Tag Archives: gifts

Support the Handmade Industry

Etsy purchasesBecause I’ve started a shop on Etsy to sell my handmade soaps and bath products, I tried to buy as many Christmas gifts as possible on Etsy this year. I found some really interesting items. And of course, I couldn’t help but buy a few presents for myself.


I bought six pairs of earrings from The Peach Tree. Her designs are so adorable and affordable. And I love that she lives in Brooklyn. I lived in Brooklyn for two years and still have a soft spot for that borough.

I also bought two necklaces from Ample Goddess Jewelry. She makes pretty, feminine jewelry and offers some items in plus sizes. That’s rare.

And I bought a bracelet from Meadows Jewelry made of semi-precious stones. So lovely.

Etsy purchasesArt

Artists are selling affordable print versions of their paintings and digital works on Etsy. Here are some highlights.

For myself, I bought a 2010 calendar from The Nebulous Kingdom. Her characters are so beautiful and fantasical. I love looking at them and intend to buy more.

My sister loves Arthurian legends, so from Emily Balivet I bought a print of the Lady of the Lake.

From Robert Foster Art I bought two prints and and got one free. I love the way he plays with light.


For decoration, I bought 18-inch beeswax candles from West Shore Designs. They come in three colors, are nice and straight (which is rare in the handmade world) and burn perfectly evenly.

I don’t know how to categorize the terrarium I bought at Doodle Bird Designs. But it’s so cute. It’s a little fantasy world in a 4-inch sphere. The item I wanted was sold out, but she made a special order for me. So nice.

Buying handmade is a personal experience. So much nicer than going to a large, faceless store. You get the best quality customer service at affordable prices. The products are creative and original.

Support handmade!

Etsy purchases

Grace Magazine’s Beautiful Gift Guide

Holiday time is quickly approaching. Start your Christmas shopping off beautifully with this handy gift guide.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 2
Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II

This cool set includes 16 shadows, 8 of which are limited to this set, two travel-size eye pencils, and a mini bottle of primer potion. Behind the secret door you’ll find a look book.

Urban Decay Apolcalyptic Nail Kit
Urban Decay Apolcalyptic Nail Kit

In this collection, you’ll find seven mini nail colors in a little zippered pouch. Colors are edgy and fun.

Smashbox WISH EYe Wish Palette
Smashbox WISH Eye Wish Palette

This glamorous palette contains 12 powder eye shadows, 4 cream liners and a mini Photo Finish primer. You also get a step-by-step instruction booklet. $1 goes to charity.

Sephora Luxe Noir Brush Set
Sephora Luxe Noir Brush Set

Sephora’s black clutch contains the tools you need to apply makeup like a pro. You get a powder brush, concealer brush, foundation brush and 3 double-ended eye brushes. So, you’re really getting 9 brushes in this six-piece collection.

Chanel No5 Forever Worldly Gift Set
Chanel No5 Forever Worldly Gift Set

If you want to buy me something (tee hee), this three-piece Chanel No5 collection is just the thing. The set features eau de parfum, body cream and bath gel in the classic fragrance.

All gifts available at Sephora.

Sephora Ultimate Blockbuster


I’m a sucker for makeup palettes.

This Sephora collector’s palette will make a perfect holiday gift for a beauty lover. It contains 84 powder eye shadows in warm and cool shades, 3 blushes, 60 lip glosses, 2 lip liners, 3 eye liners, 6 cream eye liners, 6 matte eye shadows, 6 sparkling eye shadows, and a few applicators.

I have last year’s palatte and I use something from it every day. Just having all of those eye and lip colors is so comforting. No one will use the applicators. But the rest of the kit has good pigment and texture.

Shop for the beauty addict in your life, or for more fun, shop for yourself.

Available at Sephora for $48

Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2009

Valentine’s Day has gotten so blown out of proportion.

It used to be that a card or flowers or a box of candy were enough. But now it seems that you can’t say “love” without a triple-diamond pendant or a spa weekend.

Perhaps the current economic recession will help us scale back all of these holidays that have gotten out of control. Here are some small gift ideas to bring this holiday back down to Earth.


piercesThirteen Tales of Love and Revenge by The Pierces

This talented sisterly duo were featured on Gossip Girl. We know she’ll love it. XOXO.

$12.99 at Amazon

romance-moviesThe Romantic Favorites Collection (includes Bridget Jones-The Edge of Reason, About a Boy, Love Actually, Notting Hill)

Four Hugh Grant movies might drive you crazy but your girl will love it. Two of them have the added bonus of Colin Firth.

$20.00 at Amazon

dirty-girl-bathDirty Girl Bubble Bath

Here is something you can share. You can’t beat the adorable packaging.

$12.00 at Amazon


john-wayneJohn Wayne War: 4 Film Favorites (includes They Were Expendable, Operation Pacific, Flying Leathernecks, Back to Bataan)

If your man doesn’t like John Wayne, dump him immediately, because he doesn’t know what a man is. They Were Expendable is one of my favorite movies.

$11.49 at Amazon

miles-davisComplete Bitches Brew Sessions of Miles Davis

The legendary jazz sessions recorded between August 1969 and February 1970.

$24.97 on Amazon

salt-crystalHimalayan Salt Crystal Votive Candle Holders Set of 2

Men like candles, too. Salt crystals act as an ionizer and air purifier by emitting negative ions into the air.

$13.95 on Amazon

Gift Ideas for Jane Austen Fans

Pride and Prejudice A&E

Pride and Prejudice – Special Edition (A&E, 1996) – $21.49

The ultimate movie version of Pride and Prejudice. Six hours of Elizabeth and Darcy bliss.

Jane Austen Action Figure

Jane Austen Action Figure – $11.95

A super hero for girls. Comes with a mighty pen.

Illustrated Jane Austen

The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen (Six Volume Set) – $110.25

A beautiful collection of Austen’s novels with added features about the
history and fashion of the times.

Jane Austen Tee Shirt

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice T-Shirt – $14.00-$16.00

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” Any fan of Lizzie Bennett will take pride in wearing this tee. Price varies depending on size.

Jane Austen Cookbook

The Jane Austen Cookbook – $17.95

Not just period recipes, this book is full of facts about Austen’s books, friends and letters.

Beautiful Christmas Gift Idea

Here’s a great gift idea for your loveliest friends.

Too Faced World Domination Tour All Access Backstage Beauty Collection

Kit contains:

8 eyeshadows
6 lip glosses
1 blush
bronzer duo
face illuminator
brow powder
eyeline cake

AND it’s a music box. It plays Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy while a little twirling figurine dances, just like your ballerina jewel box when you were a kid.

Only this time, the goodies are for big girls.

$42 at Sephora

Serenity Gift Set by LUSH

Serenity Gift Set by LUSH

Because of my love for all things beauty related and my penchant for mixing up my own soaps and lotions, friends are always letting me know of new products they’ve tried and giving me samples of things they’ve picked up.

A friend discovered LUSH while travelling on business. She was looking for ways to pamper herself while she had a prolonged stay in a hotel.

The Serenity Set by Lush – $35.45

A beautiful collection for calming, inspirational baths
Some people go an entire lifetime without experiencing a waking moment of serenity. Some of us have got to the point where we think that five minutes a day is pretty wonderful, but wouldn’t ten be better? Up your friends’ serenity quotient by giving them our Serenity box with five soothing treats, including A Ring of Roses buttercream for soft skin and Bathos bubble bar for a lovely, peaceful bath time.

Set includes:
Alkmaar Handmade Soap, Ring of Roses Conditioning Buttercream, Bathos Bubble Bar, Butterball Bath Bomb, Ceridwen’s Cauldron Luxury Bath Melt

Available at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Price: $35.45

Italian Milk Soap

Santa Maria Novella Rose Milk Soap

Milk soap is fabulous for dry and sensitive skin. This Italian gift box of 3 soap bars has a clean, fresh scent and gentle, rich lather.

Santa Maria Novella: Rose Milky Soap Box – $48.00

Triple milled, each exquisite bar is hand-molded using 19th century equipment, aged for 60 days in ventilated cabinets, then hand-wrapped. The all-natural, milk-based formula is infused with the romantic scent of rose for a lather that is rich, gentle, and softly moisturizing.

100% whole milk base. Softens dry and sensitive skin. Lasts about three times longer than ordinary soap while maintaining its shape and scent. Limited, controlled production at the original Florence site. All herbs and flowers cultivated naturally without pesticides.

This would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift.

Available at eluxury.com

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for 2008

Grace Magazine’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for 2008

I know, I know, it’s only January.
But V-Day will be here sooner than your heart can skip a beat.

Here are some Italian luxury gift ideas for men and women in various price ranges and different levels of commitment.


Gokan Kobo tieGokan Kobo Touch Black and Red ‘I Love You’ Script Woven Silk Tie – $72

A new line of neckwear designed by the Japanese stylist Kenzo Takada for a refined and personal collection, elegant in its simple lines yet luxurious in the materials and textures. Made in Italy

Forzieri shirtForzieri Solid Black Cotton Italian Dress Shirt – $98

It does not get any more chic than Forzieri’s classic spread collar dress shirt in inky black complemented by creamy black mother of pearl buttons. With its smooth front and clean lines it will transport you to the highest level of sophistication. Gift box included, Made in Italy

Gianfranco Ferre walletGianfranco Ferre Men’s Burgundy Soft Italian Leather Billfold Wallet – $129

A fine accessory for the man with classic style, this sleek and subtle billfold wallet is perfect for everyday use. Finished with an embossed Gianfranco Ferre signature on the front flap. Gift box included, Made in Italy

L.A.P.A. briefcaseL.A.P.A. Cognac Leather Vertical Briefcase – $475

This piece locks with a key and can be used with its adjustable shoulder strap. The interior is divided into 3 sections, one of which contains a zip pocket. One section contains pockets for a cell phone and pens, and on the back there is an additional open pocket. Made in Italy

Forzieri shoesForzieri Sand Italian Handcrafted Leather Lace-up & Strap Shoes – $548

The new men’s shoe collection by Forzieri is exclusively hand-made by the most expert Italian artisans that combine traditional excellent craftsmanship with original new designs. These sand lace-up shoes are embellished by cut-out details on the side and heel, and by a top snap leather strap for a fashionable and dressy touch. Dust bag included, Hand-made in Italy

Forzieri cufflinksForzieri Exclusives Men’s Four Vices Double-Sided Oval 18K Gold Cufflinks – $1,495

For the contemporary dandy, an astonishing pair of vintage 19th century-style porcelain cufflinks set in 18K yellow gold and entirely hand-painted with men’s four main vices such as women, horses, gambling and drinking. Gift box included, Made in Italy


Akuamarina pendantAkuamarina Silver Leaf and Murano Glass Heart Pendant Necklace – $64

The new Akuamarina collection is made of beautiful necklaces in Murano glass, creating colored reflections and magic transparencies. This heart pendant has a silver leaf inside and comes with a black cord closing with a lobster-claw clasp. Pattern may vary slightly, unique handmade pieces. Gift box included, Made in Italy

Nuovegioie earringsNuovegioie Lavender Stone Sterling Silver Drop Earrings – $116

Simple, delicate, and completely wearable with anything from the most elegant evening dress to your favorite pair of worn in jeans, Nuovegioie’s lavender drop earrings in sterling silver will complete your look with a dash of refinement. Gift box included, Made in Italy

Leonardo Delfuoco walletLeonardo Delfuoco Black Canvas and Leather French Purse ID Wallet – $198

Make a bold statement with understated elegance with this striking french purse wallet featuring an ID window and a signature corset design detail that is seductively refined. Made in Italy

Forzieri jewelry boxForzieri Croco Stamped Leather Triple-compartment Jewelry Box – $598

Carry and protect your valuables in high class style with Forzieri’s bright candy colored, croc-embossed leather jewelry box. Two removable trays with ring holders and small compartments, suede lining, and lock feature make this the ultimate jewelry carry-all. Made in Italy

L.A.P.A. briefcaseL.A.P.A. Pink Croco-style Leather Double Gusset Briefcase – $798

An ultra-chic pink croc-embossed leather briefcase features dual interior gusset sections. Made in Italy

Forzieri earringsForzieri Diamond and Garnet Hearts 18K Gold Earrings – $1,726

A beautiful reflection of a romantic affection or a charming personality, these 18K gold dangle earrings feature a diamond encrusted base with a heart shaped garnet and diamond adorned drop. Gift box included. Made in Italy

All items available at Forzieri.com.

Quirky Holiday Gifts

Archie McPhee logo

Looking for that little extra something that will make your family and friends laugh?

Try buying strange and wonderful items from Archie McPhee. They have the most creative gifts imaginable.

Here is a sampling.

Dr. Freud’s Therapy Ball
Dr. Freud’s Therapy Ball – $7.95
Save thousands of dollars on psychiatric office visits with this modern-day version of a magic 8 ball. Shake and hear twenty different responses, such as “How did that make you feel?” and “Talk about your mother.”

Shakespearean Insult Gum
Shakespearean Insult Gum – Set of 2 $4.95
For your favorite theatre lover, try this gum that provides lasting flavor and renaissance insults in iambic pentameter.

Nihilist Chewing Gum
Nihilist Chewing Gum – 48 Boxes $4.95
College students, especially philosophy majors, will enjoy the gum that doesn’t believe in flavor. It’s completely devoid.

Marie Antoinette Action Figure
Marie Antoinette Action Figure – $8.95
History buffs and French haters will enjoy this Marie Antoinette doll will ejector-head action.

Paparazzi Play Set
Paparazzi Play Set – $14.95
We all have that one friend who can’t get enough attention. Give them the gift of their very own paparazzi.

Bacon Strips Bandages
Bacon Strips Bandages – Box of 15 $4.95
For some reason this site is obsessed with bacon. These are real bandages that look like bacon. Mmm.

Did I mention the Electronic Yodelling Pickle?

Ah, good times.