Winter Gift Guide: Nine Season-Sizzling Must-Have Items

If you’re still shopping for the holidays, I’ve got nine hot gift ideas just for you!

These items are not just ideal for Christmas gifts for your friends and loved ones; but these sizzling suggestions will make the perfect gift all year long! So go ahead and get a head start on Valentine’s Day or someone’s birthday with all my current favorite things.

iRobot Roomba i7+: Move over Florence the maid from “The Jefferson’s!” There’s a new housekeeper in town and this one seems more like it came from an animated series like “The Jetson’s.” Meet the iRobot® Roomba® i7+ – an innovative robot vacuum that cleans up your floors, automatically empties itself and can all be controlled by an app on your phone. Now the Roomba i7+ is the name of the package that includes the Roomba i7 plus the dock that enables the self-emptying feature, called Clean Base which has an allergen dock. The Clean Base itself hold 60 days of dirt, dust and hair, so you can program the Roomba to clean while you’re on your extended vacation and not worry about the base overflowing. This latest model of the Roomba boasts 10-times the air power to aide with pick-up performance. While it will occasionally get tangled in a phone chord and trip of a sock, overall it’s a self-contained cleaning machine that gets the job done without you even lifting a finger. It’s a smart vacuum that intelligently maps and remembers multiple floor plans to clean your entire home. If you detest vacuuming, life just got simple with this investment appliance that will help keep your home or office tidy. (Price: $999.99 / Go to iRobot.com)

OOO Traveling Luggage: Here’s the truth: OOO Traveling Luggage has changed my life.  It’s no secret, I’ve even shared on TV that I used to be one of those people who didn’t believe in investing in luggage. For many years, every couple of months I went to T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or Ross to find discounted luggage (typically by Nautica) that the airlines could tear up as they tossed it around with all of the other checked luggage. But God forbid you’re traveling in a rain storm and your luggage is left on an uncovered cart too long.  By the time you get to your destination, your clothes would smell like steamed funk! Most recently, I expanded my OOO collection with a medium-sized bag.

The sleek, durable hard case bag has quality construction and is highly functional. It’s stylish design comes in several colors including black, teal, vanilla, orange and navy (I have three pieces in this color). OOO Luggage offers amenities like an external charger for your phone and an international power adapter for trips abroad. The bags also have a convenient back pocket for storing your phone while you’re in line for airport security or charging it on your way to the gate. It’s also extremely lightweight – an additional blessing for me, as my previous luggage set was very heavy even before packing it. And the wheels on these bags roll smoothly, making your dash through the airport (especially with the carry-on) even more easier. For pricing, the carry-on is $248.00; medium bag is $278.00; and the large is $298.00. Trust me; this is an affordable price for such high-quality luggage! (Go to OOOTraveling.com)

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9: The B&O H9 over-ear headphones deliver Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound with advanced technology features that really enhance your listening experience. Crafted by the high-end Danish audio maker known for striking designs and high-fidelity audio reproduction, the Beoplay H9 headphones bring music alive in the best way while cancelling out noise and distractions. The powerful listening experience uses bluetooth technology and various listening modes for your listening pleasure. There’s also a Google Assistant built-in. If you want a quality set of headphones for a super-quality listening experience, this are the ones you need. ($500 / Go to Bang-Olufsen.com)

Buttah by Dorion Renaud: Dorion Renaud is an actor, singer and Hollywood personality known for having flawless skin. And what do you do when people constantly ask about your beautiful skin? You launch a skincare line! Renaud now has Buttah by Dorion Renaud, a three solution combo kit that includes a cleanser, serum and facial shea butter. The cleanser doubles as a mask; the moisturizer works to keep skin healthy and hydrated; and the Vitamin C serum aims to correct dark spots and the main ingredient to glowing skin – pure Shea Butter in its original form. This line is targeted toward ethnic and non-conventional skincare types.(Price $59.99 for kit / Go to ButtahSkin.com)

Slate Collection Duffel: There’s nothing like looking the part while traveling. And a great way to upgrade your first impression while on the road is with the Slate Collection Madrona Duffel. Available in a variety of colors (my favorite being the Indigo featured here); this full-grain leather duffle bag is unisex and made in America right in Minnesota. This travel companion is water-resistant, has a removable shoulder strap and side buckles that adjust capacity. Its brass-tooth zipper with leather stops provides a secure smooth-action closure, and the metal feet protect the bottom of bag. It’s stylish; it’s fly and its made to age gracefully over time. A classic piece. (Price $500 / Go to SlateCollection.com)

PodPocket – Do you love you AirPods for your iPhone the way that I do? Well the chord-less earphones can now be carried in a cool case called the PodPocket. These cases are made of a molded high-grade silicone that secures the AirPods charging case. They come in multiple colors and have a key ring and clasp so it can be attached to any bag, key chain or your belt loop (that’s where I like to wear mine), so that they are easily accessible at all times. The sleek, modern case also protects the AirPods case. And the case is made with a slit in the bottom so that you can keep the AirPods in the PodPocket and continue to charge them. (Price $19.99 / Go to PodPockets.com)

Aretha Franklin: “Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings” Vinyl – If you want a part of history to celebrate the life and legacy of the late “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, then you must add the four-LP vinyl debut of “Amazing Grace” to your music collection. A keepsake, a collectors item and music in its original form; “Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings” features Franklin’s revered live gospel recording with Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. The original album included 13 tracks and remarks by her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin and was released on June 1, 1972. A re-mastered and expanded version of the album including performances from both nights of the two-day recording was released in 1999. “Amazing Grace” has sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone and considered one the best-selling Gospel albums of all time (it was released before SoundScan had more accurate counting of album releases). (Target/$88.39)

Bose SoundLink Micro Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: With everyone running music and audio from their smart phones, laptops, iPads and other devices; a great mobile speaker is essential for getting optimal sound. What’s even better is when that speaker is small in size and easy to travel with. Bose SoundLink Micro is a pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker that is able to play louder and produce richer and louder sound than most of the competing wireless speakers the same size. In addition to playing music, the speaker has a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls. The Bose SoundLink Micro is waterproof and also has an integrated strap for attaching the speaker onto a bag or clipping it to other objects. Battery life is average so hold on to your plug. But face it, everything sounds better in Bose. ($99 / Go to Bose.com)

Hotel Travel: It’s no secret that every year people vow to “travel more” as one of their New Year’s Resolutions.  Why not help them meet their travel goals by giving them the gift that supports their desire to travel more.  Things like a hotel gift cards are an ideal way to enhance a friend of family member’s ability to make their jet-setting goal a reality.  Selecting a brand like Marriott affords the person you’re buying for the option of selecting one of Marriott’s 30 brands of hotels including AC Hotels by Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard, Four Points by Sheraton, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Sheraton and the place I chose to stay while in Fort Worth, Texas; the Aloft Fort Worth Downtown.  The Aloft brand of Marriott is hip, contemporary and offers some very trendy amenities like communal games in the lobby and social spaces. Plus, when you give a gift card from a hotel chain, you also teach that person how to start building loyalty points with a particular brand. (Go to Marriott.com)


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