Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Le Fromage Big

Welcome back from the long weekend, friends! I hope everyone had some happy times with good company. I spent an idyllic weekend in Boston, first attending the most lovely wedding I have ever been to (congratulations, A&J!), having a romantic Sunday night out with my husband (who, in response to my earlier post, informed me that he now reads my blog posts so I therefore shouldn’t be trash-talking), and then eating a delicious Memorial Day lunch on a friend’s roof deck overlooking the city. All in all, three spectacular days!

From Saturday’s wedding to yesterday’s lunch, I pretty much ate my weight in cheese, and I thought this charming gift pick tied in nicely to my fromage-heavy weekend:

2011.05.31 - French Cheese Board {Laguiole Fromage Board with knife, $42}

The board has a design that shows all the different French regions where cheese is produced and comes with this nifty Laguiole knife—a brand that has apparently existed in France for over 200 years. The board itself measures about 10.25” x 11.75”. Great as a housewarming or wedding gift.

Bon appetit! What did you guys all do over the long weekend?

Image courtesy of www.poshchicago.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tears of Joy

Wedding season is upon us! Not only am I attending a good friend’s wedding TOMORROW, my roommate here in Nashville is consumed with designing save-the-dates for her September nuptials—AND I am excitedly looking forward to my sister’s engagement party this summer! Ah, love.

I have to admit that, as a very young bride, I didn’t really have my shit together. I may need to get re-married because I keep seeing all these beautiful wedding ideas on the blogs that I read—and it sucks that I’ve missed my chance to incorporate them! (I’m totally kidding. And let’s be honest, my husband doesn’t read my blog anyway. Jerk). Anyway, check out this delight:

2011.05.27 - Bridesmaid Kerchief

{Bridesmaid Kerchief, $28}

Isn’t this such a sweet way to ask a BFF to be a part of your big day? Sure beats my method of doing it over the phone… I think this kerchief is very adorably retro and appropriately foreshadows the fact that your best girlfriends will feel compelled to shed a tear or two when you walk down the aisle. I totally didn’t think I was going to be a wedding-crier, but when my friend Christine came gliding down the church in that beautiful white gown last September, the tears started. There’s also has one for your maid of honor.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, folks! (Or, as I learned at trivia night on Wednesday, the-holiday-formerly-known-as-Decorations-Day). Does anyone have any pool parties or BBQs on the agenda? Regardless of your plans, I hope y’all have a safe, relaxing, and FUN long weekend! See you back here on Monday, and thank you for reading The Present Perfect!

Image courtesy of www.bhldn.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Toilet Golf

2011.05.26 - Toilet Golf

{Toilet Golf Set, $20}

Look, sometimes you just need a gift that induces some giggles. As someone who is still immature enough to enjoy potty humor—AND enjoys playing golf—I knew I needed to look no further when I came cross this “hole in one” of a gift idea. (I am also apparently very corny. Who knew).

Toilet golf comes with a 25” putter, a 35”x28” green that fits around the edge of your toilet, a cup to aim for, two plastic balls, and (most importantly) a “Do Not Disturb – Play in Progress” door sign. Is this gift crass and silly? Maybe a little bit. Will the recipient love it? Probably.

Move over, bathroom magazine stash—there is a new sheriff in town! Just make sure you leave some disinfectant wipes next to the putter. Keep it sanitary, people.

Image courtesy of www.fredflare.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pajama Party

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I am not exactly what you would call a sexy sleeper. I wear a retainer at night, my mouth gapes open, and I have been told that I don’t close my eyes all the way (thus revealing creepy white slivers of my eyeballs). Thus, it’s unsurprising that the most exciting sleepwear I have come across is not so much a lacy chemise or a sexy slip, but this:

Top   Bottom

{Hanna Andersson Long John PJs, $32 top, $28 bottoms}

I know, I know. I’m a huge nerd. But HOW FUN are these pajamas? I have seriously been looking for this type of sleepwear set for over a year. I had a pair of Batman long john pajamas as a kid, and I can still recall how awesomely comfortable they were. My good friend over at White Dresses Blue Sashes recommended these, and I think I have to have them. They come in a variety of fun colors, too!

Added bonus: they are made of organic cotton, thus qualifying them for the “Eco-Friendly” tag on this blog.

Images courtesy of www.hannaandersson.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Golden Ticket

2011.05.24 - Olive and Sinclair Chocolate

{Olive & Sinclair Gift Tin, $33.50}

Like many things here in Nashville, Olive & Sinclair chocolate bars are delightful and retro-looking. And like most of the food that I have had here, they are delicious. I bought a sea salt chocolate bar today, and it was a perfect blend of salty and sweet. Luckily for everyone else in the country, they sell their products online!

This gift item comes in an old-fashioned gift tin and contains 5 Southern Artisan chocolate bars: 67% cacao, 75% cacao, sea salt, coffee bean, and one surprise flavor. While none of these actually come with a golden ticket inside, the beautiful packaging very much evokes the feel of Willy Wonka and his magical chocolate factory!

Added dose of street cred: it’s a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow’s! She gave singing praise to O&S in her GOOP newsletter, writing: “Each wrapper’s design, is, like the chocolate inside, exquisite.” Cheers to great chocolate!

Image courtesy of www.oliveandsinclair.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweets of Summer

2011.05.23 - Popsicle Maker

{Zoku Instant Popsicle Maker, $49.95}

Nothing says summer like popsicles! I realize that it hasn’t hit Memorial Day yet, but it’s hot as hell in Nashville—so, in my book, summer is in full swing. It’s also cicada season, so if that loud buzzing noise and giant dead bugs on the sidewalk don’t scream “SUMMER IS HERE!” I don’t know what does.

I’m really into the idea of this instant popsicle maker—it takes away the pain of waiting (…and waiting… and waiting) for the popsicles to freeze! This mold lives in your freezer, just chilling away, until you are ready to use, and all you have to do is pour in your home-brewed popsicle juice (apparently, they’ll be ready in under 15 minutes). This little gadget is promising for creating fun, original, and yummy flavors in your very own kitchen! Seems like it would be fun for kids, too.

Word about town is that Las Paletas popsicles are Nashville’s finest way to stay cool during the hot summer days. Apparently, they are life-changing. I’m planning on hitting up Hot & Cold this week to check out these Paletas for myself!

Image courtesy of www.williams-sonoma.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sealed With a Kiss

2011.05.20 - I Love You more

{I Love You More cards, $5}

I know it’s not even Memorial Day weekend yet, but I’ve been thinking about nice things I can do for my husband for our wedding anniversary (which is in July. I know. I’m a planner). For the few years that we have been married, I’ve taken great care in choosing the card. For example, the one-year was marked with one that read, “Happy fucking anniversary.” Aren’t I sweet?

However! These “I Love You More” cards by Gilah Press + Design might be enough for me to make up for my crass language that first time around. They feature sayings such as the one pictured above, “I Love You More Than Everybody Loves Raymond,” and “I Love You More Than the 80s Loved Big Hair.” And, of course, they are letterpress-printed, which makes them that much better.

And… we’re already at the weekend! I am extremely stoked to be attending Taylor Swift’s Speak Now…Help Now benefit concert tomorrow night. She will be opening up her final dress rehearsal for her Speak Now US tour to the public and is donating 100% of the ticket sales to the victims of the tornadoes that have ravaged the Southeast. She’ll also be streaming two of the performances on her website! What a sweetheart—no wonder everyone loves her.

2011.05.20 - Taylor

Happy weekend, y’all! As always, thank you for reading—I love getting new blog followers and appreciate your taking the time to check out my little project. Meet you back here on Monday!

Images courtesy of www.designspongeonline.com and www.taylorswift.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hello to y’all from Nashville! I have safely arrived and couldn’t be more excited to be here. Last night, I had the privilege of eating at Monell’s. It was freaking delicious. The chef decides what you eat—all you do is sit back with a glass of sweet tea and watch dish after dish of family-style Southern cooking emerge from the kitchen! My friends and I had fried chicken, roasted chicken, stuffing, fried pork chops, green beans, macaroni and cheese, biscuits with gravy, biscuits with peach preserves, banana bread pudding… and I’m probably even forgetting a thing or two.

Lest you think that this post is solely about my describing how I consumed a heart attack on a platter, let me get to the point. Over dinner, one friend lamented that she doesn’t know what to do about decorating her apartment. I feel like a lot of my friends also had this problem when we finished college—and given that it’s graduation season, I wanted to recommend two fantastic books that are great inspiration for home décor, especially for that first “grown-up” home.

Domino

{Domino: The Book of Decorating $20.51}

Details

{Details: A Stylist's Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors $26.40}

Both of these beautiful hardcovers are authored by former Domino magazine editors, and they are packed to the brim with gorgeous images and inspiration. As someone who felt emotionally devastated by the news that Domino was folding in 2008, these two books are a great way to fill that void. (I know that this sounds melodramatic of me, but seriously… if you read Domino magazine, you know what I am talking about). My husband teases me by saying that I still read “picture books,” but hey—when the pictures are that amazing, who cares if there’s scintillating copy! (And, for the record, there is. Double win).

Images courtesy of www.amazon.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flying South

After months of anticipation, the day has finally arrived: I am embarking on my month-long relocation to Nashville today! A glimpse at the fun things I have to look forward to for the next 30 days:

097

I can’t wait! I took this photo when I was down there in January of this year, and I think it does a good job of capturing the spirit of the city. There is so much to do there, and I can’t wait to spend a lot of my time listening to live performances. So, in the theme of Nashville, country music, and all things delightfully Southern, I’d like to share the fun gift of cowboy boots:

2011.05.18 - Cowboy Boots

{Women’s Ariat Western Heritage boots, $149.99}

I actually have these exact ones, and they are AMAZING. I got them on last year’s trip to Austin, TX with my two BFFs from high school. We wandered into Allens Boots (an Austin institution), and after an hour or so of looking around and finding nothing remotely suitable below the $400 mark, I randomly stumbled across these and instantly fell in love. They are very comfortable, very cute, and I wear them ALL the time. Definitely bringing them to Nashville with me.

Brunch at Saks (a blog crush of mine) recently did a post about needing cowboy boots,  and I would recommend anyone with the same needs to check out Allens Boots, either online or in-person.

In a matter of hours, I will be heading down to Music City for some new adventures! I am nervous and excited, and I hope to discover some great gift finds to feature while I am there!

Image courtesy of www.allensboots.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lucky Penny

Last winter, I was in the Bay Area and wandered into Stanford Shopping Center’s Hlaska store. Talk about ritzy hipster central. It’s super cool. And fancy! Co-founded by Chad Hurley (co-founder/former CEO of YouTube), Hlaska is a purveyor of luxury wallets, accessories, and clothing, all the while “bringing back honest American production” and “bringing in a new way of valuing science and luxury.”

2011.05.17 - Penny Cuff Links

{Indian Head Penny cufflinks, $64}

I thought these cufflinks seemed pretty interesting—and having a lucky penny on your sleeve can’t hurt, right? They also have versions that feature a Lincoln penny, a Buffalo nickel, a Mercury dime, and SF transit tokens.  Not a bad way to re-purpose some loose change!

Image courtesy of www.hlaska.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

High Tea

2011.05.16 - Tea Kettle

{NORM Architects Tea Kettle, $79}

Happy Monday, everyone! I apologize for the blog delays last Friday. There was something weird going on with Blogger, and my post didn’t go up until much later than usual. Anyway, I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend! Onto today’s gift pick.

Leave it to the Scandinavians to come up with the most genius tea kettle ever. As someone who doesn’t like to steep the leaves for more than 30 seconds (I tend to favor a really light brew) but always wants to save the leaves to re-use later (at the rate I do it, I can get about 10 steeps from one set of leaves), this teapot is AWESOME. You can save the leaves for later without leaking tea-water all over the place! Moreover, the clear glass makes it possible to keep a close eye on how strong your brew is.

A cute gift idea would be to wrap this up with a package of your favorite tea leaves. Throw in a box of scones, and you will be all equipped for some afternoon tea!

Image courtesy of shop.gessato.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fear the Beard… and Other Things

2011.05.13 - Giants Shirt Old Navy

{Old Navy MLB t-shirt, $19.94}

Baseball season is upon us, and Old Navy is commemorating America’s favorite pastime with MLB t-shirts that feature (almost) everyone’s favorite teams. If the San Francisco WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS are not your cup of tea, you can always choose from a number of other teams, including (but not limited to) the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, or Phillies.

Old Navy also offers a selection of women’s, girls’, and boys’ MLB t-shirts (as well as baby girls and baby boys). I have to say, though, the female selection kind of sucks, unless you happen to be a Kansas City Royals fan. Oh, well. Maybe they’re waiting to roll out a wider selection? The men’s t-shirts definitely have the best selection of teams.

Regardless of all that, though, these shirts just scream, “Take me out to the ball game!”

I hope everyone has a very lucky Friday the 13th and a wonderful weekend. Anyone going to a baseball game?

Image courtesy of www.oldnavy.com

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Slanty

{Slanted wineglasses, $27.80 for a set of 4}

These slanted wineglasses will leave your guests wondering if they are seeing things… or if they simply had too much fun at your party! This set of four glasses makes a fun and whimsical gift for weddings, housewarmings, or any other occasions that call for wine and good times.

My parents have one of these glasses and it’s always kind of hilarious to see the person who is drinking from it initially hesitate, then eventually ask, “…Is this glass… tilted?” To which my dad will gleefully go, “You must be DRUNK!” We’re full of great jokes in my family. Clearly.

Image courtesy of www.zgallerie.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Like. Dislike.

2011.05.11 - Like Dislike

{Like & Dislike stamps, $16}

It’s okay, you can admit it: you waste a shitload of time on Facebook. Now, with these fun stamps, you can take your virtual thumbs-up tendencies offline and onto paper. Even better than Facebook, this stamp set gives you an actual “Dislike” option.

Looks like you have an appropriate response medium for that next stack of memos to hit your desk…

Image courtesy of www.fredflare.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Burping Babies

2011.05.10 - Burp Cloths

{Bucket of burp cloths, $37.50 for a set of 3}

Lately, I’ve done a fair share of advising on baby shower gift ideas. Baby showers are funny, because some of the items people enjoy are so cute but simultaneously serve such not-cute purposes. Examples: diapers with adorable designs on them… or anything involving poop and diapers, for that matter. Or these burping cloths—the designs are great; the idea of milk spit-up is not so great.

Regardless, babies will be babies, and any new mom deserves to burp her little one in style. These burp cloths make a very cute shower gift, especially with the paint can packaging! (It’s kind of like the awesome paint can of cookies I mentioned in this post). Each can contains three cloths, and the designs range from flowers to butterflies to zoo animals. I think my favorite is the elephant print.

Have a great day, everyone!

Image courtesy of spaceskennebunkport.com

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gracefully Lacy

There’s something about spring weather that makes me feel like being extra girly. These days, for example, I am rocking a neon-pink pedicure and recently shopped around town for pretty sundresses. On my expedition the other weekend, I stumbled across this unexpected gem at Madewell:

2011.05.02 - HoneyDew Bralette

{Honeydew Intimates bralette, $32}

Isn’t it adorable? Around this time last year, I was hunting for a bachelorette party gift, and this would have been absolutely perfect for the bride-to-be. Honeydew is an Los Angeles-based line of intimates that has mastered both form and function, and this particular item was so comfortable and aesthetically pleasing that I bought two!

This is pretty similar to the Valentine’s Day gift I featured here, but I like this one’s lace detail more, and the price point is slightly lower. Whether you’re a boyfriend looking for something special for your lady or simply a girl looking for some pretty underpinnings, this Honeydew item won’t disappoint!

Image courtesy of www.madewell.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother’s Day: Say It With Flowers

Okay, so the deadline is really approaching: if you haven’t figured out Mother’s Day by this point, you probably need to do some serious next-day shipping or make a quick run to the mall. For the sake of everyone’s interest and convenience, I’m featuring a good solution for last-minute scrambling… flowers!

2011.05.06 - Tulips

{Tulip Bouquet, $59.99}

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. They are not quite as cliché as roses, and they come in such fun colors… and this particular arrangement even comes with the pretty vase!

When I lived in New York, I used to pick up tulips for myself from a bodega on my way home—such a great way to cheer up a room and celebrate the arrival of spring. Here’s a tip I learned from a florist: to prevent your tulips from drooping, put a handful of pennies in the vase (along with water, of course). The copper from the pennies actually helps them to stand up straighter! Tried and true, my friends—it’s amazing and works every time.

Have a great weekend, and happy Mother’s Day to all of my readers who have endured (or are still enduring) the journey of the hardest, most thankless job in the world! See you all back here on Monday!

Image courtesy of www.1800flowers.com

Mother’s Day: Chain Gang

2011.05.05 - BR Necklace

{Banana Republic necklace, $49.50}

Because a woman is never too old to love sparkly things, why not add a fun necklace to Mom’s jewelry collection this year? This 10K gold plated piece is accented by blue acrylic beads, softening up the “edge” of the chains. The necklace measures 28” end to end.

I feel like Banana Republic always has great casual jewelry in their collection. I worked at a BR store during college, and I would be lying if said that much of my paycheck didn’t go back into the company—the fun accessories were always too much to resist!

Image courtesy of bananarepublic.gap.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother’s Day: Getting Fresh

One of my favorite beauty brands of all time is Fresh. Unlike many places, Fresh is incredibly simple in its product line, scents, and store design—walking into a Fresh store is like taking in a deep breath of spring air. And now that it’s officially May, what could be more appropriate for the season?

2011.05.04 - Fresh Rose Face Mask

{Fresh Rose Face Mask, $55}

The Fresh Rose Face Mask is a great gift for Mom. It smells like crushed rose petals, and the gel-like mask is incredibly soothing on the skin. The rose petals hydrate the skin, and the formula (composed of rose water, cucumber extract, marine algae, and aloe vera gel) reduces redness and calms any skin inflammations… leaving Mom feeling extra-refreshed! (No pun intended. Okay, fine—totally intentional).

Why not bring the spa treatment home to Mom this Mother’s Day?

Image courtesy of www.fresh.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother’s Day: Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

When I lived in New York, my first apartment was directly upstairs from the ever-luxurious La Maison du Chocolat. Let me tell you, it was very difficult to walk past it every day without want to pop in for a macaron or a truffle. One of the things I remember most clearly about this chocolatier is the amazing selection of beautiful gift items on display in the window every day. Why not treat Mom to an adorable “hatbox” (La Maison’s signature packaging) of delicious treats?

{Petite Hatbox, $50}

This particular gift set comes with 1 almond assortment gift box, 1 four-praline assortment, and 1 two-truffle gift box. The hatboxes are delivered closed, with a charming La Maison du Chocolat ribbon tying it closed. Of course, you can always upgrade to something a little more grandiose to show Mom just how much you care—there’s the Sweet Intention Hatbox all the way to the $360 Decadent Hatbox (I think I would die of sheer joy—and perhaps a sugar overdose—if anyone ever got that for me).

J’adore!

Image courtesy of www.lamaisonduchocolat.us

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother’s Day: Garden Giraffes

2011.05.02 - Anthropologie Giraffe Pots

{Giraffe earthenware pots, $128 for a set of 3}

Mother’s Day is this upcoming Sunday, and I will be blogging about gift ideas for Mommy dearest every day this week. Today’s pick comes from Anthropologie—aren’t these giraffe planters amazing?! The small giraffe is 12.25” high, the medium is 15”, and the large is 19”.

They can actually stack on top of each other, and they are great decorative items for any garden or household (bonus points if you give them to Mom with something pretty already planted inside. Double points if that something is useful, such as basil or parsley). A (present) perfect combination of form and function!

Image courtesy of www.anthropologie.com

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