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Gift Guide #2: For the Boys

Behold: The ultimate gift guide pour les hommes (!) For those odd, Animal-Planet-Like creatures we love.. they always seem so simple in their t-shirt, flannel pants & cereal bowl glory, but every holiday, they’re next-to-impossible to buy for.  Why is that??

…Anyhow.  We sifted through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops out there for guys – through all the wood grain cufflinks and lunchbox-sized portable grills, which (no offense) *sound* like a good idea buuuuuuuut…  those cufflinks will have dust by Valentine’s Day, and next football season, the itty bitty weiner-griller ends up being able to hold enough hot dogs for 1.5 people (or 5 Smurfs) at the tailgate.  SO – with a seriously discerning eye + the approval of a few super studs, this is what we came up with:

1 – AVIATOR CLASSIC RAY BANS, $150.  Show me a guy who doesn’t look amazing in Aviators, and…  God.  I’d probably agree to show you my boobs.  Cuz even Chewbacca would charm just about anyone if he had a pair of these on.  NO ONE LOOKS BAD IN THEM!  We also love the classic gold w/the grey lens.  Baller.

2 – UNTUCK IT ALZERO SHIRT, $89. The same way cute low-rise jeans create unfortunate plumber cracks for girls, apparently too-long to leave out, but look-silly-to-tuck-in button-ups are a big issue for guys. (Ping!), whattayaknow – there’s a company called Untuck It that puts a big plaid Band-Aid on this.  Problem solved.

3 – HESTRA WOOL-LINED DEERSKIN CLASSIC GLOVES, $80. We’ll be stealing these, thanks.  But while we let you guys wear them in the days following Christmas, we’ll watch in awe over what a hard core, rugged lumberjack you are.

4 – TROON MESSENGER BAG FROM KNOMO, $149.  Ahem – No, it’s not a “murse”.  Knomo was created by the guy who created Tumi, so you know they’re legit.  Plus, you’re not a briefcase-carrying Steve Martin in Planes Trains & Automobiles chasing a cab on down Park Ave, cuz it’s just not the 80’s anymore (single tear…).  So out with the briefcases, in with the messengers.  PS:  No joke, whenever I see guys carrying them, they always seem unaffected, put together, literary and sure-of-themselves in a Ryan Gosling sort of way.  Translation: hot.  Plus we love the army canvas & leather detail on this one.

5 – HIMALAYAN SALT TEQUILA / SHOT GLASSES – SET OF 4, $30. Carved from Himalayan Pink Salt (so Fred Flinstone!), and REAL pretty to look at. #everybodywins! They’re also supposed to give off a more nuanced flavor with your tequila than regular salt.  So there’s that.  OMG wait – can I burn votive candles in these??

6 – RAG & BONE DOT POCKET SQUARE, $55. Pocket squares are dapper, they’re classic, and they’ve made a serious comeback.   If anyone has any questions about that, please see below.

7 – BASEBALL BAT BOTTLE OPENERS, $95-$125.  I always trust Uncommon Goods to come up with amazing gifts…  they’re the same people behind the etched city map glasses I put on my gift guide in 2012…  (while we’re at it, how cool are these??) Anyhow..  the bottle openers below are made from game-day bats from your guy’s favorite team.  Cubbies?  Check.  Sox?  Check.  I meeeeeeean…  you didn’t go to Kohl’s and grab him the sweater that was on sale in a heaping pile on the first rack you saw cuz you were hurrying to check the boxes in your shopping list.  You got him a bottle opener made from the bat Babe Ruth probably used before he cracked a bat hitting a HOMERUN in the who-knows-what-year-it-was World Series.  And I bet he’ll think of you every time he cracks an icy Smirnoff Ice Stella with it.

8 – STEPH’S PERFECT EGG SANDWICH.  Everybody loves something homemade and heartfelt, right??  This is my recipe, and I hate to toot my horn, but it’s seriously the best.  It’s never met a soul who didn’t love it.  Perfect for lazy Sunday mornings.

Ingredients (serves 2):

-Loaf of fresh bread (sourdough, whole wheat, white – your call)

-About 10 slices of bacon

-2 handfuls of arugula

-4 slices of Habanero cheese (NOT PEPPER JACK.  Sorry.)

-A few pads of butter (the good salty kind)

-4 eggs

Directions:

1.  Fry bacon in a pan over medium to medium high heat till crispy but not burned. Remove and let it cool on a paper towel.

2.  Drain some but not all of the grease in the skillet – you want the bacon grease to coat the base of the pan so you can fry the eggs in it.

3.  Crack all 4 eggs in skillet and let ‘em sizzle for a sec while you sprinkle flaked seat salt and a little pepper on.  It should still be medium to medium-high…  not so hot that you smell them burning, but hot enough that once you crack the egg, it doesn’t spread out forever, it cooks enough to catch itself.

4.  While the 1st side of the eggs are cooking, cut a few pieces of fresh bread and pop in the toaster.

5.  Turn eggs, then turn skillet down to low.  They’re probably almost cooked through, so you just need to finish cooking the other side so you don’t get salmonella.  But you don’t want to burn them.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper again, and wait until they’re about over medium.

6.  Take bread out of toaster, butter slices, then immediately put habanero cheese on while the toast is still hot so it starts to melt in.  Place now-cheesy slices on the serving plates, then remove over-medium eggs from pan, placing 2 eggs on each open-face piece of bread on each plate.  The eggs should start melting the cheese into the bread.

7.  Break each bacon strip into 2 or 3 pieces, and layer on top of egg.

8.  Grab a handful of arugula, crush in your hand, then put on top of bacon.  Repeat on other plate.

9.  Top with the other slice of bread.  I usually give the whole thing a smoosh to meld some of the ingredients together, and so some of the yolk spills out.

10.  Draw a smiley face – or whatever you want – on the plate with Sriracha. Because there is nothing better to dip your egg sandwich in than Sriracha.

__________

9 – BOOTS No7 RAPID REVIVAL EYE ROLL-ON, $12.74.  One of our closest friends’ husbands – who is like the male version of OP (aka has the most refined and best taste in everything, always) – swears by this.  Keep it in the fridge, and use it when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, or had a few too many the night before.  Feels like cucumbers on your boy’s eyes, but better.  And makes him look like he slept 12 hours last night.

10 – THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES, BY GARY CHAPMAN, $9.  We know you think we’re kidding, but we are so serious about this.  I don’t know how many couples – COUPLES – not chicks – I’ve heard rave about this book.  I also just had one of my closest guy friends – an upstanding, talented, successful man with a heart of gold tell me: “Stephie.  This a big statement, but I honestly feel like if I had read this book when x and I were still together, I don’t think we would’ve gotten divorced.”  And I don’t think I realized until my most recent relationship how imperative communication is.  And how HARD it can be if you don’t naturally communicate in the same (love) language – which, next to none of us do. This book helps break some of that down so we can all get on the same page.

11 – ECVISION BED BOLT iPAD HOLDER, $62.99.  …….Tim, can we get you anything??  We could go to Gjelina for brunch, hit the Pasadena flea market, putts down the Promenade and set the kitchen on fire, and he’d never even know we were gone.  #dontblamemeblameyourwife #wecouldleavehimherefordays But seriously – it clamps to the bed, to a desk… to just about anything.  So you no longer have to hold it while you’re doing a Homeland binge.

12 – JAMBOX BY JAWBONE, $129.99-$299.99.  ”Turns any phone, tablet or portable device into a hi-def sound system.”  Doesn’t plug in, doesn’t have a dock – just sits there all big pimpin and plays tunes from your phone.  You can also hands-free video chat with it on FaceTime / Skype.  I wish I would’ve known about this on Monday, cuz I would’ve put it on my wishlist.  Comes in a gaggle of pretty colors, in addition to the murdered-out version below.  Which is pretty boss.

13 – GREAT STAPLES FOR HIM:

ALTERNATIVE APPAREL ECO JERSEY RAGLAN HENLEY, $40 (our color pick: eco black / shown).

If I’m generalizing, 99% of dudes despise shopping, but they don’t not appreciate looking dapper & put together.  This is probably why Trunk Club is such a success… Most guys I know just want to be given a cheat sheet for what to buy.  Well Campers…  here you go!  The Alternative Apparel henley looks great on everyone I know who owns it, it’s super affordable, and it never goes out of style.  And if you bought one for your man last year – welp – good thing it’s cold out, because layering is a good look.

J.CREW ITALIAN CASHMERE HENLEY HOODIE, $298.

I do realize the cashmere hoodie is a bit of a splurge, but guys deserve a little luxury too, right?  I’ll be the first to admit that a good ‘ol Werthers Original-esque wool dilf sweater popular on gift guides the world-over looks purdy… But after you buy it and they put it on, 5 minutes later they’re wearing an old sweatshirt… cuz the wool Werthers sweater looked great but felt like an itchy Scotch Brite pad.  (This is also cozy alternative).

UNIQLO V-NECK TEES, $12 now $7.90.

Last staple…  our friend we’ll call Affluenza loves these.

I lied – one more… I hate to sound like a broken record, but the Lulu sweatpants from last year’s gift guide??  Classic, cozy staple.  Perfect for borrowing.  And spooning. #everybodywins!

Hope this helps!  Happy Shopping!!  And if you need more great ideas for guys, check out some of our vintage versions: GIFT GUIDE FOR HIM 2013 | GIFT GUIDE FOR HIM 2012

xoxo,
Steph & Karrie

Gift Guide #1: {Our} Wishlists

Happy Monday, Turkeys!  Hope you guys had a great weekend full of green bean casserole-induced food comas and a lot of tree trimming.  Now that the holidays are in full swing, we’re bringing a new GIFT GUIDE every day this week, and kicking off today with both of ours!  So Mom, Dad, Tim & Santa: these are a few of our faaaavorite things!  Readers: hope you love some of our picks, too!

Hey, it’s Steph!  I’ll go first….  Now.  That right there is the face of a child who is trying to either charm her way out of trouble, a child who just sharted, or a kid who is saying, “CHEEEESE SANTA!”  But for realz… I’m not saying I would turn down anything on my Christmas list if it magically appeared under my tree, but when it comes down to it, all I really want for Christmas is to get Gus home safely sans an international incident / TSA emergency…  to watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve with my family…  to take naps on my Dad’s couch and have cocktail hour at the kitchen table promptly every afternoon at 4:59pm… and to slam some Pizza King. Nonetheless, here we go

1 – Gigi New York Uber Clutch in Black Embossed Python, $145.  I don’t know what I love more about this – the tassel, the embossed leather, or the size of this bad boy (13″ x 9″).  It’s beyond perfect, and it’s in the top slot for a reason. #numberonepick

2 – Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm, $27.  Twenty seven dollars for lip balm is straight cray; I know.  Or rather, knew, until I dabbed by ring finger in the pot at Sephora and tried it on.  It is bliss – and incredibly flattering on. Otherwise, here’s my favorite budget-friendly lip gloss.  Either would be great stocking stuffers.

3 – Sole Society Deco Statement Necklace, $39.95 $27.97.  Heavens.  What a stunner.  The ballet slipper pink/emerald/seafoam color combo is great.  PS, fellas – dingdingdingdingding! – this is a good one for your lady.

4 – Everlane Slouchy Cashmere Tunic, $155.  This sweater makes me want to throw on comfy leggings, pop popcorn and curl up for movie night in.

5 – Fendi Blue Patchwork Sunglasses, 260 GPB.  Did I say I didn’t want anything on this list?  …I lied.  These are FAN-freakingtastic.  I stumbled across them on Helena’s blog a week or so ago and about fell over.

6 – Crème de la Crème tee, $38.  I’ve been eyeballing the Zoe Karssen $85 version of this forever, but I can never bring myself to spend $85 on a t-shirt, and it’s also almost always out of stock.  I know this bad boy’s been around the block for years, but je don’t care & je l’adore toujours.  (Can you tell I minored in French?  #fancy #franglaisorbust)

7 – Kate Spade 2015 17-month Large Agenda in Green Painterly Cheetah, $36. All the tech-y calendars and apps that keep me organized are great & all, but there’s just something charming about doing things the old fashioned way.  Plus, this would just make me happy to pull out of my bag every morning.  Note: I just saw this sell out on Kate Spade, but you can also find it here.

8 – JaxKelly Gold Dipped Turquoise Earrings from Pigment, $28.  I will ogle over flashy chandelier earrings all day long, but you know what I end up in every day?  Some version of denim, a white blouse and pearl stud earrings.  These little turquoise ditties punch up the pearls a notch or five.

9 – Lafco Pool House candle from Bixby & Ball, $60. Pool House is a the scent I make a point to take a long, luxurious sniff of whenever I’m at Bixby & Ball, but Betsy Ball (one of the shop’s owners who – people of Muncie, holla! – is from our beloved hometown) introduced me to Kai’s Reed Diffuser ($78) earlier today, and I *might* have a new favorite.  Tuberose, Gardenia, Lily & Jasmine…  Betsy said it smells just like Hawaii…  I don’t know what it smells like, but it. is. wonderful. PS: Everything is 20% off today with code CYBERMON (!)

10 – Burning for You matches from Paper Luxe, $11.  Cheeky, adorable and a great pop of color for your coffee table!  I ran across them at Solo on Cedros today, but you can’t purchase from their website, so I pimped you out to Paper Luxe – who I wasn’t familiar with, but they have some great stuff, so do yourself a favor and snoop around.

11 – Vintage Brass Monogram Ring from Bixby & Ball, call for pricing.  Everything is 20% off today with code CYBERMON!  This one (on my ring finger) isn’t online, but you can call (858.436.7214) and order it, have it monogrammed and they’ll ship it to you easy peasy.  As with the bit about jeans & white tees & pearls, I lean towards classic, timeless, everyday pieces when it comes to jewelry, and this I love.  I first spied this on Kristin’s right hand (girlfriend has the best and most perfectly curated jewelry collection of anyone I know) ut hers has a “P” on it. For her hubby’s name. How sweet is that??

12 – Everyone’s a Dumb Whore cross stitch from Furbish, $48.  (Cyber Monday: 20% off of orders of $75 or more with code HOLLADAY).  I feel like I’m already getting a look of disapproval long-distance style from Jayne, but every time I read this I cackle out loud.  Karrie actually posted about Subversive Cross Stitch 3 years ago and has one of these in her bathroom that says “Home Sweet F*cking Home.” Bwhahahaha.  If you have time to DIY, pop over to Subversive’s site.

13 – Aloha Splash-Proof Pouches, $24-32. I need one of these splash-proof, Tyvek-coated pouches for beach days and yoga days…  cuz otherwise what am I gonna do with my sopping wet gym clothes or my wet bathing suit?  Not that the plastic Piggly Wiggly bag in the bottom of my other bag isn’t always a fun solution – or just letting ‘em soak & stank up everything else they touch.  The small version would also make a great makeup bag.

14 – Charlotte Olympia Kitty Velvet Flats in Black, $495.  I should be smacked for putting $500 kitty cat flats on a gift list, but c’mon.  They’re seriously adorable. Image credit: Sincerely Jules

That’s all I got!  Wait I totally lied.  This peel is amazing.  Ok now I’m done…  Until Wednesday (Gift Guide #2 for Guys), Thursday (Gift Guide #3 for the Gourmand), and Friday (Gift Guide #4 for Gals)!

xoxo!

FOR STEPH’S PREVIOUS YEARS’ PICKS: 2013 | 2012 | 2010

It’s hard to believe it’s been another year since last Christmas, it really is. And that it’s been approximately 30+ years since that photo was taken above. GAH. This year it took me a while to think about the things I’ve been lusting after for my Dear Santa list… and I think that’s cause, like Steph wrote last year, I don’t need anything, really. I’m truly grateful for all that I have, right now. But hey – I’m a bloggess – and what does a bloggess do around Xmastime?  She makes a freaking Santa List. Here goes – some of the things I’m asking St. Nick to deliver to me, thank YOU.

1. A buncha versatile, all-sorts-of-fun shoes (clockwise from top left): J Slides Slip On Sneakers – How cute are these?! I can see these with some black ripped – or boyfriend – jeans | Black Patent Leather Oxfords from Clark’s – so shiny, so versatile |  Steve Madden Caveat – F Boots are biker chic; love em | NikeWomen’s Free Flyknit 4.0 Running Shoes are lightweight and totally cute enough to wear with regular ol’ street clothes.

2. The Courtney Bib from BaubleBar: Repeat Offender Alert. Yup, this bib necklace was on my Dear Santa list from last year, but I must’ve been a bad gal, cause Santy neglected to drop it off in my stocking. So I’m asking for it again!

3. Ina Garten: Make It Ahead: The newest collection of recipes from my perennial homegirl, Ms. Ina Garten, which are curated to be made ahead of time. Because we’re all busy these days, and that includes Ina, who in my mind is hunkered down in her Hamptons home making roast chicken and a perfect martini for Jeffrey:

4. BaubleBar ear jackets: I am LOVING the latest trend of ear jackets. Super edgy yet classy at the same time - available here and here:

5. A couple inexpensive, cozy cardigans!: Left: Black Long Sleeve Front Zip Cardigan – Only $29! | Right: Graduated Colorblock Cardigan – Only $24!

6. Smartphone Photo Cube Printer: Am I the only one a little sad that Facebook and Insta have all but made printed out photos obsolete??? Ok, so enter this cute little gadget, which is compatible with all portable devices and prints out photos in three sizes.

7. These sets of pillows from Furbish: How downright droolworthy are these, available here and here:


8. Michael Kors Slim Runway watch: Sleek, masculine, and glam all at once.

9. Entertainment Weekly subscription – You guys. Do you love pop culture like I do? Movies and TV and books and celeb gossip and everything in between?  I am a bit of a pop culture whore, and for that reason, Entertainment Weekly is the best mag to read. It’s chalk full of juicy up to date morsels of pop culture goodness.

“We’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f—ing Kaye.” – Clark Griswold

Here’s to a wonderful holiday season, honeys!

xoxo,

FOR KARRIE’S PREVIOUS YEARS’ PICKS: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010