Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gift Guide: For the Kiddos

I said when I started with these gift guides that I would be following the "do what you know" philosophy and posting only ideas on gifts for women.  But by popular request (i.e. request of my bff), I bring you a gift guide for kiddos!

My first piece of advice about giving gifts to kids is to ask their parents what they want or need.  In my case, most of the kids I know are children of my friends.  These friends are my age or a little older, so they are "young" moms.  There may be things that their kids actually need!  Kids grow very fast.  Unlike us, they need new coats, hats and shoes each winter because the old ones no longer fit properly.  I always like to ask what my kids friends might want or need for birthdays and holidays because I think in some instances, my friends feel more comfortable telling me that the child could use a new pair of shoes for when he grows out of his current ones than they might be telling that same thing to a family or work friend. 

In the case of needing clothes or shoes, here are some of my favorite choices for kids: Target, Old Navy, Stride Rite, Baby Gap/ Gap Kids, Carter's, The Children's Place, Etsy, Zulily (daily deals site), eBay.  Used clothing is great for kids- oftentimes you can find brand new or hardly used clothing or shoes at local consignment sales, garage sales or on eBay. 

But what if you don't feel comfortable asking what a child needs? Or what if a parent doesn't have any gift ideas for you?  Here are my favorite gifts for little kids.

I love Karen Katz books for babies and toddlers.  Learning books of numbers, shapes, and colors are also great! You can always go with a classic like The Runaway Bunny or The Rainbow Fish.  Dr. Seuss books are another fun option.
Puzzles are a big thing right now! Many puzzles even make noises of cars or animals or even saying the "ABCs" out loud. I love puzzles because kids can learn so much from them but have fun too.  

Musical Toys
Kids of all ages LOVE noise and music.  Plus musical toys help babies and toddlers with motor skills.  Win-win.  

As a final note, bath toys like bath markers and pajamas are also great gifts for kids! 

For older kids, I usually try to go with a gift associated with a hobby for them.  For example, my 11 year old cousin is really into hockey, so I might look for a t-shirt from his favorite team.  Money is also always a big hit with "older" kids and you can just give them $20 in a card and they will think they've hit the jackpot!  Etsy is also a great source for unique fan paraphernalia.  I got a kid in my life a Justin Bieber shirt from Etsy that is super unique and age-appropriate. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Guide: For the Eclectic Friend


Deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

We all know at least one person whose style we would describe as "eclectic."  (Not to be confused with eccentric, although the two sometimes go hand in hand.)  It is pretty obvious from the name of this blog that I categorize myself this way.  I think "eclectic" people can be so tough to buy gifts for because to others, it may seem like there is little rhyme or reason to what they like.  I know I am this way.  People have to get to know me pretty well to be able to surprise me with gifts I really like.  Here are some ideas- some affordable and some more lavish- for the eclectic ones in your life.

I am absolutely OBSESSED with these beautiful glass ornaments.  They have been everywhere this holiday season- these are from Crate & Barrel and they come in several different colors.  These are no longer available online, but if you are lucky you can find them in stores (I believe other colors are still available online).  At less than $3 (!!!) they are a super affordable and chic gift.

I'm also obsessed with this Christmas tree garland made out of vintage Indian saris.  It is so unique! I think I'll be asking for a couple of these for Christmas.  They are $20 for six feet, but I think I may just ask for them instead of waiting for them to go on sale because I love them so much! At $20, it's an affordable luxury that I'd enjoy for years to come.

Domino: The Book of Decorating is a perfect gift for anyone who loves home décor. Available on amazon for just over $21, this book features beautiful rooms of all different aesthetics- there is truly something for every décor lover in this book! 

I'm definitely a sucker for needlepoint, and this punchy pillow is the perfect touch of humor for any room.  It is absolutely a splurge at $165, but it is so unique and fun!

These hobnail glass candles from Simpatico are so fabulous.  They look beautiful and smell incredible- the smell is very light and I love it because it gives my apartment a great smell without overwhelming me.  At $28.00, these make a great gift because they are a reasonable gift but not something I would typically buy for myself. They are available from anthropologie and frankly, it seems wrong to not include anthropologie in this post since I think most "eclectic" friends would love anything they sell! 

For a touch of modern, these notecards by R. Nichols are great and fresh! There are tons of options and they are all moderately priced at $18.  You can even add your name to them for a small fee!  I first saw these on Rosa Loves DC and I fell in love! 

These monogram stands would be great gifts for a newlywed friend or someone who just loves monograms and typography.  They are $24 from anthropologie. 

This world map is super cool and unique.  It would be great for a friend who loves to travel.  The watercolor effect gives it a very special feel. These are very affordable, starting at $14.29.

Hope you found a great idea for a friend here! I know I would love to receive any of these items, but I would also get a lot of joy out of giving one as a gift! 

Disclaimer: all of these products were found by me. I do not own any of these (yet) and no company has asked me to promote them. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gift Guide: For the Gal Who Has It All

Last night at Blogger Blitz we were talking about the fact that maybe these gift guides floating around the interwebs are happening too late.  I see that point as most of my shopping is done for this year (yay me!).  I'll have to keep that in mind for next year.  In case you are still shopping, here are some affordable ideas for your hard-to-buy-for friend or family member who seems to have everything already! 

I've said before that I love my Land's End Tote Bag.  I have a medium size open-top tote and it is great for school or work or running errands around town.  This season, I'm wanting to add a large bag to my collection and I think I'm going to go with a zip-top so I can use it for airplane travel.  And of course, I would opt to add my monogram.  The large size of this tote is $36.50 plus $6 for monogramming but Land's End offers other sizes at different prices. 

Yall know I also love my Tervis Tumblers and in my opinion, you can never have enough of these!  I have 4 24-ounce tumblers that I use in a rotation.  Love them and cannot get enough! I think I would like to add a mug to my collection eventually.  This would be great to keep at work for hot tea during the work day.  They are microwave safe, after all!  These are $15.00 for the mug- other sizes are offered at different prices. 

Yall know I also love me some Bobbi Brown! This "Classic To Go" Palette from Bobbi Brown is incredible! It would fit perfectly in your purse for touchups from day to day.  The shades are classic and can be worn by anyone.  At $25, this would make a thoughtful gift for a sister or friend. 

This crossbody bag from DSW would be great for any young woman!  It is perfect to carry the essentials.  At $70, it would be a bit of a splurge, but it is still within reason.

I absolutely love these small earrings from Nordstrom Rack.  They are a bargain at $30 (marked down from $78) and I just ordered a pair for myself!  A girl can never have too many earrings and these come in a few color options (2 options still available) and would go with so much! 

Need gift ideas for someone? Let me know via email or comment! A gift guide for "eclectic" friends will be featured on the blog later this week!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Reader Is OOC

Well my Google Reader is now officially out of control.  Don't believe me?  I have proof.
Can you read that I have 317 new items???? That's crazy!  The reason for that is that tonight I attended DC Blogger Blitz hosted by the fabulous Alison from Long Distance Loving.  I emailed Alison this summer after she wrote a post about sun safety and she was so kind to email me a recommendation for a dermatologist in DC.  Well, we got a chance to meet tonight and speak briefly and let me tell you, she is just as genuine in person as she seems on her blog.  What a sweetheart!  

Alison was kind enough to instigate and plan the whole blogger get together.  She made some fab name tags and directories so all the bloggers could find each other's blogs after the event.  I'm really really excited to start reading some more local-to-me- blogs!  I will also add these lovely blogs to my "DC Bloggers" tab over on the right side of my blog.  I hope you will follow some of these lovely women.  It was great to get out of the house and meet some new folks.

This is the second time I have attended a local bloggers get-together and I have to say that I'm continuously impressed by the bloggers I've met.  Most of the people are so genuine and lovely!   I'm so impressed by these women who can come up with creative and fun content all the time.

I think it is important to remember that when you read a blog, you are only seeing a very small part of someone's life.  I imagine that it can be easy to forget that, especially if you are a blog reader but don't have a blog that you write or edit.  For me, blogging is 100% a fun hobby and I'm so glad that I've been able to make a few "real life" connections with fellow bloggers.  

Cheers to all the bloggers who are now reading along after Blogger Blitz DC!  I hope you will find something worthwhile on this blog. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gift Guide: 15 under $15.00

My first request for a gift guide came from my friend Jenn.  Here's what Jenn had to say:

Oooh I'm having trouble thinking of stuff for coworkers... I have one close friend that I work with that's easy to buy for, but there are two other women in my office that I feel I should get something for. Preferably inexpensive :)

Don't we ALL have people like this in our lives? People who are definitely important to us and who we want to appreciate this holiday season, but who may be difficult to buy for- especially when we are on a budget!  And let me tell you something- everyone has a budget, whether it's a big budget or a small budget!  I 100% believe that with gifts, the thought counts more than anything.  So here are fifteen fun store-bought gifts that are all under $15.  Yes! under $15. Okay... I lied. One of them is $16.00.  But that's still pretty great! There are lots of ideas in this post, so hopefully you may find at least one of them useful!  

I tried to go with items on this list that would be fun at the office, since Jenn originally asked for ideas for coworkers.  I don't know about you but my office is SO GREY!!! Yuck! I try not to make anything too permanent at my desks since I've always been "just" an intern, but I'm gonna have to jazz things up pretty soon just for my own personal sanity! 

(these say "i was never meant to work")

this would make a great pencil holder!

this would be so cute for paper clips & binder clips!

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for someone? Let me know and I'll try to help find something awesome!

Disclaimer: all of these products were found by me. I do not own any of these (yet) and no company has asked me to promote them. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own!