After a long and arduous winter and spring season largely spent “sheltering in place,” many are eager for the summer months ahead to make up for lost time on a variety of fronts. To help you get the most out of the season, stay healthier and even overcome some ubiquitous aggravations, I’ve curated this assortment of solutions that’ll further your ability to relax and enjoy your summer journey.
Swarovski Ginko Necklace (www.Swarovski.com)
This season, amp up your style with a touch of glam courtesy of Swarovski’s Stunning Ginko Necklace, which will keep that summer spirit alive all year through. Thanks to its timeless appeal, this Swarovski statement necklace will ensure you’re dressed to impress no matter what style you’ve selected for the day. Two elements are attached to a gold-tone plated chain. The ginkgo leaf is adorned with sparkling stones with all of the brilliance expected of a Swarovski piece, while the large green crystal also sparkles elegantly thanks to its fine facets. The necklace closure is set at the front for a unique touch. This unique necklace offers an unconventional, yet chic and sophisticated addition to any look, whether dressed up for date night or down for game day … and every occasion in between. And, you can further complete the look with other summer-forward designs in Swarovski’s “Ginko” line, including other necklaces to layer it with as well as an array of drop-dead gorgeous bracelet and earring options … and even a brooch that will add a touch of sophistication to any lapel.
California Cowboy High Water Shirts (www.Shop.CaliforniaCowboy.com)
Dive into the spirit of summer with apparel from California Cowboy. The company’s signature, reinvented version of the classic short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt, coined the High Water collection, features custom designed floral prints, water-absorbent terry-cloth lining, plus special pockets for your phone and a frosty beverage. The feature-laden collection contains a water-resistant dry pocket for safe tech storage; an integrated bottle opener; a sunglass secure loop; a bottle pocket and koozie; vintage inspired prints; and conversation cards. The designs also contain California Cowboy’s updated roomier fit in Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) fabric. The shirts are also towel-lined with a proprietary cotton-modal terry cloth, which is breathable and 25 percent more water-absorbent than standard cotton. Each design is machine washable with cold water for colors on the most delicate setting. Use tumble dry low or dry flat if air-drying is not an option. The body fabric material consists of 51 percent BCI cotton and 49 percent Tencel, while the lining is 60 percent BCI cotton, 40 percent modal, 10oz of loop terry cloth.
Audio-Technica True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (www.Audio-Technica.com)
No summer is complete without your tunes, or binging a season or two of your favorite show on a smart device. Audio Technica’s ATH-CK3TW model truly wireless in-ear headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 technology are ready to go whenever—and wherever—you are. Just remove them from their portable charging case and they automatically turn on and sync. Put them back in and they turn off and begin charging. This ATH-CK3TW unit is equipped with specially-designed 5.8 mm drivers that reproduce powerful, detailed audio. These ergonomic earbuds are very comfortable, and fit naturally in ears of all sizes. The package comes complete with four types of thin, flexible silicone ear tips (XS/S/M/L). The compact earbud housings include a built-in microphone and touch controls. Call quality is optimal, courtesy of Qualcomm Clear Voice Capture (cVc) technology. The headphones also boast an IPX2 water-resistance rating, which means they are protected from dripping water, such as rain and sweat. They are compatible with the high-quality Qualcomm aptX audio codec and with Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus, a special, low-latency function that allows you to stream the latest releases with no audio disruption and a stable connection. The ATH-CK3TW earbuds offer six hours of continuous use on a full charge, with 24 hours of additional power available from the charging case. They’re available in black, blue and white, so users may pick their preference.
Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner (www.Amazon.com)
Air conditioning is a must during the hot and humid summer months, so stay cool with the Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner. This powerful device comes in three sizes: 8,000BTU; 10,000BTU; and 12,000BTU. With its advanced DC Inverter technology, the Midea U achieves over 35 percent energy savings compared to other traditional units. Plus, it’s the first window air conditioning system to obtain the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020 Certification. There is also the possibility of achieving exclusive benefits from your local energy distributor. The Midea U utilizes Extreme Quiet technology, making it nine-times quieter than some traditional units. The U-shaped design blocks noise from the cooling system using your window. This allows for extremely quiet operation as low as 42 dBA, which is almost as quiet as a library. So, you can get a restful night’s sleep or binge your favorite shows undisturbed. The special U-shaped design also allows your window to flexibly open, bringing fresh air into your home anytime and allowing you to maintain more of your view without major blockage. The Midea U system is also smart controlled and Wi-Fi- enabled, making it controllable from anywhere through the cloud using the MideaAir app on iOS or Android. You can also use voice commands as the system is compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant. With robust installation, a support bracket is included for a streamlined process that supports the unit with the window open or closed. It is available for single- or double-hung windows from 23”-36” and a minimal height set at 14”.
CUBIC 6-Bar Heated Towel Rack (www.BathroomButlerOnline.com)
Here’s a fab way to protect your health and boost comfort this season. The CUBIC 6 Bar Heated Towel Rack by Bathroom Butler is specifically designed to keep bath towels hygienically dry, clean and fresh between washes. This means no more damp, moldy or musty-smelling towels—the ideal breeding environment for germs and bacteria. In fact, Bathroom Butler’s heated towel rack has been proven to reduce the bacterial load on used towels by as much as 90 percent! The company conducted a study that discovered microbial load reduced from 1000cfu/g (colony forming units per sample) to 1cfu/g when using its heated towel racks to dry bath towels, as compared to air drying. In turn, towels remain more hygienic. This CUBIC 6-Bar Heated Towel Rack model uses advanced Dry Element Technology (DET) and is easy to install thanks to dual entry electrical connections that offer left and right wiring. It also offers rapid heating, meaning the towel rack will reach optimum working temperature within 10-15 minutes of being switched on. Plus, it’s energy efficient. On average, Bathroom Butler’s heated towel racks use 60 Watts of energy, equivalent to a standard light bulb. Thanks to the DET technology and rapid heating, the CUBIC 6 Bar can be switched on and off via the built-in control options and the temperature adjuster. You can increase the heat in the winter and decrease it during the summer for all-year-round use and reduce running costs by 60 percent while doing so. There is also direct intelligent heating that reduces the drying time and improves the warming effect. The area covered by a towel will automatically become hotter than the free rack space. This feature ensures maximum results with the minimum use of energy, where the increase in temperature does not use extra electricity.
CROSSNET Volleyball Game (www.CrossnetGame.com)
Here’s a fun way to blow off steam or get in a bit of friendly competition this summer. CROSSNET is the world’s first four square volleyball game hybrid. With easy set up within minutes in sand, grass, or indoors, players can challenge their friends to a game that’s competitive and just plain fun. This four-way net—adjustable for men’s, women’s and even children’s regulation heights—offers a whole new way to enjoy volleyball without a full team. It’s also easily portable and comes complete with a travel backpack, volleyball and pump. There’s even a CROSSNET H2O version available for the pool. Who invented this genius idea? While growing up together in the “Quiet Corner” of CT, brothers Greg and Chris Meade, and their childhood friend Mike Delpapa, constantly sought new activities to keep them busy. In 2017, they reunited as adults, reminiscing on recess days playing four square. They had an idea: a volleyball court divided into four quadrants, merging traditional volleyball with a favorite childhood game. After creating a prototype, they invited their friends to come play. Their friends’ excitement made it clear that they were onto something. Since that moment, CROSSNET has been amassing fans worldwide.
HOTLOGIC Mini Portable Food Warmer (www.HotlogicMini.com)
Have a cooked meal anytime, anywhere this summer—the beach, a picnic, at work or anywhere—with the HotLogic Mini. If you’re tired of cold, boring salads and sandwiches for lunch; expensive, unhealthy restaurant food; or waiting in line at work to use a filthy microwave oven that ruins your meal, then the HotLogic Mini 3-in-1 Personal, Portable Oven is for you. The HotLogic Tradesman’s Package includes the Mini 12V, as well as the HotLogic 5 Cup Locking Lid Glass Dish and Steering Wheel Tray. The 3-in-1 Mini cooks, re-heats and keeps food hot for hours, even while on-the-go. It can cook chicken breasts, a nice salmon fillet and most meats from scratch in around two hours, depending on weight and thickness. Fresh or frozen veggies take a little less time. The genius of the HotLogic Mini is it will “hold” your food at the perfect serving temperature of around 165°F for hours without overcooking your meal, burning it or drying it out. If you get hung up at work and can’t find time for lunch for, there is no need to worry as your meal will be hot, juicy and delicious whenever you’re ready! It also come with a free user guide with recipes you can make from scratch. The HotLogic Mini is great for reheating leftovers, too. Food remains tender, juicy and retains its natural vitamins and nutrients better than when they are nuked in a microwave. Even pre-packed frozen dinners taste better! This lightweight, compact, portable “lunch box” goes everywhere you go. Take a Mini to the office, the work site, or even keep one in your car, truck or delivery vehicle. The HotLogic Mini is ideal for those who don’t like microwaves or are too busy and don’t have time to cook.
Limited Edition GrillBox Home-Delivery Seafood (www.VitalChoice.com)
Seafood-lovers are in for a real treat this summer season thanks to Vital Choice, a company known for delivering high quality and sustainable seafood straight to your door. The company’s new Limited Edition GrillBox has emerged just in time for summer. It’s a great foodie find for any fresh seafood-lover and grill master … whether for yourself or as a tasty and healthy gift for another. With its Limited Edition GrillBox option, Vital Choice has thoughtfully curated their version of an ultimate sampler created with grilling and family meals in mind. This package combines four barbecue favorites with easy-to-use grilling planks. The company’s flavorful, sustainably sourced wild seafood is flash frozen and then delivered to your preferred address. This new box, with a combination of the brand’s favorites for grilling and providing a savings of over $40, has everything your grill master would want for $149 (valued at $196). This includes Skin-on Wild Sockeye Salmon portions; Sockeye Salmon Burgers; Wild Mahi Mahi; Wild Artisan Shrimp and Alder Grilling planks—all professionally packaged to ensure it’s delivered in fresh form.
Mrs. G’s Hot Pepper Jellies (www.MrsGsJellies.com)
What one sweet and spicy condiment can literally elevate hundreds of your favorite summer recipes? I’m here to tell you it’s Mrs. G’s Hot Pepper Jellies. This savory endeavor began over twenty years ago when creator Cindy Greaver started making jalapeño and habanero jellies as gifts for friends and family. Now, in its seventh year of business, Mrs. G’s jellies have caught fire with customers across the country—and I’m personally a huge fan. Home chefs use them on everything from Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Skewers, to “grownup” PB&Js. In Temecula, California wineries, you will regularly find the condiments amping lavish charcuterie boards. Mrs. G’s is widely revered for producing hot pepper jellies with fresh jalapeños and habaneros, using only all-natural, non-GMO ingredients—containing no preservatives and also gluten-free—to ensure excellence in taste and quality. They have just enough sweet “kick” to complement dishes and cheeseboards. Since Mrs. G’s is “Sweet on Heat,” the company offers not just one, but four distinctive flavors: Ja-Ha (Jalapeño-Habanero); Jalapeño Garlic Lime; Mango Ginger Habanero; Peach Habanero. Each one is crafted to enjoy with food and pairs deliciously with grilled meats, fish and roasted vegetables. They even combine into a unique sandwich spread or dipping sauce. Of course, they are great simply served on toast, with cheese or straight out of the jar! Each is also sourced locally, produced and packaged in Southern California.
Big Bottom Market Biscuit Mix, Honey & Queen Olive Oil (www.BigBottomMarket.com)
Make summer meals far more enjoyable with specialty biscuits and spreads from Sonoma’s Big Bottom Market brings the experience of dining at the market to everyone who can’t make it to Sonoma. The company’s Guerneville Gift Box includes the best of the best from Big Bottom Market: a copy of the Big Bottom BISCUIT cookbook, a bag of the company’s award-winning biscuit mix, a jar of locally sourced honey and an artisanal candle made exclusively by Local Yokel. The company’s biscuit mix and honey were actually chosen as one of Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things in 2016, so you know it’s delish! Meanwhile, the Wake Up Gift Set from Big Bottom Market comes from a partnership with Equator Coffees & Teas to bring consumers the Big Bottom Blend, which is paired with the Just Add Water Biscuit Mix and Wildflower Honey. The grouping is sensational and creates a wonderful journey for your palette to explore. Furthermore, Big Bottom Market aligned with Olive Queen to handcraft an amazing Spanish Blend of olive oil right on their own estate. This unique blend of homegrown Arbequina and Arbosana olives creates the rich Extra Virgin Olive Oil, layered with flavors of fresh fruit, almond and a pepper finish. It is medium robust and also bright and balanced. This local olive oil is extra special, as it is perfect for charcuterie platters and bread baskets for dipping and for salad toppings and pasta dishes.
U2 Stop Tossing & Turning Pillow and Mattress (www.U2Sleep.com)
The U2 Stop Tossing and Turning Pillow is designed to help people stop just that at night. The U2 pillow’s breakthrough ergonomic design perfectly cradles the head and neck thanks to three adjustable layers providing four various shape combinations and eight different heights. Each layer also has 120 ventilation holes that enable heat dissipation and breathability—a must during those sweltering summer months. This pillow is also travel friendly since it can be compressed to a sixth of its original size. Just roll it up and use handy carry capsule to tot it. The company’s U2 Stop Tossing and Turning mattress is another bedding innovation designed to provide the best sleeping experience possible. Within the mattress is a specifically designed shoulder-in firmness partition system, as well as easy-to-use handles on either side. Both the pillow and mattress utilize innovative U2 Softest-Minus memory foam to provide the most comfortable relief possible. They also both feature a premium cotton skin-friendly pillowcase and cover to get a similar texture and feel all the way around. The U2 pillow has a modular design and fully customizable pillow height to make each night’s sleep perfect for you.
Nectar Bath Treats Mix & Match Gift Set (www.NectarUSA.com)
One sumptuous way to feel extra special this season and beyond is by relaxing and moisturizing Nectar Bath Treats—a charming line of handcrafted and naturally luxurious bath bombs, body scrubs, bubble baths and more. Created for versatility, the company’s Mix and Match Gift Set is a top-seller that allows you to choose your favorite scrub, milkshake, bath bomb, macaroon soap and bubble bath ice cream scoops to create the perfect gift—whether for yourself or another. As an added bonus, you receive a free cupcake soap of your choice with purchase of a gift set. The idea for Nectar was born when founder, Tom Taicher, noticed that the majority of skin care products weren’t very fun or made for the whole family. He decided to create a place that put the fun back into functional, through delightful bath and beauty treats that put a smile on customers’ faces. The company’s handmade bath and beauty confections, developed in the United States, prides itself on simple, clean ingredients inspired by nature. The entire selection of the Custom Cooped Up Care Package includes one body scrub; one milkshake; one bubble scoop; four bath bombs; and four macaroon soaps.
Vitabrid C¹² Daily-C Balancing Foam Cleanser (www.Vitabrid.com)
Cleansing is the first step in a prudent summer skincare routine, but it should not leave your skin feeling stripped of moisture. Vitabrid C¹²’s Daily-C Balancing Foam Cleanser thoroughly, but gently, cleans your skin of dirt, makeup residues and excess oil. This foam cleanser features a powerful blend of antioxidants and skin-soothing ingredients to clean and hydrate your skin. Vitamin C is well-known for delivering multiple skin care benefits. The only problem is that it’s a notoriously unstable ingredient. Vitabrid’s unique LDH (Layered Double Hydroxide) technology delivers the solution. Vitamin C is delivered in-between layers of zinc oxide, a skin-friendly mineral, resulting in Vitabrid CG, a stabilized and highly effective form of powerful Vitamin C that is continuously released into the deepest layers of the skin for over 12 hours. Stabilized, constantly delivered, deep penetrating. This is what sets the Vitabrid C¹² products apart. Formulated with a powerful proprietary blend of Vitabrid CG, the Vitabrid C¹² Daily-C Balancing Foam Cleanser activates in water to gently remove impurities and dead skin cells without stripping away the skin’s moisture, while Madecassoside helps soothe and strengthen compromised, irritated skin. This daily cleanser is the very first step to a skin antioxidant, as stabilized vitamin C activates in water along with Caryodendron Orinocense Seed Oil (Kahai Oil) in the special formulation. As a result, this gentle, creamy foam helps fight against free radicals to support healthy and balanced skin. While gently exfoliating, Madecassoside soothes and helps compromised, irritated skin look healthier as well.
Curatio Organic CBD (CuratioCBD.com)
Many are curious about cannabis-driven wellness and here’s one option to consider. Curatio is a full-spectrum *THC-free* CBD company that is dedicated to giving consumers the best delivery system and ratio of ingredients. It offers a wide range of topical and oral products. derived from organic hemp that’s grown in Colorado. Research has demonstrated that the ratio of cannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, CBDV) terpenes and triglycerides is important and can work synergistically via the “entourage effect,” to unlock a wider set of benefits as compared to CBD alone. That’s why Curatio created a proprietary CBD profile formulated with a unique ratio of cannabinoids that leverage this principle to bring more relief. For the cannabis curious out there, Curatio converts THC to CBN, so it remains full spectrum. Curatio uses a state-of-the-art nanoemulsion technology to miniaturize the droplet size that carries the CBD, shearing the molecule and greatly increasing potency so it works 5-7 times better than typical CBD. Not only does Curatio perform better, but it is cleaner than the competition as well. The company uses organic CBD from hemp grown in Colorado and uses Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified CBD. All products are also third-party laboratory tested three times (at active ingredient twice and once for finished product) to verify they are THC-free.
Health and Health ‘Contactless Thermometer’ from Shop LC (www.ShopLC.com)
As folks get out and about with increased frequency, it’s important to ensure we’re staying safe and healthy. The Health and Health Contactless Thermometer available at ShopLC.com can measure temperature using infrared technology, obtaining an accurate reading within seconds. While it does measure the temperature of the human body, it can also be used to gauge the water or room temperature as well. The clear display of the digital screen, as well as operation buttons make it easy to use. The back-light display is convenient when using the device at night. This back-light is green at normal temperature, yellow for higher temperature and signals red at the sign of fever. Non-contact infrared technology reads from the forehead with no physical contact, preventing cross infection between multiple people to protect yourself and others. The thermometer’s measurements range between 89.6°F to 109.2°F and requires two AAA batteries.
‘Easing Distractions’ Novel (www.BarnesAndNoble.com)
Finally is a great beach read with depictions of travel to bustling and exotic locations and infused with an appreciation for the performing arts. In Gabrielle F. Culmer’s latest novel, “Easing Distractions,” a professional couple turns to friends and family for support while solving an international commercial mystery. It is a descriptive journey of their quest for happiness while dealing with an attempted heist of the family’s art collection. It is suspenseful, romantic and comforting as they face a summer of variability and exotic travel as the mystery unravels. Easing Distractions depicts the life of a property and lifestyle travel consultant who is faced with professional and personal obstacles. A vivid journey of her attempt to claim happiness while she and her family solve an international commercial mystery regarding the family art collection. With each of Culmer’s novels, there is a theme of holidays, family celebrations, professional startups and dreamy locations. The cover of Easing Distractions has a countryside cover image with spring flowers to illustrate where the characters also spend restful weekends. Culmer, the author, has lived in many locations and gains inspiration from idyllic scenery around the world. She has six novels to her credit, including, “Where Lives Lead,” plus two collections of published poetry.
Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv / Instagram www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReports / Twitter www.Twitter.com/LuxeListReports / Facebook www.Facebook.com/LuxeListReports / LinkedIN www.LinkedIn.com/in/MerileeKern.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
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