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Vine & Dine

dining stockingStocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner and there are always last-minute gifts to buy—including the all-important little stocking stuffers. Here are a few suggestions of things you can buy locally that I’m sure your dear ones will love:

Local Wine
Local wine always makes a perfect gift. It’s easy to find at most area stores and wine bars, and it comes in all price ranges. For a full list of wineries, visit the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s website at scmwa.com.

Bolsalista Smartbags
We all should do our bit to protect the environment—and one of the ways is to cut down on the use of plastic bags. You can now tote your stuff in Earth-friendly Bolsalista reusable bags, and you’ll be helping to save wildlife and the environment. A reusable grocery bag is only $7.50 and would make a great stocking-stuffer gift. And the insulated tote bag for $12.50 is just great for carrying wine or a picnic. Bolsalista bags come in different colors, are very light, and they’re sold locally. Contact Danielle Bostick at [email protected] or Carolyn Belardi at [email protected], bolsalista.com.

The True Olive Connection
This lovely store is just loaded with delightful little gifts. As well as olive oil, which makes a wonderful gift, check out olive-wood pepper and salt grinders made in France by Berard; French linens and napkins; special spices such as ghost pepper sea salt; dipping sauces; olive oil-infused chocolate; a line of skin products made with olive oil called Olivella—and much more. Delk Bees Honey has now added exciting blends of honey with olive oil, too. Try the mushroom and sage. 106 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz, 458-6457, trueoliveconnection.com.

Chrissy’s Confection
Perfection Chris Nelson makes the most amazing toffee candy. Nelson was in Deluxe Foods of Aptos giving out samples and I tried all three of Original, Coffee, and Raspberry—and they are totally addictive and delicious. All Nelson’s confections are handmade and with the best ingredients such as Guittard chocolate and Mauna Loa macadamia nuts—and it is gluten free, too. Available in Deluxe Foods, Jones & Bones in Capitola, and various stores in the Bay Area. chrissycandy.com.

Skin Lux
I had a wonderful Classic European Facial at Skin Lux recently—a first-time treatment for me in the capable hands of Mara Walker. Walker is a skin specialist and does all kinds of treatments as well as waxing and tinting. An Express Facial gift certificate for $50 would make a splendid little stocking stuffer. 9055 Soquel Drive, Suite C, Aptos, 251-1321.

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