Tag Archives: gift guide

4 Simple DIY Beauty Gifts

I recently received a complimentary set of beautiful, deep violet glass jars from Infinity Jars and immediately started scroll through Pinterest for DIY beauty gifts that I could make and share with loved ones with this holiday season (…or just, like… keep for myself).

4 simple diy beauty gifts

There is no shortage of recipes out there for masks, scrubs, sprays and balms.  And with such a variety of these beautiful jars to play with, I felt myself getting a bit carried away (I’m sure there’s an aromatherapy antidote for that).  And then I remembered that I’m neither a chemist nor a particularly precise measurer.  So I scrapped my grandest plans (think dried rose petals and edible glitter…) and simplified.  

Here are a few basics that make for easy (and lovely) DIY beauty gifts.

4 Simple DIY Beauty Gifts

Notes: I purchased all the ingredients at my local Whole Foods Market or on Amazon; most are inexpensive and readily available.  I’ve linked to many of these items (some are affiliate links).  The jars and containers were provided by Infinity Jars.  **Please use caution and do a bit of research before using essential oils.  

No one wants a rash for the holidays.

Soothing peppermint lip balm

soothing peppermint lip balm

Ingredients:

How to:

  1. Melt beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler (I used a Pyrex measuring cup in a saucepan of water), stirring frequently
  2. Turn off heat and stir in peppermint essential oil
  3. Carefully pour mixture into shallow containers and let sit for several minutes before covering
  4. Balm will fully harden within several hours

Trust me when I say, this is a super easy and satisfying project.  The recipe above makes enough balm for two small pots (I used the 5ml glass screw top jars from Infinity Jars) and the balm itself is really moisturizing, but not at all greasy.  

Aromatherapy room + body mist

aromatherapy room body mist

Ingredients:

  • 15 drops of essential oils for each 5ml bottle 
  • Distilled water

How to:

  • Using your favorite single oil or blend, add 15 drops to your spray bottle (I used the 5ml glass fine mist bottle from Infinity Jars)
  • Top with distilled water and gently shake before using

Suggested blends:

  • Deck the Halls: 10 drops of citrus, 5 drops of cinnamon leaf
  • All is Calm: 10 drops of lavender, 5 drops of chamomile 

I used a clean glass dropper (which I had on hand in my art supply stash, but hadn’t used yet) to add the distilled water to each spray.  And if you don’t have distilled water on hand, rumor has it you can use vodka… 

Lemon eucalyptus exfoliating scrub

lemon eucalyptus exfoliating scrub

Ingredients:

How to:

  1. Combine salt and fractionated coconut oil in a bowl
  2. Add oil and stir gently before storing in airtight jars

This gentle exfoliating scrub makes such a lovely gift.  The recipe above filled 1 50ml glass wide mouth jar, 1 30 ml glass wide mouth jar (both from Infinity Jars) and two larger jars I had on hand.  

You can easily customize this scrub with your favorite scent, substitute sugar for salt, and either of the oils mentioned above.  I love fractionated coconut oil because it has virtually no scent, but has the same benefits of regular coconut oil.  I use it daily as a moisturizer.

Let the good times roll… roll-on scent

roll on scent

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops of essential oil (single or blend) 
  • Carrier oil (ex. fractionated coconut oil, grape seed oil)

How to:

  1. Add 3 drops of your favorite essential oil to a 5 ml roller applicator bottle
  2. Top with carrier oil (being careful to not overfill)

I made two roller bottles using my favorite Rhada Beauty blends, Happy Citrus and Pure Healing.  The glass roller bottles from Infinity Jars were perfect for this, and so easy to fill.  I plan to give one to a friend and keep the other in my handbag for a quick aromatherapy pick-me-up.  You can use whichever scent suits your mood, or customize blends for each family member’s stockings.

It took me less than an hour to make all four of these simple DIY beauty gifts (during baby Nick’s nap time), and I imagine it will take even less the second time around. When I don’t waste 15 minutes saying, “This was so easy!” and twirling around my kitchen. Perhaps you’ll consider treating yourself to one of these gifts?

Special thanks to Infinity Jars for supplying the jars and containers for these beauty gifts.  Every glass bottle sold by Infinity Jars is guaranteed to have an airtight seal and ultra-violet filtering, be scent-proof, and naturally preserve the freshness of its contents.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite handmade gift to give or receive?

 

 

 

Today: Last Minute Larry’s Valentine Gift Guide.

Just before Christmas, I threw together a Last Minute Larry gift guide, featuring presents found at the grocery store (and if you’re going that route, here are a few last minute Valentine’s Day deals you’ll love at Whole Foods Market).

I did a bit more advance planning this holiday, as Grace’s due date was 2/15.  I figured Nick and I might well be ringing in the sweetheart’s holiday in a labor and delivery room… but instead we’ll be at home with a very happy, teeny, tiny baby.

While I’ve had a gift stashed away for my husband for a few months, some of you may be scrambling (as I usually am), so I thought I’d share a few inexpensive, last minute ideas.

You can’t go wrong with flowers and chocolate

You just can’t.  I think a simple bunch of white tulips is perfect for any occasion. Including Tuesdays.  Which is to say, you don’t need an occasion to give someone (or yourself, obvi) flowers.  Same goes for chocolate.

Tea for one

I love sharing my favorite teas.  Pair a few tea bags with a cute mug (try Homegoods for inexpensive, fun mugs) and you’ll have your Valentine warmed up in no time… quoth the lady in Boston presently wearing a bathrobe over a sweater.

Spruce up something ordinary

I am forever trying to justify the extent of my washi tape collection by embellishing any and everything I can get my hands on.  I found these cute notebooks at Target and added friends’ initials to the covers.

Give something tasty

These gluten-free thumbprint cookies take less than a half hour to whip up and say, “These are sort of healthy… I must really love you.”

Hit the beauty aisle

To know me is to love me to be semi-concerned with my nail polish obsession.  At a few bucks a pop, however, a new polish or lip gloss makes a fun little gift for a friend.

Get a little messy crafty

I love making things, but hate cleaning up the ensuing mess.  And cleaning glitter off Clark’s snout days later.  If only Pinterest (click here for my Valentine-inspired board… side note: my account was hacked by some dude in France, and I created such an airtight new password that even I can’t figure it out… ) had a messiness rating for each project I pin.  Regardless, I love homemade gifts.

A few ideas that seem manageable:

Then again, the best gifts (hugs, kisses, and telling it like it is)… are free.  So maybe just skip the shopping, baking, and crafting altogether?  Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your go-to last minute gift?

Today: Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts.

If you’re like me you are an incredible and wonderful creature have a tendency to leave things to the last minute.  For someone who loves to plan and make lists as long as my dog is cute, I have a real knack for procrastinating.  Fortunately, there is still time to pick up the perfect gift and a half gallon of milk at the same time.  Which reminds me: I forgot to buy milk this morning.

Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts

DIY gift baskets

My late uncle lived in Florida and often sent boxes of citrus fruit up North this time of year– the perfect bit of sun and warmth for those of us hunkering down for another New England winter.  Plus, it’s always nice to have a few grapefruits and oranges on hand to balance out the ‘nog and cookies.

You could spend a fortune on next day shipping and order a gourmet gift online, or you could simply hit up the produce section of your local grocery store and pick up a few of your favorite fruits (perhaps include something new and different for a friend to try?) and wrap them in an inexpensive bowl or basket.

Fruit not your jam?  Try a printed recipe and dry ingredients, or spices and cooking utensils.  Package your favorite teas with honey, biscuits and a lovely mug.  There are pretty much no rules when it comes to making your own food-themed gift baskets.  Welp, maybe that’s not true.

A few rules to abide by, lest ye give your sister botulism for Christmas:

  1. Include no fish, raw meats, nor cheeses that require refrigeration
  2. Avoid anything that could go bad and/or stinky
  3. If it doesn’t sound delicious, don’t wrap it up and give it to someone (unless you’re trying to send a very un-Christmas-like message)

Toys

Our favorite Whole Foods Market (the one on River Street in Cambridge) has quite the selection of toys, books, apparel and other gift-worthy items in their Whole Body section.  Who doesn’t love a sock monkey?  Someone I don’t want to know, that’s who.

Chocolate

When in doubt, give the people what they want.  I am a big fan of local favorite, Mexcian style Taza Chocolate, but most markets offer a variety of interesting brands and flavors, all of which make a lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

Something unexpected

The big advantage to holiday shopping at the grocery store (besides the opportunity to buy — or forget to buy — milk) is the unexpected factor.  Keep an open mind while browsing the aisles, and just about anything may capture your imagination as gift-worthy.

My favorite “unexpected” items:

  • The above mushroom kit from Back to the Roots
  • Potted rosemary “trees” — they look like little Christmas trees and make a great gift for your favorite cook
  • Items from L.I.F.E. line fashion (sold at most Whole Foods Markets), a remarkable project of CTC International created to employ and empower mothers of children with special needs in Kenya
  • The Whole Planet calendar — 100% of proceeds go to the Whole Planet Foundation, and the calendar (which costs $4) includes over $40 worth of coupons #winwin

See you at the market, fellow Larrys.

P.S. For the record:  This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to really, really like our grocery store. 

Also On Tap for Today:

 What is your favorite gift to give?

 

Today: Stocking stuffers for fit friends.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Koss.

Growing up, we opened our stockings before tackling our pile of presents.  I always loved the fun of reaching into the toe of those giant socks to pull out Lip Smackers, toothbrushes, card games, and other smaller gifts.  With Christmas fast approaching, I’m looking forward to putting together stockings for Nick and Clark (obvi), my secret Santa person (who shall remain nameless) and a few fit friends.

Stocking stuffers for fit friends

Koss Fit Series headphones

Koss’ Fit Series headphones were designed by a team of women (including Gold Medalist Dara Torres) specifically for women. The Fit Series features two models: FitBuds, which are great for everyday use (I wore them on a recent flight and found them super comfortable… and effective at blocking out the snorer seated next to me), and FitClips, clip-style buds ideal for workouts.  Available at Best Buy, Walgreens and Walmart (as well as online), these headphones come in a range of fun colors (hello, mint green) and sell for less than $30.

Tech-friendly running gloves

While the only marathon I’m training for this winter is labor and delivery, I’ve spent the last few years logging very cold miles in Boston.  Comfortable, wicking gloves with iPhone screen-friendly finger tips made those miles more bearable and are also great for commuters.  This pair is from New Balance (here’s a similar pair), but you can find great options at Target, too.

Slip-proof headbands

Katie recently sent me one of her adorable (and very wintry!) BAMR band to review.  I am forever on a mission to keep my unruly curls and fly-aways out of my face while at CrossFit, and this band certainly does the trick.  Like other non-slip bands, the underside is lined with velvet ribbon, which keeps the band in place and prevents the dreaded hair dent.  What I love most about the bands, though?  One dollar from each purchase benefits Every Mother Counts, an international organization committed to ending preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth.

With so many different designs and patterns to choose from, you’re bound to find something you a friend will love.

Other ideas:

  • Arnica gel
  • iTunes gift cards (great for fitness apps and new jams)
  • Socks
  • Digital magazine subscriptions
  • Nutrition bars, Gu, and other on-the-go fuel
  • A DIY “race day kit” – include extra safety pins, Chapstick, a small handheld water bottle, etc.

Happy stuffing!

Also On Tap for Today: