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. 

“Pop”

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. 

“BK” 

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.

Gift Guide 2019: Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to order something extra special for mom this year. So many gift guides are filled with ridiculous, overpriced, knick-knacky ideas. I think, if you are going to spend any amount of money on a gift, it should be thoughtful, a little indulgent and also highly usable. 

If you are fortunate to have your mom in your life, my first suggestion is to take her somewhere. Whether it’s brunch, a day at the spa or a weekend away, time together is always the best.

I’ve been able to take my mom on a couple long weekends away, just the two of us. Spending time with your mom as an adult, outside your busy lives, is a real gift for you both. 

Of course, we can’t always get away, so consider gifting her something she wouldn’t buy herself.  This year’s gift guide is filled with ideas that I personally use and love and a few readers favorites at a range of price points.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2019

 

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019Ember Mug, $80  |  Rothy’s, $145  |  Fitbit, $120  |  Kendra Scott Earrings, $60  |  Instant Facial, $125  |   Scrub Shampoo, $42  |  Mama Ring, $50  |  Pajamas, $65  |  My Family Cookbook, $30  |  I’ve Been Thinking, $12  |   Journal, $12  |   Clutch, $52  |  Notecards, $38  |  Pillowcase, $85

Gift Guide 2019: Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

Ember Mug, $80

Busy, tired moms know how it goes. You’re up at the crack of dawn, you pour your first cup of coffee and then the morning routine takes over. By the time you go for your second sip, it’s cold.

I bought The Ember Mug for myself a few months ago and it’s one of my most favorite purchases ever. It’s more than a thermal cup, it actually keeps your coffee (or any other hot beverage) at your preferred temperature for about 90 minutes.  

I’m the kind of person that looks forward to my morning coffee as I fall asleep at night, and this just makes it even more delightful. 

Rothy’s, $145

Comfortable, stylish, WASHABLE flats – Rothy’s should be filed under “why didn’t I think of that!” These are great for any season of life. Whether mom works, volunteers or is living her best life and traveling the world, a pair of these will fit in any kind of style, for women of all ages. 

Use this link and get $20 off your first order

Fitbit, $120

Give your mom the gift of health and fitness motivation with a Fitbit. We gave my dad one for Christmas this year, and he wears it every day. The new Fitbits are loaded with helpful features. Aside from your standard step tracker, it monitors your sleep, your resting heart rate and your calories in and out. 

The most helpful feature, though, is the goal tracking. Want to work out three days a week? Need to increase your water consumption? Set a goal within the app and get that feeling of accomplishment as you move closer to the end of each week.

Kendra Scott Earrings, $60

Who doesn’t love a small and sparkly gift? These earring by Kendra Scott have been a reader favorite for several weeks now. They work like a stud but feel a bit different. For under $100 they are a sweet gift for mom that she’ll happily wear throughout the seasons. 

Goop Beauty

I’m a big fan of Goop’s Instant Facial and their Sea Salt Scalp Scrub. Both are luxurious and highly impactful products that mom might not buy for herself. The facial is part of my nightly skincare routine and the scalp scrub is makes your shower feel like a spa – for a minute. 

Mama Ring, $50

This sweet ring is perfect for someones first Mother’s Day as a lovely way to welcome her into the club. It’s available in gold or silver, is under $50 and comes in the most adorable packaging. 

Pajamas, $65

Most women don’t invest in pajamas for themselves. There is simply too much on our list of needs to make them a priority. But I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t LOVE a cozy set of jammies.

I usually pick up a few pairs over the course of the year, usually around the holidays and then leading into the summer. So, I’d be very happy to open up these on Mother’s Day morning.

We’re spending some time at the beach with friends this summer, and I love the idea of a crisp pair of menswear inspired PJs with my coffee on the deck before the day gets started. 

My Family Cookbook, $30 

If your mom is a fantastic cook, give her this cookbook journal to log her best and favorite recipes. It’s sort of a gift for her, and a gift for you as this becomes something she can pass down through generations. It becomes a beautiful keepsake that ultimately shares more than recipes, but family stories and memories too.

I’ve Been Thinking, $12 and Journal, $12 

Maria Shriver’s I’ve Been Thinking is an easy to digest book of inspiration. “Chapters” are short and sweet, with enough substance to give you something to think about, covering topics like aging, gratitude, overwhelm, etc. 

I like the idea of giving it to your mom, along with the corresponding journal, for her to keep by her bedside.  She can use it before bed or start a new morning routine that helps her start her day with positivity and hope. 

Clutch, $52

This straw clutch was a reader favorite last week. It’s perfect for the summer, especially if mom is headed on vacation. You can buy it plain, or have her initial monogrammed.  Either way, it’s chic and useful for only $52. 

Notecards, $38 

I’m always happy to see how many of my friends still use personalized stationery. In just the last week I’ve received a few notes in the mail all on actual card stock.

It’s comforting to know that manners aren’t entirely lost. I have my own stationery I use, and I’ve had custom notecards made for my girls (on Etsy) so they can learn the importance of taking the time to say “thank you.”

This set is under $40, comes beautifully boxed, and is one of those gifts your mom might not think to buy for herself, but will use time and again.

Pillowcase, $85

Who needs beauty sleep more than mom? This silk pillowcase lives on my bed. After a long day, falling into bed exhausted and landing on a cool and comfortable pillow is the best. 

There are a ton of benefits to sleeping on silk, like helping to prevent wrinkles and minimizing damage to hair. That’s all great, but I just like the idea of maintaining some kind of self-care even though I’m covered in spit up and mentally fatigued. 

I’ve given this to several girlfriends as a gift, and they all tell me months later how much they love it. It’s a luxury for sure, but mom deserves it.

 

 

Gift Guide: 12 Gifts for Co-Workers Under $50

Gift Guide: 12 Gifts for Co-Workers under $50
Gift Guide: 12 Gifts for Co-Workers under $50

When we come up with themes for our Gift Guides, we try to think about the categories that are challenging, rather than creating some trendy/goofy/unhelpful roundup of Pinterest worthy, overpriced gifts. This year, while thinking about where we really get stumped, office-appropriate gifts were the top of our list.

Anytime I start to think of gifts, I start with a price range. For this list, we capped it at $50, with many of these recommendations floating around the $25 – $30 price range. The next thing to consider is practicality. Frankly, there are a lot of stupid gift ideas out there. I can’t stand the thought of spending money on clutter. The only exception I would make is if you find a hilarious gag gift, that goes along with an inside joke, but in that case, give it to the recipient privately instead of a formal office gift exchange.

Finally, I consider usefulness and packaging.  Receiving something that is beautifully packaged makes it all the more special, especially when it’s a relatively low priced item.

Today, we found 12 great gift ideas for your office family, that will be appreciated and appropriate.

Gift Guide: 12 Gifts for Co-Workers Under $50

Twelve Gifts for your Coworkers1. Tumbler, $30  |  2. Headphones, $25  |  3. Candle, $35  |  4. Makeup Bag, $5  |  5. External Battery, $25  |  6. Wallet, $18  |  7. Notebook, $25  |  8. Heated Throw, $43  |  9. Mask, $39  | 10. Label Maker, $21  |  11. Wine Holder, $14  |  12. Coffee Mug Warmer, $10

1. Tumbler, $30: These Yeti Tumblers are go-to gifts for me.  I gave them as an end of year teacher gift with a handwritten note and gift card to Starbucks, and my girls’ teachers LOVED them.

2. Headphones, $25: Back in my cubicle days I stat with headphones on while I worked just so people wouldn’t speak to me.  Open concept offices are great, but not when you need to focus.  These headphones are noise canceling and only $25.   They’re especially great for the gentleman in the office that you don’t really know but want to include on your list.

3.  Candle, $35: Any candle by diptyque smells as gorgeous as it looks.  For the fancy lady in your office, these small size of this candle is only $35, comes in chic packaging, and smells like heaven.

Related: My Go-To Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

4. Makeup Bag, $5: I had to include this $5 initial makeup bag from Target.  It’s just the thing to pick up to corral smaller gifts.  You can use it to create a little thank you gift for your receptionist or intern. Fill it with luxurious hand cream, gel pens, mints, chocolates or a gift card.

5. External Battery, $25: As someone who travels all the time, I can’t tell you how much I depend on my external battery when I’m on the road.  Long flights and long delays drain your phone battery.  Having one of these in your bag gives you peace of mind that you can always make a call, order or Uber, and stay connected.

6. Wallet, $18: Another way to gift a gift card without blowing your budget is to give it in an inexpensive wallet.  This one from Urban Outfitters comes in four colors and is under $20.

7. Notebook, $25: This popular, high quality notebook is an easy, gender neutral gift anyone would love to receive.

8. Heated Throw, $43: For your office mate who is always freezing, what could be better than a cozy, heated blanket?

9. Mask, $39: Treat your work wife to a fantastic at home facial treatment.  This detox mask from Caudalie is one of my personal favorites.

10. Label Maker, $21: Anyone who gives me a label maker would be my new best friend. You need to know your audience for this one, but for the overly Type A person in your office, I guarantee you a label maker specifically for their office would be the gift that keeps on giving.

11. Wine Holder, $14: For your favorite happy hour work buddy, let them indulge in a glass of wine in the bath with this suction cup wine glass holder.  Take the gift to another level with a shatter proof glass, her favorite bottle of wine and some bath salts.

12. Coffee Mug Warmer, $10: When I first saw this coffee cup warmer I thought it was such a cleaver idea, then I saw it was $10 … sold.  Instead of giving someone another coffee mug, give them this, or include a new mug and their favorite coffee.

 

My Go-To Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

My Go-To Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Gift Guides this time of year can be laughable.  They either boast insanely expensive ideas or junk that no one really wants.  I thought, instead of doing one specific for Thanksgiving, we would create one perfect for any event you might have this season.  Whether it’s a formal holiday dinner or a casual night your friend is hosting, these are my tried and true, go-to hostess gifts that never fail to please.

Hostess GiftsCandle, $25 with Wick Trimmer, $25  |  Scones  |  Napkins, $60  |  Coasters, $68  |  Cook Like a Pro, $21 and Joy of Cooking, $23  |  Set of 8 Champagne Glasses, $28  |  Rose Petal Petits Fours, $50  |  Boos Block, On Sale, $75

 

Candle, $25 with Wick Trimmer, $25: Who doesn’t love a candle, especially one that smells like the holidays.  For a simple $25 gift, pick up a gorgeous candle from Anthropologie.  Their packaging alone is worth the price tag, but the quality matches.  Want to kick it up a notch?  Include a wick trimmer and snuffer for some added elegance.  I like this set from Williams Sonoma.  You can not only use it, but it looks pretty sitting on a coffee table.

Scones : This is my go-to gift anytime someone is creating a big meal, and it couldn’t be easier.  I love Jenny Steffens blog, Everyday Occasions.   She has lovely entertaining and decor ideas.  Her scone recipe never fails and is divine.  I wipe this up in about 15 minutes, shape it into wedges and, here’s the trick, leave it raw so your hostess can warm them up in the morning. You can buy kraft gift boxes right from her website, include the glaze in a piping bag, and wrap in a grosgrain ribbon. It’s a thoughtful, practical, affordable and impressive gift.

Napkins, $60:  If you have enough lead time, there is nothing better in my book than monogrammed napkins.  Go the festive route or keep it simple with a classic white dinner napkin.

Coasters, $68: If you’re bringing a bottle of wine, consider adding a gorgeous set of coasters too.  It’s an easy way to add to your gift and leave behind something your hostess will use well after the party.

Cook Like a Pro, $21 and Joy of Cooking, $23: Visiting someone who loves to cook and entertain? Then they would love a new cookbook.  Go for a classic, like Joy of Cooking or a new release like Cook Like a Pro from my idol, Ina Garten.

Set of 8 Champagne Glasses, $28: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up with a set of Champagne glasses and a bottle of bubbly and our hostesses opens everything up immediately.  I know I break wine and champagne glasses all the time and rarely am sitting on a full set, so bringing a few more along is thoughtful and appreciated.

Rose Petal Petits Fours, $50: These little bites are as delicious as they are beautiful.  You have to order them ahead of time, but you’ll love having a few in your fridge to bring to last-minute get-togethers.  The only challenge is not eating them yourself.  You can also have them sent directly to friends, family, and clients across the country.  I guarantee you people will go crazy for them.

Boos Block, On Sale, $75 Finally, take cheese board duty to the next level by including a classic cutting board to leave behind.  I like this Boos Block specifically because it of it’s shaped and you can use it after the party to sit out on your island and corral different everyday kitchen essentials.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide
Mother's Day Gift Guide - The Well Dressed Life

At this point in my life as a mother, all I want for Mother’s Day is a quiet morning to catch up on sleep, and a latte and scone from the local coffee shop in bed.  If there is a Real Housewives of New York marathon to watch on Bravo, even better. I don’t want to hear bickering, or fighting over of the Xbox controller, and I want bedrooms picked up and laundry put away without having to go into international level negotiations.  I’d like to not have to get dressed and rush out the door, maybe read a book in the afternoon, take a long walk and go to a low key dinner in the neighborhood so I don’t have to touch my kitchen.  That’s it.  Simple, easy and affordable.

Gifts are lovely too but not necessary. When my kids were little I lived for their school made presents. Especially the “all about my mom” papers that would come home, telling me that I love wine (I do), my favorite thing to do is go to Target (it’s not), and I’m 24 years old (lol).

When I select a gift for any occasion,  I try to come up with something a little indulgent, thoughtful, personal and, most important, usable. We’ve done gift guides for years, but never for Mother’s Day. So this year Lauren and I decided to come up with a list of things we actually want to help inspire your wish list, because how many framed pictures of your kids do you really need?

Our Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2018

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Pajamas, $95  |  Fry Pan, $194  |  Bangle, $430  |  Short Stem Wine Glasses, $29  |  Tote, $465  |  Bath Soak, $35  |  Hairdryer, $399  |  Cookbook, $18  |  Wool Lounger, $95  |  Sandals, $80

Pajamas, $95: I love pajamas but I only ever buy them twice a year, once at Christmas, and once in the summer, so I have something decent looking for our time at the shore.  Over the years I’ve gathered a few I love, my favorites are all from J.Crew. Their vintage men wear inspired pajamas are cozy and wash well. For a few extra dollars, you can have them monogrammed. I mean, how chic is that?

Fry Pan, $194: Last year I replaced my 15-year-old pots and pans set from my wedding registry with a gorgeous stainless steel All-Clad set. It was an investment, but I love to cook and decided a few months ago I was going to learn proper technique. The set came with enough to get me started, and I like the idea of collecting pieces with time, like this 14″ fry pan. When you are coming up with a gift, think about what the recipient is into and go from there. Thoughtful gifts are often the most practical.

Bangle, $430: Lauren and I are obsessed with these enamel bangles from Hermes.  Do we have them? No. Are we getting them for Mother’s Day? Also, no.  But it’s nice to dream.

Short Stem Wine Glasses, $29: Such a sweet and affordable gift for mom, your friend getting married, or just for yourself.  They have a charm to them that makes me want to sit on the front porch on a sunny afternoon with a bottle of rose.  Obviously, opt for the monogram.

Tote, $465: This tote we featured last week has been incredibly popular and a great gift for moms in any season of life.  It can be used as a diaper bag, work tote, or weekend travel bag.  The options are pretty much endless.

Bath Soak, $35:  For the mom who loves her nightly baths, these salts by Goop are incredible.  Aside from the pretty packaging and clever names, they are also filled with all sorts of good stuff to help detoxify and hydrate your skin.  Complete the gift with an extra fluffy towel or robe and some much need alone time.

Hairdryer, $399: As someone who has spent a small fortune on a hairdryer, I’m here to tell you they are worth every single penny.  I bought my T3 several years ago, and now Dyson, (yes, the same as the vacuum), has come out with an even better option.  If you have long, and/or thick hair, the process of blow drying can be incredibly time consuming.  These power dryers cut that time in half, are lightweight, packable, and are high quality, so you’ll have them for years and years.

Cookbook, $18: Nothing is better than a cookbook you can read in bed like a magazine and who better to spend time with than the always lovely Joanna Gaines.  Personally, I wish she would write a book on how to have five kids and still kick it at business, but I’ll settle for her fried chicken receipe while I wait.

Wool Lounger, $95:  From our new favorite brand All Birds, it’s a slipper and a casual shoe all in one. Throw them on to take the kids to school, walk the dog, pick up your mail, even go to the grocery store and not be embarrassed when you run into someone you know.  Leave them by your back door so you can slip them on and go.

Sandals, $80 A little leopard print in your look is always a good thing and these J.Crew flat sandals are perfect for summer.  Pair them with jeans and a cute tee shirt, or wear them with a bright sheath for a night out. Also available in a go-with-everything neutral color tan.