Sunday, August 21, 2011



We did a bunch of holiday fairs in July and August---with two common themes--- the merchandise is available now, and no frivolous items. A practical side -to better one's life-a common MO...but still within the 'consumer discretionary' category---meaning something someone might not splurge on themselves...def gifts.

 Staged for media-offered popular choices: food/beverages, accessories, and electronics. ALL affordable too...

words/images holiday fair images by Judith Ecochard


In the spirit of all things wireless---we thought this a great family gift-an innovative (and good looking) wireless printer by HP-ENVY 100 e-All-In-One. It's touchscreen controls are simple to understand---and since it's web connected-no need for a PC though it can print and share with multiple PCs (Windows and MAC compatible) and stay connected via integrated wireless networking. (a good thing since HP is exiting that biz anyway.)

Photos, copies, scans (flatbed)...with memory card slots too.

ECO-note no PVC used to make, ENERGY STAR efficient and cartridges for ink easy recycling.

This might fall into the pre-holiday section-as SNAPFISH-the humongous online personal publishing servive-now has clothing, assorted photobooks, calendars, jewelry, "frecklebox" kids' personalized jigsaw puzzles, and wall decor-ready to customize----with your own images (even group projects)---or images from the rich LIFE photo archives (if yours aren't up to the task)-all ready for the making.

Pro quality picture books

Framed Art Canvases on SNAPFISH

"Made to shine"---the Silver Art collection form KRUPS would be a welcome household appliance---glam enough to perk up any and practicality comes together on a 10 cup filter coffee machine, a rather sophisticated pump espresso machine that we were told is easy to use and clean..., an electric tea kettle that boils water for instant anything (a must have item that American households typically don't have-and don't know what they are missing), a toaster, and an electric juice press for fresh juice-with itss own pouring spout.

Krups SIlver Art Toaster-X-wide with high lift function=no burnt fingers!

Citrus Press

Electric Tea Kettle

URBANEARS makes colorful headphones/earpieces that are out there...and we think, a welcome gift for the fashion set who want to match up form head to toe. Literally. Options now include Platten Plus collapsible earphones-with a microphone that's certified for iPod/ iPod/iPad/ .

LADY GAGA is all over the electronics markets these woman...and her collab with rapper/businessman Dr. DRE ---and his BEATS high performance in-ear-the now available HEARTBEATS headphones-  is fabulous.


Champagne might be the typical gift----but any high end bottle of something is always appreciated. Vodka has the advantage over say scotch----in that it lends itself to delish cocktails---that people who avoid hard liquor might appreciate (responsibly, of course)...

Owned by Bacardi---Grey Goose is made from 100% wheat and distilled right near said wheat fields in France ---"so it doesn't get stale"---we were told...when we asked what's the difference between one vodka over another.
Retail prices vary for premium GREY GOOSE Vodka-but each bottle is same high quality

Billed as "Fashionable Chocolates For Fabulous Fashionistas" these high quality chocolate bars, packaged brightly...hail from a company based in PA, SUGAR PLUM ...we sampled the aptly named DECADENTLY DARK CHOCOLATE- yummy!

Sugar Plum also makes fun NYC CHECKER CAB Carmel Crunch popcorn confections and a sinful, gorgethon confection CHOCOLATE MATTERHORN-a large colossal mound of popcorn, pretzel rounds, marshmallows, Oreos, crispy potato chips, and biscotti-all drenched in chocolate...beautifully packaged too. Trust us, you will be welcome in open arms with a box of this assuming you didn't eat it up first.

In smaller sizes- the Ch'Up Cake™  that looks like a cupcake-but yeah... replaces the cake with deeply rich Belgian chocolate-in flavors like 'Smores, Trail Mix, Expresso and Cookies 'N Creme...unreal---at least it's somewhat portion control. In nice packaging---and fyi kosher.

  Cupcakes are everywhere these days---we think their cuteness is old school so they better be good.

Stella's Sweet Shoppe---a real bake shop---from Miami and soon in NYC makes some of the best we have tasted the popular Red Velvet. Special themed icings, mixes with booze for grown-ups- and catering events too. Packages are festive---and deliveries/e-commerce available.

CRUMBS BAKE SHOP is going for a World Record with these gargantuan themed...we can't believe at the preview-no one ate one...too bad we were on the way to a swim practice-or those yummy treats would have been gone in a New York minute.

Although this was really part of Outdoor Retailer tradeshow-we thought the GOPICNIC, pre-boxed, shelf stable, easily portable and TSA friendly nutritionally balanced snacks/mini meals-featuring name brands serving for one size portion (control), and special diets available like gluten-free, vegan etc---very handy and a fun added item gift as part of a luggage set-or for people on their way to their to family-via tiresome travel routess.

WE think-Stash a few in the car trunk too---never know when the hunger hits...

Accessories as gifts are not a copout-we think any gal likes a well made carry-all for everyday, evening or travels.

JANE MARVEL travel bags and any wonderfully printed zipped carry-alls are thoughtful and eyeful-liked laminated canvas duffels and wheeled rollers,  and glitter cosmetic bags---made of easy to clean materials, lots of pockets, zipped ez access, and great styles...clearly a line lived by a woman on the go-Jane Saidenberg. Also available, work appropriate haulers, totes, and handbags.

Great prices typically ranging from $21-$135---and terrific party favors or keep a bag wrapped for that unexpected guest who will be looking under the Christmas Tree for hers!

Vegan Leather feels and looks like the real thing but chicer

Famous for their watches----FOSSIL is a multi-tasking label with modern fun, fresh pops of color in glazed leather--- and bold flower prints carryalls---most priced under $200 too.

Crossbodies and totes with a vintage flavor---select re-issues for the label- are all the rage...but with plenty of interior compartments for all our modern personal electronics.

Neutral booties

Rose Gold Watches are the key metal tone for 2011. All our Brit friends want one---

Neutral and cheery flowers on leather-mix and match accessories

What started as a cult fav travel brand---along the lines of a slightly more inexpensive Hunting World---KIPLING has grown into a full fledged label of smart/ bold, hip luggage, wallets, handbags, totes and all around haulers. 

In solids, graphic prints including animals, glittery and matte---there were shelves of enviable bags, backpacks and luggage---

A Collaboration with French designer JC DE CASTELJABAC -our top pick-this backpack is onsale less than $100- with free shipping too!

IMPRESSIVE selection including vintage styles...we thought of Le Sportsac---a line we haven't heard from lately.