I don’t like to do a lot of shopping posts because my shopping habits are—at best—considered unruly. My method is all madness consisting of abandoned carts across the interwebs. BUT I decided to do a 2020 Holiday Gift Guide because:
- Since we’re not traveling to see our family for the holidays, I had time, and
- I’m actually pretty excited about the recommendations I do have. Some are stores, and others are items, but I hope you can find something to add to your wishlist!
So, I whipped this up in rather a pinch and despite A LOT of technical difficulties, I think it was worth it. I hope you enjoy it!
Please note, that I think it’s important to be mindful about how you shop. A lot of businesses on here are small businesses, and every place that’s listed is somewhere I actually made a purchase from. This is not a sponsored post. Still, being mindful about spending is difficult this time of year, especially when it seems like EVERYTHING is on sale, and the pressure to “BUY NOW” is high.
At the end of the day, it’s not the things we have that make us happy, and it’s good to remember that balance. Nevertheless, I do adore shopping, and when I find something I love, I like to shout it from the rooftops. Or, at least, from my blog! So, shall we?
Small Business Gems
I think these are ALL women-owned businesses! Bonus!
- Alice & Wonder. One of my favorite boutiques right now is Alice & Wonder. I first discovered them through Jess Keys and popped in after I had a brow appointment in the neighborhood #willtravelforgoodbrows.
They have adorable Chicago swag (I’m eyeing this and this) and it’s a great place to pick up gifts. I got my bright pink cardigan from here, and the cutest acetate mask chain that has me addicted to well, mask chains.
Even though I don’t go anywhere often enough to need more than one for a mask, I’ve attached the chain to my sunglasses so I can avoid that annoying snag that always happens when you flip them onto the top of your head, and the nose pads get stuck in your hair! Avoiding that struggle alone is worth getting an extra strand!
It’s a great holiday gift that is thoughtful yet unexpectedly useful. They have 20% off with the code TINSELTIME through 11/30, but don’t sleep on it–all their goodies will sell out fast!
- Lola Ade. I’ve been wearing the gold hoops I bought from Lola Ade non-stop since I got them. So it’s no surprise that I’ve been coveting these hoops like whoa. In general, I love a good simple cut with thoughtful details in basically everything, and these earrings have a texture that just screams “wear me every day”. Yes, I already ordered them. Merry Christmas to me!
Oh! And did I mention you can take 35% off orders over $50 with the code #SHOPSMALL? Good jewelry is something that’s hard to find and you won’t be disappointed here!
- Everyday Parisian. I’ve been trying to finish the gallery wall in our guest room and since one piece I ordered in October STILL hasn’t arrived, I’ve been annoyingly forestalled. Luckily, I ordered this fabulous calendar from @EverydayParisian and a few prints and it actually rounded out the wall better than I expected! Rebecca also thoughtfully designed the calendar so that the prints can be put into frames, too! It’s going to be hard not to frame them sooner but my 2021 already (literally) looks oh-so-good. Save 20% off on her dreamy Prints using code HOLIDAY20
- Atlas Adventures. It’s such a bummer that we can’t travel right now, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be giddy to be in even the most crowded airport when we can safely resume travel. That being said, there’s no reason not to indulge in a great travel guide while you wait!
Whitney, a.k.a. @Blonde_Atlas, is a travel advisor who has a great sale on her courses. After taking the “An Evening in Roma” course this spring, I’ll be stocking up on this course, this course, and this course so I can hit the
ground skies running with all her wisdom to send me wisely on my way!
She’s offering a buy 2-get-1-free special through the weekend, and for only $50, it’s the least expensive escape you can possibly find right now! They also make a great holiday gift with nearly no carbon footprint! Check out all of her courses here!
- The New Parisienne. I started reading this book after binging Emily in Paris in October (of course I had thoughts on that show & I’ll share that post soon!), and it was a welcome dose of reality. With my anxiety high, I needed an escape, and while Emily’s adventures were absurdly escapist (don’t get me wrong, I will be watching season 2!) the reality of Paris is much more interesting.
Lindsay, (@Lostncheeseland on Insta), has compiled a collection of stories and interviews that perfectly frame the city of light outside of the context of postcards and overdone movie depictions. It’s refreshing, super smart, and if you ever plan on visiting Paris (or already have) I HIGHLY recommend this read!
- Proper Shops. From my [Minnesotan] stomping grounds! I adore this boutique. I’ve definitely found myself on the side of regret when I wait to buy something from here. The owner has great taste and if I could, I’d have her dress me for an entire vacation in Italy, no questions asked.
The clothes have a strong feminine vibe, but Proper also has a great selection of giftables, like this Mean Girls coloring book that you know you want. Or this oh-so-cozy mockneck sweater that seems like it wants me to live in it, no? Take 20% off through Monday. Your closet will thank you later.
- Velvet Raptor. I’m biased, but I’m also not exaggerating when I say Velvet Raptor creates the most enchanting keepsakes. From journals to guest books, their bijoux designs are instantly the kind of thing you want to hand down as an heirloom.
Our wedding guestbook is from Velvet Raptor in the yummiest raspberry color, and it never ceases to amaze me how timeless it remains! Right now they’re offering $15 Off $100+, $30 Off $200+ & $50 Off $300. Their sale ends Sunday, and since their pieces are hand-pressed, you’ll want to order early to get it in time for Christmas!
Big Box Shopping
I can’t pretend like I don’t shop mainstream retail. I love to support small businesses, but a few key places snuck into my closet this year!
- Abercrombie & Fitch. Don’t judge me! I’ve been a renewed fan of Abercrombie for some time now. They’ve updated their palette and ditched their logo (for the most part) on their pieces so the brand feels very “elevated casual” these days. I mentioned them in this post, too!
I come for the jeans but stay for the great basics like their body suits. They have a “Curve Love” line that doesn’t induce hip trauma like their sizing convention of the early 00’s did. And I have to say, they’re my go-to jeans 100% of the time I don’t wear sweats or pajamas now!
While they often have sales (hint: wait for the weekends or holidays) right now they have 40% off the entire store. Given shipping and inventory, I don’t know if I’d wait if you see something you love or want to gift. To have it by Christmas you’ll need to order by next week, so get-to-browsin’ now!
- Old Navy. Honestly, Old Navy usually doesn’t hit my radar. But I am not afraid to say that I am pleasantly shocked at how much I loved this incredibly affordable jacket. I bought it on a whim assuming the fit would be all wrong and genuinely expected to return it because it was too good to be true.
And yet? Here we are. I hope they have this jacket in your size, and if there’s a waitlist, join it. The material and fit are incredibly satisfying despite being under $50. I’ve also been coveting this lovely piece and honestly am not sure if I’ll be able to wait for Christmas to make her mine! Santa? Can you hear me?
Irresistible Beauty Buys
- TestTube. I realllly need to do a post on TestTube Beauty because it’s legitimately changed my life. It’s a beauty subscription with grown-up brands you would pay too much for in any other situation. Brands you see at Sephora but without having to decide. Oh, and they’re full-sized products! So you can actually spend time with the product to really find out how it works with your skin.
Did I mention it’s only $30 every other month? AND that right now you can get 30% off with the code 30FORYOU? AND if you get the annual subscription, you end up getting a month free so it drives the cost down to under $20 with the discount right now? I honestly considered canceling my subscription and re-subscribing to take advantage of what feels like a loophole… just sayin’!
- The Fitz. This one is for the Chicago locals OR your future girls weekends in the city! I just had a virtual consultation for a skincare issue that I want to resolve. And after already being in love with my Botox results (more on this soon!), I booked my appointment right away!
Coming from a professional [marketing] background in the aesthetics industry, I can personally tell you that it’s hard to avoid charlatans who only want to make a quick buck regardless of your actual goals. But that’s definitely not the case at The Fitz.
The staff is incredibly professional, and their work speaks for itself (check out their Insta if you need more proof. Michelle is the only person I’ve EVER let put a needle near my face and she knows what she’s doing! [More on my Botox will be here soon.] Not your typical “2020 holiday gift guide” choice but one I would certainly recommend. Interested? Call and get yourself a gift card. You deserve a spa day after the year you’ve had, boo!
- The Revlon Dryer Brush. Y’all. I also have a blog post about this that needs to get published, HA. But please trust me when I tell you this is my favorite purchase of 2019. It’s late but worth an honorable mention on this list!
I’ve been trying to convince everyone I know to buy this brush. You can see how curly my hair is here. You can see the magic it wields here. I originally bought it for $60, and now it’s on sale for as low as $42 at Target!
- LANEIGE Dream & Wonder Gift Set (Lip Mask). I fully anticipated these to be overrated. HOW??EV??ER?? It isn’t. The lip masks are fabulous and with the extra dry winter air and #masklife. So lip masks have been essential.
I often find that the lip masks are basically gussied up/overpriced Aquaphor. I am saved from the chapped-lip nightmare because these actively moisturize my lips. Plus, at under $30 they make great for stocking stuffers!
No Tye-Dye Today
I’ll keep making updates over the next week to my 2020 holiday gift guide if the sales extend, too. And I’ll add on if I remember something that I find valuable to share. But off the top of my head, these are good buys for the long haul–not just for the foreseeable trend.
And although I’m tempted to buy a tye-dye loungewear set, I find it more important than ever to invest in things that will be meaningful outside the context of 2020. I love a good trend, but it’s just not part of my vibe right now. Then again, who knows what the future holds ? . Happy shopping!