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    Entries in Holidays (31)


    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #6 - Take care of yourself too

    Wrapping up the Gift Recommendations series today not with a specific item or product, but rather a more basic, fundamental recommendation.

    Which is this - over this holiday season make sure to take care of yourself too.

    My guess is that you are like a lot of people I know - on the grind at work and maybe taking on more responsibilities this year while still having to balance your real life - family, kids, friends, and maybe even a little fun from time to time (if you have time).

    It seems almost everyone is busier than ever. 

    And while that can be, and often is, a blessing, it can also be a tremendous challenge.

    You put your job before you. You put your family before you. Maybe you even put the causes and groups you care about before you. Because that is what you do. And that is ok. But it can be, over time, really, really hard. And maybe even a little unhealthy. 

    You skip meals to work on that presentation for the CEO. You skip going to the gym to make sure you get the groceries for tomorrow's dinner. You get up at 5:30AM because your meetings and calls start at 7AM and that's the only time you have to fold the laundry. And you lay in bed at 11:45PM and like and comment and say nice things on social media on your family and friends posts and pictures. You're exhausted but you do it anyway.

    And you are amazing. Truly.

    And since you spend so much time putting everything and everyone else before you, my recommendation for this holiday season is to take some time, however much time you can find, (or need), for you and you only.

    Sleep in. Let someone else handle the car pool or the vacuuming. Order some takeout instead of cooking. And have it delivered, (GrubHub is awesome).

    Turn off your phone for a day or three. Or at least put it aside for a few hours. 

    Go to the movies, the gym, the salon or wherever it is you want to go and not be in someone else's service for a little while. Call a friend that you never seem to be able to find time for these days.

    Think about what you really want from 2018, personally and professionally. Or just think about nothing at all.

    But mostly, take some time to make sure you are taking care of you - physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally. 

    Because unless you take care of you, you won't be able to take care of all the people in your life who rely on you.

    You are amazing. Truly. You deserve it.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, thanks so much for reading. It means a lot to me.


    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #5 - For the corporate design geeks like me

    We are grinding down to the end of the year pretty quickly, and glancing at the calendar I think this will be the penultimate one of these holiday gift recommendation Friday posts. Then we can get back to the normal important things we do around here like ranking types of food and making even more connections between work and the NBA.

    This week's recommedation is slightly different, in that the actual gift won't be available until the Spring, but once I heard about it and checked it out I had to include it as one of the recommendations. Maybe you can order it for that distant relative or friend you won't actually see during the holidays, but wanted to make sure you did not totally forget them. Or maybe you just want to get this one for yourself (or your favorite blogger), and won't mind the delay.

    Anyway, on to the gift recommendation...

    You may not know Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv by the name of their firm, but you certainly know them from their work. This is the design firm who have created dozens if not hundreds of iconic corporate logos, trademarks, and identity programs. The NBC 'peacock', the US Bicentennial branding, Chase Bank, and the still popular even though the company is no more, Pan Am Airlines are just a few of the images and brands that Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv have created since the firm was founded in 1957.

    To recognize, celebrate, and commemorate the firm's 60 years at the forefront of corporate identitity and design, they have created a new book titled 'Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv' which features over 100 case studies of their work, including some of the brands I mentioned above, as well as others you know and recognize like PBS, Mobil, and the Smithsonian. The book itself will be fantastic to look at and page through, as befitting the firm's focus and commitment to the image, the book is mostly images - examples of the amazing and iconic work this one firm has produced that has had an outsized impact on workplaces and business over the last 60 years.

    You can pre-order 'Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv' here and it is expected to ship in May. You can be patient. I am sure the design lover in your gift list will be happy too.

    Why is this stuff important for anyone in business?

    I think this quote from Ivan Chermayeff sums it up - “Symbols don’t make clear what you do; it makes it clear who you are."

    Reminder, I have no affiliate relationships with any of the gift recommendations. I just think they are cool.

    Have a great weekend!


    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #4 - The Converse you need in 2018's Color of the Year

    There are few things in life I enjoy more than some new kicks. I am not willing to admit publicly just how many pairs of sneakers I own. Let's just say it is somewhere between 'Man that's a lot of sneakers' and 'Wow, I think you have a problem with sneakers.'

    But my tastes in sneakers isn't like the crazed 23 year-old sneakerhead chasing rare one-off collaborations or waiting for days in front of some pop-up shop in Manhattan to score a new release of Yeezys. I prefer the classics - Adidas Superstars, Chuck Taylors, Vans, and even some newer takes like Nike KDs or Kyries.

    With that in mind, and since our pals at Pantone just announced the 2018 Color of the Year - 'Ultra Violet' - a deep, rich, blue/purple shade, I had to find something for the latest holiday gift recommendation that combines my sneaker aesthetic with 2018's on trend color.

    So here you go - the classic Converse One Star Suede Low Top in a rich purple, almost Ultra Violet colorway.

    Simple, clean, will go with just about anything you try and pair it with. Works for men and women, (and kids) alike. A step up in refinement from a simpler pair of Chucks but still incredibly affordable, (as I right this, they are listing for $64 on the Converse site).

    I own a pair (or two) of One Stars and I can attest they are fantastic looking and exceedingly comfortable. Snagging a pair in 2018's Color of the Year for someone in your gift list, (or maybe just for you), seems like a no-brainer. 

    Ok, that's it, I am out. Go shopping or sledding or something.

    Reminder - I have no affiliation and receive no compensation if you purchase any of the gift recommendation items.

    Have a great Sunday!


    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #3 - Sprinkles are for Winners

    Almost two years back I riffed on the Progressive Insurance ad titled 'Sprinkles are for winners'. To save you some time and a click, I really liked (and still do) the spot.

    Competition is hard. Trying is good. But there are winners and there are not-winners (losers), and in most forms of endeavor, the winners get the spoils and the sprinkles.

    Here's the original Progressive adin case you need a reminder. Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through.

    Pretty cool.

    My affinity for the message and the ad is what brings you this weeks Holiday Gift Recommendation - a simple gray 'Sprinkles are for Winners' shirt courtesy of One 10 Threads.

    Simple classic style, to the point, and available in men's, women's, and even tank styles, you will be the favorite uncle/aunt/brother/sister/cousin if you drop one of these beauties on someone who is on your holiday list.

    I dig this shirt. You may see me in this soon.

    Reminder - I have no affiliation and receive no compensation if you purchase any of the gift recommendation items.

    Have a great weekend!


    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #2 - The Rocker T-Shirt You Used to Have

    For your 'Black Friday' reading and shopping pleasure, wanted to run out a fresh Gift Recommendation installment. For folks who may have missed the first shot at this last week, here is a quick reminder of what this series is about:

    It's the end of the year, things are a little quiet, and that, coupled with after almost a decade of blogging in one place or another, every topic I thought about hitting for the end of the week felt tired and played out, I decided to start a new series to run on Fridays until the end of the year - Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendations for 2017.

    Each Friday I will share something I would love to receive as a gift this season, and since according to my view of the world (and massive ego), if I like something, then you (and the people in your life), should love to receive as well.

    I will try to make the gift recommendations affordable, appropriate for pretty much everyone, and easily obtained. And finally, there are no affiliate links or kickbacks on any of these items. These are just cool gifts that I think anyone would love. And please, please resist your temptation to order and send these gifts to me. This is not what this is about.

    Wow, that was a long preamble. Here goes...

    Today I am not pointing you to one specific item, (the image on the right is just an example, but a cool one for sure), but rather a website that has dozens if not hundreds of cool, retro-style T-shirts and other items featuring rock stars and bands past and present - Rocker Rags.

    Take a quick look through Rocker Rags inventory and you'll find reproductions of such beauties as Aerosmith's 1977 'Boston to Budokan' Tour shirt, (I have that one), Journey's 1981-82 'Don't Stop Believin' Tour, and Soundgarden's 1994 'Superunknown' Tour. 

    And there are tons more vintage look band, concert, and performer shirts from just about every band you used to think was cool. And the neat thing is these kinds of classic shirts are even popular with today's kids - I know I have picked up a Clash shirt or two for the Gen Z'er on my list.

    So for today's Black Friday recommendation, check out Rocker Rags, relive that concert you went to in 1988, and get yourself or someone on your list something pretty fun, original, and neat.

    Have a great weekend!