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And with a few chilly, but not too chilly, nights and moisture in the air, Bend was gifted with snow as we woke up on the morning of December 1st.
It isn’t every year that the snow comes early, or sometimes at all to the parts of Oregon that I have lived. Sometimes it does come for a visit during Thanksgiving, but to have the first real snow fall on a Friday evening and to wake up on the first day of December was somewhat spectacular. Needless to say, I wanted to savor it, to soak it up as much as possible, and I was thankful that I chose to do just that.
Electing to forgo my weekly yoga session that I typically attend on Saturdays, I looked at Norman, he looked up at me with that look of we’re-going-walking-right?, and I decided we would both go explore the woods about 15 minutes from our home. Sure enough, the soft, powdery snow had fallen, about 10-12 inches in fact, and the exploration for our first cut-from-the-woods Christmas tree as residents in Bend (actually as an adult, as it was something we would always do as a family growing up in Wallowa County, but I had not done since) began.
~If you are reading this post Sunday morning of the original posting, be sure to check out TSLL’s Instagram Stories for videos as well of our adventure into the woods and snow.
This particular weekend was our scouting excursion as the tree can dry up and become quite brittle if it is cut too early, but the good news is, we found a few beautiful options!
But enough with the snow adventure with Mr. Norman, and on to TSLL’s annual Holiday Gift Guide! (while you shop or peruse the list, perhaps you want to listen to TSLL’s new Simply Luxurious Holiday Playlist? Download it here on Spotify )
Below you will find, organized by category, beautiful, useful, recommended finds for the home, the cook, the traveler, the techie, the book lover, pet parents, and the individual who appreciates living well.
For the Cook
Below I have hand-picked a few must-have staple (épicerie) food items to have on hand that I use and highly recommend. The two salts that I always have near my stove in small ramekins (coarse sea salt for cooking throughout and flaky sea salt for finishing), the olive oil I tasted in Provence with Patricia Wells and loved, as well as French Dijon mustard – it just doesn’t get any better.
Also, cooking utensils that elevate your game in the kitchen – copper mixing bowls for eggs – it truly does make a difference that only copper can do, that unique touch for presenting food with the square scoop (a similar one was used during my cooking school this summer), and a recommended item from a reader who is an avid cook – the spurtle – a mix between a spatula and a spoon.
~Mauviel Copper Beating Bowl (on sale), 4.9 & 7.4 Qt.
~Jacobsen Hand Harvested Sea Salt (made in Oregon), for everyday cooking throughout the process of making great food~
~Moulin Jean Marie Cornillon Huile d’Olive Vierge, (French Huile d’Olive, olive oil), recommended by Patricia Wells, my favorite during our tasting this summer in Provence~
~Fallot Dijon Mustard (made in Dijon, France)
For the Techie
Being connected when we want to be with quality tools helps to make the work or pleasure technology can bring far more enjoyable. Below are a few items that would be (and one is as I love my AirPods) very helpful in my own life. All of which eliminate cords and some frustration as well.
~Belkin Power Pocket Charger (black is also available)~
~J.Crew cashmere-lined leather tech gloves (more colors), save 35% with WINTERSALE~
~Apple Watch, Series 2, with saddle brown classic buckle~
For Staying in Touch
I came across this company’s boxed card sets a few years ago at my local bookshop and saved the name. Upon finally visiting their website, I was elated at what I found. Oodles, upon oodles of wildlife, mother nature and food illustrations simply placed on boxed card sets (blank inside) and available at wonderful prices. Find seasonal favorites, birds, animals, trees, food and much more.
For Tea Lovers
A TSLL Gift Guide would not be complete without something to enjoy a cup of tea. And this find is from England, bien sur!
~Watch a quick video, taped in England nonethless, on how to make a lovely pot of tea.
~Burleigh Pottery, made in England since 1851
For the Sartorialist
Maybe you have a style star on your list, or maybe you need to treat yourself. Either way, below are a few items I couldn’t help but share (and don’t forget to use the promo code for Holly & Tanager!).
~Holly & Tanager leather handbags, save 15% with promo code SIMPLE~
For Staying Warm
~Mark & Graham Faux Fur Hat (initials optional)
~Eric Bompard 100% cashmere Voile Stole (many, many colors)~
~Eric Bompard 100% cashmere rib hat (more colors)~
For the Traveler
Traveling comfortably and with a touch of style is absolutely possible and each fo these items enable you to do just that.
~Mark and Graham Dual travel organizer, leather (more colors options). Save 25% with promo code GIFTMORE
~Mark and Graham Leather Tablet case, (red is also available), save 25% with GIFTMORE~
~Gem Water by VitaJuwel (more gemstone options), for my fellow Bendites, Studio Vero on SW Knoll has these beautiful bottles available~
~Moore & Giles fine leather travel envelope (for travel documents)~
~Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Kit, limited edition~
For the Food Lovers
Last year, a beloved TSLL reader from England brought to my attention Fortnum & Mason’s Hampers. With ample thematic options for the food and drink you want to enjoy – the Classic Christmas Basket, the Tea Basket, the Champagne Basket, The Good Morning Hamper and much more, choose one for your family and friends, or for your own household and enjoy a touch of London wherever you call home this holiday season.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t share an awesome gift you can give your Francophile and Food Lover combo on your list – Poilâne bread and cookies! Yes, that classic sourdough round can be shipped around the world.
~Poilane Sourdough Rounds (shipped from France)
For the Book (and food & home) Lover
A few new and old classic books to enjoy as your loved ones snuggle up after unwrapping all of the gifts to explore, learn and dream.
~Gmorning, Gnight: Little Pep Talks for Me and You (2018) by Lin Manuel Miranda
~Real Cooking by Nigel Slater (2006)
~Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook (2018) by Dorie Greenspan
~French Country Cooking (2011) by Elizabeth David
~The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life (2018) by Joshua Becker
~Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook (2018) by Yotam Ottolenghi
~Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts (2017) by Stella Parks
For the Homebody & Lover of Food (did I repeat myself? Yep, Enjoy!)
Each one of these items caught my eye as functional and beautiful. That ceramic handless pitcher would be perfect for freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning, and for those moments when getting out of bed early isn’t necessary, a sturdy, and beautifully streamlined bed tray.
For the Pet Parents
I could not forget about my fellow fur-baby parents.
~Quilted Dog Jacket with Fleece Lining (multiple color options and sizes)~
~Pottery Barn Antique Dog Bed, on sale~
For Lovers of Simply Luxurious Living! TSLL Books
And just in case you know someone on your list who would enjoy discovering how to live simply luxuriously, be sure to shop at Amazon now as you can save $5 off your purchase of one or both of TSLL’s books.
~order signed copies of each directly from TSLL here
Wishing you and yours a truly happy, cozy, loving and festive holiday season. Thank you for stopping by this year and happy shopping!