I am THE most decisive person I know! It rarely takes me any length of time to make a shopping decision on anything. My personal taste and design sense is clearly defined-- I know what I like and what I want! The first wedding gown that ever caught my attention in the catalog was the first one I tried on and the one I bought. I only continued to try on gowns to appease everyone who told me I would regret not exploring all of my options! My fiancee (now husband) took me along to scope out engagement rings. The jeweler made a comment that I picked out a ring faster than pretty much any other woman he's every worked with!
While this blog mainly features fabulous things for our littles, I also want to include things for us "well styled mamas" from time to time! So tonight I bring you my top gift picks for MAMAS! I am by no means saying that this list is comprehensive or applicable to every woman and mother on planet earth. However, I often find other women liking what I like and I answer questions on a daily basis (literally) about where to find such items! I am a walking, talking, blogging Google search engine for all things fabulous! So tonight I bring you my top gift picks for the Well Styled Mama! (and you can easily send a blog link to your husband for easy, convenient shopping)!
The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer: Dear husbands, if your wife likes to bake and she does not have a KitchenAid stand mixer, she probably wants one. EVEN if you signed a prenuptial agreement that stated that no household appliances could and should ever be bought as a "gift"-- this does not count. If she doesn't have one and she likes to bake, she will LOVE it! Now the hard part is picking the color. Of course she can always exchange it after Christmas for the color she has been dreaming of (make a commitment now to not have your feelings hurt if she wants a different color, this is after all about her), but just the fact that you purchased it will win you some major points! It comes in MANY many colors. You'll need to decide if she'd rather have her favorite color or one that matches well with her kitchen-- if one color solves both, then you've got yourself a winner! If the price tag is too much to handle, think about all of the cookies and confections she will make for you with her new mixer!
Williams Sonoma Hot Cocoa Pot: I posted a picture of this Hot Cocoa pot today and it got so many likes, I know lots of mamas would be delighted with this come Christmas morning. Besides the fact that it has an electric whisk and the pot can be used on the stove OR in the microwave, it looks cute out on the counter or on top of the stove just as decoration! Plus, you can rest assured knowing that Williams Sonoma makes high quality, top notch products!
Anthropologie Dish Towels: I know it's hard for some husbands to understand how a dish towel can make a woman's heart go pitter patter, but. they. just do. These are not dishtowels for using, they are simply for the impractical (though highly decorative) purpose of displaying on the oven handles of our double ovens and make us happy each and every time we look at them. Don't get TOO excited about the price point, these are good stocking stuffers, AWESOME gifts for hostesses, friends and White Elephant gift exchanges!
Poppy Tree Frames: I have several of these frames and they are GORGEOUS! The craftsmanship is top notch, they are unique and beautiful! Fully customizable, you can choose color(s), size, glass, no glass-- you can even opt to have a chalkboard or mirror put in as well! Plus the mirror and chalkboard inserts are removable if you decide you want to switch it out down the road!
Pencil Shavings Studio (insert swoon here): I have been following Rachel Shingleton, creator of Pencil Shavings Studio for well over a year now. She has a Facebook page as well as an Etsy shop and I am in love with everything she designs! From phone and iPad cases to gorgeous lucite trays and much more, she makes THE perfect little gifts that just make your heart happy!
Throw Blankets: I have a slight obsession and hoarding tendency when it comes to throw blankets. I love a good throw and by good I mean stylish, warm (or a good weight, you need different weights for different times of the year) and above all, I don't want to be wearing the throw (or any part of it) when I'm finished using it! Out of all of my throws, I have many, my two most favorite, most used are from Pottery Barn. I have never been disappointed receiving a throw blanket as a gift. The first time my husband surprised me with a red and cream plaid throw blanket from Target, I was overjoyed that he picked a gift that was very "me"! Places like Marshall's, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods are also great places to pick up luxe throws!
Pajamagram Stewart Plaid Flannel Robe: My husband went out on a limb last year and surprised me with this robe and I L-O-V-E it!!! For the love of all things warm and cozy you NEED this robe! It's the perfect weight not too heavy, not too light and I'm just a sucker for a good preppy plaid. Plus this one reminds me of Christmas. Win Win! If you do order this robe, be sure to order DOWN a size, it runs quite big! (and for all the men vetoing plaid flannel... think of it as sporty...rustic. And always remember, we don't like all of your clothing choices either)!
Ugg Alena Slipper: These are, hands down, the best slippers on the face of the earth- this coming from a woman who wears slippers indoors all day, every day. Who doesn't want super luxe, comfy, cozy slippers?! They are the "highest priority" on my Amazon Wish List-- can someone make sure my husband sees this (I need a size 8)?!
SmartWool Barn Socks: Just having gone through four days of "Icemageddon", I lived in my SmartWool socks! Breathable warm coziness for any time you're not wearing your Ugg slippers!
New Sunnies: While most women will probably want to pick out their own sunglasses, there are a few styles that are generally flattering to most face shapes. If you've ever seriously shopped for designer sunglasses, you know how expensive they CAN be at $300 and up. However, once you've owned a pair of expensive sunglasses and you get used to the quality it's pretty much impossible to go back to a cheap-o pair. Sunglasses are especially tricky once small children enter the picture-- small children who are grabbing for your glasses, insisting on wearing them, or using them to cut molars on OR are consuming every last thinking cell in your brain you cannot possibly remember where your sunglasses are--even if you are wearing them. After "losing" my Prada sunglasses for a good 4 months (later to be found at my husband's office of all places, set aside while chasing a two year old), I finally opted for a new pair of Coach sunglasses as my Mother's Day gift this past year. I like these sunglasses a lot. They're a nice quality pair of glasses but at the lower end of the "designer" spectrum cost-wise. I feel like the Beatrice is a very universally flattering shape and comes in both black and brown. I own the brown Beatrice and I choose them 99% of the time over my now recovered Pradas or Ray Ban Aviators.
Coach Crossbody Swingpack: While we're on the subject of Coach, I'm also adding the Coach Swingpack to my top picks! While I do have some purse brand loyalty where Louis Vuitton is concerned, it's not always the most practical Mama purse. With being a Stay At Home Mom, I find myself in (pocketless yet fashionable) yoga pants a vast majority of the time. Now that my daughter is out of the "baby" stage and I'm not having to tote around everything but the kitchen sink for her, there have been many occasions where I could have really used a crosssbody just to hold my wallet, keys and phone and still be able to keep my hand free. Perfect for the park or any outing where you have a busy and inquisitive toddler on your hands and lugging a purse around is completely impractical!
Coach Legacy Zippy Wallet: If a new purse isn't on your Christmas horizon, a new wallet might just do the trick. This wallet is super durable, has all of the right compartments and is just the right amount of luxury that you're not losing sleep over the baby bottle that spilled all over the diaper bag!
Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel: I have owned a LOT of diaper bags in my three years of parenting! I like to trade them in every year (or month) or so just to try out something new. As I go through the different stages of baby, and now through the toddler years I'm finding the load of what I need to carry for an extra little person getting lighter and lighter-- especially once we crossed the threshold of fully potty trained. For awhile I thought I really didn't need to carry a diaper bag at all until I had a Chickfila ketchup packet explode in my new Louis Vuitton. Enter the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel. I am in LOVE with this bag and it has ended my three year long search for the perfect diaper bag. I'm including it on my top mama picks list because this is the first diaper bag that I've felt really crosses over into the realm of stylish tote bag. If all of my essentials are in the satchel, I don't feel the need to empty all of the contents into a "real" purse before going out kid-free. I feel like the compartments are well thought out. It has the perfect amount of room to keep all of my "stuff" easily accessible with more than enough room for all of the toddler essentials as well. I previously owned a Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack and used the backpack straps a lot when we were traveling, especially in airports. I LOVE the the satchel has backpack straps that are nicely tucked away until you need them, otherwise the regular handles/straps are the perfect length for swinging over the shoulder! There are lots of different colors, patterns and fabrics to choose from. See the full array at www.petunia.com and even check out places like Amazon or other baby retailers.
Expressionery Correspondence Cards: I am in LOVE with these correspondence cards from Expressionery. I have been using this simple, elegant bee motif for quite a few years now. What I love about using correspondence cards is that they are perfect for any occasion. While I still sometimes buy cards specific to an occasion, correspondence cards are universal and work as a thank you card, even a wedding, shower or birthday card-- anything that you'd want to include a personalized note with. I think a set of these cards makes a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a close friend or even a boss or coworker that you might not know all that well-- it always fits the bill! The picture really doesn't do this card justice, it's very pretty and very nice quality in real life.
Expressionery Custom Return Address Stamp: These stamps from Expressionery are one of my most favorite gifts to give! They are a thoughtful and practical and every recipient has loved it as much as me! Lots of templates to choose from online. I used the same stamp for four years and have never had to change the ink pad on it!
STOCKING STUFFER & HOSTESS GIFT IDEAS: Just want to end my list of top picks with a few smaller items that make great Mama stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or other little gifts for the women on your Christmas list!
White Barn Candle Company Fresh Balsam Candle: Sure there are lots of candle scents to choose from, but who doesn't love the smell of a fresh cut evergreen this time of year?! Definitely one of my all-time favorite White Barn scents!
Thymes Frasier Fir Hand Soap and Lotion Set: This is my favorite hand soap and lotion, year round, but especially at this time of year! Anything that comes in this scent is FANTASTIC and the quality of the products is really top notch!
Philosophy Peppermint Stick Lip Gloss and Body Wash: Philosophy is most definitely one of my all time favorite brands. Their Christmas and holiday scented items are always a big hit!
Williams Sonoma Dish Cloths and Towels: Williams Sonoma makes THE best most practical dish towels and cloths. They are super absorbent and look like new wash after wash-- even after years of washing. I'm always excited to receive them as gifts. They are great by themselves or included as a little extra along with a pretty package of Christmas cookies!