Mother's Day Cards

It's not too late to order a special card for your Mom, mother-in-law, or one of your momma friends to send before May 10th.   I know it is May and National Letter-writing Month is over, but why not continue and brighten someone's day with a hand-written note?  Below are a few of my favorites.  How did the letter-writing go?  I missed a few days of writing during April, but I definitely sent at least 30 cards and enjoyed sitting down most nights to write a note or two.  The best part has been the notes I received from people -  thanks!

Speaking of Mother's Day, if you haven't seen this video of blindfolded children identifying their mother, you should watch it.  Warning - it is a tearjerker!


Muir Way National Park Prints

Our house is filled with art and prints that we have collected in our travels or that represent places we have lived or visited.  These prints from Muir Way would fit nicely into our collection and are available both as prints for framing and on canvas, which would be ready to hang.  Muir Way will even customize the maps for you - whether it is size or colors or even requesting a park maps for which they currently don't have maps.  The only bummer is that they hand make each of the wood frames, which aren't for sale (although I bet you could find a few good options on Etsy).   All images credit to Muir Way.

Gifts for Women

I'm back with one last gift guide - gifts for the woman in your life (or your girlfriends)!

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#1 - CB Station Sunshine Satchel - Perfect for weekend getaways, customize this classic bag with a monogram. This will be a tote that gets used for years.  

#2 - Loren Hope Alex Cuff - I love the art deco look of this cuff whether for a special occasion or for wearing to work (and unlike jingly bracelets, you can actually wear a cuff to work).  It's also available with a green stone.

#3 - Seabags Woolrich Tote - The sturdy Seabags tote combined with a Woolrich gingham print.  

#4 - Pave Clover Earrings - A fun way to add some sparkle to any outfit.

#5 - Madewell Sunglasses Case - I'm still obsessed with buffalo plaid and a stylish glasses case would make a nice stocking stuffer (there are other fabric options, too).

#6 - Seersucker Sunglass Strap - Speaking of sunglasses, how about a preppy way to keep track of your sunglasses?  These could be a stocking stuffer for a man or woman and if seersucker isn't your thing, how about plaid or leather?

#7 - J.Crew Ceramic Jewelry Tray - Decorative and helps you keep track of your jewelry, this tray makes me think of Morocco.  If you prefer a more simple version, try this.

#8 - C. Wonder Polka Dot Printed Leather Gloves - I wear black gloves most every day in the winter.  I'm thinking it would be fun to spice things up with these!

#9 - Ostric Strap Watch - A pop of color brightens every outfit and I'm always surprised by how well orange goes with many other colors.

#10 - Uppercase Notebooks - Notebooks are always useful, whether for personal use or work.  Rifle Paper Co. makes a variety of floral notebooks that are lovely, too.

#11 - Knotted Posts

#12 - Tortoise Cuff - Versatile and classic, this will go with everything!

#13 - Areaware Alarm Clock - Plug your iPhone into this docking station and you have an analog alarm clock!  thanks to Ali for telling me about these - Rob and I have asked for a set for our bedroom.  I hate having to look at my phone in the middle of the night to know what time it is!  You can watch a video about how it works here.

#14 - Monogrammed Bag Tag - For your favorite traveler! 

#15 - Customizable Yoga Mat - For your favorite yogi, the mats come in an array of colors and monogram options and all for only $40!

Gifts for Foodies

Eek - 21 days until Christmas!  I've finally started my shopping (a bit later than I'd like), which has resulted in me finding a few cooking-related gifts for friends and families and a few items to be added to my Christmas list!  What are you getting your favorite foodie?  Any fun finds?  

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#1 - Magimix Vision Toaster - I don't need a new toaster, but if I did, I'd get this one.  Being able to see whatever you are toasting?  Seems pretty genius to me. 

#2 - Flour, Too Cookbook - A new cookbook from Flour Bakery in Boston that includes both sweet and savory recipes.  As much as I love Flour baked goods, the sandwiches, soups, and salads were out of this world.  

#3 - Cold Creek Brewing Beer Cooler - Pack this full of a festive assortment of craft beers and give it as a housewarming gift.  The cooler is beautiful and will certainly be used again and again.  The Cold Creek Brewing Etsy site is full of beer-related gift ideas.

#4 - Pipcorn Holiday Crate - White truffle and sea salt popcorn?  Yum.  If you'd rather, you could make your own caramel corn (it's really very easy).

#5 - Set of Seven Ramekins from Pinch Goods - These oven-safe ramekins would be perfect for baking any number of things and would double as serving dishes.  I can't get over how pretty the colors are!

#6 - Bunches & Bunches Smoked Oaxacan Mole Sauce - A mole sauce made in Jackson Hole that can be added to meats, used as a condiment, etc.  I think this would make a great stocking stuffer - and a green and red sauce are also available.

#7 - Source Wood SodaStream - We have a SodaStream and I love having sparkling water any time.  SodaStream has produced this sleek and stylish redesign that would look great on a kitchen counter.

#8 - Smoked Habanero BBQ Sauce - Marshall's Haute Sauce Smoked Habanero BBQ Sauce - yum.  The website provides recipes to help you use the sauce if you want to get more creative than just using it on meat.  I've got my eye on this pulled pork.  There is also a Cranberry Red Jalapeno Sauce that sounds perfect for holiday cooking.

#9 - PieBox - This would be even better given with a pie inside, but what a fun way to transport a pie to a dinner party!  They also make a CakeBox for cupcakes.

2013 Gift Guide for Men

December is just around the corner and I'm starting to think about gifting!  I find Rob impossible to shop for, but here are a few ideas that might work for the man in your life.  Does anyone have any other ideas?  What will you be buying this year?  I seem to be drink-heavy this year, which was unintentional.

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#1 - Patagonia Better Sweater - I have two of these and wear them all the time.  They are cozy and warm and come in a range of colors.  They aren't too outdoorsy that you'll be out of place wearing one in, say, Brooklyn (and if you wear one in Denver, you'll just blend in).

#2 - Whiskey Stones - Rob uses these in his cocktails and they seem to work well for keeping a drink cool without watering the drink down.  We store ours in the freezer so they are always chilled and these would make a nice stocking stuffer.  If your man is into making cocktails at home, you could also consider this large, square ice cube tray.  This WSJ article describes in detail why the shape of your ice matters!  If you live in Denver, Williams & Graham even sells their giant ice cubes either at the bar or at Proper Pour in the Source.

#3 - Smathers & Branson Lumberjack Needlepoint Flask - I've already revealed my obsession with buffalo plaid and Smathers & Branson is a brand I love - this combines both.  This is perfect for tailgating, Christmas tree hunting, and general tomfoolery. 

#4 - Barbour Liddesdale Quilted Jacket - My favorite go-to coat for men that keeps you reasonably warm (this isn't a winter coat, but it is perfect for fall and spring) and will always be in style.  This looks just as snazzy with jeans as it does paired for dressier occasions. You can't go wrong with Barbour.

#5 - Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth - The possibilities are endless!  Listen to music or podcasts in the shower, when you are outside doing yard work, when you are camping and don't want to run down the car battery, etc. We have used ours in all of the aforementioned situations and love the convenience and ability to recharge.

#6 - Decanter and Pewter Decanter Tags - Perfect for the liquor aficionado to class up the bar area and don't forget the tags that come in 8 options (including blank so you can customize).  

#7 - Hermetus Bottle Opener & Resealer - Another stocking stuffer item, this not only opens bottles, but reseals them!  I don't know how this technology works, but with the increasing number of craft beers that come in bombers, I think this would come in handy.  

#8 - Penfield Big Bear T-shirt - Just for fun, comes in an array of colors. 

#9 - Leather Koozie - Sure, the foam versions are fun, but why not class it up with leather koozies? J.L. Hulme also offers a version that can be monogrammed! 

#10 - Extracto Coffee - Aside from Monmouth Coffee in London (and they won't ship to the states - I've asked), the best cup of joe I've ever had was at Extracto Coffee in Portland this summer.  Luckily, the beans can be ordered online.

#11 - Brooks Brothers Manicure Set - For the gentleman who travels regularly, the tools that always come in handy on the road.  You could put one of these together yourself and save quite a bit of money, but these items will always be useful (I use Rob's mini-scissors on every trip).  The kit contains nail and cuticle scissors, a nail file and tweezers.

#12 - The Beer Buckle - Perfect for the social man in your life, this buckle allows him to carry a beer AND have two hands free.  

#13 - Ramp Bamboo Ski Poles - If skiing is on the agenda this year, maybe a snazzy set of poles is in order?  I don't know about you, but I have the random poles that came with my first set of skis and I've never given them much thought.  I like the look of these!

Kitchen Papers

If you are looking for a fun way to brighten up your table during the upcoming holiday season, check out Kitchen Papers, which makes a variety of paper products that are perfect for dressing up your dining room table.  I usually use a tablecloth, but I love the idea of paper placemats or, even better, a fancy table runner.  You can even customize a number of the designs via Paper Source, which with some advance planning would be perfect for a birthday party or special occasion.  I love the festive gold confetti and the pinecones and the peony blossom would be perfect with my china.  Has anyone used these before?  If there is a Paper Source near you, they carry a few designs in the store as well.

Images credit to Kitchen Papers and Paper Source.