And the runners up from Favorite Things are …

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Last week, I published the list of my 10 favorite gift ideas.  The process of selection was

extremely difficult, and I distinctly remember a point in the afternoon on Friday when I

questioned my sanity for undertaking the task.  It felt like choosing between children … how

can you really pick a favorite without upsetting the others?  I don’t mean to call my readers

children, I am just searching for an appropriate metaphor to convey my angst.  There was so

much creativity and verve and great ideas that it made the task very hard.  Maybe it is

because I am so codependent, I don’t know.

Here is an idea for next year … I will compile the list of submissions and let YOU READERS

vote!  How is that for taking myself off the hook!

Whining aside, here is the complete list of submissions, broken down in general category of gifts.  There

are some really great ideas here, so please do check them out!  (And if I inadvertently left

you off and you submitted to the contest, let me know and I will add you!)  You can say whatever you want about me, but you can’t deny I have a tremendously diverse and creative group of readers!



  • Shop Candy Cartel – Customized candy bouquets!  Instead of flowers, the bouquets are

    made out of gourmet chocolates and hard candies.  Submitted by Kris Francisco.

  • Gift Baskets and Beyond – Unique baskets for any occasion. includes gourmet foods, like

    crackers, cheeses, cookies, candies, coffees, teas and much more. In addition to the

    gourmet foods, I carry many gift items, everything from picture frames, to tea pots, to

    candles to plush toys, and much more.  Submitted by Rosemarie Cardilla.

  • "Energetic 71-year old Jan’s Toffee" – there was not a website with this one, just a

    delightful note from Jan which said: "I am an energetic 71 year old that makes this

    absolutely delicious almond toffee.  So many people have said that I should sell it and

    perhaps this is my chance.  I am going to send you a heart as I know then you will also

    realize how super it is.  I have granddaughters that think it would be so much fun to have

    their grandma start a business like this and I do also."  I got the toffee heart Jan sent and it

    was delicious!  To order, email Jan Wigen.

Handcrafts and Art


  • Voici les violettes –  a line of practical, washable handmade items, made with linen and

    quality cottons,  that can be personalized with hand-embroidered monograms and simple

    designs.  Clients can even choose their fabric online!  Submitted by Christina.

  • Village Flutes – Beautiful, handcrafted Native American flutes. These are woodwind

    instruments patterned after those that have been crafted by the indigenous  peoples of North

    America for at least the last couple centuries.  Submitted by Jon Norris.

  • Visiopoetics:  Original oil paintings of poems, flowers, political figures and more are sure

    to bring additional vibrancy to the everyday lives of your loved one.  Submitted by Katelyn


  • Craftsbury Kids – It’s all the coolest toys and small business crafters. Really neat stuff!

    Submitted by Cecelia Leibovitz.

  • Paper Pastiche -Paper Pastiche can help you celebrate a special occasion with unique

    albums, journals, and cards. Each handmade, one-of-a-kind product is made from layers of

    fine papers or fabrics in different textures with the added dimension of recycled jewelry and

    metal scraps found in recycling centers, thrift shops, and flea markets.  Submitted by

    Maryann Cello.

  • Gathering from Sun to Sun – Craft patterns are the original shareware – collectible,

    re-useable, affordable fun… In a quality colorfully illustrated 8-page folded leaflet (including

    complete cross-stitch instructions) ‘Gathering from Sun to Sun’ gives a basket of symmetry

    & sunshine to teachers, crafters, folk art fans, cooks, gardening aficionados, or just anyone

    in the mood to join the young & avant-garde.  Submitted by Pointefrance.

  • Rain Drop Necklace – A

    handmade piece of jewelry which was designed for RAINN (they help victims of rape and
    incest) – 1/3 of the proceeds are donated to them. Submitted by Helen Makri.

  • Votive Tapas Sets – Votive Tapas sets, inspired by the delightful Mediterranean repast, are

    the perfect way to sample all five fragrances but are also ready for gift giving in a pretty white

    box with a clear top and white elastic bow. Votives in tall, elegant frosted glasses are

    nestled in fine white shred. Each Votive burns for 15 hours.  Contains one of each scent:

    Cinnamon Sandalwood, Grapefruit Ylang Ylang, Vanilla Lavender, Lemongrass Fennel,

    Coconut Bay Rum.  Submitted by Rachel Lane.

  • Homeportraits  – HomePortraits watercolor painting or pencil

    drawings are created just for you or as a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special.

    HomePortraits are created using photographs either recent or vintage, digital or paper. If fall

    or spring photos are taken, colors can be changed and greenery and flowers can be added. 

    Submitted by Robin Duty.

Independent Resellers

  • Burnlounge – For $29.95, you can give someone

    their very own music store!  That’s right – a store online where they can legally sell music –

    over 2 million titles, and then help support the bands they love.  When they sell, they get

    BurnReward credits towards music and merchandise – or they can upgrade and begin to

    make money from the store.  Submitted by Andy Greider.

  • 12 Days of Christmas by Arbonne – a daily gift of cosmetics or another

    treat for the special woman in your life.  Submitted by Leslie Howard.

  • Free financial needs analysis from Primerica Financial Services – It is a tool we use to

    determine how a family is doing financially: how much debt they’ve got and how to free them

    of it; how much (term) life insurance they need, and how on target they are in terms of

    retirement and college plans. (no URL, but if you live in the Miami area and are interested,

    email Submitted by Vivian Rodriguez.


  • In Perfect Order Organizing Services  – A blend of life coaching

    and home and life management tools. These tools are amazing for

    helping people who are ready to get into the ring with the morass of life choices that they

    have on their plate.  Can include coaching or a team of personal organizers who whip you

    into shape for the new year!  Submitted by Jessica Duquette.

  • The Technology Diet  – The Technology Diet helps small

    businesses who are sick of technology being a pain in the assets.  The 8-week

    teleconsulting program is limited to groups of 10 so that each participant gets the individual

    attention they need to really kick-start breakthough growth in their businesses. Submitted by

    Lena West.

  • The Sexy Gift Club – a service of gift products that spice up your romantic life.  Also (this has some rated R or more content, but was started by an

    ernest cubicle dweller who says "sadly, i still have to work.  but i know that when i go home

    i’ll be surrounded by products that make people feel good.  that helps me stand the pain.) Submitted by Miller Canning.

  • Permanent Eyebrows –  They are tattooed and are permanent and they give bald-browed

    women the freedom to swim, exercise, and simply touch their forehead without the fear of

    wiping them off. Guys love giving this as a gift because one stop and their shopping is done. 

    In addition this gift gives to the man as well.  He longer has to wait while his lady draws

    those brows on!  Not only that, the woman, every single time she gets ready she will be so

    thankful that she received those brows, and who knows where that will lead…..Submitted by

    Sharon Rood. (no URL as of publishing time – will update)

  • Drum Building Workshops –  drums and drum

    building workshops, where people come to Vermont for a week and build a drum and take

    dance, drumming and yoga classes.  Submitted by Talor Stewart.

  • A lightening round of laser coaching with Sylvia Warren – The 50-minute laser coaching

    session (via telephone) helps your special someone zero in on a major challenge s/he does

    not want to struggle with in 2007. Together, we find opportunity and options hidden by the

    challenge. This enables your special someone to see and know for sure what next steps

    they are inspired to take. (Pam’s bias:  Sylvia was my coach for awhile and is an amazingly

    wise and inspiring person.  I adore her, and think you might too)  Submitted by Sylvia Warren.



  • Direct Access is a  productivity tool for Windows. Type words to launch applications and

    insert boiler plate text. It’s a great gift because it offers people the most important asset:

    time.  Submitted by Andrea Nagar.

  • Art Affair – Artist Edition is a software application for artists. It helps them handle the

    business side of being an artist. Most artists are not especially proficient at things like

    inventory management, costing, pricing, invoicing or all the other things involved in actually

    making a living doing what they love. We hope to help them with these tasks and make their

    lives a little easier in the process.  Submitted by Deborah Miller.

  • JibberJobber – a career management toolset that allows you to keep track of

    relationships that you develop throughout your career and has a strong emphasis on job

    search.  Considering the average person changes jobs every 3 – 5 years, JibberJobber is a

    great long-term career management tool, and highly complementary to someone that is

    becoming an entreprenuer because of the strong relationship emphasis.  Submitted by

    Jason Alba.

  • Bingo Card Creator  – Software which creates bingo cards on a PC/Mac from a word list

    (you can input your own or use one of the included ones).  I originally developed it for

    teachers but as it turns out roughly half of my customers use it for other purposes, including

    corporate events, playing bingo at an old folk’s home, or Friday night bingo with the kids. 

    Submitted by Patrick McKenzie.

Miscellaneous Cool Products

  • Love’s Gift – Dowloadable ebook for healing the

    pain caused by death, divorce or separation.  Submitted by Caroline.

  • Kettlebell Beginner Lifting Kit  –
    A kettlebell looks like a bowling ball with a handle on it. It’s a (very) old way of working out

    that is slowly but surely coming back to prominence very, very quickly. The press around it

    has been amazing. KBC is responsible for implementing kettlebell training in Equinox,

    Crunch, New York Sports Clubs, Spectrum, and many, many other gyms around the

    country.  (Pam’s note:  a good step in the eradication of blogfat)  Submitted by David


  • Kustom Kanine – Tired of giving Fido the same old dog biscuits or

    squeaky toys for the Holidays? Why not give him something that will get him plenty of

    attention from friends and family? Custom dog clothing is a great gift for the dog that has

    everything or just for a pet that needs to express herself. Coats and hoodies provide cozy

    warmth during winter months and tees reduce shedding. Submitted by Katie & Marley.

  • The Billable Hour Clocks and Watches – Our

    Billable Hour watches and clocks have dials divided into six-minute increments—the same

    way lawyers (and many other professionals) bill their time.  Many professionals feel like they

    are slaves to the billable hour.  But how can something that you wear on you wrist or place

    on your desk ever take control of your life? A Billable Hour timepiece pokes fun at the mad

    scramble to meet billing quotas, and reminds you to use humor to reduce the weight you

    afford the billable hour in your professional life.  Submitted by Lisa Solomon.

  • Olympic Hot Tub  – Taking time to relax and take care is one of the

    most powerful things any business owner can do to find inspiration to achieve all that is

    possible.  In fact, Cunningham says many of her loyal and delighted clients call their hot

    tubs their "think tanks" because it is while soaking that they get their best business ideas

    and the good thinking to see them through. Submitted by Alice Cunningham.

  • Affirmawraps –  a line of personal affirmation blankets in fleece that

    celebrate big ideas such as abundance, love, joy, serenity, courage, strength, and

    motherhood. There are even Affirmawraps to celebrate new babies and even the four-legged

    friends in our lives. Submitted by Kristen Marie Schurlein.

  • Media-Savvy-To-Go tips booklets – two tips booklets

    that offer 147 proven, powerful ways to build business and profit from free publicity, along

    with lots of useful and free links to additional resources to help them publish their articles,

    post their news via free press release distribution services, launch a winning ezine, and so

    much more. Submitted by Nancy Juetten

  • Snoloha  – clothing inspired by a state of mind: "Whether you are

    half-way around the world visiting a foreign land, or sitting in your cubicle wishing you were

    somewhere else, Snoloha is that place where you feel relaxed, inspired, or energized.  In

    fact, the official Snoloha definition is “a lifestyle shared by those who live, play, travel,

    vacation, and simply enjoy life somewhere between the islands and the arctic.”  Submitted by Rod Call.

  • Sophie’s Touch – Merchandise  created as a reflection of Sophie, a beloved goldendoodle

    who passed on too soon. Products include  fleece blankets, dog beds with duvets,  rope

    toys, her collar bandanas etc.  We wanted to share our love and Sophie’s spirit with others &

    to help us get over our grief of losing her.  So, we decided to make more of the things Sophie

    loved and see if other pet owners would enjoy them as much as Sophie did. No URL for

    ordering yet, but if you are interested, send an email to, 

    Submitted by Trena Page, Deloree Burd and Rodie Burd.

  • Nice thought-provoking comment for Pam – "My first thought for a gift was something like "A

    Holiday Season That Doesn’t Start Until December". Close in the running were "A Holiday

    Season Where People Don’t Fight About Whether It’s A Holiday Or Christmas" and

    "Freedom From Crass Materialism, If Only For A Day" and even "A Spirit Of Giving That

    Lasts After New Years".  But then I realized that I am not an entrepreneur, because the

    things I think are of value this season I find I cannot give away, let alone sell. Submitted by

    Stephen Downes.

  • Mugshots  – custom cartoons of people’s pets onto bisque

    mugs, pet dishes, and treat canisters, or whatever else a customer requests. Then the

    bisque gets glazed and fired in a kiln. The finished result is really rockin. Submitted by Terri


  • Money, Meaning & Beyond  – This book is a fun

    and ‘sideways’ look at business and how the simplest things in life can be the key to

    business success. (ie: how does your sex life affect your business bottom line? ooo la la 😉

    it applies to biz owners at any stage who are looking to breakthrough to the next level of

    their business.  Submitted by Tina Forsyth.

  • Magnolia Branch  – Just under ten

    dollars, the Magnolia Flower Branch is an imitation flower made of wood.  They are a

    wonderful gift, because the luscious foliage and position-able bloom petals allow it to fill the

    space, above the vase it is placed in. They also carry many earthborn & handmade products

    like vases.  Submitted by Vincent Wilcox.

The story behind this post:  I have been trying to finish this  since Sunday.  It takes a long

time to get the information cutting and pasting from individual email submissions, editing the

description, then creating the hyperlinks.  I had been working on it for about 2 1/2 hours last

night (saving every 2 minutes) when all of a sudden I was kicked out of Typepad.  When I

logged back in, 2/3rds of the post was gone.  It was 1:30am, I was cranky and I almost

cried.  Oh well – I am sure there is a lesson somewhere in there, I just wanted to let you

know why it took so dang long to finish this post.  I swear, I had plans to publish it earlier! 

I really don’t know how my heroine Kathy Sierra has time to write long, brilliant posts with

tons of links and cool custom graphics and still find the time to work and put food on the

table.  You amaze me Kathy!

8 Responses to “And the runners up from Favorite Things are …”

  1. Great tips Pam.Thank you for the information.

  2. Flower Girl says:

    Thank you so much Pam for this blog…really it seems very inetresting…..and Harold! thanks for your tip too….

  3. Gourmet Food Gift

    Ultimate Gourmet Food Gift Baskets Gift Basket Food Jelly Bea

  4. Maybe you should use a desktop blog editor, like Qumana:

    [BTW, I have no interest or investment in Qumana]

    Thanks so much for the tip Harold! I know I am being silly composing posts solely in Typepad, I just didn’t know how else to do it.

    Even if you did have investmetn in Qumana, I wouldn’t care – as long as it works!

    I can’t wait to check it out.

    All the best,


  5. Pam, thanks so much for posting this – it is awesome to read about some of your other readers – ah, if we could only tap into more, like you do. I’m sure you agree that it is so enriching to learn from all of your blog readers – I have learned more from my blogging (dare I say) than I did in my MBA program! (

  6. Mike says:


    Social Media Network sounds fun, but I have a training program I was already registered for that night. I’ll have to plan better in 2007! 😉



  7. Mike says:


    Kathy’s secret to productivity is that she’s shirking her “Creating Passionate Users – The Book” duties!

    I really enjoyed your 500 word manifesto. It inspired/pushed me to publicly state a semi-secret goal. Thanks (I think)!


    I knew it Mike! I figured that Kathy either didn’t sleep or eat, had an evil twin who actually worked for a living, or was neglecting key tasks. Thank God she is human!

    And good for you for leaking out your secret plans. If you feel a bit terrified, you are in juicy territory, trust me.

    Hope to see you at the Social Media Network mtg next week since you are in AZ … worth a visit, don’t you think?


  8. Katelyn says:

    Thank you for posting this extended list, and for including Visiopoetics, Pam! I love how you have listed by category more of the fantastic submissions you received. That makes it easy and rewarding to read through them, and it really shows the diversity of your audience.

    I’ll greatly enjoy finding out more about these creative, entrepreneurial folks on their websites. Your runners-up post was truly a wonderful holiday gift to your readers!