Gift: Life’s a Picnic

Outdoor concerts, impromptu dinners in the park and cocktails on the beach––it’s picnic season. An alfresco-ready basket, bag or box makes a thoughtful, useful gift for the hosts you’ll drop in on this summer.

As the lucky recipient of a colorful melamine bento box like this I can say, with confidence, that this is the perfect gift for friends who dine outdoors. The dividers in the top tray are just right for olives or other nibbles, and the impressive presentation makes everything taste just a little more interesting.

Timeless picnic hampers remind me of packing into the sticky Oldsmobile and piling out into the cool grass at a local park or taking a windows-down mini road-trip from the Chicago suburbs to someplace more exotic…like Milwaukee. Etsy hosts a feast of vintage baskets and hampers in beautiful condition.

Loaded with all the compostable gear you’ll need––from napkins to serving trays––the portable picnic packs from Boxsal are eco-friendly chic. Half the fun is choosing a theme: Office Escape (in a sneaky briefcase), Today’s Date (icebreakers included to combat awkward lulls in conversation) and Urban Picnic Box (disguised as a boom box).

I like this smart, compact insulated Metro Basket. It appears easy to tote, and it would fit nicely into a bike basket. And, if you really want to get fancy it can be monogrammed too.

This lightweight Picnic Pack is always prepared for cocktails on the go. It fits two bottles of wine, sturdy glasses and a cheeseboard––hello happy hour. 



Gift: Golden Year

There is a superstition that whatever you do on New Year’s Day will set the tone for the year ahead. So when it comes to gifts, why not make them shiny and bright. Here are a few golden ideas for any New Year fete from dinner party to brunch.

A bit of a splurge, but these elegant Golden Fig Vases from Apartment 48 are worth it.

Golden Fig Vase

Practical, yet stylish, the S’well stainless steel water bottle is a great accessory for those resolving to be healthier in the coming year. You can find it at Orange and Pear. What’s even more refreshing is that 10% of proceeds go to helping build safe water sources internationally.

S'well Water Bottle

So cool. So affordable. So perfect for any party. You’ll find the chic Glitter Tart Server at LEIF.

Glitter Tart Servers

These glasses hand etched with a golden berry pattern would be perfect with something bubbly. And they’re on sale right now atSeltzer Studios.

Golden Berry Glasses

A little something for the kids: a Golden Can Bank from Fred Flare. A cool way to save in 2012.

Golden Can Bank