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5 Gift Ideas for a Writer

This is Part 2 of my gift-giving guide for the Holiday season of 2022. Last week, I shared 5 Gift Ideas for a Reader–be sure to check that out! Now, I want to give attention to the writers in our lives. These can be people who are somewhat difficult to buy for because writing requires very little in the digital age. Many writers can get by with just a computer, and for that reason it can get tricky trying to gift them the experience of writing.

These items in the list I curated are aimed at helping writers hone their skills through practicing the art of writing. The gift ideas range in price from $5-$100, and represent many facets of the writing experience.

I am not an affiliate for any of these items. All of these recommendations are things I genuinely enjoy and am choosing to share with you because I am so fond of them.

1. PaperMate InkJoy Gel 0.7

The PaperMate InkJoy Gel 0.7 are my favorite pens for writing. They glide gently across the page and without smearing or ghosting. These have become a go-to and staple in my writing life.

2. Plum Paper Planners

Lately, I’ve moved away from Bullet Journaling and into a custom-built planner from Plum Paper. Although they can get pricy, these planners can be tailored to the needs of the writer and the pages are beautiful and of great quality. I am in love with my Plum Paper planner and I use it regularly to plan out blog posts, track purchases for The Ameri Brit Mom, and to schedule out the events in my life.

3. 642 Things to Write About Book

A universal experience for all writers is the lack of ideas. When you gift a writer a book of prompts like 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto you help them to defeat this hurdle to their practice and help unlock ideas just waiting to be captured on the page.

4. Small, low-maintence (or artificial) plants

Plants (whether artificial or living) add to the ambiance of a writer’s space. I recommend a set of smaller artificial plants, but if your writer has a green thumb then something requiring low maintence would be best. The plants should not deter their attention from their writing, but instead help to craft an environment that keeps their butt-in-chair.

5. SkillShare Subscription

A subscription to Skillshare was my big gift from my husband in 2021. With this subscription, I was able to take courses on many of my hobbies from creatives and leaders in their fields. For example, I learned how to improve my social media marketing strategies, film lifestyle vlogs, write a modern resume, and so much more. This is the most expensive gift on the list, but worth the cost in order to help the writer in your life invest in their skills and grow their toolbox.

When you buy a gift for a writer you are investing in a hobby and lifestyle that extends far beyond pages of words. You are showing them that you value what they have to say and believe in them to launch their gift into the world.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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5 Gift Ideas for a Reader

This holiday season I am bringing you a two-part series of gift guides for the readers and writers in your life. In these posts, I am giving you recommendations for gifts of all sizes. Whether you are willing to spend $10 or $200 on your recipient, I’ve got you covered–and in plenty of time to make online orders.

As you consider what to buy the reader in your life, be mindful of helping them create an environment that allows for the mental escape that reading requires. By setting a scene that indulges all the body’s senses, readers can find themselves quickly thrust into the world and words of the pages in front of them. When you buy a gift for a reader, you are also buying them an experience, and showing them that you value their life as a reader.

I am not an affiliate for any of these items. All of these recommendations are things I genuinely enjoy and am choosing to share with you because I am so fond of them.

1. Books

This may be the most obvious of the gifts ideas, but if you are struggling to come up with a title for the reader in your life let me offer some suggestions:

  1. The Measure by Nikki Erlick (Bestseller)
  2. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Thriller)
  3. Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Romance)
  4. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (Historical Fiction)
  5. Remember God by Annie F. Downs (Christian/Memoir)
  6. Good Boundaries and Good Byes by Lysa TerKeurst (Christian/Self-Help)
  7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Bestseller)

2. Candles

Setting the scene for a quiet night of reading is one of my favorite ways to settle into a new book. I gather all of my comfort items and light a candle to set the ambiance. This weekend I went to a local Bath and Body Works to test their new Holiday scents for the 3-wick candles. Here are my favorites:

  1. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  2. Frosted Cranberry
  3. Sugared Snickerdoodle
  4. Winter Candy Apple
  5. Fresh Flurries

3. Coffee

I’ve told you all about my favorite coffee brand before, but a fresh pot of Silverbridge coffee is another way that I like to awaken my senses as I settle into a comfy spot for a session of reading. This Ohio-based coffee company crafts unique flavors with strong and delicious aromas. My favorite flavors:

  1. Highlander Grogg
  2. Jamaican Me Crazy
  3. Snow Angel
  4. Cinnamon Sticky Bun
  5. Southern Pecan

4. Notebook

Not everyone likes to annotate as they read, but getting a beautiful notebook for the reader in your life is never a bad idea. I love to use a standard A4 notebook for journaling and notetaking. Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite online stationery shops. Many of the B&N stores are also increasing their inventory of all things a writer will love. My current favorite is this Book Lover XL Notebook from Studio Oh!

5. Noise Cancelling Headphones

In a world of noise and commotion, sometimes we need to drown out the things that try to take our peace and attention away from our reading moments. This is a more expensive gift idea, but if you are looking for quality, noise-cancelling headphones I cannot recommend the Beats Solo 3 enough. These are comfortable and amazing for setting a the mood for a tranquil reading session. Additionally, if your reader is more into audiobooks than hard copies, these can be a great way to listen without distraction.

Remember that when you buy for a reader, you are buying an experience. Your gift helps them transport into the pages of a book and walk around in another’s shoes for a bit. Consider how to best cultivate your reader’s scene by appealing to their senses–and the reader will be grateful for these thoughtful ways of providing them the peace and space for their entry into another world.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Happy Thanksgiving

-You are a supportive community of readers who encourage me with your friendship

-You are a family of readers and writers who chase your passions

-Some have supported The Ameri Brit Mom for years and others for days, but each of you is important to the story of this business

-You understand the importance of female-owned businesses

-You share your stories with me

-You are in love with the power of words and stories to transform this world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Custom Christmas Cards

The Ameri Brit Mom is offering custom Christmas cards now through December 5, 2022.

Above is the standard card which can be customized with colors, texts, and photos to meet the needs of your Holiday communications. Because The Ameri Brit Mom recognizes the importance of words and writing in our relationships, there is space for a handwritten message for each card.

If you are interested, place an order before time runs out!

*All prints from The Ameri Brit Mom are done in collaboration with the Canva Print Shop.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Laugh: Five Minute Friday

I’m home with two sick kids today. Influenza A has struck our household and ruined a lot of plans this week. Sam and I took turns staying home with them, so today’s my day. I’m joining my Five Minute Friday community today while the girls sleep in cozy spots on the couch and while Boss Baby plays at a low volume in the background. This week our prompt is Laugh.

As an Enneagram One, I tend to take life and myself seriously. My expectations are high and unmet standards often lead to frustration. I get anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed naturally and don’t need much to go “off-plan” in order for those negative temperments to eclipse the joy and laughter that I often seek.

That’s why we aren’t meant to do life alone.

On our own, each of us can be a bit much. Maybe your struggle isn’t perfectionism, but something in your personality toolbox when left unchecked can bring you down.

God has gifted me with friends and family of every other Enneagram number that help bring balance to my personality type.

I need a Two to remind me that life isn’t about me. Threes help me to channel my energy efficiently. Fours encourage me to embrace my creative energy and thinking. Fives give me the power to question the world and my own motives–they also remind me to be calm in the midst of chaos. Sixes bring out some of the negatives in me, but also show such tangible loyalty that I’m safe to feel all things with the promise of their continued friendship. Sevens bring the party and help me to lighten up and live in the moment. Eights seek justice and challenge me to consider other ways of thinking. And most importantly (because this is my husband), Nines bring peace to all that wars in my mind.

I have a lot to laugh about today.

Poetic irony. Naive four-year-old worldviews. Silly moments in the classroom like getting called “Mom” several times a day. Friendship. Self reflection. Television shows. Books.

All of these things bring cause for laughter to my life.

May I not take myself so seriously. May this day at home with sick girls be filled with glimpses of joy and laughter between all of the napping and hydration. May laughter be the background noise to a mind focused on doing my best. May I learn to laugh when I am reminded that perfection is a myth.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Something Like Heaven

November Short Story–

Snow is falling as Jordan visits her shut-in Mamaw. Jordan shows up preoccupied with life and worried about clearing the snow away. However, as she sips on coffee and talks to Mamaw she is reminded of the memories the snow holds and how when we remember the people and things of the past we enter into something like heaven on earth. 

This short story is available exclusively on my Patreon page. In order to receive access to exclusive content like monthly short stories, you need to join my page and pledge anywhere from $5-$20 a month to help support The Ameri Brit Mom. All members receive discounts, freebies, and monthly stories as a thank you for contributing to the growth of this business.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder: A Book Club Guide

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Author: Holly Jackson

Publisher: Ember

Copyright: 2019

When her teacher assigned a Senior Capstone project, Pip knew immediately that she would be spending her final year of high school proving the innocence of Sal Singh. Five years earlier, Sal was found dead with a suicide note admitting to the murder of his girlfriend, Andie Bell. Andie went missing a few days earlier and it was believed that Sal was the last person to see her alive.

But Pip never fell for that version of the story.

There were too many red flags for Pip to just assume that Sal murdered his girlfriend. Long after the rest of the town stopped searching, Pip still wrestled with the case. Under the facade of a school project, Pip engaged in interviews, followed leads, and disregarded threats of danger as she worked to prove the innocence of Sal Singh. With the help of Sal’s younger brother, Ravi, Pip builds a case and a list of suspects longer than she ever anticipated. Andie had woven a thick strand of lies and unusual behavior prior to her disappearance, and Pip made it her job to untangle those threads…

My first Book Club Guide is now available in my Products for $5.00. In this seven-page guide, there are places to record notes while you read and points for discussion in small group settings. As I read this book, it was helpful to have space to describe characters and persons of interest in the case because Pip chased many rabbits down their holes in her quest to learn what happened to Andie Bell.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Extreme: Five Minute Friday

Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all who have served and given of themselves to protect their country and our freedoms. May we never take those things for granted. I am joining my Five Minute Friday community today and writing about our prompt: Extreme.

It’s divine planning that in America we celebrate our freedoms with Veterans Day the same week as our elections. We honor those who served our country just days after exercising our rights to vote. It’s extremely fitting that we give thanks for the men and women who allowed for those very elections to persist by sacrificing on our behalf.

Elections can be a polarizing moment for our country.

People on either end of the political spectrum wrestle for the majority vote. And it all comes down to which side has the most people show up at the polls or casts their ballot in the mail. In America our politics have been divided into two extreme camps with a minority of people teetering between both sides.

We live in a climate right now that values loyalty to a party rather than truth to our issues or beliefs. In an attempt to win, we sacrifice the whole “freedom” idea and let the politicans make our decisions. If we are red–we turn in a ballot that matches that. And if we are blue–likewise.

But here’s the thing–the Veterans we celebrate today didn’t sacrifice time, safety, family, and so much more so that we could color our ballots in with one crayon. This extreme loyalty to party isn’t the freedom our forefathers had in mind when they drafted democracy. In fact, it’s a dangerous logic that gone unchecked can lead to policies and leadership akin to some of the worst in history.

They gave so we could choose. They gave so we could use whichever crayons we wanted-we can even blend colors to create a beautiful representation of democracy.

Thank you to all the men and women who have served.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Girls’ Trip to Hocking Hills

The Hocking Hills is a state park in south-central Ohio made up of many trails and smaller parks. About an hour from my house this beautiful horizon of trees, hills, and caverns paint the border of the Appalachain Mountains.

October is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the region and so one of my closest friends and I made plans to spend a weekend in the hills during the height of the fall foilage. We booked a small cabin Airbnb and packed all the snacks, wine, and writing supplies needed to fuel a much needed Girls’ Trip and writing retreat.

Ashley from Science Plus Miracles is also raising young children and trying to keep her writing life afloat. She understands the internal balance needed in order to keep a passion project alive during a period where family demands so much time and attention. So, it took just about no convincing on either of our parts to schedule this weekend away to both rest and refocus on our writing projects and goals. (Our husbands get infinite thanks for booking the weekend and taking great care of our children while we were gone!)

Over the course of the weekend we hiked a few trails most notably Conkels Hollow State Nature Preserve and Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. Both of these trails were scenic and provided glimpses of peace. While walking the trails we stopped several times to capture the awe of the artistry. The colors of the trees, the angles of the caverns, the overlooks from the cliffs, all of the scenes were breathtaking. At times, we forgot that we were only an hour from home.

The Airbnb did not have a stove (in hindsight that may be something we look for in the future), so we ate all of our meals at local joints. My favorite spot was called The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. This was a quaint spot that served cocktails and brunch. The atmosphere was woodsy and really added to the aesthetic of the trip.

We also stopped at a local favorite–Hocking Hills Winery where live music was performed against the backdrop of trees and rolling hills. We enjoyed a bottle of a sweet red wine and talked the night away. The best coffee spot to fuel our writing sessions was The Coffee Emporium where we ordered seasonal Pumpkin Iced lattes with oat milk.

My writing goal for the weekend was to plan upcoming projects for The Ameri Brit Mom. I spent several hours journaling about my thoughts and feelings and getting to the heart of where I want to see this business expand. Over the next few months there will definitely be some changes to The Ameri Brit Mom. I am rounding out my first year as a solopreneur and have clarified a more specific goal for the future and decided on areas that were not serving the vision for the business.

Additionally, I ordered a new planner from Plum Paper to see me into a new season. Bullet journaling had not been serving me lately and you may have noticed that my calendar downloads have been absent for a few months. I am leaning into a new method for planning to save energy, creativity, and time to focus more on writing than weekly planner setups.

Getting away to the hills was good for my body, soul, and future planning. Not only did I enjoy the company of the trip, but the backdrop was every writer’s dream.

There is peace on the trails that I can’t find in an office or library space.

There is clarity.

There is beauty to inspire.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Perform: Five Minute Friday

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday community of writers from all over the world. This week our prompt is Perform.

A few months ago I did a series on my blog about the nine Enneagram types. All of the research and work was based on Ian Morgan Cron’s insights in his book, The Road Back to You.

In this series, I discussed each of the personality types through infographics and affirmations. Check out each of the nine numbers on the Enneagram:

Enneagram One

Enneagram Two

Enneagram Three

Enneagram Four

Enneagram Five

Enneagram Six

Enneagram Seven

Enneagram Eight

Enneagram Nine

While I am a One (The Improver) myself, I know many Threes (The Performer). These are the people who find identity in their successes and achievements. Of all the numbers, this is the one that western culture values most because these are the people who get things done efficiently. At times, we can all relate to a Three’s drive for recognition and status, but for a Three the performance is everything. I would go so far as to say that most Threes feel as though life is their stage and they are expected to give a flawless performance every night.

There are so many positives to being a Three.

When a Three is healthy they are great employers and leaders. They take pride in a job well done and so their performances are standout. Threes also encourage others to perform stronger in the workplace and in life. However, when stress and life complicate a Three’s ability to perform to their usual caliber, a great sense of fraud or fear can replace the confidence that was once the heartbeat of a Three. Because their performance is so closely tied to their identity, a Three is crisis is oftentimes unable to cope.

If you are a Three here’s a quick reminder today: You are not your latest performance.

Some of you are fortunate enough to be living in the healthy space. Life is good and you are rocking and rolling and slaying any giants that stand in your way to success. But if you are one of the Threes finding it difficult to keep your head above water today, remember that your identity is not in the performance–it’s in the journey.

You have permission to embrace every turn in the journey without fear or guilt. If you aren’t feeling your usual gusto that is okay. Welcome each day and what it holds for you and remind yourself that yesterday is over and tomorrow is yet to come. Stand in this moment in the most authentic way possible without guilt or shame of a poor performance.

The Ameri Brit Mom