Category Archives: holidays

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

Last-minute gifts, boozy edition

Can you believe that there are only four shopping days left until Christmas?  Or just 10 days left in 2015?  Where did the time go?

With time flying by, you may not have picked up gifts for everyone on your shopping list.  If you’re thinking of sharing spirits with the over-21 crowd, keep in mind that Charleston liquor stores will be closed on Christmas day, so you need to swing by your favorite before then.

As for boozy suggestions, try whisky.  Classic cocktails are all the rage and whisky takes the starring role on quite a few.  A Hot Toddy and or spiked nog call for a shot of whiskey (it’s particularly yummy in Coconut Nog) and no stocked bar is complete without a bottle or two.  Here are recommendations close to my heart.

Bulleit Hot Toddy
Bulleit 10 Year-Old has a smooth finish. Try it in a Hot Toddy. This 91.2 proof whiskey retails for around $50
Dickel Rye Smash
George Dickey Rye is an economical choice. It’s 90 proof and is a nice one for drinking straight up. It retails for around $25
Northern Harvest Rye Buck
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, becoming the first Canadian Whisky to receive the honor.
The 5 Keys
Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight is Diageo’s latest offering. This contains whiskey some of the oldest stocks, including the last ever produced at Stitzel-Weller. This 91 proof gem retails for around $50.
The Beelzebub
I.W. Harper is back after 20 years! Try this one straight up, in a Hot Toddy, or a cocktail. It’s another economical choice at a suggested retail of just $35.

Remember, drink responsibly.  Don’t drink and drive – have a designated driver.  Take the keys if someone is impaired and give them a place to sleep or call a cab.

Don’t mix alcohol and medication.

Make it an occasional indulgence if you’re working towards a specific fitness goal.  Yes, alcohol is carb-free, but it’s also full of empty calories.

 

December!

I love this time of year.  Yes, it’s somewhat stressful, but it’s kinda chill at the same time. People are a little less grouchy and my kids are particularly well-behaved.  As if one month of the super straight arrow role will make a difference on present day.

I usually gain a few pounds during the holidays, but not this year. I am moving down and keeping on track. I will end the month smaller and fitter than I started it.  My plan:

– Exercise 7 days a week.  That includes walking at least 3 days, Beachbody workouts, and yoga.  

Shakeology daily – as a shake or in a recipe.  

– Clean eating with one cheat meal as week – if I feel like one.  

This is a simple and effective plan.  Keeping flexibility in the type of workout will keep me from getting bored. Including a cheat meal (not a cheat day) in my eating plan makes it more doable for my life without guilt.  And Shakeology is a no-brainer.  It makes a yummy mocha, delicious smoothie, and killer vegan chocolate mousse.  It’s one less meal to plan and makes it easier for me to avoid temptation.   

What are your fitness plans for December?