Real Life

Holiday Gift Ideas & GIVEAWAY!

Oh no! Is it Thanksgiving already!? We’re in the holidays!? Stop hyperventilating! The thing with holidays is, it’s meant to be a time to show people love – to gather round the table or fire or tree and share joy. Instead of of stressing about gifts, remember that it really is the thought that counts.

For us, this holiday season will be hard. It’s the first anniversary of our brother’s passing, and our focus is on spending time with loved ones. Of course we still give gifts, but we put deep thought into each. Rather than focus on things we focused on giving experiences. My sisters and I text up a storm ideas on how to gift “time” and events. Memories will last longer than a toy thrown in a closet and forgotten after a week of use.

We’ve done this before, previously giving donations or only handmade gifts. This year, if it’s an object or thing we’re giving, we’re doing so by supporting small businesses as much as possible. When you make a decision to shop with someone, a person whose face you see or know, it makes a difference in their lives. If you use the links on our blog, a small portion of your purchase helps our family. For that, we are so very, very grateful – and is the reason we are thanking you for being here with a GIVEAWAY at the end!

In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, we encourage you to shop small. Buy from independent shops, independent consultants, and fair trade businesses. And, failing that, we appreciate you using ours or another blogger’s links to support OUR small businesses ♥

For the Cook

1. Magic Mill Sous Vide Machine: Perfect for lots of precise cooking, but specifically we’ve been buying a lot of those Starbuck’s egg bites lately and this would be a great way to re-create them in your own home (you know, with loved ones around).

2. Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans for Instant Pot: So our Instant Pot is great for a lot of things, but steaming could definitely be improved. There’s no great way to keep your food out of the water! Luckily, these insert-able baskets do just that – so you can nourish your family and friends with healthy food without spending all day in the kitchen!

For the Gamer

3. What Do You Meme: A hilarious (and inappropriate) game that Stacy demoed one day at a game store and immediately had to have. If you love Cards Against Humanity you’ll love playing this at age-appropriate parties!

4. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: A cooperative deck building game (our favorite! Like Legendary!) for the Harry Potter fan in your life. Simple enough for preteens, but interesting enough for adults.

5. One Night Ultimate WerewolfThe boys current favorite, and a lot of fun for a big group. It’s quick, replayable and involves tricking your friends!

For the Tech Head

6. Amazon Echo: This gift seems the opposite of our “theme” this year – but honestly, our family has a ton of fun taking turns shouting, “Alexa!..” It’s not often you can find something to entertain your middle schooler boy, but he’s become the master of “ALEXA! Play [a really annoying song] from YouTube!” and getting us all giggling. Alexa is also awesome for turning on and off all the lights, setting timers, and playing our music. I’m sure there will be a crazy good Black Friday & Cyber Monday deal on it, too!

For your Little Geeks

7. Loot Crates: So you’ve probably heard of Lootcrate before, but we all have one and love it! Each of us has a focus (Stacy has a Harry Potter one and Matt has a Marvel one, for example) and it’s so exciting to get stuff you love in the mail! You can also find “crates” for lots of different things, Stacy recently found a “Rock Box” for our nephew who loves science. The awesome part of this gift is that kids get something that that keeps coming all year. This year we renewed Cole’s, so to give it as a gift we saved the most recent crate to wrap and put under the tree with a note that it was renewed. They’re not cheap, but our boys look forward to them every month and was the one thing Cole said he wanted this year!

Books We Love!

8. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage Volume 1 by Phillip Pullman: When Stacy found out that the author of her beloved His Dark Materials trilogy was coming out with a new book in that world, she freaked out. Lyra is back!

9. The Vision Volume 1: Little Worse than a Man by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta: Matt says this is the best comic series he’s read this year. It’s a thrilling, philosophic story told in two volumes about everyone’s favorite synthetic man, The Vision.

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinne: Cole and Finn LOVE this series and the newest one just came out!

11. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey: Wesley first chapter book series – he read this book (by himself!) and became OBSESSED with them. Little kid silliness about a dog policeman in comic book format, but challenging enough for your 7 year old.

For those that want to do good

12. Cuddle and Kind: Stacy was first introduced to these cute, snuggly, knit dolls, perfect for babies and little kids, when Primal Palate gifted them to A Tribe Beyond Blessed‘s baby shower. They were the perfect gift for the older sister and when we learned of the mission we fell in love! Every doll is handmade by fairly paid women in Peru, and then for every doll sold, ten meals are donated to hungry children! So you’ll give a present to the baby in your life, make sure women in Peru can provide for their babies, AND help feel ten babies with your purchase! What an amazing company!

13. Sseko Designs: Sseko is another company doing good on multiple levels! First of all, it is sold by independent consultants, so every purchase is going to supports someone’s small business. But the more impressive concept is that everything is fair trade goods handmade by women in East Africa and the company employs women in Uganda to help fund their college education. Plus the designs are really cool and fashionable!

14. NoonDay Collection: NoonDay Collection is a company that supports fair trade artisans all over the world. Not only is it supporting small worldwide businesses, but 10% of their sales also go to facilitate adoptions from impoverished countries and you’re supporting a small woman-owned business through their independent consultants.

15. Heifer International: Heifer has long been our favorite charity. We’ve donate several times over the years thanks to your support! They’re dedicated to donating animals to families so that they can turn that donation into sustainable farms in impoverished countries. And we’re all about small farms!

16. For those that want to gift healthy personal care items

As you know, we’re on a mission to help people take the toxic chemicals out of their skin and personal care products. We work with Beautycounter because their testing standards (for hormone disrputing chemicals and heavy metals) is unlike any other in the industry. Plus, the products are high-performance – so they feel like things you’d find at Sephora or department stores. Their mission for advocacy and education is something that has become very important to us as we learn more about how very harmful and directly linked to cancer and illness standard personal care products are.

Gifts with Purchase from Beautycounter

That said, in both October and earlier this month I already ran two big specials. So this weekend for the HUGE Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, I recommend you purchase through one of my team members.

Noelle from Coconuts and Kettlebells – spend $135 and get a free Charcoal Cleansing Bar ($24 value) or for orders over $250 get the Smokey Eye Trio with mascara, liquid eyeliner, and smokey shadow ($38 value). You must use THIS LINK and then fill out THIS FORM.

Vee from Authentically Nourished Vee – spend $75 and get a free lip gloss from the trios (you choose pinks or nudes) ($29 value) AND 10% off future purchase of $75+ OR for orders of $175 or more get 20% off a future purchase of $175+ AND the Highlighting Trio ($55 value). You must use THIS LINK.

In both cases, you can also sign up for Band of Beauty and get the Nourishing Cream Cleanser, too! It’s like Beautycounter’s version of Prime. Of course, these holidays deals are while supplies last; and all amounts are before you use Band of Beauty credit. If you’d like to use a Gift Certificate I gave you in October your purchase must be with me, and therefore will not qualify for Noelle or Vee’s additional offers.

If you want to get on board, the holiday season is a perfect time to do so because the holiday gifts are tremendous deals! Then you combine those sets with the great deals this weekend PLUS with the teams’ freebies and you’re getting HUGE values.

Wanna know more about the holiday gift sets? We recently did a video on our 7 favorite holiday items which you can view below.

Check it out. Plus, see all of the holiday items HERE.


The deal is simple: leave a comment on which of these items you would most like to give or receive this holiday season. We’ll pick a winner who will receive their item! Yup, THAT’S IT!


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  • Amy Cooley

    I’m interested in the Amazon Echo. My son just put it on his Christmas wishlist. Thanks!

  • Greg Davis

    I am interested in the Amazon Echo but the steamer baskets for my Instant Pot are a great idea! I will definitely have to look into them!

  • Suzanne Pals

    Omg I so want a sous vide machine!

  • Heather R.

    The Amazon Echo is on my wishlist. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Robin

    I’ve been eyeing the Loot crates for my boys but I would love the sous vide for myself!

  • Rebecca Richmond

    I would love the instant pot inserts!

  • Casandra Cole

    Great list! I’d love to win the Amazon Echo!

  • Chris Lynn

    I love this list and there are a few things I would love to gift and get, but I would love love to have the Magic Mill 9 Qt Sous Vide Machine. I’ve been eyeing this for awhile on amazon. Thank you for the chance to win and Happy Holidays 💗

  • Lewann

    This is an amazing list and it’s hard to pick just one thing! I would love to receive the stackable steamer for the instant pot. I have been looking at it for a while and it would help so much.
    Thank you for this giveaway!

  • Patti Gaffney Hamill

    Thank you!! We always try to get gifts that give back, this was helpful!!! I love the noonday collection!

  • Billie

    I would love the Echo. I never thought I would like it but decided it was pretty cool after I visited someone who has one. Thanks!

  • Olivia

    The Harry Potter gift would be my choice!!😍

  • Sara

    The book of dust!!! I freaked out about too.

  • snm1883

    I would love the Magic Mill Sous Vide Machine!

  • JM Davenport

    What great ideas! The loot crates would be my choice!

  • Michelle Clark

    I would love the steamer baskets. I would cook more of my veggies in the InstantPot with these.

  • Sarah Bartz

    What a great list! Loot crate is my choice.

  • Katie Lanier

    They all sound amazing! Love kitchen anything but even more love things that help others! Thank you guys!

  • Crea Moon

    Magic Mill 9 Qt Sous Vide Machine

    I want to try cooking steaks with it.

  • Amy

    We have to pick one! You guys are amazing. I love your family. I’m going with The echo, but the instant pot inserts are a very close second!

  • Marlene Laughter

    I would have to say it is hard to resist What do you Meme. I know I should say dog man for the seven year old, but adults need fun and laughs too. 🙂

  • Angela Scarlett Hutcherson

    I’m buying What Do You Meme for a gift! I would want a Loot Crate subscription. I’ve always wanted to do those but couldn’t justify the cost to myself because it’s nothing I really need….I just want it.

  • Kayla

    I would love to win anything from beautycounter!! I’ve been wanting to try for SO long! It’s time I switch over from my standard cosmetics – I’ve switched almost everything else in my life. Also, an instant pot is still on my list 😉 Such a great giveaway!

  • The Amazon Echo is my favorite.

  • Leah Duzy

    Would love the steamer insert pans!

  • Carly Stratton

    I would love the Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans for Instant Pot!

  • Suzan Q Green

    I would most like to give the Loot crate and would most like to receive BeautyCounter products. 🙂

  • manda

    I would like an Amazon Echo

  • Kylie

    4. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle..I’d love to say that I would get this for a child, but I would SO get this for my husband. We both read the HP series (for the first time!!!!) last summer and quickly became obsessed. We just had our first child, Bear, 4 weeks ago and his nursery has a loose HP theme! Happy Holidays

  • Lucy S

    They are all great! I think I would like to receive Beauty Counter products most.

  • Oakley Trubey

    Oh. My. All such great ideas! We have 8 kids, and aside from meals or getting out together, organized “family time” usually involves watching family movies. Games would be a phenomenal alternative. We would like to win the Harry Potter or Werewolf game.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Joanna Stonesifer

    Would love the Echo. My kids love playing with their cousins’ and I’d enjoy an easier way to play music in the house. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  • tammy k

    i would love to win . Magic Mill Sous Vide Machine. I luv to cook

  • Cindy Aiton

    I would choose the Amazon Echo for my mister and the Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans for Instant Pot for myself.


  • Shannon Grande Contrastano

    ooh, the steamer for the instant pot seems like a great idea!

  • Katie Brand

    I would get the Loot Crates for my kids, they are pretty dang amazing! My littlest also adores the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, it’s the only book series he’ll actually read and not just skim for funny pictures.

  • Pamila Parker

    I’m gifting instant pots for my children this year. The stackable steamer inserts would be the perfect accessory for them.

  • Heather Harris Jones

    Sous Vide!!!! I love those egg bites as well & always make a big breakfast on Christmas morning for family! This would be perfect!

  • EmilyGrace Jones

    I’d love the instant pot steamer insert – looks like the exact thing I’ve been wanting!

  • Jeanne Kurshoff

    I just got myself an Instant Pot and would love the steamer inserts!

  • Kristen Silvia

    I would give the Instant Pot steamer inserts to my friend battling Lupus, she needs the easy cooking when she can and she loves her Instant Pot to create AIP freezer meals.

  • Linda

    Well, Stacy, I have to go with the Sous Vide machine as well. I have been wanting to take the plunge (haha!) for some time now! Thanks for the chance to win one! All the best to you and yours!

  • Elizabeth D

    I would love to win the Magic Mill 9 Qt Sous Vide Machine!!

  • Danielle Holbrook

    #2! Steamer inserts for the InstantPot please! Brilliant. I always love to see your guys’ recommendations.

  • Alex

    I’d love some Beautycounter products! I haven’t tried them yet because I’ve balked at the price… but maybe once I tried them I’d find out they’re worth it!

  • Josephine Perrucci

    I would love the Magic Mill Sous Vide!!!!!

  • Angela Hendricks

    I would love to receive number 4 the Harry Potter game! My son would love it and it would be a great Christmas gift for him!

  • LivingforChrist777

    I’d love to win the Amazon Echo.

  • Dionna Eshleman

    This gift guide is great! They are all great (LOVE the Heifer International) but I personally would love to be gifted a beauty counter charcoal holiday set. I need that in my life!

  • Julie McNamara Holden

    Would love the Loot Crate! 💟💜💚

  • Rust

    I would love to try the Beautycounter products!

  • I would la la LOVE to win the Amazon Echo for my daughter who has been wishing for one for months. Happy holidays! Cheers!
    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

  • Annamarie Voss

    I would love the receive the Beautycounter products, I have used their lotion and love it.

  • shannon

    Noonday all the way!

  • Marlena U.

    The Loot Crate for my husband – he’s so hard to buy for and this looks perfect!

  • Stephanie

    I would love #7 Lootcrate and choose one for my husband or my toddler. Thanks!

  • Carolyn Boyd

    I would love to win #1! I’d give it to my husband so he make some yummy food for us 😂

  • Chantelle Walker

    #1! the Magic Mill 9 Qt Sous Vide Machine 🙂 It would go to my mom your looooooves to cook <3

  • Carol Roberts clark

    Amazon Echo is what id love to get for christmas

  • Sarah R Lavigne

    Ware wolf game sounds fun 🙂

  • Julie Rod.

    absolutely love with all of the eye shadows!

  • C.O.

    The Sous Vide machine!

  • Julie (julimi)

    The amazon echo!

  • Linda

    Everything looks great! Would love the echo!

  • Kelly M.

    I would love the Echo!

  • Jessica

    I love the concept behind Cuddle + Kind!

    • Congratulations, Jessica! You are our winner! Please contact us via email so that we can work out delivery of your prize!

      • Jessica

        So SO excited! E-mailed you!

        • Amy


  • lewaletzko

    We would love to try the Echo

  • The Amazon Echo for my hubby would be so fantastic to have. We bought our first house last year and he is on a mission to make it a smart home. I have not had the funds to get him a gift this year and I am not sure if I can even make it happen so winning this would be a blessing. Thanks for the chance!

  • Michel J.

    The echo would be so great!

    mjamestribe19 at gmail dot com

  • Nate Dahl

    A loot crate of marvel items would be a HUGE hit in my house!

  • Linda

    I’d love the echo

  • Jeanne Kurshoff

    I’d love the steamer inserts for my new Instant Pot!

  • Annika Gingerich

    I would love the Magic Mill Slow cooker. It looks like a great kitchen gadget.

  • Katie JCMercyGrace

    well, I don’t know about your particular pics for this year. I’d still don’t have an instant pot (Don’t hit me please! ;~) ) But that’s not on your list, so …
    some skin care products (Personal Care). Moisturizer would be wonderful! and or I’d try some deodorant and or toothpaste.