Tag Archives: rizzoli

must reads: november

I have to warn you: there’s only one fiction title on this month’s Must Reads list. Not that there isn’t wonderful fiction to be found – my shelves are groaning with books I’ve yet to read – but this time of year is when the really wonderful eye candy books start to appear. The best cookbooks, design books, cheery gift books – all things you’d want to give someone for, say, a holiday that’s coming up on you faster than a freight train. I’m holding a few back for the holidays, but some are just too good to keep from you for one more moment.

Just promise me you won’t let the shortage of traditional page-turners deter you – whatever their genre, more than a few of these books are just begging to be read cover to cover.   Read on

Share 'must reads: november' on Facebook Share 'must reads: november' on Google+ Share 'must reads: november' on Pinterest Share 'must reads: november' on Twitter Share 'must reads: november' on Email

must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend

Is there anything better than the Friday before a long weekend? Especially when that long weekend is the one that marks the beginning of an entire season of sunny days, watermelon and swimming pools.

I plan to spend my Memorial Day doing…well, not much. Lots of lazing around on the deck, during which I’ll probably be sipping a glass of wine iced tea and poring over some of the pretty, pretty books that have landed on my desk this month.

Wouldn’t you just kill for your Memorial Day to have a view like this?   Read on

Share 'must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend' on Facebook Share 'must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend' on Google+ Share 'must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend' on Pinterest Share 'must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend' on Twitter Share 'must reads: pretty picks for a lazy long weekend' on Email

get gifting: the holiday hostess

Since this week has been all about how to be a good hostess, I thought I’d cap the week off with a few suggestions for your favorite Martha Stewart wannabe. Whether she’s a crafter, a baker, or just a damn fine host, these gifts are guaranteed to please even the pickiest holiday hostess.

Perennially stumped about the best wine to bring to a party? Allow me to simplify: buy a case of this warm, fruit-forward Chianti and you’re set for the season.  Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Brolio 2007, $20

If she’s a good host, I’m guessing she’s a crafter at heart. Any knitter, whether she’s a novice or a pro, will drool over the DIY options in this book. Vogue Knitting: Classic Patterns from the World’s Most Celebrated Knitting Magazine, $30

I can’t think of much I wouldn’t love to receive from DL & Company. But their Fleur de Bois candle smells exactly like the holidays, without being cloying, and the blown glass holder is gorgeous all on its own. And these mini candle-and-diffuser sets are infinitely more gorgeous than their price tag suggests. DL & Co Fleur de Bois candle, $100; Mini Diffuser & Candle set, $24

What could be better than brownies from the legendary Sugardaddys Bakery? A brownie bit trifle kit, complete with a crystal trifle bowl, that’s what. Just try to give this one away without sneaking a bite!  Trifle kit, Sugardaddys Bakery, $58

Getting gorgeous letterpress cards in the mail every month? Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, chances are good she’ll send you one to thank you for the perfect gift. Mailbox Monthly, by Satsuma Press, from $48

Doormats are a tricky business, if you’re picky about them (as I am). This one is guaranteed to stop traffic…at least long enough to remind guests to wipe their feet. Mountain doormat, Angela Adams, $45

The coolest French press I’ve ever seen – add a pound of your favorite coffee, and you’ll get invited back every year.  Freud French Press, Horne, $110

I hear bundt cakes are the new cupcakes, but the perfect host would know best. Show her you’re up on your culinary trends by treating her to a treatise on the hottest thing in baked goods. Even better paired with a classic bundt pan. Cake Simple, by Christie Matheson, $13; NordicWare “Heritage” bundt pan, (my personal favorite, but a variety of styles from $20)

Show her you love her OCD side with a bottle of citrus-scented hand wash. This has a light, refreshing scent that works for everyone, and the oldey-timey packaging is a serious bonus. Village Perfumer hand wash (comes in 6 scents), C.O. Bigelow, $12

Share 'get gifting: the holiday hostess' on Facebook Share 'get gifting: the holiday hostess' on Google+ Share 'get gifting: the holiday hostess' on Pinterest Share 'get gifting: the holiday hostess' on Twitter Share 'get gifting: the holiday hostess' on Email

must reads: my virtual vacation

dear readers…yesterday was what i call “a day.”  one of those days when all you want to do is crawl back into bed (not least because the one bright, shining spot in the pile of crap that was thursday was my cozy new john robshaw quilt), hide under the covers, and hope a bomb doesn’t hit.

in my case, when i’m having one of those days, i crave travel – seeing new things, shopping new shops, eating at new restaurants…a new perspective (or just getting the hell out of dodge).  since i haven’t had even a glimmer of a summer vacation this year, and this labor day weekend promises more of the same, i thought i’d put together a post for those of you who are wishing you’d had a little exotic summer travel.  and so, a few pictures from some of my very favorite virtual vacation books – the tomes i turn to when travel is nowhere to be found, but i’m desperate to get away.

if you’re dreaming of an ultra-luxe tropical respite – maybe some exotic, exclusive hotel in the middle of the ocean – you’ll want to pick up ultimate tropical (from rizzoli), stat.  i want to visit every.single.five.star.resort in this beautiful book, sit in front of every.single.infinity.pool, and sleep in every.single.canopied.bed.  come on, aren’t you dying to wake up on that bed?  surely not as good as the real thing, but considerably cheaper (and easier to come by).

the book i desperately needed yesterday was still (from chronicle), a collection of photos by debra bloomfield. aptly named, it’s the most calming book i’ve ever owned – just page after page of beautiful ocean and sky.  the layout is such that you get one photo per page, cropped square…the whole thing is just so serene.  i had the hardest time choosing which photo to share…click here for a few more, or just buy the book.

of course, a virtual vacation doesn’t have to be all zen.  it can be food and shopping and all manner of touristy goodness.  for that, my guilty pleasure of choice is the one hundred and one series (from rizzoli).  for me, i’m going straight to italy – no surprise shops and crafts is my favorite – and instantly transport myself to a cafe somewhere in florence, sipping chianti and being utterly free of stress.  or maybe a tiny little shop where i can buy handmade leather gloves, in fuchsia ostrich skin!  ahem…sorry, got a little distracted there.

so, readers, what will you be doing with this last weekend of summer?  i hope you have barbecues, relaxation…and maybe a little travel in your future.

a little admin note: i’ll be taking it easy next week. i have a birthday coming up (hurray!), family coming into town to celebrate (hi, mom!), and just looking forward to some down time.  don’t worry too much…i have a few goodies lined up to keep you entertained.  and of course, there’s always my new twitter addiction, which i’m sure i’ll be indulging.

have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Share 'must reads:  my virtual vacation' on Facebook Share 'must reads:  my virtual vacation' on Google+ Share 'must reads:  my virtual vacation' on Pinterest Share 'must reads:  my virtual vacation' on Twitter Share 'must reads:  my virtual vacation' on Email