Gift List II…here we go!
December 15, 2011

My gift wrapping station, that now consumes the dining room....

I was talking to Jennifer Franciotti today…she said she had mostly finished her holiday shopping…but had to “fill in the gaps“. I know exactly what she means. While I have a pile of stuff in my house(some of which still needs wrapping), I haven’t really taken a count. Which means, do I have too much for some and not enough for others? I think I got this “super-equal” mindset from my parents… who were always overly conscious about how many presents each of 3 daughters had, and how much money had been spent on each. I mean, they were religious about it. So some of that has kinda slopped over onto me…you know?

And since you may also be “filling in the gaps“…I’m here to help with some things I am giving… or have received, that I very much love…in several price ranges.

Love, love, love my Jambox!!

First, the Jambox. My son gave me this Bluetooth wireless speaker(it’s about 6 x 2′)…so tiny, but so portable and has AMAZING sound. It’s on the expensive side, but if you know someone who loves music and is a techno geek…they will adore this. I use mine constantly(I can even have music on the iPad downstairs and take the Jawbone upstairs-still plays). Found it online for $159.00.

The Euca-mint is my fav scent....

Ok Eco-Armour-here,  is the bomb. Add to that it’s locally made, and smells divine, and will save you money-a no-brainer. “Virtually eliminate ingrown hairs, red bumps, razor burn, nicks, cuts and dull blades“…I will tell you that for women(or men) who shave in more, ummmm, delicate areas….this product makes it a breeze. Seriously. Around $24 for the large bottle…and it lasts a long time.

Cheese, nuts, spreads, crackers...how can you go wrong?

Food. We all eat it. We all love it. A basket of goodies from Whole Foodswould make anyone smile(and can be any price range), but they also have these super-cute gift cards, that could be a nice stocking stuffer, or be tucked in a basket of cheeses and crackers. My favorite: “Hugs and Quiches“…or maybe “Dough“. As a rule, I hate gift cards(I know, I know…everyone else loves them-whatever, not me…) but these are too cute to dislike.

Just for the Halibut.....that's funny....

Fresh Pasta ...what's not to love??

Or put together some fresh pastas, sauces and olive oils from Casa di Pasta in Little Italy. I would so dig a present like that….and the shop is run by a wonderful father-son team. Just a great place.

Monograms...on your phone!

Ok, I cannot imagine a girl(or woman) who wouldn’t love this(if they’re into monograms like my daughter)…a monogrammed iPhone case from Neiman Marcus….it’s $56…very chic. Though monograms I know, are one of those preppy, certainly southern things that are not for everyone. But I like them.

Jonathan Adler...very popular home designer...

OK, here’s a way to have some designer style with none of the cost….the Jonathan Adler coffee mug-here. Porcelain with silicone lid and sleeve, it comes in lots of designs…for a measly $13.95. Please, it may be the buy of the year.

Wouldn't Fido look so dashing in this???

And speaking of Jonathan Adler….he even makes something smart for your puppy…a dashing scarf-here (that also comes in  pink and orange), for $14.95. It makes me want a dog.

Gummys in a paint can....

Last but not least…sweets for the sweet….a paint can filled with gummy bears!! And the paint can, can be used later for snacks or cookies or on your desk(you can also get them filled with gum balls and other treats)…$15.

So get busy…fill in those gaps! Have a great weekend everyone(I’m off tomorrow)…it’s the last weekend to make it count before Hanukhah and Christmas. But I hope it’s relatively peaceful for you as well. Yeah, I know. Come home safe, ’cause we miss you!

 

 

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What’s in a week? The most appalling secrets of Donna’s week off!.
December 13, 2011

OK, here’s the thing…I’m not used to having a week off with no plans. As in….I’m not traveling. I’m not sick. I’m just…not working. SO, I had planned to do all sorts of crazy productive things…things that really needed to be done(clean out closet/basement/litter box/car), but in reality… I only did a smattering of them. Oh well. Here’s what I did on my vacation, in pictures.

Put up Xmas lights, while listening to Chris Botti, drinking red wine!

Made this from things I had IN MY BASEMENT!!

The container is from Pottery Barn(and I have more downstairs from my son’s “Maine wedding” that ended up in NYC….so the birch, not quite the thing), the twigs I got at Nettleton Hollow-here…great source for all things twiggy….and the moss from..somewhere.

Here's a closeup...

It’s not the sturdiest creation I’ve ever put together, but as long as the wind doesn’t blow hard, and Baby Girl doesn’t get rambunctious…it should be fine, and I do love the way it looks!

Took my daughter to lunch at American Can Company(love the tree)!

I also needed a pedi badly(really they were awful), and I had a Groupon for one at Juste B-here…..on Fort Avenue in  Locust Point.

Hot stones between my toesies!!

When you walk in you immediately notice a difference at Juste B…no chemical smell. That’s because they use only water based polishes and removers…no bad chemical odors….much better for you and them. Loved the place!

Ingredients for Chicken Marbella...from Silver Palate's 1st book

Had some longtime friends over for dinner one Saturday night, and feeling a little nostalgic, made one of my old fav recipes….Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella-recipe here. The first time I made it was back in the 80s…and I felt so chic taking Chicken Marbella to a party….until a big pan of it spilled an oily, garlicy mess into the back seat of my Volvo…the car reeked of garlic for weeks. But I still love the dish…it’s amazing how simple ingredients like chicken, olives, prunes, garlic, wine and brown sugar can combine in the most delightful way.

Ready to pop in the oven...but wait, something is missing!

Something is missing all right…I forgot to put on the cup of brown sugar right before baking…and I will tell you-that is a key ingredient. It was pretty good anyway, but ain’t Chicken Marbella without the brown sugar. Made me sad.

Redeemed a Groupon at Casa di Pasta in Little Italy....

Their lasagna is the bomb….and the fresh pasta…is molto delizioso. Great little shop on Albemarle Street that is sooooo worth a visit!! Frank Vellegia’s Casa di Pasta-here.

Had an amazing dinner at Sotto Sopra on Charles Street....

And then headed over to see The Lion King at the Hippodrome Theatre-here…if you haven’t…it’s a must see.

Amazing costumes...

I HAVE seen the show before, but I love it enought to see it again….wonderful production! The show is in town through New Year’s Eve, and the week after Christmas….they also have a matinee every day. What a treat for the kids to see this performance(the night we were there, there were LOTS of young children in the audience which frankly worried me, but the show is so mesmerizing-they were actually quiet!).

OK, the things I didn’t get done😦and this is just a sampling-there are more)…

Didn't giftwrap these shirts for my son....sigh...

Didn't take clothes to the cleaners, or mail these cd's to my sister!

So plenty remains on my to-do list…just like yours, I suspect. But there’s still time…a little, right?