My Favorite Things, 2014

It's time again for my annual, Oprah Winfrey-inspired "My Favorite Things" holiday gift guide and giveaway. And while I don't yell out, "You get a car! And you get a car!" the way that Oprah always did, I have pulled together some pretty amazing merchandise.

This year, the Daily News is giving away to 10 lucky winners a prize pack of gifts valued at more than $1,800. Each winner gets every single thing on the My Favorite Things list. The holiday loot includes Timberland boots and tickets to see "Motown the Musical" at the Academy of Music, plus makeup, jewelry, clothing, Eagles gear, hair and spa treatments, the latest Keurig coffee maker — and special treats from some of the city's biggest and poshest stores.

The 10 winners will be randomly selected. All you have to do is fill out a My Favorite Things entry coupon and mail or bring it to the Daily News offices. Entries must be received by noon Dec. 18. Gifts need to be picked up by Dec. 23.

Enter as many times as you want, but only with a coupon from the newspaper (no copies or faxes). Coupons will be published in the Daily News Dec. 1 through 14. Or, you can pick up a coupon at our offices, 801 Market St. 


BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
Michael Kors' bright-colored puffer jacket is just the thing for the next polar vortex. It's vibrant. It's on-trend. And it doesn't make you look snowman-shaped.
$190 at Macy's, 1300 Market St. and other locations, 215-241-9000, macys.com.


NEAT HEAT
Take the chill off winter by snuggling up to a newfangled Duraflame space heater from QVC with a realistic LED flame effect. And get this, it comes in different colors — ocean blue, cinnamon or even cream. It makes a great Christmas gift — if you can wait until then to open it.
$153.96 plus $21.97 for shipping and handling, QVC.com, 888-345-5788

.


TIMELESS TREASURES
Get these sterling silver hoop earrings for the woman in your life and I guarantee she'll swoon. They're classic Lagos — and therefore timeless.
$225 a pair at Lagos, 1735 Walnut St. and suburban locations, 215-567-0770, Lagos.com.


MOTOWN SOUNDS
I saw "Motown the Musical" on Broadway shortly after it opened and still haven't gotten over it. From the beginning until the last curtain call, I bopped in my seat as "Smokey Robinson" and "Diana Ross" sang Motown hits. The touring production will be in Philly Jan. 6 through 18 at the Academy of Music.
Cost of tickets in this giveaway: $200 for two, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999. KimmelCenter.org.

 


NICE KICKS
The arrival of Timberland's new Walnut Street shop was met with loud applause from fashionistas. And who knew the merchandise was so varied? Female winners will be awarded one pair of stylish Stratham Heights tall lace waterproof boots ($240). Male winners get a pair of the Heritage waterproof bomber boots.
Timberland boots, $240 (women's) or $200 (men's), 1709 Walnut St., 215-523-5750,Timberland.com.

 


FIRST, WE BOOED SANTA, NOW THIS ...
Philadelphia has addytude. That's why you've got to love this "We're From Philadelphia and We Fight" T-shirt from Philly Phaithful, a Northern Liberties-based business specializing in Philadelphia-centric sports apparel.
$24.99, Philly Phaithful, 737 N. 4th St., 888-474-2484, Phillyphaithful.com.


NEW, IMPROVED CUP O' JOE
Keurig has upped its coffee game with its latest coffee maker, which brews either a single cup or a four-cup carafe and has a strength-control setting for lighter or stronger brews. The new cherry and amethyst color options add a nice pop of color to your kitchen.
Keurig coffee maker, $199.99, Keurig.com, 866-901-2739.

 


BLING, BABY, BLING
Trendy rings sold at Smak Parlour are worn high up on the finger, near the nail, for extra flair. Another plus: They're inexpensive, so you can buy them in multiples.
About $10, Smak Parlour, 219 Market St., 215-625-4551, smakparlour.com.


GIFT CARDS GO WITH EVERYTHING!
Save yourself some agonizing and give her a gift card from the classy and classic Lord & Taylor department store. Let her choose from the latest in BCBG clothing, Coach purses and accessories and so much more.
$50 gift certificate, Lord & Taylor, 121 E. City Ave., Bala Cynwyd, and other suburban locations, 800-223-7440, lordandtaylor.com.

 


PUCKER UP
The Fashion Facez holiday lip collection by Philly-based makeup artist Tammi Toliver is just what you need to be lip-a-licious for the season. Each set comes with a matte liquid lipstick, a regular lipstick and a luxury lip gloss. Toliver spent 13 years honing her craft before taking the advice of actress Vivica A. Fox and launching her own makeup line.
$35 at La Reve Spa (255 S. 17th St.), Hair 4 U (1606 South St.) and AnBrea's Beauty Salon (4141 Ridge Ave.) and online at Fashionfacez.com, 267-767-3606.


HAPPY HOUR GIFT CARD
After you work up an appetite holiday shopping, stop by the Hard Rock Cafe. It has a kickin' happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Appetizers are half off, and you can get beer for $3 and wine for $4, which means a $25 gift card can go a long way.
$25 gift card in our giveaway, Hard Rock Cafe, 1113 Market St., 215-238-1000, hardrock.com.


READY, SET, SHOP
The designer discount mecca Century 21, which opened last month, is one of the most exciting things to hit Philly's shopping scene in years, with labels you just don't see everywhere, including Lanvin and Miu Miu. Every time I go in, my heart starts pounding with excitement. May we suggest a gift card for the fashionista on your list?
$100 gift card in our giveaway, 821 Market St., 888-221-2551, C21Stores.com.


LAYER UP
Long-sleeved tees and matching leggings by HeatTech not only keep you warm but minimize odor from perspiration. And the fabric is infused with camellia oil, which makes it soft. I wore a tee to the Philadelphia Marathon and was impressed with the generously long torso and sleeves. I'll be going back to Uniqlo to stock up on more.
HeatTech separates, $14.90 per item at Uniqlo, 1608 Chestnut St., 877- 486-4756, Uniqlo.com.


SIPPIN' AND STROLLING
One of my favorite Philly traditions is visiting the open-air German Christmas Market at LOVE Park. We're giving away gift cards that you can use to purchase lunch for two, including dessert and hot mulled wine.
Christmas Village, 15th Street and JFK Boulevard, open daily through Dec. 28.

 


FURRY MITTS
Furry fingerless mittens from Jocelyn and Peter Kate boutique keep your hands warm but leave your fingertips free for texting. They come in a variety of colors, including navy, cement and mahogany.
$65 from Jocelyn and Peter Kate boutique, 3830 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Del., 302-656-7463, Peterkate.com.

 


PAMPER TIME
Last month, I tried my first HydraFacial at Suede Salon and Spa in Marlton, N.J. Loved it! Each 20-minute session begins with a cleansing, followed by exfoliation. Next, a glycolic-salicylic product is applied and gunk extracted. After that, the technician applies products to nourish and hydrate your skin.
$99, Suede Salon & Spa, The Promenade, 500 Route 73, Marlton, N.J., 856-985-0700, suedesalonspa.com.

 


BLOWOUT BEAUTY
Philly-based attorneys Zakiya Theresa Black and Nirvana Dove used to find it difficult to keep up with hair appointments while logging late hours at work. So they created 1-year-old Zyn Beauty, which brings manicures, blowouts and other services directly to customers. I tried the service last month and was impressed — not just with the skill of their people but also with their speed. They had me glam in no time.
$65 for a wash, blow dry and curl, zynbeauty.com, 267-536-5728. (Note: There are some travel restrictions, so if you work or live far afield, you may be outside Zyn Beauty's service area. Gratuities are not included.)


SNUGGLE TIME
A plush Eagles blanket is just the thing for any 12th man in your life.
$49.95 from the Eagles ProShop, online at store.philadelphiaeagles.com, 267-570-4800 .


LA DOLCE TREAT-A
What's Christmas without a little Panettone di Milano? This traditional sweet bread is studded with candied citron, lemon zest and raisins. Use it to make French toast on Christmas morning. Yum!
$9.99, available at Costco and other grocers. bauliusa.com


MAKING EYES
The Sephora 4 Eye Look Book not only has everything you need to create a smoky eye — or maybe a metallic one — but also includes step-by-step instructions for those two looks, and two others as well. The price is right, too.
$29, Sephora, 1714 Chestnut St., 215-563-6112, Sephora.com.


HAPPY FEET
Roll-up-able slippers by Flat Out of Heels are sturdy enough for everyday use but designed to tuck into your purse. Bring them out when your high heels start killing your feet. They come in cool metallic colors, and they're available in sizes up to 14.
$19.99, FlatoutofHeels.com.

 


RUNNING SAFE
I was vacationing in Arizona earlier this year when I spotted these tiny flashing LED lights on runners at night. The battery-powered twinklers make athletes visible without weighing them down with bulk.
$9.99, Athlights.com, 888-985-3505.


MIX AND MATCH
I have plenty of plates but never enough Fiesta dinnerware. It's made in America, the quality's great and it comes in a variety of colors including lemongrass, poppy and turquoise. For me, the new square-handled serving trays in our prize pack were love at first sight.
$36.99, made and sold by the Homer Laughlin China Co., HomerLaughlin.com, 800-452-4462.

 


POP-TASTIC
Garrett Popcorn is a Chicago hometown favorite. I first learned about it from Oprah, who used to rave about it on her talk show. Every time I'm in Chi-Town, I have to have some. A gallon tin makes a great family gift. My favorite is a mixture of the cheese and caramel, which is what we're giving away.
$49.95, Garrettpopcorn.com, 888-4-POPCORN.


THE EYES HAVE IT
Bobbi Brown's makeup philosophy is, "Be who you are." In other words, enhance what's there. Her Warm Glow Eye Palette, with colors in various shades of neutral, is fabulous.
$75, BobbiBrownCosmetics.com, 877- 310-9222.


BOTTOMS UP
Bank & Bourbon, inside the Loews Hotel at 12th and Market streets, serves a drink based on a milk punch recipe from Ben Franklin himself. It contains aged whiskey, green tea, lemon and clarified milk and is served in a small apothecary bottle.
$24 for two drinks, Bank and Bourbon, 1200 Market St., 215-231-7300, BankandBourbon.com.

 


BANGLES THAT GIVE BACK
These beautifully simple "I Love Peace" bracelets were made by artisans in Laos using metal from Vietnam War-era bomb and plane parts, and other aluminum scrap. The price includes a donation to help remove mines from bomb-littered land.
$50, Article22.com.


SKATE CITY HALL
Looking for fun things to do with the kids over the holidays? Let them try out the new Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park next to City Hall.
$24 covers skating and skate rental for two, Rothman Rink, 15th and Market streets, 215-983-1291, ccdparks.org.

 


COLOR ME BRIGHT
What to get Uncle Ned or that guy in the next cubicle whose name you drew in your office Secret Santa? How about a pair of brightly colored men's socks? The website Hook + Albert carries some of the snazziest patterns around, made of durable Peruvian cotton.
$30, HookandAlbert.com.

 


SPARKLE TIME
John Wind Maximal Art, based in Aston, has been creating beautiful treasures since 1985. The gem earring and necklace set that's part of our prize pack is no exception. Get her the dazzling, well-priced set, and enjoy the payback.
$59, Maximalart.com, 800-573-3308.


SIPPY SIP
When it's cold out, there's nothing better than a steaming hot mug of tea. I've been enjoying mine in a Nordic reindeer mug from David's Tea, which recently opened at King of Prussia Mall. I'm also working my way through the shop's tea lineup. The Winter Tea Collection in our prize pack has five soul-satisfying flavors, including apple custard and vanilla chai.
Reindeer mug ($22.50) and Winter Tea Collection ($27.50), David's Tea, 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-768-7143, DavidsTea.com.

 


UP AND OVER
My long-legged nieces love over-the-knee socks. The girls have them in black — but not in this gray argyle design with crochet lace ruffle and bow trim from Dainty Lady Socks, sold by Coco Rain. Not yet, anyway.
$12, coco-rain.squarespace.com, 888-985-3505.


BOOST YOUR WINE IQ
My recent vacation to Napa Valley only whetted my appetite for learning about wine. That's why the Develop Your Wine IQ class at Pinot Boutique in Old City appeals to me. Dan Soskin started his workshops in 2006 after his own trip to wine country. Students in the IQ class taste three kinds of wine.
$50 (for a Wine IQ workshop for two), Pinot Boutique, 227 Market St., 215-627-9463, Pinotboutique.com.

Continue Reading