Showing posts with label food by mail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food by mail. Show all posts

Friday, January 14, 2011

sweet stamps and cookies

Continuing the Random Acts of Kindness theme, I received three packages this week that made me emit little high-pitched squeals.

I am in a number of groups with hollycm6, and she sent me not one, but two random packages of goodies. One was filled with chocolate and Beatrix Potter stickers, and the other...with hand-carved rubber stamps! That she made especially for me! I love that I have my user name and a little wandering bee on a stamp. I've always wanted something like this because "honeybee" is my husband's nickname for me, but I don't actually make any sort of bee (other than tiny needle-felted ones)--so this is just perfect! 

The other stamp is another one I requested, which is an Ernie the Envie stamp. He's the super cute Swap-Bot symbol designed by Rachel Johnson--you can see his cheerful face on the link on the right side of this blog--and I can't wait to see him smiling approvingly on my future packages. Holly, by the way, is also the artist who sent me those great Red Riding Hood cards

I also received a small box of koala cookies from TraceyK. So cute and so delicious! There are a number of different koala bear designs, including koalas...eating cookies. Asian snacks and sweets always seem to be so much cuter than those produced in the rest of the world. Erm, even if the animals on the boxes have their heads removed so you can see the chocolate oozing out from inside.

It's always fun to receive swap packages, but when they're sent for no particular reason, somehow it makes it even nicer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

christmas tea parcel

Last week, I sent my gentlemen friends a Christmas package to help them get through all those cold winter nights. They're both tea drinkers, but they've never owned a proper tea pot, so I thought it was time to get them one.

I sent them a pretty white china tea pot and creamer, as well as our new favorite blend of tea from American Tea Room. This company, which is located in Beverly Hills, used to be known as the Palais du Thé and I'm a big fan of their lapsang souchong, which is a dark tea that tastes exactly like smoke. For this gift, we decided to go with the beautifully addictive new tea Nirvana, which is made up of Japanese sencha, figs, berries, rose petals and kiwi. I'm not usually a fruity tea person, but I love this particular drink--it's a subtle, sophisticated blend of florals and green tea that is mellow and smooth and absolutely unforgettable. If you'd like to order some for yourself or for a friend, the company does offer free shipping for orders over $50, and they have lots of great gift packages available as well.

It's not Christmas without books, of course, so I also sent them a copy of Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. I don't think either one of them have read it, and it's a nice cozy mystery to curl up with during the winter holiday. I really enjoy the challenge of finding children's books for my friends to read--I worked in book stores for many years, and my favorite question from parents was always "My son doesn't like to read. What would you suggest?" so I'm culling from that mental list as I send them books. So far, so good!

I packaged the tea things up in huge amounts of bubble wrap in a sturdy box, then prettied it up with paper adorned with birds, sequined ribbon, and a brass jingle bell. The book was a humble secondhand copy, but it's still befitting of holly tissue and vintage red velveteen ribbon. At the last moment, I also slid in a decorative pine cone that I glittered, and I quite like the overall festivity of the package. The presents are both simple and fancy...just like the boys they're going to.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

epicure imports

This weekend, we went to Epicure Imports for some gourmet goodies. The restaurant wholesale warehouse, which is open to the public just six times a year, stocks all kinds of delicious imported foods, including charcuterie, fine chocolates, and packaged goods at a discount.

We went primarily in search of this amazing truffle tagliatelle, which I've been unable to find anywhere in stores. We bought it last winter and it's amazingly addictive with the addition of just a little bit of butter and perhaps some fresh parmesan. For comparison's sake, this particular pasta sells for $18 a box online (ack!) versus $10 a box at the warehouse sale.

We also came away with some cheese, sausage, truffle butter, and a few other goodies, although compared to most shoppers there, our basket was pitifully small. Part of the fun of going is really to see people loading up their shopping carts with huge quantities of food and hearing all the totals being rung up. It's pretty exciting to see the vast amounts of money people are able to spend on food! We certainly don't eat like this all the time, but it's nice to have a little taste of it now and then.

Epicure's website is rather unreliable, but they recently did set up a Facebook page, which is sporadically updated, but I am also posting their 2011 sale dates below.

Epicure Imports 2011 Open Warehouse Dates
6900 Beck Ave., N. Hollywood, CA 91605

February 11 - 12
April 15 - 16
June 10 - 11
September 23 - 24
November 18 - 19
December 16 - 17

Please remember to call ahead to verify hours and dates. If you're in the Los Angeles area and you love to eat, Epicure is definitely worth a trip.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

magical package

Fair warning: I am going to gush.  I received a call from my husband while I was away saying, "You got a box that is covered in bunnies." I knew immediately that it was a package from my new friend Holly in England, and I couldn't wait to get back home to Los Angeles and tear into the box. When I came back there were 4 different swap packages and 9 postcards, but I saved hers to open for last because I knew it was going to be amazing. But even with that expectation, the box completely blew me away.

I'm actually surprised this wasn't lost in transit, because look how cute and tempting it is, all covered in rabbits! Such a tease. The contents inside were even better, though, and included: a dear little recipe book of British sweets with vintage-y illustrations, two clever little pins, postcards, beautiful rubber stamps (a bee! a bee!) and tissue tapeBritish snacks and sweets (with bears, hedgehogs, and jelly people!), children's book papers tied up with lace, two wonderful little books she knew I would love, Pooh wrapping paper with E.H. Shepard illustrations, stamp fabric, a darling roll of deco tape, and lovely, muted fabric tape with a Norwegian doll print.

The most wonderful things of all, however, were the items she handmade for me. I've received a lot of envelopes made from recycled paper, but these were the most perfectly creased and crisp and dear little envelopes I've ever seen. I received two generous bundles of these, along with cunning little Pooh tags that I couldn't possibly give up to anyone else, a beautiful folded Secret Garden notepad, and best of all, a gorgeous Secret Garden paper garland.

I kept marveling over that impossibly perfect garland, with the book papers punched out with exactly the right mysterious words (clearly done by someone who knows and loves the book too), the rubber stamping of crow and key together, the slight distressing of color here and there, and the little glints of flower embellishments in all the right places. It's so beautiful, and I think once I reorganize my craft closet I will have to hang it up in there. I know it will inspire me and make me happy whenever I see it.

I loved every single bit of this box. Everything is so perfectly made, and so perfect for me! I can't even tell you how amazing it is to know someone after such a short little while, and then to receive something that is so exactly suited to your taste. I'm so touched over the amount of thoughtfulness and care that went into this package, and so very humbled that Holly thought I was worthy of it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

vintage birdie pitcher

Our houseguest has left town, which makes me a little sad. It's always hard when friends live far apart, and the people I'm closest to--aside from my husband, of course--all live in different parts of the country.

We had a lovely time while he was here though, and being a thoughtful houseguest, he brought along some great housewarming presents for us. Aside from tee-shirts, wine, and other goodies from his current movie project, I also received a Hello Kitty fan and a cute vintage birdie pitcher.

He got the birdie from Brooklyn Flea, and though the seller said he might've been used for juice at one point, I've decided to keep him out on my butcher's block so I can see him more easily. He fits in very nicely with the utensil-holding sheep, which were a present from my brother many years ago. I wish I knew how old he is (potters, please put dates inside or underneath your work!), but I love his animated expression and the suggestion of wings and feathers in the ceramic.

We also got a big basket of wine today from my husband's boss...three nice bottles of Francis Ford Coppola, sea salt caramels, and other tempting treats. It's funny we've been getting so many packages in the mail recently, but it's nice to have thoughtful friends and family thinking of us!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

lavender ice cream

A dear friend is in town this week, so I'm afraid I've been a little absent for the past few days. Summer is getting off to a marvelous start for us, however, with a Dodgers game (which is really just an excuse to have a giant hot dog and a beer) last weekend, a beautiful charcuterie and cheese plate with wine at Cube, books in the park, and...lavender ice cream!

Mashti Malone's, a Persian ice cream parlour in Hollywood, makes all of its kosher rosewater-based treats on site. I love roses but am not the biggest fan of the scent, so I was a bit worried that I'd find the rose flavor overpowering--or that the lavender would taste too perfume-y. But the lavender ice cream was absolutely perfect, fresh and light and fragrant at the same time. The icy texture was silky smooth, and the flavor was subtle but distinctly interesting and pleasurable all the way through.

I'll definitely be back to Mashti's to taste some of their other flavors, including saffron, pomegranate, and Turkish Coffee, though I'd probably skip the sugar cone next time. For those not in Los Angeles, Mashti's will also ship their pints overnight via FedEx--and since their ice cream has no eggs, no preservatives, no corn syrup, and no artificial flavors, it's probably one of the healthiest sweet treats you could ever hope for.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

housewarming present

It's a pleasant surprise when you wait around all day for curtains you've ordered and the UPS man shows up with a housewarming present instead. This bottle of rosé and chocolates came yesterday from a friend on the east coast, and was prettily packaged in a box with a cherry blossom slip cover. Quite a nice way to begin the weekend.

Monday, March 1, 2010

chocolate penguins

We finally finished the love package our friends sent us for Valentine's Day. In the pink tissue-wrapped package from La Burdick were these adorable chocolate penguins.

The dark chocolate and lemon ganache body is fitted with almond arms and covered in dark and white chocolates. So cute and so delicious! Makes for a great present, especially since they offer online shopping and shipping. If penguins aren't your cup of tea, the shop also makes adorable chocolate mice as well as other assorted chocolate candies. More photos and info on the store here.

We could hardly stand to eat the penguins, they were so cute. But somehow...we managed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

love-filled package

A knock on the door today yielded an unexpected package: Valentines from my gentlemen friends in New York. Surprises are so nice, especially when they include delicious things like:

*chocolates from La Burdick
*homemade peanut butter chocolate cookies
*homemade tangelo curd
*a hilarious silk-screened necklace featuring Tippi Hedren from Marnie, one of my favorite films of all time

I love the vintage Valentine card that they sent, too. It's addressed to me and my "German soldier," by the way, because my friend recently read Summer of My German Soldier by Betty Greene, which was one of my favorite YA books as well. And because my husband is blonde-haired and blue-eyed.

Such sweet handmade treats! But best of all is the love and thought that went into the package.

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