Miss A Columnist

Lisa Beth Miller is the Entertaining & Weddings Editor for Miss A. She has been involved in the wedding industry for several years. Lisa is a bridal consultant and director of marketing and public relations for Blush Bridal Boutique and an event designer at Main Street Weddings, both local wedding businesses. In this capacity, Lisa writes the blog, website copy, and promotional materials for these businesses and assists with event planning. She was formerly a bridal consultant and did marketing and public relations work for A Formal Affair Bridal and Formalwear Boutique and was the creator of their Bridal University workshops. Additionally, Lisa teaches English, journalism, and photojournalism classes at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. She advises the school's award-winning publications, Talon yearbook and Patriot Press newspaper. As junior class sponsor, she also assists in planning Liberty's prom. Lisa has written several published articles. These include an article about advising student publications for Accents (Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s journal),an article about the royal wedding for Northern Virginia Magazine, an article about local proms for Warrenton Lifestyle magazine, and four stories about wedding planning and wedding fashion for the 2012 Northern Virginia Bridal Guide. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English and journalism education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree in education and library science from Longwood University.

Charitable And Stylish Holiday Gifts 2014: Gifts That Give Back

As we approach the holiday shopping season, the Miss A Haute Hostess editor (that’s me) wanted to share a few of her favorite holiday and gift ideas with readers. These gifts and ideas are perfect for family, friends, or that occasion where you simply need a thoughtful gift for the hostess! I hope you are inspired! Enjoy.


(Photo Credit: Rustic Bakery)

OneHope The Deluxe Duo Wood Gift Crate  Gift crate includes: ONEHOPE Cabernet Sauvignon, ONEHOPE Zinfandel, rosemary & olive oil crackers, pesto parmesan cheese coins, toffee, fig spread, & garden vegetable cheese. ONEHOPE shares a vision of a better world. To that end, donations made to the ONEHOPE Foundation are all aimed to create real lasting hope and change. 100% of donations to the Foundation are redistributed to partner charities that are making a real impact and are transparent in their use of funds towards this goal. Every box funds treatment for children with autism through Act Today and helps veterans through Team Rubicon. $99.00.


(Photo Credit: Lennox)

Lots of Lenox! Lenox Corporation, one of the world’s leading names in gifts for the home, has announced their “Give Lenox & Give Back” holiday campaign.  Lenox gifting experts have selected five items as this year’s most popular holiday gifts.  These five items are available at most Lenox retailers or online at www.Lenox.com  through December 24th.  A portion of those anticipated sales will be donated to two charity partner organizations, God’s Love We Deliver in New York and Project Angel Food in Los Angeles.

“We are proud to offer a selection of some of our most popular and affordably priced giftables to help benefit the amazing charity organizations who are feeding people in need in New York City and in Los Angeles.  The opportunity to be part of giving to a great charity is something we know Lenox customers will embrace,” notes Lester Gribetz, President of Lenox.

The five great gifts from Lenox featured on www.Lenox.com/giveback are: 2014 silverplated Snow Majesty Ornament, 2014 ivory china Christmas Wrappings Snowflake Ornament, 2014 ivory and gold Gingerbread Ornament, the ivory china Santa Lit Figurine and the Holiday Sentiment Joy to the World Tray.  Prices range from $20.00 to $50.00 and each piece will feature the “Give Lenox & Give Back” seal on the gift box.


(Photo Credit: American Girl)

American Girl Dolls. American Girl today announced an unprecedented charitable giving program to benefit children in hospitals across the country during the 2014 holiday season. Through December 18, 2014, American Girl will match any doll purchase made online, in-store, or via phone with an 18-inch doll donation (up to 1,000 dolls each day) as part of its 2014 “Share the Wonder of the Holidays” giving campaign. Working with the Children’s Hospital Association, the donation—worth nearly $3 million in retail value—will help bring comfort and cheer to thousands of young girls receiving care in any of the Association’s 200 U.S. member hospitals.

“Through our partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association, we’re delighted to give thousands of deserving girls across America the opportunity to find a special friend in one of our dolls and help create a cherished holiday moment.”

“This holiday, we know millions of girls will experience the joy that comes with the gift of an American Girl doll. We want to share the magic and emotion of that event with even more girls—especially those who could use some extra cheer in their lives,” said Jean McKenzie, president of American Girl. “Through our partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association, we’re delighted to give thousands of deserving girls across America the opportunity to find a special friend in one of our dolls and help create a cherished holiday moment.”

“Children’s hospitals are unique community resources, distinctly qualified to care for children. This generous donation will bring joy to thousands of patients receiving care in children’s hospitals during the holiday season,” said Amy Knight, chief operating officer at Children’s Hospital Association.


(Photo Credit: IT Cosmetics)

IT Cosmetics Brushes. IT Cosmetics has announced its exciting new debut of an exclusive makeup brush collection which furthers the evolution of the company-wide Live Beauty Fully  give-back initiative. The company has partnered with longtime philanthropic partner, The American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program and has committed to donate one brush to the program for each and every brush sold year round from the Live Beauty Fully  Inspired Collection sold exclusively at Ulta Beauty. This donation and commitment further underscores IT Cosmetics’ company and brand-wide Live Beauty Fully mission which is aimed at harnessing the power of beauty to support causes that help women and women’s initiatives throughout the globe.

Recently, it was announced that IT Cosmetics partnered with ULTA Beauty to launch the exciting new co-branded partnership IT Brushes™ for ULTA. As part of this new partnership, IT Cosmetics designed the new signature set of 16 exclusive, handcrafted brushes for the one-for-one Live Beauty Fully Inspired Collection.

Through this one-for-one philanthropic brush initiative, the company expects to provide close to 200,000 makeup brushes annually to the Look Good Feel Better program which translates to an estimated retail value donation of $5 million dollars per year. For every one of the exclusive Live Beauty Fully Brushes purchased, IT Cosmetics will donate one brush to the Look Good Feel Better program to help women face the effects of cancer with more confidence.

Ranging in price from $14-$34 and designed for every woman from the beauty novice to the professional makeup artist, this 16-brush give-back collection includes brushes that cover every makeup application need from powders to eyeshadows and everything in between. Each brush in the Live Beauty Fully Inspired Collection features IT Cosmetics’ award-winning Heavenly Luxe plush synthetic brush hair bristles, an elegant sleek silver tapered handle and is imprinted with the unique and empowering Live Beauty Fully pink-colored statement logo.

This cause is near and dear to the heart of IT Cosmetics Co-Founder and CEO, Jamie Kern Lima, and her entire IT Cosmetics team – many of which have had cancer affect their family. Because of this it was early on in the company’s history that it began to give-back by partnering with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better Program. Starting with the award-winning and best-selling Brow Power® Universal Waterproof Brow Pencil, IT Cosmetics has made an annual commitment to the non-profit organization and donates one Brow Power pencil to the program for every one Brow Power pencil that IT Cosmetics sells at retail. To date the company has donated over $6M in Brow Power pencils to the program.

“I realized early on that makeup can truly inspire and empower women to remember that they are important, that they are beautiful and that they are worth it! Through the Live Beauty Fully brush collection and company mission at-large, we hope to inspire and help women discover their true inner and outer beauty and what it means to truly live beauty fully. This collection is so much more than just a brush and I am so deeply honored and excited to have our IT Girl customers participating along with IT Cosmetics in this initiative and mission to make the world a more beautiful place…one brush at a time,” said Kern Lima.

(Photo Credit: L’Occitane)

 L’OCCITANE en Provence gift setsThis month, L’OCCITANE en Provence will give back by donating up to $100,000 to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Throughout the month of December, $5 for every gift set sold in-stores will help fund the AFB’s award-winning programs like VisionAware, which provides help and hope to nearly one million adults new to vision loss, and FamilyConnect, a network that connects close to 200,000 families with vision loss resources each year nationwide.

As a beauty brand committed to offering a sensorial immersion in natural beauty and fragrance, L’OCCITANE has long supported programs that help the visually impaired throughout the world. In 1997, L’OCCITANE founder Olivier Baussan, began producing products with braille on the packaging, ensuring that everyone – even those who could not see – could shop in L’OCCITANE stores with ease.

Since that time the brand has continued its contribution to this cause, working with NGOs in developing countries to treat curable blindness, partnering with the AFB to host fragrance workshops at its Provence headquarters for young students, and most recently, creating a month-long Helen Keller exhibit at its NYC flagship store.

“Philanthropy is at the heart of L’OCCITANE’s DNA and we have been committed to helping the visually impaired for nearly 15 years,” said David Boynton, CEO of L’OCCITANE Inc. “This holiday season, we will partner with the AFB in a new way, helping to raise funds and awareness for its programs here in the US.”

Visual impairment affects over 20 million Americans, and this season L’OCCITANE stores nationwide will provide shoppers with an easy way to help. By simply purchasing one of L’OCCITANE’s beautifully packaged gift sets marked with a special “Look For The Eye!” token, they can take home presents for their loved ones that also benefit an important cause.

“We are extremely grateful to L’OCCITANE for its generosity and commitment to making a difference in the lives of people with vision loss around the world,” said Carl R. Augusto, president and CEO of AFB. “This partnership will help us provide vital tools and resources to parents of children with visual impairments as well as to adults coping with vision loss for the first time.” Prices range from $68-$182.


(Photo Credit: Laura Mercier)

Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Compact Colour Palette: This fabulous “shop for a cause” item is a perfect make-up collection in a palette, designed by Laura Mercier. 100% of the profits are donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund. The scoop on this palette straight from Laura Mercier herself? “I am so excited to introduce the Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette. This ultra-sheer, blendable palette was inspired by my work with celebrity clients, who wanted a universal compact that would “wake-up” their skin and give them an immediate healthy glow. From bronzer, to cheek colour, to glow, it’s easy to customize your look. I love the finished effect – skin has a natural “no make-up” glow that looks soft and sun-kissed. I also love the portability and ease of this compact…and I know you will too!” $48


(Photo Credit: That’s Caring)

Bakery Gift Box from That’s Caring. Several years ago, That’s Caring began as an environmentally- and socially-responsible gift basket company. The company founders sourced unique gift items from local charitable organizations and fair trade, sustainable manufacturers, offering very high quality gift options with little to no non-biodegradable waste to consumers and businesses across the country.

Today, the gifts are still socially-responsible. But, as the business began to grow, the company became convinced that it could do even more good for the community. They wanted to incorporate the one-for-one concept into the business model so that their wonderful customers could give two gifts with each one they purchased.

Now, when you give one of these gifts to a friend, co-worker or loved one, you’re really giving two gifts: one to your chosen recipient and one to a hungry child.

Many of these gift baskets are centered around food, including gourmet chocolates, confections, cheeses, wines and more. The fact is, though, that approximately 20% of US households with children experience food insecurity each year, and that number is even higher for households with children under the age of 6. These hunger statistics translate to 16 million children living in food-insecure households in the United States alone, and if that many children live in hunger, the company figured there had to be a way to help feed some of those children’s needs (Source: FeedingAmerica.org).

Every gift you send from this selection of high-end gift lines equals supplies for weekend meals, and those weekend meals go directly to the children in need right here in our own country.

The bakery box pictured is $99 and includes:

All-Natural Homemade Individually Wrapped Muffins (32) in Banana Nut, Blueberry, Double Chocolate Chip and Lemon Poppy Seed.
All-Natural Homemade Individually Wrapped Cookies (32) in Chocolate Chunk, White Chocolate Macadamia, Double Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin.
Signature That’s Caring Gift Box


(Photo Credit: Swap Socks)

Swap Socks: These are high quality, mismatched socks that help bring sight to the blind visually impaired.  SWAP Socks sells pairs of intentionally mismatched socks, which wearers can use as a visual statement to end preventable blindness by partnering with eye care charity the Seva Foundation, 50% of proceeds to vision screenings, medical training and sight-restoring services. Set pictured is $86.


(Photo Credit: Water.org)

Water.org CamelBak Groove bottle. With each purchase of this limited edition Water.org CamelBak Groove bottle, you give a life-changing gift. While it keeps great-tasting filtered water always in your reach, it also brings safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

$10 from every bottle purchased supports Water.org
Features a limited-edition design
Environmentally friendly and a great gift
The CamelBak Groove bottle is 100% BPA-free, holds 20 oz, is dishwasher safe, and features the patented CamelBak Big Bite Valve.                    Cost: $35

Happy holidays and joyous shopping, everyone!


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