chronic illnessholidays

Gift Guide for Spoonies


It is Gift Guide week here on A New Kind of Normal and hopefully you had a chance to check out yesterday’s gift guide for beauty lovers (and enter the giveaway!). Today’s gift guide focuses on items that will be helpful and appreciated by those with chronic illnesses (aka spoonies).

If you are new to A New Kind of Normal and do not know the background of the term “spoonie” check out The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino. It is such a unique and spot on narrative describing life with illness that both patients and their families/loved ones need to read it (preferably together to open up the opportunity for conversations).

Enough babbling, let’s talk about the fun stuff!

1- Every spoonie I know loves a soft, cuddly blanket! Because of my fibromyalgia and tactile allodynia, a heated throw is my BFF all year round but especially in the winter and I have used mine to death and am in desperate need of a replacement. I was doing some browsing and came across the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw and fell in love it the Zebra print. Microplush softness + heat + a bold print = LOVE. If your loves super soft blankets but may not be a fan of a heated throw/blanket, then you may want to check out the Northpoint Ruya Oversized Velvet Plush Throw Blanket. Yes, I said oversized! Who doesn’t love a snuggle buddy? This blanket comes in a variety of prints so there is an option for everyone’s style, I just loved the bright sunny yellow for dark winter days!

2- When I found these, I immediately fell in love. Along with my heated throw, my other BFF is my hot/cold pack and yes these adorable animals you are looking at are hot/cold packs! A sidenote/fun fact about me is that my nickname all my life had been Pig – my dad stills calls me that even at 34 – so whenever I see anything with pigs on it, I’m all over it. These hot/cold packs are by the brand Sootheze and come in a huge assortment of styles. I love, love, love the fact that the company is a mother/daughter team which makes me love them even more. A little bit of information about the product from the Sootheze site:

Huggable animals that are filled with lavender-scented and heat and cold-retaining seeds (place these little creatures in the microwave or freezer for several minutes and enjoy the lasting heat or cold effects for hours!) Not just a stuffed animal- helps soothe chronic pain, sciatica, lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, hip pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, leg pain, lower back pain, and even comfort those with dementia, autism, recent loss of a loved one, and MANY other uses!

So many things to love about the brand and so many adorable animals to choose from!

3- Pajamas are always a great gift idea for anyone but spoonies appreciate not only comfortable PJs but cute PJs. If you’ve ever read my post on 10 Things I’ve Learned From Chronic Illness, then you know my stance on the importance of cute PJs. If you haven’t read it, what are waiting for? In my search for cute pajamas, I came across these adorable one piece fleece pajamas and of course I had to pick the pig print (see above). I never thought I would go for one piece pajamas but I may have to make an exception for these. You can also never go wrong with adorable character pajama sets with your spoonie’s favorite characters. For this post, I went with Olaf because who doesn’t love Olaf?

4- When you live with chronic illness, you can always use some encouragement and these two books come highly, highly recommended. I have Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness on my Christmas list (so I hope Santa listens!) but I just recently picked up “Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness In Your Twenties and Thirties” and cannot wait to get started. I have toyed with the idea of having a spoonie book club where we could read books together and then chat about them as another way we can support and encourage each other. Ponder that and let me know!

5- Every woman loves beautiful jewelry so jewelry is always a win for Christmas but it is awesome when you can also provide encouragement and empowerment (and raise awareness while you are at it) and still gift beautiful jewelry. There are so many amazing designers out there but in this post, I’ve got to give a shout out to the amazing work of FJJCreations. The first piece I am showing is the “Be A Badass Everyday” awareness bracelet I mentioned in my Another Obstruction post. It is a great every day piece and you can get the awareness ribbon in all different colors. If you like the style of the bracelet but the saying isn’t your thing, they have a lot of other options for that as well. The second piece I featured is just a beautiful Spoonie Spoon Necklace. I cannot say enough about how beautiful the jewelry is from FJJCreations nor how sweet and amazing the designer behind FJJCreations, Jenjer is. Even if you don’t have a chronic illness or shopping for a loved one with chronic illness, the shop still offers a variety of pieces perfect for anyone and any occasion.

6- While shopping for awareness items on Etsy, I came across this adorable shop called Chronically Fabulous and this shop is full of adorable items that any spoonie would love. I features two different shirt options (you know I love any chance to wear anything with a crown) but her shop also features adorable tumbler cups, jewelry, and other goodies that would be perfect stocking stuffers. Etsy is a wonderful place to do Christmas shopping because not only is the site jam packed with all things amazing, I also love supporting small businesses.

These are just a handful of options that would make great gift ideas for your spoonie friend and loved ones. You can mix and match different options or create a gift basket with some of these items plus some other ideas such coffee or hot chocolate sets, fun adult coloring books (which I love!), beautiful pens and/or stationary sets, and even a gift voucher for various subscription services such as Netflix or Kindle Unlimited (I mentioned some beauty subscription options in my Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers post),

By the way, have you checked out that post yet? You do know there’s a giveaway involved right? So what are you waiting for! Check it out pronto! We’ll wait for you to get back!

I hope this post has helped give you some ideas on some gift ideas for your spoonie loved ones and if you have anything you think should be added to the list, leave a comment so we can all go and check it out!


P.S. Just to make sure its clear, this post is not sponsored (nor is any other post in this gift guide series). I just love sharing my favorite products and brands. If you do want a quick tip on how to save a little money when shopping this Christmas (or any time of the year), I recommend checking out Ebates which allows you to earn cash back on just about every purchase you make online (and if you are a spoonie like me, a lot of shopping is done online). I have shared my referral link but if you want to go straight to the Ebates site and sign up, that’s awesome too! Just want to share a way to stretch our often limited budgets!

chronic stylefaith

Changing The Way I Shop

I will be the first to admit that I love shopping. I do. I do more online shopping these days because of illness but I still love it. Whenever I need to think and process, one of my favorite things to do is to go shopping by myself (even it it is just window shopping). I got it honest from my mom. If she is in town, there is a pretty good chance we are going to end up at the outlet mall nearby.

Speaking of the outlet mall, what I love even more than shopping is finding a good deal! There is just something exhilarating scoring a bargain!

The problem is that up until recently I did not take the time to consider how I am getting that super-awesome cheap price.

My husband is one of the youth pastors that helps organize a winter youth conference called Winterspree. They always have a mission focus for each conference and for the last two years, they have chosen to highlight human trafficking. I think so many times we (myself included) believe that this is something that happens in other places, in other countries, but the truth is that it is happening here, in our country, in our own backyards. Another misconception is that human trafficking is the same as sex trafficking. While sexual exploitation is a big part of the trafficking problem, it involves so much more including economic exploitation (such as being forced to work for little to no wages and being subjected to violence).

These are some statistics from Un.Gift – A Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking:

  • An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking.
  • People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy
  • The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age .
  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year .
  • 95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking (based on data from selected European countries)
  • Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labour are US$ 31.6 billion and 49% of that profit is generated in industrialized economies
  • In 2006 there were only 5,808 prosecutions and 3,160 convictions throughout the world. This means that for every 800 people trafficked, only one person was convicted in 2006.

Have you picked your jaw up off the floor yet? A profit of 31.6 BILLION.

You see many of those deals come at a price. The price of human dignity and justice.

And that makes me angry.

It makes me hurt.

It makes me ashamed.

I can only imagine what it does to God’s heart as He sees how we treat one another.

As a believer and as a human, I cannot stand for this. I cannot stand behind the shroud of ignorance and pretend that it is not going on or that I cannot do anything about it.

It is time to make some changes. Beginning with the way I shop. Saving a few dollars is not worth it when I know the costs.

Will you stand with me?


Next week, fellow blogger Emily from Scribbles From Emily will be sharing on how we can change the world through fashion!


Some recommended resources:

United Nations Global Compact