A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, "It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!" This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.
If you're like me, you probably have a few artists, DIYers or crafters on your Christmas list this year. You might also be running out of ideas for gifts to give these creative individuals, especially if they've been on your nice list for awhile. In an effort to make your gift shopping a little easier this holiday season, here are some ideas of gifts for artists.
Themed gift baskets make amazing, affordable, and memorable gifts. The key is to pick the items carefully and to pay attention to the presentation. Here is a complete list of our very favorite gift basket ideas for everyone on your list, plus money-saving tips and tricks on assembling DIY gift baskets!
Are you in the mood to make some DIY gifts this holiday season? Then you'll want to peruse and pin our DIY gift guide. In it, we highlight 75 tutorials that cover just about everyone on your gift-giving list; mom, dad, girls, guys, tweens, kids, babies, fur-babies (that's cats and dogs to the uninitiated), hostess gifts and even teacher gifts. We've got it all covered. Take a look!
Believe it or not, the holidays are sneaking up on us rather quickly. So today we're going to help you get a leg up on gift giving, by sharing one of our first gift guides of the season. Looking for a present for the home cook, amateur chef or grill master in your life? Perfect. Read on!
Though the holidays are supposed to be a relaxing, fun time, for many of us they end up being stress-fests. Between shopping for gifts, preparing holiday meals and treats, and managing family interactions, it can be too easy to end the year feeling worn-out and frazzled. But that's where self-care comes in. Taking the time to give yourself a break can make a huge difference, and if that break takes the form of a hot bath for you, you can incorporate the rejuvenating scent of evergreens via these Christmas tree bath salts. Or package these bath salts up with some other bath luxuries, and give them as a gift!
A lot of us (myself included) are dealing with extra emotions during the holidays. Whether it's stress, anxiety, or sheer panic, the gift-giving deadlines that creep up at Christmastime can bring up all sorts of feelings. Maybe it's your nieces and nephews that are stressing you out because you have no idea what kids are even into anymore! Or maybe it's your mother-in-law who who already has everything she could ever want. Or maybe your husband, when asked what he'd like for Christmas, only answers with the not-so-helpful phrase, "Whatever you'd like to get me."
Fortunately, you're not alone. We're all in this together, and we're going to make it through another Christmas season. So let's take deep dive into Christmas gifts: what people like, where to find it, and how to stay calm until the 25th gets here.
From seasoned DIYers, Martha wannabes, lovable geeks, young ones or the young at heart, there's something for everyone on this gift guide no matter what the budget. What's better is that these gifts are unique, so they're perfect for those that have everything, which is just about everybody on my Christmas
If I'm being honest, I have to admit I spent altogether waaaay too long putting together this gift guide. I just couldn't help getting completely caught up in the myriad of amazing toys and gifts available for kids these days. And best of all, many of them are handmade! Click through for my favorite finds.
Having trouble coming up with ideas for the friends, family, neighbors, etc on your holiday list this year? Check out this list of gifts for anyone on your list (guy or gal), all under $40. There's a little something for everyone, from sake cups and calendars to woodcut note cards and
As we wrap up the year, it's always fun to look back at some of our favorite DIY projects from the last twelve months. This year we worked with The Home Depot to come up with a whole series of projects and tool reviews, called Tool School. Here's a look at some of the DIYs I liked best, along with the tools that made them possible, plus, a selection of new gift ideas just in time for your holiday shopping.
It's the holidays and, SURPRISE! Everyone is stressed.
Be it the in-laws, end of year deadlines, travel, or all the shopping, this is a time of year that just makes us crazy. And as hard as it is suffering from burnout ourselves, it's even harder watching it in someone you care about.
There are two little words that can help: self-care! (The Oxford Dictionaries just declared "toxic" the word of the year, but they must not spend much time on Pinterest. The word of the year is clearly self-care).
Today's gift idea is for that special someone, your S.O.S., Stressed-Out Spouse (or Partner, or Bestie, or Sibling, or Other Significant Person who needs help). This self-care gift basket will help remind them to slow down and be good to themselves.
I've broken this gift basket concept down into four different elements that are important for centering: sleep, stress reduction, mindfulness, and me-time. The best thing about putting together your own gift basket is that you can scout your local shops for unique, handmade items and support those small businesses.
Boston locals, I purchased everything for this self-care gift basket at Cambridge Naturals in Porter Square, my favorite source for organic and natural products. And of course, I'm including online sources for the rest of you!
Ready to see how you can put together your own epic self-care gift basket for the holidays? Don't worry, I won't judge if you end up wanting to keep it all to yourself!
Keep reading for our tips to make the most relaxing gift ever!
How to Make an Epic Self-Care Gift Basket
DIY Bergamot Pillow Spray
This is my own recipe for a super soothing pillow spray that helped me survive a long bout of insomnia. I've used it every day since and it never fails to mellow me out. Have your loved one spritz it on their pillow and sheets before getting in bed (if it's also your bed, be uber romantic and do it for them!), and they will be drifting off to sleep with a smile.
- glass spray bottle
- bergamot essential oil - reduces nervous tension, promotes calm
- vetiver essential oil - grounds emotions, induces restful sleep
- vanilla extract (yes, the kind you bake with, it's MUCH cheaper than vanilla essential oil)
To make your own bergamot pillow spray:
1. Fill your spray bottle nearly to the top with water. (Distilled water will make the spray last longer, but if it's used in under six months, filtered tap water is fine).
2. Add 40 drops bergamot essential oil, 15 drops vetiver essential oil, and a small splash of vanilla extract. Close the bottle, shake well, and give it a spritz to test. Adjust essential oil amounts as desired.
3. You can label the bottle with an old-fashioned label maker, washi tape, or a simple gift tag.
Our bodies need darkness to sleep. Help that S.O.S. block out all the little electronic lights, street lamps, and other sleep-inhibitors with a comfortable eye mask.
1. Gray cotton sleep mask
Reducing stress is an essential aspect of good self-care. You can help by taking over some chores or errands so your S.O.S. can carve out some time to detox (even friends can benefit from an extra set of hands). And, these gift basket items will add a little chill to their lives.
1. Little Moon Essentials Tired Old-Ass Aromatherapeutic Mineral Bath Salt Soak
It smells delicious AND it's got a great tongue-in-cheek name, what could be better? A relaxing soak is perfect to help ease stress and tension. This particular soak from Little Moon has a very "gender-neutral" scent (i.e., it doesn't smell like flowers). If your S.O.S. doesn't have a bathtub, it would make a great foot soak as well.
Want to make your own bath salt? Try The Merrythought's recipe:
2. Badger Stress Soother Aromatherapy Balm
This balm is so relaxing when rubbed onto the temples and insides of the wrists. I love applying it when I know my day is going to be particularly hectic.
3. The Friendly Swede Stress Relief Therapy Squishy Ball
Yes, a stress ball! Having a physical object to focus on is extremely helpful for calming nerves. Plus, your S.O.S. will have the strongest grip ever. A stone to keep in their pocket is another great alternative. You can even paint it with a mindful message.
3. Be Mindful
Speaking of being mindful, we all know that studies have proven that mindfulness is beneficial to our emotional and psychological health. Mindfulness effects our bodies too, by lowering blood pressure, relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and more. I can't think of a better gift than that! Try some of these items to help your S.O.S. start a mindfulness practice.
Sitting down with an aromatherapy candle--with a wooden wick, please--is a great way to start being mindful. The scents engage your senses, and the wooden wick crackles, just like a campfire. Have you ever seen anyone not in the moment when there's a campfire around? Yeah, same effect.
2. Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization, by Meera Lee Patel
A guided journal encourages mindfulness by asking you to reflect. I've been following Meera Lee Patel on Instagram, and just love her gentle messages of kindness towards oneself.
For a more minimal journaling approach, try The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, or a simple Moleskine Notebook, for the S.O.S. who already likes to journal.
You just can't have self-care without a little indulgence! To me, relaxing during the holidays (or anytime, let's be honest) is all about little luxuries. This whole self-care gift basket is already pretty luxurious, but I included a few special products to really up the "spa day" feeling.
1. Heart Grown Wild Truth Facial Steam
FACIAL. STEAM. Just those words feel luxurious. Tell your S.O.S. to add this blend of herbs to a bowl of boiling water, and lean over it with a towel over their head. Instant extravagance. If your local natural foods store has a good bulk section, you can even create your own blend.
A totally scientific survey of my circle of friends has taught me that a good sugar scrub is universally delightful. Give one to your S.O.S. to help them scrub away toxins both physical and emotional.
Don't forget a soft, gentle cloth, like a Turkish towel, to make your S.O.S. really feel like they are in a fine spa. Plus, you can nestle all the gift items in the towel for presentation!
So what do you think of this DIY self-care gift basket idea? Do you have someone in your life who could use some extra "them" time? (Better question is probably, do you know anyone who doesn't?)
What else would you include to help make a meaningful self-care basket? Let us know in the comments!
It's that time of year where you scour shops for the perfect gift for the guy in your life. You want something that will make him "ooh" and "ahh," or smile and chuckle. We know coming up with gift ideas for men can be tough. Lots of guys aren't willing (or able) to tell you what they really want. And thinking of holiday or birthday gifts for men that are really unique can feel overwhelming.
We've taken out a lot of the work and rounded up the coolest gifts for men from around the web! From tools to gourmet food kits to wooden cuff links, there's something for every man on your list. Here are our favorite gifts for men, in varying price points (and from a variety of shops). We've also included a bunch of DIY gifts - cool ideas you can make yourself!
If you scroll down this page, you'll find we've done hours of research looking for the best holiday gifts, birthday gifts, and DIY ideas.
Birthday Gifts for Men
Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay: $30
A complete meat and brisket-cooking education from the country's most celebrated pit-master and owner of the wildly popular Austin restaurant Franklin Barbecue.
Moscow Mule Cups from West Elm: $24.
Perfect for celebrating with his friends. Cheers to great gifts!
Whiskey Glass Candle - Cedar Sage from GH Bass & Co.: $28
This gift is simple and restrained - could be just right for a co-worker, cousin, or even a father-in-law!
Rob Roy Buffalo Check Throw from Kaufmann Mercantile: $85
Simple accessories like this are always a safe bet. Plus, what person doesn't need more blankets in their life?
Timex Weekender Oversized Chrono from Cool Material: $80
Watches make great gifts for your boyfriend, husband, or any other special boy in your life, and this weekender watch is fashionably flexible. It's perfect for office dress, going out on the town, or anywhere in between.
Oak Wood Charging Station and Nightstand from Paybacks A Beach: $40
So organized, so suave.
Wood-handled French press from World Market: $25
Tall, dark, and handsome - just like your man.
Off the Clock Bath and Body Kit from Birchbox: $55
Birchbox has a lot of great gift ideas for men, including a few bath and body kits, like this one.
Stainless Steel Straws - Set of 10 from Food 52: $32
Not only do they save the sea turtles, but they look so classy doing it.
Bicycle-Mounted Growler Holder and Stainless Steel Growler from Food 52: $90
Guys love their gear. This one is definitely an attention grabber.
Cool Christmas Gifts for Men
Bondic Liquid Plastic Welder from Amazon: $24
This little tool is a must for any fixer upper. Repair toys, glasses, jewelry, and more! It can even fill in 3D sections and be sanded down!
Baseball Bat Bottle Opener from Uncommon Goods: $115
For the guy who loves baseball, this little opener is handy enough to keep in a pocket, and looks great on any bar cart.
Set of Beer Jelly from Uncommon Goods: $30
If you know a guy who's into gourmet food, this set of beer jellies make perfect gifts for him. Comes with an oatmeal stout, pale ale, IPA, and porter! $30
Guitar Pick Punch from Amazon: $25
A great gift for a musician or guitarist. Turn old cards, hotel keys, and more into guitar picks.
Man Crates: $55
Forget gift baskets... it's all about gift crates now. These curated crates come chock full of small gifts for guys, based on his interest. From meats and Bloody Marys, to DIY kits and grilling gear, there's a crate for everyone.
Solid cologne by The Mod Cabin: $24
If he could live outdoors, but is stuck in the office all day, these scents are perfect gifts for him to help him smell the mountain air indoors.
OrbitKey Leather Key Ring from Amazon: $39
This gift is pretty cool - keep keys in a neat, tight bunch and pull them out one at a time, pocket-knife style!
Rib-O-Lator BBQ Rotisserie Attachment from Amazon: $99
He can rotisserie all his favorite foods at the same time, without any of them burning or drying out. Fits most gas grills and smokers.
The John Lennon Letters from Amazon: $20
For the ultimate Beatles fan, a book compiled of letters written by John Lennon throughout his life.
Beard Grooming Kit from Amazon: $65
A kit is one of the best gifts for men, and this one is ideal for your bearded beau. Complete with oil, soap, a comb, beard balm, and shampoo! It's the ultimate in beard-grooming.
Slim Wallet from Supr Good Co.: $25
For the card-carrying minimalist, these wallets are super thin and lightweight, and will help him carry only the necessities.
Ticket Stub Organizer from Amazon: $16
This is one of those unique gifts for men. If he's nostalgic and has a collection of tickets from every concert and show he's ever been to, help him keep them safe and organized.
SteakChamp Steak Thermometer from Amazon: $50
He can cook it right every time with the ultimate steak thermometer. Goes right into the steak and cooks with it. A light goes off when it has reached the desired temperature.
BlueFire Pro Heat Resistant Gloves from Amazon: $30
If you have a fire-pit in your backyard, or you just camp a lot, these heat resistant gloves will keep you out of the emergency room!
Taco Tee from Xenotees via Etsy: $25
Gift ideas for men who love tacos! Not just for Tuesdays.
Dollar Shave Club Membership: $100 for 12 months
Looking for gift ideas for men that just keep on giving? Have new razors and skincare products sent right to his door each month! The first month comes in a super stylish and sturdy wooden box.
Drink Rocks from Areaware: $35
Keep beverages undiluted and chilled in style. Bonus: these rocks double as office art!
Concrete Desk Set from Areaware: $40
Organize odds & ends in the office with these sleek concrete desk accessories. Comes with a pencil cup, tray, and tape dispenser.
Laptop Table & Mobile Workstation from LapPad: $110
He'll be able to work anywhere in the house with this mobile workstation. We recommend the couch.
Defrosting Tray from Amazon: $24
Gifts for men don't have to be impractical - thaw meat FAST with this super magic tray! Takes only 30-60 minutes depending on thickness!
Hot sauce kit from Williams Sonoma: $50
Here are some unique gifts for men: How about gifting creative kits? With this kit, he can create his ideal hot sauce at home, and transform the way food tastes.
Touchscreen Brown Leather Watch from Target: $255
This would look good on any wrist. The touchscreen gives it that "Apple watch" feel, but in a more stylish way.
Wooden Cufflinks from The Shameless via Etsy: $23
If he's an outdoorsman, add these to your hubby's sleeves.
Portable Golf Net from Amazon: $130
Hit anywhere with this portable net to perfect your drive and your game.
Headphone Organizer from Amazon: $7
Now he'll be able to keep his headphones tangle-free!
The Best DIY Gift Ideas for Guys (With Buyable Options!)
So, you've been through all the store-bought gifts for men, but you want something more personal. Not a problem! Here are some really thoughtful DIY gift ideas for men in your life. While guys always seem a little bit more tricky to make gifts for, these cool gifts are too cool not to try. Here are some awesome gifts for him you can make yourself.
I love making gifts for them whenever I can, but it can be difficult to come up with a super awesome DIY idea that men will actually like/want to use. So, here are some awesome gift ideas for men, each paired with buyable alternatives if you run out of time and just want to buy something similar.
Manly Man Beginner Knit Cowl from Mama in a Stitch
A warm, handmade cowl is a great gift to give the special guys in your life. Don't know how to knit? There are some great options for purchase on Etsy.
DIY Electric Camp Lantern from ManMadeDIY
This vintage lamp that's been brought into the 21st century belongs in your dude's life. Make one yourself, or purchase a version from Etsy.
DIY Shaving Cream from The Chic Site
This gift is easy to create, and he'll appreciate the effort. If you're looking for a quick but organic shaving cream, try TICO* shave oil.
DIY Leather Wrapped Flask from I Spy DIY
Want one monogrammed? For $15 you can!
Personalized Leather Tie Clip from Lovely Indeed
Also, there are tons of styles on Etsy for around $20 apiece.
DIY Leather Wallet from The Merrythought
For the minimal man in your life. Or, get one monogrammed for around $20.
DIY Hair Pomade from Momtastic
It's incredible how few ingredients actually are needed to make hair pomade. You can also find some cute handmade hair products over on Etsy.
DIY Geo Cufflinks from Almost Makes Perfect
Little gifts for men that are handsome and on-trend! There are plenty of other precious stones on cufflinks to be found online.
DIY Neck Tie from We Can Make Anything
Why do ties cost so much? They're so easy to make on your own - and the man in your life will appreciate the custom attention you've given this gift (fortunately the handmade variety are also affordable for purchase).
DIY Key Ring from a Swiss Army Knife from Make:
This is such a cool idea. Instead of blades, it's keys! You'll have to be sneaky about getting ahold of his keyring though... we talked about a leather version of this type of keychain earlier - buy it here!
DIY Beard Balm from DIY Network
Know a father with facial hair? A beau with a beard? A guy with a grizzly mug? Make him a batch of beard balm to tame his facial tresses (or spring to purchase a complete beard care kit).
DIY Zippered Travel Pouch from We All Sew
If you are looking for cool gifts for a jet-setting man in your life, you could make him this cute travel bag. Or, opt to buy a personalized toiletry bag.
DIY Wooden Triangle Shelves from The Merrythought
Gift ideas for men don't have to be restrained to personal style or entertainment. Men appreciate good home decor, too. Find a premade version of this shelf style on Etsy.
DIY Leather Travel Tag from Almost Makes Perfect
DIY gifts for men who travel. There are tons of monogrammed and embossed options on Etsy as well.
Men's hat makeover from Studs and Buttonholes
Old hat laying around that he never wears? Surprise him by giving it a makeover. There are also lots of various styles on Etsy.
DIY Leather Key Cover from The Merrythought
One of the smaller, yet unique gift ideas for men on this list. You can also purchase a personalized leather key sleeve for around $6.
Hand-painted DIY tie from Momtastic
A handmade look and a thoughtful touch to this typical guy's gift. Looking to buy? Check out these hand-painted silk options.
Wooden Edison Bulb Table Lamp from Curbly
Show off your woodworking skills to your man. Don't have any? Don't worry - you can buy a version of this lamp here.
DIY iPhone Wallet from Melissa Esplin
A useful and cool gift idea for the organized guy. Buy lots of great versions on Etsy.
DIY Tripod Camping Stool from Design Sponge
This is more of an expert level DIY, so if you'd like to buy one, you can grab a 3-leg stool for around $37.
DIY Wood Slice Serving Board from MadeMadeDIY
You can make this wood serving board for around $15. Pay a little extra to get a pre-made one.
DIY Leather Bound Notepad from Paper & Stitch
Create these cool gifts for guys in just 10 minutes, or check out this cute leather-bound notebook for $30.
DIY Camera Strap from The Crafty Gentleman
Know a guy who shoots (pictures)? Make him a unique camera strap, or buy a handmade one here.
DIY Leather Tool Grips from The Merrythought
Even if he might work hard, he can keep his hands soft with some leather tool grips. We can't seem to find a buyable version for this project, but a revolving leather hole punch will come in handy when making your DIY leather gifts.
DIY Shrinky Dink Tie Tack from Oh Happy Day
These make silly and cool gifts for dad. Personalized tie clips are also inexpensive to order on Etsy.
DIY Woven Paracord Bracelet Watch from Instructables
The kind of gift a military man might enjoy. Buy a similar version here.
DIY Leather Monogrammed Leather Cufflinks from Almost Makes Perfect
A perfectly personal gift for him. No time? Buy monogrammed leather cufflinks online.
Have your own gift ideas for men? Share them in the comments below!
It's hard to believe that it's that time of year again, isn't it? Time to scour the stores and internet for the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Well if you need a present for a lover of tech gadgets, we've got you covered. Click through to check out our picks ranging in price from $20 to $200.
1. Belkin Wireless Charging Station - Charge your devices with this handy wireless charger - it's great for the guest room! $40
2. Tile Key Finder / Phone Finder - Find your keys, phone, or anything else you often lose with these helpful little gadgets. $70
3. WeMo Mini Smart Plug - Control lights and appliances right from your phone. $35
4. Roku Streaming Stick - A more cost effective way to stream TV. $50
5. Portable Ultra Compact Portable Charger - Charge your phone up twice... and super quickly with this tiny portable charger. $26
6. Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer - Print out all those images you have on your phone with the touch of a button. $150
7. Bose Soundlink Micro Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Bring your tunes anywhere with this handy waterproof speaker from Bose. $100
8. Instant Pot Slow Cooker - Take "set it and forget it" to a whole new level with everyone's favorite digital slow cooker. $100
9. Chamberlain My-Q Garage - Monitor and control your garage door opener from your phone with this clever device. $70
10. Nest Smoke Detector - Get emergency updates from your phone when you install a Nest Smoke Detector in your home. $118
11. Force1 Foldable Drone - Have a little fun with this foldable drone that takes live video. $100
12. Sense Smart Water Sensor - Make sure your basement isn't flooding with this clever water sensor which you can connect to your phone. $74
13. Google Home - Control all of your smart devices, check your Google calendar, find out the weather and more using this tech powerhouse. $99
14. Symphonized Wraith Bluetooth Wireless Headphones - These stylish headphones have real wooden accents and get great reviews on Amazon. $75
15. Sonos Play:1 Speaker - Sonos speakers connect to each other as a system, and this compact one has surprisingly rich sound for its size. $149
16. Ezmino Wi-Fi Indoor Camera - Keep track of your home while you're away right from your phone with this handy little camera. $72
17. Philips Hue Light Bulb Starter Kit - Control your lights from your phone with these amazing bulbs from Philips. $100
18.Ecobee Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat - This thermostat is similar to the Nest, but it has a sensor that you can place elsewhere which is handy if the thermostat you're replacing is located in a different room than you're heating. $250
19. iGrill Mini Grill Thermometer - Control the temperature of the food you're grilling right from your phone with this handy gadget. $40
20. Amazon Echo - Connect all of your smart devices, then just ask Alexa to control them... what will they think of next?! $70