Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts

Gift Guide Refresher

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I am still in the throes of gift shopping right now. This is the time of year when the mail girl hates my guts because I have something coming to the house every day. Also, I'm terrible at keeping track of everything that I order, so it's like a tiny Christmas for me each time a box shows up at my door because I don't remember what it could be.

So, since I'm in RoboShop mode right now, I thought I'd link up to last year's gift guides. Since I focus on specific types of gifts (rather than a specific product) it's kind of an easy way to match the right person to the right prezzies.

For Coworkers and Neighbors
For Your BFF
For Your Husband 
For You
For Your Kids 

Hopefully that helps narrow down choices and relieves a bit of the stress that comes with gift giving. And hey, it's only the 3rd: You have plenty of time to drive yourself crazy for the next three weeks. Enjoy!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For You

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Am I the only one who hates being asked "What do you want for Christmas?"

It's not because I don't like getting presents. Let's get that straight right now. I LOVE PRESENTS. But I never know what to say. Honestly, most times, if I want something, I'll just get it myself. So it's hard for me to think up something that I would want someone else to get me.

Luckily, I married someone who totally understands my need for presents and is excellent in the gifting department. Even when we were poor newlyweds, he'd scrape together enough to pull off some miracle. I just joked the other day that he totally shot himself in the foot because now it's completely expected.

Still, I like to point him in the right direction. Here's some of the stuff I'm asking for this year so you can get ideas for yourself.

Shhhh it's OK to be a little greedy during the holidays.


I have a Keurig machine that I LOVE. I don't drink coffee (yes I understand the irony in having a really nice coffee machine when you don't actually drink the stuff) but I am a huge herbal tea drinker and the kids use it for hot chocolate. Of course, now I feel self conscious about my mugs, which made their way into my kitchen like, 10 years ago and are hopelessly cracked and mismatched. So yeah, the party animal that I am, I asked for nice mugs*. Love these monogram ones. But I'll take any that don't have stains from the kids using them as paint cups.

*Not to be confused with nice jugs. I mean, those would be nice, but hardly an ideal way to pull off a Christmas surprise.

(kate spade new york Monogram Mug Collection)


Since I live in the Arctic and all, my hands are freezing when I drive. Yesterday, my daughter had a presentation in school and since I'm supermom, I was literally putting together visual aids while standing in the school parking lot and lost all feeling in my extremities. A really nice pair of driving gloves would make me so much happier when I'm procrastinating.

(Carolina amato Bow Moto Gloves)


OK, I'll be brutally honest here. I wanted these and so I totally bought them yesterday for myself. I am ashamed. Then I told my husband that he could wrap them up and pretend they were for him if he wanted. I'm a nice person. But I LOVE shoes for Christmas. Here's a tip though -- if you want shoes as a gift, have a general idea of what size you are in different brands so you're not bummed when they don't fit Christmas morning.

Or just buy them yourself. Whatever. THEY WERE ON SALE.

(Call it SPRING - Mccalman (Brown) - Footwear)


This just in: I'm a total bookworm. And I love getting them as gifts. My favorite gift books are Ken Follett ones -- The Century Trilogy, Pillars of the Earth and Worlds Without End. Because I actually have time to read over the holidays, I like a big fatty. I can usually chew through one in a couple of days and it's super satisfying.


Honestly, I totally just send links of stuff I love to my husband on Gmail Chat all day. This was one that I wanted -- Naked 3 by Urban Decay (I actually want the first one as well, so either way). Quite frankly, it's something I probably wouldn't justify buying myself, but an easy peasy buy for my hubs. He favors things he can buy online and then have sent to the house. I've found that the easier I make gifting on my husband, the happier he is to do it.


Oh please, you knew it was coming.

I love jewelry for Christmas because I love thinking about it everytime I wear the piece later. I've gotten some of my favorite jewelry for Christmas.

One of my fave brands? Givenchy. It's super reasonably priced for high-end jewelry and it looks suuuuper decadent. I mean this bracelet? Shut up. They also do really pretty drop earrings as well. I have a set of Givenchy bangles and a necklace and they've held up really well.


I'm kind of a gadget girl, so I love getting electronics for Christmas. I even l have a Nintendo DS from like, seven years ago and love new games and whatever. But one of the best/most thoughtful gifts my husband bought me was a luxe pair of Sony noise-canceling headphones. I have a hard time concentrating on work with lots of noise and mind block everything out. Love! Just remember that electronics can be anything -- while you might not want a new iPhone dock, you might be really into some kitchen gadgets or a new tablet (I seriously couldn't function without my iPad and LOVE getting accessories for it.)

Anyway, those are my picks for a Merry Christmas. What are you asking for this year?

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For Your BFF

Thursday, December 5, 2013

OK, back to the actual prezzies. Thanks for all of your comments and shares yesterday. You guys are my favorites.

I should preface this by saying that my friends and I don't exchange presents at Christmas – we have a "Favorite Things" party. We get gussied up, go out to dinner and everyone brings their "favorite thing" wrapped up. I think the limit was $30 last year? Girls help me out, I don't remember.

Anyway, we then draw names and whatever name you get, you get to keep that person's favorite thing. It's so fun and an awesome way to find out about new products. Last year I did my favorite gloss and a scarf and I got agran oil for my hair. Love!

So when we're gearing up for our party, I'm not only thinking about whatever my favorite thing was that year, but something that one of my friends would love to get. Luckily, I hang with a pretty girly crew, so I can usually bet that shiny, pretty things are the order of the day. We're well-matched that way.

So whether you exchange gifts with a group or you want to let your BFF know that you think she's better than salted caramel gelato (OK, that's another one of my favorite things introduced by a friend), there are tons of options.. especially in the pretty, sparkly and thinky realms.


I love gifting makeup palettes. For one, you can get creaming deals over the holidays and for two, they come with so many colors that your makeup-loving friend is bound to be happy with her options.  This is a time when I go high-end or designer. Quite frankly, a designer palette will run you about $30 and it feels special. Still, if things are tight, the ELF Studio collection is BOSS and about $3 per product. Also, Diorshow is my favorite mascara of all time until the end of the universe, so that's an option too.



What BFF doesn't want something sparkly over the holidays? A weird one, that's who. You need to rethink your priorities, BFF. This is not the time to look for something demure. The bolder and more glittery... er... the better. I even save pretty jewelry boxes throughout the year so I don't have to gift these like, on a cardboard backing.



I loooove giving books as a gift. I read like no other. If I don't have a book on my Kindle and a stack on my nightstand, I get panicky. So naturally, I love sharing my favorite tomes with my friends. I probably read somewhere around 60 or so books this year and here are five of my faves.

For the history lover: 
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption; Lauren Hillenbrand

For the scandal-obsessed:
Gone Girl; Gillian Flynn  

For the inner teen:
The Fault in Our Stars; John Green

For the cinephile:
Serena; Ron Rash (it'll be a movie with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence next year and it is CRAZY) 

For the hopeless romantic:
You Before Me; Jojo Moyes

Those are my best ideas and cheap picks. Now, what do you do with your friends? Exchange gifts or do a party? I do love our party idea -- less stress when there's a group of 10 girls. But I'm open to new ideas! And check back tomorrow for neighbor.coworker gift ideas.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For Kids

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are you guys ready? I'm gonna drop some knowledge on you right now.

What if I told you that it doesn't matter what other people buy/get/do/don't do for their kids at Christmastime?

Yesterday, after seeing my 6th article on why a mom does/doesn't do Elf on the Shelf for her kids, I posted on my Facebook page that the Republicans and Dems could learn a thing or two about debate from these women. Seriously, it has been bananas.

One mom says she doesn't do it because it takes the spirit away from the holidays.

The other says she does it to make magical memories for her children.

One debates that it's lying to her kids.

The other says her children are only little for so long,

One legitimately said the elf is satanic.

Yeah, can we go ahead and just stop right there?

Why is it that at Christmas time, moms get so smug? Instead of you know, actually enjoying the holiday, we feel the need to constantly defend the "whys" of our choices and why they're superior to any other.

Look, parenting is hard at the best of times. So I get that parenting is even harder at Christmastime. You want your children to enjoy it, without completely spoiling them and exhausting yourself in the process. So when you see Instagram posts of your favorite pretend  elf causing mischief at someone else's house, you have a reaction to it. You say you're too tired to keep that up for a month, or you Pinterest new ideas to step up your game.

In the end, I think the best magical gift for your children would be to get off Facebook and stop debating with people you don't know/like. Getting heated about what someone else is doing for their kids at Christmas has no purpose. Comparing festivities, parties, present amounts and yes, even a family tradition like Elf on the Shelf robs you of the spirit of the season, regardless of what side you're on.

I don't care if you overindulge your kids, if things are tight this year, if you go all out or you're a Christmas minimalist. You don't have to justify your reasons to anyone. It's OK if someone chooses something else for their kids. It doesn't affect you at all.


So, I guess my "Gift Guide" for kids is this: Give them what you can. If that means creating elaborate elf scenarios, so be it. If that means taking your kids to see the town nativity, go for it and good on you. If you're more of a cardboard chocolate advent calendar person, cheers -- that's what I grew up on. If you love giving a boatload of presents, be my guest -- just don't go into debt over it.

But remember that what you can give your kids is different than what others can give their own brood. Let's lay off the smug, slap on a smile, and stop justifying ourselves all season long. Let's focus on what's important, which probably isn't being "right" on the Internet. Let's remember that it's actually really truly OK to disagree.


An elf-owning, but constantly-forgetting, tired, movie-crying, present-shopping, premade cookie dough-baking, lights-loving, religious-undertone creating, sometimes uptight, but usually nice Mom.

PS: Please do not comment on this post about why or why you don't do Elf on the Shelf.

I don't care.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Monday, December 2, 2013

How was everyone's holiday? I am kind of exhausted after it all. I did Black Friday shopping and Saturday shopping, so I feel like my legs and feet are calling "Uncle!" today. But luckily it was trauma-free. My friend and I didn't go out until Friday morning and I think all the crazy rioters were home in bed by then, so it was low key. I still got everything I needed and I'm feeling very accomplished. Yes, that's all it takes.

So, I thought that this week, I'd forgo my usual posting schedule for some gift ideas. I LOVE giving gifts. Gifts are totally my love language. It's because I'm so awkward emotionally and am terrible at verbal and physical love. But can I buy you a present? Oh yes I can!

I take great pride in my gift-giving abilities. And first up: The main man in my life. Buying for my husband is a pain because he's a very even keel person. He doesn't ever get too mad or too sad or too happy -- he's always in the middle. So it's taken years for me to know what he really likes, because when I ask him what he wants, he'll say nothing. THIS IS ANNOYING.

Now, I put a plan in place and basically operate within the same realm each year. It makes it less stressful because I already know what types of things to buy, I just switch up the actual items. Here are my five must-haves for hubby shopping and what I spend on each.

1. A Higher-End Functional Piece: Budget around $100

My husband does like the finer things in life, but he'll never buy them on his own. I use Christmas as a way to buy a nice functional piece to which he can't say no and that will last him a really, really long time. I've done jackets, boots, nice sunglasses, a watch, pricey cologne (that I like obviously) etc.



2. A (Couple of) Fun, Trendy Pieces: Budget around $50 for both

My hubs works in a pretty casual office, so he rarely needs really professional clothes. He usually heads to work in dark jeans, a button up and a cargo jacket. So I like to buy a couple of trendier shirts that he can wear to work but doesn't feel like a total dork wearing out as well. He's picky, so I don't push too hard for something new. Instead, I look for interesting details, like a shirt with grommets or a super subtle pattern. I'm also mindful of his favorite brands -- that way, I know the right size and that it's something he'll like.

3. Something Fun: Budget around $30 to $50

My husband doesn't play a lot of video games -- we have a PS3 but it's really a glorified DVD player. Still, when I'm in Canada, he likes to play, so I usually get him a new game, CD or something else that's fun and just for him -- no "we" gifts. But Wii gifts would be fine. But seriously, I like to look for some type of gadget, game or movie that says "Hey I know we have completely different tastes in everything but I will put up with watching Skyfall multiple times because I love you."

4. Something Practical: Budget around $50 to $100

Let's face it: Guys sometimes suck at buying stuff that they need. I don't know about yours, but my husband will make do with something just to avoid going to the store. So I make sure one of my gifts is something that he really needs, but probably wouldn't buy himself, like some new speakers for his car or an iPhone dock for his office. Just something that enhances his life but that he may not have considered.


5. Something Thoughtful: No budget -- usually these are the least expensive.

While I might be an emotional robot, I do like to include something thoughtful. This is usually something family-related that only my husband and I would really "get." One year, I ordered a custom keychain that was stamped with all the important dates in our family -- both of our birthdays, wedding date and then our kids' birthdays. He loves it. I've also done family pictures, think-y books for my scholarly huz, mementos that I picked up on vacation and an entire scrapbook I made myself in an uncharacteristic bout of creativity during our poor newlywed phase. He keeps all of this stuff forever and it makes Christmas morning that much better.

While these are the 5 categories I try to hit, I usually buy other stuff as I come across it. He does wear a suit once a week for church, so ties and church shoes are necessities, even if they aren't "wow" gifts.

I think, in the end, your husband/boyfriend/life partner just wants to know that you were thinking about him. So whether you like to dress him up or geek him out, if you put a little thought into it, he'll get it.

What do you buy your husband for Christmas? I'm always up for new ideas.

Check back tomorrow for another gift guide!

Glammy Gifts on the Cheap 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alright, I'm back from my vacation! Seriously you guys, the first day back always SUCKS. I had no food in the house and all my clothes were dirty so I called it my day off and didn't properly get dressed this morning. Aaaaand I've worn a baseball hat all day.

But it was an awesome trip. Hanging out with my family is totally boss, especially when we do things like play Taboo and go shopping with the entire population of Toronto and eat our weights in sausage rolls and chicken balls and then make jokes about chicken balls because like wiener jokes, they never get old. Yeah, that's my family. But now I'm home with the Mr., which is good because he spent the weekend recaulking our bathtub and for some reason, that makes me inexplicably sad. And NOW it's almost CHRISTMAS.

Well, this is my third year of doing Glammy Gifts on the Cheap and as usual, all it really did was supply me with links to send to my husband via Gmail Chat for things that I want.

Totally worth it.

But seriously, we're a mere week-and-a-half away from Christmas, so if you're stuck for ideas for your mom, sis, friend or YOURSELF, totally check this stuff out. You absolutely do not have to spend a ton and you'll totally be the hero. Because no one wants another Clay Aiken CD or self help book. Unless you're my mom. She devours self help books like I devour Chick-Fil-A. Meaning daily and like someone is going to take them away.

I totally sent these shoes to my hubs. I MUST HAVE THEM. They are super Valentino-esque, but only cost $33. While you're checking out that website, look for other shoes. They are so cute I might eat a baby and die. In that precise order. Because who eats babies postmortem? I mean really, be serious.

This bag has super luxe details. The quilting makes it look like money, but it's really only $38. Get this for your mom and maintain angel child status the rest of the year. Actually, I want this too. Give it to me instead.

Oh, you knew that some Forever 21 jewels would make their way onto my list. And why not? This major necklace is only $12 smackaroos and it would make a huge difference with the regular old v-neck sweater.

I'm all about the scarf, but especially if it's as cool as this one from TopShop. The red leopard is amazing because it's unexpected. Can you imagine this with a white tee, jeans and riding boots? Fuggedaboutit. Give one to your BFF for like, $20.

And speaking of leopard, how crazypants amazing is this little clutch? This would be the best with a LBD or a blushy-colored sweater. Snag it from Nordstrom and give it to your sister and then borrow it back because that's how you roll. (I don't have sisters but I totally did this to my best friend.)

Gloves are so retro and ladylike that I can't even stand it. I want a buttery pair with femmy details like these. Bows or buttons preferred. This set is $28 and make me want to drive around and wave at people. No really, they do that in my town.

If you don't have a cute pair of riding boots yet, put 'em on your wish list, then gently direct your significant other/mom/small child in the direction of Old Navy for this pair. They're $32 and pretty much the perfect height. Love the buckle-y details too! I always end up shopping for myself when I go Christmas shopping anyway. Last time I went I came home with two new pairs of earrings, a scarf and a sweater.

OK, I know you're rolling your eyes and saying "Jae, enough with the peacock" BUT HEAR ME OUT. If you or someone you know needs a style intervention, something demure like this adds a little more style without being too whackadoo. It's a good way to ease into style and this baby is only $4 so it's practically sacrilege not to buy it. What's that? I don't really understand the meaning of sacrilege? Shut up.

So does that help or hurt your shopping efforts? I'm nowhere near as organized this year as I usually am. Like, I'm making a shopping list tonight whereas I'm usually done in November. Oh well, I kinda love the craziness of it all.

So now my burning question is: what are you asking for on Christmas this year? I need some ideas! So far it's been shoes.... some more shoes... and a wakeboard. Yes. I know I am a strange and mysterious girl.

Glammy Gifts on the Cheap 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guess what you guys? I totally am done my Christmas shopping already .Except for stocking stuffers, all of my stuff is wrapped and jammed into my guest room, which currently looks like Santa's Workshop. I keep peeking in there and wondering if we've overdone it, which we absolutely have, and then feeling guilty.

My husband and I purposely put off shopping for stockings until Christmas Eve. It's our strange little tradition. Our first year married we were pretty much dirt poor. I'd bought Christmas presents but realized I didn't have money left over for stockings. Of course I ran bawling to the phone and called my mom. In my family, stockings are a big deal. She wired us down $100 which we got on Christmas Eve, and we went shopping together, doing our best to avoid each other in the store. Since then it's how we spend 9 am on Christmas Eve and I love heading out before it gets really bananas.

But that's beside the point. If you aren't as religious with the shopping as me, you may have some stragglers on your list. OR if your husband is like mine and comes to you with a panicked look on his face and asks what you want for Christmas, you may need some ideas to give him. Either way, if you've got some ladies (or some very femmy men) on your list, there's nothing wrong with giving them a little glam. My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and when I told him that jewelry was good, he was like "But I've already given you a bunch of jewelry."



Check out some cute things on my wish this year... and then hustle!

How pretty are these pins from White House Black Market for $28? I like them for someone who is new to sparkly things. A little shine in the hair is less ostentatious than a big 'ol cocktail ring.

If you're thinking about watches for Christmas this year, you should know that ceramic is what's new. I love how crisp and clean they are. A friend of mine was wearing one the other day and I could not take my eyes off of it. The ceramic is heavier, giving it a more solid look over plastic. Asos - $35.

When you give jewelry as a gift, look for special details that set it apart from your friend's regular Forever 21 stuff. I love love the color of these, and they are such a pretty mix. Yes Style - $20

I will never turn down a glammy ring, and this one caught my eye because I've specifically asked my husband for more classic jewelry. This looks current while reminding me estate jewelry. It would totally match my pearl earrings too! And it's from Kohls and is $14, which means you could probably get it on sale for like, $6.

YAY Festive headbands. I love the rhinestones on this one. Give it to a friend with instructions to wear it over a messy updo or loose waves. Arden B - $19

A big flower brooch is a standard in my jewelry cabinet, because it can be used in about 100 ways. I wear mine in my hair, clipped on a necklace, with a grouping of other brooches, you name it. And this one is pretty and won't break the bank at $24 from Avalaya.

K, I am 100 percent OBSESSED with these Cara bangles from Nordstrom. I saw them on Saturday in store and tried them on and WAS AN IDIOT and didn't buy them, (don't cry for me Argentina, I am going back tonight to get them.) They are seriously a full arm of bracelets, but since they're really delicate, they look trendy and pretty instead of chunky. Anyway, they are $58, which is pricey. But since you get 30 or so bracelets, why not break them up and give them to friends. Five bangles would still be awesome, and you could tie a silk ribbon around them and your friends would love them. All of a sudden you've got a $10 gift for five friends (assuming you'll keep a set for yourself... which you will.)

(EDIT: So I ran over and bought these last night and I am soooo happy I did. They really are gorgeous on, no matter how many you wear. Merry Christmas to moi!)

I love love love ruffled scarves. I wear a military inspired green jacket with a fur hood for a lot of the winter. While I love it, I'm always looking for ways to keep things girly. A red ruffled scarf? Yes please! And it will look just as pretty when you take your jacket off and pair it with an easy boatneck tee. Modcloth - $30 (But I saw them at F21 for like $10... just throwing that out there.)

Alright, this is my last post before Christmas, so I want to wish you all a Happy Holidays! Seriously, my readers are pretty awesome and I love hearing from you all. Thanks for making this silly little blog a success for me, and keep in touch. I'll see you on the flipside of a New Year (resolution: dress better!)

Love to all,


Glammy Gifts on the Cheap

Thursday, December 17, 2009

With Christmas being a lot tighter this year for most people, you might not have as much cash as you want to spend on your friends and fam. Plus, you've always got those random people that you can never figure out what to buy for... your mom, sis, best friend, whatever.

Likewise, if your husband sucks as bad as mine does when it comes to buying Christmas presents (they are always good, but he is totally one of those sad guys running around at 11pm on Christmas Eve), giving him a few ideas of things you'd like can give him a hand so that you can actually spend Christmas Eve TOGETHER.

So, with that in mind, I think some good suggestion for cheap gift ideas are in order. I'd tell you to look in your latest Cosmo for ideas, but don't you hate when they are like hey! It's a steal! And it's really like, $150? SO DEPRESSING.

But, you CAN find some glam gifts for your friends, or to give to your husband to give to you and act surprised for under $20. Observe!

Arden B. Bib style necklace - $18

So I love a flower brooch, sue me. Anthropologie - $18

Hooray for crazy cool tights! F21 - $5

Perfect sparkly topper: Styles For Less: $15. I might be buying this because I love it so deeply.

Who wouldn't want an awesome red snakeskin clutch? Seriously! F21 - $15

I am obsessed with vintage-looking hair clips right now. This one is cute without being crazy and weird. Wet Seal - $4

Take that, chilly night! I shall be warm AND look stylish. Booyah. Delias - $20

Awesome. Ring. Miss Selfridge: $16

These shoes rock my world. Might not be the best for winter, but who wouldn't love to open SHOES on Christmas morning? Especially sequined ZEBRA shoes. F21 - $11

These earrings look rich, but don't break your poor little Christmas bank account. American Eagle - $12

So repeat after me. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be fashionable. And fashionable items are the gifts that keep on giving. Because first, you give them and feel good. Then the recipient gets them and is happy. Then she wears them, and the world is a more beautiful place. Soon enough, peace on earth. See how that happens?

OMG I think I just solved all of the world's problems! Moral of the story? Fancy cheap gifts = world peace. Hooray!


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