Quirky holiday gift guide

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love Christmas. So much so that I have a few gift guides lined up for your shopping pleasure. To kick off the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken the liberty of curating a super fun list of quirky Christmas gifts from one of my favorite online stores, UncommonGoods. It was hard to narrow it down to ten items, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

BTW, I love it when a store I’m obsessed with is kind enough to sponsor a post like this by allowing me to choose a few items from my wishlist to keep! While I may have received free products to write this post, all opinions are my own. Additionally, product links are likely affiliate links, which may earn me a small commission to help keep my cheese drawer fully stocked. 

Quirky Gift Guide - 10 items from UncommonGoods that everyone should have

Gifts for foodies (and cheese lovers)

Gifts for foodies: Boska Portable Cheese Melt Utensil $25

Guys. GUYS. YOU GUYS. This cheese melty raclette device has been on my wishlist since I saw them in a gif last year or the year before. I can’t be trusted to remember these things. Anyways, Brian was too busy buying me a Le Creuset and a magic sparkle skirt last year to pick one of these up for Christmas, but now I have one, and it is everything! Melty cheese for everyone!

Gifts for foodies: serving palette with bowls $35

I also love throwing shindigs. And when I saw this fun palette platter, I knew it had to be mine. Think of all the tiny things you can put in the little bowls! Olives, fig jam, tapenades, fruit spreads, butter, CREAM CHEESE, dips, cheese spreads. God. The possibilities are endless for a kitchen artiste like me — or you, for that matter.

Gifts for foodies: molecular gastronomy kit $49

Another foodie gift on my list from last year, I have been dying to try this molecular gastronomy kit since I saw it on the suggested wishlist items from Draw Names. It comes with 4 different food additives (5 of each) that you can play with to make creative foodie dishes that will at the very least impress your husband because SCIENCE! I can’t wait to show you what I make with it!

Gifts to stock the bar

seven deadly sins glasses $72

I LOVE these glasses. I don’t own them yet, but (ahem, Brian) they are on my Christmas list. The seven deadly sins on rock glasses with fun little cartoon devils. I don’t know why I love these so much, but I do. They’re the most expensive item on this list, but glassware is expensive, you guys. And these are too fun! They also have matching pilsner glasses. Or personalizable sin glasses.

gifts to stock the bar: woven wine tote and glass holder $40

So this summer, my bestie Ally and I went to an Alannis Morissette concert at a park. The park allows you to bring your own food, drinks, etc. It’s like a magical concert picnic of joy. People get super swanky and bring candelabras and stuff. The biggest problem we encountered, though? Not having anything to hold our wine glasses! Which is where this picnic saver comes in handy. Six wine glasses in a caddy that holds your bottle of wine and your glasses. Like magic.

gifts to stock the bar: beer caddy with bottle opener $45

This is on the list of things I’m going to get Brian. He likes to bring a collection of rando ciders when we go to parties, but he never has a six-pack holder to carry them. This super nice wooden crate is perfect for those occasions, and — bonus — it comes with a bottle opener!

Fun gifts and stocking stuffers

UncommonGoods also has a number of super bragworthy smaller gifts perfect for filling stockings or rounding out bigger gifts.

fun gift ideas: balloon dog nightlight $25

These balloon dog nightlights probably won’t fit in a stocking, but they are SO FUN LOOKING. I would love to have or two of these hanging around my house. Because unlike real balloon animals, these will never deflate on you!

fun gift ideas: f bomb paperweight $45

 

This f-bomb paperweight is sure to weigh down someone’s stocking, but you know it’ll be worth it. Come on…you know you want to drop an f-bomb in someone’s stocking. It even looks a little like coal for a double whammy of fun. Fun fact: They also have an A-hole paperweight. You know. For the matched set.

gifts for bookworms: pride and prejudice scarf $48

Scarves are also on my list of things you can never have too many of…especially when they have text from your all-time-favorite novel! I am so thrilled to have this magical Pride and Prejudice scarf in my life, you guys. Anyone who loves a good book and a cozy scarf will probably love one of these too!

stocking stuffers: yogi joes $25

My personal favorite stocking stuffers (hint, hint Brian) are these adorable yoga Joes. Forget tiny army dudes, these yogis are all the rage.

A couple of other fun tidbits about shopping with UncommonGoods: Their mission is to provide a space for artists and creative designers to showcase their products. Half of the items they sell are handmade and 1/3 of the items are created with recycled and/or upcycled materials. Their customer service is top-notch — they’ve received awards for it for the last ten years. Customer service is SO important to me that I will quit a brand I love if their CS isn’t up to snuff when I need it.

So go take a gander at UncommonGoods, and let me know what else is on your list!

Looking for more gift list ideas? Consider one of these bad boys.

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guide

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

All I Want for Christmas is You? A Random and Ridiculous Christmas Wishlist

Okay. That’s a total lie. But this is the 2013 Christmas list of things you should buy for the people you love.

Last year, I offered you my Christmas wishlist and I didn’t get ANYTHING from it, BRIAN. But I did get a Keurig. And it was wonderful. And just this morning I was obsessively organizing all of my K-cups like a good little OCD gal. So it all worked out in the end.

This year, I’m not putting out a Christmas list for myself…except for the toy dinosaurs.

Because there’s really not a lot that I need, and very little that I want, I thought it would be fun to offer a list of things that we can all appreciate. And that you should want too. Because the following items are awesome. Or I really like the person who makes them and am sharing their awesome with you. Or both. Obviously.

OKAY FINE. Aside from the dinosaurs… this list of gifts comes from people I know and love.

If you’re Brian, you’ve been redirected here because I don’t want you to see your Christmas present. Obviously.

Oh and on a side note, for those of you waiting patiently for a Christmas card from Brian and I…there’s been some sickness going around that has deterred us from a proper photoshoot, so they will be coming closer to Christmas time. That also means if you haven’t e-mailed me your address, you can still get a Christmas card (and possibly a surprise Scrabble ornament) from yours truly.

The Random and Ridiculous Christmas Wishlist

Because you know you want this stuff!

Toy Dinosaurs

OK, this one isn’t for you. It’s for me. I really want a bunch of toy dinosaurs of varying sizes. Please don’t ask me why. I don’t want you to steal my brilliant idea. And I do have. A. Brilliant. Idea. Trust me on this one.

Anything from Dome Life Studios

Lillian Connelly makes whimsical jewelry, original paintings and prints, and so much more! Below, you can see yours truly modeling one of the unique and beautiful necklaces. You want her stuff. You know you do.

Cool Wall Art

Simply Shelli is a new Etsy seller with this really cool hand painted wall art. Ok, and she’s my college Mama.

Wonderful World

Fancy Pants Quilts

Nicole Maroon, The Girl Who Quilts offers unique and beautiful handmade quilts, pillows and bags on her Etsy store. You’ll seriously love them.

The girl who quilts

Random Gifts for Everyone!

I couldn’t have a wishlist post without sharing my own Zazzle store…where you can find Brian’s art. And silly things I say. All in one place. There are new items coming this week, so check back later as well!

I feel bitchy tee shirt Imagination Takes Flight

Do you have a small business online? Etsy? Zazzle? Deviant Art? Share it in the comments section!

What do you think Blog Friends? Cool stuff right?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Fill Your Own Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

Confession: I originally wrote this a few years ago when I was working at marketing-esque company as a blogger and copywriter. I’m pulling it from my archives since it’s no longer live on a site and my Pinterest peeps are clicking on the images.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

This weekend, I had a little bit of fun with Christmas crafts. Crafting Christmas ornaments, to be specific. I thought that homemade Christmas ornaments would be just the thing to get you started for the holiday season. (There’s no need to mention that much to the chagrin of my peers, my holiday spirit started 4 weeks ago with holiday music).

Growing up, my mom was all about the holiday crafting. She makes gorgeous wreaths for all of the holidays and seasons, but she would let me help with the Christmas designs. We would also create fun and colorful beaded Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. Though many of them have long since disappeared, they hold a sweet memory in my heart.

The Raw Materials

DIY Ornament materials

Materials to Fill Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

In the spirit of holiday fun, I made six glass ball ornaments with simple items that I had lying around the house. I started with a pile of household materials: Clear glass ball ornaments, buttons, ribbon, Mardi Gras beads, and leftover fabric from Halloween costumes a few years ago. You may have other materials that would also be perfect for this project, so be creative with your ideas. You never know until you try it.

The Christmas Ornaments

Mardis Gras Beaded Ornaments

I made two Christmas ornaments with the Mardi Gras beads, the first a plain colored purple, and the second multicolored with traditional Mardi Gras colors of gold, purple, and green. I really liked both of these, and I loved the way they shimmered in the light. It was really easy to make them too!

For the purple ball, I just guided one strand of uncut beads inside through the small opening. For the multicolor Mardi Gras ball, I cut all three strands, and guided them in together through the opening, cutting the remaining beads off once the ball was filled. I used the scissors to push the beads all the way inside.

Memory-Inspired Ornaments

My next set of Christmas ornaments was in homage to our 2011 Halloween costumes, Poison Ivy and Ras Al Ghul. For those of you who love keepsakes, this is a great way to preserve any fabrics or materials that have meaning to you, whether you are using extra fabric from your wedding gown, a child’s favorite piece of clothing that they’ve outgrown, part of a blanket, or anything else that you can think of. Our family Christmas tree has always been loaded up with keepsake ornaments that didn’t come from Hallmark.

I cut a long strand of gold and black fabric that my boyfriend had used for his Ras Al Ghul costume, and a long strand of green velour fabric that I had used for my Poison Ivy costume, and guided them in the same way I guided the beads in. Again, I used the scissors to push the fabric into the glass balls. I also considered adding little pieces of ivy to the exterior of the green ornament with a hot glue gun to add to the Poison Ivy nostalgia from the costume.

Button-filled Christmas Ornament

The Christmas ornament idea that inspired me to get this ball rolling was the button-filled ornament. I had so much fun picking out the buttons from a huge collection that I came across at a garage sale over the summer. I knew my aunt was big into crafting with buttons, so I thought I might test the waters…

The buttons sat in my room untouched for several months before I finally decided what to do with them. I slid them into the opening of a glass ball ornament for a cute and fun little decoration. This one was probably the most time consuming, considering I had to make sure that the buttons fit, and choose the colors to have a decent variety.

Red & Silver Christmas Ornament

My last ornament, and personal favorite, is the ribbon filled ornament. I used a tinsel cord ribbon and a small thin red sheer cloth ribbon and laced them through the opening in the ball and let them intertwine with themselves throughout the ornament.

The result was a lovely red and silver shimmering ornament. I’ve always loved the red and silver combination of colors, and I think that the multiple mediums made for a cute combination inside the glass.

Overall, I had a great time crafting these Christmas ornaments, and it only took me about an hour to do 6 of them. At 10 minutes per ball, you can easily make a beautiful set to give to someone you love.

Happy crafting!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Brian Shares Saturday: Christmas Gifts, Puppies, Cheese, and Evil Deer

Christmas Gifts

Brian is the hardest person in the world to shop for. Not because he’s picky. Not because he doesn’t need or want anything. Not because he only likes expensive things. No. Because he freakin’ buys whatever the hell he wants, even if it’s just days or weeks before Christmas or his birthday. Which makes it really hard to get him a present. Last year, he had briefly mentioned something about how cool straight edge razors are. I thought to myself, Yes! The perfect gift idea. Likely useless, but at least it’s cool and he’ll be excited about it.

Last November he went and bought this, which he’s used once and is now merely decor in our bathroom:

 

Straight Edge Razor Christmas Gift

Yep, just sitting in our bathroom. Unused. Collecting dust that I have to clean…eventually.

Which is why I thought it was funny when he sent me this Christmas meme:

first world problems Christmas meme

Of course, I put the kabosh on him being allowed to buy anything for himself this year from November until Christmas by insisting that we get an apartment. (And then we needed all of this big stuff (Couch, dining table, chairs, TV, coffee tables, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff), so he couldn’t buy other stuff. Sneaky, right?)

I’ve got an excellent Christmas present already bought and triple wrapped. (I’m sneaky like that.)

But he keeps telling me that he already knows what he’s getting me. And my anxiety of him not making purchases until the last possible minute is rising. So when I asked him what he was getting me, and he said he wasn’t telling, I asked if it was bigger than a bread box. And he said… it IS a bread box.

This bread box. Except that it is sold out. And no packages have arrived at the door with his name on them. And I am suspicious that it is not a bread box. In fact I think that I already know what I am getting…He’s sneaky like that. But if he needs some stocking stuffer ideas, he can always check out my Christmas Letter to Santa.

Gratuitous Puppy Picture

gratuitous puppy picture

Brian sent me this when I was in major back pain this week. So of course, I asked if we could get one… (You can learn all about our hunt for the perfect pet in the back issues of Brian Shares Saturday.) His response? “But his head is too big.” I told that our future puppy, Ernest, would grow into his head. (I have a thing for naming animals and potentially children after authors and book characters. Is that bad?)

Cheese

Brian sent me an article that he found on Slashdot about how cheese has been a big part of humanity for 7500 years. I’ll bet in all that time not one human loved cheese as much as me. Maybe a robot, but not a human. Cheese! 7,500 years. That means cheese is historic. Excuse me while I go snack on some havarti.

Evil Deer

I have an unnatural deathly fear of deer. More on that story another day. I promise. But Brian thought it would be funny (READ: start a fight) to show me some pictures of deer that are even more evil than I originally feared. I’m sorry dear Blog Lovers, but I can’t bear to post the actual pictures of said evil vampire-esque deer… but I can link you to the original evil deer picture that Brian sent me. And the subsequent pictures that ensured he would never have another home cooked roast beef in our kitchen again. It was very mean, knowing how scared I am of deer to show unsuspecting me these horrifying pictures.

Vengeance will be mine.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!