Friday, December 3, 2010

Helping Some Sistas Out - The Gift Guide

We've moved to - you'll be redirected to this post in a moment.

*Reposting in case you missed it.  If you've already seen it, scroll down to the very bottom to see a few added items...

So. Every year I am tasked with giving every family member gift ideas for every other family member. I generally like to buy for other people and most of the time have good ideas for them. This year however, I am quite stumped. So instead of thinking about all the sad faces I will see on Christmas morning as they sit empty handed wondering where their gifts are this year, I've decided to help you. The following are items that I love or that my family actually has and thouroughly enjoys. Some you may have seen before, some maybe not. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about any of them!

Holiday Cheer:
Darling lollipop fabric ornaments from Hank and Hunt - set of 2, $18
These are totally going on my tree this year! Sweet handmade loveliness!

Elf on the Shelf available at tons of retailers and Barnes and Noble - for around $30
You HAVE to have one! Ours is named Carl. The kids talk about him all year and he really does help keep them in line throughout the holiday season. If you have one, leave a comment and tell me what his name is!

Elf candlestick holders from CB2 - $5.95 each
These make me smile. They are traditional while being different. I love their finish and even if you had just one it would still stand out.

Encourage Dreaming:
An Awesome Book and An Awesome Book of Thanks, by Dallas Clayton, $15.95 and $16.95
Hands down, these are two of my favorite books ever written. I will try to keep it short so this gift list doesn't get too wordy, but in a nut shell, An Awesome book talks about dreaming big and being great and knowing the world is yours for the taking. An Awesome Book of Thanks is reminding you to let people know that you appreciate them when they do something nice. But that doesn't do them justice. You can read each book online and I hope they touch you the way they have touched me. Keep these on-hand for birthday gifts and also gifts for school teacher's. And, breaking news, I am doing my son's 2nd birthday party based on An Awesome Book of Thanks, so stay tuned mid-January to see how it turns out. I bet it's going to be, well, AWESOME!
All books by Calef Brown, available on Amazon from about $7.
These books are crazy good. Like an intro to poetry for kids, they are amazingly fun, creative and silly. Calef Brown also illustrates the covers for the Land of Nod catalogues and his whimsical creations fill these pages and keep the kids interested.

A One Stop Shop:

Copernicus Toys Cool Blue Light Experiment Kit at Black Wagon, $16
How cool does this science kit look? Totally not nerdy like some science kits can be. They have several other versions available.

Nevermind Your P's & Q's at Black Wagon, $29.95
I adore alphabet books done in a new way. And being a music lover, how can I resist a punk alphabet!

Black Wagon has an amazing selection of gift items, cool clothes, bedding, and everything else you need for your kids. Their customer service is always amazing and I am a return customer and will continue to be.

Saving The World:

Kauzbots, Robots with a heart, available online, $24.99
You may remember this from November's Inspiration Board Challenge. I couldn't do a gift guide without putting them on here. I can't think of a better gift to give a kid (and adults too!). They are a great tool for teaching your children about giving back and problems facing our world and allowing them to make choices. Check out the website to find out if they are in a store near you or buy them online.
Creatively Green:

Electronic Adventures Series by Sprig, $24.99
My son has the playset above and it is so cool. Made from recycled materials it makes a great play truck. But it is super advanced! The little explorer guy pops in to the driver's seat and fits with a USB connection. As you push the car, it creates the energy needed to power several different modes that are available on the truck. The driver even talks as though you are going on a tour with him. Amazing!!!

Story Building Play Sets by Sprig, $29.99
These eco friendly story building sets allow kids to build as they would with normal blocks but also add more imagination in to it as well. With almost 100 pieces, they create the world where their story takes place. I am totally get this for my kids this year.

The History of Me:

This is Me available online, $18
This is called "A kid's first keepsake journal." How cool. With prompts to get each child really thinking about what makes them special as well as a place to keep all their memories for the year, this book promotes creativity and pride. What a good way to get a child interested in preserving family history for future generations and also providing an introduction to journaling.
Small Wonders:

AJ Morgan Buddy Glasses at Little Dudes Only, $14
Little Dudes Only has the coolest boys stuff. From shoes, rad t-shirts to accessories, if you want your kid to be cool, you need to shop here. With these sunglasses, your little dude can match daddy without you freaking out that he'll scratch a $150 lense.

DJ Lance Dunny at Kidrobot, $9.95
And I thought DJ Lance couldn't be any cooler. I love this little figurine. Most Kidrobot "toys" are not for young children and are thought of more as collectibles so be sure to read the info before buying.

Yellow Owl Workshop London Rubber Stamp Kit at Paper Pastries, $12
I love things that allow the kids to be creative and learn at the same time. If they ask you where London is, it's a perfect opportunity to show them on a map and open a dialogue about a new place. And the illustrations are plain, freaking cute.

The Juice Box Camera at Photojojo, $25
My son is only 4 but he loves taking photos. We have explained to him about "film" cameras and he just stares blankly, so at $25 this is a great way to show him how they work while being totally kid friendly. I bet he could come up with some amazing images with this.

Allergies are Cool:

Custom Food Allergy T by Allergy Apparel, $20
What a great shirt to wear on the first day or school or summer camp while still allowing the kid to be totally cool. List your child's allergies, choose the graphics for the shirt and you've got a shirt as unique as your child.

Rock'n Cuff Medical Alert Bracelet at Allergy Apparel, $30
How cool is this! This leather cuff bracelet comes in several colors and will keep your kid safe while letting them accessorize at the same time.

Peace Out Epi Pen Pouch at Allergy Apparel, $16
Silly Skull Epi Pen Pouch at Allergy Apparel, $16
Carry your epi pen around in style. Lots of styles for girls and boys.

Food Allergy Buttons at Allergy Apparel, $6
The perfect thing to keep in the car to use anywhere you think you may need a little extra security. First day of preschool, birthday parties, I can think of so many places where this button would be useful.

Boy Threads:

DJ Thermal Tee at Crazy 8, $8.99
Cute little girls clothes seem to be everywhere. But cool little boys clothes seem to be harder to find. It isn't often you find a store that is consistent at carrying a full line of cool items at one time. So you have to pick the cool items out from the rest. This shirt is one of those items. Great colors, perfect for fall.

What?! In the few days since I found it it is already gone! Sheesh. Sorry, it was pretty dang cool. Here is another cool shirt from them to replace it. Plaid 81 shirt, $17.90.

Don't Grow Up by Mini & Maxiumus, $38
Once in a while it is ok to spend this much on a t-shirt. This whole line is not for everyone. But has amazing graphics and art in great colors that totally appeal to design-y types.

Girl Frocks:

Feather Crown by Mini & Maximus, $38
Right! So cool. For the pretty princess with an old soul.

Girl's Mossimo Moto Style Jacket Sweater at Target, $19.99
I have a thing for jacket styles made out of sweater or fleece materials. Odd, I know. An adorable, tough little sweater for your sweetie.

Sequin Striped Dress at HGT81, $16.99
If I had a little girl she would be in this dress every day. With leggings, skinny jeans, black boots, ballet flats. A sparkly versatile dress.

Little Fox Free Hugs V-neck at Axl's Closet, $43.90
Love the color, the shape. And come on, the bear has an eye patch. Tiddlywinks gone wrong perhaps?
Learning for Ladies:

The Art of Gift Wrapping by Wanda Wen at Soolip, $24.99
For years, my friend Shari kept telling me about her friend Wanda and how I would totally love her. Fast forward to a link sent my way earlier this year announcing this book. Um, yeah. I think I love her. I'm far too lazy to ever wrap things this beautifully but I could certainly look at photos of them all day.

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas by Anna Getty at Chronicle Books, $24.95
I have been dreaming of this book since last Christmas. Anna did a local instore and I missed it. During a holiday of excess I can't think of a better book to bring our attention back to where it should be.

For Your Fabulous Fete:

White Chevron Stripe Wood Tray by A Fabulous Fete, $45
I don't nearly have enough trays in my entertaining arsenal. And chevron stripes I adore. Who wouldn't love to unwrap this delightful server.

Black and White Stripe Table Runner by A Fabulous Fete, $30
I dream of the days when I can put a runner on my table and my children won't pull it, and everything on it, down to the floor. This will be the first one I use.

Small Cake Stands by A Fabulous Fete, $20
Look at those amazing colors. The shape of these is modern while still having a great decorative detail. I want them all.

Chop to it:

Diamong Pattern Cutting Board at In This Very Room, $36
Scallop Edge Cutting Board at In This Very Room, $34
These are something I like but would never buy for myself. I think that makes them a great gift idea. Most of us already have a cutting board and the idea of getting rid of it just to buy a new cuter one isn't practical. But if someone gave me one, well, that old ratty board would be in the trash in a second.

A Clean Slate:

Multiple Cheese Plating Slate at Brooklyn Slate Company, $30 (Found via Tasting Table)
I want all of these. And I want to buy another set to give away as gifts. When I saw these I thought, no way, going to be crazy expensive. But they are totally reasonable. Want to make it the best gift ever? Choose one of their gift sets with artisinal products paired with their slate.

Totally Corny:

Bennington Microwave Popcorn Popper at Amazon, $21.99
I got this for Christmas two years ago. I LOVE this contraption. My husband and I used to really enjoy our "micro poco." But as I started learning about food and nutrition due to my son's food allergies, I learned about the horrific chemicals found inside the microwave bags of popcorn. This popper is made from I'll call it science glass for lack of a better term :), so it can take the high heat. You simply put the kernals in the bottom and put the mesh top back on. If you are in the mood, just place a pat of butter on top of the mesh cap and it will melt as the popcorn pops. YUM!

Start a custom:

Zazzle Custom Binder on Zazzle, $18.95 or $9.95 with coupon code
I made a few of these last year as gifts and I thought they were so cool. What is so great is that if you have no design skill, you can use a pre designed binder and make small changes to it such as names and titles. If you are snazzy with the graphics, you can put together a beautiful binder yourself. Use them for holding recipes, party plans, kids school work...Go to Retail Me Not to click thru for $9 off each binder!

Notepads and Sticky Notes at Vista Print, $8.99 each for notepads, $4.99 each for sticky notes (use various coupon codes to save)
I have made photo notepads several times and people always love them. Although often I hear that the grandparents don't want to write on their grandkids. Great to get for dad's work desk and give him a smile throughout the day. Vista Print always has amazing deals going on. By going to Retail Me Not and clicking thru a free shipping and 25% off site wide, it becomes $6.74 for notepads and $3.74 for sticky notes. Plus they have an insane amount of products that you can personalize so check it out.

Stuff for Stockings:

Band-Aid Brand by Cynthia Rowley (long) online, $10
Band-Aid Brand by Cynthia Rowley (square) online, $10
My boys love band-aids. For some reason I usually bring them home for them when I travel. Needless to say, when I cut my self, I am stuck with a Transformer on my finger. I would much prefer to find these Band-Aids in my stocking on Christmas morning.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Silly Bands Set at Shopbop, $15
I know this may seem crazy, but I bought these for a 3 year old this year. She is the kid that has everything and a mom who knows her brands. $15 isn't really that much to lose at preschool, right?

Orange Perfectly Huge Balloon at Sugar, $6 (found via You are my Fave)
Kids love balloons. Especially when they are perfectly huge. You can either buy a helium party tank from Walmart (I hear that is the cheapest place to get them) or take the balloon you want filled to Party City and pay a few bucks. Keep in mind, unless you have a perfectly huge car, the balloon may not be able to get back home without removing a seat.

Emergency Clown Nose at Uncommon Goods, $5
Hi-Larious! This will SO be going in my husband's stocking. Better still, it will end up in my purse. Perfect for when those moments when your kid is losing it in public and you want to run out crying. If this doesn't throw off their tantrum momentum, I don't know what will.

Phineas and Ferb Skateboard Launcher at Disney, $12.50
I love this show, I mean, my kids love this show. And what little boy doesn't love skateboarding. Add the two together, the perfect toy.

Aren't you Sweet:

Soda Filled, New York Collection, Acid Drops, Candy Glasses and Candy Ring all by Papabubble, $Prices vary
Everything about this candy is the coolest down to how it is packaged. I've just ordered some for various occassions and it makes me want to open a store here in my town. With shipping from New York, it puts the candy on the pricey side. But seriously, when it comes to cool candy, money is no object, right?

And now here is what is on my wish list this season!

Illustrator 101 by Nicole's Classes, $45
Found out about this book from Jenny when she went to SLC Art Weekend. Then she did a gorg makeover and I'm totally jealous. I think this book holds the keys to my blogging beauty.

The Wide Angle and Macro Lense Adapter at Photojojo, $85
Instead of buying new lenses, I'd love to give this adapter a shot. A wider angle would be so great for photographing my parties. And the macro feature would make my food photography so much better.

Novella Royale Caftan at Novella Royale, $125
I love the shape of this caftan and imagine how easy it is to wear. I love that they are made from vintage fabrics and that each is unique. I love that each fabric has a past and that I get to add to that story by wearing it.

Big Love Ring by Naomi Gray Designs, $130
My amazing friend, Nicole, just launched this jewelry line and her pieces are stunning. How gorgeous is this ring! She also has these dainty diamond chip necklaces that I am coveting and delicate stacking rings.  She has graciously let me know about a 30% off coupon code that all of you can use, just use "holiday30".
Pushpin Masterpiece Frame in White at Photojojo, $20
This frame is super lightweight and comes with matching pushpins to hang it. Holds 4x6 photos and is perfect for hanging photos in a rental home, for a party or above your bed if you live in California and you are afraid that a midnight earthquake might leave you with a concussion if you hang anything heavier.

Peace and Love Ornament Set at Jonathan Adler, $48
I heart Jonathan Adler and he never disappoints with his holiday collections. While I can't afford his lamps, some vases and most ceramics at least my tree will be chic.

Miss Marc Towel by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Shopbop, $48
I wish Marc would have asked my permission before he put me on his beach towel. Ok, so I really have blonde hair and I only wear my glasses out of the house if I have an eye fungus...but that IS me on the inside. And I love it. And for some reason I don't have any beach towels. Which really isn't that outlandish considering I haven't worked out in years, have 2 kids and would rather implode then put on a bathing suit. But I still want it.

No one has paid me in any way for putting them in my gift guide. These are things I love and hope you will too. You may notice that there are no ideas for husbands or boyfriends on this list. It's because I have NO IDEAS! So please help. What do you get for the best father on the planet who is very particular with his clothing, shoes and accessory brands, can usually gets the things he wants for free and way cooler than you? He already owns the #1 dad hat so I'm stumped!

*I've added a few more items since the original post that I have come across or had forgotten about...

Elf on the Shelf Activity Book at Amazon, $14.64
We just bought this book the other day.  Um, hello, there is a theme song for the elves!! Which I can now sing in my sleep since we have listened to it over and over and over.  Aside from the song, there are some really great crafts to do with the kids and some word puzzles.  I love this.  

Spork Online Cooking Classes available here, $75 a year (but monthly options available)
I know I talk about it all the time, that my son has food allergies, but its a BIG part of our lives.  He is basically a vegan who can eat meat.  I had heard about their LA based cooking places a year or so ago and my mom was going to get me a gift certificate for some last Christmas.  But LA can be very when I heard they were doing online classes I put it on my Christmas list.  Lucky for me, my mom went ahead and got it for me.  Unbeknownst to her, they sent me an email letting me know how to log in and I got to start enjoying. :)  Yeah me!  And yeah, you because if you are interested in vegan cooking at all, this is a must! 

I may add more if the mood strikes me. :) 

Still need more ideas? Check out these other fabulous gift guides:
Bump Smitten will be putting up a guide a week so check in with
them the week of December 6th!


lauren said...

love this and thanks for including my goods:)
wish i could start shopping now! can't wait to get back!!!

Jenny @ Hank + Hunt said...

This is amazing!!! I knew I needed you as a shopping buddy... You went beyond and found incredible goodies!
Great job!

Melissa C said...

such great ideas! think I need the punk book ;) Thanks for sharing!!


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