Last Minute Gifts

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Even the best laid plans can fall flat. My holiday shopping hit a major snafu this year and I had to recalibrate a bit. This lead to my not starting until last week so I’m scrambling now. Luckily my kids are into a few big gifts as opposed to lots of little things…but I digress (gee, I say that an awful lot).

Anyway… planning and writing task lists then scheduling and organizing those tasks can sometimes lead to one, ok maybe five dropped balls. So when that happens here are some ideas to add to your gifting arsenal that don’t lack for style, substance, thoughtfulness or originality. Enjoy!

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Holiday Party Fashion

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I’ve been feeling very festive, so I thought I would round up a few of my favorite party looks. These are ones I’ve definitely rocked this season and my New Year’s Eve look is even included below (dress, shoes and beauty stuff included)…I like to make the most of my formal wear–feel free to guess.

Sequins just scream “celebrate” to me—and if I’m being 100% honest I sometimes even sneak them into my everyday work wardrobe so I’m definitely biased, (oh and if you’re looking to try that out I love the way French Connection and JCrew add evening embellishments to everyday pieces). These dresses show off shine in a variety of colors, cuts and styles and you can layer them with a blazer, wrap, moto-style jacket, or cardi.

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Holiday Gifts For Teachers

20121206-235044.jpgBecoming a parent made me appreciate two distinct contributors to a child’s life like never before: the mother and the teacher. As a younger-self, I had teachers who made me look at life differently and encouraged me to pursue passions–I also had ones who taught me how to overcome criticism, but that’s another post. When you’re a parent though and your child has a teacher who has directly impacted how they related to the world in a positive way you want to dedicate a shrine to them and have a parade in their honor.

I’ve been abundantly blessed in that department. My children have the incredible fortune of having had unbelievable educators who loved and supported them, and some of them are still in their lives today. Additionally, because my brother-in-law (also my daughters’ godfather) is a teacher, these heroes are near and dear to our family.

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Pet Alternatives: Gift Ideas

20121203-212031.jpgLast week my kids wrote their Gift Lists (it’s the first year we don’t have at least one Santa List, but that’s another post so I won’t get all weepy here about that). When they were done, I graciously took the folded lists smiled and took them upstairs to unfurl and consume them and to my horror saw the dreaded three letters written in CAPS on both: P-E-T. And to put the crown on this proverbial animal kingdom, of course, they both wanted different species.

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10 Films About Love: Movie Gifts


This video made me incredibly happy when I saw it posted on Facebook, so I had to share, but it also got me thinking about my all-time favorite movies about love… and not storybook love.  Love as it really is–unpolished, messy, often tragic, doesn’t always end perfectly, but sometimes is better than you could have planned it.  In the spirit of the holidays, here are ten films that celebrate love in it’s many forms and make greats gifts–stocking stuffers, anyone–or great movie nights with the one(s) you love.
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Totally Awesome Gifts for Babies, Kids and Teens

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This Holiday season I have a total of ten kids to buy for (one is still in-uterero), and that’s before I get to my own two. I love shopping for kids…no really, I do. What I don’t always love–but actually do appreciate in a weird kind of way–is how brutally honest kids can be about whether a gift truly is cool or not. They have no filter at all and don’t feel the need to pretend to love those argyle socks and brown braided belt. Why should they…psst: don’t get a kid a belt and socks from Crewcuts when they want a Transformer from Target. Anyway, I went on a search for some cool kid-picks that could pass-muster with even the most brutally honest recipient and I have to say I think there might even be one or two adult cross-overs in contention, (does that make them automatically uncool though??). *Sigh*

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One For Them, One For You: Book Gifts

Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.

Happy reading!

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Gifts For The Guy In Your Life

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Every year figuring out what to get my husband is a challenge. What can I give to the most wonderful man in the world that is as creative, witty and smart as he is? Also, I must admit, he isn’t the easiest to buy for. Even me, the Gifting Whisperer, had a few purchases he exchanged (the horror!!) and even returned (audible gasps!!), but that got us to a better place and now I know to avoid embellishments and any logo appliqués.

Refocusing… I’ve already done a number of gift ideas for men, sports and game enthusiasts, space themed gifts and tech & gadgets that you should feel free to reference if it makes sense for your recipient. The list below highlights some fun and even a few unique ideas for the humorous, quirky, creative guy in your life who likely isn’t a conformist, probably listened to They Might Be Giants and likes (or better yet loves) you for you.

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Gift Ideas: Holiday Beauty

Guerlain powder I got for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. Isn’t it so pretty?

One of the my most memorable childhood Christmases was when I unwrapped cosmetics. I got a Guerlain Meteorites powder and a Georgette Klinger eye shadow chest with dozens of colors. Both were so spectacular, I took very good care of them and had them for a very long time. I learned a very important lesson that holiday: beauty gifts are special. For me at the time–I think I was 11 or 12–it marked embarking into young womanhood and also it was the first time I had the same items as my mom which was very special.

Beauty products embody the festive nature of the holidays and the spirit of the New Year–you can glam it up for a one-off party or totally reinvent yourself by trying a new look. And if you hate it, no worries, just as quickly as you’ve changed your look you can go back to your familiar self. Here are some of my favorite beauty gift ideas for the holidays, New Year and beyond.

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Giving Back: Holiday Charities and Shopping

Over the next 31 days, it’s easy to get caught up in buying and acquiring. I feel incredibly lucky (thus far and knock wood) to have been able to provide my family with a holiday that includes delicious food, a warm house and a bunch of selections from their respective lists… but I know not everyone is as fortunate. Please take a few minutes to check out the opportunities to help other families during this festive season, I’ve included a few below.

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