How to Pick the Perfect Swimsuit – The Scout Guide

Swimsuit season is upon us. Whether reading that sentence conjures images of playfully splashing in a pool or self-consciously tugging stretchy fabric into place, the fact is, it’s time to invest in a new suit—preferably one that you like and feel confident wearing. According to Anne Mayher, owner of the Greenville, South Carolina-based swimsuit boutique Splash on Main, the first step to finding your perfect swimsuit is putting aside your insecurity for a moment and focusing on the positive. “The secret to a great swimsuit is drawing the eye to your favorite parts of your figure,” she says. Here, Mayher shares expert advice on how to choose a swimsuit style that will fit well and highlight your best features.

Create proportional balance. To play up—or down—a particular area, consider buying separates that don’t match perfectly to even out the visual balance. By breaking up patterns and colors, you can create an illusion of a more hourglass shape. If you’re wider in the hips than your upper body, you can make your bust appear wider with a bandeau top—especially one with ruffles or busy details—while not drawing attention to your hips with a darker, solid bottom. If you want to highlight your hips and draw attention away from your bust, consider buying a top in a dark solid and a bottom that is a bright solid or pattern or has a ruffle or skirted detail.

Embrace the power of volume. A little extra material in just the right place can make all the difference. If you’re looking to enhance an area, such as the bust, choose a corresponding piece with ruffles. A tie-front bikini top will draw the eye to the chest as well. To camouflage or downplay an area, such as the waist, use shirred, gathered, or ruched fabric, which can be very forgiving in terms of fit.

Learn how to break up length. If you have a long torso, the trendy, high-waisted look is a great fit for you. A one-piece swimsuit with cut-outs is another great option, as it will break up your midsection. If you are both tall and thin, consider a swimsuit with horizontal stripes to help break up the long vertical line of your figure.

Keep it short and sweet. If you are petite, keep in mind that high-cut bottoms can make legs look longer and vertical stripes can visually lengthen the body, making these good traits to keep an eye out for in a swimsuit. You can also wear a solid bikini bottom with a printed top to draw the eye upward and give you a longer look. Avoid boy shorts and skirted bikinis as they draw the eye downward and can make you look shorter.

Look sleek and chic. While black is very slimming, it is far from your only option if you’re seeking a suit that will make you appear more svelte. A swimsuit with dark, solid panels down each side of the torso and a floral or patterned middle can create a slimming effect, as can color blocking. A combination of abstract prints and subtle ruching is another great way to mask any areas you’d like to camouflage. In terms of cut, when looking for a one-piece swimsuit, try one with a deep plunging neckline.

Think outside of the box. If you have an athletic build and want to create the illusion of curves, try swimsuits with chevron stripes angled downward toward the center front of your suit to create an optical illusion. Picking a swimsuit with ruffles or fringe can also create the appearance of a curvier figure.

Don’t stress about size. Swimsuit sizes vary tremendously depending on the manufacturer. As you’re shopping, be concerned with how the swimsuit fits when you try it on, not the number on the tag.

TSG Tip 211 from Anne Mayher, owner of Splash on Main in Greenville, South Carolina. Splash on Main is featured in The Scout Guide Greenville.

Source: How to Pick the Perfect Swimsuit – The Scout Guide




    A great white shirt is the ultimate wardrobe go-to. Effortlessly chic and easy to pair with any pant, the chic staple instantly makes us feel put together and is always the answer when we’re confronted with the dreaded conundrum of not knowing what to wear. Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite white shirts for the upcoming season. From beautiful blouses perfect for going from day to night to iterations with an architectural twist to breezy off-the-shoulder and eyelet options, these looks will have us looking pretty and polished all summer long.

Our Favorite White Shirts for Summer

A Simple Spring Mantel – The Scout Guide

TSG Tip 206: A Stylish Spring Mantel


Sometimes, keeping things simple is the best way to make a statement. And while it might seem counter intuitive with such an abundance of greenery available and blooms bursting forth by the day, spring is the perfect time to take a pared-down approach to mantel decor. Here, we break down the basics to creating a fresh focal point:

Use restraint. Select a single element you’d like to incorporate—we like branches for height and movement—and stick with it. Place one piece in each vessel, and call it a day.

Think clean and clear. Use clear glass containers (such as decanters, vases, or jars) to add a little sparkle to the mix without getting too fussy. While we like the transparency of glass, a collection of all-white vessels can be lovely while sticking with the simplicity theme as well.

Layer in similar elements (if you must). If you absolutely have to add something (“more is more” devotees, we sympathize), stick to your pared-down color palette and approach. Think white books, glass candlesticks, and birds nests.

Source: A Simple Spring Mantel - The Scout Guide

Spring Cleaning? An Expert’s Guide to Getting Organized – The Scout Guide

TSG Tip: Beginners Guide to Getting Organized


Because decluttering can be daunting, our expert shares a roadmap for turning overcrowded, chaotic areas into places of organized calm and function.

Tempting as it may be to imagine living in a perfectly organized home, getting started on a de-cluttering project is always a bit daunting. Just in time for spring cleaning, Rachel Rosenthal, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based professional organization firm Rachel & Company, offers a roadmap for turning overcrowded, chaotic areas into places of organized calm and function. Here are her recommendations:

Focus on one space at a time. Prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed by identifying one problem area to tackle at a time. Carefully consider the purpose for the space (is it a landing zone for sports equipment, shoes, mail, etc.?) and the changes you need to make to achieve your goal. Accept that it will look worse before it gets better, but the results will be worth it

Hold yourself accountable. You make appointments for everything else in life, so why not make getting organized as much a priority as getting your hair done? Commit to a day and time to get started, and avoid burnout by blocking off no more than 3 hours at a time to spend on your project.

Get others involved. Enlist a friend, family member, or—better yet—a professional organizer to help you go through your belongings, make decisions, and keep you motivated. Ask them to help you remove items you are throwing out or donating the same day you do the sorting so you aren’t temped to change your mind.

Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect to have your entire home organized after one session. Organizing is a process, and it will take time to work through your spaces. To keep up the momentum and stay on track, break up each room or project into mini-areas. For example, if you managed to get through your kitchen pantry in three hours, focus on your kitchen drawers during your next session. Take a “before” photo of each space to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

TSG Tip 201 from Rachel Rosenthal of Rachel & Company. Photograph by Laura Metzler Photography.

Source: An Expert’s Guide to Getting Organized – The Scout Guide

Mind Your Table Manners with Caroline Buxton Avinger

Should you go for the hug or handshake when you are at a business dinner? Which fork goes first? Why should your remember “B.M.W.” at your seat placement?

Kudos to our good friend Caroline Buxton Avinger of Protocol SC. Caroline breaks down a few bits of etiquette for us on the Studio 62 television show with Jamarcus Gaston today.

At Paisley & Paper we stock the “Little Book of Etiquette” by Dorothea Johnson. Come and get your copy!

To reserve your copy, visit: http://paisleyandpaper.com

For more information and classes with Caroline, visither website at: http://www.protocolsc.com


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Kiki’s local holiday gift guide



I began my shopping this year on Black Friday in Indiana. Caroline loves the idea of waking up early and fighting the crowds. With coffee in hand and half asleep, we toured the isles picking up odds and ends to fill the stockings. We had fun and although we didn’t take advantage of any of the doorbusters, our niece did find a great deal on a TV for her first apartment. I always savemy big shopping for Greenville. Supporting the local ‘mom and pop’ shops is important to me. This year I was eighty-five percent done with my holiday shopping before we even had our tree!

Whether you need a gift for a child, a girlfriend, a foodie or that person that has everything, you can find it all and more at these great locally owned places. Don’t forget to pick up a few ‘host’ gifts along the way so you don’t get caught empty handed at those holiday drop-ins. Here are a few of my favorite places to shop:

Paisley & Paper: You can find something for everyone in this cute store off Augusta Road. From stationary, party supplies, jewelry, candles, Clemson and SC memorabilia, and baby gifts, Marty Garrison has a huge selection! Best part….they gift wrap too!

Greenville History Tours: At the Chef ’s Table Culinary Tour is the greatest gift for the foodies on your list and for the family member that has everything they possibly need. The culinary tour brings you to some of the most renowned kitchens to sample dishes and meet the chefs. Beyond the delicious food, patrons will also learn fascinating insights into Greenville’s rich history and background of restaurants as John Nolan guides you on this 2-½ hour tour down Main Street.Visit www.greenvillehistorytours. com

Carolina Girl Cooks: Handmade tea cookies are perfect hostess gifts! I had the privilege to work with Jennifer Glover on a project and she is as delightful as are her lavender cookies. Her flavors also include; Orange Cardamom, Chocolate Chip Rosemary Sea Salt, and Rose. They are light, flaky and packaged beautifully!Order yours at: www.carolinagirlcooks.com

Poppington’s Popcorn: While we’re talking about food, this is another great addition to Main Street in Greenville. Who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn?

This is a great gift for co-workers, and again those foodies on your list. I love buying a “tub” for my kids. It is the perfect snack on Christmas morning while mom’s busy in the kitchen. I’ve recently worked with Rose, the owner, on a few corporate events and she’s great!

Peek-A-Whoo: An on-line store started by a couple of my Greenville girlfriends that specializes in personalized gifts for babies, toddlers and mommies! You can find Christmas pajamas, bloomers, slippers and even placematsfor Santa’s milk and cookies. My favorite, and my ‘go to’ for new moms is their JellyCat Bunnies!! I gifted them to my twin nieces and they love them! www.peekawhoo.com

Maddie Kate & Rosie Embroidery: Two sisters, Kathy Rumchak and Debi Henderson run their business out of their home (conveniently located on my street) and specialize in monogramming and appliqueing. No job too big or too small, they have a quick turn around time too! You can find them on Facebook!

MJudson: This is one of my favorite additions to Main Street in Greenville.

Conveniently located across the street from my office, I occasionally escape and find a corner to hibernate with my computer. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for the bookworm in your life.

They also have cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, glassware and much, much more! With everything on rolling carts, it’s a great place to host an event as well!

Happy Holidays!


Purposefully-Wrapped Presents – The Scout Guide

Gift Wrapping with Rodney

Rodney Simmons of REVIVAL in Chattanooga, Tennessee, shares his inspired approach to present presentation—and how to put it into practice to chic effect.

If his gift-wrapping preferences are any indication, “Brown paper packages tied up with string” might really be among Rodney Simmons’s favorite things. The proprietor of REVIVAL, a luxury gift and home store in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is known for his thoughtful and inspired approach to gift-giving. Here, he shares his approach to present presentation, as well as how to put it into practice to chic effect.

Make it intentional. “‘It’s too pretty to open’ is such a joy to hear when presenting a holiday package,” Simmons says. “During the gift-giving season, Revival’s purposefully-wrapped presents convey a sentiment to family and friends that just might be as impactful as the gift itself.” In short, Simmons advises, take the time to wrap—the extra effort is worth it.

Don’t be so literal. Eschew reindeer-and-snowman schemes, and opt instead for something elegant and minimal. As examples, Simmons offers, “Adorn simple boxes with bare branches from your own garden, or feathers to subtly imply the holiday spirit with nary a nutcracker in sight.” The gifts will look beautiful, and as a bonus, minimizing specifically-themed materials means your gift-wrapping closet can more effectively serve throughout the year.

Wardrobe your gift. Just as in your closet, choosing a monochromatic palette for your season’s packages makes for an easy sense of sophistication, Simmons says. Select a neutral color scheme (Revival sticks with their signature brown) that keeps the focus on the gift inside—and looks chic under the tree.

Know your audience. Further the specialness of a hand-selected present with gift adornments that nod to the recipient’s personality, passions, or history. Here are some of Simmons’s suggestions for thoughtful add-ons:

  • An old family photo can serve as a name tag.
  • A bare tree branch might recall a childhood in the orchard or favorite hobby.
  • A scrap of an old coat or childhood security blanket can swaddle the box.
  • Feathers often nod to “nesting” in a new home or the stork’s delivery of a most treasured little one.

TSG Tip 185 from Rodney Simmons, co-owner of Revival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and co-editor of The Scout Guide Chattanooga.


Source: Purposefully-Wrapped Presents – The Scout Guide

The perfect gift needs great wrapping



Chris Worthy 9:14 a.m. EST December 1, 2016

(Photo: CINDY HOSEA/Staff)

It really is the thought that counts, but a hand-picked, beautiful gift is even more fun when the wrapping conveys that sentiment, too. Plus, a tree surrounded by gifts serves as part of the giver’s home décor for much of December.

You don’t have to be a designer to top your gifts with the perfect bow, but it does take the right supplies, a little patience and some practice. Some expert advice is also helpful.

Marty Garrison, owner of Paisley & Paper, says her store becomes a hive of activity during the holiday season. Not only are in-store purchases eligible for gift wrapping, but handmade items or those purchased elsewhere can be wrapped as well.

“We have a lot of customers who bring in all of their Christmas gifts and have us wrap them,” Garrison says. “It’s fun for us.”

Garrison sells wrapping paper and a variety of ribbons.

“Especially at Christmas, we have wired ribbon, satin and raffia,” she says. “Wired ribbon and raffia are probably the easiest to do. We love to do really big bows. We think it looks better going out.”

After the bow is complete, Garrison says the decoration doesn’t have to end there. Tags in decorated envelopes, die cut stickers and more can be added to enhance the gift wrap’s theme.

“We have fabulous gift tags,” she says. “They are really big and they look great on the package.”

If you want to keep your wrapping on the environmentally friendly side, start with recycled paper.

“We find that you can wrap in a brown kraft paper and if you put a big bow and a big gift tag, you have a beautiful package,” Garrison says.

Tie one on like an expert

Start with the right supplies.

“With wired ribbon, you can do a bow with a square knot,” Garrison says. “With the wire, you can fluff it up. With raffia, you can take three pieces together and tie it around your package.”

Take about one-half yard of ribbon (increase or decrease as needed, based on the size of the gift box), wrap it around the package and tie it in a knot. Make sure the ends are long enough that they hang off the sides of the package.

Gather about 1½ yards of satin ribbon or raffia in a figure eight. Place it on top of the ribbon that has been tied on the package. Using the loose ends from the first piece of ribbon, tie a knot around the figure eight and pinch it in the middle. Fluff as desired.