Practical Gifts: Be Prepared in an Emergency

emergency_kit.jpgThe aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is reverberating across my hometown and I expect it will for a while. The news is still on almost 24/7 and there are still areas without power, water, heat and compounding that, others have lost their homes, their lives and loved ones. As a New Yorker, it’s incredibly eerie and reminiscent of the events of 9/11 and to some extent, the Blackout of 2003 when we were glued to not only the news but the ticker-tape text augmenting the audio/visual on the screen–as if there just was just too much information to consume no single person could actually digest it all.

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Giving Back: Hurricane Sandy

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The city I love was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy. I’ve lived here my whole life and never have I seen anything like this before. The entire tri-state area–New York, New Jersey and Connecticut–as well as areas from North Carolina all the way up north through New England saw devastation and damage, loss of lives, homes and personal property.

I feel incredibly lucky that my family is safe, warm and together having weathered the storm unscathed. Not everyone was as lucky and my heart goes out to those who have woken up this morning to a life phenomenally different than it was just 48 hours ago. If you too were fortunate, please join me in donating to the Red Cross-no amount is too small.

Related Links:
NYTimes.com: Tracking The Storm
RedCross.org: Sandy Forces Cancellation of About 100 Blood Drives
I Love New York: Gifts For My City
Giving Back: Gift Shopping For Good

Gifts That Encourage Courage

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Arsen Kurbanov
“David and Goliath”
152×152 cm, oil on canvas

We all know those four-letter-words that shouldn’t be said, at least not within earshot of our kids, parents, grandparents, in-laws, clergy, teachers… you get my drift. In my experience, the most destructive word of them all isn’t one the aforementioned list at all. Simply said, it’s fear. Fear is crippling, it’s blinding, it makes you believe things that aren’t real and question things that are true. But cheer up, it’s not all doom and gloom.

What is brilliant and not-so-bad about fear is that the opposite doesn’t have to the the absence of it–courage by it’s nature usually means still being afraid, but acting IN SPITE OF IT. So anyone can have courage. It’s an equal opportunity state-of-being that’s completely opt-in. Such great news, right?!? That said, it wouldn’t be Gifting Whisperer without a list so here are gifts that encourage courage and acknowledge when someone you love is finding the fight in spite of fill-in-the-blank. We’ve all been/are/will be there sometime.

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I Love New York: Gifts For My City

20120911-141600.jpg9/11 in New York is always a little different. Even the hustle and bustle of midtown seems a bit slower, people come to work a little later as they shuffle in from memorials and by work the pace picks up a bit more but the tone is still somber. We are acutely reminded of our promise to never forget in a way that is more palpable than during the rest of the year. As a New Yorker, you only have to look at the skyline or walk past a firehouse to remember…for many of us this is a common, even daily occurrence. I recall the sky being so clear, the day having so much promise and holding my 10-month-old daughter getting ready to take her to playground and begin our day as usual. And then the world changed and I loved my city all the more.

Please consider checking out the 9/11 Memorial items, and the rest are iconic NYC items that I think you will also enjoy.

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New York Fashion Icons Inspire Chic Lady Gifts

20120907-001333.jpgIt’s New York Fashion Week and I thought what better way than to celebrate with a gift list that is an homage to the ladies who have defined New York fashion over the years with their own kind of chic.

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Gifts For Gleeks

20120904-223209.jpgI’m a Gleek. I’m 37 years old and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Rachel and Finn, how New York (the city I love and live in) will be written into the show, and I nearly died when I stumbled onto this post on Vulture giving some juicy insights into the next season. Yep, I’m a Gleek and proud of it.

My dream episode would be an entire hour dedicated to the genius that is Stephen Sondheim and I think these kids nail handle it (are you listening Ryan Murphy?). Just picture it… Kurt singing “Not A Day Goes By,” Blaine singing “Being Alive,” Mr. Shoe singing “Children Will Listen” and of course Rachel singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” I would pre-order that baby on iTunes right now.

With only nine days before the season premiere, I thought it would be appropriate to come up with fun Glee-themed gifts for the Gleek in your life (I have a few also). Happy listening!

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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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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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My Casual (But Perfect) Wedding

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As I’ve mentioned a couple times here (feel free to eye roll or nudge anything with in reach with a ‘is she serious…a couple times?’), my husband and I are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I think this milestone feels so miraculous because it was so unlikely. Our pairing was unlikely, I mean. At least initially (boy am I botching this up, huh?). Once it happened, it immediately felt meant to be and all the pieces fell into place, however, not without complexities. I was a divorced mom of two little ones, aged five (almost six) and three, he was newly committed to continuing education, a full-time student and embarking upon a new career. Oh, right…and he had been a life-long bachelor. To many in the outside world, these lives and lifestyles seemed disparate and “not for long.” Then a month, three months, six months passed and Hubby Man, as I affectionately call him here and everywhere, were still together and committed–or we probably should have been.

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Joint Gifts: Things To Buy Eachother

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There comes a time in every relationship when you decide (hopefully together) that an upcoming holiday or anniversary gift should be a joint gift. The trick on this one is to not loose sight of the romance and fall prey to the too practical, especially for an anniversary. Understandably, sometimes the reason for a joint gift is to buy something you need as a couple or a family but try to find something that connects you both… yes even in a blender.

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