Tag Archives: linnea’s lights

get gifting: cheap thrills

(Also known as the “under $30” guide). Because most of us have the highest of ambitions but the lowest of budgets, my list of cheap thrills for the holidays is here to help you keep that holiday credit card balance in check. Turns out, it actually is possible to give a thrill-inducing gift and stay under budget – who knew?

  1. Totally invigorating in the morning, and not the least bit girly. Anthony Logistics eucalyptus + mint shower gel for men, $18
  2. Who can’t use another tote? This one has the added bonus of a cross-body strap and a stylish, not-too-sweet graphic. And it’s made by a dear friend of mine! Chrysanthemum tote, Westmama Designs, $29
  3. West Elm has a bevy of beautiful throws this season, but this one’s cuddly soft and comes in a rainbow of hues. Add your favorite paperback of the year, and give her an excuse to snuggle up. “Favorite” throw, West Elm, $29 (on sale for $19!)
  4. I never seem to have enough cosmetic bags to throw into handbags, carry-ons and totes. This one reminds me of Chanel, but won’t make me cry when my lip gloss leaks. LeSportSac “Kevyn” cosmetic case, $25
  5. If there’s a teen or tween girl on your list, I promise you, this is the gift to get her. Absolutely every color under the sun…so you can prove to her there’s more to makeup than piles of black eyeliner. Expert Mega Palette, Avon, $30
  6. Bargain gifts for men are hard to come by, but this watch is infinitely more handsome than its pricetag allows for – I especially love the webbed strap, which gives it an urban edge. Military style canvas strap watch, Avon, $15
  7. I’m basically obsessed with this stuff – it’s become my savior during these dry, windy winter days. Trust me, she’ll be addicted too. Blood orange body balm, McEvoy Ranch, $22
  8. Chocolates are always a great bargain go-to, and these have a fun twist. Each flavor is modeled after a bigger, badder (much more caloric) dessert. Red velvet cake truffle, anyone? Ultimate Dessert Truffles, Godiva, $25
  9. A classic holiday scent that’s festive, but not cloying. And I always love the packaging from Linnea’s Lights! Pumpkin soy candle, Linnea’s Lights, $21
  10. Okay, this one’s a smidge over budget. But you get six single-glass bottles of wine for that price, custom grouped by region or selected by master chefs. For a budding oenophile, it doesn’t get any better. Mario Batali Selection 6-bottle wine sampler, Tasting Room, $33 (looks like you save $10 by signing up for their mailing list!)
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get gifting: martha’s apprentice

if your friend can always be counted on to arrive at the party toting an immaculate 3-layer cake, if you envy her impeccable housekeeping every time you stop by, and if you’re still secretly hoping for an invite to her home for the holidays, you have a martha’s apprentice on your hands.  but never fear: they’re easy to gift!  show up with anything that will make her perfect little haven even the tiniest bit more idyllic, and you’re sure to please.

(incidentally, these ideas all make excellent hostess gifts as well…in case you’re tired of showing up with flowers or wine to every holiday fete you attend.)


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left to right, from top: burn candle in asian pear persimmon, $35; ren holiday duo in grapefruit, $45 (love that gorgeous chinoiserie wallpaper on the box!); home pillow by committee for the rug company, $775; new york parties: private views, $35; organic bay leaf and rosemary wreath, $70; linnea’s lights candle in winter, $29; john derian walled city decoupage tray, $110; hand-painted vase by paulova, $75; crafting a meaningful home – meg mateo ilasco, $17; simple times: crafts for poor people – amy sedaris, $15.

{FTC disclaimer: some product samples were provided to help me compile this guide, but as usual, there’s no pay-for-play here.}

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shopping for a cause: autism awareness month

with earth day getting all the press in april, i thought most of you might not even know it’s also autism awareness month.  but with as many as 1 in 110 kids now being diagnosed with some degree of autism (see more depressing stats on the CDC’s website), it’s worth paying attention to.  i was lucky enough to get a little care package and some information about what’s going on to raise money for autism this month, and thought i’d share a couple of my favorites.

when i first saw these tees, if i’m being honest, the charitable aspect was just icing on the cake.  i fell hard for that beautiful graphic – so colorful and fun, but still hip.  designed by kyle westphal (the namesake of kyle’s treehouse, a wonderful nonprofit founded by kyle’s parents and dedicated to providing information about autism) and artist jessie rose vala (and printed on my favorite alternative apparel slub tees!), they’re absolutely beautiful in person…especially that grey with the beautiful blue mountains.  each tee is hand-screened, so it’s totally unique (mine has some pink and green in the mountains, it’s so pretty). i’ve been wearing mine nonstop since it arrived. it’s perfect with boyfriend jeans and a leather blazer.   pick one up for $30, and 100% of the proceeds from these hip tees goes straight to kyle’s treehouse.

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much like those tees, i would have had to tell you about these candles even if they weren’t donating 10% of their proceeds to autism awareness this month.  fortunately, they are, which makes it even easier.  you all know i see a fair number of candles these days, so it takes a bit to impress me.  but linnea’s lights managed it.  these burn better than some candles that i’ve spent more than twice the money on (they’re only $29, a serious bargain in the world of luxe candles).  i haven’t tested the whole line, but i can say their magnolia fragrance is my new favorite candle, hands down.  they’ve taken the magnolia scent i utterly adore, and added a touch of citrus to keep it from being overpowering.  it’s fabulous, and the perfect scent for spring.  plus, yes, i love the little matchbox that comes with every candle.

and then, of course, there’s always the old-fashioned way to help:  a quick $5 or $10 donation here (or here, or here) makes a bigger difference than you think.  but mostly, i think the thing is to just be aware that it’s a real problem, badly in need of a solution.

okay, off my “very serious soapbox” now….happy monday, everyone!

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