Holiday Gift Guide for Her

My favorite kinds of gifts to give are what I would call “everyday luxuries”. Everyday luxuries have three key attributes:

  • They serve a functional purpose. That means no knickknacks, tchotchkes, or cheap gift baskets. Ask yourself if the gift your giving would be something you’d want to get at a White Elephant party.
  • They are a step or two above what you would normally buy for yourself. Luxury doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. For example, I don’t like to buy cookbooks for myself because I already have a large collection. But, I would be thrilled if someone gave me the latest Ottolenghi or Dorie Greenspan book because cooking is one of my passions.
  • They spark joy every time you use or see them. Everyday items can also be special. A lovely body lotion, like Josie Maran’s Whipped Argan body butter (Vanilla Apricot is my favorite scent), feels high end but won’t break the bank. Pair that with a gorgeous tin of Harney & Sons tea (Paris is the best) and you have an elegant and considered gift.

I’ve collected a few everyday luxuries at various price points for the girl who appreciates quality over quantity. Happy gifting!

The Coffee Snob’s Gift Guide

I’ve loved coffee since I was a kid. My favorite candy was a hard coffee-flavored caramel and my go-to ice cream flavor has, and always will be, coffee. Living in Portland, OR, we’re spoiled with amazing coffee shops and roasters — it’s a way of life. So it’s only fitting then that my first gift guide is dedicated to the coffee snob.

Here are a few gift ideas for the discerning coffee lover in your life.

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Glass pour over – Food52 is one of my favorite resources for home goods. The shop is so well curated with objects that are both beautiful and functional. These double-walled borosilicate glass pour over brewers would be a stunning addition to any coffee station.

Chemex coffee maker – I’ve had a Chemex for years and it still makes me happy every time I use it. I have the handled version, but I love the look of the wood collar and tie.

Hario V60 and Chemex coffee filter – I personally prefer the taste and texture of paper-filtered coffee, but if you prefer a french press style pour over, you can use a metal coffee filer like this one, or the Kone coffee filter by Able Brewing. Metal filters also retain coffee’s natural oils which are supposed to be beneficial for your health.

Heart Coffee Subscription – Heart is one of my favorite local roasters. They offer monthly, weekly and bi-weekly subscriptions. There are a number of other coffee subscriptions like Atlas Coffee Club, Blue Bottle Coffee and Crema.co that offer different packages.

Baratza Virtuoso grinder – Baratza makes the best coffee grinders. I’ve had the Baratza Vario for years and I use it nearly every day. The Virtuoso has steel burrs and less bells and whistles but it’s still a great grinder that will produce an even grind every time.

Cafflano travel mug – This amazing travel mug has a built-in hand grinder and filter and really thoughtful design features like markers to measure your beans and a perfect pour spout. I bring this with me on my travels so I’m guaranteed to have a good cup of coffee wherever I go.

Chemex sugar and creamer – I don’t need this but I really want it. How cute is that shape?

Fellow Stagg Gooseneck Kettle – This matte black kettle is slaying it. I already have the Hario V60 Buono Kettle, but I love the aesthetic of this one.

Stay tuned for my next gift guide that’s just for the ladies.

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 Beauty Picks

It’s rare to get deals on high end beauty and skincare products so I like to stock up when there is one. I don’t usually splurge on hair tools because I’m hopeless when it comes to styling my hair. But this Beachwaver Curling Iron sounds too good to be true: Grace from the Stripe called it life-changing, while other reviewers swear by its power to create perfect beachy waves with the touch of a button. C’est ne pas possible!

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I recently tried some Hourglass products and fell in love with the brand. I love their Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil which has the perfect texture and lasts all day. Their foundations and blushes are also spectacular. I’m looking forward to trying this gorgeous blush palette.

SuperGoop makes the best SPF products. I got a mini hand cream to test and love it so much I’m getting the set which comes with a 10 oz. bottle plus two additional minis which are great for tucking into your purse or leaving in the car.

I’ve been hearing great things about NeuLash lash serum, and while it’s expensive, it purportedly lasts for 6-8 months with daily use, and the results are undeniable. In this set you get a full size product plus a travel size for free.

Finally, I need a new set of brushes to replace my current motley crew of brushes from various sets and freebies over the years. This Bobbi Brown brush set is a good value but I’m not sold yet on the dual-ended brushes. I also have my eye on some beautiful Japanese brushes by Hakuhodo or Chikuhodo which are considered the Rolls Royce of brushes.

A lot of items have already sold out, but keep checking back for items to get restocked in stores as people start to make their returns.

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 Top Picks Part 2

I shared my picks for tops, bottoms and activewear from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yesterday. Today I’m sharing my favorite accessories and loungewear.

Why is it so hard to find a good belt that doesn’t cost as much as a handbag? I love the boho feel of this Halogen suede belt and see it working well with flowing dresses. It comes in black and a pretty rust orange / pink. Plus, it’s only $35.90 for the sale.

The second I saw this Baby Jaguar ring by Melinda Maria, I knew I had to have it. It sold out on the first day before I had a chance to buy it and I was worried it would be gone forever. Luckily, it came back online the next day so I immediately snatched it up and then it sold out again. The matching cuff bracelet, necklace and earrings are still available so get them while you can!

 

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I always like to stock up on basics like this very popular Natori Feathers bra which has over 2,200 reviews and close to five stars. If you’re on the market for some new PJs, there are some really good ones on sale right now. These Ugg Cassandra Check Pajamas come in three great colors (it was a toss up between the pink and lavender) and I love that the top is long sleeve. The strawberry print on these Rails pajamas were too cute to pass up. And no post would be complete without another mention of this Barefoot Dreams cardigan. I just received the gray one I mentioned in yesterday’s post and it is so soft and cozy, I never want to take it off. It’ll be nice to have another one in a lighter color.

 

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That’s it for now! What are some of your favorites from the sale?