Yule blog: Fashionistas and other social stars share their gifts

Making a list and checking it twice might be a snap for Santa, but merry mortals sometimes struggle to figure out what to put under the Christmas tree (or by the menorah). Luckily for locals, and just in time for the ho-ho-holidays, these San Diego bloggers have the presents of mind to help.

Vanessa Balli

vanessaballi.com

Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: Eastlake
What do you do for a living? "Stylist and fashion blogger."
Instagram: @vanessaballi, 16K followers
Facebook: vanessaballiOOTD, 16K followers
Pinterest: vanessaballi
Snapchat: @vanessaballi

Born and raised in San Diego, Vanessa Balli has been sharing her views and tips on fashion, beauty and personal styling for almost five years. She launched a blossoming brand called Vanessa Balli Hair, has appeared in Glamour and Marie Claire, and works with prominent national brands through her blog. Follow her for trends and "outfits that won't break the bank, but will look like you did."

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
VANESSA BALLI: An eyeshadow palette with 12 perfect colors for all skin tones to create subtle or smokey eye looks. Tartelette in Bloom Eyeshadow Palette by Tarte, $45, tartecosmetics.com.

What medium-priced gift do you recommend? 
VIBRANCE brings your hair back to life. Say goodbye to dry brittle hair and hello to beautiful, healthy, shiny hair! VIBRANCE High Gloss Hair Serum, $26, Vanessa Balli Hair, vanessaballihair.com.

How about a luxury item? Everyone needs a gorgeous gown for holiday parties. This Nightcap dress is a beautiful shade of pink, with lace details that will certainly turn heads.  Nightcap Cutout Maxi , $495, Pebbles by the Beach boutique, Del Mar.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  

My fiance bought me the Dyson Supersonic Blowdryer for my birthday. It's a miracle worker that cuts my drying time in half, especially when used with my hair product VIBRANCE.  

What's the worst gift?  
I honestly can't think of one. I like to send out a wish list so that I never get bad gifts.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
I've had my eye on the Chloé leather satchel in grey.

 

Whitney Bond

whitneybond.com

Hometown: Edmond, Okla.
Current neighborhood:  Crown Point
What do you do for a living? "Full-time food blogger"
Instagram: @WhitneyBond, 16K followers
Snapchat: @WhitneyMBond

Food blogger Whitney Bond lives by the beach "with her boyfriend, Kurt, eight Crock-Pots and three coffee makers." She's known for adding buffalo sauce to almost everything and claims to be an expert at dancing to Taylor Swift while cooking, a feat that can sometimes be witnessed on her Instagram stories. Since she began blogging in 2011, Bond has shared nearly 1,000 original recipes - most of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, in one pot or in a Crock-Pot.

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
WHITNEY BOND: As a coffee-loving gal, I love to gift my fellow coffee-loving friends and family a bag of my favorite local coffee for the holidays. They also have really cute coffee mugs that make great accompanying gifts to a bag of coffee. Birdrock Coffee, $15-$25, Birdrock Coffee Roasters (Little Italy, La Jolla, Morena District), birdrockcoffee.com.

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
This countertop appliance makes it so easy to learn how to sous vide at home. And, bonus: It's a slow cooker, too. I've become totally obsessed with sous vide cooking since I started using this device. Hamilton Beach Sous Vide Slow Cooker, $139.99, HamiltonBeach.com.

How about a luxury item?
From cookie baking to pizza dough making, the KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a luxury appliance that will be used in the kitchen for years to come. KitchenAid Stand Mixer, $250-$650, KitchenAid.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  
Cuisinart Food Processor. What can I say? I'm a food blogger.

What's the worst gift?  
A mug with an NBA team on it that I'm not a fan of.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Krystin Seiver and Joanna Groschwitz

smithandjunie.blogspot.com

Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: South Oceanside ("We're neighbors.")
What do you do for a living? "We're both moms and estheticians - aka vagina waxers."
Instagram: @SmithandJunie, 10K followers

Krystin Seiver and Joanna Groschwitz are best friends, neighbors and moms to 2-year-olds born five days apart. "We've been arranging their marriage since birth," Seiver says. (The two speak as "we" on their blog.) The BFF's blog, Smith + Junie, focuses on what the duo calls honest motherhood. "We openly talk about the good, the bad and the downright funny that comes along with being a mom. Too many blogs and Instagram accounts make us feel inadequate as moms and, really, as women, because all you see is the beautiful side, the curated side. Our goal is to be real with our readers, even if that means showing the mess and the chaos."

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?  
SEIVER AND GROSCHWITZ: The Bee and the Fox makes retro-inspired tees that fit amazing and are super soft with catchy sayings. Our favorite? "Same Shirt, Different Day." $30, The Bee & The Fox Co., thebeeandthefox.com (based out of San Clemente).

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
There is no better way to wear out a toddler while also keeping your house perfectly clean than bringing them to Legoland. It's so fun and interactive. And, if you have the annual pass - parking plus admission to the park - the aquarium and the water slides are all free. Kids under 3 are free without a pass. Legoland annual pass, $199, Legoland, legoland.com.

How about a luxury item?
Every mama deserves a really high-quality bag that not only works for toting around extra diapers, but is equally as beautiful to carry when you're out without your kids - like that'll ever happen. Rais Case 100% leather hand-dyed backpack (in black), $395, Rais Case store in South Oceanside, raiscase.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  
A beautiful vintage leather jacket.

What's the worst gift?
A flashlight that you wear on your head. Don't ask.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
More sleep. Like, a lot more.

Alex Salcedo

thecasualboardwalk.com

Hometown: Calexico, Calif.
Current neighborhood: Ocean View Hills (southeast San Diego)
What do you do for a living? "Accountant."
Instagram: @thecasualboardwalk, 43K followers

Through his blog, The Casual Boardwalk, Alex Salcedo discusses topics relating to menswear and his other interests. "I love incorporating new and old pieces, and budget-friendly and high-end items into my looks," Salcedo says. "I have a 'Retro Southern Californian' kind of style."

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
ALEX SALCEDO: Every guy should own a Moto jacket. It transitions well with your outfits during fall and winter. Faux Leather Moto Jacket, $37.90, Forever 21, forever21.com .

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
A pair of headphones always come in handy for trips or to simply lounge around your place. LSTN Ebony Troubador Wood Headphones, from $149, LSTN Sound, lstnsound.co.

How about a luxury item?
Chelsea boots can really help make your outfit stand out. You can dress them casual or formal and wear them around San Diego all season long. Aquatalia Waterproof Chelsea Boots, $550, Aquatalia, aquatalia.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  
My first car. I was finally able to drive myself around town without bugging my parents.

What's the worst gift?  
Oversized clothing. I don't think I was ever into that phase, unlike my friends.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
It might be hard for this to be gifted to me: time. I'm always on the go, so a few minutes to relax here and there would be nice.

Nihan Gorkem

stylewithnihan.com

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Current neighborhood: Carlsbad
What do you do for a living? "Digital marketing consultant and blogger."
Instagram: @stylewithnihan, 17K followers

Style blogger Nihan Gorkem says she is, "a lover of fashion, traveling, photography, art, sunsets, good eats and my edgy puppy, Mister Lady." Her blog, Style with Nihan, aims to empower women by, "boosting their confidence in creative styling and adventure-seeking." Whether her readers are rocking a new trend or traveling abroad for the first time, Nihan aims to inspire them to embrace new opportunities in style. 

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
NIHAN GORKEM: I've been obsessed with this cool brand from the UK lately, and all of their shoe styles are perfect for the fashionista in your life. A pair of Public Desire shoes or boots, $40-$50, publicdesire.com.

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
A biker jacket, because every girl needs one in her wardrobe. Black Topshop biker jacket, $100, Topshop, topshop.com.

How about a luxury item?
If money isn't stopping you, go for the gold. Gucci bag, $1,500-$3,000, available, Gucci, gucci.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?
Plane tickets for a vacation in San Francisco.

What's the worst gift?  
An iTunes gift card.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
A chic, round, marble coffee table to upgrade my apartment style.

Paulina Morales

lilbitsofchic.com

Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: Chula Vista
What do you do for a living?  "Financial analyst by day, fashion blogger by night."
Instagram: @lilbitsofpau, 16K followers 

After graduating from UC San Diego, S.D. native Paulina Morales landed a financial analyst gig. Shortly thereafter, she says, "I quickly realized that I needed a space to fulfill my creative passions, so I created my blog." Through Lil Bits of Chic, Morales presents San Diego-based fashion tips, shopping guides and beauty reviews for "the modern girl on the go, and on a budget."

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
PAULINA MORALES: Aside from being stylish, this dainty initial bracelet is such a thoughtful gift. It is also locally made! Hand stamped initial bracelet, gold fill, locally made by Calinana, $42, available at Vocabulary Boutique in Little Italy, vocabularyboutique.com

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
This sleek, sporty wristband motivates you to achieve your fitness goals by calculating steps taken, calories burned, elevation climbed and distance traveled throughout the day. Fitbit Charge, $149.95, Fitbit, fitbit.com.  

How about a luxury item?
Louis Vuitton leather goods are timeless and luxurious. For her, the Clemence wallet with the Rose Ballerine interior for a feminine touch. For him, the Florin wallet in Damier Graphite Canvas, a sleek yet classic look. Both are items that are long-lasting and classic. Louis Vuitton wallet, $530-$640, Louis Vuitton, louisvuitton.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?
My dog, a cute and funny shih tzu named Coco.

What's the worst gift?  
An item that I could tell was re-gifted and not my style.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
Since I'm decorating my home office, I have a chandelier on the top of my list.

Susan Kane

stylesrevealed.com

Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: Del Mar
What do you do for a living? "Teacher/stylist."
Instagram: @stylesrevealed, 14K followers

To document her passion for fashion, inspiration and styling, Susan Kane launched Styles Revealed in 2015. The mother of 2- and 5-year-old boys, she uses the blog as a creative outlet and diary, revealing what she describes as "secrets and tips on how to look fabulous without spending a fortune." Kane says she aspires "to inspire women from all over the world to feel and look beautiful." She thanks visitors to her blog for joining her "as she tries to balance it all - being a mother, wife, friend and a fashion fanatic."

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
SUSAN KANE: Natural eye shadow palette. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette, $29, Urban Decay, urbandecay.com.

 

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
Suede over-the-knee boots. Steve Madden Nori Over-the-Knee Boots,  $129.95, Steve Madden, stevemadden.com.

 

How about a luxury item?
A Gucci handbag. Gucci Dionysus GG Supreme shoulder bag, $1,570, Gucci, gucci.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  
My engagement ring. My husband proposed on Christmas in Maui five years ago. 

What's the worst gift?  
A hand-me-down gift, a sweater, that wasn't even my size or taste

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
A beach cruiser. I can't believe I live in San Diego and don't have one.

Lauryn Evarts

theskinnyconfidential.com

Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: Bankers Hill
What do you do for a living? "Full-time blogger."
Instagram @theskinnyconfidential, 340K followers 
Facebook: @theskinnyconfidential, 290K followers
Twitter: @laurynevarts, 107K followers
Pinterest: The Skinny Confidential
YouTube: The Skinny Confidential
Snapchat: @Laurynevarts

Blogger Lauryn Evarts created her blog, The Skinny Confidential, while studying at San Diego State University. "I was inspired to create a platform for women to connect through their tips and tricks," she says. Since then, the blog - which covers recipes, workouts, fashion, home décor, travel itineraries, personal stories and more - has grown into a lifestyle brand encompassing a book, fitness guide, YouTube channel and social network. "The Skinny Confidential is all about creating a healthy lifestyle through balance," Evarts says. "Think kale in one hand, champagne in the other." She says The Skinny Confidential product line is coming soon.

PACIFIC: What affordable holiday gift do you recommend?
LAURYN EVERTS: I designed these phone cases for the cheeky and witty girlboss. I also drop my phone a lot. These are the ideal protective phone cases, so they make a great gift. The Skinny Confidential x Casetify phone cases, $40, theskinnyconfidential.com.

What medium-priced gift do you recommend?
I love writing notes, but using a pen and paper is a must for me. This set allows me to write down notes and have them automatically put into my phone. Best of both worlds. Moleskine Smart Writing Set, $199, Moleskine, moleskine.com.

How about a luxury item?
A strong blender is a must for healthy cooking. I use mine to make smoothies, soups, nut butters; the list goes on. This one is super chic, since it's copper. Vitamix Pro 750 Heritage Blender (copper), $649.95, Vitamix, vitamix.com.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  
A set of handmade paper dolls of me, Michael and our dogs.

What's the worst gift?
Granny panty underwear.

What gift do you most want to receive this year?
An experience, like a wine tasting.

Copyright © 2018, Pacific San Diego
53°