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Patti’s Favorite Things – Great Gift Ideas
for Birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Christmas

By Patti Wood MA
Body Language Expert

Sea Salt Caramel Ice cream by Talenti -
The best store bought ice cream ever. It is so rich and creamy and wonderful. It's a golden Argentine caramel base, brought to life with Fleur De Sel sea salt, "the caviar of salt." Talenti then adds chocolate covered sea salt caramel truffles to complete this incredible treat. I serve it over my Gluten Free Apple Crisp. Click the link to my Gluten Free Cookbook for the Apple Crisp recipe:

The Grammy Winners CD -
Yes, once a year I buy a CD. I go to Target and buy that year's Grammy Winners CD. I sing to it over and over. With that one CD I have a little time capsule of the year. It is a great gift for anyone who likes to sing in the car.

Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Chocolates -
It's a small, delicious delight. If you can't find it get the mixed selection bag.

The Week Magazine
The Week is a weekly news magazine and online news source. A subscription to this was given to me as a gift and I love it. This magazine makes me feel brilliant, insightful and informed. Well, at least I feel that way the first few hours after I read it! For years I read this magazine whenever I was over at my friend Judith's house. Last year she gave me a subscription for Christmas. I love it. It is designed like the original version of Time magazine. It takes the weeks hot news topics and quotes several publication's views and facts all in one article. So say you are reading an article on North Korea. They will quote The New York Times, The Republic, The Washington Post and the Huntington Post within the piece. You have several viewpoints. It is so illuminating. You start reading a piece and you form an opinion then by the time you're finished reading all the quotes you often have a broader and less biased perspective on the issue. They also have a weekly recipe and Top TV show and or movie recommendations to watch. I had a fun moment this year when my favorite magazine quoted me! What a kick. My other favorite is Bloomberg BusinessWeek. I love the new incarnation of BusinessWeek. It is smart and sassy. Though I will admit I am biased as they started quoting me for their fun articles on body language. Check out the articles online they range from Elevator Body Language, to Body Language at Starbucks and the Waiting Area at Airports.

The 40 Blinks Eye Mask From Travelsmith -
When I travel it always seems the gap between the drapes allows the sun to go right in my eyes. I don't go to sleep with this mask on instead, but I have it by my bed and put it on if the light wakes me up so I can go BACK to sleep. You do need to keep it clean so remember to wash it. Rated No. 1 by Good Housekeeping, this eye mask is made of featherweight, light-blocking, molded foam. Its contoured shape eliminates eye pressure (which encourages deeper REM sleep.)

Laura Mercer Crème Brulee Perfume -
I have been wearing the crème version of this for years and finally splurged on the perfume. I feel wonderful and delicious when I wear it. It is very feminine and not cloying. If you are a guy, try it and buy it for the woman in your life.

My new BLT Dip Recipe -
People will invite you to their party just so they get you and this dip.

1 pound bacon, cooked (Of course this is going to be good)
1 cup mayonnaise (sometimes I leave this out)
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
1 Tomato, seeded and chopped - Make sure you squeeze the tomato so it's not juicy.
¼ cup chopped green onions

Additional green onions, cooked bacon, tomato, and lettuce for garnish, if desired. If I make this in the summer I do not cook the dip. I just add sundried tomatoes from Trader Joes (none of the other brands work, I have tried them all.)
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees
Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Crumble bacon into mixture and stir. Add cheddar cheese, green onions, and tomato and mix well. Pour into a shallow dish or pie pan and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Garnish with additional green onions, tomato, and crumbled bacon. Serve with corn chips.

SmartWool Socks -
They are soft and warm and they don't shrink or itch. Let me just say that for the first time in years my feet are truly comfy and warm on my daily walks with the Bo dog. I had no idea that great, environmentally friendly socks could make such a difference. And they come in snazzy prints and colors. They cost the moon, but it is so worth it. I buy them in a three pack at my discount shoe store.

Pete's Dark French Roast Coffee in the K-cups -
It tastes like fine restaurant coffee. It is so good I don't need milk or cream with it. They sell it at Target and the big box stores. If you know someone who buys cheaper coffee this makes a great gift.

"The Good Wife" Television Show -
My mother made me watch this show the first year it came out. I said I didn't want to watch a passive "Good Wife." Mom said it wasn't like that. It was about a smart woman making difficult choices. It is still the best thing on network television. When I watch darker shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder or Kevin Spacey's dread fest House of Cards, I feel like the world is a bad place filled with bad people. I actually like the characters on the Good Wife. There are moral struggles and the good sometimes triumphs over evil. I don't feel the need to take a shower to get off the ickyness of the story lines when I watch the Good Wife. If you can find this on Netflix watch it from the beginning. Watch it with your sweetie as a gift to them.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker -
It runs about $48 online. Put the tub in the freezer and wrap the rest if you are giving it as a gift so you can eat the ice cream the same day.

Secura Coffee Frother -
It comes in either a one or two cup size. This will save you money on going out for coffee.

Merrill Shoes -
Recently I went out shopping with my friend and her boyfriend David. He was limping, obviously in pain, and shared that his knee was bothering him. I took him into my favorite shoe store and pointed him towards the Merrill's. He bought them put them on and within an hour or so was surprised to find his knee didn't hurt. These are miracles shoes. The women's Q form Merrill changed my life. In my thirties, I could only walk for a half hour or so without neck pain then I found Merrill's and started taking a daily one hour walk, with no pain! I should be their company spokesperson.