I guess that also means first order of business when I get back to Chicago is mailing out my Christmas cards. Sixteen days, people. How did that happen?
Day Nine might be my favorite of the gift guides... it's time for foodies! Or eaties, as I've been called since I don't actually cook, just eat. I could make a list a mile long but here are six delicious ideas that I think every food lover would be happy to receive:
1. René Redzepi: A Work in Progress: this might just be the best cookbook that's not a usable cookbook. Few can replicate Chef Redzepi's Noma (ahem, the world's best restaurant) dishes, but there are three volumes to this set which include his person journal and snapshots. Sigh. It's incredible.
2. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Holiday in the Alps Collection: oh yes, please give the gift of ice cream! Many of my favorites ship right to your door but I chose Jeni's for the guide since the shipping price is nice + low. They have many mouthwatering collections to feast on in their own gift guide.
3. West Elm 99 Bottles Growler: who doesn't love a sassy growler?
4. Jose Andres' Favorite Finds: I chose this gift pack because it's filled with amazing foods at a good price. Potato chips, sardines in escabeche, galician mussels, spicy gordal olives, manzanilla olives, bonto tuna, pa de pages, picos camperos, pisto, Pedro Ximinez Sherry vinegar, arbequina extra virgin olive oil. Is your mouth watering yet?
5. Beach HouseLiving Jam Spreaders: I adore these set of hand stamped silverware. If you are what you eat, you defintely should be spreading on some love + cheer right! Tons of great stamped flatware is found in that Etsy shop.
6. Where Chefs Eat: I delighted in reading about over 2,000 places that my favorite chefs recommend. It's fun to make a list of the hidden gems they recommend before traveling.
Today's gift guide is filled with Chicago pride. Now I know you don't all live in Chicago (and if you live somewhere with warm winters, I am very jealous!) but hopefully it will give you some ideas for giving gifts with filled with hometown love.
1. Chicago Bears Knit Cap: sooo they're not the best team in the league. But they're still mine. I like this pom hat for keeping my ears warm and you can bet someday my little Bear is going to be sporting one of these (maybe we'll have a decent quarterback by then...)
2. Lou Malnati's Pizza: my favorite Chicago deep dish can be delivered right to your door. Cheese pie for everyone (except you, Jon Stewart!)
3. AlbieDesigns City Print: I own one of these and love it. She has tons of cities in her awesome Etsy shop. They are so beautiful.
4. Garrett's Popcorn: this is one of my mom's favorite things about Chicago and she's not alone. The lines are usually out the door for this delicious popcorn. They ship their tins all over for a taste of Chicago.
5. Intelligensia Holiday Gift Box: this Chicago based coffee brand is more than delicious and the gift box comes complete with beans, a mug, and a chocolate bar.
6. Chicago Cubs Remote T-Shirt: I sport my own vintage Cubbie to every game and win or lose, he always makes me smile. When Wrigley is one of your favorite places in the world, I don't think you can own enough Cubs gear.
And happy holidays from Chicago!
In my family, all the "kids" still get a stocking on Christmas morning. Filled in the middle of the night by Santa, of course. They're pretty big, as stockings go, but perfect for stuffing all those smaller items into. Here are a few little things that I think would make wonderful stocking stuffers this year:
1. Bliss Hot Salt Scrub: I live by this stuff and keep it a tub in my shower. Great for exfoliating and a must-have for adding a little moisture in the drive winter. I follow it up with Bliss Lemon Body Butter (which went onto my own list for Santa!)
2. bareMinerals Perfect Ten Collection: I looked a lot of special make-up collection palettes and this was my favorite one. The shades are terrific, the brushes will be high quality, and I like that it zips up rather than just clasps. For sparkle, I adore this Bobbi Brown Sequin Shimmer Brick. And as always, Nordstrom has free ship + free returns.
3. One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book: a super cool gift for helping those non-scrapbookers document their lives in an easy way.
4. Anthropologie Wilbury Animal Ornament: ornaments are one of my favorite things to receive and this little guy is too cute to resist.
5. Cards Against Humanity: this is game is a requirement for get-togethers with my friends. It's like Apples to Apples... but inappropriate and completely not PC. We enjoy it tremendously.
6. Crate + Barrel Mixology Bar Tool Set: this will slide right into a stocking and can be put to work on Christmas day. It's a fun gift that everyone will benefit from.
Happy stocking stuffing!
1. Yes, please. Source Wisdom Book.
2. 23 Trends Guys Hate But Women Love. What do you think?
3. I tweeted he Friends Thanksgiving episodes are one of my favorite things about the holiday (I watched a marathon that day) then found this breakdown by Buzzfeed ranking them from best to worst. What's your favorite? Mine is the turkey on the head. Or football. Or Brad Pitt.
4. Oh man, I love a good mash-up. This one of 2013's hottest songs had me seriously dancing in my chair.
5. Mario Batali wants you to have your "holy jeez!" moment. I love this interview with him about the new Eataly in Chicago. It sounds like wonderland and I can't wait to go have my moment after the crowds die down. Thanks for bringing Italy to Chicago. Trip to NYC's Eataly blogged back in 2010 here.
Last December when I had brunch with my friends Leigh Erin + Dan, I was told the story of what an amazing gift giver she is. We're talking epic and thoughtfully unmatched. So I asked Leigh, who is the mama to an adorable little guy along with one more on the way, to put together a gift guide for kids for me to share. Here are her fabulous picks:
1. Land of Nod Red Handled Car: Leigh says "I think this is really cute and Colton loves his." Too cute and so easy to drive around! I also desperately want to gift someone this silver speedster car - vroooooom.
2. Rainbow Loom: "This is the MUST have for kids in and around the City, ages 7 and up." I remember having one as a kind. Those friendship bracelets were the best accessory.
3. Baby Animal Print from The Animal Print Shop: "Any of these baby prints for a nursery are awesome." The giraffe is my personal fave.
5. Knit Crowd Dolls: "Definitely one of these knit dolls, too cute." What little girl wouldn't want friends like these?
6. Pastel Playon Crayon: "These are just so cool - I want them!" Colorful and fun, I want them too.
Thanks for being my Day Six guest, Leigh!
When it comes to shopping for myself I can easily come up with a hundred gift ideas. When it comes to shopping for him... I'm stuck. But here are a few of my favorite things to give to your favorite guy:
1. J.Crew Leather Flask: I think a flask is a necessity around the holidays and with this one you can be discreet and stylish.
2. Zara Jacket with Knitted Back and Sleeves: most guys I've ever shopped with have never stepped foot in Zara which is a huge travesty since their men's section rocks. I like this jacket for the quilted look + patches on the sleeves.
3. Cologne Bigarade by Frédéric Malle: I know that giving cologne sounds really lame but you will want him to smell like this. Trust me, it's intoxicating.
4. 7 Yr. W. L. Weller Bourbon: I'd love to put a bottle of Pappy VanWinkle on the list because that would be the gift of a lifetime, but there seems to be a shortage right now. This is the much less expensive but still similar alternative. Add in some sticky toffee pudding and that's my idea of a perfect Christmas dessert.
5. Kenneth Cole Luggage Show Business: always a fan of the look of luggage leather and this bag is a great size with an even greater price on Amazon.
6. The Art of Fielding: one of my favorite books that I gave to my strictly non-fiction reading but baseball loving guy last year. I spotted it later, well worn and earmarked. I'd say it he enjoyed it as much as I did.
I was trying to recall what I ate for Thanksgiving last year and remembered that my turkey day was spent on two flights to Asia. First Hong Kong (blogged here) and then to visit my friend Chloe in Tokyo. Now one year later I dug out my photos from the trip and especially wanted to share my trip to Rokuon-ji, the golden temple in the city of Kyoto.
I only went for a day trip to Kyoto but I hope to go back someday and spend a lot more time there. The city holds tons of temples and some of the best Michelin star food in Japan. Plenty to explore.
Walking through the path up to the entrance of Rokuon-ji felt like I was in a dream. The colors were outrageous and the leaves looked like little stars. I can only imagine how breathtaking it is during cherry blossom season.
It really was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Spending the afternoon just walking the grounds made me one happy little Asian girl. Rokuon-ji, I hope we meet again soon.
This morning's gift guide is for scrapbookers and it was probably the hardest to narrow down. Too many good things to share! Here's my picks for products that you'll enjoy over + over:
1. Scotch ATG Gun: this tool is a game changer. It's the only adhesive that I use and it's much more cost effective than those little disposable ones. You'll wonder why you haven't used it sooner.
2. Becky Higgins Project Life Sunshine Core Kit: designed by my friends Elsie + Emma at A Beautiful Mess, this core kit is full of colorful + whimsical designs. Too cute to resist.
4. Kelly Purkey I Like You Stamp Set: this is one of my favorites and just came back into stock. The sentiments are great for sending cards with a little sass - just like I like 'em.
5. Kelly Purkey Washi Tapes: this summer we released eight great washi tape styles and I'm so proud of them. Check out awesome ideas for using the tape from Sarah Moerman, Debby Hughes, and Jana Millen. Very inspiring.
6. Becky Higgins Project Life Page Protectors Design A: this pack of 60 is such a great deal and will set up you up right for 2014. Right now I'm planning on going back to this style for next year - exciting!
I was so honored that Northridge asked me to do a second Signature Series publication with them! My first book came out last November and a lot has changed since then. Including two big things - Northridge went all digital and I had expanded my own product line. The results are an eBook filled with ideas for using tons of Kelly Purkey products.
Here's a sneak peek of my projects:
I have to admit this is the first eBook anything that I've ever looked at on my iPad Mini and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. You can easily flip through it, zoom in on close-ups, and it always lays flat on your desk. My friend Sarah did an amazing job designing it.
The eBook is available right here - I hope you enjoy it!