Having Trouble Finding the Pefect Birthday Present? I've Got Something For Everyone!

Today is Jeffrey’s birthday. Jeffrey is a good friend and neighbour who was pretty hard to shop for.

It got me to thinking that many people fall into this category and how it seems every time a birthday arises, I am struggling to find the perfect gift.

Take Cindy for example. She just moved to the city and I had planned on getting her these Zen noodles bowls that were pretty, but just okay for a housewarming present. Then I saw a Hello Kitty bowl that was absolutely perfect and all within a couple of days of seeing her and her new place for the first time.

It was a happy accident, but there’s not always time to spend searching around town for something that’s just right.

So I’ve culled some items that I think will really wow the crowd and most importantly, give you the space to breathe easy, knowing that you got the perfect present.

Happy Birthday, Jeffrey and Happy Friday to everyone!

Stephanie Dickison
Publisher & Editor – the knack

Kena Kai Wallets

The Kena Kai Women’s Zippered DataSafe Wallet is a fantastic gift for the traveler.

Their site isn't working today, but you can see/buy it here.

It has a zipper closure that goes around 3 sides, keeping all of your cards, money and receipts from falling out - perfect for my friend Allison!

I chose Cherry Red which I think looks fantastic, but there’s a bunch to choose from to suit your style and mood. The leather is thick and sumptuous, yet durable enough to stand up to a great deal of travel – and ahem, lots and lots of shopping.

I think this wallet has more slots for cards than I’ve ever seen. It has 19, including one for a picture ID and 8 pockets to store things in, including one for your bills. There is a sturdy zippered pocket on the outside for change, tokens etc.

I like the passport size and feel and that you don’t have to turn the wallet on its side to use the pockets or get at your cards like most wallets.

All Kena Kai products – both for men and women – use “an exclusive radio-frequency (RF) blocking lining to protect the personal data that is now stores on credit cards, epassports, and soon driver’s licenses,” keeping you protected from any “wireless theft.”

See the whole collection and protect yourself.

Mistral Soaps

Mistral wants you to “experience the scents and colors of Provence as part of your daily bath and beauty moments.”

Now doesn’t that sound like a nice way to indulge someone that you care about?

Their selection of products is phenomenal! They have shea butter soaps, liquid soaps, hand creams, body lotions, bath and shower items in a bevy of scents to choose from.

Their French Shea Butter Soaps are lovely, creamy and fragrant. I tried South Seas, which is a lovely clean scent, complete with grapefruit, white flowers and soft woods. And Gardenia smells like an English Garden with its blend of gardenia, fresh jasmine, orange blossom and a hint of vanilla.

Bath Salts always makes a nice relaxing choice for the overworked person whom you haven’t seen without their Palm attached to their ear since the late 90s.

The Melon Pear Bath Salt Packet smells sweet and warm and is a great way to soak away the stresses of the day. The Green Fig will revitalize tired muscles and quiet the mind with orange blossoms, crushed green fig leaves, spicy green pepper, lemon peel, fresh basil and cedarwood.

What a wonderful way to end the day!

To keep hands soft, rich Shea Butter Hand Creams will pamper rough, tired hands quickly and without a greasy feeling. Your hands will instantly feel softer. Ahh. Doesn’t that feel better?

Milk smells like a light baby powder (it’s actually mimosa, white musk and cedarwood with milk proteins) and Lavender is a great relaxing scent that instantly soothes the soul.

And for the full enrichment present, 100% Pure Shea Butter is the way to go! According to Mistral:

“The highly emollient, 100% natural white butter comes from the nuts of the African Shea Tree, and is harvested in accordance with sacred custom. Mistral Shea Butter is also enriched with calendula flower extract, a plant that soothes skin irritation and promotes healing. Shea Butter and Calendula rejuvenate your skin and restore suppleness and tone.”

And it comes in different scents and can be used on your lips, hands, face and body. I like the Verbena for its fresh lemony scent and Wild Blackberry for something completely different.

Take someone on a fragrant journey with Mistral.


Do you know someone that is always on the go?

Then perhaps Cellkeeper is just the thing to help them stay connected while on the move!

It’s a unique way to carry your cell that frees your hands and keeps it close by and safe without having to carry a bag with you.

And it doesn’t have to be used just for your cell. Imagine travelling with your digital camera safely and securely across your chest so that you can flip through the guide book, look at the map and eat your ice cream cone without having to carry your phone or an extra bag.

What I love about this design is that you don’t have to scramble and rustle through your bag trying to find your cell as it rings – just take it out of the Cellkeeper instantly!

You can wear the Cellkeeper around your waist or across your chest and it comes in a host of styles and materials. I got the Professional, so that it can house my smartphone, which I never leave the house without.

And although it is not real leather, it sure looks and feels it! The black goes with everything and has silver-plated hardware & metal halter square.

The features include: extra-wide pocket flap with expandable snap closure, adjustable shoulder strap, id window, key hook, zippered internal coin pocket, lip gloss/pen sleeve, 3 credit card sleeves, internal cash pocket, exterior pocket to hold all your portable electronics. Elasticized side panels of pocket expand to fit any size cell phone, iPod, Blackberry, Treo, pocket PC and digital camera.

So you can go and get groceries or travel to Guadalajara and keep your cellphone or camera with you, along with all of those necessary items such as keys, money and ID.

The gift of freedom. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Handmade Jewellery from Margie Jewellery Studio

Gosh, giving someone handmade jewellery is almost as sweet as making someone a homemade pie (and since I can’t bake, you’re getting jewellery...).

I recently wrote about the amazing work of Michelle Goldfinger in my Father’s Day piece and her awesome King Cufflinks (See? There’s something for both the ladies and the gents here!).

And she continues to make evocative pieces with her necklaces. Not only that, they are incredibly affordable, especially considering the work, labour and materials involved.

And the heart. Oh my god the heart.

I love the Abacus Necklace, which is large and colourful and so much fun!

It is handmade with flameworked beads (you can choose the combination of colours – mine is a medley of periwinkle, lime, orange and black to mention only a few, as there are 25 beads!) and hand fabricated sterling silver.

It is a knockout and even has a beautiful bead at the clasp! What a lovely touch.

The abacus part is quite big, which is nice considering that I don’t wear prints and tend to favour black dresses and tops. It adds both colour and flair to my standard pieces, and for that, I’m eternally grateful!

Also stunning is her handmade Brass Fused Flower Necklace. There isn’t a picture up currently, but the glass square kind of looks like the one here on the journal.

Combining brass, antiques brass, fused glass, handmade glass and a handmade glass bead, this gorgeous glass stone against an abstractly painted brass square, it says avant-guarde artist or simple art appreciator, of which I certainly consider myself the latter.

It is art on a chain, and for that, isn’t $60 an insanely low amount to pay? I think her stuff is worth two, three, four times that much, but I do appreciate that she makes jewellery art that I can afford.

Michelle has a really eye for both colour and design and she makes items that not only look great, but standout from the crowd.

See what else she has today – it’s always changing, so be sure to check in and check back often!

HoMedics Fountains

HoMedics is a company that makes massagers, sleep aids and a ton of stuff to help you relax and recharge.

One of the coolest things I found on their site was their EnviraScape Fountains.

To me, there is nothing more relaxing than the sound of a waterfall, and to be able to bring that sense of calm and relaxation into your home for $20-$30 seemed too good to be true.

It’s got to be really noisy. All you’ll hear is the motor. It’s going to look awful.

I thought all of the negative thoughts and then it arrived and it was everything thing I wanted it to be.

I chose the EnviraScape Illuminated River Bend Fountain for its simplicity and Zen appeal. It’s also the most modern of the bunch, which Ben and Darren say is what our space is.

Setting it up was quick and easy and as long as you follow the instructions, you don’t hear a peep from the unit, other than the blissful sound of plinking water.

And it looks great too – a soft blue light makes the water seem straight from the ocean and casts a relaxing glow over your space.

There is a switch so you can turn it off and on with ease and its small enough that it can fit anywhere (we put it in between our living room and kitchen where there really was no more room to be had and it fit).

And I have to say – when it’s on, my shoulders relax and I can actually feel myself breathing more deeply.

So when you’re looking for a present for your friend or family member who is always stressed out, consider the fountain.

It’s a great way to bring a sense of calm home without having to repaper the walls or spend hundreds of dollars on massages and various therapies.

Now isn’t that a fantastic gift?

Stephanie Dickison

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