includes delicata or red kuri squash this fall. Keep scrolling for tips on how to identify the seven most popular varieties of winter squash, plus some must-try recipes below.

Featured image by Suruchi Avasthi.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

How To Tell if a Squash Is Ripe

To tell if a squash is ripe, you’ll need to check out the exterior. The skin should be a matte color (if it’s glossy, it’s not ripe yet) and should have a hard exterior.

Throughout the season, I’m apt to pick up kabocha squash, delicata squash, a sugar pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and red kuri squash for experimenting with my favorite winter squash recipes. Of course, when I’m in full-on fall mode, I can’t help but grab some mini gourds and pumpkins, too! These are mainly used for decoration but can be found in some recipes as well.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

How to Identify the Seven Most Popular Winter Squash

  • Kabocha: squat, green squash with faint white lines running up and down the surface
  • Delicata: yellow cylindrical squash with green and orange stripes along the ridges
  • Sugar Pumpkin: small, almost perfectly spherical pumpkin in bright orange
  • Acorn: dark green squash with thick ridges all the way around
  • Butternut: bell-shaped squash with a light peachy yellow exterior
  • Spaghetti: round cylindrical squash with a bright yellow exterior
  • Red Kuri: warm orange squash with a lopsided shape

18 Winter Squash Recipes to Satisfy Your Seasonal Cravings

This is your sign to pick up a squash you haven’t tried next time you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market. For me, the hardest part of trying new foods is finding ways to incorporate them into recipes. Below I’ve listed out 18 delicious recipes using my favorite varieties of winter squash.

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Tart

Why We Love It: This butternut squash is a major stunner that looks way more complicated than it really is. With a flaky crust and creamy ricotta, layers of seasonal root veggies come together to make the ultimate cold-weather appetizer.

Hero Ingredient: A pinch of red pepper flakes adds the perfect heat.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon & Crispy Sage

Why We Love It: Both savory and sweet, this pasta is everything warm and cozy in a bowl. It can sometimes prove a challenge to create a creamy and decadent dish that’s dairy-free, but this pasta does just that (and some more!).

Hero Ingredient: Raw cashews are the secret weapon.

Roasted Delicata Squash With Feta, Almonds, and Herbs

Why We Love It: If you’re unfamiliar with it, delicata squash is slightly sweet, caramelizes perfectly, and is the ideal canvas for all of fall’s flavors. This specific recipe serves it with a simple dressing and lots of toppings to make the squash a complete meal. The crunch from the almonds and the creaminess from the feta is just the icing on top of the already delicious cake.

Hero Ingredient: Cumin brings a rich, hearty, and warming bite to this quintessential fall side.

Butternut Squash Pizza With Arugula & Almond Ricotta

Why We Love It: As seasons come and go, one thing stays the same: my love for pizza. This butternut squash pizza shot its way up to the top of my favorite winter squash recipes because it’s seasonal, dairy-free (although you wouldn’t know it), and downright delicious. The sweet squash and almond ricotta combined with the savory bacon will have you going back for third and fourth slices. 

Hero Ingredient: If you haven’t yet dabbled in the art of making your own (plant-based) ricotta, now’s the time to try! It’s wayyy easier than it seems and is the perfect cheesy, slightly sweet base for this fall pizza.

Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

Why We Love It: When it comes to winter squash recipes, roasting these roots is always my go-to method of prep. For this go-to roasted butternut squash recipe, all you need is two hours in the oven to create a delicious, filling, and hassle-free appetizer.

Hero Ingredient: A little bit of hot sauce and fresh herbs take this squash up a notch.

Rosemary Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Butter and Hazelnuts

Why We Love It: I was lucky enough to try this recipe when Tieghan Gerard came to visit Camille last year, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. I’d never tried acorn squash before, but it quickly became one of my favorite winter squash sides. The brown butter and hazelnuts, with the hint of spice from the chili flakes, create the flavor combo you didn’t know you needed. 

Hero Ingredient: Just a tablespoon of brown sugar is all the added sweetness this recipe needs.

“Creamy” Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger & Coconut Milk

Why We Love It: This soup is my favorite way to dive into squash season. It’s one of the coziest soups I’ve ever had while still tasting clean and healthy. Thanks to the coconut milk, it’s ultra creamy without any cream at all. I highly recommend doubling this recipe and saving it for lunch or keeping it in the freezer for a rainy day. 

Hero Ingredient: Peeled and chopped ginger adds just the right amount of warming spice to this perfect-for-fall soup.

Turmeric Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

Why We Love It: To celebrate everything we love most about fall in a lighter, plant-packed form, this turmeric squash salad throws together plenty of nutrients and a wide variety of flavors. Pumpkin seeds and cranberries add a bit of texture and tanginess to complement your sweet autumn star.

Hero Ingredient: Honey is a natural sweetener essential for this salad.

Delicata Squash Salad with Pistachios and Marinated Lentils

Why We Love It: One of my favorite meal-prep winter squash recipes is this delicata squash salad. Add your favorite greens and complement them with crunchy pistachios and creamy feta cheese for the most mouthwatering fall bowl.

Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon gives these squash slices a warm spiced flavor.

Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Figs, and Pesto

Why We Love It: Just the name of this recipe makes my mouth water. Butternut squash, goat cheese, and pesto are three of my favorite foods and thrown together—they can’t be beat. This is an excellent affordable, healthy, vegetarian meal to add to your fall meal rotation. 

Hero Ingredient: Pesto adds a bright, fresh flavor to this comforting side dish.

Pita Tostadas with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, & Avocado

Why We Love It: As much as I love squash recipes, sometimes they can all start to taste the same. These tostadas, however, are the perfect way to shake things up while still eating with the season. Camille took the genius approach of swapping tortillas for pita bread in this recipe, which makes the perfect chewy, golden-brown crust for this Tex-mex spin on squash.

Hero Ingredient: Adding a few creamy slices of avocado to anything is the answer for… everything.

Warm Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

Why We Love It: This colorful and seasonal salad is the perfect addition to all of your fall dinner parties. It comes from Sheela Prakash’s cookbook Mediterranean Every Day and is just as healthy as it is comforting. I like making a big batch of this on Sunday to have on hand all week since it’s full of veggies that won’t get soggy from the dressing. 

Hero Ingredient: I love the vinaigrette’s peppery, pungent bite of Dijon.

Wild Grain & Winter Squash Salad

Why We Love It: Salads that don’t feel like salads are trending on TikTok and this wild grain and winter squash salad should be going viral. With no leafy greens to be seen, it’s a great recipe for when you want something a little more comforting but still healthy. The delicata and dumpling squash rest on a bed of rice and are topped with almonds, feta, and plenty of herbs to satisfy every single taste bud. 

Hero Ingredient: Wild purple rice isn’t simply a good source of protein. It’s also a delightfully chewy, nutty, and slightly sweet grain that’s perfect for any fall salad or bowl.

Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Why We Love It: My roommate and I have started a new tradition this fall: Soup Mondays. I know you’re thinking that Soup Sundays makes more sense, but we coincidentally had soup two Mondays in a row, and it stuck. On tap for this week is this comforting curry butternut squash soup. The curry adds even more flavor than traditional butternut squash soup, which is already a favorite of mine. It’s also freezer-friendly and one of the best winter squash recipes for meal prep.

Hero Ingredient: The chopped Granny Smith apple adds a complex sweetness that deepens this soup’s cozy fall flavors.

Crispy Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa with Currant Vinaigrette

Why We Love It: This simple yet delicious fall meal will be your new weeknight hero. The butternut squash is golden and crispy on the outside and creamy and warm on the inside—just how I like it. The currant vinaigrette perfectly brightens the dish, complements the fall flavors, and brings it all together. Plus, you’ll want to bookmark this genius tip for cooking quinoa. 

Hero Ingredient: I love the chickpeas’ creamy, hearty bite. It plays perfectly with crispy butternut squash and nutty quinoa.

Butternut Squash, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Pasta

Why We Love It: I’m a sucker for a good fall pasta, and this is one of the easiest and best recipes I’ve tried. The short list of ingredients comes together in just one bowl and is perfect for a cozy weeknight or a wine night with friends. Take it from me: the optional sage leaves should most definitely not be optional.

Hero Ingredient: A garnish of toasted pine nuts is the perfect texture play. They deliver just the right amount of crunch.

Curried Roasted Winter Squash Soup From Brooklyn Delhi’s Chitra Agrawal

Why We Love It: This delicious winter soup is Chitra Agrawal’s go-to weeknight meal, and I can’t blame her. I love that you can make it with any winter squash—butternut, acorn, kabocha, or delicata—so you’ll never grow tired of it. Plus, if you roast the squash ahead of time, this recipe comes together in one pot.

Hero Ingredient: Leaning on your favorite simmer sauce not only makes this recipe a breeze but it also ensures you’re packing in tons of flavor despite a minimal ingredients list.

Slow Roasted Cod with Broccolini, Winter Squash, And Mint

Why We Love It: I love a recipe that feels ultra elegant, yet comes together in a matter of minutes. (Bonus: it’s baked in one pan.) This roasted cod with broccolini, squash, and mint does exactly that, giving you a restaurant-grade meal with minimal effort. You can make this recipe with any firm white fish or winter squash, and the formula will turn out just as delicious every time. 

Hero Ingredient: Is it me, or is cod a super underrated fish? It’s a low-fat source of protein, sure, but it also has a light, flaky texture and neutral flavor that holds up well against any seasonings you add.

This post was originally published on October 26, 2017, and has since been updated.

Your Fall Denim Guide is Here: 5 Trends That Cool Girls Will Be Wearing

Every fashion week, I’m transported back to my days as a stylist, eagerly immersed in the world of runway shows, editor predictions, and the latest trends. And guess what? This season, one undeniable trend is capturing everyone’s attention: denim! While denim as a material never really goes out of style, it’s all about the cuts and embellishments that define the times. Let’s dive into the exciting world of fall 2023 denim trends. Just remember—fashion is about finding what suits you best, not just following what’s in vogue.

So scroll through the styles below and get inspired to work them in a way that feels comfortable for you. Thankfully, fall 2023 denim trends offer a wide range of options for style enthusiasts. Ahead, dive into the denim trends you’ll be seeing everywhere this season.

Image above from our interview with Janessa Leone, by Teal Thomsen

Image by Michelle Nash

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Fall Denim Trend #1:  Barrel Leg Cut

The barrel leg cut is making waves this season. These wide-leg pants taper at the ankle, creating a distinct barrel shape. While it’s undoubtedly a fashion-forward statement, it’s not for everyone. If you love straight-leg denim in your wardrobe, consider the barrel leg as its stylish cousin.

However, if you’re more expansive in the hips or shorter, it might be best to steer clear of this trend initially. Start with a milder barrel leg style, and if you love it, experiment with more exaggerated versions.

Fall Denim Trend #2: Long Denim Skirts

If you grew up in the 90s, you might feel a sense of déjà vu with this viral trend. This fall, they’re back in a big way, introducing an A-line shape and longer lengths. What’s great about this trend is its versatility. Pair it with a fitted tank for a casual look, or dress it with a blazer or leather jacket. Long denim skirts offer endless possibilities, especially when it comes to styling with your favorite fall boots.

Image by Michelle Nash

Fall Denim Trend #3:  Head-To-Toe Denim

The head-to-toe denim look is making a comeback, a trend that never truly disappears. The key to nailing this trend is matching your denim pieces. Avoid highly contrasting denim, but stick to close shades if you can’t match them perfectly. You can also explore denim dresses or jumpsuits as a less intimidating entry into this trend.

Fall Denim Trend #4:  Designer Denim

Investing in quality denim is always a smart move. Fall 2023 denim trends are witnessing an influx of designer brands launching their denim lines. Even budget-friendly denim can look fantastic if it fits well, but designer denim tends to last longer and offers superior quality. Listen to the Second Life podcast with Libby Page, Net-a-Porter’s marketing director, for more insights on this topic. If you find the perfect pair that makes you feel like a million bucks, don’t hesitate to splurge!

Image by Michelle Nash

Fall Denim Trend #5: Fashionable Flares

Flares are back. (Did they even go anywhere?) And they’re making a statement this season. Whether you prefer embellished, slit, oversized, ombre, or patchwork styles, there’s a flare for everyone. Embrace the drama and uniqueness that flares bring to your denim collection.

The Takeaway

As you navigate the exciting world of fall 2023 denim trends, remember that fashion is a personal journey. What matters most is finding the styles that make you feel confident and comfortable. Whether you’re into barrel leg cuts, long denim skirts, head-to-toe denim, designer denim, or fashion-forward flares, embrace the trends that resonate with your style and make this denim season your best one yet!

Container Gardening for Beginners—Your Guide to Growing in Any Space

Fact: you don’t need a big space or an actual garden patch to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Many think a sprawling backyard is required to grow herbs, veggies, and produce, but all you really need are a few large pots and some decent sun exposure to get your container garden growing. So whether you’re building raised garden beds or simply looking to fill a few vessels on your back deck, consider this your ultimate guide to container gardening for beginners.

There are so many varieties of vegetables that thrive in containers. And when it comes to your garden’s design, the options are endless. This can look like anything from pots on your patio to window boxes outside your kitchen window. Even if your outdoor space is slim to none, there’s still something you can grow in a container garden.

Featured image from our interview with Janessa Leoné by Teal Thomsen.

Image by Michelle Nash

Container Gardening for Beginners

Some of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers are nightshades like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, as well as fast-growing crops like peas and lettuce. Of course, there is no such thing as foolproof vegetable gardening, but container vegetable gardening comes close by reducing the threats posed by bad weather, pests, and hungry critters.

Growing vegetables in containers is an easy way to enjoy fresh food without the hassles of pulling weeds or tilling the soil. All you need is a pot, good soil, and sun! Ahead, in this guide to container gardening for beginners, we’re breaking down eight fruit and vegetable varieties you should start with. You’ll truly be amazed at what you can grow in a small space!


First on the list: kitchen herbs. Kitchen herbs are the easiest edible plants to grow and deserve a spot on any container garden list. For the rookie gardener, planting fresh herbs is a great way to begin testing out your green thumb, and unlike succulents or shrubs, succeeding with these plants is extra gratifying, as they work wonders in elevating your cooking game as well.

Try thyme, chives, mint, sage, parsley, oregano, and rosemary outdoors, and basil and coriander on the kitchen windowsill. Check out this post for more info on planting herbs and amazing recipes to make with each one!


Growing tomatoes in containers are easy and incredibly satisfying. You can grow tomatoes in pots, grow bags, and even hanging baskets, but most tomatoes also are happiest in big containers and will need staking or a tomato cage (this extra support keeps the heavy fruit from bending and breaking the vines.)

Tomato Planting Tips:

  • If you are buying tomato seedlings, look for short, stocky plants that do not have blossoms yet.
  • Tomatoes do not like the cold, so do not put them out too early. If planting outside, make sure you harden off or gradually acclimate seedlings to outside living before you plant them.
  • When planting tomato seedlings, plant them deeply—much deeper than you do most plants. They will thrive in deep, moist soil with good drainage. Stick to one plant per pot.
  • Keep dogs and cats away from this plant, as the leaves are toxic if ingested by pets.

Summer Squash

Zucchini (also called summer squash) is a great vegetable for small-space gardeners. It’s nearly guaranteed to grow, it produces tons of veggies all summer long, and comes in lots of fun shapes and colors. Grow compact varieties like Gold Rush yellow zucchini, Spacemiser green zucchini, or Sunburst scallopini zucchini.

Summer Squash Planting Tips:

  • Plant one plant per 15-gallon pot, or two plants in pots 20 inches or more across.
  • Ideal growing conditions include lots of light (full sun is best), good, rich soil as well as consistent watering and feeding.
Image by Michelle Nash


Did you know that freshly picked potatoes taste entirely different than the potatoes you would buy in a grocery store? They have higher water content and a bitter, earthy flavor that pairs so well with other fresh ingredients. Many people think potato plants need lots of room to grow, but what they actually need is deep soil. They will grow just fine in long containers like barrels or plastic dustbins. Even though growing potatoes require a lot of soil and water, it is well worth the effort to take your tasty spring and summer recipes to the next level.

Potato Planting Tips:

  • Potatoes are productive if there’s ample room for tubers to develop. Bury seed potatoes in an 8-inch layer of soil at the bottom of the pot, six inches apart from each other.
  • As plants grow, pile more soil up to the top set of leaves.
  • I recommend trying small to medium-sized potatoes at first—All Blue, Red Pontiac, or Yukon Gold potatoes are a safe bet for beginners.


Crispy, peppery radishes are great in salads and a good crop for beginner vegetable gardeners. They are trouble-free and grow ridiculously quickly—most go from seed to harvest in just about a month. They also do not need much space—they can grow in containers that are four to six inches deep, so they’re perfect for someone who lives in an apartment. There are many varieties, which means you can select your seeds based on appearance and flavor. I think radishes are so gorgeous—a fresh and instant decor boost to your kitchen! The tops of radish greens are also edible, as are the pods.

Radish Planting Tips:

  • Sow seeds about 1 centimeter deep and at least an inch apart. Do this little and often between March and August for a continuous supply of radishes.
  • Keep cool and water well. These plants do not like getting too hot, but you can control this easily by moving the plant into the shade or adding water to cool them down.
  • Harvest after about a month before they mature and become woody.
Image by Hannah Zahner


Growing lettuce and other salad greens in containers is fast and perfect for tiny spaces. You can even make your own vertical lettuce garden which looks so beautiful out on a patio. If you’re a big salad eater, you will love growing your own fresh lettuce and whipping up delicious recipes all summer. There are some great salad greens and mesclun mixes you can buy for container gardens that taste delicious and look good in decorative pots.

Lettuce Planting Tips:

  • Sow one or two seeds in a pot less than an inch deep, at intervals so they don’t all mature at the same time.
  • You need rich soil that is kept really moist for lettuces to grow well. Lettuce does not need as much sunlight as other vegetables, so find a place that gets a few hours of sun a day, preferably in the morning as the afternoon sun can scorch the plants depending on how hot it gets in your area.
  • Water in the morning rather than the evening, and cut the head when the firm heart has formed.
Image by Michelle Nash


Peppers can be spectacularly beautiful, especially orange and purple sweet peppers in containers. Perfect for adding a sweet or fiery kick to a multitude of dishes, both hot and sweet peppers thrive in grow boxes, but can be grown in any large container with plenty of sun, good drainage, and consistent watering. Dry soil or overly wet soil is disastrous for peppers. And, the warmer the conditions are, the spicier the chilies!

Pepper Planting Tips:

  • Planting bell pepper in containers requires a pot that is at least 10-12 inches deep and wide and has sufficient drainage holes. You can grow up to 2-3 plants (smaller varieties) per container, or one larger plant per container.
  • Peppers love the sun. The most productive pepper plants are grown in warmth and heat, so keep them in a position that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. Make sure they’re sheltered from strong winds.
  • Good soil is the key to productive pepper plants. Buy the best quality potting mix that is well-drained, loose, and fertile, or make your own potting mix.
  • Growing bell peppers requires regular watering to keep the soil slightly moist, and the soil should never dry out completely. Water at the foot of the plant. Pepper plants also suffer from overwatering, so be careful that your plants don’t sit in water.


Cucumbers are a fast-growing vegetable commonly grown in containers. These water-loving plants do best in large plastic or ceramic pots that help the soil retain moisture. Growing cucumbers in containers is a great way to give them the heat they love and need to thrive. There are two main types of cucumbers: bush and vining. Either can grow in a container. Bush cucumbers tend to be shorter with smaller yields. The six to eight-inch long fruits have smooth, tender skin and sweet, crisp flesh. Vining cucumbers will require a trellis or tomato cage.

Cucumber Planting Tips:

  • Plant one plant per 12-inch pot, or 2 plants in a larger container that’s at least 18 inches across.
  • For larger planters, grow plants at final spacing of eight to 10 inches apart.
  • They need heat and do best in a place with full sun to partial shade in the afternoon.
  • Grow in a pot that has good drainage, filled with moist, fertilizer-enriched soil.

This post was originally published on May 27, 2020, and has since been updated.

How to Set a Table: A Host’s Guide to Basic, Casual, and Formal Settings

When it comes to hosting a gathering, a few things are non-negotiable. Your favorite people, good conversation, and a menu everyone will remember. But every meal is an opportunity to set the table with intention—even a casual Tuesday night dinner. When we sit down to eat with friends or family, we’re nourishing many different parts of ourselves. We’re satiating our hunger, satisfying our desire for connection, and allowing all of our different senses to be soothed at once.

As one of my favorite writers, M.F.K. Fisher so elegantly said, “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.”

But we understand too, that when it comes to knowing how to set a table, all the many different etiquette rules and occasions can send your head spinning. And yes, all manner of questions abound. I’m throwing a casual dinner party—how do I fold the napkins? Is there any way I can make my everyday dinners with toddlers feel a little more elegant? Where the heck do I put the salad fork?

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Soup spoons versus dessert spoons and white wine glasses versus red. Your hand goes to place the drinkware with trepidation… Now, is it to the right of the water glass or the left? We’ve been there more times than we can count, and while there are plenty of “rules” to remember, we can appreciate the guidance. Because when it comes to setting the table in style, what’s the point of having beautiful pieces if you can’t let them shine in all their glory?

That’s the fun—and perhaps the beauty—of etiquette. While some may be quick to write it off as antiquated or irrelevant, we like to lean on convention for guidance and inspiration. But, of course, we’re always ones to bend the rules a bit to create space for our creativity. Setting the table is an exercise in balance, after all.

Why It’s Important to Set the Table

Setting the table is akin to getting dressed even when you work from home. It brings intentionality into your day, helping you transition from one moment to inhabiting the energy of the next. And to be clear, the table doesn’t have to match the meal. We love up-leveling the impact of a meal-prepped dinner or leftovers with a freshly-picked bouquet from the farmer’s market or breaking out your best china when friends come over for a meal.

That’s part of making every day a celebration: understanding that when we direct our energy to what’s important, the residual magic is more impactful than we could at first believe.

How to Set a Table: 3 Table Settings for all Occasions

If you’re ready to learn how to set the table for everyday dinners, casual gatherings, and formal affairs alike, keep reading—this guide has you covered.

Basic Table Setting

Our weeknight evening meals can often take place in a frenzy. If you’re the parents of littles, then you know that the shuffle from school to sports to pick-up can be a lot. And getting dinner on the table is a feat in and of itself. This is not the time to go over the top (if you even have the energy to consider doing so… ). Instead, we’re keeping things simple and streamlined. For a basic table setting, all you’ll need is a placemat, flatware, a dinner plate, drinking glass, and a napkin.

If you want to—and have the time to—make this meal a little more special, pop a seasonal bundle of flowers in your cart when you do your dinner shopping. Even just a single stem in a bud vase surrounded by a few tea lights can go a long way.

Basic Table Setting Instructions

Just because we’re keeping things basic doesn’t mean you can’t infuse a little personality into your set-up. We love incorporating accents of color here and there with whatever is in our linen drawer. This is not the time to stress over matching sets.

  1. Cover the table as you see fit. Placemats keep things clean and easy, especially if you’re dining with littles. However, we also love the look of a breezy cotton or linen tablecloth draped over the table. A machine-washable cotton or linen tablecloth means you can throw it in the laundry right after dinner.
  2. Set your dinner plate in the middle of the table setting or placemat. No charger needed.
  3. Lay the napkin to the left of your dinner plate. When it comes to a basic table setting, you can either go with this option or place the napkin on top of the dinner plate for a little elegant flair. Bonus points if you incorporate an accent color that’ll pop off your dinner plate.
  4. Set your flatware. Place the fork to the left of your dinner plate (on your napkin), the knife to the right of your dinner plate, and the spoon to the right of your knife.
  5. Set the water glass. Your glass goes in the top right corner of your setting, above the knife.

Casual Table Setting

Casual gatherings are centered around intimacy. Versus a more formal affair, you’re likely to have fewer guests—and more often than not, diners who are well-acquainted with one another. Even if that isn’t the case, a casual setting allows you to experiment and explore your own creativity when it comes to the table, adding detail where inspiration calls. Whether it be a custom printed menu, a DIY floral arrangement, or a creative napkin display, know that just because you’re going laid-back doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun.

With the exception of a few added layers and flourishes, the casual table setting closely mimics the basic setup. However, you may be serving multiple courses during this meal. In that case, you’ll want to incorporate a soup bowl and a salad plate into your setting. As a rule of thumb, only set out the dishes, flatware, and glasses that your menu calls for. There’s no need to go above and beyond (worse comes to worst, it’ll just confuse your guests!).

As for the charger (the decorative plate serving as the base of your dinnerware), you can either opt in or out for a casual place setting. The charger is generally reserved for more formal tables, but if you’d like to accent your plating with one, go ahead. Just be sure to use more laid-back materials, such as rattan or wood.

Casual Table Setting Instructions

  1. Set a linen tablecloth or placemats. In the case of a casual table setting, we prefer a linen tablecloth. But it’s all up to your own design preferences—elegant placemats can work just as well.
  2. Lay a dinner plate in the middle of each setting. Next, layer on a salad plate. If you’re serving a soup course, set the soup bowl on top.
  3. Get creative with your napkins and flatware. The general rules of a basic table setting apply here—go to the left of or on top of your dinner plate with the napkin and your flatware follows suit. However, if you want to change things up and get creative, we love napkins on top of your plates and bundling flatware in drinking glasses. A natural flourish like an herb spring or seasonal flower is a nice accent on top of your napkin.
  4. Place your water and wine glass. The water glass is in the top right corner of your setting, with your wine glass placed beside and a little up of it. If you’re serving red and white, use both glasses. If not, use just whatever you’re serving.

Formal Table Setting

When it comes to setting a formal table, remember: formal does not equate to stuffy. While it might be the most nerve-wracking of the occasions presented here—formal gatherings often mean a multi-course meal, accompanied by different wine pairings—you’re more than welcome to add a little flair to your table. You may be tempted to opt for matching elements, but we encourage whimsy and bringing an eclectic feel to the setting. This can be achieved through vintage pieces, mismatching wares, and thrifted designs you’ve collected over the years. Just because it’s a formal affair doesn’t mean you can’t weave interest and originality into your table.

Formal Table Setting Instructions

  1. Opt for a tablecloth. The formal table setting is all about setting a strong, design-forward foundation for the elements to come. A single-toned tablecloth creates a clean landscape for the other components you’ll use to build your tablescape. And to be clear: there’s no need for a perfectly-starched tablecloth. We love the look of little natural texture brings to the table.
  2. Start with your centerpiece. If you’re using a longer table, go low and long with your centerpiece. Incorporate seasonal fruits, flowers, and herbs to bring color and interest to the table. We love adding a few tea lights for ambiance. The cardinal rule of centerpieces? Be sure guests can see over it and can speak to diners across the table comfortably.
  3. Lay a charger at every seating. A charger adds layered interest to the table design and creates a natural center point for the multiple plates and bowls a formal setting requires.
  4. Layer your plates. While you can certainly lay your bread and butter and salad plates to the left of the dinner plate, a formal gathering will likely mean more guests. If that’s the case, and if you want to create added dimension with height, layer your plates in the following order: the dinner plate, followed by the salad plate, the soup bowl (if serving a soup course), and then the bread plate on top.
  5. Lay a napkin to the left of the charger. To spread your setting horizontally, begin building it outwards by placing the napkin to the left of your dinner plate and charger.
  6. Add your flatware. Your dinner fork will go to the left of your plate, followed by the salad fork. To the right of your plate, place your knife, with the spoon on the outside. Lay your dessert spoon horizontally above the plates.
  7. Incorporate place cards. Place cards are a great way to use more of your creative flair. Opt for any seasonal or evergreen design you’d like or keep it simple by folding a small square of card stock in half and writing the guest’s name in legible script, placing it facing their chair. This is not only a great way for guests to find their seats, but to learn the names of those sitting around them.
  8. Finish off with drinkware. The same rules apply as with the casual table setting. Place the water glass above the dinner knife, with the white wine glass to its right and the red wine glass above, forming a triangle.