Friday, November 30, 2012

For your One Direction Fan - The Dolls are Here.

Together, Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall and Zayn make up the hit singing pop group known as One Direction, and now all five members of the band can be yours when you collect these true-to-life 12-inch 1D dolls! Each figure comes with a stylish outfit true to each band member’s signature look. For the ultimate 1D fan, this is the premiere collection of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik figures. Collect all of the One Direction Dolls!

Can get at Hasbro itself by clicking HERE.  $29 per doll. As always, Google around for other prices - Target ($29.99), Amazon ($26.90), ToysRUS ($19.99), Walmart ($19.96). Prices are as of today's publishing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


With all of these, Google around if you want options to the hyperlinks I provide in case you find better deals.

1. BOSE HEADPHONES: Two kinds to recommend:

**Major quality for day-to-day use:
AE2 audio headphones: $134.95

** Noise Canceling: A big gift for the frequent traveler, or someone who works at home who has kids. The Acclaimed QuietComfort® headphones dramatically reduce noise and let you enjoy your music even more.  It screens out almost everything, so I have seen people wearing them on planes without playing music, but just to sleep in the quiet they provide. You will be VERY popular giving this. Pricey at $299-399 but worth every penny in their quality if you've got it to spend. CLICK HERE.

2. BOSE DOCK: These have come down in price over the years but are worth every single cent. Plug in your phone or iPod and BAM! It is truly amazing that sound quality like this can come from one little speaker. Remember when you first put on headphones and your mind was blown? This does that only it fills the whole room. Whether it's quiet background music at dinner, for the bath or while reading or you bring it to be the entire sound system for a wedding or party in a big room. Cannot rave enough about it. A miraculous product!

CLICK HERE for a selection at Amazon, and HERE for Target... Maybe you'll find better prices. But this is worth EVERY PENNY, so keep it BOSE. There are no imitations that measure up.

3. BLISS BODY BUTTER: This is one of my two favorite luxury lotions. It is rich and creamy but not greasy, and in the winter is especially pampering to drier areas on the bod. I like the light lemon and sage fragrance, but there is also  and the fragrance-free "Naked" line. Get it at Bliss (sometimes they have two for less deals, like right now - 50% off some products, or get 20% off with code 20FORYOU), Sephora and Amazon, but you can find everywhere. About $24-29 each. SUCH a treat!!

4. John Kabat Zinn Mindfulness Meditation CD's:
For anyone who wants to get into meditation but is too jumpy, these are the BEST. They have 10 minute starter meditations (one sitting and one lying down)that are guided by the man himself, and are MUCH easier to do than trying to be motionless in an uncomfortable position without scratching your knee lest you blow it, and trying to completely empty your mind. That all may come later as a result of this. Once you do the 10 minute you find it easier to suddenly do their 20 minute ones, some with less talk, and move on to longer. But if you never do, the 10 minute meditations for life would do you -and your health - so much good. It's 100% win/win. There is much variety to move on to in their series 2 and 3...

$24 for each CD set of four.

5. iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano: One of the greatest gifts of all time, and amazingly affordable. In a plethora of colors, with free engraving when ordering from Apple. CLICK HERE for more info, including link to the Apple store. From as low as $49 to $149.

6. Cooks Bible by Christopher Kimball, founder and editor of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
$31. in essential for the kitchen hard back at Amazon

This is a comprehensive, beautifully designed volume of step-by step illustrations in the style that the magazine has made famous.
Get in hardback version for gift giving, but also because it is a book that should be made to last with so much good use. Recipes peppered with tutorials on kitchen procedures and cooking techniques, even advice on using modern gadgets like mircowaves. Amazon says:"From recipes to techniques to equipment, here is a one-volume master class in American home cookery, a cooking school in print for beginners and experienced cooks alike."

7. SGT. GRIT SUNGLASSES: (Click pic to enlarge) Great website for the Marine, their aviator sunglasses are sharp and beyond affordable for the quality - only $32! Has the anchor, eagle and globe etched into the upper corner of one side.  CLICK HERE to order.

8. Victoria's Secret Flannel PJ's are the best! They're comfortable, true to size (meaning they aren't so baggy you don't look kind of hot-cute, but are roomy enough to sleep comfortably in) with a flattering cut. And there's an impressive selection of fabrics to choose from. Get free matching slippers as a bonus. Pictured is my fave, The Dreamer - about $50 ea but keep your eyes peeled for seasonal deals, as you can use coupons or their online specials to get them for less.

9. CALPHALON Anything: There are many kinds of cookware, and they can get expensive for sure, but when giving Calphalon ANYTHING is a sure win... even if it's just their teflon 8' pan (the perfect size, which I use twice daily). At Bed Bath and Beyond you can find two non-stick pans for $59...  One 10", the other 12". Somewhere on the display you will usually also find a separately sold glass lid with handle for $20. Buy those and even if you split the set into two gifts - giving the solo pan to someone and the one with lid to another - it's a great deal. Those things last forever, clean well, and make all the difference in cooking. 

10. CREME DE LA MER:  Literally the fountain of youth in a jar. Aptly named, their Ultra-Rich Cream this is the creme de la creme, worth every single penny. invented by NASA scientist Max Huber, to treat severe chemical burns that he incurred during a explosion at work to cure his skin. It worked so well, he marketed it.

It is pricey, yes, but it will make a pretty incredible gift for the right person. I actually use this on my hands where it makes a marked difference, as it will on your neck or under your eyes  - for ladies AND gentlemen alike. In their words, all of which I've found to be TRUE: Skin looks revitalized on contact and, over time, the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pores is dramatically diminished. 

You only need a small amount to see immediate, visible results. Use over time works miracles. Being allergic-prone, I have put this on eternally irritated, sensitive skin patches that in the past needed medicated creams, and within 3 days use the condition vanished. Need I say more? 

1 oz is $160, 2 oz is $295 (I get for the latter for the savings. It lasts 3-4 months when used sparingly)

TIP: Keep looking here for more Top Gifts lists in the coming week or two... And here's a link to my Top 8 List from 2010 - all links still viable...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Miracle Product - Le Mer Creams

FIVE STAR ALERT!! CREME DE LA MER: Aptly named, their Ultra-Rich Cream this is the creme de la creme of creams, worth every single penny. It is pricey, yes, but  a pair of dress shoes, a nice dinner or a bottle of champagne (or two) can cost the same; depends on your frame of mind and priorities.

These products contain something they call Miracle Broth - invented by NASA scientist Max Huber, to treat severe chemical burns that he incurred during a explosion at work to cure his skin. It worked so well, he marketed it and sold it, which, after his death, his daughter continued until Estee Lauder got the rights to do so.

They say you can tell a person's age by their hands - and mine have always looked...challenged. Even when I was 15 they weren't the smooth, delicate things I see  on others... so I actually use Le Mer cream on my hands where it makes a marked difference, as it will on your neck or under your eyes. It only takes a small amount and you see immediate, visible results. Use over time works miracles. Being allergic-prone, I have put this on eternally irritated, sensitive skin patches that in the past needed medicated creams, and within 3 days use the condition vanished.

1 oz is $160, 2 oz is $295 (I get for this for the savings - it lasts 3-4 months when used sparingly). The one I'm raving about is the CREAM (not the gel version).

Then there's the bottles of serum, which is the concentrated version of what's in the cream. There are 4 to choose from, (the one called Concentrate is one for use to help heal post-plastic surgery.

Another good one in the line is the Eye Concentrate, but I hate to tell you it's $165 for .5 oz. Still, it's cheaper than a face lift or frequent injections and facials...  

Now I'm making a distinction, as they have many products in the line. None are bad per se, but those I've mentioned are very special and well worth the price. I have tried their hand and body lotion, but it's just lotion, nice as it is. It is not what I'm raving about here.

TIP: You can try other products in the sample size, as you get to pick 2 of those tiny tubes of any of their products to try free with your order. Or order just your favorite item as they are great for travel and unlike most samples, the tubes are actually full.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For Dexter Fans

Oh it's so good, a whole page of items on Showtime's website for the fan of Dexter...  Here are just a few choice items, and some are on sale as of this publication...

How about starting your Killer day with this Dexer mug? $14.95
The Dexter "Kill Uniform" Men's Thermal Shirt. Now save $10 off, only $24.99.

 Or syringe pens, on sale for half off at $9.99 for four
I love this blood wing tee shirt, also on sale for $10 off at $19.99.

And who would not need this cool bobble head? Yours for only $19.95

They even have Dexter TRASH BAGS!! Someone over there has a great sense of humor. Thank you to subscriber Suzanne for sending me this link. I'm a huge fan of this show, and just may need a few of these under my tree...

TIP: Don't forget that the boxed set of the series can be found by Googling around - certainly Amazon or Barnes and Noble will have it. It's a keeper...

Superior Sports Headphones

There are many brands but BOSE is the best in my opinion.

Here are two choices of their sport headphones. They provide superior sound without screening out street and surrounding noise, a must for joggers and bikers on the street. It is water resistant.

TriPort® headphone technology produces wide-range sound, including the deep, natural lows that give your music—and your workout—its pulse. And the in-ear design lets you feel driven without feeling closed off from your environment.

SIE2i sport headphones with armband is $149.00 on the BOSE site. 

2. SIE2 sport headphones with armband for music only $119 on the BOSE site

Google around to see if you find better prices during the holiday and post-holiday sales.

Get Your Paws on ZooBorns - for Kids and the Kid in You!


Stuff your stocking with ZooBorns this holiday season! We don't allow third party advertising on ZooBorns. Book, calendar and app sales allow us to bring you the photos, video and stories you love. What's more, 10% of all ZooBorns' sales goes directly to wildlife conservation!

ZooBorns Title: ZooBorns The Next Generation (All ages)
Avg. Cust. Rating: New!
Description: The new generation of zoo babies will reset the standard for devastating cuteness. From the creators of the smash hit ZooBorns series of books, ZooBorns The Next Generation features full-color photos and fascinating facts on exotic baby animals from every corner of the world. Filled with brand-new species and some beloved favorites, this collection is irresistible to any animal lover.
Buy it: Amazon BandN
ZooBorns Calendar 2013 Title: ZooBorns 2013 Wall Calendar
Avg. Cust. Rating: New!
Description: The ZooBorns 2013 Wall Calendar collects photos of the newest and cutest exotic animal babies from zoos around the world. The off-the-scale adorable shots are complemented by fun and interesting facts about the little critters.
Buy it: Amazon BandN
ABC ZooBorns Title: ABC ZooBorns for iPhone and iPad (ages 2-7)
Avg. Cust. Rating: rating
Description: The newest, cutest baby animals from the world’s zoos and aquariums are here to teach through sight, sound and touch! Let your child explore an exotic, adorable world of tiger cubs, penguin chicks, baby giraffes and more through captivating photos, fascinating videos, interactive scenes and spoken fun facts. This unique adventure is brought to you through a special collaboration between Peapod Labs’ award-winning ABC Series and
See it: iTunes
Get it: iTunes
ABC ZooBorns Title: ABC ZooBorns (ages 2-7)
Avg. Cust. Rating: rating
Description: Scamper through the alphabet with a herd of irresistible zoo babies. Featuring adorable animal photos, zippy text, and a fact-filled glossary, this just might be the cutest ABC book ever to hit the shelves!
Buy it: Amazon BandN
Visit the ZooBorns gift shop to see more...

Monday, November 26, 2012


Just Google it, it's everywhere - ranging from $49 to $80... The picture says it all. I will stop now.
First pic is my friend, Dr. Dominic, who was the first to bring it to my attention (meaning I saw this on Facebook and INSTANTLY ACCOSTED him by IM to find where he got such a fine garment:

Sherpa from Hanna Andersson

Highly recommend this sherpa-lined little coat, which comes in blue or pink, made by Hanna Andersson. On sale today at $48 from $68 Soft, high quality, and can't you see your little cutie's face with that little hood around it?

There are MANY things on this site - for babies (girls and boys), kids and family, but also for women, and they are having an up to 40% off sale - not sure if it's just for Cyber Monday or what but this is great quality stuff, very worth whatever you are paying on any given day. Click around on the site.

And.. they have a great Sleep Shop - which, among many things, features a whole Star Wars collection, in case you have a die hard fan in the family. The best thing is you can order matching sleep wear for the whole family - great for fun holiday mornings and pictures. 

They also have a selection of toys and gifts - stuffed animals, books, high chairs, back packs - some cute stuff for babies...

TIP: Check out their SALE section from the menu on the home page... 

Thanks to Tina Simpson for directing me toward these!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Must Haves on DVD

With Cyber Monday coming up - get your lists ready and buy from the convenience of your own home, office or palm-held devices. And if you miss it, don't worry, there are bound to be deals galore as the season progresses.

I know with Netflix and Hulu, On Demand and our Smart TV's and iPads where we can stream YouTube and TV shows and movies, you may think DVD's are becoming a thing of the past. Well, not YET. And not for ALL.

And if someone is a real fan of a series, it's always an ace in the hold to give them a boxed set or special edition of their favorite. Here are a few things that the are crowd pleasers.

Mad Men Season 5DOWNTON ABBEY:
The Masterpiece Theater's new dramatic hit set in Victorian England, is entering into it's third season and is on EVERYONE's lips - young and old, male and female. Can't explain what sucks you in but it does...  Almost all would like it but it's a definite for Anglophiles and better: the hard-to-buy-for Grandma. On Sale at Barnes and Noble now for $41.99

Homeland: the Complete First SeasonA big water cooler topic, this is the story of a major Madison Avenue ad agency in 1960 where the James Bond of Creative Directors, Don Draper, works hard and plays harder. Interesting take in the boardroom as they pitch to all the old products you've forgotten about - as are the portraits of the reality for then-unheard of career girls. The sets, the wardrobe and the culture alone are worth it, and will take you BACK to the days of a 3 martini lunch, cigarette smoking in planes and calling the waitress "Honey." 5 Seasons from AMC to choose from when buying your boxed set, all of them great, at Barnes and Noble, $34.99

HOMELAND: If you haven't seen this, where have you been hiding? An
excellent series on Showtime, starring Claire Danes, that has swept the Emmys. She plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA ops officer who, after conducting an unauthorized operation in Iraq, is put on probation and reassigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. She has a hunch that a newly returned hostage from Iraq, US Marine Nicholas Brody, has been turned by his captors to be a terrorist and sets about convincing her boss that he is - to prevent another terrorist attack in America. That description doesn't do it justice though. Watch. It's great. That. Is. All. The complete First Season at
Barnes and Noble, for $44.29

Give Laughs- the great thing about these eps is that they can be seen in any order, and watched again and again. They're short and easy, funny all through and no real storyline to follow. Perfect for when you need to get your mind off life and get some restorative brain-drain. Now in it's third season.

I'm not a "Gleek", but I'm an anonomoly... These eps about a glee club in High School with a character representing every "type" (one of which you identify with) are upbeat, funny and entertaining with guest stars galore doing song, dance and drama. The Third Season goes for $59.

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Second Season

Set in Atlantic City, during the Prohibition era, this acclaimed HBO series starring Steve Buschemi has won twelve Emmy Awards and has received 30 nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series AND the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Do you need to know more?  Get the second season  for  $53.99

Not for the faint of heart. Everyone I know is talking about this series.
The plot? A former chemistry teacher, he was diagnosed with cancer and turned to manufacturing 99% pure methamphetamine, ostensibly so his family could stay afloat after he died... as an understatement, chaos and drama ensues. Will keep you on the edge of your chair with your mouth hanging open all through - and wanting to stay up all night to watch the whole season in one sitting....
there are Four Seasons. You can get this in Blu Ray, HD or regular DVD for $11.99

Why Not Give Erotica

How brilliant of my friend Kristi Machos Jones, author of The Corpse Goddess, to say of this post (which should have been the title if I were as creative as she): For Your Naughty List?  Exactly...

The erotica I hold in the highest esteem is that of Anias Nin. You can Google her and find many writings, but she published two books of short stories that are my all-time favorites. They are subtly stimulating and make a classy gift for grown up tastes. The hardcover version is the one to give, but will have to be found used from one of the many book dealers Try Allibris or there are many to be found when putting in the title, through Barnes and Noble or Amazon). Just search for like-new condition, with the dust jacket.

Little Birds, on Amazon for $11 and Delta of Venus, also on Amazon for $11ish.

She also kept diaries that have been published in many forms, the most famous being Henry and June, which documents her torrid affair with writer Henry Miller. Drawn from the original, uncensored journals of Anais Nin, "Henry and June" is an intimate account of a woman's sexual awakening. It covers a single momentous year - from late 1931 to the end of 1932 - during Nin's life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. She fell in love with June's beauty and Henry's writing and, soon after June's departure for New York, began a fiery affair with Henry, which liberated her sexually and morally but undermined her marriage and led her into psychoanalysis. One question dominated her thoughts: what would happen when June returned to Paris? That event took place in October 1932, leaving Nin trapped between two loves - Henry and June.

The book of note on everyone's lips (pun intended) in the last 6 months have been Fifty Shades of Gray. Someone on your list may want to read it just to know what everyone else is talking about. People diss it as "Mommy Porn," suggesting it's basically a bondage-flavored romance novel that's palatable enough for most tastes.... Everyone who has read it, from friends to Reviewers from the New York Times and NPR, say it's poorly written but there's something compelling about the story - SO compelling that perhaps you have to give the first at least, if not the whole trilogy.  HERE it is on Amazon for only $9.

And then there's always the classic - Lady Chatterly's Lover. The Literature Network describes it well: Most famous because of its obscenity trial during the 1960's, Lady Chatterley's Lover is far from a "dirty book." Rather, through his usage of local vernacular and an in depth look at the true relationship between two humans, Lawrence has successfully portrayed sex as sacred in a world where sex is viewed as nothing more than physical pleasure. This novel is a masterful example of a writer going back to everyone's common roots and emerging with a thought provoking masterpiece designed to affect a change within its readers.

While we're on old classics, I must mention Nabakov's Lolita - Wikipedia says: The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist andunreliable narrator, middle-aged literature professor Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. His private nickname for Dolores is Lolita.

There is always The Story of O, by Pauline Reage, though this is really a very harsh one, in terms of the dom-submission theme towards the female character. Might be pushing it for the average person. I mention it because it's a classic.

Anne Rice put out a trilogy of erotic novels under a pen name of A. N. Roquelaure, before she rose to international fame with her Vampire series... It didn't do much for me but there are many tastes. THe titles are: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty's Punishment and Beauty's Release. They're BDSM novels set in a medieval fantasy world, natch, against the backdrop of the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

How about a beautifully bound volume of Sappho, the Greek poetess from the island of Lesbos who wrote love poetry to young women?  Or from one of my favorite writers, Yukio Mishima, whose homoerotic novels, Forbidden Colors and Confessions of a Mask are intriguing reads...

In addition to Sappho, if you're interested in more ancient erotic poetry here's a short list: 
Ovid — Roman erotic poet
Catullus — Roman erotic poet
Sextus Propertius — Roman poet
Petrarch — Italian poet, considered, together with Dante, the father of Renaissance. His love sonnets dedicated to Laura are masterpieces of erotic poetry
Bai Juyi– Romantic poet of Tang dynasty
King Solomon–Author, according to Judeo-Christian tradition, of the Song of Songs.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester — British 17th Century libertine

There is a pretty comprehensive list of sex manuals, and erotic novels on Wikipedia, which you can find HERE. Happy Hunting...

TIP: While I've linked some of these books to Barnes and Noble or Amazon, it's worth Googling around to the many used booksellers to find a volume that suits you. Used hard covers with interesting dust jackets make wonderful gifts, in fact they can be extra-special. Most are available in e-versions, but especially for this genre, I think not as nice as it could be for a gift. But if you can only find paperbacks of the ancient poets... go for it. There's a romantic notion in that whole thing in itself. 

AND PS: There are movie versions of almost all of these if reading is not... and more. But that should be another post.