It’s one of our favorite times of year because everything is birthing. The flowers. The trees. The birds are chirping and yes, we discover new products and services as we march into spring and summer. Enjoy this spring and summer gift guide that highlights some of our top discoveries over the last few months.
Motion Boom from soundcore
Technology is always on our list. Personally, I spent more than two decades in the technology industry and as a result, have always followed the latest trends and advancements. Sound is a big one for me. We were recently introduced to Motion Boom, an outdoor speaker from soundcore. Quite frankly, we didn’t know about the brand, so was thrilled to receive a unit to review.
One of the reasons we opted to have a deeper look at Motion Boom is because this handy speaker a great option for the summer. Think: backyard gatherings, trips to the beach, weekend escapes, picnics in the park, friend’s pool parties. You can simply toss it in the car and it has a handle, making it easy to carry around. This is a major bonus. Note: it comes with a strap as well.
The second reason we were curious is because of it’s huge stereo sound that touts distortion-free audio, even at high volumes. And it’s waterproof. That’s right — not just splash proof but IPX7 waterproof and it floats. We haven’t had a chance to test out the floating feature yet despite the fact that we have access to water. It just hasn’t been warm enough to go for a dip yet. That said, we’ve put it through the “significant splash” test and it passed. What a great feature with summer coming up (at least for half the world). So, if you’re a water lover, Motion Boom is a great option.
The device is made of 100% Pure Titanium. Motion Boom’s drivers have pure titanium diaphragms to reproduce high frequencies up to 40kHz for sound that has noticeably higher clarity. We have to agree – we absolutely love the sound quality and we’ve tested it in several different environments (a gym setting with closed windows, outdoors in a garden, in a large living room with high ceilings and in a small room with open windows).
It also includes something they refer to as BassUp Technology, which is apparently their own exclusive technology. It uses an in-house tuned digital signal processor to analyze and intensify low frequencies in real-time for bass that hits harder.
On the go? You can also use the Soundcore App to switch between EQ modes for tailored sound. In other words: Voice Mode accentuates vocals, Treble boost highlights the high frequencies, and Balanced delivers balanced sound across lows, mids, and highs. Sound snobs will love this feature.
Motion Boom boasts up to 20-24 hours of playtime from a single charge. This is a great feature if you’re on a long trip and can’t always access a convenient place to charge your speaker.
They have smaller options as well for backyard use, beach or pool parties, such as their soundcore Flare 2, which is also waterproof. The latter has a fun beat-driven light show.
Imagine a rainbow light show that pulses, phases, and shines to the beat of your music. Double light-rings simultaneously shine down onto the dancefloor and up into the atmosphere for pumping floor-to-ceiling illumination. You can also enhance your audio with complete EQ control then tailor the light show to your mood with six mesmerizing lighting modes. Super cool, right?
Vintage Antique Japanese Table by JadedReason
How cool is this? When we came across this table on Etsy of all places, we began browsing to see if there was anything similar. It’s pretty unique, so we had to take a closer look. This vintage antique Japanese style table is handmade, so we reached out to their team and it turns out that they’re all made in the United States despite the fact that it is a Japanese design.
We had a smaller hand-carved table that we have used over the years on top of a side table to display things (or during a ceremony). The colors were remarkably similar, so we had a great idea: we could display the small one of top of the larger one, which is precisely what we did.
They refer to this piece as a Collectors Center Table and it has detailed dragon carvings throughout the very solid piece. This isn’t flimsy wood in case you’re wondering. They use Sheesham Wood and tout it as a meditation altar tea table, although quite frankly it could be used for a number of things. We decided to use both as display tables for Tibetan bowls, crystals and gemstones. Great feng shu, right? We think so.
They use a natural eco friendly water based non toxic stain to darken the panels, and then lightly sand the other carved surfaces to create light highlights. At the end, a coat of protective polyurethane stain is applied to the finish to avoid easy staining. We love that this table has a unique foldable design with lightweight structure for easy storage. If you only want to use it for certain holidays or rituals, then you can simply fold it up and store it under a bed or in a closet. Personally, we think it’s too beautiful not to permanently display it.
The carvings display two dragons and birds on each side of the side panels. The dragons are symbolic to strength, wisdom and a strong spirituality while the birds on the side are symbolic as protectors.
Their business is based in Louisiana which is where the tables are made. They predominantly sell crafts and antique style pieces from furniture to displays and they’re ranked as a star seller on Etsy, which is always comforting. The larger piece we got in is 13”D x. 24”W x 13”H weighing in at four pounds of carved beauty. They offer smaller options as well.
Additionally, they make other wood items such as tables in different styles/sizes (see below). For more information, including how to order, visit their Etsy store.
Sheranda Silks Silk Art & Cards
Who doesn’t love silk scarves, especially in vivid and happy colors that life your spirits? We fell upon an artist who not only creates beautiful handmade silk scarves but also cards and art. While we’ve seen many handmade artsy silk scarves over the years, what drew us into this artisan’s booth at New Living Expo, was the creative extension of those materials.
Stunning designs, right? It was such a marvel to look at her exquisite pieces side-by-side, one after another in various sizes.
Behind these beautiful, mystical creations is Sheranda Kumara who paints images of goddesses and angels on silk to facilitate planetary healing. For over thirty years, Sheranda has painted with French dyes on silk. With brilliant colors and feminine flowing lines, she creates an essence of sacred sensuality in every piece.
These pieces can be hung on their own, put on canvas or framed in a more traditional way as you would another painting.
She also designs wearable art clothing from her hand-painted silks, including dance veils and sacred goddess gowns. Additionally, Sheranda has published two books, two oracle decks, and thousands of prints of her artwork.
The piece that jumped out for us exuded all things in Gaia, including the earthy colors. In the middle stands a tree but earth energy surrounds it in every way. Sheranda had this particular piece framed in a more traditional way (a turquoise colored wood frame), which accentuates the nature in the piece itself.
Absolutely divine, right?
Although she’s based in Mount Shasta, you can learn more about her work, including how to order her various offerings by visiting her website. We are thrilled with the quality of her art. Two thumbs up.
FHI Hair Products
When we get pitched on hair dryers and hair products in general, we usually give them a miss. Why? They all look and sound the same. Put another way, there’s very little differentiation between them. That was until we were introduced to the offerings by FHI. They sent us a couple of their products to review, both of which are a step above your average dryer and styler. First up is their Innovator Dryer, which is their lightest, fastest and most powerful hair dryer. The ultralight unique design combined with the Digital BLDC Motor makes this dryer truly unique.
Let’s start with the design. Not only is it lightweight as promised, but it has a beautiful, elegant design. And if you’ve been reading our site for a while now, you know that we love great design. The second most compelling feature (I’d argue that it is even more important than the design although some people put design first) is the powerful air flow of the dryer itself. They tout that it delivers a “powerful air flow unlike anything on the market.” While we haven’t reviewed hair dryers before, it is by far, the most powerful hair dryer I have ever used or experienced in a salon.
The combination of its unique ergonomic features, decreased styling time, and gorgeous design makes it a fantastic option if you’re in the market for a new hair dryer, or frankly, perhaps it’s simply time to retire your old one. I have very long hair and when I need to jump on camera quickly for an interview, it’s always a chore to dry my hair, largely because it takes too long. This powerful machine dries it in half the time, all while infusing intense moisture to my hair. The speed is a godsend.
It also comes with attachments as well: the Speed Dry Wide Nozzle, the Smooth Dry Narrow Nozzle and the Curl Defining Diffuser. There’s a two year warranty as well.
They also sent us something called The Polisher. Cool name, right? You can polish, hydrate and style with one tool. The Polisher acts like a paddle brush and blow dryer at the same time, as it instantly blow dries and polishes the hair. It features Plasma Ionic Technology which releases an increased amount of negative ions to instantly lock in moisture and seal the cuticle.
Note that it also has an elegant design. The device releases powerful airflow but also has a heated plate to provide hair with a smooth and polished finish. They use something called HydraHeat technology, which seals in vital moisture, repels humidity, reduces frizz, and helps eliminate static.
Where this really comes in handy is when you’re trying to lose the frizz and lock in the moisture when you’re in a dry climate. How does it work? The negative ions instantly lock in moisture and seal the cuticle, which gives it a smooth look. Of course you can use it on dry hair to extend a blowout as well. There are three heat settings and like their hair dryer, it has a two year warranty. It’s ultra compact design makes it perfect for travelers.
For more details on their products, including how to order, visit their website.
Anglezarke Shamanic Drums
We recently met Nicola and Jason (virtually) online who — wait for it, drum roll please — birth drums. We’ve reviewed drums before but it’s been a while, so we were curious to see their unique approach to making them out of northern England. They use two kinds of hide in their drums: red deer and reindeer. The red deer are from Scotland and are culled as part of a wildlife management program to control the population numbers, as deer no longer have any natural predators in the UK. The hides are a by-product of this process.
Their reindeer hides come from the Lappland area in Finland. Because each drum is dyed, no two drums are the same.
They use Ash from the UK in their drums, which is apparently both strong and bendy, making it perfect for drum hoops. So, how long does it take? First of all, we had to select the style, the hide and the color tones we liked. You also have the option to choose what size you want of course and then in our case, it had to be shipped from England to the states. The process is quite detailed and laborious but so worth the wait. We all know that great things take time.
Once they get the rawhide in, they soak it overnight so its soft and stretchy. They then have to prepare the wooden hoop, which requires applying beeswax on the inside of the hoop to bring out the grain in the wood. It turns out that they buy the wax from a charity that rescues swarmed bees and finds them permanent homes. We love that they’re so cognizant of the environment and supporting local businesses. After that, they wrap the steel ring in pig suede and use a local blacksmith who makes the rings.
Once the hide is fully soaked, they cut out the circle for the drum head and the lacing. Then, in the final stage, they need to punch twenty-four holes and thread the lacing through each hole in turn, carefully twisting the lacing along the way. Lastly, the tensioning process begins, but the drying process takes up to a week, depending on the weather.
When it arrived, I pulled my new red (and black) drum out of the box, I sat it down in front of me and looked at it and wouldn’t you know that it began to speak to me. Drums are alive in this way. They truly do become you and you become them. A relationship forms when it arrives in your hands, which is what happened with me.
Within fifteen minutes, I knew the drum knew somehow as did Nicola and Jason– even if they wouldn’t have voiced it this way — that this was the type and style I needed at this stage in my life. Why? Trust the process. We don’t always need to know, we just need to embrace the journey. The energy of the drum spoke to me even before I started beating it and we became one together.
Alas, I encourage you to embark upon your own drum experience. With Nicola and Jason from Anglezarke Drums, you can co-create your drum as it is both a physical process and a personal journey. Talk to them about what you want but be okay with a little unknowing and a little letting go as the birthing of you drum begins. When it arrives, know that unspoken voices from another dimension and world we may not always understand, are involved in that birthing process as well. And then enjoy the ride.
Mountrax Foot Massager
We discovered the Mountrax foot massager machine recently, which includes both a touch panel and a remote control. Although we are including this fantastic wellness product in our spring and summer gift guide, it also makes a great gift for any season. Think: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries, etc. You get the idea. And it’s a great option for both men and women, for who doesn’t want their feet massaged after a long day at work or if you’ve just had a day filled with walking activities on a trip?
We are huge fans of mind/body balance and write about it often here at We Blog the World. Although we always encourage wellness services for self-care (massage, acupuncture, reiki and other alternative modalities), it’s great when you can find a device you can use at home to help sooth the body (and the soul). Let’s not forget how many pressure points are in our feet.
One of the things we loved about the Mountrax foot massager before we even tried it, was its design. Yup, that great design factor again. It’s beautiful looking and comes in three colors: gray, black and white.
How does it work? First of all, the style of massage is shiatsu, which is so relaxing. It is equipped with two independent rolling heads with multiple ergonomic small massage heads to massage more areas of your foot, making it a very thorough experience. There’s also full coverage air compression, which means that you also receive deep kneading and squeeze. Two thumbs up.
It is said to help relieve tired muscles and plantar fasciitis for those who suffer from it, although we can’t speak to the latter. They offer nine customize modes. There are three kneading and three air compression intensities that can be adjusted depending on your personal preference and needs. They recommend starting with Low-Intensity and adjusting from there.
If you feel that the squeezing is too low, simply increase the air compression to Mid-Intensity or High-Intensity for a stronger squeezing effect. Deep kneading massage reduces muscle stiffness, relaxes muscle tissue, and achieves best massage effect. For those who get cold easily or have cold feet (that’d be me), they offer an optional heated mode, which is an awesome add-on. It’s a great feature, especially during those colder months, which you can use to also accelerate the body’s metabolism and blood circulation.
Interested in trying it out? You can find it on Amazon.
Atamin Floor Lamps
We’ve never reviewed lamps before, so thought it would be fun to get a taste of one that brings functionality into the mix. The Aaron LED Floor Lamp is multifunctional and designed with a built-in 4-tier display shelf so you can illuminate your room while also displaying family photos or other items. This feature btw, was one of the things that drew us to the Atamin floor lamps.
This particularly Aaron LED model has three convenient drawers built seamlessly into the shelves for storage and organization. We loved this, and anyone who lives in a small living space will also love the dual purpose included here. The Aaron lamp is treated with an advanced UV coating for a beautiful glossy shine and durable finish that makes it durable and resistant to abrasions and scratches. So far, so good. It’s been up for about three weeks and there are no scratches so far.
Its comes with a LED bulb that sheds a warm color temperature light, another feature we like about the design. We put it on the left as you enter a room and you can simply pull the chain when you walk in. While this may not matter to everyone, this particularly room powers a light plugged into only one power outlet, making it very restrictive. Since the location of that power outlet is inconvenient for a lamp, this standing lamp/stand combination was the perfect solution.
A slightly larger option is Atamin’s Avery Plus which touts sturdy and durable shelves. This floor lamp with shelves is designed with a built-in 3-tier display shelf like the one we just covered, but it’s wider. With dimensions of 18.9″ x 11.9″ x 62.75″, each shelf on this standing lamp can hold up to forty pounds giving you the flexibility to display larger, heavier items.
Avery Plus offers more shelf space for those who love the idea of a functional lamp. In other words, a lamp with a purpose other than delivering light. It has a minimalistic design and like the Aaron, it comes in a variety of stained colors. Although there’s white, gray and light woods, we opted for a darker espresso color to match the earthy tones of the room.
The Avery Plus lamp also features a classically designed pull chain to turn it on and off. Avery is also treated with an advanced UV coating technique that prevents toxins that are commonly found on household home décor.
We found both floor lamps easy to assemble and a step-by-step instruction manual is included so that you follow along without hassle. They also have a visual video guide for those who want even more help setting it up. For more information, including how to order, visit the Atamin website. They have other lamp styles as well.
Essential Oils from Young Living
Moving back to mind/body balance and wellness, let’s take a look at Essential Oils. We decided to review Young Living’s Everyday Oils Collection, which is a great introduction to their ten most popular essential oils and blends. Every oil contains vital plant compounds, many of which have been studied for their positive effects. These compounds offer a simple way to live healthier and begin eliminating harmful chemicals from your home.
The kit includes five essential oil singles, including: Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon Vitality, Peppermint Vitality, and Tea Tree and five essential oil blends, including Joy, PanAway, Purification, Stress Away, and one they call Thieves Vitality.
We were thrilled that Frankincense was included in the kit because it’s one of our favorites. Frankincense is a powerful essential oil which has been used in various religions for over 3,000 years. It has been known to enhance immunological function, beautify skin, and increase spiritual awareness.
The kit includes some other great essential oils as well. For example, Lavender is the most universal oil and has a tranquil aroma that is soothing to the senses, as well as to the skin when applied topically. Taken internally, it contains antioxidants, may provide immune support, and can be used to add a floral flavor to your evening tea.
Then there’s Lemon Vitality, which contains antioxidants, provides immune and circulatory support, and can be used to add a fresh flavor to food and beverages.
Peppermint Vitality essential oil promotes healthy bowel function, supports gastrointestinal system comfort, and adds a fresh, minty flavor to food and beverages. This is a great one to bring with you when you’re traveling and dealing with a change in diet which can upset your stomach if you’re not used to the ingredients and spices.
Tea Tree essential oil is very versatile, supporting healthy-looking skin and nails, neutralizing odors, and promoting the appearance of healthy hair and scalp. We love this one btw and use it often.
Joy essential oil blend is an exotic combination of floral and citrus essential oils—including Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Jasmine, Palmarosa, Rose, Bergamot, Lemon, and Tangerine—to enhance the frequency of self-love and bring joy to your heart. We’re huge fans of Ylang Ylang and have used it on its own as well for many years.
PanAway is another combo oil, which includes Clove, Helichrysum, Peppermint, and Wintergreen. This essential oil creates a cooling and soothing sensation when applied to fatigued muscles after physical activity. Because of the Clove, Peppermint and Wintergreen, I also used it in a dispenser when Anthony was facing seasonal allergies and it helped him with his breathing. Their purification essential oil blend includes Citronella, Lavandin, Lemongrass, Myrtle, Rosemary, and Tea Tree that is formulated for diffusing to neutralize and cleanse your home and work environment.
Stress Away essential oil blend features Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender and Thieves Vitality is a legendary blend of purifying essential oils—Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary—known for immune support and cleansing properties when taken internally and refreshing breathing experiences when used aromatically and topically.
They also sent us their Trolley Organizer, which is super useful. The Trolley Organizer conveniently allows you to take your essential oils with you when you travel. There’s 18 compartments designed to fit 5 ml and 15 ml oils and blends. On the outside, the material is a vegan leather and inside, it is lined with velvet, featuring elegant gold finishes.
For more information about the brand, their various other offerings (single essential oils, as well as kits) and accessories, be sure to visit their website.
Lastly, let’s dive into a l’il beauty. I’ve been intrigued by products which help your eyebrows for a while now. Why? Because as we age, they become thinner and less flattering. I was recently introduced to products from iMethod, who tout “long lasting results.” Their Lamination Kit has everything you need to achieve feathery, fluffy, and voluminous eyebrows from the comfort of your own home. The kit’s new formula now contains Usma Oil which stimulates hair growth for fuller thicker brows and results can last from up to 4-8 weeks. They also say that all ingredients are EU approved, dermatologically tested, as well as vegan and cruelty certified. In other words, not tested on animals.
They also have an iMethod Eyebrow Pomade which matches with their iMethod Eyebrow Stamp Stencil Kit to help enhance your brows as well. It is designed to give natural looking brows. A pigmented, creamy eyebrow pomade glides on to help sculpt and fill in sparse areas, creating a natural finish. It is also often waterproof and smudge-proof making them great for warmer weather or active days.
This eyebrow makeup is available in six different shades to help fill in and detail eyebrows and the jar is slated to last you for three months if you plan to use the procedure daily. We have used the iMethod on its own every day for a few weeks now and love it. The one thing to note: you may want to order a couple of different shades that you think will best match the color of your brow hair. I discovered that I’m in between a dark blonde and a medium brown, and the number 15 was best color fit for me. That said, you can combine one color with another to get the perfect blend for you as well.
For those who love the idea of stamps, they also offer an iMethod Eyeliner Stamp, which combines the precision of a liquid eyeliner with the convenience of a stamp. This innovative product features a specially designed stamp that fits the contours of the eye and provides a smudge-proof line in one easy step. The stamp is also refillable, making it a cost-effective and eco-friendly option for those who love to experiment with different eyeliner styles.
The eyeliner formula water-resistant, and smudge-proof. The company says that the formula is also gentle and safe for sensitive eyes, making it a viable option for those with allergies or sensitivities to traditional eyeliners. I certainly know many women who have sensitivities to the countless products out there.
So, if you’re interested in that cat-eye look, this is a fascinating solution. One of the biggest advantages of using iMethod Eyeliner Stamp is that it takes the guesswork out of creating that perfect cat-eye.
Because the stamp is designed to fit the contours of the eye, it makes it easier to create a similar look every time you use it. For more information, including how to order, be sure to visit their website. There are other eye product solutions to browse through as well.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our spring and summer gift guide. We’ll see you again in a few months when fall brings us new finds.