Gifts

Mother’s Day Gifts

Something Sweet!

Give Mom something sweet for Mother’s Day that tells her you love her whether she eats it, wears it, or shows it off, but get to it, times a wasting.

Engrave a Message

An inspiration bangle from Red Envelope, $100

A catchall for jewels

Give a place to set the jewelry you buy her like this LOVE dish from The Brick Kiln, $12 on Etsy.com

Wear the Love

Blue Nile pendant XO necklaces, $41-42

Mom Decor

Tell her with decor from Alexandra Ferguson, $69-109

Puzzle Me

Paloma’s Nest customizable puzzle, $44 You choose what kind of love message they have to decipher.

Great Treats

Give her a fortune cookies filled with love notes, gift certificates for pedicures, a massage, take out meals and even some time off from the kids. Curly Birds on Etsy, $8-17

Photo Memories
Capture all your memories in a custom designed family frame from Personalization Mall, $30

You Make Her Dinner!

Time to finally make mom dinner. Get the instructions, recipe and ingredients from Destination Dinners, $18

YUM!

Custom yummy cookies for mom from Katie’s Creative Bakery, $11-40 from Etsy.com

And then of course there is always a gift at the top of every gal’s list, A MASSAGE! One of our favorites in Los Angeles is Arcona in Santa Monica.

April 30th, 2012 by Ali

Anti-Valentine’s Day Gifts & Ideas

No beau? No problem. Sick of the icky-sweet candy hearts and teddy bears that pop up all over the place as gift ideas? Ban it. Lingerie that no one can wear? Don’t bother.

Avoid the overpriced dinners for two on Valentine’s Day and instead revel in the anti-Valentine’s Day fun that you can enjoy instead.

Anti-Valentine’s Day t-shirt or for any time of year you’re just sick of hearing another friend’s love story. Etsy.com, $15

Have an ex you’d like to release a little pent up energy on? Have the team at Able and Baker studio create a “Hate Pinata” for you. info@ableandbakerstudio.com

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February 6th, 2012 by Ali

Valentine’s Day Gifts – Love, Love, Love

For me, Valentine’s Day is just as good a time to pop some bubbly and make a delicious meal or order delivery. What we skip? Reservations. Like New Year’s Eve, we like to avoid the overpriced “special” menu.

When it comes to gifts I suggest both the stereotypical jewelry and chocolate to some off the beaten path.

Whip it Good!

You can read the idea of whipped cream for Valentine’s Day as naughty or nice. You decide. If you’ve ever tried fresh whipped cream, you know that no preservative-laden grocery variety can match the sweet, creamy peaks you get with the real thing. But if you’re daunted by the thought of hand-whipping your own topping, fear not. We’ve found a gadget that does the work for you. The iSi Easy Whip produces twice the volume of hand whipping — one pint of liquid yields about five pints of whipped cream — in seconds. Isi Easy Whip, $49.95 TheDailyGrommet.com

Small World

Sorta silly. Kind of quirky. What’s so special about a glass vessel, a pile of rocks, some plant life and a little figurine or two? I’m not exactly sure where the magic comes from, but the combination is totally endearing. Maybe it’s the tiny people. Twig Terrariums, $50 TheDailyGrommet.com

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February 1st, 2012 by Ali

Hands Up Not Handouts

You know that old saying, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” Well that kind of good has come to women with the nonprofit organization, Hands Up Not Handouts. The organization aims to improve the lives of female artisans in developing nations by helping them to produce and sell on-trend  bracelets and earrings.

Their belief is that when women make money they have say in their family and their community. More kids go to school and families eat better.  Sounds like good for everybody.

So why not empower a gal in Rwanda or Palestine and wear a one-of-a-kind accessory.

HandsUpNotHandouts.org

Cuffs, $50

Urukundo means “love” earring collection, $30

July 11th, 2011 by Ali

Mother’s Day Gifts

A card, a phone call-those are some of the simple things mom would request from you this Mother’s Day, but this year step it up and give her a gift that really says thanks.

donni charm’s line of beautiful, airy scarves that give the perfect pop of color to any wardrobe, providing mom a great way to accessorize her day-to-day outfits. The line is designed by Alyssa Wasko in honor of her father, Donny, who passed away a few years ago. Each scarf bears a special charm, designed as a tribute to Donny who always referred to Alyssa as his “charm,” and provides a thoughtful way to keep loved ones close. Celeb mommies including Halle Berry and Isla Fisher are huge fans of the scarves, which all retail for UNDER $100. donnicharm.com

Two enterprising women teamed up to found CALM (an anagram of their names), a line of summery, pretty caftans handmade in Lebanon.

Each caftan is lovingly crocheted and sewn in the homes of underprivileged Lebanese women, many of whom are widows, of diverse backgrounds. These one-of-a-kind pieces intricately trimmed with beads and printed in bold solid hues or graphic botanical patterns are more than the perfect summer frock. The resulting caftans represent a means of financial support for the women who make them. $250, calmnyc.com

Looking for a personable, unique gift? Kindred Stones is a CUSTOMIZABLE jewelry line with necklaces for mom including the Kindred Pregnancy necklace (starting at $115), which is designed for expecting mothers (the baby’s gemstone is surrounded by smaller stones that represent each family member, and the necklace is accompanied by a small moonstone — a powerful feminine stone that promotes new beginnings, intuition and calmness) and the Kindred Tree necklace (starting at $70), which is perfect for a mom, grandma, aunt or other maternal loved one (her zodiac stone is hugged tightly by smaller stones representing each family member in this unique symbol of togetherness). kindredstones.com

Provide a place for her jewelry collection to grow. Each branch and leaf has been sculpted to hold rings, bracelets and necklaces, creating a well-ornamented tree. $70, redenvelope.com

A little out of the ordinary, but a gift that will last months and perhaps years. Instead of a vase with flowers that will be tossed after a week consider sending mom a small succulent garden.  She can use it as a centerpiece, put by a window or replant it in larger pot for the patio. $45, proflowers.com

Gardens grow with a little help from Mother Nature and a lot of the right tools. This stylish garden tote keeps garden tools organized and easily accessible in one place. And more than her initials, her tote will bear her name. Add a few packets of seeds to get her started. $59.95 redenvelope.com

For the moms-to-be… Ms. & Mrs. is a mother-daughter company founded by two sisters and their mom to provide fun and functional collections for almost every modern emergency. The Labor & Delivery Survival Kit ($45) helps soothe and support moms on delivery day, providing 12 childbirth essentials (including a back massager, lip balm, slipper socks, breath mints, bubblegum cigars and more) all in a portable mesh tote. msandmrs.com

 

 

 

April 27th, 2011 by Ali

Store Your Bike Design by Chris Brigham

This would have been so useful when I lived in a small apartment, but couldn’t give up riding my bike around the city.  Chris Brigham came up with a stylish solution.  While visiting many of his friends in small apartments in SF and more so in NY, he noticed that there is a void when it comes to elegant bike management. Bikes always get in the way – either in the hall, or leaning up against a bookshelf or something. So he decided to design something to fix that problem. He calls it simply, the Bike Shelf. So get your bikes up off the ground whether high or low. Check it out for yourself at, www.knifeandsaw.com

January 11th, 2011 by Ali

Talking about Hostess Gifts on the Today Show!

December 15th, 2010 by Ali

Gift It/Get It

The Big Holiday Gift Guide for your office mate, your mom, your man and the hostess. I used that awesomely huge site, TheFind.com to find the best prices on my favorite gifts, plus a great sweet idea for the whole family from my favorite one stop shop, TJ Maxx.


Does your Hostess love to toil in the dirt and let you enjoy the fruits and vegetables of her labor? Then give her a sassy new set of garden tools and add in packets or seeds or flower bulbs.  Wild and Wolf Garden Tools for $35 from AldeaHome.com


How about  a red hot beret or be pretty in pink because it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Hat’s are all about attitude.  Wear it slouchy all year, cover up messy hair or pack it for your trip to Europe. From Kanokwalee for $42 at Etsy.com

If you don’t have the time or patience to pull out your knitting needles, but want a gift that looks homemade. You know what I’m talking about-a gift that looks like you were crafty on par with Martha Stewart then check out these stylish needlepoint belt buckles from Needle You for $35 from Etsy.com


Cubebot Made from sustainably harvested cherry wood, Cubebots’s powerful frame can hold many poses, and his elastic-band muscles and durable wood limbs make him impervious to breakage. When it’s time for him to rest, he folds into a perfect cube. An enduring classic that will withstand generations of play. $35 from Michelevarian.com

More than just an overnight guest? This is the pricier gift for the person who’s home is offering you shelter for the holidays. This gets you—“Sure stay again next year.”  For $98 you can choose from a variety of simple monograms to bold stripes and shapes to monogram on a stylish tote from Shopiomoi.com. This is also an Oprah favorite and now it’s mine as well.


Hand over the party as a gift. From dysfunctional bingo to a spitball dartpad your gift will guarantee plenty of laughs.  If there’s drinking involved offer an opportunity for everyone to let their taste buds do the judging with rate that wine and beer tastings and even the hangover kit. These are fun, inexpensive gifts scouted on TheFind  from $3-14 by Knockknock.biz.


Bring the sweets to your sweet friends in multi flavors like Candied Bacon, Cinnamon Pistachio Carmel Fleur De Sel and Red Velvet. MacaronParlour.etsy.com-box of 6 for $14, box of 9, $20


I’m a fan of giving a useful gift, but with a twist. On Etsy.com I found Aheirloom and their wooden cutting boards that they cut to shape like your favorite state. So if your mom left her heart in San Francisco order her a cutting board in the shape of California and they will burn a heart where San Francisco would be in the state. For $40 the guy or gal who gets the gift can serve up everything from cheese to fruit to prosciutto.


Channel your inner George Forman for sweets by baking up cupcakes and bring along the easy how-to item that made your job easy.  And let me share a shopping tip. Before you purchase a gift do some online research. You’ll likely scope out some great deals. I found this Babycakes cupcake maker on TheFind.com for a variety of price points from $24-40 so of course I chose the lesser price and saved cash to put towards ingredients.


This is a small gift that’s buzzing with sweetness. This silver honeybee will make someone’s morning cup of tea and yogurt that much sweeter.  It’s an adorable and quite sophisticated way to scoop out a little syrupy goodness. It’s just $42 from Delight.com.


I love to personalize gifts whether it be monogramming or engraving. But this time, I was looking for something that had to do with a gift for “the cook.” So, I scanned my favorite shopping site, TheFind.com and by searching for personalized gifts I found this serving dish from RedEnvelope.com. You can choose up to 20 letters and for $49.95 you got a gift that compliments your friend who loves to cook.


My simple tip for party goers is when it’s a bigger party always bring two bottles-one for the party and one for the host to enjoy. BUT then I found this cool gift. It’s an electric wine opener with chiller for $30 from JC Penney. Most electric wine openers cost $30 alone, so scoop up this gift and listen for the oohs and aaahs as they quickly open up a bottle of wine and offer you the first glass.


There’s nothing more frustrating than a hostess having to spend all her time in the kitchen while the guests enjoy the party. So when it’s your turn to bring the chips and dip rather than bringing  it in Tupperware which means your hostess has to search for a way to serve it plus wash and return  your containers later– Bring the dip and chips in a serving dish that you gift to the host. I found multiple styles all affordable for $20 from Kohls.com.


This is the ultimate mini kit filled with 16 essentials to cover just about every fashion mishap and more like fashion tape, clear nail polish and stain remover. It’s a great stocking stuffer and ideal for the office grab bag. They come in a variety of shiny pops of color and when you’ve used all the essentials, which will take awhile, you’ve got a stylish little coin purse. It’s just $12 from MsandMrs.com. You can also find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I find TJ Maxx to be a great one stop shop for so many great items. And for perfect last minute shopping I’m a huge fan of shopping the gourmet food aisles.

My latest tradition is to give a pretty packaged big chocolate bar to everyone at the family dinner festivities.  I set a bar at each place setting.

December 9th, 2010 by Ali

The Business of Gifting

Sometimes you spend more time in the office with your colleagues than you do with your friends and family so it begs the question -Do I give my boss a gift? Should the assistant get something for under the tree? And what do you give your clients that’s a thoughtful thank you without crossing into intimate territory. I’ve come up with some experiential ideas and combed TheFind.com to create a selection of gifts that work for employees, bosses, clients and a few innovative gifts to cover everyone on the “it’s just business” list.

Gifts for Bosses/Employees

In most cases, only the boss should be giving out gifts, but if you feel a friendship has also taken hold then consider this list that works for both the boss and the employee.

Consider giving a gift for the family
Experiential gifts are popular right now. Give a gift that boss can enjoy with his or her family and friends. A family day pass to Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags or Lego Land are sure to be a hit. A gift voucher for a popular seasonal show like Radio City Rockettes, AMC movie theater, high tea at a local hotel or a Netflix subscription are sure to be stand-out gifts.
Prices range.


Personalized Stationery
In the digital day and age, custom printed stationery is a refreshingly personal touch. Give boss a thoughtful gift with personalized stationery from online shops like Minted.com bundled with personalized mailing labels.
$36 for 15 cards
http://www.minted.com/customizer/sku/MIN-AUS-PST

$28 for 50 address labels
http://www.minted.com/marketplace/sku/MIN-AOU-KLB

Holiday Entertaining Beverages
Holiday entertaining beverages are always a welcome gift. When it comes to gifting wine or liquors, it’s all about presentation. Bundle three bottles of wine together in a beautiful, reusable tote. Or bundle that bottle of Patron with a hand-written margarita recipe and ingredients.
Large Jute Tote Bag, $12.00
http://www.wisteria.com/Large-Jute-Tote-Bag/productinfo/W4051/


Creative Coasters & Holder
Kick up boss’s entertaining skills with coasters that will turn heads. Iomoi stores offers creative, original sets of 25 heavy round paper coasters in Lucite boxes.
$30.00
Iomoi.com

Custom Golf Balls
As the number one corporate pastime, kick up boss’s putting game with golf balls that boast personality. Personalize with initials, logos or even photos.
Average: $37.00 for a dozen custom golf balls
http://www.ziplinegolf.com/

Gifts for Clients

When it comes to gifting clients, it’s all about the scale and number of clients when determining the right gift.

e-Reader
For a small mix of clients, consider gifting the Kindle with the latest best-sellers already uploaded.
$139 – $189
http://www.amazon.com/kindle-store-ebooks-newspapers-blogs/b/ref=topnav_storetab_kinh?ie=UTF8&node=133141011

Tiffany Key Ring
Premium, everyday items always make great client gifts. Consider the Tiffany Notes Round Tag Key Ring. It features an elegant script, inspired by handwritten invitations in a galaxy titanium.
$235
http://www.tiffany.com/shopping/Item.aspx?fromGrid=1&sku=26195608&mcat=&cid=&search_params=s+1-p+2-c+-r+101297640-x+-n+6-ri+-ni+0-t+&search=1


Personalized Leather Travel Accessories
Business-minded clients always appreciate luxury travel accessories. Consider giving a combination of personalized Graphic Image Travel items from Neiman Marcus. Luggage tags and flat travel cases are personalized with your single initial; passport cover and travel clutch bear monograms.

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod107390036&ecid=NMALRFeedq5QZHUbCIj8&ci_src=14110925&ci_sku=H4UPT
Graphic Image Luggage Tag
$40.00
Graphic Image Travel Clutch
$160.00
Graphic Image Flat Case
$65.0
Graphic Image Passport Cover
$65.00

Collectible Books
Collectible books make a statement – especially titles selected to represent your brand. Taschen books offers an incredible mix of in-the-know titles and books fit for any coffee table.
http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/popculture/index.htm

Experiential Gifts
Experiential gifts catered to a client’s local neighborhood are personal and highly engaging. Consider gift certificate to the hottest restaurant in town or the most decadent day spa to show your appreciation.

Innovative Gifts


FREETALK® Buddy Cam
Stuff those stockings with the cute and clever BuddyCam. Flexible and durable (but most importantly fun), Buddy is the ideal gift for kids, students and families who want to keep in touch via Skype video call.
$19.99
http://www.skypelookbook.com/buddy_cam.html

JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds
JBuds are the perfect companion for your iPod, mp3 player, laptop, portable DVD, MD, radio, or other audio devices, combining sleek design, premium sound quality, noise reduction, and maximum comfort. The soft silicone earbuds fit perfectly inside your ears, allowing you to comfortably enjoy your music non-stop while blocking outside noise. The JBuds give you a high-intensity listening experience with crisp, clear sound and powerful bass.
$19.99
http://www.learningservicesus.com/home/ls2/page_4535_337/jbuds_hi_fi_noise_reducing_ear_buds.html

Tumi Travel Speaker
Smooth and simple in design, the Tumi Travel Speaker is a new addition to Tumi’s electronics collection. Perfect for holiday gatherings, this travel-friendly speaker system for MP3 players and laptops can easily connect into a standard headphone jack and USB.
$125.00

Coffee Cup Power Inverter
Like a caffeine boost for your electronics! It fits into standard cup holders in your car and powers three devices at once. 200 watt inverter with 2 AC plugs and USB port
$29.99
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/car/b29e/


LightPoem
Shapeways turns your 2-D uploaded design into a tangible 3-D objects. Sculpt with words and turn your favorite saying into a Lightpoem to light up your favorite room.
Prices range from $70 – $95

http://www.shapeways.com/creator/lightpoem

November 23rd, 2010 by Ali

Vintage Shopping at The Rose Bowl

I’m a big fan of vintage shopping and antiquing and had been making plans to shop the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena for months when lo and behold my hair stylist friend extraordinaire, Theodore Leaf  (www.theodoreleaf.com) and I learned that Eddie Ross (www.eddieross.com) was coming to town to lead a group through the masses of flea market finds.  We were both fans of Eddie’s work on Bravo’s Top Design and I’m always a fan of a preppy guy. So we signed up for the “walk along.”  There were about 15 of us and with coffee in hand and my tote bag empty and ready to fill with negotiated bargains we headed off into the rows of booths and tables filled with silverware, glassware, fabrics, knick-knacks and furniture.  Eddie would stop at a variety of outdoor booths and give the lo down on how to re-do furniture to update it, give advice on how to determine the worth of an object and what’s good stuff from the “trash.”  Let’s be honest it shouldn’t all be someone’s trash is another’s treasure, some of it is just junk.  Theodore, his boyfriend Matt and I had so much fun—how could we not?  A warm, sunny day, Eddie and his main man Jaithan to escort us through the finds of The Rose Bowl plus he gave us some nifty ideas on hostess gifts and table settings. It was a relaxed atmosphere and we met many other gals and guys to socialize with along the way.

Eddie suggested and Theodore literally translated into a hostess gift a small jar of olives with the antique fork and personalized ribbon for me the next time he came to dinner. I added my version of a spoon with a colorful ribbon and lavendar honey.

Anything can work just by taking antique silverware and pair with cheese, olives, jam, or chocolate sauce and tie with a ribbon and small note.

I took his suggestions and created my own small, but charming gifts for my next dinner outings at friends’ homes.

Besides, silverware and vintage cloth napkins I also bargained for this camel saddle (walked away only paying $25) that with new leather became a cool footrest in my living room.

July 27th, 2010 by Ali