Tuesday, July 29, 2008

it takes a village

This coffee is so wonderful. One of the best coffees I have ever tasted, as well as being another one of those gift items that you feel really good about giving. Doi Chaang coffee is an exclusive, world-class, single-estate Arabica. It is 100% natural, forest canopy grown, hand picked, fresh water processed, sun-dried, hand sorted and freshly roasted to ensure the highest possible quality for each cup of Doi Chaang coffee. Even better, Doi Chaang Coffee is beyond fair trade-it is a partnership. The growers in the Doi Chaang Village of Northern Thailand operate and own 100% of their own Thai coffee company and processing facilities, as well as 50% of the company which roasts and distributes the coffee internationally. I can not wait to incoporate this coffee into our gourmet gifts!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

what is a princess?

like every good three year old, my daugher loves pink and princesses. in fact, today, we were cleaning up our balcony and there was an old gardening shovel that used to have a red handle. it now has a faded pink handle. since we only have three potted plants and about four shovels to tend them with, i thought we could do without one and the faded old one had been elected. OH MY GOODNESS, mortal sin, it was the pink one, what was i thinking?? i made up for it by presenting her with this new book tonite, notice it is pink and it is about a princess. . .two points for mom. the sneaky part, though, the princess in this story is modest and has impeccable manners and those are the things that the prince falls in love with. LOVE IT. the artwork in this book is absolutely amazing, too. the characters are actually paper figures, the scenery was made out of cereal boxes and then painted and there is photography mixed in, as well-the writing , so lively, is by the charlie and lola author, the only cartoon i actually enjoy. i think you should get this for all of the special princesses in your life, young or old. i bought it at a wonderful little store called entertaining elephants in studio city. so, if you are in the neighborhood, stop by, it is an adorable shop. otherwise, i am sure it is available in the amazon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

i dont know what it is about this olive oil that just pleases me, but it really does. when i saw it in my favorite gourmet foods showroom in la amongst all of the artisan chocolates and such, i was just in awe. the deep shade of green, the compact tin and the authenticity of it all just comes together in perfection. it does not hurt that it is part of the world famous il mulino's new gourmet food retail line-so you know it is going to taste a million times better than it looks. i tried their bolognese sauce this past week and oh my goodness, yummy, like you just picked the tomatoes from your garden and squished them up yourself and the coffee has been tempting me out of bed every morning with its absolutely bitter free and purely heavenly flavor. we want to make a trip to NY just to eat at this restaurant, have to reserve your table months in advance, though, i hear. i can not wait to have these products in my shop! they are going to be part of my holiday in tuscany gift and i am so excited to share their goodness. they are available now at il mulino's shop anyone who loves great food will definitely appreciate!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

save the bees

did you know that honeybees are disappearing? i have been hearing things off and on about the problem and my daughter and i notice on our walk to our garage lots and lots of little guys on the ground no longer with us. . .she says every morning, "mommy don't step on the bees-they are dead"-kind of like it would be adding insult to injury if i were to step on them in that condition. it makes me so happy, though, when i see the survivors buzzing in and out of our lavendar plants, like maybe we are helping the cause.

there is this great company in georgia called savannah bee co. they make the most wonderful honey products- i put some of them together in our honey bee good to yourself gift.

haagen daaz has created this very sweet website to help get the word out! i say it is time to save the honeybees!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

of tails and treasures

one of my favorites from the gift show this past weekend. little vintage tins with themed kits for kids. so cute. i personally know my daughter would flip for the piggy tail kit. i think it would be an adorable party favor or little gift. . . currently available overseas here, but soon to arrive at my shop, too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

well, i am off to the gift show and la mart to see what is new and fun (like these great bags i found last year from the gift bag factory, love!). . .very excited to check out some of la's super fun boutiques -thanks jordan at i heart toys for the great link on design sponge . it is my personal mission to visit every one of these stores this weekend. la traffic be warned. this small town santa barbara girl has her gps programmed. can't wait to share what i have discovered on monday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

upon your pedestal

no little quip from me today, i will let the creator of these fabulous cake plates speak for herself.

."Fling, v. tr. Definition: To throw (oneself) into an activity with abandon and energy.Flings In Aprons – A Love Story of Domestic Designs. . .Born the brainchild of a luckless romance. I salvaged and re-purposed my heart and I now love all of the things that I make. I am as passionate about my intellectual and creative flings as only a textbook Aquarian could be. My current fling? Upon Your Pedestal cake and dessert plates; a perfect pairing of vintage and modern, porcelain and crystal, aesthetics and utility. Hand-crafted from pieces reclaimed from flea markets, antique stores and estate sales from Santa Barbara, central and south coast, and on up to San Francisco. available here, here and here. . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

bag lady

i LOVE bags. kind of a serious addiction, but pretty much just fun-and so much more fun lately because everyone has finally realized that plastic does not grow on trees. i made a little promise to myself that i would allow myself one bag from each new brand i am going to carry in the shop. so, here is today's, but seriously, did i say just one?? oh and they are so great in real life. spacious, clean and lovely. this company is so cool. we received some of the flora ones in, too, green, red, yellow, and black. . . and those are less than $10.00. you pay a bit more for the organic hemp bag, but it is worth it, right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

green giving

my family is out on a bike ride right now. i don't have a bike, so i am at home. now before you start feeling sorry for me, let me say, i know that there are these little things downtown called bike shops where i could get my very own, but admittedly, i kind of like it when they go out on a ride to the park. it think it is cute father daughter time and i get a whole 30-45 minutes to myself. but this basket which has been making its rounds on various blogs and magazines is somewhat inspiring me. i imagine myself riding my new cruiser (i'm talking beach cruiser not Land Cruiser) down to farmers market to pick up fresh ingredients for a home cooked meal-the leafy tops of the carrots poking up out of the top of the basket, the potatoes rolling side to side as i make my turns. . . so not only has this basket inspired me to exercise, it has inspired me to cook from scratch. that is truly a gift. inspire someone (bike is optional).

Friday, July 11, 2008

i had to do it

gratuitous, she is so darn cute video. at least it goes along with the below post, right?

little bird

so, sometimes i feel a little guilty. but i can not deal with certain children's music. like i don't even try to deal. . .that big purple guy, or the 100 kids sing songing to twinkle twinkle. it makes me cringe. and its weird because i love kids and i love music, so you would think i would be sooo into it. but im not. so when our friends graced us with this cd, i was in bliss. my daughter and i both have our favorite songs on the cd. she likes little bird, i like what goes on. i get crazy to that song. i think that is why she does not like it as much as me. she knows i am going to start doing the mommy dance around the house. but seriously, the best part of the whole cd, is that my daughter knows every word to three little birds, i mean really, what could be better than your 3 year old with her very sweet voice singing "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is going to be all right" while you are driving around town with and endless list of errands to accomplish. it makes me roll down the windows and feel the sunshine. give this to all your new parent friends, they will be grateful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

beads of hope

these beads are so cool. they are made from recycled paper by women in Uganda. a brother, sister, sister's husband team had an idea to start a socially proactive business. they traveled to uganda and met displaced people there who were excited to learn a trade to offer themselves and families a bit of stable income. i always love a gift that is both lovely in appearance and in purpose. . . visit their website here to find out where to purchase the beads.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

let's clown around

i know you know i love gifts. i really do. i don't just say it because i have to. i also really love parties and entertaining. sometimes if it has been a while since i have had a party, i start to get a dull ache inside and try to convince friends that have already told me they do NOT want a baby shower for their second baby that they should have one-just because i found the most perfect theme and i really want to get all crafty and crazy with the decor. so, in order to not drive my friends crazy with my party antics, i have decided that i should start really promoting my event favor part of my business! i am super excited and have a ton of ideas. the photo is of a favor i did for a clown and balloon themed birthday party-they are all ready to ship out and i kind of think they are cute. ice cream cone bubbles, a clown nose and some smarties, what else does a kid need to have a fun day?
ps. if you are having a party, please please please let me do your favors, if you let me come up with the theme for you, i will love you even more. . . and if you are my friend with the 2nd baby coming, you know who you are, are you sure?!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

ahoy there

i admit, i am not the first in line to don a bathing suit and hop into our pool, but this set has me tempted. so hip for pool accessories, don't you think? get it here before your next summer gifting dilemma . .hostess gift? birthday? thanks for watching our dog while we frolicked in the pool in cabo? and the list goes on. . .

Thursday, July 3, 2008

happy independence day

my daughter's teacher told me that she asked madeira what the 4th of july was all about and she said "it is all about parades and me being in a parade". she is kind of right, but maybe this 4th while we are sipping on our margaritas, we should tell her a little bit more about the "adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain." Thank you Wikipedia (click on the link to impress your kids even more).

aren't these so fun, though? i want to make a bunch of them and put them everywhere. i usually don't decorate for the the 4th, but these just might inspire me. . .create it

Independence Day (United States). (2008, July 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:58, July 3, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Independence_Day_%28United_States%29&oldid=223313140

when life gives you lemons. . .

make lemonade, but only if it is in this super cool decanter. this thing makes me want to throw a party on my yacht so bad! problem is, i don't have the yacht. i guess i could use the laundry basket and wooden spoons that my daughter calls her boat and oars. . .plop myself in there with my decanter and a good book and i will be sailing away to a better place.
i think this is such a great gift for so many occasions this summer-housewarming, really fun hostess gift, birthday, retirement-and the list goes on. so pucker up and enjoy the summertime while it lasts!