Hi friends! I want to start off this post by saying how freaking excited I am to share these products and small businesses with you. In brainstorming what I wanted to include in this gift guide and blog post, I wanted to create a gift guide that shared useful items that every girl actually needs and items that are also cute and would make them excited. This holiday season I have definitely felt more overwhelmed than usual by the materialistic and selfish behaviors that sometimes make an appearance. While I love giving people gifts, I am at a place in my life where I want to giving useful and/or meaningful gifts to my loved ones. Enter this post. I hope that you are enjoying your holiday shopping and enjoy this post!
Like I mentioned in the intro, my inspiration and common thread amongst all of the items this gift guide is cute AND useful. First things first, make the actual gift container useful. Think about your girlfriends, do they drink a lot of coffee? Wine? Do they eat a lot of cookies? Do they have a lot of jewelry? Think about your friends and what sort of vessel would serve them the best. The wine glass (c/0) I used was hand painted by a very talented friend of mine, and fellow Illini, Amanda Tiberi. She hand paints all kind of glassware (champagne flutes, beer mugs, etc.) with any sort of design you could dream up. She also has an online store where she sells some of her designs in a variety of formats. Also shout out to the incredibly talented Annie Belgrade for creating this design – Annie is the graphic designer I used to design my new media images for the rebrand coming in JANUARY!
Whatever vessel you choose, make sure it fits, makes sense and would actually get used by the girlfriend you’ve got in mind.
(More on the blog: How to Avoid Awkward Conversation During the Holidays)
Here are some other vessel suggestions:
- Jewelry Box
- Makeup bag
- Coffee mug
- Cookie Jar
- Tea box/jar
- Pencil holder
- Water bottle
Now that you’ve selected the perfect vessel for your gift, it’s time to fill it. Again, we want to keep the words “cute” and “useful” in the front of our minds. When thinking about other items I wanted to include, I turned, of course, to the weather. I live in the Midwest where the weather fluctuates just as often as the sun rises. I reached out to Kathy from Cluck Cluck Boots and really loved her knitted ear bands (c/0). When I received the ear band, the packaging was so cute! The ear band was wrapped in tissue paper with a cute sticker and the ear band had a tag on it (pictured above) that also included information about how to wash the item.
(More on the blog: How to Keep in Touch Throughout the Year Featuring Paperless Post)
At this point, think about items that would be useful for your friend and also bring a smile to her face. Everyone’s ears get cold in the winter, why not get an ear band? Super useful and super cute. If she’s all covered in the ear department, what about gloves? Fuzzy socks? Reusable hand warmers?
If she’s all covered with cold-weather gear, pick something else! You’ve got freedom to pick out items that you really think your friend would enjoy and need. Like….
LIP BALM! Lip balm in the chilly months is a necessity (seriously, have you had wind-chapped lips? Pain.Full.). The lip balms pictured above (c/0) are made by a lovely friend of the very wonderful Kayla Blogs, Glynnis. Glynnis has an Etsy store named Bee by G Beauty. She makes all of her lip balms using beeswax from her dad’s bee colony – seriously, how freaking cool? These lip balms have a harder consistency than most other lip balms, hello natural beeswax. Glynnis generously sent me both the vanilla and peppermint flavors and I don’t have a favorite, they’re both great!
(More on the blog: How to Make Holiday Shopping Affordable)
If you’re looking for more ideas to fill your gift vessel with, I’ve got a few:
- Cute pens for class or work
- Washi tape for her planner
- Her favorite lipstick so she doesn’t have to scrape the bottom of the tube
- Fuzzy socks – not explanation necessary
- Unique cooking salts for the foodie
- Cute hair ties or head bands for the athlete
Get creative! That’s half of the fun of the holidays anyways. At the end of the day remember, it’s the thought behind the gift that counts – not how full the container is, how much you spent or the fancy brand name.