Getting Ready for the Holidays: Shopping! (Podcast #17)

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Shopping

Hi holiday celebrators! We’re back with more holiday prep tips in Podcast 17 where we talk about how, when, and where to shop for the holidays, and give ideas for homemade gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers and party hosts. We’re determined to make this holiday season simple, thoughtful and downright fun!

If you don’t have a chance to listen, I’ve summarized our tips here:

Tips on How to Shop for the Holidays:

  1. Make a list of who you need to buy presents for. Don’t forget teachers, coworders, host and hostess gifts, and some unexpected quick presents to give.
  2. Decide on a budget either per person or total, and try to stick with it.
  3. Put down as many ideas as possible for all the people on your list.
  4. Decide on your homemade present: a sugar scrub in a mini mason jar with coconut oil and peppermint oil? or 32-ounce mason jars filled with the dry ingredients for brownies plus instructions for which wet ingredients to add (one how-to here!).
  5. Make wish lists on Amazon or in a simple spreadhseet to share with family members.

Tips on When to Shop for the Holidays:

  1. Before Halloween! We can all try, right? Ok, that’s only 2 weeks away, but can you imagine? How about just the major presents and then you have November for stocking stuffers, homemade gifts and holiday cards?
  2. If you can’t get all your shopping done in October, at least try to get your list done and check a few purchases off your list. Buying early means you won’t be rushing with less thoughtful gifts toward the end.

Tips on Where to Shop for the Holidays:

  1. Amazon is great for wish lists, searches for “best toys for 8 year-old boys” and best sellers. But Amazon also has such fun ideas for stocking stuffers like these WikkiStix and figurine “Toobs” like these sets of safari animals, around the world monuments, vehicles, and even fruit and veggie toobs!
  2. The Mall is a dreaded, but a great option too. Try to go only once with your list for ideas, and set a time limit for yourself. I like to go early on in the season while the pickin’s are plenty and the crowds are few. My girls (ages 4 and 13) love anything from Claire’s and $5 Below.

We want to hear your tips too! Comment below with your favorite homemade gift ideas and holiday hacks!

xo,
Jen & Corinne

 

How to Make a Spooky Halloween Lunch

5 ways to create spooky Halloween lunches

Packing a fun holiday lunchbox doesn’t have to add more than a few minutes into your lunch-packing process. Here’s how we created a spookier spin on a simple and healthyish Halloween lunch…

5 ways to create a fun and simple Halloween lunch!

    1. Spider sandwich: Add pretzel sticks as legs to a PBJ (or nut-free option)—we cut out the circle shape with a ball jar rim, but you could just use the rim of any cup or small bowl. Two raisins were stuck on using peanut-butter glue.
    2. Eyeball crackers: Use tahini, hummus, or guacamole to stick half an olive on a round cracker.
    3. Witch’s fingers: Put a dab of hummus on the end of 5 Peas Please or veggie straws.
    4. Apple mummy: Wrap an apple in gauze and tuck two googly eyes under a piece of the wrap.
    5. Pumpkin carrots: Slice two small, shallow wedges length-wise to create a “stem. Then slice the carrot stick to create individual “pumpkins”.

Carrot pumpkin

Extra treat: Wrap your kiddos favorite kind of lollipop in a tissue, tie it with a ribbon or string and draw the mouth and eyes with a marker.

Halloween lunch ideas for kids

Happy Halloween!

Jen & Corinne

PS: Here are more tips on packing lunches for kids under 10 and for kids 11 and up!

Getting Ready for the Holidays (Already!): Detoxing (Podcast #16)

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Detoxing

Welcome back, and congrats if you challenged yourself with No Spend September because… woohoo!… it’s October! Jen here. Now that we’ve got our spending, household duties for kids and adults, and allowance systems under control, it’s a great time to start thinking about the holidays. Because, if you start now, it may actually be fun!

In episode 16, we embark on our “Getting Ready for the Holidays” journey and discuss getting your mind, health and body ready for the holiday season by considering a quick 7-day detox or simply adopting healthier habits. Listen below or on iTunes to why Corinne and I believe detoxing before Thanksgiving can really set you up for a healthy mind and body going into the fruit cake chaos. And if you can’t listen, I’ve listed out our big why’s below. 

Why Do a Detox Anyway?

First of all, it’s important for us to define “Detox”… this is not a juice fast, a torturous deprivation situation, or something you should dread. If you just eat healthy food (read: lots of plants and very few processed foods and sugary garbage), move your body a little more, and focus on hydration (half your body weight in ounces daily) for 7 days, your amazing liver will do a great job at mobilizing and ejecting toxins. This will help you:

  • Minimize cravings (how handy right after Halloween?)
  • Boost your metabolism (burn that fruit cake faster!)
  • Increase your energy (more fuel in the tank for getting creative with holiday gifts!)
  • Feel better and feel more confident that you are doing the right thing for your body

For Corinne, detoxing, or simply focusing on scrapping the sugary stuff benefits her body and mind in ways she can’t even explain. She considers it a necessity. She also finds that waking up an hour before her kids to exercise and have “me” time benefits her outlook and energy, and it helps her feel more in control of her day. For me, simply focusing on whole foods and being hyper aware of what goes into my body grounds me as the stressful holidays approach. Rather than accepting the fact that you’re going to eat poorly and try and fix it in January, how awesome would it be going into January feeling like you’re already a few steps ahead?

So, consider checking out our free 7-Day Detox and then joining us the last week of October as we prepare to do the detox together starting on Monday, November 5th. Right now, we’re taking some extra time to understand and execute the detox with our new recipe plugin (check out how gorgeous and user-friendly the Fully Loaded Kale Salad looks for the new detox!).

Let us know how you plan on getting your body and mind ready for the holidays in the comments. We love ideas and are always learning from you!

xo,
Jen & Corinne