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Well, here we are! The last of the holiday gift guides for 2014! This particular gift guide might just be my favorite, if only because I was thinking of all the ways I’d use these ideas to bond with my best homies, who all live in different states far from me and who I tend to miss very much during the holidays. While we’re all pretty good at staying in touch, I definitely miss those one-on-one moments over a shared interest. I have one girlfriend back in Wyoming who was my snowboarding partner in crime for years. I have another girlfriend in Kentucky (who is expecting!) with whom I’d swap recipes and have Tuesdates over wine and chatting. For those of you who are also many miles from your homie, here’s The Broke-Ass Bride’s 2014 Gift Guide for The Long Distance Best Friend!

The Broke-Ass Bride's 2014 Gift Guide The Long Distance Best Friend

The Foodies (top row): For those who gossip over julienned peppers, give a subscription or gift card to Plated, the at-home recipe delivery service. They’ll send you all the goods necessary (save pots, pans, utensils and some basic kitchen staples) to make their curated recipes. It saves the hassle of going to the store, and the portion control is spot on. Gift cards start at $60, which covers 4 plates. || Load up a Kindle with stellar cookbooks (or your favorite books – like ours!) so she’s fully prepared to bust out a baller recipe without having to sift through piles of hardcovers. Amazon Kindle starting at $59.99 || If your homie is a newlywed, and is now faced with a mounting stock of appliances that she’s not really sure how to use, get her a copy of The Kitchen Decoded. This cookbook puts to use all those gadgets that are wildly prevalent on wedding registries, and gives detailed instructions on how best to use them … and then provides recipes to put that knowledge to work! The Kitchen Decoded cookbook, $19.50.

The Happy Hour Crew (middle): Buy a gorgeous set of Champagne glasses and send her one. There’s nothing quite like sipping (even the cheapest) bubbly out of a fancy vessel to make even the most broke of asses to feel a little more chic. Rosy-Cheeked Coupes from BHLDN, $68 for 2 || Give the gift of booze! Send your best a bottle of her favorite bubbly, or, better yet, send her a bottle each month with a wine of the month subscription service. Then sit down and have a Snapchat sesh as you get tipsy together! Wine of the Month Club, $149 for 2 bottles a month for 4 months.

You’ll Always Be There, No Matter How Far Away (bottom): Send your friend fun, personalized stationery with some postage stamps and bring back snail-mail! Commit to sitting down and writing each other a note once a month — on top of your tech ways to stay in touch. It’ll add a more personal and intimate connection between the two of you. Cheery Checklist sationery from Tiny Prints, $21.60 for 15 cards. || If a coffee break and quick chat was y’all’s thing, send her a Starbucks gift card and set a date to grab your java and catch up over Skype or FaceTime. You can e-cheers your coffee and check out of the regular world for 10 minutes while you catch up with your best homie. Check Raise.com for current gift card offers || Sometimes, when life gets rough, all you want is your partner in crime there to comfort you. Personalize a pillow with Instagram snaps of the two of you and her monogram, so when she’s feeling blue, she can give you a quick squeeze no matter how far away you are. Monogram Instagram Photo Collage Pillows from Zazzle, $33.95

How do you and your best bud keep in touch over the miles? Tell me in the comments below!

  • 12/22

    Real Bride Elissa: Getting Married is the Most Important Part of a Wedding || Photo: A Sight of Love Photography

    Credit: A Sight of Love

    A few weeks ago we had the first meeting with a minister from our venue, who we hoped would be the one to marry us. Luckily, she was totally lovely, and we checked another box off our (ever-increasing) wedding to-do list. She’s going to do some pre-marital counseling with us, which was something I felt was important. While the real bulk of the counseling starts at our next meeting, she asked a few preliminary questions to get us thinking about more than just which readings to have during the ceremony.

    The questions were pretty basic, such as “What do you feel are each other’s goals for your life together?” As I pondered my answer, the first things that popped into my head when I thought of our shared “goals” were material: a four-bedroom house full of awesome vintage furniture, juxtaposed with all the latest gadgets. I continued moving down our list: a really nice washer-dryer set (I guarantee a decade of L.A. apartment-living will move this to the top of anyone’s fantasies), money with which to travel to exotic locales, money with which to go shopping without guilt about how I should be saving it, money with which to retire! But as I opened my mouth to answer, I knew these things were all wrong; I shut it and kept thinking.

    We are by no means poor, but our dollars are certainly accounted for at the end of every month. Between both of our living expenses like rents and bills, food, transportation, pet care, and, now, wedding/honeymoon savings, we’re not at the point yet where we can splurge – especially in a city where surging living expenses are seriously outpacing incomes. But over the last few years we’ve weathered the stress from layoffs, unexpected bills, and education expenses with the best of them, and our relationship has felt a little more solid by the end of every storm. The realization I had can best be described as one of those “life flashing before your eyes” montages from a movie, as I remembered specific moments of affirmation from those times past.

    I finally landed on a memory from only a few days before, right after Thanksgiving. Taking a walk hand-in-hand, we’d fantasized about the family we would one day build and which holiday traditions we’d create. Ah-ha! We wanted those bedrooms in our home to shelter kids and beloved visitors, money to take vacations so that we can give our children the same memories and learning experiences that our parents provided for us. A loving family was our shared goal, above all.

    The strength we’ve found through love and creativity is why we’re proud to be a Broke-Ass Couple. I like to think that Broke-Ass doesn’t mean we don’t have money, it means that we have other priorities. Nick and I felt strongly when we got engaged that we should not spend a lot of money on the wedding, but by necessity of having the big family gathering we envisioned, we were forced to increase our ideal budget. Talking with our minister, who likes to work family into the ceremony as much as possible, reinforced the reason we’re doing all this in the first place: the actual marriage – the blending of two families into one, and the foundation of a new family unit.

    As much as I’m stressing about catering (more on that next post), it’s been nice to take some time to focus again on actually getting married. What a relief, that the most important part of our whole wedding day doesn’t cost a damn thing.


    Elissa Stooker

  • 12/20

    Wedding Paper Divas Tropical Romance Wedding Invitations Bamboo

    Happy Saturday, BABs! Sorry this is late, but trust a sister: It’s worth it. There are some great wedding-friendly deals and some stunning sales from some of our favorites. This is the last Ten for the Weekend for 2014 as we’ll be taking a break starting Wednesday (don’t worry, we’ll …

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    Badgley Mischka Chrysler at Night Dress

    Hey BABs! I hope y’all are surviving the holiday crush with your sanity intact and glasses of bubbly to help. While I would say any time is a good time for sparklez, I seem to see more shimmering happiness during this time of year, which drives me wild with the …

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     Photo: EPLove

    Last week I said that while you’re planning your wedding — like, the actual planning and choosing and deciding — you shouldn’t focus on when you’re making those decisions or feel pressured to stay on track and not fall behind, whatever that means. You have a list of checkboxes, …

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  • 12/18


    Hai Der, BABs! Does everyone have their holiday shopping done? I don’t, but I shop better under pressure anyway. And speaking of shopping, I really want to help Jen find something she loves because her big day is only 7 months away! She is really smitten by “Sofia” by Matthew Christopher.  …

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    Ally, one of my favorite local DFW photographers and one half of the extraordinary team at The Purple Pebble — you may remember them from brides in glasses fame — recently got engaged (yayyyy!!!) and threw a lovely luncheon to ask her ladies to stand by her side on her …

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    Real Bride Jubilance How to Compromise on Your Honeymoon and Still Win

    The honeymoon has been The One thing my fiancé and I have both been looking forward to, and the most stressful thing to figure out, #AtTheSameDamnTime. I may get excited over finding cute designs for our invitations, but he doesn’t give a damn. What he does give a damn about …

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  • 12/16

    50Peach.com Wedding 1

    This is a post Peach and I talked about, kind of at length. We talked about whether it would be better over on her blog because it’s intensely personal, but I really wanted her to write it, because I know the feeling. I felt the same way about a great …

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