Posted at 7:11 pm
The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at the holidays. So here are some great gifts for the chefs and the entertainers in your holiday plans:
Set of Hand-Pressed Glass Mixing Bowls from Kaufmann Mercantile ($$):
Sempli Cupa Vino wine glasses from Design Public ($):
Kitchen Stand for Tablets from Williams-Sonoma ($$):
Fixie Pizza Cutter from Uncommon Goods ($): (Adria, if you’re reading this, this is for Erick)
Pancake Pen from Williams-Sonoma ($): (This makes spelling someone’s name in pancakes a breeze and if you use it with cookie cutters, the possibilities are endless!)
Gusto’s Rubs of the South ($): (A great gift for BBQ-lovers and I also highly recommend putting BBQ rub on cheddar cheese and serving with crackers.)
Posted at 2:55 pm
If you need a gift idea for someone who loves a dog as much as my family loves Maggie and Molly, here are some cute ideas that would make great stocking stuffers:
Walk in the Woods Dog Shampoo & Dog Bed Deodorizers from Stonewall Kitchen ($): Made from all natural ingredients, the shampoo gently and effectively cleans a dog’s coat and treats the skin with care. A quick mist of the spray keeps a dog’s favorite spots smelling fresh and clean.
Polkadog Ginger Snaps ($): all-natural treats in a festive tin!
What if you know someone who loves their team and their dog? Then a dog bed from Stadium Cribs ($$-$$$) might just be the perfect gift. They are adorable and cozy replicas of college stadiums and come in three sizes.
Also perfect for the holidays, a Sleepy Travel Dog Bed from Mark and Graham that can be monogrammed with the lucky pooch’s name ($$$$):
Posted at 10:17 am
These days I think there is a lot of value in simplifying. And while maybe another gadget does not sound like a way to simplify to you, there are some that really do make life easier. Here are some of my favorites this year:
Smartphone Photo Cube from the Sharper Image ($$$$+): No computer required, this little cube can print images right from a smartphone. So if you know someone who loves to take photos with a phone and never prints them out, this is the gift!
TV Wireless Headphones from the Sharper Image ($$$+): These headphones are perfect for anyone who is hard of hearing or who doesn’t want the baby to wake up to the soothing sounds of an action movie or football game.
If you know someone who already has a lot of gadgets, you can’t beat the Cordito Cord Organizer ($$). It’s perfect for travel and for home and comes in several colors.
Posted at 8:26 pm
Baseball season may be over, but here are some great gifts to help tide the baseball fan in your life over until next season.
Ballpark Blueprints ($$$$):
Home Plate Doormat ($):
If you know someone who wishes his or her job involved working at Yankee Stadium, this authentic Yankee Stadium Office Chair from Red Envelope may be the next best thing ($$$$$++):
Or these great baseball states t-shirts ($):
Posted at 7:45 pm
It’s hard to believe, but there’s already a chill in the air and the holidays are just around the corner. While I have a lot of great new posts full of ideas for you coming in the next few weeks, I’m kicking things off with a shout out to last year’s most popular idea: Custom House Ornaments from Magic Markings Art. For a twist on that theme, check out these beautiful Custom House Ornaments from Bell Station ($$$):
Order early! And stay tuned for more ideas…
Posted at 7:41 pm
I know you’re all thinking that it’s crazy early to be thinking about Christmas presents. But it’s not. Especially if you want to do something special. And special is what Custom Cornhole Boards from West Georgia Cornhole are! Perfect for a basement, man cave, backyard or fraternity house. Here’s just a sample of what West Georgia Cornhole can do, but they offer endless customizations so you can get creative ($$$$$):
They also offer these Plain Jane DIY Cornhole Boards. Get the kids to help you decorate them and you’ll have a truly unique gift that the whole family can enjoy for years to come.
Just make sure you get your orders in early so Santa has plenty of time before Christmas!
Posted at 5:57 pm
Today is National Coffee Day! I usually ignore these sorts of occasions but one of the best gifts we ever gave my parents was a coffee maker. (I just don’t think retirement should involve having to shovel the driveway before your first cup of coffee.) So if you’re looking for a gift for a caffeine-inclined person in your life, here are a few options.
Cuisinart 12-Cup Extreme Brew Coffee Maker courtesy of Williams-Sonoma ($$$$$)
(This is the latest version of the one we got my parents and several years later it’s still going strong. The fact that my mother continues to store coffee in the freezer despite having been told a million times you aren’t supposed to do that, is not the coffee maker’s fault.)
If espresso is what you’re after, check out this DeLonghi Lattissima Plus Espresso/Latte/Cappuccino Machine at Bed Bath & Beyond ($$$$$+). This recommendation comes from my friend Troy, who first explained to me how blogs work and therefore, deserves a lot of the credit for this blog ever getting off the ground! He and his wife got this wondrous machine as a wedding gift and have raved about it ever since.
There is also the old-school option known as the French Press. It’s as easy as pressing a button so don’t be deterred. Here’s a stylish one from Williams-Sonoma, available in three sizes ($$$$$)
Posted at 8:13 am
My husband and I do stockings each year for Christmas instead of big gifts (with a spending limit to make it more interesting). And since we exchanged our stockings the other night before heading out to visit family in Arkansas, I can now share one of his stocking stuffers. The Clap-On Cube displays the time when you clap and otherwise just looks like modern decor. It’s great if you’re trying to minimize light in your bedroom, and some reviewers noted that you can also touch it to get it to light up if you don’t want to disturb anyone. You can find this and other great modern decor at AllModern. ($$)
Posted at 6:41 pm
Pictures say a thousand words so they make great gifts. If you’re looking for ideas, check out my photography website where you can buy traditional prints (framed or unframed), canvas prints and even metal prints.
Posted at 7:55 pm
If you want to give someone the gift of cozy this winter, flannel sheets are a great gift. Warning: they make it extremely hard to get out of bed in the morning! LLBean’s Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets are best-in-class (those people in Maine know a thing or two about how to stay cozy on a cold winter’s night). Choose from a variety of solids, plaids and stripes. You can even get them in twin extra-long for the college students on your holiday list.
Posted at 5:23 pm
This year’s first holiday china pick comes to you from Southern Living. Featuring four original greenery motifs the Holiday Branch Dinnerware is both classic and fresh. ($$$ for a 16-piece set)
This year’s second holiday china pick is perfect for appetizers and desserts and comes to you from Olive & Cocoa. These scalloped porcelain 12 Days of Christmas Plates are each decorated with a different verse from the traditional English carol. ($$$ for set of 12 plates)
If you need something for the kids’ table, check out these Enamelware Plates from West Elm. They have a great vintage feel and even better, they are shatterproof and dishwasher safe! ($ for a set of 4 plates)
Posted at 3:35 pm
This Silver Twig Tree is a great gift for someone with only a small space to decorate for the holidays. You can save a tree and it can be repurposed throughout the year (as a jewelry tree or a centerpiece for example). ($$$)
Posted at 8:15 pm
This Wine Barrel Lazy Susan is a great gift for anyone who likes to entertain but could also be used on a desk to hold supplies or even in a bathroom or on a dresser to hold small items or jewelry boxes. The best part is that it can be personalized with a name or initials! ($$$)
Posted at 5:33 pm
These Stainless Steel Branch Skewers make a great gift for the Grill-Master in the family. Perfect for veggies, meat or marshmallows, the handles stay cool for easy flipping. ($)
Posted at 9:42 am
I am very lucky to have a husband who cooks. Of course he is also very lucky that I don’t! So it got me thinking about good gifts for the guys who cook. If things tend to get a little messy, an apron can be a lifesaver. But get him one he’ll actually want to wear (i.e., minus the flowers and the lace trim). How about an NFL or MLB team apron from Williams-Sonoma (as an aside: GO SOX!):
Of if you can’t choose between his favorite teams, consider their Denim Apron:
Every cook also needs at least one really good knife. We love our knives from A.G. Russell, “the oldest mail-order knife company in the world,” based in Rogers, Arkansas. They have great customer service and can definitely help even non-cooks like me find the perfect knife.
Posted at 9:40 am
These Porcelain Ice Cream Cones are made by a local Brooklyn artist especially for Brook Farm General Store. They are perfect for serving ice cream or for baking cupcakes or muffins, and also work well as small planters for succulents or little cacti. Add a little whimsy to a table by using them for small floral arrangements at each place or gather a few in the center. ($)
Posted at 7:09 pm
Call me old-fashioned, but I love silhouettes. My grandmother has one of my mother as a little girl and I can still see the resemblance. And they are certainly a cut above the annual school picture! If you can get the kids to hold still long enough to get a photo for the artist to use, silhouettes would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent.
I really like the silhouettes by Simply Silhouettes. They are completely customizable but here are a few ideas from their Etsy shop:
They also have this Custom Couple Silhouette which would make a great anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift:
Posted at 11:46 am
We all have our favorite places. So pay tribute to your friend or loved one’s hometown or favorite city with these great gifts.
A one-of-a-kind, made-to-order jigsaw puzzle, centered around any U.S. postal address from LLBean. Your chosen address is represented by a house-shaped puzzle piece! A great housewarming gift to help newbies learn the neighborhood. ($$)
Or, consider this set of natural stone coasters from CarlaRaeVintage. You can customize them for up to four locations of your choosing. ($)
For a wedding or anniversary gift (hint: the traditional gift for a second anniversary is paper) check out this great Heart Map from Art Prints Vintage that stitches the couple’s hometowns together. Too cute! ($$)
Posted at 4:51 pm
There are candles, and then there are these candles! Made by hand by Pollen Arts, a husband and wife team, these beeswax candles take their inspiration from antique bottles and jars. So for a gift with a vintage twist, consider this set of 4 featuring a lime juice bottle, an apothecaries’ bottle, a vaseline jar and an ink well:
Split them up or give them as a set.
Or, how about these owls?
Or, these Dairy Half-Pints?
A great gift any time. For more, check out Pollen Arts on Etsy. ($)
Posted at 4:33 pm
Football Leather Bottle Cooler ($)
It’s football season again and whether your friend or loved one will be tailgating at the game or entertaining at home, beer should be cold. Also a great gift for a new son or daughter-in-law joining the family fan club (Go hogs!).
Posted at 11:05 am
These glass pumpkins from the Luke Adams Glass Blowing Studio are a gorgeous gift this time of year and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you’re interested in checking them out in person, you can find them at Gifted, a great little gift shop on Dartmouth Street in Boston’s South End. ($$-$$$)
Posted at 6:32 pm
Cake plates are great gifts. They can be used as a serving piece but can also be decorative (I use mine for plant stands and to display pictures and seasonal items). You can make a one-of-a-kind cake plate in about 2 minutes with a pretty glass and a plate. These items are cheap at most antique stores and flea markets so for less than $20 can pull this one off and give someone something unique. Here are a couple I made, using the glass different ways:
It’s as easy as super-gluing the cups to the plates. (I would not recommend putting them in the dishwasher.)
Posted at 9:13 pm
These Personalized Placemats are a great way to class up an outdoor table with a little rustic charm.
Posted at 6:43 pm
In perusing Etsy today (as I am known to do) I stumbled upon a great shop: Jillian Audrey Photography & Designs. And coincidentally, this shop’s photography reflects three places near and dear to my heart: Rochester, Boston and Cape Cod! So, if you’re in the market for a nostalgic gift, for a Rochester-native in your life, how about a great photo of a Rochester Landmark? Or maybe just this great tribute poster to the Neighborhoods of Rochester:
There are six colors to choose from!
If you know someone who might enjoy a reminder of the Hub (especially given the events of this week), check out the photos of Boston Landmarks like this one:
And last but not least, if you know someone who shares my love of Cape Cod, I promise you that he or she would love to have something that makes you feel like you are headed to the beach:
Posted at 12:32 am
Wall calendars are helpful at home, at the office, just about anywhere, but if you want to class it up a bit, check out Linnea Design Calendars. You can purchase a gift pack that includes a frame and you have a useful piece of art!
Posted at 12:36 am
I always love to give art reminiscent of the area the recipient grew up. Consider a photograph, a historic map or an object from a local artist. This is a great gift for anyone living away from home. For those of you with ties to the Finger Lakes, check out Finger Lakes Photography by John Francis McCarthy or visit his gallery in Skaneateles for some beautiful shots.
Posted at 10:55 pm
A modern slate cheese board from Brooklyn Slate is a great gift for an entertainer. Or a step up from the usual when watching the Redskins beat the Cowboys!
Posted at 5:30 pm
I love this Bakeset by Falcon Enamelware. Especially great for a first apartment because they come in a set, can be used in place of dishes in a pinch and they are virtually indestructible. The reason they look so familiar is because the versions produced in the 1920s are still around! Delightfully vintage.
Posted at 2:27 am
You can never go wrong with Simon Pearce glass. It is all hand-blown and their bowls, vases and candlesticks are exquisite and timeless.
If you want to make a weekend of it, book a weekend at the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vermont
then make your way to Simon Pearce in nearby Quechee, Vermont for a delicious meal at Simon Pearce’s restaurant overlooking the waterfalls and a little shopping.