Category Archives: family

Guest post: 7 Marvelous Mother’s Day Gifts Under $100

Are you ready for Mother’s Day?  It’s Sunday.  Yes, two days from now.  Did you forget?  Let me assure you, your mother-figure did not forget to watch you grow, deal with your teen angst, walk you through many firsts.  If you need ideas, Merilee Kern has them.  Check out this guest post and run with it.  Kids, if you’re reading this, I could use a waffle iron. 

7 Marvelous Mother’s Day Gifts Under $100

By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

According to the National Retail Federation, Mother’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average of $186.39 for the holiday, up from last year’s $172.22. That’s a lot of retail-driven adoration. From food to flowers to frocks, well-intentioned gifters are indelibly on the hunt for that perfect present that’ll light up Mom’s face and warm her heart—not just on Mother’s Day but, optimally, all year through. Towards this end, here’s an apt assortment of gift ideas priced under $100 that she can enjoy on the daily.

The Kennedy Tote from RuMe (www.MyRume.com) – $14.95

Photo courtesy of RuMe

The Kennedy Tote from RuMe (pronounced “Room-ey”) is a stylish tote that’s great for the woman on-the-go. Available in 27 unique patterns and colors, these trendy bags are designed with extra-long vegan leather handles to ensure it’s comfortable to carry over your shoulder, and boast a durable polyester body sure to stand the test of time. The Kennedy Tote is the perfect size for Mom to fit everything from laptops and tablets, to library books, clothes and even those random toys and snacks that always seem to make their way into her bag. It’s bigger than the average purse, but not so big that it’s overwhelming. The Kennedy Tote is handmade in the USA and all are made to order. With this, Mom can leave that boring canvas tote at home and rock some style-sense!

Photo courtesy of Topcor LLC
Photo courtesy of Topcor LLC

Clipa Bag Hanger (www.Clipa.us) – $15.99
While Mom is out and about, give you an easy and attractive way to secure her Kennedy Tote or any other stylish handbag off the dirty floor—especially in restaurants, bathrooms, movie theaters and other public places. Clipa, which means “instant” in Romanian, is a decidedly fashionable, USA-made handbag hanger that goes on—not in—the bag for quick and easy use at any time. This strong, circular purse hanger is designed for heavy bags—it can actually hold up to 33 pounds! It’ll keep her handbag off the ground or floor, safe from germs and filth. It works in seconds. Simply open and place on the bag strap to have whenever needed. To use, just open one end and hang. When finished, just pull the strap and Clipa automatically closes and slides back onto the bag. The new Clipa2 is a lighter and sleeker model that works in more places including thicker countertops and tables. It’s ideal for bathroom stall doors and walls, shopping carts even rails. Also durable, it’s been tested to last for 10 years of daily use. Also fashion-adaptable, Clipa comes in a variety of colors, designs, and metals including matte and polished, hematite, gold, and silver. I’ve used a variety of handbag hangers and Clipa is by far the most versatile and durable.

Heat Holders Ladies Lounge Socks with Heart Grip (www.HeatHolders.com) – $17.99

Photo courtesy of Heat Holders
Photo courtesy of Heat Holders

This spring and summer, Mom will surely love staying warm and cozy with fashionable Heat Holders’ Lounge Socks—especially when ensconced in a chilly, air-conditioned environment. This short ankle length slipper-style sock with turn over cuffs is ideal for lounging around the home. Perfect to express your love for mom, they include cute heart shaped non-slip grippers on the bottom to provide better traction on hard indoor surfaces like wood or tile. Thick and chunky with long pile cushioning, these thermal socks help keep feet fully comfortable and supported. The inside of each sock has been intensively brushed, which makes it not only feel sensationally soft but also traps warm air close to the skin keeping feet warmer for longer. Wrapped in a pretty ribbon that says “Just for you”, these socks (available in stripe or solid patterns) make a thoughtful gift she’ll use time and time again.

BELLA Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker (www.BellaHousewares.com) – $29.99

Photo courtesy of
BELLA Housewares


Perfect for those culinary Moms who love to impress and indulge, the new BELLA Ceramic Copper Titanium rotating Belgian waffle maker will surely be well-received. With it, Mom and the whole family can enjoy 1″ thick crisp and fluffy restaurant quality Belgian waffles at home in mere minutes. The true non-stick coating allows the use of any batter desired—so she can get super creative! This enduring appliance has a unique ceramic non-stick coating that is 8 times more durable and cooks up to 30% faster than standard non-stick coatings. This ultra-durable coating is actually reinforced with titanium for outstanding resilience and resistance to metal utensils, resisting scratches and scuffs. It’s even a healthy “eco-coating” as it doesn’t contain lead or cadmium and is also PTFE and PFOA free. Mom will also appreciate the space saving design with a folding handle that allows for convenient storage, along with the drip tray making cleaning a breeze.

CRUX Toaster Oven with Convection (www.CruxKitchen.com) – $79.99

Photo courtesy of Crux Kitchen


Moms are constantly looking for ways to make cooking simpler. The CRUX Toaster Oven with Convection function is one easy way to improve and expedite her cooking efforts and is a practical gift she’s certain to appreciate. This device delivers faster, more even heating and also maintains enhanced temperature accuracy. In all, the highly uniform heating profile without hot-spots yields fantastic toasting results. And, the large 17-liter capacity holds up to six slices of bread or a 12” pizza. Other notable features of the CRUX Toaster oven include 700-watt heating elements that preheat quickly and cook efficiently; bake, broil, bagel, toast and warm functions; 60-minute timer with stay-on and auto shut-off; and a grill rack with three positions to accommodate various size casseroles and baking pans. The unit also comes complete with a bake pan and external removable crumb tray. Whether she’s looking for convenience for breakfast, lunch or dinner—for herself or the whole family—or wanting to bake a quick late-night snack, she’ll love the ease and power of this appliance.

Pompelmoncello Rosemary Mojito with Everclear (www.MakeItYourOwn.com)

Photo courtesy of
Luxco

What more quintessential way to celebrate Mom than with a homemade brunch on Mother’s Day? And while you’re at it, go ahead and whip her up a tasty mixed elixir. One recipe idea is the Pompelmoncello Rosemary Mojito made with Everclear. This delicious cocktail mixes together grapefruit, rum and rosemary, creating a sweet and refreshing cocktail that’ll help her relax and enjoy her special day. The Everclear spirit component is distilled from 100% selected grains, providing a neutral flavor profile along with a high proof—so do be mindful of the amount used. Because it’s flavor neutral, it has a unique ability to extract even the subtlest of flavors, providing home mixologists with a clean slate, a blank canvas and endless potential. For those who insist a mojito requires mint, this cocktail politely disagrees. The flavors of grapefruit, rum and rosemary combine perfectly to help you forget everything you thought you knew about the Havana classic—and delight Mom in kind.

Nonni’s Dark Chocolate Almond THINaddictives (www.Nonnis.com) – Starting at $3.49

Photo courtesy of Nonni’s Foods

 

Another delightful indulgence for Mom—particularly those who are health conscious and ever on-the-go—is the better-for-you Dark Chocolate Almond THINaddictives from Nonni’s artisan bakery. They’re thin, crunchy, and super addictive…but in the best way. THINaddictives are handmade quality from a cherished family recipe passed down from generation to generation with no two cookies alike. Averaging only 70 to 80 calories per pack, each almond thin is lightly drizzled with decadent dark chocolate and made with real ingredients such as California almonds, bananas and sweet cherries for a guilt-free anytime snack. These crunchy delights come in three delectable flavors: Dark Chocolate Banana Almond, Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond and Double Dark Chocolate Almond. THINaddictives pair perfectly with hot or cold beverages like iced coffee or tea or are certainly delectable by themselves. With each pack individually wrapped, they’re awesome to take on-the-go. Find these tasty treats at retailers nationwide.

~~~

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or sponsored at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Source:

https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/mothers-day-spending-reach-record-high-236-billion

Falling down and getting back up

Howdy, y’all.  It’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything here.  I’ve been active on Instagram and Facebook, but not really blogging.

Grief is natural.  We have to get through it however we can.  Laughing, crying, staring off into space – all natural.  Feeling lost is natural.  Feeling like you can’t hold it together is natural.  Grief is universal and individual.  Grief is an asshole.

Watching the people I love in pain has taken the wind out of me somewhat.  Some days I feel like I’m here and others not so much.  I wonder if what I’m doing is enough, but I know there is only so much I can do.

The grief has brought on a few days of mindless eating and tears.  Not just for the ones who left, but for those who left long ago.  I’ve dreamed of my grandmother, mother-in-law, father, and old friends.  Not memory-inspired dreams, but scenes of happy times with all of them in the present.  They have been both sad and comforting, but mostly sad. I hate that they have and will miss so many good things.  Graduations, births, new jobs, new homes, all of it.

It will get easier, I know.  If you’re grieving, you’re not alone.

You deserve a break!

National Break You Make Day is coming up on June 3rd. Chobani Flips and I want to recognize those deserving of a break.

I am blown away lately by the strength the preserverance of family members, both blood and chosen. They are gracefully fighting health issues, burning the midnight oil, and putting themselves last while working toward future goals. While they all deserve recognition and a break, there are three who stand out the most right now. This trio I have in mind fought to find balance between school and family and had to start over from scratch. It’s hard to decide which of this three deserves the break the most, so I’m giving them all a shout.

There may or may not be misty eyes right now.

H, you are one in a million. Not only are you my baby brother, you are one I’d hand pick as family. I’m watching you juggle
classwork, homework, projects, church, wife, daughter, and family. You’re trying to give everything to everyone and everything because you know what the end goal is. You have so got this! You’ve found your calling and the people you work with will benefit tenfold because you are you. You deserve a break.

Lolo, I’m watching you, from the bushes outside your window. 😀 You’ve had a craptastic couple of years and are rising above the crap and then some. The long nights of studying are worth it. Your patients and their familes will love you. Enjoy your summer!  Sleep, swim, read for fun, laugh, and love like no one else. You rock, mama! You deserve this break.

A; my twisted sister. You’ve also had a craptastic year. You survived part one and will survive part two. You have all kinds of opportunities ahead. Breathe and focus on them, not the past (no matter how recent the past). Congratulations, grauduate! Welcome, neighbor!  You deserve this break.

Breathe and remember how amazing you all are. If you don’t believe it. just look at yourselves the way the people who love you look at you. You all rock and I love you.

Until next time, be well.

Out of spoons

Hi, all.  This is me, out of spoons.

I am exhausted,  in pain, uninspired,  and done.  At least right now.  Weeks of running around almost daily is kicking my butt.  I slept past noon and want to go back to bed.  I know I have things to do, but I fracking cannot.  I don’t have the energy to fake it today.   And that’s okay.

Do not forget to take care of yourself.   Sometimes that means taking the time for a nap, sleeping in,  or anime marathon if and when you need it.

So here I am.  Not faking it.  Hope you’re having a better day.

Playing tourist

We like wandering around and going where the wind takes us.   Enjoy these sights from the South Carolina Lowcountry.

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6 Days and Counting

The big day is almost here!  Well, our big days are almost here, Yule and Christmas.  I’m sort of at a loss because I’m officially on winter break and won’t have an assignment due until January!  W00T!  I still have to work, but I have a backlog of articles and blog posts ready to roll.  I planned ahead and it feels good.

We decided to do a fab feast for Yule dinner and brunch for Christmas morning.  The kitchen will be busy this week and I plan to cook some things ahead of time.  Instead of a table full of the usual heavy, fattier fare, there will be a mix.  Unfortunately, the final menus are still up in the air.  Greens, acorn squash, broccoli, rice, and bake (hubby’s request), and cornbread will be on the table Thursday night, but I’m not sure what else.  The family will want meat (meh), and I want a centerpiece of sorts.  I’m thinking seitan pot roast surrounded by roasted veggies.  I’m torn between the versions in Vegan Diner and Vegan Lunch Box.  

For Christmas brunch, it’s on!  Pancakes, sausage (homemade vegan patties), roasted potatoes and onions, broccoli quiche (vegan), and fruit are going on the table for sure.  Again, the omnis will want meat of some kind, and hubby can cook it.  I won’t.

Regardless of what we eat as the main dish, we will have a lot of produce to choose from.  And we’ll be together.  That’s all we really want, isn’t it, to be with loved ones.  It doesn’t matter if they’re related by blood, marriage, or in spirit, family can be bliss.

And now it’s time to get in a walk.  Peace, all.

Another week, another pound

I’m happy. Progress is progress, period.

My stepson is in town for the holiday and I am stoked! We’ve been playing Wii Sports (and he’s been killing me) and falling back into our routine. It only took a day of deprogramming after a night with the grandparents, lol.

That’s about it today; keeping to short and sweet.