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Gifts that will make them smile

Happy Holidays

(diamond necklace & earrings/ Aucoin Hart)

Royal treatment -- She'll feel like a princess (and maybe she'll treat you like her Prince Charming) when she opens a gift of beautiful diamond creations by designer Penny Preville. There's nothing common about the intricate style of the earrings, which have a total of .59 carats of diamonds, $2,335; or the matching necklace, with 1.41 carats of diamonds, $3,995; available exclusively at Aucoin Hart Jewelers (1525 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9999).

(three diamond and jewel bracelets/ Boudreaux's)

Primary colors -- Don't worry about not knowing her favorite color, any of these precious-stone bracelets will make a perfect gift that she'll cherish forever: 2.91 carats of emeralds are interspersed among 1.76 carats of diamonds in a 14-karat gold bracelet, $5,200; or choose 4.94 carats of rubies and 1.75 carats of diamonds, $3,800; or 4.81 carats of sapphires paired with 1.77 carats of diamonds, $3,800; all from Boudreaux's Fine Jewelers (701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-2602; 4550 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, 985-626-1666; www.boudreauxsjewelers.com).

(two watches & decorative box/ Simon's)

Making time for each other -- Share wonderful minutes and hours with timely gifts that are fun to use and beautiful to wear. For her, there's a 14-karat gold sculpted band watch by Gerard Peregaux, $1,200; for him a Seiko quartz multi-function diver and flight watch with a flight computer, alarm chronograph, calendar and lots of dials and whistles, $175 (usually retails for about $495), and either will love their watch presented in a brass box with carved horn on the outside and red velvet lining, $135; all from Simon's Jewelry & Gifts (3941 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5955).

(makeup bags & three bottles/ Earthsavers I & II put together)

Luxury in the bag -- Colored ovals on a light background and leather handles make hip carriers for cosmetics and more: Large cosmetic briefcase has three zippered pockets with Velcro on the bottom for easy removal, $70.95; and smaller traveler has flat zippered bags inside, $66.95, both by Stephanie Johnson. Fill those bags with favored products by Philosophy, such as the Spiced Apple Cider, Pumpkin Pie or Cinnamon Buns three-in-one shampoo, conditioner and body wash, $16.95 each; all from Earthsavers (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-0225; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; 3414 U.S. Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133).

(DVD Cover -- front only/ Imagination Movers)

All about kids -- New Orleans' own award-winning Imagination Movers, all real-life dads, have just released a 40-minute DVD Stir It Up that's filled with pop, rock and hip-hop influenced songs about the things little kids think about and do, including "The Medicine Song, "Playing Catch," "I Want My Mommy" and "Clean My Room," along with live concert footage and music videos that both the young set and their parents will enjoy, $14.99, widely available at local book, music and child-oriented stores or from Imagination Movers online at www.imaginationmovers.com.

(silver ice bucket & stoppers/ Cameron Jones)

Refreshing accessories -- Stock a bar in style with a brushed stainless steel insulated hour-glass ice bucket with an ice scoop, $79; stainless steel ice tongs, $15; and a trio of sleek stainless steel stoppers (that will fit any bottle) in their own nifty stand, $29; all by Kraftware and all from Cameron Jones for Your Home (2127 Magazine St., 524-3119).

(bowling shirts & CD/ Rock 'N Bowl)

Strike it big -- They'll think you're a great sport when you give them logoed bowling shirts from New Orleans' most hip bowling alley, $35; and spice things up with a The Royal Family of Zydeco CD, featuring Rock 'N' Bowl regulars Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-rollers, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Boozoo Chavis and the Majic Sounds and Geno Delafose, $15; all from Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl (4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133).

(box, no photo/ Stephanie Parrino)

Best face forward -- Help a friend or loved one be the best they can be with a gift certificate for professional beauty treatments, including microdermabrasion, smoothing away skin damage, lightening brown spots, treating acne and acne scars and eyebrow reshaping and waxing, all from Stephanie Parrino (1623 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-6848).

(clothes, boots, skateboard/ N.O. Surf Shop)

Making fashion waves -- Help someone look fashionable on or off a board with a brown tweed skirt with a pink tweed band, bow and vertical ruffles on the front, $38; matched with a pink long-sleeve T-shirt with butterflies on the front, $28; a hot pink barrel purse with gray handles, $34; and rain boots that have pink, orange and beige polka dots on a white background, $39.50, All by Billabong. Don't forget the Cosmic Series skateboard by Sector 9 with an artistic scene of a beach and wave on the bottom and a slip-free top, $150; all from the new N.O. Surf Shop (6116 Magazine St., 891-1616).

(green sweater & camisole/ Snap)

Snappy dresser -- Follow the lead of Madonna, Shania Twain and other celebs who don Gold Hawk fashions by picking up an emerald silk camisole with adjustable straps, stretch lace and sequins (also comes in slip dress), $92; and a silk and cashmere tie-front wrap with bell sleeves, $185; both from the new Snap (240 Metairie Road, Metairie, 849-9988).

(glasses frames, Crescent City Vision)

Visual appeal -- Bring attention to some beautiful eyes with glasses frames that are as fashionable as they are useful: (left row) Black rectangular frame with a triangle of rhinestones on each side by BeBe, $149; Purple metal glasses with rimless bottom have a trio of Austrian crystals on each side by Via Spiga, $199; purple rectangular frames have seven vertical rhinestones by Baby Phat, $149; burgundy rectangular frames are beige inside by Coach, $149; zebra stripes adorn cat-eye frames by Nicole Miller, $149; and a purple pattern shows through a rimless, drill-mounted frame from Via Spiga, $199; all from Crescent City Vision (618 N. Carrollton Ave., 483-8880; 3838 St. Bernard Ave., 288-7603; 2500 Orleans Ave., 827-8600; 5128 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 347-9988).

(box-no photo)

A different beat -- For those on your gift list who like their entertainment eclectic, wrap up an evening -- or even New Year's Eve -- at TwiRoPa, where they can enjoy music by such groups as Sun Valley Deth Trap with Veinshell and a Particularly Vicious Rumor, Tumbao with Freddy Omar as well as DJs spinning tunes during Latin night, Gravy, and Ex-Voto with Enigma and the Human Marvels (and that's just the calendar for the end of December). For ticket prices and info, contact TwiRoPa Mills (1544 Tchoupitoulas St., 232-9503).

Trip to the lake -- Treat a friend or your family to a dinner on the lakefront, followed by cocktails on an outside deck overlooking Lake Pontchartrain, all at The Dock (1926 West End Park, 284-3625). The complex also has live music several nights a week as well as other special events. You can even rent motorbikes there for touring the lakefront.

Hip Country Club -- Give someone you really like a membership to The Country Club (634 Louisa St., 945-0742), where they can enjoy a heated, clothing-optional pool all year long, live music, movie nights, a full bar and lots of room for lounging. Memberships range from $8 a day on weekdays and $10 a day on weekends to $199 for a year.

Pluck of the Irish -- Show them they're special with a Irish Car Bomb specialty drink to go along with a casual dinner and night of entertainment at the comfortable Monaghan's Erin Rose (811 Conti St, 523-8619), a neighborhood favorite in the bustling French Quarter.

No shot in the dark -- For a break from the mundane, give someone you like a trip to Shooter's Bar and Grill (3655 Division St., Metairie, 456-2618), where they can have a bite to eat, some special cocktails and play pool or dance to a DJ.

Dances with bulls -- A little excitement could be the best gift you can wrap up this year, and a good place to start is with a ride on the mechanical bull Brisket at Deep South Lounge (329 Decatur St., 529-3331; www.deepsouthlounge.com), followed by a dinner of Southern soul food and copious libations or (on some nights) mud wrestling.

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