Let me first start off by saying that I am a clinically (not really) diagnosed (and proud) shopaholic. I spend days researching, finding the best deals, and making sure I’m buying quality products. My family and friends trust me to guide them in the direction of the best items all while saving them $$$ (humble brag). I wanted to create a gift guide that not only could save you cash money, but that’s also full of my favorite things! AND of course, all vegan and where possible, sustainable! Not everything on this list needs the title of “vegan” (point me in the direction of a non-vegan air fryer and I’ll be concerned??) but at least you know you’re staying cruelty-free while you shop these products.

You’ll find a link to each of these products in the description along with any sort of coupon code if applicable. I also HIGHLY recommend you use the app Rakuten to shop this holiday season. What’s Rakuten you ask? Simply put, it’s an app that gives you cash back for shopping at stores you’re already shopping at! I’ve been using it since 2018 and I’ve made over $800 by literally just shopping through the app and making purchases I was planning on making anyways. Right now, if you sign up using my referral code and you spend $40+ using Rakuten, you’ll get $40 cash back! It’s that easy. Click HERE to start making money for spending money (literally, my dream job). This isn’t sponsored, I just genuinely love this app and helping people save money is like the best form of a high for me. I do not know why anyone does drugs.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

We’re starting off strong with my absolute favorite kitchen appliance of all time. Seriously, talk to anyone who knows me and they will let you know I’ve tried to sell them this air fryer. I don’t work for Cuisinart, and I don’t make a commission off of making people buy these. But I should. Because I’ve made nearly everyone I know purchase one. Everyone says you need an air fryer, and while they’re right, they forget to mention which one. It’s this one. If you have someone in your life that loves to cook, is a lazy cook, needs an all-in-one appliance due to lack of space, or you just really really love that person- I suggest you pick up this bad boy. It’s not only an air fryer, but also a convection oven, a broiler, a warmer, and a toaster. I make tofu, chik’n nuggets, pizza, toast, bagels, tempeh bacon, fries, and basically everything else with this thing. One of the best parts is that it cooks your food QUICK too. Also, have you ever reheated food in an air fryer? It’s the only way it tastes fresh again. Go buy this for your loved one. Go buy this for yourself too, while you’re at it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Buy at Bed Bath & Beyond (and use your 20% off coupon, I know you have one).

Does your loved one really need a fancy milk frother? Probably not. But if Christmas was about giving people what they needed instead of what they wanted, it would be all socks and therapy sessions. So if you’re going to splurge, I highly recommend busting out the SMEG Milk Frother. I enjoy coffee just as much as the next basic white girl, but I actually use this most often for the hot chocolate feature. It makes the most creamy, frothy, delicious hot chocolate you’ve ever had in your life. What’s also great is that it has options of frothy or really frothy, hot froth or cold froth, and then of course the hot chocolate feature. It blends plant milk like a dream. The stainless steel cup is detachable and dishwasher safe (can I get a hell yeah), and this is a gadget they’ll want to keep on their kitchen counter. Nothing says “look, I’m bougie” like a SMEG kitchen appliance.

I’ve never seen SMEG products on sale, the brand is sort of like Apple that way. However, you can purchase from Williams-Sonoma and get free shipping!

Immersion blenders are one of those things that someone doesn’t realize they need until they decide to randomly buy one and then they’re like, “why have I been living my life without this?” When I bought this I wanted to be *that* bitch who made soup with an immersion blender like they do on the Food Network. I got lucky and I found one with this entire set, which I recommend getting if you can swing it because it’s not that much more expensive than buying the blender alone. While it’s amazing for soup and anything else you need to *~*~blend while immersed~*~*, the extra accessories make it totally worth the buy! The whisk is amazing for, well, anything you need to whisk… and the mini chopper attachment, are you kidding me?! This thing is more powerful than some food processors I’ve had. It’s the perfect size for two (or if you’re just whipping up something smaller and don’t want to lug out the blender). Perfect gift for the foodie in your life that has *almost* every kitchen gadget you can think of.

Buy this set at Target! (Use your red card for an extra 5% off, and also watch out for any deals Target offers. They do a TON during the holidays).

Obviously there was going to be a vegan section. I know you’re not shocked. I wanted to start with this gadget because even if you’re *not* vegan, this is totally something anyone can benefit from! It’s called an Almond Cow and it’s basically one of the best inventions I’ve ever come across. I cannot tell you how many times I realized way too late that I didn’t have enough milk left for a recipe, and my Almond Cow came in and saved the day! If you buy any sort of plant milk, this guy can make it for you instead. It truly could not be easier either. You take your nut/legume/grain of choice (I’ve made everything from almond milk, to soy milk, to oat milk!) and put it in the basket on the inside of the machine with any sweeteners and a little salt for longevity. Fill the main container with water, pop the top on, press a button, and in less than a minute you have your own homemade plant milk. If someone you love buys plant milk and/or they love to live sustainably, this is an amazing gift. You can even create recipes with the leftover pulp! We love a no-waste moment!

Buy the almond cow from their website, here. Also, you can use this link to save $10 off of your purchase!

Even for the seasoned vegan, I LOVE this book. It’s actually more of a manual, if you will. While it talks heavily about nutrition on a vegan diet (also great for anyone who doesn’t think you can get enough protein on a vegan diet, yawn) this also discusses the ethical impact of being/becoming vegan, and includes ideas for meals and what your plate should look like! If you have a baby vegan in your life this is a great addition to their library.

Purchase Becoming Vegan on Amazon.

Can I tell you how HARD it was to find good, solid, vegan hiking/winter boots? It was like searching for the Holy Grail. Although I do love my Hunter boots (another great vegan option), I wanted something that would work better for longer treks and withstand any excursions I decide to go on (you know, if I ever decide to be that kind of person. I like to keep my options open). Not only are these boots non slip and water resistant, they’re 100% vegan AND SUSTAINABLE. What?! Yep! The water resistant rubber is repurposed from marine plastic, the temperature control lining is 100% recycled synthetic wool, and the anti-slip sole is made out of 45% recycled rubber. How amazing is that?! These are a bit of a splurge, but I truly believe they’re totally worth it. A word of caution, order a size up. The website says they fit true to size but I definitely had to swap mine out for a bigger size so I would be able to wear them with socks!

Buy the Weekend Boots on the Alice + Whittles website. Sign up to receive their emails for $10 off your purchase!

Literally anything, and I do mean anything, from the brand Girlfriend Collective is INCREDIBLE. I never shut up about how much I love this brand. I’m putting this under the “vegan” section because it’s a sustainable/ethical brand, but seriously anyone who likes athleisure will love you if you purchase them anything from here! First off, the company as a whole is amazing. They’re a USA-based company, but they make their clothes in a facility in Taiwan. The factory is SA8000 certified, which basically means their workers are paid fair wages, provided a safe work environment with adequate breaks, no child labor is used, and they’re able to unionize. They’re also a slow fashion brand, eco-friendly (even down to the dye), all of their clothes are able to be recycled, and they make all of it from recycled water bottles, polyester, nylon, cotton, and/or fishing nets. They’re also size-inclusive, actively support BLM, and use models of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages to showcase their clothing. Seriously, I could go on and on about how great they are. You can read more in-depth explanations of their practices here.

My favorite pieces from them are the Topanga bra, Paloma bra, Dylan bra, FLOAT seamless bike short, R&R joggers, and their quarter crew socks. But honestly I could put the whole website under this because I own just about everything they sell, and all of it is just that good. They also have gift cards if you’re unsure about what they would want.

Buy from Girlfriend Collective here. Save $15 off your purchase by using this link here, and save 30% during their Black Friday sale as well!

If you’re shopping for someone who lives for the *~*~aesthetic~*~*, pick up the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser. This diffuser fits perfectly in any decor setting (I own it in the terracotta color you see here as well as the blush pink color!) and even though it’s small, the smell travels FAR. I love that it has the option to run continuously (4 hrs) or in short bursts for a longer period of time (8 hrs). It’s also great for the friend who you don’t trust to keep candles in the house. Don’t forget to include the diffuser oils!

Buy the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser here. Save 30% during their Black Friday sale + get $15 off by using this link.

Oh yes. I KNOW you’ve seen this pan on your instagram feed, and for good reason. This baby is called the Always Pan by Our Place and it’s a fricking miracle child. When I’m not using my air fryer, I’m using this to cook my meals. Stir fry, macaroni and cheeze, fried tofu, lentil taco “meat”, vegan dumplings, the list goes on. I especially love making mac and cheeze because I can boil the water, cook the pasta, drain it, and add my ingredients for the cheeze sauce all in this one pan! Anything that makes it so I don’t have to do more dishes is worth any amount of money in my mind. It also comes in all sorts of instagrammable colors! This is perfect for your friend who loves to cook, someone with a small space who needs to clear out kitchen clutter, or if you just want to make someone’s life easier.

Buy the Always Pan here. Use this link to save $20 off your pan (PS, it combines with their Black Friday sale!)

I want to apologize in advance for the price of this gift, but it’s in the splurges section so you can’t be that surprised. Do you have half a grand laying around and you want to treat someone to the most amazing hair of their life? Enter: the Airwrap Styler. Seriously worth the cash if you’re willing to cough it up. I have insanely thick hair and the speed in which I can dry and style it with this thing is literally mind blowing. It’s a blow dryer, curler, and straightener all in one. It doesn’t use extreme heat so it’s great for those who are worried about damage from hot tools. Or honestly if you don’t even know anything about hair but you have someone in your life that loves the latest and greatest beauty buys, add this to your cart and they’ll love you forever.

Buy the Dyson Airwrap Styler here.

Dagne Dover is my go-to brand for bags. I only buy from their neoprene line (they do still use leather in some products, unfortunately, so stick to the neoprene to keep it vegan), but they have TONS of options! They sell duffle bags, backpacks, cross body bags, diaper bags, fanny packs, makeup bags, tech holders, and more. Literally any shape of bag someone would need to put their shit in, they sell. They have the cutest colors and they’re super easy to clean if the person you’re getting a gift for is the type of human that just throws their bag around with abandon. I am one such individual. You can definitely splurge on some of these pieces, but there are plenty that are totally affordable too! New moms, jet setters, students, and anyone who loves a good way to carry their life around will love anything from Dagne.

Use this link to save 10% off your purchase at Dagne Dover.

If your plant-lover friend or family member is anything like me, they’re a sucker for a good coffee table book. This one is not only aesthetically pleasing because of the gorgeous foliage on the cover, but it’s also full of plant-care tips! If they’re just starting off being plant parent, or even if they’re a seasoned plant owner, this is a great way to show you care about their hobby! (or let’s be real, if they own enough plants, part-time job).

Get Leaf Supply here. Also, include this with a purchase of two other qualified books on Amazon and get one free!

Yes, I’m absolutely hitting you with another coffee table book. I mean, look at it! The vibes are immaculate. This book, like Leaf Supply, has a great range of plant tips and tricks to keep your loved one’s plant children happy. Plant Tribe also offers plant styling tips, how to purify your home with plants, using crystals in conjunction with plants, and seriously so much more. It even features small businesses that center their businesses off of their love for plants. Another great (and reasonably priced) gift for the plant-obsessed.

Buy Plant Tribe here.

Do you have a friend who literally just keeps killing their plants and you cannot bear to watch them sacrifice yet another? This inexpensive, yet extremely useful, tool could be the solution to their black thumb. This handy dandy thermometer looking guy is a moisture meter, and it literally does just that. More often than not I notice my friends who are habitual plant-killers cannot get their watering schedule right, and this takes the guess work out of it. All they have to do is stick the moisture meter down into the soil, wait for it to read the moisture level, and they’ll know if it’s time to water or not! Pair this with one of the coffee table books above or another (less likely to be murdered) plant for the perfect hand-picked gift set.

Buy the moisture meter here. You can also find other models, but I prefer this one!

I am absolutely obsessed with these things! They’re called WallyGros and I know they look kind of weird, but when used they’re extremely aesthetically pleasing. It’s a planter that you can hang! It’s the perfect solution for people with a small space, or those who just want to extend their plant collection to their walls. The holes allow for proper soil aeration, the water reservoir in the back ensures even watering, and it’s super easy to hang. They’re also eco-friendly, because they’re made out of 100% recycled milk jugs! They have tons of ideas for hanging patterns on their website, and you can buy them in singles or in packs of 2, 4, or 12. Your loved one can use it to grow pretty much any type of plant, and they can even grow herbs in them for the perfect kitchen garden at their fingertips!

I’m linking the pink one here, but there are a ton of other color options available! They had a 30% off Black Friday sale last year, so I’m assuming they’ll do something similar this year too!

This strange looking skincare tool looks a lot more intimidating than it actually is. It’s called a high frequency machine (this one is portable), and it’s boasts a whole slew of skincare benefits! You know those translucent spheres that you can touch your finger to and the electricity follows you? This is basically a grown up (useful) version of that. I personally love to use it for zapping any areas on my face that are breaking out, and I swear to god they go down *overnight*. It also helps with blood circulation and collagen production, which help to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin. If you have anyone in your life that loves the latest and greatest in skincare, this is an amazing choice!

Buy the high frequency tool here. It’s 30% off right now!

The skincare fridge just might be the most extra gift you buy for someone this season, but it’s totally worth people making fun of you for having it. I don’t really need to explain what it is, because it’s pretty self-explanatory. Your loved one can store their many potions and tools in here to keep them ice cold (great for skincare application!) and fresher for longer. I like this version because it’s big (and as an esthetician I have a LOT of skincare products), but there are other smaller versions available that are more affordable! The front side even has a dry erase board so you can leave them cute notes about how amazing their skin looks.

Buy the Cooluli skincare mini fridge here.

I love a good at-home spa day, especially now since a lot of us are on lockdown. This facial steamer is the perfect way for your friend or family member to amplify their skincare routine! A facial steamer is amazing for relaxation, opening and softening the pores, and helps to remove dead skin cells. The Aira model even comes with essential oil baskets to add their favorite aroma, just like in a professional spa. It’s super user-friendly (yes even for your mom), and it even looks nice on their bathroom counter because of the luxe packaging.

Buy the Aira Facial Steamer here, and get it for 50% off!

Thanks for sticking with me if you’ve made it this far! I hope that you were able to find some amazing gift ideas for the people in your life that you want to spoil. Remember that while it’s amazing to get gifts, it’s even more fun to give them! You don’t *need* to splurge on anything to show someone you love them, but if you want to- I hope that I could be of assistance. Have fun shopping and make sure to save some $$$ while you’re at it!


How To Go Vegan When Your Partner Won’t

Hi all! Today we’re going to be talking about a tricky topic, and you can pretty much guess what it is by the fact the title tells you exactly what it is. I completely understand and empathize with people who really want to be vegan/plant based but they live with a partner who has no interest in this lifestyle, or even actively scoffs at the thought of this way of eating. The biggest discrepancy between someone who wants to make the switch and someone who doesn’t is obviously the meals they share together. This can be made that much harder if you live with the person who has no desire to change their way of eating because buying groceries, planning meals, etc. are all apart of your life together. Hopefully this post will give you some ideas and the confidence to make the switch and still live a harmonious life with your partner.

Let me first offer my personal story, because I definitely went through the same thing with my fiancé when I first went vegan. I had talked to Cody many times throughout our time dating about wanting to switch to a plant based diet, and almost every time was met with a dramatic eye roll and a “please don’t do this to me.” You can take the man out of Reno but you can’t take Reno out of the man, am I right? Also let me say that Cody is typically always very supportive of my endeavors, up to and including painting our dining room table pink. A story for another time. Anyways, it was really discouraging that he thought that changing my way of eating was a burden on him. Granted, I did cook most of the time… so I did realize that this would affect the way he ate at home. However, I also know that I’m a damn good cook and that he would like the things I made for him, despite the “horror” of them being all plant based. In March of 2019 I finally decided to actually take the leap I had been wanting to do for so long, and I let Cody know. I established some boundaries for myself (which I’ll discuss in just a second), but I didn’t try to restrict him. I didn’t expect him to adopt my way of eating, just support me in my journey. Fast forward to February 2020, almost a full year later, when Cody decided that he also wanted to stop eating animals. I remember the exact moment he told me, and how utterly shocked I was. I had to keep my cool though- I didn’t want him thinking this was my secret plan all along. It’s been 7 months now and he’s remained dedicated to eating a vegetarian diet. Yes, he still consumes dairy products- but I *did* finally get him to stop buying gallons of milk so I consider this a win. I think if you try to force the way you eat onto anyone else, you’re going to be met with resistance. It’s not your job to tell someone else how to eat, unless you’re *literally* a Dietician or Nutritionist and someone is seeking your guidance. I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re not, so let’s chat about how you can still make changes to your diet without compromising your relationship.

Like I said before, it is not your job to tell people how to eat, and this can be a very triggering topic for a lot of people. Myself included. So I urge you not to jump into your journey of switching to a vegan lifestyle or plant based way of eating with the idea that your partner also needs to eat the way you do. All you can control is yourself! That being said, the boundaries you set for yourself are important in any aspect of your relationship and this is no different. When I say boundaries, I’m referring to the behavior you deem acceptable in your life/home/etc. They can include any of the following:

  • Cooking: When I started my journey I knew that I didn’t want to be cooking anything that involved animal products, and especially not any meat based products (if you’re not already grossed out by meat, trust me when I tell you that when you watch enough of the horrific footage captured in factory farms and the like that you’ll have no desire to cook meat either). In my house, I do the majority of the cooking because 1. I love it and 2. my partner works a hectic schedule and I do not. So the boundary I set with him was that he could eat what he wanted, but I wouldn’t prepare it for him if it included animal byproducts. It was as simple as that. I think if you’re the main one doing the cooking in the house, it should be at your discretion as to what you feel comfortable cooking. If you’re the one preparing the meals because your partner has a hectic schedule (like mine) they shouldn’t be demanding you prepare them a certain meal, and if they do that’s an entirely separate issue. Let them know you’d be happy to cook them a meal free of animal products, and if that isn’t what they want that they are more than welcome to prepare food themselves. If you’re *not* the one preparing meals, realize that you will have to be more flexible in what you expect from your partner. It’s the same level of respect, you shouldn’t be demanding your partner cook you a certain meal. I’d suggest agreeing on a couple side dishes that you both can enjoy, and if they choose to cook a meat based product you can take the time to prepare a main protein ahead of time or allot for that preparation in your schedule. As we well know, relationships (should) be about compromise! This way you’re not restricting yourself and you’re still respecting your partner.
  • Not bringing certain foods home: I know some people end up going vegan because they don’t really like the taste of meat anyways and it’s easy for them to cut those products out of their life. For me, this was not the case. Going vegan for me was an ethical choice, even though I still loved things like chicken nuggets, pepperoni pizza, Costa Vida sweet pork enchiladas, etc. Fortunately I no longer crave these things, but at the beginning it was hard. When you go your whole life eating a certain way, you’re bound to have cravings. So one of the boundaries I set with Cody was asking him not to bring any foods home that he knew I would crave, or bringing me anything that would break the commitment I made to myself. Of course your partner is welcome to eat what they want in their own house (if you share a living situation) but if you DO suffer from cravings and you need the extra help from your partner with this aspect of making the switch, have a respectful conversation with them about it. Hopefully they will be understanding and limit the temptation you face already on a daily basis when we live in a society that constantly pushes an animal-based diet.

One of the best parts about life and the way in which we share social interactions is through food. Catching up with an old friend? Let’s get a bite! Celebrating a big milestone? Let’s grab dinner! And so on and so forth. Even if it’s not an event, sharing connections over a meal is a staple in our society. Here are some ways you can integrate eating plant based into your relationship that won’t compromise (and might even enhance) those special moments:

  • Veganize your favorite foods: This was one of my favorite things to do (and still is) when I initially went vegan. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you also have access to Pinterest- where a world of recipes styled after your non-vegan favorites awaits. Use this tool to make foods that you and your partner love! I promise you, there is a recipe for whatever you’re looking for. The shit that people are able to come up with in the kitchen still astounds me to this day. Yes, your partner might prefer the non-vegan version… and I get that. No one ever said vegan cheese was on par with actual cheese (though Violife comes pretty damn close). But at least this way you can include your partner in your journey by making their comfort foods! Again, if you’re not the one who typically cooks (or you have limited time) there are plenty of recipes that are quick and easy, or maybe your partner would even make it for you! Food is a love language people.
  • Try new foods together: One of the most common misconceptions about adopting a vegan diet/plant based way of eating is the “limitations” it brings. This could not be more false, and it’s one of the things I will defend the quickest when it comes to being vegan. Sure you can’t eat meat/eggs or the secretions of animals… but that’s literally it. I was a picky eater growing up, and was a picky eater into most of my adulthood up until now. There were common fruits and vegetables that I literally hadn’t even tried until I went vegan. Literally I just tried a nectarine not long ago. Don’t come for me, I know I’m the worst. Anyway, if you would have told me 2 years ago that I would regularly eat tofu, brussel sprouts, broccoli, tempeh, and that I would ENJOY IT? I truly would have thought you were high as hell. Granted broccoli isn’t a *new* food for most people… but my point is that there is a world of things you and your partner probably have never even tried. Do it together! Do you know how many things you can make out of tofu? TOFU? Shit is a miracle food. Also do not knock tofu, if you have had it and you *~*~*don’t like it*~*~* you haven’t had it prepared properly. I will defend tofu to my grave. Moving along… Another way to utilize Pinterest (seriously if you don’t have a Pinterest how are you allowed to exist in 2020?) is to just type in “vegan recipes” and you’ll have so many options to choose from. Do a fun little date night and experiment with something that sounds yummy to both of you!
  • Search for vegan-friendly restaurant options: Because I was raised as a picky eater and *many* aspects of that have spilled into adulthood, I do this thing where I only eat at like three different restaurants. I like what I like, and I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again. This drives my fiancé up the actual wall. So learn from me… try new restaurants, and make this a way to bond with each other! There are still restaurants that are way behind the curve in terms of their vegan options (and no, fries and bland ass salad don’t count) but if you use happy cow you can find places in your area that you’ll both love! This is a win-win in my book.

At the end of the day, my hope for you is that you have someone in your life that supports you in your endeavors and encourages you to live as your authentic self. If being a vegan or adopting a plant based diet is part of that, then they should support you! Just as you would support them. Food is such a large part of our lives and for some people, our identities- especially when you’ve always eaten a certain way and want to change (because sometimes change isn’t easy, and this is one of those times). Even if they aren’t interested in this way of eating, there are plenty of solutions to live cohesively with your partner that don’t compromise your goals or boundaries!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and were able to take away some useful ideas if you’re struggling to make the switch due to pressure in your relationship. Let me know if any of these worked for you, and if you have any other thoughts on this subject! Follow me on instagram @shelbyveggie for vegan recipes, my favorite vegan beauty products, Finley and Poppy content, and more 🙂