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Friday Finds: The Santa’s Little Helper Edition

Normally I stick to things under fifty dollars on friday, but in honor of the official opening of the holiday shopping season, I’ve decided to ignore the limit this week. You’ll find goodies under fifteen dollars and others over two hundred. After all, you’ve got everyone from your Secret Santa at work to your lifelong best friend, to your immediate family on your list. You need inspiration from all price points.

Swiss Army Knife One of the handiest gadgets of all time is the classic Swiss army knife. Now Victorinox has reinvented it in a miniature size with stainless steel blades. At just 2 1/4″ long, it attaches to your key ring for your convenience. It comes with: one small knife blade, scissors, and a nail file. The practical soul on your holiday gift list will love this.

Normally, it runs $140.00, but Saks Fifth Ave is having a huge sale now through the 28th. Right now, even the sale items are on sale. The sale price on this item was $104.00, but now to Saturday it just $62.94!

Oh, and be sure to check out the bonus offers combined with the sale!  For instance, you can get free shipping by using code HOLIDAY9. If you spend at least $400.00 in Contemporary, you can get a $100.00 off card with code CONTEM9. And if you spend at least $100.00 in beauty and you can earn a $25.00 gift card with code BEAUTY9.

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Friday Finds Under Fifty: The Half-Baked Edition

One thing’s for sure: if you bake, the holidays are the best excuse in the world to do it. Of course you need good equipment to make the best cookies, cakes, pies, and breads. Here are a couple of my budget-friendly picks to make your life in the kitchen happier and more successful.

Rachel Ray Cookie Sheets Every year I swear I’m going to get new cookie sheets. I don’t have enough and I don’t have any that are nonstick. This year, I may just go ahead and do it with the deal I found on this Rachael Ray 2-pc. Nonstick Oven Lovin’ Cookie Lovin’ Set at Cooking.com.

You get two 17″ x 11″ nonstick cookie sheets with large and bright orange silicone handles for  easy handling. They’re dishwasher safe and able to withstand heat up to 500f. What’s more, with every purchase, a donation is made to Rachel’s Yum-o charity dedicated to teaching kids and their families about healthy relationships with food, as well as feeding hungry children.

All that and a sale? Sign me up! Because right now at Cooking.com, you can save about a quarter of the price on these great cookie sheets. Regularly priced at  39.95, you can get them right now for just 29.99! Now that’s a great way to feel good about making those holiday treats!

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Friday Finds Under Fifty: The On the Move Edition

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. When that moment arrives, you’ll want to have everything you need right to hand. After all, part of living the life superfantastic is being prepared for things no Boy Scout ever had to face.

For instance, that pesky question of how to store your delicates en route. I don’t recall my father and brothers discussing that matter when preparing to go to Scout camp back in the day. Tent stakes, yes. Silky undies…not so much.

Luckily enough, we have other resources than the Boy Scout manual to draw on for our needs. We have places like Wrapables.com.

MaggiB Lingerie Trio See, they have this practical and attractive set by MaggiB for handling your undies and for pampering yourself en route. The set includes: an 11″ x 13″ pouch for your lingerie, and a second pouch containing a pair of slippers (for shoe sizes up to 8.5), and an eyeshades, all in a matching satin brocade in your choice of black (shown) or mint. Just slip one pouch into your luggage and the other into your carry on, and go, all for just $16.99 (regular price $34.95).

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Sweet Pages of Inspiration

I love food. I love dessert. I would marry dessert if it were legal. I love cooking sweet things. I love sharing delectable treats with my friends and family. And so the other day when I was browsing in my Friendly Neighborhood Book Store, my eye was quickly caught by this most delightful tome:

Pure Dessert Cover As much as I adore baking traditional and expected pies and cakes, the thing that intrigued me about Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich was her fearless use of such unexpected ingredients as whole grains and slightly exotic cheeses in her desserts. She discusses at length the difference between vanillas produced in Mexico as opposed to Tahiti, as well as the subtle variations produced by using vanilla in extract, powder, or bean form. She also explains the differences between ten different types of sugar.

You won’t find some of her ingredients in the aisle of your local Safeway, but isn’t that what the internet is for? And even if you never make a single recipe from this book, it’s worth it for the food porn aspect. On the other hand, if you do make something, the point is the quality of ingredients and simplicity of presentation. As long as you use the best available ingredients and don’t make it fussy looking, you’re going to impress. Trust me, you’ll blow your guests away if you finish off a dinner party with one of Medrich’s recipes.

And now that I’ve waxed so very poetic about this book, why am I recommending it here? Why because it’s on sale at Sur La Table right now – and autographed, no less! Regularly priced at $35.00, it’s now available for just $17.49. But hurry! Stocks are limited and this is one deal you don’t want to miss!

To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is the Question

To which my answer is definitely ‘buy!’ If there’s someone you know who loves Shakespeare or if you love the Bard yourself, Shakespeare: the Life, the Works, the Treasures is a treasure trove of fascinating background material on his world and his writings. Discussions of Shakespeare’s likely inspirations and how his plays have been interpreted down the ages offer endless insights to the theater lover as well as the historian.

Shakespeare bookIn addition to all that, this book includes 30 pieces of facsimile memorabilia, including:

Shakespeare’s baptism record, marriage bond, and will; King James I’s patent allowing Shakespeare and his actors the right to perform their plays throughout the country; tickets from the opening of the Swan Theatre, and a great deal more.

The list price is $50.00, which isn’t at all a bad deal. But why pay that much when amazon.com has it available for $31.50? That’s a deal the Merchant of Venice would recommend!

Visions of Hollywood to Dance Through Their Heads

Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design
Hollywood costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis is president of the Hollywood Costume Designers Guild. She also designed the costumes for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Coming To America, which earned her an Acadamy Award nomination. Now she adds author to her list of accomplishments with Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design.

Using many previously unpublished photographs and sketches, this book gives an indside look at the art of costume design for film. This is the perfect gift for anyone interested in Hollywood, costume design, or the topsy-turvey world of film.

The better news? Amazon.com has it available for pre-order (release date: November 27) at just $47.25. That’s 37% off the cover price of $75.00. Best of all, if you pre-order now, you can get an extra 5% off the cover price.