Holiday Gift Guide: The Man in Your Life

Shopping for guys can be hard. Often times they’re not into writing wishlists, preferring to suggest that you just “get them something good.” Right… Crazily enough, according to a Daily Mail article from last year, women spend 13 hours trying to find the perfect gift for their men. That’s more than half a day! So, Mil asked me to help with this year’s men’s gift guide – which makes sense given my penchant for menswear. I’m the Roberta to her Teeny, although to my knowledge, Mil has never stuffed her bra with pudding balloons!

I pestered my husband into helping me develop this gift guide to make this year’s Christmas shopping a breeze. According to him, the gift of style is the best present you can give a man. Most men don’t know how to dress themselves – his words, not mine. But all men enjoy looking good. So, Christmas time is the perfect opportunity to get your man the tools to help him look his best, and in turn make you look even better! A well-dressed man is the best accessory a girl can have (well, that and a Chanel bag).

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1. Trunk Club Gift Certificate: This shopping service is perfect for the man who hates to shop or really expend any effort thinking about clothing.  Your guy starts by registering for the service; he’ll answer a short questionnaire on sizes, colors, price range, etc. Then a personal stylist contacts him, either by phone or email, to personalize the shopping experience. The stylist then puts together a variety of clothing and accessory options and sends the garments by FedEx. Once they arrive, he simply tries them on, sees what works and returns what doesn’t with prepaid postage. No more messing with crowds, pushy salesmen, and bad mall food. Best of all, there is no membership fee or no styling charge (unlike StitchFix). 100% of your gift certificate will go towards his purchase of sexy sweaters and bad-ass blazers.

2. As the oldest men’s clothier in the United States, Brooks Brothers has helped define style for the American man. In addition to suits and shirts, they also have a fantastic line of books offering advice on everything from entertaining to how to dress.

3. Nick is obsessed with shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt. As a tall guy with an athletic frame, it’s difficult for him to find dress shirts that fit his shoulders without billowing out. When we were in London, he even made us visit their flagship store. The company provides British style without the price tag that comes with brands like Thomas Pink or Ted Baker, and is known for their range of sizes and styles bound to fit your man no matter his build.

4. A well dressed man should know that the devil is in the details. Anyone can slap on a nice shirt and pair of slacks, but a matching belt and shoes separates the pros from the rest of the pack. Allen Edmonds is a great source for high quality shoes and belts, designed for pairing together.

5. In the same vein, a set of matching cufflinks and tie bar bump an outfit up a notch. Tie bars keep his tie from flopping in the wind or falling into his soup. Nordstrom is my go to for men’s accessories.

Of course there are only so many cufflink sets you can tuck into his stocking, so here is a selection of additional gift ideas bound to please your man. Note, I firmly believe that food and drink are the way to any man’s heart – thus my culinary heavy selections.

6. Home-brewing is so last year. Help your guy bump things up a notch with the Uber Whiskey and Rum making kit. The kit comes with a small oak barrel to age your alcohol, that will also look cute on your bar.

7. Give the gift that keeps on giving with Olympic Provisions Salami of the Month Club. Everyone loves edible gifts, and if you’re lucky he’ll share. Not to mention, the double entendres are endless.

8. This baseball glove oven mitt is a must have for the sports fan and grill aficionado. The perfect accessory for when he hits a home run cooking you dinner next week.

9. Two Dudes, One Pan: No, this is not a spin-off of “Two Girls, One Cup.” It’s an awesome cookbook targeted towards men, with simple recipes requiring only one pan. My husband likes to cook, but struggles to come up with ideas for dinner on his own. This may end up under our tree this year.

10. Finally you cannot go wrong with a subscription to MLB TV or NBA TV. No explanation needed.

Happy shopping!
Julia

P.S. I actually got my husband a gift certificate for Trunk Club for his birthday/Christmas, so stayed tuned for a review.

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Entertainer

This weekend we saw snow on the ground in Seattle! It’s officially December, people. Party season has begun, and our latest gift guide is, quite fittingly, for the Entertainer in your life. This is the girl who loves playing hostess, who’s always the first to start dancing, and firmly believes that champagne is always a good idea. Her parties are legendary, but her epic cocktail mixing skills are perhaps even more so.

 

Holiday Gift Guide: The Entertainer

 

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1. The Essential Bar Book is a necessity for any entertainer.

2. These cheeky mixers would be a welcome addition to her bar cart.

3. Who wouldn’t love this glam bottle stopper?

4. A bottle of bubbly in a festive tote bag will ensure you’re invited to her next party.

5. Both amateur and master mixologists alike will get a kick out of this dice set, which prompts you to experiment with creative cocktail combinations.

6. Make shots fun again with these cool Himalayan salt tequila glasses.

7. Every good party needs cheese. Ergo, every good hostess needs this set of cute cheese knives.

8. These letterpress coasters are a clever blend of wit, history and kitsch.

9. The perpetual entertainer will love passing out cocktails on this pretty serving tray.

10. Festive drink stirrers are a fun addition to any fête.

11. Cards Against Humanity is probably the most hilarious and lauded party game of recent years. (Note: do not play at family gatherings.)

12. This rustic tin beverage dispenser comes with a flavor infuser–perfect for party-sized batches of sangria!

13. A portable Bluetooth speaker is a surefire way to get people dancing.

14. This candle embodies the scent of the holidays.

15. Any hostess would be delighted to send her guests home with treats in these adorable gift bags.

And if you’re throwing a soirée yourself this season, any of the above would make excellent additions to your own party supply stash…

♥ Mil

Happy Thanksgiving & Holiday Gift Guide: The Jetsetter

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends! We hope you’re having a lovely long weekend, celebrating with your loved ones and enjoying copious amounts of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. I’m cohosting dinner with my mom, and I’m thankful and excited to have so many of my friends (both old and new!) join us this year.

Image via The Coveteur

Image via The Coveteur

 

I’m also excited to hit the Black Friday sales with one of my besties tomorrow! We’ll be diving headfirst into shopping madness after a leisurely breakfast and a generous round of mimosas. Yep, we’re in it to win it. For those of you who also plan to do some holiday shopping this weekend, allow me to present the next in our series of gift guides…gifts for the Jetsetter! This is for the person who’s always planning her next trip. You know the one…her passport is overflowing with stamps, her Facebook photos always incite severe vacation envy, and her bucket list is basically just a world atlas. (In my case, the most obvious example is my sister. She’s been literally everywhere. Kate, stop reading in case I decide to get you any of this stuff!)

 

Holiday Gift Guide: The Jetsetter

 

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1. These are the most hilarious language guides ever.

2. This book is basically travel porn for seasoned jetsetters and armchair travelers alike.

3. Chic stationery for the worldly girl who probably speaks at least a couple of foreign languages.

4. This adorable sleep mask is a must for red-eye flights.

5. These cute pouches will help separate damp bikinis from sandy flip flops.

6. A backup phone battery will come in handy for anyone who’s constantly on the move and far away from outlets.

7. These travel cases are durable, stylish and come in a rainbow of colors.

8. A travel-themed candle will remind her of her favorite trip or dream destination (options range from Chaingmai to Cairo)!

9. This lovely calendar will help feed her wanderlust in the rare instance that she’s at home and not traveling.

10. A gorgeous journal is the perfect place to jot down memories of her adventures.

11. A classy luggage tag is essential for the lady who’s always on her way to or from an airport.

12. Definitely a splurge, but she’ll take this timeless leather duffel on every trip for the rest of her life.

13. A box set of LUXE travel guides will delight anyone whose dream is to go everywhere and see everything.

Happy shopping! Let me know what amazing deals you score tomorrow!

♥ Mil

Downtown Holiday Open House, A Favorite Small Town Tradition

 

The start of the Christmas season has become intertwined with retailers’ schedules for their holiday displays. Every year, Christmas knick-knacks seem to appear earlier and earlier on the shelves. I think our local Walmart actually had Christmas displays going up the day after Halloween. Ahh!

Typically I, like most sane individuals, like the holiday season to begin after the Thanksgiving leftovers have been wrapped up and put away. I can only look at Santa t-shirts and light up reindeer for so long. The one exception I make to this is our downtown’s annual Holiday Open House. Every year our small downtown shops open up Sunday afternoon to preview their new Christmas merchandise. Stores lay out spreads of cheeses and dips, and serve wine or punch. While I know that to an outsider this doesn’t sound all that exciting, I really look forward to it every year.

The thing I love about this event is that it’s like a community party to kick off the season. The stores are decked out in their Christmas best with poinsettias, wreaths, and fun new gift items to browse. Everyone comes out to mingle and shop, so the stores are packed and lively. Everywhere you turn, there’s someone to wave at or chat with. I always end up running into women I only see a few times a year, so I have to plan to spend at least 45 minutes in each store. This year we spent so much time at the first couple of stops that we didn’t even make to the last two, and there are only six stores that participate! Let me tell you, southern people can talk. I know an uncomfortable amount of information about various grandchildren I’ve never met.

Every year, one of my favorite stores makes this spiced tea that I can’t get enough of. It’s the owner’s mother’s recipe, and I always forget the ingredients involved even though I ask her every year. Last Sunday I drank at least three Santa mugs full of the stuff, while everyone else guzzled wine and cocktails. I think this is a decent approximation of the recipe. One of my other favorite shops, Delta Gypsy, puts out the best spread of sweets and snacks. We stopped by late in the evening, so they let me gorge myself on peppermint bark and fancy crackers. I strategically don’t eat lunch ahead of time, so I can hop from store to store grazing away. Delta Gypsy is also the only retailer in town that carries truffle salt, which I buy in bulk. That stuff is magical y’all!

Here are a few pictures from this year’s event.

 

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Cotton & Kudzu, a cute little “mall” with great vintage finds. They also carry a line of locally made heirloom children’s clothing that caterers to the rich and fabulous. Pretty sure Blue Ivy sported one of their dresses.

 

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How cute is that snowman? He looks like a giant children’s craft project.

 

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Two of my favorite people under the age of 21. Basically I want my children to be just like them, only with slightly more Asian features.

 

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Mugs of spiced teas for days

 

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My friend Charity sawing into a salami shaped log of chocolate…apparently it’s a thing now?

 

Gotta love old guys who still know how to have a good time! (Photo credit: Handworks Helena)

 

Pretty cute, huh? I’d love to know of any holiday traditions your town celebrates every year.

Tonight I’m staying up late to prep a couple items for tomorrow’s Turkey Day dinner. At the last minute we were invited to a friend’s house, so we’ll be heading over there to hang out with he and his wife’s respective families. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate! My big goal tomorrow is to not eat myself into a coma. I’ll let you know how that goes…

XOXO,
Jules

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