Christmas Countdown: Favorites from Paisley + Sparrow

Christmas Countdown :: Paisley & Sparrow Favs :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWBI was very lucky this week to offer a giveaway with some pretty extraordinary companies. One of the owners gave me quite a welcomed education on how to gift well. Well in that the gift serves far beyond the recipient. Best part? She doesn’t even realize the impact her shop made on me. But by so carefully crafting her online shop and explaining every item’s PURPOSE, I got a very special reminder of the heart of giving. This one’s for you, Jen!

I’m so delighted to make this introduction, so let’s not waste another minute! Paisley + Sparrow’s shop has a PURPOSE because it has been handcrafted by a survivor of modern day slavery. Owner, Jen Biswas has diligently searched high and low to discover organizations that have “matched her heart for marginalized people,” thus finding the loveliest and most giftable items all curated for your ease and enjoyment. Here are some of my favorite things in her shop:

1. Chevron Gold Necklace $36 | This 22″ charmer would look great with a plain tee on a bold and extroverted gal. Get it for someone who will use it as a conversation piece. It is made by Purpose, whose “jewelry tells a story of hope, strength, and perseverance” in the face of the sex trafficking.

2. Arrow & Copper Wood Journal $22 | Inspire the singer-song writer (or otherwise creative darling) with this intricately carved wood and leather journal by Raven + Lily, who “employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them… a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families”.

3. Jivana Peony Necklace $40 | Another darling option from the Purpose brand that is work and special event ready! “The word Jivana means life in Hindi. This stunning necklace represents new life and a fresh start for young women rescued from modern day slavery.”

4. Acai Tassel Bracelet $26 | This bracelet was handmade by an artisan in Ecuador employed by Faire Collection, a company “founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America.” Give it to your favorite bracelet-stacking girlfriend, because c’mon, who doesn’t love a tassel?

5. Wild Flower & Fern Soap $9 | Hello, soap. Get in my stocking. Also, perfect for office colleagues and babysitters. This vegetable-based shea butter soap makes a lovely little promise: “For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand will donate a bar to help save a child’s life, donate 1 month of clean water to a child in the developing world, and save 50 square feet of rain forest.” Wow.

6. Assefa Scarf $48 | This cotton scarf from the fashionABLE Miriam Collection was handwoven in Ethiopia and named after a woman whose life has been changed because of your purchase. The colors in this scarf tell a story for every season making it perfectly wearable year round. From winter– bare tree branches speckled with new fallen snow, to summer– hunting for shells and rocks on sandy beaches. Nothing like a soft, neutral color palette to keep you cozy.

7. Ashoka Make Up Bag $22 | Another gem from Raven + Lily. This multi-use pouch is made of 100% organic cotton and detailed with the sweetest screen printed pattern. Fill it with favorite desk supplies, toiletries, or other P+S goodies and make this gift into a gift set.

Bonus: If you’re new to Paisley & Sparrow you can take 20% off your order just by signing up for their newsletter. Also, be sure to follow along with @paisleyandsparrow on Instagram for gorgeous photos and encouraging words.

Happy holiday shopping, loves!

But First, Coffee: How to Make Coffee a Legit Gift

Gifting Coffee :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #butfirstcoffee #GWB

A bag of coffee makes a decent gift in a pinch, but add a few more parts and you can give someone a full-on coffee experience. This is what you need:

1. Set of 2 Glass Double Wall Mugs $29.95 | Because you want to see this charming cup of coffee you’ve just crafted  (cheaper option). A set of two also makes your coffee gift set very couple-appropriate (think weddings!).

2. One-Cup Porcelain Pour Over Cone $8.99 | I like it because I don’t have a second cup, or if I do it’s at the office… so I only make a pot when we have company at the house. Plus I was never a barista and so this is how I get my kicks.

3. Sleek, Cordless Stainless Steel Electric Kettle $79.95 | You can totally wait for all eternity if you just can’t do without the shrill whistle of a stove top kettle, or you can press one button on this bad boy and have boiling water ready faster than you can switch your laundry… but still switch your laundry because coming home from work and realizing your clothes having been sitting in the washer all day will give you a serious sad face emoji (cheaper option).

4. 100 Ct. #2 Filters $6.92 | If you’re committed you can save and buy in bulk. But don’t forget to grab a pack of these because you cannot make the coffee without them. Don’t give new meaning to #nofilterfail

5. 12oz. Bag of Brazil Beans by Cafe Kubal $12 | A medium roast from the Mogiana region with peanut and milk chocolate notes = yes. And here’s a decaf option. Kubal is my favorite local coffee shop. If you’re in the greater Syracuse area, check it out. Otherwise, at least they sell online. Also, if you give whole beans, consider whether your giftee has a grinder at home. Often people buy ground coffee or use the grinder at the store, so it’s not a guaranteed appliance.

6. Madagascar Vanilla Powder Shaker $9.99 | You might remember seeing a reference to this several months ago. There is a reason I mentioned it yet again. It. Is. So. Good. (cinnamon option)

Now here are eleven more mug options to check out. Because the truth is that mugs really reflect upon a person and dare I say, tell a potentially revealing story about that person. So if a mug is given as a gift put a little thought into it:

  1. For the endless errand runner
  2. For the serial monogrammer
  3. GOLD ONLY (EVER)
  4. For your cheeky girlfriend
  5. For the so-right-now-ist
  6. For the classic neautralist
  7. For the urban minimalist
  8. For the mason jar-aholic gal (yes, that is a thing)
  9. For the mason jar-aholic guy (yes, also a thing)
  10. For the secret architect
  11. For the not so ordinary

Choose well, friends.

And if you haven’t entered the current GWB giveaway on Instagram, go check it out!

Christmas Countdown: 7 Girlfriend Gifts in Black

Christmas Countdown :: 7 Black Gifts for Girlfriends :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB Two-Tone Sunnies $145 | Black Tassel Clutch $170 | Gold Foil Notebook $16 | iPhone Case $35 | Layered Sweater $88 44 | Classic Sweatshirt $55 | Pom Hat $55 28

For your NYC girlfriend who just doesn’t do color– I’ve got you covered.

If you’re shopping around for the best ever fur pom winter hat, I’d also recommend this similar one from Gap. It just landed on my doorstop last week and has me thinking I may not scoff at the first snow this year… no matter how early it comes.

And even though these Warby Parkers aren’t part of the home try-on program (which I dearly love), I am so smitten with them that I’d bet they are worth the risk!

Kate Spade Secret Sale: Five Finds

Mikas Pond Lacey Wallet :: Kate Spade Surprise Sale :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBJust spotted my wallet on the Kate Spade Secret Sale today and wanted to share with you guys because it’s one of my favorite things (a very special birthday gift) and it’s currently more than half off. Quite a steal. And the most gorgeous shade of pink you’ve ever seen. And if you’re feeling matchy you can grab the passport holder, too.

And while I’m at it I may as well post a few other things in the shop that have caught my eye for your gift-giving inspiration!

Drop Earrings :: Kate Spade Surprise Sale :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBdrop earrings $68 29Southport Avenue Oden :: Kate Spade Surprise Sale :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBsouthport avenue oden $448 179Bamboo Bangle :: Kate Spade Surprise Sale :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBgold bamboo bangle $78 29Baby Bag :: Kate Spade Surprise Sale :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBkennedy park honey baby bag $348 149

These drop earrings have holiday party written all over them (these ones, too if you like a little color).

I have a slightly larger southport bag and it’s my go-to black bag for work. It’s a beautiful pebbled leather– it holds its shape so well for that crisp professional look. This one would be a great holiday gift for a 9-5 gal. Or this one for a more casual feel.

This polished diaper bag would be a total show stopper at any baby shower. And making a new mama feel special is no small thing.

Let me know your favorites once you check it out!

Christmas Countdown: 9 Gifts for the Teen Girl

Christmas Countdown :: 9 Gifts for the Teen Girl :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB Buffalo Check Phone Case $54 | Kate Spade Earring Set $88 | Leather Pouch $19

Gold Headphones $229.99 | Monogram Cuff $39.99 29.99 |Acrylic Frame $28.48

Marquee Letter $13 | Perfume $65 | Art Print $4.95

She’s not so impossible to shop for, right? Well I certainly was from 13 through college. Probably to the point of embarrassment. So here are a few delightfully pretty things to inspire you whether you need a $20 gift for your office intern (try monogramming this pouch) or something super special for your daughter. And whatever you choose, don’t forget to top it with an over-sized velvet bow!

Christmas Countdown: 12 Cozy Sweaters

Christmas Countdown :: 12 Cozy Sweaters :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWBTop: Cream Turtleneck $98 | Pink V $198 | Two Horses $24.99

Middle: Fair Isle Cardigan $198 | Jeweled Neck $158 99.99 | Cream Open $79.95

Bottom: Navy Turtleneck $75 | Cream V $79.90 69.90 | Orange Striped $85 54.99

Here are a dozen sweaters that are all undeniably cozy, easy to wear and ready to be wrapped up in a bow. The great thing about giving a sweater as a gift? It is probably the most likely piece of clothing to fit your recipient without too much guess work. Easy. I have been wearing this one all fall and just received this one as a gift last week. Which one is your favorite?

Update: I found a few more that I couldn’t resist sharing. The layered detail on this one is just darling, and this dot-detailed funnel neck is adorable. And finally… for all my fringe lovers out there… this one will keep you in check, but happy all the same.

Jet Set in Jet Black

Jet Set in Jet Black :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBEye Mask $27 7.99| Nixon Watch $250 | Cashmere Open Sweater $288 172.80 | UGG Slippers $84.95 59.90 | iPad Case $60 | Headphones $279 | Passport Holder $45 | PJs $140 | Water Bottle $21 | Travel Bag $13

After a two-part flight with kiddos earlier this month I am definitely thinking about how to make a trip a little easier to endure. So if you’re traveling far for the holidays make it a cozy and comfortable trip with a few special amenities for the long ride home. Travel gifts are also great for the people you love who regularly hop on a plane for business. Or, if you have an anniversary trip coming up these items are a perfect add to your wishlist along with those tickets to Paris!

This sweater is 30% off with code LAYERUP right now at J. Crew, but if it’s still too pricey try this one or this one for a little less. The water bottle, eye mask and Beats headphones are all on Amazon PRIME.

A Dozen Clutches for Fall

A Dozen Clutches for Fall :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBROW 1: Queenie Clutch $150 | Tassel Pouch $175 105 | Metallic Envelope $139.99

ROW 2: Straw Pouch $128 43.18+ | Justine Clutch $44.95 |Claire- Pane $199 130

ROW 3: Floral Clutch $128 76.80 | Colorblock Clutch $44.95 | Berry Clutch $68

ROW 4: Finn Clutch $195 | Owls Clutch $128 | Bedford Clutch $181.56 90.78

If you’re trying to think of something super special for a gal who loves a sharp, pulled together look, a clutch is a spot on gift. And don’t be afraid of a little color punch. Whether you want to spend $20 or $200 you can find something unique that will stand out in her closet and remind her of incredibly thoughtful friend/sister/mama/(you).

Here are some of my favorites for fall. Which one do I love the most? It’s got to be a tie between this one and this one. Which one do you have your eye on? Tell me in the comments below. Then go knock a name off your holiday list!

Update: I found a few more that I think you’ll love: this one from Anthro for half off, this one on sale at J. Crew, and this sassy Vince Camuto number. Have at it!