Being an expat in Asia, I'm not much for shopping. I basically just have what I need and spend extra money on boba tea and noodles (#truth). However, thanks to a recent trip to America and my sister's (always) amazing recommendations, I've recently discovered some amazing brands and products. When I asked on Instagram if any of you were interested in hearing about them, many of you said yes! With the holidays just around the corner, I figured it was a great time to share some of these items incase you needed some present ideas for loved ones. Most of these items are food or blog related, but not all of them. Hopefully there is something in this post for everyone! I'll be sure to link to all of the brands and products and would love to hear some of your gift ideas in the comments below!
Ink and Elm Photography Backdrops:
I've been a food blogger for about 6 years now and I've actually never bought a real food photography backdrop. They're usually super expensive and heavy, so I never wanted to spend all that money to ship one to Asia. I'm also not very crafty, so didn't want to make one myself. Somehow I've always just made it work with that I have around the house...until now! I recently discovered Ink and Elm through another food blogger and I'm so in love with their products. They make affordable, realistic and beautiful backdrops for all kinds of photography, food photography included. Check out all their different patterns and textures here!
Ink and Elm backdrops are printed on matte, waterproof, tear resistant vinyl using the longest lasting inks. Once your photo shoot is complete, simply roll up the backdrops and place in the provided shipping tube for simple and easy storage!
Zulay Kitchen Products:
Ever since I used a Nespresso milk frother, I've wanted one. However, they are crazy expensive, especially when looking for one that works on 240V. Enter in the Milk Boss! We've all seen these handheld milk frothers. They always kind of work, but never well enough for me to get excited about them. This milk frother from Zulay kitchen is different! It makes an incredible amount of foam, has an amazing stand and looks beautiful. Yes please!
Another simple, but mandatory (in my opinion) kitchen gadget is a good lemon and lime squeezer. The one below is the only one you'll ever need to buy!
Skin and Makeup:
For the first time in my life I've started investing in my skin care routine. I've never had the best skin, so it always scared me to invest a bunch of money into skin care products for fear that they would make my skin worse. I finally tried out one of my sister's recommendations and am in love. Acure skin care is affordable (can you tell I don't like spending lots of money?), plant-based and amazing. I was sold after one use and now have a skin care routine that I love. I have their brightening facial scrub, brightening glowing serum and brightening day cream. I love knowing that the products I'm using don't have any weird ingredients in them, yet still work!
Another sister recommendation is this Pixi by Petra Correction Concentrate. This stuff covers the under-eye bags like nothing else I've ever tried. It matches my skin tone perfectly, so that could be something to consider.
Environmentally Friendly Drinks:
I occasionally love treating myself to a fun drink while out running errands, but I'm trying not to contribute to single-use-plastic. Lately I've invested in some tumblers so that I can reduce my waste, while still enjoying a fun beverage. I have a tumbler for coffee (which can often save you money depending on where you use it!) and I now have a tumbler for boba tea! I know boba tea isn't available everywhere, but it's rampant here in Asia and I absolutely love it. Bumbler is one of the first companies I've found that makes boba tea tumblers. They are different than other tumblers in that they allow for a wider straw which is needed to slurp up all the tapioca pearl goodness. If you are near to a boba tea shop and enjoy it, or if you have a friend that lives in Asia, a Bumbler Cup would make for the prefect gift!
Another product that I'm sure I've already mentioned before is the Toddy Cold Brew System. I'm pretty sure this system paid for itself in a month by keeping me from buying iced coffee from Starbucks. I actually prefer my homemade cold brew to Starbucks or other coffee shops now. If you have any coffee lovers in your family, this would be the perfect gift! It also brews tea concentrate as well!
My sister gave me the most beautiful wooden wall hanging from Willow and Burl and I absolutely love it! If you have a family member or friend who loves handcrafted, wooden decor, their products would make an amazing gift!
All Willow + Burl Products are handcrafted in the Foothills of North Carolina using local + reclaimed hardwoods. Each piece is uniquely designed by the Willow + Burl team members Mark Beaver + his daughter in law, Melissa Beaver.
My husband got me hooked on these Mpow Bluetooth Headphones and I use them everyday. I love that they hook right around the base of my neck and don't get caught in my hair. I've had other bluetooth headphones that have a longer, string-like connector and my hair would always get caught on it and pull the buds out of my ears. These stay put whether I'm running, walking, doing burpees or weight lifting.
Lastly, I've had this Nathan Running Belt for years and love it so much. They call it a hipster belt, but I actually like it around my waist. Either way, it's amazing for storing your phone, keys, etc. when you go on a run so that your hands stay free!
Okay, that's it for today! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your Christmas and holiday preparations are going smoothly. We'll actually be in Bali this year on Christmas day which will be fun! Leave your comments and recommendations below!