Shot of Brandi Gift Guide: 40 Things for 40 Years - Part 3

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

21. The teen years were rather hard - both for this gift guide and in life lol. I’m actually looking forward to today - the 20’s!

And we are kicking things off with something fun - 21! Booze is the obvious one here, but let’s not go with the obvious. How about some hangover helpers! Too Faced makes a hangover lip balm and face primer. A weighted eye mask will help block out the light and remove some stress from the eye area. I mean, alcohol is typically a welcome gift, but the hangover helpers are nice!

22. If everything that was cool 20 years ago is cool again, let’s talk about jewelry. Thanks to some celebrities and Elle Woods, the Return to Tiffany line was a must-have. You could either invest in a good silver cleaner and cloth from the company or upgrade with a new ring, bracelet, or earrings!

23. During the Christmas of 2004, I was gearing up for a big, big thing on New Year’s Day....Moving to Chicago! I literally moved to the Windy City on January 1, 2005. My mom and dad moved me in and then drove back to Pittsburgh on January 2. When visiting Chicago, taking guests to get some deep-dish pizza was always a must. I love that I can order Giordano’s online and have it shipped frozen to Pittsburgh. We did this last year and I can say it’s delicious!

24. For my 24th birthday, I made my first Kate Spade purchase. A small shoulder bag that appears to be making a comeback (it was very similar to this! And, I still have it!). Kate Spade remains one of my favorite brands to this day and I love gifting anything from the accessories line, like these statement earrings, iWatch band, or necklace.

25. Living in Chicago, one thing was a lifesaver on those chilly below zero nights - my electric blanket. Yes, I feel like I’m a senior citizen talking about my love of electric blankets, but they are just so amazing! And, how cute is this plaid one - only $26!! Living in Chicago I actually had a heated mattress pad warmer. I’d fire up my bed about an hour before I was about to get in and it would be toasty!

26. Walking home from work on Tuesdays in Chicago, it became a weekly ritual to stop by Anthropologie to check out the new markdowns (the sales associate told me that Tuesdays were the new sale day!) and to get Chipotle after - they were basically neighbors and one block from my apartment. Anthropologie has a lot of cute gifts. From necklaces, to blankets, to mugs, and ornaments - there are a lot of options for teachers, friends, hostesses, co-workers, etc.

27. Guess what 2008 was? The FIRST Shot of Brandi* Gift Guide!! I reserved the URL for Shot of Brandi* in 2006 and officially launched the blog in 2008. I remember preparing and preparing posts in anticipation. I was so excited to share info - and I still am! Looking back, it’s pretty crazy how this gift guide stood the test of time! The list was Tickets, Dates, Food & Alcohol, Monthly (fill in the blank club), and a Charity Donation!

28. We are now approaching the years where I can look back on some of my older gift guides for inspiration. The 2009 gift guide was inspired by class personalities because it was right after my 10-Year Class Reunion. Using “Best Dressed” for ideas, I do love a good beauty gift and browsing Ulta recently there are so many good holiday sets. My store was sold out of a lot, but this Tarte Full Face set for $32 caught my eye (it was sold out too). Sephora has a Too Faced Christmas in the City kit with a ton of shades for $42, and Kohl’s has a Sephora beauty favorites set for $36!

29. 2010 was the Smithkowski’s first married Christmas. Newlyweds are hard to buy for because we received SO MANY things that we needed as wedding/shower gifts. One thing that we didn’t receive that would have come in handy this time of year - Christmas decorations! Gifting an engaged couple a tree (if they don’t have one) could be memorable. Or something I’ve mentioned here before that would make an AMAZING gift - this set of wedding ornaments that all have a special meaning.
30. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun DUN dun - cue the Tchaikovsky! The 2011 Shot of Brandi Gift Guide featured gifts inspired by the Nutcracker! I’m rather excited to head back into the theater to see a performance this week! So, tickets are an obvious gift! I’m a big fan of Rifle Paper Co. and they have some amazing Nutcracker themed merchandise. I love this mug, wrapping paper, and puzzle. Also check out the amazing party plates, cups, and napkins!