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It’s been too long since we had a thread listing the best gifts we’ve received (or that we would recommend to or for other people as gifts) — so here are the prompts:
Best makeup/skincare/nail polish product:
Best jewelry or accessory:
Best travel-related purchase (business travel or other):
Best pajamas/lounge/athleisure item:
Best kitchen item:
Best pantry/shelf-stable food item (e.g., fancy olive oil):
Best wine, beer, or liquor:
Best shippable gift basket, flower delivery, etc., you’ve received:
Best home item (e.g., blanket, Roomba):
Best thing you received or bought where Social Media Made You Do It:
Best gift you hesitated getting/keeping but now love:
Best restaurant meal or giftable experience (please note city):
Best play/musical/event experience (please note city):
Best hobby-related gift (e.g., a wetsuit for your love of kayaking):
Best $20 or under you’ve spent (or estimate a gift to have cost):
(Looking back) – What gift(s) have you received or bought for yourself for graduation(s) that you adored?:
(Looking back) – What gift(s) have you received or bought for yourself for milestone birthdays that were amazing?:
Some of My Favorite Gifts and Purchases
Best book: I read a lot of romance — some of my favorite newer ones I read this year, many on Kindle Unlimited (possibly another great gift idea): The Worst Guy and In a Jam (both Kate Canterbury), anything by Ali Hazelwood (particularly if the recipient likes really strong heroines in STEM).
Best makeup/skincare/nail polish product: I think I got Guerlain’s Meteorites about a year ago now — it continues to be one of my favorite “must use before leaving the house” kind of purchases. It banishes any shininess, gently color-corrects, and gives a healthy lit-from-within kind of glow. I’m surprised how much I like it, to be honest. On a more expensive scale, I really love my new Shark blow dryer — my curly hair is diffused dry so quickly.
Best pajamas/lounge/athleisure item: I now own two sets of Nordstrom’s Moonlight pajamas — they’re super comfortable and wash nicely. Recommend.
Best kitchen item: On the smaller side: We’re really into popping our own popcorn at the moment and this big air popper is my favorite if you have the space — it never burns the kernels! Infinitely smaller: a collapsible microwave popper* (but you do have to listen carefully). On the bigger side: We’re enjoying our new Cuisinart toaster oven (although I’m not sure it’s replaced my Ninja air fryer like I’d hoped it would). (*Note that the exact collapsible popper we bought is now unavailable, but there are a ton of similar ones; I’ve also heard great things about the one from Pampered Chef.)
Best wine, beer, or liquor: I got a bottle of Angel’s Envy Rye and loved that — I’d also say our Shaker and Spoon subscription is one of the most enjoyable gifts we’ve gotten for ourselves.
(Here’s my Shaker & Spoon referral code if you’d like to get 50% off your first box…)
Best shippable gift basket, flower delivery, etc., you’ve received: If you have any fruitcake lovers in your life, we just got my mom this fruitcake from Goldbelly — she recommends!
Best pantry/shelf-stable food item (e.g., fancy olive oil): A friend turned me on to Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha, from Bushwick Kitchen — we’ve made three or four orders over the past year. Delicious. We also love our Rancho Gordo bean subscription, as do my in-laws!
Best home item (e.g., blanket, Roomba): A reader recommended this stylish happy light and I must say I really love it. Remote control and a really stylish look.
Best gift you hesitated getting/keeping but now love: (mostly for the parents) We resisted going to Disney for a long time, but we finally went and had an absolutely stellar time with the kids. We just planned another trip.
Best restaurant meal or giftable experience (please note city): Le Colonial, Chicago (vacation)
Best play/musical/event experience (please note city): Bottom of the Ocean, NYC (closing soon though)
(Looking back) – What gift(s) have you received or bought for yourself for graduation(s) that you adored?: Boring gift, but I’ll always be thankful for fact that when I graduated college, my father set up a joint Schwab account for me and gave me enough money to start investing. Had it not been for that (and/or my friend Sue, who since my early 20s has been one of the most money-savvy people I know), I doubt I’d have gotten interested in investing as early as I did.
(Looking back) – What gift(s) have you received or bought for yourself for milestone birthdays that were amazing?: I have no regrets over my Cartier watch or Mikimoto pearls (both for my 30th). I don’t remember anything in particular for my 40th, though (hmmmn).