Holiday Gift Guide 2011

It's just about that time of year. I've felt a little stumped on the gift ideas lately as I have yet to cross off anything on my own "gift-giving list", nor have the lists been properly made and organized (yes, I'm a little OCD). But, then I got those wheels turning a bit and I thought, to myself, "Dab Nabbit! Hows about a Smashed Muffin Gift Guide?!" So here you have it folks, my top suggestions for gifts to give to you and yours this year. Want to get your hands on my "highly inappropriate" but oh so delicious holiday rum ball recipe for the perfect DIY gift? Send an email to smashedmuffingoods@gmail.com and tell me what you're getting the lovelies on your list...!

1. A couple years back, I went to a book signing event at my favorite book shop in the city, The Book Cellar. Not only is it a great place to get gift ideas, but it also introduced me to the editors and concept behind The Smith Magazine Six Word Memoir project. Specifically, the Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by writers famous and obscure. The idea seemed rather genius to me at the time. Now I've come to learn that there's a game, yes, cheesetastic, I know. But what can I say, I'm a sucker for a game that relates to writing. SOLD.
2. I've seen my fair share of tattoos, but I have yet to sport one myself. Getting a tattoo in my book has always meant applying with soap and water. For your fellow non-committal inkettes, Tattly has just the thing. Sign up for their subscription box and get 8 temporary tattoos a month, for 6 months, for $60. JUST ADD WATER!

3. Speaking of Tattly, they also recently came out with a custom Field Notes edition. I happen to be a fan of Field Notes to begin with. I mean, who can't relate to their slogan - "I'm not writing it down to remember it later. I'm writing it down to remember it now." Not only am I all about the writing, but who can't find a pocket notebook handy from time to time to jot down those shreds of ideas we come across during a day that we grasp to remember? And, it's made in the USA to boot. ADD IT TO THE LIST!

4. While we're on the topic of writing and books, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite coffee table books. It may seem silly to some, but when I'm having a bad day, nothing brings me more comfort than flipping through the pages of this book and not being able to help myself from cracking a hopeful smile. Not to mention that Everything is Going to be OK is published by my favorite publisher, Chronicle Books. With the stresses of the day, sometimes we all need a friendly, inventive reminder to put things in perspective. What are you waiting for? You might even want to buy one for yourself, it's that good. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. GO BUY IT ALREADY!


5. Wait, wait... Don't Tell Me! I know this one! The uber dork in me would love nothing more than to spend all my Saturday nights drinking chai in my living room and listening to the Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me show (and thusly trying not to snort said chai out of my nose during the intense fits of laughter). You can do my nerdalicious fantasy one better and go to a live taping of the show at the Chase Auditorium Theatre. And if you have a foodie lover on your hands, I've always thought it would be the best treat ever to recreate Wait, Wait's Sandwich Monday for someone - the absurd, disgusting, delicious and everything in between. Mix well and it sounds like fun for all to me! Some available at local haunts in the city, some you can fabricate live in your very own kitchen. Just sayin.....

6. Growing up, I was always intrigued by nesting dolls. When I came across these nesting doll (ok technically they're called "matryoshka dolls") measuring cups at a recent trip to Paper-Source (or I've also seen them at Sur La Table), it was love at first sight. Not only are they adorable, but they're also quite functional. They're great if you're short on cabinet space - and you get double the measuring capabilities with tops and bottoms. Who can't use an extra measuring cup or two? Especially when they're so stylish and cute! ....WIN WIN! 


7. When I first moved to the big city (from the nearby western suburbs, but still), I quickly discovered the thriving crafting scene in Chicago. And thus, quickly fell in love with Renegade Holiday Craft Fair. I instantly gravitated to my favorite vendor for the perfect gift for all my Chicagoan friends, Circa Ceramics. (I find their magnets to be great gifts, for your Chicago and non-Chicago friends alike.) Handmade in Chicago, they have a line of bowls, cups, vases, plates, you name it, in the blue stripe/red stars design of the Chicago flag. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?!

8. While we're on the topic of making your kitchen fully stocked with functional and cute kitchenware supplies, I couldn't help but include this camera cookie cutter set from DIY Photography. I discovered these while browsing Feature Shoot's gift giving for photographers list. These truly will be the "best cameras you've ever tasted." SWEET!

9. Now that you're friends will be fully stocked with functional and fun kitchen ware, they'll need fresh and local ingredients to cook with. I can't think of anything better than a produce box from Green Grocer Chicago. GET COOKIN'!

10. My last gift suggestion kind of comes full circle. This blog's very first posting was about attempting to recreate, at home, the pickled carrots from Birchwood Kitchen. Then I got the newsletter from Tasting Table in my inbox last week, and it provided a friendly reminder of this blog's beginnings. If you don't have time to make them on your own, now you can take those pickled carrots (and more) home with you. At $7.50 per 12 ounce mason jar, you'll be stocking up on more than just the carrots (jars are also available in green and white wax beans, beets, cauliflower, and even brussel sprouts). WHAT'RE YOU WAITING FOR?!

1 comment:

  1. Very best shopping list I have viewed this season! Please forward to all publications!