Category Archives: Gifts

Destination: Capitola

Capitola Lifeguard

My family has been going to Capitola for a few weeks every summer for as long as I can remember. I have a lot of great memories from summers in that town, and it’s a place I hold near and dear to me. For the past few years, I’ve only been able to shoot down for a few days or so – so when I’m there, it’s mostly sun bathing on the beach, or trivial pursuit at the beach house, and then I’m gone just as quickly as I arrived. Needless to say, I may have missed some lovely developments in that dreamy little village.

This past weekend I met up with a group of girlfriends from college that I haven’t seen in two years, so we all had a lot of catching up to do! (Quick recap: pregnancy! engagement!) We were originally supposed to stay in La Selva beach, but due to a strange twist of events (including a squatter and classical music no less) we changed plans and made a last-minute reservation at the Venetian in Capitola. I was excited because I thought “I know this town – I’ll show these girls around, no big!” Completely forgetting that for the past 3 or so years, I’ve reserved myself to the sand and my parents house whenever I’ve been there. Since it’s the middle of winter, laying out wasn’t really an option – so we went shopping! As we set about our excursion, I was pleasantly surprised. The last time I did any “real” shopping in Capitola, I was in high school – so it was more hemp ankle bracelets and platform flip-flops. They have some amazing shops, with some incredible finds and I’ve highlighted a few new favorites below.

Alphabet Blocks

Gadgets

{ quirky toys from Lumen Gallery }

1. Lumen – great gift shop/gallery with a post-modern flair.  Lots of interesting and funky toys, artwork and Jonathan Adler pottery.

2.  Euphoria Rio Mix – like a locally owned Forever 21.  Really cute costume jewelry, party tops and maxi dresses at very reasonable prices.

3.  Sweet Asylum – Ethereal/beachy themed women’s shop.  Light, flowy tops and skirts, cute vintage home goods.

4.  Yvonne – higher end women’s clothing.  Some amazing cocktail dresses and a large lingerie inventory including tons of Hanky Panky and Cosabella.

5.  Betsy’s Summerhouse Antiques – quirky little antique shop for the rare find.  I spent quite a bit of time exploring all the 60s-era Las Vegas matchbooks.

6.  Charley & Co. – adorable little gift shop with lots of quirky, homemade looking decor items.  They were unfortunately closed when I was there, but the window display was enough to make me want to come back – again and again.

7.  Just Baby – as stated above, our group is expecting a little one soon!  So the mama-to-be was showered with tiny little gems from this shop.  They also make their own custom clothing.

8.  Panache – one stop that was not new to me, I’ve been going here every year.  But it’s one of my favorites so I thought I’d give them a shout out.  Fantastic smelling lotions, bath gel, oils, as well as an array of other body products and gifts.  This year’s purchase – the shea butter coconut lotion.

9.  Vanity by the Sea – little sunglasses shop run by an adorable married couple.  Large selection of Prada, Ray Ban, Coach and Maui Jim.  Everyone in our group walked out with a new pair (except for me, I just got a new pair of these awesome House of Harlows)

Gilded Martini Glasses

Jade Necklace

{ gilded martini glasses and a jade style necklace from Zen Island }

10.  Zen Island by the Sea – home goods and women’s apparel shop.  Tons of amazing smelling Archipelago Botanicals and Illume candles.  Lots of delicate jewelry and the softest “Capitola” sweatshirts I’ve ever found.

It was such a fun trip, and it was so great to see these girls.  We may let a few years go by before we get together, but it never fails to feel like we all just saw each other yesterday as we pick up right where we left off.

While you’re out, have lunch on the patio overlooking the beach at Paradise Beach Grille , grab dinner at  Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine (best Italian outside of my mom’s kitchen).  Then cap off the day at Cava Wine Bar.

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Gifts for Gal

I’ve been told that my “Gifts for Guy” post was so great, that I needed to do one for the ladies too.  Well, I’m never one to disappoint – so with no further ado –

Gifts for Gal

Pink Mahjong Set, $72
kate spade iPhone Case, $40
Babushka Carafe, $24
Deborah Lippman “Trendsetter” Polish Set, $35
Large Monogram Necklace, $115
Madewell “Foxtrot” Earrings, $18
Fresh Body Oil, $45
Clare Vivier La Pochette Clutch, $145
“Ideal Bookshelf” Print by Jane Mount, $20                                                                               Cake Pops DIY Kit, $21
iSi Twist ‘n Sparkle Direct Carbonation System, $50
Knit Texting Gloves, $32

Gift shopping for girls can be just as tricky as shopping for guys – it all depends on who you’re buying for.  I like to pick up things that are fun, quirky and personal.  Things like giant gold monogram necklaces, a  babushka water carafe for bedside humor, a pink mahjong set because she’s been wanting to get a group together to play, a direct carbonation system to make any beverage sparkle, luxurious body oil in an intoxicating scent, an adorable cake pop kit, glitzy glitter nail polish, a sleek envelope clutch, and tech-savvy gloves that allow her to text and keep her digits nice and toasty.  Any of these gifts are sure to delight and will always remind the recipient of the special person that gave it to them!

Gifts for Guy

Gifts for Guy

 

Lomography Mini Diana White Camera, $65
Nixon watch, $500
Eshu Road Warrior Travel Pack ($40 Value) Road Warrior Travel Pack, $32
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, Imperial Grey, $350
Beer Making Kits | Williams-Sonoma, $40
Momento Vitae, by Alexander Beeching, $50
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest iPad Cover, $35
The Meatball Shop Cookbook, $14
Crew socks, $9


I find gift-shopping for guys so much harder than gift-shopping for girls,  so when I’m buying presents for dad, bro, or the special guy in my life I try to find things that are fun, useful and something they would proudly show off to their friends (stuffed animals are out of the question).  Although, gift shopping for my brother has become incredibly easy as over the years we’ve developed a “comedy DVD/gag gift/item of clothing” system that works remarkbly well.

p.s. How cool is that iPad cover? 
 

Because I love free things in pretty packages…

While doing some holiday beauty browsing on beauty.com I came across this fantastic free gift with purchase. Now, knowing it’s the giving season I realize that there are many places offering free gifts with purchase. Neiman Marcus has a decent one – but it’s filled with mostly fragrance samples – and I already have my signature fragrance – thank you very much. The beauty.com free gift is very, very tempting for a few reasons:

1. The bag, by fab jewelry designers Erikson Beamon , is totally gorgeous. I can see myself carrying it around as a fun party clutch to all the holiday soirees.

2. The products are A-MA-ZING. Microdermabrasion body exfoliating cream? Yes please! PHYTO Anti-Frizz finishing serum? Sign me up!

3. It’s, how do you say – FREE. So little lovelies, buy your loved ones all their beauty faves (I’m loving their “shop by personality” option), and keep this gem for yourself.