Sunday, November 30, 2008

FOR MEN

Personalized Map Jigsaw Puzzle --In 400 pieces, an attractive ariel view of your neighborhood (24 miles) -- need 3 weeks so hurry! $49.oo at www.Acornonline.com or CLICK HERE.

Maglight Flashlight - Big, black, metal. With
the heavy, long neck -- great to use as a weapon as well.
Many choices but the one I like is the
length that takes 4 D batteries, and has the bright LED light. Lasts forever. The best quality flashlights around.  Ace Hardware or a sporting goods store should have them.  $15-30ish. For a picture of the non-LED version on Amazon CLICK HERE 

Cowboy Gloves - These are the real McCoy. Deerskin
 gloves that have been used to rope cattle by cowboys for almost a century.  Excellent protection for yard work or in the garage as well. Built to last. Unisex $49.00 at www.Vermontcountrystore.com or CLICK HERE.

Quality Flannel Pajamas: OK,
they are not a recession price, but I try to put a 
range of prices on these recommendations.
These are the handsomest men's pajamas I've seen yet.  Nice brown subtle plaid -- or charcoal and cream check --tasteful!  And soft and warm. ALL my male clients' top priority in clothing is that it's
comfortable, so these are that and beyond.  The finest cotton flannel.  $159.00  Maybe a few people can go in on them?

At www.orvis.com -- where the whole catalogue has great things for men, so if this is not for you take a look for what is.  If this IS for you CLICK HERE.

Dop Kit -- the little leather or canvas travel bag for his sundries. Some guys even like to use them while at home to keep all their stuff together. There are many choices and price ranges at reasonable prices in every store and catalogue so this is just a reminder. If he already has one, and it's got spills and powders inside, is it time for a new one? Look for ones that hold more or are compact, have zippered compartments or unfold and hang on the back of a door, whatever might suit your man's tastes.

Smoke Free Fireplace Grate -- This grate is great (lol, ok, not so punny maybe) if the man on your list has the real wood fireplace (so man are gas with fake logs these days, bah). It stacks the logs against the back wall so it's not only easier to start the fire, but the smoke is trained to go up the flue better. Claims to double heat output and cut down on wood comsumption too. 
$149 for 16"w, $159 for 18"w at www.orvis.com or CLICK HERE

Scroll down for several more posts of gift ideas!
Photos lovingly borrowed from websites of each product.

Some Favorite Catalogues

Red Envelope -- www.redenvelope.com A tasteful, mix of things for all the people on your list.  Comes in attractive boxes, with signature red wrapping paper and a card if you want. I am impressed with all parts of this catalogue -- their merchandise, their service, and packaging. Check it out

Uncommon Goods -- www.Uncommongoods.com  Exactly what the title says, there are many kinds of little things you haven't seen in every catalogue.  Many are made by artisans, but they are very selective so you might just find that unusual thing for someone who has everything or who has unusual tastes.

Vermont Country Store  www.vermontcountrystore.com Out of Weston VT, carries all kinds of nestalgic games and candies, plus a plethora of lotions, potions and cleaners, gadgets and some of the best flannel PJ's and nighties ever.  Got to check it out.

Sundance www.sundancecatalog.com-- Yes, Robert Redford's sundance. Quality items, and again, things you don't find everywhere.  And a large selection of tasteful, simple jewelry. 

Calyx Flowers  www.calyxflowers.com- One of the best places to send arrangements you can count on being the best flowers, if you have someone who is into luxury arrangements. They also offer a good year of flowers (as low as $37.50 per month) and plant (from $33.33 a month) by the month program which you can find by clicking here. They even feature a few arrangements done by Michael Kors this year.  

Back to Basics Toys  www.backtobasicstoys.com  Modern world just moving too fast for your child or grandkid?  This may be for you.  This site is chock full of great, simple, colorful, engaging toys -- very little that's electric or that needs batteries.  Their tag line is "they DO make them like they used to!  Games, hobbies, books too.  

Pajamagram   http://www.pajamagram.com  Fro men, kids and women. Your gift is delivered in a round mesh hatbox with a card from you, a lavender scented sachet and a do not disturb sign for the door. And you can include extras... like slippers.  Their nighties are cut a little full ie: fit in shoulders for S,M, L, etc.. and sleeve length but are roomy.  Can't speak to their PJ's but you can always call customer service with those questions.  They have sizes from XS to 3X (or 26)

I may post more catalogues as I go, so please check back. Scroll down to find several posts of gift ideas. More will be posted in the coming week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Few Things for Kids

Most of the things below can be found by looking online at Target, Walmart, ToysRus or Amazon as well as a local department store. I gave a website after each but if they are out, just Google the item and see what you can find in stock. 

Star shaped crayons
-- multicolored flecks moulded into star shapes. At A.I.Freidman in NYC  $2.85 ea  212-243-9000

Digital Camera --Yes, for your budding photog.  Helps engage their imaginations, gives them focus and even teaches dexterirty. Colorful, with big buttons, holds $1000 photos.  $44.99 www.Littletykes.com. 

Elmo Live--What would a christmas list be without the lastest Elmo?  He stands, and sits down, plays games and jokes it up with you. #59.99  www.Toysrus.com or CLICK HERE.



Dark Knight Stealth Batmobile -- Just the coolest version of Batman's car, as seen in the movies.  Doors open up and comes with batman's little sidecar/motorcycle.  $27.99 at
 amazon.com, or CLICK HERE.

Language DVD's -- if you're an Baby Einstein mom, here is a version of that kind of thing so your child can get a start in life being bi-lingual. Comes in French, Spanish, Chinese and English (11 more languages are planned).  For babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  Go to www.LittlePim.com. to watch samples of the DVD and order. $50.


Transformers Voice Changer Helmut -- Yes, put it on and you too can speak like Optimus Prime. I got one for my husband last year, so it can fit an adult head, lol!  CLICK HERE or go to Amazon.com to buy new or used. Needs batteries so be sure to get those! From $24-58.

Please keep scrolling down for other gift ideas -- I have posted about 5 in the last 48 hours rather than spread them out every day as NOW is the time to find these things, and get free or the lowest shipping!

All photos respectfully borrowed from the websites suggested after each product.

MORE GREATEST GIFTS COUNTDOWN

Back with the list of my top all time favorite gifts that should fit just about anyone on your list:

Who has not seen the little blue box that is Tiffany's trademark and does not know that something good is inside?  Designed by Elsa Peretti, this heart is my favorite, though it you CLICK HERE you will see a few different choices. This is $65. 


Make it even more special by getting it engraved... but hurry. Hand engraving takes up to 10 biz days, and machine engraving about 5 buisness days.  Machine engraving comes out just fine. They give you a choice of three font styles -- block, script and Roman and a price per letter (first 3 initials $30 for hand, $11 for machine).  

If you can't make it in to the store you can order by phone (800-843-3269) or do it on the website as well. Since it's a heart it can be nice to engrave "XXX loves YYY" or "Susie loves books"

An Old Fashioned Sled -- beautifully built, the real McCoy, for kids or the kid in you!  My husband loved it!  This sled can be bought through a variety of catalogues for about $149 but I go right to the maker.  Right now it's on sale for under $100 (only $7 to ship!). There are many models, and you will yearn for them all.  You can get the family/person's name wood burned in as well for a little extra.  High quality, glossy wood, with durable, smooth plastic runners underneath make them work great. Make memories with this gift!  CLICK HERE or got to www.MountainBoySleds.com

Swiss Army Watches -  By far, still my favorite brand.  They come in al sizes, materials, and price ranges and last forever.  In fact, anything Swiss Army makes is of the highest quality -- suticases, backpacks, their knives, tools and flashlights, and they even have a very attractive clothing  line for men and women.  You can browse the site if there is not a Swiss Army Store in the city closest to you at http://www.swissarmy.com/Pages/Home.aspx  or google Swiss Army watchces once you find the make you want and see if you can order it at a discount on one of the many sites that offer them.

Please keep scrolling down as there are many more suggestions on posts below.
All photos borrowed from the item's website.

JUST GOOD STUFF

A VERY DIFFERENT CANDLE
These are the coolest -- Little metal tree shapes with an oil lamp. Light the wick and you will have a flickering reflection of a tall tree on your wall. Get more than one
to create a custom image. Really different, good for most on your list. Run about $48 per tree. Can be found online or at UncommonGoods.com or by clicking HERE.

Fresh Cut Christmas Tree Candle --THE ABSOLUTE BEST, truest, just cut pine tree scent has finally been captured, and I know because I've searched for years. Leave it to THYMES to come up with it in their Frasier Fir line. They go fast, but make a perfect hostess gift, or are great for you to burn if you don't believe in a fresh tree,
or yours has lost it's pungent, just cut scent. 6 oz candles run about $25 but their spray air freshener is $18 (and you don't need much)! Votives are $12, and there are soaps, even potpourri (I can't speak for the scent or how much it lasts, as I've never tried that).

For the Thymes website CLICK HERE . You may find slightly lower prices if you Google Thymes Fasier Fir and buy elsewhere.

PS: For someone who is sensitive to fragrances, they often are find with citrus or Eucaltptus scents. Thymes makes an amazing line of products --shampoo, bubble bath, body lotion, as well as candles and such. I love the Eucalyptus line -- light, clean, spiritual (and good for cold season).

If your friend can't stand a scent, go for true soy candles or beeswax candles which have the lightest honey scent and use wicks that burn clean (meaning no smoke or ashy scent).


Opi Nic's Sticks -- A new nailpolish "bottle", it fits in pockets or purse. Great for the traveler or business woman on the go. Free of DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde. Recyclable packaging and no animal testing. Found in most drugstores for under $10.



Herb Savor - OK, this little device keeps fresh herbs for up to three weeks in your fridge.
For the person who really does use rosemary, basil or even parsley and cilantro. They even
have a little movie to demonstrate how it works. Bet the cook who has everything doesn't have this yet! Click Here or go to prepara.com $29.95

SILPAT Liners-- THE BEST!!! For the baker in your house. The famous French, burn proof, non toxic cookie sheet liners. Nothing will ever stick again and clean up is a breeze, makes cookie sheets last forever too. If you've never tried them, they are life changers (in the kitchen at least!). Found at any Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, etc... $19.95

Joyce Chen Kitchen Scissors - I can't live without kitchen scissors or a lettuce spinner to trip fat from and cut up meat. These are the best for longevity and no rust but the blades are a little short for my tastes. Their rubber handles came in bright colors. You can find a variety of kitchen scissors anywhere kitchen supplies are sold.


Oven Glove -- It just works, it's the best, though it could be prettier. Just put it on and you could pick up Lucifer without flinching. Found in houseware stores, some drugstores, etc... or on their website: http://www.ovenglove.net for $14.95


English Tabletop Easel -- carried in the gift shop by the Museum of Modern art, this price is $10 better 15 3/4 w x 17 x 17, only 6" hight when folded up. $89 (Catalogue and web only) www. RestorationHardware.com or CLICK HERE

Handmade Art -- Speaking of art if you CLICK HERE it will take you to a post on the blog of my friend Connie (called Dirty Footprints). She features a sampling of friends work on Etsy, an online shop for handmade arts. She
has her own shop on Etsy too. For those not familiar with Etsy, her post is a really nice introduction to the goods to be found there -- Good being the operative word. There's great stuff at bargain prices IMHO. You can also check out Etsy on your own at www.etsy.com.

Holiday Treats DVD -- Holiday Episodes from 8 different TV shows -- I love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Bunch, Taxi, Family Ties, Frasier and Wings. Around $12-15, found at Barnes and Noble and Borders Bookstores, and may be at other places like Circuit City, Blockbuster etc...

Swiss Army Knives -- an old standby, they now come in anything from the major deluxe models to mini to an interesting flat version called the Swiss Card that is a little thicker than a credit card and fits in any pocket. Can be found at evbery major department store, some sporting goods stores etc... To find one near you, CLICK HERE.

All photos lovingly borrowed from product or catalogue websites.

For Tweens and Teens


SWATCH watches -- Reliable, waterproof, with a plethora of great designs at a price no one will die over if it gets lost. With a store in every mall you should be able to go in and look but here's the link to online shopping. There are tabs for Him, for Her, For kids, For Bestsellers, etc... Prices start around $55. Last forever.


http://store.swatch.com/FW2008


* A thick hoodie with faux fur inside means you can keep really warm without having to bring a hat. On sale now for $25.00 down from $29. AS OF 12/3 -- JUST REDUCED TO $20!!! In a variety of colors. Love this! Click on OLD NAVY to find. Call your local store and ask them to hold (or pay for) the size/color you want as they will go fast!



* The Twilight boxed set. Forget the new movie, this series' author has been dubbed the new J.K. Powling and like Harry Potter, adults are liking the read as much as kids. $83 at Barnes and Noble. Solo books in the series (4 so far) are as low as $10.95 in paperback.

THE FLIP -- a small, simple to use very basic video camera that can be plugged right into the computer and downloaded to blogspot, myspace, YouTube etc... or watched on TV. Stills can be captured from the video. $150 for 60 minutes. Runs on AA batteries! The site has a few versions to choose from. Check it out at: http://www.theflip.com/store/




Tony Hawk Skateboard -- a cool model made by this legend of the shredding world. At Walmart for the really great price of $30-42! Get em while they last!



Tec Touch Gloves -- For the person in your life whose addicted to their Blackberry, ipod or other hand held device (which requires the warmth of the human finger to utilize it), these gloves have a pad on index finger and thumb. In the winter months it allows them to operate it without taking taking their glove off. If you're a user, you know how brilliant this is. 13 choices of gloves from $18-80.00. This should be on my adults list!

http://www.180s.com/pages/catalog_listing.aspx?g=1%2c2&y=2

SMART GIRLS ROCK Tee shirt -- give the right message. Gold letters on black, short sleeves, crew neck. Designed by Gold medal winner Nastia Liukin. Call Stage Stores for location near you. 877-737-8243

Flannel and Fleece Pajamas are everywhere -- Old Navy, the Gap, Victoria's Secret, Marshall's, Kohls, Macy's, Dillards, etc... for a fraction of what they used to cost in a variety of cute colors, prints and solids. Always a good idea.


Keep scrolling down for more gift ideas!

All pictures courtesy of the store website

The Gift of Love, Hope and Industry

This one deserves it's own post.  While I listed how to give trees for a dollar a pop two posts back, this is a truly incredible way to use your dollars. 

World Vision is a christian organization that is dedicated to helping the world's poorest children and families worldwide, regardless of race, color or creed.  And apparently 87% of your dollar goes to what you're purchasing (a very high percentage as these things go). 


How cool is this: 
You can choose between buying basic necessities for U.S. Children ($25), and things that help a child, their family or a village in other lands,  like 2 ducks ($12), 2 chickens ($25) a goat ($75) or sheep ($105) thus providing the attendant milk, cheese, eggs, fur/yarn and income.  


For $50 you can donate clean water or party sponsor a village well ($100)!  Or buy backpacks and school supplies ($30),
or give farming tools and training ($32) or seeds ($17). 


There's also educational support, health care, help for sexually exploited children, clothing and food... The list is long. There's a choice for any size wallet but each will satisfy your overflowing heart.

Your tax deductible donation can be made in the name of whomever you're buying a gift for, and they will receive notification through a pretty card (or e-mail if you prefer). 

Click here to go right to the gift page -- they feature some ideas, but on the left there's a mile
long list of categories from which to choose.  If there is only one person on your list you think would appreciate something this meaningful done in their name, check it out.  Their home page is below.  

http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/pages/unique-gift-catalogs-for-gift-giving?Open&campaign=1015253&cmp=KNC-1015253&source=goog&keyword?=gift%20catalogue

The time you spend on this site could be some of the merriest shopping of all!!! 

(For more gift ideas scroll down and check back frequently!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Greatest Gifts Countdown

I continue to list gifts, in no particular order, that are of high quality and for the most part could please someone on your list. This will go on throughout the next few weeks, but each day I will start to sprinkle in things like: Best Catalogues, Stocking Stuffers, and things for different age groups and interests...

Melt in Your Mouth Croissants If you know your breads, you know
that there are true, light, flaky, buttery croissants like they make in Paris, and there is everything else. These are of the former. For just $39.99 you can sent these to someone you want to invite you over for one, lol. They arrive frozen and you can pull out one or two the night before so they can thaw and rise, then pop in the oven for warm, golden perfection in the mouth. There are assorted flavors and even mini-croissants, great for parties and tea time with friends. A few years after I'd sent these as gifts, Oprah added it to her first series of O Lists!

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/srch/index.cfm?words=croissants

Cashmere Socks For men or women. The real deal - 100% cashmere -- is probably more than you want to spend -- they can be over $100 a pair. But they also will wear out in the toe or heel very quickly. Cashmere blended with cotton, silk or poly is actually better IMO, because it has that same soft, fuzzy feel and warmth only cashmere can produce and will hold up longer at a fraction of the cost.

Banana Republic usually carries these for men and women -- buy soon, they go fast. Look at samples by CLICKING HERE -- and make sure to click on the picture for alternate color combos. They run around $24.00 -- though they have nice angora pairs like this picture for $6.50!

Other choices are at J.Crew on sale for $39.50

More Pretty color combos can be found -- 2 pair for $42 at www.Oliveandbettes.com, There are tons listed on Google -- Click on Ralph Lauren's, and find quality at $45 but they also have a pair on sale for 19.95. This website one had supposedly 90% cashmere blend for as low as $7.50. I can't speak to their quality, but thought you can decide by doing a little looking for yourself. Click here to fi
nd a site that compares many others in one place with pix and prices.

The Luxury Pen Mont Blanc is the Rolls Royce of pens and if you have a writer on your list, or someone with first class tastes, this is an item that shows you know your stuff. The classic is the picture shown at right (called the Meisterstuck). Their pens come in many designs, price ranges and sizes and styles usually come as a ballpoint, rollerball, pencil lead or fountain pen (choose from 8 different nibs from fine point to wide). There should be a store in your town (often I see them at the airport!) but if not, you can find them online.

Black Friday Schmiday

It's Black Friday, and you can sit comfortably at home and do your shopping by computer today with some of these ideas -- It's early enough to get things delivered without rush fees -- even for Hannukah!

Kicking off the Great Gifts Countdown are some of my top ten best please-all gifts. This first one is one of those that delivers amazing quality for the price. Almost everyone can use them -- if not literally, then by hanging on the wall as art. Because they are wood and utilitarian they appeal to the most basic of tastes and yet they are crafted with such beauty, that the hoitiest of your toitiest will oooh and aah. This is also a great wedding gift!

Simon Pearce cutting boards:

http://www.simonpearce.com/navSearchResults.aspx?Search=cutting+board

So smooth (you have to touch them to believe it), with rounded edges, these come in cherry and birds eye maple (to die for), and are made in several shapes and sizes. Get one or three. S.P. will wrap these in tissue
and their boxes with ribbon and include a little flier about the artist who makes them and their care. These will look great if they're kept pristine or beaten up by a carving knife. On the link above you can search by price range-- they have them as low as $35! These above are in the $95 range. I have several and guests rave over mine.

The first Simon Pearce shop originated in Vermont, where their glassware is hand blown right next to a natural river waterfall in the middle of the forest. They also have extraordinary salad bowls, another thing everyone can use. If you go on their general website you can find many gift items for under $55, holiday specials, things that can be personalized, corporate gifts -- or something for YOU maybe?

A Whole Smoked Turkey:
YUM! Every year my father sent each of us a spiral cut ham and a smoked turkey around the holidays. At a time when so much entertaining goes on, and so much family comes home, these come in so handy for ANYONE on your list (but a vegetarian/vegan). You can pull them out on a night you don't want to cook, take them to a potluck, dipslay them on your own party table and have sandwiches for the kids and visiting relatives for days.

http://www.cliftyfarm.com/purchase.htm

I especially recommend the 10-12 lb. hickory smoked turkey for just $55.80 (plus tax and shipping, it's still under $100). Scroll down the list to find it about mid way. Prices on this site for products are as low as $22. Do it soon as they get busy this time of year!

Go Green -- literally
You can buy a tree --or many trees-- for a dollar each in a person's name, and even choose the region of the country or the world that you'd like them to be planted (At times they offer places
you can plant them where they are trying to come back from a natural disaster). Your friends will receive a nice announcement about it too. And you will get a charitable tax deduction, the planet will get oxygen producing air filters, the animals will get shade, a food source and shelter, and the soil will get nutrients and be secured by their roots. Pretty good for a dollar! Just press where it says is this a gift for someone. And you can play around on the site's menus before choosing what you want to do.

http://www.americanforests.org/planttrees/

I will do more of these kinds of places you can give that help the world and it's peoples. For now, I have to have breakfast with my sister who is leaving in a few hours. I'll do another post on this shortly, and will be posting something every day. Happy shopping!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

GIFT IDEAS

I used to buy gifts professionally, and one of my favorite things in life is to find just the right thing for anyone -- ANYONE at all. When I first started this blog, I thought I might put on only products and services and experiences that I've found to be excellent for one reason or another, and I did list a few things found here, here and here...

But then I thought it looked like I was selling something, and I'm not. I just like to find new things, or the best of a kind of a thing, and share the news. So now that it's gift giving time, I thought I might start those posts up again, so please stop back regularly and tell your other bloggy friends to stop on by.

AN INVITATION: If you have someone you have no idea what to buy for, give me some info about them in the comments and a rough price range and if I can, I will make suggestions back (in the comments area). If they are really tough, I can give far better suggestions if you you can also include anything important like -- age, hobbies, anything pertinent about their body type or looks (hair/eye color), their tastes, lifestyle or where they live, married or single, with kids/grandkids etc...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Journal Giveaway

If you are a journal-er or would like to be entered to win a beautiful handmade one, little black kitty is doing a giveaway.  It's very pretty and if you don't win the contest, I guess she is preparing several for sale on Etsy.  All you need to do to see it and enter to win it (A holiday gift even?) is to check out this link:  


http://littleblackkitty.typepad.com/a_little_imagination_and_/2008/11/journal-giveaway-time.html?cid=139653744#comments