One of my favorite words in Spanish is desigual. It's fun to say: Dess-ee-gwawl. The meaning is truly special too. When I first heard it and asked what it meant, I was told it translates to 'like none other.' If you look it up you get “different, uneven, erratic, unpredictable.” For better or for worse, I live my life like this. I ignore a trend and make a choice of my very own. I dress with a whimsical style and don't look like anyone else. I march to the beat of my own drummer and my rhythm section is pretty original. I cook in a very desigual method too. I use recipes as loose guidelines - so dishes are rarely made the same way twice.
When it comes to gift giving I lean towards the artisanal and bespoke items. I love to discover hidden gem artists and their special creations. I appreciate that no two items are alike when things are handmade. Unpredictable, possibly uneven, always different. Like none other. Desigual.
This year's list of gift ideas champions some of my favorite artists. They've been toiling away like elves so we can have special one-of-a-kind items to offer our loved ones during this season of giving.
Lula Trainor, a natural born healer, certified Reiki Master, and yoga teacher, captures scents inspired by nature and infuses them with Reiki and Mantras to promote healing in your space. Set an intention and make a wish before you light your candle! Use PROMO CODE 7N6M49U for 25% off all candles until December 6th!
“Our holiday season candle was made with the intention to inspire feelings of joy and bring a sense of comfort into your space. Scented with a maple oatmeal fragrance oil, topped with dried flowers and infused with Reiki symbols. These candles burn for 30+hours. Set your intention and enjoy your candle!”
I became a fan of this company when I won a giveaway on instagram. I won this bag! (Along with many other outstanding items from their collaborators.) My Mercado bag accompanied me to the beach all summer, is used to carry dance clothes on my way to classes, and it’s a lightweight carry-on that makes me feel global wherever my destination. I use Kakaw Designs table linens in my food photoshoots as well as everyday use at my dinner table. Use Code HOLIDAY2016 and get 25% off your order until December 9th!
Perfect for shopping at the local farmer’s market, this bag is made by upcycling used cortes (traditional wrap-around skirts), using a dark indigo-colored textile for the body and straps, and a more colorful textile for the upper accent.
I love a man in a tie. Heck, I love a woman in a tie! If you knew me in college you might remember I rocked vintage men’s pajamas with a Liberty of London vintage fabric men's tie around my neck. (This tie is still hanging in my closet!) My favorite company for all things tie and handkerchief is The General Knot & Company. They make limited edition accessories made from rare and vintage textiles. No two items are alike!
You may have an oil and potion person in your life who is always saying ‘you should just put a drop of lemon oil in your water and blah blah blah’ or ‘I cured my allergies with this magic bottle of essential oil.’ I’m going to be that person and say if you are a frequent traveler or prone to coughs and sniffles -Thieves Oil will change your life. Three drops under my tongue twice a day and I am flu and cold free! (And if you are traveling to India, the hand wipes, the hand sanitizer, and the lozenges will make you feel invincible.)
I get them all from my bestie, Amy: “I am a yogi, a fitness enthusiast, and a mom. I teach yoga and personal train for a living, and I’ve spent the greater part of my life learning about methods to improve not only physical health, but also mental and emotional health as well. Learning about the many ways essential oils can support the body has been an incredible addition to my health and fitness toolbox! I seek to create optimal health and balance for myself, my family, and my clients.”
Treats handmade in Brooklyn! Beer and Pretzel Caramels cover a lot of bases. Sweet, salty, boozy, chewy…like none other, in the best way possible!
“These have a cult following all their own. Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale and East India Pale Ale, reduced and stirred into our caramel along with crunchy chunks of salty Martin’s pretzels. Our #1 seller and #1 winner-over-of-skeptics.”
The next 2 gift items fit into the desigual category because, 1) music isn’t made this way anymore and, 2) these days books aren’t written like this either.
“I was given a little book by the wife of Charles Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, called Gift From The Sea. It was written in 1955, but you’d think it was written this year, the wisdom is so timely. Anne breaks down needs and wants in a really sweet way and talks about how we can shed pride when we stop carrying what other people think about our ‘things,” and keep life simple by just meeting our needs. I like that. So much of what we do, so much of what we accumulate, is to impress another, to appear a certain way, or to prove something to someone, right? What a relief to not care about the opinion of others! Anne also makes a really valuable point about our wants too, though. She says we collect material possessions not only for security, comfort, or vanity but for their beauty as well.”
I wrote those words in an earlier All Good Things post and it is at the top of my list for the perfect gift this year.
Eddie Palmieri's supergroup Harlem River Drive was the first group to really merge black and Latin styles and musicians, resulting in a free-form brew of salsa, funk, soul, jazz, and fusion.
Hands down, these are the best 5 songs I’ve danced to in a very long time. The legendary sound, the funk, the mood, the g r o o v e. The first time they were played for me I got lost in the music and yet also felt more grounded than ever. (That I heard them in their original 1971 vinyl form had everything to do with it, I’m sure. But the vibe remained when purchased from iTunes and played on my Mac Book.) Anyone you love who has an appreciation for soul music needs this in their ears. $5 bucks. The greatest stocking stuffer ever.
One of the things I make every year to gift my clients, agents, and family members is a "Junk Mix." All sorts of odd little nuts and seeds, dried fruit, pretzels, and chocolate covered surprises, all mixed into a granola. The mix is truly never the same and a total desigual offering. This year my granola base was one I created for Stoneridge Orchards.
Dried Cherry Coconut Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup toasted coconut chips
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a cookie chest with parchment paper. Combine everything but the cherries in a large bowl. Spread the mixture onto the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes rotating pan every 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let pan sit in the oven uncovered for 5 hours or overnight. Transfer the granola to a large bowl, breaking up the big clumps, Add the dried cherries and store in an air tight container for up to a month.