Kate’s Winter Picks {Gift Ideas and Giveaway!}

CATEGORIES: Gift Guides, Kate

Untitled-1So…we’ve kind of been a little delinquent-ish when it comes to announcing the winners of the giveaways we’ve had running! We haven’t been deliberately slacking, I promise–Sara’s been up to her elbows in a little project we’ve got in the works and I’ve been enjoying my semi-annual trip down bronchitis lane. But better late than never, right? The winners are:

Silhouette Craft Cutter–#2897, Abby

Crock Pot Hook Ups–#1064, Chrissy

Sara’s Winter Favorites–#2140, Melissa

So Sara’s Winter Picks giveaway was so much fun that I decided I wanted to do one, too and originally planned to do it on Friday (hence, you know, the whole “Friday Favorites” thing that has pretty much never happened with me, ever), but then I realized that a) I wanted the winner to get their prize before Christmas and b) If there are things on my list that you might want to give as gifts, Friday might be cutting things close shopping-wise, especially if shipping is involved. We have another AWESOME giveaway going on The Scoop tomorrow that you’re not going to want to miss, and then all my posts between now and Christmas are straight-up food–appetizers, snacks, and something breakfast-y for Christmas morning.

So…without further ado, here are the things that I’m loving this winter! I have a box packed with everything in this picture and I can’t wait to drop it in the mail! As always, these items are NOT sponsored or gifted to us in any way–they’re things we’ve discovered and love and want to share with you!

kate's winter favorites

copco reusable cup to go1. Copco Reusable To-Go Mug. These reusable cups and lids look like the paper cups you get at your favorite coffee shop, but they’re, well, reusable. I have them in a whole bunch of colors and I love them all, but I’m kind of digging the whole plum-colored thing this fall, so that’s the one I put in the box. They’re perfect for hot drinks on cold mornings, especially if you’re hauling kids to school in yucky weather and hot drinks in your lap whilst driving makes you sad. I’ve also actually found them to be perfect for when my kids want hot chocolate (which is, like, 52 times a day) because it cuts down on hot, sticky spills. These are $5.39 at Amazon.

chef'n vegetable peeler2. Chef’n PalmPeeler Vegetable Peeler. This is one of my FAVORITE kitchen tools! Vegetable peelers were one of those things where I would just kind of grab one and hate it and hate peeling vegetables and end up cutting myself and feeling angry and bitter at the world. And then I discovered this little gadget. Not only does it glide over even the bumpiest and oddly shaped vegetables (I peeled 10 pounds of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving like it was nothing), but it’s virtually impossible to hurt yourself while using it, and trust me, I need all the help I can get. I snagged this green one for $7 from Amazon.

essie nail polish3. Going along with my love for all things plum-colored this fall, Essie’s It’s Genius is my favorite nail polish right now. It’s such a gorgeous, multi-faceted, festive, flattering color, dark without being goth and sparkly without being gaudy. I got this for $8.49 at Target.





orla kiely makeup bags4. Have you guys seen the Orla Kiely line of products at Target?? I got this iPhone case/wallet this last summer when we were traveling all time time and it was so perfect and practical–it was adorable, and it was a wristlet, so I always knew where my phone was. And then it had a few slots for my ID and a couple of credit cards, so no more fumbling through airport security, panicking that I’d lost something (I do that a lot. Like…I get made fun of for it on a regular basis). It’s been one of my favorite purchases, so I’ve been eyeballing her other products and ended up getting a makeup bag, then my friend got me another makeup bag for my birthday last week. And they’re so cute that I’m keeping all of them. This pack of 3 smaller makeup bags is $16.99 at Target.

5. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with Christmas music. I’ve been through a lot of Christmas music phases–one of my first CDs was A Very Special Christmascomplete with Run DMC’s timeless classic “Christmas in Hollis.” My freshman year of college, I got a Kenny G Christmas album. Kenny G. And my roommates all made fun of me.

When I worked at Kneaders (a local sandwich shop) in college, all the fun Christmas music was pretty much ruined for me. We listened to the Christmas Muzak station for countless hours every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and I still feel stabby every time I hear, “Hang all the mistletoe…” (which, I kid you not, I thought was “hey, ho the mistletoe” until I googled it while writing this blog post).

the lower lights christmas

So now…my favorite Christmas music tends to be the more spiritual Christmas music sprinkled with a few of the more modern classics. I’ve had The Lower Lights’ first Christmas album pretty much on repeat since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s folksy and mellow with beautiful harmonies–my favorites are “Stars of Glory,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and the sweet, lullaby-ish “Silent Night” (which has always been my favorite Christmas song, although there are some truly dreary versions out there). They also have a new Christmas album, which I love, but not quite as much as the first one. Right now, the CD is $15.98 (I actually didn’t pay that much) on Amazon, or you can download it there for $8.99 or on iTunes for $9.99.

lemon meringue cheer hand soap

6. Yeah, yeah, Sara and I love Bath & Body Works and their fabulous-smelling hand soaps and candles. We’re junkies. They have some amazing hand soaps this fall, but my favorite favorite favorite is Lemon Meringue Cheer. I love lemon-scented stuff, but sometimes they can smell a little like cleaning supplies. This smells just like lemon candy. I wanted to lick my hands. The prices at Bath and Body Works seem to fluctuate on pretty much a daily basis, but you can almost always get the hand soaps for between $2-$3 each.

holiday fried pecans

7. I love it when I discover a local product that I just can’t get enough of, especially when they have great marketing and adorable packaging. With squirrels. These fried pecans are made in the town where I live and I discovered them at a crafty market in October. They’re a little sweet and a little salty and I swear, whenever I see them, I grab a few bags because I don’t know when I’m going to see them again. They range from $6.99 for a great gift-sized bag to $34.99 for an adorable tin of addictiveness, plus the shipping is super reasonable.

individual toblerones

8. Individual. Toblerones. In a cute box. What else do I have to say?? I found these at Target in the Christmas/stocking stuffer area for about $6.

bath and body works cinnamon frosting

9. Back to Bath and Body Works. I swear to you all, if times ever get very hard, I could probably sell all the candles I have stashed and have enough money for groceries for a month. Just kidding. But I have a candle “collecting” problem. I literally agonized about which candle to stick in the box, but I ultimately decided on the 3-wick Cinnamon Frosting because, well, it’s cinnamon frosting. Some cinnamon scents are a little overwhelming, but this is the perfect balance of sweet and buttery and spicy. The other contenders? Buttercream Mint (it seriously smells like those buttercream mints that are made with cream cheese), which was only available in stores on Black Friday, but you can still get it online. If mint is even remotely your thing, I highly recommend that you snag one while they’re available. My other favorite (maybe THE favorite) is Fresh Balsam, which smells EXACTLY like a fresh-cut Christmas tree; no Pine-Sol or musky man smells here, just straight-up Christmas tree, which is awesome if you have an artificial Christmas tree (or if you have a fresh-cut Christmas tree but you want to pretend you live in the forest).

striped slipper socks10. I posted a picture of these slipper socks from Target on my Instagram last week and people kind of freaked. These are so comfy–they’re fleecy on the inside. And they go up your legs. And they have pom-pons on them. And stripes. And grippy bottoms, so you don’t fall. They’re pretty much the whole package (although I will say they run a little on the small side–Sara has confirmed that I have tiny feet, and the smalls were a little snug, so if you’re in doubt, get the bigger size).

So are you guys excited? Just a little?? To enter, tell me what speaks to you most from this list AND your favorite holiday gift you’re giving (OR the #1 thing on your Christmas list) this year! I’ll pick a winner next Sunday (December 15) and drop the box in the mail as soon as I get your address! US residents only (so sorry! It’s the law!)


  1. I would love to get the slipper socks from Target. My favorite gift to give (and receive) is See’s candy or a coffee shop gift card – especially Pete’s coffee.

  2. My 2 year old son is going to go crazy over his minion pajamas. (Although I think he’s going to be a little disappointed he’s not getting the Costco-sized bag of peanut butter M&Ms he spied last week while we were shopping…seriously, love at first sight right there.)

  3. I’m super excited to give my husband one of the date ideas off the datingdivas blog. It’s a passport with a date a month to different countries. Fun! The boys are getting a race track that I know they’re going to love too! Giving gifts is SO fun!!

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