Hello friends! I just finished rounding up my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide! I did this last year (2017 Gift Guide) and got a lot of good feedback, so I hope this sparks some inspiration for you and makes your holiday shopping a little more fun. These items are either things I own and enjoy, or are on my own wish list this year. A lot of them are linked to Amazon to make it easy. :)
I'll wrap this post up (pun intended) the same way I did last year... remember-- stuff is just stuff! Don't sweat the small stuff this holiday season! The gift of your time and friendship are worth more than any material item you can purchase for someone...
Xoxo, Merry Christmas, & Happy Everything. :)
My Gift Guide….
• Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life by Cleo Wade
I'm reading this right now, and it's so beautiful. It is poems and short writings full of love, encouragement and inspiration. I usually only read a couple pages at a time and think on it all day long. Every page is powerful, and I find inspiration for meditations and affirmations for the yoga classes I teach in here a LOT.
I'm finishing up this NYT Bestseller right now, and it is SO good. The book is actually essays and popular posts from her blog. Glennon is honest, down-to-Earth, funny, and loving. She writes about things that many of us are scared to talk about. She wants women to know they are not alone in the struggles of motherhood, marriage, and friendship. One message that keeps popping up: Let's all stop acting like we're perfect and put together and just. be. real. people.
I'm currently wrapping up this book, too, and oh wow, I just love J. Dana Trent. My mom gave me one of her other books when I returned from my travels in India (Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk) and it is fantastic as well. In For Sabbath's Sake, she reminds us of how ESSENTIAL it is for us to have a Sabbath day. In our current culture, we are used to racing around at top speed, forgetting God's commandment to "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." It has stepped on my toes a lot (in a good way), and I'm so glad I'm reading it. I cannot sum it up any better than this paragraph from the book description: "Many Americans balk at the idea of setting aside a whole day for worship, rest, and time with those who matter most to them. Yet we long for more time to spend on what matters most—unrushed time to rest, reconnect with friends and loved ones, and deepen our relationship with God. An ancient spiritual practice exists that can help restore balance to our lives: the practice of keeping sabbath. But how exactly do we manage to build time for sabbath into our busy lives? Dana Trent explores this question in For Sabbath's Sake."
• Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
If you have read even one of my blog posts, chances are I have mentioned this book (most recently in my October post Year 6 As A Yoga Instructor: What I Learned). This book is outstanding and I simply cannot relay how good it is in one paragraph. The title itself is taken from one of my favorite quotes, known as The Man in The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt. To dare greatly, one must risk vulnerability, and that is terrifying. We all have it: shame, feelings of unworthiness and fear of being vulnerable. Want to get over that? Read this book and go dare greatly at life.
You might recognize the name... Elizabeth Gilbert wroteEat, Pray, Love back in 2007 (also a great book!!). This book, Big Magic was a #1 NYT Bestseller. Here, she shares wisdom and insights from her own life experiences with sincerity and honesty (are you picking up on the trend with all of these authors I've listed?!). She encourages you to go and do that creative thing you want to do-- whatever it is-- and gives you courage to find freedom and fun (not fear) in doing it.
For My Nieces:
• Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Girl Power at its finest. :) This book is 100 1-page bedtime stories about extraordinary women of all walks of life. One page is their story, and on the opposite page is a full page illustration of them. They had 60 female artists from all over the world do the illustrations. I want my nieces to know they can do whatever they want to do in life, and I hope getting to learn about these fantastic women will show them that from an early age. It's a hardback book, with beautiful illustrations on high quality paper-- definitely a book to write a special message in and give as a gift.
It's one of my favorite songs, and this book is simply the lyrics from the song. Yes, it's a kids book, but adults probably need the message more: May you stay forever young. :)
• Zafu Meditation Cushion
This makes meditation more comfortable. It could also be used at the end or beginning of a yoga class, or any time sitting for a few minutes is uncomfortable. I've had mine for several years and it's holding up great.
Great for journaling, drawing, writing down ideas and brainstorming. I keep one in my bag wherever I go to write down inspiration as it strikes me.
I listed the bigger version last year, and have since gotten this size as well. Both are awesome, but this one is a little more portable. It comes with free online videos to help guide you with how to use it. Although I've never watched the videos and can't vouch for them, I can definitely vouch for the roller. It's top notch and sturdy. I use mine to roll out my hamstrings, glutes, quads, and back muscles. LOVE this roller.
Also great for trigger points. Use it for the bottom of your feet, or my favorite-- the shoulder blade and back muscles. Put the tennis ball in between you and the wall to use it this way. You'll look kind of like a bear scratching their back on a tree, but it works. :)
YES, I listed this last year, but I still have people tell me it changed their life. :) If you like lattes, you can easily froth milk with this and make your own every morning. I just use coffee from my drip machine (you don't necessarily have to use espresso), and it's my morning treat. I use mine several times a week, and I've had it for 3 years and it's holding up just find. Dishwasher safe, too.
This company has THE BEST stuff. We receive and give a lot of it every year. They have spices, herbs, and blends (curries, taco seasoning, grilling blends for all kinds of meat) for every cook you know. Give this to a griller, a braiser, or a throw-it-together cook who would love a little inspiration. They also have gift box sets!
• Ancestry.com DNA Kit
My parents gave me one last year, and I got the biggest kick out of it! It's super easy to do, and within a few weeks, you'll receive an email with a breakdown of your DNA with regards to what parts of the world your ancestors were likely from. They even update it from time to time as they learn more about genetics.
• Pineapple Clothing Yoga Leggings
Pineapple has bright, fun, lively prints. I have several pairs of their yoga leggings and I love them. They always make me smile when I wear them. Use my code BLAROG for 20% off your purchase!
I LOVE this wine club. They have several levels you can sign up for, and different cases (reds only, whites only, mixed case of reds and whites, etc). They let you list favorite types of wine and inform them of types you do not like. Then, after you try the bottles they send you, you can go onto your account and let them know if you liked those bottles or not. They'll keep track of your preferences and curate each shipment for you based on your input.
What's On MY List This Year:
• Design Lab Travel Yoga Mat
Lightweight, foldable for a suitcase, and MASHINE WASHABLE!!! I need this for yoga trainings and travels! Someone please get me this mat! :)
This is for myofascial release of the feet, just like what the (above listed) roller does for legs and back muscles. I've had achy feet lately from being on my feet all day, so I plan to do this for a few minutes at the end of the day while relaxing. If you have plantar fasciitis, this may help with that.
• Love Real Food: More Than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body
I started observing Meatless Monday back in June, and have LOVED it. I think it's good to fast from certain things occasionally, and fasting from meat 1 day a week has been eye-opening.
I have chronic dry hands in the winter, but hate greasy creams. This bottle gets awesome reviews. Let's hope it helps me. :)
Obviously. Love JT.
Thank you for reading! My Amazon links are through my Amazon Affiliate membership, so I earn a small fee (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase through my link. :)
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Hi, I'm Blake. I love adventure, cooking, costume parties, wine, yoga, and reading...in that order. Follow my blog for yoga stuff, fitness tips, & healthy recipes...
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