With an impending move into our new home in mid-December, I wanted to be sure to get most of my holiday shopping/preparations done early this year. As I said in my post yesterday, I got all of my homemade tags done to be used when wrapping all of my gifts. Now my shopping is complete too. I did most of it online a few weeks ago and the packages began pouring in last week. It was so nice to make a list, jump onto the computer and have it all done with just a few clicks. I found so many great items that I thought I would stop in today to share some of my favorite finds with you!
The gift of luxury...
These Luxury Plush Foot Duvets from Restoration Hardware are a steal! When they arrived, I was so impressed with the quality for such an inexpensive gift! They are normally $20 a pair, but until November 30th, they are on sale for a mere $16! The interior is so soft and luxurious, you will definitely want a pair for yourself.
I will be pairing these up with some mugs and homemade hot cocoa mix so the recipient can have the gift of a cozy night in.
For the cook...
I loved this Italian Windowsill Herb Garden so much, I ordered one for myself as well! It includes three little antiqued Guy Wolff pots, a metal carrying basket, snippers, plant markers with an antique finish, seeds, jute bag to hold everything and even the growing medium. And it's only $27! It comes in a gorgeous presentation box that is easy to wrap and will be impressive to the recipient!
I actually purchased this metal cookbook stand for my new kitchen, then when it arrived, I loved it so much that I ordered a few additional ones as gifts! It is a nice heavy metal, complete with attached paperweights to hold your pages open to the recipe you are working with. It shows beautiful craftsmanship and I am so pleased with it. I know anyone who loves to cook would just love to receive this! The price tag is a mere $34, so it will fit in almost any budget!
I love almost anything from Paula Deen. She has her name on so many things now, from cookware to furniture. Two of my favorite things from her cooking line are these two gift ideas that I purchased for a few of the people on my list.
These wooden spoons are THE best wooden spoons, ever! They are very substantial, made from solid acacia wood. They have copper plated rings for hanging, if the recipient wishes. They feel so incredibly good in your hand and are a real treat to use in the kitchen! And you can't beat the price of only $10 for the set of two! I am packaging these up with one of my absolute FAVORITE reads for this year...
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is a wonderful book by Molly Wizenberg that is based on a blog that she began a few years ago. She made the discovery that favorite recipes are not only favorite recipes because they taste good. They are usually favorite recipes because there is a memory or story associated with it that brings back that moment every time you prepare or indulge in it. The book is full of her personal favorite recipes and the stories & memories she identifies them with. Not only are the recipes to die for, but her stories are unbelievably beautiful and well-written. I would call it a cookbook with heart, something anyone would enjoy receiving and using.
And for something a bit more extravagant, this set of measuring spoons is one of the most beautiful things that I've ever laid eyes on! The set of four pewter spoons comes with a stand to hang them on, perfect for leaving out on the counter so they are always easy to access. I haven't gotten a set for myself yet, but they will be coming to live at my house soon too!
Every cook loves a new recipe or two to try. When giving gifts like those above, I always like to include a few of my favorites. This year I am including them on the specialty recipe cards I designed to coordinate with our Recipe Box stamp set. If you have the time, any cook would also love a homemade recipe box to match! Something like that truly becomes a family heirloom!
For the bookworm...
I just LOVE giving books as gifts. You can ask any of my dear friends about that because they pretty much get a book for every occasion! I never give a book that I haven't read myself and I love pairing a books personality with the recipient. If you haven't read any of the following suggestions, this is your excuse to indulge so you can make well-informed decisions when purchasing gifts this holiday season!
My absolute favorite book that I have read this year is Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. Kristin is an incredible author, actually one of the best in my opinion. This book will transform the lucky recipient; the story consumes you to the point where you cannot put it down, causing you to reflect and think about the characters even when the book is not in hand. It makes you appreciate what you have and hold your family a little tighter. It is a must read and any avid bookworm would thank you for such an amazing gift!
I mentioned this little number here on the blog when I read it this summer, but it bears repeating! The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is a wonderful, wonderful read, especially for those that love historical novels. It has everything a gal could want from a book; love, suspense, mystery and everything that comes along with it! Just fabulous, a real, honest-to-goodness page turner!
The above selections are definitely more geared towards female readers, so how about one of my favorites that is fantastic for anyone, no matter their gender? Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World by Seth Stevenson is amazing book for people with an adventurous spirit that may not get as many opportunities as they like for world travel. This true story involves a couple selling all of their belongings and traveling around the world without utilizing any airplanes. So their journey involves freighters & ships, trains & cars. It is fascinating how much we miss by getting from point A to point B on an airplane that only allows us to see the sky. I really enjoyed this book and anyone that loves to travel, or even the idea of it, would enjoy it as well!
...or a favorite brand of tea (packaged pretty of course) and you will be so appreciated!
For the men on your list...
I ordered this Utili-Key for several of the men on my list. Almost every guy is obsessed with gadgets and this one can't be beat for $12. This handy tool can be kept on a key ring and includes Phillips, flat-head & eyeglass screwdrivers. It also includes a bottle-opener and straight & serrated blades. This handy little tool comes in an impressive gift box that makes it easy to wrap and perfect for giving!
I am including some homemade snack mix with the Utili-Keys for the men on my list. I love putting things like this in our wax-lined, windowed coffee bags because it makes it look so special and polished. Not to mention, it is an inexpensive way to store the mix in an nearly air-tight way without having to pay for pricey tins.
Both my father-in-law & grandfather LOVE birds. They love to sit and watch them flitting around their yard from feeder to feeder and when I talk to them on the phone they love to discuss what species is a frequent visitor in the current season. I knew when I found these wooden bird ornaments that they would be the perfect gift. They are hand-carved and painted and are SO detailed and amazing. Totally worth the $24 price tag.
I am pairing them up with this fantastic book about attracting birds to the backyard. It contains 536 ways to create a haven for birds outdoors. It has 320 pages of wonderful photos, tips & tricks with a price tag of only $15!
And how fun will it be for me to include this little bird house made from red papers, filled with bird seed?
For the kids (and kid-at-heart!)
I love this little stencil kit (especially that it comes with proper storage to keep it all together!) I have a few young cousins, nieces & nephews that love doing anything creative and this little gifts fits the bill perfectly. The stencils allow you to create custom faces or zoo animals with ease. It comes with markers, stencils, paper and this cute little tin box to store it all in. All for $10!
As soon as I saw these temporary tattoo sets, I could hardly contain myself! They are such a clever idea! Kids can transform their hands into robots, dinosaurs, zoo animals, monsters and more! A single tattoo is applied to the side of their hand, allowing them to transform them into portable playmates! Especially fun when you get siblings or friends to participate with you to put on an entire puppet show! I loved them so much, I ordered them for every kid on my list!!!
Do you remember friendship bracelets from a few decades back? Remember safety-pinning them to your jeans as you worked on them? I used to love making them and as soon as I saw this little kit, I knew it was the perfectly thing for some pre-teen girls on my list. It comes with several colors of floss, instructions, safety pins and complete instructions for a few different styles of bracelets. All in a little storage tin and only $13.
I don't know about you, but I used to love making flip books as a kid. Holding the stack of index cards in your hand and flipping through them quickly as you watched the object seem to come to life with animation! This little kit comes with two pre-drawn flip books that can be colored in, two blank flip books so they can draw their own, 6 markers and four clips to hold the books together. A great activity and loads of fun for only $12.
I am making several of the kids in our family this little knock-knock joke book to be tucked into their packages as well. My kids just LOVE to tell jokes and I think almost all kids are the same way! It is a quick and easy little project (especially with the FREE download that I shared with you) that will bring a few giggles into their Christmas Day!
I also have a few little girls that I am making Cupcake Take Alongs for. This little gift always goes over SO well! I like to include a small cupcake pan and a whisk with the gift. If you really want to make an impression, you can include a personalized apron! This gift makes little girls fell so "grown-up" when they get their own baking supplies!
I hope some of you might find this little helpful as you complete that holiday shopping list! Do you have any favorite finds for this year? Any homemade gifts that you've blogged about recently that you care to share? I would love to see what your plans are! I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday weekend!