Archive for the ‘For women’ Category

Christmas 2010: let the shopping commence!

June 14, 2010

Well, I didn’t quite intend it to happen so soon…but on Saturday I bought my first Christmas gift of the year!  Not that I had set out to do so.

I was in a pharmacy/drugstore, waiting to buy some contact lens fluid, when I noticed this cool set of lip glosses.  Cool for a younger woman, that is.  Much younger.  Like: 15.

We have a 15 year old friend of the family.  She is a sweet girl, but she is 15 going on 25 (or would like to be), as is the way of many teenage girls.  So buying for her has become rather difficult.  You just know that what you buy her is going to be wrong – either not cool enough, not expensive enough (this is the girl of $400 cellphone lust), or somehow just plain wrong.

So my eyes lit up when I saw this Lip Smackers collection.  It seems to fit around the demographic, and is a practical gift (who doesn’t need lip gloss of some sort, at any age?) that will also appeal to her girly, feminine side. 

Although it’s still only June, I thought I’d better snap up this set because a) there was only one left on the stand; b) I’ll come back another time and there’ll be none in stock or; c) I’ll forget all about it.  Then in December I’ll be scratching my head, going, “Now what the heck should we get Fern this year?”


Biancheria intima – a tale of mistaken identity!

April 23, 2010

Here’s a cautionary tale about buying lingerie as a gift when in a foreign country – although I’m not sure exactly what the moral of the story is!

Alan, a 50-something former colleague of mine, went on honeymoon to Europe with his new bride.  While in Italy, he was taking a stroll when he noticed a lingerie boutique that had some rather lovely ensembles in the window. 

As a romantic gesture to his wife (who was not present with him at the time), he went into the shop and tried to purchase one of the garments.  Although his Italian was poor, he figured that the international language of money would suffice.  Surely all he had to do was point to the shop-window dummy that was displaying the item he wanted to buy (in my mind it’s a violet silk teddy, trimmed with beige lace), and indicate with his credit card that he’d like to purchase it?

Well, you would think so.  However, the shop staff put up strong objections, which Alan of course couldn’t understand.  Why on earth wouldn’t they just wrap up the damn garment for him?  Weren’t they in the business of selling lingerie, after all?  Eventually, the answer become clear.  What they were trying to say to Alan was: But Sir, it’ll NEVER FIT YOU!!!  (Alan was/is a portly gentleman.) 

Evidently the shop was frequented by transvestites, and the shop staff assumed that Alan wanted the outfit for his own use – thus were encouraging him to buy a much larger size than the one on the display dummy!

Alan was sufficiently amused by this episode to share it with his friends and colleagues when he returned to work.  All I can advise, by way of learning, is that if you are a male purchasing gift lingerie while abroad, perhaps also teach yourself the local words for “It’s for my wife”!

On the ‘rocks’

March 9, 2010

Further to earlier posts on amusing ice cube molds (which would make good gifts), here’s the latest: ice cubes in the shape of diamonds.  Can’t you just imagine a couple of giant ‘rocks’ rolling around in your glass?

Why did no-one think of this earlier?  In hindsight, it seems so obvious – what with ‘ice’ being a slang term for diamonds!

Related posts:

Something old, something new…

February 2, 2010

Here’s a creative wedding gift idea I recently saw at the excellent giftwrapping site, The Gifted Blog.  The idea was in turn spotted at designer Erin Jang’s website.

In essence, it involves four gifts, each differently wrapped and labelled “Something old”, “something new”, “Something borrowed”, and “Something blue” – with appropriate gifts, meaningful to the gift recipient, in each parcel.  A great idea for a dear friend or family member.  Probably a bit difficult for someone you’re not all that close to.

Baby love

January 17, 2010


Not your typical baby gift

I got this ceramic, heart-shaped brooch as a gift for a friend who recently gave birth to her second baby.

I figure she’s probably got all the baby stuff she needs, and hopefully this brooch will serve as a permanent keepsake of one of the most significant moments in her life.

Was it expensive?  No – it was wildly reasonable – just $20!  I purchased it from a local municipal art gallery (so in fact the brooch is also an artwork as well as a piece of jewellery) and cost less than I would have paid in a high street design store.

“Eat me”

January 15, 2010

There’s a great example of creative gift-giving in Marian Keyes’ latest novel, The Brightest Star in the Sky (Michael Joseph, 2009):

Laid out on…the counter was a series of gifts for her.  A bottle of champagne with a Post-it saying ‘Drink me’; a kilo box of Godiva chcolates saying ‘Eat me’; a huge bunch of roses saying ‘Smell me’; and a pink beribboned box of wispy underwear saying ‘Wear me’.

What a great way to give presents when you can’t be there in person!  (The giver of this lovely loot had unfortunately to be overseas on business on the day of his girlfriend’s birthday.

Definitely worth emulating, even if on a smaller scale – not all of us can afford kilo boxes of Godiva chocolates, etc.

And the clever, instruction-based labelling is itself probably inspired by the food and drink that Alice discovers in Alice in Wonderland (or is it Through The Looking Glass?  I’m never sure!)

Perfect purses

December 10, 2009

I don’t like their website much, but I do like TL+C’s “Perfect” make-up bag – also the “Gorgeous” and “Dainty” purses: ideal “message” gifts for the perfect, gorgeous or dainty woman in your life.

Available in black, gold, rose and ruby.

Keys to please

September 27, 2009

I’m liking, a lot, Tiffany’s range of key pendants – they’re elegant and creative (and, by Tiffany standards at least, not terribly expensive*).  A good gift for anyone who has “the key to your heart.”

That said, buying jewellery can be difficult – you need to have an idea of the recipient’s style preferences, including whether he/she likes gold or silver (or platinum) best. 

* and if they’re still too expensive for your budget, wait a while: I have no doubt that other jewellers will soon be making more affordable versions.

See also related post: The Last Necklace.

Joseph and his amazing technicolour kitchenware

August 26, 2009

I’m mad for sleek, creative designs of kitchenware design firm Joseph Joseph (“so nice / they named it twice”, like the song goes, huh?).

Am especially keen on the index chopping board set, which provides four different chopping boards for different food types: meat, fish, veggies, etc., stored in a vertical container.  And I love the colourful nested mixing bowls; dazzling!

Recommended for friends and family who like to cook, in a modern kitchen. 

Disclaimer: Sadly, am no friend, relation, employee etc etc of the Joseph Joseph company – these plaudits are entirely my own creation.

Gift idea: retro chic

August 5, 2009

I love the way Anne Taintor reworks retro graphics – think 1950s Good Housekeeping – pairing them with sassy, tongue-in-cheek captions like: “Why yes, I am overqualified” and “Maybe I want to look cheap”.

The finished results adorn notepads, purses, luggage tags and much more – available worldwide in good gift shops, also online.  The women in your life, especially those with a great sense of humour, will love them.

Check out: