Sometimes life hands you a break. A pretty nice one. In the form of a free (penthouse!) condo on Waikiki Beach. Oh, and ridiculously cheap airfare. So, next week, the husband and I are packin’ our SPF 50 and leaving the cold & dark of Seattle behind for Oahu! The trouble is, we’re not too in to the touristy stuff, but we really want to have an authentic Hawaiian experience. We’ve scoped out a few cool things to do, like visiting the Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College to stock our little condo kitchen, heading out to Kaneohe to see an old friend and up to the North Shore for garlic shrimp and big wave surf watching, but other than that, we don’t have much planned. This is why I’m asking you, knowledgeable readers, to help me plan my trip — what’s cool and funky and “authentically Hawaiian”? I’m talking delicious, can’t-miss eateries, great vintage shops, jungle hikes, etc… I’m counting on you guys for some great stuff — don’t let me down! –Megan B.
vintage postcard image courtesy of Jane’s Oceania
Every year, my friend Dorian sends us one of a series of vintage holiday cards from the ’40s to the ’60s, never before used that are weird, hilarious, or just plain cool. I decided to steal her idea this year and was delighted to find that there are pages of unused vintage Christmas cards for sale on eBay — some great-looking one-offs, others entire mint-in-box collections with envelopes. I bought two entire sets for less than I usually pay for one new set. Not only did I feel like I was being kind of “green,” I can’t wait to decide who gets the nifty 1940s snowman couple, or the Dickensian folks in the sleigh, or the atomic SEASONS GREETINGS logo. Check out all the unused card listings on eBay here. — Mary T.
Our big Rubbermaid bin of holiday decorations is sitting in a storage facility, so I’ve been looking for a few ideas to make our boring temporary apartment sing â€œfa la la la la.â€ After spotting a 2,300-foot spool of red-and-white bakers twine at Crate & Barrel for $7.95, the light bulb in my head went off: DIY garland and bunting! Gifted Magazineâ€™s holiday issue has a free template for reindeer paper bunting (p.83), while d.Sharp Journal offers a free template for snowman garland. I also love Katie Didâ€™s idea of stringing up favorite holiday song lyrics — perfect for New Yearâ€™s Eve parties. And, since simplicity is key for me, Iâ€™m thinking I might buy this Martha Stewart snowflake paper punch and some red construction paper (cut in circles) for tree garland. Hooray for inexpensive holiday dÃ©cor â€¦ and a great excuse to get crafty with my toddler! –Ginny F.
While we were debating the merits of this minimalist Christmas tree, Rebecca chimed in, saying: “I got an elm clamp on Etsy that looks a lot like this. It holds my necklaces now but I think it will be holding ornaments soon.” She was referring to the ELM clamp, $75, which Etsy seller LAYERxlayer describes as “an organization tool, an aesthetic addition to your workspace or simply a tree.” The clamp (which is actually made of poplar and available in other designs like SPRUCE, $100) can be attached to a table or desk with the help of a nifty screw, and would lend your jewelry, headphones or, indeed, Christmas ornaments some minimalist appeal. See the whole LAYERxlayer shop here.
While itâ€™s certainly up for debate, the only thing better than waiting in line in the freezing cold among the throng to catch the annual holiday windows in New York City may in fact be not waiting in line, ditching the hustle and viewing them from the comfort of your easy chair, hot toddy in hand. This year, Nymag.com takes the cake with their 54-slide virtual tour of New York Cityâ€™s holiday window displays. From fantasy travel at Bergdorf Goodman to the â€œFoodie Holidayâ€ at Barneyâ€™s the show offers a blissfully crowd-free glimpse at the holidays for everyone, native New Yorkers included. â€“ Sarah C.
pictured above: a Bergdorf display. Photo by Melissa Hom