Tag Archives: creative gift ideas

Gift Guide: Ideas for City Commuters

27 Nov

2013 holiday gift ideas for commuters
/kindle/ starbucks/umbrella/honest company hand sanitizer/kind granola bars/coach/lumosity app/hunter boots/ray bans

When I used to commute into Boston for work, I quickly learned how much traveling on your own steam stinks when you’re not prepared! With the holidays approaching I thought I’d share what I learned about “commuting essentials” for the city in case you want to indulge the commuter in your life!

Sturdy bag – I prefer something that carries like a tote so I’m not destroying my back, but with long-enough handles that I could (in a pinch) toss it over my shoulder.  This Coach Legacy tote is so roomy and absolutely stunning with it’s chic metallic accent. The leather can handle wear and tear and will only improve as it ages. I bet it would look pretty with a simple personalization of one or two initials.

Umbrella – A must-have. I’d splurge on something that is super sturdy and reinforced like Iron Man, but still shows some personality. Obviously stripes are my go-to.

Hand Sanitizer – Germaphobia is out of hand today, but I’ll  begrudgingly admit that this is useful in place like porta-potties. And on public transit. This one by Jessica Alba’s company (the Honest Company) is my favorite.

Headphones – For music and emergency situations, like when you overhear someone talking about Dexter and you’re still 3 seasons behind. I can never have too many, but a nice noise-cancelling pair might be a nice splurge item for a commuter.

Sturdy travel mug – A must for others like me who can’t function without coffee or tea in the morning. Aluminum will keep drinks toasty longer and spill-proof lids allow for a safer commute—and let you toss in your bag if needed. I prefer mugs with handles personally. I think a Starbucks gift-card is a nice add-on. Who doesn’t love red cups?!

Portable snacks – Granola bars, trail mix, and nuts won’t disintegrate in a bag packed with a laptop. My health-guru friend Karen of Find Your Beet introduced me to these Kind granola bars and I love them. They’re a little pricey, so they make a perfect gift-able treat.

Re-fillable water bottle – I love my Camelbak beyond measure. If water temperature matters to you, consider an insulated one or something with a freezable core.

Reading Material – I pride myself on always having something to read. I can fall back to just playing on my phone in a pinch, but with options like the Kindle or the Nook today, not to mention good-old-fashion books, magazines and newspapers, there is no excuse to not take a respite from 24/7 tech and improve your mind. On that note…

Lumosity App Subscription – If you know an iPhone fanatic keen on keeping his or her mind agile, gift them this app used by over 40 million people worldwide to train their brains with personalized memory, attention, and brain performance exercises.

Rain boots – The misery of poorly chosen footwear during a downpour can’t be exaggerated. I’d have been overjoyed to receive an honest-to-goodness pair of quality rain boots in a subdued but different color, like these hunter green ones. Honestly, who thinks to buy themselves rain boots? I’ll tell you. It took me YEARS. (And I live in New England.) Still one of the best purchases I ever made. And they’re useful year-round. I wore some pumpkin picking this fall, to muddy summer festivals, and they’re always handy in the garden.

Sunglasses – They hide a multitude of sins. Throwing a pair on helps you look pulled together before you’ve even had a sip of coffee and I’m all about protection from skin-damaging rays. I can’t bring myself to splurge on a really nice pair (anything over $25), but slipping on a sweet pair of shades as I head off to work would be a nice indulgence each morning I’m sure. 


First Wedding Anniversary Gifts – Paper

14 May

elm tree

To celebrate our first wedding anniversary we’re planning a long weekend on Martha’s Vineyard in a few weeks. Ahead of that, I thought I’d share our fun spin on the traditional first wedding anniversary gift, paper.

I considered everything: art, books, a photo calendar, even stationery since I am so smitten with mine, with its beautiful married initials monogram. But I didn’t think Brian would find that quite as exciting as I do, so the search continued. Then I started thinking more about paper and where it comes from and landed on an idea: a tree.


Since we’re still renters, we decided to just set some money aside for this purchase down the road, with plans to plant it in our yard someday. But we had a blast pointing out various trees for months, particularly this past spring when all the gorgeous flowering trees came out. These are a few photos I snapped in and around or neighborhood and in Boston while we searched for our perfect tree.


Can't get enough of Poet's Walk!!!

Ultimately we landed on an American Elm since it’s the same type that flanks Poet’s Walk in Central Park where Brian proposed. While I was researching the specific type that grows along the mall, I found a beautiful New York Times piece (here) by Guy Trebay about these trees and how rare it is to find so many arranged this way that have reached maturity. Most were planted as saplings in the 1860’s!  I’m a little concerned about how labor intensive caring for an American Elm will be because I read that it is plagued by a very specific type disease, but it’s hard to deny that the extra effort is worth it — they grow to be such spectacular trees.

So that’s our fun spin on the traditional first wedding anniversary gift of “paper.” I can’t wait to think up something fun for next year, which is cotton.