Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the kiddo


kids num
  1. We love this Classic Balance Bike at our house.
  2. Personalized photo games by Pinhole Press: memory, puzzles, and more… (We made this one.)
  3. Max the Raccoon (or another handmade cutie) from BRIKA
  4. This all-wood Fold-and-Go farm reminds me of the one I had in the ’80s, by Fisher Price.
  5. A playful wink in their bedroom—the Howkapow dog lamp.
  6. A Larry Gets Lost book about your hometown or someplace you’d like to visit—the pup gets lost everywhere from Los Angeles to Seattle, New York City to San Francisco…
  7. Stacking blocks that kids will love and that look good, too.
  8. Eco Dough, the closest you’ll get to the homemade playdough alternative, rumored to be less likely to dry-out.
  9. The Brio Pull Along Dachshund does an incredible job of staying upright, no matter how much he’s jerked around. No other brand of pull-along toy has compared.
  10. This Skootcase looks to be a case of “everyone wins!” at the airport. (I’ve been intrigued for a while.)
  11. Janod Story Box Farm. The French company makes various themes of these sweet boxes of wooden figures (which are perfect for travel). We picked up the Firefighters Story Box in Paris, and Hudson loves it!
  12. Mahalo Ukulele makes a great gift for kids, precisely because it’s not designed to be a toy.
  13. Such a great price point for a classic moccasin: Minnetonka for JCrew Baby.  (The entire new collection for babies is adorable!)
  14. An attractive Playmat—for under a baby’s play gym or a toddler’s train set.
  15. Who wouldn’t love The Original Slush Mug?
  16. Ubbas bath cups, to match their family’s form. (Here’s Hudson with ours.)
  17. Playskool Digital Camera and Projector. How fun to get a glimpse of the world through a little one’s eyes!
  18. And, not exactly for the child, but new parents would love this beautiful Baby Milestone heirloom set.

P.S. Last year’s Gift Guide for Kids. Those Connectable Drinking Straws were (and continue to be) a verified hit with our then 4- and 7-year-old nephews!

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Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For him


Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For him

Thanks to Aron, who wrote this gift guide for guys!

  1. Ashley and I love Apple TV, but Chromecast is a great, new, cheaper alternative—and it lets you cast anything you can watch on your computer in Google Chrome to your television… like Amazon’s huge collection of streaming video.
  2. A handsome BRIKA Handmade Leather Key Fob  to replace the carabiner.
  3. This bike kit, to keep his running perfectly, and to let him know you’d like to keep him safe.
  4. If you already bought the nice shoes, try getting him a Fine Footwear Kit.
  5. If only… 
  6. This camera takes the best photos I’ve seen from a compact point-and-shoot—AND it’s waterproof to 3o feet and drop-proof to 6 feet. I’m sure Hudson could destroy it, but he would have to really try. (We used it a lot on this trip.)
  7. Simple, but sweet. Something to remind him of his other best friend.
  8. Tools are commonplace on gift guides for guys, but there are only a few that I find that I really need. This drill is handy for so many different home projects.
  9. And, speaking of which, it’s a small gift, but if he doesn’t have one already, an all-in-one screwdriver is incredibly convenient.
  10. This timepiece is timeless.
  11. The original Astronaut Space Pen writes upside down, in unearthly weather, and is guaranteed unconditionally for life.
  12. The Wes Anderson Collection, in-depth overview of one of his favorite filmmaker’s work.
  13. You can’t have the perfect drink without the perfect ice cubes. Skip the stones.
  14. Attractive Coin storage .
  15. dopp kit used to be given to GIs during WW2—and still make a classic gift. Fill it up to personalize it.
  16. If your guy has a commute, think about getting him an Audible.com gift membership—you can pick any one book for free each month—it’s a great deal.
  17. If your camera will accept a remote (many do), they’re awesome to have for family or group photos (or selfies, if you prefer).
  18. I’ve been really enjoying The Rip Tide by Beirut recently.
P.S. A few more good ideas on this (now past) giveaway. And last year’s Gift Guide for Him. More gift guides coming up throughout the week.
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Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For her


Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For her

  1. Professional-quality, complete cake decorating tool kit to show her how much you love those desserts she makes. (Here’s a $10 credit for the site.)
  2. BRIKA Handmade Cord & Rings bracelet
  3. The cropped cape she didn’t even know she’d love.
  4. That decadently soft, cotton flannel robe from the Ace Hotel that she swooned over. (On a weekend away when you swooned over her.)
  5. That citrus tree she’s been coveting. This Kumquat can sit indoors or out, and its fragrant white flowers by tart and juicy fruit.
  6. Power Link Tassel USB Keychain, so that she’ll never have to hunt down a cord to download photos from her iPhone again.
  7. A monthly subscription to Kindred Photo Books (And, better yet, a few you’ve made for her—at only $5 each!)
  8. cast brass necklace that will go with anything.
  9. Warby Parker Gift Card for the home try-on box program. Because it’s too hard to pick out frames for her, but you know she wants new glasses.
  10. Any of these boots, but this Sam Edelman Ankle Boot is a beauty!
  11. Ultra-compact extra battery for her phone (so she’ll always be able to reach you).
  12. A buttery leather tote she’ll use all the time.
  13. An all-occasion card box to help her out (because, otherwise, she’s the only one who remembers to buy the cards).
  14. A chic basket for her bike.
  15. This cheeky take on the Hermès wraparound watch.
  16. A beautiful hooked pillow from Pendleton.
  17. Beautiful hardcover books she’ll be happy to read and leave out—like the newly released Remodelista.
  18. Or… always a safe bets around here… gift certificates to JCrew, Madewell, or Anthropologie.

P.S. Last year’s Gift Guide for Her—which I just looked at again and which I still stand by 100% (and which still contains some things I’m wish-listing). And did you check out the iRobot from last week’s post? More gift guides to come throughout the week: for him, for kiddos, and for everyone else.

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Gift idea: photo games for kids


For Hudson’s first Christmas, we made him a beautiful family album (that he still loves looking at), but we also printed out some 4x6s and put them in a flip book for his stroller. Last month, he started taking those printed photos out and and flipping them upside down; he’d try and remember which photo was where and then put them back in, in order.

So when I saw that Pinhole Press now offers a personalized Memory Game for kids, I knew Hudson would love it! My initial plan was to wait for Christmas, but I was too excited when it arrived. We used family photos but also included lots of his best friends. All the images look so pretty on the extra-thick card stock!

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Found for Dad: travel/diaper bag



While in Paris, Aron and I both fell in love with this bag we were gifted from Sons of Trade. The Tactical Tote is designed for men by the same company behind the Petunia Pickle Bottom bags. And it’s big, maybe a little too large on my frame, but it makes a great gender-neutral diaper bag (it’s attractive, wipeable, durable, has tons of pockets, and converts from tote to backpack with a couple of snaps and the company sells a separate diaper pad/case to put inside), but we loved it as a travel bag, too.

The tote can be snapped shut on its own, but because the tote handles fold over and snap in place, we felt especially confident that no one was easily reaching into the sack. I loved the confidence that adds. Seriously: I felt like Vanna White when it arrived, showing Aron all of the bells and whistles.

tactical tote

You can order directly from the company and find accessories at Sons of Trade.

P.S. Other gift guides for him. And him.

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Mother’s Day Gifts


mother's day

Shopping for Mother’s Day? There’s no one perfect gift for the grandmother, mother, sister, wife, and expectant spouse… Maybe a simple handwritten card or some flowers will do, maybe she’s hoping for the moon!

Here are a few ideas…

Quality, French Cheese Knives that look pretty atop her cutting board.
The most decadent cookies, straight from New York. (Or you could bake a batch, because she’d love those too!)
A classic Breton striped shirt (the new staple).
Pajamas she could stay in all day.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in a color she’ll love, because she still prefers handwritten notes.
But she shouldn’t have to waste precious time on the return address, so a custom Calligraphy-style stamp would be sweet.

mother's day-001
A gorgeous new cookbook for her collection: Vegetable Literacy
A luxurious (and beautiful) Turkish Hammam Pestemal
Repeat after me: Keep Calm.
A set of stacking rings. (Perhaps pricey for the occasion, but aren’t they gorgeous?)
Gemstone Meaning Earrings (I’d choose the Aqua Chalcedony for endurance—something about marathons versus sprints?)
Friday Night Lights: The Complete Series, because you know she’ll love Tami Taylor and this is ideal summer-time, nursing on the sofa, binge-watching television.

mother's day-002
Nespresso Milk Frother, for the perfect latte, even if she never makes it out the door.
Cenitfolia Robe from Anthropologie: that place between comfortable and sexy.
An Air Plant: simple to care for, lovely to look at
Zoku Quick Pop Maker, because she really wants a popsicle, too.

Not pictured:
A brag book with her favorite photos from Pinhole Press. She’ll love it forever.
Well-crafted with a story behind it: something pretty from BRIKA.
A book of essays written and illustrated by women: Equals.

And of course:
Anything made with love.

An offer of help. (True story: A few months ago, I happened to be at an event with the founder of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann. His wife, infant, and mother-in-law were along with him. I got to talking with the last of those three—who was visiting from across the globe—and I’ll never forget it: I said something to the effect of “it must be so nice to be here with your grandson.” And she replied “Oh, no. I’m not here for him. I’m here for my daughter. Everyone wants to take care of a baby; I’m here to take care of my daughter.” Amazing, right?)

P.S. My wedding anniversary falls on Mother’s Day this year, by the way. Just saying. Wink, wink.

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Gift Guide: For Her


(1) I’ve had these bags by Valhalla pinned for ages now. A very Brooklyn bag. (And P.S. Did you know you can buy Etsy gift cards now?)
(2) The Gilmore Girls Complete Series on DVD–because they’re not on Hulu or Netflix, darn it!
(3) Round out her collection with still-relevant, out-of-print issues of Domino Magazine.
(4) A beautiful Turkish Towel.
(5) Classic riding Boots will be a huge hit. It’s a thrill to open the giant box and get that whiff of leather. And these will last forever.
(6) These will come in handy when the weather warms up: A set of waxed canvas Panniers for riding bikes together.
(7) The new Eames coffee table book.
(8) I think the LemLem Split Scarf is gorgeous. But it’s the sort of thing I would never splurge on myself. I’m guessing there are many others out there who would love this just as much as I would.
(9) A gold-dotted dish for keeping her earrings in.
(10) Gorgeous coasters. I don’t actually like to make people use coasters, but for these might require an exception.
(11) A perfectly simple, gold, Michael Kors Women’s watch (that’s big enough to fit on a man’s wrist).

(12) All of the best cafes in New York seemed to use these Classic Italian Cappucino Cups.
(13) Cashmere socks  Completely decadent.
(14) Swedish Hasbeens 877 Zip It Emy Boots. These might be really for me.
(15) A trendy necklace for wearing with t-shirts and jeans.
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Gift Guide: For Him


(1) These aren’t cheap, but he only needs one great, classic pair of jeans.
(2) I really like the looks of these super-slim  J Fold Wallets.
(3) Who wouldn’t like a pair of wingtips? These from Frye are awesome, but Penguin has a good version too–for less!
(4) This helicopter may not last forever, but it’s crazy fun! Think obstacle course through your pendant lights… or maybe don’t… (I’ve actually wanted one forever.)
(5)  Timeless.
(6) Gin is undergoing a resurgence and this has long been one of my favorites. We recently had it over ice with sparkling grapefruit juice from Trader Joe’s and a sprig of rosemary. If he’s an independent sort of fellow, try this homemade gin kit.
(7) Because you never know when he is going to need a pen.
(8 & 9) I really enjoyed the new Babel by Mumford & Sons the first time I heard it, and I’m liking Grizzly Bear’s Shields more with every listen.
(10, not pictured)Ashley gave me this wonderful calendar of our family, it would be great any office.

And by the way, I get teased by Ashley that every link I send her lately is from the online flash sale site, Touch of Modern.

P.S. Last year’s guide for guys. And I stand by my (cheesy) tip: if you give anything to him with love, he will love it.

Coming up next… For Her.

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Gift Guide: For the Kiddo


(1) This Connectable Drinking Straw is such a simple gift, but it was a huge hit with my nephews
(2) The first thing Hudson did when he saw his new Petit Collage Acrylic Mirror was to kiss it. The second was to bang on it. I’m happy it’s acrylic.
(3) The Onion’s Great Escape: Fun and beautiful (for K and up).
(4) Battat Take Apart Crane. Because what’s better than a toy crane? A toy crane you take apart. With tools.
(5) These Kid O Floating Ducks are the best. They of course float, they’re practically indestructible, and they stay gunk free (especially nice since the little one seems to get carried around and sucked on from time to time). Oh, and they’re super attractive.
(6)Cheeky! A onesie from the New Museum for the new baby.
(7) For patient stacking or displaying: Croc Pile
(8) Sleepsacks are the best. I sort of wish I could use one myself. We have ones by aden + anais and Baby Deedee (so cozy!), but this Woodland DwellStudio Night Sack is awfully pretty.
(9) This cute Wheely Bug is low to the ground and easy-to-maneuver. It was tough getting Hudson off of the small one.
(10) It may be really for mom and dad, but wouldn’t a custom silhouette be nice? (Or you could try your hand at your own.)
(11) Charley Harper’s illustrations are my favorite.
(12) If they’re old enough for their own deck of cards, get them two sets of these limited editon (but super affordable) Tim Burton cards–from his retrospective at MoMA last year.


P.S. Coming later today: Aron’s gift guide for him and mine for her.
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Gift Guide for Guys


It can be hard to shop for a guy (or so I’ve been told). Here are some very special gifts I would want–not cheap, but not extravagant.  I hope this helps!

Starting from the top left:

This 50mm Canon lens is a bargain, and will give you a beautiful depth-of-field. It’s also great for low-light conditions. If price is less of an issue for you, you might get this 50mm lens–a more professional version with a more professional price tag.

Its hard not to admire a simple, attractive (and classic) timepiece.

Anyone who listens to music, but especially those with an iPhone, will love the Bose earbuds with microphone . After getting used to these, I have a hard time actually holding my phone up to my head.  I love Bose, though a friend recommended the Bang & Olufsen 3i, which are supposed to be great, too.

Lookmatic has very affordable, but cool sunglass frames.

The two pairs of shoes pictured are by a Los Angeles-based company called Generic Surplus. These shoes can be found here and here.

For an alternative to run-of-the-mill pomade, this Tancho Tique does the trick.

For anyone who likes to cook, a proper chef’s knife is essential; it’s the only knife you truly need in the kitchen. A good chef’s knife can last a lifetime, and Shun makes an extremely sharp one, crafted using similar techniques  as those used to make Samurai swords.

Not pictured, but also very cool, is Apple’s wireless back-up hard drive. While everyone needs more storage space, no one needs more wires.


Lastly (and now to make even a gift guide cheesy):  if you give anything to him with love, he will love it.


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