Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Gift Guide: What We're Giving the Girls

Although I love seeking out fun and unusual gifts-for my closest friends and family, I often turn to things I own and love. It seems like there's a better chance of success with something tried and true than a gamble on something new. So what follows is a list of a few of my favorite things with some new additions for the ladies on your list. Consider this a 'no-fail' set of daily luxuries, travel necessities and small treats that you may also want to gift yourself.
Because even though summer feels like a long, long way away, she's bound to have warm weather travels before then and these are bound to be her new favorites. Ugly cute and oh so comfortable (plus waterproof to boot) Arizona Essentials from Birkenstock.

The lipstick I can't stop buying (and a gift guide repeat). The most gorgeous colors and a great moisturizing feel that always goes on smooth. As an owner of Stardust, Electra & Royal, I can recommend them all - or stick with the 'never-fail neutral' that is their original shade, Undone from Kosas.

Because I picked up this dry oil on my way through duty-free in Charles De Gaulle earlier this year after reading about it in The Strategist, and I'm hooked. It smells amazing works everywhere and somehow leaves you feeling more glamorous and glowing. Nuxe Huile Prodigiuese available from All Beauty (or your next swing through an international airport).
Because it's not only the perfect winter evening activity (accompanied by wine and roaring fire) the final results are so pretty, they're worth framing. Geode Puzzle by Nervous System available at Uncommon Goods.

Because I look forward to pulling mine out as soon as the temperatures drop (and I have several friends that feel similarly). The best furry couch blanket. Luxe Fur Throw from Restoration Hardware.

Because this looks like a good thing for those with a more regular office situation than me - for a fresh start to a new year of bringing her lunch to work, a sweet & sleek ceramic bowl with built in lid. Ready for all the grain bowls and salads her resolutions entail.  Porter Lunch Bowl by W&P

Because the holidays are the perfect time for a slightly splurgy sweater. And what could be more cozy than this waffle weave number from Everlane? This swingy silhouette is going to look great on everyone from grandma to your teenage cousin. It may be worth grabbing one of these for yourself. Cashmere Waffle Square Turtleneck from Everlane.
Because there's something about these mid-size acetate hoops that's feeling very fresh. All the different tortoiseshell designs seem like they would go with everything and work on anyone. Kate Hoops from Shop Machete Franco on Etsy. (also really loving this pair)

Because who doesn't like to dabble in a little future forecasting? Especially one that involves pasta? A riff on tarot: Pocket Fortunes from Individual Medley.

Because I LOVE mine. And if anyone thinks they are not acceptable work pants, they are wrong. Headlands Hybrid Cargo Tight from Athleta

Because it's the perfect stocking stuffer size to introduce all of your family to my favorite condiment. This + pizza = bliss. Mike's Hot Honey Travel Size Pack available on Amazon.

Because, as the grateful recipient of a previous version of this machine, I can attest that it's the thing you never knew you needed. Whether you have an espresso machine or make coffee in a french press (or like hot chocolate), there is no doubt that this compact milk-heating magician is going to change your life, or at least your morning beverage. Aerocinno 3 by Nespresso, available on sale at Williams and Sonoma.

Because it makes a nice pairing with the above and there's a mug to match everyone's style from whimsical to natural, and vintage to travel-proof - totally streamlined or sweet and simple . I love the designs from Fringe Studio like this one and their feminist series.

Because you might as well finish up this theme with what Serious Eats claims is the best brand of gourmet drinking chocolate - and if the recipient would prefer something less holiday-themed, don't miss the spiced offering that includes cinnamon and chilies. Peppermint Drinking Chocolate from Christopher Elbow.

Because it is the hair wonder product. Any cut, any style, anytime - it's like dry shampoo, but if dry shampoo was made of hair transforming magic. Bonus: smells like heaven. Just be ready for her to be mad that you started an addiction. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray available on Amazon.

Because one of the best things about staying at hotels is the endless supply of washcloths - and not caring about covering them in eyeliner. Bring that freedom home with a set for her.  Makeup Washcloths by Weezie Towels. Or for a little less - this set from the Turkish Towel Company. Finally, this is a also an interesting new take on the good old washcloth.

Because 2018 was my year of developing a skincare routine and this was one of my favorite discoveries. Stick it in her stocking for a refining cleanse gentle enough for sensitive skin. Low pH Morning Gel Cleanser from Corsx available on Amazon.
Because in addition to finding my beloved cleanser - I also loved this set of travel sized essentials from Drunk Elephant as an opportunity to test drive some of their pricier products. Skincare gift sets abound for the holidays, so there are plenty of other brands and price points to get her started on a skincare regimen of her own. The Littles by Drunk Elephant available from Sephora. This set from Sunday Riley is on my list and K Beauty enthusiasts may be interested in this set from Soko Glam.

Because I stand by my theory that socks are always good presents (who wants to buy themselves socks?) and I own and love this set and several others in the series. Casual Crew Socks from Target.  (my other favorites are these with the bees!)

Because I haven't been the best reader this year - but this one was a standout. Non-fiction that reads like a thriller. Bad Blood available on Amazon. Other non-fiction reads I enjoyed this year: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer,  and Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America. If non-fiction isn't her jam, and she still hasn't read them, it's high time to pick up the Neopolitan Novels or, the absolutely charming Less.

Because I adore my wooden cheeseboards and this simple set will have any aspiring hostess ready in a flash, from chips and dip to charcuterie and olives (or in our house, cornichons). Teakwood Serving Duo from Leif.

Because the double hinge makes all the difference - seriously, I had no idea. Pulltaps Double-Hinged Waiter's Wine Key available on Amazon.

Because this will take her cookie and birthday cake game to the next level - an eye-popping assortment of spectacular sprinkles. Plus, if for some reason you can't find her signature shade, a custom blend is always an option. Blessed Sprinkle Blend from Sprinkle Pop.

Because although I promise this isn't a sponsored post from Athleta, my closet is rapidly approaching total saturation. I own this in three colors and multiple sizes, and I may be about to buy another because they ARE ON SALE. So soft and cozy. Criss Cross Sweatshirt from Athleta.

Because I don't think there's such a thing as too many fancy candles. You burn them, then you need more. I love this refreshing scent that I picked up in a gift shop on the Oregon coast and was later delighted to find again back in DC at Whole Foods. You can also order them online. Grapefruit Oleander Candle from Illume. Other candle loves: Voluspa Baltic Amber, Capri Blue Volcano (Anthropologie in a jar), Henri Bendel Firewood and the luxury option, Le Labo Santal 26.

Because even though it isn't as chic as this tortoiseshell lighter I've been eyeing, the thought of never having to buy a new lighter for candles again is incredibly attractive. This flexible lighter recharges via USB, is supposedly easier for elderly hands to use and can light up to 500 candles on a single charge. Pair it with a fancy candle and consider Grandma's gift sorted. Ronxs Electric Arc Lighter available on Amazon.

Because it's so great, this may be its third appearance on the guide. A timeless, richly textured leather travel set that comes in a series of delicious shades. I've often carried mine as a clutch. Leather Travel Case Set from Cuyana.

Finally, because my annual subscription is worth its weigh in gold and has allowed me to snag many many amazing vacation deals. Scott's Cheap Flights Premium