HandsDown Fave Baby Items

In the past two weeks, I’ve attended two baby showers for friends and created my own baby registry for my own soon-to-be-arriving newborn. So I’m DEEP in the world of baby stuff right now. When buying a gift for a baby shower, I like to shop from the registry if possible. Or if my friend doesn’t have a baby registry, I’ll choose one of my own favorite newborn items that I’ve used and loved. Nobody likes exchanging gifts that didn’t work out (especially post-partum!!), so I do my best to choose a great baby shower gift. 

And when I created my own baby registry, especially since this is my third baby, I wanted to choose just a few things in each category that I know I will use. I put almost no clothing items on my registry, because people love to shop for clothes anyway and hand-me-downs always find their way to us. Things like a baby monitor, carrier, feeding supplies, and swaddles are the best baby registry items, in my opinion.

Whether you are building your own baby registry or shopping for a friend’s baby shower, here’s a round-up of some newborn items recommended by real parents on HandsDown.

Best Baby Monitors

Nanit Pro Camera

Fave of Diana

“I love this baby monitor and the travel accessories, which make it easy to bring us peace of mind wherever we go. The best part is that everything is on your phone, so you can watch your baby from anywhere!”

VTech Audio Baby Monitor (2-Unit)

Fave of Tim

“These are the best. Old school, durable long range. The fancy video monitors never got far enough and we actually only listen to them anyway. These rock.”

Moonybaby Split 50 Baby Monitor

Fave of Gregory

“A soon-to-be dad asked me what baby monitor to get; this is what I recommended.”

Best Newborn Baby Gear

Newborn Boba Baby Wrap Carriers by Boba

Fave of Nia

“If you love to baby wear this is for you.”

Itzy Ritzy Natural Rubber Pacifiers

Fave of Samantha

“My baby loves the shape of this paci, which was recommended by a friend. I love that I can loop it onto a paci chain that clips to her seatbelt, too.”

Rohm Travel Size Sound Machine for Adults & Baby by Yogasleep

Fave of Diana

“I am currently on vacation and this sound machine is on as I type this. I’ve brought this everywhere with me since my baby is born. It’s help him sleep on the road, at the mall, while traveling, and more. It’s like a security blanket for all of us.”

Author’s Note: I saw this on HandsDown, added it to my Saves, and put it on my own registry! That’s the magic of HandsDown.

AMKE 3 in 1 Baby Bassinets,Bedside Sleeper

Fave of Nia

“Perfect for mommies who like to be close to their newborns.”

I second the recommendation for a bedside bassinet. Getting up 4 times a night is less exhausting if you don’t actually have to get out of bed. 

Peanut Changer by keekaroo

Fave of Anthony

“Expensive? Yes. A god-send for diaper changes and bath times with a newborn? ALSO YES! Cleans easily and can be moved from the changing table to the kitchen counter for bath time; it’s served us with both of our kids very well.”

Best Feeding Supplies for Older Babies

Duo Meal Station Food Maker

Fave of Nia

“I absolutely LOVE this product. It’s great for steaming and blending up veggies for your little one.”

Kids Eat in Color | Facebook

Fave of Kate

“Amazing FB and Insta account to follow if you have young kids or babies. Advice from a dietician mom. Picky eating helps. Ways to talk about food and nutrition. Learn how to build healthy and happy meal time routines. Free resources. Meal plans. Recipes. Product recs. I cannot recommend it enough!! So, so helpful!!”

A new baby is a huge life-change no matter how prepared you are, but the right baby gear can smooth out the bumps a little. And giving and receiving support is the real reason for baby showers and registries, even if the gifts get exchanged later. So enjoy the newborn season and give as much love as you can to the new parents (even if it’s you!).

And if YOU have a favorite baby item we’ve missed, add it to your own HandsDown list and share the love!

10 Running Gear Faves

Running is a beautifully simple sport at first glance. What could you possibly need besides your own two legs and a sidewalk? But then you realize that you can’t run in the beat-up tennies you wear to mow the lawn. Annnd, you probably need some swishy running shorts that will keep you cool on runs in warm weather. And then….you need better socks. And a hat. 

Running IS a beautifully simple sport. But collecting running gear is annoyingly complex. Every runner is unique and needs different shoes and gear. It’s a process to find exactly the right running gear that works for you. A good place to start is reading reviews from other runners. You probably will need to try gear out to know if it’s right for you, but you can narrow your options by reading reviews first.

Get started on your running gear selection process with some Fave reviews from HandsDown

Best Running Shoes Reviews

Picking the right running shoes is the most important decision you’ll make as a runner. These recs will help you zero in.

Women’s GEL-KAYANO 27 Running Shoes by ASICS

Fave of Sophie

“These are the first running shoes that I have found that give me enough ankle support, reduce the risk of foot injuries, and are overall just really comfortable shoes.”

Women’s GEL-NIMBUS 24 Running Shoes by ASICS

Fave of Serena

“Best running shoes.”

Author’s Note: The ASICS Gel-Nimbus have also been my favorite running shoes for years. I’m prone to shin splints, and these shoes have been great. It’s like running on actual clouds. They are insanely cushioned and light. 

Women’s Arahi 6 Stability Running Shoe by HOKA®

Fave of Kendra

“Cushioned shoes that aren’t heavy and don’t look like clown shoes. Fun colors. Fun miles. Fun times.”

Mens Nike By You Running Shoes

Fave of Andrew

“Customize the colors online, super comfy, supportive, quick shipping. The extra fashionable motivation I needed to get off the couch.”

There’s nothing wrong with picking a running shoe for its function AND style!

Best Running Socks

Along with the right shoes, good socks are key to happy running feet. Cheap socks will give you blisters and feel hot and sweaty almost immediately. It’s worth it to buy the good ones! 

Women’s Performance Running Ankle Sock by Bombas

Fave of Kendra

“Let’s talk something unsexy–MY FEET SWEAT. But these babies keep them dry. I tell literally everyone how much I love these socks. They are AmAzInG. Also for every pair you buy, a pair is donated to a homeless shelter. I wear these running and the compression socks at work (scrub life).”

Women’s Merino Wool Running Ankle Socks by Bombas

Fave of Emily

“Comfy, merino – all I need in a sock!”

Can confirm. Merino wool socks are awesome for cooler weather running!

Men’s Stride Micro Crew Ultra-Light Running Socks by Darn Tough

Fave of Jeffrey

“Lifetime warranty. Amazingly thin, stay dry, grippy, breathable socks. Best sock I’ve found for warmer weather activities, Biking, Hiking, Running etc. I own two pairs and these have become my primary biking sock.”

Every Fave sock you’ll find on HandsDown is Bombas or Darn Tough. These companies make good stuff!

Best Running Gear

After you take care of your running footwear, turn your attention to other gear.

Running Cap by Ciele

Fave of Sam

“My favorite running hat…comfortable, light, washable!”

Author’s Note: A good running hat will keep the sun out of your eyes (improving safety especially on sunrise or twilight runs). And it’s often a better option than sunglasses, which tend to slip down your nose as soon as you get a little sweaty. Plus, sun protection. 

OFFLINE By Aerie Nylon Running Short

Fave of Nora

“Sorry Lulu, sorry Alo yoga—these right here are the most comfortable, stretchy and cute workout shorts I’ve found. They have a seamless boyshort lining and a high waistband with just-right compression, and they look great on! Pick your normal size.”

Chloé 3 Running Nursing Sports Bra by Sweat and Milk

Fave of Sam

“The best nursing sports bra on the planet.”

Running is such an awesome sport. Even a simple jog around the block is an instant boost for your mental and physical health. With the right running gear, you can feel comfortable and confident in every step. And when YOU find your running Faves, add them to your top 10 list! Sharing is caring!

Our Faves for Toddlers

I honestly love the toddler years. I have a 5 year old and 3 year old, and while the last few years have been exhausting, they have also been FUN. The endless learning, curiosity, and sweet/sassiness just delight me. But toddlers and little kids come with an almost endless number of things to buy. Three outfits per day, piles of toys and books to engage their curious minds, gifts for 2 year old friends, etc. 

Marketing pushes parents hard to buy more things they “need.” And we do need to buy things. But when I shop for my kids, I’m either looking for dirt cheap second-hand items that can be destroyed without guilt, or I’m looking for really quality stuff. When I’m shopping for quality toddler products, I always look for consumer product reviews. But the product reviews I trust the most always come from friends who have toddlers themselves.

Lucky for me and you, HandsDown is a community of friends recommending awesome products! Instead of marketing playing on my mom-guilt, I can trust a review from another parent with a 2 year old or 3 year old toddler. Here are 10 toddler Faves from my Saves.

Best Toddler Outdoor Gear

Roshambo Sunglasses for Babies & Kids

Fave of Anne

“Unbreakable. I have prescription glasses for one child and sunglasses for all three. They’ve been accidentally driven over by a car and didn’t break.”

Amazing. I wonder if they come in adult sizes…

FlapHappy UPF 50+ Swim Flap Hat (Recycled)

Fave of Angela

“I love this hat for the beach or the boat because it actually stays on in the breeze and the flaps cover his ears and neck. It’s basically swim material so it floats and dries super fast.”

A hat that actually STAYS ON A KID’S HEAD?! This is a very big deal.

Stavanger Kids Waterproof Reimatec Winter Snowsuit

Fave of Kendyl

“I have these one piece snowsuits for both of my kids and they are bulletproof! They wear beautifully and wash up like new. My kids can be outside for hours in the VT winter and never complain about being cold.”

Best Toddler Clothing

Kidizen – Buy & Sell Gently Used Kids’ Clothes and Shoes

Fave of Jenna

“I love Kidizen b/c the App is easy to use, and they have tons of amazing kids clothing from all of our favorite brands. I love to reduce and reuse — so this is the perfect place for me to shop for my son.”

90% of what my kids wear is second-hand, so I will be checking this out!

The Dopple — The worst kept secret in kidswear

Fave of Rachel

“Just like their marketing says, I genuinely wish this subscription came in my size. The clothes are CUTE and whatever magic they are casting to make the pricing work I hope it never runs out. I’ve found them to be extremely human in their customer service responses, which is the way to my heart, and gifted them to people who are just as ecstatic as I was to find them. Props to Jenna (as always) who turned me on to The Dopple.”

Best Gifts for 2 Year Old Boys

Picasso Tiles

Fave of Jenna

“They’re fun for both kids and parents! And they cost a FRACTION of Magnatiles — the main brand that makes them. I even find extension packs of them at HomeGoods or TJMaxx sometimes.”

Battat B Sand Toys

Fave of Kate

“Tough plastic that won’t crack with a big scoop of wet sand, just the right amount of toys that all have purpose, and a zippered bag to store them in. These have held up to two years of daily play in the sandbox. Love, love, love.”

This one is from my Faves! I’d also list the sandbox if I could. Best backyard toy ever.

My First Dinosaur Atlas: Roar Around the World with the Mightiest Beasts Ever! (barnesandnoble.com)

Fave of Angela

“We recently watched the Land Before Time, so the animal obsession now includes Dinos. This book is bright and colorful but packed with so much info that it will grow with him. We are all learning so much. Have you ever heard of a Coloradisaurus?”

Best Toddler Travel Gear

Jool Baby Products Folding Travel Potty Seat

Fave of Angela

“This puppy is super portable and folds down so small into its own little bag. It has suction cups to affix safely to any big potty to make potty training on the go a breeze.”

Currently in my cart… 

Inflatable Toddler Bed for Travel

Fave of Jenna

“This toddler-size air bed has totally changed travel for us. Our son is too big for a pack n play and kicks like a mad man. It’s a bit smaller than a twin but larger than a crib. Great for kids up to age 5 and packs down small into your suitcase.”

If you are a toddler parent also neck-deep in fish crackers and laundry (#pottytraining), I hope you found a few things on this list that will make your life with a 3 year old better. They are real reviews from real parents without the marketing spin.

Also, here’s a high five because you’re rocking this parenting thing. ✋ Now go negotiate that power struggle!

10 Outdoor Footwear Faves

When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, I’m always eager to swap out my footwear right away. I put on my Chacos and head out for a walk with a lighter step and renewed interest in the world. I used to be a runner and biker, but these days I’m a walker during the warm months. Because my outdoor sport interests have narrowed, I find that one excellent pair of outdoor shoes will handle all my spring and summer adventures. For me, that pair of shoes is Chacos. 

But however you enjoy the great outdoors during the spring and summer, you’ll need some awesome footwear. If you are looking for reliable sandals, running shoes, socks, or hiking boots, you’ll want to peek at these recommendations from the HandsDown community

Best Outdoor Sandals for Women

Everyone needs some great outdoor sandals!

Teva® Tirra for Women | Strappy Water Sandals

Fave of Esther

“Love these for any outdoor adventure that will include water. I also love that Teva uses recycled materials and will also take their shoes back with their recycle program. I’ve had my pair for 6 years and they’re still going strong.”

Women’s Z/Cloud 2 Sandals | Chaco

Fave of Kate

“I’ve worn the same pair of Chacos for 6 years, and they are only just starting to wear out. My feet and back never get tired even after a long day of walking around in them. Hands down my favorite pregnancy shoes too, since they adjust to fit my swollen feet and give great arch support.” 

Note: Yep, these are from my list! One thing to know is that they are not great water shoes, surprisingly. But awesome for all other outdoor adventures!


Fave of Kittie

“All time fav shoe brand, can’t beat their well-made leather and cork sandal for the summer festival season.”

So many people listed Birkenstocks as a Fave footwear item! They are classy, comfortable, and well-made. Hard to beat!

Comfortable Running Shoes and Socks

Women’s Performance Running Ankle Sock 4-Pack Gift Bag – Bombas

Fave of Kendra

“Let’s talk about something unsexy–MY FEET SWEAT. But these babies keep them dry. I tell literally everyone how much I love these socks. They are AmAzInG. Also for every pair you buy, a pair is donated to a homeless shelter. I wear these running and the compression socks at work (scrub life).”

Bombas is another brand that shows up on many Fave lists! (Including mine!)

Men’s Stride Micro Crew Ultra-Light Running Socks – Darn Tough

Fave of Jeffery

“Lifetime warranty. Amazingly thin, stay dry, grippy, breathable socks. Best sock I’ve found for warmer weather activities: biking, hiking, running etc. Own two pairs and these have become my primary biking sock.”

Pro tip: Virtually every sock recommendation you’ll find on HandsDown is either Bombas or Darn Tough. Can’t go wrong with either!

Women’s Arahi 6 Stability Running Shoe | HOKA®

Fave of Kendra

“Cushioned shoes that aren’t heavy and don’t look like clown shoes. Fun colors. Fun Miles. Fun Times.”

Women’s OOahh Slide Sandal – Lavender – OOFOS

Fave of Jill

“Best sandals to wear after a run. Also use them as my house shoes. Great support and super comfortable.”

Don’t forget to pamper your feet after a long run! They worked hard!

Best Outdoor Footwear for Hiking

Women’s Lennox™ Hiker Bootie | SOREL

Fave of Ashley

“These boots help me take long hikes with no blisters afterwards.”

I mean, the #1 job of hiking boots is no blisters, so that’s a winning review!

The North Face Activist Mid Futurelight Hiking Shoe

Fave of Peter

“Good ankle support, look cool, waterproof, lightweight.”

It’s nice to see a hiking boot that doesn’t seem like Serious Business. They really do look cool and comfortable. 

Cairn PRO II Adventure Sandals – Bedrock Sandals

Fave of Becca

“These are the ultimate hiking sandals! I love that I can hike 4+ miles and easily go over rocks, mud, in and out of water, and uphill with ease. It’s a great sandal for packing when you know there are going to be adventures.”

Whether you enjoy the outdoors through festivals, hiking, running, or walking around the neighborhood, I hope you find your hands down fave footwear for the season! When you do, add it to your list of Faves and share it with your friends. 

HandsDown Top 10 Refreshing Summer Drinks

When it’s hot hot hot outside, all I want is a cold cold cold drink. You too? Not surprised. Whether you’re sweating it out at a family reunion, or hosting a backyard dinner party, the drink supply is top priority. (Or let’s be honest, even if you’re mostly driving your kids around and not throwing parties, you’re still gonna need some chilled beverages to get you through summer.) And as fun as summer cocktails are, sometimes you need a drink that’s non-alcoholic but non-boring. Enter the mocktail! 

If you’re looking for refreshing summer drinks beyond La Croix or Coke, here’s a collection of Faves from the HandsDown community. I’ve gathered a variety of pre-made summer mocktails, hydrating drinks, and mocktail recipe ingredients. Plus, I snuck in a few adult-only beverages at the end. Cheers!

Note: Some of the mocktails, while alcohol-free, contain ingredients that are not safe or recommended during pregnancy or if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications. Always check the label!

Best Pre-Made Summer Mocktails


Fave of Paulina

“These drinks have layers that tell stories in the form of complex and playful flavors. It makes you want to be poetic and have a curly mustache when drinking it; damn if it isn’t delicious. It makes ‘having a drink’ a worthy experience without the alcohol.”

Lightwave: A Non-Alcoholic Relaxing Drink

Fave of Jenna

“I appreciate most of the Kin Euphorics product line but this is my current favorite. It replaces a cocktail for me. The taste has hints of ginger I think and it’s excellent on ice. The cans are small so I throw them in my bag when headed to a friend’s place, or out to a bar.”

The Recess sampler

Fave of Sorcha

“The best way to relax sans-booze.”

TEPACHE: A fermented & probiotic beverage, made from fresh pineapples!

Fave of Sonia

“Delicious alternative to kombucha with less sugar. My favorite flavor is mango.”

Refreshing Summer Fitness and Hydration Drinks

CELSIUS® Fitness Drinks

Fave of Valerie

“My new favorite way to start my morning! Non-carbonated, delicious, low calorie caffeine.”

Plink! Watermelon

Fave of Carina

“Delicious electrolyte drink mix. This refreshing cooler leads with juicy-sweet watermelon, and a light zip of cucumber, and is crisped with a salty finish.”

Best Summer Mocktail Recipe Ingredients

For you who enjoy mixing your own summer drinks, here are two mocktail recipe ingredient Faves.

Blood Orange Juice, Fresh Squeezed | Natalie’s Juice

Fave of Park

“Fresh-squeezed blood orange juice in a bottle with a stunning color and flavor!”

One Touch Sparkling Water Maker – SodaStream Carbonated Water

Fave of Michael

“I am obsessed with fizzy water. It’s refreshing and crispy. However, buying all these plastic bottles is not great for the environment (those poor fish). So enter SodaStream. All you need is a SodsStream machine, CO2 Canister and some water. BOOM! Fizzy water. And it saves you money too. Saving the planet and savings in your wallet. Sounds like a win-win to me!”

Best Summer Cocktails

Actually, just margaritas…


Fave of Sonia

“Margaritas are my favorite adult beverage and this is the absolute best pre-made cocktail I have ever had. With hints of jalapeño and hibiscus, I’m embarrassed to admit how often I have these.”

Best Margarita Recipe – How to Make the Perfect Margarita Cocktail

Fave of Jamie

“The only way to make/drink a margarita. Add a few jalapenos or cucumbers to take it up a notch.”

I hope you found your new favorite summer drink in this round-up. If you did, add it to your own list of Faves and share it with your friends. Cheers to staying cool, relaxed, and hydrated this summer!

10 HandsDown Fave Vegan Pantry Staples

Back in the ‘90s, my family was vegan for a few years and vegetarian for many years. I have fond memories of weird white bean burgers, rubbery almond “cheese,” and soy milk on my raisin bran. (Fond memories in hindsight. I complained a lot as a kid.) Thankfully, the vegan lifestyle has made enormous progress in the last few decades. You can find great vegan alternatives for almost any ingredient and even for non-food products. Bye, rubbery cheese!

Here’s a round up of 10 vegan pantry and home staples from the HandsDown community.

Must-Have Vegan Ingredients

To start off our Top 10, check out a couple of vegan pantry staples to have on hand.

Nutritional Yeast

Fave of Britteny, who calls this straight up “a vegan staple.”

Pro tip: Can’t beat “nooch” (vegan shorthand) on a bowl of fresh popcorn! Also tasty as a cheese substitute. 

Frantoia Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fave of Lisa: “We don’t leave home without it. We always pack this when we rent vacation homes. We have given this as gifts to dinner hosts and they all rave about the flavor.”

Miso Master Organic White Miso Paste

Fave of Angela: “Miso Paste in general is magical. Love a miso butter brushed onto bok choy and then grilled. We even had miso butter popcorn recently! I like this one because it is organic and gluten free.”

Go-To Vegan Pre-Made Meals

It’s always tricky to find a quick snack or meal on the go that doesn’t contain animal products. Here’s a few vegan meal Faves.

Amy’s Gluten Free Non Dairy Burrito

Fave of Heather: “I eat one of these every day for lunch. Don’t judge.”

Daily Harvest

Fave of Kittie: “I love their frozen smoothies and they are the perfect quick and healthy breakfast on the way out the door. Their soups and bowls make for great lunch options too.”

Crave-Worthy Vegan Snacks

Looking for a good vegan guilty-pleasure snack? Here are two I can’t wait to try!

Deux Cookie Dough

Fave of Diana: “I always save room for dessert, and this is my newest obsession. This is *healthy* cookie dough (made with oats, nut butter, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut sugar, water, and flaxseed, then enhanced with other healthy ingredients like amino acids) that you can bake or eat right from the jar (my preferred method). My favs are chocolate chip and brownie batter!”

Lesser Evil Popcorn

Fave of Diana, who has unequivocally deemed this: “Best snack!!!”

That’s with three exclamation points, for those keeping score!

A Vegan Recipe to Make on Repeat

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Fave of Hanna: “Autumn is soup season!”

Pro tip: The recipe is from Cookie+Kate, a Fave food blog. Kate posts delicious and simple vegan and vegetarian recipes for the home cook. Her cookbook is beautiful too, and the recipes are just *chef’s kiss*

Beyond the Pantry: Vegan Beauty Products

Making vegan food swaps is the obvious place to start, but beauty products are the next place to make the switch to vegan. Check out the products below to discover some vegan beauty brands.

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

Fave of Amanda: “It really extends your lashes and doesn’t crumble throughout the day. Best part is that it slides off your lashes with warm water but NOT with sweat. No dark under eyes or aggressive wiping needed, which helps prevent wrinkles!!”

Attitude Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Fave of Kristen: “Simple, unscented, good for the whole family – and it doesn’t have any of the junk that’s bad for you or the environment.”

Whatever your motivation for going vegan (either a little or a lot) and however hard-core your lifestyle, hats off to you for making the world a little better. I hope you discovered a new Fave for your list in this vegan product round-up. 

HandsDown Fave Gifts for Newlyweds

Every wedding is different, but a few things are (almost) always the same. Love, music, food, joy, family, a bit of drama, photos, and GIFTS.  

Personally, I have a couple of rules when it comes to buying wedding gifts. Not every gift needs to follow all three rules, but it should meet at least one. 

  1. Quality that will last. The best gifts last a couple of decades (peep the cast iron dutch oven I recommend below for a great example).
  2. Practical and useful. This is a tricky one because everyone thinks their gift is useful. But here are a few examples that DON’T fit this rule: home decor because you don’t know their style, sheet sets in an assumed but unconfirmed size, and restaurant gift cards to a place you’re not sure they like.
  3. Unlikely to be duplicated. My husband and I got FOUR mega boxes of Rubbermaid and TWELVE bath towels for our wedding. It was so much for two people. I like to choose something that’s not super standard so it’s unlikely to be duplicated.

Obviously, one gift all newlyweds love is cash, but if you want to give something more personal, check out these faves from the HandsDown community.

Kitchen Gifts for Newlyweds

I’ll start you off with a classic gift for newlyweds: cookware! 

All-Clad – 12.5 Inch Skillet – Stainless Steel D3 3-Ply Cookware

Fave of Michael:

“One of my favorite kitchen tools is my ever so handy All Clad 12.5 Skillet. It’s so versatile and lasts forever. Highly recommended by various culinary tastemakers and I couldn’t agree more.”

Lodge 5.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Ok, I had to throw in one of my own personal recommendations. This is a Fave from me, Kate

“All the benefits of cast iron with none of the work, thanks to the enamel coating. It’s a versatile kitchen tool that I use for almost everything. Easy to clean, and the bright color makes me happy. The price point is awesome for the quality.”

Here’s a gift for the environmentally-conscious couple. 

rezip Lay-Flat Gallon Reusable BPA-Free Food Grade Storage Bag 4-Pack

Fave of Francine:

“These are a bit costly, but they will always rezip and are large enough to hold the no-knead bread you should be making!!”

Next up, a gift for the foodie newlyweds.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

Fave of Becca:

“I’m a huge fan of Samin Nosrat and her approach to cooking – getting folks away from following recipes and really digging into the whys and hows our food works together.”

(Tangent alert: For quality entertainment, check out this video of Samin Nosrat collabing with Brad from Bon Appétit.)

And to finish out the kitchen tools round-up, a gift for the newlyweds who just really love coffee. 

Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino3 3594 Black Milk Frother

Fave of Sarah:

“Milk frother is key to a special coffee drink. This one is really easy to use for hot or cold froth. Plugs in and is small. Takes less than 30 seconds.”

Electronic Gifts for Newlyweds

Ok, let’s look at some tech gifts for the newlyweds’ new home together.

Google Home

Fave of Sarah:

“Always been a fan of Google over Siri or Alexa. She always hears me correctly and the speaker is actually fantastic for music. I have it in several rooms and even connected to a Sonos. I like doing my “morning briefing” with about 5 different news programs to start the day.”

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug 

Fave of Tiffany:

“I can switch all of my lamps on or off with my phone or my Alexa! Plus, I can also schedule them on a timer through the app. You can plug anything into these and monitor or conserve energy consumption.”

Unique Wedding Gifts

Branch Basics

Fave of Kendyl:

“I absolutely love these cleaning products. The laundry boost is amazing as is the all-purpose cleaner. The best part is everything comes from one concentrate and all you have to do is add water! All natural and non-toxic and great for a house with kids.”

Linnea Design Calendar – Linnea Design

Fave of David:

“Most beautiful and inspiring calendar you will ever own. Changes every year. Highly curated. Design driven. Makes for great gifts too!”

(Personal note: I generally don’t recommend giving home decor as a gift, but a cool calendar is okay. It’s useful and temporary by nature.)

Finally, if you can’t decide on a gift, just give the gift of literally everything—you can give a Costco membership as a gift!


Fave of Frank:

“Delicious pepperoni slice for $1.99. Vaccines, eye glasses, contacts, prescriptions. High quality snacks in bulk. Rotisserie Chicken. Portland Organic Ketchup 3pk for $7 or so. Costco Visa that is 3% cash back on food and travel. Sonos 2 pack speakers for $369. The list goes on and on.”

My wedding season wish for you: I hope your next wedding is not-too-awkward and the DJ only plays “Brown-Eyed Girl” once. Good luck choosing a wedding gift, and give my best to the happy couple!

And if you haven’t already, share your own favorite things on HandsDown today!