found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Gift Ideas: Part II

If you aren’t out on Black Friday, read below and maybe it will help you cross someone off your list with a great Christmas gift find (or give you an idea to add to your wish list)!

This first group of ideas is because I was thinking that personalized gifts are always great and show your thoughtfulness about the recipient. That said, you have to be pretty confident the person will like it since they can’t return/exchange!

  • Photo books from – I make these for my parents and my in-laws all the time, great for Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s Day, or birthdays.  They’re usually ~$30-40 per book, they’re hardcover and in fabric or leather too.  The quality is great and the functionality to design your book is so easy.
  • Home accessories from – lucite trays and boxes, glass coasters, and canvas pillows for $100 or less.  You can put a name or monogram on to the fun backgrounds.
  • Longchamp tote – Le Pliage bags in three different sizes are customizable online, you can choose two fabric colors for the bag (varies seasonally), handle length (hand carry or over-the-shoulder length), hardware finish (nickel, bronze, brass), and can even have name or monogram embroidered for an extra fee.  I’m huge fan of these bags, they’re durable and ultra-lightweight. I’ve been using mine for the past year or so as a diaper bag/travel bag.
  • Monogrammed throw – Available at Williams-Sonoma home in cashmere, on sale now for $198. I was lucky enough to get one of these last year from my parents and LOVE it.  I’d never have bought it for myself, but wrapping myself up in it in front of the TV or in an armchair with my Kindle is heavenly.  There’s an even less expensive option at Restoration Hardware now, you can’t monogram, but it’s $104 for a cashmere throw! If you’ve ever felt their cashmere stuff in-store then you know the quality is excellent, and they always have a great selection of neutral colors.

There are a few fragrance and beauty gifts you can give as well.  I think it’s interesting that so many people like to give these types of things since they are pretty personal and specific choices.  That said, I thought of a couple of options that could work because you could probably determine what the person would like.

  • Diptique – the candles are a classic, but also try the newer solid perfumes. First, they come in the most fabulous little black metal compacts engraved with a Diptique design. Perfect to throw in your bag for touch-ups and great for travel too.
  • Make-up brush setBobbi Brown’s limited edition mini brush set includes 4 brushes and a case, purse-sized and super soft. I received a similar one several years ago and am still using it!  Online  and Macy’s, Nordstroms, and Neiman’s.  Trish McEvoy’s “The Voyager” Beauty Emergency Card IX is a great value and would make an excellent gift (see pic at left).
  • Scented drawer liners – an old-fashioned luxury, I use them in some of my drawers and it’s so lovely to have my clothes sitting on these beautiful designs and tinged with the lightest fragrance.  Don’t worry, I haven’t found it interferes with your perfume, but it does keep your drawer from smelling, well, like wood or a drawer. Check out and search for drawer liners to see some different selections.

For the person on your list who loves to entertain, or for a hostess gift if you’re planning to be a houseguest over the holidays.

  • Lafco NY’s Little Luxuries candles – sophisticated scents like Marine, Sage & Walnut, Cilantro Orange, & Feu de Bois come in a clever white tin with a lid that doubles as a stand, these soy candles have ~30 hr burn time.
  • Stone drink chillers – saw these in the holiday Uncommon Goods catalog and love them. They’re unique and beautiful, but also super functional, since they chill your drinks without diluting them, ideal for spirits like scotch.  While you’re on the site, be sure to check out the beer glasses and wine goblets made from recycled auto windshield glass.
  • Stainless steel drinking straws – more sustainable than plastic, and way cooler looking.  Good for kids who love to drink everything from straws (these are dishwasher safe!) and for adults at parties. Great looking like the Christofle silver straws that I love, but for a fraction of the price. Also, more practical since those are designed for champagne and extra long.
  • CB2 Marta glasses – these ultra-thin glasses have long been heralded for their minimalist design and are dishwasher safe (to decrease chances of breaking, I’d recommend top rack only) and so affordable.  A set of these would be an always welcome gift.  Comes in three sizes.
  • Design Within Reach Bedside Carafe – while we’re talking minimalism and elegant design, check this out. So great to keep bedside or on your desk. It’s currently on sale through 11/30 plus free shipping.

For the design and style maven who can be picky, these gifts are fun, stylish but not too trendy, well… maybe the leopard scarf, but regardless, they’re unlikely to be returned.  I have, or have gifted, a few of things on the list below and definitely recommend them.

  • Michael Kors Bel Aire Chrono watch – I love it in gold or the rose gold. Someone said to me recently “gold is making a comeback” — no, no, it’s already back. And this watch really looks best in gold tone anyway.
  • Leopard scarf –  but in gray or plum, it’s easy to wear and a nod to the animal print trend with a twist. Try for several possibilities. I especially like the ones from Tilo and Yarnz.  For the same look for less, try this one from INC for Macy’s.
  • “I am not a paper cup” – cool design, sustainable porcelain with silicone lid.  For the coffee addict who appreciates it’s eco-friendly and aesthetic appeal.  Outside of the cup doesn’t get hot, lid doesn’t come off, but yes, this means you’ll have to wash it. Just $12 on right now, but more like $20 full price.
  • Anything Russell + Hazel – For that super-organized person who’s always got it together (or who aspires to!) Help them do it in style with these fun binder sets, starting at $48, include the 3-ring binder, index divider set, paper refill, and sticky notes. I also like the recipe binder set and recipe card keeper for the Foodie in your life. The company’s HQ is in Minneapolis, so if you’re a local you can visit their flagship store at 44th & France. Lots of great gift ideas and stocking stuffers!
  • Lodis iPad case – yes, one more, I had several in the Gift Ideas I post, but overlooked this one which I like a lot too, for $118, less than the designer ones.

Can’t promise a Part III, but hopefully this gives you a good start and sparks some inspiration for other gift ideas.


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This entry was posted on November 26, 2010 by in gifts and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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