For the past few years I've been assembling some of my favorite things into a holiday gift guide (click here to see the 2008 Gift Guide and click here to see the 2009 Gift Guide). Since I often get questions about this sort of thing, let me answer the million dollar question right now: no, no one paid me to get onto this list (that would be advertising and this is strictly editorial blogging).
This is simply a list of my (current) favorite things. Whenever I have a particularly pleasant buying experience or I find something that I just adore, I make a note of it and then include it this annual post. So while I appreciate all of the requests I receive to be included in this guide, I am a tough customer when it comes to inclusion in the guide. Without further ado, here are this year's favorites:
Enid Harris -- a lover of Buddhism and world religions, Enid designs jewelry that is adornment for the body. They are inspired by the world's religions and spiritual traditions. Each piece is handmade and an original created from select symbols of strength, spirituality and power. Her knowledge and experience as a costume and fashion designer combined with her love of sacred symbols and interest in the world's religions make each piece one-of-a-kind. She uses amulets, talismans, semi-precious stones, rose cut diamonds, images of spiritual icons and other aesthetically complementary elements. The result is a work of art that offers the wearer not only beauty but a sense of empowerment, healing and protection. My favorites are the energy meditation bracelets. Click here to see the entire collection.
Tickle Me Pink Boutique -- I bought a friend of mine a collage necklace from this fun and funky shop and I am still getting thanked for it. This is the perfect shop to find something for that hard to buy for person on your list.
Made By Dina -- I just love the Wish Bracelets offered by this shop. They are inexpensive gifts that are fun and meaningful. Simply tie one of these be-gemmed bracelets on your wrist and make a wish. When the bracelet falls off, the wish will be granted. Hmmmm...like a genie in a bottle, only more fashionable. Click here to see the Wish Bracelet collection.
Progress in Health -- if you're looking for inexpensive all natural mineral makeup and holistic skincare, this is the place to shop. My favorites are the Ultra-Hydrating Mineral Facial Moisturizer with Argan Oil and Mineral Makeup Perfect Match foundation. The customer service is excellent (if you need help with a color match or a product suggestion), the prices are low, and the shipping is speedy.
EnerChi -- think Energy Muse without the high price tag. I love the energy enhanced intention jewelry in this store and the packaging that the items come in is the nicest I've ever seen (and environmentally-friendly too).
Every Eskimo -- this ecclectic little shop has a wide variety of off-beat and seriously cool items, but my favorites are the hand-stitched critters . I have a bunch hidden in various places in my office and they never fail to make me smile when I see them.
Eco Chic -- imagine living in Costa Rica part-time, living on a sustainable farm and riding your horse to work...That's what the life of the Eco Chic shop owner is like. Her eco fashions are stylish, functional, and downright cool. Check out the collection here .
I could list so many more, but for the sake of space, I won't. All I can say is -- check out Etsy.com !
I also highly recommend the fabulous audio programs from Sounds True and the downloadable media from One Taste . And if you want to give someone a gift of a year's worth of yoga without having to leave the house, check out MyYogaOnline.com and their yearly subscription, which averages under $10/month.
Okay, that's it for this year. Now go forth and buy goodies for your friends and loved ones (or maybe yourself).