I always laugh when I make these shopping guides because they are so very specific. Do you like to garden while listening to murder podcasts and then at night turn on a lamp while wearing old man pajamas?
Well then, do I have some gift ideas for you.
Disclosure: affiliate links used
Duluth Heirloom Gardening Overalls (link)
Whether you like to work outside or just like to look like you do, these overalls are my favorite weekend outfit. They’re lightweight enough to wear in the summer and you can easily layer a long-sleeve shirt underneath if you need to. I’ve tried some of Duluth’s other overalls, but they felt too bulky. (Or perhaps they’re just made for legit outdoor people and I’m only a novice.) These are one of my favorite purchases of the year.
Turtlenecks (Land’s End or Old Navy)
I’m 41 now and my aesthetic is turtlenecks and overalls. I did not see this coming, but there’s no going back. I like the ones linked above from Land’s End and Old Navy because they have lots of color options (although, I really just like black…), and they come in long. That’s good because no one wants to see a tall person in a crop top turtleneck.
Slow Cooker with Saute Function (link)
It might seem silly to have a slow cooker on my favorites list, but hear me out: a slow cooker with a saute function will change your life. I’m so serious. So many recipes make you cook or brown something before adding it to the Crockpot and for years, I just skipped those recipes because no. I will not be cooking food to put in the slow cooker thats whole purpose is to save me time. But a slow cooker that lets me brown meat or saute veggies IN IT? I know this makes me sound like a 41-year-old mom who wears turtlenecks, but game changer.
Fleece Blanket (link)
My philosophy on blankets is there is no such thing as too many blankets. This is where Chris Graham and I disagree, but if you’ve ever seen my house, you know I am winning this argument. Also, our family still manages to fight over blankets even though we have plenty? Families are weird. When I was a kid, we had this blanket we called the “soft blanket” and everyone knew exactly which blanket it was. It was teal and had satin around the edge. I can feel it right now as I type this. That’s the power of a good blanket—and why I’m buying the one linked above for Christmas. It’s got soft blanket vibes.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (link)
I forgot to add this to the picture before I finished, but it’s my favorite book of the year. Everyone should read it. I still think about this book all the time, and I read it in June. The Heart’s Invisible Furies destroyed me and gave me so much hope at the same time. This book is in my top five books of all time.
Schitt’s Creek mug (link)
I got this mug for Mother’s Day, and I use it all the time. It’s oversized, which I love, and tells everyone about one of my favorite TV shows.
Sun Hat (link)
Speaking of being 41, I wear a sun hat in the pool now. Mostly because I spend a lot of money on my face, and I don’t want to waste all that money. I love this hat because I can wear my hair up without it being weird, and it travels well.
Wooden Spoon Set (link)
First of all, I will not be referring to these as “spurtles” even though that’s, apparently, their name? Absolutely not. Last year, I began replacing all my random kitchen utensils with wooden ones. There are lots of reasons: less plastic in the kitchen, lasts longer, blah blah blah. But also, they’re just really pretty. So I did it for all the reasons, and, a year later, I don’t regret the transition. This is a fun first set if you’re looking to do the same.
Duluth Apron (link)
I do most of my shopping online because I try to never leave my house, but this summer, I ended up at a Duluth store to return some stuff. While there, I grabbed this apron. I LOVE IT. It’s a little untraditional which makes me more likely to wear it, as I’m not a big fan of the aprons that go over your head and tie. I think this one is cute and doesn’t pull on your neck and has great pockets. It’s currently on clearance, so hurry if you think you need one.
Birk Clogs (Amazon link) (Birkenstock link) (Amazon dupe link)
Are Birkenstock clogs hard to find right now? Yes. I’m still suggesting them though, because I bought some for my birthday and I have not stopped wearing them since. I went with the blush pink pictured above which sounds like a risky choice but isn’t. Think of them as a neutral and wear them with everything. I ended up buying mine from a third-party seller on Amazon because the Birkenstock site was out of everything. I’ve linked both of them above, just in case. Also, there are some really good Birk dupes out, so if they’re out of your price range, go that route. Middle school Mary Ritter had the Walmart Birk dupes and to make up for that childhood travesty, I bought myself the real ones now, but you do what you need to. No shame.
Flannel Nightgown (link)
If you follow me on Instagram, you knew this was coming. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, sorry you missed the most embarrassing vintage Land’s End old man nightgown show-and-tell. Just use your imagination. Long story short, 2022 has been the year of pajamas for me. I’ve spent my whole adult life sleeping in old t-shirts and worn out exercise pants, so this year I decided to become a pajama person. It was the next step after turtlenecks and overalls, obviously. I’m mostly into pajama pants because I don’t like my leg skin to touch while I sleep (it’s fine, don’t even worry about it), but I have been testing the nightgown waters. If you want to also, grab the flannel ones above and we can be twinsies.
Vans High Tops (link)
I’m getting bright yellow high top Vans from Santa this year. That’s all you need to know.
Gold Necklaces (link)
I don’t wear much jewelry, but I do like some dainty gold necklaces I can wear around the clock. It makes me feel less schlumpy. My routine with dainty gold necklaces is to buy a set that comes in different lengths and wear 2-3 of them all together until they no longer look gold and then replace them. The set linked above has lasted 6+ months, even with lots of time spent in the pool this summer, wearing them in the shower, and multiple dips in the ocean this fall. These necklaces won’t quit. I wear the two shorter ones all the time and just add the longest one if an outfit calls for it.
Turkish Hand Towels (link)
Turkish towels were on my list last year; I like to use the large ones as bathroom towels and beach towels. They’re quick-drying and soft. So technically, I shouldn’t add them again, but this set is the kitchen towel, which is completely different and necessary. I love to use this size in the kitchen when I need a place to dry dishes and to wipe my hands on while I’m baking/cooking because they’re bigger than normal hand towels. I also like to use them if I’m giving someone a food gift; I wrap the goodies in one of these towels as part of the gift.
Old Navy Joggers (link)
I think these are the perfect joggers. They’re lightweight and super soft. They don’t feel or look like sweatpants, which I like. You could wear these to the gym, to the store, or around the house. I grabbed a few pairs last season and was excited to see them back this year. I ordered every new color so now I have five pairs. If you see me this winter, there’s a good chance I’ll be wearing them. These come in tall, but I like the length of the regular. I want a little ankle to show and like a more fitted look with these.
Hoop Earrings (link)
I just said I don’t wear much jewelry, but here we are going over another item of jewelry. Interesting. I work from home and have to be in Zoom meetings a lot. My trick to looking like I am not wearing loose fitting lounge clothes is earrings. I realize this makes me a geriatric millennial, but I still love a big hoop. Get over it. These are lightweight and fun. I’ve worn them for a year now, and they still make me happy.
Small Desk Lamp (link)
It’s winter, which means it’s officially lamp season. I think one of the keys to a cozy home is a lamp. Lots of lamps, actually. Overhead light feels harsh and sterile, but lamps? Cozy and welcoming. Now that it’s dark at 5:00, I am in full lamp mode. I linked one I got from Target recently, but who cares where you find good lamp. They’re everywhere, go crazy.
Packing Cubes (link)
Don’t skip this one. I know what you’re thinking: no one needs packing cubes, calm down. I thought the same thing, but this summer, I was influenced by Instagram to buy some. I used them for my trip this October and, I kid you not, they’re magical. The amount of stuff I was able to pack, the amount of space I still had in my luggage, and the way things weren’t hard to find when I needed them? Packing cubes are legit. If you know someone who travels or likes to organize stuff, this is a good gift. I know it seems unnecessary, but it’s not, I swear.
Fanny Pack (link)
This didn’t make it onto the collage above, but my ByTavi bag gets so many compliments and questions. You can wear it across your body or as a fanny pack. It’s the perfect size for a night out, traveling, or concerts. I use this all the time and have a 13 year old who steals it whenever she can. (ByTavi is having really good sales right now, but if you need a discount code, use MARY15 to get 15% off.)
Vitamin C Serum (link)
We’re all wearing sunscreen everyday, right? Okay, good. Put this vitamin C serum on before the sunscreen to help combat sun damage. I’ve been using this stuff for a few years and love it. [Side note: I was at the dermatologist a last week and picked up a prescription strength vitamin C that the tech suggested. As soon as I’m done with this bottle, I’m switching to that. I’ll keep you posted on the change.]
I think every parent should have a pair of AirPods if they’re able. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts, but don’t always want my kids hearing them. I can clean the house on the weekends, drive, and a million other things with one AirPod in and still hear/interact with my kids when I need to. They’re a lifesaver.
Winter Gloves (link)
It’s a very adult thing to have nice gloves, but it feels like such a luxury to not wear those cheap cotton ones that say one-size-fits-all but really doesn’t. If you, too, are trying to be an adult right now, buy yourself some adult gloves.
Weekly Meal Planning Sheets (link)
This might not be a good idea to give someone else, but I’m adding it here in case you want them for yourself. After years of printing a sheet off the internet or just randomly writing a list on a piece of printer paper, I ordered myself this pad. It keeps me organized, has a spot where I can make grocery notes if I need to, and has enough space for me to write reminders to my family on it.
Set of Blank Cards (link)
I realize it’s 2022, but I still love sending cards in the mail. Also, we’re a family that still writes thank you notes. I think they’re important and will absolutely judge you if I send you a gift and you don’t acknowledge it. That’s rude. Finally, there’s always a last-minute party or event you need a card for. This set of blank cards has a fun variety that will work for most occasions.
Flameless Candles (link)
Yes, I had flameless candles on a list last year, but these are tapered so it’s different. I’m really loving candle holders and tapered candles right now. Fully embracing my old lady style. I’ll probably light these while wearing a turtleneck.
Cast Iron Braiser (link)
I bought a teal version of this at Costco last year, and it has become my go-to pot for cooking. It’s the perfect size and easy to clean. Plus, it’s pretty.
2023 Leather Planner (link)
This is sold out right now, which is a big bummer because I didn’t order this when I should have, but I’m a paper planner person always and forever and this is what I plan to use for 2023. Don’t actually buy this when it comes in stock until I do though, thanks.
Jenn in GA says
“I’ve spent most of my adult life sleeping in old t-shirts and worn out exercise pants.” I feel seen and known.
Also, I have questions about the Turkish towel situation. I invested in some for camping, and although I followed the instructions faithfully (even soaking them in cold water for 12 hours before the first use), they are NOT, I repeat, NOT soft. Any help?
Thank you for the PSA on thank-you note writing!
That braiser is BEAUTIFUL!!!
One last query: What do you prefer about a paper planner over electronic? What do you use it to keep track of besides appointments? Is it just for your schedule or for everyone’s lives?
I’m so bummed about the Turkish towels! I wash mine in cold with other towels or clothes, then hang dry them. That’s the only difference from my other towels. How are you drying them?
Paper planner thoughts: I use a paper planner for our family and my personal stuff. If it’s going on in our family, it’s on my paper calendar. It sits on my desk at all times and anyone can check it for scheduling issues. Chris would prefer a Google calendar, but he just wants me to maintain a Google calendar for him and I’m not doing that. I like a calendar with weekly breakdown because I use the day pages for to-do lists as well as appointments; calls to make, reminders, errands, etc.
Jenn in GA says
I’ve washed them and hung them dry multiple times, and perhaps what I really am discovering is that they’re softening, but they’re not a pleasurable drying experience after a shower. Do yours have tassels on each end? These are not what I would call a good feature. They make me feel colder because they absorb water and then just seem to get cold immediately, further chilling me as they randomly touch me while I’m trying to dry off. Perhaps I should gift them to you!
Welll, I don’t use them as bath towels. I want really fluffy, soft towels in the shower. I use them in the kitchen, as hand towels in our bathroom (not the girls), and as beach towels. I agree, they’re probably not best for bath towels.