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What's in Store Special Edition: Gift Guide

From pajamas and jewelry to food and drinks, here's our picks for local holiday gifts.

Courtesy of Jessie SteeleTo Wear

Sometimes it’s hard to find super-cute PJs that are also cozy and comfy. My new personal fave is a set from Jessie Steele. This design is great for fall or winter, and they come in the always-classic polka dot pattern.

Want a piece of jewelry that holds East Bay sentiment? Antietam Designs, an Oakland-based company, models its jewelry after Oakland city trees and other local inspirations.

Courtesy of Antietam DesignsBeauty

Winter skin cries for moisture. To give the gift of soft skin, try Beija Flor Natural’s acai mango lotion for the face. This ridiculously good-smelling stuff also works great on hands.

Have a friend that’s a makeup junky, but also likes to buy local? Give her Opivu mineral eye shadows. To stay on trend with the season, try them in Indigo, which is a navy color, and the burgundy Brazilian Nut.

Food and Drink

Give a gift while also giving back with well-known band Train’s Save Me, San Francisco Wine wine and chocolate box. Produced by Livermore’s The Wine Group, each box contains liquid poetry: Drops of Jupiter, Calling All Angels Pinot Noir, and Soul Sister Pinot Noir. As for the chocolates, dive into dark chocolate, sea salt almond, and dark Cabernet. Proceeds go to Family House, which helps families of sick bay area children with housing needs.

Courtesy of Elegant BrieBring something new to that holiday gathering. Elegant Brie, sold at local Draeger’s and Diablo Foods, combines Brie cheese, a pastry shell, and a filling of garlic, basil, and pine nuts. Or, opt for a sweet filling of cranberry, honey, pecan, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Forget your holiday popcorn tins and head over to Cornology for something new. Try their seasonal Merry Merry Mint mixture, which combines their caramel sweet corn with drizzles of mint chocolate.

Other Stuff

For the music lover, check out Accidentally Extraordinary’s the 51st Studios headphones. These brand new babies launched at Oakland’s First Friday event November 1, and are made of sustainably grown walnut and stainless steel.

The East Bay is known for its gorgeous outdoor locations, so head over to Rivendell Book Bike & Hatchet, where you can find everything from a new bike with a lugged steel frame to pine-tar soap.


Feeling crafty? This season, give the gift of relaxation with this lavender aromatherapy pillow, courtesy of Lavandu Face & Body in Pleasanton.

¼ cup of Lavender flower buds
1-½ cups of whole flaxseed
1-½ cups of buckwheat hull
1 piece of fabric (cotton, linen, or silk from a fabric store or your linen closet)


  1. Cut a piece of fabric into 36” x 8”
  2. Fold cut fabric lengthwise so that the two short cut edges are on one end and aligned leaving the other end folded
  3. Sew the long edges together with tight stitching and leave the short cut edges unsewn. Reinforce with another identical seam by sewing one more time in the same places
  4. Turn the fabric inside out and iron the seams flat
  5. Fold in ½ inch hem inward at the cut edges (where you will sew closed after filling)
  6. Combine all the aromatherapy material in a paper bag and gently mix together
  7. Transfer contents from paper bag into the pillow’s opening and fill, leaving approximately 3-4 inches free from the top. Temporarily close the opening with pins to keep the contents from spilling out
  8. Adjust the pillow weight and volume by adding more contents or taking out to suit your preference. Can be used as relaxation neck and eye pillow and/or can be inserted into bed pillow
  9. Sew opening completely closed. Reinforce with another seam
  10. Now you’re ready to enjoy your aromatherapy pillow! If you have materials left over, make a tiny one just for eyes
  11. To warm, insert into microwave for no more than 30-45 seconds. The warmth and the release of aroma will soothe your senses. Enjoy!