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New Year’s

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New Year’s Resolutions: 15 Motivational Goods to Help You Achieve Your 2016 Goals

January 15, 2016

Inspirational and Motivational Gifts | UncommonGoods

The cork was popped, the champagne spilled, and the New Year’s festivities are over–which means it’s time to focus on a fresh new start in 2016! Chances are you’ve made a New Year’s resolution with the hope of a successful year, but sticking to your goals is easier said than done. Perhaps you’re struggling to make changes or maybe you’ve already broken your resolution, but fear not, we’ve got the goods to help you get back on track and keep you motivated all year-round!

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The Uncommon Life

Instagram Challenge: THIS YEAR…

December 31, 2015

Instagram Challenge | This Year....

The next Instagram Challenge theme is THIS YEAR. Many of us treat a new calendar year as a clean slate, and for good reason. So far in 2016, we haven’t made too many mistakes yet, there hasn’t been time for much disappointment yet, and we probably haven’t broken our New Year’s resolutions quite yet. These first few days are the perfect opportunity to reflect on our goals for the next 12 months. Whether it’s long distance travel, preparing for an addition to your family, or starting a new hobby, we want to see what you’re scheming up for 2016! While sharing your photos, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstaFun to be in the running for a $50 gift card. Visit here to see the creative entries we’ve received so far and scroll down to view our inspiration from Pinterest (including some of our very own goods to inspire you in 2016).

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!

Cork Globe | Instagram Challenge | This Year....
Anywhere Travel Guide | UncommonGoods | Instagram Challenge
West Coast IPA Beer Brewing Kit | Instagram Challenge | This Year | #UGInstaFun


Congratulations to @kellysgreen for winning our “It’s A Wrap” Challenge with this creative gift wrap idea! 

Instagram Challenge Winner | It's A Wrap | UncommonGoods

The Uncommon Life

7 Ways to Journey Through Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 31, 2015

Frog Prince | UncommonGoods

New Year’s Resolutions.

We know. You make them. You keep them – for a week, maybe two. Then, you…think about them. Finally, you give up and break them.

Every year.

This year will be different.

Oh, you’ll still break them. But at least you won’t be alone. This year, we’re here to help.

We hereby present the UncommonGoods 2016 New Year’s Resolution Journey Companion Objects Collection: three items per resolution, corresponding to the three inevitable stages of every Resolution Journey.

Resolution: Get fit by running


Runbell | UncommonGoodsDo it ! | RunBell  $25.00


New York Marathon Map | UncommonGoodsThink about it… | New York Marathon Map  $28.00


Speed Chair | UncommonGoodsBreak it. | Speed Chair  $1,100.00


Resolution: Get fit by biking

Magnetic Bike Lights | UncommonGoods

Do it! | Magnetic Bike Lights  $32.00


Bamboo Bike Wall Clock | UncommonGoodsThink about it… | Bamboo Bike Wall Clock $64.00


Bike Chain Bottle Opener | UncommonGoodsBreak it. | Bike Chain Bottle Opener  $10.00


Resolution: Read more books

Library Card Tote Bag | UncommonGoodsDo it! | Library Card Tote Bag $20.00


Literary Scarves - Jane Eyre | UncommonGoods


Think about it… | Literary Scarves – Jane Eyre $48.00



Flask Book Box | UncommonGoods

Break it. | Flask Book Box $56.00


Resolution: Grow a garden

Gardeners Tool Seat | UncommonGoods

Do it! | Gardener’s Tool Seat $30.00


Cozy Beneath the Garden |UncommonGoodsThink about it… Cozy Beneath the Garden $75.00 – $145.00


Do Good Hammock | UncommonGoodsBreak it. | Do Good Hammock $195.00


Resolution: Become a host/ess with the most/ess

Cheese & Crackers Serving Board | UncommonGoods

Do it! | Cheese & Crackers Serving Board  $48.00


Wine Cork Personalized Art | UncommonGoods

Think about it… Wine Cork Personalized Art  $250.00 – $400.00


Stoneware TV Dinner Tray | UncommonGoodsBreak it. | Stoneware TV Dinner Tray  $24.00


Resolution: Learn to play an instrument

Guitar Chord Blocks | UncommonGoodsDo it! | Guitar Chord Blocks $35.00


Personalized Gold LP Record | UncommonGoods

Think about it… | Personalized Gold LP Record $175.00


DJ Cat Scratching Pad | UncommonGoodsBreak it. | DJ Cat Scratching Pad $35.00


Resolution: Travel the globe

Adventure Water Filter | UncommonGoods

Do it! | Adventure Filter Water Bottle $74.99



Puzzle Ball - The Earth | UncommonGoodsThink about it… | Puzzle Ball – The Earth $40.00


Birth Announcement Pillows | UncommonGoods

Break it.| Birth Announcement Pillows $100.00

Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: What the Heck is Hogmanay?

December 26, 2015

Single Malts of Scotland Tasting Map

When you think New Year’s Eve celebrations, you might think of mobs in Times Square. But December 31st is a big night in Scotland too. There, it’s traditionally known as Hogmanay, a possible corruption of the French au guis menez (“to the mistletoe,” suggesting a Druidic origin). But whatever its name or origins, the celebration is essentially the same to this day—drinking toasts to the old year, counting down to the new, and tying on a few more after midnight. But a wonderful part of Scottish Hogmanay called “First Footing” is less common. In this ritual, the first person to put their foot across a threshold has the honor of bringing good fortune to the whole household. Sometimes, this metaphor for stepping through the door of a new year was accompanied by a handsel, a gift of a lump of coal or a bottle of whisky to symbolize the many gifts of the coming year. Warmth…whisky…who needs a Christmas sweater?

Discover more holiday lore in our Twelve Uncommon Facts About the Holidays post.

Single Malts of Scotland Tasting Map | $30

The Uncommon Life

Marie Antoinette, Grace Kelly and the History of the New Year’s Toast

December 30, 2011

(source ChampagnePascal Vuylsteker)

In a couple days we will gather with and count down the New Year. Whether you are watching the ball drop from your television or in the center of Times Square, there most likely will be a glass of champagne in your hand. I was curious as to why we choose champagne for toasts on momentous occasions like weddings, birthdays and holidays and found out some pretty interesting knowledge.

(source NotCot)

For the longest time, champagne was mostly drunk by men who were attracted by the unofficial endorsement of royal and noble men. Men of all classes and statures flocked to the bubbly on a regular basis, but in the early 19th Century champagne manufacturers thought it was time to start appealing to women. In order to get the attention of ladies, bottles were designed with labels depicting beautiful scenes that like romantic dates, weddings and christenings (not as romantic but very important to women as a special event). The tactic worked but also influenced drinkers to save champagne for more special occasions instead of daily happy hour.

Most drinkers reach for a champagne flute, a tall thin glass that connoisseurs recommend for a better drinking experience. A flute will not over-expose the drink to oxygen and directs the nose toward the wine allowing for optimal flavor. However, coupe glasses are known to come in and out of style for their chic shape although they may weaken the flavor of champagne. They are rumored to have been made from a mold of Marie Antoinette’s left breast as a birthday present to her husband Louis XVI. They were meant to signify the drinks coming from the kindness of her heart. I prefer these shallow, bowl-like glasses because they make me feel like Grace Kelly.

(source Anatomy of a Classic)

However you choose to drink your champagne this New Year’s Eve, please do so safely. When combined with carbonated water, alcohol is consumed more rapidly and champagne’s bubbles work the same way. They aren’t lying when they say champagne goes right to your head!


5 Tips to Redecorate Your Home for Under $50

December 27, 2011

With January comes the excitement of a new year, and with your resolutions come the prospect of a shiny new you. But after the holiday decorations have been taken down and the intoxicating smell of cookies has subsided, you are stuck with the same old house.

If you’re like me, you probably resolved to save some money in the New Year, so bringing in a professional to decorate is not an option. I got an early start working on my resolution for a fresh new home in 2012 so I could share some simple ideas to revamp and reorganize your space on a budget.

Move accessories from one room to another.

Seriously– it works! Rearrange the décor items in your home by transferring them from room to room. Move the armchair from the sitting room to a bedroom, or bring the office lamp into the hall. I have a bunch of vintage dishes that I use to store jewelry and other things. I moved this amber compote from the living room into the bathroom. Perhaps a guest might not pick up the change, but my familiar eye notices a difference.

No new supplies. Total, $0.

Color-block the books on your bookshelf.

I love our library of books and DVDs but the wall of bookshelves in our office looks messy and overwhelming. I experimented with color-blocking each shelf and the result is so neat and tidy. First, I pulled all the books off their shelves and sorted them in piles by the color of the spine. You will probably have large piles of black or white books and you can also sort by the color of the main font.

I assigned one color to each shelf and played around with the directions of the books. Lastly, I put back our collection of vintage cameras and lenses into the open spaces on each shelf. I had no idea this technique would also help highlight our eclectic collection!

No new supplies. Total, $0.

Start spring cleaning early.

My crafting supplies overflow from canvas bags, starting from my closet to the corners of my room.  My coworker Julia shared that she started sorting her yarn and supplies by color in old oatmeal and coffee cans after she saw the idea on Leethal. This is such a great way to store any group of small items like paperclips and crayons in a cabinet or drawer, and you will be recycling too!

Can of coffee, $6. Can of oatmeal, $3. Total, a month’s worth of breakfast and the satisfaction of doing something good for the environment, priceless.

Give a lamp a facelift.

There really is nothing a coat of paint can’t fix. Repaint one of your luminary pieces in a bright color to make a bold statement.

My boyfriend bought this monkey lamp when he was in college and despite my love for the tailed creatures I have always found it dark and creepy. Knowing I wanted to keep it in my almost-completely-white bedroom, I covered it in a bright marigold spray paint. I purchased a plain lampshade that I covered in fabric from Ikea, a skill I picked up from years of watching Trading Spaces after school.

Spray paint, $6. Lampshade, $9. Fabric, $7. Total, $22

Deck the walls. Chances are the pictures that have been hanging on your wall for the past year are looking as stale as the ones that came with the frame. I decided to ditch the frames and hang photos on baker’s twine with binder clips. It wasn’t long until the line accumulated cards, stickers, tickets and other tsotchkes. It was an interesting and colorful mixed-media experience that was easy to change more frequently than framed pictures.

Baker’s twine, $16. Binder clips, $4.50. Total, $20.50

We all know change comes from within but sometimes forget to consider within our own homes. Revamping your home may sound less impacting than a resolution to help others, but getting out of a decor rut by making small and inexpensive alterations can change your whole perspective on yourself and the outside world. It’s a really great place to start!

The Uncommon Life

New Year’s Giveaway

December 30, 2010

It’s that time of the year! Time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Learn a new language. Eat dinner with your family more often. Plant a garden. Whatever it is that you want to achieve in 2011– it’s time to set your goals.

And UncommonGoods is here to help!

Studies show that if you affirm your resolution in public, you’ll have an easier time making it stick. So leave a comment below and let us know what you’re planning to achieve in the coming year.

And how about a little extra something to help you start your New Year off right? We’ve got an Uncommon Good in mind for one of you, to help you keep your resolutions and achieve your goals.

Want to start composting? Find inner balance? Start writing that novel? We’ve got just the gift to help one or more of you get started!

Leave a comment below to enter to win. And as always, you can increase your chances by leaving a comment on Facebook or tweeting @uncommongoods.

We’ll announce the winner(s) in Tuesday’s email newsletter. So sign up now, if you’re not already getting our updates.

Happy New Year and may all your goals and dreams be realized!

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