In the past few years, I’ve become pretty particular about what products come into my home. The older I get, the less stuff I want. Instead, I find myself really valuing items that bring me joy or make my life easier. And this list is my way of showing you my absolute favorite finds from the past 12 months.
There are a lot of gift guides out there, and that’s wonderful (I’ve gotten plenty of good gift ideas from them), but mine functions a bit differently. All these products below are items that I (A) own, use, and love and (B) paid for with my own mooh-lah or were gifted to me (no brand can buy their way onto this list).
Most of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through my link and choose to buy from that company, I get a small kickback for referring you—at no extra cost to you. Okay, let’s dig into my favorite things of 2018.
(A) Frost Slouchy Hat — I bought this hat for my husband almost five years ago, but I use it almost as much! It’s cute, it’s warm, and it fits my giant head.
(B) prAna Diva Long Jacket — I was sent this coat for free, and it was just in time, because I desperately needed a new one for winter. This jacket is SUCH a winner. It’s warm without being super bulky like a puffer jacket, it has a great hood, and the whole thing is lined with super-soft sherpa. I’m in love!
(C) Torrid Premiums Jeggings — I live in these leggings. They are expensive (especially considering they are sold as leggings), but they really are more like “real” jeans instead of leggings. They are just super stretchy! I love these.
(D) Ugg Harrington Boot — These boots are the most expensive thing in my closet, and I about had a heart attack when I pressed the “place order” button, but I’m so glad I invested in these! They are comfortable, cute, and super warm.
(A) Plaid Blanket Scarf — I’ve reached for this green and navy tartan plaid blanket scarf all the time since I got it from my parents for Christmas last year. (Prefer to DIY it? Here’s how to make your own blanket scarf!)
(B) Silicone Wedding Band Set — I have a beautiful vintage wedding band set that I…never wear. Chicken poop, shoveling compost, cooking all day, yoga—my lifestyle is just not conducive to diamonds. So I switched to this thin silicone band a while back and it’s been wonderful! I still put my “real” rings on for special occasions, but this little sliver of black rubber is my wedding band for everyday wear.
(C) Popsocket — I finally got a Popsocket this year—welcome to 2012, Cass—and it’s GREAT. I had broken so many screen protectors (and screens) before I got my Popsocket. Holding my phone feels so much more secure now. I can’t imagine having a phone without one.
(A) Cricut Explore Air 2 — I hemmed and hawed about buying a Cricut (it’s a personal die cutting machine, if you haven’t heard of one), but I’m so glad I finally pulled the plug. I use it all the time! It’s such a fun gift for anyone with a crafty streak or who enjoys labeling!
(B) Artiqu Paint Markers — I’m in love with these permanent paint markers! The colors are vibrant, they last a long time (even outdoors), and they are fun to color with.
(C) Papermate Flair — Can you beat a set of colorful Papermate Flairs? I think not. I love this set that I picked up at Meijer because it has both standard colors and some out-of-the-box colors.
(D) Monthly Calendar — I switched from a weekly planner to a monthly calendar this year, and it was one of the better decisions I’ve ever made for my own sanity. I can only fit so much in each little square, and that forced limitation has made me really question what I value in my day. My calendar is a gorgeous two-year kraft paper calendar I got off of Etsy. You can customize the start month and the color cover. I use stickers I made on my Cricut to mark appointments and events. It’s simple and small and perfect for what I need.
(E) Phaiser Bluetooth Earbuds — I put these on last year’s gift guide, and they’re going back up again because they are still wonderful! They hold a charge forever, they connect easily, and they stay in my ears even when doing intense exercise.
(F) The Food Diary — When I was in the midst of figuring out my food intolerances, this diary was a lifesaver. It’s a food journal that is specifically designed for tracking food intolerances, allergies, and other food-related symptoms and disorders. It’s discreet, classy, and super well-made! The company who makes them offered you guys a coupon code for 10% orders through December 14th. Just enter “WHOLEFULLY10” into the checkout box!
(G) Miliko Dot Grid Notebooks — I use dot grid notebooks exclusively, and it’s taken me a bit to find the ones I really love, but these are it! The cover is heavy and linen-covered, it’s spiral-bound (a must for me), and the paper is thick. I also love that the paper is bright white—not an off-white color. I love these notebooks!
(H) Micron Pens — Everyone knows about Micron pens, right? If not, you gotta get you some! It might take a while to figure out what thickness you like best (I’m a fan of the #1), but once you do, you’ll be in a long-term committed relationship with a pen.
(A) Himalayan Salt Lamp — There are a lot of purported benefits of having a salt lamp in your living space, but I bought mine almost entirely because the soft, orange light that glows off of it in the evenings relaxes me and makes me ready for bed. I love mine!
(B) Pranayama Wrap — The first of two Athleta items on this list! I have a lot of wraps/cardigans, and my two Pranayama Wraps are my favorites. They are thick and very soft, they have big pockets, and they have thumbholes, which is the way to my heart. I have one in gray and one in cream—I wish I had one in each color!
(C) Crisscross Sweatshirt — This sweater from Athleta is the softest thing in my closet. I wear it multiple times a week. It’s such a beautiful casual sweatshirt, but with a pretty little crossover detail on the front.
(D) Cuddl Duds Fleece Leggings — I wouldn’t wear these leggings to an intense hatha yoga class, but these warm and thick fleece leggings are perfect under tunics or dresses in cold weather or as pajama pants. They are super soft and not overly tight—they work really great for yin yoga!
(E) Manduka Pro Long Mat — I’m tall and big. And I spill off of most yoga mats. Not my Manduka Pro! It’s 85” long and nice and wide. It’s also very thick and cushy—perfect for keeping my cranky knees happy. Be warned: it’s very heavy, so I wouldn’t carry this back and forth to class all the time, but it’s perfect for a home studio.
(A) Amethyst Crystal — Even if you put the purported health benefits aside, I think there is something very fulfilling to the soul about filling your home with items from nature that bring you joy—and a big, beautiful amethyst crystal from my husband’s hometown does that for me. Amethyst is a great “beginner” crystal—it’s affordable, it’s beautiful, and they say it’s great for all kinds of ailments.
(B) Essential Oil Rollers — These little perfume/aromatherapy rollers would make excellent stocking stuffers! I got this one from a nearby company that only sells locally, but there are lots of good options for similar rollers online.
(C) Mala — A mala is a pretty particular gift only suited for the right person, but for the right someone it can be quite meaningful and appreciated. I beaded this mala myself, but there are lots of beautiful options online that would make excellent gifts.
(D) KidSafe Essential Oils — This set is how I first got started with essential oils, and it would be a great beginner set for anyone with kids in the house. No worries about giving the wrong oils to young kids—these are all safe for little ones and adults.
(E) Essential Oil Diffuser — I think a good essential oil diffuser is important in every natural-leaning house! I have three different diffusers in my house, and this ceramic one that was a gift from my friends at Meijer is my favorite! It’s beautiful without being in your face (or taking up SO much space like lots of diffusers do).
(A) Ceramic NetiPot — I’ve done saline nasal rinses for years, but I always used those cheap-o plastic pots you pick up in the pharmacy. I’m actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my life, and it seemed like high time to upgrade to a beautiful, lifetime ceramic neti pot. This one is beautiful (and comes in lots of different colors), is easy to hold, and looks beautiful on my bathroom shelf. And my kid loves to play with my old plastic one in the tub. Win, win.
(B) ShiKai CBD Body Lotion — This lotion is pricey (as all CBD products are), but it really works for me for pain relief in achy joints. I’ve even used it on my face for sinus headaches!
(C) SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Masque — I love the entire line of Shea Moisture products, and this deep conditioning treatment is one of my faves. It would make a great stocking stuffer! I will say that most SheaMoisture products (including this one) are designed for thicker, coarser, drier hair—so if you have hair that tends to get weighed down easily, this treatment probably isn’t for you.
(D) Miss Spa Face Masks —I love these natural-leaning masks for when I’m chilling in a bubble bath. Another great stocking stuffer! These tend to run much cheaper at your local supermarket or pharmacy than online, FYI.
(E) Dry Brush — Dry brushing has tons of benefits—it stimulates your lymphatic system, exfoliates your skin, helps with circulation, and can help reduce the appearance of scars, cellulite, and stretch marks. A dry brush with a small card explaining dry brushing would be a great stocking stuff for wellness fans.
(F) Schmidt’s Geranium Flower Deodorant — My favorite beauty product find of 2018! This all-natural deodorant works well and smells great! The most affordable place I’ve found it is at my local Meijer store, but it’s also available through Thrive Market and Amazon if you don’t have a Meijer nearby.
(G) Annmarie Skincare Neroli Toning Mist — I haven’t met an Annmarie Skincare Product I don’t like, but this toning mist is my absolute favorite! If you aren’t ready to dive into a full-size Annmarie Skincare Product, they have an AWESOME $10 sample kit deal. $10 gets you samples of their most popular products plus a $10 coupon on a future purchase—which basically makes the samples free!
(H) Adore Your Cycle eBook — This book really opened my eyes to the cyclical nature of being a menstruating woman. It’s quite empowering and gives you lots of ideas on how to honor your cycle.
(I) Lavender Bath Salts — Looking to DIY some gifts? These bath salts are affordable to make, come together quickly, and make a beautiful stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or teacher gift.
(J) Golden Lotus Lung and Throat Herbal Lozenges — I have post-viral asthma, which means anytime I get a cold, I get stuck with a lingering cough for weeks (or even months). Cough drops never touched my cough until I found these! I order them by the pound, and hand them out to friends, family, and complete strangers like a cough drop pusher.
(A) Epica Stainless Steel Kettle — And the award for the most-used appliance in our house goes to…my electric kettle! This baby gets turned on no less than five times a day. It is stainless steel inside and out, heats up quickly, keeps water warm, and holds enough water for a big pot of tea. We love it!
(B) Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven — This workhorse is so busy in my kitchen that it barely ever even makes it back in the cabinet. I’ve had it for years and it still looks beautiful! I love that it’s an heirloom quality piece, but way more affordable than other dutch ovens out there.
(C) Thrive Market Membership — I’m still loving my Thrive Market membership (so much so that I paid to re-up it myself after my trial expired). I don’t buy a lot of name brand products from Thrive—I get those really affordably at Meijer– but I do love to stock up on the Thrive brand products. They are such a steal and such good quality! OH, and by using the link above, you get 25% off your first order with Thrive!
(A) 12-Cup Stainless Steel French Press — I use this big, bad French press every day to make myself a giant pot of ginger tea. This sucker holds well over a quart of tea or coffee, and it’s double-walled insulated—so my tea stays hot for hours. I also love that since it’s stainless steel, I can drop it and never have it shatter like has happened with many a glass French press in my house
(B) Stripe Chef’s Apron — This is a really nice, thick, sturdy apron for using in the kitchen. I have a lot of aprons, and a lot of them are very cute, but I reach for this one when I’m going to do some serious cooking!
(C) Straw Lid for Mason Jars — Straw cups are all the rage for the preschool set, but most of them are made out of plastic. We made our own straw cups with these lids, some stainless straws, and jar jackets (see below). Easy, peasy!
(D) JarJackets – We use Mason jars for drinking glasses in our house, and I’m not overly concerned about how breakable they are, but adding a little bit of protection in the form of a silicone sleeve (especially when you’re dealing with a four-year-old) is always a good idea. Not only does it help protect the jar from breakage, but it also makes the jar easier to hold, especially when it’s wet with condensation.
(A) Crayola Pip-squeaks Marker Travel Set — My kid is a marker girl through-and-through—no crayons here!—and this set has been perfect for travel. It comes with a whole range of Pip-squeaks markers in tons of colors, and the bottom of the set fits half-sheets of paper. It all snaps closed securely, making it the perfect travel kit.
(B) Thermos Funtainer Water Bottle — We love these Thermos water bottles for Juni. They are stainless steel inside and out, (mostly) leakproof, and keep beverages cold (or hot). We have them in three different designs! I got this particular cat one at Meijer, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else.
(C) WetBrush Detangler Hairbrush — Hair brushing was a real fight before we found this hairbrush. I was skeptical of a hair brush that advertised itself as “no tears,” but it really does make hair brushing easier!
(D) Highlights High Five Magazine — My kid lovesssss magazines (or mag-za-weens as she says), and High Five is her favorite that shows up in our mailbox each month. I like that the stories are full of diverse characters and family types, plus fun projects and kid-friendly recipes. FYI: Every now and again, this magazine goes on sale on Zulily for a few days—it’s the best place I’ve seen to get it for a deal! In general, Zulily is a great place to get deals on magazines.
(E) CatStronauts — Our favorite kid’s book find of 2018! There are three of these graphic novels out (with more to come), and they make the whole family laugh out loud. We love them!
(F) Classic Lined Crocs for Kids — We love Crocs in our family. Juni loves that they come in bright colors and you can get fun charms to put on them. I love that they are easy for her to get on and off and they are lined to keep her toes warm.
(G) Skip Hop Cat Toddler Backpack — Juni has had this backpack for going on two years now, and it still looks great and functions beautifully. It’s the perfect size for her little preschooler body, and is big enough to fit a change of clothes, a water bottle, a lunch, and a few (small) toys.
(H) Doc McStuffins Hospital Bag Kit — I’m not sure Juni even realizes Doc McStuffins is a TV show, but she loves this doctor’s kit! We had an ill-fated doctor’s appointment last year, and immediately afterward we went to the store and got this doctor’s kit so we could practice doctor at home and ease her fears. We did a lot of doctor/patient role-playing, and every appointment since has gone MUCH more smoothly. And Juni is even saying that now she wants to be a doctor when she grows up!
(A) Cuddl Duds Softwear Cowlneck Tunic — I’m slightly obsessed with the entire Softwear line from Cuddle Duds. It’s all incredibly soft, flattering, and comfy. I love this cowl neck tunic! It’s long enough to cover my bum with leggings, but not so long to feel like a dress. It also has thumbholes, which as we’ve already established, makes my heart sing. It also comes in plus sizes!
(B) Farmhouse Plaid Chenille Throw — If you don’t have soft blankets everywhere, you aren’t doing winter right. This chenille throw is one of the softest blankets I’ve ever felt. I got the orange plaid for Fall, but I’m going to have to invest in the green and red one for December!
(C) Zella High-Waisted Live-In Leggings — Still obsessed with my favorite leggings ever, these Zella High-Waisted Leggings from Nordstrom. They don’t fade, they don’t stretch out, they don’t roll down. They are perfect.
(D) Mother Earth Living Magazine — Let me introduce you to my favorite magazine ever! I read every word of every issue. It is packed with healthy food, natural health topics, gardening, and self-care—it feels like a magazine customized just for me! Basically: if you like Wholefully, you’ll love this magazine. It’s another magazine I got for a steal on Zulily!
(A) Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea — The tea that even non-tea drinkers love! This cinnamon tea (it comes in both black tea and rooibos tea for those of us who want the taste without the caffeine) is sweet without any added sweetener, spicy, and perfect for fall and winter.
(B) Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide — This is the herbalism book I recommend to anyone starting out, and it’s the first herbalism book I dove into. It’s beautifully designed, there are tons of photos, and it’s all presented without being overwhelming. I think everyone should own this book!
(C) When Things Fall Apart — This book saved my life this year. I had some really hard times with my illness, and this book (and therapy) helped me navigate the hard times. This book does have a decidedly non-theistic slant—it’s written by a Buddhist nun—but I think it has wise words for everyone.
(D) SmartWool Socks — The only socks I wear are SmartWool socks! They aren’t itchy, they don’t shrink in the dryer, they are warm (even when wet), and my feet never get sweaty in them (no matter how hot).
Phew! I know that was a lot to get through, but I sure hope I helped make your holiday shopping just a bit easier! If you’re looking for more ideas, make sure to check out my gift guides from previous years: 2017 | 2016 | 2015. And as always, if you have any questions about the products I recommend, comment below or shoot us an email. Happy Holidays!