Top 5 Gift Ideas for the Lady in Your Life

Welcome to my first blog post! I've been considering blogging for a while, but I wanted my blog to provide something of value, so I had to spend some time brainstorming. Plus, I have an 8-month-old, so that makes everything in my life take 14 times longer. :) I will probably eventually be blogging more about design-y things, but this first one is a gift guide for the ladies.

1. Native Deodorant

I don't consider myself an overly crunchy, granola, all-natural kind of person--especially when it comes to sweat. If I'm being honest, I'd much rather a product work than be good for me. That being said, there is a lot of research out there about aluminum and parabens and what they potentially do when you put them on your armpits every day. Now, I am not one of those girls who can go to the gym and leave with barely a glisten. I sweat a lot. I am a former Certain-Dri/Secret Clinical Strength user because those have historically been the only products that worked for me. So I was skeptical about Native. It's aluminum- and paraben-free, and it is not an antiperspirant (something I would never have considered in the past). Let me tell you...I am converted! Granted, I've only been using mine in the colder months, but there are plenty of opportunities for sweating underneath 93 layers of jackets, sweaters, and coats. I promise you will not regret trying it. I know it's not labeled as an antiperspirant, but something in there obviously soaks up all kinds of sweat, because I never feel sweaty! And if you're like me, and are already used to paying $12 for your clinical strength deodorant, sticker shock won't be an issue for you either. I use the Coconut & Vanilla scent, and it is heavenly. It's very light and actually smells like real vanilla and coconut. They do make manly scents as well, so this is not just for the ladies. If you try another scent, let me know what you think in the comments!

2. Gekks

If you ever wear your shoes without socks, you NEED these. They keep your shoes and feet smellin' clean and fresh. Once again, they make them for the guys and the gals, and they come in a few different varieties: ballet flats, loafers, and sneakers. I've tried many different kinds of ankle socks, ballet flat footies, toe covers, baby powder, you name it. None of them are the perfect solution for socklessness. But Gekks really do work. You won't regret giving these a try. Plus, they come in convenient "closet packs" for a great stocking stuffer!

3. Willa's Shortbread

If you had asked me 4 days ago, I would've told you I didn't like shortbread at all. But then I went to visit our friends at their store (Willa's Mercantile), and they let me try some of theirs. And then I asked for roughly 100 more samples, because these shortbread bites are amazing! They have so many varieties, and I've now tried almost all of them. It's hard to pick a favorite, but the Tennessee Whiskey is up there. If you live in the Nashville area, you'll be supporting a local small business (it's in Goodlettsville, right off the square), and you'll also be supporting your taste buds, so it's a win-win. If you're not in Nashville, don't worry, you can order online too.

4. Southern Firefly Candle Co. Nashville Candle

While we're on the local Nashville business topic, go get yourself one of these candles. All of the fragrances are great, but this one is so sophisticated and cozy and really does smell like you would imagine Nashville would smell! As their website says, this is an "eco-friendly candle with an incredible strong scent and long burn time."

5. Acorn and Archer

Might as well keep on going with the local Nashville small businesses! My lovely and super talented friend Carolyn makes some of the coolest jewelry ever. All of her pieces are so unique, plus she is one of the nicest people around. She's threatened to quit making new pieces, so go get a necklace while you still can!