Friday, November 20, 2015

Kristy's Favorite Things: Your Guide to 2015 Gift Giving

It's that time of the year again, right? Time to come up with all sorts of gift ideas for family, friends, co-workers, and more. I love lists, I love giving the right gifts and I love finding great items that don't cost a ton of money. Everyone has a Holiday Gift Guide so I figured, I'd put one out there too. Why not? 
So here it is my Inaugural Kristy Carruba Gift Guide:

Trader Joe's Chocolate Passport
I LOVE CHOCOLATE! If you love chocolate or have a chocolate lover on your list, this is the greatest gift. 8 different organic dark chocolate bars from 8 different countries. They're all delicious. Some are better than others, but definitely an awesome gift for anyone who loves chocolate, or a even a great hostess gift. Each bar even tells you the type of wine or beverage to pair it with and it's only $9.99 at Trader Joe's.

2015 Swarovski Crystal Holiday Ornament 
I've always been a fan of tradition. I'm not a huge collector in general, but these ornaments are gorgeous. We've been getting them and giving them for quite some time. They look beautiful on the tree. We look forward to unpacking them every year. They are pricey, but still worth the $79.99,_Annual_Edition_2015.html
Shutterfly Photo Gifts
Let's face it, the photo mug, calendar, art, ornament, and even the photo quilt are all cheesy and yet, still very enjoyable. Whenever I've received any of these items, I revel in the thoughtfulness. You can't go wrong with a photo mug and they're really not that expensive at all. Most personalized mugs are under $10.00

Personalized Oreo's for the Cookie Lover 
My son is an OREO freak. When I saw this cool thing the Oreo people came up with for the holidays, I just couldn't resist. Customized Oreo Packaging! $10.00 a package plus $5.00 Shipping.

Molton Brown Soothing Milk & Oatmeal Soap
I'm not going to lie, this stuff is hard to find. The only place I've ever been able to get it is at The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. It's $6.00 a bar there. Yes, they will mail it to you and yes, in my opinion, it's worth it. This stuff smells so freaking good and it's got little oatmealy things in it that help exfoliate your skin. It's one of my favorites, and I'm not even a soapy, lotiony kind of person. I love the Molton Brown stuff in general, their shampoos, conditioners and lotions are all amazing, but this soap is yummmmmmy. 

Tito's Handmade Vodka
I used to drink wine but it always gave me headaches, so I moved over to vodka. First it was Stoli O and Sprite, then it was Stoli O on the rocks with a bunch of orange wedges and then, a friend suggested I try Tito's. The bottle isn't cool or fancy, but it's made in America, it's super smooth and there's never a hangover. I'm obsessed with Tito's. Whenever I go to anyone's home for any event, I bring a bottle. It's reasonably priced and usually under $20.00

Packing Cubes
This past Summer, my son went on a Teen Tour. 21 days, lots of packing and unpacking. I have no idea who recommended these things but they RULE! Whether you travel all the time or just a few times a year, these cubes are amazing. Different sizes for different items. Keeps everything organized and all the cubes fit perfectly in your luggage. This set is under $30.00 on Amazon, but pick any set you want, they're all similar. 

True Blue Grin & Bare It Body Lotion
I was lucky enough to go to the Emmy's one year. I'll never forget it for so many reasons, but one of them was this DELICIOUS smelling body lotion that was in my room at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica. I'm so NOT a body lotion kind of girl, but this stuff smelled SO good, that I had to have it.  I hunted it down and guess's sold at Bath & Body and, it's only $20.00 bucks. It smells like the beach. Fresh, clean and when I have it on, I can't stop smelling myself.

Loui Milo Chocolate Lava Cookie 
This cookie is INSANE! I'm a baker and a chocolate freak and honestly, I'm not sure I've ever had a better cookie. Two cookies come in each pack. You pop them in the microwave and when you take them out they are warm, delicious bites from heaven. I've gotten mine at Society, a clothing store in Westwood, believe it or not. So you can stop in and ask Mary Alice for a few or you can order them online.

True Grit Men's Plush Fleece
In addition to the crazy Loui Milo cookie, Mary Alice had these super soft True Grit Plush Fleeces at Society also. Both my husband and son LOVE them and so does anyone they come in contact with. People see them and feel the need to touch them because the fabric is so crazy soft. Perfect strangers will say "can I pet you?" They're warm and soft and yummy. You can dress them up and wear them out to dinner on a Saturday night or you can throw it on with sweats and take the dogs for a nice warm walk around town. They're a bit pricey at $145.00 but treat yourself or that special guy. They'll thank you and you can snuggle up to them and reap the benefits!

We've all been there. It's embarrassing but now, those days are over. Someone gave me this stuff and it's a WINNER! Lots of great scents to cover up the not so great stench coming from the bathroom. Great stocking stuffers, a goof gift that everyone actually loves, especially for that co-worker who's a major offender. They're only $10.00 each but they have tons of great gift sets with hilarious names like "Gone Flushin" and "Master Crapsman." You know you want to order one right now. Just do it!

Leatherman Wearable Tread Bracelet Multi-Tool
My husband is THE hardest guy to shop for. He NEVER says "I want THIS or THAT" and when he does see something he wants, he just buys it. He told me about this bracelet before it was available and we've been on the waiting list for months. Well, honey, Merry Chrismakuh! It's here! This bracelet is TSA approved, so you can travel with it. It looks like a chain but it has all sorts of tools built right into it. including a cutting hook, bottle opener, glass breaker, pick/sim card tool, socket drive, square drive, box wrenches, hex wrenches and screwdrivers. If you have a handyman gadget guy in your life, they will LOVE this thing and luckily it will only set you back $165.00

Cory Vines Path Socks
I'll be honest, I've been looking for the PERFECT workout pants for a long time. I haven't found them yet. In my quest for the perfect workout pants, I did find these socks. I wear them when I spin or walk and they RULE. They never bunch up, they absorb wetness and odor and they NEVER lose their shape no matter how often you wash them. They come in a 3 pack for $22.00.

Tateossian Bracelets
My husband's not a jewelry guy, but I saw these bracelets a while ago and really thought they were awesome and different. They aren't inexpensive. Prices range from $150-$400 depending on the style you like, but I really love the way they look and if you're having trouble trying to find something special and different, your dude might like these. They carry them at, or you can order them directly from Tateossian but they're in London so the shipping's a b*tch.

PJ Salvage Pajamas & Socks
I love pajamas, especially pajama pants. My favorites are PJ Salvage. They are so soft, they wash great and there are tons of great patterns. 

Iphone 5s  CM4 Wallet Case 
I had been looking for a new Iphone case for a while. My cousin had this one and the second I saw hers, I had to have it. It has the ridge you need around the edges for protection, it comes in lots of great colors, it doesn't make your phone that much bigger and the best part is that I can carry a credit card, my AAA card, my drivers license and some cash. I rarely carry a pocketbook anymore. LOVE this case!!! It's $39.99 on Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime you can have this thing tomorrow!

Lava Buns Heated Seat Cushion
Whether you're sitting on the bleachers watching your 5 year old play soccer or your out cheering on your favorite NFL team in the middle of winter, this heated seat cushion really helps keep you warm! Sitting on cold seats is the worst! Make the entire experience that much better with a few of these butt warmers. They are only $21.00 each and it's one of those items that you forget about until you need it and then when you have it you can't believe you ever lived without it. 

Peloton Bike 
I don't have a Peloton Bike. I actually don't need one. I spin at a studio and I use the Peloton Bike App with my old Schwin Spin Bike in my basement, BUT...if you have the money and you are a home workout person this thing is way cool. You can hop on and take live classes or you can take the classes on your own schedule on-demand. The classes are great, and you can compete against other riders all over the world. The bike is pricey, not gonna lie, $2000 bucks for this baby and you still have to pay $40.00 a month, but I did the math. If you cut the gym membership and stop going to those spin studios, this thing will probably pay for itself in the first year you own it. It all depends what kind of exercise enthusiast you are. Either way, the whole thing is pretty cool.

Ticket Kitchen Hot Chocolate
I'm actually a tea drinker, but I discovered this hot chocolate a few years ago and have shared it with so many people. There are some great flavors made with premium ingredients. Depending on the package you order the prices vary, but  you can sample a few flavors for under $25.00. This is a gift I love to give and get. 

Lokai Bracelet
My friend Diane turned me on to the Lokai Bracelet and now that I'm wearing one, I see them all over. The idea is to remind us all to stay balanced. The white bead contains water from Mount Everest, the highest place on earth. The black bead contains mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. The idea is when you're at the top of the world, stay humble. When you're at a low point, there's hope. They also look really cool and they're only $18.00. 

I LOVE SONOS! I have the system in my house and it is really as good as you've heard Baba Booey say it is. The sound is incredible but I love the App on my phone and iPad that pulls all my music into one place and plays it wherever I want it to play. Radio stations, iTunes, Sirius, Spotify it's ALL there. So easy to use and the quality is truly remarkable. It's worth the price. You can get in on the Sonos action for $500 bucks but you'll never need another sound system again. 

Sir Kensington's Condiments
I work out in Basking Ridge NJ. We order our lunch from this sandwich place in town every so often and they make this amazing sandwich called the P17. It's grilled chicken, avocado, hot monterey jack cheese and spicy mayo on this yummy bread. While trying to re-create this thing at home, I stumbled on the Sir Kensington condiments at Kings, my local supermarket. Their chipotle mayo and spicy ketchup is off the charts and totally the missing ingredient I needed for my P17. Ya gotta try this stuff!

Phone Chargers
We all need an extra charger. I've discovered that it helps to have them in my car, my bag, work, my son's backpack etc. You can really never have enough phone chargers. There are so many different types at different price points that I couldn't choose just one, but I definitely think that a phone charger ALWAYS makes a great gift. 

Happy Socks
My husband and my son love fun socks and underwear. I finally found a really cool company that has a great selection at a decent price. Happy Socks are only $12 bucks a pair and if you buy the gift set there is a bit of a discount. I love funky socks on a guy and most men wouldn't buy them for themselves but they love wearing them if someone gives them to them as a gift. These are the ones to get! 

J Crew Jimmy Fallon Pocket Dial
I JUST saw this item on The Tonight Show last week. I have no idea if Jimmy Fallon really invented it or not but it's brilliant. The pocket square is the hot men's accessory of the moment. This Iphone 6/6s cover includes a pocket square so that when you have it in your suit jacket pocket it is functional and fashionable. The case comes with one square and costs $48.00 but you can purchase additional squares at J Crew for $12.00. This is just awesome. Be the first one at the office to rock this thing. 

I don't know about you, but, I rarely read books anymore. It's not that I don't want to, it's just hard to find quiet time to do it. The only time I read now is when I'm on vacation. I realized though, that I commute and spend a LOT of time in my car. These days when I'm not catching up on Howard Stern, I'm listening to books via Audible. The best part about listening to books is that most of the time the author is the voice you are listening to. It's definitely less expensive than buying a book and I've really enjoyed the books I've been listening to. An Audible subscription for anyone who commutes could be a great idea. They can choose the books they want on a monthly basis or all at once. Someone gave me a subscription and I honestly didn't think much about it then I decided to give it a try and now I'm hooked. Right now I'm listening to Leah Remini's new book, Troublemaker. It's riveting.

Don't get scared. I would never put anything ridiculously expensive on this list. Sure the Peloton bike is pricey but that's what I would call a specialty item. Here's the deal. There's just something about that Tiffany Blue box. I admit women are suckers for it. Tiffany's has gotten pretty cool about offering some great items under $250 bucks. I love the infinity symbol. This ring is $200 and the bracelet is $250 and guess what? They both come in the beautiful blue Tiffany's box. It doesn't take much to make us happy guys. Just click on the link!

Breville Electric Tea Kettle 
I love tea. I'm obsessed with tea and recently graduated from an old school teapot to this thing. Yes it's $79.99 but it is quiet, it's cleaner, it's easier, the handle stays cool but the water stays hot. If you're a tea drinker I'd absolutely spend the money on this thing. 

Gift Cards
Nobody loves a gift card more than me, but the key to good gift card giving is really knowing the person you are giving the gift card to. Sure we all love the Amazon gift card but I love gift cards to MY gym, MY movie theatre, MY spa, MY nail place. The key to everything these days is PERSONALIZATION. If you listen carefully to your friend, co-worker, husband, son, Mom, you will get clues all year to the places they frequent, things they love etc. You should know if they are a Dunkin Donuts person or a Starbucks person. Pay attention throughout the year and the right gift card will be a home run! 

I hope this list comes in handy. None of these companies are paying me to put their items on my list. Every single thing on this list is something I either own or would want to own. When I love something, I love to share it and tell everyone I know about it. Let me know if you end up buying anything on the list and if the person you bought if for loved it as much as I do. 

Enjoy the holidays!

1 comment:

  1. love it - you are awesome, when are we seeing you!!!