Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Men in Your Life

Alright! Now that it’s officially December, I am definitely allowed to start daydreaming and brainstorming about what to buy or make for my loved ones. While I believe that the best gifts are thoughtful ones, especially if you create them yourself, I realize that making presents for everyone on your list could be a bit time consuming, especially around exam season!

..Which is why I’ve put together a little list of things you could purchase for any guy in your life: brother, father, lover. These items really spark my giving spirit: they’re all beautifully made and would (hopefully!) make the receiver’s day just a little bit brighter every time they were used. Voila:

Music by Andrew Zuckerman – $31.50

Bormioli Wine Decanter – $59

Cotton corduroy shirt from Banana Republic – $69.50

iPod Nano 6th Generation – $159

Leather bound journal – $23

Bodum Bistro juicer – $69.95

Personalized M&Ms – from $8.49

Burberry Cashmere Check scarf – $335

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Colognes – $50 each

Plus anything that pertains specifically to the man you’re buying for. For example, my Dad loves to read, so maybe I’ll get him the latest Grisham or Connelly thriller. Or an universal remote for the flatscreen he’s thinking of buying. Or a really, really nice pen. For my boyfriend? Vintage comic books or gourmet coffee or a wooden guitar pick. Choose something personal and awesome!

Okay, that’s all for my inspiration. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking of buying for the men in your lives! Let me know, if you want.

I’ll be posting a list for the women in your life soon, so stay tuned. :)

xoxo,




What to Bring to Your Dorm Room

[This post is the last in my Back to School Series]

So you’re going off to University. You must be terrified. Holy moly! Even as I was packing my bags this year, I was remembering my sheer terror as I packed them last year. Luckily, for me that has passed, but maybe you’re still feeling that way? All I can say is: it’s going to be okay! And read this if you want more encouragement. :)

As my last post in my very fun-to-write back to school series, I’m talking about what to bring.

Dorm Room Necessities

 

My dorm room!
My dorm room!

 

Besides the obvious – school supplies, bedding, books and knicknacks – there are tons of things that fill the average dorm room. Food, snacks, and beer abound, along with dirty laundry and stacks of paper. Depending on the size of your room, it could be neater (small space = higher organization!), but nonetheless, most dorm rooms are crammed full of lots of goodies. Now, I know you’ve been scouring the articles online about what else you might need, and you’ve probably heard it all. In case you haven’t though, here are a few awesome lists of what to bring: very comprehensive!

But maybe you’ve read it all before, and want my personal opinion on the subject. The verdict: for rez, you don’t need that much stuff!! I know how exciting it is to be moving away, and I know you want to take everything with you (I sure did..). But remember, you’ll be moving home for the summer most likely, so pack light! I had way, way too much stuff when I moved home! So besides the absolute essentials and a few homey touches, here are my picks for enjoyable dorm living:

 

Journal

 

On a notebook, far, far away
Image by midnightglory via Flickr

 

For me, one of the most indispensable items to have in your toolkit. Even if you can’t manage to journal every day about your crazy adventures, it’s still incredibly useful for when you feel sad or scared or just plain frustrated! I swear by my journal, and always pick ones that are bright and happy. You could also use a sombre Moleskine to record all your seriously serious thoughts.. :)

Plate, cup and cutlery


Because who knows when you’ll be munching on some real Thanksgiving dinner or lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce or a full Hanukkah feast? (Yes, all of which occurred my first year, along with countless brownies, cookies, muffins and other munchies.) Always be prepared! Who knows when the opportunity for food will come along?

 

Sleeping Bag

 

 

A person in a sleeping bag
Image via Wikipedia

 

Very useful! Bring with you when you visit friends, or when they visit you! Also can be used for extra warmth if you live somewhere ridiculously cold.

Earplugs

 

iPod Earplugs
Image by wmbreedveld via Flickr

 

So important! Who knows when the guy directly above you will blast Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin until two in the morning, while bouncing a tennis ball against his wall. Oh wait, I know when he’ll do that! Every stinking night. Avoid the drama and use earplugs. Use them when an ultimate frisbee tournament goes on for a month, every night, until midnight. Use them when you’re at the library for total peace. Love earplugs. Totally a necessity.

 

Flat plastic storage boxes

 

31 January 2007 (2): Stacking Boxes
Image by Ulleskelf via Flickr

 

These are perfect when you have a small space. They fit so neatly under any dorm bed and can act as your little pantry/pharmacy for the year. I kept extra kleenex boxes, contact solution, extra lightbulbs, and way more tucked into those handy little spaces. Great use of space, especially when you don’t have much!

Extra floor lamp

 

IKEA Lamp
Image by Matzelchen via Flickr

 

Ooh. So indispensable for me first year. When it gets dark at 5 in the winter, I get thoroughly depressed, especially if all the lighting I have is an overhead light and a desk lamp. Not feeling it. I favour tall floor lamps, cheap at Ikea that can stand in one corner of your room and cast a loving glow over the whole space. Lovely. :)

 

Rug

 

Afghanmatta.jpg
Image via Wikipedia

 

My rugs kept my feet warm, my room colourful and my floors cleaner. Love rugs. Yay rugs!

 

Your musical instrument

 

 

DanElectro & Kay Guitars - Ottawa 01 08
Image by Mikey G Ottawa via Flickr

 

I found that playing my guitar was a huge stress-reliever last year. anytime I felt overwhelmed, I could just reach into the corner of my room and strum away. I also play the piano, and nearer to the end of the year I started playing the pianos downstairs in our rez. If you don’t play an instrument, sorry! But I really recommend bringing yours if you do have one.

Related Articles

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How exciting!

Isn’t it fabulous to move into a new place and start making it your own?! I love that feeling of settling in somewhere so much, of laying all your things our and getting organized and making everything look absolutely gorgeous! I’m moving into my very first apartment tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited to make it wonderfully mine. I’ll keep you posted on that front!

What do you think about my picks for comfy dorm living? What changed your life when you were living in a tiny room? Let me know!

Good luck with the transition my loves!

xoxo,


Shawty What Cho Name Is

Well it’s Wednesday morning and I already have much on the agenda. In truth, I don’t have much to blog about so I’m just going to make a list of the books I plan to bring with me to University and why. Enjoy?

Also check out my Shelfari account for a (more) complete list of the books I’ve read or loved.

Hopefully that link works..very strange.

Okay so here we go. Books are extremely important to me, so it’s important that I bring at least some with me when I go away to school.

1. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. No matter that I can already practically quote the entire book, so much so that I no longer really need to read it, it remains one of my favourite books.

2. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. What turned me into a vegetarian. I think it’ll be important to have around in University perhaps to re-read when my stamina is low?

3. This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin. This guy is my psychology teacher! Not to mention the fact that I’ve wanted to read it for a while, but never did. Now that he’ll be my professor, I think it would be a good idea to read it. :)

4. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill. Set in Montreal, award winning, recommended by a good friend, Miss Claudia Catalina, who has impeccable taste. Check her out here.

5. 1000 Places to Go Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. To help me plan my next vacation/semester abroad/grand gap year while stuck in a tiny, freezing cold dorm room. But this dorm room will be in Montreal, which is beautiful in itself. So that’s okay then.

6. Blink & The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. These books are incredible. They changed the way I see the world and I’m sure I will re-read them multiple times throughout my University career.

Now for a few I haven’t yet read, but own:

7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

8. Netherland by Joseph O’Neill.

9. The World Without Us by Mark Weisman.

10. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

11. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee.

12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

13. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov.

14. No Logo by Naomi Klein.

15. Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut.

16. Bloodletting and the Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam.

17. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

And the book I’m currently reading:

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz.

So there we are. That’s quite a few books. I may have to edit down this list, otherwise I’ll be running out of room in my room before I get there. :)

Plans for today include Ikea, Forever 21, possibly MEC and Big Al’s aquarium. Yay!

xoxo, S.

Promenade

It’s prom season, you can tell. Everyone is all in a tizzy about dresses, buzzing about limos, and getting distracted from school. I hear it’s worse in the states, but people here are pretty excited. Well, most anyways. A surprisingly large number this year are reflecting my sentiments on the issue: not such a big deal. Maybe it has something to do with the recession, but there seems to be a definite shift in priorities in my grade. We originally were going to rent a floor of a hotel for all the graduates, but that fell through. People have much less of an excited attitude about the night (more pessimistic, some might say)..And I, among a couple others (the minority) bought dresses for quite cheap. I think mine takes the cake, however, for price.

It’s from Charlotte Russe, some american store (most of the things are quite cheap & cheaply made), however for a prom dress I will wear only once, it’s perfect. It is so cute, and now I can get some fierce shoes, since it was only…30$! No kidding. Take a peek. 

Prom Dress - Charlotte RusseAin’t it purdy? I know. I love it. It looks quite nice with black shoes, so I’ll have to be on the lookout for some hot ones. 

Also when I was in the States, I picked up a BEAUTIFUL purse, which will suit me very well in the summer months. It is canvas and faux leather and beautiful because it looks a) summery and b) very similar to the beautiful equestrian Tory Burch boots I have been lusting after for a while and will never get. Both below, lust with me!

My BagTory Burch Equestrian BootsSo close enough I guess! As close as I’m going to get to those gorgeous boots anyways, since they’re 500$. Ha. Yeah right.

Anyways, I picked up a couple more beauties, but the bag is the best. I used it today and am already in love!

 

s.