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Activities for Kids on Sick Days

If your kid’s running a fever, vomited or had diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or seems lethargic and just not himself, plan to stay home and play nurse. Here’s how to also have some fun with your patient.

With younger kids: Break out the photo album. Tired of the same book? Your child will end up “reading” family pics to you—“Look, das Gwamma!” or “I met Santa!” Bonus: He may even be content to sit and peruse them on his own.

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16 LAST MINUTE AT HOME FAMILY VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVITIES

the word love in a shadow box



Today is Valentine’s Day and if you are scrambling for ideas to celebrated with your offspring(s) as well, here are 20  last-minute ideas of things you guys can do at home!

There are some great at-home activities in here you can do nonetheless, with a few resources scrubbed off the internet!  

1. Have an Indoor Picnic in the Living Room

2. Have a Movie Night. Stream movies both like, pop some popcorn and snuggle under the covers.

3. Make Pizza. Be your own Italian Chef.

4. Go for a Drive to the Country a little way from home and back. Use the time to talk and catch up.

5. Go out for Dinner. Get dressed up and have a fancy dinner delivered. Eat by candlelight

6. Go Roller Skating. Have some physical fitness and fun while skating to the hits and oldies outdoors if the weather is fitting, of course.

7. Make Soup for the Week. If you live in a climate experiencing winter, whip up several batches of different soups to eat and save for later. You can pick different recipes from online resources or your crock pot cook book

8. Make Desserts. Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and Decorating fun designs is guaranteed fun.

9. Paint. Roll up the Sleeves, Get out some paper or a canvase and some paint and get creative. Frame your masterpieces and hang them up in your home.

10. Craft. There are loads of crafting projects online. Taking the time to create some crafts is fun and functional if you make some thing that you can use later like an oven mit or a frame.

11. Write Short Stories. Get your creative juices flowing. Get out some paper and pen and write up some fun stories to share or use to enter into writing contests.

12. Have a Game Night. Haul out the Connect Four, Checkers and Monopoly board games and have fun.

13. Have a Dance Party. Put on the Music Video Channel or Crank up the Stereo and Dance in the Basement or in the living room.

14. Have a Karaoke Night. Find Videos with Lyrics on YouTube and set it up so you can have a performance.

15. Do Puzzles. Get out different puzzles, get on the floor and put together some pieces.

16. Tell Scary Stories. If you’re caught in the storm and without power still, it sucks but you can use that time under the dim lights to tell spooky ghost stories to pass time until the light comes back.  

Good Luck and have fun!

Activities to do with the family for Valentine's day that's at home

At Home Super Bowl Watch Party Dishes To Make For the Family

Are you and the family watching the Super Bowl this Sunday?

Most likely, finger food will be on the menu. Go-Tos for the occasion are pizza, sliders, nachos and other types of snacks.

These dishes are super easy to make and you can get your kids involved.

We curated three of the best recipes around for these three top most-served dishes:

New York-Style Pizza

(adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 lb pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)

1 can tomato sauce

1 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 475°F. Flatten dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 12-inch circle and place on baking sheet. Spread tomato sauce evenly over dough. Sprinkle with cheese, basil and oregano. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until bottom of crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Let cool. Slice and eat!

Custom Tips

  • Spicy-food fans, drizzle sriracha hot sauce over the toppings for an extra kick.
  • Breakfast lovers, crack a whole egg on top before baking for a gooey golden treat.
  • For a perfectly crispy crust, cook your pie on a preheated pizza stone.

Sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package slider buns
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 tbsp. sliced chives
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice slider buns in half lengthwise.
  2. On the bottom layer of the slider buns, sprinkle 2 cups of the cheddar cheese.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Cook eggs to desired consistency.
  5. Top bottom layer of sliders with eggs and crumbled bacon. Top with remaining cheese. Place the slider tops on top.
  6. In a small bowl mix the butter with the maple syrup. Brush on top of sliders. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slider tops are golden. Serve.

NACHOS

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 9 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces pre-shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices
  • 1 medium-size ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place ground chuck and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until meat crumbles and is no longer pink and onions are softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Step 2

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread chips across pan in a single layer with as little overlap as possible. Top chips evenly with meat mixture, beans, and cheese.

Step 3

Bake in preheated oven until cheese melts and just begins to brown in places, about 8 minutes. Remove chips from oven, and top with onion, jalapeño, avocado, sour cream, and cilantro. Serve with salsa and lime wedges.

Have fun!

graphic for super bowl party featuring three dishes: nachos, pizza and sliders

EXPECTANT & NEW MOM GUIDE TO FILING TAXES THIS YEAR

mom in chair

It’s tax filing season and if you are expecting or just had a new baby, there are some expenses related to your journey to parenthood that you may or may not know about.

The fact of the matter is that babies do in fact change your tax situation and here are a few tax tax deductions and credits available to families this year.

Before Baby

Pregnancy Test Kits. Birth Control Pills. Fertility Enhancement. These count as medical expense deductions. For medical expenses to be deductible, you’ll have to itemize your tax deductions, and your medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Expecting Baby

Nursing moms can include the cost of breast pumps and supplies in their medical expense deductions. Lactation expenses are also deductible as are laboratory fees that may be a part of your medical care.

The New Arrival

The tax deduction that comes with your new arrival can’t match the joy, but this still should make you happy.

Under the new tax law, the child tax credit has doubled to $2,000 per qualifying child. And, unlike a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of your income subject to tax, a tax credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar.

Planning for Baby’s Future

The new tax law lets parents save tax-free for their child’s education. Under the law you can use up to $10,000 per child from a 529 plan to pay qualified expenses for elementary and secondary school and home school.

The 529 plans can also be used to pay for college.

Speaking of college, if you want to think that far ahead, two tax credits are available to help with qualified educational expenses. Those credits are the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a credit of up to $2,500 for qualified tuition and expenses for the first four years of college, and the Lifetime Learning Credit, which provides up to $2,000 per return.

I apologize if I’ve gotten too far ahead of you by talking about schooling and college and all those things. I’ll bring it back to the here and now by reminding you that whether your bundle of joy is born on January 1 or December 31 of the year, you can take a full $2,000 child tax credit.

tax saving

And remember, as your child grows, the tax code is bound to change. You’ll want to make sure you get all the tax deductions to which your family is entitled. The best way to do that is to talk with a tax professional. It’s their job to keep up with the tax code. And, because they do their job, you can do yours, enjoying life with your new addition

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








3 Book Subscription Services For Kids

girl reading
Girl reading
Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

These subscription boxes will tear kids away from the devices and nurture a love of books.

This year, many school children got homeschooled or went to school via distance learning and in between, maybe watched TV, played video games or engaged with mobile devices to distract.

Parents who want to make sure their children develop a love and passion for reading and books during this pandemic and beyonc should consider investing in a monthly subscription service or giving one as a gift to a child in their lives who loves to read or who should read more!

The global pandemic is restricting the ability for a lot of us to get outside this year which is frustrating especially to kids who love the great outdoor.

While a book cannot replace outside activity, it can be a way to exercise the brain.

In fact, book subscription businesses are trending.

Here are three that will deliver titles tailored to your child and his or her interests.

Atlas Book club logo

ATLAS BOOK CLUB

Maryland attorney and mom of three, Bunmi Emenanjo started a book club in 2017 so she could teach her Nigerian American kids about their culture and people from all around the world.

Emenano said she when she would guest read to children as part of the book club back then, she became intrigued and fascinated by how how responsive the kids were and how much they thirst to learn about cultures different from their own.

That curiousity turned into the Atlas Book Club subcription box business in 2019 for culturally curious kids!

The service delivers more than just books each month. Each box comes with souvenirs, postcards and other knick knacks related to whatever country is being featured that month.

subscription box about India from Atlas Book Club

Subscribers get a comprehensive and immersive experience in each box!

Since launching as a business in November 2019, Atlas Book Club has explored 20 countries including South Africa, Guatemala, the Philippines, Nigeria, Haiti, India, Chile and so many more.

Monthly subscriptions are $37.99. A three month goes for $110 and a 6 month about $215, which would make a great gift!

The box, while pricier than the other two in this list, is worth the value for parents, grandparents and caregivers who seek to grow a child who is a world citizen and who is cognizant and aware of the contributions of different people’s to society.

10 Books for Babies

EPIC!

Epic is another parent-founding platfom and is currently the largest digital reading platform. I’ve blogged about this company before which owns a a collection of over 40,000 popular children’s books from over 250 of the top book publishers.

Epic curates collections based on age, topic, and other categories.

Founded by two parents, Epic was born out of a single question: How do we make books more accessible to kids? 

Wanting to make books as accessible as games and other digital content, dads Kevin Donahue and Suren Markosian founded Epic in 2013.

Today, Epic has grown into an award-winning subscription service which gives millions of families and classrooms instant, unlimited access to thousands of books, videos and quizzes from leading publishers to help kids everywhere read, learn and grow.

While it is normaly $9.99 for monthly access, you can get an annual subscription for $4.99 now through December 31st if you pay for the full year in advance!

Epic Book club
10 Chapter Books

While it is normaly $9.99 for monthly access, you can get an annual subscription for $4.99 now through the end of the year 2020.


lily post

Lily Post

A committee of parents carefully curate Lily Post’s monthy subscription boxes. Delivered in a nice box is either a set of 4 hard back books or three picture books.

And with Lily Post’s charitable One Book, One Box donation program, each purchase supports the company’s mission to donate to charities that give the gift of books and literacy to communties and children in need.

Your gift or subscription would have altruistic purposes as well this gift giving season!

graphic

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

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