Good soles

Women who love flat shoes won’t be disappointed this season. The style often called a “smoking slipper” is back for fall and winter, often embellished for that festive feel. They seem especially party appropriate in velvet. J.C. Penney ( offers them in blue or black velvet as well as an all-over glitter design, for example.

Ballet flats also continue to be popular. One option: Talbots ( has them in red and black or green and black plaid, right, with ribbon piping.

Slumber party

Cold weather calls for warm pajamas, and cheerful designs reign this time of year. Whether the pattern is a classic plaid or a whimsical wintry scene, the whole family can chill out in them for movie night or Saturday morning cartoons. Of course they make wonderful holiday gifts, and you are likely to find many on sale.

Tip No. 1

Having kids make place tags for the Thanksgiving table is a fun project. But if they’re feeling especially creative, consider this ambitious idea reported in the Washington Post. It comes from Kathy Cano-Murillo, artist and founder of Have them decorate a piece of watercolor paper with paints, sayings and pictures, similar to a scrapbook page. Then color-copy it and laminate it to use as a place mat.

Tip No. 2

Moving on to December, here’s another idea – this one from Better Homes and Gardens: Dip the ends of candy canes into melted chocolate. Let set. “Instant coffee stirrers!” event designer Mark Addison tells readers.

And finally …

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

Recent “Daily Thought” from Real Simple magazine – a quote from Coco Chanel.