Author Archive

Real Butterfly Wing Jewelry

Butterfly wing jewelry is a very unique gift idea for the special women in your life. This pendant features the wings of an Amazonian butterfly, which is naturally stunning. Set in sterling silver, the wing is preserved forever. A perfect gift for nature lovers, butterfly collectors, and any woman who loves handcrafted jewelry. The wings come in a variety of patterns and colors, just like the large array of butterflies that live in the Amazon. Locals collect their wings from the rainforest floor, and artisans buy them in the marketplace. You can buy this style and other kinds of butterfly wing jewelry from Tikanchay, a company specializing in handcrafted jewelry created by Peruvian artisans. Each purchase also brings them closer to self-sufficiency, making it a very special gift that affects more than just your recipient.

Bottle of Red, Bottle of White

I’m not much of a drinker but I do appreciate a really good glass of wine.  It all started when one of my college friends invited my husband and me to her wedding, hosted by her well-to-do and generous dad at the Pierre Hotel in NYC.  We drank white wine and found ourselves refilling our glasses so many times it was a lucky thing we walked home to our hotel – me with my summer sandals dangling from one finger!  When I called her after her honeymoon to ask her to find out the name of the wine because we had enjoyed it so much, she got back to me with the description, “Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse, Premier Cru” which meant nothing to me until I went to buy it at our local wine shop.  Needless to say, considering the price and how much we had imbibed at the wedding I wondered if I shouldn’t be sending a check along to her Dad for his hospitality!  I’ve been grateful though ever since for being introduced to the pleasure of really good wine and so I recommend it highly as a very special gift for anyone with an appreciation for the finer things in life.  Some of my favorites: Conundrum which you can read about here; Hess Cabernet Sauvignon which you can read about here; and of course the one that started it all: www.louisjadot.com. Salud!

My Compliments to the Chef

Everyone has a friend or family member with a talent for cooking up delicious meals. Those are fun people to buy for whether your budget is Williams Sonoma or Target! One of my favorite gifts to give is a well reviewed cookbook, especially if I’ve made a few of the recipes and can speak personally to their quality. Two of my favorites this year are Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations by Florence Fabricant, the second in a series produced by the volunteers at Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center; and Peace Meals, A Book of Recipes for Cooking and Connecting by The Junior League of Houston. What’s great about them? Each is a compilation of recipes from a group of women so you can imagine that each one brought her absolute best recipe to the table! You can buy these and countless other cookbooks from Amazon.

Great Gardening Gifts

Let’s talk about the different gifts you can give to the gardener in your life. There’s gardening hardware such as a good pair of pruners for removing roses and other cut flowers to create a beautiful arrangement.  The most highly rated and easily accessible is the Fiskars brand. Another reasonably priced gift is a nicely wrapped bunch of bulbs to be planted when the cool fall weather arrives. White Flower Farm is a good online source for quality bulbs and plants. Why not present your gift along with an offer to come and help with the planting? For the vegetable gardener a variety of herbs is always welcome; this year my sage, thyme, verbena and mint plants all came back bigger and better than last year –  a perennial plant is a gift that keeps on giving! And for the extravagant among you, a gardening plan from a landscape architect is a generous and long-lasting gift that is sure to be appreciated.

I Make My Case, Gifts for Phone Lovers

I just heard about a very interesting site that is up for some awards for its unique design, and it’s also filled with perfect gift ideas for anyone who owns an iPhone, iPod, or Blackberry. The site is cleverly named I Make My Case, and actually allows you to custom design an artsy case for any of these devices. A truly unique case is the perfect gift for any of your friends or family who are fans of their smart phone or iPod, because even if they own one or more cases, being able to change them is always fun. This particular site allows you to choose the device, the artist you want to mimic (there are lots to choose from,) and then you’re able to take any of that artists’ designs and doodles and apply them wherever you want on the phone cover. You can even decide how big or small each design will be, making it a truly unique piece of art. You can either design a case you think your friend or family member would like, or tell them to design their own case and you’ll take care of the payment section on the site. Either way, you’ll have lots of fun looking at all of the unique art and thinking of ways to use it on a phone case.

Silver Artisan Jewelry Gifts

I have always loved artisan jewelry, for myself and for gift giving. The women in my life have always been impressed with unique silver artisan jewelry because it is not something you see in stores. I used to buy costume jewelry, but once I realized how beautiful sterling silver can be, I decided to stop wasting money on necklaces and bracelets that would just break or tarnish, and invest in quality jewelry that I find online. Sterling silver jewelry that features stones like Sodalite, Obsidian and Peruvian Turquoise is my favorite, because the silver frames the stones so beautifully. Follow the link in this post to find beautiful sterling silver artisan jewelry styles.

Apple Ipad

The iPad has arrived, after much anticipation from Apple fans. It looks like a larger version of the iPhone, and gives you a clear view of web pages, photo, video, and e-mail. With high-tech graphics and cutting edge technology, the iPad is a gift lots of people will be dreaming about. The price is steep at $499, but it may be worth it as a gift for yourself or someone special. Put it on your wish list!

Low Carb Gifts

Do you have a friend who only eats Smart Carb bread and substitutes pasta with Shirataki noodles? It can be hard to think of a food gift for friends on diets, without sabotaging their way of eating. However, if you keep their preferences in mind, you can actually find a present they are sure to appreciate. Check out the Low Carb Gift baskets at Carbsmart. They have all types of baskets including Low Carb Kosher and dinner for two. Finally, indulgence without the excess of carbs! Your friend will be amazed at how thoughtful you are, and you’ll know you helped him or her stick to a healthy diet.

A Gift for Readers and “Techies”

I tend to get lost in a great book from time to time, but what if your laptop could get lost in one? The BookBook hard cover Macbook case is the perfect way to hide your laptop in public situations where you’d rather keep your prized possession under wraps. It looks exactly like an old, worn book, and is available in both black and red. It is also a novel way to protect your laptop from scratches and dust. It is a great gift idea not only for those who need their laptop with them at all times, but also for anyone who is a fan of classic books.

Resolutions

With the start of a New Year come the inevitable promises of New Years resolutions. A great way to encourage your friends or family members in their newfound goals and to show that you care and support them is to give them a small present, just to say you are thinking of them. An organizer or planner for example is a great gift, that they are sure to get plenty of use out of. Depending on your loved ones needs you can personalize the gift and find the perfect planner for them. Whether it is business oriented or an academic planner, or even one designed for keeping track of social events or housekeeping, there is something for everyone. While not surprising, each year more than half of all resolutions made involve dieting or exercise in some way. If this was your goal too, it is always easier to stay focused when working with friends. With friends, exercising can actually becomes fun and not something that you may otherwise dread. You can exchange small gifts before you begin to give each other some extra encouragement. Something simple like a new yoga mat or a fun colored water bottle are perfect for something like this. You could also all agree to put money aside for every week of your diet and at the end of a set amount of weeks plan to put the money towards a weekend getaway for you and your friends, where you can finally show off all of your hard work.