Merry Christmas…

…to all my fashionable friends!

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Holiday Handbags

I’m one of those folks who carries enough stuff in a handbag to make it through just about any unforeseen disaster. This translates to the need to have a purse of significant size, yet not so big that I feel as if I’m carrying around a small apartment. In addition to being functional, practical, and a just-right size, it also has to be drop-dead gorgeous. Yah, I think that about covers it.

On Saturday, my husband gave me the stunning plum-colored handbag on display in the middle of the second shelf. Granted, I dropped a huge hint—something like, “Honey! Look at that handbag! Isn’t it outstanding? Oh, I love it!”—and he was thoughtful enough to go back to the store a day later and buy it for my birthday.

The store in question? Maiden Lane, of course. Their selection of Brighton handbags is enough to make your head spin and your heart race. Lots of styles, sizes, and colors are available, and many of them sport an exotic metallic leather that hails straight—and exclusively—from Paris.

I can’t think of a better last-minute Christmas present!

Season’s Eatings

OK…that title is a bad pun, I know, but I saw it on the Food Network and it seemed the right fit for this blog post.

I love giving and getting cookbooks at holiday time. To me, a cookbook is a multi-dimensional gift: the beauty of the design, the inspiration of the recipes, and the conviction that I can create those culinary masterpieces in my very own kitchen.

Cookbooks abound at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, where you’ll find bestsellers from some of the world’s most renowned chefs. Every day, you can enjoy 15% off the store’s entire selection of books–from cookbooks to travel books to coffee-table books. The inventory is constantly changing, so it’s always a new and exciting adventure.

Maiden Lane is located at 307 Broad Street in Nevada City, CA, and can also be accessed online at maidenlanenc.com.

Sweeten Your Holidays

Christmas is the time of year when the pleasure and delight of sweets gets kicked up a notch. From festively decorated sugar cookies to nonna’s biscotti…from homemade toffee to lovingly prepared jams and jellies…the holiday recipes get dusted off and prepared for loved ones near and far. If you’re not a wizard in the kitchen…or if other responsibilities have filled all your time slots this season…Maiden Lane has the solution. Candy—and what extraordinary candy it is!

Old-fashioned jars hold fabulous treats—like mint cookies and cream malt balls, dark chocolate ginger drops, pastel cherries, and chocolate toffee almonds. Little ribbon-tied bags make great stocking stuffers, and they’re also a sweet little gift for a special friend. Another option: I bought four varieties, put them in a pretty wooden box, and sent them to one of my clients as a thanks-for-a-great-year gift. And here’s a novel thought: buy a bag or two just for you! After all, we all deserve something perfectly decadent at holiday time.