Holiday Gift Ideas 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gift Guide: For couples who have been naughty and nice

Posted By on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 10:15 AM

By Nicole Pietrantonio

Unless you plan on using the neck-tie or Christmas socks you bought your sweetie pie as a pair of second-hand handcuffs, it’s time to get creative. This holiday season, stuff your significant other’s stocking with imaginative gifts that are a hint of naughty and will leave you both feeling very nice.

Personal pin-up

Capture the here and now with a professional photography session — feel free to make this couple’s gift as naughty or as nice as you please.

Naughty: Go to a professional photographer in the Q.C. and tell them that you want them to shoot sweet and sexy calendar photos of you for each month of the year. At the end of the shoot, pick out which poses you want to dedicate to each month of the new year. This personalized pin-up will give your sweetie something to look forward to for the next 12 months of the year.

Nice: There are so many wonderful photographers in Charlotte that would love to snap a pose of you and the one you love. After the shoot pick the best image, place it in a frame and give it to your honey at Christmas. Gifts such as these are ones you will treasure for a lifetime.

Role play

If Mrs. Clause were to play Santa’s secretary, she would be one sassy little elf. Give "Santa" some eye-candy this year with this sexy Light Up Holiday Elf lingerie ($41.95), found at Let’s see what/who get’s turned on first — your elf ensemble or "Santa."


Naughty pole

Bring the naughty pole to your bedroom.  Make Santa’s cheeks get really red with your very own Electra Pole Stripper Pole ($99.99). An at-home professional stripper pole is definitely the gift that keeps on giving.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Giving the gift of local bling

Posted By on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 2:50 PM

All the ladies out there are going to be looking for some sparkle this gift-giving season — and I’m not talking about the lights on the Christmas tree. It’s the season for bling, but that doesn’t always mean you have to crack open those piggy banks to give a little. Whether you are looking for something traditional or want to go down a more unique road, there are plenty of local options for you to explore. And, really, who doesn’t want to support smaller, local businesses while pleasing the women on their Christmas list? It’s a win-win situation.

If you are looking for the more traditional route and money isn’t so much an object, there are a number of Charlotte-based jewelry stores that offer high quality, fine jewelry, and even at reasonable prices.  Brownlee Jewelers ( have been serving the Charlotte area since 1936 and they have locations dotted all around the city, making them accessible for pretty much anyone.


They carry an extensive variety of diamond and luxury jewelry, as well as designer and vintage pieces as well. They literally have something to please everyone. Even if you manage to not find something that completely tickles your fancy, they offer the ability to create a custom ring so you can make sure that you’re getting exactly what you envision. They even have handy gift guides and diamond education available via their website, just in case you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and undereducated. While you’re checking them out, make sure to check out the contest they are running right now for a diamond solitaire ring that retails at $5,000, so at least you could try your luck! Other Charlotte-based stores that offer high end jewelry are The Karat Patch ( and David’s LTD (

Want to maybe spice it up a bit and go for something with a little edge, but still has that traditional feel to it? Donald Haack ( offers up phenomenal fine jewelry that serves up a little kick in its unique designs and materials. Not a diamond girl? Go for the rutillated quartz ring or silver and gold cuff. Whether her look is old Hollywood starlet or luxurious warrior woman, Donald Haack has something to fit her style. From chunky and bold to simple and sleek, they have plenty to offer.


Staying in the same vein, but going a little more artisan, you can turn to local goldsmith Katie Stein and her company Vaka Designs ( which offers up beautiful hand-forged jewelry at very affordable prices. The warmth that radiates from these handmade pieces will definitely be felt by anyone receiving them.


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

4 local shops offer Secret Santa gifts under $30

Posted By on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM

The secret's out on this year's great gifts for under $30! Take a look (peeking allowed) at some fun gifts you can find at four local shops ...  on a Secret Santa budget.

Store: Ruby's Gift NoDa

Handmade brie pottery bowl $25: Perfect for the gal-pal who loves to entertain!


"Belle Terre" soaps $6-20: Available in singles or festive gift sets. This all-natural soap is made locally in Lincolnton, N.C.


Organic cotton headbands $18-20: An eco-friendly accessory!


Store: Green With Envy

Danielle & Company organic candles $21.95: These "super green" smelling machines seem good enough to eat. Made from organic beeswax, pure soy and cotton wicks. Even the packaging is ec0-friendly: Once the candle has run out, use it as a drinking glass! They come in a variety of scents but Chestnut Roast is literally Christmas in a candle.


Coffee mugs $21.95: A masculine solution for the guy on the go!


Inspirational artwork $15.95: Affordable art made by local artist Donna Downey. A little piece of inspiration for the creative soul in your circle!


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Stocking Stuffer Idea: Scoop Charlotte's coupon book

Posted By on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 11:58 AM

The folks with have come up with a great idea for a stocking stuffer for the shopaholic in your life.

On sale through Dec. 18, the Shop-Girls’ Winter Survival Book is packed with coupon savings at stores like Sloan, chezElle, Poole Shop, Scout & Molly’s, Monkees of Morrocroft, Fresh, Our Place, Cottage Chic and more.

Here's a sample of the savings you'll get while shopping local.

And the beautiful thing is that the coupon book is only $15. Click here to buy.


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Friday, December 3, 2010

Annual holiday sale at Heroes this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Right now, my boyfriend is big into reading comics on his phone. The other day, he was perusing one at work (he's recently discovered The Walking Dead, because of the new TV show), and when his boss asked him what he was doing, he lied. Geeky and shameful? You bet. But I love him anyway.

If you've got a comic book lover in your life you need to buy a Christmas gift for (and no matter how geeky they are, you should do it anyway), you'll not want to miss this sale this weekend.


More information can be found here.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday gift idea: Boots

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:33 AM


Maybe I'm just a woman who begged her boyfriend to get her pink suede boots for her birthday, but I just think you can't go wrong with buying the lady in your life (whether that be the significant other, mom sister, etc.) a nice pair of boots.

And the folks at Step By Sloan have an incredible selection. Click here to see photos of all that they've got available.

And the cute red boot above? Pour La Victoire "Beca" DK in red suede. $330.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday sales in Charlotte

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Our random compilation of local stores in Charlotte who are joining the Black Friday fun with sales, events and giveaways. Happy Thanksgiving — and more importantly, happy shopping!

Fresh Boutique

813 Providence Road


Facebook page

Friday through Sunday, Fresh will be hosting a Lori Snyder Trunk Show. In addition, check out a progressive sale (buy one item, receive 10 percent off, two items 20 percent off and three or more items 30 percent off). Customers can enter to win a free Glow Tan from Glow Tan Charlotte located in Cotswold.

Peek-A-Boo Couture

1111 Metropolitan Ave.



The entire store will be 50 percent to 70 percent off. If you come between 9 a.m.-12 p.m., you will receive an additional 10 percent off.

Black & Blue

532 Governor Morrison St. # 130



The entire store (excluding jeans) will be 25 percent off. In addition, starting today through Saturday, they are doing 20 percent off one single item (excluding jeans and jewelry).

J. Major's Bridal Boutique

2400 Park Road



They will be hosting a Romona Keveza trunk show this Friday and Saturday — they'll have an additional 20 to 30 gowns in the store from her Legends and Couture collections — and includes special pricing on her gowns Friday and Saturday.

The Pink Hanger

2935 Providence Road



Tons of great new fall styles will be 30 percent to 50 percent off beginning. Purchase one of their newly marked down items and receive a free gift with purchase that day as well. *In addition, bring in a new, unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army toy drive (need is high for children ages 11-14) and enjoy 20 off one full priced item from Nov. 22-Dec. 12th. On Black Friday, the donation discount is 25 percent.

Revolution Shop

210 E. Trade St.



Two 10 x 10' tents will be set up at the EpiCentre, full of past seasons merchandise for 50 to 80 percent off, including men's, women's, and kids designer denim and merchandise.


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Southern Christmas show finds

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 5:27 PM

This past weekend, I moseyed on over to the Southern Christmas Show at The Park Expo and Conference Center (formerly Charlotte Merchandise Mart). My goal: To find holiday gifts (in particular, jewelry) for a couple of friends. In that case, I had no need to go armed with a suitcase or bag on wheels, like many of the more hardcore shopping folks.

It didn't take me long, until something caught my eye. I scooped up a few of these embroidery/petit point styled necklaces (see pic below) by Netherlands-native Joke Vandergroef. She's been doing embroidery all of her life and started putting the craft into jewelry form 35 years ago. In addition to the necklaces, she also had ear rings and bracelets for sale, as well as other items, like doilies.



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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday gift idea: Gloves for your iPhone/iPad

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 11:15 AM

If there's one thing that's annoying about my (fabulous) iPhone, it's that I can't do anything on it while wearing gloves. How am I supposed to keep my fingers warm and text at the same time?

Enter this genius invention by Etre, a digital communications company that leaves you kicking yourself and wondering, why didn't I think of that?

Fivepoints Gloves allow you to work any touch-screen device — iPhone, a laptop, camera, portable media player, whatever — and keep your hands warm.


Order yourself or the Apple lover in your life a pair here.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Gift idea: Boudoir photos

Posted By on Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 11:43 AM


A couple of weeks ago, Creative Loafing put out a special issue, "A Walk On the Sexy Side of Charlotte," where writer Cheris Hodges interviewed Charlotteans who make a living by "keeping things hot." Among the folks she talked to, which included a dominatrix, a woman who throws passion parties and a lesbian party promoter, was Jeremy Igo, a photographer who specializes in boudoir photography.

That story got me thinking about another boudoir photographer I know — Ashley Goodwin. (She's also the food photographer for Creative Loafing and an interior designer with Lucy and Company.)

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Boudoir photography? What does that have to do with shopping, you ask?

Well, I'll explain. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give my boyfriend some sexed-up photos of myself as a gift for his birthday. (And I completely exaggerate when I say "sex-ed up" — unless you like that sort of thing, haha.) I shopped around for a good deal and decided to go with Goodwin. Hence, why this post is on our shopping blog. (So there!)

If baring all isn't something you usually do to strangers, or if you've never modeled, I totally recommend doing a shoot with Goodwin. The response I've gotten from my photos (after I posted a few on Facebook) is incredible. A week after I had given my boyfriend his copies, he sat down with me with photos in hand and said, "Babe. Let's look at your pictures again together." I guess they made an impression on him.

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