Tag Archives: christmas gifts

2011 Gift Guide: Kids Edition


The people that are most excited about holiday presents are obviously the kids.  If you have ever spent a Christmas morning with someone who is looking for the tag marked with their name and a “love, Santa” then you already know this.

I know a lot of pretty cool kids, but our niece and nephews were definitely the inspiration for today’s gift guide.  On the cool-meter they are a 10, and they know it.  They have been working on their wish lists for a little while now, and it is so interesting to see what they ask for and admire; generally it is a mix of clothes, toys and things don’t actually exist.

Shop: Gummy Bears, Finger Paints, Tee, Spin Art, Yumbrella, Baking Set, Bike, Army Men, Chewbaca, Tights

For this inspiration board I thought of some of the things our niece and nephews really like – bikes, Star Wars, baking, crafts and went old school.  Some of these toys were my favorite as a kid, especially the spin art and the baking set.  Other items just made me laugh and smile – how funny is the Chewbaca hat and how fun is the color it yourself “Yumbrella”?

What I liked most of all about these gifts is that they require lots of creativity and imagination and very few batteries – they are already much better than I am at video games!

What is your favorite gift to give to kids – or maybe your favorite gift you received as a kid?  Tell me in the comments!

Holiday Shopping: Gifts for Someone Who Has Everything


There is always someone on your list who seems to have everything, or really “need” nothing.  (Maybe that someone is you!)  In which case, the perfect gift might need to tell a story, share a memory, be personalized, or add a little extra sparkle to an otherwise everyday item.

The gifts for the gal who has everything can be the most challenging and also the most delightful.  Let the gift giving begin:

Let the gift giving begin!
  • Start the holiday season with some sparkle.  For those with trees give them a gift that marks the season with a little sparkle like this Swarovski snowflake ornament.
  • I have never had these but I just know that I would love them.  Levain Bakery’s chocolate walnut cookies are famous for being supersized and super delicious.  They are large enough to encourage sharing and that’s what the season is all about, after all.
  • Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, these I have had, and yes, they are delicious.  They are beautiful, super moist, and here is a tip order in advance so you can skip the lines!
  • Have a memorable moment!  Find a treat from a favorite treat, for us it would be Coconut Candy from Julia in Maui.
  • Make them gift unable to be regifted with a monogrammed and personalized item.  I love the fit of this RL Jacket.
  • Give the gift of glamour with a staple (belt) with extra jazz (feathers), a year of flowers, or a satin clutch from the new collection from Tiffany & Co.
All of these gifts are a delight and happily are available in a variety of price points.  The perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive and out of reach, it just needs to be made special with thought.

Happy Gift Giving for Someone as Special as You.

Holiday Shopping: Gifts for the Mister on Your List


Shopping for boys, guys and men – whatever you prefer – is sometimes the most difficult shopping challenge of all.  The men I am closest to, my husband and my dad, are the type that if they want or need something they just go and get it.  So for them, I am thinking up gifts that appeal to their interests and needs and go just a little bit beyond expectations.

Here are my top picks for Mark, and tips for gifts for the Mister on your list:

Like I said, when giving gifts to Mark I like to think of the things he or I enjoy and do a little extra.  
  • I love a massage, and over the last few years this has become something that we enjoy doing together.  If your guy is new to the world of massages a “dude-friendly” spa like DC’s Grooming Lounge is a great place to start.  
  • Here is an easy solution if you find your guy is still living in sweats – swap out that Hanes for cashmere.  This cashmere sweater from J. Crew fits like a sweatshirt and feels like a million bucks.  
  • My guy is a natural born adventure seeker, and so a great gift is something that appeals to that wilder side: check out the many options by city from Xperience Days, or buy gear for his favorite sport, new sneakers, new goggles, or a new board.  An even better gift is to get out there and take on the world together. 
  • Mark has a penchant for the finer things in life, and because of his appreciation it is always worth it to go the extra step.  He already has custom shirts for a more exacting fit, but I am excited to see a local custom shirt option from Hugh & Crye – again this is a gift that most men won’t know they’ll love until they try on a shirt that actually fits them. 
  • Don’t forget winter is long and cold, you’ll probably spend some time on the couch, make it a movie night with the ultimate guy’s collection of films: James Bond for my guy, maybe Dirty Harry, the Godfather, Lord of the Rings. 
Happy gift giving to you, and yours!

Holiday Shopping: Gifts for Your Favorite Foodie


The Holiday countdown is 40 days and 16 days until Christmas and Hanukkah respectively – what are you waiting for?  Often on the blog I share recipes, and I do so because cooking and baking for me is fun, it’s an adventure, it’s therapeutic, and this Holiday season it is something to celebrate.

When you treat your guests to something extra it is noticed, and when you treat the cook to something special it makes any meal that much more of an experience, memorable and a gift worth giving. 


For someone whose  passion is cooking or baking, often what they make is a gift, this holidays season give them things to make the experience of cooking, serving and dining a delight.  
This is what I love: the ceramic farmers’ market baskets; Food Rules by Michael Pollan – his books are a must read for anyone who enjoy cooking and eating food;  the twist on the classic cognac glasses, they are like dreidels for adults; the matching mother-daughter “Carly” aprons – seriously that is the name; the tasting plate is a delight, where are the dips?; the baker’s set of spices is a must have for the baker building a collection; and the Italian bakewear is a great counter-to oven-to table!  

I would love to give or receive any of these gifts.  Happy Gift Giving!

Holiday Shopping: Gifts For Your Favorite Couple


Christmas is 45 days away and Hanukkah is just 20 days away – that lunar candle can really mess up your planning! What does this mean?  It means it’s time to shop!  Have you made your list?  I am making mine.  Holiday season gift giving is always tricky; it should be special, it should be memorable, and it should be sustainable (by which I mean you should not go into debt buying your gifts).  Over the next few weeks I will share my top picks for all kinds of people, in all kinds of price ranges!

Today we’ll start with gifts for the favorite couple in your life.  Truly, I would love any of these gifts, even the funny ones! 
For gifts for a couple I try to look for items that both people can enjoy; great items like the wine-of-the-month club, champagne glasses to toast to their happiness, personalized wall art, and even the Smitten Mittens which I think are just beyond funny.

A personal favorite of mine is the gift of breakfast in bed, the Zabar’s basket is an extra special treat, but the idea behind nearly all of these gifts is that they are to treat both people, and they go a little above and beyond so that the couple in mind can enjoy each other most of all!

Happy Gift Giving!