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Thursday
Jul242014

[GIFTED] Let's Stay Home Print

During the long, seemingly endless winter months, you would look at your partner, who you have been amassing cabin fever with since the weather started getting chilly and say, "Man, I can't wait for summer."  Ah, yes.  In January, nothing sounds better than summer.  THAT'S when you'll actually go out and do things.  THAT'S when you'll go on trips and see friends and wear striped shirts while standing beside the ocean. 

But then summer rolls around and your calendar is perpetually booked.  Weddings, weekend getaways, happy hours, rooftop events, and other obligations mean that you're constantly out and about—enough that you've forgotten what your apartment looks like.  By August, you're burned out.  This Let's Stay Home Print ($18, Old English Co.) perfectly encapsulates your desires to just not go out for once.  Unfortunately, you're not going to get that chance until January rolls around again.  Godspeed. 

Wednesday
Jul232014

[GIFTED] The Bixby Bicycle

Unless you're JD Rockefeller, you will not be buying anyone a $2,000 bicycle like The Bixby Bicycle ($2,000, Shinola).  But, you could buy it for YOURSELF, and it would probably be the best gift you've ever received (if you want something done right, do it yourself, right?).  Handmade in Detroit, this gorgeous mofo looks sleek and elegant and handles like a goddamned dream.  It's everything you want in a bike, and MORE. Think about how stylish you'll look, gliding through the streets of NYC. Yeah, you don't take the subway. You're too sophisticated for that.  Think about how great this bike will look locked up outside of your favorite coffee shop while you stop in for a leisurely espresso?  You're basically European.  What a life.    
Tuesday
Jul222014

[GIFTED] Pet Bowl & Tray Set 

For years, pet stuff in our homes have been purely functional.  A giant hunter green plastic food bowl for your dog.  A weirdly carpeted dome-shaped thing for your cat to lay on top of, never inside, like he's supposed to.  It all looked ugly as all hell, but it's for your pet, and why waste money on nicely designed things for your pet, right?  WRONG.

If it's in your home, you've got to look at it.  We look at enough ugly stuff all day, every day—our stupid bosses' face, garbage on the street, Giuliana Rancic on E! News—and that's why our pets' stuff needs an upgrade.  These adorable Pet Bowl & Tray Sets ($93, Deny Designs) allow for exactly that.  Functional and nicely designed.  There are a ton more designs available, so you're sure to find one that will fit your home's style and your dog or cat's obnoxious personality. 

Monday
Jul212014

[GIFTED] Fictitious Dishes

If you have a literary-type friend who is also a foodie, congratulations on finding literally the best gift you could possibly get them: Fictitious Dishes ($16, Amazon).  No, it's not a cookbook—it's a photo-driven coffee table book that takes passages from beloved novels—the tea party from Alice in Wonderland, the clam chowder from Moby Dick, the deli sandwich from Catcher in the Rye, and so on—and pairs them with a visual recreation of the dish. 

Your bookish friend will go apeshit over this, no doubt. 

Friday
Jul182014

[GIFTED] Hellfire Club Bloody Mary Mix

There are people who passively drink Bloody Marys at brunch every now and then because they like the idea of a Bloody Mary.  Then, there are people who actually LIKE Bloody Marys.  These are the people who are forever chasing the dragon of a good bloody mary because true Bloody Mary afficionados know that there are SO many things that can go wrong when someone makes a Bloody Mary. 

1. How it's served.  Most people will do the right thing and give you a Bloody Mary that's made-to-order.  But some places serve a Bloody Mary from a ready-made batch that's been hanging out in a pitcher full of ice for 45 minutes—typically seen at all-you-can-drink brunch places.  Who wants a watered-down Bloody Mary? Nobody. 

2. The mix.  Some prefer thin, some prefer thick.  Some prefer chunks of horseradish and fresh cracked black pepper, some prefer it smooth and factory-made.  Whatever your preference, you're pretty much guaranteed to be disappointed at least half the times you order one because the bartender's preference on mix won't match your own. 

3. Spiciness.  Same with the mix—some want their Bloody Mary to just have a tiny kick, others want to set their mouths on fire.  

4. Acoutrements.  As the artisanal cocktail movement has reached its fever pitch, bartenders have been given the freedom to serve you a cocktail with a bunch of bullshit sticking out of it.  A Bloody Mary has always been the perfect cocktail for doing just this, because it's probably the heartiest drink you can order outside of a milkshake.  But let's cool it, okay?  Can I eat a stalk of rosemary?  No.  A chunk of pepperoni?  YOU'RE DISGUSTING.  Celery, bro.  Stick to the celery.   

I think I've belabored the point enough—Bloody Marys are complicated mistresses.  That's why you always want to start with a quality base, like what you'll get with Hellfire Club Bloody Mary Mix ($28, Arrowhead Farms).  Buy this for yourself, bring it to a friend's BBQ along with a bottle of vodka—it's a party in a bottle.