Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Women

Christmas is one month from today and Hanukkah starts Thursday night, so let’s get on with this year’s Dear Wendy Holiday Gift Guides, shall we? And we’ll kick things off with women’s gifts (although the men’s gift guide will include some great stuff women will like for themselves, too!). Since most of you reading this are probably women, shopping for other females may not prove as difficult, but it’s always good to have ideas, especially suggestions that are appropriate for the various relationships you have with the ladies you know (plus, when people ask what you want for Christmas, you can just send a link to this post and call it a day!). Keep reading for some of my favorite gifts for women in 2013.


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.

bicycle__largeIf she likes to ride her bike and then park somewhere and drink a beer: A cooler bag
It’s cute, it’s practical, and it keeps beer cold. What is not to love?




il_570xN.282863641If she’s just got good taste: wire-wrapped gemstone earrings
I love, love, love wire-wrapped gemstone earrings and these are especially unique and pretty. I guess what I’m saying is that you can give me these, please.



echo-amazoncom-design-womens-touch-warmers-zipIf she never lets go of her iPhone: Echo Design Women’s Touch Warmers Zipper Glove
I bought these for myself last winter and I love them. They’re warm without feeling bulky, stylish, and totally practical if you’re like I am and always pulling out your iPhone for one thing or another — texting, checking the time, Google mapping the nearest dive bar. Give them to your bestie so she’ll be better able to keep up with your texts and not freeze her fingers.





il_570xN.500305274_k5wlIf she meets you out for drinks carrying the same backpack she had in college: Oversized leather clutch
Made from high-quality Italian leather, this clutch fits most women’s crap, like a wallet, iPhone, keys, lipgloss, and even an iPad. Plus, pretty!


51YTbSkEKLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_If she likes entertaining and wants everyone to know how on top of all the trends she is: The Fashionable Cocktail: 200 Fabulous Drinks for the Fashion Set
Heaven forbid she serve a drink to another friend of the fashion set that isn’t on-trend. Help her avoid such a colossal mistake by gifting her this book full of fashionable drinks that are sure to impress.




il_570xN.511854018_ax11If she’s obsessed with Wes Anderson: Collection of Wes Anderson Movie Prints
Because all the twee plaid camping blankets and vintage binoculars and the old-school turntable and the messages in a bottle that fill her home need a little company.


image1xlIf she’s a sleeping beauty: Pretty purple PJ Set
They’re pretty, cozy, comfy, feminine and a hell of a lot better than the tattered pair of leggings she sports every time she comes to visit. I also love these super comfy ad cute pajamas (mainly the pants since the top runs too small for my big boobs), which I bought for myself recently and don’t ever want to take off.




CAKE-2098If she’s a baker and a joker: Muffin top cupcake molds
I mean, obviously.



full_sizeIf she’s got a foot fetish: a collection of fun and fabulous socks
Like these amazing “arch-typewriter socks” with adorable little typewriters all over them. Also a perfect gift for your favorite blogger. Because she totally blogs on an old-fashioned typewriter.





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.


p5493_column_grid_12If she loves photos of the two of you and dislikes rings on her tables: Instagram Coasters
The perfect thing to do with all those Instagram photos you’ve got of the two of you. Romantic AND practical — which is why she loves you in the first place.



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 want to wear mine all the time, while sipping spiked hot chocolate by the fireplace. Plus, super comfy. Seriously. Bring on the snow!



Nespresso-Pixie-Espresso-Maker-with-Aeroccino-Plus-Milk-Frother-BundleIf she likes her lattes but hates paying five bucks a pop for them: Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker With Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother
I’ve been in the market for an espresso maker and after polling friends here, on Facebook, and in person, the Nespresso was the clear winner for crowd favorite. When a friend brought over his for me to try recently, I was sold. The espresso is tasty, fast (like, it took less than 30 seconds to make), and easy. Clean up is a breeze, and the milk frother makes the most perfect foam I’ve ever seen. This is definitely going on my own wish list this year.

MONOCLE-440x240If she’s just straight-up cool like that: Monocle Speaker Handset
Buy her just one or buy a few that she can string together, like a daisy-chain, for surround-sound.



il_570xN.172309749If she’s got cool style and a cold neck: Crimson Cowl Neck Scarf
Pretty and warm, just like her!





il_570xN.522541460_hk07If you’re planning to propose and she’s a hip, modern woman: Pixie wood ring box
I guess you can give this to her even if you aren’t planning to propose, but you might want to at least include a pretty pair of stud earrings so it’s not just an empty box reminding her of her naked ring finger, you know?





81HEKctKjjL._SL1500_If she’s sexy and she knows it: Lace-Up Stockings
I have similar stockings that I wore to a Christmas party last year (photo here) and got so many compliments on them. Super sexy without being trashy (not that there’s anything wrong with trashy now and then…).




il_570xN.302372453If she likes jewelry that makes a statement without being overwhelming and you’d love to know what to get her for the next five or six upcoming gift-giving occasions: Silver beads Wrap Bracelet
What I love about this bracelet is that it’s not just one bracelet, but several, and you can give then all at once as a set or do one at a time. I asked for this for my last birthday and Drew got me one and I’m hoping I get an addition soon. They’re really pretty and delicate alone, but make a bigger statement piled on.


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.

img93oIf she likes looking chic at the farmers’ market: Baggu Dipped Tote
Great at the farmers’ market or going antiquing or toting along More magazine and 18 kinds of skin cream to a day at the Jersey Shore — you know, all the stuff moms like to do. And that includes me, lil’ Jiggity-Jack.



A1uHw1KYQyL._SL1500_If she’s always cold and glamorous: Faux Fur Throw Blanket
Drew got me this for Valentine’s Day this year and snuggling under it with a book and hot toddy is one of my favorite things about winter.



leather glovesIf she gets cold hands and likes the finer things: Italian cashmere lined leather gloves
Because she deserves an item of pure luxury. (I got these for my mom last year and she loved them, by the way).




41xxJy6lRTLIf she’s a wino: Wine Glass Tumblers to Go
Because it’s either this or hook hr up to a wine IV drip and that wouldn’t really go with her outfit.




the-festive-collection-900510_sIf she drinks tea with her pinkie finger in the air: The festive collection from DAVIDsTea
This company makes amazing tea, and this collection includes unique holiday flavors, like “Alpine punch,” and “Sleigh ride,” and “White chocolate frost.”



Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 2.02.26 PMIf she’s an English teacher (like my mom!) or a grammar geek: Gourmet Grammarian Plate Set
She just wants to be understood, you know? And these plates, they understand.







If she pops her collar and has yearly reunions with classmates from her all-girls college: Ugg Moccasin Slippers




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.

il_570xN.512631890_ln3eIf she’s into nature and has a thing for green: Tree Magnets
It’s an itty bitty baby tree magnet!!!


c56afd2a1d3095e7d80f87e6b89dc4edIf she likes to write stuff down on old-fashioned paper and she’s sort of twee and adorable and maybe likes to wear headbands: Sticky Note Set
I mean, this is basically why she took an office job in the first place. That and cardigans.





img-thingIf she brown bags it: An actual (reusable) brown bag
It’s good for the environment, which is all she really wants for the holidays this year.






If she’s a crazy cat lady: The World’s Most Super Amazing 100% Awesome 2014 Cat Calendar

Oh My God.




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.).


vestiges-tea-towel-chicago-bigIf she’s got city pride and likes to dry her hands after washing them: City-Themed Hand Towel
Cute AND practical.




3af4a316a044c57733d9c0fbbac1f97cIf she enjoys beverages while reading her favorite classics: Marks the Plot Coasters
If you’re feeling particularly generous, throw in a bottle of vino too.





voluspa candlesIf she’s human: Voluspa candles
This is another classic from last year’s list, but it’s a classic for a reason. These are so pretty and they smell delish too.


a62161-alt6_7If 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.




Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 10.59.19 AMIf she has hands: Lavender Apple Sabon hand cream
Seriously the best smelling hand cream ever. My friend Mary uses this stuff and I just love being around her because she always smells so great. Also, she’s a baker and always has some new treat to try, but that’s beside the point. This hand cream is awesome and would also make a great stocking stuffer (Oh, Drew!).





BONUS! (For you or any woman in your life who likes to cook)

9781401603007_p0_v1_s260x420A great gift I was inspired to add from early discussions in the comments: New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup
It’s just filled with incredible soup recipes to get a person through the winter months. Give on its own, or pair with a immersion blender (a must for soup-making!) and a quality dutch oven if you’re feeling uber generous.

Green Tea & Ginger Handmade Soap wrapped in vintage kimono fabric

Black Geometric Stud Earrings

Miracle Peel Cloth

Tabasco spicy chocolate wedges

Gin and Tonic Gourmet Popcorn

Citrus Spritzer

‘Butter’ slipper socks

Creature Comfort Food Measuring Spoons

Clinique Lipgloss

Champagne Bottle Stopper

Lush bath bombs

The Naked Bee Vitmin C Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30

Essie Good as Gold Nail Polish

L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream


For more gift ideas, you can also re-visit my 2012 holiday gift guide for women.

57 comments… add one
  • rachel November 25, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Whoa, I really want to try the gin and tonic popcorn.

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  • ktfran November 25, 2013, 1:49 pm

    I’m so glad you re-posted the candle link from last year. I was going to look it up.

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    Classic November 25, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Wendy! You have outdone yourself! (Awesome list.)

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      Wendy November 25, 2013, 2:17 pm


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    iwannatalktosampson November 25, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I love those wino glasses! I might get them for my mom, haha.

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      MaterialsGirl November 25, 2013, 2:56 pm

      i own them and highly recommend them

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  • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Woahmygawd, Wendy and I are on the same brain wave… I JUST (like, a week ago) bought one of those lunch cooler things from that same company. Except mine is a bad-ass sheep: It’s super big and holds all my foodz for when I have to be at school for over 12 hours. I didn’t even think of the booze potential here…

    ALSO, I totally got a bunch of cat cards from that calendar link back when it was just a Kickstarter thing. I give them to special people in my life who would appreciate a cat dressed up as a lawn gnome and such.

    I want all the kitchen stuff from ModCloth, including those measuring spoons. Gahh Wendy, this is amazing.

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  • lolabeans November 25, 2013, 2:31 pm

    David’s Tea is so effing awesome. They have them all over Canada and have just started expanding to the U.S in the last year or so

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    • ktfran November 25, 2013, 2:38 pm

      Oh, I was going to comment on that too. I LOVE David’s tea. There’s once about six blocks from my house. The people who work there are so friendly and helpful. Well, the people I encountered anyway.

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  • ktfran November 25, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Also, this is the second time I’ve seen Sorel boots pop up this year. I kind of need to get a pair. They look like they would be great for walking around town. It’s snowing in Chicago today. And sticking. Not cool.

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      MaterialsGirl November 25, 2013, 2:57 pm

      i put a pair of sorel’s on my list, too, especially since I am walking to work now.

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      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 3:13 pm

        YES! I had no idea what I wanted to ask for Christmas this year from Santa. I’m pretty sure those along with beer glasses, a stock pot and coffee grinder are going on my list.

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 3:17 pm

        Def ask for the coffee grinder. My brother got me one a few years ago and it changed my life.

      • Banana November 25, 2013, 3:27 pm

        I want a coffee grinder just to smell the coffee in my house. My parents have one and I love smelling the grinding beans. I would probably just grind pounds and pounds of beans but not actually make a lot of coffee with them.

      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 3:34 pm

        A friend just gave me a french press, so I kind of feel I need a grinder now. It will happen.

      • Banana November 25, 2013, 3:27 pm

        Stock pot’s a great one, too. I have a huge one that also has a colander insert for cooking huge amounts of pasta, and it’s great. You can make stock, but you can also warm up two gallons of cider for a party…make tons and tons of pasta…warm up a large amount of soup…use it to sterilize jars for canning…I love stock pots. I know this is a lot of enthusiasm for stock pots, but I just feel strongly, you know? Get a stock pot.

      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 3:35 pm

        I want to make soup like every other Sunday and freeze lots of it so I have easy lunches. And so I don’t get bored eating the same thing every day.

        Chicago folks, we should do a soup exchange. But only after I get my stock pot.

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 3:41 pm

        I never really understood the point of soup. Its basically a drink. Soup never has enough “stuff” in it to qualify as a meal for me.

      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 3:49 pm

        I use to agree with you, but over the last few years, I started loving it. The one I make a lot right now is a hearty white bean/kale/andouille sausage soup. I grate some fresh parm cheese on top and eat with a baguette. So good! I don’t know, cooking as a single gal, you get a lot of bang for your buck with soups.

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 3:52 pm


      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Oh my gosh, I know this one by heart, but here are a couple of links:

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 6:00 pm

        Thanks! I actually have collards in the fridge I’m not sure what to do with!

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I don’t know what kale or andouille is. Kale is like lettuce, right? Andouille sounds like ratatouille, which is not a rat I recently learned. I like new england clam chowder, sans clam. But that’s not really soup. Neither is the broccoli one from Panera. I do like sausage though! I will dip my sausage in your soup bowl kt.

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 4:09 pm

        Kale is way better than lettuce. It’s like a crazy super food with a million vitamins.

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 4:11 pm

        But it looks like lettuce, right?

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 6:01 pm

        It lookalike huge dark green lettuce. Well, there are different kinds too… Like curly or Dino. I like Dino kale better.

      • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 4:20 pm

        LBH… You need to come to dinner at my house sometime. You will eat kale, and brussels sprouts, and beets…

        I bought the New England Soup Factory cookbook because it looked delicious and kept showing up on the side bar in Wendy’s Amazon Favorites. I made 2 soups from it (Spinach-Feta, and a Butternut Squash) and they were both delicious.

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Just this year I was forced to eat brussel sprouts. I’m sure it depends on how you cook them but they were SO good. I was shocked! Beets just makes me laugh because I think of Dwight Schrute.
        I will eat the sprouts if you let me play with a goat. Deal?

      • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 4:27 pm

        Deal! But you only have like 2-3 months before the goats go away to be delicious. You can come adopt one.

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 4:30 pm


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        CatsMeow November 25, 2013, 4:34 pm

        I had pickled brussels sprouts recently! I loved them.

      • ktfran November 25, 2013, 5:02 pm

        So, I couldn’t reply directly to Cats, but I LOVE me some pickled things. Now I want to try pickled brussel sprouts.

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        Wendy November 25, 2013, 7:17 pm

        You inspired me to add the book as a bonus idea (I had meant to originally, but forgot to).

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        Addie Pray November 26, 2013, 9:00 am

        Alice, can I road trip to Madison for dinner on a farm? Katie, road trip with me?

      • bethany November 25, 2013, 4:09 pm

        I made my first ever beef stew last night, and it was yummy!!

      • lets_be_honest November 25, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Stew doesn’t count as soup, bethany!

      • bethany November 25, 2013, 4:37 pm

        No? Well, I make soup all the time, too. So there!

  • Banana November 25, 2013, 3:22 pm

    THANK YOU WENDY, YOU HAVE JUST SOLVED MY CHRISTMAS LIST DILEMMA! Or, at least, half of it. On your gifts-for-men list, can you include something for “your gay brother and his live-in partner, for their new home, that fits in a suitcase they can take back with them to Asia?” So something that says: I’m gay. I love my home. And I live really far away and big things are expensive to travel with.

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    • Banana November 25, 2013, 3:29 pm

      ALSO, I love the grammar plates. I might get those for my mom — she’s a professional copy editor.

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      Wendy November 25, 2013, 3:33 pm

      I do have a category for gay men since their taste tend to be a little more… Discriminating than straight men. And there will be smaller things on the list that are easy to pack!

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      • Banana November 25, 2013, 3:48 pm

        YAY! Thanks Wendy! I look forward to it! And to seeing my bro and future-BIL 🙂

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    GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Hey Alice! You can right? Do you have any recommended canning stuff? I want to try to I think. Maybe.

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    • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 3:51 pm

      You don’t need to buy that much. Big stock pot. Canning funnel, a regular funnel can work in a pinch. You really should get some jar lifters from the grocery store or somewhere else. (These are like less than $5 each) I’ve used regular tongs and like a big spoon but it’s way more work than it’s worth. And you need something that can go on the bottom of your stock pot so that the glass jars aren’t resting directly on the bottom. For a while I just twisty-tied a bunch of jar bands together on the bottom, but you can use a circular cake rack that fits in the bottom of your pot, or a plastic thingy like this:

      Then you need a good book. I like Put Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton: and Food In Jars

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      • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Jar lifter looks like this:

        Canning funnel looks like this:

        I just bubble the jars with a butter knife or chopstick, and pick up the lids from the boiling water with a fork. They have fancy tools for that kind of stuff but you certainly don’t need them.

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Thanks!! Our CSA share is designed for a family of 4, and we’re only 2, so we struggle to get it all eaten each week. I’m thinking if I could can some of it every two weeks we could eat it during the off season (and not waste anything!).

      • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 4:01 pm

        Perfect! PS if there’s ever a particular ingredient that you need to use up and don’t have a good canning recipe for it… Shoot me a FB message. I scanned like 1 million pages from 6 different canning books I got from the library. So I have like a whole bunch of recipes that are really easy to email as pdfs.

        I’m assuming CSA shares aren’t that different in Florida… The only ingredient that has really thwarted me was some balsamic-pickled kale. Super delicious! But the curly kale would not stay packed in the jars… They didn’t seal when I water bathed them so they stayed in the fridge.

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Oh that kale sounds so good! I think I’m going to take the plunge in January and try to can some things. I’ve done pickles before (YUM) and won a blue ribbon at the local fair. This is our farm

      • AliceInDairyland November 25, 2013, 4:18 pm

        OMG the growing season is so weird… Strawberries in January? But they grow like ALL the same exact foods we do. Also that’s like a super great price! Holy cow. And the growing season is 35 weeks instead of 20-24 like it is here.

        I’m thinking maybe the straight kale would work better… but didn’t have time to try it out.

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        GatorGirl November 25, 2013, 6:05 pm

        Yeah, the growing season is like opposite! Oct to June instead of may to sept. Jordan’s food is SO good and so cheap.

        I like what Jordan calls Dino kale better than the curly. I’m thinking of tackling turnip greens tonight. Eck.

  • Matcha November 25, 2013, 6:55 pm

    Wendy! Thank you! I’m having a heck of a time with my Xmas wish list this year, and it’s just what the doctor ordered.

    One thing, though: I love this Lavender Apple hand cream, but there’s no link. Please fix that so I can click through on your site. 🙂 You have to get your finder’s fee!

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      Wendy November 25, 2013, 7:17 pm

      Fixed, thanks!

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  • starpattern November 25, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Love this! I think I’ll be using the candles and hand cream in particular for my boyfriend’s mom and sister-in-law… I don’t want to go overboard (we’ve only been dating 6 months or so, so I haven’t known them super long) but wanted something… nice, you know? Anyway, tons of great ideas! Thanks, Wendy.

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    Addie Pray November 26, 2013, 8:58 am

    I just ordered two sets of the Wine Glass Tumblers To Go – I plan to keep 1 and give 3 away to friends. Awesome! Can’t wait to see the Holiday Gift Guide for Men, so I can buy more things for myself. Thanks, Wendy!

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  • rlSing23 November 27, 2013, 3:41 pm

    Great list as always! I’ve been a follower for a long time! Just a little correction–Hanukkah starts tonight, not Thursday night! First day of Hanukkah is tomorrow, but we light two candles tomorrow night! Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Wendy November 27, 2013, 4:04 pm

      I just realized this earlier today… Before my Jewish husband did. We made sure we picked up candles for tonight. 🙂

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    Addie Pray December 2, 2013, 8:38 pm

    My two orders of the Wine Glass Tumblers to Go arrived today – they’re so cute! I’m wrapping them to give to 3 friends and I’m keeping the 4th – score!

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  • EricaSwagger December 3, 2013, 10:57 am

    OMG so I bought the Miracle Peel Cloth (merry Christmas to myself lol) and I just got it yesterday, used it once so far, and I HAD to tell everyone. It’s really awesome!
    It made my skin feel amazing. Made my fingers feel weird, but that’s because it works, you feel me?
    I’ll be buying another one for myself (so I’ll always have a clean one between loads of laundry) and a couple more for gifts. Thanks for the recommendation, Wendy!

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