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Gift Guide: Jess’ Favorite Things + Gifts for Her

Nov 1, 2022

Jess Favorite Things Gift Guide

HOORAY!

I am so excited about our very first gift guide of the season. (I hope it was worth the wait! I feel like the demand happens earlier every year!)

This is my big Oprah-style “Jess’ Favorite Things” guide featuring all of MY tried and true favorite things that would also make great gift ideas for all the women in your life! From friends to sisters to mothers, mother-in-laws, co-workers, you name it–I think you’ll find something for everyone here!

As I do every year, I really wanted to curate a selection that was original and unlike the guides you see elsewhere–I hope you love it! Of course, you’ll see quite a few repeats, because there are so many amazing standbys I still love. But also plenty of fresh new options as well!

As with all my blog posts, this guide contains affiliate links, so if you purchase through my gift guide, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. As a small woman-owned business myself, this helps contribute to our family’s income and I appreciate your support! However, please don’t feel the need to go out of your way to use my links–knowing I’ve introduced you to something you’ll love is the biggest win of all! ♥️

So…without further adieu, let’s jump in! (Side note, if you see any incorrect links or glaring typos, just DM me and let me know!)

Gift Guide: Jess’ Favorite Things + Gifts for Her

(Click on the links below to jump to each section) 

Jess’ Personal Favorites Under $50 

Jess’ Personal Favorites Under $100

Jess’ Personal Favorites Around $150-$300 

MORE Awesome Gift Ideas for Her

 

Jess’ Favorites Under $50

Custom planner or journal: 

I got these as gifts for my MIL and mom this year and they’re so cute! Small, affordable, but super special and something that will make them smile every day! (Shop more designs here!) Use code JESSGIFTS20 for 20% off! 

Salt and Pepper Grinder Set:

I searched high and low for bougie salt and pepper grinders that fit my aesthetic, and lo and behold I find the winners on Amazon for just a few bucks. A great gift for any foodie, a fun housewarming gift, etc. Read my review here. 

A print from Victoria’s print shop: 

Have you seen all the stunning prints in Victoria’s print shop? I especially love her moody Venice prints.

ALL my favorite socks: (Make great stocking stuffers!) 

Barefoot dreams and Butter socks for the softest, coziest lounge socks

Fair Aisle socks to brighten your day (and warm your feet, of course!)

No-show socks (that never slip!) for sneakers

Smartwool socks for the coldest snowy winter days

This marled Amazon three pack for great all-purpose winter boot socks!

 

 

Swedish Dish Towels:

The cutest little stocking stuffer. I don’t remember who even turned me onto Swedish Dish Towels but they aren’t just functional–they’re cute, too! They’re very absorbent and can help you cut down on your paper towel usage! You can find the in just about any design imaginable and that always makes me smile!

Marin White Low Bowl:

Neal and I call these “bowl plates” and we use them for almost every single meal. (And usually the only reason we don’t use them is if they’re all dirty. 😂) They’re truly the best everyday dishes. Deep enough for a stew or pasta, but flat enough to be used as everyday plates. They’re so pretty and not to mention affordable at under $10 a pop.

Carlyle Lane Glassware:

What is cuter than custom glassware!? The owner is a family friend (a small mom-owned biz!) and she makes the cutest stuff. Of course her latest addition is for all you Swifties, but you can customize however you like! (Cute for a mom, newlyweds, grandma–whatever!)

Rey To Z Hat:

As you probably know by now I am a HUGE Rey to Z fan. (Speaking of local mom-owned businesses!) Our sweet friends gifted June a baseball cap for her birthday and I was hooked ever since and I have several myself, now! Code JESSKEYS20 gets you 20% off!

Rey To Z Beanie:

Anddd her newest edition for the winter months–beanies! The cutest. June and I both have these “J” beanies.

Eby Seamless Bikini UnderwearFor those looking for seamless, no-slip, no-show undies with coverage (butted undies I call them)–these are the best!

Under Armor Seamless Thongs: The most comfortable underwear ever–I wear these every day!

Ceramic Box Cutter:

Highlighted in a reader favorites roundup here – I had to order and try one for myself. Dare I say it’s one of the most practical things I own and also DELIGHTFUL. So much easier (and safer) than opening packages with scissors and I love that it’s magnetic and sticks to the fridge so I never lose it in my junk drawer. A very good stocking stuffer.

R&CO Spiritualize dry shampoo:

A miscelar water for your hair. It’s amazing. The best dry shampoo ever. Spritz on roots, rub in, then shoot with a blow dryer and your hair looks freshly washed. MAGIC. See more in this post.

Merit the Minimalist Stick:

For any “no makeup makeup” lover, anyone short on time, or anyone who wants their makeup as foolproof as possible–this is your product. I’m a huge fan of this clean brand in general, but this is my favorite product they make. It’s a concealer and foundation in one, and it’s impossible to mess up. Coverage is buildable and super natural, and works for all skin types. (I wear shade linen.) Tip: You can also buy a set (which you’ll find further down in this gift guide!)

Cashmere blend Amazon beanie:

I love me a chic slouchy beanie–and the price point on these is hard to top! I have multiple colors so I always have one that goes with my outfit. You’ll never feel like a kid out to recess ever again with these stylish beanies!

Wine bottle coasters:

After constantly scrubbing out red wine stains on our counter, I knew there had to be a solution. Turns out that a wine coaster is actually a thing. I found this beautiful wooden one on Etsy and I’m in love. It’s unique and perfect for all wine lovers.

Vacu wine savers:

I can’t believe when I go over to friends houses and they don’t already own these nifty things. The little cork and vacuum pump suck the air out of your leftover bottle of wine so it lasts for days. No more spoiled leftover wine!

Press on nails:

These do take a BIT of a learning curve, but I have grown to love these press-on-nails. They are perfect if you don’t want the hassle or cost of a manicure, look really nice, and easily stay on through a long weekend! No glue needed–even a novice (me) can figure them out. (I also like this short nail shape!)

Old Navy “Built in Warm” jeans: 

An absolute essential for cold winters. This is my favorite line of winter jeans–from Old Navy of all places. They’re lined with a super soft brushed fleecy material and they are a game-changer for those bitter cold days. Couldn’t get through Chicago winter without them. I find them to run slightly roomy so go with your smaller size if you’re in between.

Minimalist baseball cap:

I love this simple baseball cap–no words, no logos–it goes with everything and looks very chic even when you haven’t washed your hair in like a week?

Flyaway Taming Stick:

Speaking of hair–if you are plagued by flyaways (postpartum or other) you will love this stick. It’s perfect for slicked back hairstyles and updo’s and keeps your flyaways slicked down.

Rishi Lavender Mint Tea:

I loved this tea before I found out it was a small midwestern brand, and I love it even more now! This flavor is to DIE for. It really feels like a spa in a cup, and it’s become my favorite part of my bedtime routine. It would make a lovely gift for anyone who loves tea! Would also be a nice alternative to a bottle of wine as a hostess gift!

Refillable silicone travel bottles: 

I got these for my last trip to Paris and love them! Cute, functional, and super easy to fill with your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, etc–so you’re never without on the go!

Clear travel pouch set: 

Another item I bought for Paris that was a slam dunk. I love these for toiletries and as a catch-all bag in a larger backpack or tote to hold all your essentials! Would be great for diaper bag, too!

Waterdrop flavored water tablets: 

I love these little tablets! Naturally flavored and lightly sweetened with stevia, they turn any boring water into spa-like flavored water and help me stay hydrated. Such a fun stocking stuffer! My favorite flavors are VIBE (my ultimate favorite) followed by a tie between BOOST, YOUTH, ZEN and GLOW. Use code JK15 for 15% off! 

54 Thrones Hand + Body Butter: 

I have been a fan of this 54 Thrones hand and body butter for over a year now! A black-owned, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced brand with responsible packaging! They source African-grown and organic botanicals from cooperatives and artisans across the continent. (Think shea butter from Ghana and Uganda, argan oil from Morocco, and jasmine and neroli from Egypt.) It smells SO GOOD and is so, so effective on dry hands and rough patches like elbows, ankles, etc! Plus the packaging is stunning–anyone would love this stocking stuffer!

Great With Child Book:

This book is a wonderful gift idea for soon-to-be or new moms! Writing to a newly pregnant friend, the author goes beyond the nuts and bolts or sentimentality of other parenting literature, in letters that range in tone from serious to sisterly, from lighthearted to downright funny. They’re basically like reading letters from a big sister about all the amazing things you have to look forward to!

Posh Chicago Wine Glasses: 

These little bistro glasses always transport me to Paris each time I use them. They’re so affordable and from one of my favorite local Chicago shops, P.O.S.H. which sells tons of beautiful French housewares and gifts!

Minted personalized aprons: 

The sweetest gift for anyone who loves to cook. (They also make big and little sizes–my MIL, mom, June (for when she’s a little older!) and me all have matching personalized ones and they’re so pretty and special! Use code JESSGIFTS20 for 20% off! 

Lanolips Coconutter Lip Balm: 

I discovered this lip balm two years ago and I declare it the most moisturizing lip balm of all time. It’s truly the best–I get such dry lips in the winter and I have about 3 different tubes of this scattered throughout the house so it’s always within arms reach! A great little stocking stuffer and they have really cute packaging!

Amazon Tunic Sweater: 

like to call this my Diane Keaton sweater as it’s quite a lot of volume and material but still makes me feel very chic. The long length makes it the perfect thing to wear with leggings (it’s even longer in the back!) Take your normal size or go a size down, it’s very oversized! See how I’ve styled in this post!

10 Foot USB Charger: 

This is the exact charger cord I bought to bring to the hospital with me (one of your most popular reccos!) This is a really reputable brand and not a cheap one that will stop working after a few months. Great holiday gift for anyone on your list!

Amazon Bras: 

The best lounge/yoga bras ever! I love them so much I dedicated a whole post to them right here. They are so incredibly comfortable you won’t want to take them off. I also love them as a crop top for low impact workouts! The best stocking stuffer for any woman.

Melissa Wood Health Subscription: 

The workout that got me through pregnancy and covid! Melissa’s workouts are very short and sweet-most are around 20 minutes but some are as quick as 10 and others range up to 45. They are all yoga and pilates based, I would describe them as “pilates flows.” I would say I see more of a mental health benefit to MWH than I have with any other at-home workout. They are just very “chill”–they aren’t super highly produced videos, no music, it’s just her, and her voice is super soothing–there are many reasons to love her! The best gift for anyone who is wanting to get back into a movement routine. (Or new mom/mom-to-be!) This is the only workout that has felt palatable to me in a long time.

Bala Bangles: 

I raved about these bangles earlier this year! They are perfect for intensifying the burn when you’re doing small, repetitive movements like in barre or pilates (or Melissa Wood Health, P.Volve, etc). Check out my full review here!

Ice Roller: 

If you’re looking for a super affordable gift for all your girlfriends (or a little treat for yourself), look no further! As one reader described it, “it’s the most incredible thing I never knew I needed!” Check out ice roller benefits in my post here!

Necessaire Eucalyptus Body Wash: 

I gave in to all the hype about this brand and purchased this body wash + body lotion duo as part of the Nordstrom sale a couple years ago. Was not blown away by the lotion, but LOVE the body wash and have repurchased many times since. Clean ingredients and it makes you feel like you’re at a fancy spa–the Eucalyptus scent is so, so good, and the formula is very gentle! Great gift for anyone who could use a little zen moment.

The Defined Dish Cookbook: 

I am a cookbook lover but I can’t say I make a lot of recipes from cookbooks (I really mostly just look at them.) The exception to the rule is the Defined Dish cookbook, written by my friend Alex who is an incredible food blogger. I love this book because everything in it is health-forward (it’s Whole 30 approved) but it doesn’t feel like a Whole 30 book. Quite on the contrary, I have made SO many things in it (I often carb-i-fy them) and every recipe is a home-run. Most of the recipes have minimal, easy, staple ingredients, too. Plus, you’re supporting Alex’s business and if you purchase via Bookshop.org, it can benefit the local bookstore of your choice! (But also sometimes you need things fast, so you can buy it on Amazon too.)

Microdermamitt deep exfoliating mitt: 

I have always been leery of physical exfoliators like this (because they can be so harsh on your face and irritate the skin), but this one is made of 100% natural silk and is really gentle. I have both the face one and body one and love them both! Makes skin SO smooth and helps your products absorb better. The body one is also excellent to do before sunless tanner! It’s also a small, woman-owned brand but they sell on Amazon!

 

The Best Candles:

I couldn’t decide which candle to feature here, so here are a few!

First, I love Thyme’s Frasier Fir candle–it’s an incredible foresty holiday scent! It’s only $30, you can get it on Amazon and apparently it has an underground cult following. For another around the same price point, I was recently gifted two candles from KK Lume (a local Chicago brand!) and they are LOVELY.

Second is Anecdote’s line of candles–they all smell DIVINE–it’s my friend Danielle’s shop, so your purchase helps support a small, women-owned business!

Third, the Hotel Lobby Candle line inspired by the bougie scent of five star hotels. You know what I’m talking about right? HEAVEN. I’m obsessed with this concept and the scents are so good!

Kribi Coffee: (Formerly Counter Coffee)

Based in Chicago, ships all over! My favorite is their Calypso blend–the perfect gift for yourself or any coffee lover! A great way to support a local Black-owned business!

 

Tissue Turtlenecks: 

Remember when I posted on IG stories and I said, “What’s your favorite item I’ve ever recommended to you?” I can’t even TELL YOU how many people said TISSUE TURTNELECKS!! Really, they’re insanely budget-friendly (especially bc J.Crew is so often on sale!) and they’re the best layering essential. They keep you warm outside as a base layer, and are thin enough to ensure you don’t overheat inside! Order your normal size if you want it tighter, and size up if you want a looser fit. I also love Madewells version, which is a little bit of a boxier fit if you prefer that!

Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel: 

A miracle in a bottle, readers say this is one of their favorite products they’ve ever bought on my recommendation! (Makes me so happy!) This is probably my #1 favorite beauty product…ever? If you have issues with dull, flaky, patchy, uneven, dry winter skin, this bottle will take care of that real quick! (Plus, Beautycounter is a B-Corp, so you can feel extra good about your purchase!)

Actually Curious Card Game: 

My friend Morgan introduced me to this new Black-owned brand and it’s such a fun concept! Neal and I have brought these cards out on a few different date nights and they’re such fun conversation starters–would be great to play over a zoom with a group, too! (The one I have is the “Happy Hour” edition. The cards are meant to foster meaningful conversation and connection.

Turbie Twist:

I’ve had one of these for YEARS and it makes such a difference in taming frizz, breakage, and getting excess water out of your hair much better than a regular towel. Plus, it nicely gets your hair out of the way while you do your makeup, and before you’re ready to dry your hair!

Beautycounter Brow Gel: 

My favorite brow product of all time! You will be SHOCKED at how good your brows look after using this. It’s super natural looking but also really buildable. I’m obsessed! I haven’t left the house without this product on since I started using it when it first came out last year!

Hangover Patches:

I have no idea HOW these work, but I swear they do, and are a pre-holiday party staple. They’re vitamin patches that you put on before a night out and keep on for 8 hours! An excellent stocking stuffer for the wine or cocktail lover who has everything.

Small Packages Gift Boxes: 

You guys know how much I love Small Packages! I was first introduced to the brand when they were a sponsor of mine last year right when they launched, and I feel in love with the concept so much that the owner, Julie, has become a friend! Small Packages makes beautifully curated gift boxes for ALL occasions (good and bad ones!) with goodies made by small, women-owned brands. Many boxes start at $55 and go up from there!

Aerie Leggings: 

These “Lululemon Align dupes” are UN.REAL. They are one of my top sellers of the YEAR because they are that good. They are buttery soft (feel identical to aligns) incredibly affordable, and come in a variety of fun colors. They run true to size! (I have the small!) They’re also almost always on sale!

 

Olive and June Mani System:

I got the Olive and June mani system last year and I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone who loves doing their nails. It definitely makes at-home manis easier and more enjoyable, and I love, love their nail polish colors. I don’t think it lasts longer than any other polish (although others tell me differently) but I love the products otherwise, and really appreciate that they’re nontoxic and a woman-owned brand!

Pear Nova Nail Polish: 

Another polish brand to add to your list is Pear Nova! They also have some stunning colors–I love “Michelle Our Mama” which is a beautiful creamy beige hue. They’re a Black and woman-owned brand from Chicago AND last year they made the list of Oprah’s favorite things!!

OurPlace Stackable Everything Glasses:

I love LOVE these glasses because they’re handmade, vintage-inspired, they stack and take up so little room, and the size and shape make them perfect for everything from water, to iced coffee, to juice, to cocktails and wine! (Use JESSKEYS for $10 off!) Get a set of 8 for $90 or 4 for $50!

Jess’ Favorites Under $100

Stasher Silicone Reusable bags: 

Another great stocking stuffer I’m obsessed with. I LOVE these bags–I use them for snacks, for marinating meat and veggies, for keeping a travel bag or tote organized–they have so many uses and can be washed in the dishwasher. You can buy individually or as a set! This set of 7 for $100 would make for a generous gift or you could split them up into individual stocking stuffers!

Personalized phone case: 

Tons of different styles to choose from–this would be cute for anyone, but especially a Grandma with her “Grandma name” on it!

Jack Russell Bookends:

From one of my favorite local stores, POSH Chicago, which feels like the most thoughtfully curated French flea market full of only the most fabulous things. I picked up these bookends a few weeks back and they make me so happy. For all the dog lovers out there. (I grew up with a Jack Russell, so they remind me of her!)

Alice & Wonder Chicago Merch: 

My friend Ali’s amazing shop, and she makes the cutest Chicago merch–from sweatshirts to tees, mugs, hats and more! All under $100.

Ember Mug: 

One of my favorite Christmas presents to date and one I use EVERY day during the fall and winter. Keeps your coffee hot! Even before June I could never manage to finish my coffee when it was hot! (And for whatever reason, reheated coffee in the microwave is bleh!) This makes all the difference.

Kibou Fanny Pack Diaper Bag: 

The BEST gift for any mom or mom to be, or just someone who wants a super functional belt bag. I LOVE my Kibou! It keeps you hands free and holds all the essentials and nothing you don’t need. Has a fold-out removable changing pad, a key clip, slots for credit cards, and can fit diapers, wipes, a bottle, your phone, Paci, you name it. It’s so cute that I wear it when I don’t have June too! They also have an optional “dog mom” add-on!

Hanna Anderson family PJ’s:

Not just for littles! The patterns and quality of Hanna Anderson PJs can’t be beat! Their holiday PJs are amazing and they come in sizes for women, men, even your dog! They also have really cute daytime wear for little ones. Use their “matching family pajama builder” to outfit the whole fam.

Brightland Olive Oil and Vinegars: 

The world’s most Instagrammable olive oil (that also tastes divine!) After seeing Hitha and Grace rave about Brightland Olive Oil on Instagram, I had been dying to try some! Hitha so kindly introduced me to their founder, Aishwarya Iyer (thanks Hitha!) I fell in love with the brand story of how she got started (she has a background in the beauty industry, which explains why the branding is SO stunning). After learning that most of the olive oil in the US is rancid and low quality, she set out to create a new kind of olive oil brand, made from a family farm in California. My favorites are the garlic olive oil and the champagne vinegar, but I also love their other olive oil flavors as well as the balsamic! They have so many cute gift sets to choose from as well. The most special gift for anyone who loves food! All are meant for drizzling and finishing dishes, salads, crostini, etc!

Your favorite hometown comfort food, shipped from Goldbelly

I had never heard of Goldbelly before, I think I saw an ad for it somewhere, but it’s the most genius thing ever. They’re kind of like a GrubHub but for restaurants to package and ship their specialties all over the country. So you can say, get a dozen of your favorite New York Bagels from your favorite bagel shop, or your favorite Chicago deep dish pizza, Phillies from Philly–you get where I’m going with this. What an amazing gift for anyone who is homesick for a hometown comfort food, plus, an amazing way to support a restaurant from afar! (We love ordering Essa Bagel from NYC!)

Slip Silk Pillowcase

This silk pillow case is a great luxurious gift and just makes going to bed feel like a fancy spa experience–it’s supposedly much better for your skin and hair than regular cotton and helps prevent wrinkles and frizz! Plus, it’s a treat that a lot of people wouldn’t normally buy themselves!

Barefoot Dreams Robe:

The ultimate blanket-meets-robe that comes in lots of neutral colors! I got a BD robe at the start of quarantine and it’s without a doubt one of the best things I’ve treated myself to this year. Don’t bother with a cheap robe, this is worth every penny.

Equilibria Calm + Bundle: 

When I say CBD has greatly improved my life, I’m not exaggerating. Equilibria has majorly helped my sleep quality and reduced my daily stress. I subscribe to their products each month which is what I recommend to those starting out–it contains both their softgels and daily drops, which work together to produce the best results. (Tip: Go for the subscription! It’s 20% cheaper and you can cancel anytime!) You can read my whole post on CBD here! I cannot think of a better self-care gift for yourself or anyone you love! My favorite products personally are the soft gels, new rapid calming melts, and daily drops (called the Calm+ bundle!) Use code JESSKEYS for 15% off your first purchase!

ABLE Customized Necklace: 

Great idea for a sentimental, personalized gift! Shop all their customized necklaces here! Code JESSKEYS15 gets you 15% off almost all ABLE items! 

Zwiesel wine glasses: 

For anyone who needs to upgrade their wine glasses. We were gifted some as an engagement gift and have been converts ever since. I love them because they’re a classic design but the angular quality makes them a bit different, they’re dishwasher safe and shatter resistant, but also not expensive and sold tons of places for when you inevitably break some and need to replace over the years!

Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas: 

I own so many pairs of these pajamas and love and wear them year-round.  They are chic, so, so soft and also don’t make you overheat, which is key! If you don’t yet own a nice pajama set, I can’t explain what a difference they make. Sounds silly, but it’s a small upgrade that makes a big difference in the self-care department! Order your normal size!

Jess’ Favorites $150-$300

Rothy’s “The Square” flats: 

OK admittedly I like MANY pairs of Rothy’s shoes, but my most worn (and I think the most chic and comfortable of their flats) are “the square” flats. I have them in their cap toe “tuxedo” design and they give off major Chanel vibes. I love the squared-off toe, which also makes them very comfortable and easy to log lots of miles in. I think flats can easily feel “frumpy” when paired with the wrong things, but these never feel frumpy to me! Plus, they’re sustainable and washable, like all their items! You can see them and all my favorite Rothy’s reviewed in this post. 

Rothy’s Driver Loafers: 

I also think the Drivers get a spotlight here because I love them so much as well–and I think that perhaps this is a more universal shoe option to gift a mom, MIL, etc! They come in so many cute colors, are great for travel, and she’ll love how functional they are and that she can throw them in the washing machine to clean! Again, more details in my Rothy’s review here.

Legend™ Sweater Shirt:

It’s hard to pick a favorite Faherty item, but for this time of year, I think the Legend sweater button up is VERY hard to beat. It’s so, SO soft. It can be worn buttoned up (like you see here) or thrown over a tee or tank as a second layer for that perfect “tomboy” look. (Very Virgin River in the best way.) Runs TTS, I size up to M for an oversized fit.

The Piazza Oversized Tote:

If you’re in the market for a tote, but something a bit different than your average classic style–I LOVE this unstructured oversized tote from Madewell. It holds so much stuff (so it’s great for moms especially!) It also comes with a removable bottom so you can leave it in to keep it flat or remove it for a totally unstructured look/functionality. It also comes in black. You can also likely often find it on sale because Madewell.

Merit The Base Set:

As you know I am a HUGE fan of Merit beauty, and this set comes with three of my favorite products–the serum (which is an amazing base for their minimalist stick), the minimalist stick (which is a magical concealer foundation all-in-one product that looks great even on my dry skin!) and their bronzer (the most impossible to mess up, absolutely no mess bronzer ever!)

Stuart Weitzman Laine Leather Combat Boots:

I’ve been wearing these nonstop since I got them, and they are a serious steal at over 50% off. They’re so comfortable, have a side-zip for easy and quick on/off, and I love that they’re a play on the combat/lug sole trend, but in a refined, subtle way, making them timeless and much more approachable to style. One of my favorite pairs of boots this year. I find them to be TTS.

The best white sneakers: 

Eda d’Orsay sneakers: I call these my warm-weather sneakers. (Due to the cutout sides!) I love these super comfy feminine and chic sneakers. I wear them nonstop anytime the temp is ~60 degrees or above.

Madewell Court Sneakers: My newest pair of all-purpose white sneakers. They did take a few wears to break-in, but now they’re perfect! Ideal for year-round wear, the leather on the outside is sturdy enough to withstand rain, and they’re comfy enough to log lots of miles in. These will be my go-to sneakers this fall/winter (until it’s warm enough to wear my Edas again!)

Kindle Paperwhite:

I’ve been a Kindle lover since they first came out (was I in high school??) and I can think of no better “gift that keeps on giving” than having access to thousands of books at your fingertips at all hours of the day, wherever you are in the world! The paper white is amazing because it really does look like paper (no backlit blue light!) I also love that you can share books in your library with family members or friends!

J.Crew Cashmere Wrap:

I have been featuring this wrap in my gift guide for years. I got one for my MIL years ago and it was a big hit–she still wears it! It’s so pretty and soft–makes a great go-to for everything from formal events to travel! (Makes a great blanket!) Comes in lots of colors.

My two favorite denim jackets: Wardrobe staples you’ll adore forever

The Merly jacket: The perfect, lived-in, vintage-y boyfriend jacket. (Reviewed here!)

The Bailey jacket: Your classic, timeless jean jacket. (Reviewed here!)

Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off almost all ABLE items

 

 

Audiotechnica Record Player:

Many of you said this is your favorite gift you’ve ever given OR received from my recco! Yay! (I’ll be putting this on the guys gift guide too, because it’s amazing for everyone). We have an Audiotechnica and it’s hard to beat for the price. (We had a cute Crosley first but this is much better quality!)  I think this would be a great gift for either a parent who has a vinyl collection but got rid of their record player years ago or a music lover who hasn’t gotten into vinyl yet––giving them this with a few classic albums would be SO COOL. We connect and play this via our Sonos speakers.

Lo & Sons Weekender Bag: 

This beautiful weekender bag is as functional as it is pretty. (I love the bottom separate compartment for shoes!) It comes in several colors and is currently on major sale!

Sezane Reversible Gaspard Sweater: 

I think this is hands down the most beautiful sweater I own and I’ve since bought it in red in addition to the blush color! (See how I style it here and here and here!) it always makes me feel beautiful. One of the few sweaters that can pull off being “sexy” and also appropriate for any occasion at the same time. I wear my normal size but it’s a bit slouchy, size down if you’d like it more formfitting.

Blondo Waterproof Boots:

My #1 most loved reader product!! You’ve all heard me rave about these for years! AND this year they also came out with the most beautiful chocolate brown color! Yes, they are suede AND waterproof AND salt proof! You don’t need to do anything to do them–you just wear them straight out of the box. You can wear them through the rain and sleet and slush without worry–they have tread AND are BEAUTIFUL (which I think we can all agree can be a rare combo when it comes to true winter boots!) Sizing: TTS!

Nespresso Machine:

We have had a Nespresso machine ever since the first year we moved in together and we love it so much. Their smaller machines are really great for smaller countertops, too! We have the “Originaline” espresso machine, but they also make the “Virtuo” line that makes both espresso and other kinds of coffee––their website helps explain the differences! I also love the limited edition pods they come out with all the time!

ABLE ALEM backpack: 

I use this backpack as my diaper bag for June and also for work and travel! It’s an amazing all-purpose, full-sized backpack. (Not a purse–like the Abera!) See my full review of it right here! This would make a great gift for anyone who is back at the office, loves to travel, a mom, etc! Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off almost all ABLE items

ABLE Maha Leather Jacket:

One of my favorite 2021 finds — ABLE’s Maha leather jacket! I have both the whiskey and black colors and they’re both just so good! The leather this jacket is made out of is really beautiful and soft, but it’s also durable and can withstand some beating up. My other leather jacket from Italy is more of that “buttery” leather, which means it stains and scratches, so it’s nice to have this piece in my wardrobe knowing I don’t have to worry about it! (Reviewed with more details in this post!)  Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off almost all ABLE items

Abera backpack purse: 

My go-to backpack purse! Love it SO much and cannot recommend enough. Very roomy for the size, especially great for travel and anyone who needs to be hands free! Reviewed in this post! Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off almost all ABLE items

J.Crew Cocoon Coat: 

Probably the warmest non-puffer coat money can buy you–not to mention, it’s just an adorable coat! I reach for this all the time and love how classic and elegant it is! Sizing: It does run big- I would suggest sizing down if you prefer your coats more fitted. See my full Cocoon Coat Review! 

Classic Totes: 

Zipper top: I’ve had my Transport Tote for 4+ years! I love the look and how much stuff it holds! It’s also really durable- I’ve pretty much beaten it to hell and it’s still going strong. If you’re looking for a tote with a zipper top, it can’t be beat!

Open-top: For an open-top tote, I love ABLE’s totes (especially the ABERA crossbody tote, which has a clip-off crossbody strap so you can wear it multiple ways!) Ideal for travel, commuting, work–you name it! Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off almost all ABLE items

Barefoot Dreams Blanket: 

I know, I know–another gift guide with a Barefoot Dreams blanket. BUT–I gave into the Barefoot Dreams hype at the beginning of quarantine and as it turns out, it is actually that good. This blanket is probably an item most people wouldn’t buy for themselves because it’s a very expensive blanket (except me) but would use and cherish profusely when gifted! It’s like being enveloped in a cloud and would make the most luxurious, cozy gift! Even Neal loves it and he used to be a big eye-roller about “blanket obsessions.” GET. THE. BLANKET.

Cuisinart Air Fryer AKA Agatha Crispy: 

I had to include my girl Agatha! I can’t shut up about the amazingness of an air fryer and it would make an awesome gift for many on your list! Check out my full review here! Also linked here and here! (This was a popular submission for “reader favorite gifts” this year!)

AirPods: 

Another upgrade a lot of people probably won’t buy themselves, but would greatly appreciate as a gift! I upgraded my AirPods last year to the Pro noise cancellation and they’ve been a game-changer- especially for working in the same house as your significant other!

P.Volve Starter Kit + Streaming Subscription: 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I discovered P.Volve via an Instagram ad and bought it on a whim because it looked like the kind of small-space friendly, cardio-hating, low-impact workout I was looking for. I’m one of those people that struggles to work out if I’m not going to a class, and this is one of the few workouts I can actually stomach from home! They have tons of streaming workouts to choose from and most are around 20-30 minutes! You can use code JESSKEYS for a discount! 

 

 

Amazon puffer: 

I know everyone has been losing their minds over this coat for the past couple of years, and now I see why. It is astonishingly warm (especially for the $150 price tag!) But the best part is that it expands at the sides, making it perfect for a bump or baby wearing! (Which is why I bought it, to wear with June!) Would make a great gift for any new mom or mom to be, BUT even if you have no children now or on the horizon, you’ll still love this coat! It also has a billion pockets so no need for a purse which I wholeheartedly appreciate. I got my regular size–small!

Ray-Ban Round & Hexagon Sunnies: 

I’m a Ray-Ban loyalist! I love SO many of their sunglasses, but these two pairs are what I gravitate toward most often! I have the 53mm Rounds, and I love how they feel retro and classic at the same time! They go with everything, every time of the year, for every occasion. Note: they come in two sizes–50mm and 53mm! I also love the Hexagon frames! Check out Neal & Jess’ Ultimate Ray-Ban Guide for more of our favorites!

Dudley Stephens Turtlenecks: 

I don’t know how I ever got through a Chicago winter before Dudley Stephens vello fleece turtlenecks. The Cobble Hill Turtleneck is so soft, so warm, such a flattering tunic cut and it has pockets! (Great to wear with leggings!) I can’t say enough good things! Sizing: Runs a little small, consider going up a size. I also love the Park Slope Turtleneck, which is such a classic style! It has a cute structured collar with the same cozy, low-maintenance fleece in a shorter, tuckable cut! Sizing: I found this fits more TTS than the Cobble Hill. Check out my full review and style ideas for both turtlenecks here! 

More awesome gift ideas

Lumi Composter: 

Definitely a splurge right under $500, but multiple friends said this was at the top of their wishlist this year! It turns garbage to dirt in as little as 4 days, and is odor neutralizing, so it doesn’t smell! Can reduce your weekly garbage by up to 80%! (This would be really good group gift to go in on together too, say, for mom or MIL!)

Personalized Stationery (use code JESSGIFTS20 for 20% off sitewide!)

A perfect gift for any professional, teacher, or any loved one who likes to write notes! They have TONS of designs to choose from.

The Prettiest Electric Wine Opener:

I am always shocked when I go to people’s houses and find they’re still using an old-school corkscrew. Upgrade their wine opener to this pretty automatic one!

Candle Warmer Lamps:

My friend Dallas (who has impeccable taste) absolutely INSISTED that this affordable candle warmer be included in the gift guide. It eliminates the need to light a candle, so it’s much safer for households with kids and pets. Plus, they look so stylish and cozy! (Scroll up to my “favorites list” for candle reccos!)

My friend Krista’s needlepoint company makes some great needlepointing kits for the needlepoint enthusiast in your life! The cheeky designs crack me up, but there are plenty of more classic versions, too.

Fly by Jing Starter Kit:

I have been seeing this AAPI woman-owned brand everywhere and my friends rave about how delicious it is! I would LOVE to receive this as a gift–and I’m sure any other cook would say the same!

Ghia Non-Alcoholic Spritz:

My favorite non-alcoholic spirit! Would make a great hostess gift for anyone who doesn’t drink! It’s the only NA spirit I’ve tried that really tastes enjoyable, like an aperitif should–it’s pleasantly bitter and not sweet. I’d equate it similar to Aperol but not as citrusy. I like to mix it with soda and a squeeze of orange, and is a nice way to wind down the day without alcohol!

Model Bakery Homemade English Muffin + Preserves Set:

Goldbelly again, I know–featured on here twice, but I just saw they have the famous English Muffins (one of Oprah’s favorite things!) from Model bakery in Napa and I can’t think of a better gift to give for those “I have no idea what to get this person” instances, but you want it to be thoughtful, impressive, and unique! (As long as you know they eat bread, of course!) Let’s be honest I’d die to open these! 😆

Tea Advent Calendar:

A bougie tea advent calendar from gourmet French tea brand Palais des Thés? Where do I sign up?

Votes for Women Mug:

From my favorite, of course–POSH Chicago!

Custom photo puzzle: 

A reader favorite gift! The cutest gift for any puzzle loving grandma, aunt, whoever! Use JESS15 for 15% off! 

Ooni pizza oven: 

A portable outdoor pizza oven! I had never heard of this but my group text started popping off about it! Great for anyone who loves to entertain. A splurge, but another nice option for a group gift from kids.

Terazzo Coasters:

Very drawn to Terazzo lately and I love these coasters from Lost Girls, one of the cutest shops in Chicago! They specialize in vintage but also have tons of cute little gifts and housewares, too!

Microwave Egg Maker:

I have not stopped thinking about this adorable ceramic microwave egg maker. Charming and functional for the busy woman who loves her breakfast.

Two or Three Name Ring:

I thought this affordable little ring was really cute. You always see name rings but never ones with two or three names–which I think is great for any mom with more than one child (or pet!) I think it’s also common to get moms gifts with their first child’s name but not usually with the second child–so this is a sweet gift that I think any mom would enjoy!

Custom dog face hat: 

For your mom who loves her dog more than her adult children. 😜 (KIDDING. Maybe.) Or for any dog mom in your life! This shop has multiple styles to choose from, and can do sweatshirts and beanies too!

 

Dyson Airwrap: 

The splurgiest splurge, but a wonderful luxury for any woman who wants the perfect blowout at her fingertips! I have the newest version and it’s awesome.

Cashmere-Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves: 

I bought these from my own gift guide last year (LOL) and I adore them. They’re beautiful, high quality, warm, and work REALLY well in terms of the touchscreen sensitivity! I was really impressed! I love the rich brown color but they also come in black!

Cute and hilarious ornaments from All She Wrote: 

All She Wrote is a small woman-owned boutique here in Chicago but they sell all their Merch online! They have the BEST ornaments. Hope one of my girlfriends is ready to unwrap this ranch ornament at our ornament exchange this year. Shop them all right here! (P.S. I have this hotdog one from one of our past exchanges!)

Lotto Love “Scratch-Offs” For Charity: 

If you’re looking for a cute little something to slip in with your holiday cards, or a little something for the person who has everything, I ADORE this company called Lotto Love and everything they are about! The winning prize of each card goes to support one of the company’s four pillars: literacy tools, clean water, nutritious meals and solar energy. Each card has a 100% chance of winning for someone in need!

Winestyr Gift Box/Subscription: 

I LOVE Winestyr! They’re a small, Chicago-based wine subscription company we belong to. They focus only on small-batch wines from producers that you wouldn’t be able to find in a liquor store. You can choose one box per quarter, monthly, whatever–they’re really flexible! They ship (affordably!) all over and have lots of great gift options too! (A great gift for the picky person who has everything!)

 

 

Mark & Graham Tech Folio

My SIL got a similar (older version) for me for Christmas a couple years ago–the best travel essential! It’s an all-in-one beautiful leather folio that holds ALL your stuff in one place. Kindle, iPad, phone, earbuds, credit cards, USB cord!

Pretty Neck Scarf: 

I’m always getting asked for cute, affordable neck scarves! This one is $11 and comes in so many beautiful colors/patterns and has rave reviews! Tie it around your neck, around your bag, in your hair–this kind of scarf is so versatile!

Lunya Sleep Mask: 

My MIL got me this Lunya sleep mask two years ago for Christmas and I am SO in love with it! I also love my Slip sleep mask (and travel with that one as it takes up less room!) but love that the Lunya one is wider, so it’s even better at blocking out light. It’s also padded so it feels like a mini luxurious silk pillow for your eyes, in the best way! (However, if you don’t want to feel something on your face, the Slip one is more minimal!) Both are really great gifts!

Five Minute Journal:

I cannot recommend this little journal enough! It provides a structured format to boost your happiness in 5 minutes a day including: gratitude, prioritizing your day, 3 amazing things, inspiring quotes, daily affirmation, and end of day reflection.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle:

I LOVE my Hydro Flask water bottle — it keeps water so cold, and is fun to drink out of. (Sounds weird, but true.) I use this EVERY day and love it because it holds so much, I only need to drink two to hit my water goal for the day. It makes an awesome (super practical) gift!

Major’s Project Pop Organic Kettle Corn: 

Love skinny pop but want to support a small, woman-owned biz? Grab some Major’s Project Pop! Created by Chauniqua Major-Louis (who goes by Major), a PR exec from Orlando (according to her Forbes profile!) Her formula focuses on quality, simple ingredients–organic, Non-GMO kernels popped in small batches using virgin coconut oil, the perfect amount of organic cane sugar and Himalayan pink salt! It’s SO addictive and makes a great little gift!

Minted Custom Recipe or Drawing print

Minted is such a great resource for really meaningful gifts–from photo books, to framed photos, artwork, and more–but this one really stood out to me. Recipes are so special and they are passed down from generation to generation––do you get emotional looking at your Grandmother’s handwritten recipes too? (I do!) I think this is a really unique gift idea that you can make for your whole family–you can customize the frame too to suit everyone’s individual style! (use code JESSGIFTS20 for 20% off sitewide!)

Custom silhouette portrait art: 

Another really special gift idea from Minted (especially for grandparents or moms!) You can have them a beautiful silhouette (and customize the color and frame as well!) If you want something sentimental and different, but are sick of photos, this is a great one! (use code JESSGIFTS20 for 20% off sitewide!)

Admiral Row Dainty Gold Jewelry: 

If you’re looking for affordable, dainty gold jewelry, Admiral Row, an awesome Black-owned brand out of Atlanta, has so much to choose from. They’re known for their quality jewelry at affordable prices. Whether it’s a treat for yourself or someone you love, I especially love their delicate studs, and they have some really cool vintage jewelry, too!

Negroni print: 

I was introduced to Chiara Perano’s artwork when my friend Victoria shared this print on her stories! She has a lot of really fun minimalist prints centered around Italy, cocktails, food, and travel that would make a really cool gift for anyone who adores those things! See all her work here.

InBooze Cocktail Infusion Kits: 

Ashleigh is a one-woman show and Etsy seller who creates these amazing little infusion pouches filled with dried fruits, herbs and spices that you drop into the alcohol of your choice to make delicious craft cocktails! The perfect stay-at-home activity for any cocktail lover. (I bet they’d make some great mocktails, too!)

Katie Elizabeth Designs Holiday Cards:

My friend Katie from high school is an amazingly talented calligrapher who makes the cutest, cheeky cards. I especially love her holiday cards. They will make anyone smile!

Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere sheets: 

If you really want to treat yourself (or someone you love)–Brooklinen’s Heathered cashmere sheets are a DREAM. We’ve been sleeping on them for the past month or so and they are so cozy and luxurious–but don’t make you overheat. They feel like a warm hug every time you crawl into bed. You can use code JESSKEYS for $20 off your purchase of $100 or more site wide! 

Easy roll-up, waterproof picnic/beach blanket: 

For anyone who loves the outdoors, picnic-lover, beach-goer, camper, or mom! This waterproof, machine washable, easy roll-up and carry blanket is perfect, and a great price, too! (Currently $25 on Amazon!)

Happy shopping! Stay tuned for Neal’s Favorite Things + Gifts for Him, and Kid’s Gift Guides coming soon!

xoxo Jess

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