A Cup of Ambition gift guide & reader survey
I’m excited to share the official 💥A Cup of Ambition Gift Guide!💥 I had a lot of fun doing this last year, and people seemed to like it. So, I’m back with fresh recommendations for you (check out last year’s guide for more suggestions). Just like last year, I’m rounding up some of my personal favorites. These ARE NOT affiliate links. They are just items that I have bought and genuinely love, or plan on buying this year.
In the spirit of giving and receiving, I am also asking you to fill out this brief reader survey. This will help me understand what type of content and topics are most interesting to you. As added incentive, if you complete the survey, you will be entered to win a $20 gift card to Amazon! As always, thank you for your readership!
One final note that I will be taking next Thursday off for Thanksgiving, but I’ll be back with a new Read-Connect-Reflect article for you on November 30. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ❤️
Kidamento digital camera: My 5-year-old is *obsessed* with this camera—she even takes it with us on trips. My favorite parts are the silicon casing and the fact that the USB-charger is built in to the lanyard.
Flingo: Imagine playing catch, but with a racquet—the manufacturer says Flingo “throws like a catapult and catches like a butterfly net. The net effectively lengthens your throwing arm and unlocks the incredible power of mechanical advantage.” The bottom line is that my 8-year-old loves this and we’ve spent many hours in the backyard with this thing.
J. Crew Factory robes: I’m getting one of these for both of my kids, because there’s nothing better than being warm and snuggly on a cold winter’s night. I’m pairing with some slippers for my son and pedicure supplies for my daughter.
Dixit: This is one of my absolute favorite board games. The manufacturer describes it as a storytelling game, but I think of it as a fun Rorschach test for kids 😆. Good for ages 7 and up.
Custom board book of names and faces: This is one of my favorite gifts for babies and toddlers—it’s a custom book with faces of family members and friends. I had one for each of my kids when they were little.
Mighty Vibe: I think this is my #1 recommendation. My mom got these for my kids last Christmas and they’re amazing. They’re basically old-fashioned iPod shuffles (no screen!). You load your kids’ playlist onto them (you will need a subscription to either Spotify or Amazon Music to use) and they can listen to their heart’s content. These are amazing on road trips, or when you need some family quiet time.
Hama Hama oysters: My husband always appreciates a good food-related gift, and—in true New England spirit—we love fresh oysters.
Bird Buddy bird feeder with solar roof: Does your partner need this? No. But will he/she like it? Almost certainly. This bird feeder comes with a built-in camera that snaps and categorizes the different kinds of birds that stop by. This model also comes with a solar roof, so you don’t have to recharge it 👍
Tabletop cornhole: I don’t know a single Gen X or millennial dude who doesn’t love playing cornhole. Move your game inside with this tabletop version.
Genius Square game: I put this under partner gifts, but the truth is everyone in my family loves this spatial reasoning game (including my 5 year old). In a nutshell, you have to place nine different shapes on the square around seven different “blocker” pieces that change every time. It’s a game that won’t bore adults to death if you play it a million times.
DeWalt impact driver: My husband said this was his top pick. Okaaaaay. I don’t personally see the appeal, but he does use this a lot, so there you go. 🤷🏼♀️
Momofuku Noodles and Chili Crunch Pack: I swear by these noodle kits for an easy weeknight meal. Just add some fresh veggies and the chili crunch sauce for some extra zing.
Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle: My personal cup of ambition is full of green tea, which means that I use my electric kettle at least twice a day. This year, I’m going to upgrade to this version. The reviews sound amazing—people love that you can set a precise temperature and the spout is supposed to be great for controlled pouring.
Champagne flutes: I bought a set of these for myself. Just in time for NYE—cheers! 🥂
Mama Needs a Minute mug: Mary Catherine Starr illustrates many of the comics I feature in read-connect-reflect, and I love this mug she sells through her online shop.
Just the Right Book subscription: I featured this last year, but I love it so much that I’m featuring it again. RJ Julia is my favorite indecent bookstore, and they have a subscription service where one of their booksellers—a real, live human, not an algorithm!—selects and mails a new book to you every month.
Quince 14K gold pave diamond U huggie hoops: These affordable diamond earrings look equally great at work or on the weekend. I wear mine frequently.
50 states bucket list water bottle: So, granted, this is a little overpriced for a water bottle, but for it would be a great gift for someone interested in visiting all 50 states.
NYTimes Games subscription: True confession: I play the NYTimes games every day (Wordle, Connections, and Tiles are my fave). For $40/year, you can give a loved one unlimited access to all of the online games—including their daily crossword.
Holiday in the City mug: I bought this cute mug for my sister who lives in Chicago (they also have versions for NYC, Paris, Rome and London).
Lucky clover objet: Who doesn’t need a little bit of good luck? I’m buying this for a dear friend who had a particularly difficult year.
Lou Malnati’s pizza: Listen, I’m from Chicago, so I firmly believe that nothing says “I care about you” like deep-dish pizza.
TableTopics—Grandparents/Grandkids edition: We love these conversation cards and this would be a really cute gift for grandparents.
Nee-Do Nice Cube: My kids found these at a local toy store during our vacation to Charleston and became instantly obsessed. These are squishy sensory toys that always return to their cube shape.
StickerFace stickers: Customized photo stickers for your sticker-loving kiddos!
Sleeping Queens: This is another favorite game in our family—and it’s small enough to travel with!
Cody Foster goldfish ornament: This is the perfect keepsake ornament for a little Goldfish lover ☺️
Between Mom and Me journal: So, granted I’m kind of sentimental and cheesy, but my 8-year-old son and I have been having so much fun filling out this journal together. There’s a version for daughters, too.
Sloomoo Slime: My kids absolutely loved our visit to the Sloomoo Institute in New York last year and I know they’ll be thrilled when Santa refreshes their slime supply. There are tons of different themes, but I loved this cereal one.