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Archive for December, 2010

It’s crunch time; only 8 more days until Christmas. I’d be lying if I said I have it all under control. I’m scrambling around at the last minute trying to find all of the things on my teenage daughter’s wish list. All the while I’m worrying about money, stressing about time, grinching my way through the motions. And right in the middle of the stress and the worry, my mom sends me a reminder of what the holidays mean.

Every year my family made a big deal out of buying a few new ornaments for our worn out, Charlie Brown like Christmas tree. My mom still puts those decorations on that same tree, minus the ones she passed on to me and my daughter. It is special to look at old photos and see the same ornaments that now decorate my tree.

We also spent several nights picking out the perfect Christmas card to send to family and friends. In our festive pajamas, we’d curl up together in the living room eating my mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies, listening to Bing and Nat singing treasured holiday tunes. We made our list of names and spent hours writing messages, drawing pictures, and addressing the cards to all of our favorite people in the world.

When we’d pull out a card for my Aunt Sissy, mom would tell us a story about growing up in Myrtle Beach and dancing the shag. My great-grandmother’s card prompted stories about her riding on the back of motorcycles in her 80s. Even if we wouldn’t be able to see those family members that particular Christmas, my younger brother and I felt like they were near through those fun, entertaining stories.

I received an online Smilebox card today from my mom. The message read: “I thought you might enjoy a little Christmas past to cheer you up right now.” As Judy Garland sings, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” all of those cards, one by one, pop up on the screen, instantly taking me back in time.

I hope that you are able to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy this time of year. It’s not about the gifts or the decorations or anything other than making memories with those you love—the most treasured gifts you open each year.

All of us at Happy Feet wish you and your family a Happy Holiday.

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When you’re rockin’ around the Christmas tree, remember to give the gift of health and happiness to family, friends, and yourself. You probably hustle more during the holidays than any other time of the year. So it makes perfect sense to find gifts that motivate, stimulate, and intoxicate. We’ve picked a few of our favorite things, and we hope they’ll become yours as well. No one on your gift list will be singing Blue Christmas after opening one of these.

1- Concert.

We’ve all heard about the benefits of living life through experiences rather than just material things. Well, this gift fits the bill. I remember the first time I saw Bon Jovi when they were opening for names I barely remember. I spent the entire night screaming, smiling and dancing—my 80s hair tangled around me. It took months to come down from such a high. So find that special someone’s favorite band or artist and pick up a few tickets to rock out. It will be a night to remember.

2-Dance Lessons or a Work out with a trainer.

I’ve experienced both of these. Back in the day, I took line dancing classes, learning fun dance moves from the Cha Cha to the Electric Slide. Our teacher took us out to local clubs after class to test our dance moves. And yes, just like in the movies, a group of misfits crashed through the doors and took over the dance floor, enticing crowds to circle around us, encouraging our every move. It never felt like exercise; in fact there were times I felt like a rock star. I know, I know, but everyone needs their 15 minutes.

3-Tempur-Pedic Comfort-Step Slippers from Brookstone.

Brookstone is a family favorite in my house. No mall trip is complete without a quick stop to check out the latest gadgets and such. The robes, blankets, and slippers never disappoint, always soft and warm. Read more than 650 positive reviews from other fans singing the praises of these comfy shoes. You can also find an Aqua-Jet Foot Spa at Brookstone that complements this purchase. If you’ve never used a foot spa before, you should think about splurging.

4-Yoga Dvd.

If you don’t know about Collage Video, you should. You can find all of the latest DVDs on the Collage video site—you can play clips to see if you think you’d like the instructor and/or the vibe.  I recently purchased The Biggest Loser: Weight Loss Yoga, and let’s just say that Bob kicked my butt. He was nice about it, but it still happened. . .

5-Meditation book.

Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga is my recommendation for someone searching for simple, quiet meditations for daily inspiration. Although it is very Yoga focused, I read it more for the spiritual reflections and Gates’ stories. His honest account of finding himself prompted me to do a little soul-searching of my own.

6-Wii Fit Plus.

Did you know the American Heart Association and Nintendo work together in an effort to help us become healthier? It’s true, and there’s no better time to buy your family a Wii system.  This is healthy competition.

7- Moisturizing Socks from Bath & Body Works.

True Blue® Spa Beauty Booties® Moisturizing Gel Socks are a simple indulgence, leaving your feet feeling as if you’ve been to one of the fabulous spas found on Spa Finder. My daughter raves about all the Bath & Body Works products—a part of every teenage girl’s shopping list. 

8- Magazine Subscription.

I’m a magazineaholic. There, I said it. I read everything, but I truly enjoy picking up a magazine for a quick, easy read. I may not always have time for a good book, but I can surely spare a few minutes a day for my favorite mag. There are a variety of fantastic magazines out there that inspire readers to work towards a healthier lifestyle. I’ve enjoyed subscriptions to Health, Women’s Health, Oprah, and Cosmopolitan to name just a few. But I must admit my all time favorite is Men’s Health Magazine. Yes, I do realize it’s technically a men’s magazine. Yet, I feel it speaks to me on so many levels. It’s written for men, and because of that there’s no candy-coating BS. And when it comes to struggling with weight loss and working out, I need a little tough love. I mean it’s straight to the point. In the end the articles and columns are about health and trying to find a balanced, happy lifestyle—regardless of gender. 

9-Pedometer.

I don’t know what it is about seeing those numbers when you’ve completed a vigorous walk, but a pedometer encourages walkers to better their time with each outing. You need to see progress no matter how small. I’ve used a really cheap pedometer I bought years ago for about $20 from Sports Authority, and I’ve had no major problems using it. Obviously you get what you pay for, and an upgrade with a few more bells and whistles could potentially entice me to pick up the speed. Check out this article from About.com guide Wendy Bumgardner regarding her best pedometer picks–so many fabulous choices to fit every lifestyle and budget.

10-Walking Shoe and Fitting.

The first time I started training for a 5k I took the advice of many Orlando walkers and runners and made my way to the Track Shack. I instantly had my own personal shopper. Track Shack not only offers a fitting but they also note the way you walk. Are you flat-footed? Do you have a unique arch? All of these things matter when choosing a comfortable, versatile athletic shoe. Once the Track Shack staff examines your foot and stride, they point you to the specific shoes that will work for you. My entire family now has Track Shack shoes, and we definitely feel a little more pep in our step.

11-iPod and iPod Gift Card.

Nothing gets your feet moving like music. From $49 to $259 giving the gift of music has never been more exciting. Available in every color and size, an iPod makes the perfect healthy holiday gift. And you can engrave an iPod with a special holiday message.

12-Happy Feet ® Insoles.

Okay, you knew we couldn’t resist it. We believe in our therapeutic insoles and the benefits our customers experience instantly.  Just read our success stories to see what I’m talking about. Our eco-friendly products are made in the USA by quality craftsmen. You can learn more about Happy Feet® on our website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. Our therapeutic insoles definitely put the happy in Happy Holidays.

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