Punk Blue Tooth Portable Speaker
This is a great little speaker with big sound. This wireless Bluetooth Speaker from Sol Republic will have you tapping your toes in no time. 1/4 inch threaded mount lets you attach it to your bike or camera. Battery life up to 8 hours (depending on how loudly you play your music) works well up to 40 feet away.
Purchase using our Amazon Affiliate link for under $50, and enjoy free shipping.
Power Skin Phone Battery Charger
The PowerSkin battery charger is a life saver for your favorite phone addict. Four lights indicate when unit is fully charged. Stores enough power to keep your iPhone going 2 or 3 times as long. Comes in a variety of colors and models to fit iPhones, Samsungs, Mortorolas, Blackberries and more.
Suction cups adhere lightly to the back of your phone. Slim, streamlined design feels good in your hand. Slide pack slightly to access camera on iPhone 5. Works even with my protective case which is very slim. Will not work with heavily embellished or thick cases. Check out the new design to fit an iPhone 6.
Available through our Amazon Affiliate link from as low as $39 or the PowerSkin website.
I’m recommending the Kohler Moxie this holiday season for Tweens, Teens, Moms, Dads, Singles, Sweethearts and Guest Bath Rooms, too! Whether you sing in the shower or crave a meditative spa-like experience, the Kohler Moxie delivers your playlist flawlessly. You could even use the speaker to deliver baby’s lullaby when you take the family on the road. Not only does the Bluetooth wireless speaker pair easily and work perfectly, but the beautiful sleek shower head design is beautiful and provides a great shower.
Available in a variety of finishes including polished chrome (pictured) brushed nickel and rubbed bronze using our Amazon Affiliate link, from $99 or from your favorite retailer. See the Kohler Moxie in action at a Pirch showroom near you.
At EncinoMom the GoPro HERO4 Black edition is an indispensable tool. Easy to use and effective underwater, everyone on the team has used this camera to capture footage. Whether mounted on a helmet, attached to a wrist or chest, vehicle, ceiling, or even hand held this camera delivers the high quality, wide angle or time lapsed footage we need to cover all the angles.
GoPro has a full range of video cameras ranging in price from about $130 for an entry-level GoPro HERO to $499 for the HERO4 Black edition. The differences in price are reflected in the capabilities and image quality that the various models produce. This year we are looking for a drone for our GoPro!
Stocking Stuffer USB Power Cord
AmazonBasics Apple approved, 6 foot long USB to lightning cable power cord. This is great for students and professionals. I have one in the car, one in my office and another one in my purse, just in case. Priced just under $10, this is a great stocking stuffer.
Available exclusively at Amazon.com. Go direct or use our convenient Affiliate link.
Cylinder Phone Battery Charger/flashlite
Recharge your phone with this battery and the cord that came with your phone. I love this extra phone battery. The flashlight is bright and comes in handy. About the size of a good lipstick, or the length of a black key on a piano, width of a white key. Refills quickly and keeps me connected when my phone is tapped out.
Purchase one similar to the one pictured here, using our Amazon Affiliate link. Now priced for less than $10, these make great stocking stuffers for those 2 percenters on your list. "I would have called you, Mom, but I only had 2% on my phone." ;)
FXP Hula Hoop With Workout DVD For Fitness On The Go
Stay fit while you travel this holiday season with the FXP's Travel Hula Hoop. This hula hoop snaps together easily and feels substantial enough for a seriously fun workout. The included DVD featuring Niece Pecenka is clear and easy to follow and will have you hooping even if you haven't twirled a hula hoop around your hips for decades.
I was delighted at how much I was able to do, in spite of thinking I wouldn't be able to keep the hoop circling my girth. I wasn't perfect, but was able to keep up with the workout right out of the box. There are additional workout DVD's available, too.
The product is sturdy and reliable. The Fit in 15 workout is fun and challenging. This is a great gift for teens and travelers of all ages. I predict this will be the most stolen present at your gift exchange party this holiday season! You can purchase using our Amazon Affiliate link or at the FXPFitness.com website.
Evian Facial Water Spray
Whether she drives up the coast with the top down, slides down the slopes in the snow or flies through the sky logging more frequent flyer miles than a pilot, this is a must have! You can pick up the two pack pictured, one for home and one for purse, backpack or pocket, for $17.99. A great gift for keeping skin feeling fresh throughout the holidays. The fine mist is great for a quick spritz to set makeup, too.
Comes is 10 oz., 5 oz. and 1.7 oz. sizes. Available from Amazon using our affiliate link. I have been personally using this product for more than 10 years. A perfect stocking stuffer, the 1.7 oz travel size is TSA approved and retails for under $10.
Packing Cubes By Bingonia
I don't really know why this works, but it does! My Dad was the Master Packer at our house. Whether he was packing a suitcase, trailer or car he always knew what to pack where. He taught me early on what he had learned in the Navy, roll your clothes! My Mom on the other hand was the Master Folder in the family. I took what Mom taught me and added what I gleaned from my Dad and I became a Master Traveler in my own right.
Then I got married. My husband introduced me to packing cubes. Somehow, when I combine the cubes with my packing chops, I'm able to fit at least 30% more into my bags. This set comes with a bonus shoe bag! Get some for your holiday travel so you have room to haul all those presents home!
Available for $20.99 using our affiliate link, regularly $49.99 for the set.
FlipBelt Stows Essentials For Travel And Fitness
The FlipBelt is a sleek alternative to the unflattering fanny pack. It fits snuggly in place with a slim profile. Just slip it on like your favorite yoga pants, put your cash, keys, cards and phone into the pockets and flip over to secure your valuables on your person. More comfortable than a traditional money belt and a million times cuter than a fanny pack. Great for biking, hiking, sight seeing and shopping without carrying a purse.
The FlipBelt comes in a variety of sizes to ensure a comfortable fit and a bunch of colors for fun and flair. Each size spans a 3" range so you can wear the belt wherever it feels most comfortable on your body. Suitable for men and women on the move.
You can order using our Amazon Affiliate links or pick one up at REI or your neighborhood Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Clipa Traveler (Black Matte) Bag Hanger
This is the best clip for hanging your purse or bag near you when you are on the go. I purchased the Crystal Clipa which is Hermatite with Swarovski Crystal adornments on the top. I tried several purse hooks before the Clipa with disappointing results. Either they weren't heafty enough to handle my always too heavy bag, weren't wide enough to fit on restaurant tables or remained lost in the shuffle at the bottom of my bag when needed.
Clipas are stout, strong enough to hold 40 lbs. They open wide enough for all but the thickest tables and desks. They are easy to find because they are attractive enough to clip to the outside of your bag, or even to wear on your wrist (I've actually received more than a few compliments when wearing my Clipa like a bangle bracelet). They are also easy to open and self closing. Prices vary by color and style from about $15 to $60. Worth it.
Available online using our Amazon affiliate links above or the Clipa website.
Paddywax Library Collection Travel Candle
One of the women at book club (so clever) gave these out at our holiday party. They come in a different scent for each author. Honestly, they all smelled so wonderful to me, it was difficult to choose! The scents somehow seem appropriate to each author which I think is just delicious. I went with John Steinbeck, since he's from California and one of my first jobs as an actor was in Salinas where his childhood home still stands.
This candle makes an inspired gift for the home or office, too. The size pictured here is narrow enough (less than 2" wide) to fit on even the most cluttered desk and runs about $10. There is a larger size available that is much more robust and comes in a gift box from about $22.
Prices vary by author. The heady scents of these soy candles are divine. Some of the authors in this series are Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Dickens, Wilde, Tolstoy, Emerson and Mark Twain. Love! Affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Limoneira Lifestyles Skin Care Gift Set
You can see our review here. This lavish skin care gift set makes an impressive gift. Products are also available individually, if you are looking for a Hostess gift, or something for a co-worker. Indulge your wife, your Mom or Daughter with the entire line. Safe and gentle for sensitive skin. Dermatologist tested, with the lovely fragrance of fresh lemons. The face wash, moisturizer and lip balm are daily favorites.
The lip balm is an instant hit with men and women! It feels silky smooth and nourishing on your lips. It is completely colorless and tastes faintly of honey. Avocado oil and honey make this an extraordinarily affordable luxury priced at $5. The full line is available on the Limoneira website, beautifully gift boxed for $175.
A family favorite for four generations, you can't go wrong with a box of assorted chocolates from this California company. I'm a huge fan of their Butterscotch lollipops. They have introduced new flavors which are a close second. Check for Holiday special edition boxes, too.
Commercial Grade Kitchen Dish Towels
Admittedly not the sexiest Hostess gift idea, but just right for the person who loves to cook and have family and friends gathered at home for the holidays. Priced at $17.99 for 13 absorbent 100% cotton tea towels, you can spice things up by using the towels to line a custom gift basket filled with your home made muffins, fudge (click here for our recipe) or use as a creative way to wrap a treasured cook book (see our Culture section for suggestions if you're stumped).
Tea towels available from Liliane Collection using our Amazon affiliate link.
Urban Accents Frittata Mix
We love Urban Accents small batch spices. This frittata mix is full of flavor and is amazing in your eggs or mixed with sour cream to serve as a dip. Make up a little brunch box for your hostess by adding one of their flapjack mixes and a bottle of bubbly to a basket lined with a tea towel. We guarantee you'll be asked back!
Urban Accents is available at fine groceries, or you can order online. Our Affiliate links are included here for your convenience.
Nespresso Espresso Maker And Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother
For your favorite coffee lover. Nespresso coffee makers brew one cup of perfection at a time. I bought the Aeroccino Plus milk frother as a gift for my husband several years ago and it continues to deliver the deliciousness he requires on a daily basis. You can purchase the pair here using our Amazon Affiliate link for $225.
Nespresso has come out with a new machine that uses a larger capsule. The machine reads the rim of the capsule and brews coffee or espresso accordingly. Neither the Nespresso Citiz C111 Expresso Maker (pictured at right) or the new machine accepts k-cups. Nespresso capsules are available online and at select Nespresso stores.
Locals can recycle Nespresso capsules at Bloomingdales in Sherman Oaks or by mail.
Gingerbread Tea From Teavana
Teavana's teas are so pleasing, you can't go wrong here. We have tested their products and tasted their teas with abandon and delight. The hardest part is limiting yourself to gift giving, because you'll definitely want some teas and accessories to take home.
Teavana has some exquisite gift sets, beautifully boxed and ready for giving. There are seasonal favorites (the Gingerbread black tea is a personal pick) and the delicious Oprah Chai is a crowd pleaser. We love the brewing system that releases tea directly into your cup when steeped. Also the double walled Bodum glassware that comes in some of their gift boxes is divine.
Available in Teavana stores and online using our Affiliate links above.
All Natural Pistachio Butter From Fiddyment Farms
Okay, just stop. If you like pistachios, if you like peanut butter or almond butter, just stop, you have to try this. I am out of my mind in love with this flavor. Made from roasted pistachio kernels - period - this nut butter has a creamy texture, silkier than peanut butter and slightly sweet naturally - naturally, as in no added ingredients.
I was introduced to this product by the National Pistachio Growers this past Summer at a luncheon with James Beard Award Winning Chef Nancy Silverton. There was a jar of the Fiddyment Farms Pistachio Butter in my goody bag. You have to be careful with this stuff, as it is highly addictive and pricey. A perfect gift for someone special at $25 for a 16 oz. jar. Now mind you, I still have some left from that first jar because it has been HIDDEN from office staff and family AND I am extremely good at rationing delights. Maybe that's TMI, but this stuff makes me crazy - like Catnip to a cat.
A close second goes to these Salt & Peppered Roasted Pistachios from Kirkland. Affiliate links provided for your convenience. I'm not responsible if can't stop eating this stuff.
Chocolate Caramel Truffle Fudge Bites by John Kelly
These chocolates are locally produced. Read our review from Mike Anderson's visit to the factory and store in Hollywood. We sampled the Truffle Fudge Bites in Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Caramel with Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt back here at the office. The box contains just two of these delicacies, which I could easily have devoured in a heart beat. Because I am a professional (and the chocolates arrived when the office was full) I judiciously cut the morsels into smaller pieces so everyone could swoon along with me.
Get Lifesavers Storybooks for the kids and save this for your own stocking. Pictured at left are 4 boxes, featuring some of the flavors available, each available for $9.99 using our Amazon affiliate link or stop by the Hollywood store or their new location in Santa Monica and tell 'em you saw them on EncinoMom. (You won't get a discount, but you'll appear very savvy and make them feel good, too).
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla
The sugar crystals in this Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar from Nielsen-Massey are light and crisp and make a great base for a sweet rim on holiday beverages, sprinkles on baked goods or even for making a beautiful sugar scrub as a luxurious gift for a spa like experience at home.
We love Nielsen-Massey's Pure Vanilla extracts, too. Available from fine retailers like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table as well as our Amazon Affiliate link from $16.95.
Hand Carved Cinnamon Box
You can buy an empty, hand carved Cinnamon Box, like the one pictured here for around $10 on Amazon. It makes a nice gift box adding a subtle cinnamon fragrance to the air.
If you are abundant this holiday season, you can give back with a gift of cinnamon for yourself or a loved one while helping other families at the same time. We received Prosperity Cinnamon from WorldVisionGifts.org, filled with Vietnam's renowned sweet Cinnamon. When you give a gift from WorldVisionGifts.org you are purchasing fair trade items and 83 percent of the donation goes to programs helping children and families overcome poverty. Offering gifts that make the world better since 1996. The gift of cinnamon in a hand carved box is $85.
You can purchase all kinds of gifts from varying price points from World Vision Gifts, from a Small Business loan for $100 to a Well for fresh water for about $3,000. It feels good to give, don't you think?
The Irish Store Zip Front Sweater
We love this zippered cardigan from The Irish Store and she will, too. Made from fine Merino wool, this beautiful hooded sweater zips up to keep the chill in the weather at bay. This is the sweater she will reach for over and over again to pair with jeans and wear for strolls along the shore with you this Winter. Soft and flattering, this sweater comes in four fabulous colors and ships world wide for only $6.95. Currently on sale for $99.95 (regularly $149.95) this sweater is a steal guaranteed to warm her heart for years to come.
Hand-washable, the sweater ships from Ireland, so allow 6 to 9 days for delivery. You may purchase using on of our affiliate links (here's another style we love) or order online directly from The Irish Store website.
Lightweight Cashmere Cardigan, in black
Be sure you take a look at the back of this open cashmere cardigan, pictured here in gray. We love it in pure black. The detail in the back separates this sweater from the pack and adds an elegant flair.
Kiss Nail Strips
I've tried just about every nail product, silk wraps, gel polish, Lee Press-on Nails, you name it. These crazy nail polish strips cover your nail, are dry when you apply them, last about two weeks, are easy to remove and fast to apply. I've also noticed that my nails are longer after use because the product seems to add a subtle layer of protection.
When you just don't have time to sit in the salon, this is the product you've wished for. The package I get has 40 pieces ($12.99), half of them cover the full nail and half are just the French tips. The product pictured here is slightly different, but it's the same brand. Comes in a variety of colors and decorative patterns, too.
Handknit Warmth From Nepal
I love, love, love these handknit hand warmers from Nepal. They're pretty and feminine and great for wearing with jeans and her favorite sweater when the weather is chilly. Also great for Yoga class or a cold office, they come in lots of colors and patterns to suit her style. I find myself wearing these fleece lined wrist wraps on all but the warmest of days.
You can purchase these using our Amazon Affiliate link or search from them locally. I picked up a pair at an important shop on the Plaza in Santa Fe.
Gold Toe Socks For Toasty Toes
We recently discovered Gold Toe Socks. Hard to believe we hadn't ever tried them before. We started this Spring with some liner socks to wear inside our sports shoes. The first thing I noticed when we received the socks was their extreme softness. I personally found them to be super comfortable and the toe seams are imperceptible.
With Winter on its way, I'm sampling some of their big slouchy socks to wear to bed. Did you know, it's hard to fall asleep if your toes are cold? Put these on before bed and you can wiggle out of them when you warm up. Of course you can also wear them with hiking boots or for Sundays in your sweats, lounging around the house.
The cashmere blend socks are a big hit with my husband, too. You can find a full complement of Gold Toe socks at retailers like Macy's and JCPenny or purchase online using our Amazon Affiliate link.
Women's Small Sterling Silver Pendant From Zymbol
This delicate pendant in Sterling Silver ($46) on an 18" twisted silver chain, bears a secret message shared by you and your gift recipient. Contained within each Zymbol are all of the letters of the alphabet as well as all of the numbers. Use the enclosed card to trace your private note. Remind her of the day she became a Mom, the day you met or create a romantic note for her to wear close to her heart.
She'll swoon when you express your love with this gift and fall for you all over again when she learns that your purchase included a pendant for a child in the hospital through Zymbol's Buy One, Give One program. The Zymbol comes in a variety of styles and materials. Prices range from $12 (Acrylic Ornament) to $72 for the Womens large sterling silver pendant with gem embellishment.
Available online through the Zymbol website.
Lighted lip gloss from Beauty For Real in Always There.
Fantastic lip color with a light in the lid (there's an on/off switch on the top) and a mirror on the side. Perfect for touch ups after dark - or in the subterranean garage of your office building before your big meeting! You can shop around, but this is exactly the color and brand that we tested. We discovered it in our FabFitFun box (which also makes a great gift, by the way!) This makes a great gift on its own for friends or as a stocking stuffer for your favorite sister.
@Large Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz
See our story with video from the exhibit.
This art book is the perfect gift for Ai Weiwei fans and human rights activists around the world. Internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei created this inspiring exhibit remotely from his studio in China. Although the masterful exhibition exploring incarceration and human rights was displayed at Alcatraz, Ai Weiwei never set foot in the former penitentiary as he is not allowed to leave China.
New or used, opt for the hardback edition, available using our Amazon affiliate link from $10.
Spellbinding commitment, temporal expression, Earth art. Share the wonder with someone you love. Whether you gift a book, watch one of the exquisite DVDs together or make a pilgrimage to one of the sites where Goldsworthy has created his art, you will share a soul stirring experience together.
A native of England residing in Scotland, Goldsworthy's art can be seen in person in California, in San Francisco's Presidio Park. This artist's ephemeral Earth art is by it's very nature impermanent. Experience it together, no matter what, both of your lives will be enriched by the time you spend in each others' presence.
Affiliate and non affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Ensemble Galilei Surrounded By Angels
Beautiful collection of Christmas music. At the heart of Ensemble Galilei is Carol Anderson. Anderson plays the Viola di Gamba. The what? I had never heard of it either, until I had the good fortune to meet Anderson in the mid 90's. The Viola di Gamba is similar to the cello, played seated, producing warm low tones. This CD is a glorious blend of traditional Irish, Scottish and Early Music arranged and gifted to you through the hearts and skills of these tremendous musicians.
In early 2001, I had the opportunity to perform as the Narrator for a live production in concert with the Ensemble. What an unbridled joy! Look for their whole catalog of music, but add Surrounded By Angels and Ancient Noels to holiday music collection. I've provided Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
The Toy Story Trilogy
Classic. Great animation from Pixar, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen
voice Woody and Buzz to perfection.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fabulous film based on the original characters from the classic TV series, Rocky and Bullwinkle created by Jay Ward in the 1960's. Mr. Peabody & Sherman have been entertaining children for decades and amusing adults all along the way. Rated PG, the new animated feature directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) doesn't disappoint. Easy to enjoy for all ages. Rent on demand from $2.99 or wrap up the Blu-ray from $10.75 and put it under the tree for a fun film to enjoy with the whole family.
Mr. Peabody is voiced perfectly by Modern Family's TyBurrel and Max Charles' Sherman is an absolute delight. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jay Ward's daughter, Tiffany, Executive Producer of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, check out our chat here (includes clips from the film).
50th Anniversary Edition of Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is one of my all time favorite movies, paired with Saving Mr. Banks, it doesn't get much better than that!
The Mozza Cookbook Recipes From Los Angeles's Favorite
Italian Restaurant And Pizzeria by Nancy Silverton
Over 300 pages of delectable Italian recipes translated for the American palate with gorgeous photos make this cookbook an instant favorite. A great host/hostess gift from $18. Chef Nancy Silverton is the Winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef: the top chef in the country!
This summer I got to see Nancy in action. At a luncheon extolling the virtues of pistachios, I learned a few things to bring to my own kitchen. 1. Season every layer. As Nancy added ingredients to a salad, she seasoned each accordingly to add dimension to the flavor profile of the dish. 2. Toss salad with your hands! In order to discern the right amount of dressing, there's no better tool than your own two hands. (Still trying to get comfortable with this one.) Here's our Amazon affiliate link for your convenience.
Donna & Paul
Fresh jazz CD with the clear warm voice of Donna Deussen, screamin' arrangements and heart from Paul Weitz and his trio. My dear friends who play out all over town.
Funny Side Up by Howlett Smith
Quirky original CD with the priceless wit and wisdom of my dear friend and amazingly talented, Howlett Smith.
Full disclosure, this is my husband, so I'm probably a little biased. His work is collected world wide though, so I feel confident in recommending his work.
Bold original artwork from Award Winning, Fine Artist Warren Keating is available directly from the studio. His popular overhead series has sold hundreds of original works and personalized commissions. Archival prints and fine art giclées on canvas available for more modest budgets. See the popular Umbrella series. Keating's work is available in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Vivo Contemporary Gallery on Canyon Road, and online.
I don't have a coupon code for you, but I'm betting if you contact him directly through his website and mention that you saw him on EncinoMom he just might find it in his heart to give you special pricing!
Holiday Gift Cards
Each year, more and more of us are relying on gift cards to deliver the perfect present. Especially handy for co-workers, acquaintances, long distance friends and relatives, Secret Santa exchanges and even businesses and schools for holiday giving and fundraising.
Here's the thing, not only do recipients get something they want (especially when the card isn't specific to a single retailer), but Amazon gift cards like the one shown can be delivered GIFT BOXED in as little as a day! Don't need a physical card? Your gift can be delivered instantly!
Amazon gift cards are available from .50¢ to $2k! Not a fan of Amazon? There are gift cards available here from Starbucks to Whole Foods, Nordstrom to Sephora, Southwest Airlines to Spafinder and Supercuts! Giving gift cards can help you stick to your budget, too - since you won't be tempted to over spend when something beyond your reach catches your eye in the store.
Affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Exit Through The Gift Shop
World famous graffiti artist, Banksy turns the camera around without revealing his identity in Exit Through The Gift Shop. Fascinating.
Diary Of A Witch by Colleen Passard
It is very rare for me to read or recommend novels. That being said, this book is so exceptionally well written that I feel compelled to share it with you. I was hooked immediately and read Diary of a Witch non-stop from cover to cover. Set in the early 17th century, the writing feels extremely historically accurate and stirs thoughts and feelings deep within. There is palpable power in the telling of this Earthen, feminine tale that will leave you grateful to be alive today. Love, friendship, loyalty, family and alchemy are deftly woven forward and back through time providing some relief from the torture, persecution and fear endured by Elspeth as she sets the record straight in the writing of this diary.
Light a fire and curl up with this thick, rich, heart wrenching tome tonight. It should be made into a movie, but you know the book will be better! Available on Amazon, affiliate link provided for your convenience.