Ask A (Couple) Women: No coal in these stockings
If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. And don’t worry, your identity will be protected too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You ladies at Full Clutch are going to do some kind of Christmas gift guide, right? Us Dappered guys could use the help with shopping. I keep an eye on Full Clutch because it helps me buy gifts for my wife.
Ask and you shall receive. In lieu of my usual advice for all your manly problems, Sarah (of full clutch fame) and I have collaborated to create the ultimate gift giving guide for the women in your life. That’s right, we’re bringing twice the estrogen, double the breasts, and a whole lot of genius. If you like what you see here, there’s more for your favorite females at www.fullclutch.com. First up, Sarah and her suggestions…
Pedicure for Two
Most women love getting pedicures. It’s very relaxing, pampering, and it forces you to take 40 to 60 minutes to slow down and just enjoy something indulgent. And getting a pedicure with a close friend can heighten the experience, especially if a glass of wine is involved. Why not buy her a gift certificate for two pedicures so she can take a good friend along? Find a spa that serves beverages, and have a bottle of bubbly waiting for them to split. Or make it an afternoon and also get a gift card to a nearby restaurant within walking distance; this will hopefully help minimize the affects of the champagne, unless more booze is purchased with the meal. Then you might want to be on stand-by, ready to pick up a couple of giddy women with freshly painted toes. photo credit
Cashmere Ballet Slippers – $71.96 w/ SGIFTS20 ($89.95)
No one NEEDS cashmere slippers, but what a lovely way for her to start a cold morning, slipping her feet into these. The thick seams on the toes of these slippers gives them a little more style than just a plain toe. Available in four colors, ships from Red Envelope. Code SGIFTS20 should get you 20% off your order.
Donation to your local Humane Society in her name
For the animal lover in your life, make a donation to your local Humane Society shelter. These shelters are critical in controlling pet populations (as was Bob Barker), rescuing abused animals (as seen above), and trying to place animals in new homes when owners, for whatever reasons, can no longer keep them. Most Humane Societies have gift shops. Purchase a Christmas ornament to go along with the donation paperwork for a lasting keepsake.
If you know a woman that loves to cook, and more importantly likes to make a lot of sauces and soups, this is an invaluable gadget to have in the kitchen. So much easier than blending things up in batches in a blender or food processor (although both those tools come in very useful as well). I requested one of these from the mister a few years back, and although I don’t use it that often, I sure am glad I have it when I need it. Blending refried beans or veggie marinara sauce is so easy with one of these, and the clean up is much quicker than a food processor. You can even purchase a model with several different attachments for chopping, grinding, whisking, whipping. Oh my.
Paying for her next hair appointment
If any of you guys have a joint checking account with your girl, you’ve probably seen how expensive a cut and color runs these days. And for most women, it is a must. What a pleasant surprise it would be for a woman in your life to have this necessary evil paid for the next time she walked into her salon. This gift can work for most women in your life, from girlfriend right on up to grandma. Just give the recipient a card, with a mysterious explanation that they will come across their gift in the near future. If it’s your mom or grandma, they can brag to the rest of the salon about what a nice son/grandson they have. photo credit
Terrarium art was really popular in the 70’s, and it’s making a comeback. You can either buy terrariums already assembled, or purchase a DIY kit for the crafty type. The terrarium kit at left is the “Romantic DIY Kit” from Twig Terrariums. The price is steep, and shipping is really steep, but it’s a very romantic gesture (look hard and you’ll see the couple embracing), and something to remind her of the two of you often. The kit at right is much less expensive, and utilizes an air plant. Terrariums are very easy to care for, and bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Hopefully it’s the only place you’d have moss growing indoors. Check out Etsy for an endless array of terrariums, plants ranging from moss to venus fly traps, and miniatures to place inside the terrariums. Buying for a girl that has a good sense of humor? Try this one.
Hope these ideas help you get the ball rolling!
Enjoy those picks from Sarah? Of course you did! How about another handful of suggestions from Beth?
High Quality Costume Jewelry
Hear me out. Costume jewelry gets a bad rap. We think of Great Grandma Bertha’s musty, tarnished jewelry box that smells faintly of pickled herring. My definition of costume jewelry is statement pieces of jewelry not made from precious (read: expensive) gems. Look, most men (and women for that matter) can’t afford the price tag on a strand of pearls or diamond earrings or a ruby cocktail ring. At least not for every holiday season. But that doesn’t mean that beautiful jewels are out of reach. There is a growing number of sellers on Etsy who are producing amazing pieces made from faux pearls and crystals, that are still very high quality. My favorite is Bouvier Jewelry. Proprietor Cynthia describes her pieces as “Coco Chanel meets Audrey Hepburn meets Sophia Lauren.” She uses a combination of real and faux pearls, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, and mixed metals. Her pieces are beautiful and hold up well–I own two pieces myself. Plus, she’s also willing to work with buyers on custom-made pieces. Another designer I’ve been admiring is DesignsbyDeena who makes more modern versions of the classic costume piece. Etsy is a great resource for those looking to buy original and one-of-a-kind jewelry!
Evening o’ fun
Hopefully you’ve been paying attention to, you know, things your lady likes. Here’s an equation that always equals x: her favorite watering hole + her favorite restaurant + an event. What bar serves her favorite martini? Take her there for one. Then on to the restaurant with her favorite steak/pasta/hummus spread. This is especially effective if you normally can’t stand the place and rarely go there with her. Finally, an event or experience of some kind that she’ll especially enjoy: play, musical, opera, concert, ice skating, basketball game, comedy club, what-have-you. Book everything in advance, tell her how to dress in advance, then let the evening be a surprise as it unravels before her. photo credit
Wine of the Month Club
For all the fellas dating boozehounds out there, a wine of the month subscription could be a fun gift. There are a ton of wineries and companies now offering this product, plus each company offers different packages, so you’ll need to spend some time looking around and thinking about what would suit your gal best. Is she adventurous? Maybe an International package is a good fit. Does she stay true to California varietals? A California package would be better. Look into local wineries to see if they offer some type of gift package. That way, she won’t have to deal with shipping (some states require a person 21 or older to be home to sign for the wine when it’s delivered). photo credit
Basket of Favorite Things
The gifts I’ve been given that have really floored me are the ones that show how well the giver knows me. What if you put together a gift basket of all your lady’s favorite things? Empty gift baskets are plentiful in thrift stores for between $1-$3. Place a bit of colorful, crumpled up tissue paper in the bottom of the basket, then cram it full of small things that make her smile. A bag of her favorite candy or a box of her favorite tea. A bottle of scented lotion from the bath store she frequents. A gift card to her favorite local boutique. A pair of warm, elegant gloves in her favorite color. Get creative, and don’t let small items scare you off. If she’s crazy about something as simple as a flavor of chapstick, or a brand of gum, include it! You’re proving to her that you know what she likes, and that it’s important to you to make her happy. (Incidentally, a gift like this would work well for female relatives whom you know well.) photo credit
It might seem strange to buy your other half something to be used by the dog or cat, but humans often get more joy out of pet gear than the animal does. Retailers have long been aware of this fact and have thus created amazing dog and cat beds and houses that are cushy and comfortable (bonus for the animal), as well as being devastatingly cute and charming (bonus for the human). The website Fab.com has a huge assortment of these gifts, all at discounted prices. You have to sign up to access many of their pages, but it’s well worth it. At left in the image above is Red Shoe Cat House by Etna Products for $16, and at right, Roll Over Pillow Pack Kit (small) by molly mutt for $40.
Art classes are a great way to relax, reduce stress, and nurture that underappreciated impulse to create. Plus, there are SO many options out there. Paper stores often offer scrapbooking classes; art stores give instruction on everything from watercolor painting to jewelry making; and community education is a goldmine–pottery, woodworking, even stained glass. Don’t overlook art-focused nonprofits in your area that may offer unique classes like bookmaking/binding. You can sign up for classes that are several months long and produce several pieces of art, or a class that takes place once, over an afternoon, in which you produce a single piece. A great gift for your lady to do on her own, or with friends, or just the two of you. photo credit
Happy shopping fellas!
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