At the end of 2017, I saw some bloggers posting gift-giving guides and I thought that was an amazing idea. So with determination, I decided I would do my own for the following year. The evolution of my gift-giving guide includes some awesome products and some of my favorites from gifts that I’ve given and received.
The best gift is giving from your heart. ~ Kevin Heath
Are you a fan of snack bars? I love them, but I’m really picky about them. I want all the good things like protein and probiotics, without that grainy, cardboard taste. Truth bars are perfect for healthy snacking; these bars are packed with probiotics and prebiotics and even better, they taste like a candy bar!! No lies, just the truth!
Want some truth? I’ve been stuck on Chardonnay all year! I can’t seem to get enough of it and one of my favorites is from Callaway Winery. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, a trip to this beautiful vineyard with friends and family is a magical experience, especially when their halls are decked for the holidays. If you aren’t local, worry not because their delicious wines can also be purchased online to share with those you love. I’ll cheers to that!
We all know that person who snacks non-stop right? This year send them a package to step up their snack game with Biena Snacks. These roasted chickpeas are a great source of protein and come in a variety of flavors from sweet to salty to spicy. They’re great to eat by the handful or added into salads and breakfast bowls. The Sour Cream & Onion are a must-try.
I have a secret to share with you…up until about four years ago, I didn’t eat pie. That is until one Thanksgiving when I was given a Julian Pie Company Dutch Apple Pie. I don’t like pie OR baked apples, so I was about to give the whole pie away when I was asked if I had tasted it. Reluctantly, I tried the pie…and it changed my life! Julian pies are the one and only pie I will eat and can’t wait to send some pies to my family for the holidays.
Food allergies can be very serious and those who have them are always on guard to stay far away from the offenders. I’m fortunate to not have any known food allergies but have spent a significant time around many people who have them and nut allergies are the scariest. As a mom of a child with nut allergies, founder Jenny from Kip’s Granola Bark created a safe and delicious snack, free of peanuts and the top eight allergens for her son and anyone else living with food allergies. This granola bark is perfect for anyone, with or without allergies, looking for healthy granola. The Cocoa Crunch with chocolate chips is my jam!
Calling all candy lovers! Fannie May chocolates have been a favorite of mine since I was a child! Every Christmas, my family has a tradition of passing around a delicious box of candy, and these will not disappoint your crowd. My top three favorites include Trinidads, Pixies, and Mint Meltaways.
Anyone else addicted to potato chips? Chips and dip are one of my guilty pleasures, but I found a company that lessens that guilt by adding real vegetables and healthier ingredients to their delicious and unique snacks. Vegan Rob’s is a great option for vegans and anyone looking to feel better about their snacking habits. Now if only I could practice a little moderation and not eat the entire bag of Spinach & Matcha chips in one sitting, haha!
There are few things in the world better than coconut water, but the truth is, they aren’t all created equal. My favorite has always been C20 Coconut Water and aside from their original flavor, they also have Espresso, Pineapple, and other flavor variations of this refreshing and hydrating beverage.
Pastries are amazing, especially when you can enjoy your favorites at home. I have an infatuation for any type of cheese danishes and when I discovered Porto’s Bake at Home, I was completely in love! I made these beauties while sipping coffee in my pajamas on Thanksgiving morning and immediately decided that I needed to share these with my family over Christmas. Surprise your family with a delicious treat this year!
The phrase “daily requirement” sums up how I feel about chocolate and I’m a sucker for specialty chocolate like Chuao Chocolatier and their fancy bars! These make excellent stocking stuffers and gifts for those important chocolate lovers in your life. P.s. try the Firecracker, you’ll thank me!
Ok, raise your hand if you like rice crispie treats…me, me, me!!! Bliss and Baker rice crispies are a super fun and tasty present that can be customized for personal or corporate gift-giving. This mother-daughter duo specializes in making small-batch rice crispie treats in delicious flavors like Churro and Peanut Butter. I’d certainly love to see a box of these under my Christmas tree!
I get all the feels when I see a company doing some real good in the world and creating positive change. I discovered Popcorn for the People a few months ago when I saw them on a friend’s Instagram (shout out to hungrygrl_bigcity) and I knew I had to learn more. This incredible popcorn company exclusively employs adults with Autism. They’re popping all the traditional flavors like White Cheddar and Kettle Corn, but the flavor that truly hooked me is Cookies ‘n Cream.
What pairs well with popcorn? Wine of course! Ménage à Trois’s California Red Blend, which is fruity and full-bodied, will keep you warm inside all holiday long. Grab a few bottles and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year together.
What happens when you mix sugar and butter? The magic of Sugar Mamma caramels! These handcrafted caramels come in seventeen different flavors including some ingredients grown from her very own garden like Meyer Lemons and Passionfruit. They’re all super addictive but my personal favorites include Sea Salt, Chai, and Beer and Pretzels.
Milk alternatives are all the rage these days and if you’re stocking the kitchen for some non-dairy drinking loved ones this holiday season, consider looking into Mooala. Aside from their adorably eye-catching koala mascot, what sold me was their bananamilk! It smells like banana bread and is the perfect substitute for milk in your coffee, smoothie bowls, and so much more. Now if only I could get my hands on their Chocolate and Strawberry Bananamilks!
Do you know someone who spends a LOT of money on coffee drinks? Change their life and get them a Nespresso machine. This espresso machine was given to me as a housewarming present a couple years ago and I can’t imagine my life without one now. I promise they’ll love it a latte. 😉
Looking for a new wine glass for all that wine you’re about to purchase? The Goverre girls from Southern California came up with a portable wine glass perfect for any occasion. You may have even seen them on a little show called Shark Tank. This is the perfect present for any White Elephant gift exchange with your besties!
I don’t know about you, but San Diego is absolutely my favorite place ever! The best way to stay in touch with what’s happening is with a subscription to San Diego Magazine. (It also helps me to know firsthand when one of my Instagram photos has been featured in their “Dine Out” section of the magazine!) Give the gift of San Diego to someone who made the “nice” list this year.
Wondering about that gorgeous blue color on my nails? I’m completely obsessed with this IBD Beauty gel color despite not really being a fan of the color blue. IBD colors are perfect for that special lady in your life who prides herself on having an impeccable manicure.
Jewelry is allllways a great gift, amiright? These beaded Around the World bracelets by Roxanne Kelly Designs are a perfect gift for the traveler in your life. I love the inspiring travel vibes this bracelet gives me and travel is a high priority on my vision board for the coming year! In the meantime, I’m gifting a pretty periwinkle bracelet to a special someone going to Costa Rica next year and I can’t wait to see her pictures from that adventure!
Have you ever walked down a beach and found some sea glass? I can tell you that I haven’t, but I know a great company in San Diego who specializes in finding all the pretty pieces from our local beaches. San Diego Sea Glass makes a variety of items from jewelry to home decor. My mom got a special piece for Mother’s Day this past year, and I have a few pieces myself!
Are you or someone you know in love with succulents? Well, In Succulent Love, based out of Southern California handpicks and designs the most amazing succulent works of art. Last year I purchased this stunning wreath, that I helped to design, for my boss who loves to be surrounded by plants. Succulents make a perfect gift for that special someone.
Is your phone always dying? Man, that’s the worst! Last year, I was given a Mophie powerstation for my phone, and it saved my YEAR! How does one function without having one of these gems in their back pocket? That phone-obsessed person in your life will think you’re a superstar if you give them one of these! You heard it here first…Mom, you’re a SUPERSTAR, thank you!
Do you even Fitbit? You know that phrase “you don’t know until you know?” I had no idea that I needed a Fitbit until I had a Fitbit! This bossy little watch keeps track of everything from steps and sleep, to heart rate and workouts. Just be sure to keep it charged, or you’ll end up stuck in bed like me because your Fitbit is dead and your steps won’t count…the horrors!
If you’re wondering, I’ve saved the best for last! If you like to be super cozy and comfortable when you sleep, you NEED Portuguese flannel sheets from the Vermont Country Store! Now before you think I’m off my rocker and I’ve completely lost my mind because I live in California and sleep in flannel sheets, let me just tell you…these are no ordinary, sweat-inducing flannel sheets. These are the MOST inviting and soft sheets you will ever own, in my opinion. I daydream about snuggling back into bed after a long day. These are, without a doubt, one of the very best gifts I’ve ever been given!
Well friends, that’s a wrap! It’s been a blast putting together this gift guide and I hope it serves you all well as your shopping continues. As 2018 comes to an end, I just want to thank you for all the love and support you give to me; it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Happy New Year!
Signing off until next year!
xoxo, San Diego Food Girl