2014 Holiday Gift Guide

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

First, let’s get the legal stuff out of the way: These are products I have reviewed for brands and sponsors during the year. Some are items I received in giveaways and decided I’d love to feature. Each brand and sponsor has given the items for this giveaway at no cost. I have received no monetary compensation to feature these items. My opinions have not been influenced in any way. Some sections of the gift guide do contain affiliate links and it is possible I will receive compensation if you shop using the links. Now let’s get started!


Hi, everyone. Welcome to Life of a Traveling Navy Wife’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide (the blog’s first)! The items you will read about were carefully selected. I am only featuring high-quality products I love and use that I feel my readers will enjoy. Now for the fun part: One lucky winner is going to receive more than 25 awesome items valued at over $750.00. Yep. ALL OF THEM! So please be sure to stop by the sponsor’s websites and social media pages to give them some love for their generosity! If you have any questions about the products, please feel free to leave them in the comments (remember not to use the contact form for comments). DRUM ROLL….


Wine of the Month Club

The Oenophile

Do you have a wine lover in your life? Or maybe you should just spoil yourself a little! Check out Wine of the Month Club™ (aka WOTMC)! I am a member myself and have given these as corporate gifts. Everyone loves their memberships. I know I love mine!

Second generation owner, Paul, tastes over 400 wines a month (lucky guy!) and only 1% make into the WOTMC! So here’s how it works: every month your gift recipient will get two vintages of wine (full 750ml bottles). The standard shipment includes one red wine and one white wine. Of course you can choose red only or white only. You can also choose for shipments to arrive monthly, every other month or quarterly. I love having these delivered to my door and when I get home from travels it’s great to open a bottle and relax. There are a lot of options to fit different budgets, and whether you’re giving to a novice or an expert, these are really unique wines sure to please any palate!


WOTMC at their website

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Giveaway winner will receive:
4-month Classic Series Gift Membership
You will need to choose: All red, all white or combination of red and white and the free gift option


barkTHINSThe Chocolate Lover

Of course, you will need some chocolate to go with the wine! The hubs and I tried the barkTHINS® Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed flavor and we couldn’t stay out of the bag! I do not like my chocolate overly sweet and barkTHINS® chocolate has just the right balance. If you are like me, and salty/sweet is a combination you enjoy these are right up your alley. The bars are thin and easily broken into pieces for sharing or just to control your intake (or to pretend you are)!

Candidly, it was really important to me to feature barkTHINS® or I was not going to do this category. I am so excited they agreed. So why the commitment to barkTHINS®? For starters, all of their products are are Non-GMO Project Verified and Fair Trade Ingredient™ Certified. This means the farmers producing the ingredients are receive equitable trade for their work. And there contain no artificial flavors or colors, to boot!

You can find barkThins® in nationwide retailers and at $4.99 a bag, you can afford to try all six flavors- plus their seasonal varieties! Come back and let me know which ones are your favorites!

barkThins® Website

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Giveaway winner will receive:
one bag of each of the following:

  • Dark Chocolate Almond
  • Dark Chocolate Pretzel
  • Dark Chocolate Mint
  • Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Almond
  • Dark Chocolate Blueberry Quinoa with Agave
  • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed (New Fall Flavor)
  • Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel (Seasonal)

Beach Road Designs Beach SheetThe Beach-Goer

I received a Beach Sheet by Beach Road Designs through a giveaway and I am in love! Yes they are ideal for the sand, but really these are awesome for anywhere else you want to spread out. The Beach Sheet folds out to nearly 6’ x 6′; plenty of room for family and friends to lounge, eat, play or sleep on and there are three super cute styles in four colors – I have the blue anchors and let me tell you, it is beautiful! Not only is it adorably stylish, it is machine washable and easy to carry in its compact pouch. Seriously, this is so original and the perfect gift for gift for every outdoor lover in your life!


Beach Road Designs’ Web Site

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Giveaway winner will receive:
One beach sheet of your choice

Bears By Lauren

The One-of-a-Kind Gift You Would Have Never Thought Of, But is So Meaningful Everyone Will Love

How do I even begin to write how absolutely cool I think Bears by Lauren just happen to be? Sure you can go to the store and buy a stuffed bear. But when you mail a sentimental and meaningful item to Lauren, she creates something more. Whether it’s a baby’s coming home outfit or an old band t-shirt you can’t bear to part with (no pun intended) but won’t be wearing anymore, Lauren can make your items last.

I also think this is a phenomenal idea for anyone who has a loved one in the military, especially a child. If you are a milso or military member reading this, you know uniforms have to be replaced. Why have the old ones just sitting in the closet collecting dust? Send a pair of pants or a shirt in and have Lauren customize an animal for you. When a parent is deployed it also gives a child something special to hold onto, and a spouse for that matter, too. I think this is a heritage item that can be passed down for generations, and the love that’s put into it makes it that much more special. I sent her a pair of the hubs’ digis and she is creating a lizard for us (for those newer to the blog, we have two pet lizards)! You can see she has started on the pattern in the collage (middle top). I am so excited to receive it, too and it will always be a reminder of the time my husband spent in service to our country long after he is out.

Lauren will definitely customize to the best of her ability and will go out of her way to make your animal exactly how you want it. And if you enter NAVYWIFE at checkout you will receive a 20% discount!

Bears by Lauren Website
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Giveaway Winner Will Receive:
Customized animal of your choice – please review website and contact Lauren to coordinate. You will be responsible for mailing her the fabric item.

CamosockFor the Serviceman or Servicewoman

Remember this review of the Camosock? Well Bob Gilead, owner of Camosock has generously offered to give another to a lucky winner! This one is near and dear to me and I cannot begin to write enough about how meaningful this would be to any member of the military or to someone who loves a service-member. The quality is superb and it’s such a meaningful way to display patriotism during the holidays.

Camosock’s Website
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Giveaway winner will receive:
Choice of Camosock. Winner must disclose to whom this Camosock will go. Must go to a military member or family member/spouse/significant other of a military member. If you do not have someone to give this to, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife will arrange a donation on your behalf.


Bru Joy Kitchen ProductsThe Chef

Earlier this year, I reviewed Bru Joy’s stainless steel Garlic Press and they were so generous, they included extra goodies for the winner. The garlic press is fantastic and I actually seek out recipes just so I can use it.

Their products are not only ergonomic, but they are made from the highest quality materials and have lifetime guarantees. The manuals and tutorial videos are also fun and give you fresh ideas for the kitchen. They look good, too!

Well, Bru Joy has done it again! Not only will you win their awesome garlic peeler, check out the list of other items you’ll receive if you win!


Bru Joy’s Website

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Giveaway winner will receive:
one of each of the following

  • Garlic Press
  • Julienne Peeler
  • Can Opener
  • Drink Muddler


Perfectly PoshThe Spa-Goer

Sometimes we all just want some R&R at the spa with over the top luxurious products. And sometimes time and money just doesn’t allow it. Well, you may not have a spa, but you can have amazing products that won’t break the bank. Remember this review of Perfectly Posh? Well, I adore their line and the fact they remain true to their commitment to produce quality products that are vegan and toxin-free yet still affordable. And SO decadent. I am using several products myself (the make-up remover is killer!) and in time for the holidays my friend Meg has decided to spoil one of you a little!

Seriously, another perfect and affordable gift. Everything is under $25 and there are a ton of stocking stuffer ideas! Anyone would be tickled pink to receive these! And you should get some stuff for yourself while you’re at it. You deserve it! 😉

Meg’s Perfectly Posh Store

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Giveaway winner will receive:
One Ho-Ho Hot Cocoa Skindelicious
One Sweet Season Peppermint Soap

Beauty Care ChoicesSmiling Because Their Hair Always Looks Great

I’ve been using products that can be purchased online at Beauty Care Choices for awhile. I asked them for just a Wet Brush-remember my review? Uhhh The Wet Brush remains one of the world’s best stocking stuffers EVERRRR. Well, Beauty Care Choices was in a giving mood. More on that in a minute…

It’s already cool that they sell thousands of items on their website. It’s beyond cool they help shoppers find their favorite salon items or brands after a salon has either moved or discontinued carrying the item. They also offer online consultations and I can speak from experience – they ship super fast!

Beauty Care Choices Website
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Giveaway Winner Will Receive:
StyleMate Iron by HAI (1″)*
Vio Life Slim Sonic Toothbrush*
Total Results Repair Limited Edition Trio by Matrix*
The Wet Brush

 *Please note I have not personally reviewed these items. I thank the brand for their generosity in including them for my winner.


Bella and BearThe Groomer

I’ve been using Bella and Bear Products for awhile now and being that I don’t consider myself much of a ‘girly girl’ they always make me feel a bit femine. I’m especially partial to the eyelash curler and spring epilator which have both lasted through tens of thousands of miles of wear and tear with me all over the place. I love their packaging and the story behind their brand.

When I approached them for a product, they too decided they wanted to go above and beyond. The winner will receive products not even available to the public yet!

Bella and Bear is all about making your inner beauty shine so you feel great inside and out. Thumbs up from me!

Bella and Bear Website

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 Giveaway Winner Will Receive:
Eye & Mighty Eyelash Curler
Hair She Goes Hair Remover Kit – stay tuned for link to purchase
“The Pluckers” Tweezer Set – Not yet launched
Another goody suprise – Not yet launched

Tea GallerieThe Tea Lover

If you’ve been following the blog awhile, you know I do not drink coffee. I am pretty much addicted to loose-leaf tea and love buying local. It’s also important to me that my tea is sourced from areas that do not use pesticides, and again, that are fair trade. Tea Gallerie in San Diego just happens to be one of my favorites. Their store is adorable and their online ordering is easy. And if you want something for the kids, you’re covered – they have an entire kid’s line! Healthy and special for them, too. Oh – and these teas go perfectly with the chocolate, too!

Tea Gallerie Website
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Giveaway Winner Will Receive:
One White Coconut Creme loose tea (a favorite of mine)
One Blood Orange loose tea

Reading Usborne Under The Tree

Young Readers & All Children – The Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

I am a big believer that most children should get off the Xbox and into a book. The gift of reading is one of the best you could ever give a child. When Tanya at Reading Usborne Under The Tree told me she was going to give not one, but FOUR books I was tickled. These are high quality, the illustrations are gorgeous and there are options for every level and age of your readers! I also adore the fact that they choose books from around the world – highlighting diversity! The prices are great and this is a gift that will encourage creativity well beyond when the last pages are turned.

Usborne Under The Tree’s Website

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Giveaway winner:
You will receive four great books! Descriptions are as follows:

Jonathan James Whatif Monster and Plush
Ages 3-7 years old
Whenever Jonathan James finds himself in a new situation, he hears his Whatif Monster asking all kind of questions to stop him trying something new: What if it’s scary? What if they laugh? What if it’s hard? Finally, Jonathan James has some questions of his own: What if they don’t? What if it isn’t? What then?

My Farm Animal World
Ages 2-4 years old
This collection of nine tiny board books is perfect for little hands and for young children learning about farm animals. Each book is beautifully illustrated and designed to encourage beginning readers.

Phoenix Files
Ages 14 years old and up
This electrifying, six-volume, alternating-narrator serial catapults the reader into a creepy, locked-down desert town, built by an all-powerful corporation whose plans threaten the future of the rest of the world. Luke Hunter soon realizes that Phoenix is no ordinary town: no cars, no phone or Internet connection, and a private security firm on patrol. This is weird enough, but then he and his new friends learn that someone is plotting to wipe out the rest of the human race. The clock is ticking. Only 100 days until the end of the world.

Wind-up Bus
Ages 3 and up
A wind-up model of a red, double-decker London bus and four tracks take you on a tour of the famous city. Find out about London’s most famous landmarks and attractions as your bus stops on its way. The four tracks can also be taken out of the book and joined together to make one huge track for the bus to travel around.

Chemo Duck
Photo Courtesy of ChemoDuck.org

The Gift from Heather and a Consideration For Your Holiday Donation

Last, but most certainly not least is something near and dear to me. I discovered Chemo Duck a few years ago and this organization absolutely touched my heart.  I am going to take from their website, because I could not do justice to how amazing their program is:

Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ is a unique educational program offered by Gabe’s My Heart, a nonprofit organization that supports children and families living with cancer. Created by a mother for her son Gabe when he was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, Chemo Duck is a soft, cuddly companion that provides huggable hope and alleviates fear and anxiety. Developed with the help of child life specialists and medical professionals, the Chemo Duck Program helps introduce children and families to their new life and encourages healing through the power of play therapy.

I made a donation in honor of my department in the office and I intend to give for as long as I can. When I was going through chemo, I was a legal adult. I met a lot of pediatric cancer patients along the way. They are an absolute inspiration and should never have to endure what cancer, chemo, radiation and other medical and surgical procedures put them through. Chemo Duck is a light in darkness. It is hope and it is an allowance for a child to be just that – a child through a very adult disease.  The gift is truly in the giving and it’s an honor to give this in one of my reader’s names. I hope all of you will pay it forward. After all, the holidays are about giving.

Give a Chemo Duck/Visit:
Chemo Duck Website
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Giveaway Winner Will Receive:
Donation of one Chemo Duck in honor or memory of person whom you choose.

Okay, please take a minute to go over the instructions:

Clarification on the the social media entries: Please follow the instructions. First, please DO NOT use the comment form to submit your URLs. Second, the URLs you need to paste are for YOUR COMMENTS, not the URL of the social media page you followed (so if you send a Tweet, paste the URL of the Tweet. If you left a Facebook comment, paste the URL of the comment, Pinned a picture? Paste the URL of the Pin, Instagrammed? Paste the URL of the Instagram). You can do as many as you want as long as you do one per sponsor/brand.



This giveaway is open to US Residents, 18 over and only. All entries will be verified. Winner will be notified on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014. Winner will have until 5pm PDT on Monday, December 1st to notify me of shipping address or alternate winner will be selected. No exceptions will be made. By entering this giveaway, you agree you have read the terms and conditions and you agree to be added to Life of a Traveling Navy Wife’s email list. Good luck in the giveaway!

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