November 29, 2020

2020 Carrie's Favorite Things

a curated gift guide of 60 things we love

A (Hopefully) Different Spin on Gift Guides

Hi friends –

Can you believe it’s going to be December this week? It’s been the longest year ever, but yet it still seems unfathomable that the end is near.

Now, if you’ve been around here a while, you know I pride myself on taking a bit of a contrarian approach to blogging. I despise doing what everyone else does. That’s why I’ve sworn off posting about Nordstrom’s big summer sale and why I vacillate from year to year on doing gift guides.

During this time of year, there is no shortage of bloggers throwing gift guides at you… Sometimes, there are so many links being thrown around that it feels rather mindless. Plus, many of the gift guides look the same.

Well, based on your feedback on Instagram, I did decide to dip my toe in the gift guide waters this year. But hopefully, I’ve approached it with a different perspective. Admittedly, what started out as a list of my favorite things did somewhat devolve into gift guides in a way.

But nevertheless, I hope you can read and sense the thought, intentionality, and authenticity with which this guide was put together. And I hope you find unique and meaningful gift ideas that emphasize thoughtfulness over mindless consumerism.

Without further delay, here are a few of my favorite things…


Stylish Gifts for Her

These are the gifts that will elevate her style in a colorful, joyful way.

1 – Halogen Crewneck Cashmere Sweater in bright stripes

100% cashmere on sale for 40% off bringing it to less than $60… What’s not to love? I just ordered this for myself, given that I’m living in sweaters and leggings these days.

2 – Joy Creative Shop rainbow personalized stationery

This is a small business that I have known and loved for years. You just can’t beat her colorful customizable designs. Besides the stationery, I also love these family stickers and this notepad.

3 – Kendra Scott Elle open frame crystal drop earrings

Admittedly, I’ve gotten pretty predictable with my earrings this year. I wear the Kendra Scott rose gold Elle earrings almost daily. They are a beautiful everyday option.

I love them so much that I couldn’t resist this colorful festive option – particularly on sale for only $40!

4 – APL women’s TechLoom wave in pink leopard

I’ve been long admiring APL athletic shoes, and this irresistible pink leopard pair finally made me take the plunge. On the off chance that pink leopard isn’t your thing, they come in a plethora of colors.

Pro tip: they offer a 10% discount code when you sign up for the newsletter on their website.

5 – Talbot’s multi-stripe scarf

In my estimation, you can’t go wrong with a stylish scarf as a wintertime gift. It’s a one-size-fits-all lovely option – particularly this one that’s 40% off bringing it to only $40!

6 – The Daily Edited phone case

No matter your phone style, your font preferences, or your color choices, The Daily Edited has a phone case for you! Seriously, these are the only phone cases I have used for years. The quality and the personalization options can’t be beaten. You’ll love supporting this female-founded small business

7 – Poolside Teddy Tote in indigo blue

Poolside is a female-founded company I’ve fallen in love with over the last year. They are known for their sunny-weather products. But these cuddly soft totes made of sherpa fleece are perfect for winter months. If the blue is a little too colorful for you, it also comes in a neutral cafe au lait color.

On a related note, they also have the most 2020 gift option available: a mask basket. How perfect would this be to put in your entryway or mudroom?

8 – J.Crew fuzzy slide slippers

This idea could have gone in the next section as a cozy gift, but they are stylish too, right? In a 2020 stay-at-home way. Haha.

These fuzzy slide slippers come in four colors, and they are currently 50% off making them only $25!

9 – Golden Thread ombre rainbow diamond and sapphire heart necklace

Splurge alert! Guys, I know this has been a tough year. In fact, we are on a limited budget ourselves.

But if perhaps you are celebrating something especially special this year, feel free to pass this gift idea on to your significant other. This ombre rainbow diamond and sapphire heart necklace is definitely on my wishlist! And it’s currently 30% off!!!

If a splurge is not in the cards this year, Golden Thread also offers more accessible options like this dainty rainbow eternity ring, this rainbow heart ring, and this rainbow baguette necklace.

Comforting Gifts for Her

Consider these gifts that are cozy and pampering and generally lend a sense of comfort doing these unusual times.

10 – Lollia bubble bath

For years, this has been my go-to bubble bath! I purchase the “relax” option that comes packaged like a bottle of wine. Uncorking the bottle feels so luxurious. I like the subtle scent with hints of vanilla, honey, and lavender. At only $34, it makes a great upscale-feeling gift option.

11 – La Mer renewal oil

In terms of skincare, I keep my routine very simple. While I use a few drugstore products, I also splurge on just a few higher-end products. And La Mer renewal oil is one of those.

At over $100, it is a splurge. But it is indeed a decadent indulgence the gift recipient is sure to appreciate.

12 – Vinglace wine chiller

Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about Vinglace over the last few years. Did you know that they are a Houston-based small business? My favorite color is this copper, though it comes in other colors as well.

Gift idea: gift this Vinglace chiller along with your favorite bottle of wine.

13 – Lake Pajamas Pima long nightgown in hydrangea

These pajamas have developed quite a cult following – and rightfully so! I was gifted my first piece (the Pima robe in lily) shortly after giving birth to Elle. And I was a convert. The fabric is so soft, and the quality is so great.

As a tall woman, I’ve grown partial to their long nightgowns, and I just ordered this one in hydrangea blue during the Black Friday sale. I’m anticipating lounging in it a lot after our son is born.

14 – La Prairie supreme balm cleanser

Another skincare splurge, but hear me out… La Prairie is the absolute pinnacle of skincare in my book. With their signature caviar products, they have taken skincare to the ultimate luxurious level.

Relatively speaking, though, this La Prairie cleansing balm is on the lower end of their price range. I use it regularly, and I love the way it feels going onto my skin and the way it makes my skin feel afterward.

15 – Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Robe

Okay, I told you I wouldn’t include the basic Barefoot Dreams blankets that everyone and their dog is pushing on you. But I made no such promise about the Barefoot dreams robe. Ha.

Priced under $100, this robe which comes in ten different colors is sure to be a welcomed gift!

16 – Goop Beauty ultimate dry brush

When it comes to self-care, I keep things pretty simple and basic. But dry brushing is one practice I’ve adopted over the last several years – and grown to love!

At only $20, you can’t go wrong with this gift idea!

17 – Bearaby cotton napper weighted blanket 

Weighted blankets: a relatively new phenomenon that has really taken off during this pandemic shutdown of 2020. The options are seemingly endless! I’ve tried quite a few, and this one is hands-down my favorite. I like that not only does it serve the function of a weighted blanket, but it also looks nice as an on-trend chunky throw blanket in your home.

18 – Goop microderm instant glow exfoliator

One more skincare indulgence: When I want to scrub away the ickiness of the day, nothing does the job better than this exfoliator!

Shop these plus a few bonus ideas here: 

Gift Ideas for Little Girls

As I shop for Elle, I am really emphasizing quality over quantity these days.

19 – Hollow Woodworks personalized maple puzzle stool bench

When we moved into our new home, we organized Elle’s closet in such a way that she could get herself dressed in the morning. To accomplish that, she needed a step stool to reach some hanging clothes.

And this made the perfect step stool! It doubles as a name puzzle. So cute! She loves it.

20 – Golden Thread pink heart-shaped jewelry making kit

Elle loves making jewelry! At less than $10 on sale, this personalized kit is the perfect option.

If your girls are slightly older, check out these other options.

21 – Meri Meri wooden dolly bed

We recently got Elle’s big girl bed all set up, and it is a house frame style. So, I think she will enjoy this matching doll bed.

Otherwise, I probably would have opted for this one or this one.

22 – E&E teepees

After our photoshoot and play session with Slumber Wonders, I realized how much Elle might enjoy a teepee / play tent.

While the pink teepee is currently sold out, keep an eye out for restocks.

23 – Great Pretenders neon rainbow tutu set

Dress up is a popular activity around here these days. At $22, these rainbow wings and matching tutu are sure to be a hit!

24 – Aeromax junior astronaut suit with embroidered cap

Speaking of dress-up, I love this option — a little off the beaten path of fairies and princesses! Plus, we Houstonians love anything NASA related.

25 – Pottery Barn Kids farmhouse play kitchen

Again, pretend play is dominating around our house these days! Elle has an active imagination. We haven’t yet purchased a play kitchen for her, but I’ve seen her gravitate to them at friends’ houses.

If the farmhouse is not quite your style, explore tons of other options. I was a bit up in the air about exactly which style to choose myself, but the farmhouse kitchen is on sale for $200 off!

26 – Grace & James custom knit sweater

While I don’t typically splurge on toddler clothes, this handmade customized and personalized name sweater is too good to pass up! You can pick whatever colors you wish!

27 – Pottery Barn Kids Westport dollhouse

We recently saw this dollhouse in store, and Elle fell in love.

When family members ask what to get her, I’m planning to refer them to some of the wooden dollhouse accessories like this family, this living room set, this bedroom set, and this kitchen set.

28 – Pottery Barn Kids anywhere chair

If your young child doesn’t yet have a PB Kids anywhere chair, this is a no-brainer. My parents got Elle this one several years ago, and she loves it.

29 – Lovevery buddy stroller

In full disclosure, Lovevery recently gifted this stroller to Elle.

And I couldn’t have been more impressed with it! There’s practically no assembly required. It pops out of the box almost ready to go. Elle now insists that this stroller goes everywhere with us!

30 – Janod little miss vanity

If you are looking for a gift for a toddler girl, look no further! This wooden makeup set and makeup bag is absolutely perfect.

A friend gave it to Elle a year or so ago. And she immediately loved it, and she still loves it! Great quality for the price.

Gift Ideas for Baby Boys

As we prepare for the arrival of our baby, my mind is understandably focused on finding good baby deals.

31 – Monica + Andy mini first year box in blue

I just placed a big Monica + Andy order this weekend! I love the organic cotton — it’s so soft on a baby’s skin. And their sale makes their products even more attractive.

If the mini box is above your price point, browse the individual items or smaller sets like the hospital cuddle box (which I love!).

32 – Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

You guys – I cannot recommend this enough! It was atop my list of newborn essentials when Elle was born.

It never goes on sale! But I found it marked down here. But act fast. Earlier today, it was marked down $100. Now, it is only marked down $50. But if you can get it on sale at all, jump at the opportunity. Browse more Doona options here.

33 – Janie & Jack baby loafer crib shoe

I know, I know… shoes are not essentials for babies. But these loafers are just too darn cute, especially on sale for only $15!

34 – Jellycat Fuddlewuddle Puppy Stuffed Animal

I quickly learned when expecting Elle that Jellycat stuffed animals are far and away the cutest and softest stuffed animals! You can’t go wrong with any of them.

35 – Grace & James custom knit sweater

See number 26. You can definitely expect to see my kids matching in these sweaters.

36 – Modern Blocks custom name blocks

I first purchased these when Elle was born to spell her name. They have been so special and held up so well that I purchased a new set for our baby boy.

37 – Janie & Jack baby stripe cardigan

Why does the image of my baby boy in this cardigan make me giggle inside? Too cute for words! On sale for under $40.

38 – west elm x pbk tweed sherpa baby blanket

I’m not gonna lie – I’m a sucker for baby blankets! Ha. And I love this tweed sherpa baby blanket. It comes in five different colors.

39 – Janie & Jack tropical floral poplin shirt

I’m taking full advantage of online sales and planning for warmer days with this baby Hawaiian shirt!

40 – Tender Leaf Toys Mountain Pass Set

I love wooden toys (as opposed to plastic ones) for the kids. This mountain stack will look good on the baby’s shelf until he’s ready to play with it. It’s only $18.

41 – Converse Chuck Taylor all-star crib shoes

See number 33. Again, with the baby shoes. But who can resist these?? Only $25.

42 – Pottery Barn Kids plush rocking animals

Every little child needs a rocking animal toy, right? While I’m not sure which exactly to get our baby boy, this giraffe is super cute! But I also love the rocking horse and rocking elephant.

Shop these plus a few bonus ideas here: 

Gift Ideas for Him

Why are guys so hard to buy for? I’ve tried to steer clear of the cliche gifts, and there are a few that I’m super excited to share with you!

43 – UGG Robinson robe

Okay, this one might be a bit basic, but if your guy needs a robe upgrade, check out this one. Available in three colors.

44 -Mark & Graham nomad rugged case for AirPods

Everyone seems to have AirPods on their gift guides for him. But what about an AirPod case? This handsome personalized AirPod case is a great option!

45 – Hypervolt Plus vibration massage device

I have to admit that I struggled with where to put this on my list of favorite things. Because in reality, Mark bought this for me. And I could not love it more!!!

Most massage products fall short for me, as I love a deep massage. But the  Hypervolt Plus is simply amazing! Yes, it’s a splurge. But it’s currently on sale for $100 off, so that helps.

46 – Gray Malin golf picture frame

If your guy is a golfer who appreciates art and travel and photography, this Gray Malin golf photo frame is a winner.

47 – Titleist Pro V1 personalized golf balls

If your guy is a golfer, he likely is always in need of new golf balls. These Titleist Pro V1 balls are the most popular in the game. Even better: get them personalized with a special message for your dad or husband. This is a gift that’s sure to please!

48 – LEGO block stadiums

Okay, this might be my favorite gift for guys! So novel and so fun. This Etsy shop produces mini replicas of your favorite stadiums – from college football to professional baseball.

49 – Tom Dixon copper whiskey glasses

These are perfect for the sophisticated whiskey drinker in your life. Or, if your guy is more of a martini guy, check out these martini glasses.

50 – Chanel bleu de Chanel eau de parfum pour homme

My guy wears this scent, and I love it. This travel set is a great price for anything Chanel!

51 – Trivial Pursuit glass edition

If your man is a fan of family game night, upgrade his game selection with this fancy glass edition of the classic Trivial Pursuit.

A bonus idea for him

If your man is a meat-loving guy, consider this:

Good Ranchers meat subscription boxes.

We tried these a few months ago (see our Fourth of July celebration here), and we really enjoyed the ease and convenience of being able to eat a delicious dinner as a family a few nights a week. Grab one of their four curated subscription boxes to stock your freezer (or someone on your holiday list) and use code BLOGGERS25 for $25 off.

Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

Finally, allow me to wrap this up with an assortment of gift ideas for the home, for the whole family, or maybe for someone specific on your list.

52 – Vitamix professional-grade blender

On sale for $60 off! Our go-to for daily smoothies.

53 – etu Home charcuterie boards

Whether you go for the classic round or the Christmas tree shapes, you’ll love using these boards time and time again.

54 – Gold lucite dominoes

Elevate family game night with these golden dominoes.

55 – Lucite jumbling tower

It’s like Jenga, but cooler. Get this game in colorful lucite.

56 – Hanna Andersson matching family pajamas

Really, though, is it even Christmas unless you don matching pajamas as a family? This candy cane print is my favorite of theirs this year.

57 – Minted heart snapshot photo art

Just as personalized gifts always feel so thoughtful, photo gifts always feel very sentimental.

58 – Smeg matte champagne toaster

If it’s time to upgrade your family’s toaster, consider doing so in style with this Smeg toaster on sale for $50 off. The champagne color is fabulous!

59 – Mark & Graham leopard throw blanket with fringe

Blankets always make a nice gift option for the holidays. I like that this one comes in three colors of leopard print, can be monogrammed, and is less than $80.

60 – Nest holiday & birchwood pine PURA diffuser set

Finally, Nest holiday candles are always on my holiday gift guides. In normal years, they are my go-to hostess gifts.

However, this season, I’m giving this new option a try. This smart home fragrance diffusion device fills your home with the bestselling Nest festive scents.

Shop these plus a few bonus ideas here: 

In Closing

There you have it — my favorite things for 2020!

If I knew how long it would take me to compile all of this, I probably would have opted out. Ha!

So, truly, I hope you find it of value as you shop for gifts (or for yourself!) this holiday season. Please know that I have put a lot of thought, effort, and intentionality into this.

You’re in good hands with Carrie’s Favorite Things! If you like what you see, pass it along! Send it to friends, pin it, post it on Facebook… These are all easy and free ways you can support me. Thanks, friends!

More color, please!


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