Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another A+R Excellent House Warming Find

These Zepplins are the seasoning bomb.
Every once in a while, I put something up on Pinterest and people go crazy over it. Yesterday, I found these Zepplin seasoning shakers at my favorite source, A+R, and pinned it. It was liked and repinned repeatedly all night. Thus, these Zepplins have just earned their own post.

I'm often on the hunt for great, affordable house or hostess gifts, so these shakers spoke to me. Designed by Czech ceramicist Daniel Pirsc, they go beyond salt and pepper (those kinds of shakers tend to be too cutesy for me) and into the interesting object category. The hostess could easily make these shakers part of the tabletop tableau. They also look like they'd feel good in the hand. They're sold individually, and one could be given as a coffee accessory, filled with good cocoa or high quality cinnamon for sprinkling atop cappucinos. Another option? Give a Zepplin with a tin of smoked chipotle powder, or Hungarian smoked paprika. See? Endless possibilities.

The Zepplins are an A+R exclusive, which means you won't find them in catalogs or at Target. Good. They're also just $28 each, which makes them ultra affordable. And in three finishes, you'll be sure to find one that matches the existing decor. At A+R.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Buy Some Banned Books for Your Literary Friends

If it was banned, it must be a seriously good read.
Guess what? The American Library Association is celebrating Banned Books Week this week. It's sort of a dubious celebration, the need to have this label on this week at all, since it's due to intense controlling stupidity, but that's just human, I guess.

What Banned Books Week does offer is a chance to purchase some banned books, and give them as gifts to the literary minded giftees in your life. A few recommendations include (with pithy commentary on perhaps why the banning; who knows what the censors were thinking):

The Great Gatsby: No book should ever be banned, but seriously, why this book? I just want an explanation.

To Kill A Mockingbird: Maybe the Anti Pork League got mad that Scout was dressed as a ham?

Lolita: For some obvious reasons, I guess. Don't give this book to a precocious 12 year old. On the other hand, one of the greatest, wittiest books I've ever read.

The Lord of the Rings: Could it be the presence of magick???

Lady Chatterly's Lover: With teen girls proudly toting 50 Shades of Grey around with no self consciousness, I think it's time to revisit some really well written smut.

In Cold Blood: Violent, yes. But perhaps the best piece of long form journalism ever.

Tropic of Cancer: See Lady Chatterly's Lover above.

Beloved: The combination of ghosts and condemnation of slavery makes this one a censorship slam dunk.

This is by no means a complete list. For that, go to the ALA site. Then, hit your local bookstore and buy 'em out.