Tried & True Gift Guide for Homebodies, Manly Men & Teenage Boys


updation:) I’m adding in a guide for Manly Men & Teenage Boys too! Scroll down for those…

I absolutely love gift guides and click on everyone I can find. The more niche-y and quirky, the more I like them!

This year I put together a guide for homebodies, because it takes one (me) to know one (you?). Some of these things were on my list last year–why? Because that’s how good they are! Why would I change what I love if I still love it?!

These are all things I use A LOT at my home. I have each and every one of these items (many in multiples) and anyone who’s spent much time at our house can vouch for me. And some of these things you’ll recognize from last year’s gift guide because well, they are just that good…


The Year of Cozy

I just bought this book for myself last week and it’s so fun to look through. It’s ordered by month, with each month featuring projects in the categories of live, do, and make. It’s beautiful,

Mercury Glass Candle Holders

I started collecting these last year. We use them year around, but in the winter they get used almost daily. The more design on the glass, the more the light will bounce, so I like to group different patterns together. They are a gold color on the inside so they cast a little warm glow.

We light the nine (with tealight candles) in front of our TV every night, and the tea lights last a few hours (we buy them in bulk) and then burn themselves out by the time Elf is over. I’ve found these at HomeGoods, World Market and Target.

Turkish Towels

My friend Kendra got me hooked on these. At the time, I had purchased one, but it was so thin, I thought I got cheated and I was afraid to wash it for fear that the pretty tassels on the edges would be ruined.

Well, I was all wrong. Washing and drying these towels makes them SO MUCH BETTER! They get more absorbent and the fringing gets full and fluffy! Chad keeps one in his car, this is what we use at the pool and the beach. I’ve purchased these from Amazon, Etsy and HomeGoods and haven’t had a dud yet!

White Fur Pillow

I gifted this one to myself years ago. He steals the show every winter and I believe every room needs some texture. I found mine from One Kings Lane for too much money because mine is not faux, but this faux version looks SO good and has over 500 reviews at 4.5 stars–a winner at only $22!

Metal Straws

I use these daily with my iced coffee. I cannot stand those big fat plastic straws that come with the insulated cups. I like my little dainty straw that instantly turns cold. Everyone who comes to the house comments on how great they are!

Garden Scissors

I admit, I’m a sucker for pretty scissors, I had a different pair on last year’s list. And now I’m in love with these.

Tiny Gold Dear

For no good reason at all other than they are adorable! These show up in my instagram, tied to gifts, sitting on the top of a frame on the gallery wall, on shelves. They are just a tiny delight and are less than $1 each.

Sally Henson Miracle Gel TopCoat

I’m still a fan. I didn’t start painting my nails until a few years ago, and this top coat extends the life of my bad polish job (and covers imperfections!) to last a good week! I don’t even use the nail polish that they sell with it, I use my own brands and colors and use this top coat over that. You’ll get a gel-like finish, but you can use regular nail polish remover on it!


I’ve got a few different types of markers I use but these are my favorite because they are thin tipped to get in the small spaces in your…

Animal Kingdom Adult Coloring Book

My current favorite coloring book. If you are hosting a Christmas gathering, be sure to have a coloring book and some makers around for kids of all ages, I let everyone rip out whatever page they want to color so we can all share.

Wood Wick Candles.

YES. These crackle as they burn and last forever. Last year I got smart and bought two of the evergreen scent. One I packed away with our Christmas decor and I was WAY too excited to find it when I opened the decorations last week–I think I’m going to do that for myself again this year! You can buy them online, but they are SO much less expensive if you can find them at HomeGoods/Marshalls/TJmaxx.

Cozy Minimalist Classes!

If you took either of the Cozy Minimalist Courses and enjoyed them, we made it easy for you to give one or both of them as a gift. Or maybe you’ve been wanting to take the courses–now you can ask for them for Christmas and it’s really simple–just say that you want this for Christmas. Check it all out right here.

The classes are above the $25 price range, but consider them an investment in your home!

gift guide for men

You asked for Chad’s recommendations for man gifts (like he did last year) so I’m adding this one in too, just like the homebody guide, he owns ALL of these things and uses them a lot.

Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men

I’m so pleased that I bought this book for Chad and he actually likes it. His words: “it’s excellent.”

Simply Great Beard Oil

Oh my gosh this was a Christmas gift from Greg & Caroline and Chad and I are both 8 years old and couldn’t wait until Christmas to open our gifts and now this is on his favorite things list. His poor beard has never been oiled before this week and Chad is suspiciously happy about having more manly grooming products.

speaking of which…

Every Man Jack

Chad’s been hoarding this stuff for years, sometimes he finds it at Big Lots and then he buys tons of it. He uses the body wash and loves all of their products.

Saucony Sneakers

I think he goes through three pair of these per year. He’s asleep on the sofa right now and these shoes are on his feet. Vintagey feel plus comfort plus he usually gets a different color every time he orders just to keep things fresh, yet predictable.


It’s inexplicably important to Chad to have really good binoculars. These are his baby. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to look through them without his permission. Highly recommended.


We have many of these.

I leave nail polish around the house, the dog leaves tennis balls around the house, the boys leave their shoes around the house and Chad leaves freakers around the house. They fit over water bottles and of course, beer bottles.


teenage boys gift guide


Okay, lastly how about a gift guide for teenage boys–because we have THREE of them (14, 15 & 18) we are the experts!


Eno : the amazing super hammock that rolls up into a little bag

We’ve had one of these for years just packed away with our camping stuff. But this summer Emily & John gave one to each of our boys and suddenly, it was hammock time. Have you seen how people stack these? There are so many places to use these. You’ll also want to make sure they have some straps too.

A drone with a camera

Last year we got a different drone, but it didn’t have a camera, the camera makes it 100 times more fun.

Lost Encyclopedia

This summer our family watched every season of Lost on Netflix. We were SO addicted and it was so fun. The boys found this encyclopedia and it’s EXHAUSTIVE with backstories,photos, birthdays and ‘facts’ about all the characters and everything you ever want to know about Lost.

action bible

The Action Bible

Brian & Julie gifted this bible to our boys and it’s interesting enough to leave out on the coffee table all the time. It’s comic book style and so fun to catch your boys reading it for hours.

G Shock Watch

Y’all I’m not going to even pretend to know why they like this. But they do. This watch? Yes.

iPhone Camera lens set


These photos show what you can take with the fish eye lens and the micro lens–and you can use them for video too of course. Really fun especially for the price of $15.


  1. What a fun list! I absolutely love reading about other people’s favorites and I love sharing mine on my blog.

    I added the metal straws, the book and the mercury votive holders to my amazon cart and to Pinterest to remember them. I love votives and those holders look like a fun update.

    Woodwick candles are so fun and homey!!

    Happy Friday and weekend!

  2. Hey Nester … I love this list… especially evergreen candles and great pens and markers for coloring {especially glittery ones!}

    And since said you love gift guides, here’s my 11 Best Christmas Gifts Ever

    There’s even livestock on there. Really!


  3. I LOVE when I pack up items for the holidays – and forget I purchased them. It’s always like an early holiday gift to find a candle or ornament or SOMETHING you forgot you purchased!!! I need to get more of these Wood Wick candles, they are the best!

  4. Love it. Great picks. Love the pillow

    Kisses from

  5. I love your lists because we have similar taste! Any chance you’ll do a men’s version? I loved it last year and bought a few things per your recommendations!

  6. I Love these ideas! So fun and cozy :)

  7. I saw your suggestion for turkish towels and bought 4! My kids bathroom could use cute, fast drying towels. Cant wait to get them!

  8. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says

    I love your lists! I am glad you said that the Turkish towels get better after washing! I bought some not too long ago and thought I was robbed, not what I pictured… So I put them away and haven’t used them! Now I will promptly wash them and hopefully not regret the purchase any longer!:) ~Kim

  9. OH WAIT! I can use that topcoat with other nail polish???? I have only two Sally Hansen nail polish and I’ve been using that topcoat with only those ones.

    Thank you for sharing!

    PS I have another Sally Hansen that I use with everything else but a reduction in products is always good ;)

  10. Nester,
    Your candle comment reminds me how my wife and I pick up Christmas things at big discounts to pack up for next year and how exciting it is to unpack them then. Some of the candles are on the Christmas discount shelves but are great scents for the winter season. Something to enjoy after things have slowed down.

  11. Sounds funny, but the best thing my husband ever bought me and if I had a gift guide I would put it at the top, was a heated mattress pad. LOL LOVED it so much that when we upgraded this year from a queen size to a king size mattress he went out and bought me a new one for it! It is my Christmas present this year, but I got to open it early!

  12. Thanks for the list My boys are now adults and so hard to buy for! My girls…no problem though I did make note of a few items for the adult daughters. Merry Christmas, Linda

  13. Does anyone know how to temove lint from turkish towels? I bought dark gray ones and washed twice and put in dryer on low heat but they left fibers on my kids skin after a bath
    Now I am rewashing and will hang dry. I googled it and cant find any info!

  14. Really great ideas! It’s hard to find some great gift for boys. Thank you and Merry Christmas ;)

  15. I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.

  16. thanks a lot for such a great post.

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