Gift Guide 2012

I almost didn’t do a gift guide.  I had been collecting items for one, but to tell you the truth, after seeing all the gift guides on-line, I got gift guided out.  haha.  I figured the world didn’t need another.  But, now at the last minute, I decided to still go for it…because gifts ARE a wonderful thing.  And even though this is late for Christmas shopping, perhaps you might consider these with some Christmas money you might get…or for your upcoming birthday…or for anyone special that you would like to share a gift with throughout this upcoming year.

In the spirit of gift giving…a few suggestions:

I adore these clocks by Twemco.  I totally want one in my kitchen.  (purchase here.  $173) via Linsey Laidlaw.

This simple glassware is just perfection, in my book.  Eggs and bacon would never look so good.  The small plates are $7.50.
I love this fresh version of the classic silhouette, by artist Carter Kustera.  Such a fun way to display the members of your household.  Starting at $110. (via Little Green Notebook).  You can also get some very affordable ones made here on Etsy.
Indoor plants would be such a great gift and they’re fairly inexpensive.  (I heard someone say that she doesn’t have a green thumb, but at least her plants last longer than a vase of flowers and so she felt it was ok to replenish them a few times a year, if needed.  I like her thinking. 🙂  (photo via A Well Traveled Woman)
Love the idea of an unexpected jumbo barrette pulling my hair to the side.   These would be the perfect sparkle for a party.
 Brass stencils in your own words.  Could be cute way to spell out a name, too.  via Mary Matson.
For a handmade gift, you could make one of these for your family.  (see here for materials; made by one of my favorite designers ever, Abby of Hi + Low)
My friend raves about the organic cotton sheets at Target.  I checked them out when I was at her place and um…they are really, really, really soft/satiny/heavenly.  $43.99 for a Queen size.  I’m partial to white sheets. 🙂
These Ktaadn tea towels would be an upgrade to my white flour sack towels (see more on their website.  I love them all.  $26.)  (photo and towels via The Daily Muse)
A ping pong table that doubles as a conference table or a big dining table.  Perfect for a home or office.  (My Dad is a major ping ponger 🙂  via Swiss Miss.
I’m actually not a cat person, but I love these Maneki Neko cats found at the Gotokuji Temple in Japan (or in Chinatowns everywhere).  Danny and I had our wedding luncheon at a Chinese diner in Boston (the place where we had our first Boston date!) and so I love having these little cats around.

I am the biggest sucker for anything that smells good.  One of my favorite perfumes over the years has been Hanae Mori.  When I was single, my friend told me about Hanae Mori and said guys always noticed it and asked about it.  She added that she always had dates during that time.  Well, I bought the stuff two seconds after that.  Sure enough, on the first day I wore it…before I even got to my desk at work, a guy stopped me on the street to ask what I was wearing!!!  Haha.  I had to call my friend immediately to report the funny news.  AND, how could I not include my husband’s cologne.  I kind of wish I could wear it myself so I could smell it all day cause it drives me nuts.
I adore Mary & Matt, the chocolatiers and crazy good design makers in Brooklyn.  They’re awesome in person and online.  Their chocolate packaging is always a work of art (how fun would it be to get this Air Mail Bar in your mailbox?)  More designs here at their shop, Chocolate Editions.

It’s never too early to shop for mail order frames from Warby Parker.  I love that you can choose 5 to receive in the mail to try on before deciding on a pair.  I’m liking these:  1 / 2 / 3
(Many more gift ideas after the jump…)

A tote from the beloved NYC bookstore, Strand, is practically a New York must.  And these are $1!!  (What the ??  You can’t even buy a pack of gum for $1 around here.)
Speaking of gum, we’re all about Brooklyn pride around here.  🙂  This gum has been made in Italy for over 60 years by Perfetti van Melle, also the makers of Mentos and Airhead Candy.  The Brooklyn gum was the first chewing gum made in Italy.  (You can buy it in bulk here, or in specialty food shops in Brooklyn.)
I need a backyard to go with this giant Scrabble game!  (This one is HOMEMADE.  More info. via Sunset Magazine.  I have a brother-in-law that could pull this off.)
Of course…our favorite Mexican cookbook (FYI, I forgot to mention that this chef was formally the chef at Rosa Mexicano in Manhattan.  He knows his stuff!) 
And…the same chef has a new book (!) that will soon grace our shelves…(this makes me want to go to the $5 Happy Hour at his restaurant in Brooklyn, Fonda.  So tempting.)
 At the Brooklyn Flea you can buy this Slant Shack Jerky and it’s really, really good.  Danny and I were both very impressed.  They sell on-line and you can choose many different options (grass-fed, gluten-free, marinades, rubs, or glazes such as Vermont maple syrup or spicy pepper.)  Growing up, we always got jerky in our stockings so it reminds me of Christmas.
For years I have thought it would be a good idea to have a humidifier.  (The indoor heat in the winters is so drying!)  Also, a reader reminded me how wonderful a humidifier is for your skin.  She is 65 and youthful and gives credit to using a humidifier…mmm…adding one of these to my wish list: Swiss made Oskar Humidifier, $149.99 / Broksonic Hybrid, $149.99 / Bottle Humidifier by Seoul based cloudandco. via Design Crush Crane White Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier $49.49
Origami Paper from MUJI would be a delight for children and adults alike.  I would love to have my own mini Christmas tree covered in origami.   
These vintage prints from Book/Shop would be an amazing addition to a gallery wall in your home, especially for any book lovers.
I wouldn’t blame a little one for playing with these colorful wooden Jenga blocks for hours.  Though our friends came over once to hang out and brought a set with them.  We liked playing with it just as much.
I would love to have these cookies cutters (from MUJI) even if I never made cookies.  🙂
I first spotted these in many of the vintage mountain motels in the Catskills.  Yes, I stopped at several motels to try and see if they would sell me a couple off their pool deck.  🙂  No luck.  But you can buy some here.
 I think this ‘Luminares Poster‘ by Kevin Cantrell is absolutely beautiful.  It’s hot stamped on a paper that turns translucent when back lit or held to natural light.  It’s in Portuguese (!) which makes me want it even more as Danny is fluent.  The words say:  “Let there be lights.”  $60.  via Design Mom.
 I grew up playing Croquet & Bocce Ball.  And really, this would be a fun thing to have in New York, backyard or not.  We have Central Park and Prospect Park, the perfect place to play.  You can get this set and carrying case from Walmart!  $44.98  (top image by Style Me Pretty)
The Flowbee has to be on every gift guide.  It’s THAT good.  🙂  🙂  Yes, it’s going strong around here.  Danny’s as happy as can be with his Flowbee haircuts.  Read all about Danny’s Flowbee here.  🙂  (And I assure you, the Flowbee website is as awesome as you might think it is.  haha.)
 You know how I love MUJI calendars  🙂  I have this one.

 My family is a major puzzle family.  I’m liking this 1,000 piece pencil collage puzzle.  $15.99.
 We’ve been collecting New York books like these:  1 / 2.  But I would also love to add Manhattan Unfurled to our shelves.  Matteo Pericoli meticulously drew out the Manhattan skyline – both the east and west sides!

We played this game
at Danny’s parents’ home one year and it was so fun that we had to buy
the game for ourselves.  Optional: calling each other Smart A, Dumb A,
Fat A, Jack A.  🙂  Danny is definitely the Smart A (he always wins and
then laps the board and wins again. 🙂

Oh my – more letters!  I guess I just love these.  Use these alphabet molds ($9.99) to make a jello alphabet (inspired by Sweet Letters).  Or make alphabet crayons (see here for instructions by ‘All You Need is Love.  Or use these instructions to make alphabet soaps (or just buy some great glycerin ones here.)  
P.P.S.  What gifts are you most excited to give this year?  Tell me, tell me!  I’ll keep a secret 🙂  Danny and I are doing IVF for Christmas.  And well, I had to get a new computer, too, to keep this blogging going.  Yikes.  That’s a very pricey Christmas for us.  Enough to last a few decades, I think.  
(Top graphic from J.Crew)

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  1. Dominique December 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I LOVE that ping pong table. Think I could get away with that in the dining room? I'd have to protect walls. Or let the ball marks and the paddle dings be a sort of art installation?

  2. Jaime Hungry December 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    I LOVE the humidifiers, I use one ALL the time, and mine is so ugly.

  3. Lauren December 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    We just sent off our final check for an international adoption, so I know what you mean about enough for several decades 🙂 That is certainly all we need this Christmas.
    I'm most excited about giving my father-in-law this iPad case:

  4. Anonymous December 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    The croquet idea is great. My cousin and his wife made a goal to play croquet on the lawn of every state capitol in the United States. I think they've accomplished it! We are getting our family a tent this year. Fun!

  5. Katie December 22, 2012 at 5:32 am - Reply

    I am most excited to give my boys the tents my husband and I are making them, along with the pillows, blankets, and cuddle toys we've made to go inside them. I love making things for my boys and seeing their eyes light up with excitement, and knowing that I created that moment for them. It's hugely satisfying!
    Another gift I can't wait to give is we've waited until Christmas to tell our families our upcoming baby's gender – this will be the first grand daughter on my side of the family! Everyone is waiting anxiously to hear the news, and we can't wait to delivery this special moment to them!

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