Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SMJ's Decadent Holiday Gift Guide

It is snowing, I am cozy inside with a fire, a hot chocolate, holiday music on Pandora and one cuddly babe, and it seems like a just about perfect time, this being our week of decadence, to do a little shopping across the interwebs for my most favorite frivolous, delicious, delectable and ridiculous products.  Please keep in mind that this is decadent, fantasy shopping, which is not unlike fantasy football, in that it is highly unrealistic, but fun to think about and pretend. Do go get yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of red, sit back, and enjoy! 

Lunaroma True Love Facial Cream with Rose Otto  Lunaroma strikes again. Have you ever put a product on your face that actually makes people stop in their tracks and say, "WOW!  What an incredible smell!  What is that?"  That would be this very special cream.  Hand-crafted of organic, steam-distilled essential oil of Bulgarian Rosa Damascena, this thick, rich, healing cream is about the best thing you have ever smelled in your life.  Rose is fantastic for all skin types, and I highly recommend this product for anyone on your list.  It is a fave of anyone I know who as ever smelled or used it.

Trentadue Chocolate Amore Port My parents, the husband and I tried this incredible after-dinner drink while visiting Napa for a wedding.  We were out to dinner at The Rutherford Grill (amazing) and couldn't resist ordering a glass to share when we read the description: a merlot-based, chocolate-flavored dessert wine.  I hate super-sweet drinks, and this was anything but.  We passed the glass around and marveled at the flavor; it was A.MAZING.  Years later I ordered bottles for Christmas gifts, and it was just as incredible as we remembered; delicious to sip, or served over vanilla ice cream.  For your favorite vino-loving chocoholic, done and done.

Patagonia Cashmere Tunic What's more decadent than cashmere?  Nothing.  Patagonia is the best of the best, and with their lifetime guarantee, environmental mission and amazing quality, I feel like even their big ticket items are as much investments as they are splurges.  This sweater looks like one of those uniform pieces that most mamas I know would wear to shreds: with great black pants to the office, with favorite jeans and a pretty necklace on a date night, or after a day on the mountain with yoga pants in front of the fire.  It comes in four gorgeous colors to boot. 

Manduka Yoga Mat  Do you "need" a $70 yoga mat?  Certainly not.  Is a thick, cushy mat that is sticky, easy on your joints, and sustainably made the kind of decadence any yogini could get down with?  Why, yes.

Truffle Salt  I've mentioned it before, I'll mention it again.  Truffle salt is a gift from the gods; it makes everything from macaroni and cheese to scrambled eggs taste like it was cooked for you by Tom Colicchio himself in a 5-star restaurant somewhere.  For salt, it is pricey, but as a gift, it is fabulous, and a little goes a long, long way.  This is a very special find indeed.

Gorgeous scented candles are one of my favorite gifts for the home.  Fresh makes the most intoxicatingly pure scents, and their candles are a splurge but beautiful and fragrant in a non-cloying way.  At a more reasonable price-point, Mrs. Meyers candles are incredible as well; they come in a charming little mason jar, are soy-based, last forever, also have a non-cloying scent, and at the price ($10) absolutely cannot be beat.

For the new mama (or papa), visual artist or hobby photographer on your list, why not help them take it to the next level with an awesome new camera (I said, decadent, did I not?)?  I fully realize that this is not likely a realistic gift to give or request this recessionary holiday season, but I've been doing my homework on digital SLR cameras and had to share.  This baby seems to have it all, just in case you or a loved one happens to be in the market for a new toy.  This Canon reviews as exceptionally user-friendly, yielding crisp images for those of us who are snapping photos all day long.

There you have it! Happy internet-equivalent of window shopping!
What special and not altogether practical item are you craving this season?
Coming later this week: my very first blog giveaway!  I am so excited!  Stay tuned!


  1. Ahh, chocolate port. I ditto that recommendation. It's possible that I still have *one* bottle left of my fav chocolate port... yet more likely that it's already been consumed. Wine tastings in CA, how I miss you!

    Anyway. Good call, mama J! :-)

  2. I have that same camera! Good choice.

  3. I am requesting a hybrid car. It's very practical request, but not likely to be realized from Santa this year. My fave is the 2010 Toyota Prius. It has a solar panel in the sun roof that powers some of the electronics! Go Toyota! Check it out at

  4. Bought 3 containers of truffle salt today!! Thanks for the ideas...