Holiday Gift Guide | for the World Traveler

traveler gifts

Just a sampling of lovely gifts for the travel bug on your list. If you’re out of time and looking to purchase something in-store, be sure to check any special/global gift shops in your area (try Ten Thousand Villages if you have one nearby) for one of a kind items. These eleven gifts are practical pieces for any frequent flyer, and are reminiscent of cultures from around the world for those who don’t jet-set as often but still suffer from chronic wanderlust (aka me).

  1. World Market: Menhdi Chest | This beautiful Indian chest is perfect for storing jewelry and adds a touch of color to any room. $40.
  2. Ten Thousand Villages: Deco Leaf Bangle | Gorgeous fair trade bangles straight from India are an easy but thoughtful gift. $10.
  3. Ten Thousand Villages: Mosaic Mandala Bracelet | Fair trade from India. $16.
  4. Ten Thousand Villages: Frond Batik Bangle | A beautifully dyed wooden bangle, fair trade from Indonesia. $7.50.
  5. Anthropologie: Dip-Dye iPad Case | This case is economical space-wise and perfect for stowing an iPad in style during long plane rides. Plus, it’s a fair trade product, handmade by women in Guatemala. $58.
  6. Anthropologie: Driftwood iDock | One of the most unique ways to charge your iPod (seriously, no two pieces are alike) that I’ve seen. $98.
  7. J. Crew: Tartine Tote | A roomy and beautiful bag that will carry absolutely everything and last for years. $298.
  8. World Market: Star Leather Wrap Watch | I love watches. This one is perfect for any girl that needs to keep track of time while traveling, and has an adorable wrap design. $20.
  9. J. Crew: Leather Passport Case | A chic way to keep track of your passport. $45.
  10. Ten Thousand Villages: Blue Capiz Earrings | Dyed fair trade shell earrings from the Philippines. $16.
  11. Brookstone: Wheeled Storage Trunk | This trunk is perfect for traveling or makes for a statement storage piece. $166.

{Sources: worldmarket.com, tenthousandvillages.com, anthropologie.com, jcrew.com, brookstone.com}

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Last Minute Style Ideas for New Year’s Eve

Hello readers! (And sorry for the terrible delays in posting. It’s atrocious, I know. Please feel free to email me and complain.)

I have always been somewhat ambivalent about New Year’s Eve/New Year’s as “holidays.” What’s the big deal? It’s just a date change on a calendar. We don’t celebrate the first of every month, do we?

Rant aside, NYE is usually filled with glamorous parties and bucketloads of sequins. As much as I am confused by the concept of New Year’s as a holiday, I will never pass up a chance to throw on a fabulous new party look. Here, in no particular order, are some of the chicest ways to ring in the new year — with inspiration shamelessly stolen from all corners of the blogosphere, of course.

1. Layering sequins. Anything sparkling and fabulous is always perfect for NYE, but it’s also possible to avoid looking like every other girl on the planet, in a plain sequined tank dress and pumps. Tracy from The Closet Shopper (one of my favorite bloggers — she is absolutely fabulous!) gave us a preview of her holiday party looks in a guest post at Tinfoil Tiaras. She smartly layered a shimmering jacket over a (slightly) more subdued black sequined dress and cinched it with a simple belt for a look that has just as much shine, but is so much more unique. Look for sparkly separates to layer and ground them with simple black accessories.

2. Ponytail cuffs. My older sister emailed me this DIY post from Oh the Lovely Things the other day, knowing I would love it. I’ve always been a fan of glammed up ponytails, and find them so much chicer than wearing one’s hair down. (My problem is that I have very fine hair, and my ponytails tend to lack volume and texture. Any tips to remedy this would be greatly appreciated.) And aren’t these ponytail cuffs just so gorgeous? Definitely one of the easiest ways to add instant glam to your NYE look.

3. Punches of color. As much as a strict palette of gold, silver, and black is observed during New Year’s, stand out from the crowd with a few bright pops of color: think bold lips, a red shoe, or colorful stacked bangles. Harper’s Bazaar offers up a few tips on getting the perfect red lip at every age.

4. …Or, just break out of the mold altogether. Who needs punches of color when you can rock a fabulous jewel-toned frock? Definitely a fantastic option for New Year’s Eve; just be sure to use sequins wisely (if at all) and accessories with some sparkly oversized jewels instead. P.S. I Made This has an awesome DIY for a totally over-the-top jeweled necklace.

5. Glitter-dipped nails. I’ve been seeing these around quite a bit lately, and, well, they are one manicure trend that I actually like. (I’m not so much a fan of crackle or magnetic nail polish.) Also one of the easiest manicures to maintain because chipping is barely noticeable. Try this simple tutorial from MaieDae and substitute your favorite colors!

6. Comfy (but chic) heels. If you’re going to be wearing heels for NYE, and you know you’re going to be standing in them all night, why would you wear a pair that is unbearably painful after half an hour? Wear your comfiest single-hued pair of heels for New Year’s (aka, your investment shoes) instead of the crazy sequined ones and you’ll be much happier. (On another note, I highly recommend the Mona pumps from J. Crew. So comfortable yet timeless, they go with everything, and they come in leather, suede, patent, and satin!)

Most importantly, though: experiment with fashion and have fun! Although it is a bit clichéd (and I will refrain from bitterness here), New Year’s is all about welcoming the new you (and all resolutions you’ll be breaking within the next week). Enjoy!

{Source: Images courtesy of Tracy at The Closet Shopper; 5 Inch and Up; Sephora; J. Crew (crystal Venus flytrap necklace, $85); J. Crew (Mona leather pumps, $198); MaieDae.}

Last-Minute Gifts for the Procrastisanta

Are you a guilty procrastisanta?

Procrastisanta: A person who delays holiday shopping until the very last minute. [Urban Dictionary]

Perhaps you need a quick gift fix by… tomorrow? Here are a few ideas.

  • E-Gift cards! Just as exciting as actual gift cards (besides the fact that you can’t pretend they’re credit cards and, let’s face it, gift cards aren’t very exciting to begin with) and with instant gratification. Besides, J. Crew’s doing it, so it must be cool. Tons of other online retailers offer the E-Gift Card option as well (Amazon, iTunes, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Visa gift cards, even L.L.Bean — with adorable puppies on them, to boot!)
  • Homemade confections. When in a pinch, some homemade cookies from your kitchen and personal and sure to please. A good idea for a quick and easy hostess gift, but not so great for, say, your four-year-old niece.

  • Magazine Subscriptions. Much like a gift card, except a little more personal. Plus, it’s that time of year to renew subscriptions anyway! Check out Amazon’s selection of subscriptions for easy magazine browsing and buying (I recommend The New Yorker for anyone on your list). Or you can simply order direct from the magazine of your choice.
  • Memberships. To what, you may ask? I don’t know … but they sound legit and are pretty fun, too. Netflix is an easy choice, but also look for local hotspots — such as a museum, gym, or other attraction (such as a ski/snowboard slope) — that the person you’re gifting to would enjoy. (If you can’t purchase online, try calling and arranging the membership over the phone.)
  • Of-the-Month Clubs. Some people, believe it or not, actually go nuts for these. Like the Fruit-of-the-Month Clubs from Harry & David. There’s also a Wine-of-the-Month Club, of course. Plus chic options for Cashmere, JewelryShirts (for men), and Tees (for girls and boys) courtesy of J. Crew.
  • Books (and coffee…). Seriously, books make excellent gifts for the avid reader (just make sure she hasn’t read them before)! These do require leaving the house, but as long as the bookstore’s open, you can pick up a couple. (Bonus: they’re really easy to wrap, and most stores do it for you!) Make your gift special with a gift card and a fun thermos or mug from a nearby coffee shop.

  • Make a donation in their name. Okay, this one’s not as “fun” per se, but perhaps its the right idea for the more charitable ones in your life. For example, charity:water is a great organization that drills wells to provide people around the globe with access to clean drinking water. You can make a donation in someone else’s name here, and they’ll send you a card you can print out to give to them in place of their present. Charity:water also has some cool gifts available, if you want to order something to supplement your donation. This Kwiat bracelet is gorgeous!

When in doubt, you can always order something online, have it shipped to their home, and spend some time making a fun “certificate” that promises its delivery. Of course, it’s always preferable to have something physical on hand, especially for the younger ones.

And, of course, there’s one definite no-no gift: PAJAMAGRAMS! A “Family Pajama Planner?” (And yes, they actually refer to it as this…) I’m just, so, confused….

I came across this gem in my holiday gift browsing today. I didn’t think it could get worse than matching Snuggies, but, apparently, it can!

Happy holidays, everyone!

{Sources: Images via unleash-your-success.com, jcrew.com, joannarieke.wordpress.com, charitywater.org, and pajamagrams.com.}

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