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2012 Married to a Chef Holiday Gift Guide

December 8, 2012 in Celebrate!, Life


Can you believe we have LESS than 20 days till the big guy comes down the chimney? Amazing, right? How fast this year went, right?

We also have what…less than two weeks until we’ll see if the Mayans were right after all?

If somehow their prediction was askew, we’re in the holiday season and that means attempting to come up with a solid gift for our restaurant man/woman. Usually this ends up being a bit more difficult than we would like, and we end up flustered, wanting to give them something interesting but not something overtly culinary.

I thought I’d come up with a list of a few things I came up with, sort of out of the box ideas that I believe would peak our beloveds interest.

Finally, I want to end it with a few items for YOU. Because you do so much, manage so much and it’s high time you celebrate your own successes throughout the year.

PLEASE, tell us your favorites, link to them, so we can have even more to choose from!

Happy Holidays!

For your Restaurant Man/Woman

Seasonal Produce Calendar by UnCommon Goods – Maybe your man/woman would like to have this handy dandy guide to put in his kitchen to teach his staff when to use the freshest veg/fruits.

Bacon of the Month Club – I know a chef or two who loves trying out different bacons from all over the world. Most likely yours will to. Plus it’ll be an added bonus when they get the surprise in the mail, all year long. Another option here.

Join a CSA – (Community Supported Agriculture) Since your restaurant man/woman is probably not the one doing the grocery shopping, why not have locally grown produce brought to you (either you can pick it up locally or it can be delivered to your door), so WHEN he/she is available, they will have interesting ingredients at home to work with.

Point and Shoot SLR Camera – We know that our men and women like to keep track of their daily creations, why not give them something small and easy to use to do that with.

Rolling Foot Massager w/ Heat – We have one similar to this already plugged in and slipped underneath our couch for immediate relief after a terribly weeded shift. The look on my husbands face after 5 minutes on this is divine, and somehow I’m feeling better too.

The Splendiferous Array of Culinary Tools Print – from Pop Chart Labs – Anyone that uses the word Splendiferous is alright with me. Would look nice in a frame. If that one doesn’t suit your fancy, check out the other ones in their collection.

A kickass handmade knife from Joel Bukiewicz at Cut Brooklyn – Check out this awesome video about his passion.

*Sound something like the passion your man/woman has? Yea, thought so.

Vintage Knife sharpener

Then there’s the usual:

Themed Chef Products like T-Shirts, Hats, etc… I especially like some of the products over at Tasty Cotton

Subscription to Gastronomica.

Just to name a few.

And for you…

Book, Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading Gabrielles book of her NJ/NYC journey into becoming the successful chef and restaurant owner that she is today. Reading this was a cross between reading Under the Tuscan Sun and Kitchen Confidential. (Don’t kill me Gabrielle, I’m not an official literary critic.) It was also like I had a small opportunity to peek into the world that I only get to look at from the sidelines.

I am Enough Necklace – As I type this, I’m wearing mine right now. It is an AWESOME reminder, especially when I’m looking in the mirror, that I AM Enough, even when I don’t feel it. AND, many women have asked me about it and I can tell, it reminds them in that moment too.

*actually, anything from Bella Kai would be a wonderful gift to yourself. And, no, I’m not a sponsor of hers.

A schnazzy new FiloFax organizer- yea baby. I mean, since you’re already handling so much already, why not have something SCHNAZ to keep it all in, right?

A monthly subscription to BirchBox. It’s a $10/month subscription (that you can cancel at anytime) They ship you, each month, samples of the newest beauty products that you can try out. I just started it a few months ago and LET ME TELL YA, if you are the kind of person who loves surprises, you will LOVE seeing that pink box in the mail! The hope is they will introduce you to new products that you may or may night want to incorporate into your own routine! Only thing to know is due to popularity, there is a few month waiting list to get started. No matter, it’s TOTALLY worth the wait.

Finally, how about a day OFF!!! How bout you dash over here, find a sitter that feels right to you and take the day OFF from the kids!! If your mother or aunt or neighbor down the street is happy to watch the kids… LET THEM! Put it on your new Filofax on a Saturday and go… do something for YOU!

Just came across this list from a fellow Significant Other (via Hilary over at Desperate Chefs Wives), with her suggestions for gifts for this Christmas season – check it out here. Maybe she can give you a few more ideas to go with!

Finally, why not treat yourself to one hour with ME! Someone who understands EXACTLY what you’re going through and is trained to help you get from where you ARE at the end of 2012 to where you want to be in the new year. In the month of January am I offering one hour of dedicated YOU time with me for the price of $75.00. HALF of what my usual rate is.

*Having trouble with the PayPal above, click here to be directed to check out.

Whatever you end up getting, for your restaurant man or woman or for yourself this Holiday Season, I want you to know that I KNOW you are strong, that you have what it takes to THRIVE in this type of relationship and I am HONORED to stand by you, as a fellow significant other AND your resident life coach to help you create the life you ultimately desire.

Cheers to a DELICIOUS holiday season.
In gratitude,

Kerilyn Russo

 TELL US: What do you find as successful holiday gifts for your restaurant man/woman? Inquiring minds want to know!!

It’s OKAY… (the Christmas edition)

November 28, 2011 in Life

christmas lights

christmas lights by lavandarfields


I don’t know about you, but at this time of the year…

 I always feel a little frazzled. – Finding the ‘right’ gifts… finding the time (and energy) to put up a tree/decorate… coordinate holiday schedule (when is the husband working?) …head to the mall/browsing online. (yuck)

I feel a little overwhelmed.  – Gifts = Money and I would prefer to save it. The husband…. not so much.

I feel a little isolated. – It’s dark by 5pm. Going home to an empty AND dark house makes me feel a little closed off from the world.

All in all, at this time of year I end up feeling a litle sad. 

I thought instead of keeping these feelings to myself, I’d share them with you. I figure there has to be a few of you feeling the same way, right?

It hit me…. instead of fighting it, or thinking “What’s WRONG with me?”, feeling the way I do, why not give myself PERMISSION to feel these things.

Most of the time, the fact that we can’t seem to stop these spinning thoughts USUALLY comes from a place that we think there HAS to be something “WRONG” with us.

What if there is nothing wrong?

Here are a list of things that I want to give myself permision to be OKAY with… If you want to join in, feel free to leave a comment, if not, hope you enjoy mine.


  • It’s OKAY to have no energy at the end of another boring day at the 9-5 to even THINK of doing anything Christmas-y.
  • It’s OKAY to not want to cook after work, instead to have a bowl of cereal in front of the TV and catch up on my TV shows. *maybe Frosty the Snowman?
  • It’s OKAY to not want to spend hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts.  Doesn’t mean you don’t care.
  • It’s OKAY to be happy that for the first year in… FOREVER, you won’t have to travel for Christmas. Doesn’t mean you’re selfish.
  • It’s OKAY that you start bawling in the car when you hear “The Christmas Shoes” song on the radio, after knowing you’ve heard it so many times before. *Actually, most Christmas songs make you weapy, know it’s OKAY to let those tears flow.
  • It’s also OKAY to sing REALLY LOUD in the car to all your favorite Christmas songs.
  • It’s OKAY to be upset that your other half is working late when he/should be helping you wrap these dang gifts!
  • It’s OKAY to WANT to send out Christmas cards… and not actually get to it.
  • It’s OKAY to procrastinate on buying christmas gifts. You know you’ll get it done. Go easy on yourself.
  • It’s OKAY that you want the house to magically decorate itself. *Unfortunately it won’t get done without you.
  • It’s OKAY to be a bit more of a NAG this time of year in order to get said house decorated. I mean, you can’t DO everything yourself, can you?
  • It’s OKAY to ask your husband if he’ll bring something home from the restaurant so you can have something for lunch the next day.
  • It’s OKAY to buy the hershey kisses with the Christmas colors to put out when your guests come. *And why not a few (handfuls) for you too?
  • It’s OKAY to be pissed that your house doesn’t look like the pictures in Pottery Barn with all the Christmas decorations *I mean, come on!
  • It’s OKAY that although you feel the Christmas spirit, you aren’t regularly going to a spiritual service.
  • It’s OKAY to not want to stay out late when you’re invited to Christmas shin digs (OR, not even going to them at all, It’s OKAY.)
  • It’s OKAY if you can’t come up with THEE PERFECT GIFT and decide to give them a gift card. *This way they can get what they really like!
  • It’s OKAY that you will forget you are watching what you’re eating when you see all the delicious christmas cookies.
  • It’s OKAY to miss the days when you and your sister woke up at Grandmas house and you believed Santa was real. *SPOILER ALERT.
  • It’s OKAY to be PISSED OFF at yourself that you waited until the last minute and you had to park WAY OUT THERE in the parking lot. *You really did know better. Oh well.


…and some personal things to remind yourself to be OKAY with.

  • It’s OKAY to be sad that you wish you were closer with your parents.
  • It’s OKAY that another year went by and you still have those goals you didn’t yet accomplish.
  • It’s OKAY that the holidays means you’re a year older (Birthday on New Years Eve) and still feel like you haven’t yet made your dreams come true.
  • It’s OKAY that you miss your 20’s when you didn’t know what you didn’t know.
  • It’s OKAY that you see gray hairs in the mirror.
  • It’s OKAY to have that “I’m not where I thought I would be by now” feeling. *So many others at your age are feeling the same thing. You’re not the only one.
  • It’s OKAY to be at the beginning of a new chapter of your life. *Better late than never, right?
  • *Big one* It’s OKAY that you totally let yourself go with regards to your health and spirituality. Please forgive yourself about that.
  • It’s OKAY to be emotional that you’re still not pregnant. Especially at this time of year, when that’s ALL you want for Christmas.


Thank you for letting me share that with you. Hopefully some of them made you feel better too.

I know I do.