Monday, March 26, 2012

Beauty Bonanza

Greetings from Seoul! I had a whirlwind of a weekend in Taipei, and now have made my way to Korea. It’s quite the departure from my day-to-day life in Boston, that’s for sure. I’m really excited to be experiencing these new places.

One thing I’ve been noticing over the past couple of days is the insane number of beauty products that are available in Asia. I explored Myeondong, the liveliest shopping area of Seoul, and I’m not even joking when I say that I passed about 20 different beauty supply stores in 2 square blocks. So now that I’ve got beauty items on the brain, I wanted to share this awesome item that my cousin gave me for Christmas:


{Stila Illuminating Tinted SPF 20 Moisturizer, $32}

I tried it for the first time when I received it, and it’s freaking amazing. It really makes your skin glow in a natural-looking way, and it’s nice that it has the SPF built in (though I have been known to wear SPF 50 on a daily basis, so if Stila could make it a little higher than 20… that would be great, thanks). It’s a quick and easy way to fool everyone into thinking you’ve just gotten a facial!

Image courtesy of

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grin and Bear It

Happy Friday, and greetings from Taipei! I’m a little bit loopy after almost a full day of flying, but it’s always cool to experience a new city. I always tend to associate Asia with really cute stationery, so today’s gift pick is in keeping with that theme. I know, I am generalizing. But there is really cute stationery on this continent.


{Kawaii Bear Sticky Notes, $3.25 for a set of 100}

I mean… HOW can you even think about using plain old Post-It notes after seeing these guys?! My mind was totally blown when I learned that there is actually a website called, which is where this item is from. I know it’s really impractical, but the insane amounts of beautiful tape that they carry makes me want to use fancy packing tape for my move out to Seattle this summer. Crazy, right? The most ridiculous thing ever. I can’t. But how cool would my moving boxes look with this on the edges?


My husband will be very happy to know that it’s out of stock. Don’t worry, dude… I’ll stick with the regular (boring) stuff. For now. When I start spending $10 on a roll of tape to use for packing, that’s when I will know that I’ve made it.

Have a great weekend, all! I’ll try to update on a regular basis, but please forgive me if I miss a day or two. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for cool gift finds to share. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to wish my darling cousin Flo a very happy birthday! She and I are only about a month apart, which meant that growing up, we each had a built-in friend/nemesis (it really depended on the day). Anyway, we are adults now, and I have moved on from my days of being a jerk to her in the sandbox, and I just want to wish her a lot of love and a wonderful birthday.

Images courtesy of

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ready… Jet-set… Go!

I’m writing this blog entry from a plane, and I am going to be traveling like crazy for the next week and a half. Seriously, by April 1, I will have been on 7 different planes. Cra-zy. So I figured it was only fitting for me to write about an excellent suitcase that I purchased last month in New York. Not even kidding, my friends were so good to me on my birthday that I had to purchase a piece of luggage to get everything back home.


{C Wonder suitcase, $99}

This ended up being an amazing purchase. Mine is silver, and I picked that color because I thought it looked very heist/secret agent-y. The color options are pink, silver, and black. Anyway, it’s SUPER lightweight , it easily fits into the overhead compartment of a plane, and the wheels on the bottom are the swivel kind that make it really easy to roll this bad boy around. The exterior is great because it’s a hard case, so you don’t end up smashing things when you push on it. The interior is relatively spacious, and I love the compartments on the inside (one side has netting you can zip over it, which is really convenient for when you have random little items rattling around in there):


Great for weekend getaways or business trips! And a pretty decent price for a piece of roller luggage, too.

Images courtesy of

Monday, March 19, 2012

So Ugly, It’s Cute

Good morning, everyone! I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend. The weather here in Boston was ridiculously beautiful yesterday—the temperature crept into the 70s, there was so much sunshine, and everyone was just so… happy. Spring has sprung! At least for now, anyway. I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

Today’s gift pick is a fun little item that I have had for quite some time:


{Ice Bat Uglydoll, $20}

Uglydolls are little plush monsters that are, in my opinion, so hideous that they are cute. Ice Bat is my favorite—he acts as a pillow in my living room. On my blue couch, he’s a subtle detail that makes the room a little more playful. Can you spot him below?

photo (6)

There are actually a ton of Uglydoll variations, so definitely check out their website to see the whole fleet. The history behind this company is actually really cute—from what I understand, it started between a now-married couple. They were in design school, and the girl had to move away due to an expired student visa. Her man drew a cartoon on a letter to her, and she reciprocated by sewing him a plush version of that cartoon. He then showed it to his friend who owned a store, it was met with enthusiasm, and the rest is history. Also, the story has a truly happy ending because they ended up getting married!


{The Original Uglydoll, Wage}

My friend Jenny is obsessed with Ice Bat’s little feet… every time she comes over (which is often), she plays with his feet and had mentioned on numerous occasions that she’s going to crochet him a pair of booties. Too cute!

Image courtesy of (first and third images) and The Present Perfect (second image)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Praise the Lord!

LOOK what I found at the dollar store today!!! I am getting hyper just thinking about eating these delights! Just one of the many amazing products that come from Nashville, TN...

Friday, March 16, 2012


Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope everybody has been having a great week and is looking forward to the weekend. Today’s gift pick is a gift that I received from my friends Lizzie and Max for my birthday… it’s very cute and clever!


{Fred & Friends Handlebar Corkscrew and Bottle Opener $10.28}

Very fun bar accessory, and not to get too specific, but this would be a really excellent door prize/party favor for any Movember fundraisers or awareness events—it definitely celebrates the ‘stache!

Have a wonderful weekend, and see you back here on Monday!

Image courtesy of

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wearing His Heart on His Cuff…

Today’s gift pick is a little pricey, but ideal for certain hardcore college football fans. Behold, and remember that these are not just any ordinary cufflinks:


{Game-Used College Football Helmet Cufflinks, $180 per pair}

These handmade cufflinks are carefully crafted from sterling silver and game-played helmets from the school of your choice: LSU, USC, Alabama, UC Berkeley, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. How cool are these?! They come with the school’s name stamped onto the back, as well as a certificate of authenticity. If your man is a diehard fan of any of these schools, this is the gift for him!

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day!

Good morning, everyone! In the spirit of Pi Day (what—you don’t have 3.14 marked on your calendar?) and all things extremely nerdy, I present you with:


{Geek Clock, $25}

This is one of the few clocks that will probably make it harder, not easier, to tell time. As the popular kids would say back in junior high: NERD!

Image courtesy of

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Great Pacific Northwest

Ah, spring. We had an absolutely gorgeous day here in Boston yesterday, the kind that makes your memories of winter just melt away. It’s my favorite kind of weather… and not unlike summers in Seattle—my new city come June!

Seattle is a pretty cool city that comes with a whole host of quirks, many of which are captured perfectly in today’s gift pick: the season 1 DVD set of the hilarious show Portlandia.


{Portlandia Season One $14.23}

I’ve had some people ask me what Portlandia is about, or what makes it so funny, and I think the best description I can come up with is hat it’s a hilarious collection of comedy sketches for hipsters… making fun of hipsters. I’ve included samplings of two of my favorites:

Portlandia is a real gem of a show, particularly for anyone who has spent time in Seattle/Portland/Williamsburg (the one in Brooklyn, not where Felicity Merriman, the American Girl doll, is from). Even if you aren’t well-versed in Pacific Northwest/hipster culture, you and any gift recipient will find plenty to laugh about with this cleverly written show!

Image courtesy of

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview: Ladue NYC

Good morning, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am excited to present you with a fun interview… ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Lauren of Ladue NYC!


Ladue is an amazing online store that brings you a curated selection of items sourced from thrift stores all over New York. As stated on their website, “It is our mission in the life of retail therapy to sort through the racks at your favorite thrift stores, and bring the best of the best to one central location … We like to think of it as peeking through your sister's closet.”

Even better, Ladue has a charitable twist! A percentage of monthly sales is currently going to Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides under-served children and families with a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential.

Now, onto the good stuff… I picked Lauren’s brain for some gifting inspiration and thrifting tips. Enjoy!


Ladue features a curated selection of amazing thrift store finds. Which thrift stores do you hit up in this quest for great merchandise?

If I answered this one fully, I'd be giving away all my secrets, wouldn't I?  :)  I tend to be a consistent shopper of the local thrift store favorites - Housing Works, Beacon's Closet, Salvation Army, Zachary's Smile.  Some of the items on Ladue have also come out of my sisters' closets over the years.  

Everyone loves a great vintage piece. What's the best find you have ever scored?

I think its tough to find true vintage pieces.  A lot of the items I come across in stores are very expensive.  Or, at least they are more expensive compared to the price point I'm trying to maintain for my store.  I'd have to say the best vintage piece I've every purchased was at a random (and glorious!) local block party/street fair.  There was an area in the West Village where one block was blocked off and people posted out their old clothes, records, books, antiques, accessories.  It was so great.  I found this floor length floral dress.  The woman told me it was something she wore in high school, which was fun for me to hear.  I ended up taking it in to get shortened of course, but I love the pattern and always remember where I got it.

So, at the risk of sounding like a snob, sometimes the clothes from vintage/consignment/thrift stores have a weird smell to them. What's the best way to get rid of that?

Oh, that smell is the worst!  I would love to understand the science of how the same smell is consistent across all thrift store finds.  I've found success in simply washing the items and then doubling up on the Bounce dryer sheets.  If the item isn't washer-dryer safe, I would recommend bringing it to a dry cleaner to see if they can help.  I've also heard putting the items in your freezer works.  I haven't tried that one for myself, but I giggle every time I think of the suggestion.


Which item on Ladue would you most want to gift to your best friend at the current moment?

Currently, I am obsessed with the Yellow Bead necklace.  I've actually been wearing it a lot lately, and considering keeping it for myself.  It's such a fun and cheery necklace, offering a bright pop of color to your wardrobe.  I think jewelry is a great gifting item.  It always fits and you get to have fun picking out the piece based on your friend's personality.


What is the best gift you have ever received?

A box full of vintage Vogue magazines.  My mom and dad gave them to me for Christmas one year.  It was the last gift I opened on Christmas morning and tears actually welled up in my eyes.  They were so beautiful and a lot of fun to look through.  I have them in my apartment and look through them often for inspiration and to see where designs and trends have evolved over the years.

What is the best gift you have ever given?

Oh, this one is good.  I love giving gifts to friends and family.  Always a good game to try and find something they'll like that isn’t so cookie-cutter.  I once gave my best friend a cheerleading statue-ette for her amazing work she did at work.  You know, the gold figurines standing on a platform with a plaque on the bottom that says your name and 1st Place!  I won't name the name of the company, but we were just out of college, adjusting to life in the "real-world" and she was in need of some positive encouragement.  I found out the other day she still has the statue all these years later!  Too funny.

Let's say someone is a newbie at thrifting. What's your number one tip for a successful shopping experience? 

My number one rule in shopping is to make sure you're comfortable with what you're wearing and buying.  So make sure to try everything on. Buy items that fit well and make you feel confident, beautiful and ready to run out and have fun.  I also think its important to invest your dollars on the quality pieces, but go budget on items that are more trendy and fun.  When shopping at Ladue, my golden rule is a bit tricky because you're shopping online.  The good news, when shopping with us, is we provide a full refund for your purchase and the original shipping cost.


What inspired you to start this site?

I have always wanted to start my own store, but keeping it very small and focused.  I wanted to create a place where I can share my love of clothing and design with my friends and family, who in turn can share with their friends and family.  I knew it would be a great creative outlet, and I wanted to make sure it had a charitable connection.  We are currently contributing a percentage of our profits to a great organization called Free Arts NY.  Shopping for a good cause is something we can all feel good about.

Thanks so much for a great interview, Lauren! I hope that all of you can take a minute to check out the Ladue NYC website and see what goodies are in store for you. I have to say, I am so impressed by all of this. Lauren and I used to work together, so I know from firsthand experience that she works her tail off at the office during the day… and between running an online enterprise and attending her musician husband’s rock shows at night (I know, could she be any cooler?) I think it is safe to assume that the lady doesn’t sleep!

Images courtesy of,, and

Friday, March 9, 2012


Unexpected flowers can really turn a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week into a feel-good one. So grateful for my friends and loved ones! Happy weekend!

Daily Dose of Cute

Good morning! I know that my posts have been a little baby-heavy, and it’s mostly because I am SO excited to meet my friend Christine’s little girl when she arrives in a couple weeks! Also, I saw a really cute baby out and about this morning, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to cap off the week with something adorable:


{Baby-Gami: Baby Wrapping for Beginners $11.53}

I didn’t really realize that baby wrapping was a thing (clearly, there is much for me to learn before I can even think about becoming a mother) but my logic is: origami is fun. Babies are fun. Baby-gami must be super fun. Here are some samplings from inside the book:



I promise to diversify the gift picks more next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend! I hope everyone has some fun plans up ahead… I am having a slumber party with girlfriends tonight and could not be more excited!

Images courtesy of

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pinky Up

My good friends Christine and Jonathan are going to be first-time parents to a baby girl in a matter of weeks—so exciting! I was at the baby shower a few weeks ago, and it was pretty entertaining to see Jonathan in the midst of the pink-fest that was going on. He was a very good sport, helping to plan the surprise shower for his lovely wife—and he even participated in a quiz game that tested his knowledge of caring for babies!

However, as we all know, understanding little girls and the women they turn into is not something that comes with a road map. However, this book can at least serve as a first step…


{Tea Parties for Dads: A Crash Course in Daughters for New Fathers $10.78}

A snippet from the book: “Your pint-size princess may barely be fluent in the English language the first time she asks you to paint her tiny toenails, and trust us, she’ll expect you to know the critical difference between a pigtail and a ponytail when she bequeaths the hairdresser hat upon you.” A great baby shower gift for the often-overlooked dads!

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You Say Potato… I Say Po-tah-to

Good morning! Sorry about the extreme delay in my posts—this week has been an absolute nightmare in certain regards, and it’s only Wednesday. However, that means there’s still half a week for things to turn around… yesterday’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day was remedied by a delicious home-cooked dinner and an impromptu sleepover at my good friend Shannon’s house!

When I was in Seattle last weekend, I paid a visit to Butter Home, one of my all-time favorite stores there. I saw this and was very tickled by it:


{Choice cuts of potatoes dish cloth, $15}

Isn’t it funny? If you prefer the traditional version of this featuring meats, Butter Home also has it for pork and beef. It would be a cheeky addition to any kitchen.

Image courtesy of

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Flying Around

At the Seattle airport, waiting for an oh-so-glorious redeye... Since I anticipate being a little behind on tomorrow's post, I thought I might as well share a pic of one of my many Seattle happy places in the meantime. This store, Watson Kennedy, is phenomenal. SUCH a well-curated selection of home and lifestyle goods. I met the owner over the summer, and he was very nice. It is a great store to wander around and get lost in!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mother Earth

Greetings, and happy Friday from Seattle! While I’ve been here for less than 12 hours, I’m already feeling the eco-friendly vibe of this city. Which is why I present you with:


{Tap is Terrific water bottle, $15.95}

Everyone can do his or her part in reduced use of plastics and the like, so why not start with a very cute reusable water bottle? I was pretty pleased with myself last night, when I brought my metal bottle to fill with water once I got past security, rather than purchasing (overpriced) bottled water at a newsstand.

I’m sure my hippie cousin Flo will be really excited about this post. Since we were pretty young, she has been the tree-hugging one, while I would occupy myself with less admirable tasks like trying to sell my old toys at a markup to the neighborhood kids. Anyway, as I have gotten older, I really do think that taking responsibility for the world we live in—and this world’s future—is such an important thing. I’m by no means close to perfect, but why not try to reduce waste and bring a reusable bag to the grocery store? As it says on a wall at the American Museum of Natural History, “The earth is not a gift from our parents, but a loan from our children.”

Have a great weekend, everyone! Sorry about the couple of missed posts this week. But definitely check back on Monday, as I have a very exciting interview to share!

Image courtesy of

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