Gift Giving Guide 2018




Gift Giving Guide 2018


Stop wasting time searching for great gifts for your health-conscious (and “sciency”) family and friends!

I’ve curated some great ideas in my 2018 Gift Giving Guide!

The best part of this is not *just* the amazing ideas for holiday gifts, but since they’re all available for online ordering (with some affiliate links), then you don’t even have to tolerate those packed parking lots and endless store line-ups to get them!

You’re welcome!  🙂

Oh, at the very bottom I’ve embedded one of my favourite Christmas songs. I hope you like it!

P.S. If you’re looking for gifts for entrepreneurs and bloggers, check out my Gift Giving Guide for Entrepreneurs. 🙂


Gift giving guide 2018

1 – For the socially conscious


I’m personally more impressed with the thoughtfulness of a gift, or quality time spent together with people I care about.  Not to mention making memories and having amazing food. Can we agree that those are what’s really important at this time of year?

My favourite book of all time is “Your Money or Your Life” which guides you through several steps to understanding financial intelligence, financial integrity, and financial independence.  It’s quite an “anti-consumerist” book that helps you align your income and spending with your values.

I put this book at my first recommendation for a reason:

Please don’t take this post as encouragement to spend any more money or purchase any more things than you really need to. 🙂

(affiliate link)


2 – For the person who wants to stay warm and look awesome


While I’m someone who enjoys winter (sitting by the fire while the snow gently falls), I’m also someone who enjoys staying warm!

You may know someone who wants to stay warm AND look awesome too.  (Or that may be you?)

SOLUTION:  My sister has an amazing line of handmade and designed in Canada all-natural winter accessories. She’s the designer and knitter behind Urban Orchard Canada. (NO affiliate link)

Check out some of her freaking gorgeous creations here:

Urban Orchard 2018

Urban Orchard Cul da sac

Urban Orchard Ring Rd Warmer

Plus, if you want a custom order, or vegan yarn, you can contact her directly right here.

You can also follow her on instagram here.

3 – For the person who needs to know they’re already awesome


The Wizard of Oz is my favourite movie because the main message here is that you shouldn’t think that you’re missing a part of yourself, or that you need to follow someone else’s path in life.

That whole “follow the yellow-brick road” was a distraction from Dorothy’s ability to go home (i.e. wake up) all on her very own.  She always had that power.  And getting that witch’s broomstick was a task that the wizard wanted done because he himself was afraid of the witch – that was based on his own personal fears (not to mention his lack of concern for Dorothy and her crew).  🙁

Of course, at the end, everyone found out they always had everything that they were looking for inside of them (e.g. heart, brain, courage, etc.).


Now go out and rock the world with your awesomeness! (affiliate link)


4 – For the person who could use less stress


Adult colouring books are all the rage, and YES I have several!  I even have my personal stash of 100-pack of Crayola coloured pencils!

This is NOT news!  I literally bought this colouring book from the university book store when I was taking my Human Anatomy course. (affiliate links)

Let me tell you, there are SO many beautiful ones of flowers, animals, landscapes, mandalas, and inspirational quotes.

I post some of my colouring on Instagram:


I’ve seen some colouring books full of tattoos or swear words, or books with racier versions of anatomy…

But here are some more interesting ones: wine (and more on wine here, here, and here), coffeemaps, an atlas, and a word search.

The scientist in me loves the one below on fractals, and this one on visual math. This one reminds me of my Master’s thesis in toxicology.  There’s a series on brain science too: Brain science, Meditation, Anti-Stress. How about these on physiology, microbiology, seascapes and ocean creatures, zoology, and botany.

And here’s one with black backgrounds that caught my eye. (affiliate links)

5 – For the person who likes their hot drink to stay hot (and cold to stay cold)


I love, love, love this mug! I’ve had two for at least 6+ years and they’re amazing!

It keeps hot stuff HOT and cold stuff COLD.  It’s stainless steel inside and out, easy to seal/unseal with the pop of a button, and I’ve been throwing it in my dishwasher for years with no problems. This is expensive but oh, so worth it! (affiliate link)

This is an epic travel mug!


6 – For the cook who has (almost) everything


I now have an Instant Pot!

First recipe: Rice.

Verdict: All things considered, I made 3x the volume of rice in half the time as my rice cooker. Not to mention, it’s stainless steel, so I’m kinda happy to *finally* be done with my decades-old plastic rice cooker. #happydance (affiliate link)


7 – For the health conscious person who likes quick and easy food prep (and cleanup)

I seriously love my Vitamix.

I don’t just use it for smoothies!  Although it can turn soaked almonds into a creamy, smooth delicious drink!


PRO TIP: When I’m baking I add all of the wet ingredients to it, and blend it up so I don’t have to dirty a bowl and mixer arms!  (Bonus!)

And the Vitamix cleans up nicely if you rinse the food out, then add a few cups of soapy hot water to it and blend on high for 30 seconds!

Awesome blending capability and self-cleaning?

I, in fact, don’t know a single person who made the investment in this and doesn’t absolutely love it.  Seriously!

How can you not consider this? (affiliate link)


8 – For kids…all of them


There is one book, hand’s down that I recommend (and give) to just about every kid I see at this time of year.

It was first given to me by my scarf-designing knitting guru sister Sonia several years ago, and it instantly became my absolute favourite kids holiday book of all time.

It actually talks about how the animals stumble upon a shopping mall at this time of year, and how they interpret what all of the people are doing there.  The line-ups, the frenzy and the consumer objective of buying happiness.

This book is amazing – especially the last 2 pages.

Plus, it was written by Thomas King, a professor at my alma mater, University of Guelph. (affiliate link)


9 – For everyone

Sorry, I can’t get off my soap box (pun intended), but we really need to consider:

  1. Antibiotic resistance;
  2. That next week is National Handwashing Awareness Week in the US (how do I even know this?); and,
  3. That my favourite scientist of all time was Ignaz Semmelweis (otherwise known as “the doctor who championed hand-washing”.

What Semmelweis had discovered is something that still holds true today: Hand-washing is one of the most important tools in public health. It can keep kids from getting the flu, prevent the spread of disease and keep infections at bay.


(Are you following me on Twitter yet?)

Now, the bottom line of all of these very important things to consider is that we should be washing our hands properly, more often than we do. And we do NOT need to use anti-bacterial soap (in fact the US FDA banned a few antibacterial ingredients from soaps).

Here’s what I personally use in my house (and I’ve been known to gift them to friends on their birthdays!).  It’s got natural ingredients, and the pump dispenser “foams” it up so a small amount goes a long way (and it’s easy for kids to use too).  Not to mention it’s from a family-run Canadian company!  I love it! 🙂 (NO affiliate link)


Mountain Sky Citrus-Bliss Castile Liquid Soap

And, yes, there is an “official” proper way to wash your hands!


10 – For people who hate health documentary BS


I’ll be honest – I stopped watching documentaries a couple of years ago. I used to love them, but recently they’ve turned into 90-minute advertisements and propaganda machines. The health BS is off the scales.


I bought one this year (because I know the host is credible) and I enjoyed it!

If you haven’t heard of Vitamania click here for my review. (The links to buy it are in that post, and they’re NOT affiliate links.)

Vitamania movie review


11 – For the busy gals who want to find their healthy and simplify their lives


The N5DIET, designed by Jenni and Mimi at Naughty Nutrition includes: 5 weeks, 5 steps, 5 ingredients or less. Check out the N5DIET with Leesa’s affiliate link here.

N5DIET Affiliate Leesa

(affiliate link)


And for the grand finale of this Gift Giving Guide…

This is still one of my favourite Christmas songs:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by PTX



Have an awesome holiday!

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