Happy holiday season, merry chickadees! Are you shopping your butt off looking for the right gift for that special gal in your life? Let me help: I’d hereby like to welcome you to my very first Dallas Diva-tastic gift guide! This is my tightly curated list of presents for the Diva in yo’ life – which totally includes YOU, as you’ll see if you read on …
The categories I’ve picked reflect my/our loves: food, drink and travel. I hope you love my first stab at a holiday gift guide aimed at the fantastic, fabulous, chic woman in your life – I hope to make it even bigger and better next year. Till then, dig right in and enjoy!
Delicious gifts for the epicures and gastronomes you know.
The Rancher’s Collection from 44 Farms
Perfect for the carnivorous chica in your life, this pack of meat comes from the family-owned, Texas-based rancher with an eye for conscientious ways to raise cows. That means your Black Angus steaks are wholesomely raised with no added hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients. But let’s talk about what’s inside, shall we? The Rancher’s Collection includes two of each: USDA Prime 12 oz. Boneless Ribeye, USDA Choice 6 oz. Filet Mignon, USDA Choice 8 oz. Flank Steak and USDA Choice 20 oz. Bone-in Ribeye. Just make sure you gift this to someone who’s gonna invite you over when the steak hits the grill. Just sayin!
Perfect for: Meat-lovin’ Divas
Cost: $159.99 (Buy online)
JK Chocolate Gifts
Have you ever eaten a MICROCHIP? Not the ones in your personal tech – JK Chocolate’s tasty and adorable tiny, tiny cookies! One cookie fits on your fingertip, and several handfuls come in a jar. Not only are there classic and incredible flavors like original chocolate chip and peanut butter chip with sea salt, but also unique varieties like Cheddar Cheeses with Texas Heat and Pecan Sweeties. As if eating baby cookies by the handful isn’t enticing enough, you can buy sauces like Triple Peppermint and Caramel with Sea Salt to dip the baked goods in! Trust me, this is one gift that’s hard to part with …
Perfect for: Sweet tooth Divas
Cost: Ranges from $14 for single-jar gift boxes to $114 premium cookie towers. (Buy online or in-store)
For the on-trend lady in your life.
Dallas fashion bloggers and sisters Courtney and Allison Edwards came up with a stylish way to immortalize the city’s famous skyline: in jewelry! Their new City + Sky collection, launched in October, features necklaces, rings and bracelets starring the Big D cityscape; my absolute favorite piece is the necklace with the skyline cutout. I also love that each piece is Texas-made and honed in gold and silver – a terrific and fashionable way to show your Texas pride!
Perfect for: Fiercely Texan Divas
Cost: Pieces start at $117.
Ooh, la, la, do I love this gift! Wanting to share the best of France, Parisian-born Jessica Barouche hatched OuiPlease, a delightful curated service that delivers premium French products right to your door. Depending on the membership tier you choose, every month you’ll receive a set of apparel, jewelry, home, foodie and beauty gifts valued at $400. Each month’s box will be different and packed with thoughtful goodies – case in point, the first box, called “Paris, I Miss You” boasted items from Maison de la Truffe, Christian Lacroix and Hediard among others. Forget ooh, la, la – this is ooh, la, LUXE!
Perfect for: The francophile Diva
Cost: $150 for month-to-month membership, $175 for single-parcel membership, and $650 for premium annual membership.
I likes my cocktails, so is it any wonder this category has the most offerings?!
Ice Fox Vodka
This triple-distilled vodka is a flagship in the new-to-Dallas label named Branded Spirits. Ice Fox Vodka id distilled in the only French alembic copper pot on U.S. soil and has a clean, bright flavor that makes it shine in my favorite cocktails. Plus, the attractive bottle comes in this hella-cool box that back-lights the fox illustration, which makes for a lovely surprise when the gift recipient opens it. Cheers!
Perfect for: The vodka tonic Diva
Cost: $24.99 in the light-up gift box, $19.99 for the bottle alone. Available at Spec’s and Goody Goody.
Pre-mixed, bottled cocktails usually don’t bring to mind thoughts of high-quality drinking. That is, until Austin Cocktails arrived on the scene. These all-natural, six-times-distilled vodka based beverages come in simply irrestible flavors such as Cucumber Vodka Mojito, Vodkarita and Tea Twister. When I sampled them earlier this fall, I didn’t know what to expect, but I can tell you these ready-to-serve drinks were as fresh and artisanal as they sound, with my absolute fave being the mojito. No wonder Austin Cocktails was picked by Virgin America to be available as a cocktail option fleetwide!
Perfect for: The lazy tippling Diva
Cost: $14.99 in Texas; $15.99 in California. Get them in Texas at Goody Goody, Total Wine, Pogo’s Wine & Spirits and more.
Mezcal has been rising as a buzzy bartender favorite in the last couple years, so you’ll look especially on-trend gifting a bottle of the stuff to friends. The Mexican spirit—like tequila—is derived from the agave plant, but mezcal undergoes a different production method that produces a rounder, smokier flavor profile on the palate. The Oaxacan-made Montelobos is made from blue agave relative espadin agave and is distilled in wood-fired copper pots – it’s terrific not just in cocktails that support its heft but as a solo sip.
Perfect for: The mixologist wannabe Diva
Cost: About $45 at Spec’s
If you or someone you’re gifting is looking to get into brown spirits like whiskey and bourbon, this buttery, caramel-y sipper is a terrific place to start. It’s a mild and mellow liquor that goes down easy. Best part (besides the taste)? Troy & Sons is headed by one of the nation’s few female distillers, Troy Ball! I met her when she was in town a couple months ago for the launch of her brand in Texas, and she’s a character; I’m happy to promote a phenomenal product she’s put so much heart and soul into (and Troy’s story is worth reading up on – check it out!).
Perfect for: The whiskey-curious Diva
Cost: $35.99 if you spot it at Spec’s, $42.99 at Sunset Corners (if you live in a state that it delivers to!).
These jetsetting travel-destination ideas are perfect for yourself, or for plotting a girlfriend getaway with you and a group of your Divas.
This award-winning Napa Valley resort’s spa is offering all manner of winter specials aimed at the discerning Diva. Case in point, the Winter Solstice Journey – a sea salt-and-eucalyptus body scrub, herbal bath and ginger oil massage combo that I imagine would make it hard to ever leave the spa. There’s also the Head to Toe Winter Warming Facial, featuring a coconut mask, ginger scalp massage and shea butter foot massage. All of the above may be enjoyed alongside Calistoga’s Merry-Mint Package, which includes welcome wine, cider or nog, breakfast for two at the Michelin Starred Solbar, a boozy hot cocoa turndown service and more!
Perfect for: Spa Divas
Cost: Merry-Mint nightly rates start at $395 midweek (Sun-Thurs) and $435 on weekends. The Winter Solstice is $285 (105 minutes), and the warming facial is $220 (80 minutes).
For some getaway fun a little closer to home, consider San Antonio’s JW Marriott, which you know I love. The resort comes alive at Christmas, with JW Illumination, a twinkly display of lights you can partake in each night with a mug of hot cocoa, as well as a challenging polar plunge into the property’s only unheated pool – brrrr! Don’t worry, as part of the Keep Calm and Plunge On contest, there be prizes if you spruce up your plunge. The on-site Lantana Spa is offering a hot ginger cocoa manicure and pedi to luxuriate in. Finally, oenophiles will love how close the JW is to the Holiday Wine Trail: Through the 21st, Hill Country vineyards and tasting rooms are decked out in holiday finery.
Perfect for: Wine and winter-lovin’ Divas
Cost: Holiday hotel rates begin at $199; hot ginger mani is $85, pedi is $70.