Sunday, December 12, 2010

Your Picture On Canvas

Everyone loves pictures. Can you imagine Facebook, smartphones and blogs being as popular without them? Remember when giving pictures in a frame or an album was a great gift?

Well here is one they'll never forget -- it goes up on the wall where it can become art or be a reminder of your thoughtfulness all year long.

At Canvas on Demand you can get your photographs on canvas. It takes only 3-4 days to ship. They will do enhancements for free and they will do gallery wrapping, if that's what you're looking for (that's where the pic wraps around the edges of the canvas and would show without a frame) for free as well. Or you can make those edges colored or they will frame it. They also do collages.And it can be returned for a whole year for your money back. My friend Debbie recommended this so highly, I doubt you will be returning anything. She said the only problem was deciding what photo to order!

Fab for a couple who just got married, important anniversaries, Grads, new grandparents, someone who just bought a new home, pet lovers -- but doing flowers or scenery as well makes this a great gift for just about anyone for any reason.

TIP: If you order before midnight tonight, December 12, you'll get 22% off using the code MYART22

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Few Pretty Things




Organic body wash in the prettiest colors from 100percentpure.com No harsh detergents, rich and foamy. One 16 oz bottle is $15. You can also get 5 for $39 which also comes with a bath sponge, and there are smaller and bigger sizes. Many fabulous, enticing scents: Blood orange, coconut, eucalyptus, white peach, Meyer lemon, even cocoa Kona coffee.



I bought this Scala Visor in Martha's Vineyard and it's great. High quality weave, classy colors, this gives you full sun protection and yet rolls up in a suitcase, back pack or purse without a problem. Great for travel, beach bags, etc... $25 800-367-3626 Or try Hatcountry.com

Color!


Saitek Notebook Optical Mouse, comes in Neon Colors at Amazon.com. Only $14 each.




Whimsical, colorful, unique purse-sized umbrellas from Plylones.com $32 each.





Thanks to Oprah.com for these pictures.

Napa Fire Pots




So coooooool! Never seen anything like these before.


Saw something new walking down 19th Street in the Heights. My reaction was all oooh and aaah and I noticed that was the same as the serveral other people who were gathered around the display table. They are Napa Firepots.


I looked it up the first chance I got and while I'd like to ask for one for Christmas, I'm ordering it! Some, like this blue and the red one, are only $27.50



These burn on a gel fuel oil which is apparenty odorless and burns clean. The flame is substantial but not scary big. No mess, no ashes, no drip. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles, some of which are pictured here.



You must get on the site and click around for yourself. Larger fireplace kinds range in the $70's, $300-500's and in the $800's for full wooden mantles.

There are outdoor and indoor models, and you can order extra oil in a variety of sizes. There are some perfect as fire-pit substitutes for the patio or garden....
The copper colored one below is only $59. But the for $27.50 you can line your walkway at a back yard party or put one on a table top.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Some Cool Toys



Flower Fairies from fatbraintoys.com are charming, colorful and very different. There's a fairy horse and a Fairy princess as well, from $7.95- 410.95. Click around on the site, as they have lots of options.

Dodge Tag -- a kind of dodgeball and laser tag combo. It's a high energy game, that challenges kids to hit the Velcro targets. Comes with two colorful vests with targets and balls to toss at them! $18.00






The Razor -- Kind of a big Wheel $130 - you just have to go on the site to read about it, so click the link and check it out. You can find retailers through their site.

Push, Pull, Ride! Amazing little 3 in one toy, well built and attractive, by a name we all remember and trust -- Radio Flyer. This is something a child (18-36 mo) can sit on and be pulled, but the seat turns upside down and locks back in to make a wagon. They have a cute "girls" version where the handle is pink and the handle is a caterpillar face. Only $34.99 at Amazon.

Saucer Scramble Game by Mattel -- $35 but I found it for as low as $15.90 on Amazon. Ages 5 and up, but I bet teens would like it too. Great customer reviews (if you want to read them.) You may want to buy some replacement discs too. Seems to me they can get easily lost.



HyperBlast from ShopWildPlanet.com$30 orGoogle for better price. This has gotten great reviews and just looks cool to me. Like the Saucer Scramble, it looks like it could be used by the whole family... or older and younger kids.


More to come, but this ought to get you started!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Real Meaning of Giving....

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

~Oren Arnold (a writer from Texas)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

AMAZING Chrystal Christmas Lights- MUST HAVE!

I can't tell you how incredible these lights are-- you have to see them lit up in person to believe it. They are like no other I've ever seen (and that's saying a lot, since I have been professionally shopping for decades!). I found them in a florist's store after Christmas last year at half price and I snatched up the only two they had left. Been searching online for a year to find more with no luck and today, viola -- Amazon has them!The colors are so vivid, and the substantial chrystal-glass bulbs are an unusual almost shape: like a short dollop of whipped cream almost,with a rippled texture. They are not LED, but are made extra bright and sparkly somehow. This set comes in a mix of 5 colors on the 17.5 foot strand --gorgeous navy blue, a rich burgandy, true red and green and pretty shade of yellow. The electrical cord connecting them are substantial, each bulb has a plastic clip to hold it to a branch or help you connect to an outdoor bush or the eaves of your roof, and yes, that means they are indoor/outdoor. The glass is not flimsy, being chrystal, but it IS glass, so I am going to treat mine with the utmost of care. I want to have these forever.

They are nothing short of Dazzling and of the highest quality. Run don't walk to order at Amazon now for $24.99!

The maker, Kurt S. Adler, has many unusual lights for all occasion (even those old fashioned bubblers). You can Google their own website to see what else they make if these aren't your cup of tea, but oddly, Amazon seems to have a far greater selection and it's much clearer to shop from there too. There is also a chrystal set in just red and green. These pictures just don't do their brilliance justice. Your tree or front yard will have everyone oohing and aahing with these lights on them!
They also have a multi-colored thin glass bulb set and a pastel set, which could look amazing on white trees, metallic trees or in the baby's room (or heck, to give pizzaz to the decor at a baby shower). They are not chrystal and not as bright, but certainly are worth a mention.

Please let me know if you get them in the comments!

Friday, December 3, 2010

For the Smart Phone/iPad users




....which means just about everyone, here's one smart gift.


Gloves that allow you to use the touch screen without removing them, or freezing your nails off from trying to use those fingerless gloves. For $40 --The North Face ETIP glove.



More sporty looking than you want? Try Ecko Touch gloves, the more fashionable version for men or women. You can go right to the ECHO site (featured here last year) to get these for $30 or pay about $6 more and get more choices of styles and color at Zappos.com


TIP: Be sure the word Touch is in the description, or look for the little pads on the thumb and forefingers of the gloves...


Monday, November 29, 2010

Lennon Lovers Will Love LENNONNYC


PBS featured this documentary about John Lennon's life and work and it was truly fabulous.
I saw it just last week... and then there it was in Boarders. I snapped up several copies as they were going for only $17 plus 10% off, though it's not supposed to be released until December 7. However, Amazon is offering it for $12.99!
It's available in Blu-ray too but it's black and white so I'm not sure why you'd go there... but for the Beatle fan or quality music lover, historian or artist in your life, this is a story of true quality about the life of one truly amazing human being.

BUY TODAY - FLIP CAM for less than half price!!!


It's Cyber Monday and this may not last. If you've been wanting to get a Flip cam for yourself or someone for this holiday, this is the best price I've seen.
The Flip MinoHD has 1 hour's worth of video and 4GB of built-in memory. Comes with Flipshare software... easy to shoot, easy to plug in to your USB port and upload your vids to Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. 1 1/2" color LCD screen, 2X zoom (Flip cams still aren't great on zoom).

Visit AVON (of all places) to get it. But hurry, it's all about while supplies last. Don't know if it's offered past today.
TIP: If you plug in FREE2010 you shuold get free shipping, which I believe is only good for one use, so if you're in the market for other AVON products, you may want to pile them all in to the basket. BUT --I noticed that I already got free shipping since I can spare the 4-7 buisiness days. The coupon code automatically appeared in the SAVE field when I was checking out. I removed it so I could use that code on another purchase closer to Christmas if I needed to.



Monday, November 8, 2010

Bridge the Distance

This is a great idea if you live apart from your grand kids, nieces/nephews or that special child in your life. Hallmark has come up with a way that you can read them a story anytime they like with their recordable books.

Just begin recording, and read through every page (adding kids names when you can or I love you's are highly encouraged by me !). Then, when you have it juuuust right, lock in the recording with the flip of a switch and it lasts -- even through battery changes. LOVE IT!

There's a choice of 15 books -- some holiday themed. Prices are between $25-35, and you can get Hallmark Gold Crown points as you go. Or, Google Hallmark recordable books and see if you can find other price points.

Stay close to someone who might be a little further than you'd wish with this great gift.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Mysterious Read

If you're a lover of literature, chances are you've heard all about this in the last few months:
100 years after his death, Mark Twain's autobiography has been released, the first of three, count em' three, tomes.
He wanted it that way. Lord knows what juiciness is within, that he wanted it to be held for a century, to be sure that no one who would be related too closely to anyone in it, himself included, was around? To reveal secret love affairs, vices, or flights of fancy? Or was it just that the man knew how to market himself?
Bound to be just the right gift for one of those people who have everything on your list. TIP: Run out and buy today or tomorrow to get a first edition -- makes it all that more a treasure.
$34.00 but find it at AMAZON.com for $16.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The X box 360 is THE "in" box

YOU WANT IT.





The Xbox 360 Kinect

That's all I have to say.

This will be the most popular, sought after, cleared-from-the-shelves gift this season.

Television's Home Shopping Network was offering them (their own bundle of hardware and games) this weekend on their Holiday Tech show, but they don't hit the stores until November 4. You may want to watch HSN for that specifically titled show to see if they offer it again. They went like hotcakes. I've never ordered a thing from them but I almost did because my gut told me this was the one way to be sure way to get one. I don't even play these kinds of games or own any kind of console. Rock Band Beatles edition almost got me to get one but I just thought, I don't want to get MORE plugged and lose more hours than I already do to staring at a screen.

But I'm all for the Wii and now this, because it's EXERCISE. Your body is the joystick, so to speak, utilized by a motion-sensing camera. You can use your hands like they are a mouse and there's voice navigation capability as well. For those of us who played outside as kids bemoaning that kids now-a-days are pale and sedentary because of technology, finally technology is helping everyone get active again, and can bring the family together.

The good news is the Kinect is supposed to be compatible with all current and future X box consoles. Yes! There currently are about 15 launch titles. A partial list: a dance game of course, one for bowling, an animal collecting game, a Star Wars themed game, a Sports offering (much like Wii), a river ride, car racing and I've read about a Disney game with Tinkerbell.



Keep your eyes peeled, but if you end up camping out at store doors all night, please be careful people. Nothing is worth the stampedes some of these things cause. If you don't get one this holiday, remember that if you get the second version it is often cheaper, faster and better. Or you can probably buy this one when the shelves are stocked in January. Win/win.

THE Future is HERE.

There has been no price mentioned yet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Bark for Your Tree


(OK, I'll admit in the tiniest font possible that I stole that title from the cataloge).



Listen up. Dog ornaments!!



New from ORVIS, available in 204 freaking breeds! That's impressive. And as you can see, they can be personalized. I can't think of one person who wouldn't just love to have these for each one of their beloved furry ones.

Only $39 each. 2 wks for delivery (in the 48 states only).

Thank you to Orvis for the picture.

It Can Be Elegant... Just sayin'

It's that time of year when those themed sweaters come out of the mothballs: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (don't think they have them for Channukah or Kwanza do they?).

Anyway, some are so bad, they've been fodder for the unkind.... but if this is a must for someone on your list, Orvis has a pretty and tasteful one this year. Take a look:


It's a white lambs wool blend with light beading and a metallic threading subtly woven in. $89 in S.M.L or XL. Orvis has a helpful customer rating section under each item and all reports are good. If you end up buying it for yourself, you can confess it right here in the comments!

Angry Birds -- coming soon?


If you have not heard of the smart-phone game Angry Birds, you've been living under a rock. No worries, you've now heard it here and have increased your hip factor. Be a winner this holiday by giving this gift -- Angry bird plush toys.

The source through which I foudn them said they aren't yet available and the price is as yet unnamed but you now have the heads up to keep a lookout for the gift that will deem you the coolest, if not funniest aunt/mom/dad/uncle/grandparent/step-something or pal in the universe!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Delight for Foodies & Historians

Chris Kimball, the founder of the utterly fabulous Cooks Illustrated and well know as the host of America's Test Kitchen (a PBS series), has several books out, but his most recent struck me as worthy of a post, as I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone who is a foodie in your life, but also for someone who likes the Victorian Era, Boston's history or is just a lover of detail.

The book is called Fannie's Last Supper and is available at any bookstore. It's $25.99 but is discounted to $18.99 at Barnes and Noble (members get an extra 10% off), and can be as low as 25-40% off with one of Boarder's membership coupons. Amazon offers it for $15.20 (how do they do that?).

In her day Fannie Farmer's cookbook, The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, circa 1896, was THE book to have, and came out at a time where food was a way for people to express themselves... Hence, many course meals were in vogue, as were the elaborate table settings, linens, lighting. Attendant table manners and etiquette became all the rage.

For about two years he experimented (with the help of team) how to make all the recipes authentically - which will promise to make a fascinating read filled with delicious details.

If you click on this link to NPR you can see pictures of the dinner itself, which was served in the Kimballs' brownstone in Boston's South End. Quite lush and magnificent! Of particular interest is the coal stove that they cooked everything on, which they had refurbished and installed in the kitchen. I can't wait to give this gift!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wearing Your Heart



Thanks to my blog pal at the Rattie Crew, I discovered this very nice jewelry site. Christie Robinson, Earth and Animal Friendly Designs. Very affordable things... most average around $25.



The items look lovely, are simple yet unique, and there's a little something for everyone (if you don't like the animal or message themes there are nice, tasteful items, from rings and cuff links to things like Elvis's figures and city skyline necklaces to rival that famous Carrie necklace from Sex in the City).





Take time to really click around, there's more than featured in her slide show. I like the love ring, which could be good to save for an anniversary, or Valentines day... or any old day you want to brighten.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

“We all have been given a gift of one kind or another; it is important to realize and utilize those gifts for the benefit of mankind.”
— Kelly Meyer, activist

Sunday, September 19, 2010

ZooBorns! Now A Gift to Give

It's been a while since I've posted on what around this time of year morphs into my gift blog. Today I found something worthy of the kick off entry, as it really can be given not just at holiday time, but year round and is good for babies, kids or adults, male or female. Those are good gifts!

I sat and chatted for a bit with marketing master and science whiz Andrew Bleiman and portrait painter (fall-off-your-chair talented) and photographer Chris Eastland, the creators behind Zooborns.com.

If you've never gone to this website, YOU NEED TO, immediately (well, as soon as you finish reading this of course). There you'll find a daily dose of pictures, videos and news of baby animals born in zoos all over the world. It's a great way to show the good work is being done in zoos and conservation, but it's also just a good squee.

Simon and Schuster made the smart decision to publish their material; as a result Zooborns have have two new books coming out. Zoo Borns!, a book for kids age 2 and up, on sale starting October 19th, and ZooBorns, a picture book with animal facts, available November 2. You can pre-order them now, right here on Zooborns, com thru Amazon. I'm sure if calendars, stationery, notebooks, and day planners with that same theme (not to mention, a magazine) were to follow, they too would have great success.

10% of the sale profits go to the AZA's Conservation Endowment Fund, which makes a good thing better.

As we well know, just about everyone swoons over baby animals. Look for the books --At $12.99 each (even less at Amazon.com, both under $10 as of today), they are perfectly recession-priced for all those kiddie birthday parties your child is invited to, for your Godkids, nieces and nephews, for holiday gifts, baby showers or sweet 16... somebody stop me! It will cheer a friend in the hospital or anyone you know who's blue; it could be a hostess gift or be an original way to say thank you, or just make any average day that much brighter...

I'll be stocking up on a few to keep in my gift closet. How about you? Pass the word on, this is a good one.

Photo credit: Zooborns.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tribute

"It is a terrible day, actually it is a terrible life when you know that because of how you were raised and because of what you believed about yourself you became less than who you would have been because of fear."

Renee from Circling My Head
Please give her whole blog your attention. She was a wise and courageous, blindingly honest and funny, happily married woman and loving mother/daughter/wife/grandma with a truly great and varied blog. She made her transition today, from cancer. I'm beside myself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So Go Out There With This In Mind

A favorite teaching:

Remember, you may be the only Bible some people ever read.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aaaah Yes.

“The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.”

Author Unknown


Too bad I don't know who wrote this. It is a VERY thought provoking quote, but it seems duly appropriate with all the snow that's been giving us clear paths in almost every state this winter. What does this conjur up for you? What step are you taking next?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here's One for You

"When you die God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself." – Anonymous


What a wonderfully freeing, thought provoking 24 words. What are the pleasures -- or even one pleasure -- that you have denied yourself today, or in this life?

How does it feel looking at it in black and white? Does this give you any license to allow that thing?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Invitation

“Today I see beauty everywhere I go, in every face I see, in every single soul...”
— Kevyn Aucoin

Kevin was a famous make up artist, a beautiful soul himself, who died way too young. But his message can still benefit us here and now. I encourage you to live by this today... and leave me a comment about what happened.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Birdwings

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, you look, and instead,
here's the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.

— Rumi, inThe Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

If this speaks to you, I'm wondering what it focuses on for you. Aging gracefully? Facing illness? Struggling at work? A break up? Kids leaving home?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Very Good One

"What man does for himself dies with him, what man does for others lives on forever!


-BJ Palmer"

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Think We Could Use An Aaaaah Right Now

I love this quote, and I have to thank KATE for posting it on her blog... so I could in turn post it for you to see. Here we go:

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
Chinese proverb

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Aftermath

Thank you to one and all who stopped by the gift part of this blog this holiday season. And special thanks to those who sent in an idea for all to share, or passed the link on. Again, I get nothing out of it, but there is so much work involved, it's really nice to know that some people saw it and, better yet, benefitted from it. I'm so glad that some of you ordered the Thymes Fir candles (I found them on sale at 60% off at the fancy grocery store here and bought about 25!) and the gloves with the fingertip that enables using iphones and other touch screens while keeping warm, to name two.

You can always refer to the tab entitled Great Gifts to access these ideas at any time... for any occasion that comes up through the year. Most of them are available year round.

I'll still post on great products when I find them, but not be solely focused on that as I am duing holiday season. Don't forget to check out my animal blog, which I do post on almost every day, at www.naturegirrrl.blogspot.com I love getting your comments, so please leave one so I know you came to visit. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!!