#TreatYourself - Holiday Edition!

It's that time of year again... the insane amounts of shopping for family, close friends, and your secret Santa! For those of you who enjoy "retail therapy," this is just heavenly. The most socially acceptable time to indulge in your favorite vice, judgement free. Enjoy the splurge sister!

For those of you who need a break from thinking about everyone else, here's a fun question: what gift have you been meaning to get for yourself for a while, but keep putting off because "it's frivolous" or "it's too expensive" or "you don't really need it"?

Sometimes, the sheer act of treating ourselves to something slightly frivolous is less about the actual object, and all about the fact that you are honoring yourself and your desires. If you want it, you can afford it, and you're not causing any harm in acquiring it (whatever that it is), then Treat Yourself to it! Savor the feeling of finally getting that gift you always wanted yourself - and remember how good it feels every time you touch, feel, or use that gift. 

Over the years, I've acquired a few of these treasures, and when people ask me why I spent so much, or was it really worth it, I proudly and happily say "Yes"! Because my health and wellness are priceless, and so is investing in companies that support my values.

From the best water filter and blender, to last minute massage, here's a list of my favorite #TreatMyself gifts, whether its the holidays or any other day ;-) 



Berkey Water Filter

A small family business, that is also eco friendly because the filters last years, and the quality is great! This is more than just another filter, it purifies water. You can learn all the technical details here and here, but what honestly amazed me the most, was this:

When you buy the filter and set it up at home, the instructions tell you to test it when complete, to make sure water is not leaking through at all, and running entirely through the filter. To do this, you put red food dye in it! AND IT FILTERS IT OUT! It's amazing! 

cleaned and ready for testing.

cleaned and ready for testing.

goes in red, comes out clear....

goes in red, comes out clear....

the most amazing filter I've seen!

the most amazing filter I've seen!

Pros: can filter a large amount of water depending on the size you get. In our home, we use it for cooking and rinsing our produce, so we refill our 2.5 gallon container often - almost daily. Stainless steel is important for some people, but I ended up getting the plastic version, because I can see through it, and shipping was less - it's lighter. Filter(s) last for years. Tastes great!

Cons: If you over fill it, it will leak. Should be taken apart and cleaned every 6 months, but I've let it slide a few more months and it does not impact quality. Takes up a bit of counter space, so in our tiny apartment, we invested in this great shelf for all our kitchen appliances and such.



The Vitamix

This mighty blender is raved about for a reason. It is super powerful, huge, and can blend delicious smoothies, homemade tahini, hummus, vegan parmesan, vegan ice cream (aka n'ice cream), and so much more. We use it almost everyday. While I've never used it to heat up soup as everyone seems to wonder, I have pureed soups in it with ease.

lots & lots of green smoothie!

lots & lots of green smoothie!

Pros: 7 year warranty. Made in the USA. Instructional book & DVD teach you how to use the different speeds, and its versatility. Easy to clean. Can make large or small amounts of just about any blended food/drink.

Cons: The model I have is a bit older, and too tall to fit under cabinets. But newer models were designed to be shorter (while still holding the same volume), and corrected this. Not ideal for anything you want to remain chunky. For example, if you want to chop peanuts, you'll need to do it in small batches, or else it will turn into peanut butter. 



Thrive Market

If Costco and Whole Foods had a digital love child, it would be Thrive Market. This company is providing access to natural, organic foods and products in food deserts where people have limited access to these goods. And for those of us lucky enough to have a Whole Foods nearby, the discounts do add up. Plus, the featured products and free giveaways let you try and discover new goodies often. 

Pros: Free shipping available. Specialty items you can only find at specific health food stores, delivered to your door (no special trip to Whole Foods for that organic shampoo). Their giving back policy. I saved over $1000 in the first year I was a member, well worth the $59.95 annual membership.

Free kitty toys (kitty loves the packaging and box)

Free kitty toys (kitty loves the packaging and box)

Cons: orders can take a few days. When I first joined, it was up to 8 business days I had to wait to receive my order. Now it's better, but can still take a few days. Lots of packaging ensures your products arrive safely, but none of the plastic is recyclable. My Inner Hippie dislikes this, but I've also had one of those plastic bags prevent a whole jar of tahini from spilling into the rest of the order when it broke (and customer service is stellar at replacing any broken or damaged goods).



Zeel - same day, in-home massage.

As a massage therapist, I often got calls from clients or referrals in horrible pain, and they wanted a massage ASAP! When my schedule allowed, I would make these last minute appointments, but more often than not, I simply couldn't. 

Zeel is a service perfect for bridging that gap. With over 500 therapists in the Miami and tri county area, you can have a licensed professional come to your home in just a few hours! They're now in 41 cities if you live elsewhere. Anywhere you use it, you can use this promo code, and get $25 off your first massage: Pri25

yes, you can totally get massages while pregnant (after the 1st trimester). 

yes, you can totally get massages while pregnant (after the 1st trimester). 

Pros: As a therapist, it pays well and allows for maximum flexibility. As a client, it's super convenient, easy to set up, and all handled digitally so you don't have to worry about paying after being super relaxed. Arranging a couples massage is very easy too. And it's in your home, so you can just roll into bed and sleep like a baby right after!

Cons: You may not always get the same therapist. While you can download the app and request a massage in as little as 1 hour, I recommend at least 2-3 hours so your therapist isn't rushed getting there. The more notice you can give, the better. A bit more than most therapists charge privately, but a lot less than fancy spas charge. You pay a bit more for the last minute service and convenience, but are still saving compared to going to most spas. 




Ok. I know this one may seem like a weird #TreatYourself gift, but I only discovered audiobooks this year, and it's changed my life! Yes, that may sound cheesy or extreme, but it's true. Even though I still kinda feel like I'm "cheating" by listening rather than reading, I've been able to read about a book a month since I joined. Sadly, that's a lot more than when I try reading the actual book... like a LOT more. 

You can try it for 30 days and see for yourself. #TreatYourself to some knowledge!

this could be you, listening to a book...

this could be you, listening to a book...

Pros: being able to listen/read while driving, cleaning, or just running errands. Plus, all of the above are more enjoyable because of it (and podcasts to vary it up). Easy to install on your phone and listen anywhere. Large selection, and less than $15 per book!

Cons: takes up some space on your phone, but can easily be deleted from device, while remaining in your account. Can't physically highlight or bookmark, but there is a digital option. Poor narration, which you can easily "return" and get a refund for (did it in less than 5 minutes once).  




Hope these #TreatYourself ideas have inspired you to take care of yourself this holiday season. Let me know if you liked these, or have any other specific products/services you'd like to ask me about via email: info (at) priscillacarolyn (dot) com. The comments feature is currently not working, but Squarespace is working on it.

Happy Holidays, and always remember:

place the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping others ;-)


*full disclosure, because I love these products and use them so much, I have chosen to become an affiliate of theirs. This means that if you purchase any product above using a link provided by me in this post, I receive a small commission. The only exception is Zeel. I have worked as a massage therapist with them for almost 2 years, and love their service. By inputting my promo code (Pri25), you will get $25 off your first massage, and I'll get a commission. A win-win!