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A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things : The 2015 Back to Her Roots Gift Guide

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You can’t see me, but if you could, you’d see that I’m doing a little dance over here. Why? Well, friends, I am completely finished with my Christmas shopping. It’s not even December yet, and every gift is purchased. My goal was to be finished by Thanksgiving, and I totally rocked it. Even the animals’ stocking stuffers are bought and stored up on a high shelf so they don’t dig in before Christmas morning. Boom! Now, I just have to get it all wrapped…

If you aren’t quite finished with your shopping (and maybe stuck on a few folks), I have a great list below of some of my favorite things from the past year. These are all things I own, use, love, and would be proud to gift to my friends and family! I’ve included gift ideas in all kinds of price ranges for all kinds of people on your list. Hopefully a few of these ideas inspire you a bit!

Worth noting, many of the links below are affiliate links—meaning I get small kickback if you end up purchasing (at no added cost to you). Buying your holiday gifts through affiliate links is a great way to help support your favorite blogger and keep their websites free—I so appreciate it! Also know that all prices listed were at the time of writing this post, they might be different now (hopefully lower!). Onto my favorite things…

Stocking Stuffers

  1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell /// This is one of my favorite books I read in all of 2015! It’s a great, realistic love story with an interesting, magical plot twist.
  2. Micron Pens /// Meet my new favorite pens. They are bright, colorful marker pens that don’t bleed or seep through paper. You can get them in all kinds of thicknesses, so whether you are a thin or a thick pen person, you can find a good fit.
  3. Christmas Tales by Richard Scarry /// These are adorable, tiny board books that Juniper just loves, loves, loves. She loves stacking the books and playing with the box they come in almost as much as she loves reading them.
  4. Freaker /// Freakers will forever and always be one of my favorite things! These are the best coozies ever. They fit perfectly around beer bottles, cans, and even my giant 40 ounce water bottle. Freaker forever!
  5. NOOT Noise Canceling Ear Buds /// I’ve tried a lot of earbuds over the years, and these are my favorite. They are noise canceling (which is awesome), they have a great volume control and mic on the cord, and, the best part, they stay in my ears!

$10-$25 Gifts

  1. Buff Headwear /// I fell in love with Buffs this summer after I chopped all my hair off. They are like the best headband/bandana/sweatband in the world. They come in tons of cute patterns, too!
  2. Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom /// I’m keeping the chicken gear on this list to a minimum because I know not everyone is as chicken-obsessed as I am, but this book is too good not to mention. If you’re at all interested in free range chickenkeeping (and still want to plant pretty flowers), this book is for you.
  3. Qalo Silcone Wedding Band /// We switched to silcone wedding bands back in the summer, and it has been amazing! No more worries about diamonds falling out while I shovel compost (totally has happened) or my ring digging into my hand while I swing kettlebells.
  4. Lodge Cast-Iron 10″ Skillet /// We cook almost exclusively on cast iron! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to go back to any other cookware. This skillet is a great (and affordable) place to start.
  5. EcoJarz Canning Jar Drinking Lid /// In our house, canning jars are our drinking glasses. This stainless steel lid turns any wide-mouth canning jar into a to-go cup. I use this (paired with a stainless steel straw) every. single. day.

$25-$50 Gifts

  1. IKEA Ekorre Rocking Moose /// Juni actually got this for Christmas last year, and she’s used it off and on, but in the last few months, she’s really gotten into it. We love that it’s cute, solid wood, and bright red!
  2. Bodum French Press /// We French press our coffee every single morning, and this is the French press we’ve been using for years and years. It’s the perfect size for us, and I love that we don’t have to use electricity to make our morning cup of joe.
  3. Duluth Trading Souped-Up Sweats /// I know what you’re thinking. $40 for a pair of sweat pants seems crazy, but what if I told you these are THE BEST SWEAT PANTS IN THE WORLD? They are thick and cozy. They have a big, wide waistband. They have tons of pockets (why, oh why, do women’s lounge pants never have pockets?). And the best part—they come in varying lengths. No more sweat pants pooling at your feet or feeling like you’re wading through a flood. There is also a men’s version (but I can’t attest to if they are as awesome as the women’s).
  4. Highlights Hello Subscription /// Meet Juni’s favorite thing in the whole wide world—her Highlights Hello subscription. Her grandparents got her a subscription to this baby and toddler magazine when she was born, and she still adores these little “magazines” (they are more like books than magazines—they stand up to toddler wear and tear). They are also great for packing for entertainment on the road—light and fit easily into a bag. Love!
  5. LunchBots Cinco Lunch Container /// This is the lunch container I use for all of my lunch packing (and it is also great for packing a day worth of snacks for toddlers and adults alike). We actually have quite a few LunchBots and love them all!

$50-$100 Gifts

  1. Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon /// This wagon works wonderfully over all the humps and bumps of our hilly property! We love pulling Juni around it in (and it also works well as a garden cart in a pinch).
  2. KEEN Brooklyn II Travel Bag /// I own two of these bags, and they are my favorite! Tons of pockets. Plenty of room (but not so big you feel like you are carrying a “mom” purse). Love!
  3. ella+mila Nail Polishes /// I threw out all my nail polishes last year, and have slowly replaced them with five-free nail polishes. These polishes by ella+mila are my favorites. They stay on well, they come in awesome colors, and aren’t too expensive comparatively.
  4. Spiegelau IPA Glasses /// These glasses are fragile, but they are beautiful, and the perfect shape for getting the most flavor out of an IPA. The hop-lover on your list would adore a set of these.
  5. Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Wooden Blocks /// These blocks are so smooth, such high quality, and so much fun to play with! We look forward to many years of tower-building with Juni with our set.

Big Splurge Gifts

  1. Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Dutch Oven /// This is the one thing on this list that I don’t own personally (hint, hint, anyone who is still looking for a gift idea for me), but I do borrow my Mama’s pretty frequently, and let me tell you, amazing. Beautiful. Versatile. These suckers are heirloom pieces.
  2. Instax Mini Neo 90 Instant Camera /// This instant camera is SO fun! Instax cameras are quite popular right now (I actually just saw an endcap of Instax accessories at Joann’s the other day), and this version is the more professional, higher quality version. My photographer husband loves this camera! It takes great pictures, is small and light enough to take with you anywhere, and looks very cool.
  3. Garmic Vivoactive /// The Vivoactive is like if a Garmin GPS watch and an Apple Watch had a baby and made it more affordable. I love mine! I think it’s a nice, stylish everyday watch, plus I love having the added functionality of fitness tracking and push notifications on my wrist. I actually use my smartphone a lot less since getting smart watch—no need to carry it around with me everywhere, my wrist will buzz if I have a text or phone call.
  4. KitchenAid Artisian Stand Mixer /// What would be a gift guide without a mention of a KitchenAid stand mixer? There is a reason these guys make it onto everyone’s wish list. They are sturdy. The accessories are awesome. And they are über cute. I got my red one as a birthday gift when I was 21 years old, and she’s still going strong over a decade later.
  5. Brainstorm Design Earth Science Prints /// We’ve had these super cool earth science screenprints hanging in our house for years and we always get compliments on them! They are bright, fun, and really quite educational.

I really hope this list has helped you drum up a few ideas for those folks that are hard to buy for on your list! If you’re still stuck, come back tomorrow, because my friend Melissa (from Bless This Mess) and I will be kicking off a full week of handmade gift tutorials! Between the two of us, we’re going to show you how to make all kinds of easy, simple, thoughtful gifts for those that you love. It should be a blast! See you tomorrow. Happy holidays!


Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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9 Responses
  1. Mallory

    YES to the Le Creuset Dutch oven! It will last a lifetime. Tip: if you have a store that sells these near you, stop in and ask them to let you know when any floor models go on sale. They won’t have boxes, you may not be able to choose the color and won’t be returnable, but a quick scrub and they’ll be just fine! I worked at Williams-Sonoma for a few years and we often had floor models in our clearance section that would be subject to “additional 20% off clearance” sales.

      1. Justin

        Hey Cassie! 🙂 The lunchbox link above goes to the Highlights Magazine. I just realized that and wanted to give you a heads up. Happy holidays!

  2. amanda june

    okay, the cast iron skillet thing…i bought one a few years ago and apparently have never gotten the hang of it. i think it’s a pain! help!

    but, i am looking forward to the handmade gift ideas 🙂

  3. Love Buffs! Such a great gift. As for Kitchenaid, my grandma’s just broke….but she got it as a gift when my mom was still in Middle School. So I think they got their money’s worth.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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