I spent most of the day yesterday in a room full of strangers—all of them hopeful dreamers and young entrepreneurs—while I attempted to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and pay attention to the young man doing his best to keep us all alert and interested.
“Can I get some volunteers from the audience??” I shifted lower in my seat, avoided eye contact, and began staring intently at the day’s itinerary arranged carefully in front of me.
It was going to be a long afternoon. Little did I know exactly how long. After a few hours spent filling in the circles on my Customer Product Cycle graph with words like “thingamajig,” “whatchamacallit,” “gizmo,” and “doohickey,” AS WAS SUGGESTED TO US BY THE SPEAKER, I began to wonder what the fuck I was doing here and did I mail that check and what could I make for dinner later? When my incredibly adorable and perky coworker earnestly turned to me with “where do you think speaking engagement falls in? Doohickey or whatchamacallit?” I told her it was time to make like a tree and leaf.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I love learning. Getting up at 7 in the morning to sit in a room full of hungry students is something I don’t mind doing… for the right seminar. This, sadly, was just not it.
But there is good news to brighten an otherwise stupid week. Oh, it’s good y’all.
I recently received an email from a site I have scoured on several occasions for the random oddball gift for eccentric friends and family members I have a hard time shopping for (looking at you, dad). Have you ever heard of UncommonGoods? This creative online marketplace (which has its roots in good ol’ Brooklyn) is home to a million and one thoughtful, eye-catching, and unique presents for anyone on your anxiety-filled holiday shopping list.
What’s more—many of their items are handmade (look for the handprint symbol), they have a commitment to the environment (many goods are made from recycled materials), AND they donate a portion of all proceeds to a nonprofit you can select (one of them being the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network—RAINN—started by my girl Tori). To read more about this great company and their initiatives, click here.
Believe it or not, a rep contacted me to see if I would like to review some of their goods. Can you imagine? The life of a blogger. It most certainly has its perks.
I had a really hard time deciding (does anyone else have this problem when they are offered a gift card?) but in the end, I am very happy with my selections.
I chose four incredibly cool and unique items:
These stemless aerating wine glasses (set of 4) actually enhance the flavor of the wine you’re drinking while also reducing the absorption of alcohol. And since I just broke a few stemless glasses (don’t tell my eventual in-laws), they definitely came in handy.
Here I am chugging back a Pinot after aforementioned hellish day.
I love Bryan with all my heart, but something that really drives me nuts is that he never drinks water (unless it’s in his coffee or flavored sugar water—don’t get me started). I was hoping to purchase a flavor infuser water bottle for both of us but lately he’s been taking mine and filling it with lemons and limes (as seen here) to bring to work. I don’t care. At least he’s drinking water without the extra sugar and that is something to celebrate. My only complaint about this bottle is that you can’t really fill it once the fruit is in place, but I imagine that once I’ve done this a few times, I’ll know exactly how much will fit in the container.
Meditation. Dogs. Both of these things speak to me on a very different level and when I saw that UncommonGoods had a zen dog garden sculpture, well, obviously you know how that went down. On the surface it may look unassuming and zen-like, but in reality, this is a reminder that in a half a year, we’ll have our own garden where he can watch over our foster pups and make sure I’m not killing our flowers.
Isn’t he cute?
Last but certainly not least, shark socks. Just because.
(These are not my legs)
And now for the really awesome part—you can enter to win a $25 gift card to spend on your own items from UncommonGoods! I advise you to take some time looking through their many neat items—you can very easily get lost among the literary scarves and make your own hot sauce kits. Maybe this site will help with your holiday shopping this year! They even have a designated Christmas gifts collection to make it easier than ever to find goods for your loved ones. Good luck 🙂