Our 2016 Gift Guide and Holiday Inspiration


When giving a gift, we like to be sure our presents are earth-friendly, healthful, and won’t add to someone’s clutter.

So in an effort not to burden people with more stuff, we lean towards gifts that are consumable, charitable, re-useable, experiential or inspirational.

Here are a few of our favorites…


We love to make and gift delicious homemade peanut butter cups – recipe from Pamela Salzman. They are always a huge hit and look really pretty when packaged in a mason jar with a ribbon.

Our favorite stocking candy or Hanukkah treats for kids include candy from the Natural Candy Store which offers organic, dye-free, allergy-friendly, non-GMO, gluten-free, fair-trade and vegan options (phew – that was mouthful!). This is also where we buy dye-free sprinkles for decorating holiday cookies and vegan marshmallows and dye-free candy canes to add to our hot chocolate.

Candles are a favorite holiday gift, but if you read our last post you know many candles can release toxins into the air. We like %100 beeswax such as these, these and these.

We also gift organic wines. This one from Cooper Mountain Vineyards in the Willamette Valley is a favorite. It is organic, no sulfites added and is called “Life.” You can read about why you may want to choose organic wine here.

With all the holiday parties, and travel to see loved ones, you may need a hostess gift or two. When we think back to hostess gifts we received, two standouts were a bowl of fresh lemons from a friend’s garden and a bag of cherry tomatoes from another friend’s rooftop plant. There is something so wonderful about real food– it is fragrant and tastes like it should. We appreciated the simplicity and zero-waste nature of these gifts. If you grow your own food, consider gifts from your garden, or if not, gifts from the farmer’s market. The “alive” energy and color of these foods placed in a favorite bowl not only tastes great, but adds to holiday décor.



These beautiful gift tags can be used year after year. They also make a great pre-holiday hostess gift. Just write your family members’ names on them and then save them for next year. Between the holidays, they can also double as napkin rings or place cards. You can also check out this blog and learn how to make your own.

We love these reusable bowl covers from Ambatalia: They are prettier than plastic, a lot healthier, and of course earth-friendly. They’re a great gift for the conscious homemaker.

If you are looking for reusable gift wrapping, check out these cloth gift bags from Lilywrap. In an effort to reduce waste, we oftentimes forego wrapping altogether and either tie the gift up in a ribbon or tie ribbons around brown Kraft paper boxes that can also be reused each year.

You know when you see something and think, “why didn’t I think of this?” That is how we felt when we saw this book and this one about how to make ornaments and other cool things out of all those hundreds (possibly thousands) of Lego pieces you invariably have if you have children. A great way to put those pieces to good use and avoid purchasing new pricey sets.



We like to gift friends with Kiva Cards. Kiva is an international non-profit whose mission is to alleviate poverty by connecting people through lending. The cool thing about a Kiva card (loans are given in $25 increments) is that the recipient of this gift can select from thousands of profiles and choose a person or business to loan money to. When the loan is repaid, you can re-loan the money to someone else. As Kiva says, “it is a gift that keeps on giving.”

You can also donate to any charity in someone’s name. Choose a cause that’s important to your friend or family member and make a donation for them. A few of our favorites causes include P.S. ARTS, Determined to SucceedReady to Succeed, and Dream A World Education in Los Angeles,  and the Pine Street Inn in Boston.



Make a gift card and offer your loved ones a helping hand… Are you good with kids? Provide babysitting hours. A great cook… give the gift of a home-cooked meal. Stylish and organized… offer to do a closet make-over. Create and print beautiful gift certificates using Canva, an easy-to-use and free website.

You can also give someone a special experience with a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, hotel or spa or give them tickets to a concert or the theater. One of our favorite memories from childhood was going to the ballet with our mother to watch The Nutcracker.

If you are looking to splurge on someone special, give the love of your life (or your mom or best friend) a weekend away at the Miraval Resort – one of our favorite spots– or give them a pass to the Sun Valley Wellness Festival in May where we will be speaking.



Perhaps our favorite gift is when someone passes on just the right words, idea, book, person or resource at just the right time. Below you will find some of the inspired gifts that came to us this past year and our hope is something, or many things, on this list will also serve and be a blessing in your life!

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up by Marie Kondo

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Never Broken: Songs are Only Half the Story –  Jewel

Meditation Retreat at Agape Spiritual Center

The Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman

Think. Eat. Move. Thrive: The Practice for An Awesome Life –  Dr. James Rouse

Plant Plus Diet by Joan Borysenko


Final Inspiration…

Happy Holidays! We hope you found this list helpful… but if your holiday to-do list has left you feeling a bit overwhelmed, check out our posts, Let Your Presence Be the Present and Replace Your Wish List With a Gratitude List.


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