It would be a profound understatement to say that 2020 has been a tumultuous and chaotic year. For all too many, it has been downright devastating. Despite the doldrums, disappointments and heartache, people far and wide are endeavoring to embrace the spirit of the holiday season and find joy where they can. This includes bestowing thoughtful and heartfelt gifts on friends, family, colleagues and others of care and concern in our sphere.
With this, many have asked for my recommendations on holiday gift ideas that can make our lives increasingly “at home” more enjoyable and comfortable, or that will generally make daily life better. This whether at home or cautiously out-and-about—this year or well into the next as normalcy hopefully resumes. Here are some of my favorite gift-worthy finds of the year across various categories, assuring there is something for everyone.
***** STYLE *****
Tenth Street Hats (www.TenthStreetHats.com)
Here’s a great way to help someone spice up their seasonal style! Tenth Street Hats is not only fashionable, they’re known for sourcing the highest quality materials from around the globe that are brought together by some of the industry’s foremost experts. They boast designer hats for both men and women of every sort, including fedoras, derby, panama, newsboy and more. One design I love in particular is the Coba by Scala—a fedora option made out of sustainable, hand-crocheted raffia. It has a short, two-inch brim and ribbon band, and is also equipped with a moisture-wicking, elasticized COOLMAX Sweatband. The Coba is also crushable, making it the perfect travel companion, beach hat, or daily on-the-go accessory. Its tea-described color brings the whole piece together. Another decidedly handsome style is the Mohican by Santana, which offers a unique aesthetic with its vented “toyo” straw construction. It has a short 1.75-inch brim, five-inch crown, ribbon band and an elegant satin sweatband. Plus, this style was actually designed by Carlos Santana, himself, so it has built-in swag! Tenth Street, founded in 1921 by Jack Dorfman and Arthur Hyman as part of Dorfman Pacific, was named as an homage to the original warehouse on 10th Street and Broadway in Oakland, California. Tenth Street remains an important part of the Northern California community almost 100 years later. The company touts its ability to make hats that “blend vintage feel with modern sensibilities.” This they do in superb form.
Sperry Men’s Striper PLUSHWAVE Penny Loafer (www.Sperry.com)
For guys, this shoe brand is a classic and there’s a style for nearly any taste. For one that’s likely to elicit appreciation, the Striper Penny design is a shoe that features Sperry’s all new PLUSHWAVE technology and puts ultra-cushioning on your feet. This light-as-air comfort technology grips, rebounds and stands up to whatever the day brings your way. A full grain leather upper in a penny keeper, the Striper PLUSHWAVE Penny provides the ability to slip-on for easy on, easy off versatility and a secure fit. The PLUSHWAVE enhancement ensures all-day wearability with molded Wave-Siping for no-slip traction. The ultra-cushioning effect provides comfort that feels great the first time and every time, while the light fit allows you to take pressure off your feet without losing support or durability. It also features flex grip, allowing the shoe to stay flexible and sure-footed while you’re on the move. For over eighty years, Sperry has built a legacy of effortless, heritage products. Whether for men, women, kids, or babies, Sperry’s selection of hand-crafted footwear includes our iconic Sperry boat shoes, sandals, loafers, flats, slippers, espadrilles, boots, sneakers and oxfords. Available in an inspired range of colors, styles and materials, the company’s timeless shoes transcend boundaries and span generations and genders with a shared commitment to quality, reliability and comfort.
Isabelle Grace Jewelry (www.IsabelleGraceJewelry.com)
Isabelle Grace, one of my favorite jewelry companies, is a hugely gift-worthy line known for their beautifully distinct designs that celebrate life and its special moments and memories. The brand, which enjoys a loyal celebrity following that reportedly includes Roselyn Sanchez, Katherine Heigl, Lindsay Price and Allyson Hannigan, has been featured on The Today Show, The Talk, People Magazine, Life & Style, Pioneer Woman and many others. All Isabelle Grace designs are individually and sustainably crafted by artisans who love making that special piece for that special someone. One of my top selects this season are the Lola CZ Huggie Earrings, which are a minimalist lover’s dream with just enough bling to add a bit of edge. You will love them worn alone or stacked for a super edgy look if you have multiple piercings. They measure about ½-inch in in diameter or ¾-inch including the drop and are available in gold, silver or rose gold. The Fighter/Survivor Hashtag Necklace is another stellar piece. It recognizes and honors the brave people that have battled cancer—although it’s also suitable for someone who’s fought and won any other of life’s trials and tribulations, the ones who continue to fight and those that stand by their side. The double sided “#fighter” “#survivor” necklace is meant to offer personal inspiration. It is available in silver or gold plated and serves as a source of inspiration to the struggles undertaken for all involved. The chain length comes in 16-, 18- or 20-inches and a portion of the proceeds from the necklace are donated to the American Cancer Society.
Healing Crystals Co. Mindful Breathing Necklace (www.HealingCrystalsCo.com)
A thoughtful way to give the gift of peace and calm is with the unique Mindful Breathing crystal necklace from Healing Crystals Co. In addition to its aesthetic qualities, this patent-pending necklace doubles as a mindful breathing tool that helps slow your breath intake pattern and calm your body and mind. Studies have shown that mindful breathing can reduce levels of stress and anxiety, increase positivity, relax the mind, improve concentration, improve posture, release toxins and strengthen the immune system. This functional necklace offers four different kinds of natural crystals: Amethyst; rose quartz; white jade; and black obsidian. Each crystal is 100 percent naturally sourced, beautifully hand polished and is approximately 1.97-inches long. This necklace is inspired by an ancient Japanese Zen meditation concept known as “blowing Zen.” To use the necklace for its benefits, simply take a deep breath, hold the tip of the crystal to your lips and exhale. Crystals like the Amethyst contains a hidden air channel that is specially designed to slow your exhale and return you to a more natural breathing rhythm. This process will soothe your mind and help regulate the nervous system. By using this necklace to slow your exhalation rate, you can achieve greater levels of relaxation and improved states of mental clarity The stainless-steel necklace comes with a box chain style and a lobster claw closure and is approximately 75-centimeters long.
Studio L Jewelry (www.StudioLJewelry.com)
Those who love jewelry and the story behind it will adore Studio L Jewelry. Launched by Jewelry Connoisseur and Entrepreneur Liora Elhanani, the company delivers elegant light-weight handmade pieces inspired by the essence of The Holy Land—a sacred region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the modern State of Israel and surrounding landmarks. Representing longevity and grace, the companies pieces are handcrafted by select Israeli designers. The jewelry uses a range of premium materials from 24K Gold and 925 Sterling Silver plated brass materials to Swarovski Crystals, freshwater pearls, resins, and fabrics that are all skillfully designed to accessorize for any season or occasion. Among my favorite designs is the Marilyn Necklace—a delicate, Egyptian inspired, lariat piece that is the essence of grace. It pairs beautifully with the company’s Jackie Gold Earrings, which are simple but refined. The Marilyn Necklace is a combination of two different gold chains combines to create one stunning necklace. Wear it with your favorite V-neck top for the full flattering effect of the loose chain end. Shaped like a slightly irregular strip on a kidney ear wire closure, the Jackie Gold Earrings go with absolutely everything and are so lightweight you won’t even know you’re wearing them. Both are high-quality, 24K Gold plated jewelry that should last you a lifetime.
Takobia Jewelry (www.Amazon.com)
For giftable jewelry that’s just as stylish as it is affordable and easy to care for, there is Takobia. While the brand is known for its wholesale goods residing at local retailers, it’s also available online at retailers like Amazon.com for convenient shopping from the comfort and safety of home. Takobia begins its jewelry making process by hand-etching on lightweight iron, brass or zinc alloy before each piece is then silver plated and electro-coated to seal and protect the finish. Each Takobia piece features a tarnish resistant coating, so cleaning or polishing is unnecessary and may actually cause harm to the finish. Here, low maintenance is an added convenience. While options abound, one option that I, myself, match with so many looks is Takobia’s Women’s Gold Flashed Graduated Hoop Earrings. They provide a cool “see me” pop to any outfit. Boasting a lightweight design, all metals, plating and coating finishes used in these earrings are lead, nickel and cadmium free. I like to pair these hoops with Takobia Women’s Hinged Bangle Bracelet that features a scratched, gold flashed, double-leaf design that gives the wrist a distinctive look. Since its inception in 2007, Takobia has been featuring the latest in affordable fashion jewelry that’s made to the highest quality standards. Each piece is thoroughly inspected for quality numerous times before it makes it into the hands of customers.
Margo Paige Clear Crossbody Handbag (www.MargoPaige.com)
Know someone who frequents venues on the regular and needs to have an appropriate security-friendly handbag option? Then they’ll adore options from Margo Paige. Like all of its clear handbag designs, Margo Paige’s Clear Fringe Crossbody design was created to meet the bag policies at events and venues across the globe. The result are handbags like this one that are compliant with the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, NCAA, music festivals, food festivals and the TSA. All of the company’s fashion forward clear handbags are modern and sophisticated—the kind you would like to carry regardless of if it was the policy for public venues. In fact, these bags are intended to be more than just your stadium or venue bag. They will not only allow you to skip the bag search lines at venues, but give you a sense of confidence by just letting you be you and letting others see in. Being your unedited self can be cathartic. For its part, the super cool and edgy Clear Crossbody bag is comprised of recycled, durable PVC and boasts rocker-esque leather trimmings. I also appreciate that the Margo Paige Clear Crossbody also has the ability to convert into a clutch, taking you from day out into the night. Featuring a built-in card case to protect your ID & CC, all of this brand’s clear handbags come with a utility pouch designed to conceal any personal items. Events aside, it’s a great bag for year-round wear and to show off your favorite accessories.
Zeitgeist Automatik All Blue Mesh Watch (www.Lilienthal-Berlin.com)
Here’s a style stunner for the guy in your life. The Zeitgeist Automatik watch from Lilienthal Berlin—a company known for its award-winning minimalist designer watches—features a stunning All Blue sun cut dial that radiates a fascinating light refraction and an extraordinary color depth guaranteed to turn heads. The dial is complemented by the Superluminova-coated hands and a galvanized surface, which allows them to glow in the dark. The watch is powered by a Swiss automatic movement, so you’ll never have to worry about a battery running out. Plus, the company created a slim case with a recessed crown for an all-day comfort fit. Finally, the watch is completed with a stainless-steel mesh that is flexible and smooth while still extremely durable. Featuring “Made in Germany” quality, the Zeitgeist Automatik includes pure sapphire glass and a multi-award-winning design finished in exquisite blue. The stainless-steel supple mesh strap is comfortable, durable and easy to change thanks to the quick-release mechanism. And because the Zeitgeist Automatik easily combines real luxury with an urban appeal, it has been chosen as 2020 Watch of the Year in Germany.
Casio PRO TREK PRTB70 Series Watch (www.Casio.com)
Is there a man in your life whose at his happiest when holding a fishing rod—or enjoying outdoor activities in general? This is the timepiece for him! Built for the great outdoors and sharing design features from its predecessors, the Casio PRO TREK PRTB70 timepiece series consists of three models that feature quad sensor technology and Smartphone Link connectivity via Bluetooth to access functionality specially-designed for fishing. Casio’s new PRTB70-2 watch is equipped with this same quad sensor technology that can detect compass bearing, barometric pressure and altitude, temperature and steps—all functions necessary for outdoor exploration. Using Bluetooth and Casio’s Smartphone Link functionality, this timepiece can connect to the PRO TREK connected smartphone app, providing additional useful information for the outdoors such as route log, calories burned, location indicator and more. As mentioned, the new PRTB70-2 also offers special functionality geared toward fishermen, like the Fish In Time feature that uses fish icons to indicate catch probability throughout the day. A Fishing Timer alarm function automatically counts down with the second hand to the time remaining when a good catch period is about to be entered. These new Casio models also boast a wide face, large rotating bezel and soft urethane band for maximum comfort. Additional features include 200-meter water resistance; world time (39 cities and UTC); five daily alarms; a tide and moon graph; location indicator; phone finder; double LED light; 1/100th of a second stopwatch on a 24-hour clock; and a one-hour countdown timer.
Mihenna Henna Kits (www.Mihenna.com)
Mihenna Henna Kits are a great gift for all types of folks on your list, especially since they offer a variety of options. For the perfect blend of creative fun and flawless execution, their DIY Henna Kits have everything your gift recipient needs. No “batteries not included” notice to ruin the day. Mihenna’s henna tattoo kits include 8 sticker stencils featuring gorgeous henna designs, 1 prepared, organic henna paste cone, 1 vial of coconut oil, and 1 set of instructions to help your henna tattoos come out flawlessly. This winning combination yields professional-level body art for users of any skill level. They’ll have you to thank for a gift that makes them look and feel like a goddess. The Bestie Forever kit celebrates the bond you share with your best friend. So, of course you need matching temporary tattoos to celebrate your friendship! The BFF Henna Kit doubles your stencils so that everyone knows who the true best friend is. Together or apart, you’ll both look stunning and have good memories to cherish every time you see your henna tattoo. Or, do you know someone who’s always knows what the latest fad is? Then that someone needs the Best Seller DIY Henna Kit. Packed full of the hottest henna designs, this gift will provide your trendy friend with everything they need to keep being fashion forward and looking fierce. Stay on trend with our best selling products. Another cool option is The Decked Out Duchess. If she loves fashionable fingerwear, she’ll love the Ring DIY Henna Kit and flaunting rings that don’t slip off. All of the company’s jewelry-inspired henna designs are found in this kit for the girl who can’t get enough. Don’t be worried if your list includes someone who doesn’t fit these categories. Mihenna has exactly what you need to keep everyone happy this giving season. Build Your Own DIY Henna Kit lets you customize the sticker stencil selection to meet the exact needs of anyone who’s hard to buy for. Pick out any combination of henna designs to add to the other kit essentials and send it off just in time for the holidays. Mihenna’s DIY Henna Kits have a little something for everyone, and everything anyone will need to create stunning henna body art.
*** SELF-CARE ***
Eucalyptus + Lavender Steam Shower Spray (www.TravertineSpa.com)
My new obsession for enhancing the shower experience: Travertine Spa Eucalyptus + Lavender Steam Shower Spray. Gift this item for slam dunk success. The company took their best-selling traditional Eucalyptus Steam Shower Spray and enhanced it with the wonderfully calming and uplifting aroma of lavender. Simply spray the product downwards into a warm, steaming shower and enjoy the inhalation benefits as the fragrance converts your shower into an aromatherapy spa experience. Travertine Spa uses eucalyptus as a key component due to its known ability to facilitate deeper breathing and stress relief. The company blended their 100 percent pure eucalyptus oil with lavender to promote relaxation and overall self-care. Inspired by the spas in Australia and France, the Steam Shower Spray makes everyday a spa day. Travertine Spa traveled to Melbourne and Tasmania seeking fragrant, camphorous eucalyptus, as well as Grasse, France, for lavender fields and the art of perfumery to create an all-around encompassing scent with soothing benefits with each use. The company reports that Forbes selected the Travertine Steam Shower Spray from among 400 companies for the prestigious “10 Great Travel Gifts for Travelers.” So, it’s fabulous for use at home or while traversing the globe.
Beneboon’s Handpicked Gift Arrangements (http://www.beneboon.com/)
Beneboon is a company that curates and arranges amazing gift boxes that are filled with only the finest quality, responsibly-made and useful items to indulge in and elevate our busy, everyday lives. While they have a nice assortment of options, two truly caught my eye this season. First is the “Clean Shaven” box. A lot of men might consider skin prep and care as more of an indulgence rather than a crucial element to their shave routine. I say it’s both. Clean Shaven presents the opportunity of a sophisticated set that brings an easy shave and skincare process into your home so you can prep right. The Charcoal Soap will clarify the skin and draw out impurities and you can even use it as a daily face wash. Begin your shave with the Pre-Shave Oil that will help protect and prepare the skin for the razor. The gluten-free Shaving Puck, which can be lathered with a brush or your hands, will provide an easy glide for your razor and preserves your natural skin oils, preventing dryness. The Aftershave Tonic and Balm is a one-two combo that will soothe and tone your skin, while the balm hydrates and treats any areas of irritation and dryness. It’ll make your shave truly clean and upgrade your bathroom shelf all at once. The full arrangement includes Pre-Shave Oil; Shaving Puck; Aftershave Tonic; Aftershave Balm; and Charcoal Soap. Meanwhile, The Club by Beneboon is another great gift box option that brings a relaxed game night home. The arrangement includes infused ice cube cocktail mixers by Herb & Lou’s, aces playing cards by Vanda Playing Cards and two gold filigree cocktail tumblers by Simply Curated. Using these naturally flavored ice cubes, you will create a classic Old Fashioned in just seconds—just add bourbon! For those who prefer a mocktail, use the orange ginger-infused cubes with your favorite sparkling water. Sit back and sip your concoctions from a heavy-weight midcentury vintage-inspired gold filigree glass that looks and feels as upscale and sophisticated as your drink commands. Then, get your game on with the four-color design deck that makes your poker flushes easier to spot. This durable deck is great for playing any game, even Solitaire, for a perfectly chill night at home.
LVL Shave Co. The Ultimate Neck Groomer (www.LVLShaveCo.com)
Speaking of shaving, The Ultimate Neck Groomer from LVL Shave Co. isa practical gift that makes neck shaving easy. No more asking your partner or juggling a second mirror to shave the back of your neck between haircuts. The Ultimate Neck Groomer by LVL Shave Co. is designed to shave the back of your neck for a quick, fresh cleanup and is perfect for any situation, like getting ready for a night on the town. This ultra-lightweight neck groomer features three aligned razors on a neck-forming strip and two ergonomic handles so you can easily shave the back of your neck on your own. Simply place under the hairline and swipe down! After use, it conveniently snaps apart and easily slips into its anti-microbial, breathable travel case and fits easily in your toiletry bag. The company also offers a Subscription Set to keep the ease and convenience coming. The first month includes 1 x Neck Forming Razor Strip; 2 x Rubberized light weight detachable handles; 1 x Breathable Travel Case; and 3-month supply of 15 razors. Then, every three months after, new razors will be delivered right to your doorstep for a nominal fee.
No Fade Fresh Color-Depositing Shampoos and Conditioners (www.NoFadeFresh.com)
Launched in February 2020, No Fade Fresh is an innovative product formulated by professional hair colorists to enhance both professional salon and box hair color and stop hair color fade—all without damage to the hair. The corresponding shampoos and conditioners are the only lathering, color-depositing and “ethically safe” hair color products on the market that can be purchased in grocery, drug and mass retail stores. The products deposit high quality, semi-permanent hair color directly to the hair—conveniently in the shower! No Fade Fresh is a plant-based, salon quality, multicultural brand that works on all hair types and textures. All products feature a built-in bond rebuilder that counteracts the effects of bleach and permanent hair color. The company reports that No Fade Fresh is the first “clean” beauty hair color at food, drug, and mass retail stores that can make the following claims: FDA and EU Safety Compliant; 100% Gluten Free/Vegan; Sulfate Free; PPD Free; Paraben Free; Formaldehyde Free; Phthalate Free; Mineral Oil Free; PETA-Certified/Cruelty Free (No Animal Testing Ever). All products conveniently feature color swatches showing hair colors and results, as well as QR codes that link the consumer to product videos and demonstrations.
MASAMI Haircare (www.LoveMasami.com)
For those wanting to keep their locks looking lovely all the time, check out MASAMI. This clean, premium haircare line boasts a uniquely formulated Japanese ocean botanical, Mekabu, for massive hydration. Mekabu is beneath the Wakame leaf, and is filled with ocean vitamins and minerals to leave your hair healthy, shiny and gorgeous. All of MASAMI’s products are infused with Mekabu powder, fresh from Japan where they source it from a family owned seaweed company. The line of MASAMI products are luxurious and high performing, without any “bad” ingredients. This means there are no sulfates, parabens or phthalates. MASAMI is gender neutral with a fresh, clean scent. The company’s clean formulations give your hair massive levels of botanical hydration without weighing it down. The line is formulated with other luxurious ingredients such as japonica laminaria, blueberry extract, aloe and grapeseed oil. Plus, the company touts itself as always vegan and cruelty free. MASAMI’s debut product line consists of Mekabu Shampoo, Mekabu Conditioner, Mekabu Shine Serum, Mekabu Styling Cream and the Mekabu Travel Kit consisting of all four.
Marula Night Serum (www.TravertineSpa.com)
Here’s a fabulous options for those skincare devotees! The Marula Night Serum from Travertine Spa is an antioxidant rich concoction that not only deeply moisturizes, but it’s also a vitamin delivery vehicle for skin and a fragrant aromatherapeutic escape all in one. It works to help with tone and texture of the skin by providing deep hydration. In this product, Travertine Spa infuses wild-crafted Marula Oil for moisture with certified organic hibiscus known for its powerful firming properties. In fact, certified organic hibiscus flowers are considered the “Botox” plant for firming properties and are a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids. This luxury blend of skin beneficial essential oils contributes to skin elasticity, blood circulation and the prevention of inflammation. It’s also easy to use; just apply in the evening after your normal cleansing regimen when you need deep hydration. Place three drops on your fingertips and inhale for massive aromatherapeutic benefits. You can also massage the serum into your face and neck. Your skin will be thanking you as soon as the next morning, as it will feel more supple and hydrated. You can even add a drop to your day moisturizer when you need extra hydration. Known to improve skin elasticity and prevent the appearance of stretch marks, the Marula Night Serum also contains Neroli Essential Oil in addition to Lavender Essential Oil, which is known for its ability to eliminate nervous tension and enhance blood circulation. The serum is rounded out by geranium, which aids in the reduction of inflammation. The food folks at Travertine Spa travel the globe for inspiration, ingredients, ancient skin care rituals and therapeutic body treatments to bring consumers unique products like this boasting vitamin rich botanicals.
DefenAge LUXE KIT Skincare (www.DefenAge.com)
Gift yourself or your loved one DefenAge’s ultimate indulgence this holiday season. This five-piece set even comes with a gorgeous mulberry silk pillowcase to complement the full DefenAge new skin regimen. The Luxe Kit includes the DefenAge signature Clinical Power Trio—a high-preforming skin care routine that corrects visible signs of skin exhaustion, damage and aging on a global scale; a 3D Eye Radiance Cream that improves the visible health and appearance of delicate skin around the eyes; and One-Step Multi Cleanse that effectively melts away makeup, dirt, oils, surface debris and air pollutants. It has innovative technologies that promote skin’s barrier functions, while natural prebiotics support skin’s ecology. Overall, DefenAge is a unique blend of rigorously tested scientifically proven skin ingredients and the highest clean beauty standards. Backed by clinical studies, DefenAge’s proprietary defensin molecules reprogram and rejuvenate skin to turn skin visibly healthier and younger and minimize pores and wrinkles, while improving brightness, tone, texture and hydration. The line is widely recommended by dermatologists as perfect and safe retinol alternative, certified vegan and proven to create fresh, new, healthy skin via natural mechanism of action. Another fun part? Each Luxe Kit purchased via the company’s website will contain a card with a unique gift-code for the next purchase; holiday magic will dictate how much you get off your next purchase.
Free Agent Skincare Complexion Resurrection Treatment Duo (www.FreeAgentSkincare.com)
Another amazing skincare gift or get is Free Agent Skincare—a clean-science, indie beauty brand boasting high-end solutions. The company’s Complexion Resurrection Treatment Duo is a truly luxurious beauty gift that proffers effective, professional-level results from the comfort and safety of your home. Revive the look of dull, uneven skin with this one-two punch of intense exfoliation and clinical strength Vitamin C. First, fluff off dead skin cells and speed up cell turnover with the Flash Forward Thermal Enzymatic Exfoliation Treatment. When that’s done, stimulate Type 1 collagen to improve texture, reduce the appearance of sunspots and brighten overall tone with Lightspeed Hydra Glow C Serum. Relative to the first step, Flash Forward is an intense 2-in-1 resurfacing exfoliation treatment with lactic acid, multi-fruit enzymes and a Thermal Warming Complex that will visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve the look of skin tone and texture for a brighter, more youthful glow after just one use. This powerful formula merges physical and chemical exfoliation to thoroughly open pores and allow the active ingredients to penetrate deeper for a more intense exfoliation. Formulated with 10 percent lactic acid (AHA), and papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes, this intensive treatment helps to remove dead skin cells and increase cell-turnover for a professional grade facial at-home. Meanwhile, for relative to the second step, the Lightspeed Serum is a rich Vitamin C Hydrating Treatment formulated with 10 percent clinically proven BV-OSC Vitamin C to help boost collagen levels, lighten sunspots and age spots and leave skin with a hydrated glow. This lipid soluble form of Vitamin C penetrates to the deeper layers of the skin where collagen production occurs, helping to stimulate collagen synthesis, reduce the appearance of UV-related damage and dark spots and brighten overall skin tone. With active levels of squalene and sunflower seed oil, this daily serum provides 24 hours of hydration without a greasy feel.
Baby Phat Beauty High Shine Lip Plumping Gloss (www.BabyPhatBeauty.com)
This item is perfect as a stocking stuffer! Baby Phat took to the street and the runway and has forged a new path—and have come to market with a new take on beauty—one where self-expression owns the conversation and you control the narrative. One item in the company’s “glow up” arsenal is the Baby Phat Beauty High Shine Lip Plumping Gloss—a limited-edition lip gloss for the holiday season. This color plumping gloss has a sheer-like pink tint with glassy finish that envelopes lips in high-shine color and helps create the appearance of fuller lips from both the first application and over time. This plumping lip gloss delivers mesmerizing shine while providing lasting moisture for soft, luscious lips. It delivers lustrous, high-shine with a refreshing, tingly sensation. It’s easy to apply; just use a generous coat of the Baby Phat Plumping Lip Gloss over the entire lip area. Users may experience a slight tingling sensation, which will go away shortly after applying.
***** WELLNESS *****
JINS SCREEN Blue Light Glasses – with or without prescription (www.Jins.com)
Do you know someone who deals with long screen time, whether at work on your computer or binge-watching your favorite series? If so, blue light may be causing you eye fatigue. As such, wearing blue light glasses can reduce this digital eye strain and better protect your eye health. At JINS Eyewear, you can pick any frame style and add JINS SCREEN blue light lenses. JINS has reportedly already helped over 12 million customers protect their eyes in both the U.S. and Japan. The company offers three blue light lens types: JINS SCREEN Regular, which blocks 25 percent of blue light and is good for everyday use on digital devices coming clear with a blue filter coating; JINS SCREEN Plus, which blocks 40 percent and is good for heavy screen time use with a light green tint; and JINS SCREEN Night, which blocks 60 percent and is good for night time use before bed, coming in an amber orange tint. The lightweight, Aviator-shape frame I chose has adjustable nose pads for better comfort. The inner plastic brightens the frame to give a simple yet unique detail. Of course, there are also different lens types depending on the type of prescription, or lack thereof, that one requires. Those include single vision, for correcting one field of vision (nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatism); progressive, for no-line multifocal lenses (nearsighted, farsighted and intermediate); readers; or non-prescription. The lenses, themselves, are thin and have anti-glare properties. The aspheric shape also creates less distortion and each lens has a 99.99 percent UV cut. No matter which you choose, you’re sure to reduce eye strain after long screen time.
OURA Active Face Mask (www.OurAgami.com)
Nothing says “I care” like facilitating one’s health and safety. OURA Active Face Mask is a great option, particularly for fitness-oriented people, as this reusable, antimicrobial mask was engineered for maximum protection and comfort while working out. Powered with lab-tested and proven antimicrobial technology, the OURA Active Mask doesn’t just filter germs, it simultaneously kills them. Plus, all of the company’s masks are designed with skin-friendly, hypoallergenic fabrics and a pouch on the inside, allowing users to add a NIOSH-approved N95 filter for the ultimate safeguard against pathogens. These masks were designed to also provide moisture-wicking properties to decrease heat and humidity around your face. With an updated design and a more breathable fabric, the OURA Active Mask is billed as the most comfortable protection you can get while working out, whether that be while you run, jump, lift or stretch. Additionally, when paired with the company’s Adhesive Active Tape, it is sure to stay on your face no matter how strenuous the workout. The water repellant material deflects sprays and aerosols to help prevent pathogen penetration from sneezes and coughs and the anti-static fabric doesn’t cling to your face while you move. The masks are also deodorizing to break down odor-causing molecules and bacteria and each has an air diffuser to prevent air from blowing into your eyes when you exhale. The OURA Active Mask features self-sterilizing technology. Antimicrobial agents such as silver oxide and titanium dioxide are permanently embedded into every thread of the medical-grade fabric and the masks have undergone independent testing by a leading third-party laboratory to ensure proper filtration.
imaware Women’s & Men’s Health & Wellness Test (www.Imaware.Health)
When it comes to wellbeing, knowledge is power as they say. So, here’s a gift box of a truly distinctive sort. The imaware Women’s and Men’s Health Test is a broad spectrum of biomarkers to help provide a comprehensive view into a person’s overall health. These tests review overall cholesterol profile and also measures inflammation levels. Biomarkers include HDL, LDL, triglycerides, hs-CRP, HbA1c, fasting glucose and more. It’s known that health and wellness are a function of many different culminating factors and the imaware tests measure the basic functions to give individuals the knowledge to obtain optimal health. Testing for general wellness allows a baseline to be established and an understanding of areas that can be improved upon, while also allowing a healthcare provider to assess any potential health risks and personalize treatment. Instead of nagging a loved one to visit the doctor for annual checkups, individuals can take control of their own, and partners, spouses or parents’, health paradigm from the comfort of home. In addition to being discreet and secure, all of the company’s tests are physician reviewed, and validated and performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory.
minder Wellness App + ‘Smart’ Wearable Accessories (www.obVus.me)
Here’s a holistic way to help someone feel better in a variety of ways courtesy of smart wearable tech. minder’s patented, award-winning app + accessories transform the Apple Watch into a “smart” wearable. minder uses real-time visual biofeedback to coach and condition healthy habits like good posture, mindful breathing and purposeful breaks using a “gamified” environment and sensory cues. Designed to work on multiple touch points, minder makes healthy habits fun and produces outcomes clinically proven to reduce stress, increase strength, improve blood pressure and reduce chronic back pain. minder reminds users when and HOW to breathe, incorporating breathing options such as “Box Breathing” and “Diaphragmatic Breathing” along with a variety of soothing nature and ambient sounds. minder conditions posture through 360-degree, real-time biofeedback, visual prompts, audio chimes and soft tapping vibrations and allows users to schedule reminders – called ME/Mos (“Me Moments”) – to encourage mindful breaks. ME/Mos can be anything from a meditation break to drinking a glass of water to a full workout, and are centered around mindfulness, nutrition, movement, and healthful sleep habits, empowering users to take control of daily stress factors. Benefits of minder include improved mood, focus, sleep and core strength as well as reduced pain. The web site offers a free book titled “Why Posture Matters.”
Elixinol CBD Wellness Products (www.Elixinol.com)
The 2020 calendar year has been unlike any other we’ve experienced and people have felt an overwhelming amount of stress. Stress and uncertainty can lead to lack of sleep and a constant “on-edge” feeling. So gifts that resolve that angst will surely be a welcome one. Enter Elixinol, a brand dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives through the power of cannabinoids. Elixinol is one of the very first brands on the market focused on the development of quality products, from maintaining a healthy immune system to relieving everyday stress. The company’s Good Night capsules promote a more restful night’s sleep—something so many of us need right now. CBD can provide the necessary support to find the balance and tranquility in these stressful times. Every Elixinol product is made in the U.S. and crafted with whole-plant extract at the base. The company researches and tests all of its extracts and publicly shows the results of their analysis online for full transparency. They also offer multiple formats and formulations, including oil tinctures; hemp extract blended with MCT coconut oil; capsules; and topicals. The Good Night capsules’ custom blend of full-spectrum CBD oil and low-dose melatonin enables you to find that sweet spot of restfulness, so you can get the deep sleep your body needs to rest, recover and reboot. Melatonin helps your body recognize and react to dark and light, setting your circadian rhythms appropriately, which helps the body signal when to turn in. By boosting the levels of melatonin that naturally occur in your body, you can enjoy a better sleep cycle overall. That, coupled with CBD’s knack for promoting a calm mind, can lead to a very restful night indeed.
Easy Felling Wellness Assorted Hemp Products (www.EasyFeelingWellness.com)
When it’s daily energy that’s in order, there are also gift-able options from Easy Feeling Wellness. No need to suffer those coffee jitters, as this company offers a more perfect hydration solution. Namely, the company’s Hemp Energy & Recovery Drink Mix is balanced with 120mg of caffeine and 12.5mg hemp, plus performance-enhancing amino acids, vitamins and herbal extracts. When hemp is combined with caffeine, the result is a calm yet energized feeling that’s suitable for any pre- or post-workout routine. I personally love the delicious tropical taste in these five easy-to-blend packets. The fast-acting drink mix blends easily into 12 to 24 ounces of water, to discreetly power-up anywhere, anytime. Easy Feeling Wellness’ quick-absorbing Hemp Oil Tincture is the highest quality available. Ingredients are sourced from U.S. industrial hemp growers who commit to organic farming methods, and the company’s premium hemp oil is guaranteed THC-free and broad-spectrum. Just a few drops of their Hemp Oil Tincture may help promote a sense of calm to better manage normal day-to-day stresses. The peppermint- or orange-flavored hemp oil tincture offers 17mg of hemp per serving, to customize the dose for unique needs. Easy Feeling Wellness Hemp Gummies are perfect for people looking for a tasty way to balance their mood, get hemp on-the-go or to be a tad more discreet about including hemp into their wellness regimen. These 25mg gummies come assorted in a variety of yummy flavors—strawberry, orange and grape. No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners are added and they’re also Vegan-friendly. Easy Feeling Wellness even offers Soft Chews for small dogs. They’re tasty, beef-flavored chews that deliver 2mg of hemp oil in each morsel. We’ve all heard those stories of dogs terrified of being away from their owners, commonly called separation anxiety, or by thunderstorms rolling through. It’s why the company’s hemp soft chews are great not only for overall wellness, but for purported calming effects, too. These chews may also be helpful for that occasional discomfort that comes from aging or activity.
***** FOODIE *****
Japanese Damascus KUMA Chef’s Knife and Honing Rod (www.KumaKnives.com)
Upgrade a friend or family member’s cutlery this holiday season with kitchenware from KUMA. One of the company’s top pieces is the Premium Chef’s Knife featuring a blade made of 67 fine layers of Japanese imported Damascus high-carbon steel and an ultra-comfortable G10 handle. This razor-sharp chef’s knife is a testament to outstanding craftsmanship composed of only the finest materials available. The result is a blade that comes incredibly sharp right out of the box and will keep its cutting edge for hours upon hours of work. Careful V-shape sharpening methods and up to eight types of handmade engineering processes ensure a scalpel like cutting edge, while minimal bolster exposes the blade heel to enable thorough cutting jobs. At a 58-60 Rockwell hardness, this super blade measures just 2.5mm thick. An easy-to-use protective sheath also comes included. Meanwhile, the KUMA Honing Rod is the perfect companion for your knives. Designed with carbon steel and a comfortable handle, this simple product lets you easily and quickly breathe new life into your old, dull cutlery. The KUMA Honing Rod comes with simple, two-step instructions for best use. This honing steel is a must have for anyone who wishes to keep their knives sharp with ease.
Tramontina Nesting Cookware Set (www.Tramontina.com)
Here’s a great kitchenware gift for those who are space-challenged—especially those apartment and condo dwellers. The Tramontina Nesting Cookware Set allows for unusually compact storage. When stacked, it saves up to 50 percent overall space and its footprint is no bigger than that of one single pan. The handles also lock together, protecting the pans by neatly spacing them. This modern cookware combines a durable, porcelain enamel exterior with a practical, PFOA-free, cadmium-free and lead-free Teflon Platinum nonstick interior. It also features a heavy-gauge aluminum core for excellent heat conductivity. The Tramontina 11-piece set includes a 12-Inch Sauté Pan; three-quart Casserole with lid; 1.25-quart Saucepan with lid; two-quart Saucepan with lid; three-quart Saucepan with lid; 4.75-quart Saucepot with lid. Compatible with gas, electric and ceramic glass cooktops, each of the cookware items included in the set are also oven-safe up to 350°F and 176°C and are dishwasher-safe as well.
Vital Choice Limited-Edition Holiday Seafood Gift Box (www.VitalChoice.com)
To spoil the seafood lover in your life, proceed directly to Vital Choice—a trusted wild-caught seafood and organic delivery service. The company is now offering a Limited-Edition Holiday Gift Box curated with staff seafood favorites for this winter season. Great as a gift or for yourself, the curated selections feature a unique selection of wild-caught seafood along with a recipe card and a packet of their yummy island style seafood rub. Available sampler options include Two six-ounce portions of Chilean Sea Bass; two six-ounce portions of Wild Sockeye Salmon; one one-pound bag of Patagonia Scallops; one four-ounce portion of Nova Lox; one 24-ounce pouch of Wild Fish Broth; one eight-ounce portion of Ahi Saku Block; and one packet of Vital Choice’s Island Style Seafood Rub. The company only offers wild-caught fish, which is nutritionally superior to farmed fish and free of the antibiotics, pesticides and GMO feeds used on fish farms. By selecting wild seafood, you also support the coastal communities that catch and process it. Plus, all of their seafood is environmentally responsible and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or deemed Best Choice or Good Alternative by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Ethically sourced, Vital Choice seeks ingredients that are certified organic and Fair Trade Certified whenever possible. Suppliers are also sought who uphold good manufacturing practices and who make a positive impact on their employees, communities and the environment.
Dorothy Lane Market Assorted Products (www.Shop.DorothyLane.com) This holiday season, Dorothy Lane Market has the hookup for your foodie gifting needs. The Reuben Sandwich Kit is one great giftable example. This sammy is a deli favorite and longtime staple that combines salty corned beef, tangy sauerkraut and special sauce along with pungent Swiss cheese enveloped by a soft, aromatic grilled rye bread. Dorothy Lane Market’s Reuben Sandwich Kit is extra special because it includes their own DLM Sauerkraut and New York Rye Artisan Bread that is baked fresh in its own bake house. It also boasts two packages of Niman Ranch Corned Beef that is raised without antibiotics or hormones and has no nitrates or nitrites. Assembly is required, but that’s the fun of it! In the same vein, the company separately configured their favorite meat and cheese selections for you to create an amazing Charcuterie and Cheese Board from the comfort of your home. It includes Les Trois Petits Cochons (The 3 Little Pigs) Jambon Sec, Saucisson Sec and Mousse Truffée, along with six-month aged Manchego, Montchevre Goat Cheese and Saint Rocco Brie pair perfectly with the Firehook Crackers, cornichons and Edmond Fallot grainy mustard. To brighten up the flavors, they also include Le Bon Magot Lemon-Sultana Marmalata. This is a well-balanced selection that will rival any charcuterie board in your favorite restaurant. As for gadgetry, I particularly enjoy the company’s Aerolatte Frother, which allows you to enjoy coffeehouse quality drinks at home without the use of steam. The specially designed whisk head works in pre-heated milk to create rich, thick foam for cappuccinos, lattes or flat whites. It comes with two AA batteries and will keep frothing milk for ages. It also mixes divine hot chocolate and delicious milkshakes. So, unleash your inner barista with Dorothy Lane Market’s Aerolatte Frother.
Giusto Sapore Gourmet Condiment & Olive Oil Gift Sets (www.Amazon.com)
Gourmet food-lovers will surely appreciate pretty much anything from Giusto Sapore’s artisanal arsenal. This definitely includes the brand’s Black Truffle Sweet and Savory Gourmet Condiments that make a terrific gift for your boss, an in-law, the hostess with the mostest, Secret Santa and more. Imported from Italy and delivered straight to your kitchen table, their gourmet truffle honey, butter and salt are culinary staples that every foodie or gourmand should have in their home. The premium, truffle honey, truffle butter and truffle salt hail from the Umbria region in central Italy, where family-owned and operated truffle farms produce these deliciously tasting products. The lush, black summer truffles are hunted, hand-selected, sliced fresh and added to their rich, creamy butter, sweet acacia honey and mineral-rich Italian sea salt. The enticing, oaky flavors of expertly sourced truffles infused with all-natural condiments provide an unmatched flavor in every bite, making this an affordable luxury you can indulge throughout the year. Add a dab or a pinch of Giusto Sapore’s truffle honey, butter or salt to quickly and effortlessly turn any meal, appetizer, cheese board or snack from ordinary to extraordinary. Their gourmet, versatile collection of savory truffle condiments are perfect to sprinkle, drizzle or add to popcorn, sautéed vegetables, meats, pastas, breads and more!
Meanwhile, Giusto Sapore’s Infused Olive Oil Gift Set is a culinary staple that everyone would do well to have in their home. These premium, gourmet olive oils are flawlessly created by using only hand-picked olives from the Puglia region of Italy and infused with all-natural flavors. This carefully curated gift set includes best-selling infused olive oils that feature an ultimate blend of rich flavor, intense aroma and superior quality that every foodie will love! The Citrus Spice set features White Truffle, Chili, Basil, Lemon and Blood Orange infused olive oils. This versatile collection is perfect for cooking, marinades, dressings, bread and more. Giusto Sapore is a family-run business, passionate about delivering an authentic tasting experience, which is why every item is carefully sourced from the hands of local farmers, bakers and roasters in Italy and other regions in Europe that boast centuries-old, time-tested recipes.
Sugar Plum Gourmet Gifts (www.Sugar-Plum.com)
For a gift that is as beautiful as it is tasty, look no further than Sugar Plum. Exquisite, decadent gourmet gift options range from to-die-for truffles in a wine shaped box, an epicurean nut collection featuring spices from around the world, mouthwatering chocolate covered cookies and much more. All of Sugar Plum’s delicious gourmet treats are lovingly hand crafted and made from their bakery and kitchen in Kingston, Pennsylvania, by a mother and son team Fran and Neil Edley. As they say, food is the ingredient that binds people together. These succulent, divine confections are truly special gifts for anyone on your list from friends, neighbors, family and teachers, to colleagues, babysitters and more. The Wine Truffle Box Assortment features a 12-piece assortment of Sugar Plum’s incredible handcrafted chocolate truffles all beautifully laid out in a wine bottle-shaped box that will set the mood for a fantastic day and night with your special someone. The Around The World Spicy Nut Sampler lets you do some culinary exploration of your own without even leaving your couch. You’ll enjoy five globally-inspired peanuts with sweet and spicy flavors consisting of African Piri Piri, Caribbean Jerk, Coconut Curry Thai, Mexican Spiced Cocoa and Moroccan Harissa Lime. The Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark blends Sugar Plum’s deeply rich 72 percent dark chocolate with luscious pomegranate to produce a boldly indulgent bark that wants to pop off the tongue with every bite. Try pairing this with a smooth Merlot or bright Sangiovese for an experience so good that you just might not want to share! Each box includes one full pound of chocolate bark, ready for your snacking pleasure. The Signature Chocolate-Covered Sandwich set includes nine total chocolate-covered sandwich cookies, including one each of the company’s renowned milk, dark and white chocolate-covered varieties. The sampler also includes six additional cookies as well. Go ahead, give these gifts of indulgence and watch the elation ensue.
Le Cadeau Parfait & Diwali Collection (www.LaumiereGourmet.com)
Laumière Gourmet Fruits is an innovative luxury food brand that explores the connection between luxury and nature in its quest to combine gourmet excellence with a healthy lifestyle. The company curates premium and artisan dried fruit and nut based products—beautifully boxes for gifting—that are sumptuous and shareable. Building a meaningful relationship with food helps us to achieve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Good eating habits enrich our lifestyle. For this reason, this company balances nutrition and great taste, using premium standards and natural ingredients to create gorgeous-looking delicacies. They make every collection with all-natural ingredients, free from any preservatives, and safe for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets. One stellar example is Le Cadeau Parfait—Laumière Gourmet Fruits’ signature collection. High defining brilliance and craftsmanship, luxuriously themed with hues of burgundy, yellow, and brown, this delightful collection is bursting with elegance at every turn. Designed and customized for worldwide appeal, it is as versatile as it is captivating. It is completed by pairing of dates with cashew barfi and candied orange peel, figs with caramelized pistachio brisures and apricot medley. Another noteworthy option is the Diwali Collection—the company’s limited-edition varietal—that reflects the beauty that is the Festival of Light in India. Whether you prop this assortment of dried fruits and nuts as a centerpiece this holiday season or simply use it as a present, this beautifully crafted gift box will be eye-catching. It contains the same assortment of treats as the Parfait collection.
San Diablo Artisan Churros (www.SanDiabloChurros.com)
As the coronavirus forces people to eat out less and stay at home more, it’s important to keep a steady flow of fun and exciting pandemic meal options in the fridge. This season, give the gift of fun and flavor with San Diablo Artisan Churros’ Take & Bake Churro Kit. The company is the only nationwide purveyor of gourmet fresh filled churros that delivers deep-fried happiness on demand. The kit includes one devil’s dozen (13) pre-made and chilled mini churros ready to reheat—in the oven or air fryer—fill and devour. The award-winning churro dough is made from scratch, fried to golden-perfection and coated with sugar and freshly-ground cinnamon. San Diablo’s one-of-a-kind Take & Bake Kit gives churro connoisseurs flexibility to fill churros in their home kitchen with filling of their choice, including dulce de leche, Nutella, sweet cream, homemade lemon curd and raspberry. Whether celebrating a special occasion, holiday or indulging just because, San Diablo’s quick and easy Take & Bake Churro Kit is the perfect way to create a lasting memory or sweet escape. Company founder Scott Porter developed the Take & Bake Churro Kit as a COVID-19 business pivot to bring the joy of “heaven sent, wicked good” gourmet filled churros safely into the home. What started as a way to satisfy the cravings of local churro fans, the overwhelming response prompted Porter to deliver churro happiness across the country. Just in time for a socially distanced holiday gift giving season, San Diablo Take & Bake Churros is the perfect choice for fun and exciting pandemic meals, a new tradition that families and friends will want to continue for special occasions and holidays, both during and beyond stay at home mandates.
Nature’s Garden Fruit Balls Immune Booster Snacks (www.NaturesGarden.net)
For the health-conscious on your list, there’s Nature’s Garden—a company proffering snacking with purpose. Nature’s Garden Fruit Balls do more than just suppress that snack craving. They’re created with a belief in plant-based immunity, and the knowledge that a true super-food will help you feel oh-so-fine and keep your immune system functioning at its best. They’ve taken a whole heap of Elderberry extract, apple juice, strawberry puree, pear puree and date paste, and added walnuts, almonds, pepitas, sunflower kernels, blueberries and flax seeds—rolling them all in a coconut jacket. The result is, well, yum! And, in addition to Elderberry extract, they’ve also added vitamin C and D, and Zinc, that have all been proven to benefit immune system health. Nature’s Garden consistently seeks to be at the forefront of the smart-snacking movement with innovative snack-food products. As such, they’ve included its patented vegan probiotics in this Fruit Balls product. By introducing friendly bacteria into the gut, probiotics can contribute to a healthier immune system by supporting the continuation of a balanced microflora in the gut. In this way, they’ve created a “better for you” way of snacking, a textural triumph, a nutritional explosion and a taste sensation—all rolled into one. Let the fruity goodness of nature boost your immune system, support your digestive-wellness and put a flavor inspired smile on someone’s face!
DREAMS AREN’T THIS GOOD Craft Salsa (DreamsArentThisGood.com)
After all of your shopping, it’s time for a savory and satisfying snack. Enter DREAMS AREN’T THIS GOOD salsa and tortilla chips, which are now also available nationwide online at the company’s website. Inspired by, and infused with, the sights and sounds of New York City, one-of-a-kind DREAMS AREN’T THIS GOOD salsa flavors include a tasty suite of four options: The Original, The Fighter (garlic cilantro), Just Dance (jalapeño pineapple), Now or Never (avocado pepper) and Girls Girls Girls (blueberry coconut). Focused on flavors, not heat levels, all of the company’s salsa flavors and tortilla chips are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan and contain no preservatives. Plus, for each jar or bag sold, the company says it will donate $.05 to partner philanthropies including Hunger Free America, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, The Center NYC, The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE), Girl Up and LIFEbeat. Each flavor is sold by the pack, in sizes of three or six containers, or customers can mix and match whichever they prefer. The jars, themselves, hold a hefty 16 ounces. DREAMS AREN’T THIS GOOD also claims to be the freshest “clean-label” and “shelf-stable” salsa on the market. What I can personally attest to is that this tasty salsa and chip combo will likely keep you longing for more!
*** SPIRITS ***
Billionaires Row BR Cuvée XO Cognac (www.BillionairesRow.com)
The essence of living the life of luxury has always strummed the hearts of many trying to make it big in this world. That is certainly so with William Benson, the creator and founder of Billionaires Row. The company exudes quality indulgence as it influences the global market, designing and developing luxury goods for the elite, making each product experience individualized and unique. Benson’s ventures continue to roll forward as he launches a cognac that is only distilled and manufactured by the best. The newest in Benson’s creations, The Billionaires Row Cuvée XO Cognac, is rife with flavor and complexity. Billionaires Row BR Brandy XO is the expression of the French savoir-faire, the art about blending and ageing. Its flavors are sweet and smooth, delicate and complex, and perfectly balanced with both fruit and spicy scents. Savor it before or after a decadent meal or for a moment of sharing, regardless of the occasion … whenever you want to create a magical moment. Billionaires Row BR Cuvée XO is elaborated in France with the best methods, incorporating oak barrel ageing to extract the best flavors, creating the most seductive and elegant finish and roundness. With an amber and brilliant color, it’s scent and flavor profile includes yellow-fleshed fruits, orange peels, prunes, vanilla expression, caramel and a hint of slightly sweet smokiness. The taste is smooth and delicate. It is a remarkable beverage experience whether served “neat,” “on the rocks” or mixed in cocktails to release the fullness of the aromas. In fact, here’s a suitable “12th and Ocean” cocktail recipe for this killer cognac in combination with a blackberry base. Also festive, this fruit-like cocktail that has a pretty look to it. Ingredients: 2 ounces Billionaires Row. 1 ounce, simple syrup, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, 3-4 fresh muddled blackberries–garnish with a lemon twist.
Vagnbys Wine Table Tower Aerator (www.EthanAshe.com)
Here’s a gift with panache. A stellar piece to fully experience the intricate bouquet of red wines, the Vagnbys Wine Table Tower is an all-in-one accessory for aerating and serving wine beautifully. It’s striking in stature with a tall glass decanter held aloft elegantly with a stainless-steel stand extending from a slip-proof, reinforced slate base. The rain filter function aerates and releases a wine’s flavors and essences as it is poured into the vessel, readying them for the palate. Designed to protect wine from unwanted germs or insects, the Vagnbys Wine Table Tower allows liquid to breathe and properly decant with small holes situated around the rim. The easy-to-use spout enables guests to neatly and uniquely serve themselves. At the end of an evening, if the wine is not fully consumed, the lightweight glass vessel of the Vagnbys Wine Table Tower is easy to lift and pour back into the bottle for another day’s enjoyment. It’s a true showpiece for any table setting and a delight for entertainers and guests alike.
Alkemista All-in-One Infusion Vessel (www.EthanAshe.com)
Also for spirit-lovers is Alkemista. Ready to infuse, pour and store, this is an easy-to-use, all-in-one alcohol infusion vessel that enables anyone to create and serve fresh, custom-crafted spirits at home or in a bar. With fresh fruits, herbs, spices and a little creativity, Alkemista can transform ordinary alcohol into extraordinary spirits, cocktails and bitters. What began as a simple quest to make better cocktails at home resulted in an innovative product that uses fresh ingredients to create infusions with flavors unmatched by their chemically created counterparts. It is a bar tool created for the casual entertainer, the home mixologist, professional bartender and even includes a recipe booklet for suggestion and guidance. The all-in-one Alkemista combines the ultra-fine filtering technology of fine Japanese teapots with the timeless design of a high-quality glass liquor bottle. Users simply add their favorite fruits, spices, herbs or botanicals to the stainless-steel filter, then add a base alcohol to the leak-proof bottle. After, let the flavors and aromas mingle until the spirit reaches the desired level of taste. The removable filter keeps unwanted particles from entering the liquid and the modern aesthetic of the borosilicate glass bottle stores the spirit sleekly, whether sitting on a bar or while being served.
Vagnbys Champagne Sabre (www.EthanAshe.com)
For that someone who has it all is Vagnbys Champagne Sabre, with which they can mark any and every occasion. A statement of impeccable class and celebration harking back to 19th century French tradition, this modern Champagne Sabre merges blade, grip and guard into a sleek, seamless piece of stainless steel and instills fear into the neck of every bottle. A true showpiece of craftsmanship worthy of the finest bubbly, the molded handle and handsomely hearty blade offer a perfectly balanced swing for a dramatic, yet effortless—and safe—neck release with every opening. Weighing approximately 20 ounces, the Vagnbys Champagne Sabre is made purely of stainless steel.
Sagrada Stemless Wine Glasses (www.CornetBarcelona.com)
Just wow. Focus this gift on those you want to mind-blowingly impress with an item that’ll exceed expectations. They’ll experience the divine beauty of a stunning architectural wonder with Cornet Barcelona’s handcrafted, one-of-a-kind “Sagrada” Stemless Wine Glasses. Each piece is mouth-blown and masterfully shaped, before being hand-painted by seasoned artists of the craft using traditional methods. After being designed to the ideal shape, each luxury wine glass is painstakingly hand-painted with unparalleled attention to detail. The result is a one-of-a-kind piece of art with a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of rich color that adds “picture-perfect” sophistication and beauty to any conversation. Cornet Barcelona’s unique collection of glassware draws inspiration from the timeless beauty of the stained-glass windows of the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain. The Sagrada line of wine glasses are handcrafted for beauty, durability and to enhance the flavor of your favorite red. Cornet Barcelona specifically crafts them with a wide bowl, encouraging more contact between the wine and the air, allowing the wine to breathe, relax and release its alluring, complex aroma. Each piece arrives in a silken-lined luxury gift box and they are also available in sets of two, four, six, 12 and 24 glasses.
PINEA 2017 Vintage Wine (www.WineSmithCo.com)
Let’s face it. Wine always makes a fine gift choice. After three years of anticipation following its initial U.S. debut, the 2017 PINEA is ready to pour. This vintage is made with 100 percent Tempranillo grapes from vines 40-100 years old at PINEA’s 80-acre estate in Spain’s famed Ribera del Duero winemaking region. PINEA’s debut vintage 2014 made its U.S. market entry in the fall of 2017 and became an instant success due to its elegant flavor profile and lifted complex aromatics. The following year, PGA Tour pro Sergio Garcia served it during his 2018 Masters Champions dinner, which helped fuel demand from top restaurants throughout the world. Following PINEA’s immediate success and international acclaim, the team—led by founders Hugo Del Pozzo and Vicente Pliego along with winemaker and master oenologist Isaac Fernandez—went back to work to produce its next great vintage. The 2017 PINEA is characterized by abundant floral and fruit aromatics, the result of daunting weather conditions during the 2017 season, during which the Ribera del Duero experienced its worst freeze in 25-plus years. Following meticulous grape selection, careful vinification and 20 months of aging in new French oak barrels, the 2017 vintage of PINEA shows an abundance of black fruits, blackberries, blueberries and cherries that integrate seamlessly with the smoky and spicy nuances of coffee, bitter cocoa, black pepper, clove and tobacco. It creates a sense of marked depth, complexity and elegant texture on the palate. And, its opulent and majestic base reveals soft tannins and boldness in fruit. This makes it remarkably generous for near-term drinking, while also rewarding patient cellaring. Its deep ruby red color suggests a round, complex and balanced wine that highlights the maximum potential of Tempranillo at its finest.
Cincoro Blanco Tequila (www.Shop.Cincoro.com)
Packaged in a dramatic 17-inch bottle that’s a true stunner of a gift, Cincoro is creating the new gold standard with its four award-winning tequila expressions: Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo. For its part, Cincoro Blanco (my personal favorite) has tasing notes of white and black pepper, fresh cooked agave, citrus lime, dried mango and light grapefruit—all making it notably smooth and delicious. Cincoro Blanco is great for everyday sipping, cocktails and certainly makes the perfect gift for margarita fans. Cincoro Blanco is crafted with the highest quality 100 percent Weber blue agave from Jalisco, Mexico and a 40 percent ABV. By combining both highland and lowland agave, the Cincoro Blanco Tequila is smooth on the palate with great flavor complexity and finish. Reflective of the terroir, fresh and cooked ingredients permeate the nose, followed by notes of citrus and light pepper on the palate. Recognized by the experts with 12 gold medals and counting, all Cincoro tequila options are perfectly balanced to sip neat or enjoy in your favorite fresh cocktail.
Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey (www.Ship.BlackButtonDistilling.com)
For those who enjoy libations of the brown variety, Black Button Distilling’s Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a no-brainer. It offers a unique character that represents locally grown grains, while also being approachable enough for all bourbon lovers. As a New York State farm distiller, the company uses only the finest corn, wheat, rye and malted barley—each sourced just a short drive from their distillery. In 2018, Black Button purchased a farm, not only to start producing juniper and other botanicals for their gin, but to grow the oak to make their own barrels. To accomplish this, they use the beautiful white oaks already on the property, as well as planting new saplings rather than outsourcing. From wood, to grain, to your glass, the Four Grain Straight Bourbon is a true representation of Black Button. Their mash bill takes its time aging, waiting patiently for their distillers to taste the unique Black Button character in every sip. A quick pass of Four Grain to your nose brings aromas of fresh oak, toffee and leather. Take a sip and enjoy light caramel and vanilla flavors leading to a clean finish all the way to the bottom of your glass. The Black Button Team suggests enjoying it neat, adding a little New York State pride to your classic Old Fashioned. Four Grain Straight is 60 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, nine percent rye and 11 percent malted barley.
Citrus Forward Gin (www.Ship.BlackButtonDistilling.com)
Also flawless for spirits-lovers is Black Button Distilling’s Citrus Forward Gin. Yes, bourbon may be the distillery’s first love, but gin is a close second! So much is it the case that they have two of the five Gin Guild members outside of the United Kingdom right at their own distillery. Started in London in the 1600s, the Gin Guild promotes and encourages commitment to excellence in gin distillation. Starting with an ultra-refined, wheat-based spirit and infusing an alluring blend of botanicals, the resulting Citrus Forward Gin provides an exotic experience that will leave you longing for more. It can capture the hearts of the strongest gin critics, even those that are sure gin is just not their spirit. Named “The Official Gin of Summer” by Food and Beverage Magazine, the rich and juicy orange delivers a bold fruit taste and is a perfect match for the New York State Cascade hops and delicate notes of juniper. Citrus Forward will add a unique character to any cocktail. It will certainly put a tasty twist on a classic Gin and Tonic, but it is also refined and smooth enough to be used in a Dry Gin Martini. The Black Button Team also suggests using Citrus Forward in a classic Bee’s Knees cocktail; just add lemon juice and honey syrup (1:1 honey to boiling water), shake with ice and pour—perfect for porch sipping on a hot summer day. Cheers!
Spa Girl Spritzer Gift Set (www.DrinkSpaGirlCocktails.com)
Perfect for those holiday celebrations and gifting, alike, is Spa Girl Cocktails—the highest-proof, best-tasting, lowest-calorie, lowest-sugar, most award-winning vodka cocktail brand. They’ve launched a limited edition holiday Spa Girl Spritzer Gift Set through December! The set is perfect for holiday gifting to yourself, as hostess gifts or stay-at-home happy hours. With a limited run of 5,000 units, the kit features a crystal cocktail carafe. Simple to prepare, this insanely sippable cocktail contains just three ingredients: your Spa Girl Cocktails vodka flavor of choice; St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur; and Fever-Tree club soda. Thoughtfully crafted, St-Germain collaborated with Spa Girl Cocktails’ mixologists to create this perfectly balanced cocktail to pair with the exquisitely designed crystal carafe. The Spa Girl Spritzer is light, clean and unbelievably refreshing—everything a spritzer should be. Cocktail lovers across the U.S. can easily create The Spa Girl Spritzer at home for the holiday. The three-piece kit also includes a 750ML bottle of Spa Girl Cocktails Vodka, 375ML bottle of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur and a one-liter crystal cocktail carafe.
LS Cream Liqueur (www.CreamLS.com)
Here’s a giftable libation of a more decadent sort. LS Cream Liqueur is inspired by one of the most iconic beverages from Haiti known as “cremas,” which is heavily consumed amongst friends and family—particularly around the holiday season. While every group has a variation of their own model, LS Cream Liqueur takes inspiration from a founders’ family recipe and makes it accessible to the public, packaged up in a sleek black bottle. The final product is a blend of rich cream and neutral grain spirits mixed with coconut, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg that exudes luxury while staying true to its Haitian heritage. LS is proudly Black-owned and run by Myriam Jean-Baptiste and Stevens Charles, both of Haitian descent who decided to launch their own cream liqueur when they couldn’t find “cremas” in their local liquor stores. The result is a delicious spirit inspired by Charles’ late grandmother’s handwritten recipe, which she left behind in a Ziploc bag that the family cherished for decades. A versatile spirit, LS Cream Liqueur is delicious on its own chilled or over ice, mixed up in a cocktail or simply paired with another spirit.
***** GADGETRY *****
The Aventon Level Step-Through Ebike (www.Aventon.com)
The Aventon Level Step-Through Ebike is the daily commuter’s dream bike. It is specifically designed for the urban commuter and is engineered to give riders back their freedom, helping them escape the bumper-to-bumper traffic of their daily morning commutes to and fro. Whether that’s going to work, school or anywhere else on the regular, the Level Step-Through Commuter Ebike adds a sense of thrill to the start of the day. Its peppy handling and electric motor technology provides speeds of up to 28 miles per hour on pedal assist! Arrive to school or work on time and without feeling drained … or even breaking a sweat. The Level Commuter is a class III Ebike and features both pedal assist and throttle settings that gives the rider the option to skip pedaling altogether. It boasts a 750-peak watt (500 watt sustained) brushless rear hub motor that makes going up hills a breeze. With its 48-volt integrated lithium-ion battery, the Level Ebike ranges roughly 40 miles per charge on average, which the rider can track with the large mounted backlit LCD display. Additionally, the Level Ebike comes loaded with added components providing commuters with functionality they look for. This Includes tailor-made fenders keeping both the bike and rider clean and protected from flying debris, a rear rack to haul essential cargo, an on-board suspension fork for a more comfortable and smoother ride over those uneven roads. This EBike is also a dream for those more leisurely outings as well.
ULTRASONE Performance 880 & ULTRASONE SIRIUS (www.Manfrotto.com)
For the audiophile in your life, the ULTRASONE Performance 880 headphones fulfill the highest demands on sound brilliance courtesy of it S-Logic and S-Logic Plus Technology. Unlike other headphones that push sound into the ear, the ULTRASONE S-Logic technology reflects sound off the surface of the outer ear in different directions before it enters the auditory canal—creating a natural surround sound experience. This, coupled with the S-Logic Plus Technology, provides a spatially improved perception of voices and instruments with stereo sound signal. In other words, it features amazing sound clarity to give you concert like sound from a set of traditional headphones. This technology also allows a reduction of sound pressure levels at the eardrum—up to 40 percent less strain that significantly reduces the risk of hearing damage. The heart of the closed headphones is a 40mm titanium-coated transducer. The clear high-frequency range draws every nuance of the music, while the bass range draws drums and effects impressively, without placing them too much in the foreground. To ensure maximum comfort for continuous listening, the headphones feature a metal headband and earpads with memory foam that adjust to fit your head and minimize external noise. The metal shielding technology also reduces the amount of radiation received by the headphones by up to 98 percent. The ULTRASONE SIRIUS is a module that converts every pair of headphones in the Performance series into a Bluetooth headset. You simply disconnect the cable from your Performance model and plug the SIRIUS Bluetooth module in its place. Enjoy your music via Bluetooth aptX technology with complete freedom of movement. The design of SIRIUS Bluetooth receiver is tailored precisely to the headphones of the Performance series. The strongly curved shape is based on the design of the headphones and hugs precisely on their housing. With an easy plug-in-and-go design, the frequency of human hearing is also transmitted.
Time Since Launch (www.CWAndT.com)
Potentially my favorite gadget find of this year! When John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, the only piece of technology on his body (other than a spacesuit) was a 12-hour stopwatch. Soon after launch, Glenn started his stopwatch in sync with tracking stations across the world. At that moment, Mission Elapsed Time (MET) began counting up from zero. A launch timer was not only required for a successful mission, in order to calculate position, but it also created a shared global time zone. Quietly situated at the center of a tremendous collaborative feat of human innovation, the launch clock marks an arbitrary Moment Zero—a moment shared by humans scattered all over the world and one hurtling through space. Use this very long-scale timepiece to mark the beginning of your own personal epoch. It could begin when you get married, have a baby, quit smoking, launch a rocket or on an ordinary Tuesday morning. Your specific epoch is safeguarded within this unique timepiece designed and over-engineered to outlive you. Suspended in a durable, borosilicate glass tube and sealed with gasketed aluminum end-caps, two LCDs show the days, hours, minutes and seconds since “launch.” This timepiece is built to count for 2,738 years, with batteries that will last 20-40 years and that can be swapped out without losing track of time. Time Since Launch is a product that was designed by Che-Wei for his senior thesis at the MIT Media Lab, where he went on to become the winner of the 2003 SOM fellowship and the Young Alumni Achievement Award from Pratt Institute.
StrongBoard Balance Fitness Balance Board (www.StrongBoardBalance.com)
Here’s a fantastic device to foster fitness at-home. StrongBoard Balance is today’s premier balance board. Perfect for all ages and fitness levels, it is portable and electricity-free and employs patented multi-spring technology that promises users will never find a point of stabilization. Compressing under any weight-bearing load, including the human body, StrongBoard’s springs are both reactive and dynamic. Simply standing on StrongBoard requires total core engagement. The biomechanics of spring technology coupled with the rigid platform require users to find their true center of gravity. StrongBoard is easy and safe to maneuver both on and off and its flat platform protects joints and surrounding ligaments from unnatural supination or strain, allowing the user to mimic real-life movements in all positions. StrongBoard weighs 15 pounds and may also be used as a weight for bicep, tricep, chest and abdominal exercises. In addition to the muscular and skeletal benefits, use of the StrongBoard requires the muscles to communicate with the brain, effectively opening, healing restoring and strengthening delicate neural pathways. StrongBoard delivers profound results to all levels of fitness enthusiasts, creating desired changes in how users look and feel, as well as improvement in balance, core strength, agility and posture.
Eggtronic Laptop Power Bank (www.Eggtronic.com)
Here’s a perfect gift for the “power hungry” set. The Eggtronic 20,000mAh Laptop Power Bank can help keep your various gadgets charged up when there isn’t a wall outlet to be found. The portable charger comes equipped with two USB-A ports to not only recharge phones and tablets, but with its 45W Power Delivery USB-C port it can quickly recharge compatible laptops as well. The power bank is covered in soft, water-repellent linen canvas with a soft touch frame around the side as well as a built-in LCD display that tells you the remaining battery life in one clear number, so you won’t be unexpectedly left without power. With 63W total output over three ports, the Eggtronic Laptop Power Bank can charge three devices simultaneously. Plus, the two high power fast charge ports deliver power at two-times the speed of normal chargers. It also features a slim and portable profile, covered in soft waterproof linen canvas and a soft touch frame. The LCD display even shows the remaining battery life at a glance. It’s a handy companion to have whether out-and-about and even in the house in areas where outlets are scarce.
obVus Solutions Laptop Tower Stand (www.obVus.me)
The obVus Laptop Tower Stand is an ergonomically designed, height-adjustable that turns a laptop into sit/stand/desk. Named “Best Laptop Stand to Save Your Neck” by Wired magazine, the obVus Laptop Tower Stand allows users to position their laptop at a range of heights and positions, so users have the flexibility of either sitting or standing—without requiring a standing desk that can be expensive and space-prohibitive. Compatible with most laptops, the Tower Stand’s sturdy, light, sleek aluminum design saves valuable home office space while supporting up to 22 pounds of weight. Independent joints allow for easy variable positioning to both height and angle of the laptop, giving users the flexibility to elevate the laptop screen from 1.35” to 12.5.” Weighing only 4 pounds, it is travel-friendly for those on-the-go.
Diamond Dog Smartphone Screen Protector (www.Amazon.com)
Here’s a great stocking stuffer to help keep those smartphone screens well-protected from drops and dings. Diamond Dog is a tempered glass screen protector for select iPhone models that features DiamondClad technology, which is a clear and durable diamond-like carbon coating that’s highly resistant to scratches. It’s six-times harder than original smartphone glass and allows for crystal-clear clarity and new phone responsiveness. Additionally, it also offers six-times better scratch protection, up to five-times more abrasion protection and up to three-times better breakage protection. Each Diamond Dog comes with an install tray, wet and dry wipe, dust and lint removal sticker and a screen polishing cloth. Unlike many screen protectors that appear cloudy or discolored after a while, Diamond Dog’s patented diamond-like carbon coating resists scratches, abrasions, smudges and fingerprints to give you HD clarity without having to constantly clean your phone for visual clarity. They are all designed and lab tested in Silicon Valley for superior performance, so you don’t have to worry about scratching or cracking your screen. Purchasing a Diamond Dog screen protector comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty.
Kavalli Key Personal Protection Accessory (www.KavalliKey.com)
The Kavalli Key is a stylish, multi-purpose personal protection accessory. It lets you distance yourself from viruses and germs on surfaces by reducing your contact with public doors, store checkouts, shared buttons and more courtesy of smart engineering and antimicrobial copper materials. It’s also a safety and security tool. With more striking surface and a hand-tailored design for easy grip and maximum comfort, the Kavalli Key is a major upgrade from using your home or car keys to defend yourself. Unlike pepper spray or stun guns, people of all ages and abilities can carry and use the key with ease. It is longer and wider than a typical key, which is perfect for the “key knife” approach for personal protection. You can jab, punch, gouge, dig or slash with the key in hand. Many home or car keys have jagged edges that actually hurt the user when applying them in a self-defense setting, but the Kavalli Key is designed for comfortable daily use and will be less likely to hurt your own hand when used to protect yourself against an attack. Additionally, if you drop your Kavalli Key during an attack, it does not provide your assailant with entry to your home or vehicle. It comes in two stylish designs and four finishes that wear nicely on any handbag. The key is handmade in the U.S., is TSA compliant and 10 percent of all sales support COVID-19 relief for frontline workers. The Kavalli Key is ergonomically designed to be very easy to use, just attach it to the included quick-release keychain and keep on your handbag or the most convenient spot for you so it is always accessible. When you are in public, simply hold it like you would your home or car key. Then, push or pull in any direction or use the tip for buttons and touchscreens. The Kavalli Key is an everyday carry to help you navigate our new normal.
***** HOME *****
The Original Plush Cuddle Clone (www.CuddleClones.com)
What better way to celebrate the love your friend or family member has for their fur baby—past or present—than in the form of a custom-made plush duplicate? Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and more can be transformed into stuffed animals that are exact replicas from photos you provide. Handcrafted from the highest quality faux fur, Cuddle Clones’ custom plush stuffed animals capture all of the physical details and unique features of your specific and unique pet! This includes attributes like eye color (even different per eye), one floppy ear, special markings and the like. The online process consists of just three simple steps: Upload photos of your pet; specify any unique traits and characteristics; choose the position you want the Cuddle Clone to be created in—either sitting or lying down. The results are truly awe-inspiring and tremendously endearing—particularly if gifting to someone who lost a beloved pet. Plus, each purchase helps to buy meals, toys and medicine for animal shelters all across the country. In fact, the Web site indicates nearly 4,000 Cuddle Clones and almost 16,000 toys have been donated to date. I can assure you this is a gift that will be cherished for years to come.
World Vision Handcrafted Housewares (www.Donate.WorldVision.org)
Also cause conscious is World Vision, which offers an array of stunning handcrafted houseware gifts that not only look great, but also do good in support of this humanitarian organization’s cause to tackle poverty and injustice. And there are a litany of lovely items to choose from. This includes the Upcycled Artisanal Bowl crafted from reclaimed industrial waste such as wires and metal. Talented artisans in India have hand-bent and soldered each piece into inspirational shapes to create this artistic and elaborate bowl—great as a decorative piece or to hold special items. Each design is unique and colors and size may slightly vary with each piece. The bowl is from the 2020 gift catalog from World Vision, a global humanitarian organization that fights poverty, hunger and injustice both here in the United States and in countries across the world. The proceeds from the sale of the gifts support the World Vision Fund, which addresses specific, urgent needs that empower people out of poverty and helps them rebuild in the wake of natural disasters. Another of my pick’s from this year’s catalog are the Opportunity Collection Serving Spoons—an elegant kitchen serving piece sure to elevate the presentation of special meals this holiday season and beyond. Each is handmade by fair trade artisans in India, who receive a living wage, a safe place to work, business development training and opportunities to build long-term business relationships in their communities. The spoons are skillfully carved from acacia wood and accented with gold tones, with a length of approximately 11-inhces. Shop here and support do-good consumerism.
8×10 Serrated 3D Crystal Photo (www.3d-Innovation.com)
This is a great way to elevate those family or couple photos and turn them into awe-inspiring décor. 3D Innovation is a leading manufacturer of 3D laser etched crystals, made using the latest German laser engraving technology. The company produces high quality, top-of-the-line and personalized custom-made crystals, including the 8×10 Serrated #D Crystal Photo. Featuring the finest optic crystals available that are similar to the quality of crystal used in large NASA telescopes, 3D Innovation uses a variety of crystal shapes and sizes and can engrave almost any image, design or logo. The result is unparalleled 3D images based on your specifications using green light lasers—a leading technology that produces the highest quality in laser etching reproduction. The 8×10 option also includes a LED base to make your crystalized image shine bright! The company’s engraving technique is considered to be the best-in-class high-resolution subsurface, leaving the crystal smooth and clear for easy cleaning. The process for buying your own 3D Crystal Photo from 3D Innovation is also quite simple and you can order from the comfort of home. Just upload your image of choice directly to their website where you also select the crystal specification and size of preference. The 8×10 Serrated 3D option provides a quaint size and a uniquely hand carved shape. Once 3D Innovation receives your order, they ensure that the uploaded image meets the standards to be compatible with their system and then production ensues. With doorstep delivery, the final product is a stunning tribute to the photo subjects
Gold-Dipped Rose and Vase Set (www.EternityRose.com)
Another gorgeous and meaning décor gift is a Gold-Dipped Rose and Vase Set from The Eternity Rose. The company preserves real, natural roses that are dipped in certified 24-karat gold and combined with an ornate gold-dipped vase. The gold has a brilliant and lustrous mirror finish, resulting in a stunning symbol of love that literally lasts an eternity. Its eye catching, elegant and serves as a constant reminder of the love and adoration in your life. Plus, the Eternity Rose’s Gold-Dipped Rose and Vase Set comes in a beautiful leather display with a padded velvet interior. The case itself has a toughened glass viewing window built into the lid and the interior has separate recessed channels for both the rose and vase. The set even includes a two-sided Certificate of Authenticity to ease any potential concerns with the quality of the product. Nothing symbolizes love more than a single rose. The aspiration of the Gold-Dipped Rose and Vase Set is to take this symbol of love and develop it into a stunning work of art that will be proudly displayed, symbolizing love for an eternity. The gold roses are made from real rose flowers grown in the company’s own nursery via trained horticulturalists to ensure the highest quality. The roses are moved through a 60-step process gaining numerous layers via immersion electroforming that utilizes a proprietary formula. During the process, the roses are inspected for form, plating quality and any other imperfections that may occur. Only when they have passed the exacting quality control screening are they moved on to the 24-karat gold-dipping baths. The precious-metal coating process comprises of dozens of extremely thin layers that are slowly built up over many weeks. This results in a mirror finish that is highly lustrous and brilliant in its surface appearance. The flower will not ever corrode and will last literally for thousands of years. The whole process takes around three months per rose.
Edens Garden Essential Oil Sets & Diffuser (www.EdensGarden.com)
Here’ s a great daily indulgence. The Home Aroma Essential Oil Set from Edens Garden is an easy way to make your home a sanctuary. The 100 percent pure essential oil set contains the uplifting vibe of Aroma Fresh, Lavender and Sunshine Spice to calm and invigorate your mind, body and spirit. Simply diffuse the oils in your favorite diffuser—such as the company’s own Diamond Diffuser—allowing you to breathe in the aromatherapy, find some peace and remind yourself that there’s no place like home. All of Edens Garden’s essential oils are 100 percent pure, free of any fillers, synthetics or harmful chemicals. They are also GC/MS tested to ensure quality and safety, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the very best. The Lavender Essential Oil Set, my personal favorite, is stocked with a botanical variety of Lavenders, each with its own nuanced aroma including Bulgarian, French and Greek. Perfect for use at work or at bedtime, the Lavender set is your anytime relax pack. For its part, the Edens Garden Diamond Diffuser is designed to fill your surroundings with the elegance of 100 percent pure essential oils. This ultrasonic diffuser provides an unparalleled aroma experience, allowing you to breathe in the natural benefits of aromatherapy in a compact and convenient way. Artisan handmade using natural materials, its highly innovative construction ensures ease of use and quiet operation. With multiple mist settings, the Diamond Diffuser lets you customize the interval and intensity of your chosen aroma. This device is your gateway to the healthful, mindful benefits of pure aromatherapy.
Isle de Nature Beeswax Candle (www.IsleDeNature.com)
Isle de Nature is a bee-powered home fragrance company with a luxury beeswax candle as their signature product. The Pagua Bay scent is inspired by the small island nation of Dominica in the West Indies. The fragrance combines the essence of the local bay leaf with native spices, florals and woods, providing a breathtaking, sensory journey where treetops meet ocean and subtle notes float on cool tropical breezes. Inspired by the belief that the truest luxury is nature, the company created a line of home fragrance products to transport your mind, body and spirit. Isle de Nature not only captures the exquisite, indigenous scents of remote island paradises, but nurtures those havens by supporting the local bee populations in order to help reinforce and rebuild their ecosystems. Isle de Naturecandles are made to be as sustainable and non-toxic as possible. They are made with a blend of beeswax and soy, designed to burn clearer while also smelling intoxicatingly good. Isle de Nature was born out of the recognition that today, unspoiled nature is a luxury. Tropical climate change catastrophes (like hurricane Maria in 2017) have ravaged our most fragile islands of nature, putting them at risk. And the bee population which we all depend on for survival has been decimated. Isle de Naturebelieves there’s a better way. That nature and luxury can live harmoniously. That scent shouldn’t be toxic. That when humans take from nature, they should replenish.
Celestial Silk 25 momme Diamond Edition Pillowcase (www.CelestialSilk.com)
Give someone a sumptuous way to end the day and slumber through the night. Made with almost 30 percent more silk than the average silk pillowcase, the Celestial Silk 25 momme Diamond Edition pillowcases are the epitome of luxury with a substantial shine and thickness. A hidden, side-zippered enclosure ensures that the silk pillowcase remains snugly on the pillow. These mulberry silk pillowcases help retain the moisture in your skin and hair, resulting in a smoother complexion and softer hair with less frizz. As such, all of Celestial Silk’s products are made with Grade 6A, 100 percent pure mulberry silk. Hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating, silk also helps you sleep sounder. Specially woven to be the perfect blend of brilliance and strength, the company’s Diamond Edition pillowcases are made with their proprietary DiamondSilk, which feels silkier and has a radiant sheen. Silk doesn’t just look luxurious, it feels divine. Made with 25mm silk, toxic-free dyes and with 12 colors and designs to choose from, it’s easy to match any bedroom décor. Available in standard, Queen and King sizes, each pillowcase comes beautifully gift-wrapped, making gift-giving easy. Plus, Celestial Silk donates silk pillowcases to women undergoing chemotherapy and also donates 10 percent of all proceeds collected to charity!
Down Cotton’s Natural Bamboo Comforter (www.DownCotton.com)
The Down Cotton Natural Bamboo Comforter is a luxurious, natural option that can instantly up-level a bedroom. The comforter is made from 100 percent viscose bamboo fabric and is hypoallergenic, boasting an ultra-soft microfiber fill. The bamboo is derived from sustainable and renewable resources—making it a great holiday gift for homemakers with allergies or who want to stay true to earth-friendly priorities. The outer shell of the comforter, made of natural bamboo fabric, is a highly absorbent material. As such, you can be assured that, unlike other comforters, this one doesn’t make you sweat in the middle of the night. This all-year warm comforter is also filled with premium quality hypoallergenic siliconized microfiber clusters. The comforter also features an elegant box stitch design and double stitched piping seam. Bamboo fabric is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal due to the presence of “Bamboo kun,” a natural antimicrobial bio-agent found in bamboo. Even after multiple wash cycles, it never loses these important qualities and it retains the ability to repel unpleasant and harmful infestations. Bamboo sheets are an optimal choice for people with sensitive skin, as the fabric doesn’t itch or irritate the skin. This material is also successful at repelling viruses and harmful microorganisms, as well as dust mites and other bugs. Plus, it can take in three times more water than its weight, which means that it absorbs sweat and moisture must faster. Bamboo is also a self-regulating material. It provides good thermal protection by keeping you warm in colder months and keeps you cool in warmer summers.
Brooklyn Bedding’s Bamboo Twill Sheets (www.BrooklynBedding.com)
Rayon fibers, derived from bamboo, deliver a luxuriously soft sheen with exceptional breathability for a cooler, more restful night’s sleep. As such, the Bamboo Twill Sheets from Brooklyn Bedding owe their supreme softness and sheen to a disproportionate vertical weave of yarns, which is a technique complemented by the gentle hand of bamboo. Rayon from bamboo has inherent thermal regulating properties that help maintain your ideal body temperature throughout the sleeping experience. Bamboo’s exceptional breathability enhances airflow, while superior moisture-wicking properties maintain optimal comfort. Naturally hypoallergenic materials promote an antimicrobial sleep environment that’s also gentle on sensitive skin. Other sheet set options from BrooklynBedding.com include luxuriously silky and naturally cultivated Tencel Sateen and incredibly smooth and durable Brushed Microfiber options. Other accessories from this sleep solutions purveyor include pillows, blankets and mattress protectors, plus they sell mattresses of varying sorts, making it a one-stop sleep shop.
American Blossom Linens Classic Organic Cotton Sheets (www.AmericanBlossomLinens.com)
Created for optimal sleep, American Blossom Linens’ sustainable, luxurious, locally made sheets are crafted by experts who have been making bed sheets for over 115 years. American Blossom uses this extensive experience to create the perfect fabric—a balance between delicate, soft and breathable. The company’s Classic Sheets are made with 100 percent west Texas organic American cotton and get softer with every wash. Made with a percale weave, they are crafted to last a lifetime, provide a great feel to your skin and give a unique sense of style to your bedroom. There are also deep 16-inch pockets and they boast wider, stronger encased elastic from North Carolina. A natural color scheme highlights the heavier, more durable fabric. Plus, it’s made with environmentally friendly cotton to provide pure, chemical-free softness. Crafted for your most beautiful sleep from eco-friendly cotton, organically grown and sewn entirely in the USA. From America’s organic farmers to the company’s family plant in Georgia to your family’s loving home, you can pamper yourself and your loved ones with luxurious, sustainably-sourced sheets that can last a generation. These crisp percale bed sheets and linens are sometimes called “modern vintage” for their simply classic style.
Brass Chain Plant Hangers (www.HastingsHouseDesign.com)
Here’s a pretty way to bring the outdoors in! Hastings House Design’s Brass Chain Plant Hangers make great gifts for plant lovers or anyone looking to incorporate plants into their space. These hanging decorative planters are a versatile, modern way to elevate your favorite plants. They complement many design styles with their brass plating, from eclectic bohemian interiors or minimalistic Scandinavian style, to a mid-century modern aesthetic. They are also great for small rooms, freeing up precious tabletop space! The hangers can be strung from either hoop to accommodate various pot shapes and sizes with its innovative pin system. The unique design can hold potted plants in two ways: Place one of the hoops around the pot to secure it; or set the pot (with a saucer) on a hoop and secure with the included metal pins, ensuring everything stays put. Other sizes, finishes, configurations and styles of plant hangers are available at the company’s website and all materials are sourced in the U.S. Each model is proudly handcrafted in Portland, Oregon. The company’s web page is filled with other unique plant hangers and décor each bursting with possibility.
Pro-Spin’s ‘The Portable’ All-in-One Ping Pong Set (www.Amazon.com)
Ever get the urge to play ping pong, but don’t have an official table? Do you find yourself wanting something fun to do with friends and family that’s easy to set up and clean up? Have these capabilities wherever you are with Pro-Spin’s “The Portable” All-in-One Set. Play anytime, on any table! It’s great for when you’re cooped up inside and even better when you’re on the go. It is ideal for family camping and RV trips, business trips with colleagues and the employee lounge at the office, or certainly to use at home to keep the kids entertained when you don’t want to clutter your home with a full ping pong table. The set includes one retractable net that stretches up to 72-inches wide, which fits any table up to two-inches thick without leaving scuff marks; two high-performance ping pong paddles that are equipped with a slightly sticky layer to give more spin and control to up your game; three white pro training balls that are dent-resistant and designed to be slammed by competitive players and still maintain their shape; and one premium carrying case made for easy storage and travel. While Pro-Spin touts the ping pong set as a means of entertainment, they underscore that it is not simply a toy. Instead, it is a high-quality, high-performance portable ping pong set. All Pro-Spin Sports products come with a one-year warranty to ensure you receive the very best quality product.
***** TRAVEL *****
Parker Clay Leather & Handwoven Products (www.ParkerClay.com)
Parker Clay is a premium leather and handwoven goods brand designed in Santa Barbara, California and produced in Ethiopia. They have a variety of luxury bags and goods that are sure to impress even the toughest-to-shop-for personalities on your list, all while doing a little good for the world. Their ethically made handbags, backpacks and wallets are made from 100 percent sustainable leather and support Parker Clay’s Center of Excellence, which provides personal and professional development—and employment—for marginalized women in Ethiopia. All orders can be placed online and shipped directly to your friends and family, ideal for celebrations that may look different this year. Quality-wise, the company uses only premium, full grain leather from Ethiopia, hand selected to ensure quality, beauty, and durability. It’s the highest quality available and represents the natural and unaltered hide. It’s not sanded or weakened, and is as tough as nature intended it to be. This leather is built not just to last, but to get better with every passing year. While the company offers an array of outstanding goods made from this top-quality material, one particular coordinating suite caught my eye—especially for the guys on the gift list. First, the sophisticated Omo Overnight Bag is perfect for those looking to travel light on a quick getaway. It can be carried by its handles or worn as a backpack for hands free adventures. Measuring 19 inches long by 11 inches wide by 11 inches high, it also features a premium exterior zipper closure, exterior pockets and an interior cotton lining. Each purchase of this Omo Overnight Bag provides 15 hours of employment to the company’s team in Ethiopia. The matching Axum Dopp Bag is handcrafted and designed from a single piece of premium Ethiopian full grain leather and is the perfect travel companion to carry all of your necessities. The handsome and sleek Presidio Laptop Sleeve is designed with the entrepreneur in mind. Built to give your computer the perfect protection and designed with a soft leather lined interior, it is the essential companion for your meetings and work trips. Completing the self-curated set, the 805 Luggage Tag is designed with the traveler in mind and is handcrafted to be durable yet distinguishable while you are traveling the world. The flap reveals a standard sized business card to keep your information accessible.
Global Commuter Black 2 Toiletry Case (www.Amazon.com)
Looking for an efficient, yet stylish solution to store all your skincare and beauty needs? Global Commuter’s tasteful toiletry and cosmetic cases are perfect for travel or everyday use in your purse, suitcase or gym bag. The clear, TSA-approved Global Commuter Black 2 Toiletry Case allows you to visually locate what you require within a matter of seconds. Plus, with the genuine Saffiano leather edging, it creates a stylish look, is more durable and remains effortless to keep clean. Breeze through security checkpoints wherever you are looking professional, yet chic. Its excellent functionality is delivered by the ability to access two compartments. The larger, measuring 8.5 x 4.75 x 2.25 inches is big enough to store all your bottles and jars, while the smaller compartment measuring 8.5 x 4.75 x 0.75 inches and including two elastic straps, is ideal for your comb, toothbrush or makeup needs. The separation of the two compartments ensures no cross contamination on your brushes minus the need for two separate bags! What more could you ask for?
Raycop GO (www.Raycop.com)
As travelers, workers and students continue to adapt to changing COVID-19 restrictions, the need for portable sanitization increases. If there’s anything this Thanksgiving holiday proved, people are itching to travel, even during this global pandemic. The new Raycop GO is a great tool to take with you. It’s the industry’s first portable UVC vacuum that uses UVC light to eradicate 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses. It is an easy-to-use, go-anywhere, sanitizing, portable vacuum and UVC light appliance. The new Raycop GO is designed to enhance safety during and after the coronavirus pandemic with effective UVC light technology and HEPA filtration. The device is affordable and easy to assemble and disassemble with snap-in sections for portability. It is perfect to bring along on vacation or business travel for use in RV’s, hotel rooms, mobile homes, cars, trains, planes, boats, offices, dorm rooms and vacation rentals. Raycop GO can sanitize everything from cell phones to luggage, bedding and hard surfaces. The entire filtration system, including the HEPA filter, is washable as well. It even collects and traps fine dust, keeping those allergens out of the air. The American Chemical Society advocates the widespread use of UVC light as a short-term, easily deployable and affordable way to limit virus spread in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The Raycop GO cordless portable vacuum uses the same UVC technology that hospitals do to eradicate nearly all particles of viruses, bacteria and dust mites from fabrics and floors in every corner of the room or recreational vehicle. The gift of sustaining good health is perhaps the best gift of all.
Blacklane Chauffeur & Airport Concierge Service (www.Blacklane.com)
Finally, safety-minded, luxury and convenience-minded travelers are loving Blacklane’s global chauffeur service, which brings trekkers peace of mind across 50 countries. The crew’s health, safety, reliability and technology gives guests door-to-door, stress-free travel. Blacklane chauffeurs clean vehicles and disinfect all points of contact before and after rides. They offer guests hand sanitizer, wear masks and provide masks to guests who need them. Their chauffeurs also check their temperature daily and air out vehicles between rides. Blacklane travelers receive fair, fixed and all-inclusive rates and all rides are carbon neutral. Plus, all Blacklane chauffeurs all speak English and are commercially licensed and insured. Airport pickups include flight tracking, meet-and-greet service and up to one hour of free chauffeur waiting time. Intercity rides give guests a private door-to-door alternative to short-haul flights and trains. So, no matter what region you plan to visit, if you desire reliable and luxurious ground transportation for a flight or any other “around town” jaunts, Blacklane is a true gem. The service alleviates the stress of getting to and from the airport or other destinations. Upgrade your travels at Blacklane.com or on the free Blacklane app.
Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv / Instagram www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReports / Twitter www.Twitter.com/LuxeListReports/ Facebook www.Facebook.com/LuxeListReports / LinkedIN www.LinkedIn.com/in/MerileeKern.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***