Best Gift Ideas
Baby, Wedding, Marriage, Friends and Family
We will endeavor to list only items that speak of uniqueness and that are useable.
We found a great Los Angeles handmade Jeweler named Karin Jewels. The jewelry is delicate with splashes of energy. Raw stones that are sometimes polished, sometimes crude offset the silver of the creative chains to make for a unique gift. Check them out at www.KarinJewels.com or by phone at 818-903-1781.
A favorite of ours is the wearable art created at Gualti http://www.gualti.it/ Based in Venice, Italy, this designer creates art pieces that you almost don't want to wear because of their beauty. However stunning these pieces are, they are equally sturdy and light weight. (They look like they would be much heavier.) Gualti also sells its jewelry at Bergamot Station and Sculpture to Wear on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
What to get for our men - that is always the question women want to know. Some of them are really hard to shop for - happy-go-lucky creatures that they are!
Black & Decker Snake Light - 17 LED Cordless Work Light/Flashlight, Model number: WLS17B. Great for getting into those hard to reach locations. Flashlight bends like a snake! Snake Light Link
Slim Devices Squeezebox - Small sexy music device that hosts internet radio, itunes, etc. Totally cool!!
Logitech wireless music system for PC's. Very cool way to have your tunes transmitted wirelessly. No more expensive and confusing wires!
Less expensive than the squeeze box and great for internet music and downsizing of the whole audio system in the house. Less stuff!! More square footage!
GPS - Garmin makes some great ones and they have great customer support
Tumi luggage: Very sturdy and replacement or
Most men will appreciate the quality construction and durability of Tumi.
Altec Lansing portable PC speakers.
Great to take on travels if you're taking a lap top or your Ipod for motel music.
The speakers are powered by USB or an auxiliary input that can power a player that does not have a USB component.
Motorola T-5000 long range walkie talkies are great. Pocket sized versions are perfect for day excursions note that they only have a one mile range. Every country has its own frequency allocations so check if your walkies will work in Italy if you think you want to take them.
Panasonic Phones from Target or at Amazon (Panasonic KX-TG 5432) about $120, 5.8 GHz with dual base stations so you can plug one in where the phone line is then the other can go anywhere in the house or even a back house.
Vacationing Daily Treats / Presents
If you are vacationing together consider - mini gifts. One day give him noise cancelling headphones (check Amazon ratings for the top among reviewers) or ear plugs. Next day, fluorescent luggage tags. Next day, maybe a passport/ticket leather folder. Other ideas for following days: eye mask, warm socks for the plane, moisturizer, lip balm, flask, blow-up neck rest, and travel alarm clock.
For a fun hearted, pre-vacation gift you could exchange some American currency for euros and put the money in a mini gift bag. The gift tag could read "a Euro for every thought of you today...." (as in a penny for every thought of course)
The final day of gifts could be at the hotel where you are going. Have a bottle of the local wine waiting in the room or delivered to the hotel room after your arrival with a note expressing how much you look forward to your vacation together.
Gramillion pants for men are GREAT for travel. 100% nylon, quick dry and wrinkle resistant.
If you're into saving energy money, you might consider having light dimmers installed on your household light, a sensor light installed in the laundry room and timers installed on the bathroom fans as a gift ($800-$1k).
Brother 5-in-one printer (MFC-8840D model) is great. Fax, copier, printer, scanner and pc fax. Saves you square footage and $$ if you have all of these machines hogging up space and electricity.
Titanium wine glasses are another favorite of my husbands. They are harder to break and when they do break, they do so in nice big chunks that are easy to clean up.
Webmail.us for hosting our email accounts ($60 a year for 5 mailboxes - 5 gig total)
Google web tools (hosting and web mail accounts are free to those who qualify)
Digital picture frame
The frames start at $175 and cost $12 a month for service. It plugs in to a standard phone line - they do not need to have an internet service. You upload pictures online and the frame automatically downloads them once a day. You can even have it broadcast local weather, news, etc. You will need someone to set it up for them, but after that it maintains itself - just keep adding new pictures! You can also change all the settings online for them - such as automatic shut off and turn on a specific times each day. I highly recommend this for the holidays!
Women or Men
The Breville Panini press from Wiliams Sonoma
Often on Oprah's best gifts list. William's Sonoma has a useful return policy.
Amazon Kindle Electronic Book Reader
If you have friends or family members that love to read and travel, this is the perfect gift.
Food Deliveries and Care packages
Buy and send from a local grocer, Deli, local bakery, or restaurant that will deliver!
Mason and Pearson Brush
Imported from England and on the expensive side - but worth it.
Take a trip together. Make memories.
If you are in the Chianti region of Italy, try to dine or STAY at the Villa Bordoni. A-Freakin-Mazing. Great people who own the place. Food is some of the best. Prices reasonable. Can't say a thing against it.
Get in a cab in a big city and tell him/her to show you all of the highlights in 30 minutes or so! We did this in Florence and it was like "Mr. Toad's wild ride". Made especially fun if the cabbie doesn't know a bit of English. We are now going to do this in every major city we visit.
Arrange in advance for a nanny for the kiddo's in Italy and have a special lunch/dinner in Italy alone or cooking class or hike - whatever you enjoy as a couple. The Villa Bordoni found a nanny for us and sent us to a restaurant for lunch and told us what to get for our wine and meal. All was extraordinary!
We try to do a thing that will give us memories. We laugh so much and so regularly as we reflect on our fun/crazy journeys, adventures and experiences.
Lastly, a little pre-gift of having a little table with nice snacks and a martini by the door ready for him when he gets home from work is always a nice treat - especially in lingerie or whatever and hopefully the kids are with the sitter.
Original art, interesting prints, cards, and gifts for couples who enjoy the New Yorker Magazine
Consigned Art work. Perhaps a piece done of the couple for the couple. Check out these artists: http://www.gitzi.com
Wine pairing class - Perfect for your aspiring chef friend or the wine loving couple
A couples cooking class
A gift certificate at a knife sharpening place for the couple who already has a set of quality knives.
Hire the couple a personal chef to come teach a cooking class in their home or make them a special dinner for their one or six month anniversary!
Children / Babies
Case of Baby Wipes or Diapers
Baby wipes and diapers are much cheaper in bulk at places like Amazon.com and the new parents won't run out for a nice, long time.
One year olds (especially boys!) love balls. You are sure to make a young baby boy very happy if you buy him several balls of various sizes and colors. Sharpie Pens will allow you to decorate the balls so the children can know which ball is theirs.
Girls (especially) love dress up from age 2-4. Costumes, gloves, jewelry, crowns and even pretty dresses can be a hit with toddler girls.
Gift cards to the school store of their college are much appreciated.
Donations vs. Gifts
Request that your party guests bring non-perishable food items for donation to a Soup Kitchen or Food Bank. Request book donations (new or used) that will go to local preschools or child care facilities.
For the livelier party with bar, valet and catering, consider charging an entrance fee which can be donated to a favorite cause.