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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: 100 San Diego Gifts

Six local tastemakers share what they're gifting this season, plus editors' picks



Feeling the pressure of finding the perfect gifts? Leave the scouting to these six stylish, thoughtful San Diegans. Here, they explain their gifting MO and share 58 ideas for this holiday season, plus picks from our editors.


Choose a Category

For The Ladies
For The Gents
For The Kids
For The Adventurers
For the Hosts

For The Ladies

By Jenny Livits
Founder, Pink Lagoon

A San Diego native and mom of two, Livits, 39, opened her Solana Beach boutique in the Cedros Design District in 2007. But that doesn’t mean the entrepreneur—who describes her style (and shop inventory) as playful with “a little bit of boho glam”—just pulls from her own shelves when gift season rolls around. “I believe the people I love should treat themselves,” she says. “I give healthy gifts like massages, facials, or gift certificates to encourage people to go out and create an experience.” And it’s a giving philosophy that keeps on giving. “Getting those gifts makes me carve out time to do something I may not have originally thought to!” One perk of her job is the occasional gift to herself she finds while buying for the store. Exhibit A: The Julez Bryant ring she bought to mark her first year of business and her daughter’s birthday. “I still smile every time I look at that ring.”

Kjaer Weiss cream blush is my go-to blush. It provides both moisture and natural color to the skin while fighting signs of aging.”

$56, Credo, Westfield UTC 

“The Julez Bryant Raya ring in 18K yellow gold with white diamonds is designed by hand in SoCal.”

$1,316, Pink Lagoon, Solana Beach

“These 14K gold Suzanne Kalan hoops allow jewelry lovers to customize with an assortment of colored gem charms.”

$396–$935 for hoops and $68–$110 for charms, Pink Lagoon, Solana Beach 

Brooke Gregson’s Icicle Dark Pink Tourmaline Silk Silver Bracelet is 14K gold, handwoven silk, and the silver chain makes the wrist shine with bright bezel pink tourmaline.”


“Fornasetti’s Ultime Notizie Scented Candle has a delicious floral fragrance that burns for 60 hours—and it’s allergen free.”

$195, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Valley 

“I fell in love with the lush fabrics and intricate beading of Les Petits JoeursNano Trilly Disco Heart Pouch.”


LN KnitsBig Bertha Scarf is oversized and luxurious. It’s hand-knit with the finest alpaca yarn.”

210€ ($240) 

“Hanky Panky’s signature thongs are knit with delicate details and high-quality materials for comfort for everyone. Plus, they’re one size fits all!”

$22, hankypanky.com

“This non-greasy Youth Body Serum by Agent Nateur gives you a smooth, hydrated complexion even during the winter months.”


Apothia’s IF Roll-On Perfume is a sensual experience. It’s fresh, clean, and light with notes of grapefruit and white flowers.”


Alexandre Birman’s versatile suede Kittie 50 Bootie is a standout item for the perfect winter look.”





Editors' picks


Coconut Beauty Besties

$40, Kopari 

Sea & Grass Camryn Tote

$108–$114, Rica Boutique, La Jolla

Mali Sunglasses

$89, Solo Eyewear

SLIP Silk Pillowcase

$84, Tucci Boutique, Del Mar and Solana Beach 

Kiva Confections Blueberry Terra Bites

$28, Torrey Holistics, Sorrento Valley 

Feminist stoneware mug

$16, Graffiti Beach, South Park

Claria Necklace

$120, Parpala Jewelry, Downtown

Lawless Beauty Soft Matte Liquid Lipstick

$25, SeaMakers & Co., La Jolla 

 Baggu Go Pouch Set

$38, Gold Leaf, South Park 


For The Gents

By Tim Melideo

"Whatever Paul Newman might have worn. Classic ’60s/’70s Americana with a rock ’n’ roll twist.” That’s Melideo’s style in a nutshell. If you’re not yet one of his 75,000 Instagram followers, maybe you’ve seen the Allied Gardens resident, 34, on photo shoots around town. On Christmas Eve, his family tradition is to eat a Neapolitan pizza next to the tree with his wife and son, whom he refers to as the best gift he’s ever given. “My wife and I surprised my parents and in-laws with a picture of the ultrasound; they had no idea and all thought we weren’t having kids.” In most instances, though, he opts for ol’ Saint Nick’s tried-and-true trick: “Stick to the list.”

“We make pizza several times a week because the Ooni Uuni 3 Pizza Oven is so damn easy, and it makes an amazing pie.”

$300, Ace Hardware stores, Liberty Station, Pacific Beach, 4S Ranch 

“I carry the Minimalist Leather Watch in my online store, Stay Classic. It’s good quality, goes with everything, and it’s only $35!”


You and YoursSunday Gin makes for an amazing martini or sour. And the tasting room is Instagram gold!”

$38, East Village 

“Everyone needs a weekender, and ZB Savoy’s Wax Canvas Weekender looks great and supports local artisans. Founder Zach Barnhorst makes this bag by hand.”

$290, Little Italy 

“My favorite basic tee goes to Lone Flag’s Basic Pocket Curved Hem in sand. I love the little detail of the pocket, and a white tee is essential to a guy’s wardrobe.”

$45, Encinitas 

Dark Horse is the best coffee roaster in San Diego, hands down. A subscription is a perfect gift idea, or just a bag of beans… or 10 bags of beans.”

Starting at $22 per month, various locations 

Devil’s Share Whiskey is great for sipping or mixing, and it’s local!”

$130, Cutwater Spirits, Miramar 

“The Balboa Park Explorer Pass gives you access to almost every museum at Balboa Park. It’s convenient to have, especially for those days when you can’t figure out something to do.”

Starting at $99 per year 

Fellow ProductsStagg Kettle is the sexiest kettle I’ve ever seen, and it goes well with your Dark Horse beans.”



American Crew has my favorite hair product—the Firm Holding Gel.”


Remmy Sunglasses—made by Raen in Oceanside!—come in 24 colors. I have been rocking the Honey Havana color lately.”


Atlas Supply Co. carries a nice minimal leather camera strap, the Copper Camera Strap, that I use on a variety of cameras.”



Editors' picks

Tomo Volume One Spikeless Golf Shoes


Kore Short

$68, Vuori, Encinitas 

Woods & Spirits Four Soap Gift Set

$58, Mistral 

Montcalm Sports Fit Shirt

$168, Rodd & Gunn, UTC 

Angara BBQ Table

$2,950, iBBQ, Del Mar 

Comfort Air chair

$2,299, Nativa Interiors, La Jolla and Solana Beach 

Scorpion Pepper vodka

$30, 619 Vodka, North Park

Whiskey Barrel 47MM Watch

$279, Original Grain 


Photo: Eric Blackmon

For The Kids

By Faithe Herman

When she’s not playing Annie Pearson on NBC’s This Is Us and preparing for her big-screen debut as Darla Dudley in DC Comics’ Shazam! in April 2019, Herman, 10, is blending in back home in San Diego. And while the young star loves dressing up for her premieres, she prefers being more laid-back with her nearest and dearest. “I have a big family and love doing things with them during the holidays,” she says. “We bake cookies Christmas Eve, decorate the house and tree together. I love our Christmas dinners!” And then there’s her personalized gift-giving. “I once made my mom a People magazine cover of me talking about my mom.” As for the best gift she’s ever received? “My Pandora bracelet my parents gave me. I wear it all the time and love to collect the charms. I have a Canada charm from when I visited, drama masks for my acting, a birthday cake for my 10th birthday, and so many others.”

“I just love my Pandora bracelet. And the charms help me remember special moments.”


Craft Corn is the best snack to munch on while watching This Is Us. My favorite flavors are caramel cheddar and buffalo ranch.”

$6–$15 per bag, Craft Corn Shop, Solana Beach 

"Relaxing is easy with Lush bath bombs. They’re so much fun, and smell so good.”

$5–$11, Fashion Valley, Westfield UTC

“I’m always totally surprised when I open a Poopsie Slime Surprise. Each one is so different!”

$10, amazon.com

“My Fjällräven Kånken Mini Backpack is just the right size for me to carry my important things.”

$70, Urban Outfitters, various locations 

“Accessorizing is always fun, especially with my cute Unicorn Critter Purse by Hanna Andersson.”

$30, Westfield UTC 

“On those long drives to LA or just traveling, having my Nintendo Switch makes the time fly by. Super Mario Party is my favorite to play. All the mazes are so fun!”

$300, Target, various locations

“I like having somewhere that is my place to go and hang out, like in my White and Pink Trim Mini Teepee.”

$179–$259, Westfield UTC; potterybarnkids.com

Mel Ultragirl Elements by Melissa are my go-to flats. They are so comfy and trendy with dresses, skirts, and paired with some cute jeans. Let’s not forget they smell good, too!”


“Everyone could use a hug from a Giant Teddy Bear. Big Plush makes them five feet tall, and with options to personalize!”


“When I have no one to play with at home, these are my girls. You can even buy the DC Super Hero Girls action figures in a pack of nine.”

$75, Walmart; shop.mattel.com




Editors' picks

Indy Plush Pink Animal Pillow

$47, Room & Board, Westfield UTC 

Blue Ikat Fringed Booties

$40, Blaze + Wander

"Fast As Lightning" Football Tee

$36, Mini Market by Van De Vort, Del Mar 

“Make it a Good Day” by Jennifer Universe

$17, Warwick's, La Jolla 

The Bee & the Fox “Free as a Bird” onesie

$25, Moonshadow, Encinitas 

Holiday Lola dress

$58-$64, Five Loaves Two Fish, Fashion Valley and UTC 

Moon Stud Earrings

$75, Brilliant Earth, La Jolla 

Bobboi Natural Gelato Pint Club membership

$129 per year, Bobboi Natural Gelato, La Jolla 

Kids Classic Metallic Pons

$54, Avarcas USA


Photo: Carlo Aranda

For The Adventurers

By The Robertsons
Cofounders (and Chief Joy Officer), Rove

Dinosaurs, trucks, and bright colors aside, you’ve got to give Henry, 3, props for the functionality of his personal style. “He loves whatever lets him run, jump, and climb,” explains Jenna, 35, and Blake, 34. In sum, he takes after his parents. After a seven-month-long trip that took them to 19 countries, they were inspired to open up their Normal Heights shop in 2016 for fellow mountaineers and travelers to find suitable gear. Curating a boutique has taught the family, who resides in La Mesa, a thing or two about gift giving. Their advice: Think “personal, meaningful, useful, and, whenever possible, playful.” Consider a homemade fort-building kit they put together for Blake’s brother and family. “It included a sheet, rope, clips, hooks, glow sticks and a few other useful items for building a blanket fort. It’s been in regular use for the past three years.”

Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech Cubes is the product the first-time traveler doesn’t know they need. These smaller bags packed inside your luggage will save time—and your wits—as you search for the one particular item.”

$40, Index Urban, Hillcrest 

“Even with all the resources the internet has to offer, there’s nothing quite like a good field guide to inspire and inform. Wildsam creates guides with input from locals.”

$20, Moniker General, Liberty Station 

“Sierra Shack makes a pop-up two-person tent that’s also modular, allowing multiple units to zip together. Add a second or third tent to accommodate a growing family, and zip them back apart when you’re ready for your own space again.”

$140, Rove, Normal Heights 

“Great for kids and adults, a small travel watercolor set is a fun way to spend some time at camp or document a place you visit. This would be on Jenna’s list, if she didn’t already have it.”

$19, Artist & Craftsman, Hillcrest

Bradley Mountain’s Utility Roll in field tan waxed canvas is the perfect place for small tools and items.”


“Whether shopping for food or souvenirs, having a lightweight, packable Baggu Standard Tote at the ready is a must.”

$10, Maven, Normal Heights

“With a long heritage in rugged footwear, Danner boots are a true adventure companion. The Mountain 600 model suits most needs.”

$200, Rove, Normal Heights

Parks Project T-shirts are great-looking and great-feeling shirts that give money straight to work being done to preserve and protect these spaces.”


“When a proper wood fire while camping is not an option, the Radiate Portable Campfire is a magical alternative. Made from recycled soy wax, paper pulp, and perlite, it produces an impressively large flame.”

$36 for a two-pack, Warshaw’s Provisions, South Park 

“Originally started as a one-woman operation in San Diego, Static Climbing makes a Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag that’s one of the most stylish chalk bags out there.”


Klean Kanteen’s Kid Classic Sippy is the best bottle for your little adventurer—Henry approved. It has a toddler sippy cap, and you can just swap the sport cap onto the same bottle when they are ready to upgrade.”


“For the photographer on your list, you can’t beat the innovative design and attention to detail from Peak Designs’ EveryDay Sling 5L. It’s a perfect on-the-go camera bag with room for just critical gear.”

$100, George’s Camera, North Park 

“An upgraded version of the ubiquitous yoga tight, Fjällräven’s Abiko Trekking Tights are packed with technical features for the trail.”

$175, Rove, Normal Heights 

Aret Basewear was started by three San Diego women who climb, but were underwhelmed by standard sports bras. Their Toura bra is designed for women with more developed upper bodies.”





Editors' picks

Grace Powerbank

$50, STM 

Rose Facial Mist & Toner

$17, Mr. B’s Necessities, Oceanside

Cactus Wall Decor

$68, Child of Wild, Ocean Beach 

Compass Mini Stoneware Trinket

$10, Graffiti Beach, South Park 

The Scout pack

$235, Bradley Mountain 

Nikon D3500

$500, George's Camera, North Park 


For The Hosts

By Rachel Moriarty
Owner/Principal Designer, Rachel Moriarty Interiors

Given she’s built her personal style and interior design firm around hand-me-downs (La Jolla residents might also remember her former vintage children’s boutique, Posies), it’s no surprise Moriarty, 49, flees to the flea market for her holiday shopping. “To me it’s so fun to speak to a maker at a market,” says the Chula Vista resident, who also cohosts the podcast Design+Style. “I pick up on their passion for what they’re creating, and I love to pass that magic along to friends or loved ones. The gift becomes bigger than the actual thing. It’s about connection.” Her pointers for plucking the perfect present? Consider the recipient’s favorite color, favorite travel destination, or hobby. Then think as her idol Iris Apfel does—“More is more and less is a bore”—and “get super creative about wrapping it!”

“Designers love a good ‘shelfie,’ and this Anouk Small Air Plant Holder works as a bookend or on top of a book stack.”

$76, Double Happiness Jewelry & Home, Liberty Station Public Market

“I want to sneak into Baker & Olive with a big baguette one day to try every single one of their infused balsamic vinegar and olive oils. The Fig Balsamic is perfect for the foodie in your life.”

$18–$35, Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Liberty Station

“There’s nothing like the gift of original art. Ann Golumbuk stole my heart with her colorful mixed media. It has so much heart and intention in the layers.”

Prices vary.

“Bar carts are all the rage, and it’s important they look stylish too. The Vodka Rocket Decanter is a must-have, and it’s available for whiskey and gin!”

$148, Love & Aesthetics, Little Italy, North Park 

Mr. Ken Fulk’s Magical World is the most gorgeous coffee table book, from the outside cover to the gold-trimmed pages and the impeccably creative interiors.”

$75, Warwick’s, La Jolla 

“I like a little ‘tray chic’ spot to place my jewelry before going to bed. Jonathan Adler’s Les Girls Rectangle Tray is right next to mine.”


“Let’s just say the ‘calories’ canister is the tamest of Jonathan Adler’s Vice Collection Canisters! There’s one to suit every one of your gift recipients.”


“I’m obsessed with these colorful beaded coasters from Anthropologie.”

$10 per coaster, Fashion Valley, Forum at Carlsbad, Westfield UTC

“Every home needs living plants. They’re a decorator’s secret styling weapon. The girls at Socalisucculents create the most adorable arrangements, and I love that they’re based near me in the South Bay.”

Prices vary 

Editors' picks

MINNA Abstract Throw Hunter Green

$350, SoLo, Solana Beach 

Baby Clydesdale 3 Pack


Ceramic piece

$350, Skoby Joe Ceramics

Rebel Coast Cannabis-Infused Sauvignon Blanc

$60, Torrey Holistics, Sorrento Valley 

Handmade Throw Pillow

$46, Rustics by TL 

Holiday Candles

$28 each, Often Wander at Noon, Ocean Beach

 Mesteeso Coffee subscription

$15 per week - $58 per month, Mesteeso Coffee 

Buho Cutlery Set

$215 AUD ($155 US), Lorena Gaxiola 

Pumpkin Spice Granola Butter

$13, Kween 

Dessert Inspired Candles

$20-$42 each, Extraordinary Desserts, Balboa Park and Little Italy 


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