Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Since most of you reading this are probably women yourselves, shopping for other females may not prove as difficult – at least, maybe not as difficult as shopping for the men in your lives. Still, it’s always good to have ideas, especially suggestions that are appropriate for the various relationships you have with the ladies you know. Keep reading for some of my favorite gifts for women in 2012, including some fun ideas for YOU.


Sister/ Like a Sister
Whether she’s blood-related or might as well be, this woman is there for you through bad relationships and bad haircuts. She’s who you celebrate the victories with and the person you call when you need to vent. Here are a few ideas to bring her a little holiday cheer this year.
If she’s obsessed with her city: AMINIMAL City Necklace
She can show off her city pride with this delicate city grid necklace (or earrings) which look abstract but totally aren’t (it’s a grid!). There are about a 1000 cities representin’, so there’s a good chance you can find hers.

If she likes to throw a party: Mix and Matchmaker Cocktail Shaker
Cocktails taste better when they’re mixed in an adorable shaker, and that’s just the truth.


If she likes to paint the town red: Ecote Embroidered Clutch
When a lady goes out for a night, she basically needs a phone, cash, ID, keys, and some lipstick. So let her leave the bulky handbag at home, and tote her necessities in this beautiful clutch that goes equally with jeans or a fancy dress.


Girlfriend (of the non-platonic variety)
Whether you’re one of our lovely male readers or you’re representin’ the lady-love pool, here are some great suggestions for your girlfriend/wife.

If she likes to get a little frisque: Adult toys from Babeland
Save the “Je Joue FiFi,” “The Body Wand,” or “Honeymoon in a Box” for your lady to unwrap in private rather than during a gift exchange with the whole family. Your mom may have read “Fifty Shades of Grey” on her summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean she needs to envision you and your girlfriend acting out the scenes together…


If she’s shot you right through the heart: Bullet necklace by I Adorn You
I love this necklace for a lady who’s got a tough side. Made with real bullet casings (and quartz detailing), this piece is as unique and cool and she is.


If she likes the colors of the beach: Earrings
Pretty, delicate, bright and colorful. Love.


If you don’t want her to get cold feet: Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots
There are a few things I appreciate about cold weather, and top of the list is the opportunity to wear cute winter boots like these, which are so “sexy-aprés-ski,” I’d want to wear them all the time, while sipping spiked hot chocolate by the fireplace.


If you’ve got plans to whisk her away for a romantic holiday dinner: Sheath All That Dress
On those evenings when I cry in my closet because I’ve got nothing to wear, I would KILL for the gift of a beautiful dress from my thoughtful husband, and I know I’m not alone on that. (Psst, I wear a size 10… 8 on a good day).


Yo’ Mama
She gave you life and guided you through the trauma of adolescence. She deserves a medal, for sure, but for now, these gift ideas should do.

If she gets cold hands and likes the finer things: Italian cashmere lined leather gloves
Because she deserves an item of pure luxury.


If she likes to pack a bowl:
Need I Sorbet More Bowl Set

Because she hasn’t updated her serving bowls since you lived at home… back in 1997.


If she’s hipper than a bag of kale chips: Kombucha Home Brew Kit
Kombucha tea, for those who don’t know, is all the rage among the health-nut set. Supposedly packed with probiotics and all kinds of other good-for-you stuff, it’s what all the cool kids are drinking instead of red bulls and lattes and whatever else will kill you. If she likes yoga, she’ll like this. Trust.

If she likes wine tastings: Club W Wine Club Membership
I got a membership to Club W when it was featured on Fab.com last year, and I can’t express how much fun it is for a budding wine lover to receive bottles on wine delivered right to her door. Much better than receiving bills and junk mail!


Roommate/ Favorite Officemate
Whether it’s at work or at home, you share your space — and probably more personal information than you’d like to admit — with her. So show your appreciation and a token of friendship with any of these gifts.
If she likes Paris and and sweets and being sort of twee: Mini French Macarons
They’re so pretty and tasty, and the best part of giving food gifts to people you share space with is that they usually share.


If she brown bags it: Snappy Trails Lunch Bag
She’ll save money and the planet by ditching the brown bags and bringing her lunch in a cute reusable tote like this. Good for the environment, good for the budget.


If she likes to travel and know what day it is: Word Traveler Calendar
I’m a big fan of Anderson Design Group posters (we have three) and now I’m a fan of the world traveler poster which features 12 of the most popular city designs in calendar-size images. Beautiful and practical.


Your kids’ teacher/ babysitter
She puts up with your kid, doesn’t get paid a lot to do it, and always comes back for more. Where would you be without her? (Tip: if she’s a babysitter or nanny, it’s customary — and always appreciated — to give a cash bonus that is at least equivalent to one week’s pay. These are nice gifts that your kid can give in addition.).
If she’s human: Voluspa candles
So pretty and they smell delish too. Plus, who doesn’t love candles?


If she likes granola and the earth and stuff: EnviroSax reusable tote bags
Like the lunch tote above, this is a beautiful way to be kind to our environment while being stylish doing it.


If she likes hot beverages: Pushed Out to Tea Travel Mug
Cute, unique, practical, and inexpensive. What’s not to love?


Most fun person to shop for, amiright? Here are a few ideas for treating yourself this holiday season.

I got this for my birthday in September and have been using it every day since. I know it works because I was recently carded buying wine at the liquor store (I’m 36).


“How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You”
Because you need to know.
Mixed Metal Earrings
Can’t decide if you want to wear silver accessories or gold? Go with both!


Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Clutch
Someone has to buy it for you so it might as well be you.


Astronomy Amor Necklace
If this is a statement necklace, the statement is, “I’ve got good taste.”


Ankle Boots
Still love mine. Still wear them all the time. Still feel and look new.



Stocking Stuffers

Clinique Lipgloss

Lush bath bombs

Sigg Water Bottle

Marimekko Umbrella

Retro Dollie Earrings

Essie Good as Gold Nail Polish (my current fave)

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Kukui Nut Body Cream (I got this for a baby shower gift and it quickly became one of my favorite beauty/body products — it smells sooo good!)

57 comments… add one
  • jlyfsh November 28, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Yay Envirosax! They are awesome and hold up really well. Even if you let fruit rot in them. Also that alba cream is amazing. There are so many things on here I love. Really great list, Wendy! 🙂

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  • ktfran November 28, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Well done! I love this list. The Clarisonic is the best thing ever and I kind of want that clutch. Oh, I also have already looked into the city grid necklaces. Those are fun too.

    Another idea, well two sort of . . .

    If you know the person’s shoe size, Minnetonka moccasins are kind of awesome and come in lots of colors. So are Toms, and if you gift those, you’ll be gifting a needy person shoes too.

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    • Amanda November 28, 2012, 3:02 pm

      Do you know if the Clarisonic will aggravate super dry skin? I’m definitely interested, but since I’m currently moisturizing my face thrice daily I don’t want to further upset my skin.

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        MaterialsGirl November 28, 2012, 4:27 pm

        Just get the super sensitive brush and do it only once a day or every other day

      • ktfran November 28, 2012, 9:00 pm

        I concur with MG. And you can use any cleanser.

  • Riefer November 28, 2012, 1:25 pm

    About gifts for teachers…. my aunt’s a teacher, and every year she brings a bag of stuff to Christmas and lets people take what they want, then gives the rest to charity. Problem is, she’s been teaching for like 20 years, and there are only so many candles and knick knacks a person can use. She always says her favourite gifts are the ones that the kids clearly made themselves.

    Other ideas are consumables – if you know what she likes you can get chocolates, cookies, etc. At least they won’t go to waste. Or movie tickets or something. Not a dust collector that will probably just end up in the dump.

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      Wendy November 28, 2012, 1:30 pm

      There are lots of ideas on this list. If you think the teacher suggestions are “dust collectors,” then check out some of the gifts in the other categories, although I wouldn’t suggest giving one’s kids’ teachers a vibrator…

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      • Riefer November 28, 2012, 8:03 pm

        Oh I wasn’t knocking your suggestions Wendy. I was just saying, they don’t always need a purchased gift. It’s a lot of stuff, and unless you know the teacher well and know what she would like, it’s typically stuff that they don’t necessarily want.

    • EB November 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Trust me Voluspa candles are not “dust collectors”, they run $20-30 apiece for a relatively small candle. I am not even a candle person but after receiving 3 or 4 as gifts and enjoying them immensely, I bought a replacement for myself last time I was in Anthropology. I also bought another as a hostess gift because I think it is type of luxury that a lot of people might really appreciate but struggle to justify buying for themselves.

      Also, no offense to school children of past and present but my while my schoolteacher friends appreciate the effort, they don’t keep the vast majority of handmade pictures, gifts and cards they receive from their kids for more than a few days/week. At first they did but 2 dozen kids x half a dozen occasions a year, that stuff adds up.

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    • va-in-ny November 28, 2012, 4:46 pm

      My mom, a teacher, used to get smoke detectors as gifts…

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  • Painted_lady November 28, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Yeah, kids stop giving teacher gifts once they hit middle school. So if anyone wants to give me those candles, you know, feel free.

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    • Addie Pray November 29, 2012, 7:18 am

      Not me. In high school my mom would send me off to school with like 15 loafs of bread that she had baked and wrapped in bows. My 7 teachers, 2 guidance counselors, 3 coaches, and a few office workers got bread for xmas.

      I love this list, Wendy. I’m buying one of everything… for myself.

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  • Eagle Eye November 28, 2012, 1:35 pm

    I love the city necklaces! My sister just moved to a big city to try and “make it” so to speak after graduating from college – this could be a great gift for her!

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  • Taylor November 28, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Awesome job Wendy. You are making my life a lot easier, and I very much appreciate it. Thank you!

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    Kate B. November 28, 2012, 2:01 pm

    This is a great list! Well done.

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    the_optimist November 28, 2012, 2:03 pm

    <3 Sorel! I'm waiting for my new snow boots…they're supposed to come in the mail any second now!

    Great list, Wendy! I've been trying to find gifts for my sisters, so this was super helpful.

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    Lianne November 28, 2012, 2:06 pm

    These are awesome suggestions. I especially love the AMINIMAL necklaces and wine of the month options! SO cool!

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  • brendapie November 28, 2012, 2:23 pm

    I would recommend the Lorac Pro Palette for the makeup obsessed or for those just starting to build their makeup collections. I think it’s a fabulous gift especially when some of us can’t justify spending so much on eyeshadow. It’s definitely a treat or a splurge for me but I would love to own one. The Urban Decay Naked Palettes are fantastic as well.

    Both can be purchased on Amazon through Wendy’s affiliate link or elsewhere if you so desire.

    (Sorry if this is a double post!)

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    • Flanagan.er November 28, 2012, 5:04 pm

      I love love love love love the urban decay naked palettes. There aren’t enough loves.

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  • lets_be_honest November 28, 2012, 2:26 pm

    I take gift giving too seriously and I think these are all awesome. You forgot to list your shoe size for Drew on those boots though! I think I might have to get them also, and a city necklace.
    Wine club is also good for dads if yours is anything like mine.

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    Fabelle November 28, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Mmmm I kinda want to buy those mini-macaroons for myself…

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  • EB November 28, 2012, 2:39 pm

    On the topic of boots, if this season any ladies are wishing for tall boots but struggle with finding a pair that fits in the calf, I highly recommend checking out DUO. I have really small calves and could never finds boots that my legs weren’t drowning in until I tried DUO. Their boots come in 20 different calf sizes ranging from 12-18 inches. The only downside is that their prices are a bit steep but I have half a dozen pair some of which I have had for five years that are all still in great shape. However after Christmas, they do generally discount a good number by 25-50% so it might be worth holding off until then if you don’t mind waiting!

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    • Flanagan.er November 28, 2012, 5:07 pm

      As someone with the exact opposite problem, me and my giant calves thank you for this.

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    • AliceInDairyland November 28, 2012, 5:40 pm

      Oooh thank you! I have a pair from Macy’s that’s backordered until January… that I had my fingers crossed would fit. However after Christmas I will check out these boots to see if any end up in my price range ($100ish). I have really skinny calves too!

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  • Amanda November 28, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I love this list and the gifts for men list! Thank you Wendy for putting these together. The EnviroSax reusable tote bags are really fantastic. I have two, they hold 40 pounds each and are both really cute. I keep one in my purse and one in my bookbag at all times.

    Also, I bought three pairs of ankle boots for myself from Amazon. I’ve officially been cut off from boot-buying.

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    Brown-eyed NoVA Girl November 28, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Style question: How do you wear ankle boots like that? With normal or skinny jeans? skirts? just a smile? The amazon reviewers seem to love these boots as much as Wendy.

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      Wendy November 28, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Yes to all of the above. In the past week, I’ve worn them with skinny jeans, regular jeans and a skirt. My favorite is with skinny jeans.

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    • llclarityll November 28, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Thanks for this question, Brown-eyed. I felt dumb asking it myself!

      You could probably wear ’em with leggings, too. (Right?)

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      • ktfran November 28, 2012, 6:05 pm

        Right! Just remember, leggings are pants so wear a long sweater or tunic with those leggings 🙂

        Ankle boots are also really cute with looser fitting jeans that you roll up just a little bit. A lot of celebs are doing it and if done correctly, it’s super cute. Think light colored jeans, brown ankle boots and a cute top!

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    Wendy November 28, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I’m glad everyone likes these lists – I’ve been working on them for about six weeks. Thanks for supporting the site by shopping through the Amazon links (btw, Modcloth is also an affiliate). I hope the affiliate links aren’t too much, but this was a good way I could think of to make a little extra money to help pay the overhead for the site. Thanks, you guys!

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      iwannatalktosampson November 28, 2012, 3:21 pm

      So Wendy I am suuuuper technologically challenged. Just to clarify – if I go to modcloth (which I LOVE that place btw) via your site – like I come to DW and then click on the modcloth link at the top – browse around go to different pages within the website, etc., and then select something and check out everything will be great? Or at some point when I’m checking out do I need to link to DW or anything? I guess I just don’t get how modcloth would trace my purchase back to your site just by my originally accessing the site through DW.

      The internet is always watching you. I might have to go off the grid at some point.

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        Wendy November 28, 2012, 3:34 pm

        I’m sort of a “casual” modcloth affiliate. If you go through direct product links on my site, like any of the ones I’ve included in this post, then I will receive a commission on any purchase you make — even on something I didn’t link to. There’s no other way to follow you or anything like that.

      • GatorGirl November 28, 2012, 3:43 pm

        I have another techy question. So if I look up something through the amazon link on your page you get credit right? What about if I add like 5 other things to the cart then check out, do you only get credit for the item I searched through your page?

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        Wendy November 28, 2012, 3:49 pm

        I get commission for all of it. Thanks for asking.

      • GatorGirl November 28, 2012, 3:53 pm

        Okay good. We’re buying a lot of Christmas gifts on amazon and the thought of searching through your site 15 times was overwhelming (since I would like you to get the credit!). Good to know I only have to do it once!

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        Wendy November 28, 2012, 4:07 pm

        I appreciate!!

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        Wendy November 28, 2012, 4:08 pm

        And if it’s easier, you can just bookmark this link, which includes my affiliate code: http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=dearwecom-20&linkCode=wsw&

      • bethany November 28, 2012, 4:11 pm

        I did that! It’s super easy that way! Unfortunately, I’ve been buying really cheap stuff on Amazon lately 🙁

      • llclarityll November 28, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Yay, glad it goes to you.

        I live in Pittsburgh, where ModCloth is head quartered, and the owners/staff are super, super nice. Very hardworking and they give back to the community.

  • lets_be_honest November 28, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I’m kind of bummed I finished all my Christmas shopping already. Maybe next year, if you are still putting out lists, they could come earlier, however, I’m totally aware that I’m a freak for being done already.

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      Wendy November 28, 2012, 3:17 pm

      I envy your organization!

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      • lets_be_honest November 28, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Organization is a nicer way of putting it! I just love the holidays, the tree has been up since last Friday, listening to Christmas music in the car since the day before Thanksgiving, etc. and I’m one of those people that if something is not done, I can’t relax or enjoy anything, so the idea of not being able to relax and enjoy Christmas forces me to finish shopping as early as possible.

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    MaterialsGirl November 28, 2012, 4:31 pm

    The Corliss suede blanc candle is freaking crack. I love it so much. Now I want to get all of these things for myself, although I’ve given envirosaks before as well as the Clinique lip balm in that black honey color. Oo sorel boots are super. Uh. I love getting small cooks tools from sur la table.. Wrap them up in a cute tea towel!

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      MaterialsGirl November 28, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Voluspa… Stupid autocorrect

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  • EB November 28, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Hey Wendy, I don’t know if you need any ideas for weekend open threads but in the vein of these gift guides you could do a holiday gift thread. Like what’s the favorite present you have ever received? Have given? Worst present you have ever received? Do you have any gift giving standbys- a gift that went over so well that you have given it multiple people or something you make or bake every year to give out? What are your gift giving traditions with family/friends? What’s your plan of attack for shopping this year- finished on Black Friday or procrastinating until the night before Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza? What’s on your personal wish list this year?

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      Wendy November 28, 2012, 4:51 pm

      Good idea!

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    MELH November 28, 2012, 5:26 pm

    I love the necklaces! I want one for myself….that link it definitely going to my husband. I have been trying to figure out what to get for my brother in law’s girlfriend ( and all indications point to future sister in law). She’s one of those people who has everything she wants, or if she doesn’t its not something I can afford. But she and my brother in law just moved to a new city and I know while they love it she looooves her home city. I am getting her one of the necklaces and I think it will be my best gift of the season!!!!

    I’m sure you already thought of this- but what about a list for kids? I have some kids to buy for, age 1 1/2, 3 and 15 who I am stuck on, I want to get them something fun, but I have no idea what kids, especially toddlers, want to play with! Your lists have been awesome so far so I would love to steal some more great ideas from you!

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      Wendy November 28, 2012, 5:37 pm

      I haven’t been working on a kids’ list but if there’s enough interest I can put one together. Anyone?

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      • llclarityll November 28, 2012, 6:08 pm

        NEED ideas for teen and pre-teens. They kill me with their “too cool to tell you what I actually want” attitudes 🙂

      • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 8:40 am

        Oh I would love a list for people ages like 15 to 20. My brother and sister both fall in that range and I am absolutely stumped.

      • jlyfsh November 29, 2012, 9:12 am

        yeah i never know what to get our nieces. we’re done for this year. but, i’d definitely save the list for next year (and birthdays). especially for the kid who has everything, what do you get them when their parents buy everything they could ever want? it’s getting harder and harder to be creative!

  • AliceInDairyland November 28, 2012, 5:46 pm

    Not to humblebrag, but I am pretty excited about the gifts I picked out for my sister and mom and friend (I am poor, so this is pretty on the cheap but nice to throw in).

    Everyone I have talked to swears by these fragrances, so I picked out ones that instantly conjure up thoughts of that particular person. For my sister, her favorite food in the world is angel food cake. Whenever I smell lilacs I think of my mom (think I am going to include a Walt Whitman lilac poem with that one). And for my friend the fellow bibliophile I got the Paperback.

    Sooo many smells that remind me of people and memories of things I did together with people. We will see how they actually smell/work. Reasonable prices too. They had 20% off at their FB page, not sure if that expired or not.

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    • llclarityll November 28, 2012, 6:10 pm

      Oh my gosh! How cool. I’ve never heard of this before, but woah I could really go overboard. Thanks for the share.

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    • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 8:42 am

      I had a bunch of these back in high school and LOVED them. I had no idea where to get them now or that they make candles! Sex on the Beach was my favorite scent.

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  • quixoticbeatnik November 28, 2012, 7:07 pm

    I wish I had someone to buy that city necklace for! Other than me, of course, because I want one! This is a great list, Wendy. I actually asked my parents for a Clarisonic for Christmas. I’m hoping it will help to clear up my skin…because nothing I do seems to help and it’s kinda depressing. Of course, I’m sure there are other things I could do like drink more water, don’t sleep with makeup on, don’t sleep on the same side of the pillow every night, etc, etc. Even when I do those things my skin still looks bad. Wish I could take accutane again!

    I’m planning on buying a lot of gift cards this year…not because of lack of thought, though. I know one friend would appreciate a Marshall’s gift card because she needs new, nice teacher clothes for her certification classes in the spring. But I’m planning on trying to make a lot of presents this year…we’ll see. I’m doing a fun world travel-themed wine basket set for my parents! Oh that just reminds me of another present you could add to the list…but I don’t want to reveal it for fear of them being sold out before I buy them! I’m waiting for my paycheck on Friday. I think I’ll wait until then.

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    • kerrycontrary November 29, 2012, 9:13 am

      Oof, I feel you with the bad skin. I just bought myself Philosophy’s Help Me retinol cream. I used retinol before and it worked, but I don’t want to pay to go to the dermatologist! So I’m hoping this works. I would take your makeup off before you go to bed though…

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  • Ve November 29, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Wow, just noticed in my shop stats that you have included me here, thank you so much!

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