Monday, December 9, 2013

Quarter Life Christmas List -- For the 20-Somethings in Your Life

Picture Credit

Last year I did a gift guide for 20-Somethings on my other blog. That blog has since died, but I figured it would be a good idea to revive the idea here! I might have missed the ball again there, as I'm sure most people have already completed their holiday shopping, but if you're like me and still plugging away, I hope this list helps!

Clearly since my "expertise" is those in the Millennial age category, like myself, it's a 20-Something Gift Guide. However, I'm sure they could apply to just about any age!

For the Booze-Enthusiast Friend

Mid to Top Shelf Liquor Cocktail Kit--I love a good cocktail. However, I rarely have the budget to shell out for the nicer liquors. Though I refuse to succumb to Popov since my college days (although, I'll admit I've used it for party punch in a pinch), I'm still buying the cheapest stuff I can find on the lower (just not the very bottom!) shelves. Give your 20-Something friend the ingredients to make your favorite cocktail, using booze that they might not buy for themselves (use nips if you, yourself are also on a budget). You can even go the extra mile and include the proper glassware and a cocktail shaker!

For a Long Distance Love

Long Distance Relationship Necklace--I actually purchased these when I moved to Austin, I gave one to my mom, one to Cory's mom, and kept one for myself. You can choose where the hearts go, and the artist connects them by a dotted line. It's a sweet, inexpensive reminder that you're always thinking of them. And if a necklace isn't their style, there are tons of etsy shops that do keychains, mugs, wall hangings, etc!

For the Cat Lover

Catcam--If Finn was an outdoors kitty, I would TOTALLY get one of these! It's a tiny camera that you attach to your cat's collar. It takes pictures every few seconds. When you let kitty back inside after a day of adventures, you can upload the pictures to your computer. I think it's such a cute idea and I'd love to get one for my mom and stepdad's outside kitty!

For Any 20-Something With a Car

Gift Cards for Car Stuff--On my List of Things I Don't Pay For When I Don't Have Money: oil changes, tuneups, new tires, car washes. All pretty necessary things, right? But if it comes down to groceries or oil change, you know which one is going to win out. Give them a gift card for their local mechanic/auto-body shop to ensure they don't end up on the side of the road for putting off repairs for as long as they did. Or, if your 20-something is a city-dweller, the gift of a public transportation card would also work.

For Your Friend Who "Can't Cook"

Slow Cooker and Cook Book--ANYONE can cook. Especially if you have a slow cooker! If your friendly neighborhood 20-something does not have a crock pot, rest assured that this is probably the BEST gift you could possibly give them. Crock pots were made for those of us with busy schedules and tight budgets, and are super simple to use. Prep your ingredients the night before and throw in the pot insert, put in the fridge, and in the morning simply put the insert in the crock pot, set to low, and go about your day (work, school, whathaveyou) and when you return at night--viola! DINNER! Add in this awesome book by Judith Fertig, Slow Cooker Comfort Food, and you've probably given them the most useful gift of the season.

For the "Foodie"

Subscription to Lucky Peach Magazine--Hello? Friends? Family? Santa? This is SO on my list. This has got to be my favorite food publication out there right now. It's funky and fun and covers everything from new restaurants, personal essays (centered around food, of course), fiction, and so much drool-worthy photography and adorable illustrations. I pick up a copy whenever I'm on a long trip and devour it on the plane/train/whathaveyou. It's a gorgeous publication and such a fun read. Buying it by issue (as I tend to do) can get pricey, but you save a good amount buying the full year. Gift it to your favorite foodie 20-something and be their culinary hero for a year.

For the "Foodie" Who Also Loves to Cook

Boyajian Flavored Oils--If you have a friend who loves to cook or bake, Boyajian has you covered. All my Boyajian oils have been gifted to me, since I typically buy the "imitation flavorings" to save money. Now, I'm not sure I could go back. These oils infuse a rich flavor to whatever they're added to, whether you're baking or cooking. There are just SO many choices! My favorites I have are my Jalapeno oil (used to make hummus or to add zing to a stir fry) or my Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (great for salad dressing or in a sauce). I also have a set of citrus oils that I can't wait to use in baked goods. They come in tiny sample packs or full bottles. 

For the Instagram Addict

iPhone Lens Kit--If there's one thing 20-somethings love, it's Instagramming pictures of... well, everything. Amp up your 20-something's Instagram routine with this awesome iPhone lens kit. Extra points if your friend or family member is a budding photographer. As you know, I'm a foodie and blogger. However, lugging my DSLR is sometimes not an option. But I always have my iPhone on me! A few tiny lenses thrown in my bag, and I am ready for an impromptu photo shoot if I find myself with a documentable-worthy meal but no camera.

For the Glamourous Gal (or fella?) on a Budget

Makeup Subscription Box--For $10 to $30 a month you can sign up your favorite 20-something to get the gift of makeup for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months. I use Ipsy, and it's always a great haul. Instead of shelling out $20 for a shade of lipstick I'm not sure I'll even like (and $20 is a LOT when you're on a strict budget!), I can pay $10 to try 4-5 different large samples to full sized products each month. Ipsy also has a history of giving more full size products than the others. I like that Ipsy's full size products are typically inexpensive; I can replace them without breaking the bank. Birchbox is another subscription box I've used, and while the products themselves are truly luxury brands, the samples were always small and the full size were a bit pricey. Birchbox does have a male option, which is cool. If you're interested, please use my referral link for Ipsy! You can find more makeup subscription box reviews at Glamorable, one of my favorite beauty blogs who subscribes to nearly all of them!

For Your Friend Who Just Moved to a New City

Groupon Giftcards--I honestly wish I'd had the time and budget to do all my shopping on Groupon this year. Their gift section is out of this world and there are SO many things I could use on there, having just moved across the country! From apartment decor to discounts on restaurants and fun activities (SKYDIVING, YES PLEASE!!) Groupon just seems like the perfect way to aid in settling into a new city. I know once Cory and I move into our new apartment I'll be buying some kitchen and bedroom necessities on here--the price and quality just can't be beat. If you're new to Groupon, please use my referral link!

For Any 20-Something

From Pinterest

A Gift Bag of "The Essentials"--Gift bags are always a lovely holiday gift, especially when you pick out the contents yourself! I think a gift box or bag made up of the essentials would be lovely. For example, I'm currently using a razor from a 99 cent pack because my usual Venus refills are way out of my unemployed budget right now. Also I am holding out on buying new socks and underwear, because the ones I have are working okay, even though I'd love to replace them. Think about little luxuries like these, that your friend or family member needs but might not be buying for herself. Maybe you're not close enough to be buying underpants, but some festive socks, a few choice beauty supplies (nice shampoo, razors, nice smelling soaps), festive socks, hair ties, bobby pins, etc. could go to good use here! Pop in a $10 Target gift card for anything you might have missed.

For Your Friend Who Just Entered Broke Adulthood
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Visa Gift Cards--These are always a treasure to be found in any stocking. They are accepted everywhere that Visa is accepted; this means that your 20-something friend or family member can use them for groceries, a new interview outfit, an online bill, a nice dinner with a friend, or even a mini shopping spree. It somehow feels a lot more genuine than giving money, and comes in a variety of cute designs. You can find them at most any grocery store or department store.

Happy Holidays from my little Santa Paws!


  1. These are all GREAT ideas! I love them! But you forgot best gift for foodies! LOL!

    1. Probably because there are just so many! What would you suggest?

    2. OMG The Lucky Peach Mag looks AMAZING! YAYYYYY! I want!

  2. I love that cat camera! I need it. And a cat. :)

    1. You could put it on your boyfriend and see what happens! lol

  3. Great list!! I'm hoping I get my gift guide done at some point before Christmas this year :)


  4. Awww Santa Paws!!! I'm taking offense at "I'm sure most people have already completed their holiday shopping" -- I'd like to think I'm not the most disorganized person around... right? I have like 1 person almost half done, ha. I'm also obsessed with that cat cam! I've always wanted to get one for my parents' cat, but I'm pretty certain he goes for long swims in their pond, which must ruin the camera.

  5. Omg!!! Absolutely love the ending with Santa Paws! Tee hee! So cute!!! I like the necklace idea where you can put the hearts. Very unique idea! And wow instagram photography kit... lol! No wonder there are people who can take really amazing pictures with iphone! It was a fun post to read. :)

  6. These are fabulous ideas!! I might have to get my sister an Ipsy subscription...pretty sure she'd love it!