the ultimate PIP holiday gift guide

THIS JUST IN: You have ONE WEEK until Christmas. Also just in: I haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet. So we better be quick – we don’t have much time! Here are some suggestions for the possible categories of people on your list.

For the Cleveland Foodie

How about a gift certificate to your favorite Cleveland restaurant via Cleveland Independents? Their holiday sale is going on today!

I think it’s safe to say a Vitamix will always be an item on this list for many: head on over to their Factory Store in North Olmsted to pick one up before the holiday.

You can also give them a save-the-date to your favorite food and wine event happening in 2013. There are plenty to choose from – although I am partial to one in particular that happens every May – there’s still time to vote for the 2013 Silver Spoon Awards!

For the Yogi

A mat is always the place to start when trying to buy for someone interested in any style of yoga. Looking for something that’s going to last a long, long time? I practice on the Manduka Pro and it still looks as good as it did when I made the switch last December.


Suggested yoga reads:

You can also purchase a gift certificate for your favorite yoga studio for your loved one – and if you’re lucky, the studio where your favorite yoga blogger is having a sale starting on December 19th through the end of the month. (Check the Nishkama Yoga Facebook page for more info on Wednesday for more info!)

For the Runner

A race entry to their race of choice for 2013: perhaps I can suggest one of the Cleveland Marathon races? has a discount for $10 off the full marathon with the code 2013RACM & $5 off the half marathon with the code 2013RACHM. The 10K and 5K are very reasonably priced already!

I’ve also become a convert to Reebok running shoes over the past few months – these Reebok RealFlex Fusion TR and these SmoothFlex Runs have been solid as a rock yet light as a feather. Reebok shared this promo code with me to share with the PIP readers – just in time for your last minute shopping!

Speaking of Reebok, I’ve been trying out these new Bose SIE2i Sport Headphones this month. I’m used to using my uber light iPod Nano for my cardio workouts for so long that switching back to an armband with my iPhone is taking some adjusting. I’ll have a full review very soon but let’s just say this item has earned its spot here on the gift guide!

For the Rocket Scientist

To decorate your Christmas tree, how about some NASA ornaments:

A book that’s was on Hans’ list last year: The Secret of Apollo: Systems Management in American and European Space Programs. He was very happy to have received it!

And perhaps my favorite suggestion comes care of @LisaSands1:

For the Dog Lover

We’ll just keep this simple: feel free to purchase me anything on this Etsy search page.


source and source

Love me a Golden Retriever – in all of its forms.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Any suggestions for me to add to any of the categories? Let’s hear it in the comments below!

Disclosure: I teach yoga at Nishkama Yoga, have received Reebok products via my FitFluential ambassadorship, am a 2013 Cleveland Marathon guest blogger, working on the Silver Spoon Awards Party and am a proud #crazydoglady. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Christmas Gift To Myself

Friday’s post was meant to help get the holiday anxiety off my plate. Instead, it only filled to the brim. And before I knew it, I found myself writing this love note to the holiday at hand:


My best way to make sure this didn’t happen: get moving. While many struggle to keep up their workout routine during the month of December, I never have. I’ve seen getting to the gym or to the yoga studio as not only a way to keep those holiday pounds off but as the best way to manage my stress levels. This is how that played out over the holiday weekend:

  • Friday the 23rd: Advancing Practice Class at Nishkama – even in my abbreviated 75 minute attendance – helped centered me again after feeling borderline panic attack with the stress of all that “had” to get done before Saturday evening. I also held side crow for a significantly longer time that morning than previous attempts!
  • Saturday the 24th: Nishkama Yoga at Nishkama – It’s our version of a vinyasa flow class – a solid 90 hot yoga class filled with sun salutations, inversions, hip openers, backbends and savasana. It was only made better with a packed room of fellow yogis ready to celebrate the holidays on their mats.
  • Sunday the 25th: A special Christmas morning vinyasa class at Nishkama – While the turn out wasn’t quite as crowded that morning, the flow was just as energizing and the perfect way to start the holiday.
  • Monday the 26th: Advancing Practice Class at Nishkama – not only did I kick up into handstand on the first try, I got into tripod handstand for the first time ever on my own. Still against the wall, but I’m working towards more…
  • Tuesday the 27th: Cardio at the gym – After four days of arm balances, I went to the gym for a good cardio fest. After a brief warm up on the elliptical, I tackled Couch to 5K Week Two Day One. After several rounds of running at 6.0MPH for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes at 4.3MPH, I felt even more inspired that I hadn’t lost my running legs this fall.

So while I may have splurged on a few pairs of yoga pants last week to be placed under the tree, the above collection of workouts was my real gift – making time for myself. A little selfish, sure. But sometimes you need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.

That said, our holiday was lovely – filled with plenty of family, tasty food, a trip to Christmas Eve mass and a special treat of Starbucks Christmas Blend on Christmas morning. Side note: when you haven’t have the java in two months, you will be super wired for 12 hours, then have a glorious crash before you can drive home from Uncle Jeff’s house. And while we said “I don’t want anything”/”don’t buy me presents”, Hans and I both got each other little surprises, including a new robe for him and new pans for me (seriously excited for these – mine were looking so sad). I also now have enough dark chocolate to last until my birthday. A dark chocolate caramel from Malley’s is perfectly normal to enjoy at 9AM, right?!

What was your holiday gift to yourself this year?

Celebrating the Holidays: Better Late Than Never

Even though our Christmas tree has been up since the day after Thanksgiving…

Even though I started off the month with a cookie swap…

Even though I find myself jamming out to various holiday tunes at my seasonal retail gig…

This sums up the last two days and the next two:

Funny Christmas Season Ecard: It must be love since finding you the right holiday gift is causing me debilitating stress. (source)

You know I’m ready to fully embrace the holiday season when I’ve decided to start Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, this tends to happen later and later every year. And this year, I’m refusing to give in to that “OMG what do I get them?!” hysteria.

Even though my list is half way done, part of me feels like I’m still dialing it in. I haven’t made a Christmas wish list for myself, nor have I really inquired about others until this past Sunday. Maybe it’s me getting older. Maybe it’s my new train of thought playing a part in things – but the things I want this year are all intangible: a calm mind, my health restored to 100% & to spend time with those that matter most to me.

So instead of shopping, what have I done instead? Gone to yoga. Yes, some avoidance of the main issue, but it always clears my head. And then by the time savasana rolls around, I have a solution to all my Christmas related issues. Except for what to buy my brother. UGH, I’m so screwed…

How are you holding up this holiday season? Ready to celebrate with (jingle) bells on or ready for 2012?

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