Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide – all of my favorite things from the past year!

Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide - 13 great gift ideas for the holiday season!

It’s my first holiday gift guide ever! I can’t even tell you how much fun I had making this list! Today I’m sharing my favorite things from the past year (Oprah-style) in the hopes that it may give you some great gift ideas for the holiday season. I wanted to put it up extra early in case any of you are able to snag some great deals over the coming days!

These are all things that I’ve bought over the past year or have been gifted to me by a friend or family member – and I love every last one of them! Everything from kitchen appliances to household decor and everything in between. [Spoiler alert: there is totally a Part Two to this gift guide coming tomorrow, because I couldn’t include everything I loved in one post.]

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine – I’m starting big. This is one of my absolute favorite appliances! If you know me, you know that I’ve been dying to own an espresso machine for decades (I asked for one when I was three years old). We decided to buy this with several gift certificates from our wedding in April and we couldn’t love it more. I drink far too much coffee to economically use one of those capsule machines- and this is a full-blown espresso machine that can froth milk (like a pro!) and has its own built in burr grinder. It’s not automated at all, so you definitely have to be interested in espresso making, but it is easy to master thanks to very explicit instructions!

Sur La Table Food-Themed Ornaments – This is my favorite Christmas tradition! Over the past four or five years, I’ve been gifting one food-themed ornament to each family member in their stocking. We’re all equally as obsessed with food and it’s so much fun pairing them to each person (according to their favorite foods, etc.) – plus, they come up with new ones every single year! It’s a fabulous way to accumulate sentimental ornaments over the years.

Bee’s Wrap – My mom gave me this incredibly cool Bee’s Wrap randomly last year – and I can’t even describe how neat it is. It is basically a natural alternative to plastic wrap and is made with beeswax and cloth. You can wrap sandwiches, bowls, or practically anything with it and best of all, it’s reusable! Definitely a fun, affordable gift for a food lover.

Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish – One of my favorite wedding registry gifts (thanks Aunt Meghan!) that I’ve put to use since moving to Chicago. The ruffled edges make it extra easy to produce gorgeous pie crust edges and it’s slightly deeper than traditional pie dishes, allowing you to add extra filling. It’s one of those beautiful dishes that you can’t wait to put out on the table during the holiday season – and the ceramic produces very even browning.

Canon 100mm/f 2.8 IS Macro Lens – This is my favorite (favorite!) food photography lens. It’s pricey, but absolutely worth the investment in my opinion – especially if you are interested in food photography or macro photography. Practically every photograph that you’ve seen on this blog over the past two years has been taken with this lens.

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Perfume – A birthday gift from my parents! I’m a self-proclaimed grapefruit freak and have been my entire life. This perfume is delicate, incredibly fresh (ha!), and smells exactly like grapefruit. It isn’t overpowering like a lot of other perfumes out there. I basically want to spray it into my mouth sometimes (Ellen Degeneres style)…but I don’t.

Day Designer Planner – Ok, so here’s the deal. I bought one of these Day Designer planners two years ago when I was working at my office job. I was really excited to use it, but didn’t get nearly as much out of it as I thought I would at the time (my plans consisted of “going to work”). I only recommend getting this planner if you are a creative entrepreneur or really crave being able to break up your day into time slots! Now that I’m working from home and need to hold myself accountable for, well, everything, I can’t wait to try it again this coming year. If you’re skeptical, check out the free printables and test it out first, because it’s an investment for sure.

Staub Cast-Iron 5-Quart Round Cocette – Oh Staub, how I love thee. If you’ve been dying to invest in a high-quality Dutch-oven, this is my favorite brand. It does not have an enamel interior, which means that it doesn’t chip like many other varieties. I also love the colors! 5-Quart is a great starter size too. I use mine for braising, baking bread, and for basically anything from homemade pasta sauce to soups.

Inspiralizer – This is my newest kitchen appliance and I’m so excited about it! Ali of Inspiralized (author of the New York Times best-selling Inspiralized cookbok) created her own version of a spiralizer and I can’t recommend her version enough – I will actually be sharing a recipe from her cookbook in the coming weeks! It is easy to clean, incredibly light-weight, and is simple to use. As you know, traditional pasta will always be a huge part of my life (can’t stop, won’t stop), but this machine makes it incredibly easy to make vegetable noodles or a whole host of other incredibly healthy dishes to mix up your meal routine! A fantastic gift idea, especially for the New Year.

Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Santoku Hollow-Edge Knife – If you are looking to invest in one multi-purpose kitchen knife, this should be it! Not only is it relatively affordable, but this is my go-to knife for chopping everything. Having good-quality, sharp knives is a cooking game-changer!

West Elm Louise Table Lamp – Another wedding registry gift that I love! This sits on my office desk and I can’t help but admire it every day. I’m a sucker for mercury glass, what can I say?

Target Exhilaration Envelope Knit Back Shirt – I’ve never had much luck with clothing at Target before, but I’ve been loving a few items that I’ve picked up there recently. This is my favorite shirt right now, because it is casual enough to wear everyday, but nice enough to wear out. It also has a really cool envelope back, which is really flattering (and kinda neat).

Paper Source Custom Address Stamp Set – Connor and I bought one of these when we moved to Chicago in June! It’s more fun than traditional address stickers (it also lasts a lot longer, something like 800 – 1000 impressions!) and there are tons of design options. I look forward to using it every.single.time I send a card or letter – and it makes the holiday card (or announcement card!) process significantly easier. You can also buy tons of different ink colors to make it even more exciting!

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