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.

30 days of halloween: creepy baby arm soap

Is there anything more creepy than a box of old, beaten up, forgotten dolls you discover at a yard sale? Only perhaps, dismembered dolls, whose heads and limbs have gone astray. Perhaps they have wondered over to your house and ended up in your soap dish? That’s what’s your guests might think when they spot these chubby nubs in your bathroom. Real soap made from vegan glycerin, these baby doll arms will sud up your hands and send a chill down your spine. Baby powder scented, of course. Set of two is $6 at perpetualkid.com.