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Gift Guide

The 25 Best Baby Shower Gifts for Lucky New Moms and Dads

little girl kissing pregnant lady's stomach

When it comes to baby showers, the shower games are easy to plan.

The party — either an in-person affair or a virtual shower — is a snap. But the gift? Well, that’s something else entirely. The Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) can help. The parenting experts and engineers in the GHI Little Lab test baby gear throughout the year, so they know what items are worth the investment.

It’s a safe bet that the big-ticket products — the best car seats and strollers and cribs — will be spelled out on some sort of baby registry or list, since parents need to figure out what brands work best for them and what features they require based on their personal needs. But when it comes to the nice-to-haves as opposed to the need-to-haves, the sky’s the limit.

Here is some of the GHI’s best-rated gear, along with fun best-sellers and little items you can add to a wishing well. Pick one up for your shower gift, and the parents will definitely thank you later. (And forgive them if they do so in a 5 am text, since they’ll be up for those early-morning feeds.) And, after the baby finally arrives, be sure to check back to see some of the Institute’s favorite baby gifts, too.

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Personalized lovely

Personalized Lovey

$23.00

If you know the baby’s name already, you can buy a snuggly friend that is uniquely his or hers. The blanket-style lovey doll comes in many different animals, and you can also specify the font and thread color.
Once upon a world collection

Once Upon a World Collection

$35.99

It’s never too early to start building a baby’s library. This collection features board books with four favorite fairy tales — RapunzelSnow WhiteCinderella and The Princess and the Pea — each drawn in a style from a different country, including Japan, Mexico, India and Russia.
New Born rattle

Newborn Rattles

$38.00

Show the parents that you’ve got great taste (pun intended) with these adorable food-themed rattles. Each one is hand-knit in Peru from organic cotton. This shop has other themed rattle sets, too, including sports equipment, fair food and New York City.

50 Fun and Unique Gifts that Teens Actually Want to Receive

Teens are a daunting demographic to buy for. They’re often the first people clued into the newest products and cultural phenomena that you’re probably not as aware of — but they also don’t have the deep pockets to get everything they want for themselves. Thankfully, that leaves plenty of opportunities open for you.

Here are our faves!

Reusable straws

Help teens do their part to keep single-use plastics out of trash bins, landfills, and the ocean by giving them this pack of reusable silicone drinking straws. They come in various colors and include a few cleaning brushes as well.

Face masks

What’s better than feeling refreshed after a cleansing face mask? Sixteen of them. This combo pack features 16 different face masks like aloe, charcoal, and cucumber so your teen will be set … at least for the next few weeks.

Noco Boost Plus

The Noco Boost Plus is a powerful battery that’s small enough to fit under the passenger seat, but it packs enough power to jump-start any vehicle with a 6-liter engine or smaller — and do it 20 times before needing a recharge. It also offers a USB port for charging various devices and has an integrated flashlight with a strobe setting for extra safety at night

Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer

It’s in the car, the house, and their pocket these days, but many hand sanitizers can smell a little like household cleaner. Touchland comes in scents like Vanilla Cinnamon and Forrest Berry, or keep it simple and choose unscented. The compact sanitizer features 67% alcohol for killing germs but balances it with soothing aloe vera and essential oils to hydrate the skin. 

Apple Watch SE GPS

If you have a little extra to spend on your teen, consider getting them a smartwatch. The Apple Watch SE is like a smartphone, fitness tracker, and music player all in one. Just like on their phone they can customize the watch to show their favorite apps to pick, including social media.

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42 Best Gifts for 4-Year-Olds 2021

If you have to come up with a gift for a 4-year-old and you’re stumped on what to get them, we’ve got some expert advice to help you.

The best gifts and toys for four-year-olds help their imaginations come alive. As they leave age 3 and turn 4, little ones are enthralled by storytelling, pretend play and exploration. They are also immersed with friends and start playing collaboratively instead of just playing side by side.

“They tend to have clear preferences on what they like or want to do,” said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.”

Their pretend play is a little more complicated as they come to understand narratives and differentiate between fantasy and reality, said Marie Conti, the head of The Wetherill School in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and a board member of the American Montessori Society. Capes and dress-up props, as well as outdoor toys or science gadgets, allow them to explore their world.

This holiday season, we rounded up the best gifts for 4-year-olds that will keep their minds and their bodies moving.

Here are our faves!

Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set

Made with high-quality silicone and innovative suction construction, these little suckers make bath time so much fun.

Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs are back — there’s a reason they’re a classic.

Ooly Chunkies Paint Sticks

All the fun of painting with none of the mess.

LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box

“If you’re buying Legos, just buy regular Legos. Don’t feel like you have to buy pink ones because you have a girl,” Conti said.

If you need to organize your Legos, here are five brilliant (and mom-approved) hacks for keeping them tidy and out of your bare foot’s way.

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The Best Gifts for Teenage Girls, According to Teenagers

Teenage girls are notoriously hard to shop for — and picking the right gift for them might be even harder now than ever before, thanks to trends that shift at lightning speed and the influence of social-media stars who most people of legal drinking age have never heard of. To help you find an age-appropriate gift that’s actually cool for a teen girl to own, we consulted with actual teen girls — including some of the YouTubeInstagram, and TikTok personalities the teen you’re shopping for likely follows. We’ve broken it down into categories, so you can really dial in the right gift. And if you’ve got an adolescent boy in your life, be sure to check out our list of gifts for teenage boys, too.

Here are our faves!

Tessie Canopy

When we asked teens about their favorite bedding earlier this year, Ava Lattimore told us about this bed canopy that’ll transform any teen’s space if they’re tired of their childhood bedroom. Lattimore especially likes that “it drapes softly around your bed instead of hanging straight down,” and adds that “it reminds me of the pillow forts I used to build when I was little but with an air of maturity.” And it lets you carve out a little “secret hideaway,” in your room “to draw, read a book, or chat with friends.”

LED Photo Clips String Lights

As we discovered in both our very enlightening 100-teen poll and our survey of cool college students, string lights are one of the most universally beloved décor pieces in this age group. One teen, Phoebe, says, “The warm hue that these lights create helps me de-stress and unwind.” Another girl, named Sydney, especially likes this set with clips for her photos. “I can hang my Polaroid pictures on these string lights up on my wall, and have them be all lit up so I can look at them while I’m reading before bed,” she says.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Certified cool girls Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight, identical twins with over 5 million followers on Instagram, recommend a waterproof speaker, because “there’s nothing like jamming out to your favorite music in the shower.”

Apple AirPods With Charging Case

For listening to music on the go, AirPods are a must-have among teens. As we learned in our teen poll, “second to their phone, this is what most teens said they always have on them (or want on them).”

Urban Outfitters Butterfly Clip Set

Both Gwen Attridge and Freyer recommend butterfly clips, another ’90s staple. “I went on a binge ordering these clips from Urban after being on the search for good ones for the longest time,” says Attridge. “These are in the trendiest colors and have great hold. They make a super-fun, trendy gift that doesn’t break the bank.”

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Last Minute eGift Cards To Give

teacher gift graphic

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 gift card

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.


sugarwish gift card

Sugarwish

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.


sephonra gift card

Sephora

Who doesn’t love the gift of self care and pampering? With an e-Gift card from the beauty store, Sephora, you can send a present in any denomination.


audible gift card

Audible

A month free listens provides access to thousands of books, podcasts and Audible original content. Prices start at $15.00 for one month.


uncommon goods egift

Uncommon Goods eGift

An uncommonly good gift for any occasion, a gift certificate lets them pick from hundreds of unique gifts.


netflix gift car

Netflix

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!


amazon gift card

Amazon

They have it all so you cannot go wrong with an Amazon.com e gift card.


Ban.do

Ban.do is that place where you can find the quirkiest of gifts and its $20 Gift Shop is filled with a fun ecclectic mix of little gifts!


etsy gift card

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace for personalized gifts, and everything in between! There’s so much fun on Etsy!


last minute gift card graphic

Best Gifts For Dad He Really Will Use

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

handsfree dog leash

Dog Dad Who Runs

Sparkly Pets

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.

$21.95


Shaker and Spoon  ad

Dad Who Loves a Good Cocktail

Shaker and Spoon

Gift dad the joy in creating his own concotions and libatiosn with a monthly cocktail box delivering original recipes plus all the ingredients need to make them!

Each month, he’ll get 3 unique recipes by top bartenders + everything you need to make 12 drinks (4 from each recipe) other than the liquor—syrups, bitters, mixers, garnishes & more.

Dad will be exposed to new flavors & combos, and look at your liquor cabinet in a whole new way.

$40.00 per month


Viewsonic projector

Dad who Loves Movies

Viewsonic

If dad was a fan of going to the movies before the pandemic, he will enjoy getting the opportunty to have backyard movie nights.

Those who have reviewed this projector say it produces crisp picture quality indoors and out.

$379.99 per month


A couple of Tiles

Dad Whose Always Losing His Keys

Tile

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.

$21.95


Cozy Feet under dest warker

Dad Who Has Cold Feet

Cozy Products



  • If your husband or dad has cold feet, literally, not figuratively, he may love this ergonomically designed toe warmer to keep under his desk at work or home office.
  • This device provides direct heat, warms cold feet and legs most efficiently with its 2-heat setting, choose between two different heat levels for optimal comfort

$41.19


Kiehl's age defender

Dad Who Wants to Stay Young

Kiehl’s



  • 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.

$32.00


After Shokz Biker

For the Biker Dad

After Shokz



  • 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.

$112.00


germaphone

Germaphobe Dad

Phone Soap



  • 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.

$55.90


aberfedly drink

Dad Who Enjoys A Smooth and Stiff Drink

Aberfedly



  • Yum! From the product page:
  • “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.”

$100.00


sweatpants

Dad Who Hasn’t Been to Work Since March

Outdoor Voices



  • Outdoor Voices makes the “All Day Sweatpants” which it touts to be the softest sweats you’ll ever wear. It’s just the perfect amount of slouch and slim for dad.
  • It has great reviews for being comfortable and truly wearable all day for weeks on end!

$88.00


sony headphones

Booming System

Sony



  • 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.

$123.00


golf putting range

Dad Who Loves to Golf

Par 3



  • In the winter when there are less opportunities for a Golfer dad to hit the links, or get to a driving range, there is this putting green.
  • Par 3 makes a three whole green to help dad practice his putting during off season so he is in tip top shape come Spring.

$34.93


binoculars

Dad Whose Always Looking to the Stars

Nikon



  • 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.

$105.00


Dad doormat

For the Boating Dad

Wicked Good Doormats



  • 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.

$69.95


Cuisinart cook

Dad Who Likes To Cook Simply

Cuisinart



  • The best thing about Cuisinart’s compact Air Fryer is the window that lets you see its specially engineered motor fan and heater deliver powerful airflow and high heat for perfectly fried food.
  • Dad will love to join this new kitchen gadget food trend.

$99.00


anker

Dad Who Is Always Out of Power

Anker



  • Dad can forever stay in the loop with a fully charged phone via anker’s wireless air charger.
  • This power bank charges iPhone SE, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Xs Max, XR, XS, X, Galaxy S20 S10 S9 S8, Note 10 Note 9 and Note 8.

$39.99


Sonos music

Dad Who Loves Music

Sonos



  • The compact Sonos speaker system delivers superior premium sound from any room in the house and is compatible with Apple Air Play and other devices.
  • It connects from any room using the home’s wifi.

$179.00


Ember mug

Dad Who Loves Hot Coffee

Ember



  • The miracle of the Ember mug’s tech is that it keeps hot drinks the perfect warm temperature for up to 1.5 hours. Designed for home or office, the new Ember Mug² does is the perfect smart mug.

$99.00


Paul Smith wallet

Dad Who Really Does Need a New Wallet

SSense

For all the jokes about dads being always given wallets for Father’s day, their birthday and all other holidays, some dads really need a new wallet.



  • The Paul Smith buffed hide wallet is sleekly designed and simple yet exquisite and would make a great traditional dad gift with its style and sophistication.

$88.00








What Student Athletes Want {Gift Guide}

student athlete
roller ball image

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.


Finish underwater music

UNDERWATER PLAYER

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!

FINIS

$79.99


TRXSuspension system

TRX Suspension System

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.

TRX

$99.99


massage ball

MASSAGE BALL

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.

TripperPoint

$79.99


thermal sleeve

THERMAL ARM SLEEVE

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.

Pearl Izumi

$16.99


marsheepy charcoal odor eater

GYM BAG & SHOES ODOR ELIMINATOR

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.

Marsheepy

$24.95


sony noise cancelling headphones

NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONE

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.

SONY

$99.95


under armour back pack

WORK OUT BACK PACK

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.

Under Armour

$99.95


agility ladder

AGILITY LADDER

You’d think every student basketball player athlete would want an official Spalding NBA Basketball and a portable backboard to practice at home with. Yes, those too, but the serious ones are thinking ahead.

Per the experts, an agility ladder like the SKLZ ladder is a great tool for ambitious basketball players who want to improve their footwork and coordination.

SKLZ

$26.99


portable gym beam

PORTABLE GYM BEAM

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.

FBSPOR

$63.95


tennis sweatshirt

HIGH PERFORMANCE SWEATSHIRT

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!

NIKE

$70.00


lacrosse rebounder

LACROSSE REBOUNDER

 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.

FBSPOR

$149.95

under armour shoe

ATHLETIC SHOES

 For running, there are many brands that offer superior quality shoes.  My two sons’ high school is sponsored by Under Armour and 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.

Under Armour

$109.90


happy holidays shopping!

$25 eGift Cards For Teachers {Gift Guide}

teacher gift graphic

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 gift card

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.


sugarwish gift card

Sugarwish

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.


sephonra gift card

Sephora

Who doesn’t love the gift of self care and pampering? With an e-Gift card from the beauty store, Sephora, you can send a present in any denomination.


audible gift card

Audible

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.


uncommon goods egift

Uncommon Goods eGift

An uncommonly good gift for any occasion, a gift certificate lets them pick from hundreds of unique gifts.


netflix gift car

Netflix

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!


amazon gift card

Amazon

They have it all so you cannot go wrong with an Amazon.com e gift card.


Ban.do

Ban.do is that place where you can find the quirkiest of gifts and its $20 Gift Shop is filled with a fun ecclectic mix of little gifts that will put a smile on your teacher’s face!


etsy gift card

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace for personalized gifts, and everything in between and is a beloved place your teacher can get lost at while looking for something for her or himself! There’s so much fun on Etsy!


gift card graphic

What to Buy That Foodie In Your Life {Gift Guide}

foodie

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.

charcuterie

WOOD AND MARBLE BEVELED CHEESE BOARD, SMALL, RECTANGLE

$39

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.


watering garden

SMART GARDEN Self Watering Indoor Garden

$99.95

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.


cook book

My Family Cookbook

$30

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.


wine

Wine Trio

$67

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.


molcajete

Molcajete

$50

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.

air fryer

Insta Vortex Air Fryer

$30

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.

BON APPETITE AND HAPPY FOODIE SHOPPING!

foodie graphic

48+ BLACK-OWNED CANDLE COMPANIES TO PATRONIZE {Gift Guide}

black owned candle companies

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 Ninety and Elle magazines 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.

They test.

They scale.

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.

1. Jadore Candles

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

2. Well Lit Candles

UPPER MARLBORO, MARYLAND

3. Simply Scents by Shan

HOUSTON, TEXAS

4. Alchemy Bliss

5. Black Girl Candle Company

North Carolina

6. Pure Candle House

Chicago, Illinois

7. Len McCaddy Home Candle and Co

Atlanta, Georgia

8. Common Scents

Savannah, Georgia

9. Amajai Home

Randallstown, Maryland

10. Nautana

Atlanta Georgia

11. Lufrays

Cedar Park, Texas

12. Elixir

13. Wicks And Shit

Gwinnett, Georgia

14. Cozy Wicks

Owings Mills, Maryland

15. South Florida Candle Supply

North Lauderdale, Florida

16. Adesuwu Botanicals

Lithonia, Georgia

17. Sola In the City

Baltimore, Maryland

18. Deese Noire

Buckhead Atlanta, Georgia

19. Gavin Lux

Los Angeles, California

20. Be Speak Candle Co

Sacramento, California

21. Alexandra Winbush

Atlanta, George

22. Chaos Candle Company

23. Lit Unity Candle

24. Wick’d by Nik

25. Camiller Creations

26. Elon Eick Candle Co

27. Breathe Enlight

28. Lit AF Candle Co

29. Forvr Mood

30. 2-10 Candle Company

Oakland Park, Kansas

31. Rooftop Candle Co

32. Quiet Quarters

33. Heavenly Candle Co

34. Posh Candle Co

35. CC Holistic Living

36. So Lit Candle Co

37. Candle Essentials

38. Bonaco Candles

39. Just Candles

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

40. The Jetsetter Candle Co

41. Naughty Naturals World

42. Her by Kashay

43. Simply By Toni

44. Krazy Essentials

45. Liliane’s Glow

Washington, DC

46. Experience of Luxe

47. Diary of Queen Esther

48. Shai Sensual

49. Harlem Candle Company

Harlem, New York

50. MĀKTUB Candles

Los Angeles, California

51. Uplift Candles

Hyattsville, Maryland

52. South FL Candle Supply Company

Broward County, Florida

53. Wicktrovert Candle Co

St. Petersburg, Florida

54. Diamond Life Home

Georgia

55. Willow St. Design Company

Washington, DC

56. Elevated Scentz

Houston, Texas

57. Arrows + Feathers

Mitchellville, Maryland

58. 6ixs Wicks

Toronto, Canada

59. Ivy Mae Blake

Toronto, Canada

60. Bright Black Candle

Durham, North Carolina

61. Peace and Harmony Brands

62. Knits, soy and metal

Baltimore, Maryland

63. Twelve 21 Candle Company

Brooklyn, New York

64. Narii Nicole

Fairburn, Georgia

65. Wix & Wax Fanatic

Orlando, Florida

66. Wyk Candles Zoo

Kalamazoo, Michigan

67. Amor Mas Luxury Scents

Wallingford, Connecticut

68. Lamar Denom

69. B Calm Candles

Brockton, Massachussetts

70. Southern Elegance Candle Company

Raeford, North Carolina

71. Elevation Lifestyle

Camp Springs, Maryland

72. By District 78

Pause Cincinnati, Ohio

73. Tribal Unicorn

East London, UK

74. Frères Branchiaux Candle Co.

White Plains, Maryland

75. Damalia’s Soy Candles and Body Bar

Hartford, Connecticut