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My 5 Best Gifts: Sandra Espinet

Let's face it: giving the perfect gift to someone is like standing on top of a mountain and shouting, "HEY EVERYONE, I'M NOT AN EMOTIONAL CRIPPLE!"   

My 5 Best Gifts is a recurring feature that asks people to give up the goods on the best gifts they've given or received. 

Sandra Espinet is a renowned designer who was named the 2010 Designer of the Year at the CH+D Awards.  She'll also be appearing in an episode of HGTV's newest show, HGTV'd, where designers show up at the homes of unsuspecting viewers primed to give them a home makeover.  

Here are her five best gift suggestions:

When it comes to gift giving, Sandra says that "the key is to think about the person you're gifting and know what they would like but wouldn't buy for themselves."  This is very true.  For example, I would love a treasure chest full of gold and jewels, but I wouldn't buy it for myself.  I need that money for alcohol. 

1. Rablabs Platters ($320, Reblabs): Like anyone who enjoys entertaining (in a non-sexual way), I am always on the hunt for unique serving platters.  Okay, not ALWAYS, but a lot of the time.  You get the point. "These elegant semi-precious stone and silver platters are perfect for displaying hors d'oeuvres," says Sandra.  They are also perfect for displaying appetizers.  What's the difference between "hors d'oeuvres" and "appetizers," you ask?  Hors d'oeuvres always involve either brie cheese or some sort of shellfish while appetizers are more like jalepeno poppers and potato skins.  Recognize.   

2. The iPad ($499, Apple): Ah, the iPad.  Terrible name, beautiful everything else.  Like most people who have been brainwashed into an allegiance with Apple Nation, I have been lusting after one forever.  But seeing as I already have an iPhone and a Macbook, I can't justify buying one for myself.  It's the classic struggle between a want and a need.  I don't NEED an iPad, but it WOULD be great if someone bought one for me, though.  "I've given away so many iPads to friends and family, Apple should be paying me for promoting their product," laughs Sandra.  Hey, Sandra, are you reading this? 

3. Straw Beach Tote  ($295, Tory Burch): I used to be very opposed to carrying bags because I thought they weighed me down. I was very dramatic about it.  I was all like, "THIS PURSE IS STANDING IN THE WAY OF MY SUCCESS."  But lately, I've realized that maybe I didn't want to stuff my wallet and my housekeys and my cell phone into my pockets like a teenage boy.  And so, I've embraced the tote bag Sandra says that this is a great one, and I definitely agree.   

4. Chocolate Ballotins ($15, Dean & Deluca): "It's not often that I'm spending so little on gifts, but I did give my building doorman these Dean & Deluca chocolates," says Sandra.  Cool, hope he's not reading this.  I'm sure he would have preferred the iPad. 

5. Home Couture Candle ($48, Sanda Espinet):  It's the unavoidable moment when you're in CVS and you end up spending $20 on candles that you realize, "I'm turning into my mother."  This was the woman who would drag you into Yankee Candle when you were an angry teenager and peruse the aisles while you would stand there and nearly pass out from the clashing smells.  But lately, I've been getting into candles, and this one, created by Sandra herself, is a great one.  "All of my friends have gotten one of these as a gift," says Sandra. "I always get thank you emails and comments on how great they smell.  I designed a beautiful white box with gold foil and a self wrapping white bow. The box is so pretty it doesn't even need to be wrapped."
HGTV'd premieres this Monday, June 6 at 9PM on HGTV.  Keep up with Sandra at her blog.

Wanna be featured in My 5 Best Gifts?  Email me

Reader Comments (1)

Love your gift ideas! I want to be your friend

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGRE

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