Wrapped gift and lit candle 

Welcome to the 2021 Gift Guide!

Oh, how I love this time of year. It’s the time that I get to curl up on my sofa wrapped in my favorite blanket, with my favorite coffee and my laptop and write to you about the items that made this year’s list of awesomely-appropriate gifts for clients and colleagues.

And truly, writing this is only slightly better than the fabulous time I have while curating and finding things that are bright spots in the glut of mediocre in the world so that your gift-giving can be easy and special. I’m all about finding things that you can send to nearly anyone (awesomely-appropriate!) and that make a great impression without your having to make a huge investment of moolah! While you absolutely can go hog wild on these sites and spend to your heart’s content, you can also buy wonderful things here that won’t break the bank.

This year, we have offerings in the following categories:

Every company or specific item you’ll find on the list has made it here because of raves from someone I know, or because I absolutely love it. That’s important to me to offer to you—the know, trust, like factor. And, there are no affiliate links here, nor am I promoting any companies that have asked me to partner with them. All you’ll find here is heartfelt goodness.

Ok, that’s enough for now. On to the list!

Delicious Gifts

Teak & Twine Hot Chocolate gift boxFoodie boxes that are a little different than the usual because Teak & Twine wants your recipient to feel like you spent several thoughtful hours creating exactly the perfect gift. $48+  Insta: @teakandtwine

Assorted baked treatsEvery single thing Bougie bakes is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, soy free, and non GMO, and my friends who avoid some of these ingredients love them to the moon and back! Vegan options, too! $35+  Insta: @bougiebakes

Mini chocolate cupcake with confetti flying in the airBaked by Melissa offers mini cupcakes and bite-sized macarons. Yum! Gluten-free and vegan options. $32+ Insta: @bakedbymelissa

Box of Veniero's rainbow cookiesSending a gift from Veniero’s is a celebration of their 126-year history, while introducing them to someone destined to become a fan after a single bite of whatever you send. My fav yummy? The rainbow cookies (because they know to make them right—with almond paste!). $42+  Insta: @venierospastry

Picture of Ackroyd's bakery afternoon tea gift boxAckroyd’s Scottish Bakery has all kinds of great treats from the UK, but the Afternoon Tea Starter Pack, which comes with a dozen delicious scones, jam, a jar of clotted cream, and a bag of loose-leaf tea, is a great gift. $12+ The mentioned gift It’s $38.50. Insta: @ackroydsbakery

Picture of Brightland olive oil bottleBrightland oils are a chef’s kiss. Can’t choose? Go with Lucid— lemon olive oil blended with lemon and heirloom Frantoio olives brings the most magical brightness!. They also sell vinegar, honey, and kitchen-related gifts. $40+  Insta: @wearebrightland

Sugarwish candy boxForbes called them “A choose-your-own treat adventure,” and that sums Sugarwish up, pretty well. You choose the amount you want to spend, choose the occasion for the gift, pick a card and fill it out, and then the “gift” is sent via text or email (making it a great, “OMGEEEE I FORGOT TO SEND A GIFT” gift!), or you can print it to send it or give it yourself, and your happy recipient gets to choose the gift…from a great selection of candies, cookies, popcorn, snacks, coffee and tea, or dog treats that will be shipped direct! You can also choose a category, size of gift, and the recipient will be able to choose just from that category. $22+  Insta: @sugarwishgirl

Gift Shops

Vintage frame with insertable cards from Sugarboo & Co.Sugarboo & Co is my favorite first-stop shop when I’m wanting to send a gift. It has a bit of everything (wall art, paperweights, cards, books, home, jewelry, baby & kids, wellness) all meant to become treasures in anyone’s home. $15+  Insta: @sugarbookandco

Greetabl is terrific for when you want to send just a little something that will have a delightful impact. A few caramels, a bath bomb, a small candle, hand-dipped chocolate, lip scrub, and tucked in a colorful-and-patterned box that you can customize with a message (and pictures, if you like!). You can even design your own box from scratch. $20+ Insta: @greetabl

Handmade Gifts

One of the best gifts I gave to myself last year came from my friend and Zentangle teacher, Laura Oldham from Turning True Studios. Laura makes wheel-thrown pottery of all sorts (along with oil paintings and Zentangle-inspired art). What I bought is a sweet, small vessel that I use on my desk to hold my pens. It has hand-drawn Tangles in a beautiful blue, and I asked Laura to add my word of the year.  $40+  Insta: @turningtruestudios

LaMarcotterie soapsLa Marcotterie makes hand-made, all natural, and individually-wrapped-and-packaged French-inspired products. Their soaps are beyond lovely to see, smell, and use everyday. Elodie Marcotte also makes skin care, candles, and other related items. $6+  Insta: @lamarcotterie

Gold earrings from Kristen MaraKristen Mara has been making rings for me for at least a decade. It began with a hand-hammered silver ring she was selling; I knew I wanted it for a thumb ring, and ordered it. She hand casts everything, and I waited what felt like forever for this ring that was literally being made for me and that I fell in love with once it slid on my thumb. Then, one day, I lost it. I don’t know how, but it was gone. Broken hearted because the ring was no longer in her shop, I wrote to her and asked if she would make one for me. To my delight, she said yes. And guess what? That same thing happened again a few years later, and again, Kristen made me a new ring. So far, so good with this one. She’s the best. And what I want to say about her jewelry (I now have a few different pieces—including the earrings I’ve pictured for you, but in silver) is that you can feel her heart in everything she makes. 30+ Insta: @kristen.mara

Office and Business Gifts

Picture of a ring light clipped to a laptop screen.The perfect USB-charged, multi-setting ring-light to clip to a phone, laptop, or monitor and make any Zoom better, or help any creator on the go. $40 with free shipping. Other sizes available. Insta: @sparkimageco

Postdeck logoFor the person who needs to do social media and never has any idea what to post. A year-long Postdeck web app subscription will make everything easier and better with oodles of prompts and platform-based recommendations for posts designed to help build engagement. $60

Cozy Gifts

High-top wool slippersCozy, wool slippers made in Nepal. Who wouldn’t love these? $65+  Insta: @baabuk

Glass teapot with flowering teaWatching the flower bloom as the tea steeps in this handblown glass teapot is such a peaceful and beautiful experience! $30. Also lovely would be to send a selection of the blooming tea flowers by themselves; the tea can be made in any teapot or mug (although it’s not as beautiful as watching it through glass!). $28+  Insta: @teabloom

Experience Gifts

Photo of the Barrio Box from Culinary BackstreetsThe single best gift I received last year was from Culinary Backstreets and came from a client. It was their Barrio box with a video tour, and when the package arrived from Barcelona, I was immediately over-the-moon. SOMETHING FROM BARCELONA??? Yes; please! It was delightful to watch the tour and eat the foods as they were discussed by the tour guide—especially at the end of 2020 when I’d traveled nowhere for so very long, and didn’t know when that would change for me. If you have a traveler on your list, you cannot go wrong with one of the boxes. Choose one with a video tour and you’re offering an upgrade to an experience-based gift. Note: Not all boxes have the extra video tour, so if you want that, double check before ordering. $70+ (Barrio box $80)  Insta: @culinarybackstreets

Tinggly experience packFor the person who has everything, offer a Tinggly experience! They have curated some amazing all-over-the-world experiences you can give as gifts. The happy recipient gets to choose from a list of experiences based on the gift you send. $59+   Insta: @tinggly

For the crafter in your life, give a gift of Craftsy membership. Expert teachers, 1500+ on-demand classes covering 20+ hobbies. $80/year.  Insta: @therealcraftsy

Pink Yeti tumblerAnother great 2020 gift came from my bestie in the form of a Yeti tumbler. That would have been great, but she turned it into a special experience by having it customized for me with my name, and my word of the year. It’s become my constant companion when I’m working. 20 oz tumbler $29.99, or personalize it for a bit more.  Insta: @yeti

Self-Care Gifts

Picture of Four Sigmatic face maskFour Sigmatic makes the mushroom coffee (I call it “moffee”?) that I drink every day. I love the moffie and how good it is for me, and I can’t recommend it enough. But they also have an amazing superfood face mask that is great for the skin and so pure you can eat it (I took them at their word and tasted it…it tastes a bit like brownies!). $40  Insta: @foursigmatic

Aura logoFor the stressed-out, the trying-to-sleep-better, and the wanting-better-emotional-health folks, Aura is perfection in the form of an app. I developed anxiety early in 2021, and Aura (plus a kick-ass therapist) have really helped me with that, and with fixing my sleep, which was abysmal and is now stellar. A year-long subscription is $60. Insta: @aurahealthhq

Self-care wisdom card exampleSelf-Care Wisdom Cards from Cheryl Richardson have been reimagined with new images and topics and are a simply beautiful way to remind someone of who they are and what really matters to them. $19.49+ (depending on the bookseller you buy from)  Insta: @coachoncall

Bars of Castronovo chocolateYep; this is technically a food gift, but Castronovo chocolate is self-care in your mouth. You know, the kind that makes your eyes roll back in your head as you experience it. The company is pretty special, too. Nut-free and soy-free. Single bars $12+. Gifts $15+  Insta: @castronovochocolate

Plant in a pot on a white surfaceOne form of radical self-care is taking care of another living being. No one said it can’t be a plant. And, whether someone has a green thumb or not, The Sill has a plant to fall in love with and learn to care for, including pet-friendly varieties. $14+  Insta: @thesill

And…that’s a wrap on this year’s list! With 25 great shops and even more fabulous gifts to choose from, all that’s left for me to say is, Happy Gifting!