Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Unique Holiday Gift Guide with UnCommon Goods

Can you believe that in less than a month, Santa will be coming down our chimneys, and Christmas morning will have arrived! I was just discussing with a fellow school mum, that unlike in the northern hemisphere, where the holiday season and end of school are two completely separate entities, here in Oz, these two events combine to create utter mayhem. Between end of year concerts, speech mornings, and class parties ad nauseum, I am somehow meant to have completely got myself prepared for Christmas. Yeah, not going to happen!!

Just in case you are suffering from a total Christmas meltdown like me, or just need some last minute present shopping help, I am happy to be partnering with Uncommon Goods to help you out. Founded in 1999, Uncommon Goods is all about exactly that - Uncommon. Goods. Celebrating amazing, creative design, whether from an emerging artist just starting out, or a seasoned artist handcrafting beautiful heirlooms of the future, here is a one stop shop bringing artisans and their wares from around the globe directly to you. And if this focus on shopping small isn't already right up my alley, then their unwavering commitment to sustainability in all areas of their business is just the cherry on top!

Unique Holiday Gift Guide - Women

Lets be real here, it just seems easier to shop for women compared with any other group. If it's pretty, smelly, or shiny, then we will probably like it. But if you want to step up you gift giving game, and present something unique and special, then you really can't go past the amazing range of gifts here.


I've just ordered three of these Birthstone Wishing Balls, (one of them may be a present to myself!) as I think that they are quite possibly one of the best presents I've ever seen. Designed by Jill Henrietta Davis, the Wishing Ball is designed to capture a wish, accomplishment or gratitude every week for a year. To encourage someone in your life to pause for just a few moments once a week and reflect is truly a priceless gift.


http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/mason-jar-indoor-flower-garden

This Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden is something that would make a wonderful hostess gift over the holidays. Pretty, and practical, this would look amazing sitting in your windowsill. They are also self watering, making them a wonderfully low maintenance way to grow plants for those of us without a green thumb!


http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/mother-daughter-letter-book-set

For a more personal gift, the Mother & Daughter Letter Set is a gift destined to be handed down the generations. Celebrating the bond between a Mother and a Daughter, this gift book, containing 40 nostalgic cards designed to be sent, shared and treasured, before finding their way back into secret pockets in the book, would make an amazing gift for a young lady or her mother.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/cherry-blossom-snow-globe
Another item also winging its way to me is the very pretty Cherry Blossom Snow Globe. My daughter collects snow globes, and I love the timeless design of these piece from married artists Liz Ross and David Westby. The simple and elegant snow globe is another piece that I hope one day my daughter will pass down to her child.



Unique Holiday Gift Guide - Men


For the men in your life (and I am surrounded by husbands, sons, fathers and nephews ranging in age from 10 through to 73!), there are also a plethora of unique and creative choices.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/6-pack-beer-soap-set

I must admit, while I am tempted to just give each and every one of them the 6 Pack Beer Soap Set, I will resist and only give this to my 21 year old nephew. Because, come on, it's beer. In soap. He will think this is so cool!!

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/deep-sea-sand-art

For once, I actually have found a present for hubby that isn't a t shirt or socks and jocks (so, thanks Uncommon Goods!!). He is notoriously hard to buy for, but this Deep Sea Sand Art will look perfect on his home office desk, and the meditative qualities are exactly what he needs when he is spending that one too many hours sitting there working.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/on-the-rocks-set
I already have this On The Rocks set, and can attest to just how beautiful they are in person. Hand-crafted from stones collected on New England beaches, these granite discs are ideal for chilling aged spirits, such as whiskey or scotch, because they won't dilute the complex flavors like a handful of ice. I don't drink alcohol, but I still use these with other cold drinks (mostly ice tea), because as well as being beautiful, they work so well.

Unique Holiday Gift Guide - Kids

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/fairy-kit

Irini loves her fairy garden, so this Fairy Kit will make a gorgeous addition to it. Kids will love making everything from tiny fairy doors, to fairy beds, to a welcoming garland, a "fairy dust" necklace and of course, the pretty fairies themselves.What I love most about this crafty kit is that while it is entertaining while Irini is actually constructing it, it will still give hours and hours of creative play afterwards as well.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/stop-motion-claymation-kit

When shopping for kids gifts, I am always on the look out for open ended play; things that don't just have one purpose, but will inspire greater creativity. The Stop Motion Claymation Kit fits the bill perfectly. Both of my kids have been experimenting with stop motion animation through their STEM programs at school, so this will be perfect for the two of them to collaborate on over the long break.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/diy-lip-balm-kit

My star choice for those of you with tween girls is the DIY Lip Balm Kit, as it is a gift that will keep on giving. Not only will it keep your daughters and nieces entertained over the holiday break as they concoct pampering treats for themselves, it also helps provide job skills for women in the Washington DC area. 

Thank goodness board games are coming back into fashion - as a family we love playing them - and the Trick Question Game would be a fabulous gift for teens. The game is packed with 400 sneak-attack brainteasers, like "What building has the most stories?" Answer: a library, of course!

Hopefully my selection of gifts has helped you out with all of your giving this holiday season!






Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I have received compensation, but all opinions and statements are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Product Review: AERIN Rose Night Table Cream and Rose Gentle Cleanser

 
You all know I love anything AERIN, so when I ran out of my night cream the other day, the next day I went straight to David Jones to buy Aerin's latest addition to her Rose Collection, the Rose Night Table Cream. I might have also come away with the Rose Gentle Cleanser AND the super size Rose Hand and Body Cream as well, but let's keep that between us!!

Obviously, I love the rest of the Rose Collection, so I was bound to love this, but before I had even tried it, I fell hard for the name! Ridiculous, I know, but something about the whole "night table cream" and the pink and gold packaging just conjures up images of Golden Age movie stars removing their maquillage at their vanities.  

 As for the cream itself, the box states

"this luxuriously nourishing moisturizer helps prevent dryness and boost skin's radiance. Infused with AERIN's exclusive rose complex and delicately scented with the signature rose scent, dull, dehydrated skin is comforted with soothing moisture revealing radiant looking skin that feels smooth and refreshed."


Indeed, this is a luxurious and rich feeling moisturizer with that delightful rose fragrance contained in all of the products in this collection, and after using it for the past two weeks, it certainly has seemed to help with the dryness and dehydration that I usually get this time of the year as we move from winter into summer. Full disclosure, I use highly active skincare under this moisturizer (acids and retinol), so I can't speak to the anti-aging benefits that may or may not result from this cream, other than to say that I love the feeling of it on my skin, and when I wake in the morning, my skin looks plump and hydrated. 


My unplanned (but perhaps not unexpected!) other purchase was the Rose Gentle Cleanser, 

"a rose infused milky cleanser that dissolves impurities without stripping skin of essential moisture. Delicately scented with AERIN's signature rose fragrance, it leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed in one gentle step."

I use this cleanser as my second cleanse, on dry skin, to cleanse the skin rather than remove makeup, (it's a tad pricey for me to use as a makeup remover) and as a second cleanse it is absolutely delightful. The fragrance is gentle and soothing and the perfect way to ease myself into my nightly beauty routine. Just as it claims, it leaves my skin lovely and clean, but not at all tight or stripped. 

These extensions to AERIN's rose collection line are just gorgeous, and have been lovely additions to my evening routine!





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