graduation goodie

When I graduated from college, I sent my high school girlfriends all graduation gifts:  my favorite cheap pens wrapped beautifully, as if they cost a fortune. This was after all, a momentous occasion to be celebrated — even if only by a token gift. I recently came across these pens and was reminded how something so simple can be spiffed up and made special . . .

pensKate Spade Pens:  box of 6 gold pens, cheap and cheerful $25/set  |  boxed ballpoint pens with gold foil imprinted box interior from top to bottom:  she wears her thoughts on her sleeve; she writes to do lists for her to do lists; she personalizes her business cards with hand written notes  $36/each.

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just add rain

51knilawculNo mistaking these eyes. How fabulous to have Audrey looking out for you on a rainy day. Umbrella by Kate Spade  $38

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go ahead, write!

postcard-setsWriting an actual postcard may be obsolete these days with texts, email & social media in our pockets at all times but these little beauties give a reason to write and post an actual hand-penned note. Each boxed set contains 100 unique themed postcards — 100 Pantone colors, 100 classic Penguin book covers, 100 Marimekko patterns.

Ready. Set. Write!

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holy menorasaurs!

minorasaursI can’t imagine a family who celebrates Hanuakah with kids that wouldn’t appreciate one of these fantastical dinosaur menorahs. A sure way to make the holiday fun for all. $85 each from The Vanilla Studio.

dear sir madam

sir-madam-a sir-madam-bRarely do I come across a single homewares company from which I could purchase so much and simply love everything. But walking by the Sir|Madam booth at this Fall’s NYC Gift Show, I was smitten. First by a simple baby swaddle blanket that can be customized with birth stats and then slowly but surely, one by one, nearly everything in their booth. Pitchers that recall Morandi, tote bags that turn into picnic blankets, French cafe bowls, love letter napkins, the most amazing collection of wooden spoons, old world sheers and candlesticks . . . the list goes on.

For a simple gift this holiday season, check out their grand cups ($20 ea). Pair a “Hero” cup with a small tin of organic tea (find my favorites here) and you have the perfect teacher gift. But I dare you to not buy more goodies for your favorite cook, your best friend, your resident Francophile, a hopeless romantic or just for yourself . . .

 

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giving 2016

holiday-2016This year of all years, give the gift of a donation to causes that need our support like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Sierra Club, NPR, etc… If our government is not going to protect what’s near and dear to our hearts as caring citizens, then it’s up to us to make a difference. Friends and family will understand if donations are a priority and gifts are small this year. With that in mind, here are just a few small gift ideas to help take minds off our worries:

1. No holiday season (or stressful time) is complete without a little chocolate. This bean to bar chocolate company weaves social responsibility into everything they do so you can feel good about this guilty pleasure.  Askinosie Chocolate Peppermint Bark  $30  |   2. Pizza solves all woes. Where to Eat Pizza from Phaidon  $20  |   3. Maybe the future holds something better. Here’s Hoping!  Tea Leaf Reading Kit  $23  |   4.  A little humor goes a long way even if hidden from view. Cheeky Knickers by Naja  $22 each   5.  YOGA!!  Two Toned Mat by Stella McCartney  $71    6. The ultimate mind-numbing puzzle challenge.  500 pc. Gradient Puzzle  $20, avail in 3 colorways.

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have you seen this?

juicero-cold-press-juicer-1This sleek wi-fi enabled contraption is the latest invention in the cold pressed juice craze. No longer do you need to lug umpteen heavy bottles of juice home from the store — and when you’re juicing that’s 6 bottles a day mind you. Or ship a maximum 3 day supply from a cross-country juicery. No more nasty cleaning of a traditional juicer that removes all the good stuff anyway. This handy dandy machine is a sleek, clean, easy to use counter top version of a high pressure juice pressery, previously only available for commercial use.

OK, it’s expensive at $700. But it’s brand new, heavily VC funded and will come down in price eventually (she says hopefully). Just buy the machine, download the app, order juice packs that range from $5-7 each and come in 8 juice combinations, use the app to verify the freshness of the pack via QR code (the machine won’t juice if the pack is out of date), insert the pack and within 2 minutes you have fresh cold pressed juice. Simply throw the pack away (or rinse and return for recycling), no need for clean up.

I’m thinking it’s actually not all that bad a deal.  if you juice regularly and spend $200 plus $25 shipping for 3 days of juice, the machine will pay for itself eventually. OK better if it were $400 then it’s in the range of your stand mixer price, that you maybe use once in a blue moon while this beauty would get used every day — and look great on your counter top too!

The Juicero, currently only available in California but expanding to a state near you one day soon.