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Still searching for that last minute gift?  Here are some of my favorite things to give (and get) this holiday season:


1.  Rimowa suitcases: For the traveler on your list! I’m partial to the Salsa Deluxe series, their light weight hard shell and eight wheels (!) mean that you can navigate this bag at full capacity with merely a singer finger. Love the carry-on styles too as they allow you to push the bag down the airplane aisle sideways thereby not knocking every seat along the way! Don’t be fooled by the hard case construction either. These bags pack way more than you’d expect!

2.  S’well reusable bottle: I’m a yogi who packs a water bottle with me for my daily morning practice. This non-toxic, insulated bottle keeps cold water cold for up to 24 hours (for real) and hot for twelve. I like the stone collection and love that they don’t sweat, look fab, and that they give back to WaterAid with every purchase.

3.  I have a Vitamix blender on my wish list this year, the only question is which one? The fact that this powerful blender can turn your fresh fruits and veggies into oh-so-good-for-you juice and combine a soup and serve it hot or a frosty cold ice-cream, well, who needs any other appliance?

4.  My six year old daughter will be unwrapping Planet Earth:The Complete Series this holiday. If she’s going to have screen time this high-definition backstage pass to the animal kingdom is it.

5.  OK, maybe not for Grandma, but everyone else on my list is getting a copy of Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. A longtime fan of their blog, they have finally pulled together their budget conscious real food healthy recipes into one awesome volume keeping me laughing while nourishing and detoxifying my bod. F*ck yeah.


6.  How about gifting a subscription to Birchbox and giving your favorite beauty a sampling of five high-end beauty brands monthly? Yes please!

7.  The gift that keeps on giving, a weekly subscription to Blue Apron sends pre-portioned fresh ingredients and simple cooking instructions direct to their door. No more TV dinners or popcorn for dinner because they don’t have the time to assemble a meal. (Mom, this means you!)

8.  Books might be my favorite thing to gift any time of year and this season I will be gifting Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand just in time for its movie debut, and Anjelica Huston’s new memoir, Watch Me: A Memoir, should keep them up all night with stories of her rise to fame and her long term relationship with Jack Nicholson. I can hardly wait.

9.  My brother asked me recently why I wasn’t a movie producer considering how much I love the cinema. Before children I would sometimes go to the theater 4 times a week, and I prefer the experience to watching at home, especially with today’s stadium assigned seating and gourmet goodies. I’d love an AMC or Landmark gift card in my stocking on December 25.

10.  And for any New York-bound friends this holiday, why not tickets to Broadway? Some lucky girl on my list will have an evening at Beautiful, the Carole King musical. Saw it, loved it, cried through it all and left feeling inspired. What better gift is there than an experience with friends that connects and inspires.


Chic Traveler:  Sally Horchow

Occupation:  Broadway Producer, Curator/Host of

Hometown:  Los Angeles

Dream destination?

Dream destination I love to go for vacation:  St. Barth’s, Nantucket

Dream destination I have never been to:  South Africa

What’s always inside your carry on?

Socks (for going through security and wearing on a cold flight), my SJ cosmetic bag with mini versions of my make-up for touch-ups, and my first generation iPad (loaded with plays to read and past episodes of Girls, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey to watch).

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

Room service breakfast in bed!  Such a waste of money, but such an awesome indulgence!

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip?

ML Traveler!

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?

A sachet for your unmentionables, small portable iPod speakers to play your own music.

Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?

Anyplace new.  NYC always.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited? 

Paris and Hong Kong, natch.

Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

Copenhagen had surprisingly stylish folks.

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

A shape named after me!  (I know so many of the other ladies; I have serious jealousy issues about it.)

What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?

Medium Zip Cosmetic.

Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels?  What is it?

My custom-made orange hand-embroidered table runner (extra long for my long dining table!)


Favorite travel ritual or souvenir: (Do you always visit a local book shop?  Hunt down the best cappuccino?  Pick up a tree ornament depicting your destination?)

I always take a walk around the neighborhood upon arrival in a new place – even if just around the block.  New ritual souvenir when traveling with my boyfriend: a charm for the bracelet he gave me.

Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort?  A private hideaway?  Do you prefer to lie on the beach?  Explore the countryside?)

Small luxury resort on an island beach with great dining options abounding.

The one thing that you cannot leave home without?

My old-school Canon Sureshot

How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?)

I pack for each planned day, outfit-by-outfit.  Very strategic.  Takes hours, a separate hanging rack in my guest room, and a clear head!

Favorite pre-travel or travel-friendly beauty routine?

I like to take a shower the night before I travel and then dry my hair in the morning before leaving for the airport.  I wear basic make-up until just before the plane lands, when I apply mascara, etc.

First drink in the air:  H2O, champagne or OJ?

H2O, or a glass of red wine if an overnight flight.

Checked bag or carry-on?

Carry-on as much as possible – sending other luggage ahead via

Favorite Airport?  Why?

ACK (Nantucket) – Because I’m always so happy when I get there, and it’s so mellow and small, it makes it easier to deal with when I have to leave.

On your reading list?

New books I have pre-ordered on Amazon:  Malcolm Glawell’s David and Goliath, and A. Scott Berg’s Wilson.

Favorite in-flight pastime?

Catching up on magazines; I love watching the Boing Boing Network on Virgin America.

Any tips for breezing through airport security?

Get TSA Pre and Global Entry.  Life changing!

Window or aisle?

Aisle for sure.  I get up every 25 minutes in a flight, if only to stretch my legs.

Your flight’s delayed:  best way to kill time at the airport?

Drink wine.  What else is there to do?

How often do you fly?

Every two weeks.

Go-to flying ‘uniform?’

It changes every few months, but my latest is: Vince khakis (no belt needed), tank top with a “shelf” (so as to avoid wearing an uncomfortable bra), J. Crew soft cotton button down, camo scarf from Urban Outfitters (to pull outfit together/doubling as extra warmth), Cole Haan black flats with rubber soles.



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