What to do about January: Stay home, stay warm

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The holidays are over. We are well into January, and it seems a lot of people are afflicted with the post-New Year doldrums. You know that January feeling: a bit dreary, cold, dark and sort of hung over from the December social swirl.

To get some advice on dealing with “the January Syndrome,” I did a little research. By far the best recommendation I found is to just eliminate January from the calendar, according to Eric Taylor, an editor at Papillon Times in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Of course, you can imagine what January must be like on the snowy plains of Nebraska. And we think we have it hard when the wind blows and a little frost appears on our windshields!

“Morale just seems to be near rock bottom in January,” Taylor says. “The stores aren’t busy because people are out of money and energy, I’m guessing workplace production isn’t on any record paces and people in general just seem to be to going through the motions, trying to make it through until better times await.”

It seems like every other month has something to offer in terms of a holiday or beautiful weather, but January brings nothing to the table. The best day of January is its first day, and then it’s all downhill from there.

Heck, they moved the Super Bowl to February. I guess the NFL realizes January is not a fun month. Even the pope isn’t coming to Juárez in January. He is waiting until February.

Granted, getting rid of an entire month is probably unrealistic. In lieu of that, I recommend you take charge of the remainder of January and make the best of it. Here are some tips for living it up this week.

• Have a small party at home. Who says you can’t have a party in January? Your friends are just waiting and wishing for a chance to get out and enjoy a little camaraderie. Don’t stress out over the menu. Pull out your easiest recipes.

If you need an idea, I recommend the tortilla soup mix from fourth-generation El Pasoan Anne Mitchell’s line of So El Paso products available at her Stanton Street store in Kern Place or online at www.soelpaso.com.

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Then wow your guests with an attention-grabbing winter drink that they won’t forget, like the El Paso Country Club Gully Washer. Randy Hambrick, the club aquatics director and sometimes bartender, gave me the recipe one evening. It’s delicious.

Tres Mariposas staff member Sarai Tave is ready to entertain at home in BCBG jumpsuit.

Tres Mariposas staff member Sarai Tave is ready to entertain at home in BCBG jumpsuit.

• Hit the stores for January sales. There is no better time to find a bargain. In France, they have huge January sales – some people plan their trips to Paris to coincide with the big discounts. But by the time you throw in airfare, upscale hotels and fancy meals, you’re not saving much!

Sale Shopper

Stay in El Paso and enjoy the chance to snap up two seasons at one time. Pick up wintry fashions for February and next year and also brighten your closet and look ahead with pretty spring styles. January is an excellent month for buying jewelry and accessories also. Retailers want to replenish their stock from the holidays and are ready to move out the merchandise with some tempting prices.

• Get comfy by the fireplace. The soft angora sweater or cozy wrap that you received for Christmas – or bought at a January sale – was made for evenings like this. Don’t just schlep around the house in your sweat pants. Why shelve your new shawl or stash your new cashmere? Enjoy your new clothes. Make being cozy at home a luxury experience.

Cuddle up with a new sweater or throw.

Cuddle up with a new sweater or throw.

Treat yourself in January. Before you know it, you’ll look forward to January, rather than dreading it!

For spring, think bohemian, pastels and stripes

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Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends – and you got some fun new clothes either for yourself or as gifts!

Who knows what the New Year will bring? Let us hope for a peaceful, prosperous year with a new burst of kindness and compassion for all.

While we have no idea about the country’s future, I’m glad to tell you about the future of fashion trends starting this spring. Up in New York and across the Atlantic in Paris, the experts have conducted their research and made their predictions. Here’s a sneak preview of top spring trends, starting with the most important colors.

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• Pretty pastels: You can expect to see buttercup and sunshine yellow and 50 shades of pink from “sunset hot” pink to the palest ghostly pink. In a class to itself, the new “powdery pastels” are muted with white and take on almost a neutral feel.

• Fruity and festive: The colors of melons add a tasty tang, including cantaloupe, casaba and honeydew, along with peachy hues ranging from coral to light peach fuzz. Another warm color to watch for is true apple red, a pure crimson color with no orange, brown or violet undertones.

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• White, white, white: This spring brings lots of white accents, in white lace, white sheer inserts, white trim. Crisp white shirts will always be in style, whether they are short or tunic-length.

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• Green and blue: We’ll be seeing more green than in previous years, including leaf green that’s the color of palm fronds, emerald green, the slightly darker malachite green and acid green, which has a touch of yellow in it. Cobalt blue will remain big, along with royal blue.

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• Stripes: Wide, narrow, wavy, variegated, broken – all kinds of stripes abound on dresses and tops. Even athletic pants and jackets will feature stripes this spring.

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• Bohemian style: I discussed this as a major trend last fall and it is definitely continuing into 2016. This trend encompasses “hippie” styles, loose sheer peasant blouses, Indian print tunics, ponchos, maxi-dresses, funky elements, artsy folkloric motifs and more.

• Embellishments: In keeping with this bohemian trend are all sorts of interesting details including tassels, appliquéd jewels, embroidery, beading, lace, sequins, fancy buttons, burnout velvet, raw edges, lacing with grommets and lots and lots of fringe.

• Textures: Fabrics continue to be highly tactile with interesting laser-cut designs, perforations, mesh, crochet trims and chiffon accents.

• Denim: America’s favorite fabric is back with a passion, in all washes and finishes from distressed-ripped to dressy dark. Skinny jeans still dominate, but bootleg and flare are still with us. It’s been a few years, but culottes in denim may catch on this spring; shorts and jackets have never gone away.

• The “new” twin-set: While we will still see plenty of knit tank tops and little T-shirts under cardigans, this season also brings cute shorter, cropped tops and matching jackets in woven fabrics.

• Pants: Not much news here, except watch for wider legs and flowy drawstring styles. You can expect less emphasis on leggings – and no yoga pants outside the yoga class.

Stay tuned for more on these 2016 spring trends. If I had a crystal ball, I’d say that 2016 is shaping up to be a fun fashion year!