It’s that time of year again!! You know, the time when you’re supposed to be buying gifts for everyone else even though you can’t stop finding things you want to buy for yourself. Just me? Didn’t think so. 💁🏻♀️
I skipped doing a gift guide last year for whatever reason (laziness?), but this year it’s back and better than ever! What you’ll find below is NOT sponsored, it’s simply a list of awesome stuff that I’ve either come across recently, that I’ve been using and loving for years, or that I’ve been secretly swooning over (but don’t actually own – yet).
Every year we say that we’re done with all the commercialism and that we don’t want to shell out a bunch of cash for junk people don’t want/need as much as we don’t want to receive junk we don’t want/need. But then, the season takes over and the fear/guilt of not reciprocating creeps in, and we all wind up scrambling at the last minute to buy a bunch of worthless crap just for the sake of giving. And thus, the cycle repeats.
Let’s just stop with that already, acknowledge we’re going to be giving and receiving some gifts in December, and make an effort to have them be as worthwhile as possible. K? Cool.
I’m confident you’ll find something here for just about everyone on your list… well, unless they’re children, but in that case I’m sure they’ve already given you plenty of ideas.
Fix yourself a hot toddy, cozy up on the couch and take a deep breath. We have a lot of area to cover!
For the Clever Cook
An absolute staple in any cook’s kitchen, a microplane grater makes a great gift for anyone that doesn’t already have one. I use mine on the reg to grate everything from citrus zest and cheese to garlic and ginger. After using one of these, you’ll never mince a clove of garlic with a knife ever again.
Benriner Mandoline Slicer
I love my mandoline and have so many recipes that call for using one. Sure, you can always cut by hand, but using a mandoline allows you to make thinner, more even slices a whole lot faster. I love this version because it includes 3 different blades that can be used for making perfect julienne strips. Ideal for the veggie lover in your life!
Cut Resistant Gloves
If you’re buying someone a mandoline, or if you know someone that’s too scared to use their mandoline because they severed their finger tip last year (cough, HANDREA, cough cough), these cut resistant gloves are a MUST. The guards that come with most mandolines are a joke and can easily slip, making them even more dangerous. These gloves allow you to grip whatever you’re cutting and even graze the blade without any damage to your precious hands. MAJOR.
Vitamix Explorian Series E310 Blender
You’ve probably heard about how great Vitamix blenders are, and I’m here to tell you they are seriously worth the hype (and price tag). I can’t say enough good things about them, and this model in particular is my top pick for home cooks. It’s slightly smaller than others, but has the same power and I actually find the smaller blender jar to be better for tasks like making smoothie bowls! This particular model was a god-send last summer when I created, tested and photographed 75 smoothie bowl recipes for my upcoming cookbook, The Art of the Smoothie Bowl (out in April – but you can preorder now!). The best part is this model is also less expensive than the others. At $299.95, it sounds expensive and seems like a splurge, but you’ll have it for the rest of your life and will make your time in the kitchen that much more enjoyable.
KitchenAid Immersion Blender
If the Vitamix seems a bit excessive, consider investing in a good immersion blender instead. This one has several different attachments that allow you to use it as a whisk or even a food processor. While it may not be best for making thick and frosty smoothie bowls (I don’t recommend you even try), it’s great for a slew of other blending tasks and is what I reach for more often than not. I love it because it’s SO EASY TO CLEAN and takes up minimal kitchen space compared to a standard blender. I’ve used it for everything from soups and smoothies to hummus and salsa with amazing results. At $41.33, it’s far more budget-friendly than the Vitamix.
Skinny Rubber Spatulas
Silicone spatulas like these are total kitchen workhorses and I use them for EVERYTHING. I discovered these skinny spatulas while searching for the perfect utensil to help us scrape out every last bit of smoothie from the blenders at Soulberri, and perfect they are. They’re masters at reaching into tiny crevices to make sure you don’t waste a thing. At $5.50 a pop, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy one for everyone on your list.
One of my favorite basic cooking tools, I use it for everything from portioning dough and scooping up chopped veggies to scraping caked up flour off of my countertops. I love that this one has a handy dandy ruler too!
Feast By Firelight Cookbook
This book has taken the outdoor world by storm this year, and I’m honored to call its brilliant author Emma Frisch my dear friend and former Food Network Star co-contestant. This book is full of helpful tutorials (did you know there’s a method for packing a cooler?!), killer recipes, stunning photography and heartwarming anecdotes from Emma about cooking, camping, family and more. This book is a bible for anyone even remotely interested in cooking outdoors.
The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen Cookbook
My other favorite cookbook of the year is this stunner written by food blogger (and my internet friend!) Samantha Ferraro, who is an expert in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s packed with insanely flavorful, yet EASY recipes that can be quickly whipped up any night of the week. Just ask Sam – she works a regular 9-5 job in addition to being a food blogger! Mediterranean food – like that gorgeous shakshuka on the cover – is super trendy right now and for good reason. It’s crazy delicious AND naturally healthy with all the veggies and olive oil, making this book ideal for anyone looking to clean up their diet in the new year without sacrificing flavor.
If you know anyone looking for a great knife, look no further. This company makes my favorite chef’s knife ever (and I’ve used plenty), and it’s shockingly less expensive than all the “good” ones out there. They’ve expanded their catalog to include several different knives along with cookware, and while I haven’t tried any of their other products (yet), I’m confident they are of superb quality.
Handmade Ceramics from Pottery Therapy
If you’ve ever admired the beautiful dishes in my food photography, allow me to introduce you to the brilliant artist who created lots of them. Zina makes stunning pottery and can be found selling her wares at many different local markets throughout New Jersey. Her Etsy shop is currently empty due to local demand, but if you see something you like, shoot her an e-mail, ell her Coley sent ya and Ie bet she’d be willing to ship it.
Linen Pinafore Apron
I’m a big fan of these Japanese style cross-back aprons. They’re the latest trend in don’t-ruin-your-clothes kitchen fashion, and I appreciate that they don’t pull on your neck, making them super comfortable. They look like glorified smocks, and what’s not to love about that?
For the Beauty Babe
These super trendy jade rollers seem a bit gimmicky, but I love love love mine. They’re said to be good for your skin, but I particularly like it for lymphatic drainage and relieving sinus pressure. This one comes with a gua sha massaging tool which works equally as well, if not better, and is great for traveling since it’s so small. I used mine on repeat during our last trip to Italy to help roll out my aching calves and shin splints until it fell and shattered on a tile floor – RIP.
Real Chemistry 3 Minute Peel
Obsession is an understatement! This peel has been an absolute game changer in my skincare routine. I’ve never used a product that has been so effective, so quick or so gentle. Rub it into your skin for a few minutes and you can actually feel the bits of dead skin being removed (kinda gross but also awesome). I have sensitive skin and rosacea so certain products can leave me really irritated, but this peel makes my skin crazy smooth and clear with minimal redness and zero burning.
Grace & Stella Collagen Eye Masks
Another recent obsession are these under eye masks. Ever woken up after a night of no sleep, poor sleep, or too much booze? Of course you have. These masks might not make you feel any less tired, but they’ll totally make you look like you had 8 hours of restful, sober ZZZ’s. They help with dark circles, but even more so with puffiness especially if you keep them in the fridge.
BRTC Vitamin E Velvet Sheet Masks
I love a good face mask. They’re just fun. These sheet masks are especially great for cold winter days since they’re super moisturizing, but they’re also great for scaring the living shit out of your significant other because they make you look like a serial killer. I love putting one on and then jumping out to scare my husband because I’m passionate about skin care but also a savage with no shame.
I was always skeptical of the supposed skin and hair benefits from sleeping on a silk pillowcase, but I was recently motivated to actually buy one thanks to Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness. I mean, have you seen his hair?! I suffer from tragically thin hair that seems to be getting thinner every year. I’m on a quest to do anything and everything I can to keep it in tip-top health, and using a silk pillowcase along with these silk scrunchies has been my most recent tactic. Bonus: it feels really nice to sleep on.
Ipsy Beauty Box Subscription
I’m a beauty sample junkie, which is why I love these beauty box subscriptions (there’s a ton of them out there). I actually get 2 different ones right now, which is excessive, but I’ve been especially impressed with Ipsy. It’s an insane value for what you get – high end and sometimes even full sized makeup and beauty products for only $10 a month. I think they make really awesome presents because they’re gifts that keep giving. Once the holiday hubbub dies out, the recipient will continue to receive a box every month for however long you choose. So, so, so worth it!
For the Homebody
Really Bad Art
Games are one of the best gifts to give or receive, but there are so many stupid ones out there that never get played and instead wind up collecting dust on the top shelf of the hall closet (just us?). I can tell you with confidence that this game is so much fun to play, and it doesn’t require any actual artistic skill. Case in point: when my insanely artistically talented brother-in-law comes over to play, he always loses. 😜
Shearling Moccasin Slippers
Since I work (mostly) from home, I literally live in my slippers. I need a pair that’s quality enough to be comfortable and sturdy, but cheap enough to be frequently replaced. These hit all the marks, and bonus – they’re not that unattractive!
Thermos French Press
We own a Nespresso machine and a Chemex, but this Thermos French Press is what we make coffee in every morning, and we’ve been doing so for a solid 6-7 years now. I love that it keeps coffee hot for so much longer than a standard French press, and is by far the most durable, long-lasting one we’ve ever owned.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
This is comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s autobiography about growing up as a mixed race child during Apartheid in South Africa. It is unquestionably the best book I read all year and I can’t recommend it enough. His story is heavy, but he writes about it with such lightness and humor that you can’t help but admire the living daylights out of him. Rumor has it that his book is being turned into a movie, and I can’t wait to see it. (Sidebar: if you’re into stand-up comedy, he just came out with a new special on Netflix and it is very funny.)
Becoming Michelle Obama
Put your politics aside and just think about this person, the life she’s lived, and the influence she’s had on our world. I haven’t read her book (yet), but I did read this and it made me want to read it in the worst way. She is the definition of classy, and I can’t think of a single person in today’s culture that’s more worthy of the label “role model.”
Wilt and Bloom Macrame
My cousin’s fiancé Colleen makes the most beautiful handmade macrame plant hangers, wall hangings and other pretty little things. They’re super high quality, reasonably priced and manage to look cool in both high end homes and dorm rooms alike.
My late mother always used to say she could never have too many candles, shoes or chapstick, and I feel the exact same way. I love that this company has taken all the good, familiar smells from a place and turned them into scented candles. If you know anyone that moved away and could use a little bit of comfort, this would make the most thoughtful gift.
Chunky Knit Blankets
Anyone else obsessed with these chunky knit blankets, or is it just me? The look SO COZY, and if you’re asking, yes I would like one very much. 😏
For the Travel Junkie
These are the best headphones I’ve ever used for traveling because you can rest your head on one side without even noticing them. They’re so comfortable and actually have decent audio quality, too.
I can’t believe I waited until this year to buy a clothes steamer. I will never iron again, and as long as I have room in my suitcase, this baby is coming with me EVERYWHERE.
Trtl Travel Pillow
Trying to sleep on a plane is one of the biggest challenges while traveling, and this is the only “pillow” I’ve ever used that actually helps. It’s comfortable, sturdy, easy to pack/store, totally washable, and I never ever travel without it.
Catalina Deluxe Tote from Lo and Sons
This is the best travel bag ever, hands down. It’s small enough to fit underneath an airplane seat (crucial), yet manages to hold a Mary Poppins amount of stuff. It has so many cool little features like a side pocket that can be unzipped on the bottom so it can be secured to a suitcase handle, and I especially love the separate bottom section that’s great for storing shoes, dirty clothes, or anything you don’t need easy access to. Well made and worth every penny!
Probably an obvious one, but there’s no better gift for a travel junkie than the gift of traveling itself. If you can shell out the cash for plane tickets, go for it, but something as simple as an overnight stay somewhere nearby is pretty awesome too.
For the Health Nut
Trigger Point Self Massager
The older I get, the more aches and pains I feel on the reg, especially this reoccurring tweaked upper back / pulled shoulder blade situation that makes it so I can’t turn my head let alone exercise or cook. Relatable, yes? I’ve tried chiropractic and physical therapy, and while they’re both very effective, they’re not the most convenient for me right now (not to mention expensive). This little pressure point massager has been a god send, as it allows me to work out all the kinks in spots I could never reach on my own.
Let me tell you why I love this little ball so much. For starters, you can do SO MUCH with it. I use it for a variety of different core and leg workouts, but also to stretch out my back to help with the aforementioned issue as well as my horrendous posture. The best part? It can be totally deflated, making it perfect for traveling.
Yoga / Barre / Pilates Socks
At least 50% of my workouts are intended to be done barefoot, which is brutal when it’s cold out. These socks are great for anyone with a yoga, pilates, barre, etc. practice that wants to keep their feet toasty while they work on their summer body all winter long.
When it’s too cold to leave the house but you still want to get a workout in, having a basic set of hand weights is all you need to get your pump on from the comfort of your own home.
Spirulina is an awesome superfood derived from blue-green algae that makes a power-packed addition to smoothies and other healthy treats. It’s a great way to get your greens on those days when you feel like eating anything but green veggies. It produce s the most spectacular minty green color and is the secret behind our mint “shaka” chip smoothie at Soulberri.
Recess Infused Sparkling Water – While I haven’t actually tried one of these drinks from this brand spanking new company, I’m super intrigued and mostly just in love with their graphic design and marketing campaign. Each can is infused with adaptogens and hemp extract (don’t worry, it’s just CBD, the non-psychoactive kind) and is said to bring balance and clarity to your brain and relaxation to your body. They’re not exactly cheap, but if they do what they say they’ll be worth every penny.
Sustainably Caught Wild Alaskan Salmon from Wild For Salmon
Wild salmon is one of the most nutrient dense, healthful foods you can put into your body. If you know someone looking to commit to eating more mindfully this new year, gift them some high quality, sustainably caught wild Alaskan salmon. Use promo code “Coley20” at checkout to receive 20% off your order!
Gym or Class Gift Certificate
Working out can be expensive. If you know someone that loves to get their sweat on, consider buying them a package of classes or a membership to their favorite gym.
For the Pet Parents
Petcube Bites Pet Camera
Since Chaser and I both work from home our dog is rarely left alone for more than a few hours at most. Still, I’m totally infatuated with these motion detector pet cameras that you can watch from an app on your phone. This one even lets you talk to your pet and dispense treats! I’m sure Phoebe would just be scared of it, but this would make such a cool gift for any pet lover who works away from home all day.
Cozy Cave Dog Bed
The cutest, coziest doggie bed ever! I kinda want one of these for myself.
Doggie Christmas Jammies
A gift everyone will enjoy, except probably the dog.
Pet-Friendly Slip Covers
I love my pup, but my leather couch? Not so much. Blankets work in a pinch, but these slipcovers are a bit classier.
Good Boy Biscuits and Bones
A local South Jersey company (you might have seen them at a farmers market) that produces really high quality dog treats. They ship everywhere in the US and Phoebe highly recommends their bully sticks.
Dr. Bronner’s Soap
I loooooove this soap and it’s basically the only thing I’ll wash myself with anymore. It’s super gentle on my increasingly sensitive skin and smells amazing. My favorite is the peppermint – it will really wake you up!
Dr. Bronner’s Hand Sanitizer
My MIL tucked one of these into my stocking last year, and I’m still using it today. It’s an awesome natural hand sanitizer that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, doesn’t leave your hands super dry, and smells really, really good.
Maldon Salt Pinch Tins
Once you start seasoning with flaky sea salt, it’s all downhill from there. This is one of my favorite little things to gift, and I always keep one stashed in my purse… you know, just incase.
Tea Tree Chewing Sticks
These intensely flavored toothpicks make a great alternative to chewing gum. They’re antimicrobial, breath-freshening and great for anyone looking to ditch a smoking (or nail biting) habit in the new year.
Reusable Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
Remember last summer when everyone suddenly lost their shit over plastic straws? It was a big topic of conversation (to say the least) at Soulberri. The best solution? BYO. I love this set because it includes different shapes and sizes like those extra wide straws that are perfect for sipping smoothies.
The husband-and-wife chef team behind this new local business both left solid careers to pursue their dream of making chocolate. I’m in total awe of their guts and their grit, but especially their chocolate. The downside is that you can’t order their goods online (yet), but the upside is that you get to visit their awesome bean-to-bar shop in Atlantic City’s new Tennessee Avenue business district. Browse (and sample!) their ridiculously good chocolate selection while you sip a hand crafted chocolate cocktail at their bar. Afterwards, stop by Hayday for a cup of coffee, drop into a yoga class at The Leadership Studio and finish it off with a round of beers and a fish sandwich (SO GOOD) at Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall. They all offer gift cards too – Lets support these game changing locals any way we can!
Harry + Beans Coffee
We’re obsessed with Harry’s locally roasted coffee in our house. So much, in fact, that we commissioned him to create a special custom blend for us to brew up exclusively at Soulberri! Harry sells all organic, fair trade, fresh and seriously delicious coffee as well as some pretty sweet merch.
Woohoo! That’s it folks.
I hope this gift guide gave you plenty of inspiration for your holiday shopping. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below and I’ll be more than happy to provide some guidance. Happy shopping!
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