Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sparkles II


In addition to confetti, a second weakness of mine is some really good, beautiful pyro. Such as fireworks and sparklers. I think it’s so pretty when people have them in wedding sendoff photos, and they’re all the more appropriate for a festive New Year’s celebration! You can order a set of 48 sparklers from Amazon.

Hope everyone is getting excited to ring in 2012!

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, December 28, 2011



Treat yourself (and your hardworking New Year’s Eve party hostess) to a sparkly manicure before the party! Target offers a great set of festive polish colors:


{Target ELF 5-piece nail polish set, $5}

It’s a great mix of shimmery, matte, and glitter colors—and you really can’t beat the $5 price tag. Whether you do your nails yourself or bring these to the salon, this polish set will guarantee a good-looking manicure when you ring in 2012. I’d try to mimic the awesome nails in the first photo by doing a base layer of the pink on far right, and then coating it with some gold glitter.

Images courtesy of and

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Disclaimer: I LOVE confetti. I pretty much love anything festive and sparkly, but confetti is the ultimate. Over the summer, I was at a club in LA with my friend Krissy, and I went completely bananas when the confetti cannons exploded. It was the best. Night. Ever.

Confetti is also perfect for New Year’s celebrations, which is why I bring this story up. It can be a pain in the ass to clean up, but perhaps if you contribute some to your New Year’s celebration, you can appease the hostess by volunteering to come by and vacuum the next day. Here is a fun and cheap confetti-themed item:


The nice thing about these party poppers is that the confetti appears to made of plastic, not paper. The paper stuff is fun, but becomes disastrous when people spill beer on it—it will stick to your floor and the color will bleed! Bad news bears. Also, for anyone concerned about this, these ones contain no gunpowder. I’m thinking about getting a pack of these for myself!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Aftermath


Merry Monday, everyone! I hope that everyone had a delightful Christmas, filled with lots of warmth, laughter, friends, and family. I have to own up to the fact that I’ve been something of a delinquent blogger due to lots of family activities over the past week. But now that the holiday is over, and all the gifts have been wrapped and opened, I finally have some time to sit down and write!

As we all know, the holidays aren’t truly over, as New Year’s Eve looms ahead. I’ve never been very into big New Year’s celebrations—I lived in New York for eight years and never made my way into Time Square or out to the clubs for the occasion. I much prefer more low-key gatherings with friends at someone’s apartment. One of my favorite traditions (which I am woefully missing out on this year) is New Year’s Eve EVE, which my friend Laura puts together each year. It consists of getting dressed up and gathering at the most dive-y bar we can find, and doing the countdown at midnight with noisemakers, Happy New Year hats, etc… on 12/30, not 12/31. It’s always so much fun because we usually have almost the whole place to ourselves, and the other people (and bartenders) think that we are either completely insane or just very confused about the date! And then afterwards, we don’t run into the same difficulty in catching cabs that we would on the actual New Year’s Eve.

Anyway! As much fun as my little anecdotes are, this is a gift guide blog, and I will be dedicating this week to good hostess gifts and party favors for those New Year’s Eve shindigs that you will be attending. Today’s pick:


{Moet & Chandon Imperial, $44.99}

I know, I know. It’s almost too obvious. But seriously, what is New Year’s Eve without a little bubbly? This is my favorite champagne—it never disappoints. We actually served this at my wedding, but back then, it was called Moet White Star. It seems that it got re-branded… but it’s still delicious! Extra perk: is offering 1-cent shipping for first-time orders over $49! You just need to enter the code “welcome11” in the promo box when you check out. As for timing, I think West coast people are safest using this shipping option, as their warehouse is in Berkeley, CA. For the rest of you, you can pretty much this at any wine or liquor store.

Hope everyone is having a great start to the post-Christmas week, and I will see you back here tomorrow!

Images courtesy of and

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas is Around the Corner

...and the holidays are upon us! Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating. I am en route to spend the holidays with my folks, and in the frenzy of finishing exams and packing, I have not kept up with my postings this week. However, I wanted to wish everyone a very merry everything and, for the time being, share this beautifully festive photo I found:

I hope that everyone has taken care of all of their holiday shopping--if not, you are cutting it close! (Not that you needed me to remind you). I say that at this point, your best bet is to scurry on over to Amazon and choose 1-day shipping. A good DIY idea is to write a thoughtful card and include a meaningful photo with it. One of my friends is the most amazing flower photographer, and every year, he sends me a photo of his work with a hand-written note. It has become something of a tradition, and I always look forward to it. Another easy DIY idea is the cozy kit I posted about here

I hope everyone is excited for the holidays, wherever you are! It is unclear how much blogging I will be able to do in between family time and holiday festivities, but I will definitely be posting some new, awesome gift ideas by the New Year!

Image courtesy of 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Dear Old Dad

Happy Monday, everyone—and merry Hanukkah/Christmas week! Today’s gift ideas are for your old man. I know the fire pit seems a little bit random, but think about HOW AWESOME it would be for your dad to enjoy grilling some hot dogs and s’mores with the family over a backyard fire pit. And these can also double as Father’s Day presents for the very prepared shopper. Enjoy!

2011.12.19 - Holiday Gift Guide - Dear Old Dad

Clockwise, from top left:

Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch   $90 ($97 for personalized copy)

Georgia Clay fire pit $115.60

J.Crew flannel-lined jeans   $125

Three-piece set of folding grill tools   $69.95

Best. Sand wedge. Ever. $99.99

Images courtesy of,,, and

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: DIY Cozy Kit

Happy Friday, everyone! I can’t believe that Christmas is coming up SO soon. I’m pretty stoked to see my family and friends back in my hometown.

I decided to take a break from the gift guide format I have been using to feature a DIY gift idea: the Cozy Kit!

December 2011 010

I have a number of friends who live around the country. New York, LA, Chicago, Vegas… I always wish that I could be with ALL of my loved ones during the holidays, but sadly, that is just not possible. To share some holiday cheer, I put together some “Cozy Kit” packages consisting of a fleece blanket, fuzzy socks, and hot cocoa mix and mailed them out. It’s a cute and simple idea, and a nice way to remind your friends that you are thinking of them. Old Navy is a great source for the socks and blankets, and I ordered the hot cocoa on Amazon!

I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend. See you on Monday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: The Romantic

Hello, everyone! I am SO sorry for neglecting my blog for the past couple of days… I have been in the thick of pre-holiday madness and just could not keep up with myself. Anyhow, with only one exam remaining before I can officially claim Christmas vacation as my own, things are starting to slow down a bit—which means good things to come for this blog. Here’s today’s gift guide:

2011.12.15 - Holiday Gift Guide - The Romantic

Clockwise, from top left:

Midnight in Paris DVD $17.99

I have to say that Midnight in Paris is seriously one of the best movies I have ever watched. Shocking, I know… a girl who loves a movie that takes place in Paris. But seriously, it is an excellent film that I would highly recommend, especially to anyone who is into Lost Generation writers or 1920s history.

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti sterling silver heart necklace   $185

Honeydew polka dot bralette and undies   $34 and $16, respectively

Peace Joy Love tea tin   $13.95

Love Letters of Great Men book $16.95

Capri Blue mercury glass candle   $25

Old Navy heart-print flannel lounge shorts   $12

Cartier white gold LOVE bracelet   $5,795 (…just let me dream, please.)

These romantic gifts are sure to make any girl swoon. Fellas, this guide can also come in handy for any advance Valentine’s Day shopping you might be looking to get over with complete.  Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow!

Images courtesy of,,,,,,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Southern Comfort

Happy Friday, everyone! I am really excited to do today’s gift feature because it is very near and dear to my heart…. and inspired by the AMAZING month I spent in Nashville, TN this past summer.

A lot of my friends on the coasts sort of scratch their heads in confusion when they hear me talk about the South. I absolutely love it. The folks I met on my trips to both Nashville and Austin were some of the kindest, warmest people ever. I’ve never encountered such friendly, patient, and polite individuals. What they say about Southern charm is true, y’all! Anyway, some of these picks are repeats from previous posts, but they are too good not to recommend again... really great gift ideas for Southern friends who’ve relocated and miss home, as well as wish-they-were-Southerners type like myself. I also included the YouTube video to one of my favorite country songs down below.

2011.12.09 - Holiday Gift Guide - Southern Comfort

Clockwise, from top left:

The Encyclopedia of Country Music $29.79

Ariat women’s cowboy boots   $149.99

Country Christmas CD & Colonial Candle set   $25                                    

(Extra plug for this item…. it is the perfect gift for any country music fan! The CD features songs by Big Machine Label Group artists Reba, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Jewel, Steel Magnolia and Edens Edge).

Johnny Cash poster by Hatch Show Print   $16

Salt Lick Family Style Dinner: Brisket, pork ribs, and sausage   $99.95

Loveless CafĂ© Biscuits & Jam gift pack   $29.95

I also wanted to include this song by the Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried,” which I think is very reflective of the simple-living mentality that I love so much about the South.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Be safe, have fun, and see you back here on Monday!

Images courtesy of,,,,, and

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess with the Mostest

I think we all have that one friend who is just so darn good at playing host or hostess. You know, the one who thinks of every last detail and throws the best parties. Why not encourage a good thing by making this holiday season about hostess gifts?

2011.12.07 - Holiday Gift Guide - The Hostess

Clockwise, from top left:

Cheer Up 14” lacquer tray   $24.95

Unionmade triple wick campfire-scented candle   $55

West Elm champagne bucket   $34

Kate Spade Larabee dot rose bowl   $150

Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining $23.01

Tiffany & Co. playing cards, two decks   $30

Z Gallerie silver braided napkin ring, set of 4   $27.80

Images courtesy of,,,,,, and

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: The Bookworm

Today’s “bookworm” category is based on some of my favorite works of literature. I thought carefully about books that I just couldn’t put down, and the ones featured below surfaced to the top of my list. I also included two reading-related suggestions. Let me state right now that I love my Kindle. I was really resistant to the idea of e-books for a long time, but now I am so glad that I caved and bought one! For some more book suggestions, please see my previous literature postings here, here, and here.

2011.12.07 - Holiday Gift Guide - The Bookworm

Clockwise, from top left:

Amazon Kindle with Wi-Fi $79

John Steinbeck's East of Eden $11.56

Postcards from Penguin: Set of 100 book cover note cards $16.50

Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay $9.31

Charles Dickens's Great Expectations $14.95

Roald Dahl's Matilda $6.99

Images courtesy of

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Secret Santa

Today’s “Secret Santa” gift guide is for all of those office holiday gift exchange festivities. Here are some “just for fun” type items that won’t break the bank!

2011.12.06 - Holiday Gift Guide - Secret Santa

Clockwise, from top left:

Nancy Drew's Guide to Life mini-book $5.95

Hypotrochoid Art Set   $9.99

Drew’s Brews Imogene + Willie exclusive brew coffee beans   $15

Baking Notes notepad   $7.50

Old Navy Performance Fleece slippers   $10

What Happened? bandages   $7

Secret Message writing set   $10

Images courtesy of,,,,,, and

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Hey, Baby

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a lovely time attending an old friend’s gorgeous wedding in Carmel Valley. It was such fun to finally meet his beautiful bride and celebrate their big day together.

Speaking of weddings, I was in my friend Christine’s wedding a little over a year ago… and she has shared the exciting news that she is PREGNANT! So, today’s baby-centric is dedicated to Christine and the little munchkin that she and her husband are expecting this spring… can’t wait to meet the baby when it arrives and spoil the hell out of it!

On a totally unrelated note, today is my good friend Alex’s birthday! She was the source of inspiration for my gift guide last Friday, the Glamour Gal. Alex is the most glamorous lady I know—have a wonderful birthday, Alex! I hope you have an amazing Las Vegas celebration!

2011.12.05 - Holiday Gift Guide - Hey Baby

Clockwise, from top left:

Owl Activity Gym   $74

Floating Ducks   $14.99

Ice Bat Plush Ugly Doll   $20

Cuddle Plus Cow Security Blanket   $24

Soft Stacker   $36

Shark Terrycloth Robe $28.95

Man in the Moon sterling silver feeding spoon   $145

Images courtesy of,,,,,, and

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: The Glamour Gal

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope y’all have been enjoying The Present Perfect’s holiday gift guides so far. They have been really fun to put together! It’s fun to think through these different “personalities” for each guide, as there are definitely specific people in my life who come to mind for each category.

To cap off the week, today’s gift guide is for the Carrie Bradshaw of your friends, the one who wears sequins, feathers, and leopard print all in one outfit but still manages not to look like a crazy person when she saunters down the street in her five-inch heels.

Thanks for reading, and see you back here on Monday for some more holiday gifting fun!

2011.12.01 - Holiday Gift Guide - The Glamour Gal

Clockwise, from top left:

J.Crew sequin sweatshirt, $295

Z Gallerie Bling Domino set with silver croc case, $19.95

Sephora by OPI Glitter & Sparkle full-size nail polish set, $28

Gold Glitter TOMS, $54

Anthropologie Jagged Charms dangly earrings, $32

Kate Spade crystal-embellished fingerless gloves, $125

Charlotte Russe bling mesh magnetic cuff, $10.50

Images courtesy of,,,,,, and

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Mother Knows Best

Good morning, and happy December! Today’s gift guide is dedicated to moms, those amazing women who took on the thankless job of giving birth to and raising all of us. Make her holiday season extra special with the perfect gift. Can’t decide between options? Purchase two and save one for Mother’s Day.

2011.12.01 - Holiday Gift Guide - Mother Knows Best

Clockwise, from top left:

Restoration Hardware cashmere throw   $199

Coach Studio Round Etched Bangle watch   $398

J.Crew angora honeycomb cable sweater   $55.65

Madewell leather tote   $148

Teavana Shizuoka Collection green tea set   $79.99

L’Occitane Marseille Quattro soap set   $28

Il Divo: The Christmas Collection $8.99 (Seriously, my mom loves these guys. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are good-looking and “sing like angels”—her words, not mine).

Images courtesy of,,,,,, and

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