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Archive for the 'Gifts' Category

Get A Little Cuteitude (for the Holidays or Otherwise)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
By Christa Terry

If you can believe it, it’s looking like The Beard and I have our Christmas shopping just about all wrapped up this year. I kid you not. It doesn’t hurt that we’re economizing by getting everyone the same thing holiday gifts year… hint: handmade by a friend of ours, which is all I’m saying. Those who don’t have DIY skills or a crafty friend, however, may need to actually shop for their holiday gifts, and I definitely recommend getting it over with early early early. Screw Black Friday. Who wants to get trampled? Not me, and not you, which is why I’m going to be recommending holiday gifts now then from here until the end of December. Here are four potential holiday gifts I’m digging on:

zipper mugs

Zippers are used everywhere… in our clothes, on our bags, and now on our mugs? Ohay, so the zipper on these zipper mugs doesn’t actually open and close, it does keep your tea bag tag from falling into your cup. A holiday gift that prevents burnt fingers? Sign me up!

fish vase

Simple and graceful lines make these koi pitchers seem so elegant, but when you pour, things get playful. The pitcher actually gurgles when you serve your favorite beverage and it’s one of those sounds people can’t get enough of. Of course, you can also use these fresh fish as vases or art objects instead of kitchenware.

rubicks cube salt and pepper grinders

A 1980s icon — writing that makes me feel so old — finds a new place on the dining room table! Classic Rubik’s Cubes become colorful salt and pepper grinders that have the same feel and make the same sound as the toy/puzzle they’re paying tribute to. A great holiday gift for the 80s enthusiast, no?

cute bowls

Forget the ugly Tupperware that’s been scratched and dinged by the dishwasher. These snap and shut bowls put a little art in your lunchbox, with designs by emerging artists Matte Stephens, Amy Ruppel, Emily Martin and Catalina Estrada. Yummy.

Did I mention that all of this stuff is $42 or less? The economy be damned, let’s get gifty!

Beautiful Shadows

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
By Christa Terry

I try to check out Megan Hobson’s Entertaining, Events & Beautiful Things at least once a week because it features a great mix of home decor, fashion, and *squee* wedding stuff. A few days ago, she posted that Le Papier Studio and Paloma‚Äôs Nest (maker of adorable ring bearer bowls) have put their heads together to create a lovely line of hanging custom silhouettes.

silhouette ornaments 2

There are pre-fab silhouettes to choose from, but what fun is that? Especially when a custom silhouette ornament will only set you back $40. The deets:

Each ornament is crafted by hand by Paloma’s Nest utilizing fine pure white clay which has been fired and then finished with a special protective surface treatment. Silhouettes are hand painted to perfection with the finest black ceramic paint.

silhouette ornaments 1

Don’t think that you have to use these hanging silhouettes as holiday ornaments. We’re planning on having one made of our daughter’s silhouette and it will be displayed in the hallway all year long. They could also make fun (albeit slightly pricey) gift tags, no?

Browse: The Conran Shop

Thursday, July 16th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Every now and then I highlight a shop here on the Home blog, though admittedly I haven’t done so for quite some time. Nothing, to tell you the truth, has caught my eye lately. Today’s seller of note, The Conran Shop, actually re-entered my field of consciousness when I found an advert I’d ripped out of the New York Times Style mag ages and ages ago. I loved the selection of products featured in the ad: multi-color headphones, a miniature electric guitar and amp, toy helicopters, retro iPod docks, and other stuff designed to add a little fun to life.

the conran shop

Here are a few things that just now caught my eye… Charles and Ray Eames succumbed to the charms of the elephant and in 1945 designed a toy version made of plywood. However, it never made it into mass production, until now! This adorable red one is plastic, but what can you do? And how about that spacey radio? Designed by Yves Malka & Pierre de Poucques, the Apollo AM/FM radio’s controls are integrated into the design, rather than relying on buttons and knobs. Have a blast watching your friends figure out how to turn it on! Then there is the cheerfyl Japanese moneybox, the magnetboard sheep with farmalicious magnets, and all of the gorgeous furniture sold by this store.

Seriously, go and have a look — it’s worth the time. Even if, like me, you can’t afford much, it is still fun to browser shop.

Five Gifts For Dad

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Father’s Day is just around the corner (almost) so why not get a jump on it? Consider this post fair warning for daughters, sons, and wives who routinely wait until the last minute to get dear old dad a little something on June 21. The nice thing about Father’s Day is that most dads are more than happy to receive gifts for the home or the garden or the grill, making shopping really super easy. Here are my five picks for fun Father’s Day gifts for 2009:

knife holder

The Voodoo knife holder in red is every bit as sharp as it is… sharp? The set comes with a 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch bread knife, 8-inch carver, 5-inch utility, and 3-1/2-inch parer, so the man in your life will no doubt find plenty of uses for it.

alarm clock

The funky little Cubissimo alarm clock in black is cute, but manly enough for dad’s desk. It’s also versatile! It has different displays on each of its four sides: the day of the week, the time, the temperature and the date.

bacon bandages

I think bacon bandages speak for themselves, na?

PI tie

Novelty ties were always a big hit in my family — though whether said ties were actually ever worn was a whole other matter. This PI tie in sage strikes a balance between fun and functional, and is especially good for dads into math and science.

Be Prepared

And for the new dad in your life, there’s the Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads, a fun book that ranges from tongue-in-cheek to practical. I actually bought this for The Beard, though I won’t be giving it to him until next month when Father’s Day actually rolls around. Shhh, no telling.

Last Minute Gifts For Mom

Thursday, May 7th, 2009
By Christa Terry

As a new mom myself, I feel compelled to remind everyone who reads Manolo for the Home to tell mom that she’s the best. And what better way to do just that than to buy her something beautiful and/or fun?*

Tracy Porter Vivre Dinnerware

Tracy Porter Vivre dinnerware can brighten up mom’s kitchen when you’re not around to brighten it yourself.

Vintage Magnetic Kitchen Timer

Of course mom’s not old! But she may still dig on these vintage magnetic kitchen timers. Everyone can use a little more time!

What-Nots Chest of Drawers

For (dis)organized moms, the What-Nots Chest of Drawers makes sure there’s a place for everything and mom can put everything in its place.

Heated Herbal Lavender Bunny Slippers

Nothing says “mom” like bunny slippers — make mom’s feet happy with heated herbal lavender bunny slippers

*Why, yes, I am fishing for gifts. Why do you ask?

Happy Valentine’s Day from Never teh Bride!

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Last year on this most romantic (or most un-romantic, depending on who you are) of days, I featured furniture for the broken-hearted. This Valentine’s day, I’m feeling a little more upbeat and a little more optimistic, perhaps due to the little one on the way, so I shall present you with a quintet of quirky gifts for the home from Kikkerland.

Kikkerland hearts

While it’s certainly no gaudy heart-shaped box of inferior chocolates, a tin of heart-shaped paperclips is a lot less fattening. Ditto for the heart hot water bottle cozy, which will at the very least keep some part of your anatomy warm. The cupid’s arrow scroll holder will either get you a kiss or a restraining order, depending on your message. You might also say it with heart-shaped magnets or perhaps even combs, though I’m not sure what exactly you’d be saying… Get organized! Brush your hair! I love you!

Romantic? Not quite. But if you’re dating someone and you’re still in “I like you a lot and don’t want to scare you off” territory, you could do worse.

Tea For Two Will Sometimes Spill

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
By Christa Terry

When it comes to things you can’t live without, make sure they are steeped in style.


Everyone needs a few absorbent strips of cloth — most commonly known as tea towels — in the kitchen for the wiping up of spills and the drying of digits, so why not choose display-worthy specimens? I’m currently loving these colorful tea towels from ferm LIVING. Yes, they are a tad pricey at nearly twenty bucks a pop, but one hopes that ferm’s 100% organic cotton will last a goodly long time.

Time to Send Those Thank You Notes!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
By Christa Terry

The major gift giving holidays are thankfully over for another year, thankfully. Unless you’re one of those wacky souls who buys holiday gifts all year long and stashes them in secret cupboards for months at a time, you and I are finally getting the reprieve we deserve. Well, almost. There’s still the matter of thank you notes.

Not everyone sends hand-written thank yous, of course — my commitment to the practice has more to do with the stack of leftover thank you cards I have from my wedding than anything else. Then again, I also think that beautiful stationery is part of any well-stocked home, and what better way to use it up than thanking people for everything from ugly Santa Claus sweaters to beautiful Coach handbags?

thank you notesthank you cardsholiday cards
stationerynote cardspersonal stationery

The lovely SterlingSpider recommends making gratitude gorgeous with stationery from Mudlark, and I am inclined to agree with her. With unique side-opening envelopes and keepsake boxes made of recycled paper, what’s not to love? The Harmony cards — upper middle photo — are my favorite.

(EDIT: I just realized that the top lefthand image depicts a bath set, not stationery. Whoopsie. Now you know that Mudlark also makes yummy bath products, so I can’t feel that bad about my mistake!)

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


    Manolo the Shoeblogger