Why has the power of the hot water bottle become so underestimated and underutilized? Seriously, I want to know because they are nothing short of magical. I remember in high school I would hide one in my sweatshirt pouch for football games. Unflattering, yes. But at least my fingers and tummy were cozy and warm. Oh, and once I had a sore back so Andrew created this awesomely strange contraption where he managed to fasten the hot water bottle to a back brace. I walked around the house with it for quite a while. Talk about unflattering.
In a more normal fashion, I rely on them to thaw my perpetually frozen toes and to help with aches and pains from running around the restaurant. I’m still not quite used to being on my feet so much so with my trusty bottle I’m snuggly and relaxed in record time after a long night at work. Of course they’re a drugstore staple but I thought this one here would make a great holiday giftie with the 100% lambswool cover (water bottle included). I wrap mine in a dish towel and pray it doesn’t come unwrapped, so this…this would be quite nice.
Available at Leif, $64.
A lot of my life is centered around my Thai-ness: Thai restaurant, Thai food, crazy Thai Dad. But there’s a whole other half to me [ha!] that’s pretty much the polar opposite of my Thai-ness and that would be my British-ness: British Breakfast tea, British bath time, brutally-honest-yet-somehow-polite British Mom. You can see why I’m a tad neurotic, no?
So for today, in celebration of my other half and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee I shall be having a proper cuppa tea.
Filed under: Gift guide
These are the guy essentials: things that every man should have. Yes, there are places for video games and the obligatory toolset, but things appear to have shifted, and really, these are exciting times for us gift-giving ladies. Today’s man is rugged yet stylish; he appreciates what’s cutting edge, but values the classics. Here are a few things that the guys of today should have…much of this based from observing and talking with my guys, so consider quality assured.
1. Areaware Magno wooden radio Handmade in an Indonesian farming village. For every tree used, a new one is planted. Stylish and sustainable. ($150)
3. Braun Analog Watch A reissue from the 70s, this watch is all about minimalism and sophistication. (Brother gets tons of compliments!) ($200-$285)
4. Wood Puzzle Who wouldn’t appreciate an interactive gift? Skip the video game and go analog. ($49)
5. Stanley Classic 8-ounce flask Utilitarian and still sleek. BPA free too! ($20)
6. The Hill-Side Selvedge Chambray scarf Fact: 4 out of 5 women agree, more men need to wear scarves. Do it. ($83)
7. Jonathan Adler’s Boom Box Match Strike Because a sense of humor is essential. ($42)
8. Wolverine 1000 Mile boots A faithful recreation of a true American classic. Rugged and sexy. ($340)
9. Labourerur waistcoat The finishing touch to a mans wardrobe. Dad loves the one he got last year! ($140)
10. The Hill-side handkerchief Every man should own a proper handkerchief. ($40-$55)
11. Piel Frama of Spain A brilliant (and oh so sexy) way to combine phone and wallet. A certified favorite. ($98)
12. Eco-friendly cork journals Another thing women can’t resist, a man who takes notes. ($10-$14.5)
The holidays are a great time to give the gift of basics! I’m talking about our go-to pieces: the ones we use most, the foundations of our style and routine. Often times these basics are the things we most long for, but getting them (for ourselves) can sometimes seem indulgent so they are easily swept aside or compromised. Investing in a silky-soft tee, a stand-out umbrella, or specialty skin care products shouldn’t be hard…but it is. This is precisely why going basic will help you shine this year. Trust me, she’ll love you for it.
1. T by Alexaner Wang Every girl needs a proper tee. Yes, it’s worth the price tag! ($81)
2. The Row curved-square sunglasses A classic yet modern shape that will get tons of use. ($325)
3. Truman Handcrafted iPad Portfolio Forget the masses, go for handmade. So basic and so sexy. ($100 limited quantity sample sale.)
4. Handmade Cooper bracelets from Etsy shop Orange is the Sun A casual pop of color is a must for every jewelry box. ($24 each)
5. Rag & Bone Newbury booties A great basic shoe that will work with everything, year-round. ($495)
6. Skin & Bones organic face cleanser Don’t forget the basics refer to skin care too! Handcrafted, organic, very special. ($40)
7. butter London in Yummy Mummy A classic color that’s essential for any polish collection ($14)
8. PAPERSELF faux lashes Intricate patterns cut from paper. Not an every day basic, but fun and flirty is a vanity must. ($19)
9. Body brush Handmade in Sweden. Perfect for pampering but best with regular use. ($26)
10. Luxury eye mask from Etsy shop Bib Bon Every girl should sleep with a mask, and this is the ultimate. (I have two!) ($35)
11. Josie Maran Argan lip treatment Keep lips kissable. No GMOs, parabens, pthalates, sulfates. ($18)
12. Color Wheel Umbrella No girl should be without an umbrella. Is there a better way to brighten up a rainy day? Nope. ($40)
I don’t think I ever fully grasped the concept of Valentine’s Day. It’s just that it all seems so contrived: roses, dinner reservations, chocolate in a heart-shaped box. Bleh. I’m not saying I’m not up for a built-in date night (on a Monday at that!) but I think I’d get the most out of Valentine’s Day if we just kept it low-key (I mean, super low-key) but still meaningful. Here’s my recipe for a mellow evening for two (or just you) with some fun and useful gifts sprinkled in.
1. Sayuri Nigori Sake – One of my favorites. Unfiltered so it has a sweet milky texture.
2. Tea glass – A beautiful Turkish-style glass meant for tea, but would look just as good with some Sake it in.
3. Poco Dolce chocolate squares – A local SF chocolatier specializing in a little bit of sweet and savory in their chocolates. Available at Whole Foods.
4. Cold plate – Comes with a porcelain plate, a cooling pad, and tray to make sure your cold items stay cold. Perfect for sashimi!
- Not pictured – Swing by Whole Foods on your way home from work. You can pick up the Sayuri and Poco Dolce, but even more awesome is their Genji* sushi. This is what puts the low-key in this date night.
5. Reusable chopsticks and case – For on-the-go. No more icky waribashi (disposable) chopsticks. I must have these!
6. Good music played on a nano through a balloon USB speaker – Nothing says I love you (or I love me) like pulling together a playlist.
7. A fun game of Scattergories – Will be extra fun after a few glasses of the Sake!
7a. Solo Valentine’s can replace item #7 with a favorite movie. I’d go with Priceless, a super-cute French movie with Audrey Tatou. But if you’re feeling fragile you could always choose a Michael Bay (as director) movie; the explosions will keep you entertained and distracted.
So what do you think? Super simple and still sweet. Just please promise that you won’t eat your sushi out of the container. If you’re not into the cold plate just find the sexiest plate you can and channel your inner sushi chef for plating.
* Whole Foods Genji sushi uses compostable containers and sustainable fish where possible. And it’s just plain good.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
While these little guys have already made the blog rounds I couldn’t resist sharing as an accessory to yesterday’s first aid kit. Hooray for Cynthia Rowley! Limited edition, and a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause. Assortment of 20 for $10 here.
Track your days over the course of a year by drawing in an emoticon: very good, good, regular, bad, very bad. Simple and cool. Would be great to see how things looked after a year, and you can start anytime. Get it from Etsy seller BrigadaCreativa. ($13.50)
Here’s the first-ever Holiday Gift Guide - ooh, my favorite style! I’ve collected some of my favorite things from around the Web to share with you as inspirations and thought-starters to help you get ready for the holidays. Have fun, and get to shopping!
- Cool Jewels ice tray So fun, right? ($9)
- Chobs Grips for your cutting board & icons to help you keep track of which side is for veggies and which side is for meat. ($12.95)
- Baggu Bags x 5- You guys know how much I adore my Baggu’s. ($35 per set)
- OPI nail lacquer The best polish out there, and also conscious about chemicals too. I love their SoftShades of pink. ($8.50 each)
- Tarte Cosmetics eye shadow palette Chemical-free, GMO-free, green packaging, and a killer set of colors at a great price too. ($44)
- Picture keyboard stickers This is just too cool. ‘B is for Bowie, G is for Geisha!’ ($12)
- Alexander McQueen Britannia patent clutch Really no need to dive into details here. Would be an amazing gift for so many reasons! ($1,067.50, was $1,525)
- Tom Binns Swarovski crystal bracelet The colors. The style. Swoon. I would rock the hell out of this; would be a great investment. ($440)
- Helmut Lang twisted draped jersey dress Because I love the amazingly soft Helmut Lang jersey and because this is the perfect LBD for work and play. ($360)
- Toms Glitters My lovely teammate Miss Ngo rocks her gold ones and just got these lovely pinks sent to the office. I lusted big time and had to add them here. A perfect gift for your giftee and for a child in need. ($54)
- Swarovski Maggy fuschia ring Have you seen how sparkly Swarovski crystals are? ($115)
- Marc by Marc Jacobs diamond Lurex gloves Functional, a touch of sparkle, and really cute! ($70, was $88)
- Alaia lace-up calf hair pumps Literally just went on sale and just almost sold out. I was drooling over an all-black leather version I saw at Barney’s last weekend though, so my dreams are not completely shattered. These really are gorgeous on, not as intense as they look. ($1,098, was $1,830)
- Chanel trompe-l’oeil temporary tattoos Did you see these on the runway last year? So fun! ($75)
- Litter SF thumb holster I love my Litter shoulder chain so I must figure out when I can start adding to my collection. Love this look. ($225)
- USB Battleship Come on, how fun would this be to give? ($23)
- Dotz cord wrap My Lova is the best at keeping cords organized, but I can’t say the same for me. Look at those before and afters. I need these at work. ($9.99)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Worth considering if you’re in the market for a tab/pad/whatever. I’ve heard good things. Just saying it wouldn’t hurt to shop around; I know I will. ($599)
- Temple leather iPad case Now if you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting a new toy you should probably invest in a nice form of transportation for it, no? This is for an iPad, but perhaps a Galaxy would fit? ($189)
- Dotz identifiers Another great way to organize your cords. Anyone else have that scene in A Christmas Story floating through their mind?
- Cogo floral rug, Anthropologie Loved the pattern and the thickness. Available in other colors too ($78 – $1,098)
- OXO Good Grips 10-piece pop container set BPA free, air-tight, and just all around fucntional and pretty. I can’t find the perfect glass ones so I think these may be the ones. ($99.99)
- Organic cotton frayed-edge sheets, West Elm Because crisp sheets are always a good thing. ($29 – $119)
- Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented I’ll be making a few of these recipes this holiday season. Peanut butter + chocolate. Buy the book to see the rest ($29.95)
- glassybaby The rainbow of colors is just so pretty. Handmade in Seattle, but you’ve probably seen them in restaurants and lovely spaces throughout the country. ($40 each)
Even in this digital age I have found that I must always write things down; I’m an endless list maker, and I live off the satisfaction I get from crossing things off. It’d be quite fun to do the crossing in that sexy yellow notebook, don’t you think?
Happy 30th Pac-Man!
Get it here.
I have lots to share about my holiday weekend, but I’m beat and need a few extra days to recover. So for now, I thought I’d share this cool kitchen gadget. For anyone that has a hard time estimating pasta servings here is your tool. Get it here.
[via Holy Cool]