Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Book Gifts for Her - or Anyone!

There's a whole tribe of people who shop last minute for the holidays. While shelves may be lacking stock, or you can't find all sizes anymore, there is one thing that is immediately available, requires no right fit or color, and would be welcomed by just about anyone: A book.

I ENCOURAGE you to buy local as it's really important to support those brick and mortar stores (and the jobs that go with them), before they disappear. But if these are obscure and they don't have them, time is short, so you will likely need to get them on Amazon to guarantee fast delivery. So I have regretfully linked all to only AMAZON for your convenience.

TIP: Call your local bookstores to see if they have what you want before you get in the car --and ask them to hold it for you. They may say no, as someone may want to buy it before you get there.  Offer to pay over the phone with your cc and that often works. 

Here are some selections for women, but that will be enjoyed by anyone. 

This is a fascinating look at how a girl who grew up in Tehran - with the limitations that came with it for her gender and dress - grew to be a designer in the US. It's an interesting memoir of life in another culture, self discovery and the path that led to expressing her freedom. $10.55 for paperback on AMAZON.

 


From Ada Lovelace ( first computer programmer), to Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, to  Joan Jett this book is about 100 revolutionary women that were the best Bad Girls.  They changed it all for those who came after.  $15.35 for hardcover on AMAZON. 




A collection of women penned essays on Paris by some great, powerful writers. $10.87 for paperback on AMAZON.




And while we're on Paris... we can never have too much can we?





We all have watched this remarkable young women arise from a terrible situation when the Taliban took control of her region. A $7.64 in hardcover, 9.65 in paperback ON AMAZON.



"Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends — the alluring socialite “swans” Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman — a woman desperately longing for true love and connection."
In hardcover for $6 or paperback for on AMAZON.



"Over 100 exceptional and influential women describe how they embraced their creative spirit, overcame adversity, and sparked a global movement of entrepreneurship. Media titans and ceramicists, hoteliers and tattoo artists, comedians and architects—taken together, these profiles paint a beautiful picture of what happens when we pursue our passions and dreams."  $14.79 hardcover on AMAZON.



"This unique painting and coloring book offers a fun and easy way to get into a creative flow and wash away stress. Printed on luxe watercolor paper excellent for paints, marker, pencil, or any coloring medium, the bold ink outlines from celebrated stationer Linda &Harriett become vivid, frame-worthy works of art with just a few splashes of color. A sturdy backing board makes it easy to work on any surface, while single-sided removable pages are perfect for easily sharing or displaying finished pieces."
$16.54 in Hardcover on AMAZON.




"International bestseller by Michael Faudet. His writing paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories. $12 Paperback on AMAZON.



Forget coloring books, relax by painting with stickers - there are many books like this (Cats,  Zoo Animals, Classic paintings, etc) so Google if you want other topics... But I chose this cool one which recreates vintage travel posters, an all round people pleaser.  $9.98 Paperback, On AMAZON.



WANT MORE GIFT IDEAS? Check out the categories to the right to find more books, and gifts under any category!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

DIY Gifts 2018


It's getting late in December and your budget is low - what can you give that is personal and would be welcome?  Here are some great ideas. Handmade gifts are more precious and carry so much meaning because you put your time and love into them. 

And after what you look at below, find many more ideas from past years - Visit the entire  category of DIY gifts by clicking HERE.

Rosemary and Grapefruit Candles!   Hmmm, these look beautiful and FANCY - is it easy to make them? I think all you need is some paraffin, a double boiler, a few essential oils, spring and a pencil  -- and some pretty containers. The possibilities are infinite for those, and could be found if not around the house, at a thrift store. Find the HOW -TO is here from Sugar and Cloth. 


BEER ADVENT CALENDAR Starting in January - why not! Genius. And so simple! With craft beer at it's height, it's easy. Almost every store sells single bottles. Choose a mix of what he/she likes but mix it with types to stretch them. Present as shown: individual brown paper bags in a beer case with numbered stickers on top with each day from 12/1-25... or creatively wrap each, tie with ribbon and attach a numbered tag. Think it's safe to say: Satisfaction guaranteed.  If you see this after December 1, you can certainly do some version of this - like from New Years through January or something like that... Just put the description in a card that you give with it!


I have recommended these that you buy on my Top Gifts of the Year - and these are ones you can make.  Bedside (or armchair, or couch) organizers are great - for Grown ups, they are essential for remotes, cell phones, cords, your journal, magazines, crosswords or iPad, and for kids, they can hold the kids toys or the book you are reading before bed, a soppy cup etc. Just need something firm enough to slide between the mattresses or cushions to keep it in place. See the details of how to make it HERE: 



This is really simple to make, and will be so welcome by all as chapped lip season descends! The recipe for Pumpkin Spice Sugar Lip Bomb is from ClubCrafted.com.   Another way to spin this gift is to give all the ingredients in a box, including labels (write one ones if you are not set up to print any), and containers, with the attractively laid out instructions printed, and give it as a crafts project to a girlfriend or especially teens and tweens!



For the wine lover, the naturalist, the tiny house dweller or dreamer, these are quite nice and a really great way to recycle precious cork, which is a dwindling resource and should NOT be thrown away. These can act as Vases, but can also be made into different sizes for different functions, like being a pen holder, a place to stash reading glasses, etc...  Instructions found at DESIGN IMPROVISED.


Sometimes it's about presentation. Get your artful side on by using bows, labels, sharpies and ribbons  to adorn jars, boxes and any other kind of container for what you bake. Or give them the ingredients and recipe in them. Both are a big win! You can put soup fixings in them, or cookie, brownie, fudge or hot chocolate ingredients... Here's an example of the makings of Peppermint Brownies! Instructions on iheartnaptime.com.

 


Believe it or not, these great looking mugs with classy, colorful marbleized accents are just regular white mugs swirled in nail polish.  Give a mug stuffed with teas and accessories, or a coffee gift card, or give a set of 2 or 4 in all the same colors -or different ones. Instructions at HouseofHipsters. 


Who wouldn't brighten when they open this? They use acrylic paint so I assume that sticks when washing - at least by hand. And it's great to use bamboo, which is nice and smooth, over other more porous wood utensils. Tie with raffia around a dishtowel or two and voila! Great for hostess gifts, bridal showers, etc... Love 'em. Instructions found at  LYDIOUTLOUD.com


Now this is simple, but it is pretty and a great idea that would delight the recipient - and not last long I'm sure! Make a clementine wreathe -and while they have tied each with peppermint stick string, I would embellish this by wrapping fake pine greens around it or attaching a poinsettia or even gold or silver jingle bells... OMIYAGIblogs has the how to. 


Fun to do with the kids, or to make atypical with non-holiday figurines (like a dinosaur, transformer, or superhero) or settings inside, these ball jar snow globes or Dioramas are easy to make.



Or you can go all holiday with sophisticated elements and get your Martha Stewart on. Find the tutorial at MakeandDoCrew.




Just in time for New Years eve, the big game, or an open house.... Dip Mix bulbs! Suggested mixes found at SpinkleSomeFun. Apparently you can find the bulbs at Hobby Lobby - but if you can't get there or they don't have it, this is a great idea in any kind of containers. Maybe regular plastic balls like ornaments? 

A Twist on this: Look up recipes for  BBQ spice rubs and put those in wooden or clear spice boxes or small bottles with corks.  You can also put cookie toppings in them, like red and green sugar or chocolate jimmies and give with cookie mix in a Ball Jar. Anything goes. 


Looking for more quick, thrifty gift ideas? Find them  HERE
HAVE A BALL!!! 


Monday, December 17, 2018

Little Gifts For the Musician

Time is growing short so these are just a few select things... Here are some small gifts for the musician.

Pick cases for the guitarist in your life: These are made by an ESTY artisan, and I have not seen something like this anywhere else.  Hand made of oak, walnut or cherry wood, felt lined, with brass hinges and leather handles. Are fairly big but should fits in their own instrument case. Come in three shapes: Mandolins, banjos, guitars.. a real conversation piece! Look at the reviews with photos - these are gorgeous.



Made by lureofcripplecreek for $30 of quality. Below is an idea of their size. Ppl raved about the quality in their reviews. Check out the link to see closer detail quality for yourself.



A fun little bottle opener by Leegoal... Only $2.99 on Amazon.

BandLab brings you the Link Analog Audio Interface, great for singer-songwriter who want to compose anywhere, This connects simply to your iOS or Android device, opening the free Bandlab app. It's quite amazing that you can also hook up your electric guitar, line level instrument or mic to a built in jack, put-on your headphones and record on your tablet, phone or computer in a flash! For only $34!!!! WOW!


Gimme a beat - when they're not writing that is. Two sturdy drumstick pencils per pack for $12. on AMAZON.



Laney makes among the best mini amps out there, and these are just right for someone to carry around and be able to play anytime, anywhere... Save 15% with code SEASONS at Guitar Center.  $59-89 orange, Marshall, Vox and Fender are among the good names that also make minis... but these come highly recommended if you're not into research.




Depending on your recipient, these are just a bit of fun. Made from nylon, cotton and spandex.  Only $10 from Uncommon Goods.




Not sure this qualifies as "Little" (from this blog's title) but they are too cool to pass up. How about a pair of Drum Pants to go with the socks?  These are lined with wires that create the sounds of an entire drum kit depending on where you slap them - thigh, knee etc. Check it out! From $99 on up. If some items are sold out at this late date, print explanations and photos from the website into a box, and get them a Drum Pants gift card that they can use after the holiday rush to get anything they want. Check out the video to hear it's bona-fide!



How about this Marshall Amp key caddy? You hand it on the wall by the mudroom door and they can insert their keys into the jack, just like a guitar cord. And BONUS! They carry that jack around on their keychain  and look cool. Now on sale at $34 from TABEEKO.


It's not a hi-fi, but it is a simple way to play some of your old records, or a way for kids who are newly discovered bring vinyl to do so without breaking the bank. Suitcase style with built in speakers. Lots of reviews if you want to read them before you decide. There is even a usb port for straight to computer recording! The Numark PT01 is available lots of places - strangely it was $1239 at B&H Photo, but only $59 on AMAZON.





Mistaken Lyrics abound, and if this could be fun - the Mistaken Lyric series. Cork coasters that sport the bungled lines of any of our favorite songs - there are different decks for Greatest hits, Classic Rock, 80's 90's etc. Six 4x4  engraved cork coasters. Find them all HERE for $25.

Gifts For Pets and the Pet Lover

And their pet - Here are gifts for both! This is not a big blog post, because time is growing short if you are buying for the holidays. However, there are some finds!

Look at this handsome doggg doggg in an even more handsome collar. Get your pups name embroidered on this easy to wear (and easy ID) collar from the Etsy Shop talkinggloves. Made of wool and felt for $33.



Talkinggloves also makes a variety of animals on their whimsical gloves which look like very good quality. Horses, cats, dogs, birds... hearts... in a variety of colors. Take a peek HERE. $37 made of wool and felt. Express shipping.




LOVE THIS: How cozy would your pets be in this handsome chunky knit pet bed? It's 100% merino wool, and you can choose from 48 colors of yarn! Price varies depending on the dimensions you want, but it starts at $56 for 14" and moves through about 6 sized to 22" diameter for $96. Gorgeous! Visit WoolycloudUS on Etsy.



Have you always wanted to know what your lovable mutt is made of? Now you can determine your dog's background with Embark DNA kit.  The site claims you can learn facts pointing to their breed, their health and their ancestry, and even connect them with "relatives" just like on our human Ancestry.com.  $199 and if you use the word OPRAH at check out, you will get $40 off your total.






Get them a necklace, earrings, or a ring sporting their beloved pet - or a fridge magnet...  at CaramelaHandmade (they can also do your or someone special's image, or even a fave celeb). From $10-24.


YASSS Kiehls, the company you've come to associate with quality skin care products, makes a line of pet products now too. And they can be in your pugs stocking if you order pronto! There's a shampoo for $24, a rinse for $20 and a no-rinse spritz and play for cleaning between grooming appointments for $13.


Similarly,  for your kitteh who hates H2O, this waterless shampoo from none other than Burts Bees! A 10 oz spritzer bottle inexplicably for only $2.35 on AMAZON


Not sure if they can still personalize by Christmas, but you can give the photo in a wrapped box and Fido will never know if it gets there by December 30... Personalized, colorful, quality pet collar with embroidered name and number woven in WITH a matching leash for only $19.99 from ORVIS. 




LOVE these organic catnip filled sushi toys for kitties. Pictured is a set of Tuna, salmon, egg, and shrimp are available, as a set or individually. Made by FelineFun on ETSY, each 2" x 3.5" felt toy is stuffed with certified organic catnip with polyester fiber fill. All felt used for toys is eco-friendly and made in the USA. No adhesives used! Machine stitched and you can get catnip free toys as well. Act fast, they are sent from Canada! $8.47 for what looks like your choice of a set of two.


Check out this pet bed, for those stylist folks who are partial to the woven rattan chairs found in Parisian Cafes! It's $398-$98 depending on size, from Serena and Lily. Cushion comes in this check but also a solid navy with contrast piping 





And for the PURR baby, A reversible fleece bed hammock (plain on one side, leopard on the other). Holds up to 22 pounds, so small dogs can use it too.  Can be removed to wash. From Chewy for $25!


Lastly, Carry your pet in style without them being put into a purse or travel case - this is a really nice one that can be found  at Nordstroms, for $34. Shockingly, Wayfair lists it for $44. 
This is the Harlee from Duck River - which can act as a nice bed with walls, a carrier where they can comfortably rest their head and neck, and can be zipped up at the top.  $34.00, from Nordrstoms.
Find more gift ideas for pets and everyone on your list by searching the categories to your right!