Let's start with some of my favorite things I found to give to others:
I'll start with grandparents, since it's almost impossible to think of something they need or don't already have. I found these adorable knitted initial ornaments at Anthropologie: immediately useful, easy to store away with other decorations, but more fun and unique than average.
I took advantage of 20x200 (finally, instead of just browsing for hours) and bought my best friend this print by Katie Baum. It's called Frozen, and captures a freezerfull of bright Mexican popsicles. My friend is a true lover of anything Latin American and Spanish, so I couldn't resist giving her some real art (and I had it real framed).
One of my favorite things is my Moleskine daily planner. Not only does it keep me organized day to day, but it also keeps a record of events... something I can look back on and think: "Oh, that's the day I saw the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!" But, if you're not into planners, there's a Moleskine for everyone. This year I bought my dad the large address book and my musician friend Reuben the pocket music notebook, which has sheet music pages.
For my grandmother it was easy to shop. I just bought something that I desperately would have loved to keep! I got her this popover pan from Williams Sonoma - the unique shape of the cups and the space between them gets the pan hot enough to make those giant puffy rolls.
This is a portable USB turntable. My brother-in-law, Evan, is a recording artist in Nashville and when I heard he didn't have a record player, I knew this was THE gift I had to buy. It can transfer your vinyl into MP3's, it has a headphone jack, it plugs in or runs on batteries, it hooks up to speakers, and it's MINT GREEN. I found this particular color at Urban Outfitters.
For my husband, I decided it was about time he had a real grown-up man coat. This camel topcoat from Banana Republic is tailored and fitted well, great quality, and with all of the holiday sales, it was a fantastic price.
Now for some incredible presents I was lucky enough to receive:
My grandmother knows how much I love to cook (and am trying to improve my skills) so she got me lots of cookbooks. I've really been wanting the one by Rick Bayless - his knowledge of Mexican food is famous and I'm a big fan of Mexican! I haven't cooked from the other yet, but is everyone seeing the cover? Yes, that's a roast chicken in a pot lined with bread. Uhhhh yes.
My mom got me these beautiful glass tumblers from Anthropologie (among many other tabletop items I received after some helpful hinting...)
These salad plates are also from Anthro, but I had been searching for some fun and pretty dessert dishes, and thought these were perfect! They match our yellow, teal and orange fiestaware and blend right in, making a smooth transition from dinner to dessert. I also got the matching mugs because they were too cute to pass up - a little dessert and coffee, anyone?
A surprise addition to this set is this light blue Gurgle pitcher from Heliotrope in Decatur. When you pour the liquid, the pitcher makes a gurgling sound! It's beautiful for serving, as a vase, or for a unique addition on shelves or a bookcase.
I got some great accessories for my birthday as well. The headband is one I featured on the blog a few weeks ago, and Collin remembered I loved this girl's work and got me something! The necklaces are from three of my best friends - great minds think alike! The typewriter key is from Hayley, who got it at Young Blood, and the actual key is a vintage find by my friend Rachel in Athens. The sewing machine necklace is from my girl Allie who lives in NYC, it's adorable! In my opinion, necklaces are extra special gifts for women... I have had some necklaces for years and they always remind me of people I love and special times in my life.
And finally, the best present to buy someone who lives in Atlanta...
A Buckhead Life Restaurant Group Ultimate card! It's good at any of the Buckhead Life owned restaurants (Nava, Chops, Atlanta Fish Market and Veni Vidi Vici, to name a few). During the holidays, the Ultimate card is worth 20% more than you pay for! So, if you're lucky enough to have an awesome dad who will splurge $200 for one, you actually get $240. The gift of food... he knows me so well, haha.
I received so many other gifts that are beautiful and special, but these were a few that I thought would be good inspiration for your gift giving - for birthdays, holidays, or just because you like someone and want to make them feel special - there are lots of ways to give gifts thoughtfully.. a little out of the ordinary. Let's be honest, nobody needs any more sweaters!