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Orange crush

You may be wearing red today, but there's no reason to shift into neutral after the holidays.

Pantone, the global authority on color, has named its color of the year for 2012: Tangerine Tango, described as "a spirited reddish orange."

"Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a release.

Tommy Hilfiger, Nanette Lepore and Elie Tahari are just a few designers who incorporated the happy hue into their spring collections.

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For the home

Tangerine Tango also can brighten the home. Look for the color in pillows, bedding, tabletop accessories, even appliances and personal electronics.

An idea from Pantone: "Paint a wall in Tangerine Tango for a dynamic burst of energy in the kitchen, entryway or hallway."

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Sparkle and shine

Have plans for ringing in 2012? Have a little fun with fashion.

"New Year's Eve is different: Your outfit can sparkle, your jewels can dazzle, your hair can glisten. You can wear a tiara, for goodness sake. It's a night when glitter is good, and the more the better," writes Samantha Critchell, of the Associated Press.

Think beaded bags, sparkly shoes, sequined skirts (popular this year), chunky chain bracelets, glitzy hair clips and, of course, shimmery makeup.

You might even find a way to reuse some of the splashier pieces in less showy ways over the next 12 months, Critchell writes.

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Party tip

Wine is nice, but here's another way to treat your host/hostess to something special: Pack up some breakfast goodies for the morning after the party.

Homemade muffins, a delicious bread for toasting, a jar of jam, fresh fruit, delicious coffee these are unexpected treats when the only other choice may be party leftovers.

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And finally

"The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!"

-- Charles N. Barnard, author/travel writer