Monday, October 31, 2011

Piggy Bank

Happy Monday, everyone—and happy Halloween! We had some crazy weather here on the East coast this weekend… meaning, SNOW. It was pure insanity. My party plans went out the window on Saturday night in lieu of hot cocoa and East of Eden.

Luckily, the elements calmed down enough for me to get a nice brunch with my good friend Jenny on Sunday, and after our meal, we passed one of my favorite Boston stores, Koo de Kir—which is home to this cute little piggy:

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{Large Glass Piggy Bank, $32}

This borosilicate (i.e. very strong) glass pig  has a coin deposit slot on the top, and a removable wooden snout for you to shake out some change when you need to hit up the laundromat or vending machine. The cuteness is topped off with a wood and leather tail. The bank measures 8.5" x 4.25" x 5.75".  Happy savings!

Image courtesy of www.koodekir.com

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shavings

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. Today, I am featuring a indulgence of sorts—something that is way overpriced for what it is functionally, but a super cool design. Behold:

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{Mason Jar Pencil Sharpener, $30}

Isn’t this such a cool and cute idea? I love it. (I also might be one of the few members of my generation who still uses regular, non-mechanical pencils). Anyway, I thought this was an awesome item that would look pretty neat sitting on my desk.

I hope all of you have a great weekend! I assume there are some Halloween festivities on everyone’s calendars—what are y’all dressing up as this year?

See you back here on Monday (the real Halloween)!

Image courtesy of www.stevenalan.com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mark Your Calendars…

As we approach the close of 2011, lots of companies are starting to put out their 2012 calendars. The Kate Spade one is looking pretty awesome, and who can deny the greatness of Paper Source’s 18-month desk calendar that I featured a while back?

However, I think this one might take the cake latke. As someone who was in love with the Seth Cohen character from The O.C., I can totally see the value of having 12 months of nice Jewish boys pinned to my wall…

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{Nice Jewish Guys 2012 calendar, $18}

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With nice guys such as Sam and Dan here, who even needs a sexy fireman calendar?!

Images courtesy of www.fredflare.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bier!

Good morning! Last night I attended an amazing Oktoberfest celebration, which has inspired today’s big-ticket gift suggestion: a beer tour with the company Bier-Mania!

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Bier-Mania is a cool tour company that offers beer tours in the US, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the UK. They feature small travel groups, which makes for a more intimate setting in which you can get to know your fellow travelers. One of these days, I am determined to treat my husband to their Great Belgium Beer Tour. I had originally planned on getting it for him as a wedding gift, but various commitments have precluded us from going. Someday, though! And since it also includes a jaunt into France, perhaps this means some Parisian shopping excursions for yours truly…

I think this is a jet-set adventure that any beer lover would appreciate. Happy Oktoberfest, everyone!

Image courtesy of www.illustrationsource.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tricks & Treats

Halloween is just around the corner! To any of my readers with children who are currently costume-less… fear not, as good things come to those who wait. Pottery Barn Kids is having a big Halloween sale—40% off, plus free shipping on costumes and treat bags for your little ones! Here are a few favorites:

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{Baby Lamb Costume, $39.99}

I mean… so. Freaking. Precious. If I had a baby, I would dress it in this lamb costume all year round so it would be like having a terribly cute stuffed animal to hang out with. This tells me that my future children will probably resent me.

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{Big Little Bad Wolf Kid Costume, $44.99}

Bonus points if the wolf’s best friend dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood.

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{Toddler Puffy Cupcake Costume, $34.99-$44.99}

Who can resist a cupcake? No, seriously… who? That’s right. NO ONE.

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{Pumpkin Treat Bag, $8.99}

And, of course, you will need something to hold all of the candy collected throughout the night!

Even if your kid already has a Halloween costume, these items would make fun and adorable additions to any playroom’s dress-up chest!

Images courtesy of www.potterybarnkids.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Like a Sponge

Happy Monday, everyone! I have been wanting to blog about this item for a while, but had to hold off because I had plans to gift it to my good friend for her birthday this past weekend. The rundown: it’s awesome, she loved it, and I got a copy for myself. I highly recommend it!

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{Design*Sponge at Home, $35}

Design*Sponge is one of my absolute favorite blogs, and this book is an amazing compilation of photos. The hardcover is filled with lots of d├ęcor inspiration, and it gives plenty of sneak peeks into people’s beautiful homes—as well as lots of tips about how to style your digs.

This Anthropologie exclusive version comes with 16 bonus pages, which is great. You can also find the regular version for a bit cheaper on Amazon.

This source of fantastic design inspiration is great to have on hand when you feel like updating your home—or just some pretty spaces to look at!

Image courtesy of www.anthropologie.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fur-ever

The fall weather has made me turn to my favorite accessory: scarves! Well, in truth, I wear scarves all year round… for example, I often wore lightweight scarves in the sweltering Nashville heat over the summer. There’s just something nice about how a simple scarf can totally change up an outfit.

Anyway, now I have actual temperature-related reasons to wear my beloved scarves, and I am eyeing this one for the season:

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{Juicy Couture Middlebury Fur & Knit Loop Scarf, $88}

Doesn’t it look so cozy? I’m a big fan of the fur-cable knit combination. And to clarify, this infinity scarf is faux fur—no harming of animals was involved (which is why I tagged it as an eco-friendly gift). It also comes in dark crimson, but I personally find the black to be much more versatile (and more natural than crimson fur).

Image courtesy of www.shopbop.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rushing Around

Happy Monday, everyone! Most mornings—especially Mondays—I am rushing out the door… and will occasionally forget a thing or two. If you experience the same challenge, this rug can help you remember the bare essentials:

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{Keys/Phone/Wallet Rug, $18}

This woven cotton rug comes with a screened and wool-embroidered graphic, as well as a smooth backing. It measures 2’ x 3’ and is great to place by the stairwell or front door!

Image courtesy of www.urbanoutfitters.com

Friday, October 14, 2011

Puzzling

At some point during the past year or two, my parents have become Sudoku fanatics. There is apparently some Sudoku website that publishes a new set of puzzles each day, so they diligently get online and print it out for their game-solving pleasure each evening. However, I think this low-tech version is even cooler than their favorite website:

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{Wooden Sudoku Board, $65}

It’s a nice coffee table accessory that comes with 90 thinking pieces (I guess those are the mini-tile equivalent of penciling in a number? I’m not very down with the Sudoku lingo…), 90 full-size tiles, and a set of starter puzzles. Measure 12” x 12”, it’s sizeable enough to play with, but small enough to tuck away.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Image courtesy of www.gumps.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fantasy Football Fall

Autumn means several things to me: sweaters, hot cider, and football season. I should probably clarify, though, that I don’t’ really give two shits about football. Mostly because I don’t understand it—and he, in turn, does not understand how I could possibly not understand. Needless to say, I am pretty much a free agent on some Saturday afternoons, all day Sunday, and Monday nights during football season.

However! This does not mean that the comic genius of FX’s The League is lost on me. It is, in fact, one of my favorite television shows, if not the favorite. As FX says on their website:

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And the TV preview for season 3:

Hilarity.

The show is about a bunch of adult dudes (and one lady) who are in a Fantasy Football league together, and their antics/trash-talking/witty banter are just laugh-out-loud hilarious. Seriously, if you know anyone who enjoys football, Fantasy Football, frat humor, or laughing and being happy in general, get him or her seasons 1 and 2. I would describe this series as a TV version of the movie Old School, if that helps. Meaning, if this doesn’t sound funny to you, we probably can’t be friends.

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{The League: The Complete First Season $9.99}

{The League: Season Two $14.99}

For you League fans who already own these DVD sets, fear not. You can equip yourselves with some paraphernalia. FX sells a great variety of t-shirts that reference a whole host of League-related topics, such as Shiva blasting, eskimo brothers, notarizing, Mr. McGibblets, fear boners, and Terrific Lady Day. If that last sentence wasn’t enough to intrigue someone enough to watch the show, I don’t know what is.

Images courtesy of www.fx.com and www.amazon.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sweater Song

Hello, readers! I apologize for the absence of posts over the past couple of days—I have been traveling and dealing with delays, red-eyes, and getting back into the swing of things. However, as a peace offering, I have a very exciting interview to share with all of you!

When I met my friend Christina, I instantly knew we would be friends. We spent 10 weeks attached at the hip—lunches at the company cafeteria, happy hours all over Seattle, working out with the same trainer, and way too much witty texting. Christina is crazy cool for a number of reasons, but for the purposes of this interview, I have decided to talk to her her about her entrepreneurial venture Textura and its latest line, El Origen Wool. Check out her feature in this month’s Elle magazine:

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Onto the interview—but first, a photo of the always-lovely Christina in her trademark shades:

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You are a bad-ass entrepreneur with an amazingly cool business. What inspired you to start Textura?

I first moved to Uruguay in 2008 on a Rotary Research Scholarship. I went to learn Spanish because I was worse than dismal in the classroom. I learned me some Spanish and then fell in love with wool, women's cooperatives, and Uruguay as a home base. I launched www.texturastore.com in 2009 as a way to bring emerging designers to the US market. El Origen Wool was born out of that work; it is a collaboration between myself and two Uruguayan designers, Victoria and Florencia, whose line, El Origen, uses recycled and repurposed materials. El Origen Wool was designed to utilize the naturalist of shades of wool and the most beautiful of handiwork. We work directly with a knitting cooperative not only to produce the pieces, but to train the knitters in pattern-making and technique innovation. It is a true collaboration. Our goal is to bring fair work to women while also providing them an education around their craft. It also lets me have a bigger collection of sweaters than what would be considered normal.

Having lived abroad in Uruguay for a few years, what was/would have been a great "welcome home" gift when you moved back?

Besides a hamburger and smart phone? Probably a new pair of jeans, since I had only one pair the entire time I lived there.

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I know from firsthand experience that you LIVE for Uruguayan culture. What gift item best epitomizes Uruguay?

I think anything that is hand-knit (Uruguay has great wool!), or made for the campo--like great leather boots, a felt beret, or gaucho pants (which are actually getting really popular in this neck of the woods). A mate gourd is also an icon of Uruguayan culture. It is used to drink yerba mate tea which, if consumed at Uruguayan levels, will render you shaky and useless.

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Which Textura item would you most likely gift to a friend?

Our Eco-beat shawl flies off the shelves during holiday times, so I will go with that one. It's big and warm, and features a stitch that leaves knitters in awe.

What is one item can you not live without? 

Definitely tights. I love dresses (hence the one pair of jeans) and have a number of vintage rompers that get worn in warm weather or cold, bare-legged or with tights.

You also have a great sense of style, which your boyfriend has described as "orphan chic." What are your must-have fashion items?

The orphan description comes from my propensity to mix-and-match colors and styles with no regard to whether they actually go together well. Like pairing my red-and-white polka-dot Marimekko raincoat with a knitted purple hat, or my salmon colored Brioni jeans (who knew they made jeans?!) with heels and socks. As for shoes, on The Present Perfect’s suggestion, I recently bought a pair of riding boots from Madewell, and I wear Bass oxfords pretty much everyday.

What's the best gift you've ever gotten?

My favorite gift was a gold ring made by a jewelry designer from Rhode Island School of Design. My college girlfriends gave it to me and I cherished it and never took it off, not even when I went swimming. Unfortunately, it now lives at the bottom of Lake Washington, so my new favorite gift is a black Burberry trench coat that my sweet boyfriend got me for my birthday. It's so classy that I fear I am not fit to wear it.

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What gift do you secretly wish for? 

Christian Louboutin nude pumps.

As an international business entrepreneur, what is the most useful item you use in your travels and dealings?

I was gifted a green leather Lodis Passport holder a few years ago and I never travel internationally without it...except for when I leave it in Hudson Books in O’Hare en route to South Africa. Then I travel without it and pick it up upon my return.

Thanks very much, Christina! I encourage all of you to check out Textura as you situate your wardrobe for the crisp fall weather. Hope y’all enjoyed this latest interview on The Present Perfect! (And yes, Christina—I classified your interview as “hipster” because you are the cutest little hipster I ever did see).

Images courtesy of Elle, www.textura.com, www.net-a-porter.com, www.lifedestiny.net

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Travel is always a lot more fun when you have cute accessories. I love this navy, star-spangled suitcase from Crewcuts—it’s adorable without being overly saccharine or young.

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{Wandering Star Overnight Suitcase, $98}

It’s a children’s suitcase, so it’s on the small side, measuring 18.5” x 14.75” x 7”. Comes with wheels and made of canvas. Great for a little one’s adventures—or as Mom’s carry-on piece!

Image courtesy of www.jcrew.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Retro Arcade

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{iCade iPad Arcade Cabinet, $99.99}

New technology meets old with this iCade iPad arcade cabinet. This item works in conjunction with iPad and all of the fun Atari apps you can download onto it. All you have to do is place your iPad into the cradle—the iCade uses Bluetooth to connect, and then you are ready for a round of Asteroids!

Of course, you have to purchase the Atari app from Apple. However, the “Atari Greatest Hits” iPad app comes with support for over 100 classic games, and Missile Command comes free. You can purchase games in 3-packs for $1 each, or just buy all 100 for $14.99. The iCade is compatible with both the original iPad and the iPad 2.

This is pretty much the ultimate gadget for any modern man-cave. Game on!

Image courtesy of www.thinkgeek.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

Curl

Happy Monday, friends! Today’s gift pick is an oldie but goodie… the Shu Uemura eyelash curler!

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{Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $19}

There’s a reason that this thing has a cult following, is always voted in magazines as a best beauty buy, and is referenced in The Devil Wears Prada. It’s freaking amazing. Your eyelashes will never look the same!

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“You should have seen her in the beauty department. She picked up the Shu Uemura eyelash curler and asked, ‘What’s this?’ ”

I actually received one of these as a gift over the weekend from my dear friend Krissy. I had ordered one (okay, fine, three—I like to stock up on things, okay?) from Shu Uemura but there were delivery issues and my order never actually made it to me… so I just cancelled the order and was too lazy to actually try again. Needless to say, my eyelashes have not been feeling the love over the past few months. So you can imagine how tickled I was open up the box to find a replacement—thank you, Krissy!

Images courtesy of www.shuuemura.com and www.availableimages.com

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