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The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

This is a flat lay of Adaleta Avdic's holiday tablescape for 2020.

The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

November 22, 2021

 

It's that marvelous time of year, and I couldn't be more excited. Before I met Aaron, I didn't really have a holiday tradition, and there was certainly no tree in my life. Over the last decade, I've really gotten more and more into the holidays, and I love this time of years. Nothing more sad than the 1st of January because Christmas (and any other holiday you celebrate) + New Years Eve are now behind us, which is deflating. This gift guide is going to be last year's guide, but on steroids because we're going to dive deeper. When it comes to holiday shopping, I want to be helpful. What would help me as a consumer? Yes cozy socks and blankets are something everyone loves, but let's go even further than that. What's a good outfit for a girls' holiday dinner? The family Christmas Eve dinner? Hanukkah? I love focusing in on the details, so you're in for a treat. Let's do this!

This is a collage showcasing all 3 elements of the holiday OOTD.

The Ultimate Holiday Look

Whether you're going to a girls' holiday dinner (or apps and drinks) this is such a chic look because a long sweater dress is so classy. Not to mention it has you looking super dressy, which we need after a few years off the dressiness.

This bodycon dress, mixed with these white boots and this gold hair clip are beyond. See my clip below during my New York City trip.

@adaatudenot me in the bathroom taking photos & video of my dress ##ootnight

♬ original sound - Sarah

The Holiday Cocktail (for him)

Now I'm not saying whiskey is just for men (trust me I love my fair share of whiskey drinks) but I haven't met a man on the planet who wouldn't enjoy sipping slowly on an old fashioned. Here's the recipe, so you know what to make him to convince him to go to the holiday party, maybe add that necklace into his cart unsuspecting. Just trying to help you out sis. Thank me later!

Ingredients:

Dash of Angostura Bitters
1 teaspoon agave (or sugar water)
Orange peel
2 ounces bourbon whiskey of your choice

Instructions:

Pump 2-3 dashes of bitters into a mixing glass

Add a teaspoon of agave (or sugar water)

Add 2 ounces of bourbon whiskey

Add 1 ice cube and stir the drink with a large spoon or mixing utensil

Add a pinch of water (~2 teaspoons)

Place a large ice cube in a whiskey glass

After stirring, pour the liquid over your large ice cube

Top with the 2 amaretto cherries

Voìla!

For the skincare guru

This section could be it's own 5,000 word post but we're going to keep it briefer than usual because not everyone is as obsessed with beauty as I am.

Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads: At this point, do I even need to explain these?

Caudalie Detox Mask: It's a great way to pull the impurities from the pores and really get the dirt out.

Dr. Jart Moisturizing Cream: A classic. It's very hydrating.

Sunday Riley Acne Set: Since I've been dealing with so much acne lately, this set was top of the list for me.

There's millions more when it comes to skincare, but I need to tone it down.

 

For the skincare guru

This section could be it's own 5,000 word post but we're going to keep it briefer than usual because not everyone is as obsessed with beauty as I am.

1. Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads: At this point, do I even need to explain these?

2. Caudalie Detox Mask: It's a great way to pull the impurities from the pores and really get the dirt out.

3. Dr. Jart Moisturizing Cream: A classic. It's very hydrating.

4. Sunday Riley Acne Set: Since I've been dealing with so much acne lately, this set was top of the list for me.

There's millions more when it comes to skincare, but I need to tone it down.

For the hair queen

While I am the farthest thing on this earth from a hair expert, I asked one of my best friends Hayley for her recommendations. Her hair is so long, healthy and stunning so she was the perfect person to ask since she actually does her hair on the regular. 

Dyson Airwrap: Yes it's worth it.

Hair tools were top of her list. She said the Revlon Hair Dryer Brush is one of the most popular tools, she's not wrong. With over 334,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.5 stars, it is one of the most popular devices likely keeping Revlon in the hair game. For a little more, she said Hot Tools Voluminizer and Hair Dryer is a better one if you can spend the extra funds. 

While my T3 Curling Iron are having a fight right now, it is a beautiful gift for someone who knows how to use it. Not to mention any T3 device is incredible (I've been told the blow dryer is not the best but curling irons and wands are 10/10.) It is a beautiful gift because the white and gold is just stunning, but their tools are really nice. For someone who is just starting with hair, you'd want to give them a curling wand (not an iron) because the iron is a lot more difficult for curling but it does give you the option to do both ironing and curling. If someone just curls, then the wand is better. 

Next we want to discuss a few brands that are very hot right now. Olaplex is top of the line, and I love shopping Sephora or Sephora Inside JCPenney since they're always stocked. A set of shampoo and conditioner is a great add-on to the hot tool, but you have to throw in the bonding oil

And then to really tie this all in together (pun intended) we want to snag some fun hair ties and hair clips. I am so happy that hair clips are back. You can get them almost anywhere (Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, etc) and there's so many cute options. When it comes to hair ties, try to do silk ones and not the old school ones that fit your hair out every time you take the tie out. Try The Hair Edit or silk. The Hair Edit even has some nice brushes which is another great add into the mix.

For the Hostess

Sometimes the one who loves to have you over for drinks also needs a little something special, right? Here's a few options that not only will make your host happy but could be useful for your next happy hour at their house.

There's nothing more appealing than Crate and Barrel's entertaining section, because it's always so spot on. Makes me want to invite everyone I know and have a little party. 

Bringing a bottle of wine is always a good idea, but something unique that I've seen trending is a customized charcuterie board. Whether you buy the board at Crate and then customize elsewhere is up to you, but it's a unique idea for someone who constantly is putting out snacks for guests. Not to mention cute and chic wine glasses are a must. Try to get at least 4 so the host doesn't end up with 1-2 odd ones in their collection. A collection of at least 4 is a key.

For the Bookworm

When it comes to the bookworm, aka me, there's so many great gifts to give. A lot of these can apply to those who just love to be comfy at home.

When it comes to reading, you want to have a comfortable ambiance, which is why candles are always perfect. My personal obsession is Hotel Lobby Candle, but they are mostly sold out of the holiday candles (they absolutely killed it.) I found a few of their 'Cabin' scent available for you. They are 100% soy wax, made in the US and the aesthetic is extra chic.

You can never go wrong with a blanket, because cozying up with a book means a blanket or cozy socks are a must. Slippers fit right into the mix beautifully. 

Now if you really know a reader, there's nothing better than a Kindle. The newest generation of the Paperwhite just launched. These is my favorite device, after my phone and is easier on the eyes than a phone screen.

Book subscriptions give more options to read on top of the usual favorite genres. Book of the Month is one that comes to mind that I've tested in the past. I just signed up for an annual book club through Literati. Not to mention we pay for a Kindle Unlimited subscription too. As a side note, some new Kindle purchases come with a 3-6 month free Kindle Unlimited subscription which is a huge win; try to look for that deal because it definitely worth it IMO.

For the Fitness Queen

I will say my life does not revolve around fitness, but it is a part of my life. With that said, these are some incredible things for someone who is into an active lifestyle.

When it comes to being trendy, anything from Lululemon and A Lo Yoga is approved. I personally love Spiritual Gangster because the activewear is just so fun. Sports bra and leggings are pretty easy to shop for, since there's usually 3 sizes. Small medium and large. When in doubt, I would grab mediums and include a gift receipt. 

Since most activities require being outside and on the move (walking, running, biking, HIIT, etc) I find that having headphones of some kind is the one. With the newest generation of AirPods out, this is a great gift that's under $200 that most fitness people will love. 

The other element of a fitness routine is supplements. Now that I'm 30, I'm always amazed it took me until my late 20s to add in any supplements. A few of the brands I truly love are Gangster Chic, Arrae, mindbodygreen, Good Faith, and Moon Juice. Try to snag a holiday gift set, or go for the basics (magnesium, ashwagandha, vitamin C, fiber, etc.) Depending on who you're shopping for, you might see they need one thing over another but getting a set like this one is an amazing amazing gift.

For the Veganista

This category was compiled by Ashley Farrar. Make sure to show her some love on Instagram. She is the vegan in my life, so it was only fitting that she send over her recommendations.

"With the holidays rapidly approaching, I've compiled some gift ideas based off of my favorite products and brands for vegans and those who are focused on cruelty free and sustainable brands in your life." 

 

Makeup

A few of the best brands with makeup offerings are Thrive Causemetics, Kosas, Algenist and Laneige.

Mini Mascara Set of 3

Eye Candy Brow Gel, Mascara and Limited Edition Exclusive Eyeshadow Set

Vegan Collagen 4 Step

Travel Size Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize

Dream Team Lip Set

 

Fashion

A great sustainable jewelry brand is Ana Luisa.

Favorite ring

When it comes to bags, House of Want (HOW) is the one.

The perfect gift

The referral links for HOW above will give you an automatic 10% off, and if you use the code “AFARRARI” you will get 20% off. You're welcome!

This is a close up shot of the Studio 33 shoulder bag in the brown shade.

For the cozy introvert

Aka all of us, let's be honest. Who doesn't like snuggling up at home? If you tell me no, you're lying to yourself.

Similar to the bookworm, lots of candles, blankets, mugs and slippers. But let's dig a little deeper for this one. 

The last few days Aaron has been working to make the house even more cozy than usual, with some unique additions. LED light strips that can give your house a serious new ambiance. You can change the colors, make them flash, brighten or darken them. Options are endless, and they're super easy to install. We added them into the kitchen under cabinets, around the couch and in areas that are dark. In addition to that lighting strip, added LED lightbulbs that are compatible with Alexa and Google are a must.

Home decor is always a great idea. Think coffee table books (you go the fashion boujee route or practical like this one for us in the desert) dried floral arrangements, fireplace tools (if the person has a standard fireplace.)

Think of all the things that make a home cozy, warm and pleasant to be inside; these are the things you'd want to give someone who loves their home and enjoy interior decor.

This is a flat lay image of Adaleta Avdic's arm, featuring Ring Conicerge jewelry and new holiday nails.
This is a collage featuring 6 different gifts perfect for the moms on your holiday shopping list.

For the Mom

While I am no expert, a few of my girlfriends did give me the inside scoop on what is practical and going to be used by moms with kids of varying ages.

BEIS has the cool factor, and I want all of their bags but have you seen the cool diaper backpacks? Evidently backpacks are where it's at for moms, so this is the one to grab. There's even a dad version. Each mom friend told me about "mom brain" which means you lose a lot of things you normally wouldn't. There's just a lot going through your mind at any given moment (I mean you're trying to keep a tiny human alive) and misplacing things becomes inevitable. With that said, an AirTag or a tracker of some kind could be a good add into the mix.

Anything from Barefoot Dreams is going to be a win. Socks, blankets, cardigans, etc. 

Not to mention a little self care situation for the mom. Oftentimes moms are always taking care of everyone else, and they don't take time for themselves. Not here! I can tell you now that I will be selfish and take time for myself, mom or not and I encourage every mom to fight for her peace and quiet. In order to be a good parent, you need to make sure your cup is full too. Sleepless nights, malnourishment, lack of hydration, etc is going to help anyone you're trying to take care of so you need to do the basics and then some. It's always bothered me when people say "wait til you have kids, you won't be able to shower." My response "the hell I won't lol." Especially with how sweaty I am, there's no way on this earth I won't be showering once a day. With that said, let's talk about a few self care options:

Bath bombs

Skincare set

Jewelry (I don't care what anyone says but jewelry is self care, especially if you enjoy jewelry)

Finally if you're shopping for a mom, get her a massage at a local spa. Cover her mani and pedi for her next appointment. Services like this are what we all want, and it will get used. Unlike the 15th wine opener in our cupboards (slightly an inside joke but my mother in law gave us wine openers every year for like 5 years for both Aaron and I and we eventually were like we have too many wine openers please stop that.)

For the man in your life

Sometimes the most difficult person to shop for is your best friend, aka the man in your life. 

An annual subscription to ESPN+ which is fairly affordable but gives access to all kinds of sports. Additionally if your man loves UFC, you could give him an "I Owe You" for the next UFC fight he wants to watch via Pay Per View. To add to this mix, men love bigger TVs in better quality. This is the one we just snagged for Black Friday.

Two (2) tickets to a comedy show. For example, Aaron loved when we went to see Jim Gaffigan and it was a fun little trip for us to Phoenix.  

What's your favorite gift to give, and receive?

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