Did you miss someone on your Christmas list this year?
Fortunately, we live in the era when e-gift cards and virtual gifting is now a very regular thing!
I’ve curated a list of nine stores that offer amazing virtual gifts you can simply email your child’s teacher:
Starbucks e-Gift Card
With the digital Starbucks card, your coffee lover fam or friend will get a code that she or he can add to her/his mobile device and order enough hot cocoa to sip and chill all Winter break long, depending on how much of a cocoa fan s/he is.
Send your fave a sugar rush this Holiday season with the popular Sugarwish treats delivery service. Send him or her an invite to choose their favorite flavors of candy, cookies or popcorn and it will get delivered to them. Prices start at $19.98.
Since we all will be home anyway this Winter, your gift recipient can catch up and binge watch all those TV shows trachers missed during the semester! A Netflix membership for a month or two will do it!
Fathers are often the after-thought every Christmas. People buy their dads or husbands generic “dad” gifts but not stuff their guy or dad really want.
This year, I curated a list of gifts for every type of guy that they will
Dog Dad Who Runs
If your partner, husband or dad is the one who walks the dog and uses that time to get in a good run or catch up on his fave audio book, then he would love SparklyPets hands-free leash. He can attach it to his waist belt and then have his hands free to scroll his phone, eat, or jog.
Tile is great for that dad who is always losing his phone, keys, walled or gym bag. He attaches these tiny trackers to the frequently misplaced item, register it and the device will emit a small sound when triggered.
If the Tile is within the 300 feet Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until you find it.
From the product page: Age Defender Eye Repair is a lifting, anti-wrinkle, dark circle-reducing eye cream for men, visibly correcting aging skin around the eyes to firm sagging and visibly resurface crow’s-feet for a smoother, more youthful appearance.
The multi-action formula contains rye seed extract, which helps visibly strengthen skin for a recharged look, leaving the eye area with a more lifted appearance.
A guy who loves to ride his bike and safely listen to his fave tunes while doing so will love to receive Air Wireless Bone Conduction Open-Ear Headphones by After Shoks. They are super light weight and comfortable.
If you have a Sam’s Club membership, you can get it for $40 off this year.
As seen on Shark’s Tank, Good Morning America and other shows, Phonesoap is the first UV-C Sanitize and charger. It houses two scientifically proven germicidal UV-C bulbs that completely sanitize your entire phone, killing 99.99% of all bacteria and germs.
In addition, the unit offers one USB port and one USB-C port for charging.
“Laid to rest for 16 years in handmade oak casks, this enriched offering is finished in first fill Oloroso sherry casks to impart a subtle fruitful nature and a roundness to the whisky. Soft notes of honey, freshened with citrus, which gives way to spiced pears, studded with cloves, and drizzled with caramel. On the palate this well balanced dram is at first sweet and rich like fruit cake, but ends satisfyingly with a hint of dark chocolate.”
Experience an immersive acoustic performance with these Sony XB Extra Bass wireless headphones. The noise-isolating fit mutes ambient noises, while the lithium-ion battery offers up to 30 hours of playtime, keeping you entertained during long-distance travels.
These Sony XB Extra Bass wireless headphones have a touch sensor for convenient control. These wireless headphones are an outstanding option for a comfortable listening experience at home, traveling or in a noisy office, one reviewer said.
A dad who is a fan of astroloy, Super Moon or birds would appreciate a pair of binoculars.
From the product page: Pairing a relatively low magnification with large objectives, Nikon’s black 7×50 Aculon A211 Binoculars are outfitted with enhanced light-gathering capabilities, a large exit pupil, and long eye relief, which work together to produce an optic that is optimized for use in challenging light conditions.
From the product page: Long-lasting, all-weather doormats handwoven in Maine using some of the toughest nautical rope around. Designed to withstand the extreme conditions of the ocean, these polypropylene doormats are water-resistant, mold-resistant, and mildew-resistant. Because water runs through them they’ll never harbor odors. Added UV protection against fading.
This is one hard-to-beat, long-lasting doormat. Great for boats and campers, too. Only use on non-skid surfaces. Handwoven in Maine using imported nautical rop.
Because the pandemic has limited opportunities for student athletes to train and compete this year, they have to find in or near home creative ways to stay active and fit and maintain their skills.
These are gifts that your student athlete would love to receive this year for the holiday gift-buying season.
The swimmer in your life will appreciate the Finis SwiMP3 player which uses bone conduction to deliver sound from your cheekbones to your inner ear. The player delivers a surprisingly crisp sound and can enhance the enjoyment of any workout, whether you are listening to music or podcasts. It supports MP3 and wma audio formats compatible iTunes; listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts and more.
Users recommend getting an add on to the manufacturer warranty as they stop working after a year or so. but you can get new ones with the warranty!
The TRX suspension system are the best for training specific muscle groups and isolating areas to target for strength training.
The system itself was created by a former Navy SEAL that uses your own body weight to get a full-body workout. The kit comes with instructions for doing hundreds of different routines that can challenge everyone from beginners to extreme athletes.
It’s pretty hardcore but intermediate users can benefit from included workouts.
The TriggerPoint MB Vibe massage ball is a must-have for athletes who want to perform at their optimal level day in and day out. Combined with the spherical design for multi-directional rolling, the roller’s vibrations penetrate deep into muscles to target tense muscles with precision.
Ideal for use before a workout, the vibrating massage ball loosens and lengthens muscles to increase flexibility.
Cyclists, runners, hikers, and climbers will appreciate a pair of Pearl Izumi Thermal Arm Warmers when embarking on an early-morning or cold weather workout. The anatomical design ensures a comfortable fit, while the four-layer thermal construction generates enough heat to be toasty but not overly hot.
This is more of a stocking stuffer than a gift, but Marsheepy’s charcoal bags naturally absorb moisture and smells from shoes and stinky gym bags. Putting them on your shoe closet overnight will remove the shoe smell all while leaving no scent of its own. They also can be used for other applications as a dehumidifier on small enclosed places, or musty basements. Get a kit of 12.
First, for all athletes, these headphones are great for tuning out the distractions and noise, getting laser focused before performance and helping work out time pass quickly or getting them them get in the right mind set to compete.
Now these headphones can get pretty pricey so I would only recommend getting the higher end on the list for the very responsible kid who isn’t going to leave it around carelessly, on the floor by the pool where it can get wet or damaged or forget it out in the open on the field in a public park.
It is on par with Bose’s, the gold standard in home audio equipment.
Student athletes got a lot of gear, uniform and sport-related equipment they have to lug to school, to practice and to games, meets, tournaments and competitions. They need a back with a lot of compartments internal and external so they can organize all their stuff.
The UA Hustle 4.0 Backpack is the ultimate back pack for any student athlete. It has a front pocket for shoes and lots of interior pockets to separate all the gear and keep the soiled stuff separate from the clean.
The side pockets can hold large 24 ounce bottles of water or recyclable water bottles. It’s light weight and sturdy for a sports bag only.
For your gymnast, there is still time to get an FBSPORT floorbeam from Amazon in time for Christmas. This adjustable and foldable portable beam has a 5-inch to which is the same width as those used in competitions but has a 6 inch base to stabilize it so it won’t topple over.
It’s made of high density EVA foam, and its padded beam is covered in suede-like material with a nonslip rubber bottom for a soft sturdy practice surface that won’t flatten over time.
A lovely high performing sweathshirt is a great gift.
Nike’s Court line has these popular hoodies for after play tennis. It’s made of French Terry cloth and has a boxy shape which makes it unisex although Nike sells a female and male version of the hoodie!
It comes in other colors than the traditional Tennis white and you can still get it in time for Christmas!
To help your lacrosse player hone his or her passing and catching skills, a lacrosse rebounder is a great gift for a goalie, offensive player or for team practice drills to increase your kid’s reaction skills.
For running, there are many brands that offer superior quality shoes. My two sons’ high school is sponsored by Under Armourand we have had success for three years in the HOVR Infinite which lasts an entire season of training runs and meets. Don’t just take my word for it. The HOVR won Runner’s World Magazine’s recommended running shoe recognition this year!
The best tech in the shoe is the ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step. It’s a good shoe overall and has great reviews.
Parents may want to use this opportunity of the impending Christmas and Winter Holiday break to give their child’s teacher a nice gift as a thank you for the school year so far, especially this very different and challenging pandemic school year.
In a lot of school systems, it may be not permissible to spend too much money on a gift and the government may have imposed a monetary limit, in some cases.
Because many schools systems are distance learning full time, there also may not be an adequate opportunity to personally hand a teacher a box of chocoloates, a nice mug or another nice gift of gratitude this year.
Fortunately, we live in the era when e-gift cards and virtual gifting is now a very regular thing!
I’ve curated a list of nine stores that offer amazing virtual gifts you can simply email your child’s teacher:
Starbucks e-Gift Card
With the digital Starbucks card, your child’s teacher will get a code that she or he can add to her/his mobile device and order enough hot cocoa to sip and chill all Winter break long, depending on how much of a cocoa fan s/he is.
Send your fave teacher the gift of a sugar rush this Holiday season with the popular Sugarwish treats delivery service. Send him or her an invite to choose their favorite flavors of candy, cookies or popcorn and it will get delivered to them. Prices start at $19.98.
When keeping up with lessons plan doesn’t allow time to dig into that new book she or he wants to read, Audible books are the next best thing. A month free listens provides access to thousands of books, podcasts and Audible original content. Prices start at $15.00 for one month.
Since we all will be home anyway this Winter, your child’s teacher can catch up and binge watch all those TV shows trachers missed during the semester! A Netflix membership for a month or two will do it!
If it’s Time to shop for that Foodie on your holiday shopping list, this is the gift guide for you!
Do you have someone on your holiday shopping list who is a connoisseiur of cuisine and who appreciates food of all cultures, the shapes, the textures, the flavor, the plating?
Then, it’s likely that you might have to shop for a foodie.
Foodies enjoy food as an art not just for eating and foodies are usually adventurous when it comes to trying out different dishes, eateries, and restaurants.
This passion also extends to drinks as well.
Shopping for a foodie requires you to be adventurous and seek out the best in kitchenware.
Here is my list of top gifts for Foodies.
WOOD AND MARBLE BEVELED CHEESE BOARD, SMALL, RECTANGLE
Everyone is into charcuterie boards this year. They are usually wooden or porecelin and used to display range of different cured meats, these platters go beyond salami and prosciutto, typically featuring various cheeses, crackers, spreads and produce.
Foodies prefer the freshest of ingredients and can usually tell the difference between taragon, oregano, chive, basil, thyme and other delicate fresh seasoning. It would be a delight to a foodie to get to grow his or her own fresh ingredients even if s/he doesn’t have a large yard.
You know those family recipes tacked on the fridge, in a tin canister on a kitchen ledge, in Aunt Josie’s head? Pen them all down in this one spot, a family cook book that you and the family customize.
Also, foodies are always looking for new dishes to create. Here’s a way for them to organize all the different recipes they discover or wrangle from folks and chefs.
Bring the elegance of Bordeaux to a friend or family member’s doorstop with this special trio. The experts at Wine Insiders have selected three beautiful red blends from one of the world’s premier wine regions, representing the exquisite terroir and craftsmanship that Bordeaux is known for.
Savory and food-friendly, these remarkable reds are perfect for pairing with roasts, lasagna, charcuterie, and delicious holiday dishes. Featuring two award-winning bottles, this impressive collection is sure to impress fans of French reds and makes a thoughtful gift.
Everything Avocado is hot now, and what better way to mash up fresh guacamole or any spice, paste or rub for a dish than with a molcajete?
Among the world’s oldest culinary tools, volcanic rock mortars and pestles like these have been used by great cooks for thousands of years. Williams-Sonoma makes a molcajete (mortar) and tejolete (pestle) that are hand carved from a single piece of basalt rock, so every piece is unique.
In addition to being a great prep tool, the molcajete makes an impressive serving dish for guacamole and other party favorites.
Perfect for crushing whole spices and making spice blends.
Ideal for blending and serving guacamole – or for making pesto and other rustic sauces.
Just because your foodie enjoys carefully prepared meals that take time to whip up does not mean he or she isn’t down with fast-cooked foods.
Your foodie will enjoy the taste and crunch of his or her favorite deep-fried foods by cooking with super-heated air instead of hot cooking oil in the Instant Vortex 6-qt. air fryer. Air fried food is cleaner, healthier, and less expensive than cooking in oil, making this appliance a must-have in every modern kitchen.
The Bath and Body Works Annual Sale reminds us of another opportunity to support black-owned candle and bath essentials companies
If you were near a Bath and Body Works this weekend, you might have seen the super long lines with holiday shoppers taking advantage of its amazing annual Holiday sale featuring $10 candles that normally sell for close to $30.
Actually, you might have been in that line.
According to reports, the beauty, skin and body essentials company sold out of its online offerings forcing customers to have to visit the retail stores to get the deal.
Because we are still in the year of the death of George Floyd which triggered a renewed interest in elevating, promoting and recognizing, finally, black-owned businesses, the sold out situation presents an excellent opportuntiy to once again consider candle brands and companies that are among the group of biz owners that are traditionally undercapitalized, under appreciated, under represented.
As such, I compiled a list of over 48 black-owned candle makers for you to consider patronizing this year.
Some of these brands overlap with companies that Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Cosmo, NY Mag, The Zoe Report, 21 NinetyandEllemagazines put in their profiles of Black-Owned Candle makers this Summer and Early Fall back when it was quite fashionable and en vogue to spotlight Black makers in the US, Canada, the UK and globally.
Let’s keep up the energy.
About the Candle Makers
I did take a cursory review of many of the companies. I only shared an image from their Instagram page for convenience and to quickly put this post together.
However, you can access a link to their websites to purchase and you will see who makes their candles in their homes in small batches, who actually delivers locally, who sells at upcoming craft fairs, virtual and in person, and who delivers beyond their country’s borders.
Some, like the ones featured in the major fashion magazines this past Summer and Fall, have appeared on Oprah’s annual Favorite things list.
More Reasons to Support
And don’t think because they are small that the candles will be expensive. Some start at just $5 and others are luxury priced but worth it.
Also, for people who are mindful of essential oils that can be toxic to burn, and allergies to materials in many candles, quite a few of these brands are careful about using toxic dyes, perfumes and other allergenic materials.
They hand pour.
Here is a compilation of Black-owned candle makers in the US and Canada for you to consider patronizing this year.
They come recommended by some of the 38K members of Arsha Jones’ Build, Brand and Launch Facebook group.
I’ll add more as I discover them and I will update this post with local cities where this makers are currently located.
The companies are listed in random order and not by order of rank and I have reviewed none personally yet but did not want that to stop this list from getting out there especially this weekend.
This Year, athleisure and loungewear will be big but there are other options to Lululemon
It’s official. With rising cases of the novel coronavirus, a lot of us will not be going anywhere this Winter to stay safe. In fact, everyone may be holed up at home.
The new normal for the season
As a consequence of the ongoing pandemic, a lot of restaurants, entertainment and other activities have been canceled, postponed or suspended. This shift will leave little opportunity for people to dress up. Alternatively, this opens up a market for the leisure wear industry.
Therefore, people will be trading in their club wear for sweats. If you’re considering getting clothing for a significant other, sister, teacher, nanny or sitter, friend or any other woman on your holiday shopping list this year, I’ve got the run down on the top brands in this sector of the fashion industry.
Lululemon isn’t the only game in town
Arguably, Lululemon is the most well known brand of athleisure, yoga and lounge wear but it is quite costly. It has a problematic history but still remains the go-to source.
But there are other options. Here are 9
ADAY adopts a ‘less-is-more’ approach and a design ethos based on seasonless pieces and sustainability to offer everyday, athleisure-inspired clothes that are both performance-driven and stylish.
Every ADAY piece of clothing features novel technical material properties (sweat-wicking, quick-drying, UV- and chlorine-protected and wrinkle-free).
Ivy Park offers high-fashion meets high-tech performance wear by Beyonce. The collection of activewear is effortlessly cool and includes everything from sports bras to leggings, crop and oversized sweatshirts, bodysuits and more. She recently partnered with Adidas on a collection.
The Ivory Lane Collective, or IVL Collective for short, is fastly becoming a leader in women’s athleisure wear. Their activewear collection includes everything from cute leggings to tanks, tees, and jackets.
Nike One of the most successful and recognisable sportswear brands in the world, Nike offers everything from quality shorts and t-shirts to shoes and socks that are both fashionable and functional. The brand also sells a lot of high-quality gym gear for your home..
Under Armour The American sportswear label Under Armour launched in 2016 Under Armour Sportswear (UAS), a premium athleisure range designed by Belgian designer Tim Coppens. UAS fuses high-performance sportswear designs with an elevated sartorial touch. They have really cute and sexy gym clothes on their website.
Adidas is a sportswear powerhouse that combines quality and style to create modern, street-savvy active wear. The active wear brand’s signature three-stripe motif has gained iconic status in popular culture.
A 10 year veteran influential lifestyle, parenting, small biz, beauty and tech blogger, Jay Jay gives you the information, news, deals, steals, inside scoop and knowledge, straight, no chaser! Follow her on social media @JayJayGhatt
Here are all the best beauty and fashion Cyber Monday deals I have my eye on:
Dyson Air Wrap
The Dyson Airwrap Complete styler is engineered for multiple hair types and styles. Featuring Coanda air styling and propelled by the Dyson digital motor, users can curl, wave, smooth and dry with no extreme heat.
Relax into the soothing yet stimulating heat of the Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 from Higher Dose. This premium, non-toxic sauna blanket detoxifies the body, delivers nutrients to muscles, and boosts metabolic rate. Designed for home use or while traveling, it’s constructed with a layer of healing amethyst and tourmaline to deepen the benefits of infrared, a clay layer to generate negative ions, and a charcoal layer to amplify detoxification.
Smallable isn’t having a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale but it’s always a good place to shop to support smaller, rising, fair trade merchants that sell organic, eco-friendly and sustainable baby clothes and furniture and women’s fashion and accessories.
I purchased the Under Armour sports mask for my athelete sons and myself as we all ventured back onto practice and training fields this fall. It hasn’t been a disappointment and keeps us safe and secure. It also looks quite fashionable.
The mask is on sale as part of Under Armour’s Cyber Monday Sale today!
Treat her with a collection of exquisite chocolate from New Hampshire-based L.A. Burdick Chocolatiers Burdick Critters Collection. All the critters are made individually by hand, meaning each is unique and no two are alike. Includes wood box of 16 Chocolate Mice, wood box of 9 Chocolate Snowmen, wood box of 6 Chocolate Pigs, wood box of 9 Chocolate Penguins, and 1/4 lb. Everyday Chocolate Assortment.
Go up in budget with the Epicurious Collection for $350
The performance jogger by Vuori is slim but relaxed fit with a slightly cropped leg, side pockets and a drawstring. Designed with their softest premium stretch fabric, they’re your new go-to. Great for traveling, yoga, training and chilling. It comes in a variety of colors and shades and in sizes XXS to XXL.
If your rich misses is like a lot of women who enjoy fragrant homes, then she will thoroughly enjoy filling her abode in this intoxicating signature scent behind NEST New York’s iconic fragrance which is a blend of pink pomelo grapefruit with watery green notes, lily of the valley and coriander blossom. The Classic Candle is meticulously crafted with a proprietary premium wax formulated to burn cleanly and evenly, while the Reed Diffuser is made with the highest quality oils to release continuous fragrance for 90 days, uninterrupted.
Your receipient will love to lay her head down and protect her crown with a silk pillow covering. It is a brand of silk cases recommended by dermatologists, hairstylists & beauty experts and is made of the highest grade (6A) long fibre mulberry silk, and without the use of dyes.
If you’re seeing this on Cyber Week 2020, get 25% off with the code Cyber at check out.
The eco-conscious beauty buyer is wary of essential oils, chemical perfumes, dyes, fragrants and alcohol that are all horrible for the skin and so she is drawn to lines like Drunk Elephant which has combined sample sizes of all its best sellers into one kit it calls The Littles.
Any dress in any print from Boden could be worn at a variety of events, openings, meetings, formal or informal outings. This Mila Midi Dress with its colorful and attractive stripes would do perfectly!
It’s practically half off down from $198 right now but not sure how long this will last.
The Yeti ramblem with the megslider lid is the perfect gift for a coffee or tea drinker or anyone who loves to sip slowly because it keeps hot drinks very hot and cold drinks super cold for long periods of time. It’s a winner that I’ve personally enjoyed and highly recommend.
In fact, each year, we see more and more families, large and small, outfitting themselves in matching pajamas and taking a photo to share in their social media fees and in their annual Christmas card or just for “The Gram”.
Celebrities Love This Trend
Celebrity families like The Currys, The Harts and more have been posting up on social in their chic coordinated sleepwear. Snapping a photo with the entire family has almost become the cliche yet obligatory new Holiday season trend.