Archive for December, 2009

For the Young at Heart

A great way to show that you care about someone, is to surprise them with a present just in time for the new year. A gift for your significant other shows that you are ready to embrace the start of another year with them and is an extra touch that will make this New Years Eve a night to remember. For this, a simple piece of sterling silver jewelry will do just the trick. One handcrafted necklace in particular that I have fallen in love with is the heart on a string necklace. This necklace was entirely handcrafted in Peru by some of the finest artisans. The necklace is defined by a simple pendant created of twisted burnt and polished sterling silver to form the outline of a heart. This enchanting pendant is then complimented by a vibrant red cord that can be adjusted around the neck to achieve any desired look. While the sterling silver used is of a higher quality than you would find at most other jewelers, the necklace is still available at a reasonable price, making it the perfect small present to give to a loved one to welcome the new year. This elegant necklace is not only representative of your feelings towards your loved one but also gives back to those who are less fortunate and to the small communities in Peru. This necklace is perfect for the young, old or simply the young at heart. The unique elegance of the silver heart coupled with the deep red chain will be irresistible for anyone and the perfect way to end the year.

Holiday Sales

Now that Christmas has passed, it is hard to walk into any store without being surrounded by sale signs. This makes it not only the perfect time to buy something to treat yourself, but also to purchase gifts for your loved ones, whether they be late holiday presents or for upcoming birthdays. Even stores that may normally seem a little pricey such as J. Crew and Banana Republic are falling into the after Christmas sales. If you are looking for a great gift for a woman you cannot go wrong with a simple cardigan. J. Crew offers them in multiple styles and colors making it easy to find one to match their taste. They are perfect to wear in any season, no matter where you may live and are great to pair with anything from a simply white tee shirt to a flirty dress. When buying from J. Crew you can always be guaranteed you are getting the best quality and now with their sales it is the perfect time to shop without making a dent in your bank account. One of the biggest issues about giving clothes as a gift it often the size, but with cardigans your job is often made easy. The open, comfortable fit of the sweaters makes it easy to judges sizes, and its versatility makes it the perfect gift for anyone regardless of their wardrobe. If you want to avoid the hassle of fighting lines and traffic, shopping online is anther great option, as they often even have additional sales available to those who purchase using their website.

Last Minute Gifts

For those of you who are still in search of some last minute Christmas presents, just remember, that it is never too late. An easy gift to give to someone when you are out of time is a gift-card. While gift-cards may seem overdone or impersonal, it is all about finding one to the perfect place. A gift-card that you can be guaranteed anyone will love, is one to Tikanchay. The site features handcrafted jewelry that originates entirely from Peru. After discovering this site I cannot seem to brag about it enough, and I feel like my descriptions cannot do it justice- it is something that you truly must experience for yourself. A gift-card here is unique and allows you to put extra thought into a gift, even at the last minute. The vast variety of jewelry coupled with the quality and intricate details on each item make their jewelry the perfect match for anyone. Shipping from Tikanchay is also free, making it hard to resist purchasing an item. Even if you spotted the perfect silver necklace or bracelet for your friend or family member but don’t have enough time, you can simply print out a picture of the piece of jewelry and place it in a box with a card stating that it’s on its way. The Peruvian jewelry found at Tikanchay, all has a story behind it. On the card, make sure to share the meaning behind the jewelry, as this is a great way to personalize any present. For instance, my favorite meaning is the one behind the Sterling Silver Huayruro Seed Necklace. The seeds used here are all gathered from the floors of Peru and are known by the natives to ward off negative energy and bring good fortune; a great meaning for anyone starting a new job, moving or even to anyone as a symbol to usher in the new year.

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

In each group of friends there always seems to be at least one designated picture taker. The one whose camera seems inseparable from them and the one who views every moment as a photo opportunity. The absolute perfect gifts for this person are any of the new digital photo frames. I got this for my photo-obsessed friend for her birthday this past year and she could not have been happier. Over the years she has collected thousands and thousands of photos, so just any ordinary frame would never do. The digital frames have the ability to hold and store hundreds of photos, emerging as the perfect solution, as she would never have been able to choose just one photo for any frame. A lot of the frames are now touch screen, giving you ultimate control on the ordering and timing of all of your pictures. Some of the newer frames also allow you to add music while your pictures rotate or even a voice over. The frames are easy to operate and add a new twist to simply giving someone yet another picture frame. The designs are also all modern and will go with any persons style, no matter how picky they may be. A great way to personalize the gift or add extra thought is to add some of your favorite pictures together with your friend or loved one and upload them onto the frame ahead of time. 

    Wake up to Something New

    A great gift that I have found that you can give to nearly anyone is Brookstone’s new iDesign Cube Clock Radio or any other similar make. It is a small clock with built in high impact speakers, completed in a simple and modern design. It is great to give to one person, a couple or even a family as it can be used in practically any room in the house, ranging from the bedroom to the kitchen and even the office. This sleek design is compatible with most iPods and MP3 players and allows you to play music throughout the day or use it has an alarm clock. One of my favorite parts about it is that it will charge your iPod at the same time without you being bothered with various cords and plugs. You’ll now never have to worry about waking up to that infamous loathsome beeping sound again and can instead wake up to any song of your choice. The large, digital glowing clock is also easy to read. Don’t be fooled by the size of the device either. A friend of mine recently purchased it for herself and was able to fill her entire apartment up with music thanks to its large, compact stereo system. Despite being small and simple, the clock is filled with the same functions of an ordinary clock and acts as a speaker system as well. This accompanied with its reasonable price makes it the perfect last minute holiday gift. 

      Jewelry with Confidence

      Now that black Friday has passed, most of the stores prices have shot back up again. If you missed out on all of the steals and bargains of black Friday, don’t forget about shopping online. This year in fact, cyber Monday, had higher sales than even the infamous black Friday, and the best part is that, unlike in the stores, most of the sales online continue right up until the holidays. Tikanchay is a great example of this. They offer countless sales just in time for the holidays and will always offer free shipping. The handcrafted jewelry here is also unlike anything else any of your friends and family members have ever seen. The designs are all unique and all embody the rich culture of Peru and its people. I recently fell in love with their links entwined sterling silver necklace. This sterling silver necklace traveled all the way from a small market in Lima. Looking at the intricate detail it is hard to believe that it is entirely handcrafted and truly is a work of art. The artisan interlocks links of polished and burnt sterling silver creating a contrast that is breathtaking. This necklace has the ability to transform any of your outfits and is sure to fill you with a new burst of confidence. Just make sure to order is soon as it has steadily become one of their most popular pieces, and with one look you will be able to see why.

      Questions to Start Great Conversations

      We all have that friend or those family members who always love to entertain and be the hostess. When selecting a present for them you might as well take advantage of this and give them something that you know they will get plenty of use out of. Table Topics is a great, unique gift for anyone. They are similar to the conversation starters you may find at some restaurants, but are available in a seemingly endless amount of themes. Their topics range anywhere from book club to dinner party and even teen. They come in small clear cubes filled with cards and are then decorated in fun and playful patterns and colors. They are perfect to simply leave out on your coffee table when having friends over or even to entertain you during a long car ride or when sitting in a waiting room. The “Girls Night Out” addition is the perfect present to give to your friends as a small holiday gift. If you are looking for something extra to give to your significant other, the “Couples” addition is a great thoughtful present and includes questions such as, “what possession of your partner’s would you like to throw away.” With the endless selection of items available you are guaranteed to find something for anyone, no matter the occasion, as there are cards specialized for even a bachelorette party and going to college. These creative questions are also available on napkins, coasters and even placemats. This year I couldn’t resist buying these for my friends and family members and even purchased one for myself as well. 

        Capture the Moments

        With the holidays comes the endless amount of family gatherings and meetings with friends. The best way to remember these times each year is through pictures and videos, making a camcorder the perfect present for before or during the holidays. The new pure digital flip mini camcorder is not only compact and easy to travel with, or even slide in the back of your pocket but is simple to use, even by those of us who tend to be technologically impaired. Unlike most other camcorders, this one requires little to no wires and has a built in flip out USB arm, giving you instant access to your pictures no matter where you are. This high tech device also allows you to edit your images directly from the camcorder. I could not resist getting this present for my mother this year and cannot wait to give it to her and capture all of our chaotic Christmas and New Years memories. My sister is not able to be with us for Christmas this year so I know being able to share it with her will be the best gift of all for her. 

          Game Night

          When getting together with family and friends for the holidays and looking for the perfect gift to give, board games are always a great option. They are relatively inexpensive, give you plenty of room to be creative, and can be easily given to an entire family or multiple people. Not only will games last a life time but they are great to open and use the day of too while everyone is together for the holidays. While you can never go wrong with some of the classic games like Scrabble or Clue, some of the newer more interactive games are sure to get everyone on their feet. Some of my favorites have to be Scategories and Apples to Apples, as both keep everyone involved and will either test your creativity or how well you know each player. Apples to Apples is unlike any other game and will keep you laughing the entire time. And for the most competitive families there is always Trivial Pursuit, which will truly test your knowledge. They are a great way to give one present to everyone and find something that everyone can do together during family gatherings without simply watching television. 

            A Glistening Christmas

            As the snow begins to fall, just in time for Christmas and New Years, sterling silver could not be a more perfect match for the winter wonderland that is being created outside. Keeping this in mind, if you are out of ideas, jewelry is a great gift to give to any of your friends. For me a piece of jewelry that fully represents this idea of a winter wonderland and a glistening Christmas, are the ethereal filigree sterling silver earrings. The light airy feel of the handcrafted earrings give them a unique look that will glisten with every turn. The incredible detail that is used in this artisan jewelry and the stunning look of crocheted silver is unlike anything you will find in any store or boutique. While they are made entirely in Peru of the highest quality, they are still available for a reasonable price. The flirty and stylish feel of these earrings are sure to please even your most critical friends. For your more playful friends, the earrings are also available in a heart shape. It is the perfect gift to give along side a knitted scarf or hat, as it will truly complete their winter outfit.