Thursday, November 07, 2013

Gift Guide 2013

A non-too-subtle hint of what I
want for Christmas.
Wow, it is November! I can hardly believe the year has gone by so fast. I’ve been thinking a lot about the holidays lately as this is my first holiday season in Italy. I am very much looking forward to experiencing a full Christmas season with Italians and can’t wait to go to the Christmas Markets that should be starting in the next few weeks!

I love to buy presents. Seriously. I start thinking about gifts sometime in October and obsess about what to get for whom for the next month or so. I really like to give thoughtful gifts that I think my loved ones will really like/use/want. Then I wrap it up in a pretty box with beautiful wrapping paper (I am addicted to pretty wrapping paper, it broke my heart to give it all away before I moved), and pop on a bow. Since I am in Italy this year, I will be shipping my gifts to family back in Texas so I started obsessing much earlier and need to be more organized so everything can get there in time. Fingers crossed.

All that being said, I have started my internet search on this year's cool gifts and thought I’d share a few with you, in case you too are in shopping mood. Without further ado… my picks. (Please feel free to share any suggestions you might have as well!)


FInnish wool throw
  • Apple Valley Natural Soaps who doesn’t love pretty soaps and scrubs? This is a family-run small business who uses natural ingredients for their products. I’m a sucker for mom & pop businesses and who doesn’t love to smell good! They can be great stocking stuffers, Secret Santa, or hostess gift.
  • Tryst Dusting SilkLady Primrose products are not cheap but they are beautifully packaged and smell great!  They have a wide variety of bath and body products that help make a bathroom look and smell great. I use the dusting silk (or powder as we call it in my family – we’re not too fancy) and gave both my sister and mom some last Christmas. It was a huge hit, so if you’re looking for something a little special, check out their site.
  • Sweet Life Paper I found this shop on Etsy (who doesn’t love etsy!) and their stationary is so cute! Teacher gifts, note pads, journals, etc. – they can be personalized and are priced reasonably.
  • Finnish Throw - This Finnish company is family owned and makes beautiful wool throws and washed linen kitchen towels - among other things. It's a splurge but really well priced for the quality. They are based in Finland but stores sell their products around the world and also offer direct online sales. 
  • Banderole Pencil Setcome on… these are just fun! The link is for a UK site but the USA site has the pencils as well!
  • Bottle Openerthis cool bottle opener would be an awesome gift paired with a bottle of wine!
  • USB Key Ringnice leather and useful.  A bit pricey but I’d like it.
  • iPad Telephoto Lenswho would’ve thought? And it’s cheap too!
  • Macaroon Ear Bud Holderhandy and convenient. Great stocking stuffer.
  • Kung Fu Master Flash Drivefor techies of all kinds.
  • Alessi Pencil Sharpenerok, I will admit it. I want this for myself. How cute is a beaver pencil sharpener! It’s a little pricey but the funny factor alone makes it worth it. (It matches this cute paper clip holder too).
  • Moleskine Passion JournalsYou really can’t go wrong with any Moleskine product but I love the variety of the passion journals. These are great gifts for anyone you know (I have the travel one myself) – and fellow ex-pat blogger Sara Rosso actually contributed to the Dessert journal – how awesome is that?
  • Vosges ChocolatesI have to include my favorite chocolate bars. The Mini Chocolate Bar Library is delicious as is everything they make. It is pricier
    than your average chocolate but so so good.
  • Whiskey Rocksno description needed J
  • I eight sum pi platesHAHA. The nerd in me loves these! (also the site has a ton of unique gifts. It’s worth a browse).
  • Phaidon City Guides - for someone planning or dreaming of a trip, these guides are beautiful and make a great collection. (sorry if the site comes up in Italian from the link) 

More later…

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