Monday, September 28, 2009

Food For Thought

As we enter Fall, indoor entertaining becomes necessary once more, and inventive, engaging table decor is important. Consider this hostess gift as an answer to the fun table dilemma.

Called "Chat" plates, these white porcelain pieces are shaped just like speech and thought bubbles from comic strips. Imagine "brain food" like blueberries scattered across one. Or, bring the term "meathead" to life with a "Chat" plate festooned with carpaccio. How about taking "Think Green" literally with green crudites arranged on every plate? Oh, the fun is endless and the food puns so compelling. It'll really encourage your favorite hostess to play with her food.

Let the food groups speak for themselves and order a set today from It'll leave the guests speechless with delight.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Izod, Eat My Shorts

One of the things that's hardest to find in fashion is a piece that is ironic, yet not tiresomely derivative. Especially when you're on the hunt for a cool piece for a painfully stylish friend. You know, a friend who makes edgy look natural.

This necklace, by NYC jewelry designer, is one of those pieces. This "See You Later, Alligator" brass necklace is worn close to the heart, just like the iconic (and sooo tired) Izod mascot. But its sinuous dangle is all its own, unlike the preppy rigidity of Mr. Izod. In fact, this alligator looks like he might make a break for the world at large at any moment. Very cool. Very unexpected. And at $100, very affordable. All of Verameat's pieces have this quality: an octopus devouring a ship, a crabby craggy T-Rex bumbling around. One of these necklaces is the perfect birthday present for someone who views humor and irony as a lifestyle.

Check out the acrobatic alligator and all the other wonderful pieces at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

College Repair

Yes, it says "College Repair," not "Collagen Repair." Why would your favorite coed need help with her skin, silly?

College is a time for major growth. Not just academically, but in terms of life skills. And life skills include sewing up holes, reattaching buttons, and repairing seams. There simply is no on-campus tailor. That's where this "Sew Many Projects" kit comes into play. The super-cute lunchbox style sewing box is jam-packed full of supplies for every fabric-based emergency and then some. Plus, some young people really like to sew and create, so this kit is perfect for them as well (and don't forget the guys; some guys are wickedly good with a needle and thread). It's also an ideal little extra to send to campus, since it's around this time that clothing begins to rebel.

Locate this "Sew Many Projects" kit at It's tailored to fit just about everyone. And one more word about the prices are incredible and the clothing looks like Anthropologie stuff, only at a far better price point. Take a look for yourself, too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

For The Teeny Yogini

Yoga. Something that's been around so many years is no longer a fad, but a fact. It's hit that critical mass in our popular culture; the hundredth monkey is doing downward dog, and so is everyone else. So you might as well gift your favorite yogini the best bottoms to display while that bottom's up in the air.

I'm talking Be Present Mobility Pants. They're the best solution to what can be a crushing situation. Many yoga and exercise pants (these pants are for yoga, but there's no reason not to branch out) bind and cling in embarrassing and uncomfortable ways. They're only flattering if you look like an extra on Entourage. But not these fabulous pants. The drawstring fits flat and comfortably on the hips. The material stretches without pulling. The side slits allow for lots of movement. And they come in many pretty colors. Not to mention that they'll hold up through many sweaty sessions and numerous washings. It's enough to make that yoga buddy of yours utter an entirely grateful "namaste."

So size your friend up and order her a pair at Maybe she'll do a Sun Salutation just for you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Ripper

Have you ever gotten married? If so, you know the endless delivery of wedding registry booty that keeps arriving at your door. Box after box, getting unloaded, broken down, and somehow disposed of in your trashcan and all the other trashcans on the block. It's fun to get the presents, but the trash is hell.

That's why this present is the greatest ever for the couple-to-be. They'll get so much use out of it up 'til the wedding, and then over the years as they move. I'm talking about this really gorgeous box ripper. This queen of all cutters is shiny, solid, cuts through every box with ease, and is engraved with: "Another notion of possibility." There's something very upbeat and optimistic about that; just perfect for the happy couple. It could even be useful for fights. And it sure beats a fish poacher, that drag-out-once-a-year china pattern, and the highly breakable crystal on their registry.

Find this slicer and dicer of paper products at It's simply a cut above other gifts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Back Into New Bedding

So it's Fall, not that you would really know it in Los Angeles, with triple digits threatened way into October, tiny children sweating in Halloween costumes. But perhaps it's Fall, truly Fall, somewhere else. And for those people, a bedroom reorg is in order.

The easiest way to change up a bedroom is bedding. New sheets or a duvet in a more somber tone for autumnal and winter months is a great way to go. And this Marimekko pattern really fits the bill. Called "Unikko," the festive yet restrained black, green and white pattern is classic cheer, yet it keeps a modernist undertone going. I wouldn't recommend this pattern in, say, a Frenchy chintz filled room or a love den of Laura Ashley (one shudders to think), but you're not friends with people like that, anyway. Also, it's pretty reasonably priced for sheeting; I would even purchase it for a newly acquired dorm room situation (if your college coed of choice has choice taste, anyway).

Find this Marimekko treasure at And fall back not only into clean sheets, but into the spirit of Fall itself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Livable Plaid

It's Fall, and, right on schedule, it's time for the fashion industry to ram plaid everything down our throats. Every year I'm resistant, mostly because I believe plaid is either for ultra casual flannels or schoolgirl pleated skirts, neither of which is exactly flattering on women over, say, 25.

But I stand corrected now. Check out this ultra-hip grey and black plaid small Field Bag from the classic hunting store, Filson. Filson has always produced excellent quality, utilitarian bags (I purchased one of their leather and twill bags to use as a briefcase, and I swear it will survive just about anything, including a nuclear blast or baby vomit). The difference with this bag, though, is that it looks right in line for this Fall fashion trend without being any sort of underaged, inappropriate statement. Crafted of Filson's 24 oz Yukon Wool and sturdy Bridle Leather, complete with a snap flap, this perfectly proportioned purse will carry any woman through her day in style without breaking the bank.

At $170.00, it's not super duper cheap. But, if you've been just about anywhere looking for something with style and quality, you know you could easily spend hundreds more. Why wait? Order at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, About Thyme

Summer is officially over, and with it the seemingly endless bounty of herbs at the local farmer's market. Sure, there may be a month or two left for the basil and mint to flourish, but soon, even in California, we'll be forced to buy ancient produce from the supermarket.

Home cooks in places like NYC have it even worse. Plus, they have no garden option open to them. Or do they? Check out this herb trio pot, beautifully designed to weather the indoors. It has just enough room to plant three herbal essentials, which then can see the happy cook through trying fall and winter cooking moments. And get this: it's self-watering! Just funnel water into its handy little opening (illustrated at right) and the plants stay moist and happy for long periods of time. Brilliant.

Find this mini garden of eating at It'll make some home cook in a studio walk-up very happy indeed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tiffany Taste, Coca-Cola Budget

You've seen those new Tiffany and Co. key pendants. The advertising juggernaut has been relentless. And I must say, they are awfully nice. Classic, versatile, and a lovely gift for a young girl, your best friend, or, hell, just about anyone with a pulse.

But the prices! Do you know how much the lowest priced, sterling silver key is at the renowned Tiffany's? Try over 200 bucks. Ouch. Luckily, you can cheat a bit, as long as you don't care that there's no "Tiffany and Co." stamp on the very tiny inside of the pendant. At the website Eve's Addiction, they offer key pendants virtually identical to the Tiffany models. They sell them only in sterling silver, and if you want diamonds, you'll have to settle for rhodium or zircons. But hey, who cares? Because the lovely classic "key" pictured at right can be gifted to a deserving soul for just... thirty-four dollars. Ha ha ha.

Order from a variety of keys at And with the money you saved, go out and buy yourself one, too. Audrey Hepburn would approve.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get a Charge Out of Wood

iPhones. iPods. These fabulous devices connect us, organize our lives, and even entertain us (although hopefully not while driving). But they're not on 24/7. Give them a break... but make that break as "green" as possible.

Ok, fine, these things still suck electricity like mosquitoes suck blood. But there's a choice of delivery method. Take this dual iPhone/iPod charger, for instance. Sure, its guts have all the metal doodads necessary for the power boost. But, its lovely exterior is wood. A sweet little log swiped from the forest floor, or washed up on a beach, becomes a green(ish) charger. And it looks so much better with the decor than those space-age gadgets flooding the market.

Much like a fingerprint, every one of these wooden chargers is unique, giving you and yours a one-of-a-kind appliance. How cool is that? Find it at

Shower Incentive

If you have a teenager, you know that the start of school is a hard time of year. How does one lure a sleepy, crabby teen out of bed? There's tough love, of course, like adding a built-in catapult to the bed. Or, there's the kinder, gentler music method.

Because, let's face it: getting up early blows, and punishing your kid isn't the answer. Go for the tried and true wake-up solution of a little hot water in the face and some super loud music. Your hot water heater is your own problem, but there is a great tool for pumping music into the shower. Just take a gander at the Teardrop, a totally splash proof iPod speaker that lives quite happily in a moist environment. It even comes in lovely, bath-decor friendly colors. And, if you're a very hip parent, you can even download a special "wake up" mix to keep the blood pumping all morning.

The Teardrop is just one way to add a morning wake up incentive. Find it at

Friday, September 4, 2009

MORE Than a Second Cup at Home

Remember those ads? The ones in which the wife puzzles over the fact that, once out of the house, her hubby has a second cup of coffee (conclusion: her coffee blows). If only the good wifey there had had this machine to help her out.

I'm talking Bunn coffeemakers. Yes, you've seen Bunn in every restaurant and commercial setting, but I bet you didn't know it made home versions, too. The big bonus to a Bunn machine is that the hot water is instant, so the coffee comes out almost immediately, giving you that much required caffeinated elixer ASAP. But on top of the instant gratification, Bunn really does brew a great cup of joe. Really good. Like, way better than any fancy Cuisinart machine I've ever had. And get this: they're about a hundred bucks cheaper than those fancy brands. What a great wedding present for some lucky couple!

Read more about this affordable caffeine delivery system at At these prices, you can gift yourself one, too.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This Packs a Punch

Every fashionista has had this problem: the belt is too big, the shoe strap is too loose. Ordinarily, the determined clotheshorse will take said item(s) to the cobbler for alteration. But why do that when there's an at-home solution?

I'm talking about a leather hold punch device. Think about it: what a great and practical gift for your accessory obsessed friends. This simple rotary tool works just like a regular hole punch, altering that belt, shoe, or purse strap in a jiffy. It's easy, it's clean, and it requires no schlepping around for quick fixes.

I found many models on this site,, but the one that seemed most appropriate for the tasks at hand was the $19.99 model. Just depends what you want to spend and how much punch you'd like to pack.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Multi-Tasker Toy

So school is about to start up, and your friends are running around like fools, buying supplies and planning lunches, having anxiety attacks and screaming that there's not enough time in the day. What they need are more hands. Or arms.

How about a Squid? This wonderful Etsy find (from Brooklyn maker Zooguu), features a friendly squid based on the kid's book, I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean. It's really cute, but I also feel that its underlying theme of many arms for many tasks is particularly fitting for today's harried parents. This guy can sit quietly next to a computer as a subtle reminder of productivity and competence (paperweight, anyone?). Or, he can actually be a multi-tasker by playing with the kids (well, they'd have to abscond with him, but you get the idea). This Squid is totally customizable in terms of the color microsuede and options like embroidery (safer for the under three year old set) or googly eyes and a beanbag bottom. What a cool toy for adults and kids alike.

Order this multi-purpose deep sea dwelling mollusk at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Labor Day Whack Job

Yes, it's time once again for those Labor Day cookouts. But it's so hot. And so unpleasant. What would make that party worlds better?

Try this sprinkler version of that old arcade fav, Whack a Mole. Remember whacking those moles into submission using your mallet whilst your buddies cheered you on? This is almost exactly the same, except that the feisty "moles" in this case squirt water right at your face. It's a great (and relatively self-contained) way for kids and adults alike to stay cool and amused. It's probably even more fun after a few cocktails, but I'm not advocating drinking and whacking; that's your decision.

The wet and wild Whack a Mole is available through