House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'Gift Guide'

Page 2 of 2

Holiday Gift Guide: for Gals

…or Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah – ye know.  Hopefully, MY DEAR SANTA LIST and KARRIE’S DEAR SANTA LIST earlier this week may’ve given you a few good ideas for she-gifts?  If not, here are a few more universal gems to chew on:

NIKI QUINN BEST FRIENDS NECKLACE SET, $24.  I mean.  Let’s be honest…  when’s the last time you had one of these?  That’s right.  4th grade.  And your friend Sally Talksalot probably had the other half.  I saw this in the case at a cute, quirky little shop called Tigertree in downtown Columbus a few months ago and almost OD’d on nostalgia…  then I promptly purchased one and gave it to my BFF from college, Mary.  And then we jumped up and down in circles screaming and laughing for 10 minutes after she opened it.

INDIAN SUZANI PILLOW, $79.  I’ve maybe never seen anything prettier.  Who WOULDN’T love to have this as a pretty punch of color somewhere in their house?

THE LEMON CRATE, $99.  I’m only mother to Gus (does that make me Mother Goose??), but I’d like to please add this to my Christmas list as well, svp.  It’s a potted baby Meyer lemon tree!  Can be grown and harvested on a patio or in a sunny kitchen.  Hopefully come summertime it looks about like this:

AHAVA INTENSIVE HAND CREAM, $28.50.  I know my mom’s hands get super dry and chapped when it’s cold outside…  and on that note, so do mine, so do my dad’s, and so do Matty’s.  So it’s not just for Ma…  you might as well just take a squirt and pass it on.  It’s is the only product I’ve been able to find that goes on like BUTTAH and stays on so your hands stay moisturized.  SO, so worth the price.

LEATHER PANTS, $34.95.  (Pictured are not exact pants, but they’re close).  A girlfriend of mine wore these to dinner the other night, and my jaw hit the floor.  I would’ve thought she spent $200 on ’em, but they’re from H&M.  And then I sprinted out and bought myself a pair.  They fit like a tight pair of skinny jeans – the kind that suck you in and make you look like you lost 10 pounds.  Runs small (I’m a 6, but I had to buy an 8).  I honestly had no idea whether to put these on the gift guide for gals, or the gift guide for guys.  Cause honestly, everybody wins with these things.  Fellas……  You’re welcome.

POLAROID Z2300, $160 and up.  Girls love pictures, and girls love nostalgia.  So this thing is a slam dunk.

MICHAEL KORS SPARKLING PAVE DIAMOND EARRINGS, $75.  Super chic…  perfect for a black tie wedding, and perfect for everyday.  They’ll be the new staple in her (jewelry) wardrobe.

VOLUSPA LAGUNA CANDLE TIN, $16.  Little luxury that goes a long way.  I like this one *almost* as much as Saijo Persimmon, but I put Laguna on the Gift Guide list because it’s a smidge more subtle and realy soothing.  Smells lovely in a bedroom.

MOSSIMO JACQUARD SCARF, $20 $15.99.  Looks like it was made by Pendleton and feels so thick and nice that at that price, it feels like stealing.  Great winter staple.

BB DAKOTA SCOTLYN FUR VEST, $90 $65.10.  This girl certainly looks like she’s seen a good party or 12, but that rocker chick fur vest sure is sweet.  And would be super bad with the leather leggings above.  Also…  I’d like to feed her some Christmas cookies.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FLASK BRACELET.  Ah nuts I lied, this bad boy’s not out yet.  Spring 2013.  But log it for future purchase.

SOFIA BLANC DE BLANCS 4-PACK, available at liquor stores the world over.  Champagne in a can with a cute little pink straw???  Love.  The bubbly itself is also very very good.  And the packaging is basically done for you.  BANG.

RENT THE RUNWAY GIFT SETS, $50-$100.  Rent the Runway is a site that lets you rent designer dresses and fancy get-ups for a FRACTION of the retail price, and for a period of either 4 or 8 days.  You can peruse pics of real women (genius) wearing each frock and read their comments on how it fit, what they loved about it and what they didn’t.  They send you a back-up size just in case, and an already-stamped return envelope to mail in back in for dry cleaning.  So easy it’s stupid.  Plus, I don’t know a girl who has a special occasion coming up and doesn’t want to wear something shiny & new for it.

STILA SELF-ADJUSTING PINK BLUSH, $20. AKA “Smart” blush.  This stuff looks hot pink, but it reacts to your skin tone and individual pH to create the perfect pink for you.  I’m on my 2nd one, so I can personally vouch for this one.  It also always makes my cheeks look pretty and fresh and natural and flushed…  not like I have blush on.

MANI/PEDI, MANI/PEDI, MANI/PEDI, $30-50. Especially if you need one more thing to round out her stack of gifts, or if you just don’t know what to get her at all.  I have never met a girl who didn’t love a good mani/pedi.  Plus, we could all use ’em this time of year when our hooves get all neglected and crusty.  Bud could even use one…  if only the salon had a belt sander on hand.  Just kiddin…  love you Papaw!

Happy (last-minute) shopping!


Steph & Karrie

Holiday Gift Guide: for Dudes

{all images via here}

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood mornin’ and HO-LY pajamas, that’s a good way to start a post.  GYAH.  Who needs a towel?  …Just kidding Mom.  Anyhoo – when it comes to buying for boys, listen.  I’m not saying I have the key to One-Eyed Willie or anything, but what’s with all the hokey, stereotypical “manly man” gifts I keep seeing this year on gift guides for guys?  Wood grain cufflinks (whaaaaaaat?), wine-glasses-inside-a-beer-glass (wait, who?) and every useless object you could possibly imagine in the shape of a gun (why, why why).  The list goes on.  So, I don’t presume to know exactly what guys want for Christmas, but I’d betcha my left nut it’s not any of those things.  So since I wanted to dole out some tried & true, testosterone-approved options, I enlisted the help of my other half to help me edit and round out my list.  Because he’s a down-to-earth guy’s guy – loves beer & sweatpants & Ohio State Football, but he also has the snobbiest most spot-on taste of ANY person I know.  Heeeeey, Sugar hey!

Matty’s the best…  just ask Tim.  Now then:  hold please while I beat my chest and prepare to unleash this bomb diggity list……………………………………

1. The BIG GREEN EGG.  Also code for a big green wad of cash, so this is definitely an investment.  Generally speaking, they run from the $300’s on the low end (for the mini) to almost $1200 on the higher end for the XL Heavy Duty.  Apparently, this thing can do anything…  slow roast a Thanksgiving Day turkey, smoke a brisket, or sear a steak (temperatures can hold steady at 200 and get above 600).  A lot of the hubbub comes from the fact that the shell is ceramic…  therefore it holds heat perfectly inside without temperature fluctuations, but even at its highest temp is still cool to the touch outside.  My former boss told me it was the best thing he’s ever bought in his entire life.

2. The ART OF SHAVING 4 ELEMENTS OF THE PERFECT SHAVE KIT, $60.  When I first saw this, I thought it was one of those hokey gifts rigged to be a default item for holiday shoppers not knowing what to get the men in their life…  almost like the boy-version of the Bath & Body Works Sun-Ripened Raspberry gift basket, popular the world over circa 1997.  But then, this dapper kit got the unsolicited endorsement of one very sophisticated gent we know.  He said that if you have 20 minutes to spend shaving (for a big interview, special occasion, whatever) then it will literally be THE best and smoothest shave you’ve ever had.  A little luxury for the boys doesn’t hurt, eh?

3.  BILLY REID ‘JACKSON’ SHAWL COLLAR SWEATSHIRT, $195.  Kinda casual, kinda woodsy, kinda preppy, and ultra dilf-y.  Yeah, I said it. The sweatshirt dresses it down, but the shawl collar dresses it back up a little – so it’s perfect for your family’s Christmas party or for a snazzy dinner on the town.  Or, while he chops down a tree in the front yard.  So versatile it might as well be an LBD for men.

4.  PLAYBOY’S GREATEST COVERS, $24.  Selected by Hef himself out of all the covers from 1953 to today, and with a foreword by Pamela Anderson.  I’d love to roll my eyes, but I did just say “DILF” up above.  Matt calls it “the gift that keeps on giving.”  Truth be told, I suppose it’s a pretty cool, historic piece of American pop culture.  Did I just say that outloud??  This blog post will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

5.  ARC’TERYX THETA SL HYBRID JACKET, $369.  The website says, “Lightweight, packable, waterproof GORE-TEX® jacket, designed for emergency storm-protection in inclement weather.”  Matt – whose Mom bought him one years back – says, “It’s far better quality than North Face or Columbia, but they’re just a Canadian brand still flying under the radar.  And it’s colder up there, so those guys definitely know what they’re doing.”  Bahhaha, I’ll take it.  And after having walked Gus in it for an hour in frigid weather recently, I say:  “Light as a feather but surprisingly keeps you as warm as if you were rolled up in a giant blanket in front of the fire.  That thing is money.”  BANG.

6. MAPS ROCKS GLASSES, $25 per pair.  11oz each and etched with custom wraparound street maps of the following cities:  Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, South Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, San Francisco, and Washington DC.  I *also* heard a little rumor that custom locations are available…  how cool is that??  And I’m a jerk, because I just checked back and they’re sold out through January.  Sorry about that, guys.  So maybe it’s something to keep in the think tank for his birthday (?!)  I don’t know that these are something a guy would go out and purchase for himself, but he’ll definitely appreciate the understated, minimalist edge you just graced his cabinets & cocktails with.

7. Wait, what’s that in the glass up there??  Could it be FIREBALL CINNAMON WHISKY?  Do yourself a favor and pick up a little bottle of this at your local liquor store for your favorite guy.  One cold, rainy night in Columbus, we took home a bottle at the suggestion of the cashier on duty when we asked him what would warm us up.  We also mixed it with some kind of amber beer that night, which was good, but it’s also delightful just to sip (“SIP” being the operative word) on its own.

PS, If you wanted to get really creative, you could gift him a little package with:  a) The Fireball Whisky, b) The Mixers – and here are some recipe suggestions, and c) The set of Rocks glasses.  But since they’re currently sold out, a set of my old faithfuls would do the trick…  $12.99 for a 12-pack.

8.  MICHAEL KORS CASHMERE SCARF, $135.  In dark camel or in black. Yum.

9.  TICKETS TO SOMETHING AWESOME – a concert (e.g., the Stones are playing in Jersey this weekend!), a sporting event (Bowl game?), or a wheelbarrow race – whatever.  Anything he loves.

10.  UGG ASCOT SUEDE MOCCASIONS, $110. THESE. ARE. HEAVEN. And I cannot stop buying them for everyone I know.  He can wear ’em around the house, or around the corner to Sunday brunch.

11.  MANLY-MAN CANDLESVoluspa’s Suede Blanc (my favorite, $27) and Diptyque’s Feu de Bois (Karrie’s favorite, $60) are two of *THE* best ones out there.  One whiff and you’ll be on the bandwagon.  This is another something that I doubt they’d buy for themselves, but boys like their houses to smell good & clean, too.  And yo – the standard “vanilla”‘s gettin’ a little old, right?

12.  WEBER STYLE 6445 STAINLESS 3-PIECE BARBEQUE TOOL SET, $35.  How can your pops, brother, grandpa and hubby flip steaks without ’em?

13.  WEEKEND SHIRTS3/4 Sleeve Raglan Henley, $22 and J.Crew Oxford Buffalo Check Shirt, $75.  I own the one on the left, and it is nubby paper-thin perfection.  Fits boys better, but I like it to sleep in.  Good staple to stock-up on at that price, too.

14.  BOSE QUIET COMFORT NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES, $299.95.  Since I don’t know diddle about boy-techie-stuff, I had to have Matt weigh-in on these.  And his breakdown went something like this:  “So, you know how everybody knows Samsung makes the best TV’s?  (insert blank stare on my part…)  Well Bose makes the best headphones and sound systems.  And the noise cancelling ones would be awesome if you’re traveling.”

All I needed to know.  Who doesn’t wanna drown out the sound of the screaming toddler next to you on the plane?  Or, maybe you got lucky and got seated next to this guy:


Cushioned Argyle Socks, Set of 3 in assorted colors, $22 | Mustache Coasters, $10 | Two of *THE* most swoon-worthy men’s colognes on the market – Versace Eau Fraiche and Tom Ford Noir | Homeland Season 1 DVD…  aka the best show on television.  Stop what you’re doing immediately and start watching it if you haven’t already. | Alexander McQueen skull tie – Karrie’s pick.  She says:  “There’s a hint of sophistication, and a hint of edge – just like I like my men.” Rawr. | Last but not least…  an old-fashioned mixed tape…  because making someone a homemade mash-up will never go out of style.

Happy Shopping!!


Steph, Karrie, and our trusty guest-blogger, Matt