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Pimp Your Gift List!

December 7, 2010

Our goal with WiseGifter is to help you get gifts you can’t wait to get. Here are our newest features to help make your gift list rock:



Step 1: Gift List Starter.

Not sure how to start? Use our Gift List Starter to choose a few you like. Continue to sign in and finish making your gift list.

Gift Ideas to Help you Get Started!

Check it out:  Memorable Gifts //  Travel Gifts //  Weddings //  Fundraising



Step 2: Choose Great Pictures.

We’ve added a library of images for your gifts. Search for the perfect image or upload any image you like.

Choose the Perfect Image for your Gift!

Check it out: When you’re logged in > Items > Create an Item > Choose a Photo.



Step 3: Add Great Gifts!

Browse our collection of great gifts to find just the right one. Add these to your list, edit the details or create custom gifts.

Add our Gifts to your List or use them for Inspiration.

Check it out: When you’re logged in > Items >MagnifierGet some ideas



Step 4: Create a Bio.

Add a picture and a bit about you. Describe your list so your friends and family know what it’s all about.

Personalize your List with a photo and description.

Check it out: When you’re logged in > Settings.



Step 5: Share your Gift List.

Spread the word with email, Facebook, and Twitter. Want to share your gift list on your blog? Use one of our images to link to your gift list.

Link to your Gift List with one of our Images.

Travel Gifts, Wedding Gifts, Holiday Gifts - Choose your Favorite Image to Link to your List.

Check it out: When you’re logged in > Share.



With every new feature, we aim to make WiseGifter the best way to get meaningful gifts. We hope this holiday season we can help you get closer to your dreams with any gift you wish.


Thinking Outside the Box: 33 Holiday Gifts that Can’t Be Wrapped

December 3, 2010

This is way better than anything that can fit underneath a tree.

There’s a simple joy in giving and receiving around the holidays.  We stop to think about the people we love.  We pick out a gift with care, hoping it will be just right.

And many of the best gifts don’t come from stores.  They might teach you something. Or entertain you.  Or take you somewhere you’ve never been before. They’re personal.  Thoughtful.  And hopefully above all, meaningful.

We’re here to help you find those meaningful gifts. So we bring you, 33 gifts that don’t come from a store and are sure to warm someone’s heart.


Sports League Fees

Playing sports is an experience that feels good in many ways: you’re getting exercise plus socializing with your friends. Whether you want to play in your own rec softball league or pay for your child’s soccer league fees, this is a great gift. 


Yes, you love your kids.  Yes, they love you (sometimes).  But, you need a break every now and then.  Just think of how grateful you’ll be for the gift of a quiet night without any distractions.

Plane Tickets

If you want to go somewhere far away, flying is probably a good option.  Let others help you get to that tropical island!

Language Lessons

One of the more rewarding experiences in life is being able to speak to another person in your non-native language.  With language lessons, you can open the door into a myriad of other cultures.

Cooking Classes

No matter how well you cook now, there is always more to learn when it comes to cooking.  Cooking classes are a great way to expand your palate and learn about new ways to make the food that you eat 3 times a day.  Then you can invite your friends over and impress them with your new skills!



Who doesn’t want a massage by a professional massage therapist?  Feel all the stress melt away while your muscles get kneaded into a state of bliss.

Exotic Tour

Rain forests, volcanoes, oceans, or ancient ruins: you decide!  There are all kinds of fun places around the world to take a tour, so why not let others help you out by paying for your tour costs?


This is about as close as you can be to becoming a bird.  It may be scary at first, but it will be a memory to last you a lifetime.

Romantic Dinner

Show your love to your significant other by going to a fancy restaurant and enjoying each other’s company.  This is the gift that not only satisfies the belly, but the heart as well.

National Park Admission

Be awed by the wonders of the natural world around you.  Whether you hike out on your own, or just pop in for a day trip, your visit to any national park is likely to be something that you won’t forget.

Concert Tickets

Going to see your favorite artist live is an experience that will be in your memory for a long time.  Let others help you get in and maybe even gift you the backstage pass!

Farm Share

If want to buy local and buy healthy food, buying into a farm share program is the way to go.  You’ll be thanking the gift recipient every time a new box of fruits and veggies shows up on your doorstep. 

Amusement Park Entrance

It’s hard to resist the fun of an amusement park, with roller coasters, games, and shows.  I know I can’t.   The child-like joy of going to an amusement park just can’t be beat.

Bus Pass

You’ve got to get from here to there and back again every day and that adds up.  Have your family and friends support your eco-friendly choice for commuting.

Race Entrance Fee

One of the most rewarding feelings in life comes when you’ve trained and finished a long race.  Get that extra vote of support from the people you know to accomplish your dream.


Bike Repair Class

Riding your bike is not only great exercise, but a great way to travel in an earth-conscience way.  But, you’d like to be able to change a flat tire in the case that you might get one in the middle of nowhere.  Fortunately, there are classes and people to help you do just that.

Gym Membership

It’s no secret that exercise makes you physically fit as well as mentally sharp.  When you get the gift of a gym membership, this is truly the gift that keeps on giving: you can feel good and look good in a healthy way.

College Fund

College is expensive.  Outrageously expensive, in fact.  Let others help you offset the cost of your or your child’s education to help make sure you are not too much in debt by the time you get out.

Money for Crazy Adventures

Drive across Mongolia in an old beater of a car.  Make your way from the Coast to the Himalayas in India with an auto-rickshaw.  Or explore South America with the help of a three-wheeled taxi.  With these guys, you can do just that.  You just need the money for the entrance fee.

Bill Payment

It’s not glamorous, but it’s entirely necessary if you want to keep the water flowing and the electricity surging.  You’ll thank the gifters every time you turn on your lights with this gift.


Sky Diving

Nothing says fun like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane at over 10,000 feet.  It’s surely going to be an unforgettable adventure.

SCUBA certification

Get closer to the nature under the sea with a lifetime SCUBA certification.  They can be quite expensive, but with the help of the people you know, it can put this dream into reach.

Yoga classes

Exercise your mind, body, and soul with the gift of yoga classes.  Feel the stress of the day melt away as you and your other yoga classmates chant “Om” in unison.

Down payment for a house

Home is where the heart is, but you need a little help getting there.  What an amazing way for friends to support your dreams by helping you out with a down payment for a house.  They probably can’t help you out with the whole thing, but every little bit helps.

Ski lift tickets

It’s getting cold outside which means that somewhere, it’s snowing.  And where there’s snow, there’s skiing.  Let others support your downhill addiction with the gift of ski lift tickets.


Photography Class

You have the vision and the creativity to be an excellent photographer, but you don’t know what all those buttons on your camera do.  Taking a photography class will open you up to a whole new perspective in life.

Mountain biking lessons

Barreling downhill on two wheels is probably not a good idea without a little instruction.  With mountain biking lessons, you’ll be assured that you will arrive at the bottom of the mountain in one piece.

Vacation Apartment Rental

When you’re traveling, hotels are great, but sometimes you like to be somewhere that has a feeling of home.  With a vacation rental, you can experience the local culture while living in a home away from home.

Surfing Lessons

From personal experience, I can tell you that trying to learn to surf on your own is not a good idea, unless you like spending a lot of time under water.  Let an expert teach you and you’ll be feeling the rush of riding a wave in no time.

Home Improvements

There’s almost always something that needs to be done to your house to make it better and considering you are there a lot, it’s important to keep it up. 


Museum/Zoo Membership

For you or your kids, a museum or zoo membership can be a rewarding and educational experience.  Expand your mind and get this gift that will be good for the whole year.

Doctor Visits

Going to the doctor costs money, which is why you haven’t had a check up in a while.  Let friends give you the extra nudge by chipping in with those doctor bills.

Historical Site Entrance Fee

If you want to go to Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu, it’s going to cost you money just to get in, but the pictures and experiences that you will come out with are priceless.  Let others give you that priceless gift and share your experience with them when you get back.


Inspired for Great Gifts?

When you think about gifts this year for the holiday, don’t forget to think about things you can get outside of the box.  Create memories, make dreams come true, and make this holiday season one where you get and give gifts that really count!

Try out our gift list creator, and share your meaningful gifts.  What would be on your list?

Photos:field, massage, concert, bike, skydiving, camera, museum.

The Difference Between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and how to change it)

November 29, 2010

Unfortunately, Black Friday is what we think of when Thanksgiving is over.

With Thanksgiving coming and going, we’ve been talking to a lot of friends and family recently.  As is common, the discussion at some point talks about holiday plans: what we’re eating for Thanksgiving and who we are eating it with.  And, as is natural with Thanksgiving being the official beginning of holiday marketing campaigns, it slowly creeps into the realm of Christmas.  But, there is a distinct difference in the tone and demeanor when talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

When we talk about Thanksgiving, it tends to be about the food and the company.  There is always one family member or friend that makes a special dish that you can’t wait to have.  (For us, it’s the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole from Bessie’s aunt)  Meeting on Thanksgiving tends to be an easy affair because there are no expectations apart from eating and conversation.  The focus is on perishable, non-physical gifts: the gift of a well cooked meal and the gift of good company.  They are simple things, but things we all look forward to and cherish.

When we talk about Christmas, though, it suddenly turns into the stress of shopping.  The thought of spending quality time with friends and family has been pushed to the back of our minds while we worry about what things we are going to buy each other.  On top of that, you have to think of things that others can buy you, which can be even harder.  It becomes a matter of choosing things you know are easy for others to buy instead of asking for things that are meaningful to you.  If you’re anything like me, you tend to pick things that are easy to shop for like DVDs or clothes.  They aren’t the things that you really want, but it’s easier to tell someone that you want the “Hangover” DVD than a romantic night out with your wife.

So, Christmas loses some of its meaning while we all get stressed out in the craze to buy and receive stuff.  No longer are we looking forward to the time spent with the people that we love, instead we fret about the kinds of things we are going to give them and receive from them.

This is part of the reason why we created WiseGifter.  We like giving to other people but we realized that it didn’t have the meaning that we wanted it to have.  We wanted to help people live out their dreams and do things that could make their lives have more substance.  While giving clothing and electronics made us feel good, we felt like we could do better.  And in order to do better, we had to move beyond physical gifts.

So, as you think about giving and receiving this holiday season, think about what gifts you can give that can have a positive influence on the lives of your friends and family.  Then think about how those people can help you live a better life.  Think past the marketing and consumerism and focus on the things you value.  I think you will find that the holiday gift-giving season will be much more meaningful and the stress will turn into joy.

Gifts for Every Traveler

November 23, 2010
Taking Pictures at Angkor Wat



For travel lovers, getting gifts can pose a predicament: We appreciate the generosity of people wanting to buy us gifts, but things coming out of large boxes don’t always fit in our bags. Not to mention that new stuff won’t mean you’ll have a better trip. And how do you get gifts from half way around the world?

So how can you get great gifts for travel?

Enter from stage left: WiseGifter. Created by travelers, it’s the perfect way to get great gifts for anything you want to do, get gifts anywhere you are, and get people excited for your trip.

  1. Make a gift list –  jungle hikes, money for airfare, visiting Angkor Wat – you name it.
  2. Friends and family “buy” your dream experiences.
  3. Get the money anywhere in the world via PayPal. Voila! You just got a great travel gift.

Sound Simple?

It is. You get think up awesome travel adventures you’ll have, and your family doesn’t have to wander the aisles poking at boxes. And we just made it easier with pre-set gift items you can add to your list or use for inspiration.

Some ideas to get you started


Give it a Try!

Starting by picking a few things you’d like from our Travel Gifts page. Then sign up to finish personalizing your site. All you need is PayPal, and don’t worry, it’s free to start. We only charge a small %4 after you start getting gifts. Visit our Money FAQ for details.

Three Nuggets of Learning from a Life Coach

November 9, 2010

This week’s Great Life Experiences comes from a Life Coach, Anne Kellogg Reed, who shares 3 golden nuggets from her own progression of cube dweller to self-employed.

I am a life coach.  So I should probably be able to give you some brilliantly genius advice that will change your life, right?!  Nope.  It’s YOUR job to be the genius!  And that is what I love so much about coaching – that it’s built around the core beliefs that:

  • YOU know what you want (whether or not you’ve discovered it yet), and
  • YOU are brilliantly capable of bringing it to life.

It is my job, then, to invite you onto that bandwagon of belief and get rolling.  So that’s what I have to say about coaching right now.  If you want to learn more, check out my site or send me a message.

Now on to what I really want to jabber about!  It’s been just over two years since I quit my full time job to focus on coaching, and in preparation for writing this little ditty, I found myself thinking – what on earth HAVE I learned through the experience of self-employment, a.k.a. the path less traveled?  So here I present you with a little platter of three nuggets.  Take what you like and feel free to sample!

NUGGET #1 – THE EXPECTATION OF FREEDOM (and how it surprisingly came to be)
One thing I think about when I look back at the past two years is this myth I shared with many that self-employment = more freedom.  The truth I discovered pretty quickly was that for me, self-employment has been a very messy experience that has a way of bringing all of my insecurities and anxieties to the surface.  What an unexpected joy!  These little monsters have come out of the woodwork wearing nametags like guilt, money insecurities, and self-confidence issues.  So what is a life-coach to do but face them the way she’s asked her clients to do?

And two years later, the truth is that I AM experiencing a lot of freedom in my life.  But I honestly think it has more to do with the fact that I am taking the time to deal with my junk.  And yes, being in charge of my own schedule certainly helps, but only now that I’m in a position to be powerfully in charge instead of fearfully in charge as I was at first.

Let’s be honest, here, I owe a LOT of this learning and freedom to my partner in life and biggest supporter, fellow entrepreneur Ben Reed.  There is no stinking way I would have survived this without his support (emotional, financial, logistical, technological, humorical…okay, I made up that word, but you get the point).  There’s my mom, my sister Katy, my family, my friends.  And my life coach!  Obviously I believe in the value of working with a coach, and I’ve found that limited-time engagements have worked the best for me.  I had one coach through my certification process and a different coach since then.  Both have been hugely fundamental in supporting my focus on the big picture of what I’m up to.

Then there’s this community of women I stumbled into made up of women who all believe in living life intentionally and aligned with our greatest values, callings, and priorities.  Being a part of a group like Tiara fulfills my need to be in community with like-minded, independent women who snub the notion of being a victim to ‘life as it’s supposed to be played.’

So my point here?  I am hugely grateful for the support I’ve received from the incredible people around me.  And more than grateful, I’m recognizing how I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP LONG AGO WITHOUT THEM.

Something else I find myself learning over and over is that it’s worth it to consider both sides of what I want – the SPECIFICS and the FEELINGS.  To give you some context, consider that desires tend to fall in two categories:

  • FEELINGS we desire – the ‘big picture’ (for example, adventure and freedom)
  • SPECIFICS we desire (say, a pony)

Here in my lovely example, you can see how a desire in one category can be linked to one or more desires in the other category.  I believe that we want SPECIFIC things because they’re actually capable of giving us the FEELINGS we want.  And sometimes we’re wrong.  Like when I thought that earning my official certification as a life coach would make me feel confident.  Wrong-o.  Turns out that earning the ‘CPCC’ designation was not the magical stamp of approval I thought I needed to feel great.  The FEELING I wanted – confidence in my abilities – was only something I could give myself, and faking confidence wasn’t working.  So once I identified that desired FEELING – confidence – I could be on the lookout for other SPECIFIC actions to take aligned with that desire.

Without going on and on too much more, the reason I share this is because when we’re clear about the FEELINGS we want, we are in a better position to notice SPECIFIC opportunities that happen to show up.  These might be things that we would not otherwise notice or consider.  For me, it actually turned out that my confidence was built more in the time I chose to take a break from coaching to ‘reset’ myself.  I NEVER would have thought that taking a break would build my confidence, but I was tuned in to the desire, gave myself permission to do that weird thing, and magically, more confidence was present once I started coaching again!

So if you’re considering a desire you have – stop to notice whether it’s a SPECIFIC or a FEELING, and think about what the desires are on the other side of the coin.  Get busy with the SPECIFICS that feel aligned with the desired FEELINGS, and be on the lookout for surprise opportunities that come your way.

I strongly believe in the value of reflecting and sharing when it’s in service of learning and growth.  Writing this has helped me reflect on what the last two years has meant to me, so thank you for the virtual venue!  And good luck to YOU, reader, as you move forward.  From one learner to another, here is what I have to share, in true nugget form:

  • Self-employment is a trip.  If you’re considering it, get ready to accelerate your learning!
  • Find your people and hold them tight.
  • Get clear about your desires – the specifics and the feelings.  And watch them come together in ways you never expected they would.


Anne Kellogg Reed, CPCC
Certified Professional Co-Active Coach
Bicycle Life Coaching

Quit Making Excuses and Do It

November 5, 2010

Do It!

I’m going to tell you something that’s going to help you do the things you really want in life.  It will reduce all of the self-help books down to 2 simple words.  It is something so simple that you probably already know it.  But I have to warn you, that despite it being a simple concept it is hard to do.

Here it goes.  If you have a dream that you want to realize or if there is something that you really want to do in life, the answer is: do it.

In Stride, Of Course.

I’m not implying that if you want to start your own business, you should walk to your boss right now, tell him/her that you quit, and then buy your own office space.  That’s just impulsive.  What I am suggesting, though, is that there is something you can do to move you closer to actualizing your dream.  There has to be one thing that you can do right now that will move you in the right direction.

For example, at some point in our relationship Bessie and I decided that we wanted to take some time off and travel through Central and South America.  We had no money to do so, no plane ticket, and no definite plans of any kind.  Really, all we had was a dream and some desire.  Within a week, though, I had taken the first step: I had opened up a savings account where 25% of my paycheck was deposited every 2 weeks.  I still didn’t have a plane ticket, or an itinerary, or anything resembling a trip, but the first step was completed.  After that, it was a matter of doing the second thing.  Then the third.  And so on…

Ok, now you may be thinking that I’m over simplifying things.  You’re thinking about all of your dreams and what you want to do with your life and you’re thinking that you can’t do that right now.  It simply needs to wait as there are so many other things that need to be done first.  There are bills and all sorts of obligations getting in the way and once those are figured out, you can then do the things that you really want to do.  And to that, I call bullsh*t.


I call bullsh*t on the idea you can’t do something now.

It doesn’t have to be the grandest thing.  It just needs to be one simple thing that gets you there.  Do you want to start your own business?  In most states you can go online and make your own LLC with the name of your choosing in under and hour.  (Heck, this business was born in an old fishing house on the coast of Chile in the same manner)  Do you want to travel the world?  You can open up a savings account in the same amount of time that it takes you to check your email.  You want to be a better cook?  Start cooking.  You want to learn how to salsa dance?  Find a partner and practice.


So, Step by Step

Once you start the first step, you’ll see what you have to do next.  Then do that.  After that, find the next thing and do it.  And then keep on going.  The reluctance to make the first step just means that you are making excuses for yourself not to do the things you actually want to do.

I’m not going to make any promises that the journey will be easy or that you will actually reach your destination.  I’m not going to get that wishy-washy on you; that’s what Tony Robbins is for.  It will probably be hard and you’ll have to make some sacrifices.  But, in the end, I think the choice is a simple one.  You have two options:  1) Do you want to live your life wandering what could have been? or 2) Do you want to know, success or failure, what it could be like to achieve your dream?

Jenny’s Drastic Changes to Chase Her Nomadic Dreams

October 28, 2010


This week’s Great Life Experiences comes graphic designer, traveler, skateboarder, and blogger from Where is Jenny?.

Facing the Facts

It all started when life as I knew it began to fall apart. You see, I had always dreamed of long-term travel, but fell into a relationship with a boy I loved and planned on marrying. He wanted a traditional lifestyle, but promised me an unconventional one. We were great together, but after 4-years I realized that I was being duped.

He thought he wanted to live an unconventional life and travel like me, but instead wanted the traditional American Dream. Although I loved him, the life I wanted to live was not a compromise I was willing to make. Therefore, I ended the relationship. We just wanted different things out of life and we only live once.

Grabbing a Hold of Life

I had always told myself that if I weren’t with him I’d be fulfilling my dream of traveling the world indefinitely as a digital nomad. I’ve never worked for anyone in my adult life because I started Pirata Design (freelancing graphic design) straight out of college. When we broke-up I couldn’t break my promise to myself of becoming a digital nomad, that’s just the way I’m hardwired. I knew that fear would cause me to procrastinate so I set a deadline to depart in January of 2011 and told everyone I knew. There is no way in hell I wouldn’t do something once made public like that. I would feel like a complete and utter failure.

Taking Hold

Taking Hold

Fighting My Fears & Letting Go… of Stuff

I should have started selling my items 6-months before my departure, which is when I made the decision to become a digital nomad. However, my fears held me back. I came up with a thousand things I needed to do before I could focus on sorting and selling everything I owned.

When you think about it, it’s a daunting process to sort through every crevice of your apartment and watch other people take your items from you. It’s also very hard to let go of items that you have assigned sentimental value to. I found myself trying to come up with reasons to use items I haven’t used in several years.

I had to remind myself that if I haven’t used it in over a year, then I definitely didn’t need it now. Trying to narrow down your possessions to three Tupperware bins is no easy feat.

Jenny's Great Garbage Toss

Jenny's Great Trash Toss

Really Letting Go

You begin to purge items in layers. First you go through and trash everything that is considered trash. When it was all said and done, I had 15 bags of trash. I was mortified, but felt that this was part of the process I had to go through in order to become a minimalist. We all have it.

Then I parted with the items I absolutely did not need or cared about anymore. Those were easy. Lastly, I sorted through the items I really cared about and decided which were most important.

I’m going through his process because I don’t want to pay for a storage facility for a number of years only to come back and realize I didn’t need any of this stuff. Then I’d have paid several thousand dollars in fees to hold a bunch of useless items I didn’t even want. I’ve always looked at other travelers that had been on the road for several years with an insane sense of jealously.

Sealed with a Kiss

Sealed with a Kiss

Then I came to the realization that I only live once and it was up to me to make it happen. I decided to make active choices to move towards that lifestyle. I already have a sustainable business model for location independence so the only thing holding me back was myself.

Jenny on the Equator, near Quito, Equador

Jenny on the Equator near Quito, Equador

Starting My Dreams

In January 2011 I’ll be taking off for an epic road trip through the United States to see my friends, check out the best skateparks, and have a good time. Already I have offers for places to stay in Texas, Oregon, Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, California, and Washington. My goal is to travel inside the United States without paying for accommodation and seeing where the offers of others, leads me.

If you’d like to follow my journey visit my blog at Where is Jenny? Or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter