Archive for the ‘Registry’ Category

I love, love, love our new electric water kettle. It is so useful. It boils water quickly and with just the turn of a switch. If I had to advise one item that every house should have, it would be an electric kettle. And there are so many cool designs!

The biggest bit of advice with an electric kettle – get one with a lift-off base. It means you don’t have to worry about unplugging the kettle when you fill it up, and it’s safer for pouring the boiling water too.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Breville Ikon Electric Teakettle (1-qt. capacity, $69.95 at Williams-Sonoma) – This is ours. It has a really clean, modern shape and cool spring loaded lid. I love the LED light-up water gauge. When it’s on, it looks like R2D2!

  • Kalorik Aqua Glass Electric Kettle ($79.99 at Linens-n-Things) – This one wins for modern sleek design. It would look totally swanky sitting on a kitchen counter. I’m unclear what the size is, or whether that glass base would stand the test of time.

  • Cuisinart Electric Teakettle (1.75-qt capacity, $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma). This one has classic, old-fashioned kettle looks with modern electric technology. My one concern here is the handle, which looks awkward for pouring leverage. But the look is one of a kind if you want a real teakettle appearance!

  • Capresso Electric Kettle (48 oz capacity, $59.99 at Crate and Barrel) – This clear glass one looks so cool. I can’t decide if it would be fun or drive me slowly crazy to wait and watch the water boil…

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I just visited our local Target and there’s a huge new display of outdoor, beach, picnic, and party goods by everyone’s favorite entertainer, Cynthia Rowley. You can find a fair amount of it on the Target website here, but I found lots of stuff that isn’t on the website when I went in person (like fun paper goods and decorative items!). If you have a Target registry, don’t pass these up:

Plastic fruit tumblers are $23.99 for set of 12:

Sailboat pocket tote bag with mini-binoculars makes a cute bridesmaid gift ($16.99):

Rattan 12-piece melamine dinnerware set (just $19.99 and also comes in pink!!):

Madras plaid steel beverage tub could look great at an outdoor reception ($12.99):

But here’s the high-low find of all time.

Tiffany & Co used to have the “Fruits” ceramic bowl and tray pictured below (since discontinued, but relatively pricey I assure you):

Here’s Rowley’s melamine fruit bowl and platter set ($13.99) and fruit tray ($9.99) that give you much the same, summery look for bargain prices!

This colorful, retro-cool stuff is great for an outdoor pre-wedding BBQ, rehearsal dinner, farewell brunch, or even a DIY wedding by the sea.

Love it, love Rowley!

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A wedding gift arrived today: the Williams-Sonoma Popover Pan!

For any reader who’s ever had popovers, you know that these eggy baked concoctions are pure heaven on earth. I did a little jig when I saw what was inside the box (which I’ll get to later), and immediately whipped up some popover batter.


I’d made popovers tons of times before in muffin tins, but this pan lets you make them on a whole other level. They are super-easy to prepare, and they come out absolutely, magazine-quality perfect. This would really wow a group of houseguests or just be a fantastic weekend surprise!

Check out my popovers (the only two left since we pounced the minute they came out of the oven. These are the runts of the litter!):

My only gripe is a broader one about Williams-Sonoma: Everything arrives in massive boxes with tons of interior packaging and foam peanuts. I realize that they have to make sure things arrive in one piece, but the size of some of these boxes has been utterly ridiculous.

Here is a photo of all the packaging that came with this single, relatively small popover pan:

It looks absurd, right?!?

So get thee to a Williams-Sonoma store and buy thyself a popover pan… without the surplus packing!

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A Giveaway Worth Doing

I arrived home today from class and there was a big cardboard box on our front porch! When I opened it, I realized it was the FREE 8″ nonstick frying pan from Calphalon that I got for simply registering for $600 of Calphalon products on our Williams-Sonoma registry! It’s gorgeous! Perfect for frying up a single egg or one grilled cheese.

Please note my red manicure that I got for my shower this past weekend…

All I had to do was print out our registry and fill out an address form, and a few weeks later the frying pan arrived.

I strongly recommend that anyone who registered for pots and pans from Calphalon (at W-S, and I think also at other stores) avail themselves of this deal. I found it on a link on the W-S registry manager. Totally worth it!

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I’ve had plenty of time to peruse registries and housewares, so I thought I would profile a few of my most favorite new additions to the main brands. Enjoy and hope this inspires all you newly engaged people to kick off your own registries!

Apilco cow creamer from Williams-Sonoma ($28):  We had one just like this when I was a little kid. On really special days, my mom would let us use the cow to pour milk into our cereal!


DwellStudio Baroque bedding from Target ($24-70): This is so lovely, but also cool and interesting. I love the yellow throw pillow in the center contrasted with the black and white everywhere else.


Pinkney Street cylinder vase by Kate Spade ($125): Something about the shape of this cylindrical vase with the circles carved out is very classic, yet more interesting than just a bland plain one. I just love it!


Paris Salt and Pepper Mills from Crate and Barrel ($36.5/each): I love the fact that these are white, and have classic lines. They’d look great on any surface table. Made in France!


Blue Crab Polycarbonate Drinkware from Bed Bath and Beyond ($39 each): These would be great for the summer! I love cups like this – they don’t “sweat” in hot weather and keep your drink nice and cool. These crab ones are cute.


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Choosin’ China!

We are trying to find an everyday china that we can throw in the dishwasher and the microwave.  The problem is: I have found very little that is microwave-safe that I also like to look at!  Here are the top contenders (please feel free to leave your comments/opinions):

Top Note by Barbara Barry for Wedgwood:  This one is pricier, and definitely on the upper range of “casual” china. It’s bone china. It is a very nice, plain white with two very thin black stripes around the edge.  I’m just not sure about black and white china…


Switch 3 by Villeroy and Boch:  This pattern is really country cottage, but my fiance really likes it and I think it’s very pretty too. You can pick any of the zillions of matching patterns to complement each other, so we’d have lots of options for each piece:


Big Issue: I LOVE this flatware for our kitchen, so I really want to find casual china that matches it. I think the Switch 3 would actually clash too much with the red. But I don’t really love the harshness of the black and white Top Note with the red either:


This leads me to think what we need is more plain white plates… These are all Williams Sonoma and I love them all. But is plain old white just plain old boring?


(same with a blue band)


and this one is a little bit different:



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Happy New Year!


I know at least two of my friends got engaged over the holidays, so I’m guessing that there are more than a few newly engaged people out there. Congratulations!

This vacation was registry mania for me – We augmented the one we already had, and set up two others. The winner out of the gate so far is Michael C. Fina.


I strongly recommend it to any brides in the tri-state area (or beyond: their website is really comprehensive, but the only store is on 5th Avenue in NYC). Michael C. Fina has an amazing array of china patterns (casual and fine) and really fantastic customer service.


One really great feature that Michael C. Fina offers is the “Consolidated Wedding Registry.”  Basically, they don’t ship you any of your gifts until after your wedding.  This is perfect for people like me, who are moving shortly after their wedding. Now we can just have everything shipped directly to our new place.

If anyone else has unbiased registry feedback, feel free to post a comment!

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