A Gift Guide For All The Special Snowflakes In Your Life

They say it’s better to give than receive, but not when gift giving feels like a burden. We all want to give the people we care about (or the people we pretend to care about) meaningful presents, but it’s not always easy. Whether giving a gift is an act of love or simply an obligation, you don’t have to overthink about it any longer because I’ve already done that for you. Here are my favorite gifts for all the difficult people on your list. No matter what your budget is, any one of these gifts will guarantee a smile and potentially a thank you card. 

Your Significant Other’s Mom

You Hooked Up 5 Times and Have No Idea Why You’re Even At This Dinner ($)

Even if you are meeting the parents a little sooner than you would have liked to, you still need to bring a nice holiday gift. A personalized Go-Comb is perfect for those occasions when you need to make a statement that won’t affect your bank statement. For $21.99, this personalized comb has a mirror on the back and fits in any wallet. What says, “I actually care,” more than something you had personalized? The Go-Comb is my favorite budget gift for everyone on my list this year.

Sucking Up Chic ($$)

With notes of pomegranate, mandarin, pine, cloves and cinnamon, nothing smells like the holidays more than Nest’s Diffuser. Designed to fit with any décor, this reed diffuser will remind your SO’s mother of how wonderful you are every time she walks past it. 

Future Mother-In-Law ($$$)

Kate Spade’s Charlotte Street Platter is one of my favorite gifts of all time. I’ve purchased it twice, once for my mother-in-law and then for myself. If your future mother-in-law is into entertaining, she can never have too many platters. Remember, if you’re probably going to spend the holidays with this woman for the rest of her life, no gesture is too grand. 

The Man In Your Life

Dudes are the hardest to buy gifts for. You want them to think you care, but not too much. These ideas are also great for boyfriends, dads, brothers, etc.

Beyond FWB ($)

Treat him to a fancy but affordable grooming product bundle from Dollar Shave Club. While we know this is a gift for him, it’s also a gift for you because he will smell like a clean walk in the woods and not like the “drunk frat dude,” scent so many men’s products are unfortunately infused with.

Boyfriend ($$)

If he’s been carrying around the same old laptop bag since college and now he has a real job, it’s time to help him upgrade. MRKT’s Mateo Briefcase is made from durable felt and vegan micro suede. It fits a laptop and has tons of pockets to help organize his stuff. It’s a serious bag, while being stylish and so not stuffy.

Ring On It Zone ($$$)

If he’s put a ring on it (or is about to), you need to reciprocate. So, go big with a pair of shoes from Beckett Simonon. Featuring a variety of timeless styles, every pair is handcrafted in Europe or South America. Much like your love, these shoes are very high quality and designed to last for years to come. 

That Hippie/Vegan/Yogi Person In Your Life

OM ($)

Feel The Love Transformation Cards are like having an entire deck of mirror messages. Because who doesn’t love positive affirmations?

Heart ($$)

Designed by #GirlBoss Peri Donch, Peri’s Ombre Everything bag is made of 100% sustainable cotton canvas and hand-dyed in Los Angeles. It’s super hippie chic and machine washable, which will be helpful when her bottle of Kombucha accidently leaks inside her pretty purse.

Namaste Friends Forever ($$$)

Mindful Mosaic’s Core Chakra Gift Box was carefully curated by creator of Core Chakra, Dani Havasy. It contains everything you need to balance your chakras (even if you have no ideas what a chakra is) from essences to crystals and even yummy treats.

Your Fashionista Friend

You know that friend whose style you equally admire and are intimated by? She’s hard to buy a gift for because you know she might judge you. But that’s why you love her.

On Fleek ($)

Even if you can’t shell out for a coveted Christian Lacroix purse, you can buy an equally stylish notebook.

Influencer ($$)

Jac Vanek knows what is important. This zip pouch speaks the truth with enough room for tweezers and at least five of her favorite eyebrow products. 

Best Dressed ($$$)

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Celebrity stylist Ali Levine’s collaboration with Sterling Forever has some of the chicest accessories this side of the red carpet. No matter what your friend’s signature style is, she will love the Roman Numeral Bracelet.

That Boring Couple Whose Party You’re Obligated To Attend

We all know that even the even the strongest booze won’t help get their party started. But you know what will? Spank The Yeti! ($25) Invented by a dirty-minded lady, think of this game as F*ck, Marry, Kill on crack, where you learn a whole lot abut the people you are playing with and laugh hysterically. You’ll have so much fun, you won’t even have to fake a reason for leaving early. If Spank the Yeti is a little too naughty for this couple’s taste or they have a kid, Schmovie is a more appropriate, but equally fun choice. 

White Elephant Party  

Picking up a Starbucks gift card along with your latte the morning of the party makes you look like a jerk. This year, buy a gift that will get stolen more than once like this Black Marble Cheese Board from CB2. 

Becky With The Not-So-Good Hair

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Do you have a friend with hair issues who is always asking to borrow a rubber band? Why doesn’t she have her own? It’s because she doesn’t have the Maria Shireen Hair Tie bracelet. Sophisticated, but sneaky, these bracelets look like trendy bangles, but are designed to hold hair ties. There are several styles starting at $35.

Your Friend Who Is Almost Annoyingly Obsessed With Her Cat

She will be equally obsessed with the LoveCats ring from Cat Bird ($32). Handmade of bronze in Brooklyn, she will be the trendiest lady outside the litter box. 

Your Friend Who Loves Her Dog So Much, It Has Its Own Instagram Account

Get her a hand-printed tea towel from Best In Shore ($15). There are a variety of breeds available (only the cute ones) and a portion of sales is donated to animal rescues. Bonus karma points included.

Your Pregnant Friend

Everyone is buying her stuff for the baby, so why not be the cool person who buys her something she can use right now? Say hello to Hello Mellow’s Mommie To Be Gift Set ($68). It contains everything her changing body needs to relax including a scrub, body oil, body butter and the brilliantly named, I Can’t See My Feet Soak. Made of entirely of safe ingredients you can actually pronounce (even if you’ve had 6 champagne punches at her baby shower), Hello Mellow was created by Tracey Feldstein, a #GirlBoss, healer, and massage therapist.

Your Friend With A New Baby

People with new babies tend to get a lot of swag, but 45 books, 37 receiving blankets and 25 onesies later, what this person really wants is a night out. Get them a gift certificate to Helpr, which is a new app where they can book a pre-screened babysitter On Demand. It costs $21 per hour (3 hour minimum), so it’s reasonable and will be much appreciated.

 Your Busy Friend Who Has No Time For Herself

Get her the Iluminage Deluxe Anti-Ageing Gift Set. It has an eye mask, gloves and socks made with patented copper technology that helps fighting aging while you sleep. Help her multi-task in ways she didn’t even know she could.

Hot Mess Halloween: Five Costumes You Already Have In Your Closet

Sometimes the scariest (or at the very least, anxiety provoking) part of Halloween is figuring out what you are going to wear. It’s kind of a chore. There are lots of people who take Halloween very seriously, planning out their costumes months in advance. I am not one of those people. If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t either. The only thing I’ve ever planned for in advance was my wedding and even then, I’m pretty sure I made some decisions just minutes before the event started.

This isn’t to say I hate on Halloween. It’s a fun night. I’m just generally pre-occupied with more important things around October 31st than what I’m going to wear for approximately 3.5 hours of my life.

However, just because your costume is an afterthought doesn’t mean it has to look like one. All you need to do is shop your closet. Here are a few stylish options you can put together in just minutes using things you probably already have. And when you get loads of compliments, no one will have any idea that you haven’t been planning your ensemble for the better part of October. Shh! It will be our secret. 

#GirlBoss

Think less Victoria’s Secret Angel and more Angel Investor for this costume. Put on your favorite power suit or biz causal outfit and slay. Don’t forget your cardholder, which is coincidentally a great way for single people to share their phone number the old-school way. 

Dead Bridesmaid or Prom Queen

I can’t think of anything scarier than some of the bridesmaid dresses I’ve seen. Whether it was pretty-but–not-your-style to unflattering or even downright hideous, you probably aren’t going to wear the same bridesmaid dress more than once. So, why not cover the whole thing in fake blood and go all out? Or add a tiara and be a dead prom queen. Either way, the choice is yours.

Naughty SchoolGirl

 

Naughty Schoolgirl is my hot mess Halloween go-to. Revive your old uniform or that kilt you thought you might wear and never did. Then put on a tight polo, sexy knee-high socks and Mary-Janes. Voila! You’ve got yourself a costume. Accessorize with a backpack or messenger bag. Then, put your hair in pigtails or braids. Give your eyes a rest by leaving your contact lenses out for the night and swap them for your sexy specs.

Hipster

If you’re over Halloween for reasons we wouldn’t know about, this is your costume. Pair your favorite flannel button down with skinny jeans or liquid leggings. Just don’t forget your Ray-Bans and a sense of irony. Blast some Bon Iver on your way to the event for some extra inspiration. 

Fitness Instructor

While your workout might require a lot of effort, this costume does not. Much like Halloween costumes over the years, your fitness gear has become a whole lot more revealing, so don’t think you won’t turn heads, even if you are wearing sneakers. Should someone be confused by your costume, take a bite off your favorite candy bar, look that person in the eyes and say you’re a “naughty fitness instructor.” No matter what your sweat is, you probably already have the outfit. Accessorize with a yoga mat.

Slumber Party Series Part One: It's Pajama Time

Lulu (the little one), Milo (the big one) and I would like to welcome you to Slumber Party- a series all about sleeping in style. This first post is about one of my favorite things, pajamas!

I’m convinced pajamas actually help me sleep better because it’s hard not to relax after slipping on a pair. When I’m more relaxed, it’s easier to drift off. Also, much like the average five year old, if I like my PJs, I look forward putting them on early every night and getting to bed a little sooner. #PajamaGoals

Or perhaps I just want an excuse to hang with my dogs in bed.... Either way, here are some of my favorite PJs for the Fall season. 

Fleur’t Modern Romance Tulle Inset Racerback Tank & Pant Set

Who says pajamas can’t be just as sexy as lingerie? I love this set from Fleur’t. The neckline is really unique for sleepwear, but the stitching underneath provides support. I’m also all about the bold color.

Hanro Eleonora Short Pajama

I’m not sure if these Hanro Pajamas are sweet or sexy. But, I do know like everything else this Swiss intimates brand makes, they’re luxurious and high quality. If you wear Hanro and take a selfie, there is an unwritten rule you have to include #Adulting. 

Forever 21 Swan PJ Set

Forever21 is full of finds that look more expensive than they are. And yes, these are the PJs I'm wearing in my party pic. Made from a cotton and modal blend, they're even softer than Lulu after a bath.

Kate Spade New York Floral-Printed Pajama Set

This Kate Spade sateen fabric pajama set is classically styled with a long-sleeved button down top and pull on pants. The flower print is pretty and fun, but still sophisticated. It reminds me of the Hamptons.

BooHoo Rose Camo Floral Print Cami + Short PJ Set

Say “yay” to BooHoo. If you’re lusting after that Kate Spade flower print, but want something a little more affordable (seriously click on the link, it’s a steal), this short and camo set from Boohoo will satisfy your style and budget needs.

Betsy Johnson Heart Printed Top and Dolman Set

It’s hard to wear anything from Betsey Johnson and not instantly smile. The heart print is super cute without being childish. I also love that the top is long sleeved, but paired with shorts, so you don’t have to worry about being too warm or cold. The right temperature balance is key to getting a good night's sleep. So if you need an excuse to treat yourself, science. 

Never Enough Sleep Pajamas

 

These adorable statement PJs from ASOS combine two things I really love, the truth and crop tops. 

Skin Shadow Plaid Open-Shoulder Sleep Gown

So, this isn’t technically pajamas. But, I can't help but swoon over Skin's gorgeous sleeping gown. Beautiful, white and flowy, it’s the earth-mama alternative to lingerie. 

The Olympics of Activewear: Gold Metal Edition

While I've enjoyed watching the Olympics, I realize I can't make any profound statements about sports. I will never write for Deadspin or ESPN women. While I spent one semester on the basketball team in middle school, I am very much aware I'm not an athlete. That being said, I take group fitness classes four to five days per week. That's at least worthy of a participation  metal, right?

Speaking of competition, I’m finding lately my group fitness classes are becoming way more competitive, at least in terms of what people are wearing. Especially in Los Angeles, even a dark spin class can feel like a sexy fashion show. While no one should feel obligated to get dressed up to workout, I actually find it motivating. I love any excuse to wear something that isn’t just comfortable, but flatters my body and makes me feel good. Seriously, this trick works.

Here are some of my favorite pieces, some of which I currently own and several of which are currently on sale (yay!).  Click the photos or bolds for shopping links. 

 
 

Summer Hostess Gifts

It's August and summer is going at full-throttle right now. I was away for nearly the entire month of July and as awesome as it was, I'm so happy to be home. I have lots of parties, events and BBQs coming up. Most of the time, if I'm going to someone's home, I bring some sort of vice like alcohol or dessert (I’m truly a dessert enthusiast). But if it’s been a while, I like to bring a hostess gift. Since I'm currently looking for two hostess gifts, I thought I'd share my search with you (#mutitasking). Here are some of my favorites.

Oh, and if you're one of the people I'm bringing a hostess gift to, can you please pretend you didn't read this and act really surprised?