I've been planning Do You Even Paleo's Gift Guide since last year, and we're finally in the midst of the holidays!
All year, I make note of my favorite purchases. The things that, each time I use them, I think "dang, this was well worth my money." And now I've got them all rounded up in one place for you to browse!
A note about conscious gift-giving
We could all use less STUFF in our lives. Seriously.
When my spouse and I moved in together, we culled our belongings. We donated duplicates and all the stuff we just didn't use. It made packing a lot easier. We try to repeat the process at least once a year. We look through our things and donate, recycle, or throw out what isn't being used.
Intentional, conscious shopping makes our yearly culling significantly easier.
Intentional shopping, as I call it, means taking each purchase seriously. Usually, it means not buying something that only has a single use. Sometimes it means spending more money on something higher quality, that I love more, that will last longer.
I approach gift-giving in the same way. We all need less STUFF, so why would I buy cheap STUFF to give to my loved ones?
I take gift-giving very seriously. If the recipient doesn't use what I give them, it's a useless gift. A waste of money. A waste of materials.
I give experiences. I give consumables. I give higher-quality things that I know are a good fit for that person's life. That's the goal, anyway.
So while I'm rounding up some of my favorite things from 2018 that I think make wonderful gifts, I want you to be intentional with your purchases, okay?
Do You Even Paleo's 2018 gift guide
These socks are the BEST. They are pricier than the Hanes mega packs that I was used to, but good golly gosh are Bombas socks worth it.
I have this uneasy history with socks - I absolutely hate the seam on the toes. When I was a kid, I got in trouble for refusing to wear socks to school. (Explain that one to me.)
But slipping on a pair of Bombas socks is like gilding my feet in puffy summer clouds. And they hold up. Mine are about a year old and they've only faded slightly. They are terrific. Getting socks for Christmas is the cliche of bad gifts, but these are socks I would be THRILLED to get.
Cast Iron Skillet
I know I harp on the amazing utility of a good cast iron skillet all the time, but it's true. A nice large cast iron is one of the best kitchen tools you can employ.
I saved up for months to get our Parachute duvet, and it was worth every single penny. Growing up, we always had cheap comforters, and the fluffy warmth of a duvet changed how I sleep. I love going to bed with this layer of comfort on the bed.
We got a lightweight duvet. I'm not sure we could handle the all seasons duvet. Even in super cold Fargo winters (we're talking -20 degrees F without windchill), we're toasty warm under our duvet.
Later, we switched out our pillows for down pillows. We're slowly saving the money to shift our sheets, towels, and napkins to Parachute, too.
Misen Chef's Knife
I backed these knives back when Misen was a Kickstarter. And boy was it worth it! Misen's Chef's Knives are top quality at an affordable price.
I literally use mine every day and still love it.
Cast Iron Tortilla Press
An indispensable tool for the taco lover. I bought a tortilla press to work on my Tacos Every Damn Day E-book, and I doubt I will ever return to store-bought tortillas again.
Seriously! Once you get into the groove of making homemade tortillas, you will always crave the soft, warm deliciousness of freshly made tortillas for taco night. So this is a GREAT gift for your taco-loving friends.
Early this year, I knew I needed a planner. In order to stay on track with Do You Even Paleo and keep organized with Chelsea Joy Photography, my wedding photography business, I had to have a better way to manage my time.
I first heard about Passion Planners from The Girl with the Butter, so I picked one up and immediately started using it. My gosh, do I love my planner! Many different great planners exist, but I enjoy that this one helps you plan a path to success for your goals. I don't always religiously use my planner, but it definitely helps me stay organized and on track to have things written down.
I'm looking forward to picking up a 2019 Passion Planner and continue to work on my goals.
Blue Lotus Chai
This one's a recent find! In the fall and winter, I gravitate towards warm, cozy drinks. I saw Blue Lotus Chai at my local Natural Grocers and decided to give it a try.
Brilliant. I love this stuff! No sweeteners (I usually add my own honey), and it's as easy as mixing with hot water or nut milk. Plus, one canister makes 100 CUPS of delicious chai. Sign me up!
Ellie's Best Nut Milk Bag
Not exactly a new purchase, but Ellie's Best recently sent me a new nut milk bag for some Instagram posts and it reminded me how much I love this thing!
I bought an Ellie's Best Nut Milk Bag years ago and I still use it almost weekly in the kitchen. Nut milk, cold brew coffee, ghee, bone broth — my nut milk bag handles a bunch of tasks and Ellie's Best has always performed admirably.
Think of it like a reusable cheesecloth or a pliable strainer.
My shoe of choice for CrossFit. I adore the minimalist style. They're so sleek and sexy! NOBULL has a metric fuckton of designs, and they are all fabulous. If I had the money, I'd have a different pair for every day of the week.
I have the Black Heather pair. Definitely diggin' them.
This year, I bought a few different indoor plants. I work from home most of the time, so I've got to make my workspace as inviting and inspiring as I can.
I'm not sure why I specifically gravitated towards a snake plant, but it's by far my favorite! And frankly, I think it would be an awesome gift to receive.
Snake plants are super hardy and easy to care for (just water it every week or so), making them a great gift even for someone with a black thumb.
I got mine from a local garden store, but you can actually order these things online.
More gifting resources
That's it for my favorite purchases of the year, but if you're just aching for more options, check out my Amazon Influencer Page!
It's where I catalog my favorite kitchen tools, taco-making supplies, favorite books of the year, and some of the gifts you find here. Plus, you can shop and buy right from the page!
Overall, though, I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of loved ones, laughter, and good cheer.
It's less about the gifts, and more about that. Please keep that in mind this holiday season!