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Entries in Gift guides that don't suck (6)

Thursday
Dec132012

From the girl who hates *almost* everything: An affordable holiday gift guide that doesn't suck

A short list of affordable - i.e. under $100 - holiday gifts that don't suck, from the gal who thinks that most things - and people - suck.  

*Click on each item, below, to learn more*... Oh, and please note that most of these gifts are for women.  Honestly, I just don't know how to shop for a dude.  Sorry.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MONOGRAMMED TOTE AND/OR MAKEUP BAG

$65$30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEARLY EVERYTHING IN KATE SPADE'S "THE UNDER $100 BOUTIQUE"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CHEF AMANDA COHEN'S BAD ASS VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK-CUM-COMIC BOOK, "DIRT CANDY"

...PROVING THAT VEGETARIAN CUISINE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING OR TASTELESS

$13.36~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

RECEIVE CUSTOMIZED FLYWHEEL EARBUDS WHEN YOU SPEND $100 (OR MORE) ON GIFT CARDS BY 12/15!

...AND WORK TOWARDS A BODY LIKE HER'S!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GHOST CANDELABRA

$65~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TILT WINE CHILLER

$100~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NAMBE YARO SALAD BOWL (SET OF 4)

...BECAUSE *EVERYONE* LOVES A TOSSED SALAD

$75~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HANKY PANKY ORIGINAL RISE THONGS (5 PACK)

...BECAUSE NO WOMAN SHOULD BE CAUGHT DEAD IN "GRANNY PANTIES"

$90~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GRANDOE WOOL FRONT, LEATHER PALM GLOVES WITH BELT

$78~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DELUXE KEEPSAKE KIT, FOR BABY OR PET

...I USED MY KIT FOR MY PUPPY, LUCY.  THIS GIFT IS BEYOND SPECIAL AND SOMETHING THAT THE RECIPIENT WILL CHERISH FOREVER.

$59.95~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ORREFORS PRECIOUS BOWL

...FOR NUTS, M&Ms, OR SNACK MIX

$85~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WATERFORD CRYSTAL RING HOLDER

...PERFECT TO KEEP AT YOUR KITCHEN SINK!

$65~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

$100 WORTH OF MILES ON HIS/HER FAVORITE AIR CARRIER

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PET GPS TRACKER

$99.95~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AGATE "CELE" CLOCK

$100~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COOKIE JAR, MACKENZIE CHILDS

...I USE MINE TO STORE DOGGIE-TREATS.

$48~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PYTHON TRAVEL FLATS

...THE *PERFECT* STOCKING STUFFER FOR EVERY MANHATTAN GAL!

$58~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LOU MALNATI'S FAMOUS DEEP-DISH CHICAGO PIZZA DELIVERED TO HIS/HER/OR YOUR DOOR!

$58.99 for 2 pies, includes price of shipping~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Friday
Feb102012

An edible list: taking the proverbial "cheese" out of Valentine's Day

Oh god.  Here goes.  I'm writing this post because, to be perfectly honest, there are so many amazingly delicious items out there.  You know, things that - if I had a man of substance in my life - I would sincerely hope he'd have the wherewithal and/or know me so well and/or have immaculate-enough-taste to shower me with for Valentine's Day.  Are you hearing this, fella's?  Before you run out to CVS and buy her a cheesy Hallmark card and a heart-shaped box of Whitman's Samplers, please read my cheese-less V-Day list, below, first.  I promise that, if nothing else, you'll get lucky on February 14th.  Bam chikka bam bam!  Oh, and best of all?  Everything is under $100.  You're welcome. 

Alas, if you're single on V-Day this year, you can still look at the glass "half full."  How?  Make this dreaded holiday all about you.  Treat yourself to a 12-hour sweets binge/bender - using my guide, below - with the notion that you'll get back on track tomorrow.   

~

Alterna-dates / dating outside of the box

*Are you looking for an alternative to the traditional "dinner and drinks" Valentine's eve?  Head over to Milk & Cookies Bakery where, for just $30/couple, you will partake in an intimate baking experience by creating your own cookies!  Enjoy an hour of cookie creation with 1 pint of vanilla dough, a tray of mix-ins, and two drinks from the espresso bar!  They bake them and you take them home!  Call 212-243-1640 to make your reservation today!

*Still in the beginning stages of a relationship and unsure of her every culinary like and dislike?  Choose the best Valentine's Day restaurant based on your date's astrological sign!  Stop rolling your eyes, all of you horoscope haters, there is some truth to this!  I viewed my own sun sign, plus those of some of my exes and, it's pretty legit!  So after you have an incredible, "oh my gosh, how did you know that I would love this kind of place?" meal, you can thank me and the Huffington Post come February 15th.  

PS:  Make sure to check out this list of restaurants who are offering Valentine's specials and snag a reservation here!

Photo: Huffington PostBaked

*For the girl who's watching her waistline:  Miniature Meringue Kisses, Magnolia Bakery

*For the NYC-based Francophile:  The gift box of 6 macarons + Laduree-brand pink champagne, Laduree

*For the sassy Southern belle:  Conversation Hearts Petit Fours, Duane Park Patisserie

*Cupcakes take the cake!  Here are some Valentine's Day varieties from some of my favorite cupcakeries in town:

Single-and-ready-to-mingle and/or the broken-hearted hater

*Get wasted with other singles and, just maybe, find a date in time for V-Day!  New York's largest singles anti-Valentine's Day party - Saturday, 2/11 - Stitch NYC

*Zagat's list of "10 Restaurants/Bars Where You Can Meet Your Type"

*What you should be drinking on Valentine's Day, based on your status and mood

Cheers! I'll drink to him!~

Hate it or love it, V-Day is rapidly approaching.  Personally, the color red is blinding my eyes right now - I cringe every time I walk in to the drug store and happen upon the card and candy aisle - couples *everywhere* are making me want to run my nails down a chalkboard - and I can hardly wait until February 15th.  There, I said it:  I HATE Valentine's Day.  And, whether you're on my side or the lovey-dovey other, I hope that my list will lead you in the right and most delicious direction for your personal situation.

~~~

xoxo (blech) and until we eat again...

The Lunch Belle 

Wednesday
Dec142011

The Lunch Belle's 2011 Holiday Gifting Guide

My "Oh shit, the holidays are next week!" Gift Guide

~~~

Gift cards that don't suck:  plastic that will make anyone smile

  • Whole Foods (check website to make sure there's a store in your recipient's location)
  • Fandango
  • Lululemon (for her)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar  TLB note:  Now shipping their amazing products all over!  3 words to remember:  B'Day Cake Truffles. 

 

For the imbiber:  the boozer of the bunch

  • Banana Republic for Clos du Bois holiday wines, from $16.99 - see bottle above.  TLB note:  Now, ask yourself, "Have I seen anything cuter or more fashion-forward on a wine bottle?"  Doubtful.
  • Disposable flasks, $10.49 for a set of 3  TLB note:  Perfect for everyone's favorite frat boy (who never grew up).
  • Inside Out Champagne Glasses, $70 for a pair - see below.  TLB note:  OK, so they're kinda' pricey but, seriously, how unique are these? 

 

For your homegirl/boy:  the recipient who relishes their abode

 

For the fatty or the foodie:  "I live to eat!"

 

Jewels that won't break the bank:  affordable elegance

 

If money is no object:  Because...a girl can dream.

  • Kilian's Liaisons Dangereuses Eau de Parfum, $225  TLB note:  You're going to have to trust me on this one, folks, for this is the best smelling perfume on the planet.  Hands down.
  • Cartier Love Bracelet, pink gold and diamonds, $9,350 - see below.  TLB note:  And the most romantical thing about this timeless piece?  The bracelet comes w/ a lock & key so, once you put it on, the person who gifts you keeps the "key," symbolizing eternal love.  Awe! 

 

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Thursday
Dec022010

Dear Santa / Hanukkah Harry: TLB's holiday gifting guide 

*Updated

Dear readers,

It seems like it was only an hour ago that I was complaining about the summer's sweltering heat and humidity.  And here we are - much more than an hour later - making our holiday lists and checking them twice.

For me, the November/December "holiday season" always seems to creep up in the form of, say:

  • Starbuck's red and white holiday cups
  • Reading, on my morning subway commute, that the Grand Central Holiday Fair has already opened
  • Or, while inadvertently passing through Rockefeller Center, doing a "double take" when I notice that the space, formerly filled with al-fresco cafe tables and chairs, has morphed in to the world-famous ice skating rink

I can't help but ask myself, "Where does the time go?"  And, before we're out of time, I figured that it was only fitting to create a holiday gifting guide.  Over the past few months, I've collected a stack of pages - either ripped out of magazines or printed from my computer - that are filled with items, I believe, are "must haves" for even your pickiest recipient.  From essential cookbooks and entertaining guides - to a millionaire's pool sculpture (hey, a girl can dream!) - I've got all of your bases covered.

Without further ado ... The Lunch Belle's 2010 Holiday Gifting Guide:

~ ~ ~

For the bachelor/ette with a sense of humor

~

For your favorite JAP

~

For your gay boyfriend/husband

~

For the gourmand

The budding culinaire

The foodie

  • Box of assorted macarons (kosher, gluten-free!), Macaron Cafe Photo: Macaron Cafe

The resident entertainer / host(ess)-with-the-mostess

 

Traditionalist

 

Young girls / mothers of young girls

~

For her

Business / tech girl

General

Girlie-girl / preppie

~

For him

~

"Money is no object"


~ ~ ~

Read it & eat...and shop 'til you drop!

The Lunch Belle

Thursday
Feb042010

Help! Valentine's Day is, like, THIS weekend!

Calling all of you procrastinators out there!

  • Are you looking to buy that special someone a unique gift...not one-dozen red roses?
  • Have you been a bad boy/girl and need to shower your significant other with something fabulous?
  • Are you swingin' single and in the mood to treat yourself?

...then I've got a great list with some of my personal favorites that are sure to please, listed below in no particular order:

 

  1. ANY of Paige Gamble's fabulous bags or accessories!
  2.  Isharya's Crater Pink Ebony Ring
  3. Publish Your Own Cookbook with Lulu (example below)
  4. Valentino's Couture Bow Jelly SandalSo summer isn't yet within arm's reach, but these adorable flip-flops are sure to warm her up!
  5. Learn French, the ultimate language-of-love, together (or solo) at The Alliance Francaise...then plan your escape to Paris!
  6. For those of you who don't live in a town serviced by Sprinkles Cupcakes, order their pre-packaged mix to make at home!
  7. Pat La Frieda's famous hamburger patty blends (4/pack) are available at Fresh Direct!  Now you've got the key ingredient to making him the best damn burger he's ever had!
  8. Frederic Fekkai - Set of 3 hair spraysBest. Hairspray. Ever.
  9. Puro los nachos!  Now you can represent your favorite Mexican bar food with a line of apparel from Nacho NY's online store(taken from www.nachosny.com)
  10. Valentine's Day Chocolate Tour from Walking Tours Manhattan
  11. Chanel: "Lovely Gifts for Valentine's Day," set of three enameled bangles (among other ab-fab pieces)
  12. Hand-dipped, chocolate-covered Oreo Conversation Hearts
  13. Nothing says "I love you" like a heart clogging shaped pizza from Papa John's: order yours here!Photo from Papa John's
  14. Valentine Ice Cream Grams from MilkMade:

This V-Day, make someone's day by surprising them with a MilkMade Valentine Ice Cream Gram delivered right to their home or office.

For this occasion only, we're trying out something new and offering our February flavors a la carte. Send your loved one (or keep for yourself) a fresh pint of our Salted Caramel or Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, or maybe even both!

Salted Caramel (first picture below)
caramel ice cream with sea salt and a hint of vanilla
With a little bit of magic, we turn sugar into a deep smoky caramel. We liven it up with sea salt and a hint of vanilla for a result that's creamy, sweet, salty, and complex.
Red Velvet Cake  
cheesecake ice cream mixed with red velvet cake   
Our cheesecake 'scream is creamy and sweet, with a tangy finish.  We throw in at least one red velvet cupcake per pint (from our favorite bakery in the Lower East Side, Sugar Sweet Sunshine), and let the ice cream churner slice and dice it as it will.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

How to Order:
Each Valentine Gram includes a handcrafted pint of one of our above flavors and a personalized hand-written card. They are:
  • $20 with delivery to a home or office (yes, we'll venture outside our currently delivery zone)
  • $15 if you pick it up yourself from our market debut at the Greenpoint Food Market on Saturday, February 13.
To order, please contact info@milkmadeicecream.com with the subject line "Be Mine."

*Orders must be received by next Monday, February 8. Grams are limited, so act fast.
Delivery will be made on Friday, February 12. And pickup is on Saturday, February 13 from 12-5pm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Holiday gift ideas, from cheap to chic

Under $25:

  • 1800 Tequila’s Essential Artists Series - $24.99  1800 Tequila is thrilled to announce the release of the second annual collection of limited-edition Essential Artists bottles. Showcasing eleven designs gathered from over 15,000 online submissions, plus one special edition “celebrity artist” bottle designed by Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One, this new line is a vibrant example of the undiscovered, yet soon-to-be-recognized talent residing across the country, and is the perfect addition to any bar.

 

  • Three Olives Vodka - $19.99  Featuring unique infusions like Pomegranate, Berry, Chocolate, Root Beer, Tomato, and Triple Shot Espresso, you can be sure to find the perfect flavor for everyone on your list. And priced at just $19.99 for a 750 ml bottle, feel free to stop worrying about spending that entire holiday bonus on pricey vintages.

 

 

Under $50:

  • Rum & Blackbird, a culinary walking tour of Hell's Kitchen - $49, OR mention "lunchbelle" and receive $5 off per ticket!
  • World Vision Online Gift Catalog - various items under $50  Food gifts benefiting the world's less fortunate from the World Vision Online Gift Catalog

$50 - $75:

Gifts over $100 (with staying power):