Last minute shopping ideas: Our Holiday Gift Guide supplement

Last month, we went to all this trouble to put together a list of great gift ideas for the holidays. But some of you didn’t listen. You didn’t go Black Friday shopping or Cyber Mondaying and now you’re panicked.

Well, that’s what we’re here for. Here’s our last-minute guide for you to get what your giftee wants, needs or just deserves. You can thank us with cookies.

CARToys for big boys

Guys are notoriously hard to shop for, but no matter how old they get, all men are boys at heart. And boys like toys. Alta Mere is all about toys for your car, so consider a gift certificate that allow the gearhead in your life to go hog wild with a rear-view camera, custom wheels , radar detector (for the speed demon — you know there’s one in your life) or anything else his heart desires.

Available at Alta Mere, 4302 Lemmon Ave. 214-521-7477.

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 12.54.16 PMOh won’t you stay

You’re always getting your man a nice shirt. And no matter how nice, it always has those plastic collar stays that melt the first time you put it in the dryer. And each shirt is a different size anyway, so you can’t reuse them. Well, Swiss Stays make finalizing that dressy look a breeze. Available in stainless steel, brass, titanium (and even an extra-special sterling silver with leather case), these metal stays come three to a pack and are fully adjustable to any color and oh-so-elegant. And they literally go with any color. $20–$150.



Joseph Joseph Nesting BowlsBowled over

Wanna know what happens when Martha Stewart meets Carmen Miranda? Measuring spoons and bowls in colors so vibrant you’ll think your kitchen is in Rio. The set is dishwasher safe, and it consists of five measuring cups, small and large mixing bowls, a 3-liter colander and a 1.65-liter sieve. The nine-piece set nests inside of each other, ending all that kitchen clutter. Now glue a few bananas and a pineapple to your hat and get to measuring. $51.95.

Betty Lou, 3207 Knox St. 214-206-9514.

2013-11-20 00.40.00Suck on this!

Norma Desmond never did have anything on you. When you take a drag from your Ecavape1 e-cigarette, everything you say will be dramatic. The rage in smokeless devices not only saves your lungs, it also does away with those tacky ashes on your shoulders. It’s the way you hold your cigarette, dear. (It may not make you smarter, but you may look smarter, and that’s what counts.) And with the purchase of $50, $100 or $200, you get a free gift. Now let’s say it together. “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” And long drag on your E-cigarette. You’re ready for your close-up.

Ecavape1, 2525 Inwood Road. 214-357-VAPE.

HiM 100mlThe sweet smell of success

Hanae Mori Parfums introduces you to HiM, the proud result of more than a decade of sculpting, refining and finishing the best ingredients demanded by man.  Meet HiM and find a masculine blend hand carved from nature to please him and her.  Own HiM and know a well constructed scent that fits a man like a tailored blazer or his best cut blue jeans.  Be HiM and live the Hanae Mori Parfums proverb: “Fragrance accomplishes in moments what conversation achieves in hours.” $50–$95.

Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and select Macy’s.


Toast the TraditionsYummers

All the farm-fresh, savory and sweet flavors you love are packed into this abundant extra-large gift crate. Hickory Farm’s Signature Beef Summer Sausage, creamy cheddar cheeses, extra-large Crown  Comice & Red D’Anjou Pears, bright Fuji apples, crunchy nuts and delectable chocolate-covered cashews come to life when enjoyed with a bottle of La Crema Chardonnay. $99.99.

Available at Hickory Farms, Grapevine Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine.

bellaToastBrewPerk up! We offer this toast

So you have only five minutes to get your trick out the door before you need to get to work? No problem, darlings. The Bella Toast & Brew Breakfast Station lets you — wait for it — make toast and brew a cup of coffee at the same time!!! Calm down, multi-taskers. Yes, we know it’s divine, but there’s more. The unit comes with a USB port on the front. Now you can squeal. And get this: It comes in three colors: teal, purple and red. The same colors as that Christmas sweater Nana gave you. $34.99.

Available at

cobb_blue_rf135013_frontLook sharp

Crafted in a splendid patterned-velvet, Robert Graham’s handsome two-button velvet sport coat can be worn with jeans for a laid-back look. Or, pair it with a dress shirt and tie for dressier occasions. The coat is detailed with twill silk piping and a single welt chest pocket. Flap pockets at the waist add to the refined look. And — the vivid abstract geometric print lining make it just as pretty on the inside. $698.

13HOL_5038_blue_mark_set_b_webAvailable at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway.


Eau, the places you’ll go

Jack Black the skin-care line is sure better on you than Jack Black the actor. Its blend of the finest essential oils are crafted with an artisan’s skill by world-class perfumers to deliver an exquisite blend of Watermint, Bergamont, Japanese Juniper, fresh Ginger, Thyme and Vetiver to flood the senses with freshness. $70.00.

Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Colander Group Image x 6Strains the imagination

Oh, what Aunt Bee could have done with this colander. Pick from one of six sassy colors and get to straining those vegetables and pasta. When you’re done, this jewel collapses to 1-½ inches. Now when’s the last time you had anything that small in your kitchen? Mmm hmmm, that’s what we thought. Speaking of steaming, you can use this colander to steam food, so finish folding your tea towels and order you one.  $60.

silverassortedGimme some sugar

You’re all the sweetness anyone would want, but go ahead and show more love with a customized candy box from See’s (its first Dallas storefront is now at NorthPark!). We all know the heart beats fonder when you throw sugar in the mix, so go ahead and buy a few boxes. We heard he’s a hard catch.

Available at Sees Candies, NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway. 469-232-9279.

LUE_BOOM_GROUP2Boom goes the dynamite

Make music social with UE BOOM, the wireless speaker made to rage, riot, party and play the music you love, out loud. UE BOOM’s 360-degree design blasts bold, immersive sound into any space. Its versatile, go-anywhere shape is designed to be as spontaneous as you —  it brings the music, you bring the friends. And with a water and stain resistant acoustic skin and rechargeable battery up to 15 hours, you’re ready for wherever the day or night takes you. $199.

Hook + Albert Bowtie and Tie 2Tie one on

It takes one helluva man to pull off our metallic tie collection but we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be checking it out if you weren’t up to the challenge. Pair them with a formal tuxedo and make a big statement of color or go monotone and match silver with a gray suit for a sleek and sophisticated look. We recommend a solid white pocket square when matching this product as you’ll want to make sure your neck is the center of attention. $120.

Available at Nordstrom, NorthPark Center, 8387 North Central Expressway.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Desperate’ food: Longoria gets cookin’ in Dallas

When you think of the domesticity of the various Desperate Housewives, Gaby is hardly the first one that comes to mind. But the actress who plays her, Eva Longoria, has  come out with a cookbook called Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family & Friends. The Texas native will actually be back in her home state on Sunday, signing copies of the book at the NorthPark Center location of Williams-Sonoma. The event begins at 11 a.m. — just in time to get it, meet Longoria and get back home to make dinner.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Face to Facebook

‘Catfish,’ a documentary about online relationships, is a gripping true mystery

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer

4.5 out of 5 Stars
Rated PG-13.  90 mins. Now
playing at the Angelika Film
Center Mockingbird Station and AMC NorthPark Center.


If you’ve heard any spoilers for Catfish already, shame on the person who told you. This is a rare opportunity to be surprised in a movie theater in a time when studios are opting for marketing tactics that gets people into the theater without concern for truly entertaining them once they get there. To be sure, Piranha 3-D wasn’t a great movie, but did they have to show the final shocking scene in the trailer?

The last time an onscreen secret deserved to be kept by audiences and critics alike was probably The Crying Game. The mystery at the center of this film, thankfully, isn’t the entire thrill. Really, it’s the way filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost structure their documentary.

Capitalizing on the do-it-yourselfability of modern filmmaking — where anyone with access to digital HD cameras and editing software can be an auteur — they weave animated sequences from Google Earth, instant messages from Facebook and videos from YouTube with the same frantic browsing experience of anyone who’s ever attempted to multi-task online.

The method of storytelling, which would’ve been thoroughly confusing to just about anyone even as recently as three years ago, intuitively plays to the way our brains now function.

The story starts out innocently enough. Schulman’s adorably cute (and distractingly hairy) brother Nev has begun an online friendship with Abby, an eight-year-old girl who sent him a painting of one of his photos. Soon, he’s developed a friendship with the girl’s mom, and eventually, a crush on her 19-year-old half-sister, Megan. The family begins sending him frequent care packages filled with more and more paintings and intimate glimpses into their family life.

After exchanging hundreds of text messages and chatting endlessly online and over the phone, Nev begins to slowly uncover inconsistencies in Megan’s story. Blinded by the possibility of love and curiosity, he and the filmmakers head to rural Michigan to surprise her in person. At this point, the mystery begins — utterly compelling and nothing my sick imagination had predicted. The result is a story that’s at once heartwarming, frightening, unsettling and vivid.

The fact that the filmmakers stumbled onto this bigger narrative completely by accident has caused many critics to accuse them of faking the whole thing. But I tend to believe them.

Catfish ends up as one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in quite awhile. Just make sure to stay for the closing frames where even more shocking truths are revealed in simple white text on a black screen. Then head home and decide whether or not you should keep your Facebook account.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas