Month: August 2012

Bad Hair Day Gifts: 10 Amazing Headbands For Any Budget

20120827-204549.jpgI’m in desperate need of a haircut. Truly. It’s out of control. Now if you looked at me you’d think I was delusional because my hair isn’t more than 2.5 – 3 inches long root to top, but that’s LONG for me and it gets sooooo thick. See I haven’t had hair over my ears since I was 16, having favored the pixie for the last 20+ years, and my hairstylist is on vacation for the next week so I am desperate for the bad hair day fix: headbands (that’s me in one in the picture above). Of course, when I wear headbands my daughter starts wanting to pillage my stash too– she has long, gorgeous red hair. That inspired this list of Splurges and Urges, high and low options to fit any budget and style.

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25 Moon and Space Themed Gifts

20120826-201220.jpgNeil Armstrong was one of those luminaries I didn’t think about every day–he didn’t trend on twitter, didn’t have a reality show or make the Yahoo homepage until the other day (pathetic that this is the barometer, but that’s another post). But when I heard of his passing I, like many others, was very sad. Here’s one possible reason why (I think): one of his most notable achievements debunked an impossible dream. Entire generations had grown up believing that a lunar landing, let alone a walk was a pipe dream, a fantasy, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t anymore. Anything was possible, even walking on the moon. Now, of course it wasn’t “all of a sudden.” There was hard work and training and time that went into the Moon Landing, but what that event represented and what that taught us all was that you (we/me) can do anything.
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Labor Day Party Hostess Gift Ideas

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Photo credit: © George Tsartsianidis | Dreamstime.com

Labor Day gatherings are always bitter sweet. They mark the end of those lazy days of summer and the beginning of getting “back to business.” Back to school, back to “regular” work hours, regular clothes and closed toe shoes–but also the promise of crisp fall afternoons, leaves changing color and (of course) Halloween is coming…

But, when going to a party, you know my POV on bringing something that messes with the menu (if not see this prior post) so for Labor Day you want to bring a gift that is thoughtful, possibly seasonal and in keeping with your host and your personality. Here are my ideas for consideration. Happy Labor Day and be safe!

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Gifts for Fashionistas

With NY Fashion Week approaching it felt appropriate to start dreaming up gifts inspired by and that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to give to my Louboutin wearing Birkin toting friends (both of them). But regardless of who you hang with, I have always felt fashion epitomizes fun, fantasy, reinvention and escapism and if one interpretation doesn’t do it for you, there’s always another collection or another season right behind. So enjoy…or hang tight, there will be more to come soon enough or even better, chime in with a spin of your own.

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Gifts for Back to School II: Tech Gear

In my day I begged my mother for a Trapper Keeper…anyone else remember those? Mine had kittens on them — similar to the image below with the puppies but with, well kittens) — and I LOVED it. Today middle schoolers at my daughters school are encouraged to have laptops, that’s right laptops and both my kids are connected with phones, tablets and computers and we are in constant connection with them from the moment they leave the house until the moment we come home from work. So the real question was what cases should they get this year?

Trapper Keeper circa early ’80s
mine had kitties

As I was browsing the web in search of picks to surprise my own mini technophiles with, I made note of some of my faves to share with you…(yes, I know, some could work even for me).

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Gifts for Back to School

My husbands favorite commercial is that Staples Back to school spot where the Dad is dancing in the aisle to the holiday tune “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” and the kids look miserable drudging behind him. Every year he waits for that commercial to begin airing again because it makes him laugh out loud and it does mean school is almost back in session and normalcy can return to our home. But even will I miss the lazy days of letting them sleep late (so I get to sleep a bit late too), a later routine so dinner isn’t at 5:30 which means, as a working mom, I get a shot at eating with my family and the promise of a sun-kissed weekend.

I don’t believe in buying comfort or joy, but I think it’s always nice to kick off back to school with a thematic gift that the kids can use during the year. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, that Staples commercial is at the bottom of all my picks… enjoy 🙂

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Discount Gift Card Shopping Sites

20120818-230926.jpgOk, don’t take this the wrong way…but I’m a sucker for a deal. Case and point, I spent about an hour trolling the aisles at DSW earlier this afternoon. So how psyched was I when I found out there are sites to buy discounted GIFT CARDS…yep, you read that correctly. Gift cards. Apparently it’s a whole amazing exchange system that I won’t go into (but I do link off to resources that will tell you more if you’re interested) which can result in some serious savings if you do your research right.

The other part of the process, which I’m not going to focus on because its not the bent of my blog but file under “nice to know” is that you can sell those gift cards you’re never going to use on most of these sites and get cashola back in your possession for stuff you really want. Ok, moving on…

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Summer’s Top Rated Toys Ages 0-13: August 2012

20120813-232546.jpgAs promised, here are more top toy picks culled from Amazon. This time I selected five gems in each age group based on customer ratings (my sorting was 4+ stars–many with 5–and most had to have at least 100 reviews). I also tried make sure not to duplicate any products featured back in July–but feel free to check out that post again here. I’ve also included some personal gifts i gave to my own kids this month that did not make the top five list, but did make my family very happy. Enjoy!

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7 Unique Gifts for Baseball Fanatics

20120813-001232.jpgI come from a long line of baseball fans… OK fanatics. And couple my tri-state location (some of my family is in Connecticut, I am a New Yorker) with an Italian lineage and you end up with Yankee fans… Shhh, my son is the rebel Met fan. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to religiously watch games and would pray for the players. I remember her telling me about going to a book signing for Daryl Strawberry (when he was a Yankee) and when she got up to speak to him, she said: “I’ve been praying for you.” Graciously, he replied: “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take all the prayers I can get.”

When my husband and I got married, he made a few things very clear: loved me, the kids, his family and the NY Yankees and no one could say anything bad about any of us. His love of baseball goes very deep, and I wish he could have known my grandmother to be able to share this passion together and she would have loved to see her great-grandson get in on the action. So as I watch the Yankees play Toronto (actually I’m watching my husband watch the Yankees play Toronto), I put together this unique list of gifts for the baseball fanatic.

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Gifts for Dads

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My son in his grandfathers’ glasses, winter 2011

Today my Dad would have been 76 years old. It’s hard to imagine him a day older than 61, his age when he passed, and he seemed more like 45 when he reached 60. He was a dapper dresser, loved his cigars, played soccer from the time he was a boy and loved to fish and garden. He believed in self-reflection, creative expression and was a devout patron of the arts. He was always a good father, but became a great Dad as I got older. I miss him everyday and wish he could see his grandchildren and the life I have today, as I think he would be proud, satisfied and experience joys not yet revealed to him when his life was cut short.

This list include gifts I think he would have wanted, and that I would have wanted to give him, had time and circumstance been different. I’ve also often said “dead people don’t have birthdays” so I’m about to contradict myself when I say Happy birthday Daddy. I love you. I hope this makes you smile wherever you are.

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