4 Places Where You Can Shop Small This Holiday Season

It’s almost here, people! ‘Tis the season to shop, and this year we have a whole new focus. This pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and I’m sure you all know atleast one local business that is struggling. With Black Friday (11/27) and Small Business Saturday (11/28) upon us, it’s time to do our part and recognize some exceptional small businesses that may help us check some items off the list. So, this year we’re focusing on shopping small and helping out those in our community. Check out these great options, all of which can ship directly to you!

Upcycle Maine Home Furnishings

This is a personal favorite of mine. They specialize in locally crafted gifts from various artists, as well as home décor, refinished furniture, and custom orders. I have purchased various items from them over the last 3 years that they’ve been open, and I’m always using them for home décor inspiration. They’re currently running live sales through Facebook, where you can comment to purchase a featured item. It’s a fun way to interact with everyone and get great gift ideas for your loved ones, while skipping the worry of crowded stores! They allow pick-up and shipping options.


This boutique features the cutest clothing and accessories for the holiday season. If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas outfit, you should definitely check out their selections. They feature locally crafted goods and carefully curated consignment options. They do ship, but they’re also offering a special Black Friday VIP event that you can reserve your spot to ensure social distancing standards can be met. These knit beanies are on my list!

Zeb’s General Store

If you’ve been to North Conway, NH, then you’ve probably stopped into Zeb’s General Store. They’re a local favorite, with tons of quirky little gifts for anyone on your list. They feature penny candies, dips, salsas, sauces, chocolates, canned goods, and so much more. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to walk through the aisles because there’s just so much to see! If you’re looking for a taste of New England, there’s no better place. You can view their shipping options here.


I know you’ve probably all heard of Etsy by now, but in case you haven’t, they’re an online portal for independent sellers aka small businesses. You can find literally anything on Etsy, from handmade items to antique, one-of-a-kind goods. They often ship USPS, so you do have to be careful of shipping times during the holidays. Two of my favorite shops are Prairie Hills Pottery and Magnolia Manor Décor.

What are some great local business you’ll be supporting this year? Share with me in the comments!

Holiday Gift Guide Series: Veterans


If you have a veteran in your life, than you may know how difficult it can be to find the perfect gift for them. They have all the gear and gadgets before most people, and it’s challenging to find something unique and useful for their lifestyle. For this guide, I consulted some experts who have used or currently own these products. Here’s our gift guide, straight from the actual veterans themselves!

An important part of this guide was to support and recognize businesses that are owned and/or operated by veterans across the U.S. With that in mind, these products are made with the utmost quality and are built to last in this ever-changing lifestyle. A company near and dear to our hearts, Black Rifle Coffee, was the first that came to mind. BRC is still fairly new to the scene, but they have locations opening up nation wide. Plus, they ship overseas!

Another company that we recently tested out product from is woobiesshoes.com. My husband got a pair of these about 6 months ago, and absolutely loves them. They dry super fast and are durable, yet very breathable. These are a great alternative to Converse and Vans, with an ideal flat-sole style for lifting/leg day. Coupled with a Grunt Style bag and Nine Line shirt of your choosing, this would be a great package-deal gift for gym goers!

I wanted to include some stocking stuffer ideas as well, from handmade items to essentials. There are tons of great keychains, stickers, and patches that could serve as a unique little gift for the veteran in your life. I found this particular keychain on Etsy, and there are lots of great stickers and patches to choose from at Medals of America.

My husband has what they call the “Pilot’s Combover”, and if you’ve ever stood underneath a helicopter, you know it takes a lot to hold that hair in place. He uses Combat Combover to keep things smooth, and there are options for female veterans as well! Plus, their unique product names can add a little dark humor to the holiday.

If you or your spouse has ever been deployed, you have probably heard of Green Bean. In 2018, my husband spent the holidays in Afghanistan and one of his favorite gifts was receiving coffee cards. Friends and family would order these online and have them sent to his email, so he could use them as often as he liked. Green Bean is now showing up on various bases, but if you’re spending the holidays apart this year, it’s a great virtual stocking stuffer idea. And you can add this Warrior Flask to keep their coffee hot!

If you’re looking for some unique ideas for memorabilia, we’ve put together 3 great options. My husband doesn’t like to flaunt his military service in any way; he’s rather secretive about it, actually. So he’s picky about the things we have in our home that may speak to his military service. These items were chosen with that in mind, starting with this keepsake box. He has a million challenge coins, patches, letters, stickers, etc. and they were really starting to build up. With some of these items being very near and dear to him, we wanted a safe space to keep them. This is a great option for current and retired veterans alike, and fully customizable!

This decanter set and wooden flag are along this same theme – quietly paying tribute to their military service. These would be great additions to a mancave, or for female veterans, the decanter could be added to your very own bar cart.

If you’re a veteran or military spouse, what are some gifts you found useful? Have you tried any of these?

Holiday Gift Guide Series: Fitness


With 2020 still going strong, I find myself looking forward to the holiday season more than ever before. Our family has always been a huge fan of Christmas – the lights, the food, and all the joy with family and friends. I absolutely love shopping for everyone on my list, and there’s no better time than now to start looking for the perfect gifts.

I’ll be kicking off the Holiday Gift Guide Series with a few key items for the fitness fanatic in your life. My husband and I are those fanatics in our family, so we’ve used many of these items ourselves and swear by them. So whether you’re filling stockings or looking for higher ticket items, there’s something for everyone.

My Garmin watch has been a staple piece in tracking my fitness goals. This links up with my phone, and has a rubber wrist strap for optimal comfort. My watch tracks everything: steps, heart rate, elevation, weather, etc. It detects motion and will begin tracking your workout activity after a certain heart rate is achieved. It also tracks progress and will link up with the Garmin Connect app to track your distance, duration, and intensity. I know the Fitbit watches are super popular, but I was drawn to the larger watch face that the Garmin provides.

Another key piece to tracking my progress has been finding the perfect journal for my goals. I loved this one from Erin Condren that tracks my goals, habits, and milestones, and the pretty colors certainly don’t hurt! This set is on sale right now, and would make the perfect gift to help your friends and family dive into the New Year.

With everything going on, it’s been a while since I’ve had to use my gym bag. But this set from Target will always be one of my best fitness purchases. It’s fairly simple and affordable, but has some great features that make it the perfect gym and/or overnight bag. My favorite part is the separate compartment for my sneakers so I can keep any sand/dirt out of my clothes. These come in various colors, ideal for anyone on your list.

Some other items you could include with this gym bag are the Flip Belt, fitness towel, Stasher, and shaker bottles. These are essential to gym-goers and adventure seekers alike, and are great affordable options to fill this gym bag. You could also include a tub of Isopure, which is my absolute favorite protein to fit any lifestyle.

Lastly, if you’re looking to gift some equipment for the fitness lover in your life, I have included 3 great options depending on price and experience. For beginners, I love this basic set. It has a little bit of everything, and is all body weight based for minimal resistance. For those with a bit more experience, Rogue Fitness provides some great dumbbell and kettlebell options – including these. You could purchase a whole set, or just your basic 10, 20, and 30 pound options.

For those who already have the basics, you could consider more complex equipment. Squat racks are a great way to start building your at-home gym, especially since many of us are staying home for now. This power cage has multiple options to add on, so it’s a gift that you could build off of if you wanted to.