Shopping Gift Guides Unique BFF

11 uncommon gifts for the friend that already has everything

Read more of our holiday stories here!

We all have that one friend who already has everything and never knows to drop hints. I have several of these friends, and always end up spending hours upon hours of pointless window-shopping trying to figure out what to get them. Things got more complicated this year with all the COVID restrictions.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably already scoured through various websites for unique and personalized gift ideas. If you still couldn’t decide what to buy, here are 11 uncommon gifts to give your friends this holiday season:

1. An engraved wooden lantern that can be personalized to project images and words onto a wall

[Image description: An engraved lantern projecting butterflies onto the wall. ] Via Etsy
[Image description: An engraved lantern projecting butterflies onto the wall. ] Via Etsy 
With this beautiful lantern, you can send a magical message to your loved ones for them to cherish forever.

Get it here for $49.55 

2. A personalized illusion lamp to turn a photo into a night light

[Image description: An acrylic illusion lamp made from a photograph.] Via Etsy
[Image description: An acrylic illusion lamp made from a photograph.] Via Etsy
You’ll never forget memorable moments with this personalized lamp!

Get it here for $70.20 

3. A Feel-Good Box full of all-natural spa goodies

[Image description: A box full of spa goods for self-care.] Via Etsy
[Image description: A box full of spa goods for self-care.] Via Etsy
We could all use some self-care during these times. This is the perfect gift to comfort your friends through a breakup, when they’re dealing with a loved one passing and so much more.

Get it here for $87.93

4. A holiday scented candle to get in the holiday spirit 

[Image description: A holiday-scented candle with a cute message on it.] Via Etsy
[Image description: A holiday-scented candle with a cute message on it.] Via Etsy
This candle will make a COVID holiday season seem more normal.

Get it here for $15.99


5. A moon phase necklace that can be customized to reflect the moon phase on a special date

[Image description: A customized moon phase necklace created for a birthday.] Via Etsy
[Image description: A customized moon phase necklace created for a birthday.] Via Etsy
This necklace is meaningful but also versatile enough to go with many outfits. It’s Perfect for astrology loving friends.

Get it here for $44.36 

6. Long-distance friendship lamps that light the other one up when touched 

[Image description:Two long-dstance friendship lamps sitting on a desk.] Via Etsy
[Image description: Two long-distance friendship lamps sitting on a desk.] Via Etsy
These lamps are perfect for long-distance friends to stay in touch with each other! Have your Tangled moment.

Get it here for $235.20 

7. Handmade Succulent Soap to spice up any bathroom

[Image description:Handmade succulent soaps on a bathroom sink.] Via Etsy
[Image description: Handmade succulent soaps on a bathroom sink.] Via Etsy
These uncommon handmade soaps will look absolutely adorable in the kitchen or next to the bathroom sink.

Get it here for $12.70

8. Picasso-face earrings for your artistic friend 

[Image description: Bejeweled earrings on a white background.] Via Etsy
[Image description: Bejeweled earrings on a white background.] Via Etsy
These Picasso-face earrings will add color to any outfit.

Get it here for $9 

9. Trump Coffee and Biden Tea Boxes for your woke, politically active friend

 [Image description: Sleepy Joe Tea and Fake News Coffee on a table.] Via Etsy
[Image description: Sleepy Joe Tea and Fake News Coffee on a table.] Via Etsy
These coffee and tea boxes come with mysterious gifts hidden inside them too.

Get it here for $25 

10. A silver quiver and arrow ear cuff for your badass friend 

 [Image description: A silver quiver and arrow ear cuff on a ear.] Via Etsy
[Image description: A silver quiver and arrow ear cuff on an ear.] Via Etsy
This statement piece will instantly make any outfit look more badass. 

Get it for $46.76 

11. A DIY Whiskey Making Kit to end the night with. 

 [Image description: A whiskey making kit on a mirror tray.] Via Etsy
[Image description: A whiskey making kit on a mirror tray.] Via Etsy
This DIY Whiskey-Making Kit makes it possible to customize your own alcoholic beverage with different flavors. 

Get it here for $79.80 

Have fun being creative! Hopefully this list inspired you and you’ve decided what to get. We hope your friends enjoy these cute and personalized gifts. Wish them happy holidays from us at The Tempest too!

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Fashion Lookbook Weddings

5 traditional jewelry pieces you need if you’re Desi

Desi jewelry is one of many positive features about my culture and identity. It’s fun, intricate, and bold, and gives its wearer an elegant, regal look. It’s a way to connect with our roots while looking beautiful and appropriate for any desi occasion, particularly weddings.

However, we either have too much or too little of it. Or we may have as many as six earrings for a wedding ceremony but no necklace that goes with more than one dress. So here’s the ultimate guide to what you really need.

1. A necklace delicate enough to wear with everything you own.

via Anayah Jewellery,

Wearing a necklace will instantly make you look like a heroine from a Bhansali flick (and I mean that in the best way). Paired with a blouse that exposes the neck and collarbone or with matching earrings, these necklaces will transform any look.

For people looking for something that can be worn with almost any outfit, try looking for a style that is a cross between a collar necklace and a choker with only silver or white beads/stones. Even a thin, minimalist necklace will compliment the outfit. Just keep the neckline in mind when planning on wearing one.

2. One pair of bold earrings that looks like it belongs in a carefully curated high-end boutique.

via Pinterest, Pinterest

Even the most ardent minimalist needs a pair of bold earrings as they can make your look all the more memorable.

Most are lightweight and come in a range of styles and colors. If money is an issue or desi fashion is anathema, just keep two earrings; however, they should be bold and eye-catching either way. Jhumkas are well-loved but a chandbaali has magical powers. And let’s not forget that a magnificent pair of chandelier earrings that catches the light brilliantly is just as beautiful.

3. A pair of small or medium earrings that’s somehow statement-making and delicate at the same time.

via jhumka UK,

There will be days when those chandbaalis are too much for an outfit. Or maybe big earrings don’t seem that impressive to you.

This is why small earrings should be kept handy in your jewelry box. They can be worn on their own, for a minimalistic touch, or worn with a necklace for added drama.

Despite what jewelry companies will say, a necklace worn with small- or medium-sized earrings looks much better than when it’s paired with large earrings.

4. Your own mathapatti with enough bling to temporarily blind whoever happens to be looking at you.

via Fashion’s Fobia for Fashion Lovers, Indiansareeplaza

These can seem excessive and overtly traditional at first glance, but when worn, it’s the only accessory you’ll need!

Thanks to Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone, mathapattis are being given a new life in the modern age. Even if you decide to forgo earrings and a necklace, a mathapatti is more than enough for any outfit. Just make sure that they’re light and not too over-powering.

Also, keep the size of your forehead in mind. If it’s too small, consider buying one that is more delicate and dainty in style and size.

5. These stunning bracelets you’ll actually want to wear all the time.

via Pinterest, IndiaMART

The style of your bracelet depends on the occasion and personal taste.

Glass bangles are great when worn at mehndis. For a timeless and elegant look, a kangan (or karaa in Pakistan) that is at least 1.5 inches wide will have a magnificent effect on your ensemble. It can be worn on its own or paired with two similar ones that are thinner than the widest one. A cuff works just as great to pair with your desi ensemble.

Haathphool (a bracelet that resembles a glove as it is chained to one or two finger rings) is best left for a  bride because they’re a bit too ornate and traditional and can become dated pretty quickly.

The sky’s the limit.

Science Now + Beyond

The science behind these 7 Desi cultural traditions will blow your mind

If you were brought up in a South Asian household, you probably grew up with endless cultural traditions. While we were taught to never question the logic behind them, we can all admit that at some point or other we wondered why we were doing some of these things.

However, some of the traditions we follow have legit scientific reasoning behind them.

1. Bindi is not just for beauty
[Image Description: A girl wearing a red bindi] Via Pop Xo
The bindi or the pottu which is worn or applied on the forehead is the ultimate symbol of beauty and femininity. However, it is not a mere accessory, as it is said to be a mark of a central nerve point between the brows, also known as “Ajan Chakra.” It applies a certain pressure on the nerve point which controls and heightens concentration and focus, while also easing the body of stress and anxiety.

No wonder we’re so smart!

2. Sleeping directions
[Image Description: A gif of a sleeping girl] Via Gfycat
Superstitions involving directions could create a whole new article,  the biggest no is sleeping with your head facing the North.  I always wondered why it would even matter? Well, it turns out that the earth’s magnetic fields are directed from North to South, and sleeping against the direction disrupts the body’s harmony with the magnetic waves, which affects our blood flow and the functioning of our brain cells.

So next time, check a compass before making your bed.

3. Hands over spoons
[Image Description: Gif of a girl eating street food with her hands, and licking her fingers] Via Buddy Mantra
Say what you want about etiquette, there’s nothing more satisfying than eating with your hands.

It’s also extremely healthy. There are a certain bacteria in our fingers which when swallowed along with food, aids in digestion. Vedic scriptures explain that eating with our hands makes dining a sensory experience, and it makes you more conscious of the taste. Also contrary to popular belief, it’s actually more hygienic than eating with any other utensil.

4. Bangles are the ultimate energy saver
[Image Description: A woman wearing bangles] Via The Modern Vedic
Bangles are beautiful, colorful and sometimes annoying if your wrists are full of them, and your arm movements feel robotic – or maybe it’s just me and my clumsiness. However, they are not just adornments but actually, increase the blood circulation. Besides, bangles revert the electricity and energy emitted from the skin back to our own bodies.

No wonder women at weddings are so energetic and hyper.

5. Sit down, be humble
[Image Description: A girl eating Indian food] Via Gfycat
I always thought that eating while sitting down on the floor is a matter of humility. But it has a lot of scientific benefits as well. On one end, it shapes you physically, helping you maintain posture, eases your body and strengthens muscle joints. When it comes to digestion, the constant back and forth movement increase the secretion of stomach acids and the food digests faster.

In short, by the time you finish eating, it’s as if you’ve done a yoga routine.

6. Piercings are not just about earrings
[Image Descriptions: An Indian girl wearing earrings] Via Nepally
I’ve often seen westerners grumble about the practice of piercing the ear of brown babies’ ears. The dangling earrings aside, ear piercings have other usages behind them. Susruta, an Indian surgeon, advocates ear-piercing by saying that it prevents diseases, regulates the menstrual cycle in girls and prevents hysteria. In addition, wearing earrings maintains the flow of current in the human body.

And of course, what’s more gorgeous than a jhumka?

7. The magic of mehendi
[Image Description: A woman is applying mehendi on a bride’s hands] Via Tumblr
To an outsider, mehendi or henna is just beautiful. You’ll only know how amazing it is when you have had it applied on your hands. Man, that smell and the cooling feel is a sensation to be experienced. The whole custom of applying mehendi to brides started because of its cooling effect, its ability to calm nerves and anxiety. Because who else would be more nervous than a desi bride at her wedding?

Yes, we South Asians are rooted in culture and tradition, but our ancient desi humans were obviously extremely smart. We seem to do everything by science and the above traditions are just a few examples. The next time someone finds our traditions funny or weird, you know what to say – it’s a shame that our superior scientific knowledge is years ahead of the rest of the world.

Fashion Lookbook

10 tips on how to Desi-fy your outfit and stand out from the crowd

I absolutely love wearing clothes and accessories from my Pakistani culture, although this wasn’t always the case.

When I was around six years old I went to the movie theater in Pakistani wedding clothes, not caring what anyone thought of me.  But when I moved from Southern California to Lahore, Pakistan in sixth grade, I was surprised to learn one thing: wearing Desi clothes was not considered very cool. How could it be that in general, people enjoyed wearing Western clothes more than the traditional clothes from their own country?

[bctt tweet=”I was surprised to learn one thing:  Desi clothes weren’t considered very cool.” username=”wearethetempest”]

For four years, while living in Lahore, I started feeling like I should also conform to how girls in my school would dress (outside of school when we didn’t have to wear our uniform). My mother encouraged me to wear the beautiful kurtas and shalwar kameez’s that we picked out together, but I felt like I would look peindoo or like a FOB. During those years I was still trying to form my identity and being accepted by my peers was very important to me.

However, when I moved back to America, in tenth grade, I started to notice how people actually really appreciated the colorfulness and uniqueness of my Desi clothes. It was not long before I began to embrace my attire and now I confidently and happily try to Desi-fy my outfits whenever I get the chance. I realize that everyone has their own preferences and if wearing Western clothes makes women in Lahore (or anywhere else in the world) feel happier then they should go for it.

Of course, I’ll note this: there’s a difference between owning your culture – and appropriating another’s. If you need a quick run-through, check this or this out.

1. Adding a vibrant scarf


Can’t go wrong with colorful scarves. They make any outfit pop out.

2. Throwing on some dangly earrings, hoops, or jhumkas


Time to go shopping!

3. Wearing silver or gold bangles


Feeling too lazy to dress up for a lunch or dinner? Boom! Pop these on and it’ll look like you put some effort into it.

4. Investing in dhoti-style baggy pants


They can be mixed and matched with so many different tops and are super comfortable.

5. Adding a paranda to your hair (if it’s long enough)

It’s actually really fun wearing one because you rarely ever see anyone else with it. If it’s too much for you, simply adding a braid or two will give you a similar look.

6. Replacing your flip flops with some khussas


If you don’t own a pair, any other traditional-looking sandals can work too. It’s a small change, which makes a big difference!

7. Putting some kajal (kohl eyeliner) to your lower eyelash line


I prefer black kajal, but you can be adventurous and try other bright and bold colors. If you’re skeptical, at least try it out!

8. Accessorizing with a fun, colorful tote or purse


Even if you have a simple outfit on, the bag you choose to carry can give your outfit that final touch.

9. Wearing an anklet


It adds a Desi touch, but make sure you wear it when it’s visible!

10. Henna!


Can’t go wrong with some beautiful henna! It’ll definitely be a conversation starter.

We all have our own styles and way of dressing, but sometimes it’s fun to get creative and try something different. I may be biased, but I definitely do think my culture has some of the most authentic and beautiful clothing!