Wednesday, December 5, 2012

J's Favorite Things: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

$5 Gift Idea- LE PEN
You may remember my post last year about a great stocking stuffer called Le Pen. I decided to mention it again because I am still loving these little things. They come in a wide array of colors and are so inexpensive at $1.99. A friend of mine, Mary Susan, gave me a bouquet of Le Pens for my birthday this year. How clever and what an appropriate gift. I promptly wrote her a thank you note in a hot orange pen!

Available at my FAVORITE place to on-line shop:

Recently, as I was spending time with my three year old nephew, he impressed me by how far he could count in Spanish. My five year old nephew then told me he could count to 100 in Spanish. Seriously? I didn't learn Spanish until high school. They start kids so young these days don't they? While shopping at Target on Black Friday, I came across a whole section of books that were in both English and Spanish, including an old favorite "The Hungry Caterpillar". None of them were over $10 so I scooped up quite a few. You should expect to see these as Christmas & birthday gifts for a few years from me. Feliz Navidad! :)

Available at:

We all have been switching to stemless wine glasses for a few years now and I think these are the next trend. Often times we think of champagne as a luxurious or celebratory drink. However, the selection of champagne in the grocery store, as well as by the glass in restaurants is becoming wider and wider. While I do still generally opt for wine, I absolutely love a glass of champagne for a change. Most stemware, especially champagne flutes, is very fancy. These glasses are ultra-sleek, a little bit funky and casual enough to pull out when your girlfriends come over for book club. They are $80 for a set of six so I split them into three sets: two were gifts & one was for me. Splitting them up made them roughly $25 a pair, which I think is a great price point for a gift. My only problem was deciding which style to give which person. I ultimately decided that it didn't matter since I will likely be using them at my friend's homes anyway. :)

Available at:

You know the saying everything old is new again? Well, I think these fit into this category. I can remember being in college & wanting every cutesy holiday platter monogrammed with my initials. My monogramming phase passed along with my love of Patagonia shorts, (you know you rocked these even though they were WAY too short), but now they are making a comeback for me. I recently purchased this platter from The Preppy Ladybug for a family member. I hope she likes it. Roll Tide! Order by December 6th for Christmas delivery!

Available at:

About every other year, I go on a girl's trip in December to NYC with my mother in law & sister in laws. On our 1st trip there together years ago, I came across this adorable jewelry store in The Pond called Lucid NY. I bought this fabulous necklace and loved it so much that, when I lost it, I ordered another one.....and the earrings to match...and have ordered or purchased in person so many adorable things from them since! You have to check them out:

Available at:

I mean that just sounds yummy doesn't it? After many years of sleeping on an OLD mattress, my husband & I finally bit the bullet & bought a new mattress set. Mattress shopping is actually quite boring and rather stressful so, after two stores, I was ready to make the big purchase. We had the nicest, most knowledgable salesperson you could imagine. The truth is that we may actually take them up on their happiness guarantee & exchange our new mattress for another one. Maybe our bodies aren't used to all the fluffy softness that is now being bestowed upon us, ha ha! Regardless, our second choice of a mattress was called Coconut Bliss & is the Mattress Firm brand. I wasn't sold on memory foam, or its outrageous price, but my husband loved it & decided to treat himself to a Coconut Bliss foam pillow. The foam has holes in it so it is very breathable and it isn't dense like Tempurpedic. In other words, it forms to the shape of your head but quickly can adjust to a new position, again unlike Tempurpedic. Needless to say, I am really hoping that one of these is under the tree with my name on it this year! Treat yourself or your loved one to this luxurious pillow and they will thank you profusely! The price on the website is $129 but I think we got a sweet deal at $99 since we bought the new mattress set.

Available at:

A Gift Idea for the person who has everything: CUSTOM BUILT BIRD HOUSE
I am always on the search for a unique gift that will wow the recipient. Sometimes I give safe or somewhat boring gifts but I really do try to think outside the box. Being a lover of bird houses myself, I was delighted to come across a website that can make a custom bird house. I contacted the company a few years ago but didn't give them enough lead time to complete a bird house for this particular person. My husband reminded me of this gift idea this week which, of course, is not enough time to get one this year yet again. One day I will give this as a gift and it will be cherished! Pricing varies (between $200-$900) based on the size of the house and whether or not you want to just have the front replicated or if you want a 360 degree view. Keep this unique gift in mind for mother's day, father's day and, of course, Christmas 2013! You could even pair it with a subscription to Birds & Blooms Magazine.

Available at:

Custom Birdhouse (Extra Large) Example 360°
Custom Built Bird Houses
Custom Birdhouse (Large) Example
I hope you are enjoying shopping this holiday season. I don't know about you but I can't wait to see everyone open the gifts that I have selected for them. As I mentioned before, I love to shop to find unique gifts so I will leave you with some of my favorite go-to websites. Enjoy!!

Adorable Stationery:

For sweet treats:

This just goes under the "unique" catagory:

Another great jewelry site:

For the beach lover:

For your favorite gardener:


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