2016 Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide

Annual Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide – all of my most loved items from the past year! If you missed my 2016 cookbook gift guide, check it out here!

2016 Favorite Kitchen Things Gift Guide

Oh my, have I got all sorts of gift guides to share with you today! As someone who often needs more time to figure out their (and others) gift lists for the holidays, I figured some of you might be in the same boat. The good news? Most of these items can be ordered and shipped well in advance of the holidays. We still have ten days left!

Helpful hint: If you’re spending the holidays out of town, ask if you can ship items directly to your hosts house. I ship most of my items directly to my parent’s house and gift wrap them there during my free time. It frees up luggage space and makes life so much easier.

On that note, let’s talk about all the things. I have rounded up all of my favorite kitchen things, stuffing stocker ideas, and life/play items from the past year. If you’re looking for cookbook recommendations, check out this post. Most of these items (approximately 92.356%) I own and love. Love, love, love! All the remaining items are on my wish list. Everything was either purchased by me or given to me as a gift by a family member or friend. I tried my best to include affordable items, as well as some bigger ticket items so we have all bases covered.

Let’s start with kitchen things:

  1. Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine – I’ve mentioned this machine approximately ten million times this year. I love it that much. If you’re an espresso/cappuccino/Americano fanatic, you will love this machine. It’s beautiful, easy-to-clean, and produces great coffee. Downside is that you’ll become a total coffee snob.
  2. Swell Bottle – my sister gave me one of these for my birthday this summer and I love it! It keeps hot beverages hot and I mean, really hot…for like 10 hours. It has also been a life saver in the summer when we’re on long walks with Marley. There is nothing more refreshing than ice cold water hours after you’ve filled this thing up.
  3. Baking Steel – as someone who owns a standard pizza stone, this baking steel has been on my wish-list for months because it conducts more heat than ceramic stones and is far easier to clean. If you have a friend who loves to bake bread or homemade pizza, this would be such a treat!
  4. Instant Pot – I swear, this is the most talked about kitchen appliance of the year, and I’ve been humming and hawing on whether or not to purchase one for over a year. Yesterday, I caved and bought one during an Amazon sale. The jury is still out, but I’ve heard amazing things and can’t wait to test it out. Major time-saver in the new year!
  5. ChefAlarm – I only use this once or twice a month at most, but it continues to be one of my favorite kitchen gadgets of all time. There is nothing greater than putting a turkey or roast in the oven, being able to monitor everything at a glance, and having a thermometer beep at you when said-item has reached the perfect temperature. It eliminates so much stress and second-guessing during the holidays.
  6. Staub 5.75 Quart Oval Cocotte – the perfect sized Dutch oven for stews, braised dishes, or roast chicken. This thing is a work of art, and a work horse in the kitchen.
  7. Mini Artisan Stand Mixer – I own a standard size stand mixer, but have only heard great things about the new mini version. This would make such a great gift for anyone that loves to bake and has limited kitchen space.
  8. Inspiralizer – the best spiralizer on the market, I’ve quickly convinced half of my family to buy one of these. This is such a breeze to use, and the perfect item for anyone with fitness or health-related New Year resolutions.
  9. Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan – I can’t wait to eventually upgrade my old, slightly beat up Bundt pan with one of these beauties!
  10. Farmhouse Pottery Bowls – or basically anything else from Farmhouse Pottery. Each item is hand-made, one-of-a-kind, and gorgeous. I have a thing for pottery.
  11. Vitamix Blender – another splurge item, but one of my favorite kitchen appliances and worth the hype. I promise! Be prepared for the silkiest soups and smoothies you’ve ever created (among other things – I also use mine to grate parmesan, make powdered sugar, etc.!). This copper version is pretty enough to leave out on the counter.

2016 Favorite Things Stocking Stuffers

  1. Egg Toast Ornament – I have a several-year-long tradition of gifting food ornaments to my close family. Sur La Table sells the best ones. Most of the ornaments on my tree have some sort of personal meaning/memory attached to them, and it makes decorating for the holidays even more special.
  2. Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste – I love using fresh whole vanilla beans when I bake, but it can get pricey very quickly. This is the next best alternative. Any baker would love to have this in their pantry!
  3. Dr. Jart Face Sheet Mask – face mask sheets make you look like a weirdo – in the most entertaining way – and make for great stocking item that you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself.
  4. Natural Sprinkles – sprinkles! Do I need more of an explanation? I love this brand because they are made with natural ingredients and no artificial colors.
  5. Aardvark Hot Sauce – my friend and college roommate, Giovonne, gifted me this Oregon-based hot sauce a few months back during her visit to Chicago. It is one of the best hot sauces I’ve ever had! I put it on everything from scrambled eggs to tacos and everything in between.
  6. Waterproof Phone Case – I’ve been meaning to get my hands on one of these for a while, and it would make an excellent gift for anyone, especially travel lovers! I needed one desperately during my recent trip to Alaska and Iceland.
  7. Heat Holder Thermal Socks – my mom gave Connor a pair of these socks a few years ago, and I promptly steal them from his sock drawer every winter. They are the coziest winter socks! I basically live in them.
  8. Fresh Perfume Roller – perfume is so subjective, but I love Fresh scents and these rollers are so practical and useful for travel. The grapefruit scent is amazing too!
  9. ‘Rise and Shine’ Mug – I have a serious mug problem, and this is the latest one that I have my eye on. The ‘Tea’ mug is super cute too.
  10. American Spoon Sour Cherry Preserves – in November, Connor and I went on a short weekend trip to Saugatuck, Michigan. We tried our very first American Spoon preserves (among other offerings!) and they are fantastic. This is one of their best-sellers.
  11. Copper Measuring Cups – beautiful, practical, and perfect for anyone that loves food photography and styling. And they’re on sale!
  12. Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Beans – I love Intelligentsia coffee, and the company happens to be based in Chicago. Metropolis is another favorite! 
  13. North Face E-Tip Gloves – the perfect everyday winter glove (for super cold days, I use heavier duty ones!).
  14. Liquid Chalk Markers – I discovered these a few months ago and love them. If you love labeling and use ball jars or other glass/plastic containers to store flours, sugars, etc. in the kitchen, these are a must! You can wipe it away with water and start fresh whenever you want.

2016 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Lululemon Lined Dance Studio Pants – I mentioned these pants a few months ago! I love, love, love them. They are the most comfortable pants I’ve ever owned and worth the price tag. Perfect for everyday walks, hiking, and traveling.
  2. Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf – this made it onto my Christmas list this year! It can be transformed into so many things – I can’t get over it! The ultimate winter accessory.
  3. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero – I first heard about this book from Jessica and Erin, and immediately purchased a copy for myself. I love tough love, and this book offers humor and a helpful kick in the butt for anyone looking for motivation and momentum in the new year.
  4. Nourished Planner – created by my friend Heidi (Foodie Crush) and Alexa (Simple Roots Wellness), this planner is my new favorite. It is so much more affordable than other planners, incredibly well-designed, and excellent for anyone that loves to cook. I think 2017 is finally going to be the year that I master weekly meal planning!
  5.  Rock Crystal Drops – I love a good drop earring, and these are gorgeous!
  6. Texture Subscription – I signed up for a trial for this magazine e-reader app a few months back, and loved it. If I didn’t already have print magazine subscriptions sent to me each month, I would absolutely replace them with this. A three or six-month subscription would make such a great gift for any magazine or travel lover.
  7. Apple TV – no explanation needed. This thing is amazing!
  8. Leuchtturm Dotted Notebook – one can never have enough notebooks, and this is one my favorites.
  9. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – another fabulous book for, well, anyone!

If you’re looking for even more gift ideas for the holidays, you can view last year’s gift guide posts here. None of these items have been sponsored. Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you purchase items through my links (at no cost to you!). Thanks for your support!