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Make it with me - Ricotta Pound Cake Birthday Bites


I'm always excited to try a new dessert recipe, especially when it includes my favorite nutrient-dense ingredient. In honor of my birthday, here's a recipe from the BODi blog - birthday bites!!

They're super simple to make so let's get right to it!

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup / 186 g part-skim ricotta cheese
  • Cheesecloth
  • ¼ cup / 20 g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 all-natural food coloring
  • 1 serving vanilla protein or meal replacement powder (I use 1 scoop Vanilla Whey or Vanilla Plant-Based Vegan Shakeology for extra nutrients)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest) note: the original recipe calls for the 1/4 tsp but I used the zest of an entire lemon because... well... I realllly like lemon!!

Instructions
  1. Place ricotta cheese in cheesecloth; squeeze to release excess moisture. Set aside.
  2. Place coconut in a small resealable bag (or small bowl); add food coloring. Seal bag and shake until coconut is uniformly colored; pour onto a small plate. Set aside. If doing multiple colors, split the coconut into different bowls or bags for each color.
  3. Add protein / meal powder / Shakeology, ricotta cheese, extract, sugar, and lemon peel to a separate small mixing bowl; mix until well combined.
  4. Using clean hands, roll mixture into 12 equal balls. Roll each ball in the coconut mixture; place on a plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
For those following the portion container plan, 1 of these bites = 1/2 orange container.

Don't forget - my preferred customers and fellow BODi partners get 25% off of their BODi purchases. Want to know more? Hit me up at gabi@gabiford.com for more info!



Make it with me - hidden veggie matcha latte

Ok ok yes, I know. The name of this recipe sounds strange. You may even be giving me a funny look right now. It's ok - I get it. And just to be upfront with you, yes, this is going to have a slightly more "earthy" taste than just a matcha latte which is why I added a little bit of honey but I still really like it and I hope you do too. (And if it's not your thing, there are still plenty of other ways to use this power green blend!)

A couple of tips (and then scroll down for the video):

  • Your matcha matters! There are definitely a lot of options out there but I use this one and really like it. I'd love to hear which brand you use - share it in the comments!
  • Use 1 tsp of matcha and 1 scoop of power greens then add about a third of the water - hot! - that you plan to use for your whole drink. I use this kettle for getting my water hot but keeping it below boiling. Froth it all together and then put it in your mug.
  • Top off your frothed mix with the rest of your water but leave room to...
  • add frothed almond milk. I make my own pecan almond milk using my Almond Cow but whatever milk you want to use will work. Also, I'm not kidding when I say that I use this frother almost every single day. Sometimes twice. How have I only had it for a year? I can't imagine my coffee without it.... but I digress.
  • Optional step but totally worth it: mix in a little honey. The little bit of sweetness goes well with the matcha and power greens flavor. 
I hope you give this a shot. This is also a great afternoon drink without the power green blend but who doesn't want an easier way to get that veggie goodness??




Make it with me - Gut friendlier, collagen coffee

When I started working on my gut health, the advice was to cut back to 3 cups of coffee per week. I really wasn't thrilled at that idea. I love my coffee both for the taste and the ritual so I started looking into the research done on coffee and gut health and found a few ways to get more of the benefits and less of the negative impacts (but still keep it simple). Want to make it with me? Here's how I make my coffee and why:

What's your coffee ritual? Let's hear it! Don't forget to pin / save / share this to refer to later!



Getting Organized for Daycare

I posted these photos on my social media pages and got so many questions about what I used and how so I figured I'd put it all together here! 

I'll add more information soon but wanted to get the products listed out right away for those who specifically asked for that information. I am an Amazon affiliate so I may earn some money when you purchase through my links but please don't feel obligated to do so!

Lunch menu

Giving our kids some small choices helps them feel empowered and learn about decision making. I was excited to take this idea and apply it to his packed lunches since it's a new experience for him and because I want him to start him off with a healthy relationship with food by reinforcing why we eat certain types of food. Yes, the descriptions I used are super basic and oversimplified but we gotta start somewhere!

I took photos of the foods that I make for him or used images from Instacart (get $10 off your first order with that link) since that's how we do almost all of our grocery shopping these days! 


Materials used:

- Magnetic white board (easy to cut for the individual food choice magnets and used a whole sheet for the base): https://amzn.to/2YSpqI5
- Print and cut clear sticker paper (print and cut with my Cricut for the circles on the left that match his bento boxes, printed and hand cut food choices, wrote and cut with my Cricut for the food group squares along to the row): https://amzn.to/3lBkuiD
- bento boxes: https://amzn.to/2YMghk5
- Wet erase markers (for drawing the lines - wet erase means that it'll take water for the lines to come off and it won't smudge as easily for day to day use): https://amzn.to/3A7OhFj
- Bowls (we're keeping the choices in each bowl - color coded of course! - and using the rest of the set for fun color sorting and other activities): https://amzn.to/3C5y1FA
- Cricut Explore Air 2: https://amzn.to/3C5Agsu

Instructions to come!

Labeled bags and daycare / school items

Teachers everywhere need our kids' items to be labeled! I may have taken this too far but I'd rather overdo it than leave anything out! Note: try to avoid putting their full name on the outside of anything they may carry or wear when they're alone. Stick to initials for things like backpacks, masks, shirts, etc. 


Materials used:

- Blue / clear pouches for masks and back up clothes: https://amzn.to/3Edo1Md
- Drink bottles: https://amzn.to/2XiExKg
- Permanent vinyl: https://amzn.to/2XaLs82
- Iron-on vinyl: https://amzn.to/3AaLqvl
- Transfer tape: https://amzn.to/3z5HpXJ
- Cricut Explore Air 2: https://amzn.to/3C5Agsu
- Bento boxes (not pictured): https://amzn.to/2YMghk5
- Lunch box ice packs (not pictured but made to fit in this lunch box with our bento boxes): https://amzn.to/3nu6wRS
- Silverware (not pictured but perfect for little hands): https://amzn.to/3EbgfTh
- Silicone pouches for silverware (not pictured but fit perfectly in the lunch bag with the silverware inside): https://amzn.to/3C9qeqa
- Acrylic paint: got it from Dollar Tree!
- Clear acrylic discs: https://amzn.to/3A7RuEV
- Jump rings (for attaching the discs to the binder rings): https://amzn.to/3nsJf2J
- Binder rings for attaching tags to bags: https://amzn.to/3hvDj5v
- Masks: https://schoolmaskpack.com/a/rewards/r/08DWmkuI (Get $10 off your first order with my link!)
- Thermos (not pictured only because they didn't arrive in time): https://amzn.to/2XlVBz9

Prep Station

Thanks to The Home Edit, I've gotten way into using carts for little stations (like crafts and my Cricut) and I quickly realized that a little cart would be the perfect solution for all these things I'd need to pack daily but were taking up so much room on the counter. Enter the daycare cart prep station! I found one that fits perfectly under a corner of our counter which makes great use of an otherwise wasted space




Take Back Your Time

Did you set a resolution to have more margins in your day this year? More time for the things that you love? With the right intentions for your day and a little dedication to a schedule, you can take back your time this New Year and build habits that will last the whole year through!

Thursday to Thursday Rule: Fridays are Fun, Saturdays are busy and Sundays are scary, so why wait to plan the rest of our days then? Thursday afternoon, take out your weekly planner (paper or digital!) write in the things you know you have to do over the following week.

Schedule Your Workout Like an Appointment: Every time you say, “I don’t have time”, try “That’s not a priority to me” and see how that feels! Sucky, right? You wouldn’t schedule a dental appointment and then skip it 5 minutes before, so why do we do this to our workouts ALL the time? Remember that planner from #1? After you add in the must do’s of your week, add in your workout times! Make an appointment with yourself and don’t skip it. YOU are way more important than that tooth cleaning!

The Cupcake Method: So your week ahead is looking pretty good, let’s focus in on the day-to-day! I like to follow the cupcake method to plan my day. Starting with the cake, what are three things you MUST DO in your day? Write those in first. Make sure they are must-dos; prioritize your time and ask, “Can this wait til later?” Then, move to the icing! Write down three tasks that would be bonus-dos. Lastly, SPRINKLES! What is the one thing you’d like to do as a reward for yourself for taking back your time? You deserve it!



Stay Warm This Winter

I love switching my workout up- which is why my streaming platform is amazing - there are over 75 choices!

Looking for a quick workout? Repeat these moves three times through for a quick sweat that will stay with you til your next workout! And as always, modify if you need to!

Are you following a program right now? I would love to connect and get you set up with one that fits your lifestyle! We’ve got something for everyone!


A Cup of Cozy


What is your warm drink of choice? Do you love your coffee in the morning? Or do you enjoy a cup of tea in the morning or before bedtime? What about hot chocolate- or the ever popular hot chocolate bombs?! I can personally indulge in all of these! I love the ritual of a hot drink- making a cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning or enjoying tea right before bed.

What is your go-to cup of cozy?

Click here for a PDF of warm drink recipes for you to try this winter!

Looking for something that doesn't require a recipe? Here are a couple of my favorites:

My all time favorite tea is the Tazo lemon loaf tea because it's herbal, caffeine free, and with a little half and half or coconut almond milk it tastes totally decadent! And yes, I order the 6 box pack because I love it and drink it that much! (And yes, that is a Rae Dunn mug! It was a gift and she totally knew what she was doing because it is so nice and big... perfect for a comforting evening mug of tea and a reminder to seek serenity.)



For coffee, I'm really loving Bones Coffee lately - especially the sample packs so I can try their different flavors! I also found that having a sample pack made for great self-rewards to give me something to look forward to as I finish phases of my workout programs! The flavoring is really great and makes it easy to just enjoy the coffee (I still use a splash of half and half just because I like the touch of creaminess) without adding syrups or sweeteners. My favorite flavors are the Mint Invaders, Electric Unicorn and the Strawberry Cheesecake but I haven't found a flavor that I don't like yet so try them out. Use this link for $5 off your first order! 




Out with the Old

A new year is all about FRESH starts! Why not begin at home? After all the “new” that may have come in your house post-holidays, it’s time to get OUT WITH THE OLD. Starting the new year with an organized home helps so much with overwhelm!

No one likes throwing away perfectly good stuff, so think animal shelters for towels and sheets, and donation centers for clothes and toys. Have extra toiletries or make up samples? Women’s shelters will take those! Always wash whatever you are donating before you drop it off - that’s just good manners!

Not sure where to start? My favorite spots are my linen closet, pantry and makeup drawer! I always find spices that are way over their expiration date! What are you excited to part with?

Click here to download this handy PDF!

Once you've got stuff out, it's time to get organized! I've been doing a LOT of this since the start of quarantine and have made a lot of great use out of some clear bins of various sizes and a couple of carts. 

I also use this cart for my sewing machine and other supplies - I just don't have a pic of my set up!


Produce Keepers:

Fridge and freezer organization bins:
 

Cabinet and drawer organizers:


Several of my these items are available for quick shipping through Amazon Prime. Don't have an account already? Try it out for 30 days free on me!

Gifting Health in 2020 - For the Runner

This list is one of a few to come this holiday season so keep checking back for more ideas and search the label "Gifting Health in 2020" for my other guides! Need your gifts in a hurry? Several of my recommended items are available for quick shipping through Amazon Prime. Don't have an account already? Try it out for 30 days free on me!

For a sport that's just "go out and run", I've found that there are a LOT of great gadgets and accessories that make it so much better. If you've got a runner on your list (or you're a runner looking for a list of ideas to send on to someone else), I hope this guide helps! Special thanks to my running fam group text for sharing some of their favorites too! 

The perfect, stay in place headband 

I have found it so tough to find headbands that fit well and stay put without giving me a headache so I've gotta give a shout out to my longtime friend and honorary little sis, Jasmine, for making the softest headbands that actually STAY PUT for me regardless of what activity I'm doing (if you follow my Instagram stories, you've probably seen me wearing some of her designs). I can't get enough of her perfect fabric choices and stylish but functional design.

And the best part? When I asked if I could link to her Etsy shop, she offered to create a promo code just for us! Use GABI15 to save 15% on her shop through her Christmas 2020 gift deadline of December 19th. 

You can browse her entire Etsy shop here (don't miss her limited edition holiday headbands!) but I've also linked to a few specific ones that I think are extra cute.



Hand strap water bottle

Personally, I don't find the waist band / fanny pack water bottle carriers comfortable. I'll wear a running belt but it's gotta be lightweight and I don't put more than a few hydration gels, keys, and maybe my phone in it. This handy carrier fixed that though. I can strap it on snug enough that I don't need to grip or tighten my hands unnaturally and it makes seeing my phone easy without making me pause or mess with my stride to take it out of my running belt or twist my arm to see it through an arm band window (and arm bands always seem to fall down on me). I ran the Detroit marathon with this last year and while I shifted it from one hand to the other over the course of the 26.2 miles, I found this to be my favorite way to carry water and have my phone handy over every other accessory I've tried!
Want to help them kick up the value of their water? I highly recommend adding some craving busting tea, hydration boosting formula, or plant-based energy and focus supplement to their gift. 

BEVVY - this 15 calorie tea supplement includes decaffeinated green tea phytosomes, brewer's yeast peptides, and fiber to help curb cravings without synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, gluten, dairy, or soy! Personally, I prefer the pomegranate flavor but the lemon is good too!

Hydrate - even the slightest dehydration can knock you off your game so it helps to have a little extra help with absorbing fluids and electrolytes. Your usual sports drinks are filled with artificial ingredients and sugars that can actually dehydrate you but this formula is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. It's designed for workouts but I even use it on rest days to kick off my day with as much hydration as I can get from my first bottle of water! Oh and for the marathon, I actually made these into little hydrate / energize gels for a little extra help along the way!

Energize - this is another one that I drink on rest days too (usually just a half dose on those days) for focus and an energy life. A lot of pre-workouts leave you with that buzzed feeling but this formula leaves out the artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Oh and it tastes great so it's a win win! I like mixing the lemon and mixed berry flavors a lot but the fruit punch might be my favorite. You can't go wrong though with any of the flavors IMO. 

Medal Display

Whether your runner prefers casual 5Ks, full marathons, or anything in between, they're going to start collecting medals and that's a lot more fun when they have somewhere to display them! I've been hanging mine off of shelves for a while with the help of some weighted objects and tape over the ribbons while the medal dangles over the edge of the shelf but I've got these two on my wish list and I'm sure your runner would love something like this too!



Light up running vest

It can get scary to do outdoor runs when the weather is anything other than 100% sunny and clear. I'm so grateful for my friends who recommended this vest because WOW! I've gotten a lot of compliments on how visible it is and I love that it doesn't add a lot of bulk or funny, offset weight to my stride. It's easy to wear, quick to adjust, super lightweight, and does the job well. 10/10 highly recommend!


Bright clothing like this tank top

Speaking of visibility, bright clothing can make a big difference too. This tank top is not only one of the most comfortable I've ever run in (no chafing!!) but it practically glows on its own!

My favorite running leggings

I definitely don't lack curves or height (I'm 5'10" for those who don't know) so it can be tough to find leggings that stay put, don't roll, and flatter, so I can't not tell you about these leggings! They're my favorites for runs, yoga, weight lifting... I can't get enough of them. Good leggings can get super expensive but dollar for dollar, I've been really happy with the quality of these - no loss of color, stretch, or support so far! (Oh - and they have a pocket!!!! My phone and ID both stay put on even long runs - big win!)
 

Arnicare gel

This recommendation comes from my running fam as a big help for getting over and moving through all sorts of soreness and muscle tenderness that comes from hard runs. It's not greasy, doesn't have a strong scent, and is based on natural ingredients - a total win and a great stocking stuffer!

Calming magnesium supplements

Another great recommendation from my running fam and another great stocking stuffer - calming magnesium! This one doesn't have any added sugars and will help your runner relax and get the rest they need to be ready for the next run. As someone with anxiety, I can tell you I'm definitely up for anything that might help calm my worries and settle my mind!

Weighted blanket

Another favorite among those who need help with anxiety and getting better rest between runs (I think there's a strong correlation between those with general anxiety and those who run... maybe it's just me?) is a weighted blanket. I love mine but the amount of recommended weight depends on the size of the person so you may want to search around a little. I recommend finding one with a removable cover for easy cleaning!

HY IMPACT massager

Ok so the theragun gets a lot of attention and I've heard a lot of amazing things but a close runner friend of mine recently got this one for only $40. He's been using it a lot and he's had his own fair share of running injuries, soreness, even surgeries. I've never heard him rave about a product like this one so you'd better believe I'm including it here... and on my own wishlist!

TheStick

Looking for a lower tech massager? This one is an all time favorite of runners. I think I've seen it recommended in every running magazine I've ever read and for good reason. It's simple and gets the job done for those annoying little knots - especially along the calves which are notoriously tough to stretch!

Body Glide

As anyone who has run or watched The Office can tell you, chafing is real and it's awful (I'll spare you from the bloody Andy gif here but if you know, you know). Nearly every runner I know swears by Body Glide on those skin to skin or sensitive skin to fabric contact points. Help your runner stock up on this distance MUST!

Feetures socks

There's a fine line between no-show socks and socks that disappear under your foot and into your shoe but this brand makes it happen! Since your socks can make or break a good run (I once had to take more than a week off of running when a bad pair of socks resulted in awful and deep ankle chafing), these will be a pair your runner will be happy to find under the tree!

Hand and toe warmers

In cold weather, nothing can bring a run to a halt like cold fingers and toes and sometimes even the best socks and mittens can't make it happen. Toss a couple of these hand and toe warmers in your gift for your runner or anyone else who spends time outside in the cold!

AfterShokz headphones

Running on the roads with normal headphones can be risky because they can make it harder to hear the sounds of cars around you. These headphones do the job because they don't actually sit in your ear but still deliver great sound to keep you moving to the music without blocking out those important audible cues of a car engine or tire sound!

Buff Multifunctional Headwear

These have become a popular item in runner goody bags and for a good reason! You really can use these as headbands, neck warmers, for holding hair back... the possibilities really are endless. I actually use two of them for runs in the winter - one as a hat that doesn't slip off because it doesn't have to hold all my hair and one over my neck - because they're lightweight and don't leave me feeling sweaty, just warm! (I also use them for protecting my curly hair at night - bonus!) They come in a variety of colors and patterns so you're sure to find at least one that your runner will love!


Running Coaching Program

No matter how trained up your runner is, we can all benefit from some extra coaching! A lot of runners also find it easy to forget about balancing their runs with strength training and stretching... fortunately we've got a trainer to help with that! This program is designed to improve your pace and stride - regardless of your baseline - and has audio or video for running both out on the road or on your home treadmill. There's even a workout option for those days that running outside is a no-go but you want the right cardio anyway. Got questions on how to make the most of picking this program? Shoot me a note at gabi@gabiford.com and we'll talk!


I hope you like those ideas and find them helpful in supporting your favorite runner with fun gifts this holiday season! If you think of any others, I'd love to hear them! You're also welcome to send this list on to anyone who might need a little hint ;-)

Happy Holidays! Hope you and yours stay safe and healthy!

Gabriella Ford is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com at no additional cost to you! All opinions are my own!

Gifting Health in 2020 - For the Yoga Lover

This list is one of a few to come this holiday season so keep checking back for more ideas and search the label "Gifting Health in 2020" for my other guides! Need your gifts in a hurry? Several of my recommended items are available for quick shipping through Amazon Prime. Don't have an account already? Try it out for 30 days free on me!


Ah yoga... while we can all benefit from it, we all have that friend (or those friends) who LOVES practicing yoga every chance they get. Personally, I notice a big difference in the way I feel - physically and mentally - when I'm taking the time to turn inward and slow down a little and these gifts just might help your beloved yogi do just that. Feel free to send this list on to someone who may need a little hint at your own gift wishes too!

I've included ideas that you can order online as well as crafty ideas because, if you're anything like me, there's some fun (and therapy!) to be found in making the gifts you give. Printable and SVG files (looking at you, my fellow Cricut lovers) are linked as well. 

Note on the SVG files - I'm experiencing a bug where my Cricut cuts as it travels between designed cuts. I'm leaving the files here in case it's just my issue but I recommend trying it on a scrap piece of paper / cheap material first to make sure it works for you. If it doesn't work, you can still download the png image and upload to Design Studio! Sorry about this - hopefully it's just a bug on my end!

You can't ever have enough cute tanks and tops, can you? 

Buy

Beachbody has a sale happening through December 15 with up to 50% off full priced apparel! Some of my favorites are this flowy tie back tank and this soft tank covered in affirmations:

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention our local Ann Arbor T-shirt Company that has great workout designs like these Llamaste, Mommaste, and naMEOWste tanks designed and printed in Michigan!

         

DIY

First you'll need a base tank and this one is one of my favorites because its comfortable and has washed really well:
  

There are so many great designs on Etsy but I also put together a few ideas for you! Just click the image below to get the svg.


Personally, my favorite heat transfer vinyl is the Siser brand - it's easy to weed and you get a lot for your money! We've had great success with anything I've made and washed too so I definitely recommend them. You can find Siser at Michael's or on Amazon. Feel free to make these designs in any color you want but this pack has the colors in my designs if you want to stick with that.

And because I've been asked... this is the Cricut machine I use! The Explore Air 2 can do so much and I have found it really easy to use - especially for vinyl projects with the Cricut tools. Keep an eye on my Instastories as I try out other new projects with it!

My favorite leggings

I definitely don't lack curves so it can be tough to find leggings that stay put, don't roll, and flatter, so I can't not tell you about these leggings! They're my favorites for runs, yoga, weight lifting... I can't get enough of them. Good leggings can get super expensive but dollar for dollar, I've been really happy with the quality of these - no loss of color, stretch, or support so far! (Oh - and they have a pocket!!!! My phone and ID both stay put on even long runs - big win!)
 

 

The perfect, stay in place headband 

I'm not even including a "DIY" option on this because I have found it so tough to find headbands that fit well and stay put without giving me a headache. Instead, I've gotta give a shout out to my longtime friend and honorary little sis, Jasmine, for making the softest headbands that actually STAY PUT for me regardless of what activity I'm doing (if you follow my Instagram stories, you've probably seen me wearing some of her designs). I can't get enough of her perfect fabric choices and stylish but functional design. 

And the best part? When I asked if I could link to her Etsy shop, she offered to create a promo code just for us! Use GABI15 to save 15% on her shop through her Christmas 2020 gift deadline of December 19th. 

You can browse her entire Etsy shop here (don't miss her limited edition holiday headbands!) but I've also linked to a few specific ones that I think are extra cute.



Water bottle

It's not like you don't know this already but hydration is key - especially in the winter when we all tend to dry out. Having a cute new water bottle always helps me drink more so maybe it'll help your yoga lover too?

Buy

I have yet to go wrong with a water bottle from Contigo and I like when I can make the switch to glass (I just think my water tastes better that way) but glass makes me nervous in my workout space so this bottle brings the best of both worlds!

Or, if they're a fan of the 2B Mindset and Ilana Muhlstein's approach to food, why not show them a little love and support with the water bottle that echos the goals and themes of the program? 

DIY

There's something about a skinny tumbler size that just feels so on trendy and it's straight so it's easy to add a design! Pick your favorite design from Etsy or feel free to click on any of the images below to download the svg. 

I recommend starting with this bottle (I have one just like it!) and the Siser Permanent PSV (why not go with some glitter?). Make sure to let your design and cup sit for a day after assembly to let the adhesive settle in. Don't forget your transfer tapeweeding tools, and Cricut!

  
Want to help them kick up the value of their water? I highly recommend adding some craving busting tea, hydration boosting formula, or plant-based energy and focus supplement to their gift. 

BEVVY - this 15 calorie tea supplement includes decaffeinated green tea phytosomes, brewer's yeast peptides, and fiber to help curb cravings without synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, gluten, dairy, or soy! Personally, I prefer the pomegranate flavor but the lemon is good too!

Hydrate - even the slightest dehydration can knock you off your game so it helps to have a little extra help with absorbing fluids and electrolytes. Your usual sports drinks are filled with artificial ingredients and sugars that can actually dehydrate you but this formula is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. It's designed for workouts but I even use it on rest days to kick off my day with as much hydration as I can get from my first bottle of water!

Energize - this is another one that I drink on rest days too (usually just a half dose on those days) for focus and an energy life. A lot of pre-workouts leave you with that buzzed feeling but this formula leaves out the artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Oh and it tastes great so it's a win win! I like mixing the lemon and mixed berry flavors a lot but the fruit punch might be my favorite. You can't go wrong though with any of the flavors IMO. 

Lavendar Bath Salts

Buy

I've tried and enjoyed both the Amazon's Solimo brand (in particular the eucalyptus) and Dr. Teal's salts. The Dr. Teal's brand you can usually find in any drug store or you can find both on Amazon. Both have various blends for different effects - or you can just pick the one you think is the best scent! Want to make your gift look a little more "gift like"? Try pouring some into a cute jar, like this one or this one, and add a cute ribbon (how cute is this???) with a tag!

DIY

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 10–15 drops Lavender essential oil (see my note below about essential oils)
  • ¼ cup dried lavender buds (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Combine Epsom salt, dried lavender buds, and essential oils in a bowl.
  2. Stir until everything is well mixed.
  3. Divide into mason jars (or any old glass containers) and store for up to 2–3 months in a cool, dry place.
To Use:
Pour salts into bath directly under the faucet as tub is filling with warm (or hot - bather's choice) water. Soak and enjoy!

Make your purchased or homemade gifts a little more festive with personalized labels on the jar, writing a note on a tag, and adding a pretty ribbon.

Want to print some labels instead of handwriting them? Feel free to use this image to print on cardstock, cut out, and tie on; this one to print and stick on labels to the lid; or - if you're really feeling up to it - grab this svg to cut some vinyl with your Cricut, transfer, and stick to the jar lid!

Yoga mat spray

Buy

This set would be especially good for the yogi on the go as the small bottle is the perfect size for any bag and the little towel allows for a quick dry! Gotta love a quick gift!

DIY

I use recipes like this for all sorts of surfaces around the house for a quick refresh but it's especially good for yoga mats because it calls for just water, witch hazel (which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties - I use this alcohol free one), and essential oils (see my note on essential oils below) like peppermint, lemon, tea tree, and lavender which gives your mat an uplifting scent. 

Try bottling it up in larger spray bottles (you'll find these exact ones all over our house!) for home use or  smaller ones for quick on-the-go needs.

Want to add some labels?

These should fit the larger bottles and I've made up an image you can print on them too! For my Cricut lovers, here's an svg of the same design to cut, prep, and transfer vinyl instead.
The labels for the smaller bottles are a slightly different ratio so here's a printed label image and an svg for the little guys.

Virtual Yoga Studio

And finally... has your yoga lover been displaced from their favorite studio this year? Help them stay on track with some new classes and mix up their routine from the comfort of their own home with world class instructors in this 3 Week Yoga Retreat DVD set or online streaming access to the Retreat and dozens of other yoga and meditation videos (plus access to thousands of other workout and cooking videos!) with a 1 year subscription to Beachbody On Demand. Want to learn more about this service and how to bundle it for even more savings? Email me at gabi@gabiford.com and we'll chat!
Note on Essential Oils:

I've switched a lot of our home products - especially anything with a scent - to essential oil scented, natural products. This is a choice we made because we know that certain manufactured fragrances can be harmful over time and also because I'm definitely sensitive to them and find they make it harder for me to breathe. Because essential oils are gaining popularity, you can find them everywhere with varying price tags. Keep in mind though that, just like anything else, you get what you pay for. After a lot of research, I've trusted Young Living's product quality and even after 4 or so years of use, we have yet to be let down. However, I'm not a rep for Young Living (fitness and nutrition is still my main focus and passion!) so if you're new to essential oils, I recommend getting in touch with my good friend, Annette Gorden. She has taken great care of our family and she's happy to help you out too! Feel free to send her an email at annettegorden@gmail.com or learn more about her best deals here! 

I hope you like those ideas and find them helpful in supporting your favorite yoga lover with fun gifts this holiday season! If you think of any others, I'd love to hear them! You're also welcome to send this list on to anyone who might need a little hint ;-)

Happy Holidays! Hope you and yours stay safe and healthy!

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