MINIMALIST DAD GIFTS

If you’re lucky enough to have a father figure in your life, you may have heard the old adage that Dad’s are notoriously difficult to shop for. How many ties or wallets can you really give a fella? Plus, many people are getting burnt out on our incessant capitalist materialism, and people are beginning to crave, both as givers and receivers, something more meaningful than a forced token.

Let’s also not make the mistake of assuming all Dads are cis men. Gender is fluid so let’s celebrate all of our Trans and Non-Binary Dads too. Plus some Moms are taking the responsibility of both parents so let’s shout out to the Mom-Dads as well! Whomever the “Dad” in your life, blood or chosen, here are some minimalist and low waste gifts to consider on Father’s Day.

  1. Consumables
    Consider a bag of fancy coffee beans with that delicious aroma pouring out, or a gift card to their favorite cafe or eatery. Don’t forget to be a good consumer and shop Black Businesses. Check out MBG’s 19 Black-Owned Coffee Brands & Roasters You Can Order From Online to purchase your delish coffee gifts.
  2. GoldBelly Delivery
    Oh My Gaga. Did you know you can literally get the best most authentic food from anywhere delivered with this incredible delivery service. Order a favorite dish without having to travel to a different state to get famous, mouth watering, delicacies delivered to the doorstep.
  3. Handmade Art
    It doesn’t matter now old you are, parents love gifts made by their kids. Spruce up a drawing or abstract painting with a custom frame. Or take a pottery or sculpture class and make something unique. Better yet, gift the class to your parent. Michael’s has all the creative supplies you can dream of, custom framing, and regular boasts sales of at least 20% off for both new and returning customers.
  4. Tickets to a Game, Theatre, or Concert
    Let’s be real, we’ve been cooped up for a long time. If it’s safe and you’re family is vaccinated and comfortable with the idea of venturing out, it may be a decent time to consider going to a show or a game. You can often buy tickets months out of you need more time to adjust (like me), or pick a venue with ample exterior seating options. Eventbrite is a great place to shop for events while supporting local and independent creators and LGBTQIA + BIPOC businesses.
  5. Spa Day or Massage
    Who doesn’t love to be pampered. Whether it’s a massage or a trip to the sauna and hot tub, this is a gift anyone would love to get some well deserved R+R. Groupon is always an easy place to find a sweet local deal.

I’m ready to celebrate with a list like that! Don’t forget, these gift ideas can extend beyond father’s day to birthdays, holidays, or no-reason-at-all day. What is a favorite minimalist gift you’ve given or received? Tell us in the comments below!

For those of us without Dads, or for the moms that are shouldering the responsibility of both parents, I commend you. I don’t have a dad and I turned out pretty great. Remember, you are strong, amazing, worthy, and full of love. I believe in you!

This blog is not sponsored and these are not affiliate links. These are just brands that I like and support personally.

RITUAL DE CAFE

Coffee has always been a prized start to my day but lately, it is even more cherished.

Almost 2 months ago I was finally able to develop – and stick to – a morning routine that would start my day on the right foot. I have struggled my whole life to be a morning person, in fact, I stopped trying years ago. But when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2016 it got MUCH worse.

Once this disease took over my body I was dysfunctionally exhausted all of the time. I barely made it through the day. I was going to bed at 6pm and waking up at 2am with insomnia. If I didn’t have a day job I would have been in bed the whole day without question. No matter what I did I was beyond exhausted around the clock. I could not function to save my life.

Once my medication was dialed in, which took almost a year, my sleep cycles didn’t become normal, but were more manageable. Insomnia happened less frequently and exhaustion levels went from impossible to somewhat sadly manageable, but my mornings never recovered. It felt like whatever my body was doing to process this illness it was doing overnight and in the morning I had a mega ton of bricks weighing me down. It took everything I had to claw out of bed.

I missed my formerly energetic self, my old life. I knew, like many other tragedies in my life, that this would be no different: I must refuse to be a victim. I did not want to live the rest of my days on Earth feeling this way, plain and simple. This was the WHY that kept me searching for answers.

Of course the road is not that easy with a chronic illness and though I wished to cure myself overnight, it has taken several years to gain back my strength and diminish the ever powerful symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, chronic muscle and bone pain, and more.

Coffee wasn’t waking me up, but the aroma, the steam rising from the cup, the warmth touching my lips, still gave me a cozy way to start my day. I was devastated to learn that I would not be able to drink coffee upon waking with my new medication which requires an empty stomach for an hour before ingesting anything…and 4 hours for ibuprofen so you better not wake up with a hangover.

So I started setting my alarm at 5:30am so I could take my pill and fall back asleep until I was allowed to have coffee. For the first few years I thought it would be nice to be able to actually wake up at this time and do a work out or get some writing in, but it seemed to be harder and harder to wake up even when my symptoms were *mostly* under control. “Is this medication really serving me,” I often wondered.

In the beginning of March I attended Tony Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within and unleash we did! In full transparency, I have visualized aplenty, and I have incredible will power in many areas of my life, but I think what was different for me this time was we practiced a visualization where we didn’t see the outcome we wanted, but the outcome we didn’t want. What would life be like if you continue on this path you are on, where you are not practicing the rituals and actions that would make the difference in your life? Who would you become? How much more would it hurt? How much worse would it get? What would your life look like years after doing nothing differently that you’re doing today? How would your relationships turn out? Your body? Your mindset?

I can’t even begin replicate Tony’s incredible guidance in a blog post because it is genuine total immersion and the exercises we do over those 4 days unlock so many blocks within you using neuropsychology and other scientifically backed techniques that create multitudes of AHA moments, but for me particularly, it was beyond transformative to go into the depth of that negative visualization that really gave me the boot in the rear I needed to break the cycle I was stuck in.

What on earth does this have to do with coffee?

For the past 7 weeks I’ve been waking up at 5:30am 🤯 and getting into a myriad of amazing things to start my day. I have a nice walk with my dog, I have a glorious morning facial routine, a cold shower, drink lemon water and celery juice, meditate and prime my body and mind, and I work out with @kinrgy every day. This has been a game changer. I still have to pinch myself it’s going so well. *The full details of my morning routine will be posted on May 4th, my 2 month anniversary of being a legit morning person!

I don’t even have coffee until 7:30am! By that time it is the icing on the cake and it just tastes that much better. I have eliminated sugar from diet and I feel a gazillion times better for it. I simply add some pure, creamy, non-dairy, alt-milk like @nutpods and sometimes I’ll top it off with cinnamon and it is the perfect reward to everything I’ve already accomplished.

I love that I don’t need coffee to wake me up, but I get to simply enjoy the flavor and ritual of the ceremony.

☕️ How do you take your coffee? ☕️

Sueño

At a moment’s notice, I was going to what appeared to be Spain with a friend and her family. It felt more like South America but geographically it was in Europe.

The first night I was super tired so I went to sleep early. The next day it took a while to find each other but I found her at a bar restaurant and we had a drink. I felt like I needed a shower and said I’d meet her later. We had to catch a bus to another town too. After the shower, I decided to go on the bus ride early and meet them in the next town in a few hours because I didn’t want to go back to the bar.

The bus was loud and crowded. It was a 3+ hour ride. After 2 hours I was restless and regretting not taking the bus ride with them. What was I going to do while I waited? Just then we were coming upon a small town which I had heard of, and I decided I would get out and explore. Then I could get back on the next bus to the final destination and our timing would be aligned. All the while I had been texting her about what I was up to so we could meet in the evening.

The town was tiny. When I first got off the bus, I noticed a building where all the commuters were coming from and assumed it was the station. I had immediately gone over to inquire about the next bus towards Madrid but at the moment I crossed the street they closed the large iron gate and it was revealed that it was more of a church. I noted the streets and location to return for the next departure and presumed it was more of a bus stop than a station since it was such a tiny town.

Coincidentally, though we appear to be in Spain, this Madrid seemed more like the Madrid in the corridor between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were in the boonies. This was a landmark, not a destination. Further, our intention was to go to an even tinier town near this parallel Madrid.

I headed towards a cafe for an espresso. When I arrived, a beautiful wolf pup of about 6 months old befriended me. She listened well and wouldn’t leave my side. After she made it clear that she was adopting me, we walked the streets together.

I ran into 3 acquaintances, who happened to be children. I explained that it was time for me to get started towards Madrid to meet my friends. I told them I had only learned Spanish for 1 week and asked for help translating to find the bus as the stop where I arrived didn’t seem to be active any longer. We found a restaurant and went inside but there wasn’t anyone around so we wandered the halls until we ended up passing through a very busy kitchen. No one seemed to mind this. We came out the other side to a tiny bar.

The 2 older girl children were chatting and doing their own thing, but the younger boy stayed with me (and my new wolf / dog Venus Vega). I was stumbling all over my words trying to speak Spanish. It came out blended where some words were Portuguese or French. Before I even began fumbling over the language, it was clear that the waitresses had zero interest in helping me. They were already grumpy and it was cramped and I was just in the way. At this point it was getting late and I was feeling desperate. I knew the busses would be stopping for the night and I would miss my friend and her family for the second night in a row. This was definitely not what I wanted.

The young boy spoke fluent Spanish but he stayed mute after stating, “I don’t want to deal with them.” I couldn’t understand this. He saw me struggling to deal with them and getting nowhere yet he stood there not helping. Why was he even staying?? He suddenly seemed very juvenile but instead of stomping his feet and throwing a tantrum he was simply being a plain old jerk. At this moment I also realized that none of my texts had gone through to my friend, rendering me AWOL. I could only imagine what she and her family were thinking.

A woman sitting nearby started making small talk with me. She was from France and was sad that I didn’t speak French. I tried to explain how important it was for me to remember what little Spanish I knew during this stressful moment. We both wanted to understand each other but couldn’t.

Finally, suddenly, out of thin air, the words came rushing to the forefront of my mind and I exclaimed, “Necessito ir a l’autobus a Madrid!” The entire staff looked at me in disbelief. How did she know these words? Time stood absolutely still. I waited for someone to tell me the answer.