The Millennial’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

valentines-day

As the generation of innovators, Millennials are known for thinking outside of the box. So why shouldn’t we apply our inherent creativity to Valentine’s Day as well? We all love flowers and chocolates – but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up.

My advice for my fellow Millennials: Go for experiences, rather than “stuff” this year. Here are three easy ways to have a fun, memorable and unique Valentine’s Day – whether you are spending the day with your loved one, a group of best friends, with your dog, or treating yourself!

Plan a quick getaway.
If your budget is limited, try checking out last minute deals on places like Hotels.com, or via coupon sites like Living Social or Groupon. You can find deals to places you may have never even heard of into the holiday weekend.

Pack a picnic.
Plan an easy picnic dinner to a pretty sunset spot that others recommend. With a cheese board, sparkling water, and a few sweets, you can relax and enjoy both the sunset and the stars in the evening.

Have fun with humor.
Laughing is good for the soul, so no matter who you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, make sure to make them chuckle with a funny card. Whether homemade or store bought, love is by nature a bit silly, so have fun with it. Some of my favorite cards can be found here.

If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, remember that you’re in good company, with amazing, talented and beautiful fellow Millennials, including the inimitable Taylor Swift, who has some incredibly profound thoughts on love including:

“I haven’t had that one great love, which is good. I don’t want that to be in the past, I want it to be in the future.”

Wishing you a day full of love,

Xo

Star

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The Millennials’ Case for Renting…Anything!

Millennial Technology

In recent weeks, there have been a slew of articles written about why the Millennial generation isn’t buying the way previous generations have bought. And we’re not just talking about the places we call home. From the way we choose to have our entertainment delivered, to how we shop for outfits, to our modes of transportation, Millennials like variety…almost as much as we like flexibility. Here’s a look at some of the ways Millennials are taking advantage of technology to add both variety and flexibility to our everyday lives.

Clothing
It can be hard for Millennials to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a dress we are only going to wear once or maybe twice a year. Rent the Runway is an incredible solution. The variety of gorgeous outfits initially sold me on the service, and the quality of the items I’ve rented has been impeccable. Order it online, or on their mobile app, and it shows up at your door two days later.

Television
With options such as Hulu Plus and Netflix, for a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite television, we are able to essentially rent the shows we want. Anything we can’t find via these subscription services, we can almost certainly find online for free. Not to mention that these subscription services are completely mobile – so we can watch our shows on an airplane, by the pool, or in a park.

Music
Like television, Millennials also have the opportunity to “rent” music through services such as Pandora. Not only is it inexpensive (and oftentimes free), but the spectrum of music available is vast to say the least. Why buy one album if we only want to hear one song from an artist? For this generation, variety really is the spice of life, and music subscriptions provide that variety.

Transportation
Car2Go, Uber and Lyft allow Millennials to get anywhere they need to without having to own a car. With low fares, we can catch a ride wherever we want to go in the cities we live, work and play. These car services also eliminate the added expenditure of auto insurance and maintenance/upkeep.

While an argument can likely always be made for owning your car, CDs, or perhaps even clothing, the case for renting is only getting stronger. Certainly for the Millennial generation the benefits of flexibility, variety, and convenience offered through renting many of our lifestyle amenities are far more attractive than being locked in to long contracts and expensive monthly bills.



San Diego Magazine: Spotlight on Star Hughes

Star

Hughes Marino Director Star Hughes recently sat down with San Diego Magazine’s Joyce Glazer to talk about her role models, the family business, and what the future holds for this young commercial real estate dynamo.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Top 10 Holiday Hostess Party Gifts This Season

‘Tis the season for holiday parties – and hostess party gifts!  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite hostess party gifts for the season that are affordable, fun, and practical, too.

Any hostess would love this Anthropologie holiday apron.

Holiday Apron

Give the gift of an experience with a Sur La Table cooking class gift card.

Sur La Table Cooking Class

Some cooking inspiration from Ina Garten‘s new cookbook, Make It Ahead.

Ina Garten

Delicious Williams-Sonoma peppermint cremes.

Peppermint Cremes

And to further satisfy your sweet tooth, this box of homemade caramels from Big Picture Farm.

Caramels

On a healthier note, any hostess will love a gift box from Harry & David.

Harry & David

These cute gold confetti tumblers from Paper Source.

Glitter glasses

An adorable gold polka dot journal from Sugar Paper.

Notebook

Some fun coasters from Kate Spade.

Kate Spade Holiday Coasters

A great guest book from JCrew to remember the memories of your holiday party!

Hellos Goodbyes Guestbook

 



The Working Woman’s Guide to Avoiding Perfectionism, Eating Well, & Good Conversation at the Table

Stress-Free-Thanksgiving
This time of year, with holiday deadlines approaching — buy the turkey! Trim the tree! — and a limited number of days left in the calendar, life has a way of speeding up, and it often seems impossible to fit all of those to do’s in just twenty-four hours a day.

Read more at sharpheels.com!



Star’s Holiday Reading List

One of my favorite things about the holiday season – aside from delicious food, amazing bonding with family, and cozy sweaters – is having the time to sit down by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book!

A few books I am loving right now are:

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Thrive

I love Ariana’s message in this book – though I’ll admit it is much harder to put into practice than it is to read about!  Thrive is about the importance of balance and personal fulfillment…and the realization that that is the true secret to success.

Give and Take by Adam Grant

Give and Take

This was one of my favorite books of the year – it describes people as either a giver, a taker, or a matcher.  Takers take as much as they can, givers give as much as their resources allow, and matchers try to “trade even” – never giving away too much, but never gaining much either. What is amazing is that the most successful people – and the least successful people (at least according to studies) – are givers.  The difference is how you give.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

I am only a few chapters in to The Five Love Languages – and after hearing such high praise for this book for the past few years, I had very high expectations. Two words. Love. It. The lessons taught in this book can positively change even the best relationships.  It’s a great reminder to listen to others – and appreciate that every person has his or her own way of communicating, appreciating, and showing/receiving love.



Spaces We Love: Houzz’s Irvine Office

Houzz-Office

It’s not surprising in the least that Houzz.com – the world’s leading home remodeling and design website – has an impressive office itself. For the billion-dollar internet company, which Hughes Marino CEO Jason Hughes described as “kind of a mashup of Pinterest, Yelp, and an ecommerce site all devoted to home design,” it only makes sense that their office would perfectly represent their brand.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Fall Essentials for the Millennial Working Woman

I’m not sure if it was the long summer – or my love of all things comfy and cozy – but I couldn’t be more excited that fall has finally arrived in San Diego!  Here are a few of my fall favorites that are both work appropriate and versatile for those much needed rest days!

Cashmere and faux fur mittens from Mark & Graham.

SnipImage

Wear-to-work comfortable ankle boots from Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka Trump

A bright-colored peacoat from J.Crew.

coat

Polka dot tights from Spanx.  Enough said.

Spanx

A flirty + formal long-sleeve Banana Republic dress.

Banana Republic

A festive Burberry wool scarf.

Bloomingdale's

A cozy and cute cashmere Bloomingdale’s sweater dress.

Bloomingdale's Sweater Dress

Day-to-night crop jacket from Joie.

Joie

Anthropologie frosting for your hair.

Anthropologie

A fun Smythson day planner.  Get excited for 2015!

Smythson 1



Room With a View: How to Capitalize on Your Office’s Window Line

san-diego-office-view

Whether you’re moving into a new office, expanding your existing office, or thinking about rearranging your office setup, it’s important to consider how to maximize the impact of your window space – and its accompanying views – to align with your company’s priorities.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Female Executives Can Inspire Young Women to Pursue Math and Aim for Success

Woman-and-Math-equals-a-winning-equation

I recently came across an article that gave me more than a few moments’ pause. It was about one of my idols, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

At age thirty-eight, Mayer became the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation and turned the struggling company around seemingly overnight. Incidentally, in addition to being one of the few women in charge of such a large, visible company, she’s also a mother, and a bit of a fashion icon (certainly in the tech world). In my mind she embodies the “everything woman.”

Read more at sharpheels.com!



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