Can I be honest for a second? This was the most intimidating gift guide to write. I mean WHO KNOWS WHAT MEN WANT? I sure don't. It seems like the only recommendations I get from the women in my family for the men in our family are things like power tools and sweaters which I always feel like they a) don't want and b) if they did would buy themselves. BUT I think I found at least a few winners in here. . .and if you have ideas, help us all and share in the comments!
Okay, if there's one thing I know, it's that men like food amiright? I can personally vouch for these HOT PRETZEL BAGEL BITES and say they are incredible. Seriously. These plus his favorite type of beer (and a video game if you're really splurging!) will make you the hit of Christmas.
Speaking of food and alcohol, these bourbon marshmallows look awesome. These plus a nice bourbon and some hot chocolate sounds like the perfect Christmas drink.
Speaking of bourbon, one year my brother-in-law got my husband a nice bourbon and some glasses and it was a winning combo. We've used the bourbon all year long, especially to make this pecan pie (make it!). If you're looking for glasses, these look masculine and like a great addition to a home bar.
You could always do a brewery tour, too! There are a variety of tours (not just beer) and you could make a day out of it-- go to the tour, have a great dinner out, maybe even catch a movie or rent a hotel room for the night and enjoy the city you toured.
A go to gift for me to give my husband is an upgraded version of something he already needs and uses -- maybe nice socks or a nice shave set. This one is on Birchbox but the Harry's brand is also available at Target.
My husband often doesn't buy clothes for himself so I love using Christmas as a time to buy him clothes he'll love. This dress shirt from J. Crew looks so festive and since it's from J. Crew Factory it's still affordable.
If you're looking for a one and done gift or something that will ship and look like a great gift when it arrives, I love the limited edition boxes from Birchbox Man. You could also give a Birchbox Man subscription but I think the boxes are even better. This one is the Classics box and I think it looks like a great gift to send someone far away.
I think this travel inspired box would be really fun to give with plane tickets or hotel reservations for a trip!
If the guy on your list is into working out, I think a nice water bottle is a good gift. If he's anything like my husband, he's used to bringing plastic water bottles to the gym. Besides being more environmentally friendly, this one looks and travels much better. These plus a nice sporty pullover or wireless earbuds would be great.
I don't know anyone who doesn't love a foam roller. This one looks masculine and is a bit smaller than the usual so it's better for travel and more affordable--total win!
If he's into coffee, these Starbucks mugs are great and this blue color looks more masculine than a lot of the mugs. A nice mug and his favorite coffee would make a thoughtful gift. Extra credit if it comes with a new coffee maker or even a Starbucks subscription!
If you're looking for the ultimate splurge, I can't recommend these enough. They are super durable, fancy, warm, and a practical yet plush luxury item. These will keep your loved one's feet warm and happy for years!
If the guy on your list is into technology, the Amazon Echo seems like a practical ( read: useful! ) gadget. If you haven't seen the 1,000 (actually well done) ads for it, the Echo syncs to your bluetooth devices and does a lot for you (tells you the weather, turns off lights, plays music, etc.). The Echo has a good speaker so it can play right from itself. If you'd prefer a cheaper option and / or your gift recipient already has nice bluetooth speakers, the dot does the same functions just without a good speaker ( it connects to a bluetooth speaker and uses that as its primary speaker).
If he's into music, a Spotify Premium subscription would make a fun gift. I rarely buy CD's anymore because I have Spotify and it's all I listen to around the house. BUT since I don't have premium I can't listen to it on a run, in my car, or anywhere else that doesn't have WiFi. If he loves music then he'll really appreciate this. (It would go great with wireless headphones, too!)
As we talked about with the For Her gift guide, the key is thinking about what he'd really enjoy. Does he love steak but you don't have it often? I don't know a man (or person!) who wouldn't love a special dinner of their favorite foods. Does he always forget to bring snacks with him to work? Maybe a Graze or Naturebox would be a good fit -- or do what I do and buy a bunch of snacks and stash them in the car as a thoughtful surprise. Maybe even figure out a lunch spot nearby and get him a gift card or set up a delivery. Does he love sports but you don't have the cable sports channels? Hook him up! If you live near his favorite team(s), tickets to a game and a dinner at a favorite restaurant is always a sure bet. Most of us appreciate thoughtfulness more than price value so don't feel like you have to spend too much to get a great gift.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other great ideas! Happy shopping!
Are you in the thick of Christmas shopping? This gift guide was actually hard because there are so many great options! Let's dive in with some of my favorites.
I have not one but two parts of my closet reserved for scarves I love them so much. The ones from Target are always my favorite. I was lucky enough to find one similar to the above in the Target deals section for SEVEN DOLLARS. Check your Target deal section but if you can't find it there, any of their scarves in the regular section are perfect. They are soft, warm, beautiful, and affordable. Highly recommend!
While we're at Target, let's talk about my obsession with these planners. Confession: I'm so obsessed that I got a padfolio, a journal, and two planners for Christmas one year. The Sugar Paper planners are gorgeous and I actually love having a planner for work and home life. The one above is just a gorgeous color but I'm also eying this one! Plus this blush padfolio? Swoon!
This puffer vest is obviously a classic. I've found similar ones at Old Navy and TJ Maxx so definitely keep yours eyes out there is you're looking for a more affordable version!
I always love getting clothes for Christmas because then I know I have a cute outfit to wear. I love this shirt as a gift for her because it would be a great New Year's Eve party outfit with some jeans or black leggings.
J. Crew also has the cutest slippers. I mean, look at those. I was lucky enough to get a red plaid pair last Christmas and can vouch for the warmth and softness of them. Obviously I'm obsessed with gold but they come in a variety of colors and I highly recommend them!
Lest you think I'm eternally biased for J. Crew (true), these from Pottery Barn also look cozy and a bit more low key, perhaps for your mom or aunt.
Okay, while we're getting cozy, I also love gifting Christmas pajamas. When I was a kid we would always open one present on Christmas Eve. Often it was an outfit for Christmas Eve mass but Christmas pj's are always a fun and cozy surprise and a fun way to celebrate. These from Old Navy are adorable, cozy, and festive. Random bonus--I love the ones that are right to the bottom because they fit so much better into cozy socks and booties and don't ride up my legs while I toss and turn in my sleep. These are the way to go!
When your (super happy and grateful) gift recipient is cuddled up in front of the fire or tree come Christmas morning, they will also be super happy to have these gorgeous marshmallows in their hot chocolate. Gold AND champagne marshmallows, hullo!
Those beautiful marshmallows would make a perfect pairing with this beautiful gold mug. I have a J mug and love it. It is gorgeous and I always feel fancy when I use it. What girlfriend wouldn't love gold marshmallows with a gold mug? I can't think of one!
These champagne candies look amazing and would be fun to open and have at New Year's. Pair with a bottle of champagne for extra credit!
If the woman you're thinking of is nothing like me and is a great gardener, I think she would love these feminine, beautiful, and practical gloves. These plus a beautiful trowel, some plants, or a gift card to a local gardening shop would be perfect!
We talked about how one of my go to gifts is Birchbox, a beauty subscription box, in the beauty gift guide, but if you're looking for a similar yet not totally focused on beauty subscription box gift, I really recommend the Popsugar Must Have box. Popsugar Must Have focuses more on lifestyle items. See some past reviews here to decide if this is right for the woman on your list.
If she's a creative type, I highly recommend Paint Nite. I gifted my mom a class for Christmas a few years ago and we made a weekend out of it--stayed at a hotel, went out to dinner, did some shopping, and went to our Paint Nite. You get to drink and paint and if I can do it you can do it! Honestly, I'm so not artistically inclined but they have the system DOWN. They model and walk you through every single step. There are many similar business that I'm sure are great but I've only had experience with the Paint Nite company and have been very happy both times I've done it!
I would say 98% of the women I know are into wine so you might check out some wine events in your area. Wine Wise is out of Portland, but there are many wine dinners and events all over.
If the person on your list is particularly sentimental or enjoys photos, using a site like Shutterfly to make a custom photo gift like a large canvas of her favorite photo or a calendar to hang near her desk would be a good bet.
One of my favorite places to buy gifts is from FEED. They make beautiful bags and gifts and your purchase provides meals or other necessities for people in need (from the US to around the world). I love this bag and at $35 you can fill it with a few fun items -- a soft blanket scarf and a good book or her favorite wine with some cheese and a fresh loaf of bread. Plus for another $8 you could monogram it--so fun!
The trick to good gift giving, for anyone but perhaps especially for the women in your life, is to think about what the person really wants. Do they enjoy fitness? Perhaps she'd like new workout clothes or entry to race she's been wanting to run. Does she enjoy theater? Play tickets and a dinner out would make a lovely gift. Does she enjoy cooking? Perhaps a nice pot or pan and a few special ingredients to make a nice meal together would be fun. Does she enjoy travel? Hotel reservations or plane tickets to a favorite place or somewhere on her bucket list would make her Christmas. Plus, I've still got a home cook, book lover, and homemade gift guides coming at you soon! Happy shopping!
How was your Thanksgiving? For me, Thanksgiving is a great time to connect with family and eat delicious food but also the last road block before Christmas. In my family there were no Christmas decorations or music allowed before Thanksgiving. So, Thanksgiving over means Christmas is on its way! Speaking of Christmas, are you so excited for cyber Monday deals? Browsing the internet in my pajamas with a warm drink and pie getting great deals is the best. SO, today I'm sharing by gift guide for the beauty lovers in your life because many of these sites will likely have some cyber Monday deals!
First up is my favorite hair product brand--Davines! I learned about this brand through Birchbox and then was SO excited when my hair salon started carrying and using it! It is seriously the best smelling and leaves my hair super soft, manageable, and smelling delicious! This kit looks perfect and is on my own wish list.
Speaking of Birchbox, my go-to Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys beauty is a Birchbox subscription. You can get a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription. My favorite is the 3 month because it's affordable at $30 and yet is a fun mail surprise for 3 months--well past Christmas morning! Most people wouldn't get this for themselves but love the surprise and trying different beauty brands.
One of my favorite finds from Birchbox has been this lip brand Laqa & co. These lip crayons are very smooth and hydrating and have great colors. I have the bee's knees (coral), menatour (purple!), and beezelbub (rose). I am pretty obsessed with the purple. It's not something I wear to work every day but it's a great color that's not weirdly purple. I've gotten a ton of compliments when I wear it. This kit is a great value and gives a good range of colors.
My other favorite lip brand, which Birchbox unfortunately doesn't carry is the Fresh brand. I first tried their lip balm as a free sample and loved it. Their balms are very hydrating and smooth and smell so amazing. Similar to the above, this kit is a splurge but has great colors and are high quality. Since I already have most of the Laqa & Co. colors, the Fresh kit is on my wish list!
Speaking of a splurge, if you're looking for the ultimate palette, I'm pretty sure this is it. SO many beautiful colors. I am always attracted to Tarte's dreamy, shimmery colors and this is no exception.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, this one is on my list for that reason and still has similar colors.
If you're looking for a cosmetics case to hold some goodies, this would make a fun, affordable option!
If your beauty lover is also practical (but doesn't have super sensitive skin!) they would love this cleanser. It's an exfoliating cleaner and it smells so lemon-y. It reminds me of some of the Fresh products I talked about before. I originally got this as a Birchbox sample but am sadly all out. It would make a great gift since it's a bit expensive.
Speaking of a luxury, this body oil from One Love is amazing. It smells so beautiful: floral-- yet not overwhelming--and warm. I'm so impatient that I hate how long it takes for moisturizer to sink in and how it can leave a film on your skin. This body oil sinks in fast and yet is super moisturizing. I originally got it in PopSugar box and have been obsessed with it ever since!
What beauty lover doesn't love a face mask? This Korean one is so fun and moisturizing. It didn't bother my sensitive and combination skin and was fun since it's a sheet mask. If you have a few beauty lovers on your list, I would break this multi pack up and add a few other fun items for a great gift.
Something that would make a great pair with the sheet mask is this dry shampoo ornament. The Living Proof dry shampoo is my favorite because it's super effective and it smells amazing-- very clean. I love that you could even hang this on the tree!
Are you ready for my favorite gift suggestion? I stumbled across this one while curating these gift guides and think it's perfect. It's my favorite color (rose gold!) plus is purse size. I haven't gotten a flat iron in years so I had to put this on my wish list!
That's a wrap! This gift guide was so fun to put together since I love beauty gifts and a bunch of people on my list do too. What are you picking up for Cyber Monday?
I don't know about you but I love Christmas shopping--except I hate last minute shopping. There's too much stress when it's down the wire and you have to pick something. So, I figured since I started online shopping for people weeks ago that I would share some of my gift ideas! Today's is super easy for me since I'm into health and fitness. Here's what I'm thinking for people who love health and fitness. . .
If you haven't heard of Whole30, it's essentially a program where you strip your diet of all possible irritants for 30 days to see what might not make you feel very good. This book on the program is on my wish list because I'd love to try this in January! I think their cookbook would be a great addition to my (ever growing) collection and I'm sure I would use the recipes beyond the 30 days.
Speaking of that ever growing cookbook collection, this one from Oh She Glows looks amazing and has great reviews. Her raspberry chia bars remain one of my all time favorite things--and super bonus that it's gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free!
Any health and fitness lover knows the importance of water and loves a good water bottle. I have one from the BKR brand and I love that the silicone protects it -- plus if you take it off you can wash it in the dishwasher. This one is 32 ounces which makes it perfect for the water conscious person in your life. I have the 16 oz and it fits perfectly in my cup holder.
Swell is also supposed to be a great brand and this pink one looks super cute.
If your health and fitness lover lives anywhere that gets cold and snowy, then they'll probably appreciate an at home workout. These are some of my favorites:
First up, Barre3 which I've been doing for years and LOVE. They have an amazing workout library of tons of videos that play with a click of a button. You can gift a 1 month, 3 month, or 12 month gift certificate. Last year I found an amazing deal that was a year subscription for half off during cyber Monday.
In a similar vein, I joined The Balanced Life Sisterhood for a few months when Robin, the creator, was running a $5 promo. It's typically $13 a month and you can get a 3 month gift subscription for $39, which is what's on my wishlist! Similarly to Barre3, The Balanced Life Sisterhood has a whole video library and also includes a workout calendar and monthly recipe bundle. Robin's motto is grace over guilt and is all about small, manageable steps.
If you've been a reader of my blog for a while then you'll know that I'm a Tone It Up fan. So, if you're looking for a gift for a fitness lover in your life, I highly recommend their workouts. They have a variety of options on their workouts for purchase page but the one below is my favorite--it's a collection of four workouts from their January challenge last year. They are all 20-30 minutes and it also includes PDFs of moves for a few other workouts. Plus, it's the most affordable at $25 and the workouts are fantastic. If you want something that your loved one can open, I recommend buying a flash drive and downloading them onto it.
I also own their Beach Babe DVDs 2, 3, and 4. I really like the 4th DVD but it's pretty expensive at $49 and, like the 4 workouts from the Jan. challenge, is only available for online download. The workouts are great, though! If you prefer a DVD, I would pick DVD 3 -- it has a lot of great workouts and is more affordable at $37. DVD 2 is a bit older but the workouts are still fun.
If your loved one would enjoy home gym equipment, I'd also recommend the Tone It Up Gear. I have their foam roller (sadly not for sale right now!) and it's wonderful. I also love their body bands, below, and love them. They'd make a perfect addition to one of the workout options above. A lot of the workouts on their site use them and they really add to the burn and fit so easily in a purse, carry on, or duffle bag. Perfect for those of us who workout and travel.
If you're looking to help someone add to their home gym or they're a yoga, barre, or pilates enthusiast, I highly recommend a nice yoga mat. This one from Barre3 looks great. I bought a Manduka mat online last year and love how durable it is. Plus, it's more affordable than many of them. BUT if you're looking to spoil someone, check out the Manduka site -- they have very plush ones that my favorite yoga studios use and it would make someone feel very special, especially if you included a gift card to their yoga studio.
I don't know about you, but I always work out harder (and want to workout!) when I have cute clothes. These running tights from Old Navy look super cute. I have other tights from Old Navy and love them so I'm sure these are great, too. Plus, I love how affordable they are.
These are also on my wish list! I love the mesh cut outs.
My dad got me these socks for Christmas a few years ago and I've been obsessed with them ever since. I'm adding these to my wish list this year too because I'm always in need of great athletic socks!
If you're into health and fitness then you've probably heard of the new protein powder: collagen. This brand is super popular with the health and fitness bloggers I follow. This one is on my wish list and has great reviews on Amazon--and it's Whole30 compliant! Gina has a great post about why she loves it if you want to learn more.
Finally, if your health and fitness enthusiast is also and outdoors lover, I can't recommend this starlight snowshoe from L.L. Bean enough. We did it last year as a family in early January and though it was COLD it was also beautiful and such a fun experience. It was so quiet and peaceful.
That's a wrap! Hopefully this helped you find something for the fitness enthusiast on your list or maybe even yourself. I'm off to binge watch the new Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix and I couldn't be more excited!
Holy bananas fall is FLYING by.
I just started liking figs and then I couldn't find them BUT they just started appearing at our store again and it made my day!
Fall has been full of great books. This one. . .
Then this one which was just a whole other league to me. . .
Then this one!
Officially fall with the arrival of ciders and pumpkin beers!
Fall produce is THE BEST. I die for pomegranates every year even though they're so dang expensive.
Also, please give me all the chili with pumpkin corn bread. Amen.
In case you were wondering, I'm the most stereotypical and am completely obsessed with everything pumpkin flavored but also real pumpkins as well--the white ones, of course--and mums, oh my goodness! They are SO PRETTY this year. Maybe it's because I could actually plant some but I'm kind of obsessed.
Somehow we've had the nicest October I'm pretty sure ever and we have been LOVING IT. It's been so nice to be outside longer and extend the season a bit. We sure didn't mind that it wasn't freezing when we ran the Inflatable 5k! I'd been looking forward to this "race" for months and it didn't disappoint--SO fun, especially doing it with my dad and husband.
We also made our annual trip to Swine and Stein. One year we found it on Groupon and have been going ever since! We bought early bird tickets for $7 which was totally worth it because the food trucks were great, adorable old men played german songs, and the spirit of Octoberfest was in the (70 degree!) air while the sun literally shone on us. We couldn't have asked for a better day!
Favorite purchase of fall has been these short boots (or booties). I never considered myself a bootie person before--I thought they were hideous and wouldn't look good on me. Then I found a pair at Old Navy that were a perfect green suede and now I can't stop wearing them. They're not the most comfortable shoes but I wore them (and walked quite a bit!) for two days in a row and my feet were fine. Highly recommend!
Loved the Tone It Up 31 day challenge. I didn't followed the workout schedule exactly because I've been mixing running + HIIT + Pilates + Barre + sometimes yoga BUT I did do the 5 daily moves and loved it. A lot of them are HARD but you just do 31 reps of each move and you're DONE. So, it's like 5 minutes of pain and then you feel like a rockstar--WINNING! I did parts of the meal plan too--like making these Tone It Up peanut butter cookies!
Plus these pumpkin pancakes from the Balanced Life Sisterhood October recipe bundle with Siggi's vanilla 4% yogurt and pepitas -- SO GOOD.
Also, pumpkin overnight oats with cashews (or pecans) and pomegranates FOR THE WIN. I love overnight oats because I can prep them all on Sundays and have breakfast ready to go for the week!
Recent news: We got a cat! We're not sure how old he is since their teeth are formed after 6 months and then it's anyone's guess, but we're hoping he's a kitten because he is a TERROR sometimes. He vacillates between being the friendliest, most loving cat I've ever met to screeching around the house and attacking us with bites and scratches. I also haven't slept through the night more than a few times since he's come home but we love him very much! He was so sweet on the car ride home -- he just curled up in my lap!
We had some friends over to carve pumpkins and it turns out Ollie is obsessed with eating pumpkin.
Pumpkin carving sustenance
Halloween was pretty great -- we had our first trick or treaters at our house and it was such a fun moment for us. I dressed up as a bride (yup, wore my wedding dress!) and David was Batman.
So much more has been happening but I'm going to do a whole holiday post later. Until then, I'll leave you with this. . .