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deliberateLIFE engages today's globally-conscious citizen in building a better tomorrow. We believe choices matter – so we vet ideas, products and organizations to make it easier for today's busy professionals to live well and do good.







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No-Waste Gift Ideas: Give a Hobby

Seth Strickland


by Seth Strickland

This Holiday season, as always, there's a lot of pressure to give gifts, and if you have a lot of friends, it can be difficult to make the cut - who gets gifts? Who doesn't? Instead of buying all your buddies an ESPN key fob this year, introduce them to your favorite hobby. 

One of my friends, Alex, has just started brewing beer. This is a great dude hobby to pursue for reasons I won't enumerate here, but Alex suggested that we make beer sometime and that if I helped him, I'd get to take some home. This great gift idea has both the benefit of time spent together and a frills-free gift for your friends. The cost-per-beer is very low, especially if you already have the brewing equipment, which means that it's a good economic choice. There's no wasted wrapping paper but also no tactless unwrapped present. A simple but good-looking invite card can serve as the physical object which you hand out at the office Christmas party or the weekly squash match. Some Saturday, brew for a few hours, and four weeks later, get together again to bottle it. 

It doesn't have to be beer. Any skill you have or hobby you pursue which your friends or brothers or sons or nephews lack is an opportunity to teach, to share, to spend some time this holiday season. The gift of amateurism (the pursuit of something for love, rather than gain) is priceless, often costs little, and strengthens the beneficial bonds of friendship.

Leave comments below for other great hobby gifts & how to start them.

Big Sur Getaway

Seth Strickland


by Jessica Wright

 In California? Need a weekend getaway? This one is for you.

Big Sur, California. Biking, hiking, and stunning views are just a few of the categories for which this region takes the cake. One of the most  scenic drives on the iconic Highway 1 exists between Carmel and Morro Bay — and better yet, you can stay there. 

Big Sur offers a few great overnight options. If you’re interested in being eco-friendly, take a tent and set up shop in either Andrew Molera State Park or in Big Sur Campground & Cabins

Want to be part of a community that takes luxury camping or “glamping” to another level? Check out the yurts over at the Treebones Resort which are equipped with an outdoor sushi bar and a heated ocean view pool and hot tub.

For those who want to combine luxury, a spa weekend, and five star views, Post Ranch Inn is your spot.

The way you can spend your days in Big Sur are truly endless. The hiking list is lengthy and many offer extraordinary views, including our favorite, the McWay Waterfall Trail. Some of the hikes even offer surprise endings at one of the most iconic hot springs in the region, Sykes Hot Spring. And of course there’s the beach where, if lucky, one may catch a glimpse of a sea otter resting on a bed of kelp or a pod of whales off in the distance. 

Big Sur offers anyone the opportunity to connect with a different community, the community of the great outdoors. 

So this weekend choose to be deliberate in where you go, be inspired, and enjoy the getaway.