The holidays are a whirlwind of parties, decorating, and hosting family and friends, but the pressures of the season do not have to become stressors. Providing some life hacks for navigating the season of giving is fashion and entertainment guru Clinton Kelly. The style expert has teamed with Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster to help hostesses who need some fashion and decorating tips, guests looking for gift ideas, and everyone in-between. Get the most out of your holiday season with exclusive advice from Clinton to byteclay.com readers.
byteclay.com: Traditional red and green fashions can feel hokey. What are some ways to be festive, yet stylish?
CLINTON KELLY: Red and green can work during the holidays—just not together! Jewel tones like ruby red and emerald green can be very chic. But if you’re worried about looking too Christmasy, choose shades of red and green that aren’t so bright, like a forest green, brick red or burgundy. Pair them with neutrals to tone them down a bit. Most importantly, when a woman wants to look festive, she should add some shine, sheen or sparkle to her outfit, like a metallic clutch, an embellished shoe, or a blingy statement necklace. Find more of my tips at Clorox.com/Spincycle.
E: What is the proper way to pre-treat clothing? Does rubbing the fabric together damage clothes?
CK: Pre-treating is a really important step for stain removal. It’s best to treat stains right away, so blot fresh stains with a paper towel or a white rag. Then add a little Clorox 2® directly to the stain. (I rub in with my finger, but you can use another section of the garment. Just be gentle and your fabrics should be fine.) Wait 5-10 minutes, then throw your garment into the laundry with a bit more Clorox 2® and your favorite detergent.
E: What are your tips for holiday decorating on a budget?
CK: I’m a big fan of bringing the outdoors in! Use metallic spray paint on branches and pine cones you’ve found in your own backyard and finish by gluing on some white glitter to give a snowy effect. Place these in bowls and vases throughout your home. And don’t waste money on expensive cut flower arrangements, choose potted plants like poinsettias or amaryllis and dress them up by wrapping the pots in pieces of fabric on sale at the craft store and securing with ribbon. You can also make an easy table runner with that fabric from the store. Just finish raw edges with hem tape. Or use wrapping paper for a fun, colorful table runner.
E: Other than wine, what are some quick grab holiday host gifts?
CK: Think about what’s going to be most useful to your host or something thoughtful that they can enjoy or use after the party is over.
- I love to bring a bowl or basket filled with clementines that can be used as an easy centerpiece and enjoyed after the party.
- A basket of freshly baked pastries like scones make breakfast easy for your host the next day.
- A lovely ornament is something that will remind your hosts of you for years to come.
- Plus, you can never go wrong with bath salts, candles, dishtowels
E: Are there any tasty holiday mocktails other than non-alcoholic egg nog?
CK: Absolutely. Make mocktails feel special by putting them in a fancy glass, adding some fun garnish and bubbles!
Here are some fun ideas:
- Try seltzer, a splash of pomegranate juice, add a fresh raspberry and lemon twist. Serve this in a coupe glass or champagne flute.
- Update a classic – the Shirley Temple – by mixing a spicy non-alcoholic ginger beer and grenadine. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry for retro flair.
- Make a sparkly, non-alcoholic Cosmo using seltzer, cranberry juice and a splash of fresh orange juice. Serve this in a martini glass garnished with a lime wedge.
- For something warm, try adding cinnamon sticks and nutmeg to apple cider simmering on the stove. You’ll get the added benefit of making your home smell amazing. Also delicious is a Mexican hot chocolate made with milk, high-quality dark chocolate, cinnamon and a kick of cayenne.
E: Many people dread the post-party clean-up. How can it feel less overwhelming?
CK: Clean as you go! And enlist your biggest clean-freak friend to help. We all have a friend or family member who can’t bear the sight of a mess. Use her obsessive compulsion to your advantage! Whisper in her ear: “I’m always impressed by how neat your house is. Can you do me a favor and help tidy this place up as the night goes on?” Now she’s your wingman, so to speak. You and your wingman should keep an eye out for abandoned plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins and throw them right into the sink or dishwasher.