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I walked into work the other day and felt a sense of warmth come over me… which doesn’t happen very often on a Saturday morning at 9:00 am. It was because Nat King Cole was crooning “The Christmas Song.” It put me in a nostalgic and delightful mood. The holidays are right around the corner, and then a wave of anxiety came over me. I have not done a scrap of holiday shopping yet. And so, I suppose that this gift guide helps me figure out the great things out there to get my family and friends. And it also hints to to everyone else what they should purchase for me (wink wink).

1. The AT-LP60 Turntable

Call me a hipster if you must, but I LOVE listening to vinyls. It’s like reading an old book. There’s a sound, a smell, and a feeling when you listen to old vinyls. The AT-LP60 is a step up from listening to a regular old record player. The compact 14” square body will make it easy to store almost anywhere, as opposed to the bulky record players that I have. But besides it’s sleek design, you can easily hook the system up to any sound system, including a BlueTooth Speaker. Pretty sweet if you ask me!


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2. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB

When I was a kid, I always felt like the rich kids had a home theater, and ever since then, I’ve always wanted a big, bad to the bone home theater, complete with a projector. This one is everything and more. I know nothing about about lumens and contrast ratio, but I’ve looked up other projectors and this one wins the numbers game. It’s like it has frickin laser beams attached to it’s head. Also, it has 3D capabilities and comes with two pairs of 3D glasses. Color me impressed. Now I just need a big enough screen to project my favorite films.


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3. Book Hook

Although I love reading books on my IPad for the sheer convenience of it all, I still love books. Call me old fashioned, but there’s something very satisfying about physically seeing how far you’ve come in a book. Also, I love double functioning items. Which is why I have included the “Book Hook,” in my gift guide. Sure it looks super simple, but it also functions as a piece of decor and art. By placing your book down on the “Book Hook” you can keep your place but also have a conversation piece in your choice of room. Probably not best to use this if you’re reading the Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey series as an intelligent conversation starter, though. (No hate… I’ve been down that road, too).


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4. Orphan Black Pop Art Print

Binge watching a television show is now something that is imbedded in our very nature as Americans. You snuggle in with your loved ones and watch one television show until it ends or until you are “caught up.” I blame Netflix, but a large part of this is also from the invention of the “box set.” My latest obsession (and the third season is coming very soon) is BBC America’s Orphan Black. If you haven’t watched the show, I won’t spoil anything for you, but you MUST watch it. It features some of the best acting I’ve ever seen on television. My goal is to fill my new home with many posters like these. I already have a Breaking Bad one (curtsey of my editor and bestie Stephen Lackey). I feel that this print would be a great addition to any home for any tele-file.


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5. Beyonce Platinum Edition Box Set

Several months ago, Beyonce said Happy early Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza, and dropped her super secret album. I reviewed it and LOVED it. Ever since then, everyone has knelt down before the Queen Bey… even if she can be a little over the top and ridiculous at times. I mean, COME ON, the woman did a 15 minute NON-STOP performance of her new album at the VMAs for receiving the Michael Jackson video vanguard award. This box set features 2 CDs and 2 DVDs of material both from the original album and previously unreleased material including the “Flawless” Remix featuring Nicki Minaj. In this remix, Bey playfully addresses “Elevator-gate” with the lyrics, “Of course sometimes s#!t go down/ when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” We also get a “Live” DVD where we see Beyonce on tour and see the classics on stage like “Run the World” and “Get Me Bodied.” All in all, a must have for any of Queen Bey’s loyal subjects.


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