Welcome to At The End Of the Day. I’m Hannah Sung and I write this newsletter for a people-first perspective on the news.
Sign up for my Patreon. The next few people to sign on will score one Seshin Korean bath scrub mitt from Binu Binu Soap House — I still have a few left!
Last year, when pandemic winter was deep and dark, I focused on moments. I watched BTS dance videos, buying myself three minutes of escape at a time. I lit incense at my workstation. I insisted on kitchen dance parties (“WHAT, KIDS? YOU DON’T WANT TO DANCE WITH YOUR MOM?”).
The point was to string together tiny moments of happiness.
Small pleasures is also my approach to gift-giving. I’m not into grand gestures or expensive items. I truly don’t want more stuff. I’ve trained my family, for example (hi Mom and Dad) that I have enough slippers and sweaters to last me for multiple lifetimes. But some nice olive oil or a bag of nuts from Costco? You love me, you really do!
For me, the luxury of little pleasures is especially sweet if they’re sustainable, consumable, fun, relaxing, delicious or all of the above.
At The End Of the Day Gift Guide 2021
I wrote this Gift Guide by starting with what I love to give and get. I asked Laura, who edits this newsletter, to suggest a few things she loves, too.
Together, we took it as an opportunity to tell you more about my values and build the business of this newsletter. We also pulled together our biggest giveaway ever! You’ll find details near the bottom of this email.
Now let’s get to how you can treat someone you love (that includes yourself!) with a few items we highly recommend.
Wild North Flowers
The first time I laid eyes on Wild North Flowers, I was in awe. What was this fanciful creation? Quickly thereafter, my friends surprised me with a bunch to celebrate the first day of my new life as an entrepreneur. I was in awe all over again. First, my friends are forever-people. Second, these flowers are so damn beautiful. On top of that, their fresh flowers are locally-grown. I’m in love. Another thing to adore about Wild North? They’ve celebrated unsung heroes during the pandemic by asking people to nominate individuals who have gone the extra mile, sending them a free and beautiful surprise. Seriously my kind of company. [HS]
Binu Binu Soap House
Remember at the start of the pandemic when we went into overdrive, constantly washing our hands? This is the soap I used. For brief seconds at a time, it was calming. I love to gift these soaps, which you know from my Q&A last week with Binu Binu Soap House founder and friend, Karen Kim.1 Her soaps and incense add to my life and don’t clutter my space. Everything in this line is inspired by the traditional Korean bath experience, communal care and strong female role models. And they’re not too pretty to use. Lather up! [HS]
The Korean Vegan Cookbook
I first stumbled upon The Korean Vegan through a TikTok video. Then-lawyer and social media star Joanne Lee Molinaro was chopping, sizzling and stuffing more story into 60 seconds than I previously thought imaginable. I was smitten. As I wrote last fall, The Korean Vegan is the epitome of what was inspiring me in 2020.2 Through food, TKV shares her super-integrated and hyper-unique personal and political voice. Get this cookbook for the foodie in your life. But get one for yourself first. [HS]
Antipodes Manuka Honey Day Cream
I’ve been a fan of Antipodes for a long time, ever since I discovered their Joyous serum. These days, I’m using Manuka Honey and Hyaluronic Acid Brightening Day Cream with the matching eye cream and I throw on the mask when I feel I need deep moisture. Say it with me now: humectant. I’m feeling that. Bonus: It’s 100 per cent natural, paraben-free and it smells and feels great. [HS]
Mumgry nut butters
Elevate your spoon-in-a-jar game. Mumgry is a nut butter company founded by Lilian Umurungi-Jung who craved a healthy-yet-satisfying snack during pregnancy. The natural nut butters—which are handcrafted and ethically sourced—come in flavours like pistachio chocolate almond and chocolate peanut butter. Gift a mini trio or a monthly subscription to someone who also enjoys scooping right out of the jar. [LH]
Biting into ChocoSol chocolate feels really good: it’s sustainable, not-too-sweet and the flavours have the perfect hint of natural flavour. My go-to bar is vanilla sea salt—made with only five ingredients. This minimalist recipe means ChocoSol’s bars are free from nuts, dairy, soy and gluten, and made in Toronto from scratch. I also love that they source raw cacao beans from communities in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala in a socially responsible way. Great for stocking stuffers, small gifts and, of course, yourself. [LH]
Wildcraft Nourish Face Mask
When I wanted to try a more natural skincare routine, I started using Wildcraft products. All of Wildcraft’s line is 100 per cent natural, handmade in Toronto and produced in small batches. What’s more, most of the ingredients are organic. I’m particularly fond of the Nourish Face Mask; it has a satisfying exfoliating texture and leaves the skin feeling soft. (I like to leave it on for 15 minutes while watching Succession.) Another perk? The Indigenous-owned company keeps most of its products priced under $30. The face mask makes a great gift for a BFF who deserves pampering. [LH]
Saje aromatherapy roll-ons
My sense of smell is my superpower. This wasn’t good when I was pregnant (smells became overpowering) but it’s amazing when I need a pick-me-up. I don’t do perfume — for me, essential oils do the trick. I was first introduced to Saje when a friend suggested a peppermint roller for my husband, who was suffering from concussion headaches. She told him to roll it right onto his temples. Curious, I started to sneak it for myself. Peppermint might not be a cure-all but it sure feels nice. And that’s all I’m asking for right now, a moment to breathe and get a boost. Buy a set to split up and share with your friends. [HS]
Click here to shop Saje roll-ons. When you shop with this link, At The End Of the Day earns a commission.
Laura and I worked hard on this ATEOD Gift Guide, which started off as a fun whim for your inbox but ended up becoming an exercise in learning how to build this business.
Consider shopping this gift guide for the people on your list and you’ll be supporting growing businesses, many of which are women-led and working hard to be sustainable and values-led. Like me!
Thank you for reading,
✨✨✨ At The End Of the Day is edited by superstar Laura Hensley ✨✨✨
How to shop this Gift Guide
💠 Binu Binu Soap House Use code ATEOD10 for 10% off (until Dec 1 at midnight ET)
💠 Chocosol Use code CHOCOHOLIDAY15 for 15% off (until Dec 20 at midnight ET)
💠 Mumgry website where you can read, shop and get a nut butter subscription
💠 The Korean Vegan cook book Get it at your local book store! Read about it here
💠 Wildcraft skin care Buy it here
Now for the ATEOD Gift Guide Giveaway!
Writing this newsletter is my weekly moment to reflect, connect and experiment and I love that you’re on the other end, reading this!
I want to treat you with all the things! So we’ve put together a stash of items for two lucky winners.
How to enter
⭐ Reply to my newsletter with “GG Giveaway” in the subject line
⭐ Cc a friend for double the chance to win
I will pick two winners at random who will receive a prize pack from the Gift Guide, including:
💫 Binu Binu Soap House scrub mitt
💫.Wildcraft skincare gift pack
💫 Antipodes Manuka Honey skincare gift pack
💫 The Korean Vegan cookbook
💫 ChocoSol chocolate
Contest closes Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 8 pm ET. Must be located in Canada.
Thank you to all the merchants for supporting At The End Of the Day.
Please share this on your social media or forward the email to a friend!
Have you heard?
Vancouver Podcast Festival, we’re coming for you this weekend! Loved this write-up of our company, Media Girlfriends, in the Vancouver Sun.
We are producing Between Us with Wes Hall for the Toronto Star and this week’s episode is a must-listen, featuring Hadiya Roderique.
I’m feeling grateful for this space and I’m putting that gratitude into two donations with you in mind.
Migrant Rights Network is fundraising for migrant farmworkers who are displaced by floods and mudslides in British Columbia.
Andhyaun is running their Winter Solistice campaign to help Indigenous women and children fleeing violence while maintaining their cultural identity, physical and spiritual well-being.