{Gift Guides} Valentine’s Gifts for FOF Men


Your presence is his present–right? Well, yes, but how about you outdo (the gift of) yourself this Valentine’s and treat your man to one of these truly thoughtful treasures, curated by our very own cupid–FOF Style and Gift Scout Linda Cohen.


For your better half.. with holey socks:
Themed dress socks from Socksmith, $10 per pair

“Men’s dress socks are the accessory of the moment. It allows them to express their individuality. Socksmith has some fabulously quirky styles. My personal favorite is ‘Don’t Be Koi’–adorned with lovely orange fish. How cute would those be peeking out from under your man’s black suit?”


For your FOFrequent Flyer:
Leather toiletry case from Red Envelope, $125.

“The perfect leather travel kit–stylish, practical, and personalized with his initials. With its vintage, slightly-weathered leather, this could have belonged to the Duke of Windsor or been plucked from the set of Out of Africa with Robert Redford.”

For your (dare we say it) Tiger Woods wannabe:
Golf gear organizer by ProActive Sports, $26.95

“For your favorite golfer to keep in his trunk when he heads to the range. My husband likes this organizer because it’s light, practical and keeps his golf shoes, balls, tees and sunblock organized…to a tee. No more searching for that one golf shoe he’s sure I misplaced when I cleaned out the car.”


For the FOF man who won’t be tied down:
Wireless surround sound speakers by Hammacher Schlemmer, $129.95

“Portable speakers to enhance the sound of any of his tech gadgets equipped with Bluetooth.When he uses these to watch a movie on his iPad, my husband says the sound quality is much better. They pack easily and the battery lasts for at least eight hours of play.”


For the FOFrat boy at heart:
Brooklyn Brew Shop beer making kit from Williams-Sonoma, $39.95

“I bought my husband this beer brewing kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop, and he felt like he was back in high school doing science experiments. The beer was pretty good and I’m sure we’ll perfect it the more we do make. Instead of baking this Valentine’s, we are brewing beer.”


For the man who…can’t get no satisfaction:
The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll book, $26.40

“In a world of iPads, Kindles and downloads, there is something wonderfully nostalgic about this beautiful book from the editors of Rolling Stone. You and your sweetie can reminisce about legends from Elvis Presley to The Grateful Dead to U2. A great way to let him know how much he rocks your world.”


For the scentual man:
Santal 33 unisex fragrance from Le Labo Fragrances, $145

“It’s a unisex scent–my husband and I share ours–with a woodsy-spicey smell. Floral notes including iris, violet and cardamom lighten up the sandalwood base so that a woman would enjoy it too.”


For the doer–not the talker:
Experience gifts from xperiencedays, starting at $25

“This website has hundreds of affordable experience gifts in every city–from surf lessons and cooking classes to flying lessons. They’ll send him a gorgeous gift pack that can be redeemed for his experience. This is not going to collect dust in a drawer like a Gap gift certificate might.”


For your knight in spinning vinyl:
Record to digital music converter, $149.99

“If your man can’t bear to part with his record albums, this  “turntable” will convert his dusty vinyls into digital music or CDs. You’ll bring out his air-guitar-playing side–while helping him bring his music collection into the 21st century.”


For your Beatlemaniac (all grown up):
Kisses on the Bottom by Paul McCartney album, $9.99

“Paul McCartney new album is marketed as a Valentine’s Day gift to his new wife Nancy Shevell–but your sweetie will love it too. Most appropriately, the first song released is called “My Valentine,” an original by Sir Paul, featuring Eric Clapton on guitar. The rest of the album is full of slow, jazzy remakes of classics from our parents’ era.”


For your aspiring FOFisherman:
Prints by Corey Arnold, e-mail Corey for pricing. Fishing-Work (Corey’s signed book of prints), $65.

“He’ll be reeling when he receives one of these stunning prints by “Deadliest Catch” photographer, Corey Arnold. Corey started photo-documenting the lives and work of fisherman while on The Rollo, a crab fishing vessel featured in season 2 of the hit Discovery Channel show. The photos are striking, totally manly, and as real as it gets.”

{Gift Guide} 7 Delightful Design Gifts

Deck the halls and homes of your family and friends–GIVE them these delightful design gifts recommended by FOF gurus.



Helen Kenney Poore is an FOF interior design guru and owner of The Scented Garden, a gift store located in St. Michaels, Maryland.

1. Karen Adams Calendar Giftbox, $59 ($29 for refill)

“A unique gift for the person who has everything is the Karen Adams hand-painted calendar. Just remember who you gave the set to, because next year you can give them the refill. They’re already sold out in my store.”


Kristin Drohan is an FOF interior design guru and an interior designer whose work has been featured in The Washington Post, House Trends Magazine, New England Home, and New York Spaces. She also has her own furniture collection.

2. Personalized Trays, Platters and Ice Buckets from Clairebella, Starting at $38
“I love that these can be personalized with colors, patterns, and monograms.”


Barbara Mangini is the blogger behind My Dog-Eared Pages, a collection of musings on art, fashion, and interior designs.

3. Harry Stooshinoff Landscape Paintings, starting at $45

“I am a quite a fan of this Canadian artist. He’s been selling his work for over 30 years. His small landscapes are created on heavy, acid-free artist’s paper, using a quick pencil sketch on location then followed by bold, intuitive swashes of acrylics. I love the idea of hanging several together as a grouping.”


4. Turkish Towel Peshtemals from Bathstyle, starting at $22

“A peshtemal is a towel traditionally used in Turkish baths. The colors correspond to different regions in Turkey. I’ve always loved them because they absorb water fast and dry quickly. They take up less space and are also great for the pool, boat and the beach. These are 100% cotton produced on looms in Turkey.”



Lisa Porter is the mastermind behind The Lisa Porter Collection, a blog featuring eye-popping designs, inspiring interiors and carefully-vetted businesses.

5. Beautiful Gardens of Kentucky by Jon Carloftis ($40)
“This year I’ll be gifting Beautiful Gardens of Kentucky by famed New York City garden designer Jon Carloftis. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jon and his incredible family–what I admire most about this southern gentleman is his desire to give back. He’s beyond generous with his talent and time devoting much of it towards local garden clubs and charitable organizations. Anyone who loves to garden will love this book.”


Julia Reed is the creative director of Taigan, a meticulously-curated online boutique featuring unique products and gifts. She has been a contributing editor  to numerous publications including VogueConde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and is the author of: The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, And Other Southern Delicacies: An Entertaining Life (With Recipes); and Queen Of The Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena.

6. Small Apothecary Jar from And George, $47
“It is so versatile. Fill it with festive red-and-white peppermints or use it as a receptacle for roasted pecans or little cheese biscuits on the bar when entertaining. It would also be fabulous in a bathroom filled with small soaps or bath salts such as these.”


7. Set of White Mugs from And George, $60
“I adore both the delicacy and color of these tea mugs. Throw in a canister of your favorite tea and this pretty handwoven silver tea strainer and it’s a great gift.”

Enter to win a gorgeous hand-painted calendar by Karen Adams by leaving a comment below.

One FOF will win.
(See all our past winners, here.)
(See official rules, here.)
Contest closes December 17, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.

{Gift Guide} The 8 Top Toys for Tots

Want a gift that the kids will play with long past Christmas morning? Here are 8 toys and games to GIVE this season, recommended by FOFs who are serious about play.


FOF Sarah Baldwin spent 20 years as an elementary school teacher before opening Bella Luna Toys in 2002, an online shop specializing in Waldorf toys. The Waldorf method emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, and the toys are designed to do the same, from modeling clay and “dress up silks” to a gorgeous wooden dollhouse fit for faeries. Sarah blogs about parenting, education and play at Moon Child.

1. Waldorf Rocker Board, $129.95
“Rocker Boards are extremely popular in Waldorf classrooms for their developmental benefits and great open-ended play value. They can ‘become’ a boat, a bridge, a slide or a cradle. They also help develop a child’s sense of balance and core strength, but kids just know they are fun!”


2. Play Silks from Sarah’s Silks, $14.50
“Large squares of colored silk were a staple in my classroom. It may not look like a ‘toy,’  but children play with them in so many ways! They become capes, headdresses, belts, skirts or a baby blanket for a favorite dolly. A blue silk can become a pond or a lake for a child’s small toys; a green silk may become a grassy meadow. The possibilities are endless!”


3. Modeling Beeswax, $21.95
“Sweet-smelling, colored beeswax makes an ideal modeling medium for children. It never dries out and is reusable. After warming up the wax in your hands, it becomes pliable and can be molded into people, animals, trees, butterflies–you name it! As it cools, it hardens, but can later be warmed up again, and molded into new forms.”


4. Twig Studio Wooden Doll House, $299.95
“With multiple levels and a variety of charming details, it makes a home for a dollhouse family, or a hideaway for gnomes, fairies and wooden animals. It also comes in a smaller version.”



FOF Mara Kaplan is a mom and an advocate for children with special needs.  Her consulting company, Let Kids Play, makes sure playgrounds and toys are accessible and fun for all kids. You can find more recommendations on her blog, LetKidsPlay.

5. Tegu Blocks, $110 and up
“These beautifully-made wooden blocks have magnets in them, making it easier for a child to build without knocking the blocks down accidentally. Perfect for children working on fine motor skills. Plus, Tegu donates a portion of their proceeds to plant trees in Honduras or fund a day of school for a child in Tegucigalpa.”


6. Green Toys’ Sandwich Shop or Pizza Maker, $22.04
“Sandwich Shop and Pizza Maker are the newest additions to Green Toys’ eco-friendly line. Each toy comes with over 15 realistic pieces, made in the USA from food-safe, 100-percent recycled plastic milk containers. While serving you lunch, your child is working on writing, memory, speech, and many other cognitive skills.”


7. Brain Noodles, $14
“Brain Noodles are fluffy, fiber stems that resemble jumbo pipe cleaners. They bend and twist anyway you want, are easy to hold and manipulate, and provide a unique sensory feel which many children love. Your child can make simple or complex sculptures without making a huge mess.”


8. Rubbabu Toys, $11.95 and up
“Rubbabu makes vehicles, balls, shapes and blocks that children can easily grip and catch. All made from 100-percent biodegradable, all-natural rubber. They also bounce! Perfect for improving motor skills and hand-eye coordination.”

Enter to win a Waldorf Rocker Board by leaving a comment below.

One FOF will win.
(See all our past winners, here.)
(See official rules, here.)
Contest closes December 18, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.

{Gift Guide} 13 Fave Food Gifts

Ho ho ho…ly cow, holiday time is here. Are all the foodies on your list accounted for? FOF Food Gurus recommend the tastiest treats to GIVE gourmands.



FOF Jill Silverman Hough is a food and wine writer, culinary instructor, and the author of the 100 Perfect Pairings cookbooks.

1. Olive Oils from The Olive Press (starting at $18) in this adorable dachshund cruet set from Velocity Art and Designs, $40
“I’ve tasted lots of different olive oils from lots of different producers and this is hands-down my favorite. The individual olive flavors (arbequena, ascolano, etc.) really come through. Their citrus olive oils are the absolute best, with lots of true flavor and little of the bitterness that sometimes accompanies. The dog-lover in your life might especially like this cute dachshund cruet.”


2. Salami of the Month Club from Olympic Provisions, $135
“You get one salami delivered each month, for an entire year. I’ve tasted their salami nola, saucisson d’Arles, saucisson d’Alsace, and saucisson sec and loved ‘em all–subtle yet complex flavors, the textures are deliciously creamy and chewy.”


3. Sweets from Poco Dolce, starting at $16
“Sometimes when trendy chocolatiers get creative it’s just too much savory seasonings and/or not great chocolate. But, with Poco Dolce, a small-batch artisanal producer based in San Francisco, the chocolate itself is really good and the flavors are creative, but subtle. I particularly liked their olive oil bar with its soft, sexy texture and can hardly stop eating their toffee tiles.”


4. Happy Goat Caramels, starting at $6.99
“Caramels are so hot these days that there are a million to choose from. But these have that slight goat-cheese flavor that makes them uniquely delicious – like dulce de leche in a candy wrapper. There are several flavors – I particularly like the vanilla bean and winter spice. I also like their Scotch caramel sauce, which is wonderfully boozy.”


FOF Julia della Croce is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian food, with over 13 cookbooks bearing her name. She is also author of the food blog, Fork Tales.

5. Fabbri “Amarena” cherries, $12.99 (8 oz) to $69.95 (7 lb, 10 oz) also available at select Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table stores
“The most superb cherries you’ll ever eat, and they come in a beautiful, opaline jar. The company that makes them was started in 1905 in Bologna by the current owner’s great grandmother.”


6. Signed copies of Julia’s cookbooks with personalized messages, $15-$35

“I ship them in time for the holidays and offer both my cookbooks in print, or out-of-print, hard-to-find books–as long as they last.”


7. Livestock for a family in need, starting at $10 for a share

“Heifer International lets you give gifts of livestock, such as baby goats and chickens, to needy families all over the world. In many poor countries owning livestock can mean having the ability to provide eggs or milk to a family or being able to sell the extra to pay for other staples, medicine or clothing. Gifts of livestock can also reproduce, so provide very long-lasting resources. There’s little in the way of middlemen here–your money really goes directly to the people they say it does.”


8. Harbor Candy, $5.95 (Tea Infused Chocolates) to $54 (Grande Sampler)
“The Harbor Candy Shop, Ogunquit, Maine, is one of the best candy stores in the U.S. My husband and I go to Ogunquit every August, and this amazing shop is one of the reasons. Superb quality; handmade candies and chocolates are made on the premises. My favorites are the caramallows and the orange slices in chocolate. My daughter loves their beautiful marzipan and my husband brings the crystalized ginger home every August for his boss’s wife.”



Cathy Wheelbarrow is an FOF food guru and brilliant mind behind the fabulous cooking blog,
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen

9. Canal House Cookbooks, $10-$19.95
“Away from the clamor of food with foam and exotic ingredients, Christopher Hershheimer and Melissa Hamilton have created an oasis of food sanity in their Canal House series. These are elegant cookbooks with simple, exceptional recipes. The first six books in the series were curated seasonally, and beginning with January, the next grouping will be by cuisine, with Italian food up first. A perfect cookbook or series for any cook.”


10. The Food52 Cookbook, $19.92
“Okay, I’ve got two recipes in this book, but that’s not the only reason I’m suggesting it.  The Food52 Cookbook from Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs collects the best of food52.com’s recipes, gathered from home cooks everywhere. There are cakes and cookies, main dishes, sandwiches, cocktails and more. And every recipe has been tested, so you can be sure you’ll end up with great results.”


11. Handmade Marshmallows from Eat Boutique, $24.95
“A sweet treat, all ready to float on a cup of hot cocoa that first snow day. Eat Boutique has many lovely food gifts gathered from artisan cooks around the country.”


12. Picot Platter from Anthropologie, $98
“This lace-patterned, perfectly white serving dish will make your holiday cookies look even more delicious.”



Meridith Ford Goldman is an FOF food guru, food writer and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution dining critic.

13. An adopted olive tree from Nudo, in Italy, $109
“You can choose from dozens of olive groves, pick the type of tree you think your recipient would prefer and then they’ll reap the rewards all year long–Nudo sends olive oil from their tree to their doorstep.”

Enter to win this adorable dachshund cruet set by leaving a comment below.

One FOF will win.
(See all our past winners, here.)
(See official rules, here.)
Contest closes December 14, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.

from →  ,

{Gift Guide} GIVE fab experience gifts, RECEIVE classes from OneDayU

Here’s an idea, FOFs: Put away that wrapping paper and ribbon and GIVE the gift of experience! We’ve got 8 personal presents that will stay with your loved one long after the fruitcake has been eaten–or regifted.

Plus, win 6 months of all-you-can-watch classes from OneDayUniversity. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: If you could go back to school for anything, what would it be?

Enlightening ideas. Give the gift of learning with a membership to One Day University, a website where Award-winning professors from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton and other top-tier schools come together to offer their most popular courses on everything from World War II and The Founding Fathers to Beethoven and the Big Bang Theory. Just $39 will buy you a month of all-you-can-watch classes. http://www.onedayu.com


An organized closet. Visit the National Association of Professional Organizers for a complete listing of organizers in a specific zip code. Each organizer sets her own price, but you can request a “closet package” and most will negotiate fair cost between $200 and $500. http://www.napo.net/

{Image via BagSnob}


A professionally styled outfit. Sandra Soich (AKA Your Fashion Therapist) has spent the last 25 years styling everyone from Cindy Crawford to Serena Williams. Now you can ask her personal fashion questions via email, text or Skype, and she’ll answer them for $20 a pop. Not sure which shoes to wear with that dress? Need a pair of pants that elongates your legs? Sandra has the answers… http://www.yourfashiontherapist.com.


A tightened and toned bod. Help a friend jumpstart her new year’s resolution with a package of personal training sessions from FOF Margo Kamin. Beloved in her home-city of Austin, Margo offers personalized sessions via Skype to men and women across the country. One LIVE 30-minute class goes for the exceptionally reasonable rate of $35. Plus, Margo will lengthen or shorten a session depending on your budget. http://www.personal-fitness-trainer-austin.com/


A redecorated room. Michelle Davidson of Interior Design Service Online provides a complete design blueprint for the room of your choice–all over email. Just fill out her questionnaire on your taste and budget, and attach a photo of the room in question. For $250, Michelle will send you a “Project Binder” containing your ideal furniture layout, paint colors, furniture recommendations within your price range–even ideas for throw rugs and accessories. http://www.interiordesignserviceonline.com/


A personalized perfume. There’s nothing sweeter than giving the gift of sweet-smelling custom fragrance. At ScentDesign.net, choose from 50 blending fragrances (like mango, sandalwood or strawberry), and mix and match as you wish. If you need guidance, their expert noses will assist you. http://www.scentdesign.net/, $10-$20.


A leading role in a favorite novel. U Star Books–founded by Katie Olver and her mom, FOF Jan Olver–invites you to step into a personalized edition of beloved book, starring you alongside your friends, family members or that special someone. Just pick a title (they have everything from classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Pride and Prejudice to saucy romances with names like Indecent in Italy and Fever in France) and within days you have a novel novel to keep on the shelf forever. You can even write a personal dedication. http://www.ustarnovels.com/, $24.95 – $35.95.


A new passion. Unleash your inner artist! FOF Anna Rhodes has studied, taught and created art all over the world. She offers artistic getaways a few times each season at resorts and retreats, nationwide. The multi-day classes focus on drawing and composing, painting and layering mixtures of mediums. http://www.anartistsretreat.com/, Starting at $490.

Is your gift recipient more crafty than artsy? Give a class at Snow Farm Craft Retreat in Williamsburg, Mass. From bead-making to basket-weaving classes, your gift will keep on… giving. http://www.snowfarm.org/, Starting at $500.

{Image via Country Living}


Win 6 months of all-you-can-watch classes from OneDayUniversity. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: If you could go back to school for anything, what would it be?

{Gift Guide} GIVE fab wearable gifts, RECEIVE a stunning wrap sweater

Falalalala, FOF Fashionistas! Our panel of style gurus picks the wearable gifts they’d love to give and get this year.

Plus, one lucky FOF will win the stunning Aztec Wrap sweater  pictured below. To enter, tell us in the comments below: What’s the worst wearable gift you’ve ever received?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Black and White Aztec Wrap Sweater, $20
“These bold wraps are made from wool remnants taken from designers such as Armani, Chanel and Loro Piana. They’re made by an FOF; each one can be worn three different ways and the price point is so good, you wouldn’t feel guilty buying a few.” -FOF Geri Brin

A nostalgic Skate Key Necklace from DFB Designs, $89
“I wear mine every day!” -FOF Geri Brin

A wear-everywhere Moksha Scarf, $100
“Unlike a Hermes scarf, you won’t see these gorgeous designs everywhere and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.” -FOF Geri Brin

{Geri Brin is the founder of FabOverFifty.com}


Dannijo Stingray Cuff, $300
“This stingray “Zuma” cuff, also available in purple and teal blue, is a cheerful, seasonless accessory, appropriate to wear with anything from jeans or a  summer dress to a wool suit.” -FOF Susan Grant

Rabbit “Infinity” Scarf by Jocelyn, $198
“Just the right touch of fur to capture the trend of the season. It can be worn long or doubled for a cowl effect. Available in brown, black or grey.” -FOF Susan Grant

{Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.}


Hooded Cashmere Poncho, $250
“This casual cashmere cape would work with leggings, slim jeans or narrow pants. I love the dark brown brown because it’s more universally flattering than black (especially as we age). It’s also a a great neutral when paired with black, navy and gray.” -FOF Sherrie Mathieson

Pearl & Rhinestone Shag Necklace, Champagne, $315
“A lovely pearl collar provides interest to any simple neckline and reflects light onto the face.” -FOF Sherrie Mathieson

{Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.}


Carolina Amato Gloves, $33-$120
“I love all Carolina Amato’s gloves. They’re whimsical and the price points are great.” – FOF Linda Cohen

Embellised Clutch by Roberta Freymann, $95
“You can wear this with dark colors in the winter or white and colors in the summer.” -FOF Linda Cohen

{Linda Cohen is head buyer for the FOF shop, has her own fashion consulting and merchandising business and owned a clothing store for 27 years.}


Restoration Hardware Monogram Cashmere Robe, $249
“A cashmere robe is the ultimate indulgent luxury. They run the gamut from pricey ($3000) to affordable ($300-ish). I’ll take the one from Restoration Hardware (when did they start making robes in addition to door knockers?) for $249. It’s a classic shawl-collared robe with patch pockets. And you can have it monogrammed for the same price. I would monogram it, ‘YAY.’” -FOF Gail Garramone

Tahitian Pearl Studs with Diamonds in 14-karat White Gold, $275
“Pearls are my jewels of choice. Whether milky white or midnight dark, I love the way they pick up the warmth of your body. My ideal would be a Tahitian South Sea pearl necklace with matching earrings, but for the same price I could get a mansion in Westchester. So instead, I’ll take Ross-Simons’ Tahitian pearl studs with tiny diamonds (hey, they’re still diamonds) for $275. I hope my husband is listening. I would wear them 24/7, except in the shower. Pearls do not like water.” -FOF Gail Garramone

{Gail Garramone is a veteran V.P. of Liz Claiborne Inc. where she traveled around the country with Tim Gunn producing fashion workshops.}


Nars Bento Box Lip Gloss Kit, $125
“The packaging of this Nars lip gloss set is divine. Two pots of gloss–pink and red–both exquisite shades, and a beautiful Asian-inspired lip brush. I would LOVE to get this gift.” -FOF Terry Gibralter

Antipast Socks, $25-$38
“Antipast socks come in amazing patterns and colors; in short, long and even over-the-knee styles; and they are made in Japan from very high-quality yarns. They’re a lot of fashion bang for the buck!” -FOF Terry Gibralter

{Terry Gibraltar is the founder of Bespoke Custom Shopping Tours, carefully-crafted shopping “vacations” and a self-proclaimed, “fashion-obsessed” FOF.}


Anne Fontaine “Lea” Blouse, $295
“There’s nothing like a crisp white top with just about any type of bottom. Ann Fontaine’s white blouses are works of art, from the very simplest “Lea” ($295.00), a short sleeve satin blouse, to the most ornate. “Luca’s” feminine neck and cuffs are great for day or night ($250.00).”  -FOF Sandra Soich

“Linda” earrings from Gemma Redux, $198
Gemma Redux features modern costume jewelry with a twist. Gems can be pricey, but you can purchase, the “Linda” earring ($198.00) to give the Anne Fontaine blouse a modern and sophisticated look. -FOF Sandra Soich

{Sandra Soich is a highly sought-after celebrity and commercial stylist who offers personal wardrobe consulting through her website, YourFashionTherapist.com}


Enter to win a stunning Aztec sweater wrap by telling us in the comments below: What’s the worst wearable gift you’ve ever received?

{Gift Guide} GIVE great design gifts, RECEIVE a gorgeous candle

Bring the perfect  next holiday affair. Three FOF genius design bloggers tell us their fave pieces to GIVE this holiday season.

Plus! Enter our contest, and you may RECEIVE a delightful, all-natural candle from Well Dressed Home.

To enter to win a gorgeous candle in the scent of your choice, comment below and answer: Tinsel on the tree–is it tacky or terrific? (One FOF will win).

Soy-wax  14-oz candle by Michel Design Works, $28.95
“Who doesn’t love getting a candle for the holidays?” says FOF founder Geri Brin. “These are are all-natural and just beautiful. I buy a few and tuck them away, in case I get any last-minute invites to holiday parties. This way, I never arrive empty handed.”

Custom Art by Linda McCoy, $200
“You can send FOF Linda McCoy a picture of anything and she’ll create a custom painting… it’s truly a one-of-a-kind gift” says Geri Brin. “She painted a portrait of me and one of my dog, Rigby, that I cherish.”

Leather Envelope by Graphic Image, $67
“This is a great catch-all for your pictures, receipts and important cards,” says FOF founder Geri Brin. “I love giving and receiving functional gifts.”

{Geri Brin is the founder of FabOverFifty.com}


Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: A General History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, $20.85
“A great read about beauty of all kinds—from the everyday to the obscure!” says FOF Barbara Mangini of design blog My Dog Eared Pages.

A Passion for Interiors by Carolyne Roehm, $41.58
“Any book by Carolyne Roehm is bursting with yummy photography and stylish décor.  A Passion for Interiors is a private tour of Roehm’s Manhattan duplex, her Colonial-era house in Connecticut, and a friend’s Aspen residence.”

Bremer Collection Raw Linen Table Runner, $24
“I love the idea of one-of-a-kind farmhouse finds. Just add a wooden bowl full of paper whites and a big ribbon!”

Baggu bag, $8
“Baggu makes the best reusable bags from rip-stop nylon. Most people use 300 to 700 plastic bags a year. Instead you can just use one Baggu. They come in bold colors and patterns and are perfect stocking-stuffers for everyone on your list!”

{Barbara Mangini is the FOF blogger behind My Dog Eared Pages, a collection of her marvelous musings and highly-vetted design, fashion and art finds.}


“Because I am a note writer, I always have a supply of beautiful papers on hand,” says Renae Moore of the blog Renae Moore Designs. “Hannah Nation is the creator of Gadabout. She has so many beauties it’s hard to choose and she will custom monogram any you pick.”

{Renae is the interior decorator and blogger behind the oh-so lovely Renae Moore Designs blog. }


Frances Palmer Pottery, $25-245
“Her pottery is feminine, pure and will be loved by many for generations,” says FOF Lisa Porter of the design blog, The Lisa Porter Collection.

Southern Magnolia Tree, $44
“Seeds of life is a delightful farm that specializes in gift trees. They can be planted in honor of a special friend or family member. Trees symbolize strength and endurance and are the kind of gift that have potential to last centuries.”

{Lisa Porter is the FOF behind the delightful design blog, The Lisa Porter Collection. Lisa’s gorgeous blog features eye-popping design, inspiring interiors and carefully-vetted businesses.}


To enter to win a gorgeous candle in the scent of your choice, comment below and answer: Tinsel on the tree–tacky or terrific? (One FOF will win).

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

{Gift Guide} GIVE wine gifts, RECEIVE a wine pairing cookbook and two bottles of wine

Our FOF vintage veterans handpick 7 top bottles to GIVE for the holidays.

Plus! enter to win below, and you may RECIEVE 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook  and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch. (One FOF will win.)

To enter, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant, do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

1. 2006 Wild Horse Cabernet, $18.99

It’s very smooth with a hint of smoke at the end,” says FOF Mary Maynard of the popular blog, “Happy Hour Mary.” “It’s just a bit over $15 but tastes more expensive!”

2. 2007 Open Range Proprietary Red Wine, $18

“This wine comes from Yolo County, California, an area at the forefront of seasonal, sustainable and organic agriculture.” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski, author of The Wine Lovers Guide to Auctions and VP of Marketing for Casey Flat Ranch. “With its notes of plum, black currant, fresh earth and cedar, it’s a great accompaniment to pastas, seafood stews, pork and lamb.”

2009 Open Range Sauvignon Blanc, $15

“This wine is also from the up-and-coming wine region of Yolo County,” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski. “With it’s crisp foundation, delicate minerality and notes of green apple, kiwi and lime, it holds its own against pork tenderloin and seafood pastas. It’s especially delicious with cheese trays.

3. Mumm Napa Cuvee M Sparkling Wine. $20

“The winemaker himself, Ludovic Dervin, told me he designed Mumm Cuvee M to taste like peaches and cream – and it does!” says FOF Jill Silverman Hough author of  100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love “It’s my favorite sparkler.”

4. Swanson Alexis Cabernet Blend (vintage years 2004 to 2007 from Oakville or Napa), $58-$79.99

“I enjoy Swanson’s Alexis Cabernet Blend from Napa,” says FOF Eve Bushman of Eve’s Wine 101 blog and the Santa Clarita, CA, newspaper column by the same name. “In the ‘04, I noted pleasant black fruit in the aroma and taste–dry with a lovely length.  The ‘05 was quite complex and the ‘06 had aromas of anise and eucalyptus.”

5. Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain (vintage years 2005 or 2006), $106

“If you like mature jam on the nose and full flavors of cherry, blackberry, softened tannins and black pepper, you’ll like this,” says FOF Eve Bushman.

6. En Tirage 1992 Russian River Valley Recently Disgorged Extra Brut, $60.

“Longtime winemaker Don Baumhefner finally has released En Tirage, a bottling he’s let linger in the cellar for 17 years,” says FOF Virginie Boone, contributing reviewer for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “Disgorged just this fall, it’s creamy, voluptuous and deep honey in color, with a lovely apricot nose and layers of texture.”

100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook by FOF author Jill Silverman Hough

“It’s full of easy, delicious recipes and makes wine pairing absolutely unintimidating,” says FOF author Jill Silverman Hough. “If you’re serving, for example, Chardonnay, turn to that chapter, pick any recipe, and it’ll go with Chardonnay. If you don’t have a particular wine in mind, pick a recipe you like and then get the wine to go with it.”

To enter to win 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

Contest closes December 14, 2010.

(See all our past winners, here.)

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

{Gift Guide} GIVE foodie gifts, RECEIVE a homemade jam trio and gourmet toffee!

Feast your eyes on the best gourmet gifts to GIVE all the foodies on your list, brought to you by FOF food guru Cathy Barrow of the brilliant blog, Mrs.Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen.

Then comment below to enter to RECEIVE two of the treats: a trio of homemade jams from Sunchowder’s Emporia and a pound of almond toffee from Enstrom’s. (One FOF will win.)

Homemade Jams and Chutneys from Sunchowder’s Emporia. Available in 4 oz. or 8 oz. jars. $4 to $8.

FOF Wendy Read cooks her jams in copper kettles the old-fashioned way–without pectins and thickeners. Can’t decide on a flavor? Sunchowder’s Emporia offers a jam of the month club, $145 for twelve 4 oz. jars or $180 for twelve 8 oz. jars. The love will be spread all year long.”These are exceptional, hand-crafted jams,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow.


Almond Toffee from Enstrom’s. Available in milk or dark chocolate. 1 lb., 2 lb., 3 lb. and 5 lb. boxes. $19.95 to $79.95.

“Quite simply, the best toffee you’ll ever have,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow.

Around My French Table cookbook by Dorie Greenspan. $40.

“Dorie’s cookbook is really approachable. Every time you try her recipes, they work and make you look like a superstar,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. “And Dorie is a fellow FOF! My favorite recipe from the book is the garlic and lemon version of ‘Chicken in a Pot’ on page 206. It’s great for families or dinner parties, easy and satisfying.”

Recyled China Earrings and Necklaces from The Broken Plate Pendant Company. $20 to $120.

Did you break your Great Aunt Myrtle’s favorite serving plate? Send Broken Plate owner Juliet Ames the shards and she will craft a custom wearable delight. Talk about re-gifting! “The handcrafted earrings and necklaces are charming.” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. “What a great reuse of broken plates.”


Heirloom Beans from Rancho Gordo. Available in 33 varieties. $4.95-$5.95 for a 1 lb. bag.

“Steve, who started the company, is dedicated to making sure heirloom beans are getting attention, and we have more than just kidney beans and black beans in our repertoires,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. “These are super fresh and a practical gift. They cook up really creamy and make this great pot liquor. My favorite is the black and white Vaquero variety.”

Recipe Cards from Pink Bathtub Designs, $4.50 for a set of 5.

“I think recipe cards are a fun, old-fashioned idea to bring back,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. “Anyone who cooks gets asked for their recipes. It’s nice to have sweet ones to give out. They’re also great for those just starting to cook, a great way to begin their recipe collections.”

Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, iPad App. $4.99.

“I’m a baker and I think Martha Stewart’s cookie app is fantastic,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. It has shopping lists, recipes, fantastic photos and it’s very approachable… just made for the home cook.”

Rugelach from Perl Girl Baking. Available in cinnamon and sugar, fig jam and almond, jam and chocolate and peanut butter and jelly. 1 lb., 2 lb., 3 lb., 4 lb. and 5 lb. boxes. $20 to $100.

“Made a from a family recipe and hand-rolled in small batches, these cookies are the perfect combination of sweet and savory.” –FOF Founder, Geri Brin

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers. Available in 28 colors. $299, or $270.96 (after mail-in rebate).

“Best price ever for KA mixers this year, $299 with a $30 rebate at many stores,” says Mrs. Wheelbarrow. “This is the year to get your favorite baker a mixer and there are so many gorgeous colors to choose from… I have the silver one because I couldn’t decide.”

Cathy Barrow is the brains and kitchen hands behind the delicious blog, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen, and she teaches cooking classes from her D.C. home. NPR’s Morning Edition featured her in a segment on canning; Al Roker made her Thanksgiving stuffing on The Today Show, and her Sour Cherry Pie earned a blue ribbon for Overall Best Pie in the DC Metro Area.

To enter to win a trio of homemade jams from Sunchowder Emporio and a pound of almond toffee from Enstrom’s, comment below and answer: What holiday treat do you most look forward to?

Contest closes December 13, 2010.

(See all our past winners, here.)

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.