Category Archives: Gifts

{mini} Perfect Prezzies: 23 Days To Go!

This one is for the dog lovers on your list.  I was introduced to Mod Dog over on Alison’s blog My Little Happy Place, and immediately fell in love.

I think I am going to give this print to my daughter for Christmas to hang in her big girl room (with a hot pink background) to remind her of our little bichon Annie:

{Mod Bichon Frise Print, Mod Dog, $24.95 unframed}

They have a bunch of breeds — here are two more of my faves:

{Mod Yorkshire Terrier Print, Mod Dog, $24.95 unframed}

{Mod Doberman Print, Mod Dog, $24.95 unframed}

Mod Dog also sells cat prints and animal accessories.  It’s a great source for all of the animal lovers on your holiday list!

 

{mini} Perfect Prezzies: 24 Days To Go!

How can it be December already??  Don’t sweat it — here are a few more great gift ideas.

I am loving Pottery Barn’s little birdie accessories this season.

{Bird Jewelry Dish, Pottery Barn, $19 and free shipping}

{Ceramic Bird Accessories, Pottery Barn, $14-$24 each}

Don’t you love that little jewelry tray?  And any bathroom would look better with that adorable nest soap dish and the birdie canister.

Any of these would make a perfect prezzie for someone who just purchased a new home, the entertainer or any bird lovers on your list.

{mini} Perfect Prezzies: 25 Days To Go!

One of my favorite gifts to give (and receive) at the holidays is a festively gorgeous set of dessert plates.  I can never have too many!  I love pulling them out and setting them next to appetizers or using them to serve cookies to an impromptu guest.

These are my absolute favorite:

{Boho Holiday Dessert Plates, Acacia Catalog, $54.95}

These would make a perfect prezzie for a couple who loves to entertain, a neighbor or an administrative assistant.

Or me.  (just sayin’)

{mini} Perfect Prezzies: 26 Days To Go!

Well, today, I am battling my way through the Magic Kingdon at Disney World with an over-exuberant 3 year old and a reluctant husband.  In my absence, I thought I would post mini Perfect Prezzie posts.  If you weren’t a reader at this time last year, Perfect Prezzies are posts on holiday gift suggestions!  Can you believe there is only 26 days until Christmas??  Aaaack.

Without further ado, this gorgeous angel wing platter would be a perfect prezzie for any gal or couple on your list.  It would be a great gift for someone at work or serve as a very generous hostess gift.

{Angel Wing Platter, Viva Terra, $89}

This would work beautifully on a console in the front hall or perched on a dresser to neatly collect change, jewelry and sunglasses.  Stay tuned this week for some more Perfect Prezzies!

Perfect Prezzies: 17 Days!

Sorry for the unexpected blogging silence!  Work and life has me hopping this month.  Not to mention that there are still pumpkins on my front porch….

Speaking of, YIKES — 17 days until Christmas!  Here are some  unique, fun and affordable stocking stuffer inspiration for all the great peeps on your list:

For Her

What gal doesn’t like fun, dotty accessories?  I love this belt from Boden (on sale for $32)!  It would look great with brown, black or any color!

And this dot scarf from Garnet Hill ($58) adds some fun to bundling up.

And speaking of accessories, this triple strand headband from Anthro ($32) would make a great stocking stuffer for any girl on Santa’s list:

I would love to hang these fabulous icicle quartz ornaments from Viva Terra ($44 for a set of 12) on little pine trees on either side of the front door.  Or even from a chandelier.  Gorgeous!

For the traveler on your list!  You would never overlook your bag at baggage claim or forget your passport with these awesome faux croc Ivana passport cover and luggage tag from Z Gallerie ($16.95).

 

For Kids

I just bought this Fair Isle Hat from Gymboree for baby spark! and we both love it (on sale for $11)!

For the chic-est baby on the block!  Check out these zebra booties from Layla Grace ($10).  So.Darn.Cute!

Wouldn’t this stag toothbrush holder ($8) from Urban Outfitters be so cute in a kids bathroom?  Gotta love useful antlers.

 

For Him

Can’t have too many of these.  And for $4!  Check out these nice fleece gloves from Old Navy:

This is totally random, but is your man as obssessed with shredding as much as mine is?  I thought of him immediately when I saw these shredding scissors ($8.99) from the Container Store.  No need for that bulky shredder by the trash can anymore! 

Check out this great off-season deal: 4 piece barbeque tool kit for $7.48 from World Market.

And of course, the good ole standby in our house for all stockings: Moose Munch by Harry and David.  Yummmmm.

I hope these ideas have inspired you!  Off to start decorating — merry merry!

Perfect Prezzies: 39 Days Until Christmas!

Wait, what??  39 days until Christmas??  How did that happen?? 

Welcome to the third installment of Perfect Prezzies (click here for the first edition or second edition).  I hope you find some affordable and fabulous inspiration for everyone on your holiday list!

For the Entertainer

I have given these chic and eclectic cocktail/appetizer/dessert plates as gifts in previous years, and received great feedback.  You can never have too many beautiful accent plates!  Aren’t they gorgeous?

acaciaplates

{Boho Holiday Dessert Plates, Acacia Catalog, $54}

For Him

As I have said before, I think that men are the toughest to buy for!  I love this vintage, retro, black, steel-cased clock.  It has a great masculine look that would complement any nightstand, desk or bureau.  The description says: “It even has an old-fashioned, rise-and-shine alarm bell.”  Charming! 

sundanceclock

{Time-tested Clock, Sundance Catalog, $38}

Speaking of retro, I really like this leather, vintage-looking dopp kit.  Men are always in need of an updated travel case and this one is masculine, sturdy, durable and affordable. 

fossildopp

{Redmond Shave Kit, Fossil, $60}

For the Gardener

I love to give little pint-sized bonsais!  Bonsais are interesting, pretty low maintenance and they last forever.  Plus, this Gardenia Bonsai flowers a few times a year and who wouldn’t want their house perfumed with the scent of fresh gardenias?  (Also, Red Envelope is very customer-service oriented — I sent a few jade bonsais to family members a few years ago, and they all came in great condition, except for my grandmother’s which arrived partially frozen.  RE returned it for a fresh plant the next day.) 

redenvbonsai

{Gardenia Bonsai, Red Envelope, $49.95}

For Her

I just added this sparkler to MY LIST!  Isn’t it so delicate and feminine?  And only $42?  Yes please.  It would look great tied close to your neck with a little black dress, or tied long and worn over a turtleneck or high-necked dress. 

anthronecklace

{Bougainvillea Necklace, Anthropologie, $42}

Check out this marketing genius — who wouldn’t love to receive the 5 very best products from Bliss Spa in a cute little package? 

bestbliss

{Best of Bliss Set 2009, Bliss, $45}

For Kids

In our family, my sister and I got new matching nightgowns each Christmas Eve.  I still love the idea of receiving new, warm, wintery (and maybe kinda matching!) night clothes for Christmas.  Check out these options:

girlsleep{Girls Plaid Sleep Set, Gap Kids, $29.50}

boysleep

{Boys Plaid Sleep Set, Gap Kids, $29.50}

hanightie

{Dreamy Nightgown, Hanna Anderrson, on sale for $28.80}

hajohns

{Unisex Organic Cotton Long Johns, Hanna Andersson, on sale for $33.60}

HAPPY HOLIDAY SHOPPING!

 

Kate Spade at One Kings Lane

ks4

Extra extra, read all about it!  Kate spade dinnerware and gift items are on clearance at One Kings Lane.  If you need an invite to OKL, leave a comment with your email address and I will send you one.  Check it out!  Here are some of my faves:

ks3

 

ks6

 

ks7

 

ks1

Happy Bargain Hunting!

 

Perfect Prezzies: 58 Days

Welcome to the 2nd installment of Perfect Prezzies.  58 days until Christmas!  I hope these affordable ideas delight and inspire….

FOR MOTHERS

I love this darling necklace from Cambria Cove!  The larger monogrammed charm depicts the mother’s first initial and the “baby” silver charm represents the child’s first initial.  The curly cursive font used on the charms is adorable!  ($80 for chain, $60 for large charm, $35 for baby charm).

ccnecklace

FOR HIM

Men are such a challenge!  For cold-weather-climate guys, what do you think about this cool collapsible shovel ($29.50) to get themselves and others out of snowy situations?

 

ebshovel  

FOR MOMS-TO-BE

My sister introduced me to the Gownie ($49.99) — the cute and chic hospital gown made from 100% cotton!  No more exposing yourself to everyone in the hospital with those horrible “tie up the back” neon green hospital rags.  Why didn’t we think of this long before now?! 

gownie

FOR NEWLYWEDS, COLLEAGUES, TEACHERS OR NEIGHBORS

I just love these Garden of Eden Salt and Pepper Shakers from Jonathan Adler.  They are little cheeky works of art for your ktichen table!

jasalt&pepper

FOR BABY

This blanket ($26) found at Pokka Dots was one of my favorite baby gifts when my daughter was born.  It is so FUZZY and SOFT and makes a perfect stroller blanket.

blanket

FOR HER

Any gal on your list would be thrilled to receive this gorgeous silver Lotus In Bloom Ring ($98) from Sundance

lotusring

So, have you started your shopping yet? 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for the Lexy Lu hat, a perfect prezzie for any kid on  your list!

 

Perfect Prezzies: 71 Days

I am starting a new series, Perfect Prezzies, that will run periodically from now until Christmas (71 DAYS AWAY!) to share some fun and affordable holiday gift ideas.  There are some years that I am brimming with inspiration for everyone on my list and other years that I am struggling on Christmas Eve to find ANYTHING for my family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. 

So, I hope this series will give you some motivation to get shopping early so that you can be sipping spiked cider and eating cookies in front of a roaring fire on Christmas Eve, instead of battling traffic and throngs of procrastinators at your local mall!

For Her

I love this delicate and understated bracelet ($95) by Kate Spade.  It is perfect for both work and weekends.  Isn’t she lovely? 

ks

How awesome is this Guess Drop Waist Peacoat ($138) from Nordstrom?  It’s almost an outfit by itself — pair it with black leggings or jeans and head out the door.  I have been waiting for it to go on sale because it would be a perfect present for my 17 year old step-sister.   

 

guesscoat

 

I spotted this glam Nate Berkus Throw ($79.99) over at Matters of Style earlier this week and immediately thought that it would make a terrific Christmas present.  I could design a whole room around this beauty!

 

natethrow

  

For Little Girl

A friend gave baby spark! one of these adorable Lexy Lu hats ($20) for Christmas last year and we wore it all winter.  They are soft and sweet and I love the “whale spout” of grosgrain ribbons!  (For Richmonders, these are available at Rattle & Roll too).

 

lexilu

  

For Him

Aren’t men the hardest to buy for?  My husband, dad and brothers-in-law are always the last ones left on my list.  This masculine, black and white, matted and framed photo of a vintage jaguar ($69.95) from Z Gallerie would make a welcome addition to any man’s office or “man cave.” 

 

jagphoto

For Neighbors or Teacher

I have been eyeing Red Envelope‘s gorgeous oversized candles for a while and think that this Cherry Blossoms Candle ($49.99) would make a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

 

cherryblossomcandle

 

Acacia offers the most amazing sets of tableware.  These Japanese Botanical Bowls ($59.95) are so simple and elegant and could be used for everything from soup to cereal to serving snacks. 

 

bowls

 

For the Dog Lover

We are a family of dog lovers and this fun Buddy Pillow ($88) by Serena and Lily would be perfect for my in-laws who have an affinity for labs and golden retrievers.  It also comes in yellow with a white background and orange with a light blue background.

dogpillow

Go get shopping, friends! 

Oh, and time is running out, so please don’t forget to click on over to enter into the Shades of Light GIVEAWAY to celebrate spark!’s 100th post.

Favorite Wedding Presents

A dear friend of our family is getting married in April!  She just graduated from college and is 22 years old.  She has just begun the process of registering and asked for some advice about the process.

Which prompted me to reflect about my registry and the wedding gifts that I received, now almost 7 years ago!  This post was a stream of consciousness, as I tried to recall quickly, the gifts that I use and love the most.

I am hoping to inspire ideas for wedding guests, as well as prospective brides and grooms, and to also hear from you about your favorite wedding gifts, as a giver or recipient.  Leave a comment and let everyone know!  Here’s my top ten list:

1. Le Creuset 9″ French Oven (aka Dutch Oven). I use this for everything, from boiling pasta, to frying chicken, to soups and spaghetti sauces.  Mine is a since-discontinued pretty bright yellow color and I just love it!

lecreuset2. Tiffany Hampton Candlesticks. These add instant panache to any dining room table.  They sit on mine all year ’round.  I love them so much that they have become my “go to” wedding gift.   

tiffanycandle3. Pasta/Salad Serving Set. We didn’t register for anything like this and when we were given a set (now discontinued from Williams-Sonoma), I almost returned it because it didn’t match anything in our kitchen.  I am so glad that I kept it because we use the heck out of it!  The set is great for salad and pasta.  The shallow bowls are great for just about anything — eating casseroles, rice & beans,  jambalaya, etc.  The set below is from Napa Style.

 

pastaset

4. Antique Accent Table. An aunt and uncle gave us the most gorgeous antique accent table for our wedding similar to those below from 1st Dibs.  It is a one-of-a-kind, priceless and unforgettable gift.

weddingtable

5. Cuisinart Griddler. I actually didn’t get this as a wedding gift, but it’s so registry-ish that I had to include it.  Except for the coffee maker, this is the most-used appliance in our kitchen!  Easily interchangeable plates transform it into either a grill or griddle.  It opens all the way to lay flat too.  It makes a mean (and fast!) grilled cheese.

griddler

6. Three Tier Glass Serving Piece. I use this each time we have guests over and stack cookies, cupcakes, fruit, finger sandwiches, etc.  It is pretty empty too!

glassserver

7. Calphalon Nonstick Pots and Pans. Ok, duh.  I use these everyday and heart them.  They are like old friends to me!  🙂

calphalon

 

8.  Murano Glass. A very sweet cousin brought us four Murano highball glasses back from a vacation in Italy.  They are gorgeous.  These Murano bowls from Uncommon Goods are the only comparable picture that I could find.  I love setting my table with those beauties!

murano

9 & 10. Henckels Twin Cuisine Hallow-Ground Santoku Knife, 7″ & John Boos & Co. Cutting Board. We got a big set of knives and this one is the only one we use!  The easy-to-use knife and the solid cutting board makes chopping a pleasure instead of a chore.

santoku

cuttingboard

This post wouldn’t be complete without the few items that we registered for that sit collecting dust in the cupboards.  We should have passed on the: KitchenAid Mixer (too bulky to keep out on the counter and too bulky to pull out and use!), the Bread Machine, and the Toaster Oven.

Do tell — what gifts do you use the most and what never gets used?  Do you have a favorite wedding gift that you received, or like to give?  Discuss!