Posts Tagged ‘ holidays ’

Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

While books would be the easiest buy for the writer or reader in your life, below are a few fun gifts for all those budding authors.




Moleskins – These handy little books come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Easy to pack in any bag and with their stylish look they make a great gift for writers to jot down notes as they go through their days.


Vintage typewriter braceletTypewriter keys make some great jewelry. From cuff links to bracelets to necklaces, these fashionable accessories are fitting for any writer.




Writing retreat – Okay, this may not be the most economical choice for many gift givers, but it would still be an awesome gift! Any writer looking for more time to spend on their craft would most likely love the chance to get away from distractions if only for a weekend. If spending the money on a retreat isn’t realistic, then create a “Day Away” certificate for your writer to spend a few uninterrupted hours away so they can work in peace and quiet.



Author pillows – Treat that bibliophile to fun yet utilitarian pillow covers featuring classic authors. Found at (which has a ton of really great gifts in general), these would make a perfect holiday gift.

Happy writing! 🙂

‘Tis the Season

Every Christmas season I try to find groups and organizations that I can donate money towards. While I give donations year round to various charitable organizations, it’s nice to find different causes that I can either give as gifts to others or learn more about beyond dropping clothes in a Salvation Army bin.

This year my gifts went to a group called Heifer International. I’d heard about the organization a while ago and wanted to take the time to invest in such a worthy cause. Heifer is built around the concept of giving a gift that keeps giving for many years. Almost all their gifts are animal based and range in size (and price) from honeybees to a clutch of chicks to a heifer. There’s even a gift called An Ark where fifteen pairs of animals are given to families in need around the world.

The idea behind giving living gifts to families in need is that the gift will multiple a thousand times over and give beyond the family to which they are given. The family who receives the gift not only is trained by Heifer staff on how best to feed and care for their animal, but is encouraged to then pass on offspring to other members of their village so the gift can grow exponentially. These animals can provide more than meat as they also give offspring or eggs or fertilizer or labor to the families in the village.

It’s a really awesome! 🙂 And it’s a great feeling to know that the gift I give this year will continue to be appreciated beyond this holiday season!

I hope your holidays are filled with love and laughter!

Racing through the Holidays

  After finishing the Philadelphia Half Marathon this past weekend, I’m looking forward to taking time off from having to train so much. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop running! Because there’s already enough stress and running around for the holidays, I want my runs to be laid back and fun. No stress, no training, no record-breaking times. Just a t-shirt and a good time. 🙂

Here are three great races that are guarenteed to make you feel great all around:

Turkey Trot – These races are almost always held on Thanksgiving morning and usually involve people dressed in turkey hats, pumpkin pie prizes, and spirited participants. What better way to start a day filled with eating than by burning a few calories that morning?

Jingle Bell Run – Usually around Christmas, these runs also feature fun hats (Santa, elves and reindeer abound), food prizes, and the sounds of jingling all the way.

Resolution Run – Sometimes called a New Year’s Run or something similar, these runs are growing in popularity as participants are eager to start the New Year on the right foot (then the left foot, then the right…). Usually held later in the day on New Year’s Day to give participants a chance to recover from the night before, it makes for a great way to get a jump start on any fitness resolutions one might have!

To find these races and more near you check out: or

Happy Running! 😀

Runner Sami’s Last Minute Gift Guide

It is almost the eleventh hour (and if you’re a Hanukkah-celebratee, what have you been doing??) for buying all those wonderful, thoughtful gifts for all your loved ones. I’ve learned some tricks over the years to help with my gift-buying procrastination, but here are some ideas for those of you who are still stuck for quality gifts to give this holiday season.

1. Magazine Subscription – It’s inexpensive and lasts for an entire year, what’s not to like?

2. – For those who like to support local artisans and give unique, great quality gifts.

3. Books (of course) – I love matching the perfect book to someone and can be bought anywhere from your local bookstore to a supermarket.

4. Gear – Know someone sporty or active? Grab a book on hiking or a pair of Smart Wool socks or a cool water bottle and you’re sure to win.

5. Games – Easy to find for low prices at Target or Toys R Us, there are a million different games from cards to board bound to fit any personality.

6. Date Night – For someone special, give a card for a date night. Plan thoughtful, creative activities for you and your loved one to do like see a movie, indoor picnic, planetarium, bowling, or wine bar. There are always special deals to be found on different nights if you search online or in local newspapers!

7. Baked goods – If you enjoy baking, what better way to show you care than to take the time and effort to whip up a batch of someone’s favorite cookie! Wrap it in a decorative box for that extra touch. If you don’t bake, many local bakeries offer holiday deals for their tasty treats.

8. Spa Specialties – I love getting pampered as I know many women do, but I rarely like to spend money on myself for spa treatments. Massages, pedicures, facials, manicures, it just feels great to get that special attention.

9. Homemade crafts – This isn’t just for kids to make their parents anymore. With our economy, it’s nice to spend time making someone something special that they’ll enjoy. Use your talents and interests, but here are some suggestions: hot chocolate in a jar (you can do many recipes with this idea, the idea is to pour, add liquids, and enjoy!), knit a scarf, hat, mittens, etc., hand painted Christmas tree ornaments, photo collage (or you can use shutterfly or snapfish to put a favorite photo on a placemat or pillow case).


10. Gift cards – I’m not a fan of gift cards because they are so impersonal, but they do make a great gift for those looking to save on postage when mailing a gift or for someone you don’t really know that well like teachers, librarians, or your postal worker.

Happy Holidays!

Fitness Friday!

You’ve finally come down from your endorphin high after running your Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Now you’re on the hunt to find another equally exciting and good-spirited race to run in December or January. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

For those looking for carefree races to participate in, this is the perfect season for them. Despite the drop in temperatures, runners everywhere are shucking their turkey hats for elf ears and jingle bells. My favorite runs for December are sometimes called Jingle Bell Runs or Christmas Dashes, but all possess that insouciant atmosphere.

Here are some great races for December and one for January (as well as some clutch links):

Pensacola Christmas DashPensacola, FL – This one mile evening event is fun for the whole family. Every participant receives a blinking LED elf hat and finishers are awarded a 10-inch candy cane!

Jingle Jog 5-K – Atlanta, GA – Music will follow you as all runners receive bells to wear on their running shoes. Beware of “Grinch” hill at mile two and then stay for the postrace festivities.

Boxing Day 10-Miler – Hamilton, Ontario – For those of you who like a chilly challenge, sign up for this 90 year Canadian race. Beware snow and negative wind chill numbers, but warm up postrace at Slainte Irish Pub. Finishers get snowman medals and mittens with snowman logos. Cool!

Resolution Run – Hillsborough, NJ – I ran this one for the first time last year and LOVED it! Racers run down bicycle lanes and through neighborhoods where bundled up families stand in their driveways to cheer you on. Prizes for top placed runners and postrace food and water. Best part? The awesome hooded sweatshirt you get just for signing up! They change designs and colors each year, so I’m planning on building my collection. 🙂

For more info on races near you, check out: Holiday and Resolution Runs

Runner’s World

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Fitness Friday!

It’s getting close to that time! Turkey Trot time!

I recently posted on why I love Turkey Trots, so if you want to read that blog click HERE.

The reason I’m posting again so soon on my favorite race of the year is that I thought some of you might like a list of great Turkey Trots to check out. These races are held around the country and chances are there’s one near you, so check out my last blog to do a general search.

A List of Great Turkey Trots

Parade Company Turkey TrotThis race has been a Detroit staple for the past 28 years and boasts both a costume and a race float contest (think big running Chinese dragon). It offers a 10K, 5K, and 1 mile “Mashed Potato” run.

Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot – Lauded as one of the largest Turkey Trots in the country, this Dallas race now draws thousands Thanksgiving morning. With a 5K run/walk and an 8 mile option as well as costumes, prizes, and big after race entertainment it’s the perfect choice! Also, sign up cost goes to support Dallas area YMCAs and with Dallas being one of the most obese cities in the world, it needs the help!

YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot – This 8K first began in 1896 making it the oldest continually running race in the country. More than 12,000 runners come out to race and enjoy the post-run awards ceremony and live entertainment.

Dana Point Turkey Trot – Race along the beaches of southern California with the 5K or 10K run. Not only is the locale a perfect reason to sign up for this huge event, but proceeds go to the Second Harvest Food Bank.