Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gift Guide: Oh, Brother!

Like dads, brothers are another tough group for whom to shop. Since I'm a spinster, it's even harder since I spend very little time thinking about the same things men do. The thing you do have on your side, though, is that you're probably closer in age to your brother than you are to your dad. This means you'll have a common history on which to draw.

So, here goes! Some gift ideas for your brother!

1. Topman Plaid Tie: Nordstrom, $20
          If your family's one that opens gift on Christmas Eve, this is a great one for your brother. He can wear it to the Christmas Eve service!

2. Original Bacon Spread: Skillet Street Food, $14.99
          Ok, so this isn't the ideal gift if your brother's a vegetarian. However, if he isn't, I think it's a great idea. My friend Monica made some for a board game party we attended last year, and I couldn't stop eating it. However, since you're probably not friends with Monica, I think this is probably your best option.

3. Home Alone: Amazon, $14.64
          If your brother doesn't already own this, he needs it. This is as much of a classic as A Christmas Story, if you ask me, with classic quotes like "trout sniffer," and "keep the change, ya filthy animal," you'll find yourself asking him to open this one early, too.

4. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: Amazon, $14.98
          Ever now and then, I think about Duncan's Toy Chest and the turtle doves. If you know this movie as well as most kids from my generation, you know how to say "turtle doves" just like Mr. Duncan. If you're getting Home Alone, you must also get Home Alone 2. That is, of course, unless your brother already owns this one.

5. Hidden Camera Sunglasses: Amazon, $28.99
          There are so many different kinds of brothers who would enjoy these. There are those who enjoy a good hidden camera show, and there are those who like to make videos from their own point of view while they're, say, doing some crazy movies on their skateboard. Then, of course, there are those who have coworkers so crazy no one would believe it unless they saw it on video. Of course, I think this last one may not quite be legal. I'm not sure. Whatever the use, though, these things are pretty darn cool.

6. Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal Tee: Etsy, LoyalRoyalTees, $13.50
          If your brother loves Home Alone, he'll love this tee. Even if he doesn't, it's still pretty funny. And if he doesn't love it, you can give him to the count of ten to get his lousy, lyin', lowdown, four-flushin' carcass out your door.

7. Itunes Gift Card: Apple, prices vary depending on card amount.
          When in doubt, give the ol' iTunes gift card. This allows your brother to load up his collection with movies, music, and apps he loves. When my brother was traveling a lot, he used iTunes gift cards to rent movies and watch them on the road. Voila! It's a gift for the guy who travels light!

8. Anonymous Ism Navajo socks: J.Crew, $25
          You may be noticing that more often than not, I like to include a fun pair of socks in my gift guides. Mostly, this is because I design socks and therefore think about socks pretty much all the time. However, I did once have a boyfriend (shocker, I know), whose socks always seemed to spring a leak. As such, I think socks are always a useful gift. Who doesn't need a little refreshing in the sock drawer?

9. Cable Stripe Knitted Beanie: Scotch and Soda, $49
          I like how this hat manages to be both textural and colorful while still being manly. It allows you to give your brother a little something fashionable without making him into a fancy man.

10. Woodpile Boxers: Gap, $12.95
          Just like socks, everyone needs some fresh underoos. And, it's way more fun to have crazy printed underwear than boring solid ones, right? Companies like Gap, American Eagle, and J.Crew offer lots of spunky options that are great for folding up and wrapping or just rolling and sticking them in his stocking!

11. Topman Tartan Scarf: Nordstrom, $28
          Accessories your brother with a little holiday cheer. This will brighten up any boring old ensemble with a little…yep, I'm going to say it…pop of color. Forgive me. It seemed like the only right way to say it. I, too, am sick of hearing about color pops. But anyway, it's a cute scarf. The ladies will love it on your brother.

Happy Shopping. Look for the next installment of A Fashion Story here tomorrow morning!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gift Guide: Dad

For me, shopping for my dad requires a lot of thought. He doesn't really need anything. So, the idea for me, unless I'm getting him silly gifts, is always to find something he could use. It may not be a need, but it could potentially be used.

I've discussed this issue with several of my friends, and I think most people's dads are the same when it comes to gifting. They're just tough. So, today I've put together a gift guide of things your dad might use. Here we go!

1. Microfleece Blanket (Twin XL): Target, $10.48
          My dad is a worker bee if I've ever seen one, and because of this, whenever he's at home it is a common occurrence to see him sprawled on the floor or the couch fast asleep. However, until a few years ago, this sight was only complete if my dad was dressed from head to toe in his warmest attire. He is a cold sleeper, and his main complaint was that he couldn't ever find an afghan or a throw that was long enough. My sister's mother in law, however, fixed this problem by crocheting him the longest afghan I've ever seen. It was a hit and still is.
          If you don't have an excellent crocheting mother-in-law, though, This blanket might just do the job. It measures 66" x 94" and is sure to cover anyone you've got. You can even add a little personalization by having it monogrammed with your dad's initials!

2. Harry's Truman Limited Edition Shave Set: J. Crew, $20
          This one's a great gift for any dad…except the dad with the beard.

3. Fogless Shower Mirror: Brookstone, $59.99
          I jut think this one is pretty cool. I just don't want any mirrors in my own shower.

4. New Balance Custom 574: New Balance, $139.95
          Always wanted to be a shoe designer? Now's your chance! New Balance gives you the opportunity to color up a special pair of sneakers just for your dad in all his favorite colors! They even offer you the option of adding text embroidery at the heel so he'll never lose his special shoes at the gym.

5. Plaid Thermos: Thermos, $19.99
          Whether your dad's a hunter, a traveller, an office man, or just a huge fan of how much coffee they drink from thermoses in The Millennium Trilogy, this is yet another useful (and stylish) gift. He's not a coffee drinker? My mom used to put soup in mine when I was in elementary school. And, of course, there's always hot chocolate.

6. Irish Fisherman's Crewneck Sweater: L.L. Bean, $139
          Once The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comes to theaters, and everyone sees Ben Stiller looking rugged in his sweater, I predict all the men will positively need their own cozy wool sweater. This one's from L.L. Bean, so you know it's not too fancy schmancy  or fashion-y and therefore perfect for dad.

7. Violight Sonic Travel Toothbrush: Brookstone, $15.99
          My dad likes to have clean teeth. In fact, when he used to drive us to school in the morning, he had a toothbrush he kept in his car just to get a little extra brushing done on the go. I feel like this is an upgrade from your regular travel toothbrush, though, because he's a sonic one! And also it comes in lots of colors.

8. Mini Measuring Tape Keychain: World Market, $3.49
          If your dad's a builder, or really just a measurer, this is an excellent gift. He'll never have to wonder about something's size on the go. He'll just have that measuring tape right there with him. Bonus: This is the perfect size for a stocking stuffer.

9. Camo Rolling Cooler: Coleman, $59.99
          This is a great gift for the dad who's a hunter or a tailgater. Or a dad who doesn't want his snacks to be seen. Get it…? Because it's camouflage? Stop groaning. You know you loved that.

10. Iphone Projector: Best Buy, $129.99
          With all the smart phone capabilities now, this gift is perfect for sharing all this photos and videos of the kids and/or grandkids. By dad used to have slides made and use a carousel projector, but this is so much smaller and more convenient! Think of all the times and places you could just have an impromptu viewing!

11. Merino Wool Ragg Socks: L. L. Bean, $18.95
          These are nice, warm, and manly socks for the holiday season. Perfect for boots and those spectacular custom new balance sneakers you've had made!

Happy Shopping! Check back tomorrow for the brother's gift guide!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gift Guide: College Girl

We interrupt "A Fashion Story" today for a gift guide! I figured you might need a little break from all those text-intensive posts for a few days. So, for the weekend, we'll be back to the gift guides. However, on Monday, the fashion story shall return!

Today's gift guide is one for your favorite college girl - or any student, really. So, let's get this party started!

1. Gelly Roll Metallic Pen Set: Blick, $5.96
          I think these are more "glitter pens" than metallic ones. I love them. They're fun for any kind of writing. You might want to get yourself a set while you're ordering.

2. Fujifilm Instax 8 Instant Film Camera (Yellow): Amazon, $59.95
          I know, I know. I've already used this item in a gift guide, but I used it in black. But it's a good gift! If college students are still pretty much the same as they were when I was in college, they still love taking photos. Hard copies are a super fun novelty, especially at parties!

3. Nadia Moccasin: Coach, $158
          These are a little pricey, but I own them, and I absolutely love them. These are so comfortable for both walking and driving. The flexible soles make them feel like being barefoot...but better. These are great for the girl who lives on a pedestrian campus.

4. 1" Metallic Dot Binder: Target, $5.98
          Super cute, and it comes in different colors! Every class needs a notebook. Why not make it a cute one?

5. Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit for her: Madewell, $18
          This is great as a gift or small enough to be a stocking stuffer. It's got everything you might need if you find yourself, well, in a pinch! Bonus: It comes in a little black glitter pouch.

6. Fair Isle Striped Sweater: Madewell, $98
          This sweater is just cute and easy. Great for jeans, probably great with a black skirt. I can see this becoming a quick wardrobe staple. It also comes in Grey.

7. Girls' Glitter Pencil Case: J.Crew, $24.50
          So, it says it's for girls, but pencils are always the same size. The multi glitter makes it a super fun way for your college girl to carry all her glitter pens, pencils, and highlighters.

8. Foot Galaxy Neon Shoelaces: Amazon, $1.99
          this is an excellent stocking stuffer. The price is right, and it's great for the girl who likes to wear sneakers. It's an especially good idea for girls who like to get their gym time on.

9. Lipstick USB Flash Drive: Amazon, $15.95
          I there a cuter way to store all those papers you're writing and all those websites you're designing? I think not. This will fit nicely in that glitter pencil case.

10. Jonathan Adler Stepped Diamond Headphones: Barnes and Noble, $24
          I got my first ipod when I was in college. That's right, i went to college before iphones even existed. Now, though, since everyone's always got their music with them right there on their phone, why not have some cute head phones? These are great for canceling out all that chatter in the library or just enjoying some good tunes while you walk to class.

11. Igloo 28 qt Rolling Cooler:, $29.99
          If your college girl is anything like I was, she likes the tailgating and the halftime show way more than she'll ever even care about the game. So, why not have a cute pink rolling cooler? She doesn't even have to go into the game if she doesn't want to. She can just enjoy all the treats she brought while sitting in the parking lot.

Stay tuned tomorrow for yet another holiday gift guide!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gift Guide: Mom-o-rama!

Sometimes moms can be the hardest people to shop for. They don't really need anything, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give her a gift! So, I think the best way to go about gifting for moms is to buy her things you know she wouldn't buy herself. Whenever possible, though, personalization is great. However, since I don't personally know your mom (or maybe I do...), I put together a little gift guide of things I think most moms could use or would enjoy. Notes and explanations will be included.

1. Pyramid Bow Leather Glove: Kate Spade, $128
          So, at $128, these pink leather gloves definitely qualify as a luxury item, but my mom loves pink, and I think they're really cute.

2. Wish List Plaid Fleece Pajama Set: DKNY on Net-A-Porter, $70
          When you aren't a spinster, there's always someone seeing you in your pajamas. So, why not have some cute ones? Other cute options might include these from Gilligan and O'malley or maybe these from Ralph Lauren.

3. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett: Amazon, $12.22
          When my mom saw I was reading this book over the summer, she almost took it from my apartment even though I wasn't finished. So, I gave it to her for her birthday, and she said she really liked it. So, you've got my own mother's recommendation on this one.

4. Tortoise Frame Drop Earrings: BaubleBar, $34
          These are great neutral earrings, giving your mom the ability to wear them with all sorts of outfits. Everyone likes a new pair of earrings, especially ones she won't have to feel bad about when she doesn't want to wear them anymore.

5. Gold Polkadot Notebook: Target, $3.99.
          Cute and cheap as chips! This notebook is one of those small ones that's great to keep in your purse or in that drawer by the telephone for little notes. Or, if your mom's a journaler, she could even use it for that. I just think it's cute, and it'd be a great little stocking stuffer...if your stockings are that big.

6. Aladdin Water Bottle: Aladdin, $9.99 (Also at Target)
          My sister gave me one of these water bottles for my birthday, and it is so excellent. The construction of the bottle makes it such that you can fill it, close the lid, and throw it in your purse, and it doesn't leak. You can screw off the drinking part and fit full-sized ice cubes in there, too. I like to make myself a little iced chai latte in the morning, and throw it in my purse. When I get to work, it's all ready and mixed up. Excellend.

7. Reach By Design Toothbrush: Amazon (or your drugstore), $2.85
          A few years ago, these were really easy to find. For some reason, though, I've been having a little bit of trouble finding them lately. I love these toothbrushes, though. They're simple, but they're cute, and they come in a two pack. That way, she always has an extra, and she always knows which toothbrush is hers, because its' printed.

8. Shea Butter Hand Cream Trio: L'Occitane, $28
          I love L'Occitane hand cream, but even more, I love the prints on these little bottles. The size is also great for keeping in your car or in your purse or wherever else you are when you realize your hands are unacceptably dry.

9. Maid Service Gift Card: Merry Maids, Prices vary by house and location
          I'm not going to lie. I want this one for my christmas present. However, your mom might especially appreciate this gift after the holidays. The Merry Maids can come in and clean up the place after all the gifts have been unwrapped and all the meals have been eaten. Magnificent.

10. Go Mini Steamer: Bed Bath and Beyond, $19.99
          I own a white one of these, and I gave my mom the pink one. A steamer is so much more useful than you realize before you own one. There are certain garments that just cannot or should not be ironed. For those items, this steamer's the solution. It's great on dresses and dressy tops, especially.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gift Guide: For the Silly One

So, if you're lucky, you have someone on your holiday gift list who likes to have a little giggle. These people are often the most fun people to buy for. Today I've put together a collection of gift-able items I think this person will enjoy...and enjoy showing to everyone they meet. And some of them might even actually be useful! (especially #1).

1. Fart Machine: Amazon, $11.45

2. Thumb Flash Drive: Amazon, $18.99

3. Pick Your Nose Party Cups: Fred Flare, $7.99

4. Grillz Candy: Fred Flare, $4

5. Poler Nap Sack: West Elm, $130

6. Nose Pencil Sharpener: Oriental Trading $6

7. Magic Unicorn Mask: Fred Flare, $36

8. Hairy Leg Socks: Kristen Perry, $10

9. Plush Turkey Hat: Amazon, $7.65

Happy Shopping...I really do recommend #1. Hours of fun.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Black and White and Red All Over

gift-guide, holiday-gift-guide
It's Friday, and since it's now officially November, I think it's a little more reasonable to bring out another gift guide. Today's is color coordinated, but I really hope you'll take my advice and not wear all of this together. Especially since quite a few of these items aren't really clothing.

If you're an early shopper, too, I hope you enjoy! Now, let's get to it.

1. Safari Mounted Head Hook: Urban Outfitters, $12.00 or 2 for $20

2. Polka Dot Pen: Anthropologie, $12.00

3. Coral Cabochon Studs: BaubleBar, $26.00

4. Chocolate Peppermint Rolled Wafers: Williams Sonoma, $12.95

5. Houndstooth IPhone Case: Society Six, $35.00

6. Striped Boatneck Pullover: Gap, $54.95

7. Ponte Pencil Skirt: Joe Fresh, $29.00

8. Colorblock Leather Passport Case: J.Crew, $45.00

9. Studio Bauble Necklace: Ann Taylor, $31.99

10. Gameday Flats: SimplySoles, $48

11. Printed Calf Hair Belt: Gap, $29.95

12. Fabric Ballerina Flats: & Other Stories, about $47.00

Happy shopping, and happy, happy friday!