Unique Holiday Gift Guide for All Friends

Unique Holiday Gift Guide for All FriendsNow that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday shopping season has officially begun. Hopefully all of you have survived Black Friday! Even I managed to brave the mall and come home with a few goodies this weekend. Of course, as Hanukkah and Christmas loom near, it’s important to start shopping for our friends and loved ones as well.

I absolutely love gift-giving. With so many cool and customizable products out there, I enjoy putting thought into the presents I buy rather than slapping a bow on something really generic and calling it a day.

This week, I’d like to share my holiday gift guide for all types of friends. Most of these products are ones that I either personally own, have sampled, or have purchased for someone else in the past. The best part? You can purchase any of these online in the comfort of your own home! No need to start any fist-fights at the mall this year. 🙂

  • Unique Holiday Gift Guide for All FriendsThe Animal Lover: A custom-made shirt from Pop Your Pup!
    Pop Your Pup creates graphic T-shirts featuring pop art designs of your pets. Choose a shirt style and background color, submit a photo of your/your friend’s pet, and the graphic artists at Pop Your Pup will work their magic to make a one-of-a-kind shirt that really does look like your pet. The turn-around time is awesome, and 10% of proceeds are donated to local Humane Societies. I’ve ordered two of these shirts for birthday presents already, and they were a huge hit!
  • The Friend with School Spirit: A bottle of his or her school’s Masik Collegiate Fragrance.
    Masik Collegiate Fragrances is the brainchild of Katie Masik, who wanted to create perfumes and colognes that evoked memories of certain colleges and universities. Last year, I reviewed their University of Florida perfume and their Florida State University cologne, and even though I’m not a Gator fan, I still sometimes wear the UF perfume! The scents are inspired by the buildings, traditions and local plant-life of each university. Click here for a list of all schools represented so far to see if your friend’s school is listed!
  • Unique Gift Guide for All FriendsThe Sweet Tooth: A box of Wondermade‘s handcrafted marshmallows.
    (Paleo readers: You may want to shield your eyes for this one!) I stumbled into Wondermade one afternoon on one of my walks through downtown Sanford. The café is a local one, where patrons can buy marshmallow skewers and s’mores of all flavors that they can pair with coffee or hot chocolate. Wondermade also has an online store, where consumers from near and far can buy boxes of marshmallows in Christmas and fall flavors, as well as other unique flavors. I love to support local businesses, especially ones with such delicious products!
  • The Healthy Chick: A piece of (totally inedible) Organic Fruit Jewelry.
    Okay, paleo friends, you can start reading again. 🙂 Organic Fruit Jewelry is exactly what it sounds like — real fruit dried and preserved into jewelry! This is an eclectic and fun gift, and no two necklaces/earring sets are exactly alike. I’m obsessed with the lemon slice necklace and will definitely be investing in mine soon!
  • The Single Friend: A copy of The Mathematics of Love by Hannah Fry.
    I’m a nerd at heart, so reading a book that relates mathematical concepts to dating and marriage was obviously right up my alley. This is a great read for anyone — single or not — who wants to see just how applicable these theories and formulas are to our lives. I was never a math lover in school, but I really enjoyed this book! (Check out the related TED Talk if you’re curious.)
  • il_570xN.436081413_kwxfThe Sports Fan: A personalized highway distance sign to your friend’s favorite team’s stadium/arena.
    I absolutely love these stadium signs as a way to support your favorite team! You choose your team’s venue from the Travelsigns Etsy shop, and plug in the number of miles between there and your home. This a great gift for that guy in your life who still hasn’t put anything up on his wall.
  • The Harry Potter Nerd: This Golden Snitch bracelet from Ashley Bridget.
    Seriously, have you seen anything prettier? The Ashley Bridget website features other Harry Potter jewelry as well, along with other gorgeous pieces from their NFL, collegiate, sorority, fairy tale and other collections. 🙂
  • The Career Guy or Girl: A customized business card case.
    You can find these anywhere, depending on your friend’s preferences, but I purchased mine from the ChicMonogram store on Etsy. This is a great gift for someone who recently graduated from college and is just starting a new job. For nearly my entire first year at my current job, I didn’t have a business card case, and instead found myself carrying the cards around at networking events like the unpolished peasant I was. With my personalized business card case (featuring my full name, not just my monogram), I have something to store my business cards and it makes for a great conversation piece!
  • The Fancy Friend: Anything from the Downton Abbey collection at World Market.
    I am in love with this collection’s 2-tiered serving stand and tea spoons, and I don’t even watch Downton Abbey! Buy a few items from this set for your tea-loving friends who like to entertain.

How are you shopping for the holidays? Share your favorite finds in the comments section below!

Masik Collegiate Fragrances: Fantastic U Giveaway

581777_10151777807567630_1870795621_nLast month, I wrote a review for the amazing Masik Collegiate Fragrances line after sampling two of their signature scents. Many of you approached me via social media to learn more about these perfumes and colognes, but today I am pleased to tell you that the company has rolled out its Fantastic U Photo Contest!

Here’s the deal: You can win up to $100 in products by entering the contest on the Masik Collegiate Fragrances Facebook page or (if you don’t have Facebook) through email, and following the directions below:

  • “Like” Masik Collegiate Fragrances on Facebook.
  • Post or send (info@masik.com) a photo that captures fanatical school spirit at your school.
  • Photos with the most likes and comments will win $100 worth of products.
  • Enter as many photos as you would like!
  • The contest ends April 23 – so what are you waiting for?

I encourage you to check out their website to learn about their different fragrances if you haven’t already. Best of luck! For those who enter, post a link to your fan photo as a comment here as well so we can see your school spirit! 🙂

Fabulous Finds: Masik Collegiate Fragrance Review

masik collegiate fragrancesThis week, I had the opportunity to test out the new Masik Collegiate Fragrance line, and readers, I think I’m in love! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, Masik Collegiate Fragrances are the signature perfumes and colognes for several universities throughout the United States. Each scent is inspired by the traditions, buildings and local plant-life of the university it represents, so as a fan of all things college, I couldn’t wait to try a few!

Because my university is young and does not yet have its own fragrance, I decided to sample the fragrances from two other Florida universities that many of my readers have attended: University of Florida and Florida State University. With a few Gators in the family, I was especially excited to try the UF women’s perfume. Infused with crisp pear, juicy mandarin and cedarwood (among others), the perfume has a fresh, citrusy scent that is definitely reminiscent of the Sunshine State. I was surprised to discover that the UF scent actually reminded me a lot of my own alma mater, the University of Central Florida, because of our own citrus ties! Whether you’re a Gator or simply looking for a fun new perfume, you will love the UF scent.

Inspiration for the FSU scent, courtesy of Masik.com

Inspiration for the FSU scents, courtesy of Masik.com

For my male readers, Masik also offers a men’s cologne for UF fans, complete with yuzu mandarin, green coriander, mint, clary sage, violet leaf, white sambaca, amber, white musk and sandalwood.

In addition, I sampled the men’s cologne from Florida State University, another wonderful scent that I would recommend to all the male Seminoles out there. The cologne, with oakmoss, Fuji apple, Meyer lemon and more, is meant to capture “the pride and determination of the Seminoles.” The scent is strong but not overpowering, and definitely one that I encourage Florida State students to try out.

Ladies, if you’re a Seminole or simply a fan of the university, the FSU perfume is infused with pomegranate, pink peony, juicy nectarine and other scents.

Aside from their UF and FSU fragrances, Masik also offers perfumes and colognes inspired by the following universities:

  • Inspiration for the UF scents, courtesy of masik.com

    Inspiration for the UF scents, courtesy of Masik.com

    University of Alabama

  • University of Arkansas
  • Auburn University
  • Clemson University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of North Carolina
  • North Carolina State
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Penn State University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Tennessee
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Texas
  • Virginia Tech

As a recent college grad who is still especially nostalgic for my days on campus, I love the idea of a collegiate fragrance line and can only hope to see my own university represented someday (nudge, nudge). 🙂 Go Knights!

Do I have you excited about these fragrances yet? Then pop on over to the Masik Collegiate Fragrances Facebook page for giveaways and other exciting information! 🙂