Its the little things

The perfect cup of Joe

I was served amazing coffee in this French Press at a luxury hotel in Dallas.  Put ground coffee inside and push the plunger down. The pot is insulated so the coffee stayed hot all the way up from the kitchen.  Freiling French Press 17 oz, insulated.  $66.25.

Hint: Add gourmet coffee to your gift and this present will be ready to fill a cup immediately.

a coffee pot that makes life better


If I had a hammer (and the right screwdriver)

This cast bronze 6 in 1 hammer is elegant and just right for small projects. 7 ¾” x 2 7/8” $20.

Life is better


Candles make a better life

GlassyBaby’s one of a kind 

Glasses and votive candle holders will bring warmth and a timeless elegance to your table or mantel.  If glass can have a ‘good hand’, they have it.  Made in the USA, 10% of every sale goes to organizations dedicated to helping people heal.  More than $4M has been donated.

The votives are approximately 3.75”h and 2.5” w.  They come in an extensive palette of colors, a range of opacity and some have a metallic sparkle.  The classic Glassybaby shape begins at $44, more for exotics and the rounded drinking glasses begins at $55.

Better life with Glassybaby glasses


Want to have a ‘classic’ dinner party?

Try Julia Child’s 1991 vintage menu cookbook.  26 menus and lots of pictures from cooking’s most famous hostess and chef.  Used from $2.25.

A better life cookbook

Walking in the rain – safely.

Hi Reflective Umbrella.  This compact umbrella will keep its owner protected from the rain and visible to taxis, buses and cars. It has a sturdy, lightweight aluminum frame and the canopy is made of reflective material. $35.

A better life with reflective umbrellasCollapsed umbrella

Keys under control.

Things to make life better

Keysmart holds from 2-10 keys neatly in a stack and eliminates the ‘wad’ of keys which makes pockets bulge.  It eliminates the sharp teeth which scratch my cell phone screen in my bag.  Keysmart comes in several colors.  $19.99.



There is satisfaction in organizing the tangles in one’s life.

The Bluelounge Cable Clips will organize the ear buds and power cords for our digital necessities.  $9.95 for 6 small CableClips.  $9.95 for 2 large grey and white CableClips for power cords.

make life easier

Picnic essential – with style.

This Vapur Vintage wine carrier conveniently carries wine or other libation, then it flattens and rolls up after you have poured.  It is reusable, is dishwasher safe and is made of BPA free polyethylene and nylon.  $11.99.

things that make life better

Mirror, Mirror…

Minimalist and chic, we are told that this rectangular make-up and grooming mirror is a favorite at Four Seasons Hotels.  3X Magnification.  The mirror in the picture is brushed nickel, but it is available in other finishes.  5” x 5” x 13”.  $80.

Good mirrors can make life better

Need light?  This similar minimalist mirror has 3X magnification and integrated light sources.  $299.

Mirror can make life better

A ride before dinner?

These two of magnetic bike lights add a measure of safety to biking at the end of short days.  There is one red rear light and one white front light.  You choose the mode between steady or fast or slow flashing.  $26.97.

Easy to use bike lights for a better life

Well designed and sophisticated.

This Alessi olive oil pour spout fits into your olive oil bottle.  It is elegant and keep air out of the oil to control the oxidation process.  It comes with its own small glass container for small pours and tasting.  Stainless steel and glass. 2.25″ h x 2″ w x 3.25″ h.  $58.

Olive oil can make life better

Update your menu.

Yotam Ottolenghi, world class London based restaurateur specializing in Mediterranean flavors, will introduce you to spices and ingredients with which you have no experience.  His new cookbook, NOPI, came out in October, co-authored by head chef Ramael Scully.  It offers 120 recipes from Ottolenghi’s restaurant, NOPI.

better cooking with Nopi

Storage bags which do not need to be hidden away.  Based in San Francisco, Cuyana, an online accessories store, offers this two-piece pebbled leather Travel Case Set in ten colors for $95.  Large – H 7”, L 12”, D 3.5”: Small H 5”, L 8”, D 2.5”.

Pretty travel bags

Hint: I like their clutches as well from $125.

Cute clutch from Cuyanna

Pure water

This Camelback water filter pitcher fills instantly.  It filters the water twice – from the tap to the pitcher and again from the pitcher to the glass.  Both filters are in the lid.  The water stays pure – no filter sitting in it between uses. Removes chlorine, taste and odor twice. From $17.49 for Blue of Charcoal, up to $36.99 for Red, Pink, Purple and Aqua.


Practical?  Everyone should drink more pure water.  Try this online hydration calculator.

A good night’s sleep

We’ve tried a lot of mattress toppers.  This one has just the right amount of extra cushion.  Houseguests have asked for the secret to our comfortable guest beds.  Stearns and Foster Plush Luxe Down Alternative Fiberbed.  Look for frequent coupons.  $199 for the queen size.


Clean, germ free house

ASE reader Frannie B. suggested this Black and Decker Steam Mop.  Her daughter uses it to clean the apartment for her toddler.  I am going to get one for our house. $139.99.


The right tool, right at hand.

These thin brass scissors are beautiful and functional. $20.


Just the right length 

This rosewood measuring tape will not need to get lost in a drawer.  $16.



This hand shaped rolling ball massager may be better than egg nog as a treatment for holiday overload.  It is a cure for those of us who just keep going on the tennis court or play another round of golf. It is a great way to reduce cramping. From $6.64.



camelbak-insulated-cupsI love these ergonomic, next generation CamelBak Forge insulated travel cups.  I pour in my morning coffee and can sip for hours – the forge keeps it hot. I have used it for cold drinks on car trips and given it to my daughters and sons-in-law.  It is spill proof and I drink ‘one-handed’ by pushing on the trigger (pink or blue in the image above).  It comes in 12 oz. and 16 oz. sizes.  Go for the 16 oz.  It comes in many colors.  From $19.93 depending on the color.



Chilewich silver woven placemats will give a contemporary holiday sparkle to your table.  They are made of ‘metalized’ textile.  I think they are festive.  They come in gold and silver.  $32 each.