It’s that time of year again! Time to stop thinking about what you’re buying for yourself and start thinking about what you’ll be giving to others! And so begins my series of gift guides at a variety of price points (Under $100, Under $50, and Under $25) to give you some gifting inspiration. No judgments though if you buy some of these for yourself, goodness knows I am…
First up, Under $100!
1. SodaStream ($99.95) – My friend was given one of these for her birthday earlier this year and I thought it was brilliant a gift idea. As a seltzer lover, this would make my life infinitely more green (no more plastic bottles) and in my opinion, who wouldn’t want to have bubbly water at their fingertips at all times?
2. West Elm Throw ($49) – Throws are one of those fail proof gifts that work for everyone. Plus it ensures that whoever the recipient is will think about you each time they curl up in it, which could be either really great or creepy. Your call.
3. DVF x HVN Cat Headphones ($95) – The perfect gift for all your cat lover/music enthusiast friends. However, I find the design to be more sleek than kitschy and thus think it’s something you could give to even the biggest of cat haters.
4. FujiFilm Instant Camera ($99.95) – Despite the digital world taking over, people still love the idea of instant film. This camera is hands down one of the best additions to any party and the design is cute to boot.
5. Grand Bazaar Blue Byzantine Necklace ($80) – I approach gifting jewelry the same way I approach buying jewelry for myself; it all comes down to one simple question: “Would I wear this?” This piece is classic with a twist and I can imagine it working not only in my own personal wardrobe but also in that of my edgier friends as well as those more refined.
6. Lilka Pom Slippers ($58) – I feel like I don’t even need to explain these slippers, they’re just that cute and seasonally timeless. But I suppose if you’re really in a pickle about which friend to give these to, I’d say go with the one who likes watching Aladdin and isn’t afraid of bright colors.
7. Sound Splash Waterproof Wireless Shower Speaker ($60) – Showering to music is like putting salt on chocolate. You don’t know what you’re missing until you try it. The problem is the overriding fear that steam or water will destroy your phone while you’re scrubbing away to the sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire. This wireless waterproof speaker solves all the problems as it can chill in your shower with your shampoo and conditioner while connecting to your (dry) phone in the other room! Huzzah!
8. Bodum French Press ($60) – Coffee makers are generally unattractive and for something that we drink on a daily basis, that just irritates me. This gilded french press is chic enough for display while still providing that much needed morning jolt of caffeine.
9. Uncommon Goods Decanter Set ($65) – I gave this set to my friend and her husband for their wedding. I love how intimate it is with just the right touch of humor.
10. Jane & Serge: A Family Album by Andrew Birkin ($60) – Coffee table books, another fail proof gift. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg are at the top of my icons list and this book features a whole slew of never before seen photographs of the effortlessly cool French duo.
11. Crest1 Bottle Opener ($80) – This bottle opener is one of those things that, were I to see it at someone’s house I’d think: “Ugh, pretentious asshole” while simultaneously and secretly wanting it. It’s no doubt a conversation starter, I can imagine it working as a gift for either a guy or a girl, and the design is awesome enough to keep on display at all times. Those three elements make it an ideal gift, even if they wind up being the pretentious person with an unbeatably cool bottle opener.
I have it on good authority that today is Santa’s List Day, the day the jolly big bearded man decides who makes the cut for the nice list. (How people pick these National “Blank” Days is beyond me and makes me want to make a National Baked Ziti Day but I digress…)
I figured that I would take the opportunity on this very important day to confess all the “naughty” things I’ve done this year so the big guy knows just how honest I am and thus ever so worthy of making it on the Nice List.
Here goes everything…
1. I broke my friend’s parents’ martini glass and tried to pretend it wasn’t me.
2. I told everyone at the party that I only had two slices of pizza when really I had four.
3. I did the walk of shame in front of my entire family.
3. I neglected to pick Finn’s poop up…twice.
4. I told a girl her shoes were ugly because she was mean to my friend.
5. I skipped my dentist appointment.
6. I said I was stuck on the subway when really I just couldn’t decide what to wear.
7. I forgot to send that Thank You card…
8. I cut off a New York Marathon runner so I could pick up my birth control.
9. I crashed my bike into a neighbor’s hedge.
10. I drank a bottle of sparkling water in Duane Reade and didn’t pay for it.
11. I backed my mom’s car into a giant (and parked) yellow truck.
12. I drank the last of my friend’s brita water and didn’t fill it up again.
13. I skipped a dinner party so I could keep watching Game of Thrones.
14. I didn’t pay my electric bill on time.
15. I took someone else’s Uber ride.
Here’s to hoping this little confessional works!
How often have you held your fist up in the air, shaking it madly as you curse into the abyss of nothing because something you wanted to buy is no longer available? My guess is more than once. Sure, we tell ourselves that it wasn’t meant to be, that we were never supposed to own that pair of fur trimmed Alexander Wang heels, that our money is better spent somewhere else; but deep down we feel that hollow pang of a hunger unsated. Weeks, months, even years pass as we try to forget the one that got away, but true love never dies now does it? What if I was to tell you that there was a way to find whatever it is that slipped through your finger tips? You’d call me your fairy godmother, right? An all powerful sorceress! Fine, I’ll take the title, but I’m sure many of you already know the powerful and promising world of eBay. I’m sure that most of you also find eBay to be one overwhelming hullabaloo of stuff that seems too complicated to take part in, and boy, do I understand. The first time I purchased something on eBay was my freshman year of college when I didn’t understand the whole bidding system and wound up paying $300 for a vintage skirt that had a starting bid of $24. I paid this much because I bid $300 and well, let’s just say the skirt wasn’t that exciting so no one bothered to outbid me or bid on the item at all. Lesson learned.
Very often I find myself searching for the same thing on eBay. Penny Lane coats. Oscar de la Renta mules. Carry on bags that don’t scream flight attendant. But keeping track of everything I’m watching and searching for has, up until now, been like what I said earlier, a hullabaloo of stuff. I’ve also always wondered what it is that eBay ninjas (aka the people who are so talented at eBay they’ve practically outfitted their whole wardrobe and apartment in scoured goods) search for. What terms are they using? What sellers are they following? What is it that they are looking for that I seem to be missing out on? All of these issues are solved with the launch of eBay collections, a platform that allows users to curate and track their own groups of products and must-haves from the site’s 500 million+ items. With just a few searches and clicks —Proenza Schouler PS11—Mongolian Fur Trimmed Coat—First Edition Hemingway—I can keep all my findings in organized folders that make buying and bidding all the more easy. Even when an item sells out, eBay finds and suggests similar, if not the same items that are currently available. And what’s more is that you can follow other users’ collections — i.e. those eBay ninjas — to see what they’re tracking and buying. Now, I’m no ninja, but if this were karate I’d say I’m a purple belt when it comes to eBay hunting and gathering and you can follow all of my collections here. And if you like what you see above then act fast fast fast because all of those items are currently available for a limited time only in my compilation of collections. Oh wait, that’s right, if one sells out, eBay will suggest similar, if not the same items in its place! It’s time we all said goodbye to the days of missing out.
Your Fairy Godmother
I’ve never understood the concept that certain colors should never be paired together. While on a shoot recently, the stylist turned down my idea to add a brown satchel bag to my gray and black outfit because she didn’t like the idea of all three colors paired together. When I inquired as to why she replied, “I just feel like you’re not supposed to wear those three colors together.” To which I thought, who cares about supposed to?! I didn’t challenge her on it, but it prompted me to consider other colors that we’re allegedly not supposed to wear together.
Red and green usually get a lot of huff because of their association to Christmas. I’ve also heard people frown upon orange and red because of their similarity in color, but naturally I’ve already ignored that taboo and worn an outfit composed of just those very colors. And then there’s the combo that baffles my mind each time I hear a person scoff at it: navy blue and black. NAVY BLUE AND BLACK. Two of the most harmless, neutral, and might I say, flattering colors to grace the apparel world!
Much like the simplicity of all black, I find that navy blue and black are one of those reliably polished combinations that I can always resort to when in a bind. Even here with my bra as visible beneath my navy blue sweater as Rudolph’s nose on Christmas Eve and a black leather skirt that could easily sway toward the dominatrix side of the style spectrum, I find — and please challenge me on this if you feel I’m reaching here — that the overall look is sophisticated and refined. Not once do I look at this and think, Good god that combination of black and blue stings my eyes! In fact, the only time I’ve ugh-ed at anything black and blue is when it emerges on my skin in the form of a painful and awkward to look at bruise. And that’s all I have to say on that.
Zara sweater | Opening Ceremony skirt | American Apparel tights | Topshop heels | Tiffany bracelet | Giles & Brother necklace
// photos by Sara Neel
You couldn’t pay me to leave the couch, leftovers, and fireplace to join the hoards of people scratching and clawing at each other to snag the best Black Friday deals on the racks of some of my favorite stores; especially since I can enjoy said deals from the comfort of my couch in front of the fire while eating leftovers! Below I’ve rounded up the Black Friday sales of some of my most frequented shopping sites where I plan to do some major damage on my faithful card of plastic. Now excuse me while I go heat up some more stuffing.
• Take 40% off site wide using the code 2BCYBER
• 20% off site wide using the code GIMME20
• 15% off 2 items with the code FRIDAY15
• 25% off 3 items with the code FRIDAY25
• 35% off 4+ items with the code FRIDAY35
• Up to 50% off site wide
• extra 30% off already reduced items using the code THANKS30
• 20% off site wide and up to 50% off the Fall 2013 collections using the code CHARLIEBROWN
• Take 30% off site wide using the code THANKS30
• Up to 50% off site wide
• Extra 40% off site wide with the code FRIDAYEARLY
• Save 20% off site wide using the code THANKSGIVING
• Save 15% when you spend $250 with code BIGEVENT13
• Save 20% when you spend $500 with code BIGEVENT13
• Save 25% when you spend $1000 with code BIGEVENT13
• 20% off site wide
• Save up to 50% off fall/winter 2013 collections using the code THANKSYOOX