[Valid Atom 1.0] BarbaraEllen: How To. Unique Holiday Gifts & a #ShopLocal Guide.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How To. Unique Holiday Gifts & a #ShopLocal Guide.

Shopping Guide 
For Unique Holiday Gifts

(Google Images.)
Butternuts Beer & Ale!
at Trader Joe's
Get's better the more you read...

Google Images.
Great Jar!
1.    Marshall’s. Let’s just get this out of the way, now. Unique, you ask? Yes. Even      though probably everybody is gifting from Marshall’s (or TJ Maxx, etc), you will still find super unique gifts. Disclaimer: Use only in lieu of items you can only buy commercially. Candles? No. Save those for the Salons & Spas (#3) or, better yet, Fair Trades (#4) or Boutiques! (#5). Large glass jar of Jelly Belly’s for Momsly? Done. It beats retail prices, & she’ll reuse that jar. Another idea is its variety of cute & sexy socks. From over-the-knee wool numbers to thigh-high lace-capades: very few of us buy ourselves nice socks. And that’s why, when luxurious, it presents as a unique gift. As far as beauty goes? I croon for Marshall’s supply of eye creams & serums. Be it a beauty basket or a stocking stuffer, lotions & potions are sure to woo.

Google Images.
Moisturizing & Gentle.
2.     Trader Joes. If you’re a Rochesterian, & you haven’t been: go. Whether you’re on a budget or you eat only organic, or both, you will relish in the unique finds & low prices offered by this specialty grocer. For the beer lover, try a European Trader Joe brew or one of its more local offerings, such as a Ithaca Pale Ale or Butternut Brewery creation. A baker? No bounds exist with the boxes of easily prepared confectionaries, such as Chocolate Peppermint Roll, or the wholesome, organic ingredients for the made-from-scratch-mmm-doer. Also, Trader Joe’s also offers bath & beauty varietals. French hand-mill soap, organic oatmeal exfoliates, Vitamin E Oil. (Way less expensive here, than at drug stores.) And, yes, the packaging is pretty. Whether hosting your first (or 500th) holiday shindig or buying-on-the-go, Trader Joe’s is a great stop for your groceries & your gifts.

Image From Sephora.
Amazing value for gorgeous make-up.
3.     Salons & Spas. Last year, I found that I bought most of my gifts, from friends to my mom to even my dad, at Sephora. Amazing what bath goods packaged in a masculine box or feminine bag can do. This year, while going for a hair trim in November, I had the same reaction to Rochester’s most renowned salon, Scott Miller. With OPI polishes regularly on-sale for 50% off to sample make-up sets like this  -> from Smashbox, it’s hard not to find something for your lovies & for yourself. Similar to the luxe-socks (mentioned above),  salons & spas often sell the luxury version of everyday items at, of course, a luxury price. Really, who buys a $25 candle for him or herself? No one. And that is exactly the point. No one does, and yet $25 is still affordable. For that candle-burning, under-pampered love in your life, spring for an environmentally friendly, fragrantly soothing $25 candle. I think you’ll both be pleasantly surprised.

From Noonday Collection.
Handmade Stationary.
4.     Fair Trade. Ideally, everyone would shop fair trade for all of their holiday gifts. With local and mail-order vendors like One World Goods (potentially 10,000 Villages in your area), Noonday Collection, and Heifer International, the idea of every gift, every voice is possible. The former 2 offer hand crafted gifts the likes of jewelry & home goods. The latter, animals and live stock as food and farm for families. All 3, an investment in the livelihood of international artisans. In the past few years, Momsly and I have developed a tradition of me buying her livestock through Heifer. Two years ago, bunnies. Last year, chickens.

Menu for Brick & Motor.
Changes Daily.
5.   Boutiques, Restaurants, Shops. #ShopLocal #ShopLocal #ShopLocal . I guarantee you that anything you buy at the mall—children’s toys, lotions & potions, blouses & bags, gourmet food items, trinkets & knick-knacks, hats, mittens, & socks, anything—you can buy in and around your local communities. Sure, the mall, or even Target, is considered a one-stop-shop. But you still have to traipse. Navigate the unending isles. Fish for a spot. Get shoulder-shoulder with the crowds. So how is this any different than walking a few short blocks to navigate the neighborhood goods? The difference is supporting your local economy. The difference is finding truly unique gifts. Gifts that have a story and are frequently made locally and/or within the United States.

Quick & Dirty #ShopLocal Holiday Guide
to Rochester, NY
Use neighborhood websites as your guide
for Holiday Shopping!
University Ave
Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) gift shop, Starry Nites, Craft Co. No. 6, Chocolate & Vines (gift card)
East Ave
The Little Theatre Tickets, Victoire (gift card), Java's Cafe
Park Ave 
PeppermintParkleighSugarMountain Bake ShoppeStever’s Candie’s 
Monroe Ave 
Archimage, Aaron’s Alley
 South Wedge
Magix, Thread, South Wedge Spirits & Wine, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, Equal Grounds, Tap & Mallet (gift card), Brock & Motor (food cart gift card)
Irondequoit, NY
Encore Chocolates, Guido's Pasta Villa, Sips Cafe
Pittsford, NY
Scott Miller Salon, Village of Pittsford (so many shops!!)
Rochester, NY
Every Tuesday & Saturday Morning

No comments:

Post a Comment

Not your typical BarbaraEllen ... but still be constructive. Creative also welcome! xo.