You’ve made a list of everyone you need to buy for this holiday season: family members, close friends, co-workers, a significant other (and don’t forget your lovable pooch or kitten!) and you’ve applied the dollar amount that you wish to spend. Yet, how often is it that when you venture out to the malls, you exceed that dollar amount and your careful budgeting goes out the window?
Each year my social circle seems to expand, along with the list of people I need to buy for. If you don’t have the luxury of doing a “Secret Santa” or a gift exchange that permits you to exchange with only one other person in your household or workplace, the cost of buying gifts for every person on your list can easily range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars – not an easy credit card bill to swallow.
Even if your workplace or financial institution offers some type of holiday savings club, (I partake in one offered by work) there’s still a good change you’ll run over what you are willing to spend. To help ease the pain of holiday shopping and spending, here's a list of several gift ideas for everyone on your list that will excite beyond the gift card (boring!) and will not require a whole lot of cash – let’s say no more than $50.
Dad: tablet/cell phone case, a box of cigars, his favorite bottle of wine or alcohol, car care kits, travel accessories
Mom: her favorite perfume, tablet/cell phone case, gourmet tea set, cosmetic case, fashion scarf
Sister: decorative journal/planner, nail polish set, hat/gloves/scarf set, ballet flats, cosmetic set
Brother: general admission tickets to a sports game, video games, docking station, movie passes, sport memorabilia
Grandmother: personalized photo mug, personalized towels and soaps, decorative candles, photo frames
Grandfather: books, music, movies, digital photo frame, personalized mug
Aunt and Uncle: Gourmet coffee basket, cheese and cracker sampler, gourmet chocolates, gourmet hot cocoa making kit
Pet: Gourmet treats, toys, blankets/pillows, collar or leash
Boyfriend: His favorite cologne, his favorite candy/food, movies, favorite bottle of wine/liquor
Girlfriend: Her favorite perfume, nail polish set, at-home spa kits, pajama sets, books
Co-worker: candles, baked good, gourmet tea or coffee sets, flower arrangements/poinsettias
All gift ideas on the list above can easily be found for under $50. If you have any gift-giving ideas you’d like to share, please comment on the story below.
While I love the holidays and almost everything about them, I've never been a big fan of Santa. He always smelled musty and had terrible breath. Even as a child, I was keenly aware of it. He also just looked "off" and his beard was obviously fake. (Never underestimate the intellgience of a 7-year-old, they're more aware than they're given credit for.) Dear Parents, we're crying for a reason. We don't really like Santa Claus as much as you think. Sure, we like that he brings us presents, but we don't actually want contact with him (see above reasons). So spare us the agony, and consider ditching the mall Santa pics this year (but still let Santa know we want the new Red Ryder BB Gun). Thanks!
It's the most wonderful time of the year... for the most terrible photos of the year. We love the holidays. Not only for the presents, family, and food, but for the awkward photos that ensue. Whether it's a shot of someone at the office holiday party who had one too many spiked ciders, the disappointed look on the face of the kid who just received a terrible present, or best of all; the awkward family portrait. The sweaters. The uncomfortable poses. The strained smiles. All priceless. So what better way to celebrate this wonderful time of the year, than with our favorite awkward family photos?
With the holidays approaching, there will be the requisite family gatherings and plenty of dietary restrictions to contend with. Perhaps one of the most difficult diets to accommodate is a vegan diet. Not only are vegans vegetarian, but they also do not eat any dairy or other animal products. So even innocuous baked goods are verboten if they contain eggs, milk, butter, cream or honey.
Enter Liz Lovely - artisan cookies made with 100% natural and vegan ingredients out of a small Vermont bakery. These are the perfect sweet treat for the vegan in your family, and unlike many vegan baked goods, which can be dry and chalky, these are perfectly soft, moist and crumbly. I love the chocolate flavors, like chocolate walnut and peanut butter chocolate, which feature a smooth layer of dark chocolate at the bottom, but perhaps the Snickerdoodle was my favorite of all. A simple cookie done so well that non-vegans won't even know the difference!
With fall fast approaching what better way to kill the winter blues than with seasons hottest cocktails on offer. These winter warmers are sure to wet your whistle, while embracing the atmospheric elements in every form. Seasonal flavors are in full swing with apple, cranberry and pumpkin leading the way. Cinnamon and other spices add a splash of color and rich aroma to the mix.
Our quintessential top 5:
1) The Holiday Mohito
Apple Cider Calvados mojito mixture:
Life isn't just about Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone on vacation. There are actually other people and things going on in fashion - believe it or not. For instance, the stud muffin Yigal Azrouel going surfing in Costa Rica - hmm, I wonder if he's still cheating with Billy Joel's ex-wife? Or, the ever so delightful Behnaz Sarafpour, taking on India and elephant rides with primary colored cloths. Whatever satisfaction the warmer climates bring our creative souls on holiday, we hope they bring us even warmer collections for fashion week - to put it simply, it's cold in this city of dreams.
As avid fashionistas, we sometimes tend to be a little too fanatical, to the max, and we often don't do what the creators of fashion themselves do - take a break! And if you're practicing my mirror image, then you doubless spent your holiday frantically obsession over what everyone else was doing on their holiday. Take Marc Jacobs for instance - sneaking out on Louis Vuitton and their Spring 2010 fur foxtails to lug a green Hermès to the beach in St. Barts with beau Lorenzo Martone. And, though I will leave the unequivocal details of their vacation to Martones' Twitter account - the two couldn't be more lovable. On the other hand, at least they opted to only tweet about their sexual shenanigans, whilst supermodel Lara Stone invited the photogs into a bursting make out session with British boyfriend, David Walliams. The twosome hardly reached up for air during their vacay to Los Cabos, Mexico. I guess Balmain wasn't sticky enough, hmm? And lastly, serving a humble piece of pie, supermodel Kate Moss arrived in Thailand with on-and-off boyfriend, Jamie Hince. Unexpectedly, out of the 3 couples, Moss donned the most clothing, wearing a classic LBD and flirty top. Or maybe we should rather say that she donned clothing for the longest, until it was all-white bikini time. Work, girlfriend!
- 12/23 - Get your last bit of manicures, makeup tips and mini-makeovers at Spirit Beauty Lounge's holiday pop-up shop. Where you can enjoy an Eco-Beauty Happy Hour with complimentary organic snacks and drinks; 2 Great Jones St.; (Th 5-7)
- 12/24 - Get one last drink in before Santa finds out at the Stella Filante Champagne Thursdays, where you can come and enjoy discounted prices of selected winter merchandise. Ho! Ho! Ho!; 156 Ludlow Street.
- 12/25 - Merry Christmas from the Joonbug family. May your holidays and gift openings be full of Balmain. Just kidding! Happy Holidays!
No matter who you're shopping for, these darling picks make great gifts! Clockwise from top left: Stila mini lip glaze set, www.Sephora.com; brass Forget-Me-Knot ring, www.FredFlare.com, Slim by Cynthia Rowley, www.rizzoliusa.com; star handle magnifying glass, www.BlueTreeNYC.com; porcelain bears, KG + AB; book cover, www.BookCityJackets.com
What: Bone Colored Cardigan
Store: H&M 505 Fifth Ave, Midtown East 212-661-7012
Can a girl ever have too many cardigans? Nope. This bone colored cardigan is not only practical for the holidays, but also trendy and stylish with its bold shoulders. Priced at $40, it is virtually a steal. This versatile cardigan could be worn over a strapless dress or with jeans and heels for a night out on the town. I’m just trying to figure out where the nearest H&M is!