Mindful Holiday Gift Guide: Travel, Spa, Wellness (and more)

It’s the season of giving and here at Mindful Adventures we’re also embracing ‘last minute’ shopping.  So if you’re also being mindful of the gifts you choose for your friends and family then my hope is that you’ll be inspired by our thoughtful list of products, services and experiences.
Perhaps they’ll make a difference in the lives you touch and maybe you’ll choose one for yourself to help you create lasting peace, joy and a healthier lifestyle!
Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season and a year filled with joy and new adventures.


First up….

Sixteen Hands Candle Company

I’m a huge fan of candles and these are so much fun and they smell amazing – the scent lingers.  Soy-blend candles that are hand poured in Monterey, CA.  ‘Ride On’ captured my attention because of the vivid orange color with an inspiring orange, flora, and citrus scent  – a color that also reminds me of the Sacral Chakra for Creativity.  And, ‘Ride On‘ brings back memories of cross country road trips.  Happy  Trails is another that called out to me for this round-up – I used to ride horses and this one reminds me of that feeling of being free.  It’s woodsy in vibrant green and also reminds me of being in nature with its scent of redwoods and wildflowers.

Visit Sixteen Hands Candle Company to see the full line-up of these horse inspired candles including the Holiday line.

Decoded Bracelets

These are the most unique bracelets I’ve ever seen and a must for this Mindful Holiday Guide and your holiday shopping (affordable, too).  ‘Grateful‘ and ‘Breathe‘ are certainly favorites, however, there are so many other wonderful handcrafted bracelets with a secret Morse Code message.  And what’s really cool is that you can create your own custom design with different bracelet colors, beads, and Morse code colors.   I created one just for Mindful Adventures and will introduce it in a separate article (coming soon!).

Visit DecodedDesigns and let Shannon know that you heard about these unique bracelets here.

Let’s continue …


Do you love shoes?  I have to say that I’m not a Carrie Bradshaw when it comes to shoes – and yet I love when ‘the shoe fits’ as is often not the case.  Well, that has changed. This is the first time I’m showcasing a shoe brand – maybe it’s an odd gift to buy for someone else – and maybe not.  Plus, this guide is also about finding items that may be beneficial to your own well-being.  So….if you’re on a quest for a shoe that fits well – you’ve gotta look at this brand as I was recently introduced to Arcopedico and am so grateful.  They’re lightweight, stylish, supportive…and comfy!  I have Luana – it’s a low boot with a faux suede upper and even though my feet run extremely narrow, this fit well with regular socks.  Looking at another called Lolitas next!  Seriously, all kinds of options at Arcopedico and if you love to travel then they may have just what you’re looking for.

Visit Arcopedico for more details and the latest styles.

The Mystical Ark by Eileen Patra

Adventure, mystery, and a touch of romance meet thought-provoking spiritual ideas in this work of visionary fiction by first-time novelist, Eileen Patra. The action begins on page one…
I’m more of a self-help, Dr. Wayne Dyer, etc. reader and I had the honor of being a beta reader for this and loved this novel so much – it was great to be part of the adventure.  And in some ways, a Mindful Adventure.
My Amazon Review: You’ll be enthralled by the adventure of The Mystical Ark from the start. It’s one of those novels that you want to keep reading as it’s filled with intrigue, romance, imagination, wonder and spirituality. Ms. Patra created depth with her characters and readers may find that they connect with one. The people, the places, and the visions are so vivid that you will feel one with the journey. Readers will have questions and ‘aha’ moments within the story and then it goes deeper and even more fascinating.  Alas, all will be revealed.   – This breakout novel is a tour de force. Your only question at the end will be…where to next?

Visit The Mystical Ark for more information and your own copy.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

Claireworks, Arroyo Seco, NM

I stumbled upon Claireworks over 12 years ago while in Arroyo Seco during my first solo cross-country road trip. This gem in the desert is only a short ride from Taos and well worth the ride.  It’s grown since I was last there and you’ll find restaurants, pottery, and other artsy shops.  My kind of village, for sure.  I knew that something would be coming home with me as soon as I walked into Claireworks – and it did – you could say it Captured My Heart – it’s still a piece that I treasure as it has a deeper meaning for me.    The Sweetheart piece is still high on my list – hopefully one day it will make its way to me.

The one I’d like to point out though for this list is the Optimist selection, which was created for the Holiday Season.  The slide on the necklace has turquoise on one side and mother of pearl on the other. Claireworks will donate 50% of the sale of Optimist to Habitat for Humanity.
Visit Claireworks for the Optimist and more.

21 Days to Self Love by Sara Drury

Sara Drury’s decade spent working as an entrepreneur in the beauty industry led her to discovering a missing link between inner beauty and outer beauty. To validate her theory, Drury began years of research that took her beauty expertise beneath the surface to help people bridge the gap from the inside out. With her first book, 21 Days to Self-Love, Drury works toward closing that gap by leading women through processes to unlock their inner magic and create the life of their dreams.

Drury describes her new book as a self-coaching guide and workbook filled with short, actionable tactics, “The book is meant to be your companion and I am your guide. For 21 days, I ask the reader to set aside 10-30 minutes daily to do the work inside. It takes approximately 21 days for new habit to start to form. Since self-love is all about rewiring your brain and changing your mindset habits, I created the book and program around 21 days.”
Get your copy of 21 Days to Self Love here.


Grace and Gratitude by Olivia Newton-John

The first song that I heard from this CD, Grace and Gratitude by Olivia Newton-John, was Let Go Let God, while on a retreat in Ireland.  I’m actually listening to it – again – as I write this for you.  Everything about this song – the lyrics, the music, Olivia’s voice – they all transport me to a place of calm, faith, and trust.  And every other song on this will touch your soul.   It was originally released in 2006 by Walgreens to benefit various cancer charities.  It was then re-released in 2010 and I’m so grateful to have purchased it in 2018.

Grace and Gratitude – another song that I listen to over and over – also touches me deeply.
According to Olivia’s website:  This “healing” CD was part of her launch of a signature line of mind, body and spirit wellness products for women.

Find out more on Olivia Newton-John’s site:

“It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine.” – Isabel Allende

WANDERLUST – Wellness Travel Experiences

Miraval Austin

Miraval Austin opened in early 2019 and I had the pleasure of visiting in September.  I have to say that I loved the experience – and – if you’re a loyal fan of the Tucson location then you’ll need to give yourself a little time to embrace what Austin has to offer. They have a great team that is passionate about this location and attentive to guests’ needs.

Tip: Be sure to leave your digital devices turned off as this is a non-dig resort, which ensures a ‘Be Present’ mode of enjoyment. And a digital detox is probably what you need to fully immerse into a healthier lifestyle.  It was for me!

There are 117 beautiful and comfortable guestrooms and suites, the Life in Balance Spa, a 10-acre farm and ranch, a state-of-the-art Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen, and other lovely buildings and gardens.   There are new treatments and wellness classes as well as the tried and true from Miraval Arizona.

My favorite spot though is the Solidago Garden, where I took this photo. It’s a calming, beautiful, and inspiring space – my new go-to spot for solitude.

Looking to visit? Let’s connect and I’ll review the best options for your dates and give you more insight on classes and services.  
Cyber promo is currently going on so let’s connect soon!

The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, PA

Return to nature at this wellness resort.  They’ve received many accolades over the years and while it’s a great location during the summer and fall months, the Lodge is open year round.  From kayaking and forest bathing during the warmer months to snowshoeing in winter.

The indoor space is beautiful with many areas to unwind, rejuvenate and relax, including their beautiful rooms and relaxing spa.

Three meals are included in TREE Restaurant and Bar where the Chef focuses on naturally-raised meats, fish, and organic, locally grown vegetables.  The menu also reflects some of these sources.   Having been back there over the summer it was a great time to meander around the property and I love the gardens that are on property as you know the items for TREE are being sourced from there when available.

Tip:  The Midweek Magic promo is one of the best.

Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Mexico

Take the time to ‘meander the paths’ at the Ranch and you might just find your life will open up to unlimited possibilities.

That’s what happened for me and Rancho remains one of my most beloved wellness resorts.  They offer an abundance of fitness classes, hiking opportunities for the beginner to advanced, cooking demos, lectures and plenty of options for pampering in the health centers. Meals are nourishing, vegetarian and simply delicious.
If you love to cook or want to learn more about healthy cooking then a hands-on cooking class at La Cocina Que Canta is for you and a ‘must do hike’ is the Organic Breakfast Hike.  And, one of my favorite activities is the Crystal Bowls Sound Healing – be sure to look for it on the schedule.
Looking to visit Rancho? I currently have a special over certain dates – let’s connect and I’ll review the best options for your dates and give you more insight on classes and services.  

We can all agree that self-care is important and while it’s beneficial to take some time and experience a wellness resort to reset, relax and rejuvenate you can also consider a spa service locally when you can’t fit in a few nights away.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY

If you’re also a fan of ginger and other warm holiday spices then this may interest you, too.
The Ginger Rejuvenator – This ultra-moisturizing, multi-sensory treatment utilizes the beneficial properties of ginger root, lemongrass, cinnamon and peppermint to soothe away tension, hydrate the skin and warm the spirit. Focusing on the back, hands and feet, the experience spans body and mind to ensure guests are ready to take on the remainder of the holiday shuffle in stride.
Visit Mohonk Mountain House for more details.

Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, CA

The Alpine Peppermint Foot Treatment was conceived to help guests refresh and reinvigorate tired legs and feet after a season of constant shopping, travel and festivities. This treatment combines a peppermint-infused salt scrub with an alpine herbal acupressure massage for a treat guests will treasure. Offered a la carte or as part of the resort’s newly launched Holiday De-Stress Package, which also features additional limited-time spa offerings including a calming Silent Night Scrub and Massage, the treatment is available exclusively during the month of December.  Visit Rosewood Hotels, Miramar Beach – Sense Spa for more details.

Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings!
Best wishes for a New Year filled with Joy, Prosperity & many Mindful Adventures!

– Donna xo

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