Give & Receive: Plaid, Boots, Kitchen Tools, and Handmade Gifts

gift guide 2009

My gift guide is pretty simple. I’m not huge on gift giving anymore. I know that sounds Scroogey of me but I think gift giving has gotten a bit ridiculous for adults. If you really wanted something wouldn’t you just buy it? I love my friends and family but I would rather hang out with you and catch up. I’ll bring the cookies and treats; you bring the wine. The presents are for kids. I love to research corny princess fairy crap and watch as my nieces tear open the wrapping and look so surprised. No adult ever gets that excited. Above some gifts I’m saving up to buy myself, giving, and past years gifts I’ve received and loved.

From top left clockwise around:

1. I’m making my sister a hat and seed stitch scarf after being inspired by Jill Bent’s beautiful work.

2. Linen fabric my mom picked up at an estate sale; my sister volunteered to turn the fabric into pillows for my new bed.

3. I love my cast iron skillet. I really want this two-sided griddle pan/grill from Lodge Logic, $47.21.

4. My birthday is also in December. My mom gave me these super warm shearling Bean boots, $134.

5. Make handmade macaroni ornaments and tie to a bottle of wine for parties and get togethers. Find the how to instructions here.

6. I’ve received wool blankets as gifts. I love them. I use them every winter and think of that person. Check out Pendleton’s high-quality and affordable selection.

7. Give an inspiring chef a dutch oven. I use mine at least 3x a week. It changed the way I cooked. Get an oval shaped version for versatility. Roast meats, make soup, bake casseroles all in this one pan. Available in a number of colors, Le Creuset Oval French Oven, around $200.

8. I’ve wanted a stick blender forever. I could puree my soups right in the dutch oven. Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender, $35.49.

9. At my house we drink espresso and french press coffee. My glass french press gets cold if I’m having a slow drinking day. A stainless steel version insultes the press and keeps the coffee warm for hours. Bodum 8-Cup Stainless-Steel Thermal Press Pot, $79.59.

10. A gift I would love to give myself. An antique blanket chest I spotted at Tallow in Marblehead.

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  1. Wonderful guide! I have that french press and love it. I also just ordered my first pair of duck boots but I got the Sperry Topsider version from J. Crew. Hope they match up to the Bean boots!


  2. Haha! Totally agree.. not into gifts. We exchange names in my family which makes it super simple. I just worry about one gift. Sometimes we require them to be handmade and that’s kind of fun.


  3. Oh man, just get yourself the stick blender-make sure it comes with a whisk attachment for easy whipped cream in 30 seconds (you have to be careful not to make butter!).

    Ben gave me those boots, too, and I wore them for the first time the other day. So toasty! I am sadly between sizes, so mine are a touch big even with thick socks, but they are awesome. Happy birthday!


  4. So many wonderful things. I bought my first pair of Bean Boots when we were in Maine over thanksgiving. I just adore them. I felt like it was a monumental day in my life back east…people in my hometown on the beach in California wouldn’t know what to make of them!
    XX Kate


  5. Great list… and I’m right there with you! (In fact I’m on my second seed stitch scarf, also inspired by Jill Bent’s work). Longing now for a Pendleton wool blanket (so cozy).


  6. Yey! I was hoping you’d do a gift guide. Love the blankets! My friend got me a wool plaid blanket two years ago & it has kept me cozy every night since.