Gifts for divas and diggers

Annie Payne, center, models a diva apron and matching pink rubber gloves with Amanda Brand, left, and Michele Shurtleff, co-owners of the Two Divas Boutique above Real Deals, 2463 U.S. Highway 6 & 50.

One of my greatest pleasures is to recommend something that I love, and have the “recommendee” love it, too.

Allow me to recommend this gift guide for the “Homie” (Home and Garden enthusiast) in your life. I have created two lists: A list of things that I love and a list of things I would like to love.


The Dyson has been my vacuum of choice for seven years. Many family members, friends and readers have purchased a Dyson on my recommendation, without regret, despite the $400–$500 price tag. That may seem like a lot, but if you take into consideration the years of highly effective, nearly maintenance-free operation, a Dyson is well worth its cost.

Recently, though, my Dyson has suffered a setback and will need a trip to the Dyson doctor.

I have yet to coerce a confession from the Payne children — perhaps a brighter light bulb in the interrogation lamp is needed — but all I know for sure is that someone vacuumed something wet and sticky, which is not recommended for optimal suction and is contrary to the rules of regular operation.

I am hoping for good news from the Dyson doc.

Would you like to take some of the drudgery out of cooking and cleaning for your favorite homie? How about making her look and feel adorable as she cleans the toilets or chops the veggies?

I recommend an apron and coordinating rubber gloves from Diva Aprons.

Feminine styles and fun fabrics set them apart from other aprons. And they are reversible. Use one side of the apron for cleaning and then flip it around for cooking.

Michele Shurtleff, creator and head seamstress extraordinaire of Diva Aprons, partnered with a purveyor of handbags, belts, and jewelry, Amanda Brand of The Western Diva, to form the unique boutique called The Two Divas. Their boutique is located inside Real Deals on U.S. Highway 6&50. Its grand opening is today and is one-stop holiday shopping for the domestic diva in your life.

For information about The Two Divas go to and

Being a woman who hates to have a lot of miscellany on her counter tops, I recommend the Caldrea Kitchen Caddy from Target. This simple, yet sophisticated cleaning caddy costs about $20 and comes with hand soap, counter cleaner and dish soap. It’s available in several scents, but I recommend the citron ginger.

With its simple styling and kitchen friendly fragrance, you won’t mind it gracing your counter tops.


These next two items come highly recommended from a friend and fellow “homie.”

If I am a good girl, perhaps next year they will make it onto the list of things I already love. (Note to my husband, Secret Agent Man: This is where you should make the most of your photographic memory.)

The Shark Easy and Light Steam Mop enables you to clean quickly and simply and sanitize your hard floor surfaces. It’s available at several area stores and in various models and prices.

The Rowenta Pro Compact Steamer takes wrinkles out of clothes and curtains and is lightweight and easy-to-use. It heats up in just two minutes.

No more excuses for sending the kiddos out the door in wrinkled T-shirts and jeans. Just fire up the steamer and blast wrinkles into oblivion. Not recommended for use while the kids are wearing the clothes, by the way.

Whether you choose one of the products I love for your “homie” for Christmas or one of the products I would like to love, one thing I know for sure. No one has ever regretted taking my advice.

If you have home tips, topics or projects you would like to share with Annie Payne, please e-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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