#90: Health Harmony Happiness Holiday Gift Giving Guide (2023)
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite things around the house to bring you an episode of gift ideas that you can indulge yourself or others in this holiday season!
Disclosure: Because I like connecting others with resources that I have used and found to work well in my life, I want to be completely transparent with you. Some, not all, of the links below are affiliate links, so if you choose to make a purchase, I might get a little bit of money love back from the seller or the company who the product is through. Please know that I only recommend things that I believe in and that I believe absolutely cultivate or have cultivated health, harmony and happiness in my life. So this is not all about the money, but I do want you to know that, in some instances, I may be getting a little back from the seller. So if you do decide to purchase something from one of these links, thank you!
Want to give someone else or even yourself a little more Health, Harmony and Happiness this holiday season?
Check out the gifts below and listen in for full details on why each gift brings Health, Harmony and Happiness to my life and how they could impact yours or someone you love’s life.
Oh, and if you want to catch last year’s episode to get more great details, check it out here.
Happy gift giving!
The gifts in this section are all related to enhancing health.
Winter Solstice Candlelight Yoga – Celebration of Rhythms
The Winter Solstice is the seasonal reminder of the end of a cycle. It marks the end of one seasonal year & the start of another. It’s no coincidence that this day lies close to Christmas & the end of the calendar year. As you wrap up preparations for the holiday, prepare your body and soul as well. Nurture yourself with a yoga + breathwork class/workshop led in the spirit of the season by candle-glow. This year, I’m super excited that this class will be held at Dan-D Farms under the “stars” in the warmth of a heated greenhouse. December 21 is the winter solstice, so this might just be one of those gifts to yourself or to a friend who you can bring along with you and come prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally for the peak of the holiday season.
Click here to register and commit to calm as you enter the peak of the holidays!
The Manduka Pro Mat is the only mat I recommend for daily use. These mats have a lifetime guarantee and will not wear or start falling apart after a few months. They are meant to be practiced on daily and only get better with time. The Manduka Pro is thick enough to provide comfort for your joints, yet stable enough that it won’t be a distraction during your practice. No need for the “extra long” version, a 26″ x 71″ mat will suit most everybody!
If you are starting or recommitting to your yoga practice with the new year or know someone who is, this is the mat to go with!
Choose your color and get yours or that person you love’s mat here.
You may find it helpful to use blocks to bring the floor up closer to your hands as a way to support yourself in some postures. If you are just starting out and know that your mobility is limited, I recommend having a pair of blocks on hand.
Really the type of block you choose depends on personal preference, but I do recommend that any block you get is at least 9″x6″x4″. I like these cork yoga blocks because they are environmentally friendly and have fun yogic designs on them. So if you know your person, choose a design that might resonate with them and voila! you’ve got a beautiful gift.
Now since I started recommending yoga blocks, I will say that the one thing I’m not so fond of with the cork blocks is that they eventually start to wear out and little crumbs of cork start to break off which makes them a bit more messy. I don’t seem to have this problem so much with the Manduka cork blocks, but they are much pricier. The other plus of cork blocks is that they are firmer and heavier than foam blocks so they’re a bit more stable.
Click here to order yours today.
I’ve started inviting students in class and my clients to create a restorative nest almost when they move into final relaxation at the end of their practice or even just for meditation or self-care any other time throughout the day. You’ll be able to find a reel teaching you how to do the set up soon on Instagram, but I’ll give you a little rundown of what you need for it. And trust me…it’s totally worth it.
You need a yoga block and a rectangle bolster. Thus, why I’m offering up the idea for a bolster and blocks as a gift to someone. I give you a tip on how to get set up into this in the reel. But outside of those two things, that’s the bare minimum. You could use two other yoga blocks and or another bolster to support arms and legs, but it’s not necessary. That reel will be available, so watch Instagram for that.
I’m giving you a couple options for bolsters because, I prefer the Manduka bolster because it’s a little firmer and not so lumpy, but the Gaiam bolster is thicker and a bit less expensive. So it’s personal preference!
I know the new year is the time that people like to recommit to themselves and to their health. So I want to share some things that you or someone you love might be able to use to do just that.
Backstory: I used to be a health and fitness director at a YMCA which means I did a lot of purchasing of fitness equipment. I was easily able to see what equipment wore out the quickest and what had a longer life with lots of use. One of the things that was most versatile and used the most were exericse bands. From group fitness classes to member use to personal training clients, bands were an easy tool that anyone could benefit from. I even created a whole boot camp program with just using bands and body weight for the most part so I know how beneficial they can be in cultivating strength and endurance in body, mind and spirit.
The brand that I always come back to because I know it’s a reliable company with quality products is SPRI. They’ve been in the fitness industry for years and know what they’re doing. Resistance bands, with their attachments can be a good resource if you’re wanting an in-home option for strength training without a huge expense.
I’m actually in a season in my life right now in which I use these pretty regularly because they don’t take up a lot of room at the studio and I’ve just been needing more strength in my life in more ways than one right now.
This particular set of resistance bands comes with extra light to extra heavy resistance and also comes with a door anchor, handles, and ankle strap so you can use the bands for a total body workout.
When I notice an area of weakness in a client that needs more than what we do on the yoga mat, I can easily work with them on a band exercise that can help supplement their practice. This is another reason why I love these bands. So, if you’re wanting to get back into some healthy routines in the new year or you know someone who could benefit from these or needs their bands replaced, these are what I recommend.
Click here to grab yours today.
And for that health nut in your life, if they haven’t started taking super greens yet, perhaps now is the time to introduce them to them. We have been taking these for quite some time and honestly have seen the benefits in our overall health since beginning to take them.
Power greens powder support immunity, boost energy, offer probiotics and support your body in the way it processes stress. I take these every morning in my adrenal cocktail and definitely can tell a difference in digestion and ability to fight off illness. There’s a whole host of research out there on super greens and, of course, a lot of options, but this is the brand we use because of the flavors and the price–it’s kind of right in the middle of the road and my husband already used this brand for other supplements so he did all the work in figuring out if he trusted the brand. Plus he does love Jocko Willink and his message, so that’s why we chose this brand.
With both Matt and I using greens every day, we go through exactly 2 canisters each month and Amazon delivers our next 2 right on time with subscribe and save.
Click here to get yours.
You might not know this about me but I love to ride my bike. I have since I was a kid–it was my favorite thing to do actually when I was a kid. I definitely don’t ride it as much as I used to because, well, life with 3 kids, and even when we do all go out for a family ride, at the ages of my kids we still have to use a tag-a-long and Burly so it’s a 2-adult ride if all the kids are coming, and that isn’t always possible.
Nonetheless, any chance I get, I love to ride. And one of the things that I now find essential to riding is my phone–for safety, distance and tunes. I have a little bag on my bike that I’ve used in the past for my phone, but I like to be able to see the screen more easily than stopping and take it out of a bag or carrying in the back of my cycling jersey, so I finally broke down and invested in a handlebar phone holder.
I say invested because of course I overthink purhases and want to make sure I’m getting the right one for me, so it is a process. And I sometimes find it hard to purchase things that aren’t absolutely essential, that just add to the fun or convenience, because I think my money could be spent in other ways that are more essential.
But,this little device makes riding with my phone so much more convenient so I want to pass it on to you because it would make a good gift idea for someone who is maybe like me and doesn’t often treat themselves to the things that are just nice to have and not essential.
Check out the bike phone handlebar mount I recommend for the cyclist in your life.
And finally, when I’m doing just about anything active, I’ve got at least one ear bud in. But I have real small ears and regular ear buds never seem to stay in my ears, so I always have to have the ones that hook over your ears.
The JLab sport ear buds do the trick. They have good sound quality, although I’m not super impressed with their microphone when talking on the phone, their capability to let me listen to whatever device I am wanting to listen to is great.
You can control volume from the headphone iteself, as well turn on noise canceling, and even a “be aware” seting for when you are weearing both ear buds and still want to be able to hear what’s going on around you. They have a long battery life and are sweatproof.
I have noticed that because they are touch on the earhook and bud for adjusting volume and play/stop function, they can be a bit sensative and I’ve had them respond to even my hair touching them and adjusting them on a windy day. But overall, I’ve have these headphones for a few years and they definitely make listening on the go much more enjoyable.
Order your headphones here.
The gifts in this section are all related cultivating harmony and living in flow with the world around you.
You know we’re all about self-work around here, and I want to share something that may not necessarily be considered a gift, but something fun to do during the holidays to understand yourself a little more.
I know, the holidays get hectic and you can easily find yourself trying to please other people and do-it all (wait, you might always find yourself doing this, so maybe it’s just magnified around the holidays) instead of paying attention what’s really the most important and essential. That being said, it’s still fun to do the things that aren’t essential, while also remembering the why behind it.
And that can be sometimes be tricky depending on what your Do-it-all Inner Power Animal is. But if you are a do-it-all person, you need all the more reason to remember to do things just for fun and is a fantastic way to do just that.
Instead of scrolling when you need a break in your day, take 5 mintues and take the Do-It-All Inner Power Animal quiz that my coach, Deb Blum created.
My animal is an Elephant…which doesn’t surprise me considering elephants are my 2nd favorite animal behind turtles (if I’m honest it might actually be a tie between those 2 animals). And it doesn’t surpirse me because of what the elephant stands for according to Deb– The elephant is “a beacon of reliability and integrity, inspiring others through their commitment and dedication.” And the affirmation the she pairs with the elephant goes like this: I release the need for rules and external expectations and trus in my own wisdom.”
Phew, spot on for me. That’s definitely something I need to remind myself of daily…especially during the holidays.
There’s a whole lot more information you also get about your spirit animal and how to go about using the qualities of it to your benefit instead of focusing on the challenges you have and it even includes a list of TV/Movie characters with the Inner Power Animal as you. So it really could help you get through the holdays because you might just understand yourself a bit more.
There are 5 other Do-it-all Inner Power animals. I’d love to hear what yours is!
Share it in the comments of the show notes if you do take this quiz.
Click here to take the quiz.
And after you find out what Do-It-All Inner Power Animal you are, you might have found out that rest or really embracing downtime is not your forte…so I’ve got something that can help you with that. This is another perfect gift to give yourself this holidaysSeason.
My frind Melissa Reilly is hosting a FREE Winter Recharge: A Virtual Pampering Week for Moms During the Holidays.
Take some time for yourself and indulge in relaxation and self-care. Winter Recharge: A Virtual Pampering Week for Moms During the Holidays drops on December 26, 2023 to December 30, 2023, and is available for free the entire week so you have time to enjoy it at your leisure.
I know that week of Christmas can be busy with kids home and visiting relatives, so what better time than to plan restorative time in for yourself? Time when you can close yourself in your room, grab the headphones I told you about earlier, and watch and take part in some pampering for yourself.
There will be a variety of presenters, and I’m going to be leading a session on finding calm in the chaos.
Each session is pre-recorded so you can watch or listen whenever you have a little downtime.
I’d love to have you take part…it’s a beautiful free gift you can give yourself to recharge your batteries and start the year off as your best.
The event is free, but you’ll also have an opportunity to grab the VIP pass which is filled with over $2,100 worth of content and goodies and lifetime access to the content for just $47 within the first 20 minutes of signing up or $67 after that or $97 during the Recharge itself. So it’s a great way to be able to access the content even after the holidays!
There are going to be so many meditations and opportunities to connect with yourself and learn about yourself, that you probably will want this lifetime access so you don’t feel pressured to get through it all in just one week.
Click here to commit to yourself over the holidays.
Do you want to be able to flow through the holidays instead of just endure them? To be able to find calm in the chaos that is inevitable when the kids are out of school and schedules, even if you don’t have kids, are just not the same? AND do you want to do all that, but don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to whatever is going to get you to that place of flow?
I thought so.
Here’s another gift for yourself… I teach a weekly 30-minute breathing class that can help you slow down, tune into your inner guidance and what you’re really needing and use your breath to get there. And the best part, each class is recorded so if you can’t make it in person you can listen whenever you have time. Although if you can make in person, all the better because you are taking ownership of your actions and creating space for change to happen.
It happens on Wednesdays and you can find all the details on my website or in the link in the show notes.
I’ve been eyeing these cards for quite some time. If you’ll recall, last year I told you about the Native Spirit Card deck I like to play around with and often take it hiking.
Well, a fellow yoga teacher, nature lover and amazing life guide (who I believe also has some training in forest bathing) and also has a yoga studio in small town Iowa created this beautiful deck of cards to take with you on hikes. Michelle Wilson with Radiant Wellness Solutions created these cards and they are designed to give inspiration to you before or during a walk or hike and guide you deeper into your experience through connection and mindfulness.
These would make a great stocking stuffer or gift for the person in your life who loves to spend time in nature. They come in a beautiful lttle bag and box and are about the size of a card deck so they’ll fit easily into your hiking bag (listen on to see the one I love and recommend).
Now that we’ve talked fun, it’s time to talk a little more structure…
Click here to grab these cards today!
I want to share with you my favorite place to get my planner for the year. And now is probably the time to get out there and purchase it because this company typically has some deals around Black Friday and Cyber Monday…and I believe it is going to be 30% off plus a free gift with purchase!
I love, love, love Plum Paper’s customizable planners. You’ll pay a little more than the planner you pick up at the box store, but if you’re like me and like to have your planner look and feel how you truly will use it to it’s maximum, it’s totally worth it. I customize mine to align with my FLOW process for productivity throughout the week and day.
So I can start the day setting intention, then prioritize my top 3, then schedule out what I want my day to look like and end with gratitude or reflecting on my blessings. I went back to a paper planner a couple years ago and still also use my Google Calendar, but I find that I my brain remembers things better when I write it down (science backs this, btw) and it gives me a spot to write down my to-do’s and God’s to-do’s for me.
I like the way I can see my week laid out on a paper planner versus my phone or desktop. And I’ve ordered from this company for years. I customize everything from the outside cover to the way the pages are set up inside.
And when I’m disciplined to use it, it works great…but I know all too well the struggle with discipline is real, even for me. And it’s when I’m not maximizing the use of my planner that life also feels more chaotic around me. So I know that using a planner is essential for me and being able to write things down and get them out of my brain.
You’ve heard me say this before. It’s the way also that I can feel clearer and feel calmer and less chaotic about life. This company truly, allows you to create a planner that brings you joy and productivity each time you use it.
Click here to customize and order your planner today.
But if electronic planners are more your style, the next thing on my list might be the thing for you. I’ve had a Surface Pro for a computer for many years and it finally started to die out. But because I love it so much, I didn’t even have to question what kind of computer I was going to get next.
I now have a Surface Pro 7, which isn’t the latest model, but it was in my price range when I was looking and it can do all the things I want it to do including produce this podcast. It has more functionality than I even know how to use, but I do love it. It makes getting my work done seemless and does connect to my phone as well so I can access documents and apps on both devices on one screen.
So if you’re in need of a new computer device for Christmas or someone you know is, it’s a great option.
Click here to check it out.
To round out this section, I’ve got some books to share with you.
The first is one I sped through reading this past year because it’s a short little read, but filled with sooooo much goodness. Don Miguel Ruiz unpacks his thoughts on the source of self-limiting beliefs as well as a beautiful code of conduct to end suffering so that we can indeed live with more health, harmony and happiness in life in The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.
These are 4 simple things that we ALL can begin to become more aware of and create little shifts in the way we perceive and approach life. It’s a beautiful reminder that we are all connected and just a good code of conduct for living by.
It makes a beautiful gift for yourself or others…and it’s literally a little book so could easily fit in that stocking:).
Click here to check it out.
And the last book is another book that I received as a gift, and I absolutely love it.
If you have someone in your life who appreciates the Bible and spends time with God, this is a beautiful version to turn to. This is not the whole Bible, it’s just the New Testament, but it is the First Nations Version of the New Testament.
It is like, listening to a Native story around a campfire. And it makes some of the stories in the New Testament so much more understandable, even though the new Testament is a lot easier to understand than the Old Testament. But this version of the New Testament is absolutely beautiful and so easy to understand.
Click here to check it out.
The gifts in this section are all things that contribute to your happiness or overall contentment in the moment.
My FAVORITE bag for everything. I don’t carry a purse anymore and usually just carry my phone because I use a case that keeps my most used cards inside it (here’s the link to that), but when I do need a bag, like for traveling or hiking or day trips with the kids, this is my go-to.
This is a cross-body bag that is not too big and not too small. I received it as a gift and it’s honestly one of the best gifts I’ve received… my sister is usually pretty fantastic at shopping, so I can thank her for introducing me to this bag.
I can clip my water bottle and a hat to it. And it fits everything else I might need–my spirit cards, or my Hike Like a Yogi cards, sunscreen, a journal or book and some snacks. It’s got a small outer pocket, and a divider inside of it to keep things separate and a key or chapstick pocket on the front.
It comes in a variety of colors and would make the adventurist in your life happy!
Click here to check it out.
But when you can’t get out and hike as much to get your natural sunlight because you live in the midwest or Northern states (really anything above Atlanta, Georgia), you might need a little extra help getting the necessary rays of light that you need to feed the mitochrondia in your cells energy, you might need a Happy Light.
I started using a Happy Light last year during the winter and noticed quite the difference in my mood and energy once I started using it. I use it 15-20 minutes in the morning and I think it really does help.
Light therapy has been shown to help with SAD by regulating melatonin and serotonin levels, which can improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression associated with the change in seasons. It helps to regulate circadian rhythms when they’re thrown off from early waking or staying up late at night. And it may help with insomnia and non-seasonal depression.
For me, I noticed I had more energy during the day, it helped me wake up in the morning and boosted my mood for the most part during the winter months when there is less light. Hands down, one of the best things I started doing to contribute to my happiness in the colder months.
Click here to check it out.
It holds 2 regular thickness cards with 1 smaller card, and it comes in quite a few really beautiful colors.
I don’t have an iPhone option because I’m an Android user, but I’m sure there are options out there that resemble this. This would be a great stocking stuffer.
For me, the simplicity of not having to carry much with me makes life feel lighter.
Click here to check it out.
We got this speaker for my husband for Father’s Day this past year and it’s really fantastic. We mostly keep it in the shower, but can easily bring it out on the kayak since it’s waterproof and small. It has decent sound for a little speaker and is easy to use.
We used to bring one of our other wireless speakers into the bathroom at times when we were getting ready, but this definitely makes shower time or getting ready time in the bathroom more convemient when you want to listen and the speaker doesn’t have to be blasting the house out just to hear the music over the running water.
Click here to check it out.
Speaking of getting ready, for many years my sister (yes, the one who is an expert shopper) called ourselves hair dryer snobs. We’d go back to visit our parents and the hair dryer that was available for us to use was just crap. It wasn’t powerful and took forever to dry our hair. So we quickly realized we had to bring our own hair dryer when we traveled home… and eventually when we traveled anywhere. Yes, that’s usually a non-negotiable for me when I travel…along with my yoga mat. But back to the hair dryer.
This whole thing started years ago when I had a different hair dryer than this one I’m telling you about. I can’t even remember what kind it was, but I thought it was good… until I tried my sister’s. Which happened to be this Rusk W8less hair dryer.
Long story short, my sister ended up giving one to me years ago, then finally this year, we ended up giving our mom one. Idk why it took us so many years to get that woman a decent hair dryer, but we finally did. Sorry about that, Mom. Perhaps it was because she doesn’t have as much hair as we do.
Either way, this hair dryer is powerful and definitely is at the top of the list in the hair dryer world. So, you’re going to pay a little more for it, (no more than $100) but it’s so worth it. Wimpy dryers leave your hair flat and limp, this dryer is quite the opposite. It would make any woman with hair happy!
Click here to check it out.
And when you’re done in the bathroom and ready to get dressed, you’ll need socks this time of year. I found these positive affirmation socks a few years back and gave them to quite a few people as Christmas gifts.
If you’ve been around here, you probably know how much I love affirmations, so of course, these are right up my alley. They’re great for the people in your life who you want to make sure they know just how special they are to you all the time or those people who you know geek out on positivity and/or self-work. You can start your day being reminded how awesome you are and end it by kicking your feet up at night and being reminded once again.
They have gift sets and socks geared specific professions so it might be an ideal gift to give to teachers, coaches, nurses or the first responders in your life. They have everything from infant and toddler socks to compression, athletic and ultra low cut socks.
This is a 100% woman-owned business, I believe located right here in the Midwest in Kansas, the socks are also made in the USA, and the company regularly donates to non-profits including women’s and homeless shelters and children in need. They’re nice little “Notes to self” to remind the wearer they they matter in this world:).
Click here to purchase.
Hyponix Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course for Kids up to 880 Lbs – 2 x 60 ft – W/Bottom line & 13 Obstacles
Now, onto the really fun stuff…the games and toys!
Even if you’re an adult, these games are ones that anyone of any age can enjoy for the most part. Our kids received a Ninja Line last year and it’s one of the best gifts…they can do all the climbing, balancing and swinging on it they want. I can even play on it with the kids.
So if you’ve got some kids in your life, this is a great option that will get them outdoors (or if you have a big enough basement or shed), active and moving their bodies this winter. I think they even have a $10 off coupon going on right now.
Click here to check it out.
Ahh, this game. Bop It! Extreme Electronic Game is a game you can play solo or against someone else. Basically, there are 5 or 6 commands the game makes you do and the levers or knobs on the game that correspond with the commands–bop it, spin it, twist it, flick it, pull it–and as you go the commands begin to speed up. So it’s a game of not only muscle memory but also speed.
When I was growing up, some of my cousins had one of these and we were constantly trying to beat the high score on it. We didn’t have video games, but we did have this at their house. And it was fun for all ages.
For whatever reason, it came to mind last year and I was on a mission to get one for Huck for his birthday (3 days after Christmas) if they still made them. Turns out, they do, but when I started looking for one last November, they existed, but when purchased, didn’t know when they would be available to ship. Luckily, one of my friends who is a teacher had some in her 5th grade class room that she kept for indoor recess and she gladly gave one to us to use so I could have a physical thing to give him.
Turns out, we didn’t actually receive the new one until like February or March and have spent hours playing it since then. In any case, fun for everyone and it appears they are more readily available these days than last year at this time.
Click here to check it out.
Another great toy for the family! It’s a maze ball in which you ahve to try to move the tiny silver ball through a series of mazes within the plastic ball the maze is housed in. It’s tricky and everyone has fun trying to get through all the levels.
There are different versions of this, even a Rubik’s cube version that makes you have to twist the block to get the silver ball to where it needs to go…we have this version as well, but I haven’t even attempted it.
The Rebel, from what I can determine, is one of the base versions that isn’t as complicated as the others. It’s a good place to start!
This is a more challenging version of the maze ball.
Click here to check the Perplexus Rebel.
Get started tracking your rhythms… download the Daily Rhythms Tracker.
Join the Energetic Rhythms for Intentional Living community here.
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