Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gifts That Keep on Giving

As the holiday quickly approaches and shopping malls become crowded with last minute shoppers, think about preparing and showering your friends, family members, and coworkers with a labor of love. Your gifts will not only be unique, but will also save you money as our economy continues to plummet. Below are a few gift ideas and recipes to make the gifts. I chose the following because they are easy to make, long lasting, and will leave the recipient feeling good!

The soy massage candle has wonderful benefits. When lit, the soy wax moisturizer will liquefy and can be poured onto and massaged into the body.

3 oz. soy wax
5/8 oz. shea butter
¼ oz. coconut oil
¼ oz. sweet almond oil

candle wick
tin containers

Directions: Secure the wick in the tin container. On the stove or microwave in non-stick cookware, melt the 4 ingredients together, add your favorite scent (option), and pour into containers. Let harden at room temperature.

Foot soaks help to soothe tired and aching feet. They can also aid in the reduction of foot and ankle swelling.

Epsom Salt
Sea salt
Lemon or orange rind, mint, eucalyptus, lavender, or tea leaves
Favorite Scent
Glass container

Directions: Combine your ingredients and transfer into a glass jar. Cork the bottle and add personalized note giving instructions to pour into water, soak the feet, and relax.

The sugar, salt, or oatmeal scrub can be used as a hand and foot exfoliator to soften rough and dry body parts.

1 cup sugar (oatmeal or sea salt)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Scented essential oils (examples: lavender, peppermint, sandalwood)
1 clear plastic or glass jar and cover

Directions: Mix the sugar, oatmeal or sea salt, and olive oil. Mix in a few drops of an essential oil, and pour into desired jar. Attach a note with directions to use a small amount and rub onto hands or feet, and rinse. Also, some can be placed on a washcloth and used anywhere on the body that needs exfoliation. This can be performed in the shower or bath.

The neck warmer is great for use when working, relaxing, and doing chores around the house. It warms the body and relaxes tired muscles.

Rectangular piece of soft flannel, fleece or terry cloth material
Dry rice, corn, or beans
Dry scents (tea leaves, lavender, spices, etc.)
Needle and thread or sewing maching

Directions: Fold the rectangular piece of fabric in half lengthwise. Sew one end and the one side together using needle and thread or a sewing machine. Stuff the fabric with dry rice, corn, or beans, along with a favorite scent. Sew the remaining end of fabric. Place on the rotating “lazy susan” in the microwave and heat for two minutes. The neck warmer can also be used as an ice pack by placing it in the freezer.