Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's Gift Guide Time!


ORCA Coolers keep drinks ice cold for hours! They look fire too.

Cheers to you!

Once again it's on! 

Welcome another one of my popular Gift Guides where I show love to some dope products and ideas that save you the time to research what to get someone who deserves it including yourself! Taking the time and energy to either review or experience what's listed below, I think you will dig what I compiled below. I also shared a lot of these selections with a really cool app/website recently featured in Forbes and Black Enterprise called TheCut; it's an ingenious resource for barbers and millions of customers worldwide Providing a more lifestyle approach for fun reading, I joined the team to post the hottest Whips to drive; now, I'm expanding the content to include gift guides and soon, travel. 

And with that, get your shopping on! I also included direct links (just click on the product's title), my two cents, and even some descriptions straight from the source. More items will be added throughout the season so be sure to check back!

Now let's make the days leading up to 2022 and beyond count! Happy Holidays!

(Photography provided.)

Smell Goods.

Atlanta’s own Tony Rouse is an award-winning entrepreneur and brand strategist who has utilized his globetrotting to create a collection of candles that are not only aromatically complex and satisfying, but come with empowering names to inspire those who strive for excellence. Check out their descriptions:

·         God, a blend of fresh mist and amber.

·         Kingpin, a combination of spiced bergamot and leather.

·         Mogul, a motivating mix of citrus and sandalwood.

·         Power, the joined aromas of smoke plum and cedarwood emulating fire.

·         Savage, a scent that infuses dark chocolate and pine.

·         Titan, ideal for relaxation, is a union of lavender and musk.

Brother Rouse also has a Signature Tony Rouse Cologne highlighting notes of spiced citrus and patchouli that’s more than worthy to wear to those affairs and business meetings where you want to make a serious impression. It’s safe to say he has the smell game on lock!

They Say: The six-candle sample set includes 4 oz. travel tins of each fragrance in matte black tins and is delivered in a gift box for $95. The individual 10 oz. candles are housed in an illuminating, custom etched matte black glass jar and boast an engraved natural wood logo for $100 each. Additional sizing options are available on the website. With the holidays approaching and ideal for any occasion throughout the year, from decompressing at home to gift-giving, each Tony Rouse candle is a proprietary soy wax blend, made from the finest ingredients and hand-poured with care.

Speaking of smell good, don’t sleep on Ovation for Men by entrepreneur Shawn Crenshaw. A Black Cornell University graduate who defied the odds to become a success in the olfactory industry, this Eau De Parfum proudly boasts an impressive combination of notes including cardamom, leather, tobacco, vanilla, vetiver and amber that lasts for hours. Every bold and proud man deserves an Ovation.

* Feeling generous for the holidays, Ovation is also blessing us with a $20 discount using the promo code “ovation21” on the site!

They Say: Ovation is a celebration of the king inside every man. Experience a magnetic fragrance rich in the confidence, style, and attitude of today’s influential men of color. Confidence exudes from its aromatic citrus and lingering woodsy notes. Style is characterized by the bottle’s sleek, timeless design. Attitude is defined by the long-lasting impression each spray leaves behind. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Stand out with a uniquely gentle, yet masculine fragrance worthy of applause.

Body Love.

I mess with method due to their dedication of preserving Earth by various means when producing soaps, deodorants, lotions, and cleaning products presented in three lines: method, method body, and method men. They use biodegradable formulas made without parabens, phthalates or sulfates; plant-based ingredients that actually smell great and moisturize at the same time; refuse testing with animals to produce cruelty-free products; and use bottles made with over 50-percent recycled plastic. Anyone dedicated to make this world a better place while simply loving quality cleaning and hygiene products would dig this brand. Evidently, I do.  

Get Lifted.

For those who love the flowers that can be smoked—okay, cannabisVESSEL is making sure it’s done with style and optimal design. Hit up their site and look at the various luxurious accessories available to pack dry herb in to enjoy. From dope vape pens like the Craftsman in Walnut, to batteries, grinders, and the “just add flower” Eclipse Kit complete with a “…waterproof stash jar, an inverted lighter and Air one-hitter which is tapered like a pre-roll and handcrafted with a sandblasted, smoked glass finish” enclosed in a zippered case, VESSEL brings that fire.

They Say: Vessel is a community-led, Korean-American-owned company that uplifts the cannabis consumption experience with its luxury accessories including a high-end line of vape pen batteries and a new dry herb kit. Thoughtfully designed with the user experience in mind, Vessel batteries feature details including optimized airflow technology, low-temperature settings and extra-long battery life.


Sip Time.

Proudly family-owned producers of artisanal bitters and canned cocktails, Dashfire boasting to be produce the first-ever Old Fashioned Variety Pack, you get a trio of variations including Bourbon (38% ABV), Rum (35%), and Rye & Ginger (35%) packaged in stylish 100ml cans. Great for concerts, outdoor events, parties, the beach or simply inside the house, Dashfire helps spirit enthusiasts get their sip on when on the go.

They Say: Dashfire owner Lee Egbert says, “This variety pack collection of Old Fashioneds has allowed us to use unique base spirits and then build an entire flavor profile around that base spirit. So, if you know someone who loves Old Fashioneds, we think this is absolutely the perfect gift for them.”


Staying on the canned adult libations, Drift Cocktails just hit the shelves and is making a huge splash in the South featuring organic spirits fused with natural fruit flavors and carbonated mineral water but with a kick at 7% ABV. Currently, they have a duo of organic vodka concoctions—Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange—with Tequila Lime crafted with agave tequila blanco, and Passion Fruit Rum using dark and white island rums coming next. For those watching their waists, Drift’s cocktails are a mere 85 calories per 12-ounce can. Delicious, refreshing, and perfect for any occasion, Drift is blowing up and for good reason.

They Say: “Drift is so much more than refreshing cocktails conveniently presented in cans,” says expert distiller and co-founder Doug Mulford. “Drift is a lifestyle, it’s a feeling, it’s a state of mind. For those that just want to ‘Sip Back and Relax,’ or those who want to ‘Go Awesome,’ Drift is for mixes concocted by people that love the outdoors, love experiences, and love being together!” 


From the minds of a collective of Black entrepreneurs including lyrical assassin Willie The Kid and the Saint Julian Winery in West Michigan, the Motu Viget Brut (Mo-To Vi-Jay) sparkling wine has lovers going in a frenzy to cop more. Tasting notes include fresh pear, apple and semi-sweet finish of honey packaged in a swanky foil-crowned bottle set at 13% ABV.

You can cop this bubbly online for a wallet-friendly $15.99 retail, so show off with multiple bottles at the next celebration, food pairing, nightcap… you pick the venue to pop the cork. Look out for their Avani Supreme vodka and Eye Candy sweet rosé as well. They’re making moves!

They Say: Welcome to your moment with Motu Viget. We are a heritage wine and spirits company based In Grand Rapids, Michigan that crafts authentic and original offerings including Motu Viget Brut – a semi-dry, sparkling wine; Avani Supreme – a corn-distilled vodka; and Eye Candy – a floral, sweet rosé. With Motu Viget Brut, grab one for yourself, surprise a special someone or delight the whole crew with our premier bubbly. No matter the occasion, our namesake Brut is sure to keep things sparkling.


Sure, it’s a shameless plug because it’s my beer, but one taste of this silky, smooth collaboration I did with brewing giant New Belgium will make any lover of especially dark chocolate and vanilla an instant fan. Brewed at a potent 10% ABV coming in a four pack of 16-ounce cans, every purchase supports Fair Trade workers in Uganda, and gives a percentage of the proceeds to progressive organizations. So far, purchases have benefited youth organizations, aspiring chefs, Black farmers, and community gardens in especially the Atlanta area via the BrewGether fund. Trust, Piano Keys is the truth in taste and addressing community initiatives.

We Say: Piano Keys is an ongoing collaboration with New Belgium Brewing Company and craft beer ambassador, Ale Sharpton, that features rich and roasted specialty malts married with Atlanta's own XOCOLATL cocoa nibs and Ugandan vanilla beans. Decadent aromas of fig and dark chocolate are balanced by the soft, sweet flavor of vanilla for an Imperial Stout that rewards in more ways than one.

There’s more than one type of “brew” in this category. Keurig is perfect for that coffee lover who doesn’t want to commit a whole pot to make one cup. The Keurig K-Express justifies its moniker; it takes under two minutes to put your cup at the bottom, insert a signature K-Cup pod—there are literally hundreds of flavors and brands to choose from—close the K-Express’ top, press the cup size, and be out in seconds.  The STRONG button for coffee intensity, three cup sizes—8, 10, or 12-ounce per session—and the slick look and “Keurig” on the machine overall simply steps your kitchen counter’s game up. Don’t feel bad if you keep it for yourself. I did.


Fresh Victor Mixers are the perfect complement to especially holiday gatherings. These 16-oz bottles come ready to pour with flavors ranging from Cucumber and Lime to Cactus Pear and Pomegranate. Great for having in the refrigerator for when company comes over or to bring to friends as a gift, just add your liquor of choice, pour over ice, hook up a garnish, and you'll be whipping up artisanal cocktails for your guests in seconds. Even more impressive is all the boxes they check, including being gluten free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and clean label. Not mad at them!

They Say: Fresh Victor is here to let you put down the citrus press and get back to the party. These mixers are elegantly balanced to perfectly incorporate everything from your favorite spirit, beer or wine to seltzer, tonic or tea for a kicking mocktail. Drink up!

Game On.

If you want to step up your rec room and you’re balling like that, Sawyer Twain’s got your back with luxurious, handmade pool tables, card tables, shuffleboard, and even traditional furniture. This Monaco Table Tennis Table made with select walnut and maple wood is dope enough to serve as a dining table and whatever else you find to make it functional. Game on!

They Say: This ping pong dining table brings style and versatility to any game room. The table’s handmade maple and walnut wood construction is captivating and contemporary. A sleek profile helps conserve space while a removable net allows you to easily transform this wood ping pong table into a dining surface or craft space. 

Keep Cool.

When it comes to transporting beverages, camping, hitting up the beach, hiking, bussin’ spades in the park, or whatever your move is for the day, Orca coolers is all about that life. Regardless of your beverages of choice, the ORCA Walker 20 cooler can fit 20 cans of them. Featuring high-tech insulation for multiple-day cold retention, a magnetic split handle, padded shoulder strap, and ability to hold 20 pounds of ice lasting up to 24 hours, everything is chill about this mobile device. Orca also has cups and other products geared towards anything you sip being ice cold. As an added plus, all coolers come with a lifetime guarantee. Oh, they look fly too.

They Say: At Orca, we pride ourselves on making coolers that will stand up to the test, no matter what your adventure. So much so, we guarantee every one of our coolers for life.

Gear Up.

Started by a group of influential natives who are all about promoting the brilliance and innovation Georgia’s capital produces, rocking their gear will certainly add you to the list of the city’s true believers. Shirts, sweatsuits, masks, bags… whatever you choose, the “Atlanta Influences Everyone” message is one of the most profound statements in the nation. More importantly, it carries validity.

They Say: Atlanta Influences Everything is a creative consultancy, focused on combining civic, corporate and cultural understanding to harness the influence of Atlanta culture to do good and connect communities.


I mean come on, you can never go wrong with getting someone either a physical or “EGift” card version to this iconic denim company. Focused on being more inclusive to everyone’s lifestyle, their jackets, jeans, shirts, bags and even models they use have evidently gotten funkier and more diverse. If there is one clothing company to pick from where someone can find something to wear without breaking the bank, it’s Levi’s. Don’t sleep on their free Red Tab member program for exclusive perks, too. Someone got me a gift card and I was definitely feeling the thought, so I had to share the love.

Happy Holidays y'all!



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