Tag Archives: gift guides

Easter Basket Inspiration

Easter Basket Inspiration

I have a lot of great childhood memories associated with Easter. I could write a whole post about Easter egg hunts with my cousins, because they were truly epic! And even up through high school, my brother and I were still hunting for our Easter baskets. My Mom would repurpose old shoe boxes and stuff them with plastic Easter grass and Reese’s peanut butter eggs and hide them in the house for us to find. They were often in the hall closet or her office filing cabinet, a kitchen cupboard or behind the couch.

An Easter basket can be as simple as a shoe box hidden in the hall closet. And to inspire you to fill that basket with fabulous Easter delights, some Easter basket inspiration.

6 Easter Basket Themes

1. The Chocolate Basket

easter-basket-inspiration:traditionalThese are not your drug store candy aisle treats! From gourmet chocolate truffle eggs to hand-piped marshmallow chicks, anybunny would love to find these in their Easter basket 😉

Available from Christopher Elbow Chocolates: 7 Piece Easter Egg Collection
Available from EHChocolatier: Chicks & Eggs
Available from the Natural Candy Store: Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans
Available from Trader Joe’s: Extraordinary Eggs Marbled Chocolates

2. The Vegan Basket

easter basket inspiration: veganLast week’s A Very Vegan Gift Guide was one of my most popular posts! I’m sure Peter Cottontail is a big fan of vegans, so I’m excited to put together this vegan Easter basket.

Available from the Natural Candy Store: Organic Bunny Lollipops
Available from Food Fight! Grocery: Go Max Go Twilight Bar
Available from the PETA Catalogue: Chocolate to the Rescue Bar
Available from Vegan Treats Bakery: Veganbury Eggs

3. A Children’s Book Basket

easter basket inspiration: children's-booksFor the wee ones, a basket of stories and imagination. A bunny, a mouse, an Easter Beagle and a twist on an old classic that I loved as a child – that old lady will eat ANYTHING 🙂

Available from Amazon: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny
Available from Barnes & Noble: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!
Available from Barnes & Noble: Happy Easter, Mouse!
Available from Amazon: It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

4. The Adventure Seeker’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: adventurerFor those who loves hopping – or blazing – down their own trail in the forest, a basket of outdoor treats.

Available from Soutmob: Classic Artisan S’mores Kit
Available from Natural Life: Boho Bandeaus
Available from REI: Nite Ize Flashflight Disc-O
Available from REI: Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

5. A Grown-up Easter Basket

easter basket inspiration: grownup basketMomma’s all growed up, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t love a basket of grown-up treats! A gorgeous hand-painted bunny that’s almost too beautiful to eat, the best wines and cheeses to pair with chocolate, and the calorie-free way to enjoy your chocolate – at the spa! **Chocolate-free spa treatments also work great 🙂

Available from Wine Folly: 5 Kickass Wine and Chocolate Pairings
Available from The Spa at The Hotel Hershey: Everything Chocolate Treatments
Available from Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier: A Guide to Pairing Chocolate & Cheese
Available from A519 Chocolate: Watercolor Easter Bunny

6. The Artist’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: artistFor the Picasso egg painter in your family, some artistic treats including a stylus paintbrush that turns any smartphone or tablet into a canvas.

Available from Amazon: Staedtler Marsgraphic Duo Brush Markers
Available from Barnes & Noble: Splendid Cities Coloring Book
Available from Amazon: Dover Kusudama Origami Book
Available from Sensu: Sensu Solo

A Very Vegan Gift Guide

A Very Vegan Gift Guide

When I decided to do a vegan gift list, I did so expecting this to be a challenge. My personal experiences lend more to the Gift Guide for the Bacon Lover than a vegan gift guide. To my surprise, this gift list was actually one of my favorites to write! With a little research, there are a lot of amazing (and thoughtful!) options for our vegan friends.

This vegan gift guide was a powerful reminder to me of how much I love what I get to do and how much FUN it is to pick gifts with the recipient in mind. I promise you that there is something on this list that will surprise and delight your eco-friends. And by purchasing these items you’re giving the earth your own little hug.

*Special thanks to my friend Erin for giving this list the vegan once-over and to my friend Bek from Sweet Peaches in Pittsburgh for giving the list a vegan chef seal of approval.

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

15 Vegan-Friendly Gift Ideas

1. Retro Tee

vegan gift guide:power-up-tshirt

Not another Kale t-shirt! Check out the obscure and pithy happenings with the zombie loving vegans at Goods and Evil Clothing.

“We don’t do obvious. Obvious is easy. Our designs usually come from the blurry edge just outside of the norm.”

Available from Goods and Evil Clothing: Vegan Power Up T-shirt

2. The Bubbly

vegan gift guide:champagne

Before you toast your vegan friends, stop and check out the Barnivore website. Two vegans from Toronto have done all of the legwork for you, running down information on which libations are vegan-friendly.

As recently as January 2016, Veuve Clicquot (pictured here) reassured Barnivore that they follow a vegan-friendly champagne making process.

Visit Barnivore for their complete vegan beer, wine and liquor guide.

3. Clever Barware

vegan gift guide:age-of-asparagus-cup

The series of mistaken lyrics pint glasses are hysterical. This one is especially perfect for vegan friends.

… And peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Asparagus … A-spar-a-gusssss

Available from Meriwether of Montana: The Age of Asparagus.. Mistaken Lyrics Pint Glass

4. Yoga Mat

vegan gift guide:jute-yoga-matA yoga mat that’s truly tree pose friendly. It’s made from jute fibers that give it a unique look and feel as well as a small ecological footprint.

Available from Barefoot Yoga Co.: Natural Jute and PER Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

5. Box ‘o Veggies

vegan gift guide:csaA thoughtful gift that will last all season. Gift a share in their local farm’s CSA. These CSA’s support small farmers in growing and harvesting their crops that they then share with their CSA investors (typically) via weekly boxes of their most recent harvest. *I see a dinner invitation in your future with this gift 😉

Available from Local Harvest: Find a Local CSA

6. “Leather” Journal

vegan gift guide:journal

A handmade journal to inspire your herbivore. It starts with a faux leather cover, inside the journal is stuffed with sketch quality paper and the page binding is handsewn with hemp thread.

Available from Etsy: Vegan Faux Leather Journal from BoundByHand

7. Natural Skincare

vegan gift guide:pacifica-beauty-kit

A perfect way to gift that kale you’ve been thinking about. Pacifica is a 100% vegan and cruelty free skincare company. This kit includes four skincare products formulated with superpower fruit and flower naturals.

Available from Pacifica: Super Detox
Natural Solutions Kit

8. Beard and Body Soap

vegan gift guide:beard-soap

Even guys need pampering, and Brave GentleMan answers the call with this vegan, ultra-moisturizing soap with it’s invigorating scent.

“It softens coarse beards, mustaches and skin with organic coconut oil, fair wage and clay-filtered Moroccan argan oil and vitamin E.”

Available from Brave GentleMan: Beard & Body Brick: Citrus

9. Planter Necklace

vegan gift guide:planter-necklace

What a lovely gift, especially for someone who spends their days under the fluorescent lighting of cubicle world. A stunning way to surround oneself with nature and accessorize any outfit!

The pendant and closure are both handmade and attached with 16″ of natural cording.

Available from Etsy: Half Moon Living Plant Necklace by Gems of the Soil

10. Beautiful Glass Jars

vegan gift guide:weck-jars

A classy way to store and display their earth-friendly nibbles. These classic glass canning jars are a favorite of mine. Their tapered shapes and glass lids are easy to fill and make a stunning display. A perfect gift to pair with a cookbook or the CSA share.

Available from West Elm: Weck Juice Jar, Set of 6

11. Chocolate!

vegan gift guide:vegan-twix

Turns out your sweet tooth can be ethical, compassionate and oh so happy 🙂 With Easter coming…and Mother’s Day…and well, Mondays, finding this gem came at the perfect time! From the artists at this little vegan sweet shop in Bethlehem, PA, handmade vegan candy bars like Better Finger Bars, Twin Caramel Cookie Stix and even Veganbury Eggs. Hop to your keyboard and stock up on these vegan delights.

Available from Vegan Treats: All the Heavenly Candy Bars!

12. Fun & Flirty Scarf

vegan gift guide:scarf

Lightweight and perfect for spring, this 100% cotton scarf is made from organic cotton grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. The flirty cotton tassels make this a fun way to dress up or down any outfit.

Available from Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique: RockFlowerPaper Buttons Pink Cotton Tassel Scarf

13. Cookbook

vegan gift guide:vegan-pantry-cookbook

Gorgeous photography and tempting recipes fill the pages of this vegan cookbook. Vegan or not, anyone who appreciates delicious food and high quality ingredients will drool over the pages of this book.

Available from Amazon: The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples

14. Serious Eats

vegan gift guide:real-vegan-faux-gras

Perfect for a host(ess) gift or even poker night! This toasted walnut lentil paste is a humane  hors d’oeuvres alternative to foie gras. Enjoy this vegetarian foie gras on a warm baguette topped with sliced onion, capers or fresh arugula. Umm, yes please!

Available from The Real Vegan: Faux Gras-The Humane Foie Gras Alternative

15. Wrapping Paper

vegan gift guide:flowering-gift-wrap

Consider their gift down to the tiniest details. This flowering wrapping paper is made from recycled paper that is embedded with flowering seeds (like Baby Snapdragon or Black Eyed Susan.) After unwrapping one of these veggie-fabulous gifts from our Vegan Gift Guide, they can even plant the gift wrap. You thought of everything!

Available from Little Kay Gardens: Flowering Gift Wrap

8 Winning Wine Gifts

I got a special request this morning  from my college roomie …

wine gifts: text-message

wine gifts: roomie-photoNot that it took a lot of arm twisting for me to celebrate my favorite fruit – the fermented grape 😉 Still, National Drink Wine Day is the perfect excuse to highlight some great wine gifts, as well as one of my favorite people to share a glass of vino with!

My visits with Renee are far too rare, but last Fall we got precious roomie time on a trip to enjoy some Niagara wineries.

So in honor of my roomie and the many glasses of wine we’ve shared, I’ve put together a little list of wine gifts in celebration of National Drink Wine Day.

8 Winning Wine Gifts

1. Glass Decanter

wine gifts: wine decanterI’m smitten with these beautiful shapely wine decanters. They have a rustic appeal with their natural wood sphere toppers that can be personalized with monograms or witty comments like “sip” or “vino”.

Available from west elm: Glass Bottles with Wood Stoppers

2. Vintage Inspired Wine Opener

wine gifts: vintage-wine-opener

Not just functional, this will be a piece of artwork for the bar. Open bottles with ease and look professional doing it with the corkscrew of choice among the finest hotels and restaurants.

Available from Frontgate: Antique Bronze with Granite Base Wine Opener

3. Crystal Wine Glass

wine gifts: antoine-crystal-red-wine-glass

First let me admit something, I have a serious crush on the Barefoot Contessa. So this one is straight off of my personal giftbug registry.

These French hand blown crystal glasses, owned and loved by the Barefoot Contessa, are a timeless classic from the 19th century. Not to be saved for guests, these are made to be enjoyed every day – just like a great bottle of wine!

Available from Pomme & Poire: Antoine Crystal Red Wine Glass

4. Sangria Pitcher

wine gifts: sangria-pitcher

This isn’t the first time a Sangria Pitcher has made an appearance on one of my gift lists (check out Picnic Perfect Gifts), but I can’t have a wine gift list without including a Sangria Pitcher, especially because several years ago I gifted this exact Sangria Pitcher to my roomie! 🙂

Hand thrown and hand painted in Spain, each piece is signed by the artisan who made it. And I love the pinched spout, designed to help the wine flow freely and keep the slices of fruit where they belong – inside!

*Bonus – check out the link below for La Tienda’s traditional Sangria recipe!

Available from La Tienda: Ceramic Sangría Pitcher – Blue ‘Flor’ Design

5. Wine Picnic Tote

wine gifts: wine-tote

This lovely wine tote comes ready to use – complete with a cheese board, knife and bottle opener. Just add wine, triple cream brie and a great crusty bread. And the tote’s designers know what’s up – it’s created to carry two bottles of wine! 🙂

Available from One Kings Lane: Wine Country Tote

6. Wine Inspired Tea Towel

wine gifts: tea-towel

I’m a fan of the products from Girls Can Tell, and I have a weakness for tea towels in particular! This hand drawn and labeled corkscrew is hand screenprinted onto washable floursack cotton kitchen towels. Great for decorating a kitchen or drying dishes, they also make perfect cloth napkins for a picnic lunch in the park!

Available from Girls Can Tell: Wine Corkscrew Tea Towel

7. Wine Appetizer Plate

wine gifts: wine-glass-appetizer-platter

Renee and I found these gems on our Niagara winery road trip. Absolutely genius! Elegant mahogany wood plates designed to rest atop your wine glass, leaving one hand free to enjoy your nibbles.

Available from Twine Rustic Elegance: Rustic Farmhouse – Wine Glass Topper Appetizer Plates

8. Ice Wine

wine gifts: inniskillin_ice_wine

And speaking of that trip to Niagara Falls, and in honor of my Roomie, Renee’s favorite ice wine from Inniskillin winery. This was my first introduction to ice wine, who knew that frozen grapes could lead to such a tasty and sweet dessert wine?!

Available from Inniskillin Winery: 2014 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

It’s National Bagel Day and I couldn’t get bagels off of my mind. It’s snowing outside and I don’t actually have any bagels in my house, so I did the next best thing and spent my day scouring the internet for the coolest gifts for bagel lovers. You might say this list is the whole schmear of bagel gifts (especially if you’re hungry and dreaming of bagels.)

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

Now gather ’round and check out these bagel lovin’ gifts.

7 Bagel Inspired Gifts

1. New York City Bagels

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-giftpack
Let’s start this list with arguably the home of the bagel, NYC, and that means some authentic NYC bagels shipped to your door (or the lucky gift recipient.) Shipped ready to toast and devour, or slice, freeze and toast whenever you’re craving a nosh.

Available from Zabar’s and Company: 18 Assorted Zabar’s NY Original Toasting Bagels

2. Peanut Butter

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: applesin-peanutbutter

Peanut butter on a bagel is one of the reason’s I run (in addition to beer and pancakes…but that’s another blog post.) Many people go right for the cream cheese, but I’m a bagel and peanut butter girl…and with peanut butter this good, you won’t stop at the bagels! Reginald’s uses just 4 little ingredients to handcraft some peanut apple perfection.

Available from Reginald’s Homemade: Apple Sin Peanut Butter

3. Vintage Jam Cutlery

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: jam-spreaders

This cream cheese spreader and jelly jam knife have hand stamped whimsical sayings on vintage sterling sliverplate silverware. << — That’s a mouthful, but so are the tasty treats you’ll be enjoying with these beautiful and playful service pieces.

Available from Etsy: Get Toasted ~ Get Jammin’ Hand Stamped Vintage Brunch Set from Sycamore Hill

4. B is for Bagel Babies

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-onesie

They are never too young for adorable onesies and to learn about the importance of really great food! This variety pack includes 3 great finger food onesies with ‘B is for Bagel’, ‘M is for Matzoh Ball’ and ‘R is for Rugelach’.

Available from Scoutmob: Foodie Baby Bodysuit Variety Pack

5. Everything Bagel Salt

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-salt

For the lover of everything bagel, Everything Bagel Salt. Perfect for soft pretzels, popcorn, grilled corn, burgers, hardboiled eggs….and I’m just guessing here, but probably…everything.

Available from Lusso: Everything Bagel Salt

6. Bagel Art

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: pug-bagel-print

I would seriously love this hanging in my kitchen! And if your friend or relative loves bagels AND pugs…’fugetaboutit’, you’re guaranteed to #win the gifting with this one!

Available from Etsy: Pug Art – Piggy Pug Bagels by Retro Pets

7. Smoked Salmon Vodka

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: SmokedSalmonVodka

So I was scouring the interweb for the very best lox for your bagel lover when I stumbled upon this little artisanal gem from Alaska, and I had to share. Distilled using water from glacier ice and infused with the flavor of Wild Alaskan Salmon this will make one hell of a Bloody Mary to pair with that NYC bagel from Zabar’s. My own personal version of East meets West 😉

Available from Alaska Distillery Retailers: Smoked Salmon Flavored Vodka

Gift the Memories this Valentine’s Day

Gift the Memories This Valentine’s Day

For me, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating connection with the loved ones in your life. Gift the memories this Valentine’s Day and shine a spotlight on the moments that make a life together.

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: dr-seuss-quote
Photography by: Cara Rufenacht Creative

7 Ways to Share Memories

1. Personalized Wine Boxes

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: winebox

Is there a wine that you shared on your first date? When you got engaged? At your wedding or on a trip to Napa? Whatever the occasion, gift your loved one that special wine inside one of these personalized laser engraved wooden wine boxes. You can have the top and all sides customized with messages, poems and even images.

And this gift isn’t limited to romantic loves, it would also be a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for friends, parents, siblings or anyone special in your life with whom you want to share a great bottle of wine and a special message of love and memories.

Available from PersonalizedWineBoxes: Personalized Wine Gift Boxes

2. GPS Coordinates Bracelet

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: coordinates-bracelet

A dainty cuff personalized with the coordinates to a location important to you and your Valentine. Next, include a short special message about the location on the inside of the bracelet. Finally, watch her swoon!

Available from Etsy: Dainty Cuff Coordinates with Hidden Message by CentimeGift

3. A Shadow Box

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: shadow-box

A shadow box is an amazing way to literally show someone how much you’ve cherished your relationship by gifting them the mementos that you’ve saved over the years. Whether it’s ticket stubs, love notes, wine corks or bottle caps, an engraved shadow box is a stylish way to present a ‘box of memories’.

Available from Etsy: Personalized Shadow Box by CheapHumidors

4. Custom Map Coasters

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: custom-map-coasters

Immortalize a location special to your relationship. Where you met, went to school, got engaged, your wedding, your 1st house; the options are endless with these customized coasters.

Available from UncommonGoods: Custom Map Coaster Set

5. A Mixtape

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: usb-mixtape

As a child of the ’80s, love + a mixtape will forever be tied together for me. I wouldn’t blow your mind by suggesting that you pull out the boombox and work the play/record buttons simultaneously. Instead, combine the ease of a USB storage device with the nostalgia and personalization of a handwritten cassette case.

Available from Amazon: Mix Tape USB Memory Stick

Now, the actual storage of the music may be easier with a USB device, but the perfect mixtape is still a labor of love and skill. If you have missed out on the art form that is a mixtape, here’s a little help: The Art of the Mix: 15 Foolproof Rules for Creating the Perfect Mixtape

6. Hand Printed Recipe Tea Towel

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: teatowel

Not just for lovebirds, a wonderful idea for a daughter, a granddaughter or even your girlfriends. Share a special recipe in your own handwriting.

Available from Etsy: Tea Towel with Handwriting by AU Designs Studio

7. Kid’s Art Jewelry

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: kids-art-jewelry

A great gift for Moms and Dads, grandparents or anyone who loves your kids!

Available from Formia Design: Jewelry Design by Kids