The Ultimate Amazon Gift Guide for MEN (2018)

Question for the ages: Why, oh WHY, are men so hard to buy for?

Answer: 1. Because if they want it, they go ahead and get it for themselves without ever dropping any hints or creating an Amazon wish list or ANYTHING, and 2. Because most don’t like clothes and jewelry (unlike we easy-to-please, shallow women). 3. Because they like tools. Specific tools. Like with exact serial numbers and stuff (ask me how I know). Grrr….

Now, that I’ve demystified that for us all (thanks, Abbie), I’m here to tell you that, difficult to buy for though they may be, men are not impossible to find the perfect gift for.

gift guide for me

In FACT, I (think I) managed to score the perfect gift for Shaun this year without his having a clue that I remembered his mentioning it. Woot!

That gift is not listed below (because, somehow I doubt that most of your males-in-need-of-gifts want an inversion table), but I’ve got you set with lots of great, practical, fool-proof options–many of which I’ve gifted Shaun over the years and which are still in use!

I hope at least a few of these strike the right chord for the men in your lives.

I’ve been wanting to listen to this highly lauded historical account of a crew rowing team who raced for gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and challenged much more than a speed record at the time (think Hitler controlled Germany and all that that entails). I haven’t found the time yet, but the more I read about it, the more I think I will love it, especially since it’s often been compared to Unbroken, which I found mesmerizing (and would highly recommend if your man hasn’t read it). And if I’m intrigued by the topic, I guarantee plenty of men will be too.

This camping mug is manly, stylish, and sturdy. Need I say more?

Ditto for this metal thermos, which has a great reviews and a strong, standout logo.

And then there’s this Bush Craft book, which has 1,500 4 1/2+ star reviews. Apparently, it teaches you everything you need to survive in the wild. Manly, much?

Shaun travels a fair bit for work, so he was thrilled when I replaced his worn out mesh toiletry bag with a sturdy leather one for Christmas one year.

This one is a bit different than the one I bought, but it would definitely do the trick.

I’m loving the concept of this leather mouse pad, both for its sleek minimalist good looks, and for the padded wrist-rest.

I have become a bit of tennis shoe snob. I strongly suspect that I suffered a stress fracture in my right foot when I was pregnant with the twins, and I blame it on a tendency to be cheap with my workout footwear. Ever since, I’ve been willing to “splurge” a little on workout shoes, which totally makes sense for me since I’m a fitness instructor and they are part of what makes me able to do my job well (not to mention a tax write-off). In my mission to find the cushiest, best shoe, I discovered Brooks…and have never looked back. Now, Shaun is not a big exerciser, but he still appreciates a comfortable shoe. So, when I bought him his first set of Brooks for his birthday last year, I was a bit gratified at his expression of disbelieving ecstasy. “They really ARE better!” he said. “It’s like walking on CLOUDS,” he said. And I just smirked.

P.S. Lots of size/color/price options here, but $75 is about as low as most styles ever go, so this particular shoe is a bargain.

With a husband who builds houses, good work gloves are a must. And this leather pair has great reviews for comfort and durability.

Got a retro kind of guy in your life? Then this handsome Crosley record player just might be the thing. I’ve tried to justify buying this for Shaun in my head, but I know it would actually be for me.

One thing Shaun is never without? A quality set of noise-canceling earbuds. If he’s working on a project or mowing the lawn, he always has an audio book book in his ears. Chances are, you’ve got a guy in your life who could use these.

Okay, this one’s a long shot, since everybody’s tastes in scent are different. But I bought this for Shaun over 15 years ago, and it’s all he’s worn since. It has such a warm, spicy-without-being-overpowering fragrance that I think would work well for lots of folks. He doesn’t wear it every day, but he knows I’m guaranteed to notice (and give him extra snuggles) every time he does. Come to think of it, why doesn’t he wear it every day??! (Funny story: when one of his bottles ran out, I found a bottle for cheap at Marshall’s without realizing it was the exact same thing that he had always worn and bought it, thinking that it seemed familiar. Turns out, I know what I like because it really was the exact same thing).

Another of Shaun’s favorite gifts he’s gotten from me are these Reef Smoothy flip-flops. I had a pair myself years ago (not sure why I never replaced them because they were great), so I can testify to how cushy and smooth the foot bed is.

These Reef Leather Smoothy’s have the same comfort level with a more stylish twist. (And, yes, Shaun owns these too).

I just bought this book at Marshall’s the other day. It’s basically a guide to cool, hidden finds in various locales around the world and makes for a fascinating read (from what I’ve seen so far). Would be great for a traveling man in your life.

Last year, I recommended Foyle’s War as a manly period drama/series, and this year, I’m throwing Endeavour out there in case you’ve got a mystery-loving man in your life. It’s not as clean, content-wise (most episodes are, but some have more “sensual themes,” even though this is not a show with anything explicit like nudity or sex scenes). On the whole, though, the entire series is smart, moody, well-acted, and engaging. When I asked Shaun which of our favorite British crime drama series (they’re pretty much the only thing we watch) he would recommend after Foyle’s War, he said this one, so I’m going with it.

It sure isn’t an alluring gift, but I will say that Shaun has used the tar (maybe not the right word choice for this particular gift) out of the electric toothbrush I bought him a couple of years ago.  His is a Philips Sonicare, but this cheaper option still has great reviews.

This Under Armour Fleece Sweatshirt is a pretty decent price for a high quality, brand name athletic sweatshirt with awesome reviews. Just saying.

Anybody else have men in their lives who insist on wearing “show” socks with shoes that they shouldn’t? Then, these no-show versions would make a great not-so-subtle hint of a stocking-stuffer.

Is there anything better than cozy flannel pants? Fine. I know the answer is yes. But they’re still pretty great, right? These have good reviews and come in a variety of patterns.

And while you’re outfitting him with comfy sweatshirts and pants, you might as well give him something soft to put on his feet too.

It wouldn’t be a gift guide for men without a good multi-tool option. I’ve gifted Shaun with various versions of these over the last 15 years, and he has always used them a ton and been excited to explore their various gadgets and gizmos.

I am so tempted to get this jacket for Shaun, even though he already has a real leather version he wears often. The reviews say the “leather” is well-made and authentic-looking and the fit is excellent (if anything, it runs a tad small, so size up if in doubt).

This canvas + leather duffle has tons of compartments and great reviews for style/durability. Plus! An optional long strap for different carry options.

I bought Shaun this “bib” last Christmas, and he faithfully uses it each time he trims his beard. It’s nothing so very fancy, but it certainly helps with clean-up after and stores easily.

And with what does Shaun trim this beard of his while wearing a bib? ;) Something very similar to this puppy. Which! Comes with a boatload of options for trimmer lengths.

Got a guy who loves to hit the gym? Or swim? This bag has great reviews for durability and the inclusion of both a shoe compartment and a wet bag for sweaty clothes or damp swimsuits.

I don’t love most baseball caps, but this one has a stylish vibe while still maintaining its man card status.

And there you have it! As always, be sure to check out last year’s guide, which still has tons of great, available options!



The Ultimate Amazon Gift Guide 2018 {$15 and Under}

Welp! Here we are again. The most wonderful time of the year with the most wonderful Amazon Gift Guide around. Kidding. Sort of. But seriously, folks. I get kind of carried away finding the coolest stuff for the best price + reviews for you guys, so I certainly hope that you will find something you need/love for your people (or, ahem, yourself).

Without further ado, I give you:

under 15 guide

I’m not sure that an under $15 gift guide is complete without a candle option. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I choose my candles based on three things, in this order: 1. Price 2. Looks (because half the time I forget to light them), and 3. Scent.

I haven’t personally smelled this La Jolie Muse White Tea Scented candle, but it sure is purdy AND full-sized, which means plenty of burn time. Assuming you like the scent, of course.

I’m all about buying packs of things I can split up and then add to gifts to fill them out. These adorably packaged soaps have great reviews and would be awesome as a stocking stuffer or the perfect finish to a teacher gift.

Imma ’bout to bombard you with 3 Burt’s Bees products in a row and not because I work for them or anything. I just like that their products are generally very clean (free of unnecessary dyes, parabens, sulphurs, etc.) and yummy-smelling/effective to boot!

This cute little set would work well as a standalone gift or split up among girlfriends.

I love my Burt’s Bees lip balm. Ever since having Ezra, I have notoriously dry lips, especially in the winter, and I’m a fan of the moisture factor without the junk.

And this one! My hands are suffering from dryness at the moment, and I kind of want to take a bath in every product that comes in this cutie-pie bag.

Have you heard of Jamberry or…well, any of the other copycats? Well, Amazon has got you covered without the hassle of finding a consultant with these cute nail wraps. Not saying I’d be over the moon about the Hello Kitty options, but my girls would, which may just mean that I buy some for me and then put a few in their stockings. This is another great option for splitting up between friends.

Got a paper/pen/pencil/organizer lover in your life? Then these next few options are for her!

I love the minimalist-while-still-girly option of this laser-cut floral organizer set. Super cute and functional (albeit small…this would be best for a space-saving desk).

WHY do floral pencils make me so happy? No clue. But they do. And if you or anyone you know feels the same way, you. go.

And what better to carry your floral pencils in than a floral! pencil! bag! (No answer necessary).

It wouldn’t be one of my gift guides without Rifle Paper Co. product. This stationery set is adorable!

As are these cute floral notebooks (although not Rifle Paper).

I’ve been wanting to learn hand-lettering/quasi-calligraphy for a while, so I bought this set to go with a hand-lettering book (more on that in another gift guide installment), and I’ve been having so much fun doodling. Would be great for a creative in your life!

And again with the Rifle Paper Co.! But when it’s this pretty, and it can double as a calendar AND a mouse pad, can you blame me?

If that desk organizer wasn’t enough order for your just-so friend, a boatload of pretty organizing files might do the trick! I find that the prettier the tool, the more I want to use it. Apparently, I TOTALLY judge a book by its cover.

This next little spate of offerings has a major sparkle factor at a low price tag. My fave!

I can absolutely see scoring these gold floral pearl earrings at Anthro. Just not for this price.

Same with these guys!

And this pair is actually an Anthropologie knock-off with great reviews (I own the originals in mint, which I scored on clearance, of course, and they are legit my favorite statement earrings).

This leaf necklace is ethereal and floaty looking enough not to be obnoxious while you’re wearing it, but the reviews say it’s still well-made and substantial enough not break after one wear.

I have these earrings in hunter green, pink, and mustard…and get compliments on them wherever I go. CanNOT beat the price for a set of three!

I don’t actually own this brass cuff, but I love the chunkiness of it and think it would make a great gift for a girl who loves to make a statement without a lot of fuss.

I DO own these delicate gold hoops. I am, in fact, currently wearing them in all 4 of my cartilage piercings, and I get numerous compliments on how pretty they are. I love them because they’re barely there, in both look and feel, and the price can’t be beat!

I think I’ve recommended a version of this necklace every single year that I’ve done this gift guide. It’s adorable, personal, and oh-so-affordable.

I know this jazzy tassel key chain wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but it sure is cute! And cheap (I’ve seen designer versions for 3-4 times as much). Lots of other great color options/combos too!

The wear-something-in-your-hair trend comes and goes, but it’s definitely here at the moment, and these head wraps are stylish, well-reviewed, affordable, and come in multi- packs so you can split them up!

As do these!

And what would a gift guide be without a cozy set of socks? These have great patterns (lots more options when you click through) and great reviews.

It’s hard to beat the comfort of a chunky scarf + beanie. Especially at this price. Lots more color options!

Big plaid scarves, y’all. Apparently, they are here to stay. This is the 3rd or 4th year I’ve featured one, and I think this one is pretty darn cute. If these colors aren’t your thing, though, there are plenty more to choose from.

Also, neckerchiefs. Not just for ladies-who-lunch, apparently. I don’t honestly know if I could pull these off, but I think they would be adorable as a head scarf or wrapped around a ponytail.

I own this workout tank and get a lot of comments/compliments on it. And, while it’s not really true that I’m such a fan of donuts (I’m not averse, but my sugar vices lie elsewhere), I love the chuckle-factor + comfort level. Plus it’s LONG! (Runs a bit large, in my opinion).

And now, for the cooks in our lives. Because if you’re going to use it, it might as well be pretty as well as functional, right?

Like these pink + rose gold untensils. Lots of other color options! Good reviews but they do tend toward the smaller side.

Second verse, same as the first! (Only these don’t run small. That would be weird).

Oddly enough, I didn’t find tons of mugs I loved on Amazon in the under $15 range. But this pretty gold + white + peppy saying caught my eye. (More options when you click through).

These are a shameless Anthro knock-off. I have the Anthro version (on sale, natch), and I love the cuteness factor as well as the practicality for small servings of sauces, nuts, snacks, etc.

This is a stylish fruit basket you could happily leave out on your counter, and I think the price is fabulous for the size!

Same for this spoon rest. Simple. Classy. Functional.

Oh, and this is just cute!

Because who doesn’t love a good floral tea towel??

These pom pom baskets have gotten rather ubiquitous, but I, for one, am glad. They’re FUN-ctional (see what I did there?), and this one is really affordable without being too tiny to actually hold anything.

I’ve wanted one of these clear umbrellas for a while. I love the simplicity/retro shape of the design. Plus, they just scream whimsy to me. But I always assumed they were expensive (not sure why). Happy to be wrong!

For the plant lovers in your life, this assortment of little pots would be such a cute gift. Also, GREAT for teacher gifts (with a sweet little succulent and a note about how they cultivate growth in your student, maybe?)

And I just love the sleek, minimalist design of this white version.

So, there you have it, friends! Affordable gifts for a VARIETY of friends, family, coworkers, besties, and beyond.

I’ll be back very soon with our next price bracket PLUS a guide for guys, kids, AND books! Phew!

As always, be sure to browse guides from years past. Lots of great suggestions still available at similar prices to the ones I listed then.