About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Gift Guides: 5 Gift Pairings That Elevate the Everyday

Gift Guides

We’re rounding up 5 gift pairing ideas that’ll turn everyday activates into something special.

1.Oui the People’s Bath Soak | A new-to-us brand that’s been featured everywhere from Vogue to Allure. Natural ingredients, great reviews and fun packaging. It can be purchased alone, or as a set with their featherweight hydrating body gloss. (PS, while you’re at it, check out their gold razors. They’re currently out of stock, but they are all the rage for good reason!)

2. Organic cotton towel set | We were gifted this organic plush towel set from The Citizenry earlier this year and they’re by far the most plush, soft, thick towels we’ve ever used.  These ones are extra special because they’re made from 100% organic long-staple Turkish cotton (720 GSM), fair trade (The Citizenry pays wages to their artisans that average 2x the fair trade requirement), and take bath time to the next level. They come in a few different colors and either as a set or individually.  (psst: if you’re looking for less of a splurge, check out this 12-piece organic towel set that’s 40% off today!)

3. Le Labo’s Santal 33 Body Wash | This is a scent that both Bryan and I are obsessed with.  We discovered Le Labo at a boutique hotel in Miami pre-Covid and have since been hooked.  It’s so, so good and makes your shower experience feel luxurious, wherever you are.

4. Barr Co Bath Salt | In case Oui the People’s sells out, sharing an alternative from one of my favorite bath product brands based in St. Louis, MO. I have used Barr Co’s bath salt, hand soap and hand cream multiple times — the Original Scent is the best! (psst: this little gift set is a cute intro to the brand & scent)

4.Dry Brush | The benefits of dry brushing are endless.  This one from Primally Pure (an all-natural & organic skincare brand I’ve been using for a few years) is high-quality and beautiful enough to display.  Use the code BITM25 for 25% off at Primally Pure through 11/30.  After that, the discount goes down to 10% with code BITM10.

1. The Always Pan | We’ve purchased 3 of these popular pans earlier this year at full price and they’re worth the hype. They come in several different colors and are currently $50 off with code SUPERSALE until they sell out! Find out more here.

2. Kitchen Gift Box | A curated kitchen set at an affordable price point.  We have this dish soap, and it will almost make you want to do the dishes. It smells that good!

3. French Striped Cotton Apron | Our friend Chloe owns a small online shop with vintage and farmhouse inspired goods.  This apron is 100% cotton and made by one of the best French kitchen textile companies in France!

4. Walnut Measuring Spoon Holder | I meannn… how cute?!

5. Measuring Jug + Juicer | Made of durable glass, the juicer lid holds back seeds while juice flows into the measuring cup.  Great for fresh squeezed OJ.

6. Egg Separator Bowl | A bowl that emulates the shape of a classic batter bowl with an added slot that allows egg white to pour through without the yolks.

  1. Cotton Sheet Set | For the first time this year, we invested in nice cotton sheets and let me tell you… it’s worth it.  We love the Brooklinen Luxe Sateen sheet set the most because it’s buttery smooth and feels extra luxe, but the Classic Percale set is also worth looking into if crisp cotton is more your speed.  All of their sheet sets have thousands of 5-star reviews (insane!), and are 20% off through 11/30 (discount is automatically applied at checkout).
  2. Pillow Spray | This Zen spray is handmade in NJ from all-natural ingredients and smells divine. We spritz it on our bed before we go to sleep.
  3. Diffuser + Bedtime Oil BlendThe Vitruvi diffuser is our favorite (and happens to be on sale right now).  It not only works better than some of the less pricey ones, but it’s also ceramic (instead of plastic) and blends right in with any decor.  Pair it with calming essential oils like this Dusk blend to turn bedtime into a relaxing ritual.
  4. Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Machine | We started using this Hatch Restore machine recently and it’s exceeded expectations. This little machine allows you to set a custom bedtime routine that changes lights and sounds.  It’s a reading light, sound machine, and alarm clock in one.  There are guided meditation programs and a variety of alarm sounds that we actually don’t mind waking up to.  It’s a winner!

1. Candle | Homesick candles have different scents for each state, city and country.  Love the extra custom touch this adds for a gift (they’re highly rated too!) Browse state options here, city options here, and country options here.

This is also a great time to explore what’s available locally.  A few of our favorite Ohio-based candle companies are:

    1. A.J. Soseby
    2. House of Foster
    3. Eleventh Candle Co

2. Wick Trimmer | That thing you didn’t know you needed, right? This antique brass wick trimmer is another favorite from House of Brinson’s shop.

3. Handmade Match Striker | This little match striker is handmade by Henro Company, a small Florida-based business.  We have had ours since the summer and think it’s something that every candle lover should have.  It it adds to our decor (it’s a BIG improvement over our neon green lighter – ha!) and works really well.  This match striker works with Strike Anywhere matches (regular matches won’t work) like these ones.

4. Vintage Style Matchbox | A fun alternative to the match striker is a fun, vintage style matchbox.  Our friends Susan & Will Brinson opened a shop earlier this year that’s full of special giftable items.  This matchbox (or any others in their shop, for that matter!) would be a perfect compliment to a candle.

1. Online Exercise Membership | There’s no shortage of online workout subscriptions available these days.  Paying for the first month or two of a membership is a wonderful gift!  Locally, we’ve heard great things about Simi Botic’s Virtual Barre Membership, which is available online and costs $25/month.  Find out all about it here.

2. High-Tech Water Bottle | A self-cleaning, self-purifying water bottle? It’s a real thing! The LARQ water bottle has a little UV light in its cap (similar to what’s been used in hospitals forever) that purifies water in 60 seconds AND cleans smelly bacteria from the inside of the bottle when it’s not being used. It’s good for the planet and is a step above other insulated water bottles because of these fancy features. Comes in an insulated option (keeps things hot/cold for 12-24 hours), and a non-insulated option (a little less pricey). Both are highly rated!

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About BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE

Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.

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Our journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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