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Five Foreign FINDS for unique GIFTS

Oh dear...gift-giving season is upon us. We all have that person who's impossible to shop for, right? Well, perhaps they'd like something unique from one of these five international sources. All are inspired by some traveling I've done, all ship to the United States, and all are sure to make an impression!

1) SPAIN: Lladró Porcelain. This beloved Spanish brand creates pieces that can sometimes be a bit fussy for my taste, and they're expensive to boot, with pieces regularly in the thousands. But they also have hipper and more wallet-friendly alternatives, such as this cool "Egg Cup" sculpture, a more affordable $110.

2) AUSTRIA: Imperial Torte. It wasn't until my last night in Vienna that I tried our hotel's eponymous Imperial Torte. A pity - I'll just have to go back. I much prefer this heavenly chocolate/almond creation to the better known Viennese export, the sachertorte.

3) UK: Christmas Hampers. No one does a good hamper ("gift basket" to us Yanks) like the English do, and Fortnum and Mason does one of the best hampers in the UK. They will even ship to the USA, should you get a tea and biscuits craving like I do, on the regular.

4) THAILAND: GOODJOB Bags. I was immediately drawn to these "Blossom" bags at a department store in Bangkok. So glad I whipped out the plastic for a tote... it's one of my favorite purchases ever! I've only found one online outlet that will ship GOODJOB to the USA, and while it's expensive, it beats airfare to Thailand.

5) FRANCE: Maison Georges Chocolat. J'adore traveling with the mister, but sometimes a girl needs time on her own. On a cloudy morning in Paris, he went off and studied WWII memorials while I hit the shops in Marais, where I literally followed my nose to the Maison Georges near the métro St-Paul. One bag of bon-bons later, I had an edible souvenir of Paris (that lasted all of two days. Oops.)

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