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  • Botanical Olive Branch Menorah


    I know Chanukah is a long way off, but this stunning menorah could double as a candelabra. I love the symbolism of the olive branch and the respect for a branch’s natural form. It’s designed by Michael Aram and is crafted of oxidized bronze. You totally want it.

    $210 at The Jewish Museum Shop | Buy

    (17" long)

    | Posted 08 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Credit Card Bottle Opener


    That bottle opener on your key chain is so ’90s. Secret this sleek bottle opener in your wallet and put all the fraternity brothers to shame. Designed by Tommy Larsen, the opener is designed to fit in a credit card slot. Made of stainless steel.

    $28 at Fitsu | Buy

    | Posted 07 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Cargo Bag


    Several of my favorite geeks own one of these. They’re roomy messenger bags that fasten shut with airplane seatbelt buckles. The bags are extra durable, have a big main compartment, several oversized pockets for your gadgets, and a non-slip shoulder pad.

    $189 at SF Bags | Buy

    | Posted 07 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Wiffle Ball T-Shirt


    VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE Every man has his passion, but your man is a legend in his time. With a giant plastic bat in hand, he feels like anything is possible. Let him know how proud you are with this slim-fit wiffle ball tee.

    $20 at Karmaloop | Buy

    | Posted 01 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Four-Leaf Clover Kit


    VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE Everyone could use a little more luck, and this clover kit is like giving your Valentine a little bit of happy. It comes with a small book on luck, four-leaf clover seeds, and a pot for planting. Nothing promotes a happy relationship like a crop of good fortune.

    $7 at | Buy

    | Posted 01 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Lazertag Two-Player Deluxe Set


    VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE Now this is love, girl. Nothing says devotion like a his ‘n hers laser tag set. It has several different modes of team play: free-for-all, team games, protect the leader, zone games and so on. If you think he adores you now, just wait until you get good enough to kick his ass.

    $50 at Toys R Us | Buy

    | Posted 01 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Pornogami : A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults


    VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE If you think the crane is impressive, wait until you see the 3-D paper penis. If your Valentine is a crafty sort, this book will spark an immediate interest the ancient art of paper folding. It even teaches you how to fold tips that will impress the most jaded bartender.

    $10 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 01 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • New ID Bracelets


    VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE I love the idea of ID bracelets, but they always look like you got them at some crappy kiosk in the mall. This handmade DottyspecK bracelet is a fresh update. It’s substantial, customizable up to 12 characters, and made of sterling silver. Time to immortalize that embarrassing nickname.

    $42 at Buy Olympia | Buy

    | Posted 01 Feb, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Refillable Record Book


    A blank-page, journal with recycled record albums as the cover. It has two inside pockets and takes regular binder pages

    $35 at Buy Olympia | Buy

    | Posted 31 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Esquire Magazine


    If Maxim makes you uneasy and The Economist makes you sleepy, Esquire is just the thing. It’s like a magazine for young women except, you know, the editors assume their readership is smart. Also, more cars.

    $8 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 27 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Moonbeam Clock


    Wouldn’t you rather be woken by a “gently illuminating light” than, say, a spine-slamming alarm that sends adrenaline spiking through your veins? Me too. The Moonbeam Clock wakes you naturally with light, and has a backup bell for mornings when you need extra encouragement.

    $36 at L.L. Bean | Buy

    ( 5"H x 7"W x 3"D.)

    | Posted 27 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Droste Cocoa


    Throw away the Nestle Quick. This unsweetened cocoa from Holland will make your toes curl. Whisk it into hot milk and sweeten with Bailey’s Irish Cream or Frangelico. If you can get your hands on some homemade marshmallows you might be able to ascend. It’s also amazing in baked goods.

    $10 at | Buy

    (About 9 oz.)

    | Posted 26 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Zip It Travel Socks


    These socks have a four-inch zippered pocket for storing cash, ID, or keys. A good gift for bike riders, runners, and cautious travelers. They’re a cotton/nylon/spandex blend, and they come in black or white.

    $15 at Siegler and Co. | Buy

    | Posted 26 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Weleda Skin Food


    This is my new favorite thing! First off, the scent is a blend of lavender, rosemary, and orange oil–so it smells clean and sweet. It’s for very dry skin, so when you first put it on it feels a little thick and gooey. Three minutes later, your skin will feel so silky that you’ll want to purr. You can also use it on chapped lips; it tastes faintly of oranges. I’d read about this stuff a thousand times, but I finally tried it because a reader and firm believer sent me some (thanks, Freddy). Try it. You’ll be passing it out to friends too.

    $15 at Amazon | Buy

    (For 2.5 oz.)

    | Posted 26 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Bent Ply Feeder


    Is your discerning kitty turning up her nose at mealtime? Maybe it’s not the Fancy Feast, maybe it’s the plastic bowl. This chow bowl has a frame made of bent plywood. It elevates your pet’s water and food, which is supposedly more comfortable and especially good for animals with arthritis. The feeder comes in small, medium, or large, and the site offers instructions on how to figure out which one will work best for your pet. When you get it, you can have in encrusted with jewels. (Thanks for the tip, Maggi!)

    $98 at Vivavi | Buy

    (For medium-sized feeder.)

    | Posted 25 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Hand Tied Romance Bouquet


    Remember last year when you grabbed a sad little bunch of Valentine’s flowers from the convenience store? Turns out that baby’s breath is a highly potent form of birth control. This year, give yourself a fighting chance. Order this gorgeous hand-tied bouquet of pink alstromeria, lemon-scented wax flowers, lavender asters, allium and purple lisianthus, asters, and cremones. From now until Valentine’s Day, code V5AFF gets you 15 percent off everything at Kabloom. The baroque bouquet is awfully nice too.

    $58 at Kabloom | Buy

    | Posted 24 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • JPG Magazine


    JPG Magazine is a chapbook of photography taken by artists who publish much of their work online. It’s a testimony to how the Web helps talented people find their niche, regardless of their connections. Full disclosure: Heather and Derek Powazek are the publishers, and also my pals. This is JPG Magazine’s inaugural issue, and it’s lovely. It’s fifty-two, full-color pages, and contains the work of thirty-one photographers. It also includes an interview with Emilie Valentine, one of the first photobloggers, and a spread by photographer Noah Grey. If you know someone who gives their camera good morning kisses, or someone who tracks indie publishing gems, this is a thoughtful gift.

    $20 at JPG Magazine | Buy

    (6" x 9")

    | Posted 24 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Winter Cheer Organic Bouquet


    Red roses on Valentine’s Day are for amateurs. If you’d prefer to be a little unpredictable, choose this modern arrangement in white. This cheerful bunch of oriental lilies, white roses, and white asters looks as though you just gathered it in the backyard. Also, they’re organic, which means that your gift of love isn’t sending insecticide into the drinking water. So that’s a plus.

    $40 at | Buy

    | Posted 24 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Botanical Branch with Figs


    Forget the flowers, Michael Aram’s fig branch sculpture makes for a gorgeous–and hardy–centerpiece. Put it on the table with a few tea lights, or set it on the mantle. Brings a sense of plenty to any room.

    $130 at Room and Company | Buy

    (No longer available.)

    | Posted 21 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Sport Half-Zip


    Who says it’s not easy being green? This retro half-zip sweatshirt is comfortable and stylish. Contrast panels are stitched in along the arms, back, and sides. Nice, big zip pockets keep your wallet safe when you’re out jogging.

    $50 at Banana Republic | Buy

    | Posted 21 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Grinder Brush


    When your everyday objects are pretty, it makes your life a little more comfortable. This simple, stainless steel brush with natural bristles keeps your coffee or spice grinder clean and sparkly. Feels good in your hands.

    $10 at CB2 | Buy

    (No longer available.)

    | Posted 20 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Spice Gift Boxes


    Penzey’s spice boxes make fantastic housewarming or wedding gifts. Prices and sizes vary. You can get a small package of four spices or go for broke with the Grand Spice gift crate that includes 19 spices. You can choose your spices based on the recipient’s cooking preferences: baking spices, Indian curries, grill and broil, spice, and several more.

    $34 at Penzey's Spices | Buy

    (For an eight-pack of spices.)

    | Posted 19 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Ziplinq Ethernet Extension cable


    Ziplinq makes all kinds of cool retractable extension cords. This one is an Ethernet cable that connects your computer to a network or another computer. It’s only 4” long when stored, but it extends to 48”.

    $11 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 19 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Alpine puffer jacket


    ON SALE Bundle up in this basic down parka with contrast nylon lining. Plenty of exterior expandable pockets for your sunglasses and gloves, and two interior pockets for your wallet and iPod. Comes with a storm flap with hidden snaps and leather details. Shirttail hem with interior drawstring. If you’re not into safety orange, it also comes in blue, taupe, and red.

    $50 at J Crew | Buy

    (Regularly $128)

    | Posted 17 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • File


    Throw away the ugly plastic rolodex that you snuck out of the office supply cabinet. It’s convenient, but not exactly a display piece. This lovely maple wood rolodex, on the other hand, is a work of art. It comes stocked 1,000 pretty found-paper cards in an array of colors and patterns. Now all you have to do is go out and meet enough friends to fill them up.

    $75 at Lovely Design | Buy

    ( 7x5x3")

    | Posted 17 Jan, 2005 by Margaret Mason

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