Let’s be real, sometimes we don’t have the time, money, or creativity to find the perfect gift to wrap under the tree. Personally, I prefer gifts that can’t be wrapped! The best thing about gifting experiences is it creates priceless memories for a lifetime, and it involved supporting real people and small businesses! And getting creative with planning experiences is my specialty, especially with my kids 🙂 Last year, my kids recorded a song to gift my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and it was so touching, it inspired me to write this post. I am really excited to share with you all my favorite literally out of the box gifts that everyone would love, including hand made art, spa, photography, styling and more! I know you are excited so let’s dive in…
RELAX THE WORLD AT AIRE SPA
You guys know how committed I am to my daily workouts, but I took a day off and gave myself permission to embrace Aire’s new campaign, Relax the World. I woke up feeling sore and my mind was racing so fast, I though there is no way I can shut down my mind and relax my body… but guess what? 10 minutes into my massage, I felt more relaxed than ever!!! Not to mention the baths and the spa that feel like I was transported to another world.
I had such an amazing experience that I decided to pick up another 2 Relax the World gift boxes, one for my assistant and another for my amazing client and friend Jessica Zweig. This gift box is a perfect idea for: Those friends that had a stressful 2020, the couple that showed love conquers all, the parents that took on homeschooling, the traveler who needs an escape to another world, or the special someone that brings you balance. The gift boxes include a tour of the ancient baths and a relaxing massage or exclusive ritual, book yours here.
STOP THE WORLD WITH PAUSE MASSAGE
Sometimes there is nothing we need more than to turn the world on stop. Jason and I have been going to Pause massage for years and there is no better place in the city. They’re super affordable, Chicago-based, and women-owned. Another amazing way to support local fellow entrepreneurs! The space is simple yet very chic, without all the fuss of a spa experience, and their massage therapists are amazing and very professional. Besides, a massage and relaxation is much needed right now!
STYLE MAKEOVER + CLOSET REFRESH
There’s nothing that makes an impact like an amazing styling session to create lasting confidence and the tools to look good and feel good everyday! I am personally offering my styling services as a fun, unique, useful gift. Think beyond styling, it’s all about spirituality and fashion. It’s such a phenomenal feeling to refresh your wardrobe and start showing up as your truest self! I’m offering closet clean-ups and VIP styling sessions starting at $500, check out my full services here and book now in time for the holidays! Want a taste of what the styling session is really like? Check out this Instagram reel and blog post we posted with fabulous VIP client Judi Holler…
HAVE YOUR CLOSE-UP MODEL MOMENT
There is nothing that boosts confidence and happiness like getting dolled up to have your close-up model moment. Get dolled up with my favorite people over at Pretty Convenient App or my go-to girl, SukyV. Then, book a session at The Studio Chicago, a brand new photography studio and event space launched by my girl Ali Stone. It’s 4,800 sq ft of beautiful studio space to create the photoshoot of your dreams! And, of course, you’ll need a stylist. Check out my VIP styling services starting at $500, or you can even rent my studio and shoot on Michigan Avenue!
THE GIFT OF SONG AND MUSIC
One out of the box gift idea is recording a song at a studio, like my kids did for my parents golden wedding. We found the original song on YouTube, and the kids worked really hard to memorize and perform the song. We recorded it at the studio with teachers that I met in Russian School, and even filmed a music video. By far the most original and touching gift!
Another idea is gifting music lessons at the New School at 900 shops, I started sending Leonix to lessons here with Francisco and it was life changing after his first day. He is obsessed and learning so much, plus he gets to perform for us and it’s more than special!
CREATE CUSTOM ART
My whole family got very into art and painting over the pandemic, especially after working with Darlene at Palette and Chisel for my stepson Jaiden’s art-themed birthday last summer. We actually got so into it that my kids recently created giant canvas artwork for our new home, called Sunlight and Moonlight. It’s such fun activity to do with kids and have the ultimate studio experience. Darlene is available to help you learn how to create your own masterpiece and create memories that last a lifetime.
THE SKINCARE MAGIC THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
People always ask me how I look so young at 45, and my secret is the endermologie treatments I have been doing for years. I do them consistently, almost every week, and it has tremendously reduced my cellulite and made my skin look amazing. I constantly get compliments from people who can’t believe my age, all thanks to my endermologie fairy Ulyana at Absolut Body! Single treatments start at $125, but I would recommend getting a package because this is a really special gift and can have amazing long-term results for the beautiful ladies in your life.
FIND YOUR ZEN WITH ASHTANGA
I have been working with my Ashtanga yoga teacher Alexia for almost 7 years and I can tell you, the experience is truly life changing. This year is the perfect time for some peace of mind and easy exercise with ashtanga yoga practice, not to mention supporting our local entrepreneurs and teachers. Right now Alexia is still doing home visits for yoga practice, and she is also offering amazing virtual programs if you prefer.
GIVE THE BEST WORKOUT EXPERIENCE
When Jason and I started dating, he gifted me 10 workout sessions with a personal trainer and I never looked back. To this day, it’s one of the best gifts I ever received. It was thoughtful, a fun experience, and I gained a lifelong skill and passion for staying active and feeling strong!
Recently I’ve started working with a new trainer Ashley Poladian (@ashleypoladian) and saw immediate results. I really love working with her, especially because she is a woman, she gets it! And she goes above and beyond a regular trainer to help me with my eating habits and more. I can’t recommend enough gifting a personal training package with Ashley! She has really limited availablity for new clients so I highly encourage you to book now!
I was also working out at Lift Chicago twice a week for almost 2 years, and it’s the most efficient workout with the best results I’ve ever done. Memberships start from $200 a month. Their sessions are 30 minutes, which is so easy to find time for! They’ve done an amazing job at making everyone feel super safe, clean, and supported during the pandemic. Right now you can get 10% off your first sessions by mentioning my name.
THE ULTIMATE STAYCATION
Langham Chicago has it all! My family and I love to take staycations to the hotel for a weekend away, especially in the pandemic when we didn’t want to travel out of the city! Over the years it has easily become our second home. The hotel has adapted to COVID guidelines, so you are assured to feel super safe and healthy. You can access the state-of-the-art pool and spa, and you can even book a private movie theatre for that intimate movie night experience. I would absolutely recommend this experience as the perfect gift for anyone super busy and want those little moments of vacation and luxury in their life.
Four Seasons at the 900 building has quickly become another home for us! I took my entire family from Israel for a staycation during my birthday this year and it was the most epic experience for everyone. From a fancy cocktail hour in the lobby, to million dollar views, to state of the art amenities, to special treasures for kids, you can’t go wrong.
These are some of my favorite experiences that make the best gifts for all the special people in your life. I always love getting gifts of experiences and supporting really amazing local businesses at the same time (really a win-win for everyone). I hope that at least one of these gift ideas will speak to you and you’ll be as excited as I am about it.
Please keep in mind that I am also offering 1:1 styling services, workshops and so much more. Click here for my full services and sign up for my newsletter to get on the list for my next gift shopping virtual event. You can also always shop my top picks on the Tel Aviv Couture Boutique, so many items are on sale right now!
Happy gifting and happy shopping!