More shopping deliciousness below, which bears both good and bad tidings. On the positive side: lots of covetable gifteroos to pass along to your nearest and dearest. On the negative: I am having serious problems restraining myself from ordering a lot of these items for my selfish little self. Yikes/oops? Am I pulling a Scrooge?
I have a number of friends and relatives who fall into the “Betty Crocker” category — you know, those wonderwomen who are at once impressive home-makers, excellent cooks, and inspired entertainers. I hope one day to join their ranks, but am still learning the tricks of the trade. One tip I have picked up: snap up eye-catching barware/serveware. People notice — including guys, who like to be made to feel as though they are sipping their bourbon a la Don Draper in Mad Men, as they would with this oh-so-chic mid-century pitcher/glass set ($150, Chic Shop LA) atop a personalized tray ($130, Saks):
A perfect slam dunk, especially with these personalized letterpress coasters ($50 for 58, Rock Paper Scissor — or check out these square styles from Pressed In Brooklyn, which also caught my eye. Love a good monogram). Coasters would also be a lovely accompaniment to a few of these beautifully designed Penguin “Great Food” books (all focus on the subject of food — around $8 apiece, Amazon):
Continuing in the vintage vein, I spotted these retro-styled tea towels and instantly thought of a few people who would get a kick our of their kitsch ($16 apiece, Cube Market Place):
If your giftee is the organized type, a tidy little recipe caddy ($50, Jack and Lulu) could be just the winning ticket, especially paired with a couple of hand-written, treasured recipes from yours truly:
Or, consider pairing this festive collection of rainbow-colored chopsticks ($35, MomaStore) with a gift card to your favorite sushi spot (ours is SushiKo…yum, yum! Mr. Magpie always orders the Joe Sushi Platter, which is an assortment of the chef’s top rolls, and he goes into food heaven every.single.time), or some bold knives (Mr. Magpie and I own several of these inexpensive, all-purpose wonders, and the ceramic edge just doesn’t dull! — $16.99 apiece, Linens and Things):
I also think that a few jars of Ricks Picks delights (OMG, Mr. Mapgie would die over these habanero and sriracha pickles — $7.99, Ricks Picks — or these spicy pickled green beans — $9.95, Ricks Picks) would be a lovely add-on to this rustic-looking cutting board ($80, Michele Varian):
While in the “au natural” section of this post, I’m loving the idea of this wooded tapas serving dish as a present ($38, A Plus R Store), paired with one of my favorite chef’s tapas cookbook (“Made in Spain” by Jose Andres, $22.50, Barnes & Noble):
And, finally — who doesn’t dig a set of transportable, shatter-proof champagne flutes ($12.95 for 4, Go Vino), for impromptu celebrations on the go?! I am smitten with these affordable wonders and think they would make a darling gift alongside a favorite bottle of bubbly (Mr. Magpie and I frequently celebrate with 1+1=3, an off-dry and inexpensive BUT DELICIOUS cava from Spain)!
Would look darling wrapped up in one of these location-specific wine totes ($13 each, MapTotes):
Switching gears entirely: we all have those exacting Little Lady friends — you know the type: organized, put-together, and sophisticated. Here are some top picks for those lovelies. First, who doesn’t want to see the little aqua box under the tree, regardless of how playful the gift? I propose a set of lovely playing cards ($30, Tiffany) — can’t beat the packaging.
Keeping with the Tiffany theme, aren’t these lacquer boxes perfection in the aqua blue ($120 for set of 2, Swing Design)?
Or, how about a ladylike boxed set of notes with different sayings on them (the first is blank; the second reads: “Fancy That” — $22 per set, Russell and Hazel), paired with a fun little pen (these promise to last seven full years — $7.50, SeltzerGoods):
Or, wouldn’t any Little Lady love this feminine throw ($322, CocoCozy)? Perfect for curling up in an armchair with a book.
Now, of course the Little Lady is never without a powdered nose, so some luxe-looking bath and body products would be welcome. I’m thinking of a beautiful assortment of my favorite candles (I l.o.v.e. Tocca scents — $42 for set, Sephora):
Or — how about a lovely set of soaps in a pretty little box (they look like French macarons! — $19, LAFCO NY), paired with one of these vibrant Turkish linens (they are HUGE and can be used as throws, towels, runners, or anything else you can think of! — $40, Basic French):
And, finally — a few items for the well-heeled Little Lady. We all know my deep and unending love affair with these adorable be-petaled clutches from Sondra Roberts ($98 each, Nordstrom). Olivia P. owns them in a few shades. Hence, the obsession.
I’m also just head over heels for these acrylic monogram necklace ($58, Moon and Lola), which I’d pair with an oxford and some skinnies and a pile of big, chunky bracelets: