2018 Holiday Gift Guide


Gifts are my love language. Just being honest here. At the same time, I consider myself somewhat of a minimalist. (Formerly living in an Airstream will do that to a person…) Quality over quantity is my mantra.

With that said, here is a curated list of things I would love to give and receive this season:

The Breville Smart Oven is a big ticket item. But it will change your life. We refer to it as our “easy bake oven” because of its myriad presets that make cooking just about anything to perfection mindless. The greatest feature of this oven is that it can accommodate a 14 POUND TURKEY! It’s so convenient to have a second oven when making meals with multiple components or for holiday cooking.

Last year Food & Wine magazine enlightened me to the idea of bringing a high quality olive oil to a party as a hostess gift instead of wine. I thought that was pretty brilliant and my go-to olive oil is ALWAYS Kasandrinos.

The flavor is nutty and complex, and I have been known to demolish a loaf of sourdough in one sitting while dipping each slice with abandon.

*Snag a discount with code CARLY10.

Rifle Paper co. midnight menagerie desk calendar

Rifle Paper co. midnight menagerie desk calendar

Full disclosure, I’m a little salty Rifle Paper Co. doesn’t appear to be bringing back its Constellations desk calendar from 2018… However, Midnight Menagerie is pretty great too and will make a suitable second choice. I like to use these calendars to style shelves with verses putting them on my desk because their beauty demands prominent display.

The Instant Awakening Trio is among my favorite skincare sets from the Beautycounter 2018 Holiday Collection. It contains a peel, glow cream, and gel eye masks.

The Instant Glow Illuminating Lotion is my new go-to for getting that pearly, luminescent look that’s so in right now. It’s lightweight enough that I can easily put it on over my makeup… OR, if I’m not wearing makeup I put a pump or two on for a fresh faced vibe.

The Overnight Resurfacing Peel is Beautycounter’s cleaner / safer alternative to a traditional dermatologist administered chemical peel. The results from just one use are outrageous… It’s like you wakeup with a new face. The peel relies on 15 botanically derived fruit acids to gently resurface your skin while you sleep.

Finally, the gel eye masks are a godsend for my tired, working mom eyes. They’re super cooling and effectively tame my morning puffiness.

Surely by now all of you have read Samin Nosrat’s seminal cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and know the importance of a quality finishing salt… But just in case you missed the memo, finishing salt is everything! I discovered Jacobson flake salt earlier this year and have been obsessed ever since. Almost any dish is taken to the next level when finished with a generous sprinkle.

If you are under the impression that silk pajamas are impractical, I’m here to convince you otherwise. The Lunya Silk Sets are WASHABLE. (I know, right!?) Also, you spend half of your life in bed… Why not make the experience as comfortable as possible?

Are you even a millennial if you aren’t drinking matcha? I gave up caffeine entirely in 2014 as part of an effort to heal myself from debilitating neurological disorder… But having made great strides in my journey, this Spring I was ready to mindfully reintegrate caffeine into my life.

I chose matcha over coffee for its lesser total caffeine content and the l-theanine it contains, which slows the release of caffeine and results in sustained energy (verses the edgy variety coffee creates). Pique Sun Goddess Ceremonial Grade matcha specifically impresses me because the company quadruple toxin screens for heavy metals and fluoride, pesticides, toxic mold, and radioactive isotopes. Also, Pique is shaded for 35% longer than is customary, producing more amino acids and depth of flavor.

*Snag a discount with code CARLY. And, check out my matcha latte recipe here!

Body oil is the new lotion. Well, for westerners anyway. Eastern cultures have been hip to the benefits of body oiling daily for centuries. On its most basic level, oiling the body regularly creates a barrier between your nervous system and the world. It has a calming, quieting effect and is a generally rdejuvinative practice for both adults and children.

I am a big fan of Primally’s Pure’s body oils specifically because they’re hydrating without leaving a greasy residue. The Blue Tansy scent is my favorite and feels indulgent every time I put it on.

*Use code CARLY for a discount on your first purchase.

I have been nerding out over Stephen Buhner’s book Herbal Antibiotics for a while now, and I’m feeling more prepared than ever for the superbug apocalypse. Gift this to the geeky health nut in your life, or buy it for yourself and start building your herbal pharmacy for the end times now. (Kidding but not…)

If I were trapped on a desert island with only one appliance, the Instant Pot would be it. This baby has revolutionized dinner at my house. Even if I don’t have a plan until the hour before it’s time to sit down, the efficiency of pressure cooking guarantees a delicious experience.

If you’ve already been enlightened to the witchery of Instant Pot, consider upgrading to this programable version. (And pro tip, get the 8 quart.)