Great Gifts for Under $50

Gifts under $50

I’ve been going back and forth with how to present a gift guide this year. Many influencers are rounding up massive lists with overwhelming options and prices that don’t seem appropriate. 

But, 2020 seems like the year to give a simple, useful, thoughtful, maybe even handmade gesture. So today I’m highlighting my favorite gifts to give, for neighbors, family members, friends, teachers or co-worker, all for under $50. 

Great Gifts for Under $50


Gifts under $50

My family usually buys gifts for everyone, but we decided to stop this year. My brothers and I are at a point in life where we don’t need anything, and the gifts we’ve started to give like tickets to shows, a trip to the spa, or a gift card to a new restaurant, aren’t going to work. 

We’re still giving gifts to the kids, and Santa is coming for Vivian since she is turning two –  I am having too much fun restarting holiday traditions with her. 

Other than that, I plan to take care of everyone who takes care of us and give money. Tipping well during the holidays is more important than ever. I’ll also drop off a few of the items below to neighbors and friends. 


13 Simple Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List 

Leather Wallet

Leather Wallet

Leather Envelope, $17

My mom taught me if you give cash as a gift, try to put it in something that can be opened and used later. If you are also planning on giving money this year, consider picking up this lovely, handmade leather envelope. Available in several colors and under $20 from Etsy. It’s affordable, can be beautifully wrapped and used later to store coupons or receipts. 

Clean Beeswax Candle

beeswax candle

Beeswax Candle, $25

Early this fall I shared my affection for the Pumpkin Spice candle from Basic Bee Candle Co. Well, their Christmas Tree scent doesn’t disappoint either. It smells heavenly, is totally clean, handcrafted and burns perfectly. I just ordered another five to have on hand for the season. 

Hot Chocolate

Belgian Drinking Chocolate

Belgian Drinking Chocolate, $22 

Terrain is a gorgeous nursery and gift shop with locations in PA (local to the Philadelphia area), Connecticut, Maryland, and California. It transforms into a sparkling wonderland during the holidays, and their gift shop is full of special and unique finds. I stopped in earlier this week and picked up a few things, including this indulgent drinking chocolate as a treat for my kids. It’s a “sweet” gift you can wrap in a ribbon and leave on a neighbor’s door step. 

Everything Beautiful In Its Time 


Everything is beautiful in its own time

Everything Beautiful In Its Time 

Everything Beautiful in Its Time, by Jenna Bush Hager, is a real treat. It has no political agenda, but rather, it dives into the lessons she and her family learned from both sets of grandparents. In a year that’s shown us the importance of family, it was a beautiful reminder of why family is everything, how important it is to live with intention and remember that what we do today creates a lasting legacy for the people we love most.

Hand Painted Oyster Shell 

Oyster Shell Ring Holder

Oyster Shell Ring Holder, $44  

Obsessed. The most overused word on the internet, but that’s what I am, obsessed with these hand painted Oyster Shells. You can keep them by your sink, bedside table, or on a stack of books on your coffee table. You have your choice of dozen of blue and white patterns to go with almost any decor. 

Personalized Stationary 

Personalized Stationary

Custom Stationary, $15.50

One of my favorite gifts to give is customized stationery. It’s one of those things you may not think to buy for yourself, but are always happy to receive. And what’s better than sending a thank you note on a custom card? Great for friends, kids, or teachers. 

Silk Sleep Mask

Silk Sleep Mask

Silk Sleep Mask, $50

I’ve given this to so many girlfriends, and every time it’s opened with such genuine excitement. It’s another indulgence you would probably not buy for yourself but happily use when you have it. It comes in nine colors and, if you order it from Nordstrom, opt for a gift box to make your life easier. 

Personalized Cable Clip

Personalized Cable Clip

Personalized Cable Clip, $8 

“Where is my charger?!?!” Literally, every day of my life, this is screamed a dozen times from one side of my house to another. So I ordered these personalized cable clips (along with extra cords) as stocking stuffers for all of us. 

High-End Hand Wash 

Aesop Hand Wash

Hand Wash, $39 

Listen, I know $40 is an absurd amount of money to spend on hand soap, but the scent is divine. Since 2020 was the year of hand washing, why not go out with a bang? I have this in my guest bathroom, and even my kid’s friends comment on how wonderful it smells. It’s a thoughtful hostess gift if you’re looking for something other than (or in addition to) a bottle of wine.

Pine Tree Cutting Board

Pine Tree Cutting Board

Pine Tree Cutting Board, $33.50 

Another special hostess gift, this Pine Tree Cutting Board is handmade, under $40 and so sweet. You can use it for a small cheese board, or leave it on an open shelf as seasonal decor. 

Truffle Honey

Truffle Honey, $38 

If you’re looking for a gift for the foodie in your life, you can’t go wrong with Truffle Honey (or Truffle anything). It makes everything better, especially drizzled over warm brie on a holiday cheese board.


Leopard Print Blanket

Cozy Blanket, $94 ( on sale 50% off)

This is a dupe of the always popular Barefoot Dreams blanket (that retails for $180). Right now it’s on sale for 50% off. It makes a great gift for a new mom, your best friend or your teenage daughter. 


Rainbow Tunnel

Rainbow Tunnel, $38 

Finally, I can’t say enough good things about this Rainbow Tunnel by Grimm’s Spiel & Holz of Germany. If you have a baby or toddler on your list, there is nothing better than well made, open-ended play toys. And as a parent, receiving something that doesn’t require batteries or turns on randomly in the middle of the night is the real gift 😉 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.



Gift Guide: 8 Self Purchases for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

If there was ever a year to celebrate moms, it would be Mother’s Day of 2020.

We have taken our jobs to another level.

We are killing it. 

And we are beyond tired. Personally, I’m operating at a new level of exhaustion. It’s like I’ve moved through exhaustion to an entirely different realm, where I’m so, so tired, but it doesn’t matter, you have to keep going. 

It feels similar to having a newborn, but worse and without the joy of snuggling a baby. 

Us mamas need a break. But without the typical plans of Mother’s Day visits, brunch, or a nice dinner out, our families are going to have to get creative. 

I’ve already set the expectations that I will be taking a nap in a quiet house and ordering take out from my favorite local restaurant for dinner. Ideally, the weather is nice and in between napping and eating I can read a book outside. No one is allowed to bicker and I already ordered myself a gift (see below).

So I thought, for this gift guide, I would put a twist on it and feature some of my favorite things you can go ahead and purchase for yourself. 

Because this year, especially, we should get whatever we want. 

Mother’s Day Self Purchase Gift Guide 2020


Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself



Spin Mop


Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Spin Mop, $120

Meet my Mother’s Day Gift to me. The Bissell Spin Mop. Housekeeping has become too much with all of us home all the time. Between 400 meals and snacks a day, the girls tracking in dirt, and a baby, my floors are a disaster. This mop, which gets rave reviews, gets them extra clean and looking new without the back-breaking exercise of managing a bucket and traditional mop.

To put this in context, I asked for a power washer one year, and it’s still one of my favorite gifts every. 

Yeti Mug

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Yeti Mug, $25 

This is a more affordable alternative to my favorite Ember Mug. I use them both. The Ember is my first morning cup, but these days who knows how many cups of coffee I’m downing. I like this Yeti Mug as a more durable option, for sipping outside on a bright but chilly morning. 

Fashion Watch

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Watch, $495

I want a new watch at some point this year – something chic, timeless, and affordable. But I find most watches in the under $500 category are cheesy looking.

Recently, however, I discovered that Michele, a brand that usually runs in the several thousand, has a more affordable line called Deco. You get the same great styling at a fraction of the price, and the bands are interchangeable. The watch above is available in gold, silver, and rose gold, and additional bands run about $80.

Cozy Cardigan

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Cardigan, $114

Barefoot Dreams makes a line of luxurious loungewear absolutely perfect for our current lifestyle. Yes, they are a splurge but I can tell you the quality and comfort is outstanding. You’ll wear it all the time. I have this cardigan and wear it over leggings and a tee, often grab it instead of a robe in the morning, or have a glass of wine outside when the kids settle for the night. 

Under $100 Pearls

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Studs, Small: $68, Large $98

These pearl studs, by Julie Vos, are a gorgeous, everyday earring for under $100. I love the luminous pearl wrapped in gold leaves. I’m partial to the small size; they are a better size if you want a simple piece you can wear daily. The large is big and bold so it will definitely make a statement. (Be sure to look at them on the model.)

Game Changing Serum

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Serum, $198

By now, you probably know my devotion to Vintner’s Daughter runs deep. I’ve been using it for years and credit it for solving almost all of my skin issues. I once said, if I was stranded on an island, this is what I would bring with me. These days are as close to that as I hope to get in my lifetime. I just placed another order.
It’s especially lovely to wear on these days when we may not be doing our make up as much. I put it on morning and night; just a little bit goes a very long way. It soaks into the skin, giving you tons of goodness and provides a beautiful, healthy glow.

Funny Book

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Do You Mind if I Cancel?

Do You Mind if I Cancel is a series of personal short stories by humorist and writer, Gary Janetti. If you follow him on Instagram, you know he has an irreverent and naughty sense of humor. I read this one night in bed and laughed myself stupid. I found it so funny I kept waking up my husband to read him quotes. It was the first, only, best and most cathartic laugh I’ve had since this whole mess started in March. 

Spring Vest

Mother's Day Gifts to Gift Yourself

Vest, $68

Bri and I try to go for early morning walks around the neighborhood before the kids wake up, to get some fresh air and have a minute to hear ourselves think. I ordered this pretty vest from LL Bean, which is quilted and lined in fleece, as an alternative to a coat, which is sometimes too heavy. This fits over a cotton turtleneck or long sleeve tee and gives just enough warmth to keep off the morning chill.

Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier

12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier

The best way to describe life in my house right now is occasionally controlled chaos. Most nights, though, I fall asleep thinking we didn’t do half bad, and given the current state of the world, I think that’s more than good enough.

I’m learning it’s simple pleasures, and small moments to look forward to that make the days more comfortable. They don’t take the stress and worry away. Instead, they pause it and help you live in the moment.

So I thought it would be fun to share some of the small things I’m using that are helping me, and my family, make the most of ordinary moments amid the most abnormal situation imaginable.

And I’m wondering what has given you a few minutes of joy in all this uncertainty. Tell me in the comments below!

Ember Mug, $100

Since the day we were married Bri has brought me my first cup of coffee in the morning. Now, we try to have a cup together before all the kids get up and our day starts. I picked this mug up early last year and I love it so much.  From the first to the last sip your coffee is the perfect temperature. 

Weighted Blanket, $60

Whether your cozying up on the sofa with a movie, or sneaking in a nap, this weighted blanket is incredibly comforting. 

Wine Tumbler, $25

This tumbler doesn’t need much of a description if you’ve followed me for any length of time. Who knew when I bought this for our shore weeks that it would get so much use during a global pandemic. Now, I use it for nighttime, socially distancing happy hour walks around the neighborhood. 


Candle, $32

I have these candles around the house and light them after the baby goes to bed and the big girls settle into the rec room for the night. It helps separate the day from evening and brings the energy level back to peaceful before bed. 


12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier

Ring Light, $48

I bought this to keep on my desk and use for Facebook Lives. But it turns out it works for Zoom conference calls too! Just a little light on your face helps you look rested and prepared which none of us are right now. 

Moleskine Notebook, $15

Have you noticed that planners are becoming more and more complicated? The last thing I need is another system to learn. But with so many balls in the air I do need to write things down. This simple notebook is my favorite. Every morning I write down all the things and try to cross off as many as I can. 


Apples to Apples, $14.50

I bought this at the request of my older girls (who are almost 13 and 10), and they are obsessed with it. I have been super lax with electronics time during this, but at dinner, we have to put all of them away, and we play this together.

Popcorn Bowls, $17

We do a family movie night one night over the weekend to help define the week from the weekend. We grab blankets, pick something new to watch and Bri makes popcorn with M&Ms and puts them in these fun bowls. Even now I know it will be a sweet memory when all this is over.

Ugg Slippers, $85

I bought these for myself when I was in the hospital having Vivi, and they remain one of my favorite everyday pleasures. They are soft, cozy, and allow you to go in and out of the house with ease.

12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier

Hair Mask, $8

I wish I could tell you I’m indulging in all sorts of self-care, but the truth is I have less time than before. It’s a lot easier to get some in if you can multi task, like this hair mask. This only takes a few minutes while you’re in the shower, or you can slather it on before bed and give yourself an overnight super charge of moisture and repair. 

12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier

Drunk Elephant, $52

Stress takes it’s toll on our skin, as does wine, which I am not giving up. Another overnight, easy self-care option is this hydrating “mask.” Put it on before bed and wake up with soft skin that looks bright and fresh.

12 Unexpected Things Making Staying at Home a Little Easier


Finally, a real book and something to look forward to. I’m currently reading Evvie Drake Starts Over as part of our first ever Virtual Book Club. I bought a hardcover book so I can make sure I stay off social media. Can’t wait to chat about it with all of you!

Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Gift Guide 2020: Valentine’s Day Gifts

Gift Guide 2020: Valentine's Day Gifts

Growing up, my dad was my first Valentine. Every year he brought me home a card, a box of candies, and a stuffed animal. He worked shift work (he was a police officer) and would often be at work when I came home from school, so he would leave it on my bed, or our dinning room table. 

I looked forward to it every year. But, of course, it wasn’t until I was older that I realized just how special it was. 

These days, Bri does that same for our girls. It’s such a sweet way to use a rather insignificant holiday and show our daughters how much they are cherished and respected,  just like my dad did for me. 

Personally, I like to use it as a chance to send something small to my friends. Life is extra busy right now, and I don’t get to see them as much as I use to. So I pick a little treat and mail it out. 

This year, try flipping the script on a day that focuses so much on romantic love, and instead celebrating all the different kinds of love that fill our lives.

Today, I rounded up some of my favorite self purchases, and those that I love giving out. There are plenty of options here whether you send a token of love to your best friend or mom, need the perfect birthday gift, our just want to splurge a little on yourself.

These are all sure to delight with my personal stamp of approval. 

Great Valentine Day Gifts 2020 

Gift Guide 2020: Valentine's Day GiftsHimalayan Salt Scalp Scrub, $42  |  Eye Mask, $50  |  Reusable Nails, $14  |  Rose Petal Petit Fours, $55  |  Nightgown, $130  |  Cheese Knife, $14  |  Cuff Bracelet, $85  |  Crossbody Bag, $248

Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub, $42

This salt scalp scrub by goop is my divine – DIVINE. I buy it for myself and am on my third jar. It’s expensive, but you don’t use it every day, and with three kids, and a full life all I have are the little things right now. 

It’s very effervescent – and gives your scalp a deep, powerful clean. I use it at least once, sometimes twice a week and feel like I walked out of a spa when I step out of the shower. 

Eye Mask, $50 

I’m a big fan of Slip Sleep products. I use the their silk pillow case and this eye mask every night. They are decadent, yes, and make fabulous gifts. Most recently I gifted them to two of my girlfriends on a recent weekend away in Austin. They were big hits, perfect for that $50 gift price point when you really want to treat someone. 

Reusable Nails, $14 

I re-discovered press on nails in 2019. While the Target/Drugstore versions are fine, they feel a little  heavy on my fingers. These, by Static Nails, are not only lighter, but reusable, so a win win all round. You can still apply these in under 10 minutes, and they cost just a few dollars more than drugstore brands. 

Rose Petal Petit Fours, $55

These Petit Fours by LA based chocolatier Valerie Confections are insanely delicious. I send them as thank you or holiday gifts all over the country. Since Valentine’s day is a lot more low key than it used to be, I’m ordering a box to celebrate with a glass of bubbly, in pajamas, while watching some Netflix. 

Nightgown, $130 

Back when I was cute and didn’t have so many kids, I made a decision to splurge on one gorgeous piece of lingerie a year. Over the past few years, being pregnant, and then postpartum, I didn’t. So I’m using this year to get back in the habit. After almost two decades of marriage, I have a lovely collection. Natori makes incredible, high quality pieces that last as long as they fit – so while the upfront cost seems steep, it’s really all about quality over quantity. 

Cheese Knife, $14

After sharing a cheese board for dinner at a girlfriends house, I discovered this phenomenal cheese knife. It cuts through anything so you can chop and serve quickly. A few days after that dinner, my friend sent me this to me, and I squealed with delight. (I’m officially in the phase of life called “squealing over cheese knives.”)

Cuff Bracelet, $85

Net-a-Porter is a go-to for me for gifts because their product assortment is beautiful and their packaging is even better. That makes a big difference when you are looking for a high impact gift in a price range. This simple gold plated cuff bracelet by Jennifer Fisher is ideal for layering or to wear on its own. It’s a jewelry wardrobe must have if someone in your life likes sleek, classic pieces. Be sure to sort their site by price, you’ll find lovely items well under $50 too.

Crossbody Bag, $248

I left my Lo & Sons Pearl crossbody bag in a hotel somewhere – I can’t even remember where. So I finally picked up a new one, this time in tan. It will go with everything, from early morning softball games to our next big trip – Santorini in the summer! 

If you need a “going out” option, or want to give a truly versatile and generous gift, check out their entire selection of bags. 

Gift Guide 2019: Gift Ideas for the Office Under $50

Gift Guide 2019: Gift Ideas for the Office Under $50

I keep our gift guides as practical and affordable as possible while still trying to find things that feel unique and worthy of being a gift. I asked over in our private Facebook group what you wanted to see, and the overwhelming response was under $50 and $25 gifts for co-workers, and random gift exchanges.

So that’s what we’re doing today, a round-up of the best gifts you can give out at the office, or for any “Secret Santa” type event you may have coming up. 

Gift Guide 2019: Gift Ideas for the Office Under $50

Gift Guide 2019: Gift Ideas for the Office Under $50

Tumbler, $18  |  Travel Organizer, $48  |  Plush Throw, $40  |   Smart Charger, $30  |   Yeti Tumbler, $25  |  L’Occitane Gift Set, $18  |  Rechargeable Hand Warmer, $35 |  Packing Cube Set, $30  |  Lunch Container, $40  |  Leather Charger Roll Up, $50  |  Leather Datebook, $40


I have this tumbler by Simple Modern and love it. It comes in an array of lovely colors and patterns. It’s great to have on your desk filled with water to help you hit your daily intake for the day.  It keeps your beverage ice cold for hours and includes a straw which for whatever reason, makes me more prone to use it. 

Shop: Assorted Colors and Patterns

Travel Organizer

This travel organizer is just the thing for your on-the-go co worker. She can keep make up and brushes in the top, and a few jewelry pieces in the bottom.  Perfect for transitioning from day to night, and it’s small enough to keep in a work tote. 

Shop: Assorted Colors but my favorites are brown (above), pearl and red. 


A throw may seem basic, but how lovely is it to curly up under a cozy blanket, on the sofa and watch a movie? I keep a pile of them in a basket in our family room, because if they are out, everyone will use them. This one from Nordstrom is extra soft.

If you order from them online opt for the gift box kit, it’s a $3 up charge but so worth it. 

This is great to give to your always-cold co-worker or someone you don’t know very well. It’s available in an array of colors, but pick a neutral that will work in any kind of decor. 

Shop: Assorted Colors 

Smart Charger

If you need something simple, straightforward, unisex and under $30, pick up this smart charger. This sleek and chic wall charger allows you to charge two devices at once and fits perfectly in the pocket of a bag or briefcase. Easy-peasy. 

Shop: Assorted Colors 

Yeti Tumbler

I love all things Yeti, but this wine tumbler is by far my favorite. I can’t believe how often I use it. Give it to your wine loving work wife, and if you’re feeling extra generous, add a bottle of her favorite blend to get her started. 

Shop: Assorted Colors

L’Occitane Gift Set

Get some of L’Occitane’s best products for under $20. This set includes their almond body wash, body oil and hand cream. They leave your skin smelling and feeling amazing. Bonus points for coming in a sturdy and pretty gift box ready to be wrapped. 

Shop: Gift Set in Box

Rechargeable Hand Warmer

I was excited to stumble on these rechargeable hand warmers. They are great for a tailgate loving co-worker or the parent in the office that is always headed off to their kids outside (and very cold) games, especially great for hockey parents who sit in a freezing cold rink for hours and hours at a time. 

Shop: Available in 3 hour charge ($15) or 9 hour charge ($35).

Packing Cubes

I’ve been using these for years and they are seriously a game changer. You can fit a ton of items in your carry on (no checked bags here!) and they don’t come out all wrinkled when you get to your destination. There are a few colors and patterns on sale right now at Nordstrom Rack, or you can check out their regular priced options here. Either way these are a fantastic gift for a travel enthusiast. 

Shop: Sale options $30, regular priced $48.

Lunch Bowl 

Perfect for packing salads, pasta, or a grain bowl full of leftovers, this travel container is an elegant and eco-friendly way to bring lunch to work.

Shop: Available in plastic ($25) or ceramic ($40) 

Leather Charger Roll Up

Mark & Graham should be a go-to for your gift-giving needs. They offer high quality, practical, yet beautiful gifts for all occasions all year long. I love this tech roll-up, where you can keep your chargers, wires, earbuds, all in one neat little pouch. It’s currently on sale for $35 – so go ahead and add a monogram to make it extra special.

Shop: Assorted colors and textures, with monogram option. 

Leather Date Book

So many people still prefer physically writing down dates but don’t want to lug around an oversized agenda. This pocket diary is sophisticated straightforward, and on sale for $40 at Barney’s.

Shop: Limited Inventory 

Be sure to  check out my favorite hostess gifts ( you don’t have to save them for a host), and last years office gift guide for even more inspiration and ideas. 

Gift Guide 2019: Favorite Hostess Gifts

Gift Guide 2019: Favorite Hostess Gifts

Coming up with gift ideas is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. Like we’ve done for several years now, our annual Gift Guide series is filled with ideas that are simple, practical and leave a lasting impression.

Gift Guide 2019: Favorite Hostess Gifts

I take a lot of pride in the fact that these guides are not click-bait lists designed just to make money. For an item to make the cut, they have to be relatively affordable, indulgent, but practical and impressive both in use and packaging. Above all else, these are the gifts I love to give and receive.

Just like our 2018 list (one of my all-time favorite guides), these are gifts you can bring to any gathering. So stock up for Thanksgiving and take them into New Year’s Day. But, don’t limit them as hostess gifts. There are many under $30 options that would be perfect for neighborhood or office gift exchanges. 

Gift Guide 2019: Favorite Hostess Gifts

Gift Guide 2019: Favorite Hostess Gifts


Perfect Hostess Gifts

Catchall, $29  |  Serving Utensils, $24  |  St.  Jude Candle, $20  |  Buttercream Cake, $65  |  Truffle Salt, $29  |  Diffuser, $55  |   Napkin Rings, $19  |  Hand Wash, $39  |  Veuve Clicquot, $55

Catchall, $29 

This lovely little catchall is under $30. The small size is ideal to keep on a bedside table, or by the sink to corral rings and other tiny things. Anything personalized is a winner in my book, so give yourself some extra time for customization. It’s available in four colors, and two sizes. 

 Serving Utensils, $24

I don’t know about you but this time of year I am desperate for extra utensils and always forget to pick them up. This set from Anthropologie is basic enough to go with any decor, but elevated enough to look special. Add it to a side dish you are bringing, and tie them with a satin ribbon, or present them wrap in a set of tea towels for a complete gift. 

 St.  Jude Candle, $20

My mom turned me onto this candle from William Sonoma. It smells like cinnamon sugar, comes is a pretty ceramic jar, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. It’s a lovely little something to bring to the hostess with everything.

Buttercream Cake, $65 

We received this cake as a gift last year right before I went to the hospital to have Vivian. When we came home, on Christmas Eve, it was the perfect thing to serve after dinner with my immediate family. I decided then, as long as it’s available, we will always have it as our Christmas Eve dessert. Not only does it symbolize a very special memory, but it’s one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever had – and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. (Tip: Keep it frozen for up to three months, let it come to room temperature before serving.

Related: Gift Guide 2018: My Favorite Hostess Gifts 

 Truffle Salt, $29

If a foodie friend is hosting, bring along a jar of this truffle salt. It’s an affordable indulgence they won’t see coming. I always have some in my kitchen to sprinkle on everything from pasta to popcorn. But my favorite is to put a little on white pizza with a glass of red wine – yum. 

Diffuser, $55 

I discovered this diffuser from The White Company when we were in London. Our hotel smelled so incredible I had to find out what the scent was and quickly noticed these diffusers all around the lobby and in the hallways. I ordered several the second we arrived home. It smells like fresh cotton sheets – but better. I’ve given dozens Give yourself enough time to order since it’s coming from the UK. 

Napkin Rings, $19

If your host loves tablescapes and pretty things, these napkin rings are a winner. Because they are rattan, they add texture to the table and can be used year-round. I love a gift with an excellent presentation, and these come in a sturdy and chic box. Take the extra step and have Neiman’s wrap it for you too. It will look like you spent a lot more than $20.

 Hand Wash, $39

Aesop is specially made to cleanse without drying out your hands. Initially popular with laborers in Australia, it’s developed a cult following here in the states, so if your host is up on trends or reads GOOP religiously (raises hand), she’ll love this for her powder room.

Veuve Clicquot, $55

There is no better time of year than right now to toast with some champagne, and while I’m not picky about my bubbles – Veuve is my favorite. So if you need a last-minute gift, or you know your host loves champs as much as me, opt for a bottle of Veuve in a branded gift box, add a big gold bow, and you’re good to go.

Need some more inspiration?

Check out our Hostess Gift Guides from 2018, 2017, 2016

Great Gifts for Father’s Day 2019

Great Gifts for Fathers Day 2019

It is notoriously difficult to shop for men. But I’ve found after shopping for my dad, husband and two brothers for most of my life, with a little thought and creativity there are actually a lot of options. That’s why we carve out space in our Gift Guides twice a year to highlight thoughtful, useful and sometimes indulgent gifts for the guys in your life.

Father’s Day is right around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to order something special. To get started, think about the things he likes, his hobbies, the sports he follows, the items he collects. What gets him excited? 

My husband, for example, loves good tequila and becomes almost giddy when he can share it with friends. He’s also an avid runner, and sports fan so it’s easy to pull from any of these categories and find something he would enjoy but would never buy himself. It takes some thought, but it’s worth it to say thanks for all they do for us. 

Let’s Hear It for Dads

Men aren’t exactly having their greatest moment in history. So while the bad guys are taking up all the air time, and change is starting to happen because of it, we hear very little about everyday men doing wonderful things. So if you’ll indulge me for a minute, let me tell you about the two incredible men in my life. 


Whenever I mention my dad to friends, their immediate response is, “I love your dad.”

He’s a charming, and funny (so, so funny) guy, who is down to earth and has a big, generous spirit.

Growing up he taught my brothers and me all the big life lessons, set the stage for us to navigate adulthood with a strong sense of right and wrong, and showed us firsthand that family isn’t just the most important thing, it is everything.

For me, he was and is my first great love. It may sound cliche, but I don’t believe I would have ended up with such an amazing husband if I didn’t have my dad. Even as an awkward, insecure teenager with a limited world view, I had high expectations on how a man should treat a woman. My dad’s influence shaped much of that.

I realized as I’ve grown and begun raising a family of my own, what made my dad different and extra special in my eyes, was that he was flawed. There was something about knowing that he wasn’t perfect that made him relatable. I was somehow able to see him as a real person and hold him with the highest regard at the same time. I don’t think he did it on purpose, but it was his unintentional vulnerability that made it so easy for me to get along with him. 

I hope I can figure out how he did that so I can do the same with my kids.  And speaking of my kids, if I thought he was a great dad, it’s kinda killing it in the “Pop-Pop” category too. 


Luckily, I eventually crossed paths with an equally great guy, and we built a life together. Bri (or BK as I call him) shares many of my dad’s qualities but with a modern twist. He’s set his life and career up so that our kids are a priority.

He goes above and beyond all the time. Like the time he took a red-eye home from South America, landed and drove right from the airport to coach a softball game on a Saturday morning while his colleagues stayed the extra night for a more comfortable flight option. 

His priorities are always crystal clear, from volunteering in the community because it’s the right thing to do, to spending hours practicing various sports with the girls, to planning “dates” to get 1:1 time with each of them. It’s pretty special to watch. I hope the girls grow up to realize, like me, just how lucky they are. 

Good guys do exist; they just don’t get tons of attention. So if you’ve been fortunate to have a great dad in your life, I’d love to hear about him in the comments below. 

But first, some gift ideas.

Great Gifts for Father’s Day


Great Gifts for Fathers Day 2019Blanket, $29  |  Ember Mug, $130  |  Fitbit Versa, $199  |  Pajama Pant, $50  |  Beach Caddy, $70  |  Old Fashioned Glasses, $114  |  Yeti Tumbler. $30  |  Golf Book, $20  |  Pullover, $125  |  Wallet, $59

I tried to curate a selection of gifts at a range of prices.  Maybe these will work for you or will inspire another idea. As always, my first recommendation is the gift of time. If your dad is close by or you can get to him, take him to dinner, go see a show, do something together while you can. 

Gifts for Dad 

Blanket, $29: A cozy blanket for tailgating or camping. Give it as its own gift, our use it as part of something bigger, like tickets to a game, or a weekend away. 

Ember Mug, $130: Keeps his beverage the perfect temp for up to two hours. This is my favorite purchase so far this year. 

Fitbit Versa, $199: We gave this to my dad last Christmas and he loves it. 

Pajama Pant, $50: Men don’t usually buy pajamas for themselves but always seem happy to have them. Add a pack of underwear and socks, and every guy I know would be delighted. 

Beach Caddy, $70: Make their life a little easier with the Cadillac of beach caddys. After watching my husband lug our gear down to the beach for years, and now with a new round of baby gear, this is currently sitting in my Amazon cart. 

Old Fashioned Glasses, $114: Help him create a gentlemen’s bar with a gorgeous set of glasses and his favorite liquor.

Yeti Tumbler. $30: These tumblers are my go-to under $30 gift. They are extra nice if your dad is outdoorsy. 

Golf Book, $20: Coffee table books showcasing his favorite sport or area of interest is a nice way to add his personality to your home because, let’s face it, I doubt they picked out the curtains. 

Pullover, $125: This tailored pull over works with jeans and twill pants, or shorts on a cool summer night. 

Wallet, $59: A money-clip-wallet, monogrammed with his initials is a nice way to update what he’s carrying around in his pocket, especially on nights out with friends when he’s not in “dad mode.” 

Now, share some positivity and tell us about your dad below.