Teen Gifts They’ll Love

Teen Gift Guide

This season it’s all about vintage for your teen!  Champion and Adidas sweatshirts, along with old school college sweatshirts are a hit for teen girls.  Rugbies? You know it!  Ahh, takes me back to the Coca Cola rugby I had in high school – anyone else?  Take a look at our top 9 picks for your teen this holiday season:

  1. Champion Sweatshirt – It’s all about the Champion logo.  My daughter found an old Champion sweatshirt I had from the 90s and couldn’t have been more excited!  Champion is making a comeback in a more pronounced fashion than before.  Pac Sun has a great collection of different Champion sweatshirts along with a lot of other vintage hoodies and sweatshirts.

Champion sweatshirt for teen gift

2.  Simple jewelry is another great idea for your teen girl.  This Kate Spade One in a Million Initial Pendant Necklace is a great way to make it more personal for your teen.

Monogram Necklace for Teen Girl


3.  Hoodies, hoodies, and more hoodies.  This Trefoil Hoodie (Adidas Originals) is also available in more colors if your teen isn’t a fan of army green.

Top hoody for teen girl

4.  Vans in all shapes, colors, and sizes – but we are loving the Vans with faux lining (available in hi-top and sneakers) – more colors available!

top teen gift ideasTop Teen gifts

5.  What teen doesn’t love to smell good?  Mixologie has these great Gift Set Trio Baskets that include a lotion, perfume roll-on, and a bath bomb – and I know from experience that they smell amazing!  I love the Crisp Vanilla, but there a bunch of other flavors too.

Top lotion gifts for teens

6. It may be winter, but Birkenstocks are still a hit.  Pair these ‘Arizona’ White Birko-Flor sandals with some big, furry socks and your teen is ready to go!

top gifts for teens birkenstocks

7. Adidas Training Pants never go out of style. Enough said.

Adidas training pants top teen gift


8.  Zip-ups and rugbies are also back in style.  Check out Pac Sun for some great options for both.

top gifts for teen girls

9.  The Hydroflask – also available in flamingo pink and mint green.  This is sure to be a hit!

top teen gift hyrdroflask

Well, there you go – shopping for your teen girl just got a LOT easier.  For more gift inspiration this holiday season, follow us here on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram.  We’ve got some great gift guides coming soon!  We hope you like our new site too!  Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Copycat Pink Drink for Your Teens

My kids like the Pink Drink at Starbucks so I wanted to find a way to make it for them without all the cost. I know they will still get the actual drink from Starbucks –  because let’s face it, it’s the whole experience as much as it is getting the drink.  But it can be fun for them to make their own at home (and cheaper too!)

Starbucks Copycat Pink Drink Recipe:

Directions: Fill a cup with ice.  Pour in 3/4 tea, approx. 1 oz syrup, and top it off with a creamer of your choice. Then to make it fun, add fresh strawberries ( or freeze dried strawberries work too), shake and drink!  Add this drink to a cool cup with a lid and a straw!

I’m thinking this could also be a great birthday basket for your teen or one of their friends.

Tazo Iced Passion
Tazo Iced Passion – $13.16
Torani Sugar Free Vanilla
Torani Sugar Free Vanilla – $12
Mother Earth Freeze Dried Strawberries – $14.95
Maars Tumbler 4 pk
Maars Tumbler 4 pk – $15.99


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Easter Basket Ideas for Your Teen


Having a hard time thinking of Easter Basket gifts?  Here are some great Easter basket ideas for your teen.  We’ve even made it easy on you – if you like something, just click on the link below and you will be redirected to the product on Amazon.  Super easy!

Gift Basket Ideas (Top left to bottom right):

  1. A movie gift card is always a great idea!  AMC Gift Card – $25 
  2. Shouldn’t we all look through rose colored lenses?  Sojos Small Round Polarized Sunglasses – $12.99
  3. You know they love it –  Starbucks Gift Cards – Pack of 4 – $10/ea.
  4. These Lip Smacker Coca Cola Lip Glosses take me back to being a kid.  There’s 10 fun flavors and you can take one for yourself (wink wink).
  5. Here’s a nail polish set in Easter egg colors – $8.99!  Kleancolor Nails in Pastel Colors Spring Collections
  6. Popsockets are always a fun gift idea for your teen who loves their phone.  Check out this link for a slew of choices.   PopSockets: Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones and Tablets – The Sound
  7. Havaianas Women’s Top Tiras Sandal Flip Flop.  Go with rose gold on these and they will go with everything.  This will be the only pair they need!
  8. Please explain – why oh why did these come back in style?  I do not know but they did!  So here ya go –Speerise Gymnastic Hair Scrunchies!
  9. This Eekay Wares Stainless Steel Vaccum Insulated 17 oz Water Bottle in white comes in a two pack – get where I’m going with this? Yup – one for you too!!!

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How To Get Your Tweens and Teens to Listen


Born To Be Wild Book Cover


Ever worry about your teen or tween making a mistake – like a really big mistake?  Let’s face it, we were teens once too and we remember.  As a parent of one teen and two tweens, these are nerve-wracking times.  My sister used to tell me “little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems”.  Now, I know what she meant.  I find myself talking to my kids often about the choices they will face in these years ahead and give them advice, but I constantly wonder, are they truly listening?

What can we do to get them to listen?

In his book, Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe (TarcherPerigee; October 3, 2017), Jess P. Shatkin, M.D. explains how the adolescent brain is programmed and why it is prone to risky behavior.

In his book, Shatkin shakes up the notion that adolescents feel invincible.   Think scaring our kids into doing what is right is effective?  “Don’t do drugs, or you could overdose and die.”  “Don’t have unprotected sex, or you will get pregnant.”  “Don’t post naked pictures of yourself and send them to someone, or that will follow you for life.”  Sound familiar?  As Dr. Shatkin explains, our kids are already fearful.  They already believe that if they get involved in risky behavior, they are more likely to have a negative outcome than is statistically realistic.  So, why do they make bad decisions anyway?

Dr. Shatkin explains that adolescents are genetically engineered to prioritize emotions over logic.  In the heat of the moment, teens and tweens make risky choices for social acceptance and to avoid emotional pain. If a peer is watching, even a peer they don’t know, adolescents are more likely to take risks.

The reason that teens rely on their emotions is that their limbic system (the emotional center of their brain) matures early on.  Think of all those emotional outbursts they’ve been sharing with us through the years.  All the while, the prefrontal cortex (CEO of the brain) is still developing well into their early 20s.

if instilling fear doesn’t work, what does?

As adults, we know not to get into a car with a driver who has drank too much.  How do we know?  Through years of experience. Sadly, teens don’t have years of experience to rely on.  Instead, they rely on their emotions, especially in the heat of the moment and when their peers are around.  In this book, we learn that our teens need an emotional connection to feel its really important to avoid a risky behavior.  “Don’t do drugs or you could overdose and die” – doesn’t cut it.  As parents, we need to connect with a more specific, emotional connection.  For example, “Don’t drink or do drugs at the party, because you will get kicked off the soccer team.”  “If you have unprotected sex and get pregnant, what will you do?  Will you stay in school?”  

Not only does Shatkin recommend creating an emotional connection with our teens when we discuss risky choices, but he also recommends practicing decision-making with them.  As our teens are making decisions, they are “rewiring, reassembling, and upgrading neural tissue….The correct parts of the brain must talk to one another quickly and efficiently, and memory functions must be well integrated so that we learn from our successes and mistakes.”

What other ways can we help our children make better decisions?

While this book is full of strategies that both parents and teachers should adopt to be more effective in reducing risky behavior, I have listed a few of those recommended that as parents we can implement immediately.

Get More Sleep
Not surprising, sleep deprived children engage in more risky behavior than children getting adequate sleep.  As Dr. Shatkin explains, schools could do more in this regard by delaying start times by even just 1 hour.  Teenagers want to go to bed later and sleep in later, this is due to their natural circadian rhythm.  “It’s ironic that the older kids get, the earlier school starts.”

Early school start times result in lower grades and SAT scores, more school absences, and increased caffeine use.  But most importantly, a lack of sleep results in impaired decision-making skills.

Is the school going to change their start time anytime soon?  Realistically, no.  But, as parents we can encourage our children to get to sleep earlier.  One easy way to do this is to get the phones out of their room – or cut service after a certain hour.  We all want our children to do well in school, to avoid risky behavior, and to be better people.  If getting a little more sleep each night can help this, shouldn’t we be enforcing this as much as we enforce them getting their homework done?

Offer an Opportunity for them to Take Risks
Limit phone time and give them an opportunity to take some risks. Healthy risks.  Everyone is telling us that we need to do it, but when push comes to shove, our kids are still spending hours on their devices. They need to be active and outside.  Get them involved in activities where they can practice risky behavior in more positive ways, such as mountain bike riding, go cart racing, rock climbing, snowboarding, riding a roller coaster, etc.

“In our hurried and harried world, it seems that our kids have been barely breathing.”   Born to Be Wild teaches us the benefits that mindful breathing can have on our youth. In general, mindfulness has an overwhelming positive impact on t(w)eens, not just mindful breathing, but also mindful eating, and mindful gratitude.

On a family drive over the weekend, I practiced one of Shatkin’s breathing techniques with my tweens and teen.  Admittedly, my youngest and oldest didn’t take the exercise too seriously, but my middle daughter, who wasn’t really speaking to us because she was upset that she was missing time with friends, committed to the exercise.   After a few minutes of the recommended breathing, followed by a gratitude exercise (also recommended in this book), her attitude shifted.  She smiled.  She re-engaged with our family and started to have fun.

What You Will Learn From This Book
The important take-a-way from this book is that even though adolescence is a risk-taking time, it is also a time of incredible potential. This book is a must read for parents and teachers who want to learn what can be done in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and extracurricular activities to work with teens’ need for risk, rewards and social acceptance, not against it.  I encourage you all to read this book.  Let’s start a discussion.  After all, just because we made mistakes in our youth, doesn’t mean our teens have to.


This book can be purchased at Amazon by following this link:
Shop HERE.

About the Author:

Nationally recognized child and adolescent psychiatrist Jess P. Shatkin, M.D., M.P.H., is one of the country’s foremost voices in child and adolescent mental health. He serves as Vice Chair for Education at the Child Study Center and Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. He has been featured in top print, radio, TV, and Internet outlets, including the New York Times, Good Morning America, Parade, New York Magazine, Health Day, CBS Evening News, New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition, for the past eight years Dr. Shatkin has been the host of “About Our Kids,” a two-hour call-in radio show broadcast live on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio. He lives in New York City with his wife and two teenage children.

This book can be purchased at Amazon by following this link:
Shop HERE.