HTP Holiday Gift Guide

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Making a list and checking it twice?  Here are a few of my favorite things (plus some wonderful discount codes) for the holidays!


Operation Beautiful:  One Note at a Time


Shameless plug.  Please consider giving a young girl (8 – 14 years old) my new Operation Beautiful book, One Note at a Time.  You can take a complete tour of the book here!  It’s available on Amazon and Indie Bound.




An HTP reader works for this MIT start-up company.  When I checked out the Delightfully example, I was pretty impressed.  The website “enables givers to package gifts in interactive webpages made from photographs.    People are already delivering their loved ones gifts ranging from poems to customizable chocolate through our service.   Today’s gifts — e-books, gift cards, computer games, subscriptions to movies, apps, etc — are increasingly digital.   Until now, the only way to send these gifts was via email; there was no way to show you cared. Leveraging mobile and web technologies, Delightfully lets givers use their own pictures to create an ‘unwrapping experience’ that elicits anticipation and demonstrates thought.”


Gifts for Babies


Henry loves Freddie the Firefly.  He had a brief but serious affair with his jumper but now that he’s crawling, he’s over it.  The Boppy Newborn Lounger was an essential in the early months.  And now that it’s winter, we love the Zutano booties and matching shaggy hat.




As far as mom gifts go, I can’t say enough great things about the Chewbeads necklace.  Specifically, I have this one – it works with so many outfits and Henry loves to gnaw on it.


Women’s Running Magazine


I recently received a few trial copies of Women’s Running in the mail and I must say that it’s an AMAZING magazine.  Just as good as Runner’s World – maybe even better because it’s tailored to women.  I like the focus on nutrition and wellness, as well as all the workout tips and training advice.  Use this link to save $5 off the yearly subscription rate.


Bissell SpotBot


For the clean freak in your family.  I love, love, LOVE this little wet vac.  I was initially very wary of the price and size – shouldn’t I just spring for a larger wet vac to clean the entire carpet?  But no.  This thing is perfect.  My favorite feature is the detachable hose.  It’s so easy to use that I bust the SpotBot out all the time – to suck up spilled coffee, clean up pet messes, and wash away baby puke.


Bath Habit

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Bath Habit is an amazing small business that was started by an HTP reader.  Katy says, “I have sensitive skin and horrible contact allergies. It’s so bad that contact with most commercial soaps, detergents or lotions cause me to break out in hives and make my skin itch and burn for days. Prior to figuring out what was bothering my skin, I was diagnosed by several doctors, including allergists and dermatologists as having eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis and other similar afflictions. I was given pills, gels, creams, steroids–just about everything to fix these mystery ailments. Finally, I had enough of the medications, which didn’t work, and took matters into my own hands. Through process of elimination and careful consideration of the ingredients in what I put on my body, I was able to deduce that my issues were derived from the harsh chemicals, dyes, fragrances and parabens found in so many skin products.”  Katy and her fiancé Jason began to craft their own products, and Bath Habit was born.  All of their produces are free of fragrances, dyes, fillers, parabens, harsh chemicals, sulfates and other skin irritants.  They do not test on animals or use soy fillers and everything they create is handcrafted in small batches, allowing for high attention to detail and artisanal results. Katy was nice enough to send me some samples to test, and I love the Body Butter (only $12!) and Peppermint Oil Lip Balm (only $2.5!) the most.  You can search their entire line of products here.  If you buy a Bath Habit produce, use code HTPDONATE and not only will you get a 10% discount off the purchase, but all the money you saved will be donated by Katy to Dress for Success, an organization that helps women develop interview skills and provides them with classy clothes to wear as they look for work.


Race Medal Display


This is – BY FAR – my favorite gift for runners.  I list it every year because I love it so much.  Check out all the designs by Allied Steel here, and use coupon code HTP12 and get 10% off through January 2012.


Colin Fischer by Guy Rathbun


I haven’t read this book yet, but one of the authors is the son of DadHTP’s close friend.  Here’s DadHTP’s review:  “Colin Fischer is a ninth grader with Asperger’s; although this means he gets harassed socially (like a lot of ninth graders) it also means he’s extremely detail oriented and often acts without fear because he is extremely intent on his goal. When a gun is found in the cafeteria during a birthday celebration, he regards it as a mystery  to be solved since one of his friends from eighth grade is involved. By keeping detailed notes in his journal and staying totally focused, he solves the mystery, makes a friend, and slowly starts to become accepted by his classmates. Everyone in the story is a believable person, including his parents and gym teacher, who are more intent on helping him integrate into a world he doesn’t quite understand than "handling" him. Often, he has to mentally go through a collection  of facial images – sad, happy, frustrated – to understand how people are reacting to him. The authors, Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, create a believable world – especially amazing since they are also the screenwriters for the movies "Thor" and "X Men – First Class," which hardly have a normal person between them. A good mystery and a fun read.”  You can also listen to an interview with the author here.


Runner’s Discovery Journal by Sara Grace

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I love this little guide!  Part book, part journal, this book chronicles Sara’s attempt to run 1,000 miles in a year as a ‘creative and transformative challenge.’  There are 60 spots in the book for you to log your workouts, reading along as Sara strives for (and reaches) her goal.  Available on Amazon and Createspace.  At Createspace you can use code DSY27V2R for $4 off list price.


For Two Fitness


Finally!  Stylish and comfortable maternity workout wear.  I LOVED my For Two Fitness shirt while pregnant.  This is a great gift for the pregnant runner, yogi, cyclist, dancer, or weight-lifter in your life.  Use coupon code HTPGIFT for 20% off.


Super Nintendo


Seriously.  This is what I want for Christmas.  The Super Nintendo, circa 1990-something-of-awesome.  I can find a few consoles on eBay… I hope someone gets it for me (hint hint husband).  I also want Donkey Kong, Super Mario Kart, and Super Mario World.  Random, I know.


Other Books by CaitlinHTP


Will you allow me another shameless plug?  Check out the original Operation Beautiful book, as well as the Healthy Tipping Point book, right here!


What are you gifting this holiday season?  And what are you hoping to receive?



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 10, 2012, 8:09 am

    Oooh thanks so much for introducing us to Delightfully! I’ve never heard of them before but your description sounds awesome! I’m going to be moving in the new year, so on my list are a bunch of home decor-type things! I’ve got a holiday gift guide coming up on the blog next week, which includes several items from Anthropologie, Lululemon, and a few foodie gadgets (… although I’m not sure if my kitchen can handle any more!) Have a good one Caitlin!

  • michelle December 10, 2012, 8:13 am

    I have been hinting that I want a race medal display for 3 years now. Hopefully this is the year 🙂

  • Jen December 10, 2012, 8:17 am

    I wanted to say thank you for an item you included on*last* years list! You listed the Diva Cup last year and after reading your posts about greening your period and reading some other online reviews, I gave Diva Cup a shot. I was very wary at first.

    But, 1 year later, I want to thank you because the Diva Cup is a phenomenal product! Cheaper, greener, less mess, less hassle. I think about my period so much less now that I’m using the Diva Cup. So, thank you for that awesome recommendation!

  • Holly December 10, 2012, 8:20 am

    Dang, Caitlin I just donated my old Nintendo 64 to Goodwill! I would have preferred sending it to you, knowing that it was going to a good home. My husband insisted that playing it made him feel sick…I guess hes used to his fancy playstation with more than 1 dimension.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 10, 2012, 8:29 am

    I love gift guides! But for the first time (EVER), I’m done with all my christmas shopping (or so I think) so I’m just enjoying getting good ideas for next year or to see if I need to make any changes to the purchases I made. 😉

    My list was very much a fitness enthusiasts list with foam rollers, hydration belts, medicine balls, etc. ha!

  • Molly @ RDexposed December 10, 2012, 8:29 am

    Super Nintendo is the best! We dusted one off after senior year of high school and played all summer.

  • Emily December 10, 2012, 8:35 am

    FYI, I’ve seen someone playing old school Nintendo games for free online. You just need a controller to hook to your computer. It’s cheaper than buying a console.

  • eliz@ourcrazysweetlife December 10, 2012, 8:37 am

    Love, love the cover of your new book. I’m so thrilled for all the good that 2012 has held for you. Celebrate!

  • Jackie December 10, 2012, 8:52 am

    Oh my gosh – Donkey Kong Country! We used to play this at sleepovers in 4th grade! Those rounds in the mine?? Where you ride the cart on the track and jump over stuff??

    About the teething necklace – how big is it when you’re wearing it? Are there are published pics of you on your blog in it? I’ve been wanting a necklace like this for awhile but the couple I tried on a in local boutique were ENORMOUS. They looked like Wilma Flinstone’s jewelry.

    • Amy December 10, 2012, 11:18 am

      Seriously….I think everything looks great on your list BUT that necklace! It makes no sense to me. Why would you want to teach your kid to bite on your jewelry??? And why would you want a big slobbery teething ring on your neck leaving wet marks on your shirt? ? Like I said, I just don’t get it…..maybe more explanation is needed or pictures like Jackie said. I have three kids and I would never let them think its ok to bite jewelry.

      • Caitlin December 10, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Haha I didn’t get it at first either but it’s REALLY nice to have something for him to play with that is around my neck and cannot fall onto the floor. It’s like one less thing to deal with when you are trying to wrangle the baby, the bag, etc. And it does get slobbery but my whole life is slobbery.

      • Laura WL December 10, 2012, 3:24 pm

        I don’t get it either… Wouldn’t the kid think its ok to chew on real jewelry? When they’re older I let my nephews and nieces wear my bracelets and necklaces bc they love them but when they’re still little (under 2) I just don’t wear any when they are around bc they are little grubby grabbers. Haha.

    • Caitlin December 10, 2012, 2:14 pm

      I don’t have a pic of the necklace on the blog, but if you go to the Amazon page, there is a photo of a girl wearing hers in the user pics.

  • Erica December 10, 2012, 9:22 am

    great ideas! just FYI, if you can’t find an NES, yoi should get a wii, because you can download all the classic nintendo games for like $5. its awesome! we have all the old Mario bro games.

    • Amber K December 10, 2012, 8:46 pm

      Wii for the win!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed December 10, 2012, 9:35 am

    Just placed an order with Bath Habits! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  • Adrienne J December 10, 2012, 9:38 am

    Before I pulled up your blog to read the morning post I was researching how to clean area rugs at home because I don’t want to buy a giant wet vac or get them professionally cleaned…again. Now I get to convince the husband to buy the Spotbot! It would be a lifesaver for pet accidents in my house! #mademyday

    • Adrienne J December 10, 2012, 2:56 pm

      aaaand 6 hours later I own one and am about to get cleaning!! 🙂

  • Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot December 10, 2012, 9:41 am

    Just so you know, you can get all those games for the wii as well! – The old school actual ones from the 90’s just as a download from the Wii store! (I know because I have them, sad, but true)! The controller works a little different but the Wii might work better than a super old Super Nintendo (or at least it works better than my super old super nintendo does!)

  • Kaitlyn December 10, 2012, 9:46 am

    I’ve got the few store bought items completed like new pajamas, not I am on to my handmade gifts. For the most part my family is awesome and we only get each other one storebought brand new gift. All other gifts must be flea market finds, craft fairs, locally sources, or handmade. I am on to the handmade now-knitting hats, leg warmers, and making jewelry. I would love a medal holder. I’ve run about 30 races in my life and my medals and bibs are in random boxes everywhere.

  • Kath December 10, 2012, 9:54 am

    We have a super Nintendo at my parents… You can play at Christmas! Donkey Kong too!

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 10, 2012, 10:08 am

    Oh my, I LOVE Super Nintendo! All of those new game systems are way over my head and have too many flippin buttons and knobs to figure out… I just love some good ol’ Super Nintendo. 😉

  • Gloria December 10, 2012, 10:13 am

    Haha I totally still have a Super Nintendo and all of those games! I played it last year for the first time since childhood and it’s totally fun and worth it. Hope Santa brings you what you want! 🙂

  • Nena December 10, 2012, 11:01 am

    Thanks for sharing! I really like that bath habit stuff! I may try and get a few things for my boyfriend for Christmas from that site! And maybe a little something for me! 🙂

  • Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 10, 2012, 11:01 am

    I have a super nintendo and an N64…and the first gameboy that ever came out. NO color or anything fancy; just tetrus! LOL

    This year I’m giving a lot of housewarming types of gifts since so many of my friends just moved or got married. As for me, I’m wishing for hiking essentials for work so i don’t have to buy them (they’re kind of expensive. heh)

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker December 10, 2012, 11:23 am

    I had that game system up until a couple years ago. They have all those games on Wii, actually, you can just play them on there (they’re my favorite!).

  • Sara Grace December 10, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Thanks so much for including Runner’s Discovery Journal, Caitlin. Great list!

  • Laura December 10, 2012, 12:47 pm

    SNES is a good choice :). I still have mine and I play it occasionally–so much fun!

  • Julie (etsy stalkers) December 10, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I love all of your recs!

  • Ellie@Fit for the Soul December 10, 2012, 1:33 pm

    The Bath Habit products sound pretty incredible! And I love anything that has to do with baby items eeeeeek. And omgnesss! I can’t believe I’m old enough to have played and loved the Super Nintendo. I misss the old Mario games.

  • Angela December 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I still have my Super Nintendo. It only gets taken out a couple of times a year as it is a total time black hole. No wonder the 90s went so fast!

  • Rachel December 10, 2012, 7:07 pm

    My roommates and I played Donkey Kong on Super Mario obsessively our senior year of college. It was our way of de-stressing, and I have so many awesome memories of our times together. We also played Mario and Mario Kart but Donkey Kong holds a special place in my heart. I still have mine, but unfortunately I still love it too much to pass it on. Here’s to wishing he gets it for you!

    • Rachel December 10, 2012, 7:08 pm

      *I meant Super Nintendo not Super Mario

  • Irina @ Chocolatea Time December 10, 2012, 8:14 pm

    My parents gave away my super nintendo many many years ago and I’ve been devastated ever since 🙁 I think it would be the perfect gift!

  • JenRD December 10, 2012, 8:27 pm

    Just pre-ordered your book! My daughter is only 15 months, but I figure she will grow into it. 🙂

    • Caitlin December 10, 2012, 9:06 pm

      Thank you Jen!!!

  • Hannah December 10, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I got a car last year for Christmas, so this is the year that I all go out for my parents! I better get started soon though, I’ve barely made a dent ;P

  • Kathryn December 10, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Please thank DadHTP for the great book review! Has he read “The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet” by Reif Larsen? It’s a fantastic book about 12 year old genius boy who travels across the U.S. by himself.

  • Csilla December 11, 2012, 11:48 am

    Thanks for the tips! I just ordered a medal display for the hubby!

  • Kristen December 11, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Lots of great ideas- thanks. Just FYI apparently a guy is selling all 721 Super Nintendo games ever made…and its a steal at the low low price of 25K ( Yup $25,000 for games…craziness!

  • Ricardo Bueno December 11, 2012, 6:16 pm

    Totally going to want a medal rack at some point (though, I only have 3 medals at the moment). I have two more races before the year is out and I so totally look forward to collecting more 🙂

    The journal sounds pretty cool too. As I’ve started running, I love reading racers stories, challenges, race recaps and evening journaling my own progress to find areas for improvement. So that sounds like a great read.

    And as for the Super Nintendo…ha! I’ll race you in Mario Kart!

  • Heather December 12, 2012, 8:40 am

    Thank you for the suggestions, just ordered from Bath Habit for my mom. She has trouble finding things that won’t bother her skin. Hope this works.

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