Today I’m off to New York City with my aunt!  Going to N Y C during December has been a bucket list item for me for a long, long, long time.  I’ve always dreamed of what it’s like to walk up and down 5th avenue or in Central Park with big coats on, bundled in scarves and beanies, and seeing all the pretty Christmas lights and trees!  I feel like it’ll be the perfect start to my Christmas break!

As Christmas draws near, I wanted to share some ideas about gifting.  I love giving and I’m one of those people who would much rather just give and give without anything in return or any recognition.  I adore getting to pick things out for the people I love and finding items that just seem to fit them and who they are perfectly.  I always like to pay attention to what my friends and family say, maybe they mention something they love that I didn’t know about or something they’ve been wanting or something they’ve always wanted to do.  When you get to know the people around you and start finding and paying attention to what makes them super special, you can find the perfect things for them!  I always want to make whoever is in my life feel valued, important, and incredibly special and I think that giving them small little things is one way I try.

Another way I always try and add a little more meaning to something simple is through cards and notes.  I know that I feel so important to someone else when they’ve taken the time to hand write a card or note for me, there really is something different and unique when you get it handwritten.  I always am stocked on cards for different seasons and even just blank ones so that I can quickly write something and send it to a friend at college or leave one laying around for family or friends here at home.

As I’ve been starting to check off my Christmas shopping list for my friends and family, I thought that I would share some brands and ideas I lean towards during this time of year!

  • Candles – candles are always a favorite and go-to gift for me.  Anthropologie’s candle selection all throughout the year has got to be the best.  They last a long time and always smell incredible.  I think it’s also fun that they are in the most beautiful containers.  After the candle has been burned out, it’s fun to save the container and use it for other things!
  • Scarves – I recently was introduced to the sweetest brand called DeBrosse NYC.  This shop on etsy is owned and run by the cutest girl out of Manhattan.  She knits and crochets beanies and scarves and they help orphaned children in Haiti!  You’ll see me proudly rocking a new DrBrosse beanie and scarf in NYC!  The owner was adorable and even sent me an awesome video on fun ways to wear a blanket scarf so I could have fun wearing hers! 🙂 I’m definitely going to continue giving gifts from her brand because I love supporting other people’s passions and what they have a heart for.
  • Jewelry – I love dainty, special, and unique pieces of jewelry.  This is another area where I have some brands I adore who support other causes and empower women!  My favorites include 31 Bits and UNCVRD jewelry.  These two brands have amazing hearts behind them and I always feel so much happier when I can purchase amazing products that I know help others too.  I found UNCVRD jewelry last winter at a holiday pop up shop and got the most beautiful necklace!  She uses a lot of these exquisite stones in her pieces and they are so unique in their qualities.  31 Bits is a brand I’ve known about for a long time and my first pieces were their little beaded bracelets.  I really like their new holiday collection this year and think it is so fun with the mix of metallic accents and some softer colors!
  • Stationary – I am a total notes girl.  I love a good to-do list, I love putting together plans and schedules, my planner is color coded and I’ve got to have a notebook with me to jot down thoughts or script out a fun quote!  Fun notepads, paper, and planners just add to the excitement of it all!  As I also said earlier, I love cards so you’ve got to know now that I am obsessed with good quality stationary!  One place that is fun to get personalized stationary for the holidays is Minted.  I like Minted because each design is made by different artists or creatives and so you not only get to pick out a fun layout, but you get to see the style and eye behind each different creator!
  • Pictures – Pictures have become incredibly important to me since we started the whole treatment process with Jessie and even more after she earned her wings.  Pictures are memories captured and if you have a favorite picture with those you love I think they can become the perfect gift.  We all carry photos around on our phones and post them all over social media, but I love getting to hold them in person as well.  The tangible quality of a photograph or even more, a polaroid picture, makes the memory all the more real to me!  Artifact Uprising has become my favorite photo company.  I’ve used them to make multiple photo books and I’ve ordered actual prints from them as well.  The quality is amazing.  The card stock they print on has the best weight to it and the prints are so well done, crisp and not fuzzy at all.  I love that they are also connected to my favorite photo editing app VSCO so its super easy online to connect my accounts and bring photos in for easy printing!

Finally, lets talk about wrapping because good wrapping brings it all together!!  I live near a Paper Source and its quite dangerous because they have such fun wrapping paper!  The type of wrapping paper where you buy it by the sheet since it’s handmade.  I love that this Christmas Target is selling Sugar Paper LA brand wrapping paper by the roll too!  This makes it so easy because you get a really cool designer type feel with Target prices!  For cards, I love using Etsy and Instagram to find incredible calligraphers.  Calligraphy, just like each person who does it, is so unique.  Everyone has a different style, just like handwriting.  Some calligraphers have very modern styles and some have a more traditional look!  You can find some really fun cards done by calligraphers and artists on Etsy!

I hope this little guide helps if anyone is still looking for thoughtful gifts throughout Christmastime!! I’d love to hear your ideas for gifts and reviews if you purchase anything from these companies!!!

Also, get ready for a loaded NYC post next week!!

X+O,

Shaya