It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to spruce up your home for the holidays, because I do it every year. In the weeks between Halloween and mid-December, I look around my apartment to see what looks tired or dull and make a plan on how best to brighten things up for the New Year.

A real find came from Classic Slipcovers, which offers a line of high-end slipcover products that dressed up tired sofas and chairs and made them look almost new. The quality here is far above what I found in the slip-and-slide versions I had previously purchased from department stores. For my three-cushion living room couch I chose the white one-piece Cotton Duck Sofa Slipcover, which is made of 100% cotton—and is washable. By doing a little work, steaming the cover, then smoothing and tucking for a good fit, I had my sofa looking better than it had in a very long time. (I especially like the four ties at the corners.)

 

 

COLORSHOT was designed to be everything regular spray paint isn’t. It inspires personalization and creativity, has a can that’s easy to use is a product that’s better for you and the environment–and colors that POP!

The COLORSHOT can is  slimmer,  easier to hold, and the nozzle is easy to push. Choosing the color you want is easy because the whole label is colored. (Goodbye tiny color swatches.) To get your creative juices going, COLORSHOT’s hues have fun names: Speeding Ticket is a brilliant red, Hello Handsome is a deep blue and Farmer’s Daughter is a sweet pink. Yes, they have beige too, only it’s not called beige–meet Skinny Dip. And there is also Sugarcoat It and Little Black Dress.

COLORSHOT’s propellant is different too. It comes from a renewable resource, harvested sugarcane, instead of petroleum. And it’s free of Xylene, Benzene, and Toluene, 3 harmful chemicals commonly found in other spray paints, making it safer for you and the world.

So to brighten your home with pops of color, check out Pinterest for ideas—or let your own imagination run wild. I’m planning to paint a piece of furniture I love which has lost most of its original finish.

More to Love About COLORSHOT: Works on wood, metal and other surfaces; Dries in 10 minutes; UV-resistant; 2 of 4 colors ranked first in performance in blind third-party testing.

Since my limited supply of wine is usually depleted during the holiday season, I have refilled my wine rack with a few reliables. I always keep one kosher wine handy for friends, and this year I chose Yatir Creek 2016, from one of Israel’s premier boutique wineries. Yatir Creek is made from 76% Syra, 12% Tannat and 12% Malbec grapes harvested at elevations of 650-900 meters above sea level, where the soil is clay and chalky.

This is a sophisticated wine with a gorgeous deep purple color and aromas that evoke black cherries, cassis and toasted almonds. The flavors are fruity, the grainy tannins leave a slightly salty and pleasantly bitter finish – making it a perfect pairing with meat dishes, from steak to casseroles.

Aged in large oak barrels for 12 months and matured in the bottle for two years, it will mature well and I can keep it for five to 10 years—though I’m sure it will be consumed in 2020.

For (very) special family occasions like new jobs and engagements, because it is expensive, I keep a wine that is truly celebratory. That would be Moraga’s 2015 Bel Air Red Wine.

Simply put, this wine is delicious; it is produced by a unique wine estate with a one-of-a-kind terroir that exists nowhere else in the world. The nose is big and expressive with notes of blackberry, cassis, French plums, cedar, graphite, and tobacco mixed with a bit of rich earthiness and minerality. The palate is rife with black fruits, mineral, red cherry, tobacco, and a hint of black licorice. The entry is round and voluptuous, reinforced by micro-grained tannins that are at the same time velvety and intense. Perfect to share with people I love. moragabelair.com

To make sure that whatever bottles I open but do not finish are kept in peak condition, I now own the Savino Wine Preserver, which keeps my wine fresh for up to a week. I use it for both reds and whites, and it works by creating a physical barrier between the wine and the air, so my Chardonnay tastes as good on Thursday as it did on Sunday when I opened the bottle.

It’s made in the USA and simple to use: I just pour the wine into the decanter, insert the air stopper—and replace the lid (which has a rubber seal to prevent spills). It holds a full bottle and stores easily in the refrigerator. My carafe is made from durable high-quality glass, but there is also a food-grade, BPA-free plastic version.

Even better, the Wine Preserver is really attractive, so it looks great on the dining table. And yes, it is dishwasher-safe. MSRP: $49.95 (glass), $24.95 (plastic)

Happy Holidays!