Dec 202012
Holiday Gift Gude -- For Techies, Scientists, and Other Nerds

I write that title with love — give me a nerd over an alpha type any day. Here are a few things to show love for the nerds in your life. Clockwise, from top left:

1. Battleship USB hub. $17 at Heliotrope Home.

2. Cord hog keeps computer and electronics cords tangle-free. Set of 3, $6 at

3. Mummy flash drive. $30 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

4. “There’s a nap for that” onesie, for the techie in training. $13 at Think Geek. (My second favorite pun tee, after the Game of Thrones inspired “Impin’ Ain’t Easy.”)

5. Han Solo in carbonite ice cube tray. $10 at Think Geek.

6. Planetary lollipops. Set of 10, $17.50 from VintageConfections on Etsy.

7. Giant Microbes soap dispenser. $10 on Amazon.

8. “Partridge in a Petri” holiday cards. Set of 8, $19 from Hawkgerber on Etsy.

9. And one above my usual price limit, but how could I leave out the Playmobil Apple store? $180 at Think Geek.

Dec 192012
Holiday Gift Guide -- For the Writer

Clockwise, from top left:

1. “Q&A a Day” journal. $17 at Heliotrope Home. (See also: 642 Things to Write About.)

2. Kafka “This is so me-esque” mug. $8 at Fishs Eddy.

3. Paper organizer. $25 at Design Public.

4. Handmade French notebook. $21 at Brookfarm General Store.

5. Jane Austen bandages. $5 at McPhee.

6. Jonathan Adler lion eraser. $10 from Lifeguard Press.

7. Red felt magazine tote. $18 at Chiasso.

8. Twelve Muses 2013 calendar. $14 from Papaya Stores.

9. Beautiful binder clips. $8 at Serene Gardens.

10. Center: Classic novels in display-worthy covers. $18 at Anthropologie.

Dec 192012
Christmas Gift Guide -- More for Kids

Another set of ideas for kids from preschool to early grade school. Many of these can be found at stores other than the listed source; just type the names into Google. Clockwise, from top left:

1. Make your own superhero cape. $35 at Goblin Kids.

2. Mouse prince. $22 at My Sweet Muffin.

3. Monogram fox. $39 from WinterPetals on Etsy.

4. Find My Piglet matching game. $11 at Amazon.

5. Art set in case. $20 from Alex Toys.

6. Clown face magnetic matching game. $15 at SF MOMA.

7. Tiger flashlight. $10 at Moolka.

8. Wedgits. $37 at Fat Brain Toys.

9. Colorful sticker book. $7 at Amazon.

10. CitiBlocs. $25 at Daytrip Society.

11. Animal push toys. Set of 6, $16 at Magic Cabin.

12. Center: Old-school bouncing ball. $22 at Sundance Catalog.

Dec 192012
Holiday Gift Guide -- For DC Types

Gifts for politicos and other DC types. By row, left to right:

1. DC hands t-shirt from One vs Many (currently out of stock).

2. “Bipartisan household” welcome mat. $20 at Signals.

3. US Capitol 3D puzzle. $15 at Fat Brain Toys.

4. “What good shall I do this day?” sign. $28 at Best Made Company.

5. DC neighborhood map print. $20 from Joebmapart on Etsy. Etsy also has replica vintage DC street maps.

6. Republican National Convention 1964 replica pennant. $10 at Tiddle E Winks.

7. “Vote Whig” t-shirt. $20 at

8. Bull Moose Party mug. $17 at Fishs Eddy. (Currently out of stock, but there’s a matching dishtowel.)

9. DC map iPhone case. $17 from Caseosaurus on Etsy.

10. Abraham Lincoln bandages. $5 at Archie McPhee.

11. DC cufflinks. $30 from Juanitas on Etsy. (And these DC railway token cufflinks are above my $40 cutoff but worth checking out.)

12. Washington Monument book print. $35 from NestaHome on Etsy.

Dec 182012
Holiday Gift Guide -- For the Artist

Clockwise, from top left:

1. A great set of markers. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner set, $18.50 at Greer Chicago.

2. Fancy scissors from a Chinese company in business since 1663. $12 at Brookfarm General Store.

3. Decorative washi tape (this set includes a “made with love” design). $2 at Cute Tape.

4. Cute post-it memo holder. $15 at SF MOMA.

5. Pretty pushpins. $15 at Anthropologie.

6. “Art Work: Seeing Inside the Creative Process.” $25 at Jayson Home.

7. Frames made of colored pencils. $18 at Heliotrope Home.

8. Paper cutting book. $28 at Daytrip Society.

9. Watercolor postcard set. $20 at Chronicle Books.

10. Center: “642 Things to Draw.” $12 at Amazon. (See also: “712 More Things to Draw” and “One Sketch a Day Visual Journal.”)

Dec 142012
Holiday Gift Guide -- For the Jewelry Lover

Clockwise from top left:

1. Lovely jewelry storage tree. $28 at Wayfair.

2. Fancy drop earrings. $18 at Shop Suey Boutique.

3. Statement necklace. $40 at Whats-in-Store.

4. Gold metal cuff. $25 at Robert Rose.

5. Golden papier mache bowl for storing small pieces. $24 at Gretel Home.

6. Mustard flower earrings. $30 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

7. Fancy drop earrings, part two. $22 at Robert Rose.

8. Wool covered bangles. Set of 3, $40 at Bajalia.

9. Statement necklace, part two. $28 at Shop Suey Boutique.

10. Center: The most beautiful jewelry roll ever. $25 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dec 142012
Holiday Gift Guide -- Toddler Mealtime

I know “toddler mealtime” isn’t the usual theme for a holiday gift guide. But I came across so many useful-but-adorable options, I couldn’t help but share!

Top row, from left:

Straw dispenser with colorful straws. $13 at Amazon.

Littlephant kids’ mugs. $16.50 each at Huset Shop.

Starter chopsticks. $5.50 at For Small Hands.

Rilakkuma bento box. $16 at Kawaii Kids.


Ingela P. Arrhenius melamine plates. $12 each at Huset Shop.

NotNeutral melamine meal set. $26 at Design Public.

Animal face mugs. $18 each at Apartment 48.


Lollacup straw sippy cup. $16 at Paper Trail Rhinebeck.

Shinzi Katoh bento box set. $23 at My Sweet Muffin.

Lunchskins reusable lunch bag set. Lunchskins are all over the Web these days; this set was on the Lunchskins main site. (Our family also likes Kushies On-the-Go Bags, which lack the cheery designs but have softer fabrics.)

Skip Hop divided bee plate. $9 at Daytrip Society.

Sectioned car tray. $16.50 at My Sweet Muffin.