Holiday Gift Guide: Life’s Little Helpers

Just a bit of luxury, a little extra treat in your day, is a fabulous gift. It doesn’t matter whether the item is actually expensive or not…anything that makes you smile and gives that feeling of being taken care of is such a treat. I’ve put together a holiday gift guide full of my picks for this sort of little helpers in life, with a mixture of goodies that are budget-friendly and others that satisfy the urge to go all out and splurge.

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

1.  Scala Pronto Beret  (SAVE! $32)  Slouchy berets are a super hot trend right now and I love the Pronto Beret from Scala. This knit hat has metallic lurex thread throughout – the perfect thing to bring a smile on dreary winter days. It protects my hair from the wet snow and the harsh wind,  and slipping on this cute beret immediately makes a bad hair day something I don’t have to deal with.

Aroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower HeadAroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower HeadAroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower Head2.  Aroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower Head (SPLURGE! $79.99)  Oh my is this a fabulous gift!! The box includes 1 shower head, 2 microfiber filters and 1 Vitamin C shower cartridge. The Vitamin C cartridge is excellent aromatherapy, plus it is very beneficial for hair and skin. Not only that, the shower head removes chlorine and rust while conserving water by 25%!  I was sure the water pressure would be lessened, but this shower head does the opposite – it actually increases pressure by about 1 1/2 times. It even helps breathing and blood flow by producing four times more negative ions, which results in less stress and anxiety. A great shower is always pure luxury to me and this shower head definitely helps me have a great day! My husband is a contractor who regularly installs bathrooms and he is totally impressed with this magical shower head.  https://aromasenseusa.com/

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

3.  Soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer (SAVE! $19.99)  Who doesn’t need a hanging cosmetics organizer? And who can resist one in animal print called the Love Fest?? This neon trimmed tiger print hanging organizer is a fabulous gift. It has a small zip pocket for jewelry, a makeup brush organizer with a protective cover, plus a removable clear zip pouch.   The Love Fest is a handy little helper that anyone on your list will be thrilled to get.

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

4.  Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles (SAVE! $29) Oh Em Gee. There really isn’t a better way to light up those holidays than these ultra adorable candles with their very own knitted sweaters. Each candle comes in its own box with tiny windows…geez I’d almost buy these just for the outside packaging!! The candle with the red sweater is the Spiced Rum Candle and it smells like sweet orange, honey, clove and spice. The candle with the green sweater is Home Fir the Holidays and it smells like a fresh-cut Frazier fir tree. They are beyond fun and they smell AMAZING. These candles are made of a soy-blend wax, with phthalate-free scents that provides up to 50 hours of light, love, and delicious holiday fragrance.

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

5.  FOREO LUNA for Women (SPLURGE! $199)  The FOREO LUNA™  is my favorite facial cleansing tool of all time. A typical skin care brush is battery operated with a cleansing brush that eventually wears out and needs replacing. I have owned my FOREO LUNA™ for four years now and it not only doesn’t show any signs of wear, I’ve only had to charge it one time — and that’s with using it almost every single day.  This unique little pink machine is truly beyond impressive.  There is also a LUNA™ for Men made for men’s skin, and it comes in black, a more manly color. Here is a great FOREO Holiday Offer for you – 15% Off On LUNA & ISSA Devices + Free Shipping with the Promo Code: HolidayBeauty15.  Expiration Date: Until 12/31/15.

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

6.  Gurunanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser (SAVE! $19.99)  Talk about all the rage…we all know the fantastic benefits of essential oils, and the best way to get all the benefits from them is through a diffuser. GuruNanda has a terrific set that includes calming lavender and uplifting peppermint essential oils, plus a really cool diffuser with a color-changing LED light that turns 7 different shades. This is a perfect gift for a teacher, co-worker, or anyone you know who needs some stress relief. I am going to bring one as a hostess gift for the New Year’s Eve party I am going to – I know she will love it. You can find this great set at Walmart.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

7.  C.O. Bigelow Musk Scented Candle (SAVE! $42) I always think candles are the ultimate little luxury. I love getting them as gifts and then feeling so indulgent when I burn one, luxuriating in the beautiful scent. A great choice for a minimalist friend is the C.O. Bigelow Musk Scented Candle. The candle is very chic, housed in a clear glass jar with the C.O. Bigelow signature. It has a lead-free wick and a 60 hour burn. The Musk Candle’s fragrance is a beautiful combination of bergamot, ylang ylang, muguet petals (lily of the valley), patchouli, vanilla bean, white cedar, and also of course musk. The combination creates a light musky scent that is surprisingly fresh.

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

8.  Soho London Disney Wristlet (SAVE! $7.99)  I don’t care if you are 6 or 106, you will be completely enchanted with the adorable Soho London Disney Wristlets. I have pictured two different styles featuring Cinderella, and the other Disney princesses have their own wristlets available as well. All the girls in my house are fighting over these adorable little bags….they are exactly what is needed for a tiny bit of magic in your day.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle and Soap & Paper Factory Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

musk_lit_duo_800It’s funny, I always associate C.O. Bigelow with their own namesake products, forgetting that it is actually the oldest apothecary in America. Online and in store you can find a wealth of products from all sorts of different lines, featuring unique and often hard to find items. If I lived in New York I would spend every free moment I had wandering through their store, making a new discovery with every step.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

An iconic fragrance from the C.O. Bigelow line is their Musk Perfume. I think this scent is so popular because while it has the lovely qualities of musk, it isn’t heavy and overpowering. It’s a great scent to wear and an even better one for adding some fragrance to your home with the Musk Candle ($42). C.O. Bigelow recently sent this to me to review, and the candle is very pretty, housed in a clear glass jar with the C.O. Bigelow signature. It has a lead-free wick and a 60 hour burn.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

The Musk Candle’s fragrance is a beautiful combination of bergamot, ylang ylang, muguet petals (lily of the valley), patchouli, vanilla bean, white cedar, and also of course musk. The combination creates a light musky scent that is surprisingly fresh.

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand CreamOne of my favorite lines that C.O. Bigelow carries is Soap & Paper Factory. I love their hand cream and am really impressed with their Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream ($16). This is a shea butter based cream that is free of parabens, phthalates,  and petroleum.

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

The packaging totally belongs in an apothecary and the cool retro squeeze tube is wonderful.

The hand cream itself is thick and rich, with an elegant shea-based formula that totally soothes dry skin. I love the Marigold Calendula scent, which is a combination of cyclamen, peony, and ylang ylang. It is a sweet floral with some spice from the ylang ylang. It smells feminine and just a little mysterious. The combination really is perfect for this velvety hand cream.

Head on over to the C.O. Bigelow website at bigelowchemists.com, and plan to stay for a while…the fabulous products go on forever!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Transport yourself to Sicily with Spadaro

SpadaroCandle_SolNero_1_420_420If you are interested in a wonderful splurge for yourself, consider a Spadaro candle. Spadaro is owned by the Kim Spadaro, a stunning woman who creates fragrances based on her own travels, as well her passions for design, music, and aromatherapy. Kim is a true inspiration, a strong woman who has created a huge company and who gives back to the world in memory of her mom. Spadaro sent a candle in the Sole Nero scent, one of four original fragrances available.

Spadaro Notes of Sole Nero Candle

Spadaro Notes of Sole Nero Candle

Kim Spadaro was inspired to create the Sole Nero scent after a visit to Sicily. She wanted to recreate the experience of the fresh citrus found in the outdoor markets and the smells of the cozy night fires as people gathered for a beautiful dinner and wine.

Sole Nero is warm and a little spicy. The base is Italian citrus – grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The citrus scent is warmly hugged with honey, musk, sandalwood and frankincense, with a touch of white pepper and cumin. I also smell almond and vanilla…it’s a comforting scent that smells like warm family memories.

matches inside the candle

matches inside the candle

Inside the beautiful packaging, there is a small matchbook attached to the top. This attention to detail is what makes Spadaro a cut above the rest.

beautiful candle...

beautiful candle…

beautiful message!

beautiful message!

The glass jar is emblazoned with “Celebrate the Spirit of Adventure” and “Inspire Journeys of Self Discovery“. Once the candle is gone, the jar makes for a perfect juice glass that will keep inspiring you every morning!  Be prepared, though, it will take a while since this candle has a 70 hour burn time.

These candles are a big favorite with celebrities. I often see them featured in the big fashion magazines – they are just a wonderful luxury item that make you feel pampered. I love mine! In addition to the candle, Spadaro also offers a shower gel and perfume in the same beautiful scent.

Spadaro candles can be purchased worldwide on Spadaro.co for $50.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

5 Limited Edition holiday gifts to put on your list!

Limited Edition Holiday Gifts

Yes, I know.  The holidays are about giving.  But let’s be honest…receiving is pretty nice, too!  This is the time to take full  advantage of the wonderful deals and special sets that are only available for the holiday season.  Here are five limited edition gifts sent to the BIZ that are worthy of your personal holiday wish list.

1.  Pur Minerals 3-pc. Let It Glow Bronzer, Blush, and Brighten Cheek Trio ($24)  Already on my wish list, I was sooo happy when Pur Minerals sent us this set!  It has three mini twist-up makeup sticks: a bronzer in Naughty & Nice, a blush in Sugar & Spice and a highlighter in Glisten & Glow. Together, these three give you everything you need to contour and create a rosy glow.

Pur Minerals Let It Glow Set up close

2.  Meijer Bath Collection Gift Sets #MeijerBeauty:  these super cute sets are fantastic gifts for Secret Santa exchanges or for last minute presents – pick some up to have on hand, and get a few for yourself.  The Winter White Vanilla scent is especially yummy.

Meijer holiday sets

3.  BECCA Holiday Collection One Perfecting Brush in Limited Edition Gold ($49 at Sephora and Ulta)  I have been jonesing for this multi-purpose brush ever since Marcia did her fabulous review of it last year (read it HERE).  Why not get the limited edition gold version?  This beautiful brush works for liquids, creams, powders…whatever you want to throw at it.  Gotta love the fashion/function combo.

Becca Holiday Collection LE One Perfection Brush in Gold

4.  Whish Body Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum and Vanilla Mint Holiday Sets ($24 at Nordstrom.com)  I have loved the fabulously retro Whish for years, and this holiday set is just too good to pass up.  The three scent choices (Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum, and Vanilla Mint) are seasonal limited edition, so ask for each set to stock up for the winter months!  Each set has a 3 oz Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Scrub – travel friendly and TSA approved sizes.

Whish Sugar Plum Holiday Set

5.  Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Soy Candle & Soap Set ($36)  The fragrance of this full-size pure soy candle and bar of shea butter soap is pure holiday.  The mix of Siberian Fir, pine, and Cedar wood is truly transporting.  It makes a great gift, but believe me you will want this set for yourself.

The Soap and Paper Factory Roland Pine Set

Put these limited edition items on your own Christmas wish list, or do a ‘one for you, one for me’.  You’ve been a good girl all year and now it’s time for some rewards!  – Lisa

*items reviewed sent for editiorial consideration, opinions all mine

Nuture your inner hippie with hip E chick Organic products

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. I always seem to want to go back in time and hip E chick organic bath and body products lets me time travel to the groovy ’70’s! This is a very cool, ‘hip’ line that is all about eco-friendly living. Everything is hand crafted with organic, non-toxic ingredients. hip E chick recently sent the BIZ a few things to try and I am happy to report they are as practical as they are stylish.

hip e chick

hip E chick Maui Wowie Soy Candle

hip

totally gift ready!

The Maui Wowie Soy Candle ($24 for an 8 oz. candle) arrives gift-ready with a cheery lime ribbon bow. The scent is totally addictive, a mix of coconut, pineapple, and cilantro. It’s yummy and sultry and clean smelling all at the same time.

hip

Maui Wowie in the box

hip

100% hand poured pure soy wax

This beautiful, fun, and practical candle is 100% hand poured pure soy wax. It has a cotton wick so there’s none of that nasty candle smoke and it is free of synthetic dyes and additives. This is a great candle for you or for any hippie chick you know.

The Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap ($16 for 8 oz.) is a wonderful way to get a little boho into your day.

hip

hip E chick Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap

hip

super cute packaging!

I wash my hands many times each day, so I want a soap that not only sanitizes but also moisturizes. Add in totally cute packaging and I am sold! Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap has ingredients like Kangen Living Water, Strong Acid Water, and certified pure therapeutic grade oil blends of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. It leaves a very light, clean scent on hands and skin is wonderfully  cleansed and hydrated. If you love liquid hand soap, put this on your list because it’s a real winner.

hip E chick offers lots of other products, such as a sugar body scrub that sounds delicious, body wash, body oil, and even products for pets.

hip E chick’s do not only cultivate exciting and peaceful lives for themselves; but they always reflect upon how their choices are affecting the rest of the world.”  So what do you think – are you a hip E chick?  – Lisa

*pr samples

Love and Light from Noodle & Boo

Whether you are a new mom, aunt, grandma, or you just love babies, Noodle & Boo is the place for you to browse!

Noodle and Boo

Noodle & Boo is a store that caters to the sensitive skin care needs of new moms and babies.  Everything is organic, dermatologist approved, and of the highest quality.

In addition to skin care, they have beautiful shower gifts and items for nurseries. They sent the BIZ the Love Light Candle ($10) and it is so darn cute…I almost want to be pregnant again.

Noodle

Love Light Candle for the mama

The Love Light Candle is perfect for a nursery, although really it’s terrific for any room. Even the box is calming with beautiful pink and white stripes and a thick black bow. I love how it’s for ‘happy and peaceful times’. It reminds of evenings spent rocking my daughter to sleep in a softly lit room.

love it!

makes you feel totally spoiled…love it!

candle

The Love Light Candle

The candle has a very delicate fragrance that smells perfect for a nursery without being overpowering in any way. It has a fruity aroma, a combination of English Pear and peaches with rose and honey. It’s a fabulous subtle scent that won’t offend anyone making it a great gift option.

The candle is a soy blend and the scent is a combination of essential oils. The wick is cotton so it won’t smoke; you get a wonderfully clean burn every time. And the 12 ounce jar is stunning – once the candle is gone it’s perfect for storing little baby necessities like cotton balls.

closer

a closer look

flowers

beautiful flower painted on the jar

gorgeous

gorgeous!

The jar is frosted glass with a gender-neutral floral design. The box is wonderful and the candle inside is even better – this is a thoughtful, meaningful gift that any mom would be thrilled to get.

Check out the website for other fantastic ideas for a babies room, like the Room Spray, Reed Diffuser, and Essential Care Kit. But be careful…browsing Noodle & Boo just might put you in the mood to get preggers!  – Lisa

*pr sample

Getting cozy this fall with Skeem Candles

Skeem

Skeem Fall Candle Sale

It’s getting chilly, so it’s time to break out the candles!  My favorite candle store is Skeem.  They don’t make just candles – they make works of art.  I have kept every single jar I’ve gotten from Skeem, each earning a new life once the candle becomes a fragrant memory.  I put Q-Tips in one, pencils in another, hair ties in yet another.  Several we use for drinking glasses.  I will also admit that there are some I don’t even burn, because they are so darn gorgeous I want to keep them looking exactly the way they arrived!

Skeem sent a few candles from their Fall 2013 selection and I am completely gaga about them.  Take a look:

The White Lotus Half Pint ($14) is a new scent in the Half Pint line, which at 7.5 ounces gives at least 50 hours of burn time.  The jar itself measures 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″, and it is perfect for repurposing after those luxurious 50 hours.

Skeem

Skeem White Lotus Half Pint

Skeem

silk-screened sides

Skeem

fantastic candle with no smoke and a terrific throw

Skeem

love the metal lid print!

Don’t you just love that amazing jar??  The sides are silk-screened with the floral pattern, and the top is a metal lid with a parrot and vintage wallpaper print.  Right now this adorable candle is filling my office with a gorgeous mix of lotus, coral, and orange flowers with a hint of tea and musk.  My plan for after I’m done burning the flame fantastic is to fill the pretty jar with some Hawaiian Sea Salt I purchased a while back that we grind by hand in our marble pedestal grinder.

Other new Half Pint scents for season include Blood Orange and Tea Leaf.

If you want to go big, you want to check out the Weck Jars.  The Vintage Peony Weck Jar ($29) is one of the new scents in this very popular line.

Skeem

Skeem Vintage Peony Weck Jar

Skeem

vintage scientific ephemera

Skeem

a huge 100 hours of burn time!

Skeem

Sigh.  I love this.

The Weck Jars are perfect for canning pretty much anything once the candle is gone – right now on the website they talk about using the jar to can pickles.  People have been using Weck jars in Europe to can things since 1895.  The jars are a huge 4 1/4″ wide x 4 1/4″ high, and you get at least 100 hours of burn time.

The Vintage Peony scent is a grown up floral mix of peony, lily, and musk.  It is perfect for a family or living room.

Skeem

beautiful canvas label

Skeem

In 100 hours, you will be full of pickles!

Please do yourself a favor and take a look at all the amazing designs available in the Weck Jars!  Skeem says, “The lids were designed from our collection of vintage scientific ephemera. We layered detailed drawings of animals, insects and nature, popular with 19th century illustrators, with charts, type and labels from this same time period, to create these beautiful sepia-toned designs. The side of each jar features an embossed Weck logo and our signature printed canvas label.”  The designs are fantastic additions to your decor, and the candles themselves are the best you can find anywhere.

Other new scents for the season in Weck Jars include Grapefruit Zest and Sweet Balsam.

Right now there a few sale candles left, and also Skeem has free shipping for any order over $70.  It’s a perfect time to stock up for the season, get those heavier candles and avoid the postage costs!  You’ve got to go to www.skeemshop.com and look at the truly gorgeous items they have.  You won’t believe how fantastic this line truly is.  – Lisa

*pr samples