Design

Gift Guide #6: Your Adoring Wife Who Never Met a Cheese She Didn’t Love.

young frankk hoop earrings

Pretty earrings to wear all year, $88. (Or these cuties for $20.)

massage candle by get maude

Massage candle, $25, made with skin-softening jojoba oil, which can be poured on skin once melted.

aj kurtz keychain

Keychain, $15, with a beautiful life reminder.

Banana Pudding by Magnolia Bakery

Banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery, which is the stuff of legend. $62 for 6 large cups.

professor puzzle daily iq puzzle

365 daily puzzles, $13, for a fun morning ritual.

Urban Stems x Vogue Bouquets

Flowers, some arranged by Vogue editors, to brighten the whole house. From $45.

May I Come In Book by wendy goodman

The photo book May I Come In?, packed with offbeat home tours around the world. $27.

leopard dot pajamas

Leopard pajamas, $60. Rawr.

le labo discovery kit

Discovery set by cult-favorite Le Labo, $85, because the only thing better than one amazing perfume is sixteen of them.

mozzarella making kit

Mozzarella cheesemaking kit, $15. Because, as legendary food writer Ruth Reichl writes, “Nothing tastes like freshly made mozzarella that has never seen the inside of a refrigerator.”

bed prism glasses

Bed prism glasses, $7, so she can read in bed without getting a crick in her neck. And look super cool!

weighted blanket

Weighted blanket $86, which feels like a hug, is magically comforting and leads to a restful sleep.

scribners lodge

A romantic weekend away, just the two of you. xoxo

P.S. Last year’s gift guide for wives, and the 2018 gift guide so far.

(Scribner’s Lodge photo by Franny Eremin.)

  1. Katia says...

    I’d also love to hear more about non-skiing options (since you can’t ski with a baby! At least not downhill…)

  2. Lu Spriggs says...

    You just saved my partner’s life. xo

  3. Mia says...

    I don’t usually comment, and I can’t take issue with the product advertised (I am crossword obsessed and love puzzles of all kinds!) but I am really taken aback by the casual reference to phrenology, a branch of pseudoscience that has been used to endorse the idea that racist beliefs have a scientific basis (specifically in a misidentified link between skull shape/size and brain capacity). I can see that it’s meant as a ‘brainy’ prop, but I mean… ick.

    • Amalia says...

      Seconded!

  4. Katia says...

    That lodge looks amazing (Scribners). Have you been?

    I’d love to see a post on traveling with a young baby. My husband and I would love to get away somewhere for a few days with our infant (10 months). We’re having a hard time figuring out what’s a good idea–partly because it’s hard for us to imagine a vacation with the constraints that come with a little one–two naps a day, early bedtime, etc. (Cities are walkable, which is great with a kid, but not in the winter maybe? A least because of diaper changing. A warm beach sounds great this time of year. But a long flight doesn’t! And anyway, are all-inclusive resorts a good idea? Are they all cheesy? Are they better with older kids? AirBnB type rentals seem nice–not stuck in a dark room after the early bedtime because can sit in living room–but also don’t come with someone to take away trash, change sheets, bring food, as a hotel does.) I’d love to hear your wisdom, as well as that of your readers!

  5. Emily says...

    The flowers you link to are beautiful, but I had a really negative experience when ordering from Urban Stems a few years ago for valentine’s day when long distance with my boyfriend (yes, I bought him flowers too!). I don’t know if they have gotten more reliable but I was really disappointed back then.

  6. Emily says...

    I’m totally getting the 365 puzzles for my husband. Cup of Jo to the rescue for last-minute Hanukkah gifts I can go buy at Target right now! Yes! :)

  7. Abby says...

    Thanks for the tip on the weighted blanket! Just sent one to my friend who is struggling with anxiety and this blanket is the closest I can get to a real hug for awhile. XOXOX, Happy Holidays!

  8. gfy says...

    Those reading glasses, lol! I will be giving those to everyone I know – such a great price for something so useful! Also, the lodge looks amazing for the price!! What great deals, thank you!

  9. Betsy says...

    I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t love and I want all of these things! Now I just need to find a husband so I can be the adoring wife…or just save my money to buy myself gifts ha.

  10. Candace says...

    Can you post a white elephant curated list? We have multiple and it’s tough coming up with clever, funny gifts. Would love to see it on here!

  11. Chrissie says...

    It seems like the gift guides have more affordable/accessible ideas than in years past. I would imagine that it was a conscious decision. It’s noticed and appreciated!!

  12. Sarah says...

    That perfume sampler is such a great idea! And those glasses are hilarious. Could use them right this second.

  13. Emily says...

    This gift guide has so many great ideas for my spouse! I was wondering if you might consider doing a gift guide for “them” (gender-neutral singular pronoun). There aren’t a lot of gift guides for non-binary people. Thank you for writing such an inclusive blog!

    • AN says...

      Totally coming at you from a place of respect and as a queer, would you be willing to consider the gifts themselves and not the titles Jo gives the gift guides? There are tons of awesome options in all the guides that are completely gender-neutral, right? And she writes the titles to reflect her own life, not readers’. Like this one’s from Alex’ perspective about Jo, know what I’m sayin’? The others are about her mom/mom figure, her sister, her BFFs, her kids not us.

    • LU says...

      I agree with AN – I think the titles of the guides just reflect the people in Jo’s life, but include ideas that can be applied for anyone. I don’t imagine a guide for “them” would necessarily have anything that might not already be included in one of the existing guides. Anyway, so many fun gift ideas – many of which are going on my own wishlist!

    • Lori says...

      What would “they” want that is different from everyone else? I’m perplexed. Non-binary folks like key chains just as much as the rest of us.

    • Emily says...

      Just to clarify, there are definitely relevant gifts in this list, and I appreciate how little gender stereotyping there is compared with typical online gift guides! I meant it would be a great, inclusive message to have a gift guide for non-binary people to complement the brothers/wives/sisters/moms/etc. guides, but I get what you’re saying – these usually reflect people in Jo’s life so maybe it’s not the best fit here.

  14. M says...

    That key chain! I just ordered three for my besties (and one for me.) It gave me a lump in my throat and hope in my heart. Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So glad, I felt the same xoxo

  15. L says...

    I gave these glasses to a friend with a neck injury after a rough car accident and they were fabulous!

  16. Jessica says...

    OMG this is brilliant. I wanted everything on this list! Thanks for writing my list for me this year =)

  17. LC says...

    Cup of Jo! This is my first ever comment. I love these lists but wanted to point out that I had such a terrible experience purchasing a gravity blanket (and have heard the same from other online reviews) to the point of wanting to advise that others avoid the company entirely. Please take a look at the reviews online before making the plunge if you’re interested! x

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, LC! i swapped it out for a really well-reviewed one from target. thanks so much xo

  18. Sarah says...

    My husband and I decided that this year our gift to each other will be a new mattress. Ours just is not firm enough! We’ve had much better sleep on the Sleep Number owned by the people we dogsit for regularly, so this weekend we’re going to the store to test some out.
    Of course, I also got him a sweater because he hates clothes shopping and I like dressing him :) If I want any small thing for myself I’ll probably need to give him a hint!

  19. Heidi says...

    Hi! I’ve read all the reviews for the blanket…..can you tell me if it really, really helps? It is so expensive but would be worth the price if it helped me get to sleep. I usually lay awake for at least an hour fretting about every single thing my mind can think about.

    • Claire says...

      My boyfriend has one that he found on Etsy (don’t know how much it was!), and it’s pretty great! While I fall asleep easily, he’s pretty restless and it’s been helpful for him. I like it because it feels like a giant hug. :)

    • Julie Wilding says...

      Target also just started carrying them, and I think theirs are -$100.

    • Jane says...

      Weighted blankets have been great for my anxiety-ridden brain as I try to fall asleep at night. You definitely don’t have to pay $200+ for one – I got mine from Honeybird (www.gethoneybird.com) for about $150 and I love it.

    • Austeja says...

      Thanks for the shoutout to Honeybird, Jane! I was about to get one as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend on Amazon but this looks like a much nicer-quality alternative.

    • Anne says...

      Heidi, I’ve had trouble sleeping for years. I almost never sleep through the night. My husband got me a weighted blanket for my birthday and I was so hopeful! In my experience, it didn’t help me at all. It was heavy enough that it made me feel claustrophobic. I found it difficult to turn over while using it. Luckily, after trying it for a couple of weeks with no good results, he was able to get a full refund. I realize some people find them helpful, but I wanted to tell my experience.

    • Heidi says...

      Thank you all ❤️❤️❤️

  20. Louisa says...

    Mail ordering banana pudding from New York City? Isn’t that like mail ordering a bagel from Birmingham? I know the ingredients for banana pudding don’t exactly scream “terroir,” but I still can’t endorse this idea. Even if it’s the stuff of legend.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      magnolia bakery is famous for their version — it’s really delicious. but i’d love to try others! xoxo

    • Lauren says...

      That banana pudding really is amazing. As someone who lived in NYC and adored this stuff, I would definitely consider mailing it to MN. I have also looked into overnighting chocolate babka from Breads Bakery and a bagel pack from Russ and Daughters. The things I’ll apparently do for the food I miss from New York…..

    • Meg says...

      I’m loling @ banana terroir, Louisa.

    • Louisa says...

      I’m a southerner, a banana pudding fan —I requested it for my birthday cake as a kid!— and I swear by Maya Angelou’s recipe. Or you could just sneak into a church potluck in the south. (I’m sure Magnolia’s is fantastic!)

    • Jennifer O. says...

      I’m sure theirs is very good, but I had a similar reaction. Yankee banana pudding?!!

  21. Heather says...

    Those reading glasses are cracking me up, but I also kinda want them!!!

  22. Robin says...

    My husband took me on a romantic weekend getaway for my birthday, spending a night at a fancy hotel with a hot tub and pool. We brought our dog Scout, and the hotel was so dog friendly, it was as though it was Scout’s birthday! He was greeted by the dog concierge (who was a dog), and received a gift bag, a “dog on vacation” door hanger, a special bed, a bag of treats, and a welcome sign at the front desk, to the Very Important Pet. I was like, hey, where’s MY birthday present? Haha. It was a great weekend.

    • Sasha L says...

      I love this story!! We have a Scout too, and he would also love VIPet treatment.

    • Kim says...

      Where is this hotel? My sister would love this. I will have to drop hints for my brother in law ha.

    • Eloise says...

      Kimpton hotels are both fancy and SUPER dog friendly (no breed or size restrictions). And, while you do have to sign something indicating you’ll pay for damage caused by your dog(s), they don’t require a deposit. HIGHLY recommend for those who want to travel with dog(s) as well as for those who don’t!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the dog concierge is so adorable!

    • Robin says...

      The hotel is the Pemberton Valley Lodge in BC. And while I do love the name Scout, I actually lied in my comment, because our dog is named Trout. But my husband makes me lie about Trout’s name so that nobody will steal it for their dog. ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔ

    • Sasha L says...

      Robin, your husband is hilarious. Trout the dog !!!

      Both myself and my daughter have *dog* names. It’s hard not to laugh when someone calls “Saaaaaasha, come on girl! Or “Bellllllla, come for a treat!!” At least you’re totally avoiding that with Trout. At least I think so.

    • Rachel L says...

      My niece is named Scout – she’s sixteen and it suits her so well, but she still has to repeat it to so many people (who obviously haven’t heard of TKAM!) Our dogs all have human names…Alice, Andy & April…!

  23. Catherine Kowalik Harper says...

    We are trying to cut back on gift-giving in our family, but I saw that design book and it is calling my name, ha ha.

  24. Kay says...

    Just a tip for anyone interested in the weighted blanket: weighted blankets are really wonderful, but the Gravity blanket (linked in the list) has some pretty negative reviews online. Many of Gravity’s Kickstarter backers haven’t received blankets they ordered over a year ago, and people who have received blankets report issues with the seams ripping. There are several other weighted blankets on the market, so I’d recommend giving one of those a shot!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh this is good to know, kay! we have this one at home — it’s not beautiful but it works well: https://amzn.to/2QdaWNT

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s SO SWEET.

    • Becky says...

      This adorable! I think I may have to make some for my husband for Christmas, like for walking the dog in the rain or a coffee run!

  25. Kelly says...

    I usually don’t have a wishlist myself until I start shopping for my husband! I always wind up swiping the colognes I get him, like Jazz Club or Boyd’s Texas Lavender, so this year I’m asking for some myself.

    So some of the coolest, cheapest jewelry I’ve wanted lately has been in the ASOS Men’s section! I got a signet ring for my husband, but I got these bee collar points for myself, and a lapel pin for each of us https://us.asos.com/asos-design/asos-design-bee-collar-tips-in-gold-tone/prd/10274466?clr=gold&SearchQuery=bee+jewelry&SearchRedirect=true

    Signet: https://us.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-eye-signet-ring-in-silver-exclusive-to-asos/prd/8901078?CTARef=Saved%20Items%20Image

    • S says...

      Thank you so much for the collar points, I have been looking for a set(?) for years, and these are GREAT!

  26. Kristen L. says...

    Love! By the way my fellow New Yorkers – if you love fresh mozzarella – a place called Casellula offers hand-pulled mozzarella table or bar-side on Monday nights after 7! Could be a nice date night. One of my favorite little gems in the city, especially to bring friends/out-of-towners.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, wow, that sounds so delicious, kristen!

  27. lesley says...

    Best gift guide yet. Especially the keychain.

    • thank you lesley! i made that keychain off of an instagram post i wrote back in november 2016 for… no reason in particular… continues to give me the realistic optimism i need to get through. <3

  28. Great gift guide….and of course including my favorite place (Scribner’s) makes it even better!! :)

  29. Laura C. says...

    Bed prism glasses. I am like, WHAT?!?!

    PS. How badly I want the weighted blanket, since you mentioned it long time ago, you cannot imagine.

  30. I AM OBSESSED WITH SCRIBNER’S LODGE! everyone needs to go there! The owners are family friends of ours- my mom has a house on their road- and it is the most gorgeous, well-designed amazing place on earth, one mile from Hunter Mountain! They do weddings, have amazing food, great yoga- I could go on.

    Also, if you do venture there, you HAVE to go to :
    -Twin Peaks donuts for their amazing donuts and coffee
    -Maggie’s Krooked Cafe for an amazing breakfast worth the wait
    and the Last Chance Cheese shop!

    Oh, this made my day seeing this…thank you, Jo!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, it’s so great to hear this! franny went last weekend with her girlfriend, and they raved about it!

    • Katia says...

      It looks amazing! What do you think it’d be like going there with a young infant (10 months) during winter? Bad idea?

    • Tracy says...

      Scribners is great, and is both dog and kid friendly…and gorgeous!!

    • Carissa says...

      It really does look beautiful! I have been looking for a winter getaway with my husband that’s within driving distance. We don’t ski though – could you recommend any other activities or attractions in the area to make the trip this time of year worthwhile? Thank you!