Happy Holidays all! It’s that time of year again and we have some fun holiday gifts curated for you this year. We’ve broken the guide down into five fun categories: Technology, Fashion, Lifestyle, Wellness and Books.
Anyone who lives in an area where there are power outages (California has been high on the list over the last few years), then you’ll want the Lion Safari LT, which is a portable solar powered generator that provides safe, silent, and renewable power for your emergency needs. Think: cooking, communication, entertainment, CPAP, work, laptops, fridge, cell phone, lamps and more. At 500W of multiple outputs and only 11 pounds (super light), you can have power at your fingertips, wherever you are. In other words, it’s great for home use, but light enough to take when you travel as well.
What else is cool is that it only charges in around 3.5 hours and can solar charge in roughly 5-7 hours, using a 100W solar panel. It can be used for cooking, camping, communicating, entertaining, working or in an emergency. It can even power medical devices with its 500W pure sine wave inverter.
So, what are the typical things you might want to power?
We love that it produces zero emission or carbon footprint as well, so it’s environmentally friendly as well. It is also super quiet; it produces virtually no noise, so you can sleep through the night at camp or have undisturbed work or play. The device is made from Lithium NMC which is one of the safest tech on the market which means you can use it indoors or outdoors.
Other things to note: it has 1,000+ lifecycles, which means you can use it over and over again and it can hold a charge for up to 1 year. The device has 2 AC outlets, USB-A, USB C, 4 barrels (12V), and a 12V Car auxiliary outlet, so the type of devices you can power is endless. And, compared to the other similar power stations in its class, the Safari LT is a much smaller, lighter, and has a rugged design, which is great for adventure enthusiasts.
Lion Safari also has powerful USB chargers. A great gift idea is their Lion Eclipse, which is a 3-in-1 wireless and USB charger. There’s no need for multiple cords or chargers for all of your devices with this one and it’s approved for travel on airplanes. Bravo. You can charge any Qi smart phone, earbuds, watch plus USB devices. It’s also small enough to fit into your travel bag, purse or briefcase, yet powerful enough to charge multiple devices. It’s lightning fast recharges in just 90 minutes.
For more information, visit their website for all of their product offerings, pricing and how to order.
Audio Technica Microphones
After much research, we determined that the lightweight yet feature-rich design of Audio Technica’s AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone was the best solution for capturing high-resolution audio for video using either our Canon 7 or 5D. Of course we tried it on a standalone Canon video camera as well to see how it would perform with two different brands and use cases.
What makes it unique? First, it’s a great price point for the robust feature set and sound quality. It offers a selectable line-cardioid mono and internally matrixed mid-side stereo modes so you have the flexibility to focus the recording on a single sound source or to widen the field for outstanding sonic realism. In either mode, the AT8024 delivers great audio.
The AT8024 camera-mount microphone also comes equipped with a three-position adjustable attenuator (-20 dB, -10 dB, 0 dB) to capture both soft and very loud sound passages without distortion. We loved this feature. There’s a switchable low-frequency roll-off which reduces pickup of undesired ambient noise, room reverberation and mechanically coupled vibrations. This is particularly important if you are shooting in a public venue for an event, such as an auditorium or a large hotel conference room.
The microphone is powered by a single AA battery with high max SPL, and features an integral camera shoe mount that attaches quickly to DSLRs and shoe-equipped camcorders. (see above for Canon 5D mount). Given that we need to shoot in various rooms depending on the venue, we love that it handles loud sound sources without distortion. There’s also an integral rubber shock mount to isolate the microphone from vibration and mechanical camera noise. One other thing to mention that is a huge plus for avid travelers: the size and weight.
It’s very compact so easy to bring with you on any trip and is also incredibly lightweight compared to other microphones we’ve looked at in the past. There’s a red/green LED power indicator which is super handy and a windscreen as well. The latter is useful when shooting video outside, which we often on trip, sometimes in very windy situations, i.e., on boats.
Two thumbs up. We’re a huge fan of the brand. Visit their website for more information about this microphone pick as well as their other offerings and how to order.
Dyson Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
This year, we took a look at the Dyson Outsize which is not only top of Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaner line. One of the things we love most about this comprehensive cleaning beast is its powerful suction – wow! We could tell the difference in our living space immediately, so if you have dust allergies and are sensitive to dirt, this is the model for you.
Unlike most uprights, the Dyson Outsize has so much more maneuverability, making every cleaning experience fast and efficient. Yup, efficiency is a great word to describe the Outsize, for its myriad of features and advanced technology truly make cleaning your home a breeze. There are a bunch of add-ons that come with the Dyson Outsize, including a docking station, a charger, an additional battery in case you need it for larger homes or offices, something they refer to as a wand clip, a combination tool and a dusting brush which is great for furniture.
Be sure to read our standalone review on the Dyson Outsize here. Also visit their upright cordless vacuum page for more about their cordless offerings, and head here for more about Dyson offerings in general.
We’ve been fans of the Wallaroo brand for awhile now and have been wearing their hats on trips for years. One of the things that makes the brand so popular is the quality mixed with a broad range of offerings and styles. We recently tried a few new ones, including one they call the Lady Jane. It’s a classic and available in two different color variations. Why Lady Jane? Because it’s named after actress/artist Jane Seymour and her designs. Take a look — elegant and ever so stylin’ right?
We love how flexible their hats are and in a pinch, you can easily scrunch them up for easy packing, which is a godsend for any avid traveler.
We also opted to review the model they call the Breton, another classic design. While the Lady Jane may be better suited for those warm beach days on Martha’s Vineyard or the British Isles, the Breton exudes casual and all things fun in one package. Like other popular Wallaroo designs, it is packable and adjustable.
The Breton has contrasting poly-ribbon braids which add a pop of color to whatever you’re wearing. The brim can be worn up or down, and the beaded faux leather tie adds a unique touch. Bravo! It comes in four practical colors, the Hydrangea (a soft summer blue shown above), Red, Navy and Chocolate (shown below), our personal favorite for practical reasons. Et hem — it goes with everything, perfect for any upcoming vacation or for use at home.
Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their visor options for more sporty occasions. Our favorite from the visor collection is the Savannah (shown below) which comes in black, navy and Camel, all with stripes. It’s super comfy and also easy to pack in any sized suitcase or carry-on. I recently took it on a trip and had it in a tote for part of the weekend and in my purse for other times.
One thing to note about this fabulous brand from Australia (who knows about hot sun), their hats include UPF 50+ fabric which blocks 97.5% of ultraviolet rays according to the Australian Radiation Protection Agency. As we mentioned with all of their hats, you can either fold them up or roll them and with the wider brims, there’s often an internal drawstring to adjust the fit. As for care, they suggest spot cleaning only.
You can visit their website for more information including how to order.
Swimsuits from Voda Swim
You may be wondering why we have swimsuits in a holiday gift guide, right? First of all, we have readers from around the world, so when it’s winter in North America, its summer in Australia and the South Pacific. Secondly, now that borders are opening up again, many of you may be thinking about escaping for the winter to fun spots like Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and more.
We recently had an opportunity to review a swimsuit and cover up by Voda Swim. New to the brand, we were excited about how many offerings they have, from full-bodied coverage, tummy tightening (both one and two pieces) as well as accessories. Their tops are varied as well, including triangle tops, halter tops, ruched tops, supportive D/DD tops and tankini tops, the latter of which we love.
We loved the Envie push-up which comes in blue, red and black. Their most popular pushup tankini top fully revamped with adjustable side body drawstrings, it is paired with a high waist swimsuit bottom with side shirred details to highlight all the right places. Voda Swim’s padded swimsuit top technology is built into the tankini top, providing up to 2 cup sizes bust increase.
If you love the traditional bikini style, they also have a number of choices as well, with a wide variety of colors to choose from….
We also loved the beaded beach cover up dress, which they offer in four different vibrant colored designs. Think boho charm but with an elegant twist. It features a figure-flattering V-neck neckline plus a slim waist tie so you can adjust the fit as you please. We had to roll it up twice so far in a bag for travel and it barely had any wrinkles on the other side. Two thumbs up!
You can find out more about their offerings and how to order on their website.
We had an opportunity to take a look at a Loloi rug from the Zuma Collection recently. First of all, their designs are gorgeous and what originally drew us in to take a peak and after a peak, it’s hard not to go deeper.
We fell in love with their Pebble Stone rug from this collection which is available in countless sizes, from long runners and circular throw rugs, to 5×7’s, 8×10’s and even a larger 11.6×15.7 size for larger rooms. We were particularly drawn to the Zuma options because they’re so soft and inviting and exude all things natural.
Their rugs are stain-resistant, fade-resistant, and long-lasting. The Zuma Collection for Amber Lewis x Loloi features a soft pile in a serene grey, blue and ivory palette however Zuma also carries the Okeo-Tex label, ensuring the rug’s materials do not contain harmful substances.
Here are a few other colors and designs from their Zuma collection so you can get a sense of their range.
We loved the soft blue/gray and earth tones however if bold and vibrant colors are more your thing, then they have plenty of design and shape offerings to select from; take a look at these two from the Alameda (left) and Allure Shag (right) collections as an example. Fun, right? And, perfect for the holidays.
They’re also easy to clean as well. If your vacuum has variable power settings, they suggest setting it on low. Their rugs are made in India and crafted in what they call the ‘old-world way.’ Every step of the process—whether it be the dipdyeing of wool or the intricate task of weaving—is done by hand, as a way to keep this time-honored tradition alive.
Loloi teams up with GoodWeave, a non-profit company that audits their factories in India to ensure no child, forced, or bonded labor is used to make their rugs. Bravo!
Visit their website for more information including how to purchase a rug from either the Zuma Collection or the numerous others they offer.
Yoga Mats from Live Life Fuller
We came across Live Life Fuller in the late summer and were curious about their yoga mats, largely because they combine the chakra system with crystals and gemstones, all of which we love and integrate into our daily lives.
Let’s start with their yoga mat which includes the Iris flower in the crown chakra which comprises sugilite and citrine crystals, each thoughtfully chosen for their unique properties. Sugilite is meant to help one find their true path and reason for being, while golden citrine inspires enthusiasm and success. Together the stones pull us away from pain and toward healing and harmony. Beautiful right?
So fun, right? We love the quality as well.
Their other equally unique matt is called the Kunzite mat. Those of you who are new to Kunzite, it is meant to activate the heart center to improve the flow of inner joy, happiness while dispelling negativity.
What I love most about their yoga mats is not just the great quality of the product itself and the beautiful designs, but their intention, which is to inspire the knowledge of the chakra system in each and every one of us. After all, awareness is where it starts. More than 200 semiprecious stones and crystals were thoughtfully selected for their healing properties and lovingly placed to inspire the soul’s highest intention.
The mats are made in the United States and of non-toxic cellular vinyl, which is free of is BPA-free, latex-free and phthalate. Bravo! The collection was curated by artist Laura Fuller – stunning right? In addition to yoga mats, they also offer angels and chakra windows. For more information, visit their website.
Undiscovered Artisan Box
We were introduced to the Undiscovered Artistan Box this year from Novica. If you connect to all things Bali, then this is a gem you wont’ want to miss. Did you know that Bali is sometimes referred to as the Garden of the Gods?
What’s nice about this monthly subscription box offering is that you get to select from a variety of beautiful items that are all fair trade goods and plenty of customization options.
What initially drew us in was a beautifully designed colorful bag from Bali however the more we dove into the site, the more we realized just how many treasures they had.
For example, one gift you can select is a handcrafted wind chime (see left) by Trisna Dewi. We’ve always loved chimes and have a bunch of them that hang around our porch and patio. The pipes are aluminum, hung from a decorative curve of natural bamboo etched with botanical designs. Simply stunning.
Another item on the list is beautiful incense set from Balinese artisan, Dewa Putra. The set includes: a glazed green decorative ceramic holder for burning both incense sticks and cones, a box of nine sandalwood incense sticks, a box of nine jasmine incense sticks, and a pack of five sandalwood cones.
We also loved the colorful 100% cotton face masks designed by Balinese textile artisans, Hari and Arthur. Each handcrafted mask features a distinctive traditional batik design in shades of indigo and sepia, and flat elastic ear loops for comfort. There’s also a handcrafted candle option by Bali’s Dewa Putra which uses an eco-friendly, unscented blend of beeswax and palm wax.
In addition to gifts that are practical and be used in your home, they offer a soft, fluid cotton wrap robe, handcrafted by master batik artisan Nyoman Nadri in shades of blue and purple (btw, other colors/designs available as well). We opted for the one which features a hand-stamped midnight blue floral motif. This ever so fun short robe has two in-seam pockets and a matching belt. Gorgeous right?
For more information on how to subscribe and what’s involved, visit their website.
Functional what? A holiday gift guide wouldn’t be complete without a chocolate offering, would it? We recently discovered premium chocolate stacked with clinically researched ingredients and proven botanicals. That translates into chocolate bars that are made with Fair Trade 60% cacao from a cooperative of South American farmers. Crafted in the USA, the Functional Chocolate bars are 100% plant-based, vegan, dairy-free, non-GMO, cholesterol and gluten-free.
The packaging is gorgeous too isn’t it? They have curated confectionary concoctions designed to work synergistically with our bodies, spirits and lifestyles to solve everyday realities such as cramps, stress, hot flashes and more.
They incorporate premium ingredients from around the world – saffron from Turkey, acai berries from Brazil and natural flavorings developed in the US. They are committed to supply chain transparency and accountability — bravo bravo!!
They have a bunch of fun flavors with ingredients to assist our health, such as their Hot Chocolate, which is made of natural vanilla crème brûlée, which they refer to as their menopause formula, and their Sexy Chocolate (yes, really), which is made of champagne and berries (think Libido baby — gotta love it), and their Carefree Chocolate which is made of mellow mint truffle, said to be good for stress and anxiety. They also offer a Ginger Snap bar for PMS, Energy Chocolate with espresso and a Brainy Chocolate which consists of a zesty orange blend for calming the mind and assisting with focus. Then, there’s our favorite: the Blueberry Lavender Flavor which is for restful sleep.
Massage Gun by Ekrin Athletics
We recently had the opportunity to review the B37 Percussion Massager, which is apparently Ekrin Athletics‘ best selling product.
Sure, it’s a massage gun but it has some unique features built into its percussive therapy. The B37 Percussion Massager provides a deep muscle treatment that offers up to 56 pounds of force – wow, right? It also has an ultra-quiet technology built in for a calmer and more relaxing experience and has an elegant ergonomic design which we can’t say for all the massage guns we’ve reviewed in the past.
It’s signature 15 degree angled handle is a bit different than the standard T-shape of many other devices on the market. This angled handle allows for less wrist extension which enot only means less arm fatigue, but also the ability to target those hard to reach areas.
Their brushless motor is wrapped around proprietary sound insulation, creating a pleasantly quiet experience without sacrificing power.
There are five speeds (from 1,400 to 3,200 RPM) so whether you need deep percussive treatment, have sore or sensitive areas, or just want to activate muscles pre-workout, there are a variety of speeds calibrated depending on your need. There are four attachments and each massage head attachment is specifically designed with its shape and impact level for each area of the body. The add-ons include a flat massage head for overall use, the bullet for pinpoint treatment (hands, feet and knots), the round foam attachment which is great for large muscle groups and the fork, which is designed to treat the spine and the neck.
Then there’s the great battery life as well — up to eight hours and it’s easy to charge. If you spend a lot of time on airplanes, you know that lithium-ion batteries must be stored in carry-on baggage only. Once on the aircraft, all lithium batteries must be removed from the carry-on bag and kept with the passenger in the cabin.
For avid travelers, you’ll be happy to know that a carrying case is included as well. For more information, visit their website.
We thought that the MIRTHEMP Night Routine Bundle would be great to test out leading up to the winter season. It includes their full spectrum (1,000 mg CBD) for anxiety, inflammation and insomnia, their Anti-Wrinkle CBD lotion and their Deep Sleep Support supplements.
Their full spectrum CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, so it may help improve relaxation, joint relief, anxiety and depression, your overall immune system, with sleep and insomnia. Their Deep Sleep Support is designed to give similar benefits, but as a supplement, mainly to help promote a deep, restful sleep and sharpen your focus the next day.
The Anti-Wrinkle CBD Lotion with its 130 mg of CBD, is meant to reduce wrinkles and tighten skin. The antioxidants in CBD are one-way topical use helps lessen the visible signs of ageing. By counteracting free-radical damage and reducing the look of inflammation, CBD anti-ageing creams visibly diminish issues like wrinkles, skin dullness, and ruddy skin tone.
CBD, according to researchers, exerts potent antioxidant effects, so CBD-infused facial creams, eye serums, or anti-ageing facial creams can help boost collagen production while fighting reactive oxygen species-induced damage. The overall effect is toned skin, free from fine lines, wrinkles, and creases. The lotion also includes hemp oil, which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of ageing from developing. The American Academy of Dermatology also notes that topical CBD may be a useful treatment for acne, psoriasis, and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
All of their products are GMO-free and organically sourced. For more information, visit their website.
The Science of Mind
The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes, which includes the original 1926 edition and other essential works, makes for a great read on spiritual wisdom.
If you’re not familiar with Holmes, he was the founder of Religious Science, a key part of the New Thought movement and what would later come to be called the Centers for Spiritual Living. This newer published work (2021) includes three classic works: The Science of Mind, The Creative Mind, and The Creative Mind and Success.
This book is part of the Library of Spiritual Wisdom, which covers a bunch of esoteric topics including prosperity, motivation, the occult and metaphysical thought.
His writings have inspired many and helped to shape the guiding principles of the modern human potential movement, both spiritual and secular. You can find it on Amazon.
Chakras, Food and You
Chakras, Food, and You combines the understanding of our chakras and food, one of our favorite subjects. We loved seeing a book that actually merged the worlds of both spirituality and food under one roof.
In the beginning, you are asked to take a Chakra Type Quiz after which you will learn which foods and supplements, exercises, and movements mesh to tap into and invoke your individual body’s peak performance.
The book also offers suggested eating and lifestyle choices that assist you with that optimal performance and lifestyle.
Here’s an example based on the results of the quiz: if you are a third chakra thinker for example, they offer different suggestions and plan than if you resonate or tap into another. All twelve of the chakras listed in the book — Manifestor, Creator, Thinker, Relator, Communicator, Visualizer, Spiritualist, Mystic, Harmonizer, Naturalist, Commander and another –– go into detail so you can set up your own optimal game plan.
There are also suggestions on meditation, sleep protocols, stress-busters and self-care rituals and activities as well. Find it on Amazon.
Paul Selig’s latest book in the Beyond the Known Series, The Kingdom came out in 2021 and like his previous books, it’s a channeled book in unedited form.
The book shares a peak into the unknown, pushing readers to step beyond their own understanding and enter into the transformational work — you know, the internal work that we find challenging to embrace.
This is the type of transformational work that begs us to go inward and listen to our own soul’s calling.
We love the oneness and non-dual teachings of the book, which include messages like “a new world will be born, beyond fear, beyond acquiscence to fear, beyond the treason you have held against the Divine through your refuting of it. And the refusals to see the Divine in your fellow, in the world, in yourself, is the one pain that you continue to claim.”
The way we see it is that Divine — whatever that is for you — is the true essence of us as energy beings having a human experience. In better understanding that divinity in all living essences, we embrace a unity rather than a divisiveness which of course is one embraced by love and connection not anxiety, doubt and humanity’s worst enemy: fear. There’s an entire chapter on fear entitled: The Act of Fear. As written in this chapter, “the structure of fear, the claim of fear, the mandate of fear, is indeed separation, and as you move beyond fear as a system of agreement — something you expect, anticipate and align to — you are liberated in ways you can’t understand.”
This isn’t unlike the ancient esoteric wisdom from thousands of years ago, however reported in more modern terms as a way to apply it to the here-and-now. If you’re new to channeled work, then this may be a huge eye opener, but if you’ve already experienced other books of its ilk, then the teachings and ancient wisdom will simply be an extension of your spiritual journey.
You can find it on Amazon here.
An End to Upside Down Living
We love Mark Gober’s work. His second book An End to Upside Down Living follows on perfectly from his first one: An End to Upside Down Thinking. In some ways, it starts where the previous one left off. Gober builds a science-based worldview from which we can create a compass for living. In stark contrast to his prior belief system, Gober explains why life hash meaning. From this perspective, he lays out how we might approach life accordingly, along with the well-traveled “awakening” path that we’re likely to encounter. Simply put: at this pivotal juncture in human history, approaching life in a new way is the antidote that our civilization desperately needs.
Says Buddha at the Gas Pump’s Rick Archer of the book, “Knowledge based on faulty or incomplete paradigms is necessarily flawed (geocentric astronomy, medicine before germ theory, physics before Newton, Einstein, and Schrödinger). If they consider consciousness at all, modern sciences assume that it is an epiphenomenon of brain functioning. If, as Mark Gober convincingly argues, consciousness is the foundation of the universe, then it is the foundation of all fields of knowledge, as well as their applications.”
Hear hear. The book will bring a whole lotta cognitive dissonance as you go through it page-by-page. In other words, it will get you to rethink everything you’ve ever been taught, conditioned to belief or thought to be held as an only “truth.” Not to be missed. Find it on Amazon.
Green Witch Magick
This fun ready by Susan Ilka Tuttle offer a great guide to the healing properties and powers of plants and all things green.
Truth be told, plants hold sustenance, medicine, and wisdom which offer us healing if we use them correctly.
Tuttle is an herbalist who shows you how to forage, grow, and work with the plants integral to healing and holistic life.
The book shows you how to ethically forage and harvest plants, set up a herbal garden, work with both wild and cultivated plants in concert with natural cycles and co-create with plant allies to make natural remedies, recipes and elixirs and more.
Did you know that plants associated with the moon are connected to sleep, intuition, and lucid dreams while plants connected with the element of Air are connected with psychic powers, intellect, and wisdom?
It makes for a great holiday gift for people who are into nature, gardening and working with the natural world for health and well-being. You can order it on Amazon.
Did you miss last year’s goodies? Take a look at our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide as well.