17 December 2010

Ellen Claus & GO TO Gifts


Paulette Goddard (as Ellen) wrapping Christmas up

I wanted to get some of the best of the best of Last Minute Gifts from a last minute Shopper (her own description)- so I asked Ellen Toler of  The Urban Electric Co. to help me out. Ellen is the Director of Client Development & travels around the country meeting with the top designers and architects in the industry.

Before we get started with Ellen's GO TO Gifts- I asked her to tell me what she's been doing this year-

 images from the UE blog
 (Ellen center picture-at left )

ET: In January 2010, we opened an Atlanta showroom & sales office located in the White Provision development in West Midtown. This was a great test market for us to make our product more accessible to our regional client base and to expand our reach to clients traveling through Atlanta.  It’s a 900 square foot showroom with a well-edited collection of our lights to showcase designs as well as the multitudes of finish and glass options available to help optimize the client’s selection process when ordering.

 the Atlanta Showroom of Urban Electric

The headquarters of The Urban Electric Co. is in Charleston- by the way-

Ellen continues saying "Starting January 15th, I will be based in New York for three months in an effort to increase our presence with existing and new clients.  The NY Metro area is currently our largest market and we feel there are many untapped opportunities for our incredible lighting. I'm excited to be more accessible to clients for an extended period of time as well as expose the company to those who may not know of us yet.

It's hard to keep up with Ellen- and I can tell from her Gift Picks- I need to get out more-or have a direct link to Her and all her "gets" of the moment.

one, two & three


NEST FRAGRANCES, created by Laura Slatkin, offers an exquisite collection of twelve scented candles as well as an unsurpassed holiday edition that will fill your home with the essence of luxury, sophistication, and comfort. Ellen loves ORANGE BLOSSOM The Orange Blossom is my favorite scent and It gets compliments from both men and women.  I also bought a wonderful Blue Garden Autism candle and 100% of the net proceeds go towards Autism Speaks-Go here to find them.
Every girl needs a cashmere robe! The cashmere robe to get this season is from Restoration Hardware for only $239 and you can choose from an assortment of colors. here

Women’s faux-fur lined knit slippers in marshmallow white or gray for under $10- here.  I  buy a pair of these every year from Old Navy and they keep your feet toasty during the cold months. The Gap has some adorable pom pom slippers that I have added to my list. They are on sale for $19.99 but hurry since they are selling out quickly online-here.

( get a couple of pairs of these)

four & five


Ling Chang is a talented watercolor artist that produces the most wonderful calendar of floral watercolors. My mother and I have been giving this calendar to each other for Christmas over the past 15 years and I also get one for my desk each year. Ling also has a wonderful selection of cards. Her site is here

 It’s a must have if you don’t already own one. Get & Give an iPad! It’s the ultimate “go to” for sourcing anything under the rainbow and fits right in your handbag.  It’s the perfect gift to bring your parents out of the stone age!

six , seven & eight

Timeless Architecture and Interiors yearbook 2011-from Beta-Plus Publishing here.  They publish the most beautiful books and just came out with five new titles

A cookbook is always a great gift for most friends. Personally I’m dying for is one-Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table   A wonderful collection of contemporary recipes from home cooks in Paris Read more about this winner here

What about a subscription for two great shelter publications?  Two of my favorites are  Connecticut Homes & Gardens  &  Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles I gave these magazines to my mother this year.

nine & ten


For the coconut cake lover on your list, nothing is better than a Peninsula Grill Coconut Cake-Charleston, S.C. It’s truly the most decadent coconut cake that you will ever put between your lips and worth every penny!  It’s based on the chef, Bob Carter’s grandmother’s recipe and it freezes beautifully. 
Deliciousness here & they ship nationwide. 

(reader- I checked this out & it comes to you next day- ordering online here )

the New York Times calls it "a little slice of heaven"
( I love that this cake has its own FACT SHEET)

&  for the pièce de résistance:

a jar of salted peanuts -or multiples-(you can order them by the case) prepared by the men of Englewood United Methodist Church . I can now officially boast that we have the best roasted peanuts that come from my hometown of Rocky Mount, N.C.  Not only have they been written up by the NY Times and NY Magazine, when the Urban Electric gang attended the San Francisco Designer showhouse this fall, a trip to the wine country with a pit stop at the Dry Creek General Store proved Englewood Peanut Fame had spread cross country. The Dry Creek General Store stocks the mouth watering nuggets! Urban Electric owner and our CFO declared them “the best holy nuts” they had ever tasted.  

(by the case for $33 and they ship nationwide.  Call 252-443-2926-( sorry no 800 number)

The New York Times Blog wrote “ Rocky Mount Methodist Church peanuts...from Rocky Mount, N.C. (by way of Marlow and Daughters in Brooklyn). Prepared there by the men of the Englewood United Methodist Church, the peanuts are water-blanched then roasted, salted and packed into jars. They’ve got a peanut-buttery aroma, and the salt, though it laces the sides of the jar like a dusting of newly fallen snow, is just right: not too much, not too little, just enough to make it easy to forget how many handfuls you’ve had. Two friends — including Andrew Knowlton, the restaurant editor at Bon Appetit, who’s a native of the peanut-mad state of Georgia — said that these Methodist peanuts are the best roasted snacking peanuts they’d ever had.”

You have a week, what are you waiting for? 
thank you Ellen for the great list-



  1. Adorable opening picture of Paulette Goddard and her perfect plastique! What woman couldn't use a pair of those nifty slippers? What, Old Navy?!

  2. Loved the Dorie Greenspan book! Fun to read. Easy to follow. Looking forward to working my way through this book this winter.

  3. Great ideas Gaye and I adore the study in your header. Perfect.

  4. Fabulous selection !

    Since my husband has been complaining
    about my winter loungewear - I just went online
    and ordered some of your suggested updates.
    (and specified adoring gift cards from him )

    Merry Merry to you & yours -


  5. Home, well the easy sounds good! thanks for that tempting word

    Donna- Ellen has some good picks. Good to see you here-hope all is well with you, have missed you here and There.

  6. Judith- that is wonderful, Ellen will be thrilled and hope He will too! stay warm, 2 snows here in NC already. pgt

  7. What a treat to see Ellen Toler on your blog!! Great picks!!!
    Merry Christmas!

    PS Ellen, you look good in that picture but I would love to see you in person. You need to come to Wilmington!!

  8. These are great selections. I think the magazine is a good idea. Last minute and it lasts all year. I love the hometown and nationwide peanuts too

  9. bluehy- Ellen did a great job, didn't she?hope your holiday is wonderful too.

    Anon-I am a huge proponent of magazines for last minute and will have some suggestions for you over the weekend. The peanuts are an inspired pick-I agree.



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