It’s here – the 2018 gift guide full of both mine and Brian’s favorite things we’ve used and loved this year! These favorite things gift guides include everything from small to large, inexpensive to a little splurge – you’re sure to find some inspiration for your gift-giving list.
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Welcome to the favorite things gift guides for women AND men for 2018. These are the things Brian and I have been using and loving this year – all are tried and true, so you can feel confident in gifting any of these to your family and friends that may enjoy them.
I think that’s the best kind of gift guide, so while I’ll gather some specific things I think are cool once in awhile (like gardening items or farmhouse decor), I reserve these annual gift guides for only the things I can recommend from first hand experience. If you’re interested in what we’ve used and loved from years past (which are all still great gift ideas!), you can see all my past gift guides here.
There are options for everything from stocking stuffer mints, to books, to personal items, to electronics that cover all price and budget options. I thought about keeping the lists to a price point, but then you’d miss out on the one or two splurges that might be just what you’re looking for. In the end, sticking to what we’ve thought was worth it seemed the best way to go.
Okay, let’s get to it! First up is the 23 things for women I chose to include based on looking through 2018’s Good Things Lists and the podcast’s Cool Things segment. I’ve separated them into four categories:
- Fashion & Beauty
- Fun Things
After that you’ll find the favorite things gift guide for men of Brian’s picks which was a lot easier to compile this year since we started talking about the things we’re loving in the Cool Things segment of the podcast.
So make sure to scroll all the way to the end to see all the great ideas for BOTH women and men to give this season!
Favorite Things Gift Guide for Women
FASHION & BEAUTY:
1| Me Too Zoey Bootie. Just the most comfortable bootie I’ve ever worn. I now have them in both brown and black and need no other bootie!
2| Set of three Stud Opal Earrings in Green, White and Fire. These come on separate cards, so it’s easy to gift them separately or together. The posts are brass coated with Rhodium, which is hypoallergenic. I’ve been wearing mine 24/7 since I got them with no issues.
3| L.A. Colors Matte Eyeshadow Pallet in Brown Tweed. Perfect stocking stuffer with only the colors you’ll really use (instead of those huge pallets that are overkill in my minimalist makeup world…).
4| Lavender-Gray Floral Kimono. This color is so pretty in person – it’s a very light lavender that combined with the floral colors goes with well with so many colors.
5| American Eagle Outfitters Italian Leather Backpack. Amazing – really. It’s all Italian made leather, thick and soft and nicely made. I’ve been loving it for travel. This is what is amazing – it’s under $35! Really – run to get these (or any of the other leather items) for everyone on your list.
1| Bubble-Up Brush from Grove Collaborative. I LOVE using this little brush for big things like cookie sheets and silicone liners, plus the dishes you want washed quickly. There’s a little metal spring thing in the bottom of the Bubble Up and when you add water and a squirt of soap and then push up and down on it, it coats the brush with bubbles. So quick and easy and the brush stays dry in between uses.
2| Magnolia Stoneware Tin-Look Mugs. I bought these on a 2-for-1 sale a few months ago and really like the look. They were bigger than I expected, but I find I reach for them often when I’m in the mood for a big cup of tea (like, almost every afternoon, ha!).
3| Magnolia Stoneware Tin-Look Creamer. I got this vintage looking tinware creamer in Waco and think it would look good in both farmhouse, cottage, and even some modern homes. It’s a smaller size that’s perfect for 3-4 cups of tea or coffee.
4| Eat At Home Tonight Cookbook. This would make a really great gift for the holidays – or for anyone you know who wants to eat at home and could use some recipes and inspiration. One of the most useable cookbooks I’ve seen in years.
5| Silicone Spoon-Shaped Spatula, aka, “Spoonula.” I have a similar spoonula that comes in very handy for folding in foods when baking and also any time you want to scrape and mix at the same time (think making slaws, sauces, and more). A nice thing to add to a homemade food gift, as a stocking stuffer, or along with another gift.
6| Brieftons QuickFold 5-Blade Spiralizer. I’ve been using this for a few months now to make zoodles and am pretty happy with it. It’s nice that it folds up and the learning curve wasn’t hard.
1| Fineliner Pens (set of 24). This is such nice set of pens for a great price. The color is marked on both the top and the bottom, which is great for storage. The color options are terrific and they write smoothly and easily. Perfect for anyone who’s into journaling and/or art.
2| Two-tier galvanized metal stand. I have one similar to this and I love how it corrals kitchen things and still looks good doing it.
3| Newman’s Own Wintergreen Mints. Made from real ingredients and just about the perfect level of mint in my opinion. Nice stocking suffer.
4| Lipstick Charger. I carry this for travel and it’s been nice to have this option for the times you’re on the smaller airplanes that don’t have charging stations and your phone/ipad battery is low (and you’re in the middle of a good book…).
5| Apple Airpods. Most of the items in this guide are in the $5-$50 dollar range, but this is the one bigger ticket item I’m adding because I know some may be looking for a special gift and this could be it! I LOVE these earbuds, they are such a great upgrade. The container is a charging ‘station’ that can hold about nine hours of charge. The airpods hold about 3, so you just slip them in their case to recharge a couple times before needing to recharge the case again. Pairing with both my phone and MacBook were super smooth and the sound quality is very good. I love not having a cord and they sit in my ears without even moving, let alone falling out.
6| Knitpicks Options Needles. These are the best needles, so easy to take anywhere and no clicking straight needle ends to deal with. I only use these now for most of my projects, whether they’re knit in the round or not.
BOOKS FOR GIFTING:
1| News of the World, Paulette Jiles. I loved this book so much it made my best of 2017 list since I finished it right before publishing. It’s the story of a little girl being brought back to her family after she was abducted by native Americans and the gruff old man who leads her. There are some tense situations (it’s set just after the Civil War), but is lovely and heartfelt at it’s core.
2| Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry. I read through all of Wendell Berry’s Port William books in the spring and loved the story they told of life in a small town over a more than 100-year period. The best of them for me was this book – I think many women will relate to a life lived in quiet moments.
3| Middlemarch, George Eliot. I had never read this before (despite having a minor in English) and realized why it is mentioned over and over almost 200 years later. It’s a bit slow getting into, but once you get the characters straight, oh my goodness, how the author gets human foibles and helps us to see them – and how they haven’t changed. For any reader who would appreciate being surprised by a classic.
4| My Dear Hamilton, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. If you have someone who loves Hamilton, the musical – or just history itself – this historical fiction book is just the gift for them. It tells the story of Eliza Hamilton and how instrumental she was in her husband’s success. I love these author’s first book, too, and think I’ll always be waiting anxiously for their next release.
5| The Selection Trilogy, Kiera Cass. Pure entertainment, fluff, and fun. It’s a light story, clean (yep, promise – feel comfortable giving this to teens), with nice characters, but not too deep (though there are just enough life themes to keep you thinking). I think it’s YA, but I know many other adult women who’ve enjoyed it like me.
6| ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition. This is a Bible with beautiful gold illustrations by Dana Tanamachi that has large side margins to add your own art journaling. I bought this for my graphic designer daughter’s birthday and not only was I super impressed with the book, but also the price! This would be such a special gift for anyone you know who would appreciate it.
Favorite Things Gift Guide for Men
While there aren’t as many items on Brian’s list of gift ideas for men, (of course -why are men so hard to shop for?) – there are some GOOD ones. I separated them into these two categories:
- Electronics, Tools & Travel
- Clothes & Books
(TIP: I love that one of his picks this year is a book I gave him for Christmas that he wouldn’t ever have picked on his own – Tony Dungy’s Quiet Strength – so it’s a good idea to stretch guys every once in awhile…)
ELECTRONICS, TOOLS, & TRAVEL:
1| EZVIZ S2 Action Camera. This is for sports and water activities – think GoPro, but super affordable. Brian is using it to get action shots while surfing.
2| Chromebook. The sleek – and does only what’s essential – Chromebook computer, which is also budget-friendly, won over Brian. We’re Apple/Mac people, so this is saying something. It’s been perfect for his mom and also would be for kids.
3| Oscillating Multi Tool. (Brian calls this a “plunge saw.”) He talked about how often he uses this on this podcast episode. It’s great for so many things and any DIYer on your list would think so, too.
4| Porter Cable Impact Driver. Using this instead of a cordless drill was so much easier. Brian wishes he had known about this years ago.
5| Small packing Cubes. When I asked about travel items, small packing cubes like this were at the top of his useful list. He put shoes in one, and small clothing items (think socks, underwear, etc.) in another, and tees in the third which worked out great for a 2 week trip.
6| Super lightweight, Delsey Spinner Suitcase. Every time we air travel, Brian is glad he bought a spinner suitcase like this.
CLOTHES & BOOKS:
1| Old Navy Athletic Fit Jeans. These are for the guys on your list who are thinner but aren’t beanpoles (meaning they have muscular thighs). Brian was so pleased to find this fit.
2| WALMART Watches ($7.88!). None of us can believe the price on these watches, especially because they look so cool.
3| Nike Revolution 4 running shoes. These work for wide feet, something that Nike hasn’t done well in the past. Not only are they comfortable in the EEE width, but they look good, too.
4| Red Rising, Pierce Brown. We listened to this together and actually both loved this and the following 2 books. It’s science fiction with heart and great characters.
5| The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom. Brian re-read this a few months ago and was deeply moved by the story and the faith of Corrie and her family. (Note: I saw that Amazon has it listed as a “best seller in Children’s Religious Biography” but it’s got a LOT of harrowing scenes and sad images. Our daughter tells us now as a young adult that she felt she was too young when we read it to her out loud when she was 10 or 11, so keep that in mind.)
I hope you found something in these gift guides to be able to check off your list. Do let me know in the comments if you found this helpful, what you agree with or anything you’ve found you’d add to the list. It’s always fun to get your take on lists like this!
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