Mar’s 2010 Must Haves

“Raindrops on roses and kisses from Violet,
Kind-hearted neighbors, my garden all quiet,
Massive hydrangeas tied back with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.”

These may not all be Maria Von Trapp’s favorite things, but they sure are mine! And once in a while, I update my list. Each year I cherish the love and the glory of my life and embrace those people, experiences and “things” that made me happy. So this year’s “Must Haves” are those things that have either put a smile on my face, made me laugh, helped me get organized or kept me on schedule. These top five contributed to that, thus making them my “must-haves” for the season.

I know, I know, another Apple product. Yes, as every year Apple comes up with a new or improved product and being a techno gadget guy I do get hooked. If Oprah made it one of her favorite things then I guess I’m in good company. The iPad is this year’s smash hit — and I know it changed my life, providing me a light-weight computer alternative with the same conveniences and access to the internet — it’s the only thing I carry in my briefcase. It’s truly the best way to experience the web, e-mail, photos and video. Having all the apps built-in I love my iPad and having it around makes me really happy. I write notes on it, review my photos and update my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I even downloaded the first season of Glee, watching it on the 9.7-inch, high-resolution display while traveling to Paris. The iPad is a perfect way to enjoy any kind of video: from HD movies and TV shows to podcasts and music videos. A treat to have, also making it the perfect “to me, from me, love me” gift as well.

Sony Dash

While filming my Holiday Wishes show I discovered at P.C. Richard and Son the Sony Dash. It’s my new alarm clock and so much more! Now I can keep all of the convenience of the Internet at my bedside with this personal Internet viewer that allows me to receive weather, traffic and social networking updates, listen to Internet radio, view pictures and video and so much more. With a built-in 2.4GHz high-speed wireless LAN (802.1for wireless Internet connection and a built-in clock with battery backup, plus customizable alarms to help you stay punctual. I bought it for the alarm feature but soon it became everything I needed for my last-minute, night-night glance to Facebook. And with more than 1,000 free apps and a USB 2.0 interface, one can even load and display files via USB or from online services, including Photobucket. There is something for everyone. So “dash” over to P.C. Richard and Son to get one.

A Kloter Farms Shed

Not only will you find heavy-duty sheds, gazebos, playgrounds and patio furniture at Kloter Farms, but also high-quality dining and bedroom furniture, kitchen islands and entertainment centers — all handcrafted of solid oak, cherry, maple or quartersawn oak. If you live in the North East then Kloter Farms is your best choice when it comes to having an outdoor structure. I customized mine with a cedar shingle pitch roof, custom door, and a decorative finial. The results were beyond my expectations as it arrived fully built and painted. All I needed to do was stylize with my signature “Mar” touches, including shelves and working recycled windows.

They have a variety of choices and sizes to fit your price point. Visit them at and right there on the home screen, you will see my shed proudly flash within the collection of other photos.

Lacoste Watch

Over the years I’ve collected some beautiful watches that I cherish each and every time I wear them. I love remembering the “time” and place that I either received them or bought them myself. Truth be told, I love having choices and when it comes to selecting my “÷watch of the day’ I always decide based on what I’m wearing. That said, I don’t wear any other jewelry, so having a fabulous watch allows me to express my own personal style. This year I was on the lookout for a fun watch — a “play watch” as it were — for those days one just wants something cool and fun to wear with jeans. My new Lacoste watch is a perfect time keeping accessory. Oversized and with a black and white adjustable strap, this playful casual watch is sure to make any man happy. I’m styling, cool and fashionable — and just in time.

Nora Ephron’s “I Remember Nothing, and other reflections”

I love books! Writing them, reading them, and when I find a fun and entertaining book I can’t wait to share it. From the person that brought us many great movies including Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron is philosophical and occasionally hilarious in her latest book “I Remember Nothing; and other reflections” available This is my least expensive “÷must have’ but it’s the gift that keeps giving as I recently passed it on to a friend.

As a man, and knowing plenty of women that are familiar with the life-stage that Nora is poking fun at, I was enlighted and entertained, having a few ‘V-8’-style head-hitting moments: “Oh, now I get it!” I assure you if you read this book you will not be disappointed, and if you’re a man you might get many clues to further understand the amazing women in your life. I nestled by the fire with Violet and read it in one afternoon- a treat this holiday season. (Oops, now I can’t remember who I gave it to!)