By Juli Fahey
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to get dolled up. From head to toe, you need the perfect look. We’ve got you covered with everything from dresses and shoes to the perfect hair and makeup!
If you’re looking for a great dress ~ and shoes to match ~ check out David’s Bridal (davidsbridal.com), where you can go simple or glamorous without busting your holiday budget.
Sleeveless Lace Dress with Sash Detail ~ What’s better than a black sleeveless lace dress for the holiday season? This dress will get heads turning in your direction at holiday parties. $159.
Cap Sleeve Illusion Neckline Dress ~ Red is perfect for the holidays. Be bold and take a chance with this cap-sleeve red dress. $89.
Sheer Matte Jersey Dress with Keyhole Neckline ~ A keyhole neckline dress ~ especially in navy blue ~ will make you stand out at your holiday party. $169.
Lace High Heel Shootie with Flatback Crystals ~These heels are perfect to glam up a simple dress. $49.50.
Nude High Heel Peep Toe Pump ~ This is a shoe for every dress. Every girl should own a pair of nude high heels, and it is the holidays, so treat yourself. $49.50.
Sometimes, the right accessories make the outfit. Try slipping on these great pieces from Three Jane (threejaneny.com) for a fun, polished holiday look.
The Map Necklace ~ Do you want to carry a piece of your childhood around with you forever? Check out the Map Necklace. You pick the address, and Three Jane engraves it onto a 14K gold plate and marks your exact location with a small diamond. $150.
Ooh La La Bottle Opener Bracelet ~ There is nothing more convenient than a stylish bracelet that is also a bottle opener. These bracelets will last you throughout the holiday season. You’ll never have to ask “Where’s the bottle opener?” at a holiday party again. $35.
Rachel’s Present Earring ~ Earrings for the holiday season can be hard to find. With a variety of colors, including Candy Cane Red, Evergreen, Tinsel Blue or Sugar Plum, you can style up your own holiday look. $52.
Great hair always makes a big impression, whether you’re at a holiday party or just hanging out. Try one of these looks, achieved with Pravana hair products (pravana.com), to finish off your holiday look.
Supermodel Blowout ~ To achieve a runway-worthy blowout, begin by prepping damp hair with a cocktail of Pravana’s Full Volume and Model Behavior. Full Volume builds weightless body and texture, while Model Behavior provides a smooth, sleek surface, resulting in control and movement with added volume that takes hair to new heights without frizz.
Roped Fishtail ~ The modern braid is elegant, yet whimsical. Achieve this romantic, ethereal look by applying Invisible Control and Model Behavior to damp hair. Invisible Control provides added support to hold the braid, while Model Behavior smoothes flyaways and adds a natural sheen throughout the intertwined strands.
Voluminous Updo ~ Modern, red carpet-worthy styles exude luxury and effortless elegance. Begin by prepping the hair with Full Volume and Invisible Control ~ no arsenal of hot styling tools or stiff sprays needed. Full Volume builds body from roots to ends, and Invisible Control allows you to manipulate classic shapes and movement while adding texture and support.
Finish up your bold holiday look with the right makeup. Whether you want a red lip or a shimmery eye, Mally Beauty (mallybeauty.com) has what you need.
Eyes ~ Make your eyes shimmer with color that will last all night! Try the Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick in Saddle Shimmer ($25). Then, enhance the shape of your eyes with fabulous, luxurious lashes with Mally Beauty’s Volumizing Mascara ($20).
You look great, but there’s one more thing. … Spritz on Avon Passion Eau de Parfum ($35, avon.com) for a sophisticated, yet feminine, vibe. Now, celebrate the holidays!
By Kimberly Dunbar
According to Benjamin Mee in his memoir that was later turned into the 2011 movie We Bought a Zoo, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it.
Just as Mee and his family transformed an old, broken-down zoo into a place people wanted to visit, Darline Thorp Yatim has done the same for Shrewsbury Health and Racquet Club (SHARC).
In 2009, Yatim was working in membership sales at the gym, then a men’s hangout for racquetball where most of the club’s revenue was generated from the bar. “I was trying to sell a building that I didn’t like or even want to be in,” she said. “I knew that if someone came in, renovated it and put some money into it, it could change people’s lives.”
Yatim, who had recently lost 150 pounds and experienced a personal transformation, decided she would be that person. After finding a bank that would back her in what would become the Great Recession, Yatim purchased the building and put in $750,000 worth of renovations.
In addition to bringing the building up to code, updating the equipment, refurbishing the outdoor pool and gutting locker rooms that hadn’t been redone since they were built in 1971, Yatim also installed an indoor pool. “Every family club needs a pool,” said Yatim, whose fitness background began in aquatics. Today, that pool is used for classes for seniors, swim lessons for children and is a spot for the high school and town swim teams to practice.
According to Yatim, since her takeover, membership has increased 500 percent, as SHARC’s focus is placed heavily on family and community. “I run the business the way I would want it to be,” said Yatim, a mother of three. “I’ve lived here for 12 years; I am the market. If it’s something I want, or kids and parents are going to want, I know I’m hitting my market.”
Yatim knows her market well because she, like millions of other Americans, struggles with her weight and finding time to exercise.
“In school, I was an athlete,” she said. “I was captain of the cheerleading squad and varsity in three sports. I stayed active in college, but then I started working 60-plus hours a week.”
With a sedentary lifestyle and no structured sports available, work and high stress caused her to gain weight. Yatim, who said she had “eating disorders from one spectrum to the next,” started getting fit and healthy after being a stay-at-home mom. She got certified and taught group exercise for three years before landing in the sales department of the old club.
“SHARC is welcoming because I have been everywhere,” she said. “From a successful athlete to someone you couldn’t pay to walk into a gym, I’ve seen it all. I want people to be healthy mentally and physically.”
Yatim said SHARC strives for excellence, which means tailoring group fitness schedules to her members’ liking and learning everyone’s first name when they walk in the door. “I want it to be like Cheers. I want them to feel like it’s their second home,” she said.
“When [new members] come in, my hope is that they’re not given the basic tour of the equipment because we have the same equipment everyone else has,” she said. But not everyone else takes the time to ask members their needs, their likes and how much time they have to exercise. “We assess your goals and figure out how you can do things here that are realistic.”
And Yatim, who “went back to bad habits” after getting caught up in the stress of running the gym, certainly practices what she preaches. “I try to pick exercises that I enjoy and not just to burn calories,” she said. “That sucks. You will crash and burn. Find something you love doing and that will make you show up every day.
“I’ve lost, gained, lost, gained again ~ now I’m losing,” Yatim said of her weight. “You can always start again. Don’t look at it as ‘I failed again,’ because you always have an opportunity to start again.”
Sometimes, it only takes 20 seconds of insane courage.
For more information on SHARC, visit shrewsburyclub.com.
What is style? Well, we all have style… some just have good style. Check the runways, and you may think it’s impossible to achieve great style on a budget. But our fashion columnist Stacia Kindler and fashion writer Michael Wood have taken a look at the runways and picked out the best of the upcoming looks for him and her. Even better, they’ll tell you how to wear it, where to cut corners and how to pull it all together.
By Jennifer Russo
Perhaps Thanksgiving is not a holiday you celebrate. Maybe you can’t afford to (or don’t want to) go home to see all those relatives. Maybe the idea of eating turkey and cranberry sauce makes you gag, or perhaps you are just curious about how the Worcester area celebrates and want to check it out. Despite your reasons for sticking around for Thanksgiving, there is plenty you can do around the city this year instead of becoming the dorm hermit and playing Candy Crush all day. It all depends on what your interests are.
Do good ~ There are plenty of people who are in need of a good, hot meal this holiday and plenty of places that can use your help in providing it. Some perspective for you: 20.9 percent of the families in Worcester live below the poverty level, and 16.9 percent of households in Worcester experience food hardship. According to Project Bread, one in three children in 14 low-income neighborhoods in Worcester experience hunger or are at risk of hunger. If you are hanging around or a little sad you couldn’t make it home, helping someone else will likely make you feel a lot better. For a list of pantries and kitchens, visit foodpantries.org/ci/ma-worcester. You can also donate food to places like Rachel’s Table (rachelstable.org), which provide food regularly to those in the area who need it.
Check out festivals ~ Festivals are one of the best things about the fall season. Central Massachusetts has quite a few that you may or may not know about. Closest to Worcester, Red Apple Farm in Phillipston has its 11th annual Thanksgiving Harvest Festival from Nov. 23-24, featuring live music and tons of local vendors, games, hayrides, raffles and more. Find out more at redapplefarm.com.
Go turkey hunting ~ No, I do not mean literally. Wild turkeys, though plentiful and sometimes annoying, are protected. However, each year the town of Grafton hosts its Great Turkey Treasure Hunt that is hugely successful. For more information about the event and rules, call the Grafton Recreation Commission office at (508) 839-5335.
Eat some food ~ OK, so you reallllly want a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and aren’t sure where to get a meal that tastes like the home cooking you love. Look no further. The Publick House in Sturbridge (publickhouse.com), the Wachusett Village Inn (wachusettvillageinn.com) in Westminster and the Chocksett Inn (chocksettinn.com) in Sterling are all hosting Thanksgiving Day feasts that are sure to tempt you to loosen a button to make room for more mashed potatoes.
Have a drink ~ Fall and early winter is the best time to try hard ciders and pumpkin beer before the stouts come rolling in. My personal favorite, Southern Tier Pumking, boasts an 8.6% ABV and tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. Our own Wormtown Brewing Company has a Pumpkin Ale, too. Not a beer person? Try throwing apple schnapps, butterscotch schnapps, cinnamon schnapps and vanilla vodka in a shaker with some milk or cream for a delicious Caramel Apple Martini; don’t forget the cinnamon sugar rim.
Get moving ~ While your buddies are stuffing themselves full of apple pie, you could be burning calories and competing for a prize. Go for a walk in the crisp air and admire the foliage, or better yet … run. Slattery’s Turkey Trot in Fitchburg on Sunday, Nov. 24, is a 5-mile walk or run with a cash prize. It’s only $25 to register and all proceeds go to a scholarship fund. Register at coolrunning.com/major/13/slattery/. You could also try rock climbing; though the Central Rock Gym in Worcester (centralrockgym.com/worcester.php) is closed on Thanksgiving Day, it is open the rest of the week!
Watch some football ~ Local high schools and colleges have some games going on; check out their schedules and cheer them on!
Learn some history ~ Alright, so maybe the last thing you want to do on school break is to learn something new, but since you live in the New England area ~ where Thanksgiving was born ~ there is the unique opportunity here to experience some of our nation’s history first hand. Old Sturbridge Village offers a chance to see what the holiday is all about every weekend in November. See re-enactments of a 19th-century shooting match and learn how Thanksgiving food was made. Get insight to dining customs back in the day and on Nov. 28, join in a traditional Thanksgiving Feast (reservations now accepted at osv.org).
Go shopping ~ Some stores will open Thanksgiving night to begin their Black Friday door-busters and sales before Friday actually hits. Get an early start to get the deals. Want to preview some ads and get your holiday shopping done before the last-minute crowds? Check out blackfriday.fm/2014.html.