GIFT GUIDE FOR Runners, Women and Kids & Very Serious.

A rest day felt like heaven yesterday and it was very needed.  I think yesterday might have been one of the top 5 laziest days of my life (besides days when I’ve been sick) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We only left the house once and that was for church.

The morning started with Skye opening one of her bday presents early.  We couldn’t wait any longer, she is so obsessed with Frozen and singing ‘Let It Go’ all day that we had to give it to her early.  She may not look like she enjoys being in this costume but she just takes anything with Elsa very seriously.

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And then we got ready for church.

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Their favorite part about Sunday = running down the hill after church.

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Brooke has been loving putting Skye in her clothes so that happens often.

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We both fell asleep on the couch during Skye’s nap.

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And then we made food for this week.  Roasted veggies and Shalane’s Quinoa Recovery Salad… I add the feta and avocado when I serve it because it doesn’t store super well with the salad in the fridge.

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And then we watched a show and Skye used my head for a pillow like usual.

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PS I’ve been reading this blog post over and over again… SO incredible and helpful for our running.

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I have a bunch of gift ideas for you today if you need some and would love to hear any of your recommendations in the comments.  And of course, you can’t go wrong with Oprah’s list either.

Happy shopping!

For the RUNNER in your life:

*Give them some tools for their mental training!  My favorite running books for this are:  The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive, Strong, Let Your Mind Run, and How Bad Do You Want ItROAR is also an incredible book to help women understand our bodies as athletes!

*Sarah Marie Design Studio—> She has everything from the perfect clothing items for the running obsessed person to nail wraps, jewelry, mugs and more.  I love supporting her and the amazing work that she does!  I want everything she sells.

*My favorite winter gear is all on this post… help them to stay warm on their runs this winter!

*Twas The Night Before The Race Mug (my aunt got this for me one year)!

*Balega running socks… I want to have 100 pairs of these because I love them so much and have never had a blister with them.

*Koala Clip (HRG10 gets you 10% off!)!  The absolute best way to take your phone on the run and she personalizes them too if you want.

*If they run with their dog, I love this leash to use while running with Beretta!

*The Believe Training Journal for your training.

*The cutest running headband/ear warmer.

*I will forever love my water bottles—> The Simple Modern Bottle or Hydro Flask are my favorites.  Oh and this Tumbler is awesome too.

*These little massage balls are awesome!

*Roll Recovery to help them recover from all of the work they are doing on the roads.

*My Hydration Vest is AMAZING and I used it for all of my trail/ultra training and race.

*My favorite handheld water bottle to keep your runner hydrated:)

*Or this flip belt with the water bottle that fits perfectly inside of it.

*The leggings that I am obsessed with that are only $26… the colors, the materials, the pockets and the fit are just awesome.

*The long sleeve $24 top that I wear multiple times a week on my runs.  It’s awesome and they have so many colors to choose from too.

*Awesome Resistance Loop bands for them to get their strength training on at home! ($10)

*My favorite ear warmer on the planet that comes in really fun colors!

*goodr Sunglasses!  The original ones are my favorite and they are amazing running sunglasses for $30 or less!

*Andrew bought me this run necklace a few years ago for Christmas!

*Of course a pair of Brooks running shoes because who wouldn’t love to open up a pair of running shoes on Christmas?

*My spin bike is only $140 now and we have put thousands of miles on it (I used to use it all of the time and now Andrew uses it all of the time).

*If I listen to anything while I’m running then I use my AirPods and they are on sale at Amazon right now HERE!


Any women that you are shopping for (or for gift ideas to put on your wish list):

*An Erin Condren planner… they are amazing!

*My sunglasses that I use every day that I always get a lot of questions about!

*My absolute favorite cookbooks: Two Peas & Their Pod, Cooke Once, Eat All WeekRun Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. and Run Fast. Eat Slow. Oh and THIS is the best cookbook holder ever!

*My Sorel Slippers are just heavenly.

*I am a huge fan of snow boots and these and these are my favorites that I have.

*One Line A Day journals!

*I use my robot vacuum every single day and it is amazing… perfect for dog hair and life with kids.

*I have been using these Sherpa Blankets for years and then of course my weighted blanket helps me to sleep so much more peacefully and happily.

*A gift card to Great Harvest (okay, I’m just slipping this one in for people to know for me;)

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Let’s talk about gift ideas for KIDS!  I am not an expert on this at all but I’ll just share the top things that we have bought for our kids that get played with the most!

*The Melissa & Doug food sets.  The ice cream set is our kids (and any kid that comes over to visit) very favorite but this one, this one and this one are their other favorites.

*Harry Potter Illustrated books… Brooke and Knox are in love with these and they are helping them to love reading more and more.

*Our kids are obsessed with this Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone!

*Paint by Sticker for the big kids (and for me haha) and Water Wow! or Skye.

*Brooke’s favorite crafts—> This Friendship Bracelet Maker Kit, this Art Case Coloring Set, this Ultimate Scrapbook and this Knitting Kit.

*This wall climbing remote control car (I got this for Andrew but the kids took it over ha).

*Skye loves her Little Tikes Car so so much (and the big kids love pushing her in it as fast as they can).

*These bow and arrows (Andrew enjoys them just as much as the kids and they chase each other around the yard with them)

*Dog sleeping bags (sometimes I find Knox sleeping in his on the ground in the middle of the night rather than his bed ha).

*For a few years now the kids have LOVED this Floor Mat to practice gymnastics, slide down the stairs when they have a babysitter haha or to wrestle Andrew on.

*They LOVE our projector and screen for family movie nights outside.

*Kid Headlamps and Kid Walkie Talkies are there favorites for camping/trips/night games.

*We probably should have bought three of the Bouncy Horse’s because our kids love it so much and want to bounce around on it all day.

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A few of the things we are getting them this year:  The FujiFilm Instant Camera, Princess Dress Up Trunk (and shoes), this blanket with 12 tags on it for Skye and Knox because they love blankets with tags on them, this message board for Brooke, Coding Robot, Beyblades set and a Drawing Mat to avoid marker on our floors;)


When do you do your Christmas shopping?  Early, last second or somewhere in the middle?

What is on your Christmas list this year?

Those of you that prep food for the week… what are some things that you like to make (I need more ideas)?

What’s your run today!  Fill me in!

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I asked for your Sorel slippers for Christmas last year, and I LOVE them . . . and my mom was happy to get them for me because it meant I stopped stealing her slippers. :-) . I’ve become an online black Friday shopper–I don’t really like shopping, but if I know what I’m looking for ahead of time, I just check all the discounts and it makes life way easier!

Those illustrated Harry Potters are amazing–I’ve read the books so many times, but the illustrated versions still felt like a new experience.

This week with meal prep I didn’t do anything crazy because of the holiday, but I bought the frozen, pre-cooked breaded chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s and put those in the oven along with cubed acorn squash and broccoli. I sprinkled a little parmesan at the end and added ketchup (because why not)–pretty nutritious, easy, and tasted SO good. Leftovers are boxed up for today and tomorrow!

Have a wonderful week!


I am so glad you love the slippers too, they are just so cozy! I’m totally going to try your TJ’s meal… that sounds so so good right now. Good luck shopping online this Friday… that’s the way to do it! Hope you have a wonderful day Kristin.


Skye is so cute with her Elsa costume! Does she think *she’s* “frozen” when she wears it? :D
I try to pick up things for people before “Christmas shopping season,” but I don’t do a great job of it. I have a few things stashed away; I’ll do major outlet shopping the first weekend in December when I’m in Delaware (tax-free) for a few days.
I desperately need a new love seat, and my parents are OK with chipping in some $ toward that. I’m getting my new running watch this week for my birthday (Garmin Instinct because of a huge discount, Kohls cash, and gas/grocery points for a Kohls gift card).
I’ll be looking for food prep ideas–I don’t officially food prep, but I try to make bigger batches of things to use for a few meals.


Happy happy birthday week and I’m so excited about your new Garmin, enjoy! Bahaha that’s true… maybe she is just cold as she is imagining being in the movie ha! And tax-free shopping, that is awesome. I hope you are celebrating all week🎉 🎂


Oh my gosh, Janae. You have no idea how much you have helped me out by posting your kids’ favorites as well. My kids are in their 20’s so I was clueless about what to get my nephews…thank you, thank you! Literally feeling one holiday worry vanish are this moment ;) Have a great day!


Andrea, I am so glad that this helps! It’s hard to know what to get for different stages, that’s for sure. I hope you have a really great holiday season.


This is amazing and so helpful..I’ll be buying pretty much everything from Brooke’s list 😂 I need those slippers for myself too;)


Oh I am so glad! Hope you have a great Monday. Thanks Ashlea!


Your lazy day looks like my normal weekend :) In addition to roasted vegetables, during the winter I also like prepping a soup, especially one that is veggie-packed. That way we have a warm option for lunches (sometimes with salad or sandwiches) and something I can heat a cup of when I come home starving and want to wait to eat dinner with my other half (who often comes home later than we planned.)


Hahaha well I was on the couch for 90% of the day so that makes me happy that you enjoy days like that too! Such a good idea about prepping a veggie packed soup… you’ll have to send me any of your favorite recipes! Have a wonderful week!


Hi Janae! I love the frozen vegetables from Costco. I eat the Normandy blend one a lot and it’s a easy and quick way to add steamed veggies to any meal!


Such a great idea! Totally picking that up at Costco next time. Thanks so much Amy and I hope you are having a great day so far!


FABULOUS gift idea lists!!!!!! I had no idea that spin bikes were that cheap!!!!! And, my youngest daughter had Air Pods on her Christmas list, and I wasn’t sure that I was going to get them for her, but the ones you posted were about in the price range I’d be okay paying for her big gift. THANK YOU for that! SHE will thank you for that :) I just bought them!
Now to find the other random things on her list—-stuff like a calendar with cows doing yoga and a “round gray placemat”–yep. Interesting. ha ha

Something on my list that I want is a Bosu. I started following Vladixel on Insta (I think I told you that already!), and he’s always posting these good pre-hab exercises for runners that use a Bosu!

I’m trying to knock out as much shopping for others NOW so that I can really enjoy the season in December. Admittedly, Christmas can stress me out a little bit.

My run today is………….yoga :)


Hey you! So glad you got in yoga today! I need to copy you😁. I hope she loves the AirPods and good luck with the other items hahah! Good idea on the Bosu and I hope you get it. Thanks so much Jen and I hope you are having a wonderful day so far!


I love the recovery salad. I also make some kind of soup with lots of veggies


If you have a good veggie soup recipe send it on over! Have a great day Whitney!


I have to put a plug in even though they sponsor a ton of podcasts, aftershokz are amazing. They provide so much safety and great sound quality while running (just a fan of them). I also must have odd ears because ear buds do not stay in my ears and these work. I can now hear everything happening around me, including the bikers coming so I can get out of the way while still hearing my music/podcast.
Food prep- I am in a rut. But I am a fan of making double and freezing half. I also try to prep side dishes to be used in multiple meals. We always do taco Tuesday and I try to have that all prepped. I plan out our meals typically a week in advance. I often try to plan for a leftover night or to reuse part of a meal. I don’t quite understand how anyone preps for the entire week because I feel like unless you stick things in the freezer, things just don’t last more then 3 days! I do make ahead my kids school lunches on Sunday for most of the week.
I try to do my Christmas shopping early. I always get our Christmas cards, the calendars I give grandparents, photo books, etc done early (they are all done now!), cousins done early, etc. My youngest daughter’s birthday was yesterday so when I shop for her b-day I also shop for Christmas so I am nearly done. I also stick to about 4 presents for my kids. Sometimes it doesn’t work out if it is small items but this year it will likely be just 4.
Oh and a gift suggestion for nieces/nephews is a year of Disney Plus. My Mom is going in with me to gift that to my niece and nephew this year. Easy and they will enjoy it a lot! My inlays gifted it to us for Christmas.


Aftershokz really are so so awesome! It’s so nice to hear everything around you and your music at the same time. Okay, how have I never thought about prepping the kids lunches for the weeks on Sunday, that is brilliant! The Disney plus idea is so smart too. Happy bday to your youngest daughter and so nice that you are pretty much done shopping! Enjoy the holidays!


So cute that Skye is obsessed with Elsa! My four year old niece is too. I bought her Elsa pjs nightgown and an elsa toque. I think she loves me for life now 😂.

I stocked up from some Christmas sales last year but honestly we don’t do a lot of gifts unless it’s for the kiddies. We decided that we would do more stuff together as a couple. I want to see the Christmas lights in town and go ride the christmas train in Stanley Park. And I will bake for family. Most of us already get what we want for ourselves ha. But your gift ideas sound great!

Not much running lately but more biking. I did sign up up for a trail race called broken goat 50km next July. It sold out in 30 min and I got one of the last 3 spots. It is one of my favourite races. Will have to stop being lazy and train!

Have a wonderful day Janae!


I need to copy you with the Elsa nightgown idea! Broken Goat sounds amazing… it sells out so fast wow! I love that you do more experiences then gifts… that’s what andrew and I are doing for each other this Christmas too! Hope you have the best day Christine and you aren’t being lazy, you had a big year and your body is needing biking over running right now!


I haven’t really started my Christmas shopping, yet. But, I hope to start on Black Friday! :)

I really want those slippers you’ve mentioned because my feet are ALWAYS cold this time of year. And, I would love to get some reflective gear for early morning running! I’m looking for a heavier running jacket that is reflective but haven’t had any luck. Everything I see is lightweight and that just doesn’t work when it’s 10-20 degrees! ;)

I love your gift ideas! I think my daughter would have so much fun with that karaoke microphone. One thing I always get my kids (in their stockings) are bath bombs from Lush. They are the best and they always look forward to them!


I’ll have to copy you with the bath bombs.. my kids would love that! That is so true about reflective coats, I just usually put on 4 layers underneath on the cold days ha! Have fun Black Friday shopping and I hope Santa brings you those slippers!


Thank you for the gift tips! I got my son a Water Wow book on your (and several other bloggers’) recommendation — my son HATES it. He seriously has a tantrum every time I get it out. What the heck?! haha I think they’re cool!
I got him a doctor set, bathtub fishing game, and baby doll so far. The latter is for “practicing” when baby brother/sister comes. That ice cream set looks awesome!
No run for me today :( I have a cold and that combined with pregnancy made me feel that sleeping in the extra hour would be worth it. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.


Stacey! I hope that your cold is gone ASAP! Hahahah he doesn’t like those books? I wonder why hahah! Great practicing idea with the baby doll! Get some rest.


Wow, I love your gift ideas! How about a gift guide for husbands? They’re pretty tricky… I find women, kids,and runners easy in comparison! And I hope your kids don’t read your blog, since you wrote down so much of what you were giving them!

My run today was so discouraging. Four days ago, we moved, and we now have a much larger house and backyard, which is wonderful for the kids, but we are also living in a high crime area. So that means, I can only run at certain times of the day, and since we are right next to a high school, my husband feels uncomfortable with me running when school is getting out. Well, today I started too late, and I had to move to our backyard to run, which would have worked out fine, except our next door neighbors dog does not have a fence. It kept getting out and running towards me, and after 1.7 miles of this, I just quit. Such a short run, and I feel so ready to do more (this is my first run since last Thursday because we’ve been so busy), but I’m trying to be grateful. There’s always tomorrow. (Besides, it was kind of my fault for being late, so…) I know this move was what was best for my husband and the kids, and it will eventually be good for me too, but I’m really missing how easy it was to run at my old house.

What’s on my Christmas list? I really haven’t thought about it. I already bought myself a Garmin and new shoes this year, so I’m feeling pretty good to go. I do NOT need new clothes, although I want some. And I love the idea of a training journal, but I already keep my own on my computer so I don’t know how I feel about starting all over. Maybe slippers. I was thinking today how crazy cold my feet are. It’s that time of the year…


Hey Leah! I totally agree… husbands are the hardest haha. Andrew and I have actually decided to give each other an experience rather than gifts so I haven’t had to come up with ideas this year for gifts! Maybe I should have Andrew write a bunch of ideas that he thinks husbands would love. CONGRATS ON YOUR MOVE but that is sure stressful with your running. Are you much of a treadmill runner? Maybe you could get one and run whenever works best for you! I hope you get some slippers… they are the best. Enjoy the rest of your day and good luck with the unpacking!


Hi! I’m thinking about buying that spin bike for my husband but the link says $239, where do you see it for $140? Also was it super difficult to assemble? Thanks!


Okay… this is so weird! I wrote most of this gift guide last week and I guess it must have been on sale?! My ex husband actually put it together so I don’t really remember…. but I don’t think it was very hard! Have the best night Lisa!


Just bought myself two new pairs of Brooks because that’s the best runner gift, right?! Totally sending your list to my husband!

Wish I got to run today…I’m halfway through my third week of stress fracture rehab, but I’m still allowed to spin, row, swim, and lift—so I’m staying sane!! (And now I think I need that spin bike, so thanks for the link!!)

If you’d like some more ideas for Brooke, Knox, and Skye, I wrote up a list of my kids’ favorites a few years ago! I have six kids (two girls and four boys) and my oldest was 11 when I wrote that list, so you should find some great age-appropriate stuff! (There is a pop art bead set on there that i think your girls would LOVE!)


Great list!! No kidding… just last night I was reading reviews on the projector and saved it as a maybe in my list. It is definitely a gift for the hubby/family this year. Also, love the microphone idea. It will be a joint gift for my 8 and 10 year old!


You know, I have my own concerns with CRZ Yoga–I think I mentioned some of them when you first introduced the brand to us–but last spring, when some of my FAVORITE lululemon workout bottoms finally busted holes after having had them for a couple of years and putting them through a LOT of sweat (and a lot of time in the washer and a lot of time on the spin bike), I was entirely too broke to afford lulu (still am). CRZ Yoga naked feeling capris remind me of the 19″ lulu ‘fast and free’ capris, and the two pairs I got have held up pretty well. All of the stress associated with my bag of stuff to deal with right now has had me gain weight like crazy (my body and cortisol…thanks, hormones…), and investing in lulu–even if I had the money–would not be wise right now. I need more long leggings, if I am REALLY honest about it, and right now even the CRZ is a bit too expensive. But I am happy that when I am REALLY IN A PINCH there is something that’s a lot easier to figure out how to afford. And that it’s an easy click on amazon.

As far as meal prep, try this: cuban-style pork tenderloin. To make it, prepare the marinade: juice from 2 oranges, juice from 1 lime, 1/4 c EVOO, 3 garlic cloves minced (or if you buy jars of pre-minced garlic, about 2 heaping teaspoons full will work), 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, about 1/2 tsp sea salt. Marinade the pork tenderloins overnight (I tend to get a package of 2 tenderloins that’s about 3-ish lbs total) OR during the day when you’re busy with life and the kiddos. TO make–sear the tenderloins in a pan that can also go in the oven on all sides, and then put in an oven pre-heated to 375. Cook until done/until internal temperature is about 145 degrees. Serve however you want–would be great with your quinoa salad, or wish riced cauliflower mixed up with goat cheese, lime juice, and chopped cilantro, or with roasted asparagus, etc. The tenderloin keeps really well for up to 10 days or so (if you make enough to hold onto for that long! ha!) in the fridge and is easy to pack for lunch or chop up a couple of slices and make a cuban pork tenderloin quesadilla with cotijo cheese (or even goat cheese, cilantro, pineapple salsa…), etc.

That pork tenderloin has become a favorite for me and Tom! :)


Thank you so much for putting together such a great list of running products. Just saved links to many of them (the ones I didn’t already have haha)! :-) Wanted to share my favorite ever winter running accessory with you – It has a brim to keep the snow out of your face, flaps to pull down both over your ears and the back of your neck (and you can flip them up when you get warm), and even a ponytail holder. I have had mine for several years and it holds up great!


THAT IS AMAZING! I NEED IT NOW! Thank you SO much April!

Here is a link to a better price on the camera


Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!


That is a great list! Can I ask, where did you get the cabinet with the dishes in it? It would be perfect in my dining room.


Hey Mary! Yes for sure! I got it at RC Willey! They are awesome. Have a great day!


Thanks for the great kid gift ideas! I have a 6-year-old and 4-year-old, so most of the stuff you’ve shared for Brooke and Knox they would love! I love that you included a lot of affordable options too! I will be getting them the paint by sticker and walkie talkies for sure.


Hi Janae,

I have been using a cheapie armband for storing my cell when I workout outside… however, I am in the search for a new, inexpensive armband that isn’t velcro that won’t budge while I’m running / walking. Do you have one that you’d recommend? I have a few belt type running gear that I use but was hoping to find an armband one also. I have searched the blogs of all my favorite bloggers and can’t seem to find a current recommendation. Thanks for your help!


Hi Janae,

I have been using a cheapie armband for storing my cell when I workout outside… however, I am in the search for a new, inexpensive armband that isn’t velcro that won’t budge while I’m running / walking. Do you have one that you’d recommend? I have a few belt type running gear that I use but was hoping to find an armband one also. I have searched the blogs of all my favorite bloggers and can’t seem to find a current recommendation. Thanks for your help!

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