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Gift Guide: Jess’ Favorite Things + Gifts for Her

Nov 14, 2021

Jess Favorite Things + Gifts for Her

(Apologies, can’t link anything in this photo because it’s three years old! Maybe next year I’ll re-shoot my gift guide photos? ????) 

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! Kendall and I spend hours and hours each year curating this guide that we think is the best of the best out there! 

This guide (and others that come after) will not just feature items from my go-to big retailers, but also smaller shops, BPIOC and women owned businesses. (You’ll also see quite a few repeat favorites from last year, as they’re still tried and true standbys, but tons of new additions, too!) 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! 

Speaking of small, woman-owned businesses, a shout out my friend Katie for her amazing calligraphy skills in creating my gift guide graphics! (She also makes darling holiday cards that are linked below–make sure to check her out!) 

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

[ggheading style=”light” size=”3″ text=”TABLE OF CONTENTS”]

— > Jess’ Personal Favorites Under $50 <—

— > Jess’ Personal Favorites Under $100<—

— > Jess’ Personal Favorites Around $150-$200 <—

— > More Awesome Gift Ideas for Her <—

[ggheading style=”light” size=”3″ text=”Jess’ Favorites Under $50″]

Rebecca’s “A Year in Paris” Calendar: 

You likely already follow my friend Rebecca of Everyday Parisian (who I went to Paris with!) She’s a Paris photographer and has a beautiful calendar full of her best photos of Paris that would make the BEST gift for any travel lover. (Especially a coworker to keep at their desk!) Will instantly transport you to Paris and support a small woman-owned artist at the same time! ♥️

The Joy of Watercolor Book: 

I got this adorable watercolor book at the beginning of the pandemic and it was so helpful! I highly recommend–painting is incredibly cathartic and it’s so fun to try something new! Note: The book does not come with supplies (but this set looks great!)

Refillable silicone travel bottles: 

I got these for 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!

Beautycounter skincare trio: 

Beautycounter products make up the majority of my skincare routine and this little set of skincare heavy hitters would make such a great gift (and would also be great for travel!) It includes two of my favorite products I use religiously (their anti-aging serum and resurfacing peel) plus their popular vitamin c serum!) Would be a great gift paired with the travel pouches above!

Crackling Maple Syrup Candle:

This candle saved me during a low week in 2020. A reader sent it to me and said that this candle is perhaps the most comforting thing she’s purchased all of quarantine, and I have to agree with her! It’s a French Canadian maple syrup candle with a wooden wick that sounds like a crackling fire. Not to mention, the vintage design looks perfect on the counter. Also–it’s on AMAZON!

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. (hey 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!

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 I chose all three!

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. My friend Tine introduced me and was so convinced I’d be obsessed that she Primed one to me the next day. It’s THAT good!

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, and newest to me, my friend Lindsay’s Hotel Lobby Candle line. She created these inspired by that incredible waft of custom scent you’re hit with each time you set foot in in a luxury hotel. You know what I’m talking about right? HEAVEN. I’m obsessed with this concept. She has a Paris votive set that would make the perfect gift or perhaps a Luxe Lodge scent? (I’ve been dying to smell these!)

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!

The Best Blue Light Glasses:

You guys have been asking for suggestions on cute blue light glasses, so I ordered this gold pair and this tortoise pair on Amazon (they’re $20 each!) and I love both! The brand is called Sojos and they are a women-owned brand!

 

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. ????

“I Swear It’s Coffee” Mug: 

Alice & Wonder makes the best cheeky mugs. Who wouldn’t smile pouring their morning coffee into this? ????

 

Imported Italian White Truffle Sauce 

My Italian friend Luca has an imports company where he sells fantastic Italian goods to local restaurants, but he’s put a few of his best selling items on sale on Amazon, and the white truffle sauce is absolutely to die for. All you need to do is pour it over pasta and that’s it! It’s that good and that easy! (Although it would be delicious paired with some crumbled Italian sausage too–or over chicken!) Get one for everyone you know–a great gift for someone who has everything!

Breakfast Wine Mug: 

Okay another Alice & Wonder mug but this was too good not to include! Have had it for several years now and it always makes me smile so big in the morning! ????

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, and they start at just $35!

SWZL Straw Set:

Eliminating the use of plastic straws is something we’re all trying to be better about, and these SWZLE straws make it a lot easier! They’re metal and come in their own carrying case (so you can always keep it stashed in your bag!) with a cleaning brush, too! They’re also a local Chicago startup!

Butter Socks: 

The softest, comfiest, coziest socks IN THE WORLD. There is no one who doesn’t need these in their life! The best stocking stuffer ever! (FYI I know it says size 9/11 but it fits sizes 6-10)

Sezane Olivia Cardholder: 

How pretty is this cardholder?! I have another similar version from Sezane and adore it. Personalize it with a monogram to make it even more special!

 

Yeti Rambler Mug:

I love my rambler mug because I can drink coffee in it, and also drink water, cocktails, la croix, whatever out of it–and things stay hot or cold! It’s all you need!

Amazon No-Slip Ankle Socks:

Okay I almost DIDN’T include these because I cannot think of anything less exciting, but these are probably one of the items I get asked about the most. These Amazon socks are amazing–they’re invisible socks that REALLY do not slip off your feet! I bought like 4 packs so all my socks match and it’s been the best decision ever.

Ollie Hoops:

I love these dainty hoops made by local Chicago woman-owned brand Vo Jewelry! They’re insanely lightweight (you can’t feel them in) and they make the perfect subtle statement. The best part? They’re only $30!

Vo Jewelry Dainty Necklace: 

Also from Vo, I wear this necklace along with my Dana Rebecca necklace (below!) every day. I don’t think I took it off for two years ???? The best part? It’s only $38! The perfect layering necklace!

Woo Me Nail Grown Serum: 

I absolutely love this nail growth serum, made by WooMe Beauty, a small Black-owned, woman-owned brand! Her awesome formula is made with all-natural ingredients and no chemicals. It makes nails so strong and shiny! It really helped to heal them after my last dip manicure pre-pandemic all but destroyed my nails. At $17, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for all your girlfriends! The cherry on top is that the founder, Leslie Williams, is absolutely lovely and has a true passion for what she does!

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!!

Amazon Wubby Fleece:

Okay, this is a Wubby that isn’t technically a NAME BRAND Wubby, but it’s still damn good, especially for the price! Got it last year and still love it and wear it often. It’s SO WARM. This is also different than a true Wubby fleece in that it’s FLEECE lined (not sherpa lined, not jersey-lined) but literally like–Dudley kind of material lined. “It’s different than the others” is how I justify this purchase to myself. ???? It’s fine, it’s $30.

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!)

 

[ggheading style=”light” size=”3″ text=”Jess’ Favorites Under $100″]

Alice & Wonder Chicago Merch: 

Any of her Chicago merch makes such a fun gift for any windy city lover! The tees and sweatshirts are always SO soft–I live in mine! They’re so cheerful, you can’t not smile while wearing these designs!

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! 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! ????

Hanna Anderson 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! My code JESSKEYS10 is live now through 11/12 and stacks on top of their existing sale!

Brightland Olive Oil Gift Set: 

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. So far I’ve tried both oils in this set and the balsamic–it’s so, so good. It would truly make the most special gift for anyone who loves food! All are meant for drizzling and finishing dishes, salads, crostini, etc!

Authentic Italian Olive Oil (2 pack) 

If trendy olive oil isn’t your thing, I also absolutely love this high quality Italian olive oil, which is available on Amazon and is sold in a two-pack for $64––so you can keep one and gift one 😉 This is another great item my friend Luca imports from Italy and sells in his Amazon shop, so your purchase goes a long way to help a local business!

Foxtrot gift boxes 

If you live in the Chicago area, you are likely already a lover of Foxtrot for ALL their goods and gifts for same-day delivery! Now they offer gift delivery nationwide and have so many great boxes to choose from. Their Chicago food box looks like an amazing gift–they also have a mulled wine set, an espresso martini box, and more!

Tartan Scarf: 

THE classic tartan J.Crew scarf that really just signifies the holidays for me! I’ve owned this scarf for several years and it’s always a favorite! It looks so festive and pretty with everything! Makes the best (unisex) gift too! Plus, it’s J.Crew, so it’s almost always on sale!

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!)

Faux Leather Leggings: 

And old standby! I love Spanx Faux Leather Leggings, especially in the winter. They’re what I wear when I need to wear “pants” but I just can’t bring myself to wear jeans. They look way more put together and nicer than normal leggings, but they’re more breathable than most “leather” leggings and comfortable for all-day wear. Sizing: Most people prefer to size up, but I have my normal size! Just depends on how tight you prefer your leggings!

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!

Thousand Bike Helmet: 

Love this chic bike helmet for the bike enthusiast! It comes in a bunch of pretty colors, too–but I have this one! ♥️

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 vastly affected 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!

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!

Equilibria Daily Treatment Oil:

Equilibria’s amazing face oil has 500mg of CBD and would make a great gift for a loved one or yourself. It’s my favorite face oil–It’s especially great for locking in moisture, targeting redness and inflammation, and it even helps breakouts heal a lot faster! Great for spot treating anywhere on your body, too! Also smells INCREDIBLE. Use code JESSKEYS for 15% off your first purchase!

 

 

 

[ggheading style=”light” size=”3″ text=”Jess’ Favorites Around $150-$200″]

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! 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 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 JESSKEYSBF25 for 25% off *almost* all ABLE items now through Cyber Monday! 

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 JESSKEYSBF25 for 25% off *almost* all ABLE items now through Cyber Monday! 

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 JESSKEYSBF25 for 25% off *almost* all ABLE items now through Cyber Monday! 

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. I’m usually a 0 or 2 in coats and I have the size 0 with room to layer! See my full Cocoon Coat Review! 

Hill House Nap Dress: 

The ultimate house dress (and also an incredible postpartum dress!) Comes in so many colors and materials–I have two summer versions and this new velvet winter version and love them all.

Sizing: runs big, go down a size. I got the xs.

Sezane statement earrings: 

I don’t think there’s anything this beautiful French brand makes that I’m not in love with, but in terms of gifts, you can’t sleep on their beautiful jewelry–especially their statement earrings, that somehow accomplish the feat of making a statement while still being somehow demure. I have my eye on this pair in particular, but also own the June hoops (duh) and they’re beautiful too–the perfect, chunky, medium sized gold hoop. Sezane is also a certified B-Corp so you can feel extra great about spending way too much money there. ????

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 JESSKEYSBF25 for 25% off *almost* all ABLE items now through Cyber Monday! 

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!

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 the one workout I can actually stomach from home. They have tons of streaming workouts to choose from and most are around 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect pandemic workout. I’m linking to the starter kit I purchased, and highly recommend! NOTE this is what I would consider a more *traditional* workout–it has circuits, music, hypey instructors–etc. Unlike Melissa Wood Health which is very flow focused, calming, no music, etc. They’re very different things–just depends on personal preferences!

 

 

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!

OurPlace Always Pan: 

Love our Always Pan! You can read my giant blog post about it. In short, it’s the easiest pan to clean, so multifunctional it will replace most of the pans you own, and it looks so pretty on your stovetop. The founder Shiza Shahid, is so cool and has a background in non-profit, so the company is very mission-centric and the products are ethically made in a woman-owned factory! Their Black Friday sale is happening right now, too where you can get the pan for $99!

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 turtlenecks. The Cobble Hill Turtleneck is so soft, so warm, such a flattering tunic cut and it has pockets! 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! 

 

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Dirty plant names mug: 

OK OK I know I have too many mugs on this list but this might take the cake. ???? I’M HOWLING. I know you know at least 3 plant ladies in your life who need this!

Cashmere-Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves: 

I bought these from my own gift guide ???? and I really love 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!

Windy City Keychain: 

Another Alice & Wonder find! Comes in three pretty leather colors.

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!)

Flannel house dress/nightgown: 

This is in my Nordstrom cart as we speak. I know my fellow grannies out there will love it! ???? What better than a cozy winter house dress!?

Dog Socks: 

How cute are these socks from Etsy?! Perfect for the dog-owner or dog lover (like me!) on your list this year.

Passport + Vaccine card holder: 

I REALLY wished I’d had this when traveling to Paris! A great little affordable gift for any [vaccinated] friend who loves to travel–this all-in-one holds passport, essential credit cards, a pen, and vaccine card–everything you need on you for a day of travel!

Counter compost bucket: 

Have you heard of Boon Supply? It’s the founder of Serena & Lily’s sustainable gift company! I love this little compost bin to keep on your counter so you’re not constantly running back and forth to your compost bucket outside each time! Each purchase gives 40% back to the organization of your choice!

Faux Tortise Mask Chains: 

This Etsy maker ByLunari makes the CUTEST mask chains! If you’ve been looking for one that’s a little bit different yet still dainty/not chunky or heavy–these look perfect!

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!)

 

 

Crazy Plant Lady Book: 

For the plant ladies in your life! This charming celebration of the plant lady lifestyle proves that plant love is the joy that keeps growing.

Handmade Geometric Mug: 

Another mug from another one of my favorite small shops (also Black and woman-owned!) called New Origin, based in Austin! Sierra does such an amazing job of curating really special items from small makers, and also handmakes her own goods, too! This handmade ceramic mug is one of the many beauties she carries!

Mark & Graham Tech Envelope:

My SIL got me this for Christmas last year and I love it so much–the best travel essential! It’s an all-in-one beautiful leather envelope 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!

Casper Glow Light:

Very random, but I love this thing. You can use it as an alarm clock (that is, if you don’t have a baby that wakes you up every morning ????), so the soft light gradually gets brighter to wake you up gently, so you don’t feel so out of it when you wake up! Additionally, I use it as a reading light before bed (you can set the timer to slowly dim based on when you want to go to bed) and if you need it in the middle of the night (to get a drink of water, or if you’re a new parent and you want to change your baby’s diaper in the middle of the night without waking them up) you just wiggle it and carry it with you and it produces the softest “nightlight” type light. It’s really soothing and the light feels more similar to that of a candle than a lamp! It’s 10% off right now too!

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!

Ethiopian Cotton Napkin Set: 

This Black and woman-owned shop has the most beautiful home goods sourced from Africa, and this beautiful napkin set would make a great gift for anyone who loves to entertain (you know, under normal circumstances) or just moved into a new home!

Vintage glassware: 

Neal and I have so much vintage glassware that we absolutely adore–I think it also makes a thoughtful and unique gift! (Especially paired with a nice bottle of champagne!) Whether you find a seller on Etsy or you call around to some local shops–your support will go a long way! You can search more vintage glassware on Etsy here! (If you can’t find something you like, try searching “vintage martini glass” or “vintage champagne coupe” and it will yield more specific results!

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!

Slip Silk Hair Scrunchie Set:

Another beauty lover gift–slip silk scrunchies! These are a dream for making your hair stretch longer in between washes–you can wear it up at night without risking breakage or bad kinks in your hair! (I like to put dry shampoo on my roots at night and then put it up in one of these to sleep in!) It’s also a gift that feels really fancy, even though it’s only $39!

Virtual Happy Hour Kit:

(Cleverly re-named from the “Carry On Cocktail Kit!) I feel like I can’t not include these in my gift guides every year. Neal and I LOVE these cute little cocktail kits–they’re the best thing to take on the plane to kick off a fun vacation!  They have a bunch of different kids–Margarita, Moscow Mule, Champagne Cocktail, Bloody, and a Spritz, just to name a few!

 

 

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!

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!

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!

Greer Chicago Holiday Stationery:

Greer is a beloved Chicago boutique founded by Chandra Greer, and is known all across the city for their beautiful cards, stationery and other gifts! They have the cutest selection of holiday cards, you’ll be looking for excuses to send one to everyone you know!

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 and pandemic-related cards. They will make anyone smile!

Sezane Demain maxi tote: 

Choose what you pay for this tote, up to $25, and all proceeds will be donated to Sezane’s “Demain” charity, which funds projects geared toward equal opportunity education. I actually received this bag as a gift with purchase a while back and it’s my #1 go-to grocery bag–it’s so cute and holds SO much stuff! I loved it so much I bought another!

 

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I hope you LOVED this guide and that it’s the most helpful guide around for your holiday shopping! Gift guide for guys, experience (non-material item related) gifts, ideas for babies/kids, and more coming soon!

Happy shopping!

xoxo Jess

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