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Melody's Gift Giving Guide

"I can see a lot of light in you."
I've come to believe Christmas will happen if I do anything or not. I might be less prepared, my friends and family will get less stuff from me, but it will still happen.
This year I was focused on finals the first half of this month, last week my brain was taken up with throughts of my best friend getting married. Now she's safely on her honeymoon with her lovely new husband, Scott, and I'm finally turning my thoughts toward Christmas cheer.
I'm trying not to purchase any presents this year. Instead I'm making most. Since I learned to water color, I'll be painting many of my presents this year.
In fact for my best friend, Corrie's, wedding I painted a picture of her and Scott based off one of their engagement photos. They used it for the guest book table. - I was so honored.

My in-laws are also getting a water color, which I would post but I'm pretty sure my dear MIL would pick this week to randomly look at my blog and then it would spoil the surprise.

I'm trying not to buy presents this year, unless they're really cool. What's cooler than cool this year are Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates made in Humboldt County California by two of the most talented individuals I have ever met, Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor.

I grew to know and love these guys through their bluegrass band, Huckleberry Flint. My husband and I would frequent Eureka's monthly art walk and they'd be there, filling up the street with great music and dancing people.

I did numerous stories about this band through out my rock journalism career in Humboldt County. I also did a story about Adam and his friends (Dustin included) rebuilding a Nordic folk boat in Adam's backyard. These guys can do anything they set their minds to and they recently set their minds to starting a chocolate factory.

Here's a facebook interview:

Melody - Did you guys just wake up one morning and say, "Let's go into the chocolate business?"
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate - Something like that. We saw a little vimeo video about the Mast brothers and their chocolate company in Brooklyn. Adam and I were very inspired by the look and feel of their operation, and decided to look into what it takes to make chocolate. After a little research, we began buying and building the tools needed to start making single origin bean-to-bar chocolate. We are having a lot of fun crafting the chocolate, and creating this little business. It really was a natural progression from carpentry.

Obviously... that's why most carpenters turn into chocolatiers in their early and mid-thirties... totally natural.

All that to say, I'm ordering ten bars of Dick Taylor Chocolates for my loved ones this year. Hand-crafted, bean-to-bar chocolates made in my home-town by two of my very favorite musicians. It doesn't get better than that.

Other gift giving suggestions:
Shopping in Sacramento - I try to avoid the malls at all cost so here are some local midtown shops I'm kinda in love with.
    Jewelery at C&C
  • Looking to buy for that cool-indie-darling sister, aunt, mom, sister-in-law, or even a stylish brother? - Crimson and Clover -Word on the Facebook is they'll even be open Christmas eve for last minute shopping. Buying used and vintage clothes is always ethical. The money goes back into the local economy and you aren't supporting companies unscrupulous labor practices. 
  • Vintage YSJ - Also for the indie-chic friend or relative interested in unique vintage fashion. This mother daughter team runs a tightly beautiful vintage ship with many drool worthy pieces in a wide range of sizes. For people outside the area, check out their Etsy shop. Although it might not arrive in time for Christmas.
  • For the cyclist on your list check out City Bike Works - as a cyclist I never run out of want for new cycling accessories. A better light and cup holder are top of that list for me right now.
  • For fun/interesting stocking-stuffers - and maybe a gift for that hard-to-buy-for uncle, check out NewsBeat. I could get lost in this store and it's not that big. Thumbing through magazines and checking out their massive supply of imported candies. It's a good time.
I also have to plug some of my favorite Humboldt stores for my far-north readers:
  • For any girl with an ounce of style on your list - Dotty May's Closet, right off the plaza. They carry loads of wonderful local designers like, Nicoletta Leonardo Design and Rochelle Fugate's Design. Also their hand-picked selection of retro-fem apparel is just too fun. 
  • For grandma, aunt, mom or even dad/uncle - Plaza Design has gift for almost anyone. I love their selection of Fire and Light recycled glassware, leather hobo purses, and gorgeous housewares.
  • Shipwreck is another one of my favorite Humboldt Stores and I can usually find delightful gifts for almost anyone in their indie-tastic mishmash of pretty and functional, vintage, hand-made and re-purposed items. 


Nicoletta said…
Great guide! Thanks for the shout out! Took your advice and bought a Dick Taylor chocolate bar as a gift today, at Dottie May's in fact! Wishing I had bought one to try myself now!

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