Little Luxuries: Holiday Gift Guide 2014

With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us are thinking about gifts for our loved ones.  I have decided to share my 3-part holiday gift guide again this year with posts broken down by price range.  These gift guides include some of my top picks for both guys and ladies as well as gender neutral gifts.  This week I am sharing gifts that fall under the $20-$50 range, which I’ve dubbed Little Luxuries.  These are items that I think many people would not necessarily splurge on for themselves but might enjoy being gifted.  I am also including some of my personal favorite host/hostess gifts in this price range.


For Her:

1. Origins Mini Mask Marvels – I have used and loved Origins skincare products for years.  This gift set is a great way to try out three very different kinds of masks, including the Clear Improvement Active charcoal mask “to clear pores,” Drink Up Intensive overnight mask “to quench skin’s thirst,” and Out of Trouble 10 minute mask “to rescue problem skin.”  Suggested Retail: $22.50

2. Formula X The X Look – I like to include a nail polish set every year, because it’s a nice gift for the beauty gal in your life and something people don’t always splurge on for themselves.  I’ve been very impressed with the Formula X polishes lately and love this gorgeous holiday set.  It includes four mini nail lacquers in Obsessed (opaque classic merlot), Impassioned (purple pearl), Thrilling (opaque heather grey), and Temptation (iridescent gold pearl).  These are colors that are both festive and everyday wearable.  Suggested Retail: $25

3. Initial Disc Necklace with Birthstone – I discovered BijouxByMeg on Etsy early last year when I was searching for a personalized bee charm necklace.  I found the perfect piece I was searching for and fell in love with her shop of dainty, handcrafted jewelry.  You can’t beat the price for the quality of Megan’s beautiful handiwork.  I gave the initial disc necklace to my sister-in-law for Christmas last year with a “g” on it for her daughter, Grace, as well as Grace’s birthstone.  She loves it and wears it often.  It’s a beautiful gift for the moms, daughters, sisters, and girlfriends in your life.  Suggested Retail: $30

* Please be advised that Megan closes up shop usually by the second week of December until the end of the year so she can complete all holiday orders, so if you’d like something for the holidays, it’s best to shop in the next couple of weeks from her Etsy shop.*

4. LUSH Festive Friends – What says “pampering gift” more than some LUSH bath goodies?  This set includes two bubble bars (The Christmas Hedgehog and The Christmas Penguin) and two bath bombs (Dashing Santa and Butterbear) all wrapped up and ready to gift in festive paper and ribbon.  A LUSH bath is perfect treat to help unwind after a long day and makes for a thoughtful gift.  I know how much I love finding LUSH products under the tree or in my stocking on Christmas morning.  Suggested Retail: $29.95

5. Too Faced La Belle Carousel – I love perusing all of the fun and festive holiday sets that makeup brands release every year.  My top pick this year is from Too Faced.  I have so enjoyed both the Chocolate Bar palette and the Natural Eyes palette this year and was drawn to this gorgeous set all wrapped up in carousel-themed packaging.  It includes three mini eyeshadow palettes with four shades in each as well as two blush and bronzer palettes and a mini Better Than Sex Mascara.  You can split up this gift for smaller tokens to the beauty gals in your life or give the whole thing to one person for an all encompassing beauty set.  Suggested Retail: $49

For Him:

6. Bang – I think a fun and inclusive game is a great gift for a friend or family member who likes to interact in a little friendly competition.  Bang is a Wild West Card game designed to be played by 4-7 players in under an hour.  It will have your loved ones laughing together in no time!  Suggested Retail: $19.99

7. Skiva PowerVault Lightning External Battery – An external battery like this for your phone and/or tablet is more of a practical luxury item, but makes a great gift in my opinion for the tech-dependent fellows in your life who always seem to drain their batteries at the most inconvenient times.  Don and I both love our Skiva PowerVaults, which are Apple MFI certified and include both lightening and micro-USB cables for recharging a number of devices.  It charges through USB, has an on/off switch with lighted indications of how much charge is left, and is small and sleek for ease of travel.  Suggested Retail $49.99 $29.95 (on sale!)

8. ToddyGear Tech Pack -ToddyGear products are super useful luxury items for any guy (or gal) who loves a clean screen and/or glass lenses.  I have raved about their Smart Cloths for years as one of my all-time favorite stocking stuffers.  Now you can get all of ToddyGear’s best selling products in this great gift set, which includes both a 5”x7” and a 9”x9” Smart Cloth, a Pocket Toddy, and The Wedge Mobile Device Stand.  This is another great gift set that you could also break up and give as smaller gifts to a number of people.  Suggested Retail: $44.99

Use code Jen20 to receive 20% off your order at now through December 31, 2014.

9. Happy Socks 4 Pairs Pack – I have a couple of guy friends in my life who love to wear fun socks, even to their serious professional jobs (one is a lawyer and another a doctor).  This gift pack from Happy Socks includes four high quality pairs of socks in a nice range of colors and patterns already packaged up in a festive box.  Suggested Retail: $45

10. Beer Mug Set of 4 – We have two sets of these high quality glass beer mugs from Williams-Sonoma, which we’ve owned for over nine years now and look as good as new.  We keep ours in the freezer for the perfect frosty mug of chilled beer or soda to enjoy or offer to our guests.  The option to personalize with a monogram is an extra special touch that makes an awesome gift for the brew lover in your family or circle of friends.  Plus, they’re dishwasher safe!  Suggested Retail: $41.56 (plain) or $47.96 (with monogram)

Gender Neutral or Host/Hostess:

11. Olivewood Cheese Serving Board – This gorgeous cheese board is a lovely host/hostess.  I think it’s a great price for a beautiful piece that is made in Italy and perfect for the party-thrower in your circle or family.  Suggested Retail: $34.95 $27.96 (on sale!)

12. Winter Bird Mug Gift Set – I think the gift of a pretty mug set like this is especially appropriate during the holiday season when the cold weather really sets in.  I love the festive gift box that this set comes in, with no need for wrapping.  Or, you can pop this set in a gift bag with your favorite tea/coffee/hot cocoa mix for an extra indulgent present.  Suggested Retail: $19.95

13. Godiva Hot Cocoa Gift Set – Speaking of hot cocoa, I love this gift set from Godiva with four packets each of three delicious hot cocoa flavors, including milk, dark, and caramel cocoas.  It’s fun and festive with beautiful packaging.  Suggested Retail: $20

14. Wine & Wine Glass Writers – It’s hard to go wrong with a nice bottle of wine as a host/hostess gift.  Our favorite reds to give as gifts are the Ruffino Chianti (tan label) and Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon.  For whites, we love to give or serve the La Crema Chardonnay or Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse.  You can always pair a nice bottle with a fun and useful wine accessory for that extra special touch.  The Wine Glass Writers are a great way for guests to keep track of their glasses.  Just be sure to advise people to wait to pour cold beverages until after the ink has dried (it only takes about 15 seconds in my experience) to avoid smudging.  Once its dry, the ink will not smudge or budge until washing with soap.  Suggested Retail (wine glass writers): $9.95

15. Godiva 19 pc. Chocolate Box – Sometimes wine isn’t always appropriate to bring to a dinner or party.  In those cases I know I can always pick up a box of Godiva chocolates as a nice gift.  The 19 piece box offers a well-rounded variety of chocolate at a great mid-range price.  Suggested Retail: $30

Check out the video below if you’re interested in a closer look at these products as well as my thoughts on each one:

ToddyGear very kindly provided three Tech Packs as prizes for a coordinating giveaway.  The ToddyGear Tech Pack Giveaway will run until Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open internationally. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  THREE people will win a ToddyGear Tech Pack similar to the one I shared in this post.  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always.  Good luck!


Congrats to the winners of theToddyGear Tech Pack Giveaway Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *What price range do you like to spend on holiday gifts?* out of 1541 entries:

$20 – $50 (1095) 71%
$50+ (313) 20%
Less than $20 (124) 8%
I don’t give gifts (9) 1%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties.  If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and that it gave you some ideas or inspiration for gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.  I will be back sharing my Extravagant Splurges top picks (gifts that are $50 or more) next followed by my Stocking Stuffer guide ($20 or less).  Happy Holidays!


* Description contains affiliate & referral links.  ToddyGear very kindly provided the Tech Pack gift set I showed as well as the giveaway prizes.  All other items were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *


32 thoughts on “Little Luxuries: Holiday Gift Guide 2014”

  1. What a wonderful gift guide Jen! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to put this together! I really can’t wait to see the next two videos! X x

  2. Thank you for this wonerful presentation and the vieo!
    i love everything of this selection!
    entered the giveaway and cross my fingers!
    TheOrigins Mini Mask Marvels looks lovely, the mugs, the chocolates..oh!all is so so cute!
    Have a nice week!

  3. Hi Jen! I just wanted to let you know that on Friday, November 21rst, 2014 I went into surgery to get my last two wisdom teeth removed and it went successfully well! I’m feeling much better and I watched a playlist of your vlogs on YouTube and ate some comfort foods….I just wanted to let you know that last year, when I was in my cousin’s wedding party, my cousin-in-law (the bride) gave everybody a monogrammed necklace with a lovely birthstone and the date of the wedding, and that necklace is my favourite necklace and I wear it almost every day… I asked my cousin-in-law where she got it and I think that she got them from a shop on Etsy, however she told me that she doesn’t remember where…. I just wanted to give you an update how everything went and thanks for a blog post with some wonderful information! I also wanted to ask you if you’ll be sharing us about your blogging adventure at Alt Summit, this upcoming winter? Will there be a bit of a hiatus on your YouTube channels for a while? Hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving week!!
    Take care
    Katherine M.

  4. Great ideas as always! I just ordered my best friend an ECLP! I had a coupon with my last purchase and decided to bite the bullet. I really hope she likes it….! I also picked up a few sets at Sephora VIB sale for my hair stylist and others! Thanks for giveaway! Have a great Thanksgiving

  5. Thanks for this great video Jen! I have quite a few people who are those hard to buy for ones in my life, and this video just gave me some awesome ideas! 🙂 I hope you, Don, and Winnie have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

  6. Thank you for these gift selections. I was struggling to think of something for a few friends on my list but the Toddy cloths are perfect, and I know they will be well loved and used. I will get myself one of course! The cheese board is also on my list for a gift and the Game is perfect as well for a retired law officer I know who loves game night.. you have done the work for !Thank you again! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. So excited about your holiday videos/blogs 🙂 Never to early to start shopping. If I see a gift, I buy it and save it. Definitely saves less time in crazy malls and stores!

  8. Jen, please please reply to my comment, as I am in SERIOUS need of advice!
    I was invited to dessert to my mentor’s house (he is a gen. surgeon, if it matters?) after the Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know what would be an appropriate hostess gift for him and his wife – I have no idea if they drink wine (is wine even appropriate for a dessert gathering?) and I would like to bring something else besides a flower/plant.
    You and Don have hosted so many parties and because you are such a classy couple, PLEASE give me some input. What are some things that you received that you really enjoyed?
    I asked if there is anything I could/should bring, and they said no; and me baking to bring a homemade something is not a good idea, as I cannot bake&cook to save my life.

    You advice is GREATLY appreciated! 🙂

  9. Great list Jen. Thanks for reminding me about Godiva Chocolates – an indulgence that my sister loves but will never treat herself to! Definitely going on my shopping list!

  10. I love these ideas ! The gift sets already in perfect boxes are the funniest to buy and wrap.
    Thanks for the wine ideas. We know nothing about wine but would like to take some to the hosts
    at the different parties we will be attending this year.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Aside from the socks, all your “for him” gifts are gender neutral. I don’t know why a phone battery would be for men instead of women. Who doesn’t need more power for a phone or tablet? Tech is gender-neutral and defining all your tech items as “His” items instead of gender-neutral items makes me really sad. We need more girls in STEM and people saying that tech is for boys is one reason girls don’t want to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math.

  12. You did great with this guide. You hit a lot of price points! I hope you can do as many vlogs as you can stand. I love them! I have made reservations at resturants you have been to, I love seeing them. Thanks for all you do!!

  13. Hey Jen!!,
    Love your video, well all your videos. There are so helpful and you have a lot of great ideas.
    Keep up the great work!

  14. Loved your gift video, which I discovered on YouTube. I’ll be purchasing several of your suggestions. I was wondering if there was another way to enter your drawing besides FB because I am not a FB fan. Thanks for helping me in my gift giving!

  15. Great gift guide! I loved everything that you shared. I’m really interested in trying out the Toddy products. They would be so useful since I also get lots of makeup and fingerprint smudges on my phone and my Kindle. Kudos on your choice of sharing the Origins masks…I’ve used them before and they are the best masks around. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thanks so much for staring your Holiday Gift Guide series nice and early – gives us lots of time to still purchase items online and not have to try to run around stores trying to find items!

    Haha it was so funny that you included the Olivewood cheese serving board! The day before you uploaded your video, I literally JUST bought one as a gift for someone! I agree, a gorgeous gift!

    Anyway all around wonderful gift choices, thanks for giving me some good ideas that I hadn’t thought of either. The wine glass writers are such an awesome idea! And I’m definitely going to pick up the godiva hot chocolate!

    Love seeing Lush on your list too 🙂 It iis always my favourite gift to receive at Christmas!

    Thanks Jen! Can’t wait for the next in the series!

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