give better: cuyana leather travel case

Give Better Gift Guide

Instead of running out or taking to the webs in search of items to give “just to give” there are many ways to make a conscious effort to gift more meaningfully this season.  Whether that’s just putting a little more thought into the gift itself (opting for items they actually need–which I know sometimes isn’t as exciting but the practical gifts are always much appreciated!), purchasing gifts with special meaning, or deciding to support local as much as possible when making purchases this season, one brand I continue to come back to year after year for such gifts is Cuyana.  The San Francisco-based company curates an edited selection of “fewer, better things”… as is their brand motto.  Cuyana’s gift guide is a great one to peruse for those friends / fam-members you’re stumped on what to get.  I’m rounding up some of my personal favorites below from the brand, as well as 6 additional ways to #givebetter this season.

give better: cuyana leather travel case

To Give from Cuyana | This travel case set which I scooped up (again! I love them so much) in this pretty shimmer champagne color.  I love that you can personalize them for the person your gifting–or of course, yourself.  I always have a toiletry pouch or two packed and ready for any last minute getaways (I actually snapped these as I was rearranging up my hospital bag toiletries).

Cuyana has a great selection of leather goods–from chic pouches which are always great for traveling to a pretty leather jewelry case, laptop and iPad sleeves or mini saddle bag.

give better: cuyana leather travel case

Additional Give Better Gift Ideas |

1.  Choose Quality.  As is the case with Cuyana, choosing quality craftsmanship from brands you love and trust is a great way to support the industry.  Gift the items you love (I like to gift my favorite beauty items as they’re tried and tested and you can rave about them to the giftee).  And, when possible, American Made is always a great bonus.

2.  Gifts with Meaning.  Jewelry is always a good idea (hint, hint dudes–you just can’t go wrong).  One of my favorite gift items my guy and I started a few years back was a charm necklace that I wear everyday.  He now gives me a charm on special occasions, and it’s turned into not only a sentimental piece, but also I feel lucky and invincible when I have it on.  I’m a big Jennifer Fisher fan (definitely more of a splurge item) but for additional fine jewelers that I love (and make for very special gifts): Adina ReyterMelissa Joy Manning, and Jane Pope.

3.  Homemade + Hand-me-Downs.  You know I love family heirlooms and incorporating them in the home.  The holidays are the perfect excuse to gift those special family mementos.  My parents recently repurposed a 100 year old rocking chair for me, and it was the sweetest gift for our nursery!  Besides furniture and family jewels, sweet homemade gifts are always a great option.  From a floral arrangement which makes for the best hostess gift, to blankets, or homemade jam–anything DIY’d gives such a personal touch.

4.  Framed Memories.  This one is always an easy and no-brainer option for family gifts.  In fact, I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I’m probably going to do this for most of our family members this year (as soon as I can get some pics of our new addition!).  Since discovering Framebridge they’ve been my go-to framer on the web as it’s just so simple.  Remember this collage wall I made with them?  I love that you can easily frame your instagram images too!

5.  Dates + Travel.  Since I have the hardest time figuring out a gift for my guy the past few Xmas’ we’ve skipped gifts altogether, opting instead for a mini getaway or special dates.  The past few years we’ve gone to Carmel in early December (one of our favorite sleepy beach towns).  The time spent together is always a nice chance to regroup before the chaos of the holiday parties and this far exceeds any striped sweater I might have bought him.  Dates are perfect sister gifts too!  I like to give my sis manicure / pedicure gift certificates (with the caveat that we will go together–this way I can get in on the perk too!).  We grab lunch before and make a whole sister day out of it.

6.  Shop Small.  Simply doing your part to support local as much as possible while holiday shopping this year is so major.  There are a number of great small shops online too (if you’re the type who hates to face the crowds).  A few personal favorites that have online shops (a lot of their Turkey sales have already started!) include:

Women’s Clothing |  Doen,  Elizabeth Charles,  Diani (and they recently launched their home site online too: Diani Living),  Otte (my old New York neighborhood go-to),  Heidi Merrick

Jewelry |  Esqueleto,  Catbird,  Melissa Joy Manning,  Love Adorned

Shoes | Freda Salvador (all of these boots are currently on sale!)

For the Home |  St. Frank

For the Kids | Shop Bitte

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