17 Gift Ideas for *You*, Specifically

And some other updates

Hello! It is I, a long-lost food blogger who has long-neglected this newsletter. 

I hope you’ll excuse my absence -- it’s because we launched an app! Yesterday, the fruits of about 2 years of my labor went live in the Apple App Store - it’s an astrology app called CHANI that I collaborated on with Chani Nicholas, her wife/business partner Sonya Passi, the amazing Jeanna Kadlec, and the engineering firm AnnieCannons. I designed the UI of the app (and the website) and did a lot cat-herding to develop it and get it across the finish line, but it was truly a team effort and we are so thrilled it’s finally out there. If this astrology app serves you, I hope you like it. If you don’t, thanks anywho!

A couple of housekeeping notes: because I have a full-time job and can’t give consistent energy to this newsletter, I am going to turn off subscriptions. I also have come to think, as of late, that monetizing your hobbies makes them, well, not hobbies, and I would like to make this (and my food blog, I’m going to turn off display ads there) a free offering. If this serves you, I hope you like it. If you don’t, thanks anywho! 

I will be expanding the subject matter I write about here since my relationship with food has shifted dramatically in the last 6 months. I was feeling like I was performing this writing voice that honestly other people are better at. I’m just going to write more about what I find interesting - still food but also things like culture, tech, and media - and incorporate more of my natural voice/tone, which is a little sillier (read: dumber) than some of my super smart, critical, analytical peers whose writing I deeply admire. A lot of you read my diatribe about why Instagram is a bummer a couple of months ago. I’ll be doing more of that -- commentary on the trends and things happening in our consumer, experiential lives, from someone who is fairly skeptical of capitalism and yet can’t seem to stop working. 

On to the real part of this newsletter. 

I *love* gifts and gifting. Gifts are my love language. If my husband just even picks me up a coffee while he’s out running errands, I’m thrilled. During the late 90s when Kate Spade was peak-popular, all that my little materialistic native-Angeleno-ass wanted was a Kate Spade bag. Obviously, it’s completely inappropriate to buy a 12-year-old a designer bag. My dad, though, got me a tiny fake Kate Spade bag — with stitching so bad you could see it from outer space — and I literally burst into tears.

Receiving a gift you love makes you feel seen and celebrated. Don’t we all just want to be appreciated?

But, sometimes during the holidays, people get you weird gifts. Re-gifted gifts. Or no gifts. For my fellow Capricorns with birthdays adjacent to Christmas, it’s the dreaded combination birthday-Christmas gift. That’s okay! The solution is to BUY YOURSELF A PRESENT. 

I know... consumerism... capitalism... The existential dread of everything ending in futility and ultimately meaning nothing. I get it. But, sometimes buying yourself a present just feels nice, okay?! 

All of the things below I have myself and personally love/recommend, have 100% sparked joy for me, and made my life a little better.

See, money can buy happiness.

So, based on my highly critical and attuned nose for *things*, I present…

THE 2020 SELF-GIFT GUIDE FOR OVERWORKED FOODIES WHO JUST WANT SOMETHING NICE FOR ONCE

~Less than $20: A little somethin~

Reusable silicon baggies - half an avocado or a partially-eaten block of cheese fits *perfectly* in one

These extremely compressing leggings - size up if you don’t want to feel like you just got liposuction 

A reusable glass cup with a lid and straw - so people don’t think you’re a sociopath when you go for your mental health walk with a kitchen glass

These zit patches which literally 86’s your pimples overnight

The Artist’s Way - the best book on cultivating your own creativity *ever*

Any of the seasoning packets from OMSOM - because who is seriously cooking complicated multi-step meals these days - I love Thai Larb and Yuzu Misoyaki

This small paring knife that also folds - perfect for impromptu cheese cutting needs

~The $20-50 range: Gettin fancy~

This gorgeous book by Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew about Black creators and art

96 fluid ounces of cold brew, complete with a spigot (no I don’t have this subscribed to be delivered every 2 weeks)

This memory foam seat cushion - my sciatica pain is GONE

This neck hammock/traction thingy - so, so relaxing

Just a giant tub of Maldon flaky salt - it never goes bad and is mandatory on everything

Silicon reusable straws to carry with you at all times so your iced coffee habit doesn’t intersect with your sensitive teeth problem from doing too many crest white strips

~The $50-100 range: Something nice for once!!!~

My favorite and most-worn sweatshirt from Reformation

These 2004 Paris Hilton-inspired fuzzy slippers - sorry, I love them

A simple, delicate gold necklace - it hasn’t turned green on me and I’ve worn this every day for about 9 months

This orange fanny pack which also comes with a ton of emergency preparedness supplies - it’s the perfect size for everyday use, and who knows if the apocalypse of 2020 will end so you might as well save the first aid kit, whistle, emergency blanket, and plastic poncho for the inevitable doomsday those preppers warned us about.