Category Archives: Holiday

December 22, 2014

Gift Guide: Subscriptions

It’s the last few days before Christmas. Do you have your shopping done yet? If not, don’t worry. Don’t worry at all. Surprise your loved one with a gift that gives all throughout the year! Here are a few of my favorites.

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44 North Coffee: We found this company on a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. They purchase seasonal beans and custom roast to levels that highlight the best tasting notes of the bean, all in a converted schoolhouse in Deer Isle, Maine. This would be perfect for any coffee-aficionado.

Mouth: Discover delicious indie food, while supporting small businesses. They have some of the standard food subscriptions (coffee, wine) but some interesting combos too (pickles, cocktail hour of the month). If you want to get something smaller than a subscription, Mouth also has a bunch of gift “baskets” – my favorite is the New Year’s Un-Resolution.

Skandicrush: For lovers of modern Scandinavian design (aka- Ikea lovers, all grown up!). The boxes have every day items that are stylish and functional.

Quarterly: Collections curated by people like Nina Garcia, Ludo Lefebvre, and Wil Wheaton (to name a few)! The items will vary depending on what curator you select, but the box will have a blend of original, exclusive, and consumer items. Each product will reflect on the person who selected it, and help inform your understanding of them. So maybe you’ll get the same kind of notebook that your favorite author used to plot her recent bestseller. The point is, every object—while uniquely brilliant in its function—will also have a story.

For the Makers: For craft lovers. Each month, you receive supplies and tutorials for four chic and easy DIY projects.

Try the World: Gourmet boxes from a different country every two months. A celebrity chef from each country selects local and authentic delicacies for the box, so you know what you’re getting is good. You’ll also get a card describing what each item is, as well as recipes and a culture guide.

Flower Muse: Subscription for flowers every month. The garden roses would be my pick.

Hamptons Lane: Themed boxes for the food lover, combining ingredients with the tools they need to enhance their culinary experience. Previous themes include Gourmet Picnic, Coastal Italy, Tailgating, Spanish Tapas.

E-classes at Brit + Co: Okay, so this technically isn’t a subscription in the way that the other items in this round-up are, but this is a perfect gift for someone who wants to learn a new creative skill. I am particularly interested in the calligraphy and hand-lettering classes, but there are a lot of other skills to choose from (knitting, sketching, flower arranging, etc).

Turntable Kitchen: Food + music = heaven, amiright? In each box, you get a 7″ vinyl, a digital mix tape, premium ingredients, and seasonal recipes.

Jeni’s Pint Club: Whenever I travel to a town with Jeni’s in it, it is guaranteed to be included on our itinerary. The Pint Club brings Jeni’s to you! Three pints of Jeni’s—one signature flavor, one perennial flavor, one limited edition flavor—delivered four times a year.

December 16, 2014

Holiday Outfit: Work to Play

Is it just me or are calendars blowing up? I feel like this past weekend was The Weekend to start holiday celebrations.

Things are crazy this time of year, so avoid making extra laundry by having a double-duty outfit.

Case in point:

Nov 25 2014-Champagne Thursday-066

Start with the fun part of your outfit. Here, I chose a dress in a bright color. This can definitely play nice in both the “work” atmosphere just as easily as it can in the “party” atmosphere.

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December 11, 2014

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

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feather pen / porcelain spoon / thin ring / champagne chocolate / eye mask / Hourglass blush palette / sparkle sponges / geometric bunny bottle opener / playing cards / Downton Abbey tea / cocktail kit / constellation calendar / wine glass holder / charcoal exfoliating stone / domino USB thumb drives / pink earrings / Tattly temporary tattoo / wine wipes / xo note pad / tech wipes / stainless steel strawsbell wine stopper / coal gumsoap rocks

I love stocking stuffers. Like, love love. It’s really fun to put together a pile of small gifts for someone. There can be useful gifts, silly gifts, quirky gifts. It’s also a great category to find small gifts that you need throughout the holiday: co-worker, Secret Santa, etc.

My family is really big into stockings. My dad will run into our rooms and whisper-yell “Santa’s been here!” followed by vigorously shaking us awake and/or mild jumping on the bed. We’ll then grab our stocking and shuffle into my parents’ room to open them on their bed. It’s very small, but it’s one of my favorite traditions.

Then, without fail, my dad will insist on making cinnamon buns before we unwrap presents under the tree. Without fail, we each try to slyly get the bun with the most frosting, and without fail, my brother manages to eat more buns than were even baked. Holiday skills.

December 1, 2014

Gift Guide: The Guys

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Starbucks travel mug / knit hat / briefcase business card holder / Chemex / Bittermilk tonic / pajama pants / Stormtrooper nutcracker / wool socks / wool coffee sleeve / camera / submarine ice cubes / Zippo hand warmer / Nutribullet / Maglite flashlightAmplifiear

The Essentials

Hats, gloves, socks, pajama pants… These aren’t necessarily exciting or earth-shattering items, so go the extra mile for really good quality. (Quality makes all the difference!)

Food and Drink
This is a great area to treat your loved one to something a little extra special. Is your brother a mixed drink aficionado? He would definitely appreciate Bittermilks selection of artisan cocktail mixers and tonics. Does your husband love smoothies? Wrap up a Nutribullet with his name on it. Gifting a Chemex shows your hipster coffee-lover cousin that you are cooler than he thought.

Something Fun
Surprise your gent with something fun and/or quirky. I think this Star Wars nutcracker is really awesome. Cameras are a lot of fun too, and this Instax lets you enjoy instant gratification in an old school way. I also particularly like this Jack Spade money clip with a cheeky saying.

Stocking Stuffers
Does your dad love the Beatles? Grab some yellow submarine reusable ice cubes. A business card holder that looks like a mini James Bond briefcase, or a reusable wool coffee sleeve (with or without a Starbucks gift card!) are also fun small gifts.

November 24, 2014

Gift Guide: The Gracious Hostess

Happy Monday! Are you excited for Thanksgiving? I know I am! I’ve hosted for the past two years, and this year we’re headed to my in-laws’ house. I love having everyone over, but there’s so much to do and I can’t say that I’m sad about relinquishing the responsibility this year.

Gifting season is almost in full swing, so I thought it would be appropos to start with a host(ess) gift guide! Showing up empty-handed is just a no-no, so below are a few options that are easily customizable to reflect the tastes of the hosts.

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Wine

If the hostess drinks, she will love this. I like to forgo a boring wine bag and tie up the bottle in a dishcloth. Double the gifts!

Leave-Behind Serving Dish

If you offered to bring a dish for the party, why not bring it on something the hostess can keep? Cookies in a pottery dish, roasted nuts in a pretty bowl,  you get the idea. Make sure to leave a note on the bottom of the dish indicating that the dish is theirs to keep (they’ll find it when they’re cleaning up).

An Upgraded Candle

Candles can be a little boring, so step up your game. Why not treat her to something a little more luxurious than what she may buy for herself, like a Diptique candle or one in a beautiful container.

Coaster + Bottle Opener

I have found countless cool options for these two items. From modern to chic to cheeky to minimal- these two items can be found in a style to suit any taste.

Miscellaneous Pretty Do-Dads

Something thoughtful to say thanks for being crazy enough to throw a party and nice enough to invite you!

I started a Pinterest board to keep track of the fun stuff I find, because this list is by no means the end of great gifts for a hostess. Follow along here.