GIFT GUIDES FOR MEN

Finding the perfect gift for the men in your life isn’t easy. Before settling for yet another boring gift (cue the ties), take some time to really think about what the guy you’re shopping for would love to unwrap. This list of gifts for men, which is full of thoughtful ideas to match any budget, takes care of any guy on your shopping list — grandpa, dad, son, husband, boyfriend, brother, friend and so on. 

While you can’t go wrong with classic options (a trusty pair of socks), these unique gift ideas range from personalized picks to Amazon’s best-selling finds (freezable beer glasses).

BEARD KIT

For those men in your life who have facial hair, I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a beard kit. Included in the beard kits are shampoo, balm, oil, comb, boars hair brush, stainless steel scissors and storage bag. A clean beard is a happy beard!

BEER BOTTLE MAP

For those beer drinkers in your life, what could be better than a beer bottle map? I got Chandler this a few years ago and he loved it! There are also state options as well, which gives you plenty of options to fit the beer caps. With the map of the USA, it would be great for that special someone who travels and checks off breweries as they go. If your spouse is more of a wine connoisseur, there are also wine cork options as well.

FOUNTAIN PEN

My dad is a huge guru when it comes fountain pens. Pens can be more of a personal /, but surprise that special man in your life with a fountain pen. They glide across the page with no effort at all!

HAT

Swap out his dingy high school cap for this vintage-inspired option that looks more sophisticated without sacrificing comfort. Carharts offer plenty of styles and colors that offers you plenty of options when picking out one for that man in your life.

SOCKS

How can you go wrong with socks? My husband personally LOVES Happy Socks, so pick out a customized pair or look out into getting a box that have three + pairs. Look for one with patterns, solids or some of both.

REUSABLE CUP

His nightcap will survive his next camping trip thanks to this insulated cup. He can also use it in the morning to guarantee a warm cup of coffee, even if it’s freezing outside.

Both Yetis and Hydroflasks are great options in keeping water cold and coffee hot. I, personally, have both and love them equally. They both offer plenty of color and size options for that special person in your life. Get to shopping to find that perfect cup!

What have been some of your favorite gifts to give your spouse, boyfriend or brothers for friends? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Shopping!

XO,

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DIY CHRISTMAS GIFT PRESENTATION

Public Service Announcement: We are ten days out from Christmas, y’all. Saying that out loud makes my mind race, my heart skip a beat and make me feel like I’m in a state of state of sheer panic. I feel like it was just last month that I was sipping wine beachside and riding around the island on bicycles with my family.

We all know firsthand how quickly the costs of buying presents for friends and family can add up. I feel like my husband and I were pretty prepared throughout the year to pick up gifts here and there, but there is always a mad rush to finish off those checklists last minute. With that being said, anywhere you can save a dime here and there helps to lighten the load for everyone.

I will go over different ways to make easy DIY gift tags and alternate wrapping paper options that will have your loved ones drooling. You might even surprise yourself at how easy and time efficient these can be.

I have always considered myself to be a “crafty” person. Growing up, I could sit for hours coloring, drawing, or painting whatever I could get my hands on. The amount of times I roped my mom into taking me to a craft store was well in the hundreds. (poor Kim) Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a crafter or a DIYer, its okay to start somewhere! It is 2020 after all. Most of these ideas are “fool proof,” but don’t be afraid if they don’t come out exactly as you had planned. Often times, the best aren’t always perfect.

Brown Shipping Paper

Seeing this idea for the first time a few years back, I have found that brown shipping paper works really well when it comes to seamless, yet alternative wrapping paper. There are thousands of options to “dress it up” and make your presents look like you took them to get professionally wrapped. You can buy a role at any office store like Office Depot or Office Supply for well under $5. In years past, I have hand drawn people’s names right on the package and they turned out beautifully. I will have to admit that my calligraphy has got quite a bit better since I first started.

Dried Oranges

Dried oranges tied with ribbon against the brown wrapping paper makes for a breathtaking contrast. I typically go for a white ribbon or burlap twine ( buffalo plaid ribbon if I’m feeling bold), but experiment with whatever will match your “vibe.” Making dried oranges are very simple and quick, so experiment with this whenever you have a few minutes of free time. Pick up a bag of oranges during your next grocery shopping outing and get to baking. Make sure to cut your oranges in thin pieces and lay them flat on a baking sheet.

I’ve also found that doing both naval oranges and blood oranges are cool way to have a variation of color. In my DIY Christmas Decor blog, I also talked about how to make a fresh strand of garland out of these beauties.

Dried or Fresh Flowers

Dried flowers make for a beautiful, yet simple way to also dress up your gifts. If you are wanting to truly DIY these yourself and have them ready in time for Christmas, it would be in your best interest to start yesterday. The best approach I’ve found to dry these beauties has been to tie them at the bottom of the bouquet with string and to hang them upside down in a dark area. They do take a few days to completely dry out, so be patient with them. Although some flowers naturally hold their shape better than others, some sources have also have also said that spraying hairspray over the flowers help to preserve them. A few strands of fresh Eucalyptus or Lavender also smell heavenly while getting the same general gist of the dried flowers.

Paper Tags

With making your own paper tags, there are endless opportunities in what you can do to make your own. Craft Stores, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, have paper cutting tools that come in squares, rectangles, circles and stars. Buy a few shapes to be able change up your options. Pick up a few sheets of cardstock and sit down to start cutting. As another easy and quick option, invest in a watercolor set to draw simple trees or stars on white card-stock. Remember to keep things simple and light! Punch a hole in the top and tie with ribbon. Wallah! If you have a Cricut like myself, then you know how many hundreds of thousands of options there are when it comes to making your own tags. I remember the hours I spent two Christmases ago making tags and I was sooo pleased with how they turned out.

If you have DIYed any tags or wrapping paper in the past? If so, I would love to see what creations you came up with. Drop any pictures you have in the comments below. If not, what is your biggest fear in holding you back?

CHRISTMAS ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS

In this blog, I have compiled a list of holiday essential oil blend favorites that have been wafting through my house these last few weeks.

If you aren’t currently a part of the YL world and would like to join me on this oily journey, feel free to message me and I will more than happy to get a sample in your hands or more info on how to get a Premium Starter Kit (PSK) of your own. The Young Living nation is a supportive community built on thousands of like-minded people across the globe who live every day //

DIFFUSER BLENDS

Young Living currently has three different diffusers to choose from where you invest in your Premium Starter Kit for the first time. The Aria is the diffuser pictured above and creates a breathtaking mist that creates a wafts ever so //. To guarantee your diffuser is working adequately, fill it to the fill line inside with water and add in the appropriate amount of drops of each Essential Oil per your recipe. These diffusers can also change colors for whatever mood you’re in at that moment.

Sugar Cookie
+ 3 drops Cinnamon
+ 3 drops Stress Away
+ 2 drops Peppermint
+ 2 drops Lemon

Oh Christmas Tree
+ 4 drops Pine
+ 2 drops Spruce
+ 2 drops Cedarwood

Sleep in Heavenly Peace
+ 10 drops Peace & Calming
+ 5 drops Lavendar

Candy Cane
+ 5 drops Peppermint
+ 5 drops Stressaway

ROLL-ON BLENDS

Roll-ons are a great for on-the-go stick to have in your arsenal. Young Living offers V2, which is a carrier oil that you’ll need to top off your roll-on blends. You can also use fractioned coconut oil or Witch Hazel from you local supermarket. Amazon has plenty of sets available for sale. I also found roller bottles at my local Hobby Lobby that do the job.

*These bottles need to be glass as anything else will break down from the oils makeup.

Gingerbread House
+ 4 drops Ginger
+ 2 drops Cinnamon
+2 drops Nutmeg
+ 2 drops Clove

Hallmark Christmas
+ 3 drops Peppermint
+ 6 drops Christmas Spirit

Freshly Fallen Snow
+ 3 drops White Fir
+ 2 drops Cardamom
+ 1 drop Clove

To Grandmother’s House
+ 3 drops Pine
+ 3 drops Sacred Mountains
+ 3 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce

Mistletoe
+ 4 drops Pine
+ 3 drops Bergamot
+ 2 drops Peppermint

Please feel free to reach out to me if you are new to essential oils and would like more information on any aspect of the brand. I, too, was recently in your shoes. I attended an oils info class to amuse a friend/coworker of mine and never thought I would buy in to the culture and be that “oily” person. I eventually caved and bought my PSK in February. I immediately hit the ground running and I can truly attest to how much these oils have played a part of my every day health. There are oils for literately every need in your life – stress, muscle aches, sleeplessness and digestion. If there is ever a time when there are questions I can’t answer personally, I know people who can.

Let’s walk in this oily journey together! I can get these oils in your hands just in time for Christmas. It will be the gift that keeps giving and the best investment in your own health.

If you are already part of the YL family and have other go-to Christmas or roller blends, please share them in the comments below! I would love to hear some of your favorites! What are some of your other favorite DIY oily gifts ideas during the holidays?

CHARLESTON HOPE

As we head into the Christmas season, there are so many opportunities to pay it forward. We all know 2020 has been hard enough without adding the added stresses of adding Christmas shopping to our list.

Charleston Hope is a non-profit based out of Charleston, South Carolina that works to enhance school culture and climate in high poverty, Title 1 schools by building on the strengths of both the students and teachers.

This non-profit is also near to my husband’s heart. He spent many hours behind the scenes packing gifts into the U-Haul to distribute to the elementary schools every Christmas and master grilling during summer events. He met Emily (Executive Director & Founder) early on in her journey with Charleston Hope and was involved as a board member for some time.

Charleston Hope also has two distinct programs that they implement throughout the year for children in their schools: Mitchell Elementary and Sanders-Clyde Elementary.

  • Step-In Girls Empowerment Program
    Step-In Girls program that empowers 4th and 5th grade girls to step-in to themselves, their community, and their future.
  • Classroom Mentor Program
    The Classroom Mentor Program is an academic mentoring program that pairs community members with students. Often times, community members will come in for lunch to sit with students or stay after school for homework assistance.

If you feel lead to give in a tangible way to Charleston Hope’s mission, I have listed some ways below.

Adopt a Classroom

Adopt a Classroom is Charleston Hope’s fundraiser that spreads love and joy during the holiday season students and teachers in their partnered schools and raises money for their year-round program. Check out the many ways to help with Adopt a Classroom here. One night before Christmas, thousands of volunteers come together in CofC’s TD Arena to wrap gifts for hundreds of students. It’s a great time of fellowship and a way to get into the Christmas spirit. Many people wear Santa hats and are decked out in green and red. They often times have food available and is a great time for the family.

Become a Monthly Donor

Monthly donors are the backbone of Charleston Hope’s organization. They allow us to focus more on programming and less on fundraising. You can become a monthly donor in just a few simple steps!

Host a Supply Drive

Teachers need some loving this holiday season too, y’all! They are pouring their souls into each and every one of their students everyday. Help Charleston Hope collect teacher’s most needed items for their Teacher’s Hope Closet! View how here!


If you feel lead to donate otherwise or to another organization closer to your heart, that is totally okay! If 2020 has taught me anything, it is that we must look out for each other. Everyone, and especially kids, are deserving of love. Many of these students in this area come from hard upbringings and are not expecting to get much this holiday season. For those of us who have the means to do so, think about giving back to the community in some way this season. You won’t regret it.

Donate here!

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY INTRO

As an idea that came to me randomly today at work, I have a new “series” that I’ll be starting this upcoming weekend!

Every Saturday leading up to the week of Thanksgiving, I will be highlighting a “small business” that has meant something to me as well as ones that I have recently stumbled upon.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes and to bring light to all of the amazing talent we have around us in the Asheville (and Spartanburg) area.

If you have anyone that you would like to nominate for consideration, please send me a message and/or comment below!

Until next time,
Alex in Asheville