Yes, I am still percolating, but of course, the holidays wait for no one! This year, the annual Second Life Holiday Shop and Hop covers 16 sims, simply groaning with discounted items for sale. And each vendor booth has a free Christmas present for you—and a few have more than one!
I have spent the past week scouring social media for information to learn which stores are participating in this year’s Holiday Shop and Hop, and what gifts each store is giving. Then I drew up a draft list, loaded up Second Life supermodel Moesha Heartsong, and hit all 16 sims, to pick up, unpack, and inspect each gift from that list. As more information came in, I edited and updated that list, and it is now at version 3.0!
This final list consists of my picks for the best gifts from this season’s Shop and Hop (mostly fashion for female avatars, but also some male fashion, as well as any offers of gift cards or free store credit). Each item on the list includes an exact SLURL, so you can teleport directly to the gift, pick it up, and head on to your next score! Having all one sim’s gifts grouped together means less teleporting back and forth between sims, a factor to consider early on in the event, when some popular sims get congested with avatar traffic.
I have posted that detailed list to my own Second Life group, called the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group (just search for “ryanschultz”, all one word, under Groups in Search, and you will find it easily). More information on the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group can be found here. The group join fee is only L$50, and you will find it money well spent, as I often share many bargains and freebies throughout the year, which never make it to this blog!
As an alternative to my list, or if you really want to make sure you haven’t missed any gifts that I skipped over, I still feel that the single best way to tackle the Shop and Hop events is to watch Naria Panthar’s videos on YouTube.
Naria always posts one or two videos where she unpack every single gift from the event, both non-wearable items and avatar clothing, and shows you what they look like. Watch the videos with the audio at two times normal speed, and keep a pen and paper handy to note the stores which have gifts you want (Naria herself recommends watching and listening at 2X speed, so it doesn’t take as long!).
This year, I am NOT going to cover the Shop and Hop event in detail here on the blog. Instead, I have compiled a notecard of my picks for the best and most fabulous freebies, free store credit offers, and gift cards, and posted it to the Second Life group I maintain, called the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group (the group costs L$50 to join; more information here).
I know some of you might feel a bit cheated that I am not listing all the items on this blogpost, as I have done in previous years, but there are so many high-quality gifts this year that it was impossible to select just a few to show you! The notecard lists dozens and dozens and dozens of my picks for the best fashion and home/garden decor.
Also, I do want to earn a little bit of in-world income, so I can call myself a professional Second Life freebie fashionista…and I hope you understand, thanks! If you don’t want to spend L$50 to join my group, you can use the other methods I have outlined in this blogpost to find the best gifts for yourself.
My notecard includes the exact SLURL for each freebie, for you to pop in, pick up your gift, and move on to the next score, for the most efficient freebie shopping experience! (Note that SL’s list of stores in the paragraph above has a lot of locations which stick you behind store walls!)
At the moment, this notecard is version 1.0, but I have no doubt there will be updates as I learn about more fabulous freebies! (UPDATE: THE FINAL VERSION 6.0 HAS BEEN POSTED TO THE GROUP! Please see the notice at the tail end of this blogpost.)
So please join the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group, and stay in the group for news about sales, giveaways, and events. The quite reasonable group join fee also helps feed Vanity Fair’s shopping addiction…thank you! 😉
I do apologize for not keeping my SL group as updated as I should have been over these past few months, and I promise to be more assiduous in posting the fabulous freebies I do find in my travels across the grid, from now on! In fact, I will be posting more and more such finds to the SL group instead of the RyanSchultz.com blog.
I will show you one free gift that absolutely tickled my fancy, from a store that was new to me, called Key Style. My favourite movie of all time is the 1964 musical My Fair Lady, with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, and this wonderful Mademoiselle historical ensemble looks like it leapt into SL straight from that classic movie!
The blouse and skirt are two separate pieces, and the outfit includes pink flats (not shown under the skirt), the gloriously over-the-top wide-brimmed floral hat, and even the delightful touch of the matching parasol! The Mademoiselle outfit comes in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Slink Physique, and Slink Hourglass mesh bodies, and you can find it in a gift box on the counter at the Key Style store at the SL19B Shop and Hop.
I’m not the only one who is overwhelmed by the bounty of gifts this year! It’s still so early, and there are so many gifts this year, that even the ever-reliable Naria Panthar has not yet done her usual thorough unpacking video yet! (Let’s face it; twenty sims is A LOT to get through!!!) Naria did take a quick first stab at it, though:
The only place that has pictures and descriptions of most of the SL19B Shop and Hop gifts at this early date is the little-known-about SL Free and Inexpensive Items Russian-language group on Vkontakte, the Russian version of Facebook, which often lists items I don’t see on other SL freebie blogs. Use the Russian-to-English translator in your Chrome web browser, or if that doesn’t load, then just open up Google Translate in a separate browser tab and copy and paste the text as needed.
Note that you do not need to have an account on VKontakte to use this resource! Whenever you are prompted to sign up/in, just click the little “x” to bypass it:
Just look for the posts tagged #SL19B (there’s one for each of the 20 sims), and click on the timestamp to see the enlarged images of each of the gifts:
Dreamer’s Virtual World blog is also working on posts of gifts from each of the sims—you can find them all here (she’s not done yet!).
Happy freebie shopping!
UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: I have updated my notecard to version 2.0, adding many new freebies which I think are the best gifts at the Shop and Hop—including many new gifts for male avatars! It would appear to be a conscious design choice, that all the male gifts are located on one sim (Lavendar), which should save you men from wandering around all 20 sims, aimlessly looking for freebies amidst the overwhelming majority of female gifts! Thank you, Linden Lab!
UPDATE July 17th, 2:50 p.m.: Naria Panthar has just posted her two-hour unpacking video to YouTube, for the first half (10) of the 20 SL19B Shop and Hop sims (pro tip: watch the video at 2 times regular speed, and keep a notepad and pen handy to take notes as to which stores have gifts you want to pick up!).
Stay tuned for a second video covering the second half of the 20 sims!
UPDATE July 17th, 4:03 p.m.: I have now posted version 3.0 of my notecard of my best picks for gifts, free store credit, and free giftcards available at the SL19B Shop and Hop event to the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals, and Freebies group! I have to say, that I have never seen such a bonanza of high-quality freebies at a single shopping event like this before! Again, my notecard includes the exact SLURLs to take you directly to the gift, and all Ryan’s recommended freebies are sorted by sim name.
UPDATE July 19th: My notecard is now up to version 5.0, with dozens more goodies for you! I have also double-checked all the SLURLs in the notecard, so they should take you directly to the freebie in each booth at the SL19B Shop and Hop event.
Please note that I have posted a separate notecard to my SL group, RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies, which outlines my picks for the best gifts from the Tapestry of Time Gift Area on the Second Life 19th Birthday fairgrounds, which is separate from the SL19B Shop and Hop event sims (and I’ve also included a link to it in the FINAL version 6.0 of my SL19B Shop and Hop gifts notecard).
There’s some really nice gifts there, too, so don’t skip it this year!
Also, Cat Pink has posted three new videos on YouTube, where she shows you many of the Shop and Hop gifts (again, watch them at 2 times speed, and take notes!).
And Naria Panthar has just posted her YouTube video where she unpacks and tries on gifts from the second half (10 sims) of the SL19B Shop and Hop! Watch it on twice the speed and take notes as to which stores have the freebies you want, then use the SL19B Shop and Hop Store Guide to teleport in and scoop them up!
Aaand, adding in a few more fabulous freebies from Naria’s second video, I have now posted VERSION 6.0 of my notecard with Ryan’s picks for the best gifts from the Second Life 19th Birthday Shop and Hop event! As somebody who has been diligently freebie shopping in SL for over 15 years, I can assure you that this is the single biggest haul of freebies at one event that I have ever encountered!
In the final version 6.0 of my notecard, I have also added one very generous gift which I had somehow forgotten to include in the previous versions! (Not surprising, since there’s so many gifts to keep track of!!!) It’s a long hairstyle by ADE, called Baby, which comes in a complete fatpack of colours and with a styling HUD. You can find it here:
The avatar in the following picture is wearing the Baby hair, swept back, along with another must-get SL19B Shop and Hop gift from the Belle Epoque booth: this cool, lovely Lara strapless minidress, which comes with a HUD with ten different, high-quality tropical textures (sizes: Maitreya/Petite, and Legacy/Perky):
So you owe it to yourself to head down here before it all closes on July 10th, 2022, and vacuum up some fabulous free fashion and home/garden decor for your avatars! Again, the easiest way to navigate would be to join the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group for only L$50 and pick up my notecards with the exact SLURL for each gift, but you can also use the VKontake group posts and Naria Panthar’s and Cat Pink’s YouTube videos if you don’t want to spend that L$50… 😉
Happy freebie shopping!
P.S. I have encountered some problems embedding the notecard for the Tapestry of Time Gift Area into the main notecard, and I have also noticed that some of the SLURLs I have put in the notecard will stubbornly refuse to load! So I have added information about how to get around those problems to version 6.1 of the notecard, and I do apologize. If all else fails, open up both versions 6.0 and 6.1 of that notecard, and if a SLURL refuses to load on one, try it on the other (for some bizarre reason, that seems to work!)
The Valentine Shop and Hop event starts tomorrow, February 2nd, and runs until February 15th, with over 200 merchants participating over 10 shopping sims! Each store has a free gift for you, and today Vanity Fair is modeling some of those gifts. And, as you can see from these pictures, not everything is red or Valentine’s-themed! Please note that all SLURLs provided here should take you directly to the gift.
Let’s start with the underwear today! Here Vanity is wearing a layered undershirt and matching panties, the Valentine’s Day present from the Neve booth (which comes with a HUD with four colour options for each; sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky):
From Belle Epoque comes this cheerful heart-adorned Lacey top and matching panties (sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky)
This black-and-pink bodysuit is the gift from ViSion (sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky, Freya, Kupra), along with L$400 in free store credit if you join the ViSion Clothing Store group for L$18 (the credit must be used before Feb. 20th, 2022):
Next up are a wide variety of dresses! The Super Star dress is from TO.KISKI (Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass sizes):
The gift from Pink Cream Pie is a fatpack of the Tori Crush dress (Lara and Petite, Legacy, Freya, and eBody Reborn sizes), which comes with a HUD with 24 different textures for every single part of the dress!
Another minidress is this Zoe dress with the cheeky little cut-out, from the FlowerDreams booth, which comes with a HUD with 12 different colours and textures! It comes in a wide variety of sizes, too: Lara and Petite; Freya and Isis; Hourglass; eBody Classic and Curvy; Tonic Curvy, Fine and Minimizer; Signature Alice; and Altamura.
If you’re in the mood for something red, Baiastice has you covered with this Hatas dress! It comes in the following sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya; Hourglass; and Kupra.
Or if you prefer something with a bit more coverage (after all, it is still February!), how about this lovely damasque Valentine dress with its tied, flared sleeves? It’s the present from Poeme (fits Maitreya Lara; Belleza Freya, Isis, and Venus; Slink Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; Meshbody Classic/TMP; eBody; and five fitmesh sizes).
From The Annex come two free gifts! The Dreams nightshirt comes in a fatpack of eight colours (black, green, grey, navy, peach, pink, purple, and teal), and if you join The Annex store group for free, you can pick up the ribboned Rhoda dress, which comes in nine colours (aqua, black, blue, green, grey, peach, pink, purple and yellow). Both gifts come in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya, and Slink Hourglass mesh bodies.
Be sure to drop by the QE Designs booth and pick up their generous gift box; it’s stuffed with many gifts of womenswear, and even a couple of home decor items! Here Vanity is wearing three gifts for QE Designs: the Everly top, Camilla denim shorts, and Gretchen tip-toe sneakers. Top sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis, and Venus; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; eBody. Shorts sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis, and Venus; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine. Shoes fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink feet.
And here’s another couple of gifts from QE Designs, the Anya romper paired with the Una heels (each of which comes with a four-colour HUD). The romper sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis and Venus; Physique and Hourglass, eBody; Tonic Curvy and Fine; and classic sizing. Shoes fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink feet.
There are some truly lovely ballgowns for you to snap up as well! First, we have this red Bekka beaded-bodice gown by Sascha’s Designs, shown with another Shop and Hop present from ALTER, this lovely red-and-gold Vianney jewelry set (necklace, earrings, and ring). The gown can be worn with or without the flexiprim skirt attachment. Gown sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; eBody Reborn; Kupra; fitmesh Medium; and something called Cinnamon & Chai (which is a body I have never heard of before!).
Another option is this stunning vintage ballgown from Blue Moon Enterprise, the Lady Rose Heart gown, which comes in only the Maitreya Lara size:
Here’s a close-up of the earrings, the Valentine’s Day present from Beloved Jewelry, which come in two different sizes (small and large), with a complete fatpack of metal textures and stone colours to choose from, to match any outfit!
Our last ballgown gift is a show-stopper! Behold this stylish Sol gown in soft pink from SOFIA, which comes with an optional star brooch worn at the waist (not shown here). Sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass, and Kupra.
Below, Vanity models two different presents: the red latex Ryud pants are the gift from MEMOIRE (sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Kupra), and from Addams comes the Betina Valentine’s top (sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya and Isis; Hourglass; Kupra; eBody Reborn), which comes with a HUD with five different patterns as shown:
From Entice we have the gift of this wine-coloured, full skirt, imaginatively called Only Exception. And you can pick up the matching Only Exception top (which comes in two patterns, with or without the heart) for only L$50 nearby! Sizes for both skirt and top: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass.
The sneakers Vanity is wearing in this final outfit are also a Shop and Hop gift, from Lapointe & Bastchild SWEAR (they also come in a men’s black version; both men’s and women’s sneakers come in a variety of sizes to fit most popular brands of mesh feet).
Valentina E‘s Shop and Hop present is this jaunty cherry red beret (resizable via menu), which might just be the perfect finishing touch for your outfit!
And finally, there are several offers of free store credit or gift cards available for you to pick up:
Salesita’s Creations – L$300 gift card if you join the ! ~ *Salesita’s Creations* ~ ! group for free (also a free dress with an 8-colour HUD, no group needed)
TREND – L$600 store credit if you join the ~TREND V.I.P.~ store group for free (credit expires February 10th, 2022; there’s also a free dress, no group needed)
Tachinni Clothing – L$150 free store credit, plus L$250 in additional free store credit if you join the ~ Tachinni Clothing ~ group for L$15 (all credit expires Feb. 19th, 2022)
Don’t forget that you only have two weeks to pick up all these gifts, plus many more fabulous freebies, so don’t delay! Happy freebie shopping!
UPDATE Feb. 2nd, 2022: Naria Panthar was once again done a YouTube video in which she unpacks and tries on all the gifts from all ten sims of the 2022 Valentine Shop and Hop! I recommend you watch the video on double-speed playback to save time, and keep a pen and paper handy to note down the stores whose gifts you like. Then, use this handy alphabetical listing of stores participating in the Shop and Hop to go directly to each store to pick up just the presents you want!
And one more ballgown gift to share with you! This is the Irina gown from 2Love:
This beautiful red ballgown comes in the following sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass, and Kupra.
Once you join the group (search for “ryanschultz”, all one word, under Groups in Search; it’s the only one that matches), just look for the notice titled “HOLIDAY SHOP AND HOP December 2021”, which contains a comprehensive list of gifts organized by sim name, with the exact SLURLs to each of the gifts so you can teleport in and out! I made it very easy for you!