gifts for a client

While we’re talking Father’s Day food, here’s one more edible surprise for Dad. This is something we put together for my husband’s old college roommate to use at his desk. He really, really likes curry. So we gave him a salt, pepper, and curry shaker, plus a little hand mixed garam masala, to have on hand for lunch breaks. The curry was pre-mixed store-bought, but next time, I’m making my own. I know many men have a spice they favor, and unless it’s garlic, I figure it’s worth encouraging.


Divine Twine

If you haven’t had the chance to stop by the new shop for  Whisker Graphics , make sure you schedule a stop today. So many fun printables and paper goods. Not to mention the famous Divine Twine.


A few favorite small surprises that I’m considering for Father’s Day. Plus a few I’m not considering, but am loving.

a bulletproof hankie “for the promiscuous idealist whom lives in elegant danger” (thank you, MAKE) and another with a map of NY

the 4-in-one tool and the pocket worst case survival guide

a couple things to make dad smell manly

a Morse code kit and the pocket MAKE guide

a pen and pencil all in one and a hip case to put it in

a ping pong set and a pocket fire starter

a pinhole camera kit and a pocket knife worthy of a true mountain man


There are a few standards I use to judge whether my holidays are a success. One of them is how many evening I have, after the house gets quiet, to sit down and take a few minutes to gaze at the Christmas tree. I’ve found time for this once already so I’m certain these holidays are off to a good start.

Now on to this week’s list for me. (Click here for the full 12-week list). We’re hoping to fit in a trip to the city, I just love the bustle of Union Square in December, and we’re debating how fancy to get with baked gifts this year. Should be a fun week.
-2-week left

-2-week rightI came across this tip wheel on Martha, which you can download here, and thought it was pretty helpful. Though I sadly don’t have a masseuse to tip this year. Maybe next.

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I had a reader recently ask about good books to give clients. Suggestions, anyone? Here are my suggestions. Does this list make anyone else go weak in the knees? It makes me go positively Jell-O.

-books gifts for clients 1Travel
The Wallpaper City Guides (get them geared to Art Faires, Beaches, Business, or Fashion)
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
Great Escapes Around the World
A Road Trip Journal

-books gifts for clients 2Food
Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner’s Private Collection (give it with really great chocolate,
of course)
The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion guides
Tea with Jane Austen
Taking Tea at the Savoy
Breakfast, Lunch, Tea
Harlem Really Cooks (more about it here)

Holiday Books
Nutcracker (illustrated by Maurice Sendak)
The Gift of the Magi

-books gifts for clients 3Pretty Pretty Pictures
Pictures of the Times: A Century of Photography from The New York Times
The Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
A Trick Of The Eye: Trompe L’oeil Masterpieces
30,000 Years of Art
Many Are Called (Photographs of Subway Passengers)
The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984
American Quilts and Coverlets
Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800-1920
The Sartorialist

-books gifts for clients 4Short and Sweet
Words Fail Me

-books gifts for clients 5Reference Books of Sort
Webster’s Fashion Color Dictionary
Pictorial Webster’s
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything (Thanks, Maryellen!)
A Journey Through Literary America (via here)
1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
Bicycle: The History
Sky Atlas 2000.0
The American House
Ultimate Book of Card Games

images not from publishers are via here, here, and here


I love Orange Beautiful. Always have. And as in any good romance, they’ve just given me a new reason to love them even more. Look at this sweet little perpetual calendar. It will work for every year for as long as you live. And it’s all letterpress. I’m always keeping an eye out for fun mailable gifts. I think this might be my favorite ever. Found via here.

-mailable client gift




Just a few ideas to give along with, or instead of, that car wash gift certificate this year. (And if none of these are the right fit, many more ideas here and here).

gift idea for your boss car charged flashlight

This one would go nicely with a car wash. You can plug this sleek flashlight right into the outlet in your dash.

gifts for your bossRainbow file folder
Give a pair of nice earbuds with a gift certificate to for audio books
J Fold business card holder

Crazy-nice pens
USB FlexLight, just plug it into your USB port and there will be light
Give that FlexLight with these swanky versions of puzzle books
Fridge carafes, give them with some good cider, or maybe some nog

-gift ideas for your boss, plantsOr give something living, like this succulent.

-gift for boss, calendar moleskine

Or give the Moleskine desk calendar.Who wouldn’t love a big block of Moleskine? (via here: here) And, if you missed last week’s post on 2010 calendars, you can see it here.

chinese staplerUPDATE 11.13.05 Saw this stapleless stapler over at Simple Song and had to add it to the collection. Isn’t it perfect, make sure to stop by Manufactum and check out the other great items.


Have you seen Chica and Joe’s blog? It’s a fun place to visit for craft and recipe ideas (like the candy corn bags featured here). Last week these lovely ladies stopped by and mentioned they are looking for coworker gifts in the $10-$15 range. Chica and Joe, this next set of posts are for you!

We’ll start with food gifts. Because, I think a love of food is something I share with Chica and Joe.

best homemade food christmas gifts coworkers

Isn’t the picture of Gingerbread biscotti tempting? Be sure to stop by Annie’s eats, the master baker and photographer behind the shot.

Gingerbread biscotti, yumm
A jar of hot fudge, ready to warm and pour
The latest Zagat
Cookies that look like your coworkers
Awesome peanut butter in flavors you never imagined but know you’ll love
Homemade lemon curd (via here, be sure to check out Stephmodo for loads of other killer recipe ideas)
Homemade pesto
The what’s for lunch spinner, maybe with a gift card to a nice little deli
Anarchy in a jar via this awesome list (if you live in Brooklyn they will peddle it over to your door)
Something yummy from Kohler, like the cherry almond bar


Okay, all of these books (and one film) make me giddy. Tell me I’m not the only one. And while we’re on the topic, do you have any other food or crafting books you’d love to get or give?

crafting documentary between the folds

Have you heard about this? Between the Folds, a documentary all about origami.

So excited about this one.

Isn’t this fun?

Who doesn’t get inspired (exhausted, but totally inspired) thinking about projects like these?

One Yard Wonders book
My kind of sewing book.

Love these sweet little felt projects.

New and fun.

For the Cath Kidson fans, get it here.

I really need this one.

The bible of French home cooking, only recently translated. I’m getting goosebumps.

I’m a vegetable lover, so I had to throw this in.
Three hoorays (or ye-haw’s) for Jamie Oliver.

A whole book about sandwiches. I’m happy.

afternoon tea book
From the makers of Frankie Magazine.


Such a great concept. Read more here.
I want to get the skills! Recommended here.


Notes on Cooking


I am in love with this book. The instant I first saw it’s cover, with its sweet little understated title, I knew it would be good. And it is, wow, it is. You know how delicious it was when you were a kid or teenager and you were allowed to be part of some really adult conversation? Like the cool aunt who tells you how life really is? It feels like that. Like you’re sitting down with a master chef, who, for some reason, has decided to spill everything about how the kitchen really works and satisfy all your curiosities.

Notes On Cooking Cover

The book reminds me of all the reasons I love to cook. And if you know anyone who gets passionate about cooking at any time in their life, they will feel the same. Read some of the advice, you’ll see what I mean:

“If it’s in the title, leave it alone”
“The cook’s first job is to delight”
“Feed others as they wish to be fed”
“Preside happily over accidents”
“Cook for the kitchen you’re in”
“Use koser or sea salt”
“Fish should not smell”
“Think regionally”
“Add fresh woody herbs at the beginning; fresh leafy herbs at the end”
“When the cook has done his job, there should be no need for salt and pepper on the table”
“Chicken is the test of a cook’s versatility”
“First aroma and appearance, then temperature, then texture, then flavor”

So, do you have any stellar notes on cooking?


If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to collect gift ideas and pretty wrapping ideas from talented friends and bloggers.

I hope the ideas in this post help with what you’re looking for. You can also find dozens more of my favorite farewell gift ideas here, in the farwell section of my gift guide page.

farewell gifts for boss or a coworkerRose petals scattered across a windshield for a fond farewell

I ran across this list of ways to say goodbye to a boss or coworker. It’s kinda nice.
Give them something to remember the company by
Give them something to remember the workplace by
Give them something they can put to use at their next job
Give them something to mark their contribution

And, of course, I have to embellish with a few suggestions of my own.
farewell gifts for boss or coworkerrow 1:
The good luck garden,
Pencil sharpener from here, made from a solid block of aluminium
row 2:
Your own mini documentary of the office, complete with interviews of coworkers saying goodbye (do you like the print? I found it here). You can also take photos of everyone at the beginning of the party, and send a willing participant to sneak off and have them developed and slid in to a nice album to give a very surprised recipient by the end of the party.
One very perfect letter opener (easy to engrave)
row 3:
A place to jot all their new plans
Pens from Cursive New York for jotting them with
row 4:
A reminder of how long they’ve been around
or of where they’ve been and where they’re going (via here)
row 5:
A subscription to the Card Society (found here), to give them a fond reminder once a month

best-homemade-food-christmas-gifts-coworkers1UPDATE: I love these custom cookies, made to order to look like the face of the guest of honor. Get a several of these made and say something witty like, “we’re really going to miss seeing your face around here.”

UPDATE: Also love these personalized wall murals. They’re so affordable.


san francisco with kidsone of our early adventures to San Francisco

travel guide for kids2

I just added this to my Amazon cart: the San Fransisco City Walks with Kids. It’s a set of cards, each with a walk to take the kids on in the city. I would have loved to have this as soon as we moved to northern Cal. Though not having it hasn’t stopped me and the kids from some great day trips (my kids call them “adventures”) to the city.
Available for San Francisco, New York, D.C., Paris, and London.

city guides for traveling with kids2I’m a fan of Fodor’s, and had to share these as well, their guides for travel with kids. Available for
D.C., Paris, New York, San Francisco, Boston, London, Chicago, L.A., Denver, Montreal, San Diego, Seattle, and many more.

paris moleskine city guide
And, of course, if you know someone moving near a metropolis, any matropolis, in the entire world, don’t forget about the beautiful Moleskine city guides. Just looking at the list of guides available makes me want to get on a jet and go. Madrid! Milano! Torino!

California and Northeast landscape book
And one final pick that makes a great gift for someone moving, especially to a new planting zone. (My SIL gave me one of these and made me very happy. Now she just checks in on occasion and trims a rosebush for me or reminds me to water.)
Available for California, the Southeast, the Northeast, Texas, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic.

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Remember when I posted about the Vosges chocolate chip bacon pancakes for Father’s Day? Well, now everything you need to make these babies comes packed up in one convenient mix (thanks to Oh Joy for the photo). If this isn’t the perfect offering for a hostess, I don’t know what is (though I’m open to arguments from vegetarian and Jewish hostesses).perfect hostess giftA few other specialties from these experts at mixing chocolate and exotic flavors: 1, 2, and 3. And incase it’s something you want to be really really good at, here is their page on How to Eat Chocolate, my kind of tutorial.
hostess gift chocolate3


I just came across this incredible carving set. Maybe the surest way to make a man feel like a king of short of giving him a real-life scepter.

berti-carving-set-luxury-fathers-day-giftsI don’t plan to afford this in my lifetime, so I have my eye on an alternative. The Wusthof Classic 2-Piece Carving Setis a touch more affordable and also superbly impressive.


And this carving board comes highly recommended by the Cooks Illustrated team.


I’ve been enjoying some recent blog conversations about gifts that aren’t stuff. Here are some of my favorite points of brilliance made by simplelovely and smallnotebook (via here) and their readers. I’ve included the basic ideas, but visit their posts for more ideas and insight. And I love the advice Liz Jenkins gives about getting the word out about gifts that aren’t stuff without sounding expectant: “The best way… is to start giving gifts like these and they tend to spark a conversation which can then lead to people following suit.”

birthday-gift-fresh-garlandwould love to surprise a birthday friend with a fresh garland (via one pretty thing)

From Simplelovely
I love the idea of giving gifts that don’t add to the piles of “stuff” we all seem to end up with…. Given my current culinary leanings though, I’m especially intrigued by gifts of food.

Our friend Achlee’s genius gift of that killer homemade blueberry pie for Bryan’s birthday.

Mav’s recent birthday gift to a close friend of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Art supplies like paper, finger paints, sidewalk chalk, markers, etc….Falls in the same category as “consumables,” like food for grownups. (Mamacita, comment 19)

I get a gift card from borders and let audrey make a cute homemade card….we got one as a birthday gift last year and audrey loved going shopping to pick out her special birthday book. (Joslyn, comment 22)

From Smallnotebook
My daughter and I are cruising the aisle at Target last year on the hunt for the birthday present we need TODAY (you know . . . Barbie, My Little Pony, Polly Pockets, etc.) and then it hit me.  Besides the fact that these presents cause piles of clutter and seem to be sort of a cop out (go to big box store, get plastic made in China, get gift bag, stick in bag, give to recipient), it also goes against my grain which is to be thoughtful and mindful about what I purchase…In that spirit, here is a list of great gifts that don’t involve stuff:

Movie tickets

A trip with the gift giver to a place both would enjoy such as the zoo, children’s theatre, science center or aquarium

Make a movie on the computer of pictures of your child and the friend

All of the materials needed for an art project

I think family memberships to museums, zoos etc are great grandparent gifts. (Jane, comment 3)

We, also, like to give gift certificates to our park district. They can use it toward lessons, ice skating, the zoo, performances. (Marci, comment 4)

I’ve given Ranger Rick magazine subscriptions to kids who love animals. (Kirwin, comment 7)

Another thing that I have done is to make meaningful memoirs for my kids. (Stephanie, comment 10)

My daughter is a college sophomore and had a tough time deciding what to do for her best friend’s birthday…She decided to bake a different type of cookie for her each month and send it to her at school with a cute, handmade card. (Patty, comment 28)

i love the idea of a very special “hang sesh” with a kid. like a really cute handmade or nicely designed gift certificate for “Cupcake Decorating Hang Sesh with Auntie Lyndsay!”  (lyndsay, comment 30)

For my son’s birthday parties we have been having a book exchange instead of gifts. (Josh, comment 31)