Yup, it’s that time of year again….a time when we explore new areas, identify new products and services and ideas that will be useful for and spark the Holiday Season. Join us in our picks for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide.
Fashion & Gear
Sea Bags from Maine
We discovered these fabulous (and durable) travel totes from Sea Bags. Infused with New England flare in every way, their bags depict everything from anchors and sails to boats, flags and travel symbols.
We were drawn to the Casco Bay Nautical Chart Tote which serves as an artistic way to keep Portland Maine close to your heart. Featuring a detailed illustration of Casco Bay on the one-of-a-kind recycled sail cloth, you can locate favorite islands, beaches, and landmarks. Like the other Sea Bags, it is printed on recycled sails.
The bag has hand-spliced hemp rope handles, a white interior liner and has the option of a closure or without and you can get a zipped pocket on the inside too as an additional option. It’s easy to care for and can be thrown into the machine for washing. It comes in both a medium (14″h x 5.5″w x 14″) and Large (14″h x 6″w x 18″) size depending on your needs and can be found over on their website.
prAna is a sustainable brand that uses organic cotton and recycled fabrics as they aim to help the planet — read more about their sustainable practice here. Like many of the items in our holiday gift guide, they sent us a few items to review but were thrilled because it’s a new brand for us and we hadn’t heard of them before.
We love their cozy, comfy outwear for winter, so perfect for the holidays. Their fleece pullovers for women are so soft and we love their neutral colors, making them ideal for avid travelers.
They come in soft colors as well so there are plenty of options to choose from on their site.
They also have lovely sweaters, even reversible ones which all travelers love for the versatility in one item of clothing — great when you have limited space in your suitcase. A lot of the clothing from prAna is a relaxed fit as well, even their coats. Our favorite is the Calla Jacket which comes in a long and short length and in three great colors: bone/white, green and a deep rich brown (shown below).
The Calla jacket for women features a full length front zipper, a removable faux fur hood, hand warmer pockets in the front and is made from a recycled wool blend. Perfect for winter, it is insulated with 100 grams of highloft, has beautiful accents and binding and an interior drop pocket.
For more information on prAna, visit their website. We Blog the World readers can get a 15% discount on prAna items when you shop online. Use code WPRBF18 to apply the discount.
32 Degrees Clothing
The ultra light down packable jacket from 32 Degrees Clothing comes in 12 fun colors, is ultra soft and perfect for traveling. Each jacket comes with a matching packable pouch, its exterior is nylon but it is filled with a combo of down and polyester for extra warmth. We love that there’s a detachable hood, two side pockets and a full front zip closure. You can also just toss this gem in the washer so it’s easy to care for and clean as well.
For men, they have great pullovers — stylish, warm and comfortable. This fleece tech pullover with a quarter zip comes in five fabulous colors and is a great choice for those colder months. There’s two side zipper pockets and it is made in a polyester, rayon and spandex blend with breathable neoprene, making it a great choice for activities as well. It will feel as if you’re in a sweatshirt, but one with style and elegance.
Our favorite for the season is their Women’s Fleece Tech Lined Jacket, which comes in a Sangria Berry, a Winter Forest Green and Black. This is an amazing option for skiers and anyone wanting a layer underneath a main jacket during those brrrr cold winter months. Like the men’s pullover, it’s in a comfy polyester, rayon and spandex blend and has two hidden zip pockets, adding to its chic and epic look.
More information including how to order can be found on their website.
We love reviewing luggage and it’s been awhile, so was thrilled to get a couple of pieces in from Heys, one of our favorite brands. One of their cool new features is the inclusion of an integrated digital scale for weighing your luggage on the go. How useful is that, especially if you travel a lot?
This series of luggage which is called “Charge a Weigh” comes in 3 stylish and fun colors: red, a tan/taupe, which we went with and black.
You can get them separately, i.e., as a 21 inch carry on versus larger checked piece or as a 3 piece set. This lightweight hybrid design combines the strength and support of a hardside luggage with the convenience and functionality of softside pockets, a feature we really love as frequent travelers.
There’s diamond embossing on a hardside surface which helps prevent surface scratches and scuff marks and it also has a fully-lined interior comes with buckled compression strap and multiple pockets. Another useful feature is a flush-mounted built-in TSA combination lock.
Even though it’s hard luggage, its zipper-released expansion system allows for an extra 20% in packing capacity, which is the best of both worlds. Their hands (top and side) are both gel cushioned for extra comfort and there’s a lightweight aluminum telescopic trolley system that has a push button locking system.
Another feature this series comes with, which is a MUST for any travelers is the 360° spinner wheels. For anyone who is still using a roller bag that you have to pull behind you with effort, it’s time to switch out for a Heys 360° luggage set — and they offer so many different styles and options, that you won’t have a problem finding one that suits your taste and needs.
These fluid wheels allow for effortless motion in different terrains or if you’re like me, running through an airport quickly rushing for a flight. The bag simply glides with ease alongside you.
The 30 inch model weighs in at 11.9 pounds and the 21 inch is 7.7 pounds to give you an idea of weight sizes for planning purposes. For more information on their latest models and how to order for the U.S. market, visit the Heys America website and their main website is here.
Cherry DW-3000 USB Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Deskset
When you’re a mobile warrior, a wireless keyboard and mouse is a must. We hadn’t heard of Cherry before recently so when they offered to send out a few products, we were excited to test them out.
Cherry’s wireless keyboard and mouse set is a great option for the holidays — first, it’s elegant and compact but also comfortable to the touch.
Secondly, we love the design and it’s at a great price. You can find the set over on Amazon.
Cherry MW 4500 Mouse
Cherry also offers a wireless mouse with a scroll wheel. It offers 6 buttons you can program on the mouse, making it a great option if you’re a power user like I am.
The mouse is roughly 4.5 x 2.4 by 1×4 inches and only weighs around 4.2 ounces, making it easy to also take on a trip. It makes a great stocking stuffer and you can buy the Cherry MW 4500 wireless mouse over on Amazon.
Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST & Wonderboom Speakers
The MEGABLAST from Ultimate Ears is apparently their biggest and loudest speaker offering. Their MEGABLAST speaker boasts 360° of intensely rich sound with clarity and deep, heart-pounding bass. It’s a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker which connects to Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer and Spotify. You can also check the weather, control smart home devices, and enjoy any number of Alexa’s crazy skills, other great features.
Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is is also waterproof making it a godsend for travel adventure enthusiasts. Think: pool, beach, boating, skiing, parties and beyond. It’s rugged and portable and we absolutely love that it has a 16-hour battery life, which we think is one of its biggest benefits.
Wi-Fi network and a compatible Android or iOS mobile device required. Minimum OS requirements are iOS 10.2 or Android 5.0. Multiple microphones with beam forming technology and noise cancellation enable a smooth far field voice recognition and control experience. It comes in a gray, vivid blue, merlot red and white and is priced at around at around $250.
Their approach is made possible by a digital consciousness technology they utilize, which optimizes five layers of each person through a state-of-the art technology of human consciousness. So, what does this mean?
One of the reasons we were really excited about Yeticaster is because it allows anyone to set up a podcast and have a voice on whatever topic you’re passionate about. The Yeticaster delivers the ultimate broadcast studio setup to your desktop.
Yeticaster features something they call Yeti, the world’s #1 USB microphone, which includes a Radius III shockmount and the Compass premium broadcast boom arm. With this system, you have everything you need for professional podcasting, game streaming and voice-over work. How cool to transform your desktop into a broadcast studio.
Spirituality & Consciousness
Golden Lotus Malas
We discovered Golden Lotus Malas which has an Etsy store as well as their own website and they were gracious enough to some us some items to review for this guide. While I’m typically not a “red” fan and gravitate to more earth colors than brighter ones, I was drawn to this Carnelian Mala.
This mala features 108 Carnelian gemstones and Tiger Eye interval spacers in the Tibetan style with a brown tassel. For those new to stones, Carnelian grounds and anchors you in the present reality. A high energy, stabilizing stone, Carnelian is excellent for restoring vitality, motivation, and inspiring creativity.
It is also said to promote courage, positive life choices, dispels apathy, and motivates for success in business and other matters. And, tiger’s Eye balances yin-yang and energizes the emotional body, alleviates depression and lifts moods.
One of the many things we love about this creative line is that they offer so many choices of malas and gemstone combos. For example, you can even choose malas based on what you’re trying to create in your life: harmony, creativity, compassion, or love for example.
In addition to malas, they also offer a variety of bracelets as well. We LOVE this line. Visit their Etsy store for more details and how to order.
Chakra Healing Grid by Trikona Creations
We were really drawn to this Chakra Healing Grid by Trikona Creations who has a great shop over on Etsy.
Their chakra healing crystal grids are 12 inches in diameter and have been carefully handcrafted from natural hardwoods. Included with the grid are pyramids in quartz, crystals, lapis lazuli, amethyst, red jasper and aventurine. The chakra grid’s purpose serves to energize and balance the body’s seven chakras through the natural healing properties of the crystals. All items are cleansed and charged with Reiki energy.
It comes in three different finishes: Maple (shown below), Padauk (shown above) and something they refer to as Purple Heart.
The craftsmanship is gorgeous and we feel that it couldn’t make a more perfect holiday gift item. We also love that Trikona Creations donates 10% to a scholarship fund that supports consciousness. Bravo!
Wanting to take a road trip across the United States? Those familiar with doing so know about America’s classic Route 66. There’s a new book out by Amy Bizzarri called The Best Hits on Route 66.
As a Route 66 expert and enthusiast, Amy provides a comprehensive list of 100 unique stops that you’ll want to take a moment to explore as you journey over 2,500 miles across the United States. The Best Hits on Route 66 also includes specialized itineraries with themes that make it easier than ever to plan a road trip to remember. Newly available, you can find it on Amazon.
If you’re on a spiritual path or interested in higher consciousness, here are some great reads for the holidays. The Golden Sequence, a Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity by Jonni Pollard dives into the core meaning of what it means to be human and how to tap back into our core and be truly fulfilled. The Golden Sequence helps you on your path especially if you are going through a tough transition and feel alone in your everyday stresses.
The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman is a wonderful book that provides shamanic wisdom and sacred rituals for everyday life. We LOVE this book as it is a basic but profound look at the power of ceremony and how it is a central part of human life and spiritual practice — let’s not lose it the author argues. You can find it over on Amazon.
Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile and Angels, Spirit Guides & Goddesses by Susan Gregg which we have both in hardback are must haves for your collection if you identify with being a healer or a witch in a past life (that’d be many of you Celtic Goddesses and creative ones). Life Magic for Dark Times provides rituals, spells and practices for coping in a crisis whereas Angels, Spirit Guides & Goddesses is an illustrated guide to 100 celestial helpers who can help provide guidance and how to tap into their power and assistance.
Trans-Scalar Healing by Howard F. Batie (we only just discovered his work so will be diving into his books soon) is a wonderful read on holistic healing for self, others and Gaia. Easy to get over on Amazon, this book takes a beautiful look at how to use an innovative holistic energy healing technique to heal — his book outlines intentional visualization and focused breathwork to access higher states of awareness.
You can find out more about Howard’s work and his other books over on his website, such as The Art of Metaphysical Communication, Spiritual Journeys and others.
Lastly, The Ultimate Guide to Chakras by Athena Perrakis, Ph.D. is a great beginners guide choice for those interested in learning about balancing, healing and unblocking your chakras for health and positive energy. Each chapter includes exercises for accessing the energy of each chakra, including meditations, journal exercises and working with goddesses and spirit guides. We love the illustrations as well. You can grab it over on Amazon.
Fun Books For Kids
Fun for kids are some new books we discovered around animals. What a better way to teach kids an appreciation for animals and to educate them about different species? Beautifully illustrated, they are a perfect addition to any child’s book collection.
For example, Counting Birds by Heidi E.Y. Stemple (illustrated by Clover Robin) and We Build Our Homes by Laura Knowles and Chris Madden are creative and inspiring books for kids. Who are you calling Weird by Marilyn Singer and Paul Daviz celebrates strange and wonderful animals. One of our favorites is Perfectly Peculiar Plants by Chris Thorogood (illustrated by Catell Ronca) which you can find over on Amazon.
When Whales Walked by Dougal Dixon (illustrated by Hannah Bailey) has some beautiful illustrations of crocodiles, snakes, giant birds, elephants and more and is also available on Amazon. Also new this season is Marine Animals of the World by Juan Carlos Alonso, which is a must have for marine animal lovers. Quite frankly, as adults, we love this one too.
Note: we were sent products and clothing to review, but there was no financial compensation given — products were simply sent to review. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.