Gift Guide Extras
More holiday gift suggestions from Diablo's editors.
Diablo's team of editors put together a list of gift guide ideas for the December issue, but there was plenty of cool stuff we found that we couldn't include in the magazine. Check out our special "web extra" list below of great gift ideas for the loved ones in your life.
Even More Picks for the Hostess!
1. Awesome aprons
If your party-planning friend likes to prepare all of the food herself, make sure she looks superfab doing it. Cute aprons are popping up in shops all over the East Bay, but we were particularly smitten by those with retro-fabulous black and white stripes and polka-dots.
Spotted at Anthropologie in Danville and Berkeley, Gourmet Works in Pleasanton, $32–$38.
This at-home soda-making appliance turns tap water into sparkling beverages. More than 30 flavor syrups include diet cola, root beer, and natural lemon-lime (each flavor pack makes the equivalent of 33 cans of soda). It eliminates waste and saves the intrepid party planner from lugging around cases of soda.
Spotted at Sur la Table in Berkeley and Walnut Creek, and Draeger’s in Danville. $179.
3. Card cocktail picks
The hostess can take a game night to a whole new level by serving martinis with olives speared by one of these four sterling cocktail picks fashioned into each playing-card suit.
Spotted at Tiffany & Co. in Walnut Creek, $175.
4. Knitted Pouf
Parties require lots of extra seating. But rather than setting out folding chairs, the ultimate hostess should have a set of hip floor pillows such as these funky knitted poufs, available in grey and orange.
Spotted at CB2 in Berkeley, $80 each.
5. Mini tabletop fire pit
For a splurge (husbands, we’re talking to you), surprise your favorite party-throwing gal with gas-fueled mini fire pit, where she and her friends can roast marshmallows right at the patio table, year-round.
Spotted at Patioworld in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, $149–$12,000, depending on style.
6. Vintage Games
A good selection of games is a must-have for any hostess, and these vintage editions of Monopoly and Scrabble housed in luxe wood cases are particularly eye-catching.
Spotted at Restoration Hardware in Danville and Walnut Creek, $149–$199.
7. Cocktail Classics jelly beans
With this stocking stuffer, the party planner can fill her candy dishes with jelly bean “mocktails.” Flavore include mojito, pomegranate cosmo, peach bellini, piña colada, and strawberry daiquiri—created by the mixologists at the Fairfield-based candy company.
Spotted at Cupid’s Tooth in Pleasanton, $6 per box.
Even more for the Hipster!
1) "Berkeley” bike helmet by Bern
A stylish helmet to match the two-wheeled companion often held close to the hipster’s side. Available in fun colors like purple and teal and shaped like a skateboard helmet, the “Berkeley” protects the head while also helping bikers ride in style. CLICK HERE for buying info.
2) PACT’s Creative Growth underwear
Bring some color to your lower nether regions with the artsy boy shorts and boxer briefs released by San Francisco’s sustainable underwear brand, PACT, in partnership with Oakland’s Creative Growth, the largest art center for adults with disabilities. Sold at Convert in Berkeley and online HERE. Ten percent of proceeds go to Creative Growth
3) Oaklandish clothing
Nothing says local pride like Oaklandish—a clothing and accessory line not only based in Oakland but also boasting logos that depict East Bay geography and culture. Sold at various local retailers: CLICK HERE for info.
4) Stewart + Brown knit hats
Knits are all the rage this winter, so why not warm up that creative noggin with a cozy hat? Stewart + Brown beanies are stylish and environmentally friendly—perfect for the hipster. Available at Atomic Garden in Oakland. Also check Convert in Berkeley and Olive Boutique in Danville for Stewart + Brown Apparel.
Even more for the Sophisticate!
1) Special Edition Steve McQueen Persol PO714 Sunglasses
He was the one of the coolest cats around, and now you can channel that Steve McQueen cool with these blue-tinted collapsible shades. $310, available at Sunglasses Hut.
2) Rebecca Minkoff, Touch & Go Snake-Embossed iPad, Kindle, and iPhone cases
Make an impression even before you pull out your iPad with a fun-but-chic leather case. $50 (iPhone), $125 (iPad and Kindle), available at Flaunt in Danville.
3) Spy Pen
Record audio and, believe it or not, high-def color video with this sleek accessory that would make 007 himself jealous. Available at Brookstone.
4) Mini Cashmere Handwarmers
Cute and comfy, these affordable mittens will keep your digits warm through the wintertime. $20, available at Restoration Hardware.
5) Robert Talbott seven fold silk tie
More expensive than your typical gift for dad, but these beautiful silk ties really make an impression when you see them in person. $245 , available at Daskalos in Broadway Plaza.
6) Banana Republic gloves
Cashmere on the inside, waterproof spandex on the outside, these are comfortable, comfy, and masculine. $89.50, available at Banana Republic.
7) We Wood watches
These oversized face watches are totally cool and made from recycled wood. $99, available at Atlas in Walnut Creek.
8) Art of Shaving stand, brush, and razor
Great gift for the man in your life. Classy and useful—shaving soaps last about ten times longer than the typical shaving canister. $100, available at Edge Shop for Men. Edge also has a great collection of Bill Adler leather belts (at right)
9) Emilio Pucci coffee table book
The cover of this limited edition book on the famous italian designer is an actual scarf embossed with a Pucci design. $200, available at Read Booksellers in Blackhawk Plaza.
10) Budum Grinder, Hario Kettle, and Chemex filter pot
Drip coffee is the way to make coffee and what better way to get started than with this trifecta of gear recommended by the kings of independent coffee at Blue Bottle. Kettle, $60, grinder, $31, pot, $45, available at select Blue Bottle cafes and online.
The Gift of Sully
This holiday, I’m giving my friends a copy of Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s book. I read Highest Duty, My Search for What Really Matters, recently and loved the honest and inspiring story of a man who, though far from perfect, tries damn hard to be.
I’m an East Bay-phile, so I was drawn to the autobiography of the Danville resident whose heroic landing of a plane on the Hudson River revived our country’s sagging spirits. But I was truly moved by his life-long effort to be a great pilot and the specifics of the accident and amazing landing on the Hudson.
That, combined with his ongoing effort to be a good husband and father, turned our Danville hero a very human character in this noble book. A surprising reveal at the end of the Highest Duty, also drove home the humanness of this somewhat super human man.
I agree with the Washington Times review that Sully’s “all-American story is so compelling” it should be required reading for all young people, so I’ll be wrapping this gem up for young and old alike. —Susan Safipour
Sullenberger’s all-American life story is so compelling that it screams to be required reading for all young people, or anybody else who needs confirmation that courage, dignity and extraordinary competence can still be found in this land.... [A] remarkable life story.”
— WASHINGTON TIMES