SAINT MARTIN RECOMMENDATIONS?

I can’t believe we’re going to be in Saint Martin in five days!!! I definitely overextended myself just a teensy bit with the overlap of our busiest shipping season and the pop-up shop so this trip couldn’t be coming at a better time. I’ve been picking up a few warm weather purchases as I’ve done my Christmas shopping so I’ll be sure to snap a couple pictures for Instagram on our trip! Here are a few of the things I’m packing and a few more I wish would find their way into my suitcase…

Have any of you been to Saint Martin before? I booked the trip a couple months ago because it was honestly one of the only places in the Caribbean that had an open room that didn’t cost a million dollars so I know very little about what to expect! I did, however, have a super sweet customer email me a list of beaches and restaurants to check out and I can’t wait to do some exploring when we get there. If you’ve been before, I’d love to hear any places you think we can’t miss! Oh and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram. ;) Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

35 EXPERIENTIAL GIFTS

This year I published ten gift guides, pinned 150+ more gift ideas, shipped what felt like 139479 orders from my own boutique… and yet I think I saved the best for last. The holiday season is about so much more than shopping for the perfect present for every friend and family member — it’s about creating memories and moments you’ll cherish for years to come. That’s why I love gifting activities and experiences in lieu of traditional wrapped presents and decided to share a few of my favorite ideas with you. (Two years ago, I signed my entire extended family up for a private krav maya lesson the morning after Christmas. I don’t think any of us retained much about self-defense, but it made for one of the most hilarious Christmases in recent memory.) I love to partner up with my siblings and brainstorm activities that our family members will love. It’s also really fun to have an activity or event to look forward to in the new year!

Psst! This is also a great tactic for those of you who still have a number of people to buy gifts for. If you’re stressing about either paying an arm and a leg for expedited shipping or duking it out with hundreds of other shoppers at the mall, ask yourself whether there’s a thoughtful experience you could gift instead! No shipping, no wrapping, maybe just a print-out of tickets and a thoughtful note. Without further ado, 35 activities to give as gifts:

35 experiential gifts activities and events instead of traditional presents!

{pin it for future reference!}

  1. Aerial yoga class (dying to do this!)
  2. Art lessons
  3. Baking class (I’ve done macarons but cookie or cupcake decorating would also be cool!)
  4. Broadway tickets (see three plays I saw this year and recommend)
  5. Calligraphy workshop (I took this one)
  6. Ceramics workshop (check!)
  7. Cirque du Soleil tickets (my favorite has been La Nouba in Orlando but I’m dying to see O in Las Vegas!)
  8. Coffee tasting
  9. Concert tickets (Will gave me Taylor Swift tickets for our anniversary!!!)
  10. Cooking lesson
  11. Comedy club (love the Comedy Cellar in NYC)
  12. Dance classes (I would totally take a hip hop class with my sister…)
  13. Day at an amusement park
  14. Hang gliding (my brother and I went in Switzerland and need to find a place to go in the U.S.!)
  15. Horseback lesson
  16. Hot air balloon ride (bucket list item!)
  17. Gift certificates to favorite restaurants (we love doing this for our parents)
  18. Language classes
  19. Mani/pedi gift certificate
  20. Membership to a local theater (we loved the Westport Country Playhouse as kids!)
  21. Mixology class
  22. Movie theater gift card
  23. Museum membership (I just joined the MoMA)
  24. Sailboat ride (we did this on Nantucket but you can go in New York too!)
  25. Skydiving
  26. SoulCycle classes
  27. Spa day (best mom present ever)
  28. Sports tickets
  29. Surfing lesson
  30. Sushi making class
  31. Tennis lessons
  32. Trapeze lesson (this.is.so.fun!)
  33. Turkish bath (if you’ve met me in real life, chances are you’ve heard about the Turkish bath my mom, sister, and I went to in Istanbul… suffice it to say my mom is probably the only one who would repeat the experience but it made for a great story!)
  34. Whitewater rafting
  35. Wine tasting

A few resources for booking events like these: Gilt City, Groupon, Ticketmaster, and Vimbly. And if you’ve already finished your holiday shopping, consider getting your family involved in a charitable activity on Christmas Eve! We like to bake cookies for the nurses at the hospital where my mom works and sing Christmas carols to patients. Are there any activities your family participates in each Christmas? What experiences have you given as gifts? I’ll add more as I think of them (I have a feeling I’ll be referring back to this post pretty often!) and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

WEEKEND READING

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1. 10 affordable winter getaways.

2. 21 things you didn’t know about Love Actually.

3. An extraordinary before and after.

4. Browse my ten holiday gift guides here.

5. I “need” this leather pocket sweater.

6. Inspiration for Christmas decorating.

7. Kind of obsessed with these shoes.

8. The 19 most fashionable films on Netflix.

9. The thought process of waiting for a text… Hilarious.

10. Up to 40% off at J.Crew with code GIFTNOW. Yesss!

OUTFIT: EQUIPMENT BLOUSE + SJP HEELS

Remember how I styled these Sarah Jessica Parker bow heels with black and navy last week? I thought I’d brighten things up a little with a crisp white blouse and bright pink lip. The best part is that I could totally repurpose this look by switching out the jeans for a white skirt when I pack for Saint Martin! (Eight days but who’s counting?!) I love investing in pieces that work in any season and these shoes are no exception.

sarah jessica parker shoes

equipment blouse

sarah jessica parker shoes nordstrom

sarah jessica parker heels

equipment white blouse

sarah jessica parker bow heels

Ray-Ban sunglasses  //  Chanel Extatique lipstick  //  Equipment blouse  //  Michael Kors double strap leather watch  //  Rag & Bone jeans  //  Sarah Jessica Parker bow heels

P.S. Still wrapping up (ha!) your Christmas shopping? Check out Nordstrom’s selection of last-minute gifts for women, men, kids, and the home and place your order by Sunday night to get free shipping guaranteed for Christmas Eve delivery. Let’s just say there will be a lot of silver boxes underneath our tree this year…!

Shop the post:

*Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: FOR YOUR PUP!

My holiday gift guides wouldn’t be complete without a few things for your precious pup(s)! Rory and my parents’ dog Coach are truly members of our family and I can’t resist slipping a couple things underneath the tree for them too!

ralph lauren pink dog vest

{Ralph Lauren racer dog vest}

71QNer6P7nL._SL1500_{Burt’s Bees puppy shampoo — this smells sooo good!}

striped dog teepee bed

{Striped dog teepee bed}

barbour dog jacket

{Barbour waxed dog coat}

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{Squeaky tennis balls — Rory’s all-time favorite toy}

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{Billy Wolf dog rain jacket}

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{American flag dog bed}

ralph lauren dog polo shirt

{Ralph Lauren basic dog polo}

Do you give your dogs a couple goodies on their birthdays or Christmas or do you think I’m a crazy dog lady?!

Browse more gift guides here:

For the hostess

For your boyfriend/husband

What you’ll want to ask for

For your mom

For your dad

For the home

For your sister/BFF

For your brother/guy friends

Stocking stuffers

100+ more ideas here!