The Winter Holidays are by far my favorite time of the year. Everything is cozy, the twinkle lights are up and sparking, presents are being exchanged, friends and families come together and, of course, the food is rich and delicious.

We’ve put together a bunch of must-have winter fashions (Page 12) and put together pretty and easy-to-do tips for  wrapping, decorating, setting the table and more (Page 38) to make this season your best and brightest ever.

But this time of year also comes with a lot of contemplation, looking back over the previous twelve months and preparing for those to come. Thinking of ways to improve our lives, from the more serious to the fanciful. I think we’ve struck the right balance of festivity and  focus.

We’ve looked ahead and found two musicians that we think are going to take over the industry in 2015 (Page 22;  Page 24) and caught up with web warrior and comedian Issa Rae before the release of her new memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (Page 26) which is sure to generate buzz when it hits shelves this February.

Our writer Kate Everson also introduced us to our new favorite philanthropic company: THINX (Page 20). Their three female founders are creating underwear that not only make your period easier to deal with, but provides hygienic pads to women in Africa who would otherwise go without, to the detriment of their health, and provides education to combat the severe menstrual taboo that keeps them out of school. Grab a couple of pairs for yourself or the women in your life, and help make a difference.

I also had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely Audrey Kitching for our cover story (Page 30). Of course, she, photographer Liz Besanson, and the whole crew delivered some super festive photos, but Audrey also gave me a lot of food for thought.

What does it mean to be an online superstar? And how do you stay true to your voice in an industry that is often more interested in who you know than who you are? Her answers revealed a woman who is choosing to make a mark on her own terms, critics be damned; the true definition of a Lydia girl.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015.



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