Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekend Update ::: Foodie Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

Photos: Silpat, Poptions Popcorn, Pearls and Coffee Blog, 
Bed Bath and Beyond, Foodie, Vosges, Product of GIR

We're yet another week closer to Christmas and the New Year, and with that, you're likely looking for your last minute stocking stuffers and little foodie-friendly gifts.  Let's close out this week with the final installment of my top gift picks for one and all! 

For the ones that spend their free time surfin' for recipes or checking out the newest food hot spot, or let's face it, everyone, because food is good:

1::: My mother in law has relied on her Silpats for years. They are the workhorse of any baker's kitchen and rightfully so. Nothin' sticks to a Silpat!  

2::: Poptions Popcorn here in St. Louis makes some of the most incredible "gourmet" popcorn flavors. I love the Over the Top and Monkey Nuts flavors, but their cheese options are equally fantastic.

3::: The perfect breakfast for any sweets lover (ME!) is a gooey butter cake from Park Avenue Coffee. I know Imo's (also a good gift for your homesick friend!) calls their pizza the "square beyond compare", but this cake might seriously be what I call the square beyond compare!

4::: Who doesn't love a good french fry or toasted ravioli? A crazy person, that's who.  The T-Fal Actifry can fry up a whole batch on the tiniest amount of oil, for a healthier batch. I have been debating picking one up for us and making a bunch of fries and the like for New Year's Eve this year.

5::: For the foodhounds that loves to try new places, check out the Foodie deck. It benefits a fantastic charitable organization, and you get 52 gift cards to try out new places around the St. Louis area, or revisit old favorites. Not a fan of heading out to far West County? Swap those cards with a friend and stay closer to your neighborhoods.  Not in St. Louis?  Foodie also has decks for Kansas City, Charlotte, Nashville, San Francisco, Cleveland and Indianapolis, and each deck benefits it's own local charity. 

6::: Can't live without exquisite chocolate? Vosges Haut Chocolate has you covered. From their incredible range of chocolate their their truffle are sure to find a selection that blows you away. I am kind of "banned" from this place, and my husband has to physically restrain me and or remove all methods of payment if I get past him or I will seriously buy everything in the place.  My favorites are the Red Fire Bar, the Wooloomooloo Bar (which is either no longer around or seasonal), Black Salt Caramel Bar, the Bapchi's Toffee Bar,  the Aztec Elixir, the Wink of the Rabbit Caramels, the Peanut Butter Bon Bons (best. peanut butter cup. ever.) and the Caramel Marshmallows

I've been a fan of this brand for, like, as long as they've been around, and can vividly remember the first time I got their items from their Vegas store in Caesar's Palace, after having only gotten them at that point online. My husband and I were literally two fat kids in a candy store. They used to have these amazing little miniature cakes, too, back in the beginning, and I am so sad they're gone. My husband and I shared one or two back at early anniversaries and I remember when they got delivered at my office where I had them shipped, god like 7 years ago or something now, my coworkers and I were seriously dying over them. We actually ate the lemony-white chocolate one there, because my husband doesn't do fruit with cakes, but I remember he and I having a fork-war over the chocolate one! Ah, the good old days.

7::: The Ultimate Spatula is a fantastic kitchen tool that holds up to heat well, cleans well, and comes in a gazillion colors.  I use these spatulas in place of plastic spoons for sauteing and stirring, and often will set them on the side of a pot which in the past has "lost" me more than a few utensils. These don't melt or warp at all and they don't stain. In full disclosure: I was a backer of their Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to expand their line into more sizes. I own one of the original, so when I saw the Kickstarter, which had fantastic rewards, I was all over it, and I use the additional sizes just as much as the original. 

Photos: Shamelessly stolen from Well-Kept's Facebook Page, 
Eos, Pinch Provisions, Flight001, Leatherman, Vera Bradley, 
Bicycle Playing Cards, O-Venture, Baggu, Mane Message, Poppin

You've got everything wrapped and under the tree, but you need just a little something for their stocking? 

8::: Anyone attached to smart device would benefit from a few packs of device wipes!  I posted a few weeks back about device wipes, and how dirty our phones and tablets get, and anyone regularly using them knows that it happens so quickly. In that aforeblogged post, I put two brands head to head, and the new victor, Well-Kept, has supplanted my long-time standby.  Recently, Well-Kept wipes found their way into J.Crew stores (and online) nationwide, for those who would rather stop in and pick up a few packs versus ordering online. J.Crew has been cranking out some killer discount codes lately, so you could always get a steal on a few packs that way, too! 

Sidebar: Tell me that image I totally stole from the Well-Kept Facebook page is not friggin' perfect for my theme today!  I hope they don't mind my thievery. I deliberately saved them for my Stocking Stuffer list so I could use it.

9::: Eos Lip Balm comes in a variety of flavors and colors, and in a fun little round shape. Don't let it's inexpensive pricepoint and celebrity fans fool you, this is seriously hydrating lip balm with super clean ingredients. My personal favorite is Sweet Mint.

10::: For those of us who could lighten the load of their mobile drugstore, or who would like to outfit their  dudes with a little "self-help" kit, might I recommend a Minimergency Kit from Pinch Provisions?  Available in a ton of arrangements for him and heras well as wedding-specific versions, you're sure to find the perfect kit for anyone on your list. There are also refills for each kit available.

11::: I've mentioned several times this week about various backup batteries or backup charging solutions for smartphones and smart devices. Here's one that works great using the sun as your main power source.  Flight001's Solar Backup is great for travel, and great to keep around just in the event you won't have any other backup power source or don't have a travel adapter and you're outside of your home country. Also rechargeable via USB, when it's gray and dreary and the sun just won't cooperate. 

12::: Just about anyone can benefit from a Leatherman tool. Excellent for self-defense, and great for everyday tasks, like opening those aggravating plastic packages that damn near everything you buy come in now, yknow, the ones that are sealed all around and give you cuts worthy of 40 stitches when you try to pry them open.  Just don't put it in your luggage.

13::: Does she always have a great pair of shades on? Or need to carry a pair of readers in her tote or purse? A bright Vera Bradley Eyeglass Case would safely stow them, and be easy to find in the abyss that becomes of many of our bags! It's a hard case that is still low-profile. 

14::: Perfect for keeping in your carryon for a flight delay or long layover, or keeping around the house for an impromptu game night, this two pack of Bicycle half-width card decks are great for any card shark. Keep 'em around for a pickup game of Nertz!  

15::: Anyone who has every tried to carry in the groceries while fumbling with the keys will be O-verjoyed to receive an O-Ring from O-Venture. I have used mine everyday since I purchased it earlier this Summer, and I get asked every single day "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?!!"  The O-Rings come in an array of bright colors, too, so if you toss them in your purse, you have less of a chance of the darkness swallowing them. The actual ring on the O-Ring is sturdy and easy to open, so it won't screw up your mani. I kinda wish they would sell them separately because I want a few more for other keys! 

16::: Speaking of carrying in groceries...Ever find yourself juggling a few extra things with not enough arms and hands and chests to get them all in? Stowing a few Baggu Bags in your bag or car console will help with that!  Brightly colored, roomy and very sturdy, they'll make quick work of any extra items. I linked to a 3-pack, but every bag comes with it's own individual sleeve for storage, so if you only need one or two, you can choose from any of their zillion colors. 

17::: Any girl with hair long enough to pull back can benefit from a pack of hair ties, and these from Mane Message are cute enough that they can double as a bracelet, where they will always be at the ready.  I purchased a set via Meg Biram's shop recently, and love them. I bet you can guess which color I usually wear.

18::: If you've spent any time around this blog, or my blog's social media outlets, then you know I am a total freak for the Poppin line of brightly colored office supplies. Who wouldn't love a bright orange or aqua stapler?  I have a ridiculous collection of tape dispensers, staplers, trays, clips, notebooks, desk organizers, etc., and my favorite pens around are their Pool Blue and Lime Green clicker pens!  Inside their shipping boxes they have cute little cardboard packers with fun sayings and I may or may not have one or more on my wall. 

What's making it into your stockings or into your snack bowl this season? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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