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5 great things to buy crate & barrel on dec. 7th to help rebuildingtogether.org

This Friday, December 7th marks the 50th Anniversary of Crate & Barrel, and while we don’t need any reason to swoon over their holiday catalog, they have given us a great reason to do our shopping there tomorrow. All day, the company is donating $5 from each purchase to a great charity, rebuildingtogether.org. We learned about their efforts following the post-Sandy devastation of the east coast, and are very inspired by their rebuilding campaigns. Everyone should visit the org’s site and consider making a one time holiday donation. In the meantime, if you’ve been eying any Crate & Barrel goodies, tomorrow’s the day to bite the bullet and buy! Here’s what’s on our shopping list:

1. Reindeer Tea Light Holders (in stores only), $25 each. Hand crafted in Africa, they are double-plus good. Purchasing one of these festive guys also helps create and support jobs for African women.

2. Eva Zeisel Classic Century Sauce Boat, $48. Your holiday dinner gravy will never look more beautiful than when presented in this classic serving bowl.

3. Molcajete pestle and mortar, $30. Great for hand-grinding spices and pastes, this is a kitchen gem you’ll use over and over every summer. Trust us.

4. 5-piece Beer Sampler Set, $30. Instantly turn any dinner into a beer tasting treat with this handy set. Pour a different ale or stout into each numbered glass, and have your guest take note of his favorite.

5. Bodega Bird Chalet, $70. Rustic and modern at the same time, this little birdie bodega is extra appealing.

give good gift: jessica rust’s bunny mug set

Here’s a great gift idea that will warm someone’s heart — like your favorite teacher or helpful neighbor: Jessica Rust’s adorable Mr. Bunny set. It says “Hoppy Holidays” or you can personalize your message. He comes in a gift box along with an 11 ounce mug and a stacking 6″ square plate. Since this little guy has a touch of sparkle (via a platinum glaze) you can’t put him in the microwave or dishwasher. Treat him gently and he’ll serve you forever.

$28.50 at rustdesigns.com.

where will you be shopping on small business saturday?

Don’t know about you, but we break out into hives thinking about going to the mall or a big box store on Black Friday. Sign us up for online retail shopping, or better yet, we’ll walk on over to the awesome shops right in our own neighborhood and support them on Small Business Saturday. We’ve seen too many great small places go under in the past year, and love the idea behind this American Express led campaign. Our little town seems to be at the center of the action, as you can see from this video. Some of the places where you’ll find us trolling for holiday gifts include the domestically minded Perch Home and the lovely No. 165, dubbed Maplewood’s answer to Anthropologie.

What great stores do you love in your ‘hood? Share here, and if they have a website we can all visit, please include!

who needs electricity? we’ve got lightbulb shaped candles!

I promise we won’t be writing about the Sandy the Superstorm forever, but I can’t I’m not done yet! Last week, during our five powerless days, we literally burned through dozens of tea lights. I thought we had enough to last us for a year and poof, they’re all gone! We even pulled out our half-burned squirrel candle from last year. As we start preparing for the next natural disaster (it’s only a matter of time, right?), I’m going to order a couple of these lightbulb candles from Branch.com. They’re on sale marked down from $32 to $25. Not only would they light up a table, but they’re sure to provide a smile. Now, if only this wax transistor radio could give us a weather report, too….

strangely appealing: distortion candlesticks

If Salvador Dali took a guest designer post at Jonathan Adler, the Distortion Candlestick would be his first pitch. The objet d’art is actually the brainchild of designer Paul Loebach. According to Areaware’s site, “A traditional candlestick is distorted through a 3D rendering program, rapid prototyped, then cast.” The process makes for some seriously trippy footage and the gorgeous resin and marble piece. The Distortion Candlestick ($24) can be purchased in white, gray, black, slate green, clay, gold, silver, blue, or red. I’m picturing a dinner party table setting dotted with these candlesticks, Fornasetti plates, a bright table cloth, and loads of black cats. Guests should provide their own mustaches.