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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009 Gift Guide: For Kids

The holidays bring out the kid in all of us. It's so much fun to find new toys and and gadgets. Here are a few items that are sure to make any kid happy....and most adults too.
The Small Paul log rocker brings the playground indoors. It's sleek and modern and has Julius, the monkey on it. I used to manage a children's boutique and I can tell you that I've never met a kid who didn't like monkeys, especially Julius. And it's 40% off.
For the budding artist on your list, this Doodlebook Frame from the MOMA Store is perfect. It is an 80 page sketchbook so they can continually create a new look around a favorite photo.

Dear Santa,
Please may I have this Jonathan Adler Collection Barbie for Christmas!!!! I have been a very good girl this year.

I have never been much of a Barbie girl, but I adore Jonathan Adler and could easily create my dreamhouse with his designs. This combo is genius- the dress, the lacquer...I want it all!
Create your own dreamhouse with this playhouse from Cardboard Design. Leave it as is or let the kids go wild and decorate it with paint, stickers, and whatever else their hearts desire. A great gift that will encourage their imagination and creativity, and it's eco-friendly too.

Or you can go with a tent pretty enough for a princess like this one from Haba. Kids love to have a special place they can escape to that is just their size.

Building blocks are a great way to encourage children to explore design. These Haba Medieval Castle Blocks include a lot of unusual shapes that allow kids to get really creative.
People often think you need to have giant play kitchen for kids to really have fun. This is soooo not true. This petit and attractive wooden kitchen by Educo is the perfect kitchen in my opinion because it's easy to move around and doesn't take up a ton of space, and it keeps the kids busy. My son received it for Christmas when he was 18 months old and is still playing with it now at 3 1/2, and my daughter who is 8 months old loves it too. They both play with it every day. It's probably the best toy we've ever owned.

There is just something about the Bla Bla mobiles that you can't help but love them. They are great over a crib to entertain baby or just hanging in a room as decor. They always put a smile on your face. You can't go wrong with anything by the brand. Their blankets and dolls are equally as endearing.

2009 Gift Guide: For the Hostess

Tis the season for a calendar full of parties, but before you dive into the eggnog make sure you arrive with a little something for the kind host and hostess. While a lovely bottle of wine or some christmas cookies are always nice, here are a few little items that will make sure you're on the invite list again and again.
Personalized napkins from Exposures let your host know that you were truly thinking of them, and you know they can always use them. This vintage toasting bell from Napa Style is perfect for the hostess who has everything.

Every hostess needs some lovely soap for the powder room for her guests. I love the soaps from Gianna Rose, and this Faux Bois soap reminds me of snow covered woods so it's perfect for the holidays.
This sweater inspired candle at Anthropologie just exudes warm feelings.

An ornament is always a lovely gift, and I particularly like to give ones from companies that make a signature ornament for each year like the 2009 Pear Ornament from Simon Pearce. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity so you're also doing good with this piece.


Friday, December 4, 2009

2009 Gift Guide: For Her

Oh, what on earth do you get for the woman who already has it all? Here are a few ideas...

1. Nobody makes a more divine throw than Sferra. You can't go wrong with any of these colors. Add a good book and latte and you've got Sunday afternoon perfection all winter long.
2. I've never met a woman who doesn't love fresh flowers or Simon Pearce glass so the Woodbury Vase is a sure thing. And since it comes in four sizes, there is one for every budget. 3. File these numbered wine glasses from Ballard Designs under "Why didn't I think of that?". While anyone who knows me knows I love my wine, those trinkety wine charms really drive me crazy. I can't tell you how many times the phrase "Is that my glass?" is said at my family's house on a Saturday night, but that problem is solved with the simple number assignment on these glasses. They are not the most elegant, but for everyday use, they're great. I would love for someone to come out with them with the number just etched on the base instead. In fact, you could probably find glasses you like or already own and take them to your local glass etcher if you prefer.

4. I just love the Le Creuset vegetable and fruit shaped bakers. They are such a fun accent to any table and will put a smile on anyone's face.

5. This monogrammed recipe box from Jack and Lulu is great for the woman just starting out or the mom who has all sorts of recipe clippings stuffed into a binder. Six tabs for easy organizing and you can make it even more special by adding some of your own favorites.

6. Anthropologie brings us perhaps the most charming herb markers for the woman who loves to garden. A set of three vintage silver flatware pieces with the herb names imprinted on them. Great for pots or inground gardening.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Gift Guide: For Him

Why does it seem that the men in our lives are always the most difficult to shop for? How many cashmere sweaters and alarm clocks does a person really need? Surprise the men in your life this year with one of these fail proof gifts...even for that guy who already has everything.

1. Sports Illustrated has an amazing collection of recent and vintage covers that you can order on their own or framed for under $100. Pick your man's favorite sport, team or era and find just the right one and he'll be scrambling to find the perfect spot to hang it.
2. Just because he grew up doesn't mean he still doesn't want to play with Legos. Let him channel his inner architect with this grown up version, the Fallingwater Lego Set available at Anthropologie.

3. I'm pretty sure that most men (at least the ones I know) covet a fabulous in home bar where they can pour bourbon and test their home brews. You'd be hard pressed to find a more manly serving vessel than this stag pilsner glass, available at Gorsuch.

4. Ever met a man that isn't proud of his grilling? Me neither. Now he can make sure everyone knows who is responsible for that fine piece of meat they are about to bite into with a monogrammed steak brand from Williams-Sonoma. 5. For a true classic, a decoy from Orvis just never goes out of style and is at home in any room in the house. Plus, there are several in the collection so you can add one each year and that means zero present buying angst next year!