It's Christmas Eve and I'm currently on my couch, not working, and finally able to kick my feet up. I have some AMAZING cleaning ladies here (more on that later) and am getting a kick out of my cat's fear of the vacuum. Bert is a big gift in my life and I'm thrilled I adopted him. So for my final gift idea, I have one word: adopt! There are plenty of animal shelters where you can adopt a pet. I promise, the laughs and entertainment and love will last longer than you can imagine.
You can give this to someone else or you can give yourself the amazing gift of Dreyer's PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM. OMG. I had to try this after I just loved the Dreyer's Pumpkin Ice Cream they had in stores in the fall. Growing up a Texas girl, I am pretty darn loyal to Blue Bell, but the texture of these ice creams is delightful! It's always the perfect texture, like that one second when your ice cream is soft enough to scoop but still frozen. This peppermint ice cream is near perfect. And after exploring the Dreyer's website, I'm definitely going to scoop some into an Oreo crust and bust out this Peppermint Pie.
It's getting down to the wire but it's not too late to give a colorful and creative gift. How about one of these download and print 2011 calendars from Etsy? I purchased some of these a few years ago, and for under $10, printed presents galore. You can search 2011 PDF Calendars or take a peek at these I found. Once you pay, the seller(s) will send a PDF within 24 hours for you to simply print, tie with ribbon, and give. It's an easy way to make you look much more prepared than you are.
The skinny jeans at American Eagle are the best out there. Sure, you have to get over the fact that you're shopping with a bunch of pre-pubescents and the music is loud and half the crap has logos all over it, but for between $40-$50, you can find yourself a pretty sweet pair of skinnys. I now have three pairs (wearing this style today) and over the weekend bought three pairs of their jeans (one skinny boot fit) for less than $90 thanks to a sale. Everyone I know loves their Gap skinnys (myself included) but the AE fit is a little bit lower rise and doesn't stretch quite as much. Check out all of their jeans. They are awesome!
Melissa over at Little Miss Poppy shared a link to the photography gift guide from I Heart Faces where Little Miss Poppy is featured. Melissa gave me the Domino bloom for the holidays and I LOVE it! My friends and family all made nice comments on how cute it was. Here's a pic along with Meghan and Amanda at Amanda and Greg's Hot Chocolate Holiday Party. We had a blast and looked cute drinking our hot cocoas.
I love my little bloom and can't wait to wear it all the time. Another adorable find from that gift guide are these handmade lens pets from Mandee Franee on Etsy . HOW CUTE ARE THESE? I love the peacock. I know this would be a great gift for any mom trying to get their little dino to smile. How fun. Here are all of them.
Any other gift ideas? Send them my way! Pia The Pig
AAAD Reader Brad is joining us today with his reviews of the Top Ten Albums of The Year and later today, Gift Ideas for the Dudes. Brad, or BC, in his comments, is the husband of Allison of Blue Mutt and a great guy with great taste. Hope you enjoy his reviews!
Brad's Ten in 2010. If 2009 was the year of the up and coming artist, 2010 was the year for that artist to tour. And while Dallas’ concert calendar filled up, the big releases this year came from the well established artists who sat out 2009 (and 2008, and 2007, etc) waiting to recuperate and strike again. Such is the case with Sufjan Stevens. His last major studio album came out almost 5 years ago, but his two (count them, two) releases this year seriously made up for a lack of recent presence. Going back to the electronic roots of his Enjoy Your Rabbit album from nearly a decade ago, he seems to have found a way to re-stoke his passion for making new music (plus his stage show was full of dancers, light shows, etc, so at least he’s having fun). Arcade Fire (everyone’s indie sweethearts) put out the most amazing stand-alone album of the year. I had the privilege of seeing their show in Lyon, France this year, and it was nothing short of spectacular. The Tallest Man on Earth rounds out the top 3, and, unlike his name suggests, he’s actually a smallish Swedish folk singer. However, as his name suggests, his vocals, songwriting, and overall onstage swagger (or hipster lack thereof) might just make him the tallest singular man on this list. Throw in a couple of noisy electronic outfits, an arrogant rap artist, math rockers, and some steady indie favorites, and welcome to my top 10 list.
I don’t know anything about music, but this is what I liked this year:
1. Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz/All Delighted People EP
2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (This would be album of the year if Sufjan didn’t have 2 great submissions)
3. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
4. Sleigh Bells – Treats
5. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
6. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
7. Fang Island - Fang Island
8. Wavves – King of the Beach
9. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
T10. Vampire Weekend – Contra T10. The National – High Violet
Honorable Mentions: · The Thermals – Personal Life
· Wolf Parade – Expo 86
· Hot Chip - One Life Stand
· MGMT – Congratulations
· No Age – Everything In Between
· Jonsi – Go
· Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise
Honorable Mention I Don’t Even Own (but I’ve listened to enough online): · Yeasayer – Odd Blood
Completely self-indulgent? Of course. But I’m going to get out ahead of Pitchfork and AV Club.
Gotta say, some great stuff on there. Thanks, Brad! Let us know YOUR Top 10 in 2010. Pia The Pig
Continuing my favorite things posts, I give you one of the best purchases I've made this year: a photo session with BlueMutt! In case you didn't read here and here about my fabulous shoot with Allison of BlueMutt and Bert, you can check out a ton of great pet photos on Allison's blog. She's offering gift cards for the holidays and I cannot stress enough what a fantastic gift for yourself, your pet, or another pet parent this is. It's a forever gift and something you may not think of amidst sweaters and ieverythings but totally more awesome.
I received the latest Food Network magazine in the mail the other day, and was simply loving the photography in it. The bark spread really looked amazing, and their easy to follow add-yer-own ingredients recipe was graphically and aesthetically quite pleasing. Whip up a batch, and whatever you've managed to not eat yourself, package up in this, and you're good to go.
When searching for the recipe to post, I found this little adorable number by Christine Hale on the Food Network Blog, which I have somehow NEVER BEEN TO BEFORE! Isn't it delish?
The magazine's feature on 50 Holiday Drinks is 50 little presents just waiting to be unwrapped slash guzzled.
Enjoy! Pia The Pig
Oh, and MAGAZINES, my favorite little treasures, are great gifts for the holidays. A year-round reminder that print isn't dead yet!
You get a catnip donut! This seems relevant given the latest posts. Oh, and the fact that I'm thrilled Bertie is alive and kicking after a giant raccoon invaded our territory last night. All is calm. All is alive. (now)
This donut is from the same seller I previously wrote about, who makes this.
While pets are gifts themselves, they need something (or eight things) to open, too! Pia The Pig
I can finally write a blog post about the waffle maker that I bought and gave my parents! We had a lovely Thanksgiving morning making pancakes from the delicious Archer Farms Chocolate Chip Banana pancake and waffle mix, which led to the discussion and realization that we've had waffles made solely by Eggo at my parents' house. So, I thought to myself: "gift idea: WAFFLE MAKER!" Luckily, Kohl's had some doorbuster deals on some, so I scored this little jobby and packaged it up with three boxes of the delicious Archer Farms varieties. Kitchen appliances, whether it's a tortilla maker, waffle maker, panini press (my favorite gift to give last year), or even a sno-cone machine (my favorite wedding gift to give this year), a kitchen appliance is an unexpected fun gift that can be enjoyed year-round.
This weekend I rocked my new tights from my new favorite discount line, Apt. 9 at Kohl's Kohl's is like a throwback to the 1950's department store. One store, on its own, full of everything from blenders to blazers. I hit pay dirt there on their Black Friday deals and have to share some ideas with you. I love their tights and most of them are on sale for a great price of just $4.99. These are GREAT stocking stuffers or a really easy way to spruce up your look for the holidays.
These argyle tights are super cute and a steal at just $4.99. These are also some of the ahem, most controlling, control tops out there that don't make you want to hang yourself or cut off your entire bottom half by the end of the night (this happened to me in a very ill-fitting hot pink pair two weeks ago.)
While I would possibly rename this color to "Holiday Red" or something more delish for the holidays, these Ketchup tights are Christmas party perfect with a simple black dress.
Joanna over at A Cup of Jo is one of my favorite bloggers. Every year, her gift guides feature some great finds from around the interwebs. I have already purchased a few of her finds for some of you! Hope you enjoy.
Both Allison's and Amy's posts, along with a dozen or so holiday cards I have received, have got me thinking of a cute way to display my cards this year. Last year, I hung a piece of ribbon under my mantle, picked up some cute binder clips from Office Depot, and hung my cards in a festive way in five seconds. This year, I'm in a new place without a mantle and with a good amount of wall space. I think this fun idea from Martha will be my idea for this year!
This is super cute and might have to be a year-round installment for cards and invitations in my home office (aka The Studio).
I'll be sure to post some pics! What's ANOTHER trip to the craft store this season? Habitual!
I probably link to more things on Etsy than any other site. Well, have you tried their groovy little gift finder? It's easy. You choose a Facebook friend and based on their likes and interests, you are given a sleigh full of original items he/she might like. You can even narrow by price. Super awesome!
My second album of the year is all about the boys. The British boys of Mumford and Sons. I listened to this album, Sigh No More, literally the entire months of June and July. It's up, down, shout out loud. Katie and I listened to some live tracks on our road trip to Denver and it was a concert in the car. I am DYING to see M and S live.
What are your must-give albums of the year? It's about that time for all the indie snobs to tell me all of the records they listened to all year who are made up of musicians not even born yet. Yeah, yeah, you're so effin' cool.