Gift ideas

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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Discovery Monday

12 December 2011
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Once again, I have an assortment of tidbits from my wayward travels on the web, gathered up for you like a motley bouquet. It’s not the freshest – I save my little bits over months – but I love having my collection of treasures here so I can always find them again. I was amazed […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2011 (part 2)

7 December 2011
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After wrapping up my holiday gift ideas for this year, I’m looking forward to getting back to food. I don’t know about you, but since we finished our glorious Thanksgiving leftovers, we’ve been eating a lot of nothing around here. We’re building up anticipation – or slimming down, depending on how you look at it […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2011 (part 1)

4 December 2011
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I had an early taste of holiday shopping this year when, at 11:45 pm after a full day of cooking and feasting, I hugged my Thanksgiving lingerers goodbye and drove off in the dark with my oldest son to GameStop’s Black Friday midnight opening (limited-edition Zelda Nintendo 3DS – don’t ask). As I stood shivering […]

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Flameless candles

30 November 2011
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The surprise hits of my Thanksgiving table were these unexpectedly realistic flameless candles. Aside from birthday cake toppers, I haven’t had candles in the house since I became a parent a decade ago. With real wax, softly flickering light and light vanilla scent, these LED pillar candles are a surprisingly satisfying – and happily carefree […]

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Celebrating springtime: Easter tree and gifts

15 April 2011
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It’s finally spring in Ohio. Grass is green, leaves are budding, and the sunlight is blessedly warm. Winter’s brittle ice tree is now a jauntily swaying festivity of rainbow eggs. My clever friend Jenny conjured up this surprise for the kids. It’s like a Christmas tree but better – easy, fun, inexpensive – and best […]

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