November 26, 2014
Hi friends! With Thanksgiving quickly approaching tomorrow (what??) and Black Friday following soon after (crazy!!), it seems like a good time to continue on with the 2014 edition of Holiday Gift Guides.
I rolled out the series with Holiday Gift Guide: For Him to hopefully provide ideas on what to get for a special man in your life. I thought it would be good to follow up with similar ideas for friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, in-laws, and the other important women on your shopping list this year.
Do you have a great idea I’m missing?
Please feel free to share your gift ideas at the bottom!
• (customized) monogrammed phone case
Have you seen these customizable monogramed iPhone cases? The cutest ones I have found thus far is on Etsy. There are so many different colors, patterns and varieties, and you can find the majority of them around $15, which isn’t too bad for a personalized item.
I ordered one for myself forever ago and received tons of compliments on it the entire time it lived on my iPhone. Since then, I upgraded my phone and have been wanting to get a new one. The PinkandLimeDesigns shop looks like a great start to me!
• soap and lotion sets
This hand soap and lotion set from Williams-Sonoma was hands down my favorite gift to purchase for a few women in my family last year. I made a special trip to the Williams-Sonoma outlet specifically to stock up on these for gifts, and couldn’t help but to purchase two for myself as well.
• flannel pajamas
I am having a major flash back to my college years with this one. I bought a pair of long flannel pjs while working at Victoria’s Secret, fell in love, then bought a pair for every woman on my holiday shopping list that year. They’re so comfy and cozy and VS has a flannel style for any preference.
Flannel pjs come in a variety of colors and prints, and not just the standard plaid you would expect. Keep an eye out for pajama sets and matching accessories to go on sale there… especially come Black Friday!
• Tervis tumblers and especially water bottles
I’m pretty sure Tervis produces the best plastic cups, water bottles, and to-go insulated beverage containers out there. I know “cups” and “tumblers” don’t seem all that exciting to some, but I promise that whoever you might be shopping for won’t be disappointed here.
I am openly obsessed with their water bottles. I own the “H” initial bottle as well as a Detroit Pistons bottle, and they both continuously rotate in and out of our dishwasher. I literally use one of them almost every day, and have given the same water bottles as gifts to friends.
Anyone who has tried them raves just the same!
• fancy dish towels
I don’t know what it is about them, but I’m pretty confident in saying that most women would like a new set of clean and crisp dish towels. Whether they are a part of the kitchen decoration (I always have an ironed un-used set hanging on my oven) or actually used to dry dishes, a nice set of them is a great gift a lot of women in your life would appreciate.
Confession: I bought a new Tag set yesterday, and have already wrapped them to put under the tree from “Santa”. It’s fine. As much as I love color combinations that I put out all year long, this Christmas Dots set is also making me swoon! Williams-Sonoma also sells some great ones.
• gift cards
Think of something you would like to go do or treat yourself to and gift that service to someone you love.
Gift cards may seem impersonable, but sometimes they are the only way a certain woman in your life will actually go treat herself. I guess you’ll need to know your audience on this one (and well), but c’mon… she deserves it!
From manicures and pedicures to facials and massages, treat her to a day or even half an hour of pre-paid pampering. If she’s not the type to enjoy a spa or salon environment… Starbucks.
You can hardly ever go wrong with Starbucks.
• quality candles
I’m very lucky in the sense that my husband fully understands the need to keep the house smelling fresh and stocked with quality scents at all times. Not all women can justify spending over $20 on a candle, but I assure you that most would love getting one as a gift.
I am one hundred percent smitten by these three-wick candles at Bath & Body Works. My all time favorite scent is Mahogony Teakwood when I am not in the mood for something seasonal. I also highly recommend Rewind and Yankee candles.
Try searching on Amazon for steals!
• an apron that makes her want to cook
I own a small collection of adorable aprons (mostly from gifts!) and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t motivate me to bake from time to time. I received my very first one as a bridal shower gift from Anthropologie, and have been admiring their entire line ever since!
Aren’t they cute? You can find similar styles at stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls too.
• photo-to-canvas prints
We printed a handful of our engagement photos on canvas and really love the look of those photos hanging up in our home. We received a gift card to Canvas On Demand as a wedding present and loved it. I think any family would like one!
• yoga/gym/to-and-fro leggings
I’ve never experienced all-over comfort and practicality like I have in leggings. I realize that wearing leggings in public as pants can be debatable. When it’s all said and done, however, I would bet that the majority of the women who are even a little bit active in your life would enjoy a nice pair of leggings in their lives.
Please note, however, that there is a suggested way to wear them. Outside of the gym (at least), covering the goods with long enough shirts is essential along with buying material that won’t become see-through with a quick bend down to tie a shoe. This is why quality is key.
I have personally never owned a piece from lululemon, but I keep hearing that their Wunder Under leggings are amazing.
As someone who works either from home or in a gym setting, I pretty much live in leggings. Prints are fun, but if you’re thinking of purchasing a good pair as a gift for someone else, a good neutral (and thick) black, navy, or grey might be the way to go!
Popular/Personal Favorite brands:
Additional ideas worth checking out:
>> Basically anything from Anthropologie. That store seriously has it all.
>> Initial Necklaces – I’ve been wanting one of these for years! I love both the plain letter and circle engraved letter versions.
Again, I am open to more ideas and invite you to share some of yours for women (or yourself!) in the comments section below. Happy Shopping!
*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The Holiday Gift Guide series features items I genuinely want to share with you, and have possibly purchased myself. Please understand, however, that affiliate links are included. As always, I really appreciate your support! <3
November 25, 2014
Good afternoon! Wow, I guess today is all about Scott. I sure didn’t do a very good job at planning there. Did you guys enjoy his blogging debut this morning? His own notes at the end certainly made me chuckle.
Since I’ve known him, Scott has been making a version of his famous queso dip for dinner parties and get togethers. Usually paired with his healthy homemade salsa, we would often bring the two dips (crock pot and all) to family gatherings in Florida. Our families and friends love them both!
The salsa is considered light and healthy, and the queso… well… it’s not. I’m not going to lie, it’s actually quite indulgent.
That said, it’s delicious and a great (and easy) appetizer to throw together that is sure to please any crowd.
As promised a couple weeks ago, I am sharing what exactly that recipe is today! Just like his salsa, he still experiments with the ingredients from time to time, but here is what the last and most consistent batch looked like.
Very similar to the suggested recipe on the Velveeta package, Scott used that as the base and tweaked it with a couple of his own additions.
1 box (16 oz.) Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia (I suggest light)
1 can (10 oz.) Habenero (HOT) Ro-tel tomatoes
1 can (10 oz.) Mexican Lime & Cilantro Ro-tel tomatoes
Feel free to substitute regular or mild cans of Ro-tel to tone down the spice!
3/4 of a (10 oz.) block of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (3 oz.) bag real bacon bites pieces (we use Oscar Mayer brand)
1. Cube the cheese and gather ingredients.
2. Thaw spinach. Check out these great tips on how-to do this if you’re unsure about the best way to do so.
3. Throw all ingredients into a crock pot on Low if you are not around to watch it, High if you need the dip quickly.
4. Once all the ingredients start melting together, mix thoroughly and often.
5. Switch to Low heat and keep warm!
Serve with a side of tortilla chips (I like blue corn), pita chips, or pita bread.
This dip is perfect for a game day, pot luck dinners, and holiday gatherings (to hold guests over before the meal).
I hope you liked this recipe. It’s time to get out the door with my mom and show her around the area. Have a great rest of your Tuesday!