All posts tagged: Gift Guide 2014

Margit’s Note: Ho Ho Hectic

At the risk of sounding Scrooge, I too, would love to ban “busy” — the holiday kind of busy. Not so much the word, but the whole concept. Lately, I feel like I’ve lost my mind in crazy-making holiday tasks. Up at 2 a.m. trying to get Picmonkey-fancy with my holiday card; crafting a collaborative spreadsheet with my husband where we can track gifts, cards, tips for folks like Johnny, the UPS guy who leaves a note every year reminding us. (This comprehensive tipping guide, while amazing, had me in a panic.) And hey, the holiday spirit is meant to be about family, cherishing loved ones, giving, and drinking too much glug, right? So I hereby announce that we’re taking one week of chill. The TueNight crew will be off next week, celebrating with the aforementioned loved ones, and we’ll resume our regularly scheduled editions on December 30. (It’s a goodie, too.) But this week we’ve got our 2nd Gift Guide — which ideally should save you some time and headache. Great picks herein: Tamara …

A Chef Shares Her Favorite Food Gifts

Are you inundated with Gift Guides? Yeah, probably. But are you inundated with gift ideas that follow my golden rule: “Give the gift that you would most like to receive?” Probably not. Well, this is that guide. For the chef, home cook, food aficionado, or just plain eater in your life. I would be completely happy to receive any and/or all of these gifts. So you know they are for real. 1. Spices from La Boite Tucked behind a nondescript storefront way over on Eleventh Avenue in NYC is the magical land of La Boite Epices. Chef, owner, and spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz is an absolute alchemist, and the magic he creates in his beautifully packaged spice blends will blow you away. They make all other spice blends I have ever seen seem amateur. Rub a simple roast chicken with his Vadouvan mix and it becomes crispy, lightly curried skin with a hint of Herbs de Provence. His Ararat No. 35 is a smoky blend of Urfa Pepper, Smoked Paprika, and aromatic Fenugreek. His …

Merry and Bright: 5 Colorfully Chic Gifts

As I write this, it’s 27 degrees out and the sky is as grey as the sidewalk, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a very long winter indeed. One way I try and combat the seasonal gloom is to surround myself with bright colors and prints. The effect they have — on an outfit, a room, a stinky mood — can be truly transformative. For the holidays, I’m choosing only items that promise a happy pop of bright for the recipient.   1. Aurelie Bidermann Cotton and Gold-plated Cuff Aurelie Bidermann’s jewelry is an obsession of mine; this gold-plated and cotton number is such a chic, grown-up version of a friendship bracelet. $120, net-a-porter.com   2. Tatsuro Kiuchi’s “Tunnel” This print is pure sunshine on paper. It makes me think of old Pan-Am and TWA travel posters from the 40s and 50s — so bold and saturated and graphic. $60, 20×200.com   3. Comme des Garcons Embossed French Wallet It is possible that over the years, I’ve given more Comme des Garcons pouches …

5 Gifts For Kids That They Don’t Already Have

Gift giving for children gets harder and harder as kids get more and more sophisticated. Outwit the little ones this year with presents they could never find on a TV screen or through an app. Warning: You may have to reach into your own past…   1. “Vintage” Star Wars belt buckle You DID watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, right? Episode VII of the series? No…? That’s OK, I’ll wait while you check it out. From now until December 2015, you’ll need to know enough about the movie to talk to any kid over the age of 8. Impress them (and their folks) with an eBay original that might just remind you of your own days of yore. $35, eBay.com   2. The Drawing Robot Speaking of R2D2, check out this super cute robot. Your DIY-loving kid can put it together using cardboard, tape, a little wiring and a battery. Add pens and turn it on, and this is a mini marvel. Include another robot and tape on a couple of …

Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Coffee can become a big part of your life when you quit drinking. It certainly has for me and many of my sober friends. Surely you, too, have coffee lovers in your life. Here, I’ve rounded up some snazzy gifts for them, from a monogrammed mug to an amazing body scrub to a fancy-schmancy French press, there’s no shortage of goods for the caffeine-inclined. 1. Death Wish Coffee For the seriously addicted. Behold: the world’s strongest coffee. $20, deathwishcoffee.com   2. Monogrammed Travel Mug This sturdy, stainless steel mug is perfect for those who take their coffee on the road. The monogrammed top adds a nice personalized touch. $30, gifttree.com   3. Starbucks Home for the Holidays Gift Basket Give that Starbucks-obsessed best friend a huge holiday treat with three blends that can be enjoyed at home. It’s also packed with gingerbread biscotti, a caramel wafer, hot cocoa and more. $50, ftd.com   4. The World’s Finest Collection of Coffee Beverages Poster A really cool poster that’s perfect for the kitchen (it includes quick recipes!). $25, etsy.com   5. Cool Beans …

11 Problem-Solving Tech Gifts & Apps

To me, a tech gift is a romantic gift. What is more loving than solving major problems in my life so that I may live more seamlessly? Dreamy. Here I offer problem-solvers for every kind of person you know. They will adore you — and hopefully not be too annoyed that you’re trying to fix their issues.   1. For the Stressed: The Muse Place this stress-reducing contraption around your head and it actually senses the electrical activity of your brain. Pair it with an app called Calm and it walks you through a series of guided, chill-out exercises. You have to fiddle with it to make sure it’s adjusted correctly, but once it is, it’s a pretty effective way to reinforce those five minutes of meditation. $299, gaiam.com   2. For the Person Who Could Be a Little Neater: The Stash Catchall We love the bright colors and sleek design of this simple, smart cord, coin and “stuff” container. Enable your inner Joan Crawford: No more wires! $30, modco.com   3. For the Person Whose Headphones Aren’t …

Gifts Under $35 for Secret Santas & Yankee Swaps

Every year I do a Secret Santa and every year, I am boring. I always go the gift card route. This year, I have decided to try something different: Be creative. I’ve been on the look out for cute but unusual presents. Nothing says, “Happy Holidays” like a gift that proves that you’re thinking of the recipient — and that you can be fun with a side of quirky for less than $35. 1. USB Cassette Mixtape  Perhaps the mixtape isn’t a thing of the past. Milktape’s version allows the owner to drag and drop songs to a USB drive, which is in the shape of a tape. $15, milktape.com 2. Groove iPhone Stand Help a friend or a colleague keep his iPhone in plain sight with this stand. $20, etsy.com 3. Cool, Calm and Connected Bento Box Packing a lunch can be a chore. This bento box makes it fun again. $15, modcloth.com 4. Retro Nintendo Controller Soap Be nostalgic and play Mario while in the shower. $13, etsy.com 5. Snackeez I’ve seen one of these …

Books to Give Your Trickiest Recipients

Like I said last year — there are certain folks that are always tough to shop for. This year I changed up my trickiest recipients list. I’m guessing each of us has one of these types in our life, so hopefully at least one of these suggestions will be helpful. If you can check one item of your list because of my advice, then I’ll have checked one item off of my list, too. Everybody wins!   1. For the Extreme Foodie: Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton You may have seen reviews of Hamilton’s book, some of which were critical and/or puzzled: She doesn’t provide all of the steps for all of the recipes! Who makes capon broth? Etc. Listen, Hamilton can do anything she likes, especially after writing her extraordinary memoir Blood, Bones, and Butter. Only she could get a publisher to make her cookbook look like a giant hot-pink Moleskine (complete with elastic closure) and include restaurant measurements written on strips of masking tape. $45, randomhouse.com   2. For the Long-Married: Kama Sutra Connect-the-Dots by Eland …

Gifts For Discerning Dog Owner

  Janey, my dog, is an amazing beast who has discerning taste. It doesn’t help that her mom has a certain penchant for fabulousness, as well — I always seek out the best of products for the best of friends. I buy Janey gifts so often that she goes nuts when the UPS person comes to the door. Here, I present some of our favorite shipments, which Santa or Hanukkah Harry may deliver if pup isn’t on the naughty list.   1. Tattooed-Inspired Dog Sweater I never thought I’d own a dog who sported outfits. Seemed dumb. But once I moved to New York City and got a little, lean pup with scant hair, I learned that clothing is not optional: It’s essential. Add to that the fact that I like to think that someday I will get a tattoo, and maybe Janey thinks she will, too. So here’s our intermediary endeavor: a comfy and warm sweater with an old-school, tat-inspired logo. Janey shows the world how much she loves her mom, and I share …

6 Hand-Crafted Gifts From GREAT.LY

Editor’s Note: We asked Flora Lels of GREAT.LY for her holiday gift picks from her shop’s amazing collections. She chose a few things that are great for the person who’s got it all… We’ve all found ourselves wracking our brains, trying to think of something extra special for the person who already has everything. I like to surprise that person with a handmade gift they’ll find unique. And bonus points for a present that has a personalized touch. 1. Customized Word Bracelet This beautiful 14K-gold charm bracelet makes the perfect gift for girlfriends, sisters, aunts or coworkers. You can customize it with any word you’d like. ‘ have fun with it and choose a short, meaningful nickname or phrase. My friends and I are getting these made with the zip code of a small Italian village where we all vacationed together. $55, great.ly.com   2. Willow Speaker The days of the CD are going by the wayside, so what do you get the music lover? Here is a speaker system that is gorgeous and eco-friendly …

Luminary Collage

Tue Do List: Holiday Lights, Cheryl Strayed, and Quality Time

At this point in December, gifts are on everyone’s mind. If you’re shopping this weekend, at home or outside, godspeed. And may you subscribe healthily to my favorite gifting philosophy: for every one for them, at least the dream of one for me. Cool Gifts at Pop-ups and holiday markets Refinery 29 pointed readers to the holiday pop-up shops at 73 Spring Shop, Tictail at 90 Orchard Street, and Cuyana at 311 West Broadway, plus its own Tinseltown brick-and-mortar pop-up bazaar, open through Sunday at Nolita’s open house at 200 Mulberry Street. If you’re not in New York, their online Tinseltown holiday guide is a fun read with lots of ideas for gifts, parties, style–all the seasonal fun stuff. DC’s Brightest Young Things has the most comprehensive holiday market and pop-up shop guide I’ve seen for this city. My picks this weekend would be the Del Ray Artisans Holiday Market in Arlington, and Georgetown Glow, with a focus on local stores including the actual Moleskine store–a pop-up that will remain in place, selling the best little …

TueNight’s Holiday Gift List (Plus, a Giveaway!)

I know, I know, typically we’re all about stories in our 40s. But here at TueNight we also love stuff. And we love to give. And we love the holiday spirit. And we’d like to buy you all the things. And, and, and. So this week (and next) allow us to indulge with our 2nd annual Gift Guide! We’re featuring some of our sparkliest contributors and their very personal gift picks — the stuff they’d want to receive. So let’s git ‘er done…. This week: Susan Linney offers beauty goodies for everyone in your family. Land Du Pont has selected some of the choicest gifts for the man in your life. The Mash-Up Americans have the best multi-culti foodie gifts. Heather Barmore solves all your Secret Santa anxiety. Lilit Marcus is sending your loved ones on a trip. Rachel Kramer Bussel gets naughty with her NSFW gift picks. Lauren Oster has gifties for the cat lady in your life. And Maura Johnston preps you for your New Year’s Resolutions, AND A GIVEAWAY…. We have a …

Beauty Gifts For Mom, Sis, Dad, Even the Pooch

The best thing about beauty goodies is that they make great gifts — I could shop for my whole family in the aisles of Sephora or even Duane Reade. And even if your mom isn’t really into wearing makeup, or your daughter is too young for lipstick, it’s usually easy to find something appropriate (think hand creams and light perfumes). These five ideas are easy to find and fun to give — there’s even something special for the dog! 1. For Your Hands-on Mom L’Occitane Hand Cream Soiree By now, your mom probably has her daily skincare rituals down pat, and she likely knows what kind of products work best for her. This is true for my own mom, and it’s why I give her high-end hand creams each Christmas, instead of makeup or hair care. I’ve put mom’s name on this set from L’Occitane, which contains 10 of the brand’s best-selling hand lotions. $88, sephora.com 2. For Your Beauty-Clueless Dad Jack Black Mr. Big Set A beauty gift for dad usually means cologne, which is …

5 Timeless Gifts For The Classic Man

Ask a guy what he wants for a present and he will often deflect the question with, “surprise me.” Can you blame him? Gifts for men are often either welcome-but-overplayed (single malt scotch) or nice-but-rarely-used (fun cuff links.) This year, don’t ask, but choose from these handsome, utilitarian objects that have stood the test of time. 1. Model 9090 Espresso Maker 1978, Richard Sapper The first espresso maker released by famed Italian manufacturer Alessi, the 9090 has been in continuous production for almost 40 years and, like most of designer Richard Sapper’s work, looks like it has arrived from the near future. Made of chromed steel and cast iron, it is glossy and satisfyingly heavy. Recently updated to work with energy-efficient induction cooktops, the 9090 is available in a range of sizes. The seven-inch size is probably the best choice, perfect for making Sunday morning coffee for two.  From $193, alessi.com 2. Akari Lamp 1951, Isamu Noguchi In the late 1940s, sculptor Isamu Noguchi traveled to Japan where he first saw traditional fisherman’s mulberry paper …

Gifts For the Multi-Cultural-Minded Foodie

Mash-Up Americans love food. Really, really, really love food. It’s how we explore and express our identities. It’s how we bring our families and friends together. So what better way to celebrate the Holidays than with a guide from our Mash-Up Kitchen to Yours. Here’s a list of absolute must-haves! 1. Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer Rice is the staple of many cuisines. Also, it’s so delicious and we eat it at every meal. A rice cooker makes perfect rice and needs no tending to. Arroz for all! $139, amazon.com 2. Wei Kitchen Shallot Oil & Amber Vinegar  This wonderful new company is creating artisan Vietnamese-inspired products. They’ve started with the Amber Vinegar & Shallot Oil that Vietnamese-Chinese-Jewish-American Founder Debbie grew up making at home. You know that vinegar that comes when you order bun? Who wouldn’t love to pour that on everything? $32 for a gift set, $10 for a sample pack, weikitchen.com 3. Stainless Steal Spoon (Sudgarak) and Chopsticks It’s just better to eat with the long handled spoon and the stainless steel chopsticks that …

10 Gifts for the World Traveler and the Day Tripper

Whether you’re shopping for a Wild-inspired backpacker or a globe-trotter who considers a two-star hotel “slumming it,” these gifts will work for just about any kind of traveler. And best of all, they might inspire you to book a last-minute flight and head off on your very own adventure. 1. Flight 001 Mondo Travel Alarm When you’re switching between time zones and still need to be sure you don’t miss that early morning wakeup call, this cute, lightweight alarm can help. It’s small — not even a full three inches across —so you can justify packing it, and just like your alarm at home, comes equipped with a snooze button. $25, flight001.com   2. Cath Kidston Mini Ticket Holder One major travel challenge is keeping all those pieces of paper together: boarding passes, train tickets, printed-out hotel confirmations and the like. This organizer is small, flat and easily stashes all your paperwork. Plus the London bus design gives it a sense of whimsy. $10, cathkidston.com 3. Trakdot Luggage Tracker We’ve all had that sense of …

What to Get the Cat Lady Who Has Everything

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a good cat must be in want of a bunch of cat-related holiday gifts. That said, all cat-related gifts are not created equal, and no one deserves a third copy of the Jingle Cats’ Meowy Christmas album. Celebrate the feline enthusiasts in your life with gifts that say, “I realize that if you’re interested in a bunch of Grumpy Cat stuff, you’ve probably already bought it yourself.” 1. Anatomical Heart Cat Toy These organic catnip toys are handmade in England from recycled wool and velvet. If Kate and William ever add a cat to the royal family, I’m guessing they’ll head to London’s Cheshire & Wain for supplies. Semi-realistic organs don’t strike your fancy? The company also sells toys shaped like gingerbread men, lobsters and turkeys — but c’mon, what’s cuter than a cat trotting around with a heart in its mouth? $14, cheshireandwain.com  2. KitNipBox Subscription Each month, the team at KitNipBox sends out a seasonally-themed assortment of handcrafted toys, all-natural treats …

50 Shades of Sexy X-Mas Gifts

Whether shopping for a friend, a lover or yourself, these fun gifts are both sweet (sometimes literally) and sexy, plus they work for anyone who could use a little pampering (or paddling). 1. Fantasy Fondue How better to indulge than with edible chocolate fondue? This tantalizing treat comes with a mini paintbrush so you can turn yourself (or the object of your affection) into dessert. It’s “virtually fat-free,” but when you’re licking chocolate off someone’s skin, does that really matter? $18, bootyparlor.com 2. Whip Me Stockings You won’t have to say a word to signal that you’re in the mood while wearing these. Emblazoned with “whip me, bite me, eat me, tease me” down the leg, these seamed stockings leave nothing to the imagination. Kink up your next date or be the talk of the holiday party. $70, agentprovocateur.com 3. Bettie Page Paddle I’ve always enjoyed paddles that offer a smile with their sting, and classic kinky pinup Bettie Page can offer inspiration to the spanker and spankee with this quilted paddle. Available in round …

5 Gifts For Your Resolution-Ready Friends

It’s natural that the indulgence and celebration of the holiday years precedes the asceticism and vows to do better of the new year. If you have a friend who’s already figuring out how she’s going to make big changes once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, these five gifts will show her your unwavering support for her mission. The best part? You can buy them for yourself — all in the name of self-improvement. 1. Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, as she’s known, actually released two albums this year; the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack wasn’t officially dubbed as such, but she sang all the R&B jams on that album. For her just-released The London Sessions, though, she packed up and headed to the UK, where she reflected on getting sober and collaborated with of-the-moment songwriters and producers like the soppy Sam Smith and the glitchy duo Disclosure. The result is an album that’s very 2014, with Blige’s undeniable pipes pulling her collaborators’ sounds even further into …