Unique Gift Ideas For The Holidays

Are you at a loss as to what to get someone for Christmas this year? Well, we know where you’re coming from. It may just be you are wanting to give a really cool and unique gift instead of the normal gift card. We have compiled a small list of some really cool things you may want to look into. We give you the product name, website you can buy it at, and the price. Always keep in mind you can search Amazon.com for these items and they may be cheaper there. Just click the image below to view them!

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KO Couture

You may or may not have heard about the new craze in pet fashion, KO Couture. This doggy clothing line was started in 2009 by a dog owner named Kelly Owens who was going through some hard times and desperately needed some creative outlet. She never imagined that just two years later her little hobby would take off earning her the title “pet fashion expert.”

The clothes and items carried by KO Couture are beautiful and great quality items ranging in price from $4 to $700 depending on the size of the item and the amount of detail. The clothes are both elegant and functional, and are guaranteed to make any pet feel like a superstar. The clothes are mainly created for dogs but judging by some of the pictures of the items, some can also be worn by cats or young children (mainly the hats).

KO Couture is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have a special canine in your life. The items can be bought on esty at www.kocouture.com/etsy. If you have any questions check out the f.a.q. at www.kocouture.com/faq.

It’s Organic!

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

These days it seems like the only thing people aren’t growing at home, is money.  With the buzz around the U.S. about eating, growing, and processing ‘organic’ food, could it really be better for you? Maybe cheaper? Or simply does it taste a little better than normally processed food, and where do you buy it? A-lot of people ask themselves the same questions.

To start off, organic foods are grown and prepared completely and entirely different.  While traditional growing habits are involved with the use of numerous chemicals, organic growing techniques stray from that sense.  With the only added unnatural ingredient being elbow grease, many people look to organic foods as a safer alternative to typical dining choices. There is no use of herbicide, or chemical fertilizer,  in the organic growing process, and while antibiotics and growing hormones are widely used in original methods, grazing that is rotated and access to the outdoors are preventative measures to prevent disease in livestock; also the use of organic feed!

Organoleptic value is a system to show how organic food is experienced by the senses for example: taste, sight, smell , touch. Organic food tends to have a better shelf life, this probably due to the higher level of antioxidants, and a lower level of nitrates which make fruit and vegetables age quicker. Also studies have shown that the higher the crop yield, the lower amount of antioxidants in the crop. This is why most people, when put to a blind taste test, will choose organic fruits and veggies showing that they have a higher organoleptic value.

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

Now where can I buy organic foods and will they but a whole in my pocket?  As the nation grows more aware of organic foods, expect to see it in all types or grocery stores along with standalone stores that specialize in just organic products.  Although the dramatic differences in growing techniques, the prices for organic fruits and vegetables are roughly the same. For non organic apples at a supermarket expect to pay around $3.99 per pound, while organic apples would be placed at $4.49, so expect somewhat of a price hike, but nothing that will break the bank.  Organic foods are  becoming more accessible, cheaper, abundant so we may see some families start to take a more natural approach to cooking and eating once exposed to it.

Chegg It Out

Chegg.com for those of you not in know is a website developed around in new trends in academic life. It’s a book store for college text books that not only allows you to buy these books but also gives you the option to rent. Renting text books is a trend that has grown quicker than the gremlin population at all you can eat buffet after midnight. Everyone is doing it know from the bookstores on college campuses across the nation to major corporations like Amazon. Now these website are useful for starving college students as they can save cash paying almost half price or lower for their text books, but there are several catches one must look at before deciding to rent books.

The first one is how responsible you are. You see me being the irresponsible college student I am, would forget to mail the books back to Chegg and since I used my irresponsible debit card to pay for it, the money gets taken out of my bank out when the due date hits. Putting people like my self out of money. The second item you have to look at when renting is whether you’re going to need the book in the future. College is supposed to get you ready for a professional career and further learning, as you might need to reference a text at your job because I actually didn’t learn anything like me. Go Me! So if I rented the book I can’t reference seeing as I had to return it, thus in my perfectly pessimistic world I lose my job. Anyway, so choosing whether or not to use Chegg ultimately depends on how responsible are you with time and money, with a little bit of foresight thrown in.

It’s All About The Packaging

How many times have you been out shopping and found yourself drawn to an item just because it has a cool design to it? Even if you do not realize it, the majority of things sold in our global market are sold based on design, not so much for productivity or purpose. I am not saying that something can’t look good and still be useful, take a Macintosh computer for example, it’s elegant and extremely useful! You may not even realize that you are buying something based on it’s looks.

In many aspects of our shopping endeavors the product with the coolest box or the most snappy phrases written on it win our money. I honestly believe that you can have a good product that will not be successful in its sales if the packaging is not worth looking at. Personally, I would choose a drink contained in a modern or newly designed bottle rather than a coke that is in the same old can we see it in on a daily basis. This is not always the case, in fact many people will choose a brand that they know because they are so used to it, but think about it, even coke had branded packaging back when it first came on the market with it’s beautifully crafted glass bottles. It’s all in the packaging, don’t believe me? Take a look at our gallery of amazingly packaged products and see if you can honestly say you wouldn’t want to buy it for the packaging!

Cloth and Patina

If you are looking for unique, vintage decor, Cloth and Patina in the place for you. Cloth and Patina Vintage, Rustic Home & Wedding Decor has a variety of home decor that is very cool and almost whimsical. Shop owner Tammy Serrano says that she likes adding a “little sparkle” to old and warn pieces. She collects antiques, vintage and salvaged items and restyles them. She is very happy to answer questions and concerns.

Cloth and Patina is “adding elegance and charm to the unexpected”. The unique items include everything from antique glasses and plates to homemade knickknacks that would add a unique touch to any home. There are burlap wall hangings that have rusty frames and simple buttons and subtle jewels, spelling out sweet and inspirational words. Neat vintage metal and wood magnets. She also has wedding items, and is willing to work with people to create custom wedding decor. She has a few holiday items. For fall, there is a French-inspired paper mache pumpkin. For the coming Christmas season, there are unique Italian made gold candle ornaments.

All of the items on Cloth and Patina are unique and handmade. Tammy Serrano resides in Florida, but it willing to ship world-wide. She is not willing to provide quantity over quality! All her items are special. There are easy ways to pay, and she ships as ECO-friendly as possible. Her neat and exclusive items make for a beautiful or vintage way to style your home!

Dream Weaver Shop

The shop Dream Weaver is home to some pretty amazing tea, and you can find nearly any natural tea flavor you’re looking for. This shop makes buying tea as easy as placing a simple order, and waiting! According to Bob, the man who runs the Dream Weaver shop, “I prefer to sell whole leaf teas because they have much better flavor since when you cut the teas very fine to put them into tea bags they lose flavor from being exposed to air.” The tea also comes with a reusable tea bag that can be rinsed out after each use.

Bob’s site offers many options to customers, available for your purchase, he sells; green tea, black tea, chai, white tea, herbal tea, herbs, resins, and fudge. Bob sent two sample fall flavors to the magazine earlier this week, English Toffee, and Pumpkin Pie herbal tea; both of which were very refreshing. The two flavors, which were very different from one another, had a way of warming you after a day out in the cold.

If anyone has a strong love for tea, this is the place to go! Your quest for delicious, natural teas is over, just visit www.etsy.com/shop/dreamweavershop and get shopping, either for yourself, or for friends and relatives who love tea! This would make an excellent gift during the holidays!