Posted in Awareness, Christmas, Christmas,Gifts

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last Minute Shopping Panic



 For the doggie

Kiehl’s Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo – $24.00

This mild soap-free shampoo is gentle enough for dog’s coat, face and skin. Featuring a special blend of Chamomile Flower Extract with efficacious and gentle cleansing ingredients. pH-balanced formula will leave coat and skin clean with a light and refreshing lavender scent. An ideal gift for your loved one who has big and small, long- or short-haired furry friends.


Vera Bradley Cozy Life Slippers –  $25.00

These cozy winter slippers are guaranteed to stop Jack Frost from nipping at your toes. Featuring embroidered details, extra fluffy sherpa lining, added insole, suede and silicone dots on bottom and an elastic in heel for a snug fit. Cozy Life Slippers come in Beary Merry, pictured, and Foxwood.


Tommy Bahama Chocolate Hawaiian Sea Salt Caramels – $34.50

This box of rich sea salt caramels features two Hawaiian salt varieties for a true taste of the islands. These 18 decadent chocolates come in two flavors: Alaea Hawai’ian Sea Salt– traditional course red Hawai’ian salt paired with Milk Chocolate and Caramel—and Hiwa Kai Sea Salt — large, coarse charcoal-hued salt paired with Dark Chocolate and caramel.


Kiehl’s Fatigue Scrubbers Gift Set – $37.00

A trio of fan favorite men’s bar soap, Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap, to exfoliate and cleanse. With invigorating Citrus Extracts and Pumice, this scrub soap efficiently exfoliates to alleviate rougher areas of the skin. Highly giftable in packaging by artist Andrew Bannecker. A $45 value for only $37!


Pottery Barn Eclectic Mercury Votive Holders – $39.50

A set of six festive and shimmery candle holders to light up a table or a mantel these votive holders are made of blown glass and feature an antique silver finish on the inside and a silver foil and luster finish on the outside. Offered in silver, gold, white and red.


Pottery Barn Kids The Snuggle Is Real Nursery One Piece Pajama – $39.50

Keep the babies in your life warm and snuggly with this cotton onesie that tells it like it is. In heathered gray with white script, it has a zipper from neck to foot for quick and easy changes. This onesie features rib collar and cuffs. Made with 100% cotton for the ultimate cozy winter outfit. Sizes range from 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months.


Lush Christmas Cheer Gift Set – $39.95

Get ready for any holiday party with this perfect package filled with glitz, glam, fizz and foam. This festive package features: cherry scented Rudolph Nose Shower Bomb, Rose Jam Shower Gel, Golden Pear Soap, Ro’s Argan in-shower moisturizer and Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub.



UNDER $100


TUMI St. Jude Luggage tag – $65.00 

You’ll be able to spot your bag from a mile away with this fun and playful patient-art inspired luggage tag. The perfect gift for frequent and style-conscious travelers. TUMI will donate 100% of the purchase price of this one-of-a-kind piece to support the St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign.


Vera Bradley Small Travel Duffel – $70.00

Upgrade your friend’s gym bag! This Small Duffel is the perfect size for a workout bag, or a weekend getaway. Available in six patterns: Beary Merry (pictured), Foxwood, Regal Rosette, Indiana Rose, Holland Green and Raspberry Medallion.

Where to find it:  Level 1, near Finish Line


The cutest cookie jar in town! This adorable camper van is decked-out with presents and décor. Look closely, and you’ll find a new best friend waiting at the door. Perfect gift for the pastry fanatic in your life.


Swarovski Symbolic Moon Hoop Pierced Earrings – $79.00

Enjoy multiple wearing options with this versatile pair of hoop earrings. Plated in rose gold, the hoops can be worn alone, or adorned with the dangling moon and star motifs creating a more extravagant look. A luxurious way finish to any look.


Lush Christmas Bathtime Favorites – $94.95

This festive reusable hatbox is filled with limited edition holiday bath bombs. Inside you’ll find fizzing treats that’ll soak away the stress of holiday shopping, get you party-ready or treat you to a soothing, softening soak in the tub. For the mover and shaker, give them 11 ways to unwind.


Art of Shaving Unscented Travel Shaving Kit with Morris Park Razor – $95.00

This TSA-approved shave kit is perfect for a man on the go. It contains all your shaving essentials, including a Genuine Shaving Brush and Morris Park Razor, packed in a stylish pouch.


Kate Spade Burgess Court Zip Jewelry Case – $98.00

This jewelry case with a zip-around closure will discreetly hold all those special pieces when you’re not wearing them. Perfect gift for someone who has an affinity for sparkle and glamour. Available in Pale Gold and Rose Gold.


L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar – $99.00

This luxury advent calendar features 24 days irresistible beauty treats. The 24 drawers breed a conversation with nature, giving the calendar a voice! As the days of Advent go by, you will find out to whom the voice belongs.


Williams Sonoma Star Wars R2D2 Popcorn Maker – $99.95

Are your friends obsessed with Disney+ right now? Give the gift that will help your friends travel to galaxies far, far away. This intergalactic popcorn maker is shaped like everyone’s favorite Star Wars™ droid. His head even doubles a bowl!

Posted in Christmas

Jolabokaflod, or the Christmas Book Flood

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, shoppers in Iceland spend a lot of their time browsing real and virtual bookstore shelves, searching for the perfect tomes (books) to gift to their friends and families. Then when all the paper comes off and books are unwrapped on Christmas Eve, everyone settles down with a warm drink and they relax and  dive into their new books.

I love this idea !! Whats cool is I always give someone a book at the holiday.


The tradition is called “jolabokaflod,” or the Christmas Book Flood.


“The culture of giving books as presents is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday,” Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association, tells NPR. “Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it’s the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland.”

Maybe it’s because the weather isn’t conducive to spending a ton of time outdoors, but the people in Iceland are generally big readers. According to a study conducted by Bifröst University in 2013, 50 percent of Icelanders read at least eight books per year, while 93 percent read at least one.

Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world except the U.K., according to the International Publishers Association 2015-2016 annual report. The Iceland publishing industry receives about 80 percent of its annual revenues in the two months or so leading up to Christmas reports Guide to Iceland.

The history of the Book Flood

The flood’s tradition dates back to World War II, writes Hildur Knutsdottir in The Reykjavik Grapevine. Due to strict restrictions on currency, there wasn’t a lot of imported giftware. Icelanders had money to spend and the restrictions on paper were more lenient, so books became the Christmas present of choice.

Long after the war, books stuck around during the holidays.

“This tradition stayed despite many flattering products that have arrived on the market in the past decades. The Clairol foot fixer, the Soda Stream-machine or even the iPad haven‘t managed to change the preference for the book as a good gift,” writes Icelandic poet and novelist Gerður Kristný. “I have always been given books for Christmas. I remember vividly being an 11-year-old getting nine books that year! Looking at the pile I felt very grown up.”


The tradition keeps reading alive and it thrills the writers who create the books, says Icelandic-born author, painter and broadcaster Hallgrímur Helgason.

“Thanks to the Jolabokaflod, books still matter in Iceland, they get read and talked about. Excitement fills the air. Every reading is crowded, every print-run is sold. Being a writer in Iceland you get rewarded all the time: People really do read our books, and they have opinions, they love them or they hate them. At the average Christmas party, people push politics and the Kardashians aside and discuss literature,” Helgason writes.

“In Iceland book lives matter in every sense of that phrase: The shelf-life of the book, the lives in the book, the life of the writer and the life of the reader. God bless the Jolabokaflod.”

The flood starts with the November release of Bokatidindi (roughly translated into “Journal of Books”), a catalog of nearly every book published in Iceland.

“It is delivered to each and every home in the country, and for many it is a sign that Christmas is officially upon us,” Knutsdottir writes. “And for Icelanders, Christmas is the time where you snuggle up and read your presents.”

Once the catalog is released, Icelanders start shopping. Typically, people get at least one book for a Christmas gift and often they get many more. Presents are unwrapped on Christmas Eve, and that’s when everyone curls up under blankets, often with a cup of warm chocolate or a non-alcohol ale seasonal ale called jolabland, reports

Flooding worldwide

As book lovers outside of Iceland began to hear about jolabokaflod, the idea began to spread. Publishers in the U.K. and the U.S. hopped on the bandwagon because well … obviously they thought it was a good idea to sell a whole bunch of books in time for the holidays.

But word of giving books and reading books spread on social media too.

What will you be giving (or reading) on Dec. 24?   I’m doing both this year


If your shopping for books this should help Best Books 2017-18