Style Points: Don’t forget people like gifts in December

This is not just another (yawn? I hope not) “GIFT GUIDE.” Well, maybe it is, but the difference is that NONE of these items are run-of-the-mill gee-gaws — or photos glommed off the internets of things I have never actually peeped with my peepers or held in my hand.

Rather, this is a little smattering of delights and comforts and nice things that were found and photographed in local shops. By the way, it is not an exhaustive list of everything I am personally hoping for this season  that I saw (my editor will not let me write 45-page blog posts — I don’t know why) that was blog-worthy and I also couldn’t get to every shop…however, it is a collection of great gifts that would delight just about anyone (from $2.99- $825).

From cashmere to cashmere-scented candles and regional socks and stickers, here is my list of some really great stuff that you can buy in Iowa City and Coralville. For presents or honestly (ahem), for your own fine self.

Budget: Under $3

To: All native Cornfeds (like me)
From: Active Endeavors, $2.99

Stick them on your car, your fattie bike, your tractor, your laptop, your ironic Sony Discman or your triplet stroller (get three).
Stick them on your car, your fattie bike, your tractor, your laptop, your ironic Sony Discman or your triplet stroller (get three).

Budget: Under $10

To: Everyone that has feet and also likes regionalism
From: Revival, $10 per pair or 2/$18

“Good art keeps you warm.” — Andy Goldsworthy (Not lying, he said that in his Rivers and Tides DVD, but not about socks.)

Budget: Under $50

This category is a little different because I have more than one item for this. My top picks here include:

1. Rosenthal fine ceramic tiny (4″ tall) paper bag Tutenvasen vase: $37 at The Luxe Zone (Coralville). I imagine putting tiny Lilies-of-the-Valley (my fave) flowers in here come Spring. Or violets. Or nothing: it looks cool on its own.

2. Sparkly clutch with oversized neon plastic zipper (I am a sucker for both): $34 at Nori (Iowa City). Good for everyday if you ask me. For everything. All the time. Pencils? Sure. Wadded-up hundies? Totally. Chapstick and half a turkey sandwich? Perfect.

3. Bluewick apricot wax candle in “white cashmere” scent: $42 at Velvet Coat (Iowa City). Seriously, look at this and imagine it smells the way 2-ply cashmere feels but the smell is caressing inside your nose. Yeah. I know. Plus when it burns down I would just drop a votive in it and keep using it as a candle holder. Get your money’s worth, ya know?


Budget: Under $100

Well, if you have not seen these handmade-from-scratch (and edible: made with butter and candies from Sweets and Treats) customized gingerbread houses ($75) at DeLuxe bakery yet…you should! They are displayed all over the bakery now looking and smelling amazing. You can have it customized with names and on your dining room table in 24 hours! Full disclosure here — previously, I have done professional photo and video work for DeLuxe.


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Budget: Under $825

This 100% cashmere Color Block Blanket by Qi Home is available in many colors at The Luxe Zone ($825). Dipped-dyed, fringed and large enough to get down on the floor and burrito yourself in (I may or may not have taken it for a “human burrito” test drive when owners, John and Jan, were not looking). Also this could totally be worn as a big soft wrap in the cold months. So it is basically home fashion and fashion-fashion. I call that a “win-win” in my world.

Wishing you, dear readers, a dazzling holiday season dripping and slathered with joy, love, hugs, stickers, socks, and fresh gingerbread.