The Top Gifts For 2017

Christmas is a time of giving, and that means we need to spend a little time and effort on making sure we get the perfect gifts for the people we love. Yet, it doesn’t always work out that way. Often it’s because we have no ideas and no time to dedicate to these prospects, and we feel so bad when we have to rush to a garage on Christmas Eve. (Of course this is the worst case scenario!)

So it turns out that Christmas is right around the corner, so if you haven't picked up anything yet, let a few of these tips be your saving grace. Their popularity in 2017 means they’ll work for anyone if you’re at short notice, so look out for them in your daily shopping habits. Good luck with your pursuits!

If You’re Buying ‘For Her’

When we think about it, anything from the sections for him and her can be given to anyone. But seeing as they’re separated out by every store around, let’s consider some alternatives to that. When we head to the ‘for her’ aisle to find something for special lady in our life, we can feel a little bit like a failure. All the products in this area seem somewhat generic and have no use beyond looking pretty or cute. So we should get a little more creative with our choices, and head to the other aisles to find something a little more personalized.

So it can be incredibly hard to buy makeup for someone, considering it all depends on personal tastes and you may not know what they really like or prefer things that they don’t, which can bias your purchases. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy accessories to do with this, such as a makeup bag, brush cleaner, or utensils that can make the beauty process go a lot easier.

There’s also a trip down the books aisle to be had, as plenty of funny informational handbooks are on offer these days. When you have plenty of books on dating, for the husband and wife, and how to handle cats, there’s a laugh to be had for everyone.

If You’re Buying ‘For Him’

Once again this can feel like a bit of a cop out, but if you want to grab some stocking stuffers, this is a good place to start. Maybe you’ve got a kid in your life that expects more than a satsuma to hang from the mantelpiece in a fluffy sock that has their name embroidered on it, so don’t let them be let down by these expectations.

Novelty socks, underwears, and ties are always funny, especially when there’s a good pun to be read off of them. You can also pick up some entirely practical yet fun products from the internet if you’re buying for a particularly hard guy to please who seems to own everything in existence. For example, if they’re a pet owner or love dogs, you can wrap up a pet snack launcher. It’s time to hit the park!

In Technology and Media

Technology is always a popular market for gifts as they have a universal accessibility and interest for everyone on the planet. We’ve all used some kind of technology in our life, so follow along in this vein and keep an eye out for deals and price cut backs on phone models, phone skins, tablet accessories, and the consoles themselves. (If you buy something big, you won’t have to spend anything more!)

For example, things such as selfie stands that take the perfect photo from any angle are the kinds of gifts everyone will appreciate. Making technology easier to get to grips with for both the young and old are the best products on the market in general.

Upcoming apps like that of Final Fantasy 15 are big on the market for the end of year and beyond, considering the amount of usability there is in them. Being able to build your own virtual community with games like these is what makes them so fun. Buying a phone model that can handle the amount of storage something like this could take up never goes unappreciated when you think about the amount of use you could otherwise get out of it!

Gifts are subjective and everyone appreciates something different, but you can use the general trends to your advantage. It makes it a lot easier if you have somewhere to start in your present plans to make Christmas extra special.


Thomas Claxton: Savannah's Superlative Vocalist

In my recent travels to Savannah, Georgia I had the privilege of listening to the music of Thomas Claxton, a performer who is garnering attention in major cities across the United States.  Thomas is a vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist based in Savannah.  I attended a concert featuring Funk-Rock pioneers, Mother's Finest, and Thomas Claxton and his band, The Myth, kicked off the show.

Talk about blown away by some great talent! Check out this rock classic , "Come Sail Away", that Thomas and The Myth performed at the show in November 2017 at The Stage On Bay.

Now you can hear why I was so impressed.  As a student, Thomas studied classical music throughout his school years and was classically trained as a tenor by Mr. Jack Mullis and Dr. Lauren Ringwall. He played his first live performance at a coffee shop called, “Savannah Joe’s”, in the Savannah Mall when he was 17 years old and was  performing at various live music venues and clubs throughout his high school years. Since that time, he has performed at every style of venue ranging from coffee shops and clubs, to theaters and multi-thousand seat arenas including, The Amway in Orlando and the Amalie Arena, (St. Pete Times Forum), in Tampa and others. He is a multi award-winning artist, including 7 nominations and 3 wins (Best Alternative Artist, Best Rock Artist, and Best Rock Recording) in the 2017 international, Indie Music Channel Awards that took place in Hollywood, CA at the world-famous venue, “The Troubadour”.

He has played in numerous major cities including: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and many more.  He has performed with numerous world-renowned  performers including: Chuck Negron (lead vocalist for Three Dog Night), Mario Cipollina (Grammy Award-winning bassist and founding member of Huey Lewis and The News), Michael Hampton (Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and member of Parliament-Funkadelic), Nicko McBrain (drummer for Iron Maiden), and others.  Thomas Claxton  has opened shows for well-known performers including: Mother’s Finest, Stephen Pearcy (lead vocalist for RATT), Mili Matijevic (lead vocalist for Steelheart), and Jasin Todd (member of Shinedown and Fuel).  

Now, that's a rock and roll resume'! Having released two albums already, this talented vocalist is currently eyeing the release of his THIRD, which hits the market in January of 2018.  You can get your hands on his newest album, "Age of Propaganda",  by pre-ordering here!   Listen to his single from the album, Maybe I'm Crazy, and you will hear what could soon be a recognized name in rock and roll.  I highly suggest you buy this new album, as I am sure this will rocket his career and you can say, I told you so!

Aside from Thomas, “Age Of Propaganda” album features many world-class performers including: Paul Cooper (drums), Craig Johansen (guitar), Rodney Smith (bass), Mark Vaquer (drums), Michael Amico (bass), Tony Sarno (guitar), Phil Hilborne (guitar), Wayne Livingston (guitar),  Mario Cipollina (bass), Michael Hampton (guitar), and Eric Frampton (keyboards).

Thomas currently performs solo, as part of the Acoustic-Rock Duo “Thomas & April” with award-winning vocalist / songwriter April Henry, and with his 5 piece band “Thomas Claxton and The Myth”.  

If you get the opportunity to see him perform live, do it.  He does not disappoint and puts everything he is into his performances.  Here is a video of Thomas Claxton and April Henry, “Closer To Fine”:

He is endorsed by an impressive list of music brands:

  • Lewitt Audio
  • Klotz Cables
  • Gator Cases
  • Taylor Guitars
  • 64 Audio
  • Triad-Orbit Advanced Stands
  • G7th The Capo Company

His tour sponsors are:

  • Tate Law Group (Savannah, GA)
  • Bass Central (Orlando, FL)
  • The Antebellum of Savannah (novel by Greg Bonner)

Seeing Thomas Claxton perform, you will see a talent like no other.  Buy tickets to see him perform live, buy his album, or check out any of the venues he regularly performs for around the country.  Check out the website, “LIKE" and follow him on social media:  Facebook, Instagram  and  Twitter for the latest updates.  

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments for Thomas and he will respond.  

All photographs and videos are property of Thomas Claxton and are used with permission.


Three Trending Destinations for 2018

As the New Year fast approaches you’ll likely be thinking about your plans, dreams and goals for the future.  Of course, the first stop is Christmas, but after a week’s worth of turkey sandwiches, mulled wine, and family favourite movies your mind will likely drift down the path of setting a gear new year resolutions.  Along with the somewhat routine resolutions of losing weight, stopping smoking, making more money, and so on, a lot of people start to think about their travel plans, and in particular their bucket list; perhaps pinning their favourites on a brand new pinterest board to mark the start of a new year.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, then here are Three Trending Destinations for 2008.

Thailand remains a firm favourite amongst families, couples, backpackers, and solo travellers alike.  There’s still much unspoilt beauty in the tantalizing Kingdom of Thailand left to discover, particularly in the region of Krabi and Koh Lanta, but the undeveloped and rustic image that was so prevalent twenty years ago has since been replaced with neon lights, massage parlours, non-stop parties, and gridlocked congestion.  

One of the best ways to see Thailand, is on an organised tour, with a company like G Adventures as it will allow you to scratch beneath the commercial surface of popular places such as Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui whilst taking you on a journey to more remote parts of Thailand such as Pai and Udon Thani - that you might not otherwise discover.

Turkey has seen a rapid decline in tourism due to the perceived threat of terrorism and a potentially unstable political situation, however the majority of the country is an incredibly safe, calm and peaceful land of respect and culture.  Indeed, the Turkish people are some of the most sincerely hospitable people around.  

Istanbul is the clear capital of tourism and is famous for being one of the most interesting and culturally rich places for city break in the entire world.  Then, there are the mystical lands filled with natural “fairy chimneys” in the Cappadocia region - or hidden away seaside coves such as Olympos, just a couple of hours from Antalya.  

The greatest thing about Turkey, at the moment, is that due to the lull in tourism, you’ll get to experience a more authentic and traditional experience whilst reaping huge cost savings, particularly on hotels, as Turkey’s tourism infrastructure has always catered for package holidays - meaning there’s a huge supply of hotels with depleted demand; resulting in 4* Hotels costing as little as $10 per night.

Italy is an incredibly popular choice with travellers who are drawn from all over the world in search of fine wine, delicious food and beautiful scenery.  This enchanting region has marvellously mild weather, almost half of Italy’s artistic heritage, and traditional authentic people that make Tuscany feel so much more than a tourist destination.  When you enter Tuscany, you feel like you are part of the experience - you’re not an outsider looking in - you are one with this romantic and majestic land that will welcome you with open arms.

So, there we have it.  In 2018, Tantalising Thailand, Traditional Turkey, and Tasty Tuscany are all places you should consider putting on your travel bucket list.  What destinations will you be heading to in 2018?

Five Simple Ways to Eat a More Humane and Healthy Menu +Giveaway

Five Simple Ways to Eat a More Humane and Healthy Menu
 I’ve had animals for as long as I can remember. The message about animal cruelty and adopting a #ShelterPet is one that has gained ground in recent years, but the ASPCA is concerned with the welfare of farm animals as well. Here are five simple ways to become a more aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.

 Eat Seasonally - Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too!

 Shop Locally - CSA’s and local farmers’ markets help support local, often smaller scale, farmers and ranchers who are producing outside of the traditional factory-farm system. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit your local farmers’ market and start asking some question - this guide will get you started.

 Conquer Labeling Confusion - Marketers create confusion with their flashy labels and clever catch-phrases. But unfortunately, sometimes they care more about finances than transparency. Words like “natural” or “humane” often don’t have any oversight to actually tell you as a consumer anything concrete. However, some phrases and labels do have regulations associated with their use, and that’s what you can start to look for as a savvy shopper. Here’s a guide to labeling to get you started.

Be Careful to Minimize Waste - One of the ways we can treat the animals used for food respectfully and humanely is by making the most of the food we purchase. Purchase only what you know you’ll use and serve the right sized portions to avoid wasting what your family buys.

Look for Certifications That Mean Something - Unlike marketing gimmicks there are certain certifications and awards that have true meaning. For example the USDA Organic label shows that the produce grown (or fed to the animal) didn’t use banned pesticides. Others include Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane See The Good Groceries Guide for more information about how our shopping habits impact the lives of those around us - animals included. Find more resources for savvy shoppers at the ASCPA Shop With Your Heart website! And don’t forget to enter to win some fun items from the ASPCA! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crown Royal Gift Set

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