Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

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Luke 2:9-11

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

May the love of Christ be in your heart today and all year through. I love yall!

2016 Christmas Gift List

It’s time again for some Christmas gift ideas! This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just meant to give you some ideas for the fitness lover or hard to shop for family member on your list. All of these products are things personally used by me, and some of them may contain affiliate links, while others are things I just love and wanted to tell you about! Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you out or find answers. Happy shopping!

1.) Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com. I know I talk about these a lot, but they are seriously my favorite running skirt brand. Pockets on each side to hold keys, tissue etc, sweat wicking, and they have styles with shorts, capris, and briefs. Super comfy and adorable too! They also have shorts (run buns) and capris now, too. The tops are really lightweight, and they are always coming out with new stuff. Right now they are having sales on different days for different items, so go check out their site!

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2.) Resistance bands. Since we just moved and haven’t joined a gym yet, I knew I would need to get a couple of things to get me by for now, and resistance bands were at the top of my list. They are great for stretching, PT, or minor running injuries. For instance, I have hip and IT band issues and strengthening my hips and legs with resistance bands has helped me So much! I use them while I watch TV at night. Super easy.

 

3.) Photo gifts from Shutterfly. These are always a big hit, especially with family members wanting pictures of Emma Kate. We personally order our Christmas cards and photo calendars from here and the quality is great! Also, this time of year they are always having sales.

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4.) goodr sunglasses: This is a start up company I came across, and I am in love with their super affordable and adorable running sunglasses. They don’t slip (really!) and I have worn mine every day. They did a kickstarter campaign in the fall, and I believe in these sunglasses so much that I joined in and pledged. More colors are coming soon! You can get them in orange with free shipping for prime members now, or check out their website for pre orders of other colors.

5.) My ebook or in paperback: I of course had to throw this one in there. Smile If you or a friend are looking for some motivation, encouragement, and a fresh start for the new year, then my ebook may be for you. If you aren’t sure, you can read a sample chapter here for free.

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6.) ZEROWATER water filters: I have used the ZEROWATER pitcher before and was super impressed, but this was my first time using the portable tumbler. It’s pretty awesome because I can now fill up my water bottle anywhere and know that I will have great filtered water! I took it to the gym this morning and it worked like a charm. It combines the top-performing filtration technology with a sleek, convenient design. The ZeroWater filtration system combines FIVE sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, so you taste nothing but the water.

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QOTD: What is on your Christmas gift list?

Christmas 2015 Recap

Hello! Sorry for the delayed post. We didn’t get home from Louisiana until last night and I was too tired to upload pictures and write a post. So much happened over the past few days, I wouldn’t have been able to do it justice in my exhausted state of mind! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with the ones you love. The post Christmas blues have set in and I’m trying to keep my mind off of how far away next Christmas is!

We drove down to south Louisiana after lunch on the 23rd. My mom had left to pick up my sister at the airport, so we hung out with my dad until everyone was home.

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Emma Kate was fascinated by all of my parent’s Christmas decorations.

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On Christmas eve morning, I met Jen for coffee at Starbucks and it was packed! It was great to see her, and I invited her family over for Christmas night dinner, so glad they ended up coming!

The rest of the day was pretty low key. My mom and I did some baking, and then me, Bobby, my dad and sister went to Christmas eve service at my parent’s church at 3:00.

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We came home and prepped for dinner.

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We are usually so tired and full on Christmas day after lunch with my extended family so we decided to do our “nice’ meal Christmas eve.

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The meal ended with Emma Kate discovering the wonders of reddi whip. She kept stealing the can and trying to squirt it into her mouth, so I helped.

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After dinner we followed our tradition of my dad reading the Christmas story from the Bible, and then Bobby read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

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My dad then read the Cajun Night Before Christmas (my sister brought the cowboy hats from Texas.)

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My sister insisted on EK wearing a hat while we took a pic with the girls, but Emma Kate make it known she was not a fan.

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Little bit went to bed after all the fun.

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We usually watch a movie on Christmas Eve, but this year we decided to watch Christmas episodes of one of our favorite shows, Everybody Loves Raymond. We laughed a ton, and then called it a night.

Santa came, and we opened presents on Christmas morning.

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Emma Kate quickly figured out how to rip open her gifts.

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We took our time opening gifts and drinking coffee, it was nice to not be rushed.

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We eventually cleaned up and drove to my cousin’s house for lunch with my mom’s side of the family. Sweet Emma Kate fell asleep in the car so Bobby sat with her until she woke up.

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I plead the 5th on what was in my glass.

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We headed home after lunch and got ready for friends to come over. We are so glad The Z family came over for dinner!

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we ate, the kids played, it was a lot of fun and nice to do something so casual.

The next morning, Bobby and I went for a 10 mile run. We never get to run together anymore so it was a nice treat.

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I even got to take a short nap! That evening we went to an annual Christmas party that my parent’s neighbors have been holding since I was a child. I look forward to it every year, it’s great to catch up with people that I lived on the same street as for many many years and I love that everyone still is in the same houses!

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Sunday afternoon we somehow managed to load up everything into our SUV and made the trek home. I didn’t even unpack I was so tired.

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It was a GREAT Christmas but I hate how quickly it went by! I know I say that every year, but I just feel like there is so much anticipation and then it’s over in a flash. I can’t wait for next year when Emma Kate will be able to understand it even more. Merry Christmas!

QOTD: What did you do for Christmas?

Merry Christmas 2015

I know I usually share my card on the 24th or 25th, but we are heading down to Louisiana today, and I will be MIA from blogging until Monday. Bobby’s mom is coming to stay at our house while we are gone, and I’m not even brining my laptop!

Per usual, I am post my Christmas card we sent out to our family and friends. I consider you my friends, and even though I can’t send you all physical cards, I love showing you ours virtually! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and make great memories with the ones you love most.

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What a special time to celebrate, the day that Jesus Christ came into the world as a baby! In my family, we honor this important day as the beginning of the most wonderful gift anyone could ever receive.

Isaiah 9:6: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

Disney at Christmas

Visiting Walt Disney World at Christmastime is probably my favorite time of year to go (well, it barely edges out the food and wine festival!) There is just something extra magical about all the special touches Disney puts into the decorations, parades, parties, and other events that make it very memorable.

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Of course the Magic Kingdom/main street is decked out with beautiful festive decorations.

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But my favorite thing to do is go to the different resorts and see their décor. My favorite is the Grand Floridian because of the beautiful gingerbread house that doubles as a store where you can buy gingerbread! It’s so gorgeous (and smells so good) and must be seen in person to fully appreciate it’s coolness.

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Other resorts do a great job, especially those with nice big lobbies like Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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One thing I am super sad about is that this is the last year for the Osborne lights at Hollywood Studios. It has always been a favorite of mine, and I’m bummed I won’t get to see them again.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a lot of fun, with special fireworks and a parade.

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The best part of the Magic Kingdom decorations is hands down the castle. This is something you have to see in person because pictures just don’t do it justice. I can sit forever and stare at it as it changes colors, it truly is breathtaking.

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Cannot. get. enough.

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There are so many other things like the candlelight processional, and holiday storytellers, it is enough to keep you busy your entire trip! What is your favorite thing about Walt Disney World during the holidays? I would love to hear!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about WDW during the holidays?

The WINNER of my spread cookie joy giveaway is Rachel Marie! (also displayed on the rafflecoptor widget on the original post). Thanks to all who entered!

All About Christmas

Happy Thursday friends! I thought I would break things up with some fun Christmas facts about me and my family, as well as some of our traditions. I would love to hear you answer some of these!

1.) Real of fake tree? We have a fake tree, and I always had a fake one growing up due to owning cats + having allergies to lots of things. Plus, our last fake tree lasted I want to say 6 or 7 years so it ended up being way cheaper than buying real every year.

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2.) Christmas morning breakfast? It depends. for a few years I made a special danish thing, but last year I didn’t since I had a three month old, so not sure what will happen this year! Sometimes we just eat leftovers from Christmas eve. Smile

3.) Favorite Christmas Album? Definitely the Carpenters. I grew up listening to it over and over so it just means Christmas to me to hear it!

4.) Where do you spend Christmas? We spend it with my side of the family. Bobby’s family all gets together at Thanksgiving but not really at Christmas so it just makes more sense. We spend Christmas eve with my parents, and on Christmas day we all go to my cousin’s house (everyone used to come to my parent’s house.) n61700476_30279142_1481

5.) Favorite Christmas movie: This one is tough! The Santa Clause, Elf, and Christmas with the Kranks are all up there. OH! and Home Alone. Gah this is too hard!

6.) What’s on your wish list: A new lens for my camera.

7.) Any traditions? I usually make snicker cookies on Christmas eve, and we always read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas as well as the Christmas story from the Bible.

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8.) Stockings, yes or no? My parents always have a stocking for us, but last year and this year Bobby and I aren’t doing stockings because we would rather use that money to travel than on trinkets we don’t really need.

9.) Do you put up outside lights? Yes! It makes me sad that it seems less and less people do this. Growing up we would drive around on Christmas eve and look at the lights. Now we are hard pressed to find hardly any in our neighborhood.

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10.) Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Growing up we opened presents from my grandparents on Christmas eve, and then gifts from my parents and Santa Christmas morning. My parents also used to let us open one gift from them on Christmas eve. Now we just do everything Christmas morning.

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I can’t wait to see how our traditions evolve as Emma Kate gets old enough to understand Christmas!

QOTD: Answer one of the above questions in a comment!

Santa Fail + North Pole Down South

Over the weekend, not only did I run a 5k race, but we took Emma Kate to go see Santa. If you will remember last year, she was not a big Santa fan at 10 weeks old, so we weren’t sure what was going to happen this time.

We drove about ten minutes into the “country” to go to North Pole Down South in Livingston. Livingston is a beautiful little area that is new but made to look like an old town square. (You can read more about it here.) In the summer they hold a farmer’s market, and other events during the year, but this was out first time making it out there. There is also a residential part that hasn’t quite gotten up and running yet, but I hope it does because I love this cute area!

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We got in line for Santa, and Emma Kate did great. Bobby walked around with her and carried her on his shoulders, and she never fussed once.

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There were however some kids just being kids running around which is fine, but I was happy to see they were selling wine and mimosas while you waited in line (seriously, smartest thing ever!)

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We waited about twenty minutes, and it was finally our turn. Sadly, Emma Kate was still not a fan. However, instead of all out screaming like she did last year, she just made the saddest little face and did this pathetic whine, pointing to us. Poor girl.

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The below picture is the only one where you can’t tell she was terrified.

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Get away from me you creepy old man! (by the way, isn’t he a great looking Santa?!?)

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This picture about sums it all up.

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After we sufficiently traumatized our child, we decided to walk around a little bit. We came across one of the two restaurants, called the County Seat (I spy Bobby and EK).

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We also went into the Livingston Sweet Shoppe. I LOVED it in here. I think I belong in the era of general stores and candy shops. This was my kind of place.

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You can follow them on Instagram and see what they are up to!

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There was also a mercantile and gas station in Livingston.

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And who can forget the wine cellar?

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We ended up eating at a place called the Gathering. They have a blue plate lunch special, so Bobby had some fried chicken.

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I love the interior. So cool!

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The weather was beautiful, Livingston was great, and we got our Santa photos. All in all a good day, and EK behaved beautifully the whole time. If you are local to the Jackson MS area, I hope you will check out Livingston!

QOTD: Do you take your kids to see Santa? Did you cry as a kid taking Santa pictures?

Spread Cookie Joy Giveaway

Confession: I am not much of a cook. I work a lot, and by the end of the day, I usually just throw together whatever is the easiest, quickest thing I can make. However, there is one exception to this, and that is baking around the holidays where I love to spread cookie joy! I grew up making Christmas cookies with my family, and hope to continue the tradition with Emma Kate.

Baked goods (cookies more specifically!) make great gifts as well, and I have made them many times as Christmas gifts for family and friends. spread cookie joy

Krusteaz brand cookie mixes are not something I have used before, but when I saw all the delicious flavors, I knew I had to try them! I made some of the Snickerdoodle cookies for Thanksgiving, and then decided to make the butter vanilla sugar as gifts for some sweet friends. I knew I wanted to put icing on them, so I knew the butter vanilla sugar would be my best bet for decorating with red and green icing and sprinkles. spread Christmas cookie joy

I used the recipe on the back of the box for the cookies, and for the icing I used a tried and true simple recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar

2.5 tablespoons 2% milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 drops of neon green food coloring

-Stir until smooth, and decorate!

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I love wrapping gifts, and knew I wanted a cute and fun way to package my cookie creations. Zazzle has some adorable options and I ended up getting some cute little boxes, stickers, and personalized name tags.

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I love how everything turned out, and I can’t wait to spread cookie joy with my very sweet and deserving friends.

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If you are looking for more baking and gifting tips and Krusteaz prizes, a #SpreadCookieJoy Twitter Party will be held on December 14th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET. I hope you will come!

The kind people at Krusteaz have offered a GIVEAWAY for one THLG reader so you can #SpreadCookieJoy with your friends, family, or neighbors. Giveaway includes everything below EXCEPT for the ball jar, so you would get:  two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie; an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters and frosting pen.

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To enter, simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was provided with baking supplies and my own prize pack, however all opinions are my own. 

NFL for the Holidays

Football is one of my favorite things, so it only makes sense for me to consider NFL related gifts for my wish list/gift guide. Even if your team isn’t doing as well as expected (like mine), any loyal fan would love to have some game day gear under the tree. There’s always next season, right?

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The best part about NFL gear, is that it is super easy to purchase on NFLshop.com. They have a huge variety of clothing from shirts to sweaters to pants and even dresses. The site is easy to navigate, and there are tons of great options.

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I love how there are so many different women’s styles to choose from, and I can dress my game gear up for a fun party, or even wear it as an everyday outfit. (By the way, the sweater I am wearing in the below picture is SO COMFORTABLE. Go buy it. now.)

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Personally, I got lucky that my favorite team has the great colors of black and gold. I can dress up my outfit with gold jewelry, and I can wear black pants, a skirt, or jacket to complete my outfit.

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Do you have any NFL fan gear under your Christmas tree? If you could pick something, what would it be?

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If you are looking for a gift for a football loving spouse, friend, family member, or coworker, there are tons of adorable outfits and stocking stuffers on NFLshop.com that any NFL fan would be excited to have. (Yes yes, even for a Saints fan like me. Who Dat for life!)

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It’s almost Christmas! That means it’s almost time for the PLAYOFFS! Who are you rooting for? Me? I’m still undecided.

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Be sure to follow @NFLfanstyle on social media to see what other folks are wearing for the holidays to cheer on their favorite team.

QOTD: Who are you rooting for? Is there any NFL gear under your tree?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Christmas Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! I am trying to be ahead of the game with my shopping this year, so thought I would go ahead and get my gift guide up to nudge you along as well. Enjoy and happy shopping!

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1.) ASICS Gel Quantum 360 running shoe: This show came out this past summer, and it rocks! I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about until I tried it for myself, and it’s like running on a cloud! If you love a comfy shoe, give this one a try. It comes in really awesome colors, too. (Ocean not included Smile)

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2.) RunnerBox: Runnerbox is a subscription service that sends you bi-monthly boxes of goodies used by runners (and discounts, too!) and they also have a tri box and cycle box. Running stuff can get expensive, so having sample sizes to try out to see if you like are a great idea! I have gotten two boxes and liked both of them a lot, and amazed at how many products they can fit into such a tiny box. I loved the shampoo/conditioner and protein powder in this box. Good stuff!

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3.) Foam roller: Anyone into fitness gets sore muscles, and can benefit from this bad boy! A lot of people swear by their expensive ones, but I have a cheap one form Wal-Mart and it works fine for me. Just make sure you wrap it up in a box as to not give away the gift. Smile

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4.) EOS lip balm: In the winter when I run outside my lips get super chapped, and I am constantly using this stuff, and it stays on for a long time and is easy to carry around. I keep one in my purse, car, and gym bag. So many great flavors, too. Grab some to stick in your loved ones stockings.

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5.) Fitbit or other fitness tracker: These babies are all the rage lately, and now there are so many different brands to choose from. I personally have a Fitbit, but have heard great things about other brands as well. It is a great motivator on days when I am at my desk for a long time. It just helps me to be more aware of how much I am moving (or NOT moving!) throughout the day. I like mine well enough but think I would rather one that you wear on your arm. I have lost one because it popped off my pants before.

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6.) Running Skirts.com skirt: I have loved this brand for years, and they just keep coming out with the cutest patterns (check out the Kona print!) These skirts are comfy, have pockets, and you can get them with briefs underneath or shorts underneath. Lots to choose from!

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7.) Hidrate spark water bottle: I learned about this bottle via a press release a few months ago and forgot about it, then heard about it again recently on the radio while it was still in the Kickstarter phase. This bottle lights up when it’s time to drink, and connects to your phone so you know exactly how much water you have consumed through the day. So cool, and comes in cute colors. I don’t have one of these yet so I can’t say for certain I love it seems so, so cool.

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8.) Yurbuds: I have been a Yurbuds lover for many years after buying my first pair at a race expo some time ago. They are one of the only brands I have found that actually stay in my ear, and hold up to daily wear and tear. They have several different models ranging in price, but I have always gotten the cheaper pair and they hold up just fine! I am only on my second pair in five years! (and I use them a lot).

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9.) Love Grown Foods: Love Grown was one of the sponsors of the Refresh Summit, and I really enjoyed their hot oats for breakfast. If you like to give food as a gift, this is a great one!

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10.) Fabletics Salar Capris: These are my FAVORITE tights from Fabletics. They are stretchy and fit great, and they come in adorable patterns, with new ones online every month. So far my favorites are these northern lights ones.

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However, you can get a whole outfit for $25 if you become a VIP member (feel free to email me for more info on this, or click the photo below {affiliate link}).
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QOTD: What is on your Christmas wish list?