Perhaps the most fun and innovative find is the set of Squishy Bowls I found online at Guyot Design’s website. The collapsible bowls are perfect for traveling. You can get little shot-size bowls (2 for $7.95), a medium all-purpose bowl ($10.95) or a cup and bowl set for $15.95. Be sure to check them out before your next trip at www.guyotdesigns.com
I love bath products, so I’m always looking for great soaps and lotions. Napa Soap Company makes great bar soap. They’re all 100% natural and come in such great “flavors” as Cabernet Soapignon, Honey Please Pass the Soap, Ocean Potion and Cocoa-Loco. You can buy each bar for $7.95 or buy 12 and get one free. Check them out online at www.napasoapcompany.com.
Some of my favorite products are by Acca Kappa. This Italian company offers everything from body and hair care products to brushes and accessories. Two favorites of mine are the White Moss body lotion and the Lip Balm with SPF15 protection. The smell and texture of both are pure luxury. There is an Acca Kappa Boutique in Las Vegas and the products are sold at a selection of retail partners as well as online. You can also find the products at many fine hotel boutiques and spas. Check out the complete line online at http://www.shopaccakappa.com/.
Speaking of soaps, check out Cali Soaps. The Oliva products, all based on old recipes using Italian Olive Oil recipes with olive oil extracts, are wonderful. The soap is full of vitamins and smells almost good enough to eat. My favorite is the Baby Powder. It’s fresh and clean — perfect for the baby in all of us. You can find out more online at www.calicosmetics.com.
One of my best finds was made at the gift shop at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. It was an unusual spot in which to find what I think is the word’s best mint. Oral Fixation mints come in these handy little tins and in a variety of flavors. The company has a BYOB policy — “Build Your Own Box.” You can choose 12 tins in any selection of flavors. I’ve tried most of them, but my all-time favorite is Mimosa. There’s nothing like champagne and orange juice for a little pick-me-up. If you prefer, you can get a 6-pack sampler for $15. Create your own order online at www.oralfix.com.
A writer can’t go anywhere without a great notebook. I am very selective about the notebooks I choose and the paper in each one. These adorable notebooks are by Chronicle Books featuring the designs of Cath Kidston. Cath Kidston offers everything from bed linens to clothing and accessories, but I really love the books and stationery. The hardback notebook sells for $14 online at http://www.cathkidstonusa.com.