Archive for the ‘Housewarming Gifts’ Category

My Compliments to the Chef

Everyone has a friend or family member with a talent for cooking up delicious meals. Those are fun people to buy for whether your budget is Williams Sonoma or Target! One of my favorite gifts to give is a well reviewed cookbook, especially if I’ve made a few of the recipes and can speak personally to their quality. Two of my favorites this year are Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations by Florence Fabricant, the second in a series produced by the volunteers at Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center; and Peace Meals, A Book of Recipes for Cooking and Connecting by The Junior League of Houston. What’s great about them? Each is a compilation of recipes from a group of women so you can imagine that each one brought her absolute best recipe to the table! You can buy these and countless other cookbooks from Amazon.


Whether you are looking for a wedding present, a housewarming gift or something simply to just say thank you, glasses are the perfect idea for practically anyone. A nice set of wine or champagne glasses is something that no household should be without. While wine glasses may not have the same appeal to men, beer mugs and glasses are the perfect substitute. The 1-liter HB beer mugs are hard to resist by most men and are easy to have personalized. Beer steins are also perfect and something that is sure to last a lifetime and be a gift that will always be remembered. Depending on which you end up going with, including your favorite bottle of wine or specialty beer is a great addition. This present could also be as cheap or expensive as you would like and is easy to put together. 

    Timeless Gifts

    Clocks are an essential part of everyone’s daily lives no matter what your age or occupation, making them the perfect gift for anyone. We all know at least someone who is not a morning person and could use any extra help they can get waking up in the morning. For those who never seem to be able to get up in the morning on their own, the new vibrating alarm clocks are perfect and are sure to not only be amusing to those who receive it but are practical as well. Clocks are also great presents to give as housewarming gifts or wedding presents. Clocks make the perfect wall accessory and are not only visually appealing but useful as well. Based on your loved ones personal style you could have fun with the clock and select some of the more modern artistic ones or go with the simple elegance of black or silver. If you are not scared off by a higher price range and are willing to go all out with your present, a grandfather clock is something you could give that is sure to not only last forever but be passed down through future generations as well. 

      A Gift for any Occasion

      Whether you are searching for the perfect gift for a wedding, housewarming or birthday you cannot go wrong with the simple beauty of Simon Pearce’s hand-blown glass and pottery. While their collections are all simple they all contain a classic beauty that is incomparable. They have a large selection of various glasses and dishware sets that are all handmade and will go with any style. The pieces all also make great decorations and are perfect to simply display around you house to add an instant touch of sophistication and elegance. They make everything from clocks to vases and there truly is something for everyone. If you live close to a store, they also allow and welcome you to watch them make the glass and pottery right in front of you and even include a restaurant, so if the drive is an hour away from you the trip is definitely worth it. Don’t be discouraged from giving it to men as well as they also have an extensive collection of original beer mugs and desk accessories. The pieces that they have available also make great business or corporate gifts and is the perfect place to get all of your holiday shopping done in one trip. 

        A Cup of Joe

        As the temperature begins to steadily fall, I love the thought of coming home or waking up to a nice warm cup of coffee. This makes a coffee maker a great gift and is the perfect way to warm you up from a frigid day. This is also not only great to give to an individual but to a family as well. When giving this though try to stay away from some of the ordinary appliances and splurge for either a cappuccino machine or a new innovative device that goes far beyond making just a simple pot of joe. The new single serve coffee machines are quick and easy and allow you to create a cup of coffee in seconds with little to no clean up. The single cup idea is also great if the person you are buying for lives alone or has a family that runs on completely different schedules. Even if your friend or family member isn’t a caffeine addict the modern gadget also allows you to create hot chocolate and tea that is sure to satisfy any taste bud. 

          Plenty of Fish in the Sea

          While I have always been a pet and animal lover myself, giving a living present is often a risky idea. No matter how cute your friends or family may find your new puppy, it does not necessarily mean they are ready for the responsibility that goes along with them. A safer gift however to give any animal lover is a fish tank. A fish tank is perfect for any budget big or small as you could go all out with a large tank, or keep it simple with a sleek bowl. For a man it is often best to stray away from the more delicate looking fish and instead look for small cat sharks or other similar types that adapt well to aquariums. It is the tropical fish however that have always caught my eye. The gorgeous colors and relaxing feel provided by a fish tank is a great way to warm up a house or apartment. If you are looking for a smaller gift, simply find a glass vase and fill it with natural stones and flowers with a small fish such as a beta fish, which requires minimum effort. They also now make fish tanks that can even be mounted onto the wall if you want something truly unique. A gift card to your local pet store is also a great addition.

            Home Sweet Home

            This past year I have found myself constantly buying housewarming gifts as my friends move into new homes, ready to start a family of their own. Buying a new housewarming gift each week, I have now become a self-proclaimed expert. Perhaps one of the best gifts that I gave was a wine cork bulletin board.  Moving to a new home, you are always in desperate need of organization. The wine corks add a new twist on the classic bulletin boards making it both useful and aesthetically pleasing.  Each wine cork represents a different type of wine and adds a unique flair to this otherwise somewhat mundane gift. To personalize the gift even more you can always tack on a handwritten note or picture to make the present even more meaningful. I also paired it with a bottle of her favorite wine that I knew would not disappoint, or last very long in her house for that matter. 

              Gift for Sushi-Lovers

              Grace: Like most people, I am SOOOO excited for the holiday season!  Unfortunately, this year I won’t be able to celebrate the new year with my family since I’ll be studying abroad.  Every year, my mom makes a huge Japanese feast that includes home-made sushi and other Japanese goods.

              Although sushi looks like it’s really easy to make, it’s actually really difficult and ordering sushi is quite expensive.  However, if you know someone who loves sushi and either wants to experiment in making their own or is willing to order some, a great gift for sushi lovers is this simple, sushi platter for two.  This platter has a very contemporary feel to it and has indents for soy sauce and 2 sets of chopsticks.  A large part of Japanese cooking is presentation, and this platter is definitely and elegant way to display your food!

              Dan: Wow what a really beautiful Japanese sushi platter!  I love Japanese food so I am always spending too much taking out when I am too lazy to cook.  Sometimes, I know for big parties people spend around $30 or more for one of the sushi platters.  However, they come on distasteful paper platters.  If you had this official platter you can just transfer the items!  It is truly great.


              Dan: When I was a little kid I had the displeasure (or pleasure) of watch a Ren and Stimpy cartoon on Nick at Night where Ren became infatuated with a bar of soap.  He would carry it around, use it, bring it into outer space, and even eat it!  Here at school, due to handy storage, I use plain old old spice body wash, but luxury soaps can make a great and clean gift.

              I found an Etsy store that has every kind of artistic and handmade soap that you can thing of.  Each of their soaps has their own special property based upon the way that they look, or upon what they do for you.  For example, one type of soap they sell, known as the bath bomb, is shaped like a tennis ball but smells like coconut and fizzes when you use it.  They even have a soaps that smell like an ocean breeze or are shaped like cupcakes.  I don’t know, but when I get home over the summer I might want one of my own bar of soap from Etsy.  These soaps also make great romantic gifts if you have a significant other…or not!  If you are interested in the nature of their business go ahead and check out their blog which is a part of their store site.

              Grace: Although receiving body wash can be kind of a monotenous gift, I love receiving handmade, luxury soap.  It not only smells and feels nice, but it also looks really pretty and decorative.  Shopping for soaps to give as a gift is also really fun because you can really think about the person who you are giving it to and find the perfect match.  This is a great, standard gift idea that you can’t go wrong with!

              Some People Think…

              Dan: Some people think that they do not need a safe place to put their belongings because of a multitude of reasons such as, “I live in a good neighborhood.”  However, no one’s precious belongings deserve to be unsafe and unprotected, especially if your home or apartment does not have a home security system.  This is leads to my next gift recommendation which is some kind of lock box.  Lock boxes that you can find at staples are expensive (around $100) and can easily be picked up and taken away.

              This is why I recommend this lock box and file cabinet combination from Ikea. I have one in my apartment room and this is where I keep my things of inherent and greatest importance.  It is extremely heavy once constructed and cannot be picked up and taken away by one person alone.  It was slighlty challenging to put together, but once complete it is totally worth it.  So if you know someone who is not careful with their belongings this would make the greatest gift for them.

              Grace: I really like the dual practicality of this gift idea; not only is it a safe place to store items, but it also has all the organizational benefits of a filing cabinet.  For a college student or new home owner, space is fairly limited, so the more things that can be combined into one, the better.  Also, the lock box- filing cabinet combination Dan recommended is very streamline and basic, making it easy to incorporate into any room.  I agree with Dan and think this makes a great gift idea!