Inside(r) Tips

I try to have a theme for holiday gifting, and since we are all spending a lot of time at home, this year I focused on things that would make that time more enjoyable. Here are a few presents I’m giving this year…

Charcuterie boards are a fun way to have a portable picnic, perfect for when you want to do some traveling from your house to…ah…another room in your house. Start with a nice paddle or cutting board, and load it up with treats for that lucky someone. Two sources this year were the Mateo Serving Paddle from Crate and Barrel and the Italian Olivewood Cheese Paddle at Sur La Table.

Once you have your paddles, top with a mix of cheese, crackers, nuts, salami, dried fruit, olives, or whatever strikes your fancy. A one-stop-shop for all your charcuterie needs is Trader Joe’s. They have such a huge variety of great treats that the hardest part is narrowing down your selection so they fit on your board.

Another great go-to gift is a good scented candle that burns well and smells heavenly. The best quality candles have a wick that burns cleanly and evenly, eventually leaving a layer of melted wax across the entire surface of the candle. My top favs are Thymes’ Frasier Fir, Votivo’s Red Currant, and Meyer’s Clean Day.

Houseplants are great gifts for the plant lovers on your list, especially if they are in fun containers. When I’m thrift shopping throughout the year, I keep an eye out for vintage pots and planters, as well as containers that weren’t originally designed for plants. Some of my favorites are fancy Victorian silver plated sugar bowls, vintage metal children’s tea sets, and ceramic teapots. You can drill a drainage hole with a drill and a masonry bit, better yet spring for a Dremel tool with a tile cutting bit. I have a chartreuse thumb, so I pick high-impact plant varieties that are low maintenance and light tolerant. Some of my preferred plants are succulents (particularly pipe organ and small leaf jades), conical snake plants (nothing says love like a plant resembling green fingers reaching out to you from the earth), rat tail cactus (a wonderful trailing plant that produces gorgeous flowers if it likes you), and staghorn ferns.

And finally, for the wine lovers on your list, I adore Gabriel-Glass’  lightweight all-purpose wine glasses. A friend of mine brought their set over one evening and insisted I’d fall in love with them. I was skeptical, but they were right. Beautiful and well-engineered, they feel incredible in your hand and make any wine taste better. Choose between their Standart edition, or their even lighter, hand-blown Gold Edition- you can’t go wrong with either one!

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