Tag Archives: decor

8 Winning Wine Gifts

I got a special request this morning  from my college roomie …

wine gifts: text-message

wine gifts: roomie-photoNot that it took a lot of arm twisting for me to celebrate my favorite fruit – the fermented grape 😉 Still, National Drink Wine Day is the perfect excuse to highlight some great wine gifts, as well as one of my favorite people to share a glass of vino with!

My visits with Renee are far too rare, but last Fall we got precious roomie time on a trip to enjoy some Niagara wineries.

So in honor of my roomie and the many glasses of wine we’ve shared, I’ve put together a little list of wine gifts in celebration of National Drink Wine Day.

8 Winning Wine Gifts

1. Glass Decanter

wine gifts: wine decanterI’m smitten with these beautiful shapely wine decanters. They have a rustic appeal with their natural wood sphere toppers that can be personalized with monograms or witty comments like “sip” or “vino”.

Available from west elm: Glass Bottles with Wood Stoppers

2. Vintage Inspired Wine Opener

wine gifts: vintage-wine-opener

Not just functional, this will be a piece of artwork for the bar. Open bottles with ease and look professional doing it with the corkscrew of choice among the finest hotels and restaurants.

Available from Frontgate: Antique Bronze with Granite Base Wine Opener

3. Crystal Wine Glass

wine gifts: antoine-crystal-red-wine-glass

First let me admit something, I have a serious crush on the Barefoot Contessa. So this one is straight off of my personal giftbug registry.

These French hand blown crystal glasses, owned and loved by the Barefoot Contessa, are a timeless classic from the 19th century. Not to be saved for guests, these are made to be enjoyed every day – just like a great bottle of wine!

Available from Pomme & Poire: Antoine Crystal Red Wine Glass

4. Sangria Pitcher

wine gifts: sangria-pitcher

This isn’t the first time a Sangria Pitcher has made an appearance on one of my gift lists (check out Picnic Perfect Gifts), but I can’t have a wine gift list without including a Sangria Pitcher, especially because several years ago I gifted this exact Sangria Pitcher to my roomie! 🙂

Hand thrown and hand painted in Spain, each piece is signed by the artisan who made it. And I love the pinched spout, designed to help the wine flow freely and keep the slices of fruit where they belong – inside!

*Bonus – check out the link below for La Tienda’s traditional Sangria recipe!

Available from La Tienda: Ceramic Sangría Pitcher – Blue ‘Flor’ Design

5. Wine Picnic Tote

wine gifts: wine-tote

This lovely wine tote comes ready to use – complete with a cheese board, knife and bottle opener. Just add wine, triple cream brie and a great crusty bread. And the tote’s designers know what’s up – it’s created to carry two bottles of wine! 🙂

Available from One Kings Lane: Wine Country Tote

6. Wine Inspired Tea Towel

wine gifts: tea-towel

I’m a fan of the products from Girls Can Tell, and I have a weakness for tea towels in particular! This hand drawn and labeled corkscrew is hand screenprinted onto washable floursack cotton kitchen towels. Great for decorating a kitchen or drying dishes, they also make perfect cloth napkins for a picnic lunch in the park!

Available from Girls Can Tell: Wine Corkscrew Tea Towel

7. Wine Appetizer Plate

wine gifts: wine-glass-appetizer-platter

Renee and I found these gems on our Niagara winery road trip. Absolutely genius! Elegant mahogany wood plates designed to rest atop your wine glass, leaving one hand free to enjoy your nibbles.

Available from Twine Rustic Elegance: Rustic Farmhouse – Wine Glass Topper Appetizer Plates

8. Ice Wine

wine gifts: inniskillin_ice_wine

And speaking of that trip to Niagara Falls, and in honor of my Roomie, Renee’s favorite ice wine from Inniskillin winery. This was my first introduction to ice wine, who knew that frozen grapes could lead to such a tasty and sweet dessert wine?!

Available from Inniskillin Winery: 2014 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

It’s National Bagel Day and I couldn’t get bagels off of my mind. It’s snowing outside and I don’t actually have any bagels in my house, so I did the next best thing and spent my day scouring the internet for the coolest gifts for bagel lovers. You might say this list is the whole schmear of bagel gifts (especially if you’re hungry and dreaming of bagels.)

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

Now gather ’round and check out these bagel lovin’ gifts.

7 Bagel Inspired Gifts

1. New York City Bagels

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-giftpack
Let’s start this list with arguably the home of the bagel, NYC, and that means some authentic NYC bagels shipped to your door (or the lucky gift recipient.) Shipped ready to toast and devour, or slice, freeze and toast whenever you’re craving a nosh.

Available from Zabar’s and Company: 18 Assorted Zabar’s NY Original Toasting Bagels

2. Peanut Butter

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: applesin-peanutbutter

Peanut butter on a bagel is one of the reason’s I run (in addition to beer and pancakes…but that’s another blog post.) Many people go right for the cream cheese, but I’m a bagel and peanut butter girl…and with peanut butter this good, you won’t stop at the bagels! Reginald’s uses just 4 little ingredients to handcraft some peanut apple perfection.

Available from Reginald’s Homemade: Apple Sin Peanut Butter

3. Vintage Jam Cutlery

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: jam-spreaders

This cream cheese spreader and jelly jam knife have hand stamped whimsical sayings on vintage sterling sliverplate silverware. << — That’s a mouthful, but so are the tasty treats you’ll be enjoying with these beautiful and playful service pieces.

Available from Etsy: Get Toasted ~ Get Jammin’ Hand Stamped Vintage Brunch Set from Sycamore Hill

4. B is for Bagel Babies

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-onesie

They are never too young for adorable onesies and to learn about the importance of really great food! This variety pack includes 3 great finger food onesies with ‘B is for Bagel’, ‘M is for Matzoh Ball’ and ‘R is for Rugelach’.

Available from Scoutmob: Foodie Baby Bodysuit Variety Pack

5. Everything Bagel Salt

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-salt

For the lover of everything bagel, Everything Bagel Salt. Perfect for soft pretzels, popcorn, grilled corn, burgers, hardboiled eggs….and I’m just guessing here, but probably…everything.

Available from Lusso: Everything Bagel Salt

6. Bagel Art

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: pug-bagel-print

I would seriously love this hanging in my kitchen! And if your friend or relative loves bagels AND pugs…’fugetaboutit’, you’re guaranteed to #win the gifting with this one!

Available from Etsy: Pug Art – Piggy Pug Bagels by Retro Pets

7. Smoked Salmon Vodka

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: SmokedSalmonVodka

So I was scouring the interweb for the very best lox for your bagel lover when I stumbled upon this little artisanal gem from Alaska, and I had to share. Distilled using water from glacier ice and infused with the flavor of Wild Alaskan Salmon this will make one hell of a Bloody Mary to pair with that NYC bagel from Zabar’s. My own personal version of East meets West 😉

Available from Alaska Distillery Retailers: Smoked Salmon Flavored Vodka

Gift of the Day: Sushi Lounging Gift Ideas

Gift of the Day: Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas for sushi lovers

Gift of the Day: sushi-slippers+pillows gift ideas

Today I’m trying something new with the Gift of the Day and I’m tapping into my love of gift pairings! I couldn’t resist when I saw these pillows – they immediately made me think of the sushi slippers from Uncommon Goods.

Do you have a friend who loves sushi? Maybe you have great memories of sharing stories and laughs over a Dragon Roll or some Salmon Nigiri. I have that friend! And I found these slippers several years ago when I was in search of her birthday gift. I only wish I had known about these pillows from Society6 🙂

Gift of the Day: sushi-slippers gift ideasAvailable from Uncommon Goods: Sushi Slippers

Gift of the Day: soy sauce throw pillow gift ideasAvailable from Society6: In My Fridge – Soy Sauce Throw Pillow

These gift ideas are a fun setup for a snowy Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch.

I love any opportunity to take the perfect gift and supersize it by turning it into a gift theme. Whether you’re looking for an extra-special gift for an extra-special someone or maybe you’re in charge of the group gift, gift pairings like these are a lot of fun for the gift giver and the receiver!

And because I can’t help myself, here are two more gift ideas to take this theme over-the-top!

Gift of the Day: beer and board game gift ideas

Now that they’re comfy and cozy with their slippers and pillows, complete the experience with a six-pack of Japanese beer and this beautifully illustrated board game where players are on a quest to cross the East Sea Road, one of the most magnificent roads in Japan.

25 Unique Gift Ideas

I’ve always loved searching stores and the internet for unique gift ideas, and now I get to share those fun finds with you!

These 25 unique gifts are from our first 25 Gifts of the Day featured on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get your daily dose of gifting inspiration.

25 Unique Gift Ideas

1. Wrestling Bear Cups

Unique Gift Ideas: El Guapo Coffee Cup Set from Jimbobart

I love everything about El Guapo!! Set of 4 bone china coffee cups with artwork by Jimbobart in London.

Available from Jimbobart: El Guapo Coffee Cup Set

2. Cheese Markers

Unique Gift Ideas: Cheese Marker Set of 6 from Etsy

Unique and repurposed – a set of 6 cheese markers made with upcycled vintage forks.

Available from Etsy: Beach House Living: Cheese Marker Set of 6

3. Leather Tote

Unique Gift Ideas: Azeb Getaway Tote from Raven + Lily

This leather tote is made by artisan women in Ethiopia who are paid a fair wage for their work. Raven + Lily is a company doing important work to empower women and impact poverty.

Available from Rave + Lily: Azeb Getaway Tote

4. Pumpkin Sugar Scrub

Unique Gift Ideas: Pumpkin Body Scrub from Simple Sugars

Loaded with antioxidants, this scrub will leave your skin “glowing brighter than a jack-o-lantern on Halloween!”

Available from Simple Sugars: Pumpkin Body Scrub

5. Travel Coffee Mug

Unique Gift Ideas: Holdster USA Leather Mason Jar Mug

We’ve got your coffee loving hipster friends covered with this leather holdster and canning jar travel mug – – oh yeah, it’s a thing! And trust me, they will love it!

Available from Holdster USA: Holdster Mason Jar Mugs

6. Bacon Cookbook

Unique Gift Ideas: 101 Things to Do With Bacon cookbook

Bacon!! Enough said 🙂

Available from Amazon: 101 Things to Do with Bacon

7. Pumpkin Whiskey Aftershave

Unique Gift Ideas: Jack O Lantern Men's Aftershave

Inside the apothecary inspired bottle are scents of pumpkin and whiskey with skin pampering ingredients like witch hazel and green tea extract.

Available from Etsy: Jack O Lantern Men’s Aftershave from Nevermore Body Company

8. Spice Shaker Set

Unique Gift Ideas: Spice Shaker Set

I can almost hear their dinner guests now, “Oh my gosh, these are sooo cute! Where did you get them?!”

Available from ModCloth: ‘Tis the Seasoning Shaker Set

9. Decorative Throw

Unique Gift Ideas: Sari Throw

A sari is a traditional garment of South Asian women, and these blankets are made from old saris that are collected, washed and stitched together. They are handmade by women who have broken away from the red light district in Bangladesh.

Available from Ten Thousand Villages: Sacred Sari Throw

10. ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Candle

Unique Gift Ideas: Banned Book Collection

From the Banned Books Collection, this is the candle inspired by Where the Wild Things Are with scents of sweetened grapefruit, lemon, and orange and a touch of slightly exotic island greenery.

Available from Etsy: North Ave Candles’ Sugared Citrus + Island Greens Candle

11. Tea Cups

Unique Gift Ideas: Etsy Tea Lovers Set

I love coffee, tea and a great pun. These mugs are everything!

Available from Etsy: Lenny Mud’s Ultimate Tea Lover’s Set

12. Margarita Glass

Unique Gift Ideas: Crate and Barrel Margarita Glass

These rustic-styled Garcia Margarita Glasses are handcrafted from recycled tequila bottles. Thank you Crate & Barrel for making it okay to drink from the tequila bottle 😉

Available from Crate and Barrel: Garcia Margarita Glass

13. Fun and Funky Jam

Unique Gift Ideas: The Jam Stand's Drunken Monkey Jam

Handmade in Brooklyn, it “tastes like sugar-coated bananas dipped in rum”

Available from Scoutmob: The Jam Stand’s Drunken Monkey Jam

14. Holiday Soaps

Unique Gift Ideas: Cranberry Goat's Milk Soap

Handmade goat’s milk soap with cranberries and fig, a great go-to holiday gift or the perfect way to bring a little fa la la to your powder room.

Available from Etsy: Buttercup and Thistle Cranberry Goat Milk’s Soap

15. Fun Ideas for Dads

Unique Gift Ideas: Made by Dad Blueprints Book

Sometimes we might find the men in our families hardest to buy for. If he’s a dad (or even an Uncle!) to small kiddos, give him the blueprints to rockstar dad status. More than 60 cool and clever DIY projects and mad scientist experiments.

Available from Amazon: Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff

16. Cooperative Play Board Game

Unique Gift Ideas: Pandemic Board Game

Perfect for extremely competitive groups because this is a collaborative game! Still, there can only be one winner, the diseases or humanity. The goal of the game is to eradicate the deadly viruses before all of the humans die…you know, just a little light hearted family entertainment

Available from Barnes and Noble: Pandemic

17. Children’s Book

Unique Gift Ideas: I Am Amelia Earhart, Children's Book

This book by Brad Meltzer is one of my all-time favorite children’s gifts, especially for little girls! This picture book with it’s beautiful illustrations tells the true story of an inspirational hero who even as a little girl knew she would have many adventures.

Available from Amazon: I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer

18. Decorative Pillow

Unique Gift Ideas: Otto Finn: Pretzel Pillow

One of many huggable home decor pieces from Pittsburgh designer OTTO FINN

Available from OTTO FINN: Pretzel Hug Pillow

19. Fun Office Supplies

Unique Gift Ideas: Googly Eye Push Pins

A fun holiday stocking stuffer! Perfect for teenagers, college students and your friend’s work cubicle.

Available from Amazon: Googly Eye Push Pins

20. Pie Carrier

Unique Gift Ideas: PieBox

The perfect way to deliver your famous pumpkin or pecan pie this holiday! Even if baking isn’t your thing, pick one up from the freezer section and dress it up in this beautiful handcrafted wooden pie carrier. That pie sure will taste homemade!

Available from PieBox: PieBox with Small Strap/Handle Bundle

21. Dazzling Earrings

Unique Gift Ideas: Frost Finery: Black Druzy Earrings

Handmade silver earrings with a modern and edgy look from Pittsburgh jewelry designer Melissa Frost.

Available from Etsy: Frost Finery’s Druzy Silver Stud Earrings

22. An Infusion of Flavor

Unique Gift Ideas: Flavor Infusing Decanter

For the master mixologist on your Christmas list. They can make their own liquor infusions with berries, fresh herbs or straight from their imagination.

Available from Uncommon Goods: Flavor Infusing Decanter

23. Building Blocks

Unique Gift Ideas: Childcraft Building Blocks

These colorful blocks were a staple of my childhood. My cousins and I spent years building many forts and wonderlands out of these blocks.
They are sturdy, durable and lightweight blocks – the building blocks of endless fantasies and adventures.

Available from School Specialty: Childcraft Corrugated Blocks

24. Random Act of Kindness

Unique Gift Ideas: Random Acts of Kindness Calendar

The Pittsburgh Kindness Initiative, who believes we can change the world with kindness, is sharing 24 ideas for a random act of kindness. They’re offering so many great ideas, why stop at just one? I’m totally doing number 13! 🙂 I’m also committing to 8, 10 and 20.

View larger image of calendar

25. Handmade Pitcher

Unique Gift Ideas: Sangria Pitcher

This authentic and cheerful sangria pitcher is handmade and handpainted. It has a clever pinched spout design to keep the wine flowing and the fruit in the pitcher.
And Sangria’s not just for summertime! Caramel apple sangria is my new fall favorite!

Available from La Tienda: Sangria Pitcher-Colorful ‘Flor’ Design

Meet the Maker: Papyrusaurus-Unique Handmade Goods

Calling all geeks and bibliophiles, you are not going to want to miss the unique handmade goods featured in our latest Meet the Maker interview!

Meet Ashley Aranda, a nerd, a geek, a Mom and a truly gifted paper artisan. I first met Ashley at last year’s I Made It Holiday Market in Pittsburgh and I bonded with her over Firefly fandom and all her geeky creations. Since then, beyond her beautiful upcycled and geeky typography prints (which are so fabulous!) I am obsessed with her holiday ornaments! They are truly unique and one-of-a-kind and absolutely perfect as a go-to gift for anyone on your list.

Don’t miss Ashley’s unique handmade goods and all of the other talented artisans at this year’s I Made It Holiday Market, Thanksgiving weekend in Pittsburgh (Nov 27-28). Now, read on to find out more about Ashley and how she’s turning forgotten books into her kick-ass creations.
Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-family photo

Meet the Maker

Papyrusaurus logo

How would you describe Papyrusaurus and the items that you create?
I’d say Papyrusaurus is fun and quirky paper crafts with a geeky kick. I make a variety of unique home decor items and gifts from upcycled books and other papers, most with a little injection of my favorite fandoms: Doctor Who, Supernatural, Firefly, and various others.

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Firefly Print

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Cuffs

How did you get started working with upcycled books?
It honestly started because I didn’t want to waste good paper. I was tinkering with making paper ornaments, but didn’t want to ruin expensive scrapbook paper on a trial run. I’d had an old dictionary sitting on my book shelf forever, and since it was falling apart at the seams, I decided I’d use pages from it for practice. But then it looked so nice I just kind of stuck with it.

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Paper Ornaments

Where do you find your inspiration?
Obviously, since a lot of my stuff is fandom-based I get inspiration from watching a lot (read: too much) TV. I also get help from my kids and my husband, who are all completely hilarious. They’ve been great help with some of the funny, snarky relationship prints and cards.

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Prints

Ok, I have to ask, where does the name Papyrusauraus come from? 🙂
When I first started I operated under a truly terrible, clunky name that shall never be uttered again (it was really THAT bad.) I knew I had to rename the shop once I started getting more attention my second year around. I wish there was some really cool process that happened, or hilarious story. But it just sort of popped into my head one day while my kids were watching Dinosaur Train (the Dinosaur ABC episode. For the 9 millionth time.) I’ve always loved dinosaurs and I work with paper. Ta-da!

Do you have any favorite pieces?
Right now I’m absolutely in love with the Where the Wild Things Are ornaments. I had a copy on my cutting board and my (genius) husband suggested adding Max’s crown to them. So I made one up and as soon as the crown went on the top, I burst into happy tears. It’s always been a favorite book of mine and these little ornaments capture it perfectly.

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Where the Wild Things Are ornament

I am so obsessed with your pine cone ornaments! Is there a history behind them or a specific heritage to them?
I don’t know if they have any specific heritage, though the porcupine ornaments I make are Polish, so I suppose they could have similar roots. I’ve always seen them made with folded fabric or ribbon. I adapted it through trial and (lots of) error for paper. It took awhile to get them to be consistent, especially my signature star on the bottom and how I finish the tops. But now I’ve made so many of them, I can nearly do them in my sleep. I try to stay as stocked as possible for the holiday markets, but I know we’ll be running low very quickly. All pine cones purchased online are made-to-order, so they’re always available.

Papyrusaurus-unique handmade goods-Paper Ornaments

Do you have a gifting tip or a gift wrapping hack to share with my readers?
We love making gift wrap here! I get a big, cheap roll of brown craft paper and let the kids go crazy on it with stamps and markers and paint and stencils. It always goes over well with the grandparents. They can even save the wrap and frame it as a holiday memento.

Where can we buy your pieces?
You can find Papyrusaurus creations in my Etsy shop.

papyrusaurus.com will also take you to my Etsy shop (my plan of having a free-standing site before the holidays was thwarted by wedding planning!)

We’re also at Boutique 208 in Pittsburgh.

We have three markets scheduled for this holiday season: I Made It! For The Holidays on November 27th-28th in Pittsburgh, PA, and Handmade Arcade on December 5th, also in Pittsburgh.

Where can we find you online?
You can keep tabs on where we’ll be popping up next and what neat things are in the making on:
Facebook: Papyrusaurus
Instagram: @PapyrusaurusCraft

What’s a little fun fact about you? 😉
I’ve had the same best friends since age 4. Even though we’re spread out all over the country now, we all obsessively watch the same shows and then scream text each other about them the following day. (This was the inspiration behind the “I love developing irrational attachments to fictional characters with you.” print)