Adventure in Normal Life / gift guide / Holidays / shopping

The Gift Guide for the Practical Gal in Your Life

Yes, she is pretty awesome but boy, is she hard to shop for! If there’s one word to describe this special lady, it is that she is practical. You won’t find her at the mall browsing for hours, and you won’t find her in a return line with the 12/13 items she later decided she didn’t want. She knows what she wants, she streamlines her day, and she sometimes ends up re-gifting or donating things that don’t serve her lifestyle well (sadly). You, my friend, don’t want to be the source of that gift she very reluctantly sends away.

This lady is prepared, stylish, effortless (but really, all that preparation is effort you don’t see) and she lives for products that do double duty.

So, what do you get her? 

Here’s my advice.

You want your gift to convey thoughtfulness in a way that shows you really know her. You want to find products that are novel or that she wouldn’t have gotten for herself already, or ones that she is absolutely sure to need and that would make her feel secure to have on hand.

First, what is she like? Does she like to entertain over meals? Does she like to exercise? Is she a big reader? Does she prefer to cozy up at home with a glass of wine, or will you find her out with friends to relax? Is she a big reader? Does she have a particular hobby? Is she a home chef? Does she enjoy traveling? Does she like to try new things?

These questions should help get your creative gifting juices flowing. You want to develop a gifting intuition – it makes shopping a little easier!

Then, think about what sorts of issues are important to her – is she concerned about animal cruelty and won’t use makeup or wear products that challenge animal safety? Is she watching her health for a particular reason, only eats organic, or avoiding any foods? Is sustainability and the environment a big issue – if so, don’t get her something with lots of excess packaging that she will feel bad about throwing out, but get her something she can reuse.

On that note, I’m a BIG fan of making the “gift wrap” a present in disguise. Last year, I wrapped a small box in a fun, festive dish towel and I often use a fun-patterned, foldable, stowable grocery sac to carry the gift. My local independent bookshop has a bunch of them that roll up into the size of a child’s juice box. Also, Trader Joe’s bags have a little area to write a name and address on it, so you can sharpie that up and send it off too!

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Crate & Barrel Plaid dishtowel, wrapped with the cloth handle transformed into a ribbon, from a shopping bag and tied with a pretty gold star ornament. 

Bottom line: your gift should convey thoughtfulness & intention, bring delight, and be indispensable! 

–Something to keep her organized:

A sophisticated notebook – for her lists, ideas, notes, reminders…….poems..or doodles on “official” business. You can even get it personalized for her – a shop called Shinola Detroit just opened in Boston and they offer complimentary monogramming of their goods! This one is linen, comes in small/medium/large, and is super portable and nice.

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source: Shinola.com 

–Something to save her gadgets:

Put together a Tech Care Package. Include extra charging cords (car, office, home), tangle-free headphones, a portable battery pack for on-the-go emergency charging, and a couple glass screen protectors so she won’t have to worry if she drops one and it shatters.

LtoR: 1,2,3,4.

1,3,4: source: amazon.com/ 2. source: sudiosweden.com 

–a gorgeous carryall tote

you can monogram it or add a symbol. They’re gorgeous, come in lots of colors, and are US Made.

source: cuyana 

–Something to stay hydrated/caffeinated/warm/cold – whatever works for her:

source: Swell Bottle or a travel tea/fruit infuser bottle 

–Something to keep her warm:

a new hat + scarf + gloves are far from passé – it is easy to get bored of the same colors if you pull it on every day, twice a day. Also, with daily wear, they get pilled, develop holes or snags, and lose that soft, lovely beauty.

Source: Nordstrom.com (specific items linked above)

–for when it suddenly drops down to -10 on the way home, she will have a sure way to stay toasty with a foldable, packable, hooded down jacket in her purse.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 8.57.12 PM.png

source: L.L. Bean

–Something to keep her dry:

an umbrella that won’t invert is key if it rains where she is. This one looks impressive! It has a thoughtful design.

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source: Amazon.com, Senz “Smart” Stormproof Stick Umbrella

unbreakable sunnies for always-protected eyes:

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photo by K. Lyons 

you can twist these Reks Optics, throw them at the bottom of your bag, put them in your pocket, drop them and that anti-scratch coating and flexible frame make these a chic, practical gem. Shop online by mixing and matching colors and styles to make a custom pair, and enter code “BLUEBOOTSGO” for extra love!

a good pair of travel flats :

Her feet are meant for walking, but can use some help.

Tieks // R Tory Burch – they come in 19+ colors

A good pair of travel flats can fit in a purse and provide adequate support. You won’t find her in sneakers on the train – she never knows who she might run into while grabbing a juice or a smoothie on the go!

–Some quick fixes for bad hair days:

Hair oil for frizzy days. Dry shampoo (a super cute ornament too) for post-exercise, not time to shower mornings, or a quick refresh.

source: Sephora.com 

–An unexpected, curated treat:

Something new, supporting small artisan businesses around the USA, but conveniently delivered right to you. Think: Farmer’s market + local boutique + holiday market, without leaving your (or her) house:

Co-Op Crate (They’re offering 10% off to you off of your first full size box – enter code BLUEBOOTS at checkout!).

Co-OpCrate767-8.jpgSource : co-opcrate.com

a non-material gift

such as, an experience you can do together, or a donation in her name.

for a practical gal, she may not want to hold onto too many material possessions that clutter her chi. She does value you, and probably would love to do something together with you – be it a nice dinner out, seeing a performance, taking a challenging physical or culinary class together, or even donating something in her honor to a charity.

It is all about the balance of practicality, and something that is special and cherishing at the same time.

If she has to do her laundry in a coin-operated machine, don’t just give her $60 in quarter rolls – how about a cozy sweatshirt or slippers she can wear while she launders and folds her clothes?

Think creatively, have fun, & get gifting!

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One thought on “The Gift Guide for the Practical Gal in Your Life

  1. Pingback: where the blueboots goA Giveaway for the #PracticalGal with Living Proof (over $144!)

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