Tuesday, December 29, 2009

thanks, but...

you survived the holidays with the in-laws, outlaws and everyone in between, but your real survival instincts will kick in when you have to fight the crowds at your local electronics superstore to return to the kindle that your mom thought was sooooo you (sorry, but a true bookworm would never abandon the old-fashioned hardback). in keeping with the spirit of the season, we offer you three tips to exchanging gifts graciously:

1. when you find yourself in double trouble (i.e. the gift you just opened has a twin already living at your house), tell the giver he/she is so thoughtful and knows you a little too well since you just bought one for yourself last month. flattery opens the door for a simple exchange.

2. when the shoe (or dress, or top...) doesn't fit or the style is just way off, smile pleasantly and concoct a little white lie about how you can't wait to wear it to such and such an event. you can always exchange clothing for something you would actually wear...or just hide it in the back of the closet until your next big purging season.

3. when all else fails, remember that one's trash is always someone else's treasure. we are not opposed to re-gifting as long as you tell the recipient up-front that it was a gift given to you that you just can't use yourself. never try to pass off a re-gift as your own, and make sure the one you pass it to has no affiliation with the original giver.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

what: lizzie fortunato "on the road" necklace, $160
who: your teenage daughter. because she hates everything you pick out. because she's an individual. because you secretly want to make her smile (and mean it!) this christmas. lizzie fortunato's grown-up take on the old school "friendship bracelet" has blossomed into a sold-out collection that had fashion editors drooling last fall. lucky for you poole shop just received lizzie fortunato's spring collection, which now includes a necklace (left) accented in bright, spring hues. At a price that won't have you dipping into her college fund, you may have stumbled upon this year's perfect gift.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

wrap yourself in a christmas package

what: epice circus scarf, $245
who: your best friend. she's the veritable "girl who has everything," and this time of year always stirs up a friendly rivalry as you try to outdo one another in the gifting department. last year she won by trumping your diptyque candle (weren't we in a recession?) with her funky christopher kane cashmere gloves. get her back this year with the quirky circus scarf from epice. with a unique and colorful motif, this scarf is the perfect accessory and a conversation-starter all on its own. wrap it up, and go ahead and take a victory lap.

Monday, December 14, 2009

five golden rings

what: matina amanita topaz flora ring, $488
who: your mother-in-law. you don't have the same taste in clothes or music or food, but she did give birth to your husband, so make it a good one this year. the flashy flora ring from matina amanita has just the right amount of spunk and sizzle to fit her harried lifestyle. give her the sky blue topaz that is universally flattering, and you can be sure this year she won't be shaking her head telling herself "it's the thought that counts."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's christmas eve and these shoes are just her size

what: repetto ballet flats, $141
who: your sister. she's laid back, casual and doesn't know the difference between tory burch and tori spelling. you finally rid her closet of merrell's and dansko's, so it's your job to find the right fit for her this holiday season. enter: repetto flats. the perfect little shoe for moms or students or anyone looking for a little comfort and a break from the whacked-out platform concoctions that have been styling shelves the past few seasons. with perky color choices such as kelly green and navy blue, repetto flats are the perfect accent for daytime garb.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a candle in the window

what: calypso mimosa candle, $38
who: your co-worker. candles are a great gift because they can be equally bestowed upon a great friend or someone you see everyday yet know virtually nothing about (except that she likes cats as is evident by the wall calender plastered on her cubby). scents can be tricky, so stick with something classic and fresh like mimosa from calypso. it's perfect for the bathroom or a guest room and is light enough to please any palette.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

visions of sugarplums...

what: organica deluxe fleur de sel caramels, $26
who: your son's 4th grade teacher. nothing says "thank you" for putting up with your son on his good days and the bad like a mouth-watering box of chocolates. this year bypass the mini godiva boxes at the barnes & noble checkout in favor of the salty, sweet, and bitter dark chocolate flavors that spew forth from the organica deluxe fleur de sel carmels. if you haven't tried these yourself by now, be sure to grab a box for yourself. guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone's face even on the most hectic of days, you're son will soon be teacher's pet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

two little candy canes winked at me

what: t by wang striped baggy tank, $89
who: your niece. you're the "fashionista" of the family, so inevitably it's your job to find the niece's gift. she's 12; she likes miley cyrus and selena gomez but also covets the louboutin's she uncovered in your closet. while you don't want to spoil her with a prada bag all her own this year, you can give her a little piece of fashion with this adorable nautical tank from t by wang. she'll know exactly how to layer it and may even teach you a thing or two about so-called "fashion."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

...in a one horse open sleigh

what: wendi reed dancing horse cardigan, $450
who: your mother. you have to admire her unwavering dedication to all things holiday, but if you see one more santa-themed sweater complete with tinsel and fuzzy balls, you might lose it. sure, the grand kids love a dancing snowman, but the adults would rather have a preschool-free christmas. this year show your mom you respect her holiday spirit with a quirky sweater that has just enough whimsy for the kids (dancing horses!) but is grownup enough to last throughout the winter. on christmas morning this wendi reed cardigan is nothing short of festive, but in the middle of february it's just downright cute. the added bonus: you won't be sick of seeing it next year...and the year after...and the year after...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'tis the season to be merry

what: leather wine log from organica deluxe, $25
who: your husband's boss. every year you try to distinguish yourself from all the clark griswolds out there by coming up with a truly unique gift for the head honcho. you know he fancies himself a wine connoisseur who is prone to ordering pinotage from south africa by the caseload (and rumor has it he's experimenting with a burgeoning "winery" on his farm). while a bottle of screaming eagle could turn your husband into quite the suck-up, a thoughtful little wine log will do the trick in showing you have his best interests at heart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

rockin' around the christmas tree

what: meredith wendell "rockstar" clutch, $295
who: your brother's girlfriend. she may not officially be part of the family yet, but you've become accustomed to seeing her face at family gatherings over the past eight years. she's cute, fun and has a great sense of style (what exactly she sees in your brother, on the other hand, remains a question). you always strive to get her something cutting-edge so she'll someday think of you as her "cool" sister-in-law. this year you'll hit the mark by choosing meredith wendell's iridescent leather clutch with hologram tiffany glass.

Monday, November 30, 2009

on the first day of christmas...

welcome to the poole shop gift guide. from now until december 24th, we'll present you (no pun intended) with the best presents for everyone on your list this year. from grandmas to long-lost cousins and family members you'd rather disown, our collective brains have come up with some real show stoppers guaranteed to please. you'll probably even find a couple things for yourself along the way...cheers!
what: 3.1 phillip lim lace driving glove
who: your eccentric great-aunt. you never know what to get your grandmother's sister, but she's been at every family gathering sipping her special christmas cocktail ever since you were wishing for the barbie dream house. she's lived in paris and london and once had a brief affair with a famous actor in the 1940's. she's seen a lot in her day and isn't surprised by much, but this year we're confident she'll love the old-world luxury and charm of phillip lim's lace driving glove. it may even take her back to her great gatsby prohibition days.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

move over, pumpkin pie

traditions create a sense of comfort and nostalgia, but we sometimes can't silence the cynic inside who says traditions can be predictable and downright boring. so this year why not shake up your thanksgiving fiesta by offering a new dessert (gasp!) in place of the grande dame of thanksgiving, pumpkin pie. we found this delightful little recipe on marthastewart.com, and we can't wait to test it out. not only do we love the tempting flavors of this gingery fruity dessert, but also the presentation is way more chic than your classic pumpkin pie:


- 2 bags (12 ounces each) cranberries, fresh or frozen

- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

- 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger

- 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 2 cups heavy cream

- 2 homemade or store-bought all-butter pound cakes (12 ounces each) cut into 3/4 inch-thick-slices

- candied orange zest, for garnish (optional)


1. in a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, ginger and 2 cups water. bring to simmer over medium; cook until cranberries begin to burst, 8-10 minutes. let compote cool completely.

2. make cream filling: using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar and vanilla on high until well combined. with mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream; continue beating until soft peaks form.

3. arrange 1/3 cake in 3-quart serving dish. spoon 1/3 compote over cake; spread to sides of dish. dollop 1/3 cream over compote; spread to sides of dish. repeat twice, ending with cream filling. cover, refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). garnish with candied orange zest, if desired.

4. surprise everyone at thanksgiving with the new dessert, and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

rock and roll is here to stay

on sunday, november 29th, HBO will air four hours of the 25th anniversary rock and roll hall of fame concerts, and all the buzz leading up to this monumental event has reminded us that rock and roll and fashion have always gone hand in hand. to honor this special occasion, poole shop has found the best rocker-chic looks of the season and put together one serious outfit. of course, feel free to take your own creative license by dismantling our look and working the separate pieces into your own wardrobe.

born to run: we can't tell you how much we love alexander wang's natasha pump ($490), and it is the perfecting launch pad for the rock and roll girl. put these on, and the rest comes naturally.

satisfaction: how cool are these tie-dye leggings from j brand ($205)? as soon as you pull them on, you'll be chanting "under my thumb" and channeling mick jagger while dancing to the music in your head.

whiter shade of pale: a simple top will not due for the rock and roller, so that's why the cage top ($295) from alexander wang is perfect. the slashed shoulders give this classic shape a new attitude to help unleash your inner badass.

walk on the wild side: when ordinary denim just won't do, check out this black studded denim jacket courtesy of current/elliott ($475).

light my fire: aptly named the jagger cuff from dannijo ($390)...need we say more?

rockin' in the free world: the perfect little bag to sling across your body to top off your rockin' look. alexander wang gunny ($620).

Monday, November 23, 2009

give your hostess the mostest

if you're like us and letting someone else brave the dreaded family holiday gathering at their house this thursday, we have some ideas for hostess gifts that will guarantee an invitation next year. just remember to keep it simple by looking for something smelly, tasty, tipsy or cozy:

smelly: one of our favorite go-to gifts is a fabulous candle. no one really wants to spend $50 on a candle for themselves, but it's a gift that's always appreciated. right now, poole shop has dayna decker candles courtesy of the organica deluxe pop-up shop in a variety of scents and two sizes that retail for $36 and $55 respectively.

tasty: the pumpkin pie won't last forever, so leave your hostess with a gift she can enjoy all by herself once the crowd has dispersed. we're obsessed with the organica deluxe fleur de sel caramels that are handmade in brooklyn and absolutely divine. the cute heart-shaped box retails for $25, and don't miss the tiny $9 box for your own little "pick-me-up" following a harrowing day spent with the relatives.

tipsy: can anyone really get through a holiday encounter without a little help from our friends pinot, cab and savignon blanc? a bottle of wine is the gift that keeps on giving (until you run out, of course). we especially like deloach pinot noir from the russian river valley. it's a delicious, smooth wine that retails for under $15, so grab a few bottles to get you through a long dinner.

cozy: even more than the luxurious lutz & patmos sweaters we covet do we love these cable knit blankets the line created especially for west elm. the neutral colors work with any decor and are perfect for your hostess to bundle herself in on the sofa after a marathon in the kitchen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

vampires, werewolves, volturi, oh my!

unless you've been hiding under a rock the past year or so, you're aware of the "twilight saga" (which is more of a "twilight phenomeon" in our minds) and all the adorable, angst-ridden teens that are sometimes vampires, sometimes werewolves and always entertaining. today marks the premiere of the second installment of the films adapted from stephenie meyer's best-selling series, and we can't wait to see how the new director, chris weitz, immerses us in forks, washington. best-known for directing american pie, new moon seems to be quite a jump for weitz, but we're told he handles himself well while "protecting" meyer's work.

unfortunately we couldn't make the midnight showing last night to give you our personal take on the movie, but maybe we'll take a "long lunch" today and grab a seat at the matinee showing...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

thank you!

as our little way of saying thank you (and cheering up your spirits after all the rain we've had), poole shop is giving you 20% off of everything in the store tomorrow, thursday, november 19th! come in out of the rain and get an early start to your holiday shopping season or just splurge on something special for yourself!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

introducing harvey

what do you get when you mix a longtime style editor at martha stewart with a former art director from kate spade? the answer is harvey faircloth, a line "dedicated to creating spirited, off-kilter classics for modern women." poole shop has just received its first delivery from harvey (resort!), and we have to say that it delivers on its promises. an exaggerated sailor pant pairs beautifully with a cheeky, nautical-striped backless halter, and these girls are not afraid of color--bright yellow and dayglo orange permeate the collection. after a fall spent wallowing in a sea of greys and charcoals, we're quite ready for the introduction. come in to poole shop and meet harvey in person...you won't be disappointed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

oh, donna!

what do kelly, christina, mandy and fergie have in common? they've all been spotted carrying alexander wang's donna bag, our pick for poole shop's bag of the week. we sold out of this style last year, and we're a bit flummoxed as to why we still have one hanging around the store. on a recent trip to new york, we saw everyone from a hipster waiting for the L train to a midtown PR flack dashing to lunch with the donna. the bag is perfect for stylish moms-on-the-go or anyone who wants to be hands free by slinging it across the body messenger-style. it's also great for traveling abroad or a quick trip to the grocery store. in fact, we really can't think of anything that isn't fabulous about this bag, including a price tag that's under $800. if you're lucky, you may even get the donna this thursday when poole shop has its customer appreciation day with 20% off everything in the store...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

chocolates and cookies

come and celebrate the grand opening of the organica deluxe pop-up shop today at poole shop! not sure what to get your boss's wife for christmas this year? organica deluxe has something for everyone on your list with gifts ranging from $10-$650. stop in and sample some of the online eco-friendly luxury boutique's best-selling chocolates and ginger cookies while you get an early start on the shopping season. check out the article in today's charlotte observer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

hit me with your best shot

have you seen this? the fuji instax mini 7s camera. sleek and stylish, this little guy goes everywhere and produces polariod-esque nostalgia prints that you'll treasure. we envision using it for everything from wardrobe inspiration to cataloging a night out on the town. with credit card-sized images that are printed instantly, you can even begin your own art installation by capturing life's little moments. retailing for $84.95, it's a great investment in capturing the present for future occasions of looking back on the past.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

another one bites the dust

it appears that the folding of our favorite magazine, domino, has created quite a domino effect in the publishing world with the latest casualty--metropolitan home--falling victim yesterday.
other than wondering what title the publisher will send as a replacement, we're left contemplating the industry as a whole. who will survive? are magazines obsolete? we're not ready to give up our quiet nights sipping wine while leafing through the latest in food, fashion or home decor, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the slaughter is over as we say goodbye to those who are no longer with us:

Monday, November 9, 2009

boots made for walking

fall is our favorite season for footwear, but this year we've been caught up in all the hoopla concerning over-the-knee boots, thigh-highs and distressed bikers: which trends are fleeting and which will stick around? just as we were ready to give up and remain content with our slightly out-of-date boots from a few seasons ago, we came across this lovely little pair from alexander wang. the velvet kim boot (below) is sexy, sophisticated and edgy. favoring the luxe of velvet over the expected leather or suede automatically sets this boot apart, but what we really love about it is the heel. a well-constructed little piece of architecture for your sole, the heel is equally stunning from all angles, and the boot is actually comfortable. with a retail price of $670, it's a step you can afford to take, so come and check it out at poole shop.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

pop up phenomenon

japanese chain uniqlo pop up shop in paris (top) and recently launched gucci pop up shop in soho, new york (bottom)

the "pop up" shop phenomenon has taken paris and new york by storm and soon the trend will hit charlotte when poole shop teams up with online eco-friendly luxury gift boutique organica deluxe for the holiday season. beginning thursday, november 12th through december 24th, poole shop will house a selection of organica deluxe's most popular products to make holiday shopping a cinch. to learn more about organica deluxe, check out http://www.organicadeluxe.com/ and stay tuned for more information about charlotte's first pop up shop.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

one sweater/three ways

we love this oversized, asymmetrical cardigan from mint. the heathered grey-taupe color is perfect for fall and goes with everything. while it may look a little sloppy and confusing on the hanger, we've styled it three different ways--for someone in her 20s, 30s or 40s--to show you that fashion can transcend decades if outfitted appropriately.

20s: grunge is fun! considering a girl of 25 was in 9th grade at the turn of the millennium, she can totally pull of the 90s grunge without looking dated or like she's trying too hard to fit in with the current trends. go full-throttle with the look by keeping the cardigan loose over a plaid button-down and boyfriend jeans. we hear pearl jam is touring...go check out the show!

30s: lock it up! with a new decade comes new responsibilities. this is the time in your life when talk with girlfriends turns from celebrities to strollers. while you probably attended a pearl jam concert in 1994, the grunge look should remain a fond memory for you. instead, create a more tailored look by pairing the oversized cardigan with a skinny belt over leggings. throw in a plaid scarf as an homage to your college days and keep your style sophisticated enough for a casual luncheon yet comfortable enough for carpool.

40s: dress to impress! you were probably thinking more about maternity clothes than wearing tights under cutoff jean shorts the first time grunge hit the fashion scene, so be happy you missed that train. this time around, don't ban an item from your wardrobe simply because it appears "young" at first sight. when worn over a simple shirtdress (belted to flatter your waist) and accessorized properly, this cardigan becomes a surprising go-to in your closet. roll the sleeves to minimize the sloppy effect of oversized clothing, and pop your collar a la lauren hutton in the preppy 80s.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

what's your sign?

the latest issue of people magazine's stylewatch features matina amanita's zodiac ring, and guess what: poole shop is the place to get it. these cute little rings make great presents for your friends, and we love the idea that one mom had to buy the zodiac signs of her two kids for herself. you'd better hurry, though. we're running low on the signs and predict these to be a sellout for the holiday season.