I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, regardless of what it looked like for you and your families. I really try to keep this space free of being a “you need to buy this” environment. I love to share our projects, and by default I share the sources for these projects. This is why I have steered away from gift guides in the past. But last night I was doing a little online shopping, and using a few of my go-to gift guide providing IG friends. It got me thinking, maybe I can be helpful in sparking a few gift ideas for those you love. These are all of the beloved things that have made 2020 a little brighter, cozier, or easier for me and my family.
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1) Coop Pillow: I am sure by now you have seen these around being recommended by others. But, I am here to tell you it is the real deal. We have had the same pillows for nearly 7 years. To start with they we basic quality at best. Over the years they were basically flat pancakes with a pillowcase on them. I was having a lot of earaches because I am a side sleeper, and I couldn’t take it any longer. So a few months into the spring and the pandemic, we treated ourselves to these pillows. They have been amazing. You can adjust the fill to add more or less depending on how you like your pillow.
2) Sudio Headphones: If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I listen to podcasts & audio books daily. Usually I have these in when we take our stroller walk and then I use them during naptimes and after the boys are bed to listen to a podcast while I do my chores. It truly is the best motivator to do the less appealing tasks around my house, if I know I have some entertainment while I do it. I love that these have a cord on them, so they are quick and easy to pull out of my ears if I need to talk to the kids. It also keeps them together and makes them less of a choking hazard to curious toddlers.
3) House Slippers: We have wood floors so slippers are a must! I love the thick an structured sole on these that makes them almost shoe like. I am an Ugg slipper loyalist because they just do it right. Honestly, I attended college in the midwest in the early 2000’s so Ugg’s will always have a special place in my heart. They hold up well and that is saying a lot because I am EXTREMELY tough on shoes of any kind. One of my favorite features of the UGG slipper is that they make replacement insoles, which I am asking for this year for Christmas to freshen these up. In a year where I have spent more time in my slippers than any pair of shoes I own, these have become a prized possession.
4) Kindle: I got this simple version last year as Christmas gift and it has been by my side nonstop. I swore up and down that I was a physical book only reader, and for nonfiction that still mostly holds true. But this thing has really increased my reading. It’s so much easier to carry this along with me when I am chasing kids around the house or when I was frequently nursing a baby. I love (and my book budget is blown) by how easy it is to just download my next book when I finish the next. It is also SO much easier to read on this in bed, than trying to hold a book spine, in my opinion. Which in return has shifted me to reading before bed and not scrolling on my phone.
5) The worlds best blanket: I bought this blanket for the basement den and it has been confiscated to the family room upstairs where I use it everyday. I love it so much I added another one to my Christmas list. I would have one in every room of our house if it wasn’t a little on the pricier side. It is a great size, the fur/ sherpa lining is insanely soft, it is a really good weight and feels like a hug, and the knit outeside is soft and beautiful.
6) Socks: Ok so these are little odd. But, I love socks with grippers on the bottom. Years ago before I had the boys I took barre fitness classes at a studio where you wore socks like these for the workout. I had a huge collection of them, and they are my go to socks to throw on. These have a little compression and will keep you from slipping on your wood floors when you are running across the house in them to get your toddler off the kitchen island, from my experience. They are hospital sock chic.
7) Polartech: 1/2 snap sweatshirt. This thing is amazing. It’s soft and cozy enough to wear all day long, especially if you are always freezing like I am. But it is even warm enough that I have worn it as my jacket on our walks in most of the spring and fall. It is my most worn piece of clothing, and if I were turned into a cartoon character I am certain this would be the outfit I would be drawn wearing.
8) Hand Towels: I bought these pretty towels for styling our mudroom, but have since bought several more for the kitchen. They look beautiful, have held up surprisingly well, and are actually really absorbent. For the kitchen especially, I feel like I have a hard time finding towels that both look good but also absorb water for drying. I am hoping to by a few more to replace my dud kitchen towels when I do my spring cleaning and organizing.
9) This book: This would be such a great gift for yourself to start the new year with. Buy the physical copy so you can take notes in it! I have followed Kendra’s Podcast for a few years, and didn’t hesitate at all to buy this book. It did not disappoint, and has become a reference for me when I am trying to work through how I want to approach a project for our home, my personal life, or work.
10) This Cup: I have had this for almost 2 years and it is always with me. I love using a straw, so pairing this with the straw lid was a must for me. It keeps my ice all day, my water cold, its easy to clean, the outside doesn’t get cold, and it comes in several simple colors. Everyone in our family (my husband and two boys) each have their own version of the hydroflask cup. We don’t drink water out of anything else, and it keeps the “cup clutter” in our home to a minimum. Everyone knows whose cup is whose and for the most part it helps us all drink more water because we just keep them with us all day long.
11) Face Wipes: I am sure you have seen the popular Billie razors, and I use those too. But the real star, of their product line in my opinion, are these make up wipes. I don’t use make up wipes everyday, but there are days where a makeup wipe is necessary. I am super picky about my beauty products and these checked all of the boxes. They are biodegradable (so important!), smell amazing, have clean ingredients, and have a vitamin C serum in them that makes my skin look like it did in 2019 before I aged 15 years in 8 months.
12) Framebridge: One of my most beloved things in my home is my mom’s handwritten Red Velvet Cake recipe that I had Framebridge frame last year. Custom framing is expensive and intimidating, but Framebridge really helps to make it more accessible. I have used them many times and their customer services is wonderful and the products always turn out beautiful. Even their packaging is beautiful, making it a very special gift idea. Every year for Christmas, I have one or two family photos printed and framed through them to give a gift to my mother in-law. My personal favorite frame is the Georgetown. Another great way to support a small business and make a really personal gift would be to buy a meaningful digital print from one of these shops: Jefferson Print, Juniper Print Shop, BFF Print Shop, Shoppe Vintage Supply and have it custom framed.
13) These pillow covers: Beautiful pillow covers are SO expensive, and rightfully so. They are often made by small shops (yay!) and from beautiful handmade or vintage fabrics. This is one area of my home decor I am really working on curating. Ideally I want to support as many smaller shops as I can, slowly adding in pillows that I truly love and not just ones that will “work” in the meantime. I ordered a few pillows from Jolie Marche for the Basement One Room Challenge, and will be a returning customer. They are a small – batch pillow producer out of Tennessee, but the prices are really reasonable for the details and quality. So many beautiful options to choose from.
14) Branch Basics: This product completely changed how I clean my home. During my last pregnancy I really wanted to switch to a “clean” and nontoxic cleaning product. I spent months, no joke but also no surprise if you know me, searching for the best product. This comes as a concentrate that you mix to different strengths depending on the use. I do not use another cleaning product in my home for routine cleaning. I keep a spray bottle of this on our counter to spray fruits+ veggies, clean the countertops and everything else in the kitchen, and spray the dishes in the sink to wash them. It has cut out the kitchen clutter by only having one product on my countertops. I also use it for our laundry, windows, dusting, toilets, literally everything. I have given a gift card for the starter set to someone in our family every year.
I hope you find this useful if you are thinking of practical and special gift ideas for those your love, or even for yourself.