Home & Lifestyle Reviews

By Melanie Carden


Are you a fervent coffee lover? Then, allow me to introduce my new best friend, the Rolls Royce of at-home barista dreams. The Saeco Xelsis makes coffee, lattes, and 15 fully customizable beverages. Honey almond milk flat white, anyone?
The owner’s manual served as a spur-of-the-moment drink coaster because navigating the simplified digital screen was a breeze. Customization includes bean grind adjustment, ideal levels of steamed milk, the strength of your coffee, and more. My favorite features include the auto-clean milk circuit, 8-profile capacity, and easy to compost used grounds pods.
Perfect for: Bean-obsessed coffee aficionados, those with a bit of extra counter space, and folks looking to balance their support of local coffee shops with at-home convenience. Info:


Folks, this is the bottle to have at the ready, 365 days a year. It hales from the heart of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. This single-vineyard wine is racked into 100 percent new French and American oak barrels (24 months), then the finest lots are bottled. Its scent is reminiscent of warm jam and sunbaked raspberry leaves—an open invitation to indulge your winey-whims. Fruit-forward, it is masterfully balanced with hints of sugar plum and plenty of depth. There are no sharp edges; it offers a smooth continuum of fruit and very subtle warmth from start to finish. The color is as much an accolade as the sip itself—an unfathomable red, the color of crushed rosehips and cherries. I’ve never seen this shade of red, but it conjures images of velvet settees in far-away castles. This is not one of those cabs that mandate a beef entrée. This versatile beauty is delicate without weakness and is perfect for epicurean creations of varied seasons. Approachable would be an understatement. It pairs equally well with short rib ragu or the finest frozen pizza in your given kingdom.
Perfect for: Dinner parties, celebratory occasions, any day of the week that ends in “y.”


Handmade by master artisans, the Atlas Duffle from Little Moroccan Things is a graceful nod to the union of artistry and function. The leather—a cow by-product—is handstitched and dyed at Chouara Tannery, the oldest tannery in the world (Fez, Morocco). Created using centuries-old techniques, traditional craftsmen and craftswomen shepherd your heirloom-worthy bag through a labor-intensive journey that may take upwards of three weeks. Timing also depends on weather conditions and the workload in the tannery. The lining of the Atlas Duffle is made from recycled vintage Moroccan rugs, making each bag unique and special. Generations of craftspeople dedicate their lives to this artistry, and their expertise offers the opportunity for customization as well. Holding this bag is a stirring experience. It gifts to you a visceral, genuine connection to those who crafted it.
Perfect for: People who appreciate craftsmanship, those looking for heirloom quality, anyone who values an authentic, sustainable supply chain.