Friday, December 2, 2016

Give Clos du Manoir Oval Porcelain for Soup, Coffee or Tea Cup


It's all about the oval shape. Very distinctive. These Clos du Manoir dishes are special - classy and chic, simple, minimalist, modeled after a 19th century Belgian dish line. I saw these a few years ago in a fancy home goods store and have given this as a gift... And now I am hunting them down to order for myself.

The quality is high, and they shape unique that it makes a stunning gift all on it's own - looks far more expensive than it is. You can give a dessert plate as well so someone can have coffee with toast or croissants or tea with cookies or biscotti, or they can use the saucer for that. Throw in a decorative cloth napkin and you have a really gorgeous budget- conscious gift!

High quality porcelain - in white or gray, microwave and dishwasher safe!

Photo from Shoptiques.com



The 13 oz come  for $16.50 each and the most popular 8 oz are $14.50 (priced to order as sets of six on this site - again, look for others to see what you can find). TIP: Must but from this site in sets of six, but google around to find solo cups and saucers if you like. Or get all six and give them in pairs or keep a few and give out solo with tea or coffee and all the trimmings.  


You can buy single settings go both white and gray on SHOPTIQUES.COM, but the prices are higher for it - just like everywhere, buying in bulk is cheaper. Google to find what you want but for $25 for just the gray cup and oval saucer below. Still WELL worth it!  And someone can certainly use the saucer for their snack along with the beverage, so it's not really necessary to buy a dessert plate as well.

Back to the site where you order 6 at a time do have mugs without the saucers for an even more affordable $9.30.
VISIT Maison de Kristine.com to see all the offerings on this one site alone (Google for others). There is a teapot, with sugar bowl and cream pitcher, or you can give a set of double handled oval soup bowls (another MARVELOUS gift idea), or buy as whole place settings.

Another idea - the double handled oval soup bowl: Great given as is, or with a dessert plate for bread. You can add in your own home made packages of soup fixings... or include in a gift basket. The possibilities are limited to your imagination!


I just painted my kitchen light gray so may just order a few gray mugs and dessert plates for me! 

Photo from Shoptiques.com

Thursday, December 1, 2016

BEST OF MY LIST: Give the Gift of Food

With sales going still tonight, if you want a surefire hit that's more than just a gift card - go for any of these people and palate pleasers. Something you are SURE they can USE!

Always on my favorites list to suggest: Williams Sonoma's croissants. These authentic, buttery, light, flaky and delicious croissants come frozen to the recipient in full size or minis.  


Stash the box in the freezer and pull out what you want for the morning. Let it sit out on a cookie sheet over night, where it rises. Pop them in the oven in the morning and in a few minutes you have croissant to rival any in Paris. Set of 15 plain, chocolate or combo, for $39.  They have added spinach and feta, ham and cheese, caramel and caramel and chocolate! TIP: And today they are 20% OFF 
(12/1).

And now, you can treat someone to 3 months of pastries for $119 or $95 with the 20% off sale. 




PERFECT for Christmas morning, New Years Brunch, birthdays, Mother's Day, or EVERY day!

Every year my dad used to send a ham to each of us kids at Thanksgiving time, and ordered a smoked turkey for the house for Christmas. It was a tradition that the morning we opened the presents, mom would littler our round table in front of the couches with lots of things to nibble on (a tradition I carry on to this day), while Christmas dinner was in the oven taking hours to cook.

Central to the veggies and dip, hummus, pita bread and olives, dried apricots, and such (a middle eastern theme) was a full turkey with brown skin, that tasted incredible It was a smoked Turkey from Smithfield.

I once sent one to a friend who said, it is a great gift to receive food - not just snacks, not just candy, but real food. And something like a ham or a turkey - or on THIS page, a combination of turkey breast and spiral cut ham in varying sizes to fit the designee - not only tastes delicious, but is so easy to serve to people who drop over, bring to a party, or snack on for a week for folks who don't cook.



Another old standard that is great for a reason is sending prized pears and cheese. And Harry & David are the gold standard. TIP: USE CODE GO15 for 15% off at checkout. 

Choose from several combinations.   Scroll through. You can start with 6 pears beautifully presented for only $25 on up to apples, oranges, persimmons, wine, nuts and cheese in ranges from $36-$129 and as you continue to scroll their baskets go from gorgeous to decadent to AMAZING.


The fruit is usually prime - beautifully shaped, perfectly ripened, and delicious and the cheese is just the right balance to them in taste and texture.  A nice six pack of pears and a hunk can last a couple for several days' treat with tea or wine - perfect for a wintry read in front of the fire, before or after board or card games, or to pull out when a visitor pops in for some cheer.

Check out their Pear Crisp for $49, and THESE Chocolate Caramel Covered Pears for $49. Unforgettable and sure to be a conversation piece this holiday.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Flashy Bilnky Brings Cheer and Makes for a Party!!

Whether you are from the disco days, dropped acid or did raves - or just like pretty lights, I get things like these and bring them to any party and get asked by everyone WHERE did you get THOSE. So they are a bona-fide HIT, and that's all you need to know to order some yourselves.

Some of these are at bargain prices for a limited time, so order and get them all in time for great stocking stuffers, fun at holiday dinners and parties, or even out caroling in the dark! Light up your world with these - I've tried them all!
Flashy Blinky Rings - the best deal and the best thing evah! Get a whole box of 24 for a little over a buck each and spread the glow, giving them out to people. GREAT for New Years, Great for any party that you want to make instantly festive.

You can get them in hard plastic gems but I don't like those - Get the gel balls or better yet, go for the assorted 24 pack. Press the center and the internal lights flash in three different colors and lasts for days!


You can buy them solo for about $3 ea but they cost less (around $1) in bulk. I always have a box to bring to something and it never fails to make the energy go through the roof! Good clean fun, so simple and costs so little!

I LOVE these gloves - have gotten some all black and some all white in the past and they are a huge hit with kids and teens as well as adults.  Only two days left apparently for this special price - and you can Google for more like these- but I have not seen gloves that have this much of the fingers lit up, so I LIKEY!.. Half off at $7.53 at DressLily.com.


Baseball hats - nice in logo loss black with the brim able to light up (and light the face too), Can't tell if you order by color of it they can do all colors, but think it's the latter. For $5.29 ea... check out delivery times and go for it!  DressLily.com.



TIP: All orders from Dress Lily: use CODE CYBER1 to get $3 off orders of $40 and it goes up from there.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

FURNOGGIN Hats: A Sure-fire Gift this Holiday!

Whenever I wear these, at least 7 people stop me in an hour or so, and tell me they LOVE my hat. Not gee, nice hat, or I like that - no - it makes people brighten, smile, jump up and down and exclaim... and I tell each and every person, go to ETSY or Google FURNOGGIN - and then I spell it for them, and say it again.  I tell them this fantastic, fun and WARM head conversation piece is only THIRTY THREE dollars. 


It's at times sophisticated and elegant, at others kinda rock and roll, at once bold and yet sweet. You are guaranteed to make friends when you wear it. I have to think that's due in great part to the really lovely bright soul of the person who sells them - Leilani.  The fact that every hat comes with a silver lining is no accident. Just a reflection of the good vibes that come with these and the intention behind them.

They are a perfect fit with my own sense of humor... and yet the reddish one above, which I bought over two years ago, looks as if I'd spent hundreds on it on Bergdorfs.


They are for men, women and I've seen a picture of one on a baby. I don't see those in the Etsy shop, but just write Leilani and see what's possible.


If you have a smaller head like me (which, mind you, is NO representation of the enormous IQ inside), you can fold the brim up and it tightens considerably. Very easy to wash and dry.  All come with adoption papers, and a post card of google eyes that you can set in the brim while you are not wearing the hat... or not! :)

They come very quickly and Leilani is very responsive to orders and queries. I just ordered seven - stock up and give them out for winter birthdays, get a his and her set for an anniversary, get one to take on any trip you're planning to cold weather climes, bring along to wear after skiing as you sip your hot toddy in the bar or a hot tub... give to someone who needs good cheer or is into high fashion... or order just because! 


And don't forget one for YOU!
(or two...)



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vaute Couture: Ground Breaking Vegan High Fashion

Vaute Couture is a vegan, cruelty free brand, making fashion for men and women in America. What's not to love?  They are the first vegan label to show at New York's fashion week. They use organize and recycled fibers to create innovate textiles... and they are activists (you can read more about that on their site).

They offer hats, overcoats, sweaters, jewelry, gowns, shoes and swimsuits! Their tees and jewelry have animal rights messages on them - could be just right for the animal lover on your list.

TIP: Look for the banner at the top (as of this publishing) offering 25% off their Ethical Fall Winter collection, most of which are already on sale... May be a Black Friday thing so look now!

Can you just see the look on the face of the activist in your life when they open a box to see this?
No Animal Was Harmed silver heart necklace $27.



Here's a beautiful, versatile shirt for men that will please all tastes. A classic button down that looks like chambray, in a classy shade of all-popular blue that is 55% organic linen and 45% organic cotton so it will be soft and breathe well.  ON SALE for $93 (from $110).




How about these shoes for $140 (they come in other colors, just thought these were super cool)

You can check out the SALE menu, to find items like this striking teal Men's pea coat, sharp at car-coat length ON SALE  now $375 (from $500).



Planning that winter getaway? They've got several really unique PRETTY swimsuits. CLICK HERE to see them all... 








FIND TEES like this on sale for $22:


Or this sweatshirt with a message I can see MANY people proudly wearing - if you have one of them in your life you know who they are - for $54


I've picked some of the lower priced, simpler items to reach out to all income levels who read this blog. Much if it ain't cheap, but it is lasting ... and for those who want quality stuff that is in line with their belief systems, and like to look great, there is something here for you. 


So let me feature two of the gowns I liked. The Anais gown in green for $415 (comes in several gorgeous colors)


and the Oliver gown in black satin, as seen in Vogue, for $715.


 TIP: If you live in or near NYC, you can bypass shipping costs and go pick it up on Stanton Street. Just use CODE NYCPickup at check out. 

We've Been Through The Wringer. This Year, Gifts That Heal The Hurt

With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, we're well on our way the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  And this season of giving, love, wonder and magic, food, sweet things, family and tradition can be a very healing force. And healing is desperately needed.

This year, many of us are feeling a little bruised. Some are feeling downright scalded.  The country clearly needs a big dose of kindness, empathy for the "other" side to achieve the unity that is now being called for. The entire world is in need of good, as so much change is afoot.

Many people are finding this situation has made them feel a call to ACT, not just talk or feel, and THAT is a WONDERFUL thing.  One way is to give gifts that are good for the world in some way.

So while I always offer some gifts that do good, this year you will find many more ways to make the world a little (or a lot) better.


Flickr Photo courtesy of asenat29

A word for those who do not feel any joy or cheer during holiday season: This kind of giving is just what the doctor ordered. You can fully trust that by doing acts of kindness and giving whatever you have to give - and we all have a smile, or an extra moment to spend doing something good, or helping someone at the very least - you will heal.  When we give with sincerity, and for all the right reasons, caring only for the other among us, miraculous things happen.

It is a bona-fide law of life, like most Truths, utterly simple. IF you give with only thoughts of giving, you end up receiving tenfold. And all WIN.

Now what could be better than that?

So subscribe today, and have one email delivered to you at the end of each day.  You can even do good for the world to share these posts on your social media, but cutting and pasting the links. or Forward the Great Gifts Email to your friends and families too. All it takes is a gesture to create a ripple effect that leads to good you may not even see.

But you need to know, you are THAT powerful (in both directions).

Choose Good, Do Good. All year long.




Friday, November 25, 2016

The Best Gifts Are Cozy, Comfy Creature Comforts

Guest Blogger Lynne M. Favreau is back again this year, with the first of two posts on cozy gifts. What I really like about these? Most are made by artisans or do something good in the making of them. 

We start with gifts for her...

Head to toe, here are the warm, soft, cuddly, and cozy things for giving and getting this year.

Wool Runners

Most comfortable sneaker ever? Lightweight, breathable, and their merino wool is “ZQ-certified, which means it meets stringent standards of sustainable farming and animal welfare.” Find them at AllBirds.com for $95. (They have them for men too!) Editors TIP: You can read more about their story HERE.


Blanket Scarf
I appreciate this scarf as a lap blankets since I sit at a computer for hours. I love the size and plum color of this 100% wool scarf.  It comes in beige light, blue, and black/grey also. You can get it, and other cozy things at & Other Stories. $85  Editors TIP: Check out the sale tab while you're there.

Flower Cloche Hat
A punch of color brightens up a snowy day. This boiled wool hat comes in 6 colors (shown: Berry). Only $28! At Kohls! 


Fingerless Gloves
Fingerless gloves are great for those who type for hours on end, or need to use a tablet or phone outside. These help keep my arthritic hands warm. You can find these @PrettyCrochetForYou, but you can also just go to ETSY.com and plug in fingerless gloves to the search to see a really wide variety of choices. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTISTS! 





The Best Socks in the World

From Darn Tough: One family, one mill, one mission... Made in Northfield, Vermont.
You can’t go wrong with these, they are unconditionally guaranteed for a lifetime. “Crafting the world’s most comfortable, durable, and best fitting socks is an ardent skill passed down from father to son.” Available in sizes S, M & L. from $17-27. 



There are many colors and designs. Orange is in this season, so we picked this. These are $20.

Sweater Jacket

Sweater jacket of cozy fleece fends off the chill with a slouchy neck and a soft plush lining.  In four lovely heather colors. Charcoal grey with black piping and lining, Light gray with an off white piping and lining, a nice heathered blue with navy piping and lining, and the dusty purple below. ON SALE as of this publishing, for $56 down from $75. Made by Columbia, known for their quality clothing. 


A Nice Hot Cup O’Tea

Adagio Teas, come in a wide variety of mixtures and themed collections. I have not been disappointed in the dozens of blends I’ve tried. Nothing warms me, comforts me, or calms me ad well as a “nice hot cup of tea.” This is Darjeeling Sungma Summer tea, a good choice of many, which runs .17 cents per cup.  Editors TIP: You will get a pop up offer for a $5 off coupon if you make a few clicks on the site. 





Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sundance's Fuzzy Friends Make a Great Gift for All

These are so darling I'd be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn't like them!

Get one, get a pair, or get them all for $38 each from Sundance. Good for babies, kids, your BFF - and I'd even suggest them for those with aging parents who would delight and laugh at seeing them and find them a cozy thing to cuddle.

They're called Fuzzy Friends and there are five (see below)... and while the catalog offers Orlando the Owl, I don't see him online. You can always call and ask about that.

Cyril the Sloth


Anthony the Anteater


Odette the Ostrich


Chichi the Chinese Dog


Chelsea the Chicken

APL Tech LOOM Phantom shoes

Look at these pretty shoes:
But looks aren't everything! They have the all-important comfort and support that are key to health and the rest of your body aligning correctly. 

They have a four-way stretch uppers, motion flex outsoles, soft, cushioned midsoles and - best of all in my opinion - they are made of soft, flexible fabric on top - that means nothing to rub your toes or any lumps and bumps you've developed along the way wearing other shoes. I like the white ones that have a line of metallic silver or gold along the sole. Beware they claim these are mens so check that you order the right size for you.



I also like that they come in classy neutrals and pastels - which means they can pass for a little dressier when you want to have the comfort and support of tennis shoes when you are wearing jeans and pants where those bright neons or big black things just look WRONG. (though they do have red, teal, etc).
They are $140-185 BUT you get 20% off if you order from Athletic Propulsion Labs using the code OPRAH. Oprah swears by these - she said she wore them in the Grand Canyon and they performed. Also, if you are going to order TWO pair which I did), you might want to order one and wait for the instant $20 off coupon they email to you within seconds of your order to use on your next.... 


TIP: At the bottom right of the page scroll all the way down to click the toggle that says SHOW: ALL so you can see them all on one page at once, to then click on colors and styles you like to investigate the details. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Jeep Revolution Go Kart from Berg Toys (for kids or you!)

This may be a fantasy post but if you have expendable cash it just might be for someone on your list....


The JEEP Revolution Go Kart from BERG toys. This below goes for about $1000.



Though there is a listing for age 5 to 99, so you may just want this for yourself (or your significant other!), like this black Berg... I would go for it!   

Friday, November 11, 2016

Video Doorbells - A Gift Whose Time Has Come

Ding Dong. The idea of a video doorbell is a good one. Most people want them for security - and why not? You can act like you're home and see who is there - including someone sniffing around for no good reason- from wherever you are.  Most if not all operate by an App on your phone, tablet or laptop.

So I am suggesting the idea as the gift, but can't pick this one for you. I can provide some good choices, and you can decide based on your - or the receiver's - needs. You likely want one with good night vision, two way communication (how else do you act like you're there but to converse with your ringer), easy to install, works with your phone - and some people run lots of things by phone.

There have been a lot of commercials for RINGwhich features wide angled HD video, smart motion detection, and cloud recording.



AUGUST  includes a digital keypad for your front door, as well as a lock and door cam and works with Nest, a popular general household digital control system.


GATE is by Google and it enhances your deadbolt with a motion activated camera via keypad, that also has two way audio.


Read more before you buy. Here are two articles that cover the bases pretty well:

The Best Smart Doorbell Camera by The Wirecutter

I don't know how reputable Doorbell.com is, but they have a lot of information HERE: