14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

It’s probably one of the corniest holidays in existence, because without fail, February becomes a month filled with heart-shaped balloons and candy, endless amounts of chocolate boxes and bouquets, and stereotypical nods to cheesy eroticism through red silk boxers paired with bow-ties. Seriously, give it a rest. Now, I’m not trying to be completely cynical, but when I think about Valentine’s Day and how commercially warped it is, I quickly lose interest. I want to celebrate Love everyday of the year, but if I’m going to dedicate a specific day to demonstrate it, then I’m going to do it in a very special way.

Typically, Valentine’s Day gifts are more novelty in nature: We’re talking teddy bears, rose bouquets, themed underwear, and dinner at either a too fancy or too crowded restaurant. I think it’s time we step it up and not only think smarter about these gifts but also add the element of an experience that you and your special someone can share together. (Sidebar*, Love doesn’t have to only be celebrated romantically. Your friends and family can share this day with you too.) Here’s a list of 20 experiential Valentine’s Day gifts that will help create memorable moments rather than forgettable, novelty riff-raff.

In no particular order:

1. Atlas Coffee Club

      

Atlas Coffee Club, is a travel-themed coffee club that explores the world of coffee and culture!  From Papua New Guinea to Peru, Burundi to Brazil, each month they highlight a new country! (Retail: Gift Subscriptions starting at $60)


2. Nostalgia Electronics Waterfall

       

The Nostalgia Electrics Chocolate Waterfall creates a steady fountain of edible chocolate. Perfect to dip cakes, fruit and marshmallows. A great addition to your dessert spread for your and your valentine to enjoy together. (Retail: $49.99)


3. LATHER Sweet As Honey Kit & Road Warrior Men’s Survival Kit

      

Indulge in a collection of face, bath, body and gourmet treats, made with nature’s candy – honey – an excellent source of nourishing antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And for the guys, Lather created a survival kit for men on the go, with travel sizes of their favorite face, body, and hair care essentials. (Retail $48-$58)


4. Feast Laguna

            

Flowers and jewelry are always romantic gestures but what’s more fun, entertaining, and memorable than spending a delightful afternoon or evening with your significant other, enjoying delicious food and being immersed in stunning works of art and beach culture? Feast Laguna is a culinary/food tour operator based in the beautiful beach community of Laguna Beach, CA. They offer tasty and entertaining food tours that are expertly led by knowledgeable and friendly Laguna local guides. (Retail: $75-$79)


5. LOVE Gem Water Bottle by Vitajuwel

For the crystal lover in your life, Vitajuwel has updated their original Love Gem Water Bottle to include garnet and clear quartz. If you’re a deeply romantic soul looking to inspire love, and deepen devotion, this latest incarnation of the Love gem-water blend awaits… (Retail: $98)


6. Basic Outfitters’ Create-a-Drawer

      

As seen on season 8 of Shark Tank – Basic Outfitters‘ Create-a-Drawer allows guys to ditch their worn out attire and replenish their wardrobe with up to 17 pieces of high-quality basics in under two minutes with a collection of high quality and fashionable socks, underwear, tees, and joggers delivered right to their door for only $60 (a $120 value).


7. ISlide

           

ISlides are the only fully customizable, sought-after slide sandal sweeping the world on the feet of athletes and celebrities like Madonna, Dwyane Wade, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, and many more. Maker of DJ Khaled‘s famous “Bless Up” and “Another One” slide sandals, ISlide fuses fashion with athletics and has partnered with Neiman Marcus, the NBA, and a number of other teams, brands, and organizations for custom designs. ISlides can be designed to match anyone’s personality with pictures, phrases, emojis and more – or choose from hundreds of pre-designed collections from French Montana, Nickelodeon, NCAA colleges and more. (Retail: $49.99)


8. PediPocket

      

As seen on Good Morning America, PediPocket is 6 feet of super soft microfiber fleece that has a clever foot pocket to keep your toes toasty. Use it at home, at the office or take it while traveling. Plus, it’s machine washable and dryer friendly. Perfect for cold winter days spent snuggling up on the couch with your Valentine. (Retail: $39.99)


9.  Tell It Well Cards

      

Among all the texts and tweets, send your Valentine a meaningful handwritten message with the original line of modern photo greeting cards from Tell It Well Cards! Each card is 4 x 4 square (Polaroid size) and is printed on sustainably sourced and recycled paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 10% of sales go to provide small business microloans to women in poverty in the US and around the world for the Whole Planet Foundation. (Retail: $4 – $20)


10. Gratitude Glass “Love” Jar

Show your friends and family how much you care with the Gratitude Glass Love Jar. Fill the jar up with love notes that can be enjoyed all year long! Named “the gift that keeps on giving” by Oprah and featured among the 102 gifts of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 List, the Gratitude Jar from Gratitude Glass Jars has driven a movement – inspiring others to love themselves and the people around them. (Retail: $45)


11. HelloFresh Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak

      

During Valentine’s Day week (Feb. 10-16) we’ll be offering a special Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Blood Orange Sauce. The recipe takes only 35 minutes to make and fool-proof for even the most novice home cooks. As one of HelloFresh‘s Premium recipes, this dinner is undeniably special. With strip steak, brown sugar mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts, this dish has tenderness, sweetness, and warmth—just like any solid relationship. It’s topped off with cranberries and a sauce based on blood orange—two fruits that have a romantic red hue. (Retail: $59+ for a 3 meal box for 2 people)


12. BOXFOX

      

Do Valentine’s Day differently this year with BOXFOX and their limited edition 2018 collection of pre-curated themed boxes. Available online until Feb. 18, each box is a thoughtful assortment of gifts that allows you to show you care on the most romantic holiday of the year. If you want to really show your creativity, you can curate your own custom BOXFOX with their BUILD A BOXFOX platform and and select whichever items your heart desires. (Retail: $30 – $200)


13. SouFeel

      

Customized gifts are always a great idea. Soufeel Jewelry’s personalized pieces are your easy solution. For once, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without having to sacrifice meaning or thought! (Retail: $19.95 – $49.95)


14. The Mondrian Staycation

Being in love never felt so good. Celebrate your romance with this package that includes an in-room couple’s massage and dinner at the Doheny Room ($150 sbe gift card provided). Followed by a nightcap for two at Skybar. Then end it all with a turndown service including champagne and rose petals. Price point for the hotel stay plus the package is ($800)


BONUS:  Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose

           

Think Pink this year for Valentine’s Day with Barefoot Wine’s Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose selections. Everything is better with wine, and Barefoot is trusted and true for this occasion. This is one of SoCal Mag’s favorites!

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Platform LA seems to have it all going on, and for good reason, with one of its highlight restaurants — Hayden. Hayden, a modern Los Angeles restaurant and wine bar, is helmed by chef and partner, Ari Kolender. Aptly named for the creative community of the Hayden Tract, the restaurant will highlight local California ingredients with European influences set in a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere. Hayden will offer a new wine program and Golden Hour, from 5 pm to 7pm, which will offer $1.50 oysters and $8 glasses of wines with special tastings with Beverage Director Anthony Cailan on Saturdays.

In addition, the exquisite restaurant continues to offer its can’t-miss light morning menu, including Chef Kolender’s signature waffles, Vittoria coffee, plus a menu of tartines, salads, and sandwiches throughout the day. During afternoons and evenings, diners can expect oysters, European canned seafood, and an extensive selection of new California wines, which will also be available throughout the day in Hayden’s wine shop.

About Anthony Cailan

Anthony Cailan, Hayden’s Beverage Director, focuses especially on natural California wines in the shop, and is one of the few sommeliers who chill red wine by the glass. With an extensive culinary background in some of the most popular and successful businesses and events across California and the country, Cailan lends his expertise to Hayden to create a rare and unforgettable experience for diners.

About Ari Kolender

Chef Kolender has cooked in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles, including Providence and Red Medicine. Before opening Hayden, he worked at The Ordinary and Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop in Charleston, where he was nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.

The design of the restaurant reflects the spirit of Kolender’s cooking.  This focus on simple high-quality materials can be seen in the custom woodwork, handmade ceramic flatware, and an Italian marble bar.  The Hayden team also collaborated with their neighbor, British designer Tom Dixon, on the lighting and furniture in the space.

Kolender summarized the spirit of the project: “Hayden was inspired by the neighborhood.  From gallery owners to music producers to fashion designers, the Hayden Tract is full of entrepreneurs as well as up and coming artists. I want to create a gathering space for all of these people to come together and enjoy a great meal and an incredible bottle of wine any time of day.  The food we cook at Hayden will be inspired by and reflect the diverse and elegant city in which we live.”

Location:
8820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Hours: 12 pm – 9 pm daily
Phone: (310) 593-4777

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Looking for a more traditional meal that packs a lot of flavor without having to fly to Italy? Look no further than Chef Claudio Marchesan’s Osteria Bigoli on Montana Ave in Santa Monica.

While we’re still dreaming about the tender veal loin chop paired perfectly with the house red, what has me looking forward to my next visit is how Chef Claudio makes sure to greet each guest like family. During our dinner at the cozy restaurant, Chef not only came out and spoke with each party but often knew at least one guest by name and is just opener to the northeast Italian specialities that await you within the menu.

Chef Claudio in his element. Photo Credit: @osteriabigoli

Chef Claudio has been serving Osteria Bigoli “old world new” favorites at such as veal loin chop, chicken parm, and other classic Italian favorites since 2016 and has quickly become the go-to place for a delicious meal in a cozy atmosphere that really does feel you stepped right into Chef’s home.

With option including paleo, roasted meats, sustainable fish, grass-fed Angus Flat Iron steak and marinated vegetables, Chef Claudio’s favorite indigents shine. Veal and pork meatballs are prepared  “old school” with a rich Pomodoro sauce and fresh parmesan. Well worth a drive over to the westside for a proper supper!

More information about the must-try restaurant’s Valentine’s Day offerings, live cooking demonstration classes and more curated by Chef Claudio and loyal 20 year business partner Mark Arreola coming soon.

Osteria Bigoli is located at 714 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA and is open Tue – Sat, 5:30 pm – 10 pm; Sun, 5 pm – 9:30 pm. Visit www.bigoliosteria.com for more information. 

Ely Anne Vedar

Food & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. She is also a regular Editor for SoCal Magazine and other digital publications.

All Aboard The USS IOWA

All Aboard The USS IOWA

(See Pappy’s Seafood: Elevated Classics for a great lunch or dinner after visiting USS Iowa.)

Southern California has a hidden, historical gem unlike any other, located in the coastal city of San Pedro. Potentially overlooked by many Californians, San Pedro is home to a perfect combination of education, discovery, fun, and considered by many to be the perfect destination for individuals, friends, and family. Here’s what visitors can look forward to when they book a visit to the USS Iowa in this beautiful coastal city.

USS Iowa: A History Lesson

The battleship Iowa is possibly one of the best kept secrets in Southern California, and is an experience unlike any other. Visitors can expect to spend about 2 hours or more at the battleship, depending on their tickets and tour type. Daily tours include visits to see the largest guns on the U.S. Navy ship, the officer’s ward room, President Roosevelt’s cabin, the armored bridge, mess decks, helicopter deck, missile decks, and other areas. With 6 tours to choose from, each is catered to the appropriate visitor based on age and accessibility, desired pace, group size, and special access to usually unavailable parts of the battleship.

With a length of over 800 feet, the USS Iowa, also known as “The Big Stick” in 1952, and “The Grey Ghost” during the Korean War, is the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships, and was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. To experience the USS Iowa is to walk to into a virtual time capsule. As if frozen in time, various interior and exterior fixtures, weapons, designs, tools, and technology from 1940 and later lie throughout the ship, setting a stage for the major role that the USS Iowa played in our U.S. and world history.

Though it served during World War II, the Korean War, and through the Cold War, the USS Iowa has stood the test of time, receiving occasional renovations, refurbishments, upgrades, and repairs. She earned 11 battle stars during her career and even hosted three U.S. Presidents — Franklin, Reagan, and H.W. Bush. Though it may not seem like it today with the fantasy of movies and special effects, the USS Iowa is the largest and most powerful ship of its time and ever built.

What to Expect

The USS Iowa opened in Los Angeles, (her final placement) on July 4, 2012, to a crowd of over 1,500 supporters and veterans at Port of Los Angeles Berth 87. The USS Iowa Museum offers daily tours, group programs, education visits, special events, filming, military ceremonies, and is in the process of starting an overnight program. Today, dozens of veterans volunteer in guided tours, and assist in the daily operations, like cleaning, maintenance and upkeep.

The battleship is a ginormous vertical and horizontal labyrinth of steel corridors on the inside, and on the outside, an intimidating vessel marked by the scars of past wars.  Standing on any part of the deck will boast amazing panoramic views of the San Pedro Harbor.  It’s difficult to imagine what life must have been like to live on an armed ship in the peaks of various wars, and it was no easy task for anyone aboard the ship. With tight quarters, halls, and passages throughout, the amount of human effort, coordination, agility, and caution necessary to keep the USS Iowa moving without a hitch is unimaginable. It’s important to consider that this is a vessel that has housed thousands of men, so space was extremely limited, and everyone had a required duty to fulfill. Even more important to note is that in the height of war, even the deck was no safety zone. In fact, the deck was one of the most dangerous places to be during storms, and when the ship’s guns were in use.

Undoubtedly an educational experience that is not only fun, but extremely immersive, the USS Iowa is a destination that brings the lifestyles of on-duty United States servicemen from early last century into clear perspective. It is an opportunity that may possibly be overlooked by many, but it is also an opportunity for any and every one to find fascination in, and appreciation for many aspects of the experience — including just how far our technological advancement has evolved.

What was once considered to be a “state of the art” battleship, has now become a legendary and well-respected piece of history. If spending a morning exploring the USS Iowa sounds like a good getaway, then consider visiting with family and friends to see first-hand why the USS Iowa is so magnificent.

Parking, Location, and Admission

The Museum is located at Berth 87 at the Los Angeles World Cruise Port Terminal at the LA Waterfront / Port of Los Angeles. The Battleship Iowa Museum shares the parking lot with the World Cruise Terminal.

Parking is accessible from 1st Street & Harbor Boulevard.

The first hour of parking is free, and each additional hour is $2 with a maximum of $18 per day.

Address:
Battleship Iowa Museum
250 South Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, CA  90731

Tours Available:
Full Steam Ahead: visitors are allowed access to areas of the ship generally not viewed by the public, such as the Engine Room.
Self-Guided: allows for guests to explore the areas permitted for public access by the USS Iowa Museum at their own pace.
Group: discounted rates on admission
Senior Group: provide a guided tour experience through history to areas that are easily accessible.
Curator’s Tour: VIP experience allows guests to tour the USS Iowa Battleship and Museum while accompanied by a member of the ship’s crew.
Interactive Tour: Download the USS Iowa App for an award-winning, interactive tour.

After a day of exploration aboard the USS Iowa, consider visiting Pappy’s Seafood for a befitting elevated dining experience — only five minutes away!

Contributing Writer: Anthony C. Stafford

20 Great Products for Last Minute Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

20 Great Products for Last Minute Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

Every year, without fail, a handful of people from your holiday gift list slip through the cracks and you’re left scrambling to find the perfect gift. It’s bad enough that the hectic shopping environments of the holidays can be pretty stressful, trying to figure out a good gift on top of that can be quite tedious. SoCal Mag wants to put some ease on the last few days leading up to Christmas day, so we’ve compiled a list of 20 affordable and fun gifts that almost anyone on your list would be sure to enjoy. In no particular order, check out our top picks below.

1. PodPockets

The PodPocket is designed with the Apple customer in mind; those who appreciate both form & function. The pocket is precision molded from high grade silicone to provide a secure fit for the AirPods charging case and it comes with a premium key ring and clasp so that it can be attached to a bag or keychain and the open access along the bottom allows charging while the AirPods are still in the PodPocket. A small investment to protect a larger one & the perfect Home For Your AirPods. (Retail: $19.99)


2. Macaron for Hair (Milk+Sass®)

Macaron for Hair®, a travel-sized Parisian-chic detangling brush and mirror compact that is every bit novel as it is functional. Perfect for every age, gender and hair type, it comes in a rainbow of “flavors”. The removable cover protects bristles from being bent, broken and dirtied inside your bag, and offers a compact mirror for easy styling on the go. The ergonomically designed shape allows for optimum comfort and balance in any hand, compared to conventional hairbrushes. Not to mention it’s shaped like a delicious macaron! (Retail: $12.99-19.99)


3. PortePlay

     

PortePlay is an amazing new tech accessories line designed to organize all of your cables, adapters, chargers, memory cards, phone and all of your electronic gear! Even better, all prices for PortePlay accessories retail under $20.00!
• Durable Textured Fabric. Crafted from long lasting materials, including heavy duty zippers and sturdy fabrics.
• Easily accessible and created to travel with you so you can stay connected on the go.
•  View items at all times through the zippered mesh compartments and customized elastic loops without having to pull everything out of your bag.

4. Pacific Shaving Company

Earlier this year, Pacific Shaving Company disrupted a decades old industry by releasing a breakthrough grooming product — Single-Use Shaving Cream Minis, a proprietary formula of rich shaving cream encapsulated in single-dose water-soluble “pods.” These unisex Shaving Cream Minis are the first commercial cosmetic product to use this technology. Just wet, lather and shave. No mess and zero waste. Perfect for stocking stuffers. (Retail: starting $7.99)


5. RALLY

Based in Los Angeles, California, RALLY makes unique monochrome socks, beanies, tees, long sleeves and other skate wear. For every RALLY sock sold, one is donated to America’s homeless youth through our charity partner, My Friend’s Place. My Friend’s Place is a Los Angeles based non-profit that supports Los Angeles’ homeless youth population through meal services, housing and job programs, and other social services. On each visit to My Friends Place, a young person accessing services receives a new pair of socks. Socks help a young person experiencing homelessness feel cared for, and can prevent foot ailments caused by walking all day in cold or wet weather. Our 2018 Goal is to provide My Friend’s Place with 20,000 pairs of socks, which would cover their supply for the year. (Retail: $15.00)

6. PRÊTE Blowout Packages

PRÊTE is a membership for blowouts at the best salons in the city, located in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego (as well as others across the country) and expanding every day! They are great gifts for the last minute shopper because the gift certificate is completely digital so there is no need to worry about shipping. Prices are as follows:  One Blowout for $35 | Three for $99 | Five for $145 | Ten for $285

7. American Heirloom Cutting Board

      

For the kitchen enthusiast in your life, the state shaped collection from American Heirloom is perfect as a gift. Available in full-size and mini versions of all 50 states. (Retail: $38-48)


8. Crystal Bliss: Attract Love. Feed Your Spirit. Manifest Your Dreams. (Hardcover)

In the spirit of The Soul Searchers Handbook, this guide offers a fresh approach to healing crystals with advice for selecting, preparing, and using crystals for meditation and energy healing. If you’re feeling worn out, uninspired, and unmotivated, you can change your energy with the help of crystals. Crystal Bliss provides you with everything you need to harness the innate energy and vibrations of crystals. This guide walks you through the process of selecting crystals, cleansing and preparing them for use, and incorporating them into your meditation and energy healing process. With the help of Crystal Bliss, you can learn how to boost your own energy, beat back negative vibes, open your heart to love, manifest wealth, and promote good health. (Retail: $14.00)


9. Kitchens for Good – Savory Spreads Gift Set

      

San Diego nonprofit Kitchens for Good (KFG) has created a new festive Savory Spreads Gift Set which is now available on its web site, just in time for the holiday season. More than just jars of mustard or jelly, each purchase of Kitchen’s for Good’s Savory Spreads Gift Sets supports KFG’s mission to break the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger in San Diego. Perfect for a holiday present, or simply for flavor and spice enthusiasts, Savory Spreads Gift Sets include three of the organization’s most popular retail products launched earlier this year at local farmer’s markets: Apple of My IPA Jelly, Drunk Mustard, and Orange You Glad We Called it Marmalade. The Holiday Gift Set comes in a festive box with gold confetti wrapped in gold ribbon. (Retail: $22.00 + shipping)

10. OMie Yoga

The only yoga mat and towel that become one. The OMie Mat and Towel Set is built to go everywhere and do everything with you. Our product is all about performance. It is a favorite among hot yoga and vinyasa flow enthusiasts. Our durable and lightweight mat is made from natural rubber, so it’s eco-friendly and nontoxic. Its nonslip design provides excellent traction through every Sun Salutation. The soft, absorbent microfiber towel gives you perfect grip, even when wet. Durable zippers quickly and easily secure it to the mat on both sides, so you can keep your focus on your practice.(Retail: $39.99-149.99)


11. Goddess Garden Organics

Goddess Garden, known for their high-quality, certified-organic sunscreens and facial care, introduces a new line of essential-oil roll-on perfumes and aroma therapy bracelets, just in time for the holidays. The perfumes are scented with pure essential oils, and are free from synthetic fragrances, phthalates and mystery chemicals. The new Aromatherapy Bracelets and Bracelet Blends use the benefits of essential oils in combination with energetic stones to help wearers find their own desired state of mind.(Retail: $14.99)


12. Number 4 High Performance Hair Gift Sets

This holiday season, Number 4 High Performance Hair Care makes holiday shopping quick and easy with four Mini Darling hair kits. Each petite product collection has been designed to complement the lifestyle needs of anyone you may be shopping for – the health and wellness expert, the festival flower child, the fitness fanatic, and even the savviest social media maven. You can find something for everyone in your inner circle and beyond! All Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Mini Darling Holiday Gift Sets are available at fine salons, spas, and retailers nationwide and online. Each include a mix of Hydrating, Volumizing, Styling and Essential products with Anti-Aging, Color Protecting, Vegan, Paraben/ Gluten/Sulfate Free formulas, fine fragrances and organic botanicals. (Retail: $20.00 – 25.00)


13. BevMo! Nickel Wines

BevMo!’s 5 cent wines are quality wines at a great value. You buy one at retail price and the second is just a nickel. You can either keep one for yourself or kill two gifts in one trip! Some of the most popular 5 cent wines in their Southern California stores are: Coppola Chardonnay Director’s Cut Sonoma Coast, Unruly Line, Matchbook Chardonnay, Dolce Vita Prosecco and James Bryant Hill Pinot Noir. (Retail: $20 + $.05)


14. BRINA Leather Wine Sleeves

BRINA insulated leather wine sleeves are chic, innovative, and is a perfect Host + Hostess gift to any holiday party. No need for any more messy ice buckets! All BRINA sleeves are made in Italy and come in three sizes: Wine, Sparkling, & Water/Beer. (Retail: $65.00 and up)


15. Alikay Naturals Luxury Candle Gift Sets

The Alikay Naturals Gift Set includes 1 luxury soy candle & 1 Deep Conditioner, an excellent humectant based deep treatment for getting maximum moisture into dry damaged hair. Penetrates deep into follicle to nourish and revitalize weak, dry, thirsty hair using benefits of natural ingredients such as Babassu and Sage, while Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds shine and softness. This Product is 100% Natural and 90% Organic. This luxurious candle features pure essential oils and wax produced from soybeans grown 100% in the USA. The exquisite glow creates the perfect ambiance for relaxation and rejuvenation after a long hard day at work. The natural biodegradable soy wax assures you receive the full quality over the entire 40 hour burn time. Relieving stress has never been so easy! (Retail: $35.00)


16. Speaqua Portable Waterproof Speaker, The Barnacle+

The Barnacle + by Speaqua is the world’s first 100% fully waterproof, floatable speaker with a 4GB built-in flash drive that can store up to 1,000 songs. It is designed to float with the speaker side facing up to always keep your tunes afloat, and allows for hands free calling, so, that you don’t have to be tethered to your phone to take calls (especially helpful if you’re using your Barnacle in the pool/ocean/bathtub!). It comes in a variety of colors and designs, and has basically merged convenience with functionality to redefine the possibilities of waterproof speakers.  With the built-in suction design, users can stick the speaker to any smooth surface, and bring their music anywhere – on your surfboard, in the shower, in the pool, on your bike, etc. And, with the small size, you can easily stash in your bag, and go. (Retail $39.99 – 64.99)

17. Timex Watches

Watches are timeless, and Timex offers a timepiece assortment for everybody on your list. Whether it’s for your classy BAE, stylish BFF, jet-setter sibling, comic-loving nephew or the extraordinary “rents”, Timex is the perfect gift. (Retail: $69.00 – 105.00)


18. Case + Drift Fashionable Travel Gear

Any seasoned road warrior can appreciate quality goods that are beautiful and function with multiple purposes! Take Case + Drift’s towel, a new twist on a Turkish classic, this compact, stylish piece will double as your scarf, beach towel, picnic blanket, yoga mat, sarong & more! Ever throw a wet swimsuit or muddy shoes in a plastic bag and hope it doesn’t leak in your luggage? Never again with the Drift Wet Bag. Pack wet clothes, toiletries & valuables to keep dry and safe while on your next journey! (Retail: $40.00)


19. FLWRFOOD

     

FLWRFOOD strives to create innovative health & beauty products that you can seamlessly merge into your every day life. They proudly use all organic and natural ingredients including their secret weapon CBD! CBD, or Cannabidoil, is one of the 100+ Cannabinoids that make up the plant. Unlike the widely known THC, it is non-psychoactive so it does not produce a high .. however, it does pack a powerful punch! Accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract, it carries high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has shown great promise in its use for conditions such as anxiety, pain, psoriasis, seizures, cancer and more. (Retail: $16.00 and up)


20. BoxFox Holiday Gift Box Sets

 

Our favorite selection is the uniquely curated gift box, BoxFox. ‘Tis the season for gifting and what better way to look like a gift-giving pro, than with the BOXFOX holiday collection. Now available in small, medium and large sized boxes, each pre-packaged holiday BOXFOX takes the guesswork out of guessing what to gift someone with a selection of items for the home, kitchen, office, and beyond. (Retail: $41.00 – 157.00)


Happy Holiday Shopping!

Volkswagen Celebrates With A Holiday Drive In Screening of Elf

Volkswagen Celebrates With A Holiday Drive In Screening of Elf

After a successful LA Auto Show, Volkswagen got a jumpstart on the holidays by hosting a Drive-In Event where they screened “Elf” on Sunday December 16 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jennifer Graylock & Justin Edmonds

Celebrity guests included newlyweds Dancer and Actress Julianne Hough and professional Ice Hockey Player Brooks Laich who got into the holiday spirit while they posed for photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jennifer Graylock & Justin Edmonds

All guests got a hands on chance to check out Volkswagen’s three fully electric concept vehicles: I.D., I.D. BUZZ and I.D. CROZZ. Early birds even got to experience from inside VW’s latest models!

Photo Credit: Ely Anne Vedar

The family friendly evening served up drive-in classics hot dogs, sliders, popcorn and ice cream; paired with keepsake VW blankets and lawn chairs.

Photo Credit: Ely Anne Vedar

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Atlas, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, e-Golf, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, Tiguan Limited and Touareg vehicles through more than 650 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

Ely Anne Vedar

Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills.

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