Gift Guide #9: The Hard-to-Shop-For Crowd (You Know Who You Are)
Who stays on your holiday shopping list? There are always a few people who are difficult to buy for, so this week (on Instagram), we asked who bothered you the most. Your answers: teenagers, colleagues, in-laws and teachers. Here are tons of ideas, most of which cost less than $ 30 ... TEENS AND TWEENS: […]

Who stays on your holiday shopping list? There are always a few people who are difficult to buy for, so this week (on Instagram), we asked who bothered you the most. Your answers: teenagers, colleagues, in-laws and teachers. Here are tons of ideas, most of which cost less than $ 30 ...


Curious about what cool kids want these days, I asked four teens to reveal what was on their wish lists. Their textual responses came quickly and included “skin care and masks”, “city gift certificates” and “LED lights for our rooms”. Other fun ideas are laptop stickers and the ever fascinating Guinness Book (remember the guy with the longest nails?!). We love you, teens! You are doing a great job.


How much do you miss the people you shared an office with? I'm even nostalgic for the broken printer and leftovers in the fridge. For your favorite colleagues, think a solar lamp to keep morale up this winter or a sweet platter to remind them that even from a distance, you still have your back.


This year, more than ever, I want to cry thinking about all the amazing teachers out there. A real word of thanks from you (or your child) could mean a lot. The gift cards are also fantastic, "even if it's $ 5 at a local cafe," says Katie Larissa. Keep in mind: “TEACHERS ALWAYS HAVE CUP,” Katie says, along with “millions of apples and pencils and other teacher-themed ornaments,” Heidi adds.


For hard-to-buy family members, consider a food gift that everyone will enjoy, such as creamy burrata with salted olives and prosciutto. To keep them warm, something sweet like that lambswool cap which comes in six colors - and to warm their hearts, a photo book grandchildren they miss so much.

Thoughts? Are they useful? Other stumpers on your list?

Note: If you purchase something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. We only recommend the products that we really like. Thank you very much.

PS Hard to buy guide from last year, and the Completed Cup of Jo Gift Guide 2020!

(Charitable donation photo by HKI / Ian Christmann.)

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Sometimes it can feel like maintaining a saine lifestyle is an overwhelming challenge that doesn’t fit within the realities of daily life. It’s tough to hold down a full-time emploi, eat well, train for a marathon, make homemade green juice, spend quality time with your family/partner, and meditate for an hour each day.

Coffee’s great too, but it’s best to start your day by re-hydrating with a full glass of water. Hydrating first thing in the morning helps to aid absorption, enhance skin health and boost energy.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to get a little more physical activity in your daily life. It also strengthens and tones your legs and core while you’re at it !

A simple cheat for healthy eating ( and portion control ) is to make half your plate veggies at each meal. The veggies pack in essential vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients important for health and longevity. And, because they’re rich in fiber, they help to aid digestion ( aka keep you regular ! ) and keep you feeling full longer.

Using a fitness tracker ( like the Fitbit, Apple Watch or similar ) to track your steps is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough physical activity each day. We aim for 10, 000 steps daily, which has significant physical and mental health benefits. The Fitbit will also remind you to get 250 steps each hour ( another important measure of health

Conventional household cleaning products are full of harmful chemical ingredients that are not good for our health ( or the health of our kids or pets ! ). Switching to healthier alternatives is a simple way to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins in your home. See our Healthy Cleaning Guide for a complete list of recommendations, and what to look for when choosing safer household cleaning products.

Similar to cleaning products, conventional skincare and personal care products are formulated with toxic ingredients we should not regularly let absorb into our body’s largest organ. Reduce the toxic burden on your body by switching to non-toxic personal care and beauty products ( see our specific recommendations on deodorant, sunscreen, and green beauty products ).

Maintaining a saine gut has significant impacts on digestion, skin health, immunity, esprit health and more. Taking a daily probiotic with a glass of water each morning is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your gut health ( which, in turn, boosts overall health in many ways too ). Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics ( and all the ways to get them in your diet ), and shop our favorite probiotic supplement here.

Aim to eat real food that’s made of whole food ingredients you would have in your own kitchen pantry, or that your grandmother would recognize. ( Yup, this rules out most packaged food, sorry ! ) This is a little different than suggesting you eat only “health foods” ( many of which are increasingly processed ! ). “Real food” includes unprocessed foods like an apple, a cucumber, soybeans or a steak, as well as foods loosely processed from one ( or few ) real-food ingredients, like butter, olive oil, yogurt, tofu, etc. In other words, aim for foods that could be reasonably made in your own kitchen and avoid foods that can only be made in a lab.

Reduce the harmful effects of sitting ( like at your desk job ) by standing up and moving around for a minute or two every half hour.

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for overall health, and sunlight is one of our best sources of it. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day—preferably in the afternoon, and without sunscreen ( read more about that here ). Not much sunlight in the winter where you real ? It might be worth supplementing with a vitamin D supplement and/or other food sources of this essential nutrient.

Houseplants help to cleanse your indoor air ( sadly, it probably needs it ! ), they’re pretty, and research even shows they improve mood, creativity and problem solving !

Aim to sweat in some way each day—whether that’s via course, biking, dancing, hot yoga, or any other physical activity you enjoy. See our Fitness Guide for more workout ideas, as well as tips and tricks for building regular physical activity into your daily life and a downloadable fitness planner you can use to outline your own custom fitness plan to stay on track.

Green smoothies as a snack or simple, on-the-go breakfast are an easy way to get your greens in each day. Check out our curated list of healthy ( veggie-packed ! ) smoothie recipes for our favorite starter green smoothie recipe ideas.

“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. ” It’s true—mindset is everything ! Cultivate a positive mindset by recognizing negative thought patterns and countering them with positive thoughts or affirmations. Here are more mindset resources for positive thinking.

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. But in addition to quantity, quality of sleep matters too ! Follow our tips on getting quality sleep—things like keeping your bedroom cool at night, avoiding blue light after dark, and more.

{Start each day with fulfilling activities that set the tone for how you want to feel—whether that’s inspired, relaxed, productive, or something else.


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