Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Practical Gift Ideas

For me, the perfect gift has to meet 2 criteria. First, it should be somewhat practical. I love receiving (and giving) items that serve a purpose. Second, it should be something that I wouldn't have necessarily bought for myself. Just frivolous enough that it feels special, while still being practical. Make sense? haha.

Over the years Adam has mastered the craft of picking out gifts for me. He knows how practical I am, and he gets excited when he finds something that I would never have found or bought on my own.

I put together a list of items I have received or bought over the years that meet my criteria. Need some last-minute gift ideas for the practical person in your life? Here are a few ideas!

(Feel free to click on the title of any item and it will direct you to the product on Amazon. Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)

3-Tier Cooling Rack

I can still remember how proud Adam was when he got these for me one year for Christmas. They are great quality cooling racks. The neat thing about them is that they stack on top of each other, so it clears up counter space when you're baking. I use these all the time, especially when I'm making tons of cookies, like right now! I've had these for at least 5 years and they are still perfect.

Hand Vacuum
I bought this for myself from a friend last year, and I love it more with each passing day. Seriously, it's kind of fun to use a dustbuster! Crumbs on the couch? Spilled cheerios in the kids' beds? Sometimes it's easier to grab this hand vacuum than hauling out the full-sized vacuum. This has great suction as long as I keep the filter cleaned out, and I appreciate that it just sits on a charger, rather than requiring batteries. Bonus: My kids love using it!

Salad Dressing Bottle
This little salad dressing bottle is great! If you know someone who enjoys being healthy or making things from scratch in the kitchen, this is the perfect inexpensive gift. It contains recipes along the side of the bottle for different salad dressings. Every recipe I have tried has been delicious, and the lines on the bottle make it easy to measure. I went to a Christmas party this past weekend and I had to bring a favorite item for under $10 for a White Elephant gift exchange. You better believe I brought this!

Garage Parking Sensor

Adam and I got one of these a few years back for my Dad. The one we bought was from Brookstone, but it is currently out of stock. This one on Amazon looks very similar. This is a dual sensor, but you can also buy a single one. For years, my Dad used a tennis ball hanging from a string to help direct him where to park in the garage. When Adam saw this, he knew it would be perfect for my Dad, since he appreciates more practical gifts like I do. It sends down a laser beam that you adjust when you install it. Drive in and line up the beam on your windshield (or wherever), and bingo, you have parked perfectly in your garage!
Bluetooth Shower Speaker

This gift is more frivolous than practical, but still a really cool gift! I gave one of these to Adam a few years ago. It was a perfect gift because Adam takes 2 showers every day, and he loves listening to music. You sync it to your phone, and it allows you to play music in the shower. And obviously it's waterproof....so see, it's quite practical!

NoseFrida Snotsucker
Okay this is definitely kind of gross, but I LOVE it! If you have a baby or young child who ever gets sick and congested, you NEED this. It would also make a great practical baby shower gift. This is so much less invasive than using a bulb syringe. You put the blue tube up to the child's nose and then suck on the red mouthpiece. No, you are not sucking snot into your mouth. It works so well! Trust me, I've sucked a snotty nose or two in my life.

Stitch Fix, Trendsend, Trunk Club
A gift card to any one of these styling services would be so nice! They are practical because everyone needs clothes, right? But at the same time they feel a bit frivolous and luxurious because who really needs their own personal stylist? Such a fun gift. Plus, have you ever tried to pick out clothes to give as a gift? It's really hard!

Ground Meat Chopper
My Mom gave this to me last year, and it gets used a lot in our house. I cook ground meat at least once a week, if not more. When you hold it vertically, it allows you to chop the meat really quickly. Then you can use the red rubber spatula part to stir the meat. This is one of those really useful kitchen gadgets that you don't necessarily need, but they make cooking more enjoyable!

Adam got this for me last year at Christmas and I immediately knew it would be a new favorite of mine. I used it all the time during the summer, when I preferred my coffee and tea cold. You simply put coffee grounds or loose tea in the mesh filter, pour in the water, and refrigerate. Pouring my cold brew coffee out of my mason jar in the morning just felt kind of fun and special. I also love how cost effective it is to use your own ground coffee, rather than buying bottled cold brew coffee.

What types of gifts do you like to give or receive? What is your favorite practical gift?

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