And the countdown begins ..

Something struck me as I was walking past the Macy's at Herald Square today .. CHRISTMAS IS NEXT MONTH! The signs are kind of hard to miss .. the weather's cooling down, stores are starting to play holiday music (!) and I've heard Santa is starting to show his face at some of the local malls. Maybe a little early, but exciting nonetheless. People might think I'm crazy, but I love to Christmas shop year-round. My theory is, the longer you wait, the more you panic and start shelling out cash like there's no tomorrow. And I also prefer to truly enjoy the weeks leading up to the holidays. While people are out scrambling for gifts at an already crowded mall, I'm usually happily (and elaborately!) wrapping thoughtful presents. I think my friends and family deserve fabulous things, and with a little effort and planning, I give them just that!

This is the first of a few gift guides for the holiday season. First up, my picks for Mom.

If your mom doesn't already have a pair of cashmere gloves, get her a pair!  In bright fuchsia, these will make her smile on even the most bitter winter day.

Portolano via TJMaxx cashmere gloves- $16.99

LOVE this take on a Mongolian fur gilet. It's more glamorous than a down puffer vest and just as warm.

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This tote with clean lines and texture mixing is a weekend must for mom. And at this great price, you could even use it for a gift bag.

Deux Lux faux leather tote via TjMaxx- $34.99

For all the trips to come, a chic passport cover is a must.

Leather passport cover via Last Call- $20

This linen robe will make every day feel like a spa day.

Linen robe via H&M- $34.95


Sale Alert!

For the next 3 days, Neiman Marcus Last Call  is offering an additional 40% off of any single item on their site. They are yet another one of the online discount department stores that have improved their offerings dramatically over the last few years. AND they're opening a new location in my neighborhood next month (in addition to the TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack!!), so Brooklyn girls stay tuned for a locals-only discount. While Vince, Joie and James Perse are some of my favorite brands to score major deals on, don't forget to check out their handbag selection. It is not unusual to get over 70% off of retail (especially during these additional 40% off sales!) on brands like Botkier, Ash, and Furla. Not to mention the shoes ...

Line colorblock cardigan- $83 (was $199)

French Connection packable down coat- $145 (was $380)

Botkier cross body bag $96 (was $195)

Current/Elliott snake print jeans- $71 (was $278)

BCBG architectural bootie- $167 (was $350)