Friday, September 30, 2011

Snail Mail

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope y’all had a wonderful week and that you have a fun-filled weekend ahead.

I am sort of old-fashioned in a lot of ways, or at least that’s what people tell me. I didn’t even consider keeping my last name when I got married, I use phrases such as, “I’d be tickled if…” and I write A LOT of letters. Like, handwritten ones, sent by post. So, in my personal opinion, one can’t ever have enough stationery… and personalized stationery is even better! I love these monogram cards from Kate Spade:

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{Kate Spade Monogram Note Cards, $26 for a set of 10}

The monograms are foil-stamped onto thick, white cardstock (100% cotton, 96 lb. Crane’s, if you want to get specific) that has a nice black and white stripe on the back. The envelopes are lined with quintessentially Kate Spade green paper. It’s great for any occasion, but I always think it’s really cute when people gift newlyweds stationery with their new monogram. In this case, I feel that going with the first letter of the last name fits the bill!

Stationery is becoming even more important to me because by the end of November, my two best friends from high school will be living abroad. While email is obviously faster and without-a-doubt-awesome, there’s something really great about sending hand-written letters to the people you care about. Plus, their initials are A and K—which makes the photo for today’s post even more relevant.

Lastly, today is K’s birthday—HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LADY! I selfishly wish you weren’t halfway around the world, but I am SO proud of you for taking on this new life adventure and wish you the best! I love and miss you so much. Happy birthday!

And that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading, and please come back next week for new gift ideas!

Image courtesy of www.katespade.com

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fizzy

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{SodaStream Sparkling Water & Soda Maker, $99.95}

Today’s pick might seem a little bit random, but my sister swears that this is one of the best gift she’s ever received—a soda maker!

I’ve used it before, and it’s pretty cool—you can basically turn any juice, water, or other liquid into a carbonated beverage. A lot of regular sodas are always too sweet for me, so this would be a great kitchen gadget to make drinks according to my own taste buds. Also, you can get creative and make less conventional flavors. Lavender? Rose? I drank a lot of Dry Soda in Seattle this summer, and my favorite flavors were blood orange, lavender, and juniper berry (which kind of tastes like gin).

I’m also going to make the argument that it’s an eco-friendly device, because if you’re making your own sparkling water, you’re not buying plastic bottle after plastic bottle of the stuff.

This post is making me thirsty. Have a great day, everyone!

Image courtesy of www.surlatable.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pardon My French

It’s funny how four small letters can be so versatile and expressive. No, people, I’m not talking about L-O-V-E. Instead, on a slightly cheekier note, we have this set of sticky notes:

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{Get the Hint Stickies, $6}

These adhesive labels come with 20 sheets per pad, and 5 different pad varieties. Might make your co-workers think twice about asking you for feedback on their memos!

Image courtesy of www.urbanoutfitters.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cozy Time

Even though the weather has been insanely muggy here over the past few days, I can see that fall is upon us as the air slowly crisps up and the leaves start to turn from green to yellow. Fall always evokes images of cozy nights curled up with a good book and hot apple cider, and what better way to do that than with these chic wool throws?

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{MacAusland’s Throws, $75}

I have been on the hunt for a perfect sofa throw for… over two years? I found a dusty-blue, velvet couch on sale a couple years ago, and I absolutely love it. Unsurprisingly, though, it’s not the easiest thing to match. Everything I have come across has either been too textured, too big, or the wrong color. However, the gray one pictured above looks perfect—I just might get it as an early Christmas gift to myself! It’s also a great item to give to a jet-setting friend as a carry-on item to stay warm on the plane.

For added street cred, these blankets are produced on Prince Edward Island, Canada. MacAusland’s Woollen Mills is a family business that has been producing 100% virgin wool blankets since 1932. They are hand-crafted, and the wool is processed on site. How’s that for heritage?

Image courtesy of http://store.archivalclothing.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Floral Display

Good morning, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. And now we’re at the start of another week—I am hoping that I can brighten yours with cool gift picks.

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{Glass Wall Pocket, $32}

Unique vases are always fun—and I don’t think I have seen one like this before. It is a glass wall “pocket” that you can mount with the forged iron nail that comes with it. Measuring 3.75” W x 2” D x 9” H, this is a creative way to display some freshly-picked flowers. It also saves you the trouble of finding table space to display them.

Great as a housewarming (or a “just because”) gift when paired with fresh blooms!

Image courtesy of www.jaysonhome.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sweet Dreams

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{Tauntaun Sleeping Bag, $99.99}

I think the photo speaks for itself. It’s a Tauntaun sleeping bag. As in, Star Wars. This detailed item comes complete with a saddle, internal intestines printed on the inside, and a plush lightsaber zipper pull. The Empire really struck back with this one. (I am a nerd for even going there).

Bon weekend to all of you! See you back here on Monday!

Image courtesy of www.thinkgeek.com

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Color My World

Well, hello there! I don’t really know what to say other than, “I’m really sorry for being such a crappy blogger over the past week.” Mea culpa, seriously. I am hoping that today’s crazy-awesome (and crazy-colorful) blog post will make up for my lack of diligence.

I am pretty sure that everyone between the ages of 23 and 35, who watched Sesame Street as a child, remembers this particular video:

TELL me you remember this. Please.

I remember being totally mesmerized by the orange wax when I was a kid. Well, now you can make your OWN crayons with this amazing Crayola machine:

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{Crayola Crayon Maker, $50}

This machine is awesome because it allows you to turn the little crayon-nubs that no one ever wants to color with into new, multi-hued crayons! The machine melts the nubs down and pours them into molds, resulting in cool, technicolor creations for your use.

I could see this being a huge hit of an activity at a children’s party. Or in my friend Christina’s craft room. (She’s in her late twenties. No judgment).

Sorry again about the delay in posts—it feels great to be back!

Image courtesy of www.fredflare.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grill Golf

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{Golfer BBQ Set, $25}

Amusing, no? I thought this was an appropriate gift pick, as I am attending a BBQ tonight (probably the last one of the year, as the warm summer weather is starting to fade into crisp fall air).

This gift reminds me of my husband, because while there are many things in life that he loves (the SF Giants, playing video games, and sometimes—when I am really lucky—me), two things that rank very high on the list are golf and grilling. This is a fun combination of the two—definitely tagging it as a good Father’s Day gift idea as well!

Image courtesy of www.uncommongoods.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cookie (and Brownie!) Monster

The impending fall weather (and the start of school) always invoke some nostalgic feelings about college. I was fortunate enough to be a frequent recipient of care packages from close family and friends, and the ones I always looked forward to were cookies from Grandma Ruth.

For the less domestically inclined, ButterGirl makes the baked-good care packages (currently only available to schools in the Boston area) super easy. A cookie plan is infinitely more exciting than a meal plan.  And her treats are DELICIOUS. My brain nearly exploded when I ate one of her brownies for the first time—I mean, just look:

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{ButterGirl Cookie Plan, $52-$188}

Here’s how it works:

Standard Cookie Plan: 18 cookies or 12 brownies of your choice. $52 for a 2-gift plan, $102 for a 4-gift plan.

Premium Cookie Plan: 18 cookies and 12 brownies of your choice. $95 for a 2-gift plan, $188 for a 4-gift plan.

All of the goods are baked and delivered on the same day, in some very cute packaging:

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If you know a hard-working student in Boston, think about spreading some cookie love for those late nights at the library!

Images courtesy of www.buttergirlbaking.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

What’s Cooking, Good Looking?

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend—I went apple picking for the first time, and it was fun and very New England-y. Best of all, my husband got home from a week of traveling last night!

In anticipation of his arrival home (and knowing full well he’d be starving upon getting off the plane), I turned to one of my favorite “special occasion” recipes—osso buco. It comes from the below book:

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{Bride & Groom Cookbook, $34.95}

My college roommate got us this book as an engagement gift, and it’s great. The food photos are beautiful, and there is a great variety of pretty easy recipes. Great for any couple that loves to cook!

Image courtesy of www.williams-sonoma.com

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wishbone

When my two best friends came to visit me in Seattle, we stumbled into Melrose Market one morning and instantly fell in love. It’s an amazing space with little eateries and boutiques, and one of the best shops in the market is Butter Home. I am pleased to see that Butter Home has an e-commerce site, and even more pleased to see these cute necklaces:

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{Wishbone necklace, $88 for gold and $68 for silver}

These are absolutely adorable—dainty without being overly girly, and just random enough to be cute and whimsical.

Have a great weekend, everyone! The rain finally stopped here in Boston, so I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend of dinner at a good friend’s house tonight, some shopping, maybe a bike ride… see y’all back here on Monday!

Image courtesy of www.butterhomeseattle.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bombs Away!

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{Seed Bombs, $6}

I first saw these when I was in Seattle, and I am pleased to see that Anthropologie has them for cheaper and with better variety. Seed Bombs are these cool little nuggets of seed-and-soil, and you can just toss them into the garden to grow an explosion of plants. You don’t even need to bury them! Your options are:

West Coast flowers (includes cornflower, California poppy, Shasta daisy)

East Coast flowers (includes baby’s breath, black-eyed Susan, blue flax)

Midwest flowers (includes forget-me-not, wild larkspur, prairie aster)

Dog/Cat Friendly (includes catnip, wheat, oats, and rye)

Herbs (includes basil, dill, cilantro, chives, and parsley)

These are fun, cheap, and so easy to deal with. I love the little cloth bags that they come in… great as a stocking stuffer or party favor!

Image courtesy of www.anthropologie.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

It is currently an ungodly hour, and inconsistent with my normal tendency to sleep like a rock, I woke up to the rain and can’t go back to bed. Today marks what will probably be my last first day of school ever—technically, my classes don’t start for my final year of grad school until tomorrow, but I am going to be a TA this semester and that course meets for the first time today. I think I always get both anxious and excited by the first day of school, and right now is no different. On that theme, I present today’s gift pick from Etsy:

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{Customizable metal lunch box w/ inside chalkboard, $28}

Isn’t this cute? I love the polka dots. And you can customize the name portion to specify colors and font—or perhaps even outfit your kid with a monogram? Regardless of what you choose, you will get a proof to approve before it goes into production. The best part of this lunchbox is that it comes with a chalkboard on the inside lid—a built-in mechanism for you to write fun lunch notes! I remember when my sister packed my lunches for me and would write a note on my napkin each day. Good times… what a great sister!

To all of my classmates: happy first day of school!

Image courtesy of www.etsy.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Recharge

Today’s gift pick is not particularly glamorous, but it is damn useful for any and all iPod and iPhone users out there. Behold, the wall dock charger:

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{Wall dock adapter, $19.95}

As someone who has been a bit of a nomad this summer, I’ve had to deal with the regular charging situation (left) as I’ve moved around from place to place and crashed at various friends’ places… when the wall adapter solution (right) would have been so much neater, better, and more ideal in creating a situation where I didn’t step on or trip over my phone.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you all have some fantastic BBQs or beach parties to attend. I, for one, will be on a plane all day, but at least I have a charged Kindle, my iPod, and friendship bracelet string to keep me entertained. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

Image courtesy of www.emmohome.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

GooGoo Clusters

If you are a consistent reader of this blog, you will know the following things about my summer: I went to Nashville. I fell in love with Nashville. I can’t wait for my next trip to Nashville, whenever that may be. As if I needed any  more reasons to fully confirm my obsession with Music City, I was then introduced to GooGoo Clusters during my stint in Seattle (by Nashville singer-songwriter Amy Stroup). These candies are… amazing. AMAZING, I say!

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{12-pack carton of GooGoo Clusters, $15.48}

Indigenous to Nashville, GooGoo Clusters are a heavenly combination of milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and marshmallow nougat. Just thinking about them is making my mouth water. I’ve been stalking the GooGoo website all summer, waiting for them to launch their e-commerce business. And today, I’m in luck! Not only can I order a lifetime supply (and believe me, I will) I get to share their goodness with my lovely readers. Do yourself a favor and order a carton of these goodies!

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend! While I am bummed that summer is coming to a close, I am thrilled to be attending a Taylor Swift concert tonight with one of my best friends. We have been looking forward to this since last fall (which, being insane, is when we bought our tickets for this show). It is going to be a BLAST! See y’all back here next week, and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

Image courtesy of www.googoo.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Color Me Impressed

I know I run the risk of seeming like a one-trick pony here, but I really can’t get enough of the Pantone series of home goods. Like this set of 10 mugs, for example:

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{Pantone mug set, $128 for a set of 10}

If you work in a design-centric environment, this would be a cute set break up and distribute to your co-workers come holiday season. Everyone could be sipping coffee out of their matching-but-not-really mugs in the mornings! For some reason, I find that image to be really entertaining. Hope you all have a great day!

Image courtesy of www.aplusrstore.com

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