Friday, November 21, 2014

Gift Guide: Dog People

Today is, of course, Free Art Friday, but due to a special new roommate I have, I will have to post my art later tonight. Who is this roommate, you ask? Well, spinsters, prepare yourself for a shock. After a solid ten years of being a cat person, my doctor suggested I should have a puppy. So, I went to Athens to meet a little puppy named Miranda, and I just had to have her. She is so sweet and cute and frisky, and I think she is going to be an excellent new BFF...once she stops tinkling in my apartment.

While I'm not really ready to forfeit my cat person card, I will make an exception for Miranda. So, in honor of my new baby, I've made a gift guide for dog people. There are some items on here for men, some for women, and some for anyone who likes them. Links below!

1. Bloomsbury Printed Shirt: $58.80, Boden
          This is a cute way for the Dog Man to show his puppy love. Very cute, in fact.

2. Canvas Pouch: $24, Zappos
          I'm not 100% sure what this means yet, but from how sad Miranda gets when I leave her at home, I'm fairly sure she thinks I'm a lot cooler than I really am.

3. Needlepoint Dog Belt: $71.99, Ralph Lauren
          I've been working on the same needlepoint project since August, and I have to say that even though $71.99 may seem like a lot for a belt, for anything needlepoint, that is a serious bargain.

4. Knitted Cushion: about $77, Boden UK
          This is a super cute cushion to jazz up your dog's favorite place to sit: wherever humans should be sitting. This design also comes in a hot water bottle cover.

5. Pedigree Cookie Jar, Bulldog: $98, Anthropologie
          Keep your human treats or your dog treats in this container!

6. Factory Bulldog Boxers: $10.50, J.Crew Factory
          Undies for men or pjs's for women.

7. Bull Dog Mug: $15.95, Fishs Eddy
          I just think this dog-shaped mug is so funny and cute. I especially like that it has little legs.

8. Business trip Bliss Top in Bulldog: $34.99, ModCloth 
          This is a subtler way to show your puppy pride. At first glance, it's just a work-appropriate top. Upon closer inspection, though, it's got little dogs all over it.

9. Peanut Butter Pups: $22, Gearharts Fine Chocolates
          Peanut butter, chocolate, and puppies. Very nice. Just don't let your dog eat it. That would be bad on a few levels, one being that it's like imaginary cannibalism.

10. Dachsund Printed Ankle Socks: $1.20, Forever 21
          I mean, you know I love socks.

Happy friday, and happy shopping!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gift Guide: For The Chef

After all these ladylike gift guides this week, I figured maybe it was time to have a guide that knows no gender. The only requirement for this gift guide is that the recipient likes to cook. Heck, some of these are actually good gifts for someone who only uses a toaster. And no, #1 is not a bottle of wine. I'm fairly sure I'm the last person you want suggesting a bottle. That, my friends, is Balsamic Vinegar. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Links below!

1. 25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar: $29.95, Williams Sonoma
          I've often said I could drink Balsamic Vinegar, and that's just the cheap kind. Imagine how good this stuff is!

2. Foodie Garden - Basil-o-holid: $19.99, Mental Floss Store
          What's better than your own fresh basil? Get the freshest basil possible from your very own plant.

3. Batter Bowl with Lid: $14.95, Crate and Barrel
          These are super great if you have something that makes several batches. Keep the batter in the fridge until you're ready for the next batch.

4. 4-Cheese Condiment Set: $17.80, Eataly
          Though this isn't exactly an ingredient, it is great for a party tray.

5. Spiceologist Smokey Honey Habanero Rub: $12, Sur La Table
          I don't think this level of heat is for the faint of heart, but it sure does sound good.

6. The Portlandia Cookbook: $18.95, Walmart
          For the cook who's also into comedy.

7. OXO 3 in 1 Avocado Tool: $9.95, Crate and Barrel
          For that friend of your who likes to make their own guacamole...or just put avocado on everything.

8. Maggi: $14.99, Amazon
          This is one of the key ingredients in making your own Banh Mi, but I hear it's great for a lot of other things, too!

9. Basil Pesto: $14, Dean &Deluca
          Imagine tomato mozzarella sandwiches with this spread on come ciabatta. Delish.

10. Ceramic Whale Butter Dish: $68, Jonathan Adler
          You don't have to be a chef to love a cute butter dish. In fact, you can just be an avid carboholic...or dairy fan, for that matter.

11. Potlatch Seasoning: $10.95, Williams-Sonoma
          This isn't just for fish like the packaging suggests. It's a great spice that helps lots of different dishes. And it comes in this nice tin!

Here's Hoping whoever receives these gifts invites you to dinner.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gift Guide: For Your Bestie

It's getting closer and closer to Holiday Shopping time, and if you haven't started already, you've got just a little over a week until Black Friday! So, today, you may want to consider doing a little shopping for that girl who gets you like no other: your best friend.

While your best friend probably has her own unique style, I think the things on this list can go with a lot of different kinds of bestie. #8, in particular, I think is an excellent gift for pretty much anyone! So, let's get to linking!

1. Aerie Lace Trim Nightie: $29.95, Aerie
          Let your best friend nap, sleep, and lounge in style in this pretty lace trim nightie. Remember, though, go up a size in Aerie.

2. Jewelry of the Month Club (3 month subscription): $75, Elephantine on Etsy
          Month Clubs are truly the gift that keeps on giving. This is a little pricey, but she does get a new piece of jewelry every month!

3. Best Friend Cuffs (set of 2): $18, Nordstrom:
          This is an excellent update to the broken heart necklace.

4. Party Glass Pink Dots: $6.50, Fishs Eddy
          Let your bestie have a cute glass of sweet tea...or whatever else...with her breakfast, lunch, or dinner in these fun pink dot glasses.

5. Hollywood Fashion Emergency Kit: $13.08, Amazon
          For all those little scrapes you and your best friend get yourselves into when you're out and about.

6. Hot Guys and Baby Animals Wall Calendar: $18.95, Asos
          If your bestie doesn't love baby animals, then I'm not sure you should be besties with her. This calendar is all the sugar and spice she'll need all year.

7. Tiny Shooting Star Earrings: $45, J.Crew
          Shooting stars for your star friend!

8. Your Instagram Photo Magnets as Wall Art: $64.99, Sticky9
          This is a bit pricier, but I think it's a whole lot of bang for your buck. Your main girl can change out her wall art on a whim with these magnetic instagram frames.

9. Folk Tale Gloves: $68, Anthropologie
          These are cute, cozy, and quirky, just like your favorite friend.

10. I Think I Am In Friend Love With You: $13.99, ModCloth
          A cute book about how much you love being friends with your best friend.

Happy wednesday, and happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gift Guide: For The Kids' Mom

So, I've already done a gift guide for regular moms, but moms with young kids are a whole different story. They're busy, and they're stressed, and of course, they need gifts, too!

1. Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion Laceless: $54.95, Keds
          Just because moms with kids are running around after their children doesn't mean they can't have cute shoes. These fancy sneakers are perfect for making a cohesive outfit and keeping a toddler from putting everything in their mouth.

2. Fashion Gold Monogram Locket: $21, Handpicked
          Load this locket with photos of the kids, engrave it, and wrap it pretty. Voila! A thoughtful mommy gift.

3. Aerie Blanket Scarf: $29.95, Aerie
          Sometimes, when you just want to wear a tee shirt and stretchy pants, if you throw a scarf on top, it looks like a complete outfit. Easy peasy!

4. Bandages by J.Crew: $5, J.Crew
          Just because your kids get themselves into a lot of scrapes doesn't mean they have to wear boring bandages. Enter these cool J.Crew band aids.

5. Sephora Gift Card: Any Amount, Sephora
          Give this recipient some mommy me-time with a makeup update. Spear offers gift cards, and they carry lots of different kinds of products. However, if the mommy on your gift list is partial to a certain brand of cosmetics, consider purchasing a gift card for that brand and then setting up an appointment to have her makeup done. It's so relaxing, and everyone loves a little makeup update.

6. Anacin: $7.99, Walgreens
          Aspirin plus caffein? I think this is everything a young mom needs.

7. Pave Modern Arrowhead Hoop Earrings: $19.99, C Wonder
          These are great for a mom with young kids because they pretty much go with any outfit. Moms can keep these in their purse, or just in a dish by the door. Quick and easy.

8. Ceramic Peacock Lollipop Holder: $98, Jonathan Adler
          How fun would it be to come home to a peacock lollipop display!? This is also great for parties, doctors' offices, and front desks in general.

9. Bobo Diamond Fairisle Popover Gloves: $55, Jonathan Adler
          Wiping runny noses and tying shoelaces can be tough wearing mittens or regular gloves. These hybrid fingerless gloves/mittens offer warmth and dexterity.

10. Dutch Floral Cropped Sweatshirt: $75, J.Crew
          Fashion sweatshirts are pretty much the answer to all life's problems. They're comfy, cozy, and cute. Wear with yoga pants, jeans, or a cute skirt, and you've got yourself an outfit.

I hope this little shopping list helped out some dads of young kids. Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gift Guide: College Guy

I know, I know. I do way more women's gift guides than ones for guys. But what did you expect? I'm a spinster! I'm not always hanging out with guys. Today, though, I have some ideas for your college guy. Whether he's your boyfriend, your brother, your son, your nephew, your grandson, or just your friend, I think you'll be able to find something on this list that he'd like....or at least that he'd find useful.

Of course, some items (re: #s 1, 6, and 9) may depend on his personal style, but I've tried to include some things that are less a matter of taste and more a matter of use. So let's get to it!

1. Slip-On in Pewter/Classic Gum: $45, Vans
          College students walk a lot, so they need some comfy shoes. Running shoes, though, don't always go with everything. Enter these stylish, casual slip ons. They're perfect for the person who is so late for class they don't even have time to tie their shoes.

2. Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor: $10.49, Overstock
          I'm sure you can get this at WalMart, Target, or any old drugstore, but it looks like a pretty cool razor. In fact, I wouldn't mind having one myself. It's got five blades and pulsing for comfort. Very nice.

3. Men's Heavyweight Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt: $89, American Giant
          This sweatshirt is made in America, and according to Slate.com, this may be the greatest sweatshirt ever made. That's quite an endorsement. Whether you choose this specific hoodie or another one, every college guy  needs a good hooded sweatshirt. It's pretty much mandatory.

4. Folding Hammock: $82.85, Amazon
          This is pretty cool for the college student who likes to lounge outdoors or just needs to catch a nap on the go. The hammock comes with a convenient carrying case perfect for naps between classes.

5. Marco's Pizza Gift Card: Any Dollar Amount, Marco's Pizza
          Nothing fuels paper-writing like a delivery pizza. If Marco's isn't your thing, check to see if there's a local pizza joint your student likes better! You just can't get better than a free pizza.

6. Factory Geometric Socks: $6.50, J.Crew Factory
          I'm sure you're figuring out by now that most of these gift guides will include a pair of socks. It's cold out, so I'm just thinking about socks more and more. And also I love them. These are cute, and they're great for a college boy who likes to be both cozy and snazzy.

7. P3 VBOT Robotic Vacuum: $73.09, Staples
          I'll admit I have no real knowledge of this particular robotic vacuum, but the idea of a robotic vacuum strikes me as perfect for the student who doesn't have time/energy/desire to vacuum their place. Roombas can run over $700, so I thought this was a much more cost-effective option. Bonus: Cats like to ride on these.

8. Soda Pop Tops (one dozen): $5.95, Amazon
          Sometimes you don't want to drink an entire can of coke. Sometimes you are making, say, a coke float, and you only need a half a can. That's no reason to waste the rest. Slap a lid on that thing, and put it back in the fridge!

9. The Time Teller P: $60, Nixon
          In this day of iPhones and smart watches, real watches are more akin to just jewelry for men. While I really like the all black version of this watch, it also comes in a bunch of different colorways, all of which are excellent.

10. Nivea Extra Moisture Shaving Foam: $3.19, Walgreens
          Standing outdoors at all those football games can leave a student's face dry and/or chapped. Adding a little extra moisture to the face during a shave is just what the doctor ordered.


So, now, go forth and shop! We're getting close to Thanksgiving, and won't you feel so much better if you're finished with all your shopping before Black Friday?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gift Guide: Magnificent Mothers

Mothers are the best, and they really bring the holidays together. That's why it's really important to make sure your mom's gift is something great, thoughtful, and very special. Don't always give her cooking stuff...unless she's really into cooking...or  unless she specifically asked for it. Give her something fun and/or frivolous. Something totally unnecessary yet completely lovely.

Today I've tried to put together a list of things that would fit into the category of "just because." They're not particularly useful. They're just some nice little bits and pieces your mom might enjoy.

Mom, if you're reading this, don't worry. I'll make your gift a surprise.

Now, let's get to linking!

1. Geometric Earrings: $19.99, Zara
          These particular earrings may not be your mom's style, but I remember one year my mom asked for some inexpensive fashion jewelry, just so she could have a little update to her accessories collection. I think we often assume that moms only want fine jewelry, which can of course be a bit pricey. A little trendy sparkle and shine may be just what the doctor ordered to spice up your mom's wardrobe!

2. Soap of the Month Club (6 months): $27, DavisMain on Etsy
          I just love the idea of a brand new bar of soap every month. Even though I suppose that soap, by nature, is clean, the thought of a fresh bar is so appealing. This is especially great if there are guest bathrooms in your house.

3. Vintage-Washed 600 Sateen Pajamas: $129, Restoration Hardware
          Your mom can relax in style in these classic, luxurious pajamas. You can even have them monogrammed with her initials! Oh la la!

4. Horn Tray with Condiment Bowls: $38.99, Williams-Sonoma
          This definitely falls into the "unnecessary" category, but it's so pretty! And, how much more sophisticated would ranch dressing or ketchup or mustard seem if you were dipping it out of these delightful little bowls?

5. Organic Lavender Body Scrub: $28, Ulta
          Lavender is a lovely, relaxing scent, and if there's anyone who needs to relax, it's your mom. If this scrub (or price tag) doesn't strike your fancy, though, there are plenty of DIY Body Scrub Recipes on Pinterest. Perhaps she'd like something a little more home made?

6. Metallic Playing Cards: $18, Anthropologie
          Fancy-up your mom's card group with a pack of these glamorous cards from Anthropologie. They come in gold and rose gold, and they are simply fabulous!

7. Real Simple Magazine: 2 subscriptions for $23
          My sister subscribes to the idea that a magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving, and I happen to agree. Real Simple magazine is just one of myriad choices out there for the taking. With this particular deal, though, you can get one subscription of you, and one for your mom. Not bad, eh?

8. Natori Sherpa Robe: $130, Natori
          Natori makes some fine and fabulous robes. This one, though, seems particularly wonderful for the Holiday season. It's soft and lined in Sherpa for some extra-cozy coffee and newspaper time.

9. Massage Envy Gift Card: $ any amount, Massage Envy
          There may not be a Massage Envy spa near you, but the point here is to give your mom a wonderful, relaxing experience for her gift. This doesn't even have to be a massage, really. It could be a manicure, a pedicure, a facial, or a makeover. Just give her some excellent me-time

10. Celestial Coaster Set: $32, Anthropologie
          Does your mother always encourage you to use a coaster? Why not get her some really lovely ones? These Celestial Coasters come in a bunch of different colors, so think about what color would go best with her living room, and voila! You've got a pretty gift.

Check back tomorrow for more holiday gift ideas!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gift Guide: High School Hunk



I always start men's gift guides by saying that buying gifts for men is always the hardest. So far, we've covered the Camo Man and the Tech Genius. Today, we'll tackle the high school male, or as we've named him for this post, the "High School Hunk."

Of course all high school students are not the same, but hopefully there's something on this list that will suit the fancy of the guy on your list. Some of these items require a little explanation, so just check out the text under the link for a little more info! As always, for a bigger and better view, just click on the image above and open in a new tab!

1. Quik Shade Sports Chair: $25.49, Amazon
          Even if your Teen isn't a sports fan, this is a must-have for pretty much anyone. You never know when you're going to need an extra chair, so I like to keep one in my car. This model is especially spectacular because not only does it have two cup holder, but it also has pockets on the sides and an optional shade. What more could you want?

2. Factory Critter Socks in Black Skull: $5, J.Crew Factory
          I can't help it. I'm a sucker for socks, and they're always a great stocking stuffer. You can just roll them up, tie them with a bow, and stuff them on in that stocking.

3. Ax Print Boxers: $8, Gap
          Gap always has cute boxers, and so does j.Crew. That's not to say, though, that these are the only boxers you can choose. I just feel like you can never have too many underwear or socks.

4. Custom Dart Boards: $43.95, PhotoDarts
          There are so many ways this gift could go. I chose a Duke one to show that it could feature your teen's favorite team. However, The website, Photo Darts, allows you to upload any sort of photo you'd like. Think of it! (Hint: this is also a great gift for your friends who have recently been made single).

5. Spotify Gift Card: $30, Amazon
          I'm too behind the times to be using Spotify, but I hear that's what the kids are doing these days. All except Taylor Swift, that is. If your High School student isn't a Spotify fan, then maybe an iTunes Gift Card is a better choice.

6. Plug In Wireless Doorbell: $14.99 Amazon 
          You were a teenager once, right? Then you know how much teens value their privacy. What better way to respect that then adding a little doorbell outside their bedroom door? It's Genius!

7. Oktomat 35mm Camera: $39, Lomography
          You may think that $40 is a bit pricey for a plastic camera, but just think - current high school students actually grew up with digital photography. I own one of these cameras, and I think it's a lot of fun. The camera has eight lenses that, when you push the button to take a photo, take eight separate photos in succession. When the film is developed, each print actually has eight frames in it. I used to like to send them as postcards when I was at FIT. Just think what kind of creative things your high school student could do with this!

8. Sizzlin Bacon Tee Shirt: $20, The Mountain
          The Mountain is home to all kinds of crazy shirts, from Unicorns to Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches to Bulldogs wearing leather jackets. You've seen these guys around. What you might not know, though, is that they're 100% organic, and the more you wash them, the softer they get. I own more of these tees than I care to admit, including a kitten one, one with a unicorn, one with dolphins, and an undisclosed number of others. Explore this website. It's well worth your time.

9. Drumstick Pens: $8, Uncommon Goods
          Is your kid that guy who was always drumming on his desk in high school? Or is he, perhaps, a drummer in a (or the) band? If so, these are perfect for him and also for annoying his teachers.

10. Neutrogena Men Razor Defense Shave Gel: $4.99, Neutrogena
          I assume you can get this at most drugstores as well as on the Neutrogena website. According to the info on the link above, this shave gel is oil free, dye free, and for sensitive skin. If your High School Hunk is already shaving, chances are, he needs something for sensitive skin. Because Acne is the worst. I should know; I still have it.

Check back tomorrow for more holiday gifting ideas!