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Now that we’ve all recovered from Thanksgivukkah, after overindulging ourselves on turkey and latkes, we have fallen into December and that special chill is in the air (Well at least half the time!). It’s the time of year for parades and holiday lights, warm drinks and cozy sweaters, laughter and cheer. And while many of us may go away to visit family over the Christmas break, many of us have Santa come in our chimneys and through our lanai doors right here on the First Coast. No matter where we are, near or far, Jax is always close to our hearts, especially during the holidays. We did so much shopping supporting local on Small Business Saturday that we realized:
All the presents we want this year are right here in Jacksonville!
So we thought we’d put together our wish list to inspire you… or maybe just to give our family and friends a little hint-hint, wink, nudge! ;)
Here are our Northeast Florida Must-Haves this season:
Bold Bean Coffee Mug with Gift Card Inside
from Bold Bean Coffee Roasters
Bold Bean recently got some hand-crafted coffee mugs in their shop and just in time for the giving season. If you know me at all, you know I love my Iced Soy Honey Vanilla Latte. Oh my gee, so delicious. I should honestly be asking for a bottomless coffee mug of my favorite drink. I’ve made that “joke” for awhile now, I don’t think they’re catching on to me being serious!
Vintage Computer Chair
from Mara Vintage Store
Along with getting married comes reorganizing our newlywed home. Going from room to room unpacking boxes I realize the necessity of having a chair to go with a desk. I have a pretty cool desk but because there is no chair; I operate all Somewhere in the City stuff from the couch. I’ve become quite picky about needing a cool computer chair but this one from Mara Vintage Store would do just the trick.
Handcrafted Wooden Headboard
from Salvaged Ember
I loved interviewing my friends from Salvaged Ember! Reason why it was so much fun? They were my friends before the interview! I love that my friends are so talented and are flourishing with the talents they’ve been given. I would love to represent them in my very own home! Not to mention I’m a sucker for pallets and wood materials.
Handbatched Sugar Scrub
from Sucre Sucre
I won’t lie to you, I actually already bought some of these : ) I just had to; after we published a guest post on these goodies I knew I needed some for my own personal gifts to give away. Hopefully none of my friends are reading this, I mean I hope they are, but I hope this doesn’t ruin the surprise. However, I’m keeping them on my wishlist because all the ones I bought were for my friends!
A nice “G” for our Newlywed Home
We haven’t posted about Eyes and Ears Designs but they are on my list of people to interview. They are fairly new and I can guarantee you’ll be thanking me for telling you about Lindsey Brenner, creator of Eyes and Ears. She’s creating unique additions to add to a home with hand-crafted artwork. I know I just said it but the amount of creativity that is around every corner of our city just blows me away. I can’t believe I know some of the people that I know!
Chocolate and More Chocolate
from Sweet Pete’s
Ok, so truth is, I am the typical girl who loves chocolate. I have chocolate hidden away in a sock drawer for my crazy moments. I’m scared to say I’d want Sweet Pete’s for Christmas because I know they’d never make it to the sock drawer. They’d all end up right in my mouth, all at once. Sweet Pete’s is located in Springfield creating delicious all natural gourmet candy. Last time I went I chowed down on lavender chocolate mixed in with some green tea chocolate. Come. On. Now. Put that in everyone’s stocking!
I waited patiently outside of Sweet Theory before they opened on day one! I couldn’t wait to try their delicious goods. The donuts have to be my favorite thing to order. I’m so happy and proud of this local vegan bakery for just recently having their birthday. They’ve worked hard and their work tastes yummy. If I were to be given a dozen donuts, I might possibly eat them all. That’s ok, right? It’s the holidays dang it!
A Hand-Made Messenger Bag
from Burro Bag
My husband talks about Burro Bags non stop. I didn’t realize how awesome they were until I took the time to read their website. Every product they make is hand-made and durable. They use products strictly from the good ol’ USA. What I’ve heard about non-stop lately is their custom bags. Let’s just say our family has now started saving up to get this as a gift. Durable, long lasting, and a cool city gift to have.
Pink and Aqua Tee
I had heard of Strght&Nrrw before but didn’t know too much about them. I recently heard their founder, Jay Harris speak. What he had to say and the way he viewed his business had me on board. I knew I’d want to support him, especially since they’re located right in the middle of downtown and they’re huge city advocates. They were even a venue in One Spark. If you’re going downtown any time soon make sure to stop in and say hello to Jay. He has a ton of awesome stories to share.
Fort Stories Album on Vinyl
by Fort Stories
If you read my post on Fort Stories you already know I’m a huge fan of this 7 piece band. It’s just something about them that I want to listen to them over and over again. I don’t even own a record player but I desperately want to own their EP Mean Winter on Vinyl.
by YCL Art
Yvonne C. Lozano’s work is fun and bright, and I love her commitment to the spirit of community. I was honored to be included in her “I M JAX” project, a database of Jacksonville residents in interactive silhouettes. Her “Dingo Loves Jax” series takes you through highlights of the First Coast, and who doesn’t love the gift of a calendar during the holidays?
MOCA boasts one of the hippest young professionals groups in town with The Contemporaries, a group of on-the-rise art lovers who host some seriously entertaining events. (If you’ll remember, we interviewed President Virginia Chamlee a while back.) Their New Year’s bash is always a hit, but this year is set to be the party of the season with a fantastically on-trend theme: Pop Art. What better way to ring in the new year than in Downtown Jax at a fabulous party, with friends, drinks, dancing, and a celebration of breaking away from tradition?
You might not be able to get it off a store shelf, but that makes this one-of-a-kind find all the more special. A #DTJax shirt lets people know several things about you at once: 1. That you know where the movement’s at, 2. That you take pride in your city, and 3. That you understand that technology and our community are evolving together. Using social media as a tool for positivity- now there’s something we could use #MoreofThis holiday season!
from Intuition Ale Works
I’m so proud of local brewery Intuition Ale Works for this amazing debut cookbook, and something I hope will become a tradition for years to come. Although they may have been “forced” to re-locate after trying to help revive their area of town, I predict we’ll be seeing big things in 2014 from Intuition. Their dedication to our community is astounding, and goes even as far as including member of the community in this cookbook! Look for our friends from Outside the Den inside!
from One Spark
One Spark left such a remarkable impact on Jacksonville this past year, and showed people far and wide what realized potential can look like in our city. What better way to remember this moment in history than a Lil’ Sparky? Sitting on your desk or coffee table, Lil’ Sparky reminds you on those tough days to keep pushing- if Jacksonville is going to become the city we all want it to be, we have to keep working on it every day!
Local Theater Season Tickets
There is absolutely nothing better than live entertainment, and for that, TJ & PBTS are two of my favorite spots in town! (I would include The 5 & Dime Theatre here as well, but as a nomadic company, no season tickets are available; you just have to wait and catch us where we land next!) Theater tickets make a great romantic gift; it tells the other person that you want to spend time with them and have a wonderful evening. Plus, TJ & PBTS have some outrageous seasons coming up: don’t miss shows like ‘Hilda’s Yard’ and ‘Venus in Fur,’ and smash summer musicals ‘Les Miserables” and “RENT!”
to spend at the Riverside Arts Market
The Riverside Arts Market has to be one of my favorite places in Jacksonville. Eating lumpia and drinking fresh lemonade as a cool breeze blows under the bridge and local music acts play in the background… simply heavenly. RAM tokens are a fun way to give someone the gift of the RAM experience… it’s like an arcade for adults! They work like currency with all the RAM vendors and can be spent on whatever the recipient desires. More inventive than a traditional gift card, and it supports local business!
Sometimes, after I interview someone for the blog, I end up with a wonderful friend; and such is the case with Steve Williams. Steve doesn’t have a lot of time to make his own art, since he runs Harbinger Sign Co., Florida Mining Gallery, attends every major event in town, and is an awesome Dad… but when he does, watch out! We were lucky enough with Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson this summer to have Steve create a series of pieces for the gallery, and his pop/modern/punk/traditional take on the early President had me head-over-heels for Ole Hickory.
I’ve had the pleasure of taking a cruise on the Foxy Lady as well as hearing the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra live. The idea of both in the same night? Sounds like a Downtown night made in heaven! This partnership provides an ideal packaged evening of a smooth St. John’s cruise followed by symphonic bliss. The cruise is offered with several different JSO events, but the best option to me sounds like Verdi’s Requiem- the soaring heights of Dies irae is the kind of music symphonies are made for!
I couldn’t be more in love with these two if I tried. This unstoppable twosome works hard, plays hard, and spreads their joy with anyone they come in contact with. Their debut album as a duo, The Fudge Sessions, has been on repeat on my iTunes (listen to Hit the Ground if you haven’t yet!) and left me hungry for more. They have decided to crowdfund the production of their next album, and with their philanthropic work for charity:water, a pre order of Fee-Fie-Foh-Fum is a great gift for the music lover or globally-conscious friend in your life!
I went ghosting with the premier of Swamp Radio… and I loved it! Seriously, there is some amazing original programming coming out of Northeast Florida lately (Al Letson’s State of the Re:Union, anyone?) and I’ve even heard rumors of more Jacksonville-based podcasts coming in 2014… Swamp Radio offers a fun look into all things exclusively North Florida, and records with a live audience in tow! The marshlands of the Intercoastal never had a better voice than this, and episode two will record in the fabulous Florida Theatre in Downtown.
Peruvian Guitar Strap
from The Original Fuzz
These guys were so much fun to interview and they sell high-quality guitar straps with unique Peruvian patterns. All of the straps are made under fair trade conditions, and I love the designs. They also have gear bags, cords, and basically are growing insanely fast with new products every month.
Drema Farmer Necklace
Drema takes crystal jewelry to a whole new level. I have always been fascinated by the coolness that seems to come from crystals and they are, of course, absolutely beautiful. Though it is a little bit bigger than something I would normally wear, I would wear this guy every chance I could get. I think it would go well with a dark, cool-colored shirt.
Black and Tan Truffles
Guys. You don’t even know. Please try these things. They are insane. Insane in the dark chocolately, rich, guinness-y, deliciously smooth membrane. I remember testing these before they were released (In my past life as a chocolatier). I just remember thinking that this is the next chocolate covered popcorn item for Peterbrooke.
from Five Points Antiques
Every time I pass by this store I have a fight with myself about how much time I will spend in there…and I lose. If you are looking for a unique Christmas gift, this is the place for you. I cannot guarantee you will find this exact pair of earrings, one because the place is pretty much a maze packed full with the equivalent of an I Spy book, and two because…I bought them already.
Sweet Grace Candle
from Jane Doe
This is one of the most heavenly smelling things I have ever laid nostrils on. This particular candle is burned throughout the store daily because that is all it takes to convince customers to buy it. If that is not enough, the company is teamed up with a organization that uses the income to provide meals in impoverished countries.
This is the gift that someone would buy me, and then my fiancee Joel would immediately steal. The maple flavor is so unique and goes perfectly with a Loaded Goat. In fact, Maple Street’s coffee is arguably just as good as their biscuits. That’s right. I said it.
Recently speaking with the Jacksonville Symphony’s Bassoonist (Anthony Anurca) has inspired me to give the Symphony a second listen. The way he described the music and how interactive the whole performance is made me want to see the orchestra from a new perspective. Anthony described how every performance is different depending on the night and the feelings of everyone involved. It is a truly unique experience.
from Bella Lina Bath
This whipped body frosting smells good, feels good, and is only $7. I was really surprised by that because it lasts forever. I met Jessica at the Southside Farmer’s market and she is so amazingly happy. She really takes pride in everything she makes and even makes all of her products on small batches in order to sell the freshest soaps and creams.
Presented by FSCJ
The inner drama kid in me did a quick little maniac dance of her own when I saw that “Flashdance the Musical” was coming to Jacksonville. The Center for Performing Arts always brings such great performances so this is bound to be good.
This Ponte Vedra couple creates the most enchanting scenes. They are so creative and are amazingly talented. They focus on nature and natural light as their background. I can’t stop going through their gallery. Take a look for yourself!
It’s been so hard not being allowed to have a pet at the apartment I’m living in. It’s so….inhumane! There are so many adorable pets just waiting to be adopted at the Jacksonville Humane Society.
from Reina Cookies
Hands down, the best cookie I have ever had.
from Community Loaves
I love the girls from Community Loaves and their bread! They always have a variety of exceptionally tasty sourdough bread. You can buy a subscription and get a loaf of bread every week for a month!
I love getting flowers. They just brighten up my day every time I see them and this flower shop is just the place to buy the perfect bouquet!
Gift cards always get a bad rep for “not being thoughtful.” but honestly, I think it is the best gift for poor married folk like me. Maple Street is one of my favorite places in Jax. This awesome biscuit place is a perfect gift!
Ever since I met the artists over at King Street Studios, I have been dying to take one of their art classes. Between knife making, bead looming, and form folding bowls I just can’t decide! Maybe all three should be on my wish list!
from Oscar & Lula Salon
Love this salon! Not only does it look cool on the inside but you also leave looking cooler than when you came in! I’d love a chance to get pretty & pampered at the same time.
From all of us here at Somewhere in the City, Happy Holidays to you & yours!