Welcome to Lattes, Life & Luggage! I’m Christine and I share my adventures traveling and navigating this crazy thing we call life.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Planning for the holidays is something I’ve exceeded at since hosting became a thing for me. Shopping for presents, however, has always been a struggle. I will give it an honest try in early November. I’ll write down everyone I need to shop for, write any ideas I have next to their names and feel okay. But come the week before Christmas...I’m still shopping! Why? I can’t tell you. The only thing I can think of is that some people are so hard to shop for that it holds me back with all the other gifts. With all the other preparations that need to happen, shopping just doesn’t feel like a huge priority until all of a sudden, you have three days left to ship by Christmas. With that said, I have a few ideas for you last-minute procrastinators in case you’re not feeling particularly inspired.

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**This post may contain affiliate or brand partner links. Read our full disclosure here. Thank you to Raw Spice Bar for providing complimentary spices and WGN Radio for the complimentary desk calendar.**

This year, a blogger friend of mine recommended the Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand to me and it has been a life changer. Hair styling is something that I’m decent at but don’t necessarily have the patience for. Loose, beachy waves that give the “bed head” look is my favorite hairstyle but getting my hair there is not particularly easy. For starters, I have naturally curly hair, just not the kind I’m going for. So to get to the beachy waves look, I need to blow it out first. By the time I get to the curling, I’m already over it. Normally it would take around 30 minutes to curl my hair but with this wand...three songs! So...roughly 10-15 minutes. The best part? It actually lasts. It lasts the whole day, the whole night and more often than not I wake up with wonderful bed head that I can actually say…”I woke up with this.” So if you have a friend who loves to get dolled up...or, maybe they would like to but don’t have the patience...this wand is magic. It’s also under $20 so perfect if you’re shopping on a budget.

WGN Radio sent me a lovely holiday surprise this month with one of their personalized calendars. The desk calendar is miniature enough to sit on a desk or bookshelf in an office and features gorgeous photos of the city with your name or personalized message in each one. My personal favorite is the marquee of the Chicago Theater with my name on it for January. It’s a neat gift for friends or colleagues...maybe a Secret Santa, although that ship has probably sailed at this point. They also have wall calendars available if your gift recipient doesn’t like a lot of things on their desk or is known for always having a calendar on their wall for reference (like yours truly).

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The #1 thing, besides the obvious of a laptop, that every entrepreneur needs is a classic tote to carry their portable office around. Guys have briefcases or messenger bags, ladies need something as well. The Medium Transport Tote from Madewell is super cute but also really simple. It’s large enough for an average laptop plus a few other office essentials and has enough pockets to bring along what you need. I love that it has an adjustable strap too because sometimes you need a shoulder bag and other times you need a cross body. They have a few different colors available at prices ranging from $130 - $158. For a good bag that is going to be incredibly useful, that price is pretty amazing.

Raw Spice Bar is a fun and unexpected gift for your foodie friends and home chefs. With more than 75 global spices, Raw Spice Bar offers spice kits, individual spices for sale, and a spice subscription service. All spices are high quality, ground, and packaged in small batches for the best possible quality. Their Spice of the Month Club allows you to sign up for 3, 6, or 12 month plans to receive two different spices each month. If you want to give a little more intense of a gift, their subscription option offers the option to receive a mystery set of spices. It’s customizable as well so that if they decide they want to choose their spices in the future, they can. I love the mystery spices because it forces you to get creative in the kitchen. They also share some nifty recipes to go along with their spices in case you need inspiration. I shared a recipe earlier in the season using their Poultry Seasoning which is also holiday-friendly!

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I am a HUGE supporter of the Happy Planner. It’s been my planner of choice for three years now and I would probably go insane without it. Maybe not insane but surely miss a phone call or dinner date. If your gift recipient is already on top of their planner necessities for 2019, Create 365 also has a ton of planner accessories like stickers, extra pages for meal planning and fitness goals, pens, and more. It’s a great company that was started by a mom and daughter duo that’s also affordable. There are so many planners and planner companies out there that can put a dent in the wallet. I’ve never been disappointed with my Happy Planner or any supplies from Create 365. In fact, I bought a bunch with my 2019 planner back in October and I’ve been DYING to get January organized. That’s one of my Christmas break tasks I’m itching to get started with.

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Being someone who loves to travel and hop a flight to almost anywhere, I’ve discovered a few favorite items that I always like to take with me. One of those things is a blanket scarf. My favorite one is a neutral plaid design from Stitchfix but I did a little looking around and found a few others as well. There’s still time to get these delivered by Christmas too! There's this Ombre Plaid Blanket Scarf from LOFT that I’m love with. It looks nice and thick which is great for warmth and super soft. Next up is a Blanket Scarf from Aerie. I’ve never been disappointed by anything from them and considering this looks soft and comfy, something tells me whoever will be receiving it for Christmas won’t be either. Finally, this Women’s Plaid Blanket Scarf from A New Day at Target reminds me of an old-fashioned blanket. It’s one of those classic plaid color combos and it looks like the classic material too. We used to have a blanket that looked almost exactly like this when I was a kid which is what drew me to it. It’s a great price and Target is pretty solid with shipping before Christmas.

Subscription boxes will be your best friend. See below for a list of my recommendations…

Beauty and fashion options:
Trunk Club

Foodie subscriptions:
Foodstirs Bakers Club
Love With Food
Raw Spice Bar
Thrive Market
Try the World

Lifestyle and hobby subscriptions:
Book of the Month Club
Hygge Box
My Coffee & Book Club
Singles Swag
The Wordy Traveler

Meal delivery subscriptions:
Hello Fresh
Marley Spoon

Looking Back On 2018 & Towards 2019

Looking Back On 2018 & Towards 2019

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake | Holiday Recipes: Brunch

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake | Holiday Recipes: Brunch