Welcome to the 2023 Gift Guide! As always, we have gifts we’ve not featured before, items across different categories (although we are heavy on edible gifts!), at varied price points, and that were raved about by humans I trust. Curating special gifts in the era of Temu and the TikTok shop was interesting this year, but I’ve found new things to share that I would be proud to give or receive. I hope our guide helps you find wonderful things to share with those you work with, and maybe even your friends and family. This year, we have offerings in the following categories:

As always, there are no affiliate links here, nor am I being compensated in any way for inclusion on the list. I share these with an open heart simply because they’re terrific gifts! Now, onto the list!

Delicious Gifts

Kosterina Olive Oil Cake: My friend Jess says she thought twice about putting “olive oil cake” in her mouth, but was ever-so delighted she did. She said this cake is moist, tender, and almost delicate, with rich, fruity flavors, and a dusting of powdered sugar for just the right amount of sweetness. Her friend served it after dinner as dessert, and then again the next morning with berries for breakfast.

$38 Insta: @kosterina

Cold Case Ice Cream: For your ice-cream loving colleague, this is THE gift to give. Raymond routinely gifts cases of this to friends, and sends as many to himself, apparently. All themed around crime and mysteries (get it.. cold case?), it’s especially good for friends who love that genre. With holiday flavors like Crime and Peppermint, White Christmas Crack, and Eggnog Espionage, and regular flavors like Killer Bees and Jane Dough, how can you go wrong? You can also build a case of six pints you choose, or go with one of their pre-boxed choices. Raymond says the ice cream is “spectacular.” So much so, he says, it’s hard to know whether to eat it all or save some for later.

$99+ Insta: @coldcasticecream

Levain Bakery’s Cookies and Coffee Bundle: Susanne says she found her favorite coffee—Devocion—when someone gifted her this bundle. Pairing it with the freshly baked cookies—dark chocolate chocolate chip, in her case, from the NYC bakery made her a fan of the coffee, and Levain. She has since tried every cookie they sell and says you cannot possibly go wrong with whatever you choose to gift. They also have vegan and GF options. Baked to order and gift wrapped, too!

$49 for the bundle. Cookes from $29 Insta: @levainbakery

Magic Hour Tea: Dawn loves tea, and never passes the opportunity to try something new. She says that Magic Hour teas, whether one of their wellness blends, a curated collection, or any of their many more “regular” tea profiles, will be wonderfully received, and the fact that they come in an apothecary jar will cause instant delight for the recipient!

$8+ Insta: @clubmagichour

Spoonful of Comfort Care Packages: I have gifted and received from this company several times over the past few years, and am convinced that anything they make is delicious, although I have a special warm spot for their soups and rolls. Oh, and their cookies! They offer a variety of care packages, from savory to sweet, and some that are both. Some include blankets, candles, balms, and other self-care items. Whether for a holiday gift, a birthday celebration, or to nourish a friend who’s sick, you’ll find something perfect. And they ship FAST, which is always a plus!

$35+ Insta: @spoonfulofcomfort

Boarderie Charcuterie Boards: You know those beautiful charcuterie boards you see all over social? Boarderie makes the first pre-arranged boards that you can send anywhere in the US. Marta received one this summer that she says was such a stunner she could hardly believe her eyes. They come in multiple varieties and sizes, and some are customizable. They’re made fresh daily, arrive ready to eat and artfully arranged, and the serving board is made from high-quality acacia wood, that can be saved and used again.

$129+ Insta: @boarderie

Journaling and Reading Gifts

Soothi Journals: At coffee with Robin, I couldn’t help noticing her gorgeous, blue, leather-bound book., which turned out to be a lined journal (the one in the picture, in fact). Imprinted with her favorite Rumi quote, she said that Soothi had made it to order for her, and that she carries it with her everywhere because it’s the best journal she’s ever had! Soothi also has pre-printed journals, cards, and stationery.

$48 Insta: @shopsoothi

Book of the Month: Lisa loves to read. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her without a book, in fact. One of her favorite gifts to give and receive is a subscription to BotM. What’s great is that the recipient gets to choose the books from a shortlist of new and exciting fiction hardcovers and audiobooks, and they offer an online community through which Lisa has connected with other passionate readers like herself!

$59.99+ (depends on the plan you choose) Insta: @bookofthemonth

Bookmate Reading Accessories: Lisa also loves to mark up her books as she reads, and for this, she recommends the Bookmate, which magnetically attaches to books, and keeps pens, highlighters, and sticky flags (refillable) close by while reading. She said she received it as a birthday gift, and it has turned out to be that thing she never knew how much she needed. Three sizes to choose from; buy several to get a discount.

$19+ Insta: @achieversmust

Office, Tech and Home Gifts

Blackwing pencils: I have two pencil-addicted friends. One loves a good-old number 2 pencil, and the other swears by Blackwings. That’s Beth. She says that although she’s never met a pencil she didn’t like, Blackwings take the pencil-writing game to a whole new level of pleasure, and she’s all for enjoying as much of her work-time as she can! She loves that they’re made of Japanese graphite and cedar wood, and have replaceable erasers, to boot. It’s clear that great time and thought has been put into their shape and design. In short, they’re gorgeous, different, and write beautifully.

$27 for a set of 12 Insta: @blackwing

EasyPlant Self-watering Planters and Plants: Until Covid, when I suddenly had a lot of time to spare at home to try new things, I thought I had a black thumb. Plants simply wouldn’t thrive around me, although I wanted to thrive with them around me. As a gift from a friend who knew of my desire, I received a beautiful, small Golden Snake plant in a navy, self-watering pot. She figured if that didn’t do the trick I was doomed. But, guess what? It thrived! I’ve since bought several others from Easyplant, and guess what? They’re all still thriving!. Learning to care for them (even with the added ease of self-watering pots) gave me the fortitude to try raising others, and guess what? I now have quite the collection of thriving plants, and have never been happier. Also, I love their tag line: We’re rooting for you.

$49+ Insta: @easyplant

Luzdiosa Candle Warmer Lamp: I have seen countless posts on social saying, “TikTok made me buy it,” but until Jason bought and fell in love with this candle warmer lamp, I really believed it to be a ruse creators used to sell more stuff. But Jason is in love with this warmer. He likes its small footprint, he doesn’t get tunneling in the candle, and he swears the candles are more fragrant warmed than burned. He hasn’t yet gotten me to buy one, but he says any candle lover would be thrilled with it.

$30. Available from Amazon

Lucid Candles: Jason also swears by Lucid candles, which look like regular candles, but are, in reality, the outside of a candle, with a vessel inside that takes a special oil for burning. The benefits of this is the the candle itself lasts forever, and you can change the scent by adding a fragrance stone with fragrance oil to your setup. They offer tapers, pillars of different sizes, and accessories. He’s especially in love with their Indigo collection.

Candles from $30 Insta: @lucidcandle

Reida Lighter: Fun fact: I pretty much always have a candle burning in my office while I work. And finding this flameless, rechargeable USB lighter that’s small and fits in my desk drawer without hogging all the room may be the best buy I’ve made this year. Truly. Multiple colors available.

$11. Available from Amazon

LaFleur Artisane Mugs: Tiffane says these are the cutest mugs she’s ever owned. They are hand made, hand painted, and sweet as can be. Anyone who relishes the perfectly imperfect would likely love one of these!

$40+ Insta: @lafleurartisane

Self-care Gifts

HidrateSpark Pro: Billed as “The world’s most advanced hydration ecosystem,” Antonette uses this to make sure she’d drinking enough water. We sat at lunch and she shared how much it helped her, and I thought it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who struggles to remember to drink. Included in the purchase are the stainless,insulated water bottle and app that monitors your hydration and gives personal guidance to help you meet your hydration goals.

$80+ Insta: @ hidratespark

Geometry Yoga Towels: Rebecca is my Earth-loving mama friend. If something is made from something else, she probably owns it. Including this yoga towel (and their kitchen towels, too), which she says is slip-proof, fast drying, and antimicrobial, in addition to being made from recycled materials. She loves the pretty designs, too, and said to tell you that any yoga practitioner would be thrilled to receive one of these!

$51 Insta: @geometry.house

Ouai Chill Pill Bath Bombs: When Margot was a kid, her mom used to say, “Calgon, take me away,” which was the slogan for a popular bath product that all Gen Xers will remember. Margot now takes great delight in saying to her husband, “I’m going to take a chill pill,” before she slips into her bathroom and into a hot soak to relax her day away. Margot is a lucky woman; she has a husband who saw these fizzy bath bombs in a store and brought them home to her. Now, she’s never without them.

$50 Insta: @ heouai

Soapwalla Soaking Salts Quartet: Margot loves these too, especially after a run or a hard workout. They were given to her as a gift, and she said they smell divine, too!

$88+ Insta: @soapwalla

Hack Your Nervous System: Anti-anxiety Deck: Margot’s husband also picked this deck up for her, and she swears it’s done wonders for her stress levels. That’s in addition to her Chill Pill baths, of course.

$88+ Insta: @uncommongoods

Rest Go: This is the only item recommended by someone for parents and their babies, and to be honest, after seeing it in action on a walk with Henry and his baby Marcus, I almost want one for myself! It has 10 dreamy sounds to lull your baby into peaceful sleep, and is small, portable, and clips onto almost anything. Henry received it as a baby-shower gift, and has used it since Marcus was born. They both love it!

$35 Insta: @hatchforsleep


That’s a wrap for this year—20+ great gifts to choose from. Wish there were more? You can always check out our 2022 guide or the 2021 guide. Here’s to having fun shopping, and to hearing how thrilled the recipients are of your thoughtfulness!