MAD CHIPMUNK

BEAUTY REVIEWS & VINTAGE FINDS

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Thanksgiving.  I’m excited to share with you my first Holiday Gift Guide.  These are just a few things that I find relatively special.  They bring something positive to my daily life therefore, I can recommend them with confidence as you’re looking to buy gifts this holiday season or perhaps a gift to yourself.  Enjoy!

Harmonia Weighted Blanket

Weighted Blanket

My weighted blanket was the best discovery of the year. It’s a game changer for anyone who is a restless sleeper, suffers from stress and anxiety, insomnia, or finds the weight of blankets at bedtime comforting and protective. They come in many weights and sizes including weights appropriate for children. Some manufacturers recommend choosing the blanket that weighs about 10% of your body weight plus one. I’m someone who loves heavy blankets even in summer so I went for 20 lbs and it’s perfect.  Also, be sure to buy the size that fits on top of the bed and does not hang over the sides. You don’t want the blanket pinning you to the mattress. Numerous brands, materials, and colors available on Amazon.  I chose this one in particular because it came with a duvet. 

Tom Ford Black Orchid

Unisex Fragrance

For a man or woman on your list, consider a unisex fragrance.  Notes like tobacco, vanilla, vetiver, and musk smell wonderfully modern on both sexes. Many Tom Ford fragrances are unisex such as Black Orchid.

Adult Coloring Book

Not just any old coloring book will do. The back of this one contains the quote, “Art Therapy For The Abnormal.”  Whether you consider the person on your list to be normal or abnormal, coloring is therapeutic, relaxing, and fun at any age. I prefer books on the gothic, gruesome side such as this one from Alan Robert but you’ll have no problem finding one that suits the unique interests and tastes of the recipient.

Set of Colored Pencils

Art pencils to be exact. Any artistic person on your list would love a set of quality colored pencils for drawing, coloring, doodling, bullet journaling, etc. Some of my favorite brands and sets include Swiss made Caran D’ache, Derwent (made in the UK), Koh-I-Noor Woodless Pencils (made in the Czech Republic), or classic German-made Faber-Castel. This lovely set from Japan also makes a beautiful gift. Amazon has some good deals, but check your local art supply store for sales or Michael’s with a 40% off code.

Crosley Third Man Records Edition

Crosley Record Player

For the music lover that has expressed an interest in vinyl records, Crosley makes quality players at an affordable price in super cool styles and colors. The sound output is solid and many new models have Bluetooth capability for streaming music as well. Urban Outfitters has a great selection in store or online.

Vinyl Records

I have loved receiving records as presents since grade school and with the resurgence of vinyl, the excitement is back. Nearly every current artist now releases a vinyl album in addition to streaming versions. Urban Outfitters and Amazon also stock numerous remastered pressings of some of the best selling records of all time.

Lush Bath Bomb

Lush Bath Products

Shopping at Lush for bath products for someone special on your list is just as fun as receiving them.  I love roaming the piles of bath bombs, bubble bars, and yummy pots of bath and body products.  The sales staff can be a little aggressive but don’t let that ruin your fun.  Good for all boys and girls that love a good soak in the tub. 

2019 Planner

Planners can be a personal thing but any busy bee will be appreciative.  There are a plethora of pretty planners available at bookstores, craft, and stationery stores.  I’m more of a nuts and bolts type so I go for planners geared toward goal setting and lists.  In 2018, I used the Living Your Best Year Ever goal setting journal by Darren Hardy.  

This planner would be ideal for the person that wants to make significant life changes in 2019 and achieve some big goals.  The beginning of the planner starts with an introspective questionnaire that will help you identify areas in your life that you want to change and set new goals.  It includes a weekly tracker to help you stay on point as well as a place to review past weeks and quarters.  


The goal setting journal was most helpful this year, however in 2019, I intend to focus on smaller, daily goals and weekly tasks so I’m switching to the Japanese Hobonichi Techo Planner.  I love the compact size, ultra-organized layout options, as well as the smooth and lightweight Tomoe River paper.  They offer international shipping from Japan.  I believe mine arrived within 10 days.

Whichever planner, journal, or calendar that you pick out for the busy person on your list, they will be thankful all year long. 

Vintage cast iron

Cast Iron Pan

Any cook will love (and will probably already own) a cast iron pan. I encourage you to consider buying the cook on your list an American-made vintage pan that is already well seasoned and well loved. But if you don’t have time to go on the hunt for a vintage Griswold, Wagner, or Lodge pan, do buy American or French. Lodge is the oldest cast-iron manufacturer in the US.  There are many new and lesser-known American foundries making beautiful and artisan cast iron such as Smithey Ironware Co.  Le Creuset and Staub make high quality cast iron, made in France, and will last generations.

De Buyer crepe pan

Carbon Steel Crepe Pan

Cooks also love carbon steel for their hardiness and as a non-stick alternative to Teflon. I use mine regularly for crepes, pancakes, and eggs. De Buyer is made in France, very affordable, and will last for years.

A Beautiful Cookbook

I haven’t bought any new cookbooks this year because I set a goal for myself in January to utilize the ones that I already own and declutter the ones I don’t use before buying any new cookbooks. Cookbooks have had a prominent place on my wishlist nearly every year which is one way I’ve accumulated so many! Any cook will love a beautiful and bestselling cookbook. Some of my favorites above.

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash

This most exquisite hand soap makes a lovely gift.  Scented with vetiver and bergamot, it smells amazing.  It’s also formulated with exfoliating granules that leave hands feeling clean and fresh.  You can give this as a gift knowing all who use it, love it.  Available at Nordstrom

Whiskey

For the whiskey lover on your list, a bottle of fine whiskey is always a winner.  Give them a bottle of something you have tried and enjoyed.  Redbreast 12, single pot still Irish whiskey is my personal favorite. It’s readily available in the states but you may have to call around to a few liquor stores to find it.

Let the season begin.  

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