Tag Archives: gifts

The Best Food Gift Recipes You Still Have Time to Make

Food gifts are one of the most popular of the gift-giving season, and almost always one of the most well received. Whether it’s a last-minute gift or just a desire to share something wholesome and homemade with friends and loved ones, this menu is all you need to share awesome food gifts.

Skip the expected boxes of drug store chocolate and tins of stale popcorn; these 14 treats and snacks will truly be unexpected, welcome surprises.

Pomegranate Pistachio Bark

POMEGRANATE PISTACHIO DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

This foodie gift is beautifully shared with wrapped in brown butcher paper.

chocolate covered pretzel protein balls

CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL PROTEIN BALLS

These bite-sized gems are like a homemade Lara Bar. Fill a Mason jar with the balls and wrap in a ribbon.

homemade sour mix

FRESH SOUR MIX

Prepare the mix and pour the juice in to clasp-top bottles or re-use wine bottles. Give this gift with a bottle of vodka or tequila. (more…)

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide

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These are the top wearable fitness trackers you should consider using to monitor your fitness goals. Last year’s 2013 Fitness Tracker Review Guide was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again with the new 2014 models. Several bands have gotten bumps in battery life, there are new and improved features across the board, and some new players to consider.

BUDGET CONSCIOUS

The two notable entries are aimed squarely at the budget-minded among us, with price points both under $60. They don’t pack all the high-tech bells and whistles of their more expensive siblings, but for many, they get the job done and serve as a reminder to be more active.

For a modest $50, you’ll find the Jawbone UP Move, which clips onto your shirt, pants, blouse, or purse. It’s a pedometer, first and foremost, and via the free iPhone or Android apps, also helps you keep track of calories consumed and calories burned.

The $60 Fitbit Zip competes head-on here, but is also waterproof up to 30 feet. (more…)

21 Recipes and Ways to Clean Out the Summer Garden Surplus in Your Backyard

The summer growing season may be nearing its end, but your garden is probably just hitting its peak production! You can only personally eat so many tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and zucchini. Your neighbors and co-workers will only allow you to share so many. And really, it seems a total waste to let them go. So don’t!

Belly up to your kitchen counter, pull out a few handy appliances, and make finished food items you can eat through the winter and your neighbors and co-workers are far more glad to take off of your hands now!

homemade pickles jar

HOMEMADE SWEET AND SPICY ENGLISH CUCUMBER PICKLES

Does your neighbor want 10 cucumbers? No! Does your neighbor want an adorable jar full of homemade pickles? Heck yes! Use any garden variety cuc to make these shockingly easy pickles. You’ll never want store-bought again. And in our experience, a generous batch will last you all the way to spring!

melon ball soup

TWO INGREDIENT MELON BALL SOUP

When the watermelon and cantaloupe runneth over, runneth it through the blender! Combine your favorite melons, add your choice of fresh herbs, and top with a goat or feta cheese to make the simplest chilled soup ever! We love ours at brunch. (more…)

FREE Printables for Food Pun Gift Tags

Don’t give just any ordinary food or snack gift when you can make them punny! We had a lot of fun coming up with just the right sentiment to complement some of our favorite healthier snacks and hope you have an easier time sharing the goods. We purposely left them generic enough to not require any particular time of year or holiday. And we also purposely made them completely free so that you can spring for the really good treats!

Just click, print the PDF, and trim them out. Then, share with the special friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and other dear ones in your life.

JUSTIN Case You Didn’t Know

justins pb gift tags

This gift is butter than every other choc + pb cup out there (#fact)! And with this sweet tag, it makes Justin’s a pretty easy (and organic!) gift to share. Wrap one pack or a few and seal the deal with our simple message.

Download the Justin’s Gift Tag PDF. 6 tags/sheet

Thanks for Being EXTRA Nice

extra gum gift

This simple gift is a real mint that doesn’t require too much extra effort on your part. We filled a small jar with sticks of Extra sugar-free gum and delivered with the tag affixed to the lid.

Download the Extra Gift Tag PDF. 5 tags/sheet (more…)

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for 2013

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide Available Now!

Within the last few years, the market for wearable computers has exploded. Today, we’re looking at five such devices that help you monitor your physical activity, stay in shape, keep track of your sleeping patterns, and go everywhere you go. You see, the best innovations are those that are exceedingly simple to use and assume a natural place in your life.

I looked at the latest and greatest fitness gadgets for this post: the Fitbit Force, the BodyBugg LINK, the Jawbone UP, the Nike FuelBand SE, and the Ssmart Dynamo. By and large, they do many of the same things, so how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are ten key features about each to help you decide which fits your lifestyle.

fitness tracker review

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A few key takeaways from the data I gathered.

The Nike FuelBand SE has the longest battery life. If you’re on the go more than you’re at home, this is something to consider. With the FuelBand, you can expect 12 days between charges.

If you already use a smartphone app to track your fitness or food intake, you’ll want one that plays nicely with your favorite app. The Fitbit Force, BodyBugg LINK, and Jawbone UP are the three models to look at for this.

All models have a pedometer function to track your steps throughout the day. And all models, except the FuelBand, include sleep monitoring and calorie tracking. (more…)

11 Quirky Foodie Friendly Gifts Priced Under $50

Fa-la-la-la and Deck the Halls! It’s Black Friday and you know what that means, zealous bargain hunters will be out in full force, ready to knock you down for a Hello Kitty television. The holiday shopping season has officially begun, so if there’s a foodie on your list, but you’re tired of getting him or her the usual fare, check out the fun gift guide below. Since everything is priced under $50, you can afford to pick up a few things for yourself, too.

salt robot collage

Spice Lab Gourmet Salt Collection – Are you so over table salt? Do you wish sea salt came in exotic flavors? Well, it does and now you can have your very own international sea salt collection. The Spice Lab Gourmet brings you a set of 11 different salt samples from around the world including Bolivian Pink Sunset from the mountains of Bolivia. Mmm, mountain salt. Comes in a stylish wood holder. $44.95

Robot Tea Infuser – Tea is often touted for its health benefits and tea enthusiasts prefer loose leaf for its bold flavor, but brewing can be tricky. The Robot Tea Infuser is a kitschy functional way to brew one mug at a time without ending up with swimmy bits floating around. Just fill up his little chest, attach his adjustable arms to the cup, and plunge him into hot water to steep. $9.99

glasses infuser collage

Tear-Free Onion Glasses – If you’re tired of onion vapors wrecking your mascara before dinner, put tear-free onion glasses on your list. They slip on and off comfortably, but fit snug like goggles to keep out airborne irritants that cause eye weepage. The only reason you should cry while chopping onions is if you’re also watching the movie Titanic. Seriously, why didn’t Rose just scootch over on that door? Includes storage case. $19.95

Herb Oil Infuser – Now this is fancy infusing! Even famous foodie and self-proclaimed EVOO lover Rachael Ray would be impressed. The stylish carafe lets you add flavor to olive oil by putting a sprig of herb right inside. The plant is partitioned so you get all of the delicious infused flavor without the debris. $15.00

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Dark Chocolate Quinoa Candy Bars Replace Your Crunch Bar Habit

My daughter is three and loves chocolate, or “chock-wit” as the case may be. It’s her one vice, and speaking woman to woman, can you blame her? Considering how well she eats, I let us both indulge in this little craving on occasion, especially after a business trip.

Before taking off on one of my trips last year, I promised, as most parents do, to return with a present. Days later, barely awake at the airport before dawn, I remembered my promise and grabbed the first thing I could find – a three-pack of Ghirardelli chocolates. My daughter was overjoyed at this unusual gift, and somewhere along the line decided all business trips should end in chocolate.

quinoa dark chocolate

So on a recent visit to New York City, I was hounded at each of our morning and evening calls. “Have you got my chocolate yet?” she would anxiously ask. I said no most days, until finally, I’d found the perfect chocolate. At a small grocer in Brooklyn I happened upon Alter Eco’s Dark Quinoa bars. If you have a thing for Nestle’s Crunch bars like I do, you’ll never want to look back after snacking on these.

dark chocolate quinoa bar

An organic, sustainable, undeniably addictive little chocolate treat, I’ve raved to everyone since finding them. My daughter and I have since depleted our stash. I’m left wanting more, but haven’t found it locally yet. So we turned our chocolate craving in to a play date in the kitchen and crafted our own.

Ingredient wise, it’s as simple as dark chocolate and quinoa. Preparation wise, it’s just a tad more work. (more…)

Santa’s Helper Has Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

The big jolly guy might check those lists twice, but it doesn’t mean he’s any less likely to forget something than the rest of us. If you’re scrambling to do your last-minute shopping this weekend and still need a few ideas to stuff those stockings, then we’ve got you covered.


BIG KIDS

They’re never really too old to believe … or at least to get a few new surprises. Teens, college students, and maybe even mom and dad would love to find any of these goodies on Christmas morning.

Unreal Candy Bars. Even we think it’s a shame not to put a little chocolate in a stocking, but with Unreal’s “unjunked” candy bars we don’t have to feel bad about it. Available nationally at Target, Walgreens, and in health food stores.

ToeSox. For a teen or college yogi, these socks will be very well received. A lot more than a pack of gym socks! The grip on the soles allows you more stability while practicing your favorite poses even when you don’t have a mat. (more…)

7 Splurge-Worthy Gifts to Buy for Yourself and Your Health This Year

It’s Christmas time, when we think of others and how we can show our love through tokens of appreciation. Before going broke buying presents, however, save a little bit for yourself to spend on something that could do a world of good in your life by providing a bevy of health benefits. From getting off medications to finding a surefire way to cope with stress, these gifts promise more than momentary satisfaction, they may just inspire a completely new lifestyle.

1. Hire a Personal Trainer

Sometimes, the choice to workout comes down to accountability. When exercising with a friend isn’t cutting it, hiring a trainer can be a great choice. They know what moves to do, how many need to be done to be effective, and how to do them so you don’t get hurt. They also take care of formulating a fitness plan with your goals in mind. Missing a 6 a.m. workout is a lot less likely if you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym ready to charge your credit card whether you show up or not. Just be sure to make sure they’re accredited and look into what kind – not all certifications are created equal. Can’t make it to the gym? Sites like Wello will do video-chat training sessions to serve clients anywhere, anytime.

2. Get a Nutritionist

Do you have fitness down, but need help with the food part of being healthy? A consult with a nutritionist may be your answer. A diet book has no concern for what foods you like and dislike, certain allergies, and current fitness levels. A dietitian will. They’ll give you a proper eating plan to follow and do all the math and science stuff, like calorie counting, for you. Before picking one, make sure you have a certain rapport with them so that you’ll feel at ease, know they give clear directions that you can easily understand, and explain why certain foods are and aren’t necessary. They don’t even have to be local. Dietitians like Mary Hartley, RD do Skype consults. (more…)

The Ultimate Zumba Gift Guide

If you’ve got a Zumba fanatic on your holiday shopping list this year, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of goods that every Zumba lover out there would be ecstatic to receive.

Exhilarate Body Shaping System (DVD set of 5)

These at-home workout DVDs will get their body dancing into shape. The original set contained only four DVDs, but this bonus set includes a fifth (20 minute warm up) plus a set of toning sticks. Each DVD contains a different workout with multiple intensity levels for the beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Also included is a 10-day weight-loss program for the Zumba lover to take advantage of. What a deal!

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