We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

The Foodie Gift Guide

The Foodie Gift Guide

When I posted our holiday style guide on the blog a couple of weeks ago (which you can check out HERE), I has said that I was going to turn our attention to the guys the next week and post a holiday style guide for the men in our lives, but when Chris and I talked about it he said, "You know what I'd love even more? A gift guide for all my fellow foodies out there that are so hard to buy for! What's more useful than that?"

Well ask and ye shall receive, my love! It was such a great idea for us to put our heads together and share our ultimate foodie gift guide because not only do we spend most of our time (and hard earned dolla dolla bills) in the kitchen, we've acquired so many useful kitchen items over the last two years between the time when we moved in together and received so many amazing kitchen gifts for our wedding. So we thought we'd share what we've found we can't live without in the kitchen, some cool items we've more recently discovered that have stepped up our culinary game and some other fun foodie items that we're just drooling over.

I personally think that food lovers and passionate cooks are one of the hardest gift recipients to buy for, and here's why: They. Know. EVERYTHING. And it seems like they always have everything, too. But this year, we're here to help you really kill it in the gift department for that tough-to-buy-for foodie in your life because we love you. And cooking is the best. And so is eating. And the whole reason for having a foodie friend is so you can eat the things they cook. And they'll make you more things if you provide them with the tools to do it. So essentially, this gift is for yourself when you really think about it. Bon appétit!


Breville Milk Café Electric Frother

My parents got me this milk frother a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift, and when Chris and I moved in together it quickly became one of his favorite kitchen tools. It's just one of those little kitchen luxuries that will last forever and always come in handy. Use it to froth the milk for your coffee, whip up some hot cocoa, or a delicious tea latte and you're on your way to happiness!

The Turbot Apron from Hedley & Bennett

Aside from the fact that this apron is made in our favorite fabric, the beautiful and oh-so-durable chambray, this apron has the perfect pockets in the perfect places and sizes (it even has a breast pocket for your iPhone), is perfect to both ladies of the kitchen and gentlemen, is easily washable and has cool brass hardware. If it's an apron you seek, this is the one.

A Subscription to Lucky Peach Magazine

If you're reading this wondering "What the heck is a lucky peach?" you're not alone. I had no idea what this was up until about 6 months ago when Chris brought home an issue and he was obsessed. It's a quarterly magazine that was basically made for foodies by the god of all foodies himself, Momofuku's David Chang. Each issue explores a theme and includes recipes, essays, food travel guides, features on chefs and restaurants, How Tos, etc. and the photography is absolutely stunning. Any foodie would wholeheartedly thank you for this one.

Kitchenaid Pro-Line 2-Slice Toaster

This toaster is a more recent kitchen obsession of ours after it was gifted to us by my dad's incredibly sweet and generous co-worker and his wife for our wedding. It's obviously the nicest toaster Chris or I have ever had, and when we registered for it we weren't sure if we were totally crazy or onto something, and it's definitely the latter. This toaster has so many useful features- you can select the exact level of brownness you desire with the slider control and the automatic keep warm function keeps bread heated at end of toasting for up to 3 minutes. Plus it can fit the widest slices of bread or bagels, which is what everyone wants in a toaster, isn't it?! We got ours in the Frosted Pearl color and it's the perfect crisp white for our kitchen.

Magnetic Wood Knife Block

Chris and I always talk about how annoying our bulky knife block is to have on our counter, but it's an essential! And even though there are lots of cool ways to save space and store your knives, with this block you can save space and keep your knives nice and sharp without having to do some serious kitchen renovations or drill holes into your wall. They'll be easy to grab and the block or blocks can double as cookbook bookends too if you're needing more than one to house your knife collection. Boom!

American Spoon Syrup, Jam or Gift Box

I may be a little bit biased about this place because it's one of my great loves from the state from which I hail (one of Michigan's many charms), but trust me when I say that any foodie would be elated to receive a delicious jam, some berry preserves, ketchup, grilling sauces, whiskey maple syrup (which is up there on our list of best food items ever created) or one of their amazing gift boxes for the holidays. We received a gift box from American Spoon from one of my beautiful bridesmaids last year, and every item was gone in a matter of days. It doesn't hurt that their packaging is absolute perfection as well.

Bespoke Provisions Sea Salt

Someone on the food scene prompted me to get these as a Valentine's Day gift for Chris last year, and they're awesome, pure and simple. I got him one of their gift sets to allow Chris to try a few different flavor combinations and to figure out how best to cook with these, and they've been so much fun to play with! The Spicy Sriracha and the Smoked Applewood are a couple of our favorites.

Kuhn Rikon JIU Chef's Knife

If you're thinking that I must know my knives, you would be wrong. But Chris does, and he claims that this knife is his absolute favorite knife that we have in our arsenal. It's apparently extremely sharp and stays that way for a very long time, and fits really comfortably in your hand which, when you spend as much time in the kitchen as Chris does, is important. And it apparently can chop or slice just about anything, so your foodie friend can slice and dice to their heart's desire! All that and it's affordable? That's a holiday gift win right there.

ZWILLING ® J.A. Henckels VistaClad Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pans

The perfect weight, the perfect non-stick coating and they're pretty, too! Need I say more? But seriously, every foodie who loves to cook at home needs to have the perfect 8" fry pan to whip up the perfect egg in the morning, and ever since we were gifted this one for our wedding, we've used it just about every day since. And they're not exorbitantly expensive for how functional and fantastic they are, which is always a plus in my book.

Crate & Barrell Mini Stainless Salt & Pepper Mill

These little gems were another gift from our wedding registry, and although they may be tiny, they are mighty. They've just made our salt and pepper seasoning so much easier while we're prepping meals. When you have olive oil and whatever else all over your hands while cooking, it's just easier to grab one of these bad boys, press the button a few times and move on! Life = simplified.

Sir|Madam Grand Cups

I swear this isn't just another random mug. Every foodie I know begins and sometimes ends their day with coffee. It seems to be a common thread. And large amounts of coffee, to boot. So when I found these oversized mugs for our house it was a revelation. They're so big that they're also perfect for use as a vessel for soups, cereal and even desserts. And who doesn't love a multipurpose kitchen item? We have the "endearment" cups and those are perfect if the foodie in your life also happens to be your main squeeze!

*Bonus Round*

If you're in the market to really take this foodie gifting thing to the next level and have someone on your list that you just have to go all out for this year on the foodie front, Chris would give his right arm to get one of these Sous Vide Water Ovens because... who doesn't need one, right?!

And if you want to really turn it up and make the foodie in your life love you forever, why not pull out all the stops and plan a weekend staying, sipping and dining in the beautiful Hudson Valley and gift one of the curated experiences at ultimate foodie haunt Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Or if you're looking for something a little bit more moderately priced from the stunning foodie paradise that is Blue Hill (Chef's Table, anyone?), check out their Market for some of their beautiful cooking and entertaining items. A few other small but especially awesome items we absolutely love having in our kitchen are this Bees Knees Spicy Honey, these super-soft, multipurpose Found Cotton Cloths, and this Omelet Spatula.

Winter Weekend Getaway: East Lansing, Michigan

Winter Weekend Getaway: East Lansing, Michigan

Winter Coats

Winter Coats