Give & Receive: Plaid, Boots, Kitchen Tools, and Handmade Gifts

gift guide 2009

My gift guide is pretty simple. I’m not huge on gift giving anymore. I know that sounds Scroogey of me but I think gift giving has gotten a bit ridiculous for adults. If you really wanted something wouldn’t you just buy it? I love my friends and family but I would rather hang out with you and catch up. I’ll bring the cookies and treats; you bring the wine. The presents are for kids. I love to research corny princess fairy crap and watch as my nieces tear open the wrapping and look so surprised. No adult ever gets that excited. Above some gifts I’m saving up to buy myself, giving, and past years gifts I’ve received and loved.

From top left clockwise around:

1. I’m making my sister a hat and seed stitch scarf after being inspired by Jill Bent’s beautiful work.

2. Linen fabric my mom picked up at an estate sale; my sister volunteered to turn the fabric into pillows for my new bed.

3. I love my cast iron skillet. I really want this two-sided griddle pan/grill from Lodge Logic, $47.21.

4. My birthday is also in December. My mom gave me these super warm shearling Bean boots, $134.

5. Make handmade macaroni ornaments and tie to a bottle of wine for parties and get togethers. Find the how to instructions here.

6. I’ve received wool blankets as gifts. I love them. I use them every winter and think of that person. Check out Pendleton’s high-quality and affordable selection.

7. Give an inspiring chef a dutch oven. I use mine at least 3x a week. It changed the way I cooked. Get an oval shaped version for versatility. Roast meats, make soup, bake casseroles all in this one pan. Available in a number of colors, Le Creuset Oval French Oven, around $200.

8. I’ve wanted a stick blender forever. I could puree my soups right in the dutch oven. Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender, $35.49.

9. At my house we drink espresso and french press coffee. My glass french press gets cold if I’m having a slow drinking day. A stainless steel version insultes the press and keeps the coffee warm for hours. Bodum 8-Cup Stainless-Steel Thermal Press Pot, $79.59.

10. A gift I would love to give myself. An antique blanket chest I spotted at Tallow in Marblehead.

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I love Macarons


I picked up this sweet little recipe book last night, I Love Macarons. I do love macarons and their petite size and colors. A new book by Japanese pastry chef Hisako Ogita gives step-by-step instructions on how to make these adorable French treats. Each step is illustrated by a photo, making the process easy for beginner bakers. She includes a wide range of yummy filling options like raspberry, chocolate, and more exotic flavors like matcha. Maybe I should make pink ones with chocolate filling? So yum. The styling and photography is really cute. A great gift for a macaron loving friend. Buy it at

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