Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Raindrops on Roses...

Today I watched this year's Oprah's Favorite Things episode.


If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're lucky. It's her annual "stamp of approval" gift idea show and she gives one of everything to her studio audience.

It was completely obnoxious...not least of all because Oprah rushed through everything and brayed in her dramatic way and was talking in an affected, weird, southern accent. The show was annoying mostly because that stuff is outrageously impossible for the average non-Oprah. Who's going to buy a $3,000 refrigerator as a gift? Or nine cupcakes for $60 (plus shipping!)? It's stupid. And unrealistic. And not even that unique or cool. A KitchenAid mixer, Oprah? Really? Uggs? You can't be serious.

So I thought I might do an Alannah's Favorite Things post. These are just things I've run across that have caught my eye, made me pause and think, "That is SO CUTE." Do not feel obligated to buy me the following items, but please...if the urge strikes you, do not repress it. After all, nearly all of them are under $100! Buy them for your loved ones and wait for the gushing and "whereEVER did you find this?" to begin. So here we go:

Fused glass belt buckles by Kiku Handmade. I love this grass one for $50.

I love everything I've tried from Lush. However, these handmade bath and body products are not for the scent-sensitive types! Everything is powerfully (but naturally!) perfumed with essential oils, and deliciously so. My all-time favorite product of theirs is the Butterball bath bomb, pictured above. They leave your skin so soft and yummy you'll be petting and sniffing yourself all night. Like a spoiled lapdog. Maybe I shouldn't try to write copy for this sort of thing. Moving on!

Handmade wooden circle earrings by Natalie Tischler. I love this combination of wood, gold, vintage, and handmade. Only $38!

My gorgeous and stylish colleague, Miranda, was wearing the cutest striped cotton tights last week, similar to these. Of course she got them when she lived in Europe, where they know how to decorate a leg. Thus began my journey of searching online for colorful, comfortable, well-made cotton tights. Sock Dreams call themselves the best sock store in the universe and they're not lying! The ones pictured above are half the price of the Italian tights, and every bit as cute.

Until I can find a suitable replacement for the now-defunct Lush ginger perfume, I'll have to stick with Kiehl's Coriander oil mixed with Kiehl's Grapefruit. The Coriander is spicy and sweet while the Grapefruit scent is fresh and light. Together they're neither too sweet, too spicy, or too fruity. I guess I like to smell like food. Surprise, surprise.

Back me up here, girls. Doesn't it seem to be getting harder and harder to find cute boots? I work on a college campus and the students all wear those godawful Uggs, moon boots or these huge faux-furred atrocities that look like they should be crossing the tundra instead of going to class. But these lovelies above are quite the exception. AND they're on sale! I really need these red boots. NEED.

This bracelet is one of the most expensive items on my list, but also one of the coolest and most unique. It's made from recycled vintage typewriter keys cast in sterling silver. This would be perfect for a design or font-obsessed girl in your life. The rings and earrings are also cute, but I like the look of several keys strung together.


I am crazy about the organic shapes of these baskets. Burl wood is so beautiful. I imagine these filled with dinner rolls, fresh fruit, or even just the weird, random, totem items we collect throughout our lives. Or is it only me?

These cowgirl coasters would make a great stocking stuffer or White Elephant gift. Giddy up!

I've given Gorilla Glue as a stocking stuffer before. I love utilitarian stocking stuffers (batteries, memory sticks, nail files) mixed with more frivolous, fun things. This is an incredibly handy thing to have around. You never know when you'll need to fix a chair leg, or replace a dislodged rhinestone.

It would be nice to have all the Lingolook sets. I have no immediate travel plans, but I want to be prepared in case that last minute trip to Paris or Tokyo materializes.

All-purpose cleaner, Alannah? For a GIFT? Wasn't the Gorilla Glue bad enough? I can't help myself. This is a list of my favorite things and I love every single one of Meyer's geranium-scented products. And they're such expensive cleaning products that I'd be thrilled to receive any of them as a gift. Even the toilet-bowl cleaner. Well, maybe not "thrilled."

I love these oilcloth bags. They're colorful, sturdy, and cheap. I hope they get the rest of the colors in stock soon.

Did you know there was a luxury market for incense? Oh yes - it's not just for hippies and Catholics. Shoyeido Japanese incense is very clean-burning and subtle. If it's not already blatantly obvious, I really like for my surroundings to smell good.

This is the coolest lamp! It recharges in sunlight and comes on automatically when it gets dark. I want them for the patio, for camping trips, for the deck. I'm curious to see it work in person, too. I'm imagining and hoping it puts out a warm, cozy light.


Prosecco is a different and tasty alternative to champagne (or "sparkling wine"). This Santa Margherita Prosecco is light and not too sweet. Perfect with appetizers.

Ang turned us on to this Cruz de Piedra rosé over the summer. It's one of our favorites. It's a tart and lush Spanish wine made from grenache grapes (please correct me, Ang, if I've got it all wrong). This would be great with poultry or lighter dinners. I'll drink it well into the winter.

I love this malbec. It's velvety and rich, very affordable and has an eye-catching drawing of thistles on the label. I'm a sucker for artsy wine labels.

First of all, how awesome is THIS bottle? Mee-yow! Put on some soft bow chicka bow bow music and bust this out after dinner and you're sure to get lucky. Mmmm.....a snifter of Meukow vanilla cognac next to a roaring fire? Oh yeah....Or better yet, include it with the item below:

Is this too much? I don't care. I am in love with this heart-shaped flask.


Who says utilitarian items can't also be pretty? This Culin knife with hibiscus flowers etched into the blade is calling my name. And again, it's very affordable.

This is kind of an odd little platter. That crest is bizarre, but I like it. And the crowns. I see it used for serving stout cheeses. Or little sausages. Something brutish.

These would also make a fun stocking stuffer. I didn't think cupcakes could get any more perfect until I saw these foil cups.

You really have to get these glasses together as a pair. One says "C'est la Vie" and the other "L'amour." Sickeningly adorable.

This lovely apron is not only a limited-edition handmade item, it's also 50% off! So hurry!

Okay, whew. I guess that's all. If I come across anything else I can't live without, I'll be sure to share it. I hope this list gave you some good gift ideas or at least got you looking for unique items. And you don't even have to go to the ma(u)ll!


afro moon said...

Please tell me if someone happens upon your blog because they googled "dislodged rhinestone".

step right up said...

Ok, I am GUILTY. I have a pair of Uggs and I do love them. The furrier and crazier looking, the more I like them. It's cold in these parts and they are much safer walking in around here. But not to worry, I have a collection of other boots in my closet, too.

I loved your list! Hope you get what you want and some surprises, too!

Alannah said...

Hey, I thought you were going by "Boonique" now!

Dislodged Rhinestone might just have to be the name of my all-girl country "sweethearts of the rodeo" band.

Jae said...

Love Oprah - but I have to agree . . . I HATE it when she yells "Julia Rob E R T S!" etc. and what is with that ridiculous southern accent?

Enjoyed your list!

StormySleep said...

You are too cute. This post made me grin, hard. I'd get them all for you if'n I could!

ajt MKE said...

OK, I stumbled upon your blog while Googling "replace lush ginger". I see you were a fan, too. If you ever do find something that smells as sweet, you MUST let us know.

ajt in Milwaukee