1. BOSE HEADPHONES: Two kinds to recommend:
**Major quality for day-to-day use:
AE2 audio headphones: $134.95
** Noise Canceling: A big gift for the frequent traveler, or someone who works at home who has kids. The Acclaimed QuietComfort® headphones dramatically reduce noise and let you enjoy your music even more. It screens out almost everything, so I have seen people wearing them on planes without playing music, but just to sleep in the quiet they provide. You will be VERY popular giving this. Pricey at $299-399 but worth every penny in their quality if you've got it to spend. CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for a selection at Amazon, and HERE for Target... Maybe you'll find better prices. But this is worth EVERY PENNY, so keep it BOSE. There are no imitations that measure up.
3. BLISS BODY BUTTER: This is one of my two favorite luxury lotions. It is rich and creamy but not greasy, and in the winter is especially pampering to drier areas on the bod. I like the light lemon and sage fragrance, but there is also and the fragrance-free "Naked" line. Get it at Bliss (sometimes they have two for less deals, like right now - 50% off some products, or get 20% off with code 20FORYOU), Sephora and Amazon, but you can find everywhere. About $24-29 each. SUCH a treat!!
4. John Kabat Zinn Mindfulness Meditation CD's:
For anyone who wants to get into meditation but is too jumpy, these are the BEST. They have 10 minute starter meditations (one sitting and one lying down)that are guided by the man himself, and are MUCH easier to do than trying to be motionless in an uncomfortable position without scratching your knee lest you blow it, and trying to completely empty your mind. That all may come later as a result of this. Once you do the 10 minute you find it easier to suddenly do their 20 minute ones, some with less talk, and move on to longer. But if you never do, the 10 minute meditations for life would do you -and your health - so much good. It's 100% win/win. There is much variety to move on to in their series 2 and 3...
$24 for each CD set of four.
5. iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano: One of the greatest gifts of all time, and amazingly affordable. In a plethora of colors, with free engraving when ordering from Apple. CLICK HERE for more info, including link to the Apple store. From as low as $49 to $149.
$31. in essential for the kitchen hard back at Amazon
This is a comprehensive, beautifully designed volume of step-by step illustrations in the style that the magazine has made famous.
Get in hardback version for gift giving, but also because it is a book that should be made to last with so much good use. Recipes peppered with tutorials on kitchen procedures and cooking techniques, even advice on using modern gadgets like mircowaves. Amazon says:"From recipes to techniques to equipment, here is a one-volume master class in American home cookery, a cooking school in print for beginners and experienced cooks alike."
7. SGT. GRIT SUNGLASSES: (Click pic to enlarge) Great website for the Marine, their aviator sunglasses are sharp and beyond affordable for the quality - only $32! Has the anchor, eagle and globe etched into the upper corner of one side. CLICK HERE to order.
Victoria's Secret Flannel PJ's are the best! They're comfortable, true to size (meaning they aren't so baggy you don't look kind of hot-cute, but are roomy enough to sleep comfortably in) with a flattering cut. And there's an impressive selection of fabrics to choose from. Get free matching slippers as a bonus. Pictured is my fave, The Dreamer - about $50 ea but keep your eyes peeled for seasonal deals, as you can use coupons or their online specials to get them for less.
9. CALPHALON Anything: There are many kinds of cookware, and they can get expensive for sure, but when giving Calphalon ANYTHING is a sure win... even if it's just their teflon 8' pan (the perfect size, which I use twice daily). At Bed Bath and Beyond you can find two non-stick pans for $59... One 10", the other 12". Somewhere on the display you will usually also find a separately sold glass lid with handle for $20. Buy those and even if you split the set into two gifts - giving the solo pan to someone and the one with lid to another - it's a great deal. Those things last forever, clean well, and make all the difference in cooking.