gift ideas

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Sometimes, despite the best intentions, time just gets away from you. Sometimes, this happens when you need to get someone a gift, and suddenly its the day of, and you can't get to the store, and you're thinking "EFF!!! Now what?!!?"

Well, you're in the right place. I have a solution: subscription boxes. Now, unlike some more general subscription boxes, the ones I'm suggesting here require the recipient to make some decisions, so you can't possibly gift it to them until the actual moment because otherwise you would ruin the surprise (aka how a last-minute gift is not really a last minute gift.) The three subscriptions below are all gender neutral, and generally age-neutral, so they can work for almost anyone!

Club W: Can you really ever go wrong with a wine club? I used Club W  for about a year, and absolutely LOVED it! You start off by taking a survey on your taste preferences, and based on your answers, they will recommend a selection of wines for you. Now you can choose to stay with these, or switch them out for different picks- I did a combination of recommended picks and  my own, and I can honestly say there was not a single bottle that I didn't like. The wines range from $13-$40, and shipping is $6. A $50 gift will get the recipient a month of wine!

Photo credit: Club W

Photo credit: Club W

MistoBox: For the caffeine fiend in your life, MistoBox starts off with a quiz where you pick your flavor profile, the kind you prefer (single origin, blends, not sure?) and a quality range from basic coffee to exclusive small batch coffee, and they ship you 12 oz of coffee beans, which is enough for 20-25 cups of coffee. $60 gets you a 3- month subscription, and you can either pick the roast for the recipient, or let them pick their own. As an aside, MistoBox also appeared on Shark Tank in 2013 and made a deal with Marc Cuban!

Photo credit: AllSharkTankProducts.com

Photo credit: AllSharkTankProducts.com

BarkBox: This box only works if your recipient is either your dog, or a dog-owner who loves their dog very deeply. We had a subscription to this for a year as well, and every month, we received a themed box of toys and treats for our pups. We cancelled our box (easiest cancellation ever!!) because Webster destroys 99% of toys in under 15 minutes (even the heavy duty ones), so the poor BarkBox toys didn't stay a chance in our home. But the boxes were really fun (for us and the pups) while they lasted! $72 gets your recipient 3 months of puppy fun boxes!

Photo credit: BarkBox

Photo credit: BarkBox

There are plenty of gender-specific subscription boxes like GlossyBox, Wantable, and Rocksbox (gift a month free with code SHIBANIBFF) for women, and Trunk Club, Bespoke Post, and Mantry for men, all of which also make excellent gifts, last-minute or planned!! 

Happy Gifting!!

CLE Shops: COTTON

This past weekend, I stopped into COTTON in Lakewood to pick up a Father's Day gift. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I got my father-in-law and my dad the same gift, but since I haven't seen either of them yet, they haven't seen their gift, so I can't share it with you. That minor hiccup aside, what I CAN share with you is that COTTON is a really great store for gifts at all prices. They carry an assortment of gifts that range from under $20, well into the multiple hundreds.

The store itself is really nicely curated and styled-- I had a lovely time walking around, taking pictures, and picking up must-haves!








I'm not gonna lie, going to the store made me want to get on a boat, travel to an island for a lobster-bake and bonfire while curling up in a beautiful blanket. Doesn't that just sound like a lovely day?!


Explore CLE: Taste Cleveland Food Tours

For Christmas last year, our dear friends Dave and Jessika gifted us a Cleveland Food Tour. Since we had been waiting for nice weather, they joined us a few weeks ago as we actually took the tour. Taste Cleveland Food Tours offer three standard tours: The West Side Market, Little Italy, and Tremont, however they offer custom tours as well. Each tour pairs local restaurants with a look at the history and architecture of the neighborhood.

I had heard about these tours in the past, but since we had never tried one before, we decided to stick with a standard tour of Tremont. Nick and I used to live in Tremont, and being an architect, Nick knew a lot about the history and architecture of Tremont, so we weren't exactly expecting to learn anything new, but in fact, WE DID! Our tour guide was very knowledgable and led us around parts of Tremont for 3.5 hours.


If I were to summarize the experience, its like a walking tour meets progressive dinner. We met the group at 4 pm in Lincoln Park, and from there, we stopped at 4 restaurants: Prosperity Social Club, Parallax, Ty Fun, and Lilly Handmade Chocolates, although the stops are subject to change with each tour. In between eating delicious food, we learned about how Tremont came to be, and some fun facts about the neighborhood as well as the restauranteurs. Alcohol was not included in the standard tour but was available for purchase, although you can do a custom tour that includes alcohol as well.

Overall, a very fun experience, and one that I highly recommend. This would also be a great gift for Father's Day, or in general a fun gift for someone who has everything. You can make your tour reservations here.

As I mentioned previously, it is a walking tour, so comfortable shoes are key. Unfortunately, I have plantar fasciitis, so walking for 3.5 hours in flats will absolutely destroy my feet. Lucky for me, I found this pair of flats that are not only cute, but offer the kind of arch support I need.
At $99 they are a little expensive for flats, but they are worth it considering I will wear them all summer with zero pain!

So there you have it-- a lot of food and a little fashion to get your week started off just right!
XO
~ Shibani

CLE Shops: The Olive Scene

A few weeks ago, I finally made my way to the Olive Scene on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. I say "finally" because I first heard of them when my dear friend Lisa gifted me a bottle of their harissa infused olive oil a couple of years ago. So, my tardiness in getting there really has no excuse. Anyway, my trip was a revelation into the amazing world of olive oil and balsamic vinegars--- I really had NO idea there were so many kinds!!!


When you walk in, you will immediately notice the rows of neat steel containers along the walls and down the middle of the store. First up, olive oils originating from a variety of different grapes. Next, infused olive oils, and finally, varieties of balsamic vinegar. 

I went on a major tasting spree (you taste it out of little plastic cups, like a little shot of oil)-- while I didn't really have a preference between the different types of olives, I had a few flavors of the infused oils that I really loved. Most notably, the olive, lemon, kaffir lime, baklouti green chili, and chipotle flavors. The balsamic vinegars were really amazing-- I particularly liked the fig balsamic and strawberry balsamic, which would both be perfect over some vanilla bean ice-cream. 

Prices range from $6 for the 60mL mini bottle, to $29 for the large 750mL bottle. I ended up going home with an assortment of sizes of the baklouti green chili olive oil (great with bread), lemon olive oil (fantastic when used to roast asparagus), garlic olive oil (I use this in pretty much everything and anything) and the serrano honey vinegar (will change popcorn forever). 

If you're local, I highly recommend a visit. In addition to Rocky River, the store has locations in Chagrin Falls and Vermillion. Just be prepared that you will go home with multiple bottles of deliciousness. If you're not local, you can choose to shop online, although you will not have the benefit of trying before you buy. The oils and vinegars themselves make excellent gifts, but the store also offers other italian delights like dried pasta, and gift items like pasta bowls and cheese trays. 

Get out those stretchy pants and your wallet!!!

Shop Local: LINGG (Valentine's Day Ideas for CLE men)

Over the holidays, I made my first ever trip to LINGG-- an independently owned jewelry shop and art gallery, located on Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere. Its not a very big jewelry store, but has a completely unique collection of jewelry, at a range of prices. Heidi and Beth travel to New York multiple times a year on buying trips, so you can be assured that you are seeing some of the newest jewelry lines and styles available. They also work with local artists, so its a well rounded out collection.

On my very first visit, I completely fell in love with this bracelet, and lucky for me it was on sale!!  Needless to say, it came home with me.




I visited again a couple of weeks ago, and there are many, many items priced under $100 that are perfect for Valentine's Day, as you can below:






In addition to jewelry, LINGG also carries a selection of bags and even some clothing, so  you should definitely go check it out!!