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It’s Christmas (in July)

There’s a heat wave across the country right now, so the holiday season may be the furthest thing from your mind. But this week at zulily, we are fantasizing about those cooler late-fall and early-winter days, when the weather outside gets frightful, when those one-horse sleighs get put to use, and when the big guy starts making a list and checking it twice.

If you’re anything like us, December usually brings a busy holiday schedule full of present shopping and preparation.  That’s why this year at zulily we’re celebrating Christmas in July and getting our entertaining, clothing, and decorating needs taken care of early.  Imagine how carefree December will feel as you revel in the joy of having planned ahead this year!

We’ve broken your Christmas in July prep list down into four essential areas: gift wrapping, clothing, entertaining and tree trimming.

Gift wrapping supplies: There’s no better way to spice up your Christmas tree than to get fun gift-wrapping supplies, like wrapping paper, gift bags, colorful tissue paper, gift tags, ribbons, and adornments (who doesn’t like to get a bonus present in the form of a candy cane or a keepsake ornament on the top of their gift?). 

Your presents will be the cutest under the tree with these adorable and colorful Meri Meri “Merry and Bright” gift cards (zulily price: $9.99, originally: $16.00).  

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Holiday Banner Personalized Self-Inking Stamp from 2712 Designs (zulily price: $24.99, originally: $50.00) make tags that are great on small jars of homemade preserves or homemade Christmas cookies for your neighbors.

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Kids Clothes: Whether it’s snuggling up on Christmas Eve, or shimmying down to Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree at the neighborhood Christmas party, kids certainly need a lot of holiday clothing. 

Pajamas, like this candy cane pair by Red Sugar (zulily price: $14.99, originally: $39.00), can keep any girl or boy warm and in the holiday spirit all season.

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We love the detailing on this Gerson & Gerson Snowflake Top & Knit Jumper for infant or toddler girls (zulily price: $23.99, originally: $50.00). The mock turtleneck will keep her warm, while the pom-poms and the embellished snowflakes will keep her looking stylish.

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Christmas Entertaining Supplies: Whether it’s a Christmas tea you’re hosting, a cookie-baking party you hold annually, or Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner, you’ll want your entertaining supplies to match the quality of food and company.  zulily’s got you covered with everything you need to keep your food and your home looking festive. 

This personalized plate by Lima Bean Kids (zulily price: $13.99, originally: $27.00) is the perfect dish for the pre-Santa cookies you enjoy with your family as well as the batch you leave with a frosty glass of milk for Santa on Christmas Eve.

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These Boston Warehouse “Let it Snow” Snowman spreaders (zulily price: $7.99, originally: $12.00) can be used all winter long on a holiday party cheese tray, to serve jam and butter with your Christmas brunch, or to spread frosting on those Christmas cookies for Santa.

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Tree Trimming Supplies: One of the hot Christmas trends for this season is a themed tree; you can capture a rustic snow lodge feel, embrace the vibrant jewel-tones that are so popular in fashion, or let your tree shimmer in metallics. 

We love the beachy, coastal look, where starfish, sea grass, and tans and blues are the order of the day.  This set of six jute snowflake ornaments (zulily price: $14, originally: $38) sets the perfect tone for your Coastal Christmas look.

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While we don’t want to wish this perfect summer away, we already have visions of sugar plums dancing in our head.  Have a holly, jolly Christmas in July!

 

the newbie: So Much Stuff

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By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


We have very generous relatives, and since June is the first grandchild on both sides, our 17-month-old did quite well this Christmas. The phrase “made out like a bandit” comes to mind.

While that is awesome in lots of ways, it’s also… overwhelming. Living in a small city apartment means we have to constantly be on top of toys and games and all the little things that come with June’s very existence. So the grocery cart and the little car that she loves? They really need to wait until summer when we can use them in our shared backyard.

I had this grand idea of having a “one in, one out” rule when it came to toys, but now that I’m faced with the reality of it, I’m overwhelmed. Do I toss the little bear she clung to when she was just weeks old? Save the wooden puzzle that I really like but she’s never quite shown interest in?

I’d love to hear how other parents make the cut.

All ideas welcome—we are living in a sea of stuffed animals and singing toddler toys. (Fun, but crowded.)

How do you know when (and where) to donate or pass along your child’s belongings?

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Beautiful design: a chat with elli’s Creative Director, Lia Griffiths

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like sending a gorgeous card to a friend or family member. The creative team at elli knows this as well as anyone, and have spent years building a following that loves the timeless designs they produce. 

They’re on zulily today—you can find the event here—and elli’s ever-talented Creative Director, Lia Griffith was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. 

Below, Lia touches on the inspiration behind her creations, her favorite holiday to design for, and what makes elli’s offerings so perfect for zulily members. Enjoy the read, and make sure to take us up on today’s great deal here!


zulily: Thank you for joining us Lia! Will you tell us a little about your role at elli and how you arrived there?

Lia:

I am the Creative Director at elli. I started with the parent company almost 4 years ago, leading creative development for the DIY wedding site. Though I do love designing for weddings, it is creating for kids and holidays that I find myself gravitating towards. The opportunity to combine the best of all in our new elli shop has been a dream come true for me.

z: What are the most important characteristics that elli’s design team share?

We love what we do! We are incredibly focused on creating really beautiful, clever and original designs. Each of us bring a different look and perspective to the site which rounds out our collection very nicely. What is the very first thing you do when starting the design process on a new project? Research. I always want to know what is trending in apparel, interior and print design.

z: Which holiday is the most fun to design for?

Christmas. I say that confidently despite the fact the team just spent the last 4 months with our heads in Christmasland. I love the traditional colors and themes for Christmas, and adding the unexpected non-traditional brings additional fun to designing for this season.

z: Do you follow the work of other designers? Who are your design role models?

I do follow the work of other designers. I have a long list of blogs that I follow and at least half of them are designer blogs. Most of my role models are people in the apparel and interior realm. I love Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Adler and Alexander McQueen to name a few. Random, huh? 

z: elli is based in Portland, Oregon. Does working in the Pacific Northwest affect your design taste?

Other than putting a bird on it… just kidding… In some ways I think it does though, we intentionally look internationally for inspiration. One perfect example of our Northwest perspective is that we all designed “Happy Holiday” cards for the first two months of our current collection. We then realized the traditional “Merry Christmas” might be what some customers would be looking for, so we all jumped in and rounded out our designs to include Christmas.

z: The blog at ellinee.com features a variety of great DIY projects. Do you have a kid-friendly favorite that moms can do with their little ones?

We do have a lot of kid themed crafts, and though I am targeting the moms and teachers, I have had some wonderful reports of children being involved on many of my DIY projects. I aspire to create my tutorials so all levels of ability can craft. One of the favorites, and perfect for the season, is the paper snowflake. Gorgeous and easy to make!

z: Any easy DIY Halloween costume ideas you can share with our readers?

DIY Wolf Costume

I did do a post for a fun and simple DIY Halloween wolf hoodie. I made the pattern in adult, kids and baby size. This costume is super easy and oh so cute. I would love to make a whole series of animal hoodies… maybe next Halloween? So much of your work is paper based.

z: Where does Elli fit in as more people use digital devices to communicate.

I feel that printed invitations and photo card have become even more precious and a very impactful way to add that much needed personal touch in the era of digital white noise.

z: How can parents spark their little ones’ interest in art & design?

This I can speak to on a very personal level as I have a daughter who has recently bloomed as an artist. Here is my list: 1) Do art and crafts with your kids. Starting when they are young is ideal but it is never too late. Kids are natural artists. 2) Display their creations and encourage them to gift their projects to grandparents and other family members. 3) Make art and crafts accessible by keeping the tools and materials at their finger tips. One last note … I think we all can find joy in crafting and creating no matter what our age. So the craft night you set up for your kids, could be equally fun for the adults too!

z: What makes elli’s offering so perfect for zulily’s members and moms?

We offer a wonderful collection of holiday photo cards and kid’s holiday party invites as well as a nice selection of new born baby and kid’s birthday sets.

We are in LOVE with elli’s offering and encourage all you design-minded zulily moms out there to take advantage of today’s event.

Again, a big thank you to Lia for joining joining us. We’re fans for life!

Readers, who or where do you look to for design inspiration? Reblog and let us know!

Holiday from elli