Special Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – Gifts that make a Difference

Mala Collective necklace

Jewelry from Bali from the Mala Collective

Gifts from the heart come in all shapes, sizes and wrappings. Those that give back hold a special place in my heart. Even though by the time you read this the gifts have probably been given, as today is Mother’s Day, there are still “gift” ideas that you – or she – may want to take advantage of. For those who’ve forgotten it\s mom’s special day, there’s still time to do something she’ll appreciate.

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Fun and Guilty Pleasures for Mother’s Day

Any Mom would love colorful Joolz Hayworth bracelets!

Amazingly, Mother’s Day is almost here. I’ve come up with some gift suggestions that will definitely say “I celebrate you” this year.

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Gifts that make Valentine’s Day special and green

The Beeswax Heart Pillar Candle - a special Valentine's gift

Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day is almost here. Here are a few gift ideas sure to warm the heart of that special someone.

To discover three very special affordable gifts your sweetheart will enjoy and appreciate, see the full article at http://bit.ly/xmC1gM.

Valentine’s Day gifts for Procrastinators

No matter the holiday, there will always be those who wait till the very last minute to get a gift for their special someone. Valentine’s Day is no exception.

If you still don’t have any idea what to get of just haven’t gotten anything yet, here are some suggestions that could help you stay out of the proverbial doghouse this holiday.

This cute dispenser, with a heart-felt note, can charm your special someone

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Make Valentine’s Day a green affair

How do you find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone in your life?I’ve got some unique, eco-friendly suggestions. From surprise gifts to organic bodycare to gifts with a little spice, there’s something here that’s sure to please the most discriminating giftee.

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Auric Blends Natural Perfumes

Natural ingredientsSince the late 19th century, perfumes have enticed our senses. Yet even the most expensive perfumes are loaded with petrochemicals, many toxic to humans. A 1991 EPA study found many perfumes include potentially hazardous chemicals like acetone (used as a cleaning solvent), benzyl acetate (a solvent used in plastics), ethanol (grain alcohol), ethyl acetate (a solvent) and methylene chloride (a solvent).

The FDA says fragrances are responsible for 30 percent of all allergic reactions. Yet this hasn’t stopped the growth of this multi-billion dollar industry.

Auric Blends has a new line of all natrual perfumes

Auric Blends has a new line of all natrual perfumes

There’s a small but growing trend within the perfume industry – quality perfumes made with natural ingredients. Auric Blends, a Sonoma County company, has created four unique, handcrafted natural fragrances.

The company’s tag line – “the evolution of perfume” – says it all.

Our purpose is to bring an evolution to the perfume industry, says Danielle Letourneau, Auric Blends’ Sales and Marketing Director.

The company’s been making perfumes and incense since 1993. In 2007, they developed their natural line or roll-on perfumes. Since they’d always produced roll-on fragrances, it was a natural to do it with their natural line too.

Auric Blends is trying to change the industry.

Lots of essential oil manufacturers have put out natural perfumes, Letourneau said. But they smell like essential oils – “more like aromatherapy,” she said.

“We’re striving to make beautiful perfumes that women would love to wear”

Auric Blend Group shotTheir four natural perfumes are made with natural ingredients including rare flowers, sweet fruits, clean citrus, and natural refined woods, with a base of jojoba and vitamin E oils.

There’s a story behind each fragrance’s name. 

  • Tara (my favorite) is named for the Tibetan female embodiment of Buddha.
  • Layla is named for a character in a 12th century Persian love story.
  • Siren is named after the Sirens of Greek mythology.
  • Pele is named for the ancient fire goddess of the Hawaiian volcano who, mythology says, created the Hawaiian Islands.

Each perfume is a distinct blend of floral scents and plant-based ingredients.

Tara has some of the most highly prized essential oils on the market,” said Letourneau. Its complex blend of rose and jasmine absolutes also has fruity notes of pineapple and raspberry rounded out with a woody background of patchouli, orris root and sandalwood.

Layla’s floral scent is a mix of Moroccan and Bulgarian rose, jasmine and orange flower blossom, with touches of India in its sandalwood and vetiver notes, blended with a touch of clove.

Siren is a rich floral blend of fresh lemon oil and lemongrass, sage and thyme.

Pele, their unisex fragrance, is a spicy floral mixture of geranium and lavender with patchouly and vanilla.

Made with unfiltered natural ingredients, these perfumes have a naturally occurring sediment.

Essential oils change when exposed to natural light and oxygen, Letourneau said. “We recommend people keep them in a darker, cooler place to extend the shelf life,” which, she said, averages two to three years.

These compact perfumes come in attractive, eco-friendly packaging. Each lists the ingredients, not yet an industry standard.

First time orders of these natural perfumes qualify for a 15 percent discount with the code #RDD0310, with a minimum order of $21.00, at Auricblends.com until May 31st, 2010. For smaller orders phone 800 882-7247.

Travel-sized necessities go Green

The Eco-Traveler Gift Box -green all the way through

The Eco-Traveler Gift Box -green all the way through

To satisfy consumer demand, manufacturers have created small, travel-size versions of our favorite products. At the same time, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour! It’s an environmental scourge – harmful to wildlife, threatening our oceans and marine life, and scientists believe it will take hundreds of years to degrade.

Los Angeles-based Minimus recently introduced its Eco-Traveler Gift set, packed to the gills with an array of small-sized products. Yet almost everything in this gift box is eco-friendly – either reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or it uses paper made and certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

For more on this super-useful and elegant product, go to http://3.ly/1Yby.

Chocolate Valentine’s for your Sweetie

You know you had a great reason.

You’ve been swamped at work. You’re worried about your job, your boss, the economy…AND you forgot that today’s Valentine’s Day!

I may have something that will get you back in your sweetheart’s good graces – and it’s even eco-friendly!

If your sweetie likes chocolate – and almost everybody does – the Midnight Crunch bar is sure to mend all hurt feelings. To say it’s delicious is a pale understatement. Made from Fair Trade dark chocolate with quinoa (that’s keen’ wah) sprinkles, eating it is a sensual savoring EXPERIENCE.

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From recycling to art

Reversible Heart PendantFor yet another Valentine’s Day idea, check out Artful Home’s website. Filled with direct-from-the-artist jewelry, decor and a variety of other unique items, you’re bound to find something to make your sweetheart smile.

I was able to view their “Reversible 3D Tin Heart Necklace”  This delicate looking heart pendant stands out.  With different colors and colors and designs on each side and a vintage look, artist Beth Taylor made it from recycled tin cans. It comes on a silver link chain.

Each creation of this pendant is custom-made so colors may vary. Retailing for $68.00. It’s just one of a number of products Artful Home’s 1,000 artists create from recycled materials. A perfect green gift for your Valentine!

Chocolate anyone? A different kind of Valentine

Green ValentineWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a few posts about innovative, eco-friendly gift ideas. Not my normal thing, but this holiday brings out some cool products I thought I’d mention. So in-between my usual “new” stories, here are a few fun ones.

Chocolate lovers will love this one. And with a name like “Chocolate Almond Truffle Body Butter”, how an you lose?

As I test out products beforehand, I can safely say this is one smells and feels amazing!

For softness and an amazing aroma, Chocolate Almond Truffle is amazing

For softness and an amazing aroma, Chocolate Almond Truffle is amazing

It’s like wearing chocolate,  without the mess.  Rich in emollients, this just-for-Valentine’s product, from Hothouse Botanicals, is made with organic ingredients, including:

  • Shea Butter
  • Cocoa Butter, which is high in antioxidants and protects from free radical damage
  • Coconut Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil, to help heal cracked skin
  • Organic Sapote Fruit Seed Oil (for a natural almond scent)
  • Cocoa Absolute, giving it that yummy chocolate liquor scent

This delectably-scented product does an amazing job for softening hands, feet, just about anywhere on your body you want to use it.

Retailing at $20 for a 6.22 ounce jar, you’re sure to get hugs and kisses with a gift like this one!