Fri 03 Jan 2014

Get In Shape: New Year’s Resolutions

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Get In Shape: New Year’s ResolutionsWith last year just days away, you’ve probably got New Year’s resolutions on the brain. Amirite? There’s definitely something about a fresh calendar year that jump starts our desire to make positive changes. Being surrounded by friends, family, and co-workers who are also brainstorming ways to improve makes this an especially ideal time for such endeavors. Bonus!

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring some of the most popular New Years resolutions in a new series of blog posts. Be sure to come back and let us know which of the featured resolutions that you will be committing to, or to suggest tips for sticking to new resolutions.

The most popular New Years resolution is always… drumroll please… Get In Shape!
There are countless ways to do this, and here are a few of my favorite tips and fitness products.


Get Fit this year

The best in-person fitness option is Groupon
Seriously, Groupon just obliterates your excuses for not trying something new.
The discounts are insane, and you get lots of local options to choose from.
Bootcamps, personal trainers, and unlimited fitness classes for a month are just a few of the fitness related Groupons I’ve seen listed.
Why not try a new style of exercise this year? Who knows, maybe you’re a Capoeira master and you just don’t know it yet ;)

Xbox 360 plus Kinect
The best at-home fitness option is a Kinect.
An Xbox 360 with Kinect was totally The Best gift I got this Christmas!
Nike+ Kinect and Hip Hop Dance Experience are my favorites for straight up fitness.
There’s just something about workin’ and twerkin’ at home in my undies :)
But you know what? Even the non-fitness game titles – like Adventures – give a pretty decent workout, too.
Plus, there is a huge variety of niche exercise games like Zumba, UFC training, and of course lots of dance games.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to set clear fitness goals for yourself, get plenty of rest and pure water, and maybe most importantly…

Be playful about fitness!

Studies show that when we approach a task with a playful mentality – also called “beginners mind” – we reach our goals faster and have a better time along the journey.

So speak kindly to yourself as you’re transforming your body, and remember to approach exercise like a game.
You’ll have more fun :)

New Year’s Resolutions

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Thu 09 Dec 2010

Unique Christmas Gifts from Uncommon Goods

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If Mable’s had a sister store, we would be total twins with UncommonGoods. They have so many truly unique and head turning items, and many of them are eco-friendly or artisan made. Pretty much the best combo ever, if you ask us.

This time of year UncommonGoods puts their customer favorite items into awesome gift guides. There’s categories for everyone, but here are the major ones;

uncommon christmas gift for kids

uncommon christmas gifts for her

uncommon christmas gifts for him

Check it out and let us know your favorites. Like UncommonGoods’ slogan says, you’ll find anything but ordinary :)

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Thu 11 Dec 2008

Green Christmas Ideas

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Green Christmas IdeasWe love our local co-op. Every month they publish an amazing newsletter that is full of fresh articles and ideas that inspire us to “live green”. When I read their December cover list called “Celebrate the Eco Way”, I knew I had to share it with Mable’s readers. Enjoy and have a wonderful green holiday season!

“During the holiday season we tend, as a whole, to consume more. And, in doing so we create more… waste, that is. The following is a short list of ideas to help you reduce, reuse and recycle this season.

  • Purchase living gifts such as house plants, garden seeds or potted trees that can be transplanted in the spring.
  • Reduce waste by offering homemade food items or personal services as gifts. Baking cookies or preparing a meal a week for someone who would appreciate the help are two examples.
  • Reuse holiday wrapping: use old maps or pages from newspaper comics for wrapping gifts.
  • Reuse good quality, nearly new items as gifts or as donations to less fortunate individuals and families. Local charities can help distribute these items.
  • If your celebration calls for a Christmas tree, compensate for the harvest of your tree; arrange to plant a new tree in your yard or neighborhood next spring.
  • Give gifts that promote eco friendly life style changes. For example: cloth napkins and tablecloths, cloth or string shopping bags, a compost bin, gift certificates to resale shops, lunch boxes, reusable or biodegradable picnic plates, cups and utensils, recycling bins, or any gift made from recycled materials.

To preserve the spirit of giving, don’t try to give too much. Less “stuff” means less waste and a healthier environment for everyone.”

For more eco-friendly gift ideas,br> check out our other green holiday pages

Article courtesy of San Diego’s organic and vegetarian Ocean Beach People’s Co-op.

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Wed 17 Sep 2008

Hot Halloween Costumes for 2008

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2008 Top Halloween Costumes
Guess what we’ve been doing lately? Just like every September and October, our brains and lives get totally into Halloween mode while we work on our Halloween Costume section and our Halloween website. After a ton of research and harnessing our Halloween Super Senses, we’ve completed our Hot Halloween Costumes List for 2008! It’s full of the best, most popular costume ideas for everyone in the family;

  • Girls Costumes
  • Boys Costumes
  • Women Costumes
  • Children Costumes

Whether you need an awesome costume idea or are just curious about what the trends will be like this Halloween, check out our list! If you’re a big Halloween fan like us, be sure to visit our other site 365 Halloween and subscribe to the RSS feed. When October rolls around we don’t do much else besides keep 365Halloween.com updated every day, so it’s always lively over there!

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Wed 06 Feb 2008

Handmade Valentines Day Gift Ideas

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Last year, the handmade revolution caught on like wildfire. Giving handmade gifts says so much more than any factory made item, and it supports independent artists, too. We scouted out some unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas that would make a loving and unexpected gift for your special someone.

funny, snarky, mean anti Valentine's Day cardsIt’s official: Etsy is the place to get handmade items year-round. They have a beautiful Valentine’s Day Showcase to make it easy for us shoppers to find those truly unique items.

Let’s begin with a couple anti Valentine’s Day gift ideas, because not everyone thinks hearts and candy on February 14th. The one of a kind creations from Snarky Cards make me genuinely LOL. Over the course of about a week, I’ve read every card to Sean, which prompts us to cackle with delight. (I almost wish I had more questionable relationships so that I would have a reason to use these cards. Almost.) They’ll send the perfect message to your ex, or anybody else you want to stick it to this V-Day.

handmade Anti Valentines Day SNARK bracelet This Anti Valentines Day bracelet from Ben can Dance Creations is similarly blunt and snarky. With such unmistakable missives as DIE, KTHX BYE, and U SUCK, your target will get the message loud and clear. A perfect piece of jewelry that says “I hate Valentine’s Day”, but is still super cute.

For those of you with more traditional- and functional- relationships in mind this holiday, here are our absolute favorite picks from the myriad of handmade cards on Etsy:

handmade Valentines cards
Handmade Valentine’s Day cards (from left to right) from Art by Nakisha, Twisted String, and picklehead.

Although Etsy is increasingly popular, there are still lots of handmade Valentine gifts on eBay, so be sure to check those out, too:

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Wed 19 Dec 2007

Last Minute Shipping Deals and Coupons

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GaiamIt’s coming down to the wire to be able to get gifts to their place before the 25th, but thankfully online stores are helping out with free upgraded shipping, free shipping, and more coupons. Check out these stores for their gift guides and shipping deals.

GaiamFREE 2 Day Shipping on Any In-Stock Order with Coupon Code: FEDEX13. Offer only Valid Wednesday Dec 19th – expires Thursday, Dec 20th at 10:00 a.m. EST.

LittleMissMatched -10% off orders through December 24th with Coupon Code: AFHOL10. Very cute items with emphasis on miss matched pajamas, socks, and more!

Brookstone – View Brookstone’s top Holiday gifts. Get 50% off the In-Out Blanket in a Bag – a $39.95 value, now only $19.99!

Buy Costumes – Get 25% OFF Christmas items (costumes, party supplies, decor, etc.) with the special Coupon Code: holi25.

The Succulent Wife – Just increased their last minute savings coupon to 15% OFF! Coupon Code: Merry15. Offer is valid now through 12/21. They have great gift ideas and lots of handmade artisan goods for those with an eco-friendly gift giving agenda.

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Mon 17 Dec 2007

Gadget Gift Roundup Part 1

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Gadgets are a part of daily life for pretty much everybody in 2007, so gadget gifts aren’t just for computer nerds anymore! We’ve rounded up some great tech gift ideas for everyone on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a business professional, social network butterfly, or any gadget-lover in-between, keep reading for some retail inspiration.

6 Device Electronics Charger: This little beauty is going to simplify a lot of lives. It’s six tentacles contain “six adapters that fit most portable devices, allowing an entire briefcase-full of electronic office tools to be fully powered in an average of two hours”. Comes with a regular and car charger so that you can also power up on the go.

iRobot Roomba & Scooba Roomba 500 Series Robot Vacuum: It’s December 2007, and jet packs are still not available yet. The next best thing would definitely be the cleaning robots available from iRobot. Not only is the new 500 series vastly improved from earlier models, but there are also robots that mop your floors, vacuum up your shop, and clean your gutters. Also, with no AI chip* there’s no threat of your Roomba leading an electronic revolt. *(You’ll need iRobot Create developers kit for that)

Chaotic-Artistic Gadget Organizer: Shopping for an oxymoron? This beautiful tangle of wires is named Harry, and he is as unique and tech savvy as his future owner. Inside his guts you can have fun nestling not just gadgets, but keys, wallets, and whatever else you’re likely to throw on the table as soon as you get home.

DIY Laptop Sleeve/Bag: The laptop bags that we featured in our Indie Christmas part 1 post were amazing, but sometimes totally custom is the way to go. Let your laptop lover design every detail of their bag with the Skooba customizable sleeve that also cleverly transforms into a handled bag.

Bluetooth Rear View Mirror: Between cell phone laws and sloppy drivers, Bluetooth devices continue to prove themselves invaluable for traveling. The only question is, which will make you look crazier: talking to an earbud or talking to your rearview mirror?

USB Podcast Studio Kit: Blogging is so 2006. All the cool kids (and pretty much everyone else) know that podcasting is where its at. With this kit, give your nouveau podcaster “everything needed for crystal clear audio recording and editing”, packed up all cool into an aluminum briefcase.

Check back in a couple days for some last minute gift ideas in our Gadget Gift Roundup Part 2.

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Fri 14 Dec 2007

Indie Christmas Part 1

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We planned on doing another gift guide this year: something similar to last year’s Green gift Guide. However, the new site design just ended up taking forever to finish and now we don’t have the energy to start another big project. What we’re going to do instead is blog like crazy about our personal favorite gift ideas.

Pledge to Buy Handmade this holiday season Have you pledged to Buy Handmade this year? Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving, it’s better for people, and better for the environment. (The BH crew elaborate on these points nicely.) As the purveyor of all things handmade, here come our top picks from a few choice Etsy categories.

Indie handmade laptop totes on Etsy
Clockwise from top left: Custom Laptop Bag: any size, and print from BlueTwirls, Artist Tote from SuperbKitsch, Echino Wolf Full Size Messenger Bag
You have a LAPTOP; Yay! Now you need something to keep it safe, portable, and stylish. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this bunch, but I sure appreciate all the pockets inside the Artist Tote. And with a name like that, I’m already feeling tempted to carry around some colored pencils. Be sure to look at close-up product shots because these are all made with amazing attention to detail.

Handmade stuffed animals on Etsy
Clockwise from left: Four Eyes No. 1 from Lisa Brodar, Fergie plush toy, Chandrea Collection no.46 art doll by Chad Frick. Now these STUFFED CREATURES have some personality. I especially like the geeky cute glasses on plush Four Eyes.

Recycled Art from artists on Etsy
Clockwise from top left: Vintage Shadowbox Art from theArtCreations, Cupcake System print by Kelly Newcomer, 3 painted robot floppy disks by gammaraybots
There is ART for everyone on Etsy. Like lots of other items, the shadowbox and disks are made from recycled materials, making them an even better choice.

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Mon 22 Oct 2007

Halloween Shipping and Monster Costume Sale

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Halloween SalesLike you saw last year, things get pretty dead around here during Halloween because we’re posting over at 365Halloween.com. Here are some Halloween sales that we posted about over there that are still in effect.

Fright Catalog Monster Costume Clearance – Get up to 60% off select costumes. Also remember to use code SPOOKY07 to get 10% off orders $90+.
UPDATE: Get up to 33% off all Gortraits (gorey portraits).

BuyCostumesThere is still time to order your costume online and get it before Halloween, but you have to act quick. Get discount shipping (on orders $60+) plus guaranteed Halloween delivery. See their shipping chart to make sure you order in time for Halloween.

Costume Craze – Use coupon code LNTEN to get 10% off

Be sure to see our previous post about Halloween discounts and Halloween store coupons. Some of those devilish deals are still in effect. Better yet, subscribe to our Halloween Sales RSS Feed and be the first to know.

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Mon 27 Nov 2006

Recycled Solar Wreath

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In the heirarchy of green products, those that cleverly solve two problems at once reign supreme. Not only is this wreath made from recycled plastic, but the lights are powered by a solar cell. To make a smart idea even smarter, it’s daylight-sensing and automatically turns the lights on or off so you don’t waste your solar charge. I’m not sure if it’s just proves that the manufacturer really knows their target market, or to play up the “hippie” allure, but you can choose from the traditional style or a peace sign shaped wreath.

$89

Gaiam also offers gift certificates so recipients can find their own perfect present.

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