Useful Gifts

 The best gifts blend practical with pretty, and are designed beautifully, too.  Useful gifts are in, so put a bow on presents like these.

Useful gifts like vases will be used year-round.


With dot, diamond and micro-grid textures on matte white stoneware cylinders, the Hat Trick vase set scores with subtle, sophisticated style. 3-piece set/$14.95. CB2 exclusive.


Electric kettles are useful gifts because they deliver hot water so much faster than a cooktop or microwave. The Comfee 1500w electric kettle is one of the best in the marketplace. Made of high quality 100% stainless steel on the inside, it features a heat-resistant exterior (to protect you from scalding, a cool touch handle, auto shut-off, boil-dry protection and holds over 7 cups of water.  And it heats to a boil within just a couple of minutes. Affordably priced for all the bells and whistles.  Best price is on Amazon–$39.99 (free shipping for Prime members).


I got this Twinings tea caddy and it’s proven to be one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever received. Filled with an assortment of 80 teabags (in 16 flavors) from one of England’s oldest tea merchants (founded in 1706), it’s crafted of bamboo with a plexiglass lid. Perfect for anyone who loves tea and being organized. Best price is on Amazon–$33.99 (free shipping for Prime members).

Air fryers make easy work out of cooking which makes them one of the most useful gifts you can give.

After researching air fryers to the point I nearly lost my mind, I decided to give the Cosori CO134-AF air fryer a try. Glad I did because this nifty little 1500-watt appliance does so much more than I expected. Crispy french fries, for sure. But also very moist chicken, too (as if it had been cooked in a convection oven). As useful gifts go, this one is a winner. It’s healthy alternative to frying or other forms of cooking because 85% less oil is needed (none with some foods), making this a heart health option that every home should have. Easy to use. Easy to clean. Tip—Get the pack of 100 pre-cut parchment paper liners for super easy clean-up. Best prices for both I’ve found are on Amazon.  Air fryer-$89.99.  Parchment paper pack—$7.98.  (free shipping for Prime members).  


Designed to reduce anxiety, boredom and destructive behavior, Lickimats are recommended by veterinarians and trainers. The licking action required to get food embedded in the mat’s surface helps calm and soothe pets. Particularly useful during thunderstorms, fireworks, vet visits, nail clipping and for injury recovery. For my dogs, I use a dollop of peanut butter but you can also use yogurt, pate, or any soft food that’s pet-safe.  Best price is on Amazon–Dog mat, set/2-$14.95, Cat mat/$7.99 (free shipping for Prime members).

Having purchased all of these items (no freebies here), I can tell you this. Each are well-made, well-designed and look even better in person than in these pics. These are useful gifts your family and friends will love all year round. You would, too. So treat yourself and buy one for them, one for you.