Holiday Gift Guide – the Dreaded Man Gifts

gifts for men

#1 Tequila shot glasses made of Himalayan sea salt!! So cool! This would be a great gift with his favorite bottle of tequila and some limes.

#2 Anything with his favorite team on it from the NFL Shop. Well. Really you should probably only do this if his favorite team is the Packers. They are the only team that matters!!

#3 The best party game ever. The guy probably has nothing in his place but beer and an X-Box. Get him Cards Against Humanity.

#4 A cute doormat, but looks manly enough to not get you thrown out.

#5 I think this is super cool. A wooden beer caddy! I’m a little skeptical if a guy would use it or think it’s just stupid, so if any guys want to chime in here, let me know! Maybe I should just buy it for myself…

#6 Man crates are pretty cool if you want the wow factor. They are really expensive though, so it depends what you’re going for. This might be something you could do yourself, if you’re crafty.

Did anyone find anything really cool? I can’t say on here what I actually bought 🙂

❤ Jillian

Holiday Gift Guide – Hostess Gifts

hostess gift ideas

It’s that time of year- holiday parties every time you turn around. Let’s be honest, a lot of them you don’t even want to go to. I say, go to as few as possible! That is the bright side here, everyone is so busy, you can always claim you have a conflict 🙂

Anyway, some of these parties I bet you do want to go to. The one your best friend is having, or your mom or cool aunt. Obviously you can always bring a bottle of wine (or a bottle of flavored vodka. Vodka is the best.), but here are some other fun options. If you’re creative, they will actually remember that you brought something.

 #1 & #2 Will pets or kids be at the party? Your hostess may love to have something to keep them out of her hair. My friend’s kids love these LEGO Friends toy sets, and my dog loves Kong Wubbas. Plus, how popular will you be for remembering their loved ones?!

 #3 Here’s a cute gift for someone who has everything- paper straws! They come in so many cute designs and colors, and are something most people wouldn’t buy for themselves.

 #4 Reusable bags are always a great gift. They can be used for a million things. They’re a fun way to wrap a gift, they’re perfect for grocery shopping (some cities are now charging for bags with your groceries, so bringing your own just makes sense), and I like to always have one shoved in my purse. I use mostly Baggus, but I actually think Chico Bags are more convenient. Baggus have a separate stuff bag that I never seem to have around. The Chico Bags have an attached stuff sack that I can never lose.

 #5 Around the holidays, everyone has a ton of thank you cards to write. She can do it in style if she has this cool Kate Spade initial card set! I wish the lettering came in different color options, but you can’t have everything. The dots and stripes together are adorable.

 #6 I know this is ridiculously random, but these measuring spoons fit inside spice jars! If your host or hostess likes to cook, these would make a really cool gift. I have no idea why I’ve never seen this before. It’s brilliant.

 #7 How about some Chakra Bath Salts? The cheerful rainbow colors are fun for someone who loves baths, and they have that indulgent spa feel.

Is anyone throwing any parties this year? I just… can’t. I’m tired. I’m old. I’m… lazy? Okay, fine, mostly tired and lazy. But if anyone wants to come over and drink in a non pressure-y un-party themed atmosphere, come on over!

Jillian

How To Make Fancy Hair Ties and Headbands

  

I’m guessing that if you have longish hair, you may have heard of this crazy phenomenon. Normally, elastic hair ties come in bags of approximately eight million (okay, 30ish) for maybe $3.99 at most. Sure, it sucks because you eventually lose all the good colors and in the end are stuck with only some kind of hideous day glow orange and maybe a few almost broken random greens, but certainly nothing you want to use at work. Still, you’re only out four bucks to go buy new ones, so no harm no foul. Several years ago some teenagers girls started selling fold over elastic hair ties, which will run you about $2 EACH. For one. I’m not one to hate on an entrepreneurial spirit, especially from a woman, but come on. The price gap here is just absurd. 

I did the obvious thing. 

I bought two packages. 

Isn’t that what any self respecting woman would do? Spend $12 on nine hair ties (see, I got a DEAL)? 

The thing is, the marketing got to me. They promise to not leave a pony tail bump or pull out your hair, and they’re soooooo pretty. I ended up loving the thin ones I got, but the thick ones are absurd for my fine hair and I use them for things like holding together markers. I am addicted and I wanted more, but I knew this was absurd and I wasn’t buying them. There are so many guides for this online, but here is my quick version anyway. 

Step 1: decide if you have thin or thick hair. I’m positive you already know this. Most people seem to use the 5/8″ fold over elastic, but that doesn’t work for my hair at all. I get the 3/8″. I’ve also given these as gifts to many people, and they seem to work pretty well for them, too. 

Step 2: buy fold over elastic. You can buy it at a craft store like Joann’s, but I haven’t had luck finding the 3/8″- or anything not in a kiddie pattern. I buy mine on Etsy wherever I can find the best deal. Five yards will make about 20 hair ties. 

Step 3: cut the elastic. The great thing about making them yourself is you can make them exactly the size you want, but standard is nine inches for a hair tie and 18 inches for a headband (use these at the gym, they don’t slip too much and keep bangs out of your face!). Don’t pull the elastic when you’re measuring, just lay it flat. 

Step 4: tie a simple knot at the end, then pull it until it’s tight. You can either stop here or finish the ends. 

Step 5: I like to cut the ends at a slant so they look cuter, and touch them to a flame (carefully, with a lighter) so that they don’t unravel. People will tell you they don’t unravel anyway, but I am OCD and I respectfully disagree. 

Bam, you’re done! I paid $8.95 including shipping for 20 yards of fold over elastic. I had four different colors of five yards each, and made 14 hair ties and three headbands with each color. So, I spent $.11 per hair tie and $.22 per headband! 

These would make a great stocking stuffer or birthday gift. Everyone I give them to loves them (or is too nice to tell me differently), and it’s fun to give something useful and handmade. You can put them in a cute tiny pouch, or cut a small piece of cardboard and wrap it in wrapping paper, then put the hair ties around it.

Have fun! Let me know if you try it!

💛 Jillian

Holiday Gift Guide- Girlfriend Edition

gifts for your girlfriendsI am not one of those people that has to do one holiday at a time. I’m excited for Thanksgiving, but I also love Christmas shopping. I like to multi-task. Part of it is that I create my budget in January, and put aside 1/12 of the amount every month. I’ve been doing it this way for a few years and I LOVE it. I have zero anxiety about how I will afford Christmas gifts, and I also can start shopping whenever I want. Ideally this would be all year round to get the best deals, but the minimalist in me can’t handle storing gifts all year. I usually start in November. I love gift guides, so I’m going to do a series of them this year!

Here are some ideas for your girlfriends, sisters, or anyone that likes girly things.

#1 (luggage tag) and #4 (flask) Anne Taintor is one of my favorites, right up there with Kate Spade (oh, you know I’m serious now!). Here are a few great gift ideas- luggage tags and flasks. She also makes magnets, planners, and so much more.

#2 You knew Kate Spade was going to come up. I think anything she makes is a great gift 🙂 But these business card holders are affordable and gorgeous- plus she’ll feel professional and put together when she pulls it out of her bag or pocket.

#3 I love this gorgeous “Full Exposure” make-up pallet by Smashbox with all the neutral shades plus glittery ones. I don’t wear eyeshadow enough to justify purchasing this for myself, but I have a few friends that I know would love it.

#5 You can’t tell me you have never been with your friend and drank your wine with ice cubes because no one remembered to chill it. Well, you can. But I will not believe you. You can fix all of that with a corkcicle from Give Simple (definitely check out the rest of their website, they have so many cool gifts). It’s a gift for her, and for you when you come over with wine!

#6 My friend K and I can’t get enough of People Stylewatch. Is that bad to admit? If you haven’t seen it, it is similar to People, but has way less celebrity gossip (which I don’t have much interest in) and way more pretty clothes and bags. Maybe your friends are like us and get way too many magazines already, but if not, give her a subscription and she’ll think of you every month!

#7 I love these double layer phones cases by DandyCase because they really protect your phone, but aren’t as bulky as something crazy like an Otter Box. They are also inexpensive, so it’s not too sad when it gets all banged up and you need a new one. Or, you can buy a few and change them out!

I hope you have fun looking at pretty things to buy for your friends! My last tip for today- definitely check your local dollar store (this may be just a USA thing?) for all of your wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, et cetera. I LOVE shopping there for paper goods. In my mind, it’s the only way to go. They have a pretty good selection, and nothing is ever more than a dollar.

Do you have any shopping tips for me, or any gift guides you would like to see? I’m working on hostess, the awful hunt for gifts for men, pet gifts, and silly stuff for gift exchanges.

❤ Jillian

Kate Spade is Awesome

kate spade

Image taken from http://www.katespade.com

I was looking at the Kate Spade idioms bracelets that I get a little over enthusiastic about, and I wandered to watches.

Really though? Is the 5 o’clock metro watch not the funniest thing ever? If anyone can’t see the picture, It has a martini glass instead of a 5, and says “somewhere” across the top.

I think it would encourage drinking more than I need in my life, but I think it would be a hilarious gift. You know, for someone you like $200 worth, so maybe not for that many people. 😉

What do you think? I love this one, but I know a) it would be way too big for my wrist and b) the clasps on their metals watches don’t stay together very well. Is anyone thinking about Christmas shopping yet? I’m thinking of putting together some gift guide ideas this year, but I’m afraid that all that will do is tell all my friends what I’m buying them for Christmas…

❤ Jillian