Under $25 Kickass Christmas Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything

Under $25 Kickass Christmas Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything

Christmas Gift
If we’re being honest, most of the Christmas gifts people give are pretty lame. Their wrapped up with good intention, but for the most part they end up stuffed away in a closet or tossed in a drawer full of junk. We figure, if you’re going to spend your hard earned money in the spirit of giving, why not do it right. Here’s a bunch of kickass, high quality, practical Christmas gifts that people will actually want.

Japanese Erasable Pens

Christmas gift
Erasable pens? Yeah, they exist and their awesome. Which makes them a solid choice when it comes to Christmas gifts. We discovered these while we were travelling through Tokyo and the first time we used one we realized we needed a bunch of them in our lives. Best part is you don’t have to fly to Japan to score these pens because their also available on Amazon.

Swiss Army Alox

Christmas gift
We carry a lot of Swiss Army knives. For some reason, the Swiss Army Cadet Alox always ends up in our pocket. The finish on this bad boy is a step above the average Swiss Army knife and has a useful bottle opener and a nice size blade. A hard contender for one of the better Christmas gifts. It’s honestly for anyone, no matter if you’re into knives or not.

Zojirushi Thermos

Christmas gift
Half the time we drink our coffee on-the-go so having a high quality thermos is really important. We’ve tried a ton of brands but this one is the absolute best. It keeps hot coffee hot and cold brewed coffee cold for hours. Another kickass feature is the lockable lid that has saved us from potential leaks and spills over the years. And you can drink straight from the thermos which means no more fumbling with the lid. Make life easy and add this to your list of Christmas gifts.

Field Notes

Christmas gift
Call us old skool but we love notepads. No matter where we go you can bet Santa’s cookies there’s always one in our back pocket. So many don’t make the cut, they fall apart, the paper’s too thin and they’re just not fun to use. Our favorite brand is Field Notes for its overall high quality and price. You can choose from a ton of traditional styles or go for trendier designs. Definitely something for everyone.

Keychain flashlight

One thing that we can’t live without is a good quality keychain flashlight. This is our go-to Christmas gift for people and they love it. It comes in handy when walking your dog at night, finding stuff in those dim annoying places or if you’re like us, when you get lost in the back streets of Saigon. When it comes to Christmas gifts you can’t go wrong with a reliable keychain flashlight. Skip the cheap ones and spend at least $10 for a half decent flashlight.

Jaipur

Christmas gift

Hands down one of the best 2-player card games around. It’s a good time and the illustrations on the cards are really beautiful. We’ve been known to spend hours playing and getting pretty amped and competitive over this game. It’s all about the trade, trade, trade. Oh, and camels. Who doesn’t want that for a Christmas gift? We also found this game to be very useful to keep yourself entertained when the power is out.

Foam Roller

One thing we look forward to every night is our foam roller. That nubby round thing scared us at first but now it’s a like a free at home deep massage. These bad boys are portable and come in a ton of colors and intensities. Ten minutes of rolling and whoever you got it for is going to be high fiving the crap out of you.

Fabrikation

Christmas gift

A kickass toy for grownups is the Fabrikation. These little guys seriously just brighten up your whole dang day. There’s so many designs to choose from and the peeps at Funko are always coming out with more cool ones all the time. It’s one of those Christmas gifts that keeps on giving.

ChestBrew POP

Christmas gift
No coffee drinker should be without coffee, especially during the holidays. Now imagine that coffee lover receiving 20 premium pour over coffee pouches filled with the strongest and tastiest Vietnamese coffee that they can take and make anywhere! ChestBrew POP (Pour Over Coffee Pouch), it’s just about as good as your gift giving can get.

great to meet you

Hi, We're Minh and Teresa and we love coffee

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10 Things You Might Forget To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

10 Things You Might Forget To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving
2016 has been one mofo crazy year. Not to mention that we still have the holidays to get through. I’m pretty sure we all agree that the everyday chaos makes it far too easy to get sucked into the negative and end up stressed out. STOP! All that mess is pointless. You’re alive! I’m alive! And considering every thought brings us to where are, we need to make sure we don’t forget to be thankful.

So as a reflection, here’s 10 things that we remind ourselves to be thankful for…

Health

Without your health you’ve got nothing going on. It’s easy to wake up and power through your day without stopping for a second to be thankful that you actually woke up. And that you’re healthy enough to race around like a maniac to get whatever you want to do today done. We need to pull the brakes on the bitching about things like having to go to work and be thankful that we’re able to be productive.

Freedom

You and I are living in a country where we literally can have and be whoever we damn well please as long as we work hard at it. Recognize the sheer number of opportunities you have and be thankful because it sure as heck isn’t like that everywhere in the world.

Freedom

Second Chances

We all screw up from time to time but thank God for second chances. Sometimes you give them and other times you get them. No matter what end you fall on, how frickin’ lucky are we to get a second stab at something? Think Robert Downey Jr., without second chances we wouldn’t have Iron Man.

Access to Information 

Never in history have we had so much information available to us. It’s in our pockets and at our fingertips whenever we want it. From earthquake warnings to how to get rid of an annoying cough, if used correctly the power of it to improve our lives is huge. We’re particularly thankful for innovators like Alexander G. Bell and Tim Berners-Lee for making it all happen.

Tim Berners-Lee

Thunderstorms

First of all, we need rain to grow our plants and trees and most importantly for our farmer’s crops. Secondly, thunderstorms create rainfall that gets rid of the pollution from the air. After it’s taken care of that, those raindrops flush the ground of accumulated waste and toxins. Thirdly, the trickle of raindrops and booming of thunder and lightning strikes makes us feel alive. Need more? It really makes you thankful for when the sunshine finally comes out. Who knew right? #thankful

Friends and Family

No doubt, through the ups and downs of life, without the support of our friends and family most of us would be SOL. Sure, we see them every day and sometimes they piss us off but relationships aren’t perfect. Be thankful that you have humans in your life who sometimes help guide you to the right path and stop you from making catastrophic mistakes. Be thankful you’ve got people to share meals, conversations and jokes with. Life would be so lonely without them.

Lonely

Humanity

Look at us, we’re just a bunch of ghosts wearing meat jackets, riding on a huge rock flying through space at a ridiculous speed. Yet, we all have this connection to one another. You can be sure that it doesn’t matter which corner of the earth you’re at, there’s somebody out there willing to help you. Are there bad apples? Sure, but we choose to believe and be thankful that most people are good. Stupid (sometimes) but good.

Awareness

Self-awareness is a powerful tool. Just stop and think about how thankful you should be for fresh starts and the opportunity to work on becoming a better human every day. Self-awareness lets our otherwise rat racing, ladder climbing, Netflix numbing tendencies be balanced with some perspective and sanity. Be thankful for self-awareness, it’s where it’s at.

Awareness

Failures

We’re not just taking about hard lessons. This one’s all about taking our failures and being thankful for the humbleness they pour on us. We’re down on our knees with gratitude for the experiences they create to make our lives worth living. Just like thunderstorms, they can hit you hard, but if you’re smart enough you’ll realize those crappy feelings don’t last. Ironically, those who don’t fail often have the hardest time getting back up when they do. On the flip side, the ones who get knocked out in the ring repeatedly develop a resistance that makes them unstoppable.

great to meet you

Hi, We're Minh and Teresa and we love coffee

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Extra Strong Medium Roast Vietnamese Coffee

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7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Day and How to Start Getting More Out of It

7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Day and How to Start Getting More Out of It

If you’re checking in with good old Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates tomorrow could you honestly tell him that you made the most out of your life? Did you give it your all? Did you try to make every single day outstanding or were most them were ruined because some of stupid sh*t that you did? As G.I. Joe once said, “Knowing is half the battle” so we’re going to try to help you out by compiling a list of the 7 ways your ruining your day so that you can turn this ship around.

Ruining your day

Hitting snooze

Everyone hits the snooze button. No amount of sleep you get ever feels like enough. Why? There’s so many reasons but for most of us it’s because we choose to stay up watching Netflix, scrolling our Facebook feed and getting sucked into YouTube rather than going to bed at a decent time. But no matter how tempting it is to rest “just five more minutes” when you snooze you lose and fact is you’re doing more harm than good. Hitting snooze messes with your internal clock and confuses the heck out of your body. Now you’re more tired and it’s even harder to wake up. Next comes the bad mood and the stress of being late for work that ends up ruining your day.

The answer is to change your getting out of bed habits and give them a purpose. Create small goals to wake up to like making your bed, brewing a fresh cup of coffee, or doing five minutes of meditation. These achievements make you feel accomplished and give you something to wake up for.

Eating junk

Junk food is everywhere. My funny theory is that “Behind every door, there is junk food”. Think about that for a second. Junk food out numbers healthy choices and the convenience of it makes it too tempting to pass up. Not to mention the giant marketing machine behind every brand of junk food out there. You know, the ones with the deceptive messages like, “low fat” or “only 100 calories”. So, you either believe you’re making the right choice or you just give in because who has time to stop long enough to make real food? This leaves you overloaded on sugars and refined carbs. Your blood sugar gets spiked only to have you crashing down soon after. Now you’re tired, sluggish and unproductive. You can’t think as clearly and your problem solving ability just goes to sh*t. And oh yeah, now you also feel fat and gross.

Check out this food guide and start making better food choices. Good rule of thumb is to eat when you’re hungry. Load up on eggs, lean proteins and those colorful things called vegetables. You know, meals and snacks that will power you up rather than crashing you and your blood sugar down.

Skipping a workout

It’s so easy in today’s society to think you’re too busy with everything else to set aside time for your own fitness routine. Work, family, chores all come before your “me time”. Habit and having a foundation and structure to your own personal fitness is important. You might start out with enough intention to hit the gym a few times a week but how long does that last? A day or two of laziness won’t kill you. But, go more than two weeks without working out and according to the Journal of Applied Physiology, you’ll significantly reduce your cardiovascular fitness, lean muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity.

All it takes is committing a bit of time to move. Find 20 minutes to get that blood flowing and up that heart beat up a couple of notches. Use your lunch hour to walk. Schedule a date with the gym after work. How you move isn’t as important as you actually just moving. If you’re a beginner, start slow but hit that sh*t daily. Make it a habit you can’t live without and say goodbye to ruining your days.

Ruining your day skipping workout

Overloading expectations

We tend to be over achievers and put way too much on our plate. We run off this crazed idea that more is better. So, we pile up our “to do” lists like we’re some kind of productivity superhero and when we fall short (because we’re human) we think we suck. It’s absolute sh*t for your self-esteem and there’s goes your productivity for the day.

We all have work we want to get done and things we need to accomplish. Just pick one thing and attack it. Work your ass off and when (and if) you get it done then it’s on to the next one.

Doing things you hate

There’s no winning your day when you limit your options and do things you hate. Fact is, you’re not happy while you’re doing it and getting it done does nothing for you. You cheat yourself out of the sense of achievement you feel when you finish something you’re invested in. Now your mood is trashed and that feeling like you’re wasting your life is ruining your day.

Here’s where you want to explore a few options. 1) Find someone to do it for you. 2) Find another way to do it that you at least like. 3) Sucker someone to work along with you so it’s at least bearable.

Bull dozing

If we’re honest with ourselves we can admit that we want too much. This leads us to becoming human bull dozers. It’s one thing to feel accomplished at the end of the day. It’s a whole other to bull doze the day away. This is when you go into robot mode and your blinders shut out everything else. The day ends and you haven’t had one real conversation with another human. This isn’t just ruining your day, it’s a wrecking ball to your life. A life that only has a finite amount of days to get the most out of.

Start to engage immediately. If you’re a complete A type schedule in breaks throughout your day and go find a reason to laugh, a rose to smell or a human to high five. If you work at home set your alarm every 2 hours and when it goes off call a friend or jump outside and take a walk around the block. Don’t just bull doze projects. Build up memories, good times and life experiences. Or else, what the heck is the point?

Ruining your day overwork

Running on autopilot

Routines at work and in life are double edged swords. On one hand, you’ve got a solid direction to follow. Great right? Wrong. Remember that other hand? The one where you’ve turned into a zombie and no longer spend time learning or living? Yeah, that hand sucks.

Snap out of it son! It’s time to balls up and start taking some risks. Get out of your comfort zone and create some challenges in your life. Make that brain of yours work and do something big and scary. Switch up your routines as much as possible. Ask for new exciting projects at work, find a new place to explore, speak up, get vulnerable and go make some new friends.

No go out and make the most out of every damn day!

great to meet you

Hi, We're Minh and Teresa and we love coffee

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Extra Strong Medium Roast Vietnamese Coffee

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5 Things to Stop Caring about Right Now

5 Things to Stop Caring about Right Now

 

Are you or is the one you love the hyper-caring type? You know, the person who loses sleep over their job interview or the big game? The person who tries to please and impress everyone under God green’s earth leaving nothing for themselves? Read them ‘5 things to stop caring about right now’, right now, because life is too precious to be a caring zombie.

not caring beat

The scary and uncertain future

Do you go to bed and lay there for hours projecting the terrible future? How’s that working out for you? Remember the time you built up so many butterflies in your stomach that you buckled on the actual performance? So many of us put ourselves in a “possibility purgatory” because we’re scared of the future.

Life is short. You’ll just have to embrace uncertainty like a long lost child. How about going after everything and tackling it to the ground? You only get one life and it’s YOUR life. Try to accept that life isn’t going to be smooth and sometimes you’re not going to get what you want or what you work so hard for. So what? No one is that lucky. Look at it this way, embracing uncertainty makes you brave and failure makes you stronger.

Your impact on others

We’re all social beings and it’s easy to let ourselves believe that people actually care about what we do and say. Ready for the hard truth? They rarely do unless you’re in their face or right next to them. That leaves the other 99% of the time for us to wastefully obsess about having some sort of impact on others.

Guess what? People generally devote all of their thoughts to themselves. It’s not a delighted feature of humanity but the fact is an average person exists in a “me” centered world. Most people are too consumed with thinking about what to have for dinner, whether there’s traffic on the way home or if they remembered to pay that overdue bill. Basically, they think a whole lot about things that affect them, and little to none about you.

It’s a helpful practice to remind yourself that everyone has better things to do than care about you, your mistakes and your purposes (gasp). The world rarely pays attention to you. Want to make impact on others? Start by doing big things.

not caring chocolate

Trying to please

You’re living the impossible dream. The great monk and poet John Lydgate once said “you can’t please all the people all of the time.”
So stop killing yourself trying to meet everyone’s expectations. Because guess what, even if you devote all your time making others happy it doesn’t change how they feel about you. They’ll just categorize you as the chump that will do anything to please them. People only change how they view you when they decide they want to. I’m all about building relationships with honest effort from both parties. Stop and look at all the “Yes” men and “Yes” women you’re surrounded by. Why are so few of them getting back what they give?

Take a step back, look at how you’re spending your time and energy and make sure the only person you’re aiming to please is you and those special few who really give a sh*t about you.

Popular opinion

The world is ruled by unnecessary ego. There are so many wannabe gurus out there in every corner of life. You can find them trolling forums on the internet, front and center on your Facebook feed, on a late night infomercial or even in the cubicle next to you. Dig a little deeper and you quickly realize that their all-important viewpoints are shaped largely by popular opinions.

If you Google any given topic on the internet, you’ll see the front page results are full of popular opinions. We’ve got massive marketing engines and popular news networks spending mad money to broadcast their opinions. The facts and scientific results are often buried below page 4 since they’re all serving their own agendas.

Personally, I don’t go seek advice from wannabe gurus with their popular opinions. I also recommend avoiding advice from someone who’s unsuccessful and or unhappy. Stop wasting your time. Instead, go and find yourself some kick ass mentors. Surround yourself with people who are already in a similar place to where you want to be. These people will challenge your ideas, offer you boat loads of constructive criticism and ultimately help you grow.

stop caring basic bitch

Being a basic bitch

I hate this term but you know what? It’s valid and you men can be basic bitches too.

I mean, like fall’s here! It’s time to shop for a super cute pair of overpriced UGG boots and stop at Starbucks for an equally overpriced Grande soy pumpkin spice latte. Like every other basic bitch on the block. It’s so much safer to sit in the “Comfort Zone” of conformity, while being accepted by your peers. You know, making sure that you don’t rock the boat.

But seriously, you’ve seen enough movies to realize that all your heroes are boat rockers. Here’s why. Your individuality is the one thing that is uniquely yours. It’s what makes you the person this world is waiting to know! Step away from the fray, drink coffee that doesn’t come in a green and white cup  and for the love of all things good and holy, do it right now.

This planet is overrun with people who care way too much about nonsense. Be different. Be a brave bold individual. We need more of you to drive the world engine and turn it to a better place. Start living you best life now.

great to meet you

Hi, We're Minh and Teresa and we love coffee

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Extra Strong Medium Roast Vietnamese Coffee

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Strong Dark Roast Vietnamese Coffee

Top 10 Soul Sucking Time Wasters of 2016

Top 10 Soul Sucking Time Wasters of 2016

2016 is almost over and what have we done? Probably not much. Just like most of us, you’re probably feeling pretty guilty about not being where you told yourself you would be this year. Are you 10 for 10? Read our list of the top 10 Soul Sucking Time Wasters of 2016. You may or may not be more productive after reading this.

Soul Sucking Time Wasters

(Photo: henriquekojiterao/deviantart)

1. Facebook

The holy mother of all things anti-productive? We’re all aware that Facebook is like a huge unforgiving black abyss that keeps sucking us in. You log in with the intention of checking your notifications. You know, just a two minute break from the minutia that is your work. But then, the endless scrolling, needless commenting and border line social media stalking just sucks up all your time and your sense of achievement. And what have you accomplished by the end of the day? You found the “Hey Boo” emoji? If you’re spending more time on Facebook than doing something productive and kickass, you should really reconsider your priorities.

2. Netflix

We’re wasting 568 hours a year watching Netflix. Although we’re pretty sure that a large percentage of that time is on just browsing the selections. What a waste of time. I’m pretty sure Netflix has more options for you to browse through than your local library. And it’s frustrating, after 20 minutes of browsing we want to just throw the remote at the screen and go do something productive, like woodworking or baking a cake.  At least the cake will be freakin’ delicious.

Go bake a cake

3. Youtube

I won’t say that YouTube, with its 490 million users, is bad. But can we all agree that YouTube’s comment section is one of the worst things mankind has ever invented? Its only purpose is for the NSA to develop their list of the most outrageous people on earth. But yet, we all get sucked right in. Why the heck did I just spend 20 minutes watching a guy carve a pumpkin and another 20 minutes reading all the comments from the pumpkin critics? In total as a group, people on this earth are wasting 2.9 billion hours on YouTube each month. Do you know what kind of massively amazing thing we can build or change together, if we, the people of this earth, commit that amount of time in doing?

At this point, you’re probably thinking “but all of time waster’s de-stress me”. Well, if you can’t break the addiction, how about limiting Facebook, Netflix and YouTube to an hour a day in total? Baby steps right?

4. Selfies

No Time Wasting

The Queen of time wasters sweeping our young nation, the average millennial will take 25,700 selfies in their lifetime. Actually, I’m not sure how they forecasted this number given that most millennial are not anywhere close to the end of their lifetime. Anyway, an average young lady is said to be spending 5 hours per week taking selfies. If you’re putting that much time in you should be more efficient at it. Plan of action? Either become this guy or cut back your contribution to the 93 million selfies taken each day.

5. Personal grooming

No one is saying that personal hygiene is a waste of time. BUT when in 2016, people average 4 hours a week on getting gussied up, you have to wonder how else that 208 hours annually could be spent. Good rule of thumb, if you’re looking at yourself for more than ten minutes before you leave the house think of ways to cut that time in half. You can do it.

6. Going to Get Coffee

What used to be a grab and go so you can handle your stuff habit has now turned into a “National waste your time oasis”. Let’s put aside the $100 a month you’re spending on your mocha frappe, half sweet, extra pump of nonsense concoction. What about all the hours you waste driving to the coffee shop, standing in the stupid line, putting up with the judgmental deadbeat hipster barista? Oh, and don’t forget the time you lose hanging out in the dimly lit café to check your Facebook or post one of those selfies to prove to everyone that you overpaid for a subpar cup of joe. Be kickass, make yours at home and take it black, hold the BS.

7. Online job applications

It is 2016 people, why are we still wasting hours with online job applications? There is not one enjoyable thing about sitting in front of a laptop for hours on end shooting blanks out to every job posting you can find under the WiFi sky. Today, when you post your resume online to a popular job site you can include yourself as one of the427,000 other hopeful suckers that post every week. Our advice, go an extra mile than all those other suckers, get off your ass and go talk to other humans face to face. Make friends, build relationships, wow people and get them to pay you.

8. Dating apps

If swiping left and right to find true love isn’t a waste of time then we seriously don’t know what is. You know all about the lies and deception. It’s safe to say the profile pic is only the start. Just think of what your grandma would say if she knew you were spending mad hours online cruising for booties? Sign up to a local meetup or go to the gym. At least you’re out doing fun activities and getting in shape.

9. Commuting

Not all that long ago the average commute of 25 minutes each day was already driving us mad. In 2016, we jacked that number up another 20 percent because why the heck not? To make it clear, that’s roughly 1.8 trillion minutes Americans spend commuting and hating every minute of it. If someone ever tells you that they enjoy their long commute that person is a liar and they cannot be trusted. So what do you do? Move to Thailand? Actually, don’t move to Thailand, your family and friends will miss you.

Clinton vs Trump

(Photo: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cc)

10. Watching the news

If ever there was a year spent wasting time watching the news it’s 2016. What the heck are they calling news these days? This one is a doozy and there are so many painful reasons why but we’ll give the majority of the credit to the Presidential Election. Every outlet is perpetuating their own agenda so you have to roll up your sleeves and dig into the piles of shit that get dumped on us in looped segments of noise. Look outside the box and seek out the truth. Educate yourself, use your brain to determine your own thoughts and have real discussions with real people. When in doubt, vote for common sense.

No more wasting time people. Get your shit together, grab some ridiculously strong ChestBrew coffee and be more efficient and effective in all the things that you do.

great to meet you

Hi, We're Minh and Teresa and we love coffee

buy big bad bear

Extra Strong Medium Roast Vietnamese Coffee

buy moon bear

Strong Dark Roast Vietnamese Coffee