Quick Picks (FLL#36)

Quick Picks (FLL#36)

Anytime is a perfect time to give a gift to a significant other, friends & family, pets, coworkers or even casual acquaintances who need a boost. Here’s some of our favorite suggestions for gift giving … happy shopping!


Ties are in—from bow ties to Windsor knots. Hipster flannel shirts will not last forever, and trendsetters say that ties will become an expected reality (unlike Madmen-style hats, which can’t seem to make the jump towards being a standard rather than just interesting). This little handy manual enables you to expertly craft the essential male wardrobe accessory for just $13.
Zanzibar Gift Shop: 21 West King Street in Lancaster.


These dolls are so charming, you can’t help but smile when holding them. Artist and seamstress extraordinaire, Molly Cahill, released a line of dolls shortly after having her first son, Ellis. She reminisced about a ragdoll her aunt had made her as a child and it was from this childhood memory that Evergreen Doll Co. evolved. Molly spent some time in India and grew to love the art of henna tattoos, which she transferred artistically onto some of her first dolls. Soon thereafter, she made more dolls inspired by friends and loved ones with funky senses of style and unique handmade outfits— a perfect gift for a child or even an adult who is still young at heart. mollyaucontraire.etsy.com

bark-boxBARK BOX

Don’t forget about your precious pooch during the holidays! Bark Box is a surprise package full of toys, treats, chews, and care products shipped out to your home each month. You can sign up for one month or one year, and you’re able to cancel at anytime. They even accommodate tail-waggers with special allergies. Bark Box strives to not only please your pup, but also focuses on toys and treats which will mentally stimulate your buddy, enriching their life alongside their best friend—you. www.barkbox.com


An artistic experience makes the perfect gift for that creative person in your life. Through the Fire Studios is located in downtown Columbia and opened its doors in 2012 by two glassblowers. Since then, the studio has become a creative place for flame workers and painters. The front portion of the building is a gallery space, which shows the work of many local artists. Glassblowing classes are available to the public several times a week and include a demo, 90-minute hot glassblowing experience, and the opportunity to create your own individual creation. Most classes are fun for all ages and gift certificates are available. If you are serious about diving deep into the art, Through the Fire Studios also offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced sessions lasting anywhere from four to six weeks. Visit www.ttfglass.com to book your glassblowing class or drop by 452 Locust Street in Columbia.


Solitaire might be perfect for solo play, but most games require more than one person. If you find yourself without many people to play games with and you crave some social connectivity, try a gaming group! There are several in the area with a variety of card/board/ video games (and more immersive options) to choose from—some even invite you to bring your favorite games to share. Check out places like 4th Wall Comics, Six Feet Under Games, MVP Sports & Games, War and Pieces, Aspire Community Center, Laserdome, Landing Zone, and Escape Room.


The authentic line of Mona B products are based on the mantra that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. They create handbags, totes, backpacks, and many other fashionable carry-alls using upcycled materials, such as canvas tents and truck tarps. Their line is rugged and unique for a stylish on-the-go, outdoorsy look. They also make fashion accessories such as belts and scarves and have a great selection of dopp kits, wine bags, and handmade stationary; perfect for a holiday party host or out-of-the box gift for a boss. Check out their store locator at www.mona-b.com to find a retail distributor near you.


Do you know someone who stresses over the daily question, “What will I make for dinner tonight?” FLL has the perfect solution. Give the gift of Dream Dinners located in Granite Run Square. After choosing a variety of meals from a monthly menu (such as barbecue shrimp and rice, honey chipotle pork roast with almond green beans, or layered ravioli bake), guests may attend a meal assembly session where they fill gallonsized zip-top bags and baking pans with already prepped ingredients. After assembling, guests take the dinners home and freeze them. Each week, three meals can be taken from the freezer to enjoy around the table. Not only is each meal nutritional and wholesome, the aided process in a controlled environment decreases the stress of meal prep, helping families focus on conversation and enjoying one another. This would be the perfect gift for a couple, and a fabulous idea for a date night. www.dreamdinners.com


Giving the gift of experience is always a welcomed treat and what better way to enjoy a weekend getaway than at a cozy bed and breakfast? A mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from Lancaster, The Inn at Solvang is nestled in Huntingdon County and surrounded by forests and spacious lawns. The picturesque three-story Southern colonial home is owned by JJ and June Henry and run by inkeeper Stephanie, and has been operating as a bed and breakfast since 1994. It offers five affordable rooms, gourmet breakfast, a nearby golf course, a private trout stream, trails through their woods, and massage services through their nationally certified therapist. Though secluded enough for relaxation, The Inn at Solvang is conveniently located near downtown Huntingdon, Raystown Lake, and Juniata College. To schedule a weekend away, visit www.solvang.com.


With the rise of the cocktail movement, many are working on building their own home bar. Why not give them a head start with Bitters + Bottles? For just $85 a month, the recipient receives a monthly box including the following: an introductory letter explaining the history and science behind each bottle included, five classic cocktail recipes including their history and instructions, and three to six full-size quality spirits. Each box builds upon the previous one, never the same. Aren’t you ready to shake it up a little? www.bittersandbottles.com


Guitar Hero can only take one so far on the journey towards becoming a real musician. If you or a friend have a musical itch that isn’t sufficiently scratched by playing rhythm games or listening to the radio, consider taking some music lessons! There are locations all over the area which offer lessons in drum, guitar, bass, singing, piano, violin, and more… all just a Google search away (MusicLabLancaster.com, FirstGuitar.com, GuitarCenter.com, MencheyMusic. com, DrumsEtc.com). Several studios also offer affordable starter instruments (both used and new).


Found on southern travels, we present the Carolina Cider Company. After stopping at their adorable roadside store, FLL’s Marian Pontz picked up a gallon of Black Bing cider. The lovely clerk shared that this particular cider provided various health benefits using 100% all-natural juice and no sugar added. For $11 a gallon, you can enjoy not only the taste, but may not notice that dull ache in your elbow anymore. Marian recommends this to her friends who may feel a few prearthritic creaks or painful gout attacks. Make it a part of your daily health ritual. Order at: www.carolinaciderco.com.


“Are you overwhelmed by recipes? Embarrassed by your knife skills? Intimidated by the grocery store? Want to eat healthier but have no clue where to start?” NYC-based teacher, Claire Phelan, wants to teach you how to cook! Her lessons run at least two hours long for a beginner cook—though it may sound like a long time, she assures it passes quickly. All you have to do is choose a meal from her menu options, and she will bring all of the kitchen tools and ingredients needed. One lesson is just $120, plus the cost of groceries. What a wonderful gift for someone who is willing to step away from microwaveable meals and wants to start thinking (and cooking) healthier. Follow her on Instagram: @cookingwithclaire


Tortoise & The Hare children’s clothing are handmade, high-quality pieces made right in Lancaster County. The line of outfits hint on an old fashioned, nostalgic look straight out of a storybook, but add in modern twists. Palettes are kept simple with rich reds, denim, and linen colors and are available in sizes ranging from 0 to 8. Whether it is for your own little one or another lucky child in your life, you can never go wrong with a corduroy rabbit cape or striped overalls. Best of all, these adorable threads are meant to be passed down from generation to generation, so your gift will live on for centuries. Check out their booth in downtown Lancaster at Madcap & Co. or shop online at www.tortoiseandthehare.clothing.


Graphic t-shirts. For many they are one’s heart worn proudly on their chest. They’re fanboy/girl uniforms. Badges of honor. Billboards of boastfulness. Socially-acceptable soapboxes. The only problem? Big box stores all have the same stuff! What unique individual wants to wear the same thing as every other unique individual? If you want a truly “you” shirt that speaks your mind and taste (and nets you boo-coo compliments), look no further than your friendly neighborhood web browser! Check out sites like: threadless. com, society6.com, redbubble.com, teefury.com, shirt.woot.com, teemagnet.com, designbyhumans.com, riptapparel.com, and qwertee.com.



When you’re looking for a small (but unique) gift, check out the local music scene! Our area is brimming with musical creativity of every genre and for every taste. Rock, pop, folk, inspirational, blues, jazz, country… and all points in between. Many local musicians offer both CDs and digital downloads—plus some offer merchandise of various kinds (and most perform at local venues, or even offer house concerts)! Nothing touches the heart quite like music, so make a big impact on the heart of your giftee!


From her travels to Savannah, Georgia, FLL’s Marian Pontz shares her new favorite body butter with her female friends: Nourish “Bergamot and Lime” Shea Butter Cream. This decadent, but reasonably priced treat, will hydrate and revitalize your skin with natural ingredients such as coconut, jojoba, and avocado oils for just $17. Plus, Nourish brand stands by use of no parabens, no animal products, and no mineral oil. Just enjoy a lovely, sultry fresh lime and herbal scent. When you want to order another (and you will), you can do so through www.nourishsavannah.com.


Lancaster City’s oldest punk store is a great place to pick up that counter-culture gift for a son, niece, or old school appreciator of studs and spikes. They sell everything from punk and pinup clothing, CDs and vinyl, shoes, t-shirts, to accessories of any kind. Whether you are in need of a Bettie Page shower curtain or grungy 7” album, Angry Young and Poor carries gifts to put a smile on any punk rocker’s face. Best of all, they carry plus size clothing so we all can look fabulously retro. And if you find yourself confused on whether to pick up the Misfit’s last album or first, just purchase a gift card and let your recipient do the shopping. Stop by their brick and mortar store on Orange Street, or jump online at www.angryyoungandpoor.com.


There is nothing like the quality of a handmade gift, especially one that keeps you warm. Crocheting since the age of eight, Cara Lantz has turned her favorite pastime into a small business by creating works of art from upcycled yarn. She offers wine bottle and beer cozies, blankets, pillows, arm warmers, hats, scarves, dresses, and just about anything you can think of that can be looped. Have a favorite sports team or looking for that perfect blanket to match your living room? E-mail carajolantz@gmail.com and she will custom-make a gift to your specifications.


Jena Milakovic, owner of Lyes and Lathers, combines her love for chemistry and art while creating stunning, minimal-ingredient soaps. And she does it all right in her kitchen, which is modeled after a science lab. From lucious rosemary, cinnamon, and red thyme, to her cedar wood, lime, and salt soaps, you will first be intrigued by the clean lines and mesmerizing swirls in each bar. But it’s the scent that will win you over, enriching your mind and soul with every bath experience. Find her on Instagram: @lyesandlathers.

gift-cardsGIFT CARDS

When life gets busy and stressful, or when funds are tight, it can be a very satisfying feeling to pull out a gift card from a previous holiday gift stash. It’s like going out on a “free” date night or taking a short and cheap stay-cation. Giving gift cards from local restaurants, cafés, theaters, spas, activity venues, and bed and breakfasts is far from “copping out” when it comes to gift giving. They are a special treat toward rest and refueling, encouraging the recipient to do some much-needed pampering which they may not splurge on otherwise.