Beautiful Life and Style


For: the athlete and the artist

Continuing the week with more gift guides- I hope you all have been inspired! Today I’m featuring gifts for your most athletic and artistic friends in every sort of price range.

It is often hard to shop for artists because they are SO creative- anything you give them needs to be aesthetically pleasing, well made, AND original. I love moleskin notebooks and this one is a limited edition book filled with drawings from 110 internationally renowned architects- how cool! The USA project playing cards support 54 artists from around America- each designed a different card. And of course you can’t go wrong with a print from 20×200- especially one from Jessican Craig Martin.

For the artist

Colored Pencils Brass Holder Set / Random Washi Tape x 10 / by Jessica Craig-Martin 20×200 / THE USA PROJECT PLAYING CARDS | Art Cards Game Card Set |… / La Mano Dell’Architetto / The Hand of the Architect (12 x 8.5),… / La Mano Dell’Architetto / The Hand of the Architect (12 x 8.5),… / Pendant / Pantone Red / Front page / Mario Testino In Your Face

Next up are gifts for your friend who is always on the go. Although just because they are sporty- doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice the way they look or accessorize. I’m in LOVE with the Lucas Hugh stretch pants, and for those of you who hate drinking out of plastic bottles as much as I do- these glass bkr bottles have silcone sleeves protecting them for a trip to the gym. I have friends RAVING about how fun Nike Fuel bands are- and I’m not sure I buy the hype- but it might be a fun thing to do in pairs.

For the athlete

NIKE Vapor JacketLucas Hugh stretch pants / adidas by Stella McCartney  / Nike Stretch Woven Pant Men’s / Saucony Kinvara NMD Run Jacket Men’s / CS by City Sports Edge Run Top (Short Sleeve) Men’s / CS by City Sports Commuter Touch Tip Glove Men’s / Take Me With You Tote / NIKE+ FUELBAND / the bkr bottle: glass + silicone / Garmin Forerunner 210 w/ Heart Rate Monitor Women’s



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For: the well styled home and bar

Because a pretty home is a happy home. I hope you enjoyed yesterdays gift guide. Today I’m continuing with gifts for the home and bar in a variety of price ranges.

First up is this collection of gifts for the kitchen and table- which I think would make any cook or hostess very happy. I was especially excited about the Japanese grill. On a recent trip to New York City, Nick and I went to Takashi, and tried this method of cooking delicately sliced beef- it is so delicious and a unique culinary adventure! For the more novice cook, the Chef Set Meals are an easy foray into the kitchen- with just three ingredients you prepare deliciously inspired dinners. Or if you prefer not to cook at all- at least you know you can dress up take out by decorating the table with any of these other beautiful treasures.

For the well styled home

Rose Garden Tablecloth / Engraved Vines Copper Cocotte / Batik Olivewood Cheese Spreader | LEIF / Bodum Eileen French Press Coffee Maker 34 oz / Vela Candlesticks Rablabs / Fox Salt and Pepper Shakers / Korin Japanese Trading – Konro Charcoal BBQ Grill / Chef Set Meals / Waylande Gregory Red Bird Tray GRAMERCY CO. / Chocolate Dipped Orange Peels / Davenport English Platter, C. 1805

If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you may have guessed that I have a special place in my heart for the well crafted cocktail, and along with that comes the well styled bar! This past weekend I mixed up some Moscow Mules with my friends- but I wish I had had these copper Moscow Mule Cups- it makes the drink SO much better. I’m also in love with the tequila shot glasses- they are made from Pink Himalayan Salt!!!!! And if you need inspiration for a drink Mrs. Lilien’s cocktail swatch-book is a great visual recipe deck of some amazing libations.

for the well stocked bar

Caneel Bay Bar Cart – Turquoise / Royal Cocktail Coaster Set / Jimena Pitcher / Birch Bark Straws / RABLABS Bottle Opener / BARNES & NOBLE | Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatch Book by Kelley Lilien,… / HIMALAYAN SALT TEQUILA GLASSES- SET OF 4 / Morris-Kitchen Ginger Syrup / Art Deco Glass Decanter & Four Cordial’s by Boom at 1stdibs / Hex Champagne Bucket / Old Dutch Copper Moscow Mule Mug 428 / Best Year Wine Stopper Rabbit

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For: the most interesting man in the world, and the woman he loves to spoil

The holiday season has descended on us like Saturday’s snow: unexpected but so welcome.  This weekend I attended a Hanukkah party, and yesterday we picked up our Christmas tree. As I write this, my house smells like a magical pine forest and I’m listening to the Nutcracker. It’s put me in a holly jolly mood 🙂 I’ve also officially bought ‘the first gift of Christmas- but I’m a little lost for the rest of my list. So this week I am featuring some gift guides for everyone. I hope you enjoy them!

First up we have gifts for the most interesting man in the world. (Have you seen the commercial??) The man of a million interests and incredibly good taste- a little bit rustic woodsman, a lotta bit James Bond. These gifts are not only unique but are also incredibly well made and each tells a fabulous story of this man of mystery. Everything from velvet bowties, to ski goggles with a video camera to an etched oyster knife- its all here:

Unique gifts for him

Man of the World /Loro Piana Baby Cashmere-Lined Leather Gloves /Lanvin New Alber Oversized Velvet Bow Tie /Foundwell 18-Karat Gold Bloodstone Signet Ring /Ski Goggles with Built-in Camera /Barneys New York Backgammon Set /John Derian Company Inc — Hornet /Williams Knife Co /HERO3 Black Edition /Oro – Enandis SHOP /Uniform Wares 152 Series | Designer Watches /

Secondly, I’ve put together these luxe gifts for the woman who loves to be spoiled. Which includes myself ;). Each of these items are more luxurious than the next, from the fur scarf to the Hermes tray. Of course I can’t imagine I have too many readers who are going to find a pair of $48,000 earrings under the tree- but you never know.

Luxe Gifts for Her

Carven leather pumps / The Row handbag /Cartier yellow gold jewelry /Van Cleef arpel / Yves Salomon /Gucci /Cheval d’Orient /Diptyque Ceramic Baies Scented Candle /Arena Wheeled Carry-On, Jacynthe /

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Cards that Give

Christmas is coming! And with that its time to shop, wrap, gift and don’t forget the cards! Did you know that the US spends approximately 2 BILLION dollars on Holiday cards every year??? I would have never guessed a number that large. I mean, it makes sense, but its crazy to think of all of that money being spent on a piece of paper that most people put on the fridge for a few weeks and eventually throw away. Wouldn’t it be great to make sure that your card not only wishes someone a Happy Holiday, but also does something good for your community??

Well I”m so happy to have discovered Cards that Give. This site brings together all of the charitable holiday cards from around the country so that you can choose one that not only is artistic, but also benefits a cause of your choice. You can search by charity name, location, or type. So whether you want to support your favorite museum, or the local animal shelter- there is a card for everyone. And I know that whoever receives it will be happy knowing that part of the money you spent on them also did good for others. Isn’t that what this season is all about??

I’ve picked a few to share here just to show the variety of options. They all are beautiful and benefit causes that are important to me- but check out the site- there are hundreds more!

City Meals on Wheels: While National attention may have shifted there are so many people still affected by the damage of Hurricane Sandy. City Meals on Wheels is working to ensure that all home bound elderly people in the NY area have meals this holiday.

Friends of Boston’s Homeless: I can’t imagine what it is like to be homeless- especially in a city as cold as Boston. Friend’s of Boston’s Homeless helps homeless individuals gain independence through education, employment, life skills development, and permanent housing. I always love picking Christmas card with a Boston theme- I think these are the ones I will get.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: You had to know I would include something architectural! the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust exists to inspire an awareness, appreciation and understanding of architecture and design, in particular of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie period. I especially love the geometric design!

The Marine Mammal Center: The mission of the Marin Mammal Center is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Scuba diving is one of my favorite hobbies and the health of the ocean is so important to me. These Orca cards are beautiful (they also have cute sea otter ones too!)

Missouri Botanical Gardens: I definitely didn’t visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens enough when I lived in St. Louis- they are GORGEOUS. This image of the Chinese Garden in the snow is so peaceful and would be a beautiful card to use through the rest of winter.

Just think what good $2billion could do this holiday.

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On the second day of Christmas…I got this for myself

20111227-112620.jpgI hope that everyone reading this had a happy and restful Christmas. I was so lucky to have my family come visit ME for a change- although it was stressful to host a holiday for the first time! One thing I think I certainly took for granted was the amount of servingware- platters silverware and glasses- that my mother has that I DO NOT. I guess all these things come with time but as someone who is not married and has not had that wedding registry gift giving-I now realize how important these things are in being the hostess with the mostess.

So today I compiled a little wish list that I hope to fulfill before the next holiday I host.

1. A tea set.

When the night is winding down and everyone is preparing for that cold trip home, the comfort of tea is just what your guests need. While pouring hot water out of the kettle into mismatched mugs is OK, what would be even better is a beautiful matching tea set.

2. A platter big enough for a roast. My mom lent me a cute hand-painted Santa one- but it certainly would be nice to have my own.

3. Enough silverware for 12 people. On a day to day basis I have about 6 mismatched dinner forks- well you should have seen the scramble for more! Nick ended up going to the store for plastic ones- so embarrassing!! A really nice silver set is definitely on the list for next year.

4. A wine decanter. Yes. You can pour straight from the bottle. But any wine aficionado will tell you that the wine has been closed up in the bottle, oxygen deprived for 5+ years and it needs time to aerate. This is the whole purpose of a wine decanter. In fact you should start decanting the MORNING of a dinner party. The wider the bottom the better (aka maximum surface area exposed to air). More than one would be ideal- since lets face it- you are going to drink more than one bottle of wine!!

5. Cake cutter and server. If you have any tricks for getting a pretty slice of pie or cake without one let me know!!!

Despite the “missing” items, I would say it was a successful party and a fabulous Christmas. What’s on your list for next year?