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Loving Lately: The Gift Edition

Hola and happy New Year’s Eve Eve. Just 36 hours until a brand new year is upon us. I have all sorts of things I want to say about bidding 2014 farewell and my thoughts/goals going into 2015 so stay tuned for that over the next few posts.

I wanted to switch up loving lately with a “gift edition” variation. I don’t know about you…but I am on the hunt for good gift ideas year round! I didn’t really give my family any sort of Christmas list this year but I guess they know me so well that they nailed it. My dad (the culinary genius) gave me some kitchen gifts that I didn’t even know I needed…and don’t know how I lived without!

I thought I would highlight some of my favorites for y’all. I’m going to try to make it as un-holiday focused as possible and keep it to things you’d want to give/receive year round.

lecruesetLe Creuset Cast Iron Rectangular Grill 

My dad gave this to me so I can do a little indoor pseudo-grilling. I think this was a direct result of him asking me for 6 months if I’ve fixed my outdoor gas grill and me replying, “um…not yet.”


I put it to work for the first time last night to grill some steaks. It looked so pretty alongside my beloved Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I have had my dutch oven for 5+ years and use it ALL.THE.TIME. Seriously worth the investment. Back to the grill pan…the steaks were delicious and the grill marks made them totally legit, right? Cast iron is the way to go if you have to cook steaks inside.


OPI Take Ten Mini Nail Polish Set

My grandmother gave me this OPI mini nail polish set in my stocking and it’s full of some of my favorite standbys as well as some new to me shades.


Paderno Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer

Funny story here…I actually gave two of these as gifts and then received one myself! Apparently, my dad is totally into the zoodles trend so he bought me a spiralizer so I can get on board too.


No link here but I have to share because it’s so special. My grandmother gave me a new gold pinky ring. It’s a small gold band with a delicate design. Backstory…my grandmother gave me and my cousin silver pinky rings with our initials when I was a senior in college (so…10 years ago…good lord!). I have worn it every day since. The initials were worn off and I was ready for a change so the one thing I did ask for was a new ring. I’m not sure exactly where this ring is from but it was ordered from a jewelry store in Hawaii. My grandmother and I visited Hawaii together when I was younger so it’s full of special memories for me! I LOVE IT!

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Lensbaby Spark 

I was gifted this totally cool new lens for my Nikon DSLR. You can squeeze and shift it around to focus your shot. It blurs everything out that’s not in the “sweet spot.” (Think kind of like the Tilt Shift feature on Instagram.) It’s a 50mm lens (which is my favorite overall lens to shoot with anyway) and I think I’m going to have fun playing with it. The Spark does require you to shoot in manual.

I wish I could explain all the cool things you can do with it…but watch this video instead!

Lensbaby makes all kinds of fun lenses including some for mobile so be sure to check them out!


Lokai Bracelet

One of my yoga students gave me this Lokai Bracelet. The white ball contains water from Mt. Everest and the black ball contains mud from the Dead Sea. The idea is that the bracelet is a physical reminder of the highs and lows that we all face as we go through life. A string of clear beads link the two to remind you that throughout life’s circular journey, your path is your own and that you can find balance between the highs and lows.

Did you receive any special gifts this holiday season? Please share! 

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Mo December 30, 2014, 6:16 pm

    When my dad passed my mom took my dad’s wedding ring and class ring and made tiny pinky rings for each of the kids. I love it…it is so delicate. I never take it off.

  • 2
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles December 30, 2014, 6:23 pm

    Le Creuset recently opened a store minutes from my house and I am always browsing thinking that I need everything! I am still using my All-Clad pots and pans from my engagement gifts (which means they are, um, 14 years old or so?) and I could really use some new things — like a cast-iron skillet. I am loving OPI lately instead of Essie!

  • 3
    Maddie December 30, 2014, 6:45 pm

    I also received a vegetable spiralizer for Christmas! I would love to see how you use it and the recipes!

    • 4
      Mary Beth December 30, 2014, 7:03 pm

      I got one too and was going to say the same thing- can’t wait to see (and then copy) what you do with it! 🙂

  • 5
    JennyV December 30, 2014, 9:29 pm

    Just tagged you on my Instagram post from this morning — my special Christmas gift! It’s a bangle with Roman numeral 7 which is special to my husband and me. For one, married on 7/7/07… You can see the full explanation on Instagram!

    Also, I have a silver pink ring that all my GFs and I got for graduation gifts in 2002!! I never take it off and hardly realize my right pinky always has something on it.

    Love the bracelet from your yoga student.

  • 6
    Amanda December 31, 2014, 9:08 am

    Happy NYE! I love the bracelet from your student, so meaningful. Also, your grandmother has great taste! My husband went well over our spending limit this year and signed me up for a 12 week oil painting class, he knows me too well.

  • 7
    Janice December 31, 2014, 10:34 am

    That spark lens looks really awesome. Can’t wait to see what you post with it.

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