Patti's Annual Gift Shopping Guide Part 2

  Gorgeous handcrafted earrings by Carter Siebels

Okay, it may sound early to be thinking about Christmas, but if you're looking for gifts that go outside the box this year, look no farther. I am amassing great stocking stuffers and under the tree items for every age. So stay tuned. For starters I discovered amazing handmade glass bead earrings created by Carter Siebels for Divali Glass Jewelry, bound to bring smile to any woman's face. I'm wearing a pair right now and they just  make you feel good dangling lightly off your ear, festive and bright, but still sophisticated. Each piece is an original and retails for $42,  www.divaliglassjewelry.com



Cell phone Centrics

No mobile phone owner should be without the MoPod, a tiny gadget that flashes and spins to alert you of a call. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it sure makes a cute stostocking stuffer.  Popular in England and Japan, they were just introduced to the US marketin time for school and/or office at www.mopodusa.com They are adorable too and come in different characters (devil, dog, kitty, penguins, monkey) encased in clear plastic that attaches to a backpack, purse, loop purse or anywhere you want it. And they only cost 10 bucks.

Candy man

Here’s a healthy gift idea:  Reed’s Crystallized custom made Ginger candy that not only takes great and packs a tangy zing, it’s  actually good for you. I sampled various varieties and man they taste great.  There’s crystallized ginger chews in 2 to 10 ounce bags or 10 to 16 ounce tins all made from natural ingredients and of course ginger from the South Pacific.  Ginger has been touted as an antidote to seasickness, ovarian cancer cell killer, stomach calmer, and digestive aid.  So stuff some in your friends or relatives stockings or under the tree this Christmas. The company also makes ginger drinks (Reed’s Ginger Brew) ice cream. Available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Wild Oats.  Check out www.ReedsGingerBrew.com, or call 800-99-REEDS.

Scented Stocking Stuffers

Everyadult on your list will love to find Cedarberry Hills Aromatic Cedar Sachets in their Christmas stocking. Not only do they smell good, but they help ward off moths, silver fish and roaches away. They can hang in the closet or sit in a drawer. And they smell so good.

                                                Jet Setter Stuff

For your frequent flying friends who struggle with measuring just the right amount of product to satisfy security restrictions on airlines, the 3.1.1 Travel Bag provides the perfect solution and a welcome gift. The see through plastic tote bag comes with five travel-size, TSA compliant containers which can be filled with moisturizer, gels, hair products etc.  And it’s only $24.95. Wish I’d thought of this one. www.clearbagsystem.com

Novel Tees

T-shirts are usually winners, especially the selection offered by BustedTees, with all sort of sayings and slogans to fit every personality. Originally created as a sided business for the start-up CollegeHumr.com in 2004, BustedTees now designs what they call “tees with attitude” for upscale retailers like Urban Outfitters. “Our shirts are worn by young professional,” says 25-year-old Josh Mohrer, director of Retail for the company. You can get a “Leave Lindsay A-Lohan” or a “Blow Me” or any of a number of catchy phrases. Check it out at www.bustedtees.com.

Adult Beverages

Booze always makes great gifts, nothing lifts the spirit more than V2 Energy Vodka, laced with caffeine and taurine (an essential amino acid) this stuff tastes great with a kick. V2 fyi was invented by James Goldstein who launched Hpnotiq, a blend of cognac, vodka and Everglo in a bottle that glows in the dark.  The V2 bottle is attractive, too, with the V in back and the 2 in red.

Shower and Shave

Another cool stuffer is Johnson's 2-in-1 Shower and Shave 24 Hour Moisturizing Wash. I've been using it and it's luscious. You lather, shave and wash with this fresh scented Aloe Vera based cleanser. It works great on legs, underarms and even the bikini area. Get some for yourself, too.

Teas for Two Now here’s a nifty gift for your tea loving friends, an assortment of top quality teas you can order on line that come in little tin cans filled with flavors like chestnut, pumpkin spice, cranberry, ginger bread, candy apple and candy cane. And they are all delicious.  Check it out www.adagio.com

Energy boosters

Stick these scrumptious energy bars in the stockings of your athletic friends: recently released from Detour each one is created for a different sport like the “Runner”, “Core Strength” and “Biker. Flavors include  toffee almond, raspberry dark chocolate and chocolate peanut butter,  caramel peanut, chocolate caramel, yum.  They taste good and pack a real boost. Perfect for those times of day when energy begins to lag.  Ingredients like whey protein, ribose, rhodiola; MicroLactin (naturally occurs from milk proteins and absorbed 3 xs faster than glucosamine, and other good stuff.  They even work for us writers sitting at the PC, gives a jump start to the brain. Available at GNC or online atwww.dedtourbar.com

Weighing only 2 ounces, Playaway offers the ultimate in portability and comes pre-loaded with a title of your choice, packaged with earbuds and one AAA battery.  Staring at $24.99, their perfect for holiday stocking stuffers, travel, road trips, or even working out.

For the bookworms on your list who doesn't have time to read, a lightweight (2 ounce) pre-loaded audio player with a choice of books, it even comes with  with earbuds and one AAA battery.  $24.99,. There are hundreds of titles to choose from Charlotte's Web to Eragon, titles for action fans such as John Grisham and Dan Brown's best-sellers, or love stories. There's even an udio yoga course and titles for tots. www.playawaydigital.com

For those who do have time to read, especially boomers or anyone interested in music history, Elliot Tiber's "Taking Woodstock" is a perfect pick. The book, written with Tom Monte, recalls Tiber's summer of 69 when the then young, gay Greenwich Village entrepreneur wsas hobknobbing with the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams et al and his humorous, adventureous trip to Woodstock. You just have to read it and get some for the people on your list. It's not only good reading, but most likely will become a collector's item. Be sure to check out the reversible psychedelic  dust jacket--it's "groovy" man. Published by Square one Publishers (www.squareonepubishers.com)


Jet Setter Stuff

For those frequent flying friends who struggle with measuring just the right amount of product to satisfy security restrictions on airlines, the 3.1.1 Travel Bag provides the perfect solution and a welcome gift. The see through plastic tote bag comes with five travel-size, TSA compliant containers which can be filled with moisturizer, gels, hair products etc.  And it’s only $24.95. Wish I’d thought of this one. www.clearbagsystem.com
TRAVELLING Gal
I’ve been busy, working on my next edition of ACCESS Los Angeles, one of a series of  user-friendly city guide books published by Harper Collins. It’s actually my 13th and the research takes me all over the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area where I come across some nifty finds.

 

Like the Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa. Just spent two night there and it’s really a cool place to take a break from city life. Only about a 2 hour drive from LA, but nearly a mile high,Lake Arrowhead is part pristine/part posh with multimillion dollar mansions lining the large lake and acres of woodlands. Anyhow the resort, which was once a Hilton and something else, underwent a major remodel and now is a luxe lodge like facility with awesome suites with balconies overlooking the lake.  Our suite had a large lanai, flat screen TVS in living room and bedroom, coffee maker and even a press pot and beans to grind for fresh morning  joe, and get this your own in room ice maker.  We had and use a large Jacuzzi tub.  The suite was perfect for room service so we indulged with lunch and breakfast on the balcony. Went to the restaurant for dinner, it was fair one night, good the next, the food needs a little work but is definitely on the right track. The pretty spa gets the job done with a steam, sauna and whirlpools. We had a couples massage. My masseuse Linda had a spectacular technique that worked away most of my aches and pains.  My husband praised his rub and his men’s facial, too.   Had a manicure and pedicure that lasted a little too long at two hours but did the trick.  Hotel rooms are fairly priced, food in my opinion is somewhat costly, at first they charged $12 a day to use the spa and fitness room but good news, it's now free for hotel guests, I did complain about this, maybe they listened?   Anyhow it’s worth a trip. Check it out at www.lakearrowheadresort.com

I also spent a night at the Hotel Sofitel in midtown Los Angeles, across from Beverly Center mall, and man the place rocks after a multi-million dollar renovation that transformed the drab French country-style hostelery into a sleek, modern day facility. The amazing Gordian knot sculpture in the stunning lobby sets the mood for this striking spot.  We had a penthouse suite with huge angled windows that compliment the Mansard roof. Huge curtains open and close electrically, only problem was there was a huge billboard with the face of Steve Carell glaring at us. Don't get me wrong,  I love him, but not enough to look at him night and day. Anyhow our suite was sweet with flat screen TVs, big bath,but only one basin in the sink, what's up with that? Like the bed and outrageously big count cotton linens. Had room service breakfast on our balcony, that overlooks Beverly Boulevard, the shopping center and for now anyway, Steve Carell. Oh well. Dinner was at Simon, he's a super chef with restaurant of same name in Vegas, the bamboo steamed halibutwas amazing as was the  carpaccio and beef tartar plate and the rich wonderful cheesecake, washed down with a fab bottle of Trefethan Chardonnay. The wait staff is wonderful by the way. No attitude here which rings true throughout the hotel from the parking valets and beyond.  Simon is flanked by ahip lounge where scenesters hook up and drink all night. The fitness center is also one of the biggest and best in town with spanking new equipment, two Internet accessible computers (free to use when you need an email fix during your workout), lots of bottled water and TVs.  Next door to the workout room is LeSpa, a pretty place to unwind with really top treatments. Had a fab facial from Vanessa, a sweet, young thing with magic hands.  Hotel Sofitel's at 8555 Beverly Blvd., 310-278-5444 www.sofitel.com or www.sofitellosangeles@accor.com

Love the Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica. Man this place is a scene with affluent locals and some out of towners drinking and whooping it up at the bar with Mojitos, martinis, wines and other adult beverages. This spot was definitely designed for drinking.  The lofty roomis stark white and when the sun echoes off the ocean it can be quite blinding, so wear shades. The scene’s a hoot, loud, lively lots of energy, the food’s amazing. It all good.  It’s expensive and valet parking runs 8 bucks, but worth the trip www.thehuntleyhotel.com, 310-394.5454.

Park Grill at the new Intercontinental Hotel in CenturyCity, another big surprise.Chef Vincent, a friendly Frenchmen with an impressive background, created the menu which is innovative and quite good for a hotel restaurant. In keeping with the latest trend, it’s pricy but you do get what you pay for here. Had awesome appetizers and  an amazing Kobe rib eye, sea bass  and  Vincent’s cookies which ware so good I munched them on the way home.  www.intercontinental.com/losangeles, 310-284-6500.

Okay it wouldn’t be my blog without a beauty discovery. I’ve been using a new product line for a week now and my own lines are nearly gone, no kidding. It’s called  Reclaim Argireline. Ibegin with the cleanser, then apply  this little miracle making  Age Breaker Line Breaker Serum that works like a eraser no joke, I follow with Revolutionary Anti-Aging Cream SPF 15 (in the morning) and Night Cream at bed time. This is one amazing results making regimen.  It was actually sent to me by the public relations firm and guess what I lost the press info so all this is from my own experience with this collection.  Had to look at the containers for numbers, call 800-510-4961 or go to www.buyprincipalsecret.com for more info. If you have lines or wrinkles you need this stuff.

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