WBTW’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

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It’s that time of year again. It‘s a time that we love for so many reasons — people are in a giving mood, there are plenty of gatherings and parties, we get to bake our favorite pies and make our favorite festive dishes and of course see friends and family we haven’t seen in a long time. We also look forward to gathering fun products and services for our annual gift guide. Here are some of our interesting finds for 2019. Enjoy!

Wines from Sweetwine Club

We had an opportunity to test out Riboli wines recently which actually come in gift boxes as well, which are perfect for the holidaysHand-selected and limited edition wines only available to Sweetwine Club members receive three bottles of wine four times a year. You receive a free gift with every shipment, along with recipes and food pairings. What else is cool is that they donate one year of clean water to a person in need for every box delivered.

We tried their Fall box selection which included some fun sweet wines that are great for the holiday such as Stella Rosa Pineapple and Peach. We love that they include handy recipes for the wines….combinations I never would have thought of otherwise. And they’re all so stylin’ with beautiful garnishings as well.

Fall selection box holiday gift guide

Fall selection box

There are plenty of choices of course including sparkling and reds.

We reviewed the Maddalena Riesling because Anthony is a fan of sweeter wines, and this semi-sweet white from Monterey is all about apricot, apple, pear, honey and wildflowers.  We were also curious about their Chocolate Port Wine to serve with desserts.

Their Chocolate Bar Chocolate Port  is divine. We served it with dark chocolate after a steak and salad dinner. It also goes well with hazelnuts or salted cashews. For more information, visit Sweet Wine Club — it makes a great holiday present.

Burkley Phone Cases

We’ve always loved the Burkley brand from the early days and we’ve been following their updates for awhile now. Although we are still a version or two behind the new iPhone 11, they offer beautiful leather cases for iPhone versions that go back to iPhone 7. They also have products for Google, AppleWatch, Samsung Galaxy, tablets and more. Their Carson Magnetic Detachable Leather cases are our favorites — we love that the iPhone is removable but securely stays in place when its inside the case. There’s a magnetic closure as well as card slots inside for money, credit cards and business cards.

The Burkley Carson Magnetic Detachable Leather case in Pebble Black

It also comes in an Antique brown, a Burnished Tan, Red and an Antique Golden Brown — beautiful right?

And, look at the richness of the leather.

If you do happen to have an iPhone 11, there are a ton more options for colors, textures and styles. Burkley also offers leather sleeves as well as wallets so there are plenty of gift options for anyone you need to buy for this holiday season.

Just a few of the case options for the iPhone 11

For more information, visit their website for their latest collections for all phones.

Sacred Geometry Healing Discs

We met Barbara Evans, the creator of these beautiful Healing Discs at New Living Expo earlier this year, an event we love to attend every year in the SF Bay Area. She has 11 healing discs, which were all created from Barbara’s Chakra Key paintings, one disc for each of the Seven Major Chakras, plus the Soul Star, Stellar Gateway, High Heart and Earth Star Chakras. Each Chakra Healing Disc is designed to “speak to us” at the cellular level to enhance our well-being on every level across Body, Mind and Spirit.

These discs transmit high vibrational frequencies to clear, balance, activate and refine the entire Chakra System. And, according to Barbara, they set the vibrations for healing, providing energetic and spiritual support to facilitate deep connection with our inner essence, activate our gifts and ignite our true potential. You’re probably wondering what that means in reality and in more layman’s terms.

How can that help you in your every day life? Essentially, the discs are designed to provide high vibrational healing energy to balance refine and heal the Chakras, so even if you’re not a health practitioner or energy healer, simply gazing into a disc helps to attune with the essence and intention that it holds. You can also use them to amplify innate healing ability by placing on the body or moving them intuitively through the energy field. They’re also just beautiful to look at, so you can place them in your home and they create a relaxing calming effect. You can purchase them over on Barbara’s website (as a set or individually).

She also has the most beautiful silk scarves that make a great holiday gift.  This exquisite line of silk scarves combines the luxury of pure Silk Crepe de Chine with the beauty and high vibrational energies that epitomize Barbara’s sacred geometry-based designs. So yes, she actually builds her sacred geometry paintings into the scarves.  Each scarf is 52” square and there are five designs to choose from.

They feel luxurious and soft and have a unique sacred geometry imprint as well, using fun and vibrant colors, sure to cheer anyone up.

Cannabath Products

We are new to the Cannabath line and were interested in reviewing some of their products focused on muscle relief and relaxation. For example, their Muscle Relief Bath Salts are an all natural bath salt soak with a unique blend of therapeutic grade essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus oils to help ease the aches and pain from everyday stress. Included is about 250 mg of hemp based CBD per bag. Their products have no artificial ingredients and are all natural, specially formulated for sensitive skin.

Their sleep bombs also come in a variety of choices — our favorite is their lavender and CBD infused bath bomb which contains approx 60 mg CBD and is sulphate free. This product is specially formulated for sensitive skin and helps reduce pain and inflammation. It also has a soothing effect on dry skin and helps promote better sleep. Also in their sleep bombs are fractionated coconut oil, witch hazel and soothing Epsom salts, which we’re huge fans of for relaxation and clearing energies. They offer an exfoliating body wash as well.

We are also fans of their CBD muscle rub (below left) which helps to ease chronic aches and pains. Their all natural muscle rub contains 200 mg of hemp based CBD per bottle combined with essential peppermint and eucalyptus oils.  Alternatively, their regular body lotion (below right) includes hydrating organic Aloe Vera, coconut oil, shea butter, organic vanilla bean and hemp-derived CBD.

They also offer bath pillows which make great stocking stuffers and they come in a couple fun colors as well as white.

Canna Bath Co is a woman owned business which has combined their dedication to holistic wellness with their background in cultivating medical marijuana massage/aroma therapy to create natural, perfume-free products. They assert that their essential oils and CBD are therapeutic grade and are tested for quality and potency.  For more information on their line of products and how to order, be sure to visit their website.

MyCharge

We absolutely love the Razor line from MyCharge. The super chic and elegant RazorMega is our favorite — it comes in a few neutral colors however we love the deep rich dark blue. The RazorMega portable external battery will charge some smartphones up to 13.5 times.The  portable powerbank features three total USBports, 2 USB-A ports, and 1 USB-C port and is a great option (and gift idea) for anyone who has a need to charge multiple devices. It can be used for small laptops, tablets and smartphones. 

We are fans of their beautiful design — there are so many tech products and accessories that seem to be designed by men for men, so we are always excited to find one which is both elegant and sophisticated, as as this RazorMega portable charger.

 

Then there’s the RazorUltra from MyCharge, which is crafted from anodized aluminum. It is said to be one of the most powerful portable chargers in the myCharge lineup. The RazorUltra has a 3.4A shared output and can power two tablets simultaneously. With 90 extra hours of power, the RazorUltra boosts enough keep your devices powered during a weekend road trip, which is great for long weekend getaways. It provides up to 7x extra battery, two built-in USB ports and is perfect for tablets and smartphones.

For the more adventurous traveler, they have several offerings for rugged and extreme conditions as well. Check out their website for all of their solutions, including accessories and how to order.

Good Chocolate

We fell upon Good Chocolate on Instagram. Little did we know when we first discovered the brand that they’re based in San Francisco and that their products have no sugar, which is so perfect for our readers, who embrace all things healthy and organic, but don’t want to give up the finer things in life.

All of the ingredients are organic, including the exquisite cacao nibs, Erythritol, Cacao butter, Ginger root, Mesquite powder, Stevia and vanillaan. A friend of ours who isn’t a Stevia fan (for taste alone) loved the square we gave her to test out so much so that she was surprised that Stevia was added.  They offer them in squares as well as full sized bars.

They’re currently offering a great gift combo of their squares so you can ‘gift‘ a variety of flavors: Dark, Mint, Almond, Ginger, Salt and Milk.  And, their prices are so reasonable, it’s an easy YES for any gift — they would also make great stocking stuffers for your loved ones including kids, but without the sugar.

Our favorites? Himalayan Salt and Salted Almonds, both of which have 65% dark chocolate and get this: only 1 gram of net carb.  

In addition to squares, they offer bars. They come packaged in a cardboard box, making it easy to store them. We entertain a lot and don’t always have time to prepare something elaborate for dessert. An easy solution that doesn’t require any time and always goes down well is an organic vanilla frozen yoghurt topped with chocolate. We cut up a few of the bars into little squares and sprinkled them on top. Add just a mint leaf and it also makes for a beautiful presentation.

I bet many of you don’t realize that there are over 61 different names for sugar used on food labels, such as Agave, Honey and Dextrin. We love the fact that The Good Chocolate contains none of them. Instead, they use a curated sweet-blend that is 100% organic and sourced from fruits & plants: Mesquite powder, Stevia & Erythritol. With no added sugar, Theobromine, the long-lasting active ingredient in chocolate, can do its magic without interruption by sugar‘s highs and lows. Theobromine lowers heart rate, dilates arteries, improves blood flow to our brain, raising concentration levels.

Additionally, The Good Chocolate has on average 37% fewer calories than other leading chocolates made without sugar. Even compared to other leading chocolate bars made-without-sugar, The Good Chocolate is on average 20% lower in calories. Head on over to their website for more information about them, their flavors and how to order.

Sacred Woman Gift Box

We came across Sacred Woman Gathering and Sacred Woman Retreats recently and learned about their special gift box specifically for women, or you could say the Goddess in all of us. They designed the box to make it easy for you to create your own sanctuary for sacred connection. In other words, they include items you can use to host your own Sacred Woman Gathering.

Everything in your box is woman-made by hand in Los Angeles with love and intention, including this limited-edition wooden box. We loved the idea so much, we wanted to test it out and see for ourselves n>and besides, it is such an amazing idea as a gift for the holiday season.

Inside the gift box there’s a hand sculpted goddess, a  ceramic tray with a Palo Santo bundle for clearing energy, a talking stick made from driftwood collected on Whidbey Island (we love this place), a hand poured soy candle with clear quartz and lightly scented with essential oils of cedar and sweet orange , an instruction booklet with a precious cover and a Selenite Tower made by mama Earth. (btw, Selenite is powerful for all sorts of things, but in particular, it can be used for protection, but also for balance, harmony and peace.

This particular Selenite tower is a great size for any altar btw and we often use them in creating our crystal grid boards as well as when we hold circles. It is known for cleansing negative energies which can build up over time as well, both within the physical and etheric body. And, for those not familiar with Palo Santo, it is used around the world for energy cleansing and healing and is often used in conjunction with Sage and Cedar. You’ll find it used in South America and Mexicoan> quite a bit — it’s great for raising your vibratpan>ion as well as enhancing creativity.

Behind the magic at Sacred Woman Retreats are Tia Tuenge and Staci Levine. For more information about them, their retreats and gatherings and their unique gift bundle, visit their website.

Hopsy SUB Home Tap Draft System

HOPSY is a cool system that allows you to pour premium beer at home. We were given the opportunity to review HOPSY‘sSUB Home Tap Draft System as well as six different types of beer, so we were excited to put it to the test.

Think of it as a plug-and-pour appliance that sits right on your countertop, and only needs a plug to work. You don’t need a CO2 cartridge or know anything about making beer — you simply slide your Hopsy minikegs in the SUB and pour a fresh draft beer! The first thought that Anthony had when it arrived was: “how does it stay cold?” He likes his beer very cold and so….

It turns out that the SUB also includes its own refrigeration system and keeps your beer fresh and ready to go at all time, so it‘s cold when you‘re ready to pour!

They offer a variety of different types of beer to choose from, so they have nearly every taste covered, including IPAs, Lagers, Stouts and Pilsner. I’m a huge fan of Stouts and Anthony loves his IPAs, so we got both.  They work directly with top breweries of the country to source some of the best beers — they also offer access to their limited releases as well which we were thrilled to learn. They select your beers based on your preferences but also give you the flexibility to make changes and order anything from their menu directly. You can enjoy a rotating selection of beers each month or select your favorite go-to’s!!

Their mini-kegs are shipped completely pressurized – this means they’re shelf-stable (without refrigeration) for 30 days. In other words, they arrive cold. There are no contracts, commitments, service charges or fees — this was one of the first questions that friends asked when we brought out the system. You can cancel your plan at any time.  You can also swap beers in your upcoming shipment by visiting your Club Preferences page (when logged in to your account).

For more information on how it works and how to order, visit their website.

Collective Hearts Jewelry

The Heart of Gold necklaces from Collective Hearts Jewelry are so precious. Their signature heart necklace is the size of your actual heart. The idea is that when you put on a heart necklace in the morning, you remind yourself of your promise to lead a heart-centered life. We love the idea of this. Handcrafted in Northern California, the 3 inch heart is made of 14k gold-filled and the 16 inch chain is actually adjustable with a two inch extender. 

They offer a variety of other heart necklaces to choose from (silver and gold) as well as gold filled. For example, there are several heart necklaces with a similar design, with different colors and stones. This Gold Luminous in Sunkissed heart necklace is a limited edition collaboration with designer Caitlin Greene.

The embedded crystals are meant to help increase feelings of confidence and courage. It is 14k gold-filled with warm honey crystals and like most of their offerings, there’s an extender. We love that every purchase contributes to the Jacmel Children’s Center in Haiti.

They also offer the heart necklaces with pyrite stones on the inside, mixed metal, and one they refer to as moonlight. They also offer petit heart hoops and Heart Hoops which come in both sterling silver and gold.  They’re super lightweight and are roughly two inches in diameter. They include a 100% recycled paper heart, embedded with wildflower seeds with every order.

For more information on their jewelry range and to purchase, visit their website.

TEP Wireless

If you’ve been traveling for awhile, chances are that you’ve purchased SIM cards for phone coverage while on the road and/or spent a chunk of time in hotel lobbies and Internet cafes. Why not have a handy mobile wireless device you can travel with, which will allow you to get coverage wherever and whenever you need it. Think: buses, trains, destinations, parks, adventure activities, the beach and more.

We ran across TEP Wireless prior to our most recent Japan trip this fall and they offer something they refer to as a Teppy, which is also known as a pocket wifi, MiFi, wireless dongle, global / mobile hotspot. The cool thing about these Teppy’s is that they work and operate similarly to your wireless router at home. When turned on, it creates a wireless hotspot which anyone in the vicinity can connect to, assuming they have the password of course.

The beautiful thing about the Teppy wireless hotspot device is that it is designed for travelers — in other words, it’s small and portable (it fits in your pocket), it doesn’t require any setup, cables or installation, and works seamlessly over the world. You simply turn on and connect! And so, we decided to test it out in Japan and do so again later this fall on a couple more trips.

TEP Wireless partners with the biggest network operators worldwide to ensure that you always have the best and fastest connections available to you. While there will always be great coverage in “populated” areas, (i.e. cities and towns), if you are traveling to exceptionally rural or uninhabited areas (such as the Swiss Alps for example), they recommend you ask them in advance to ensure you’ll have coverage in that area. 

Teppy Tep Wireless

TEP Wireless on our train ride from Tokyo to Nikko – it worked like a charm!

The cool news is that they offer a few different pricing options depending on your travel needs. You can get 3G or 4G speed access and use either 1 GB of data or up to 3 GB of data with their Regional Explore plan. Regardless of what plan you go with, you can connect up to five different devices to one Teppy.

Please note that the connection speed will be shared among each device connected, so having five devices connected at the same time could result in noticeable speed slowdown. Be sure to check out their website for more information including how to order and get set up before your next trip.

PaMu Slide Mini

We decided to test out the TWS earphones from PaMu. The PaMu Slide Mini has incredible sound quality for the size of the device as well as a long battery life, which is often an annoying factor in many Bluetooth earphones. It touts 30 hours of playtime and what’s sweet for travelers is how compact the charging case which simultaneously acts as a carrying case. It’s also super lightweight as well.

The hearing grade is meant to be the most advanced at QCC3020 and it offers extra bass with crisp mids and highs. It is ergonomically designed to stay in your ears and it’s both IPX6 water-resistant as well as sweat resistant.  This makes them particularly appealing to adventure seekers, whether on or off the road — they’re also great for sports. They offer quite a few robust features — have a look! 

The carry case can be charged via TYPE-C or a Qi wireless charger and in only five minutes of charging time, you can yield about an hour of listening time. And, just look at how small they are as well — super convenient when you’re on the go!

They offer two ways to charge.  PaMu Slide Mini is made by the folks at Padmate and you can find out more about them and their product offers here (where you can order as well).

 

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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