Wednesday, December 19, 2012's Favorite Things: Hip Holiday Gifts

By Anne M. Raso

Here are my top picks for holiday gifts and stocking stuffers--there is something that will please all your peeps here, whether they are a foodie or not. It's a little bit of this, a little bit of that--there's nothing like a well-rounded Christmas with something good to eat, something good to read, something fun to play, a gift card that will get you nearly anything and something soft and fluffy to keep you warm!
Lord and Taylor's Holiday Display
An Gift Card is one of those gifts that you can't go wrong with simply because the shopping site offers anything and everything. I've had great experiences with their Customer Service Department. For instance, last year I ordered a DVD that was made in the UK and would not work in an American DVD player. They just let me keep it as opposed to mailing it back for a refund. They also list the best prices for each item from their sub-sellers which makes you able to forgo the price comparison search for an item--now that is a real holiday blessing! The Prime Shipping program lets you have year-round free shipping from the majority of their vendors and the price equals about the cost of shipping three products! Gift cards are sent out via free standard shipping, by the way!
The Kindle Fire HD has come up in many holiday polls as one of the Top 10 requested gifts this holiday season from people of all ages. It does come with a 7" display, 16GB worth of memory but the great thing is that it truly is the complete tablet--Kindle's are not just for reading even though they were mainly invented for that purchase. If you spend another $100, you can upgrade to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" by the way! It works as well as an iPad for web searches, checking email and going on YouTube (the Dolby sound is incredible and we find it even more incredible through earbuds)! I love taking my Kindle Fire to bed so that I can search YouTube for "programming" more enjoyable than I find on cable! Many e-books can be downloaded for as little as 99 cents, making it much cheaper than going out and buying physical books (but I didn't have to tell you that)!
Lia Sophia's sophisticated jewelry line is sold only online and through an exclusive network of self-employed sellers known as "advisors." They are a leading seller in costumer jewelry because of their unique designs. They have something for everyone but they seem to always have something new and different. The industrial designs of their Red Carpet line are truly the epitome of Boho Chic, combining old art deco feeling with the edginess of today's young jewelry collection lines. The Voussoir stretch bracelets in the Red Carpet line of indicative of the aforementioned style and can be ordered for $275 each at
Divine Delights' marvelous artisan petit fours have become a staple at Christmas in my family. My nieces check in at least five times between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make sure we are going to have them on our table. I wrote about them last year in my holiday gift round up and being a petit four aficionado, I can honestly say I have none better even at high teas in five star hotels in NYC. Flavors include Raspberry and Vanilla Crème, Bittersweet Truffle, Orange Crème, Chocolate Mint, and Strawberry Crème and all are topped with multicolor vanilla buttercream. A 35-count box of the Christmas Petit Fours is $69.95 and a 36-count box of Christmas Demitasse (a smaller sized petit four) are $42.75 at
The Fortune Cookie Maker Set by Moose Toys is a Walmart exclusive that I immediately fell in love with during a demonstration at the recent toy trade show called Time To Play. Kids five and up can make fortune cookies with their own custom fortunes inside. Fortune cookies can be glitzed up with colorful icing and sprinkles after being made. The machine itself is shaped like a white cardboard Chinese takeout bucket--how cute! $19.99 at Walmart and Set makes up to 12 cookies and refills are available.
The Nerf Vortex Pyragon Blaster is the first-ever drum fed Vortex blaster, holding an unprecedented 40 discs making it the highest capacity of any Vortex blaster before it! Users can fire discs one at a time or hold the trigger down and use the pullback mechanism to send a steady stream in Slam-Fire mode. Fans can also attach a variety of Vortex or N-Strike Mission Kit accessories (each sold separately) onto the blaster’s Tactical Rail System. The gun comes with 40 XLR discs. I took this for a spin in my niece's backyard and seemed to be the envy of all the neighbor's kids. Teen celebs including One Direction have been photographed playing with this item when they thought the paparazzi weren't looking! Available for $39.99 at most major toy retailers nationwide and
A perfect stocking stuffer for the health conscious is Nutrilite’s Perfect Pack. This is a pricy stocking stuffer at $154.75 but Amway’s vitamin packs go above and beyond the call of duty. The Perfect Pack really takes care of those nutritional gaps in your diet and if you take the two recommended packs a day, you will be getting 22 essential vitamins and minerals, ten-plus servings of fruits and vegetables and one serving of ocean fish. Available on or from your independent Amway seller.
For the woman who has everything and loves fragrance, the Clive Christian line is the most expense and elite in the world—and they insist that their products (which date back to the days of Queen Victoria, who were their biggest consumer) are called PERFUME and not FRAGRANCES. That is going against the grain of today’s beauty business lingo but Clive Christian is truly a unique company that also specializes in interior design and has quite the posh showroom in New York’s Designer & Decorator Building, where we recently met up with Clive’s brand ambassador, his daughter Victoria to find out what’s new. She actually reminded us a lot of Posh Spice, and we mean that as a compliment. We tested all five of the CC fragrances and decided that the newest one “V” was our favorite (the scents are all numbered rather than named, and a separate version is made for men and women). It costs over $400 for a 1.7 ounce bottle of this equally peppery, citrusy and floral scent but Clive Christian devotees thing his scents are worth every dime. Available at Nordstrom’s and other fine department store.
The NY Giants Crock-Pot is actually our favorite out of all 32 cool team logo encrusted Crock-Pots you can pick out from on—you guessed it— I don’t have to tell you that crock-pots have made a huge comeback thanks to everyone wanting to save time these days. This Crock-Pot has high and low settings and holds 2.5 quarts. Perfect for homegating or tailgating parties! Only $29.98 on the site. And yes, it can go in the dishwasher!
Eight O’Clock Bean Coffee—this is a great stocking stuffer at only $6.99 for an 11-ounce bag. I know people who diet and are actually drinking this coffee when they get a chocolate craving and they say it does the trick. It’s kind of like a warm York peppermint patty in a cup! This is the coffee brand that is made of legends and available at Duane Reade and many mass merchandisers/supermarkets.
The item called Annie’s Wrap is a great lightweight but warm gift, perfect for the woman who has a go-to item for when the weather is unpredictable. It is unstructured so one size fits all plus it has big pockets! Oversized collar works as a hood if you need it. Available in 11 great shades. Several colors are now on sale for $85 at where you can find dozens of great wraps, scarves, capes and adult booties.
The New Duracell Powermat 24-Hour System is the perfect gift for the Smartphone user who wants to power up fast and stay powered around the clock. For $99.99, you get a wireless charging case, a portable backup battery for on the go charging and of course, the sleek Powermat charging mat itself which can charge two phones simultaneously (or you can charge your phone and the backup battery). Available in both black and white at, and AT & T stores nationwide.
Blingerz lets your teen or preteen bling up their sneakers, iPhones, books and more! Just press the pre-glued sheet of Blingerz and you’ve got a cool blinged out pattern on nearly anything you own! Blingerz make a great party gift and I’ve noticed a lot of tweens wearing their school colors on toes of their Chuck Taylors thanks to Blingerz carrying so many shades of their clever rhinestone appliques. (The Blingerz items named Stringz made for the outer perimeters of sneakers seem to be the most popular items judging from what I’ve seen local kids wearing.) About $7.95 per set at
Crabtree & Evelyn Noel Large Poured Candle is available for $33 at Crabtree & Evelyn stores as well as their website and lasts an incredible 65 hours. The beautiful red glass is the perfect shell for a candle featuring the festive scent of evergreen, cranberry, anise, orange, persimmon and cinnamon and sugar. What a “cozy” and holiday-ish fragrance—we can’t easily forget it!
Neuma Haircare is a vegan-based line that really works! We particularly love the Renew Kit, and the Condition product is the star of the line for extra shine and making the frizzies less noticeable. It’s got a mild herbal scent that is a pleasure to the senses. About $21 at fine salons. A full list of salons that carry Neuma Haircare is at

*****Giveaway***** wants our readers to share in our favorite things Two lucky winners with receive:

Prize #1: Vitamin Pack from Nutrilite - ARV $60 - Congrats Kathryn Gomez

Prize #2: Duracell Powermat  - ARV $100 - Congrats Mary DeBorde

There are THREE ways to enter
1. REQUIRED: In my comments section, tell me what item you are most interested in getting (Prize #1 or Prize #2). Also please include your email address so I can contact you if you win!
2. Follow Finance Foodie on Twitter (leave separate comment telling me this)
3. Reblog / Retweet this giveaway (leave separate comment telling me this)

Contest ends Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 5pm EST. Winners will be chosen via random integer generator on announced on the site shortly afterwards!!

Full Disclosure: The prizes are being provided by Amway and Duracell. FFMP was not compensated for this post.
All photos courtesy of respective manufacturers.

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