Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Guide Part V: For Your Boyfriend Who Home Brews IPA, Participates in Movember Year-Round And Makes A Living By Selling High Quality Firewood

1. Redbeard Brew Bars Hard Cider Soup $25 A delicious mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg that you can steal in the shower.
2. Hickoree's Almond Stripes Bow Tie $85 For when he feels like channeling his inner Zoe Deschanel and being *quirky*.
3. Urban Outfitters Lana Del Rey "Paradise" LP $14 So you can listen to Lana together and cry beautiful tears and try and convince him once again to get a motorcycle so that the two of you can Ride.
4. Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Toscano Cologne $135 Notes of Vanilla and Amber. But, like, in a manly way.
5. Son of a Sailor Echo Flash Drive $34 To up his tech style.
6. Aesop Sonority Gift Kit $110 More man-grooming gifts because they won't buy it for themselves.
7. Invisiplug Wood Grain Power Strips $16 The only kind of power strips he'll use. Ugh, so difficult.
8. Amazon "The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail" by Tristan Stephenson. No need to hit up the bars when he can make you whatever you want at home!
9. Peachy Apricot Ron Swanson Keychain $8 Because a man needs an image of his idol nearby at all times.
10. Izola Ford Balsam Pillow $32 Words to live by.
11. Etsy Jon Snow iPhone Case $10 One can never have enough Jon Snow. Or Game of Thrones. But mostly just Jon Snow.
12. Best Made Audubon Field Guide Series $60 To help him navigate the great outdoors.
13. Oh Dawn Skateboard $100 The most efficient way to get to work.
14. Blackbird Tees Tea Towel Set $35 So that there's no confusion about housework being a team effort.
15. A cozy for his mason jar coffee mug which I will have knitted myself so sorry not for sale.
16. The Cutlery Commission Silver Plated Spoon $16 To inflate his ego even more.
17. Hermès Playing Cards $98 Can't get more bourgeois than this.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift Guide Part IV: For Your Friends Who Are So Wide Ranging And Diverse, You Don't Really Know How To Sum Them Up In A Few Phrases.

1. Tattly One Year Subscription $60 Because these are the best temporary tattoos ever and to receive 8 of them in the mail every month would be like Christmas once a month.
2. Anthropologie Tiled Fado Guitar $3,600. If there was ever a Tiled Fado Guitar to spend $3,600 on, this would be it.
3. Topman White Canvas Backpack $100 For your stylin' guy friends. Or for your stylin' girlfriends. This is pretty unisex, I think. I'd wear it.
4. Duncan Shotten Rainbow Pencils $Kickstarter For your artsy friends. Because then at the end of a long drawing session you can have little rainbows spread all around and it will bring joy and happiness.
5. Mudpuppy Ceramic Skull Planter $42 I would tell you who I'd give this to, but then I'd have to kill you. #secrets
6. Free People Galloon Lace Halter Bra $38 For your friends that don't wear real bras.
7. Darling Magazine Subscription $20 The most perfect magazine for the most perfect friends.
8. West Elm Square Lacquer Tray $24 Can't go wrong with gold monogrammed things amiright?
9. Tina Zellmer Asia Map This beautiful map for your Southeast Asia-wanderlusting friends.
10. Marc by Marc Jacobs Eye Stud Earrings $48 Precious and (again) *designer*.
11. J. Crew Back Up Battery for iPhone $40 Because New York City drains iPhone batteries like it's its job.
12. Dwell Studio Draper Stripe Major Throw $198 For your friends who have long commutes and an obssesion with stripes.
13. Rothshank Wheel Thrown Beyonce Mug $39 No explanation needed for this one. But bonus points if you accompany it with her new visual album (duh).
14. Natural Quilts $50. These hand block printed and natural dyed quilts will brighten up any room.
15. Diptyque Orange Chai Candle $32 Because orange is a happy color and chais are yummy.
16. Wolfum Floral Pop Teepee $325 Who wouldn't want this in their apartment??

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gift Guide Part III: For Your Sisters Who Write Novels in Spanish Villas, Skis Black Diamonds Like a Pro and Weekend In Bali

1. Anthropologie Florabunda Sleeping Bag  $188 Because if you're going to camp in the Colorado mountains you might as well camp in style. 
2. Anna Rabinowicz Agate Coasters $64 Making guests use coasters = official adult status.
3. Crosley Portable USB Turntable $160 So that they can try and be as cool as me (I have this one in orange.)
4. Fort Standard Bottle Opener $80 Saw this at the Of a Kind fair in Brooklyn last weekend. They are SO chic but just a little too pricey.  I was was dying to get one for the oldest sister even though there's currently an alcohol ban in Little India due to rioting #singaporeproblems. 
5. ASOS Foil Print Knit Beanie $10 I think this would genuinely make me leave my apartment in a snow storm just to be seen in it. And when you don't have an option because you have to go to class (sucks to suck) it'll ease the blow.
6. Ariella Elovic Illustration Pet Portraits $30 My roomate is the MOST talented- get one of these incredible personalized pet portraits (and the wrapping isn't bad either)! I think our dog Prada would like it. If she had emotions.
7. Angel Face Botanicals Flower Power Healing Salts $24 One of those gifts that would never be used because it's too beautiful to actually put in your bath. 
8. Marc Jacobs Nail Glaze in Snap Orange $18 It might not be fresh of the runway, but it's a small price to pay for a *designer* gift.
9. Aha Life Naked Sports Bra $40 THIS BRA LETS YOU TAN WHILE YOU EXERCISE. Vitamin D intake and calories burned? Yes please! (But don't forget the spf obvs.)
10. Sahalie McKenzie Fluff Knee Socks $21 More socks. A luxurious wool, cashmere and angora blend. mmmmmm.
11. Kate Spade Saturday The Small Weekender Bag in Cross Dots $160 The perfect feminine bag for those weekend getaways to the beach that they seem to take every weekend.  
12. Frank & Eileen Polka Dot Corduroy Bary Shirt $198 For that J.Crew lovin' tomboy in them.
13. Love Mae Reusable Deer Wall Decals $75 For when the little one goes off to college next year! Gotta snazz up the dorm room. 
14. Seventh Tree Soaps Owl Shaped Soap $13 Soaps in the shape of their favorite animals. Another product that you wouldn't actually ever use. 
15. Penguin Hard Cover Classics $20 Because when books are that pretty, you don't want to put them down. 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift Guide Part II: For Your Father Who Tuned Into ALL Of Your College Radio Shows No Matter What, Buys CDs From Local Musicians In Every Country He Travels To, And Somehow Knows Everything About Everything.

1. Random House "Rise and Fall of Apartheid" by Okwui Enwezor and Rory Bester $75 Just seems like one of those poignant and thought-provoking gifts in lieu of recent events (RIP).
2. Jonathan Adler Brass Devil Pencil Sharpener $95 It's gold and would look lovely on his desk.
3. Are Naturals Fresh Organic Bay Leaf Wreaths with Rosemary $40 Hang it up on the kitchen door for the holidays and continue to use it in your cooking for the rest of the year!
4. Blue Tree 14kt Gold-Plated Slinky $150 For that inner child.
5. J. Crew Marled Socks $17 Isn't it funny how when you're young socks are the worst gift ever and now they are literally the best?
6. This is Ground Cord Tacos $25 for five These leather pouches will stop all his chords from getting tangled. Also they're called tacos. ha ha.
7. Jawbone Mini Jambox $180 Upgrade his old Jambox to these brighter and shinier ones.
8. Mike's Hot Honey $10 Chili-infused honey made in Brooklyn. So whenever he eats it he'll think of his daughter and start crying.
9. We See Beauty Aphrodite of Milos Candle $190 Because why not.
10. MistoBox Case Coffee Roasters- Decaf Marvailla $16 "Fig, Raisin, Comforting" from Guatamala. For the man who only ever drinks decaf, which I will never understand.
11. Boutiques de Musées Leonardo Da Vinci Luggage Label $10 He'll look sophisticated and intellectual as he travels the world.
12. Fantastic Man Magazine $33 for two The older brother to The Gentlewoman (see Gift Guide Part I).
13. Two Tickets to the Monty Python 2014 Reunion Tour $300 Because this man taught you the importance of British comedy. 
14. Lone Flag Bradley Mountain Traveler's Mug $20 For when he visits me in Brooklyn. To fit in with the locals. And be hip.
15. Alexander Wang Black Croc Embossed Coaster Set $55 Feel swanky with designers' more cost-effective luxury items. 

And today is a SPECIAL Gift Guide post because it's also my father's Birthday! So gotta double up on the presents. Happy birthday to the best father I've ever had!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift Guide Part I: For Your Omniscient Mother Who Is Queen Of Style, Keeps You Up-to-Date On Exhibits At The Met and Daydreams With You About Moving To India

1. Terrain Block-Printed Tablecloth $348 Because you can never go wrong with block printing.
2. Free People Sleeve Shelter Armwarmer $98 Free People is perfect for that bohemian winter look.
3. The Riads of Marrakech by Elan Fleisher $43 Always a good idea to read up on cities before you go there (and we will go there).
4. Knuckle Case The Original $125 Perfect for a woman whose number one accessories are her phone cases.
5. Anthropologie Maharaja Men Pillow $78 One can never have too many pillows, amiright?
6. Ruan Hoffman Plates These aren't actually for sale but he's a phenomenal artist and one can dream.
7. Della Vintage Coral iPad Case $39 A beautiful print handmade in Hohoe, Ghana.
8. Of a Kind Brass Rivet Bangle $119 Of a Kind is a wonderful website- check it out. Expect a post about them soon. 
9. Blade's Natural Beauty Mountain Woman Tea $15 Notes of lemon balm, oats, nettle, damiana, chamomile and peppermint? Sold.
10. Heidi Klein Coconut Beach Candle $36 Because if you can't actually be at the beach, the next best thing would be smelling it, right? But the romanticized version of a beach. Not like dead fish and seaweed. That would be gross. 
11. The Gentlewoman $15 One of my favorite publications. Perfect for the most gentle woman in your life. Which would be your mother. 
12. Tom Ford Sahara Noir $150 Because Tom Ford is her favorite perfumer and because I can then steal it because he is now also mine.
13. Krochet Kids Intl. the Dixon Coinpurse $16 A company that empowers Ugandans to rise above poverty through the production of their hand-knit products. A gift that gives! Double karma!
14. Barneys Fornasetti Silenzio Candle $165 Because candles are perfect and so are sassy victorian women. 

Next Up: Daddy-o!

Postscript: Check out Gift Guides Part IIIIIIIVV and VI from last year on my old blog Glitterature

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Good Parts of Being Alive

I wanted to share my friend Anna's Kickstarter with you all. It's an incredible project and she is one of the most talented choreographer/dancers that I know. I'm honored to have her guest post today. Enjoy and please contribute if you can!
My name is Anna Reyes, and I’m a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Boston, MA. I grew up in Austin, Texas, next door to Chantal and her sisters. We spent many hours together, dancing, playing tag, making plays, etc. My favorite memories prove that we were cool and hip beyond our years: we spent many hours dancing to the Eurythmics (Sweet Dreams are made of this...), jumping and shaking our thangs on the living room couch! {Editor's note: This was my favorite part of my childhood no joke)

My moves are just as sweet as a my former six year old self's moves (and hopefully a little more refined after years and years of studying dance). Yet as all artists have experienced, one can start to feel in a rut, no matter HOW cool her art is. About eight months ago, I was nursing a nagging, restless feeling; I knew I needed to make something, but what? Choreographing for the stage seemed like an obvious answer, but for some reason, I couldn’t get excited about it. I knew creating anything without the excitement behind it would be an arduous, unfulfilling task.

            In the interim, I had the opportunity to star in a short film, “Eighteen,” by acclaimed visual artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. (Check them out at  Filmed in Austin, Alex and Teresa were generous enough to incorporate my dance improvisation into their film. Starring in the piece was extremely hard work (two of the three shoot days lasted from dinner time until sunrise!), but equally as exhilarating and fulfilling. Upon returning home from Austin, I had an answer to my restlessness – make my own film!

            I’m currently making a dance film entitled “the good parts of being alive.” The film explores the stages of romantic relationships. A relationship is extremely fluid, more like running water than ice, and is easily shifted by the time and space it inhabits. Time - how long you have known one another, how one feels at a specific moment, whether the time you have together is long or short, limited or unlimited. Space - the location of the relationship, if you share a home or are long-distance, whether the space between two bodies is large or small when you're together, how much mental space one has for his/her partner, etc. Around the same time I began to contemplate time and space in within relationships, a friend introduced me to the artwork of Egon Schiele. I fell in love with his portraits and was immediately drawn to the strange, evocative poses he painted. I was surprised that the poses he chose were so contemporary and dance-like. His work inspired me to choreograph, and to incorporate my ideas and experiences to the framework his art provided.

           “the good parts of being alive” is my most exciting project to date, but it’s not finished yet! I’m running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds for finishing film, paying the artists involved, and submitting the film to dance festivals around the world. If it looks like something you want to be a part of, make a pledge! If nothing else, help spread the word! 

Check out the webpage here and the video below:

If you need a little encouragement to make a contribution, just picture Chantal, her sisters, me and my sister Paulina, all jamming out in the living room. Make that former six year old's (second from the right) future dream come true! 

-Anna Reyes

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise

Okay, so I have to admit, it pains me to write about such a mainstream phenomenon as The Hunger Games (even if I do enjoy the movies. And maybe the books whatever it's fine) but I could NOT ignore this epic soundtrack. 

 Am I the only one who didn't know about this?? I haven't seen the second movie yet as I am loyally waiting to watch it with my fam when I go back home for Christmas (Lorelei, IT BETTER STILL BE IN THEATRES) but this soundtrack is incredible. It's doing what the Twilight franchise attempted to do, and gathered an incredible crew of muscians to write original songs for the movie (and a cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Lorde). I must say, they did well. The National, Sanitgold, Lorde, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Sia, Of Monsters and Men, Phantogram, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons etc etc. Kudos to THG for upping its cool factor. 

My faves? Sia's "Elastic Heart" featuring The Weeknd and Diplo. I think it's incredibly stunning. I also am in love with Matt Berninger so anything by The National is A+ in my book. Oh and the Mikky Ekko piece is quite nice. 

 If you're scoffing to yourself about how lame I am right now then 1) please leave, and 2) before you do, just give it a chance (maybe skip the Christina Aguilara track.. sorry xtina but, like, yawn) and tell me I'm wrong.