Gifts, gifts, gifts – ooooo! – I love gifts. I love giving gifts. I love getting gifts. I LOVE GIFTS! While it might be more eco-conscious to abstain from gift giving all together and stop the consumer cycle in its tracks, that would mean NO gifts and in effect a broken heart in my chest. At this time I can confidently say there will be no drastic declarations anytime in the near future. Or birthday lists requesting donations to my favorite charities. Or Christmas trees showing off an adorable tree skirt that is actually visible. Instead, I have adopted the choice to turn gift giving into both a query and a statement. Each holiday, birthday, celebration or “just because” is my soap box. It my excuse to buy those gifts or peruse the websites that get bookmarked but never used because there isn’t a line item in our budget marked “splurge” (Oh, how I wish there was!). It is also my chance to spread the word about companies making a difference or cleverly sneaking a little something into a person’s rigid routine that doesn’t have room for green-products or recycled goods…
In our household, April, May and June DO have line items in our budget entitled “Break the Bank Bonanza”. It is one long stretch of hopscotch between eight birthdays (yes, all direct family members I have to buy gifts for!), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Graduations (one of the perks and downfalls of working at a high school – I ALWAYS know someone who is graduating, every year, every June!). This year, I outdid myself. The gift wrapping was sublimely simple; recycled brown paper adorned with raffia. And, the gifts were spot-on, oh-so-cool.
So, here’s to birthdays and celebrating those one of kind parents in your life!
Happy Father’s Day, Jacob! My man, my love, my parenting partner!
This Father’s Day Jacob scored a home run in the gift department. He was treated to a shaving set from Pacific Shaving Company out of San Francisco, California. He received a jar of Shaving Cream and a bottle of Shaving Oil. My man might not be pretty, but he likes his face done right. It is babied with the right amount of moisturizer, but he struggles to find that fine line between a clean, close, nick-free shave and a breakout of pimples or stubbly rash. Pacific Shaving Company has the product for him and their moniker “This is the best shaving cream. (There. We said it.)” holds water. The ingredients are all natural, it’s local to the west coast, it smells scrumptious and the resulting shave is impeccable. There. I said it.
Congratulations, Jess! You are full-fledged graduate of college.
Now for the omnipresent question: “What are you going to do with your life?”
And, the answer: cook with my new cast iron pan, of course.
What do you get a bohemian, transitional lifestyle college graduate that struggles to look as far forward as next week, but can whip up an incredibly delicious concoction of quinoa, sprouted almonds and black beans and a dash of amino acids?! You get her an all-natural, time tested, old school cooking utensil that will outlive all of us and be her standby cookware for years to come. Lodge Cast Iron has been THE name brand in cast iron cookware and has been in business since 1896. The benefits of cooking with cast iron are long winded and range from unbeatable taste to exquisite texture. But, the two that stand out are: all-natural and chemical-free. Forget the taste of baked cornbread. Forget the perfectly fried bacon. We are talking no more trace elements of god-only-knows what leaching from your nonstick pan. Now, that deserves a pat on the back!
Happy Grandmother and Mother’s Day, Kathy! Here’s to some love from 2,000 miles away!
I am always looking for a way to get the most bang for my buck and I struggle to find a way to get gifts to my in-laws in Tennessee for an affordable cost and also support local at the same time. For many months, my mother in law has not so slyly hinted at her desire to have a wooden cutting board. She envies our collection with each visit to Washington and I finally succumbed to her pleas and got her what she wanted for Mother’s Day.
I am always admiring bamboo cutting boards and jealously fondling them when they cross my path in a store, but I have never purchased one. I like bamboo as a material in general because it is unbelievably sustainable, has a ridiculous turnover rate (it grows almost 24 inches per day in BAD growing conditions) and is durable, natural and synthetic free. So, I stopped into Totally Bamboo and purchased a gift from GreenLite, their new line of dishwasher safe, 100% bamboo boards! I was intrigued by the novelty of a natural cutting board that can safely handle meats and other foods that tend to be exclusively limited to plastic cutting surfaces. And, the price was beyond affordable (under $28 after shipping to Tennessee!). She loved it! We loved that she was happy! And, now I have officially added a bamboo cutting board to my wish list.
Gifts for me are a whole package deal. It begins with the bar-none presentation, peaks with smiles and appreciation and ends with a sense of satisfaction. And, somewhere in the middle is the message. The message that companies out there are making a difference. Making products with all-natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic materials. Offering a choice between the old ways and the new. Here’s to more gifts that send a message. Happy gift giving!