This has easily been the weirdest year of most of our lives. In order to stay healthy we wear masks and socially distance from others. Like many of you Kristi & I aren't able to see our families; Kristi's parents live in Hawaii and mine in Canada. With travel discouraged and borders closed we are feeling extra distanced from the people we love. It's a sad and stressful time but also the PERFECT time to send Christmas gifts that have a little extra special meaning than usual. In our opinion there is nothing more special than a handmade gift. Since there's plenty of time left to get making we thought we'd share a few of our favorite ideas with you.
1. Soap sounds like a difficult, scary thing to make but it is surprisingly easy. We were able to grab most of the tools that we needed at Goodwill, ingredients were easy to find on Amazon or at the grocery store and we even had a bunch of stuff on hand already. Our favorite recipe is on the Lovely Greens website. Her instructions are very easy to follow and the best advice that she gives is to have everything organized ahead of time in "stations" in your kitchen. We made two batches of lavender soap and they turned out beautifully! Heads up - the soap takes 28 days to cure so you may want to get started on it first!
2. Who doesn't love lip balm with all natural ingredients? The Herbal Lip Balm recipe that we used was also from Lovely Greens. We used beeswax, organic olive oil and peppermint essential oils. It's so lovely and we may keep some of it for ourselves. 3. We couldn't resist adding these gorgeous Handmade Lotion Bars by Our Oily House. Once again we chose to use beeswax as a base and we scented them with lemon and orange essential oils for a fresh clean scent. You just rub them on any dry areas to moisturize. If you are going to purchase beeswax to work with we suggest purchasing it locally if you can however many small businesses sell online. We got ours from Conrad Hive & Honey in Canal Winchester, Ohio. 4. Check out these Bath Bombs from DYI Smart Ideas! We chose the basic essential oil scented recipe and added some colored Epsom salts. The essential oil scent that we went with is Eucalyptus. This recipe is very simple right up until you try to shape the bath bombs. We had bath bomb molds and still struggled to make them stay together. It's a very messy fun project to do with a friend. Don't get too discouraged, as they dry they become more sturdy.
As Thanksgiving approaches we are all looking forward to a little brightness and happiness. Even if our gatherings are smaller they can still be special. This has been a tough year but we can still find things to be grateful for. This year, we are extra thankful for Google Duo because it allows us to see our parents faces when we speak to them. It's been almost a year since we saw them in person last so we'll take what we can! We hope that you all keep your masks on while you shop and keep your gatherings small. The sooner we beat this virus into submission the better.
We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!
Kristi and Carolyn
PS. This video of What Actually Happens When You Buy From A Small Business is 100% accurate. Please shop small whenever you can this holiday season.