2. My friend Danielle once gifted me with a LACMA membership and I loved it. You’d be surprised how affordable they can be and it’s an incredible (and unexpected) gift for an art lover.
3. Baking classes are always fun. A couple of years ago my friend Jodi and I gave each other an intro class at Kiss My Bundt’s Baking Academy, which was lots of fun.
4. I love giving tickets (very far in advance for planning purposes) to concerts, sporting events, author readings and more. Last year my Mom gave me Lady Gaga tickets for Christmas — too fun.
5. From pottery and beer brewing to hula and French lessons, there are hundreds of different classes out there. I like giving Caifornia Sushi Academy classes. Google can turn up a lot of options in your area.
6. Movie buffs will appreciate a gift card to their favorite theater. In Los Angeles, it’s all about the ArcLight for serious movie goers, but check out the various options. A Netflix membership is great idea too.
7. Who wouldn’t appreciate the gift of travel? Whether it be to a nearby hotel or airline tickets, this is a true luxury to receive.
I met Clare Vivier a few years back, when I scored one of her hot pink patent leather fold over clutches (it resembles an old school bank bag and I get comments each time I carry it.) We stayed in touch over the years and as Clare’s business grew, I was able to profile her in the L.A. Times. She has fantastic style and a beautiful home so I was anxious to see her gift picks.
What is the first gift that you remember receiving? A set of Motown records for Christmas from my brother. It seemed so mature, I was so excited to be receiving a “grown up” gift and I loved those albums.
What are the favorite gifts you’ve been given over the years? A recent gift of a 1968 Paris street art book, La Beauté dans La Rue, my Rolex watch from my father, a vintage cocktail ring from my husband and an original piece of art from a friend.
What are your favorite gifts to give? Linen napkins from travels in France. Or tie-dye napkins from Vivier + Bentley. Everyone can always use cloth napkins – you can never have enough and if they are different enough (vintage or hand-printed for example) you don’t have to worry about being presumptuous about style or decor.
What’s your go-to source to buy gifts? Mohawk General Store always has a good selection, like these Rachel Comey Mukluks, which I’m going to gift my next hostess. And since I like to stay in the neighborhood, I like Lake boutique too. Their pretty Turkish towel sets makes for a great hostess gift.
Your favorite charitable cause? P.S. ARTS funds arts programs in low income schools in Los Angeles.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be with my family in Newport (that’s a scene from last year) and we’re having our good friends Andy and Rhianna join us from San Diego. It’s also my parents 39th wedding anniversary so lots of celebrating all around.
I’m making Ina Garten’s Cranberry Fruit Conserve and pumpkin pie. If you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe I’d love to hear it.
See you back here on Monday! In the meantime, if you need any Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday shopping ideas please view our Holiday Gift Guides.
1. The Little Alouette Down Under Boomerang Teething Rattle is finished with certified organic flax seed oil, $17.
2. Encourage motor skills in a fun way with the Prince Lionheart Wheely Mouse, $59.99.
3. Perfect for New Year’s Eve! These Metallic Mocs from Trumpette are too cute for words, $31.50.
4. My favorite children’s book, Goodnight Moon, is a timeless classic that can be read throughout the years, $10.97.
5. He’ll be one stylish tot in a pair of Vans Kids Classic Slip-On Core, $27. Especially perfect for kids with daddies who love surfing and skating.
6. Love DwellStudio for Target’s Menagerie 3pc Baby Bedding Set, $79.99. How cute are the giraffes?
7. Keep her warm (and adorable) in a San Diego Hat Company Kids Knit Button Ascot, $20.
8. Start them saving early with Tiffany & Co.’s earthenware hand-painted Elephant Bank, $115.
9. Kicokids’ Artist Kit features a canvas envelope case, colored paper notepad, six non-toxic colored pencils and a sharpener, $25.
10. Stimulate their brains with these Colorful Bowling Friends, $32.95. Babies can play with them for exercise and balancing ability.
I grew up with Erica Thomas in Orange County and after studying at FIDM and working for companies like Anthropologie, she went on to be one of the area’s top retailers with her Erica Dee boutiques. Her newest shop Harper’s (where you’ll find labels such as Ella Moss, Rachel Pally, House of Harlow and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent) is a must-stop for stylish OC gals.
What is the first gift that you remember receiving? My Barbie Dream House on
Christmas morning as a child.
What are some favorite gifts you’ve been given over the years? A Marc by Marc
Jacobs make up bag, lip gloss, special jewelry, cozy slippers, Cult colored
What are your favorite gifts to give? Anything from Harper’s! We have a
great gift section with Voluspa candles, customized initial necklaces and
bangles in gold and silver, adorable frames by Two’s Company, and we have to
die for Bella Bags with personalized monograms.
What’s your go-to source to buy gifts? Aside from my shop, Anthropologie is another favorite of mine. Such special and unique coffee table books, candles and glassware. As far as online, I love West Elm because it has super fun modern pieces for your home that are very affordable, but very hip.
What is your favorite charitable cause? Orangewood because they help abused children who have been taken away from their homes.
For the last couple months I feel as though we have been assembling a “dream team” of sorts for the wedding. As someone who likes to be in control and has very specific taste, I wasn’t sure how I would handle turning over the biggest day of my life to a group of people who didn’t know me very well. But this group is pretty darn incredible and I have to say I feel really peaceful about the process and trust that they will execute our vision — and probably top it.
Our photographer Candice Benjamin is talented, loveable and is 1000% invested in our photos. Our coordinator Cathy O’Connell is so lovely and detail-oriented and the minute I met our floral designer Maggie I was positive that she was the woman for the job. We haven’t met our DJ yet, but after a phone chat and rave reviews from others we were sold. He suggested an instrumental song for the ceremony that blew me away (we are indeed using it.)
I just hired a wonderful woman for my hair (Trina Turk is one of her clients — good enough for me!) and a makeup artist who is beloved in the desert. Tim’s custom suit just arrived on Wednesday and my good friend Claire, who is an excellent graphic designer, and I are going to look at paper for the invitations today. There are a few other surprises, but I won’t spoil it here in case any of our guests are reading today’s post. It will be incredible to see it all come together in four months.
Last night I dreamed that it was our wedding day. It wasn’t at the real venue and I wasn’t wearing my real dress or anything, but I felt really calm and happy. I told my sister in the dream that I had a great night sleep and was ready.
Picture above by Candice Benjamin.
Thanksgiving is exactly a week from today so you know that means — holiday shopping will be in full gear as of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (who comes up with these terms?) Save yourself any additional stress by utilizing some of these tips:
*Avoid grocery stores on Sundays and Mondays, if possible, since that is when they are the busiest (except for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.)
*Avoid malls and other shopping centers on weekends. If you can go during lunchtime for example, or if you have flexibility to arrive at 10am, even better — and don’t forget your holiday list. It will save you time I promise.
*Utilize online shopping for things like books, music and food gifts. Most of my purchases happen with the click of a mouse. Some items get delivered to me so that I may wrap and present the gift in person, while others are sent directly (often with free shipping) to the recipient, saving me another unpleasant trip to the U.S. Post Office.
*For holiday cards I adore sites such as Tiny Prints, Minted (shown above) and Pinhole Press. While it would be nice to hand write all of your cards with charming witticisms, it’s just not practical during the busiest time of the year.
Still need gift ideas? My Holiday Gift Guides may be found here (new ones will be added each Tuesday through Christmas.)