Holiday Gift Guide 2013: 12 gifts for $120 and less

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From clothing to electronics, there are tons of holiday gift options. The downside of having lots of choices is that people get lost and ultimately buy something that's just "okay".

In order to cut the research time for you, I found 12 excellent gift choices that you'll be confident in giving and on top of that, they all come in at under $120.

(All items were hand selected. Some were sent by stores for final review and others I purchased).


ExploreBlush Mystery Beauty Box

. I recently wrote about

ExploreThe untraditional holiday gift? A guide to your top snack, beauty and kid's subscription boxes

and one thing that was missing from the guide was this subscription box.


The box is a mix of full and travel-size products worth at least $100. It is filled with a variety of high quality products for your skin and nail. The selections change from month to month, so if you order this month, you'll get the December box. From the choices, I completely fell in love the

ExploreDeborah Lippmann nail polish


Price: $34.95 for one-time purchase

or as low as $24.95 with subscription

. With this

Explorecoupon from

, you can save $5 off the December Blush Mystery Beauty Box and get free shipping.


ExploreSilk Robe from Novica

. If you want to buy something that's handmade ethically from around the world, Novica connects you to the artisans. No sweat shops or child labor is used to create these beautiful pieces.


From the many items, I chose a silk robe by Arthur Karvan. The robe has a palm fronds print that is created by hand with a silk screen technique. To make it extra-special, the robe is sent to you with a special note by the person who made it (

a very special unexpected touch that brings their world to you

). The moment you wear it, think luxury vacation. It took me to a beautiful spot in Southeast Asia.

Price: Currently on sale for $72.99

(you can

Exploresave an extra $7 on your first purchase



ExploreVers 1Q Bamboo Bluetooth Speaker

. While it comes in a small 3" hand-crafted bamboo cube, it's a sound-system that fills up any room. If you're looking for a perfect gift for the music lover, this is it!


The speaker is aesthetically pleasing and the sound released from the speaker is beautiful (

it literally filled up my entire first floor and you could hear it on the second floor as well

). My neighbor was impressed with the quality of the sound and said that it surpassed the Bose system (

you can't judge it by its size

). I love it so much, I am going to buy another one for my children's room.

Price: $120 




Exploresave an extra 15% off orders $100 or more

, plus free shipping).


ExploreYour Bijoux Box

. Are you trying to score some major points with a special woman in your life? This jewelry subscription box will do just that and then some. It's a hand-curated jewelry subscription box that picks the most stylish jewelry to coordinate with your current-trend wardrobe.

bijoux box

When I saw the black jewelry bags filled with 2 gorgeous necklaces, it was literally love-at-first-sight (

I received the October box

). Plus, it came with a bonus

Exploretwin circle gold necklace

that you can get for free with purchase with this

Exploreexclusive coupon



$35 for one-time purchase

, but you can opt to go for a 3-12 month subscription which lowers the monthly price.


ExploreHandmade Shark Slippers

. I am a big fan of receiving and giving gifts that are unique and outside-of-the-box. On my quest to find my husband a cute gift that would make him smile, I came across these handmade shark slippers on

ExploreUncommon Goods


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The moment I laid my eyes on it, I could picture my husband watching

Breaking Bad

with a beer in one hand and shark slippers on both feet. They are super-comfy, well-made, unique and I will totally steal them on various occasions to get my shark on!

Price: $38



ExploreRainbow Loom

. If you haven't already started making your own rubber-band bracelets or necklaces, this is the newest craze among kids and adults.


If you're a parent, you know all too well that kids are sporting their bracelets as a fashion statement or they're begging you to buy them a box. For any child 8 and up, this will be the go to gift this holiday season. The best part is that it comes in at less than $20 with tax.

Price: $16.99

at Michaels.


ExploreSabatino & Co. Premium White Truffle Oil 3.2 oz 100th Year Collection

. Any foodies in the house? If you're a foodie or know a foodie, this is the perfect Christmas gift that will enhance any menu.


I put truffle oil on almost everything I eat when I have it available. From french fries to pasta, it really takes any regular food item to the next level. The truffle oil was included in

ExploreOprah's Truffle Popcorn Kit

from her favorite things for 2013, plus

ExploreGMA featured it on their show


Price: $31



ExploreInternational Star Registry Deluxe Star Kit

. If you want to give a gift of a lifetime, why not brighten up someone's day by naming a star after them. Not only will you have the opportunity to name a star, you can also decide on a dedication date which can be any special day (

between 4/1/2012-12/31/2014)

and choose your constellation.


The whole process takes less than a minute and the best part is that you can view a digital copy online as soon as you get your purchase confirmation in your inbox.

The beautiful personalized certificate comes in a 20" x 16" frame with the star name, date and coordinates. Also included are a personalized 16" X 12" sky chart that contains the star name, star date, the constellation (

location circled in red where the star is in the sky

), a wallet-sized card, a booklet on astronomy and a letter of congratulations or memorial.

For me, I had mine personalized with my best-friend's name (

my children's godmother who passed

) and the date she passed. When my children miss her, they can look up at the sky, look at the stars and know that she is out there. The gift is priceless in my book. If you want to get a gift for someone who has everything, I think it's about time to name a star after them or someone that they dearly miss.

Price: $109.95 for Deluxe Star Kit

, but prices start at $54.00. Use this

Explorecoupon to save 10% on your Deluxe Star Kit Purchase


$97.50 after coupon + $17 for shipping

(less than $120 total).



. If you like to accessorize your phones for whatever reason; fashion statement, protection, functionality, a new case has hit the scenes to make your phone a little Chanel-y, stylish and super-functional. It has a pocket in front for you to store your important business cards and credit cards and the flap has a mirror so that you can look great throughout the day.


I discovered these cases while watching an episode of

ExploreShark Tank

. While

ExploreRobert Herjavec

said that he already saw similar cases all over Europe, it was the first time for me (

maybe, I should travel to Europe more often, not that I have yet

). So I immediately ran a search on Amazon and came up with similar cases but nothing as cute as the pursecase. When

ExploreLori Greiner

said she saw a "superhero" in the cases, I couldn't agree anymore.

It's one of this season's hot things to have. Currently available only for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 smartphones (

but my S3 fits into the case, it covers the speakers and I cannot use the flash, but it fits!

). The original retail price was $38 (

pre-Shark Tank days

) but they were able to bring the price down significantly.

Price: $19.75 on QVC, currently on sale for $18.12


Explore$29 direct on their website



ExploreAssets Red Hot Label Spanx Shaping Leggings

. Just in time for the new year, why not give the perfect shapewear to the right person? Of course, I wouldn't suggest giving this to your boss or someone you just met, but giving this to your mom or sister may score you some brownie points. Looking slimmer never hurts!


When I got these leggings, I noticed the leggings were not cotton. Since I'm a cotton kind of gal, I was ready to dismiss them on the spot. But...I decided to try them on first before making any assumptions. I'm glad I did. Even though I wasn't that crazy about the nylon-y material, I was impressed with the fit and I felt like I had gotten a body lift. Everything felt compact, lifted and stretched.

 Price $38 


ExploreSpend $50 or more and save $10

on your purchase)



ExploreVentureHeat Heated Hand Warmers

. How many gifts have you received that ended up somewhere in the back of the closet? I'm a big fan of practical gifts that people can actually use in their day to day lives.


If you know someone who commutes on the transit system in the cold or have a friend that enjoys outdoor hikes or winter sports, these would make for the ideal gift. I'm sure they'll be thinking about you when they are warming their hands in the dead cold of winter.

It's a lightweight pouch that you conveniently wear around your waist. There are adjustable straps and a pocket for you to store keys or small devices. Just charge your battery, attach it into the pouch and you are set. Here's to warmer hands!

Price: On sale for $69.99

, originally $99.99 (you can also

Exploresave an extra 10% on your entire purchase



ExploreYummy Cupcakes Cupcake in a Jar 4-Pack

. Last but not least, a dessert gift that can melt anyone's heart. If you know anyone with a sweet tooth, they will love having their cupcake in a jar.


I'm a big fan of Yummy Cupcakes because they're one of the few cupcakeries that sell both regular cupcakes and vegan cupcakes (

I eat the latter

). The taste is rich, moist, soft and divine. One of their signature items is the cupcake in a jar. Just think of it as a deconstructed cupcake all layered into a jar of yummyness. Every spoonful is something to be experienced. Can I say, love at first taste?

It's a perfect gift for pretty much anyone. If you decide to give these out at the office, make sure you have enough for everyone because these cannot be shared (

no one will want to


Price: $26 + Shipping


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