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holiday gifts 2014: elevate the everyday with porcelain paper plates

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There’s something so charming about ceramic and porcelain pieces that mimic the look of toss-away items. We love putting berries in ceramic “cardboard” containers or sipping hot coffee from the I Am Not A Paper Cup mug. Spotted at Provisions, Food52’s e-commerce shop that is brimming with foodie treasures, are these delicate serving fool-the-eye plates. Molded porcelain that looks like the most common of paper plates, they are both sturdy and beautiful. Made by SIN, a Brooklyn-based design company, they have received accolades from the design world, and will no doubt create pleasant sensations for dinner guests and gift recipients a like. $77 for an 8″ plate.

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a father’s day gift that will blow his mind: ecool, in-ground beer storage

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If the dad in your house is anything like the dad in our house, he might spend a lot of time watching survivor shows and thinking about gizmos and tools that will help us survive Armageddon. It’s like the natural cave-dweller’s hobby evolution. Well, if your alpha male doesn’t sleep well unless there’s some cold beer in the fridge, this gift idea may be the best thing since riding lawn mowers. Introducing ECool, an in-ground beer cooler that will hold up to 24 cans of beer and chill them without electricity — in your own backyard! Best installed with a garden drill (last year’s gift, perhaps?) but a shovel will do, ECool is contained in a hole in the ground, where your beer will be earth-cooled. Not only is it eco-smart, it will help save space in the fridge and create a feeling of security when the hurricane is blowing offshore. Made in Denmark, ECool costs $349. And while it probably won’t arrive before Sunday, it will arrive in time to enjoy all summer long.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in such depths in beer storage, consider another great Father’s Day gift, Craft Beer of the Month Club.

From our partners
From our partners

site we’re psyched about: strolby lets you virtually shop brooklyn

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Don’t get me wrong. I don’t at all regret moving from NYC proper into the burbs of New Jersey. But there are some things that have become increasingly difficult to do, if only because of geography and the frustrations of public transportation systems. One of them is that it is nearly impossible to keep up with some of the groovy, ever-changing neighborhoods of the outer boroughs. I used to love strolling around the emerging shops of Boreum Hill or Williamsburg. Now going there is a journey, and getting in the car and driving upstate to the country usually wins out as a weekend activity. Enter Strolby, a new site that lets you pursue the goodies of the hippest of parts of Bklyn without crossing one river. Strolby not only lets you buy wares that range from colorful dresses to handcrafted ceramics, it also introduces you to the shop owners and creators behind the lovely goods. Its Explore Brooklyn blog keeps you up on the news from the streets and will have you have you feeling like a local in no time. Coming soon, Strolby Hudson, a way to visit our favorite upstate town that is a true stoller’s paradise!

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cutting fat out of your breakfast? try wooly beast’s maple bacon donut soap instead

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There’s something dangerous about a soap that makes you drool, but as good as this smells, please don’t eat Wooly Beast‘s Maple Bacon Donut soap. This Portland-OR-based Etsy shop is making deliciously scented, small batch candles and soaps. While all may not sound as tempting as the aforementioned delight (Bearded man? There’s one in our house, and his smells get mixed reviews), each is olfactory sensation worth trying. Other favorites of ours include Stumptown (bringing that coffee bar flavor to any room) and Locavore (which is like a trip to the farmer’s market). The handmade soaps are $7 for a 3.5 oz bar. Candles are $15 for a 9oz version. Visit Wooly Beast on Etsy to see more.

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