Monday, February 28, 2011

Fully Engaged

My beautiful sister and her man got ENGAGED! This is VERY exciting news. I have spent the last four months or so trying my damnedest to sneakily confirm her diamond ring preferences and then keep the impending proposal under wraps. I feel so liberated now… and I couldn’t be happier for them! Congratulations to the happy couple!

On top of that, my friends Barbara, Michelle, and Sarah also got engaged within the past couple weeks—there must be something in the air or water. Congratulations, ladies!

In the spirit of celebrating what seems to be “engagement season,” I’d like to highlight this perfect gift for any bride-to-be:

Fete

{Fête: The Wedding Experience $16.60}

I own this book, and I absolutely love it. Written by New York City event planner Jung Lee, Fête is a great hardcover that is filled with tons of amazing photos and beautiful inspiration for planning your special day. This is definitely a book that you can correctly judge by its gorgeous cover!

Photo courtesy of www.thebridescafe.typepad.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Put a Bird on It

Call me cliché, but I love a good home décor item with a bird theme and am slowly building up a little avian collection. On my bar table, I have a very adorable green ceramic bird I found in Nashville last month, and a little wire sparrow from last summer’s Sag Harbor trip lives on my bookshelf. There’s something so cute about a bird motif, no matter how much this YouTube video makes fun of it:

Ridiculous and entertaining. Ridiculously entertaining?

So… knowing full well that birds are becoming pretty ubiquitous in the realm of interiors, I present you with a pair of birdy screen-printed whiskey glasses!

Glasses

{Wren screen-printed glasses, $20 for a pair}

Are these not amazing? I was so happy when I found them on Etsy! They would be a very charming housewarming gift.

On another note, I received the BEST SURPRISE EVER today. A very considerate friend shipped me a can of cookies from Levain in New York, home of the greatest oatmeal raisin cookie that ever existed. She also included some yummy chocolate chip ones. Seriously, if you ever find yourself in Manhattan, book it to the Upper West Side and do yourself a favor by getting one of these cookies. I basically melted into a puddle of cookie-love when I tore open the container and shoved a chunk of oatmeal raisin into my mouth. Thank you, Lizzie!

015

I also have marvel over how creative this packaging is! A clear “paint can” filled with pink tissue paper and scrumptious cookies. Could a girl ask for anything more? I am filing this as a great DIY gift idea, even if I didn’t do it myself!

Bon weekend, everyone! I hope you all treat yourselves to something fun and pleasant this weekend. I’m pretty excited for Monday’s post, so please stay tuned. See y’all back here next week!

Photo courtesy of www.etsy.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So It Goes

My apartment building started up a book club this month, and that got me thinking about my favorite reads. Books always make such great gifts, and there is something very personal about sharing a piece of writing that you loved with someone else. One of the first recommendations that comes to mind (for you to gift to yourself or anyone else) is Look at the Birdie, a collection of previously-unpublished Kurt Vonnegut short stories.

Cover Art

{Look at the Birdie, $10.20}

This book consists of a series of vignettes about post-World War II American life, and each contains a delicious combination of humor, plot twists, and Vonnegut’s candid reflections upon human nature. When I finished it, I was actually sad because it meant that there wasn’t more of it for me to look forward to.

Amazon also has this in hardcover and for Kindle.

Photos courtesy of www.amazon.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Apple a Day…

Today, I want to share a fun themed gift that I recently gave a friend to celebrate her amazing summer internship offer from Apple. After a quick trip to the grocery store and repurposing a cardboard box and tissue paper I had lying around the house, I came up with:

009

The “Apple box” contained Tropicana apple juice, two Granny Smiths, Mott’s applesauce, dried apple rings, apple-flavored Clif bars, and some apple fruit snack strips. I even had the little card holder stick from one of the beautiful birthday bouquets I received last week, so I was able to re-use that as well. It was the perfect combination of creative, thoughtful and low-budget. She thought it was hysterical! Luckily for me, she isn’t averse to apple-flavored foods.

I had such fun putting this together that I’ve decided to feature these types of themed gifts/care packages whenever I have a good one to share. They are great DIY projects and super easy to throw together– and people seem to really enjoy them!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cheese and Fine Art

Palette

{Artist Palette Cheese Tray, $24.95}

Take your cheese platter highbrow with this artist palette tray! This cleverly-designed platter from Fishs Eddy would be a fun and unique housewarming or wedding gift.  The platter measures 15.25”x12”, and is dishwasher and microwave safe. What better way to serve cheddar and Brie to your guests?

Photo courtesy of www.fishseddy.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

Eat Your Vegetables

A reader named Gwynne recently requested some baby shower gift ideas, so today I present you with… a vegetable medley.

Box of Vegetables

{Le Cirque plush vegetables, $8 each}

These smiling veggies are made of 100% organic cotton and are sold individually (box not included, but an excellent packaging idea). Le Cirque, an upscale Bay Area baby boutique, is a local favorite amongst the stylish Silicon Valley moms and their well-dressed children. In addition to the vegetables, they also have a few fruit items, such as this cute little pear:

Pear

{Plush pear, $8}

I guess it’s never too early to start training your child to like fruits and vegetables!

Photos courtesy of www.shoplecirque.com

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two: Put Your Drink in That Box

I’ve noticed that a lot of my recent posts have been very geared toward the ladies… so just in the for the weekend, I’m going to mix it up a little with a gentleman-appropriate gift suggestion.

Cocktail set

{Philippi Black Giorgio Cocktail Box, $178}

This portable cocktail set is pretty slick, in my opinion. Made out of the polished stainless steel and black leather, this box features a magnetic closure and contains: 2 flasks, 2 retractable cups, 1 cork screw, ice tongs, and a drink stirrer. And it only measures at a mere 5 x 3.2 x 2.5 inches—making it possible to play bartender anywhere and everywhere! It’s very Boy Scouts meet James Bond.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. I get very excited when people tell me that they read it or when new people show up on Google Friend Connect, so please spread the word and pass this blog along to any friends and family that might enjoy the gift suggestions! Have a great weekend, be safe, and I’ll see y’all back here on Monday!

Photo courtesy of www.oaknyc.com

iPastry

Pic 1

{iPhone Pop Tart, $20}

One of my favorite childhood breakfast treats was frosted strawberry Pop Tarts, so you can imagine how tickled I was to come across this Pop Tart iPhone/iPod case!

Sold on Etsy, this handmade item is a great way to protect your device from unwanted marks and scratches. The Pop Tart design is printed on both the front and back of the matte case, and it is lined with a white, scratch-free felt fabric. The finished product will arrive carded and sealed in plastic, and maker customizes the material to fit specific models of phones (which you specify in your order).

It’s a funny and clever gift for people who love Pop Tarts and/or would get a kick out of other people’s reactions when they see this thing being pulled out of their pockets!

Photo courtesy of www.etsy.com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birthday Tiara

Not to make it all about me… but today is my birthday! I thought I would share one of the nicest birthday surprises I have gotten… the birthday tiara from d.Sharp!

Tiara

{Bon Anniversaire Tiara, $40}

This was such a fun treat to receive! The stars are hand-crafted from sheet music, and the message says “Bon Anniversaire”—a.k.a. “Happy Birthday” in French. Also, the band on the tiara is pretty flexible… so it should fit any head size. Though I have to say from experience that it works better on smaller heads.

Happy February 16th to all of you!

Photo courtesy of www.dsharp.bigcartel.com

Nantucket Reinvented

Pomp Small Chain bracelet

{Roarke NYC Pomp Small Chain Bracelet, $60}

Described by the New York Times as “summer worn smartly,” this Roarke piece is a sophisticated nod at the classic Nantucket rope bracelet. This version of the preppy beach staple is made of braided chiffon and silver chain, and it is chic enough to wear all year round, not just during the summer months. The bracelets are produced by request (hence a wait time of 3-4 weeks per online order), and they come in a variety of fun colors—blues, greens, pinks, neutrals, you name it. They also feature a snap closure, which makes them infinitely easier to put on and take off than the traditional rope version.

Roarke was founded by former Bergdorf Goodman buyer Laetitia Stanfield and former Marc Jacobs designer Mignonne Gavigan. I actually had the privilege of interning for Laetitia back in my college days, and I can attest to the fact that she is very fashionable. It doesn’t surprise me that’s she is one of the masterminds behind this beautiful line of jewelry (fun fact: Ivanka Trump is a Roarke fan). I can’t wait to see what else these two tastemakers dream up next!

Photo courtesy of www.roarkenyc.com

Monday, February 14, 2011

Moo Moo

First and foremost: happy Valentine’s Day! I saw this on PostSecret over the weekend and thought it was clever… and if you are really waiting for the last minute to do something sweet for someone, you could always “borrow” this idea.

Postsecret

Now, onto gift ideas. I recently attended an event where a number of people brought their very cute children, and I was inspired to come up with more gift ideas for baby showers and the general spoiling of other people’s little ones. After perusing the web for a bit, I came across Restoration Hardware’s Baby & Child site—and, specifically, this little creature:

Rocker

{Restoration Hardware Baby & Child Cow Rocker, $149}

How cute is this friendly bovine? The plush-covered animal sits on a sturdy wood base and can hold up to 80 pounds. I love these old-fashioned types of toys, and would have adored this as a child (to be honest, I still think it looks like fun. Unfortunately, I would inevitably break it).

I think this is the cutest of the rocker animals, but if you are looking for other options, the website also offers a bunny, an elephant, and a bear. Rock on!

Photos courtesy of www.rhbabyandchild.com

Thursday, February 10, 2011

V-Day Countdown: I See London…

Seeing as Valentine’s Day is on Monday, I’m featuring both girl and boy-appropriate gifts today, kind of as a final hurrah/last call gesture. Also, since it’s probably a little late in the game for you to order something online, I turned to J.Crew for ideas—my thinking is that there’s a decent likelihood that most readers will have a J.Crew store nearby.

Ladies first:

BraletteThong

{Cosabella for J.Crew Ceylon bralette ($48) and low-rise thong ($19)}

How sweet are these underpinnings? Cosabella has collaborated with J.Crew to produce beautiful, comfortable pieces that feel super-soft against your skin.

And for the gentlemen:

Boxer 1

{J.Crew candy heart boxers, $9.99}

One bonus to leaving the present purchase until the last minute? Stores are already trying to clear out of their Valentine’s Day inventory. Grab a pair of these candy heart boxers for your favorite guy—on sale!

Also: don’t forget that J.Crew has an in-store discount for students and teachers! If you are either, bring your ID card with you and get 10% off of your purchase.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I am very excited because two good friends are coming to visit me from out of town for an early birthday celebration. Can’t wait for some good dinners and fun company! We’ll probably get some shopping in on Saturday, so I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for inspiration to bring back to all of you. See you on Monday, and thank you for reading!

Photos courtesy of www.jcrew.com

V-Day Countdown: Movie Night

Popcorn

I had a great Valentine’s Day last year: one delivery pizza, two glasses of champagne, my husband, a couch, and Netflix. Boom. I’d highly recommend re-creating it for yourself this year by inviting friends/a lover/several lovers over for a low-key night in on 2/14. Added bonus: the DVDs you get for the occasion can double as Valentine’s Day gift(s) for your guest(s). Now, onto the movies!

Valentine's Day

{Valentine's Day $10.49}

Seems like an all-too-obvious choice, and one that guys would roll their eyes at, but what other day of the year can you 100% justify watching a chick flick called Valentine’s Day? Also, I’m going to say it out loud: I saw it in the theater. And I liked it.

 

Paris Je T'aime

{Paris, Je T'Aime (Paris, I Love You) $7.49}

At the risk of sounding pretentious: j’adore! Such a beautiful collection of short films about love in all different forms. Some funny, some sad, some heart-warming. If nothing else, you will fall in love with the backdrop of beautiful Paris.

 

New York I Love You

{New York, I Love You 7.49}

Definitely not as good overall as Paris, Je T’Aime, but it still has some gems. And it showcases one of the greatest cities in the world.

 

Valentine

{Valentine $9.99}

Too much lovey-dovey stuff? Here’s a Valentine’s Day slasher. I can’t say that I’ve seen it, and really don’t know much other than the fact that it stars Denise Richards and the foxy guy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But hey, it works with the theme!

 

Little Manhattan

{Little Manhattan $12.49}

A very adorable movie about first love. It features two New York kids and has such simple and pure sentiments to it. Warning there are (a number of) ridiculously cheesy moments that don’t make complete sense. But if you want a feel-good film about a 10-year-old’s first crush and that hopeful, butterflies-in-stomach feeling that comes with it, this is for you. Added bonus: it doubles as a mini-homage to summertime on the Upper West Side.

 

The Notebook

{The Notebook $8.99}

Friggin’ tear-jerker of a love story. This one comes as a suggestion from one of my dear readers, and I couldn’t endorse it more.

 

SATC

{Sex and the City: The Complete Series $145.99}

Love, sex, fashion, New York, Carrie & Co. Everything you need for a fun girls’ night in! And you’ll probably want to hang onto this deliciously pink gift set as a Valentine’s gift to yourself.

 

Charlie Brown

{ Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown $13.49}

And to cap it all off, some classic Peanuts love. Appropriate for all ages and audiences.

What are your favorite love-themed movies?

Photos courtesy of www.thegreenhead.com and www.amazon.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

V-Day Countdown: Pretty Petals

Flowers.com Orchids

{Denbrodium orchids, $39.99-$69.98}

It wouldn’t be a true Valentine’s Day countdown without flowers! If you are looking to deviate from red roses this year, a beautiful (and in my opinion, better) alternative is a bouquet of orchids. Orchids are gorgeous and long-lasting flowers, and these Denbrodiums are available at 1800Flowers.com and can be delivered anywhere with or without a vase (I recommend with—makes things much easier on the recipient, especially if they are being delivered to an office).

Orchids are more appropriate for Valentine’s Day than one might think. They are considered a symbol of love, luxury, and beauty, and throughout history, orchids have been considered to be an aphrodisiac and therefore used as a main ingredient in certain love potions. Sounds like the perfect flower for a day of romance!

Tip from the pros: spritz some water onto the orchid petals to keep them fresh and alive (they apparently “drink” from their petals as well as their stems).

Photo courtesy of www.1800flowers.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

V-Day Countdown: Perfectly Manicured

Urban Ballerina

{Urban Ballerina Mini Collection, $18}

This box of nail polish “petit fours” is a sweet gift that will keep your lady’s (or BFF’s, or whoever you are gifting to) fingernails looking sleek and chic. Inspired by “the eclectic style of an urban ballerina,” this boxed item includes the following colors: Leotard-Optional, The Way Tutu His Heart, Who’s Spinning Tonight?, and Break a Leg-Warmer. What a fun little present!

Photo courtesy of www.sephora.com

Monday, February 7, 2011

V-Day Countdown: Scents of Ladurée

 Macarons

You don’t have to book a flight to Paris in order to make your Valentine feel like she’s been transported to Ladurée,  the famous French patisserie. Ladurée has expanded their business beyond brightly colored macarons and into luxurious beauty and home products, including this delightful candle, sold at Opening Ceremony.

 

Candle

{Ladurée scented candle, $55}

This pastry-scented candle is a lovely way to infuse some Marie Antoinette-worthy decadence into your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day. Packaged in a feminine box, this French-made candle burns for 45 hours and sits in a delicate pink glass. One sniff, and you’ll both feel like you’re relaxing the day away in a Parisian tea salon!

Photos courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/cloughridge and www.openingceremony.us

Friday, February 4, 2011

V-Day Countdown: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tiffany Box

Audrey Hepburn captured the sentiments of women everywhere when she uttered the classic movie line, “I’m just crazy about Tiffany’s!” If you want to treat your Valentine something from the famed jeweler without completely breaking the bank, look no further than this hammered silver ring designed by Paloma Picasso (daughter of Pablo).

Ring

{Tiffany Hammered Ring, $135}

The understated look of this sterling silver ring is both modern and elegant. Additionally, it can be stacked with other rings and is appropriate for everyday wear. And need I mention the smile that will come to her face when you pull out that little blue box tied with a white bow?

Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll meet you back here on Monday morning!

Photos courtesy of www.tiffany.com

Thursday, February 3, 2011

V-Day Countdown: Eau, Chloé…

Chloe ad

With all of the fragrances out there, the cosmetics section of a department store can be absolutely overwhelming—and that’s from  the perspective of a woman who loves to shop! I can hardly imagine being a guy hunting for a perfume to spoil his sweetheart with… which is why I have decided to take the guesswork out of the equation with this perfume recommendation. Whether you, dear reader, plan to purchase this for yourself or for someone else, the Chloé eau de parfum is sure to please.

Chloé’s ultra-chic and and feminine sensibilities carry very well into this subtle and beautiful fragrance. The perfume holds scents of magnolia, lily of the valley, and rose flowers, mixed with top notes of peony and lychee, and is finished with amber and honey. Last (but not least), the perfume comes in a very cute bottle with a hand-tied pink ribbon, providing an added element of the fashion house’s Parisian flair.

Perfume

{Chloe Eau de Parfum, 2.5 oz. bottle $89.28}

I recently discovered that Amazon has a great selection of designer perfumes at lower prices than the likes of Sephora or department stores. This 2.5 oz. bottle, for instance, is $89.28—compared to $110 at Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

This is a classic perfume that only requires one spray at a time for long-lasting scent. Why not add a little je ne sais quoi to your Valentine’s Day gifting this year?

Photos courtesy of www.amazon.com and www.sephora.com

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

V-Day Countdown: What Happens in Vegas…

Looking to have a little getaway for Valentine’s Day? Whether you jet-set with your one true love or your group of best girlfriends, a Vegas vacation will definitely be a weekend to remember. The Strip is fun, but if you are looking for something different—and perhaps a bit more authentic—head downtown.

Exterior

El Cortez Cabana Suites is located in the city’s much-buzzed-about downtown district. Unlike the Strip, downtown Vegas is less Kardashian glitz and more hip and artsy—you’ll definitely see more fedoras and skinny jeans than butt-grazing skirts and stripper heels. The Cabana Suites are the little sister boutique hotel to El Cortez, the historical property formerly owned by mobster Bugsy Siegel. For $108 a night, you can book a “super suite” for Valentine’s Day weekend (if you stay during the week, you essentially get to stay for free, given all of the gambling and food/drink credit they give you. See the website for details). With custom fixtures and artwork adorning the Cabana Suites, you’ll find your surroundings to be chic and edgy—not to mention spankin’ new.

Lobby 2

{El Cortez Cabana Suites lobby}

Hallway

{Artwork adorning the hallways}

Room

{Rooms are characterized by a modern aesthetic}

El Cortez Cabana Suites sits around the corner from local haunts Beauty Bar, the Downtown Cocktail Room, and Emergency Arts, a creative collective that has moved into a former hospital just kitty corner from the hotel. Emergency Arts features retail shops and the work of various artists, writers, photographers, fashion designers, curators, and filmmakers all under one roof. And if you’re feeling the urge to gamble, head next door to El Cortez, which has won “Best of Las Vegas” awards for video poker, blackjack (full pay 3-2), and keno.

If you are sick of the crowds, lines, and attitude of the Strip, make your way downtown—where what we know as Las Vegas all began!

Photos courtesy of www.eccabana.com

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