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.
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
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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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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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