Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UncommonGoods Gift Guide and Giveaway

Think about all the people you love and give gifts to during the holiday season. Don't they all pretty much have everything they need and just about everything they want? A few years ago, I made the decision that instead of hitting up the mall, I would choose gifts sourced from local shops, vintage items, pieces by independent designers and handmade items: presents that put cash back into the local economy or help designers, makers and small businesses thrive. Plus it's a great way to find totally unique gifts.

UncommonGoods is a good example of the type of business I like to support come gift-giving time. Not only do they have unique gift ideas for just about anyone, they feature handmade items, independent designers, and they give a portion of their profit back to one of a selected group of charities. Great, right? So to get you started with your gift-hunting, I've picked out a few options from their site for foodies, design lovers and cocktail aficionados from their holiday gift collection: http://www.uncommongoods.com/occasions/christmas-gifts/christmas-gifts. Even better? I'm giving away a $50 gift card to pick out something for yourself at the bottom of this post!


1. Salts of the World Test Tube Set - $40 - On a whim, I recently picked up some smoked sea salt and it totally changed the way I use salt in the kitchen. I now have six different ones that I use regularly. Try out a bunch of different flavors and textures all at once, including a smoked sea salt from Denmark, in this sampler set.
2. Micro-Green Kits - $8-$40 - Doug and I live in a two-bedroom condo and we don't have a yard. So this micro-green kit would be perfect for the open shelving in our kitchen. Fresh pea greens for my omelet? Yes, please!
3. Reclaimed Wood Cookbook Stand - $115 - I love the weathered industrial vibe of this cookbook stand.
4. Soup and Sandwich Ceramic Tray Duo - $30 for a set of two - Just last week I dumped soup on the dog while trying to balance a bowl and a plate full of crackers. Honestly, this soup and sandwich set is genius. Chester thinks so too.


1. Felted Peacock Ornament - $14 - Going to an ornament exchange? This one is handmade by Kyrgyz artisans. And it's hot pink.
2. Satellite Bowl - $50 - Designed in 1999 by Architect Carlo Contin, this handy bowl folds up when not in use.
3. Birdie Mini Dish - $22 - I first discovered Richmond ceramics artist Tasha McKelvey at the American Craft Council craft show in Baltimore a few years ago so I was super pleased to see her pop up here at UncommonGoods.
4. Moss Terrarium Bottle - $38 - Terrariums have been in style for a couple of years now and I've always wanted one, but had no idea how to go about creating them. This little kit takes out all the guesswork.


1. Molecular Mixology Kit - Mojito Set - $30 - An adult chemistry set. How fun! It's like GoldieBlox for grown women. Here are some more gift ideas for women from UncommonGoods.
2. Whiskey Stones Gift Set - $20-$58 - Ever get to the bottom of a cocktail glass and find that the last three sips are almost totally water? Not good. Here's the solution: freeze these soapstone cubes, let them stand in your drink for five minutes and the temperature will be perfect, all without ice.
3. Wooden Martini Glasses - $100 for a set of two - You may have noticed that I'm a sucker for anything walnut. Especially when it comes bearing drinks. Try DJ's Sidecar in these.
4. Southern Bourbon Stout Beer Brewing Set - $45 - Bourbon. Stout. Two of my favorite flavors in one tidy little home-brewing package. The man in your life will LOVE this.

See something you like? UncommonGoods has also given me the chance to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to pick out something of your choosing. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: This is a post sponsored by UncommonGoods, who approached me to write about their holiday gift offerings. However, out of all the companies that have approached me, this is the first time I've said yes. So don't fear that this will become a sponsored-all-the-time blog. I will never agree to sponsored posts from companies than I don't like, admire and think you will enjoy too. Though I was paid to produce this post, all content, ideas and picks are mine.
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