Z Life: A Few of Our Favorite Things

The countdown is on! About now, we’re all scrambling to finish (or begin) our shopping for the December holidays. The IM360 team understands the struggle is real and we’re here to help!

From adult to toddler approved, I’ve compiled a few of our favorite things; a mix of “give and get” items my colleagues and I are excited about this season. Follow our lead or use our ideas as a creative springboard for your gifting needs— we all get by with a little help from our friends.

Virtual Reality. A unanimous yeeeesss this season, VR is a sweet escape and techy choice for tweens/teens or adults. Google Cardboard is the most inexpensive (about $15-30) and easiest way to try VR. Made from cardboard and compatible with most phones, Google Cardboard is driven by apps and is a “good enough” experience. Google Daydream is a fancier Google VR product priced around $79 but only operates with a Pixel phone for now. Samsung Gear VR (compatible only with Samsung phones) is a pricier more dynamic VR option priced at approximately $100.   The list goes on—  Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and additional advanced VR products are available for older kids/adults to geek out on. VR is definitely the hot gift to give this year. And bonus— unlike last year’s hover board, so far no house fires have been reported.

STEM DESIGNS. You can’t go wrong with jewelry. Especially a local, big-hearted jewelry company that donates part of its proceeds to various charities. IM360 digs STEM DESIGNS’ mix of delicate and bold options from adults (men included) to kids. I wrote about the company’s founders a few months back. You can catch up on the designers’ big hearts and beautiful options for gift ideas here.

Hatchimals. Creepy yet cute, the interactive toddler/child gift is en fuego! And full disclosure, seems to be sold out nationwide. At last glance, Target indicates shipments of the eggceptional toy will trickle in through Christmas however, scooping one up may be just short of a Christmas miracle. So why all the fuss? A Hatchimal is a furry friend that pecks its way out of an egg when touched and cared for by its owner. Stay with me… when the time is right, rainbow eyes glow inside the egg and then, pop! An Owilcorn, Penguala, etc. is born! Adorable, right?! Once hatched the Hatchimal goes through various life stages. Odd and brilliant at the same time, the toy retails for about $60 while some resale markets list Hatchimals for $200. Is it crazy I’m still considering the toy for my youngest? He’s only five once!

Foodies Unite. IM360’s Shan Man suggests keeping it simple for the foodie lover on your list by gifting a True Food kitchen gift card. EASY! IM360 loves Sam Fox and his creative group. With restaurants across the country, this gift is a fine one to give and get. Yummy and D-O-N-E.

Minted. For the creative/paper/photo/art loving peeps in your life, go to Minted. Now. For years, I’ve ordered my stationary, holiday cards, and a number of gifts through this lovely online retailer. Incorporating community and giving back is part of Minted’s mission and made purchasing from the cyberstore an easy choice for me. Several Christmases ago I gifted this art work to my husband and it’s still one of his faves (his Bondurant experience is a close second).  Minted offers a myriad of frames, shapes, and unique designs. Get them your list. You will

Work It. How you present this gift is allll you. Once you’ve figured that out, a fitness class pack (or one month membership) is a lovely way to go for your exercise enthusiast looking to shake it up. Many boutique gyms, yoga, spin, and barre studios offer class packs providing the experience without a massive commitment. A few suggestions from the IM360 team: barre3, spinyoga, CrossFit.

Galeana39. Nothing sets the mood like a lovely candle. GALEANA39 tops our list for a thoughtful, hand-poured artisan gift made locally in the heart of Phoenix. Priced from $14 to $21 each candle is comprised of premium fragrance and essential oils and are vegan and cruelty free. Fragrant holiday aromas are currently in stock online while Bunky Boutique in downtown Phoenix offers an exclusive collection of Galeana39 candles.

MERIWETHER Pint Glasses. Sing along with me: “Hold me closer Tony Danza.” “Do you like bean enchiladas?” How about, “I’ve got two chickens to paralyze.” Sound familiar? We can’t get enough of Meriwether pint glasses printed with misheard (disclaimer: sometimes naughty) lyrics to iconic songs. Priced at $14.50 a glass, we love this hilarious gift idea for a fun, not easily offended person on your list. The quirky company sells journals, coffee mugs, and engraves docile, quippy sayings on items as well if that’s more your gift-giving speed. Perhaps after a few pints you’ll reconsider the glassware.

A barbeque smoker, animal adoptions from the world wildlife fund, (a total hit with my littles) DIY gifts, and experiences (volunteer mission-oriented trips, concert/theatre/movie tickets) were additional ideas tossed about at the IM360 office.  Oh, and I noticed a Céline tri-fold shoulder bag in pale beige on someone’s wish list— I have no idea who added that fabulous last-minute suggestion.

And here’s one more…. (literally) just delivered to the IM360 studios: A gift basket full of handmade goodies!  From hot chocolate on a stick to salted caramels — all crafted with love by local business owner Shawn Smith.  She says of starting this small business, “Some of our earliest and fondest memories are of family and friends gathering around the kitchen table visiting, sharing stories and laughs over coffee and something sweet.” Find out more at www.johnnylolitas.com

Happy giving, from your friends at IM360!