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Claudine Holt is a native Washingtonian who recently moved back to Philadelphia for work. She loves this eclectic, artistic, richly cultural city. Claudine fully embraces the French motto of "le savoir vivre". Her diverse interests take her to unique locales around Philly, nationally, as well as abroad. She is also a member of the Vogue Influencer Network. She invites you to join her as she discovers what's exciting in Philly and share that info with you.

Charitable And Stylish Holiday Gifts 2012: Baltimore

If you’re anything like me, you may be wondering where 2012 went! The holiday season seems to come faster and faster with each passing year. However, with gift giving season in full swing, there’s not a moment to wax philosophic about the passage of time. Perhaps the more organized of us have been making lists throughout the year and checking them twice. Maybe some of you have stealthily navigated Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. If you don’t fall into either group, don’t despair—this gift guide is for you!  Here are my top picks for the best holiday gift ideas in Baltimore:

(Photo Credit: Massage Envy)

Hot Stone Envy Massage

The Hot Stone Envy massage from Massage Envy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness, and increases circulation and metabolism. This 90-minute hot stone session features the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body to allow for deeper relaxation of the muscles. Your professional massage therapist will customize your massage with hot stones to create a healing and relaxing experience. Massage Envy has several locations in the Baltimore area and nationwide, and provides affordable spa and massage services.

WHERE:
Massage Envy Federal Hill-Locust Point
1707 Whetstone Way
Baltimore, MD 21230
Ph. 410-234-3689

HOURS:
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

PRICE: $59 for a one hour massage

(Photo Credit: CBS Baltimore)

Landmark Theater Gift Card

Do you know a film aficionado? Then he or she will definitely enjoy a gift card to Landmark Theaters in beautiful Harbor East. Landmark not only has mainstream movies, but also screens avant-garde and independent films. There are also many amenities, such as digital projection, gourmet concession items, and in-theatre sales of DVDs, books and CDs. The theater boasts a full service bar with beer, wines and liquors that can be enjoyed at the bar and brought into the theater. Landmark Theater has been recognized in the Baltimore Sun and picked Best of Baltimore in The Baltimore Magazine!

WHERE:
Landmark Theater
645 South President Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Ph. 410-244-6636

PRICE: Varies depending on desired gift card amount.

Patisserie Poupon

Epicurean delights from Patisserie Poupon (Photo Credit: Patisserie Poupon)

Patisserie Poupon

If you’re looking for a great dessert to bring to a holiday party or a sweet hostess gift, be sure to check out Patisserie Poupon. This authentic French style bakery with locations in Baltimore and DC is my local go-to spot for macarons.  The desserts are not only pretty to look at (think Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette), they are sinfully good. Although the shop is quaint and has ambiance, it’s not the kind of place you go to sit down for coffee and chat. But that’s probably better for your waistline anyway.

WHERE:
Patisserie Poupon
820 East Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Ph. 410-332-0390

HOURS: Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

PRICE: $2- $14

The Method Bag from Lululemon (Photo Credit: Lululemon)

The Method Bag from Lululemon

For your yoga addicted friend, the Method Bag from Lululemon is the perfect gift! It’s a durable nylon and PU bag that can hold up to 50 pounds. It has plenty of pockets to hold all the essentials she needs to enhance her practice. The Method Bag includes a removable sock pouch that can double as a key or jewelry bag to secure these items while in class. It is also shaped to fit perfectly into a locker so no need to cram it to fit in a small space! Purchase the Method Bag here.

WHERE:
Lululemon
1724 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
Ph. 410-537-5120

WHEN:
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

PRICE: $139

(Photo Credit: Groupon))

Day of Beauty Gift Certificate at Zena’s Spa and Salon

The Day Package at Zena’s is a perfect gift for a special woman in your life. Treat your mom, sister, daughter or best friend to a day of pampering which includes a cut and style, manicure, pedicure, massage, facial and complimentary breakfast or lunch. Zena’s Day Spa has been providing award winning service for over twenty years in historic Mount Vernon. The spa is in a beautiful setting and offers many other great services as well.

WHERE:
Zena’s Spa and Salon
1014 North Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21201
Ph. 410-783-0088

PRICE: $240

Sotto Sopra

The romantic ambiance at Sotto Sopra (Photo Credit: Sotto Sopra)

Dinner for Two at Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra Restaurant is located a short walk from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at the archway to Baltimore’s cultural district in Mt. Vernon. Executive chef/owner Riccardo Bosio has been offering his native Northern Italian cuisine since 1996 and blending it with delicious local ingredients. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful 19th century building with high ceilings, mosaic tile floors, murals, gilded mirrors and modern art. The cosmopolitan feel is extended with gracious, attentive service that is never intrusive or stuffy. Food is always a welcome gift and Sotto Sopra is a great choice. I highly recommend the risotto.

WHERE:
Sotto Sopra
405 N. Charles St
Baltimore MD 21201
Ph. 410-625-0534

PRICE: $14- $75

Suzanna Dai Copenhagen Small Flower Drop earrings

Suzanna Dai Copenhagen Small Flower Drop earrings (Photo Credit: Sassanova)

Suzanna Dai Earrings at Sassanova

The fashionista in your life is sure to love these beautiful earrings from Sassanova.  The Copenhagen Small Flower Drop earrings are perfect for the festive holiday season. Made of champagne-colored rhinestone crystals, leather and sterling silver, these  earrings are sure to add a feminine, sparkly touch to her New Year’s Eve outfit. These earrings are available at Sassanova, a gem of a boutique in Harbor East with designer goods from Kate Spade, LK Bennett and Tori Burch to name a few.

WHERE:
Sassanova
805 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore MD 21202
Ph. 410-244-1114

WHEN:
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

PRICE: $175

(Photo Credit: The Audition Page)

Flashdance the Musical Tickets

Flashdance is back!  We all know the story Alex Owens, a working-class girl from Pittsburgh with a dream of becoming a professional dancer. She works by day as a steel mill welder, and a bar dancer at night while aspiring to be accepted at a prestigious ballet academy. This Broadway musical will be playing at the historic Hippodrome theater from February 12-17, 2013. Give the gift of entertainment!

WHEN: February 12-17, 2013

WHERE:
The Hippodrome
12 N Eutaw Street
Baltimore MD 21201
Ph. 410-837-7400

PRICE: Tickets range from $35- $105.

Wine-tasting at Bin 604 (Photo Credit: Harbor East)

BINOLOGY Wine Class

BIN 604 Wine Sellers at Harbor East hosts a series of in-depth tasting classes for the burgeoning wine enthusiast known as the BINOLOGY series. Wine experts present an entertaining 90-minute classes jam-packed with valuable information and the opportunity to sample new wines!  The class is kept small (only 12 students) which gives you lots of opportunity to ask specific questions. The classes are held on Saturdays from 2-3:30 p.m.

WHEN: Saturdays from 2-3:30 p.m.

WHERE:
BIN 604
604 South Exeter Street
Baltimore MD 21202
Ph. 410-576-0444
PRICE: $29-$39 per student

Baltimore Museum of Art

(Photo Credit: Bmore Media)

Membership to the Baltimore Museum of Art

The last gift on this guide is appropriate given our mission. Give the gift of art while supporting the arts. The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with just a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.  Individual members reap a variety of benefits such as invitations to Members First Night preview parties, a 10 percent discount at The BMA Shop, the opportunity to travel with the BMA on day trips, and many more.

WHERE:
Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore MD 21218
Ph. 443-573-1700

HOURS:
Wednesday–Friday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday–Tuesday: Closed

PRICE: $55

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