Sunday, November 7, 2021

10 Gift Ideas for The Most Difficult Person On Your List

The holiday season is upon us and earlier than ever! Looking for the right gift has never been easy, but if you are stumped for ideas, it can be even harder. Of course, it's the thought that counts, but we still want our gifts to be thoughtful, regularly used, and not donated or sold after a few weeks. It's especially difficult when you can't decide what to get for someone really particular. Whether you want to upgrade their gear or give them something they won't be able to forget, we have just the right gift for this holiday season.

AJNA 37L DuraDiamond™ Travel and Adventure Camera Backpack ($349.99, fstopgear.com)

f-stop is the world's leading camera bag and accessory company and their new Ajna backpack is a major step up in their designs. Perfect for the outdoorsy type, the travel-obsessed, or the photographer on your list, this lightweight carry-on compatible pack is weather-resistant with improved strength and organization. The DuraDiamond™ material is proprietary to f-stop and in combination with the T6 aluminum and plastic hardware adds strength to critical carry components. Thanks to the aluminum frame, it shifts the pack's weight to the hips, making it a comfortable carry all day long. 

Analog Waking Clock ($299.00, OneClock.co)

Launched in early 2021, OneClock has designed a minimalist analog clock that will gently wake you up using science-based sounds. Perfect for the minimalist, the tech overloaded, or sleep-deprived on your shopping list, this device was purposely designed to keep tech out of the bedroom and improve sleeping habits. It doesn't have Bluetooth, WiFi, or apps; in fact, it doesn't even have a snooze button. The OneClock is built by hand using high-quality, long-lasting parts with a precision machined aluminum enclosure, solid wood front and back, and a low glare glass face. 

Cleo+Coco Daily Essentials Kit ($49, CleoAndCoco.com)

The expectation for clean products is on the rise, and that person on your list who wants to save the planet, but also get good skincare products, will love the Cleo+Coco products. Their Daily Essentials skincare kit is a perfect bundle to give, which includes their Coconut Cleanse Face+Body Bar, Mineral Cleanse Hand+Body Bar, Charcoal Deodorant, and Dry Shampoo+Body Powder. Not only are these products free of aluminum and petroleum, but are free of synthetic fragrances that normally hide dangerous ingredients like parabens. So much more than a deodorant, this is a luxury skincare item that will please even the most particular on your list. 

Motif Passion Flowers by Luz Flora ($39.00, LuzFlora.com)

Founded by former filmmaker and author Macarena Luz Bianchi, Luz Flora was designed to brighten someone's day and bring joy to someone even in the midst of a difficult time. Purchase her red Motif Passion bouquet containing the blooms: Rose, Gerbera, Alstroemeria, Protea Pincushion, Cocculus, Hypericum. The Haute Couture arrangement contains 50 stems, and the Glamour Grande contains 25 steams. Add one of Bianchi's keepsake books to your gift to make this a long-lasting gift, perfect for someone who needs the touch of a bouquet of flowers for the holiday season. 

Elderflower Liqueur ($220, ReserveBar.com)

Made with 1,000 handpicked elderflowers, St-Germain® launches a limited-edition partnership of their St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur with iconic fashion designer Anna Sui. Encasing a 750ml of St. Germain is a tote designed with Anne Sui's signature touch and whimsical aesthetic. The tote features an intricate blue and green floral crochet design that matches the bright flavors of the liqueur it holds. This gift is perfect for the hostess in your home and she will delight at the dash of inspiration this liqueur brings to the cocktails of the season.

JURA Chrome E8 Coffee Machine ($2,499.00, ShopJura.com)


JURA's new generation of coffee makers blends versatility and luxury with increased functionality is a phenomenal choice for the coffee lover on your list. Included in the device are a Professional Aroma Grinder and JURA's state-of-the-art Pulse Extraction Process where the best coffee aromas develop. With their Fine Foam Frother, Extra Shot Function, and intelligent pre-heating along with the ability to control the device from a smartphone, this is an innovative machine designed to make cafe-quality coffee from home.

EttaVee Designed Planners (price per item varies; ErinCondren.com)

For the ultimate planner, you'll want to give them a piece from the newest Erin Condren collection who has partnered with lifestyle brand, EttaVee. Featuring vibrant hand-painted designs by EttaVee, this collection inspires people to see the beauty in the world around us.  Select from a variety of planners and notebooks along with personalized stationery and stickers. An excellent gift to give to the person in your life who loves planning ahead and adores artsy-inspired collections like this.

G-Shock Analog-Digital GA900VB-1A Men's Watch ($140, GShock.com)

Part of the new line-up of men's G-SHOCK timepieces, the Virtual World collection evokes a futuristic style as seen in many virtual reality concerts, video games, and movies. It has the signature toughness and designs of previous G-SHOCK models with a striking, bold blue-violet color that appears to be from another world or time. The GA900VB-1A watch has a standout octagonal bezel and thin case featuring a carbon core guard structure, as well as a unique light fade-out feature on the dial. It's the most eye-catching gift that would be perfect for someone who loves a classic, but futuristic-looking timepiece.

BURST Oral Care Lavender Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush ($79.99 each, Macys.com)

BURST Oral Care brings luxury to oral care with their new limited edition Lavender Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush. Wrapped in a matte lavender, this duo will elevate your teeth cleaning routine. The Sonic Toothbrush is a hygenist favorite with amazing results and glowing reviews from consumers. The Water Flosser is a go-to for people looking for a compact device that lasts 80-days on a single charge. At the intersection of beauty and home, this limited edition pairing is an excellent gift to give to the one with a mega-watt smile (and want to keep it that way).

Barmy Home Spa Gift Set ($29.99, Amazon.com)

Who doesn't need a spa day? Handmade in the USA, Barmy offers up an affordable luxury gift designed to give you the spa experience you may be missing out on. The set contains four large Bath Bombs, Goat's Milk Soap, and Bath Salt. Each item is made with quality ingredients and comes in an exquisitely designed gift box. Thanks to being in the USA, you won't run into any supply-chain issues like you may with some other items.  

Monday, August 23, 2021

$1 Deals at PaperMart & a Giveaway

As we say goodbye to summer and embrace the fall season, we're preparing for many upcoming holidays and times of the year. School season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more! If you feel overwhelmed by the prospects of having to get all the right wrapping and packaging for your upcoming holiday plans, places like Papermart are perfect to add to your must-shop list. 

PaperMart has the largest in-stock selections and has been around for years! They offer everything from bulk bags, shipping supplies, food packaging, party materials, and so much more.

So coolest of all, Paper Mart is having a MAJOR anniversary sale! Starting 8/23 through 8/29 they are marking down items to just $1! You don't even need a coupon to take advantage of this deal. 

I'm really excited about their wrapping items, like these Christmas bows available in this deal that started today. Items like this are so wonderful to have on hand as early as possible for the upcoming holiday season. Perfect for gift-giving, and for people who have birthdays around the holiday season like yours truly. 


And I'm so excited to announce an amazing giveaway where you can win one of 10 $20 Papermart GIft Godes. Make sure to enter via my giveaway link here

Giveaway ends on August 25th at 11:59 PM PST. All you do enter your email address on the form page. You'll be notified by email on Thursday 8/26. See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions and other important details.

This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

20 Tasty Watermelon Recipes You Don't Want to Miss


Did you know that August 3rd is National Watermelon Day? In honor of this day, I put together a collection of 20 tasty and unique watermelon recipes that are sure to inspire your palate. Try some zesty and unique salads, and blend together some frosty drinks. Our favorite summer fruit has never looked so good!


Try this refreshing and light Watermelon Agua Fresca to cool down on warm days. Made simply with watermelon, water, and sugar. 


Homemade Watermelon Wine is tasty, easy to make and a unique choice for summer imbibing. Making it requires only fairly basic ingredients.


There’s no better way to freshen up than with a cold and thirst-quenching drink! This cucumber watermelon lemonade is perfect for those hot summer days when sitting in the shade sipping a cold drink.


This refreshing watermelon and feta salad is the perfect side for your BBQs and pizza nights!


Watermelon angel food cake is an easy dessert recipe that’s perfect for summertime. And the best part is it’s made with just 3 ingredients: angel food cake mix, watermelon puree, and lime. It’s sweet and zesty and tastes a-maz-ing topped with fresh berries and honey-lime yogurt sauce.


These Boozy Watermelon Mojito Skewers are the essence of summer! Soaked in rum, mint and lime juice, what more could you ask for? Serve these skewers at your next Summer bash and your friends may need to stay the night! 


Use watermelon to make a gluten-free fruit cake! This yummy, vegan watermelon cake is topped with berries and coconut cream frosting.


Cucumber Watermelon Appetizers with Blue Cheese are the perfect cool snack on a hot summer day. Top cucumber rounds with cubes of watermelon, salty blue cheese crumbles, blueberries, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of kosher salt and chopped fresh parsley. A fun summery nibble!


Try some fabulous kid-friendly food with this watermelon pizza recipe


Try something unexpected with the watermelon and salty tuna in this tartare recipe - a delicious match!


This Watermelon Basil Margarita is refreshing and slightly sweet, with fresh basil and citrus to make it taste like summer in a glass!


Watermelon pavlova is a simple dessert, perfect for hot days. Fresh lime, mint, and ginger mingle with summer’s quintessential fruit on a crisp meringue shell.


There’s nothing better than biting into a giant slice of fresh, juicy, sweet watermelon in the summer, but these fun and super cute cupcakes are the next best thing. These sweet, adorable, and festive cupcakes are a summertime delight perfect to share at pool parties, BBQs, birthday parties, and summer holidays.


This healthy watermelon arugula salad recipe is simple and takes very little time to do. It’s crunchy and peppery, and the juicy watermelon cubes just complete it.


Creamy Watermelon Coconut Smoothies is THE PERFECT refreshing drink to serve during a warm day.


Watermelon pico de gallo is a sweet, spicy, & juicy salsa. It’s a delicious unique dip with tortilla chips & also fantastic on fish tacos.


2 ingredients are that's needed to make this delicious sprouted watermelon seed butter! Not only is it slightly nutty and salty, but it's also good for you, too!


Refreshing and light watermelon gazpacho is a perfect vegan and raw summer soup. This easy recipe only takes 15 minutes to make!


Sweet, colorful, and fresh Grilled Watermelon Salad with feta and blueberries is ready in under 20 minutes and makes an easy side dish for Memorial day celebrations, hot summer days or every day.


Watermelon salad with a Mexican twist! Crunchy toasted pepitas, salty queso fresco, fresh cilantro and a tangy lime vinaigrette make this a delicious side with tacos or any grilled meat.

Friday, July 30, 2021

5 Fun Back to School Items to Add to Your List



It's hard to believe we're already shopping for back-to-school supplies. Before you know, we're going to be talking about holiday gift lists, and then deciding on some New Year's Resolutions. But let's not get ahead of ourselves of course! Alongside your list for backpacks, pens, pencils, lunch bags, crayons, and let's face it, masks and hand sanitizer, I have a few items that will be perfect for you - or your child - this fall school season.

Festive fall-themed stickers and charms



Designer and artist Christina Veillette just released her brand-new fall collection items, each hand-made by the artist herself. Exclusively sold on Christina's website, these waterproof die-cut stickers are perfect to place on water bottles, tumblers, laptops, planners, and notebooks. Her adorable acrylic charms are adorable additions to purses, keys, and bags.

Customizable Backpacks

Stand out from the sea of standard nylon backpacks, with a bag made by romp7. They offer over twenty patches designed to make your backpack unique and creative - just like you. In addition, the backpacks offer premium durability and functionality.  

Get organized

Something about living through such a hectic and chaotic time period has inspired me to get organized. I guess being able to control something in my life appeals to me in a big way. I'd recommend storage solutions by Spectrum Diversified Designs. Their in-draw organizers help you maintain the functional space of your draw but offer up various ways to keep everything neat and tidy.  

Bio-degradable Sandwich Bags

I'm a huge fan of packing a bag lunch even if I'm working (or schooling) from home. Something about that tradition feels fun and familiar to me. So, Lunchskins offers up a biodegradable solution to the standard sandwich baggies. Their options are made from pure wood pulp and are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Their plastic-free starter kit also includes paper straws too.  

Reusable Water Bottles


I think most of us are trying to be better about our carbon footprint and having a to-go water bottle that doesn't leak and is spillproof is really important. Whether you want it for yourself to hold coffee, or one to take with you when your child goes back to school, offers up an excellent selection. The ones for kids are easy to clean, easy to use, and also spillproof, plus made with trendy patterns your kids will love.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

My Favorite Brand Organic Italian Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans (And Giveaway!)

canned tomatoes recipes

As the fall draws near, I am so excited about trying new recipes. Some of my favorite recipes have a tomato-base to them, whether it's beans, salsa, pasta sauce, or soup. I was so excited to try out garbanzo beans and Italian crushed (and peeled) tomatoes by Carmelina Brands. Plus, I also had the chance to try out their garbanzo beans! 

Now, one of the biggest reasons I recommend this brand is that they are Non-GMO verified. This is incredibly important to me when choosing products, especially anything that I eat. If you aren't sure what Non-GMO means, check out the information about what the Non-GMO Project does here.  

Not to mention what I also love is on their website they go into incredible detail about their tomato process and their bean process. They are obviously such a trust-worthy company and that means so much to me as a consumer.

So, now onto those tomatoes! I loved their Italian crushed and peeled tomatoes. They went so well in the black beans I made and added so much flavor. As for their garbanzo beans, they were such an amazing treat! I basically can rinse them and toss them into a salad or I grill them with seasoning on top of the stove. They save great and work so well with so many dishes.

In case you want a few of my favorite ways to cook up canned tomatoes and garbanzo beans, I have collected some of my favorite recipes:

Vegan Chickpea Nuggets

https://strengthandsunshine.com/gluten-free-vegan-chickpea-nuggets-allergy-free-grain-free/

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Kalamata Olive Salad Dressing

https://aubreyskitchen.com/mediterranean-chickpea-salad/

Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad

https://www.drugstoredivas.net/vegan-chickpea-tuna-salad-recipe/

Homemade Salsa

https://www.feastforafraction.com/homemade-salsa-made-with-canned-tomatoes/

Spicy Hummus Recipe

https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/spicy-chipotle-hummus/

Healthy, Sriracha Shakshuka Recipe

https://coupleinthekitchen.com/healthy-sriracha-shakshuka-recipe/

Short Rib Ragu

https://pinabresciani.com/pinas-sunday-ragu/

Chickpea Brownies

https://thishealthykitchen.com/chickpea-brownies/

Crockpot Morrocan Ground Beef & Chickpea Stew

https://www.twopinkpeonies.com/beef-recipes/crockpot-morrocan-ground-beef-chickpea-stew/

Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

https://www.savorywithsoul.com/five-cheese-marinara/

Bacon Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

https://www.mightymrs.com/recipe-items/roasted-red-pepper-tomato-soup-grilled-cheese/

I hope you found some tasty recipes here!

I am so excited to announce that I will be giving away a Carmelina Brand package, which includes a care package of some of their products and a pizza cutter. Enter via Rafflecopter below and giveaway will end October 22nd. USA only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above mentioned products in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Enhancing Your Amazon Streaming Experience



When you think of streaming, you probably think of Netflix, Hulu, Twitch—the titans of streaming and live streaming. However, Amazon lies somewhere between those titans. 

Most, if not all of you reading this probably use Amazon streaming in some way, whether you’re using Prime Video, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, or the Fire TV Cube. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in how you can improve your experience.

Well, look no further! 

5 Tips to Enhance Your Streaming Experience


1. Customize Subtitles


You might not be aware of how you can customize the subtitles of any movie or show you watch.

Simply go to the settings of your Fire Stick or the Prime Video settings, and you’ll be bombarded with tons of options to improve the subtitles. Add backgrounds, change the color of the words, decide where they show up: you have complete control over the subtitles.

2. Use USB Storage


A big selling point for the Fire TV product line is that you’re able to take your shows and movies anywhere you want, as you can download them to your Firestick or Cube. However, if you run out of storage, don’t worry—that’s what USB support is for.

Both the stick and Cube come with USB support, so simply plug a USB drive into your TV and start downloading!

3. Take Advantage of Alexa


Another selling point for the Fire TV series is the inclusion of Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant. With it, you can avoid touching your remote entirely, telling Alexa what you want to watch, where to go, and vice versa.

It’s not essential, but it is pretty convenient.

4. Use Parental Controls


The last thing you want is for your kids to have access to explicit, violent content. And with the world of streaming, that content is never too far away. 

Fortunately, Amazon streaming comes with plenty of parental controls, allowing you to decide what your kids can access and when.

5. Tighten Up Security


Lastly, you should look into tightening up the security of your Prime apps and your Fire TV products. It won’t have a noticeable improvement, but you ‘ll be able to watch TV without having to worry about hackers.

A Firestick VPN goes a long way into protecting your identity. Take some time to set up security for yourself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

My 5 Skin Must Dos for the Summer

photo credit: Tanviidotcom Soft Skin Remedy Tanvii.com via photopin (license)

Ah, the summer. It's been one unique year if I do say so myself. Yet, I'm trying to do my best to keep up with some essential skincare habits. While all of these tips may sound absolutely simple, with as mentally as exhausted as I am lately, it can be incredibly difficult. You see, I have sensitive skin and it can react from anything like dryness to food sensitivities, and so I want to take care this year, especially with how stressful things are. So, here are my summer must-dos:

1) Moisturize.

There are a ton of ways to keep your skin supple and smooth and moisturizing should be on the top of everyone's list. Lately, I use a rose lotion that's really nice. I also alternate to an aloe lotion that makes my skin feel really nice.

2) Exfoliating.

I've started doing this at least once a week. Technically you shouldn't do this too often because it can damage your skin, so once a week or less is best of all. I use a coffee scrub by Shea Moisture  - and it is so nice for my skin.

3) Facial masks.

I hear good things about facial masks and this is something I'd like to try. I mean, I could have a facial mask on right now, you guys. So it's a multi-tasking thing and there's no reason why I can't do it.

4) Don't touch your face.

Okay, I do have a bad habit of picking at my skin. It isn't good. Considering we're in a "don't touch your face" way of life right now, it's essential to get on top of that. Taking care of my skin is one of the top ways I can get on top of that bad habit (dry patches make me pick more).

5) Do some beautifying. 

Yes, this is my word for 2020 - beautifying. You guys we are all home more and working from home more but that doesn't mean that you can't dazzle a little bit. I like using this Star Island highlighter. It adds light to essential spots to your face which can really help in all those Zoom calls we're doing.

What are you planning on doing for your skin this summer? Make a list and tell me what you think!