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Archive for the 'Gifts' Category

10 Easy Holiday Gifts for the Home

Friday, November 26th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Gifts for people are easy, but great gifts for people’s home can be a lot more difficult to find. With that in mind, Manolo for the Home has put together a Black Friday list of ten(ish) gifts for the home and for the men and women who live in it in case you’ve found yourself at a loss as to what to buy her or her or him. Have a look and see what inspires, then tell us what are your favorite holiday gifts for the home?

1. A less expensive lookalike:

It’s not always possible to give the best when you can’t afford the best, which is why copycats are so pervasive. I can’t afford the Herman Miller Eames reproduction, but I can afford this Eames-inspired cradle rocker at 24% off with free shipping. Not everyone is cool with designer furniture knockoffs, but if you are, this chair isn’t a bad deal.

2. A little DIY inspiration:

We all know someone who manages to have kids (or dogs), a house, a full-time job, and 15 hobbies, none of which get neglected. Me? I don’t have much time for projects these days *sniff* but I’d still love to get some books like The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, Real-Life Decor: 100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget, and DIY Art at Home, which are all on sale at 25% or more off the cover price.

3. Something to cuddle:

owl pillowunion jack pillowgold sparkle pillow

Too many throw pillows? Not so great. Just enough throw pillows? Great. I love little pillows because they’re such an easy way t add some fun color to a space without a lot of commitment. What’s on my gift giving list? Some of these, definitely: a Owl Nature pillow (a steal at $18), a Union Jack pillow, and a gold sequin pillow. Don’t they look fun and cuddly?

4. You can’t go wrong with:

… aLe Creuset 5-piece cookware set at 34% off! All right, so it’s kind of a big, probably for someone special on your list.

5. Quickie gifts:

burt's bees gift setkitchen utensilscandle gift set

Who hasn’t found themselves scrambling for a last-minute gift for someone friendly but not exactly a good friend? The Martha types will keep a store of small gifts around for just such occasions. Here’s a trio of good keep-around gifts for emergencies: a sure to please Burt’s Bees gift set, a Feng Shui gift set (under $20!), and a cute rainbow utensil gift set.

6. A way to keep your books in check:

james book endpolar bear bookendarrow magnetic bookends

As recently discussed, book lovers with lots of books can end up with books falling off of every conceivable surface. To keep books in check, give the gift of fabulous bookends, like James the Bookend, adorable Polar Bear bookends, and these neat Arrow magnetic bookends.

7. Gifts for the wintertime green thumb:

indoor gardening setmini greenhouse

Indoor gardening requires the right tools. That’s why I love my Threesixty indoor gardening tool set, which was just $19.99. And I wouldn’t mind receiving a Smith & Hawken mini greenhouse so the cats would stay out of my herbs. Or a pair of toasty, dry Bogs Classic Hi Fern boots, for that matter, when I do have to go out in the muck.

8. A tasty treat or two:

french presspeppermint barkfondue pot

Sweet treats to eat, drink, and prepare make always appreciated gifts. Who wouldn’t want a Bodum coffee press or a nice big package of King Leo peppermint bark or even a Sierra fondue set for those mid-winter get togethers that aren’t precipitated by any particular holiday?

9. A quick fix for almost anything:

It goes without saying that homeowners and apartment dwellers will need at least some must-have tools. Give the tool deficient recipient on your holiday list a Denali 115-Piece Home Repair Tool Kit and you’ll have the comfort of knowing they can deal with all the little mishaps of modern life.

10. Something to bank on:

white piggy banktartan piggy bankskull and crossbones piggy bank

And finally, for the little ones on your list who are hopefully saving their pennies, piggy banks are in again. My faves are the clean white Cilio Piggy Bank, the silly McPig Posh Piggy Bank, and the awesome Pink Piggy Pirate!

Tasty Trivets of Toast

Monday, October 4th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Is there a toast lover in your life? Toast lovers are an interesting breed – if you think there’s not much one can say about what is essentially re-heated bread, I am here to tell you that thousands of people would love to prove you wrong. There are blogs devoted to toast (Dr. Toast loves two things: music and toast)… lists of ways to enjoy it… and heated debates concerned with how to properly toast bread and which toasters will rock your socks off.

Now that you know about toast lovers, here’s a little something that they might just love:

Namely, these Toast It trivets designed by Patricia Naves for Design Studio OITI. Cute, no? It just kind of works out so perfectly that the cork most trivets are made from happens to be a nice toasty brown!

Who Knew Homemade Breakfast In Bed Could Cost More Than a Breaky Out?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Designer Peter White remembers his dad bringing mom a delish homemade breakfast in bed and the crystal bud vase toppling over into the pancakes. Quelle horreur! In response to the memory, White whipped up this charming breakfast in bed tray with a built-in bud vase. The price tag is a little high at $99, but breakfast is cheap, right? How do you show mom you really care with an inexpensive omelet if not by serving it on an absurdly overpriced breakfast in bed tray?

Note: If the above link doesn’t work, look this plastic tray up on TWEAK directly. For some reason, it’s labeled in the url as “chalkboard-stickers.”

Making Me Want to Get Extra Clean

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
By Christa Terry

There is a rule in my house that says we cannot buy any soap, no matter how cute and amazing. It’s circumstance, not anything against soap. For whatever reason, at Christmases and birthdays, The Beard and I have been the recipients of an inordinate number of soaps. Black soaps from Spain that my uncle maintained were good for pregnant women. Bear shaped soaps meant for the baby. Olive oil soaps from Greece, eco-friendly soaps with hollowed out centers to decrease waste, and even one clear soap in a bag with a toy goldfish in the middle. And then, you guessed it, I gave soapmaking a try.

And normally, this soap moratorium doesn’t weigh heavily on my mind. In fact, I can honestly say I hadn’t thought of it at all until, that is, I came across Soapylove. Soapylove, created by Debbie Chialtas, began as a hobby and evolved into a line of soaps, a shop and an Etsy shop, a magazine for soapmakers, and a book! But as cool as the Soapylove story is, the Soapylove soaps are even cooler!


For Those Who Forgot It’s Almost Dad’s Day

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Uh oh, Father’s Day is imminent, and I know there are some of you out there in a panic because this Hallmarkish holiday has completely slipped your mind. Good thing I’m here to first remind you that dads and the dad-esque men in your life deserve a little recognition and then give you a couple of rad gift ideas that will totally blow your sister’s Outback gift card right out of the water.

So let’s do this thing, yeah? Because Father’s Day is just around the corner!

For the new dad and the dad-to-be:

DJ Diaper Bag

The DJ Diaper Bag is designed with all the amenities of a great diaper bag while keeping a sophisticated style. While The Beard is happy enough carrying my gigantic Beatrix Potter themed hobo that I sewed myself, I know that there are some dude dads that are just not as comfortable with girlie gear. DJ bags are one way to get papa excited about lugging around dipes and wipes.


The Gift of Perplexity

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
By Christa Terry

A puzzle box is a container that can only be opened using some obscure and often unexpected form of manipulation. It can be as simple as pressing a hidden button on the side of the box or as complicated as turning the box in space so many times. Variations can be found all over the world — Costa Rica, Vietnam, Poland, and Turkey, to name a few countries — though Japanese puzzle boxes seem to be the most common. I like to give them as gifts because I’m mean like that.

puzzle boxpuzzle boxpuzzle box
puzzle boxpuzzle boxpuzzle box

The examples above all came from Amazon and can be had with a click. For the gift giver, puzzle boxes are a little bit of harmless sadism. For the gift recipient, they’re as fun as they can be frustrating, especially when there’s something like a gift card, a spot of cash, or a piece of jewelry hidden inside.

Holiday Gifts, This Time From Atypyk

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
By Christa Terry

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Aaargh! No matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid the slow drag that leads toward December’s end and masses of money spent on others. Not that I mind buying holiday gifts, of course. It’s just the shopping and the shipping and the wrapping and the packing and the traveling. The hassle, really. I long for simpler times, when no one expected holiday gifts of me, and my crudely fashioned macaroni necklace was the biggest hit of Christmas.

In that spirit, here are some sweet holiday gifts from Atypyk that are playful and reasonably priced. It’s almost like you made them yourself, but you didn’t. You picked them out yourself, though, or you can tell people you did. They’re holiday gifts for the quirky and forgiving loved ones in your life, not those recipients expecting a boc from Nordstrom. I guess you could package any or all of these in an old Nordstrom box, thus confusing your recipients.

pizza slice plate

Why waste a whole plate on a slice when you could put your slice on a pizza slice plate? Less space, sure, but also less to wash.

six pack vase

Quench your flowers’ thirst in eco-friendly containers. Drink beer first, though. Or soda. You give a little to get a little to give a little with a six pack vase.

no slip banana

Bananas are good for your health, and no-slip bananas are no exception. Step one: Peel off bananas. Apply them to the bath floor, bathtub or shower stall. Step two: No slip-and-fall anymore.

wine bottle rolling pin

Who hasn’t used a wine bottle as a rolling pin, in a pinch? I’ve done it plenty, and I actually own a rolling pin. Give bakers without rolling pins something chic in the form of a wine bottle rolling pin.

Think You Have a Small Yard? They’ve Got You Beat.

Thursday, November 19th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Lawn lovers who haven’t yet joined the landed gentry take heart! You, too, can care for and cry over your own little patch of green — or brown — like those of us who battle blight and bugs and the mysterious creeping death that comes a’calling every dang fall. Haffsteinn Juliusson’s Growing Ring lets you experience the trials and tribulations of lawn ownership in a tiny little take-it-with-you package.

small yards

Silver and soil, a little TLC, and some water are all it takes… a green thumb doesn’t hurt, though. And $179, which is how much your personal plot will cost you. Hey, it’s cheaper than real estate!

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    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger