Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Practical Person's Gift Guide: The Basics

Happy Thanksgiving!! Happy Black Friday!! (Although if you're out celebrating the latter, you're probably not reading this post, at least not this morning.) Either way, it's officially the start of the Christmas season, and I'm 100% ready to get in the mood.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that probably means we'll have to do some shopping. (And crafting!! I'll have some DIY posts this season, too!) So in preparation for the season of giving, I've put together a few gift guides I think you'll like. It's Black Friday, and there are probably Cyber Monday deals coming up, so now is a good time for me to help you by sharing my Christmas list and giving ideas!

A practical person's gift guide (/my Christmas list!)

I wrote this gift guide with the intent that it be a little different than the ones I typically see on blogs. While those are often beautiful, let's be honest, I'm not going to buy a $75 trinket, $100 throw, über trendy but not super useful accessory, or gilded party decor item for most people I know. I've learned that I can put personal thought into every gift if I know the person well enough... and, I like to buy things that are useful as well as beautiful. Hopefully they love the gift, but if not, at least it doesn't just sit on a shelf unused.

I also have conflicts with making my Christmas list each year. My sweet family often asks what I want, and I am touched but have a hard time answering because I either feel greedy and/or like I just can't really communicate it perfectly. Because usually I want a few things, but I don't need them and I don't need them to be happy.

But anyway. I put together this gift guide for you if you have similar struggles, either in asking for gifts or in shopping for someone like me! Here is my basic gift guide for 2014, written by a practical person, intended for the relatively practical people in your life.

It's a very honest gift guide, and it may seem pretty random!, but it's all the truth. These are things I really want this year and/or have received or given in the past with success. These items are practical, kind of hippie, and could work for both women and men. I hope it helps!

  1. I've wanted these for a couple years now. Cozy and durable but also cute. The classic L.L. Bean duck boots. One of those things the knock-offs just don't capture, and these classics have quality materials and come in wide and narrow.
  2. I have watch problems. I always want a basic, large, non-crappy quality simple gold watch and it's hard to find. So I found this basic Timex one here and I think it'd be great. (Because while I love the $170 Kate Spade ones, I don't have anyone in my life who would (or should) give that to me! But, at least the Kate Spade ones at Nordstrom are 40% off for Black Friday.)
  3. When was the last time I had new, nice quality flannel sheets? Would be great! Options: these Lands' End ones* or these from The Company Store are sure to be great quality. White is my fave.
  4. I also always struggle to find classic button-up pajamas. Flannel or otherwise. I just found these cute navy dot or white zebra print ones from Gap**, and I looooove these classic plaid flannel ones from Nordstrom.
  5. Slippers are the perfect holiday gift unless the person already has nice ones! These from Nordstrom are the gold standard, or try these less cute but still real leather and fur ones.
  6. I love cast iron and we have a tiny enameled cast iron skillet--this normal size enameled cast iron skillet would be great for things larger than eggs. (Also pretty is this West Elm one, which is on sale.)
  7. Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin. I never thought about food items as gifts until I started celebrating Christmas with my in-laws. My mother-in-law gives people big packages of their favorite specialty foods and ingredients. Talk about useful!! ;) This gelatin is the really good stuff from grassfed cows and is delicious in homemade desserts and even in blended coffees for extra protein and collagen. It's kinda spendy so I do't buy it for myself often!
  8. Nice gym clothes like these cool Gap pants**. I dunno about you, but I do not buy myself gym clothes often enough. Mine are pretty ratty and it doesn't really matter since I don't see anyone I know at the gym... but it sure would feel like a nice treat to have some flattering, higher quality things to wear.
  9. Dr Bronner's bar soaps. Another thing my family likes to give is really nice quality natural soaps. But my husband has recently decided the ONLY soap he will use is this classic Dr. Bronner's peppermint castille soap bars. This 6-pack would be a great gift!

*Lands' End is doing big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales! See here.
**P.S. Gap is doing 50% off everything for Black Friday!! Shop here.

More gift ideas?

If those gift ideas were a little funky for you, You can also check out my specialized gift guides from previous years! Here's my:

I'll have some recommendations later for kitchen items I have and/or want, and my favorite great gift books!

Also had to shout out these deals for the crafters on your list, or for yourself. Silhouette does killer Black Friday deals (my friend got some super cool glitter heat transfer material online last B.F.) and if you have crafts to make as gifts, now is the time to get one! Check out the deals here.


  1. Love the boots! I'm about to go slogging for a xmas tree, so I should have nabbed those!

  2. Such good ideas! I really struggle with gift ideas for some family members sometimes so it's always nice seeing other peoples thoughts :)


  3. Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin - I've never heard of gelatin being used in blended coffee. I hope you'll be talking about this further on your site. I'd love to hear more about it. Thanks for the list.

  4. Cool! I might sometime! But in the meantime, here are two posts about it/ "recipes" - http://wellnessmama.com/5673/healthy-coffee/ and http://girlmeetsnourishment.com/super-coffee/. I don't measure or use a recipe, just coffee/butter/MCT and sometimes gelatin if I want some extra thickness.

  5. I just heard about butter coffee! I'm going to have to start a list of things to try in coffee. : )

  6. Ha, I've been eyeing Duck Boots this year too. :o)


  7. I am so bad at coming up with present ideas, so this is a great little guide! Happy holidays!

  8. I have been browsing internet for more than three hours today since morning, yet I didn’t found any interesting article like this which provides knowledge.



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