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A Few of My Favorite Things: The Wholefully 2016 Gift Guide

A Few of My Favorite Things

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Last year, I kicked of my gift guide post by bragging about how I had all my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving hit. This year? Not so much. Juni’s gifts are 95% done, but everyone else is still giftless. I’ve got some work to do!

If you’re like me and still have shopping to do, I’m hoping I can help you out today! Every year, I compile a list of my very favorite things I own—many of which might just make the perfect gift for someone on your list. Companies can’t pay to get on this list, and I only list products I own, love, and are proud to recommend. I’ve included a whole range of gifts—meaning hopefully there is an idea on this list for you regardless of who you’re buying for or what your budget is.

Worth noting: the vast majority of the links below are affiliate links. What’s that mean? Well, it means that if you click one of those links, and then end up purchasing something afterward, I get a small commission of your sale for referring you—at no extra cost to you. Buying your holiday gifts through affiliate links is a really painless way to help support your favorite bloggers. Your clicks are literally putting food on my table and keeping this website free, and for that, I am forever and always grateful. ❤️ Gosh, you guys are just the best.

Okay, onto my favorite things from this past year!

Stocking Stuffers

  1. Wood Handle Cheese Knife Set /// Starting off the list with what might seem like a totally random product—cheese knives. I bought these babies for cheese boards, but oh my gosh, they have turned out to be *so* usefully. I find myself reaching for these little knives all the time.
  2. Sharpie Color Burst Set /// Every few years, I buy myself a brand new set of colorful Sharpies, and, quite honestly, it’s one of my biggest joys in life.
  3. Sift Magazine from King Arthur Flour /// At way over $10 per issue, this magazine has to be something special to be worth that, and it totally is. The paper is gorgeous. The photos are amazing. The stories and recipes are spot on. If you have a baker in your life, they’ll love this. It’s not a subscription, you just buy each issue when it’s released (about four times a year).
  4. SmartWool Socks /// I’m officially to the age where I’d rather have three pairs of socks I really love (read: these Smartwool socks) and do laundry more often than 20 pairs of socks I don’t really like. Smartwool is the. best. They breathe—no more clammy feet. They keep your toes warm, but not overly so. And they aren’t even a little itchy.
  5. National Geographic Readers /// These little science-tastic readers are somewhere between a magazine and a book, and there are dozens and dozens of them about every topic under the sun. Juni *loves* them. She loves flipping through them on her own, and they’re fun for us to read to her, too. Sometimes you can find them at the Dollar Tree for $1 each, FYI.
  6. Anker Lipstick Charger /// I think everyone with a smartphone needs one of these portable power banks. They are SO helpful. And I love that this one holds a charge indefinitely, so I’ll charge it, and then plop it in my purse. If it’s six months before I need to charge my phone on the road, it’s still ready to go. These are great for emergency kits, too.


  1. Hanna Andersson Santa Hat /// Okay, I know. Almost $20 for a Santa hat? But LET ME TELL YOU. This is the best Santa hat on the planet. It’s soft, it’s cozy, it’s warm. And it comes in a whole range of sizes all the way from baby to giant-headed adult (like me). If you want an heirloom Santa hat that’ll last you for years and years? Get one of these.
  2. Once Upon an Alphabet /// We read *a lot* of kids’ books in our house, and this one was the favorite of all of 2016! It’s hilarious!
  3. Apothic Red Wine /// This is listed on Amazon for $16, but you can get it almost everywhere around here for less than $10. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I *really* like this wine. It’s a nice mild red that even us non-wine drinkers like. And I’ve never met anyone who didn’t agree with me. Everyone loves Apothic Red!
  4. Black and Decker Dustbuster /// Okay, so maybe this isn’t the greatest gift for everyone on your list, but if you know someone with a toddler? BUY THIS FOR THEM. Seriously, this little hand vacuum has changed our lives. We really like to let Juni explore and make messes (messy play is learning!), but cleaning up glitter and dirt and rocks and flour was always so frustrating before we got this baby. It’s awesome!
  5. Weck Canning Jars /// You all know I love canning jars of all shapes and sizes, but I’m *really* into Weck jars right now. I think they are beautiful, and I love that the sides don’t have much embossing on them, making them really easy to see what’s inside. I also love that the lids are glass!


  1. KitchenAid Hand Mixer /// Would you believe I never owned a hand mixer before August? I got my stand mixer as a birthday gift when I turned 21, and I just couldn’t ever imagine a world where I needed a hand mixer, too. And then we were on vacation, and I needed to cook my sister a birthday cake, and there was no mixer in the beach house. A quick trip to Target later, and I had this mint-colored mixer. I honestly don’t think my “big” mixer has been used since. I love the hand one SO much. The big mixer has it’s place, but for everyday use? I’m all about this little hand mixer.
  2. Scosche Bluetooth FM Transmitter Car Kit /// When we bought our car a few years back, we downgraded a bit, and the stereo system in our (new-to-us) car, didn’t have Bluetooth or auxiliary capabilities. This crushed my poor husband. We’ve tried various solutions over the years, but he found this transmitter a few months back, and it works beautifully!
  3. The Happy Planner /// I have never in my life stuck to using a planner—until I got The Happy Planner for my birthday last summer. I’ve used it every single day. It’s beautiful, it’s great quality, and there are stickers and accessories available for it almost everywhere.
  4. ExpoDisc White Balance Filter /// This one is strictly for the photographers out there. This disc changed my life. White balance is something I’ve always struggled with because of where my house is, but this is almost entirely solved my issues.
  5. Amazon Fire Stick /// We’ve been streaming Netflix off of our Nintendo Wii from 2006 for entirely too long. We upgraded to a Fire Stick, and it’s amazing. We don’t have cable, but honestly, we can watch just about everything we want.


  1. Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven /// Confession time: I own three Dutch ovens. I *love* them. You can cook just about anything in them. This one from Lodge is my favorite—I have it in red—it’s a nice moderate price, but amazing quality.
  2. PlasmaCar /// My parents got Juni this ride-on car for Christmas last year, but it’s only been in the past few months that she’s really gotten into it. She rides all around the house on this car! And it’s one of those amazing toys that stays fun for years to come. My nieces and nephew still play with their PlasmaCars and they are all 10+ years old!
  3. ChimneyFree Electric Stove /// Hi, my name is Cassie, and I’m totally obsessed with this space heater. My office is the coldest room in the house, and I knew I was going to need a space heater to make it more comfortable in the cold months. I wanted something cute in my office, and this little “wood” stove fits the bill. It’s adorable, cozy, and really friggin’ warm. I currently have a tiny Christmas tree on top of it. I might hang stockings. Maybe.
  4. Dansk Kobenstyle Saucepan /// Okay, this is one of those things that I really didn’t need, but I thought it was so beautiful and cool, I just had to buy it. I first saw it my friend Emily’s food videos, and I immediately asked her where she got it, and ordered my own. It’s beautiful, and my favorite part, the lid is a trivet! All pots and pans should have lid trivets.


  1. OXO Barista Brain Coffee Maker /// Alright, so spending $150 on a coffeemaker sounds crazy pants, but I’m, admittedly, a total coffee snob, so when we were in the market for a new automatic and programmable coffee pot, I was prepared to shell out some dough. My god, this coffee maker makes the best cup of coffee. Better than a French press. Better than cold brew (seriously). Better than pour over. Better than the coffee shop. It’s got all kinds of certifications and awards for making perfect coffee. It’s amazing. We LOVE it. Worth every penny.
  2. Crock-Pot 5-in-1 Multicooker /// I got this one as a freebie as part of my ambassadorship with Crock-Pot, and I’m so glad I did, because it’s an *amazing* tool. You can steam in it, bake in it, saute in it. If you’re in the market for a new slow cooker, I highly recommend this bad mammajamma.
  3. Earthquake Electric Log Splitter /// SO RANDOM, RIGHT? We live out in the country, surrounded by woods, and we have a pretty nasty tornado season each Spring. You know what that means? Trees down all the time. My husband got this log splitter as a birthday gift, and it’s made our lives so much easier.
  4. KEEN Winthrop Snow Boots /// These boots = love. They are comfortable, crazy warm, and they are a snow boot that is still cute enough to wear with “regular” clothes. I’ve had these about five years, and they look just as good as they did the day I took them out of the box. Unfortunately, my foot went up a size during pregnancy, so I can barely squeeze into these anymore. But I definitely plan on ordering the next size up before our first snow storm this year!

Woohoo! I hope you were able to find some fun ideas for your loved ones. And I hope you can find some *awesome* Cyber Monday deals today. Happy holidays everyone!

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.

Leave a Reply

13 Responses
  1. kim

    Hi,Ijust copied down your healthy pumpkin pie smoothie,it looks so good and tasty that iI am going to make it in my magic bullet blender soon.
    Can I use 2% natrel milk,almond,rice dream vanilla milk,or coconut milk in your smoothie?I am lactose intolerant so I can’t use regular milk in smoothies at all.I found a lactose free vanilla yogurt that I can put in your smoothie.
    Can I use pumpkin sweet leaf drops in your smoothie?
    I will let you know how much I love and enjoy drinking your smoothie after iI have made it in my blender and start drinking it OK Cassie.
    Would it be OK to use half a frozen banana in your smoothie instead of a full banana,I am a diabetic and bananas put up my blood sugar.

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      Yes, use whatever milk or yogurt substitutes you need! If you use half a banana, it might be a thinner smoothie – perhaps try adding a little ice to replace the banana? It won’t be as creamy, but it will help with the thickness!

  2. Silvia

    I just discovered your blog and I love it, but there’s too many ads and sponsors that makes it difficult to navigate. It takes me to pages I don’t want to see when I try to focus on the writing it scrolls me around the page and it doesn’t let me follow the note. I don’t know how many people experience this, or if it’s just me.

    1. Cassie

      Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re having troubles. That DEFINITELY shouldn’t be happening. I have an entire team who works hard to try to keep those bad kinds of ads out of the loop, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. If you happen to come back (I hope you will!), and experience that same kind of mega-annoying experience, right click on the ad that’s causing problems, copy the URL, and email it to Unfortunately, having that URL is the only way my ad management team can nix annoying ads like that. I wish it was easier! Again, my apologies!

  3. Stephanie

    I bought The Happy Planner after I read this post and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I wish I could sit all day with it and work on pages.

    I would absolutely love to see your planner spreads. Since you are a graphic designer I can only imagine how beautiful they are. Please consider doing a post or video on your planner tips and/or design.

  4. deb c

    I remember the first time I found assorted colored sharpies…..I felt like a little kid having a free-for=all in a candy shop! What an exciting day that was! I totally get it!

  5. Julie in TX

    Awesome list! I just put the cheese knives on my Amazon wish list.

    I would just like to echo that Black and Decker Dustbuster. I received one for Christmas last year, and with an 18m old running around, we use it almost daily. I may or may not use it to vacuum my table before wiping it down . . .

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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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