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Thursday
Jul312014

[GIFTED] Shinola Leather Baseballs

So you're dating someone who's really into baseball.  Like, REALLY into baseball.  This is unfortunate for you, because watching an entire baseball game is like sitting through six pointless marketing meetings IN A ROW. 

Somehow, though, he always convinces you to go to a game, mainly appealing to your desire to sit outside and stuff your face with beer and hot dogs.  You trek out to the ballpark, which is usually at least 17 hours away from your home (give or take).  At first, everything is glorious.  You're outside, you've got a beer in-hand, you're eating high-sodium foodstuffs.  Then, you remember that baseball is THE MOST BORING THING ON EARTH.  You remember that you HATE baseball.  You try to distract yourself by Instagramming photos of the field.  Baseball fields are Instagram gold.  This takes up exactly 2 minutes.  You try to amuse yourself by judging players by their at-bat music.  This is only semi-amusing. 

You try to convince your boyfriend to leave during the 7th inning stretch.  NO DICE.  It's late and you're tired and you start to remember your 17 hour commute back home.  This is what you look like.  You stop rooting for a specific team.  You just want SOMEONE to win so you can leave.  You regret not drinking more—maybe this would be more fun if you were supremely intoxicated.  You get into a fight with your boyfriend because you wanted to leave 3 hours ago and he wants to stay to see the end of the game which will be over in approximately 2 more hours.  You convince him to leave 30 minutes later.  You sit in silence on your 17 hour commute back home.  You never want to be "taken out to the ball game" again.   

Then, you remember that this is supposed to be a joyful pastime, America's pastime, something your boyfriend really enjoys, and that you should have just sucked it up and maybe sucked down a few more beers and Dip N Dots with a smile on your face.  As a make-up gift, get him one of these Shinola Leather Baseballs ($40, Shinola) that wll look handsome on his desk or on a shelf in his apartment.  And next time, just tell him to go to the game with a friend. 

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.   

Wednesday
Jul162014

[GIFTED] Ellovi Body Butter

Your cousin was way ahead of the curve when it came to eating organic and trying to buy chemical-free products.  She uses natural deoderant, which—as anyone who has spent a hot summer afternoon with her will attest—does NOT work. She cleans her kitchen with "cleaner" made from old crushed up dandelions that doesn't really kill bacteria or, you know, CLEAN anything, but hey, who cares.  She FEELS good about it. 

Another thing that she can feel good about (that actually works!) is Ellovi Body Butter ($26)—a new body butter made from only six pure ingredients (including macadamia nut, coconut, hemp seed, and shea) and made without water. 

Why is something made without water a selling point?  You know how you're always really excited to tear into a bag of chips and when you do, you find that there's like 7 chips in the bag?  That's how a lot of moisturizers are.  All water, not much of anything else.  Ellovi eliminates the water, which means it's super concentrated, which means it has more moisturization power.  Your cousin will love this—no doubt.  

Tuesday
Jul152014

[GIFTED] Domino Earrings 

One of your friends is so fashionable it hurts.  There you are, trying to make whatever generic shit you bought from The Gap look cute, and she rolls in wearing a scarf she made out of old beach towels and shoe strings and somehow looks like she belongs on the cover of a magazine.  She could wear Pharrel's Arby's hat and make it look cool, you would get laughed out of town if you ever tried to wear it.  Some people can just do that kind of shit.  They can make it work.  

And if anyone can make these giant Domino Earrings ($36, Melody Ehsani) look cool, it's this friend.  They're unique, badass, and will NOT look good on you.  Stick to your pearl earrings, and buy a pair of these for your friend.  She can rock them.  You can watch.   

Monday
Jul142014

[GIFTED] Mistaken Lyrics Coaster Set

There is always one girl who consistently gets song lyrics wrong but still sings the absolute LOUDEST out of anyone.  You have to admire her confidence (or complete lack of self-awareness), but holy shit, girlfriend even gets the songs wrong that everyone should know.   

Next time you show up to one of her parties where she'll undoubtably spend the night disrespecting everyone's personal space and yelling incorrect lyrics into their ears, gift her this Mistaken Lyrics Coaster Set ($25, Red Envelope).  Not only is it an INCREDIBLY appropriate gift, it'll protect her table from sweating drinks.  No word on how to protect your ears from her yelling, though.  You're on your own.