Welcome to our 6th Gift Guide, PRACTICAL items or services, to gift yourself or others!

We hope you learn about some businesses and products you weren’t aware of, and can try them out! Some of these are great gifts for others, while some are great gifts for YOURSELF! Each listing should be linked from the title and image OR business name if you want to go to one of the sites.

We are doing 8 days of posts with 8 different categories. Each post/ category will also feature a giveaway from one or more of the highlighted businesses. To enter each one, you can comment on the blog post, or share our linked post on Facebook or Instagram! We will do the drawings for ALL posts on 12/20/22 in the evening.

***There will be one grand prize pack drawing. Those who comment on all 8 posts in the series will be entered for that!



Insurance is one of the most practical and necessary things every person needs. And there are so many different kinds, it can feel overwhelming. See our list for preferred agents for various types of insurance, and the best gift you can gift yourself or your family is to fill in the gaps on where you are un or under- insured. All of these agents are local to the Triangle, NC, but can help those outside the area as well.


Most people on this list can help with this, but someone locally that specializes in life insurance and only life insurance is my friend Christine of Walorz Insurance. Think you can’t afford it, or you are too old? Think again. Something is better than nothing.


Is the Healthcare Marketplace not working for you situation or budget? Call my friend Emily Jolley with US Health Advisors. She can access many other options for you and your family.


We all need homeowners insurance (or renters insurance if you rent), and auto insurance. It is good to review your policies and rates every year to make sure you aren’t paying too much. Try one of my two preferred agents, Amy Williams with State Farm, or Marlow Campbell Insurance Group, to see what they can help you with! And if you have a business, it is imperative to get business liability insurance. Chat with them about that as well.


If you worry that your base health insurance won’t cover extreme bills should you or your family have an accident, stroke or heart attack, battle with cancer, or a stay in the ICU… you should. A few nights in a hospital can wipe out a family’s finances in no time. It is important to have extra protection. My friend Israel Johnson of Globe Life Family Heritage can help. He has helped my family add on to our coverages, so if the unthinkable happens, money won’t be our top concern. The greatest thing about this coverage is that if you don’t need to use it after 25 years you get all your premium back!!


You may not think you need a financial advisor, but you’re WRONG! You just are. Contact Maria Litzinger with Edward Jones in Apex, NC, to see how she can get you on the right track for your financial future. From investments, to college saving, to retirement, to making a plan to get out of debt… she is a trusted ally.


Taking care of your mouth is soooooo important! Starting from little kids, we should all be getting regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Even if you don’t have insurance, my favorite dentists in the area offer an alternative- an annual membership plan. We take my daughter to Little Tooth Co in Apex, NC, every 6 months for cleanings, and she loves going there for the fun decor, plush “patients” to play with, and all the goodies she gets when she follows instructions. For the rest of the family, we see Dr. Kitzmiller at Apex Dental Group. He actually sees all ages, so if you want a one-stop shop for the whole family, here it is. They have a beautiful office, and prizes as well. I even got a bouncy ball last time I went! He has a wonderful gentle demeanor you are sure to love!


Does someone in your family need braces? We recommend two top area Orthodontist practices for any braces needs. First is Altherr Orthodontics in Apex, NC, who has been practicing for 20 years! The other is Fritz & Wilson in Holly Springs, NC, who is another staple in the Southern Wake community. They both have a very welcoming office, and cool incentives for their patients as they achieve their goals.


Don’t forget about your pets’ health this holiday season. A winning present for them would be to start taking them to Dr. Cindy and team at Peak City Vet in Apex, NC. They are supportive of many rescues in the area to give back, and they treat your furbabies like their own.


Do you have a proper estate plan??? Even if you think you don’t have enough to warrant having one, you are quite wrong. Who gets your kids? Who gets your pets? What happens if you are medically unable to speak for yourself? These are just some of the questions an estate plan can tackle and prepare for. Rebecca Poole of Poole Family Law can help! This is one of the smartest investments you can make. And if you have a will and estate plan that is over 10 years old, or you have had a major life change since making it, you should have it reviewed and revised. Oh, and if you want a divorce for Christmas, she can help with that too.


If you haven’t already started the process, it is probably too late to actually get a new home for Christmas 2022, BUT you could start the hunt for one for 2023. I have a couple of trusted realty groups that I recommend to help with the process… Ragan Realty Team and Beth Creaghan with eXp Realty. These ladies are so knowledgeable about real estate, and can help you with buying, selling, investment properties, land, and more! Not ready to buy or build something different? How about refinancing what you’ve got? Talk to one of our recommended mortgage experts: Donna Pruitt, Mike Alberico, or Diane Kinlaw!


Have you had a conversation with your roof lately? How’s it feeling? Is it confident? Does it need to talk to a professional about it’s issues? The perfect roof therapist to call is StormGuard of Apex, NC. They will know just what to do. Give your roof a new look this year.


Similarly as above, how’s your HVAC system holding up? Is it starting to develop arthritis, or maybe cataracts? Get a checkup from one of our two preferred partners, Maynor Service Company or Boer Brothers! They are sure to get your system feeling better and more efficient. Or maybe it’s time to put the old one out of it’s misery, and upgrade for a younger model.


Gift your car some new tires, or a thorough checkup this holiday season! It works hard for you every day, so make sure it knows you care. With several locations around the Triangle, Atlantic Tire & Service is a wonderful choice. Their quality of service and customer care are top notch, and I have found their prices very reasonable.


Got teens in your house that plan to go to college, or are reviewing their choices for the future? If they are in 8th grade or up, it’s a perfect time to call the ladies at Class 101 Wake County. Their office is in Cary, NC, and they offer guidance for all parts of the college prep and planning process. From SAT and other test prep, to college applications, to college tours, they will be there every step of the way! Invest in your child’s future. You won’t regret it.


Here’s a GREAT idea as a gift for yourself. Open a new bank account designated for a specific purpose, like vacations or home improvements. Or even make it a play account for yourself, where it’s your fun money to buy stuff just for you. I highly recommend Fidelity Bank, a community bank headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, NC. They will take care of you like family. Go see my girl DeEtte at the Apex branch, and she will take care of you!


A VERY practical and useful gift is this- a Go Play Save book or mobile pass, or BOTH. This coupon book, put together each year by the Armstrong family, collects deals to restaurants, shops, and more all across the Triangle. I am gifting these to people myself this year, because who doesn’t like to save money?


A very practical gift for a local small business owner is to pay for a year of a local chamber membership for them, especially if they aren’t in one. I am very involved with the Apex Chamber specifically, but there are many great chambers around, so I feel every business should be a member of at least their closest one. In addition to great networking, chambers fight for small businesses in local and state government!


Finally, gift your business the most practical and needed investment of all- Marketing! Whether your business becomes a part of our Positively Apex platform for the Apex, NC area, or you find other ways to market your business, you should be doing something. I also highly recommend Outpost LE, a local e-commerce marketplace, open to businesses locally and across the country! A great gift for a business owner would be to pay for a year of a custom page on the Outpost website… It’s like having a second website!


There you have it- my top picks with local businesses for PRACTICAL items. 

This GIVEAWAY includes: Swag packs from Apex Dental Group, Fritz & Wilson Orthodontics, and a 2023 Go Play Save book!

Comment on this post or share our linked post on the Positively Apex Facebook or Instagram pages to be entered!


Tomorrow’s list will be the FUN category!