Gift Guide 2015: Part 5

Today we’re brainstorming gifts fir the couples on your list.

Kitchen

Bouchon Bakery

Depending on the culinary skills of your recipient, a fancy baking mix with a pretty mixing bowl and/or spatula is a fun and useful gift. For “fancier” baking mixes, I look to Williams Sonoma. It will look great paired with some of their seasonal or standard accessories like whisks, spatulas, cookie cutters, baking tins, or mixing bowls. If your recipients are already pro bakers or chefs, you might want to replace the baking mix with some premium ingredients like fancy vanilla extract, salt, olive oil, etc. and a tea towel. If you want to show of your culinary skills, consider making your best cookies and packaging them in gift worthy containers that they can reuse.

West Elm Bowls

Depending on how full you think the recipients kitchen cabinets are, I think it’s fun to gift a small set of pretty bowls, mugs, or a serving platter. It’s great to find unique items in boutiques and specialty kitchen stores, but if you want a short cut I think West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Sur La Table, and Williams Sonoma all have good options. If you can spare a few days, most of these retailers have personalized serving trays as well!

Home and Car

Address Stamp

A personalized set of notepads for the kitchen counter or a custom address stamp is a thoughtful and useful accessory for most households. As we know from my post on personalized gifts, Paper Source is my go-to for my stationary needs. You can pair this with a calendar a bottle of wine for a more substantial present.

faufurPB

I think one of the most thoughtful ways to gift is to upgrade something that gets a lot of use. One of these things is a throw blanket because, 1. people tend to accumulate  cheaper fleece or those sweatshirt blankets, and 2. blankets wear out over time and it’s nice to get a fresh one. And God forbid I have a blanket that actually compliments my living room (don’t forget, faux fur, like metallic, is considered a neutral if you’re from New Jersey)! This is another thing that you can get from your favorite home boutique, but I also like the options at Pottery Barn (above) and West Elm. And if it’s a family with young kids or pets, do them a favor and go for something machine washable.

AmazonEcho

My brother cannot stop talking about the Amazon Echo and apparently Oprah agrees with him. It’s basically Siri on steroids. It’s a speaker, it answers questions, and it can even turn your lights on and off (if you get the right light bulbs). Plus they are apparently adding functions every day. It’s a little pricier, so it’s for the people you really like.

Frost Guard

If you’re game to gift something extremely practical, take a look at the Q. QVC sells this thing called the Frost Guard. It’s a windshield cover that is perfect for those in colder climates. Instead of spending time cleaning off your frosty, snowy windshield, you just take off the Frost Guard and get on your way! This is great for people who park outside, and have to rush off to work in the early mornings! Pair with other cold weather accessories or some hot chocolate mix for a bigger present.

Experience

Tickets to a show or sports events, or a gift card to a restaurant is the perfect alternative to a material gift. The trick is catering to their interests and making it convenient for them logistically. Here are a few ideas:

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Gift Guide 2015: Part 2

If you know me, you know that I enjoy myself some QVC. I don’t actually buy much from it (maybe 2-3 things a year), but it fascinates me. As the QVC hosts will tell you, it is a one stop shop for holiday gifts. Here are my suggestions:

Guys in your life: 

Bose Bluetood Speaker
Bose Bluetooth Speaker. The Q carries some big names from electronics and technology, and while they don’t always have the cutting edge products or every configuration, they usually have some good deals on the big brands. I’m sure a Bose bluetooth speaker has better sound quality than some of the bargain options out there. And if that’s not the ticket there are also options from Beats, Go Pro, Canon, and Apple.

Family/Friend Couples:

Hampton Popcorn

Hampton Popcorn. QVC has a lot of gift worthy snacks that would be great for quick friend couple gift. This Hampton Popcorn looks delicious, and there are also the standard fan favorite Squirrel Brand nuts. If your looking for something a little more substantial QVC also has a lot of great kitchen stuff, and a bakeware or cookware set might be the way to go.

Girls in your life:

qvc scarf

Cashmere Infinity Scarf. Tough choice because there are so many good options, but this scarf by Isaac Mizrahi always catches my eye when its on the air. It comes in a few great colors, and starts at $83 but it frequently on some type of sale. So 1. it’s fashionable, 2. it’s cozy, and 3. it’s cashmere. If I had to pick a second place suggestion, I would go with one of Mizrahi’s ceramic watches. Both are great options even if you’re not on the same style page as your recipient.

Grandparents:

duraflame

Space Heater. Frankly almost anything they sell would work because QVC has a lot of octogenarian customers. But if I had to pick one thing I would go with the Duraflame Infrared Quartz Stove Heater with Flame Effect. If your grandparents are like mine, they’re tight with their money, and their house is not very warm during the winter. This will help them save money on their utilities bill, and keep them nice and toasty, plus it’s a little more attractive than your run of the mill space heater.

Stocking Stuffers:

QVC has cornered the market on stocking stuffers. Here are just a few ideas.

In the Kitchen with David

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Sadie and I have a love for In the Kitchen with David on QVC.  It airs every Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon hosted by the fabulous David Venable.  I got the unique opportunity to go see the show live at QVC Studio Park in West Chester, PA.

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It was everything I thought it would be and so much more.  I saw Tara McConnell, the creator of Temptations, and the oh-so-famous Bob Warden.  Before the show started, we had a chance to have a quick question and answer session with David and Mary.  It was confirmed that David is down to earth and really cares about his fans.  In fact, he announced that he would be available for a cookbook signing session after the show.  My mom and I were ecstatic.  In fact, my mom was a little starstruck when she met David.

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He mentioned that one of his favorite recipes from his new book was Italian Wedding Casserole.  Well folks, it is simply divine.  I made it last night and I must say it was a success.  You can find the recipe here in this preview of his latest cookbook, Back Around the Table.  Have fun foodies!