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Not sure what to get your man for Valentine’s Day?

1800 Tequila offers a “Design Your Own” feature on its Web site, where consumers can upload original artwork to make customized bottles. Send your sweetheart a custom message on a bottle, or personalize with his favorite artwork or a sultry photo.

The customized bottles are $99 and turn around in just 2-3 weeks – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

And for the cost-conscious, 1800 also offers the 1800 Tequila Limited Edition Essential Artists Bottles – a series of 12 bottles, each for $24.99 a bottle. Eleven up and coming artists contributed their designs to create these limited-edition masterpieces – with one celebrity bottle designed by Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One.

Custom Bottle Design Instructions and Template, click here.

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There’s only five days until Christmas, and if you’re a last-minute shopper then look no further.  Here are some marvelous gifts for the mom, sister, daughter, grandmother or best friend in your life, under $50:

Hyp-Yoga Audio Class CDs ($14.99/each or $49.99/all five) – Help your loved ones live better with an at-home program that works!! For stress reduction, weight loss, quitting smoking, etc, Hyp-Yoga opens up the body and calms the mind with expansive, full-body poses and deep breathwork, making the gentle hypnosis (on topic of choice) that follows incredibly effective. The Hyp-Yoga Audio Class CDs each include 10 minutes of yoga poses (with pictures included for guidance), followed by a hypnosis session. There are 5 CD editions: Freedom from Emotional Eating, Sleeping Better, Learning to Flow (Stress Prevention), Increased Energy, and Living in the Present Moment. For purchasing information, click here.

Meltology self-heating spa mitts ($30/2 pair) and socks ($30/2 paris) – It’s like Botox for your hands and feet!  Soyaffin™ serum drenches hands and feet with long lasting moisture protection to lock in results for younger looking hands.  Natural, moist heat helps lotions absorb deeper than ever, while Soyaffin™ Serum inside the liners leaves your hands and feet feeling relaxed and pampered.  To learn more about  Meltology products, click here.

Yak Pak Nobu Hobo bag ($45) – The Nobu bag is the biggest hobo offered in the Yak Pak collection, with the Megu coming in right behind it.  The Sabrina is a more petite version of the hobo and also comes with an adjustable tied shoulder strap.  Ranging from just $25- $45, all the hobos are made with a soft cotton twill exterior and a shiny satin interior and come in a plethora of stylish prints that are classic to the Yak Pak look.  To find a retailer near you, click here.

Vanitymark Dr. KISS ($12) – This hydrating lip balm (in a cute pill case) has a natural tint thanks to a pinch of the ingredient found in the mood lipsticks of our past. Kukui Nut Oil and Vitamins A, C & E give a healthy, antioxidant-full and moisturizing hug to keep lips soft and smooth, and sweet vanilla and peppermint give this lip balm a yummy taste and minty zing. Great for anyone who likes their lips!  To find a retailer near you, click here.

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries ($18) – A political gardening handbook that calls up images of Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara.  The focus is on illicit activities, where individuals are inspired to enhance their communities by reclaiming garbage-strewn vacant lots, empty flower boxes, and neglected street-side strips of dirt.  Click here to purchase the book.

When it comes to selecting a gift for that special man in your life, you may find yourself at a loss.  Let’s face it; men are just difficult to shop for. Marvelous Girl has taken the stress out of holiday shopping by finding gifts for him that are sure to please but won’t burn a hole in your wallet:

 BUTTON DOWN in Black, from Company 81 ($42.00) – The highest quality in fabric, style and wash gives this shirt a vintage feel he is sure to love at a price you can afford.  Clothing from Company 81’s collection have been seen on dozens of celebrities, including Sex in the City’s Blair Underwood, The Hills’ Brody Jenner, E! News’ Jason Kennedy, to just name a few.

TITAN 6 for men by ShaveMate ($9.99) –  For some reason, men just light up when given shaving products.  With six precisely lined blades, this razor will give your man the closest shave possible.   One of the greatest features of this product is that it has shaving cream right in the handle, making traveling easier and eliminating the rust ring in the shower. 

GRAND RESERVE – Robusto Natural 5 pk of cigars, from Gurkha Cigars ($48.50) – Nothing puts a smile on a man’s face like cigars.  So why not impress your him with these flagship cigars from Gurkha Cigars.  Infused with Louis XIII cognac and handmade from the finest tobaccos, he’ll truly enjoy the rich, creamy flavor with a hint of spice and a pleasantly light finish found in these cigars.

CLASSIC TAG-FREE CREW NECK – 6 pack, from Jockey ($40) – Men can never have too many undershirts and at this price how can you pass them up?  The tag-free, relaxed fit crew neck wears well under dress shirts or stands alone for a laid-back style.  Recession or not, this is a gift that will forever be on both his needs and wants lists.

LAPTOP ESSENTIALS KIT from BrookStone ($49.95) – If your man loves technology he’ll blow a gasket for this gift.  This item is one of BrookStone’s best sellers because it has six tools that make his out-of-office laptop use much more convenient.

The best gift to give this holiday season is to genuinely forgive your spouse for the various offenses committed over the year that have been driving you crazy.

Forgiving sheds unwanted baggage and makes for a stronger marriage, says Dr. Noelle Nelson, relationship expert and author of Your Man is Wonderful (Free Press, 2009). 
 
Forgiving is not always easy. You may be sitting around the holiday dinner table, giving thanks for all the good things the year has brought. But after dinner, when Uncle Ned says “Great flat screen; let’s switch on the game,” you feel your gut twist. You remember vividly the fight with your spouse for buying something so extravagant. You scream, “it’ll take years to pay it off, what were you thinking?” and he screams that he has the right to get at least something for himself, considering that “99 percent of his paycheck goes to you and the kids.” You both end up exhausted and drop it. After all, you’re not going to divorce over a flat screen.

“Even though a topic is not longer discussed, doesn’t mean it goes away,” says Nelson. “Every time you see him surfing the channels, the bitterness churns inside you. It sours your relationship with him, because at some level, you don’t trust him not to do it again. And with the lack of trust between you, your intimacy suffers.  All because you never made it to true forgiveness.”

Forgiveness is hard, explains Nelson. Forgiveness often feels like accepting unacceptable behavior in order to preserve your relationship, or accepting an apology you’re not sure has substance to it. 
 
“Substance in an apology is composed of two things: accountability and responsibility. Accountability is your willingness to figure out which part of the problem belongs to you and which part to your mate,” says Nelson. “The wife in the above example may say ‘It wasn’t me who slapped down that credit card for a flat screen!” True, and if her and her spouse had agreed upon a budget and he blew the budget, his would indeed bear the larger share of accountability. But her accountability may have been in not setting aside any part of the budget for his–or her–personal wants and needs, instead focusing only on the family budget.”

Nelson says that responsibility portion of forgiveness is your ability to be appropriately responsible for your actions. Responsibility relies on understanding rather than judging or blaming. “Instead of coming to your partner with ‘How dare you!’ even if that’s what you are feeling, talk to him about helping you understand why he chose to do what he did. Listen with an open mind and an open heart. From understanding how each of you feel, you can look at your problems as issues to be worked out, not daggers in the heart–and forgiveness can begin.”

While gadgets and electronics continue to be hot items year-on-year, there will be fewer large purchases this holiday, such as TVs and computers.  This is partly due to the fact that retailers will look to reduce the number of deep discounts – which severely damaged margins this time last year – along with the fact that customers will move towards needs over wants.

“This season there won’t be a “wow” factor in terms of sales,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “Consumers have been so inundated with discounts for more than a year that it will be difficult for retailers to get shoppers excited about holiday promotions.”

However, one of the biggest gadget winners this holiday will be e-book readers, partly because the prices are being driven lower by competitors entering the market (e.g. iRex and Nook).  About 30 percent of all e-reader sales in 2009 are estimated to derive from the holiday period alone.

“Consumers will reduce spending on big ticket items,” said van Beeck.  “Instead, they’ll trade down towards trendy and cheaper gadgets like e-readers; iPod Nanos; Nintendo Wiis and other game consoles; Flip Video and small point-and-shoot digital cameras. This is where the real value will be for consumers this Christmas.”

For the second year running, this will be a make or break holiday for retailers, as many cannot survive another season of suppressed sales.  With total gift sales forecasted to decline 2.6 percent this Christmas season, “necessity gift” like clothing will be the only growth category, according to industry research IBISWorld.

“Clothing is the only gift category to see growth this year because it serves a dual purpose,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “Parents are using this Christmas season as an excuse to update their children’s wardrobes, still filling space under the tree and ultimately saving money in the long run.”

As the biggest retail category, clothing represents 18.6 percent of total Christmas gift sales in 2009, at $81.91 billion.  Discount and convenient retailers like Zappos and Kohl’s will continue to see strong sales volumes, as consumers move away from higher-end goods to more value-added purchases.

However, brand name products and celebrity labels are going to fare poorly this year, while basic clothing items are expected to perform well.  Overall, clothes are expected to rebound from their dismal performance a year ago – which was among the worst Christmas retailing seasons this century.

The items topping your teen’s wish list this holiday are probably Wii games and an iPod, but how about giving the best gift of all: Adventure through imagination!  Here are a couple novels that are sure to reach Twilight and Harry Potter popularity with your teen this holiday as well as an advice guide for teen girls:

The Hole in the Sky, by Barbara Mahler ($20.95):  An unusual visitor leads 13-year-old Kaela and her cousin on a fantastic journey to a cursed land where they find beauty, adventure, strange and magical friends, and deadly enemies.  The key that unlocks the curse lies hidden in the mystical butterfly breath, but to uncover it, Kaela has to overcome her grief from her mother’s death and face her deepest fears before time runs out. (My 15-year-old niece loved this book!)

For more on the The Hole in the Sky, click here.

Rebel Stone and The Ghost Whisperers, by Walter Rouzer ($18.95):  Rebel Stone and his parents temporarily relocate to a grey stone castle overlooking the Mississippi river, but they are strictly forbidden to enter one room during their stay – a master suite sealed shut for more than 100 years. No stranger to paranormal events, Rebel is confronted by the dark forces within the mansion. Rebel eventually befriends the Ghost Whisperers, twin girls living in the mansion, and begins attempting to free their spirits, but is swept along an extraordinary adventure.

For more information on Rebel Stone and the Ghost Whisperers, click here.

Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence, by Carrie Silver-Stock, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. ($14.95):  Girls love secrets. In many ways, teen girls are trapped by the cult of secrecy that exists today. It is as part of this cult that so many girls hide their depression, eating disorders, pregnancies, and sexual relationships. Secrets Girls Keep by teen expert Carrie Silver-Stock, shows teens that when they help share their stories, they begin to break down the walls and ensure better and safer choices for their futures. Many girls today struggle with feelings of low confidence, loneliness, rejection, and depression and then look to unsafe sex, drugs and alcohol for comfort and answers.

For more on Secrets Girls Keep, click here.