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  • Writer's pictureVaishali A. Patel

Holidays are Here! Time for sharing and shopping my favorite 2021 things....

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

Today I am sharing some of my all-time favorite things that I already own and since these are items I use and love and tend to post about in my daily life, these are also the ones I have gotten asked about the most this past year.

This is honestly the gift guide I feel the best about that I've ever done so far.

Read below, because I'm going to share why each item is important in my life and would make an amazing gift for someone in your life this holiday season. I'm also linking some alternatives that have slight variations and price points so there is something for everyone. Every item on it is super awesome.

Are you ready to go do some shopping?!

When my father-in-law's birthday came up, we know he enjoys watching Netflix and Amazon Prime for movies and we wanted to do something special for him around that. At first we thought of a projector, then my (smart) husband said how about a blow up tv? And I'm SO glad about that. It is SO much easier than a projector to put up. Think basic inflation. It turned out really nice because we just put out sheets and comforters on the ground outside and did a little mini-picnic while watching tv. This is a great gift for family, with children because it allows you to be outdoors instead of cooped up in four walls. The screen is really big (giant) and it just gives you that movie theater feeling while being safe at home.

Click here if you want to check out some other options...sizes, colors, styles and higher and lower price points.

I went to visit my friend in Austin and she had this juicer, every morning juicing me fresh celery juice. So I came home and bought one for myself. What I love about it is it is super easy to clean up and the juicing is really fast. I've had other juicers in the past that were just too big. This Breville Compact Juicer is small enough to just leave it on your counter up top with your coffee machine or toaster, which is what we do. These thin-walled glasses are an elegant companion for your morning celery juice.

If you grew up in a Desi home, then you know the importance of copper. All of our parents have these copper utensils. Studies have shown both antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits from this age-old ayurvedic practice. The practice asserts that drinking from a copper vessel helps to boost the immunity, aids digestive tract, reduces inflammation in the body, and balances all three doshas – vata, kapha, and pitta – in the body. My mother-in-law soaks her water overnight in a copper infused glass and drinks that water in the morning. This pretty little set allows you to have it by your bedside so the minute you wake up you can drink the water. These copper water bottles were popular from my last year's Gift Guide. Also, if you're into the ayurvedic benefits of copper, like me, you may want to explore cooking with copper pans like these.

These days to ensure my gut health needs are met, I have begun planning my meals in advance and meal prepping a week in advance. I'm finding this is a crucial element to my success Being vegan, I like instant meals and having the Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook is essential for meal prepping. The book is by Nisha Vora, one of my favorite Instagram food influencers and vegan blogger that I follow @rainbowplantlife If you are new to the Instant Pot, you will be happy to find a full tutorial in this book about everything you need to know to use this machine. After that...try making your own homemade coconut yogurt!

So many of you have asked me about my copper diyas during Diwali and when you see me use them in my morning prayers, so I wanted to find some for you even though ours come from India. We love them because if you accidentally drop them and they don't break! They are also really easy to clean up with your Kleen King or Bon Ami powder or any other copper polish that you use. We sometimes just use left over lemon slices to clean the copper and it turns out really nice and shiny.

If you're Desi, you know that our family gatherings are often large and not all of us have enough regular seating to accomodate 15 to 20 people, but we all like to hang out together, so we sit on the floor a lot. These cushions are convenient if say you want to sit on the floor to read instead of your can use them for prayers (we keep at least one in our prayer room at all times). Best of all, they are lightweight to move around and extremely comfortable to sit on. We have a few. Besides the ones in the prayer room, my kids also have them in their rooms, and I bring them all out when we have gatherings in the living room for everyone to just sit on. We have the ones pictured above. Here is the velvet option.

While looking for some other options I found these that come in like 20 color options!

Daybed cushions are also a great extra seating option because they double as extra sleeping options too! This one is kind of a statement. My daughter has this one in her room and it comes in 5 color options.

I used to be able to sit and meditate just sitting on the floor. As I get older, I like to have some back support when I'm down there. This chair is really good for so many uses. I leave it in the mandir area by the prayer area, for my in-laws to use. For my father-in-law, sometimes his prayers last an hour, 2 hours, even 3 hours, and this way he has a back rest. When we go to bhajans and things at the temple, sometimes we'll take our own seats in the form of these backjacks, just because we will be on the floor in a group of people for a long time.

Remember those pillows I spoke of above? These backjacks are great for the same things too! Think about getting a handful of these for the outdoor picnic and movie viewing picnic! Lots of comfortable seating options. I've been at seminars before where they make a circle out of bakcjacks and everyone just sits like that. Very comfy.

The purple one I put in my Gift Guide is just one of 9 colors you can choose from.

Backjacks come in many different styles of fabric so besides other colors, I want to show you this really pretty sort of kaleidoscope design, this one that has a tufted cushion for a fancier look. All of these fold by the way.

My sister-in-law introduced me to this conditioner treatment, which has been really working well cutting down my whole hair washing ritual time in about half! All I have to do is shampoo my hair (skip conditioning in the shower). When my hair is damp and drying I just put a few drops of K18, massage it in and don't have to wash it out. It leaves my hair nice and smooth. K18 claims they have a patented molecular breakthrough clinically proven to reverse hair damage. That just might be true! There is no substitute so for this one I have no alternatives 😃

We love the as our vacuum because after our recent remodel we now have hardwood floors. You just program the Roborock S7 for the areas you want it to vacuum and off it goes! Also, did I tell you it MOPS!? Fun thing is you can operate the whole thing with an app. I'll admit my kids are better at this part than I am and I sometimes wish I didn't have to ask them to do it, but I love how this vacuum cleans so well and is automatic. You can click through and read all the technical info about it and the Technology awards it's won. The Roborock is the one I have, but there are many different robotic vacuums to choose from so I've linked a few more here, especially because prices vary wildly.

On the same trip to see my friend in Austin, she served our morning coffee and evening tea in these glasses. 🤯 They are AWESOME! Hot drinks don't burn your hands when you hold them and cold drinks stay cold and don't 'sweat' on you or the table. Absolutely brilliant. I find these are great glasses for my hot morning lemon water. Besides the 12oz size I linked above which are my faves, they also come in a tall 15 0z version and a 2.5 oz espresso-sized tumbler. A couple of these or a set of 6 make a really nice hostess gift.

Many Desi, especially Gujarati, homes have this indoor and outdoor swing. Deep enough that you can lay in it and take a nap. We have at times had one hanging in our living room for tv viewing. It's a favorite with both the littles and the bigs. This swing pictured ships from a small business in California and is made with eco-friendly fabrics, woods, stains etc, so it holds a special place in my heart. These swings come in many styles, so I made a separate post linking a bunch of different ones here if you're interested.

I had a frozen shoulder a few years ago and this came in handy to massage my shoulder area. I like that I can use it on myself and don't have to wait for someone else to come around to help. Now if I do yoga and mess up my back, or something's just hurt, you can use this to make it better. This is the one I have but there are other similar ones to choose from that you can browse here. I haven't tried this one by Lyric but it is particularly pretty and unlike the standard black of every other massager, it comes in colors like terra cotta, blueprint, granite and stone.

In the last couple of years, I've experimented trying a number of different beauty products. This is one thing that if I were to recommend to anyone to get just one beauty product, this is it. I like the way the serum feels on my skin, I love the way it smells. A little goes a long way. A bottle's expensive works! Some of you've asked me what have I been doing on my skin and this is one of them...of course there are others but this is in every combination of what I do. For a full list of my skincare routine, check out here.

I'm adding this extra item not on my Gift Guide above because as I was writing this, I remembered this may be the item I get asked about the most. People want to know how I do my hair. This is my trick. I can't say I'm an expert at using it by any means, but I've got the basics down and that's all I need. The way it makes my hair look make me happy. The number of compliments I get on my hair, make this totally worth the price. It's an expensive hair tool. I rationalize that it is a blow dryer and curling iron all in one. I also personally love the Dyson Hair Dryer and I've recently heard good things but have not tried the Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener.

You've probably heard me say this before: gift giving is my jam.

I LOVE gifting people things, so gathering all these things I already have fallen in love with this year and creating this gift guide for you is a great pleasure for me.

I hope it's a help for you.

Please feel free to share in the comments below any great gift ideas you have too!

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