Gift ideas

Holiday gift guide 2017 – kids edition

6 December 2017
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My annual gift guide is in two parts this year. Kids first! Hope you find it useful. Note that my kids are growing up – I’m now in the 3rd to 10th grade window – so if you’re looking for littler ones, please check out my gift ideas from previous years, which have tons of […]

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Holiday gift guide 2016

7 December 2016
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For all the online fun kids have these days – videos, Snapchat filters, YouTube channels, online gaming – it’s amusing to note that the hottest toy this year was the half-empty disposable water bottle. Water bottle flipping, a YouTube-inspired sensation, became such an obsessive craze it was covered in the New York Times. For […]

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Holiday gift guide 2015

18 November 2015
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Supersoft beanies and disco lights, teepees, the world’s best almonds, jewelry and my usual assortment of silly stocking stuffers, this year’s collection is more eclectic than in the past, as the kids in the extended family are growing up. In five years, this is the earliest I’ve ever gotten out a holiday gift guide. Woohoo! […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2014

5 December 2014
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Eleven months of the year, I’m grateful for my large family. But when I’m trying to outrun the December avalanche, I can’t help but wonder how I thought four kids was such a fantastic idea, or why I didn’t marry a nice orphan. Daily life is busy enough, but when you pile on the tree, […]

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Holiday stocking stuffers

26 November 2013
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Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukah have only fallen on the same day once before, in 1888, and the two dates may not coincide again until the year 79811. Since Hanukah has been around for some 2200 years, and Thanksgiving only 150, safe to say this is the only time Jewish families in America will […]

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Fringe benefit

23 October 2013
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Maybe it’s age, but I can’t wear wool anymore. Even cashmere can make my skin uncomfortable. So my new loves are soft, light cotton scarves. With my eczema, I need the breathability of natural fibers, so rayon/viscose/polyester won’t do. Lighter-weight scarves are perfect year-round in California, but they’re also perfect fall wear anywhere – pretty, […]

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Nubian Heritage soaps (and other stocking stuffers for grownups)

6 December 2012
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Gifts for adults are tricky. By the time we’ve been around for three decades or more, there isn’t much of anything that would fit in a wrapped present that most of us actually need. As for guessing what someone would want – so often those types of gifts tend to end up forgotten in the […]

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EzyRoller (and a few stocking stuffer ideas)

4 December 2012
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I miss my dream kitchen in Ohio, but what my kids miss are the two Ezy Rollers they got for Christmas last year. These ride-on toys are ingenious in their simplicity – four wheels, one seat, a couple of bars of sturdy metal and an effective hand break – and powered by an intuitive back-and-forth […]

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Tangle Teezer

23 August 2012
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The first day of school used to be a real occasion for dressing up. One boy I knew always came in a suit. Other kids showcased their fall back-to-school corduroys and sweaters, excited but roasting in the late-summer sun. Abundant hair was celebrated in the 1970s, but on the first day of school, even normally […]

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Frog Hollow Farm

13 July 2012
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On a rare visit to the Ferry Building farmers market in San Francisco several years ago, I discovered Frog Hollow Farm, whose lusciously flavorful fruit brought me back to the pre-silicon Silicon Valley of my childhood. Even into the 1980s, a few family orchards still remained as shady green oases amongst the suburbs, with farm […]

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