The Ultimate Gift Guide 2019

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season? Well me too! Just Kidding! I would like to think I have come up with the ultimate gift giving guide to help you narrow down your Google searches and hopefully you land here and impressed with the choices I have given you.

New/ Expected parents, I have probably listed this one first because let’s face it, I am still in this category and my toddler is not old enough to “ask” for things so this is my list of things I would hope he asked for to make mommy and daddy’s life easier.

Let’s talk about this portable high chair from the Paper Store,

highchairThis highchair is an easy on the go  chair with how innovative, practical, and portable it is. I loved this thing and still use it today! It cleans so easily and perfect to have just in the back of your car for “just in case” purposes. Not only that it’s so lightweight and fold’s up just like a lawn chair.

This highchair is usually listed at $69.99 at the  Paper Store but if you purchase The Paper Store’s 2019 Exclusive Cardinal Ornament (Only $3.99, in store or online) they will take 20% off your entire order, that’s a $14 savings on a great gift!

Another awesome gift idea for the parents of a toddler and a toddler that just wants to be involved in the kitchen or whatever their parents are doing. The Adjustable Kids Learning Stool, Kids Kitchen Step Stool with Safety Rail-Solid Hardwood Construction from Amazon 

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I love this stool for so many reasons! It grows with the child from ages, 18 months to 60 months!

It helps elevate your baby to counter height. Kids can help out in kitchen: baking, mixing, preparing food, cleaning up, or other hands-on situations. It will make your kitchen full of fun! You could also put it in washing room so kids can brush teeth by themselves. It’s 4 feet high and has settings that can help accommodate the average height of a 12 month baby up to a toddler of 6. It’s made from solid hardwood and carefully coated with durable, nontoxic, lead-free coating. Fences around big standing platform(19.5*13 inch), so kids won’t fall out from high place. The dimensions are, 19.5″L x 14.8″W x 37″H. And they are offering a 30 days free return and life time free parts guaranteeThe price point is a little steep at $130 but this isn’t a one season gift, this is something that can be used day after day!

The Home Bodies: Nothing says “home body” like a warm comfy Sherpa weighted blanket! I love anything Sherpa and then you go and add a weighted blanket to it and now I don’t want to leave my bed or couch. Walmart has a great selection and plus their black Friday deals are insane! blanket

Weighted blankets may be used to help people with anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, or autism to relax, sleep, and wake feeling refreshed.

 

 

 

 

Moms: As a mom I never knew how much I would love a set of new and stylish… towels. There I said it! I love when my kitchen and bathroom display adorable linens that go with my decor! I found the most amazing, soft, and stylish towels at Olive and Linen. Their linens are actually Turkish Towels and I am obsessed! Turkish towels are flat woven, lightweight towels that are both beautiful and functional. IMG_7635_395f4640-5a1f-45d4-bddd-c6276b2560e0_1024x1024Also known as peshtemal, fouta or hammam towel, Turkish towels are more compact and versatile than terry looped towels. They can be used as a bath, beach or kitchen towel as well as a picnic blanket, scarf, sarong, tablecloth and even curtains. They are the ultimate go to piece that you will reach for everyday. Olive and Linen are having a great Black Friday deal, everything is up to 75% off with free shipping!

 

Dad’s: Self Charging Wallet. Say that 10 times fast. This ultimate gift for dad or really anyone will have them thanking you for the thoughtfulness. For the minimalist traveler or just someone thats phone is always dying, this slim case has been designed in tannery leather that softens over time. A modern take on the classic wallet, the updated find has four card slots, one cash slot and holds a full charge to keep you connected during busy work-to-play days. It’s also ready for foil-debossed personalization. slim-leather-charging-wallet-c

The wallet is listed for $79 and to add the personalization it’s only an additional $10 but if you use the code: “Friends” you will get $15.80 off your total and it will only be $77.85 with FREE shipping! What a steal!

 

 

 

 

Long Distance Friends/Loves: So you are far away but still want to show each other you are on each other’s mind. The perfect gift for people who are long distance is the awesome, Long Distance Friendship Lamp found at Uncommon Goods

lightsOn the website you have the option to get one ($99) or two ($198), but what I really love about these lamps are that they, light up loved ones’ lives—across town or across the world.  The function is still the same: Touch yours, and theirs emits the same glow to send a little “thinking of you.” Creating a group? You can also assign colors, so each person gets their own special hue.

Grandparents: The truth is grandparents typically don’t “need” or “want” anything than to be around their grandchildren, so to make them feel near their grandchildren all the time the best gifts for them would be anything personalized. You can find a ton of gift idea’s with personalization on the website, Etsy.  For instance, this blanket that was personalized is so adorable and is one of the great personalized gifts offered on Etsy. il_794xN.2101987871_quml

Etsy connects people looking for unique goods with independent sellers around the world. When you shop on Etsy.com, you can choose from millions of handmade, vintage, and craft supply items created and curated by millions of independent sellers. This is one of the reasons why I tend to use Etsy because I love supporting small business’ and local artist. Local Artist and Small Businesses don’t necessarily need to be the people right outside your home, these are people all across the world and Etsy allows you to support small by doing so.

The Give Back/Stylish gifts:  Have you heard of Pura Vida? Well two Southern California friends—Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman—took a college graduation trip down to Costa Rica in the summer of 2010, they came across two artisans whose colorful string bracelets captured the simple beauty of Costa Rica. Sadly the artist were struggling to survive on their artisan wages, living with their family in a single room with three beds. Desperate to find some way to help, Griffin and Paul asked the artisans to make 400 bracelets to take home with them, they put the bracelets on display in a local boutique, selling out completely within just a few days. And it hit them: These pieces were more than just simple friendship bracelets.3F9A2520_1200x1200_crop_center

I love these bracelets and not just what they mean and stand for but because they are so stylish! Pura Vida is having an awesome Black Friday sale, everything is 50% off! I also have a coupon code: DanielleGiordano20, this code will also give you 20% off your entire order!

 

 

 

 

Child(ren) Gifts:  Let’s be real for a second, toys are what every child wants for Christmas, but lets be practical this holiday season. Toys come and go, they break, pieces get lost, and ultimately, that toy isnt “fun” anymore. But do you know what is fun and what a child may cherish? Experience gifts!

What is an experience gift you may ask yourself, well an experience gift is one that provides a child a memory. From museum memberships to sporting passes, you can give your kids more than just another object for their playroom. It can create memories, help build skills and provide fun for the entire family.

Need some ideas? Here is a few to think of as options,

  • 1. Children’s theater season passes
  • 2. Trampoline jump passes
  • 3. Zoo membership
  • 4. Full session for new sport (gymnastics, football camp, etc.)
  • 5. Trip to the bookstore to pick out new books
  • 6. Local + national state park passes for a year
  • 7. Plane ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)
  • 8. Pass to an art museum
  • 9. Cooking class for kids
  • 10. Tickets for child + friend for a local play
  • 11. Pottery making classes
  • 12.  Out of country airfare + accommodation (if you want to be truly indulgent)
  • 13. Swim lessons
  • 14. Aquarium yearly pass
  • 15. Subscription box
  • 16. A train ride to somewhere they’ve never been
  • 17. Musical instrument + lessons
  • 18. Flower or herb seeds to plant a garden
  • 19. Ballet classes + tutu
  • 20. Ceramic painting class

 

I hope the gift guide can assist you with coming up with the perfect gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. If you are not interested in purchasing gifts, I will be posting some awesome DIY gift idea’s in next weeks blog post. Check back!

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New Year, New Dessert!

Happy New Year! With the new year comes a new recipe for dessert, my favorite meal! I know some of you have made your new years resolution, dieting. Well I am here to give you an delicious recipe for your cheat days 🙂

I am a cookie monster, anything cookie, especially chocolate chip cookies! I also LOVE ice cream, and home made fresh whipped cream. What can I say, I am a dessert fanatic.

Last night I whipped up from scratch a Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowel with delicious vanilla ice cream and homemade maple whipped cream! My mouth is drooling just thinking about this amazing creation!

We will start with the Ice Cream Recipe because this may take the longest to do, all you need is half and half, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla—and an ice cream maker. We got our ice cream maker off of Amazon and LOVE it!

VANILLA ICE CREAM
  • 3 c. half and half
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In large pot over medium heat, combine half and half and vanilla bean and bring to a simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain half and half mixture and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth. To temper eggs, carefully whisk about 1 cup of the hot half and half into egg mixture until smooth. Then whisk egg mixture back into the half and half mixture in the pot. Return to medium-low heat and cook to 170 degrees F, constantly stirring along bottom of pot to ensure even cooking. Once temperature has reached 170 degrees F, remove from heat and strain through fine-mesh strainer into bowl. In the same bowl, cool ice cream base to room temperature in an ice bath, then pop base into the fridge to fully chill, at least 2 hours.
  3. Once base is chilled, process in an ice cream maker. When it’s somewhere between soft serve and ice cream from the freezer, transfer ice cream to container and freeze until firm.

While the ice cream is setting in the freezer its time to start your Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl!

(I forgot to take pictures of the ice cream process)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl recipe: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. …
  3. Instead of pulling out your cookie sheets, you will need a cupcake pan or a muffin pan.
  4. Flip over the pan, and start to form the cookie dough over the cupcake mold. (see picture below for reference)
  5. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool down for about 5-8 minutes so the cookie bowl mold sets and doesn’t fall apart

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While the cookie molds are setting, its time to work on your fresh Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup

Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream and maple syrup. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.

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and Volia! Your 3 main ingredients are done, now its time to take your vanilla ice cream and fill up the chocolate chip cookie bowl and top it off with fresh handmade maple whipped cream, just add sprinkles and a cherry and you now have a delicious homemade dessert!

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