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!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

 

Urban Hippie : The Evolution

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As most of you know, Urban Hippie, was a name/brand that I came up with back in May of 2009, holy smokes! That was 10 YEARS ago! In Providence in the tiny state of Rhode Island. I was a college senior that was looking for an easy A in one of my business classes and as the tale has been told over the past decade, I was sitting in a class room thinking of something that is “unique and describes you” and that’s when and where Urban Hippie was born, however, Urban Hippie was originally just a tee shirt line.

As my passion for design started to spin off its axes that is when Urban Hippie evolved from unique tee shirt designs to, bath essentials. This girl loves a relaxing bath so of course creating bath bombs and aromatherapy candles came into play.

Then in 2014, I purchased my first home with my soon to be husband and that is when home decor came into the picture. I was being gifted every antique/vintage and straight up pieces of “junk” that didn’t go in other people’s homes so of course since I just purchased a house I certainty needed it more than anyone else, even though none of the pieces complemented each other.

So what does a person that has a passion for design and refurbishment do?… we research and then we paint! We paint all the things. I started to work on my first piece of home decor for myself and my empty home but then soon after I would be getting messages and phone calls from other people that have a piece that they love and can not part with or they want to keep but it just does not go with their design motive or theme of the room. I started evolving Urban Hippie from a tee shirt brand to a lifestyle brand.

I absolutely love being able to assist people with updating pieces that were given to them by family members/friends or being able to breathe new life into a dresser that looked like it was on its last leg or even more, I love creating custom pieces that are never before seen and was just a thought in my clients head.  My joy really comes from people’s inquiries and their excitement on their new retiqued pieces.

Urban Hippie has the capability to really do it all, tee shirts, aromatherapy candles, bath bombs, refurbished furniture, and stationary. Hey, I may even be able to remodel your kitchen if you are interested in having me. I have a hard time saying “no”, especially to projects.

Come follow along with the many things Urban Hippie does, follow us on Instagram @UrbanHippieCT  

Mirror Mirror…

One of my favorite DIY is turning a typical ordinary mirror into a work of art!

I love the idea of a mirror as an accent above my dry bar so I added some chalk paint “Cheers” and made it look not so odd to have a mirror so high up.

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Really all I did was grab a chalk marker that I found at my local craft store for $5.00 and practiced how I wanted the word “Cheers” to look and then took a leap of faith and wrote it on the mirror.

DON’T worry if you mess up, just take a little Windex and water and the chalk will come off as easy as 1 2 3. Let dry, and try again!

I am such a fan of dolling up mirrors and even old windows with chalk paint, I even created one for my sister’s waxing business so she can add her services on it! It’s really the perfect and easiest DIY.

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To do a window or glass it’s probably the easiest DIY to do because you can type of whatever you want to write on the mirror/glass tape it on the back and take your chalk pen/marker and just trace the letters from the printed page taped on the back and than Voila! You are now ready to hang a unique piece of art that you created yourself!

All from an Idea…

Have you ever gotten an idea and thought to yourself, I can totally do this and actually went through with it!.. Well that’s exactly what happened to me!

One day, I was downstairs in my basement and I was thinking to myself, what can I do with all these old vintage windows?! We made a greenhouse out of some and also made an awesome window wall decor out of another but truthfully how many windows am I going to display in my house? So this idea came out of nowhere and I thought, Shadow Box! I loved the idea of having a shadow box coffee table, one because its a unique idea and two because I babysit my two year old niece occasionally and she LOVES when there is anything on my coffee table so she can play with it. As much as I am the “cool” aunt and let her get away with murder, I don’t necessarily want anything to get broken. So I thought to myself, if I can display everything that I normally would ON the coffee table why don’t I do it IN the coffee table so the knick knacks and pictures don’t somehow end up broken and truthfully it adds a little something something to it if you ask me.

I started this project like I do with a lot of them, ran the idea over with my fiance, not because he rules what I do, but because, I have some wacky ideas and sometimes I need someone to pull the reigns on me. Well after I explained and drew up my idea, he thought it was an amazing idea, Whew! Luckily for me, his uncle owns a carpentry shop and that left over wood needs to go somewhere! I told my fiance the dimensions of the wood I needed and he picked up some amazing mahogany wood pieces cut to the size I needed (they had to be custom since the windows are vintage and the dimensions aren’t necessarily common)

I began this project by putting together the frame of the table itself with the mahogany wood, I went to my local Home Depot and picked up “L” brackets to secure it all together. Once the frame was created, I than began to screw wood to the bottom of the table onto the frame itself.

As you can imagine this is now sorta looking like a wooden stage (when flipped around). I bought these awesome wooden legs from Home Depot that gave the coffee table the perfect height, drilled the hole and screwed them onto the wooden bottom. Now that the wood frame and leg part is completed its time for the staining!

While the staining was drying, I started my work on the window. The window was so weathered and the existing paint that was previously on it was all chipped, I started to sand it down by hand (I didn’t want to use a sander for the fear that it would be too much power on a window) Once it was all sanded I wiped it down and began to paint it antique white, I added some gold embellishments on the window frame for a vintage feel and added a turquoise distressed handle to complete the overall look I was going for.

I secured the vintage window on top of the wooden freshly stained framed, added finishing gloss all over and then buffed it complete.

Now this gorgeous, one of a kind Shadow Box Coffee Table has be completed, its ready for its new home, because as I mentioned earlier, how many windows am I going to display in my house?

If you are interested in this piece or any other piece you can purchase them directly on the website!

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Upcycling is the same as new, right?

I have been interested in all things design since I was a youngster. I think when you are able to create something with just an idea and use your imagination and others fall captivate within it that’s true success. So many times I would create or redesign something and not think much of it and then I would get a complement and then I would think to myself why don’t I show off more things. I had the passion to design tee shirts back in 2009 and almost 9 years later I found the same sort of passion within upcycling furniture. I love taking things that people don’t have a need for and toss it out like last nights meatloaf. So many times I have been approached with, “I’m getting rid of this dresser, would you want it” Heck Yes! free furniture, why not!
My first piece I upcycled was my mothers hutch, this hutch was in my family home for about 20 something years, my mother painted it every color under the sun. My mother would always make things “work with what she had” and I believe that’s where I get my eye for redesign, yes its red today but tomorrow I can make it blue and then next Thursday I can change it back to red, oh the possibilities are endless when you just use a little imagination.
I decided to paint this hutch an off white to fit perfectly in my dining room. I have different colors in my living room so I knew I wanted to have a balance with some pieces I put in there. I love golds, reds, and greens but I did not want to make this hutch or my living room for that matter a scene from Mr and Mrs Clauses North pole home.
Because I am 29 years old and I don’t have the use of a hutch as most do, I decided to convert my hutch into a dry bar, perfect space for my glasses and the storage underneath is perfect to house the bottles.
I have to admit, even though I have had this hutch in my family since I was a tyke, every now and again I will get visitors asking me “where did you get this hutch?!” and I simply have to say, I upcycled it and made it brand new again!

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