Lifestyle, News
Dec 7, 2020

Founder’s Favorite Things- Holiday Gift Guide

As the year comes to an end and we set our sights on better things ahead for 2021, it’s time for our annual holiday gift guide…

This year, we’ve launched a special founder’s edition, where I can share some of my personal favorites and anecdotes from the year with you!

In November of 2010, I began the planning for PPLA which officially launched in Summer 2011. The goal was to create a site whose aim was to “Get What Matters” to our readers including aspirational stories, celebrities giving back, community news and more- gossip free! So now, as I sit here nearly a decade later reflecting on the journey, there is a lot to be thankful for. While 2020 may seem like a year we’d all like to cancel in many ways, it also reminded us about the importance of work-life balance, family, good friends, and supporting humanity on the whole. It highlighted why passion and empathy are more important than fame and material things.

This holiday season we wanted to say thank you to all of our readers by offering special holiday promo codes below and highlight products that will not only bring joy to your life but give back to others and support local, small business.

Happy Holidays from Team PPLA!

Jennifer Buonantony, CEO & Founder


We’re kicking off this year’s guide with gifts that give back!

MinMinBear– founded by lifestyle & entertainment reporter Rachelle McCray, who you may recognize as former Miss Arizona and Arizona Cardinals NFL Cheerleader, as well as a TV host for Arizona Living, CelebTV in Los Angeles, and most recently QVC Network.

Every year, the MinMinBear Foundation chooses a mission to help those affected by chronic illnesses, like kidney disease, which leads to organ donation. The foundation’s first initiative is the #MinMinBearChallenge which showcases three teddy bears-MinMinBear™, AlbieBear™and WinskiBear™- traveling throughout all 50 states to help find a perfect donor match for those in need, including Rachelle’s own mother. The bears are $25, certified child safe (without tutu add-on) and tax deductible. Order your bear and help save a life.

The Good To Go TEE– a collaboration between GO Campaign and SOL ANGELES. For every purchase of this Heather Mocktwist unisex tee ($52), GO can provide 1 month of internet access to a child who is distance learning. The GOOD TO GO TEE supports GO Campaign’s continued work to bring Covid-19 relief and resources to vulnerable children around the world. Available to purchase through 12/31/20

Vast Life offers a great opportunity to support a local small business. Based in Los Angeles, Vast is a surf and streetwear brand known for giving back to the local community and protecting the California shores! Th brand started their own line of masks during COVID-19 call VAST FM to cut down on single use mask waste piling up on ocean floors and shores. In addition, for every VAST purchase, they donate cozy fashion items from their line to frontline workers. They recently donated over 300 items to workers at Martin Luther King Hospital here in LA. VAST just dropped their Winter Line and are running holiday promotions all month!


Seville Michelle makes the perfect hoop earrings for this Holiday season! Handmade with Italian leather, these hoops are a favorite of Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez and many other entertainers. The earrings start at $33 and are available in a variety of shapes and colors. Fee shipping to the US and Canada and a special 10% off with code SM-PPLA  

ili New York LeatherA gorgeous line of leather bags and accessories sure to make anyone’s holiday wish list! As I recently started wearing glasses, I opted for their stylish Leather Eye Glass Case ($28.) This leather eyeglass case with framer detail (comes in multiple colors) has a zip closure and a back-zip pocket.  Perfect stocking stuffer! Also available on Amazon.

MOON UltraLight is a new, ultra-portable lighting device. It’s intuitive touch controls provide customizable brightness and tone, allowing you to perfectly capture your special moments. Perfect for family portraits, spotless selfies, and more! $49.99. Fits Fits virtually any phone, any case and even tablets and laptops. It has adjustable color & brightness (daylight hue to a golden warm), is always bright no mater how much charge left on your battery, and has touch adjustability!

ReGen De Peau Platinum is an innovative luxury brand skincare founded by Oli Scarlato. Scarlato began as a model for Revlon turned laboratory geek and scientific ingredient research specialist. After suffering from burns on 50% of her body as a child, Scarlato became a skincare pro who was determined to revolutionize the industry by creating a product that could help everyone from burn victims to those wanting to reverse the aging process. This product is great for both men and women, features Pene-Fusion 8™ technology and is known for its powerful treatments of healing, lifting and wrinkle reduction. The main ingredient complexes include: MDI complex, UGL Complex, BMPX Complex and the organic Japanese Blue Lotus flower extract. Apply a dime-size portion directly onto skin, each to the forehead, cheeks, chin, and neck with a firm tapping motion twice daily. Use code Regen25 for 25% off.

Melanin60 is a full line of organic quality skincare products. Each hand-crafted product is plant-based, cruelty-free, and all-natural. The line debuted this summer with ten initial products: Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Honey Scrub, Honey & Rose Face Wash, Lemon & Aloe Mist, Caffeine Eye Cream, Wilda Vitamin C Serum, Soothing Face Cream, Exfoliating Bar Soap, Rich Body Cream, Soothing Deodorant, and Cocoa Caramel Lip Balm.  15% off site wide with the code PRESSPASS. 

Emily & Lucy Jewelry– Beautifully crafted, handmade jewelry, made locally in Los Angeles. Our favorites include the Gold Chevron Necklace, Leaf Earrings, and the Rainbow Moonstone Pendant because the stone represents calm and relieves stress while releasing love. The founders shared with us that Moonstone is a powerful gem that can mean a lot of things with its diverse healing effects so it’s a great gift going into a New Year.

Reshoevn8r– Elevate your shoe game! We all know that guy or gal who is obsessed with having the cleanest, sharpest shoes. Enter the Reshoevn8r Deep Clean Signature Bundle – the ultimate gift. It includes the flagship Signature Kit with additional tools for the true sneaker and shoe enthusiast that loves looking their best at all times!

Revtown – Started by 3 former Under Armour Executives who are revitalizing the denim market! They’ve created a performance denim for men and women that compares to luxury brands like AG and Joe’s, but at a fraction of the price – $79 per pair- yes you read that correctly! These premium jeans are designed with the performance and comfort of an athletic pant, but with the look and feel of designer jeans. Revtown has also developed a tool they call the Digital Tailor, where you can size yourself with 96% accuracy in four clicks.

I almost NEVER order clothes, especially jeans online, because I insist on seeing the fit. These fit perfectly in the waist, length, and overall style; I was in shock! The jeans are also eco-friendly made from BCI-certified cotton, an initiative aimed at creating cleaner, sustainable cotton production. 100% of all waste is recycled into denim yarn or insulation for local housing. The denim is sustainably dyed using shrimp shells, orange peels, and nut shells. This process uses 30% less energy, 50% less water and 70% less chemicals than traditional dying techniques across the industry.

MASH City (Unisex Fashion) is the creation of Los Angeles-based Expressionist Artist/Painter and Contemporary Art Gallery owner Haleh Mashian. Located in DTLA’s Arts District, Mashian merges her love of two artforms – art and fashion – into one. All of MASH City designs feature bold digital artwork created by Mashian herself. The Collection, described as premium athleisure meets streetwear chic, offers styles for both men and women as well as unisex/genderless options. Included in the collection are bomber jackets (we’re obsessed with the rose print below), hoodies, sweaters, leggings, rain jackets, accessories, swim/resort wear, and more all ranging in price under $400 USD. Our readers can check out special holiday deals!

Nebula Genomics is the perfect gift for the friend or family member who is curious about their family history, heritage and health risks. A little different than most DNA sequencing services. Most DNA kits on the market decode only 0.2% of your DNA! The Nebula Whole Genome Sequencing kit decodes 100% of your DNA – producing 10,000 times more data than other tests on the market including 23andMe and AncestryDNA- making it worth the price! There’s also an option to sign up for a Nebula subscription plan that includes weekly updates and access to new tools. This is literally the gift that keeps on giving. 

The BLM movement was a turning point for 2020, bringing awareness to the national forefront. These two local black-owned businesses use fashion to send powerful cultural messages!

Skidrow- A collection of hoodies, shirts, hats, and more with important political messages by creative, David Sabastian, with the goal of using streetwear to implement change through fashion. Percentage of the net sales go back to the Los Angeles community, specifically to raise critical awareness and bring support to the Skid Row community.

Maconomics “Black Wealth Matters”- is a philanthropic line that was created to bring awareness to the wealth disparity in this country and start a movement supporting Black Owned Businesses. It was created by Ross Mac, a former Wall Street professional and creator/host of REVOLT TV’s hit weekly segment Maconomics. Ross shares the fundamental understanding of financial literacy from an urban perspective. Ross’ approach to financial literacy is the perfect fusion of hip hop culture and Wall Street knowledge!

Recuerdo Mezcal – Everyone loves a great liquor! One of the leading Mezcals on the market is from Mexico and is developed by UFC “BMF” Titleholder Jorge Masvidal.

Recuerdo Mezcal is cooked with only certified wood over river rocks and distilled with traditional Mezcal production techniques that are honored and proven to produce the finest final spirit. The agave is sustainably harvested in Oaxaca, in a manner that ensures the preservation of the agave plant and the environment. Recuerdo Mezcal is available with Gusano ($37.99) for those who prefer the silky texture the agave-worm gives the liquid, as well as without ($34.99) the agave-worm for those who seek smoky notes with less complexity. Recuerdo Mezcal is involved with two foundations; one provides medical and agricultural assistance to the more isolated areas of Oaxaca and the other helps promote local artists and artisans. Recuerdo Mezcal is intended to be savored not rushed, in other words sipped with besitos (Spanish for kisses XX).


Sea To Me– a California-based company that makes a lovely line of soft throws (as well as face masks and puppy bandanas!) These beautiful and comfortable throws are so warm and cuddly. They feel like cashmere but are 100% Polyster and can be machine washed on warm, tumble dried on low. They are $85 for the toddler blanket, $115 for the adult (58″ x 72″) size. I loved that this line allowed me to support a small business, shop local, and get a gift for my niece; I personally chose the Seafoam Green Luxe Toddler!

Nearly three quarters of pet parents (72%) plan to give their pets a gift or stocking stuffer this holiday season…guilty as charged! I mean how can anyone say no to those adorable puppy dog eyes!

Edibites by Pet Releaf – CBD infused pet edibles “Edibites”are a paw-fect gift whether your dog is in incredible health or is experiencing signs of aging or discomfort. These chews offer a needed immune system turbo boost, making them a great daily supplement. If travel or boarding a plane are in the plans (like Kodi and I below!) the CBD Hemp Oils and Liposome Hemp Oils will give your pup the gift of relaxation when anxiety hits.  Pet Releaf is the first “pet only” company awarded the U.S. Hemp Authority seal and all products incorporate hemp that is certified USDA organic, pesticide free, and grown at hemp farms. In addition, the brand gives back to the community- not only this holiday season- but all year long through its Rescue Releaf program. Order for your pup using PPLA15 for 15% off.

These helped calm my own dog Kodi on our flight from LAX back east for the holidays! Kodi was rescued during the pandemic from a meat farm in South Korea by local charity LIFE Animal Rescue.

ElleVet Mobility Chews While it’s been a joy having a my new pup Kodi, 2020 also saw the heartbreaking loss of my 17 year old terrier mix,Fiona.

As dogs age they have more needs and keeping their mobility is of top priority to their quality of life. That’s why I love giving the gift of ElleVet Mobility Chews to my friends with adult and senior doggos!

ElleVet hemp chews for dogs are made in a size that delivers the increased amount of active ingredient that’s appropriate for bigger dogs. The chews are soft and come in a peanut butter flavor (YUM!) that makes it easy for your dog to love. Each chew contains our proprietary plant hemp oil and terpene blend to support your dog’s mobility and includes added glucosamine. This product is endorsed by vets who’ve tested them at one of the country’s leading veterinarian schools.

At almost 17, Fiona was dubbed the “Betty White” of dogs because despite aging joints she was still spunky and full of personality. Pictured doing her best “Beatles” crossing pose on the long daily walk (stroller adjacent) to the PPLA offices!

Cat Cave -Not to be outdone by the pups, we have a great gift for the kitties in your life! The company is run by a sister/brother team. The Cat Cave is a kitty cave made of ethically sourced wool, 100% natural and organic materials with vegan organic dyes.  They pay 200% higher wages to their workers and they give back – donating caves to charity and are currently running a feed a cat campaign! They have over 30 designs, including 3D caves. The caves are also great for small dogs- check out actress Kristen Bell’s pup on Instagram.

PPLA Reporter, Demi Janell’s Serenity enjoying her Cat Cave!

 TWEE!  TWEE is a women owned maker’s studio specializing in handmade, small batch sidewalk chalk; showcasing the ordinary in extraordinary ways. It’s the perfect way to support women in business and help develop the creative minds of tomorrow’s leaders- our youth!


Three Commas Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) has been a long time supporter of the entrepreneur. Three Commas, symbolizing billions, has a bigger meaning; it is the spirit of the entrepreneur who has a  vision and won’t stop until they achieve it. This clothing line is the perfect gift for the colleague with hustle in your life! Use code PPLA20 for 20% off.

Gateway Tablet– Every entrepreneur needs to stay connected on the go! The colorful tablet features Quad Core, 32GB Storage, 2GB Memory, 0.3MP Front Camera, 2MP Rear Camera, USB-C, Sound ID, Android 10 Go Edition. Available in Blue, Black, and Purple: 10.1”  ($79) or 8” Tablet ($69). An affordable gift item that is great for running to meetings, business travel, or getting work done on the go!

The 125 Collection celebrates the legendary “125th Street” located in the Heart of Harlem’s amazing community. These candles are paraben-free, cruelty-free, phthalate-free and vegan. Made with a soy wax blend. Approximately 80 hours of burn timeLead-free cotton wickNo Animal Testing13.5 oz jar (11 oz candle) This is both a woman and minority owned business and what badass boss wouldn’t love these sayings… Burning in the PPLA offices daily! Offering 10% off site wide until 12/31.

Haute Mess Gift Baskets – Shop local this holiday! This European inspired gourmet market, bakery and cafe located on Beverly Boulevard makes the perfect gift baskets to send to colleagues or clients! They have options for all budgets but here’s our fav that won’t break the bank and will certainly delight.

Price: $35.00 What’s Included: Bottle of Imported Red Wine, Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps, Italian Mixed Olives, Artisanal Preserve, Panettocino, Traditional Tuscan Cantucci with Chocolate, Dark and Milk Chocolate tea-infused toffee almonds, Caffarel Premium Chocolate Bar

Vinci Products I don’t know a CEO that can survive without coffee! Vinci makes some of the best coffee and juicing products on the market. Our personal favs include the Vinci Express Cold Brew – I’m an ice coffee gal- ($79.99) and the Vinci Auto Pour Over 12-Cup Coffee Maker ($99.99) which is great for a small group brainstorming around the conference table! Special discount code for our readers- 15%offLA.

goSili stylish 24 oz. tumbler- is the gift for that special someone who is always on the go! It will certainly become their favorite cup.  GoSili’s 24 oz. tumbler is the first all silicone straw cup that holds its shape. GoSili cups are 100% platinum and European grade silicone with an embedded stainless steel ring so it won’t collapse when gripped! GoSili’s patented technology paves the way for a new drinking experience and is the perfect alternative to plastic to-go cups. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Easy to use, easy to clean!


Forget about the usual running shoes and workout clothes, here are our must-buy gifts that will help the active warrior in your life feel better and recover.

Chil Wellness  Hydration Drink Mix is filled with electrolytes, potassium, 10mg of CBD and a lemon flavor. It will become the most important part of your workout! Get a pack of 10 for just $29.95. I’ve personally always suffered from dehydration and often forget to drink throughout the day when I’m working, so use this as a daily go-to.  If you’re suffering from shin splints, dull back pain, knee pain… you name it, Chil also makes Aspen’s Maximum Relief Roll-On which provides relief like no other. It combines medical-grade magnesium and organic full-spectrum CBD extract to help support and enhance your body’s ability to sooth discomfort. Prices range from $39 to $59 depending on the size. This is one of my fav products because you can throw it in your bag and apply throughout the day if you’re having muscle pain (for me it’s tense neck!) Use code presspassla15 for a special discount!

FitFighter was founded by volunteer firefighter and Army veteran, Sarah Apgar, five years ago to help her team get fir for a mission. FitFighter is a strength and conditioning system originally designed for the fire service, made with a real fire hose! FitFighter bloomed into both an everyday system to make anyone stronger, and a performance training tool for athletes. It was recently featured on Shark Tank and a portion of sales sponsor the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation supporting veterans, first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and their families.    

Diamond Life Fuel an all natural supplement that improves your focus, burns fat and maximizes your performance! Developed by Best-selling Author, Speaker and Guinness World Record Half Marathon Champ Mike Diamond. Diamond Life Fuel was created out of his own need for a supplement that could help him recover naturally after a burst appendix left him in septic shock with a severe damage to his colon. Healing yourself naturally is no easy task. There was nothing on the market that could give Diamond what he needed so he began to experiment to find the right combination. After healing himself in only 6 weeks, he set out to create a supplement line to help people reach their potential and become unbreakable. This supplement line is the fuel for unbreakable parents, athletes, and entrepreneurs! PressPassLA for 10% off

Imaginal Health created by life partners, Jessica and Da’vid, Imaginal was started as a collaborative effort to share quality products they loved for personal use with friends, family, and community. Their mission is to create positive social impact by empowering people through education and awareness about plant-derived cannabinoids such as CBD. I first became interested in their products after suffering a concussion in a ski accident in March. This led me to try their Curcumin Softgel made with CBD and curcumin for better brain and heart health, boosted immune system, and healthy joints; as well as their CBD + Organic oils Salve Stick applied topically to relieve soreness, keep joints healthy, and promote skin health.  They also make a pet line of CBD chews! Use code PPLA at checkout for a special discount.

Viteyes Blue Light Defender- With digital devices and energy-efficient LED lighting, our eyes are exposed to more harmful blue light than ever before! I know that I spend at least 10 hours a day looking at screens and have felt the effects on my vision, so I was excited to try these supplements.

Blue Light Defender + contains lutein (20 mg) and zeaxanthin (4 mg), the only natural defenses our eyes have to protect your macula from the harmful effects of blue light. Plus, with Astareal® Astaxanthin, this premium formulation helps combat digital eye strain and eye fatigue. In addition, it contains Bilberry & Vitamin C, and is free from common allergens.

Kleva Health– is helping fight the pandemic with the launch their COVID-19 test kit (available Dec 8th.) The at-home kits cost $149 USD and our shipped to your home or office. The kit includes simple-to-follow instructions to perform the test and then you simply ship back your box for results from the lab within 48 hours. This could be a game-changer in making testing available and safe for everyone! While 2020 is almost behind us, we need to stay safe in the New Year. Pre-order today.


2021 Take Action Calendar– Finally, everyone needs a new yearly calendar. We recommend the “Take Action” Calendar by artist and environmentalist, Katherine Homes. This calendar does not list religious, government or consumer based holidays (not that they have anything against those) but focuses on days of environmental and social action. It lists 128 environmental and social days to inspire you to take action and protect our World in 2021.  The Calendar is made in the USA with soy based inks and biodegradable yet durable recycled Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, and it includes original artwork.

Thank you and Happy Holidays from our Team!