I'm Hannah Neckers, wedding & portrait photographer based in Western NY. I am a lover of details and story telling- both visually and through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, bride, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!
Gift-giving is my love language. Seriously, Christmas is my absolute favorite because I LOVE finding the perfect gifts for all my favorite people. Sadly, I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Rather than being the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season turns into a whirlwind of stress for so many people. If you’re one of those people…this blog post is for you!
This week, I sat down and wrote out all my favorite gifts, from ones I have received to those I have given! If you are in the midst of searching for the perfect present for your mother, girlfriend, sister, fiance, or wife… look no further, friend! I am here to help. Below are a few of my favorite things, and I am hoping you find even a little gift inspiration for the women in your life!
1. Cynthia Rowley Pajama Pants
These are what I refer to as “cozy pants.” ANYONE who knows me, knows I live in these things 80% of the time. My mother bought them for me for my birthday last year, and I have since purchased at least ten pairs. They are my #1 go-to gift for every female in my life! The best part: they can be found at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for around $10! Just look in the pajama section for the pants whose material feels like butter on your skin. You might as well go ahead and buy yourself a pair while you’re at it, because once you try them on… you’ll never go back.
2. Ceramic Hair Dryer
You’re not LIVING until you’ve experienced the efficiency of a ceramic hairdryer. If the person you’re buying for has even remotely thick hair, this will transform their life. Personally, I use a BabylissPro Xtreme! BUT you can find all kinds of ceramic dryers on Amazon (especially during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday/12 Days of Deals sales!) Another great place they pop up on: Zulily! If you don’t shop through this site already… sign yo-self UP! It’s been my obsession for grabbing deals on some of my favorite name-brand products!
It’s like slipping your foot into a warm cloud of fluff. These things are freakin’ life! You can find tons of them at Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field and Stream, usually on sale, buy one get one free! Women love socks. If they claim they don’t… they’re lying.
4. Note Pads, Thank You Cards & Planners
For anyone with a Type-A personality, these are the best. I live and die by my planner and love a good to-do list. (S/O to my best friend Afton for my 2018 planner pictured above. I am OBSESSED) I also am the type of person to send a thank you card to say thank you to someone who sent me a thank you card. Nothing makes me happier than finding the CUTEST cards and notepads at TJ Maxx & Marshalls. (You’re going to find that’s a pretty consistent trend in this blog because, well, I live in those stores. Sorry, not that sorry!)
Available at Target, TJ Maxx, Amazon, etc…. This hairbrush has saved my life. I hate combing my hair. Hate.It. So rather than delicately combing through shower-fresh hair, the wet brush allows you to brush right through it. WITHOUT BREAKAGE. And it doesn’t even feel like your scalp is bleeding afterward. Thanks to this classic mama Kathy gift from a few years ago, I will never go back to a regular hairbrush again.
Like regular leggings, on steroids. These yoga leggings come with a wide waistband around the top, so they fit nice & snug. The best part: they aren’t see-through like every other pair of cheap leggings on the market. Three cheers for not showing the entire world my underwear pattern! They’re a little pricey, but totally worth the money.
Disclaimer: Much like 90% of females who wear these, I have never done yoga in my life… so I can’t comment on the performance of them while actually partaking in that form of physical exercise.
I get asked about this lipstick almost every time I wear it! Kat Von D is killin’ it with this long-wear, highly pigmented lip color. My favorite shades are Lovecraft & Ophelia, but I might just end up trying every one of them by the time it’s all said and done. Available at one of my favorite places on earth: Sephora. If you’re too intimidated to shop at Sephora, just buy a gift card. You will never go wrong with a Sephora gift card.
8. Blanket Scarves
As a perpetually cold person, blanket scarves are the only thing that gets me through fall & winter in WNY. I buy all of mine on Zulily.com and right now is the perfect time to find them! Again, if you haven’t signed up to shop on this site, you need to… right now.
I wear this watch every single day. EVERY. DAY. It matches anything and everything. It’s gotten to the point I feel naked without it.
10. Cable Knit ANYTHING
Cozy really should be my middle name. In the past six months, I’ve purchased four cable knit blankets. And I love them all. Another favorite is cable knit sweaters. I probably own just as many of those. If it’s cable knit, you definitely should just buy it. If she doesn’t like it… feel free to regift it to me.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has been giving me Beyonce lashes since 2016. Last year I switched from my $5 drugstore mascara to this brand at Sephora and have been hooked ever since!
12. Cute Coffee Mugs
Mugs are seriously one of my favorite gifts! Cute sayings, floral designs, and monograms fill up an entire shelf in my office. I find all the best mugs at TJ Maxx for under $4, and the fact I don’t drink coffee still doesn’t stop me from buying more.
Thank you, Jessica Husted, for getting me hooked on this stuff. It’s the best sunscreen lip balm with a hint of color and an incredible scent. My favorite shade is “Honey” because it’s so natural and works great for everyday wear. This stuff never leaves my coat pocket. I bought mine at Sephora, but it’s taking everything in me not to order this gift set off Amazon. (Amazing deal, btw! They’re normally $24 a piece!)
I am a total nerd for even putting this on my list of must-haves, but I truly cannot help it. If you want to give someone a gift that could really change their life… this is it. Dave Ramsey has taught me SO much about eliminating debt, saving money, purchasing vehicles/homes and investing for my future. (You can ask my fiance… I am OBNOXIOUSLY obsessed with this guy and his principles!) Jesse & I now listen to Dave’s podcasts every time we are in a car together. He is hilarious, smart and SO easy to learn from.
Despite this post being 70% Sephora products, I am no makeup guru. As a matter of fact, I pretty much wing it every day when I go to apply my face. Some eyeshadow palettes leave me entirely overwhelmed, but this is one even a rookie (like me) can handle! I use every single color, too. Nothing too wild or crazy, and perfect for everyday wear!
I promised I’d include my favorite photography gear, so if you aren’t a photographer…feel free to keep scrolling. This beautiful tool is used to set custom white balance while shooting. It has completely changed my RAW, straight-out-of-camera images, which in return has sped up my post-processing immensely. I love this little disc and feel lost when I have to shoot without it!
Who doesn’t love an amazing pen? They are so hard to come by and Pilot literally makes the best ones in the world. Jesse bought me these for Christmas the first year we were together, and I STILL have them and use them daily. They last forever and make wonderful stocking stuffers. Maybe this is a totally lame gift suggestion, but I flippin’ love these things!
Another Mama Kathy original! (She is the best gift giver, I swear!) These slippers are worn every single day at my office. It’s like my feet get to walk around in a permanent hug. They’re warm and have tough, rubber soles. So if you need to make a trip to the mailbox outside, there’s no need to put on real shoes. As the queen of all things cozy, these are a must!
Cognac leather is my go-to. As you can see above, this bag matches the Michael Kors watch I suggested earlier. It also matches cognac leather boots and cognac leather belts beautifully. #COGNACerrrrthang. Can we get that trending?
20. Chick-fil-A Gift Cards
Would any gift guide be complete without the mention of Chick-fil-A? If you want to give the gift of pure joy this Christmas, look no further than your local Chick-fil-A. The road to happiness is paved with sweet, delicious lemonade & hot waffle fries.
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