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15 Holiday Hostess Gifts From Zazzle

I’m really excited to share my 15 favorite gifts from Zazzle because I’ve recently fallen in love with this site. It’s bananas, it’s just tops! I’ve now managed to turn most of my friends onto it and they are ordering and experimenting with putting their designs and photos on products too. And for the holidays, it’s a great place to shop, especially if you are looking for the perfect gift for a host or hostess since so many of us are invited to lots of soirées this time of year. You can shop Zazzle anytime of the year though whether you need some goodies for yourself or dear friends. Zazzle is the place to go!

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When I first came across the site I didn’t know what to think – there was so much and I didn’t “get” that everything could be personalized and I do mean everything. But then I placed an order (I live in Germany and got everything within 3-4 days!) and fell in love with my loot – I ordered cards and address labels, a blanket for Aidan, a custom poster for his room, etc.

Then Zazzle was nice enough to send me some products of my choice from their site to test so I’m sharing those in addition to some of my loot below. I tell ya, because you can personalize gifts on Zazzle, you can totally impress your friends with this stuff. It’s so much more thoughtful than to just throw whatever from some big store into a gift bag at the last minute, right? You can put your own graphic designs on things, photos, you name it. If you’re a graphic designer or take decent photos, this is a dream come true. I am already dreaming up some ideas!

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1/ Custom Merry + Bright cards, signature matte, 5×7 2/Envelopes 5×7, in Caspian 3/ Forest return address labels. I am in love with my non-holiday cards this year. With so many being of different faiths, or none at all, I like to just send notes at the end of the year to send my love and greetings from my heart. These are perfect and such great quality. You can add images to the flip side, but I just kept mine in standard solid yellow because it’s cheery and I can write a message there.

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4/ Panda pattern pillow, lumbar 13×21, grade A cotton in mint (D9ebdd) 5/ Cute Dots throw pillow in black and white, 16×16, grade A cotton with zipper 6/ Mustache little man baby blanket 7/ Modern Navy Blue Peach Watercolor Block Stripes Fleece Blanket 50X60. I definitely know my way around any home product or store and therefore, I know quality (or not) when I see it.

The mustache blanket for baby is really good – thin but strong – and very black and very crisp white which I love. Aidan loves it! The watercolor blanket is super cozy for watching French films (I’m a junkie!) on cold nights. The two throw pillows are just gorgeous – the colors, the fabric, really great for the price. The dots will go in my work studio and the pandas in Aidan’s nursery on his black Eames rocker.

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10″ diameter Melamine plates: 8/ Light as a Feather 9/ Pink Lemonade 10/ Paradise Floral 11/ Cat Lady  – I am a total fangirl of melamine now since having a child because I know these will become our dinnerware of choice for the first several years – so my little boy gets the cats because he gets super excited over anything black and white right now due to his age, he is so attracted to very graphic patterns.

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12/ Sturdy iPhone 6 plus case in gold dots, tough. I tested it by doing what I do best, dropping my phone a thousand times. Yup, the phone still works.

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13 / Merry & Bright cheeseboard, Ventana with black handles. I can’t wait to use this, I know I’m an adult but I’ve never owned a cheeseboard like this with actual tools in my whole life!

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14/ There is always room for more cake tea towels – and they are those great waffled-cotton kind. So pretty. 15/ OMG Cake baking pan with lid. Could this get more cute (or accurate)? I can’t wait to bake a cake to take to the next ladies club meet-up in my city. They all speak English and will totally get this expression, most of my German friends wouldn’t understand.

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I’ve photographed everything above a bit more moody because we have zero natural light today, it’s very stormy, plus I reasoned that Zazzle has everything on their site true-to-color and professionally shot so why do over what they’ve so expertly done? I thought instead to share my own creative touch and since product shots can be boring why not add a filter and have some fun! But please note, some of the colors you see above are not exactly as they are on the site, so just look at the product on Zazzle for the true-to-life tones.

Also, when ordering pillows I highly suggest buying the best grade fabric you can afford like mine above. I also must add that the Zazzle pillows include zippers which was a big bonus for me because you can put in your own goose down inserts if you want squishier pillows though I really like the Zazzle inserts because they weren’t overstuffed so the pillow still had some squishiness to it. And with zippered cases, you can easily toss them in the wash. When it comes to ordering the best quality you can afford, the same goes for paper products, always order the best. Paper and fabric are the two materials that you just can’t mess with because they are so tactile and when it comes to paper, you want it to feel good in your hands and with fabrics, you want something like a pillow to feel nice against your face when you are watching a film on the sofa.

Have you entered the Zazzle giveaway yet? You have until the 12th to enter HERE.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Zazzle.com. All content and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to earn a living doing what I love.

(images: holly becker for zazzle)

Posted in shopping on December 10, 2014

I Heart Skandinavisk Candles

I’ve been curious about Skandinavisk candles because I’ve seen them a lot online and wondered if they are as good as they look. I’m a terribly picky candle person because I have these weird allergies and some candles leave me with Kanye West style migraines that make me want to head for the ER. I’m not even kidding. You can’t put me around a Yankee Candle store because I’ll have a massive headache all day long. And you can forget any candles that are “affordable”. They usually make my throat close up and my head pound within minutes after lighting them.

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So yeah, if I’m going to talk about scented candles you can believe I’m only going to brag if they are quality, good for sensitive people like me and they look great. This is why Skandinavisk candles are among the small but special group of my favorites currently on the market. I tried KØBENHAVN, HYGGE and KOTO and love all three despite how very different their scent. There they are above in my home. I’ve already gifted my husband with Koto, he liked that scent best. The other two are for me.

  • KØBENHAVN is very fresh, it’s a minimalist apartment in the city, a glass of white wine. My husband says it reminds him of the flower stands as he walked by Bryant Park in New York. It’s refined. It’s very metropolitan.
  • KOTO is heady, evening perfume, Kyoto 京都市, in the evening during cherry blossom season. A Buddhist temple, incense burning in a Shinto shrine at dusk. A holy place, a place of peace, harmony, security.
  • HYGGE is very cozy, smells a bit like Lapsang souchong (Chinese black tea) so it is a bit smokey, combined with wildflowers growing by the sea. A magical place where forest meets sea. Salty air. A vacation you never want to leave. Wrapped in a cozy sweater sitting on sandy banks facing deep blue waters.

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In summary, I’m really impressed with these candles and plan to buy some for friends and to continue using them in my own home. In fact, now that Autumn is on it’s way, I can’t wait to change up my decor a bit to cozy it up for the cold days ahead and that always includes a few new candles – so I’m definitely going to use these for the months ago.

Please note: All products in this post are decor8 tested and approved.

(images: first, holly becker – all others, skandinavisk)

Posted in shopping on September 17, 2014

Happy French Gang + Free Shipping Until August 17th!

I’m so excited to introduce you to a new artist I’m currently supporting in my shop, textile artist Sandra from Happy French Gang. This is a label that this creative talent launched just last year. Her collection of yummy textiles – swaddle blankets, curtains, bunting, throws, pillows, bedspreads, etc. combine her laid back coastal California lifestyle with her French sense of chic. She makes all of her products by hand in San Francisco and dyes them in fabulous ways to create dreamy tints and tones of delicious sorbet hues with super bright edges, which is a fantastic little detail that I adore.

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I personally love and want the curtains custom made (which she offers) for my window and a big, fat blanket for Autumn!

If you buy anything from my shop until August 17th, whether it’s from Happy French Gang or another independent artist, then shipping is 100% free no matter where you live on this big happy planet. So…. Check out my shop to see what I’m stockin’ and load up now on handmade goods while shipping is free. Have fun!

(images: happy french gang)

Posted in shopping on August 12, 2014

Lorna Syson – Put A Bird On It!

I heard about Lorna Syson during the same time last summer but I was too pregnant and too sick with pregnancy illness to pay any attention to her lovely email. Such a shame. Thankflly, she’d not given up on me and was in contact again just recently to announce a few new additions to her homewares collection.

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I think the little birds are so darling and I like the bold color blocking on pillows and lampshades too. With wallpaper, pillows, lampshades, fabrics, cards and prints, there is a little something for everyone. Have a look…

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And do you remember when everyone online was saying, “Put a bird on it”, because of that episode on Portlandia? I think it’s so true, you can put a bird on something and it’s an instant winner and I don’t mean that in a negative way – it’s so true. Just today, my Bramley Tote diaper bag from Pink Lining arrived that I bought online recently, and I squeeeeealed with delight. Why? It has owls ALL OVER IT. See what I mean (here)?

So yeah, these Lorna homegoods make me happy, too. Birds! Weeee!

(Photos: Yeshen Venema)

Posted in shopping on July 24, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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