Monday, December 17, 2018

Gift Guide: What's on D's List

Via Wired
Finally a last minute list of D's wishes and wants for 2018. A few replacements and a lot of new below. Plus, since we all know who wrote this, I probably don't need to say that I'd be the happy recipient (or co-recipient) of much of this as well.  
Because he's our reliable household mixologist, whether we're hosting or not and his cocktails keep getting better (if you missed the fig bourbon cider smash, I'm sorry). Pair that with his penchant for all things black pepper and there's no doubt that this will result in some excellent new concoctions. Black Pepper Rich Simple Syrup from Blank Slate - their Palm Sugar variety has also been receiving rave reviews.

Because some of those delicious cocktails he's been making are really improved by citrus zest. And our current zester situation is not so excellent. Microplane Zester available from Williams & Sonoma.

Because this is really what he needs for that black pepper obsession, especially if Cacio e Pepe is going to be his signature dish in 2019. A pepper grinder with a build in measuring cup. Fresh ground but with none of the mess and all of the precision. Peppermate Traditional Pepper Mill available on Amazon

Because I'm hoping it will spur planning for our next great road trip together. Must See Leather Journal from Stag Provisions.

Because it is so tiny, he'll hardly notice it on his keys, and yet will never be without an opener again. An itty bitty cap lifter that packs a powerful punch. Gear Infusion Pry.Me Titanium Bottle Opener available on Amazon.
Because if 2018 was my year of developing a skincare regimen, maybe 2019 will be his? This looks like a good place to start. Starter Gift Kit from Oar and Alps.

Because he loves whiskey (so do I) and this sounds fun. A well-reviewed guide to infusing, blending and smoking whiskey in your own home. Definitely going to up his cocktail game. Hacking Whiskey available on Amazon.

Because he may need a vessel for all that whiskey hacking. An easy to use infusion kit with a variety pack of flavor enhancers. 1 Pint Teroforma Liquor Infusion Kit available on Food 52 - find more spirit-specific infusions on the Teroforma site here.
Because his office could use some decor and this clock based on one from a vintage 30's British racing car is pretty rad. Dashboard Clock from Pendelux. Other cool analog time keepers include this mid-century style flipping clock and this text-based desk top version.

Because I'm certain he could find some opportunity to wear this cheeky cocktail inspired tie. Only question is if he prefers tiki (above) or negroni. Cocktail Tie from Love & Victory.
Because after being a one belt kind of guy for many years, that one belt finally gave in last fall. The belt I speak of has already been replaced, but maybe some variety could be nice. This woven belt from Nixon is cool and works with D's much more casual office dress code. Extend Belt by Nixon available on Jack Threads. Similar also awesome options here and here.

Because once again, we all always need socks, and as no show socks go, these are the very best according to D. Something about the way they are knitted keeps them from slipping. Sperry Men's Skimmer Socks available on Amazon.

Because we're nerds, and because we had so much fun playing season one with D's brother. A game that changes as you play it, with cards you destroy, packages you open and stickers you add to the board as you go. No two games are the same. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 available on Amazon.

Because this silicon set seems like an excellent way to control clutter in the shower and look good doing it.  The James & Oliver Set from Tooletries.

Because a sponge that comes pre-loaded with a black tea and coffee extract body wash sounds like something everyone needs in the morning. Men's Supreme Buffer from Spongelle.
Because I am certain this smells amazing. Lavender, sage, vetivert, juniper and cedar, from a gorgeous lavender farm in New Mexico. Beard Oil from Los Poblanos.

Because this deck seems like a wonderful dinner table conversation starter.  I actually find everything on this site fascinating. Untranslatable Words Deck from The School of Life

Because his current lounge look could use an upgrade, especially for winter weekends at cabins with friends. This sleek pair gets rave reviews. Ace Pant from Mack Weldon.
Because he literally wore holes through the soles of his last pair. Essex Penny Loafers by Sperry available on Zappos.
Because there are significant ski travels on D's horizon, some that require new boots. How about a new boot bag that gets rave reviews for its smart features and goes so well with the duffle that I kindly let him borrow? Element Equipment Boot Bag available on Amazon.

Because to continue on the theme above, and if you could smell what his current gaiter smells like after a day on the slopes, you would know why. A breathable merino alternative. 260 Zone Chute from Icebreaker.  Their Apex Chute also looks great (as do all of their base layers).

Finally - because he's always got the camera (and now the drone) handy - an updated way to carry all of his gear, with space for other things (like his laptop) that doesn't scream 'camera bag' is just what he needs. I'm partial to this Rucksack by Brevité. Other contenders are cool options from Thule, Burton, or the pricier F Stop Bags & Black Ember Bags.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Gift Guide: What We're Giving the Guys

Just like the girls guide post from earlier this week - here are a few of D's favorite things mixed with items we couldn't resist for all of the dudes on our list. Also, to be honest, I'm a huge fan of everything here and think many of the ladies in your life could appreciate these gifts as well.
Because a heavy classic tumbler just makes a cocktail taste better, and we love the set we picked up from Ikea this year way more than expected. The Godinger Double Old Fashioned Glasses pictured above look like another great option, from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Because even though it has already graced the guides multiple times, it will never not be on our list to give or receive. Our favorites are the Old Fashioned and Whiskey Sour - but we also love the New Orleans Rouge and Oaxacan riffs on the classic. This plus a quality bottle of booze is a perfect gift for everyone. Bittermilk Cocktail Mixers also some flavors are available on Amazon.
Because breakfast cocktails may be more of his jam. We can attest to how delicious this easy mixer makes a little hair of the dog. Bloody Mary Elixer from Pacific Pickle Works.
Because D picked up one of these in a great bar supply store in Toronto earlier this year and wished he had done so years ago. A great heavyweight accessory for mixing drinks. Stainless Steel Bell Jigger available on Amazon.

Because (and to wrap up the cocktail section) - great ice makes such a difference. Returning to the gift guide for the nth time, a favorite ice tray maker with options to suit his cocktail of choice. Whether big cubes, spheres or the perfect crushed ice for a mule, these always deliver for a home bartender and look good doing it.  Peak Ice Trays from W&P Design.
Because although he's a beanie guy on the weekends- with product in his hair en route to the office, ear muffs are actually a better option for frigid mornings (and evenings). This pair are understated, handsome and won't mess up his do. Chesterfield Ear Warmers from 180s.
Because as fellow Coloradans, we're big fans of this brand, and we find these minimalist pouches great for toiletries, cables or other random gear while traveling. Why not fill one with a few other favorite things for a perfect gift and package. Accessory Bags by Topo.
Because we seem to always need another deck of cards, whether ours have mildewed from a summer of playing Oh Hell at camp or one of us wants to throw a pack in a bag for travel. We've found these cards from Art of Play to be lovely - and they have a style to suit any gift recipient on your list. I'm particularly fond on the super quirky surrealist Odd Bods deck.

Because if he's up for more than a game of cards, this was our favorite new game of the year, introduced to us by two of our dearest friends. As a bonus, it's not only a great game for four, but also a really fun game for two (which multi-player games rarely are). Splendor available at Target.
Because it's worth every penny - if you're looking for a big gift. Packs down to nothing, delivers great warmth - a year round essential for him (and for her). Nano Puff by Patagonia.

Because sous vide has been our most gifted item this year. D, my dad and my father-in-law even have a text chain titled 'bro-vide' to discuss their latest menu innovations. A few accessories might make their cooking experiments even more successful so we're eyeing a square water bath container and tight-fitting lid to reduce heat loss and evaporation. If there are those on your list who are culinarily-inclined or science-minded, sous vide is a really great way to make cooking feel fun and new. We love our Anova - and they've just released a very affordable Nano in time for the holidays.
Because everything this company makes is gorgeous and this indigo shirt is an instant classic. Ventura Shirt Indigo with Red Windowpane from Faherty. (They have some amazing lady stuff too.)

Because we happen to know *someone* who is just a little bit truffle obsessed. He may be my father. Packs more flavor punch than his favorite truffle salt, but without the added sodium. Truffle Zest Seasoning from Sabatino Tartufi.
Because the oversized format and boar bristles are ideal for beard brushing - according to my very bearded husband. Beard Brush available on Amazon.

Because these are D's preferred winter weather gloves - for skiing, carrying Christmas trees and anything else the cold throws at him. Flylow Tough Guy Glove available on Backcountry.

Because we've tried and loved bourbon-barrel aged soy sauce before, but this imperial version takes it to the next level. For his weekly stir fry - homemade or takeout. Imperial Soy Sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods.

Because D has appropriated a very similar giveaway bag from one of my events as his own - and we disagree over who gets to use it on every trip we take together. The Twill Weekender by Everlane.

Because if the Oribe dry spray is my desert island hair product - this is D's. Holds his style all day, clean look, no grease. Clay Pomade by Baxter available on Amazon.

Because after transporting this home from camp several years ago, we still haven't returned it to our friend (sorry Binns). An excellent log maneuvering device. Perfect for firepits and places. Sunnydaze Heavy Duty Log Grabber available on Amazon.
Because it's the key to a quickly built fire any night of the week, and we're not taking advantage of this fireplace the other eight months of the year. Fatwood Crate from LL Bean.

Because these pants are D tested and approved for his post-government work week wear in a variety of shades. Stretch Weekday Warriors from Bonobos.

Finally, because he's been really really good, a super sweet drone to capture all the footy of his adventures. We own (and adore) the Mavic Air, by the same manufacturer (DJI), but the younger brother model is a great entry-level drone that still boasts all of DJI's signature technology in a smaller package - just spend some time watching the videos on the website. Spark by DJI.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Gift Guide: What's on My List

Via Wired
Dear Santa - please accept the following list of wishes, some extravagant and some practical that make up my list this year. Many of these are repeats, products I own, love and need a refresh on. Others are things I've had my eye on for a while and am convinced that I need. Maybe you or the people on your list need them too.

Because I've gotten a ton of mileage out of my smaller black cross-body bag and would love to have an alternate option for when I'm not in my customary monochrome. Multiple tough decisions here though (color? monogram? stripes?) - good news is they all appear to be gorgeous and you can preview your custom creation on the website. Meadow Double Zip Camera Bag from Leatherology

Because although there is no shortage of adorable pom poms, ribbed trims and sparkles in the beanie market right now, I always reach for the most simple option in the drawer, and have been missing a classic since I misplaced it last year. Slouchy Cashmere Beanie from Nordstroms.

Because I love cooking with spice blends, and have been fascinated with La Boîte since reading about master-blender Lior in Bon Appetit years ago. This small discovery set of their top blends is a great way to find a new favorite. Mini 5 Spice Set from La Boîte

Because I'm a big butter fan - as my parents can attest from my childhood proclivities for eating it by the bar. Soft butter is just so much better than cold butter, but there's no way we can (or should) eat an entire bar before it starts to get gross on the counter. This little keeper ensures butter stays fresh, and soft for much longer in a very attractive package. Corian and Stoneware Butter Keeper from Food 52.

Because I've heard so many great things about this cookbook and I love following its delightfully witty and relatable author on Instagram. Dining In by Alison Roman available on Amazon. I also flipped through The Magnolia Table Cookbook while at my friend's house last week and found it to be totally inspiring - and Food 52's Genius Recipes has been on my list forever.
Because I left mine on an airplane and cannot bear the thought of another red-eye without it. The best eye mask ever made, long live the eye bra. Nidra Deep Rest Sleep Mask available on Amazon.

Because my shampoo is infinitely better than what they have at the Hampton Inn, but refillable bottles are usually bulky and leaky. These aren't. FlatPak Toiletry Bottles from Matador.

Because above eye mask or not - adjusting to new time zones seems to only be getting harder, and anything is worth a try. Plant Alchemy Jet Lag from the Alchemist's Kitchen.

Finally on the traveling front - because my cord situation is always a disaster made worse by international adaptors. Cable Kit from Aer - although let's be honest, this is what I really want.

Because chili oil!! It's delicious on everything and I'm super excited about this series from Hot Mama's out of Portland that not only includes a Guajillo (my favorite) chile oil, but also a coffee chile oil. Chile Oil Variety Pack from Hot Mama's.

Because the glove/mitten hybrid is a wonderful thing, and this is a beautiful pair. Classic Glittens from Echo.
Because 2019 is going to be the year I finally drink enough water - and maybe having this bottle blinking at me on my desk will be the thing to help me do it. Hidrate Spark Bottle (also on Amazon).

Because it's the very best, but it's a splurge for something that you can buy in the grocery store check out stand, and I'm all out. Sugar Lip Treatment by Fresh available at Sephora.

Because I am totally obsessed with the Nespresso machine I bought D as a gift earlier this year (I definitely use it more than he does) and I love the idea of these little espresso cups, whether for drinking shots straight or using to transfer the shot from the machine to my latte. I adore the beautiful glaze colors from Australian ceramicist Mud above (also their Paris Platter is a thing of dreams) but also love this riff on the classic French picardie glass or this simple set, both from Food 52. 
Because it's basically my uniform, and there was an unfortunate sharpie incident that did in my favorite white shirt. Also - forget the 'boyfriend' style, just go straight for the men's section - they cost less and fit better, which I don't fully understand how is possible. Men's White Oxford Shirt from Gap (for reference, I wear a small). Also eyeing this buffalo check flannel, because winter.
Because it has a cult following for taming unruly brows and mine have a mind of their own. Boy Brow by Glossier. Mine are pretty bold on their own so I wouldn't be looking for anything more than clear, but for ladies looking for a little extra definition, it comes in three other shades.

Because although makeup is far from my forte, I've lately become obsessed with watching Katie Jane Hughes on Instagram and she has me convinced that I need some shimmery shadow. This palette by Tarte seems like it could be a good option for starters.

Because even though it's made for kids, I think it would be a total delight at our next dinner party. Giant USA Coloring Roll from Omy.
Because it's about time to retire some of our wine-stained, washing-machine-pilled napkins that have carried us through dinner parties for the last decade. This chambray set seems sturdy and affordable (so you don't hesitate to use it to mop up a spilled glass of wine) and like it could play well with a variety of other styles we have on hand. Chambray Napkins from Amazon. I'm also loving the subtle edging on these sets from Fennco Styles and Wayfair.

Because the aforementioned Paris Platter from Mud isn't exactly friendly to anyone's budget and I can't seem to get my hands on enough serving pieces, this beautiful matte black bowl scratches the something new itch. Low Serving Bowl from Year & Day (a really cool company loaded with table-ready gear at great prices - their matte gold serving set would also make an excellent gift).

Because even though the word choices above are 100% not me - this t-shirt pop up design is totally customizable. Pick your personal ingredients and percentages and feel good knowing 100% of proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. I'm probably some mixture of Know It All, Pizza Please and Getting Shit Done. This would be a fun exercise for everyone you know. Limited edition I AM DKNY Tee.
Because earrings are definitely my jewelry of choice (in addition to my Shinola watch) - and I gravitate towards minimal pairs that are a little unusual. Always gold. Sia Stud Earrings from Soko - I also love these and these (also from Soko) and these unusual climbers

Because my life is all about planning - literally my personal and professional passion - and I've always preferred analog for tracking certain things. Also 2018 has taught me that if I pour all of my energy and organization into my work, there isn't a lot left over at the end of the day. I need to make space in my life for the things and people I love the most, and I feel like writing that down is a good place to start. There are loads of productivity and passion planners in the world, and some articles that do a great job of breaking down which one is right for you. I'm interested in this 90 day targeted book from Savor Life because that feels like a great timespan for changing habits and driving focus. My Next 90 Days by Savor Life.

Because after picking up a suede pair of mules this summer, I hardly took them off. The shoes I didn't know I needed. Really loving this congnac colored pair from Soludos. Venetian Mule from Soludos. I also have a serious crush on these.

Because it really is a winter weather essential, either tucked in the bottom of the bed or sitting in my lap while I work next to the drafty windows in our house. The radiant warmth somehow beats any electric blanket or heating pad, and I love how as you get warmer, it cools down, so you aren't waking up overheated in the middle of the night. Mine tragically sprung a leak after years of service earlier this spring. The Attmu bottle is highly rated on Amazon and comes with a cable knit cover, but this sheepskin cover (no bottle included) definitely kicks the snuggle factor up.

Finally, because my dream life involves having one every week (or at least every month). A massage. I will of course take whatever I can get here, but the note I always follow as a giver of spa gift certificates is to make it convenient or make it luxurious (amazing if it can be both), I feel like recipients are happy to travel to the Four Seasons, but equally appreciated is a smaller boutique spa around the corner from their office, or where they live. A small boutique spot 30 minutes away is never the right route.