Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Volume 1

The September equinox marked the start of fall…and that means the holidays are not all that far off…we’re getting a jump on things by playing elf and suggesting some nifty gift ideas.
Stay tuned, we will update this list of ideas regularly:


OnlyRoses, the world’s finest roses, ethically sourced directly from a handful of farms in the Andes mountains near Quito, Ecuador, all endorsed by FlorEcuador for their social responsibility and high environmental standards. OnlyRoses additionally runs its own reforestation program in Ecuador to help offset the company’s carbon footprint.

“We do not buy from a wholesaler, like most flower retailers; we get our roses directly from the farms and ship them ourselves to ensure the highest quality,” said Sabine Schmitt. “Our roses are in our stores at the latest three days after they are cut, whereas if you buy from a regular florist, they will likely source via a wholesaler and therefore the lead time is usually 10 days or even two weeks, so that’s why we can safely say they last longer.

In addition to fresh-cut ClassicRoses, OnlyRoses offers natural, fresh-looking, preserved InfiniteRoses that can last several months up to a year without water.

The company has a long list of A-list customers, including celebrities Madonna and Simon Cowell, luxury fashion brands Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and the Mandarin Oriental and Dorchester Collection hotel properties. Order fresh roses in 250 colors, hand tied in gorgeous bunches, arrangements in wet brick floral foam, or InfiniteRoses created to last several months. Call or visit their new Beverly Hills location, 9631 Brighton Way, (424) 278 1111 or e-mail online at


The Frescobaldi family selected Vecchie Viti to continue the tradition of reserving a private-collection wine for each new-born family member. This wine, sourced from the oldest, and most deeply-rooted vines at the Castello Nipozzano, displays superb complexity and harmony of all its components; it matures 24 months in large oak botti, in accord with venerable Tuscan tradition. This is elegant, with perfumed aromas of rose, currant, cherry, licorice and spice. It also displays pretty blueberry and light vanilla character. We found it racy and firm, showing fine harmony and a long, spice- and mineral-tinged after glow. About $30 a bottle, Vecchie Viti easily brings out the best qualities in a classic Tuscan chianti. The Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s oldest wineries, with a history dating to the 1300s. The family has included medieval knights, bankers, lawyers and patrons of the arts. The Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is one of the most significant wine producers in Italy, with nine estates—and roughly 2,500 acres—in Tuscany. The family has been growing wine since the late 19th century, when they became the first in Tuscany to import and plant French vine cuttings. Because they have been producing wines for more than 700 years, to experience Frescobaldi is to glimpse the history of Florence, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Niro 2016 Terre Di Chieti,a delicious white wine from Italy’s Abruzzo region. Fashioned from
Pecorino a native grape with attractive aromatics. This is a vino that refreshes with tropical fruit flavors, herbal notes and hints of minerals, an authentic example of Abruzzo’s recently rediscovered signature white grape.

Wapisa Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Patagonia Argentina. This wine has a distinctive, vivid aroma
and zesty acidity. It is a complete expression of the the complexity of the soil and sea breezes of Atlantic Patagonia. We experienced inviting whiffs of citrus and delicate white flowers with a touch of fresh ginger. On the palate, flavors of pink grapefruit and kafir lime come together with tropical guava to create a delicious and refreshing vino.


A great gourmet gift: Golden Door Farms Essential Salt Collection, three pure sea salts each with individual flair. Tongue-tickling flavors to savor are Sweet Maple, Smokey Fennel and Spicy Serrano. These sweet and savory salts make a perfect gift just as we anticipated coming from the famous Golden Door where beauty, joy and magic of healthful, seasonal food and living Is celebrated every day. The 3-Pack Artisan Essential Salt Collection retails at $36.95 and 100% of Golden Door’s profits go to end child abuse and transform young lives. Available only at


Innovative Bubble Pop hair and skin care beauty products made for today’s free-spirited female who loves everything beauty. Free from harsh chemicals, the line includes a nutrient rich Remedy Hair Serum, a powerful Flawless Rebel Pick Me Up Cream, a high-performance Unblemished Love Ultimate Acne Cream, all in sleek and vibrant packaging.


NIGHT VISION: Magical Photographs of Life After Dark (National Geographic Books), presents the mesmerizing realm of all things nocturnal, framed by a beautiful foreword by acclaimed landscape photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel. Filled with 230 unforgettable images, this exquisitely curated book by long-time National Geographic editor and author Susan Tyler Hitchcock is the perfect coffee table book for holiday gift giving. Will appeal to night owls, nature lovers, adventurers, armchair travelers, and avid photographers alike. NIGHT VISION is divided into four sections exploring the themes of energy, harmony, mystery, and wonder, and the range of images is breathtaking: Samba dancers in Rio de Janeiro. A female barrel owl swooping through a forest. Flowers that bloom only at night. A family of mute swans on a quiet pond. Lions photographed with infrared cameras. A swimmer silhouetted under water. A panoramic view of Earth from space.
Diane and Len share their tricks of the trade in taking photographs in taking stunning photographs at night which will appeal to amateur and professional shutterbugs alike. NIGHT VISION is a celebration of the world’s beauty after dark, a stunny pathway to some of the lanet’s most captivating sights.

CAST: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process authored by Jen Townsend and Renee Zettle-Sterling features exquisite photos of 800 contemporary and historic works, a first-of-its-kind book that reveals how the process of casting―pouring material into a mold―has transformed our world through its history and omnipresence. In these image-rich pages, craft, fine art, design, and everyday objects offer perspectives on casting’s unique possibilities, its place in history, and its role in contemporary object creation. Comprehensive and insightful, the book includes writings on casting as it relates to Art History (by Suzanne Ramljak), Ceramics (by Ezra Shales), Glass (by Susie Silbert), Large Metal (by Joe Becherer), Jewelry (by Jen Townsend), and Alternative Materials (by Elaine King). A multi-disciplinary approach―including everything from traditional lost wax casting in non-ferrous metals to casting rubber, glass, porcelain, plaster, and some very unexpected materials―makes this an essential resource for artists, craftspeople, historians, designers, and everyone interested in the objects that populate our world.

GREAT HIKING TRAILS of the WORLD: 80 Trails, 75,000 Miles, 38 Countries, 6 Continents by Karen Berger with a foreword by Bill McKibben, Rizzoli, embodies a hiker’s dream bucket list. This lavishly illustrated celebration of more than eighty of the world’s most iconic trails pays tribute to the most important, popular, and diverse hiking trails in the world inviting readers to take a walking tour through the planet’s natural wonders. Divided into six sections, the book groups trails by theme: pilgrimages, historic hikes, mountain hikes, wilderness trails, trails through diverse environments, and long-distance trails. From Mount Kenya to subarctic hikes in Scandinavia, and from exotic hikes in the Himalayas to more familiar trails in the United States and Canada, this book invites readers to explore the history, environment, and cultures of the world on foot. Each featured trail has its own section, with a map and photo gallery focusing on what makes it one of the most magnificent hiking trails anywhere in the world. Included are detailed descriptions and trail highlights. This is the perfect book for anyone interested in conservation, outdoor recreation, or the myriad ways that walking through a landscape is an intimate exploration of its soul.

LIVING THE AIR STREAM LIFE by Karen Fleet, HarperDesignBooks, is an amazing illustrated guide to the travelers who call the road home and made their dream a reality. With exclusive images, content and stories from those who have lived the Airstream dream. The Airstream has been an integral part of the American landscape for more than eighty-five years. New or vintage, this iconic silver bullet shape seems to embody the American spirit of freedom and adventure. This book takes readers on their own spirited journey into this rich and rewarding community with compelling stories and dramatic photography.

Michael Connors, an expert in Caribbean antiques and architecture, has more than thirty years of experience in writing, consultation, and teaching in fine and decorative arts. He has written two successful books on Cuba, HAVANA MODERN and THE SPLENDOR OF CUBA. He continues to lead art and architecture tours throughout Cuba. His latest book, CUBA 101 Beautiful & Nostalgic Places to Visit, published by Rizzoli, is a perfect introduction to Cuba that illustrates with insightful prose and lavish photography all of the island’s many charms.

This is a unique period in time when more travelers are discovering or rediscovering Cuba. This book is an in-depth exploration of 101 of the most authentic and compelling sites that reveal the real Cuba. Caribbean antiques expert, art historian, and adventurer Michael Connors presents the breadth of this island’s most intriguing destinations and architectural treasures. The book features iconic places such as the tobacco plantations in Pinar del Ro, the fortresses and palacios, Hemingway’s home outside of Havana, Xanadu (the DuPont mansion), the old French Triolet Pharmacy in Matanzas, and the Sugar Mill Valley in Sancti Spritus. The lush photographs were shot exclusively for this book, bringing each location and treasure alive. It is a traveler’s mantra these days: see Cuba before it loses its 1950s nostalgia and turns into a tourist trap. Whether you are planning a trip or dreaming of faraway places from the comfort of your living room, this volume is more than a reference book, it is an insider’s guide to the heart and soul of exquisite, nostalgic, and always fascinating Cuba.

NO THANKS, MOM: The Top Ten Objects Your Kids Do NOT Want (and what to do with them), the latest book from the talented Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, aka The Savvy Appraiser. It’s an honest and humorous exploration of the generational differences in the households and possessions of Millennials/Gen-Xers and their Boomer parents. The central conflict is that most of the Boomers’ grown kids are refusing the family heirlooms that have been saved for them. This an experience we all must address. Stewart, a certified appraiser based in Santa Barbara, discusses the top 10 objects that younger generations do not want as “gifts” from the homes of their parents and grandparents. Stewart finds a consistent pattern of familial tensions over objects that older relatives have saved for the kids—wishing and hoping to pass on the beloved family treasures. If you’ve tried to pass on fine china, tableware, linens, fine porcelain figurines, silver-plated objects, ornate rugs, or heavy, dark furniture to a Millennial, you know it’s not so easy. Visit

THE ART OF PLEIN AIR PAINTING: An Essential Guide to Materials, Concepts, and Techniques for Painting Outdoors by M. Stephen Doherty, The Monacelli Press. Plein air painting, the art of painting outdoors, offers possibilities artists can’t find inside the studio. When painters set up easels outside, they put themselves in direct contact with nature. Responsiveness to the landscape’s changing light, forms, and colors yields work that’s lively and spontaneous. However, plein air painting also poses a set of challenges not encountered in the studio. There are matters of choosing a location, rationing the number of supplies to bring, working within a time limit, adjusting to sudden changes in weather, and possibly even testing physical endurance when transporting equipment to a painting site.presents the full picture of what painting en plein air requires. Devoted plein air artist Doherty guides readers through how to choose the best spot, which materials and tools to bring, and the basics of mixing colors and preparing canvases and panels ahead of time. Sidebars and step-by-step demonstrations cover topics that range from sketching out a composition to starting a painting with washes or lines, toning a surface, and doing a cityscape. Doherty even teaches how to do a nocturne—a painting made after the sun has gone down.

From Phyllis Good, the NY Times bestselling author, comes STOCK THE CROCK, 100 must-have slow-cooker recipes, 200 variations for every appetite, published by Oxmoor House. These treasured recipes from such a trusted chef are just right for today, whether you want classics with better-for-you ingredients or are looking for slow cooker hacks like making two recipes in your crock pot at the same time. Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and paleo-friendly dishes are not ignored.

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