(Click on pix to enlarge. Almost everything on here I’ve picked up at amazon.com)

We all have those individuals who are a little hard to shop for. I’m tossing out some ideas for you to give you options that are different but good!

Chocolate. Life is too short to eat or drink cheap chocolate! You owe it to yourself if you are buying for yourself!

GODIVA.COM (amazon.com has great choices, especially those not available on Godiva) – hot cocoa, cookies, truffles, bars, Belgian chocolate:

CHOCOLATE TEAS: If you’ve never tasted chocolate tea, you have no idea the amazing taste you’re missing, especially the Republic of Tea’s Strawberry Chocolate! All of these are wonderful.

CHOCOLATE COFFEE AND HOT COCOA OPTIONS:

FACIAL ROSE WATER: A few years ago I was reading an article about Santa Maria Novella (US option; just do address without US for language choices): Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. First founded in 1221 in Florence by the Dominican Friars who started making herbal remedies and potions to use in the monastery. Their reputation became world renowned and the pharmacy, sponsored by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, opened to the public in 1612. It is still in existence!

One of the things they are famous for is their Rose water. It is like a toner and a refresher. In the heat of summer, I put it in the refrigerator then use a cotton pad to wipe my face. The beautiful bottle comes in a beautiful heavy linen box. It is a bit pricey (the 16 oz is out of stock) so I am giving you three other options I discovered on Amazon that are just as delicious! I’ve used them all and can’t really tell a difference. If you put “rose water” in the Amazon search you will find many different options available in different prices.

LUXURY COTTON PADS: For the makeup addict, the higher end cotton pads are worth the price (Chanel). The other choices (best prices) are mostly from Japan on ebay (well worth the 10-15 day wait but not before Christmas). Check it out though because several stateside sellers offer the Cle De Peau Beaute and other Sheshido cotton pads. Several department stores and Amazon offer them. Google. I’ve used them all and they are great for a variety of uses! You’ll never go back to cheap cotton pads.

GLASS DRINKING BOTTLES: For your health addict, water is much colder in glass bottles rather than plastic. I use the first option, the Aquassana. Purchase the slip on covers, too, because they help keep you from dropping the bottle! The second option you don’t have to keep track of the lid and they come with a cover. Wish I’d seen them first (smile). All amazon:

INFUSION PITCHERS: Another wonderful healthy option – a water diffuser pitcher (and bottle)! I love using mine with cucumber or strawberries, oranges, and lemon slices. For those of you who say you don’t like water, this is a great pitcher/bottle to flavor it for you. Another Amazon purchase!

FOR SOMEONE WHO JOURNALS: Get them top of the line paper products! The pen glides across the silky paper.

clairefontaine notebook ebay
Clairefontaine Journal

Clairfontaine has the best notebooks and journals. Clairefontaine is a French paper manufacturer. The Clairefontaine mill has been making paper since 1858, and notebooks since 1890. The company is best known for making the first school notebooks in France. Clairefontaine notebooks feature a perfect satin finish for maximum smoothness in writing. It’s bright, silky smooth, and well-behaved with every ink. No feathering or bleed-through. Show-through is very faint on the back of the pages. The paper is described as 90 g/m^2 weight with acid-free properties. Sketch and drawing pads, coloring books, craft papers and high quality gift wrap are also available from Clairefontaine and Exaclair. I find the best prices on Amazon and ebay, along with iPen store (when they have a good sale).

Eccolo Notebook Journal
Eccolo Notebook Journal

Eccolo is another brand I love. They have the BEST covers with realistic faux leather along with some that are real Italian leather. It is the sayings on the cover that do it for me although the paper is also acid-free and silky smooth.

And a few things around the internet – Etsy, Amazon, Overstock, Italian Fine Linens – Google them

AND NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A TIN OF HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS COOKIES!

christmas cookies

Merry Christmas! Thank you for allowing me to share some of my favorite things with you!

jesus season ball