I know they get overdone but I love a good gift guide. I think I end up buying more things for myself than I do for other people, but they serve their purpose for sure. You get new ideas from sites and brands you otherwise may not have heard of and I just like them. So in no particular order, are a few things we've either really enjoyed this year, or wish we can enjoy in the future or will be gifting to someone else. Hugh's recommendations are marked with an (H). Thanks!
We hosted a few dinners this year to benefit the International Rescue Committee. You can read more about them on their site. If you are looking to make some year end donations yourself, or give on behalf of someone else as a gift. We have done some research (Charity Watch helps you look further into the details of specific charities) and are also giving to International Justice Mission and A21.
We spend a lot of time at the beach. After finally wearing through a fairly useless umbrella we had for years, we replaced her with the most well made umbrella I've ever seen. They have all metal hardware, a solid wood stand, the fabric is sturdy and not to mention absolutely beautiful. We have one of the beach tents that the kids settle into as their special fort, but the umbrellas are a little easier set up and I'm certain it will outlive me. They are even offering you lovely people a 20% code! Use SPROUTED20 at checkout.
First off, the packaging is simple and smart. Second, this stuff is delicious. The spicy honey with cheese is perfect and I've roasted Brussels with the spicy maple and oil. Hugh lacquered some of his bacon in the coffee maple before baking and still talks about it. You get free shipping when you order three things and I see no reason why you would not.
(Speaking of other food gifts, loving this Central Coast Family Farm pretty olive oil for special cocasions)
I know this is limited to the West Coast and Chicago at this time, but they're expanding! So hear me out. If you've been following along here for awhile, I've been a long time proponent of a local CSA box program. I took a break from them for a couple seasons because I was getting burnt out of the same things and lack of flexibility, but have recently been into Imperfect Produce. It's a weekly produce box, with the option of customization (brilliant!) so I can opt out of the potatoes if we still have some from last week, and add more squash, for example. They offer gift certificates, and while this may only be a gift for the right kind of person (read:me), our pediatrician once wisely suggested that it is better to gift a family healthy food above more plastic. Merrrrrry Christmas, kids ;)
I am actually not a big essential oils gal (though I do have this diffuser on my list because I want my house to smell nice), HOWEVER, I rub the sleep and immunity rollers on my kids every night because... why not? Does my son still wake up at 5am before the sun? Yes, yes he does, but at least he smells dreamy.
Print Shop . Hugh Forte
As his biggest fan, I understand my bias here, but I think these photos are beautiful. The thing about Hugh's talent, is that as his work lies largely in weddings and food, we miss where his heart and eyes are most drawn to: the ocean, waves, a quiet desert landscape, the beauty of the world around us. He takes in so much visually, things I wouldn't have noticed; to experience his photos is to see a piece of him. He just started a print shop and will be adding to it slowly. A super generous Santa brought him a drone this year, so stay tuned for more aerial images as well. For the rest of this month, you can use the code SK20 for 20% off your order. It is too late for framing, but if you order by December 12th, they will arrive by Christmas.
I can't believe this item hadn't made it into previous years gift guides at any point... we use this every day, multiple times a day. Coffee. Tea. Give it to me faster and at a more precise temperature and at the push of a button AND without me having to manage the target temperature. And keep it there for up to an hour for when I get distracted. This thing is worth every penny.
Rancilio Rocky (H)
More coffee gear? Ok. Sara got me this grinder for my birthday this year and I love it. We primarily brew pour over around here so the primary bottleneck in quality has always been the grinder. I've slowly upgraded grinders over the years and always been slightly disappointed that I couldn't quite get the cup of coffee I knew was possible because I was skimping (even after dishing out for relatively expensive machines, like our previous Virtuoso) on the grinder. Anyway, this grinder finally unlocked the potential of that cup of pour over. Cheers.
Curran (3.5) actually got these last Christmas, by recommendation of my sister is law, and they are great. I can't say there are many toys that he is happy to play with on his own. All sides are magnetic, so they're a little easier to build than traditional blocks. They also make a 100 piece set if you're wanting to invest deeper into the set, but either way, I would swear by these for any kid over 3.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
I don'd think I've waxed poetic enough about how much I love this book. I haven't tried too many of the recipes to be honest, but Samins' writing is so charming, easy to read and helpful. It's unlike any other food related book I own and I think it'd make a great gift for both a beginner cook or just someone who loves to learn from another perspective.
Dark Matter (H)
This was a surprisingly engaging read. Speculative fiction often times demands too much suspension of disbelief for my taste, but something about the character's plight in this story hooked me. It's a fast paced romp through the multiverse (or at least a small part of a Many Worlds version... ok good talk).
If you're familiar with the Liturgists Podcast, this author's name may look familiar. This may not be for everybody on your shopping list, but this title claimed my prestigious "Most Underlined and Dogeared Book" award for the year. I mean, a cover blurb from Richard Rohr is pretty cool too, I guess.