Emphasis on KITCHEN, guys.
One of my favorite types of gifts to give is house-type stuff - slightly fancier items that people may not buy themselves, but that are so enjoyable to have around. These aren't in any particular order or theme, but they are things that we use in the kitchen and around the house day-in and day-out, with a few items that we (me) are hoping for in the coming months! Basically this is me planning my birthday. Almost all of it comes from Amazon, so it can still be here WAY in time for Christmas with no need to battle the crowds on your part.
- Blendtec Blender. I got this two years ago around Christmas time about a week after I had Beck, no joke. There was a huge sale at Bed Bath and Beyond AND I had a coupon and gift card, so I got it for not much at all after all the discounts. I ADORE this blender. It is super powerful, easy to clean, and doesn't have a gazillion parts. I've used it to make everything from watermelon tonic to smoothies to baby food to a dreamy carrot puree just last week that I'm going to tell you about soon. One huge reason I recommend it over Vitamix is that it is just as good AND you can use coupons on it at BBB or similar, where Vitamix is almost always an exclusion. It's still expensive, but well worth it if you can get a little bit of a deal. Plus, it'll last forever.
- Nonstick Pans. People are pretty polarized about this, but I think nonstick pans are important for sticky sauces, fish, and quick meals. I love Anolon Advanced and Anolon Nouvelle Copper for nonstick - they both hold up really well (I don't put them in the dishwasher, ever), cook things evenly, and can go in the oven to finish dishes as well, which is a priority to me when I'm buying cookware since I do a lot of stove-to-oven cooking.
- Staub Braiser. This is one thing that I don't have yet, and I'm keeping an eye out for this one to go one sale. I have a few larger Le Creuset dutch ovens, but am looking for something short and wide and have about a million crispy chicken thigh ideas in my mind for when I get one.
- Bose SoundLink Mini II. We've had this for over a year and actually got one for my parents last year because we love it so much. It is LOUD, portable, pairs to everything, and we adore it. It travels with us around the house, on vacation, to teach yoga, you name it. Such a fun and actually useful household item.
- Cast Iron Skillets. I have a 10-inch and 12-inch, and both are used weekly in our kitchen. Lodge is a brand that I see all the time, and is one of the more affordable brands. The skillets last forever, cook at a super high heat, are easy to clean, and make food SO yummy. Plus, I've read that for people who are anemic or have low iron they actually impart some iron into your food in a good way, and how cool is that? I have one with a silicone handle (since the handles get super hot after cooking for awhile) and love that little extra feature.
- Camelbak Water Bottle. I have two of these and have gone through maybe 5 over the years that I've messed up for one reason or another. Beck has this little one too! I love them because they hold a ton of water, can be washed in the dishwasher, and (mostly) don't spill in my bag. I find the spout easier for drinking than a Nalgene or similar that has to be unscrewed/takes two hands. These are my favorites, and would be fun for a stocking stuffer!
- Le Creuset Baking Dishes. This is definitely one of those fun-but-they-make-them-cheaper gifts that are so much fun to gift. I have the large size (works as a 9x13) and got the small size (8x8 square) just this year and adore both. They cook things evenly, can be used for baking cakes or brownies, and the lid is a must this time of year for taking dishes to parties and dinners. Plus, all the pretty colors! This is a go-to wedding gift for us as well, and we've given several for Christmas over the years.
- Le Creuset Dutch Ovens. This is a bigger gift for sure, but I find these at TJ Maxx all the time and they're much more affordable there! I have a few but have my eye on this medium size - I adore the new matte navy color and feel strongly that I need it in my kitchen.
- Local Candles. My favorite local candle maker is now on Amazon! This is a young couple that I don't know personally, but I've been following their story for some time now and adore their candles. They're soy, all natural, made right here in SC (about 20 minutes away from where I live), and the scents they come up with are so delicious. My favorite is Appalachian Maple Bourbon, which smells slightly more fall-ish but I love it year-round.
- Fancy Socks. Another stocking stuffer idea! My sister works for this company that makes fun socks that are sold by nonprofits, so the money goes directly to great causes, and the socks are so much fun to give and get. I love giving gifts that mean something and having that as a little explanation on Christmas morning - your gift is doing some good in the world while it keeps your toes warm!
Ok, these are my favorites! Things I love giving, have gotten, and use all the time. I'm always looking for new go-to house gifts - share any favorites you love below!
(not sponsored, I wish, just stuff we buy, love, and use!)