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valentine’s gift idea: a cup of love from catherine’s table

cupoflovemug

If you’re one of those people who wishes you had time to make a homemade valentine for your sweetie, but life (and your schedule) have other plans, consider the Cup of Love from Catherine’s Table. Each piece is made with care by potters Noelle VanHendrick and Eric Hendrick of Zpots Studio Pottery. With a unique texture and carefully molded to feel good in your hand, these little beauties were clearly made with love.. and the handwritten font gets an A+ from us on design. Use them for hot toddies or to hold a bouquet of flowers on a breakfast tray. $32 at Catherine’s Table.

having a party? tin parade’s table banners tell guests where to nosh


We love creating “stations” when we entertain, setting aside different areas for drinks or sweets or savories. But it’s not always easy directing your guests and make sure things don’t get all mixed up through the night. That’s why we instantly fell for these clever table banners by Tin Parade. Not only do they help direct guests where to go, they also are elegant with a touch of attitude. Practical and pretty — what more could a hostess want? We especially love the “I do” one above, that would help any wedding-planning-bride turn a picnic table into something worthy of hors d’oeuvres. Click here to see all of Tin Parade’s table banners, $39 each.

30 days of halloween: mr crow dessert plate set

We’re big fans of Jessica Rust designs — in fact her personalized birch mugs are one of our go-to wedding gifts — so we are tickled to see she has come out with a special edition plate in honor of our favorite season. Introducing, Mr. Crow. As Jessica explains, “he came into our life last Halloween just for my children’s school Halloween Party. I liked him so much I just couldn’t say goodbye.” You can personalize it with your own customized “boo!” or just leave him to speak for himself. $70 for four dessert plates. $5 for customizing.

perfect for fall: pendleton’s national parks blankets

There are lot of things I love about the fall: the humidity all but disappears, I start drinking apple cider and tea in large quantities, and it’s finally hoodie weather again. Come to think of it, all the things I love about the fall could be summed up in one word: cozy. Things get cozier in the fall. Add Pendleton’s National Parks blankets to that list.

Pendleton has been making their world renowned, cozy wool blankets since 1909. They started making their National Parks line in 1916 when Great Northern Railroad founder James J. Hill wanted something special for his Glacier Park lodges’ gift shops. Today, Pendleton Woolen Mills continues to honor America’s National Parks with a collection of blankets incorporating frontier traditions with the spirit of each park. I’m partial to the Glacier Park blanket ($228) with its Bison, tee-pee, and bear silhouettes and the warm, sunset-invoking colors of the Grand Canyon National Park blanket ($188- $218).

photo fun review: make a customized view-finder with vacation pictures

We always like to make physical mementos of our family trips. Usually we order printed books through iPhotos or Shutterfly, but this year we found a new way to preserve our vacation memories: We made a 3-D View-Master Reel of our Maine getaway! You probably recall View-Masters from your youth, and all those amazing 3-D images of dinosaurs or scenes from National Parks. The site image3D.com helps you make your own reel using photos you’ve taken yourself. Click here to see the super easy to understand instructions to “build a reel.” You simply upload and edit your images just like you would a Shutterfly project. The key, says my professional photographer husband, is to use images that have a shallow-depth of field: The foreground is in focus and the background is blurry. The price for the first set is $25 and that includes a View-Finder. The more sets you order, the cheaper it gets. What a fun post-wedding gift idea, huh?