I set out to get this post to you in time for “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday,” or “Punch-Yourself-in-the-Face-to-Make-the-Emails-Stop” Thursday, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that to you. Plus, every time I sat down to do it I was side-tracked by things like Penelope taking the outlet covers OUT of the outlets and handing them to me, while saying “No!” (at least she knows she’s doing something wrong), and/or watching videos of cats and dogs who hate kisses.
But finally, here it is: my Holiday Gift Guide 2014! If you’re anything like me, ol’ faithful procrastinator, you are nowhere NEAR finished with your holiday shopping and in that case, huzzah!!! I have some pretty awesome gifts for you. So without further ado…here are the best gift items I’ve found on the web. You are sure to find something for just about everyone on your list here. Happy shopping!
Mighty Purse Chargeable Smartphone Clutch. Hold the phone. No, literally, this thing will hold your phone – and CHARGE it for you. Perfect for a ladies night out! And it comes in a ton of styles and colors.
“Noor” Embroidered Fabric Statement Necklace. I have a slight obsession with this necklace, partly because it is GAW-geous, but also because it’s both fabric and gold. I hardly go out anymore these days but I would LOVE this for a wedding or fancy celebration. Like my birthday. In February. (Now let’s see if Greg actually reads my blog.)
This shawl has SO many things I love all wrapped up into one item: hand-dyed in vibrant colors to take the dreariness out of winter, velvet, to keep you warm, and ombre because well, OMBRE. I have never seen anything quite like it. Imagine unwrapping THIS? It can be worn several different ways, too – my favorite is as a one-shoulder, over a little black dress.
“Rules for Dating My Daughter” T-Shirt for dads. My favorite on here: “I’m Everywhere.”
“Light Up Ties”, as seen on The Today Show. There will be NO QUESTION as to who brought their A-game to the party.
Star Wars Cufflinks. These are SO cool. (Ladies, dare I say they’d be great to give for your groom-to-be to wear on your big day?)
Personalogy – An Absurdly Provocative Game for Thinking People. Anything that boasts it has “120 absurd, thought-provoking and entertaining questions for Friends, Family and people you want to get to know better!” is my kind of hostess gift. I am about to order one of these for our home because it just looks like WAY too much fun.
Cards Against Humanity. Every hostess needs one of these in her kitchen drawer. It will kick a dull party up ten notches, or make an already fun party even THAT much more of a blast.
Double XL Wine Glass holds a whole bottle of wine. The hostess this holiday season will LOVE you for this! And you won’t make a liar out of her when she says, “I’ll just have one glass.”
“Drunken Coasters” by Grasslands. Waaaaay better than wine charms. (Not like the hostess won’t already know which guest is which!)
Wine Pearls. Stop. Stahhhhhhhp. Who is the genius in the room?! Mama loves her wine, but we know that mama loves when her wine is both chilled and NOT watered down. Guys, if you are reading this, someone has figured out a way you can give your honey the gift of both WINE AND PEARLS. For well under $100. You’re welcome. I’m not a fan of pearls, but these ones? I’ll take ’em.
Outdoor Pizza Oven. This portable outdoor pizza oven is SO cool. It gets a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, and I can see why: it was designed with the cooking ability of a professional brick oven. The difference is that this one sits right on top of your table, making it ultra-portable. I even love this for tail gaiting: bye bye, unoriginal wings, burgers and dogs. I’ll be over here making my gourmet pizza before the game starts.
Steve Jobs Poster. This motivational poster, with the words of Steve Jobs artfully printed on it, is the perfect accessory for your favorite entrepreneur’s workspace. Featuring his famous “Here’s to the crazy ones” quote, it is sure to provide the much-needed drive to complete a project, write that novel, or create that product that will change the world.
The Entrepreneur Mind. Help the creative one on your list get into the mindset of a true entrepreneur.
Plan Toy Wooden Baby Walker. I’m a fan of all things wooden and recycled when it comes to toys for Penelope, and this one hits both marks. You can adjust it for height, AND it includes little blocks for tots to play, too.
Plan Toy Baby Walker, $63
“Roll-to-Ride” Three Wheeled Cruiser. I remember like it was yesterday. I attended the huge consignment sale at the Y in my neighborhood and there it was: a three wheeled cruiser, in bright red. At a hugely discount price. EXACTLY what I was looking for! And just as I got close enough to nab it, a yuppy couple cut intercepted and trotted off with it. ‘Twas not meant to be. But this? I could totally do this for P! And since she is in her “I-hate-my-stroller-but-still-want-you-to-push-me” phase, this is just the thing.
Great for new parents: Cocoon Car Seat Cover. Car seat rules seem to change every day, which is of course nothing but AWESOME for us paranoid parents who just want to do the right thing. A recent rule is that you should no longer put a jacket on your child while in the carseat – instead, you should take the jacket off before strapping your child in because the straps and buckles need to be as close to your baby’s body as possible. OK, but what about those of us who don’t want our bundles of joy to freeze?! Enter the Enfant Cocoon Car Seat Cover:
The new parent will thank you for giving them one less issue to worry about while keeping their new addition cozy.
Nike Air Jordan Socks. These are SOCKS! Brilliant, because the baby sneakers are a total waste of money in my book. Factor in the time it will take you to maneuver them onto those delicate little tootsies and the rapid growth of baby feet, they will only get to wear them for like, 5 seconds. But these socks?! Adorable, and problem solved!
“My Little Night Owl” Sack and Cap. How can your new mom friend be upset about night feedings when her little “night owl” looks like this?! (Well, night feedings are still no fun. But he’ll look adorable, won’t he?)
Frozen ‘Olaf’s in Trouble’ Game. This is of course the year of Frozen EVERYTHING, so naturally this would make the list.
Connect Four. I LOVE when I see classic games that are still best sellers!
Thug Kitchen cookbook. For your foul-mouthed friend who loves to cook and eat healthy. The slogan says it all: “Eat Like You Give a F*ck.” I just bought my second one for gift-giving (and I foresee more in my future).
The Vitamix. If you’ve been reading me long enough you know how much I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these bad boys, and there’s no better time than the holidays to make one good, worthwhile splurge. If this is on your list, or if you are feeling extra generous and want to gift it to someone else, DO IT! The thing cleans itself, for cryin’ out loud!
Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, Black prices vary based on model
Pure Vitamin Club. All of the vitamins out there on the market are enough to turn your average health nut into a pill-popper. Take this for that, that for this, and you wind up creating what my friend and trainer Vinnie Tortorich calls “very expensive pee”. Enter Pure Vitamin Club, the affordable, healthy vitamin membership created by Vinnie Tortorich, AKA “America’s Angriest Trainer.” No fillers, no chemicals, and they are delivered to your doorstep on a monthly basis. You can grab your subscription to PVC here (and don’t worry, you can cancel the subscription at any time with no charge).
Bulletproof Coffee. I swear, every person who has stayed with us as a guest in our home RAVES about our coffee. We made the switch about a year ago and never looked back. It tastes good, it’s pure, and wakes me up without the jitters. My favorite part of switching to BP coffee is when we noticed that our coffee grinder no longer had a gross waxy film inside like it did when we used it to grind our old coffee. Makes you think! If you’d like to change the world of the coffee lover in your life, get them started with Bulletproof.
DIY Sushi Kit by Global Grub. It finally happened: the sushi lover in your life has become bored with the ‘specialty rolls’ section of their favorite restaurant. Now they can make plenty of rolls for the cost of ONE of those fancy restaurant rolls – in their own kitchen! – with this DIY Sushi kit. Pair it with a nice bottle of Sake, and you have a WINNER of a gift. It’s time for the creativity to flow.
Sake glassware serving set. Speaking of sushi and sake, check out this cold sake serving set! It even has an indentation for ice to keep the drink cold without it getting watered-down (see that blue circle?). I love when product makers really THINK about how their customers would enjoy their product best. Pair this with the DIY sushi set above, and you have yourself a sweet gift.
Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal. I love the concept of this book. Author Ava Chin takes us on a beautiful journey to connect with food and nature via foraging for foods. It’s all about eating better, healthier, and more sustainably, no matter where you live. Consider this the perfect gift for the foodie in your world.
The Nibble Cake Pan. I made a cheesecake for Thanksgiving, which I rarely ever do. It looked beautiful on the outside, but I had NO IDEA what this sucker was going to taste like once I took that first fateful slice (and if you remember my pumpkin bread debacle, AKA ‘vagina loaf’ from several months ago you know baking is not my strong point). THIS was a time I wish I had this Quirky Nibble Cake Pan– I could have tasted my cheesecake and served it with confidence! This thing right here is a baker’s dream. I’m not going to say that cheesy euphemism you are probably already thinking. Nope. Not gonna… OK FINE. “Now you can have your cake and eat it, too”. *UGH*
Quirky Nibble Cake Pan, $19.99
For the Mom with a Sense of Humor. You know your mom friend who comes to mind right away: She’s real, down-to-earth, not afraid to laugh at the chaos that is mommy-hood. She doesn’t have time for those who pretend it’s all Pinterest parties and unicorn farts; this mama likes the REAL DEAL. Any one (or all!) of these reads will have her laughing her toosh off, and she’ll thank you for providing some much needed sanity during the holiday chaos. Here are the four pillars of parenthood reading this year:
Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, by Jill Smokler and contributing authors (make sure you read the essay in there titled “The Pregnancy Holiday Checklist”, written by one of your favorite bloggers, ahem), People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges, by Jen Mann, I Heart My Little A-Holes, by Karen Alpert (AKA Baby Sideburns), and The Big Book of Parenting Tweets, by Kate Hall. Each of these books are spit-out-your-coffee, might-make-you-pee-a-little reads that will without a doubt get you through both the season of giving and the season of parenting.
Kindle E-Reader. There are several books that I, like many people, enjoy holding: poring over the pages, seeing the cover, dog-earing the pages and then storing it on my shelf. But lately there are SO many books I want to read quickly, and for this, I LOVE my Kindle! (And I love that it stops Greg from yelling at me about all the books piled up near my bed. He can’t actually see what’s in my Kindle. Moohoooohahahaha.)
The Ultimate Yogi DVD Series. For the zen master in your world: beginner and seasoned yogis alike will love this Ultimate Yogi DVD Series, which takes the student on a 108 day journey to zen. Whether you are looking to lose weight, increase your flexibility or tap into your inner peace, you can accomplish all of it while following these DVDs. I personally love that I can follow the instruction in the comfort of my own home, where I’m not afraid of falling over or having my muscles spasm uncontrollably as I try to pretend I’m all peaceful and aware, but that’s just me.
Essential Oil Roll-On Set by Plant Therapy. The naturalist on your list will LOVE you for this gift by Plant Therapy! It hits all the areas the natural mama on your list is interested in: germ-fighter, lavender (to provide calm), immune-aid, headache, peppermint, and calming child.
And, if you feel like you’ve hit the mother lode with this gift idea and want to go for a ‘big ticket’ version of this, try the 14-pack for $89.99 – it includes things like, Anti-Scar/Stretch, Energy, Sensual, Brain Aid and more!
Top 14 Pre-diluted Essential Oil Roll on Set. Ready to USE! Germ Fighter, Immune-Aid, Respir-Aid, Headache, Peppermint, Relax, Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Scar/Stretch, Energy, Sensual, Soft Skin, Lavender, Calming the Child, & Brain Aid, $89.99
The Bitch’s Bridal Bible: the must-have, real-deal guide for brides. You know your friend who just got engaged – the cool, calm, collected one? You want to make sure she stays that way. This book is her one and only ticket to bridal sanity. If you are a long-time (or some-time) follower of mine, you know I am the author. But you should also know that I myself continue to read it for my own sanity as my marriage progresses. Thanks to the therapists I interviewed for the book, it’s something to keep on the shelf long after the last dance. And seriously, who are we to pass up free therapy?!
The Bitch’s Bridal Bible: The Must-Have, Real-Deal Guide for Brides. available on Amazon.
Clash of the Couples. “A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats.” READ this, LAUGH your butt off, and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone!
It’s Really 10 Months. Pregnancy is beautiful and wonderful…..yeah. Not so much all the time. If you have a mom-to-be on your list who truly APPRECIATES the real-deal, is OK without the sugar coating, and loves to laugh, this book has her name written all over it!
Bridal Bag from The Flip-Flop Bitch. Speaking of brides, I did a giveaway a while back with my two favorite ladies over at The Flip-Flop Bitch after they came out with a gorgeous bridal bag. We all know how much your feet hurt from wearing heels all night, whether you’ve been a bride, bridesmaid, or simply a wedding guest who enjoys to bust a move or two. Now you can kick off your heels in style with one of these adorable, chic tote bags! My favorite part about them is that they fold up nicely to fit into a wristlet, expanding only when you are ready to use them to carry your heels home.
Custom Date Art. I gave one of these away back in June and it was a HUGE success. It’s beautiful AND personal, and an artful way to commemorate all the wonderful dates that mean so much to your family. You can add up to six dates, with a short description underneath of its significance. You can give it to your favorite couple with the dates they first met, had their first kiss, got engaged, and their wedding date. I love it as a grandparents gift, too – you can add their wedding date, your wedding date, and the birth dates of your kids.
Remington Professional Hair Removal System. Ladies, if the man-scaper in your life spends more time in the bathroom than you do, it may be time to introduce him to the Remington Professional Hair Removal System. Men, if you are reading this and thinking of getting it for your lady, make sure she will really appreciate it. Because nothing will get you slapped upside the head faster than a wrapped up package of “Merry Christmas, my hairy bride”.
iRobot Roomba 880. This may be the one time you are allowed to purchase a vacuum for your significant other as a gift without getting smacked. It’s proven to remove up to 50% more dirt, dust, hair, debris and harmful allergens from all floor types and is virtually maintenance free. Oh, and did I mention it vacuums all by itself?
A worthy subscription gift for the fireman in your life. Brave, no-fuss, and ever on call, there aren’t a whole lot of things you can get that the fireman on your list will go nuts for. Until now. FireStationShirts.com is the ultimate shirt of the month service for both firefighters, enthusiasts and little lifesavers that delivers a custom, limited-edition shirt every month from a different firehouse across the country. They feature and support different charities every month. And – my favorite part – they have a kids subscription option for the little firemen in the world, too! I took this for a test-drive myself and loved how easy it was; you simply choose a subscription, pay for your order, and cross someone off your list.
Montage photo album. This one has my vote for EXCELLENT grandparent gift, because grandparents LOVE photos of their grand kids! Some are hip and tech savvy and have Facebook and Instagram accounts, but many are not/don’t care/just want pictures the old school way: in an album they can touch and set on their coffee table. To that I say, get them a Montage photo album! I reviewed them once here, in case you want to see more images and details of this album.
“The Grandfather” Sweatshirt. This is MANDATORY for my dad!
Grandma’s Love Bangle Bracelet. You’ll melt Grandma’s heart with this one.
Yogibo Yogi Max (family bean bag chair). The absolute best gift you could give to your favorite family is one of comfort, and WOW, this lounger from Yogibo takes comfort to the next level. Ok so it’s comfortable, comes in 11 different colors, you can sleep on it and blah blah BLAH, but here’s my favorite part: it conforms to your body so well that the description boasts pregnant woman can lay on it (wait for it…) BELLY DOWN. What?!?!? Where was this thing when I was eight months pregnant and miserable, snoring like a polar bear because I was so damn uncomfortable?!? Should #2 come along, this thing better be under my tree because it will be my new bed.
Bluetooth Shower Speaker by Abotech. This guy is compatible with all wireless devices and works great with Apple and Android devices, and you can use it in the car, the pool, the shower – ANYWHERE.
Speaking of Bluetooth, check out these Bluetooth Earmuffs!
BS Button. Go ahead. Call it. (Just don’t break the thing.)
Perfect Pooch Gift Pack. You know how much I love my animals, and I KNOW I am not alone here. Spoil your favorite pooch with these adorable, yummy gift packs.
“Always in My Heart” Memorial Locket. Losing a pet sucks, as you guys know I just recently experienced. While nothing will bring them back or make it easier, this locket is a beautiful gift for the person in your life who has just lost their friend. Now you can carry a bit of their ashes with you, everywhere you go.
Grumpy Cat “Litter Box” Sweatshirt. Oh no, Grumpy Cat. I know your games. (But you’re cute, anyway.)
7 Pod Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit. You don’t need tons of acreage for a garden anymore; now your favorite urban dweller can keep their favorite culinary herbs right on their counter top! No soil, no mess, no green thumb required.
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. I’m usually not a sucker for gadgets like this, but I WANT THIS THING. It is little, easy to store, and makes a PERFECT breakfast sandwich every time. I could see this being KEY for the busy apartment dweller in the city.
Humans of New York book. If you are on Facebook then you have no doubt come across the “Humans of New York” Facebook page (and if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and go ‘like’ it right now). Brandon, the creator and administrator of the page, scouts the streets of NY and somehow coaxes random, beautiful confessions, tidbits and words of wisdom out of total strangers. It will make you feel both connected and well, human. His page became so popular that he has begun to travel the world and feature humans from all over. It’s one of my favorite pages on the internet and now, there is a book!
Humans of New York, available on Amazon
OH! And don’t forget the “Little Humans of New York” book, for those who have kiddos!
Little Humans, available on Amazon
For the Minimalist Greenie
If you have a minimalist on your list, your past gift-giving probably went something like this:
YOU: Here’s your beautiful gift I thoughtfully picked out for you after racking my brain for hours! Didn’t my wrapping job turn out just beautifully?!
MINIMALIST: Was this up-cycled? And is it saving a rainforest in any way? And please tell me that wrapping paper is recyclable.
YOU: No…er…um…but look, it lights up!
MINIMALIST: (*slaps hand against forehead*)
If you have a Greenie to please on your list this year, look no further than the NRDC Green Gifts list, where you can donate to environmentally-friendly cause in your giftee’s name. Choose from saving the monarchs ($25), planting a tree ($15), or filing a lawsuit against environmental offenders ($100). Because nothing says ‘best gift ever’ to a greenie quite like: “I donated money in your name to prosecute offenders of the environment, and I didn’t waste a shred of wrapping paper doing it.”
The Prescription Coffee Mug.
Silicone Tea Infuser. I don’t know why, but this is cracking me up right now. And I’d love to find it in my stocking this year.
This does not need a description.
Numi Organic Tea Set and Bamboo Chest. This set is GORGEOUS, and Numi tea is my current tea of choice. It’s organic, comes in delicious flavors, and there is nothing strange or unnatural in the ingredients.
Betsey Johnson socks. Did you ever put actual stockings in a stocking for a stocking stuffer?? I wouldn’t mind finding these, because they are fun.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed my gift guide. OH, and if you stuck with me this far, your reward is the video with the dogs and cats who hate kisses. You’re welcome. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!