I'm loving the holidays this year. Putting up our first Christmas tree today has really up'd my holiday spirit. Bring on the non-stop Christmas music. And someone pass the eggnog. Please!
At this point half of my shopping is done and the other half is decided, I just need to brave the traffic and get the shopping done. I love gift shopping. I love finding/making the perfect gift that someone is going to love.
Really, my favorite thing to do is think of something that I adore and give it to someone that doesn't even know that they want it because I know that they will love it too...they just don't know it yet.
In light of that, I've put together some of my favorite things that would make great gifts for your average person-who-is-just-like-me/would-be-my-friend. Actually, a few of these ideas came from my bestie Sally, but we're pretty much identical so they might as well be my ideas.
Just so we're clear, we love all this stuff so much that we use it or cherish it every single day.
PS - I've attached links in purple when available. You're welcome.
Great Cupcake Pan. Every hostess/mom/friend/teacher should have it. Easy and fun. Always a hit for someone's birthday. Every baker needs a giant cupcake in their life. Around $25.
Williams Sonoma dish towels. Perfect stocking stuffer. Can never have too many. Pretty and actually do what they're meant to do - dry stuff. I despise cheap towels that just smear water everywhere. About $15.
TOMS. I have brown/gold threaded and plain olive. Love them. Wear them as much as possible. Seriously considering purchasing the black sparkly TOMS to wear with my black pants to work....About $50.
Fossil Multi-Function Womens Watch. Wear it everyday. Love the splash of color (comes in several colors) and the bit of bling. Plus, its a reasonable price compared to Toy and way more legit than the rubber cheap-o's. About $85.
Isabel Blooms. If you're looking for a collection to start for a child or a piece to mark an event then there is nothing better. Whimsical, adorable, affordable and always changing. Plus the story is great and you'd be supporting a home-grown American company. Prices vary but start around $20 or so.
Tervis Mugs. Hot or cold. Microwavable and dishwasher safe. Lid or no lid (get the lid). Can't go wrong with these bad boys. Around $12.
Tumblers. Personalized, colored tumblers all the better. Mine just has flip-flops but if someone wants to hook me up with a personalized one I certainly wouldn't object. About $10.
Drink Jug. Every hostess needs one. I use mine for every party I can get my hands on. These are from Pottery Barn but Pier 1, Target and every other store under the sun carries them as well for reasonable prices. Depending on the style and store, $25 - $55.
Camera Bag. Nope, not a purse. Every photo girl needs one. Normal camera bags aren't always conducive to traveling or a party. These bags from Jo Totes are fully lined and designed to hold a DSLR camera, extra lens(s) plus your wallet, phone and small purse accessories. Epiphanie bags are also amazing but twice the cost. Around $90.
Leather Gallery Day Planner. Canvas cover, super thick pages so your awesome/favorite pen doesn't bleed through. Big, gigantic days so you can fit in all your plans. 2012 will be my fourth year owning one. Love it, love it, love it. Cheap, too. About $13.
Scarves. From anywhere. In any color. In any print. I want them all.
iPod Shuffle. As if my iPhone, iPod and MacBook aren't enough to keep me entertained, I still use my plain ole Shuffle every single day at the gym. Can't beat the price, simplicity or weight. And the colors are fun. About $50.
Lululemon Scuba Hoodie. The most expensive hoodie of all time because it is the most amazing hoodie of all time. Go ahead and splurge. You won't regret it. Around $100.
50mm Lens. For all of us amateur photographers out there the 50mm f/1.8 is all you need. It's really affordable and it's the best bang for your buck. It will revolutionize your photography skills. You'll feel like a photo genius. And who doesn't want to feel like a genius? Around $100.
Colorful colander. Trust me when I tell you that every kitchen needs a colorful colander. Find them on-line or at TJMaxx. They make draining spaghetti and washing berries fun. Around $10.
Pier 1 Chalkboard Glassware. Glasses, jugs, containers. Love them. Love writing on them. Totally affordable and perfect for parties. $2-15.
For your blogger friend. Hook them up with a gift certificate to a blog designer. New banners, new layout and plug-ins, whatever. Fabulous K is a family friend of mine who does beautiful work. Every blog deserves to be fabulous. For the record, she has not worked on this blog so please don't judge her by my lack of creativity and artistic design. This is one thing that is on my wish-list :)
Letter Photo Art. Initials, names, inspirational words. Get creative! About $30.
Havaianas. The most durable and fun flip-flop ever. Let me tell you, I am hard on flip-flops and have yet to destroy a pair. My collection is out of control. Someone stop me. About $20.
Vera Bradley Weekender Bag. Of all my VB, this is by far my favorite. It holds an unbelievable amount of stuff. Great pockets and comfy strap. I take it on every single trip. If I fly, its my carry-on. Tip: buy the discontinued pattern and snag the sale price. Anywhere from $50 - $100.
Vera Bradley Carry It All Wristlet. I wish these were around when I was a freshman. Perfect for the younger girl in your life. Or the grown-up girl who hates purses. The flip side is a clear ID holder too. About $30.
Yankee Candles. Beach walk is my all time favorite. Perfect stocking stuffer. There is no such thing as too many candles. Especially if you live with a smelly boy. Or smelly dogs. Worse yet, both.
BIC Bands. Created by a genius and sold on
Etsy on-line. Guaranteed not to slip, even off the largest, most awkwardly shaped heads like mine. Runners swear by them. Plus, 10% of every purchase goes to charity. Perfect for the stocking. $10.
Hobo Wallet. Doubles as a clutch. Pricey for a wallet but I've had mine for 6 years (that's like forever in wallet land) and I still love it and carry it. It's got at least another 30 years left in it. Around $100.
Wine Aerator. Perfect for your friendly-wino. Totally makes a difference in the quality. Affordable. Every house should have one. About $30.
That's it. My favorites in a nutshell. Just call me Oprah.