Graduation ceremonies are happening…or at the very least, they are just around the corner. I have listed some graduation gifts in the last few months in some previous posts, but just in case you missed them, I’m sharing the pieces again. Check out the links here:
High School Graduation Gifts for 2023, click here for the first graduation gifts I suggested this year. They are in all different price ranges, and I highly recommend them.
More High School Graduation Gifts. For a few more suggestions, and some that are unusual, click here.
More High School Graduation Gifts (and these are good!) To see my last list of graduation gifts for this year, click here
Hulken bags. I had to list these separately in different posts over the last few weeks, because I believe these are some of the best gifts ever. My college-age daughter has one, and I have one, and we find lots of great uses for them: retail returns, bringing stuff in from the car, even laundry at college! These big bags on wheels are lightweight and easy to use! Seriously, the graduate in your life needs this bag. Pick a color. I highly recommend the more manageable size Medium. To purchase, click here.
.I’m hoping you found some fun ideas in my lists. And remember, if you have an Amazon Prime Membership, most items ship for free! Happy Shopping!
High school graduations will start happening next month. If you know anyone who is graduating this year, now is the time to start thinking about gifts. My daughter graduated from high school last year, so I saw lots of gift ideas. I’m going to share a few of my favorites so you don’t have to search for ideas. SHOP EARLY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CHOICES! Here we go:
Personalized Necklace. Personalized gifts say “I really put some thought into this gift for you.” For a fun, in expensive gift, you can purchase a personalized necklace for under $20. The high school graduate will love it and wear it every day! No, it’s no real gold, but it’s 18k gold-plated, so it looks like real gold. To purchase, click here.
She’s Birdie Personal Alarm. Last year, when our daughter was getting ready to go off to college, I saw these alarms on a TV show. They’re compact. They hang on a keychain. Most of all, they’re pretty darn loud and “alarming.” They also have a small strobe that will illuminate a darker area. If you’re worried about a high school grad parking in a parking deck or walking alone, this is a great gift. This gift says “I care about you and your well-being.” Offered in lots of colors, the She’s Birdie Personal Alarm is inexpensive. To purchase, click here.
Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker. If the graduate on your list is absent-minded or has ADHD, this is a great gift to help him/her locate a misplaced item. He/she can hang it from a keychain to locate lost keys. I wish I’d had one of these when I was in college instead of having to panic every time I lost my keys. To purchase, click here.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker. A quality speaker is a must for almost any young adult. When I was young, my friends and I had our own “get ready” music, just like athletes have their walkout music. Some things never change. I still have a playlist for getting dressed, and my college-age daughter and her friends do too. A waterproof bluetooth speaker is essential. They can take it to the pool. They can take it to the lake. They can even take it in the shower! My daughter’s preferred speaker is a JBL FLIP 5, priced at about $90, but there are lots of options and price points out there. To purchase JBL, click here. To see others, click here.
4-in-1 Wireless Charger. Young adults have all the devices, and they need a place to charge them without having to use multiple electrical outlets. That’s where a 4-in-1 wireless charger comes in. They can charge two phones phone, an Apple watch, and airpods…all at once. I know you’re thinking, “Why two phones?” When a friend visits and needs to charge a phone at the same time, it comes in handy. Priced at under $30, this gift is a steal…and guaranteed to be a hit. To purchase, click here.
Spikeball set. College students need a distraction from the stress of classes and exams. When I was in college, we played a lot of games, but we didn’t have Spikeball then. Apparently, it’s a lot of fun and can be played indoors or outdoors. If you have a graduate on your list who needs to take study breaks, this could be a big hit! To purchase, click spikeball set.
Comfy Wearable Blanket. Everyone my daughter knows has a Comfy, and everyone loves their Comfy. These make great gifts. Priced at under $40, they are sold at a great price point, and they are worth every penny and more. With a fleecy inside, these oversized wearable blankets will make anyone feel better. To purchase, click Comfy.
Sunset Projector. I don’t know why college girls love these light projectors in their rooms, but they do. It creates a glow that somehow mimics a sunset…or some semblance thereof. I think they just like the colors. What I do know is that they are very popular in freshman girl dorms. To purchase, click sunset projector.
Verilux Happy Light. Just after the holidays, my daughter called me from college and said she was sad. She wasn’t clinically depressed; she was simply feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Shorter days in winter can seriously affect our moods, but I knew the Verilux Happy Light was a possible solution. It mimics sunlight during those cold winter months. She got it. She set it up, and she used it for about 30 minutes a day while she was putting on makeup or just hanging out. And you know what? She felt better! To see the various models and purchase, click here.
Levoit Air Purifier. Lots of dorms and apartments have dust and mold. That’s where an air purifier comes in. This small Levoit Air Purifier will effectively help clean the air of a room by removing dust and mold particles. Cleaner air can help people avoid illness, and this small purifier from Levoit doesn’t take up a lot of room. If the grad in your life is planning to live in a dorm or apartment, this could be a welcome gift. To purchase, click here.
Closet Organizers and Storage. Everyone in a small apartment or dorm room needs ways to maximize organization and storage. Shoes, sweaters, tshirts, school supplies, and even medical supplies…they all need a place to be stored. My newest organization tool? Some storage bins from Haixin. Load at the top, then stack. Open from the front thereafter. See them here. But you might rather give the graduate something like shoe bins or over-the-door storage. If so, there are lots of possibilities. To see options and purchase, click here.
Jonathan Adler Lollipop Holder. Y’all might think I’m crazy on this one, but stick with me. I got our daughter a Jonathan Adler Lollipop Holder for Christmas this past year, and at first, she thought I was crazy. Once I showed it to her and explained it could be a bonding tool with her neighbors and friends in the dorm, she understood! It’s quite the conversation piece. The picture below shows the desktop-sized sculpture with unwrapped lollipops, but I gave her wrapped Tootsie Pops to put in it…much more sanitary, and it still looks good. Priced at under $100, it’s a fun, memorable gift. In fact, every graduate I know might get them from now on! To purchase, click here.
Trinket Trays. Don’t all women need a place to put little things on their nightstands and desks? Every night, when I’m getting ready for bed, I put my earrings in a trinket tray on my nightstand. The next morning, I put them in the jewelry box, but it’s nice to have a little place to store them overnight. I love Jonathan Adler colorful trinket trays, but there are lots of options out there. If you have a Clemson fan on your list, she’s likely to love the small tiger trinket tray by Jonathan Adler pictured below. To see lots of options (including the Adler tiger tray), click here.
Acrylic Makeup Organizers. One of the very best gifts I received as a high school graduate in 1985 was an acrylic makeup organizer. My mother’s friend, Polly, gave it to me, and I treasured it all the way through college and beyond. It’s a great gift for any young lady, and they’re pretty darn inexpensive.To see options, click here.
Back Rest Pillow. Reading or studying at a desk is not always optimal in a dorm room, and that’s where a back rest pillow comes in. Great for boys or girls, back rest pillows offer great support for sitting up in bed. I had one back in the old days, and this is one great idea lots of people still use! The grad in your life will be grateful, and your wallet will too, since it’s priced at under $50. To purchase, click here.
Laundry Backpack. Laundry bags are crucial for anyone living in a dorm, but laundry backpacks are easy to carry and good looking too! My daughter has one and loves it, because it keeps her hands free while she walks to the laundry room or to drop off her laundry.To see options and purchase, click here.
Foldable Drying Rack. Not every clothing item can go in the dryer, and that’s where the Amazon Foldable Drying Rack comes in. The graduate might not understand at first, but as soon as they shrink something in the dryer, they’ll get it. This foldable rack takes up minimal room in a dorm and is easy to stand up and take down. Highly recommend. To purchase, click here.
Tool Set. A family friend gave our daughter a tool set for graduation last year, and it was one of the best, most useful gifts she received! We used it at move-in, and she has used it many times since! Amazon offers lots of tool sets at reasonable prices. The one pictured below is marketed toward women (pink), but there are lots to choose from. To see what Amazon offers, click here.
Baboon to the Moon Bag. This is one of my favorite brands of anything. I have several Baboon to the Moon bags for travel, and my daughter loves hers too. We especially love the “Go Bags” in various sizes for air travel. They’re waterproof, colorful, roomy, and guaranteed for life! Our favorite is the Go Bag-Small, which is priced at just under $200, but they have a couple of colors on sale for under $100 at time of writing. See the Go Bags here.
Mattress Topper. I simply cannot express strongly enough how necessary a mattress topper is for anyone living in a dorm and having to sleep on a dorm mattress. We purchased our daughter a Sleepyhead 3-inch mattress topper, and while it was expensive at over $300, we feel like it was worth every penny. However, if you want to give someone a mattress topper without breaking the bank, there are lots of options. To see Sleepyhead toppers, click here. To see other brands, click here.
Amazon Gift Card. All graduates love gift cards, and with the Amazon gift card, they can get just about everything they need for a dorm room or apartment. For grads, I prefer to send the gift card in a box shaped like a graduation cap, adding a cute touch. Any amount would be appreciated by a graduate. To purchase, click here.
Monogrammed Towels. Monogrammed towels are one of the best gifts ever for high school students. If they are going to college, it’s an easy way to keep their towels from disappearing! I highly recommend monogrammed towels for guys or girls, but I’m not going to recommend a brand, because it’s all about personal preference.
That’s a list of suggestions for gifts for guys and girls who are graduating from high school this year. If you have a friend or family member graduating this year, you will likely make them happy with some of the gifts above, but shop early! Good graduation gifts sell out fast, and won’t you be more relaxed if you get it done early?!? Happy shopping!
Every year, I enjoy compiling lists of gift ideas for different members of the family. For whatever reason, the gifts for teens is the most difficult to put together, and I think it’s because teens are so opinionated…and they want what they want.
I can tell you, without hesitation, that my teenage daughter will be getting some new slippers, a weekender tote bag that I featured a week or two ago (see it here), some shoes she has requested, some jewelry she has requested, and some clothes she has requested. But she is very specific about which ones she wants. She made my shopping easy, but I know all teens don’t want the exact same things.
If you need to purchase for a teen this year, I’m going to give you a list, but it’s not one I have compiled. I found it on Merrick’s Art, and it’s a good one. You can see it here. When I say there are lots of good ideas, I mean it. But like I said about teens….they’re picky, so ask some questions before purchasing.
I’ve looked through the Merrick’s list, and I can tell you what my own 17-yr-old daughter would like from the list. She has the LED light strips and loves them…got them for Christmas last year. If your teenage daughter doesn’t have them, you can order through the link on the Merrick’s list or get from Amazon here. They will definitely be a big hit with almost any teen girl.
Throw blanket? Polaroid camera? Yes! They will likely be big hits with almost any teen. My daughter, on the other hand, would look at me like I’m crazy if I give her a karaoke microphone. If you have a teen on your list who enjoys singing (or trying to sing), it might be a great gift. A bluetooth speaker is a pretty safe bet for any teen…boy or girl, but it doesn’t have to be a “mini” one as suggested on the list. My daughter has a big bluetooth speaker that she uses out by the pool all the time. Other things on the Merrick’s list that would definitely appeal to her? Gift cards to almost anywhere, but especially local favorite clothing boutiques and Ulta or Sephora.
I see Merrick’s has listed shearling boots. I looked at the ones they recommend, and they’re great. As for shearling, my daughter also loves her Ugg slippers, that are actually meant to be worn in the house, I think, but I often see her getting into her car wearing them. Our daughter loves the Scuffette II, and at $90, they’re not cheap, but they’re tough. You can find those here. As for the Nike Air Force I shoes they have listed, I say a resounding “yes.” It seems all teenagers love them.
Merrick’s also has listed fanny packs/bags, but check with your teen before getting that. Yes, they’re popular, but you don’t want to get the wrong one that will never be used.
As for blue light glasses, as suggested on the Merrick’s site, my daughter loves hers. She has several pairs that she purchased from Amazon. As much time as they spend staring at screens, they need these glasses to cut down on eye strain.
Roller skates? Maybe…depends on the teen. All the teens I know would say a big “no” to that, but that doesn’t mean others wouldn’t like them.
Those are the highlights and lowlights of the list, but it’s a great, comprehensive list that covers teens with lots of different personalities.
One thing I would add for teen girls is “repurposed” hoodies. They are very popular this year. Basically, they are vintage hoodies or t-shirts that have been bedazzled or reworked in some way to make them stand out. One store that offers them online is LF Stores. Click here to see their selection of sale items. It’s a pricey store, but they have great sales.
Teens are a fickle bunch, but we want them to have happy holidays too…and we don’t want to waste money on gifts they won’t use.
Mother’s Day is May 12. Need some gift ideas? What is the perfect Mother’s Day gift?
Ask different moms, and you will get different answers. Some want jewelry. Some want flowers. Some want to spend time with their families, while others would want to have time alone…in the form of a massage or a facial. Or maybe they just want to be alone.
I’ll tell you what I want for Mother’s Day. I want to have some time with my family over brunch on Mother’s Day, and I’d like to have some time to just hang out with my 15-yr-old daughter with no distractions…maybe check into a local hotel for one night, find some movies or sports to watch on TV, and order room service. That would be a great gift…hint, hint.
On Mother’s Day, every year, we go to brunch as a family at our country club. I make the reservation well in advance and select a table for us on the terrace…the indoor terrace. I don’t want to have to battle the elements…sun? rain? wind? bugs? I’ll stay indoors for brunch, thank you. One year, when the club was undergoing renovations, we had brunch in a big tent outside on the back patio of the club. There was live music, and it was beautiful, but it was a little warm. The food was great. The atmosphere was great, but I don’t like sweating while I dine. I’m glad that renovation is done.
I’ve spoken with some of my friends about how they would spend their ideal Mother’s Day, and here are some of the answers:
Sleep in. Breakfast (with hot coffee) in bed. Go for a mani/pedi later in the day with friends.
Have friends over with their families to swim in the backyard pool and cook out.
Spend the night in a hotel alone the night before and then brunch with the family.
Go to an afternoon movie with some other mom friends and go out for dinner with them afterward.
And when I asked my friends about Mother’s Day gifts, almost all of them said no gift was required…but it’s nice. That’s how I feel.
If you need some Mother’s Day gift ideas, here are a few I’ve found in my shopping adventures over the past few months:
Good Measure Cocktail Recipe Pitcher. Y’all, I’m not kidding when I say this is pure genius. Like to make summer cocktails by the pitcher? Well, you need this pitcher to help make them just right! I got one for myself and then purchase another one as a gift recently. I think they are great! In fact, I might get mine out and use it today. Get it at Amazon here.
Bathrobe. I know…it sounds boring, but no one wants to buy themselves a bathrobe. Get her a really good quality one…maybe one from her favorite luxury hotel? If she doesn’t have a favorite luxury hotel, then you can find a great one here.
Live Plants. If she is into gardening, you might get her some live plants to add to her garden. If not, most people enjoy having some live plants indoors. Personally, I would love it if I came home from brunch and my husband planted a few tomato plants for me on Mother’s Day. Last year, he planted them, and I took care of them, and it turned out to be a great combination. We had tomatoes galore! Nobody loves homegrown tomatoes more than I do.
Patio Furniture. This doesn’t necessarily mean a whole patio of furniture, though mine needs replacing now. My mother had a favorite chair on her patio. I’d like to have my chair on the patio. (But I also need all the other seating to be replaced.)
Photo book. I’ve been a prolific Shutterfly.com customer for years, and if I had been smart over the past 15 years, I would have asked my husband and daughter to make me a custom photo book on the website for the past 15 years. In fact, I will be asking them to do that this year. You can make photo books on Shutterfly.com here.
Jewelry. I don’t need a lot of jewelry, but some moms are really into the jewelry. If she has a Pandora bracelet, they make Mother’s Day charms. Tiffany.com has a Mother’s Day gift guide, with prices for jewelry starting at $135…and you know they are quality gifts.
Baked By Melissa. I’m a sucker for these bite-sized treats. If you’re not familiar with them, you can see them here.They have special Mother’s Day gift boxes…just order online and have them shipped directly to Mom! And they are delicious.
Don’t forget…Mother’s Day is May 12. Make brunch reservations and order gifts now. You’ll be ahead of the curve, and you won’t find yourself scrambling for a way to honor Mom on the big day.
Y’all think I’m crazy for talking about Christmas right after Halloween, but you will thank me later! It doesn’t do any good to write about good gifts after Thanksgiving…everything will be gone by then! I’m trying to help you get the jump on your holiday shopping! In my last Holiday Gifts post, I listed Books. Over the next few weeks, I will suggest my favorite gifts for Men/Boys, Women’s Apparel, Home, Travel, Stocking Stuffers, and Kids/Teens. So today it’s Accessories, including shoes, handbags, jewelry, and hats. There are so many great things out there, and I’m having a hard time with the “one for you, one for me” thing. Every time I purchase something for someone else, I want to get one for myself! Hopefully, you will find some things listed that you can add to your own Christmas list, and maybe you’ll find some for friends and family too!
Rebecca Minkoff Leo Saffiano Envelope Clutch (above).I have one of these I carry in another handbag when I’m traveling. It’s small, and it’s the perfect clutch to carry to dinner. Available in a variety of colors from Neiman Marcus and in a lovely glitter black for $95 here. *For a nominal charge, Neiman Marcus will package your gift in a lovely gift box and bow.*
Kendra Scott Jewelry Because of the wide range of jewelry they offer, Kendra Scott appeals to all ages. Teens love the more dainty pieces. Adults love those dainty pieces and the larger statement pieces, as well. Personally, I love opals, and Kendra Scott has lots of opal pieces. I recently noticed they have Moody Mood Necklaces and Leah Mood Rings that are reminiscent of the 1970s. I’m thinking I might have to add some of these to my Christmas list for the kitsch alone. Shop Kendra Scott Jewelry here.
Kendra Scott Moody Mood Necklaces and Leah Mood Rings, $75 each
Kendra Scott Cat Eye Pendant Necklace in silver, $50
Shiny Shoes. Since I wrote a whole blog about shiny shoes recently, I thought I should include them as well. Everyone loves sparkly gifts! Nordstrom has glitter shoes in lots of different styles and prices ranges. These will make her happy! Shop all shoes at Nordstrom here.
Longchamp La Pliage Packable Tote. This foldable, packable tote is perfect for travel, but it’s just a great all-around tote that comes in lots of colors and several sizes. The small is about the size of a small handbag, while the medium and large work great as shopping totes or overnight bags. My daughter uses a medium for overnights, and a large for weekends away. Great for moms or teens, and everyone loves them. Prices start at $125. Get it at Nordstrom.com here.
Evil Eye Jewelry. Evil eye is everywhere this year, and it’s popular with folks of all ages. I’ve seen the evil eye emblazoned on sweatshirts (I have one!) and t-shirts, but mostly, I’ve seen lots of evil eye jewelry. My teen daughter loves to shop at Boem in Charlotte, and they know trends. Take a look at their website to see lots of evil eye jewelry here. Their prices start at a very reasonable $15 for some eye stud earrings. Neiman Marcus also offers a selection of evil eye jewelry here. Neiman’s prices start at $98.
Camo accessories. Camo is still around, and it’s still popular! Frankly, I love camo, because I consider the green and tan shades of camo to be neutrals. But too much camo can be, well, too much. It’s best to stick with one camo item when you venture out…an accessory or one piece of apparel, but camo from head to toe is a NO. It’s easy to find accessories at a lot of different places. Forever21 has lots of accessories at really good prices. Urban Outfitters and Shopbop offer an assortment, as well. I’m not going to lie…I love the Forever 21 Velvet and Glitter Combat Boots. Here are some of my favorite picks:
And for a little more highbrow camo, there are these scarves (I love!) you can purchase from Burberry for $490 and $550, respectively, here:
Tory Burch Accessories. Ladies love Tory, and teens love some of their accessories too. This year, Tory Burch has introduced a new line of sterling silver Wishbone jewelry, and I think it’s very popular. My favorite of the Wishbone line is the bangle bracelet. Tory Burch also offers some great wristlets, mini bags, and wallets that make great gifts. See the full line of accessories Tory Burch offershere.
Tory Burch, Georgia Turn Lock Mini Bag, $298
Sterling Silver Wishbone Necklace, $128
Sterling Silver Wishbone Earrings, $148
Sterling Silver Wishbone Bangle, $298
Rebecca Minkoff Beanies. Sure, there are lines that are more high-end. There are lines that turn heads. I have been a fan of Rebecca Minkoff handbags for a few years, and this year, I’ve become a fan of the beanies. The blocked yarn slouchy beanie hat is my new favorite. Perfect for cold weather, they’re also cute and come in cute colors. Get them for $38 at Neimanmarcus.com here.
Ugg Coquette Slippers. I know slippers
sound cliché, but who buys slippers for themselves? These pretty slip-ons with a lightweight sole come in an array of colors, my favorite being a color they call Bodacious. And of course they’re comfortable…they’re Uggs! With a their lightweight, durable sole, they are super soft, and perfect for indoors or even outdoors. Priced at $120, purchase straight from Ugg.com hereor through Amazon.com here.
I think there’s something in this list for every woman. And if you can’t pick just one, pick more than one! Having trouble deciding? Maybe give her the whole list! I hope my husband reads this!