The nice folks at Uncommon Goods reached out to me with an irresistible offer, pick a few items that I might put on my own wishlist this holiday season and share them with you. I had JUST added an item from Uncommon Goods to my wishlist in the latest Mamatoga Magazine, so the hardest part was narrowing down my choices.
With gift giving, I try to find something that the person wouldn't buy for themselves but would also totally want and appreciate, which is not always the easiest task. Gift cards get boring and aren't personal, and I hate buying something just for the sake of having a gift to give. Every time I've gone to Uncommon Goods I've found something fun and totally gift worthy (even for my impossible to shop for father). Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Uncommon Goods features unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. They run all of their operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including their warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage. Uncommon Goods makes it their mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers, and half of what they sell is made by hand. Most of the products they carry are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of their entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials.
More than just a collection of stuff to buy, each item is like a hand selected addition to a perfectly curated gallery of items that honestly pretty much anyone would appreciate. Consider this the place to go to shop for that "impossible to shop for" person in your life.
I think I went to a spa once, I have a distant memory of soothing music, calming aromatherapy wafting through the air, maybe a massage? Nowadays, however, the closest I get to a spa is taking a shower uninterrupted. That is, until, I got this shower aromatherapy kit from Uncommon Goods. The kit features three different essential oil blends that are diffused directly through the hot water of your shower mounted from an adjustable arm that easily attaches to almost any style of shower head (I have a bigger shower head, one of those rain type ones, and it fit mine fine). You just tip the arm holding the pod so that its tip extends into the stream of the water, or just move it out of contact with the water and allow the scent to diffuse through the moisture in the air. The scents 100% made my shower more relaxing, and you only need a little bit of the oil to get the effect, and the arm holding the pod easily tips back up so you don't have to have more scent than you'd like. Surprisingly, the kids even liked the aromatherapy too, especially the "Breathe" scent, blended to wake up your mind and body with Cedarwood Atlas, Peppermint, Lemon and Eucalyptus. Recommended for: the fellow mom in your life who needs Calgon to take her away like NOW. Find more gifts perfect for your own mom or your mommy friends right here.
Next up, this scratch map caught my eye. We've been through a lot of maps, a dry erase one that wound up just being a scribble poster was our last attempt, and when I saw this beautifully designed gold map I had to try it out. The map is nice and sturdy, made on great quality paper with a glossy finish, and you use a coin to scratch off the places you've been to reveal pops of color to make the map a personal chart of your family journeys. This map is even pretty enough to frame and hang, and would look great in a kids room after they've scratched off all the places they want to go explore. Recommended for: The kids, or that globe trotting person in your life. Find more picks great for the men in your life too right here.
My next favorite was this pregnancy journal. Now, I've been pretty honest in the past about not being the biggest fan of pregnancy, and especially with a bunch of other kids at home, I don't always get the chance to appreciate the miracle that is pregnancy. I believe complaining might be my main pregnancy activity. BUT, this being my last pregnancy, I am really trying to hold on to this experience, and to appreciate it for the incredible thing it is. This prompt journal is full of pages for your cravings (CHEESE DANISH FTW), your hopes for the future, preparations for your little arrival, and more. It also is a nice space to write out some of the tougher feelings that can come up during pregnancy, and for me it has served as a reminder to take some time out of my day to be mindful of this pregnancy, to remind myself how excited I am even through the exhaustion, and to slow down and savor these little milestones that can get overlooked all too easily. This is definitely going to be the gift I give my friends when they first find out they're expecting. Recommended for: Your preggo friend who is struggling through morning sickness and that dreaded first trimester exhaustion. Find more great picks for sisters and friends here.
My final stocking stuffer comes back to the aromatherapy theme, something I've actually gotten even more into being pregnant. Since my usual means of relaxation are temporarily out (no glass of wine while reading my Kindle for the time being), this little fragrance rollerball is helping fill that gap while also being a really beautiful pick me up (and it's one you can literally toss in your purse and not worry about spilling). I've been looking for a new perfume for a while now (made even more difficult now that everything seems to smell terrible to my pregnant nose), but this rollerball does double duty as a mood enhancer and a perfume with calming rose, heliotrope and muguet, and I LOVE the amber, cedarwood and a sweep of vanilla which seems perfect for this weather right now too. So far I've gotten compliments on this fragrance every time I've pulled it out and swiped some on. It also comes in two other scents: Play and Escape. Recommended for: A little bonus for your babysitter, she deserves a bit of peace and quiet.