Friday, December 13, 2019

The Cutest Clutch Bags Ever - Garland Bags

I am in love with these handmade clutch bags.You can shop the site here.

Two Good Books to Add to Your Giving or Reading List

I don't do many book reviews but these two books are each unique in their own way and are suitable gifts for the reader on your Christmas list.  These would also be good "January reads."

The first is the shorter of the two.  This one can easily be read over a long weekend.  It's a cleaver book and if you are a Hemingway fan (as I am) and if you love to read books set in "horse country" then you should add this one to your list:

The author has decided that Hemingway fakes his death and instead of killing himself in Idaho in 1961, he works to hide his true identity and moves to Ireland, hence the setting in "horse country."  It's a cleaver idea and it's a fun read.

Here is more information from Amazon:
"It was with some pleasure I joined Hemingway on his literary and sporting tour of Ireland circa 1960. He meets all the greats from the very grand Knight of Glin who was his guide, philosopher and friend. They meet all the great literary figures of the day including John B. Keane in Listowel, where they take in a days racing. They go on to meet Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and a host of others. To cap it off, the greatest horse trainer of his generation, Vincent O'Brien, meets them and they hunt with the iconic White Heather Harriers. All in all a great read, particularly for Hibernophiles."

-Dickie Power,
Correspondent, The Irish Field

(The Voice of the Irish Equine Industry)

"On July 2, 1961 the world was not ready to let go of Ernest Hemingway. In his debut novel Hemingway's Retreat J. M. Moriarty proposes what if the world did not have to. The novel follows a defeated but not destroyed writer hiding and trying to find remnants of his former self. It is a unique and engrossing tale, which unfolds in castles, pubs and the beautiful rolling hills of Ireland."

-Raul Villarreal,
coauthor of Hemingway's Cuban Son

The life of action and fame has finally caught up to Ernest Hemingway, prompting him to contemplate whether he can go on living. Now as he faces the age-old question of whether to live or to die, Ernest makes a life-altering decision to choose both.

After he fakes his demise, Hemingway is pronounced dead on July 2, 1961. While the world learns of his death, EMH transforms into Matt Fitzgerald. With the help of his friend, President Kennedy, he moves to Ireland to live in a castle with a cousin of the president. As his new life begins, Fitzgerald travels through Ireland, learning about its people and history. Even as he searches for peace, it is only a beginning for him. Although his will to live is still there, his ambition has been tempered. As Fitzgerald's need to understand returns as a goal, his desire to tell basic stories becomes a driving force. Now the real question is whether his new life will keep him going or whether he will once again plunge into the darkness of depression.

Hemingway's Retreat shares an imaginative account of what would have happened if the famous writer had faked his own death.

The second book is a more ambitious project to read, it's much longer and quite detailed.  

Here is the overview from Amazon:

Daisy Bacon, the opinionated, autocratic and complex editor of Love Story Magazine from 1928 to 1947, chose the stories that would be read by hundreds of thousands of readers each week. The first weekly periodical devoted to romance fiction and the biggest-selling pulp fiction magazine in the early days of the Great Depression, Love Story sparked a wave of imitators that dominated newsstands for more than twenty years.
Disparaged as a "love pulp," the magazine actually championed the "modern girl," bringing its heroines out of the shadows of Victorian poverty and into the 20th century. With Love Story's success, Bacon became a national spokesperson, declaring that the modern woman could have it all--in love, in marriage and in the business world
Yet Bacon herself struggled to achieve that ideal, especially in her own romantic life, built around a long-term affair with a married man. Drawing on exclusive access to her personal papers, this first-ever biography tells the story behind the woman who influenced millions of others to pursue independence in their careers and in their relationships.

It's a very detailed book with lots of pictures and it will take you a bit to get through it but it's very good and well-written.  To be honest, I knew nothing about her or this era in literary history.

Happy reading!  Books make great gifts!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Gift Ideas for the Woman Who Has Everything

Stumped?  What do you buy for the perfect hostess, the perfect decorator, the well-dressed, and the well-traveled?  Here are some gift ideas at different price points, and there's still time to order.....

If this isn't the most elegant trash can you've ever seen, then I'd love to see something nicer.  Charlotte Moss would be proud (she loves an elegant trash can in every room).  And there is a wide selection of colors and prints to choose from.

At the other end of the spectrum this old milled soap from Colonial Williamsburg will make a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift. The peppermint is my favorite.


I love these unique hand towels which come in several colors.  Add these to a powder room for a special touch.

Who wouldn't love a gift set from "across the pond" from Fortnum & Mason?

A dish from John Derian would be welcome under any tree.  Love the horse one of course, but the selection is vast and enticing.


This toiletry case from Roller Rabbit will be welcomed by your well-traveled friends.  

I don't know anyone who doesn't covet Herend.  

And you can never go wrong with chocolate, ever.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Gift of the Day - Dana Gibson Pillows

Pillows?  Really?  A fantastic pillow makes a great Christmas gift as long as its out of this world. 

This Dana Gibson Lumbar Pillow meets the standard.  Her pillows are lovely.  See them all here.

As does this one.......

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Most Beautiful Needlepoint Boxes You've Ever Seen

If you stitch or if you don't but just love something truly beautiful then take a look at these fabulous hinged boxes from Fundascully.  To be honest, stitching one of these had never been something I wanted to do until I saw this line.  If you are interested there is a trunk show going on now at The Canvasback in Illinois.  You can call them and order one by phone.  I think you'll be adding one of these to your stash.

You can see the entire collection here.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Gift Ideas - The Best Books for the Nonreader

I realize that a huge percentage of Americans don't read anymore (a sad state of affairs for another day). But as a reader and a book lover (we read our books the old fashioned way, still), here are some book ideas for the non-readers or for those who do love books.

This is a fun book to own although I don't have it (but would love it as I love to cook and am a Downton fan).  Who wouldn't love to see this under their tree?

Add this one to the Downton Cookbook for a win and place!

This is a fun book for the fashionista in your world.  The French women do look better than the rest of us and here are some of their very simple secrets.

I first discovered this book at the Caspari store and fell in love with it.  I had not seen it before and it will be a big hit for anyone who loves to decorate.

I have blogged about this fabulous book before and it's in my own library.  Any horse lover will adore this book.  I am buying a few copies to give to some of my horsey friends.

If you love country life and have a friend on your list who also loves the lifestyle then this book will be a big hit.

I love this book and if you love anything about an Hermes scarf then you'll also want to add this one to the collection.  If your loved one wants a scarf and it's outside your budget then this is the very next best thing.

If you have someone on your list who adores Herend then this is the perfect book to give. 

This is one of my favorite design books and I love the winter house in this one.  Anyone who loves decorating will also be happy to find this under the tree.

Another really fun book to give and I'd love to add this one to my own collection (and it just came out). 

Happy gift giving.  We need to give more books!
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