Coming through! I’m coming in just under the wire to bring you my annual holiday gift guide, so you can take advantage of those crazy “Cyber Monday” sales (can we give today a new name already?). This is the one time of the year that I share my favorite non-cooking related things, although plenty of those snuck in, too. These are all items that I personally own and recommend. As you may have noticed in my recipes, I’m very particular, so it takes a lot to make the cut.
This year’s guide is bigger than ever, and a lot of my favorites are on sale this holiday season. Before we dive into candles, coats and cookbooks, though, I have a couple of unconventional ideas. If you’d rather ask your mom to donate to charity instead of buying you a sweater you won’t wear, Small Token is a new app that makes it super easy to donate. It’s like the PayPal/Venmo of charitable donations, and 100 percent of the amount donated goes directly to the charity. How cool is that?
Also, if your friends are always telling you, “You should really start a blog,” I have a new guide for that! (And here’s my more specific food blog guide.) Or, if you’re always telling a loved one to start a blog, maybe you could get them going? That’s how a lot of great blogs get started!
For even more ideas, check out my kitchen essentials, as well as last year’s holiday gift guide. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll get a small commission if you purchase through my links (at no cost to you, of course). Thank you for supporting Cookie and Kate.
On My List
I’m contemplating a new bike (my old single-speed doesn’t do well on Missouri hills). And any/all of these gorgeous Italian shoes, although I need none of them. Also eyeing Soko’s brass and horn earrings and St. Frank’s metallic peace basket coasters.
For the Hostess
My friends Cristin and Alice make these awesome little napkins (also available in larger sizes). I love their dip-dyed scarves, too (that’s me modeling the green scarf!).
AHeirloom makes really cool, engraved cutting boards with your family name, wedding date, you name it. Order now, because these take a few weeks to make.
I’m obsessed with this scent. It’s warm and inviting and doesn’t irritate my allergies like floral scents can. I get a good whiff of it every time I walk by my bathroom now, thanks to this diffuser. Bonus? It comes in the prettiest box I have ever seen.
So cute, and takes up virtually no space in my holiday decor box.
My favorite scent again, in candle form. This brand of coconut wax candles burns way longer than most. This little one goes for 20 hours, and the bigger candle burns for 100, which is longer than most other candles at the same price point/size.
Target calls this a cheese board, but I’m using it to keep my kitchen soap and dish accessories tidy.
I’m asking for more of these for Christmas. They wash well and they’re so dark that I dare you to stain them.
For the Avid Cook
This is a world class blender. What more can I say? If the price is too steep, I wholeheartedly recommend Vitamix’s refurbished models, too. You’ll never know it’s not 100% brand new.
Heirloom quality cookware from France. I swear, everything tastes better when it’s cooked in one of these. The white one is the 5.5 quart, which is a great medium-to-large size. The red one is the smaller 3.5 quart, which would be a nice size for a single person or a couple, but the 5.5 quart is my go-to.
This is the magical veggie noodle-making contraption everyone’s talking about! I love making curly zucchini noodles with this thing.
My friend Jeanine released the most gorgeous cookbook this year. It’s full of fresh, simple vegetarian recipes that are organized by type of produce. If you love my recipes, I’m confident you’ll love hers, too.
Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen just released a fun cookbook that you can color! Her corgi, Amelia, makes frequent appearances, of course.
Also by Adrianna, this book is organized by season, with recipes and fun crafts for each one.
For the Fancy Foodie
These generously sized mugs are very pretty, and they come in other colors, too. Available in sets of four online, and individually in Anthropologie stores.
I bought this at Vermont Farm Table a couple of months ago, on Alanna‘s recommendation. I still haven’t used it, but she says they’re the best and gives them to her friends as wedding gifts. Guess I’d better make a pie soon!
Awesome wines delivered monthly for a reasonable rate, with cute wine cards so you can learn about what you’re drinking. I tried one month on them and completely enjoyed the wines they sent. You can enter a gift message at checkout if you’d like!
If you have a chai tea fanatic in your life, she should try this chai concentrate. It’s pricy for what you get, but absolutely delicious.
You know, for when you’re taking white wine to the park. Am I the only person who does that? I can also vouch for this brand’s lunch bags and laptop cases.
For the Fashionable Lady
I fell for this ultra cozy, oversized kimono-style cardigan at Loft last weekend. I’ve been wearing it ever since!
You can’t see it well in the photo, but I love this textured (fuzzy) moto-style sweater. I know fuzzy can slide into frumpy really fast, but this sweater is chic, warm and comfy.
I was walking through Target the other day, minding my own business, when this amazing gray and white coat/sweater hybrid caught my eye. It’s really warm and looks like something you’d find at a boutique for $200.
Remember when I waxed poetic about this ultra warm and stylish coat last year? It’s available in blue again, and a lot more fun colors, too. The heathered purple is stunning in person, and tigerlily would definitely turn heads.
Everlane silk makes the list every year. They make beautiful silk tops (and cashmere and more) at reasonable prices by cutting out the middle man. I included a few of their tops in the animation above.
I’ve been wearing this cool (and affordable) bangle all year and it still looks great.
This is my go-to necklace, made by the same brand as the bangle. It’s delicate and a little edgy at the same time.
I’ve just about worn my all-time favorite black handbag to death, so I splurged on this one from Cuyana (their motto is “fewer, better things” and everything they make is gorgeous). This bag is roomy enough for all of my essentials, and then some. The outer pocket is great for my keys and keeps my phone handy when I’m grocery shopping. I couldn’t get the color balance right on this photo; it looks more like the photos on Cuyana’s site.
For the Exercise Enthusiast
McKel of Nutrition Stripped sells this awesome tank top. It’s really soft and comfortable. The arm holes hang low, which I like—it’s not very noticeable with a black sports bra underneath.
These are so soft and comfy. I think they run a little small (or the “compression” effect is just too much for me), so I wear a size larger than usual. I’m wearing the same yoga pants in black right now!
My mom bought gave me this t-shirt for Christmas last year and it makes me smile. Super soft, too.
Ha! These come in different emoji options, if you’re not feeling the heart eyes.
For the Natural Beauty
I’m set for eyeshadow for a long time, thanks to this palette. I can attest that these colors play nicely with green and brown eyes, and I think they’d look lovely with blue eyes, too. They wear well without creasing.
I just bought these tasseled waxed cotton bags for travel. One for toiletries, one for cosmetics. I’m a sucker for tassels.
This nail polish is free of the seven worst chemicals found in nail polishes… and it wears great. It looks like my two favorite colors are temporarily sold out at Ulta.com, but you may be able to find them at Ulta stores. Cinnamon Girl is bright red with orange undertones and Red Red Wine is deep burgundy.
A month ago, I went a little crazy ordering natural hand creams on Amazon. This is the most moisturizing, best smelling option of the bunch. If you want an ultra moisturizing overnight cream and don’t mind if it’s a little greasy, I recommend Burt’s Bees Almond and Milk Hand Cream.
This brand makes amazingly luxurious natural products. This body mousse is rich and moisturizing and smells heavenly. Osmia spoils me; my face has been happier since they sent me their Nectar facial oil, which I mix into my moisturizing at night.
A Few More Ideas
All of Farmhouse Pottery’s products are beautiful and dishwasher-safe. They gave me this cute little pourer when I was in Vermont a few months ago, and I’ve been using it as a vase. I also bought their cheese stone, which is so pretty.
I bought this candle on sale this weekend and I’ve been burning it practically non-stop since then. When lit, the whole thing glows like a little campfire. The scent is lovely but not very strong, which is fine by me, because some are overpowering. I intend to keep the container and put a pillar candle in it when it runs out.
Public service announcement: Trader Joe’s is selling enormous orchid plants for $20 to $25 right now. I’m counting this one as my Christmas tree.