Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Who needs Oprah? Here are Erin's favorite things:

The Devil's in the cards: ornaments from Hixsons

Hixsons is an old-timey place on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood (if you live in northeast Ohio and you do not go there once in a while, you are dumb). I used to walk to Hixson's as a kid and sit at the (now defunct) soda fountain, marvel over the psychedelic black light posters (hey, this was the 70's) and buy a piece of maple candy on my way out.

Today, the backroom still comes alive for the holidays, complete with vintage animatronic characters from the old Halle's downtown department store windows and the best selection of European glass ornaments around, many of which were designed by Bill Hixson. If you're lucky, Mr. Hixson will be in the store and will gladly sign and date  yours.

Fondue pot of humble hostess
I really love my cast iron fondue pot. There are plenty on the market. This one will put you back about $80. But what the hell do I care about that? I bought mine at Unique Thrift for $6, which is WHY I SHOULD BE IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING.

You can't beat this faux fur throw; you also can't wash it. But you can buy a trio of wonderful handmade lavendar sachets from zJayne and toss them in the dryer with the furry blankie on the air setting. The throw comes out fluffy and fresh. I love these sachets so much that I keep one in a glass jar on my desk and breathe in the scent of it whenever I need a little pick-me-up.

Liberty Puzzle under construction
The most beautiful wood puzzles you have ever seen come from Liberty Puzzles. Can't afford a Liberty? Springbok is a high-quality cardboard puzzle with great images and fun shaped pieces. And a tip o' the hat to RedisCover for their easy and funky two-sided odes to Rock 'n' Roll.

For a distinct crispy salty crunch that you have to experience to believe, Tell City Pretzel makes the best hard pretzels in all the land.

And to those gifters out there who are still on the fence over this high-dollar decision, I absolutely love love love my iPad.

You want the perfect stocking stuffer? This mini tripod goes anywhere (it fits in my purse) and has greatly improved my low light photographic endeavors.

Photo by humble hostess courtesy of point and shoot cam and mini tripod

Now dig this: Turns out his mother still keeps his foreskin in formaldehyde and he now is an expert at reading Tarot cards. It also turns out that you can get a whole book of sentences that fine: Gears by Alex Pruteanu.

Asbach confection serving suggestion
While we're on the subject, The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts is funny as hell and God knows we could all use a laugh. So if you want to give a little Erin O'Brien to someone on your list, do it by way of my book. It will not disappoint.

Let's end this on a sweet note. Asbach Pralinen Zarte Flaschchem is a very fine (and I daresay tiny) dark chocolate bottle that is lined with a sugar crust and filled with brandy (I am not shitting you). Available locally at Hansa Import Haus. Or go booze free with a Dagoba Chai chocolate bar, which is essentially a spiced chocolate orgasm enhanced with flecks of crystallized ginger.

As you can see, I know what I'm talking about. I just had one:

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Kalei's Best Friend said...

Oprah should take a look-see at this.. love that photo!... your list has more substance not commercial like hers...

Nin Andrews said...

I like that bitten chocolate. Reminds me when we were kids, we used to take pins to the underside of the chocolates to be sure we didn't get the wrong one!

You are the new Oprah! Go Erin!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would like an orgasm with Ginger.

I have been a good boy (sort of)

Thank You


Anonymous said...

Rotsa Ruck, RJ. Me and the Skipper worked on her for four seasons. No dice.-Gilligan

dba MR

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diane linch said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me of Hixson's and jigsaw puzzles and the tip about the tripod. I'm heading for Hixson's after work today. Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas to you.