Our first ever NWS Holiday Gift Guide is happening!!

For well over a month now I’ve had a Google Doc open clicking over to it frantically as I’ve thought of the things in my life that make my toes tickle and my stomach flutter. The items on this list are things Gabe and I use, love and bring a little bit of shiny joy to our days.

I love love love giving gifts (I’m also a big fan of getting gifts). So much so that I will put off my holiday shopping because I’m always sad when the last gift has been purchased. Also, I’m terrible at keeping the gifts a surprise. Just ask Gabe. One year I bought his present on Christmas Eve and I couldn’t wait the twelve hours to give it to him on Christmas morning so I made him open it the moment I got home from the store. Speaking of Gabe, he is the best gift giver and so I am thrilled to have his input on this list. Seriously somehow he manages to give gifts that are perfect. So perfect you didn’t even realize you needed that gift and then you have it and life is a little better.

I feel like we covered a lot of ground with this list. Obviously there are a lot of food-centric gifts because if you hang out much around here then I’m guessing you like food. But we’ve also listed some of our favorites for the coffee lover, we have some seriously talented artists and good old fashioned baseball caps – that one is all Gabe but he sure does look adorable in his hat. We hope that these gifts bring some people in your life (or you) some of that sweet, simple joy.

Coffee Aficionado

NWS Gift Guide

1. Driftaway Coffee I’m a big fan of subscriptions for gifts. I mean how fun is it to get a gift that keeps on showing up at your house?! This coffee subscription starts with a tasting kit so that the following shipments are best suited to your taste. It is completely customizable and the coffee is great.

2. Coffee and Vinyl Pairings from Turntable Kitchen. Last year for Valentine’s day I gifted Gabe with a subscription to this service. I had intended on it being a three month gift but every month I love watching him brew a cup of coffee with local Slate beans then sit in his favorite chair while he listens to his vinyl record. It’s been almost a year and I have no intention of canceling anytime soon. Matt Hickey, the music half of Turntable Kitchens, carefully selects the music pairing each month and we’ve never been disappointed.

3. Aeropress Coffee Brewer $30 (Gabe’s pick) A space age coffee brewer for under $30? Yes, please. Usually when I’m traveling, I toss the aeropress in my bag. Easy to brew in a hotel or at the campsite. For a clean cup of coffee with minimal effort and cleanup, grab an aeropress.

4. Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug $20 (Gabe’s Pick) When I stop to think about the items in my house that I use on a daily basis my Stanley mug comes to mind. A few years back I inherited the classic large green thermos from my Grandfather that is great when out fishing all day or on road trips when sharing an entire pot of coffee. This individual thermos gives nod to the past but makes enjoying hot coffee possible for hours into my day. I toss it in the car and while little dented and scratched, my coffee never spills and rarely lasts long enough to get cold. I use the 16oz in green. Also available in Red and Navy!

5. Heath Ceramics – Stack mug $30 (Gabe’s Pick) Give your hands and lips something to look forward to in the morning besides your hot wife. These mugs have been making dining tables look good since the 1960’s and their quality ceramic keeps your coffee (or tea) warm. Hard to believe a mug this beautiful is microwave and dishwasher safe.


Passionate Cook

NWS Gift Guide

6. Nudo Adopt Give the gift of an olive tree! Seriously. Through Nudo adopt you can gift a friend an olive tree adoption. Your friend can choose the grove (there’s tasting notes with each area for easy selecting) where their tree lives then Nudo will send olive oil from that tree.

7. Portland Apron Company I bought one of these aprons at a pop-up shop that my friend’s host every year and this year I bought another. I wear it nearly everyday except when it’s in the wash – which is why I needed to buy another.

8. Earlywood – The flat spatula. I reach for these flat spatulas all the time. They are perfect for cooking and for serving.

9. Cast Iron Skillet This pan never leaves my stove. Once properly seasoned it can be used to fry eggs. It’s my chicken roaster, my frittata pan, my casserole dish, where I sear my steaks and at times it’s my cake pan. I even take it camping with me. Bonus: It’s only $15!

10. Marge Granola A morning favorite for every member of our family!

11. Opinel Pocket knife – No. 6 or 8 carbon blade $12 – $15 (Gabe’s Pick) Who doesn’t love a knife that can handle the campsite as well as the MoMa? This French beauty can’t wait to carve up your next picnic but will look good on your nightstand as well. The Opinel No8 (larger) or No6 (smaller) with a carbon blade would be my recommendation. They make a stainless blade that won’t rust, but I love the patina you can get on a carbon blade and they are sharp! (Grab one with an olive wood handle if you can find it.) And when your kids have enough fine motor skills to start writing their letters they can start whittling sticks. Opinel makes a great first pocket knife for kids with a rounded tip and easy-to-hold size.

12. Pure Maple Syrup Aged in Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey $38 (Gabe’s Pick) Pappy’s, for breakfast!?! For anyone who likes Bourbon and Syrup this is a no-brainer. So many possibilities with this stuff.



NWS Gift Guide

Outside of the Kitchen

NWS Gift Guide


19. Le Labo Perfume Tubereuse 40 perfume. I had been on the hunt for the perfect perfume for several years. I’ve dragged Gabe into countless stores with me forcing him to smell my wrist until the cloud of dozens of intermingled scents drove us out. Then one day a package arrives from Le Labo. Now this is my perfume. It’s not overwhelming, floral but not so much so, light yet memorable. It’s my favorite thing to wear everyday. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but I’ve had mine for several months now and I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle.

20. 52 Lists for Happiness Book I love these lists for their soft reminders to focus on the good. It’s a great gift to give to anyone in your life. We all could use more happy.

21. Ebbets Field Flannel Baseball Cap $45 (Gabe’s Pick) This is not your grandpa’s hat… oh wait, it is (or was)!! I love baseball. But these guys take their love to a different level. They hand make replica baseball hats (and gear) of teams from the past. I encourage you to read some of the stories of the Chorizeros (yes, that’s “Sausage Makers” in Spanish). A Mexican-American minor league baseball team from Los Angeles in the 1950’s. Or the Seattle Rainiers which played in the Pacific Coast League in the first half of the 1900’s. I know I sound like an old man, but these hats are legit, and packed with stories. Also a great way to hear stories and make conversation with the old-timers.

22. Noonday Jewelry When you give a gift from Noonday it’s not just a beautiful accessory it’s also helping to provide for artisans all around the world. Multitasking is just about my favorite thing ever, in gift giving too. Dual purpose giving. Love it.

23. Autographed print by Seattle area creative Invisible Creature $30 (Gabe’s Pick) Good art can be affordable. I love this print by local creatives at Invisible Creature (Don & Ryan Clark). I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with Don on a few projects and their work is inspiring to say the least. They’ve also designed toys (collectible action figures if you’re an adult male) and some rad wooden blocks. Our kids are older now, but I still keep our Stack & Scare wooden blocks at my office to entertain any little ones that stop by to say hello.

24. Blackbird Hekkes Incense Over the last year I’ve become a big fan of incense. Filling the house with a soft perfume helps me relax. It’s often one of the first things I do when the kids head off the school – the time when I most need to relax. This one is a favorite. Not to overwhelming and lasts a long time.

25. Oxford Pennant $25 (Gabe’s Pick) “It’s not a Pennant, it’s an Oxford!” If you know anyone who appreciates the spirit of American Sports Tradition (or just needs a kick in the tuckus), an Oxford Pennant is a great gift. They have a variety of cities, slogans, and sayings. Something for anyone.



NWS Gift Guide


Gifts that Truly Give


30. A Goat Yes, you read that right. And no, I’m not losing my mind. A dear friend of mine recently had the chance to visit Sri Lanka with World Concern. She saw first hand how a gift of a goat literally changed the life of an entire village in a short time. If you’re like me you’ve questioned the validity and usefulness of giving livestock from those catalogues that flood mailboxes this time of year. But after hearing my friend’s story and seeing her images from her trip. I’m sold and am so excited to, as a family, give a goat.

31. First Aid Arts If you’ve visited our shop you know that we’re huge fans of First Aid Arts. A portion of every purchase goes directly to them in support of their mission of using the arts to help victims of trauma. I deeply respect my dear friends and their organization and am so thankful for their heart in this mission. You can support them through our shop, their shop or simply by making a donation on their site.

Some of these are affiliate links but all are products we know and love.


16 Responses to “Holiday Gift Guide”

  1. Sarah | Well and Full

    This is such a beautiful gift guide! I especially love the painting Blush by Jenny Vorwaller – that’s something I would totally hang in my apartment. I love that style of art 🙂

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Emily – so sorry about that. I had some strange issues when uploading this post. It’s added now and I’ll be sure to tell my dad you like his painting. 🙂

  2. Melody

    It’s so hard to come across a quality gift guide these days. This one is definitely top of my list! Can’t wait for more to come in the next years!

  3. Barbara

    The gift selection is beautiful. All the items exquisite, tasteful, thoughtfully selected. Ii is hard to express my thoughts here…I am a great admirer of your artistry as a cook and as a writer, and as an artist myself, I live to create beautiful things, and to maintain beauty in my both my lifestyle and my home. That being said, I found myself both wistful and sad that so many of the items here are so far beyond my reach financially. I’m sure that I speak for many followers of your blog who also love, appreciate, and covet beauty and quality for the gifts that they would love to bestow upon their loved ones, but who have limited means with which to do so. Maybe next year, you might consider expanding your selections to include some equally lovely things which are meaningful, but more affordable for many of your readers. I speak from the heart, and I hope that you will take my sentiments as such.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Barbara, I really appreciate your kind words and your honest thoughts here. While Gabe and I are the first to admit we do really enjoy high quality things which can be a bit pricey (we believe in the adage quality over quantity) we did try to provide a range of gifts in price and interest. Some of my very favorite things on this list (the cast iron pan, art prints, Opinel knife, etc.) are $30 or under. Yes, there are a number of items that are well over that but again we wanted to cover a wide range and simply talk about a few of our favorite things. I would love to continue the conversation and hear more about what you would like to see in the future. I definitely want to be accessible to all. Thanks again for taking the time to express your thoughts in such a kind and beautiful way.

      • Barbara

        Ashley, at all times of the year, it is wonderful and sustaining to know that lovely things exist because of so many artists dedication to both craft and beauty, and their determination to birth them. And, sometimes.. those two things, those ideals– in their own right, just knowing that they are out there in the world, can be enough. Thank you for giving craft and beauty a light! and for your graciousness.