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Top Holiday Gift Ideas for Women

Hi friends! So many people struggle with gift giving at this time of year. So, I combed the internet and catalogs to create a list of top gift ideas to help you out!

I believe you’ll find the perfect gift on my list for that special someone. You can buy them directly online because I’ve included the links for each item. How much easier can gift giving be?

The Feathered Nester’s Gift Giving List

1. Personalized Wine Crate Comfort Mat by Ballard Design, $49-$89.

Gifts

I love this personalized mat! In fact, that’s my mat above from our coffee bar/beverage fridge area. Not only is it gorgeous and comfortable, but is machine washable! Ballard Design offers it in three different sizes for the perfect fit.

https://www.ballarddesigns.com/personalized-wine-crate-comfort-mat/224892

2. Felina Lounge Set, Costco, $19.99

Ideas

This is the most comfortable lounger set I’ve ever worn. And, its such a bargain! My daughter and I both love it. It’s soft, non-piling, and looks flattering on. I may or may not be buying this for other family members, lol. It’s available at Costco, both in stores and online.

https://www.costco.com/Felina-Ladies’-2-piece-Lounge-Set.product.100286108.html

3. Ugg slippers, Nordstrom, $99.95

I’ve had these Ugg slippers for several years now and I love them! They’re comfortable and supportive, and I confess to occasionally wearing them around the house all day. With a water-resistant suede exterior and rubber sole, they’re ideal for indoor and outdoor wear. The soft inner lining is made from genuine shearling. I’ve included an highly rated, alternative selection through LL Bean for $59, since the Uggs are a little pricey.

Ugg Ansley slipper

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-ansley-water-resistant-slipper-women/3164992?contextualcategoryid=2375500&origin=keywordsearch&keyword=ugg+slippers

LL Bean Women’s Slipper

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/112648?feat=moccasins-SR0&page=women-s-mountain-slippers-moccasin&csp=a

4. Garnet Hill Organic Cotton Hooded Sweater Tunic, $98

Nothing is more comfortable on those cold winter days than this pullover tunic. It’s super soft and has a nice, relaxed fit. Paired with leggings and boots, it’s ideal for a day of running errands. When it is chilly outside, I’ll pair it with a long-sleeved shirt under so I can skip wearing a jacket.

https://www.garnethill.com/organic-cotton-hooded-sweater-tunic/468805?&defattribvalue=main

5. Volcano Beauty Travel Set, Anthropologie, $48

This is the perfect hostess gift! Have you ever smelled a Volcano candle? If not, let me assure you that it’s Heaven. This set includes a candle, matches, bar of soap, and hand lotion. I have the hand lotion and it is ideal for moisturizing those dry, winter hands. For those who aren’t travelers, this set would look great on a nightstand or bathroom counter.

https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/volcano-beauty-travel-set?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=040

6. Ancestry DNA kit by Ancestry, Amazon, $69

This is an ideal gift for those interested in family history and ancestry. Since Ancestry reduced the price by $30, it’s a great deal, too! There are several types of DNA tests out there. As a genealogy buff, I recommend this one. Ancestry is constantly improving and expanding on their DNA results. It’s reflected in your personal DNA dashboard, which matches you us anonymously (or through your family tree, if you make one) with genetic matches. One of the latest expansions is the ability to see  your ancestor’s migration to the U.S.

https://www.amazon.com/AncestryDNA-Genetic-Testing-Ancestry-Test/dp/B00TRLVKW0/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1512240648&sr=1-4&keywords=ancestry+dna+test+kit

7. Hayden Leather Charging Clutch, Olive & Cocoa, $198

This leather clutch has a hidden battery charger inside! How genius is that? Sized at 6″ x 9″ it will fit right into your purse or tote or use the wrist-strap. The roomy interior holds your essentials with credit card slots and an interior zippered coin pocket. Free shipping.

https://www.oliveandcocoa.com/product/hayden-leather-charging-clutch/s

8. Ocean & Pacific Palette, Beautycounter, $58

Inspired by the sparkling sand and glistening sea of the California coastline, Ocean & Pacific includes nine satin and shimmery hues for eyes and face. The pallet contains six shadow shades, a blush, bronzer, and highlighter. They can be used alone or blended together to achieve endless looks. Each shade gets its luxurious texture from naturally derived cocoa seed butter.

https://www.beautycounter.com/ocean-pacific-palette.html

9. Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Qt., Williams-Sonoma, $119.95

This will be on my own Christmas list this year. I’m amazed at the variety of stuff that can be made in the Instant Pot. My sister made the best deviled eggs with hers, and she said the eggs peeled absolutely effortlessly. This is available in stores and online. Sign-up with Williams-Sonoma on their website and you can receive 15% off and get free shipping!

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/instant-pot-duo-plus-pressure-cooker/?pkey=e%7Cinstant%2Bpot%7C4%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C2&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH

10. Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, $49

My daughter got this recently and she loves it. She says it’s really versatile for home, work, and social events. During her last work potluck, she used the probe for the ham she was serving and it came out perfectly. It’s available in stores and online. I found it for a low-cost at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-Programmable-Temperature-33969A/dp/B00EZI26GO/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1512241757&sr=1-6&keywords=Hamilton+Beach+slow+cooker

11. Favorite MM, Louis Vuitton, $985

Gift

This gift is a splurge for most people, but it’s one of Louis Vuitton’s most popular bags now. With a short chain strap for shoulder use and a longer leather strap to use as a crossbody, this is a versatile smaller bag.

I received this handbag for my birthday and I love it. I use mine with an optional, adjustable monogram strap (purchased separately) instead of the vachetta (tan) strap it came with. This purse is surprisingly roomy and holds my full-sized wallet, 6-ring key holder, cell phone, checkbook, and lip gloss.

http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/favorite-mm-monogram-005658

Optional monogram straps: wider width (the one I use)

Gift

http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/shoulder-strap-monogram-006834

Narrower strap you can also use: http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/adjustable-shoulder-strap-16-mm-monogram-monogram-000664

Stocking Stuffers Ideas

As a Beautycounter consultant, I do receive a commission on Beautycounter purchases. I am not affiliated with any other retailers listed above. Happy Shopping!

For the Love of Purses – My History

The Beginning

The one thing I am really attached to is my purse. I must have been about 10 when I got my first one. I have a photo I’ll share of me in the summer of 1976. That’s me holding a purse! It was a few months before I turned 11. I believe my mom made that purse for me out of some upholstery scraps. Maybe that was the beginning of my love of purses?

handbags
Summer of 1976. Yes, that is a purse I’m holding on the left.

My Evolution of Purses

Over the years I’ve owned different designer handbags. I had Dooney & Bourke purses around 15 years ago, then Coach became the rage. I remember how excited I was when I got my first Coach purse. It was about $300, which I considered a lot to spend on a purse 11 years ago. The purse is made of monogram fabric with leather trim and suede flowers. I loved that purse! For a few years, it was my spring and summer bag.

First Coach purse

 

Then I got another, really nice Coach purse for my birthday in 2007. It’s one of the best made purses I’ve ever owned and it’s fairly heavy for a purse. The lining is silky, with a Tattersall design and the exterior is cloth monogram and leather. After I got this bag, I alternated it with the my first Coach purse. One for the spring and summer and the new one for fall and winter. I haven’t used either of those purses for many years, but I can’t bear to get rid of them.

handbags
Love this Coach bag, it’s so well made.

Then Along Came…Louis Vuitton

Several years ago, I moved on from Coach to Michael Kors then to Tory Burch. In 2014, my husband got me my first Louis Vuitton handbag for my birthday when we were in Maui. The Portobello in Damier Ebene in my favorite style of bag, the hobo bag.

My First – the Louis Vuitton Portobello

love of handbags
The Louis Vuitton bag my Portobello

 

love of handbags
I was so excited about getting this purse that I snapped a photo for my girls to show them.

 

I used the heck out of that purse for the next two years. I’m a tad disappointed with the quality of my Portobello. The leather shoulder handle shows a lot of wear on it, especially on the edges. After I joined the PurseForum, I read about cracking along the sides of the canvas near the zipper. When I looked at mine closely, sure enough I had cracks, too. Louis Vuitton has a great warranty on their bags and I could have returned it for a credit towards a new bag (since it’s been discontinued). I chose not to, though, because this bag is sentimental to me and I still use it. My sister had a problem with her two-year-old Artsy bag and they exchanged it for a brand-new one right in the store.

 

How it looks now

 The Neverfull

Earlier this year, I bought the Louis Vuitton Neverfull before we went on our Caribbean cruise. I planned to use it as a carry-on. Now that I live almost 3 hours from the closest LV store, I decided to try their website. I was really easy to navigate and purchase on. Here a picture of how it arrived:

 

The Turenne in MM

A few months ago, I purchased my current favorite LV favorite, the MM Turenne “preloved.” The Turenne is a really versatile bag, it can he handheld, a shoulder bag, or worn cross-body. I posted some pictures to show what I usually keep inside it. It is my first bag in Monogram. I tend to be a real matchy-match gal, so I was worried about how my Damier Ebene SLGs (small leather goods or accessories) would look with it. But, I needn’t have worried. They look great together as you can see:

 

Earlier this year, I ordered the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM in Damier Ebene for our Spring Break trip. It was hard to choose between the GM and the MM, the Damier Ebene and the Monogram. In the end, I chose the GM in Damier Ebene because I wanted a big travel bag and the Damier Ebene leather trim is treated. The GM sized worked well as a carry on. I’ve also used it a few times for overnight trips, too. It held two days of clothes, a swimsuit, undergarments, two pairs of shoes, my makeup case, and straightener!

SpeedyB 35

My newest LV bag is the Speedy Bandouliere 35 in Damier Ebene. I’ve only used this a few times. It comes with a strap that works as a shoulder strap and an extension that makes it into a cross-body. I can see myself using this purse a lot this fall and winter. I’m always a little worried about getting the vachetta trim on the Turenne wet or stained, so I doubt that I will be using it as much after this summer. On my last trip out-of-town, I used the Speedy as my handbag and the Neverfull as my weekend bag. They looked great together.

Do you have certain styles of handbags you love? Personally, I prefer those that lay flatter against my side. How about designers? Share your favorites!

Summer Means Shorts, Sundresses, and Sandals!

I love getting new shoes for the season! Before I moved, I could pretty much wear the same shoes year around. I lived in a coastal climate and no matter how warm it got (most days were around 70 degrees) in the summer, you always needed a sweater or jacket and warm shoes in the evening. Now that I live where it is hot and dry during the summer, from late May to late October, I wear shorts or a sundress and sandals every day. So, I’ve had fun getting new sandals and flip-flops for summer because they get pretty worn by November.

Here for your viewing pleasure, are some of the sandals I’ve ordered and will be keeping or returning. I love Nordstrom for this very reason. Free shipping both ways. All of the shoes below were ordered from http://shop.nordstrom.com. I’ll tell you how they fit and feel, and why they’re staying or going.

My first score of the season, besides the Gucci shoes I got over Mother’s Day weekend (see http://thefeatherednester.com/index.php/2017/05/15/gucci-gg-blooms-reveal/), were these cute blue Tory Burch sandals. They were on sale and who doesn’t love a good sale? They’re a gorgeous shade of blue and I’ve never owned a pair of Tory Burch shoes before. My sister has a few pairs and they always look great on her, so I decided to order them.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals

Summer Sandals

 

I love the way they look! They are well-make with nice stitching and metal fittings. They feel too narrow, though, under the middle of my foot. The straps around my foot fit perfectly. I’m usually a smaller size 8, but I think I would need to try on a size 8.5 to see how they fit. They also feel a little thin under my feet and don’t have any arch support. I really need arch support with flat shoes. Since they were on sale, and no longer available in the other size, I am RETURNING these.

I have seen these next sandals all over Instagram this season. They looked so cute, I rushed to Nordstrom’s website to order them while I could. I was sad they were sold out in pink, but then I realized that I am waaaaay too hard on shoes to get them in pink. So black it was.

Valentino Rockstud Sandal Slides

The angle of this shot doesn’t do the shoes or my feet any justice! These slides have a lot of cushion to them. They look fun and a little edgy with the rockstuds. Unfortunately, they fit oddly on me. I’m not sure exactly why. I wish I could give them a few days to see how they mold to my foot, but for the cost, I’m not going to chance it. Something else I considered is I read that the materials they’re made of can cause your foot to sweat in the heat. And, honestly, for the price I should love them more. RETURNING

Then, I saw these next sandals for 40% off. Since the Tory Burch blue sandals were going back, I still wanted a blue pair of sandals. There’s a lot of outfits in my closet that would go well with navy slides. So, I ordered them.

Vince Villaire Slides

 

This time I noticed on the website that they run a little big, so I went down a half a size and they fit perfectly. I believe they have leather insoles and suede on the top. So soft and luxurious feeling on my feet. Took the tags off immediately and they are mine. KEEPERS.

Btw, I should have applied scotchguard to the trim around them because after a morning at the park with my grandsons this is how they looked:

Summer Sandals

Fortunately, they seem to have cleaned up pretty well with a little laundry detergent and water.

I tried these on at Macy’s a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure which colors of shoes I was going to go with this year. Then I saw them online and decided I needed a black pair of flip-flops for the pool.

Clarks Arla Glison Flip Flop

 

They came the other day and were instantly elevated to everyday shoes! My floors are all hardwood over cement, so I always wear slippers or flip-flops around the house. I’m not sure what the insoles are made of, but they keep your feet in place which will be great on those 100 degree days. They are also cushiony and supportive. The straps have a little stretch to them and are a nylon type of material so they’re perfect poolside. I had a pair of Clark flip-flops for years that I literally wore out because they were so darned comfortable. I am so glad I’ve been able to replace them with these. KEEPERS.

Yesterday, the UPS man delivered the last pair of shoes I’ve ordered in the past two weeks or so. When I ordered them, I forgot about the Clark’s black flip-flops that were coming. But these seemed like they might be a little dressier.

Fly London ‘Wigg’ Platform Wedge Slide

Summer Sandals

Earlier today, I opened them up and tried them on. They are well-made and comfortable. The insole is contoured and suede, and it really cushions my foot well. They have a nice heel, and interesting color contrasts on the sides. But, as you can probably see from the pic, they’re a little too big. I think they are worth trying in a smaller size, though. They are just too nice not to EXCHANGE.

Just a reminder that my site received no compensation for any of my posts. My reviews are all my own opinions and experiences.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my shoes review. Please subscribe to my blog! There’s a box on the upper right side to do so.

Gucci GG Blooms Reveal

A Beautiful Addition to my Closet

The first time I saw the Gucci GG Blooms pattern, it was love at first sight! I love anything pink and feminine, and especially cherry blossoms or peonies.

GG Blooms

But that’s not my Style Reveal!

When I saw the Gucci store on Santana Row, during our Mothers Day Trip, I knew I would be checking out the GG Blossom goods. While shopping the next day, I went into Gucci and right off saw the GG Supreme Canvas hobo. It didn’t have the blossoms on the monogram, but I loved the style of the bag and the double zip at the top. When I slipped it over my shoulder, it fit so perfectly against my side. I sure wanted that purse…but I managed to take it off my shoulder and set it down on the counter.

My main goal was to look at shoes, though, so I continued on through the store. After trying a number of shoes on, I decided on these beauties…

Oh So Beautifully Bagged and Boxed

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Here they Are!

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Not only beautiful, but espadrilles are perfect for spring and summer! I love, love those flowers on the tan monogram. I do wish the piping along upper foot area was a lighter pink, versus a mauve, but I still think they are perfection.

IMG_1913

In order to justify buying these shoes, I told myself they were only a fraction of the cost of the purse! *wink* I am so looking forward to wearing these all spring and summer long. I have so many outfits that they will look great with.

Of course, they would look even better with this purse

Light-GG-Supreme-canvas-hobo

*sigh* but I a girl’s gotta pace herself! Look for a new post on our 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Trip on Wednesday or Thursday.

What do you think? Have you bought any splurge shoes lately? Or do you have a favorite pair that you look forward to wearing when spring or summer arrive?

Leave your comments below, I would love to see them!