If you ask me, a Martha Stewart wannabe is the easiest person in the world to buy for. Give them something beautiful to display, something they can use at their next party, or something they can drink at this one, and you’re done. Trust me: tote along any of these surefire hostess gifts, and you’re guaranteed a repeat invite.
I’ll be traveling for Easter this year, but it’s a crying shame. Lately, I’ve been seeing so many ideas for an adult-friendly Easter fête that I’m wishing I had the chance to host a swanky brunch soirée.
It all started when I spied these fantastic egg-shaped placemats from Chilewich (who else?). They say Easter without screaming it from the rooftops, and would be the perfect nod to seasonal décor without going overboard: elegant, easy and still right on message for the season. Plus, they’re subtle enough to be useful throughout the summer, instead of being relegated to the back of a drawer.
I’d add an oversized bunny – in deep dark Vosges chocolate studded with pink Himalayan sea salt – as a centerpiece (just be prepared with a tiny hammer when it’s time for dessert)…
And maybe a grown-up version of an Easter treat for your guests (sold out online, but still plentiful in stores)…
That’s it – a celebration that’s perfect for all of your childless friends. To make my life even easier, I’d pick up a spiral-sliced ham, soft-boil some eggs (leave them in the shell, and they’ll also look gorgeous on the table), whip up an easy hollandaise (I spilled all my secrets at Shelterrific last year), and have everyone make their own Eggs Benedict. Add a bit of roasted asparagus and some bakery-grade English muffins, and you have the world’s easiest party in the bag.
Of course, if you’re up for a lower-key version of the festivities, you might consider wrapping up one of Creature Comforts’ spot-on Easter basket ideas for grown-ups. They’re exactly what I’m hoping the Easter Bunny brings me!
For the friend/sibling/spouse who had an iPhone 4 before you even knew they’d launched, who can’t leave the house without at least three different high-tech devices in her bag, and who buys up every new gadget on the market before you have a chance to get him one of them for Christmas.
- iPad sleeves are a dime a dozen. But this is one of the best, and my personal favorite. It works for men or women, is sleek and modern, and actually offers enough padding to keep your precious tablet safe. Leather & felt iPad sleeve, Graf + Lantz, $65
- This dock lets you rotate your iPad 90 degrees without disconnecting, and the built-in speakers mean you essentially have a TV with surround sound. Rotating docking station, Acoustic Research, $110
- These retro handsets are nothing new, but the Bluetooth version is. I especially love it in red, so I can imagine it’s a direct line to the Kremlin. Bluetooth headset, Off The Hook, $40
- If your favorite geek hasn’t already pre-ordered the Steve Jobs biography, buy him the Kindle version and revel in the irony. Steve Jobs (Kindle edition), by Walter Isaacson, $15
- A good iPhone cover is a rare breed. After staggeringly exhaustive research, this version from Chilewich is my hands-down favorite. Sturdy, stylish, and that nubby texture makes it perfect to hold on to. Griffin Chilewich Elan Form iPhone case, $40
- Perfect for a musical geek, this gadget turns an iPad into a guitar amp and a recording studio, so they can (silently) perfect the bass line to “Smoke on the Water”. There’s a mic version too, for the budding Beyoncé in the family. iRig and iRig Mic, AmpliTube, $40
- The most gadget-y of space heaters, this warms a whole room in no time…and looks cool doing it. Dyson Hot fan heater, $399
- This point-and-shoot camera is the best of both worlds: retro styling and modern technology. In other words, you’ll look hip and so will your pics. Fujifilm X10, $695
- Call me old-school, but sometimes I miss the simplicity of a boom box. This is the modern (much more stylish) equivalent. Jambox by Jawbone, $173
The lovely Kimberly Brandt, of Billede Design is back with a few ideas to ensure your New Year’s celebration is festive, fashion-forward and completely fabulous. Enjoy…and I’ll see you back here next week!
Hello! I’m so excited to be back at Shopping’s My Cardio for a little holiday fun, as I’ve been itching to show off my latest find. Chilewich recently introduced this beautiful new table runner/placemat fusion called a tete-a-tete – it essentially works like an elongated placemat, which can be used either horizontally or vertically across a table.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on a set to try, and I just happened to have a photographer and a location already booked for another shoot! Fate came together and I was able to pull together a beautiful look for your New Year’s Eve dinner, or a more casual brunch the next morning:
We shot this in a 19th century schoolhouse. Isn’t the aged effect of the old wood just beautiful? I love putting modern elements in a classic setting. The dinnerware is from West Elm, including a dinner plate by David Stark and a salad plate in the palest dusty pink. I love layering in an unexpected color for the holidays, and the texture from that Chilewich tete-a-tete just makes the setting so warm and festive!
Tips for putting the look together:
- Search your local thrift store for blush pink plates. They don’t all have to match; keep your eye out for saucers that have lost their tea cup mate.
- Add in the metallic element by spray painting thrifted chargers and votives. Personally, I like Krylon – but be careful to read the label to ensure it is safe for food surfaces if you’re planning to use it on any serving dishes.
- To take get that mercury-glass look without purchasing new vessels, check out this great Pinterest page with a collection of DIY mercury glass links.
- For the botanical element, look no further then your back yard. I snatched these snowberries on location the morning of our shoot. Evergreen boughs, twigs, winter berries, or dormant fruit tree branches are ideal.
This table setting would be a perfect fit for an intimate New Year’s party. Can’t you just picture ladies sitting around this table in sequins and sparkles?
Of course, if you’re not the host, you can still try out a pink and gold palette, whatever your New Year’s plans might be. It’s a fresh change from basic black, or the usual silver sequins, and is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. Need some inspiration?
Happy new year! ~Kim B.
I have to start by telling you all that next week is going to be seriously amazing here at ShoppingsMyCardio. You see, it’s my fifth anniversary in the blogosphere. Can you imagine? I can’t begin to tell you what a fantastic time it’s been, and how much I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you all. Truly, truly, I get up and do this every morning because I know you’re out there reading, a fact that brings me even more joy than my new Vince leather moto.
Since I’m finding myself ill-equipped to express myself with words, I’m giving you presents instead! Yes, we’re doing a major, knock-down, flat-out amazing giveaway all of next week, so whatever you do, don’t forget to show up Monday to get in on the action!
In fact…okay, I can’t resist (I am the world’s worst secret-keeper). Here’s a little tease – can you guess any of the delicious prizes up for grabs?
And with that, on to Friday Finds!
I can never seem to get enough of the new goods at Chilewich. There’s just something about their use of texture and tone to make neutral pieces sing. The latest addition to their little family is this Electric Stripe utility mat, which comes in a few different stripey combos (though the blue is my favorite). It’s precisely the blend of utilitarian and inviting I’d want at my front door. Bonus: prices start at $45, and I spotted these most recently at my friendly neighborhood Ace Hardware, so they’re actually easy to acquire.
A.P.C., a French label known for clean, creative styles has just launched their Resort/Fall 2011 lookbook, and it’s a doozy. This “Resort/Fall” season is a relatively new phenom, but I’ll take all the new goodies I can get. Particularly that sleeveless shirtdress.
I just polished off Dreams of Joy, the latest Lisa See novel. It released this week, and if you’re a fan of hers, it’s a title you won’t want to miss. The first half starts a little slow, but the second half is utterly worth the wait. This continuation of Shanghai Girls (I don’t think you need to have read that title to enjoy this one) takes you deep into the world of communist China under Mao’s leadership. It’s full of that well-researched Chinese history See is known for, and the whole thing is so engrossing, even my husband couldn’t believe how rabidly I was devouring this one.
And, last but not least, I’m having another of my DIY moments – this time, I’m hellbent on recreating this gorgeous Isabal Marant necklace, as I adore it, but it’s too spendy for me even at half price. I seem to remember seeing these wavy, zig-zag-ish beads everywhere when I was just a wee shopper, but have no idea what they’re called or where I’d find them now. Any ideas?
Have a wonderful weekend, friends – I’ll be here, working away on the fabulous week ahead. But I hope you take plenty of time to enjoy the sun this weekend!
for this week’s friday finds, i thought i’d show off a few simple little things i’ve come across recently that are making my life just a bit easier, better, or even happier. sometimes it really is the little things that make your day, and these have definitely been making mine lately!
i’m sure it’s the type A in me, but few things make me happier than pretty desk accessories. i fell for the entire oh joy! desk collection from chronicle books the moment i saw it, and have been using each and every piece since it arrived (seriously, the file folders are so pretty, i actually want to get organized!). but i especially love the note block, which is the newest addition to the set. i love the color palette and all of those pretty flowers, but i especially love that the holder has an itty bitty drawer in the bottom. i find it inexplicably adorable, and i smile every time i use it. isn’t that worth at least $14.95?
i’ve been hunting for an iphone cover for, well, since i first got my iphone, which was at least 18 months ago. yes, i’m inordinately picky. i didn’t want it to be overly bulky, but i wanted it to be protective and durable. i didn’t want it to be too girly. and i wanted it to have just the right texture, since i tend to fiddle with things like this quite a bit. when i spotted the chilewich basketweave cover, it was love at first sight. best iphone case ever, if you ask me. i grimaced a little at the $40 pricetag, but quickly realized that if you factor it over the hours i’ve spent hunting for one, it’s a bargain.
i’ve gotten so tired of worrying about whether my water bottle is killing me. first plastic was bad, then metal, then another type of plastic, next who knows what? so when i saw these (extreeeeemely cute) glass bottles from lifefactory, they just seemed like the obvious solution. the silicone sleeve, in addition to making them look highly chic, protects from breakage (which i inadvertently tested when it fell out of my car onto the street…utterly uneventful, thankfully), and really isn’t any heavier than a lot of reusable plastic bottles. plus, it has a nice wide opening to fit the water & ice dispensers in my fridge. ah, the little things. my favorite is the white, but they’re all pretty awesome.
have a great weekend, everyone! spring is definitely worth waiting for here in portland…i hope the weather’s as sunny and lovely where you are as it has been here.