Posts tagged ‘gift ideas’

December 11, 2013

A Homemade Holiday

ImageI’m the girl who gets super frustrated at how materialistic the holidays get. We just can’t help ourselves, and I’m at fault too! When I see the cute baby outfits, I think my nephews surely need one… along with the motorized truck, sing-a-long bedtime friend, and of course, they need fancy blankets, sheets, and towels. Bath toys! They need bath toys. I won’t even continue on with everything I see for my nieces. Good intentions, good-hearted gifts, but is it the reason for the season? You have to answer for yourself.

I fell for the trap again this year, but before I got to the check-out counter, I thought about how it would be fun to create something as a gift for those on my Christmas list. Further, how about something that will benefit them in a healthy way. I kept thinking as I drove home, and by the time I got home, I had four ideas. I went to work.

I don’t want to give away what I am creating for several folks on my list, but it’s meaningful, personal, and healthy, too! Here are a few ideas I ran across during my research, should you feel compelled to fight the urge to buy another (albeit beautiful) scarf for Aunt Sue. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy the magical reason for the season.   –Lacey

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Organic Body Lotion

  • 1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter
  • Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference (my faves: eucalyptus, lavender, vanilla)

1. Combine ingredients in a pint sized or larger glass jar.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.

3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.

4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (8 ounce) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!

5. Use as you would regular lotion. Use within 6 months for best moisturizing benefits.

Note: A litte goes a long way! This lotion is incredibly nourishing and is also great for diaper rash on baby, for eczema and for preventing stretch marks!

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Lotion Bars (better for travelistas!)

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 part)
  • 1 cup beeswax (can add an extra ounce or two if you want a thicker consistency.)
  • Optional: Vitamin E oil to preserve.
  • Optional: A few drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

Combine all ingredients (except essential oils if using) in a double boiler, or a glass bowl/jar over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it.

Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth:

Remove from heat and add the essential oils.

Gently stir by hand until essential oils are incorporated.

Carefully pour into silicon molds to harden.

Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts, or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.

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All-Natural Lip Balm

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp Beeswax(use the pellets, they melt faster/better)
  •  6 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp shea butter
  • 1 T castor oil (for more “gloss,”)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp essential oil
  • Sliver of color (like a tiny sliver from a Burt’s Bee lipstick to tint it a little pink)

Directions 
1. melted wax, oil & butter in a glass pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Heat until all is melted and can be stirred together.
 2. Remove from heat and add castor oil, honey & any scents/colors you wish
 3. Stir and stir. The honey doesn’t want to mix thoroughly with the oils, but keep stirring and you will get it combined pretty well. 
4. Pour fairly quickly into your containers.

So simple! Basically, just melt, stir and pour!!

Oh and something for the fur-loves of your life!

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Pumpkin Dog Treats 

Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup pumpkin puree (one low in sugar)

2 eggs (I used 3 for more moisture)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ingredients together until blended, then spread dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

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December 12, 2012

Give A Gift of Green!

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Just a few cute ideas!

Hey guys! How is everybody doing with your Christmas shopping? If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a little nervous, about now or maybe , REALLY nervous! The holiday is less than 2 weeks away and it’s crunch time! Well, I got the perfect solution for some last minute gift ideas or for those, “I don’t know what to get peeps” on your Christmas list. I say give green! No…not money but a beautiful living plant. Plants are living gifts that keep giving, bring cheer and improve any space or environment they are in. They can also fit into any budget and make great gifts for almost any age.
It can be as simple as purchasing a dressed up holiday plant in the floral department at the grocery store or as elaborate as creating a terrarium or making the actual container. When giving a plant as a gift, you will want to make sure you pick an appropriate plant for the recipient. For instance, someone with a busy lifestyle or not such a “green thumb” would be better with a simple, easy to care for plant, in a more attractive pot and for a giftee that has more free time and an interest in plants a better choice may be a bonsai tree, orchid or a rare plant that has to be specially ordered. A container or pot can really make a difference in giving a plant as a gift, you should find a pot that fits a person’s style or personality. For example, if Aunt Mary likes antiques, look for an old teapot or other item at a local antique store to put the plant in. Grandparents really enjoy pots that the kids have painted or helped make. A lot of time when someone buys a plant for themselves, they just don’t take the time or want to spend the money on the perfect container and the poor thing sits in their house in the plastic pot it was bought in. So think presentation, and that will make this gift even more special and its easy wrapping for you! Be sure to always include the care instructions of the plant you give.

There are also gift sets of plants available in almost any kind of store, department stores to the corner drugstore! The sets can be of traditional Holiday flowers such as Paper Whites, Amaryllis, Norfolk Pines(my favorite) to kitchen herb sets, to silly ones like the Chia pets(kids love these by the way) Last year I got my daughter a set that included catnip seeds and a cute kitty planter.It made more than one happy! 😉 Kids love planting things, it teaches them responsibility and they enjoy the element of surprise when something sprouts or blooms. Hey a surprise bloom should put a smile on about anybody’s face! Well, I hope that I have  planted a few gift ideas in your head! Now I’m off to shop and calm some nerves… I hope!! ~ Sandy C. 🙂