Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Getting Inspired - Gift Edition

A very good christmas. by missmallory

So, I've been damn smitten with all those gorgeous inspiration boards floating about in the blog-o-sphere. More often than not I have one pasted up as my computer wallpaper. They live up to their title, they truly are inspiring. Many include fashion, food, drinks, baubles, interior decor, and entertaining ideas. . . all things I simply couldn't live without. Unfortunately, I don't have photoshop, so I figured my dreams of creating my own inspiration boards were a thing of the distant future. That is, until I stumbled across Polyvore. It's a great site that allows you to create inspiration boards with items from all over the world wide web, and it's format is simple to use and easy to execute. Above is my first attempt. Clearly, it's not the best option out there (photoshop is clearly the winner when it comes to boundless creativity options), but it works well, and will be fun to play around with. Polyvore

I really enjoyed searching around and creating my own little inspiration board. Therefore, I've decided every hump day will be "Get Inspired Wednesday". They'll be boards with just about anything, links to recipes, gifts, music, books, decor, whatever strikes my fancy and things I'd like to share with my readers. This inspiration board is just a few of my favorite things. These would make great gifts, hostess or otherwise, and any would be a welcomed addition to any package under the tree I'm sure. Plus, I've purchased, tried, or worn nearly everything on the list, so they all come highly recommended by little old me! Plus, nearly everything here can be purchased for $25 or less. Here goes:

1. Au Revoir Simone - Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation
I am a huge fan of Au Revoir Simone. They're a gorgeous group of three talented ladies, all who can lull you into a great calm, or get you dancing and twirling around the kitchen in your cutest apron. They are a must have for any music collection. Albums and other valuable au revoir links can be found at their website here.

2. Betty Crocker Classics
Now, I don't own this adorable box set, but I do have an old original orange and white betty crocker cookbook that once belonged to my grandmother. Old Betty is my go to whenever I need to get back to basics. When I wonder "how did I make that perfect pie crust again?" I refer to her pages. She may not be perfect, but it's a great jumping off point. The recipes in this book are straight from the pages of the original 1950's cookbook. A lot of comfort, in a cute package that most kitchen lovers would adore! Pick it up at Fred Flare

3. Whisky Bits
Okay, this one is purely selfish. I love signature pieces of jewelry. You know what I'm talking about, that necklace, ring or bracelet you wear so much it is basically a piece of you? Well, I'd like this guy, on a silver chain to be mine. I adore it because it's different (unlike a monogram, or horseshoe, which, yes, are lovely but not quite original anymore, right?) and it pays homage to my love of the kitchen and in particular, baking. This cute silver plated whisk charm is the only thing on the list I don't have or haven't tried. The jewelry kitchen, where this charm is sold, has a wide array of kitchen related charms. From kitchen-aid mixers, to pie, french presses and even a small silver jar of caviar. You're sure to find a unique and pretty charm for the foodie in your life. Check out the Jewelry Kitchen!.

4. Chanel Polish
There's just something about Chanel. I am giving a deep red shade to one of my best girlfriends this year. Great polish, gorgeous clean packaging, alluring label. Any girl would be proud to have a bottle tossed into their makeup bags, trust me. Plus, it's luxury for a good price, only $20. This cute bottle would make a great stocking stuffer. You can shop around for deals, but I'll send you straight to Chanel.

5. Lumiere - Honey Pear Candle
This is one of my very favorites on the list. The scent is so light, not overwhelmingly sweet or fruity, just clean. And it never makes me sneeze, which is a very good thing. Whenever I have this candle going in the kitchen, people walk in the house and say "It smells wonderful in here." Which opens the floodgates as I gush and gush about how in love I am with a candle. I want a drawer full, so I never run out! They're that good. And I'm not a big "scent" person, so that's saying A LOT! Go toLumiere, a truly amazing candle company. I believe that Anthropology is now carrying these candles. They cost $16, maybe a little pricey for most for a candle, but trust me, it's beyond worth it.

6. Bon Appetit
Ah, Bon Appetit. How I love the new look, it's modern font, alluring photography, clean layout. It's so appealing, looks great on the counter and offers a new slew of ideas and wonderful recipes every four weeks. I think magazines make the best gifts, they truly keep on giving, every few weeks the giftee receives a gift from you! There are many wonderful cooking magazines out there, but I do love bon appetit, there's something fresh and young about it. Plus, Molly Wizenberg aka Orangette has a column in there titled "Cooking Life", gotta love a magazine that's supporting the food blogging community (and one very talented lady). Here is a direct link to the subscription page. Just $12 for an entire year. Woot!

7. The Jutti
Screw flats, it's all about the Jutti. Well, okay, they're technically a flat shoe, I suppose, but they're so much more. Again, they're not your run of the mill flat. They're gorgeous, handmade, often boasting gorgeous hand embroidered designs that are one of a kind. If are planning a trip to India, then you can pick them up for pennies on the dollar. If not, it's best to and search google Inc. and look around the web. Fabulous with a pair of jeans, leggings or even a dress. I love the silhouette and the uniqueness of this shoe. Hopefully you'll find some that suit your fancy too!

8. Rosanna
Talk about unique, Rosanna Inc.offers some of the most beautiful and unique plate options out there. The gold crowns are my favorite, maybe it's because I'm a leo and while I hate to admit it sometimes, I have a slight royalty complex. I own a few crown plates, and they've been uber durable. They'll add sparkle and fun to any holiday table! However, this is the only thing on my list above $20, a set of four will run you $40 not including tax or shipping.

9. Sofia Blanc de Blanc
What holiday list would be complete without a bottle of my favorite champagne? There's just something about champagne, er, sparkling wine I should say. I prefer it above all others. The first place my mind goes in time of celebration is "champagne". It's romantic, flirty, fun, gorgeous, sophisticated and luxurious all at the same time. It makes ones mouth quite happy. I probably consume a bit too much of this good stuff over the holiday season, between birthdays, old friends I haven't seen in months or years, parties and christmas morning I become quite the champagne lush. For a girl who isn't a big drinker, that's saying something. And what would I prefer to have on my table? Sofia Blanc de Blanc. Made in Monterey County in California. It is unique in that it is a blend of pinot blanc, muscat, and sauvignon blanc. It is a very light champagne, and in my opinion shouldn't be mixed with juices or anything else. It's delicate and needs to be enjoyed "in the nude", so to speak. It's fruity, with notes of apricot and peach, it smells of lemon, cream and honeysuckle. It's bright, light, not too dry and simply amazing. Perfect for a holiday toast with close friends and family. In Washington, during the holidays this wine can be found at most grocers and is generally on sale for about $16.99. It normally retails in our part of the world for $23.99 and is well stocked on most supermarket shelves.