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Gift Guides

Solve for X-mas: Gifts for the Math Geek

November 30, 2017

Listen: Number crunching isn’t for everyone, but those who take to it tend to have a palpable passion, much like the author of this gift guide has for, you know, crunchy treats. If you’ve got a loud-and-proud math geek on your holiday shopping list, though, chances are you’d like to leverage that love and find them a mind-blowing, formula-friendly gift. Thankfully, here at UncommonGoods, we’ve got plenty of playful stuff for the calculator crowd, from neckties to specially decorated drinking glasses, and we’ve collected ten of our favorite specimens here for your reference. Read on for figs. 1-10.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration:
Meet Debbie Mullin

November 30, 2017

If you’ve never tasted the glory that is Vietnamese coffee, we encourage you to locate your nearest bánh mì place and order one immediately. The delectable combo of Vietnamese-grown coffee and sweetened condensed milk may seem simple, but trust us: It’s genius, just like maker Debbie Mullin’s new-to-UG Vietnamese Coffee Portable Pour Overs, which allow you to indulge in the drink’s sweet, creamy, caffeinated goodness wherever you go, so long as “wherever” has hot water.

We first saw Debbie’s pour overs in the kitchen here at our Brooklyn office, and with one sip of her tasty, tasty coffee (and an extra indulgent lick of any sweetened condensed milk that didn’t make it all the way into the mug), we knew we had to get the inside scoop on her product—what it is, where it comes from, and how she decided to make it. Read on for more on the birth of Debbie’s business, complete with an account of her recent visit to Saigon and a brief summary of what it’s like to grow up in a Vietnamese-Chinese-Jewish-American household… food-wise, anyway.

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The Uncommon Life

Giving Tuesday 2017:
Partner Stories & Doubled Donations

November 28, 2017

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog this month, you’ve probably noticed references to something called “Giving Tuesday” slipped in among our many holiday gift guidesBut what exactly is Giving Tuesday?

Launched in 2012, Giving Tuesday is perhaps best described as a foil for the ever-popular quasi-public holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Celebrated yearly on the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday encourages observers to use the day to focus on giving back, both in their communities and in the world at large. Here at UncommonGoods, this will be the third year we’re toasting Giving Tuesday by doubling our donations to our Better to Give partners. That’s right: On November 28, 2017—otherwise known as today—we’ll double the donation your partner of choice receives when you select them at checkout from $1 to $2, and, as always, we’ll do so at no additional cost to you.

Not sure who to choose? We love all of our partners, so we can’t play favorites. We can, however, link you to the four stories we shared this month, one for each partner, to count down to this very day… you know, in case you need a little nudge.

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The Uncommon Life

Storytelling with 826 National:
Meet the Garcia Family

November 27, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week, with our final story: our newest partner, 826 National, introduced in July of this year. Today, we’re proud to share a video that highlights the story of the Garcia family, whose children have flourished with help from 826LA.

Meet Katherine Garcia, her brother, and her mom, Juvenita Martinez, residents of the Mar Vista neighborhood in Los Angeles. In the above video, created by 826 National, Katherine tells us about her ambitions to write—and Juvenita shares how 826LA’s unique programs have helped her children excel in school and among their peers.

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Gift Guides

Funny Gift Ideas for the Ha-Ha-Holidays

November 27, 2017

Sometimes, sentimentality simply has no place in holiday gift giving. Whether you’re shopping for a big-time goof or you’re the goof in the gifting equation, a present that elicits a laugh is often your best possible option. Agree? Good news: At UncommonGoods, giggles are part and parcel of our business, and we’ve got plenty of stuff to wear, hang, and eat that will induce snickers—we promise. Read on for our favorite funny gifts, from profane paperweights to necklaces that declare your undying love for p-i-z-z-a.

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Gift Guides

10 Tech Gifts for Gadget Fanatics

November 25, 2017

Shopping for a techie can be tough, especially in a world where what’s new moves at lightning speed and self-driving cars are still, well, a wee bit expensive. Thankfully, UncommonGoods has your back this year. Of our many out-of-the-box gifts designed for the tech-inclined, we’ve selected ten of our favorites, from super-smart grow-it-yourself herb gardens to iPhone cases that defy the laws of physics. Maybe “UncommonGizmos” wouldn’t have been such a bad name after all? But I digress. Read on for more.

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The Uncommon Life

Giving Back with the IRC:
Meet the Ngalamulume Brothers

November 20, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: the IRC, short for the International Rescue Committee. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $92,000 to the IRC since beginning our partnership in 2016. Today, we’re proud to share a story from the IRC about Patrick and George Ngalamulume, two African refugees now living in Boise, Idaho.

Patrick Muteba, 21, left, and George Ngalamulume, 18, right; photos by Jonathan McBride/IRC

Written By Kulsoom Rizvi, Digital Content Officer, International Rescue Committee

Patrick and George grew up in the inner cities of Zambia, where they witnessed and experienced all kinds of hardships and ugliness: sleeping on cold cement floors, lacking enough food to eat, hearing cries of rape outside their doors. They would walk for miles, sometimes without shoes, to fetch water from the nearest well.

But what the Ngalamulume brothers craved most was a proper education. They were taught basic literacy and math at a local school—local meaning several miles from their house—but they knew there was no future for them in Zambia. Their parents had fled the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo; as sons of refugees they would find it nearly impossible to go to college in Zambia.

And yet, today, Patrick and George have become the first people in their family to attend college. The brothers have big ambitions to continue their educations at medical and law programs. They want to make a difference, to give back, to make a better world.

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Gift Guides

Flavor Faves: 15 Foodie Gifts

November 17, 2017


Pretty much everyone appreciates good food, but “foodies,” as they’re known, are another breed entirely. We all know at least one spice hoarder that fits the bill, and finding a gift to please their palate can be daunting, especially when you’ve seen them tackle ingredients out of one of Chopped’s crueler episodes. Thankfully, we’ve selected 15 of our favorite food-themed treats to make your life—and your holiday shopping—easier. Whether you’re on the hunt for something wearable, hangable, or, of course, edible, our well-seasoned selection of gifts for foodies has something just for you.

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