Lovely, Useful, Just Plain Awesome Last Minute Gifts To Give (Or Get)

image via elle.com

If in the off chance that you, like me, are a thrill seeker (procrastinator) and prefer to save a bulk of your holiday shopping for the very. last. minute., I have a few gifty ideas that with the help of seriously expidited shipping could be in your loved one's hands (your hands, who are we kidding) by Christmas day. Jump over here for some seriously chic DIY gift wrap ideas and you're all set.

Living on the edge is fun, yes?

Full disclosure: I have no idea how Regime des Fleurs Water/Wood and Turquoise smells, but it sports the prettiest bottle of all time. Your most discerning pal will think you hung the moon when she unwraps this bad boy.

I love the idea of gifting a cluster of brass candlesticks to your favorite ambiance-loving bud. I'd kick things off with a quick swing by the thrift store for some vintage numbers (they always have them) and then round things out with a few of these gold numbers from World Market (the medium is still available, and it's on sale + free shipping for Christmas. Hurry!) 

For your foodie friends, a sculptural black marble cheese board (+ a big block of stinky fromage and some tart jam) is a guaranteed win. I love these beauties from The Mansion, but have seen equally lovely ones in store at William Sonoma and Crate and Barrel. (For you local Dallas peeps, I was at Bel Air Home yesterday and they had a lovely cache as well.)

Here's a secret: everyone loves a delicate layering necklace. Everyone. My friend Christine makes the prettiest. Full stop.

Ok, ok, this one's for me. Husband, if you're reading this, you can snap up one of these Seletti Eusapia hybrid dish at J.Crew (just one, as I'm planning to pop this loveliness into a shadow box, hang it on the wall, and call it a day). And you're in luck, as the J. Crew is another v. kind retailer meeting the needs of the seriously time challenged with free shipping and guaranteed holiday delivery.

In return, I will buy you (myself) a nice set of hand-painted ceramic sake cups and a giant bottle of tasty sake to toast making it to Christmas Eve with our sanity intact (because wine is so 2013).

You could do some bulk shopping action (not usually my M.O., but desperate times...) and get all your favorite kiddos (and nautical loving grown ups) this seriously cool sailing ship kit. (I used a white one in an install recently, and it was incredibly pretty.)

Last but not least, how about a brass hex pot (also available locally at Bel Air Home) + a snake plant for your least horticulturally inclined pal (because you just can't kill a snake plant).

Happy shopping friends!


Some (Glittery, Festive) Scenes...

The past couple of weeks were a whirl of sparkly goodness. We celebrated birthdays (mine and the Millsters'), trimmed trees, hosted crafting extravaganzas, made nighttime park pilgrimages, ogled twinkly lights, plowed through boxes of old school tinsel icicles, attended a magical holiday party for the studio (involving an insanely delicious multi-course meal and two rounds of live music), roasted marshmallows, gotten our s'more on, and partaken in more cookies than I care to admit.

Oh December... You are my favorite. Full stop.


Holiday Gifts for Art Loving Peeps

Sarah Lyon's "Next Door, Stephen's Studio" -- So achingly beautiful; Your Victorian lit obsessed sister needs this. 

Alex Yudzon's "Mr. Tickle" -- I want this one. Bad. So does your cheeky best friend. 

Claire Colette's "Night Moves" -- This has your minimalist brother-in-law's name all over it. 

Lucia Simek's "Cleft" -- Your mom is wishing for marble counter tops, but you're giving her art instead. Hello, best. daughter. ever. 

Andrew Zarou's "Sibelius Tree" -- The fun pop of color would help ignite the art bug in your babysitter.

If you happen to be one of those people that, despite best intentions, doesn't really start shopping for holiday gifts until the 23rd hour (or day) then, friends, you've come to the right place. (Oh and we're kindred spirits.)

All those awesome late November gift guides seem like a distant memory to me by the time I get around to procuring the perfect presents for my loved ones. And when I do remember one, I end up clicking on a link only to find out that all the (incredibly smart) early birds out there have rendered said item unavailable. What's a holiday gift slacker to do?

So for my fellow procrastinators out there, I'm going to share some gifty things this week that might come in handy as you get your shop on.

First up, some rather awesome (and affordable) art. I've mentioned Grove and Ceremony here on the blog before, as they always curate such an amazing group of artists. And yet again, they did not disappoint. All of the pieces above are available as 8x10 prints for $50. Pop one into a frame and you're officially the coolest and most cultured gift giver of all time.

Done and done.


Some Scenes And The Minted Giveaway Winner

The past week has involved numerous spreads-o-delicious food (cheese plate-fueled lunches, fondue-laden birthday celebrations, and, well, you know...Thanksgiving), road tripping, sculpture garden antics, cousin fun, Christmas tree sussing (and cutting down -- Paul Bunyan's got nothing on us) and general "the holidays are officially here" merriment.

Now one of you lovely peeps gets to join the fun by picking out $500 worth of Minted holiday goodness and then mailing said goodness to all your nearest and dearest. Congrats Stephanie!

Hope your Thanksgiving break was splendid friends!


Our Holiday Card And A (Stellar) Minted Giveaway

Among my very favorite family holiday traditions is the one wherein I torture my brood through the creation of our annual Christmas card. Friends, it's not pretty... To steal my sentiments from last year:

"The Taylor crew doesn't really take family photos. It's not that we're against them per se; it's that we, for lack of a more eloquent word, suck at them.

In addition to agonizing over a sartorial strategy, there's consternation (Bryan, due to the fact that I never tell him about the pics until the very last minute), crying jags (Audrey...ok, and me too), Swearing (me, sadly), and bickering (everyone). Suffice to say, it is a (very) bad scene."

Need more proof? See: 201320122011, and 2010.

So this year, in an attempt to avoid the angst, I'm taking the easy route and using a photo from, wait for it, almost a year ago (the girlies goofing around at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen last December). Oh and I didn't show it to a single immediate family member until I hit the order button. I'm going rogue here people, and dang it feels good.

Now it's your turn to get in on the holiday card action.

The amazing and generous peeps at Minted have offered up $500 worth of holiday card goodness to one of my lovely readers. Just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite holiday tradition by midnight on Monday, December 1st, and I'll announce the winner the next day.

Have fun, and happy Thanksgiving.


Artistic Justification For My Arranging and Rearranging (and Arranging)


And just like that, the fact that creating little vignettes (i.e. incessantly moving shit around) is one of my greatest pleasures (and I do not exaggerate) no longer makes me feel like a total kook.

Hear, hear Mr. Wentworth.

(Thanks Lucia and Gavin.)