Today I want to talk about something super-fun: Gifts! At this time of year it seems there’s always an occasion to give—there are the springtime baby and bridal showers, housewarming parties, and even a casual dinner party may warrant a gift for the host! I scoured the interwebs and found 10 great gifts you’ll want to give (and receive!) this summer.
Before we start, what makes a great gift? It’s something that the recipient might not buy for him, or herself, and is a little bit luxurious and (hopefully) special. I’d add to that, that it should be practical and useful because you don’t want your present to land in the re-gifting pile!
I don’t need to recommend a particular brand, because any 100% linen napkin set is a little luxury that people will appreciate. Ironed, they are gorgeous on a formal table, but quite honestly, we use linen napkins even un-ironed as our everyday napkins, because they are just so sturdy and environmentally-friendly and they wash beautifully. I wrap my cutlery in one when I pack my lunch, and then I even wrap the used cutlery back in it to go home. They hold up well and are much nicer to use than paper napkins.
Neatfreak makes a small pop-up garbage can for the car, and what can I say? I am obsessed. Its design is just so smart. Its fabric uses a technology that is antimicrobial, so I promise you, it NEVER SMELLS. It has Velcro across its bottom, so you can just stick it right to the floor mat of your car, and it will never slide or fall out of place. Genius.
While we’re talking baby, I borrowed a Baby K’Tan from a friend and became immediately hooked. I’m not an expert, but when it comes to being functional with a newborn and operating hands-free, these carriers are everything. Keeping the baby close is great for calming him or her down, and it lets you put in a load of dishes, fix yourself a sandwich, etc. Life-saving!
This is a line of therapeutic-grade essential oils from Australia and my absolute favorite. They’re more than just fancy packaging: they have incredible standards, and the result is super high-quality oils. A great gift for anyone would be their starter pack with 4 bottles: Eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender.
Barrera Organic Skin Emollient
Full disclosure: A sample of this stuff was sent to me, and I discovered that it makes a great anti-diaper rash cream. But it is also ridiculously good on dry skin or eczema—it finally got rid of the itchy patch of skin beneath my wedding ring. It’s Canadian-made, and only contains three ingredients (all organic): almond oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter—and they even sell a nut-free version. Nothing short of fantastic. Get it here.
Ototo Home Products
These sweet, elegantly designed items have a great sense of humor, but they are also truly functional! I think any of these—the citrus reamer, egg slicer, tea house, or sock locks, for example—would make great small gifts, gift toppers, or grouped together in a basket. This is exactly the kind of gift that people love to receive but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves.
Wash ‘n Zip Pet Bed
This is a game-changer that any pet owner needs to know about: A cozy pet bed that zips open so that the whole thing can get tossed into the washer and dryer! Meaning, no more inner cushion that never gets washed (and as a result, stinks). This helps thwart fleas, too! Our cats love it and we know dogs adore it, too. There are a variety of colors and sizes on their website, so you can get exactly what your gift recipient will enjoy.
These are just great for storage—sealing up out-of-season clothing and bedding protects them from stale odors and pests, and sucking all the air out of the bags (besides being supremely satisfying) reduces all your storage to an unbelievably small size. Definitely in the category of something that you might not think you need—until after you are gifted one, and then you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! It’s also great for extending the life of food. I love to seal extra meat and keep it in the freezer. It greatly reduces freezer burn and anything already frozen I just need to take out the night before to thaw for a quick and easy meal.
We always have to toot our own horn when it comes to these super-durable, reusable, Maker’s Clean microfiber cleaning cloths that make your cleaning so much more efficient! Whether it’s a little spot cleaning, a deep refrigerator cleaning, drying dishes, or polishing some wine glasses before guests arrive, we have specialized microfiber cloths for all your cleaning needs!
Clean My Space: The Book
Okay, while I’m at it, I think my book makes a great gift, now in its second year and more acclaimed than ever! If you want all my cleaning strategies, recipes for homemade cleaning products, and how to get and keep your home just the way you want it, you’ll find all that and more in these pages. I poured my heart and soul into this book because I really wanted readers to feel energized and inspired to work my strategies into new routines and truly change their homes and maybe even their lives. You can get it off Amazon or any major book retailer.