Catchy name, right?!
My plan was to do individual post for bloggers, for travelers, for foodies, but then I thought, “hey, I’m all those things” and I believe it’s likely that you are too, or that you know people who are, so I decided to combine all my gift guides into one super-duper guide with everything.
I know, I know…who writes a 2700+ word gift guide?
You’re looking at her.
(Please don’t leave now!)
I don’t like to just slap some pictures down and say “buy.” I want you to understand why I’m making the recommendations I’ve made and my experience with the products. If I don’t have personal experience with an item, I tell you. And I tell you why I still recommend it.
Now on with the goodies!
Gifts for Bloggers
PLANNERS > I thought there were a million planners out last year, but I was clearly wrong as I’m sure that’s how many are out this year. I’m convinced planners are a very personal choice, they have to be usable, but also have a little style, something that appeals to the user and makes them want to, well, use it.
Figure out the style of your gift recipient and their organizational personality. Some people are more graphically oriented, others are more attracted by detailed text. There are so many out there that you really can’t go wrong.
For me personally, I go back to the two I have been using the last two years: the Epic Blog: One-Year Editorial Planner from Regina Anaejionu of by Regina. It’s straightforward with lots of space for planning and documenting my blog process and strategy.
I also use and love the Passion Planner. I have the undated version, but they have dated and academic year versions as well. (You can even get the academic one on Amazon.) I really love how this planner is laid out. It allows me to be both creative and type-A at the same time! (If you think this planner is the right one for you or a prospective gift recipient, let Passion Planner know that I was the one who referred you by using my personal email address AndiFisher2 AT yahoo DOT com when you order – thanks!)
Truth be told, I LOVE planners, my planners from high school were covered back to back and I still carry around two spiral notebooks. Professionally I use notebooks and planners all the time. I may be a digital girl, but you can’t take this analog piece away from me! I may not need a third planner, but I do have my eye on The Badass Blog Planner from Sarah Morgan. I can’t recommend it because I haven’t actually used it, but I’m intrigued!
eCOURSES > Again, wow! There are so many out there! From general blogging to deep dives on specific social media platforms and blog niches. I’ve taken a lot of courses over the eight years I’ve been blogging. I like to keep up on the latest trends and what people are teaching and how that teaching is evolving. I think you should always be learning!
Here are three of my favorites and one that I think is an excellent program, just not right for me. The first one is Elite Blog Academy from Ruth Soukup. I got some actionable content out of the course, but more importantly, I find her weekly missives that she sends to academy members to be insightful, inspiring and useful.
If you or your gift recipient is a travel blogger or wants to be a travel blogger, consider the Travel Blogger Success program. I took the Guide to Successful Partnerships course and found it beneficial. There are lots of programs and being a member gives you access to forums and other information for a growing travel blogger.
I have been a LONG time fan of Melissa Culberson’s Blog Clarity courses. I’ve taken both the Content Brew and Pinning Perfect Courses and think they are great.
Lastly, there is Food Blogger Pro from the creators of the Pinch of Yum blog. Not only are Lindsey and Bjork the most adorable couple, but they are fantastic entrepreneurs and bloggers. I enjoy their blog posts as well as their monthly income report. I am not actually a member but I am confident this must be an amazing group to belong to.
eBOOKS > Again, I’ve purchased LOTS of ebooks. I’m always trying to keep my finger on the tip of what people are teaching and communicating. Did you see the dozens of bloggers promoting the Ultimate Bundle group’s The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit? Well, I bought it and read or reviewed ALL the ebooks in the bundle. I had two favorites that I would recommend.
First is Marianne Manthey’s Blog to Beautiful which is part of her Design Your Own Blog series. I really liked this book and found myself highlighting a bunch of to-do’s for Misadventures with Andi as I read it! I also enjoyed The Must-Have Guide to Blogging from Kayla Aimee, she is very down to earth and real about the commitment full-time blogging takes. I found valuable nuggets in her book.
Gifts for Foodies
FOOD BOXES > So much new food to explore, so little time to do it! There are three brands I like in the subscription/gift boxes world. There’s Mary’s Secret Ingredients (here’s my blog post about them) and Love with Food (mentioned in a food-focused edition of J’adore).
As a traveler who can’t travel all the time (well except maybe this year) I can travel through food, which is my favorite way to travel anyway. I am totally in love with amazing boxes from Hole in Wall (here’s my love letter to those guys).
BACK TO THE ROOTS > I might be listing this as a self-gifting suggestion! I think the gift sets from this new community-minded start-up in Oakland (go Bay Area!) are pretty cool. As an RV’er without (a) a permanent plot of land and (b) who frequently finds herself in places without fresh herbs (seriously, I just don’t understand how parts of American cook or eat) their garden in a jar gift set is perfect!
You don’t need to be an RV’er to enjoy these kits and they are a great vehicle for teaching kids about how and where our food comes from. As soon as I get to Portland I am getting their Mason Jar kit!
BOOKS & COOKBOOKS > I haven’t met many foodies who don’t love to drool over cookbooks! I prefer books from people I’ve made a personal connection with or whom I feel connected to. I met both Irvin Lin and Annaliese Zijderveld at a BlogHer conference a few years ago. They are both based in the San Francisco Bay Area and active in the blogging community. Irvin is a total sweetheart who has just launched his cookbook Marbled, Swirled, and Layered.
I did a coaching session with Annaliese and I loved her insight and quirky personality, she published her book, Steeped, last year and I love it! I think cooking with tea is so unique!
While I don’t personally know Eric Ripert (I’d love to!) I feel like a know him, at least through the eyes of one of his best friends Anthony Bourdain. I’m a Bourdain fangirl and a francophile, so of course, I love Eric’s book 32 Yolks, the story of his childhood.
Also connected to Anthony Bourdain in that Mr. Bourdain is an investor in the Roads & Kingdoms media company, is Matt Goulding. I completely devoured his Rice, Noodle, Fish, this summer, a fantastic food forward book about Japanese cuisine and I cannot wait to dive into his new book, Grape, Olive Pig, where he does the same thing in Spain. My family lived in Spain. I worked in the American Embassy in Madrid for a summer and I visited Barcelona for business a lot when I was working in Switzerland. Spanish food is amazeballs.
FOOD (duh!) > A foodie loves food, right?! Think about what your favorite foodie loves to eat or cook with and make a nice gift basket or travel kit for them. There are sometimes little food indulgences that a person won’t buy for themselves, but love to receive. Two items that were fundamental to my foodie life this year were Sahale Snacks and Jacobsen Salt.
You pretty much can’t get me to shut up about how awesome Sahale Snacks nut mixes are! They have been a part of my life long before I became one of their brand ambassadors. But this year, in particular, they have been my constant companion whenever we head outdoors. Whether we are hiking, biking, or photo-shooting, Sahale Snacks is an ever-present part of my life. They are exactly what a gourmet foodie craves – exotic tastes, textures and all-natural ingredients. You can buy on-the-go versions for a stocking stuffer, they are perfect for the traveler!
You haven’t had real salt until you have had sea salt, really good sea salt. For me, that’s Jacobsen Salt which Mr. Misadventures and I discovered at a meal at Sitka & Spruce in Seattle. This magical crystal really came on everyone’s radar when the whole salted caramel craze came along, but trust me, sprinkle a bit of a gorgeous piece of salmon and it will take the taste to the next universe!
Gifts for Travelers
BAGS > Trust me, as a traveler we are always looking to optimize our equipment. Mr. Misadventures and I have been using our R.E.I. duffel suitcases for ten years and love them. We swear by Eagle Creek organizers which we have been using equally as long. I also love the Delsey Paris brand (I don’t have one, but I tried them out at the Women In Travel conference the last two years). These are foundational pieces you’ve got to have.
Then you need day packs. In regular life, you can’t pry my Samsonite Jordyn Laptop Tote from my cold dead hands. I’ve used my Osprey Talon 22 backpack every week during our year on the road and it is highly functional and durable. For in-between needs, I also have a small Timbuktu messenger bag (got to support those Bay Area companies!).
GADGETS > One of the most frustrating aspects of travel is finding/having good gadgets or tools to help you with life. For me that means connectivity! I swear by my Karma mifi. We’ve had some sucky RV park wifi to deal with and while we can’t stream with it, I can get internet! I use their pay-as-you-go model so I only spend what I need.
Oh my goodness analog scales are so cheap! But can save you a ton of money when it comes to preventing you from having overweight luggage and paying fees at the airport. I would never consider a trip to Paris without ours! You can buy digital ones as well. If you have a traveling friend who tends to over-pack or over-shop, this tool is an absolute necessity!
If you know anyone who gets motion sickness you must get them PSI bands. I’ve had mine for more than a decade (the same pair!) and can’t tell you how many times I have been grateful that they were in my bag. You’d be surprised when motion sickness can pop up and these puppies are a savior! They’re pretty too! There is a new product out called ReliefBand that I am interested in trying because you only wear one bracelet on your wrist rather than two.
BOOKS > Travelers read a lot. About places to go, see, do, what to eat while they’re there and the history and culture of countries and regions around the world. There are endless possibilities when it comes to selecting books that you really can’t go wrong. Here are some new ones that have caught my eye.
I am a big fan of history. Food history, historical novels and the history of travel and places in general. I was super excited at the launch of a new book covering the history of a very fascinating airline. Pan Am: History, Design & Identity details the history of the rise and fall of this iconic company. (Anyone watch the one and only season of the Pan-Am TV series?!)
Back to how I feel about having personal connections with authors. I’ve got two books on Paris from friends and acquaintances. Eating in Paris is one of my favorite things to do, but hey, I’m a francophile foodie. For others, eating in Paris may be intimidating, so fellow blogger, Tom Reeves, has written a new book, Dining Out Paris that is an excellent resource whether it is your first trip or your fiftieth.
Do you believe in delayed gratification? I do! I am passionate about Paris, as many people are, and the city is ever-evolving. That’s why I rely on my pal Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland to keep her finger on the pulse of what’s going on and keep me informed. We’ve been blogging together for many, many, years; have visited in person on trips to Paris, I just love this girl. Her book, The New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement, doesn’t come out until April, but you can TOTALLY pre-order (I did!) and slip a note into a beautiful card to let the recipient know that they got a great book coming to their mailbox (or inbox) soon.
PASSES > If you’ve got traveling friends who like to be in the great outdoors then there is nothing better than an annual pass. If you are a frequent visitor you can save (or help your friend save) a ton of money. In 2016, Mr. Misadventures and I have visited 17 national parks, our NPS annual pass was paid for many times over!
What state does your gift recipient live in or visit often? There’s a pass for that! As soon as we get to Portland we are going to pick up the Oregon State Park pass and Washington as well.
BONUS: Gifts for Cool Peeps by Cool Peeps
ERRANT NIGHT Tees > If you have been around these parts any length of time you’ll know one of my girl crushes is blog pal Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate. Lurking in the shadows and more often lately in more and more of her photos is her partner in life Scott. One thing I have always admired about Scott is his fashion sense, love his orange chucks! So when Scott (and Kristin) announce their latest venture – Errant Night, a site for cool t-shirts, I couldn’t resist getting my first one (an RV, of course) and I am sure it won’t be my last!
Everyone wears tees. Whether you are making a statement, being casual, dressing one up or sleeping in it, Errant Night has a fantastically cool collection to choose from.
KASIA DIETZ Bags > Designed and handmade in Paris by another longtime friend, Kasia Dietz. Her bags are simply gorgeous. She is continuously evolving her collection of bags and accessories which are sold all over the world. There are so many I love. Kasia also does workshops and fashion tours in Paris so if you are ever there you should take advantage of her intimate knowledge of Paris and the Marais in particular.
But if you can’t get to Paris, a piece of Paris can come to you! After all, Paris is always a good idea. And a Kasia Dietz bag is the perfect way to express it.
GEN X Marathon Sticker > One of my oldest and dearest blog pals is Jennifer James of Are you there, God? It’s Me, Generation X. She’s been blogging a very long time, since 1999, and writes pieces on Generation X that range from poignant to nostalgic to irreverent – whatever she writes about, it’s always brilliant. She’s got a great Gen X focused gift guide and has created a Generation X marathon sticker that she is selling at cost.
I’m a Gen Xer loud and proud. If you’ve got one in your family or circle of friends, this sticker makes a great stocking stuffer!
You did it!
Made it through my super-duper holiday gift guide, at 2700+ words. It’s all about the journey and not just the destination! I hope you enjoyed it and think about supporting many of my friends as they try to make the world a better place with beautiful products and beautiful words.