20 Gifts That Make Life Easier, More Comfortable, More Fun, or More Beautiful
First, some warnings…
- Reading this may result in a shopping spree!
- Reading this may satisfy all of your retail therapy needs!
- Reading this may result in premature completion of your holiday shopping!
Ok. Consider yourself warned. Now, I’m a weird combination of lazy, perfectionistic, and resourceful which keeps me on the constant hunt for things that solve life’s little problems or make life easier. Here, I throw my gift guide into the pile. I hope you find something to get that person that’s always hard to buy for, and I hope you find something to ask for on your Christmas or birthday list! I need to mention that none of the below are affiliate links. This list is my gift to you. The only kickback I want is your comment below! Don’t you just love spending other people’s money?!
- Loopy Phone Case:I’m also clumsy. And I talk with my hands, much to my family’s amusement. But sometimes this gets me into trouble. Once, in Disneyland, I was searching for Scott with phone in hand. When I caught site of him, I threw my hands (and therefore my phone) into the air in delight. My phone landed hard and the screen shattered. I cried a little right there in the happiest place on earth. I’ve done this three times since iphones became a thing. Scott has skills, though. He knows how to switch out an iphone screen with a suction cup and a hair dryer. But after the third time, I needed a better solution. Enter Loopy Case! I looooove this new case! I wondered if the loop would feel like it was in my way sliding my phone into my purse or pocket, but it’s really flexible rubber and it doesn’t bother me a bit! They are $35, but use coupon code LOOPY, LOOPIER, or LOOPIEST to get 20% off of 1, 25% off of 2, or 30% off of 3+! These are limited time Black Friday codes, so act fast!
- Meal kit delivery system:
Blue Apron ads are everywhere on Podcasts, so I got curious. You go online, choose three meals you like the sounds of, and delivered onto your doorstep is a box with dry ice and everything you need to make the exact number of portions you specified of a main and side dish meal. It’s all measured out, and there is a recipe card that walks you through step by step instructions with pictures in an order that makes it all come out at the same time. It’s about $10 per person per meal, so it is pricy, but I think someone could totally learn to cook this way. I think it’s a perfect gift for someone just out on their own wanting to eat out less and needing guidance. I think it’d be an awesome one time gift or a monthly subscription would be great too if you are looking for something more substantial. We did Marley Spoon (at a friend’s recommendation) twice, and my kids made the meals. Perfection! Check out this article for a review of the most popular services.
- Purse Pouch:
This is for anyone who carries a purse and ever has a front seat passenger. It seems cheesy, but I swear by it! It is an “As Seen on TV” thing, so it’s also a great white elephant or gift exchange gift. And every girlfriend that gets into my car wants one. It hooks to your center console and front seat headrests and holds your purse from flying off of the console and into your back seat. It has changed the way I feel about having a front seat passenger. I used to resent having to allow an actual person to sit in my purse holder. Now, I welcome the company! Also, it has a pocket to stash things you might need at the ready like wet wipes, a lint roller, gum, etc. The picture shows the purse in the pocket, but I don’t use it that way. I use it more as a purse hammock. Works like a charm! Get in here on Amazon for $8.99.
- Electric Eyelash Curler:For anyone who likes dolling up now and then or every day. This puppy heats up in 30 seconds and gives your lashes a natural lifting curl without that darn right angle crimp I seem to always create when I use the clampy thing. Buy it here for $14.99. It’s a great stocking stuffer!
- Etekcity outlet and remote:I bought this as an impulse Cyber Monday buy last year. And then I bought 2 more, because these are awesome! Do you have any lamps you like to turn on regularly but are too lazy to dislocate your shoulder or get out of your chair (once you FINALLY sit down) to fire up? This thing plugs in to the outlet and then you plug your lamp or whatever into it. Then, you can turn the lamp on and off with a little remote that you can strategically place right by where you crash at the end of the day. I told you, I’m lazy. Your welcome. We set up our Christmas tree, Snoopy window decoration, and light-up Christmas village last year to all function off of a single remote. Heaven! You can buy a single on Amazon right now for $9.99, or you can get a 5 outlet system for $25.48 (as you know, Amazon prices are ever-changing, so they may be even cheaper now!)
- Norwex glass cleaning cloth:
Where has this been all my life?! This is a cloth that you wet with water and then squeeze out. It then cleans mirrors, windows, stainless appliances, and granite flawlessly to a streak free glimmer with a mere wipe. No smelly blue spray I’m always out of, or linty paper towels. Our house is on the market and this thing has gotten some seriously heavy use over the last few weeks. You only have to wash it now and then. Hang it to dry and then it’s ready to go the next time you need it. My mom saw me using mine and then needed one immediately, so I got her one for her birthday. Sounds drab. Not so. I love it! With passion. Norwex is a direct to consumer business, so here’s the link to my friend Mandy’s site. You can order on line and ship direct, so it’s totally user friendly. I also love the laundry detergent, but I don’t think anyone will appreciate receiving that as a gift.
- ChiliPad Cube: I truly think this gadget is the sole reason I am still sane. This is a big ticket item but worth it’s weight in gold. It’s a pad that goes under your fitted sheet. It has tiny tubes embedded through which water circulates from the cube. You can set the temperature anywhere from 55 F to 110 F, but being a woman in my mid forties, I sleep with mine at 62 year round. It keeps me cool enough to sleep under my cozy covers instead of under just a sad, thin sheet. The queen and king have two separate units, so you can choose your temperature, and the other side of the be can be it’s own little microenvironment. It might be my favorite possession. The single is $449 (and this is all you need if only one sleeper needs it, no matter the size of your bed – buy this for your wife!!!) and the king is $1099. You can purchase them from ChiliPad or Amazon.
- Eyeshadow Crayon:I learned about these on my favorite blog in an article called One Minute Trick for Pretty Eyes. This blog has great gift guides too, by the way. Eyeshadow has always intimidated me. I’m an two-minutes-of-makeup-on-a-fancy-day kind of a girl. But I decided to try this, and let me tell you, it’s upped my makeup game. And it’s fool proof. I just draw with the crayon above my eyelashes before applying my eyeliner. I like the cashmere colored crayon (slightly shimmery cream). It gives me a brightness and lift. I’ve had compliments. Even my girls like how it looks on me! And at 12 and 14, their standards are real high. These babies are $4.59 at CVS and last forever (they have more colors in the store than online). You do need a fat sharpener for it. But CVS has those too. Ulta has them too, in all the colors! Great stocking stuffer!
- Foldable Utility Wagon:I borrowed my sister’s wagon last week and it saved. my. life. I was flying solo hosting a meeting for which I provided tech, food, beverages, ice, and packets. It was across a big parking lot, up an elevator, and down a loooong hall. I couldn’t have pulled it off without this thing. The funny thing is, I’ve had this on my birthday/Christmas wish list for a couple of years now because they are just expensive enough that to buy one for myself feels like a splurge. But I keep not getting one. So, I had to call my sister and ask to borrow her “stuff wagon.” She gets me, so she new what I meant. And I don’t want to give it back. Amazon has them for $62.99.
- Foam Ear Plugs:This is another head scratcher. Until you have some. Ever travel? Ever sit in a doctor’s waiting room with other people’s screaming children (like I was this very day)? Ever try to get work done on Starbuck’s wifi while you are waiting for your kid to finish swimming/dancing/rehearsing? I bought a case of these to put in goody bags for adults traveling here to speak at a convention. I had leftovers. They’ve gone with me camping and to hotels and I keep a pouch in my purse at all times. Sometimes the world is just too loud. You can buy them on Amazon, 5 pairs for $5.65, or 200 pairs for $19.56. Great stocking stuffer!
- Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler:Is it just me, or do you drop your phone down the seat gap weekly and then mangle your arm trying to retrieve it? Although with my new Loopy Case, this may now only be a french fry issue. Still important! These seem like weird little things, but I can’t ever go without them now that I have them. I live in my car. I am in my car this very moment with my laptop on my lap waiting for a daughter to finish swimming. (If you, too, live in your car, you have to read this.) This is another “As Seen on TV” thing, so think white elephant or gift exchange. But also, it’s just a great gift period. Walmart sells them for $9.88, or you can get a 2-pack on Amazon for $19.99.
- Rocking Camp Chair:I spend a lot of time in my camp chair. Between actual camping and swim meets, this thing gets consistent use. I saw someone in a rocker bottom camp chair a while back and slapped it on my wish list. Well, my in-laws being the researchers and thoughtful gift-givers that they are, found something much better. It has shocks! So it sits on four legs, allowing for comfort on uneven ground, and rocks to boot! I am the envy of everyone at swim meets in this thing. Every time I leave my chair, I return to find someone new trying it out. I wonder how many I’ll see next year. Maybe I’ve started a rocking revolution! Get one at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $39.98 (down from $64.99, price ends the Saturday after Thanksgiving), or at Academy for $39.99.
- Pretty Litter:This is for your feline family members. We got our girls cats for Christmas last year. I love cats, but cat litter infuriates me. It ‘s just so gross. I have spent a mint in the last year trying out different litter systems. We’ve been through pellets (our cats wanted to eat it) and all different brands of clumping litter (smells disgusting, and you have to be a weight lifter to get it home from WalMart). I was belly aching about this at Bunko (if you can’t vent to your bunko friends, who can you vent to?) and two people at that very table suggested Pretty Litter. I was not hopeful. But you guys. This stuff is a MIRACLE! It’s light weight, doesn’t smell, and doesn’t send up a cloud of dust when you pour it in. It also has a color change that indicates if your cat is ill. And it comes to your doorstep monthly, which is how often you change it out. I’m in love with this litter. Not a sentence I thought I’d ever utter. For one cat, it’s $21 per month. I just got a Black Friday deal from Pretty Litter in my inbox. Gift a multi-month subscription and get a $20 Visa with code FREEVISA! Not sure if it’ll work if you aren’t already a subscriber, but it can’t hurt to try! Great deal!
- All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast Aluminum Insert: Another bigger ticket item at $249.95, but this is no regular crockpot. The insert (which is nonstick!) can go on the stovetop and in the oven! My friend Stephanie turned me on to this, and now my Mom, sister, and I all have one and can’t live without. This is what I serve my famous mashed potatoes out of every year at Thanksgiving (see the recipe here). William Sonoma has it right now for $199.95. Hurry!
- Poo-pourri: This is a toilet spray. You spray it directly on the toilet water before you go and it prevents badness of the odiferous sort. It works, and the bottle is pretty. They also make a tiny purse-sized on the go container about the size of a chapstick that I think is hilarious and genius. This is a carry over from my article entitled My 10 Favorite Things (well, 11) from Amazon. I think it would be a fun and useful stocking stuffer or a perfect gift exchange gift. I like the Lavender Vanilla, but look! They have gift sets! Oh me! I die.
- Shipt Membership:
Now this one is just too good to be true! I was listening to Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love! Podcast (for a list of my favorite podcasts, check out this article; Jen is a newer favoirte), and she interviewed the founder of Shipt. It’s a grocery delivery service. It’s not in every US city yet, but it’s worth checking if its in your recipient’s city. For a flat $90 per year (Or $45 if you listen to the interview and get the coupon code!) you get UNLIMITED grocery delivery. And they have very strict criteria for hiring shoppers. I think this is an awesome gift for new parents, or over-scheduled young professionals, or for someone who struggles physically with the rigors of grocery schlepping, or really anyone. I hate grocery shopping! To get your groceries delivered for less than $10 a month is a slam dunk!!! And what a useful, awesome gift!
This is a party game and one last carry over from my Amazon list. It causes fits of laughter no matter who you are or who you play with. It’s a combination of Pictionary (without everyone staring at you while you draw) and the old fashioned game of telephone (with all of the miscommunication hilarity) all rolled into an easy to play game for all ages (must be able to read). We played it with our whole huge family on New Year’s and had such a blast. Here is a sample of my work: The phrase I was illustrating was “drunk dancer.” Clearly, no art skills required. Here’s a Pinterest board with some other examples. Trust me. You have to have it! Amazon has it for $24.89 for the 8-player version, or $35.99 for the 12-player version.
- Dundee Marmalade Jar:
These are for the antique and vintage lover. I want many of these but keep talking myself out of them because it’s a splurge. Therefore, it’s the perfect gift! Prices range, but here’s one on Etsy for $32. The average price seems to be around $30. Check out how one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Mustard Seed, uses hers in her kitchen. I love it so much!
- Vintage Eiderdowns:If you watched Downton Abbey, you may remember the deliciously fluffy thick blankets they had on their beds that fit just the top with no overhang. These are eiderdowns, broadly used in Europe where older buildings aren’t as easy to heat. But I prefer the more basic, common Eiderdowns with sweet tiny cotton prints to the fancy satin numbers in the Abbey. I’ve received two of these in the last year, one for Christmas and one for my birthday. Most are small, less than twin sized. They are heavenly lap blankets for winter, as long as you aren’t allergic to down. My goal is to have four of these eventually, one for each of us. And they are so pretty all rolled up in a floor basket. They just look and feel like home. Most ship from England, so give them at least 10 days to arrive. You can find them on Etsy for around $90.Here’s the one pictured above.
- Subscription box:Who doesn’t love getting a care package? Subscription boxes exist for about any interest. A few years ago, I got our girls a 4 month subscription to Pop Sugar. The first box was under the tree and then they received one monthly for the next 3 month. The boxes contained such fun things. Check outthese past boxes to get a better idea of what I mean. This is a great gift for teens or your girlfriends. There are boxes for pets (Barkbox which my parents have loved for their dogs), food subscription boxes (like pickle of the month), art supply boxes (like sketchbox), snack boxes (like graze discovery boxes), boxes that teach kids how to code (bitsbox), boxes for runners (runnercrate) and about a bajillion others at Cratejoy. I think it’s a fun concept!
I hope you found something you are excited about giving or requesting!
For more great gift ideas, check out a few of my favorite online shops:
- Evy’s Tree– Beautiful, unique hoodies and other clothing items for women and children.
- Jane– Unique trendy clothes and home goods for a great price.
- Decor Steals– Home decor and kitchen goods at great prices; one of the few email lists I like being on because they roll out only a few deals at once each for a limited time with limited stock, and their stuff is CUTE!
- HauteLook– Deeply discounted high end items from all departments. And if you have a Nordstrom Rack in your area…free returns!
What are you thinking of buying from this list?
What are your favorite gift guides from around the internet?
What is the favorite gift you’ve ever received?