Cassidy Williams

Software Engineer in Chicago

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Cassidy's Gift Guide 2023

I’ve bookmarked various things over the past year or so of things I would get for friends, family, and myself, and I thought I’d share ‘em with ya after seeing Chris Coyier’s very cool guide! Nobody’s paying me to share these, I just think these are fun.

Digital Things

I’m not talking about NFTs, just talking about things that are actually useful digital things! Mostly for nerds.

Frontend Masters subscription
If you have friends learning to code or wanting to get better at it, I thought the FM courses were awesome. subscription
I got one of these recently (check it out) and it’s a really delightful service to make a little homepage, have email forwarding, and a bunch of other nice goodies.

The Sukha Company pro subscription
I’ve mentioned this app before, it’s a pomodoro timer + task list + focus music + digital coach app that has really helped my focus a lot (plus if you use code CASSIDY you get 20% off).

CodePen Pro
I really love CodePen in general, and this would be a great little gift for anyone who uses it.

Brainstory subscription
Okay I work on Brainstory so my credibility here is waning BUT it’s a really great brainstorming app and I personally use it a ton (use code ADVENT for 20% off).

Bags and wallets

I love things that contain things. If you ever aren’t sure what to get me, just get me a cool bag or pouch or something.

Secrid wallet
I got my husband one of these a few years ago and it’s so durable and useful, he gets compliments on it regularly!

Analog Laptop Totes
I really like how practical and well-made these are.

Baboon to the Moon canvas tote
This brand is fairly pricey so I only really get things from them when they’re on sale, but this canvas tote is solid. I have two and we use them both very often.

Oceanbags: The Sunderbans
Anything that stops more plastic from getting into the ocean, I’m on board.

Stuff for your desk

Resisting making this entire section just all mechanical keyboards…

Carpio 2.0 ergonomic wrist rest
I like how subtle this one looks compared to other wrist rests I’ve seen before.

Paper Republic Notebooks
I got one of these as a gift a while back and the paper is really delightful to write on!

Scrabble keycaps
Okay, yes I designed these, but I also just love the look in general.

Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard
This is a really unique board for your nerd friends.

Muji pen set
These pens are just so good. They’re simple and look clean, and they write super well.


Support your local bookstores, but if you aren’t able to, I tried to link to some shops that are good here!

How to sew clothes
I love that this one comes with patterns, too!

The Mistborn Trilogy
This series was so fun to read. The way I describe it quickly to folks is, “imagine Ocean’s 11, but a fantasy adventure story.” It starts as a heist and spirals from there!

Think Again
I read this book a couple years ago and I reference it to this day. I genuinely think most people should read it.

Beverage things

I’ve become kind of a tea snob lately (especially after learning about microplastics in tea bags, ugh) so… join me in being a tea snob.

Purple clay teapots
I don’t have one of these but whew, they’re fancy lookin. Someday!

Jumbo glass tea cup and infuser
My friend Ann got me one of these and I’ve used it… every single day since. It’s a really great cup (made from borosilicate glass so it can handle high temps), and the infuser is perfect for any loose leaf teas you might like.

Sardine cup
I really like this green color and the little sardine art on it is just so cute.

Once Upon a Time “fairy tale” tea
I haven’t tried this but a friend of mine swears by it. This brand has edible glitter in it (did not know that was a thing) so your tea is shiny and fun.

Hot chocolate velvetizer
Probably the most extra appliance I own (my friend Jason got it for me) and yet… it’s spectacular and I am now a hot chocolate snob as well.

Other stuff

Mr. Jones watches
These are so artsy and fun for the analog lover in your life.

Pocket Tripod
My friend Tom recommended this one to me and it’s great if you wanna take a non-selfie and adjust where your phone is sitting!

Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless art
I love Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in general, and the art prints here are a really cool homage to his work.

Rosanna Tasker art
I love this artist’s style in how she draws plants!

Canvas board game
A friend of mine introduced me to this game a couple months ago and I bought it instantly. If you like board games, imagine a combo of 7 Wonders and Century: Spice Road, but in this one, you make pretty art!


I don’t know how people usually end gift guides so… aggressively points finger guns while backing away

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