Hey all. I know it's mid December. It's kinda late to be going through more gift guides but literally nothing has went right lately. My computer had some issues. I'm also very very sick right now. I don't want to complain, I'm very blessed, but I mean 2020....right?
So I'm going to get right down to gift ideas. This is not going to be much, if any, normal products I talk about. It's more so accessories and cool or useful stuff I've found lately. This is my favorite gift guide to do, just because I can talk about things I don't normally speak on.
So lets jump on in.
First is jewelry. I found a new brand I like which is Miranda Frye. I've been on a search for jewelry that holds up better, and is all around just nice quality. So my rule is "staple pieces" that are simplistic and won't go out of style, and pieces that I'm gonna wear absolutely everyday is what I'm going to spend more on or "invest" in . Things that are trendy, I don't bother breaking the bank for. I think Miranda Frye does the best at staple pieces and simple fine jewelry. Without being crazy expensive. I picked out a pair of stud earrings and then two necklaces that I really liked. I do want their hoops with the monogram/logo on them that are a little bigger. I think I'll get those around my birthday though.
The other thing that I buy is: sentimental jewelry. A piece that means something to me and is personal. I found a new company called Sterling Knot. I wanted a "flip ring" which is a two sided ring that you can turn. I'd had one in highschool from a little shop in our town. They monogrammed it with my initials. It was very bulky though and it tarnished easily. I always loved the idea though, so mine is a disc in the center but you can other shapes. When I was in highschool I didn't really have the sentimental value for a monogrammed piece like I do now at 32. So with all my other sentimental jewelry that is personalized it has something to do with my husband. It's his name or our monogram that we used in our wedding décor. For this ring, I went a different direction and this was perfect for it. I lost both of my grandparents and it was my first experience with true grief because they played such a HUGE role in my life. I was devastated and I still think of them everyday because I seen or talked to them everyday. My grandfather is actually my namesake only in the female spelling (Aaron, Erin). So for a two sided ring it has my grandfathers initial on one side and then my grandmothers on the other. I wear it every single day. I never take it off unless I'm taking a shower or washing my hands. They have many many different designs and pieces though.
Some honorable mentions: I always love a good watch. My favorite watch is from Tory Burch. I also love Ettika for earrings and necklaces. Especially hoops. Some of my all time favorite hoops are from Ettika which is also available on Nordstrom and Macy's now.
Next is kinda due to our "new normal". I finally found some masks that I really love and I feel like they're super comfy and like I can breathe better. No matter what your stance is on "mask wearing" it's mandated where I live so...there's that but also I wear one regardless. I found these on Amazon. They're reusable and can be washed. They're kinda expensive in my opinion, but since it's reusable and how good they feel compared to other masks, I'm happy to pay like $8-$10 for one. I also bought some for stockings this year. Along with masks, I bought a 10 pack of little lanyards to attach to the loops of the mask that you can pull the mask down when you need to and it hangs around your neck. Apparently you can use them to get the ear loop off your ears if the loops are uncomfortable for you, or your ears are raw like many health professionals deal with. I got both of these off Amazon. The mask is from a company called Riah Fashion on Amazon and they have their own website and so many cute designs that aren't boring. I have two for myself but I can tell already that I'm just gonna keep getting more and more.
Next is roses or other flowers that last for a year. I got some in the summer from Rose Forever. They had the best prices. I loved them so much that I got some to give as a gift for Christmas. Mine are white in a black suede circle "hat box" style container that has a lid and everything when you open in. The ones I'm gifting are a beautiful Christmas red in a pink suede circular "hat box". They always have coupons or a sale going on and I believe mine are 16 large roses. There's obviously different sizes, different shapes, different box or container styles (for instance you can get them in clear acrylic container) and you can get more or less roses. So you've got options.
I also got a new iPhone this year and I'm not someone who ever buys a lot of tech. Therefore, I never get a new phone just because they released a new one. I use my phone everyday, it's how I take photos, I edit on it, I do videos and write songs with it but when I'm paying a crazy price for a phone....it better last. So I keep them for like 5 years or longer. When I need a new phone though, and I truly did, I never had enough storage, my battery was constantly dying, and I wasn't getting phone calls apparently, it also just wasn't up to par for pictures anymore. Which is a big part of my job I knew I needed a new one. So when I buy one, I buy the best one of the latest model out. Cause there's always like 3 versions of the latest model these days. I got the iphone 11 Pro Max. I realize they released the 12 now I think, but I legit NEEDED one. Plus I don't really see the difference between a phone that's only a year apart of from the previous. Anywho, I say all that to tell you this: for the first time in 5 years I needed to buy new phone cases and for an entirely different model and size. Therefore, I started looking around and I noticed that a lot of the cases were really flexible cases and I prefer a hard case or at least a very sturdy case to protect the phone. I found my favorites (for right now anyway) which have hard metal corners and easy to put on cause of the more flexible sides, with a TPU "bumper" inner case and cushioned shockproof edges. Which protects against drops and bumps. One is a beautiful red crocodile textured pattern (in the very first picture of this post) with gold hardware that I've been using for months now and can't get myself to switch it. The crocodile pattern is almost a cushioned feel on the base to raise it off a flat surface to protect from easy scratches (it's fake croc obviously). It also has a lanyard that came with it in the same red croc pattern as the case to attach to the phone but I don't use phone lanyards. The other reminds me of when my friend, Emily Dougherty, does her nail polish videos of mixing colors and making such beautiful marble like art on Instagram. They both have the metal corners and are described as "luxury" cases on Amazon. They were anywhere from $8-$13. The metal "hardware" look won't be what everyone is looking for and I know that. I also found a snap on leopard print case that was somewhat translucent and It was lovely but I prefer the other cases because they're easier to get on and off the phone while still protecting it.
To go along with a phone I used to use a "popsocket" for years, then the phone rings came out. I don't change them out though so I kept the popsocket till I got a new phone. I'd had several peel off though causing me to drop my old phone a few times but not enough to damage it luckily. Mainly just bad adhesive when you think of it. So with this I wanted to try the phone rings/ring grips and I love them. They have a clear see through base so you can see your case design, if you're obsessed with it like me. The metal rings I got were gold and rose gold to go with my case designs but you can get any color you want. I get packs of 4 for about $7.50, once again on Amazon. I've had no issues with it peeling off and I was worried about that on the crocodile one especially since it's a textured pattern but no issues so far on any of them. I've also had some popsockets too but my preference is ring grips. I know there's those cases that have a loop on the back, like it's actually part of the case, but I'm loving the designs right now so maybe later on down the road I'll get one when I'm tired of these.
Last thing to go with phones is I found a charging dock for our phones that I got for my husband. It's perfect for him because he always plugs his phone up at night beside the bed and there were a few times with our old phones where the batteries were so unreliable that he'd have 100% battery when he went to bed and didn't plug the charger in and it'd die in the night and his alarm wouldn't go off. He never ever keeps the phone on the bed, where as I always have mine beside the pillow. So I found a charging dock, on Amazon, that you plug in and you set your phone on it up right and it charges it through the night but it's also standing upright so you tap it and see what time it is. (It will just fold up so it's very easy to take with you to work for your desk, or to take on vacation if you need to.) It's something that's not necessarily "needful" but it's really cool because that way he can keep his charger in his bag for work and have a charging dock by the bed. As a side note I also got him and his coworkers extra long braided heavy duty charging cords. Those are always handy in my opinion and they'd always asked where he got his for his old phone cause it was several feet long and much thicker so it didn't need to be replaced as often. Therefore, I got some for them as well.
Moving along I got a wallet this year that I really loved because of how it was laid out with space for absolutely everything, even though it's quite long. It's a tri-fold wallet, it's described as a "travel wallet" that's why it's bigger and has so many pockets for things. It has 1 passport pocket, boarding pass compartment, 7 card slots, an ID slot, a sim card pouch, coupon or ticket slot, a cellphone pouch that fits 5.8 inches (assuming you don't have a popsocket or ring grip), money and coins zippered pouch, a key holder, pen holder, and one slim pocket. What I appreciate the most is that it has RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) blocking sheild from scanning devices, of 13.56 Mhz. That protects you from identification thiefs who use wireless devices from a distance to identify people or objects without actually having to touch you or even see you. It's an "envelope style" snap closure. I have it in "baby green" which looks like Turqoise to me. Most of my bags are neutral colors with no pattern what so ever unless it's their logo on it somewhere, I have a whole bag "system" that I use. Therefore, I like for my wallets to be bright or colorful or have patterns. I'm not a match your wallet to your bag type person. You could very well match this to any bag really, because there are so many colors that I couldn't count and no patterns that I saw. It's also made from "high quality, eco friendly, PU leather" it passed the Euro REACH Quality Standard, the US EN71, and US CA Prop 65 Test. Which is to check for harmful chemicals or toxins in a product. The only downside is that this is a pebbled leather texture which I love but when I opened it, I immediately scratched the corner with the box cutter and the color came off in one little spot. I haven't had that problem since, even with it bouncing around in my bag which is a tote bag currently. So I think it was just bad luck. It was $13. I love it, it looks lovely and it's surprisingly compact for everything that it can hold. I don't put my phone in it obviously or a passport but I do put my check book in it, my pen, and I have several medical cards I have to carry at all times and therefore I've had to place some cards on top of each other in the slots with no issue. I have many reward cards from like Walgreens, American Eagle, etc that they scan and you get points or coupons but I keep those in my key case wallet which I'm obsessed with. I'll get into that in a minute.
The main reason I'm bringing all this up is because of the RFID it has, and you'll find several wallets that have that in them. You can never be too safe right now. We actually ran into that problem, several Christmas's ago when my husband was Black Friday shopping (I hate it, he loves it) and someone got his info through a device like that. So it's more common than you think. I got him a wallet that has RFID technology but it's very cool, it's a Carbon Fiber Slim Wallet. At first I thought he hated it because it took forever for him to use it. He uses it now and I've heard several people comment about it to him when they see it and he tells them how cool it is. It's made of stainless steel and carbon fiber with elastic webbing on three sides. It holds 12 card (but you can get others that hold more cards I think) and there is a money clip on the outside. There's also a cut out on the side for your thumb, so you can easily push the cards up. My husband would carry two small wallets all the time and it drove me insane. Pretty sure he still has another wallet that he uses still but this can hold everything. It's very tightly compacted and minimalistic. I also picked up a wallet for my dad this year and it has RFID tech but what's cool is that you can place cards into this pocket and hit the slide (or sometime it's a button) and the cards just pop up in different heights to easily find the one you need. It's also got a place for money and your ID and other cards within the wallet and then it snaps shut, but I found it really cool and I hope my dad uses it. That's the thing people, you can say you like something all day long but actually USING something is the best way to show you like a gift.
I also love my key case wallet. You have your main car key on the outside key holder (at least I do to keep the wallet less bulky), then on the inside you have about 6 individual key holders all separate so they don't get confused and you have see them along with a card slot, sometimes two, on the inside. If you wanted put your ID in there or whatever. I didn't know if I'd like it and I must say I LOVE it. Unfortunately, the one I have is no longer available but I did find some on Amazon (I swear this post is not sponsored. I just did most of my shopping on Amazon.)
Really quick some other things I like to get people that they seem to always appreciate and like, and I love them myself: socks. I love a good pair of socks and I always give socks within presents to people. My gift giving is usually a selection of things that I hope you'll like, or at least something you'll like, and socks are usually in there. (I also go to people's Pinterest boards if they're still active on there to try and get an idea) I love putting socks in stockings too. I also love a good pair of sunglasses but I realize that sunglasses can sometimes be like perfume for people. They can be very picky. However, if you already know what style someone wears or what brand they like, if any brand, then I think it's a solid gift. Much like perfume, if you know what they wear then get them a bottle every few years because let me tell you folks, perfume lasts quite a long time. If you get full bottles that is. I'm someone who only wears perfume if I'm leaving the house or if my husband and I are having a "home date" and getting cleaned up. So perfume lasts me a few years usually. I notice though that some people will spray a bunch of perfume all over them, where as I'm a 2 spray gal myself, and they will also use it multiple times through out the day. So yea those people you could probably get them a bottle every year, but for people like me I need one maybe every 3 or 4 years. I once knew someone who got the same bottle every single year and I walked into her bathroom at one point, and her whole shelf was just a row of that perfume because she was like me, she didn't use it all the time. So proceed with caution. I'm not the type to want to smell my perfume all day long because I know if I can smell it very strong then so can everyone else and I try to be mindful of those who get headaches from scents, etc.
Getting into some other ideas that might spark your own noggin. I'm a tea drinker (and sometimes coffee and hot chocolate) and my husband got me a milk-frother last year that I love to use. It's so easy to make lattes and everything now. I also have a very easy to use tea infuser from Sweese that I found on Amazon. With the pandemic still raging like a 90's rave, I think it's nice to make your own coffee or tea and take with you where ever you're going, plus it saves on plastic waste.
I also use a planner. I like Happy Planners and the one I got for 2021 is actually a planner as well as a mental health tracker. I use my planner all the time to keep everything in order and it actually calms me down a lot when I start writing in it and decorating it with planner stickers. I think good planners that allow you to be in depth are a great gift for people who love to organize or need help with keeping things together. I also love notebooks, specifically FRINGE Notebooks because the paper is a little thicker, and sketch pens (and very specific pencils) because I make lists constantly. I also use sketch pens because they're more like marker than a pen and they don't bleed through the paper of my planner.
Now lets talk about things that are specific to a person and their likes or personality. For instance, are they into something that has a fan base ie: Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, specific musicians, etc? For me it's Harry Potter. I love finding things that someone has made that look like a prop replica from the movies and recently they released a MinaLima Harry Potter Illustrated Book that has 150 illustrations and 8 interactive paper elements within the story. It's a collectors dream and I believe it was a little over $20 brand new. Which is incredible for everything it has and the WORK that they put into it. I love collecting little potions that were made on Etsy by people who are so talented and decided to make little Harry Potter style décor. There's also subscription boxes that you can set up for someone if they REALLY love it and it's something they can enjoy for the whole year. Much like the Allure Box and other makeup subscription boxes. There's something for everything these days.
And finishing out strong in this post is some special presents. I love giving ornaments, whether it's personalized with names or for a pet, or just a really pretty ornament of something that they're into (ie: Harry potter for myself). That they will look at every year when they put their tree up and think of you. I have an ornament my aunt gave me when I was little and I still don't know why she bought me one but I remember everything about that day and when I moved out I took it with me and I have it on my tree now 20+ years later. I also like giving crystals to people who enjoy them like I do. I have a nice collection going, as well as a selenite tower lamp that I got on.......Amazon of course. However, SouthernLeigh Essentials (SouthernLEssentials on Etsy) has beautiful crystals: points, plates, palm/worry stones, raw cut. etc. This is also where I get my Palo Santo sticks which is what I use most of the time to help me clear the space and my head before I start writing (or praying) and there are sage bundles too usually. She also carries all things you would need for your potion making dreams like dried flowers and plants, beautiful perfume bottles, roller balls, and spray bottles. If you really love essential oils you would love this store. Or if you're making skincare products then definitely check it out because it's so unique.
This was incredibly long. I discussed a lot of stuff. I hope that you enjoyed it or at least found it useful. As always, thank you for reading this if you've gotten this far, I love you (and more importantly, God loves you). I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.