tagged babies, fair-trade, handmade, kid-friendly, toy and under-$50
Looking for a fool-proof “become her favorite new toy” gift? These uniquely handmade dolls from BlaBlah seem to have magic powers over kids. If you’ve got a little girl 6 months or older, she will love these dolls. They’re hand knit from super soft, 100% cotton in South America using Fair Trade practices. No hard parts and parents love that they’re machine washable.
Sharing snippets of juicy reviews is my new favorite thing… because people are finally leaving really helpful reviews!
Hey, who spilled common sense all over the Interwebs?
I have to say when I first saw these cats, I didn’t get it. They seemed a little simplistic and overpriced. The only thing that convinced me to get them were the scores of positive reviews. They were right! Little ones love these toys. They are used as pillows by both of my girls nightly. And they wash up great in the washer and dryer (even though it says air dry, I dry on the lowest level and they come out perfect).
The colors are very vibrant and wherever we go we get compliments on him, that’s right, he goes everywhere with us! He was a great addition to our family and I am sure he will be a treasured toy in the years to come.
My daughter loves her and has slept with her every night since she got her. I think we have a doll that is going to last a very long time. I would definitely buy another one as a gift.
From the moment [he] came out of the box it has been true love. He has been dragged, thrown, hugged, drooled on, snoozed on, given Cheerio’s and sips of milk, even spit up on and has held up wonderfully.
My little girl absolutely loves this doll! She sleeps with it everynight and takes it with her everywhere she can.
tagged activity, cheap-gift, DIY, eco-friendly, Fun, gift-idea, green-gift-idea, handmade, kid-friendly, nature, outdoor, under-$25 and Unique
Wildflowers are notorious for “blooming where they’re planted”. Seed bombs take that idea and crank it to 11. They transform any gray urban landscape into a slice of reclaimed green space.
They come in 6 growing regions for the US; west coast, midwest, east coast, pacific northwest, southwest and southeast. Just pick the right region, throw, and your gardening is done.
Seed bombs are awesome for both gardening enthusiasts and anyone who can throw! Even kids can chuck these over a fence and watch the magic happen. Chuck a seed bomb in spring, summer, or early fall, and see what blooms.
tagged eco-friendly, gift-idea, green-gift-idea, handmade, Indie, Uncommon-Goods, Unique and Valentines-Day
On a scale of 1 to ohmahgah, how into your sweetheart are you?
Just tell the Uncommon Love Meter your level of lovin’, and it will show you hand-picked gift ideas perfect for your Valentine. Chances are, you’ll probably find a really stand-out Valentine’s Day present; this shop specializes in the truly unique. Check out how much of it is artisan made and eco-friendly, too.
So what’s your Love Meter at this year?
No matter who you spend the day with, or how you celebrate your relationship, have an awesome, heart-centered Valentine’s Day.
The Mable’s Crew
tagged art, crafts, eco-friendly, exclusive, handmade, one-of-a-kind, under-$25, Unique and vintage
The teeny History in a Bottle jars are part time capsule and part goodie bag. You never know just what you’ll get, but it’s guaranteed to be an assortment of vintage pretties.
What will you make with your bottle of time traveled treats?
Twine Shop is the perfect blend of lovely goodies and conscious consumerism. They offer “natural materials, great design, handmade goods, and unique surprises”. Visit their shop for more amazing gifts and goodies.
tagged accessories, art, crafts, DIY, Fun, funny, gift-idea, handmade, home-decor, Indie, jewelry, sweatshop-free and wall-art
Our favorite stores are often difficult to describe. Their offerings change quickly, and the selection can be as varied as the shoppers they attract. Talking Paintings one day, and an Eames House of Cards the next? Sounds good to us!
Enter San Francisco based The Curiosity Shoppe. Their tagline is “Crafts, Kits and Curious for the Creatively Inclined“, but we dare anybody to walk away without an item that tickles her fancy. Have you seen the USB drive that doubles as a comb? How about the hand printed tea towels featuring a pirate-inspired tall ship?
The store is owned and operated by Lauren & Derek who opened the Shoppe for one simple reason: they are “obsessed with beautiful things.” And what sorts of beautiful things might you find while browsing their hand picked wares? “Whether it’s a favorite art book, a vintage find, a carefully hand-crafted piece of jewelry or a one-of-a-kind painting, we guarantee everything you’ll find in the Shoppe is special.”
Like anything truly magical, their stock changes frequently, enticing you to come back for visit after visit. If you’re in San Francisco, you can drop by their store on Valencia Street, or head to their 24/7 web shop here. For extra fun, visit their blog Smarts & Crafts and say hello.
tagged accessories, designer, DIY, Etsy, gift-idea, handmade, kid-friendly, under-$100, under-$50 and Unique
What can you wear that matches a rainstorm? One of the gorgeous handmade umbrellas at Umbrella Heaven, of course. They contain a unique “Double-Dome wind resilience technology” and are handmade in the UK. At just $25 and up, they’re not just lovely to behold, but kind to your wallet, too. According to their bevy of customer testimonials, you’ll be smiling each time the skies turn grey. How’s that for a silver lining?
$25 and up
tagged bedroom, eco-friendly, furniture, handmade, over-$200, recycled, retro, splurge, Unique, vintage and Viva-Terra
The King Gustav Bed will please even the most royal of tastes. It’s hand crafted in the USA from wood that is repurposed from demolished buildings. That means no new trees were cut to create the Gustavian Bed, yet it’s materials are up to 100 years old! Now you can enjoy the gorgeous textural character of ancient fir wood and help the planet at the same time.
Comes in dark and light shades and fits twin all the way up to California King mattresses. Curious about the name? Visit Viva Terra to learn how Swedish King Gustav got this bed named after him…
tagged books, eco-friendly, gift-idea, handmade, home-decor, nature, recycled, sustainable and Viva-Terra
We’ve talked about VivaTerra‘s Root of the Earth Bowls. They are beautiful and make a great gift idea, but it’s time to feature some larger items that can really help surround you with nature in the comfort of your own home.
Set the stage for your magical getaways (a.k.a. books) with this whimsical book shelf that utilizes dense elm wood as well as Indian root and trunk materials for outer decoration. Finally something to hold all your Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and other nerdy fantastical escapes!
There is also a matching Root Wine Rack for those who like to live dangerously and drink while reading.
Now where will you set your book down while you get up to get your wine from the favorite reading spot? On this
Branch & Glass Side Table of course! Yep, with branches working together to support the snazzy glass top it looks like nature is here to serve you. A matching Branch & Glass “Console” Table (whatever that means) is also available.
Last but not least on today’s list is … say it with me kids … a STOOL! Yay for stools! (pun intended).
These reclaimed wood stools are made of beautiful Japanese teak wood, and they are great for an impromptu sit down, end table, or they can even be magical chairs out in your secret garden.
Where will you put your eco-friendly furniture?
Sometimes having too many options can be a little overwhelming, but when entering the Pink Quartz Minerals shop I feel like a kid in a candy store! Doree is a one woman DIY powerhouse who makes a variety of all natural makeup, but she always makes time to create any item to your exact specifications. What color do you want that lip balm? How opaque do you want the color? Want to add a flavor? An all natural sweetener? How about customizing the label with any text you want? Even cooler, these options are standard and there is never an extra charge for them. I have been loving my marshmallow flavored, stevia sweetened, deep rose lip balm for months and I’m actually excited to order a few more.
As someone who really doesn’t wear much makeup – usually some tinted lip balm or mineral foundation – my affinity for Pink Quartz Minerals might seem surprising. Keep in mind though that I’m a really particular shopper; I always know just what I want… and what I don’t want.
Unlike most products out there, all of Doree’s handmade goodies are safe for your eyes, lips, skin, and face, which says a lot about how “natural” they really are. The ingredients consist of only 6 minerals (except the lip balms of course), and there are never any preservatives, chemicals, or animal-based ingredients. Everything is vegan friendly, and truly hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. I was visiting family recently and took a peek at the ingredients on my little sister’s sparkly lip balm set. Talk about night and day! There was a huge list of chemicals and it was petroleum based, too. Yuck! What bums me out is that makeup containing dangerous, junky ingredients is standard. Thank goodness for businesses like Pink Quartz Minerals who have integrity and create only safe and exquisite makeup items.
I also had the pleasure of trying the mineral foundation and the fabulous vegan kabuki brush. Both are amazing! I bought the sample kit to find the perfect shade for me, but you can also have a color custom blended. I’ve been asked so many times “Are you wearing makeup? Your skin looks so nice.” Could there be a better testimonial? During the visit to see my family, my mom tried the kabuki brush and could not stop raving. “It’s so much softer than the expensive one I bought and doesn’t shed all over the place either”. Since she doesn’t stop by this blog too often I’ll let you guys know that I’m going to order her a brush and sample kit, too
Unless you’re madly in love with your makeup and can identify all the ingredients on the label, I really encourage you to try some of the lovely handmade products from Pink Quartz Minerals. They’re safe, affordable, and bring out your natural beauty so you’ll look and feel like a million bucks.
tagged books, coupon, free-shipping, gift-idea, green-gift-idea, handmade, kid-friendly, limited-edition and Unique
About 3 years ago I picked up my first copy of Dream Big by Lisa Hammond on a lark. I was skimming the New Arrivals section at my library and the bright cover and bold title leaped out at me. It wasn’t a topic I had been consciously thinking about, but I was willing to give it a look. The ambitious tag line sounded great too – “Finding the courage to follow your dreams and laugh at your nightmares” – but I wondered how the author was going to cram such life-changing info into the relatively small book. The introduction gives a great insight when Lisa mentioned that she did not start with a business plan, despite everyone insisting that she do so. Following a lengthy “winning formula” can be so helpful at times, but your creativity and integrity will rapidly change your entire life. What made this book so endearing and inspirational to me was that simplicity. She encourages women to start with what counts: finding your passion. Everything else will flow easier once you start from a place of personal honesty. We’ve all heard the old saying that when you find work you love, it never feels like work. This is exactly why Lisa’s book is called Dream Big! She helps break down some of the internal barriers that prevent us from pursuing our DREAM calling. Not a “job” or even a “career”, but a “calling”. What a huge difference this will make in finding fulfilling activities to pursue.
The author is well qualified to write this book, as she is the owner of the mail order company Femail Creations (“Gifts to Celebrate and Inspire Women“). It was started by Lisa when she stopped working at her husband’s construction company. Like many of us, she was “going crazy” working at a job that she had little interest in! Lisa needed new work that was meaningful to her, and would allow her to stay home with their daughter. She was able to do both when she realized her dream of starting a mail order company. What made that meaningful and fulfilling for her was that she offers products that also support other women. Femail Creations sells many handmade, limited run, artisan products created by women, some of which are also SAHMs. Not only does Ms. Hammond now have a calling that she loves, but she is able to help other women realize their dreams by giving them a place to sell their creations. That’s the kind of win-win business planning that I love to hear about!
Femail Creations doesn’t really do sales, but they just let us know about a FREE shipping sale for orders $75+. No coupon code required, just click the link and it will automatically be entered into your cart.