2011 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies

10 days until Christmas! Which means you are officially just able to sneak in one last online shopping spree before seriously risking receiving packages on time. (One of the reasons I love Amazon Mom Prime! You would think they paid me for how much I endorse them ;))

Here are a few gift ideas for the ladies this holiday season. Some are traditional, some not so much. I hope it’s helpful for finding the perfect gift for your mom, wife, aunt, sister or friend. (Here’s a quick link to the kid’s gift guide and the boy’s gift guide, too.)

Let’s dive right in.

I love the simplicity and durability of Hobo wallets. I have had my current version for at least 8 years and I’m finally ready for a new one. This turquoise is perfect!

This big cable-knit sweater looks so comfy to crawl into at the end of the day.

I’m having a very hard time choosing between this watch from Monday’s style board post and this Timex above. I love watches – they’re the simplest and most practical piece of jewelry – and would be so thrilled to receive one of these this Christmas.

There are so many different styles of aviators out there but these Marc Jacobs are my favorite. I lost my second pair several months ago and haven’t justified buying another.

These earrings by Etsy artist Bella Jewels are simple and beautiful.

I keep one of these on my desk and it’s the niftiest little tool. No need to go digging through Kevin’s workbench if I have a nail to hang or a screw to tighten — the handle portion of the hammer screws right off revealing different size and types of screwdriver heads that screw on to the base making it a 6-in-1 tool. And I love the floral design.

These $29 striped throws from West Elm would make a great gift this Christmas. I’d love the blue throw for the back of our couch.

If you’re shopping for any chefs this Christmas consider gifting a bottle of real vanilla extract. There’s really no comparison to the imitation stuff most grocery stores sell. Extracts are one of those odd souvenirs that I try and bring home from traveling, there are delicious, hidden gems out there!

A friend recently shared this Anthro find with me and I thought it was so cool. This is a rolling pin I’d be displaying on the counter and not tucked away in a drawer.

While I’m not the head chef around these parts, I think this book is the best! It’s an easy and practical way to create basic, healthy meals.

Organic soap from Soap Hope is heavenly. They sent a sample my way and I don’t know how but it ended up at the bottom of my pen container on my desk (?), long story short every time I pull out a pen for work I am surrounded by the most intoxicating fragrance! So much so that I might grind up another bar of soap when there’s none left. Soap Hope invests 100% of profits to empower women around the world and to end the cycle of poverty.

Coffee comes with me everywhere and this would be a fun way to tote it around.

I’ve created a memory box (and have plans to create a few more) for every 4-5 years of tangible items that I want to put aside. By slowly cutting down on all of the ticket stubs, graduation announcements, wedding programs, birthday cards and so on that I’ve saved, I’m keeping just the most memorable mementos for my future grandchildren. Plus, special items such as Liv’s hospital hat, coins from a country we’ve traveled to or shells from a vacation have a box home that doesn’t require flattening. (Keep an eye out for deals, they have them all of the time).

I’d love to add this design book to the coffee table collection. And this one, too! I love Holly Becker , she’s the sweetest! Read her interview with PDB here.

When it comes to gift giving you cannot go wrong with a good set of stationary.

I love natural wooden picture frames (I’m on the verge of having too many) but this is a beautiful one that I’d be happy to add to the collection.

I’m trying to find a way to incorporate this fabric tape into Liv’s first birthday decor. Random, I know, but I was inspired by this party and I’m ready to get planning.

There’s something about the color and pattern of this mustard throw pillow that I’m really attracted to. It would look great in our living room.

Thick boot socks are where it’s at when it’s cold outside and you’ll be traipsing around the city for a few hours. I can not have enough thick, comfy boot socks.

These foldable shoes are really great for throwing into your bag when you’re on the go. They don’t have much of a sole so you can’t run your errands in them, but boy are they handy at the end of a night in heels.

See Jane Work’s leather portfolios are both professional and pretty. Same with this expandable tote that helps to sort paperwork or to serve as a traveling office when I often need to get work done on the road.

I adore this blouse by EmersonMade.

I’m working on breaking out of my muted color shell around the office and I just bought this baby blue iPad 2 cover for my tablet (I know, ground breaking ;)).

A shoulder tote that functions as a file folder/briefcase is key for me, I love this over-sized vintage tote. It’s also large enough to stash a few diapers and a sippy cup!

I use this leather cover for my iPhone – it has card pockets for my credit card and ID making it an easy item to toss in the diaper bag on the run. But this case by Kate Spade is so much funner!

Etsy artist The Spotted Barn designed this business card holder that is playful and fun.

Here is my idea of a great business shoe. Ideal for the office and casual enough for a Sunday morning bridal shower.

I just bought this Allover sequins top at The Limited on Black Friday and I love it. It’s my new favorite sparkly piece.

I first discovered Helen Ficalora back in college and have loved her jewelry ever since. Before it was trendy to wear initials on jewelry she has the most beautiful gold charms, and now she designs them with inlaid shapes and cutouts (here’s another alternative).

Candles are a classic gift for Christmas. They’re perfect for stocking stuffers or for the holiday gift exchange. Crash candles sent this guy my way and I think it’s a pretty cool piece to display, too.

A customized tray makes a great hostess gift.

I’ve been looking for an infinity scarf kind of like this one. Most seem to swallow my entire neck, hmmm… maybe I’ll make my own by stitching two ends of one of a current scarves together.

This lacquer elf would go awesome with my nutcracker statue :).


For more ideas, check out my most recent Houzz Ideabook with 20 stocking stuffer finds for under $15 here. Merry Christmas!

The above post includes some affiliate links.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. And none too soon really – Christmas is just around the corner. But I have a serious affection for twinkle lights and I will take as much or as limited amount of time with them as I can get :).

I had a low-cost decorating plan this year and I’m happy to say that I stuck to my guns and decorated with only what was in my holiday boxes (with the exception of these West Elm finds at $.97 a piece…). To mix things up though, I did away with all things red. There was plenty of red last year and so this year I found my color palette in green, peacock blue, white and bits of pink.

This might be a better angle to see the subtle blues, greens, pinks and whites in the tree and reflected on the mantle.

We covered the tree in green and blue ball ornaments (non-breakable, plastic versions that Liv can pull off and we don’t have to worry about shattered pieces), homemade book page snowflakes, silver berries and white paper flower arrangements, and last but not least I found a new use for those .$.97 West Elm white washed pod strands.

The book page ornaments are a combination of folding and wrapping – I actually began making them for a friend’s Story Time-themed shower in November but ended up finishing them just in time for Christmas. They’re kid-friendly, handmade and they fit in really well with the tree this year.

We went to a Christmas tree farm where you can cut your own tree this year, but since we live in a semi-desert environment (see furry trees below) we decided that actually we kind of wanted a non-furry pre-cut tree shipped in from out of state. They offered those at the farm too so we ended up with the above. Not very eco-friendly but oh-so-pretty.

Liv and her boyfriend Michael enjoyed the sticks and pine cones best.

And meeting Santa for the first time?

It was kind of a scary experience.

But back to holiday decorating… The bookcase on the left side of the room received a little Christmas makeover as well:

I switched out a few prints to compliment the colors and brought in just a couple of sparkly baubles here and there. Even my feather trees from last year found a home.

The mantle was a fun project because it challenged me to find green and blue accents from around the house.

I framed a neat piece of handmade paper from my stash to pull in a little green and added my butterfly from the guest room to compliment the blue in the ornaments. The white feather wreath was added next (plays off of the feathered trees and all of the white on the Christmas tree), along with a bit of natural garland from clippings from the tree, and finally a few colorful bulbs for the bleached manzanita branches.

Even my wooden pod trees (see West Elm above) found their way into the room and out of the office (which didn’t get much holiday love this year).

I love a classic brown paper with a colored ribbon and this year Ikea pulled through with their extra large roll of brown wrapping paper (very economical) and their red raffia. I’m just starting to place finished presents under the tree now.

On the other side of the Christmas space the start of our Christmas card collection is displayed in the dining room on contrasting navy, blue and green ribbons, while our nativity scene is set up on the buffet with an extra bright and shimmery star looking ore.

And now I think our home is officially in the mood for Christmas, too!

Wardrobe Style Boards: Happy Holidays!

Hope you had a lovely weekend! Ours was fairly low key with quite a bit of catching up on our to-do lists plus a Christmas party on Saturday. Speaking of Christmas parties,  Maryam and I each put together two December-themed style boards of what’s inspiring us this season. (To check out the full list of boards, jump out to the Wardrobe Style Board gallery.)

Maryam’s up first!


Hello again!

I am guessing you’re probably spending time with your loved ones, decorating the home and adding a little tinsel here and some shimmering lights there. In the midst of all this wonderful holiday cheer (or madness), you may have forgotten about you…As in what you’ll be wearing for the possible events to come. So I thought I’d share a little of my sparkling style inspirations for this season.

Shimmering sequins abound these days, and I am all for it. Glitzing up a bit can really change your mood. I wanted to show a few different ways you can be both bold or subtle with your sparkle use.

Grabbing yourself a pair of sequined flats is a sure fire way to subtly elevate a simple outfit and take it to chic town. Plus, if you’re out in an uncomfortable situation, you can always tap those toes together and mutter “there’s no place like home.”

More formal holiday parties and/or New Years Eve celebrations are the time to go all out. Asos has a fabulous variety of glam dresses to chose from. Decide quick, so you can get your treasures in time to par-tay!

No matter what holidays you may be celebrating this season, I hope you all get to savor the little moments with loved ones. Enjoy and I’ll see you next week!!

With love,


Alright, the baton’s been passed back to me. I’m jumping on the sparkly bandwagon this Christmas as well and agree that it’s the perfect time of year to incorporate glittery shoes, handbags and tops into your everyday wardrobe. I also have a love for all things matchstick cords and am really adoring this giant navy chunky sweater. A go-with-everything watch (like this classic Timex) is on my Christmas wish-list.

Shabby Apple sent me over the below skirt and I’ve been coming up with clever ways to wear it for winter. I love the look of a baggy top tucked into a high-waisted skirt and this particular skirt is so flattering! I’d match it with a sparkly boat neck like this one or a navy loose knit sweater. That plus knit tights and a bright clutch and I’d be set for a Christmas party.

We’ll be sharing one more style board post (and four more fun ideas) next week… with New Years Eve in mind!

As always, you can find sources and prices for the above in the gallery. Thanks, Maryam! (Oh, and for more sparkly style posts by Maryam don’t forget to check out her blog.)

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