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Gift ideas to Bring Joy and Give Thanks.

Gift Guides 2019: Joy & Thanks

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Happy Holidays Friends!!!

Hard to believe it’s time to start thinking about gifts already! If you want, you can check out last year’s guides here – I think there are still some great ideas in those guides. This year, I’ve decided to do these 2019 gift guides slightly differently. More thoughtfully, with less emphasis on gender.

So I’ve organized each of these guides by the emotion or feeling you want to give someone. Joy, Thanks, Comfort, Beauty, Consciousness, and Giving. Because everyone deserves all of it. Today, I’m going to share my gift ideas if you want to bring someone Joy, or if you want to simply say Thank You.

First up, Joy. If you want to jump straight to thanks, click here.


2019 Gift Guides: Gifts to Bring Joy

image for pinterest showing 2019 gift guides for gifts that bring joy



Last year I read The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee, and it’s changed my whole perspective on the ways we experience joy in our daily lives. So I wanted to start with that feeling – and find ways to give it to everyone in our lives. Not just the kids, or the silly people we know, but everyone – because everyone deserves joy.

bright yellow mini donut maker and a stack of mini donuts with chocolate frosting and sprinkles

Babycakes Donut Maker, Mini

AMAZON – $14.99

INSTANT JOY. I mean, it’s mini donuts, like, whenever you want them. It’s also bright yellow. I can literally smell them cooking right now.

image of kids rothys loafers with pink flamingos on the vamp

Flock Together Sneakers

ROTHY’S – $55.00

PINK. FLAMINGOS. (Are all these posts going to start with all caps? Maybe, yes.) The indestructible flats you know and love also come in the most fun designs in kid’s sizes. SUCH a fun thing. With illustrations by Pete Oswald.



image of owlcrate magical monthly reads box with a cover image of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Owlcrate Subscription Box

OWLCRATE – STARTS AT $27.95 FOR 1 BOX

This one is so good. Owlcrate starts with the idea that no one is too old to read Young Adult (YA) books, and that you should never be ashamed of your TBR pile. Also that the book is always better than the movie (but that the movies are fun, too!). You can get a full subscription, which gets you a new monthly themed box filled with a book and lots of quality goodies to go with and let it be a total surprise. Or, you can get past boxes where you can see exactly what’s inside to get the perfect thing for your gift. I just love this idea all around. They even have a junior version!

Image showing Joseph Joseph rainbox 9 pieces nesting bowls and measuring set

Joseph Joseph Nesting Bowls Set, 9-Piece, Rainbow

AMAZON – STARTS AT $27.95 FOR 1 BOX

These are so perfect for someone who is just starting out with their first apartment or kids who are just getting started with their love of cooking. Or, you know, anyone who loves a bit of color in their everyday life.



image of budsies custom plush made from a child's drawing

Custom Plush Doll

BUDSIES – $139 + Rush Shipping

How much would a person freak out when opening a plush doll made from their own drawing? It would be so incredibly special. Budsies also makes custom selfie dolls – the possibilities are endless.

image showing a blue bowtie with a shark pattern

Shark Bowtie

AMAZON – $8.99

The shark pattern on this bowtie is so subtle that I didn’t catch it at first. Which makes it perfect for the person in your life who likes to dress up with style. Also, it’s pre-tied to save them the stress of tying it. Because, oof, that can be a lot to handle. It also comes in Dinosaurs, Ladybugs, Scorpions or Mermaids, if any of those things apply.

rainbow raffia earrings with oval shape

Mini Kiera Raffia Statement Earrings in Multi

BAUBLEBAR – $42.00

Slightly smaller in scale than Baublebar’s normal statement earring, these earrings still pack a joyful punch. Perfect for brightening up an outfit in the middle of the winter doldrums, or to be saved for their next beach vacation.

paint by sticker book with goldfish on cover

“Paint by Sticker: Create 12 Masterpieces One Sticker at a Time!” Book

AMAZON – $9.98

I don’t know if you’ve ever done a mosaic tile project before, but it is one of the most relaxing things ever. The repetitiveness of it just lets your brain relax, and in the end, you’ve got something beautiful. These Paint By Sticker books are just like that, but without the mess of a Paint By Number or a mosaic tile floor. There are tons of versions of these, and the kid’s ones are especially fun.

raw oak case record player with purple colored vinyl record

Crosley UO Exclusive Wood Cruiser Bluetooth Record Player and Colored Vinyl Records

URBAN OUTFITTERS – $99.00 & AMAZON – Various

There is still magic in listening to a vinyl record. Joy in the act of watching the spinning vinyl while hearing the beautiful, clear sound. Add in a colored vinyl album and the joy multiplies. I’m showing Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure OST, because it’s particularly wonderful, but there is a huge selection of artists and colors to choose from.

blue socks with large multicolored dots

Big Dot Sock

HAPPY SOCKS – $14.00

Listen, nobody should have to wear boring socks. Happy Socks has a size to fit everybody, and style to bring joy in 1000 different ways.




Next up for the Gift Guides for 2019: Thanks!




Gift Guides 2019: Giving Thanks

You could give a thank you gift for anything, really. So give these gifts for any reason you feel thankful. Hosts, teachers, people who help you year-round, anyone!


Pin Image of 2019 Gift Guides gifts to give thanks to hosts, teachers or anyone you're thankful for.



wooden box with tea drops surrounding in flower and heart shapes

Tea Drops Sampler

UNCOMMON GOODS – $34.00

Created by Sashee Chandran, these Tea Drops are entry-level tea enjoyment. Simply drop the flavor of your choice ( Citrus Ginger, Blueberry Acai, Matcha Green Tea, Rose Earl Grey, and Sweet Peppermint are included) into a cup of hot water, and stir to dissolve. Each drop has a touch of natural cane sugar to create a perfectly balanced cup of tea each time.

porcelain coasters with painted faces in black white and gold

Jonathan Adler Marseilles Porcelain Coasters, Set of 4

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE – $68.00

With a timeless pattern, these coasters are more than just a place to put your drink. Because of their slightly cupped edges, they’d also make a great place to capture bits and bobs on their desk or to catch their rings at the sink or on their nightstand.

olive wood salt cellar and 2 jars of Jacobson Salt Co. Salt

Olive Wood Salt Cellar with Swivel Lid and Jacobsen Salt Co. Salts

WORLD MARKET – $19.99 and WILLIAMS-SONOMA; FLEUR DE SEL – $10.95 & GARLIC INFUSED – $14.95

Salt can make you a better cook! And these fancy salts from Jacobsen Salt Co. look so beautiful in this Olive Wood salt cellar with a magnetic lid. Season liberally!

red and white book cover of Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights

AMAZON – $21.12

A literal cross-section of all my delights, the blurb says “It’s an homage to the esoteric world of glamour that doesn’t require much spending but makes us feel rich”. Right on.

black tin "spice blend sangria" with cinnamon sticks and herb bag

Sangria Spice Blend

UNCOMMON GOODS – $20.00

Simply add this to a bottle of your favorite red wine, throw in your fruit of choice and refrigerate overnight to be transported to a breezy summertime patio.

glass chemex pour over coffee pot

Chemex Classic, 6-Cup

AMAZON – $41.32

A great gift if you’re staying overnight at their place. Add a bag of your favorite beans for the perfect gift.

Cloth dinner napkins with blue floral pattern

Set of 4 Napkins, in Lapis Lanai by Scalamandre

THE INSIDE – $75.00

I’ve shared my love and admiration for what The Inside is doing with print to order fabrics and upholstery. They’ve now added tabletop items such as this set of napkins, available in 113 (!!!) different prints. Beautiful quality, these are the perfect thank you for dinner, or as a gift for your favorite host.

spa blue jute tote with leather handles

Ballard Jute Tote, Large in Spa

BALLARD DESIGNS – $25.00

I’ve loved these totes for a long time. They come in great colors and can be monogrammed, so pick their favorite color (or team color), and fill it with something they’d love. Or pick up their favorite snacks at the grocery store and bring it with you when you visit.

snake plant in grey pot

Snake Plant Laurentii in Pale Grey Prospect Pot

THE SILL – $33.00

I am a serial plant killer. But this one? I’ve had it for 3 years and it’s still thriving. ANYONE can grow this. And The Sill does it all for you. Perfect to send after you’ve spent time at their house.

wooden tic tac toe game

Tic Tac Toe Game

BALLARD DESIGNS – $79.00

I love this one. It’s larger than it looks in the image, and people of any age can play it. Plus it’s beautiful!


And that’s it for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this first pair of Gift Guides for 2019, and are able to find & give both Joy and Thanks this holiday season!

See you next week with Comfort & Beauty!

get it now

How to Find & Work With Trades

free download

learn more

Detailed planner, seasoned shopper, & thoughtful creator of solutions for the overwhelming home projects in your busy life.

I'm Mel!

hey there

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