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Audrey Monroe’s Hopping on the Gift Guide Bandwagon

December 4, 2009

I’ve been pouring over the gift guides my favorite resources have been putting together with such glee, and so I thought that I should get in on the fun.  I split the guide into the same sections as the blog (except, as you will see, a guide for music because there isn’t much I”m looking forward to, honestly) and, assuming that anyone who reads this is a total broke-ass comme moi, I tried to keep it real-people-affordable. This means everything here is under $50, except for a few pieces that I simply could not ignore.

On to the gifts!


1. Dazey Chic 2. Carambatack 3. Ferntree Studio 4. Monjojo 5. Creative Neesh 6. Lottie Frank


1. I’m still a little mad at Domino for folding the exact month I moved into my first apartment. Thankfully, I can have their decorating book that will hopefully last forever. ($21.12)

2. I love learning about the cultural history of New York City. I also love to eat. This is why I would love to read Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York. Daniel Grimes, former restaurant critic for the New York Times, traces the history of eating in New York, from oyster houses to automats to the grand buffet that is the restaurant scene today. ($19.80)

3. E.L Doctorow has officially made it onto my list of favorite authors and just in time for his latest historical novel, Homer and Langley. It’s based on the true story of the recluse Collyer brothers, who became a Manhattan legend when they were found dead in the Fifth Avenue apartment, crushed by the piles of stuff they had been collecting all their lives. ($17.16)

4. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide takes us on a global journey to discover the most troubling issues women are facing today. This book is often credited for the rise of women’s rights as the most important social issue of our time.

5. Jonathan Safron Foer is probably the only author who could get me to read a book dedicated entirely to explaining someone’s morals. While I respect vegetarians I, quite frankly, can’t stand to listen to them talk about being one, and yet I’d read any word written by Foer. So here I am, recommending his latest book and nonfiction debut, Eating Animals, hoping that he interjects enough storytelling in his preaching to make it a bearable read. ($15.20)

6. I’d like to meet the publisher who decided it was a good idea to wrap The American Fashion Cookbook in cellophane so that I can kick them in the shins. I am dying to get a peek into this book. What recipes can it possibly contain? Just how beautiful are the photos? I simply need to know. ($29.70)


1. It is my dream to find some vintage printing press letter blocks to put on a shelf in my room. Ebay has thus far proved fruitless, so if anyone knows where to find some, please let me know.

2. Maybe it’s because my roommates and I tend to dirty our two dishtowels in a matter of days that I’ve been craving some new ones. I love the design on this one from Branch Home ($20)

3. I like to pretend that if I had a cute hook, like this whale one from Urban Outfitters, I might actually hang things up. ($10)

4. I’m not sure what’s cuter, these delicate little bird vases, or the tiny wildflowers you’d have to put in them. (Target, $19.99)

5. These floral print curtains are simply necessary, because vinyl blinds ain’t cuttin’ it. (Urban Outfitters, $14.99)

6. I love this spinning birdcage jewelry stand from-guess where?- Urban Outfitters. (Sorry, but there’s a serious lack of student-affordable home decor resources) ($32)


1. Lately I’ve been having some serious cravings for rubber stamps. This city-themed set from Anthropologie has endless crafting possibilities. ($30)

2. As I’m sure you can tell from this picture, this is an awesome magnetic memo board with a dandelion design on it – great for creating one of those wonderful inspiration boards. (Ekho Design on Etsy, $18)

3. This crafter’s answer to the Swiss Army Knife is, in my opinion, a necessity for life. It contains scissors, a knife, tweezers, three screwdrivers, a nail file, an opener, a ruler and a lanyard attachment. (Maker Shed, $49.95)

4. My craft du jour has been papercrafts (if you couldn’t tell by the need for stamps) and this Repro Depot pattern book basically contains my own papermill. The CD has a ton of patterns that you can print out to use in your projects – 275 of them to be exact. You’ll never have to go to a paper store again! But, then again, why would you ever want that? (Amazon, $16.47)

5. The last time I traveled, I protected my brand new laptop with a plastic bag. This carrying case by Bertie’s Closet on Etsy is a much safer (and prettier) bet. ($18)

6. So, this last item is a bit out of my price range for this guide but IT’S AN AT-HOME LETTERPRESS KIT. HOW CAN I IGNORE THIS??? The kit is $150 and comes with a letterpress tool, Epic 6 machine,clear packing mat with packing sheet, ink brayer, ink base, black letterpress ink, letterpress paper (10 sheets of A2 flat), paper positioning guides, printing plates and printing plate adhesive. Amazing! (Papersource)


1. These owl studs from Topshop are darling. ($14)

2. I haven’t been anxiously anticipating the release of a budget designer label as much as I have been for the Rodarte for Target since Proenza Schouler’s line for Target three years ago. The sneak peeks that have been popping up have got me drooling. This dress actually isn’t my favorite one, but I could only find a picture of it in the lookbook which, I have to say, is styled hideously, so I couldn’t bear to put it up. Guess I’ll just have to wait ’till December 20th to put up a picture of the real deal.

3. Ah, Winter. And thus begins the everlasting quest for the perfect boot. I’m not sure if I’m tall enough to pull of these suede over-the-knee boots, but I can dream. (Zappos, $125 – yeah, you try finding great boots for under $50.)

4. Unfortunately, this picture cuts out the best detail of the dress from Urban Outfitters, which is another strap across the top of the shoulders. I’m always a fan of a demure front with an exposed back. ($58)

5. Jewelry made from vintage typewriter keys has been popping up all over the craft fair scene lately and I’m fiending for a necklace like these, from Qa Create on Etsy. ($39.99)

6. I love my slouchy cardigans and all, but I would love a warm, cozy sweater to curl up in this winter, like this one from the company that should start paying me ad rates (or sending me this stuff for free?), Urban Outfitters. ($108)


1. I’m a sucker for cute recipe cards like these from Paper Source. Maybe they’ll even inspire me to take my recipes off the computer for a change! (20 for $6.95)

2. I figure this mini fondue set from Fred Flare would take my cheese-and-cracker-midnight-snacks to a classier level. Although the more likely situation is a  chocolate-and-whatever’s-in-the-pantry-midnight-snacks transformation. ($10)

3. I really don’t drink enough tea to warrant ownership of a teapot but they’re just too adorable. And I’m sure if I owned one then I’d probably drink more tea. And if I drink more tea, I’ll have more excuses to talk with a fake British accent. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! (The Afternoon, $30)

4. Admittedly, suggesting a gift from the Alice in Wonderland line at Fishs Eddy isn’t the most original idea. You probably know someone who owns one of the glasses or mugs, but do you know anyone who owns the salt and pepper shakers? Didn’t think so.  ($12.95)

5. I’m normally not a fan of gifting food, because no matter how delicious it may be, you eat it and then the present’s gone forever. However, I can make an exception for this line of retro candy collections from Amazon that come packed with treats from whoever’s childhood you’re giving it to. This 1950s set includes wax lips, candy cigarettes, root beer barrels, Necco wafers and caramel creams, among many other classics. They also have boxes from the 4os through the 90s. ($28.80)

6. I know that half of the appeal of ordering takeout is to not have any dishes to do, but I think most people would make an exception if it meant getting to use this cute plate and chopstick set from CB2. ($20.70)


1. Away We Go 2. The September Issue 3. Julie&Julia 4. Valentino: The Last Emperor 5. Up 6. Grey Gardens


And these are just the little extra somethings that I couldn’t leave out.

1. Because a stocking could always use a little Marimekko: this coin purse. ($18)

2. Why would you want pencils with mustaches on them? Why wouldn’t you? (Curiosity Shoppe, $14)

3. This iPod cozy is so much cooler than those rubbery ones. (Curiosity Shoppe, $18)

4. One can never have too many mugs – or Tintin comics, for that matter. (Black Ink, $18)

5. A match made in heaven: DSquared and MAC, perfectly packaged in a lip gloss. (MAC, $14.50)

6. I have this feeling that these trays are the missing link between me and organization. (Black Ink, $24)

Whether you’ve been perusing this guide with yourself in mind or for a friend (like your best of friends, Audrey Monroe), I wish you the happiest of shopping!

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