Well since everyone loves a good gift guide this time of year, I decided to join in the fun and share my fave gift ideas. So here is my Healthy Happy Gift Guide 2015! Picks including food, fashion, kitchen, kid, beauty and more goodies.
I hate focusing on gifts during the holiday season, but I do admit that I find the gift browsing and giving parts quite enjoyable. Even if I don't buY the items on these "gift lists" for Christmas, I do love coming back to those "finds" for future birthdays, weddings, showers, etc. So bring on the gift lists! (Even if you don't buy a single thing.)
But I have to confess, as a kid I was pretty obsessed with Christmas lists. In our humble household of four, I considered myself the queen of the Christmas list. I had a very systematic way of figuring out what would make my list..
Flashback to my childhood. First, I would rip through the giant Sunday newspaper and pull out stacks of thick, glossy gift guides. Toys-R-Us would always have one, hundreds of pages of ideas for a wide-eyed kid. Then there were more humble brands like Macy's (because even a kid needs fuzzy socks and cool Garfield pajamas), and even Radio Shack. Yes, Radio Shack was actually really cool in the 80's and 90's. I mean, where else could you find the remote control cars, double cassette playing boom boxes and Walkman headsets to pair with your Paula Abdul and Color Me Bad tapes? Hello 1989.
But back to my list. I would flip through every single page of those gift guides and circle everything that looked appealing to my eight, nine or ten year old eyes. I remember one year I was convinced that I needed a robot toy that played games with you. It had a mini basketball hoop and several electronic games built into its robot body. I guess this was the 80's version of iPhone's Siri. I never did get that darn robot. Good call mom.
Once I had all my items circled, I would create a master list that spanned for pages. Then through careful consideration, I narrowed down my list and carefully hand the final draft, beautifully penned, "Kathy's Christmas List" to my mother. Who I knew from experience had some sort of close ties with Santa Claus, because every year she had dozens of his presents carefully tucked away in the back of her closet, on the far side, behind the rows of hanging work suits, sometimes under a giant blanket or towel.
Christmas day would come and go and the truth is, I usually only got one or two items from my actual list. Mostly because my parents knew that most of the toys that made it there were not really things I wanted or needed, but rather things that were well marketed. Things the toy companies told me I wanted.
I think my toy-choosing holiday behavior stopped once I hit junior high school and I realized that there was more to the holidays than the newest Care Bear, Barbie Doll Dream House (I never did get one of those) or fancy video game. By high school I just wanted a stack of gift certificates for the mall, new clothes, Wet and Wild lipstick and a new CD by some new teen singer named Britney Spears.
Today, as a mature adult, Christmas is usually a few little items, carefully wrapped just for the joy of opening presents - along with maybe one larger item or trip/experience or fancy dinner or something nice to celebrate the holiday season. Then of course gifts for my niece and nephew.
Today I like to focus on embracing the values of the holiday season, being compassionate, reflecting on your life and family and just spending some quality time with people I love.
And when I do buy gifts, I like to spend money on brands and products that I respect. Brands that bring health and happiness (wellness) to the people I buy them for. I love introducing people to some of MY favorite vegan, wellness brands via gift giving. So with that, here is my gift guide this year!
Healthy Happy Gift Guide 2015
Kitchen + Cafe Goodies
Go Big or Go Home
For the Kiddos
Kitchen + Cafe Goodies
* Encha Organic Matcha: This 5-piece matcha gift set is the PERFECT way to start a healthy matcha habit. Also download my FREE 28-page Kathy's Matcha Guide. It includes recipes, tips and everything about matcha!
* Dishes and Mugs from Bambeco: I recently gave my kitchen goodies a makeover by buying TONS of products from Bambeco. Including all these goodies.. (Stoneware salad plate, Cafe Au Lait mug set, Recycled Pint Glass in Aqua, Stoneware Oval Bakers, Potter's Craft Mug.
Go Big Or Go Home Gifts
These are investment purchase gifts! Big price tags, big wellness benefits. long lasting goodies.
* Bellicon Rebounder: I am obsessed with my rebounder from Bellicon. I use it at least once every few days. It not only gives me a fun workout, but also is a wonderful way to stimulate your lymphatic system. I first bought a "cheaper" rebounder from another company and returned it because it was shaky and loud. The Bellicon is amazing! Highest quality and cute too with its color-customizable features. Plus, out cats love lounging on it. :)
* Vitamix: You guys know I think every household should own a Vitamix. And the holiday season is the perfect time to make that big investment purchase. This is a gift that will keep on giving all year long - for many years to come. Buy a Vitamix for someone in your life who you think deserves and craves more health and wellness. It is a big ticket item, but I will say it a million times, worth every penny. Read my guide to learn How to Choose the Right Vitamix for you.
* Professional Steam Cleaner: For the past few years, since being a two cat household, my asthma and allergies have really been acting up. So we recently dove in a purchased a steam cleaner. The difference in our household is amazing. Though we already had a high quality IQAir air purifier and keep a clean house, the steam cleaner goes that extra mile to stomp out allergens and keep things clean. I love it so much. We chose a Dupray Steam Cleaner and love it.
* Professional Camera: For the photography lover in your life (or yourself) a professional camera is a dream! Check out What's in my Camera Bag to see what I use. Or if you really want to splurge, you cannot get much better than the Canon Mark.
For the Kiddos
* Build-a-Bouquet or Salad Set by Green Toys
* Eco-Friendly Kids Shopping Cart by Plan Toys
* Organic Cotton Tilly the Cat
* Nat geo Starry Night Lantern
* Vegan Sacred Chocolate: OBSESSED with these. Sacred is one of my favorite vegan chocolate brands. I adore them all. Give chocolate and get smiles in return! My fave flavor is this Amazonian in red.
* Philosophie Superfoods: Love all these! Green Dream, Cacao Magic and Berry Bliss.
* Ojio Superfoods (Turmeric is my fave!)
* LOVE Gift Boxes from Penzey's Spices: I love Penzey's high quality spices so much! Try their cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extracts, cocoa powder or cocoa mix Frozen Pizza Seasoning, Sandwich Sprinkle and more.
* Vaute Couture Anything: this cute coat, this "Eats Her Veggies" tank, this gown, tees and more. (Red coat pic is me wearing a Vaute coat in Ireland!)...
* Anything from Herbivore Clothing Company: vegan everything! Cute tees, accessories, books and so much more!
* GUNAS Bags. I love my pretty turquoise bag and they have so many beautiful vegan styles!
* BeetxBeet: These tees are so fun! I love the Vegans are Magical and Plant Based Party tees.
* Jill Milan Goodies: Hollywood Hills Crossbody, Canaan Clutch Wallet, Long White Coat
* Eat More Rabbit Food tees for the kiddos. I mean, too much cute here..
* The Tree Kisser tees and more. Love them all!
* Claire Farwell London I love all these party approved dressed from vegan designer Claire Farwell. You may remember me wearing one in a holiday video from last year!
* Vegan Shoes!! There are too many amazing vegan shoe companies nowadays. Seriously, we are finally in a vegan shoe paradise. Here are a few brands.. Moo Shoes (one stop shop), Cri de Coeur (go-to Adelaide booties), Beyond Skin (farrah over the knee boots are a style trend! These red heels are Xmas party approved.), Nicora Johns (Sparkly solid gold Sally's - I own a pair and love them!)
* Pammies: New vegan boots from Pamela Anderson.
* Your Joyologist, Tricia has some awesome items. I love the wine glasses and journals. "Let that Shit Go" and "Own Your Awesome."
* Yoga Wear! I love comfy yoga-inspired apparel. A few fave brands.. Hardtail and Onzie. Also, BlackMilk has some fun designs like Game of Thrones leggings. And for Hardtail, I own and love these three things: this comfy bra, this pullover, these organic leggings. Onzie has beautiful leggings as well, like these in Daydream. (all shown below)
* Tata Harper - I love this brand. Their resurfacing mask, which smells amazing, would make a great gift. You can see which of their products are vegan in this great blogpost by Ethical Elephant.
* Lip Gloss by Tarte - vegan certified and oh so pretty. Buy it here.
Cookbooks are gifts that keep on giving! So here are two books I think are pretty awesome, I may be a bit biased of course..
Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen
365 Vegan Smoothies
Links to some other great gift guides I have come across..
* Girlie Girl Army 2015 Gift Guide
* Olives For Dinner Cookbook Gift Guide
* The Body Book Gift Guides
What did I miss? What are YOU gift giving this year? Leave your ideas or fave brands in the comments section!
Happy holidays to all of you. xoxo
Hot cocoa + Pumpkin Nog cheers!
* Disclosure: some of these links contain affiliate links - such as Amazon and Vitamix. Purchasing via my links is a great way to support my blog work! I am also an Encha organic matcha ambassador, and adore their products.
Images: gift guide images are pulled from the seller's online store - copyright to their websites.