Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Let’s Get Some Shoes

Spoils from Paris! Confirmed that Repettos are cheaper in Paris than they are in the States, which is precisely how I justified the purchase of these red patent ballet flats. The woman at the Repetto store told me that this style and color is the first pair of shoes that the company made when they started to branch out from dance shoes. Thought that was pretty cool.

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Image is property of The Present Perfect

Not A Creature Was Stirring…

Mouse hole

Good morning, everyone! I am fresh off an amazing 24 hours in Portland, Oregon… I had such a fun time. Portland is a great little city that has so much delicious food, fantastic shopping, and NO sales tax. I still have to catch up on posting about my Parisian purchases, but once I get that done, I can also post about some fun items that I found in Portland, too.

One of the cutest stores we stumbled across was Ink & Peat. Can I just say… wow. What a well-curated, fragrant, beautiful space! They sell all sorts of things, from flowers to books to jewelry to tchotchkes for the home. I thought this was particularly cute:

image {Cigar Box Mice, $42}

I saw this item in person at the store yesterday, and it was absolutely adorable! The two mice come in the cigar box, which is outfitted with a little mattress, knit blanket, and pillow. Too precious… they kind of remind me of the ending in Roald Dahl’s classic The Witches.

Hope everyone has a great day, and for those of you with time to travel this summer, I would highly recommend Portland! (After getting this gift pick and watching it, of course).

Images courtesy of www.canadianfreestuff.com (via Pinterest) and www.inkandpeat.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good Lord.

About to eat this heaven-sent doughnut. All in all, today has been fantastic.

Doughnuts!

Standing in line at what is apparently a Portland institution. Hope they have the bacon-maple doughnuts today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Portland!

I like this place. At a very cool bookstore; look what I spotted:

Taking Off…

Road trip

Good morning, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was awesome—my husband and I ran a half marathon with our friend Jenny on Saturday, and it was so much fun. For the rest of the weekend, we did relaxing things like eat, watch Moonrise Kingdom (third time for me; can you tell how much I love this movie?) and just hang outside in the beautiful summer weather. And now I take off on a mini-road trip to Portland with Jenny today—so excited! I’ve heard amazing things about the shopping there, so I’ll be using this jaunt as an opportunity to scout items to put on my blog.

In the theme of road trips and travel across the 50 states, I thought these fun cutting boards would be appropriate:

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{State cutting board, $48}

With 50 shapes to choose from, this cutting board makes the perfect gift for any American who is proud of his or her home state. Bonus cuteness factor: each board can be customized with a heart, house, or star on the city location of your choice. Too adorable, and great as a housewarming gift!

Images courtesy of Kate Spade (via Pinterest) and www.aheirloom.myshopify.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

Green Thumb

Selecting tomato plants

I’ll say it once, and I will say it ten thousand times: I love our new home. Even though we have crap everywhere, it feels just right. One of the most exciting part of living in a house (as opposed to an apartment) is the space—which includes outdoor space. I am really excited about the prospect of doing some light gardening and planting some tomatoes in our yard. It will be so awesome to have some fresh-from-the-vine produce this summer!

Even if you live in cramped quarters, though, you can bring the fresh ingredients of summer to your home with this adorable item from Anthropologie:

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{“Effortlessly Sown” herb kit, $16}

The cool thing about this item is that the herb seeds are embedded in the paper. To plant, you fill a pot with soil, and then rip out the paper into little bits. Just dump the paper pieces into the pot, cover it with some more soil, and water the pot regularly—too easy. Also, it comes with this darling a garden marker made out of silverware, with the herb name stamped onto it. In gifting this to someone, you could even go whole hog and present it inside a little terra cotta pot with a bag of soil accompanying it. Anthropologie offers this item for basil, dill, and parsley. It’s a great summer item to give as a housewarming or hostess gift. Happy planting!

Images courtesy of www.pinterest.com and www.anthropologie.com

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

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Today, I’d like to recommend a book that I recently enjoyed, called I Was Told There’d Be Cake. It’s a collection of hilarious essays by the ever-witty Sloane Crosley, and I felt that she successfully captured the spirit of all the trials and tribulations that come with being in your twenties. It’s a lighthearted and easy read—good beach material composed with an intelligent and sharp sense of humor.

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{I Was Told There'd Be Cake $10.20}

My personal opinion is that this selection of essays is more relatable to females (she does have one that outlines a particularly horrific stint as a bridesmaid, after all) but I do think that her clever writing is universally appealing. I just received her second book, How Did You Get This Number excited to start reading it!

Also… cake is a fitting theme because it is my amazing friend Shannon’s birthday! Shannon is, in a word, badass. Wishing you a wonderful day, Shannon—we’ll have to celebrate in person when you come visit later this summer!

Images courtesy of www.sweetapolita.com (via Pinterest) and www.amazon.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Besties!

best friends best friends

Today is a very exciting day, because one of my closest friends is coming to visit for a week! I can’t wait to pick her up from the airport. Even though we spent TONS of time together recently (Paris, BVI, graduation week) I feel like it has been forever since we last saw each other. It will be nice to catch up, show her around Seattle (her first time here!), and get some girl-time in… and I am stoked to show her my new house (and get some some styling tips from her). On that theme, I did some browsing for “best friend”-themed gift ideas. This one will probably be a throwback to middle school for most of you:

Best Friends Necklace - Heart Necklace - Gold BFF Necklace - Gold Filled - Handstamped Necklace

{Gold “Best Friends” heart necklaces, $82 for both}

I actually went to Claire’s Accessories to look for a set of these the other month, and it made me very sad to discover that they just don’t make them like they used to (I know, I am officially becoming an old person). But seriously, all of the “best friends” items are these hideously tacky necklaces and keychains with bubble letters, garish colors, and weird sparkly crap all over it. Also, they don’t all even say “best friends” on them—what’s up with that? (Side note: remember how much it sucked to be in a trio of friends and be the one who got stuck with the middle piece of the heart?)

Anyway… luckily, Etsy came through with this one—it’s a really cute gift idea for your BFF’s birthday or any other fun occasion. This pair is hand-stamped and gold-filled—a fancy version of the ones I used to rock on the playground.

Images courtesy of www.25.media.tumblr.com (via Pinterest) and www.etsy.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This is where it's f-ing at.

Restoration Hardware outlet! Let the madness commence.

Summer Nights

Backyard BBQ Bash

There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned cookout to signify the start of summer. While the weather here has been anything but summery, my husband and I decided to make great use of a Home Depot gift card that I received as a graduation gift (which, by the way, is just amazing. I’ve been there four times in the past week). After looking at a number of fancy gas grills, we decided that we didn’t want to give up that awesome charcoal flavor that comes from a nice, classic Weber:

{Weber 22.5-inch charcoal grill, $149}

I probably should have listed this as a Father’s Day item—oops. Anyway, this is a great size—the smaller version doesn’t have the pot to catch all the ashes from under the grill, so this is a decidedly less-messy option. I don’t know what it is about men and grilling, but they all seem to love it, so you really can’t go wrong with this foolproof grill. Such a fun way to welcome summer—it makes a very generous housewarming or wedding gift, and it’s one that allows you to reap some benefits when your friends invite you over for dinner!

Images courtesy of www.hwtm.com (via Pinterest) and www.homedepot.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Scout’s Honor

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Happy Monday, everyone! This weekend, I watched Moonrise Kingdom for the second time (high recommendation) and felt compelled to do a gift pick inspired by the movie. For those of you who enjoy Wes Anderson’s work and haven’t seen it yet, definitely go check this film out!

Without giving away any plotlines, I can say that the kids in this movie make frequent use of a portable record player, which can also make a deliciously retro gift to someone:

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{Crosley Spinnerette, $149.95}

This portable turntable can play 33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM records and also comes with USB connection that works with your computer (both PC and Mac), as well as an outlet for an MP3 player. It comes in both blue and red… I think I want to get a blue one for my living room! I love the warm sound of vinyl records, and it would be a nice addition to a room meant for entertaining.

Last week, I got some friendly blog comments asking for photos/descriptions of my purchases from Paris, which I will try to update soon! Nothing totally crazy, but I did score some cute shoes and a darling little dress with a bird print on it. Will take some photos of the goods to post, though I can’t say that I can provide links to all of the items… some were purchases made at random boutiques (the best kind of purchases, in my opinion). Regardless, I appreciate the curiosity and will do my best to satisfy it soon. Thanks for reading, and have a great start to your week!

Images courtesy of www.timeinc.net and www.crosleyradio.com

Friday, June 15, 2012

Almost Famous

Something really exciting happened to me yesterday. I was driving around my new city and decided to stop by Butter Home, one of my favorite Seattle stores that I have featured on my blog before. I was chatting with the owner about my recent move and mentioned that I had written about some of the items on my gift guide blog, and she says, “Wait, are you The Present Perfect?”

I nearly passed out. She had read my blog! Someone who didn’t know me personally actually clicked through my blog and remembered it! Consider my day made. It was terrifically exciting.

So, in honor of this very momentous experience (what can I say, I’m easy to please) I will be featuring a Butter Home item today:

Image of Tooth Fairy Pillow-With Tooth Pocket

{Tooth Fairy pillow, $20}

Such an adorable idea for when your favorite little one loses his or her first tooth. This hand-sewn, 5” x 5” pillow features a small pocket to put the tooth in. The back is equally adorable:

Image of Tooth Fairy Pillow-With Tooth Pocket

I really couldn’t think of a cuter way to trade in an old tooth for a quarter! (Although, I think inflation has affected the tooth fairy as well… my cousin’s kid says that he gets something like $5 per tooth. Insanity).

Well, have a great weekend, everyone! And happy “dirty 30” to my friend Brian, who enters a new decade today. I hope you all have some fun plans that involve spending time with friends, family, or both. I’ll be watching the SF Giants trample the Seattle Mariners. Also… check out this amazing Fast Company article about my good friend Alex, who was featured on The Present Perfect a while back! She continues to impress and amaze. So proud of you, Alex!

Images courtesy of www.butterhomeseattle.com

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Father’s Day: Silver Linings

Amazon’s crazy-fast shipping is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it saves your ass every time you wait until the Thursday before Father’s Day to figure out what to get your dad. It’s a curse because this quick turnaround is what enables you to carry on with gift-delinquency without real consequences. But this is a gifting blog, not a lecture series on time management and responsibility, so we shall be embracing the Amazon magic and going forth with some gift picks that have FREE one-day shipping. Since we’re cutting it quite close, I decided to offer up multiple suggestions to reduce the likelihood that any of you might end up looking like jerks this Sunday.

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{Bulova Automatic White Dial Bracelet Watch $202.45}

My husband has these cufflinks and rather enjoys wearing them on occasions that call for fancy shirts and tuxedos:

{Stainless Steel Knot Cufflinks $23}

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{Dolan Bullock Sterling Silver Engraved Pattern Tie Bar $90}

Unrelated to the gift suggestions above, I have some photos to share from my BVI trip. It was my first time to the British Virgin Islands, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. On the first day we set sail, my friend Sonia screamed, “I LOVE MY LIFE!” and I couldn’t have agreed with her more. The water was excruciatingly beautiful. Fast forward about a week, and the environment was just as pretty, but some type of Caribbean bug—sand flies? Chiggers? Something much more vicious than the average mosquito—decided to turn me into the local Hometown Buffet, and (weeks later) my body is still covered in bruises from all the bites and welts. All that aside, it was an amazing experience that I am very grateful for… there was such an incredible sense of untouched nature in the beauty of our surroundings. I went snorkeling three times and saw some unbelievable sea life—I felt like I was living my childhood dream of being Ariel, the Little Mermaid!

Sloan BVI 003

Sloan BVI 055

Sloan BVI 009

Sloan BVI 016

Sloan BVI 025

Sloan BVI 061

One night, I decided to transform my friend Maggie into… Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire! In other words, I took a description of a hairdo from The Hunger Games and went nuts playing with her hair. I think it turned out pretty well:

Sloan BVI 070

Product images courtesy of www.amazon.com

All other photos are property of The Present Perfect

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father’s Day: Fore!

I saw this Father’s Day card by Old Tom Foolery, giggled, and promptly purchased it at Paper Source for my father-in-law (to my knowledge, he does not read my blog, so I am at low risk for ruining any element of surprise):

Image of Father's Day, H-13

One should note that there is a serious degree of truth to all of this—people do love this golf-themed shit, myself included. Not so much tartan caps with pom poms (though, who can forget how cute Rory Gilmore made that look in the early years of Gilmore Girls?) but more like things that are actually useful on the golf course. Like this puppy:

Cleveland Golf Men's 588 Forged Satin Wedge

{Cleveland Golf Men's 588 Forged Satin Wedge $119}

I know that golf clubs are a highly subjective thing, but I really don’t think that you can find a better wedge than a basic Cleveland—this thing has really come through during some crucial moments, and both my dad and I swear by it. While I realize that the 56-degree has a bit more loft than your typical 52-degree sand wedge, my 56-degree Cleveland has really helped me a lot when I’ve found myself in a bunker (which, sad to say, is more often than I would like).

If none of that made sense to you, the translation is: this is a solid golf club that your dad might appreciate (if he is a golfer, of course. And I recognize that not all dads are, even though we tend to make that assumption. It’s sort of like when people assume that I play the violin—I don’t, but they associate it with the fact that I am the child of Chinese immigrants. I can’t really blame them). If your dad is more of a novice, maybe opt to get him a true sand wedge by selecting the 52-degree option (which sells at $121.36)—it’s eligible for free super saver shipping from Amazon!

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father’s Day: Milestones & Chocolate

Greetings! It’s been a few weeks since I last left off… and what a month it has been! With everything going on, I feel like I am a bit further along in my progress of becoming a real adult. Since my last post, I have: become a homeowner, traveled to Paris, sailed around the British Virgin Islands, attended my college reunion, finished graduate school, moved out of Boston, and arrived in my new city of Seattle. In the midst of all of this, I have reflected quite a bit and am so grateful to my parents for everything they have done to get me to where I am today… and with Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, I am especially grateful to my father!

I’m really stoked for all the adventures that await me in my new city. One thing that I particularly love about Seattle is the food culture here. It’s phenomenal—there are so many great restaurants and eateries, and most of them carry the low-key vibe that characterizes this city. One Seattle favorite, which is great for Father’s Day, is Fran’s Chocolates:

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{20-piece Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels, $28}

If your dad has any semblance of a sweet tooth, he will love these. Fran’s is a great source of delicious, homemade chocolates that have been featured in everything from Oprah’s O List to the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate to a CBS special on Obama’s favorite things. There’s still time for Dad to receive his own box of the goods by this weekend!

And because this blog occasionally doubles as a photo diary of random goings-on, here are some photos I took during my travels. Today, we start with my trip to Paris:

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{Beautiful blooms on a Sunday morning stroll}

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{La Tour Eiffel}

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{The d’Orsay, my favorite museum in Paris}

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{A very Hugo-esque shot of the clock in the d’Orsay}

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{Notre Dame}

Paris 2012 068

{Poilane, home of amazing croissants}

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{…and loaves of bread}

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{…and even more carbalicious treats. Breakfast of champions.}

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{Artsy shot of a random wall}

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{My next home purchase}

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{Vive la révolution!}

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{École Militaire}

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{Some very serious toddler racing next to the Eiffel Tower}

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{Midnight in Paris}

Top image courtesy of www.franschocolates.com

All other photos are property of The Present Perfect

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