I don’t know about you, but I started decorating for the holidays WAY earlier than usual this year. I feel like most of us are just ready for a little extra cheer, amiright? The Holidays might look a little different this year but now more than ever is it important to express love and gratitude towards friends, loved ones, heck, even strangers. And also now more than ever, I think it’s important to keep up the good work and continue to support our small and local businesses, especially now when it comes to gifting!
I make an “LA made/LA based” gift guide every single yea. But this season really hitting different, and I am SO IMPRESSED at the levels to which many of these businesses are getting creative. And what beautiful, fun, and truly thoughtful items they’re offering. The limit does not exist, LA YOU ARE SO COOL!!! But here happens to be a few of my favs to consider. HAPPY (SMALL BUSINESSES IN LA) SHOPPING!
AND BEFORE YOU GO! Be sure to check out my “LA Boutiques To Shop Online” post too! There are so many great local shops offering really great goods, check out the list XO
THE LA GIFT GUIDE: 2020
Coldwater Farm Hub is an awesome small local business that is all about supporting local farmers and supplying YOU with the best of their LA farmers market finds. They just launched holiday gift boxes that are filled with goodies from small businesses and local farms. (Plus a portion of the proceeds from every gift box purchased goes to the Valley Food Bank.) Prices start at $35 for small boxes and go up to $150 for the big boxes. Items include things like olive oil, dried fruits, teas, nuts – think all the best you’d get at a farmers market in a box. Boom. So perfectly fit for “LA” – I love it so much it hurts.
No one makes a better boozy gift box than Flask & Field. Period. Any spirit, any fun accoutremont, you name it you got it. They are SO fun, SO creative. And Flask & Field supplies top-notch products to boot. I mean really – whether you want something wine related, bourbon, mezcal, vodka – THEY DO IT ALL, and every box it’s own unique personality if you will. (Not to mention, the box itself is gorgeous and makes it feel really “special”.) Prices start at $75 and can go up to $250+, but the median price seems to be around $125. It’d be a special gift for sure. But truly fun and thoughtful. Feel free to give them a visit at their store at the ROW DTLA too if you’re in the area or you can order online!
You got a wine friend? Send ’em a fun gift box from Vinovore! HEY maybe even send MY beast box I created in partnership with them! Shameless plug. But similar to Flask & Field, no one does a better wine gift box than Vinovore – they’re so clever, so different, and ALWAYS involve a lady-made wine (often local and organic). GIRL. POWER. You can visit Vinovore IRL or order online, gift boxes run from $35 – $100+ but most are around $50!
Are we not already sold on the name alone? To further sell us on the idea, Hello Care Package is another genius creation of one of my favorite Angelenos Sonja Rasula of Unique Markets, Unique Space, and so much more. Hello Care Package was born from the pandemic and is such a fun and easy way to throw together some of LA’s greatest goodies crafted by some of LA’s most talented creatives. Some of the packages include “home chic”, “female founders”, “spa day”, “player”, and more! There’s also an option to join a subscription program if you’d prefer the long term route (the gift that really does keep on giving). Prices range from $50 – $115, and you can order these cuties on their website.
If you’ve got a friend/family member who’s a bit of a wine snob… I’m right there with them. And hands down the gift for a wine snob like myself would be a Wine Party Co wine box and/or subscription. I gifted myself a subscription this year and so far, so (really f*cking) good. The wines have been such a joy to explore. They’re so different than what I’m used to. And they’ve genuinely all been 10 out of 10. Not to mention they’re all wines produced by small winemakers from around the world. AND they’re organic (I don’t seek them out necessarily but it’s always a plus!) Beyond the subscription or box you have access to basically a personal somellier, Ronda, who is LA based and insanely knowledgable. She will find you the perfect wines for you, and/or for whatever occasion. Gift yourself this one too I’m telling you!
Wellspring LA is a subscription box company founded in doing good by the environment and supporting small “clean” brands along the way by putting them together in beautiful well-curated boxes! I got my first box a few months ago and kid you not when I say I have used every single thing that came in it – and love them. From cleaning products, beauty, wellness to food related goods everything you’ll recience is eco-friendly. It’s a total win-win. And a box that’ll make any Angeleno proud. Right now Wellspring is offering a specific Holiday Gift Box for $75. (It’s so great!! I just got mine!) But if you wish to take it a step further kept the treats comin’, you also have the option of gifting a subscription ($75 per quarter, or $275 per year, both include shipping.) Either way, can’t go wrong.
*PSST. Fam we got a special code. Use “WELOVELA” at checkout to get a free travel size Ursa Major Travel Size Face Wash when making ANY purchase of a minimum $35 or more through 12/31/2020!!
So I’ll be honest Pantry Party is a completely brand new discovery of mine. But I am HERE for this idea! The gist is that they’re another clever subscription box company with a focus of providing a special mix of local, unique, and sustainable pantry goods. This month’s box for example includes Sonoko Sakai’s Curry Powder, Osteria La Buca’s Chilis in Oil, Porridge and Puffs’s Umami Trail Mix, Botanica’s Dukkah, and ZonZon Organic’s Tunisian Shakshuka. You can make a 1-time purchase of $70. Or subscribe and receive a shipment every 2 months with of course all new goodies. It’s fun! it’s different! Branding on point! We love it.
Nomadica, the LA-based, women and somm-owned canned wine company, just launched an amazing “Kick Back Kit” ($100) available just for the holidays and features products from fellow women founders at Parachute, Oaui, KAYO Body Care, Flores Lane and, of course, two 4-packs of Nomadica (equal to 2.6 bottles of wine). Kit comes with a Flores Lane Red Blend Candle ($24 value), a KAYO Body Care Gua Shua Body Comb and Nourishing Body Oil (a $72 value), Oaui Chill Pills Bath Bombs ($30 value), and a Parachute Merino Eye Mask ($49 value) – so needless to say, this is an EPIC deal to boot.
One of my favorite LA based all-natural and organic cosmetic lines. NOTO Botanics, has a few great Holiday Kits perfect for any clean beauty fans in your life! (REVEAL KIT $59 | ABUNDANCE KIT (my pick, all the favs) $95 | ADORN KIT $69 | REFRESH KIT $49)
Osea is one of the best skincare lines to be born out of Los Angeles. And the brand is known for their cruelty-free and completely clean products – that actually work. Osea has a number of really great gift sets to choose from. Everything from the Bestsellers Collection ($200) if you feel like going all out. The Multi-Masking Collection ($148), Daily Essentials Starter Kit ($68). And seriously so many other great options. This is an easy “no brainer” one, anything you get the recipient will love.
I have a number of blogger friends who swear by Biba. And of course they’re offering a number of beautiful gift sets fit for a beauty queen. I have my eye on the Hydrate & Detoxify set $60 (rose quarts gua sha + hydrating gel moisturizer), The Powerhouses set $95 (charcoal mask and zinc mask), or the Ultimate Body Care set $115 (scrub, serum, face & body exfoliating cleanser, hand cream). But again, there are a number of great gift ideas to choose from!
Kosas (another clean LA based beauty brand) started with lipsticks – which, to this day are some of my favorites – and now pretty much do it all! FANTASTICALLY mind you, and at a fair price point. A lot of their gift sets would make for fun stocking stuffers. Or simple sweet gifts that won’t break the bank. It’s fun and “easy” makeup that makes a fan out of anyone who tries their products. Go for the “Most Wanted” lipstick set $45. The “Mini Most Wanted” set ($25, the “Ready in 5” set ($45). Or the “Game Changer” eyeshadow set ($160)
I’m going to get specific on this particular gift because I have it, and I love it so much. IBY teamed up with the beloved LA based brand Trina Turk to create a Beauty Bag that would make for a perfect and fun gift. The set ($72) comes with a cute, very Trina inspired makeup bag. A lipstick (3 shades to choose from), and the double-sided IBY “Carry on 2” Palette. This palette includes 9 wearable eyeshadows on one side and a blush. Radiant highlighter, and bronzer on the other side, and seriously. I just think it’s the coolest thing! And the shades are all so beautiful! IBY of course has a number of other fun products to peruse. But the Carry On Palettes are just so cool. AND vegan, clean, and cruelty-free.
Sounds a bit silly, but also very intriguing? And suddenly I think I need an aromatherapy eye pillow for myself? What ever it takes to relax these days, we’ll take it. And LA-based Bodha is all about bringing you the proper and highest quality aromatherapy products. I love that the eye pillows come in a number of colors and they’re made from a beautiful linen (and made in LA!) and they’re filled with a custom blend of organic buckwheat, lavender flowers & chamomile flowers. ($38)
I nearly fell over when I’d heard Salt & Straw (my favorite creamery) had teamed up with Abbot Kinney based perfumery Imaginary Authors to create a scent inspired by the ever intoxicating smell of a waffle cone. Oh. My. God. I was able to get my hands on a bottle and it’s as wonderful as it sounds. It has notes of Vanilla, Heavy Cream, and Salted Caramel that is balnaced out with accords of Amyris, Orgeat, and Saigon Cinnamon. It’s not too sweet, it’s unisex, and it does not give you a headache. (I am insanely sensitive to fragrences. And this one is so well balanced and not at all overpowering.) There’s an option to buy a 14 ml bottle of “A Whiff of Waffle Cone” for $28. Or you can snag the 50 ml for $65 – or, grab the candle for $30!
We all miss getting our nails done. But doing them at home is WAY more fun and easy now thanks to LA based nail salon Olive & June. They’re offering up all kinds of gifts ranging from $25 to $500 that will take care of all of your mani-pedi needs. Think nail polish, tools, nail stickers, kits, and more. The must-haves – in my opinion – are The Mani System ($50 – $94) which comes with “All the tools you need for salon-perfect nails at home, plus 1 long-lasting polish of your choice and Super Glossy Top Coat”, or The Pedi System ($60 – $100) – same idea as the Mani System.
The Downtown Women’s Center has been providing shelter and job opportunities to women since the 70s, and some of the beautiful things they craft include a number of “self care” items such as candles, bath salts, and soaps. Buying mom or your gf a gift from their shop will continue to help support this incredible organization – win win. There are a few great gift sets available but I have my eye on the Golden State Gift Box ($53) that comes with 1 6oz Soy Wax Candle (scent of your choosing), 1 3.5oz Artisan Soap (scent of your choosing), and 1 12oz Bath Salt (scent of your choosing).
I want anything and everything that comes out of Flamingo Estate (located, of course, in LA). It’s all so beautiful, so well crafted. And all of their products are literally grown and made on the estate. Besides the fresh produce they offer, they make other wonderful things with the fruits of their labor, pun intended, such as candles, beauty and wellness products, olive oils, jams, honey, chocolate, tinctures, and so much more. This holiday season they are offering all kinds of beautiful gift sets. And it’s impossible to choose a favorite! But I’d say I have my eye particularly on The Garden Immunity Gift Set ($99, Immunity Tincture, Honey, Hand Sanitizer, Hand Soap), The Clarifying Sage Gift Set ($110, Chocolate, Candle, Soap, Tincture, Face Mist), or the Candle Gift Set ($110, 3 of their most popular candles). *
There’s a Flamingo Estates pop-up shop located at Platform in Culver City. Be sure to check on dates but they should be open Weds – Sunday!
WeHo based Flores Lane has a whole collection of BEAUTIFUL candles dedicated to the City of Angels. I’ve had a few of their candles over the past few years and have always loved their smooth, balanced, and thankfully *not overpowering* locally crafted candles. Depending on your ‘hood allegiance, or your taste I suppose, you have the option of choosing from WeHo, DTLA, Malibu, Venice, Hollywood, The Valley, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Laurel Canyon, Silverlake, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or just “LA” inspired scented candles. You know I love it. Full size candles are $25, take your pick!
“House Plants For All” ($18 on Amazon) is a book written by Folia Collective founder Danae Horst that will guide you on how to find the right plants for YOUR home and lifestyle. It’s “how to fill any home with happy plants” and I can imagine there are a TON of us out there who have no idea where to even begin, so it sounds like the answer is right here! With “House Plants For All”! Folia Collective also has some beautiful plants to purchase should you need something green to go with the book, wink wink.
I myself am a recent inductee into the CBD fan club, and I have become a huge fan of LA based CBD brand Upness. They had me at their packaging and their incredible variety of CBD products, but they sold me on their science, the product themselves, and the fact that they actually work for me. I love the “Updrops” in Vanilla (a CBD tincture, comes in 3 “flavors”, great for sleep), and the “Very Savvy” Hemp Infused Body Salve (I use it on sore muscles), and cannot WAIT to use the CBD infused bath meth I have. Upness has a few really fun gift sets to choose from, but my pick would probably be the. “Stress Don’t Kill My Vibe” set ($99) that comes with a Bath Melt, Updrops, and the Very Savvy salve. (If you’re curious to learn more about CBD, Upness explains IT ALL!)
LA based florist Spencer Falls aka “The Unlikely Florist” (who’s story is pretty great) offers a truly unique array of gorgeous arrangements that can be shipped nationwide! If you’re an orchid gifter or fancy a dried flower arrangement, he’s got you covered there too, but for the holiday season The Unlikely Florist is offering “The Giving Box” ($90), which comes with “everything one needs to make a bouquet. Lovingly packed for the recipient to create a floral masterpiece from home this holiday season.” Who doesn’t love flowers?
One of my favorite favorite LA based brands Dôen has a collection of home goods I am absolutely obsessed with, namely this gingham apron ($98, and comes in brown and red). Everyone who cooks anything needs a proper apron, and while of course some of my favorites will always be those of Hedley & Bennett (another AMAZING) made in LA/LA based brand, I thought we’d switch it up this year with one of these gigham cuties. There’s also an option for just a waist/half apron, as well as beautiful table cloths, napkins, and tea towels that come in the same pattern. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at some of their beautiful dresses too!
We’ve alllll got that friend or relative that’s into some spiritual shit. Crystals, astrology, smudging, you know, the typical LA stuff. House of Intuition has everything you could ever want and need to connect to the spiritual side and the House Blessing Box ($110) might be the perfect gift given the times as it’s been curated to “empower you with spiritual tools to draw in light, love and energy through intention and the five elements.” The kit comes with House Blessing Magic Candle, Cleanse & Purify Ritual Cleansing Kit, Hestia’s Grace Anointing Oil, Calm Organic Spray, Moon Matches, Amethyst Crystal Body Polish, and Protect Magic Dusting Powder. Happy home, happy person! (House of Intuition has a number of gift boxes and fun products to choose from though, open your mind to the possibilities!)
Does Parachute make ANYTHING that could be considered “meh”? I seriously want it all! From bedding, towels, slippers, candles, tableware, to loungewear, it’s all so good. Any of their beautifully crafted products would make for a great gift, but a robe is one of those things you’d probably not buy for yourself but would be thrilled to receive as a gift. I love the Cloud Cotton Robe ($99) because they’re not too thick, they’re soft, and of course comfy (and come in cute colors). In LA we don’t ever really need heavy robes so this is the perfect weight – and would be perfect for anyone!
Ok I’ll be honest, it was really hard to just pick one item from LA based ceramicists Earth + Element, they make the COOLEST things! From their large bowls (which, I need both), their “squishy cups”, even the egg trays, to this pink serving tray… and dont get me started on the cutlery. BUT, I think the “Moon Cups” ($58) would make for a really fun gift. You could even go all out and get a full “moon phase” collection ($290-$400) if you’re feeling extra generous, but I think one would do. Or anything that catches your eye to be honest, I know it’s all catching mine!
Every year the Hammer comes out with a “Made In LA” coffee table kind of book, this year’s is called “Made In LA 2020: A Version” ($50). “A version brings together an intergenerational and interdisciplinary mix of artists, each of whom is contributing to L.A.’s vibrant art scene.” It’s not only a cool way to continue to support local artists, or the Hammer Museum itself, but it makes for a really fun and interesting gift and home fixture – lord knows 2020 will be one to remember!
The Juicy Leaf, located in Highland Park, is one of LA’s most beloved local businesses to shop for succulents, and while they have plenty of beautiful plants to choose from, when it comes to gifting their succulent kits are the way to go! They can be shipped, it’s a fun project, and they’re totally fairly priced. They range from $39.95 – $65 and they are all PERFECT gifts to brighten up someones home.
FOODIES & IMBIBERS
To this day, Meal & A Spiel ($49.95) is still my favorite cookbook, so it’s back on the gift guide because it really is one of my favorite gifts to give! Author/chef Elana Horwich is a native Angeleno, an incredible teacher (her classes were a blast, and she hosted them at her parents beautiful home), a fantastic cook, and an all-around wonderful person. Her book is for folks (like me) who might not be the most secure in the kitchen, and helps guide you through cooking intuitively and thus more stress-free. I read the cookbook like an actual book and it has personally helped me gain so much confidence, PLUS the recipes are all A+.
My mom has this book and has since gifted it to just about everyone she knows too, so you know it’s a good one. Not to mention it’s also sits real pretty with its denim cover – I love it. Get one for yourself too while you’re at it!
*Use code ‘LOVEANDCOOKING20’ for 20% off!
You an Angeleno? You probably love Gjusta, so why not send some of LA’s finest to friends or loved ones. Gjusta Goods provides all kinds of pantry, spices, specialty crafted goods, but for the holidays they’ve come up with a few different gift boxes to make the gifting easier. They’ve got a pantry box ($48), a spice box ($60 – probably my pick), a deluxe pantry box ($95), and more curated boxes like “A Venice Morning” ($72, coffee, granola, coffee cup) or “The Tea Set” ($98 – tea, sage honey, 2 coffee cups) – and so many more options.
Future Gin ($35) – which is made and bottled right here in LA – was created by four women (girl power!) who wanted a spirit that represents everything they love about California. Instead of more traditional juniper notes, Future Gin has more meyer lemon/honeysuckle/grape leaf flavors that are distilled with traditional botanicals that give it a classic flavor. I have to say on a personal note, it’s my favorite gin right now, it’s at a great price point, and would make a great gift for any fellow gin lovers out there! You can find it at many/most liquor stores around town or order it online from K&L Wines! (There are also some local delivery options on their website as well.)
What’s a holiday season without delicious treats?! Holiday themed no less! One of my favorite places to get sweet treats and do some gifting is from Valerie Confections and their Winter Gift Set ($60, comes with golden tin of Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Bark Bar, and Evergreen Truffles) would make for a perfect gift for anyone in your life with a sweet tooth. Valerie is known for her Petit Fours though so if you felt like being a little extra, take a look at the “Extravagant Winter Gift Set” too ($160, comes with Eggnog Petits Fours, Evergreen Truffles, Peppermint Bark Bar, Baby Grand, and a golden tin of Hot Chocolate). But of course, there are plenty other goodies to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something delicious.
Did or does someone you know go through the quarantine sourdough starter phase? It might be time to up their game a little and challenge them with making their own masa! And LA based Masienda is here to make it happen for them, their Masa Starter Kit ($89-$93) has everything they’ll need to start making their very own, insanely fresh, homemade tortillas. It’s a gift for them AND for you.
Mulholland Distilling is “The Spirit of LA” and between their LA made Gin, Vodka, and American Whiskey it’s actually hard to pick a favorite! The second best part is the prices are fair; the Vodka and being $20, the Gin being $29, and the Whiskey being $30. They’re a great brand/distillery to support as they give quite a bit back to the community (especially during these times), you can buy their product online directly from their website, or you will find them at local grocery stores/liquor stores like Whole Foods, Erewon, and more.
You’ve never had a chicken parm or steak like you’ve had at Dear John’s. Periodt. Dear John’s has to be one of my personal favorite restaurants in LA; again, unbeatable chicken parm and some of the best cocktails and ambiance in town! Even with the new outdoor setup! This holiday season Dear John’s is bottling some of their best sauces for you to take home or gift; the options include a Steak Sauce ($16), a Green Acres Sauce ($12), a Three Peppercorn Brandy Sauce ($12), or a Hot Sauce ($12). It’s a goofy gift but considering I am a self-professed “Condiment Queen”, I know there’s gotta be other people out there that would appreciate this!
One of the easiest and most DELICIOUS gifts you could give that would be very representative of “LA” would be a gift box ($18 and up depending on amount of cookies) from my favorite cookie crafters ever, Milk Jar Cookies. I gift a box of these cookies to friends and family every year because they really are just the best – and, hot tip, they freeze well. They offer so many flavors to choose from, even some great seasonal options, and they ship quickly. Bonus: Milk Jar Cookies just came out with a COOKBOOK ($24) as well, so if you’re gift recipient like to have cookies and bake them too… throw that icing on the cake. Or cookie. Whatever!
I think I had the LA Cookbook on my gift guide last year or the year before, but it’s just such a fun book it deserves a return! The LA Cookbook ($33 on Amazon) by Alison Clare Steingold originally published in 2018 and is made up of 100 classic recipes from LA’s best restaurants and chefs. Contributors include Alma, Baroo, Bestia, the Beverly Hills Hotel Fountain Coffee Shop, Bottega Louie, Chengdu Taste, Everson Royce Bar, Farmshop, Felix, Guelaguetza, Joan’s on Third, Jon & Vinny’s, Little Flower Bakery, The Little Door, LocoL, Love & Salt, Matsuhisa, Meals by Genet, n/naka, Otium, Paloma’s Paletas, Park’s BBQ, Revolutionario, Rucker’s Pies, Spago Beverly Hills, The Tasting Kitchen, Valerie Confections, and more! How fun is that.
Vervet offers “sparkling craft cocktails from the heart of Los Angeles”, and they are HANDS. DOWN. the best canned cocktails I’ve personally ever had. Their beverages have zero artificial anything, no refined sugar, no corn syrup or lab made flavors; they’re simply REAL cocktails – that conveniently come in cans – and they’re crafted to perfection. They have 4 options at the moment and honestly, I love them all. The gift box ($25) offers 1 can of each and is available for delivery in a beautiful gift package. Here’s how to order!
Only the finest of California’s fruits make LA based Brightland’s INCREDIBLE olive oils. This is just one of those products you can tell – and taste – that it’s made with quite a bit of love and care. And who couldn’t use a little olive oil in their life? Brightland makes a variety of olive oils (extra virgin, chili, basil, lemon) as well as a champagne vinegar and balsamic now (YUM), and the cherry on top is their absolutely gorgeous packaging, each bottle is like a little work of art. Brightland has a number of gifting options listed on their site but I think a great place to start would be with their. “Mini Essentials” ($70) gift box that comes with 2 minis of their best selling olive oils and minis of the champagne vinegar and balsamic.
Medicinal mushrooms (no, not the psychoactive kind) such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps are powerful and are proven to reduce inflammation, fight disease, boost the immune system, and optimize cognitive performance. I’m of the mindset lately of “whatever it takes” to boost my immune system and do right by my body I’ll do, and that includes incorporating some of Uphoric Urth’s mushroom tinctures into my everyday rituals (I add mine to my coffee!).
They offer a number of options that are good for different things, but the “Immune Boosting Bundle” ($135) would be a great place to start and it comes with one bottle each of Reishi, Chaga, Turkey Tail and Cordyceps. If you want a smaller option I’d go with the one bottle of “5 Blend” ($40, $32 if you subscribe) which is a blend of Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps – this is the one I have!
So this is kind of an overarching rec, but Goldbelly is the best way to send some of the best dishes/meals/desserts in LA to anyone obviously outside of LA. If you’ve got a homesick Angeleno on your hands, maybe think about sending them some Bludso’s BBQ! Or some Cake Monkey treats! Or Langer’s Deli goodies! Take a look at what items they have to offer and ship some of their favs.
My FAVORITE favorite favorite brand of tea crafters is LA-based Art Of Tea. I have been sipping on their wonderful blends for years, and if you have a tea drinker in your life I’d highly suggest introducing them (if they’re not already familiar). Matcha Tea is most certainly having a moment, but it can be tricky to make at home. So, save your gift recipient the hassle, and why not snag Art of Tea’s “At Home Matcha Kit’ ($52) which comes with a handblown double-walled glass bowl, a signature chasen bamboo matcha whisk, a bamboo matcha measuring spoon, and a matte black matcha whisk holder. Be sure to throw in a pack of their (super genius) “Matchasticks” ($22) which are just pre measured 2 gram packets of Grade A Matcha.
* Need more ideas for the foodie in your life? Head to Eater LA’s recent Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas! I always look forward to their gift guide so I highly recommend checking it out too!
Millenial Lotería ($23 on Amazon) is a HILAROUS take on a classic Mexican card game akin to Bingo, and as you guessed it, it’s “Mlillenial” themed. Such a fun and silly gift, I might be gifting one to myself as well.
“Based in Los Angeles, CA, Inner Piece is a jigsaw puzzle company that spreads quiet time in a loud, distracted world”, and a wild world right now at that! Everyone could use some puzzle time so why not make it one of Inner Piece’s beautiful puzzles (they’re practically framable). They have a few options to choose from at any given time but my favorite right now is the Laurel Canyon 500 piece puzzle ($30).
Fun fact, I actually went to college with the creators of the Drunk Stoned Or Stupid Games! Didn’t know them personally but now “know” them by way of other Chapman friends, and would ya look at us now – all Angelenos. Drunk Stoned Or Stupid ($18) is a REALLY fun party/friends gathering game that’s along the same lines of Cards Against Humanity. There are 250 prompt cards to decide who in the group is MOST LIKELY TO… “This game can get real. Prepare to call out your friends.” Since the creation of their first child, Drunk Stoned or Stupid, the guys from DSSGames have gone on to create a number of other really fun games like “Who Can Do It”, “Trivellenial”, “The Best Friend Game”, “You Laugh You Drink”, “If You Had To”, and “Don’t Look At Me!” (lol) – so get in on the (friends only) fun.
A three-pack of The LA Times’ limited-run 32 page zines featuring some of their/our favorite stories. The pack ($25) includes the “@latimesplants Little Book of Plants Zine” (for the plant people), the “Beginners Guide to Griffith Park Zine” (bless, because that is one massive park), and the “@latimesfood Back to Basics Zine” (fundamental cooking techniques + a recipe) – how cute is that?!
OK. This one is just too freakin great. Dad Grass, to give you some context, is “reviving the mellow sensibility of the casual smoke. Our 100% Organic hemp pre rolled CBD joints serve up a clean buzz without the fuss. Our special collections of merch and apparel pay tribute to the timeless staples of dad style. Past, present and future. Like your dad’s stash, we keep things easy and dependable, never fancy or complicated.” So they’ve partnered up with LA favorite Sqirl to create a pack of 5 CBD Pre Rolls ($37) that are discreetly concealed in a Dad Stash decoy pack sleeve that looks like a pack of butter. I love it so much, it hurts my feelings. Give the gift of relaxing and happy vibes with a side of dad humor.
I absolutely love Makers Mess and all of the fun art workshops they offer here in LA, I took the calligraphy class a few years ago and was so impressed by the whole experience. In person classes might be a bit tricky at the moment but there is still fun to be had thanks to the Makers Mess online workshops AND their craft kits! There are kits more fit for adults, crafts for the kiddos, and even seasonal kits (as you’ll see are available now).
Special for the holidays you can choose from a number of Makers Mess Kits like a Pom Pom Wreath kit, a Wood Burning Kit, an Embroidery Kit, a Candle Kit, a Punch Needle Kit, or a Mini Weaving Kit! (If you’re gifting for a kiddo, there are a number of really “Mini Makers” fun holiday kits for them too!) How many times can one person type “kit”?
I am a hat queen, and rarely do I travel or pack a bag without at least one, but I never leave for a trip without my favorite travel accessory, the Toptote. Toptote is a GENIUS contraption invented by one of my girlfriends Lindsay Albanese and makes traveling with a hat actually do-able. It’s simply a magnitzed clip that attaches to either your luggage or a handle on a tote/shoulder bag that secures your hat! I personally have the Pout Toptote ($48) – duh, red lip always – but they’re all very chic!
JS Navy is the brainchild of two sisters from Latin America, Panama, to be exact, who moved to Los Angeles and have a love for exploring new places and foods – but didn’t want to lug around so much heavy bags and “stuff”, so they designed a super cute, super compact and super portable wallet that’ll STILL fit everything you need. The Mini Wallets ($65) hold 4-6 cards, and the Full Wallets ($75) hold 8-12 – both are again, wildly compact and come in a few colors. We love fashion AND function.
Theyre cute, the’re fun, they’re affordable, AND Babes of the Wave is a badass female run Black-Owned business here in LA. I have 2 pairs of the “Emmy” sunglasses ($13) myself and love them. It is always sunny in Los Angeles after all!
If you’re looking for something truly special to gift to someone, something of the diamond, gold, or beautiful stone variety, I always point people to my personal favorite LA based jeweler – Misa Jewelry. “She incorporates her affinity with nature into her designs through sculpted organic forms and precious and semiprecious gemstones from her world travels” and the out come are these truly unique, minimal, and beautiful creations. I have a number of rings I’ve gotten over the years (I always ask for one for my birthday) and now stack them up on one finger. Beyond rings though Misa also makes necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Another one of my absolute favorite LA-based jewelry designers in Sydney Evan who is known for her really fun diamond charm necklaces and earrings (among other things). There is nothing she makes I don’t completely fawn over, but being who I am, I am especially in love with her “I(eye) Love LA” charm necklace. It’ll cost ya, $1060 to be exact, but quality is quality! Cute is cute! LA forever!
This is the sweatshirt of the year, and just so happens to be made by one of my good friends. I have been wearing this thing non stop since March. And I am still getting compliments as it would appear that the sentiment hasn’t changed much since then. The “Maybe Next Year” sweatshirt ($40) comes in black and red (I have both, because, options) and Laura (the creator) has also created “Maybe Next Year” hats and a t-shirt as well. I have actually gifted these sweatshirts myself and was pretty damn proud of myself for checking the cozy AND humor boxes. So, there you have it, A+ gift.
My favorite LA made and LA based brand Aquarius Cocktail has been making the most incredible cotton tie-dye sweatpants and sweatshirts the past few months. I finally got my hands on a sweatshirt and truth be told, I’ve never felt anything quite like it. I had no idea cotton could get that soft, it’s unbelievable. They’re a bit oversized, they’re a bit thinner than a regular sweatshirt (which I appreciate, we are in LA after all, not Alaska), and the tie dye work is absolutely gorgeous! Any recipient of one of these sweatshirts ($198) (or sweatpants) would be eternally grateful, plus it’s what we all actually want right now.
A friend of mine sent this shirt to me, I loved it so much it had to be shared here. So here it is, Vienna Pitts’ “LA Devil Tie Dye Shirt” ($34) – it’s somehow the cutest and most metal thing I’ve ever seen.
LA’s favorite unique boutique Poketo has teamed up with the folks at iPhone case crafters, Casetify (also based in LA!), to create a whole line of absolutely adorble iPhone cases ($55) – as to be expected with anything Poketo related. There are tons of options to choose from; expect minimal, graphic, colorful, and fun. They’re practically little works of art. Besides the cases however they also did Apple Airpod cases, Apple Watch bands, iPad folios, and a ring holder.
You know I had to. And there’s too much to choose from!! But for the sake of narrowing it down a bit, I am really loving this “LA” Ornament ($21) from a seller on Etsy that has the names of all the World Series players, love this (fucking adorable) watercolor print of Dodgers Stadium ($32) from another seller on Etsy, I’m into this vintage looking classic 3/4 sleeve baseball shirt ($43) from the MLB shop, and also this cute women’s crop top shirt ($42) from the MLB shop as well.
For a timely and functional gift, consider buying one of Handcrafted in Laurel Canyon’s natural hand sanitizers that are made with essential oils (rose, tuberose, cedar) – $14. I love that they come as a spray too and not as a gel!