The 2017 Epic Stocking Stuffer Guide: 59 Unique Stocking Stuffers Kids and Teens Will Love!

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There’s a post-Thanksgiving cozy gathering post to come, but we’re laying low today and putting the tree up, so I haven’t edited much. I have, however, been working for the past month on my stocking stuffer list. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that stocking stuffer guides are my thing. As the self proclaimed president of the Tiny Shit Lovers Club of America, I dig deep into tiny shit research this time of year in search of the coolest, fun things kids will love. This is my love language. I speak fluent stocking stuffers. It is Enjoying the Small Things, after all.

It’s funny, after all the planning of the “big gifts,” it’s the little ones that often delight the kids the most, and the same was true when I was a kid. We love trinkets, stickers, cool socks and fun art supplies. So, I went digging–searching the Internet for the greatest little treasures out there. And this year, I found 59 things, separated into two lists–one for the kids and one for teens. Most of the links are Amazon because we are big Amazon Prime users, and when I’m buying a bunch of small things, I don’t want to pay shipping and want to get them all from one place. Come Christmas Eve, when I’m helping Santa out a little, I completely geek out filling the stockings with these things and look forward to seeing the kids pull these treasures out just as much as the more meaninful gifts.

So happy Stocking Stuffer shopping. And I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. We are full in many ways.

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For the Kids

1. Handi Squirrel. Lainey loves quirky little gifts like this. It’s weird, it’s funny, it serves no purpose but to make you laugh, but it’s guaranteed to provide my kids some entertainment.

2. Hatch’Ems Dinosaur Egg. I end up putting a version of this on every stocking stuffer list because it never grow old. Drop egg in water and watch an animal hatch from it within two days. All three of my kids love this.

3. Magnetic Travel Bingo Game. This compact little Bingo game is perfect for travel, and the best part–the pieces don’t fall all over because it’s magnetic!

4. The Original Slime. The perfect consistency–galactic slime in bottles appropriately sized for stockings. This set of three makes one for each stocking in our family.

5. Slime Sucker. What’s better than slime? A slime sucker! They suck up strings of slime by their nostrils and sneeze them back out.

6. Flying Frogs. These have Dash’s name all over them. A set of 12 rubber frogs, made for stretching and flinging.

7. The Original Mood Ring. Every girl should experience a mood ring at some point in her life.

8. Clip-in Rainbow Hair Extensions. These are always a hit with my girls. These extensions can be cut to size and clip in easily for a head of rainbow locks. It looks even cooler when you braid hair after clipping them in.

9. Shrinky Dinks Jewelry Kit. This mini-sized kit is perfect for stockings. We love all things Shrinky Dinks over here.

10. Candy Cane Pop Rocks. Classic Pop Rocks in a minty holiday flavor.

11. Glitter Razzle Dazzle Colored Pencils. Art supplies are always a hit for stocking in our home, and these colored pencils have the “Wow” factor with glitter.

12. Coffee & Rainbow Cake Squishy Set. All three of my kids are obsessed with squishies, and they’re on all of their Christmas lists. This set of two squishies was practically made for filling up the toe of the stocking.

13. Jacks Set. Teach them the art of classic jacks with this inexpensive and entertaining stocking stuffer.

14. Tiny Nutellas. Nella’s going to skip right past everything else in her stocking to get to these babies. Target has them for a little cheaper in their stocking stuffer aisles, but they’re also available in a set of two on Amazon here.

15. Candyland Bandages. Christmas is a free pass for your kids to use all the Band-Aids they want and put them on imaginary boo-boos. These Candyland ones are adorable enough, you’ll be stealing them for your next potato peeling mishap.

16. Color Changing Spoons. Add some entertainment to the morning cereal bowl routine with these color changing spoons–an easy winner for a stocking stuffer that will be used and loved.

17. Mason Jar Zipper Bags. To add some charm to your candy stocking stuffers, use these zipper bags to fill with Skittles, m & m’s, gumballs…sure to delight all ages.

18. Handheld Water Game Before Atari and Nintendo came along, these were our “video games.” Strangely satisfying–your kids will love them as much as you did.

19. Poop Emoji Youth Socks. Anything poop emoji is a winner with kids.

20. Cattoos New from Chronicle, these temporary tattoos are cool for kids but funny enough that you’ll be stealing them. I love the “High Four!” paw salute and the Caturday roar.

21. Balloon Jet Racer. Powered by the air in a blown-up balloon, this little car speeds across the floor. Buy 2 for competitive races. This has Dash’s name all over it.

22. Whoopie Cushion. Never not funny to kids.

23. Head Lamp. My sister got one for Dash this summer, and he thought it was the coolest thing ever–still plays with it. Hide some candy canes in the yard and take them outside to find them at night, and this lamp will come in handy (sure to make a memory!).

24. Flingshot Monkey. The best part about this slingshot monkey? It howls when it’s flying through the air.

25. Pocket Volcano. All you have to do is add baking soda and water. Kids love things that explode. Thank you, Santa.

26. Holiday Scented Gel Crayons. These crayons glide like buttah and even better…they smell like Christmas! Gingerbread, sugar plum, candy cane and more.

27. Brick Stix Removable stickers for your Legos! Add windows and landscaping to your homes to turn them into little brownstones or transform blocks into pet stores with these signs and window cats.

28. Cartoon Enamel Pin Set. Lainey’s backpack is covered enamel pins, and she’s always on the lookout for cool ones to add.

29. Cupcake Dental Floss. Maybe–just maybe–they’ll floss their teeth without being asked if their floss tastes like cupcakes.

30. Dinosaur Hand Puppet. Super ferocious looking. Be prepared to be attacked.

31. Dover Make-Your-Own-Pizza Book I love little Dover books because they’re super inexpensive (this one’s only $1.61) and are great for tucking in your purse to entertain kids at restaurants, in the car, etc. This one comes with all the pizza toppings so kids can personalize their pizza to their liking (no mushrooms!).

32. Popcorn Youth Socks. Tell Santa to throw in an extra pair for you. Wear them when you hit the theater for a holiday movie over break.

For the Teens

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1. Microphone Eraser Toppers. I want these. For when I’m pretending I’m a news anchor which happens more frequently than I’d like to admit.

2. Mad Gab Card Game. Impossible not to laugh when you’re playing Mad Gab. This card game version is compact, simple and easy to slip into a purse to pull out when things get boring.

3. Toilet Roll Talker. Best stocking stuffer ever. You can record any message into this toilet paper roll, slip it into any bathroom without anyone knowing, and when someone pulls the roll…your voice will start talking.

4. Auric Blends Love Perfume Oil One of my favorite inexpensive fragrance secrets. I keep a roll of this in my purse. I used to be able to find it at Whole Foods but haven’t been able to lately. It’s warm and spicy with a tiny bit of vanilla–an overall soft clean smell.

5. Every Day’s a Holiday Desk Calendar Every day deserves to be celebrated, and this calendar delivers–all the secret holidays buried throughout the year from National “Go Barefoot Day” to my personal favorite, “Wave at the Surveillance Camera Day.” Did you know October 2 is Name Your Car Day? Who knew?

6. Loaded Questions On the Go Card Game Perfect for getting to know your teen and their friends more. Next time there’s a pile of teens on your couch, all on their devices, pull these cards out and start some interesting conversation with these questions…”What can instantly make a person unpopular?” “What is your favorite song to dance to?” “Whose voice from the movies can you imitate?”

7. “I Just Farted in Public and It Smells Like” Hand Sanitizer. I mean, a necessity for teens.

8. Manly Man Soap. Nicely packaged in a chic little tin and perfect for the gym bag, this soap is scented with essential oils.

9. Tweexy Nail Polish Holder. Make nail polishing easy for your teen with this bottle holder that slips right on your finger so you can paint away without spilling.

10. Glove Shoulder Massager with Roller Balls. Of all the handheld massagers I’ve used, this one’s the best. We have one, and everyone loves it. Whether you ask someone to use it on your back or you slip it on yourself to get the knots out of your shoulders, it’s perfect to keep in a backpack for some relief after a day of book toting.

11. Jane Austen Libary Tin Travel Candle For the literature buffs, these chic little tins may be small but are chocked-full of rich scents that embody the worlds of Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde.

12. Battleship Eraser Pad Game. All the fun of Battleship shrunk down into a small pad of paper and a handful of erasers.

13. Retro Camera Pencil Sharpener. Teens who do homework need a pencil sharpener, and teens who are fun need a cool one. This retro camera delivers.

14. Scalp Massager. This weird-looking contraption delivers instant relaxation.

15. Yoga Deck Cards. This yoga deck delivers 50 poses and meditations for mind, body and spirit. Every teen could benefit.

16. Hey Girl Hey! Gum. Blue Q doesn’t make a product a teen wouldn’t like. And with this gum in your teen’s pocket, they’ll be waiting for someone to ask, “Do you have any gum?” “Hey Girl, Hey! I sure do!”

17. Frida’s Frocks and Smocks Magnets. This entertaining magnet set comes in Frida’s Frocks for the art lovers, but there’s also Freud, Mr. Rogers, Elvis, American Gothic, Obama, Shakespeare and more if you click on the link.

18. Banned Books Socks. Just try and censor these socks. Roll ’em up and slip them in the toe of the stocking.

19. Just Sayin’ Note Pad. A great conversation tool for your kids to humorously tell their friends that they did something awesome, messed up or maybe need to freshen their breath. These notes provide simple check boxes with phrases such as “You’re on Fire!,”  “I’m open to flowers,” “There’s this thing called mouthwash” and more.

20. Turtable Light-up Keychain. This tiny key chain not only lights up but makes a realistic dj scratching sound.

21. Chandelier 3-D Air Freshener. The cheapest chandelier you’ll ever buy.

22. Mirrored Flat Lens Sunglasses. Teens like sunglasses. Teens lose sunglasses. These inexpensive ones won’t break the bank but are still cool enough that they’ll high five Santa.

23. Log Cabin Incense Burner. Perfect for cozy journal writing sessions in their bedrooms on a cold winter night. A great conversation piece–the incense smoke twirls out of the little chimney.

24. Pizza Coaster Set. You can never have too many coasters with teens. These pizza-on-a-paper plate ones are appropriate for their age group and a fun addition to Friday night hang-outs.

25. The Universe is Kind of a Dick Socks. I know, I know. We shouldn’t talk to our kids this way. But technically, it’s from Santa, so he can say whatever he wants and sometimes, things need to be said. I’m just sayin’. Teens have bad days, and these socks might help a little.

26. Retro Handset for Devices Old School is the new Black. Show them how we used to live.

27. James Baldwin Candle. I love everything the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild makes, and these candles are no exception. Whomever your kid admires–they probably have it in candle form–Margaret Sanger, Ada Lovelace, Carl Sagan, John Lennon and many more.

 

 

Gift Guides for the Kids

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We are T-minus-5-hours until Thanksgiving vacation, and we couldn’t be more excited around here. More twinkle light strands are going up, and the baking will begin soon–accompanied, of course, with one of our favorite holiday movies on our list. That brings us to the first of the holiday gift guides this year. Friday, I’ll share THE 2017 EPIC STOCKING STUFFER LIST, my favorite guide to make every year, but today I thought I’d share some kid gift ideas based on each of my kids and what they’re loving and some favorites I’ve spotted online recently. Hopefully these help spark some ideas for those of you looking for that perfect treasure for the special little people in your own life. And that picture above? That was last year, and finding Nella’s favorite gift was easy and cheap. Nutella Nella forever.

For Lainey

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1. Old Navy Glitter Booties – My sparkle-loving fashionista will be all over these affordable glitter booties. Now if I can just find a pair to match.

2. Kids Personalized Stationery – I remember thinking I was the coolest thing as a kid when I got my first stationery set. And with these adorable personalized note cards, they’ll be begging to write holiday thank you cards.

3. Paint Chip Poetry – Chronicle just released this a couple months ago, and I’m so excited about it. Get kids (and adults) out of robot-writing habits and easily unleash their creativity with this fun game that makes creating poems easy. Players draw paint chip cards and, given a prompt, rearrange the chips to create spontaneous beautiful (and funny) poems with the color names.

4. Yarn Unicorns – Lainey is all about making things and arts & crafts, so she’ll love these yarn unicorns. Everything’s included to create adorable yarn-bombed unicorns, and the instructions are easy to follow along.

5. Shadow Puppet Set – Can’t wait to see what kind of shows she puts on for Nella and Dash at bedtime with this full set of paper characters that create perfect shadows given a light in a dark room.

6. Cat Neck Warmer  This elongated cat cozy is filled with lavender and buckwheat, so all you have to do is throw him in the microwave to make a warm comforting pal for movie night, homework sessions or bedtime reading.

7. Little Feminists 500-Piece Puzzle – All the great role models from Maya and Frida to Sally Ride and Marie Curie, combined in a colorful puzzle that will keep her busy over Christmas break.

8. Slime DIY Book – Add a few bottles of glue, some contact solution and glitter, and this might be the favorite gift for all the 10-year-old slime chefs out there.

9. A Year Full of Stories – I love this story book, mapped out with one story a week, each matched to internationally celebrate dates, including Valentines Day and the International Day of Friendship, as well as seasonal events and festivals.

10. Creative Lettering for Kids – Combined with #11, this book contains everything budding little artists need to know–at their level–to master the art of bubble letters, artsy script and more.

11. Brilliant Brush Markers – These colorful markers write like a paintbrush.

12. Homemade Organic Bath Bombs – Turn any night into spa night with colorful homemade bath bombs (Lainey’s into all things beauty right now) that come with a bath bomb mold so kids can make their own.

13. “Starbucks” Apron – Lainey’s obsessed with Starbucks, frappuccinos and slushies, so she can be her own barista with this green apron…

14. Frappe Mixes ...these frappe mixes (bubble gum, cotton candy and cookies & cream)

15. Frozen Drink Maker …and her very own frozen drink maker.

For Nella

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1. Pattern Bears – These adorable little bears are part toy, part math manipulative and come with cards to practice recognizing and making patters.

2. Kids Cherry Apron – Helping you in the kitchen just got cuter with this pint-sized cherry apron. Lick all the spoons you want.

3. Melissa & Doug Pasta Set – Ever since Nella was a baby, spaghetti has been her favorite food. Her pasta love has expanded to include a variety of noodle shapes now, so this play food set was made for her. While we don’t have a play kitchen for space reasons, we keep all our play food toys in a bin which the kids pull out frequently to play restaurant at our dining room table.

4. Rainbow Sweater – The perfect sweater for my color-loving rainbow girl.

5. Little Edge Threads Comfy Lounge Set – One of Nella’s favorite things to do after school is to switch out her clothes to “get cozy.” This comfy little lounge set is perfect and is cute enough to pass as a day outfit.

6. Melissa & Doug Suspend Jr. Game – All my kids love pulling games out, and this balance/coordination one works great for all three.

7. Inchimals Measuring Toy – Another toy/math manipulative, these charming animal blocks are sectioned into inches and include card prompts to encourage kids to play with measurements and math.

8. Old Navy Double-Strap Jersey Tank and Galaxy Print Yoga Leggings – We’re definitely going to get Nella #8, 9 and 10 this year, and I’m so excited about giving them to her because I know how much she’ll love them. Whenever she sees me exercise at home, she always wants to join me and runs to her room to find sporty clothes. She can’t quite lift my dumbbell weights for exercise though, so she’ll be delighted with #9.

9. 2-pound dumbbell weights – Little pink dumbbells, perfectly sized and weighted so that she can keep up with my exercises and enjoy the satisfaction of working alongside me.

10. Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat – And what’s a mommy/daughter exercise session without her very own yoga mat?

11. Handheld Microphone with Built-in Speaker – Nella spends half her day barking out songs to Alexa and singing along, and she’ll love it even more with this microphone. Skip the kids’ plastic microphone toys and get this gold handheld microphone with the speaker built right in.

12. Walking Flamingo Marionette Puppet – We’re big into puppets at our house, but this one goes to new levels–it walks! I think Nella will love manipulating it and creating adventures and conversations to go along.

For Dash

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1. Fred’s Dinner Winner Meal Tray – Whoever invented this (was it Fred?) is brilliant. A dinner tray mapped out into sections (eat this first, then this…) so that if they eat everything along their tray path, they get the treat hidden under the cover at the end.

2. Classic Vans – Retro cool, goes with everything.

3. STEM Take-Apart Car – I’ve been researching take-apart toys because Dash really loves constructing things and solving problems. This one’s made of wood, makes up to 20 different vehicle models, and the keypad helps kids adjust the 360 degree rotating buckle.

4. Kids Gnome Apron – Dash loves to help me in the kitchen more than any of my kids, and this little apron is great for boys or girls.

5. Zara Brotherhood Sweatshirt – Cozy for cooler months, simply designed and the perfect color for winter.

6. Magna-Tiles – Magna-Tiles are one of Dash’s favorite construction toys (all my kids love them), and expanding our set means more complex designs and possibilities for their imaginations.

7. Shark Slippers – Dash loves anything fierce and ferocious with teeth, so he’ll love these adorable Jaws slippers.

8. Magic Tracks Glow Racetrack – This is the toy he’s been asking for after he saw it somewhere, and I have to admit…it looks pretty cool. Definitely one of those I’ll still be playing with after the kids walk away.

9. Squigz Set – Another fun creativity construction toy, these little Squigz are addicting to play with. They connect to each other and any flat surface with suction.

10. Wooden Marble Run – This has Dash’s name all over it, combining the fun of design and construction with dropping a marble in and watching it fly. Bonus? Made of wood.

Let’s Talk About Drinking: Alcohol Mindfulness

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Last week, I started a conversation on Instagram Stories about drinking after I shared a quick recipe for my current favorite non-alcoholic “spritzer” and my commitment to having a healthier relationship with alcohol. I couldn’t believe the response–hundreds of direct messages sharing your own stories and expressing a desire for more conversation about this very important topic. While I wouldn’t exactly consider the amount I was drinking unhealthy, my awareness regarding purposeful choices for my body had gotten sloppy, and I was slipping into a place that, if left ignored, could definitely shift into habits that were harder to break and change my natural abilities to deal with discomfort. I don’t let myself run to the bakery to buy a creme brulee to give myself a moment of pleasure every time the kids’ demands feel overwhelming, and yet–come the witching hour–that’s what I was doing with alcohol. It wasn’t like swigging a bottle of vodka in the closet so much or passing out on the couch after too many, but I was definitely pouring a little glass of wine every night or dropping some ice in a cocktail glass for some club soda and vodka to take the edge off and present myself a calming ritual–a moment of “me time” when things got demanding.

This started to feel uncomfortable for many reasons, but it began with changes in my body. In my exercise commitment and talking with my health & fitness professionals about my goals, the conversation naturally turned to what I was putting in my body. I could eat healthy, no problem, but of course I’d laugh every week and admit that the drinks hadn’t been removed. I blamed it on the witching hour and made stupid cliché jokes about moms needing their wine. The truth is, though, I was starting to feel crappy–bloated after beer, sluggish after wine, achy after vodka. And I was hating that I couldn’t prove to myself that I had the discipline to not drink if I committed to it. I was saying things to myself like, “This is stupid–if you want to have a drink, just have a drink. It’s been a long day. You deserve it.”

Earlier this spring, the motivation gods somehow granted me a great month, and I stuck to some hardcore goals of eating good, removing gluten from my diet (experimental), nearly completely cutting alcohol and diligently running and working out. The results were transformative, mainly because I felt better than I had in a long time–refreshed, productive, clear-headed, motivated. Bonus? I fit back into some of those clothes that were getting tight. Summer slipped me back a little bit, but I don’t beat myself up too much over it. Last month, though, I realized I needed to restore my awareness with drinking habits.

I’ve made one main rule for myself with alcohol, and it’s the same rule I try and use to govern everything else: Be purposeful. Don’t just pour a glass to pour it, don’t jump to get a drink the minute the house gets chaotic. Think about it. Wait until you can enjoy it. Don’t use up your alcohol quota during moments when you can’t savor the experience. I’ve found that if I wait until everything settles down when I can sit down with a book and a drink, I don’t really want one any more anyway.

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Fancy mid-afternoon non-alcoholic spritzer.

As for the conversation around alcohol, I wrote this–yes, to share a goal with some transparency–but also to hopefully create a safe, open place to talk about women and alcohol without judgment and in a responsible way. While there are many beautiful, healthy conversations about sobriety out there, I’ve also witnessed a lot of holier-than-thou conversations that slant toward shaming the “weak public” for choosing to cloud their clarity with alcohol and forming an exclusive club for those who are better than that. The conversation’s even worse on the other end of the spectrum–you can’t dip a toe into social media these days without being hit with a “wine o’clock” meme that summarizes moms into a heap of weak drunks who can’t cope with life. I’ve made some of these jokes myself, and while–yes, every once in a while, there is an appropriate meme about drinking that really is funny–I want to be more aware of my contribution to this discussion. I’ll definitely feel better about sharing a cocktail recipe or posting a photo of a holiday toast if I’m making responsible decisions about moderation in my personal life.

From so many of your responses on Instagram, it sounds like many of you are in the same boat–gaining a little bit more awareness about the role of alcohol in our culture right now, especially with middle-aged women.

Here are some responses from readers (and thank you so much for joining the conversation on this!):

So many moms our age treating alcohol use as something funny and sassy and necessary “it’s wine ‘o clock” but it worries me that it normalizes habits that shouldn’t be habits. Alcohol is fine and dandy in moderation. But having “mommy juice cups” for wine seems a bit much and worries me about what our children might see as normal and necessary to function.”

“I used to need a drink every night to take the edge off, but I started exercising four months ago and found my drinking went way down. I no longer felt like I needed it to take the edge off.”

“I reevaluate my drinking habits every few months or so and take time off from it to keep me in check. I just always want to be in control of drinking and not have drinking be in control of me.”

I don’t drink often but at parties or groups, I find my friends shaming me if I don’t drink enough, and so I do because I want to keep fitting in. I don’t want to go back to the place where I feel judged all the time, and choosing not to drink feels like that place.”

“I’m a 2-3 glasses a night Canadian gal and recently had the same “self awareness” as you. I was feeling crappy in the morning, gaining weight, and it is expensive up here! So I am cutting back and only see positive changes.”

“I figured every time I  use alcohol to “take the edge off” or numb something, I was teaching my kids bad coping skills.”

“In my culture, drinking with moderation is completely normal. I grew up with my parents having wine with dinner, and they’ve never had a problem with alcohol. While I often have a drink with dinner, I never have more than one drink and usually can’t even finish that. But I’ve definitely received judgment from friends who don’t drink.”

“I feel like the ‘wine mom’ thing is on the verge of out of control. Alcoholism runs in my family. Over the last 5 years, I have had to deal with some very difficult situations with my mother who became an alcoholic later in life.”

“I’m a 33 year old and after having my two children and never growing up around alcohol and being raised in a non-drinking home, motherhood threw me into a tailspin where I was using it to cope with my moods and the ups and downs of day to day life with kids. I kept thinking I was just “taking the edge off,” but I literally became a full blown alcoholic. One was too many and ten was not enough. It could never just be one drink. Long story…I had to surrender.”

“Thank you for talking about this. My dad started drinking a little here and there when we were younger, but over the years, it’s taken over his life. It’s affected our family in so many ways, and I live with a lot of shame because of what alcohol did to our family. I don’t want to end up like my dad.”

So here’s where I am now. I know I’m a smart, responsible woman, and I make the rules according to what I know I can handle. Your rules might be different than mine. My friends are also smart, responsible women–some who are completely sober but have no problem with friends who drink, and others who drink more than me but do it responsibly within their own limits. I’ve made some rules for myself at this period in life based on my current habits and consequence awareness. They may change over time, but for the most part, I want to stay away from drinking during the week during these demanding years with kids, schedules and my own personal work goals. Cocktails and wine are special treats, and I savor them more when I treat them that way. I’m a ritual and celebration girl, so I’ve found other ways to create moments that still feel special at the end of a day but don’t involve alcohol. I keep Pelligrino and LaCroix in my refrigerator, and when I drink them, I pour them in a pretty glass and garnish with a lime wedge or a few berries.

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Pelligrino with a splash of tart cherry juice.

I stock up on hot tea and settle for nothing less than a good mug when I drink it.

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When the witching hour gets ugly, I practice using music, candles, fresh air, a hot bath, five minutes of a poetry book and a fancy spritzer to remind me “I’m worth it.” I give my drinks special names like the “Cutie Fizz” (Pelligrino on ice with the juice from one cutie orange and a little zest from the peel shaved on top) because it makes me happy. And when I do decide to have a drink–like last weekend when Brett’s parents took us to a charming French restaurant for dinner–I enjoy it, with a smile and the satisfaction that I make efforts toward balance. Will there be occasions where I indulge in a good cold beer on a Wednesday night? I’m sure there will be, and that’s okay. I just want to be a little more mindful about them. Also, if we’re going to a social event and know we are going to be drinking, Brett and I made the decision long ago that we Uber. We Uber not to create freedom to get crazy but because it’s a small price to pay to be safe. We Uber because we’ve heard of too many people who don’t even drink that often mess up their lives from one night of lacking judgment. We Uber because I want everyone else who’s had two drinks with dinner to Uber when my kids are on those roads, and I want my kids to Uber someday when they might possibly be on the borderline of what’s safe.

I want to drink responsibly on “regular” days to keep the other occasions special–summer-in-Michigan cocktails on the dock, first night of vacation toasts, Christmas Eve martinis. And I don’t want to make choices that disrupt my commitment to living my very best life.

I’m fascinated by this conversation though and would love to hear your thoughts on it.  (Also, check out this Enjoli essay by Kristi Coulter–insightful). And if anyone has any fabulous mocktail recipes, please…do share!

As we head into a holiday week where we make room for indulging, I’m looking forward to finding the right balance so we can enjoy all the things we are meant to enjoy…with purpose.

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