Category Archives: Gifts

Lost my Fitbit Force band

Image

After a stressful week of hard core searching, I finally give up. R.I.P. to my beloved Fitbit Force. I am grieving. And thanks to the recall of only 1% of customers affected, I can’t replace it since there are none available in the stores. There is absolutely no motivation to take the stairs anymore. Even more so, I’m mad about all the steps I’ll be missing as I train for the 3-day 60 Mile walk in August!!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

End of the World Suvival Kit – designerstyle

The best part of the holiday season at work is the amazing and tasty gifts our partners send us. There are cookies, sausages, popcorn, chocolates, cheese varieties, etc… and now, an end of the world survival kit!

While the useful and tasty items included are cool, the real start here are the slogans and comments. This must have been a truly exciting project for everyone involved! I took a few photos for your entertainment…

The box came in a very strong black bag with a warning label “Open in case of Armageddon” and below it “Radiation dampening and RF-shielded bag. In case of emergency, bag may be inflated and used as a floatation device.”

The box was labeled for the “Apocalypse” and sealed extra tight…

The dramatic dark colors, “scientific” fonts and extra features such as the aluminum panel all gave us second thoughts as to whether we might actually need this in a few days!!
A close-up of the contents… whisky (with a note to remember that the bottle is “portable”), rope (not to be used too close to the whiskey), duct tape with a “not edible” warning label, soap – to keep it clean, anti-rad pills (i.e. tic tacs), a glow stick which can also be used for light during surgical procedures, a chocolate bar that provides an aphrodisiac if needed, and a box of matches to burn the chocolate wrapper and prevent any zombies from following the smell. I can’t forget the coffee labeled “Stay awake, stay alive!” and lastly, the white flag to wave, in the event you need to surrender!

In the event you aren’t sure of what qualifies as “Armageddon”, there is a graphic-list of possible scenarios…

Hands down the BEST and most creative I’ve seen so far! Kudos to the amazing designers of Hexanine!

*bonus for all of you marketing and brand geeks – Check out their book Damn Good: Top Designers Discuss Their All-Time Favorite Projects

Friends with Skills

So my friend Michelle is starting up her own jewelry business in Minnesota and I’m so proud of her! Being the fashionista that I self-proclaim to be, she sent me a pair of her handmade earring to test run. I don’t think I’ve worn another pair in the last month. These earrings are great to dress up or down and they are so lightweight I can barely feel them! She did an awesome job and I can’t wait to share her website with all of you when she finally decides to sell them!!

IMG00007-20101117-2349IMG00008-20101117-2350BLOG COPY IMG_1901 B

As for the item of the day and my newest current obsession, big ups to my girl Maya for putting me up on the Tieks by Gavrieli foldable flats. (See image below from the Tieks by Gavrieli website)

Shop our BouTiek

These handmade flats are butter soft and feel like slippers (read more here), but will last WAY longer than the $10 not-so-foldable flats I used to get from Target and run into the ground after 3 months. I got a pair in black, but I honestly would take a closet full of every color they sell!! Here are some pics of my new “buddies”…

The beautiful packaging:

IMG_2161IMG_2162

The pouch for folded flats (shown in the box, next to my iPod Touch for size and inside my purse… you can’t even tell it’s there!!):

IMG_2163IMG_2165IMG_2171

The flats – folded….

IMG_2173

…and then on my feet (sorry if they are a little ashy – its cold and my feet are bare, LOL!)

 IMG_2177IMG_2174IMG_2175

As an added “just in case” bonus, they come with this cute foldable tote to put your heels in!

IMG_2178

Go grab a pair – I promise you won’t regret it!

Christmas Wish List 2010

Yes people, its that time again… all the things I want but won’t get this Christmas. You know the drill and if not, you can check years 2006 and 2008. So here goes….

For this years Work Holiday Party, it would be great to show up in something as un-engineer-like as possible… you know, really cater to my inner fashionista. The Sunbird silk-gazar dress by ROKSANDA ILINCIC is something I would never get up the courage to buy, but can easily imagine myself walking into a crowded room draped in it. The fluorescent yellow is very unexpected. I love it.

ROKSANDA ILINCIC sunbird dress

For the vacationing girls’ night out, we usually tend to relive our college days through our attire, and this Jenny stretch-cotton mini dress dress by Preen Line is the perfect balance of the “young me” and the classy grown up me. My girls would love it.

preen line jenny cotton

This year I because a fan of TOUS jewelry, especially the teddy bears pendants. While I like many of the options available, I definitely have to include the black diamond Bubble Bear pendant on my wish list!

tous bubble bear black

After my canopy zip-line experience in Mexico, I’m ready to take it a step further and hit the rainforest in Coast Rica. The Rincon de La Vieja Adventure  is right up my alley… of course, that includes getting to Costa Rica, which is a minor major obstacle.

rincon-de-la-vieja-adventure-costa-rica 1 rincon-de-la-vieja-adventure-costa-rica 2

rio saverge

In one of the recent episodes of Giuliana and Bill (one of my fav reality couples) Bill went to Martin Katz to buy Giuliana a nice band… it was gorgeous and inspired me to check out the website. Turns out they have a huge collection of stackable diamond microbands. I’d love a few of these in various colors…. and maybe a couple in the black diamond to match my TOUS bubble bear!

martin katz micro bands

My current HP laptop is holding out very well, but like any gadget geek, I am always ready to upgrade. The new HP ENVY 15 laptop is right up my alley! The HP store only shows the 14 inch (too small) and the 17 inch (a little on the heavy side) so I’m not even sure if the 15” is still an option… but for the right features (i.e. Beats by Dr Dre limited edition 14” or the 3D enhanced 17″) I’d be willing to settle in either direction.

 hp envy 15

For years I’ve said I would love to take cooking classes. Ideally I’d like to take a few months worth of classes in Italy, Spain and/or Mexico!!!!! But until then, the good ol Chicago Metro Area will work just fine. Rest assured, I will still keep my eye open for the specials that occasionally pop up on Jetsetter.com…. and hopefully I’ll no longer be scared of turkeys (see pic below from Thanksgiving 2008). The Chopping Block

Flav’our Cooking School

Chez Madelaine

Cooking Fools

TURKEY DAY

For about 5 years now I have been obsessed with this gold Roberto Cavalli snake watch. It has seemingly NEVER gone on sale (yes, I check a few times each year) but someday I may have to just go for it. I can already picture it on my wrist….

roberto cavalli snake watch

…and while we’re talking watches, the new Movado Bold watches are a great fun take on the classic style! I love the black and white styles equally!

movado bold chrono watchmovado bold blackmovado bold white

While in Nassau recently, I caught a glimpse of the “Mad Summer” yacht, docked near the cruise ships. I don’t really need a yacht of my own, but I’d love a year, or even a week, on this one – with my family along, of course! See it in all its glory here: http://www.moranyachts.com/Article/?ID=69

YachtMadSummer

Saving the best wish for last…

…my greatest wish would be the health and safety of all of my loved ones as we go into 2011!

IMG_0573

Favorite Children’s Books

My line sister KMarie sent a text today asking me for 2 of my favorite children’s books. I didn’t ask her about age groups or ethnic backgrounds of the children in question. but instantly brought up the two books that ALWAYS come to mind first: Aida and Mufaro’s beautiful Daughters. Aida is a story line that is great for middle-schoolers, while Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters is great for preschool and younger elementary school-aged children.

aida playI had the pleasure of seeing Aida on Broadway in New York in 2003(?), when Elton John and Tim Rice collaborated to create this awesome musical based on the storybook version of Giuseppe Verdi‘s Italian-language opera with the same name. The illustrated storybook was written by Leontyne Price, who is an American operatic soprano best known for the title role in Verdi’s Aida. When I was able to see the musical, the leading role was played by singer Toni Braxton. (Over its run, the musical has also included stars such as Michelle WIlliams of Destiny’s Child, Heather Headley and Deborah Cox). By the end of the musical I was in tears! It is such a great story and seeing one of your favorite children’s books come alive on stage is such an amazing feeling! I read that the final performance in NYC was in September of 2004. Maybe it will come back there or in another city and I can see it again?! (PS, you can click the performers’ names to see videos of their Aida performances).

But enough of the musicals… now, back to the books! Here are the summaries from Amazon:

Aida (difficult to find in hardcover these days but worth it if you can get it!)

aida

There’s no voice like that of opera singer Leontyne Price, and in this retelling of Aida, published in paperback for the first time, we discover that her writer’s voice is equally moving. This tale of the Ethiopian princess-turned-slave, her soldier lover, and their inevitable tragedy is a favorite of Price, who reveals her feeling of sisterhood with the doomed Aida in the book’s afterword. Price brings just enough distance to this story of love, jealousy, war, envy, and suicide to temper her passion. Telling the tale of Aida, one of the world’s most famous–and tragic–operas, in appropriate language and tone is a task to which Price is more than equal. – Amazon.com Review

mufaro
(PreSchool-Grade 3) An African villager named Mufaro had two daughters whom everyone agreed were beautiful. However, their dispositions were not alike: Manyara had a bad temper and was selfish (although not in front of Mufaro); Nyasha was always kind and considerate both to people and to animals. When Mufaro receives word that the Great King is inviting all of the most worthy and beautiful women to appear before him so that he might choose a wife, Mufaro decides that both of his daughters should go. Manyara, believing herself more worthy and beautiful than her sister, sets out alone so that she can be presented to the king before her sister. What happens to each girl along the way depends on her response to the strange people whom she encounters. This folktale shows the traditional qualities, characterizations, and predictability. It is distinguished, however, by its colorful ink and watercolor illustrations of the costumes, artifacts, flora, and fauna of the Zimbabwe region. The expressive drawings of people and events enhance the story and serve to strengthen readers’ familiarity with traditional African culture. A magnificently illustrated book, filled with rich textures and vibrant color, and a story that will satisfy young romantics as well as those with a strong sense of justice. – Review by Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park
If you know any young children that like to read, you should definitely check those out!

For the item of the day, I have had my eyes on this necklace for some time now… Its from Objets d’Envy, a local Chicago jewelry company. At $662, this handmade piece is out of my current shopping budget but is soooo worth saving up for! (That is, if one of my lucky readers doesn’t snatch it up first!) This truly artistic piece of jewelry (its so much more than necklace) is titled “Tresor”, which means “treasure”…

Tresor1 Tresor2

Be sure to check out the other items from Chicago designer Kirsten over at Objets d’Envy!

Click below to go right to Amazon and purchase the books or the Broadway CD of Aida!

I’m officially a Burberry chick!

Thursday was truly a day of surprises!! Two of my coolest cousins (who don’t even know each other) decided to shower me with gifts! One sent a very cool Coach signature laptop sleeve in all black with a matching work tote bag as a thank you gift for me helping her out!! Totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. The other cousin bought a pair of pumps from one of our favorite websites Gilt.com and they ended up being too narrow for her so she decided to send them to me as a surprise. We wear the same size and swap shoes regularly but imagine my shock when I opened the Priority Mail box and saw these lovely black patent Burberry pumps inside!
burberry pump (4) burberry pump burberry pump (2) 
Totally hot, classic and SEXY!!! Lucky for me, I have a narrow foot and apparently Burberry caters to that, from the way these shoes fit. I felt like Cinderella prancing around the house in these babies… guess this gives me an excuse to go dress shopping!! I found a couple of ideas for a sexy all black night out in Gilt.com’s Paige Black Label sale…hmm… Should I go with a sexy, shorter low cut dress? Or a classic sheath either worn with this belt or worn with a bunch of long necklaces? Decisions, decisions…
norfolk stretch wool dress 05012010 rosebury stretch wool dress 05012010
(If you’re not a member to Gilt.com’s invitation only shopping click here to join and get awesome deals of up to 70% off on designer fashions, purses, shoes, kid’s clothing, bedding, vacation trips and everything else you can think of: http://www.gilt.com/invite/cherish).

Advertisements